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Woman pleads guilty to defacing rocks at 7 national parks

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A San Diego woman who painted and drew on treasured natural rock formations at national parks across the West and shared her work on social media has pleaded guilty to defacing government property.

Twenty-three-year-old Casey Nocket pleaded guilty Monday in a federal court in Fresno, California to seven misdemeanors for the fall of 2014 painting spree at seven national parks including Yosemite in California and Zion in Utah.

She also admitted to defacing rocks at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Nocket used Instagram and Tumblr to document her graffiti-like work, which led to outrage on social media.

She was sentenced to two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service. A later hearing will determine how much restitution she must pay.


Oregon town braces for recall election after standoff

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Voters in a rural Oregon town are receiving ballots in the mail for a recall election targeting a judge who opposed the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge earlier this year.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty decided to fight the recall even though he is retiring this year.

The recall has stirred passions in Burns, which held the national spotlight for weeks during the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Ammon Bundy and others occupied the refuge this winter to protest federal land policy and the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers sent to prison for starting fires.

Though his title is judge, Grasty’s position is essentially chairman of the county commission.

The recall election is June 28.


Woman determined competent to stand trial in toddler’s death

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman charged with killing one daughter and injuring another at Cannon Beach has been found competent to stand trial.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Jessica Smith was evaluated at the Oregon State Hospital in May to determine if she could understand the nature of the court proceedings. Her attorneys filed documents in court Monday, saying a report from the hospital determined she is competent to aid and assist in her defense.

A Clatsop County judge had ordered the evaluation after finding reason to doubt Smith’s mental fitness based on a suicide attempt in jail and an inconclusive report from a court-appointed psychologist.

The Vancouver woman has pleaded not guilty to murder in the 2014 drowning of her toddler and not guilty to attempted murder in the slashing of her teenager.



Medford reveals that lead pipes found in water system

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Medford Water Commission says it has discovered several lead pipes in the city water system, but that testing still shows the water is safe to drink.

The Mail Tribune reports that commission board Chairman Leigh Johnson says the board became aware of lead fittings in the system about a month ago.

Commission spokeswoman Sara Bristol says an estimated four lead connectors known as “pigtails” have been removed in the past three years. She says the commission doesn’t keep track of where the pigtails are located and how many have been replaced.

Commissioners say testing has shown no elevated lead levels in the city’s water system, but they’re recommending residents run their water for 30 seconds to two minutes before drinking.

The commission is seeking further analysis of the system.



Orlando shooting: Oregon bridge to be lit in rainbow colors

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland will be lit in rainbow colors Monday night to honor victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Multnomah County operates the bridge that spans the Willamette River. It occasionally lights the bridge in different colors to honor important events and sports teams such as the Oregon Ducks and Portland Trail Blazers.

In April, the county lit the bridge purple to honor Prince.

The bridge featured a rainbow lighting display last year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

The rainbow colors had already been slated to return for the city’s annual Pride weekend, which starts Friday.


Baker County considers allowing mining of dredge tailings

(Information from: Baker City Herald,

BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon county is considering proposals from companies interested in mining for gold in dredge tailings on county-owned land.

The Baker City Herald reports that several mining companies have previously contacted Baker County about the 1,900 acres of tailings east of Sumpter. Their interest was spurred by record-high gold prices in 2011.

Gold prices have dropped since then, and the county received no responses to a solicitation sent in 2013.

County Commission Chairman Bill Harvey says the situation interested parties have again contacted Baker County about the dredge tailings, although he would not name them.

Commissioners asked the county official who oversaw the 2013 effort to gather more information and present it at a future meeting.

Some commissioners have raised concern the environmental effects of such mining.



Bend horse sanctuary struggles to keep stable doors open

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A horse sanctuary in Bend is fighting to keep the gates to its pastures open.

The Bulletin reports that Equine Outreach is halfway to its goal of raising $62,500 after six months of fundraising. The nonprofit’s founder Joan Steelhammer began the campaign after finding out the lease on Equine Outreach’s 20-acre property would go up about $1,000 a month.

Equine Outreach Board President Woody Dow says the $38,000 already raised is a good amount, and that he hopes the organization will meet its goal.

The group currently cares for 76 horses. The Crook County Sheriff’s Office often will bring horses or mules that have been seized from their owners for neglect to Equine Outreach.

Steelhammer says she is confident the horse sanctuary will raise enough money.



Oregon man sentenced for injuring dog with arrow

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for shooting his neighbor’s dog with an arrow.

Clackamas County court records show 46-year-old Dennis Lambeth of Canby was convicted of second-degree animal abuse. Besides the jail time, he must attend anger management classes and have no contact with the neighbor or her dog.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the neighbor called police in April after finding the arrow lodged behind the shoulder of her miniature Australian Shepherd. The dog named Porter survived.




Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.