Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday roundup

From MSNBC, Broward County, South Florida (February 26) - A 44 year-old woman employed by United Cerebral Paly in Sunrise has been charged with exploiting four disabled residents of a South Florida care facility. According to investigators, the woman, who had access to the accounts of the four disabled adults, began using their credit and debit cards to remove funds from their accounts in September 2008. She also fraudulently used a credit card issued to the United Cerebral Palsy at three local Walmart Stores in November 2008. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

From MSNBC, Baltimore, Atlanta (February 26) - A doctor was arrested as part of an investigation into assisted suicide in Georgia. The investigation concerns the death of a 58-year-old man in Georgia last year and an organization called the Final Exit Network. Four people face charges. As is the case in most states, assisted suicide is illegal in Georgia. Investigators said the Final Exit Network used helium inhalation as its methods.

From WOWT-TV in Omaha, Nebraska (February 25) - Cherie Harbour has been found guilty of abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in the death of her disabled daughter, Tawnisha Harbor. As conveyed in an earlier FRIDA posts, Ms Harbour was charged with locking 23-year-old Tawnisha in a room when their house caught fire in June 2007. Tawnisha, who used a wheelchair, died days later from burns she suffered in the fire. According to police, the bedroom door was shut and tied with a sheet and there was no inside door knob. Ms Harbour wiill be sentenced on May 5th and faces up to five years in prison. According to her defense attorney, an appeal will be filed.

From the Associated Press/Fort Worth Star-Telegram Atalissa, Iowa (February 25) - Iowa’s social service agency acknowledged on Tuesday that it looked into Henry's Turkey Service's treatment of its disabled workers twice, once in the 1970s and again in 1997, but did not act, because, officials, they lacked jurisdiction or sufficient evidence to proceed. As conveyed in an earlier FRIDA post, twenty-one men with intellectual disabilities were evacuated from a battered and padlocked bunkhouse at Henry's Turkey Service near the town of Atalissa earlier this month after a fire marshal concluded it was unsafe. State officials say the men had been living there for decades and were paid little for their work. An investigation is continuing.

From WTNH in Wilton, Connecticut (February 23) - Two women with developmental disabilities fied in a fire on Saturday morning at a Wilton condominium complex. Cynthia Timmins, 54, and Dana Conley, 57, both died from smoke inhalation. They were both clients of STAR Inc., a non-profit group that supports people with developmental disabilities. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

From, Belleville, Illinois (February 23) - A metro-east attorney appointed as a pubic guardian has been accused of using $6,300 of a disabled adult ward's money on himself.

From the Union Leader in Concord, N.H. (February 22) - A Concord woman was charged with felony theft after taking more than $6,000-worth of goods over a five year period from an senior person with disabilities she was hired to take care of.

From The Associated Press (February 22) - South African double-amputee sprinter and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius sustained head and facial injuries in a boat accident on Saturday, but according to his manager will be back on the track soon. Pistorius had surgery on Sunday and was in stable condition in the intensive care unit of a Johannesburg hospital where he was airlifted after the accident.