Sheriff: crack mom behind bars

State Journal Staff Report, Published:

A woman accused of leaving her child with strangers while she smoked crack is now behind bars.

Paula Ward, 49, is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Pat Melton said Ward was at the pool area of the Best Western Parkside Inn Saturday when she asked some other parents to watch her nine-year-old daughter while she went to her room to charge her phone.

When Ward hadn’t returned 45 minutes later, they called authorities.

Melton said when deputies went to Ward’s hotel room, they found her with a crack pipe and crack cocaine.

She is currently being held in the Franklin County Regional Jail on a $10,200 full cash bond.

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  • how about write in Joe Banta

  • capitalcitizen, July 23, 2014 9:06AM

    "BTW, BrunoUno:  your crazy "news" pieces you post, such as the one about debunking the myth of the "crack baby:"  You can find anything on the internet that will prove/disprove a theory."

    This was not an internet "news" piece that I posted but rather a peer reviewed scientific study that lasted 25 years.

    "After nearly 25 years of research, one of the nation’s largest long-term studies on the so-called “crack baby” epidemic of the 1980s has concluded that there are no statistically significant differences in the long-term health and life outcomes between full-term babies exposed to cocaine in-utero and those who were not."

  • user_38106, July 23, 2014 1:11PM

    "How about a write-in campaign...Bruno Uno for sheriff?"

    Well, I sure wouldn't be afraid to bring up Melton's record during the campaign like some folks did!

  • Write-in Bruno Uno for sheriff.

  • How about a write-in campaign...Bruno Uno for sheriff?

  • steve_fry

    July 22, 2014 10:06PM

    BrunoUno: "We need a new Sheriff."

    Which candidate do you like?

    Joe Banta.  Now if we could just get him to bring up Melton's record.

  • I don't need to re-read anything, cuz the fact is that if she had been doing most anything else that was legal, that the Sheriff would have just told her not to do it anymore and left.  And that includes sucking on ol' Jack Danial's or doing the pool boy.  The real threat here, and thus the main offense, was abandoning her child in the swimming pool and not the drug that she was doing...but Sheriff Melton and ewe are blinded by the "drugs"!  

    Her behavior is despicable, but you can't blame drugs for that...it is no excuse.  Folks do the same thing all the time when there are no drugs involved because they are bad parents. 

  • BTW, BrunoUno:  your crazy "news" pieces you post, such as the one about debunking the myth of the "crack baby:"  You can find anything on the internet that will prove/disprove a theory.

    I know from my own work in the field of social services that there is such a thing as "crack babies," and I do know what those affects are.  There are things such as "fetal alcohol syndrome," etc.  Both are equally bad.

    But, since you want to talk about crack babies - I can tell you this:  the effects are severe.  Most of the children and young adults I encountered who are the children of crack mothers are severely developmentally disabled. Many cannot speak, they suffer seizures, and are unable to care for themselves.  They were abandoned into the system - and you and I pay for their care because their parents were unable to care for them.

    So, if anything, BrunoUno, with the nitwit theories about drugs:  you and I pay the costs of the people who are abusing drugs.  You want to legalize said drugs that are harmful to the users as well as those who did not have a choice in being affected by said drugs.

    You tell me - how are WE going to continue to pay for the developmentally disabled, most of whom did not randomly become developmentally disabled?

    Or, are you one of the "takers" from the system - not paying your fair share and living off of my taxes, too?  I rather don't mind taking care of the unfortunate, but I certainly would be irate if I had to foot the bill for you.

  • BrunoUno, perhaps you need to re-read the article.  The primary offense was the fact that she abandoned her children at the pool - and why?  Because she was smoking/using crack-cocaine.

    She would have been arrested, as well, if she were just in the room drinking or passed out drunk.

    It is despicable regardless.

  • BrunoUno: "We need a new Sheriff."

    Which candidate do you like?

  • user_33314, July 22, 2014 4:18PM

    "If she was in a room smoking crack with another man, why hasn't his name been mentioned through out this ordeal ? Seems like the media came down hard on her, for good reason, while this man is never mentioned. Why is this ?"

    The article did not say that she was with anyone else in the room.  I used the example of "What if Ms. Ward had been nursing a bottle of Jack, or having sex with the pool boy...would you still want to see our court system throw the book at her? " to illustrate the heavy bias between crack and Jack.

    What Bodden said.  This is a classic example of how the Sheriff only sees the drugs at the expense of everything else. To me, the abandonment of her children in the pool were the MAIN offense., not the drugs she was using.  We need a new Sheriff.

  • Was there another person in her room? I don't think this woman was charged enough. Just two drug charges???Come on. She didn't know these strangers and look at the possibility of the strangers up and leaving town with the 9 yr. old. You just do not do this in todays time and fortunately these strangers were good people. Had they not been then this child most likely would have never been seen again. This woman has a history and I personally think it is time for her future to be without children!

  • If she was in a room smoking crack with another man, why hasn't his name been mentioned through out this ordeal ? Seems like the media came down hard on her, for good reason, while this man is never mentioned. Why is this ?

  • Study Debunks Myth of the 'Crack Baby' 

     
    July 24, 2013  |  

    After nearly 25 years of research, one of the nation’s largest long-term studies on the so-called “crack baby” epidemic of the 1980s has concluded that there are no statistically significant differences in the long-term health and life outcomes between full-term babies exposed to cocaine in-utero and those who were not.

    Instead, researchers found poverty to be a key determining factor in how well children performed later in life. As Hallam Hurt, the former chair of neonatology at Albert Einstein Medical Center and the study’s lead researcher, told [3] the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine.”

    More on the study from the Inquirer [3]:

    While the cocaine-exposed children and a group of non-exposed controls performed about the same on tests, both groups lagged on developmental and intellectual measures compared to the norm. Hurt and her team began to think the “something else” [affecting long-term outcomes] was poverty.

    As the children grew, the researchers did many evaluations to tease out environmental factors that could be affecting their development. On the upside, they found that children being raised in a nurturing home — measured by such factors as caregiver warmth and affection and language stimulation — were doing better than kids in a less nurturing home.

    On the downside, they found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside — and the kids were only 7 years old at the time. Those children who reported a high exposure to violence were likelier to show signs of depression and anxiety and to have lower self-esteem.

    Deborah A. Frank, a pediatrics professor at Boston University involved in similar research, agreed that the “crack baby” label is not scientifically supported, and only leads to harmful stereotyping: “You can’t walk into a classroom and tell this kid was exposed and this kid was not,” Frank said. “Unfortunately, there are so many factors that affect poor kids. They have to deal with so much stress and deprivation. We have also found that exposure to violence is a huge factor.”

    Frank went on to say that drug and alcohol use during pregnancy “isn’t good for babies,” but the belief that in-utero exposure to these substances means that children will “grow up to be addicts and criminals is not true. Some kids have stunned us with how well they’ve done.”

  • capitalcitizen, July 22, 2014 6:48AM

    "Only BrunoUno could defend this woman. Yes, she would still be charged with neglect for leaving her children, regardless of the substance. Or use this to prove his contempt for the law. Explain your mindset, BrunoUno, that makes every news piece your personal pro-drug manifesto. Again, your contempt for the laws on the books is astonishing. Until you get your wish of legalizing every known illegal substance, there are still laws meant to protect the public, and in this case, the children of a sorry example of motherhood."

    What exactly did I say that defended this woman?  I have no contempt of the law per se, just really stupid laws and folks like you who simply cannot read with comprehesion. Please tell me what I said to defend her.  I think that I have explained my points and backed them up with the facts very well, and I also think that you never address that in your post where you just make ad hominem personal attacks and incorrect paraphasing to fit your narrow and ignorant agenda.

    Sounds very much like she is a sorry mother which I was very clearly stating...but the question is not whether she was a sorry mother, but whether the reaction to this is extremely biased based on the conventional wisdom that the word "crack" pushes unique buttons in some of us. There is no doubt that it does.

    "Yes, she would still be charged with neglect for leaving her children, regardless of the substance."  That is absolute bull hockey as if she had simply gone up to her room and slugged some Jack along with a dozen Marlboros, and then fallen asleep, then she would not even have been on the Sheriff's radar...and certainly not on the front page of this newspaper.  The single thing that put her there was the term "crack mom"...and you know it pushed your and WatchfulWoman's buttons as well as the Editor's.  And that is dishonest and hypocritical in a town where we readily take public funds to promote the manufacturing of rot gut bourbon by the railroad tankcar full.  Drug laws do not protect the public as the foster crime...just like Prohibition spawned the Mafia.

     

    BTW, I have asked you many times before, what are your vices?  Sugar, obesity, smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, apathy, all of the above...come clean with yourself if not me.  You might wanna put your own house in order before you start rearranging other people's lives.  I have none of those vices.  Smoking is the number 1 cause of preventable death, obesity (sugar) is number 2 and alcohol is number 3...you obviously approve of these legal yet lethal substances as you keep avoiding these facts when you make your hypocritical comments.  Why is that?  Cuz they are your drugs of choice? 

  • Study Debunks Myth of the 'Crack Baby' 

     
    July 24, 2013  |  

    After nearly 25 years of research, one of the nation’s largest long-term studies on the so-called “crack baby” epidemic of the 1980s has concluded that there are no statistically significant differences in the long-term health and life outcomes between full-term babies exposed to cocaine in-utero and those who were not.

    Instead, researchers found poverty to be a key determining factor in how well children performed later in life. As Hallam Hurt, the former chair of neonatology at Albert Einstein Medical Center and the study’s lead researcher, told [3] the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine.”

    More on the study from the Inquirer [3]:

    While the cocaine-exposed children and a group of non-exposed controls performed about the same on tests, both groups lagged on developmental and intellectual measures compared to the norm. Hurt and her team began to think the “something else” [affecting long-term outcomes] was poverty.

    As the children grew, the researchers did many evaluations to tease out environmental factors that could be affecting their development. On the upside, they found that children being raised in a nurturing home — measured by such factors as caregiver warmth and affection and language stimulation — were doing better than kids in a less nurturing home.

    On the downside, they found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside — and the kids were only 7 years old at the time. Those children who reported a high exposure to violence were likelier to show signs of depression and anxiety and to have lower self-esteem.

    Deborah A. Frank, a pediatrics professor at Boston University involved in similar research, agreed that the “crack baby” label is not scientifically supported, and only leads to harmful stereotyping: “You can’t walk into a classroom and tell this kid was exposed and this kid was not,” Frank said. “Unfortunately, there are so many factors that affect poor kids. They have to deal with so much stress and deprivation. We have also found that exposure to violence is a huge factor.”

    Frank went on to say that drug and alcohol use during pregnancy “isn’t good for babies,” but the belief that in-utero exposure to these substances means that children will “grow up to be addicts and criminals is not true. Some kids have stunned us with how well they’ve done.”

  • Amen Capitalcitizen!

  • Only BrunoUno could defend this woman. Yes, she would still be charged with neglect for leaving her children, regardless of the substance. Or use this to prove his contempt for the law. Explain your mindset, BrunoUno, that makes every news piece your personal pro-drug manifesto. Again, your contempt for the laws on the books is astonishing. Until you get your wish of legalizing every known illegal substance, there are still laws meant to protect the public, and in this case, the children of a sorry example of motherhood.

  • What if Ms. Ward had been nursing a bottle of Jack, or having sex with the pool boy...would you still want to see our court system throw the book at her?  You obvious bias is showing up in neon lights.

    Don't blame illicit drugs for this woman's poor behavior...it is not the drug's fault it is the woman's. There could have been 1,000 different reasons that this woman dumped her girl on these people, but illicit drug use would have been the only one that punched your button in like manner.  You should explore why your brain works that way.  

    BTW, what are your vices?  Sugar, obesity, smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, apathy...come clean with yourself if not me.  You might wanna put your own house in order before you start rearranging other people's lives. 

  • Still think drug use doesn't effect our community? Thank God these other parents were responsible, caring adults and that they did not leave this little girl alone, but instead called authorities. I wish our court system would throw the book at women like Ms. Ward, but she'll probably get probation and some useless counseling instead.