Allen Knoll, who was sent to Agape Boarding School in Missouri, testifies during a committee hearing on Feb-10-2021, about abuse he endured. (Photo by Tim Bommel - House Communications)

Prosecutor files felony charges against five Agape staffers accused of abuse

(Missouri Independent) – Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney Ty Gaither announced Tuesday that five staffers members of Agape Boarding School will be charged with a combined 13 counts of third-degree felony assault — a fraction of what Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt recommended. In March, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson directed the attorney general’s office to assist Gaither […]

Missouri Sunshine Law

Highway Patrol provides a summary of new laws related to public safety, transportation, watercraft, & protection of children

The abbreviated descriptions below are intended to make the public aware of some of the new legislation enacted by the Missouri General Assembly, which is related to crime and motor vehicles. The listed legislation has been signed into law. Unless otherwise noted, these laws will go into effect on August 28, 2021.  SB 26 PROVISIONS […]

Desks in classroom of school or education or student

Missouri agency begins implementation of new law to regulate unlicensed boarding schools

(Missouri Independent) – Unlicensed youth residential facilities across Missouri are expected to submit materials notifying the state of their existence by mid-October, but background checks for facility staff required under a new law likely won’t be completed by that time. That’s because the Department of Social Services (DSS) is still working to make hires in […]

Chillicothe Missouri Police Department

Chillicothe police respond to calls of suicidal individuals, investigate report of child abuse

Chillicothe Police report the Friday through Sunday weekend period included 262 calls for service plus the usual traffic stops and business checks.  Investigations involved two situations allegedly involving individuals who were said to be considering harm to themselves. Two drug arrests were made following a traffic stop. Among reports from Friday, Chillicothe Police investigated a […]

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Two from Chillicothe charged with multiple counts of child abuse

Two Chillicothe residents have been charged with three felony counts of abuse or neglect of a child following a house fire in Chillicothe in January. Twenty-seven-year-old Donnie Clay Matheson’s charges involve serious emotional or physical injury. The bond for Matheson and 26-year-old Heather Louise Woods is $15,000 cash only, no surety for each. Probable cause […]

Stop (Child) (Sexual) abuse

Legislation introduced that would improve reporting of child abuse deaths, prevent future fatalities

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) introduced bipartisan legislation to require states to report data on all child abuse-related deaths and develop recommendations to prevent child abuse deaths from occurring in the first place. The senators’ bill would provide policymakers and public health officials with a clearer picture of the number of […]

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Coalition of Attorneys General urge Zuckerberg to halt plans for kids’ Instagram

Tennessee’s attorney general is part of a group that wants Facebook to stop its plans to create a kids’ version of Instagram.  The group contends using social media can be detrimental to children’s health and well-being, and that kids aren’t equipped to navigate the challenges. Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery signed the letter, along with more than […]

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Unionville man facing felony child abuse charges after dropping 3-month old daughter on her head three times

A Unionville man has been charged in Putnam County after allegedly dropping his three-month-old daughter on her head three times. Twenty-seven-year-old Tyler James Hurt faces felony abuse or neglect of a child—serious emotional or physical injury—no sexual contact. Bond was set at $25,000 cash only, and an initial appearance in court is scheduled for May […]

Missouri KidsFirst Website

Missouri KidsFirst announces recipients of 2021 “Standing with Children” awards

Missouri KidsFirst presented the 2021 Standing with Children Awards at a virtual event hosted by the organization at 12:00 PM on Monday, April 26, 2021. The 2021 recipients of the Standing with Children Awards are Laura Bauer and Judy Thomas, investigative reporters with the Kansas City Star, Dr. Linda Shaw, child abuse pediatrician with SSM […]

Representative Rick Roeber Lee's Summit

Panel recommends Missouri House expel Republican accused of sexually abusing his children

(Missouri Independent) – The Missouri House Ethics Committee voted unanimously on Monday to recommend Rep. Rick Roeber be expelled from the Legislature. The committee, made up of five Republicans and five Democrats, said evidence obtained over the course of its four-month investigation confirmed Roeber had sexually abused two of his children in 1990 when they […]

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Audio: Missouri House committee working to get to the bottom of boarding school abuse allegations falling through the cracks

A Missouri House committee is working to get to the bottom of abuse allegations surfacing about several faith-based boarding schools, but then falling through the cracks. State Representative Dottie Bailey of Eureka says there are too many Missouri Children’s Division managers and not enough frontline workers handling child abuse and neglect allegations. During an oversight […]

Private School

Audio: Missouri House unanimously passes plan to address abuse allegations at religious boarding schools

The Missouri House has unanimously passed a bipartisan plan in hopes of putting a stop to alleged child abuse at religious boarding schools.     An investigation by the Kansas City Star has found for decades, students at some of these boarding schools have been beaten, raped, starved, restrained, and isolated for days or even […]

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Marceline man charged with child abuse and domestic assault

A Marceline man accused of punching a 10-year-old on March 21st faces two felony charges in Linn County. Thirty-one-year-old Patrick Colby Niemeier has been charged with third-degree domestic assault and abuse or neglect of a child—no sexual contact. Niemeier entered a plea of not guilty in the Associate Circuit Court on March 24th and requested […]

Private School

Audio: Lawmakers to question Missouri DSS chief about boarding school abuse investigations

The head of the Missouri Department of Social Services is scheduled to appear before a panel of lawmakers Wednesday about the agency’s handling of abuse investigations within boarding schools. The Missouri House Special Committee on Government Oversight has called a Wednesday afternoon hearing to question the department’s acting director, Jennifer Tidball. The Kansas City Star has […]