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Faulty bearings may have

caused fatal copter crash

The March 8 helicopter crash in central Kansas that killed 66-year-old Sequim resident Roger Hershner may have been caused by improperly installed bearings.

The defect could cause the co-pilot controls to malfunction, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials who grounded 2,800 Bell helicopters to search for improperly installed bearings.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Laura Brown said the agency wants operators of three types of helicopters to visually inspect a bearing in the co-pilot cyclic controls and replace the part if it was improperly installed.

The helicopters are Bell models 407 and 427, and the 206 A, B and L series.

Hershner was flying a Bell 206 when it crashed near Moundridge, Kan., about 40 miles north of Wichita.

Greg Hubbard, a spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter, said the company discovered the problem last week when trying to deliver a new helicopter. He said he expects FAA to issue a new advisory limiting the grounding to less than 110 newer helicopters.



Sheriff seeks OK

for chain gang in ONP

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict hopes to send one of his department's chain gangs to work in Olympia National Park.

First, however, he must get around a Depression-era federal law that requires such labor to earn prevailing wages.

And for that, he needs the help of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair.

Benedict told Clallam County commissioners Monday, March 23, he would write to Dicks in hopes of giving the park a source of labor for much-needed trail work and campground repairs, plus giving honor inmates of the county jail a rehabilitative experience.

Sail-Power Squadron

Anyone interested in boating is welcome to the North Olympic Sail & Power Squadron monthly meetings.

The next meeting is on April 13 at the Cedars of Dungeness golf course restaurant, 1965 Woodcock Road, Sequim.

Social hour begins at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.

This will be the Change of Watch, with the 2009-2010 Bridge taking office.

District 16 Officers will be on hand to swear in the new squadron officers.

For reservations or for further information about boating education classes, call 681-8067.



Bridge closure forum tonight

A community forum will be held at the Quilcene School multi-purpose room, 294715 Highway 101, Quilcene, at 6:30 p.m., today, March 25, related to

the Hood Canal bridge closure.

The bridge closure begins May 1 and is scheduled for up to six weeks.

At the forum, attendees will find out how transportation planners have prepared to meet the challenges of the bridge closure, what local health providers are doing to provide services, and hear tips and suggestions to better prepare for the closure.

Speakers for the forums include representatives from the Washington State Department of Transportation, Jefferson Transit, Jefferson Healthcare and the Quilcene/Brinnon Chamber of Commerce.

Meredith Wagner of the Jefferson County Library moderates the session.

Information about the closure is available at www.hoodcanalbridge.com or wwwJeffConnections.com.

The Jefferson County Library and Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader sponsor the forum.

More information about the forum is available at 360-385-6544 or mwagner@jclibrary.info.

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