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Reading judge sentences three Inergy protesters to jail

    READING—Three Inergy protesters were each sentenced to 15 days in county jail by the Reading town judge, Wednesday, April 17, for not paying trespassing fines.
    A total of 12 people were charged with trespassing, Monday, March 18, following a protest in Reading of Inergy's plans to build a liquid petroleum and natural gas storage facility.  The April 17 court appearance was for Sandra Steingraber, Trumansburg resident and biologist; Melissa Chipman, Hector resident and business owner; and Michael Dineen, Ovid resident and farm owner.
    Each pleaded guilty and refused to pay the $375 tresspassing fines.  Five of the other protesters have already appeared in court and paid the $375 fines with financial support from community members.
    Prior to the April 17 court date, Gas Free Seneca and Inergy protesters held a rally at the Seneca Harbor Park in Watkins Glen.  In a prepared statement, Steingraber said Inergy's plans threaten the Finger Lakes' environment and community.  She added trespassing was an act of civil disobedience and "I am willing to go to jail."
    Another three protesters will appear in Reading court, Wednesday, May 1.


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