When disability and abuse intersect, we take action.

News Summary for May 7, 2012
Prepared by Anne M. Kincaid

Please note that the articles are listed in alphabetical order by State, so you can easily scan
through the articles for those within your state or other states in which you have a particular interest.

Dr. Nora's Top Articles

1. “In Patient Abuse Cases, Reforms Come Slowly” --- State officials working to upgrade patient abuse investigations at California's board-and-care institutions for the developmentally disabled aim to overhaul the in-house police force while also directing the most serious cases to outside agencies. --- U-T San Diego --- May 2, 2012 (CALIFORNIA)
2. “Jury Awards $2.9 Million Verdict Against DCover Negligent Care of Mentally ...” --- The operator of the group home where Suggs lived previously settled for $900,000. His sister, Carrie Weaver, hailed the verdict last week. “I'm very, very disappointed that it's taken so long,” she said in a telephone interview from her South Carolina ... --- Washington Post --- May 1, 2012 (DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) http://is.gd/9w7EGB
3. “Abuse Alleged at Cd'A Daycare Facility” --- She said Schenck would allegedly call the children “idiots,” “stupid,” “retarded,” and make fun of a child that was possibly autistic, keeping the boy in a high chair all day long. “She'd hit them on the head and smack them on the hands,” Griswold said ... --- Coeur d'Alene Press --- May 1, 2012 (IDAHO) http://is.gd/GgNIre
4. “Verdict in Ill. Group Home Death Leaves Questions” --- The violent death of Paul McCann led to improvements in how Illinois intends to protect the mentally disabled in group homes, but the trial of the first man accused of killing him suggests to some ... --- Muscatine Journal --- May 4, 2012 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/GAW3LE
5. “Parker County Grand Jury Indicts 4 in Abuse of Special-needs Child” --- Four adults whose discipline of an 11-year-old boy with special needs included rubbing his face in ketchup on a wall and holding him down on a kitchen table while two of the adults paddled him with a plastic cutting board have been indicted by a Parker ... --- Chicago Tribune --- May 3, 2012 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/NFhtvO
6. “Ex-Hub School Aide Indicted in Abuse Case” --- A former Boston school teacher's assistant was indicted by a Suffolk grand jury yesterday, accused of molesting two young special-needs boys at separate Hub schools last year, officials said. LaShawn Hill, 34, of Dorchester was charged ... --- Boston Herald --- May 5, 2012 (MASSACHUSETTS) http://is.gd/NvKY7W
7. “Secret Wiring Protects Disabled Students from Teacher Bullying” --- Like Chaifetz, an increasing number of parents are wiring their non-communicable, disabled children when they suspect abuse at school. But, in many states, secretly wiring students is a violation of a teacher's right to privacy. --- PolicyMic --- May 2, 2012 (NEW JERSEY) http://is.gd/cZ4B3z
8. “Suspended Police Officer Plans to Retire” --- Grand Rapids Police say Officer Randal Smith filed for retirement on April 16th, five days after he was suspended for allegedly having a relationship with a mentally challenged woman. Police Chief Kevin Belk says Smith met the alleged victim while on ... --- WZZM --- May 2, 2012 (MICHIGAN) http://is.gd/ZTFfhb
9. “Advocates Speak out After Developmentally Disabled Man Found Chained up in Edmond” --- The discovery of a developmentally disabled man tied up inside his home on Wednesday night had advocates speaking out Friday. The discovery of a developmentally disabled man tied up inside ... --- news9.com KWTV --- May 4, 2012 (OKLAHOMA) http://is.gd/Ye7ESQ
10. “2 Women with Special Needs Allegedly Sexually Assaulted” --- In Pleasant Hills, detectives are investigating allegations made that a 27-year-old woman who is severely handicapped and can't speak was sexually assaulted at an adult daycare center. --- CBS Local --- May 3, 2012 (PENNSYLVANIA) http://is.gd/4ZiKiF
11. “Special Needs Student Takes Beating from School Bus Aides” --- Two Darlington, South Carolina elementary school bus aides Tomeka Self (pictured in blue)and Rosanna Dudley (pictured in white) were arrested and charged with assault and battery for repeatedly striking a 10-year-old special needs ... --- News One --- May 2, 2012 (SOUTH CAROLINA) http://is.gd/WaCsRw
12. “Column: Abuse of Disabled Under-reported” --- According to the US Census Bureau, at least 36 million Americans - about 12 percent of the population - who are not institutionalized have a disability. About one third of these (including 2.1 million school-age children) have difficulty concentrating, ... --- Coeur d'Alene Press --- May 3, 2012 (U.S. – NATIONAL) http://is.gd/lcW10y
13. “Mother Alleges Child Was Sexually Assaulted on Campus” --- The Brownsville Herald A civil lawsuit alleging a special needs Oliveira Middle School student was sexually assaulted multiple times in 2010 was filed Friday in federal court in Brownsville, long after officials failed to ... --- Brownsville Herald --- April 28, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/RRsKtr
14. “Paralyzed Woman Gets Eviction Notice After Complaining of Neglect” --- Operators of a large group home for the disabled in Fort Worth are preparing to evict a paralyzed woman from her home of 11 years after she appeared on CBS 11 News and talked about neglect at the facility. And while the resident and a former ... --- CBS Local --- May 2, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/hXChYD
15. “Ex-principal: 'Never Really Told the Truth' to Special Ed Parents” --- Sha'Quan Peace-Doldren, 12, who is blind and nearly deaf, walks with his sister Qua'Aisha Doldren, 17. The Asbury Park Press has learned that Sha'Quan was one of the children who former Lakewood principal Sheldon T. Boxer ... --- Asbury Park Press --- May 2, 2012 (NEW JERSEY) http://is.gd/R1K4Ry
16. “Connecticut Senate Passes Bill to Allow Changes to Child Abuse, Neglect Registry” --- The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill that would allow rehabilitated people to apply to have their names removed from the state child abuse and neglect registry. State senators voted 23-13 in favor of a modified version of the ... --- Torrington Register Citizen --- May 3, 2012 (CONNECTICUT) http://is.gd/OXbIlE
17. “Legislation Would Require Cameras in Group Homes” --- A bill was reintroduced in the state Legislature last week that would require the installation of surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits of state-run group homes. The measure would require facilities run by the state Office of People ... --- Ithaca Journal --- April 30, 2012 (NEW YORK) http://is.gd/QgLjjr
18. “He Raped as a Teenager and Now Works to Stop Sexual Violence in South Africa” --- Sexual assaults rarely shock anyone anymore, though a video of a brutal gang rape of a mentally disabled teenager went viral on the Internet last month. That touched a nerve. As the young suspects face their day in court, Rebombo spoke with CNN to tell ... --- Local 10 --- May 2, 2012 (SOUTH AFRICA) http://is.gd/ZTFfhb
19. “Sac County, IA Teen Charged with Abusing Family Member” --- Back in February, a local doctor contacted the Sac County Sheriff to report the sexual assault of a minor girl who was mentally handicapped. An investigation led to 17-year-old Avery Tjossem. --- KTIV –-- May 4, 2012 (IOWA) http://is.gd/64yBhm
20. Man Found Guilty of Molesting Deaf Daughter of Friends” --- The victim, who is deaf and has a learning disability, used to have sleepovers at the home of defendant Robert Ruiz, whose children were her friends. According to court testimony, during those visits Ruiz sexually abused the girl over a period of four ... --- News10.net --- April 30, 2012 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/KTJO5a
21. “Sacto 911: Man Convicted of Molesting Child Who is Deaf” --- A Sacramento County jury has convicted a 38-year-old man of multiple counts of child molestation involving a young victim who is deaf and has a learning disability. Robert Ruiz was a friend of the victim's family. --- Sacramento Bee --- April 30, 2012 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/bseZep
22. “Sonoma Valley Rallies to Help Disabled Man Stabbed, Beaten, Left Alongside Road” --- The well-known and well-liked man made his way around Sonoma Valley on his customized tricycle with its disabled placard and blue-and-red lights. --- Santa Rosa Press Democrat --- April 30, 2012 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/KJIkVy
23. “Officer Cited in Wheelchair-Bound Man's Death” --- St. Petersburg, Florida- A Bay Area lawyer said he was somewhat satisfied with the citation of a St. Petersburg police officer Thursday, for his role in the death of a wheelchair-bound man. Police cited Officer Mehmedin Karic for Careless Driving, ... --- WTSP 10 News --- May 3, 2012 (FLORIDA) http://is.gd/Eqj2d3
24. “Judge Grants Bond to Juveniles Accused of Molesting Boy on Bus” --- Bus driver Ella Holland testified Thursday that she never saw any of the several students she regularly drove to the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf being molested while on the bus despite a confession by one of the boys. --- Atlanta Journal Constitution --- May 3, 2012 (GEORGIA) http://is.gd/MZWn9X
25. “Disabled Man Fatally Stabbed in His Detroit Apartment” --- Their easy going little brother, who was disabled, forever taken away. "My brother was a churchgoing brother. He loved God," said Kimani Watkins. "He just liked to relax and have a good time." Watkins was attacked in his apartment. --- MyFox Detroit --- May 3, 2012 (MICHIGAN) http://is.gd/f7maVW
26. “Group Home Operator Placed on Conditional Licenses” --- The Duluth company that operates four group homes for mentally-ill adults is under close scrutiny by state licensing officials following accusations of emotional abuse and neglect. --- WDIO-TV --- May 4, 2012 (MINNESOTA) http://is.gd/qZxZ9o
27. “Former Group Home Supervisor Accused of Taking Money from Developmentally Disabled” --- Jill Peterson, an employee at Reach Inc., became the Cedarview Group Home supervisor in July 2010. The following year, a Reach employee began looking into reports that Peterson exploited three developmentally delayed men for financial gain. --- KBZK Bozeman News --- May 3, 2012 (MONTANA) http://is.gd/rZEbQM
28. “Man Accused of Robbing Man in Wheelchair Arraigned” --- A man accused of stealing money from a man in a wheelchair appeared before a judge Thursday morning. David Dionne, 39, was accused of stealing about $150 from Chestnut Street resident Richard Robitaille, 75, on Monday. --- WMUR Manchester --- May 3, 2012 (NEW HAMPSHIRE) http://is.gd/rqxjNt
29. “Lawrence Man Charged with Using Stick in Attempted Robbery” ---
Bryan Adam Berard, 19, of 186 Arlington St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a stick), assault and battery on a mentally retarded person and attempted robbery, police said. Berard was being held last night at the Essex ... --- Eagle Tribune --- April 29, 2012 (NEW HAMPSHIRE) http://is.gd/oeLzBi
30. “Somerset County Man Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Mentally Disabled Frenchtown Nursing Home Resident” --- A Somerset County man was arrested last week on charges that he sexually assaulted a mentally disabled resident of a Frenchtown nursing home, according to New Jersey State Police. --- The Express Times - LehighValleyLive.com --- May 1, 2012 (NEW JERSEY) http://is.gd/NO4ugt
31. “Bartlesville Bully Victim Texts Dad: 'Just Get Me Out Of this School' ” --- "They call me retard," the boy said. "They rip up my papers." Then this week, after being jumped, he ran and locked himself in a bathroom stall, texting his dad, "just get me out of this school." --- News On 6 --- May 4, 2012 (OKLAHOMA) http://is.gd/CS8XWT
32. “Autistic Boy's Oregon Trip Investigated”--- Portland, Ore., police said Tuesday it was up to social workers to decide what to do with a 10-year-old autistic boy found riding a light-rail train by himself. Investigators determined the boy discovered on a Portland ... --- UPI.com --- May 1, 2012 (OREGON) http://is.gd/izUT9E
33. “Bullied Boy with Autism Returns to School in Warren” --- A 7-year-old autistic boy whose mother said he has been bullied and beaten up numerous times at school, returned to classes today. Vanessa White, who said her son Saun has been beaten up and bullied at least a dozen times this year, was kept home from ... --- WYTV --- May 1, 2012 (PENNSYLVANIA) http://is.gd/boDjfs
34. “North Texas Mom Accused of Abusing Her Disabled Son” --- Parker County accused disabled boy abusers, mother Gina Murasky (top L), Russell Herrick (top R), Jason Harnsberger (bottom L), and Karen Horner (bottom R). North Texas mother Gina Delynn ... --- CBS Local --- May 3, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/i45jn7
35. “4 Adults Accused of Physically Abusing Mentally Challenged Boy” ---
Murasky's son has been diagnosed as mentally retarded and reportedly functions at a second-grade level, according to the CPS petition. The four suspects gave investigators varying accounts about their own and the others' roles in the boy's discipline, ... --- Fort Worth Star Telegram --- May 2, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/lMfkjq
36. “Special Needs Student Tells Jurors in Patterson Murder Trial of Beating he ...” --- A special needs student who was beaten so severely by Brandon Patterson and another youth that he ended up in intensive care took the witness stand Wednesday to tell jurors about the incident. The student is now 20 years old and is living in a group ... --- Fort Worth Star Telegram --- May 2, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/vF17vC
37. “Mentally Disabled Vet Abducted for Social Security Check” --- A mentally disabled man who served in the Marines says he was taken for a ride by people trying to steal his money. Terry Hoffpauir, 67, was admitted into the VA Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in ... --- KHOU --- April 30, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/x21RHj
38. “Trial Date Set for ETX Woman Accused of Killing Mentally Challenged Person” --- Smith County officials have set a court date for Kimberly Cargill, the woman accused of murdering a mentally challenged woman. Cargill's trial will begin on May 7 in the 241st District Court, according to Smith County judicial records. --- KETK --- April 30, 2012 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/Lxg8mX
39. “Being Bullied Tied to Anxiety, Depression in Special-Needs Kids” --- Special-needs youth with chronic medical conditions or developmental disabilities are at risk for anxiety and depression if they're excluded, ignored or bullied by other young people, a new small study says. --- U.S. News & World Report --- April 29, 2012 (U.S. – NATIONAL) http://is.gd/ddi5N4
40. “Patient Safety is Addressed at LewisGale” --- A patient rape at the mental health facility prompted changes in staffing and security measures. By Sarah Bruyn Jones A rape at LewisGale Medical Center's mental health facility last year exposed lapses in staffing and security that led the hospital to ... --- Roanoke Times --- May 4, 2012 (VIRGINIA) http://is.gd/M8WSUH
42. “Police Considering Murder Charges After Handicapped Man Dies” --- A handicapped Huntington man is dead, and Police are looking to charge his attacker with murder. Otis Clay Junior died at Saint Mary's Medical Center today. He was taken off life support earlier this week. --- WOWK --- May 1, 2012 (WEST VIRGINIA) http://is.gd/zcrRka
43. “VB Mother Claims Special Needs Daughter was Dragged” --- VB mother claims special needs daughter was dragged. --- WAVY TV (VIRGINIA) May 3, 2012 (VIDEO) http://is.gd/nVIpmM
Seeking Improved Support
44. “Disabilities Coalition, Sheriff Settle Suit” --- A settlement has been reached between the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. The CCDC sued the sheriff in Pueblo District Court last month for not responding to a Colorado Open Records Act request for copies of ... --- Pueblo Chieftain --- May 4, 2012 (COLORADO) http://is.gd/Dyx9Dj
45. “Georgia Discriminates against Deaf, Developmentally Disabled, Federal Judge Says” --- A federal judge has found that Georgia is discriminating against people who are deaf and developmentally disabled by denying them access to services. US District Judge Richard Story said in a recent ruling that the state has failed to ... --- Florida Times-Union --- May 4, 2012 (GEORGIA) http://is.gd/DBNdfr
46. “Audit Finds Special Education Center Students Too Old” --- Pinecrest is a facility for the developmentally disabled, but has been losing employees and residents as Gov. Bobby Jindal and DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein move residents into community group homes and lay off state workers. Besides being confined to ... --- Alexandria Town Talk --- May 3, 2012 (LOUISIANA) http://is.gd/6h0WnY
47. “Judge Signs off on Order Moving Young Mainers with Disabilities Out of Nursing Homes” --- Young adults with disabilities will have more choices of where to live after a judge signed off on an agreement this week that settles a class-action lawsuit brought by the families of three young men whose only option was to live in nursing homes. --- Chicago Tribune --- May 3, 2012 (MAINE) http://is.gd/kryqxY
48. “Psychiatric Patients Often Wait Nearly 12 Hours in ER” --- Patients with mental health emergencies wait an average of 11.5 hours -- nearly half a day -- in hospital emergency departments, and those who are older, uninsured or intoxicated wait even longer, a new study says. --- U.S. News & World Report --- May 4, 2012 (MASSACHUSETTS) http://is.gd/SGWLRu
49. “Garrettsville Health Club Agrees to Pay $15,000 to Settle Disabled Woman's Discrimination Case” --- A Portage County health club agreed Thursday to pay $15,000 as punishment for revoking the memberships of a disabled woman and another member. The owners of the Total Lifetime Care Health & Fitness Club in ... --- Plain Dealer --- May 3, 2012 (OHIO) http://is.gd/KJZRlG
50. “Intellectual Disability Advocates Hold Huge Rally at Capitol” --- The Capitol Rotunda was packed Wednesday afternoon for a rally in protest of proposed cuts to programs for the mentally disabled. It was large and loud and raucous. Chants of "No more cuts!" filled the dome as supporters filled the stairway and steps. --- abc27 --- May 2, 2012 (PENNSYLVANIA) http://is.gd/16njwD
51. “Cuts to Mental Health Care Are Mentally Disturbing” --- Nearly 50 years ago Pennsylvania's government made a fundamental promise relative to its role in providing care for those with mental health problems. The state gradually would close most of its mental health institutions but earmark funds for less .. --- Towanda Daily Review --- April 29, 2012 (PENNSYLVANIA) http://is.gd/WlXI7P
52. “Local Reaction to Wisconsin Dropping 17,000 People from Medicaid” --- In a move that will save Wisconsin about $28 million, the feds agreed on Friday to approve state cuts to Medicaid. It's a downsized plan from the original proposal that would have cut many more people ... --- WQOW TV News 18 --- April 30, 2012 (WISCONSIN) http://is.gd/n3agXr
53. “Report Shows Several Mistakes in Wisconsin Child Protective Services” --- A published report says child protection workers statewide have made numerous mistakes that have led to children being hurt and even killed. A review of state records by Gannett Wisconsin Media found counties failed to meet state child ... --- Today's TMJ4 --- April 28, 2012 (WISCONSIN) http://is.gd/HLijMi
54. “Anxiety: The Hidden Disability That Affects One in Eight Children” --- This invisible disability can greatly affect academic performance as well. Anxiety impacts a student's working memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information. The anxious student works and thinks less efficiently, which significantly ... --- Huffington Post --- May 3, 2012 (U.S. – NATIONAL) http://is.gd/SLL2lO


Proposed Legislation and New Laws
55. “Connecticut Lawmakers Grant Final OK to Bill to Protect Disabled Renters; Now ... “ --- Connecticut lawmakers have granted final passage of a bill that would protect renters suffering from a long-term disability from eviction. State Representatives voted 126-to-17 in favor of the measure Friday evening, a week after it ... --- Torrington Register Citizen --- May 5, 2012 (CONNECTICUT) http://is.gd/zQBXYG
56. “Ohio Merging Mental Health, Drug Abuse Agencies” --- State agencies providing mental-health and substance-abuse services in Ohio will be merged pending legislative approval. The administration of Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says the merger will reduce bureaucratic clutter. --- NECN --- May 5, 2012 (OHIO) http://is.gd/JrKeUh

57. “Va. Congressman Introduces Autism Education Bill” --- … has just introduced legislation that would pay to train teachers to deal with autism. The AUTISM Educators Act (yes, like every other bill these days, this one has a “clever” acronym) would offer grants to train classroom teachers how to identify the ... --- Fredericksburg.com --- April 30, 2012 (VIRGINIA) http://is.gd/M64E0w
International Articles
58. “Disabled Crisis List Soars to over 1,000” --- A total of 1,069 people with a disability are on a critical waiting list waiting for support. Source: News Limited more than 1,000 people are on a critical waiting list for disability support services or accommodation - double the number waiting three ... --- Adelaide Now --- May 3, 2012 (AUSTRALIA) http://is.gd/HBE3OL
59. “Disabled Couple Thrilled They'll be Able to Keep Their Baby” --- “Even disabled people can have sex,” Wilton said with a laugh. Wilton shrugged off concerns that because he and Palisoc have slurred speech that the child won't be able to communicate with them as he grows up. “It's just like learning a second language ... --- Toronto Star ---May 4, 2012 (CANADA) http://is.gd/Gc9RSr
60. “Man in Wheelchair Robbed in the Glebe” --- Ottawa police have charged an Ottawa man with robbing another man who was in a wheelchair. Police say the victim, in his 50s, was operating a motorized wheelchair in the 1100 block of Bank Street at about 3 pm Monday when he was accosted by the accused ... --- CBC.ca --- May 3, 2012 (CANADA) http://is.gd/nmXKxR
62. “Man Charged in Bank Street Robbery of Man in Wheelchair” --- An Ottawa man facing is facing charges after a man in a motorized wheelchair was robbed in broad daylight on Bank Street. Clarence Momolu, 34, is charged with robbery and breach of undertaking, ... --- Ottawa Citizen --- May 4, 2012 (CANADA) http://is.gd/wPBFO1
63. “Police Probe Cistern Death of Handicapped Man” --- Police have released little information about the sudden death of a 38-year-old developmentally disabled man who apparently fell into a cistern Sunday night. --- Hamilton Spectator --- May 1, 2012 (CANADA) http://is.gd/kWLKdL
64. “ 'Report Disability Hate Crimes' ” --- People who suffer from disability hate crimes in West Sussex are being encouraged to report the offences. The Hate Incident Support Service has launched an easy read form to encourage the reporting of such crimes, connected to the victim's perceived or ... --- Lancashire Evening Post --- May 5, 2012 (ENGLAND) http://is.gd/WRX3qh
65. “Birmingham City Council Investigates Claims Vulnerable Disabled Man was Neglected by His Carers” --- Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jones, from the Public Protection Department, said: “West Midlands Police is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 46-year-old disabled man following allegations of neglect. --- Birmingham Mail --- April 29, 2012 (ENGLAND) http://is.gd/g7D78n
66. “Man Who Cheated Handicapped People Nabbed in Ahmedabad” --- … ---agency: DNA After chasing him for more than a week, Karanj police have finally managed to capture Babu Patel, a physically challenged person who allegedly cheated 15 other handicapped persons. --- Daily News & Analysis --- May 4, 2012 (INDIA) http://is.gd/GZ9Y8q
67. “Locked by Mother, Mentally-challenged Boy Freed” --- After spending five days in a locked house, a 10-year-old mentally-challenged boy was on Thursday freed after the intervention of his neighbours. Neighbours of the boy, Pulli, called police after he was seen shouting for food from a window of ... --- Zee News --- May 3, 2012 (INDIA) http://is.gd/4o23mu
68. “Russia Ratifies UN Convention on Rights of Disabled” ---“Ratification of the Convention will provide additional safeguards to ensure, protect and promote social and economic rights of the disabled, as well as serve as a benchmark for further improvement of legal regulation and practice in the field of ... --- RIA Novosti --- May 3, 2012 (RUSSIA) http://is.gd/oiw74R
69. “ 'Disabled Not Understood in Scotland' ” --- MORE than a quarter of Scots feel disabled people exaggerate the extent of their physical limitations, with around the same proportion believing they should accept they cannot have the same life opportunities. A survey by the Multiple Sclerosis Society ... --- Herald Scotland --- April 30, 2012 (SCOTLAND) http://is.gd/3ec1wz
70. “Alleged Female Rapists in Court” --- The case of two women accused of raping and sexually assaulting two mentally challenged teenage boys was postponed in the Protea Magistrate's Court yesterday. --- Citizen --- May 2, 2012 (SOUTH AFRICA) http://is.gd/kVdsWj


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