When disability and abuse intersect, we take action.

News Summary for March 18, 2013
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. “New Director to Take over Troubled Sonoma Disability Center” --- One-third of the 36 alleged rapes occurred at the Sonoma board-and-care center - one of five such facilities in California that house about 1,600 patients with severe disabilities. --- News10.net --- March 9, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/jf3lQp

2. “Former Vallejo Teacher Convicted of Raping Mentally Disabled Student Who Gave Birth to His Child” --- A Solano County Superior Court jury on Thursday convicted a former Vallejo special-education teacher of raping and impregnating his severely developmentally disabled student aide in 2011. --- San Jose Mercury News --- March 7, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/b5P4S9

3. “Record Settlement for Mentally Disabled Girl Sexually Abused on School Bus” --- The 2010 assault was captured by video camera on the school bus. The girl, 8 at the time of the assault, had the mental capacity of a 5-year-old. She was alone on the bus with driver … --- San Jose Mercury News --- March 6, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/WnFW7o

4. “Judge Sentences Man Who Impregnated Special Needs Stepdaughter Given Life Sentence” --- A judge on Wednesday decided a Tulsa man will spend his life in prison for raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and impregnating her.--- News On 6 --- March 6, 2013 (OKLAHOMA) http://is.gd/94gaFF

5. “Closings Set in Death Penalty Phase of Pa. Man's Trial for Disabled Woman's ...” --- A Greensburg man who prosecutors say orchestrated the group torture and murder of a mentally disabled woman three years ago was sentenced to death Thursday. Ricky Smyrnes, 26, organized five others in holding ... --- The Republic --- February 28, 2013 (PENNSYLVANIA) http://is.gd/gFyYYh

6. “Lawmaker Files Camera Bill to Protect Disabled Students” --- At the Texas state capitol, there's new legislation aimed at protecting disabled students who can't protect themselves. Over the last 18 months in the Houston area alone, FOX 26 News has reported eight confirmed cases of serious mistreatment and ... --- MyFox Houston --- March 7, 2013 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/jnTtLm

7. “Disabled Abuse Victims Ignored - University of Glamorgan” --- Too little is being done to protect people with learning disabilities from abuse, researchers have found. The University of Glamorgan study, which was conducted by academics and people … --- BBC News --- March 6, 0213 (WALES) http://is.gd/QjgNfZ

8. “Autism Shock Therapy Practiced in US is Torture, Says UN Official” --- Some practices used as “therapy” for autism in the United States amount to torture, a U.N. representative says. The U.N.'s Juan Mendez is the organization's special rapporteur on torture, and in his report examining torture worldwide, he's called out ... --- Forbes --- March 8, 2013 (INTERNATIONAL) http://is.gd/prkZRo


9. “Advocate: 'Preposterous' Man Accused of Beating Mentally Disabled Daughter Regained Custody” --- A father faced a judge Tuesday for allegedly beating and binding his mentally disabled daughter, and it's not the first time he's been in trouble for putting her in danger. --- CBS Local --- March 6, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/QvN2GL

10. “Second Murder Charge Against Disabled Woman Still Being Weighed” --- Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach (above) said Thursday, March 7, that his office is still considering whether to file a second murder charge against developmentally disabled Riverside resident … --- Press-Enterprise --- March 7, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/hJHGgX

11. “Death of Woman with Special Needs Highlights Gap in Care” --- Julia died just months before her 21st birthday, a day that would have marked a challenging milestone because many services for people with special needs disappear at the age of 21. --- The Coloradoan --- March 10, 2013 (COLORADO) http://is.gd/hRqf8i

12. “Osceola Mills Man Charged with Sexually Abusing Mentally Disabled Girl Waives Preliminary Hearing” --- A 55-year-old Osceola Mills man charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a mentally disabled young girl now faces possible trial on the charges. --- Centre Daily Times --- March 6, 2013 (FLORIDA) http://is.gd/DSKDiF

13. “Caregiver Arrested Allegedly Attacking Patient” --- A caregiver has been arrested on accusations of attacking her physically and mentally disabled patient after she refused to take a bath. Eustis police said Linda Joyce Babbs, 60, allegedly slapped the woman a few times … --- Daily Commercial --- March 6, 2013 (FLORIDA) http://is.gd/vfcUui

14. “Day 19: Chicago Hospital Locks Down Autistic Patient” --- According to her, at 14 years of age, Alex has a diagnosis of severe autism and cognitive impairment. He is non-verbal. In October of 2012, Alex began to suffer neurological events that prevented a healthy sleep cycle … --- Age of Autism --- March 8, 2013 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/20L4dN

15. “Special Needs Student Handcuffed at Alton School” --- A local police department is standing behind its decision to arrest an 8-year-old special needs student. The girl was handcuffed at her Alton school on Tuesday. --- KSDK --- March 6, 2013 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/FkMuF3

16. “What KanCare Could Do for Thousands on the Disability Waiting List” --- Kansas continues to have a lengthy waiting list for services for people with disabilities, but advocates are hoping the list will be addressed thanks to a clause in KanCare that earmarks savings for disability services. --- KMUW --- March 6, 2013 (KANSAS) http://is.gd/RDAt05

17. “Sexual Molestation Case Involving Intellectually Disabled Woman Goes to Jury” --- A jury will begin deliberations Monday in the Berkshire Superior Court trial of a 72-year-old retired boat builder from North Dartmouth accused of molesting a 24-year-old woman who has the mental abilities of a child. --- Berkshire Eagle --- March 9, 2013 (MASSACHUSETTS) http://is.gd/wZg4uf

18. “Mentally Ill Man Missing in Alleged Pattern of 'Patient Dumping' by Nevada ... A schizophrenic man has gone missing after an instance of alleged “patient dumping” by Nevada state mental health officials. According to a Wednesday report by Las Vegas' CBS Channel 8, a patient named James Brown was allegedly sent from ... --- Raw Story --- March 7, 2013 (NEVADA) http://is.gd/regq2m

19. “Clifton Police Warn of Con Man Scamming Elderly, Handicapped Victims” --- Maggio told the victim he would be able to get her a great deal on a van to transport her handicapped son, Bracken said. The victim gave Maggio $7,000 in cash for the down payment for the van and later … --- NorthJersey.com --- March 6, 2013 (NEW JERSEY) http://is.gd/zQPyGv

20. “Utica Man Arrested for Forcible Touching of Disabled Woman” --- A Utica man is accused of taunting and inappropriately touching a developmentally disabled woman. Utica Police say Joseph Berg, 47, allegedly touched the intimate part of a developmentally disabled female's body. --- CNYcentral.com --- March 7, 2013 (NEW YORK) http://is.gd/8eZzZs

21. “Man Chokes Wheelchair-bound Woman over Last Piece of Chicken” --- Clifford Smith (pictured) is facing charges of simple assault and vandalism after he reportedly choked a wheelchair-bound woman for eating the last piece of chicken … --- News One --- March 7, 2013 (SOUTH CAROLINA) http://is.gd/MdGkDp

Seeking Improved Support

22. “March is Developmental Disabilities Month” --- There's a place tucked away in Dothan, where hundreds with developmental disabilities go to receive services. "We serve about 220 people. That includes the adult population and the 20 children we serve through early intervention," said Vaughn Bloomberg ... --- WTVY, Dothan --- March 8, 2013 (ALABAMA) http://is.gd/8Hivel

23. “Former Sonoma Developmental Center Employee to Lead Troubled Institution” --- A state licensing review in December revealed 57 deficiencies at center, including four cases of “immediate jeopardy” to patient health and safety, including instances of patient abuse. --- Santa Rosa Press Democrat --- March 6, 2013 (CALIFORNIA) http://is.gd/f3aUjl

24. “Jeffco Deputies Work to Help More People Out of Mental Health Crisis” --- Burgess is one of about 7,000 Colorado cops and deputies trained to work with a growing group of people caught in a cycle of mental-health crisis. --- Denver Post --- March 8, 2013 (COLORADO) http://is.gd/n2IgGW

25. “Two of Three Women in Colorado Prisons Diagnosed with Psychological Disorders” --- Women are almost without exception victims of severe sexual and physical abuse, experts say. They cycle through jail and prison, often because they don't get adequate treatment or community support. --- The Denver Post --- March 6, 2013 (COLORADO) http://is.gd/7nzd8R

26. “State May Shrink Mental Health-Care Spending” --- Rick Scott's proposed 2013-2014 budget does not include any increase for mental health services. Neither Scott nor GOP legislative leaders mentioned the issue as a priority on the opening day … --- Palm Beach Post --- March 10, 2013 (FLORIDA) http://is.gd/s5mRY1

27. “Police Defend Handcuffing of Special-needs Student” --- Police administrators in the Mississippi River city of Alton say officers acted properly when they arrested and handcuffed an 8-year-old special needs student they say was having a tantrum in school. --- WTHI --- March 8, 2013 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/nlGSyx

28. “The Arc Celebrates Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” --- The Arc held an event Friday to help local people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families learn more about their rights and services available to them. Equip for Equality, a statewide organization, was on hand to learn more ... --- WREX-TV --- March 8, 2013 (ILLINOIS) http://is.gd/znK4SU

29. “Christie Sticking to Decision to Shutter State Institutions for Developmentally Disabled” --- Chris Christie said today he would not reverse a decision by a task force to close two state institutions for the developmentally disabled despite pending legislation and an outcry from families opposed to the plan. --- The Star-Ledger - NJ.com --- March 7, 2013 (NEW JERSEY) http://is.gd/2x8iRs

30. “In Confrontations with Mentally Ill, Cops Face Tough Choices” --- "Stigma" of mental illness a setback for patients, society. Since 2005, Schultz's department has run a program to teach officers crisis intervention techniques, using actors to portray people with mental disorders … --- CBS News --- March 6, 2013 (NEW MEXICO http://is.gd/PNKqCY

31. “Governor Cuomo Calls for Closing of Monroe Developmental Center” --- For many people, this just doesn't make sense, but Governor Cuomo has called for the closure of the Monroe Developmental Center. The center says this means 90 people will be moved back into the community who are considered to be dangerous. --- News 10NBC --- March 8, 2013 (NEW YORK) http://is.gd/K1N8Re

32. “Disabilities Services Providers and Advocates Rally to Protest Budget Cuts” --- Joyce Herrington, 60, has lived in her own apartment for 35 years with help from Onondaga Community Living, a Syracuse nonprofit that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities. But Herrington, of East Syracuse ... --- Syracuse.com --- March 8, 2013 (NEW YORK) http://is.gd/n9pGBd

33. “Disabled Pomona Man Found in Home Died of Natural Causes” --- A disabled man who was missing for more than a month before his body was found inside his trailer home died of heart and lung disease, the Rockland medical examiner reported Wednesday. --- The Journal News | LoHud.com --- March 6, 2013 (NEW YORK) http://is.gd/5F8SXn

34. “Oklahoma Governor Forms Special Panel on Developmental Disabilities” --- The panel is assigned with developing a comprehensive plan to support people with developmental disabilities and their families. It is also to address the state's growing waiting list of thousands of people hoping to receive services from the ... --- NewsOK.com --- March 6, 2013 (OKLAHOMA) March 6, 2013 (OKLAHOMA) http://is.gd/qLevH0

35. “Governor Proclaims Developmental Disabilities Month” --- Gov McDonnell proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Virginia Wednesday. In his proclamation, the governor recognized the value and potential of the nearly 145,000 adults and children across the Commonwealth ... --- Virginia Gazette --- March 7, 2013 (VIRGINIA) http://is.gd/DV1xo3

36. “Fewer Pierce County Beds for Mental-Health Patients” --- Fewer Pierce County beds for mental-health patients. A clogged mental-health system has left patients languishing in emergency rooms, awaiting a spot in a state psychiatric hospital. --- TheNewsTribune.com --- March 10, 2013 (WASHINGTON) http://is.gd/MoC2ay

37. “After Newtown, Families Hold Out for Mental Health Reform” --- Speaking on Tuesday to a panel of lawmakers and mental health experts, Milam fought through tears to tell the story of his son Matt, who struggled with psychiatric problems for most of his young life. --- MSNBC --- March 9, 2013 (U.S. – NATIONAL) http://is.gd/0j7AhM

Proposed Legislation and New Laws

38. “Bill Would Change Child Abuse Reporting Law” --- House Bill 505 would change the child abuse mandatory reporting law. Currently, mandated reporters, who are often teachers, must report suspected abuse to either the Missouri Department of Social Services' Children's Division or to a supervisor. --- Springfield News-Leader --- March 6, 2013 (MISSOURI) http://is.gd/8oYmaC

39. “Senate Approves Panel to Review Child Abuse Deaths; Final Passage Likely” ---Late Thursday night, the Senate passed House Bill 290, which would create a 20-person external review panel of experts to examine child abuse deaths and make recommendations … --- Lexington Herald Leader --- March 8, 2013 (KENTUCKY) http://is.gd/TpEu4M

40. “Compromise Reached on Maine Student 'Restraint' Rules” --- A new rule that took effect this school year said Maine teachers couldn't use physical restraint unless the student or teacher was in imminent danger of harm. --- Press Herald --- March 6, 2013 (MAINE) http://is.gd/mI75J8

41. “Senator Proposes Mental Health Project for Jail” --- Houston Sen. Joan Huffman is proposing a pilot program to divert the mentally ill away from the Harris County jail, the largest mental health care provider in Texas. --- Houston Chronicle --- March 6, 2013 (TEXAS) http://is.gd/fIV4JB

International Articles

42. “2 Sentenced in Assault on Disabled Person in Webster” --- A stepfather and stepson have been sentenced after being found guilty of assault and battery with bodily injury on a disabled person during a March 2012 dispute at an Upland Avenue apartment in Webster. --- Worcester Telegram --- March 9, 2013 (ENGLAND) http://is.gd/wXA91K

43. “Bill Aims to Improve Autism Care in State” --- A Private Member's Bill requiring the Government to publish a national autism strategy is being introduced in the Dáil today. The Autism Bill, brought forward by Labour TD for Cork South-West Michael McCarthy, aims to ensure that care for people with ... --- Irish Times --- March 8, 2013 (IRELAND) http://is.gd/oROX2e

44. “Disabled Students' Plight under Spotlight” --- Challenges faced by students with disability in Zimbabwe and across borders are rapidly rising, a Zimbabwe Junior Parliamentarian has said. In an interview, Senator of the Junior Parliament Munyaradzi Mahiya, bemoaned the plight of disabled students. --- AllAfrica.com --- March 9, 2013 (ZIMBABWE) http://is.gd/81CbI5

45. “April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day” --- April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and businesses and homes all around the globe will “light up blue” to show their support. World Autism Awareness Day was agreed on by the United Nations in 2007 … --- Chicago Tribune --- March 7, 2013 (INTERNATIONAL) http://is.gd/kvssxO



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