Category Archives: Teaching Parents

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

.jpg photo of Distinguished Eagle Scout Mike Rowe
Eagle Scout Mike Rowe, who was also awarded the Distinguiushed Eagle Scout over 5 years ago.

Mike Rowe Unloads on All-Inclusive ‘Scouts’ in Tucker Interview

In an interview this week with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Eagle Scout Mike Rowe (who may have done a few notable things since) expressed concern over the recent changes in the Scouts, arguing that he hopes the organization would be “an antidote for the safe space environment that’s out there.”

Rowe made the remark when asked by Carlson about how “the scouts are no longer the Boy Scouts, but simply the Scouts” and how he felt about it.

“Well it’s funny you should ask, Tucker, because no less than 10,000 people have asked me that very question over the last month on my Facebook page,” Rowe said. “Distinguished Eagle Scout, if you’re keeping score.  Five or six years ago, I was awarded that, and it was very touching.”

Rowe indicated that he was adopting a wait-and-see attitude with the new initiative, which would let girls into the Scouts, but felt there were some ominous signs.

“Look, I’m watching what’s happening very carefully,” he said.  “I’ve sent 50 to 55,000 thousand letters out over the last 10 years to other Eagle Scouts, and I think the country needs the Scouts, I think the country needs the Future Farmers of America, and Skills USA, and 4H, desperately, now more than ever.

“So, it does concern me to see all the confusion swirling around the organization.  But like so many wounds, I’m afraid many of these are self-inflicted, and I also think some of the confusion that’s going on is legitimate.

“I read their official statement — while girls are being welcomed in, I didn’t read anything about integrated camping trips, or troop meetings.  I think it really is a play to compete more directly with the Girl Scouts.  And I understand why the Girl Scouts are upset, but since when is competition a bad thing?

“So I think character development and leadership development have never been more important than they are today, so my hope is that the Boy Scouts assume the opportunity that’s presenting itself and become an antidote for the safe space environment that’s out there and push back a little bit.  I mean, not to sound like the angry guy on your neighbor’s porch yelling at the kids on the lawn, but when I was in the Scouts in ’74 and ’75, it wasn’t a safe space there in the basement of our church. You’d go home with a bloody nose sometimes, or a black eye.  We had a boxing ring.

“You know, it was a vibrant place where you really could test yourself and fail in a way, that on the one hand, made you safe enough to attempt, but on the other hand didn’t try to check every box and please every single person,” Rowe added.  “It’s a tough time.  I’m sympathetic for the leaders, but I’m afraid you’ve got to draw the line somewhere and be very, very clear about what you stand for as well as against.”

When asked whether he thought something was ending, Rowe was ambivalent.

“I don’t know.  Again, you either evolve, or you die.  But at the same time, I think people are confused, because the Scouts simply haven’t come out and said categorically what they’re for, right?” Rowe said.

“So I just think this conversation touches every single hot point right now going on in popular culture, from tolerance to acceptance, which by the way, I’m not sure what the difference between those two things is anymore, but there used to be a big difference.”

Rowe added that “my hope for these youth-based organizations that help preach character is that they look for people who want to be challenged, and not curry favor so much with those who want a nice, reassuring pat on the head.”

After Carlson noted “that’s how the Episcopal Church died,” Rowe merely responded with, “Yeah, wow!”

Alas, one fears that the Scouts are moving in that safe space direction (the very idea of a boxing ring for Scouts sounds almost insane in this day and age, which should give you a good idea of where we’ve gone as a society).  However, they won’t go there — and nor will society — without a bit of pushback.  And, as you can tell, Rowe is going to be one of those pushing back.

Two Toddlers Die In Hot BabySitter

.jpg photo of vehicle where 2 toddlers died of heat stroke
Two Toddlers were found in an SUV in front of the home.

5-month-old twins die after being left in SUV

#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA  –  The second of twin infants found unresponsive in a vehicle Thursday has died, according to police in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

The 5-month-old twins were found unresponsive around 2:30 p.m. in an SUV in the 2400 block of Alfalfa Lane near Jefferson Davis Highway, according to WTVR.

Police, along with Chesterfield County Fire and EMS responded to the scene and transported the children to Chippenham Hospital.

One of the children was pronounced dead at the hospital Thursday afternoon. The other child died several hours later.

The children, according to neighbors were a boy and a girl.

A woman who lives a few doors down defended the children’s parents through tears.

“They go to work, they come home to their kids.  They’re not any trouble, they’re awesome,” the woman, who declined to be identified, said.

“It’s tragic what happened, I don’t even know how to help them with their pain. It was certainly not an intentionally negligent act, it was a horrific mistake that can never be erased,” said another neighbor, Donna Gusti, who also works with both parents at a nearby Waffle House.

The woman who lives next door to the family said the wife was at work Thursday afternoon when she called her.

“His wife called me at 2 p.m. to wake him up to come and get her from work and that’s when everything happened,” the neighbor said.  “That’s when he found the babies in the car.”

She believes the husband just forgot the babies remained in the car when he got home from dropping his wife off at work.

Police continue to investigate the incident.

More Backpage Indictments Filtered Found On Research

.jpg photo of Backpage website Co-Founder
Jim Larkin, Backpage Website Co-Founder.

Three North Texans charged in Backpage
indictment

“I do not appreciate the media filtering my search engine results, most particularly when it involves Children being Abused or Trafficked, so here are the names of the 7 defendants charged:”

“The seven defendants charged in the indictment are Michael Lacey, 69, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; James Larkin, 68, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; Scott Spear, 67, of Scottsdale, Arizona; John E. “Jed” Brunst, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona; Daniel Hyer, 49, of Dallas, Texas; Andrew Padilla, 45, of Plano, Texas and Jaala Joye Vaught, 37, of Addison, Texas.”
~ Robert StrongBow ~

.jpg photo of Backpage website Co-Founder.
Michael Lacey, Backpage Co-Founder

“Website founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin are charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering.”

April 9, 2018

PHOENIX, AZ  –  The founders of Backpage.com and five others at the classified site have been indicted on federal charges in what authorities say was a scheme to facilitate prostitution by running ads for sexual services and hiding their revenues.

An indictment unsealed Monday alleges that Backpage.com on some occasions had helped customers edit their ads so they would stay within legal limits while still encouraging commercial sex.

In one area, the indictment reads, “for several years, Backpage’s official policy, when presented with an ad featuring child prostitution, was to delete the particular words in the ad denoting the child’s age and then publish a revised version of the ad.”

It also says that Backpage claimed it does everything in its power to alert the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children whenever it becomes aware that a child is being advertised on the website.

But the indictment alleges that Backpage implemented policies to limit referrals to NCMEC.

The indictment says a top official emailed another saying, “If we don’t want to blow past 500 (referrals to NCMEC) this month, we shouldn’t be doing more than 16 a day.”

Other documents are referred to in the indictment saying a training document instructed website moderators not to send emergency alerts to NCMEC in response to complaints filed by the grandparents or other extended family being advertised on the website.

Website founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin are charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

They are already facing state money laundering charges in California.

Larry Kazan, who represents Lacey, didn’t return a call seeking comment. There is no listing for Larkin’s attorney.

Seven defendants charged in the indictment include three people from North Texas, 49-year-old Daniel Hyer, of Dallas, 45-year-old Andrew Padilla, of Plano, and 37-year-old Jaala Joye Vaught, of Addison.

Authorities also have seized Backpage.com and its affiliated websites.

Julia Walsh, a sex trafficking survivor from the DFW area, says that she was sold for sex on Backpage for almost 3 years.

By age 19, she says men were paying as little as $40 for sexual encounters.
Walsh says she was trafficked from 2010 to 2014, and that her first trafficker was her boyfriend.

“They would post an ad about me, and we’d get over like 50 calls within an hour that’s just how many people are visiting the website,” Walsh said.

Walsh says she would have at least 200 sexual encounters with customers weekly.

“Probably about 210. Sometimes more and sometimes less. It depends what city we were in and what time of day it was,” Walsh said.

Now 26, Walsh says she was rescued during a police sting in 2014.

That was just two years before agents raided Backpage’s Dallas headquarters. On Monday, Attorney General Ken Paxton said that evidence was taken during the raid that was crucial to crafting the 93-count indictment.

At the time, CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested on pimping charges.  He isn’t charged in the indictment, but throughout the documents, a person with knowledge about the company is constantly referenced and is only identified with the initials “C.F.”

Tonya Stafford, a sex trafficking survivor who helps rescue women and children sold for sex online, applauded the website’s demise.

Stafford was sold for drugs when she was 13. From 1988 to 1997 she was held against her will.

Through her program “It’s Going to Be Ok, Inc.” she helps find new homes for sex trafficking victims.

She said she often visited Backpage for rescues.

“If a parent calls me or messages me saying their child is missing…I have to go through page after page,” Stafford said.  “That’s the hardest part.”

On June 23rd, Stafford will be hosting the 2nd Annual Stop The Traffick Walk near Bachman Lake.

CA Woman Kidnapped, Trafficked With Child In TX

.jpg photo of man arrested for alleged human trafficking
Devanshu Gupta, 26

Irving Police Arrest Pair For Alleged
Human Trafficking

IRVING, TX  –  The Irving Police Department is investigating a case of human trafficking that happened during the past few months.  On Sunday, April 15, 2018, officers responded to a call where a victim reported escaping from a prostitution enterprise.

.jpg photo of woman arrested for alleged human trafficking
America Anderson, 20

The victim, a young adult female, was kidnapped from California and brought to a home in the 200 block of Rolston Road against her will.  While there, she was forced into prostitution by two suspects, America Anderson, 20, and Devanshu Gupta, 26.

They would advertise the services on a variety of websites, then take the victim to various local motels to meet with customers.  Also at the home was a second victim, a juvenile female, who was also being held against her will and forced to participate in prostitution.

The responding officers and detectives quickly identified the suspects and took them into custody after seeing them leave the home with the juvenile victim.  Both are currently being held in the Irving City Jail on charges of Trafficking of Persons, Trafficking of Child, Compelling Prostitution ($100,000 bond each charge) and Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution ($50,000 bond).

Advocate Says KY Always At Top In Child Abuse Rate

.jpg photo of Child Abuse Awareness Month in Kentucky
Child Abuse awareness event in Kentucky.

Report: Kentucky Child Abuse rate second
highest in the nation

Kentucky’s 2016 child abuse rate — more than double the national average — was the second highest rate in the nation.

Almost 20 of every 1,000 children in the state were abused, according to the “Child Maltreatment 2016” report released recently by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Children’s Bureau.

The reported didn’t come as a surprise to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Madison County executive director Victoria Benge, who said Kentucky always is at the top of the nation in child abuse rates.

Benge said child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level.  In most cases, it isn’t one single circumstance that leads to abuse, she said.

Typically, it’s a combination of factors that cause high stress levels in the family, which could include a lack of education, money troubles, or a variety of other stressors.  Drug abuse is a big determinant.

Family court judge for Madison and Clark counties Nora J. Shepherd said drugs are involved in almost every case she handles in family court.

The drug epidemic has drastically increased the case load in family court, Shepherd said.

Continual budget cuts have also put a strain on the system in place to protect children, she added.

Lack of support for social workers has resulted in lots of turnover and, now, state workers including child protection workers are looking at drastic changes to their pensions, leading some to leave.

Funding for Comprehensive Care, which provides counseling services, has been in decline for years, Shepherd said.  People who need mental health services can’t get help.

“It’s probably underpinning our substance abuse issue,” Shepherd said.

When it comes to finding abuse and stopping it, everyone can play a role, Benge said.

In fact, anyone in Kentucky who suspects a child is being abused is required to report it by law.

In cases where people are suspicious but aren’t sure, they should make the call, she said.

“I think you can never be too cautious,” she said.  “You’re better to be safe than sorry.”

Shepherd agreed.

“If you see something, you have to call,” she said.  “You could be part of saving a child’s life.”

Learning the TEN-4 bruising rule can help people identify possible abuse, according to a press release from Norton’s Children’s Hospital.  The rule says that children under 4 should not have bruising on their torso, ears or neck.

It’s also important for people to help stressed parents, maybe by offering to babysit for a while or offering to run an errand, the hospital release states. People can help prevent abuse also by simply de-stressing a situation with a statement such as “I remember when my child acted like that.”

Madison County has a number of organizations working on behalf of children, Benge said.

CASA uses community trained volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children within the family court system.  The organization’s main goal, Benge said, is to break the cycle of abuse.

Too often, children in the court system have people coming in and out of their lives.

“It’s so important for these children to have a person who stays with them,” Benge said.

Another Madison County organization that is instrumental in the fight against child abuse and neglect is the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

“They do fantastic work,” Benge said.

The social workers with CHFS investigate claims of abuse and neglect, and make referrals on the best course of action for the affected children.

The county attorney’s office prosecutes those accused of abuse or neglect, Shepherd said.  Madison County assistant county attorney Jubal Miller has worked on family court cases for more than 20 years.  Deputy circuit clerk Debbie Agee also has worked in the court for decades.

The HANDS program through the Madison County Health Department is another resource for families of young children. HANDS is a home visitation program that assists during their child’s first two years of life.  A public health nurse and public health home visitors visit the home to introduce parenting skill development in areas such as recognizing babies’ needs and making the home safe.

Benge urges parents who feel overwhelmed to speak up.

“Just ask for help,” she said.  “The state is very willing to help.”

According to Norton Children’s Hospital, parents on edge should realize it’s OK to step away for a moment and take a few deep breaths, or listen to a favorite song or call a friend.  It’s important to keep a list of friends or family members to call for support.

Kentucky ranked far better in the report in the number of children (15) who died as a result of abuse in 2016; the state ranked 29th in the country.  There were 1,750 deaths nationwide, according to the report.

The state saw a total of 102,990 referrals to child protective services in 2016, according to the report.  About half (50.4 percent) resulted in reports.

In 2017, 509 children in Madison County were abused or neglected, according to CASA.  A pinwheel for each was planted Friday outside the Madison County Courthouse as part of the annual child abuse awareness event put on by CASA and the Department for Community Based Services.  The event is held each year in April, Child Abuse Awareness Month.

To report suspected child abuse in Kentucky, call 877-KY-SAFE1 (877-597-2331).  Reporting can also be done online at https://prdweb.chfs.ky.gov/ReportAbuse/OutofHours.aspx. The national abuse hotline can be reached at 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453).

For more information on the HANDS program, call 859-626-4257.

Child Maltreatment 2016 is the 27th edition of the annual Child Maltreatment report series.  States provide the data for the report through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS).