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Cape Girardeau County’s children are faring worse than they did in 2001, according to the latest Missouri Kids Count report, released Thursday by Citizens for Missouri’s Children.

The number of Cape Girardeau County children receiving free or reduced price lunches at school, the number born to mothers without high school diplomas and the number involved in child abuse or neglect cases were all up in 2005, the year the new ratings are based on, the child advocacy group reported. The good news is that generally the county is better off than most in the state, but the county’s overall ranking fell from 25th last year to 30th this year. [Full story at Southeast Missourian]