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New group works to help curb underage drinking in Columbus


Allen Baswell



Acquiring new members and planning new projects was the focus of a Thursday meeting of an organization designed to curb underage drinking in Lowndes County. 


A meeting of Community Striving to Prevent Underage Drinking, also known as CSPUD, featured representatives from the Columbus Police Department, the W, YMCA, and other organizations meeting with Molly Portera and Brandy Andrews, who are working establish a coalition to prevent underage drinking. 


"This is the second year we have had this meeting. It was a big meeting last year. We are funded through a federal grant program designed for something like this," Portera said. 


Andrews said the role of CSPUD members includes participation, selection and promotion of activities to reduce underage drinking. 


"We want to work not only with the students of The W, but also students in all the public schools in Lowndes County, and Heritage Academy. We want them to understand that underage drinking is wrong," she said. 


She added it is important for members to serve as ambassadors for the coalition''s work and promote its mission when and wherever possible.  


Portera said there are plans to develop a logo for the coalition, and the group is working with the MUW Art Department to develop one. 


Menissia Cowart of Mitchell Distributing, who will promote the program designed to prevent underage drinking, said she plans to devise a program for teens who are getting ready to have their proms. 


"I want put special cards in the pockets of tuxedos that the guys will rent that illustrate the risks of underage drinking," she said. 


Other proposed projects discussed included a proposed town hall meeting in Starkville, but a time and place has not been determined.


Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch



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Reader Comments

Article Comment KJ commented at 2/5/2010 3:54:00 PM:

Our tax dollars at waste.


Article Comment Tom Alciere commented at 2/5/2010 6:39:00 PM:

State Legislators' Message To Underage Drinkers:

1.) To prevent blood borders, the drinking age in every State has to be 21, because that's the only integer that is equal to itself.

2.) Drinking alcohol during pregnancy harms the baby, so we impose Prohibition on men under 21 and not on pregnant women 21 and older.

3.) A tipsy rape victim will be arrested for internal possession if she calls the police, who are there to protect and serve.

4.) We jail parents who are home supervising your drinking sessions in order to prevent you from holding such sessions.

5.) A new scientific study published in the New England Journal of Medicine conclusively establishes that the politicians you voted against have a right to impose this law on you.

6.) Statistical analysis of historical crash data proves that the United States of America ought not to be a free country, with liberty and justice for all, where the citizen decides what to drink, where parents govern their child who still lives in their house, where the punishment for drunk driving is meted out to the drunk drivers.

7.) Freeways are more important than freedom, -- especially when it's your freedom, not ours -- so we sold your freedom to get more highway construction money from Congress, (like a mother selling her daughter for cocaine money,) and we still expect you to respect this law.

8.) The drinking age saves lives. Of course, we could save a lot more lives, maybe yours, by doing what it takes to eliminate drunk driving, but we'd have to give up driving drunk ourselves, and that's not fair because we can drive better drunk than teenagers can sober.

9.) A combination of driving inexperience and alcohol make you a greater danger on the road, whether you drive or not, and that gives us the right to punish you when you drink alcohol, whether you drive or not.

10.) Don't drive drunk? We can list some other crimes you never commit, as an excuse to deny liberty to you: murder, rape, assault...

11.) Everybody who drinks under age is immature and irresponsible because they're doing something that is illegal, as well it should be, because they're so immature and irresponsible.

12.) Liquor corporations have the nerve to advertise their products to you, and we have more respect for their First Amendment right to free speech than we have for your God-given right to drink the beverage of your choice.

13.) We can't stop older drunks from freely exercising their right to practice alcoholism, because they hold too much political power, but some of them started as teenagers and never had a chance to quit since then, so we punish you instead.

14.) You shouldn't destroy your brain while it is only 95 percent developed. You should wait until it is completely developed and then destroy it, like we did.

15.) Even though this law is imposed on you by morons who cannot see the obvious flaws in these absurd arguments, it is embellished with a fancy seal, and a Governor years ago scribbled his autograph on it, so you have a sacred duty to obey it.

Translated by Tom Alciere
Webmaster, Underage Drinkers Against Drunk Driving


Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 2/9/2010 9:07:00 AM:

I read this headline on the CD web site while I was out of state for a week, and as I returned to Columbus on Sunday (Feb 7) morning, passing the high school on the way home, I saw more (does anyone NOT know my 7 years of running argument with the CMSD over alcohol on school property?) beer bottles in the CHS student lot. On a Sunday morning.
When I see in the Dispatch that the police are starting a new anti-crime campaign, the city council is looking at a new business development program or the city school district is promoting some new learning initiative, I don't know about other people, but it's hard for me to take these kinds of headlines seriously.
For 7 years now, the police department, the CMSD school board, administration, security, CHS principals, city council and mayor have known about the issue of alcohol on city public school property and nothing has been done to address it.
"It's what you do and not what you say..." as the song goes. Sound bites, headlines and promises are worthless without action backing them up. On this topic, for the last 7 years, there's been no action, no effort, no progress, only denial, incompetence and inaction (in my opinion) that borders on cowardice.
I've been picking up beer bottles and cans and whiskey, gin and brandy bottles in the CHS student parking lot after football and basketball games for too long. Now the police are finding guns in the student parking lot.
Instead of trying to drag people into the city with annexation, why not gather the courage to face the reality of the problem, admit something is wrong and actually do something about it? Then, just maybe, parents who are privately and home schooling their children might consider the city's public school system again.
The two reasons I hear the most from those parents for choosing alternatives for educating their children have nothing to do with religion, but are safety and discipline issues. They want their children to be safe and they believe a foundation of discipline is absolutely necessary to achieve a successful learning environment for all the students in the system. Until those points are faced and addressed, the sense that many parents have, that the system is less than what they expect, will continue


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