Good morning.*Please read the articles below.*PLEASE investigate this and put it on national news. It would seem the only way the these disadvantaged children can get a chance for a real life.*It would also force the state to cleanup the DHS (Dept. of Human Services).*All indication are that the state is going to give the kids back after a short jail term and parenting lessons. What a bunch of ****!*If we can get some national pressure on the state of Oregon, maybe things can change and, at least these two children can have a chance to see adulthood.*Again, PLEASE GET INVOLVED.*J W Stibik*Redmond, OR *(***) ***-*******From: Bend Bulletin EE ******@***.com**Subject: Bend Bulletin eEdition Article*Date: January **, **** at *:**:** AM PST*To: *****@***.com*Reply-To: *****@***.com*******@***.com sent you this article.***Comment: ***Friday, January **, ******PRINEVILLE**Couple sentenced for neglect of children **BY GARRETT ANDREWS**The Bulletin**Even in a home that reeked of ***** and rotting food, the room at the top of the narrow staircase went beyond anything police expected.**Two naked toddlers, their hair tangled with debris and dried *****. Prineville Police officer Jonathan Adkins felt a wave of unusually warm, hot air wash over him.**"I could see that ***** had been smeared on all the walls of the room in what appeared to be small hand prints," he would write in his police report on Oct.****, ****. "The smell was so powerful, it burned my nostrils and caused me to wince in disgust."**The scene at the Prineville home of Terry Earl Nicholson, **, and Felicia Davin Nicholson, **, would lead to accusations of child abuse and neglect and, on Thursday, guilty pleas in Crook County Circuit Court.**Police arrested the Nicholsons that night. Their children, a *-year-old daughter and a *-year-old son, were removed by the Oregon Department of Human Services and are currently living in an out-of-home placement.**See Children * A*** **Terry Nicholson ***Felicia Nicholson***At the time of the arrest, the children were described by officers, nurses and child welfare officials as "malodorous," non-verbal, hungry and "eager for help."**Three Prineville Police officers wrote reports that paint a nightmarish picture. Those reports were released Thursday upon conclusion of the Nicholsons’ criminal case. They have an open DHS custody case, according to court records.**At around *:** p.m., Oct. **, police were called to *** NW **th St. — the Elizabeth Townhomes — to a report of a physical fight in apartment No. *. They arrived to find Felicia Nicholson outside, a red mark above her eye and a laceration on her knuckles. She smelled strongly of alcohol and slurred her words.Adkins described his initial impressions upon entering the house.**"The downstairs was terribly filthy with large amounts of food ground into the carpet, old leftover food and chips on plates scattered throughout the downstairs," Adkins wrote. "There was an odor of rotting food, and an overall moldy musk that filled the air throughout the house. The kitchen was riddled with dirty dishes and food was scattered on the stove, countertops, floors and walls. It did not appear as though the house had been ransacked, but more like neglectful people people living in filth and never cleaning after themselves. The living room was cluttered with various clothing, toys, and other items. Everything appeared to be dirty and unclean."**Felicia Nicholson called out loudly for her husband to come downstairs.**Terry Nicholson had blood around his mouth, and his breath and body emitted an "overwhelming" odor of alcohol, police wrote.**Before he was placed in handcuffs, he tried to talk his way out of trouble, telling officer Dallas Wilson, "Can I tell you something straight up, we are going to go to bed and cut it out right now."**Wilson replied: "I think we are past that point in the situation."**Officers walked up the home’s narrow staircase**with their guns drawn. The air changed, from "rotting" to "toxic."**"I noticed the foul smell turned from a moldy musk to a strong ***** smell," Adkins wrote.**Against one wall of the second- floor landing, there was a pile of dirty diapers. Against another, a pile of clothes and pillows covered in dried human *****.**The master bedroom and another bedroom were "extremely" cluttered. The bathroom was "disgusting," with urine and ***** built up in the toilet and flies and gnats swarming.**Near the baby gate was a door kept closed by a bungee cord, as if to keep someone inside from opening it.**Adkins removed the bungee.**"When I opened the door, I saw two small naked children," Adkins wrote. "I holstered my duty weapon and tried to greet the children in a friendly manner."**There was ***** on "just about every item in the room." It appeared to police as though there were layers of it on the walls, as if it had been applied numerous times.**At first, the children didn’t speak. When asked their names, they stared at the officers with blank expressions. Suddenly, the girl ran to Adkins and hugged him, and her brother followed suit.**They were skinny, and the skin under their eyes had a purple hue, Adkins wrote in his report. The boy’s ribcage was plainly visible. At one point as police searched the house, the children ran into the master bedroom and grabbed food lying out that was covered in flies and gnats. Because the food was spoiled, the officers didn’t let the children eat it.**Police contacted paramedics and DHS.**The children were dressed in hospital gowns, wrapped in blankets and carried outside to an ambulance. They were taken to St. Charles Prineville, where they hurriedly drank cups of water and apple juice and ate several packages of graham crackers.**Children ON PAGE A***Dr. Mark Curry evaluated the children at the hospital. There was not evidence of trauma, he said.**Registered nurse Chachona Dalton said the children were not scared upon arriving at the hospital, which is unusual because most children who come to the emergency room without their parents are scared. Dalton said the children were "eager for us to help them."**Police interviewed the Nicholsons’ neighbors. One said the couple had lived at the location for about six to seven months. Neighbors said they usually saw the kids through windows and they were usually naked. Several saw the children hanging out of the second-floor window. One said she’d called police and DHS on the Nicholsons "multiple" times. After they were arrested, the Nicholsons were interviewed separately at the jail.They told police that a DHS caseworker had visited the home days earlier but had not gone upstairs. They said " everything was fine" that day, and DHS closed its case on them.**Felicia Nicholson said she and her husband were unemployed and drank every day, according to court records.**She said her kids are "smart" and had learned to open doors, so they were kept locked in their room when they were supposed to be asleep. And the couple didn’t keep many items in the children’s room because they "destroy everything."**Felicia Nicholson wasn’t sure what the children had eaten that day.**Investigators confronted her about the rotten food and overall filth. She "did not have any excuses," Adkins wrote.**On Thursday, the Nicholsons pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment — one for each child. In exchange, they agreed to serve ** days in jail and ** months of supervised probation. They will be subject to mental health and alcohol evaluations, and attend parenting classes through the DHS.**ee Reporter: ***-***-****, *****@***.com***Comment: ***Sunday, January **, ******PRINEVILLE CHILD NEGLECT**DHS won’t discuss role in case **Police were called to the home numerous times**BY KYLE SPURR**The Bulletin**State child welfare officials will not discuss their involvement with a disturbing neglect case in Prineville where police found a *-year-old boy and his *-year-old sister living in a home reeking of dried ***** and rotting food. Prineville Police say the severity of the case only surfaced the night of Oct. ** when officers arrested the toddlers’ parents — Terry Earl Nicholson, **, and Felicia Davin Nicholson, **. But police reports from that night note a history of child welfare concerns, including**involvement by the Oregon Department of Human Services: multiple police visits to the home due to child neglect allegations, calls to assist state human services workers and neighbors who said DHS had been called.**Those reports were released Thursday after the Nicholsons pleaded guilty in Crook County Circuit Court to two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment — one for each child. Through a plea agreement, they were sentenced to ** days in jail and three years’ probation. They have an open DHS custody case.**The Oregon Department of Human Services keeps details about open child welfare cases private, citing a need to protect the privacy of the children.**See Neglect * A****Terry Nicholson ***Felicia Nicholson ****Only cases involving child fatalities are made public, according to the state agency.**"There are no fatalities, thank goodness," DHS spokesman Jake Sunderland said about the Prineville case. "The children have their lives ahead of them, and they deserve a right to privacy."**At the time the Nicholsons were arrested, they told police a DHS caseworker visited the home a few days earlier but did not go upstairs, where the children were found by police, naked with their hair tangled with debris and dried *****.**Terry Nicholson told police "everything was fine" when DHS visited, and the agency closed its case on them.**During the investigation detailed in police reports, officers interviewed the Nicholsons’ neighbors in the Elizabeth Townhomes, where the couple had lived for about six months.**Melissa Ramsey, who lives in a unit west of the Nicholsons, told officers she had called the police and DHS about the children multiple times. She recalled seeing the children playing in the second-floor window**and leaning out of it. She never saw them play outside.**Another neighbor, Tyler Sexton, told police the upstairs window was ripped open and he also could see the children hanging out it. When they were hanging out of the window, Sexton knocked on the door, but the parents were not home. He tried to get the children to go back into the window, but then, Terry Nicholson returned home, Sexton said.**April Iveans, who lives next door to the Nicholsons, told police the children were always standing in their bedroom window, usually naked. She could hear the children in their room hitting or kicking the wall, which occurred most of the day, every day.**On the night the Nicholsons were arrested, officers were called to a physical fight at the Nicholsons’ address and were not expecting to find the evidence of severe child neglect, Prineville Police Sgt. James Peterson said Friday.**"It all unfolded right there," Peterson said. "It was literally like stumbling on to all of that while they were doing the investigation."**Neglect ON PAGE A***The Prineville case is the latest in a troubling trend across the state. Child neglect cases have been rising in Oregon in the last five years, state child welfare officials said.**In Crook County through September, there were ** confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect cases, which accounted for **% of the county’s cases, state human services records show.**In Deschutes County — where Maliyha Hope Garcia, a *-year-old Redmond girl, was starved to death by her parents in **** — child neglect cases increased from *** cases in **** to *** cases in ****, according to human services data. Neglect comprised **.*% of Deschutes County child welfare cases in ****.**"Pretty consistently across the state, we are seeing more and more cases of neglect," Sunderland said. "The majority of our cases are neglect compared to physically abusive behaviors."**ee Reporter: ***-***-****, *****@***.com
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