- - Monday, July 18, 2011


New spill went unreported for month

HELENA — A newly discovered oil spill in northwestern Montana went unreported for a month before a neighboring landowner complained to the Blackfeet Indian tribe, federal regulators said Monday.

FX Drilling Co. never reported the spill, estimated to be between 420 and 840 gallons, to the tribe or to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA spokesman Joe Vranka said.

The amount spilled at the FX Drilling Co. oil field in a remote corner of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation appears to be much less than the estimated 42,000 gallons that emptied into the Yellowstone River earlier this month. But the northwestern Montana spill comes at a time when all pipeline and oil operations in the state are under scrutiny as a result of the larger Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline break.

The company found the break in the flow line between two oil wells on June 12 and shut down the line, Mr. Vranka said. Company officials may have thought the spill didn’t go beyond the oil field, he said, when oil had actually flowed down a ravine nearly a mile to the Cut Bank Creek, which connects with the Marias River.


FBI: Couple kidnapped Israeli to force divorce

TRENTON — A New Jersey rabbi and his wife surrendered to the FBI on Monday on charges they abducted an Israeli man, beat him and threatened to bury him alive if he didn’t give his wife a religious divorce.

The case against David and Judy Wax in U.S. federal court marks a strange twist in a chain of events that started with a divorce dispute in Israel’s Rabbinical Court over the victim’s refusal to give his wife a “get,” an Orthodox Jewish divorce document permitting a wife to remarry.

The victim, who is not identified in court documents, apparently fled Israel after refusing to grant a divorce. Israeli media reports at the time said the Rabbinical Court had shunned him and put him on a wanted list, and appeals for his whereabouts appeared in religious publications.

According to the FBI complaint, the victim was lured to the Wax home to discuss opportunities for the victim to work on a book the rabbi was writing about the Talmud. Once in the home, the victim says, he was bound, robbed, shown a body bag and told he’d be buried alive in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains if he didn’t agree to the divorce.


Groups to fight Manhattan Project parks

ALBUQUERQUE — Anti-nuclear activists say they will fight a proposal to create national parks at Los Alamos National Laboratory and two other sites where the world’s first nuclear bombs were developed.

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