A sobering tribute to a lost son

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It is a story that should touch anyone's heart, but especially that of a parent.

Kevin Adkins was just 18 and starting life on his own in his first apartment when he made the one wrong decision that cost him his life.

Kevin was celebrating his independence with friends when he dangerously underestimated the power of alcohol. By the time the evening was over, Kevin had been drinking beer and shots for hours and had a blood alcohol level of 0.36. He passed out and never woke up again. Alcohol had claimed another victim.

Kevin was not the first youth to lose a battle with liquor, and he will not be the last, but his father and family have dedicated themselves to making his life and death a reminder to other families and other young drinkers that sometimes the worst does happen - and that it doesn't need to.

Kevin died in Arizona, but his favorite place was Montana, so his father, Barry Adkins - a 1976 graduate of Flathead High School - is bringing his son's ashes back here where he spent many vacations and dreamed of one day owning a ranch.

"Kevin's Last Walk" will begin in Arizona on Feb. 24 of next year - two days before Kevin's birthday - and will continue until July 10, the two-year anniversary of his death. Along the way, Barry and other family members will tell the story, and try to make a difference in some other young person's life.

That would indeed be a significant memorial to Kevin, and we wish the Adkins family luck in touching as many lives as possible. For more information, look for Kevin's Last Walk at www.notmykid.org

A big contingent of Flathead High School students is making music this week in Missoula.

The school qualified 28 top musicians - a record number for Flathead - for all-state music honors.

Ten instrumentalists are part of the all-state band and orchestra, while 18 singers will perform with the 160-member all-state choir.

All these musicians are participating Thursday and today at the state music educators convention in Missoula. They will rehearse and then perform concerts with other top musicians from around Montana.

It is quite an accomplishment to have such a large group of local students honored with all-state status. Congratulations both to the musicians and their teachers.

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