DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sweet Springs mayor declares war on drugs (Missouri)

Against the backdrop of a D.A.R.E. flag, a deputy from the Saline County Sheriff's Department and Sweet Springs Chief of Police Dick Downing, Mayor Roxanne Hinton declared war late Friday afternoon, April 28 -- against the scourge of drugs.
The press conference was announced via a fax sent to area media outlets early Friday morning and was supposed to only be open to official media, but several Sweet Springs residents were in attendance for the announcement.

Hinton led off by stating "I, as mayor, am declaring war on illegal drugs … ."

She stated her "Operation Drug Free" was to begin Monday, May 1. As a goal, Hinton stated she is challenging the Sweet Springs Police Department, "special appointed police" on the local level and county sheriff's department to come up with 12 drug warrants and arrests over the months of May and June.

Doing so, the mayor said, will send a message that Sweet Springs is serious about "becoming a drug-free community."

Hinton said she has already been given names of 12 alleged drug users in the town. And, to the possible question about why the goal of 12 arrests, she responded with a simple, "Why not?"

She also pointed out this is a time of year when anhydrous ammonia tanks are starting to be used again by farmers preparing for the growing season and anhydrous is a key ingredient often stolen by those making methamphetamine.

Hinton said she wants to send a message to all users and makers of meth that the residents of Sweet Springs "won't live peacefully with meth dealers."

She also said that if searching the rural area around Sweet Springs she would expect that a couple of meth labs could be found with little trouble.

Among Hinton's other points were that she is "not going to back down" and she is "attacking with force" against meth and other illegal drugs.

While some anti-drug operations focus on the main distributors or "big fish," Hinton said the operation she envisions is also geared toward snatching up the "little fish" who act as "feed" for the larger dealers.

"I know it's here," she said of methamphetamine in the community of about 1,600 people. She noted that her husband is a dentist and teeth are one of the areas that meth users first see serious health problems in.

Winning her second two-year term as mayor in early April, Hinton was asked about the timing of the announcement by a member of the audience at Friday's press conference, which included a few local residents along with media representatives.

Hinton responded that the beginning of a new term was an appropriate time for the setting of new goals. She added that, in her opinion, drugs are the number one reason for vandalism and other crimes in the town.

Asked why she didn't simply contact the sheriff's department about drug problems in Sweet Springs and allegations including the names of drug users, the mayor responded that that was what she was doing by holding the press conference -- informing the media, citizens and law enforcement she wants fighting drugs to be the top priority.

Asked by another resident if she would stand behind the local police department no matter who was suspected of illegal drug use or sales, Hinton responded that she has always stood behind the Sweet Springs Police Department and the role of mayor is to set goals and provide leadership.

Neither Downing nor Deputy Sheriff D.R. Hudson made any comments during the 10-minute press conference.

Contact Mark Lile at marshallbusiness@socket.net

http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1150943.html

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