2 take plea deal in illegal Ore. dam case

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Two former neighbors have been sentenced to pay fines and environmental contributions totaling more than $12,000 after pleading guilty to illegally dumping up to 10 truckloads of boulders into a side channel of the McKenzie River in 2008.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/rcdYKO ) that both apologized at sentencing Monday.

Developer Geraldine Betz said she was trying to help a neighbor with flood problems. The other defendant was Stephen Ponder, who was a University of Oregon journalism professor and now lives in Colorado.

A state wildlife investigator reported finding a rock and log structure 6 to 8 feet tall and extending 60 feet across the channel. He estimated in 2008 that it was blocking up to three-quarters of the channel's flow, stranding fish and damaging salmon spawning areas.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com