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Kansas 214 articles

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked To Strawberry Smoothies Spreads to Eight States

strawberries, frozen - Flickr

An outbreak of Hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries from Egypt used by a smoothie chain has grown to include at least 119 people in eight states, federal health officials reported Friday. The report does not include an additional four cases reported in Virginia around the same time, which brings the national total to 123 infections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the illnesses have led to 47 hospitalizations, with the vast majority of cases being reported in Virginia. In August, Virginia Department of Health officials linked the growing outbreak to Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants ... Read More

PA Doc Pays Nearly $1 Million To Resolve FCA Lawsuit Alleging Medicare Fraud

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

A Western Pennsylvania doctor and a health care company he operated in five states will pay the U.S. government nearly $1 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging he and the companies defrauded the Medicare program. David J. Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said Tuesday that Dr. John Balko and Dr. John Balko & Associates Inc., doing business as Senior Healthcare Associates, have agreed to settle the False Claims Act case for $930,000. The False Claims lawsuit alleged Medicare fraud due to Dr. Balko and his clinics submitting claims to Medicare for a range of ... Read More

Arkansas House Destroyed By Natural Gas Explosion


An explosion that destroyed a North Little Rock home Friday night, injuring 14 people, was caused by an accumulation of natural gas from an open valve leak somewhere in the residence. The gas was ignited when one of the occupants lit a cigarette, according to investigators. The primary resident of the house, identified as Evelyn Brooks, told North Little Rock police that a natural gas odor persisted in the house up to a week before the explosion, including the moments right before it happened around 10:20 p.m. Aug. 19, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The blast was strong enough to ... Read More

OSHA Investigating Two Apparent Heatstroke Deaths  In Florida, Missouri

OSHA heat app icon

Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of two workers in different parts of the country who died on the job as a result of apparent heatstroke. On August 11, a 47-year-old employee of Briggs Traditional Turf Farm in Peculiar, Mo., was found dead after spending hours prepping soil and laying sod in conditions with a heat index of 105 degrees. One coworker told investigators that he picked up the man, a father of five, from his house at 7:30 a.m. At about 2:30 p.m., the co-worker spotted the man taking a break by lying down in a gravel rock rock ... Read More

Marinello Beauty Schools Pay $11 Million To settle Whistleblower Fraud Allegations


A for-profit chain of cosmetology schools has agreed to pay $11 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by six former employees who alleged the schools defrauded the federal government by falsifying student loan applications and exaggerating claims about enrollment and post-graduate employment. Marinello Schools of Beauty started in 1905 and grew to include 56 campuses throughout the U.S., including California, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Utah. The chain of schools closed abruptly in February after the U.S. Department of Education investigated the whistleblower claims and decided to bar Marinello schools from receiving any more federal financial aid funds. Lawyers ... Read More

Texas Hot Air Balloon Pilot Sued Was Over Similar Crash in Missouri

hot air balloons

The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in Lockhart, Texas, in July, killing all 16 people aboard was sued by a family over a similar accident that happened years before in Missouri, according to a Kansas City investigative report. KSHB 41 Action News reporters discovered court records from a lawsuit filed in 2012 against Air Balloon Sports, LLC, a Missouri-based hot air balloon company of which Alfred “Skip” Nichols, the pilot in the deadly Texas crash, was an owner. Court documents show that in 2009, Mr. Nichols took a family of three on a balloon ride in Jefferson ... Read More

Tyson Chicken Plant Fined For Exposing Workers To Amputation And Burn Hazards


When federal inspectors arrived at an East Texas poultry processing plant to investigate an accidental amputation, they uncovered a multitude of safety hazards that exposed employees to disfiguring injuries and death. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that inspectors it dispatched to the Tyson Foods Inc. chicken processing facility in Center, Texas, found more than a dozen serious safety violations, including failure to install safety guards on moving machine parts. That violation contributed to an employee at the plant having a finger amputated after it became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked on a ... Read More

McDonald’s pulls “Step It” Activity Band Happy Meal toys following reports of burn marks

Recall - McDonalds toy - image by FOX19Now news

McDonald’s has initiated a voluntary recall after consumers complained one of its Happy Meal toys is reportedly causing burn marks to appear on children. According to WSFA-TV, the aforementioned Happy Meal toys are fitness trackers called the “Step It! Activity Bands.” Available in six different colors, the toys were sold along with Happy Meals in both the United States and Canada. However, it wasn’t long after the fitness tracker toys were released that consumers began discovering unusual burn marks on their children. “Eight minutes after he’s playing with the watch and we go to get in the shower and I’m taking it off of ... Read More

Six Children Suffer Electrical Shocks On Connecticut Amusement Park Ride

amusement park ride, electrical shock, Connecticut - photo by WFSB news

Six children were taken to a hospital with minor injuries after experiencing electrical shocks on a ride at a Connecticut amusement park Tuesday afternoon. The children had been riding the Scrambler at Ocean Beach Park in New London and were exiting the ride when an electrical current apparently ran through the ride’s metal surfaces. The ride’s operator reported that he also was shocked when he went to turn the ride off. The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Eastern time. The children were taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in Waterford, Conn., for evaluation and treatment. One of the victims suffered ... Read More

Women Injured In Deadly Kansas City Waterslide Accident Suffer Physical And Emotional Trauma

tallest waterslide, Kansas - image courtesy KMBC

The two women who shared a raft with the boy who was killed on the Verrückt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark August 7 are recovering from facial injuries and emotional trauma. The women, whose names have not been disclosed by authorities investigating the accident, are sisters from Smith Center, Kan., a town near the Nebraska border. They were seated in a raft behind 10-year-old Caleb Schwab, who wanted to ride with his 12-year-old brother, Nate. But because of weight requirements on the slide, considered the world’s tallest waterslide, the brothers were seated with adults. Nate went down the ... Read More