child abuse

via the Child Abuse Prevention Facebook page

Thirty-four children died in the state of Missouri in 2012 due to child abuse and neglect. Seven of them were in St. Louis. All told, more than 13,000 reports of abuse and neglect involving almost 20,000 children were filed in the St. Louis region in 2012. About 900 of those reports were proven to be substantiated, with almost 50 percent of the cases receiving some sort of services.

Neglect And Abuse Kills 90 Children In Ill. During 2012

Jan 11, 2013
(via Flickr/janineomg)

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says neglect and abuse killed 90 children in the state last year and almost half were infants who died in unsafe sleeping conditions.

Department spokesman Dave Clarkin said yesterday the total could rise. More than 60 death investigations are still pending from 2012. Clarkin says 40 of the children were infants who suffocated while sleeping with parents, with blankets or on their stomachs. All of those practices are dangerous.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A task force has released its recommendations on combatting sexual abuse of children in Missouri.

There are 22 recommendations in all.  They include requiring people who are legally obligated to report sex abuse incidents to directly contact the state’s Children’s Division, instead of just reporting incidents to superiors within their own organizations.  That particular recommendation will be sponsored by State Representative Marsha Haefner (R, Oakville).

Report: Child Sex Abuse Cases Up In Downstate Ill.

Dec 28, 2012
(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

The Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services says family members are failing to report cases of sexual abuse. That assertion came Thursday in a report that says child sex abuse cases are up in Downstate Illinois.

DCFS says more than half of the people reported for child sex abuse were related to the victim. But the vast majority of those reports came not from family members, but professionals who are required by law to report abuse.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Belleville, Ill. man arrested as part of Attorney General Lisa Madigan's crackdown on child pornography last year will spend more than a dozen years in federal prison for his crimes.

Garold Lee Semelka, 62, pleaded guilty in June to receiving and possessing child pornography. His computer contained more than 600 images or videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit activity.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Legal fight between Quinn and Union continues

The legal fight between Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the union that represents prisons workers continues this week.

Quinn had wanted the prisons closed by last Friday. Instead that day an arbitrator said the administration violated its contract with the prison workers' union by moving to close the facilities before they'd finished what's called "impact bargaining."

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says impact bargaining doesn't only affect employees facing layoffs.

Another fascinating graphic and exploration from the Planet Money team. Check it out via the link.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Early drought exacting a toll on regional corn farmers

Extreme heat and drought are driving down what many farmers expected to be a bumper corn crop.  

Back in March and April, warm weather had Midwestern farmers planting corn at a record setting pace.

In Illinois alone, an estimated more than 13 million acres of corn were planted this year.  

Now, many growers are in full on damage control as record setting heat continues to drive down expected yields.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Child abusers could face tougher penalties under Mo. legislation

People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House. The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri's child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby's death or injury by shaking.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) wants Missouri lawmakers to beef up state law regarding child sexual abuse, in light of the scandal currently surrounding Penn State University.

Koster says right now in Missouri, only teachers, doctors, clergy and certain other professions are required to report child sex abuse to the authorities.

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