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Daily Dose: Sunrise Powerlink Dedication, Barona Fire Captain Accused of Molestation

Protests and dedication of new SDG&E Powerlink, preliminary hearing for Barona Fire Captain accused of molesting a teenage boy over a two-year period, and more.

Thursday Events

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Sunrise Powerlink

Gov. Jerry Brown will join federal, state and local officials Thursday to dedicate the at the Suncrest substation in Alpine as opponents of the new transmission line stage a protest nearby.

The new 117-mile line, which connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley, was put into service June 17 after a five-year environmental review and permitting process and 18 months of construction of the overhead and underground technology, according to SDG&E.

Opponents of the $1.9 billion project cited concerns about property values, views and safety. A group of protestors from several groups, including the Protect Our Communities Foundation, planned to gather before the dedication on the south side of Interstate 8 at Japatul Valley Road to demonstrate.

SDG&E officials said the transmission line would enhance the area's reliability and facilitate renewable energy development in the region. Sunrise Powerlink will deliver a significant amount of wind and solar power from projects in Imperial County.

The line could initially bring 800 megawatts of imported power into San Diego and will eventually carry 1,000 megawatts of power, enough energy to serve 650,000 homes, SDG&E said.

Back-county residents contended the transmission lines were out character with their rural community and could create health and fire hazards.

Barona Fire Captain Accused of Molestation

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Thursday for a a teenage boy over a two-year period.

Raul Licon Jr., 38, of San Marcos is charged with six felony counts, including committing a lewd act on a child 14 or 15, sodomy on a person under 18 and oral copulation of a person under 18. He faces a maximum six years and four months in prison if convicted.

According to a search warrant affidavit, the teenager said the molestations began in September 2009 and lasted until last September. A friend of the alleged victim persuaded him to come forward, according to the document.

At Licon's arraignment in March, his attorney, Rick Layon, said the teenager became disgruntled after getting into an argument with the defendant.

Licon posted $250,000 bail and is out of custody. He has been suspended without pay from his job in Lakeside pending the outcome of the case, according to a spokeswoman for the Barona Indian tribe.

Following the preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether the evidence presented warrants ordering Licon to stand trial.

-City News Service contributed these posts

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