Author

Kurt Niland

5105 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.

Window Blinds Injure Two Children Every Day in the U.S.

Window blinds injure two children every day and kill one child each month on average in the U.S., according to an epidemiologic study published in the journal Pediatrics. From 1990 to 2015, nearly 17,000 children younger than 6 years old were treated in U.S emergency rooms for window blind-related injuries. A little less than half the injuries involved being struck by a window blind, such as being hit by a falling blind. Just 12 percent of the injuries involved entanglements, mostly with the cords on the blinds, but these injuries accounted for most of the hospitalizations and deaths, researchers found. Data ... Read More

Panda Express Worker Suffers Burn Injuries in Kitchen Explosion

A worker suffered burn injuries in a suspected gas explosion in the kitchen of a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Panda Express restaurant Nov. 5. Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief John Whitman told West Hawaii Today that the injured worker was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of her burn injuries. A second person was also injured in the explosion, but the nature and extent of the injuries is unclear. The injured Panda Express worker told responders that she smelled gas after a rice cooker dropped on the floor in the kitchen area of the restaurant. When she bent down to pick ... Read More

One in Five Pediatric Scald Burns Caused by Instant Soup

More than 20 percent of pediatric scald burns in the U.S. are caused by instant soup, ramen noodle soup, and similar soup products, according to a new study presented Nov. 2 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference. Dr. Courtney Allen, a pediatric emergency fellow at Emory University who led the research, told CNN that it’s important for parents to remember that while instant soup is quick, easy and convenient, “these are just thin containers with boiling water in them.” For the study, Dr. Allen and her fellow researchers looked at 4,500 pediatric scald burns recorded over an 11-year ... Read More

Jacobs Engineering Failed to Protect Coal Ash Cleanup Workers, Jury Finds

Jacobs Engineering, the government contractor hired to clean up and remediate the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) disastrous 2008 coal ash spill, failed to protect its workers from the slew of toxins in the sludgy waste, a federal jury has found. The Dallas-based global contractor employed hundreds of construction workers to clean TVA’s coal ash spill, which occurred when the company’s retaining ponds and facilities in Kingston, Tennessee failed. The resulting food of coal ash sludge – the byproduct of coal burning to generate electricity – knocked houses from their foundations, contaminated two rivers, and covered hundreds of acres of land ... Read More

FDA To Restrict Sale of E-Cigarette Flavors

Federal authorities are barring the sale of fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarette liquids in gas stations and convenience stores next week in an effort to beat back a surge of vaping among teens and children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will still allow the sales of e-liquid – the nicotine-infused liquid that vaporizes in an e-cigarette – at those retail locations, but only in tobacco, mint, and menthol flavors, The Washington Post reports. The FDA also plans to order online retailers of e-cigarette products to implement stricter age-verification controls. The new restrictions, however, will not apply to vape shops and ... Read More

Lion Air Plane Crash Prompts Boeing to Issue Safety Bulletin

Prompted by the crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 jet in Indonesia last month, Boeing has issued a safety advisory to pilots on how to handle faulty readings from a key flight-control sensor. “The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air Flight 610 experienced erroneous input from one of its AOA (Angle of Attack) sensors,” Boeing said in the statement. A misreading in the sensor can cause the plane to dive suddenly and confuse pilots. All 189 people aboard Lion Air Flight 610 from Jakarta to the island of Bangka died when the plane crashed ... Read More

Widow Sues Honeywell Over Husband’s Gas Explosion Death

The widow of a utility worker who was killed in a July 2017 gas explosion in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Honeywell International and other defendants, alleging their errors claimed the life of her husband. Richard Bouder, 54, was part of a three-worker UGI crew responding to reports of a gas odor at a house in Manor Township when a gas explosion leveled the house and rocked the surrounding neighborhood. Mr. Bouder was killed in the blast and the other two workers were seriously injured. Kim Bouder’s complaint, filed in Philadelphia County Court, includes claims ... Read More

German Shipping Co Pays $3.2 Million Criminal Fine for Oil Dumping

A German shipping company must pay a $3.2 million criminal fine to resolve charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil waste in U.S. waters and maintaining false records, a federal judge in Maine decided. MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and for maintaining false official records to conceal the deliberate pollution from one of its ships, the M/V Marguerita, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Nov. 2 announcement stated. Federal prosecutors said the German shipping company violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and obstructed justice with its falsified log ... Read More

One Death Reported in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Turkey

An ongoing outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey has been blamed for one death and 164 confirmed illnesses in 35 states, federal health officials reported. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the death in a Nov. 8 announcement that also said 63 of the patients with confirmed salmonellosis linked to turkey have been hospitalized. The CDC and state health officials continue to investigate the widespread salmonella outbreak but say it is not linked to a single source. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with the ... Read More

Severely Injured Tesla Model S Driver Sues Over Autopilot Crash

When Shawn Hudson bought a 2017 Tesla Model S for his long commutes to and from work, he invested $5,000 for the autopilot add-on, convinced that it would make his four-hour drives easier. He never thought the safety feature would send his car into the path of a disabled vehicle while going 80 mph. Mr. Hudson survived the crash, but he suffers from severe and permanent brain and spinal injuries, according to a lawsuit he filed against Tesla. The basis of his complaint is that Tesla often describes its autopilot as a driver assistance feature, indicating that drivers need to ... Read More