Entries in Heat Related Deaths (2)


Air Conditioner Thefts Leave Residents Boiling

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- As if the heat wave wasn’t bad enough, there have been reports of a worsening problem of stolen air conditioning units in Texas.

This is part of an ongoing problem. These thieves are stealing the copper and other metals, and selling them to make a quick buck. But with a heat wave like this one, stolen air-conditioners are certainly not going unnoticed and are beyond unbearable for many.

Ten units from Chisholm Baptist Church in Rockwall were stolen last week. Someone pilfered the air conditioners, leaving only pipes sticking out of brick walls and congregants sweating through Sunday service.

Authorities say air conditioner thefts are on the rise.

Paula More, a Rylie resident, says she felt “violated” when she came home to check the thermostat, and discovered her AC unit outside was gone.  Her new unit cost her $2,200, and is now protected by a cage.

The consequences can be dire. Last month, Dolores Grissom was found dead of heat-related causes, two days after her air conditioner was stolen.

In Dallas, all thefts involving metal are assigned to a three-detective metal theft squad. The unit handles about 15 to 22 offenses a day, most involving air conditioning units.

And thieves have also been known to cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage just to steal a few hundred dollars’ worth of copper.

When the First Evangelist Church of God in Christ in Pleasant Grove, Texas wouldn’t cool down, congregants discovered their air conditioner was in pieces because all the copper had been removed.

Authorities have been upping the stakes in the battle against copper thefts for years. Dallas enacted an ordinance to make it more difficult for metal thieves to sell their wares at scrap yards in 2008.

A new state law going into effect Sept. 1 will require scrap dealers to create detailed records of their purchases, including the collection of sellers’ thumbprints and video or photos of the seller.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Deadly Heat: Two High School Football Players Die after Practice

Getty(ATLANTA) -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that two high school football players died Tuesday, as officials try to determine the effects of hot weather on both players.

Fitzgerald High School defensive lineman DJ Searcy died Tuesday morning following practice at a camp in northern Florida. The 16-year-old was found unresponsive in his cabin, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Locust Grove High School offensive lineman Forrest Jones died Tuesday night. Jones passed out at a voluntary workout last week, which is not governed by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) rules and policies. Doctors believe that Jones, 16, may have had a heat stroke or heat exhaustion, according to his family.

Until Tuesday, there had not been a heat-related death for a high school football player in Georgia in five years, according to the GHSA.

The GHSA is the state’s governing body for high school athletics, which mandated that all member schools develop their own heat policies after the death of Rockdale County football player Tyler L. Davis after a voluntary workout Aug. 1, 2006.

The GHSA also recommended the use of a heat-index rating or wet-bulb temperature to determine whether practices should be held or modified because of grueling temperatures.

The first official day for high school football practice in helmets and pads was Monday across the scorching state.

The GHSA may develop a stricter and more uniform heat policy in the near future. University of Georgia researchers are in the final stages of a three-year study on heat risks associated with high school athletics.

The study couldn't come at a more critical time: more than 32,000 high school students participate in football each year in Georgia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News radio

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