Brianna Smith

Brianna Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Southwest Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Brianna has a passion for politics, social issues, education, science, and more. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the simple life with her husband, daughter, and son.


Did Navient Mislead and Cheat Millions of Student Loan Borrowers?

Crippling student loan debt was a hot topic this past election cycle, so much so that it helped spark discussions about “reigning in college costs.” Considering the fact that the total outstanding student loan debt in the United States clocks in at more than $1.4 trillion, reigning in costs would be a great idea, as would solutions to help make student loan payments a bit more bearable for borrowers who are struggling month to month in order to make their payments. The student loan debt crisis isn’t new, though. It’s been gaining attention for years. What is new, however, is news that one of the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, Navient, has been misleading student loan borrowers and making “serious mistakes at nearly every step of the collections process” and “illegally driving up loan repayment costs for millions of borrowers” for years, according to lawsuits filed recently “by a federal regulator and two state attorneys general.”


Lawsuit Revived In Missouri Regarding Naked Pretrial Detainees

Imagine that you’re a pretrial detainee in a little jail in Missouri. Now imagine that, as a detainee in that small jail, you’re forced to go naked for several hours while your only set of clothes are in the laundry. The only thing to cover yourself is a sheet and any other bedding you might have, while guards, potentially of the opposite sex, look in on you from time to time from your cell’s window. Sound a bit hard to believe? Well, believe it, because this is the reality that pretrial detainees face on a regular basis at the Cole County Detention Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. Fortunately for detainees who find the rule a bit demeaning and uncivilized, a federal appeal court revived a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the jail’s policy.


Will Stronger Malpractice Legislation Stop Surgical Complications?

Republicans are bound and determined to make changes to the Affordable Healthcare law. Whether those changes entail a complete repeal and replacement or changes to the existing law is yet to be seen. There is one change, however, that many are talking about, and that’s implementing more aggressive malpractice legislation.


The TPP Is Out, But What About a U.S.-Japanese Free Trade Agreement?

With Trump’s inauguration only a couple days away, some in the political arena are still holding out hope that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will survive, despite the fact that Congress effectively put a stop to it, much to President Obama’s dismay. Why did they stop it, though? Was the free trade agreement really so bad? Well, yes and no. While it would have opened up more trade between twelve different nations, a big reason why Congress decided against it was because they shared the concerns of many TPP critics, including President-elect Trump, and were wary of the “pact’s complexity and lack of transparency.” After all, the full text included 30 different chapters.


Can Your Heart Device Be Hacked?

Heart device users beware. The Homeland Security Department and FDA recently issued warnings about a cybersecurity flaw in one of St. Jude’s medical devices, an implantable heart device. The warning was issued upon discovering that hackers could potentially “take control of a person’s defibrillator or pacemaker” remotely. As if that’s not bad enough, this flaw


Will Trump’s Legal Issues Overwhelm Presidency?

It’s no secret that President-elect Trump has tangled with the courts a few times due to his many legal issues, but will it impact his presidency? It’s a fair question, considering that he’s currently entrenched in lawsuits with a couple celebrity chefs, and “is also caught up in an investigation by the New York attorney


SeaTac Workers Win Big In Minimum Wage Lawsuits

Throughout the last few years, the minimum wage topic has really taken center stage across the country, prompting some states to pass legislation to increase their minimum wage over time. Individual cities even hopped on board and increased the minimum wage rate for their workers, including SeaTac airport in Seattle, Washington. In 2013, city voters


Niskayuna Rowing Club Suit Reaches Settlement

A settlement has been reached between Dawn and Carl LeGere, the Niskayuna Central School District and the Niskayuna Rowing club after claims from the LeGere’s that their son was treated unfairly by coaches during a rowing program. During the summer of 2015, the LeGere’s son took part in a Learn to Row program and was signed


Settlement Reached Over Water Slide Death of Lawmaker’s Son

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, taking their family out for a day of fun at the water park, only for it to end in the death of their child. Unfortunately, this was a reality for Kansas State Representative, Scott Schwab. Last summer on August 10, Schwab and his family visited the Schlitterbahn Water Park for


Twinkies Recalled Over Salmonella Contamination

Unfortunately for Twinkie lovers everywhere, a seasonal version of Hostess Twinkies joined a growing list of foods on a recall list because of potential Salmonella contamination. The source of the contamination? The Valley Milk plant in Strasburg, VA. The recall itself began last November when, at the request of the FDA, “armed U.S. Marshals raided the