Obudsman Picked for Oregon Casino Process - Saturday 21st of January 2006

OREGON – As reported by the Oregonian: "George Skibine, director of the federal Office of Indian Gaming Management, will serve as the ombudsman overseeing the Cowlitz Indian Tribe's application for a casino and resort near La Center, Rep. Brian Baird announced Wednesday.

"Also, four federal agencies involved in tribal gaming will participate in public meetings Feb. 15- 16 in Clark County to explain their roles in the application process.

"In October, Baird, D-Wash., asked Interior Secretary Gale Norton to appoint an ombudsman and set public meetings. He made the request shortly after a Vancouver-based opposition group said the public was not getting enough information about the application process.

"…The regional Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Portland will recommend to Skibine, perhaps as early as next year, whether the tribe's application to take 152 acres near La Center into federal trust should be approved. Taking the land into federal trust probably would result in the proposed casino being built on the site…"

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