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California Fines Homeowners $18K Over Landscaping Blunder

And it was all thanks to a nosy neighbor.

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Americans, as a population, have long been concerned with just how free they are.  This was a nation that was founded on the idea that the government itself should be “of the people” – a novel idea at the time – and we’ve had to work diligently in order to keep this ethos alive in recent years.

And government overreach is everywhere; from executive orders that shut down entire industries in one fell swoop, to a city council determine whether or not 11:30am is too early for someone to order a mimosa on Sunday.

These incidents even extend to our own homes, where regulations and ordinances can have an impact on how we treat the property that we own.

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In California, one couple is learning this lesson in a rather expensive way.

A California couple looking to build a home on a plot of land they own uprooted 36 Joshua trees to make room for it—and ended up fined $18,000 as a result. Joshua trees, which are not actually trees but succulents technically named Yucca brevifolia, are imperiled, their numbers dwindling due to extreme weather caused by climate change, fire, and damage to Joshua Tree National Park that occurred during the government shutdown that ended in January 2019. They are being considered for protection under California’s endangered species act, and it is already illegal in the state to disturb, replant, or remove them, the Guardian reports. Taking a Joshua tree is punishable by up to $4,100 in fines plus six months behind bars.

And, in a turn of events that only makes the story more frustrating, it was a nosy neighbor that set the whole chain of events into motion.
A neighbor noticed the couple uprooting the plants with a tractor back in February and warned them that it was illegal, then called the Department of Fish & Wildlife to report what was going on. A state wildlife officer responded to the scene and found the trees felled, and buried in a recently dug and refilled hole on the Morongo Basin property, the Hi-Desert Starreports.
The couple has stated that the removal was a mistake, and had believed that specimens of a certain size were allowed to be culled.
The homeowners will have their fines reduced and charges dropped should they complete a certain amount of work with a local Joshua Tree charity.

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Shocking Video Shows Mob of Rampaging New York Teen Attacking Firefighter Out Walking His Dog

A shocking video shows a group of up to 100 New York teenagers attacking and beating a city firefighter who was out walking his dog in Queens.

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A shocking video shows a group of up to 100 New York teenagers attacking and beating a city firefighter who was out walking his dog in Queens. The 44-year-old fireman was out walking his Labradoodle named “Dylan” last week when he saw a large group of teens setting off illegal fireworks and jumping a fence around a private daycare center just before 10 p.m. on Friday. The thus far unnamed fireman said he went over to the group of up to 100 teens to ask them to stop what they were doing because fireworks are illegal in the city. Instead of listening to the first responder, though, the kids went from boastful and confrontational, to outright violent. “One kid took his shirt off and said, ‘It’s Fight Night!’ He said he was 19 and said, ‘I could fight you.’ Everyone took their cell phones out. There were cell phones everywhere,” the fireman told the New York Post. “They all came at me…A kid came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a bottle and I let go of the dog.” The violent teens surrounded and attacked the man like a pack of rabid dogs. “They didn’t care at all. The kids were going crazy. They were as high as a kite,” the beating victim said. “I got hit, turned around, that’s when the kids started coming at me.” The New York Police Dept. confirmed that the man had a bottle smashed upside his head and that he was severely beaten by the mob. Locals report that the park area has become a location for violence, drug use, and disruption. Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Iowa Racetrack Announcer Thrills Crowd by Slamming Anthem Protesters, then Gets Fired

An announcer for an Iowa racetrack thrilled the home crowd with a rant against national anthem protesters, but his bosses were less accepting.

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An announcer for an Iowa racetrack thrilled the home crowd with a rant against national anthem protesters, but his bosses were less accepting. Video of announcer Lon Oelke’s rant was broadcast live on FloRacing, but once it was posted to social media it went viral. Some were upset over the announcer’s reference to “darker toned skin people.” After complaints filed in, the The Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa, announced that it had fired the announcer who was a fill-in announcer and not full-time. “It was not OK, and it will not be happening again,” the company said in a statement. “Kossuth County Speedway looks forward to proving to our fans, drivers and crews that we can and will do better.” During his announcement, Oelke told fans that he had a public service announcement. “I’ve got four words for you: Find a different country if you won’t do it,” he said. “Get the hell out of dodge!” He went on to slam the NFL. “Now they’re gonna have another national anthem, for those folks, I guess the darker toned skin color, I’ll just say, Blacks,” Oelke added. “They want a different national anthem and the NFL is thinking about doing it,” he said. “So, I just say shut the TVs off and let them play in front of nobody.” https://youtu.be/5GeJkeXW6pI Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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