People on the autism spectrum do not respond to their surroundings in the same way “neuro-typical” people do, Valerie Wheat, assistant director of Autism Studies at Jacksonville State University, told Southside first responders during a training session Monday.
“Some of their responses may seem very strange,” Wheat said.
That can be frustrating in many settings. In an encounter with law enforcement, it could be far more serious.
Wheat talked to first responders about some of the behaviors they might see in people with autism spectrum disorder and ways to better deal with them.
Such training is needed: Studies indicate individuals with autism are seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement.
Wheat said autism is a social and communication disorder that can cause those who have it to sometimes display “mindblindness” to others.
The state of Alabama is still under a burn ban by the Alabama Forestry Commission, but there have been a string of fires along County Road 91 in Slocomb over the past week.
The Geneva County Sheriff's Office and Alabama Forestry Commission are still investigating, but Slocomb Fire Operations Chief Kyle Hovey suspects arson.
Slocomb Fire-Rescue responded to eight separate fires on County Road 91 on Thursday.
Hovey said at one point they had more fires than they did people in firetrucks.
Residents and farmers were assisting the fire department by using personal hoses and water tenders attached to tractors.
The fires spread quickly because of the extreme drought level we are facing.
WTVY-TV CBS 4 Dothan
A Prattville man was arrested more than a week after his wife and charged in connection to the same mid-September arson case, according to the Prattville Police Department and Central Alabama CrimeStoppers.
Christopher Paul, 27, was taken into custody on Thursday after a CrimeStoppers tip was submitted.He’s charged with arson and insurance fraud.
His wife, Moyo Burrow Paul was arrested on Oct. 2 and charged with arson. She may also face a charge for insurance fraud, authorities said.
First responders were called to the blaze at a home in the 200 block of Gardenia Court around 3 a.m. that Monday, and it was determined the fire was intentionally set.
Because a CrimeStoppers tip led to Paul’s arrest, CrimeStoppers will offer them a cash reward.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery
While much-needed rain is moving across Alabama for the first time in a while, it won’t be enough to lift the state out of a drought, officials are cautioning. “Even though we are getting precipitation, we will dry out again; probably until December,” said Assistant Forest Fire Management Officer Drew Page of the USDA National Forests in Alabama.
More rain is expected in the next week, but while it’s being welcomed, the USDA says there are still concerns lightning strikes from thunderstorms could pose a significant danger to bone dry areas of the state.
The AFC is maintaining a statewide fire alert that was extended to an undetermined date on Friday. Under a fire alert, permits for outdoor burning are restricted. Anyone caught burning a field, grassland, or woodland without a burn permit may be prosecuted.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery