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Jurors take trolley ride to court

Cole County has recently started using a trolley service for jurors, shuttling them from a city parking lot beside City Hall to the courthouse.

The county asks jurors to park on that East McCarty Street lot across from the Red Cross offices. Jurors previously walked from that lot to the courthouse. But after recent bad weather, Cole County Circuit Clerk Dawnel Davidson said she checked into The Trolley Company’s services.

“We also had a juror come up the hill and then suffer a medical problem,” she said. “I wasn’t comfortable with people walking that far in bad weather, especially those with medical conditions or who need help walking.”

There are two jury panels sitting at all times, with 100 people on each panel.

Although they are just testing this out, Davidson said the service has worked well and they are looking to possibly continue the service.

For six days of service, Davidson said the trolley cost $450.

The money to pay for this service will come from the circuit clerk’s budget for jury needs. According to the county budget office, that budget has $64,950 in it for this year.

This money is to take care of all juror needs such as meals, housing or busing in from another county.

More money was put in the budget this year because of scheduled trials, such as the murder case of David Hosier, which is scheduled to possibly last two weeks later this year and require an out-of-town jury to be picked, then housed and sequestered in a local hotel.

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