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Quarry suit

(AP) -- California environmentalists are suing Fresno County in an effort to block the proposed 886-acre Carmelita mine rock quarry project near Reedley.

The Board of Supervisors approved the quarry last month after a contentious seven-hour hearing.

Friends of the Kings River say in Tuesday's lawsuit that planners did not keep the region's best interests in mind when they considered potential problems, such as groundwater drawdown, air pollution and traffic.

The quarry is near the Kings River.

The Fresno Bee said the county contends the mine is sorely needed to provide rock for the region's future, including new homes, roads and the proposed San Joaquin Valley section of a high-speed rail line.

Tribal solar

(AP) -- The largest solar power plant on tribal lands in the United States is expected to go online in southern Nevada's desert in 2016 under a new 25-year, $1.6 billion deal approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

The energy will be produced by nearly a million solar panels on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The 250-megawatt solar farm will generate enough electricity for 118,000 homes nearly 300 miles away in Los Angeles.

Moapa Band of Paiutes Chairman William Anderson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the council's vote on Tuesday that some 910,000 panels will be built on 2,000 acres of the 71,000-acre reservation.

It's expected to create 15 to 20 permanent jobs and up to 400 at the peak of construction.

Spotted owl space

(AP) -- The Obama administration's overhaul of the strategy for saving northern spotted owls nearly doubles the amount of forest designated as habitat critical to the owl's survival.

But conservation groups who went to court to force the overhaul of a plan made four years ago by the Bush administration say there are some key gaps, such as an exemption for private forest lands and most state forests.

The plan won't be published until next week, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that 9 million acres of federal forests in Oregon, Washington and Northern California will come under it.

The plan makes room for logging to reduce wildfire danger and improve forest health.

Supreme justice suit

(AP) -- Federal authorities filed a lawsuit to seize the Florida home of a Michigan Supreme Court justice, accusing her of fraud by hiding control of the real estate while persuading a bank to allow a short sale on another property.

Diane Hathaway is not charged with a crime, but forfeiture complaints in federal court typically lead to a criminal case.

In 2010, Hathaway and her husband, Michael Kingsley, submitted a hardship letter to ING Bank (NYSE: ING) seeking a short sale on their home in Grosse Pointe Park, a Detroit suburb.

The couple did not disclose that they had put their home in Windermere, Fla., in the name of Kingsley's daughter, the government said.

After the short sale in Michigan, which erased $600,000 in mortgage debt, the Florida home was transferred back to Hathaway and Kingsley, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday.

“Hathaway and Kingsley systematically and fraudulently transferred property and hid assets in order to support their claim to lNG that they did not have the financial resources to pay the mortgage on the Michigan property,” the government said.

Canadian resales

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian home resale price increases continued to slow in October, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

Prices rose 3.4 percent in October from a year earlier, the 11th straight month that the pace of increase declined, according to a report Wednesday by Montreal-based National Bank Financial.

Annual gains peaked at a 7.1 percent pace in November 2011.

Home resale prices rose 6.4 percent from a year before in Toronto, Canada's largest city, and fell 1 percent in Vancouver.

On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.2 percent, led by a 0.9 percent drop in Quebec City, Quebec, and a 0.6 percent fall in Toronto, according to the report.

The index tracks prices in 11 major cities and was set at 100 in June 2005.

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