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.

Community remembers girl killed in Yamaha Rhino rollover

Lauren Dilworth’s family, friends, schoolmates, and teachers gathered near the entrance of Lewisburg Middle-High School in Lewisburg, Mississippi, to remember the 11-year-old girl who tragically lost her life last October when the Yamaha Rhino ATV she was riding in rolled over. Lauren and her family had moved to DeSoto County from Alabama last June. Lauren attended the school for just a few weeks before the accident occurred in October. According to an article in the DeSoto Times-Tribune, the sixth grade class at Lewisburg sponsored the planting of a red maple in front of the school, and they decided to dedicate ... Read More

Judge tosses medtronic lawsuits, doesn’t disclose son’s ties

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle dismissed thousands of lawsuits against Medtronic Inc., manufacturer of the faulty Sprint Fidelis defibrillators that have allegedly injured and killed several people. Attorneys serving the patients, however, may seek to have the judge disqualified from the case because he never disclosed that his son works for the law firm representing Medtronic. Medtronic defended the Minnesota judge on Friday, saying that “this is clearly an effort to remove a well respected judge following rulings the plaintiffs’ lawyers do not like.” Richard H. Kyle, Jr., works for a Minneapolis based law firm with offices in the Midwest, ... Read More

Chantix sales fall, Pfizer fires ad agency

It looks like there is another ominous blip in the Chantix radar. Pfizer decided to ditch the ad agency it has been using for its Chantix advertisements. The announcement comes after the company announced the smoking cessation drug’s fourth quarter earnings, which fell 36 percent from the same time last year to $180 million. Promoting the embattled and controversial drug will now be the responsibility of mcgarrybowen, which is a subsidiary of the Japanese ad giant Dentsu. Pfizer had been using McCann HumanCare to promote Chantix since 2007. Since that time, the drug has been linked to depression, suicide ideation, moodiness, ... Read More

Peanut Corporation of America closes for good

Peanut Corporation of America has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Virginia following the recall of peanut products produced in the company’s Blakely, Georgia, and Plainview, Texas, facilities. “It’s regrettable, but it’s inevitable with the events of last month,” Andrew S. Goldstein, the bankruptcy attorney who filed the petition, told the Associated Press. Investigators have traced the national salmonella outbreak to peanuts produced by the Peanut Corp. in its Blakely, Georgia, factory. They estimate that the contaminated peanut butter has sickened 630 people and caused the deaths of 9. According to the AP, the board “had ... Read More

Woman crusades against epidemic of wage theft

Kim Bobo believes that employers in the United States are stealing from their workers. Not just nickels and dimes and not just in isolated incidents. She claims that the theft is rampant — that it has become a “national crisis at this moment in our nation” to the tune of $19 billion per year in unpaid overtime alone. Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, an organization that appeals to the shared convictions of all religions in protecting the rights of the everyday worker, especially low-wage workers. Bobo alleges that in meat processing plants, retail businesses, ... Read More

Grocery chain cited for multiple child labor violations

The U.S. Department of Labor has fined Hy-Vee, Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa-based grocery chain, with multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including a number of child labor violations in four of the company’s Nebraska stores. Federal investigators found 37 violations of laws restricting working hours for school age children under 18 years old. The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits workers under age 18 from working more than three hours on school days, including Fridays, and eight hours on days with no school. Children ages 14 and 15 are not permitted to work past 7 p.m. on school ... Read More

Beasley Allen represents Gadsden Man injured in collision

Montgomery, Ala. – Beasley Allen attorneys filed a personal injury lawsuit today in the Circuit Court of Etowah County, Alabama, on behalf of Terry Franklin against Zurich North American Insurance, Inc., Foxes Lounge, and Clayton Morgan. According to the complaint, Franklin was driving a tractor trailer on Highway 278 when defendant Morgan, driving a pick up truck in the opposite direction, attempted to make a left turn and collided with the plaintiff. The incident occurred on May 15, 2008. Franklin was severely injured in the collision and seeks compensatory and punitive damages in addition to legal fees. The suit alleges ... Read More

Peanut Corp. halts its Texas operations as FBI joins investigation

has shut its Plainview, Texas, plant as federal and state officials continue their investigations into the questionable practices that caused a national salmonella outbreak, spurred one of the country’s largest food recalls in history, killed 8 people, and sickened hundreds more. The Peanut Corp. voluntarily shut down its Texas operations after lab tests indicated the presence of salmonella bacteria in some sample products, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Texas plant, operated as Plainview Peanut Company, LLC, produces peanut meal, granulated peanuts, and dry roasted peanuts. None of the possibly contaminated products appear to have reached ... Read More

Texas woman sues Yamaha for daughter injured in Rhino rollover

The Yamaha Rhino’s unsafe design makes it unreasonably dangerous. So alleges the lawsuit filed by a Texas woman whose daughter was injured when the Rhino she was in rolled over, pinning her legs underneath. Her lawsuit is among more than 50 lawsuits nationwide filed against Yamaha Motor Company. The woman filed her lawsuit in January in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. According to a report in the Southeast Texas Record, her suit, like the other suits filed against Yamaha throughout the county, alleges that the “Rhino is excessively prone to tip over even at low speeds, ... Read More

More Canadians harmed by Chantix as government revises warnings

Health Canada has received 818 reports of adverse side effects caused by the smoking cessation drug Chantix (marketed in Canada and elsewhere as Champix) since it first became available to Canadians nearly two years ago. The majority of complaints concerned psychiatric problems. Chantix is known to cause or exacerbate a spectrum of psychiatric and physical reactions, including moodiness, depression, violent behavior, lack of sleep, blackouts, and suicidal thought and actions. Last month we reported that Health Canada was preparing to strengthen warnings on Chantix labels. However, Health Canada still has not taken action. In a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Health ... Read More