Car theft prompts program open house

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Administrators of a Rexford program that helps behaviorally challenged adopted children dismissed two youths after they allegedly stole a car early Sunday morning and drove to Idaho, where they were caught a few hours later.

The two 15-year-old boys sneaked out of the Ranch for Kids facility at midnight Saturday, according to Executive Director Bill Sutley. The boys were handed over to Coeur d’Alene law enforcement and they will not be allowed back into the Ranch for Kids, Sutley said.

Sutley said he immediately reached out to the mayor of Rexford and the victim of the crime to make sure the community felt safe after the incident. He also decided to schedule an open house on June 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. to give the public the opportunity to ask questions about the incident or the program in general.

“Transparency is one of our core values,” Sutley said.

Since 2004, the Ranch for Kids has provided private respite care for approximately 1,000 adopted children who have behavioral issues.

Many of the children suffer the effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or are adopted from foreign countries.

“These are the kids that the parents are really in crisis,” Sutley said. “Unless you’ve been a parent to one of these kids, you really don’t understand the challenges of providing care.”

Sutley said community members are welcome to come to the open house, ask questions and learn more about the program, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or the recent car theft.

“We welcome questions,” Sutley said. “We welcome even criticisms.”

For more information, visit www.ranchforkids.org.


Reporter Megan Strickland can be reached at 758-4459 or mstrickland@dailyinterlake.com.

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