Helping the community and themselves


POMEROY — Men, some from the area and some from out of town, spent the past two days working to help clean up the village of Pomeroy, including working along the walking path and river bank.

These men, some barely adults and others a little older, have all found themselves on the wrong side of the law at one point in time — most likely in connection with a drug or alcohol problem.

The men have been sent to the STAR Community Justice Center as an alternative to prison or as part of judicial release from prison. The STAR program stands for Structure, Therapy, Advocacy and Restoration.

Part of the program, explained Vocational Director Dusty Kellogg is reentry into the community.

Work programs, such as the one that brought the group to Pomeroy, allow for the residents of the program to work with those in the community. Kellogg explained that STAR works with several local townships and churches near their Franklin Furnace facility, with some working a day a week while others work up to five days a week.

The hours can be counted as part of the required community service of probation, at the discretion of the judge.

Larry Tucker, a probation officer with Meigs County Common Pleas Court, explained that STAR had expanded to provide programs such as the one to work in Pomeroy.

While in town, the crew worked to clear brush, weed eat, trim trees and the riverbank, clean up and beautification.

Tucker said Common Pleas Judge I. Carson Crow was on board with the program, which benefits the STAR residents and the community.

Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson was on had Thursday morning to meet with the workers to go over tasks and see what needed to be completed. Anderson emphasized working in the areas which are visible to those coming into the community, including the walking path area.

In addition to Kellogg, Mark Stuntebeck, STAR’s Reentry Specialist, was in Pomeroy on Thursday with the group. On Wednesday, Executive Director Eddie Philabaun, Community Justice Director John Adkins, and Program Director Shannon Bishop were in Pomeroy along with the STAR residents.

In addition to the work program, STAR residents have to opportunity to complete re-training programs and vocational programs, including earning certificates in maintenance, food production and safety, administrative assistant, residential electric, plumbing and welding. These programs make it easier for the residents to gain employment upon their release from the program, helping them to transition to a new way of life.

STAR currently houses around 250 men and women, while there is space for up to 300.

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Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson provides instructions to STAR workers who were in town on Thursday to complete work tasks in the village including clearing of brush along the river bank and weedeating along the walking path.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_Star-1.jpgPomeroy Mayor Don Anderson provides instructions to STAR workers who were in town on Thursday to complete work tasks in the village including clearing of brush along the river bank and weedeating along the walking path.

STAR residents and staff were in Pomeroy on Wednesday and Thursday to complete work in the village as part of their community work service program. Pictured are (front, from left) STAR residents Cameron Eby, Timothy Lowery, Josh Smith, and Scott Nickels; (back, from left) Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson, STAR residents Joshua Rathburn, Robert Blankenship and George Meade, STAR Reentry Specialist Mark Stuntebeck, STAR Vocational Director Dusty Kellogg and Meigs County Common Pleas Probation Officer Larry Tucker.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_Star-2.jpgSTAR residents and staff were in Pomeroy on Wednesday and Thursday to complete work in the village as part of their community work service program. Pictured are (front, from left) STAR residents Cameron Eby, Timothy Lowery, Josh Smith, and Scott Nickels; (back, from left) Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson, STAR residents Joshua Rathburn, Robert Blankenship and George Meade, STAR Reentry Specialist Mark Stuntebeck, STAR Vocational Director Dusty Kellogg and Meigs County Common Pleas Probation Officer Larry Tucker.

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.