Group seeks ideas to improve region

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MEXICO – The healthy communities organization wants to know the community’s concerns so it can address some of the problems. The group also wants to identify regional assets.

To gather thoughts, comments and suggestions, a four-hour public forum has been set for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at Mountain Valley Middle School.

“We want to know if people are concerned about education and bullying, community safety, environmental issues or recreational preservation, such as the move to preserve trails on Whitecap Mountain,” said Patricia Duguay, director of the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition.

She said people attending the forum can bring up other concerns.

The coalition has held such public forums almost annually since 1998.

The gatherings have fueled the organization to help change the image of the area by assisting in forming art-related groups, working with economic groups, establishing youth groups and helping senior citizens, and working with schools to reduce youth smoking, Duguay said.

People, including those representing towns, schools and businesses, are expected to participate. A no-charge supper will be served at 6 p.m. Because of the supper, Duguay said people should contact her at 364-7408 if they plan to attend the forum.

Deb Gorham, a registered nurse, will lead speakers at 4:15 p.m., followed by formation of breakout sessions to discuss health care, elder issues, education, safety, the environment and other topics.

Once major issues are identified, Duguay said the RVHCC board will prioritize needs and begin to search for ways to address them.

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