Monday, December 5, 2011

ABC News ~ Psychiatrists Put Kids at Risk With Mind-Altering Drugs

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Governor of Kansas didn't respond to ABC news.
While Sebelius was Governor, in 2004, 71% of the foster children were on psychotropic drugs.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kansas has created a heritage of broken families, poverty and suffering

Kansas will take a couple decades to rebuild after the slaughter, by child protective services, of so many families. That's only on the assumption that the new governor and any following will work to maintain the family unit.

Broken families are handicapped by the devastation of losing their children and many struggle to work. The public employees, Judges, lawyers, police, district attorneys, social workers, teachers, therapists, foster care agencies, legislators, etc... want to receive a pay check but have made no attempt to protect the private sector from state abuse.
Without the private sector, there wouldn't be public employees.

Once children go into foster care there is little hope for their future as 80% of our prison population is comprised of former foster children. Obviously, foster care creates criminals. Is that in the best interest of children and citizens?

What's even worse is what has happened to the children in foster care. Kathleen Sebelius was Governor of Kansas between 2003-2009. In 2004, while Sebelius was watching, 71% of children in foster care were being medicated on psychotropic drugs. Many of these drugs were not approved by the FDA for children.

In 2004, Sebelius decided to keep a tight rein on the open records of children who died in foster care due to the concern there would be lawsuits.
In January 2005, it was reported that many foster children weren't able to make it on their own and were put out on the street.
In 2005, SRS employees were told to disregard state and federal laws without consequences. 
In 2007 a spokesperson for Youthville said that for the majority of children in foster care school is nonexistent.
In March 2008, former Secretary of SRS, Don Jordan, told a group of citizens that the Sedgwick County DA bullied social workers into falsifying records to remove children from their parent's custody. The State found this to be true through a legislative post audit, yet Sebelius did nothing to correct the wrongs of these broken families.
Dec. 1st, 2009, a Kansas attorney testifies before the legislature regarding foster care abuse and violations of family rights.

Kansans needs to recognize that maintaining families is important to the economy, is needed for the safety of its citizens, and most importantly is necessary for the future growth and heritage of Kansas families.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kansas Is Stealing The Family Heritage! Run Toto.. Run!

This Picture Posted by the Kansas Watch Dog
May 9, 2010, More Info Below :

Children deserve protection, their family and the right to know where they come from.
Kansas is a leader in taking children from good homes on false allegations of abuse.
Kansas foster children have been adopted out to strangers where they have been abused, raped and murdered!
Just ask Adam Herrman, born Irvin Groeninger III, when and IF you find him.

Their signs said:
  • Our children are not orphans
  • KVC is kidnapping.  Not family preservation.
  • Judges are not God.
  • Kansas #1 stealing children from families.
  • SRS stealing children for money.
Comments from the protesters included:
Kathy Winters (Olathe, left-most in picture)

“Tonight they’re going to be adopting children out.”
“There are kids being adopted out that have family that want them.”
“These children, who have been in foster homes, have been taken away from their families. They’re going to be adopted by strangers. …”
“What we’re protesting is there are families that want these kids. The adoption doesn’t have to be to strangers. These kids have known these families since they were born. They need to be with their families — with their grandparents.”
“Instead, the state and the private contractors make more money when they adopt them out to strangers …”
“SRS doesn’t believe in family preservation. …”
“I’m not talking about children who are truly, truly abused. I’m talking about the ones they take the kids away just because they can. …”
“We’d have a lot more people here, but they are scared to death … It’s not a free country. You can’t come out and speak” [without retaliation]. What can they do to me now? They’ve taken my grandkids away.”
“The solution is that we have to have some laws that protect family preservation. They don’t even try to keep the family together.”
Sadie Carpenter (Olathe, second from left in picture)
Grandmother and former social worker

“The solution is to change the laws and get rid of the private contractors.”
“They string you out … They promise you, ‘if you do this, this and this,’ you can get your children back.”
Fred Carpenter (Olathe, right-most in picture)

[The attorneys] “were wanting a good $8000. We’ve spent right at $2000″ so far to get our granddaughter back.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Child poverty meetings scheduled for next week

"The meetings are titled “Rising to the Challenge: Reducing Childhood Poverty and Improving Childhood Outcomes in Kansas” and will feature national and state experts on childhood poverty, including the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector and Ron Haskins..."

This is a public meeting and even though anyone can attend, the State is requiring citizens to register for this event.     

The meetings will be:
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Jack Reardon Convention Center, 500 Minnesota Ave., KC, KS
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, 400 W. Douglas, Wichita
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex at.Garden City Community College

From The Heritage Foundation, Foster Care: Safety Net or Trap Door? by Thomas Atwood,
March 25, 2011.
 "States tend to overuse foster care because they receive federal matching funds
for every qualifying child in care. "

"Abstract: For tens of thousands of endangered children, foster care has become a trap door rather than the safety net they need to help them succeed. In particular, federal financing policies have favored foster care over other child welfare approaches, leading states to overuse foster care to the detriment of children who could be adopted or whose families could be rehabilitated."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

According to the New Secretary of SRS, Rob Siedlecki, Regarding Adoptions, IT'S ALL FREE MONEY!!!

According to the new Secretary of SRS, it's all FREE MONEY!
Free money to adopt Kansas children.
Free money to have medical coverage for those children.
Free money to send adopted children to college.
What about all the FREE MONTHLY SUBSIDIES AND TAX BREAKS those adopters receive?
And then there is the FREE $300,000 to Promote Adoptions of Kansas children.
It's NOT FREE MONEY, it is tax payers dollars funded by the private sector.
That would include, Secretary of SRS Rob Siedlecki's income. The private sector pays for his home, his life style and income.
Jonathan and Allison Schumm's family is big enough to conduct a regulation basketball game.
That wouldn't be possible without five siblings adopted by the Topeka couple to complement their three biological children.
The team was present at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center for the announcement Monday of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services' offer of $300,000 from a federal grant to the company proposing the most imaginative one-year marketing campaign to recruit adoptive families.
"This is a heartfelt cause," said SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki. "This campaign is directed towards our children who are typically hardest to place in adoptive families — the kids of sibling groups, with mental or physical disabilities or teenagers."
He said the state had 5,200 children in foster care. Five hundred of 900 in the adoption queue are awaiting completion of the adoption process, but 420 haven’t yet been linked with a prospective adoptive family.
"Those 400 children really are alone," Siedlecki said.
Jonathan Schumm said he could attest to the compelling force for good generated by adoption of children. His roster: Nicole, 16, Alisa, 13, Emmanuel, 11, Jaquale, 6, Angel, 5, Mercy, 5, Isaiah, 3, and Kyrsten, 1.
"I'm not here to tell you foster care and adoption are easy," he said while the children played in the center's kid-friendly facility. "It's been worth every smile and every tear."
He said information on children available for adoption in Kansas could be found at Some children still on the list were there six years ago when Schumm and his wife initially became involved in foster care and adoption.
"So many kids are still waiting," he said.
Gov. Sam Brownback decreed November as Kansas Adoption Month. On Nov. 19, several court jurisdictions in Kansas will finalize at least 100 adoptions to mark the declaration.
Brownback and his wife, Mary, adopted two children from overseas. A son, Mark, celebrated his 14th birthday Monday.
"Adoption is fabulous," the governor said at the Statehouse. "It just brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. My hope is more families will step up."
He said his family's decision to not adopt in Kansas reflected his trips while in Congress to orphanages in other countries, many of which didn't have a strong cultural tradition of adoption.
In addition, the governor said he was aware of a U.S. family that struggled for six years to complete an adoption.
Siedlecki, the top administrator at SRS, said adoptions through the state of Kansas were completed at little or no cost and were legally secure because parental rights had been severed.
Kansas families who adopt children may be eligible for state or federal financial subsidies, he said. Funding is available for health care of adopted children through Medicaid and for college tuition for children adopted from state care after age 16.
Siedlecki said the goal of SRS was to complete more than 800 adoptions in the current fiscal year ending in July. In the last fiscal year, the state finalized 761 adoptions. In the first three months of the year, 178 children have been adopted from state care in Kansas.
Tim Carpenter can be reached at (785) 295-1158 or

Sunday, October 30, 2011

100,277 Kansas Children "Served" In Out Of Home Placement Since 1997

The Kansas SRS website shows that there has been a total of 100,277 Kansas Children "Served" in Out Of Home Placement since 1997
The State Labels these seizures as "Foster Care Service Frequency"
Here is the link to that information:
FY2011 shows that the Kansas Child Population under the age of 18 years old is 695,712

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sedgwick County EMCU Pretenders

The Sedgwick County EMCU PRETENDERS Want Citizens To Think That They Care About Children. So Opposite!

The mother of these children didn't stand a chance even if she believed her daughters. So many protective parents in Sedgwick County have tried to protect their children from pedophiles and the Sedgwick County DA has worked for the pedophiles instead of protecting the children. 

Sedgwick County is corrupt! 

Investigators detail rescue of girls from sexual abuse

Four Sedgwick County girls ages 5, 6, 7 and 8 are safe from severe sexual abuse today because a teacher and several cops moved decisively in March to rescue them from their abusive father.
Police from the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit have revealed details of the case and the frantic rescue of a 5-year-old.
Rescuers worked for 22 straight hours to get her away from her father.
They talked in part because the legal case closed with the father’s guilty plea this month.
But they also discussed the case to remind the public how extensive sexual abuse is in Sedgwick County, and how people must never hesitate to report even a suspicion of child abuse. EMCU has investigated 245 sex crime cases against children in the first six months of this year, 530 last year, and 445 the year before. Five cases last year involved incest.
As they talked, investigators gave a rare look inside the usually secret work they do in unmasking child abusers. Many of the rescues they’ve done and the cases they’ve made started with tips from the public.
The father, a 32-year-old self-employed Wichitan, will spend 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole, said Lt. Jeff Weible, EMCU commander. The father pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sodomy, and one count of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child younger than 16.
“He got more prison time for this than if he’d been convicted of a homicide,” Weible said.
The mother, 27, who had heard about the sexual abuse from her daughters and did nothing, received probation for a charge of aggravated endangerment, and agreed to sever her parental rights.
The Eagle does not reveal names of sexual abuse victims without their permission, and is not naming the father or mother charged in this case because that would identify the victims.
Minutes after the first call came to EMCU, Weible said, it was assigned to Virgil Miller, a detective who had worked child abuse cases for about a year with EMCU.
Within 22 hours after the case began, Miller and investigators had the father in jail even though the father was in Texas when the first call came.
Along the way, police used technology to track the father’s movements virtually minute by minute in Texas, where the father was on a working vacation. Weible would not discuss how they did this because he did not want to reveal to future criminals how they do some of their work.
They needed to move fast and with stealth, Miller said, because they soon discovered that the father had his 5-year old daughter with him.
They set out immediately to rescue her.
Hour by hour
Miller said the case unfolded like this:
At about 2:30 p.m. on an afternoon in March, a teacher at an elementary school in Sedgwick County was giving a short safety lecture to her students about touching — what is appropriate, what is not. A girl in the class, 7 years old, told her immediately that her father touched her inappropriately.
“Victims that age usually have no idea there’s anything wrong with that,” Miller would later say. “They think that’s just what Daddy does.”
The teacher immediately told a school social worker, who called the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responding to the call told their supervisory sergeant, Amy Osburn, who until a few months before was an investigator with EMCU. Osburn told deputies to take the girl and her sisters, ages 6 and 8, from school to EMCU in downtown Wichita. The girls reached EMCU about 4 p.m.
Miller questioned the mother and the maternal grandmother.
They admitted the 8-year-old had told the mother about the abuse the previous fall. “She said she’d asked the father about it; he told her it was a misunderstanding, that she was talking about a time when they accidentally touched while they wrestled,” Miller said. “Instead of doing the right thing, they decided to believe him. ”
“They were told what was going on and didn’t do a damned thing about it,” Miller said. “Look, if your kids tell you they are being abused, BELIEVE your kids.”
By this time it was late afternoon and Miller learned from the mother that there was a fourth child, age 5, in Texas with the father.
Planning a rescue
“Her safety became our primary concern,” Miller said.
Investigators suspected, (rightly, as it turned out), that the mother would call the father in Texas and warn him the girls had talked.
EMCU called law enforcement in the Dallas area, and began to plan an arrest.
“We decided to do a rare thing,” Miller said. “We contacted the (Sedgwick County) district attorney’s office, and drove out to a judge’s home about 10:30 p.m. and obtained an arrest warrant for this guy.”
Asking a judge in the middle of the night to sign a search warrant is not unusual, Miller said; asking for a signature on an arrest warrant seldom happens.
“Our game plan was to get the warrant, then ask local Texas law enforcement to go to the motel in the Dallas area and get this guy, and put the girl in protective custody.”
Awful things
At EMCU, Miller and Melissa Gardner, an investigator with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, questioned the girls, with Gardner taking the lead. They had taken the girls into an interview room with a kid-sized table, with chairs too big for the girls’ feet to reach the floor, and with toys in a box _ dolls and stuffed toys investigators hand to victims before asking them to point to parts of the body to explain what has happened to them.
Interviewing fragile children, while trying to put together a solid case that will win a prosecution in court, is a tricky business, Weible said.
Gardner gently and deftly questioned the girls, Miller said. “There is this series of questions we go through, to build a rapport,” Miller said. “It’s hard, because we’re total strangers working toward asking these children about the awful things that happened to them, even though these kids were too young to truly understand how awful it was.”
Gardner guided them from simple questions about what they did in school to eventually asking them what had happened.
“Melissa’s real good at getting what she needs for the SRS side to help the kids, but she’s also real good at knowing what we need for the investigation,” Miller said. “For most of that interview, I sat there like the bump on the log.”
The interview went smoothly, with little or no emotion from the children, Miller said.
He said that’s because even severely sexually abused children like these girls are too young to understand how they’ve been violated, though some of the abuse had been so physically painful that it prompted one girl to cry loud enough to be heard by the other sisters at night.
“The girls were matter of fact,” Miller said.
The 6-year-old revealed that she’d been touched, too, and she and the 7-year-old described to Miller numerous types of sex acts.
The abuse had lasted for months.
The 8-year-old sister, (a stepdaughter to the abusing father), told Miller she was not touched. She would change her story, after the father admitted abusing her. “She was trying to protect him,” Miller said. Protecting family abusers is a common practice among many incest victims, Miller said, in part because family or household members are often the only financial and family support.
Driving north
Sometime after dark the investigators learned, from technology they used to track the father, that he was driving north on I-35, after getting a call from the mother.
Investigators scrapped the plan to have the Texans arrest him. Instead, EMCU tracked him all the way to the Kansas state line; he was traveling at times up to 95 miles per hour, Miller said.
“He was driving as fast as he could go. I think his intention was to get the girl back home, and then either try to clear his name, or get out of town,” Miller said. “Probably he would drop her off and then get out of Dodge; he did not want to be arrested.”
By the time the father crossed the Oklahoma-Kansas state line, Miller said, the Kansas Highway Patrol already had troopers in place, watching for the car. A trooper cruised into the northbound lanes toward Wichita as soon as the father crossed the state line, and settled in, about a quarter mile behind the car, radioing ahead to Sedgwick County.
Deputies and Wichita police officers staked out the turnpike toll booths in Wichita, and waited. When they saw the father’s car leave the toll booth at the Derby-Haysville exit, a sheriff’s deputy pulled the father over. He did not resist arrest.
The girl was now safe.
Miller questioned the father at EMCU.
Interviews with sex abuse suspects are nothing like the fictional versions seen on television where detectives insult and yell at suspects, Miller said; EMCU detectives try never to be confrontational. They train themselves to keep a straight face while they talk to them with a friendly demeanor.
Within an hour, the father admitted abusing the 6 ,7 and 8-year-olds. “I started out by just saying, ‘Look, your daughters have said some things,’æ” Miller said. “He was very easy to talk to, and seemed remorseful.
“But he failed to mention to me that he’d also abused the 5-year-old, because he knew I didn’t know about that.
“Eventually he said what he did was wrong; he got a little teary-eyed; he told me he knew he was sick. Well, big DUH. You mess with your own kids? You ARE sick.”
The next day, Miller questioned the 5-year-old, who told him she’d been abused in Texas; and he re-interviewed the 8-year-old and told her the father had admitted to harming her, too. She then admitted to being abused.
Investigators searched the father’s home, and business, and found evidence.
Miller said the case illustrates, once again, how people need to be more willing to call 911 and report suspicions to police. When people don’t report suspicions, children continue to get hurt.
“Call the police even if you just have a suspicion,” Miller said. “Let us sort out whether there’s anything going wrong.”
The four sisters are in foster care now. Based on what he’s seen of them, Miller thinks they will be okay, that they will recover emotionally from the violations they suffered at the hands of their father.
“It’s a lot of garbage they have to deal with, but they will be okay. With or without counseling, they will be okay, sooner rather than later,” he said.
Child sex abuse cases are so revolting that most police detectives refuse to ever work sex abuse cases full time.
His wife never wants to hear about his day at work, Miller said.
“But I enjoy it.
“I like to talk to children in the morning, because I know they will then sleep safe that night.
“And I like to talk to perps in the afternoon, because I know they’ll sleep that night in jail.”
Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or

Read more:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Foster Care, KS Lawmaker Working Against Parental Rights

Kansas Senator Kelly served on the Children's Issues Committee and listened to testimony from parents and family members of children wrongfully taken from them. Kelly didn't appear to have any sympathy or will to make changes in a system that is well known to be broken. During the testimonies many people were crying from listening to the stories. Kelly's comment was that next time we'll have hearings to listen to all the good foster care does.

Doesn't Care, No Concern, And Now What Does Kelly Want To DO?

Kelly doesn't like the new SRS policy which allows parents whose children are in the foster care system to sign a one-page release form that gives a select House or Senate member access to their family's case file.

""In the past, Kelly said a constituent would complain to her and she would forward concerns to SRS and get a response that included what she needed to know based on specific concerns.
“I didn’t walk out from that conversation with, you know, their personal psychiatric history in detail,” she said. “I didn’t need to. I don’t want to. And I don’t think I should have been able to.”"

Regarding parents having the right to give their records
to a select lawmaker?
Kelly said, "it may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right."

Maybe Kelly just doesn't want to be bothered by her constituents and can't emotionally handle these issues.

Here's the article:

Lawmaker says foster care case files may be too open
TOPEKA — Earlier this year, the Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services loosened its records policy to allow parents whose children are now in the foster care system to sign a one-page release form that gives a select House or Senate member access to their family’s case file.
The move gives lawmakers access to records that explain, in detail, the circumstances that led to a child being removed from his or her home. That can include narratives of alleged abuse, medical files, psychiatric evaluations, drug tests, court records, credit history and payment history, among other things.
The policy change followed years of frustration among lawmakers who were trying to get to the bottom of complaints from parents who felt the state wrongly removed their child. Previous rules allowed people to give lawmakers and SRS officials permission to discuss the case, but lawmakers didn’t have access to the actual documents and social workers could decide how much to disclose.
Today, Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said not everyone may be aware of how much information can be disclosed under the new policy. She read portions of the release form out loud to the Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services Oversight.
It’s probably not necessary for lawmakers to have so much detailed confidential information to understand what happened, she said.
The new release forms include a check box that gives the lawmaker permission to share the case file with anyone else they want.
“We are letting clients give me as a legislator, with limited legal or clinical background, the right to disseminate their personal, private, confidential medical information to anyone I deem appropriate?” Kelly asked SRS Secretary Rob Siedlecki. “I, who have no qualifications to decide whether to do this or not?”
Siedlecki said parents already have the right to give their family’s files to a lawmaker who could share the information with the world. The idea is to help lawmakers, and the form provides added protection, he said.
Kelly said it may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right. “It’s different for a person to be able to do something versus the state to condone it,” she said.
In the past, Kelly said a constituent would complain to her and she would forward concerns to SRS and get a response that included what she needed to know based on specific concerns.
“I didn’t walk out from that conversation with, you know, their personal psychiatric history in detail,” she said. “I didn’t need to. I don’t want to. And I don’t think I should have been able to.”
Gary Haulmark, director of legislative affairs for SRS, estimated his office handles 3 to 5 of the release forms a month during the legislative session and about one or two a month during the rest of the year.
After the meeting, Siedlecki said he wants to be able to get information out on controversial cases without exposing some personal information, such as Social Security numbers.
“I want to be open,” he said.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saving Ella Jo ~ From Foster Care

3 year old, Ella Jo is in the Kansas Foster Care System

While in the care of the State, on Oct 4th, Ella Jo went into respitory failure and the family was called to be at her side. Ella Jo is still fighting but she needs to go back home to be with her family.

"Ella Jo's history of accidental & pathological fractures started when she was 1-year old. Ella is not able to assimilate the nutrients in her food, therefore has a weaken bone structure. The seizure medicine that EllaJo had been on for half her life also deteriorates bone mass! The doctors failed to suggest Ella Jo needed Vitamin D & Calcium supplements to prevent this! Click to read: Osteoporosis in Retts children is only one of many tragic complications that comes with this disease. Since the age of 1-year, EllaJo has had numerous incidents where broken bones have been indicitive of her condition, as it is with every Retts child -- and it is indeed, every parents nightmare when dealing with a child suffering from Retts Syndorme. As a result of her last incident during a bath, EllaJo slipped out of loving hands and that placed her in the hospital with a Halo. And, as a result of that accident, an inappropriate decision to notify the State authorities, and subsequently placing EllaJo into the foster care system has occurred due to institutions, facilities and doctors/nurses/staff not fully understanding the dynamics of Retts Syndrome and how it has traumatzed EllsJo and her families lives."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Many thanks to Congressman Tim Hueslkamp who was the ONLY Kansas Congressional Representative in Washington that voted against extending the child and family services program through fiscal year 2016.  Unfortunately the bill passed and now is waiting for President Obama to sign.

Boooo! To Jenkins, Yoder and Pompeo!  

You can Thank Congressman Huelskamp here:
Tim Huelskamp
126 Cannon House Office Building
, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2715
FAX: (202) 225-5124

 Here is the votes:

House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2883: Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act

House Vote #720 in 2011 [primary source:]
Sep 21, 2011 5:51PM

To amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to extend the child and family services program through fiscal year 2016, and for other purposes.
Status: Passed Congress. Next: Having passed in identical form in both the House and Senate, this bill now awaits the signature of the President before becoming law. [Last Updated: Sep 28, 2011 6:11AM]

Here is a link for the full text of the bill.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wichita, KS Foster Care Worker, Foster Parent, Warrant Out For Former Youthville Employee Noble "Rick" Pendland

Rick Pendland not only worked for Youthville as he was
ALSO sponsored as a foster parent for Youthville
Police Have Issued 2 Warrants For An Individual Who Is A Former Youthville Employee, Wichita Children's Home Employee, And Wichita School Teacher. 
Pendland Has Multiple Accusations For Child Molestation

Noble "Rick" Pendland

"""There are numerous children who have alleged to have been victimized by Mr. Pendland," Arkansas City police Lt. Mark McCaslin said.
The children come from multiple families"""

Sedgwick County, KS has shown it's citizens how
"the best interest of child"
works here by placing children in the hands of pedophiles

KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
7:10 p.m. CDT, September 20, 2011

Accused child molester worked in Wichita public schools

Rick Pendland only worked as a teacher in the Wichita School District for five years.  But he made quite an impression on Wendell Turner.  His grandson was in Pendland's sixth grade math class in 2006 at Hamilton Middle School.  But Turner said Pendland wanted to be more than just a teacher.
"He would call up and say, 'Barry do you want to go swimming with me?'  Grown men don't do that.  And, we wouldn't let him go,” Turner said.
The Wichita School District confirmed Pendland worked at Hamilton Middle from 2003 to 2008.  Turner says, during Pendland's last year in Wichita, he tried to foster Turner's two grandsons.
"When they said we couldn't have them, I said well then where are they going.  And they said that teacher is going to take them.  I said, no that teacher is not going to take them,” Turner said.
Turner says Pendland did not end-up fostering his grandchildren.  But Fact Finder 12 learned Pendland was a foster parent sponsored by Youthville.  The Wichita Children's Home also confirmed Pendland worked for that organization from 1986 to 1997 as a staff member.
Now, the Exploited and Missing Child Unit is looking into whether any victims are from Wichita.  We know when Pendland left Wichita in 2008, he was hired by the Arkansas City School District.  His employment ended in May 2010.  A month later, the Ark City Police Department started investigating Pendland after several children came forward reporting they had been molested.  Officers believe Pendland left Ark City when he learned he was being investigated.
Pendland remains on the run tonight.  He’s wanted on two warrants that include aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

2 warrants issued for Ark City ex-teacher
Arkansas City police looking for former teacher suspected in child molestation cases

Wichita police officials join Ark City child molestation case

Read more:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kansas Lt Gov Colyer Said The State Will Cut Medicaid $720 Million Over Several Years


Posted on Mon, Sep. 19, 2011

Colyer: State must reform Medicaid

TOPEKA — Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer today described a bleak future for the state's Medicaid program — unless reforms drive down costs and people begin making healthier lifestyle choices.
Without changes, rapidly growing costs will overwhelm the state and affect funding for things such as K-12 education.
Colyer said Medicaid, the health program for low-income residents, should do what some insurance companies do and reward patients who quit smoking, work their way out of obesity and take their medicine. And the 40-year-old program should work to transition users to private health insurance, he added.
"This (Medicaid) is the most complex thing I've seen in government," he said. "And we aren't going to fix it in one year."
Colyer's call for reform and improved services comes when federal funding is expected to decrease. Some say Colyer's descriptions of cutting costs and improving services are too rosy.
"I don't see how it can possibly work in any way, shape or form," said Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan.
He said he works with patients who need a lot of care. If they don't have adequate finances for proper care, they'll be in emergency rooms, which is part of the disaster the state is trying to avoid.
"You're never going to cut medical costs down, you know that," Reitz, who is a doctor, said to Colyer, who is also a doctor.
Colyer said that federal cuts to Medicaid announced today translate to roughly $720 million in reductions to Kansas over several years.
He said ideas gathered from more than 1,200 people in four public forums on Medicaid reform this summer — plus concepts used in other states — show Kansas needs to create a safety net for its neediest, a system that links outcomes to price, provides employers with incentives to hire people with disabilities and provides people to coordinate patients' care.
Reitz said there's no way the state can improve while drastically cutting funds without embellishing services.
"It won't happen; it can't happen," he said. "If it does, you're going to have people marching on the Statehouse, tearing the place apart, saying, 'We can't go on this way. Try something else.' "
Colyer disagreed.
"I believe economic forces do work and do force us into better patient care," he said. He cited laptop computers as an example, saying they were once thousands of dollars and now are cheaper and have better technology.
Colyer said the state can save money by having someone coordinate health care for patients with serious problems.
"If we can navigate them through, you can save money on not institutionalizing them," he said.
Reitz said he and other doctors already help their patients manage their care.
Reach Brent D. Wistrom at 785-296-3006 or

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nola Foulston to retire as district attorney

Posted on Fri, Sep. 16, 2011

District Attorney Nola Foulston, who prosecuted Sedgwick County's most notorious criminals for nearly a quarter-century, has decided to retire.
"At some point in time, you have to say it's time to give someone else a chance," she told the Eagle in explaining her decision to leave office.
In a letter she plans to share today with her staff, friends and colleagues, Foulston said she will enter private practice when her current term expires.
"After over 30 years in public service, I have made the decision to 'retire' at the end of my term as district attorney in January of 2013 and plan to return to the private practice of law at that time," she said in the letter.
"I have had a wonderful experience as district attorney, and feel that it's time now for me to step down from this position and become a private citizen."
Foulston said in an interview at her home that she had been thinking for some time about returning to private life.
"It's kind of like being a football player," she said. "I don't want to play until my legs are broken or I can't work any more."
Foulston, 60, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, but she said the disease is in remission and her health had nothing to do with her decision. She said she had no specific plans other than to resume the practice of law as a private citizen.
She was first elected in 1988, and was never seriously challenged in her five bids for re-election.
Foulston said she seriously considered not entering the 2008 race, but decided she had to run after Republican Mark Schoenhofer entered the contest. She said she was concerned about changes Schoenhofer might make in the office, which now has an $8 million annual budget and 130 employees, 55 of whom are lawyers.
"I felt an obligation to keep the staff intact," she said.
She won the election with about 55 percent of the vote.
Foulston said a half-dozen of her top assistants were qualified to run the office, but to date only Deputy District Attorney Marc Bennett has expressed an interest in the job. Bennett, a Republican, is the only announced candidate in the race.
"Any of them could handle the reins of that office without a hitch, and that includes Marc," she said.
Foulston said she has no plans to endorse any candidate, and said voters should have the only say in deciding who occupies the office during the upcoming term.
"You and I both know that hand-picked successors never go anywhere," she said.
Before her first race in 1988, Foulston switched parties to become a Democrat, then criticized incumbent Republican District Attorney Clark Owens for his handling of two high-profile murder cases.
The cases — the Dec. 30, 1987, slayings of Wichita accountant Phillip Fager and his two daughters, and the New Year's night murder that same week of Wichita State University student Alice Mayfield — both ended in not-guilty jury verdicts.
Foulston campaigned on a promise to take high-profile cases into the courtroom herself. She won the election with 60 percent of the vote.
In the 1992 election, Foulston defeated Republican challenger Clarence Holeman — a member of Owens' staff who had been fired by Foulston — by a ratio of more than 2-1. She ran unopposed in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Foulston said she has been approached by Democratic Party officials several times over the years about running for another office. She said she was asked often about running for the 4th District seat in Congress, which has been in Republican hands since 1994. She said she never had an interest in that job.
"I'm not a politician; I'm a prosecutor," she said.
During her six terms in office, Foulston has twice appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both cases ended with the Court upholding 1994 Kansas laws by 5-4 votes.
In June 2006, the Court upheld the state's death penalty. A year later, the Court upheld the state's Sexual Predator law, which allows for the indefinite confinement of some sex offenders for mental health treatment after they have served their criminal sentences.
Both cases originated in Sedgwick County District Court.
Foulston gained national attention in 2005 for her role in the prosecution of Dennis Rader, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder as he confessed to being the BTK serial killer.
She also was in the national spotlight in the fall of 2002 as she prosecuted Reginald and Jonathan Carr, who were convicted and sentenced to death after a crime spree that left five dead.
Nearly a decade earlier, in 1994, Foulston was the prosecutor in an equally troubling murder case — the July 30, 1990, abduction, rape and strangulation of 9-year-old Nancy Shoemaker.
In those pre-capital punishment days, Doil Lane was convicted of Nancy's murder and given a Hard 40 prison sentence — a sentence of a minimum of 40 years without parole — which at the time was the maximum allowed under Kansas law.
Foulston and her husband, Wichita lawyer Steve Foulston, have been married for about 29 years and have a son, Andrew, who is a senior at the University of Kansas. He is majoring in finance with a minor in Chinese, Foulston said, and has expressed no interest in becoming a lawyer.
Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sedgwick County DA's post already drawing GOP interest

Posted on Sun, Sep. 11, 2011


The Wichita Eagle

The 2012 race for Sedgwick County district attorney is starting early, and may pit two Republicans with extensive experience in the District Attorney's Office.
Friday night, Deputy District Attorney Marc Bennett announced that he is running as a Republican for the position held by his boss — Nola Foulston, a Democrat who has been district attorney for 22 years. Bennett, 41, is the first to file for the job.
Foulston, 60, hasn't said publicly whether she will seek re-election. But Bennett's candidacy — while he works for her — is seen by observers as a sign that she may not run again.
"I'm making an announcement soon," Foulston said Saturday. "It will clear up any confusion."
Meanwhile, Kevin O'Connor, a 47-year-old former deputy district attorney in the office, said he is giving serious consideration to running after receiving encouragement from the county Republican Party leadership.
O'Connor said Saturday he found it puzzling that Bennett is a candidate while working for Foulston and while "the Republican Party has been recruiting me, not Marc Bennett."
"Mr. Bennett apparently agrees with me that fundamental changes need to occur in that office," and needs to spell out what those changes should be, he added.
"How's he going to do that if he works for her? He needs to be able to criticize Nola Foulston. If he doesn't, he's just a status-quo candidate, and we've had enough of the status quo.
"He needs to resign. ... I had enough guts to leave," said O'Connor, who resigned from the District Attorney's Office in January 2010.
Bennett responded: "I have a wife and three kids to support. I'm not going to resign just to throw rocks at Nola. I'm proud of the office I've worked for, proud of the job I've done."
As for O'Connor, Bennett said, "He's got his own reasons for not announcing (his candidacy), and I'd like him to respect the choices I've made."
O'Connor said that he's not ready to say what changes should occur in the office. "If I run, I will" spell them out.
Bennett said that as district attorney he would call for a "renewed emphasis" on dealing with financial crimes and identity theft, saying those crimes directly affect many people. Financial crimes will have an even bigger impact as the baby boom population ages and becomes more vulnerable, Bennett said.
After "a great deal of reflection," Bennett said, he decided last week to file as a candidate. He told Foulston he wanted to run, and she said something like "that'd be fine, go for it," he said.
It is his first run for public office.
Bennett acknowledged that he had not talked with Republican Party leaders but had met informally with some Republicans to get their feedback.
"I finally decided I was going to make a decision on my own," he said.
Bennett said he considers O'Connor a friend and noted that the two have worked together prosecuting some high-profile murder cases, including the killing of pregnant, 14-year-old Chelsea Brooks of Wichita.
Bennett, who grew up in Goddard and west Wichita and graduated from Washburn University School of Law, has a reputation for being assertive without being combative.
He has played bluegrass music, on acoustic bass and guitar, since he was a child.
He and his wife, Tamara, have three daughters.
O'Connor, the son of Irish immigrants, grew up in a suburb north of Chicago. He is a former college rugby player —"mainly known for my tackling ability" — who has a reputation for combativeness in the courtroom. As his boss, Foulston publicly referred to him as the "Fighting Irish" on her staff.
He now does contract work on criminal cases around the state as a special assistant attorney general.
Party backs O'Connor
The chairman of the Sedgwick County Republican Party, Bob Dool, said last week: "Kevin O'Connor is certainly the person that we are encouraging at this point" to run for district attorney.
"We think he's very well qualified, and we have encouraged him to pursue this race.
"He is highly respected by law enforcement, which is obviously important," Dool said. The district attorney is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and the gatekeeper — deciding whether charges are filed in cases presented by law enforcement. The office prosecutes everything from misdemeanors to death penalty cases and consumer fraud and juvenile custody cases.
O'Connor is well-suited for the job, Dool said. "I think he has a reputation of being tough but fair," said Dool, president and owner of Wichita-based Mid-Continent Safety, which sells industrial safety products.
Dool said he didn't know Bennett and had not been contacted by him.
"If he's working there (in the District Attorney's Office) now, it might indicate that Nola's not going to run, but we don't know that."
There could be other Republican candidates besides Bennett, Dool said.
"Right now, I would certainly support Kevin (O'Connor)," he said.
As the incumbent, Foulston has proven herself, said Betty Arnold, chairwoman of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party.
"I don't know if it's her intent to seek re-election, but if it is, we certainly will support her," Arnold said.
The fact that Foulston has been repeatedly re-elected shows "that Sedgwick County has confidence in her ability to run the office," said Arnold, also a member of the Wichita school board.
Sizing up the race
Even before Bennett announced his candidacy, Ken Ciboski, a Republican and Wichita State University associate professor of political science, said he wondered if Foulston might not run again.
"If she thinks that somebody like Kevin O'Connor can defeat her, she may very well step down," Ciboski said. "You kind of want to go out with grace. You don't want to go out as a defeated person."
Ciboski said both O'Connor and Bennett have strong resumes and extensive experience in the District Attorney's Office — about 17 years for O'Connor and about 14 years for Bennett — and either would be a sound candidate, he said.
After years of being in office, Ciboski said, Foulston is "politically vulnerable ... For one thing, she's been in there a long time. But after a while, things begin to wear a little thin. You're bound to make enemies ... you can't make everybody happy."
Ciboski agreed that Bennett's candidacy, while working for Foulston, indicated that she will not seek re-election —"although it's not out of the realm of possibility."
Bennett's early announcement — coupled with the fact that he has a strong resume — could help him keep potential opponents from entering the race, Ciboski said.
Ciboski said he has wondered whether Kim Parker — the chief deputy district attorney, the No. 2 position — might run if Foulston doesn't. But Parker said Saturday that she has no desire to be a candidate, and that although she is "a committed Republican ... I think politics is a hard and nasty business. It doesn't suit me."
O'Connor's experience
O'Connor graduated from the University of Kansas Law School and went to work for Foulston. During part of 2001 and 2002, he worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney in federal death penalty cases, then was rehired by Foulston.
As a prosecutor working under contract with the Kansas Attorney General's Office, he is involved in the capital murder case against Adam Longoria, charged in the killing of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt of Great Bend.
If O'Connor runs, it will be his second campaign. In 2000, while living in Hutchinson, he lost the race for Reno County district attorney.
With next year's election, he said, he'll make the decision on whether to run "based on what's best for me and my family, without regard to whoever else is running."
He and his wife, Jennifer, have four children, ages 9 to 15.
Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or

Bennett announces candidacy for Sedgwick County DA


The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA — Veteran prosecutor Marc Bennett announced today that he has filed as a Republican candidate for the office of Sedgwick County District Attorney.
Bennett, who serves as deputy district attorney under Nola Foulston, is the first person to announce his candidacy for the office. Foulston, a Democrat who has been in office since 1989, has not said whether she plans to seek re-election.
Bennett, 41, began his career as an assistant county attorney in Geary County, and has prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases since joining the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office in 1997. He has prosecuted capital murder cases against Elgin Robinson, Ted Burnette, Douglas Belt and Cornelius Oliver.
Bennett is a graduate of Goddard High School, Kansas State University and Washburn University School of Law. He and his wife, Tamara, have three daughters.
Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kansas "Program has foster teens, sex offenders in same spot"

Posted on Sun, Jul. 31, 2011


The Wichita Eagle

A state-funded residential program designed to teach young adults how to live safe, productive lives mixes 16-year old-girls in foster care with sex offenders in their 20s.
The program groups juvenile offenders — including registered sex offenders — with foster teens. Each person in the program lives alone in one of 15 apartments in a building on West University, near Kellogg and Seneca.
Dorothy Loyd, vice president for transitional living services at Ozanam Pathways, the nonprofit provider that operates the program, said Ozanam isn't the only provider that commingles offenders and foster teens. It occurs at programs across the state, Loyd said. Ozanam is following state policies, she said.
"If the program is guilty of anything," Loyd said, "it's for taking kids that nobody wants to work with."
The state says it is beginning to move to a system that separates juvenile offenders and foster teens at facilities.
Wichita police Deputy Chief Tom Stolz said he is concerned about the practice of grouping young people who have committed serious crimes with "extremely impressionable" young people in the state's care.
Stolz said that considering some of the youths face a "myriad of social problems" from being victims of child abuse and neglect, putting them into an environment with convicted "gang members, sex offenders and drug dealers" doesn't make sense.
"I just don't think that's good policy," he said.
The Ozanam program came under scrutiny earlier this month after a former employee raised allegations that sex offenders living at the apartments have too much contact with foster teens at the property, that clients sometimes lack food and that some incidents aren't properly reported.
The allegations led to investigations by Wichita police and the state's Juvenile Justice Authority and Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.
No crimes or serious violations were found.
Loyd, the Ozanam vice president, said that "everybody and their brother has been down investigating... and we come back as clean as a whistle."
There have been reports of trouble at the property.
Police records show that from January 2008 to July 21 of this year, Wichita police recorded 142 incidents at the West University apartments — including reports of battery, assault, runaways, drug crimes and three alleged incidents of rape.
Between December 2009 and October 2010, police investigated three reports of rape there.
In the most recent rape case, in October 2010, the alleged victim was a 17-year-old girl, and the suspect was a 17-year-old boy. In a July 2010 case, the alleged victim was a 17-year-old foster girl, and the suspect was an 18-year-old male offender. And in a December 2009 case, the alleged victim was a 16-year-old foster girl, and the suspect was a 19-year-old man.
Charges weren't filed in the three cases, partly because the alleged victims weren't cooperative, police said.
Change will separate groups
The Juvenile Justice Authority, which has custody of offenders placed at the apartments, is moving toward a system where offenders and nonoffenders won't be grouped together.
In a July 1 e-mail, a JJA official told other officials that the new direction is "based on sound, evidence-based practices and research that supports the separation of juvenile offenders from the non-offending population."
In a statement to The Eagle on Thursday, JJA Commissioner Curtis Whitten said: "There has been an ongoing concern about the mingling of these populations, but the impetus of the new administration is enabling the Juvenile Justice Authority to move at a quicker pace toward resolving the situation."
SRS, which has custody of foster teens, says it supports the change.
For now, the change does not encompass the Wichita program on West University.
SRS says Ozanam Pathways, which is based in Kansas City, Mo., has served 98 youths in SRS custody at three Wichita locations since 2008.
Ozanam takes clients 16 to 23 years old.
JJA and SRS pay the nonprofit program $100 per day, per client to cover expenses including staffing, rent, food, clothing, furniture and linens, said Loyd, the Ozanam vice president.
Based on the former employee's complaints, a joint investigation by Wichita police and SRS began July 22. Police found no crimes that could be prosecuted and no lack of food at the University apartments, said Stolz, the deputy police chief.
Another investigation, conducted earlier this month by JJA, found that although registered sex offenders were living at the apartments, "there was no evidence... that these offenders were harming other youth placed there," a JJA report says.
The former employee asked The Eagle not to use his name, saying he fears being blacklisted within the social-service industry. He was recently laid off from his job as a life-skills coach and said it was because he raised concerns.
His allegations were echoed by a second former Ozanam employee who spoke to The Eagle. The second employee also asked that her name not be used, saying she feared being blacklisted.
Loyd, the Ozanam vice president, said she investigated the former employee's complaints and found them to be unfounded and found that policies were being followed.
She reiterated that Ozanam works with young people who have a variety of problems and who are difficult to place.
"For many of the foster care kids, our program is really their last option. There is really no other placement opportunity for them."
Some of the foster teens have been in more than 50 placements before they arrive at the Ozanam apartments, she said.
"It's hard for them to attach."
Loyd said it's up to the state agencies — JJA and SRS — to decide who gets referred to a transitional living program, which teaches youths how to live independently.
Juvenile sex offenders who receive proper treatment have a lower chance of committing a new sex crime than adult offenders, she said.
In December 2009, while still working for Ozanam, the former employee sent an e-mail to a supervisor expressing concern that vulnerable teens were being housed around sex offenders.
"Here we have multiple S.O.' s (sex offenders) living in close proximity to underage girls, some of whom are not even in the system but are here because they come from a troubled background."
The supervisor responded with this e-mail: "Right now, the only plan is that they are not to be in each other's apartments or signing out together. Beyond that, I'm not sure what we can do. I too am definitely concerned and just try to be extra attentive to what is going on over there."
At the time, Ozanam was operating two transitional housing programs — the one on West University and one near First and Ridge Road. It was about to launch a third program at apartments on South Mission.
Since then, Ozanam has closed two of the three programs, leaving the University property as the only remaining transitional living facility it operates in Wichita.
The other two were closed because government finances led to fewer referrals, Loyd said.
According to the state offender registry, three sex offenders — all in their early 20s — are listed as living at the University apartments. The three were in their teens when they committed their crimes.
Ozanam doesn't tell foster teens living at the apartments that some of the people living in the other units are sex offenders, the former employee said.
Although each client lives alone in an apartment, they share a common lounge and hang out together outside, he said.
The clients have curfews as early as 6 p.m. Staff are supposed to monitor them around the clock with the help of video cameras. Rules forbid physical contact between clients.
"They're not supposed to be in each other's apartments, but it's a daily occurrence," the former employee said.
He said that "in theory, we can watch them, but in reality... they get past us all the time."
SRS said that it has "no evidence to support the allegations (of) widespread sex between youth."
Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or

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