Monday, August 19, 2013
TENNESSEE CHILD DIES, PARTLY BECAUSE OF DCS COMPUTER PROBLEMS
A Chattanooga couple accused of child abuse and murder return to court today in a case that sheds new light on how computer problems within the Department of Children’s Services have affected the ability of caseworkers to protect children.
Four-year-old Ty’Reke Evans died Dec. 19, 2011, after suffering multiple blunt force injuries, including rib fractures, brain swelling, and bruises and welts that a physician said were consistent with being beaten by a belt. An autopsy also noted internal organ damage a week to 10 days old.
His then-3-year-old brother was admitted to the hospital on the same day Ty’Reke died with similar injuries. But the younger child survived.
Prosecutors believe both boys were victims of their mother, Patricia Brewer, 25, and her live-in boyfriend, Kenneth Coleman, 23, who each face two counts of aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect and one count of felony murder, records show.
In the weeks before the child’s death, at least three claims of child abuse were called into DCS by family and educators, including one report from staff at a preschool reporting bruises on Ty’Reke and saying the “situation is escalating.”
But in a mix-up that DCS staff later blamed on the agency’s computer system, supervisors assigned the first child abuse report on Nov. 11 to one caseworker while two more reports of child abuse — on Dec. 7 and again on Dec. 8 — were assigned to another caseworker.
“The case managers with the open case didn’t know each other had a case,” DCS records note, describing “technical challenges” with Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System, also called TFACTS, the department’s comprehensive data system.
Neither caseworker knew of the extent of the allegations involving the boys. One caseworker thought the family had only one child, not two.
CANINE HELPS CATCH PHARMACY ROBBERY SUSPECT
It's so good to be able to report, first thing, that a couple of guys who robbed a local drug store to get dope got caught this weekend. It happened yesterday in Madison, Tennessee. Police say 27-year-old John Stewart held a gun on two Rite Aid store clerks, stole 14-thousand pills and 500 dollars, but got caught shortly after with help from a police dog. He also has minor injuries from the capture. The driver of the getaway car, 26-year-old Matthew Crisman, was also caught.
NASHVILLE RESTAURANT WEEK STARTS
Nashville Restaurant Week kicks off today. More than 30 locally own restaurants are offering special discounts through Sunday.... to encourage you to eat more at locally-owned business. You can see which restaurants are participating, at www.nashvilleoriginals.com
WHAT'S BETTER THAN CROSSWORDS FOR KEEPING SHARP?
Doing crossword puzzles and listening to classical music might improve your concentration momentarily, but they don't actually make you any smarter or improve long-term brain function. Nicholas Spitzer, a professor of neuroscience at the University of California and editor-in-chief of BrainFacts.org, says the so-called "Mozart Effect" is purely a myth. What Spitzer says DOES improve brain function: exercise and exposure to sunlight.
VANDY RAPE ARRESTS
There have now been 7 arrests in the Vanderbilt Rape case. Three more men were indicted over the weekend... their charges involved trying to help cover up the rape of an unconscious woman on campus June 23rd.
EUROPEAN NATIONS MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS SITUATION IN EUROPE
Senior officials from all 28 European Union member nations are expected to meet today to discuss the crisis in Egypt. Their meeting comes after a week of violence that's left more than 800 people dead and thousands more injured.
CHEMICALS THAT MAY INCREASE KIDS' RISK OF OBESITY AND DIABETES
A new study shows two chemicals in food packaging may raise your child's risk of becoming obese or developing diabetes... both potentially deadly health situations. The research shows that phthalates [[ THAL-ates ]] -- which are often used to soften plastic bottles-- can also make TEENAGERS more prone to insulin resistance... which can lead to diabetes.
FORMER MARINE WANTS MTSU FOOTBALL SPOT
A former Marine is fighting for his right to play football at MTSU. Steven Rhodes is a freshman at the school, but because of a technicality in NCAA rules, has been told he can't play. It's because he played recreational football while he served our country...The NCAA classifies that as organized competition.
WILSON COUNTY FAIR …
The Wilson County fair is underway and, judging by attendance so far, it could set some records. There were at least 46 thousand people at the fair Friday night, and 103-thousand Saturday night. If you go tonight, don't forget to check out the Racing Pigs and petting zoo, the fairest of the fair competition and the hypnotist that everybody's talking about. Fair organizers say the Music City Star train taking people to and from the fair on Saturday... and the additional fair entrance seemed to help traffic flow better.
RUTHERFORD COUNTY ONE OF TOP IN COUNTRY TO FIND WORK
Rutherford County has been recognized as one of the top places in the country to find work. CNN Money magazine puts Rutherford County at number eleven on its list of top 25 places to find a job, with almost 5,300 new jobs created there in just the last year. Sumner County was ranked at 18th.
PART OF MTSU WITHOUT POWER TODAY
Part of the MTSU campus will be without power today. 19 buildings are without electricity while utility crews finish an underground project.
GOLD MEDALIST WILL STAND TRIAL FOR MURDER
Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius will stand trial for the death of his girlfriend. The 26-year old South African track star has been formally indicted on murder charges in the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp. His trial is scheduled to start next spring. (March 3rd.)
SOUTH NASHVILLE ALL STARS ADVANCING
The South Nashville All Stars are advancing in the Little League World Series. They beat Corpus Christie on Saturday, and will play again this afternoon. You can see it on ESPN . (The South Nashville All Stars play again today at 3 p.m.)
GOODLETSVILLE BALLPLAYERS IN THE RUNNING AGAIN
The Goodletsville All-Stars Little League team, who made it to the World series last year, are now in the JUNIOR league, and made it to the national championships this year. But, they lost this weekend. That means they're 2nd in the nation! Way to GO, Goodlettsville!
DUCKY DYNASTY STAR KICKED OUT OF HOTEL
Can you BLAME the hotel guy for this mistake? "Duck Dynasty" star Jase Robertson was in New York City promoting his show when he says he was temporarily kicked out of his ritzy hotel. Apparently because of Jase's long, scraggly beard and VERY casual clothing, a hotel employee thought he was a homeless person.... ( "I asked where the bathroom was and he said, 'Right this way, sir.' He was very nice, he walked me outside, pointed down the road and said, 'Good luck.'") Jase called it "facial profiling."
WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY
The United Nations marks World Humanitarian Day today by turning to social media to help raise money for humanitarian causes. With the slogan "The World Needs More" as a backdrop, the humanitarian campaign is partnering with entertainers and corporations to raise money on social media such as Twitter.
SYMPHONY, MUSICIANS REACH DEAL
The Nashville Symphony Association has reached a tentative contract deal with the musicians union. The most recent contract expired on August 1st. No details will be released about the agreement until it has been ratified by the members of the orchestra.
LOHAN'S OPRAH INTERVIEW
Lindsay Lohan says she's through "fighting" professionals' advice after her sixth stint in rehab. The actress told Oprah Winfrey last night that she was "exhausted by the chaos" that her life had become. Lohan admitted to being addicted to alcohol, and using other substances including cocaine.
ARE YOU ALREADY BUYING FOR CHRISTMAS? 1-IN-3 HAVE
Are you already buying Christmas gifts and decorations? Many stores already have their displays up, and a survey finds one in three of us have already bought something Christmas-related. Most of the purchases were in-store, possibly impulse buys.
HACKER POSTS ON ZUCKERBERG'S PAGE TO SHOW FACEBOOK WEAKNESS
A Palestinian information system expert calling himself Khalil tried to alert Facebook to a fairly significant glitch that allows any user to post on the wall of another, whether they're friends or not. That sort of tip is usually worth a $500 reward, but all Khalil got after two tries was the kiss-off, "Sorry, this is not a bug." So he made his case in a more public forum: He used the loophole to hack into Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's page. That got Khalil's own account frozen while the techies scrambled to patch the vulnerability. Now the security team won't pay the reward because it says Khalil violated protocol. But they have restored his account, and expressed hope that he would keep checking their work.
There are lots of birthdays today! Former President Bill Clinton is 67, Major Dad, Gerald McRaney is 66, Tipper Gore is 65... Actor/director Jonathan Frakes is 61... . (Born 1952) He's best known for the character Commander William Riker on the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
Actor Peter Gallagher is 58. (Born 1955) His credits include the TV series "The O.C." and the movies "Mr. Deeds," "American Beauty," "To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday," and "Sex, Lies, and Videotapes."
Actor John Stamos is 50. (Born 1963) He has starred in several television shows including "ER" "Jake in Progress," "Full House," and "General Hospital."
Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 48. (Born 1965) Her credits include the TV series "The Closer" and the films "The Possession," "Secondhand Lions," "Phenomenon," and "Born on the Fourth of July." She is married to actor Kevin Bacon.
Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 47. (Born 1966)
Actor Matthew Perry is 44. (Born 1969) His credits include the TV shows "Friends," "Mr. Sunshine," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and the movies "17 Again," "Serving Sara," "The Whole Nine Yards," "The Whole Ten Yards," and "Fools Rush In."
Producer Gene Roddenberry. (Born 1921) He created the television series "Star Trek."