Veteran With Service Dog Denied By Restaurant

.jpg photo of Navy Veteran and Service Dog
Navy Veteran Wanda Garneaux and Halk

Navy vet with service dog says she was told
she ‘wasn’t disabled’

ATLANTA, GA  –  An Atlanta restaurant is apologizing to a Navy veteran after she said she and her service dog Halk were turned away by employees who told her she didn’t need the dog.

Wanda Garneaux was supposed to meet a friend at the Daiquiri Factory on West Peachtree Street when she said she was stunned by the response when trying to enter the business.

“I reached for the door and before I could even put my hand on the handle, the security guard stopped me and said, you’re not allowed in here with that dog,” she told 11Alive’s Kaitlyn Ross exclusively.

She says she felt uncomfortable, but asked to speak with a manager, who allegedly told her she didn’t look disabled enough.

“She said, ‘You’re not blind.’  And I said ‘No, I’m not,’” Garneaux explained.  “So she said, ‘Then, you’re not disabled, and you can’t have a service dog.’”

Garneaux, who served in the United States Navy and suffers from PTSD, said she was floored.  She said she tried to explain to the manager her service dog was legal and certified.  She even tried to show her the I.D. hanging on Halk’s vest which says in bright red letters that read “full access is required by law.”

Halk’s vest even has a QR code on his vest that people can scan with their cell phone to read a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  But Garneaux said after fighting with them for 10 minutes, she eventually gave up.

“I don’t like being made to feel like I am different, because in my mind, I’m struggling to be the same,” she said.  “I’m struggling every day to cope and fit back in to society.”

On the way home Garneaux told her friend she didn’t think it was worth it.  During the interview, she told 11Alive that she was even considering giving Halk back because of all the negative attention she’s gotten during the few days she’s had him.  But as soon as she started crying, Halk, sensing her distress, moved in to try to comfort her.

11Alive went back to the Daiquiri Factory and spoke to the manager, who said she misunderstood the law.  The manager refused to go on camera but did apologize to Garneaux and offered a free meal.

Garneaux accepted the apology, but that’s not what this Navy vet wants.  “I know things are not perfect, I don’t want them to be perfect, I just want a normal life,” she said.  She said she wants people to educate themselves on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how to support people who are struggling.

AZ Baby Tests Positive For Cocaine

Tucson TV reporters charged with Child Abuse

ORO VALLEY, AZ  –  An Oro Valley couple known around Tucson as on-air personalities are facing drug charges after tests revealed there was cocaine in their baby’s system.

Oro Valley police say 26-year-old Krystin Lisaius and husband Somchai Lisaius were indicted on charges of possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia and child abuse on June 9.

They made their first appearance in court on Monday.

Both were TV reporters in Tucson.  Krystin Lisaius worked at KGUN-TV while 42-year-old Somchai Lisaius was a reporter for Tucson News Now.  It appears they don’t work at those stations anymore.

Riley said the baby was taken to the hospital on May 15 after being breast-fed and appearing to be in distress.  Test revealed cocaine in the four-month-old’s body.

The baby is living with a relative.

Danger: Kids Left in Hot Cars

.jpg photo of Child asleep in carseat
Danger: Kids Left in Hot Cars

Expert tips for keeping your kids safe from
heat stroke in cars.

By Denise Mann
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Every summer, heartbreaking and preventable deaths happen when children are left alone in hot cars.  More than 770 U.S. children have died that way since 1990, according to the nonprofit safety group Kids and Cars.

These cases happen when kids are left unattended in a hot car,  sometimes because the driver forgot the child was there, or when kids get into unlocked cars without any adult knowing it happened. Within minutes, they can be in danger.

Here is what you must know:

1.  No Exceptions, No Matter How Brief

Some parents may not want to take their child in and out of their cumbersome car seat for what they believe will be a quick stop.  But the stakes are too high.

“It is never OK to leave kids or pets in a car, even with the windows down,” says Christopher McStay, MD, an emergency room doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center.  “It is an absolute no-no.”

McStay has seen his share of hot car casualties in the emergency room.  “Your car is a greenhouse and temperatures can get exceedingly hot in an exceedingly short period of time,” he says.

“There is no safe amount of time to leave children alone in the car,” says Nathan Allen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor at the University of Chicago.  “Kids are more susceptible and at higher risk for heat-related illness and injury than adults because their bodies make more heat relative to their size and their abilities to cool through sweating are not as developed as adults.”

As a result, just a few minutes can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, for a small child.

2.  Know What Can Go Wrong

“Parents leave children in a car for lack of understanding about how sick they can get and how quickly they can get sick,” says Christopher Haines, DO, director of pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

“On a day that is just 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a car can increase by 30 to 40 degrees in an hour, and 70% of this increase occurs the first 30 minutes,” he says.

Heat stroke may occur when body temperature passes 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  That overwhelms the brain’s temperature control, causing symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness, and/or death.

3.  Bystander?  Get Involved

If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately, advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  “If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible,” states the NHTSA’s website.

Unfortunately, some child carriers have hoods, so you can’t tell if there is a child in the seat.  Developing alarm systems that sound if a child’s seat belt is left fastened when the door shuts may be helpful in the future, McStay says.

4.  Remind Yourself

Some parents or caregivers may forget that there is a sleeping child in the back seat and go about their business.

Think it can’t happen to you?  It can, says Mark McDaniel, PhD, a psychology professor at the university of Washington at St. Louis. Here’s how:

“The memory is faced with a challenge when it needs to remember something that you don’t do every day, such as take your child to school,” McDaniel says.  For instance, maybe Mom usually does that, but for some reason, Dad takes the task for the day, he says.

“If the child has fallen asleep in their car seat, which is usually behind the driver’s seat, there is no visual information to remind you that there is a kid to drop off and if you have not done it day in and day out, you need a cue,” McDaniel says.  “These are not bad parents, but people who don’t have a good understanding of their memory system.”

What can you do?  Give yourself reminders.  Keep telling yourself, out loud, to remember the child.  And give yourself visual cues.  For example, “place your briefcase beside your child so you must grab it before going to work, and will see your child,” McDaniel says.  Or put your diaper bag on the seat next to you, so that you’re reminded that you have the child with you.

5.  Prevent Kids From Wandering Into the Car

Don’t let your children play in your car, make sure the car’s doors and trunk are locked when you’re not using it, and keep the keys out of kids’ reach.  That may help prevent children from getting accidentally locked in the car, McStay says.

6.  Check That They Arrived

If your children take school buses or other modes of transportation, make sure that the transportation company follows established safety protocols, such as a bus driver walking through the bus to make sure no child is left onboard at the end of the route.

And call to make sure your child arrives as expected, if you are not there to greet your child, Haines says.

MO Child Abuse Registry Expanded

.jpg photo of Child Abuse advocate
Deputy Director Emily van Schenkhof with Missouri Kids First

Missouri Governor signs law meant to fight
Child Abuse and Neglect

The Governor has signed legislation that an advocate says will help fight the abuse and neglect of young children in Missouri.

House Bill 1877 requires that people be listed on the Child Abuse and Neglect registry for more crimes : rape; sodomy; promoting prostitution of a victim younger than 18; sexual exploitation of a minor; using a child in a sexual performance or promoting a sexual performance by a child; and possessing child pornography or giving it to a minor.

Deputy Director Emily van Schenkhof with Missouri Kids First says it also toughens the requirement that the Children’s Division be notified when someone should be added to the registry.  She said there were some such crimes for which listing on the registry was not automatic.  There were also cases in which individuals were found responsible for child abuse or neglect and the notification did not reach the Children’s Division.

“These changes were somewhat technical in nature, but very important for the integrity of our registry.  We want the registry to contain a list of names of folks that we believe are not safe to work with vulnerable persons,” said van Schenkhof.

Another provision creates a task force on prevention of infant abuse and neglect.  Van Schenkhof says she is hopeful it will result in some meaningful changes.

“There are, unfortunately, lots of things that we need to do to prevent abuse and neglect of children, and particularly of infants,” she told Missourinet.

The bill also requires a medical provider with child abuse expertise see all children younger than 3 and involved in abuse investigations, to look for signs of abuse and make recommendations for that child’s safety.

“I have, unfortunately, seen way too many cases of babies that come to the attention of our division and unfortunately those children are put back into situations where they’re horribly hurt, where they die,” said van Schenkhof.

The law will also require four hours of training in medical forensics for Children’s Division employees, to help them recognize injuries that indicate abuse.

“While a bruise on a toddler is very normal it is not the least bit normal for a four-month old,” said van Schenkhof.  “I think we have a lot of cases where people are seeing what would be considered relatively small injuries on babies and not recognizing the severity of it.”

The changes in law become effective August 28.

Can You Imagine Dying Alone In A Hot Car

.jpg photo of man that left Child in hot car
Michael Thedford, 33

Father arrested in death of child left in car
in Collin County

MELISSA, TX  –  Authorities have arrested a father after his 6-month-old daughter was found unresponsive Tuesday afternoon outside their Melissa home.

According to the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were alerted at about 1:30 p.m. that an infant was left alone in a vehicle in the 1400 block of Milrany Lane in Melissa.

Authorities released few details but confirmed the child died and that her father, 33-year-old Michael Thedford, was arrested.

Thedford was charged with manslaughter and is being held on a $20,000 bond.

Fabiola Contreras lives across the street from the home.  She said she immediately noticed all the commotion as first responders arrived at the scene.

“I saw the ambulance come first,” Contreras said. “I just saw them rush into the house.”

Officials with the Collin County Sheriffs Department says the child was unresponsive when deputies arrived at the scene.

Contreras says detectives spent some time with Thedford in the front part of the home and had him retrace his steps.

“Before we knew it, he was walking outside with handcuffs,” she said.

The cause of the child’s death is under investigation.  Deputies were told the child was left in the car but it hasn’t been revealed for how long.

According to KidsandCars.org, 16 children have died in hot car related deaths nationwide this yearThat’s more than double the number of 7 at the same time last year.

Tuesday’s death was the third this year in Texas, according to the organization.