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Internet kiosks to post photos of missing kids



Published: Tue, August 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A technology company is using its public Internet kiosks as modern-day milk cartons in an effort to find missing children.

SurferQuest, a Philipsburg-based supplier of about 1,000 computer kiosks throughout the United States, is donating screen space to disseminate photos and information provided by the National Center for Missing & amp; Exploited Children.

The kiosks provide public access to the Internet for a fee at places such as hotels and cafes.

When a kiosk is unoccupied, pictures of missing children appear on the screen in space normally reserved for advertising. It does not cost money to request more information about a missing child or report a sighting.

SurferQuest president Kathryn Koning cited the recent kidnapping of an Idaho girl as one of the reasons publicity is paramount. The girl, Shasta Groene, was recognized by employees and customers of a Denny's restaurant several weeks after she was reported missing. A convicted sex offender has since been charged in the case.

"It is really important to give a missing child as much exposure as we can after their abduction," said Koning, a mother of four.

She estimated that more than 300,000 people could view the images each day.

D'Ann Taflin, spokeswoman for the National Center for Missing & amp; Exploited Children, said one in six missing kids whose picture is advertised is eventually found.

"We know that pictures work," Taflin said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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