Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Orlando, Listeria Recalls, Car Bomb

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Orlando, Listeria Recalls, Car Bomb


Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 31, 2017: A former Marine is now in custody following a nearly three hour standoff at the Orlando International Airport, a JetBlue flight diverted to Michigan after a fire onboard, Kroger recalls Simple Truth Macadamia nuts for possible Listeria contamination, Lyme disease risk increases in Minnesota as tick population spreads, Hampton Farms recalls cashews amid a supplier's Listeria concerns, the death toll in Sri Lanka continues to rise from its mudslide and flooding disaster, a massive suicide car bomb kills 80 and injures hundreds more in a secure district in Kabul, Afghanistan, and scientists are linking warming global temperatures with decreased sleep.

  1. A mentally distressed former Marine is in custody awaiting a mental evaluation after a nearly three hour stand-off with police at the Orlando International Airport late Tuesday night. When police arrived, portions of the airport were evacuated as officers attempted to negotiate with the distressed man, Michael Wayne Pettigrew, 26, who appeared to be attempting to commit "suicide by cop." Pettigrew was waving what looked to be a real gun at officers and himself, but the stand-off ended peacefully with the former Marine surrendering to authorities. 
  2.  A JetBlue flight operating from New York to San Francisco was diverted to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tuesday night after smoke was spotted coming from a passengers carry-on laptop bag. A fire apparently started in the lithium battery of the laptop, and flight 915 landed at Grand Rapids at approximately 8:10 p.m. Tuesday night. The flight with 158 passengers on board landed safely, however the airport fire department responded as a precaution, although the fire was successfully contained by the flight attendants.
  3. Kroger grocery stores has recalled its Simple Truth brand of Macadamia nuts due to the possibility of contamination of the nuts from Listeria monocytogenes. Most at risk for severe illness from Listeria are pregnant women and individuals with weakened immune systems. The product, which can be returned for a full refund, was distributed in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area, including Dayton, and portions of northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. 
  4. Lyme disease is on the rise in Minnesota with the black-legged tick beginning to spread north and west across the state, locations which were previously at a low risk for tick populations. According to reports, the last twenty years has seen a 142 percent increase in Lyme disease across the state, a number health officials say will continue to rise with the spread of ticks to new areas. Minnesota is reporting anywhere from 1,000 to 1,400 cases of confirmed Lyme disease per year, with several hundred probable, though unconfirmed cases in addition to those numbers. 
  5. Yet another product is being recalled due to concerns over contamination by Listeria. The 8 oz. tubs of Ava's brand Organic Cashews, Roasted & Salted are being recalled by Hampton Farms out of an abundance of caution after the Food and Drug Administration found Listeria monocytogenes on a supplier's equipment. The cashews tested negative for Listeria, and no confirmed illnesses have been reported. Consumers can return the product for a full refund.  
  6. The death toll continues to rise as at least 203 individuals have died in Sri Lanka following the flooding and mudslides from monsoon rains that began inundating portions of the island nation last Friday. Southern and western portions of the island have seen more than 430,000 people impacted from the disaster, causing the total displacement of around 77,000 people, with at least 1,500 homes destroyed and 16 hospitals partially or fully evacuated due to direct flooding and mudslide impacts. Lack of shelter and decreased medical care have also resulted in a significant increase in cases of dengue-fever, a mosquito-born disease, causing 125 deaths so far.
  7. At least 80 people have died, most of them civilians, and hundreds more were injured in a massive explosion from a suicide car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan in a highly secure diplomatic area. The bomb blast was so strong, that in addition to the deaths, 30 vehicles were destroyed or damaged in the immediate blast area. The bomb follows a deadly blast outside an ice cream parlor in Baghdad just one day earlier, along with a downtown car bomb in Iraqi that killed at least 30 people. 
  8. Scientists have found a link between warming nighttime temperatures due to climate change and an increase in poor sleep or sleeplessness. Researchers predict that on average, six more nights of insufficient sleep for every 100 individuals will occur by the year 2050 due to warming global temperatures, with poorer populations and the elderly most at risk. If climate change continues, that number is likely to rise to 14 nights of poor sleep by the year 2099.

Kimberly Arsenault 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.