Infant mortality rates in Alabama remain stable
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 http://adph.org/ 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.