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Dundee woman goes to jail for protesting

    READING—Susan Walker, Dundee resident, was sent to jail, Wednesday, Sept. 19, after refusing to pay a $275 fine in Reading town court.
    The court appearance and fine stemmed from trespassing charges against three people who were protesting the proposed Inergy gas storage facility, Thursday, Sept. 6.  The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department arrested Hector resident Jeremy Alderson and Burdett resident Gary Judson, who were chained to the entrance of U.S. Salt’s property on Route 14.  Walker was also present and refused to leave after the sheriff told them they were trespassing.
    Sheriff Bill Yessman said Walker and Judson both pled guilty to the trespassing charges.  He added Judson paid the $275 fine.  Yessman explained Alderson asked for and received an adjournment.  There were around 100 people at the Sept. 19 court appearance.  Yessman said he expects the same amount at Alderson’s next court date.
    Walker was sent to Chemung County Jail following the court’s decision.  Yessman explained the Schuyler County Jail does not have the facilities to house female inmates.  A vigil was planned at the Chemung jail by people supporting Walker last Saturday, Sept. 22.
    Yessman added the sentence was for 15 days, but she could be out in 10 for good behavior, by Friday, Sept. 28.  Yessman said besides Walker, the only other people being penalized are the taxpayers.  He said having to send her to Chemung County Jail costs the county around $800.
    Nearly a dozen people were protesting at the Route 14 entrance to the U.S. Salt property for over two hours before the arrests were made.  Yessman gave the protesters a 15 minute warning saying anyone still in front of the fence would be arrested.  He explained the three were in violation of trespassing on private land.


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