EnergyWire reports: "A little-known company called Halek Operating ND LLC is facing the largest fine North Dakota has ever levied against an oil and gas producer -- $1.5 million -- for jeopardizing drinking water near Dickinson. But even before the company drilled its first well in North Dakota, federal officials say the man behind it had swindled $22 million out of 300 investors in a Texas oil and gas project."
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Sex Predators Unleashed | Sun-Sentinel
"Another child is dead. This time, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl, a year younger than Jimmy Ryce. A 1999 law passed after Jimmy was raped and murdered at age 9 is meant to protect Floridians from sex offenders by keeping the most dangerous locked up after they finish their prison sentences. But an eight-month Sun Sentinel investigation into the law named in Jimmy’s memory has uncovered shocking failures. Florida’s safeguards have broken down at every stage, setting hundreds of rapists and child molesters free to harm again."
Taken | The New Yorker
"The basic principle behind ...
"It was one of the more than 6,000 spills and other mishaps reported at onshore oil and gas sites in 2012, compiled in a months-long review of state and federal data by EnergyWire. That's an average of more than 16 spills a day. And it's a significant increase since 2010. In the 12 states where comparable data were available, spills were up about 17 percent."
The Star Tribune reports Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin has repeatedly voted for multimillion-dollar trash-disposal agreements tied to the law firm where his wife works — and never disclosed the connection. Minnesota law says that officials taking action on a matter that would “substantially affect the official’s financial interests or those of an associated business” must submit a written statement describing the nature of the potential conflict of interest to a superior. But the regulations don’t offer many specifics and omit detailed guidance in the case of a spouse’s relationship. “Our statute is very weak,” said Gary Goldsmith ...Read more ...
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations | The Guardian
The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows. See more coverage of the NSA surveillance.
High prices are driving more motorists to rent tires | Los Angeles Times
Chains such as Rent-a-Wheel and Rimco are seeing business boom. Many consumers pay double or triple the cost of buying and face aggressive repossession policies.
Star witness in Debra Milke case accused of ongoing misconduct as constable | KPNX Phoenix
Condemned killer ...
"KCRA obtained video of hundreds, possibly thousands of mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs and PCB containing ballasts stored outside, in the open air behind a Sacramento contractor’s facility. State law explicitly states that all these materials must be in a container to prevent leakage and breakage, yet a former employee says the company ran out of space and told employees to put them outside. Just days after KCRA’s calls the county and state opened investigations and the company cleaned up the materials. Yet concern still exists that with all the sales of energy efficient equipment and materials more and more ...Read more ...
Extra Extra Monday: OSHA ignores slow and silent killers, corporate influence reaches court, back-door school handouts
As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester | The New York Times
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency that many Americans love to hate and industry calls overzealous, has largely ignored the slow, silent killers that claim the most lives.
Corporations, pro-business nonprofits foot bill for judicial seminars | Center for Public Integrity
Conservative foundations, multinational oil companies and a prescription drug maker were the most frequent sponsors of more than 100 expense-paid educational seminars attended by federal judges over a 4 1/2-year period, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation.
Back-door school handouts | Chicago Tribune
"Crisscrossing Michigan are more than 3,100 miles of old wrought- and cast-iron natural-gas pipelines -- the type federal regulators consider the most at risk of corrosion, cracking and catastrophic rupturing. The state's two largest utilities have replaced less than 15% of these pipelines -- 542 miles -- in the past decade," according to an investigation by the Detroit Free Press.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Wrong-Way River
“Biologists predict the number of unwanted organisms moving on the Chicago canal will only grow until the waterway is somehow plugged. And it is much more than a Great Lakes problem because biological pollution travels both directions on this invasive species superhighway.”
The Morning Call
Amazon warehouse workers fight for unemployment benefits
“Its relationship with Amazon has made Integrity Staffing Solutions the biggest temporary-employment firm in the Lehigh Valley and one of the fastest-growing agencies of its kind in the country. Part of its role is fighting to keep its workers from collecting unemployment ...
Shell Oil and federal regulators have been tight-lipped about a failed test of the energy giant's Arctic oil-spill equipment in Washington state. But a freedom-of-information request by KUOW reveals what happened beneath the surface of Puget Sound.