AG Paxton Issues Consumer Alert: Beware of Buying Flood-Damaged Vehicles in Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton today is advising any Texan considering a used car purchase to be wary of vehicles for sale that might have suffered flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.
It’s estimated that between 500,000 and one million automobiles were submerged in floodwaters during the unprecedented disaster.
In Texas, a seller is required by law to tell prospective buyers about damage to a vehicle. If the damage is from flooding, the words “Flood Damage” must be included on the vehicle’s title. Failure to disclose that information may be a violation of the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“While most Texas businesses and individuals are law-abiding, there are always those looking to take advantage of consumers by selling them flood-damaged vehicles in the months following a hurricane,” Attorney General Paxton said. “A cleaned-up vehicle could be a ticking time bomb with unseen damage, posing mechanical and safety risks to the buyer.
If you suspect fraud, report it to the Consumer Protection Division of my office at 1-800-621-0508. We will aggressively investigate and prosecute cases.”
Attorney General Paxton and his Consumer Protection Division offer Texans the following tips to protect against buying flood-damaged vehicles:
Have the vehicle inspected by an independent, competent automotive technician who has no relation to the seller. Since flood damage is hard to spot, paying an expert mechanic for an inspection provides peace of mind.
A 1-year-old child died because of acute alcohol intoxication and extensive burn wounds. The child had burns over 11.5 percent of the body, and a blood alcohol level of 0.145 percent. The child also suffered from malnutrition. It was determined the child was burned about one month before death.
A 1-year-old child died as a result of a ruptured stomach with chemical peritonitis, fracture of the cervical spine and extensive scalp hemorrhages. The mother admitted whipping the child with a belt four to five times per day for the past month because of behavioral issues.
A 22-day-old child died from positional asphyxia with a contributing factor of acute mixed drug intoxication. The child’s mother fell asleep in a reclining position on a couch while breast-feeding the child. When the mother awoke, the child was unresponsive with her face between the mother’s chest and arm.
ANDERSON, IN – These clinical descriptions represent the life stories of three Indiana children who died of abuse or neglect in 2015.
And 74 other similar accounts are contained in the Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for Indiana fiscal year 2015, released this month.
The 77 deaths covered in the report are abuse and neglect cases that child service officials could “substantiate,” out of 258 fatalities the department reviewed.
About half the deaths were traumatic — beatings and gunshot wounds. Head trauma was the main cause of death in abuse cases.
One-third of the children died as a result of neglect. Unsafe sleep practices leading to asphyxia were the primary cause of death in this category, and the misuse of drugs and alcohol were frequent contributing factors, according to the report.
What’s more concerning: The number of substantiated child abuse/neglect fatalities in Indiana keeps rising, from 34 in 2012, to 49 in 2013, to 66 in 2014, to 77 in 2015.
Of the total fatalities in 2015, 32, or 42 percent, were attributed to abuse. Forty-five (58 percent) were attributed to neglect.
In other key findings:
In the case of abuse, 85 percent of victims were less than 3 years old.
In the case of neglect, 73 percent were less than 3 years old.
“This finding demonstrates a consistent trend (nationally and in Indiana) that young children are at the highest risk of abuse and neglect,” according to the report’s executive summary.
Another disturbing trend revealed in the fatality report: Abuse and neglect is often inflicted by a child’s biological parents.
84 percent of neglect fatalities and 68 percent of abuse fatalities were caused by a biological parent.
10 percent of neglect fatalities and 26 percent of abuse fatalities were caused by a parent’s intimate partner or another relative.
The report also showed the most common stress factors associated with child deaths were insufficient income and unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence.
“Each one of these deaths was 100 percent preventable,” said Mary Beth Bonaventura, director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, in a statement.
“Our infants and toddlers are the most vulnerable of all our children,” Bonaventura added. “Younger children demand active supervision, attention, care and patience — which may be difficult to give if someone has low or poor parenting skills, or is dealing with multiple stress factors, including substance abuse.”
Data complied by the Indiana Youth Institute provides context for Madison County’s struggle with neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse, especially if you contrast the community with affluent neighbor Hamilton County.
Hamilton County’s population in 2015 was about 309,700, and Madison County’s was about 129,300.5
Though Hamilton County’s population was 2.4 times larger than Madison’s, far fewer cases of neglect were reported there: 259 compared to 729 in Madison County. Reports of physical abuse were also lower, 20 in Hamilton County versus 68 in Madison County.
The recently released Department of Child Services report notes that of the 77 deaths in Madison County, DCS officials had prior contact with only four of the children.
Behind these numbers are families and children struggling to cope with poverty, mental illness and rampant drug and alcohol abuse, Madison County child advocates say.
“A lot of people gloss over violence in the home,” said Denise Valdez, director of Kids Talk. “We need to look at why there’s violence in the home. There are so many factors.”
Kids Talk interviews victims of child abuse and neglect and provides information to local law enforcement.
Valdez believes education is a key element in changing the behavior of abusive or neglectful parents.
Valdez also believes humans are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. While many people might not be prepared for the job of parenting, the episodes documented in the fatality report unmask a disturbing pathology.
“I think people who do that have some deep psychological issues that need to be addressed,” she said.
Efforts are afoot in Madison County to advocate for victimized children, but there are so many of them and too few resources.
“We’re just overwhelmed with the number of cases,” said Annette Craycraft, executive director of East Central Indiana CASA.
Currently 400 people are on the agency’s waiting list for services.
CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Its volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in the welfare system. Working with children who have been abused, the volunteers are often the first to see trends and behaviors that affect the well-being of kids.
Like Valdez, Craycraft believes education can help change behavior. After reading this year’s fatality report, she said, “The thing that really stood out is that a lot of these deaths could have been prevented.”
Craycraft believes Madison County’s medical community does a good job of providing information to new parents about safe sleep practices, but it’s hard to know what happens when couples arrive home.
For children who are older, Craycraft believes community mentors and organized programs such as those at the new Anderson Township Trustee Girls and Boys Club can help break cycles of violence.
But until whole communities become truly aware of the needs and come together, the fatalities will mount, and there will be more sordid stories like these three.
• In the case of the 1-year-old burn victim, no medical treatment was sought.
The mother’s boyfriend initially told investigators the child was burned accidentally when water he was heating for a sibling’s formula fell from the stove on the child. Later, the boyfriend told investigators the child was accidentally burned in bath water that was too hot.
Both caregivers said the mother was not home when the injuries occurred. The child’s mother was charged with criminal neglect of a dependent and false informing. The mother’s boyfriend was charged with criminal neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing. Both criminal cases are pending.
In the case of the 1-year-old who was whipped, both the mother and father and were charged with murder, neglect of a dependent and battery. Both are awaiting trial. The Department of Child Services found that the death was caused by physical abuse, medical neglect, malnutrition and environmental conditions attributed to both parents.
The 22-day-old’s mother tested positive for benzodiazepines and Tramadol at the time of death, and an autopsy found the child had both pseudoephedrine and nortramadol in her system. The child’s pediatrician was aware the mother was breastfeeding, but was not aware she was taking Tramadol. No criminal charges were filed in the case.
The Time To Communicate With Your Children Is Now Or Never
Our Country is besieged with an epidemic of monstrous proportions, yet the true numbers have been hidden even by the CDC. But even with the stats I will post, I have something very alarming to share tonight. May Our Dear GOD protect us and Bless us all.
The legacy of the Obama Administration was and is an attempt at genocide. He not only brought in people that hate us, he didn’t bother to test any for diseases, even though all of these people are from countries with HIV/AIDS epidemics worst than what we have, and the fact that Ebola was brought into Our Country is yet another indictment against his legacy.
Our X President also took the ban off homosexuals giving and selling blood.
I will take this time to address two (2) different groups before we continue.
To all the people that agree with, and the ones that simply turn a blind eye, to the wholesale murder of Our Babys, don’t leave yet when I tell you I TOLD YOU SO, because I also have something that includes all of you with the next group. Just imagine for one (1) minute, that if a full-sized hospital could not protect everyone from Ebola, how can you be so ignorant in believing Planned Parenthood was protecting everyone from HIV/AIDS????
I know many of you can remember the time when more than a few people thought I just set up here and made things up about Planned Parenthood, and also just pulled numbers out of no where and said they were more near correct for stats than the lie so many were believing. (That was a joke, but I see Our Senior Editor, and several more of Our Circle not laughing, and in fact are looking at the floor, My friends, they know me, you might want to get in position where you aren’t so obvious).
Huh, something just blew dirt in my eyes…. My Friends, even I can’t stay dry-eyed.
Not only have the antivaxxers been right, HEY THIS IS FOR ALL THE HILLARY AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD SUPPORTERS, how many remember the days when people thought I made up the fact that PPH was making $!,000,000 to $10,000,000 a day selling illegal fetal tissue for highly illegal research on fetal tissue, and for the viable baby organs.
I never saw any where that said it wasn’t still illegal to research on fetal tissue.
SO YOU TELL ME HOW THE CDC OWNS A WHOLE LOT OF VACCINATION PATENTS, some of these vaccinations are grown in dead cow blood along with metals and heavy metals.
But what might come as a shock is the fact that some of these vaccinations are grown in fetal tissue.
Before we continue with the rest of the epidemic material, I want everyone to know that I will attempt to bring you all the numbers, but there is more and more Children adversely affected by these vaccinations every day, this year is due to set records very early on.
This year alone, 10,000,000 young people, 13 years-of-age to 23, will contract one (1) or more STI or STD
35 percent of teens ages 14 to 19 have Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Girls age 15 to 19 have the highest rates of Gonorrhea and the second highest rate of Chlamydia of any age group
From: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 4, 2017 10:50 AM
Reply To: email@example.com
Subject: CDC Releases ‘Call to Action’ to Reduce Syphilis
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC’s Division of STD Prevention is calling on public and private sectors, as well as affected communities, to help reduce syphilis through research, prevention, and outreach.
Historically low syphilis rates are in the rearview mirror, and today, we face increasing syphilis rates across almost every demographic. Of utmost concern is the continued high rate among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as a sudden surge of congenital syphilis rates.
We must act now to disrupt syphilis. And we need for everyone to pitch in with specific action steps encouraged in the Call to Action. For example:
Public health departments need to improve surveillance; partner with healthcare providers and patient advocacy groups; conduct partner services; increase screening; and ensure collaboration between State and local STD, HIV, and maternal and child public health programs
Healthcare Providers need to take complete sexual histories; follow CDC testing recommendations; treat diagnosed patients immediately per CDC guidelines; and work with the health department to report all cases of syphilis by stage, including cases of congenital syphilis
Decision-makers and community leaders need to talk to STD program professionals in their jurisdiction and address any policy barriers to affected populations seeking or obtaining recommended screening and treatment
While getting back to the basics of syphilis prevention will help make a difference, it will not put a full stop to this disease. For these reasons, the Call to Action also outlines action steps needed from affected communities, universities, industry, and even electronic medical records vendors.
I understand that we’re asking for a lot from everyone; however, we’re committed to undoing these worsening syphilis trends with you.
CDC pledges to unite and strengthen new and old tools of prevention to protect the public from this dangerous disease. We will, for example, improve surveillance; make a syphilis specimen repository available for technological developments; and help develop novel diagnostic tools and better prevention tools. At the same time, we will continue ongoing work to prevent all STDs, including syphilis.
Together, we can put syphilis behind us where it belongs.
Thank you for your commitment to STD prevention.
Gail Bolan, MD
Director, Division of STD Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Expert tips for keeping your kids safe from
heat stroke in cars.
By Denise Mann
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.
STEWARTSTOWN, NH – The stepfather of an 11-year-old New Hampshire girl found dead in a river in 2011 was arrested Monday on a second-degree murder charge in her killing.
Wendell Noyes, 52, of Stewartstown, was taken into custody in the slaying of Celina Cass, the attorney general said. The girl was reported missing from her home July 26, 2011, and her body was recovered from the Connecticut River six days later.
Noyes, who is accused of killing Cass by submerging her body in the river, is set to be arraigned Tuesday. Associate Attorney General Jane Young declined to comment on what led to the arrest, and a phone number listed for Noyes was disconnected.
In the days after Celina disappeared, Noyes described her as a quiet girl who would not have left the home on her own. Several months later, after his truck, cellphone and computer had been seized by investigators, he told WMUR-TV, “I had nothing to do with it. We left the door unlocked, and somebody else was in the apartment after we went upstairs.”
At the time of her disappearance, the girl lived with Noyes, her mother, her 13-year-old sister and the 22-year-old son of one of her mother’s former boyfriends. Both men were later subpoenaed to testify at grand jury proceedings related to the case. In February, a major crimes squad truck was seen parked outside Noyes’ trailer.
Court documents show Noyes has a history of psychiatric issues. He was found unfit to stand trial in a 2003 case in which he was charged with breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s home and threatening her.