Over the last few weeks, our children have gone back to school. Each day they walk to their bus, or maybe all the way to school. They gather with friends after school to play sports or just hang out. This is a great time to be sure they are safe on their route and where they play. Unfortunately, Missouri is dealing with yet another missing child this week, and we need to be even more vigilant during this time of year.
As parents, we must be aware of the dangers that can lurk around our schools, day cares, parks, and other places where children gather. Unfortunately, child sex offenders know where to seek their prey.
As a parent, you can help to safeguard your children by knowing where convicted sex offenders live in your neighborhood. Convicted child sex offenders are required to register with the state, and you can search the registry on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website, Sex Offender Registry, at www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov and clicking on the MO Sex Offender Registry link under “Safety and Security” at the bottom of the page.
Once you have accessed the website, you can look up offenders by entering your address and selecting a search area anywhere within 500 feet to 15 miles from your home. The site will map out where all the offenders in your vicinity live. When you scroll down and click on the offender’s name, it will bring up a picture, physical description and convictions. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call the Missouri Sex Offender Registry toll-free at 888-767-6747.
Missouri Department of Conservation
The Missouri Department of Conservation is seeking public comment on protecting Missouri deer. As Missouri hunters, landowners and other conservationists know, the Show-Me State offers some of the best deer hunting in the country. Deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions. Our state has nearly 520,000 deer hunters and more than 1,000,000 wildlife watchers.
Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri. Deer hunting supports 12,000 Missouri jobs and gives a $1 billion annual boost to state and local economies. Many businesses around the state rely on deer hunting as a significant source of their annual revenue, such as meat processors, taxidermists, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, sporting goods stores, and others. Thousands of private landowners also manage their land for deer and rely on good deer hunting to maintain property values.
MDC will host a local public meeting to provide information on diseases, such as chronic wasting disease, and to listen to public comments about limiting the spread of diseases among both captive and free-ranging deer. People can also post comments online at www.mdc.mo.gov/deerhealth. The public meeting will take place on Oct. 1, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the MDC Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs.
State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District Eight and is a resident of Lee’s Summit.