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Missing teenager Elizabeth Thomas found safe in California

Sheriff Jon Lopey

A Tennessee teacher and the teenage former student he was suspected of kidnapping were found in Northern California on Thursday, ending a manhunt that stretched on for more than a month, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced.

Tad Cummins, 50, was arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas was “safely recovered,” TBI tweeted. Officials planned a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

“Gathering as many details as possible to share,” TBI wrote in a tweet.

Cummins and Thomas disappeared on March 13, sparking a cross-country manhunt made all the more difficult as Cummins apparently changed his appearance and may have switched out the license plate on the vehicle he was driving, according to reports. Court papers filed recently in the girl’s disappearance showed she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would face repercussions at school if she resisted him.

Investigators were flooded with thousands of tips from the public as the case gained national attention.

Cummins was fired from his job amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate contact with Thomas.

Cummins and Thomas wrote emails to each other and saved them as drafts in a folder of Cummins’ high school email account, Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper told WAAY earlier this month, indicating the pair had a “romantic” relationship.

“They would write the message and let it save as a draft,” Cooper said. “The other person would log in, read the message and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft.”

He added: “If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other.”

One of the email drafts shared with WAAY begins with Cummins telling Thomas that he “saw you standing next to you [sic] backpack this morning.”

“And [Cummins] makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked,” Maury County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Marcus Alright said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/20/tad-cummins-elizabeth-thomas-found-in-california.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Missing Teen Elizabeth Thomas, subject of Tennessee Amber Alert, is rescued in Cecilville, California

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

50-Year-Old Suspect Tad Cummins Apprehended, Awaiting Extradition to Tennessee

April 20, 2017

NASHVILLE – Acting on a tip received by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation late last night, authorities in Siskiyou County, California have rescued Elizabeth Thomas and arrested Tad Cummins, after locating the pair at a commune in Cecilville early this morning.

Thomas, 15, was the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert issued on March 14th, after having been kidnapped a day earlier by Tad Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County, Tennessee. On March 17th, the TBI added the 50-year-old to the state’s ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list.

This morning, authorities from Siskiyou County located the Nissan Rogue in which the pair were traveling and later located the pair. Cummins surrendered without incident. Thomas was subsequently recovered by law enforcement officers. At the time of this release, efforts to reunite her with her family remained ongoing.

“Our Intelligence Analysts and Agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”

The TBI has been assisted in this search by a variety of law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maury County Sheriff’s Department, and the Office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper.

At the time of this release, Cummins, 50, remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County (CA) Sheriff’s Department without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee to face charges of Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping. A currently booking photograph was not immediately available for release.

###

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History of EPA employee misconduct could result in layoffs

Clean Water ACT - EPA, CORRUPTION

PNP comment: Great news!! — Editor Liz Bowen

The Environmental Protection Agency has been riddled with employee misconduct, including workers who drink, smoke marijuana, and watch porn on the job.

Inspector general reports over the past few years detailing employee misbehavior could serve as ammunition for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is seeking to eliminate 25 percent of the 15,000 employees at the agency.

Only 6.5 percent of EPA employees are “essential,” according to the government’s own calculations when it faced a shutdown in 2013. At the time, just 1,069 employees were deemed necessary to continue working during the 16 days the government closed.

The most notorious case of misconduct was the EPA official who earned $120,000 and performance bonuses after being caught watching pornography for up to six hours a day.

The geologist in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation downloaded over 7,000 pornographic files on an agency server and admitted to masturbating at work. He received paid leave for nearly two years after being caught.

Click for more from The Washington Free Beacon.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/19/history-epa-employee-misconduct-could-result-in-layoffs.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Klamath Tribe wants all the water

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Herald and News.com

Ranchers in the Upper Basin react

Tribal water call: ‘Devastating’

The call on water by the Klamath Tribes will be devastating economically for the cattlemen in the Upper Basin, affected ranchers said Tuesday.

The Tribes made the call last week. A water call puts the rest of the secondary water users on notice that the Tribes intend to use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.

“This call is potentially devastating to both irrigators and the Tribes,” said Becky Hyde, a member of a long-time cattle ranching family in the Upper Basin above Upper Klamath Lake. “Our ag communities want what is best for the fish as well, but this puts a tremendous strain on our relationship with the Tribes.”

 While the call focuses on the current high water flows in the rivers — and if they fall to a certain level, irrigators can actually irrigate — there is still the concern that the irrigation window will be short-lived.

This is the first time the regulations have taken effect with spring runoff, which could run to June 1 or end sooner.

Water agreement

Hyde and several other ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. That agreement is still on the books, but has no funding behind it, hence is moot. The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there will be water security for ranchers.

Larry Nicholson, whose family also has historic cattle ranches on the Wood River, said the economic impact will be huge. A water call has not been made on the Wood, but Nicholson expects it.

“There are some 30,000 head of cattle that are moved into the area from ranches in California,” Nicholson said. “The grass in the Fort Klamath area is highly nutritious, but it is only good in the summer as it’s too cold to keep cattle there in the winter. Most ranches are not setup for stock water. If there is no water, the cattle will be kept in California, crowding out those ranch resources.”

After that …

“We have yearlings who need to grow all summer on grass,” Hyde said. “It’s a scramble to find alternative grazing. If you multiply that across the region, the water call a big deal,” she said. “We will be OK in the spring thanks to the early moisture and growing grasses. After that, it could be devastating.”

A couple of years back, Hyde shipped some cattle out after water supplies dwindled.

“This will be worse. There will be no water,” Hyde said.

Randall Kiser, who is a fifth-generation rancher on the Sprague and Wood, said, “When you have a snowpack at 138 of average and there is still a call for water, something is wrong.” Kiser, too, worked on the water pact with the tribes. Some 150 large and small ranches on the Sprague will be affected by the call.

“It’s a serious situation,” Kizer said.

“It would be nice if we could negotiate a settlement, finalize it and keep moving” he said. “This call affects everybody in the Upper Basin. When we last met in February, the Tribes told us they were ‘settlement-minded.’”

Fisheries status

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said of the call Monday, “I understand the concerns for the agricultural community, but there needs to be concerns for the status of our fisheries.”

Both Hyde and Nicholson point out that the agreements work both ways. The idea was to have cattlemen build fences to keep cattle out of the rivers so fish habitat could grow.

“If you don’t have fences, it stands to reason the cattle will be drinking from the river,” Nicholson said, damaging habitat and eroding banks.

“Just having water doesn’t restore habitat,” Hyde said. “That’s where everyone loses. The Klamath Tribes have a powerful card that they are playing, but that doesn’t, mean they win in the end.”

READ it here

http://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/ranchers-in-the-upper-basin-react-to-water-call/article_2e958a6e-14be-5def-bd13-7f69b6db4517.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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Agriculture has been hammered by environmental water regulations

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Endangered Species Act

New report shows thousands of California jobs lost due to water cuts

KERO

A report released today by the Southern California Water Committee and the Committee for Delta Reliability exposes the unintended consequences of nearly two decades of water cuts caused by environmental regulation – showing the hardest hit are those who rely on agriculture to survive, such as farmworkers, food processors, truck drivers and warehouse workers, among many others.

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Sierra Snowpack is larger than previous 4 years combined

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

Sierra Nevada Mountain Snowpack Is Larger Than Previous 4 Years Combined

KNBC

The monster snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is larger than it has been in the four previous years combined, new NASA data shows.

The measurements in the Tuolumne River Basin were made with NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory, a plane with an advanced set of research equipment that can collect measurements over a widespread area. On April 1, the snowpack was at 1.2 million acre-feet, which is enough snow to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena about 1,600 times.

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Liz Writes Life 4-18-17

Liz Writes Life

April 18, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

The peas are three-inches tall. This is the best germination we have had. Usually we have to replant them. This year, they are actually too close and need to be thinned. Something did chew on three of them eating off the leaves. Hum, don’t know what.

The spinach came up pretty good, but the lettuces didn’t do so well. Need to replant them. I finally decided to plant the onion starts that I purchased over a week ago. There were 90 to 100 of them, so we will need to remember to eat green onions next month to thin them down a bit.

There are a few potato hills still in the ground. We better get them out and use a few to plant as seed potatoes. The garlic is a foot-tall and the three groups of bunching onions are just as high and bunching.

Several folks reported their asparagus is doing well. Ours is way behind and is barely poking up. None are peeking up on the older group. And the rhubarb – last year at this time, I had harvested a big batch. It does look healthy and some stalks are thick, but it is only about 18-inches tall. So, I will give it a few more weeks. The Fowler lilac is budding-up. Sure do hope the couple of frosts that we had didn’t take them out. A few friends are worried they lost their apricot and other fruit crops. Siskiyou spring is always a wait-and-see?

Water

We are now into irrigation season. Most decrees state April 1st is the starting date for obtaining legal water rights, but some are for April 15th. Some decrees also allow for year-round use of water rights for domestic and or stock water. Believe it or not, there are fields where the ditch conveying water is the only available water for livestock, so those water rights are important.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Dist. 5, learned that the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (previously called DFG) began flying the Scott River last week. It was mentioned they may be looking for flood and high-water damage along with checking out diversions, but who knows. Ray said the county asked if Elizabeth Nielsen, the Natural Resource Specialist, could fly along with them and the request was denied. Oh! Why?

In the past there have been some not-so-nice situations as the CA. DFW has flown below the 500-foot level violating airspace laws and spooking livestock — sometimes looking like harassment. So Ray wants to know if any planes or helicopters are violating the 500-foot airspace regulation or intimidating livestock. Try to obtain a tail number. Ray’s phone number is 530-925-0444.

Land sales

It’s a done deal. Timbervest sold two pieces of property in the south-end of Scott Valley. They were purchased by Western Rivers Conservation group. Spokesman for the group, Peter Colby, told me that escrow closed on April 3, 2017. The group obtained a three-year loan to purchase the properties and Peter said they are actively looking for someone or group to sell the properties to. Now that is interesting – a conservancy flipping land for profit?

One of the properties is the Bouvier ranch located off the Cecilville Road outside of Callahan. The ranch includes 1,600 acres of timber and cattle grazing pasture that is irrigated through water right allotments. There is a domestic and livestock water right for year-round use on the lower ditch.

Peter said he has contacted the Scott River Water Trust asking if it is interested in purchasing the ranch. There is talk of stopping the use of the water right allotments on July 15th. I told Peter that wouldn’t work, because the rancher who has been leasing the grazing area will need to irrigate through the heat of July and August to keep the pasture growing for his cattle. But, apparently the conservancy believes fish will need the water in Scott River. It is likely to turn into a heated discussion, although Peter told me the conservancy wants to find a “good balance” for water use. Because of the high snow pack in the mountains, surface water should be plentiful this year. Yet, already “they” are trying to curtail agriculture use. Frustrating.

The other piece of property is 640 acres (square section) and was Timbervest’s most eastern track on Scott Mt. It is filled with timber and goes up to the Trinity Divide. Peter said the conservancy hopes to sell this to a timber company.

I asked Peter about the Callahan Water District and their water right from East Boulder Creek that does cross the Bouvier ranch property. He said they have no desire to interfere with the district’s water right. Good news.

The other group Peter has talked to about purchasing the Bouvier ranch property is the Siskiyou Land Trust, which is based in Mount Shasta. Several land owners in Scott Valley are working with the Siskiyou Land Trust and have put land into its conservancy. This is another divisive topic. Ray Haupt was recently interviewed on the topic of Conservation Easements by Daniel Webster. That 13-minute youtube can be found on my Liz Bowen.com site.

But we are not done yet!

Ray told me that two blocks of Timbervest are now in escrow and may be purchased by the Eco Trust Forest Management group. This track of land starts at Wildcat Creek and takes in the forested lands north to Etna and Quartz Valley under Big Meadows. Ray actually met with a spokesman of the purchasers last week and explained the need for good neighborly relations regarding range grazing allotments and actively managing the trees. This group may also be looking into resale or doing Conservation Easements.

POW

Learn more at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting April 27th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

# # #

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State awards $275 million contract for Oroville Dam repairs

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water

Sac Bee.com

Kiewit Corp., a construction giant with extensive experience in dam projects, was awarded the massive repair job at troubled Oroville Dam on Monday.

The California Department of Water Resources announced that Kiewit, based in Omaha, Neb., beat two competitors for the job with a $275.4 million bid.

Kiewit had the low bid, although its offer was still higher than DWR’s internal estimate that the project would cost $231 million. (DWR said on Saturday that it estimated the project would cost $220 million, but released a corrected estimate Monday.)

Repairs are expected to began in late May or early June. Fixing Oroville Dam’s two spillways will be a daunting project, so complicated that it won’t be completely finished until sometime in 2018. DWR officials have said, however, that they expect the first year’s worth of repairs will leave the structures serviceable for the upcoming rainy season.

Oroville’s main spillway cracked in two Feb. 7 during a heavy rainstorm, prompting dam operators to reduce outflows as they contemplated repairs. Five days later, as the lake filled up and water flowed over the nearby emergency spillway for the first time ever, officials ordered a mass evacuation when they feared the emergency structure would fail because of erosion on the hillside just below the concrete lip. The evacuation was rescinded two days later.

Kiewit’s dam projects include the $900 million auxiliary spillway set to open this fall at Folsom Dam.

The company beat out Barnard Ames JV, an affiliate of Barnard Construction Co. of Bozeman, Mont., which offered to do the job for $277 million; and Oroville Dam Constructors, a joint venture between Teichert Construction of Sacramento and Granite Construction of Watsonville, which bid $344 million.

The contract calls for repairs to both spillways.

State officials have said they expect customers of the State Water Project to pay for the repairs, although they intend to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial help.

Lake Oroville is California’s second largest reservoir and the linchpin of the State Water Project. The SWP’s largest customer is the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million customers.

Read it here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article145144129.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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News from Klamath Basin Crisis.org

Klamath Basin Crisis.org

KBC News

                                                                ?
!!!
 Klamath Tribes make call on Upper Klamath water, Water Resources Department, Klamath Falls April 14, posted to KBC 4/17/17. “Klamath Tribes have notified OWRD of a call (request) for water on the Sprague, Williamson, and Wood Rivers and tributaries, and the Klamath Marsh…”

FROM MARCH 2017: Flows from Upper Klamath increase amid flood mitigation, Sprague River remains high, H&N, posted to KBC 3/25/17. “… the local snowpack is 113 percent of normal…No evacuations have yet been ordered as high waters along the Sprague River flow downstream, posing minor flood threats to properties in the Chiloquin and Sprague River areas.” 


Flooding possible along Sprague River, H&N posted to KBC 3/25/17

 

Klamath Basin water year looks promising, H&N, posted to KBC 4/17/17. “…It’s looking like there will be full deliveries of water to the Klamath Basin water users…As of April 1, the snowpack was 122 percent of average and the total precipitation was 139 percent of average, the bureau said… ‘Collaboration has been a successful model for solving problems in the Klamath Basin and biological opinion consultation should not be an exception to that.’ …

The Klamath Project’s 2017 Operations Plan is available at https://on.doi.gov/2pqXcgn   If you encounter

problems accessing the document, call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov

***Wolf report review slated for ODFW meeting April 21, followed by: Wolf numbers continue to rise in Klamath County, PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ABOUT MANAGEMENT PLANH&N, posted to KBC 4/17/17. “Information about the meeting agenda, wolf survey results and the revised draft wolf management plan are available at http://bit.ly/2p57Zxvv  “

Signs of change: Congressional aides visit Lava Beds, H&N, posted to KBC 4/17/17: “...ongoing efforts to rally Congressional support for having Lava Beds redesignated as a national park…”

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

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Tax Time: Who pays the most and the least income tax in California?

Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

DATA TRACKER

TAX TIME

BY JIM MILLER jmiller@sacbee.com

Sac Bee.com

Tax deadline day is Tuesday (yes, April 18) and the following weeks and months again will make clear that, when it comes income taxes, certain parts of California generate an outsized amount of revenue.

Taxpayers in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Orange, San Diego and San Francisco counties had the highest total federal tax liability – the amount of taxes owed – in 2014, the most recent data available, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics. In terms of average liability per return, seven Northern California counties – Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa and Alameda – lead the state.

Palo Alto’s 94301 ZIP code, meanwhile, had the highest state adjusted gross income in the 2015 tax year – more than $10 billion – and total state tax liability of almost $1.2 billion, according to Franchise Tax Board statistics. In the Sacramento region, Folsom’s 95630 had the highest adjusted gross income, $3.1 billion, and total state tax liability of almost $158 million.

At the other end of the scale, remote counties in the foothills and Sierra had the lowest total tax liability, with Yuba, Imperial and Trinity counties having the lowest average tax liability per return. And ZIP codes in Mecca (Riverside County), Huron (Fresno County) and Lamont (Kern) were among about two-dozen ZIP codes with average tax liability of $200 or less.

Next week’s filings also should help answer the question of whether the economy, after more than 90 straight months of post-recession expansion, continues to grow or if there are signs of trouble ahead.

“The downturn is inevitable,” Brown said in January, when he released his latest budget proposal. Others, though, including the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, have suggested the administration’s revenue outlook as overly pessimistic.

Indeed, the analyst’s office believes there’s a strong chance that the state’s tax receipts will put it on track to exceed a voter-approved spending limit for the first time in

30 years, raising the possibility of tax rebates or other measures.

Whoever is right, California’s government will stay heavily reliant on the state income tax to function. It represented more than two-thirds of state general fund revenue in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, with almost 17 percent of that money arriving in April, according to the State Controller’s Office.

In his January spending plan, Brown predicted the state to take in $13.5 billion in April; through Wednesday, the state had received about $2.5 billion this month.

California also remains a major source of income tax revenue for the federal government, with $205 billion in total tax liability in 2014, up from $128 billion in the 2009 tax year.

Want to follow along with the 2016 state returns? Starting Monday, the analyst’s office will post daily income tax collection updates and the California State Controller’s Office also has a daily tracker.

Data Tracker is a regular feature that breaks down the numbers behind today’s news. Explore more trends atsacbee.com/datatracker .

Jim Miller: 916-326-5521, @jimmiller2

Estimated California

$85 BILLION personal income tax revenue in 2016-17.

California personal income

$45.7 BILLION tax revenue in 2009-10 (about $51.5 billion in today’s dollars)

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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