The American Heritage Girls, a Christian alternative to The Girl Scouts, is continuing to expand across the U.S. and the world, taking up the pro-life cause where others have not.
"They (The Girl Scouts) say they take no position and when one takes no position, they do take a position. That's a concern for me as a leader of a girls organization," said Patti Garibay, executive director of American Heritage Girls, in an interview with TheBlaze on Wednesday. "These are issues that girls do have to deal with – and if you're going to be a character-driven program … [abortion] is an issue that we can't just sweep under the carpet."
The group has grown in membership more than 40 percent in the past few years, with its 32,000 members spread across all 50 states and 14 countries. The Girl Scouts, on the other hand, while much larger in terms of membership, has seen a drop from 2.8 million members in 2003 to 2.2 million in 2013. more >>
The girlfriend of a young man who killed Deputy Scott Pine during a car burglary could face charges under Florida's felony-murder law. Erica Shantell Pugh, 18, faces charges of grand theft auto and burglary, as well as aggravated assault and armed robbery.
Deputy Pine responded to the call of a vehicle theft and was investigating when he encountered Pugh and 28-year-old Benjamin Holtermann.
"Around midnight, our deputy encountered the suspect [Holtermann] and the suspect took off running. The deputy sheriff took off in pursuit in the area of Longmore Court and Westminster Abbey Boulevard," Orange County Undersheriff Rey Rivero told WESH News. "The deputy was hit and kept running. We called for help, shots fired, and right after that, another shot was heard. more >>
Three Disney World employees were arrested as part of a larger child sex sting operation in Florida. 20 other men were arrested as part of the seven-day sex sting dubbed "Be Mine" in honor of Valentine's Day.
Robert Kingsolver, 49; Patrick Holgerson, 32; and Joel Torres, 32; were charged with a variety of crimes, including traveling to meet a minor. Other charges include soliciting a child for sexual acts, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution. The men all responded to a 13-year-old's online post offering sex.
What they didn't know was that the girl was actually an officer with the Lake County Sheriff's department, and when they showed up to an empty house to meet the "girl," they were taken into custody. more >>
Juan Carlos Chavez, the man found guilty of kidnapping, raping, killing and dismembering 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in 1995 was put to death in Florida on Wednesday night. Ryce's parents are satisfied to see justice for their son and said that Chavez could have made different choices that would not have led to his death.
"19 years ago, Juan Carlos Chavez was faced with a choice," Jimmy's father, Don, told reporters after the execution. "He had kidnapped my son. He had sexually assaulted him, and now it was time to decide would he let him live or would he take his life? We know what he decided to do and the choice he made, and as a result of that choice he died today."
Chavez reportedly kidnapped Jimmy at gunpoint just one block from his home. He then took him back to his trailer, raped him and held him captive before shooting Jimmy in the back as he tried to escape. Chavez then dismembered the boy's body and filled three planters with the body parts and concrete. His remains were found three months later after Chavez confessed to the murder. more >>
An abused child decided to take a chance and send an email asking for help to her teacher, who then called 911. The child, along with her sister and brother, were rescued from a horrible situation and are now enjoying proper care and just being children again.
"I'm sure like most kids she trusted in her teacher that she would get her help," Scioto County Sheriff's Capt. David Hall told the Associated Press. "We don't know if the opportunity was there that maybe no adults were around. Or maybe she just had enough."
According to the child, and substantiated by police reports, the girl, her sister and brother, were all repeatedly tied to their beds, beaten, and the young girls raped by their 44-year-old stepfather. The children told authorities that they were tied up with ropes and chains, sometimes for weeks, only to be untied to do homework for their online school. The children also said that they were beaten, and authorities found marks and bruises on their bodies to confirm the abuse. more >>
Belgium may become the first country to legalize euthanasia for youth, regardless of age, during a ground-breaking vote tomorrow. The legislation seems to have support from most of the country but is of course a controversial topic that many are afraid will take lives of innocent children.
Right now, anyone under the age of 18 in Belgium must either let nature take its course or wait until he or she turns 18 and then ask to be euthanized. It's a big decision for families to make, but doctors say that they often hear requests from youth who are diagnosed with terminal cancer or are in immense pain. In the Netherlands, children between 12 and 15 may be euthanized with their parents' permission; children 16 and 17 must tell their parents of their intentions beforehand.
"We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life," Dr. Gerland van Berlaer, a pediatrician in Brussels, told the Associated Press. "It's not that they have months or years to go. Their life will end anyway. The question they ask us is: 'Don't make me go in a terrible, horrifying way, let me go now while I am still a human being and while I still have my dignity." more >>