Monday, August 14, 2017

Battle Creek MI refuses to let registered citizen open a place of business to help the hungry and poor

After reading stories like this, people should be able to understand why i'm a bitter man. Here's an idea, instead of trying to help a bunch of ungrateful pricks, use your ideas to benefit registered citizens and their loved ones instead.

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/news/2017/08/09/convicted-sex-offender-warned-stay-away-his-downtown-business/544682001/

Sex offender warned to stay away from his own business
Noe Hernandez, Battle Creek Enquirer Published 3:40 p.m. ET Aug. 9, 2017 | Updated 4:38 p.m. ET Aug. 9, 2017

A convicted sex offender who plans on opening a shop next to a toy store in downtown Battle Creek has been told by police he cannot be at his business and has been asked by his business partner to step down.

Reece Adkins, who pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13 in May 2000, plans to open Cereal City Food Auction, at 56 W. Michigan Ave., on Aug. 26.

Major Jim Grafton of the Battle Creek Police Department said Wednesday that Adkins was told Monday not to be in the space that houses his business because it is within 1,000 feet of Battle Creek Central High School and St. Philip Catholic schools.

Adkins, who is required to register with the state as a sex offender for the rest of his life, is prohibited by law from working or living within 1,000 feet of a school.

"He is not within his guidelines," Grafton said. "We've advised the gentleman that he cannot be at 56 W. Michigan Ave."

Adkins's business partner, Cindy Dian, said Tuesday that she has asked him to publicly step down after reports of his criminal past surfaced in the media.

"The idea of the business is to help low-income people with food," Dian said. "I have taken this week off to think and pray as to how to proceed.

"I feel that the damage that has been done by the media is irreparable," she added. "There's no way that any business can start after this, but, if told that I have to, I will try my best."

Adkins, a former independent contractor for the Battle Creek Enquirer who delivered newspapers, said Tuesday that he doesn't know if he will step down.

Three weeks ago, he said, a Battle Creek Police Department employee who works with registered sex offenders told him that he could open the business because it was more than 1,000 feet from a school.

The same officer, Adkins said, told him Monday that the shop actually was within 1,000 feet of a school.

Grafton said the department did tell Adkins the business was more than 1,000 feet from a school. He said Adkins first told the officer in charge of tracking registered sex offenders that the business was at 56 Michigan Ave. 

Grafton said his department later informed Adkins of the mistake after the officer checked to verify the location and realized it was within 1,000 feet of a school because it was located on 56 W. Michigan Ave., not 56 E. Michigan Ave.

Adkins said he's now launched an investigation into the matter. "I don't know if I'm going to step down or not because my investigation is not done," Adkins said. 

Adkins said he believes he has paid his debt to society. 

"It's something that's behind me," Adkins said Friday. "I've learned from the mistakes. I'm trying to move forward because a lot of people have criminal histories.

"It's something you don't need to live the rest of your life against," he added. "I've done my time; I deserve a chance. I've been out of the community going on five years now and I've not been in trouble since."

Adkins was sentenced to four years, two months to 15 years in June 2000, He was released in 2010, returned to prison in 2012 on a technicality, and then was released for good in 2014.

The new business, Cereal City Food Auction, also would be located next to Hall of Toys.

Hall of Toys owners Brett and Melanie Hall posted on Facebook that they were not aware that the new business next door would be run by a registered sex offender.

Brett Hall declined to comment Wednesday and referred a reporter to the Facebook post.

"As parents of young children ourselves, we understand the concerns voiced by the community and have spoken to our landlord and the Downtown Development Officer about helping that business find a location that is further away from a place where children regularly play," the post stated.

"We believe that a solution exists that allows the gentleman in question to have a fresh start while also ensuring the families that regularly visit us feel safe. We will stay abreast of the situation and would be happy to answer any questions you have. Thank you for your support in this matter."

Adkins tried to run for a seat on the city commission this year, but did not collect enough signatures by the registration deadline.

Related: Adkins off city candidate list after B.C. consults with state Elections Bureau

He also tried to run for a seat on the city commission in 1999, about a year before he pleaded guilty to the sexual assault charge. 

Dian and Adkins said they signed a one-year lease with an option for three more years, but building owner John Hennink said Adkins is not on the lease.

"(Adkins) has no lease with me," Hennink said. "If Cindy wants out of the lease, I would be willing to do so. My lease is with her."

John Hart, the city's downtown development director, said he was not aware Adkins was opening a business downtown.

"Of course, we're concerned with the perception of the downtown being a safe place to live, work, play and invest in, but there's no real comment from us as it relates to someone's status with the law," Hart said Tuesday. "It only becomes a concern to us if there might be a situation with an owner that might rise to a police investigation.

"We don't pick and choose who opens a business," he added. "Society will decide by their pleasure or displeasure of an owner's actions whether they will frequent a store or not."

Adkins and Dian said their goal was to help low-income shoppers and others who need to make the most of their grocery money.

If opened, Cereal City Food Auction would have a platform and podium for an auctioneer and chairs for food shoppers. Each shopper would get a bidding paddle with a number on it. Shoppers would then bid for non-perishable food items, such as canned soups and fruits.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Jackson Co Sheriff (MO) Mike Sharp uses threats of arrest to charity helping registered citizens



Here's another "Christian" not doing what Jesus would do. The state law may be ambiguous, but most folks understand that loitering means "stand or wait around idly or without apparent purpose." Getting services to survive is not "loitering," Sheriff not-so-Sharp.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article166456942.html

Threats to arrest convicted sex offenders at City Union Mission prompt federal lawsuit
BY TONY RIZZO
trizzo@kcstar.com

AUGUST 10, 2017 10:52 AM

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is targeting some sex offenders for arrest at the City Union Mission because it sits near a park, according to a federal lawsuit alleging that the practice violates the charity’s constitutionally protected rights of religious freedom.

The suit centers on how the sheriff’s office interprets a Missouri law that prohibits certain offenders from “loitering” within 500 feet of a public park that contains a pool or playground equipment.

The mission operates several facilities in the 1100 block of East 10th Street near Margaret Kemp Park, and the sheriff’s office has interpreted that law to cover those offenders at the mission, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

The suit contends that the Missouri law does not adequately define the term “loiter” and is unconstitutionally vague.

“We want to get that cleared up,” said Jonathan Whitehead, attorney for the mission. “Seeking shelter, food or prayer is not loitering.”

The sheriff’s office is now saying that the law “applies to kitchens and shelters of the mission, even though those buildings are being used for religious ministry and not for ‘loitering,’ ” according to the suit.

“As a result, the sheriff’s office has threatened to arrest certain mission employees or guests on mission property,” according to the suit.

That impinges on the constitutional rights of the mission, its employees and guests to exercise their religious faith, the suit claims.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said his office is simply following the law.

“I am statutorily obligated to enforce the laws of Missouri,” Sharp said. “That includes sex offender laws, and I will continue to do so until I’m told otherwise by the courts.”

The Missouri law was enacted in 2009 and amended in 2014.

It affects people who have been convicted of seven crimes: incest; first-degree child endangerment; use of a child in a sexual performance; promoting a sexual performance by a child; sexual exploitation of a minor; promoting child pornography; and furnishing pornographic material to minors.

But it wasn’t until May 2016 when the sheriff’s office notified the mission that it was interpreting the law to include those offenders being present on any of the mission’s property because of its proximity to Kemp Park.

“Based on the May 2016 position, no affected person could seek shelter, food, worship, prayer or services on mission land,” according to the suit.

And the mission noted that it could be prosecuted for aiding and abetting or conspiracy if it allowed affected persons to use its facilities.

In September, the sheriff’s office once again amended its position to allow affected persons to be in or work in some of the mission’s buildings, but not all of them.

The suit says that because of the policy, the mission said it has had to: allow sheriff’s deputies to conduct “sweeps” of its facilities; turn away affected people who need and want its ministry services; and withdraw religious and other services or employment for people who desperately need it.

Whitehead, the mission’s attorney, said that although no one has yet been arrested, some people have been told that they can’t work there or seek shelter.