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OUSC professor to serve county as Spanish translator

County and city judges, as well as local government agencies, now have a Spanish translator to call upon.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

County and city judges, as well as local government agencies, now have a Spanish translator to call upon.

Dave Lucas, professor at Ohio University Southern Campus, has been appointed chief interpreter by Lawrence County Common Pleas Court presiding Judge Richard Walton. The appointment will lend an "official air" to Lucas’ help with police and other agencies.

"We don’t have a great number, but we are getting Spanish speakers in the county," Walton said.

For example, someone who speaks only Spanish gets pulled over by the police for a license check, then police need identification but there’s a communication problem. Or, what if someone who cannot read English tries to apply for a state identification card or local insurance benefits?

Lucas has volunteered to help translate for police or the license bureau, for instance, so a designation as interpreter will give him more official credibility when helping in such tasks, Walton said.

Lucas will receive no pay as chief interpreter, although he has been paid by the court when he’s needed in specific trials or civil cases.

Lucas said he’s more than willing to help, calling his official appointment an honor.

It also speaks well for the county and the county’s communities, which want to reach out in a positive way to other nationalities who might choose this area as home, he said.

There are several industries in the Tri-State, some in neighboring Kentucky, that have drawn a global set of workers.

Some of those workers are settling here, or travel through here, more so than they have in the past.

County officials agree that its a part of the growing global economy – a trend that will likely increase as the economy diversifies even further in the future.

A translator was just one necessary step, they added.