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Volunteer firefighters barricade themselves in fire station and refuse to leave after being disbanded

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Volunteer firefighters whose team was disbanded to make way for a professional force have barricaded themselves in their old firehouse amid a dispute about the legality of the move.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that volunteer firefighters from the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District refused to leave the fire station in Julian, California after San Diego County officially took over following a court hearing and a special election.

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On Monday afternoon, a team from the county including a locksmith “were denied access” to the firehouse after a group of volunteers and their supporters locked themselves in the building.

An attorney for the Julian firefighters claimed that a Friday court ruling nullified the results of a special election in which 54 percent of local voters opted to have their fire district join San Diego County.

Cory Briggs, the volunteer firefighters’ attorney, told the Local Agency Formation Commission — comprised of elected officials and tasked with overseeing fire, water and sanitation districts — that they had “no legal authority” to dissolve the volunteer force during their Monday hearing.

Briggs cited a California Superior Court judge’s decision the week prior, in which an allegation that the fire board violated a state open meetings law when they gathered last May and decided to dissolve the volunteer force.

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“Because the original action was illegal, Briggs said, everything that has happened since, including a September vote of LAFCO to dissolve the department and the results of the mail-in ballot special election that were certified last week, are null and void,” the report noted.

The Union-Tribune noted that the attorney was hired by a previous iteration of the region’s volunteer board, who opposed the county takeover, to represent them — and that the current iteration is for the dissolution.

Briggs’ side was also the loser in the hearing last week, but he nonetheless “used the judgment stemming from the loss as his main argument as to why LAFCO couldn’t order the dissolution,” the report detailed.

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The standoff at the Julian fire station “may be a multi-day thing,” a county spokesperson told the newspaper.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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If Trump were the raving mad King of Liechtenstein all of this would be comical

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

This week, a former White House official told Politico that “Trump’s been asking his government for some matter of months what can we do to make sure that China doesn’t get Greenland.”

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Donald Trump and the Jews: He’s exactly why most of us vote for Democrats

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If President Trump doesn't understand why a large majority of American Jews are Democrats, maybe he should take a look in the mirror.

In case you need a quick refresher, Trump sparked an enormous furor on Tuesday when he said, "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." He added that "five years ago, the concept of even talking about this . . . of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can't believe we're even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?"

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Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

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In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

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