Twelve-year-old Chloe Stirling’s started a cupcake business, called “Hey Cupcake!” in her parent’s kitchen. On June 10th, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill in her family’s kitchen in downstate Troy, just east of St. Louis MO, that will allow home bakers to start a business in their home and be freed from some government health and business regulations. “Hey Cupcake!” was started by Chloe to sell cupcakes at fundraisers and to friends and family. When the Madison County Health Department got wind of the cottage industry, they shut it down because Chloe Stirling didn’t have the proper business license and the Stirling’s kitchen wasn’t commercially certified. Chloe and her mom went to Springfield where they lobbied for a bill to make it easier for small “home kitchen operators” to sell their goods without having to jump through so many government hoops. Lawmakers passed a bill that creates a new state business category for people who make less than $1,000 per month producing food in their own homes to sell by themselves or for a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization. House Bill 5354 says home kitchen operators cannot be regulated or shut down by local governments or health departments unless there is a complaint or a health safety issue. The bill defines a “home kitchen operation” and authorizes the state or county health department to inspect a home kitchen operation only in the event of a complaint or disease outbreak. Chloe Stirling and her mother worked tirelessly to get the law passed so home cooks could do what they love, cook and bake. Quinn thanked Chloe for standing up for small entrepreneurs. Quinn has been quoted as saying “Democracy is for everyone and I salute Chloe Stirling for getting involved and making a difference for a cause she believes in.”
Fingerprinting has become the gold standard amongst law enforcement, schools, religious institutions and community groups around the country; they have joined forces to fingerprint children as a means of identifying them should they go missing. Nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The US Congress passed the Missing Children’s Assistance Act in 1984, which helps to establish the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Missing children include those taken by a parent during a divorce or child custody fight, and runaways, as well as the rare but real child kidnappings. Having your child’s fingerprints on file is important should they go missing for any reason. Fingerprints are unique to each person, as they are comprised of a pattern of ridges and loops that no other individual has. In the eighty years of fingerprint classification, no identical sets have ever been found. Your fingerprints are present at birth and, though your hand and fingers continue to grow, the relative position of the loops and ridges remains the same throughout your life. Fingerprinting cannot prevent abduction or keep a child from running away but it does provide an opportunity to talk to them about personal safety. The basic rules you should instill in your child include; Checking with a parent or a trusted adult before going anywhere Never accept anything from a stranger or get into a vehicle of someone that they do not know When playing outside or walking to another location they should always be with a friend Telling a parent or another adult if anyone makes them feel scared or unhappy Say no if someone tries to touch or hurt them, then make a lot of noise and run to tell someone right away Law enforcement agencies also suggest having a current photo of your child. If possible, the photo should be a digital version in order to make it easy to distribute throughout the community and nationally. In addition, Illinois is a member of the AMBER Alert Plan, which brings together local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with broadcasters and other media in order to assist in the search and safe recovery of a missing child. The Illinois Amber Alert site http://www.amberillinois.org offers links and activities for children and their families. Fingerprinting your child, paired with increased public awareness and continued collaboration with law enforcement agencies,[READ MORE…]
In the wake of the scandal, trial, and subsequent conviction for sexual abuse of Coach Jerry Sandusky, schools are looking for ways to prevent these occurrences at all levels of education. Erin’s law has been enacted in four states, including Illinois, and introduced by the legislature in another eight. The law, named for author and advocate Erin Merryn, requires school districts to create, implement, and teach age appropriate curriculum to educate students about sexual abuse. Erin believed that sexual abuse education in schools serving pre-k through 5th grade students has proven to be an effective method for preventing children from falling prey to, or remaining quiet about, sexual abuse. Signed into law by Governor Quinn in 2011, the Illinois law provides, among other things, training for school personnel on the warning signs of sexual abuse, as well as educational information for parents or guardians. It suggests that schools adopt policies for assistance, intervention, resources, and counseling for any child who is a victim of child abuse. Erin Merryn has made it her mission to take Erin’s law to the U.S. Congress and have it signed into law by the president. The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System have reported a decline in child sexual abuse. Policy experts suggest that the decline may be related to more aggressive prosecution and incarceration policies, as well as growing public awareness about the problem.
Zachâ€™s Law, which was passed by the Illinois legislature this summer, protects children on soccer fields. In 2003, 6 year old Zach Tran became the 36th victim in the United States to die as the result of unsafe soccer goals; many more have been injured. The sad reality is that most of the goals that are in existence have been designed and manufactured using metal for the top and sidebars. This design makes these movable goals top-heavy and easy to tip over. Players of all ages, from grade school to adults, have been injured or killed when an unanchored goal fell on them.
When we hear the word disabilities we usually think about physical disabilities. Rosa’s Law, named for an 8-year-old Maryland girl diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, gives dignity to people with intellectual disabilities allowing them to be respected and appreciated.
Drain entrapment is a little-known swimming pool and hot tub hazard that many parents havenâ€™t heard of that can cause even the strongest swimmer to drown. Drain entrapment can occur when a drain is either uncovered or the cover is brittle, broken, or improperly attached. Without the protection of the drain cover, suction can pull hair, clothing, jewelry, or even a body part into or against the pool drain. If a swimmerâ€™s head is pulled and underwater, they can drown.
The Amber Alert has become the gold standard in how police provide broadcasters with timely information about abductionsâ€”including photos and descriptionsâ€”so word can be spread immediately to the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of an abducted child. The decision to declare an AMBER Alert is made by each police organization, which investigates the abduction. Today, all 50 states and hundreds of cities have Amber Alert plans.
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