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African-American children are over four times more likely than Caucasian children to be placed in out-of-home care.
Michigan CPS News Archive
Michigan News Coverage
Homeschooling Family Started Making Short Films for Fun Until That Playful Hobby Turned Into Something Far Bigger
A decade ago, Aaron and Chad Burns joined other members of their family in making short films just for the fun of it, but that hobby has now turned into something far greater, as the cousins are just days from seeing their feature film.
Both from homeschooling families, Aaron, 27, who grew up in Michigan, and Chad, 32, who was raised in Illinois, recently told TheBlaze about how their immediate families would get together for Christmas and summer break during their younger years.
April 1, 2015
Bodies of beaten children found in deep freezer
A brother and sister whose bodies were found in a deep freezer in their Detroit home had been beaten to death, autopsies determined Friday, painting a more complete picture of the horrors that unfolded inside the home for years.
Their older sister, who is 17, told child welfare officials that their mother, Mitchelle Blair, tortured Stephen "for approximately two weeks prior to his death by tying a belt around his neck, throwing hot water on him while in the shower and putting a plastic bag over his head." The girl and Blair's other surviving child, an 8-year-old boy, have been placed in the care of a relative.
March 28, 2015
Store clerks help rescue children from fire
Clerks at the J and H Mobile Gas Station in Blendon Township say they acted on instinct. "We just went into automatic," explains clerk Sue Adams.
The 2 employees were just ending their shift when the 11 year old who lives next door came running into the store Friday afternoon. In a panic, he told the staff his house was on fire and some of his 3 young siblings between ages 4 and 11 were still inside.
March 27, 2015
Autopsies Determine Children Found In Freezer Were Slain
Autopsies have determined that two children found dead in a freezer in their Detroit home were beaten to death, with the youngest child also suffering "thermal injuries."
The Wayne County medical examiner's office released the autopsy results Friday on Stoni Blair and her brother, Stephen Berry. It says both deaths were homicides. The children's mother, Mitchelle Blair, was arrested Tuesday after court officers found the bodies while conducting an eviction at her home. She is charged with child abuse but prosecutors said they may charge her with murder.
March 27, 2015
Detroit police chief to media on case of bodies found in freezer: 'Respect the two living children'
Detroit Police Chief James Craig revealed more details related to the case of two children found in a Detroit's woman's freezer about 11 a.m. Tuesday
Because it is an active investigation, "I will not be discussing specifics or taking questions this morning," Craig said. "Our homicide team continues to work diligently to bring some closure to the families and friends."
March 25, 2015
CPS: Mom hid child, refuses to cooperate
A Livingston County mother whose husband is facing prison for abusing their daughter is accused of hiding the 1-year-old from Child Protective Services.
The prosecution says that following that incident, Naomi suffered seizures, hypothermia, hypotension, bradycardia, apnea and retinal hemorrhages, which led to multiple visits to the emergency room. However, multiple doctors who testified for the defense reviewed Naomi's medical records and concluded her medical issues were the result of birth trauma and not child abuse.
March 7, 2015
Woman sentenced to 60 to 160 years in prison for helping husband sexually assault their 3-year-old daughter
A woman convicted of five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for helping her husband sexually assault their 3-year-old daughter will not be eligible for parole until she is about 97 years old.
On Wednesday, Jan. 7, Jackson County Circuit Judge John G. McBain sentenced the woman to 30 to 80 years in prison on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct that he ordered to be served consecutively.
January 8, 2015
Chicken fight ruffles feathers in Tawas City
Meet Michigan's foulest criminals. They're chickens, but not your ordinary poultry. These nine hens are threatening to topple the government of this northern Michigan hamlet.
A young couple's attempt to raise chickens led to their arrest, the resignation of the mayor and city manager, the possible recall of two City Council members, a Michigan State Police investigation and endless chicken jokes. When Mayor Kane Kelly tried to help the couple, he was pressured to resign during a meeting that may have violated the state's open meetings law.
October 21, 2014
Politics and Prejudices: Michigan's child-care system is an utter disgrace - and it's only getting worse
Half a century ago, I went to a poor, blue-collar public school system where many of the daddies worked in the plants. College degrees of any kind were a rarity. Layoffs were not. Yet so far as I can remember...
Virtually every time the school board asked voters for a millage, they said yes. Not that anyone wanted to pay more taxes on their tiny little homes. No, our parents, by and large, wanted us to have a better life than they did. Those were the good old days. Today, we, or at least our lawmakers, don't seem to care.
September 17, 2014
Changing marijuana laws forcing judges, child protection services to re-examine endangerment
A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child-protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.
And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother's hemp advocacy at school. While the cases were eventually decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become a piece of evidence in child custody or abuse cases.
June 19, 2014
Forget universal preschool. We need a 13th grade.
In education circles, universal preschool is hot. But it's only half the answer. If we really want to raise a generation of employable kids, we need universal 13th and 14th grades too.
As taxpayers, we've decided to subsidize the education of every American child between the ages of 5 and 18. But current education funding structures reflect a bygone industrial age, when a high school diploma met or in some cases exceeded the needs of the local and national economies. Now, neither preschool nor college is a luxury, and families shouldn't have to pay for the schooling that keeps society running.
June 12, 2014
Child Council to host workshop
The Cheboygan County Child Advocacy Council will present a workshop for parents, educators, clergy and caregivers at the Cheboygan Area Public Library Monday, May 19 at 6 p.m.
Mandated reporting will be discussed at the workshop. Under Michigan Child Protection Laws, certain people are required to report their suspicions of child abuse or neglect to Children's Protective Services at the Department of Human Services.
May 14, 2014
Michigan Loses 'Right To Farm' This Week: A Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers
Michigan residents lost their "right to farm" this week thanks to a new ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live, the changes "effectively remove Right to Farm."
"Farm Bureau has become another special interest beholden to big business and out of touch with small farmers, and constitutional and property rights of the little guy," Pine Hallow Farms wrote to the Michigan Small Farm Council. The Michigan Farm Bureau endorsed the new regulatory changes. Matthew Kapp, government relations specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau, told MLive that the members weighed in and felt that people raising livestock need to conform to local zoning ordinances.
May 5, 2014
Spanking Still More Common Then You Think
Spanking young children is still relatively common, according to a University of Michigan study.
U of M social work professors Shawna Lee and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor conducted the study that found 30 percent of 1 year old children born in urban areas were spanked at least once in a month long period by their mother, father, or both parents.
March 20, 2014
CPS: Burns covered fifth of Elijah Dillard's body, sister bore signs of past abuse
The Saginaw boy who died March 1 had burns covering a fifth of his body, reveals a neglect/abuse petition that asserts Elijah Dillard's 7-year-old sister also bore the marks of past burns and bruises.
The children's mother, Mio Campbell, told authorities that she tried to intervene in abuse against the siblings by her husband, Aki Dillard, and was threatened, states a neglect/abuse petition filed Feb. 28, the day after Elijah was removed from their home in cardiac arrest. She also reported she too was a victim of abuse and intimidation.
March 12, 2014
North Central Michigan College offers scholarship to homeschool graduating senior
North Central Michigan College provides a Presidential Scholarship to one graduating senior from a home school within its service area.
Presidential Scholarships are offered for full tuition (up to 18 contact hours per semester) and mandatory fees for four consecutive semesters (fall and winter only). Field study fees are not included. Scholarship recipients must register for the fall semester immediately following their spring high school graduation.
March 12, 2014
Muskegon's chief assistant prosecutor: Baby boy suffered 'life threatening' injuries, neglect allegedly from parents
A 3-month-old child is hospitalized for what prosecutors say are 'life threatening' injuries and neglect that allegedly occurred at the hands of the child's parents.
The parents - Kevin Lee Bastian, 25, and Randee Andrienne Bastian, 27 - have been both charged with child abuse. The child is under the care of Child Protective Services at this time. He was being treated at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, authorities said.
March 3, 2014
Mother cited for child neglect
A 28-year-old Canton woman was cited for child neglect and police reported her to Child Protective Services after receiving reports involving her son and daughter, ages 3.
Police went to Trails Court, southwest of Joy and Sheldon roads, after a passerby reporting seeing the boy riding his bike in a street while wearing no pants or underwear, a police report said. Neither the boy nor the girl was wearing shoes in cold, Nov. 30 temperatures, the report said.
December 5, 2013
Child advocacy expert: Child Protective Services likely did all it could in Farrey case
Jackson Farrey's mom, has not yet left the Michigan jail where she and her husband, Jeff Farrey, were held as investigators searched for Jackson Farrey's body in the southern New Mexico desert.
The answer is not much more could have been done. As KFOX 14 first reported on Monday, 20-year-old Jenna Farrey has a history on child endangerment and abandonment charges. And child protective officials say she successfully completed the necessary steps from June 2012 until May 2013.
November 22, 2013
Report shows improvements in Mich. child welfare
The court-appointed monitors report shows that the agency is meeting and exceeding caseload standards, the department said. It said the report also credits the agency with ensuring timely health and dental exams.
Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said a number of problems cited in the report have already been remedied. "We have made a strong effort to meet the standards as laid out in this report," Corrigan said in a statement. "We are also doing standout work with our partners in areas not directly reflected by this or other ... reports, as we continue critical reform of child welfare in Michigan."
October 9, 2013
Sixth Circuit: Social Workers entitled to qualified immunity because law not sufficiently clear
The plaintiff, a mother, sued Michigan Child Protective Services and the Michigan Department of Human Services arising from an incident where her son, Nicholas, was killed by the father of their child.
The key to understanding this case is understanding "qualified immunity." In theory at least, qualified immunity is supposed to allow government workers to make decisions without the fear of being sued. The district court held that the social workers were not entitled to qualified immunity. The Sixth Circuit disagreed and reversed the Western District of Michigan, finding that all of the claims should be dismissed.
October 3, 2013
Michigan drug war victims: The Green family
On Monday, Steve and Maria Green - both medical marijuana patients - go before a jury trial in Ingham County Probate Court in an attempt to regain custody of their 7-month-old daughter, Brielle.
She was removed from the Greens' home by Child Protective Services last month because marijuana was being grown, legally, in the home. Charmie Gholson is the founder of Michigan Moms United. The drug war is an abysmal, abject failure. We've poured a trillion dollars down the rat hole since 1971 in a failed attempt to eradicate drugs from society. The effect has been the exact opposite. We haven't slowed the flow of drugs into society. Arresting people for manufacturing, distributing and consuming drugs has filled our prisons and clogged our judicial system, prevented people from obtaining education, housing and employment, escalated police corruption and black market violence surrounding drugs, and it has done absolutely nothing to save lives or prevent illness and death. What does this have to do with the Green family?
October 2, 2013
Infant Removed from Home, Parents Over Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana dispensaries have been raided and shuttered with such regularity in recent years that they spark only the occasional protest. But when Michigan's Children's Protective Services took 6-month-old Brielle "Bree".
Several organizations gathered this month to support parents Gordon "Steve" and Maria Green, and to protest Bree's removal. Charmie Gholson, founder of Michigan Moms United, told the Lansing State Journal the Greens are "good, loving parents" who aren't being protected by a medical marijuana provision designed to prevent families from being broken up over state-sanctioned marijuana use.
September 30, 2013
UPDATE: Child to Stay with Grandmother in Medical Marijuana Hearing
A judge Friday ruled there was probable cause that a Lansing family broke the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, putting their five children in danger.
Judge Richard Garcia said it was too soon to "get a grip" on the case, but upheld a referee's decision to keep an infant child in the custody of her grandmother and out of her parents' house. "I haven't found this based on the preponderance of the evidence," he said. "It may be untrue, but as far as the purpose of today's hearing, I do find probable cause exists regarding these statements."
September 21, 2013
State agency recommends terminating Jonetta Woods' parental rights; decision expected in December
Jonetta Woods will have more parenting time with her 5-year-old daughter before she faces a hearing in December that will determine if she will permanently lose custody.
The hearing came several months after a family court jury found that Woods, 25, and her former boyfriend, Fred Glespie, 19, were neglectful on Feb. 18 when 1-year-old Ty'onna Henderson and 3-year-old twins Tevin and Te'Niyah Williams were killed in the fire. A caseworker said Thursday that the recommendation from DHS to terminate Woods' parental rights was based on reports by Dr. Jim Henry, of the children's trauma assessment center, and psychologist Dr. Randall Haugen.
September 20, 2013
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