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felony 20 articles

BP’s new tar sands refinery spills crude oil into Lake Michigan

CHICAGO — A new unit at BP’s Whiting facilities used to process Canadian tar sands oil into gasoline and other fuels spilled an unknown amount of crude oil into Lake Michigan Monday, just a few miles from an intake at one of Chicago’s municipal water plants. Neither BP officials nor government regulators have been able to determine yet how the spill occurred or how much damage it has caused. Workers at the tar sands refinery, which BP built as the centerpiece of a $4-billion overhaul of the Whiting refinery less than a year ago, discovered an oil slick on the ... Read More

BP using Lake Michigan as refinery waste dump

BP is emptying dangerous levels of ammonia, mercury, and factory sludge that contains other toxic heavy metals into Lake Michigan, thanks to Indiana politicians and regulators who have practically given the oil giant and its massive Whiting refinery, the seventh-largest in the nation, a carte blanche on waste dumping. According to the Chicago Tribune, BP vowed six years ago to develop “cutting-edge technology that could sharply reduce toxic mercury discharged into Lake Michigan” at its Whiting refinery, about 20 miles southeast of Chicago across the Illinois-Indiana border. BP promised to clean up its act when it faced mounting public outrage, ... Read More

Lack of integrity gets BP banned from new U.S. contracts

The U.S. government has banned oil giant BP from new drilling contracts over its “lack of business integrity” related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 rig workers and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection agency said Wednesday that BP’s inability to stop the flow of oil after the deadly blowout demonstrated the company’s lack of professional standards. The agency’s decision also follows BP’s November 15 agreement to plead guilty to criminal charges of manslaughter, obstructing Congressional inquiries, and violating environmental rules – charges to which BP agreed ... Read More

FMCSA safety inspector imprisoned for accepting trucking companies’ bribes

A Department of Transportation official was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from the trucking companies he was supposed to be inspecting, a felony under U.S. law. In addition to the prison sentence, James H. Wood, 45, of Delevan, New York, was also ordered to forfeit $41,300 to the federal government. Wood served as a former field office supervisor for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in Buffalo, N.Y. In January 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged him with accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribe money “in exchange for initiating ... Read More

Utah law punishes motorists who text and drive

Utah set an early precedent when it recently passed some tough legislation against texting and driving. It’s a precedent that will inevitably pass in other states, whatever their political slant, because texting and driving has been revealed as an undeniably dangerous act — twice as bad as driving with the typical legal limit of alcohol in one’s blood. Utah’s new law punishes drivers who cause a fatality while texting and driving as severely as drivers who kill others while drinking and driving. Crashes caused by texting drivers are no longer considered accidents in Utah. They are considered reckless and negligent acts involving a ... Read More

Hidden cameras lead to nursing home abuse charges

Hidden video surveillance has led to formal charges of abuse and neglect of two nursing home employees in Kentucky, according to Kentucky.com. A grand jury indicted Amanda Sallee of Richmond on a charge of wanton abuse and neglect of an adult, a felony, and Valerie Lamb with reckless abuse and neglect of an adult, a misdemeanor. Both were nursing aides at Madison Manor nursing home. The indictments follow the guilty plea of a third nursing aide, Jaclyn Dawn VanWinkle. Van Winkle was sentenced to 12 months in jail but will serve two years probation for agreeing to testify against other ... Read More

Schizophrenic man to stand trial in nursing home sexual abuse case

The man accused of sexually abusing a woman with mental disabilities has been ruled competent to stand trial, according to the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal. Preston Shaw, 65, and the victim were both residents of Hillcrest Centre for Health and Rehabilitation in Jeffersonville. Shaw, who suffers from schizophrenia and major depression, had previously expressed to nursing home workers his desire to be close to the victim. The victim has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk. According to police reports, a Hillcrest employee found Shaw sitting on the woman’s bed last month with blood on his face and hands. ... Read More

Nursing home aides need training to handle dementia patient aggression

The 87-year-old nursing home resident likely meant no harm. He suffers from dementia and wouldn’t give a belt used to assist residents with walking back to certified nursing assistant Sharoia D. Hill. But Hill became frustrated with his aggressive behavior. She decided to remedy the situation by hitting the frail man with a closed fist. Now the 28-year-old nursing aide faces up to five years in prison on a Class 3 felony charge, according to The News-Gazette. The elderly nursing home resident lives in an Alzheimer’s unit at Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana, Illinois. The nurse who is accused ... Read More

Assisted living facility owners, sisters arrested for cheating government

Sisters Duanne Bewely, 36, and Fiona Nicolas, 38, worked as a team, running Faith Manor Vermont and Faith Manor Melrose assisted living facilities in south Florida. They marketed themselves as a fully licensed facility and won over the trust of physicians and clinic owners, who would refer patients to their homes. Those health care professionals now say they would have never put patients in the care of the sisters had they known they were lying and cheating the government. Earlier this week the sisters were arrested and charged with a third-degree felony of one count of operating and/or maintaining an ... Read More

Nursing home found guilty in death of man left on bedpan for 24 hours

Shirley Gerhardt admitted her 76-year-old husband Richard into Laurel Canyon nursing home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in December of 2005. He has suffered a broken hip and just couldn’t get around well. On Christmas day, Gerhardt was placed on a bedpan, and forgotten by staff. He sat there, on the bedpan, for 24 hours as the pan began to imbed into his skin. He suffered an open wound that became infected and lead to his death just five days later, according to Wired PR News. Bedsores are one of the most serious problems facing people with disabilities or the elderly ... Read More