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DALLAS — The need for long-term and specialized care to treat child sex-trafficking victims is increasing as the focus across the U.S. shifts from punishment to treatment. This past week, a residential facility in Texas began taking in girls amid a makeshift response nationwide to a growing population of child sex-trafficking victims. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have eliminated criminal liability for minors — with all but one state making the change since 2010. Experts say some other states are reluctant to follow suit due to lack of services for the children. By Jamie Stengle and Emily Schmall. SENT: 780 words, photos.



MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday, forcing holiday beachgoers to drier ground. Weather forecasters said the storm could strengthen to near-hurricane force by the time it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast. Gordon formed into a tropical storm near the Florida Keys early Monday as it moved west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph). The storm was expected to reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday. By Jennifer Kay. SENT: 600 words, photos.




LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two years ago, Little Rock native Jeff Nichols wanted to organize special screenings of his science fiction drama "Midnight Special" and his historical biopic "Loving" for his home state. But he found there was no simple way to get the word out, and each time he returned he felt like he was "reinventing the wheel." At the same time filmmaker Kathryn Tucker was mourning the loss of the Little Rock Film Festival, so in April 2017, she paired up with Nichols to help create the Arkansas Cinema Society. Based on the Austin Film Society, which has year-round programming and which Nichols said he benefited from when he moved to Texas, the Arkansas Cinema Society hosts annual curated film festivals in downtown Little Rock as well as smaller events throughout the year. By Hannah Grabenstein. SENT: 710 words, photos.


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