Investigators in the Brooke Bennett case say posts on the social networking site MySpace may have played a part in her disappearance. While summer campers at Burlington's Boys and Girls Club log on for fun and games, Bennett's disappearance has Kaitlyn Callahan looking at the computer in a whole new way. She says, "It shocked a lot of people."
Callahan is the same age as Bennett, and like the missing girl, has used social networking sites including MySpace. But her mom just pulled the plug. Callahan explains, "She hasn't let me on since the Amber Alert."
The Boys & Girls Club actually blocks MySpace for young users. High schoolers can log on, but only with a staff member monitoring their online behavior. They also go home with advice on safe computer use.
The Club's teen director LeVar Barrino says, "We always make sure they ask their parents' permission before getting on the internet. Anytime there isn't an adult around, they shouldn't be online at any time."
The Club coaches kids on the basics:
Not to give out personal info like full names or addresses.
To report shady activity to an adult.
And to never consider someone they meet online a true friend.
A national study showed 1 in 7 kids have been solicited for sex online, and even more were exposed to inappropriate pictures. Kaitlyn Callahan says, "Actually, my mom and I have talked about that. She told me if I ever get approached or asked what my real name is, I should just automatically log off."
Clear communication like that between parents and kids could keep more from getting swept up in an online net of danger.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>