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March 2022 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Hybrid Meeting
  • Friday, March 11, 2022


  • Robert Bray, WBTC Radio
  • Bridget Britton, 4-H Extension, Suicide Committee Chair
  • Jessica Codd-Sexton, OhioGuidestone, Youth-To-Youth Coordinator, Youth Serving Rep
  • Dick Gooding, Retired, Citizen Member, Tusky Valley Board Member
  • David Harris, Jr, Citizen Member
  • Brian Herzog, Tuscarawas Co Public Library
  • Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • Kathleen Kerns, OhioGuidestone
  • Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  • Connie Limbacher, EPT Secretary
  • Mary Marshall, Citizen Member
  • Kerry Metzger, Tuscarawas Co Commissioner, EPT Chairman
  • Mark Murphy, Tuscarawas Valley School Superintendent
  • Jeff Neidig, Mediwise Pharmacy
  • Faith Nordine, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/HopeLine Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • Beverly Pearch, Big Brother/Big Sister Director
  • Autumn Poland, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • Miles Riley, Springvale 
  • Lori Robson, ECO ESC
  • Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Director of SUD Prevention
  • Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member

Meeting Summary:

Kerry Metzger called the Hybrid meeting to order at 9:03 AM on Friday, March 11, 2022, with 19 members & 3 visitors present (11 virtual & 11 Present). Mary Marshall made a motion to accept the February 4, 2022 minutes Miles Riley seconded and all voted yes. Introductions were made.

Executive: Kerry reported that the Steering Committee decided that since Covid-19 restrictions have been reduced, it can be left up to Committee Chairs to decide if their committee wants to meet virtually, hybrid or all in person. Committees would be meeting in the United Way Conference room -if available-using the OWL System if Hybrid. It has also been decided that the Media Committee will no longer be a volunteer committee but that it would be best to have it established as a core group of marketing people. This will need to be a by-law change. We have also asked the committee chairs to look at their committee membership and verify that committee members are active members of their committee’s.

Alcohol Committee: Jodi reported in Veronica’s absence that we need to have the Empower Tusc placed on  PWHLTM “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” yard-signs. Peggy Leslie’s Harcatus volunteers will place new logos on the yard signs. This campaign will start on Monday, April 18th & run to June 1st. These signs will be available for pick up in the United Way building lobby and can be returned after the campaign is over for storage for next year’s campaign. New school banners are in, as well. The ASK (Alcohol, Server, Knowledge) needs rebranded with our new logo & name before we put it out on the website. Retailers will be emailed when it is available. We are still waiting on the Communities Talk Grant to be released soon so we can secure funding to bring in a speaker like we did last year.

Marijuana Committee Kerry shared an update with us regarding several bills. HB60—Autism & anxiety is spectrum being added to the list of diseases that the Medical Marijuana card could be used for. This is still in the house chamber—Health Committee. Senate Bill 261—passed by the Senate and is now in the House. There are 3 things we need to watch here. 1.) regarding medical marijuana—it would no longer go through the pharmacy board but through the commerce department-making this a money issue; 2.) No diagnosis is needed to get the marijuana and 3.) the concentration of THC would be allowed to be increased all the way to 90%. It used to be 3%-5% then currently is up to 35%-but this would be allow it to go up 90%. It has been referred to the Government Oversite Committee. HB 382 & 498 both would totally legalize marijuana. We need to contact our legislative reps regarding these. Just remember that you cannot represent Empower Tusc and mention a specific bill by name as that is lobbying. We do not want medical expansion nor legalization of marijuana. Also, research is showing that for every $1.00 states receive from marijuana tax revenue they spend approximately $4.50 in mitigating the negative effects from commercialization. In addition, 90% THC is NOT okay! Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools have been proactive & passed a resolution to oppose the commercialization of marijuana at their February 14th Board meeting, with a special thanks to Dick Gooding and Sally Green. Sally also took this issue for consideration to the Ohio School Board Association for consideration. Mark Murphy-their superintendent was thanked for his schools leadership. Kerry appointed a marijuana subcommittee to look into how a resolution can be presented and accepted by other schools. Mr. Murphy also stated that this is a very important issue and explained how youth marijuana use is already impacting schools. This past month at least 2 districts experience youth use and one report was of a 6th grade student sharing edibles with peers . We need to be concerned about how these students are getting them said Murphy. One student reported getting his marijuana thru social media (snap chat) arranging to meet adults they don’t know out in a private place. This is very scary & concerning. Physician Talking Points were received from IASIC, the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis. These talking points were then adapted for Empower Tusc and given for Dr. Kuehne’ s review. Dr. Kuehne and Dr. Moore tweaked for us and will be using them to talk to area physicians and practices. Also, a thank you to Kiersten Heckel Kiersten Heckel who arranged for 4-H Advisors watch 1 15-20 minute video on youth marijuana use and vaping, 179 advisors were educated and encouraged to have conversations with the young persons they serve around these issues. Guest Speaker David Mahan (Director of Policy at Center for Christian Values) spoke to the marijuana committee last meeting.

Youth: Jessica Codd reported the schools are enjoying the vaping jeopardy learning game. The students will be requesting a proclamation on March 16th with the County Commissioners for NDAFW (National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week) and another proclamation on April 20th for PWHLTM. Autumn was at TCC yesterday presenting her vaping/tobacco info getting students signed up for store audits in the next month. Claymont middle school is finishing their lessons on Tobacco/ Vaping. In the next month, students from TCC and Strasburg high schools hope to participate in Legislative Day.

Media Committee: Miles Riley reported in the absence of Michaela that the Media Committee thought that the Press Conference went really well. All 3 radio stations were represented. The timeline of press releases was discussed. There will be 3 movies we will be hosting at the Quaker in April. April 11th, 18th & 25th. Once the flyers are ready and sent out, please share them on social media & print. Anyone wanting to share an event, please send to Michaela to do so. Would like for everyone to log into the new website & use: 

Prescription Drug Committee: Jeff reported that there is still interested in looking into the DEA regulations trying to get a portable incinerator to take care of our medications received via takebacks. The next National Drug Take Back day is April 30th. Rachel Rothacher from Stark/Wayne/Tuscarawas Recycling will purchase advertising. We are getting our local flyers rebranded for the event, as well, and once completed they will be sent out.

Suicide Prevention Committee: Bridget had Jodi report since she had laryngitis. Members met for the first time on February 28th. They are recruiting members and directing them to look at our new website to come up with what they need posted. They had a table at the Dover High School event “Just Look Up” on March 8th. The Quaker Movie Events are being scheduled in April. Resource tables will be set up & more info to follow when everything is set up. They are scheduling an Awareness Walk on August 28th to precede September as National Suicide Awareness Month. The committee meetings will be held the 4th Monday of each month at 1:00pm.

Tobacco/Vaping Committee—Autumn shared that they are working on workplace cessation in the Dover area. In addition, working on the implementation of the Apportis platform. Autumn will do a demonstration on it at our Empower Tusc meeting in April. Discussed vaping devices & their disposal as part of Drug Take Back Day.

922 Initiative—Diana reported that the 922 Initiative will meet the second Tuesday of each month at noon. They are currently working to create a community garden. This is a project to help stop learned behavior by getting involved in something else, such as investing in their community. Four city lots have been donated and this committee would appreciate any other donations such as seeds, fertilizer, etc.

Old Business: Jodi shared that Rick Arredondo has agreed to being the chair for Faith Based Committee and will be attending the Ministerial Association meetings in Tuscarawas County as our representative. Jeff Neidig also helps with the Newcomerstown efforts.

Miles made a motion to adjourn and Dick seconded. All voted yes at 10:30 AM. 

Next Board Meeting will be held on Friday, April 8th from 9:00-10:30 as a Hybrid meeting at the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau. NOTE THE NEW DATE & TIME!!

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