In­fant mor­tal­ity rates in Alabama re­main stable

Cherokee County Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

The Alabama Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health an­nounces that the state’s in­fant mor­tal­ity rate of 8.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 re­mained stable. In­fant mor­tal­ity na­tion­ally was 5.8 in 2014.

A to­tal of 517 in­fants born in Alabama died be­fore reach­ing 1 year of age in 2014; there were 59,532 live births to state res­i­dents dur­ing the year. For rea­sons not fully un­der­stood, peren­nial dis­par­i­ties in in­fant mor­tal­ity be­tween black and white in­fants con­tinue. The 2014 in­fant mor­tal­ity rate for black in­fants was more than twice that of white in­fants--13.9 per 1,000 for blacks and 6.0 for whites. The dis­par­ity ex­ists for both Alabama and the U.S.

Act­ing State Health Of­fi­cer Dr. Tom Miller said, “We must en­hance strate­gies to re­duce in­fant mor­tal­ity. We hope to ad­dress mod­i­fi­able risk fac­tors that have been shown to con­trib­ute to poor birth out­comes.”

Teen births and teen smok­ing dur­ing preg­nancy are risk fac­tors that con­trib­ute to in­fant mor­tal­ity, and both are trend­ing in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion. The per­cent­age of births to teens (8.5) and the per­cent­age of teen moth­ers who smoked (9.7) are the low­est ever recorded in Alabama. An­other pos­i­tive indi­ca­tor in 2014 is that the per­cent­age of elec­tive early de­liv­er­ies de­creased slightly. The per­cent of births at less than 37 weeks of preg­nancy de­clined to 11.7 in 2014 from 11.8 in 2013.

Alabama’s in­fant mor­tal­ity rates in re­cent years are as fol­lows: 2013-8.6, 2012-8.9, 2011-8.1 2010-8.7 Graphs and de­tailed charts on in­fant mor­tal­ity are avail­able at the Alabama Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health web­site at health­stats/

At least one per­son was treated for smoke in­hala­tion fol­low­ing an apart­ment fire in Cedar Bluff Thurs­day af­ter­noon, Dec. 17. The blaze was re­ported around 2 p.m. at a com­plex on Bound­ary Av­enue.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, Cedar Bluff, Cen­tre Gaylesville Fire De­part­ments re­sponded to the scene. The oc­cu­pants were able to es­cape with­out in­jury while one per­son was treated at the scene for smoke in­hala­tion.

The cause of the blaze is not known at this time. Fire­fight­ers re­mained on the scene in case of pos­si­ble restarts and Chero­kee Elec­tric crews were dis­patched to shut off power while fire­fight­ers fought to stop the fire, re­ports said.

Lo­cal law en­force­ment agents have ar­rested two peo­ple in con­nec­tion to the theft of a four-wheeler Tues­day, De­cem­ber 15, 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to Chero­kee County Sher­iff Jeff Shaver, the ATV was stolen in late Novem­ber around County Road 19 on the south end of Chero­kee County. In­ves­ti­ga­tors re­cov­ered the stolen ATV near Ten­nala Church.

Justin Caleb Sheppard, 21, of Cedar Bluff was ar­rested and charged with break­ing and en­ter­ing a ve­hi­cle and first de­gree theft of property. Steven Paul War­ren, 18, also of Cedar Bluff is charged with first de­gree theft of property, Shaver said.

Both sus­pects re­main in the Chero­kee County De­ten­tion Cen­ter await­ing bond. The case re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by In­ves­ti­ga­tor Michael Green.

Cen­tre, Lees­burg and Sand Rock Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ments re­sponded to a fire that de­stroyed three campers at Bay Spring Camp­ground early Mon­day morn­ing, Dec. 14. Fire­fight­ers re­ceived the call around 7:45 a.m.

Ac­cord­ing to Lees­burg Fire Chief Joe Sonaty, one camper was al­ready on the ground and that fire had al­ready spread to the oth­ers when fire­fight­ers ar­rive.

At least four propane bot­tles be­tween two of the campers ex­ploded dur­ing the fire but no in­juries were re­ported.

Chero­kee Elec­tric Co-op­er­a­tive also re­sponded to shut off power while fire­fight­ers worked to con­tain and stop the blaze, re­ports said.

The campers were va­cant when the fire started, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The cause of the blaze is not known at this time.

Lo­cal fire­fight­ers and lo­cal law en­force­ment agents were dis­patched to a ma­jor fire re­ported at Patti Ford Pho­tog­ra­phy around dusk Thurs­day evening, Dec. 17. The busi­ness is lo­cated on Cedar Bluff Road in Cen­tre.

Cen­tre, Cedar Bluff and Lees­burg Fire De­part­ments re­sponded and saw heavy smoke com­ing from the build­ing upon ar­rival on the scene, re­ports said.

Also re­spond­ing were the Chero­kee County Ma­jor Crimes Unit and Chero­kee County Fire/Ar­son In­ves­ti­ga­tor Shawn Rogers, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The Chero­kee County Ma­jor Crimes Unit is con­tin­u­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and more in­for­ma­tion will be re­leased as de­tails be­come avail­able.

Cen­tre, Cedar Bluff and Lees­burg Fire De­part­ments re­sponded to a fire at the Chero­kee County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing Fri­day af­ter­noon, Dec. 12.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, a Chero­kee County Sher­iff’s deputy drove by and re­ported see­ing heavy smoke com­ing from the build­ing.

The fire alarm in­side the build­ing went off and ev­ery­one was safely evac­u­ated. At this time, fire­fight­ers think the fire was pos­si­bly a mal­func­tion of one of the heat­ing/air units in the pro­bate of­fices.

No one was in­jured and there was very lit­tle or no dam­age to the build­ing, re­ports said.

Cen­tre Po­lice Depart­ment and Chero­kee Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive also re­sponded to the scene, re­ports said.

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