Author

Kurt Niland

5296 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.

HP Expands Lithium-Ion Battery Recall Over Fire, Burn Risks

HP has expanded a recall of the lithium-ion batteries used in some of its notebook computers and mobile workstations after receiving several reports of overheating and fire-related incidents, including one burn injury. The recall covers about 78,500 lithium-ion battery packs installed in some computers or sold separately as accessories. The batteries were shipped with or sold as accessories for the following HP products: HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series, 4xx G4 series) HPx360 (310 G2) HP Pavilion x360 11-inch Notebook PC HP 11 Notebook PC HP ZBook (17 G3, and Studio G3) mobile workstations ... Read More

Two Workers Suffer Burns, Electrocution in Omaha Construction Accident

Two construction workers suffered serious burn injuries and other trauma at a construction site near downtown Omaha, Nebraska, when the bucket lift they were in made contact with power lines. Omaha’s WOWT 6 News said a police report on the March 11 accident listed the men as employees of Ronco Construction, an Omaha-based company that carries out construction projects throughout the Midwest. A witness told investigators at the scene that the boom truck made contact with a power line as the men were in the raised bucket. One of the men was ejected from the bucket and fell four stories ... Read More

Vaping Heightens Risks of Catastrophic Health Problems

Vaping products are widely touted as a better alternative to smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes, but are they? According to a new study published by the American College of Cardiologists, vaping nicotine can be catastrophic to your health in much the same way smoking is. The study found that people who vape were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than people who do not use vaping products. Coronary artery disease and circulatory problems, including blood clots, were also much higher among those who use vaping products —10 percent and ... Read More

Landmark Mental Health Ruling Finds Top Insurer Illegally Denied Patients Coverage

Mental health patients in the U.S. scored major victory when a federal judge issued a landmark ruling against the nation’s largest health insurer, finding that it has been illegally denying coverage to policyholders seeking treatment for mental health and substance abuse. United Behavioral Health, a unit of UnitedHealthcare, “deviated” from national health care standards by implementing cost-cutting policies that effectively deprived mental health patients of access to critical, life-saving treatments, U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero found. He also suggested that the company was more intent on feeding its bottom line than providing adequate and appropriate coverage to mental health ... Read More

Proposed Overtime Rule Could Benefit 1 Million U.S. Workers

A proposed change in federal labor laws could expand overtime eligibility to more than 1 million salaried workers in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Labor proposed raising the overtime threshold to most salaried workers earning an annual salary of $35,308 or $679 per week so that employees making less than that amount would be eligible for time-and-a-half pay for any hours over 40 worked per week. Currently, the overtime threshold sits at $23,660 or $455 per week, so anyone making more than that isn’t eligible for overtime pay. The government set the current overtime threshold 15 years ago. The ... Read More

Oklahoma School Bus Crash Kills 3 People, Including Middle School Girl

Oklahoma authorities investigating a school bus crash that killed a middle school student and two others Saturday night say the crash may have been caused by a drunk driver. The fatal crash occurred near the town of Bowlegs in central Oklahoma when an SUV tried to pass the school bus on Highway 377. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the SUV was traveling in the northbound lane of the two-lane highway and entered the southbound lane to pass another vehicle. The school bus, traveling in the southbound lane, swerved into the northbound lane to avoid the SUV. At the same ... Read More

3M Water Pollution Pushes Alabama Water Utility to Seek State Loan

A north Alabama water utility still grappling with perfluorinated chemical pollution allegedly caused by the 3M plant in Decatur is asking the state to front $58 million for the construction of an advanced water filtration system. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority on its list of 59 water systems nationwide with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) too high for safe human consumption. The water authority was one of nine water systems deemed unsafe for too-high levels of industrial pollutants stemming from 3M. The WMEL Water Authority acted on ... Read More

Air Force Official Rips Boeing Over Poorly Inspected Planes

Some top U.S. military officials are not happy with Boeing after the aircraft manufacturer delivered KC-46 air refueling tanker airplanes fresh off the assembly line, some of which were cluttered with garbage and industrial tools. Dr. Will Roper, the Air Force’s top acquisitions official, said that Boeing’s delivery of the planes to the Air Force in less than ideal condition shows the company has a “severe situation” on its hands. On Feb. 20, after discovering that some of the newly delivered tanker planes had debris and foreign objects left inside, the Air Force stopped accepting the deliveries from Boeing. Although ... Read More

FDA To Grill Walgreens Over ‘Disturbing’ Vape and Tobacco Violations

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is fuming over “disturbingly” high rates of vape product and tobacco sales at Walgreens drugstores and is demanding an unusual in-person meeting the company’s corporate leaders to discuss the problem. According to the FDA, Walgreens is one of the top violators in the nation when it comes to selling vape and tobacco products to underage kids in violation of federal law. Dr. Gottlieb indicated in a March 4 statement that violators like Walgreens are responsible for the soaring rates of nicotine addiction among U.S. teens and children, which have reached epidemic ... Read More

Ride Inspector Suffers Hand Amputation at Carolina Amusement Park

A worker suffered an accidental hand amputation while inspecting a ride at Carowinds amusement park, a sprawling Charlotte, North Carolina theme park that straddles the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines. Authorities investigating the accidental hand amputation say it occurred March 6 while the worker was inspecting the 300-foot-tall Windseeker ride in the York County, South Carolina side of the park. The man was at the top of the tower when his hand reportedly became caught up in the ride’s pulley system. The Flint Hill, South Carolina Fire Department received a call reporting the emergency around 9 a.m. and ... Read More