US Kentucky Leads U.S. in Child Abuse Cases as Lawmakers Draw Up Plans to Bolster Prevention
Rabbi held hostage by gunman leads prayer service at Texas synagogue
The Texas rabbi who threw a chair at a gunman to help him and two others survive a hostage situation held a prayer service in the wake of the deadly ordeal. Your browser does not support this video Just two days after a gun-wielding suspect took Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and two other congregants hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, the rabbi lead a service aimed to "put this terrible event behind us and be thankful for a good result," according to a post on the synagogue's Facebook page.
Kentucky has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the nation, prompting state lawmakers to introduce legislation as a step toward fixing the plague.
Republican state Senator Julie Raque Adams, the bill's lead sponsor, saidBill 8 was designed to address loopholes within the state's child abuse and neglect laws, Kentucky Today reported.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed the legislation Wednesday in an 11-0 vote. Now, the bill heads to the Senate floor.
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At the Australian Open, Garbiñe Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit, who met in the WTA Finals final, lost within minutes of each other.No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 6 Anett Kontaveit, who met for the WTA Finals title in November, lost the first matches on the two main show courts Thursday, the last day of second-round play.
"We're going to hear a lot of things this session, and I would argue this will probably be the most important bill we pass this year," said Republican state Senator Ralph Alvarado, the committee chairman and a co-sponsor of the bill, according to the Associated Press.
Adams said the state had led the nation in child abuse and neglect for three consecutive years, but it's time to change the statistic, according to the AP.
"Child welfare belongs to all of us in this room. We all play a role in child welfare. The purpose of this bill is to address various child welfare matters and expand child abuse and neglect prevention services."
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS) reported a 22 percent increase in suspected child abuse or neglect cases in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Fund urged for sex abuse victims at youth detention center
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella told lawmakers Thursday that spending $100 million to settle sexual abuse claims at the state's youth detention center is the right thing to do. The House Finance Committee held a public hearing on a bipartisan bill that would create a fund to compensate people who were abused as children at the Sununu Youth Services Center, formerly the Youth Development Center. The ManchesterThe House Finance Committee held a public hearing on a bipartisan bill that would create a fund to compensate people who were abused as children at the Sununu Youth Services Center, formerly the Youth Development Center.
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"We're seeing more severe abuse, including a recent spike in abusive head trauma," Dr. Melissa Currie, a child abuse pediatrician, told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. "We've had more torture cases this year than we've had in any previous year," she added.
Alvarado, a physician, told Kentucky Today Senate Bill 8 could be the most important bill this year.
"As a provider, shaken baby syndrome is a huge issue. You hear about it, but as a pediatrician you see these kids and find out after the fact they have retinal hemorrhages. Their vision will be affected permanently, as most of the time the damage is irreversible."
Adams said the law would expand and redefine the scope of the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board to include all forms of child abuse and neglect, the AP reported.
Kentucky football: Wildcats land Alabama wideout in transfer portal
The Kentucky Wildcats landed a big name in the transfer portal: Former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Javon Baker. While on opposite sides of the SEC, Kentucky football poached a former 4-star recruit and National Champion in Baker. Baker didn't see a lot of action in his two seasons with the Crimson Tide, likely prompting the change of scenery. It's tough to blame him for the lack of production given the litany of receivers Nick Saban's team often has at their disposal. Baker announced his decision on Instagram.
The legislation would work in unison with other efforts including increased spending in the child welfare system to hire more social workers, Adams said, while warning that the bill would not fix Kentucky's abuse issues overnight.
"This will take time and will require us to remain intentionally committed to the effort of protecting our children," she said.
15-Month-Old California Baby Dies of COVID-19 as Case Rate in Children Hits New Heights .
The number of children contracting COVID-19 is five times higher than the highest number during the winter 2021 surge.The county reported 91 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, making it the second-highest daily total of deaths during the Omicron surge, the Los Angeles Times reported. The 15-month-old was among them. It's unknown if the child had underlying conditions.