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Study: Texas Foster Care System has High Teen Pregnancy Rate

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By Public News Service Study: Texas Foster Care System has High Teen Pregnancy Rate AUSTIN, Texas – Teen girls in Texas foster care are almost five times more likely to become pregnant than other teens, according to a new study.

The “Fostering Healthy Texas Lives” report says the high pregnancy rate is jeopardizing teens’ health and education and puts them at high risk of having their baby removed by Child Protective Services.

Kate Murphy, senior child welfare policy associate at Texans Care for Children, says their research discovered several factors that put young girls in foster care at a higher risk.
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Source:: Texas News Service


Nanny accused of stabbing 2 children to death: Lawyers give closing arguments of intent vs. insanity

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — It will soon be up to a New York City jury to decide if a nanny accused of stabbing two young children to death is guilty of murder or not guilty by reason of insanity.

Yoselyn Ortega is accused of killing 6-year-old Lulu Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim at the Krim family’s idyllic Upper West Side apartment on Oct. 25, 2012.

Ortega, who worked for the parents Marina and Kevin Krim for two years, was charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Kevin Krim was in the courtroom as prosecutor Stuart Silberg gave his closing arguments today.

In the Krims’ bathroom that day, Lulu, the first to be attacked, “twisted and turned and did everything possible” to stay away from the point of the knife, Silberg said. But Ortega was “determined to end her life” and cut her throat, Silberg said. Lulu suffered about 30 different stab and slashes, prosecutors said.

Then Ortega allegedly targeted 2-year-old Leo.

“From the attack on Lulu, she had learned that if she comes at the child from the front with the knife, she’s going to end up in a death struggle,” Silberg said. “So this time, having learned what it takes to more efficiently kill a 2-year-old, wanting to cut his throat, the better way to do it … is to come from behind.”

Silberg said Ortega “put the knife into his neck… so deep that it almost reached his spine.”

After the children’s mother came home, Ortega plunged a knife into her own throat.

Silberg argued Ortega had a “purposeful, intentional” plan and a “full understanding of the nature and consequences of her actions.”

Silberg said some of Ortega’s actions earlier that day prove the crime was premeditated and that she had planned to not come home: 1. Silberg said Ortega left a purse with family heirlooms in her son’s bedroom; 2. Silberg said Ortega left an envelope with identification and insurance papers for her sister; 3. Ortega allegedly told her sister to raise her son well, he said.

But defense attorney Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg said in closing arguments today that Ortega is mentally ill and was “suffering from severe psychosis” and “dissociation” the day of the killings.

Van Leer-Greenberg said her client — who had no prior criminal record and did not use drugs — had “no agenda.”

Van Leer-Greenberg argued “her mind and her body separated” and she “lacked the capacity to form intent.”

Van Leer-Greenberg argued Ortega was “slowly disintegrating” but “kept it inside,” because she didn’t want to lose the babysitting job.

The defense attorney also claimed Ortega “loved” the Krim family, adding that “love is shown in many different ways.”

Van Leer-Greenberg said the birthdays of the Krim family members were marked in Ortega’s calendar, which she called “a manifestation of care and love.”

“The tumble into mental illness … can sometimes look like no change at all,” Van Leer-Greenberg said. “Mental leakage or collapse does not announce itself like a bad cough or a constant limp. Sometimes it sneaks up and nestles deep within before anyone else takes notice.

“Though her family knew well of her moods, depression and headaches,” Van Leer-Greenberg said of Ortega, “the defense has proven that her family underestimated” the “strength” of her “demons.”

Silberg, however, said mental illness alone doesn’t excuse responsibility for murder and said Ortega was not in a mental state that would excuse her conduct.

After Ortega repeatedly slashed and stabbed the children in the bathroom, she carefully laid their bodies down, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Groves said in opening statements last month.

When Marina Krim came home after taking her then-3-year-old daughter, Nessie, to a swim class, she opened the bathroom door and found “the bloodied, lifeless bodies of her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son … their eyes open, covered in blood,” Groves said.

Ortega, who was standing in the bathroom, then stabbed herself in the neck, according to Groves.

Marina Krim grabbed Nessie and ran out of the apartment and the doorman called 911, prosecutors said. Marina Krim, who testified for the prosecution, said that moment she was screaming uncontrollably and saying, “I just saw my kids dead.”

“I was destroyed,” Marina Krim said on the stand. “She killed my best friends.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Cosby accuser says she settled civil suit because she 'wanted to get it over with'

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iStock/Thinkstock(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — Bill Cosby’s primary accuser endured a cross-examination in which the comedian’s lead attorney tried to brand her sneaky, unethical and money-hungry.

But when Andrea Constand finished her testimony Monday, she left the witness stand in Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pennsylvania, with her head held high, having answered defense attorney Tom Mesereau’s most pointed question: Why did she settle a civil case against Cosby for $3.38 million?

“I just wanted to get it over with,” she testified. “It tore me and my family apart and we just wanted to get it over with.”

During four hours of questioning Constand over two days, Mesereau struggled to solicit any answers that solidly supported claims he made in his opening argument that she was a “con artist” who targeted a “lonely man” with false accusations of sexual assault.

Cosby is being retried on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. His first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury failed to reach a verdict.

The 80-year-old Cosby, who has been married to his wife, Camille, for more than 53 years, has adamantly denied the accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted numerous women, including six who have now testified in his retrial.

As she did in the first trial, Constand, 44, took the witness stand for the prosecution.

Constand — former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was a trustee — began her testimony on Friday, detailing how Cosby gave her three blue pills and led her to believe they were homeopathic remedies to “take the edge off.”

She said she began to get dizzy and started feeling sick and seeing double. She said Cosby led her to a couch in his suburban Philadelphia home and sexually assaulted her.

When Constand’s testimony resumed on Monday, Mesereau grilled her about the settlement in her civil suit against Cosby. He suggested her testimony violated a provision in the settlement.

But according to a close reading of the contract language highlighted in subsequent questioning by prosecutor Kristen Feden, Constand’s testimony did not appear to have violated the agreement.

The settlement provision, posted on a video screen in the courtroom, stipulates that Constand can’t share information about Cosby “except if … pursuant to a criminal investigation by a state or federal authority in the U.S. or Canada, or in response to a valid subpoena.”

When Mesereau asked her why she would agree to a civil settlement that included no admission of wrongdoing by the comedian and then come to court to testify against him, she said she was trying to protect her family.

Mesereau also suggested that Constand had participated in a $65-per-person “pyramid” scheme in college, a line of questioning that fell flat. She responded that as far as she knew it was not a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

She said she was simply doing a favor by cutting and pasting a form letter sent to her by a friend. Asked how many people she sent the email to, she said she sent it to one person.

Constand acknowledged that she had been in Cosby’s hotel room at the Foxwood Resort Casino in Connecticut late one night.

“Did you think it appropriate that you be in a married man’s room in a hotel in Connecticut at [about 11 p.m at] night?” Mesereau asked.

Constand replied that she was summoned to the room by the comedian to get some “baked goods that Mr. Cosby wanted to give me.” She said she left the room within 10 minutes.

Mesereau also set the stage for his star defense witness, a former Temple University colleague of Constand named Marguerite “Margo” Jackson. Jackson will testify for the defense at this trial after she was not allowed to in the first trial when a judge ruled that what she said in an affidavit was hearsay.

Jackson claimed she once heard Constand muse about framing a powerful person for money, when the pair were rooming together during a travel game for the Temple University women’s basketball team, according to her court affidavit. Constand denies Jackson’s claim.

The defense claims they roomed together at least six times. But while testifying on Monday, Constand said she had never roomed with Jackson.

On Monday afternoon, Constand’s mother, Gianna, testified that when her daughter returned to Canada from Temple University, she seemed “dislocated from the family, seeming like she was in her own world.”

“We noticed that she was very depressed, that she wasn’t interacting with any of her friends,” she said.

“During the night we would hear her screaming,” Gianna added. “She would be screaming for help…. She would wake up sweating. I knew something was wrong but I could not put my finger on it.”

When Constand told her mother about the alleged attack at Cosby’s house, Gianna said she called him and the pair talked for more than two hours.

The elder Constand said she was furious with the entertainer.

In one visceral moment, Gianna testified that when she got Cosby on the phone to confront him about allegedly assaulting her daughter, “I was so angry that I broke like every capillary in my eyes … my eyes were like two pools of blood.”

If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three felony counts.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Video shows wanted woman in double murder talking to alleged victim before killing, police say

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Dodge County Sheriff’s Office(FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.) — Authorities in Florida released surveillance video on Monday that, they say, shows a Minnesota grandmother wanted in two killings smiling and chatting up one of her alleged victims in a bar.

Sgt. Anita Iriarte of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida told ABC News the footage from the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery showed suspect Lois Riess, 56, wearing a light-blue shirt and with white-gray hair, talking to Pamela Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, 59, was found fatally shot at her motel April 9, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Her cash, credit cards, identification and white Acura had been stolen, police said. Police said the video was taken on April 5, 2018, at 5:40 p.m. in Fort Myers.

Police also said surveillance images appeared to show Riess leaving the motel.

“Our suspect is absolutely armed and dangerous. … She may look like anyone’s grandmother or mother but behind that smile is a cold-blooded murderer,” Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno told ABC affiliate WZVN-TV.

This weekend, authorities kicked off a cross-country manhunt for Riess of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, whom they suspect of also shooting her husband, David, dead at their Minnesota home March 23 and then taking off in their car.

Marceno said Riess “loves casinos” and has a “gambling problem.”

Police said that after she allegedly killed her husband, Riess made a stop at an Iowa casino. Then the trail went cold for two weeks. She then made her way to Fort Myers, Florida, where, police said, she befriended Hutchinson.

Hutchinson looked like Riess, police said, and they allege Riess’ mode of operation was to befriend women before stealing their identity. Police in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, identified Riess as a suspect in Hutchinson’s death.

Police said Riess allegedly drove Hutchinson’s car to Corpus Christi, Texas, where it was last spotted. Marceno said she may be in Mexico.

“Our main fear is once her resources, once she diminishes all her resources, that she will be desperate and she will commit another act of violence,” he said. “We don’t want any more acts of violence or God forbid murder. … She’s on the run and we need to do everything we can to bring her to justice.”

Riess has three adult children and is a grandmother as well, according to Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose. She has no criminal record, according to authorities. She is now wanted for murder, grand theft auto and identity theft.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


"Night Court" star Harry Anderson dies at 65

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By Music News Group

Ron Galella/WireImage(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) — Actor Harry Anderson, best known as the star of the sitcom Night Court, died at the age of 65 on Monday morning in Asheville, North Carolina.

A statement from the Asheville Police Department reads, “This morning at 6:41 a.m. the Asheville Police Department responded to the home of actor Harry Anderson where he was found deceased. No foul play is suspected.”

Anderson, who was also a talented magician, got his start on television with a number of appearances on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s, as well as a recurring role as Harry “The Hat” Gittes on Cheers.

However, it was his starring role as Judge Harry T. Stone on NBC’s Night Court that made Anderson a household name. The series, which ran from 1984 through 1992, made up part of NBC’s “Must-See TV” Thursday night lineup that also included The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers.

Following Night Court, Anderson starred in the sitcom Dave’s World, in which he played Dave Barry, the Miami Herald columnist on whom the show was based. The series lasted four seasons on CBS.

Anderson kept a relatively low profile in the 21st century, occasionally appearing as a guest star on various TV shows, including a cameo as himself on 30 Rock in 2008.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, whom he married in 2000, and his two children from his first wife, Leslie Pollack.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News


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