The Richmond Register

Local News

October 7, 2012

Youth in Action to fight for better Alcopop legislation

Group launches new media campaign

RICHMOND — Students from the Madison County Youth in Action gave a roll-call briefing for the  Richmond Police Department on Thursday and served trays of sweets to officers in appreciation for the department’s efforts to fight underage drinking, said Jennifer Webb, the group’s coordinator.

“It means a lot to us youth that you continue to do all you can to prevent underage drinking,” said Tia Raucher, a 16-year-old from Madison Southern High School.

The group also spoke about their upcoming media campaign they will launch the last week of October during Red Ribbon Week, a nationwide alcohol and drug prevention campaign. 

“We will not only work with law enforcement to promote their efforts in enforcing underage drinking laws, but we also will target social outlets of underage drinking, parents and educators, and retail establishments,” Webb said.

Some studies show that teenage tobacco use is going down because of prevention efforts over the years, she said. “Our hopes are that with our prevention efforts, we’ll also start seeing a decrease.

The group also gave a presentation on Alcopops, flavored beverages that contain liquor, are usually high in alcohol content (approximately 4.8 servings of alcohol per can), and mask the taste of alcohol.

The Youth in Action team composed a letter addressed to local legislatures urging them to have Alcopops reclassified as hard liquor and not malt beverages.

Changing the beverages’ classification would prevent them from being sold in convenience and grocery stores, where they are often confused with juice, soda or energy drinks because of their packaging, the letter said.

Webb recalled a story about one of the group’s sister organizations that was giving an Alcopop presentation to educators in Western Kentucky.

During the presentation, one of the teachers “looked like he was having a stroke,” left the room, came back and announced that Alcopops were mistakenly being sold in the school’s vending machine, she said.

“It’s commonplace for teachers to see kids bring energy drinks to schools and not realize that they may have an Alcopop because the cans are so similar,” Webb said.

In fact, she picked one up at a convenience store and only realized her mistake when the clerk asked, “Getting an early start this morning, huh?”

According to RPD Chief Larry Brock, a few cases of youth drinking Alcopops have been reported in the past and that many officers are aware of the beverages from trainings and seminars, “but some are just learning of the issue,” he said.

The group has been conducting their Alcopop presentation to various civic organizations and will be giving the same presentation to Rita Smart, D-Richmond, and state Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, per their request, Webb said. 

Youth In Action's mission is to reduce the access of alcohol to youth under 21 years of age by targeting social and retail availability of alcohol and by supporting the enforcement of underage drinking laws, she said.

Madison County’s award-winning team was formed in 2006 and participates in a variety of projects. The team is a two-time recipient of the Kentucky Youth in Action Team of the Year award and was recently presented the Heart of MADD award.

Madison County Youth in Action is supported by an Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws grant that is administered through the Kentucky State Police. The team also receives funding through Madison County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Madison County inmate dies in Lexington hospital

    An inmate at the Madison County Detention Center died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital, according to officials with the Fayette County Coroner’s Office and Madison County EMS.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sprinkler goes off; dorm evacuated

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results