Author

Kurt Niland

5139 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.

Florida Man Airlifted to Hospital With E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries

A Florida man whose e-cigarette exploded in his pants pocket was airlifted to a Manatee County hospital Nov. 21 with extensive burn injuries. The 43-year-old man reportedly stowed the e-cigarette in the back pocket of his pants. The device exploded when he sat down on a chair at work. E-cigarettes are powered by powerful lithium-ion batteries, which can burst with intensely hot flames if damaged, flawed, overcharged, or stored with other metal objects. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the man’s burn injuries are not considered life-threatening, but he was flown to Blake Medical Center by BayFlite as a trauma alert. ... Read More

Listeria Concerns Shut Down Michigan Food Manufacturer

The presence of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in multiple environmental samples collected from a Saranac, Michigan food producer has prompted the federal food police to shut down the company’s facilities. A complaint filed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 29 alleges Saranac Brand Foods Inc. and its owners, Dennis and Daniel Nowak, are producing ready-to-eat foods such as macaroni salad, coleslaw, spinach dip, enchilada sauce, and other salads, dips and sauces in a dangerously dirty facility contaminated by Listeria in several places. Numerous FDA inspections and testing showed that the facility hosted a “resident strain” of the Listeria pathogen, ... Read More

Benzene Emissions From Arkansas Dump Fire Prompt Lawsuit

Concerns about benzene and other health threats emanating from an extensive and long-burning underground fire have prompted at least one family in Bella Vista, Arkansas to file a lawsuit. Bella Vista resident Curtis Macomber and his family are suing Brown’s Tree Care, alleging the company created a public health hazard by burning brush on the property, triggering an underground fire that has been burning since July. The fire is smoldering at the site of a “stump dump,” where the Bella Vista Property Owners Association once operated a collection area for residents’ leaves, tree stumps, branches, and brush. Bella Vista Property ... Read More

Family Says American Airlines Abandoned Handicapped Woman in Airport

The family of a wheelchair-bound woman who was allegedly abandoned by American Airlines employees overnight in Chicago O’Hare International Airport says the airline needs to “revisit their policies” for dealing with the disabled and elderly. Sixty-seven-year-old Olimpia Warsaw was on her way to Detroit to attend her ex-husband’s funeral. Her son Claude Coltea told CBS News Chicago that he took his mother to the airport and made sure she was checked in for her flight. Mr. Coltea said an AA staff member assured him that the flight was on time and that they would take good care of his mom, ... Read More

Construction Worker Suffers Arm Amputation At Florida Job Site

A South Florida construction worker suffered an accidental amputation of his full arm on a job site in Hillsboro Beach on the morning of Nov. 29. According to Miami’s WSVN Channel 7 News, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said witnesses reported that the 44-year-old construction worker was working with an auger, a machine used to bore holes into the ground, when his arm became entangled in the machine’s drill bit. “The mechanical force of the drill-bit caused a complete amputation of his right arm just below the shoulder,” Broward Battalion Chief Michael Kane said in a news release. A Hillsboro ... Read More

Nevada Cardiologist Pleads Guilty to Opioid Prescription Fraud

A Nevada cardiologist charged with widespread opioid and health care fraud pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 to one charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, federal authorities announced. Dr. Devendra Patel, 59, was the first physician in the state to face criminal drug distribution charges under a federal push to clamp down on opioid “pill mill” clinics and the doctors who run them. The government has stepped up efforts to beat back the rising tide of opioid addiction and death, which former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the “worst drug crisis in American history.” Dr. Patel, who ran ... Read More

Partial Building Collapse Injures Man in Harlem

New York City authorities are investigating a partial building collapse in Harlem that trapped and injured a man Thursday. The building collapse occurred at an old three-story church at 316 W. 135th Street just before noon on Nov. 29. Authorities said the church structure had been in a state of disrepair for a long time and was undergoing a planned, controlled demolition when the first floor suddenly collapsed into the basement. No workers were in the church at the time of the building collapse but a man on a motorcycle in the parking lot was covered with debris. The man ... Read More

Texas Man’s Leg Nearly Amputated After E-Scooter Injury

A Texas man who was severely injured on a Bird rental e-scooter narrowly avoided having his left leg amputated but was left with permanent injuries and a hospital bill of nearly $1 million. Alexander Forney, 21, of Arlington, Texas, was riding the e-scooter in the Seep Ellum section of Dallas last August when the electric scooter suddenly flipped and hurtled him onto the concrete. The impact shattered Mr. Forney’s kneecap and tibia, cracked his front teeth, and left him with a severe road rash. He told Dallas’ WFAA Channel 8 News that he must have hit the brakes a little too ... Read More

Bus Driver Faces 33 Criminal Charges For Deadly Pennsylvania crash

A commercial bus driver faces 33 criminal charges in connection with a Pennsylvania bus crash that killed a 33-year-old Cornell graduate and injured a dozen others. Charles Dwight Dixon, 50, of Bronx, New York, was behind the wheel of the Big Red Bullet motor coach when it drove off the side of I-380 near Scranton and crashed in a wooded area. The impact killed Rebecca Blanco, a California transplant who last year graduated from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and lived in New York City. At least 14 people were on the bus at the time of the ... Read More

Florida Man’s Harrowing Hang Gliding Flight Captured on Video

Florida resident Chris Gurksy’s hang gliding adventure in Switzerland turned into a terrifying ordeal the moment he realized the pilot forgot to attach his harness to the aircraft. For well over two minutes, Mr. Gursky had to clutch the metal hang glider bar, often with just one arm, as the aircraft sailed off the side of a 4,000-foot mountainside above the town of Interlaken. Mr. Gursky’s harrowing flight was captured on video, which went viral on YouTube and the international news. “My first time Hang Gliding turned into a near death experience as my safety harness was never hooked to ... Read More