Thursday, August 30, 2012

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve and SAFE Coalition will be Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs on September 29, 2012 at the Farmington Fire Station

On September 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve Officers, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Farmington Fire Department on the corner of Pearl & 4th Street in Farmington, IA. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that linger in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve and SAFE Coalition and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events. Unused or expired prescriptions can also be returned to Lee Pharmacy, Keosauqua, IA for safe disposal at anytime.

For more information on the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Initiative please visit the DEA Site at: or contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or or visit the Coalition website at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Youth Leadership Council News

The Van Buren Youth Leadership Council members were busy over the summer. While there were no regular meetings scheduled the students were active throughout the summer.

I-STEP Summit- In July three Van Buren youth were selected to attend the I-Step Summit in Des Moines. This was a one day summit intended to replace the JEL summit from years past. This was a very informative day that allowed the students to develop goals and a plan for their upcoming year. Two Van Buren youth were selected to be members of the State of Iowa I-STEP executive Council for next year; Drew Nolting and Cassie Johnson.

CADCA Youth Leadership Initiative- Lydia Heald applied this summer to be a youth facilitator for the CADCA National Youth Leadership Initiative. She was selected to attend the trainings and participate in the Training of Trainers (TOT). She spent a very intensive week learning and participating in the training in Nashville, TN. She will learn later this fall if she has been selected to be on the next training team and what her duties will include.

SAFE and Healthy Kids Fair- YLC members once again set up a booth at the Van Buren County SAFE and Healthy Kids Fair this summer. They had alcohol and tobacco questions that allowed the kids to either make a bracelet or throw balls at the dunk tank. This is always a hit for the youth members as it is usually a pretty warm day. Information on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco are provided to the kids who attend the fair.

Boone Youth Leadership Training- Twelve Van Buren YLC members were selected to attend a youth leadership training in Boone in August. Six of the YLC members were selected as youth facilitators and assisted with the training during the week. This training taught the students about being leaders in their community, speaking up for what they believe in and identifying and making changes to problems they see in their community.

National Conference on Tobacco or Health- Drew Nolting was selected from the state of Iowa to attend this conference in Kansas City, MO in August. The purpose of the National Conference on Tobacco or Health is to help improve and sustain the effectiveness and reach of tobacco control programs and activities in the United States. Drew was able to take part in a youth track and brought back some great ideas for things the youth coalition can implement in Van Buren County.

If you see any of these members congratulate them on their accomplishments and for keeping busy this summer! As the school year starts the YLC members will have monthly or bi-monthly meetings to begin work toward their yearly goals at both Van Buren and Harmony schools. Their will be a training held in late September to bring all members together and work on county-wide plan for making a change in their community. Be watching for more YLC activities throughout the year and support them in the work that they do- their main goal is to make Van Buren County a better place to live!

You may find out more about the YLC program, their meetings and events on the website at or by calling the coalition office at 319-293-6412.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School Activities: It’s 3pm on a school day. Do you know where your children are?

As summer vacations end and students start a new school year, here are a few reasons you should encourage them to get involved with after-school activities:

• Children & teens are more likely to be the victims of crime during the after-school hours than at any other time
• Children & teens are more likely to participate in violent crimes during the after-school hours than at any other time
• Children & teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol or drug use or sexual activity during the after-school hours than at any other time
Courtesy National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center

Our young children often attend after school daycare or programs provided by their elementary schools, but by the time children reach middle school they are often left on their own after school. It seems sensible enough. They are old enough to get their own snacks and open their books to complete their homework. They know who to call if they have an emergency. However, adolescents benefit from after-school activities and supervision, too.

Youth who spend only a couple of hours per week in extracurricular after-school activities are significantly less likely to drop out of school; become teen parents; or use tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Spending 5-19 hours per week in after-school activities reduced the risk even further.

It is important that these activities are not just time wasters, but are programs that help youth develop skills and values and provide them with experiences that mean something to them.

It doesn't take a lot. Our schools offer a variety of after-school clubs, sports and activities. Encourage your children to find something that interests them and participate regularly.

For information on keeping your kids active or more information on the SAFE Coalition you can visit us on the web at or contact us at 319-293-6412.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Van Buren Elementary School Back to School BBQ August 16, 2012

Are you ready to head back to school? Come and join the community for a fun family friendly event at the school! Meet the staff of the Van Buren Community Elementary School and learn a little about them. Enjoy a meal and earn door prizes from community sponsors!

This event will be held on August 16, 2012 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Van Buren Elementary School in Douds.

• A meal will be provided starting at 5:00 pm.
• Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.

The BBQ is being sponsored by: Keosauqua Chamber, Keosauqua Rotary, Bethel Worship Center, Van Buren Community Schools, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and other community organizations!

For more information on this event please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or or check for information online at or on Facebook – Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Harmony Back to School Event August 18, 2012

You are invited to a family friendly event! Enjoy kid’s games, bounce house, a meal and door prizes. Come out and join us as we head back to school!

This event will be held on August 18, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Harmony High School Athletic Complex.

• A meal will be provided.
• Door prizes will be awarded during the evening.

The Event is being sponsored by: Harmony PTO, Harmony Sports Boosters, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and other community organizations! For more information on this event please contact Sheila Smith at 319-592-3539 or check for information online at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Youth Attend I-Step Summit, Two Join the Executive Council

Drew Nolting and Cassie Johnson
Van Buren County
I-STEP Executive Council Members
The Van Buren County YLC had three youth members attend the I-Step Summit in Des Moines on Thursday, July 26. Drew Nolting a junior at Van Buren High School is a member of the I-Step Executive Council and helped present at the summit. During the summit youth could apply to be on the I-Step Executive Council for the 2011-2012 year. Cassie Johnson applied and was selected to join the I-Step Executive Council. She will be joining Drew Nolting who joined the council in 2010.

Drew, being on the executive council, was a model in the fashion show, a judge in the cooking show and assisted with many other activities throughout the day. Drew felt that the speaker, Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, was very inspiring and spoke directly to the youth about how to be themselves. He encouraged students not to be influenced by others and the media, to always be true to your values and beliefs. Drew’s favorite part of the day was the street marketing event that showed how “Big Tobacco” targets youth and how the youth learned to fight back.

Other members who attended the summit were Cassie Johnson and Isabel Neeley. Cassie is a junior at Van Buren High School and this was her third year to attend the summit. Even though the summit was much different this year than years past she brought home some good information. She enjoyed the skits performed and thinks they are something they could use for their peers. What Cassie liked the most about the day was sitting down with the members from her county and planning what the groups goals would be for the year. At the end of the day the youth participated in a street marketing event with water balloons that was a lot of fun.

Isabel Neeley is a freshman at Van Buren High School and this was her first time attending the summit. Isabel had a lot of fun and learned a lot of interesting things to bring back to the other members. She really liked the fashion show, the cooking show and the street marketing event. Her favorite part of the day was when they did the group dance.

To learn more about the Van Buren County YLC program go to