Boy With 2 Strikes Safe at Home
--A Kentucky couple have arranged a 12-year-old boy’s freedom from a “children’s prison” in Haiti and given him another chance at life in the United States. Berto Baland Reynolds had been in the institution since the spring of 1986, about six months after first being brought to the United States by a Florida couple who adopted him. The couple, Jeff and Jeanne Reynolds of Orlando, had seen the boy years earlier during a religious mission to Haiti and decided to rescue him from the Port Au Prince slums. The couple could not cope with the behavior that Berto had learned while living in the streets. And fears of rejection when Mrs. Reynolds became pregnant caused Berto to turn violent, Jeff Reynolds told the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., in 1986. Reynolds took Berto back to Haiti and placed him at the “prison,” an institution for hundreds of delinquent and abandoned youngsters. The prison director said Berto was tormented and robbed by jealous inmates. A Courier-Journal reporter and photographer met the boy there. Jerry and Sandy Tucker read the article about Berto and decided to try to adopt him themselves. The Tuckers run Galilean Home Ministries, which houses nearly 50 children and adults, most of whom are handicapped, in rural Casey County. After a long struggle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the State Department, the Tuckers were able to terminate the Reynolds’ parental rights and obtain immigration papers. “Berto will stay with us forever. . . . We fought for him. It’s not fair for him to be sent back,” Sandy Tucker said.
--In realizing a childhood dream, Lee Roy Young also made history. Young, 41, received his badge and commission as the first black Texas Ranger in a ceremony in Austin. Becoming the first black Ranger in the group’s 165-year history “should serve as an indication to other minorities and other people you can have any type of dream . . . and it can become possible for you one day,” he said. Young, a 14-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety, was most recently stationed in San Antonio as an investigator with the criminal intelligence service. He will be stationed in Garland as a Ranger. “I, as a young boy growing up in Southwest Texas, read about the Rangers and saw movies and things of that type, and decided I would like to aspire to become a Ranger one day myself,” said Young, who was born in Del Rio. Young was among 37 people receiving promotions. The NAACP and other critics have charged that the Department of Public Safety has practiced racial discrimination in selection of Rangers.