Darren Reed of the Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition was a guest on AM 1390's Talk of the Town.

Last week the director of national drug control policy announced grants of $85.9 million for 698 drug-free communities support programs across the country. The Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition based in Owatonna was among the recipients, receiving $625,000 to help prevent substance use among youth. This grant will fund the local chapter for the next five years.

It is often typical that a group has to wait one year without a federal grant after receiving money for a five-year stretch. The local coalition maintained its presence the past year through a series of local fundraisers.

The Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition was founded in March 2009. The coalition began as a 41-member group. Currently the coalition's membership is over 70.

The public is invited to a town hall meeting on under-age drinking. This will take place on Tuesday, October 11, from 7-8PM in the meeting room of United Prairie Bank in Owatonna.