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An Oregon man is expected to spend a month in jail after being convicted on nine misdemeanor charges related to his illegal use of…water. Gary Harrington was sentenced after being found guilty of illegally collecting water on his own rural property.
Harrington, of Eagle Point, Oregon, has been fighting for his right to do what he wishes with water since 2002. Now more than a decade after he first defended himself over allegations that the man-made ponds on his 170 acres of land violated local law, Harrington has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars and fined over $1,500.
Authorities say that Harrington broke the law by collecting natural rain water and snow runoff that landed on his property. Officials with the Medford Water Commission contested that the water on Harrington’s property, whether or not it came from the sky, was considered a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek and thus subject to a 1925 law that gives the MWC full ownership and rights. Therefore prosecutors were able to argue in court — successfully — that three homemade fishing and boating ponds in Harrington’s backyard violated the law.
For filling “three illegal reservoirs” on his property with runoff water, Harrington has been convicted on nine misdemeanor charges in Circuit Court. He says he will attempt to appeal, but as long as the conviction stands to serve 30 days of imprisonment. He has also been sentenced to an additional three years of probation.
“Thirty days in jail for catching rainwater?” Harrington tells the Mail Tribune. “We live in an extreme wildfire area and here the government is going to open the valves and really waste all the water right now, at the start of peak fire season.”
“When it comes to the point where a rural landowner can’t catch rainwater that falls on his land to protect his property, it’s gone too far,” he adds to the Associated Press. “This should serve as a dire warning to all pond owners.”
Taking his outrage to CNS News, Harrington says that others should be fearful of how they could come after attack next. In his own case, he was issued permits in 2003 by the state that allowed him to do what he wished with the water on his own property. And although the state Water Resources Department saw no fault at first, they shortly after revoked that license and left Harrington to fight for another nine years.
“The government is bullying. They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough,” he tells CNS.
“This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he insists.
So now we can’t even collect rain water on our own property for personal use?!! I do not understand why this would be illegal and why they would even care what he did with rain water. Is this just a control issue or are they afraid others might get this idea and decide not to pay for county water services? Things are quickly going over the edge in this country and we need to start paying attentions and do whatever is necessary to stop this slide into a complete police state.
Walton Henry Butler, a 59-year-old white male, was arrested after he admitted shooting Everett Gant with a .22 rifle. Butler was charged with attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement.
Gant, an African-American, is in stable condition at Bay Medical Center.
According to the arresting affidavit, an incident occurred earlier in the day when a Pamela Rogers came to Butler’s apartment in the Pine Ridge Apartment complex on Garrison Avenue in Port St. Joe with a child in tow. Butler immediately used a racial slur to refer to the child.
Investigators discovered that Butler had been making similar racial slurs to other children in the complex during recent days.
Rogers became upset and left Butler’s apartment and Gant went to Butler’s apartment to discuss the comments.
Upon arriving at the apartment, Butler shot Gant between the eyes and shut his sliding glass door, leaving Everett to bleed outside the door.
Butler called 911, finished cooking supper, sat down and began eating. Nugent arrived on the scene and contacted Butler by phone, at which time Butler told Nugent to come in, he was eating dinner and had put up the gun.
Nugent said Butler acted as if inconvenienced when put under arrest, saying he could not understand the problem as “he had only shot a ni**er.”
Butler was in the Gulf County Jail after first appearance this morning.
This was 2012 people.
It happened this fucking year.
But go on ahead and tell me about how we live in a “post-racial society.”
Tell me all about how race doesn’t matter anymore.
Explain to me how electing this country’s first black president solved all our race issues.
Tell me about how the word “nigger” doesn’t mean “black person” anymore.
Explain all this shit to me like I’m a god damn toddler.
Please. I’m waiting…