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Despite more than a decade of intended reform, the nation's foster care system is still overcrowded and rife with problems. But taxpayers are spending $22 billion a year - or $40,000 a child, on foster care programs.
Nevada CPS News Archive
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Nevada News Coverage
Nevada County children helped with Structured Decision Making model
In order to provide the best possible service to families and ensure that children in Nevada County are always kept safe, Nevada County Child Protective Services uses an empirically, researched based assessment tool called Structured Decision Making.
SDM is used in 54 of the 58 counties in California as well as in 25 states. The SDM system assists CPS workers in meeting their goals to promote the ongoing safety and well-being of children by using structured assessments to improve the consistency and validity of each step in the assessment decision while ensuring accountability and quality controls are observed. The model consists of several assessments that help agencies work to reduce subsequent harm to children and to expedite permanency:
December 2, 2014
Clock is ticking on whether baby will be returned to biological parents
The clock is ticking on whether a baby boy will be returned to his biological parents.
The boy was removed at birth because of abuse his older sister sustained. JD Smith is the foster father for both children. Back in 2009, a court gave him custody of the girl. Court records show she suffered a fractured skull at five-weeks old.
October 2, 2014
Clark County sued by mother whose children suffered harm in foster care
The mother of a 17-month-old toddler and a 2-month-old baby who suffered neglect under the care of their foster parents is suing Clark County, several Clark County Department of Family Services' employees and the foster parents.
Former foster parents Andrea Hernandez, 38, and her husband, Waldo Hernandez, 40, were sentenced in March to five years of probation for failing to properly care for the two foster children last year. "Clark County (Department of Family Services) had guidelines for determining the appropriate priority of hotline calls, but failed to adequately train its hotline staff workers as to those guidelines," The complaint alleges.
July 6, 2014
St. Jude's worker accused, returned to work before new sex charges
A former employee of a Boulder City foster home faces sexual assault charges after he was investigated and cleared to return to work with minors, the Review-Journal has learned.
A criminal complaint against Aldrin Antonio West was filed May 21 at the Boulder City Justice Court. He faces one count of open or gross lewdness over allegations of masturbating in the presence of another employee, former child specialist Jodi Lynn Fennell. West also faces one count of open or gross lewdness in connection with allegations of touching Fennell's breast, according to a copy of the criminal complaint.
June 24, 2014
Longer stays, increasing population plague county emergency shelter for children
Abused and neglected children are staying longer and showing up in greater numbers at a Clark County-run emergency shelter, causing it to surpass its licensed capacity and raising concerns among child welfare advocates.
As of Tuesday, there were 56 children staying at the shelter on Pecos Road near Bonanza Road, according to Kristi Jourdan, Family Services spokeswoman. That number hit 83 in mid-April. The shelter's capacity is 56, according to Latisha Brown, a child care licensing program manager with the state Department of Health and Human Services. The average number of children at Child Haven is usually about 25. The county is working with the state to expand the shelter's capacity.
May 17, 2014
US senator joins critics of federal cattle roundup
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Republican U.S. senator added his voice Wednesday to critics of a federal cattle roundup fought by a Nevada rancher who claims longstanding grazing rights on remote public public rangeland about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans shouldn't be penalized by an "overreaching" agency. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval pointed earlier to what he called "an atmosphere of intimidation," resulting from the roundup and said he believed constitutional rights were being trampled.
April 10, 2014
Nevada rancher's land surrounded by heavily-armed federal agents, his cattle confiscated
After 20 years of battling the US government for use of his family's land, a Nevada rancher's "one-man range war" may soon end. The family says heavily-armed federal agents have surrounded the ranch as "trespass cattle" are removed from the disputed land.
Cliven Bundy - the "last rancher in Clark County, Nevada" - has since 1993 refused to pay fees to the federal government for the right to raise cattle on land his family has ranched since the 1870s, according to the Washington Free Beacon. After years of legal wrangling, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) attained a federal court order to have Bundy's nearly 1,000 head of cattle removed, according to the family. Bundy says the government is taking the task seriously, arming the agents with military-style weaponry.
April 10, 2014
Armed Fed Agents and Snipers? Nevada Racher Is Taking on the Gov't in a Battle That's Reaching a Breaking Point
Armed federal agents deployed last week to northeast Clark County, Nev., for what can only be described as a major escalation in a decades-long standoff between a local cattle rancher and the U.S. government.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management started taking cattle on Saturday from rancher Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn't recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. Cliven Bundy, the last remaining rancher in the southern Nevada county, stands in defiance of a 2013Â court order Â demanding that he remove his cattle from public land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management.
April 8, 2014
Airman Arrested for Child Abuse of His 3-Month-Old Baby
A Nellis Air Force Base airman is in custody on charges of child abuse with substantial bodily harm after police say he shook his 3-month-old baby boy.
Andrew Leach was arrested after his baby was taken to Sunrise Hospital on Feb. 2 in critical condition with severe head trauma. Leach told police that he had dropped the baby while giving him a bath, but the doctor who treated the child told police the injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
February 10, 2014
RENO: For Non-GMO month, we have completed our in-store audit; a huge thanks to all you HOOs who helped!
Please be on the look out for Non-GMO project verified labeling or orange sales tags/stickers, which highlight all the Non-GMO products we have in store. We are proud to announce that our entire produce department is Non-GMO and over 90% of our Bulk Department is Non-GMO too.
October 4, 2013
Cherokee child handed over to adoptive parents
A Cherokee girl at the center of a yearslong custody dispute has been handed over to her adoptive parents.
Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Amanda Clinton confirmed that 4-year-old Veronica was handed over to Matt and Melanie Capobianco of South Carolina on Monday night. The Oklahoma Supreme Court said Monday that it won't intervene in an adoption dispute involving a Cherokee girl and dissolved a court order keeping her with her father.
October 1, 2013
2 people arrested in getaway attempt after store robbery
Two people were arrested Thursday night after allegedly robbing a Walmart store on Eastern Avenue. The pair was apprehended after they crashed their car into another car during the getaway attempt.
There were two small children in the vehicle at the time of the crash. They are now in custody of Child Protective Services.
September 20, 2013
Mountain lion shot near Elko
State wildlife officials have killed a mountain lion that was reported roaming through some residential neighborhoods in Elko.
Joe Doucette of the Nevada Department of Wildlife says the mature, male mountain lion was considered a threat to public safety because it was walking near young children headed to school on Monday.
April 17, 2013
Nevada buses hundreds of mentally ill patients to cities around country
Over the past five years, Nevada's primary state psychiatric hospital has put hundreds of mentally ill patients on Greyhound buses and sent them to cities and towns across America.
By last year, Rawson-Neal bused out patients at a pace of well over one per day, shipping nearly 400 patients to a total of 176 cities and 45 states across the nation. Nevada's approach to dispatching mentally ill patients has come under scrutiny since one of its clients turned up suicidal and confused at a Sacramento homeless services complex. James Flavy Coy Brown, who is 48 and suffers from a variety of mood disorders including schizophrenia, was discharged in February from Rawson-Neal to a Greyhound bus for Sacramento, a place he had never visited and where he knew no one.
April 14, 2013
Family Friend Accused of Beating Foster Child
LAS VEGAS -- The suspect in a horrific child abuse investigation was a family friend of the child's foster mother, Metro Police said.
In early November, Alexander was taken from his parents and placed in foster care. Ten days later, he is in hospital bed with severe injuries that could be permanent. A portion of the boy's skull has been removed and he's suffered strokes and seizures as a result of his brain injuries.
December 14, 2012
Foster care parent accused of abuse to return to court
NORTH LAS VEGAS -- Marvie Hill, the man accused of abusing at least two of his foster children, is due back in court today.
The last time Hill was in court, he had a swarm of supporters, including former foster children. Today is expected to be no different, regardless of the heinous crimes he's accused of. The 37-year-old was arrested over the summer, accused by at least two men of inappropriate conduct while they lived in his foster home as minors.
October 22, 2012
Lawsuit prompts Nevada welfare agencies to ramp up voter registration efforts
Nevada's public assistance agencies have aggressively stepped up their voter registration efforts following a federal lawsuit accusing the state of disenfranchising thousands of poor Nevadans.
The state's new voter registration policies are detailed in memos issued by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this summer, after several civil rights groups sued Nevada for failing to meet federal and state laws that require public assistance offices to act also as voter registration centers.
October 9, 2012
Study: Mountain lions in Nev. migrating to Calif.
RENO, Nev. - Many mountain lions in Nevada are migrating westward to take up residence in California, according to a seven-year study.
The findings ran counter to the expectations of researchers, who thought the cougars would have moved eastward from California to Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Because lions are hunted in Nevada but not in California, biologists thought more of the territorial predators would migrate east into habitat in Nevada made available when lions were killed by hunters.
October 6, 2012
Police: Mother who fled and abandoned child in Morgan Hill shoplifting heist remains jailed in Nevada
A 38-year-old mother who allegedly fled police and abandoned her 10-year-old daughter after enlisting the child to help shoplift groceries in Morgan Hill remained jailed in Nevada on Saturday.
Marcy Keelin, who lives part-time in Morgan Hill and part-time in Wyoming, was arrested Friday night after a sheriff's deputy spotted her green Ford Explorer in the parking lot of a motel near Fernley, Nev., said Morgan Hill police Sgt. Troy Hoefling.
September 29, 2012
North Las Vegas mom charged in son's shooting
Police have arrested the mother of a 10-year-old boy who allegedly shot himself in the head Aug. 9 in North Las Vegas.
Carmen Gustin, 38, faces charges of destroying evidence, child abuse with substantial bodily harm and child neglect. She was arrested Thursday in North Las Vegas. Gustin's 10-year-old son was in critical condition at University Medical Center following the shooting last week.
August 18, 2012
Chiropractic Care Serves as Alternative to Pain Medication
LAS VEGAS - The Neck and Back Clinics in Las Vegas, NV is encouraging patients who struggle with chronic neck and back pain to consider chiropractic care.
According to chiropractor Dr. Benjamin S. Lurie, chiropractic adjustments have successfully helped thousands of his patients when traditional medical care was unable to provide sufficient pain relief. Chiropractic adjustments are an alternative treatment for relieving pain following a car accident injury. Dr. Lurie says that many patients choose spinal adjustments over medication and before considering surgery.
July 16, 2012
Prescription Drug Abuse in Nevada on the Rise
LAS VEGAS - Addiction to painkillers is spreading and leading to other problems - from doctor shopping to pharmacy robberies to overdose deaths.
During the last 10 years in Nevada, per capita sales of Oxycodone surged 366%. Hydrocodone sales rose 233%. Dr. Ghertner says too many doctors are over-prescribing these drugs. The physician often doesn't consider an exit strategy to get the patient off these powerful pills. Nevada has safeguards in place, including a prescription drug monitoring program to keep track of which prescriptions patients are filling at the pharmacy.
April 8, 2012
Campaign to curb child abuse advises parents to choose caretakers wisely
New posters hanging near bus stops around the Las Vegas Valley bear a simple message for parents: Choose your partner carefully.
The number of child abuse cases - many involving children younger than 5 - has stayed about the same, but the severity of those cases has increased, Teele said. The campaign is a community effort, with support from UNLV's Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy, Metro Police, Clark County Department of Family Services, Clark County District Attorney's Office and Southern Nevada Children's Assessment Center.
April 6, 2012
Nevada officials: Luxor guests had Legionnaires'
Health officials in Las Vegas said Monday that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in water samples at the Luxor hotel-casino this month after a guest died of the form of pneumonia.
The Southern Nevada Health District said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance program reported three cases in the past year of Luxor guests being diagnosed with the disease caused by Legionella bacteria.
January 30, 2012
Judge steps into legal fight as child welfare cases await
Chief District Judge Jennifer Togliatti has stepped into a feud between Family Court Judge Steven Jones and the district attorney's office, a conflict that has left the lives of foster children hanging in the balance during the holidays.
To prevent more delays in child welfare cases in Family Court, Togliatti issued a verbal administrative order Thursday evening allowing a hearing master under Jones to let two whistle-blowing deputy district attorneys handle cases in her courtroom.
December 17, 2011
Alert Kidjacked to Nevada CPS news!
A Nation in Crisis
Nancee Crowell, California and Nevada State Director of 'National Foster Parent Coalition for Allegation Reform' responds to an article written by Craig Schneider regarding Georgia CPS, expressing her outrage at the treatment of parents by Child Protection Agencies
June 24, 2012
Jacked Up: Problems in Reno!
Here is our situation in Reno, Nevada. About a year ago, our son was having behavior problems; he was diagnosed with ADD and ODD and was being tested for autism.
May 15, 2010
Jacked Up: School Drug Testing Policy?
I was contacted by a father in Nevada, who's son was taken from school for a court ordered drug test, without a hearing or proper trial. Perhaps you can help provide some answers for this father? I am at a loss to understand how this treatment of a child is legal.
May 15, 2010
Jacked Up: Denied Due Process
Hello from Washoe County, Nevada, My parental rights were terminated without due process April 12, 2005 by a corrupted System here. I joined several Internet AFRA groups and have not been able to get any help.
May 15, 2010