By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State news briefs
Placeholder Image

MAN FALLS OUT OF HELICOPTER IN CALIF. POT CLEANUP: FRESNO. (AP) — A California outdoorsman who led crews of volunteers through the Sierra Nevada mountains repairing trails and cleaning up marijuana grow sites has died after falling 50 feet from a helicopter, authorities said.

Shane Krogen was to be lowered in a harness to a remote cleanup site in Sequoia National Forest when he fell Thursday morning, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"Everyone else had used it too," Foy said about the harness. Foy was at the scene but did not see the fall.

The helicopter was flown by the California National Guard 129th Air Rescue Wing.

Krogen, 57, of Fresno was the founder and executive director of the High Sierra Trail Crew, a group that has worked with the fish and wildlife agency since 2008 and U.S. Forest Service since 1995 to remove trash and contaminants from illegal and remote marijuana gardens.

Krogen and some of his crew were among a handful of volunteers trained to be airlifted and lowered into difficult terrain.

"They were trained by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the military," Foy said. "We just don't know what happened yet."

Fair weather and remote terrain have lured scores of people to establish illegal marijuana grow sites across the Sierra Nevada wilderness in recent years. They dam streams and spray pesticides and rodenticides, many that are banned in the U.S. They also leave behind tons of trash from campsites that are occupied during the five-month growing season.

OC MAN WHO POSED AS POLICEMAN GETS 10 YEARS: SANTA ANA  (AP) — An Orange County man who posed as a policeman, staged a phony arrest and then offered to let the man go in exchange for sex with his wife has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Tariq Musa of Santa Ana was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to felony charges including kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Authorities say Musa flashed a badge and made a phony arrest of a man selling counterfeit CDS in a parking lot in 2009.

Prosecutors say he took the man's wallet, then noticed a photo of his wife and offered to let him go in exchange for an hour with her.

Authorities say Musa drove to the man's apartment, where the victim managed to tell relatives what was happening and Musa was arrested.

SCHOOL JANITOR USES CLEANER TO REPEL ATTACK: TEMECULA  (AP) — Authorities say a custodian used the tools of her trade to fight off an attacker in a Southern California high school restroom.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the woman was cleaning up graffiti in a restroom at Temecula High School on Tuesday night when two men came in.

Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Andy Woods says the woman told them the restroom was closed for cleaning and they had to leave but instead one grabbed her.

Woods says the woman fought back and fell down but she managed to grab an aerosol can of graffiti remover and spray it in the man's face.

Both men ran away and they haven't been found.

The woman wasn't seriously injured. Deputies are investigating the case as an attempted sexual assault.

CORONA TEACHER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO STUDENT SEX : CORONA  (AP) — A 31-year-old Riverside County high school teacher suspected of having sex with students has pleaded not guilty.

The Los Angeles Times reports Summer Michelle Hansen, who taught at Centennial High in Corona, entered her plea Thursday.

She was charged last month with 16 felony counts including unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and unlawful oral copulation with a minor.

The special-education teacher was arrested in June. If convicted she could face up to 13 years in state prison.

Prosecutors identified five boys under age 18 who allegedly had sexual contact with the teacher on school grounds, in a car, and at the home of one of the teens.

None of the alleged victims were her students.