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By The Staff

Motivational speaker’s visit was a success

Dear Editor,

Recently our community welcomed Justin Lookadoo, a nationally known Prevention and Abstinence speaker, as he presented school programs for middle and high school students on December 10th and 11th. He combined the serious and the light as he talked about healthy relationships, abstinence, attitude, character and values with humor and insight, and seemed to have quite an impact on our youth. On the evening of December 10th, Justin shared his understanding of youth with 132 area parents and presented another youth program, “Dateable” for at least 300 students ages 12 to 19. Along with his unique and very humorous presentations, all who attended were provided with pizza, drinks and desserts, courtesy of River of Life Community Church. At the close of Justin’s program, a large number of door prizes were given out to the young people, courtesy of church members.

Justin Lookadoo’s visit here was funded through a federal Abstinence grant and also sponsored by the Washington County Health Center, Lincoln Trail District Health Department, and the Washington County Prevention Center. Although the cost of his visit was paid for through this grant, it truly took a community of people working together to make all of the sessions a success. I am continually impressed with the time, energy and caring that adults in this community put into efforts to help all of our youth make healthier decisions.


Debra Galloway

Community Health Educator

Washington County Health Center

Isaiah House making a difference in lives

Dear Editor,

I’m a graduate of the Isaiah House and I would like a moment of your time. Not only did the Isaiah House save my life it gave me a reason to live and serve the one true God, Jesus Christ. I was a drug addict for 37 yrs. I used them all the time. I sold them to support my habit. I lied and cheated for them. They took my life as I knew it and left me with a empty mind and body, lost without a purpose.

I went to the Isaiah House in June of 2007, and after a couple of months without drugs I look and think so much clearer. I rededicated my life to our one and only true God, Jesus Christ.

I now live a clean and sober life and return to the “House” to help out with the new guys but the “House” still needs help that I can’t give. It needs financial help, so if you are able, please give all that you can. I know things are hard right now, but lives depend on it. Thank you for your time.


Jerry Netherton

Respect the roadside: Don’t litter Washington County

Dear Editor,

Far away, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, tucked away in the proud European country of Austria, is a small town named Schenkenfelden. I have a lot of cousins who live in and around this bucolic village.

My grandfather, John Schenkenfelder, emigrated from there in the late 1800s. So when my wife and family visited the area a few years ago, my distant cousins from the old country treated us like royalty. They seemed gratified having relatives living in America and promised to visit us one day.

Bernhard Schen-kenfelder, a 25-year-old cousin, did that last month. He’s been working as a software engineer in Los Angeles for the last two years. When he told us he was coming for our 50-member family reunion in Springfield, we were thrilled.

During his visit he made an interesting observation. Washington County reminded him of his home in Austria. The rolling fields, green landscape, grazing cows and winding streams were all reminiscent of the countryside deep in the heart of Europe. I agreed with him and told Bernhard that the beauty of Washington County was a major reason we bought a farm here four years ago and built a home.

Yet, when I see roadside litter I wonder if sometimes we fail to truly recognize the unique quality of our county’s natural surroundings. Discarded bottles, paper, boxes and trash of all types are a far too common sight. Maybe we need tighter enforcement, or higher fines for littering. Or perhaps, we simply need a better appreciation for the splendor and uniqueness of our environment.

Many of us drive the familiar back roads of Washington County and never really see the landscape. We’ve seen it all so much we turn it off. Our minds are at the office, back at home or on schoolwork. Cell phones distract us as much as the kids and dog in the back seat.

As Bernhard has done, we should look around and see Washington County again for the first time. And, we should treat our roadsides with more respect and stop littering. Like a messy room, visitors judge us by the way we treat our surroundings. We live in a special place. Sometimes it helps to be reminded.

John Schenkenfelder