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November 20, 1989 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

State
knew of
*abuse
before
deaths
by Associated Press
Three months before two-and-
one-half year-old Lisa Marie Scruggs
was beaten to death by her stepfa-
ther, suspicious hospital doctors re-
ported possible child abuse.
But the Kalamazoo girl remained
in her home, where she died after be-
ing beaten by Thomas Bradshaw,
who became angry when the girl
soiled her pants.
Bradshaw, convicted of voluntary
manslaughter and paroled in March
1988 after serving three year of his 5
to 15-year sentence, told investiga-
tors he first slapped the child, then
hit her with a wooden cooking
spoon, then spanked her again.
"I was still mad at her for mess-
ing her pants and so I kicked her... I
didn't kick her as hard as I could, but
they were more like average swift-
kicks," he told authorities after the
*girl died of internal bleeding in
1984.
Lisa was one of at least 62 chil-
dren who died of abuse in Michigan
between Jan. 1, 1984 and Dec. 31,
1988. A four-month study by the
Detroit Free Press, published yester-
day, found that almost a third of
those children had been the topics of
abuse reports.
C. Patrick Babcock, Department
of Social Services director, says he
wishes his agency could keep the
state's children safe.
"Unfortunately, I don't think the
protective services system is ever
going to keep children from getting
killed."
The newspaper also found that
policies on child abuse vary
markedly from county to county, and
* the number of abuse allegations re-
ported skyrocketed between 1982 and
1989.
In 1982, there were 36,241 alle-
gations and of those, about 15,000
were verified. For fiscal 1989, which
ended Sept. 30, the state received
48,970 complaints, but only 15,800
were verified. Still, social workers'
mission is to keep families together
if possible, even as they try to pro-
On state lawmakers wants to do
more to ensure the safety of children.
"The bottom line in DDS is that
kids aren't being protected," said
state Rep. Debbie Stabenow, (D-
Lansing), who sponsored legislation
to create the Children's Trust Fund.
The agency helps fund local abuse
prevention efforts.
"We have a serious problem, but
I would hate to see us just point the
finger at an already overloaded DSS
and say it's your fault," Stabenow
said.

I

The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 20, 1989 - Page 5
Homeless fix
up S. Ashley
Street house

by Karen Akerlof
Daily Staff Writer
A black, red, and green banner --
"Housing is a right. No more money
for parking structures" - still blows
in the wind in front of the porch at
337 S. Ashley St.
When members of the Homeless
Action Committee moved into the
house last Monday to protest Ann
Arbor's lack of low-income housing,
they didn't know how long the city
and the house's owner would let
them stay in the residence.
But this weekend, committee
members and homeless people were
still living in the house and fixing it
up. Since Monday night, the house
has been continually occupied by six
to eight "hard-core" supporters.
About 20 people have stayed in the
house for shelter from the recent
frigid weather.
The house is to be demolished
sometime next spring to make room
for a city-built, $9 million parking
structure behind Kline's department
store.
An Ann Arborite who identified
himself as Shane said, "We have
made it (the house) habitable." He
pointed to the plastic on the win-
dows which keep in the heat as an
example of the renovations which
have made the house more livable.
Shane said the new house resi-
dents have arranged for electricity,
replaced the fuses, and cleaned the
house.
The house's owner, Mable Hel-
ber, died last Wednesday, according

Hundreds of gamers converged upon the Michigan Union Pendleton Room last weekend for hours of intense
strategizing and role playing during the U*Conn game playing convention. Here, Ken McCombie of Whitman
Lake and Thorin Rehkopf of Big Rapids play Battletech.
Nectarine patrons lip-synch to

to her daughter and son-in-law. Hel-
ber hadn't lived in the house.for two
years.
Kathleen Bolton, Helber's daugh-
ter and the administrator of the es-
tate, and her husband Claude were
unaware that the committee was
planning to move into the house.
When they stopped by the house on
Tuesday, they were surprised to find
people living there.
"I went over there, and I couldn't
believe it," Claude Bolton said. 'I
was quite perturbed at the time."
He emphasized that he did not
condone the house's takeover.
However, he said, "I can't see
kicking them out when they are
cleaning (the house) up. They are
not destructive - they are well or-
ganized. The house is cleaned the
best it has been in two years."
The Boltons have not had an op-
portunity to determine their rights to
the house since Helber's death,
Claude Bolton said.
He and his wife have wanted to
fix the house up and rent the rooms
as low-income housing, but when
they learned that the city might tear
down the house to, make room for
the parking structure, they halted all
work on the house. "Why should I
put another nickel in it?" he asked.
The city offered the Boltons
$140,000 for the house last summer,
but Claude Bolton said they refused
the offer because it was too low.

fame at
by Gwen Shaffer

'Rock Alike Contest'

In addition to the music and danc-
ing, patrons of the Nectarine Ball-
room Saturday night were treated to
the second annual Rock Alike Con-
test, sponsored by Students Against
Multiple Sclerosis (SAMS).
The lip-synch competition fea-
tured six "bands" and was open to
"anyone who wanted to enter," said
SAMS chair Kevin McCarthy.
MTV and Maxwell House coffee
sponsor similar events along with
SAMS chapters on college campuses
around the country. The first-place
finishers at Saturday's competition
will have their video sent to MTV,
where they will then compete
against other bands from the mid-
west region. The winner of that
competition will vie for a trip to
Daytona Beach, McCarthy said.
First-place honors went to a
group of students from West Quad,
who performed "Start Me Up" by the
Rolling Stones. Coming in at a
close second were members of Tri-
angle Fraternity, who "sang" Motley
Crue's "Dr. Feel Good." Members of
Sigma Delta Tau sorority placed
third with "Bust a Move," by Young
MC.
Groups from Eastern Michigan
University, Theta Delta Chi frater-
nity and an independent band called
the Wild Stallions also performed in
the competition.
The winners were determined
based on the amount of money each
band raised, and the judges' ratings
in four categories: props, choreogra-

phy, originality, and lip-synch.
i riangle fraternity helped orga-
nize and host Rock Alike as its ma-
jor philanthropy project, member
Greg Harrington said. Although he
thought this year's event was suc-
cessful, "there were five other bands
that dropped, so we are a little disap-
pointed money-wise," he said.
"The amount of money raised is
somewhere in the vicinity of
$1,000," McCarthy said. "We wish
we could have raised more; we hoped
for a better turnout at the door."
"Next year's contest will be big-
ger and better," he added.
Most participants agreed that the
contest was something in which
DECORATING BLUES?
We're here to hel.
It's a new Write: Help Me
advice c/o Michigan Daily
column in 420 Maynard
the Daily. AnnArbor, MI 48109

they were glad to have been in-
volved. "It was a good time," said
West Quad band member Joe Micha-
lak. "And the fact that it was for a
good cause helped a lot, too."
Jeff Klemmer, who performed
with Theta Delta Chi, suggested, "In
the future, the sponsors should allow
the bands to sing more than one
song" to help them "get into the
groove." He added that he would
"definitely be willing to participate
in the contest again."
"The audience really seemed to be
entertained," commented first-year
student Lisa Pasquale, who said she
came "because it was something dif-
ferent to do on a Saturday night."
MONEY TROUBLES?
We're here to help.
It's a new Write: Help l
advice c/o Michigan Daily
column in 420 Maynard
the Daily. Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

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