AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Mississippi Orders Immediate Closing of 83 Bridges

Emergency and disaster briefing for April 11, 2018: An Oregon school district cancels classes Wednesday following a school shooting threat found in a bathroom, Mississippi declares a state of emergency and closes 83 bridges across 16 counties for safety risks, police shot and killed a knife-wielding man at a mall in south Los Angeles, a small plane crash in Arizona killed 6 people, the body of the suspect wanted in the double Tennessee homicides is believed to have been found in Mississippi, a HUD grant gives Puerto Rico $18.5 billion to help rebuild homes and infrastructure following Hurricane Maria, children affected by the Flint, Michigan water crisis are now to receive screening after a $4 million partial settlement, and a federal report released Tuesday blames Hawaii’s false missile alert on human error and a lack of safeguards and training.

  1. A school district in Oregon cancelled classes on Wednesday after [link url=”” title=”finding graffiti in the middle school bathroom that warned of a school shooting on Wednesday”]. The threat, which allegedly stated, “school shooting tomorrow…. BE READY,” was discovered by a student in the North Bend Middle School’s sixth grade restroom inside one of the stalls. The student reported the disturbing message to a substitute teacher, and school administrators and the school resource officer were then notified of the warning, but [link url=”” title=”authorities have yet to identify the writer of the warning”].  
  2. The governor of Mississippi declared [link url=”” title=”a state of emergency and ordered the immediate closing of 83 city and county bridges that have been deemed deficient”] and that according the Federal Highway Administration, posed a safety risk that required immediate action. A total of 83 bridges in 16 counties are affected by the order, but in a letter to the state dated April 5 by the Federal Highway Administration, according to a 2017 action plan, [link url=”” title=”a total of 378 bridges were recommended to be closed”]. 
  3. Police shot and killed [link url=”” title=”a man wielding a knife and threatening patrons in a mall”] in South Los Angeles on Tuesday evening. The incident occurred at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, where police reportedly made repeated requests for the man to drop the knife. Instead of complying, [link url=”” title=”he allegedly threatened officers several times with the knife”], before he ran toward mall patrons with the knife and police opened fire, striking the man.  
  4. Six people are dead after a small plane crashed into an Arizona golf course just after takeoff on Monday night. The small plane, [link url=”″ title=”a Piper PA-24 Commanche carrying six people”], took off from the Scottsdale Airport around 8:45 p.m. local time, and according to police, crashed onto Arizona’s TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course, then burst into flames. [link url=”″ title=”Authorities have not released the identities of those who were killed in the crash”], however, both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash.  
  5. Police believe they have [link url=”” title=”found the body of the 23-year-old individual suspected of a double homicide in East Ridge, Tennessee”]. Authorities located the body of  Casey Lawhorn in a wooded area in Vossburg, an unincorporated community in rural central Mississippi on Monday. Lawhorn allegedly killed his mother and a friend then called 911 before fleeing the scene and later [link url=”” title=”posting a lengthy confession with gruesome details on Facebook”].  
  6. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is [link url=”” title=”helping Puerto Rico rebuild its housing and infrastructure after Hurricane Maria battered the island”]. HUD announced Tuesday that they will give Puerto Rico $18.5 billion dollars to repair and replace housing and infrastructure and to help mitigation efforts. The grant is [link url=”” title=”the largest distribution ever in the history of HUD”], and is part of the $90 billion disaster aid package signed by President Trump in February that will also benefit the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and California. 
  7. A legal agreement reached Monday will help ensure the school children in Flint, Michigan will receive [link url=”” title=”screening and in-depth health assessments to measure the effect of lead-tainted drinking water”] on their learning abilities. The more than $4 million dollar agreement partially settles a federal lawsuit filed over the Flint water crisis that began when [link url=”″ title=”city officials switched the city’s public water source to the polluted Flint River from Lake Huron in an effort to cut costs in 2014″]. The switch caused lead to leach from water pipes, contaminating the city’s water supply with lead, which can adversely affect children who are more susceptible to lead poisoning. 
  8. A federal report released Tuesday blames the false missile attack alert issued in January in Hawaii on [link url=”” title=”both human error and a lack of safeguards”]. The report, issued by the Federal Communications Commission, noted that while the primary error was an employee who mistook a test drill for an actual attack, safeguards failed to ensure that a second person confirmed the alert before it was sent out. The report also noted that miscommunication between to supervisors played a role in the false alert, and [link url=”” title=”the failure to ensure appropriate training and protocols to retract false warnings were also largely absent”].  

Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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