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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 21)

Pennsylvania couple accused of faking baby’s birth, death to collect cash and gifts

Westlake Legal Group 27323a93-pa-baby-case Pennsylvania couple accused of faking baby's birth, death to collect cash and gifts Greg Norman fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc cdab3b4a-6493-5eb4-b043-8a499b57abb5 article

A Pennsylvania couple who reportedly set up a GoFundMe page asking for donations in the wake of their newborn son’s death are now being accused by police of faking the child’s entire existence as part of a ruse to collect cash and gifts from their friends, family and community.

Geoffrey and Kaycee Lang, of Friedens, were hit with misdemeanor theft charges in Westmoreland and Somerset counties this week after police searched their home and found a doll that resembled the infant seen in photos the couple says was of their son, Easton, WTAE reported, citing court documents.

“I don’t know what their motive was – to hurt your family and everybody? It’s just sick,” Cynthia Dilascio, a friend who organized a baby shower for the couple in May and later reported them to police, told the station.

Photographs of the couple showed them opening gifts at the shower, but Dilascio says Kaycee, 23, vanished around seven months into her pregnancy, claiming she was on bed rest.

GOFUNDME REFUNDS DONORS IN ALLEGED SCAM INVOLVING HOMELESS VET, NJ COUPLE

Court documents viewed by WTAE say the couple then claimed Easton died on July 3 from respiratory distress syndrome shortly after being born at Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, yet police couldn’t find any records of the mother or child at that facility or coroner’s office.

Dilascio also said she called the funeral home where the couple claimed the child was cremated – only to be told there was no account in the family’s name.

“I couldn’t go. I knew that this was fake,” she told WTAE when asked about the memorial service that apparently was held for Easton. “I couldn’t go and sit and watch this go on, and know the truth.”

PREGNANT MODEL SLAMS FASHION INDUSTRY FOR USING FAKE-BUMP MODELS IN MATERNITY SHOOTS

A Facebook profile purportedly belonging to Geoffrey Lang then posted a link on July 7 to a GoFundMe page set up for Easton.

“Please keep my wife and I in your thoughts and prayer. Our son Easton was born with fluid in his lungs and passed away a few hours after he was born,” the post read. “We would greatly appreciate if as many of you guys could share this and if u are stable enough to do so is donate also to help pay for the funeral expenses and medical bills.”

An obituary also was published in Easton’s name, claiming the child “weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz, and was 17 inches long.

“Easton’s parents were blessed with just a little over 5 hours before he went to his heavenly home at 8:20 am,” it read. “Easton experienced holding hands and hugs and kisses with his mommy and daddy and being told uncountable number of ‘I love yous.’”

GoFundMe said the page raised 15 donations totaling $550 – but the site says those donations will now be returned.

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“This type of behavior is not tolerated on GoFundMe,” the website said in a statement to WTAE. “We will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during their investigation and we will issue full refunds to all donors.”

The couple is set to appear in court in October.

Westlake Legal Group baby_toes_istock Pennsylvania couple accused of faking baby's birth, death to collect cash and gifts Greg Norman fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc cdab3b4a-6493-5eb4-b043-8a499b57abb5 article   Westlake Legal Group baby_toes_istock Pennsylvania couple accused of faking baby's birth, death to collect cash and gifts Greg Norman fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc cdab3b4a-6493-5eb4-b043-8a499b57abb5 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Judge orders Georgia to switch to paper ballots for 2020 elections

Westlake Legal Group uNkdn0Rw9msubJWdPQUuViQoTVZwjEHvNE7henWZ6OM Judge orders Georgia to switch to paper ballots for 2020 elections r/politics

THERE IS A VERY EASY SOLUTION TO THIS

The first honest person to use each voting machine who cares if their vote counts should smash it with a rock.

Everyone after that fills out paper ballots.

Do this at the primaries, and then, if there are replacement machines, do it again in the general election.

If destroying the vote-hacking method with rocks is what it takes to get this corruption out of our government, that’s what we should do.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Tlaib’s Ancestral Village, a Grandmother Weathers a Global Political Storm

BEIT UR AL-FAUQA, West Bank — In a small stone house on the edge of a sleepy Palestinian village near Ramallah, an elderly woman ran a string of wooden worry beads through her gnarled fingers on Friday, silently reciting the 99 names of Allah, almost oblivious to the maelstrom of world politics swirling around her and her granddaughter, Representative Rashida Tlaib.

On Thursday, anticipation in the West Bank had turned suddenly to disappointment and anger, when the Israeli government decided it would block Ms. Tlaib and another member of Congress after earlier indicating it would allow their visit. The turnabout, urged by President Trump, caused an intercontinental uproar.

The dizzying twists continued on Friday, when the Israeli government said Ms. Tlaib could visit her 90-year-old grandmother, Muftiya Tlaib, on humanitarian grounds. She later changed her mind, citing Israeli restrictions.

Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, had announced earlier Friday morning that the congresswoman would be allowed to enter for a family visit, after she wrote to him saying that it might be her last chance to see her grandmother and pledging to “respect any restrictions” and to “not promote boycotts” during her stay.

“I’m happy that Rashida will come,” Muftiya Tlaib said, barely an hour after the interior minister’s announcement. Dressed in a colorful, intricately embroidered traditional Palestinian thobe, she added, “But I hear they won’t let her.”

Her son, Bassam Tlaib, 53, an electrician and the first-term lawmaker’s uncle, explained her confusion: The relatives had not explicitly told the suddenly famous grandmother that Mr. Deri’s announcement had raised their hopes again.

“We don’t want any more unpleasant surprises. Yesterday mother was shocked and upset,” he said.

“Yesterday she was rejected, today they approved her,” he said of his niece. “We wonder why. We lost our trust.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159298890_acb8e217-fee6-4104-9487-550f263e6c1a-articleLarge In Tlaib’s Ancestral Village, a Grandmother Weathers a Global Political Storm West Bank Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Palestinians Omar, Ilhan Israel Boycotts

Ms. Tlaib had planned a traditional feast for her granddaughter.CreditAbbas Momani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As it turned out, the family’s hesitation proved prescient.

A storm of Palestinian criticism on social media denounced Ms. Tlaib for selling out the cause in exchange for a glimpse of her grandmother, and a few hours after gaining Israeli approval, she announced that she would not come after all.

“Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Ms. Tlaib said of “my sity,” using an Arabic term for grandmother. “It would kill a piece of me.”

On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that it “would show great weakness” for Israel to allow the planned West Bank visit of Ms. Tlaib, of Michigan, and Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Democrats. Hours later, the Israeli authorities, who control all access to the occupied territory, denied them entry, citing their vocal support for boycotts against Israel.

Late on Thursday, Ms. Tlaib appealed for an exception on humanitarian grounds, promising, in effect, to make the trip purely personal, not political.

After Mr. Deri consented on Friday morning, Mr. Tlaib and other family members here had misgivings about the visit because of the conditions imposed by Israel, though they said they would welcome the congresswoman under any circumstances.

“Rashida has the natural right to visit all of Palestine,” said Mr. Tlaib, the uncle. “In my personal opinion,” Mr. Tlaib said. “I say it is preferable not to come based on these conditions.”

The family sent her messages, but it was still early morning in the United States, and they did not immediately hear back from her. Then came the news that Ms. Tlaib had decided not to come.

Ms. Tlaib’s grandmother, apparently still unaware of the latest reversals, said she had originally planned to welcome her returning granddaughter by slaughtering a sheep for a traditional Palestinian feast. Asked where the sheep was on Friday, she laughed wryly, gestured out the window and said it was still with the flock.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Herring, DEQ File Suit to Shut Down Landfill in Greene Co.

Westlake Legal Group 11035577_G Herring, DEQ File Suit to Shut Down Landfill in Greene Co.

GREENE COUNTY(August 16, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Kenneth R. Collier, Sr. for operating an illegal, unpermitted landfill in Ruckersville, Greene County that has led to significant and repeated violations of Virginia environmental laws.

“This landfill has continued to operate illegally for years while its owner has blatantly ignored multiple violation notices from DEQ,” said Attorney General Herring. “An illegal, do-it-yourself landfill like this can have serious negative environmental impacts on the surrounding land and water if it is not properly constructed, permitted, and controlled.”

“Ensuring the proper disposal of waste is essential to protecting our environment,” said DEQ Director David K. Paylor. “We are pleased the OAG is taking action to ensure Mr. Collier complies with solid waste management requirements.”

In the suit, Attorney General Herring alleges that the landfill’s very existence is unlawful without a permit, that unpermitted and unlawful industrial activity has taken place on the property, and that operation of the illegal landfill has caused unlawful and unpermitted discharges of stormwater.

The suit was filed after the matter was referred to the Office of the Attorney General by the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, whose staff provided the information upon which the suit is based, including site inspections and two Notices of Violation, which Collier ignored and continues to ignore. According to DEQ, Collier has been operating some form of landfill or waste dump site on his 42 acre property since 1976 and he has continually and knowingly violated Virginia’s waste management laws for decades.

The commonwealth’s lawsuit asks the court to order Collier to shut down the illegal landfill, to remove all waste from his property and dispose of it properly, for the maximum allowable civil penalties, and for any other relief that the court believes to be appropriate.

The lawsuit explains that in August 2017, DEQ received a citizen complaint against Collier, alleging that he had been allowing hundreds of dump trucks to deposit solid waste on his property for the last several years. In October 2017, DEQ staff requested to inspect the site but Collier refused. DEQ subsequently requested and received an inspection warrant from the Greene County Circuit Court and inspected the site a few days later. The inspection found a fill area that measured approximately 1.38 acres and was between 12 and 20 feet deep. The fill contained an immense array of waste materials including concrete blocks, structural wood, structural metal, conduit, flooring, stumps, brush, plumbing fixtures, metal sewer piping, insulation, fragmented glass, and broken concrete with significant amounts of rebar protruding. Additionally, the inspectors saw one of Collier’s employees actively levelling the waste pile with industrial equipment.

Following the inspection, DEQ issued two Notices of Violation – one informing Collier that he had violated the State Water Control Law and Regulations by performing industrial and land-disturbing activities on the site without a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit, and the other informing him that he had violated the Virginia Waste Management Act by disposing, treating and storing nonhazardous solid waste on the site without a DEQ permit. Collier ignored both notices and continued to operate the illegal landfill.

DEQ has continued to receive complaints that trucks are continuing to bring debris and trash to Collier’s site. In July 2019, DEQ staff went to Collier’s site and, from an adjacent property, were able to see that he was continuing to accept brush, discarded vehicles, and other solid waste. They also saw tilled soil, multiple bulldozers, and other evidence that Collier was excavating land on his property without the appropriate permits.

“Collier has continued to ignore the Notices of Violation DEQ issued against him, has not responded to DEQ’s requests for information, has not applied for the VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction, and has not applied for any permit that would allow him to dispose, treat, or store solid waste at the site. Nevertheless, he continues to operate his illegal landfill,” said Director Paylor.

In the lawsuit, the Commonwealth alleges three counts of illegal actions by Collier at his unlawful landfill in Greene County:

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Herring, DEQ File Suit to Shut Down Private Landfill in Greene Co.

Westlake Legal Group 11035577_G Herring, DEQ File Suit to Shut Down Private Landfill in Greene Co.

GREENE COUNTY(August 16, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Kenneth R. Collier, Sr. for operating an illegal, unpermitted landfill in Ruckersville, Greene County that has led to significant and repeated violations of Virginia environmental laws.

“This landfill has continued to operate illegally for years while its owner has blatantly ignored multiple violation notices from DEQ,” said Attorney General Herring. “An illegal, do-it-yourself landfill like this can have serious negative environmental impacts on the surrounding land and water if it is not properly constructed, permitted, and controlled.”

“Ensuring the proper disposal of waste is essential to protecting our environment,” said DEQ Director David K. Paylor. “We are pleased the OAG is taking action to ensure Mr. Collier complies with solid waste management requirements.”

In the suit, Attorney General Herring alleges that the landfill’s very existence is unlawful without a permit, that unpermitted and unlawful industrial activity has taken place on the property, and that operation of the illegal landfill has caused unlawful and unpermitted discharges of stormwater.

The suit was filed after the matter was referred to the Office of the Attorney General by the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, whose staff provided the information upon which the suit is based, including site inspections and two Notices of Violation, which Collier ignored and continues to ignore. According to DEQ, Collier has been operating some form of landfill or waste dump site on his 42 acre property since 1976 and he has continually and knowingly violated Virginia’s waste management laws for decades.

The commonwealth’s lawsuit asks the court to order Collier to shut down the illegal landfill, to remove all waste from his property and dispose of it properly, for the maximum allowable civil penalties, and for any other relief that the court believes to be appropriate.

The lawsuit explains that in August 2017, DEQ received a citizen complaint against Collier, alleging that he had been allowing hundreds of dump trucks to deposit solid waste on his property for the last several years. In October 2017, DEQ staff requested to inspect the site but Collier refused. DEQ subsequently requested and received an inspection warrant from the Greene County Circuit Court and inspected the site a few days later. The inspection found a fill area that measured approximately 1.38 acres and was between 12 and 20 feet deep. The fill contained an immense array of waste materials including concrete blocks, structural wood, structural metal, conduit, flooring, stumps, brush, plumbing fixtures, metal sewer piping, insulation, fragmented glass, and broken concrete with significant amounts of rebar protruding. Additionally, the inspectors saw one of Collier’s employees actively levelling the waste pile with industrial equipment.

Following the inspection, DEQ issued two Notices of Violation – one informing Collier that he had violated the State Water Control Law and Regulations by performing industrial and land-disturbing activities on the site without a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit, and the other informing him that he had violated the Virginia Waste Management Act by disposing, treating and storing nonhazardous solid waste on the site without a DEQ permit. Collier ignored both notices and continued to operate the illegal landfill.

DEQ has continued to receive complaints that trucks are continuing to bring debris and trash to Collier’s site. In July 2019, DEQ staff went to Collier’s site and, from an adjacent property, were able to see that he was continuing to accept brush, discarded vehicles, and other solid waste. They also saw tilled soil, multiple bulldozers, and other evidence that Collier was excavating land on his property without the appropriate permits.

“Collier has continued to ignore the Notices of Violation DEQ issued against him, has not responded to DEQ’s requests for information, has not applied for the VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction, and has not applied for any permit that would allow him to dispose, treat, or store solid waste at the site. Nevertheless, he continues to operate his illegal landfill,” said Director Paylor.

In the lawsuit, the commonwealth alleges three counts of illegal actions by Collier at his unlawful landfill in Greene County:

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Migrant Kids Separated At Border Faced Abuse In Foster Homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — This story is part of an ongoing joint investigation between The Associated Press and the PBS series FRONTLINE on the treatment of migrant children, which includes an upcoming film.

Dozens of families separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy are preparing to sue the federal government, including several who say their young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care.

A review of 38 legal claims obtained by The Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages. More than 3,000 migrant children were taken from their parents at the border in recent years and many more lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions.

The families — some in the U.S., others already deported to Central America — are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms. They’re making claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a precursor to filing lawsuits. The FTCA allows individuals who suffer harm as a direct result of federal employees to sue the government.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Erik Walsh, an attorney at Arnold & Porter, which has one of the world’s leading pro bono programs.

The firm has so far filed 18 claims on behalf of nine families, totaling $54 million, and Walsh says dozens more are likely.

The government has six months to settle FTCA claims from the time they’re filed. After that, the claimants are free to file federal lawsuits.

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security, both named in the claims, did not respond to requests for comment.

Health and Human Services — the agency responsible for the care of migrant children — said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but that it treats children with dignity and respect.

Last year, HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement cared for nearly 50,000 children who crossed the border by themselves, as well as children who were separated from their families under the zero tolerance policy.

The agency housed them in foster programs, residential shelters and detention camps around the country, sometimes making daily placements of as many as 500 new arrivals, from babies to teens.

The allegations of abuse and assaults in foster care raise fresh questions about the government’s efforts to place younger children with families in lieu of larger shelters and packed detention facilities.

The legal claims, a recent federal court filing and HHS documents released by Congress earlier this year allege that children have suffered serious emotional trauma after being physically harmed or fondled by other children while in foster care.

Six of the claims for damages involve children who were in foster care. And one recent court filing refers to a migrant child being abused in foster care.

The records released by Congress show the Office of Refugee Resettlement referred at least seven foster care allegations of sexual abuse to the Justice Department in 2017 and 2018. Because some are anonymous to protect the children’s privacy, it’s unclear if some of the claims are duplicates.

Justice has not responded to repeated queries about those cases from members of Congress.

Westlake Legal Group 5d56d36f2400003500b8d310 Migrant Kids Separated At Border Faced Abuse In Foster Homes

ASSOCIATED PRESS A police officer stands outside Cayuga Centers, where three incidents involving physical harm allegedly took place, according to legal filings.

Three of the four incidents involving physical harm outlined in the FTCA claims occurred at Cayuga Centers in New York, the largest foster care placement for migrant children, housing up to 900 babies and children at a time.

In a statement on Friday, Cayuga Centers said it takes the safety of children in its care seriously and reports allegations of abuse to the proper local, state and federal authorities, including the New York State Office of Children Services, the New York Police Department and Office for Refugee Resettlement.

“Child protection is our number one priority. If a concern is raised about child safety in a foster home, it is investigated immediately. Our staff are all mandated reporters,” the group said.” Children are removed from a foster home immediately when an allegation is raised and if necessary, a foster home would be suspended until cleared following a thorough investigation.”

One Guatemalan mother whose 5-year-old daughter was placed in Cayuga last year says her little girl still wakes up crying from what she endured at the foster home.

“Now she’s scared each time we go out or when she sees a police car or someone in uniform,” said the mother, who has filed a $6 million claim. “She says ‘Mami, don’t let them separate us again.’”

Families who spoke to the AP and FRONTLINE did so on the condition of anonymity over fears about their safety.

Another 5-year-old Guatemalan girl said a boy grabbed her chest and touched her inappropriately, both in her foster home and during daytime classes at a Safe Haven for Children New York foster program, according to a $3 million injury claim. The girl was moved to a new foster home but suffered verbal abuse from her foster parent’s mother, who called her names and locked her alone in rooms as punishment, according to the claim.

A spokesman for Lutheran Social Services of New York, which oversees the Safe Haven foster program, declined to comment.

Two claims blame the government for wrongful deaths: one, seeking $20 million, was filed by the wife of a Honduran father who killed himself in a padded cell after officers pulled his 3-year-old son from his arms.

“The people making these policies intended this level of suffering, and that’s what’s unconscionable,” said John Escamilla, who is representing the man’s wife and two children.

He said he plans to file a federal lawsuit stemming from his FTCA claim as soon as Friday.

The government has not settled any family separation cases in the administrative claims stage. But one federal lawsuit is currently in litigation in Massachusetts, and in February, a judge approved a $125,000 settlement for a Honduran mom and her son, then 6, who had been detained for four months and threatened with separation under the Obama administration.

Aseem Mehta, a law student at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School who worked on the case, said the settlement — the first of its kind — sends a clear message that such claims have legal standing.

“Our case is a benchmark,” Mehta said. “The most important take away is these claims are viable, and courts will entertain them, and the Department of Homeland Security views them as meritorious; they don’t settle cases unless they think there’s liability they’re exposed to.”

Janet Napolitano, who led Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, said she recalled a number of tort claims were filed against the agency in her time but said family separations were rare. The Trump administration’s failure to swiftly reunify families and children may have left the agency open to lawsuits, she added.

“There very well may be some vulnerability there,” said Napolitano, now the president of the University of California.

Daffodil J. Altan of FRONTLINE contributed to this report.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Liverpool goalie Adrian may miss next English Premier League match after pitch-invader incident

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian, fresh off a European Super Cup victory over Chelsea, may miss the club’s second English Premier League match of the season because of a bizarre injury suffered following his penalty shootout heroics.

Adrian was among the players celebrating Wednesday after he made the key save in the shootout against Chelsea to clinch the trophy when a pitch invader attempted to join in the fun.

The fan slipped as he was grabbed by a security guard and collided with several Liverpool players. Adrian injured his ankle in the process.

Westlake Legal Group 7cd30230-AP19226810592193 Liverpool goalie Adrian may miss next English Premier League match after pitch-invader incident Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc article a0130d75-f8ef-5343-8db9-2ec21baf6838

Liverpool’s goalkeeper Adrian lifts up the trophy as he celebrates with players after winning the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea, in Besiktas Park. (AP)

UEFA POSTPONES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TALKS AS CLUBS, LEAGUES ROW

“It was a strange, weird situation because we were celebrating between us and one guy jumped from the crowd and started running,” Adrian told the club’s website Friday. “I think he slipped in front of us and also the security with him and made me a tackle from the side. It was a bit of a strange situation but I feel much better today and I hope [I’m] ready for tomorrow.”

MAGUIRE’S UNITED ROUTS CHELSEA IN EPL OPENER; ARSENAL WINS

Adrian was optimistic about his chances of starting against Southampton.

“I feel mentally ready and I also hope today with the treatment of the ankle it’s going to be much better,” he said. “But I’m very optimistic to start playing tomorrow again.”

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The Spanish keeper joined Liverpool from West Ham United on a free transfer days before the start of the season as backup to first-choice goalie Alisson. But he was unexpectedly thrust into action during Liverpool’s opening day victory over Norwich City in the English Premier League when the Brazilian injured his calf.

Westlake Legal Group 7cd30230-AP19226810592193 Liverpool goalie Adrian may miss next English Premier League match after pitch-invader incident Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc article a0130d75-f8ef-5343-8db9-2ec21baf6838   Westlake Legal Group 7cd30230-AP19226810592193 Liverpool goalie Adrian may miss next English Premier League match after pitch-invader incident Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc article a0130d75-f8ef-5343-8db9-2ec21baf6838

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Why do parents forget their children in parked, hot cars?

A 2-year-old child was found dead inside a parked car in Kansas on Sunday — marking the ninth such death in the country in the three-week span since a New York dad made national headlines for accidentally leaving his twins in a hot car for hours.

The toddler who died Sunday was discovered just before 6 p.m. in Lawrence, a city roughly 40 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo. Investigators said they received a call about someone who’d been “left unattended,” and medical responders determined the child was dead at the scene.

FLORIDA MOM ACCIDENTALLY LOCKS BABY IN VEHICLE, OFFICER SMASHES WINDOW TO SAVE BABY FROM HOT CAR

At least 32 children have died so far this year from heatstroke while in parked cars, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit organization that tracks such deaths.

The deaths of Luna and Phoenix Rodriguez on July 26 are among the most high-profile of those cases and helped merge discussions about the annual epidemic from separate, localized tragedies into a connected, national issue. Juan Rodriguez, 39, said he “blanked out” when he left Luna and Phoenix in his car as he worked an eight-hour shift.

“My babies are dead! I killed my babies!” he reportedly said after realizing he left his twins in the car, where officials said their internal body temperatures registered 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Described as an “amazing” father of five, Rodriguez told police he thought he dropped off the children at daycare before he went to work.

Already this year, nearly three dozen juveniles — children as young as 4 months and as old as 13 years, living in states from California to New York — have died, often due to parents who say they simply forgot their child was in the vehicle.

How can this happen?

Such deaths are incomprehensible to many who read about them and are particularly puzzling to most parents, who can’t begin to fathom how anyone can forget where their kid is — nevermind when that kid is just inches away in the backseat of a vehicle.

Dr. Rosina McAlpine, a parenting expert and CEO of Win Win Parenting, told Fox News that parents or caregivers are often in such a rush to get to work, or an appointment, or any one of countless other obligations, they “forget they haven’t dropped the child off at daycare or school and rush off to the meeting or work distracted, leaving their child behind.”

ARIZONA BABY REPORTEDLY RESCUED FROM HOT CAR AS MOM SHOPPED AT TARGET

“Later they remember in shock but often it is too late,” she said, noting some parents alternate dropping their child off at daycare, and might “forget it was their turn.” Similarly, McAlpine notes that people other than a parent, like a caregiver, a teacher, a grandparent or other relative, “may not be used to having a child in the car on a regular basis.”

As noted by the parenting expert, 429 children who died from heatstroke in cars from 1998 to 2018, or 53.8 percent, were forgotten by their caregivers, according to an analysis from NoHeatStroke.org. Another 209 children gained access to the car on their own.

Westlake Legal Group children-in-car-seats12 Why do parents forget their children in parked, hot cars? Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/us fnc e1a67baf-7c2c-5c64-a36d-403777e82f76 article

Children are sometimes left in hot cars while parents or caregivers, who are often in a hurry to get to work or another obligation, forget they’re still in the car. (iStock)

Of the children who died during that period, caregivers “knowingly” left 151 children in hot cars for reasons such as seeing “they are sleeping and don’t want to disturb them in the hope they’ll get back before they awake,” according to McAlpine.

BABY DIES AFTER BEING LEFT IN HOT CAR IN INDIANAPOLIS

Those who leave their children in the car also may not understand the danger they’re in, or consider how fast cars can heat up. The interior temperature of a car can quickly skyrocket, with 80 percent of the total temperature rise happening in the first 30 minutes a child is inside a car — where the temperature inside can exceed those outside by up to 50 degrees.

The obvious solution in these particular cases, McAlpine says, “is to never leave a sleeping child unattended in a car” — regardless of intentions.

What can be done about it?

Some technologies are able to assist caregivers so they don’t forget their children. For example, some GM vehicles include a rear-seat reminder that alerts a driver with audible chimes and a message on their screen to check the rear seat of the vehicle. It doesn’t actually detect objects in the back seat, but “works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors.”

Parents or caregivers can also be alerted on their cell phones, via apps such as GPS navigation system Waze, which reminds the driver of a presence in the backseat of the car. There are also physical car seat alarms, like an eClip Baby Reminder sold by elepho, that “continually reminds you that your baby or young child is in the car and will sound an alarm if you leave your baby in the car.”

What are other ways I can protect my child?

Experts often suggest placing items — especially ones people know they won’t forget — like a cell phone, or a purse or wallet, in the back seat of a vehicle to remind you of a child’s presence, or even putting one of the child’s toys on the front seat to remind the driver of who’s in the back.

It’s also recommended that parents place their children in the middle of the back seat, rather than near the doors. Since drivers are constantly looking at their rearview mirror while they drive, if they can see the child in that line of sight, there’s less of a chance caregivers will forget them.

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McAlpine also noted the presence of public awareness campaigns — like one launched last year by Kars4Kids, called “It Can Happen” — to “inform caregivers of the risks and to alerts ‘passersby’ if they see children in cars to get help immediately, and not ignore it.”

Passersby who do see children left alone in cars are encouraged to call 911.

Westlake Legal Group children-in-car-seats12 Why do parents forget their children in parked, hot cars? Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/us fnc e1a67baf-7c2c-5c64-a36d-403777e82f76 article   Westlake Legal Group children-in-car-seats12 Why do parents forget their children in parked, hot cars? Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox news fnc/us fnc e1a67baf-7c2c-5c64-a36d-403777e82f76 article

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By the time we got to Woodstock…

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073421813001_6073420897001-vs By the time we got to Woodstock… fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 610d737a-915c-54b0-a4a2-55cdd1f77e8f

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On the roster: By the time we got to Woodstock… – Warren posts major gain in Fox News poll – DCCC chief tries to quell diversity uproar – Hold on, let me get my alligator

BY THE TIME WE GOT TO WOODSTOCK…
It’s been a good deal of fun riding along this decade with Baby Boomers on their semi centennial nostalgia trip.

We had one of the high points this summer as America again marveled at how 50 years ago a bunch of guys with slide rules and short-sleeved dress shirts managed to shoot three men to the moon by blowing up a half-a-million gallons of kerosene and liquid oxygen and somehow brought them home alive.

For people who get vexed when the supercomputer in their pocket doesn’t load videos in less than five seconds, this looks even more amazing.

There’s been lots to celebrate as the twenty-teens pay homage to the 1960s, deposing Jim Crow chief among them. The invention of the laser, Sean Connery’s James Bond, the push-button telephone, Taco Bell, the Ford Mustang, the scanning electron microscope and Bob Gibson’s 13 shutouts were all pretty good too.

But most of the inventory has been heavy lifting.

The decade’s main legacy project other obtaining equal protection for the descendants of slaves was the Vietnam War, arguably the low point in American foreign policy history. Not only did the government act perfidiously toward its own citizens and America’s allies, Uncle Sam was defeated and then, in defeat, betrayed the people America had claimed to be there to protect. The deaths of 58,318 American and a quarter-million South Vietnamese troops looms over the whole of the era. It was a war wrongly begun, conducted and concluded.

The assassination of the president, his brother — the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination — seven years later and then the world-historic leader of America’s Civil Rights movement are only some of the lowlights of a period of political violence that ought to hush the clacking keys of social media Cassandras snorting about a new civil war.

We had riots in more than 100 cities, including one in Washington that burned a stripe across the heart of the capital. The riot in Detroit killed 43 people and saw 7,300 arrested. Concerned about a lack of civility these days? How about the time the Ohio National Guard killed four college students at a campus demonstration? Fairly uncivil.

Yes, most of reliving the 60s has been challenging. Some of the biggest changes, like the sexual revolution kicked off by the birth control pill, are still culturally freighted today. Others, like taking drug culture mainstream, look more and more dire with the passage of time.

But as the members of the “Me Generation” slide into the shank of their 70s, it’s hard to begrudge them a nostalgia trip. It may not be the anniversaries of the defeat of fascism and the invention of the modern world we celebrated along with their parents, but hey, Gen X will spend the 2040s at Cameron Crowe retrospectives and talking about how they once got laid off at Pets.com and the time we impeached the president for lying about being a super creep.

And now we come to where the river meets the ocean. Yes, it’s the semi centennial of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair held August 15, 16 and 17, 1969 in the Catskill Mountains is southeastern New York. Whether it was to you an Aquarian antidote to the strife that proceeded it or a mud-slicked coda to a decade’s discordant symphony, it was certainly the end of something.

Tributes, critical re-evaluations, musical revivals and cultural analyses have billowed out across the media world like plumes of patchouli and cheeba smoke. The air is heavy indeed, and never seems to clear.

The leading contenders for the major party nominations next year, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, were 23 and 26 respectively this weekend 50 years ago. They were both already working in their chosen professions. Both had been student athletes but avoided the Vietnam draft with medical excuses. Neither would have been caught dead at Woodstock.

Trump and Biden, in very different ways, sat out the 60s we’ve been commemorating this decade. And yet, they’re re-litigating them.

We’ve got an incumbent president stoking the culture war in ways that Richard Nixon and Pat Buchanan would have envied and his leading challenger vowing to fight a new birth of racism he says is tantamount to George Wallace’s brand. Both men tell us that the America is teetering on the brink and that if the other side wins, the country may never recover.

This should sound silly to the voters of a country that is rich, peaceful and free. Looked at from above the momentary cultural haze, America and Americans have in really profound ways never been better off.

We rightly blame the lack of historical perspective among younger Americans for our current self-induced political crisis. And social media has allowed the pudding-headed on the far left and far right to connect and interact in ways that pose new threats to our republican system. Every day brings new panics and new outrages, each with a warning that the end is near. These panicky throngs all but lay themselves at the feet of demagogues, begging to be saved from the coming American apocalypse.

But our nostalgia-tripping seniors own a big piece of the problem, too. The strife between the crew cuts and the long hairs never ended, both sides sneering at the other. The tribal contempt that was succored by the Vietnam divide is with us still.

In 1969, depending on your juke box and radio preferences, you would have heard Merle Haggard belting out “We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street; We like livin’ right, and bein’ free,” or the cast of “Hair” enthusing “No more falsehoods or derisions; Golden living dreams of visions.”    

Not only did they not get over it, but the two sides of the cultural struggles seem to have actually intensified their antipathies in this late-life return to their political adolescences.

While it’s fine to take a moment to relieve the heady days of youth, the rest of us would be obliged if you could stick to big rockets, good music and screenings of “Dr. No.” 

THE RULEBOOK: TAKE THIS CONSTITUTION
“The zeal for attempts to amend, prior to the establishment of the Constitution, must abate in every man who is ready to accede to the truth of the following observations of a writer equally solid and ingenious…” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 85

TIME OUT: SAVING THE WHALES
National Geographic: “It was October of 2018, and if Japan didn’t stop slaughtering sei whales plying the waters of the North Pacific and come into compliance with the international treaty that regulates the global wildlife trade, it was going to get punished. The implicit threat, made at a meeting in Sochi, Russia, by the elected panel that handles wildlife trade enforcement matters for the 183 members of the Convention on the International Treaty for Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), was drastic: Failure to comply, the panel said – couched in the formal language of treaty communications – could shut Japan out of the lucrative, legal wildlife trade. … Japan had long claimed that its killing of about a hundred sei whales a year was done in the name of science and that the leftover whale meat was sold to fund academic work.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance
Average approval:
41.8 percent
Average disapproval: 54.6 percent
Net Score: -12.8 percent
Change from one week ago: down 1.6 points
[Average includes: Fox News: 43% approve – 56% disapprove; IBD: 40% approve – 56% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve – 54% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 54% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 53% disapprove.]

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WARREN POSTS MAJOR GAIN IN FOX NEWS POLL
Politico: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren has leapfrogged Sen. Bernie Sanders for second place nationally in the Democratic presidential primary, according to a new poll out Thursday. The new Fox News poll of registered voters who say they plan to participate in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state shows that although Warren still trails former Vice President Joe Biden, pulling in 20 percentage points to his 31, she posted an 8-point gain over the previous survey conducted last month. Sanders dropped 5 points in the poll, good for third place with 10 percent support. The poll shows remarkable growth for Warren over the last five months – she has gained 16 points since March – while Biden has remained somewhat steady over the same period. Sanders’ second-place lead has diminished steadily over the same period, with Thursday’s survey the first in which he dropped into third place.”

Trump revives attack on Warren’s ancestry claim – Politico: “President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he planned to revive an old attack strategy on Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, focusing on her contentious past claims of Native American heritage. ‘Like, Elizabeth Warren – I did the Pocahontas thing,’ Trump said during a New Hampshire rally Thursday. ‘I hit her really hard and it looked like she was down and out but that was too long ago, I should’ve waited. But don’t worry, we will revive it.’ Trump mocked Warren in the early days of her candidacy for previously claiming Native American heritage and taking a DNA test to prove her claims. … Though controversial at the start of her candidacy at the beginning of the year, the issue of her heritage has since faded from public attention. … Warren has proved a growing threat to the Trump campaign with her own populist message to counter the president’s.”

Obama and Biden go way back, but it’s complicated – NYT:Barack Obama was riding his call for generational change to the Democratic presidential nomination in the spring of 2008 when he began musing about potential running mates with aides traveling with him on the trail. … Over the next several months, Mr. Obama’s top advisers would present 30 alternatives, all of whom he respectfully considered. But his preference was clear from the start. When it came time to decide in August, Mr. Obama chose Mr. Biden over two younger finalists — Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia, and Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, peers in the mold of Bill Clinton’s choice of Al Gore in 1992. ‘You are the pick of my heart, but Joe is the pick of my head,’ Mr. Obama told Mr. Kaine after he made his choice, according to people with knowledge of the exchange. Eleven years later, Mr. Obama’s cautions and calculations have come to roost.”

Biden’s brother may have profited from his position – Politico: “A donor with deep ties to Ukraine loaned Joe Biden’s younger brother half-a-million dollars at the same time the then-vice president oversaw U.S. policy toward the country, according to public records reviewed by Politico. The 2015 loan came as Biden’s brother faced financial difficulties related to his acquisition of a multimillion-dollar vacation home, nicknamed ‘the Biden Bungalow,’ in South Florida. There is no indication that the loan influenced Joe Biden’s official actions, but it furthers a decades long pattern, detailed in a Politico investigation earlier this month, by which relatives of the former vice president have leaned on his political allies for money and otherwise benefited financially from the Biden name. Details of the loan are laid out in property records in Collier County, Florida, where Biden’s younger brother, James, and James’ wife Sara, owned until recently a home on Keewaydin Island.” 

O’Rourke says he ‘will not in any scenario’ run for Senate – Fox News: “Former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made it clear Thursday night that he ‘will not in any scenario’ run for a U.S. Senate seat again despite the growing calls for him to switch races. ‘Let me make your show the place where I tell you and I tell the country that I will not in any scenario run for the United States Senate,’ O’Rourke told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell. … However, he also vowed that he wasn’t going to run for president when he challenged Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. O’Rourke is attempting to relaunch his White House bid yet again following the mass shooting that took place in El Paso on Aug. 3. However, a growing number of Democrats hope he decides to drop out and instead challenge the other Republican U.S. senator from Texas, John Cornyn, who is up for reelection next year.”

Delaney says he’s going to hang around – CNBC:John Hickenlooper might have dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, but at least one of his fellow long shots, businessman and former Rep. John Delaney, plans to stick around for a while. The Delaney campaign told CNBC on Thursday that the one-time Maryland lawmaker is going to ride out the race until at least the Iowa caucuses in February, even if he doesn’t qualify for the party’s fall debates. And a big reason is because Delaney, a millionaire businessman, has the financial resources to stay in the hunt. ‘We certainly intend to ride this out until Iowa,’ said Michael Hopkins, the Delaney campaign’s national press secretary. “Unlike other candidates, we have the finances to support ourselves.’ The goal is slightly less ambitious than what Delaney had in mind much earlier in the race. … Delaney is currently polling at 0.4% in national Democratic polling, according to a RealClearPolitics average.”

DCCC CHIEF TRIES TO QUELL DIVERSITY UPROAR
Politico: “Rep. Cheri Bustos, chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm, is trying to hit the reset button after a tumultuous month – hoping to convince frustrated black and Latino lawmakers that she is taking diversity seriously while maintaining her focus on holding the House. Bustos (D-Ill.) notified members on Thursday of a new advisory council that will conduct the search for an executive director, following a massive senior staff shakeup from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in late July. The move, which comes after two Politico reports detailing the unrest within the caucus over the lack of diversity in the committee’s senior ranks, is intended to further underscore her commitment to reshaping the upper echelons of the campaign arm. Twelve Democratic lawmakers and five technical experts with former experience working at the campaign arm will sit on the council, according to a letter from Bustos obtained by Politico. Bustos and her top aide have held repeated phone calls with lawmakers on the issue.”

Latinos for Trump gets a rocky start – Miami Herald: “In June, one day before the Democratic presidential candidates debated for the first time in Miami, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and Vice President Mike Pence stood before a boisterous crowd in a hotel a few miles from the debate site and announced that together they would lead a new Hispanic outreach effort for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Pence was the headliner. But if Latinos for Trump is to be a functioning arm of Trump Victory, then Nuñez, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, will be the face of the 2020 effort. … Nearly two months later, Florida’s first female Hispanic lieutenant governor is just beginning to take on the role, defending the president’s move to curtail immigration and blasting critics who say he encouraged the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso by warning repeatedly of an immigrant ‘invasion.’”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Rep. Rashida Tlaib will not go to Israel after all – Detroit Free Press

AUDIBLE: HEY, BIG GUY 
“The Tallman” – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s name for himself as revealed in emails obtained by a local news outlet, The City, showing de Blasio used a private email account for public business.

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend, Dana Perino [!!!!!] will be sitting in for Mr. Sunday. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET. 

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

HOLD ON, LET ME GET MY ALLIGATOR
CBS Miami: “Move over Florida man, a Florida woman who pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants during a traffic stop has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to four charges. Florida prosecutors say a Charlotte County sheriff’s deputy stopped a pickup truck in May after it ran a stop sign. The driver, 22-year-old driver Michael Clemons, told the deputy he and his 25-year-old passenger, Ariel Machan-Le Quire, were collecting frogs and snakes under an overpass. He gave the deputy permission to search bags in the truck. When the deputy found 41 3-stripe turtles in a ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’ backpack, he asked if Machan-Le Quire had anything else. She pulled the 1-foot gator from her pants. Officials say the Clemons case is pending.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The Korea crisis is real and growing. But we are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in The Washington Post, April 20, 2017.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Liz Friden contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073421813001_6073420897001-vs By the time we got to Woodstock… fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 610d737a-915c-54b0-a4a2-55cdd1f77e8f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073421813001_6073420897001-vs By the time we got to Woodstock… fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 610d737a-915c-54b0-a4a2-55cdd1f77e8f

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Migrant Kids Separated At Border Faced Abuse In Foster Homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — This story is part of an ongoing joint investigation between The Associated Press and the PBS series FRONTLINE on the treatment of migrant children, which includes an upcoming film.

Dozens of families separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy are preparing to sue the federal government, including several who say their young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care.

A review of 38 legal claims obtained by The Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages. More than 3,000 migrant children were taken from their parents at the border in recent years and many more lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions.

The families — some in the U.S., others already deported to Central America — are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms. They’re making claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a precursor to filing lawsuits. The FTCA allows individuals who suffer harm as a direct result of federal employees to sue the government.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Erik Walsh, an attorney at Arnold & Porter, which has one of the world’s leading pro bono programs.

The firm has so far filed 18 claims on behalf of nine families, totaling $54 million, and Walsh says dozens more are likely.

The government has six months to settle FTCA claims from the time they’re filed. After that, the claimants are free to file federal lawsuits.

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security, both named in the claims, did not respond to requests for comment.

Health and Human Services — the agency responsible for the care of migrant children — said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but that it treats children with dignity and respect.

Last year, HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement cared for nearly 50,000 children who crossed the border by themselves, as well as children who were separated from their families under the zero tolerance policy.

The agency housed them in foster programs, residential shelters and detention camps around the country, sometimes making daily placements of as many as 500 new arrivals, from babies to teens.

The allegations of abuse and assaults in foster care raise fresh questions about the government’s efforts to place younger children with families in lieu of larger shelters and packed detention facilities.

The legal claims, a recent federal court filing and HHS documents released by Congress earlier this year allege that children have suffered serious emotional trauma after being physically harmed or fondled by other children while in foster care.

Six of the claims for damages involve children who were in foster care. And one recent court filing refers to a migrant child being abused in foster care.

The records released by Congress show the Office of Refugee Resettlement referred at least seven foster care allegations of sexual abuse to the Justice Department in 2017 and 2018. Because some are anonymous to protect the children’s privacy, it’s unclear if some of the claims are duplicates.

Justice has not responded to repeated queries about those cases from members of Congress.

Westlake Legal Group 5d56d36f2400003500b8d310 Migrant Kids Separated At Border Faced Abuse In Foster Homes

ASSOCIATED PRESS A police officer stands outside Cayuga Centers, where three incidents involving physical harm allegedly took place, according to legal filings.

Three of the four incidents involving physical harm outlined in the FTCA claims occurred at Cayuga Centers in New York, the largest foster care placement for migrant children, housing up to 900 babies and children at a time.

In a statement on Friday, Cayuga Centers said it takes the safety of children in its care seriously and reports allegations of abuse to the proper local, state and federal authorities, including the New York State Office of Children Services, the New York Police Department and Office for Refugee Resettlement.

“Child protection is our number one priority. If a concern is raised about child safety in a foster home, it is investigated immediately. Our staff are all mandated reporters,” the group said.” Children are removed from a foster home immediately when an allegation is raised and if necessary, a foster home would be suspended until cleared following a thorough investigation.”

One Guatemalan mother whose 5-year-old daughter was placed in Cayuga last year says her little girl still wakes up crying from what she endured at the foster home.

“Now she’s scared each time we go out or when she sees a police car or someone in uniform,” said the mother, who has filed a $6 million claim. “She says ‘Mami, don’t let them separate us again.’”

Families who spoke to the AP and FRONTLINE did so on the condition of anonymity over fears about their safety.

Another 5-year-old Guatemalan girl said a boy grabbed her chest and touched her inappropriately, both in her foster home and during daytime classes at a Safe Haven for Children New York foster program, according to a $3 million injury claim. The girl was moved to a new foster home but suffered verbal abuse from her foster parent’s mother, who called her names and locked her alone in rooms as punishment, according to the claim.

A spokesman for Lutheran Social Services of New York, which oversees the Safe Haven foster program, declined to comment.

Two claims blame the government for wrongful deaths: one, seeking $20 million, was filed by the wife of a Honduran father who killed himself in a padded cell after officers pulled his 3-year-old son from his arms.

“The people making these policies intended this level of suffering, and that’s what’s unconscionable,” said John Escamilla, who is representing the man’s wife and two children.

He said he plans to file a federal lawsuit stemming from his FTCA claim as soon as Friday.

The government has not settled any family separation cases in the administrative claims stage. But one federal lawsuit is currently in litigation in Massachusetts, and in February, a judge approved a $125,000 settlement for a Honduran mom and her son, then 6, who had been detained for four months and threatened with separation under the Obama administration.

Aseem Mehta, a law student at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School who worked on the case, said the settlement — the first of its kind — sends a clear message that such claims have legal standing.

“Our case is a benchmark,” Mehta said. “The most important take away is these claims are viable, and courts will entertain them, and the Department of Homeland Security views them as meritorious; they don’t settle cases unless they think there’s liability they’re exposed to.”

Janet Napolitano, who led Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, said she recalled a number of tort claims were filed against the agency in her time but said family separations were rare. The Trump administration’s failure to swiftly reunify families and children may have left the agency open to lawsuits, she added.

“There very well may be some vulnerability there,” said Napolitano, now the president of the University of California.

Daffodil J. Altan of FRONTLINE contributed to this report.

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