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U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation finds multiple failings in the death of 8-year-old girl in federal custody

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation finds multiple failings in the death of 8-year-old girl in federal custody

U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation finds multiple

failings in the death of 8-year-old girl in federal custody

” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media

organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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An internal investigation conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection found that contracted personnel working at a federal border station

in South Texas failed to contact doctors while an 8-year-old was having a medical emergency in May, according to a statement Thursday from the

federal agency.

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The girl later died after medical professionals repeatedly denied the mother's request that her daughter be taken to a hospital.

The ongoing investigation found that medical personnel at Harlingen Station, where the girl and her family were in custody, failed to document

multiple encounters with the child and were not aware of her previously documented medical history.

CBP acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement Thursday that the in-custody death was “deeply upsetting” and an “unacceptable

tragedy.”

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“We can — and we will — do better to ensure this never happens again,” he said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the girl's mother was identified as Mabel Alvarez Benedicks of Honduras. She and her

husband crossed the border into Brownsville with their three children, ages 8, 12 and 14, on May 9, more than a week before their youngest child

died.

According to the investigation — which was conducted through interviews with contracted personnel and Border Patrol agents — personnel said

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they did not know the girl's complicated medical history. However, CBP reports show that the family did inform the agency of her chronic

conditions of sickle cell anemia and heart disease when they arrived at a processing facility in Donna on May 10. She had been born with a

congenital heart disease in Panama.

Between May 14 and 17, the dates when the girl was in custody at the Harlingen border station, medical personnel had nine interactions with

the girl and her mother, according to the investigation. Staff had only reported three. The investigation cites a malfunctioning closed-circuit

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television recording system at the facility.

While the girl was in custody at the border station, she complained of stomach aches, nausea, difficulty breathing, fever, flu-like symptoms

and pain.

On the morning of May 17, the nurse practitioner caring for the girl reported that the child had normal vital signs and administered treatment

for nausea.

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Alvarez Benedicks made at least three additional requests to the nurse practitioner for an ambulance. Those requests were denied.

Later that day, just before 2 p.m., Alvarez Benedicks returned to the unit carrying her daughter, who appeared to be having a seizure.

The mother and her daughter were transported in separate vehicles to Harligen's Valley Baptist Medical Center 2 miles away. Less than an hour

later, the child was dead.

Miller said that in the wake of the tragedy, the federal agency has taken several measures to avoid more in-custody deaths.

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He said CBP has prioritized medically fragile individuals and families so that they can spend less time in custody. The agency also requested

additional medical professionals from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist at multiple CBP sites.

Additionally, the federal law enforcement agency barred the contracted medical providers involved in this incident from working with CBP in

the future.

The agency said it has since repaired the surveillance system at Harlingen Station.

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Disclosure: Valley Baptist Medical Center has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization

that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's

journalism. Find a complete list of them here.


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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/01/child-death-border-

custody/

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The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at

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Texas News

Reported birth of rare white buffalo calf in Yellowstone National Park fulfills Lakota prophecy

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abc13.com – AP – 2024-06-13 08:58:48

SUMMARY: A rare white buffalo calf, born in Yellowstone National Park, is seen as a fulfillment of Lakota prophecy and a sign to protect the earth, according to spiritual leader Chief Arvol Looking Horse. The calf’s birth follows a severe winter that resulted in the death or relocation of over 1,500 bison. Erin Braaten photographed the calf in the Lamar Valley. The birth holds deep spiritual significance for the Lakota, akin to the second coming of Jesus Christ. A ceremonial event celebrating the calf’s birth is planned for June 26, despite conflicting views on bison population management in Yellowstone.

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Texas News

Tips on water conservation during summer drought months

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www.kxan.com – Rich Segal – 2024-06-13 08:16:59

SUMMARY: Recent rains have slightly improved the water levels in Lakes Buchanan and Travis, but water conservation remains crucial during the peak summer heat in Austin. To drought-proof lawns and plants, using a thick layer of mulch can help retain soil moisture. Indoor water conservation is also essential; leaks can waste up to 10,000 gallons annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Meteorologist Rich Segal discussed water-saving tips with Elizabeth Simmons from the “Take Care of Texas” nonprofit, who highlighted optimal times for watering lawns and gardens for maximum efficiency.

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The post Tips on water conservation during summer drought months appeared first on www.kxan.com

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Texas News

Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida is set to be demolished

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abc13.com – AP – 2024-06-13 07:29:42

SUMMARY: The three-story building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people died in a 2018 mass shooting, begins its demolition on Friday. Previously serving as evidence in the shooter’s trial, the building’s destruction was delayed due to heavy rain. The project aims to be completed before the school’s 3,300 students return from summer vacation. Families of victims have varied opinions on the demolition; some see it as a painful but necessary step in healing, while others wanted it preserved for educational purposes. The building’s removal follows precedents set by other sites of school shootings. The replacement plans remain undecided.

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The post Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida is set to be demolished appeared first on abc13.com

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