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January 10, 2014

Avalanche in Vail, Colorado kills one

Avalanche in Vail, Colorado kills one – Wikinews, the free news source

Avalanche in Vail, Colorado kills one

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Friday, January 10, 2014

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File photo of Vail, Colorado during the snowing season, 2005.
Image: David Benbennick.

An avalanche near Vail, Colorado trapped four people Tuesday, killing one person later identified as Anthony “Tony” Seibert, and injuring the other three. Anthony Seibert was the grandson of Peter Seibert Sr., who with Earl Eaton around 1960 cofounded the resort area in the backcountry that would become part of the Vail Ski Resort.

The Eagle County Coroner reported the avalanche happened around 11:30 A.M. local time (1830 UTC) in an area known as the East Vail Chutes, near the ski resort of Vail. Spencer Logan of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the area is locally known as dangerous, having already killed two people in 2008. The other three have been found and reported to have suffered nonfatal injuries, walking away from the incident without needing hospital care.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports five fatalities this season, including another in Colorado on December 31, on Parkview Mountain west of Willow Creek Pass, and a snowmobiler in Big Sky, Montana on New Year’s Day. A friend of the Seibert family, Scott Klumb, told CNN Seibert’s death reminds people “to be careful in the backcountry […] As exciting as it may look, you have to take the proper precautions.”

Peter Seibert Sr. was renowned in the skiing business as, among other roles, the first president of Vail Associates, which he helped make one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in the US. He died aged 77 in July 2002.



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October 27, 2013

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

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With the United States flu season having started this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Weather Channel and Google‘s FluTrends websites report today low flu levels.

All three sources say there are no, or minimal, reports of the flu in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. All three indicate Alabama has moderate flu levels. Google FluTrends indicates that at the same time last year, the flu level nationally was at moderate.

During the early part of the month, there were some concerns about the quality of flu reporting as the CDC and other government supported flu tracking organizations were impacted by the US government shutdown. Some non-profits and private organizations provided their own data during this period to fill the information void.

The CDC advises people to get a flu vaccine as the best means of avoiding getting the flu. Dr. Harry Leider, Chief Medical Officer for Walgreens, also is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine now before the flu becomes more widespread. For the 2013/2014 flu season in the US, there are two types of vaccines available. One provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus — specifically, an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus; an A(H3N2) virus, similar for antigenic purposes to cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011; and a virus similar to B/Massachusetts/2/2012. A second type of vaccine provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Flu prevelance by state
State Google FluTrend CDC The Weather Channel
Alabama Moderate Local Localized
Alaska Low Sporadic
Arizona Low Sporadic Sporadic
Arkansas Low No activity
California Low Sporadic Sporadic
Colorado Low No activity
Connecticut Low Sporadic Sporadic
Delaware Low No activity
Florida Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Georgia Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Hawaii Low Sporadic
Idaho Low No activity
Illinois Moderate Sporadic
Indiana Low Sporadic Sporadic
Iowa Low Sporadic Sporadic
Kansas Moderate No activity
Kentucky Moderate No activity
Louisiana Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Maine Low No activity
Maryland Low No activity Sporadic
Massachusetts Low Sporadic Sporadic
Michigan Moderate Sporadic
Minnesota Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Mississippi Moderate Local Sporadic
Missouri Moderate No activity
Montana Low No activity
Nebraska Low Sporadic
Nevada Moderate Sporadic
New Hampshire Low No activity
New Jersey Low Sporadic Sporadic
New Mexico Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
New York Low Sporadic Sporadic
North Carolina Low No activity
North Dakota Low Sporadic Sporadic
Ohio Low Sporadic Sporadic
Oklahoma Moderate No activity
Oregon Low Sporadic
Pennsylvania Low Sporadic
Rhode Island Low No activity
South Carolina Low Local Localized
South Dakota Low No activity Sporadic
Tennessee Moderate No activity
Texas Moderate Sporadic Localized
Utah Low Sporadic Sporadic
Vermont Low No activity
Virginia Low No activity
Washington Low Sporadic Sporadic
West Virginia Low No activity
Wisconsin Low Sporadic Sporadic
Wyoming Low Sporadic Sporadic
District of Columbia Low Sporadic



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June 20, 2009

EPA declares \’emergency\’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

Filed under: Archived,Asbestos,EPA,Health,Montana,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

EPA declares ’emergency’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

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For the past ten years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been overseeing the asbestos clean-up in the small town of Libby, Montana, which has been on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List since 2002.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration declared Libby and the immediate area a “public health emergency”. Under this state of emergency the EPA is increasing clean-up assistance and medical care. According to federal prosecutors, asbestos has taken 200 lives and is the root cause of at least 1,000 illnesses in the surrounding area.

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the EPA

“This is a tragic public health situation that has not received the recognition it deserves by the federal government for far too long,” according to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

In the 1920’s The Zonolite Company began producing vermiculite, a mineral that is often used in insulation. Between 1963 and 1990, W.R. Grace & Company took over the mine operations. Tremolite asbestos was discovered in the vermiculite product. A study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry discovered that the incidence of asbestosis in the population of the mine site area is far higher than the national average.

Airborne asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer which develops in the sac surrounding the lungs and chest cavity, the abdominal cavity, or the sac surrounding the heart. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung scarring, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma generally are left with six months to a year before death.

Cquote1.svg We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health. Cquote2.svg

—Senator Max Baucus

The tremolite dust from the mine began leaking into the air from the plant in 1919. This resulted in a hazy asbestos dust cloud covering lawns, cars, clothing, and school athletic fields, creating an issue that citizens of Libby had to deal with on an everyday basis. The large amount of dust gave the impression of the aftereffects of a light sandstorm.

W. R. Grace and Company did not deny that asbestos was found contaminating the vermiculite in the old mine. They said they proceeded in a responsible manner to clean up contamination following the mine closure. Grace will reimburse the EPA for US$250 million of the US$333 million that the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services has set aside for medical expenses and asbestos clean-up. This money will be invested over the next five years, and does not include the millions in medical costs already footed by the company for residents of Libby and the nearby town of Troy.

“Today is the day that after years of work we were able to succeed in getting this [emergency declaration] done,” Senator from Montana Max Baucus said, speaking at the EPA press conference. “We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.”



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EPA declares ’emergency’ asbestos cleanup in Montana town

Filed under: Archived,Asbestos,EPA,Health,Montana,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, June 20, 2009

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For the past ten years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been overseeing the asbestos clean-up in the small town of Libby, Montana, which has been on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List since 2002.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration declared Libby and the immediate area a “public health emergency”. Under this state of emergency the EPA is increasing clean-up assistance and medical care. According to federal prosecutors, asbestos has taken 200 lives and is the root cause of at least 1,000 illnesses in the surrounding area.

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the EPA

“This is a tragic public health situation that has not received the recognition it deserves by the federal government for far too long,” according to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

In the 1920’s The Zonolite Company began producing vermiculite, a mineral that is often used in insulation. Between 1963 and 1990, W.R. Grace & Company took over the mine operations. Tremolite asbestos was discovered in the vermiculite product. A study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry discovered that the incidence of asbestosis in the population of the mine site area is far higher than the national average.

Airborne asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer which develops in the sac surrounding the lungs and chest cavity, the abdominal cavity, or the sac surrounding the heart. Prolonged exposure can lead to lung scarring, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma generally are left with six months to a year before death.

We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.

—Senator Max Baucus

The tremolite dust from the mine began leaking into the air from the plant in 1919. This resulted in a hazy asbestos dust cloud covering lawns, cars, clothing, and school athletic fields, creating an issue that citizens of Libby had to deal with on an everyday basis. The large amount of dust gave the impression of the aftereffects of a light sandstorm.

W. R. Grace and Company did not deny that asbestos was found contaminating the vermiculite in the old mine. They said they proceeded in a responsible manner to clean up contamination following the mine closure. Grace will reimburse the EPA for US$250 million of the US$333 million that the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services has set aside for medical expenses and asbestos clean-up. This money will be invested over the next five years, and does not include the millions in medical costs already footed by the company for residents of Libby and the nearby town of Troy.

“Today is the day that after years of work we were able to succeed in getting this [emergency declaration] done,” Senator from Montana Max Baucus said, speaking at the EPA press conference. “We will continue to push until Libby has a clean bill of health.”


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April 1, 2009

FDA warning on pistachios after salmonella contamination

FDA warning on pistachios after salmonella contamination

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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Pistachio(Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae or sometimes Pistaciaceae’)
Image: marcodisce.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall on Salmonella contaminated Pistachios for 31 states in the United States.

“Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, that they hold onto those products, that at this stage they don’t throw them out, they simply hold on to them as we’re learning more about them to determine if they’re part of the recall,” said Dr. David Acheson, associated FDA commissioner for food. However, it is expected that the recalled list may grow as the investigation continues.

Kroger Co. is recalling shelled pistachios called Private Selection Shelled Pistachios in a 10-ounce container with UPC code 111073615 and the sell dates of December 13 or 14 on the packages. Setton Farms based in California, the pistachio supplier, is voluntarily recalling their pistachios.

Products containing pistachios have not yet been recalled, but are under investigation. The salmonella contamination was discovered by Kraft foods during routine testing last Tuesday, before any illness were reported. They notified the FDA and the FDA notified Setton Farms. So far the source of contamination has not been revealed.

The 31 states initially affected are: (in alphabetical order) : Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Signs of salmonella include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Those most vulnerable are the young, the elderly or those with an already compromised health condition.

This recall follows the long list of recalled peanut related products, peanut butter and candy bars which caused a salmonella outbreak at the end of January.



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March 25, 2009

New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban

New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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A New Jersey state senator has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a federal law banning sports betting in 46 states.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat representing portions of Union County, filed the suit Monday, arguing the 17-year-old law is unconstitutional because it treats four states differently than the other states.

Under the law, sports betting is prohibited in all states except Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada, although only the latter two currently allow wagering.

“This federal law deprives the State of New Jersey of over $100 million of yearly revenues, as well as depriving our casinos, racetracks and Internet operators of over $500 million in gross income,” Lesniak said in a statement to the press.

The 39-page lawsuit is believed to be the first challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. New Jersey missed a 1994 deadline that would have allowed it to join the other states when the law was implemented.

Atlantic City officials and their political allies have argued allowing sports betting would give all the states a new source of revenue needed in the face of a staggering recession.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not involved with the lawsuit, but he said legalizing sports betting would help Atlantic City and said it was “worth pursuing”.

Legalizing sports betting in New Jersey could bring the state more than $50 million in annual tax revenue, according to officials from the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consultant for the electronic gaming industry, which joined Lesniak as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“This is about more than revenue,” said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of Interactive Media Entertainment. “It’s about jobs and economic activity.” According to 1999 study, $380 billion in illegal sports betting occurs in the state each year.

Atlantic City, New Jersey
Image: Bob Jagendorf.

New Jersey, in particular, is facing a difficult budget season, and the Atlantic City casinos are in what the Associated Press called a “financial meltdown”. Eleven of the city’s casinos suffered their biggest revenue decline in 30 years last month.

Delaware is reported to be considering regulating sports betting, which New Jersey backers of the lawsuit said adds a sense of urgency to the issue.

“We cannot afford to be naive about illegal sports betting,” New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew said in a statement to the press. “It’s happening right now, and is funding other criminal enterprises which are far more dangerous.”

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey were also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.



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March 23, 2009

Plane crashes in Montana, 17 killed

Plane crashes in Montana, 17 killed – Wikinews, the free news source

Plane crashes in Montana, 17 killed

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Disasters and accidents

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A Pilatus PC-12 similar to the one that crashed in Butte, Montana

According to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a single-engine passenger aeroplane has crashed in Butte, Montana, killing seventeen people.

The plane, a turboprop Pilatus PC-12, had departed from Oroville, California. Authorities said that the pilot had filed a flight plan to Bozeman, Montana, but cancelled it and diverted to Butte instead. The pilot attempted to land, but crashed into a cemetery about 150 metres (500 feet) from the aeroport, bursting into flames. Nobody on the ground died. The weather was reported to have been cloudy at the time.

Pat Ryan, a reporter for the Montana Standard newspaper, said that the authorities had sealed off the scene of the accident. “I did speak to one eyewitness who said he saw the plane approaching from the west and nosedive into the Holy Cross cemetery just short of the Burbon Lee airport here in Butte,” he said. “I was on the scene speaking to eyewitnesses who basically described the plane coming in trying to make it to the runway and obviously not getting there.”

A spokesman for the FAA said that the preliminary death toll was 17, and that several of the victims were children. “We think that it was probably a ski trip for the kids,” he said.



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December 21, 2007

Lakota activists declare secession from US

Lakota activists declare secession from US

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Cquote1.svg We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us. Cquote2.svg

—Lakota activist Russell Means

A delegation claiming to represent the Lakota Indian Tribe, an Indian nation within United States borders, have signed a document stating that the tribe withdraws and or cancels all treaties with the U.S. and formally establishes independence from the country. The letter was hand delivered by activists for the tribe to Deputy to the Public Liaison at the State Department, Daniel Turner.

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us. This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution. It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,” said Russell Means, an activist for Native American rights to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, D.C..

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit. They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today,” said Garry Rowland who is also known as Wounded Knee.

Flag of the Lakota tribe.
Image: Kwamikagami.

The delegation wrote a formal letter to the Department of State which was hand-delivered by activists of the tribe announcing their secession. So far, the U.S. has not issued a public response regarding their decision. Wikinews attempted to contact the State Department, but in an e-mail Director of the Office of Media Affairs Kirsten Petree stated that “this is not an issue for the State Department” and referred us to the Department of the Interior.

Under the declaration, the tribe, which consists of people from Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming, would create and issue its own driver’s licenses and passports. According to a report by Agence France-Presse, all residents who currently live within Lakota borders can continue to reside there without paying taxes, as long as they renounce their U.S. citizenship.

The attempt to gain independence began in 1974 when activists wrote up a draft declaration of independence, which was modeled after the 1776 Declaration of Independence that the U.S. signed in declaring freedom from England.

Many of the treaties the tribe signed with the U.S. are over 150 years old.

“We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,” said activist Phyllis Young, who was one of the individuals who helped to organize a 1977 conference in Geneva on “indigenous rights.”

The other members of the activist delegation were Duane Martin Sr., Gary Rowland and Phyllis Young. Duane Martin Sr. is a leader of a group called the Strong Heart Society. Gary Rowland is a leader of a group called the Big Foot Riders. Phyllis Young is the founder of a group called Women of All Red Nations.

Means’ group is based in Porcupine, South Dakota on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Means’ group is not an agency or branch of any Lakota tribe, although he ran unsuccessfully for president of the Oglala Sioux tribe in 2006.



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March 21, 2007

Fossilized remains of \”burrowing\” dinosaur found in Montana

Fossilized remains of “burrowing” dinosaur found in Montana

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An artist’s illustration shows an Oryctodromeus head. (Illustration by Lee Hall).

The remains of a fossilized “burrowing” dinosaur have been found in Lima, Montana and scientists say that the dinosaur may have been forced to dig in an effort to survive the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago.

One full grown dinosaur and two young ones are the first evidence of any burrowing dinosaur to be discovered by scientists and is also the first evidence that a dinosaur cared for their offspring in dens.

“Burrowing behaviour allows vertebrates to escape harsh environmental conditions. Small dinosaurs could potentially have withstood severe conditions, such as drought or … temperature extremes. Survival of terrestrial vertebrates at the end-Cretaceous event has been attributed to sheltering behaviour, with the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs resulting from their inability to find an appropriate cover,” said Montana State University’s chief researcher, David Varricchio.

The new dinosaur has been called “Oryctodromeus cubicularis” which is being defined as the “digging runner of the lair.”

“Here we have the burrow, den, an adult with traits for digging, and two juveniles, all in the same place. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said researcher at Emory University, Anthony Martin.

The remains were found in an area that was once covered by an ancient flood, but Varricchio states that the flood was not the cause of the dinosaurs death.

“The bones are disarticulated; they are not in life position. It’s not like they were sitting in the burrow and a flooding event filled the chamber with sediment and they were entombed. They must have died, undergone decay and then the burrow was filled,” added Varricchio.

The fully grown dinosaur is at least 2.1 meters long and weighed nearly 22 to 32 kilograms. Scientists say that the dinosaurs are nearly 95 million years old and are from the Cretaceous period of dinosaurs. In evolutionary terms, the dinosaur lived just before the asteroid impact that made dinosaurs extinct.

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March 26, 2005

Scientists discover soft tissue in dinosaur bones

Scientists discover soft tissue in dinosaur bones

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

The fossilized skull of a T-rex

T-rexes were about 2,5 times the height of humans

Scientists have uncovered soft bone tissue of a Tyrannosaurus Rex known as MOR 1125, found in a sandstone formation in Montana.

MOR 1125 was 18 years old when it died, 65 million years ago. Similar tissue of a dinosaur has never been found before, as all remains found until now were fosilized. The tissue still contains microscopic structures resembling bloodvessels and cells. The comparison between the structures found in the T-rex and a modern day Ostrich shows a remarkable similarity. The results have been duplicated with an 80-million-year-old hadrosaur and two other tyrannosaurs. The discovery was reported in today’s issue of Science.

Results similar to the popular film “Jurassic park” are unlikely, as the recovery of DNA from the tissue is improbable. The results remain astounding, however, and tests with antibodies that react to collagen shows the tissue may still contain proteins. “Ultimately if we could establish chemical composition, we would have insights into all kinds of things: diet, sexual maturity, whether the specimen is the male or female.”, paleontologist Hans-Dieter Sues said.

Richard A. Hengst of Purdue University said the finding “opens the door for research into the protein structure of ancient organisms, if nothing else. While we think that nature is conservative in how things are built, this gives scientists an opportunity to observe this at the chemical and cellular level.”

Matthew Carrano, curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said the discovery was “pretty exciting stuff.” “You are actually getting into the small-scale biology of the animal, which is something we rarely get the opportunity to look at.”

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