COOS BAY — Sprouts Learning Garden is being investigated for serious allegations of abuse.
The daycare that operated in Coos Bay’s Eastside area, at 622 D St., fell under state scrutiny after reports of abuse reached the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division's Office of Child Care. OCC and partner agencies began an investigation, which included reaching out to parents whose children had been attending Sprouts.
“As part of this investigation, staff from OCC visited the site and found the facility closed,” said Peter Rudy, the public affairs specialist for the Office of the Deputy Superintendent for the Oregon Department of Education, in an email to The World.
Not only that, but Rudy said his office was then informed by the owner of Sprouts that they “were surrendering their license while under investigation.”
“We cannot provide further comment on an open investigation except to say that as a result of surrendering the license, Sprouts Learning Garden LLC cannot care for children for five years,” Rudy wrote.
The World read through the allegations found on an Oregon Department of Education child care safety website. Some of the allegations are classified as “valid." According to the state's website, "Every regulated facility receives at least one announced inspection and one unannounced inspection every year." These inspections are done by ODE's Early Learning Division. "Valid" classifications are when an allegation is confirmed by the director of the facility or a partner agency.
For the Eastside daycare, the complaints include that the facility allegedly withheld food and water from the child care children, an infant allegedly being placed in a back room called “the dungeon” alone and unsupervised on a daily basis with no heat, and one of the child care children allegedly striking an infant. According to the allegation, “teachers stated the infant deserves it because the child cries all of the time.”
Another allegation included children being called names like "demon child" and that the director allegedly yelled in children's faces and grabbed their arms.
Another alleged that an infant was swaddled so tightly "the infant can not move and will cry when swaddled," the report read.
Most of the valid allegations are dated from as recently as last month.
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WASHINGTON — The nation bid goodbye to George H.W. Bush with high praise, cannon salutes and gentle humor Wednesday, celebrating the life of the Texan who embraced a lifetime of service in Washington and was the last president to fight for the U.S. in wartime. Three former presidents looked on at Washington National Cathedral as a fourth — George W. Bush — eulogized his dad as "the brightest of a thousand points of light."
After three days of remembrance in the capital city, the Air Force plane with Bush's casket left for a final service in Houston and burial today at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. His final resting place is alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daughter who died of leukemia at age 3.
His plane, which often serves as Air Force One, arrived at Ellington Field outside Houston in late afternoon. As a motorcade subsequently carried Bush's remains to the family church, St. Martin's Episcopal, along a closed interstate, hundreds of people in stopped cars on the other side of the road, took pictures and shot cell phone video. One driver of a tanker truck climbed atop the hulking vehicle for a better view, and at least 15 firefighters scaled a pair of stopped firetrucks to salute.
Upon its arrival at the church, Bush's casket was met by a military band and Houston Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The national funeral service at the cathedral was a tribute to a president, a patriarch and a faded political era that prized military service and public responsibility. It was laced with indirect comparisons to President Donald Trump but was not consumed by them, as speakers focused on Bush's public life and character.
"He was a man of such great humility," said Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming. Those who travel "the high road of humility in Washington, D.C.," he added pointedly, "are not bothered by heavy traffic."
Trump sat with his wife, a trio of ex-presidents and their wives, several of the group sharp critics of his presidency and one of them, Hillary Clinton, his 2016 Democratic foe. Apart from courteous nods and some handshakes, there was little interaction between Trump and the others.
George W. Bush broke down briefly at the end of his eulogy while invoking the daughter his parents lost in 1953 and his mother, who died in April. He said he took comfort in knowing "Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again."
The family occupied the White House for a dozen years — the 41st president defeated after one term, the 43rd serving two. Jeb Bush stepped up to try to extend that run but fell short when Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries.
The elder Bush was "the last great-soldier statesman," historian Jon Meacham said in his eulogy, "our shield" in dangerous times.
But he took a lighter tone, too, noting that Bush, campaigning in a crowd in a department store, once shook hands with a mannequin. Rather than flushing in embarrassment, he simply quipped, "Never know. Gotta ask."
The congregation at the cathedral, filled with foreign leaders and diplomats, Americans of high office and others touched by Bush's life, rose for the arrival of the casket, accompanied by clergy of faiths from around the world. In their row together, Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton stood with their spouses and all placed their hands over their hearts.
Simpson regaled the congregation with stories from his years as Bush's friend in Washington. More seriously, he recalled that when he went through a rough patch in the political game, Bush conspicuously stood by him against the advice of aides. "You would have wanted him on your side," he said.
Meacham praised Bush's call to volunteerism, placing his "1,000 points of light" alongside Abraham Lincoln's call to honor "the better angels of our nature" in the American rhetorical canon. Meacham called those lines "companion verses in America's national hymn."
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and helped bring about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, signed into law by his successor, Clinton.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the day marked "a celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life."
Bush's death makes Carter, also 94 but more than 100 days younger, the oldest living ex-president.
Following the cathedral service, the hearse and its long motorcade drove to the National Mall to pass by the World War II Memorial, a nod to the late president's service as a World War II Navy pilot, then transferred his remains at Joint Base Andrews for the flight home to Texas with members of his family.
Bush is set to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before boarding a special funeral train to be carried to his burial today.
Trump ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.
COOS COUNTY — School bus employees are reminding drivers to be aware of traffic laws to ensure students enter and exit buses safely.
According to Dennis Goodwin, the location safety manager at First Student Bus Company, bus drivers around the county witness at least one “red light” violation a day on their routes.
“People forget or don’t realize that on a four-lane highway, if it doesn’t have a physical barrier between its two roads, that everyone is required to stop,” Goodwin said.
A “red light” violation or “running a red” occurs when a driver passes alongside a school bus while its lights are flashing and/or its stop sign is extended out.
Following protocol, school bus drivers are tasked with reporting violations to their supervisors or directly to law enforcement by giving them the license plate number and a description of the driver who committed the illegal pass.
As of now, neither the Coos Bay nor the North Bend School Districts have received any formal complaints from school bus employees or community members on drivers committing such violations.
However, Goodwin is joined by fellow manager Becki Mascarenas and Mid Columbia Bus Company manager Debbie Slaughper who all agree the violations are a consistent problem within the county.
Earlier this spring, Goodwin said its bus company participated in an annual survey by the Oregon Department of Education, which called on drivers throughout the state to track the number of red light violations it saw in a one-day count.
According to Goodwin, about 32 violations of illegal school bus passing were counted during that April survey with a majority of violations occurring on Newmark Avenue and Ocean Boulevard in Coos Bay.
“Our drivers always have a hand on the horn just in case a car passes by they’ll honk it signaling for kids to run back to the curb,” Goodwin said. “Most of the time (bus drivers) are paying attention to kids as they load and unload from the bus which makes it hard for them to take full descriptions of violators.”
In North Bend, Slaughper said drivers with routes on Broadway Avenue and Highway 101 also see a high volume of violations. As a result, she said its drivers’ will wait for traffic to stop and then signal students when they can safely exit and cross the bus.
“It’s a problem,” Slaughper said. “We do have the North Bend Police Department that comes in and works with us. They get copies of my routes and do park in those problem areas.”
Coos Bay Police Cpt. Chris Chapanar said he recently checked in with local dispatchers and officers to see if its department had received an increased number of reports on illegal school bus passes.
“We’re not seeing an increase or influx of these being called in or reported,” he said. “Bus drivers are trained if this happens to generally jot down a license plate if they can get it and then contact us.”