OPINION

Change Is In The Air

Phillip Whiteman
Guest Columnist

COVID-19 restrictions have become part of our everyday language and have heavily influenced how we schedule our time. COVID-19 restrictions have lightened, if not lifted completely, in most areas, including right here in Newton County. The Newton County Community Coalition (the “Coalition”) enjoyed a nearly back-to-normal meeting last month with restrictions lifted. We at the Coalition are extremely excited about this and are eager to meet face to face once again. This column serves as a reminder that we are back, and we want you involved with us. Some upcoming Coalition events are:

Newton County Fair: July 7th-10th, the Coalition will have a booth and display at the fair. We worked with the High School Criminal Justice Class at Crowder College and challenged them to develop table-top displays for our table. These amazing display boards will make their debut at the fair, and I hope you will stop by and check them out!

Tall Cop Says Stop:  July 29. Jermaine Galloway from Tall Cop Says Stop will be presenting from 8:30 to 3:00 on July 29 at The Civic in Neosho. He is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter, five-time national award winner, international award winner, and resource for those interested in the prevention, education treatment, and enforcement of drug and alcohol prevention. The Drug-Free Communities grant is funding this event, so there is no cost to you! If you are interested in attending this event, please register on Eventbrite at https://tinyurl.com/TallCop-NewtonCounty. Lunch will be provided, and the training is invaluable if you interact with youth and/or are a parent. 

The above-listed events are just a couple that we have planned. If you want to know more or want to know how to become engaged at an exciting level in the community, we invite you to attend our monthly meetings. They are open-style meetings, and we welcome all community members. The meeting times and location is listed below.

Newton County Community Coalition Vision: A safe and healthy, drug and alcohol-free, youth community across all of Newton County.

Newton County Community Coalition Mission: We strive to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and other risky behaviors among youth through collaboration, education, empowerment, early intervention, and community transformation efforts throughout Newton County.

Are you interested in making a difference in Newton County? Come join the Newton County Community Coalition, where we are discussing how the Coalition provides substance abuse prevention strategies with current target areas of youth alcohol use, marijuana use, prescription drug abuse, and tobacco issues.

To get in touch with someone at the Coalition, please contact me or one of our Board members at newtoncountycoalition@gmail.com. Board acting President: Jeff Higgins, jhigginsatc@gmail.com

Check out our Facebook page@ https://www.facebook.com/groups/489182691248202

The Coalition meets from noon-1 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The meeting location is the Talkington Building, 209 N. Valley Street, Neosho.

A Drug-Free Communities Coalition is administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and managed through a partnership between ONDCP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).