Thomas Mitchell : Ownership of land better than paltry PILT payouts

It is that time of year again, when counties in Nevada and across the West squat on the street corner with their tin alms cups extended anxiously awaiting the tinkling sound of a few coins from the federal till — otherwise known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).

Since 1977 Congress has parsimoniously paid out pennies on the acre to local governments to make up for the land the federal government controls but on which it pays no local property taxes. Since 85 percent of Nevada land is controlled by various federal agencies that is a lot of property tax to forgo.

Just a few weeks ago the Trump administration budget for this year proposed limiting PILT funding to an average of the most recent 10 years or about $397 million, but this past week in Pahrump Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke announced at a meeting with various Nevada officials that the PILT largesse this year will be $464.6 million, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. The about-face was roundly ignored.

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Refuge occupier Eric Lee Flores sentenced to 2 years’ probation, 5 months’ home detention

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Eric Lee Flores to two years of probation, including five months of home detention, for his role in the January 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Flores, 23, was the second defendant to plead guilty on June 9, 2016, admitting he conspired to impede federal employees from carrying out their work at the federal wildlife sanctuary in Harney County through intimidation, threat or force.

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$10,000 Reward Offered For Info In The Bundy Trial Just The Beginning Of Effort To Obtain Justice

$10,000 Reward Offered For Info In The Bundy Trial Just The Beginning Of Effort To Obtain Justice

 
This plan was conceived in order to see that Justice is afforded to the Bundy family, others who came to the Bundy Ranch in 2014 to support them, and journalist Pete Santilli. Pete and the Bundys have been held without bail in maximum security federal custody since the day the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge came to an end with the violent killing of LaVoy Finicum and the arrest of the members of the Bundy family and their supporters.
 

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A Federal Court Asks Jurors to Confront Their Hidden Biases

But is a novel video tutorial the best way? The jury is still out.

There’s something of a formula to the first morning of jury duty. It might involve a refresher on differences between civil and criminal cases, a little bit of shuffling between rooms, and a lot of waiting around in a generously named “Jury Lounge.” But in one federal district, the customary civics lessons for jurors have been given a twist to alert them to the hidden biases they might bring into the courtroom.The source is an 11-minute video — believed to be the first of its kind — that since March has been shown to every prospective juror in the two federal courthouses, in Seattle and Tacoma, that serve the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

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A bullet hole, a mystery and an FBI agent’s indictment — the messy aftermath of the Oregon refuge standoff

The shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on a snowy Oregon highway on Jan. 26, 2016, was one of those instant American dramas in which every photo, every eyewitness account and every millisecond of video become forensic evidence in a public debate over whether someone deserved to die at the hands of police.

In classic fashion, two sides examined the same evidence and saw two different things. To the government, Finicum, 55, was reaching for a loaded gun in his jacket after speeding away from a traffic stop, and the shooting by Oregon State Police troopers was justified.

To thousands of antigovernment activists across the country, the Arizona rancher was a folk hero who became a martyr when, in their view, he was ambushed — shot in the back without a gun in his hand — by overaggressive law enforcement officials who were trying to crush the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

But when it came to one mysterious piece of evidence in the case, the two sides were bothered by the same question: Where did the bullet hole in the roof of Finicum’s truck come from?

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LaVoy Finicum shooting: Indictment of agent ‘devastating’ for FBI

An indictment accusing an FBI agent of lying to hide that he fired two shots at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and missed caps an 18-month investigation that began with Oregon sheriff’s detectives who followed “where the evidence led,” their commander said Wednesday.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson credited his investigators for their tenaciousness and said he was “disappointed and angry” that the FBI agent’s alleged deceit and actions “damage the integrity of the entire law enforcement profession.”

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Prosecution of FBI agents is rare

The pursuit of criminal charges against an FBI agent for allegedly lying about firing his gun at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum in January 2016 is a rare occurrence.

Only a fraction of the FBI’s agents have ever faced prosecution for alleged malfeasance on the job. Currently, the FBI employs about 13,000 agents.

Among those convicted in the past few years are a Los Angeles-area agent who stole drug money to pay for cars and plastic surgery; an agent who fed his drug addiction by stealing heroin seized as evidence; and a high-ranking agent who perjured himself about his dealings with a Boston gangster.

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FBI agent indicted for alleged false statements in LaVoy Finicum shooting

An FBI agent has been indicted on federal accusations that he lied about firing at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum last year as police arrested the leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.

The agent will face allegations of making a false statement with intent to obstruct justice, according to sources familiar with the case.

The indictment stems from a more than year-long investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice. The agent will be identified when he’s summoned to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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Interior Secretary Zinke says he’ll tour Nevada national monuments in July

PAHRUMP — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke didn’t stop at any national monuments during his first official visit to Nevada, but he promised to return for a tour of Gold Butte and Basin and Range before the end of July.

During an event in Pahrump on Monday, Zinke said he wants to see the two Nevada monuments from the ground and talk to stakeholders before he decides whether the designations should be reduced, rescinded or left intact.

He said he doesn’t have any “preconceived ideas” about the two Obama-era monuments, though he indicated that his recent recommendations on Bears Ears National Monument in Utah provide a blueprint for what might happen here.

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Judge places Oregon refuge occupier Geoffrey Stanek on home detention, 2 years probation

“You’re free to think what you choose, but your conduct crossed the line,” the judge said. “I need to be sure you won’t take it upon yourself to answer that type of call again. … You need to put this chapter behind you. You need to respect the law, whether you agree with it or not.”The judge said she considered that Stanek entered a guilty plea early to a federal conspiracy charge last year and that he didn’t withdraw his plea after occupation leaders who went to trial were acquitted last fall. The fact that he heeded the FBI’s request that he and others leave the refuge the night of Jan. 26, 2016, after the arrests of Ammon Bundy and others leaders, also worked in his favor, the judge said.

“On the other hand, you were part of the problem,” Brown told Stanek.

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#STAND in Las Vegas on July15th to Have Roger Stone and Other Special Guests

We are so proud of the work being done for the STAND event to be held here in Las Vegas this July 15th!! From 10:00 AM to 2:00 Pm a rally to kick off the event – lead by American Freedom Warriors & aligned with groups from across the Country Like Come & Take It Texas – will be front & center in downtown Las Vegas at the Federal Courthouse.

This rally promises to be the biggest and loudest protest to bring local awareness to the Bundy Political Prisoners – to date!

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Nevada’s Laxalt joins suit to support sanctuary cities order

Laxalt on Friday joined a 10-state coalition of attorneys general in filing the brief in the federal District Court of San Francisco. The brief urges the court to dismiss a California-based challenge to the federal government’s January executive order pertaining to sanctuary cities.

The case is an opportunity to remedy the threat that California’s “sanctuary cities” pose to Nevada safety, Laxalt’s office said.

“Sanctuary cities in California endanger Nevadans, especially given their close proximity to us,” Laxalt said. “In some cases these cities refuse federal requests to temporarily detain illegal aliens with violent criminal histories and instead release these felons into communities that — under federal law — they have no right to be in.

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KrisAnne Hall : Official Statement Regarding Federal Hypocrisy in Oregon

protest last year.  The organizers of the Rainbow Family gathering have obtained no permit for their event and, according to Capitol Press, are already have an impact on the environment of the Preserve.
 
The Rainbow Family Gathering in Oregon should make federal government hypocrisy undeniably evident.  Many who are angry at this double standard are saying that there is no difference between this event and the rancher protest that occurred last year.  However, there is one big difference, and it’s this difference that is the reason for the federal government’s double standard.

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A New Paradigm of Legally Owning a Gun – Legally owning a gun in America could get you killed by a government agent

While it still technically remains legal to own a firearm in America, possessing one can now get you pulled over, searched, arrested, subjected to all manner of surveillance, treated as a suspect without ever having committed a crime, shot at and killed.

This same rule does not apply to government agents, however, who are armed to the hilt and rarely given more than a slap on the wrists for using their weapons to shoot and kill American citizens.

According to the Washington Post, “1 in 13 people killed by guns are killed by police.”

Just recently, for example, a Minnesota jury acquitted a police officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop merely because Castile disclosed that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a lawful conceal-and-carry permit. That’s all it took for police to shoot Castile four times as he was reaching for his license and registration. Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter witnessed the entire exchange.

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Ranchers fume as ‘Rainbow Family’ set to camp on federal land in Oregon

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged there isn’t much it can do about a “Rainbow Family” gathering expected to bring thousands of counter-culture types to the Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon over the next two weeks.

The organizers don’t have a permit, and the Forest Service’s response to that has angered area residents such as rancher Loren Stout, who lives near the gathering spot and has a federal grazing permit on land adjacent to it.

He said the Forest Service would punish ranchers if they ignored permit requirements and tapped a spring for drinking water like the Rainbow Family has done. Stout said it took him two years to get a National Environmental Policy Act permit to drill an exploratory mining hole.

“People are furious over this,” Stout said. “Not because it’s a friggin’ bunch of hippies, it’s the different standards.”

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Probation sentence expected for Oregon refuge occupier Geoffrey Stanek

Geoffrey Stanek, who pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy last year in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, should not face a sentence longer than the one-year probation given to three co-defendants who were allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, his lawyer argues.

Stanek, 27, wasn’t at the refuge takeover from the start and didn’t stay until the end, like co-defendants Sean and Sandra Anderson who were among the last holdouts before their Feb. 11, 2016 surrender. The Anderson couple and co-defendant Dylan Anderson avoided a trial by pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge of trespass this winter and were sentenced to one year of probation.

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