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Probation officer retires after 25 years

By Staff
Melissa Cason
After 25 years of service to the state, one of Franklin County's probation officers is calling it a career in a few weeks.
Michelle Ray will officially end her career with the Alabama Department of Pardons and Paroles on Jan. 1, but a reception was held in her honor Thursday afternoon to celebrate the occasion.
Ray began her career with the Department of Human Resources, where she worked for five years. She served as a probation officer in Franklin County for 20 years.
During her time as probation officer, Ray has juggled large up to 200 caseloads, but in the last five years, her cases averaged 80 to 100.
"When my caseload was nearly 200, it was a really bad time, but in the past five years, they have stayed around 100," Ray said. "But they vary from month to month."
During the reception, ADPP Executive Director Cynthia Dillard presented Ray with a plaque for her service. District Supervisor Murry Millwee read a letter from Gov. Bob Riley thanking Ray for her service and congratulating her on her retirement.
"I am going to miss the people," Ray said. "Maybe not the work as much."
Ray plans to continue her crusade for the humane treatment of animals by continuing her work with Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), but her goal is to become the director of the Colbert County Animal Shelter once the existing director decides to retire.
"I'm not sure when he will retire, but I will definitely continue my work with PAWS even when I become director of the shelter," she said.
She said she sees her animal rights efforts as a second career and is happy to be able to devote herself to that work full-time.

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