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.

All Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft Grounded Worldwide Over Safety Concerns

Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes are now grounded in the United States and the rest of the world over concerns the aircraft may be unsafe to fly after the deadly March 10 crash of Ethiopia Airlines flight 302, the second deadly crash involving that plane model in five months. Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the 737 Max 8 planes in U.S. airspace would be allowed to continue to their destinations and then be grounded until further notice. The decision to ground the planes reversed the position that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had taken just hours earlier, insisting there were ... Read More

Canada Bus Crash Survivor Goes Home After 11 Months in Hospital

A Canadian high school hockey player who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a deadly bus crash last year has been released from the hospital after a 333-day stay. Morgan Gobeil was one of 13 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team who were injured April 6, 2018, when their bus rammed a tractor-trailer that had run a stop sign. Sixteen others, including 10 of the hockey players, were killed in the crash. According to The Canadian Press, Morgan is the last survivor of the bus crash that stunned the nation to be released from the hospital. Like ... Read More

U.S. Bars Lithium-Ion Battery Cargo from Passenger Planes

Lithium-ion batteries may no longer be transported as cargo on passenger airplanes under a final rule issued by federal regulators at the end of February. Seeking ways to reduce the threat of lithium-ion fires and explosions aboard commercial aircraft, Congress last year directed the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to revise regulations governing the transport of hazardous materials. The new rule also issues restrictions for the transportation of lithium-ion batteries on cargo planes, prohibiting any lithium-ion cells and batteries to be charged above 30 percent of their capacity. “This rule will strengthen ... Read More

Nursing Home Chain Settles ‘largest worthless services’ case in U.S. history

A Tennessee nursing home chain will pay the U.S. and Tennessee more than $18 million in a record settlement that federal officials called the “largest worthless services” case in U.S. history. Vanguard Healthcare, five nursing homes it owns and operates, and two of the company’s executives engaged in a scheme that not only harmed vulnerable patients but cheated Medicare and Medicaid out of millions of dollars, federal prosecutors alleged. Among the Justice Department’s many findings, the Vanguard nursing homes allegedly involved in the scheme failed to administer medications to residents as prescribed; failed to provide standard infection control; failed to ... Read More

Several Nations Ground Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft Following Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Aviation authorities in several countries are grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes pending the results of investigations and remedial measures after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed Sunday, killing all 157 people aboard. The plane was the second new Boeing 737 Max 8 jet to crash in less than six months. Ethiopia’s civil aviation authorities initially took a “wait and see” stance following the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 but decided to ground all 737 Max 8 planes in the country after China announced it was suspending all flights of that Boeing model. “There were certain similarities in ... Read More

Suspected Cargo Fire Forces Air Transat Emergency Landing

An Air Transat flight from Montreal, Canada, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made an emergency landing at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport because of a possible fire in the airplane’s cargo hold. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that firefighters met Air Transat Flight 942 on the runway and passengers were evacuated by emergency slides after the plane diverted to Newark Saturday morning around 8:30. #FAA statement regarding Air Transat Flight 942. pic.twitter.com/1umh1hmCrU — The FAA (@FAANews) March 9, 2019 Some of the 189 passengers and six crew members aboard the Boeing 737 suffered minor injuries, according to the Associated ... Read More

Columbia Gas Costs For Mass. Explosions Top $1 Billion

Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource expect to pay about $1.3 billion for damages related to a series of natural gas explosions that destroyed parts of three Massachusetts towns in September. The company said that those costs don’t include expenses related to restoration efforts, such as replacing pipeline and modernizing its infrastructure to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. According to the Associated Press, the NiSource’s latest financial reports show the company allocated $757 million to third-party claims filed against the utility, including property damage. The utility incurred an additional $266 million for other expenses related ... Read More

Gas Explosion Survivor Calls for Safety Reforms

A Colorado woman whose husband and brother were killed in a natural gas explosion two years ago spoke publicly in support of reforming and strengthening safety, health, and environmental regulations governing the gas industry statewide. Erin Martinez was at her home in Firestone, Colorado with her son, husband, and brother when an accumulation of natural gas from a broken subterranean line ignited, causing a massive explosion that destroyed the house. Ms. Martinez remembers “being blown through the air and trapped between falling debris.” Her son also managed to crawl out of the wreckage, but her husband and brother didn’t survive ... Read More

Ethiopian Airlines Crash Kills 157, Could Signal More Trouble for Boeing

An Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed just minutes after takeoff Sunday morning, killing all 157 people on board, including eight Americans. Flight ET302 departed from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 8:38 a.m. local time. The plane was headed to Nairobi, Kenya, when it lost contact with air controllers six minutes later. The Ethiopian Airlines jet was a new Boeing 737 Max 8 – the same type of plane that crashed in Indonesia Oct. 29, killing all 189 people aboard. According to The New York Times, the Ethiopian Airlines plane took off in good weather with clear visibility, but ... Read More

NTSB Probing Deadly Tesla Underride Crash in Florida

The driver of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 was killed in Delray Beach, Florida, March 1 when the electrical vehicle hit the side of a tractor-trailer turning left. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said that Jeremy Beren Banner, 50, was driving his Tesla southbound on State Road 7 when it struck the side of a tractor-trailer turning left onto the divided highway. The underride crash sheered the roof off the Tesla. Mr. Banner died at the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a team of three investigators to look into the crash. The federal agency has taken an ... Read More