Author

Kurt Niland

4853 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.

Overheated iPhone 7 Burns Virginia Teen’s Arm

A Virginia teen who fell asleep with her iPhone 7 next to her says the device overheated and burned a hole through the skin of her arm. Eighteen-year-old Raele Manning-Moore told Norfolk, Virginia’s WAVY Channel 10 that the pain from the burn injury is the worst pain she’s ever felt. “I’ve never been in that much pain ever,” Ms. Manning-Moore said. She told WAVY that she believes the iPhone overheated while she was lying in bed with it next to her arm. The searing pain from the burn injury woke her up. She said the burn was so severe that ... Read More

Worker’s Widow Sues Colonial Pipeline Over Deadly 2016 Explosion

Colonial Pipeline is facing more legal trouble in the wake of its deadly 2016 pipeline explosion near Pelham, Alabama, that killed two workers and seriously injured five others. A new lawsuit filed July 9 in a Fulton County, Georgia State Court accuses Colonial Pipeline and a contractor of wrongful death, negligence, and wantonness, among other charges, in connection to the Oct. 31, 2016 explosion, according to the Daily Report. The lawsuit was filed by the widow of one of the workers killed in the blast and another worker who was seriously injured. The plaintiffs allege that a Colonial Pipeline project ... Read More

McDonald’s Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite Across the Midwest

McDonald’s has stopped selling salads at thousands of its Midwestern locations after dozens of people fell ill with cyclosporiasis, an illness caused by the intestinal parasite cyclospora. As of Sunday, July 15, public health officials in Illinois have confirmed 90 cases of cylclosporiasis in patients who had eaten at McDonald’s in the previous days, while officials in Iowa reported 15 cases. Health officials in Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, and South Dakota are also reporting cyclosporiasis illnesses that they believe stem from McDonald’s salads. According to USA Today, each of the states has two cases, except for Missouri, which has seven, and ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Montana Hospital over Alleged Kickback Scheme

A newly unsealed whistleblower complaint against Kalispell Regional Healthcare accuses the Montana hospital of engaging in an extensive kickback scheme that put the profits of specialist physicians and hospital executives above patient care while defrauding U.S. and Montana taxpayers. The newly unsealed suit was originally filed in September 2016 by John Mohatt, formerly the CEO of Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s physician network. An amended False Claims Act complaint was filed in May of last year and remained under seal until recently, although the U.S. Department of Justice continues to investigate the whistleblower’s allegations, Kalispell’s Flathead Beacon reports. U.S. law prohibits hospitals ... Read More

Woodchucks Devoured Soy-Based Wiring in Paul Ryan’s Chevy Suburban

Rodent-attracting soy-based wiring in automobiles is a growing problem, and House Speaker Paul Ryan says his Chevrolet Suburban is among the vehicles that have been damaged by hungry rodent scavengers. “My car was eaten by animals,” Ryan told an audience at the Economic Club of Washington, according to The Washington Times. Ryan said that his Suburban has been parked at his mother’s house in Wisconsin ever since he became House Speaker in 2015 and was assigned a security detail. He hasn’t driven since then. According to Ryan, his mother went to Florida for the winter and when she returned she ... Read More

Whistleblower’s Suit Against Roche, Humana Survives Motions to Dismiss

A whistleblower’s $45 million False Claims Act lawsuit alleging Humana and Roche Diagnostics engaged in an illegal kickback scheme and other health care fraud will stand after an Illinois federal judge rejected two motions to dismiss the allegations. Crystal Derrick, a former Roche account manager, filed the whistleblower complaint on behalf of the U.S. government in 2014, HealthPayer Intelligence reports. She alleges that Roche improperly dismissed debt Humana owed to Roche in a bid to keep Roche Diagnostic’s diabetes testing products on Humana’s formularies. The deal also helped bar competitor products from Humana’s formularies, the whistleblower complaint alleged. According to Louisville Business ... Read More

Tennessee Boy’s Hot Car Death The 23rd in U.S. This Year

A 3-year-old Tennessee boy who became locked inside a hot car Monday, July 10, has died of heat-related illness. The boy’s grandmother, who is also his guardian, told authorities that a teenager had been babysitting the boy and several others at a neighbor’s house where she had been mowing the lawn, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported, according to ABC News. When the grandmother finished mowing the lawn, she and the babysitter realized the boy was missing. They found him locked inside a 2006 Honda Accord parked at the home. Authorities say the boy had been locked inside the car ... Read More

Health Quest Pays $14.7 million To Resolve Whistleblower Allegations

Health Quest Systems Inc. and one of its hospitals will pay $14.7 million to settle three whistleblower complaints filed under the False Claims Act alleging the New York-based hospital system and one of its hospitals submitted inflated and ineligible claims to Medicare for reimbursement. In the settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice, Health Quest and Putnam Health Center of Carmel Hamlet, New York “admitted, acknowledged, and accepted responsibility for certain facts involving the submission of improper claims for various health-related services,” the Justice Department said. The whistleblowers alleged that Health Quest submitted for evaluation and management services but ... Read More

One Dead, Several Injured in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Gas Explosion

A natural gas explosion devastated a block in downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Tuesday night, injuring several people and killing one firefighter. Authorities were evacuating workers, business patrons, and residents from buildings near Sun Prairie’s City Hall when the blast occurred around 7:15 p.m. The evacuations came in response to reports that a contractor struck a four-inch natural gas main line, causing a building in the area to fill with gas. Buildings housing the Barr House, which is a pub at 100 West Main St., and Glass Nickel Pizza at 101 West Main were reportedly destroyed by the gas explosion. Several ... Read More

Tractor-Trailer driver Likely Fell Asleep Before Fiery Georgia Crash

A tractor-trailer driver “presumably fell asleep” at the wheel before crashing through a sound barrier wall on I-75 in northwest Georgia Monday morning, Cobb County authorities said. The fiery crash occurred in the pre-dawn darkness around 5:30 a.m. between Kennesaw and Acworth, Georgia. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tractor-trailer driver John Thurston likely fell asleep, causing his vehicle to drift from the northbound lanes of I-75. The tractor-trailer struck a series of concrete and metal barriers near exit 273 before crashing through the barrier wall and into a drainage ditch, where it rolled over. The truck, laden with scrap metal, ... Read More