State prisoners are a ‘valuable resource’ on the front lines of Canyon Fire 2

Wearing 60-pound backpacks, a platoon of prisoners marched Wednesday, Oct. 11 along a narrow trail at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange.

Then the dozen or so inched their way up a steep hillside blackened by the devastating Canyon Fire 2.

The mission for the minimum-security inmates from the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp in Valyermo was unglamorous. But it’s essential: Extinguish hot spots and clear brush so the blaze won’t kick up again.

And though their freedom was fleeting, relished the tedious work and the chance to be outdoors.

  • The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew prepares to make their way into the hills to put out hot spots in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew prepares to make their way into the hills to put out hot spots in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew truck parked in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew truck parked in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew makes his way past playground equipment and into the hills to put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew makes his way past playground equipment and into the hills to put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts water on a hot spot on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts water on a hot spot on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts out a hot spot from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts out a hot spot from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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“It’s a real good experience,” said Deshan Heard, a 33-year-old inmate from Los Angeles serving a six-year sentence for robbery. “It’s better than sitting (in the prison) yard. I like getting in there and helping people.”

Fenner Canyon is among 42 conservation camps in 27 counties operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It’s north and west of Mt. San Antonio.

One aim of the camps is to support state and federal agencies with wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. Most of the camps are strategically located in rural areas so inmate crews can respond quickly to emergencies.

Nearly 500 inmates have been assigned to help fight the Canyon Fire 2, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.

“The inmates provide a valuable resource,” he said. “It seeds the march toward our goal of 100-percent containment of this fire.”

Inmates must volunteer to work in fire camps. They also must demonstrate an aptitude for firefighting, have minimum-level custody status, be certified as physically fit and complete two weeks of training.

Inmates who join fire camps have a day shaved from their sentences for every two days they work. They are paid $2 for each day in camp, and $1 an hour while they are on a fire line.

“Getting a $1 hour is huge (for inmates),” said Lt. William Mock, commander of the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp.

The inmates work under the watchful eyes of corrections officers and very few attempt to walk away from fire lines, he added.

“I’m learning new skills,” said Heard, who hopes to become a U.S. Forest Service firefighter when he is paroled in 2018.

Brian Thorne, a 33-year-old inmate from Pasadena, said the fire camp is an adrenaline rush and allows inmates to be of service.

“Usually we fight in jail,” he said. “Now, we have weapons (firefighting tools) to cut down trees and help people.”

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Man pleads guilty to series of Laguna Beach burglaries

NEWPORT BEACH — A 30-year-old man who went on a summer crime spree in Laguna Beach pleaded guilty to committing burglaries and other thefts that authorities say netted him about $200,000 in valuables, court papers obtained Monday, Oct. 9, show.

Edward David Torrison of Oceanside pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of grand theft and one count of receiving stolen property, all felonies, and admitted sentencing enhancement allegations of property damage exceeding $65,000.

Torrison, who is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, admitted his guilt Friday in his second court appearance in the case.

He was arrested Sept. 26 in Oceanside, where he lives with his girlfriend. Police found about $500,000 in stolen jewelry and two loaded guns in the suspect’s residence, according to Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota.

Police were called July 26 about burglaries at the Shops at the Cliffs shopping center, where losses at four stores exceeded $200,000, Cota said. A second suspect shown in surveillance video from one of those burglaries is still at large and remains unidentified, he said.

Police suspect Torrison was involved in other burglaries, as well, Cota said, including a break-in on the north side of Laguna Beach.

After Torrison’s arrest, Laguna police got “phone calls galore” from other law enforcement agencies working to solve similar crimes, Cota said.

Laguna Beach investigators anticipate presenting evidence to prosecutors involving more burglaries, he said.

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Man dies after fight, being run over by car in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA — Santa Ana police were investigating the death of a man who was in a fight and then run over by a car Monday night.

It was just after 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, when officers were called about a pedestrian who had been the victim of a hit and run, said Santa Ana Cmdr. Matt Sorenson.

Once at the scene at Centennial Park on Edinger Avenue, witnesses told investigators they had seen the victim in a fight with another person.

The suspect hit the victim with an unknown object in the upper body and then ran over him with a car, Sorenson said. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Details about the altercation or a description of the suspect were not immediately available.

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Santa Ana creates homeless czar position as it works to combat growing issue

SANTA ANA – As Orange County municipalities take steps to address growing homeless populations within their borders, the city with one of the largest concentrations is doubling down on its efforts to keep the issue from getting even more out of hand.

Santa Ana council members on Tuesday, Sept. 19, unanimously approved a homeless prevention, intervention and mitigation plan and created a city homeless services manager position.

The move comes a year after the council declared the Civic Center a “public health and safety homeless crisis,” and one week after Anaheim City Council declared a public health and safety state of emergency around the expanding homeless population and plans to move them out of the Santa Ana River Trail where they have settled.

“As they do that,” Councilman David Benavides said of Anaheim, “and other cities take that action, the city of Santa Ana will likely become more of a magnet for folks that are being moved, displaced from those areas.”

Santa Ana council members directed staff to improve internal coordination between city agencies providing services and enforcement to the homeless population and enhance coordination with the county, neighboring cities, homeless service providers and faith-based organizations.

The city also wants to develop a legislative package to solicit federal and state assistance for housing, enforcement and social services needs of the homeless.

“I’ve never seen the homeless problem this bad,” Mayor Miguel Pulido said. “They’re sneaking into people’s backyards and spending the night there. In the morning, sometimes they don’t leave. It’s just way, way, way out of control.”

The council amended its fiscal year 2017-18 budget to add the full-time homeless services manager position at a monthly salary ranging from $9,237 to $11,231.

“This has grown to become such a concern that we need one person that is wholly dedicated to helping coordinate city resources and addressing this concern,” Benavides said.

Santa Ana elected officials have long felt other cities, and particularly the county, have not pulled their weight in addressing the homeless crisis. The Courtyard shelter near the Civic Center is one example they point to.

“We’ve got to push back,” Councilman Jose Solorio said. “We are compassionate; we have done quite a bit. The enforcement piece is easy – it’s the housing piece that’s tough and we need to work together as part of a shared responsibility.”

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The man who shot Osama bin Laden tells his story to a packed house at Nixon Library

YORBA LINDA — A thousand people at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum thundered with applause when Robert O’Neill, the retired Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden, took the stage to share his story Wednesday, July 26.

O’Neill’s talk, woven through with a sense of humor that surprised and delighted the audience, focused less on his encounter with bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and more on life lessons from his journey. One of the mentions he made of the incident was simple: “Bin Laden got what he deserved.”

The audience was packed into the library’s East Room, spilling over into the Fred Malek Theater, where a simulcast from the other room was shown.

Seventeen years before his shots pierced bin Laden’s skull, O’Neill was home in Butte, Montana, facing a different struggle: heartbreak. He’d just been dumped by a girl, and he wanted to get out of town. Inspired by his friends in the Marine Corps, he stopped by a recruitment office. As luck would have it, he said, the Marine recruiter wasn’t in the office – but the Navy’s was.

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, laughs as he tells the audience he didn’t know how to swim at the time he signed up for the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, laughs as he tells the audience he didn’t know how to swim at the time he signed up for the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells stories of capturing enemies at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells stories of capturing enemies at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • People gather to photograph Robert O’Neill’s uniform at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    People gather to photograph Robert O’Neill’s uniform at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • A crowd listens as Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A crowd listens as Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, recounts his early days in the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, recounts his early days in the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill’s uniform on display at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill’s uniform on display at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill’s uniform on display at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill’s uniform on display at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer asks a question to Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6, who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer asks a question to Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6, who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells a story about his early days in the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells a story about his early days in the Navy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, is introduced at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, is introduced at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • People listen as Robert O’Neill, the former member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    People listen as Robert O’Neill, the former member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells the audience about SEAL training at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, tells the audience about SEAL training at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, talks about joining the service for a girl at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, talks about joining the service for a girl at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, recounts a mission capturing an enemy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, recounts a mission capturing an enemy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Robert O’Neill, the former member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Robert O’Neill, the former member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who is credited with shooting Osama bin Laden to death, speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill will speak at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum where his uniform is on display. (Courtesy of the Nixon Library)

    Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill will speak at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum where his uniform is on display. (Courtesy of the Nixon Library)

  • Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill’s combat equipment is on public display for the first time at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda on Monday, July 3, 2017. O’Neill was the Navy Special Warfare Operator who took down terrorist Osama bin Laden during a daring raid in 2011.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill’s combat equipment is on public display for the first time at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda on Monday, July 3, 2017. O’Neill was the Navy Special Warfare Operator who took down terrorist Osama bin Laden during a daring raid in 2011.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Facing hellish training that he called “a beat-down for eight months,” O’Neill, 41, said he quickly learned to have a sense of humor in the face of hardship with SEAL Team 6.

“Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. Every single day, smile,” O’Neill said. “Think about this: none of us are getting out of this alive. I don’t believe in statistics, but I happen to be sure 10 out of 10 people die.”

After becoming a Navy SEAL, O’Neill rose to senior chief petty officer and was deployed on more than 400 missions, including two that were made into movies: the 2009 rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips (2013’s “Captain Phillips”) and the 2005 mission to save Marcus Luttrell, a fellow SEAL (“Lone Survivor”).

When his team was given the bin Laden mission, O’Neill said he was sure he wouldn’t be coming back. Before leaving, he left behind a tear-stained letter for his seven-year-old daughter – addressed to her 20 years later, apologizing for missing her wedding.

But O’Neill made it back. Since then, he’s been giving hundreds of speeches around the country and abroad, more recently promoting his newly released memoir “The Operator.” Like his talks, the book goes through O’Neill’s life and shows how his experiences can reveal lessons for others.

The gear O’Neill wore the night he hunted down bin Laden – boots, helmet, bullet-proof vest, all in desert-camouflage – is on public display at the library until the end of July.

Ron Clark, 65 of Diamond Bar, said he was drawn to the talk by two things: memories of 9/11 and the excitement of the day bin Laden was brought to justice.

“It was very inspiring,” Clark said. “I feel a lot of pride to know we have people like that, trained so expertly to do things most of us would never know how to do.”

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Newport Beach neighborhood flooded by compromised seawall

A Newport Beach neighborhood was flooded with up to 2 feet of water Wednesday night after a seawall was damaged by a construction crew, authorities said.

A contractor was doing demolition work at a house in the 500 block of 36th Street on Balboa Peninsula on Wednesday — the time was not given — and accidentally damaged the wall, according to Newport Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian McDonough.

When high tide came in about 8:52 p.m., the water rushed through the compromised sea wall and into the neighborhood.

The top 18 to 24 inches of the seawall was damaged by the construction crew, McDonough said. Water made it into just one home, he said, but about 15 to 20 homes in the Finley Avenue neighborhood off 36th Street had water in their yards. Residents were allowed into their homes, he said.

#BREAKING #NewportBeach neighborhood flooded after seawall is destroyed pic.twitter.com/p2VHRrZz5j

— christina heller (@CHellerTVNews) May 25, 2017

Fire and Municipal Operations department crews worked to pump water away from homes and put up sandbags to keep water out of homes, McDonough said.

When the tide lowers, a temporary seawall will be built out of sandbags until a permanent structure can be built, according to McDonough. The low tide is set to be at 3:47 a.m. Thursday, according to AccuWeather.

36th Street was closed to traffic between Short Street and Finley Avenues, but has since reopened, McDonough said.

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Tustin police shoot man after standoff; his condition unknown

TUSTIN — A man in his car was shot by police Tuesday night, after a nearly two-hour standoff during which he displayed a handgun and ultimately fired on officers, police said.

The man’s condition is unknown. After the shooting, officers gave the man medical aid before an ambulance took him to a local hospital, said Lt. Bob Wright of the Tustin Police Department.

No officers were injured.

Police responded to a call of a suicidal man around 7 p.m. in the 16200 block of Main Street and, when they arrived, found the man sitting in his car in an alleyway behind an apartment complex, Wright said. The complex appeared to be the Tustin Parc apartments, which are just south of the Santa Ana Zoo and Prentice Park.

When officers tried to contact him, the man displayed a handgun and a standoff ensued at 8:56 p.m., with multiple officers arriving as backup.

“Nearly our entire department responded,” Wright said.

Officers tried talking to the man, whose name and age is unknown, and issued verbal commands for “a couple of hours” asking him to surrender,  Wright said.

The man then fired off several rounds at the officers, Wright added, and the officers returned fire. It is unknown how many times the man was shot.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has been notified about the shooting, Wright said. Per policy, the D.A.’s Office will investigate whether the officers were justified in shooting the man.

At this point, none of the officers involved have been put on administrative leave or desk duty, as is common practice after police shootings, Wright said.

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Medical marijuana gets reprieve from feds in spending bill

Medical marijuana advocates are relieved that a bipartisan spending deal to fund the government through September also extended an amendment that protects them from federal prosecution.

The so-called Rohrabacher-Farr amendment blocks the Department of Justice from spending money on medical marijuana prosecutions. If growers and dispensaries carefully follow state rules, they shouldn’t have to worry about the feds coming after them.

The amendment, however, does not apply to the recreational use of marijuana, which California approved through Proposition 64 in November, and which remains vulnerable to federal prosecution. And, while it offers short-term security to medical marijuana patients and business owners, it doesn’t provide long-term security for the industry, which feels increasingly threatened under the Trump Administration.

In 2014 and 2015, With that measure in place, federal authorities have largely let states carry out their own marijuana legalization schemes even though cannabis remains illegal nationally.

If Congress hadn’t re-authorized the amendment Sunday as part of a short-term spending package, those protections would have expired.

The protection — which also covers the hemp industry — extends until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Advocates of medical cannabis said they were pleased that Congress is maintaining the status quo.

“We are happy to see common sense prevail and for Congress to continue to respect states’ rights as it relates to medical marijuana,” said Mitchell Kulick, partner at the law firm Feuerstein Kulick LLP of New York City, which works with the cannabis industry. “We believe that the extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment will allow medical marijuana businesses to continue to serve patients in a responsible manner.”

Medical marijuana advocate Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, also applauded the move, though he cautioned that it’s only a temporary fix.

“Medical marijuana patients and the businesses that support them now have a measure of certainty,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “But this annual challenge must end. We need permanent protections for state-legal medical marijuana programs, as well as adult-use.”

Now that Farr has retired from office, an effort to include language in the 2018 spending bill that protects medical marijuana states from federal protection is known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. It maintains strong backing from Rohrabacher, who uses medical marijuana topicals himself to treat arthritis.

Advocates said such measures are more important than ever since Trump appointed marijuana opponent Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The threat of a crackdown under Sessions still looms, though the spending deal reached Sunday keeps it at bay for the time being.

“Stopping federal agencies from interrupting voter-approved state medical marijuana laws is the first step in ending the prohibition of cannabis,” said Derek Peterson, CEO of Irvine’s Terra Tech. “Without this provision, the industry could potentially be exposed to the risk of federal raids.”

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