Ex-Ashland council member charged in protest

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ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A former city council member in Ashland who led a protest against the expansion of Mount Ashland Ski Area has been accused of interfering with police and disorderly conduct.

The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Eric Navickas (nuh-VI-kuhs) is due in court July 19.

The protest was June 28 on Ashland's plaza.

Police say an officer stepped in and started to arrest Navickas after protesters walked down the street without the proper permit. Once they returned to the sidewalk, says Chief Terry Holderness, the officer let Navickas go.

Navickas says he's been involved in protests in the Ashland streets before, and the police overreacted. He says another protest is planned next week against the ski expansion, which environmentalists oppose.

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Information from: The Ashland Daily Tidings, http://www.dailytidings.com