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Newport Helicopter Hearing Set For Thursday In Eugene

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Federal District Court Judge Michael McShane will hold a hearing Thursday in the Newport Fisherman’s Wives’ suit against the U.S. Coast Guard. As theCoast Guard air facility in Newport is scheduled to close Monday, the timing is tight.

Dungeness crab season has started in Oregon and more boats are heading into the Pacific from Newport’s Yaquina Bay. Kevin Greenwood is the Manager of the Port of Newport. He says many people are concerned about the increased response time if troubled vessels can’t get help from Newport’s rescue helicopter:

Greenwood: “The city, the county the port, key staff and elected officials are going be there to attend the hearing. There’s going to be fishermen. We think we have a compelling case, and we look forward to being there and seeing if the courts can at least push this decision off.”

Judge McShane will hear from both sides Thursday. If he rules the Coast Guard did not follow procedure in closing the facility, he can grant an injunction stopping the closure.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
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