A COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER – To allow a broader scope of general input, the Safe and Drug-Free Alliance will now be known as the county’s Prevention Coalition with Chair Tommy Moore.
Plans being finalized for town hall meeting
The Weakley County Prevention Coalition is inching closer and closer to its annual town-hall meeting and as the date draws closer, the fine details continue to materialize for the event that hopes to educate community members of all ages about the dangers of drugs and violence.
At the March monthly meeting of the WCPC Tuesday afternoon, members discussed topics of interest to include at the town-hall meeting and above all, a venue for the event. The date, 6:30 p.m. on April 26, was finalized at an earlier meeting.
Initially, Room 206 in the University of Tennessee at Martin’s University Center was reserved, but due to limited space, other ideas were entertained and upon a suggestion, the Student Life Center at UT Martin will be sought out as a possible venue.
Topics of interest will include synthetic marijuana and cocaine, bath salts, designer drugs, prescription drugs and possibly energy drinks and a presentation from Natalie Boyd of the Personal Safety Empowerment Project (PSEP). Currently, these topics are merely ideas for the meeting, but board members hope to finalize them soon.
“This is always a successful event and we hope to try to educate and enlighten the community,” Judge Tommy Moore remarked.
The Weakley County Coalition will partner with the Obion County Coalition on this project so that the new group might see how a town-hall meeting is run. Additionally, teachers attending the event may receive hours towards recertification.
On a negative note, because of a $10 million cut to the fund for the Drug Free Community grant, the Weakley County Coalition has opted not to apply for the grant.
“Because of the cut to the budget, the number of grants awarded has been reduced to seven for the entire nation,” Lorna Benson of Safe and Drug Free Schools reported.
“When you look at our area now in terms of the entire country and urban versus rural, we look pristine. This is just not a good investment of our time.”
Benson added that she is currently investigating other grants.
In announcements, the student representatives from Obion County and Weakley County that were named to the Governor’s Highway Safety Office steering committee are attending their first meeting as a part of the group. One of the two students is Calvin Walker, a student at Westview High School.
As an update, preparations are still in order for a S.A.D.D.-sponsored house party to be held at the old Majestic Steakhouse in Dresden. The party will promote drug and alcohol-free entertainment and further details will be announced as they are planned.
New posters are being printed and prom cards are being tucked into formal wear and flowers to promote drug and alcohol awareness as part of the ongoing implementation plan.
The posters and cards warn community members and students of the dangers of underage drinking and will be in wide circulation around the community soon.
The 3-on-3-basketball tournament has received permission to be held in Dresden at Wilson Park. Now, all that remains is nailing down a date in which to have the fundraising event. The tournament will be open to all ages.
Closing out the meeting, Benson and Moore warned members of new drugs that are becoming popular with students.
A substance known as 2C-E has been blamed in the recent death of a 19-year-old and is beginning to make waves in the drug scene. It is a hallucinogen, can be purchased over the Internet as a legal substance and will not show up in a drug test.
Similar drugs include “cousin drugs” such as 2C-B, 2C-I and 2C-T-7 which have been responsible for several fatalities dating back to the early 2000s.
Additionally, Moore reported that a drink is being sold at several local stores that appears to be an energy drink, but actually has the power to help a person pass a drug test.
The drink guarantees a passing drug test or, if not, a large reimbursement on the purchase.
The next meeting of the WCPC is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3.