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Oak Harbor NJROTC hosts big weekend

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2014 | Vol. 115, No. 21 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢

Man denies puppy mill charges By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

A North Whidbey dog breeder asserts that he is not running a puppy mill, despite continuing legal troubles. “It’s not even close,” Matthew Hernkind said, adding that the allegations against him

are largely based on misunderstandings. “This whole thing is a crock of crap.” Hernkind, owner of Matt’s Great Dane Ranch, was in Island County District Court Monday for a hearing on modification of pretrial release conditions. He was charged earlier this month with

violating a 2010 law aimed at preventing puppy mills. Carol Barnes, the Island County animal control officer, started investigating the case last November after receiving a complaint about the living conditions of the dogs. SEE PUPPY MILL, A5

Russell Wilson fan scores one for OH charity

Photo by Janis Reid/Whidbey News-Times

Navy retiree Frank Hardy is among hundreds of patients who are being told to switch to a Navy physician for primary health care.

New Tricare rules rankle local retirees

Signed football, auction to benefit Boys & Girls Club By RON NEWBERRY Staff reporter

Gone were the curls but not the Super Bowl smile. Greg Goebel recognized Russell Wilson right away when he sat down next to him after boarding a flight from SeaTac to Newark, N.J., two weeks ago. Goebel, an Oak Harbor resident, was headed to the East Coast for his job as a pilot for FedEx. Wilson, the quarterback who led the Seattle Seahawks to its first Super Bowl title in early February, was bound for New York City for television

By JANIS REID Staff reporter

Photo by Ron Newberry

This football signed by Russell Wilson is expected to go for at least $1,000 at an auction event Saturday. appearances. “It was like sitting next to any other polite person,” Goebel said of the five-hour flight. “He was just a real SEE AUCTION, A3

Photo provided by Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel of Oak Harbor takes a shot of himself with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during a five-hour flight to New Jersey last month.

Official Seahawks booster club kicks off on Whidbey By RON NEWBERRY Staff reporter

After taking the pulse of Seattle Seahawks fans across Whidbey Island during the NFL postseason, Kory Dyer

was encouraged by the healthy support. The support was so strong he decided to take the necessary steps to make Whidbey Island part of the Seahawks’ official

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booster club. On Feb. 12, the Sea Hawkers approved Whidbey Island as a new chapter, and the Whidbey Island Sea Hawkers (W.I.S.H.) were born.

The club’s first meeting is April 9 at China City Restaurant in Oak Harbor. “There weren’t a whole lot SEE CLUB, A3

Frank Hardy says he probably will never return to the Oak Harbor Naval Hospital for medical care. After what he claims was a botched 2009 surgery at the hospital, Hardy said he didn’t wake up. Hardy said he was sent to Skagit Valley Medical Center for post-op and followup care. “I don’t know why they call that place a hospital,” said Hardy’s wife, Cherie. “It’s a clinic, if that.” Following a recent policy change at the naval hospital, all military retirees within a 30-minute drive are required to switch to a primary care physician on base if they want to stay on Tricare Prime insurance. If those retirees choose to stay with offbase doctors, they are required to switch to the more costly Tricare Standard plan. The Hardys applied for a waiver to the new policy and were denied. They said they visited the naval hospital last month to talk to the commanding officer and appeal the deciSEE TRICARE, A5

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Whidbey News-Times, March 12, 2014