Extra Extra : Child Abuse

In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight

Day-care providers existing on the unregulated side of Virginia’s two-pronged child-care industry operate largely in an environment short on rules. By keeping their operations to five children or less, providers avoid licensing and regulations, training requirements, inspections and background checks.

The result: Of the at least 60 children who’ve died in Virginia child-care homes since 2004, 43 were in unregulated establishments.

Read the full story from The Washington Post here.

Reports to child protection agencies overlooked in Minnesota

A flawed system of investigating suspected child abuse and neglect has contributed to a disturbing statistic in Minnesota. Since 2005, 54 children have died from maltreatment despite reports to child protection agencies indicating that the kids could be in danger, according to a special report from the Star Tribune.

The story follows the case of Eric Dean, who died at age 4 after various daycare workers and others had filed a combined 15 reports of suspected abuse, only one of which was shared with local authorities.

7 children lived in filth despite child welfare visits

The Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare did not consider a home so filthy it had to be condemned an imminent threat to the seven children living inside, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found.

The deplorable conditions prompted the district attorney’s office to charge a 26-year-old woman already on probation for child abuse with multiple counts of child neglect.

The family was already well-known by child protective services, according to court documents. Still, caseworkers did not raise any red flags about the conditions of their home, which included floors covered in excrement and walls crawling with bugs.

Extra Extra Monday: ATF stings, voter fraud and the new subprime bubble

Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities | USA TODAY

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not ...

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Theme park employees caught in sex stings, child porn arrests

A six-month investigation by CNN reveals 35 employees from Florida’s Walt Disney World, five from Universal and two from SeaWorld have been arrested for sex crimes against children, trying to meet minors for sex, or for child pornography since 2006. CNN obtained police interrogation videos, police and court records and interviewed some of the men who were arrested, as well as law enforcement. The investigation has prompted proposed legislation that would allow businesses catering to children to polygraph employees.

Violent and legal: The shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, isolated against their will

For more than a decade, mental-health facilities and other institutions have worked to curtail the practice of physically restraining children or isolating them in rooms against their will. Indeed, federal rules restrict those practices in nearly all institutions that receive money from Washington to help the young —including hospitals, nursing homes and psychiatric centers.

But such limits don't apply to public schools.

The practices — which have included pinning uncooperative children facedown on the floor, locking them in dark closets and tying them up with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords or even duct tape — were used more than 267,000 times ...

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Minnesota misses chances to save abused kids' lives

Seven children died last year from abuse or neglect despite prior knowledge by Minnesota child protection agencies that their lives were at risk, records provided to the Star Tribune show.

That total is the highest in the state’s records, which go back to 2005. The Department of Human Services said it will study each case to probe whether county social workers missed chances to savethe child, but an initial review has found that some counties could have done more.

Read the full story from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune here.

Extra Extra Monday: High-poverty schools, the troubled VA healthcare system, medical examiner accuracy

Fatally flawed: Truth gets buried under broken rules | The Charlotte Observer

In a five-part series launched Saturday, the Charlotte Observer reveals that N.C. medical examiners routinely fail to follow crucial investigative steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of death rulings.

The living face the consequences. Widows can be cheated out of insurance money. Families may never learn why their loved ones died. Killers can go free.

After a medical examiner concluded David Worley died in a Harnett County car wreck last July, a funeral home discovered what the examiner missed: four stab wounds in his back. His ...

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Minnesota counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports

Minnesota’s counties received nearly 68,000 reports of child abuse or neglect last year but closed most of those cases without investigation or assessment.

A review of state and federal data by the Star Tribune shows that the number of child abuse reports being screened out without any protective action rose last year to the third-highest rate in the country.

In all, the state screened out more than 48,000 such abuse reports last year ­— and authorities often made their decisions after only gathering information from a phone call or a fax.

Extra Extra Monday | Mass. deals with ‘zombie’ boards, new details about GM recall, Minn. screens out child abuse reports

Minnesota counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minnesota’s counties received nearly 68,000 reports of child abuse or neglect last year but closed most of those cases without investigation or assessment.

A review of state and federal data by the Star Tribune shows that the number of child abuse reports being screened out without any protective action rose last year to the third-highest rate in the country.

In all, the state screened out more than 48,000 such abuse reports last year ­— and authorities often made their decisions after only gathering information from a phone ...

Read more ...