Thursday, August 29, 2013

Van Buren Businesses 100% in Alcohol Compliance Checks

The Van Buren SAFE Coalition in conjunction with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department and Iowa State Police is pleased to announce that Van Buren County was 100% compliant in alcohol sales compliance checks in 2013.  Congratulations and thank you to the businesses for their efforts leading to their recent success in passing the alcohol sales compliance checks conducted on February 16, February 28 and June 22.  These were successful days for every business in the county that was checked. 

Underage drinking continues to be a problem for the youth in our community.  Alcohol is the drug of choice for our youth so prevention efforts must come from every part of our community.  The SAFE Coalition continues to work with students, parents, retailers and community members to address the problems associated with underage drinking. 

Alcohol retailers are the first line of defense in stopping the sale of alcohol to young people.  It’s important for everyone to make sure that they are doing their part in preventing the problems associated with underage drinking.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department will regularly use alcohol sales compliance checks in an effort to keep Van Buren County safe by limiting access to alcohol for our youth.  By working together we can make a difference.  Again, we congratulate the businesses on a job well done. 

The following is a list of the businesses that successfully passed the recent compliance check.

Birmingham Jet Stop            Bonaparte Jet Stop              Milton Jet Stop
Moore’s Grocery                   Boyd Grocery                        Bridge CafĂ© & Supper Club
Circle B                                  Casey’s General Store        H&K Pony Express
Hel-Mart                                 Tillie’s Tap                             Vet’s Club
American Legion                  T&C Tavern                           Riverbend Pizza & Steakhouse
AJ’s Bar & Grill                      First Street Grille                 Bonaparte Inn                       
Douds Kwik Stop

Thursday, August 22, 2013

YLC- Join Today!

Youth Leadership Council or YLC is for students in middle and high school in Van Buren County, this includes both Van Buren and Harmony school district. YLC addresses problems that youth determine are issues in their community; these may be related to drugs and alcohol as well as tobacco or could be bullying and harassment or nutrition and obesity. The issues addressed are determined by the youth based on a strategic planning process.

Throughout the year the members participate in many local and statewide activities.  Local activities include; street marketing events to inform residents of the dangers of tobacco, underage drinking, and drugs, peer teaching at elementary centers, sticker shock, cigarette butt clean up plus much more!  Some of the state events they have taken part in included; Youth Advocacy Day in Des Moines and the Youth Summit held over the summer. YLC members also have an opportunity to attend national events in places such as Washington, DC and Nashville, TN.

YLC is an excellent program for students to get involved in as it allows them to gain leadership in their school and community.  The programs are also linked with the SAFE Coalition; they are the voice of the youth in our county.  The YLC program strives to have youth driven meetings, events and results. 

ALL YOUTH in grades 7-12 are encouraged to join this year; you can do so by joining us at a meeting at your school! If you have any questions, or have a student who is interested in joining, contact Heidi at 319-293-6412, or visit us on the web at

Thursday, August 15, 2013


1.      The Chance That Children Will Use Alcohol Increases as They Get Older.
About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent. The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol, the greater chance you have of influencing their decisions about drinking.1

2.      Parents Play a Critical Role in Children’s Decisions to Experiment With Alcohol.
Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption,2 especially when parents create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions.3 In fact, around 80 percent of children feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol.4, 5

3.      The Conversation Is Often More Effective Before Children Start Drinking.
If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol use. When parents know about underage alcohol use, they can protect their children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with it.

4.      Some Children May Try Alcohol as Early as 9 Years Old.
Most 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to view alcohol more positively. Many children begin to think underage drinking is OK. Some even start to experiment. It is never too early to talk to your children about alcohol.6

5.      If You Do Not Talk About It, You Are Still Saying Something.
What you say to your children about alcohol is up to you. But remember, parents who do not discourage underage drinking may have an indirect influence on their children’s alcohol use. 7

For more information on talking about underage drinking you may visit the SAFE Coalition at or visit us on Facebook.

1, 6 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007.
2, 5 Nash, S.G., McQueen, A., and Bray, J.H. (2005). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(1), 19–28.
3 Barnes, G.M., Reifman, A.S., Farrell, M.P., and Dintcheff, B.A. (2000). The effects of parenting on the development of adolescent alcohol misuse: A six-wave latent growth model. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(1), 175–186.
4 Jackson, C. (2002). Perceived legitimacy of parental authority and tobacco and alcohol use during early adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health 31(5), 425–432.
7 Sieving, R.E., Maruyama, G., Williams, C.L., and Perry, C.L. (2000). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Potential mechanisms
of parent influence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 10(4), 489–514.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

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.

Friday, August 2, 2013


The SAFE Coalition’s annual SAFE Home Pledge program is underway. Members of the coalition are asking parents to sign a SAFE Home pledge. 

The pledge for middle and high school parents states that they will not provide alcohol to minors in their home. It also states that the parents are open to communication with other parents about the alcohol use of their children. For elementary parents the pledge asks them to talk to their kids about drugs, alcohol and tobacco use, set rules and take an active role in their lives.

Directories will not be mailed to parents this year; they will only be available online.  A directory of all parents who have signed a SAFE Home Pledge will be available on the SAFE website at  It will also be emailed to all of the parents who sign a SAFE Home Pledge.  Information on how to access the pledges will be mailed in October.

If you are interested in having a SAFE home and signing a SAFE Home Pledge there are a number of things you can do:
1)    Contact the SAFE coalition at 319-293-6412
2)    Visit the SAFE website and sign an online pledge
3)    Contact your child’s school about signing a pledge
4)    Complete the form in your school’s registration packet and return it to the school

For more information on the SAFE Home Pledge or the SAFE Coalition you can call 319-293-6412 or email Information about the pledge and all SAFE Coalition activities are available on the SAFE website located at: