Family news from Missouri

Dateline: Independence. Moronic couple behind sextuplet scam pleads guilty, otherwise appears somewhat unrepentant:

A suburban Kansas City couple appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to stealing by faking the birth of sextuplets to solicit money from friends and neighbors.

Sarah Everson, 45, and Kris Everson, 35, of Grain Valley, each pleaded guilty to one count of felony stealing by deceit. Judge Jeffrey Bushur sentenced them each to four years probation. They were also ordered to repay about $3,661.25 to their victims and perform 40 hours of community service.

Community leaders in Grain Valley said the Eversons came to them in March, saying they had delivered six critically ill babies and needed help. The couple claimed the births were being kept secret by a court order because a family member was out to kill them. [...]

The Eversons, who sat huddled together and were quiet in the courtroom, afterward walked hand-in-hand away from the courthouse as reporters and camera crews followed them down the street. Kris Everson said they would not comment on the plea agreement.

"We already made our apologies," Sarah Everson said, "so no comment."

Sarah Everson giggled as reporters finally broke up and left the couple alone.

Dateline: Black Jack. City council finally tires of being national laughingstock, decides it has no business trying to define what a family is:

Yielding to reason, and the threat of a lawsuit, the Black Jack city council Tuesday wisely decided to let unmarried couples raise their children within the city limits. The vote removed an antiquated piece of municipal moralizing from the housing code, where it never belonged.

Thus ends seven months of uncertainty for Fondray Loving, Olivia Shelltrack and their three children. The family moved into their five-bedroom house in January, but were denied an occupancy permit because the parents are not married.

Black Jack's 21-year-old occupancy ordinance ostensibly was designed to control crowding, boarding houses and fraternity houses. The marriage requirement survived a previous challenge in 1999, and city officials seemed dead set on enforcing it this year.

Ms. Shelltrack and Mr. Loving and their three children are a family, not a fraternity. To their credit, they stuck to their guns and refused to be run out of their home. Score one for liberty, democracy and common sense.


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