Smoking at courthouse banned

Published 12:34 pm Friday, July 26, 2013

Smokers beware – smoking is no longer allowed on the courthouse property.

Commissioner Michelle Stephens brought up the fact that there are a lot of groups that utilize the courthouse facility after hours and smoking has become an issue.

“First, I’m not crazy about walking through the smoke,” she said. “Second, there are cigarette butts everywhere.”

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Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and multiple court referral programs use the courthouse after hours, and many congregate at the entrances during breaks to smoke and fellowship.

Stephens expressed concern over so many groups using the courthouse, and asked if they could possibly utilize the small conference room inside the sheriff’s department.

Commission Attorney Levi Nichols said that the court referral programs go through Circuit Judge Terri Lovell, which means the commission would need to consult with her before asking those programs to move.

The commission voted to make the courthouse property smoke and tobacco-free, not only in the building, but also the entrances and parking lots as well.

They did not set a schedule for fines for anyone who violates the policy.

Anyone with questions may contact their commissioner