Forum to look at drinking

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What: Community forum on underage drinkingWhen: 6 to 7:30 p.m. todayWhere: Centennial Hall, 137 10th St.Contact: Sandy Visnack at 879-6188 or sandy@grandfuture... for more information

— Community organizations and residents are meeting tonight to look for ways to combat underage alcohol drinking.

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Director Sandy Vis--nack and City Clerk Julie Jordan put the forum together.

Visnack said the night would begin with an overview of prevention strategies used by the coalition and other agencies working with young adults and their parents.

Presentations will follow about prevention, the effects of alcohol on a developing brain, the legal ramifications minors face for drinking and a curfew ordinance the city is considering.

Emergency room physician Nate Anderson, middle school Principal Tim Bishop, high school vice Principal Kevin Tom--lin, police Capt. Joel Rae, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, juvenile diversion officer Landra White, city Human Resources Director John Thrasher, City Council member Steve Ivancie and several middle and high school students are expected to speak.

Visnack said some liquor store and restaurant owners or representatives might attend, as well.

Along with the presentations and discussions, booths will be set up with information for parents and students about programs and organizations in the area designed to help children stay substance free.

Visnack said she hoped having so many different of the community coming together to talk about one of the biggest issues facing the city would lead to new ideas.

"We want to figure out what are the most viable strategies for us to use to prevent and reduce underage drinking and how we take that next step and implement them," she said.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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