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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

In drought, water war in California fought underground

Saturday, 07 September 2013 08:56 Published in National News

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Throughout central California, a water war is quietly being fought underground.

Farmers, residents and urban water districts have seen their wells go dry because the water table has fallen so low. Those who can afford it have been drilling deeper wells that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Experts say groundwater supplies have been strained by growing city populations and hundreds of square miles of new orchards and vineyards.

Exacerbating the problem is a second consecutive dry year, as well as cutbacks of surface water shipped to farms and cities from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Climate change is putting additional pressure on aquifers.

Experts worry groundwater is becoming unaffordable — and that overuse could cause serious land subsidence, damaging infrastructure such as roads.

Border communities say Washington debate misguided

Saturday, 07 September 2013 08:53 Published in National News

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ranchers, deputies and lawmakers from states along the U.S.-Mexico border have long pleaded for federal help, saying their areas were overrun by people entering the country illegally and armed smugglers.

But today there is growing opposition along the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to more agents and fences.

The Border Mayors Association says hours-long waits at crossings have cost the region billions by deterring Mexican shoppers and delaying U.S. shipments.

Border mayors favor expanding "trusted traveler" programs that give passes to pre-vetted crossers, digital fingerprinting and other technology to make ports of entry more secure.

Congress hasn't addressed those ideas.

A far-reaching immigration bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate in June calls for an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and 700 miles of fencing.

The Republican-controlled House favors tackling immigration with single-issue bills, starting with border security.

Missouri man facing additional charges for HIV exposure

Saturday, 07 September 2013 08:52 Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A rural Missouri man charged with infecting another man with HIV is now facing charges that accuse him of risking infection to three other partners.

Stoddard County prosecutor Russell Oliver said Friday that 36-year-old David Mangum of Dexter, Missouri is now facing 21 additional counts for having unprotected sex with three men without telling them he was HIV-positive.

Mangum is jailed without bond. His attorney did not respond to interview requests.

Mangum was arrested last month after a man with whom he'd been intimate tested positive and alerted police. The new counts are a lesser charge because the new accusers are not HIV-positive.

Mangum claims he had sexual contact with as many as 300 people since being diagnosed a decade ago. He moved to Missouri two years ago from Dallas, Texas.

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