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Mother puts gun in son's bookbag

Published: Mon, October 18, 2010 @ 10:42 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — A 26-year-old woman is in the Mahoning County jail on $85,000 bond facing charges that she hid a loaded gun in her 10-year-old son’s bookbag on a WRTA bus.

Shana Starks of Lake Drive in Youngstown was arraigned today by Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, having a weapon under disability and child endangerment.

A preliminary hearing for Starks is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Police said officers were called by security guards at the WRTA bus terminal on West Federal Street at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a woman on a bus with a loaded gun. A bus driver had told the guards about the woman, describing what she was wearing.

For the complete story, read Tuesday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1USMC0331(152 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Kid should've done himself and society a favor by pulling the gun out and shooting the dumb box that gave birth to him.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The subculture starts them out young !

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Just 26 years old with a 10 year old kid and the total lack of any family moral value system. This is what Youngstown PD deals with every day. How sad!!!

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4VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

These are the same parents who prowl the racks at local stores and pack their kids bags with stolen goods. They know the child will not be arrested. In-store video cameras help somewhat, but these great "parents" are costing all of us millions. What great training they are providing for their kids.

As long as we continue to look the other way, we are sending a message that this activity is acceptable. Society can no longer afford the added cost and burdeon of supporting trash like this.

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5Boardman120(82 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess this is what happens when you house people, give them food, pay for their medical care, and generally provide everything for them w/o any cost to them.

Public assistance needs to stop.

TheLostPatrol is correct, thanks to WRTA, we have these vermin crawling all over Boardman. All you voters who thought you were doing something good for the community - you allowed the filth to spread.

No good deed goes unpunished.

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6Nunya22(315 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

what do public assistance have to do with crime? There are plenty of people who are on it and dont commit any crimes and there are some people not using public assistance committing crimes.

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7mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

A perfect example of pure trash. Will the court finally do its job?

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8tiredinflorida(1 comment)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Can't hardly believe someone would put a child of any age in that kind of position at anytime!! Takes a smart person to endanger everyone around her!!

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9Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Nunya22 you asked

"what do public assistance have to do with crime?"
The following should help you understand the answer to your question.


Michael Tanner
Director of Health and Welfare Studies
Cato Institute

before the

Subcommittee on Youth Violence
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate

Relationship Between the Welfare State and Crime
June 7, 1995

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Committee:

My name is Michael Tanner and I am the director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the committee on an issue of extreme importance to the American people. There is no doubt that juvenile crime is a serious and continuing problem in this country. There are many factors contributing to the rise in juvenile violence and crime, from the glorification of violence in the media to the failure of the "war on drugs." But, today, I would like to focus on a factor that has received far less attention -- the relationship between the welfare state and crime.

Last year, the Maryland NAACP released a report concluding that "the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today."(1) Their conclusion appears to be confirmed by academic research. For example, research by Dr. June O'Neill's and Anne Hill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that a 50 percent increase in the monthly value of combined AFDC and food stamp benefits led to a 117 percent increase in the crime rate among young black men.(2)

Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. First, children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity. According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior.(3) Moreover, O'Neill found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single- parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father is present. Nearly 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes, as do 43 percent of prison inmates.(4) Research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.(5)

As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead noted in her seminal article for The Atlantic Monthly:

The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation's mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.(6)

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10Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O'Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)
The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada's social-welfare system on family structure concluded that "providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women."(9)
Of course women do not get pregnant just to get welfare benefits. It is also true that a wide array of other social factors has contributed to the growth in out-of-wedlock births. But, by removing the economic consequences of a out-of-wedlock birth, welfare has removed a major incentive to avoid such pregnancies. A teenager looking around at her friends and neighbors is liable to see several who have given birth out of wedlock. When she sees that they have suffered few visible immediate consequences (the very real consequences of such behavior are often not immediately apparent), she is less inclined to modify her own behavior to prevent pregnancy.
Proof of this can be found in a study by Professor Ellen Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania, who surveyed black, never-pregnant females age 17 or younger. Only 40% of those surveyed said that they thought becoming pregnant in the next year "would make their situation worse."(10) Likewise, a study by Professor Laurie Schwab Zabin for the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that: "in a sample of inner-city black teens presenting for pregnancy tests, we reported that more than 31 percent of those who elected to carry their pregnancy to term told us, before their pregnancy was diagnosed, that they believed a baby would present a problem..."(11) In other words, 69 percent either did not believe having a baby out-of-wedlock would present a problem or were unsure.
Until teenage girls, particularly those living in relative poverty, can be made to see real consequences from pregnancy, it will be impossible to gain control over the problem of out-of- wedlock births. By disguising those consequences, welfare makes it easier for these girls to make the decisions that will lead to unwed motherhood.

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11Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Current welfare policies seem to be designed with an appallingly lack of concern for their impact on out-of-wedlock births. Indeed, Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare.(12)

I should also point out that, once the child is born, welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future. Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10 percent increase in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers.(13)

As welfare contributes to the rise in out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families, it concomitantly contributes to the associated increase in criminal activity.

Secondly, welfare leads to increased crime by contributing to the marginalization of young black men in society. There are certainly many factors contributing to the increasing alienation and marginalization of young black men, including racism, poverty, and the failure of our educational system. However, welfare contributes as well. The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family. They are in effect cuckolded by the state. Their role of father and breadwinner is supplanted by the welfare check.

The role of marriage and family as a civilizing influence on young men has long been discussed. Whether or not strict causation can be proven, it is certainly true that unwed fathers are more likely to use drugs and become involved in criminal behavior.(14) Indeed, single men are five times more likely to commit violent crimes than married men.(15)

Finally, in areas where there is a high concentration of welfare, there may be an almost total lack of male role models. This can lead to crime in two ways. First, as the Maryland NAACP puts it, "A child whose parents draw a welfare check without going to work does not understand that in this society at least one parent is expected to rise five days of each week to go to some type of job."(16)

Second, boys growing up in mother only families naturally seek male influences. Unfortunately, in many inner city neighborhoods, those male role models may not exist. As George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, has noted, the typical inner-city today is "almost a matriarchy. The women receive all the income, dominate the social-worker classes, and most of the schools." Thus, the boy in search of male guidance and companionship may end up in the company of gangs or other undesirable influences.(17)

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12Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Given all of the above, I believe it is clear that our current social welfare system is a significant cause of juvenile crime and violence in America today. Exactly how welfare should be reformed is undoubtedly beyond the scope of this hearing. The Cato Institute's position, however, is well known. Our research indicates that the current federal welfare system cannot be reformed. Accordingly, we have suggested that federal funding of welfare should be ended and responsibility for charity should be shifted first to the states and eventually to the private sector.(18)

In conclusion, let me simple say that, whatever Congress eventually decides to do in the way of welfare reform, I hope that you will recognize the disastrous consequences of our current welfare system. The status quo is plainly and simply unacceptable. The relationship between our failed social welfare system and juvenile violence and crime is one more urgent reason for reform.

Thank you.

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13captainlinger(663 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

WRTA = Weapons Ride To Assault

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14Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I had to laugh when I went to verify my post, it would seem we were answering nunya22's question with the same source at about the same time, albeit you were quicker on the draw then me.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

"Last year, the Maryland NAACP released a report concluding that "the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today."

OK NAACP, whites are also freed from the burdens of employment and they are enjoying life without being plagued laboring .

OUCH ! Now that is politically incorrect !

In our area it is Mr. Landlord taking their ( BLACKS AND WHITES ) money for rent and depriving them of much needed street medication that forces them to steal . A new warehouse, buying in bulk from Mexico and distributing without cost is the solution . Jobs may not be the solution since all incentive to work is gone when a person is stoned .

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16DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Sony PSP $199. , Shopping downtown with mom,priceless....

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17VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Silence and censorship - you have both outdone yourselves. Good posts. I wonder if anyone will remember what they have just read.

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18DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

We need Konoue Reeves ring that bus.

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19Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Lock her up for ages,..

See as a community we just had this conversation pondering who's the main culprit for crime in the Youngstown region between Parents -vs- alleged city officials.

Where here we have someone postured as a parent that's clearly perpetuating crime. Although she has 13 criminality convicted priors at only 26 years old and SOMEHOW still roams at large,.. WHO'S GRANTING HER THAT IMMUNITY?

This is an outrage that's not just intolerable but it leaves Shana Starks totally non acceptable and why she's not been locked up in max out sentencing indefensible. To wit she willfully and deliberately creates a re-percussive setting of kill her in manner of self defense. Or be killed by manner in how she preyed upon that kid,.. SHE'D BEGGING FOR THE TOTAL INNOCENT TO MAKE HER EAT A CLIP !!!

Her actions make it clear there's no peaceful coexistence with her mindset or manner and society doesn't need the problems she perpetually presents,.. EVEN ON A CITY TRANSIT BUS IN BROAD OPEN DAYLIGHT !!!

Where staying along those lines it's an INDIVIDUAL action shes committed { again } by criminal conduct that she's continued to display,.. THIS IS HER 14TH CRIMINAL CHARGE !!!

Which positively has absolutely nothing to do with secular gender, age, race nor economic class, region of residence, political party, marital status, sexuality preference nor education level,.. PERIOD !!!

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20saksmasher(9 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The kind of girl you want to take home to mother.......... :)

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21ohdrama0901(53 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The perfect people of the Vindy posters at their finest as usual. Why is it that everytime someone commits a crime in Youngstown it becomes the whole culture's fault? That is getting so old and tired and you really need to come with some new stuff. I am sure half the black ppl in Youngstown don't even know this young lady yet you slander and put down a whole race of people because one jerk goes out and does something stupid. I think this young lady was stupid and used very poor judgement but then again what do you expect from a young woman who bears a child at the age of 16? All young mothers aren't irresponsible and bad and some even mature to be very good role models in life. All of that part of Ohio is messed up not just Youngstown. You have baby rapist,crooked government, farmers raping their animals, crack addiction, meth addiction, teenage pregnancy in all cultures, priests molesting boys, preachers bedhopping and soforth so don't put blame on one area where there are in others that you don't hear of.

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22Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

@ ohdeama0901


This individual is as F'd up as they come and she fit's right in with the rest of the ingrates. That and or whom treacherously transcend a unified accord of non acceptance. In regards to those of the variety you mentioned.

For which mere aspects of gender, race, marital status, economic class or region of residence are irrelevant.

The ones alleging / angling otherwise are merely those of covert cunning.Whom as deflective predators and reprobates. Are equally so dysfunctional they too aren't worth the pig spit that created their worthless pre and post coital coagulation.

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23Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


You abominably egregious witless sexist, inferiority infested, guilt ridden recalcitrant and woefully weak racist ingrate. Try losing the lap dog labeling of ladling behind the term of " Liberal " as means of cowardice of your cunning and and just wear your witless racists name-tag there,.. RAT-BOY !!!

See first off neither myself nor ohdrama0901, mentioned your insignificant name in our concise conference. Yet you felt the need as such a nonsense gnarled nobody to be addressed by identity,.. IMAGINE THAT HUH?

Where to waste time via deviation by daring to ask you what's wrong with you. In and of itself would be a fruitless venture as you're clearly clueless to your impetuous inflictions. So I'll TELL you what's wrong with you,.. in a manner of Presto just so everybody knows !!!

That is since you insisted on having me do so, and I'll not be disingenuous in such the deliberation of such diagnoses you mere simpleton of self sufferance. So now you be a good boy and sit down, shush up and listen,.. you fan dancing fart gargling Freak !!!


See here again in your patent color coding caper approach of playing your role as race baiting roach. The individual of initial inference is black, female and a single child bearer. But neither is she nor her individual actions in anyway inclusively reflective nor incumbent upon a race, gender or demographic bearing responsibility for her individualism,.. just like it's known fact that not all caucasions are nearly as deplorable or dumb as you.

So nor is anyone else but her { and you } to be held accountable for her { and your } given conduct. As being neither symbolic of all or any other single parent, blacks, females nor youthful age or anything else,.. neither race, gender or region made you nor her the intolerable ingrates that you are.

See just like that individual is a one person crime spree that nobody condones. Your reprehensible serial stupidity is equally a individual affliction that no one else has to take responsibility of nor be apologetic for,.. You've failed miserably in your effort to deflect that.

So too is that individuals history of cunning actions and posture. Just as indefensible as you are trying to proclaim she's a barometer for or beacon of an economic class, race, gender or political perspective,.. NOW CRY AND TRY TO LIE AGAIN.

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24Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago



Mom robs teen and then hides gun in son's book bag .

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A woman has been charged with robbing a teenager on a Youngstown, Ohio, bus and then hiding her loaded handgun in her son's book bag.

Bail was set at $85,000 for Shana Starks, 26, the Youngstown Vindicator reported. She was being held Monday in the Mahoning County Jail.

Starks was arrested Friday at a bus terminal. Court records said the bus driver told security guards there a teenager said Starks had shown him a gun tucked in her waistband and demanded his Sony PSP handheld game system.

The boy allegedly told the driver he was afraid to report the theft to police.

The guards found a loaded handgun in a book bag carried by Stark's 10-year-old son, police said. He also had a Sony PSP, which he said had been given to him, the Vindicator reported.

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