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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED February 9, 2015 10:04 p.m.

WATER MANAGER FACES DISCIPLINE FOR URINATING IN RESERVOIR: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A water manager is facing discipline after he was caught urinating in an empty reservoir that supplies drinking water for the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue said Monday that the agency confirmed anonymous complaints that maintenance planner Martin Sanchez had urinated in the 674-million-gallon reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills early last month.

The reservoir had been drained for maintenance, and officials say public health wasn’t in danger.

Sanchez, who earns $111,000 annually, was in line for a promotion before the incident. He now faces a maximum penalty of a weeklong suspension without pay.

San Francisco’s water comes mostly from Sierra Nevada runoff.

Last year, a 19-year-old Portland, Oregon, boy was cited for public urination and trespassing after he was accused of urinating in a 35-million-gallon city reservoir.

After learning of the incident, Portland officials began dumping water into the sewer system, but the process was slowed by heavy rains. As a result, they diverted the water to an empty reservoir and used the supply for nondrinking purposes.

It was the second time in less than three years Portland has emptied a reservoir due to concerns that someone had urinated in the water.

 

DEVELOPMENT HELD UP OVER ENDANGERED FLY CAN PROCEED: COLTON  (AP) — The Southern California city of Colton can finally go forward with a development plan that that was on hold for two decades due to an endangered fly.

A  new 30-year agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires Colton to set aside 50 acres of breeding habitat for the inch-long Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.

In exchange, the city can go ahead with development on 416 acres near Interstate 10. About 80 of those acres can be developed and about 250 acres already developed may be redeveloped.

Plans were stalled in 1993 to protect breeding land for the fly, which sits on the endangered species list. The fly once bred on miles of sand, much of which has disappeared because of development.

 

LANDSLIDE CLOSES PART OF OLD US 40 NEAR SIERRA’S DONNER PASS: TRUCKEE  (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says about a 3-mile stretch of old Highway 40 near the top of the Sierra Nevada between Truckee and the Sugar Bowl ski resort will remain closed for several days because of a big rock slide.

CHP public information officer Pete Mann told The Associated Press on Monday that the landslide occurred Friday on the old Donner Road that runs parallel to Interstate 80 in some parts near Donner Pass.

Mann says no one was injured but some very large granite boulders remain on the road. He says they will have to bring in large construction equipment to help clear the highway.

Sugar Bowl officials say travelers can still access the ski resort by taking the Soda Springs exit off I-80.

 

OBAMA TO RETURN TO CALIFORNIA FOR CYBER SUMMIT AT STANFORD: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Barack Obama will return to California this week to deliver remarks at a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University.

The president is scheduled to arrive Thursday at San Francisco International Airport.

He will travel to Palo Alto on Friday to address the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.

The White House says in a statement the summit will help shape public and private sector efforts to protect American consumers and companies from growing cyber threats.

After the summit, the president will host a roundtable talk with business leaders after the summit and on Friday night, he will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in San Francisco.

Obama is scheduled to leave California on Saturday.

 

MAN SENT TO PRISON FOR MARIJUANA GROW IN RESERVE: FRESNO (AP) — Prosecutors say a Central California man was sentenced to prison for growing marijuana in a reserve that’s home to rare and protected plants and animals.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a statement Monday that 29-year-old Cruz Soria of Bakersfield, California illegally grew marijuana in the Canebrake Ecological Reserve. Soria pleaded guilty to growing 454 marijuana plants in exchange for a five-year sentence in federal prison.

Protected eagles and peregrine falcons live in the reserve located in a remote part of Kern County.

Prosecutors say Soria used a banned insecticide and rat poison to that is illegal without a license.

Dead coyote, snakes and other animals were found at the grow site.

Defense attorney Mark Coleman says the sentence was excessive because his client was a worker and didn’t profit greatly from the marijuana grow.

 

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