Editor's note -- 2006 primary and school board candidates are invited to announce their candidacy in The Brazil Times.
The announcements will be published as presented, in their own words.
However, no candidate announcements will be published the week before the May 2 election.
Clay Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers will be seeking re-election to an additional six-year term. Akers is presently unopposed.
"There still is much work to do in and out of the courtroom and I hope the next six years will give me an opportunity to expand on what we have started," said Judge Akers, who is completing his seventh year on the judicial bench.
Akers said his time as judge has been divided between his day-to-day court caseload as well as numerous community service events and state judicial committees. In 2005, there were approximately 7,600 new filings in the Clay Superior Court, with nearly 2,600 cases being non-traffic related.
"The methamphetamine epidemic has resulted in a record number of criminal case filings and probation violations. Also, I am seeing an increase in drug related activities with divorce cases, and non-support of dependent cases," Akers noted.
A member of the Clay County Local Coordinating Council for a Drug-Free Indiana, Akers spends time directing the "Red Ribbon Day" activities which draws nearly 500 elementary students to the Clay County Courthouse for a drug education program involving local law enforcement, drug treatment professionals, St. Vincent Clay Hospital and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
"I hope our community drug education programs help us prevent someone from choosing a drug-abused lifestyle. We are targeting a younger age group, because by the time an offender reaches my court we are into hardcore treatment and punishment," said Akers who received the 2004 Hamilton Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service for his community drug-education involvement.
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall Shepard recently appointed Akers to the Judges Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) which aids judges, lawyers and law school students with substance abuse problems and mental health issues. Judge Akers has served on statewide panels discussing mental health programs.
Akers also serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Judicial Conference, is a member of the judge's community relations committee which studies methods to improve the relationship between the news media and the judiciary and is an active member of the Clay County Community Corrections Advisory Board.
Judge Akers is married to his wife, Teresa, and they have four children, Trevor, Tyler, Millie and Austin.