After elk crashes copter, some question wildlife chopper use

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:58 PM


            In this photo taken Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, and provided by the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office is a research helicopter that was brought down by a leaping elk in the mountains of eastern Utah. Wasatch County authorities say the elk jumped into the chopper's tail rotor as the craft flew low, trying to capture the animal with a net. The two people on board weren't seriously hurt, but wildlife officials say the elk died of its injuries. The state-contracted Australian crew had been trying to capture and sedate the elk so they could collar it and research its movements about 90 miles east of Salt Lake City. (Jared Rigby/Wasatch County Sheriff's Office via AP)
In this photo taken Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, and provided by the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office is a research helicopter that was brought down by a leaping elk in the mountains of eastern Utah. Wasatch County authorities say the elk jumped into the chopper's tail rotor as the craft flew low, trying to capture the animal with a net. The two people on board weren't seriously hurt, but wildlife officials say the elk died of its injuries. The state-contracted Australian crew had been trying to capture and sedate the elk so they could collar it and research its movements about 90 miles east of Salt Lake City. (Jared Rigby/Wasatch County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The case of an elk that died after it leapt in the air and brought a low-flying research helicopter down in Utah highlights the use of helicopters in wildlife monitoring, which has been criticized by animal-rights groups but praised as effective by wildlife managers.

The sound of the chopper blades and the wind kicked up by the helicopters can be terrifying for animals, said Jennifer Best with the group Friends of Animals.

"They're loud and they're scary and it's dangerous to the various wildlife that's impacted, and, as this demonstrates, can also be dangerous to the personnel who are operating the helicopter," she said.

She called for the use of less-invasive monitoring tools, like cameras or video monitoring.

The helicopter crew was trying to capture the elk with a net to fit it with a tracking collar before the Monday crash in the mountains about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

Wildlife officials said it was a fluke accident during an otherwise by-the-book operation. The two people on board were not seriously hurt, but the elk died after jumping into the chopper's tail rotor.

The helicopters are the best way to reach remote wildlife, and the tracking collars placed on elk gather the most detailed information on animals so managers can keep herds healthy, said Mark Hadley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

That information is used to determine the number of hunting licenses the state can offer and minimize interactions with farmers, he said. The animals are not threatened or endangered in Utah.

The state captures more than 1,000 animals a year and the vast majority are unaffected by the procedure, he said. Crews use nets rather than tranquilizer guns on elk because they don't respond well to the drugs.

It's illegal for private helicopters to chase wildlife in Utah, but Hadley said crews contracted by the state crews are highly trained and know how to get in and out quickly to minimize any disruption to the animals, he said.

Most of the division's work is paid for from hunting and licensing fees.

Wildlife groups are also objecting to a plan to use helicopters to monitor mountain goats and bighorn sheep in another part of Utah designated as wilderness area. Kirk Robinson of the Western Wildlife Conservancy said the main concern is that aircraft would disrupt the untouched quality of the area, but the crash also highlights concerns about the dangers of helicopters in mountain terrain, where cleaning up any debris would be a big challenge.

Wild-horse advocates have long opposed use of helicopters in roundups intended to shrink the size of herds that federal land managers say are overpopulated in many parts of the West.

They say the sound and wind created by the machines terrifies and can injure the horses. But most judges have sided with federal land managers who say the helicopters are efficient and the risks are low.

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4 things to know about Billy Graham

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

Billy Graham - Through The Years

Evangelical leader Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions of people worldwide, died Wednesday at 99. 

>> Read more trending news

How Graham got his start

Graham, the son of a North Carolina farmer, started preaching throughout the south and midwest.

He was “born again” after hearing a preacher’s service in 1934 in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to CNN

He attended Florida Bible Institute and it was there while taking a midnight stroll in 1937 on the 18th green when he received his calling from God, Graham wrote in his biography. He was baptized Dec. 4, 1938, in Silver Lake, Florida, and ordained the following year, according to CNN.

After graduating, Graham moved to Illinois to continue his education at Wheaton College, where he met his wife, according to The New York Times.

Advisor to presidents and welcomed by world leaders

Graham advised 10 presidents starting with Harry Truman. Barack Obama was the last president Graham met with, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Graham was most closely linked to President Richard Nixon whom he endorsed in 1968. Years later, recordings of the two were released in which they made anti-Semitic remarks. Graham apologized, saying he did not recall making the statements.

Not only did Graham counsel American presidents, world leaders of religiously restrictive countries welcomed him. 

He was invited to preach in China as well as in Pyongyang by North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung, according to the New York Times. He also visited communist countries in Eastern Europe to promote peace.

Graham’s global reach 

Graham was not the first evangelical but he was able to use communication and technology to gain an unprecedented reach. 

Through the use of radio, books, magazines, television and the internet Graham’s “crusades” reached more than 200 million people on almost every continent. 

Graham wrote 30 books and his sermons were translated into 48 languages and sent to 185 countries by satellite, according to the New York Times

He held a crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957. It was so popular, it was extended from six to 16 weeks and ended with a rally with 100,000 people in Times Square. It was Graham’s longest revival meeting ever.

His final crusade was in 2005 in New York City. However, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association continues to organize them. 

Evangelical “tree”

Graham formed the Billy Graham Evangelical Association in 1950. The group continues to organize crusades, radio and television programs and publishes the Decision magazine. The association trains thousands of evangelicals and missionaries and sends a rapid response team to help in disaster areas. 

His son, Franklin Graham, who developed his own following, was tapped to lead the association in 1995, according to the New York Times

Daughter Anne Graham Lotz and grandsons Will Graham and William Graham Tullian Tchividjian are part of the ministry. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Parkland students at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:14 PM

VIDEO: Florida Students March on Tallahassee

About 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School poured into the state Capitol this morning to call for tighter gun control laws in the wake of last week’s massacre on their school campus.

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The students arrived at a Tallahassee high school to extended applause late Tuesday after a 400-mile trip on three buses, The Associated Press reported.

The students told about 500 students and parents waiting for them that they are fighting to protect all students.
>>Read the full story here.

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Paul Manafort, Rick Gates face new charges: report

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

Robert Mueller - Fast Facts

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide, are facing new charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case against the pair, Politico reported Wednesday.

READ MORE: Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probeWho is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller? | Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation? | What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with? | MORE

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Billy Graham quotes: He made Christian principles accessible to millions

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 9:02 AM

Billy Graham - Through The Years

Evangelist Billy Graham died Wednesday at age 99 at his North Carolina home.

Graham, who preached Christianity to millions around the world, was also a confidant of U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Here are some quotes from the man who became known as “America’s Pastor.”  

  • The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
  • Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.
  • No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.
  • Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.
  • Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.
  • When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
  • My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world.
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
  • God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.
  • A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
  • God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ’I love you.’
  • I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.
  • God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.
  • Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.

Source: Brainy Quotes

FILE - In this June 27, 1954 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham speaks to over 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99. (AP Photo, File)(Werner Kreusch/AP)

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