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WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2014 | Vol. 124, No. 54 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢

WGH head nurse charged in alleged assault Internal investigation found accusations without merit

By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Prosecutors charged the chief nursing officer at Whidbey General Hospital last week with assaulting a patient. Linda Gipson, 62, is facing a single count of assault in the fourth degree, a gross misdemeanor charge.

The criminal charge was filed July 2 in Island County District Court. Coupeville Marshal Rick Norrie investigated the case. In his report, he wrote that Gipson fired one of the nurses who was an alleged witness and another employee expressed fear of retaliation if she spoke out. Whidbey General administration is standing by

Gipson this week. Hospital spokeswoman Trish Rose said in a written statement that the administration conducted an internal investigation and concluded the allegations are without merit. “Dr. Gipson has over 30 years of experience and has cared for thousands of patients,” Rose said in her written statement. “This is the first time she has ever been GIPSON

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FBI offering a reward in laser incident By JANIS REID Staff reporter

Information about the person responsible for pointing a laser at a Whidbey Island Naval Air Station aircraft could yield a $10,000 reward from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecution of the perpetrator. The reward for this type of “lasing” is being offered for information leading to the SEE LASER, A8

Photos by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Jan Whitsitt, daughter of the late Trudy Sundberg, tears up during last Thursday’s sculpture dedication. Below, Wallie Funk looks on.

A GRAND TRIBUTE

By RON NEWBERRY Staff reporter

Jan Whitsitt’s eyes filled with tears as she addressed a small crowd near a neatly landscaped garden spot at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor last Thursday night. On hand as part of an art dedication

that recognized the contributions of her mother and three other Oak Harbor teachers, Whitsitt looked around at a gathering that included politicians, educators, civic leaders, artists and family members and couldn’t help but think about how much SEE TRIBUTE, A8

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City to discuss sewer plans at meeting tonight By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Will Oak Harbor lose any of its most valuable park land to a new sewage treatment plant? The answer to that question may be revealed in a special workshop meeting of the City Council 6 p.m. Wednesday July 9 in council chambers. The purpose of the workshop is to move SEE SEWER, A8

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Whidbey News-Times, July 09, 2014