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Investigation leads to huge pot bust

A three-month investigation resulted in the discovery of more than 7,000 mature marijuana plants valued at $15 million growing at two sites in a remote part of Owyhee County, authorities said.

The Idaho State Police and Owyhee County sheriff’s office found the plants Wednesday, and they were burned Thursday.

ISP Lt. Jack Catlin said authorities also seized 125 pounds of processed marijuana at a house in Nampa.

Owyhee County Sheriff Gary Aman said wilderness marijuana growing operations typically are backed by large criminal organizations.

“These people are destroying our public lands, and we’re seeing that throughout the entire West,” Aman said. “It puts legal users of the land at risk. These people have no conscience when it comes to the destruction of our lands.”

One person was taken into custody, police said, but noted others are likely involved.


Oregon to create wave energy site

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a five-year, $6.25 million grant to Oregon State University to establish an ocean energy research center in Newport.

The money will supplement other funding to create a $13.5 million pool for what has been dubbed the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

Some of the money will pay for a floating research berth off the coast at Newport where scientists can investigate the impact of wave energy devices on marine life.

Oregon already is a recognized leader in wave energy research, a largely unexplored field considered by many to have huge potential for renewable energy.

Some fishermen worry that the wave energy devices could harm fishing grounds.


Man gets midnight snack, trip to jail

A man is charged with burglary after someone broke into a home, ate cheese from the refrigerator, made a mess in a bathroom and fell asleep on a child’s bed.

Tracy Mullins, 47, of Billings, was arraigned in District Court on Thursday. He pleaded not guilty to burglary. Judge Susan Watters set bail at $5,000 after rejecting a request that Mullins be released without bail. Public defender Richard Phillips, who made the request, said Mullins had been receiving mental-health counseling.

Court records indicate a woman awoke in her home Monday at 8:30 a.m. to the sound of snoring coming from her 2-year-old son’s bedroom. Her son had slept that night with her and her husband.

The woman said she found a strange man sleeping in her son’s bed. She woke her husband and left to call police from a neighbor’s house. The husband confronted the man with an unloaded shotgun and held him until police arrived.