Two more steps toward a better informed public

Two recent articles in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette indicate progress in the unyielding fight for transparency and for a public with better tools to be more fully informed.

First, in the weekend edition of the Sun-Gazette, two Clinton County women, Donna Kshir and Lee Roberts, are working diligently on making the child abuse registry available to the public.

“They believe opening the central registry will give parents the opportunity to protect their children,” Lexi Howard, who is working with Kshir and Roberts, told the Sun-Gazette.

Their efforts should be commended by all parents and by all readers who care about the safety of the children of our communities. We all should hope their efforts succeed.

Second, an Associated Press article in Monday’s Sun-Gazette examined how newspapers and the media are using “open source” investigations to better inform the public.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE!!

Donna M. Kshir and Lee ‘Cougardawn’ Roberts

Doug Mastriano Rally

I had the privilege of meeting Doug Mastriano (running for the Governor of Pennsylvania) and his beautiful wife Rebbie today, May 12, 2022. Both were very kind and were interested in hearing about our (Lee and I’s) goal to open the Pennsylvania child abuse Central Registry. I am looking forward to speaking with them again and answering any questions they may have.

Two women fight for law to make child abuse registry open

Great article! Thank you Mark!!

Donna M. Kshir and Lee ‘Cougardawn’ Roberts, both grandmothers, want people to be able to search offenders by name and location, according to Lexi Howard, an assistant and spokeswoman for Kshir and Roberts.

The grandmothers are seeking legislation to become law that would require the State Police to open the current private computerized database of individuals convicted of child abuse offenses in the state, including their name, date of birth, the tier of the crime and the location the crime took place which is often needed to find court records.

Past and latest efforts

Since 2015, Kshir and Roberts have been trying to get the child abuse registry to be open.

“They believe opening the central registry will give parents the opportunity to protect their children from the unknown,” Howard said.

Their latest effort includes a scheduled meeting on May 14 with state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-McElhattan, to see if they can get her support and sponsorship of legislation.

A prior meeting with Denise Maris, a Democrat candidate for the 76th District for state representative, resulted in Maris’ pledge of support of the proposal should she be elected.

Should the bill pass into law, the women would like it to be named Anson’s Law, after 9-year-old Anson Stover who suffered unspeakable abuse, was placed into a bathtub, and died from the injuries inflicted on him at the hands of his aunt.

The two started campaigning to open the child abuse central registry after 2-year-old Conner Bachuss lost his life to child abuse.

Kshir used her influence as an author and advocate seeking Conner’s Law alongside Conner’s mother, Mashanna Bachuss-Waggoner, to get justice for the toddler.

Conner’s Law became law, with a signature from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in March 2015. Manslaughter in the first degree, which carries a 10-20 year sentence, now includes fatal child abuse. Abusers have to serve 85% of that sentence before being released.

The Kentucky toddler’s killer, Ronald Saunders II, suffered from violence in his background, but his past was hidden on the private registry.

After serving 5 ½ years in prison, on a plea deal, for torturing and killing the toddler, Saunders was released from prison and re-offended abusing another child within a month of his release.

Four types of child abuse include neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. In some countries, using corporal punishment is regarded as child abuse.

One study recorded in MedicalNews Today has suggested that 1 in 4 children experience some kind of neglect or abuse at some time.

Children who may have experienced abuse should visit a doctor or hospital, as physical medical help or counseling may be needed.

Anyone who believes they are abusing, have abused, or might abuse a child should remove themselves from the child and place the child somewhere safe, for example, by asking someone else to look after them, then find someone to confide in. Counseling may be necessary.

Source: Sungazette

Two Grandmothers Fight to Open Pennsylvania’s Central Registry

Pennsylvania has provided Megan’s Law, a sex offender registry, where people can search out offenders by name, photograph and location. Unlike the sex offender registry, the child abuse central registry remains private. 

Since 2015, two Clinton County, Pennsylvania grandmothers, Donna M. Kshir and Lee ‘Cougardawn’ Roberts, have been fighting to make it happen. They believe opening the central registry will give parents the opportunity to protect their children from the unknown. The two started campaigning to open the child abuse central registry after 2-year-old Conner Bachuss lost his life to child abuse. The Kentucky toddler’s killer, Ronald Saunders II, had a very violent dating back to his time in the military, but his past was hidden on the private registry. After serving 5.5 years in prison, on a plea deal, for torturing and killing the toddler, Saunders would be released from prison and re-offend abusing another child within a month of his release. 

The measure would require the Pennsylvania State Police to open the current private computerized database of individuals convicted of child abuse offenses in the state, including their name, date of birth, photograph, the tier of the crime and the location the crime took place which is often needed to find court records. 

Ms. Kshir and Roberts meet with Pennsylvania State Representative Republican Stephanie Borowicz on May 4th seeking sponsorship. The duo has already met with Denise Maris, Democratic candidate for the 76th District for State Representative. Maris has shown her full support and if elected will sponsor the proposal and present it to the House on their behalf. 

If the bill is passed into law the duo wants to name the law Anson’s Law, after 9-year-old Anson Stover who suffered unspeakable abuse, was placed into a bathtub, and died from the injuries inflicted on him at the hands of his aunt. 

Ms. Kshir used her influence seeking Conner’s Law alongside of Conner’s mother, Mashanna Bachuss-Waggoner, to get justice for the toddler. Conner’s Law became law, with a signature from Governor Steve Beshear in March 2015. Manslaughter in the first degree, which carries a 10-20 year sentence, now includes fatal child abuse. Abusers have to serve 85 percent of that sentence before being released.

  • Photo: Donna Kshir, left, Lee Roberts, right.

I’m Offended You’re Offended Podcast

I was honored to be a guest speaker in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t so sure how it was going to go after I got an email that said, ‘We don’t want to offend anyone.’ I received a lot of support, but I also offended many. Usually, people who get angry or offended when you talk about child abuse have something to hide. I won’t watch my P’s and Q’s or be silenced to make anyone feel comfortable.

(Please excuse any background noises, we were driving.)

Listen to the podcast HERE on Anchor Fm.

The Importance of Opening the Central Registry Podcast

Lee Roberts and I (Donna Kshir) want to open the Central Registry. Wouldn’t you want to know if someone you are newly getting involved with or invite into your life, your home or your children’s life had a violent past? If they abused, neglected or killed a child? Wouldn’t you want to know? I would want to know and I believe we have that right to know to protect our children. The only way to do that is to open the Central Registry and make it public like Megan’s Law. Give parents the knowledge to protect their children. Listen on podcast HERE on Anchor FM.

No Response is a Huge Response

We have had a lot of supporters asking if we contacted representatives in their prospective areas.

Yes! We have reached out to Representatives Stephanie Borowicz, Tina Davis, Pamela DeLissio, Perry Warren, Joe Hamm and Senator Cris Dush, but with the exception of Stephanie Borowicz, with whom we have a meeting the week of April 25th we are still waiting for their responses. In my opinion, no response is a HUGE response!!

Each of these men and women who represent the people of Pennsylvania did not take 5 minutes out of their day to return a phone call or reply to an email.

It’s sad when elected officials refuse to listen or address the people’s concerns. It makes you think just how much they really care about the people. As upsetting as it can be, it is also eye-opening. It can teach you a big lesson on how much they can be trusted and how many promises they keep after they are elected into office.

Remember, you rock the vote and you give them the power. If you are okay with your concerns and issues going unaddressed keep voting for the same old, same old but if you want elected officials in office that care about you, your children, your community and your state… challenge your current elected officials and make them keep their promises. When elected officials refuse to help you or your cause when in crisis we need to ask ourselves, ‘What do they actually do for the good of people in Pennsylvania?’

Elected officials campaign and make many promises but quickly after they are elected into office they forget who put them there and the promises they made. If they are quick to forget or are okay with lying to voters then ‘we the people’ need to start making better choices when voting at the polls. We need to remove the ‘liars’ out of office and support those who actually care about and support the people of Pennsylvania.

Watch, listen and subscribe to our journey, ‘Road to the Registry’ on YouTube!

Still Waiting

We have had a lot of people asking if we contacted representatives in their prospective areas.  

Yes! We have reached out to Representatives Tina Davis, Pamela DeLissio, Perry Warren, Joe Hamm and Senator Cris Dush, but … #roadtotheregistryblog

READ MORE HERE!