Like other counties, Kern Public Health skips report on child deaths, citing lack of resources

MBy ISHANI DESAI

9 hrs ago Moon-shaped bruises marred a 5-year-old boy’s backside from “owies,” he told a social worker, according to a case report written by a Kern County Sheriff’s Office deputy from an interview between the child and a social worker. The boy marked three X’s on a body diagram using a dark red crayon to show where he said his father, Mister Bailey, struck him. With a green crayon and a black crayon, the boy drew a belt in the page’s corner, according to the deputy’s report, which was filed in Kern County Superior Court.Bailey flipped him upside down and used that belt to “whoop him,” the boy said, according to the reports filed in court.

He closed his fist to demonstrate how Bailey punched him in the face about 10 times, according to the documents. Sabrina Martinez, the boy’s mother, also beat his face around 19 times, the child told the social worker.

(The boy) “does not know why his mom … hits him in the face, and he does not like being hit in the face,” the deputy wrote in his report.Then the social worker told the 5-year-old about blood at his Tehachapi house, where he lived with his 3-month-old brother and a sister, the reports said. She asked where it came from, the reports state.“My, my brother’s dead,” the boy replied, according to the reports.

Bailey and Martinez were charged in the 3-month-old’s 2020 death and several child cruelty charges. They are scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing in January to determine if the case will proceed to a preliminary hearing.

Child Death Review Team

Dozens of children die every year in Kern County, and if the coroner refers a case to what’s know as the Child Death Review Team, then the incident is studied by local first responder agencies and researchers to determine what went wrong.In past years, this team released an annual public report about its findings.

Collecting and discussing data about child fatalities are critical for agencies to thoroughly understand the causes behind deaths, local trends and preventing future mistreatment, according to child advocates. But the Kern County Public Health Services Department, which is tasked with creating and compiling the report, hasn’t put one together since its 2019 release that looked at 2018 deaths.

The number of child fatalities in Kern is higher than California’s average, according to data compiled by kidsdata.org, an online database for children’s health.

The death of the 3-month-old would have been examined in this report. “Without some of that information, it’s really difficult to dig in to know” how to make changes to reduce fatalities, said Jessica Haspel, the associate director of child welfare with Children Now, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on elevating children’s issues through advocacy.

Haspel spoke generally about child death review teams throughout California and not about Kern County’s policies specifically. She added it’s difficult to know the pandemic’s effect on child abuse throughout the state without data.“These child death review teams are the glue that holds everything together because they are interdisciplinary,” said Dr. Jeoffry Gordon, a retired family physician who advocates for child welfare.County public health’s response

Public Health spokeswoman Michelle Corson wrote in a Thursday email the COVID-19 pandemic “significantly impacted” operations of all participating Child Death Review Team agencies.Corson wrote in a March email that all staff were diverted to “COVID-19 duties” shortly after the pandemic began.

“While there hasn’t been a report released in the last (two) years, throughout the pandemic (Child Death Review Team) meetings continued and cases were reviewed,”

Corson continued in her email Thursday.Corson added in that email the staff is developing reports from the “impacted times” and should present them to the county’s Board of Supervisors “within the next couple of months.”

The last report was issued in December 2019.Inquiries into similar reports by child death review teams in other California counties’ shows Kern Public Health isn’t alone in forgoing public releases.Tulare County doesn’t have a child death review team and Marin County does “not issue public reports” but does track all child deaths, according to the counties’ respective spokeswomen.

Kings County hasn’t issued a child death review team report in “a while” because of COVID-19, said Everado Legaspi, a program manager with the Kings County Public Health Department.Legaspi added the department is looking into reconvening a child death review team, but it is “a pretty small department.” He also couldn’t find a child death review team report on his “servers.

”Santa Clara County released its latest child death review report in 2020 about data from 2018. Los Angeles County released its latest report in 2021.Corson wrote that Kern Public Health addresses preventing child deaths by launching initiatives such as the water watchers campaign to teach parents about watching children playing in and around pools, free and accessible hands-only CPR training and a “safe baby, safe child” conference, which happened in October.

That conference focused on health education regarding sudden infant death syndrome, adolescent suicide and fentanyl use, she added.Tom Corson, head of the Kern County Network for Children, did not respond to a request for comment. The Kern County Network for Children advocates for kids, and is a member of the Child Death Review Team.

Other team members include the Bakersfield Police Department, the Kern County coroner’s office, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Kern County Department of Human Services and others.

Exchange ideas, thoughts

The child death review team was created in the early 1980s, and participants are not mandated to convene under the state law that outlines the team’s creation.

A broad range of experts, such as forensic pathologists, pediatricians who have experience dealing with child abuse cases and criminologists, should collaborate and release reports, according to California law. State agencies should track local data on child deaths, according to the law.

“They each bring a piece to solve the puzzle,” Colleen Friend, director of the Child Abuse and Family Violence Institute at Cal State Los Angeles, said of an interagency effort.

“… And often these things are very complicated. Often, a coroner or a DA might bring something that a protective service worker would not.”Past Kern County reports parsed out deaths as preventable or accidental, and whether the death was a homicide.

They laid out solutions for separate agencies and social workers to prevent child deaths.The intent was to create a “body of information” to prevent child deaths, the law said.Ruby Guillen, who sits on a citizen review panel aiming to prevent child abuse and critical incidents and is part of Los Angeles’ version of the child death review team, said a typical meeting in L.A. might include inviting the people investigating a child death and trying to figure out what happened.

Guillen is part of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, an independent body that develops and coordinates services for the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse in L.A. County.

The purpose isn’t to chastise, or to make a person feel stupid, she said. She’s learned a red flag for child abuse could be broken bones, and suspicions shouldn’t be disregarded because those injuries could lead to death.

“If you want to reduce fatalities, we need to partner and we need to engage,” Guillen said. “We need to exchange ideas, thoughts. Again, it’s all about learning. You have to only learn by knowledge.”Necessary reforms

Friend wasn’t surprised when told about Kern Public Health and others skipping out on the child death review team reports. She said a lack of money could contribute to counties failing to compile them.

Child death review teams relied on the Legislature providing dollars to establish these processes. However, the National Center for Fatality Review & Prevention notes the state’s child death review team was disbanded in 2008 when funds were taken away.

Corson, the Kern Public Health spokeswoman, said the county does not get funding for releasing its Child Death Review Team reports.

Gordon, the retired physician, added data is sparse across the state — the Department of Social Services was required to release a report detailing child fatalities, but has failed to do so since 2016. That data could shape policies from lawmakers, experts agreed.

Establishing a network of data will allow child deaths to be reduced, Gordon said. .

A surveillance network was created to watch births to develop new protocols about safety. California’s maternal mortality rate is the lowest in the nation as a result, Gordon said .

“Nobody in the state of California can tell you how many children under 18 died at the hands of their parents or caregivers last year,” Gordon said. “Period. Nobody. Nobody has access to real data.”

Assembly Bill 2660, which was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2022, sought to make child death review teams mandatory across the state to track this information. Newsom wrote in his veto message the program was too expensive. Gordon disagreed.

“One hunded-plus kids … die every year … (and) it’s a low priority for the state,” Gordon said.

“To me, it’s an atrocious, horrible circumstance.”A spokesperson for Newsom’s office linked to AB 2660’s veto message in response to The Californian’s questions about his veto and steps to reduce child deaths.

“There can be helpful, remedial efforts put in to make the system work,” Gordon said.

“It’s not very expensive. It’s just been overlooked since 2008 (when the statewide program was defunded).”You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @_ishanidesai on Twitter.

Copyright 2022 The Bakersfield Californian.

Philadelphia DHS worker arrested, charged in connection to toddler’s death

Some accountability in CPS

Kiana Casey, 21, is charged in the death of a 3-year-old girl who was in her care. (Philadelphia Police Department )

Authorities say five people were hurt when nearly 100 shots were fired near a playground in West Philadelphia on Tuesday night. 

A child welfare caseworker turned herself in to Philadelphia police to face charges in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl from July.

On Monday, Jendayi Mawusi, 25, surrendered to police and was charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child with her involvement in the death of Hope Jones. 

Mawusi was the contracted social worker in charge of monitoring the welfare of the child while under the supervision of Jones’ foster parent, Kiana Casey.

Mawusi’s final visit to Casey’s home as a Case Manager was on July 12, 2022 – shortly before emergency responders were called to the home and tried heroically to save 3-year-old Hope Jones’s life.”

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday

“As a Case Manager, Mawusi was a state-mandated reporter, meaning she was legally obligated to make a report if she had reasonable cause to suspect that Jones was a victim of child abuse. We allege that Mawusi repeatedly failed to investigate and intervene during what should have been obvious signs of physical harm inflicted on Hope Jones during her tragically short life.”

On July 23, Philadelphia Police were called to Casey’s home. Authorities found 3-year-old Jones unconscious. Police rushed her to a local hospital, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

A Philadelphia Medical Examiner later determined that the cause of Jones’s death was blunt force trauma.

An autopsy found that Jones had numerous contusions and hemorrhages across her body, particularly on her arms and legs.

The medical examiner’s report concluded that the injuries were in various stages of healing at the time of her death, indicating that she had been severely abused and assaulted on multiple occasions.

In July, Casey, was charged third-degree murder, aggravated assault of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.

click here to read original article

It’s Almost Tuesday : Please Donate

As the owner and writer at It’s Almost Tuesday I hae shared many stories and articles and truths about a system that is filled with atrocities against children and families.

Spending my spare time delving into these issues is never a role someone would choose to take on. I’ve done it since 2007, three years after I lost my own child to a crooked system, parental kidnapping, and kinship care that alienated my child from me.

Although 12 years has gone by it seems like yesterday. I may have reunited with my son, or at least an adult version of him, but the damage done to both of us will never heal. Nothing can give us back the time lost and relationship we had.

Life is hard for everyone at times. The struggle is real. I cannot express that enough.

I left Texas, after all that happened there, and embarked on a trip out west. I heard that my son, had moved here. I saw him once. Then he left.

Nevertheless, here I am, in the over-taxed, relentlessly expensive state of California, and the struggle has become extreme.

That being said, I want to continue to contribute my knowledge to my readers, even though my battle with the child welfare system ended years ago. However,doing so requires expenses that i have always accepted and incurred alone. Still, with today’s economy it is growing more and more difficult and so I have created a way to accept any pledges and donations from my readers who value and support what I do.

If you find it in your heart to give, please click here or on the donation jar and donate to my difficult cause.

The amount doesn’t matter, the support does. It is much needed and will show me that I’ve not given in vain all my time and knowledge to others.

Thank you and Godspeed.

Please note we are a personal site not a nonprofit organization so any donations are not tax deductible. Thank you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of talking to your child about her period.

It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon. The kids are playing in the yard. Your husband is bbqing and you are enjoying your new couch with your girlfriend who’s visiting for the weekend. Sounds great.

Until your 11 year old daughter tells you “Mom, I have blood in my pants”.

Do you know how you’ll react? Will you stop breathing for a moment before calling your own mom for advice?

What should you say to your daughter on that fateful day? Have you thought about it much?

You can’t stop it, puberty is a part of life. We all go through it at one point or another and as parents it’s your job to help make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.

So here’s some do’s and don’ts of explaining puberty to your daughter, and preparing her for her monthly visitor.

First, what is it? It’s a cycle a woman’s body goes through shedding the lining of her uterus when she is not pregnant. This happens about once a month to then prepare the woman’s uterus for a baby. If a baby doesn’t come, it sheds it again in a month. Once a girls’ monthly happens, she can become pregnant. She can even become pregnant right before her first period if she has sex.

DO talk about it.

This is nothing to shy away from. It’s not anything to feel embarrassed about, or ashamed of. It’s a milestone in a girls life when she becomes a woman. She shouldn’t be afraid of it. She should be taught to embrace the changes and learn her body so she can feel comfortable during it’s changes. Most of all, so she respects her body, and herself, and expects others to respect her as well.

DON’T avoid the subject. DON’T just expect her to learn on her own.

So, when do you talk to her about it?

That’s really up to you and your daughter’s personality. Each girl is different, and your relationship with her will hopefully tell you the right time If you remain open to it . If she shows interest by bringing it up, dont steer her away, embrace the conversation. Be honest with her. It’s nature after all. If she doesn’t bring it up, you may want to take the lead when you know she’s around that age when it begins.

DO respect her privacy. It’s not an event that you will want to announce to her friends and family members. This is not a birth announcement or gender reveal. This is a very intense part of a girls life. You don’t want her to be embarrassed or feel humiliated.

DO teach her what to do to maintain her health and cleanliness. Teach her the difference in the products available for use during her period. There are health risks involved with the use of tampons for example, like toxic shock syndrome. It’s important for her to know the proper way to use them.

DON’T force her to use pads over tampons or vice versa. Let her decide.

DO teach her what is normal and what is not normal. She should know that cramping is normal during the days prior to her period starting each month, but they should subside. Her flow should be heavier at first then lighten up over the week. She should learn her body to be able to tell if something doesn’t feel right.

DO let her know that she can come to you if she feels like something isn’t right with her body. You want to make sure the lives of communication are open in case she needs medical attention. She will experience mood fluctuations due to hormones during this time and during her monthly visitor. She should be ready to feel those changes. Let her know that it could feel overwhelming at times and to come to you. Many teenagers experience depression and anxiety that can seem extreme, if this occurs, be sure you’re child knows you are there to listen to her without judgment. Teenagers can sometimes overreact, and in extreme cars, can lead to suicidal and even homicidal ideations. You don’t want you’re child to feel alone if she had those thoughts. Keep an open live off communication so she knows she can come to you. No matter what the issue is. She should not fear your reaction to her innermost conflicts if she chooses to express them. Hello her to find alternative ways of dealing with her emotions that are healthy

And finally, DO explain to her that if she chooses to become sexually active, she will be able to become pregnant. Ignoring this fact will not make it go away. A teenager who is sexually active needs to know how to be safe to prevent STDs and an unplanned pregnancy. Having a child as a teenager is a life changing decision, and one that is usually made under duress. It can affect the rest of her life. It’s important to discuss abstinence and birth control methods.

It’s your job as a parent to raise your child into adulthood as best you can to give her a good foundation to start her adult life. This is all part of the process. It’s also one of the most important things you can do to take your little girl and make her into a healthy and well adjusted woman.

Remember, love respect, and good open communication goes a long way. She will remember this time in her life and how you prepared her. She will also thank you one day.

What exactly IS the definition of child abuse and neglect?

If you are accused of child abuse, what does that mean? When I was a child, it was common practice to get a spanking, or whopping. It was called discipline.

Now days, spanking your child can get your child taken away from you and suddenly you are labeled an abuser for trying to teach your child tight from wrong. Where do we draw the line? Do parents have to live in fear of disciplining their own child?

What about neglect? CPS often uses the term “neglectful supervision” to justify their reason for involvement in a family’s life. That’s a very elastic term, what does it mean? How do you tell the difference between neglect and simply poverty?

If a family cannot afford to get the child school supplies or new clothes are they really being neglectful?

Let’s take a look at what the experts and the law says is child abuse and neglect.

What exactly IS child abuse?

In defining child maltreatment, experts have focused on both broad parameters and specific types or subgroups of child abuse and neglect.

C. Henry Kempe and colleagues’ “battered child syndrome” identified physical injuries perpetrated on the child by caregivers.

Vincent Fontana’s “maltreatment syndrome” included neglect in the definition of child abuse.

The American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards Project defined child abuse as a non-accidental injury that “causes or creates a substantial risk of causing disfigurement, impairment of bodily functioning, or other serious physical injury.”

A group of professionals in child welfare defined “emotional neglect” as the “parent’s refusal to recognize and take action to ameliorate a child’s identified emotional disturbance.”

Another definition of child abuse includes sexual abuse as “the sexual misuse of a child for an adult’s own gratification without proper concern for the child’s psychosexual development.”

The federal government’s legal definition of child abuse and neglect comes under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 100-294).

This included child physical and mental abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, and neglect by a person responsible for the child’s health and welfare.

The Child Abuse Amendments of 1984 (Public Law 98-457) expanded the definition of child abuse and neglect to include “the withholding of medical treatment to an infant with a life threatening health condition or complication.”

The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators’ definition of child abuse and neglect further defined child maltreatment in a broad level as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death or serious physical, sexual, or emotional harm or presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a person under age 18.”

Critics of the sometimes confusing, inconsistent, plethora of definitions of child abuse and neglect point out such problems as some are too narrow, others too inclusive, and the cross-cultural differences with respect to perceptions of child maltreatment and reporting of such.

The lack of uniformity in definitions and the resulting inconsistencies in their application reflect “the manifold perspectives on these acts, and the inchoate state of conceptualization.

Legislative history

The law was completely rewritten in the Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-294).

It was further amended by the Child Abuse Prevention Challenge Grants Reauthorization Act of 1989 (P.L. 101-126 and the Drug Free School Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226).

The Community-Based Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Grants was a program that was originally authorized by Sections 402 to 409 of the Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1985 (Public Law 98-473).

The Child Abuse Prevention Challenge Grants Reauthorization Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-126) transferred the program to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, as amended.

A new Title III, Certain Preventive Services Regarding Children of Homeless Families or Families at Risk of Homelessness, was added to the Child Abuse and Neglect and Treatment Act by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act Amendments of 1990 (Public Law 101-645).

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was amended and reauthorized by the Child Abuse, Domestic Violence Adoption and Family Services Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-295), and amended by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Amendmentsof 1992 (Public Law 102-586).

The Act was amended by the Older American Act Technical Amendments of 1993 (Public Law 103-171, 12/2/93) and the Human Services Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-252, 5/19/94).

CAPTA was further amended by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Amendments of 1996 (P.L. 104-235, 10/3/96), which amended Title I, replaced the Title II Community-Based Family Resource Centers program with a new Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program, and repealed Title III.

CAPTA was most recently amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36, 6/25/03), which amended Title I and replaced Title II, Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program with Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

CAPTA was reauthorized in 2010, as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2011 (Public Law 111-320)

This factsheet available for download by clicking here, is intended to help you better understand the Federal
definition of child abuse and neglect; learn about the different types of abuse and neglect, including human
trafficking; and recognize their signs and symptoms.

It also includes additional resources with information on how to effectively identify and report maltreatment and refer children who have been maltreated.

Federal legislation lays the groundwork for State laws
and Neglect and on child maltreatment by identifying a minimum set of systemwide laws, policies, and statutes that define actions or behaviors as child abuse and neglect.

Federal Law defines child abuse and neglect as, at a minimum,

any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or victims, fatalities, exploitation (including sexual abuse as determined under section 111), or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (42 U.S.C. 5101 note, § 3)

Additionally, it stipulates that “a child shall be considered a victim of ‘child abuse and neglect’ and of ‘sexual abuse’ if the child is identified, by a State or local agency employee of the State or locality involved, as being a victim of sex trafficking.

Most Federal and State child protection laws primarily refer to cases of harm to a child caused by parents or other caregivers; they generally do not include harm caused by other people, such as acquaintances or strangers.

Some State laws also include a child’s witnessing of domestic violence as a form of abuse or neglect.

For more information on State-specific laws pertaining to child abuse and neglect, see Child Welfare Information Gateway’s State Statutes Search page .

Child Abuse and Neglect in the Armed Services

Relatively little research has been done on child maltreatment in the armed services: the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. However, some data does indicate that child abuse and neglect is a serious problem in the military just as in civilian life.

According to NCANDS data, there were 16,673 reports of alleged child maltreatment in the military in 1996.

In 48 percent of the investigations, there were dispositions of substantiated maltreatment of children.

A breakdown of the type of child maltreatment victims found in the armed services follows:

* Forty-two percent were victims of neglect.
* Thirty-six percent were physical abuse victims.
* Fourteen percent were sexual abuse victims.
* Seventeen percent were victims of emotional maltreatment.

Child maltreatment in the armed services has been associated with military life itself and circumstances within, including substance abuse, disciplinary infractions, reassignment, field training, payroll problems, living abroad, foreign spouses, and intra-cultural problems.

John Miller reported that the most vulnerable population in the military for child maltreatment are young enlisted families who have been in the service for less than 3 years.

Within this group are “high-risk families, as in civilian life, characterized by “inexperience, immaturity, lack of social skills, and inability to cope with life’s stresses and problems.”

In a study of the types of child maltreatment in the armed services conducted at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, it was found that 7 percent of the cases were “disciplinary abuse.”

The term was first used in a study classifying types of child maltreatment among the civilian population, and descriptive of the typical pattern of the “military syndrome.”

The abusive parents were described as “rigid and unfeeling… the homes were spotless… abuse was centered upon any child who broke the rules and straps and sticks were used in place of hands.”

Although Family Advocacy Programs personnel in the armed services are required to report cases of child abuse and neglect to the child abuse registry in the state in which the victim lives, much like civilians, most child maltreatment in the military is believed to go unreported and, thus, remains a hidden tragedy

CPS placed 18 month old child in his aunt’s care – now he’s dead

Two separate investigations will review Child Protective Services’ handling of a Dallas toddler’s case after the child was found dead Thursday in a landfill, a day after his aunt and caregiver reported him missing.

Police believe they found 18-month-old Cedrick Jackson’s remains Thursday morning in a landfill on the Garland-Rowlett line. The Dallas County medical examiner had yet to positively identify the remains or determine a cause of death as of Friday.

Authorities charged Sedrick Johnson, the 27-year-old boyfriend of the child’s aunt, with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.

Johnson faces additional charges pending the medical examiner’s findings. The toddler had been living in a Lake Highlands apartment with Johnson and his aunt, Crystal Jackson, after CPS placed him in her care.

Johnson told police he had swaddled Cedrick in blankets — something he had been doing since May after the child “made a mess” with ketchup packets, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Johnson told police he unwrapped Cedrick after he heard the child making noises in his sleep. He said the toddler then vomited and became unresponsive. Johnson told police he left the child’s body in a dumpster in northeast Dallas after his CPR attempts failed.

Internal and independent reviews will likely examine why Cedrick was placed in the home of Johnson, who has a criminal history in Dallas County.

The child’s mother, Dishundra Thomas, had allowed Cedrick to stay with Jackson. The arrangement by CPS was not against her will, Thomas said.

However, CPS would not knowingly place a child in a home with an adult who has a criminal history, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Johnson was charged with child abandonment in 2010 after police said he left his infant daughter alone in an apartment while he propositioned an undercover officer who he believed was a prostitute, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to four years of probation. Johnson later violated that probation and was sentenced to eight months in state jail in 2016.

Under normal circumstances, CPS officials conduct a criminal background check on each adult in a home being considered for child placement, Gonzales said. She didn’t provide details on Cedrick’s case Friday, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

The Department of Family and Protective Service’s Office of Child Safety will conduct an independent review of CPS’ handling of Cedrick’s case, Gonzales said. It’s not clear when either investigation will complete.

The Office of Child Safety will issue a report detailing its findings when the investigation is complete, but Gonzales said the office would need the approval of the Dallas County district attorney’s office and law enforcement before releasing the report publicly.

Johnson was still in the Dallas County jail as of Friday evening, with bail set at $503,000.

Vigil in boy’s honor

Friday evening, mourners gathered under a pavilion at Lake Highlands Recreation Center for a community vigil in Cedrick’s memory, where Dishundra Thomas, the boy’s mother, briefly addressed the crowd of about 100 before breaking down, inconsolable. Another read a prepared statement that was barely comprehensible through her tears.

“Baby C.J. was the sweetest little baby in the world,” his mother said. “He meant everything to us. He didn’t deserve anything that happened to him.”

Eventually family members had to escort her away, as she sobbed and screamed, “I want him back!”

The gathering included several families with small children, carrying blue and white balloons, one in the shape of a giant C. Some wore blue T-shirts with an image of Cedrick’s face and the words, “Rest in Heaven.” One woman carried a handmade poster reading “Our Beloved CJ” with photos of the boy.

Linus Walton of Wylie, an acquaintance of the boy’s uncle, spoke as well, saying “He brought people, as we see right now, together. C.J. was loved. His life was not in vain.”

Finally, as the sun began to set, the crowd moved to an open grassy area, where Cedrick’s grand-aunt, Benita Arterberry of Mesquite, said the gesture was symbolic of a soul being commended to God.

“Father, we know that into each life a little rain must fall, and today is a storm,” she said, as the crowd sent their balloons skyward. “We are so grateful to have had him for the time that we did.”

This is why Trump’s recommendation to replace SNAP FOOD STAMPS with food boxes is a bad idea… and its not really about the food or the money.

And when it was my turn, there was nobody left to speak up for me…

I know this isn’t normally in line with my blog topic of Foster Care but it does relate to the interest of families all across our country.

So, please take a moment and help me get this message out.

I am going to tell you why i believe President Trumps’ idea to replace SNAP food stamps with boxes of food is a REALLY BAD IDEA.

But before i do, i have drafted a petition to President Trump on this issue that i am asking you to sign. I need 100,000 signatures in 30 days for it to reach the white house.

So even if you do not agree with me to sign the petition, please at least share my post, or the link to the petition, so it gets passed around. someone else might feel as strongly as I do on the topic and might want to include their signature. Thank you.

I’ve created this petition asking President Trump not to replace food stamps with boxes of food.

I must reach a goal of 100,000 signatures so that my petition makes it to the white house.

Even if you don’t agree with the current program of SNAP FOOD BENEFITS, that’s okay. This is about much more than that. If you value your FREEDOMS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS, please take a moment.

SNAP food stamps are NOT just for people who do not work. In fact, most employees of Walmart are on food stamps…(and incidentally spend them at Walmart…hrmmm).

For many families it is the difference between going HUNGRY OR having the ability to cook a real, heathy meal with meat and vegetables.

I’M NOT DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT SNAP IS necessary, or for who, or how much or for how long.

I do not even receive SNAP benefits, by the way .

I want to discuss the IMPLICATIONS of what The POTUS has proposed.

Trump wants to replace food stamps with boxes of government food.

THINK ABOUT THAT.

The government issued boxes of food Trump Is proposing for the future….

the bread lines of the past.

Once a month, poor families well be given their share of whatever food the GOVERNMENT THINKS they should get to eat.

Bread lines.

Is this how things should be done in a “free” country? or is this ONE STEP CLOSER to repeating history?

This is AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE, which includes the freedom to choose what we eat, when we eat, and how much.

AMERICA is NOT A COMMUNIST COUNTRY … government issued food boxes is one more freedom removed targeting the poor.

THAT’S A BIG DEAL.

There are too many ways the government can save money and make reforms to programs including SNAP food benefits

Please sign and pass along my petition at this site.

I need 100,000 signatures.

Thank you.

THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT.

HITLER WAS ELECTED. REMEMBER?


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The Last Wind

I wanted to run to you that day, In May.. … to follow you into the last wind. But I knew It wasn’t time for me to go… yet. It was YOUR name that was called into a new beginning…not mine.. So I wait…. Remembering.. another time, once before… when I would run to you. I was always full of smiles. My arms waved frantically to you in alliegence…I couldn’t wait. YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE I knew you would embrace me with your tenderness and you would always make me laugh with your silly wiles. Those were the innocent times… before my travels led me be too far away to come back home… I remember how you always waited with your arms outstretched, and your knees bent in an irresponsible crouch..you were always full of smiles. YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE You would catch me and my laughter and spin us around .. You made my ten year olds’ wishes come true in your magical arms … around and around.. yes, I remember … you always gave me love and so much happiness. Those were the innocent times … before I learned too many truths to believe… Before I lost so much hope, that I stopped making wishes… I would always run to you, Daddy, from the plane…. and find you there, waiting… YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE I would run to you now if I could, into the last wind… In memory of my father, Jack T. Akin Sr. who passed into another beginning on May 10, 2010.

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