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Dead blackbirds fall into Beebe city limits on New Year’s Eve

Dead blackbirds fall into Beebe city limits on New Year’s Eve

Date 01/01/2011
Description

BEEBE – Last night, ringing in the New Year took on a whole different meaning for the citizens of Beebe. Beginning at around 11:30 p.m., enforcement officers with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began getting reports of dead black birds falling from the sky in the city limits of Beebe.

Officers estimated that over 1,000 birds had fallen out of the sky over the city before midnight. Most of the birds were dead, but some were still alive when officers arrived. The blackbirds fell over a one-mile area in the city. AGFC wildlife officer Robby King responded to the reports and found hundreds of birds. “Shortly after I arrived there were still birds falling from the sky,” King said. King collected about 65 dead birds that will be sent to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.

The AGFC has flown over the area to gauge the scope of the event. There were no other birds found outside of the initial area.

AGFC ornithologist Karen Rowe said that strange events similar to this one have occurred a number of times across the globe. “Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail,” Rowe said.

Another scenario may have been that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area may have startled the birds from their roost. The birds may have died from stress.

Rowe said that it didn’t appear as though the birds died of any poisoning or other event. “Since it only involved a flock of blackbirds and only involved them falling out of the sky it is unlikely they were poisoned, but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin,” she said. Testing will begin on Monday.

The City of Beebe has hired U.S. Environmental Services to begin the cleanup and dispose of the dead birds. The environmental firm will go door-to-door to pick up the birds that are still in yards and on roof tops

Preliminary necropsies on the dead birds in Arkansas "showed trauma," said Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist. "The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages." Beyond that, all the birds were healthy.

Among the speculation for the cause of death is that loud noises, perhaps from fireworks, frightened the birds and sent them crashing into buildings and other obstacles

Hundreds more birds found dead, this time in Louisiana

 Three days after thousands of blackbirds were found dead in Arkansas, some 500 red-winged-blackbirds and starlings were found dead along a quarter-mile stretch of highway in Louisiana, hundreds of miles to the south. The latest dead birds were found Monday near Labarre, about 300 miles south of Beebe, Ark., where thousands of birds fell from the sky on New Year's Eve.

State biologists are sending some of the Louisiana birds for testing in Georgia and Wiscons

 

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The Latest Stats Show a Continuing decline in crime

The Latest Stats
Show a Continuing Decline in Crime

12/20/10

We’ve just released our first peek into crime in 2010—with a snapshot of the first six months of the year.

The early returns are encouraging. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June, 2010, the nation saw a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of reported violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decrease in the number of reported property crimes compared to data for the same time frame during 2009.

The report specifically covers the violent crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault…and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. It also includes arson, which is considered a property crime but is tracked separately for this report.

UCR Data Tool screenshot
 

Check crime rates in your area using the
ucr data tool">UCR Data Tool.

Some of the preliminary findings:

  • Reported incidents of violent crime as a whole decreased in all four regions of the country—falling 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 7.2 percent in the Midwest, 7.8 percent in the South, and 7.2 percent in the West.
  • In the Northeast, reported incidents of murder were up 5.7 percent, forcible rapes were up 1.1 percent, and aggravated assaults were up 2.4 percent.
  • Reported incidents of property crime as a whole declined in all four regions of the country—dropping 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 2.5 percent in the Midwest, 3.6 percent in the South, and 3.1 percent in the West.
  • In the Northeast, however, reported incidents of burglary rose 3.9 percent.
  • Population-wise, cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents saw the greatest decline in reported violent crimes (8.3 percent) and in property crimes (4.8 percent).

Since 1930, the FBI has been tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving reliable uniform crime statistics for the nation. Our hope is that this report will continue to assist community leaders and law enforcement managers with formulating crime-fighting and crime prevention strategies.

Last month, we released a new tool to help these leaders and others analyze crime statistics over the past half-century. The UCR Data Tool, as it’s called, enables users to perform queries on custom variables like year, agency, and type of offense. Until now, making comparisons of our crime data required searching the annual reports and then manually crunching the numbers. The data from the just-released report is not included in the new tool, since it is preliminary and represents only a partial year.

Although many of the crimes reported in our UCR statistics fall primarily under state and local jurisdiction, the FBI continues to work closely with our law enforcement partners on numerous joint task forces around the country and to offer a range of services and support. A few examples include:

- Information services like the National Crime Information Center, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx);

- Fingerprint and other types of forensic identification services, such as our Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Combined DNA Index System.

As always, we caution against drawing conclusions about specific locations by making direct comparisons between cities. Valid assessments are only possible by carefully analyzing the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.

The full-year Crime in the United States, 2010 report will be released next year.

Resources:

- Press release

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FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2010

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2010

Washington, D.C. December 20, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
— filed under: Press Release

According to the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released today, the nation experienced a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes from January to June 2010, when compared with data from the same time period in the prior year. The report is based on information from more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI during the first six months of both 2009 and 2010.

Violent Crime

  • From January to June 2010, all four of the offense types in the violent crime category declined nationwide when compared with data for the same time period in 2009. Robbery fell 10.7 percent, murder was down 7.1 percent, forcible rape declined 6.2 percent, and aggravated assault decreased 3.9 percent.
  • Violent crime declined in all city groups, with the largest decrease, 8.3 percent, in cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 persons. Violent crime was also down in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties, with declines of 7.6 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.
  • For the six-month comparison period, violent crime fell in all four regions of the nation: 7.8 percent in the South, 7.2 percent in both the Midwest and the West, and 0.2 percent in the Northeast. The Northeast was the only region to experience an increase in murders, 5.7 percent. Murder declined in the other three regions—12.0 percent in the South, 7.1 percent in the West, and 6.3 percent in the Midwest.

Property Crime

  • Property crime was down 2.8 percent nationwide for the first six months of 2010 compared with data for the same months of 2009. Motor vehicle theft dropped 9.7 percent, larceny-theft fell 2.3 percent, and burglary decreased 1.4 percent.
  • Property crime declined in all four regions, with a 3.6 percent decrease in the South, a 3.1 percent decrease in the West, a 2.5 decrease in the Midwest, and a 0.2 percent decrease in the Northeast.
  • Cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants experienced a 4.8 percent drop in property crime. In nonmetropolitan counties, property crime increased 1.0 percent, but it decreased 2.4 percent in metropolitan counties.

Arson

Arson offenses, which are tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased 14.6 percent nationwide. By population group, the largest decline in the number of arson offenses (17.2 percent) was in cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 residents. Arson also fell in metropolitan counties by 21.6 percent and in nonmetropolitan counties by 19.4 percent. Law enforcement agencies in all four regions reported fewer arsons, including declines of 17.6 percent in the West, 14.3 percent in the South, 12.6 percent in the Midwest, and 10.2 percent in the Northeast.

Note: Caution against Ranking—When the FBI publishes crime data in its Uniform Crime Reports throughout the year, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

The complete Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2010, is available exclusively at http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats.

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FBI Releases 2009 Hate Crime Statistics

FBI Releases 2009 Hate Crime Statistics

Washington, D.C. November 22, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
— filed under: Press Release

Today, the FBI released 2009 statistics which indicated that 6,604 criminal incidents involving 7,789 offenses were reported as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, includes data from hate crime reports submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.

Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, includes the following information:

  • Of the 6,598 single-bias incidents, 48.5 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 19.7 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 18.5 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 11.8 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 1.5 percent of single-bias incidents.
  • There were 4,793 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2009. Intimidation accounted for 45.0 percent of crimes against persons, simple assaults for 35.3 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.1 percent. Other offenses, including nine forcible rapes and eight murders, accounted for the remainder.
  • There were 2,970 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property; most of these (83.0 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. The remaining 17.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses.
  • An analysis of data for single-bias hate crime incident victims revealed that 48.8 percent were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race, 18.9 percent because of a bias against a religious belief, 17.8 percent because of a sexual orientation bias, 13.3 percent because of an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 1.2 percent because of a disability bias.
  • Of the 6,225 known offenders, 62.4 percent were white, 18.5 percent were black, 7.3 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group), 1.0 percent were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The race was unknown for the remaining known offenders.
  • The largest percentage (31.3 percent) of hate crime incidents occurred in or near homes. In addition, 17.2 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; 11.4 percent happened at schools or colleges; 6.1 percent in parking lots or garages; and 4.3 percent in churches, synagogues, or temples. The remaining 29.7 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other specified locations, multiple locations, or other/unknown locations.


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Climate Change Will Seriously Impact Human Health

Press Release

Climate Change Will Seriously Impact Human Health, But Research Lacking, Peer-Reviewed Report Concludes

Research needs to increase by nearly $200 million to study risks, opportunities for interventions

Posted: 18-Mar-2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:

Jennifer Andreassen, 202-572-3387, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text90311+'<\/a>'; //-->

John Balbus, 202-572-3316, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text56680+'<\/a>'; //-->


(Washington, D.C. – March 18, 2009) Climate change will seriously impact public health, but the United States is failing to support the research needed to prepare for it, according to a report published in the peer-reviewed journal published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

 

"The lack of attention from the Federal government on the health risks of climate change to U.S. populations is needlessly putting multitudes at risk," warns the report, "U.S. Funding is Insufficient to Address the Human Health Impacts of and Public Health Responses to Climate Variability and Change," published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

 

The report is co-authored by the same authors who wrote the Climate Change and Human Health chapter in the July 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report: "Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems," including Environmental Defense Fund"s Chief Health Scientist Dr. John Balbus.  Dr. Balbus also is a member of the National Academy of Science Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, and the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Global warming is expected to worsen many health problems, including heat-related mortality, diarrheal diseases, and diseases associated with exposure to ozone and allergens from the air.  Health effects are also likely to result from altered air, water, agriculture, and ecosystems processes, according to the report. 

 

Despite these facts, federal funding of health research related to climate change is estimated to be less than $3 million per year. The report concludes that more than $200 million is needed annually to sponsor "robust intra- and extramural programs" in federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

Funding research in climate change and health research "that is directly linked to protective action at the local level is a wise investment, consistent with the goals of restoring economic stability, justice and environmental quality, and reducing health care costs," according to the report.

 

The inadequate level of U.S. funding, the report states, "appears to be due to the low priority placed on identifying and managing the health risks of climate change by Congress and the Federal government."  The report also concludes that reporting of the research funding needs more transparency and clarity.

 

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