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Newport Rescue Helicopter Lawsuit To Be Reviewed


Congress gave Newport’s Coast Guard air station a one-year reprieve after a threatened December closure. The community still fears they’ll lose their rescue helicopter. This week, opposing parties filed declarations in court.

A Washington D.C. Coast Guard official filed documents in federal court claiming the closure was only a proposal. In response, the Newport Fisherman’s Wives filed a contradicting statement. Ginny Goblirsch with that group says the Coast Guard’s decision had been presented as final:

Goblirsch: “I am shocked that they would lie to a federal judge. I mean there’s no other way to describe it. And to do that over one little helicopter on the central Oregon Coast is unfathomable.”

The Coast Guard wants to dismiss a lawsuit, which claims the federal agency didn’t follow the required closure procedures. The plaintiffs, including the City of Newport and Lincoln County, want to suspend the case. A briefing is scheduled for February 23rd and a hearing with federal judge Michael McShane is set for early March. Calls to local Coast Guard headquarters were not returned as of air time.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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