Monthly Archives:' October 2015

Another soldier spurned by Army dies of apparent suicide

By: Gregg Zoroya, Source: USA Today. Originally published: August 4, 2015. 

For a U.S. Army where failures to treat soldiers with substance abuse problems have been linked to suicides, Georgia National Guard Spc. Stephen Akins was another tragedy waiting to happen.

Scans of his brain showed scars, and he had a history of seizures, combat blast exposure and suicide attempts. All were indisputable evidence that the soldier needed a medical retirement — despite erratic behavior that led to punishable infractions, his lawyer and psychiatrist argued. Such a move would offer a smooth transition from the Army to the care of the VA.

Along Recovery: A documentary film.


Along Recovery  is an intimate documentary portrait of the signature wound of Afghanistan and Iraq–traumatic brain injury (TBI).  The film chronicles the recovery of four US soldiers evacuated from combat for treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

With unprecedented access to film inside the Army’s flagship hospital, Along Recovery depicts the exhaustive regimen of therapy and mind altering medications that each soldier is prescribed during treatment.  Away from the hospital, each soldier readjusts to post-combat life under the foggy haze of a brain injury.  Relationships with family and friends are tested as each soldier struggles with headaches, cognitive deficits, and other symptoms of their injuries, including post traumatic stress.  Following months of treatment, a medical review board determines each soldier’s fate; return to military service or reintegration into civilian life.

Along Recovery Trailer from Justin Springer on Vimeo.

Important Highway Guardrail Safety Information Set Free in Landmark Consumer Safety Win

By: Leah M. Nicholls, Source.

Highway guardrails are big business. And they are also important safety devices: The wrong guardrail design can mean the difference between life and death, between walking away from a car crash and losing a leg. But one of the biggest guardrail manufacturers, Trinity Industries, Inc., has been trying to hide key facts about the safety of its most popular guardrail by blocking public access to court records in a huge whistleblower suit down in Texas that yielded a multimillion dollar verdict against the company.

We’ve been fighting to unseal those records for over a year, and Trinity has been fighting tooth and nail every step of the way. But guess what? In what is great news for anyone who cares about the safety of our nation’s roadways, those records are now finally available for public review because the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit just rejected Trinity’s request to keep the documents secret.

Did Flint, Michigan, Just Lead Poison Its Children? Doctors Think So.

Since the city switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a water source, its children’s lead levels have doubled.

By: Russell Saunders, Source.

According to researchers in Flint, Michigan, blood tests have revealed a distressing conclusion—the tap water residents are drinking is causing elevated lead levels in the city’s children.

A new study headed by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a researcher and director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center, compared blood tests taken over a span of months in 2013 with samples taken over a similar span this year. During the time between, the city of Flint changed the source of its drinking water from Lake Huron to treated water from the Flint River.

The Unassuming Engineer Who Exposed Volkswagen

By: David Morgan, Source

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Daniel Carder, an unassuming 45-year-old engineer with gray hair and blue jeans, appears an unlikely type to take down one of the world’s most powerful companies.

But he and his small research team at West Virginia University may have done exactly that, with a $50,000 study which produced early evidence that Volkswagen AG was cheating on U.S. vehicle emissions tests, setting off a scandal that threatens the German automaker’s leadership, reputation and finances.

“The testing we did kind of opened the can of worms,” Carder says of his five-member engineering team and the research project that found much higher on-road diesel emission levels for VW vehicles than what U.S. regulators were seeing in tests.

We Lost Our Daughter to a Mass Shooter and Now Owe $203,000 to His Ammo Dealer

By: Lonnie and Sandy Phillips Source

We have been getting a lot of questions about our lawsuit against Lucky Gunner, the online company that sold ammunition to the man who murdered our daughter Jessica along with 11 others in an Aurora, Colorado, theater. Especially after the Rachel Maddow Show covered us twice, people ask us about the judge’s order that we pay Lucky Gunner’s attorneys’ fees, since our lawsuit was unsuccessful.

We brought our lawsuit because we thought it was outrageous that companies could sell a dangerous man an arsenal without getting any information about him, and without making any effort to see if he was a dangerous killer — which he was. When the killer had left a voicemail with a shooting range, the range operator knew that he was bad news and shouldn’t be given access to guns. But these companies set up their business so people just like this killer can arm themselves at the click of a mouse. We wanted to change that. And we still do.

The Dark Power of Fraternities: A yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems—and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame.

By: Caitlin Flanagan, Source.One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.

Plantation Pipe Line Will Pay Penalty for Fuel Spills in Va., N.C., GA.

Release Date: 11/05/2008
Contact Information: DOJ -Andrew Ames (202) 514-2007 EPA- Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

WASHINGTON-Plantation Pipe Line Company, Alpharetta, Ga., has agreed to pay a civil penalty and implement safeguards in order to resolve a Clean Water Act lawsuit over fuel pipeline spills in three states, the Justice Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state of North Carolina announced.

The company has agreed to pay a $725,000 penalty for discharges of jet fuel and gasoline in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina, and for inadequate spill prevention safeguards at a Virginia facility. The  company also has agreed to implement $1.3 million in new spill prevention safeguards.

Kinder Morgan Receives Corrective Action Order Re: Gulf Coast Mainline pipeline

Please read the following Corrective Action Order to Dwayne Burton, VP of Operations and Engineering, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Kinder Morgan, Inc. from James Reynolds, Pipeline Compliance Registry Office of Pipeline Safety.

It requires you to take certain corrective actions with respect to your Gulf Coast Mainline natural gas pipeline system.