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Each time I try and set a fence post on my rocky property, I am painfully reminded that my love of Owen County is not based on the quality of the land.
No, my love stems from the way of life that can be found here. Owen County is set apart from its neighboring counties for one reason, and that is the good people who live here. The lifestyle we all enjoy has come as the result of our faithful citizens standing for what is best for the entire community.
Unfortunately, there are those who in the name of making a dollar have jeopardized the way of life so many of us hold dear. There has been a great effort to mislead the voters with promises based on unfounded speculation of economic growth. Will some gain from the sale of alcohol? Absolutely — a small percentage will at a high cost to our entire community. This is not a debate over whether an adult has the right to drink; no, it is whether we will do what is best for Owen County as a whole.
• Alcohol-related accidents are the leading cause of deaths among young people.
• Alcohol-related crashes kill someone every 22 minutes.
• Drinking is involved in 60 percent of violent crimes, 30 percent of suicides, and 80 percent of fire and drowning accidents.
• More than half of all confirmed abuse reports and 75 percent of child deaths involve drug or alcohol abuse.
When the vote is over, and the headlines report a death, will we be able to stand knowing we did our best or will we hang our heads in shame knowing we could have done more?