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      Heartland judicial court system gets award for the seventh time

      The Missouri Supreme Court recognizes a Heartland's judicial court system for now the seventh time.

      Judge Russell Steele and the Second Judicial Circuit were once again awarded with the Permanency Award Monday morning at the Adair County Courthouse in Kirksville.

      The Permanency Award is given to circuits for successfully holding timely hearings for child abuse and neglect cases in which children removed from their homes were reunited with their families or are placed in another permanent home.

      For Judge Steele, this is another proud moment.

      "A lot goes in to make sure we have our hearings in a timely fashion. The more timely we have our hearings that means permanency for these children who have to be removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect. I'm proud of the work we do but im particularly proud of the committment that everyone in the system that makes this happen in a timely fashion," Steel said. Steele also added that these timely hearings are made in the best interest of the children.

      The second circuit is one of 16 judicial circuits to receive the award this year.