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Michigan 275 articles

Utility contractors fined after fatal explosion

An explosion last July in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, that killed a firefighter was caused by two utility contractors when they failed to establish the location of underground utilities prior to beginning excavation work, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said in a news release. Verizon Wireless had contracted with Bear Communications LLC of Lawrence, Kansas, for a fiber optics project in Sun Prairie. Bear had subcontracted with VC Tech Inc., of Ypsilanti, Michigan. VT Tech’s employees were working in the vicinity of the explosion but had evacuated before the explosion, according to a Bear spokesperson. ... Read More

Contractors Cited for Wisconsin Gas Explosion

Federal authorities investigating a natural gas explosion that destroyed a city block of downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and killed a business owner have faulted two utility contractors, alleging they failed to follow proper safety procedures before drilling underground lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assessed one serious penalty each for Kansas-based Bear Communications and VC Tech of Michigan and proposed the maximum allowable fine of $12,934. Verizon contracted Bear Communications to run fiber optic cable lines under the city. Bear Communications subcontracted VC Tech to perform horizontal directional boring – a technique used in laying underground lines without ... Read More

Massachusetts Boosts Tobacco Sales Age to 21

With the New Year comes a new Massachusetts state law boosting the minimum age for the purchase of all tobacco products, including vaping products, to 21. The new law comes on the heels of data showing that teens are turning to vaping in alarming numbers, rolling back decades of progress in reducing smoking rates among U.S. youth. Considering that nicotine is harmful to the developing brains of people 25 and younger, it may be surprising to know that the new law makes Massachusetts just the sixth state to restrict the sale of tobacco products to individuals 21 years or older. ... Read More

Detroit contractor faces stiff consequences for ignoring asbestos removal laws

A Detroit, Michigan-based contractor was permanently banned from city contracts after knowingly demolishing a home that contained asbestos without properly removing it, posing a health risk to workers and those in close proximity, according to the Detroit Free Press Den-Man Contractors had been the subject of a probe by Detroit’s Office of Inspector General, an independent agency that investigates claims of waste and fraud. According to Detroit Building Authority documents, Dave MacDonald, a former employee with Den-Man, directed the demolition of a home in a blighted neighborhood in Detroit despite having received emails from an abatement contractor who urged him ... Read More

Wearable device alerts when opioid overdose is imminent

The nation’s opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. A group of students from Michigan’s Carnegie Mellon University hopes to curb that trend with a wearable device that alerts the wearer when overdose is imminent, allowing enough time to administer the life-saving opioid reversal agent, naloxone. There’s no question the opioid crisis is crippling the nation. More than 115 people die from opioid overdoses every day, and that number continues to creep higher as more people become dependent on the highly addictive painkillers. Measures have been made to tackle the prescribing and misuse of opioids, and ... Read More

Wisconsin Gas Explosion Victims Seek Justice

Three people harmed by the gas explosion that leveled an entire block of downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, have filed lawsuits against the utilities and contractors they say are responsible for the deadly blast. Abigail Barr, the widow of firefighter Cory Barr, filed a lawsuit Dec. 20, the same day authorities announced there would be no criminal charges in connection with the blast. Mr. Barr was killed in the July 10 gas explosion that destroyed a bar he owned and several other buildings. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Barr was not on the premises to respond to the emergency. The blast ... Read More

Vaping Doubled Among U.S. Teens in 2017

Vaping among high school students doubled in 2017 – the largest increase in smoking, drinking and drug use ever recorded in the U.S., a new survey by University of Michigan researchers has found. The unprecedented leap in teen vaping echoes the earlier findings of U.S. government surveys, which prompted U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to take a series of bold actions against the vaping industry – especially manufacturers who design their products and marketing with a special appeal to teens and children. More than 1.3 million high school students started vaping in 2017, according to the ... Read More

Ford Recalls F-Series Pickups For Engine Heater Fire Hazard

Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 900,000 F-Series pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada to repair engine block heaters that can catch fire. The trucks affected by this recall include 2015-2019 models of the F-150 with engine block heaters built in Dearborn, Michigan from March 18, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018 and in Kansas City, Missouri from Aug. 21, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2018. The recall also covers 2017-2019 Super Duty F-250, Super Duty F-350, Super Duty F-450, and Super Duty F-550 pickup trucks with engine block heaters built at Ford’s Ohio and Kentucky plants. According to recall documents ... Read More

Lawsuit knocks Kellogg for not disclosing its breakfast foods contain glyphosate

California resident Mason Kein is leading a group of angry consumers in a proposed class action lawsuit against Kellogg Co. for selling breakfast foods without revealing that they contain a possible cancer-causing chemical. Kein told the Southern District of California that testing by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group revealed that Kellogg Co.’s strawberry Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars and Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal contain the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Glyphosate is the same chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup, the controversial weed killer that was ... Read More

Flint Water Crisis Investigation May Reopen Under Democrat-Led House

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings says he intends to reopen investigative hearings on the Flint water crisis when he takes the helm of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next month. Rep. Cummings (D-Maryland) has indicated he plans to put outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder back in the hot seat to clarify the extent of his knowledge of the Flint water crisis and an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in the city after state officials changed its water supply from Detroit’s water system to the heavily contaminated Flint River. Gov. Snyder told the committee in previous hearings that he “has no ... Read More