TRUMBULL COUNTY Student's billboards convey message

The anti-drug billboards, in Niles and Champion, will remain for about two months.
NILES -- Brookfield High School student Carrie Zachar's anti-drug message and design bested more than 30 others to earn spot along two busy Trumbull County highways.
The 16-year-old sophomore won a $500 savings bond from the Trumbull County Drug Task Force for her anti-drug billboard design.
Her creation was selected from 36 contestants from Trumbull County school districts.
"They told us to make something that stands out and the first thing I thought of was a big stop sign," she said.
The billboards bearing Carrie's design and message "Stop the drugs and you'll fight the crime," stand along U.S. 422 near McMenamy's Restaurant in Niles and near the Route 5 bypass in Champion Township.
Saving for college
Sheriff Thomas Altiere and Niles police Capt. Robert Hinton presented Carrie with her savings bond Monday afternoon. Carrie plans to save the money for college.
"She loves art," said Carrie's mother, Kathy. "She's very good at art."
Mrs. Zachar and her husband, David, were unaware their daughter's design was in the running until Carrie announced that she'd won.
"She came home from school and said, 'I won. I'm going to have a billboard,'" Mrs. Zachar said.
Altiere said the billboards will remain for about two months.
Jeff Orr, leader of the drug task force, said the contest was an educational tool, inviting high school students to enter. Posters with more anti-drug messages created by other students also will be distributed throughout the county, he said.
The posters and billboards also advertise the task force's Web site at The site includes information about drug identification and education.
The task force is a multijurisdictional drug enforcement agency that includes officers from several jurisdictions.

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