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Probate office to accept passports

Probate Judge Wes Allen was the keynote speaker at the Pike County Young Professionals Luncheon Thursday, and he chose the forum to make a significant announcement for all local residents.

“We’re going to accept passport applications at the probate office,” Allen said to those gathered at the event.

Allen said this is something the county has been working on, to make the process easier for those in need of updating or applying for a passport for the first time.

“The passport program in Pike County maintains our overall strategic vision of delivering the most effective and efficient services possible to the people,” he said.

Now, residents have to travel to another county to make application for a passport.

“It makes sense to have that service available to our citizens,” Allen said.

Starting Feb. 1, residents will be able to take advantage of the passport service.

“No longer will you have to drive 25 miles to go get your passport,” Allen said.

Allen, a young professional himself, also told members of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce sponsored group about his journey to the probate office.

Appointed to take the place of former Judge Bill Stone, Allen said he still remembers clearly what he was doing when he received the call.

“It was about 10:30 in the morning April 2, and I was in a meeting at the university,” he said.

And, since the phone call from Ala. Gov. Bob Riley, Allen has been working full-speed ahead to fill some very big shoes.

“My first goal has been to maintain the honesty and integrity Bill Stone had,” Allen said. “My second goal has been to wake up everyday and work hard and make sure the Pike County taxpayers get their money’s worth.”

The luncheon was held at the Courtyard Marriot.