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POSTED June 3, 2013 8:17 p.m.

CAN MAN PROTEST OUTSIDE MILITARY BASE?  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide whether to reinstate a man's conviction for protesting outside a military base in California.

Federal officials on Monday asked justices to reinstate John Dennis Apel's trespass convictions.

Apel had been banned from Vandenberg Air Force Base for previous protesting activities, so he set up in a designated protest area on a highway that passes through the base. The military owns the highway but grants the state and Santa Barbara County an easement so the public can use it.

Military officials say since Apel had been banned from the base, he also could not use the protest area. Federal appeals judges overturned his conviction, saying since the military does not have exclusive right of possession to the highway, Apel's trespass conviction had to be dismissed.

INTERIOR APPROVES 3 RENEWABLE ENERGY SITES IN WEST: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department has approved three renewable energy projects in Nevada and Arizona that officials say will generate enough electricity to power nearly 200,000 homes. The projects are the first renewable energy projects on public lands approved by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell since she took office in April.

The projects will deliver a combined 520 megawatts to the electricity grid through solar plants in Nevada and Arizona and a geothermal plant in Nevada.

The 350-megawatt Midland Solar Energy Project is near Boulder City, Nev., while the 100-megawatt Quartzsite solar project is near Quartzsite, Ariz. The 70-megawatt New York Canyon Geothermal Project is in Pershing County near Lovelock, Nev.

Interior has approved 45 utility-scale renewable energy projects since 2009, including 25 solar sites, 9 wind farms and 11 geothermal plants.

SOLAR PLANE LEAVES TEXAS FOR ST. LOUIS: GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — A solar-powered plane that spent more than a week in North Texas has departed on the third leg of its cross-country trip.

The Solar Impulse took off early Monday from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport bound for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

It's the first attempt by a solar plane capable of being airborne day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S.

The plane left Northern California on May 3 and landed the following day in Phoenix. The Solar Impulse departed Phoenix on May 22 and landed a day later in Texas.

The plane flies about 40 mph. The Texas to St. Louis leg is about 560 miles.

The rest of the schedule includes Dulles International Airport near Washington and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

 

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