At the March monthly meeting, members of the Newton County Community Coalition unanimously elected officers for this year. Officers and their positions are Marty Yust, president, Sarah Swearingen, vice-president, Rene' Bohns, secretary and member at large, Tal Clubbs.

At the March monthly meeting, members of the Newton County Community Coalition unanimously elected officers for this year. Officers and their positions are Marty Yust, president, Sarah Swearingen, vice-president, Rene' Bohns, secretary and member at large, Tal Clubbs.
Coalition members approved last month's minutes.
Other new business included an update on the next Drug Take Back event, scheduled for April 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Wildcat Corner on Neosho Boulevard.
"Last year was my first year participating," Neosho Police Officer and School Resource Officer Phillip Whiteman stated. "It's anonymous. We collected five boxes full last year and statewide in Missouri, the total was seven tons."
Whiteman noted that there are permanent collection boxes where citizens may drop off unused prescription drugs at both the Neosho Police Department and the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
Coalition member Tim Mitchell noted, "It's a great opportunity to pass out information on our group."
Disposal bags for prescription meds and other information will be handed out at the Drug Take Back Event. The event will be held rain or shine.
Another topic covered was committee spending. Within the coalition there are three committees which are marijuana prevention, alcohol prevention among youth and prescription drug abuse prevention. Each group has $1575 to spend and the funds must be used by May to qualify for matching funds.  Luis Cecenas and other members from Crowder College discussed the possibility of using the fund for some advertising in local media. The group decided to combine the funds so that the total sum of $4725 can be more effectively utilized.
Tandy Bressler spoke about her organization, MOLove Productions to the group. MOLove is the sponsor of the upcoming Glow In The Dark party to be held March 31 at the Lampo Center in Neosho,
MOLove began with a music festival for youth several years ago in Granby. Bressler said she wanted to expand with more events. "It's important to give kids things to do that makes them leaders," she said. "things that make the feel like part of the community so we'd like to put on (more) events, things kids like to do."
Jim Lowans, director of Adult and Teen Challenge of the Four States, reminded members of the upcoming business person's breakfast at their facility on April 10.  He also noted the organization has added 'adult' to the name. "Adult and Teen Challenge, with our new name, is here to serve," he said.
The next meeting of the Newton County Community Coalition will be on Tuesday, April 24 from 12 noon until 1 p.m. at the Talking Foundation, located at 209 North Valley in Neosho
The coalition works together to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and other risky behaviors among youth through collaboration, education, early intervention, and community transformation efforts throughout Newton County.