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the Valley TODAY

Two arraigned in eco-arsons


Two of the eleven people indicted on charges they were part of a cell known as &

The Family&

that set a string of arsons from 1996 to 2001 claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Magistrate Thomas Coffin entered innocent pleas on behalf of Suzanne Savoie of Applegate and Kendall Tankersley, formerly known as Sarah Harvey, of Flagstaff, Ariz. Savoie worked in a group home for the developmentally disabled in Ashland. Tankersley worked at Northern Arizona University and was trying to get into medical school.

Both women face charges of conspiracy, which allege that they were part of a group still planning to carry out more attacks.

Savoie, who turned herself in to the FBI last week and has known she was under suspicion since December, is accused of being the lookout in the 2001 firebombing of the Superior Lumber Co.&

s offices in Glendale. A bail hearing was scheduled for Tuesday. Tankersley is accused of being the lookout for the 1998 firebombing of the now-defunct U.S. Forest Industries offices in Medford. Arrested last December in Flagstaff, Ariz., she is free on $250,000 bail. The women were the first to be arraigned on a 65-count indictment handed up last week. Six others in custody will be arraigned over the next week. Three others remain at large, and authorities believe they are out of the country.

Schools chief talks on CIM, CAM

Some Southern Oregon school superintendents worry that a proposal to scrap the state&

s high school achievement certificates could reduce academic standards.

School district officials from Grants Pass to Klamath Falls met in Medford Monday to discuss the issue with state schools Superintendent Susan Castillo, who has proposed eliminating the certificates of initial mastery and advanced mastery.



m concerned we will lose high standards for kids,&

said Phil Long, Medford School District superintendent.

Devised in 1991, the CIM is a voluntary certificate for students who pass 10th-grade state tests in reading, math, writing and science and provide work samples in writing, math and public speaking. The CAM, which has not been fully implemented, would require students to pass the CIM and participate in job shadowing and other career-related education. Castillo noted that only one-third of students in the state earn the CIM; it is not tied to graduation, colleges do not consider it in admissions and businesses do not require it for employment.

The State Board of Education is reviewing graduation and diploma standards, including the CIM and CAM. They are expected to present proposals for changes next spring and a final recommendation to the state Legislature in 2007, Castillo said.

Talent cell tower center of debate

A proposed 60-foot cell tower east of Talent could destroy property values and pose health risks, neighboring residents told a Jackson County hearings officer Monday.

More than a dozen residents showed up to challenge a tentative approval of the tower by the county Planning Department, appealing the decision to county Hearings Officer Donald Rubinstein. Verizon Wireless has proposed building the tower on property owned by Calvin Hayes and located almost adjacent to Interstate 5 on Suncrest Road. Hayes said he will receive about $1,000 a month to have the tower on his land. Payne Road resident Kacey Dewing broke into tears describing her fears about the health effects of prolonged exposure to the tower, particularly on her children.

County Planner Robert Ivy said that one of the reasons the cell antennas are raised off the ground is to provide a good line-of-sight signal. Also, he said, &


re raised to minimize health concerns.&

Portland attorney Christopher Koback, representing Hayes, said, &

There is a misconception about what this radiates.&

Only a few cell towers throughout the country have microwave dishes on them, but this one doesn&

t, he said. &

This does not radiate microwaves,&

said Koback.


Staff and wire reports