Author

Kurt Niland

4997 posts

Kurt Niland has been a professional editor and writer for 15 years. He is the author of four books and a number of articles for trade journals, newspapers, magazines, and web blogs. He attended New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, and Auburn University Montgomery, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English. His lifelong interests in geography, anthropology, political science, literature, and religion fuel his writing and inspire him to travel at every opportunity. Originally from Connecticut, Kurt has resided in Montgomery, Alabama since 1991.

Duke Life Flight Helicopter Crash Lawsuit Blames Blocked Oil Line

The families of two people killed in a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in North Carolina last year are suing the manufacturers of the aircraft and its engine, alleging that an oil line defect led to the crash. The Perquimans Weekly reports that the helicopter crash lawsuit was filed by the families of Mary Bartlett, a patient who was being airlifted Duke Hospital and Duke Life Flight nurse Kristopher Harrison. All four people aboard the helicopter were killed in the Sept. 8, 2017 crash. The other two victims were pilot Jeff Burke and Duke Life Flight nurse Crystal Sollinger. The ... Read More

SEC Awards 3 Whistleblowers $55.5 Million in Two Separate Cases

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Whistleblower Office recently announced it has paid out more than $55.5 million to three whistleblowers who assisted regulators in stopping violations, fraud, and other misconduct harming investors. On Sept. 6, the SEC said that it had awarded two whistleblowers who assisted regulators in the same case. One whistleblower will receive a $39 million award – the agency’s second-largest payout to date – and the other will receive a $15 million award for providing “critical information and continued assistance” that helped the SEC crack down on the offending company. On Sept. 14, the SEC ... Read More

Pipeline Break Floods Indiana River with Jet Fuel

A pipeline failure released more than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel into the St. Mary’s River in northeastern Indiana Sept. 7, and officials warned a cleanup could take several weeks to complete. Bernie Beier, Homeland Security Director for Allen County, Indiana, told The Journal Gazette that an employee of Buckeye Pipe Line Company, which owns the busted pipeline, detected a pressure drop and immediately went to check on the line. The company then shut down the affected pipeline, but not before 8,190 gallons of jet fuel escaped into the river. The spill prompted police officials in the city of Decatur ... Read More

Arizona Man Claims Years of Monsanto Roundup Use Caused His Cancer

An Arizona man battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma blames Monsanto for his illness, claiming in a federal lawsuit that the agrochemical giant concealed its knowledge of cancer risks associated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup pesticide. Ray Harry, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, who used to live in Iowa, filed his complaint against Monsanto in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, Iowa. He states in his lawsuit that he used Roundup on his properties for nearly a quarter of a decade, first in South Dakota from 1988 to 2006 and then in Iowa from 2011-2016, according to The Sioux City Journal. ... Read More

Parents Allege Defective Grand Prix Airbag Caused Son’s Death

The parents of a Pennsylvania man who died when the driver side airbag inside his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix failed to deploy in a fiery crash are suing General Motors and the dealership where the car was purchased. Plaintiffs Samuel and Catherine Gabriele filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas July 31, alleging GM and Faulkner Buick GMC of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, sold their son Stephen Gabriele a car with a defective airbag system. According to the Penn Record, the lawsuit states that Stephen Gabriele was driving his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix south on West Philadelphia Ave. in ... Read More

Class Action Filed For Ford F-150 Owners With Dangerous Brake Defect

If you own a 2013-2018 Ford F-150 pickup truck, you may be eligible to join a nationwide class-action case seeking damages related to a safety defect that could cause the sudden loss of brake power. The class-action, filed in a U.S. court in Eastern Michigan by the Beasley Allen Law Firm of Montgomery, Alabama, and the Miller Law Firm of Rochester, Michigan, alleges that Ford has put drivers of the affected F-150s and motorists with whom they share the road at risk. According to the lawsuit, Ford F-150s from model years 2013-2018 are built with brake master cylinders made by ... Read More

FTC Shuts Down Military Copycat Websites

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it has resolved civil charges against two Alabama-based companies that ran copycat military websites to trick potential recruits into submitting their personal information, which they then sold to post-secondary schools for profit. According to the FTC, Sunkey Publishing Inc. and Fanmail.com LLC have agreed to surrender Army.com, Armyenlist.com, Navyenlist.com, and other domain names. The agency said the companies used the websites to generate admissions leads, which they sold to post-secondary schools for $15-$40 per lead. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the companies created the copycat websites to appear to be official recruiting websites affiliated ... Read More

Gas Explosions Devastate Massachusetts Communities, Displace Thousands

Dozens of natural gas explosions blasted through three Massachusetts towns Sept. 13, killing one teen, injuring at least a dozen people, and triggering structural fires that displaced thousands of residents. Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency Friday in response to the gas explosions and sent officials to inspect homes and businesses door-to-door in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover just north of Boston. The governor said that the crews were inspecting structures for safety before residents would be allowed to return. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading a federal investigation of the gas ... Read More

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Recalled Alabama Eggs

Federal health officials have issued an urgent food safety alert amid an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses in Alabama and Tennessee linked to Gravel Ridge Farms eggs. The Cullman, Alabama egg producer recalled its cage-free Grade A large eggs after health officials investigating the spate of reported Salmonella illnesses traced evidence back to the egg company. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the outbreak is ongoing. The 14 reported illnesses occurred between July 10, 2018, to Aug. 7, 2018. Illnesses that occurred after Aug. 22 might not have been reported yet due to the time it ... Read More

Duke Energy Dump Spills Tons of Coal Ash in Florence Floods

Toxic coal ash from a shuttered Duke Energy plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, was released from a primitive dump as heavy rains from Hurricane Florence lashed the coast. As of Monday, the city of Wilmington was inaccessible by land due to widespread catastrophic flooding in the city and surrounding areas, so Duke Energy and state environmental officials haven’t determined how far the spilled coal ash – enough to fill about 180 dump trucks – has migrated. According to the Associated Press, the toxic coal ash from Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton Power Station “likely flowed into the Cape Fear River.” With waterways ... Read More