Meeting to discuss Columbia County youth alcohol abuse

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DAYTON - Columbia County youths are involved in underage drinking at a rate as much as three times higher than the Washington state average.

This information, taken from the 2008 Healthy Youth Survey, will be part of a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the impact of underage alcohol use.

Title of the forum is "Message in a Bottle."

The meeting will be at the Liberty Theater at 7 p.m.

Keynote speakers are Maura Trainor and Phil Howard, who will relate their personal stories of overcoming alcohol addiction that started when they were teens.

Judge William Acey will lead a follow-up panel discussion, with time for questions and discussion with the audience and panel members.

Panel members include Prosecuting Attorney Rea Culwell, juvenile justice counselor Vance Norsworthy, pastor Gregory Bye, Deputy Sheriff Mark Franklin, counselor Todd Wagner, emergency services technician Kris Darby, and teacher Shelly Franklin.

The forum is sponsored by Columbia County Community Network and is funded by a grant from the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

For more information, call Nancy Butler at 382-1511.

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