Texas DUI, Texting Awareness

Increasing Texas DUI, Texting Awareness One Student at a Time This past week, among the more popular attractions in the Student Activities Center at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa has been an educational setup designed to teach students the dangers of driving drunk and texting while driving. The most popular attractions were two simulators; one designed to simulate a DUI situation and a second one…

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Contaminated Foods Report

Federal Food Safety Agencies Publish Contaminated Foods Report Several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have combined forces to create a new report, entitled “Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157), Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), and Campylobacter using Outbreak Surveillance Data.” The report shows which categories of food are most likely to…

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Texas Salmonella Outbreak

Restaurant Closes for a Week Due to a Texas Salmonella Outbreak According to reports from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the X10 Woodfire Steakhouse Restaurant in Dalhart, Texas was voluntarily closed earlier this month, when more than 30 people became sick due to infections brought on by Salmonella contamination in Dalhart, with another dozen confirmed sickened in Bushland. When the DSHS discovered the link between the Salmonella outbreak…

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Hospital Infection Deaths

Contaminated Endoscopes Lead to Two Hospital Infection Deaths On Wednesday, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health System reported that as many as 179 patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center have been exposed to a bacteria they are calling a “superbug.” So far, at least seven patients have become infected, and the infection is believed to have been a contributing factor in at least two deaths. It is…

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Defective Wheelchair Lifts

Defective Wheelchair Lifts Bring Heavy Fine, Extra NHTSA Oversight The U.S. Department of Transportation announced recently that it had agreed to a consent order with a California manufacturer of wheelchair lifts for buses, Ricon Corp. The consent order includes a $1.75 million civil penalty, as well as an increased level of oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The penalty and extra oversight came about because the company violated the…

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Texas Oil & Gas Layoffs

Texas Oil & Gas Layoffs Lead to WARN Act Violations Because of the continuing crude oil price slump, the worst in six years, layoffs in the Texas oil and gas industry are spreading across the region, as companies attempt to reduce their costs. According to filings through the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, several companies have announced their plan to lay off hundreds, at least. In Morris County,…

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Massage Therapist Sexual Assault

Massage Therapist Sexual Assault Leads to Charges In Harris County, a massage therapist who works for the Massage Envy location at 12246 FM 1960 West in Houston, Texas has been charged with the crime of sexually assaulting a woman as he gave her a massage on January 22 at about 8:30 p.m. According to court documents, the alleged victim claims massage therapist Jamie Alfredo De La Cruz took her to a…

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Salmonella Dog Food Recalls

Tests Lead to Salmonella Dog Food Recalls This has not been a great week for pet food manufacturers, as two of them have had to issue voluntary recalls of food and treats because of the possibility that the food was contaminated with Salmonella. In one recall, Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Inc. is calling back certain lots of  Nutrisca brand Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food. Though the food is sold…

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Medicaid Fraud Settlement

Whistleblower Gets Large Chunk of $39 million Medicaid Fraud Settlement The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a settlement with global pharmaceutical manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo Inc. in a Medicaid fraud case that will pay $39 million to federal and state Medicaid programs to resolve allegations made under the False Claims Act. According to the DOJ, Daiichi Sankyo was paying kickbacks to physicians in order to get them to prescribe several…

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Texas Walnut Recall

Salmonella Spurs Texas Walnut Recall Dallas, Texas-based Hines Nut Company has issued a voluntary recall of some of its walnut products because of a fear that some of the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. The product was packaged by Hines, and sold by Biggs, California-based Gold State Nut Company. The concern about the possible contamination came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered routine testing by an outside contractor, and…

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Recall Repair Delays

Drivers Waiting Out Recall Repair Delays As we discuss quite often on this blog, we’ve seen a lot of vehicle recalls in the past year, which means millions of people hav received recall notices, advising them that a repair is needed on their vehicle. Unfortunately, according to recent reports, many of those who have received notices have to wait many months to have their car repaired to make it safe. According to…

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OSHA Fines Furniture Plant

OSHA Fines Furniture Plant $1.8 Million for 1,000 Worker Injuries In a sign that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) intends to get serious with employers who repeatedly put workers at risk, the agency has slapped Wisconsin-based furniture maker Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. with a massive $1.8 million fine because workers at its Arcadia headquarters plant suffered at least 1,000 injuries between Jan. 1, 2011 and  July 31,…

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Texas Wrong-Way Crash

Another Texas Wrong-Way Crash Near Kilgore A number of first responders are on the scene of an accident scene on Interstate 20 just inside the Kilgore City Limits, involving six vehicles, including two tractor-trailers, this morning at just before 11:00 a.m. According to reports from the Kilgore Fire Department and the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office,  several people called in to report a vehicle driven by someone described as “an older man”…

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Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

Aloha Protein Powders Recalled for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Fear Project Healthy Living Inc., a New York company doing business as Aloha Inc., has issued a voluntary recall of its Premium Protein powder, which comes in vanilla and chocolate and vanilla blends. The recall was initiated because of a fear that some of these products may have been contaminated with Staphylococcus enterotoxin. Thus far, at least 17 people have complained to…

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Texas Salmonella Investigation

A Dozen Illnesses Leads to Texas Salmonella Investigation in Panhandle Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services are conducting an investigation of a Salmonella outbreak that broke out within the last couple weeks and which has so far sickened at least a dozen people in Dallam and Hartley counties, in the northwest corner of the Texas Panhandle. In a few of those cases, the victim of the illness has been…

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OSHA Fracking Advisory

OSHA Fracking Advisory Targets Non-Silica Hazards Though oil prices have dropped and the oil and gas boom has slowed, there is still a lot of fracking going on in Texas, and not all of it is being done safely. Several months ago, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new rules regarding the hazards of airborne silica associated with fracking. Last week, they followed that up by issuing…

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Texas Air Bag Fatality

Small Houston Crash May Have Led to Texas Air Bag Fatality The Takata exploding air bag phenomenon has apparently reached Texas. Yesterday, Honda Motor Co. made an announcement that the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord who was killed in an accident just outside Houston earlier this month could be the latest victim of the infamous defect with Takata air bags, in which they explode and send shrapnel into the cabin. In…

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