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What now?

March 18, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

"But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." - 2 Timothy 2:16

"Many of the things we learned during this trial that our children were saying and doing were profane, were ugly," Judge Thomas Lipps said Sunday.

As the outsiders leave town, we are here to live in our community, to pick up the pieces of what has transpired during the past six months.

So, where do we go from here?

One, we pray.

We pray that our teenagers understand how to be upstanding members of the community.

We pray that our adults fully teach our teenagers the difference between right and wrong.

We pray that our teenagers will quit drinking.

We pray that our adults will have long, hard discussions with teenagers about this case.

We pray that our teenagers have a full grasp on peer pressure and how it can be positive and negative.

We pray that our adults continue to pry into the lives of their teeenagers.

We pray that our teenagers understand that prying means how much we love them.

As witnessed by the call for a grand juty by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Sunday, this case is far from over.

In addition, it is expected that civil lawsuits will follow.

A lot of people still have a lot of hard questions to answer.

"As part of our investigation, BCI agents identified 43 individuals who attended at least one of the two parties," DeWine said in a press conference Sunday. "Investigators interviewed 27 of these individuals, while 16 refused to cooperate.

"A grand jury is an investigative tool that is uniquely suited to ensure fairness and to complete this investigation. And this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth."


"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." - Proverbs 20:1

There are a bunch of people who woke up this morning with a new normal.

Yet, life goes on for everybody.

We all wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and choose how we live the day.

Are we there to help someone up or keep them down?

Are we there to edify?

Are we there to be an encourager or a discourager?

Are we there to lead by example?

Are we there to be a hypocrite?

During his sentencing, Lipps encouraged people "to have discussions about how you talk to your friends, how you record things on the social media so prevalent today and how you conduct yourself when drinking is put upon you by your friends."

Peer pressure today is a lot different than back in the day.

Social media is not always a good thing and, if you followed this case, you learned that by some of the most obnoxious things ever said.

There is enough blame in this situation to go around.

What we need is to start the healing process.

We need leaders to be leaders and that comes of all ages.

What we need to stop is people saying "this" or "that" should have been done.

Stop already.

Also, I hope that the granting of immunity by Judge Lipps teaches everyone that a deal was not already in place, something that far too many people swore was already in place.

Again, stop already.

"Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." - 1Peter 5:8


Every day an average of 11,318 teens try alcohol for the first time. That is almost 4.1 million people a year

Underage drinkers account for 11.4 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.

Americans drink the heaviest in their teens to mid-20s. Alcohol use declines after that.

Teens that drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens that do not drink.

Teens who consume alcohol by the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence as adults than those who do not begin drinking until the legal age of 21.


An estimated 20 million adults in the United States abuse alcohol. More than half of these alcoholics started drinking heavily when they were teenagers.

Each year more that 10,000 young people in the United States are killed and 40,000 injured in alcohol-related automobile accidents.

The average age of first marijuana use is 14, and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of marijuana and alcohol in high school has become common.

It is said there are some 3,000,000 teenage alcoholics.

That, folks, is the size of Arkansas.

What we, as adults, cannot do is pull a Pontius Pilate and wash our hands of the situation.

"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." - Matthew 27:24

We adults have a responsibility and an accountability to the youth.

We must stand up and tell them the truth.

We must tell them the realities of life and not what their version tends to be.

We must do the speaking.

We must stand tall.

We must teach our teens how to be good role models.

We must teach our teens how to be good leaders.

We must be continually active in their lives.

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." - 1Thessalonians 5:22

As I said before and I will do again:

Boys forgot that they have grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and nieces in their families.

Girls forgot that they have grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins and nephews in their families.

Both sides forgot that they have a responsibility to be good friends.

Both sides forgot that under no certain circumstances were they raised to act like that.

I am a child of an alcoholic.

My dad's dad was an alcoholic.

My dad's brother was an alcoholic.

I took my first drink in the eighth-grade.

I did my fair share of drinking throughout high school and college.

I understand the situation.

I get it.

We must teach another type of peer pressure - where the will to do the right thing comes first.

All of this, though, like I have said before, comes down to a heart issue.

Charles Spurgeon once said, "an unchanged life equals an unchanged heart."

He also said, in 1893, "let us ask for wisdom and discretion in doing that which is right. Firmness of purpose should be adorned with gentleness of manner in carrying it out."

Just a reminder that alcohol and teenagers do not mix.


51.7 percent have tried alcohol.

43.1 percent have had an alcoholic drink in the past year.

25.1 percent have been drunk.

15.2 percent have had one or more binge drinking episodes.

70.6 percent have tried alcohol.

63.7 percent have had an alcoholic drink in the past year.

48.9 percent have been drunk.

25.6 percent have had one or more binge drinking episodes.

1.9 percent have been daily drinking for at least one month at some point in their lives.

80 percent have tried alcohol.

73.8 percent have had an alcoholic drink in the past year.

62.3 percent have been drunk.

30.8 percent binge drank in the past two weeks.

3.6 percent use alcohol daily.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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