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4/13/20, 5:44 PM


Part 4


Last week, we reported in part 2 of our series, DRAGON FLYERS, that Jefferson County Commissioner/Chair, Kelly Simmelink, reached out to the Governors Regional Solutions Office for a statement regarding Hillsboro Aero Academy operating during this pandemic.


As reported, Simmelink received information from the Governor’s representative, Annette Liebe in an Email that stated in part, that she had communicated earlier with “Redmond City and Airport Officials” about this matter. Ms. Liebe added, “Of course, we will all hope that a thorough investigation is made to either confirm or deny these allegations.”


Ms. Liebe’s email did not specify who she contacted in Redmond or at the airport so we decided to try and find out and left her a voice mail message.

Initially we made contact with Jake Johnson from Airport Operations. Johnson had no relevant knowledge or information and referred us to the Operations Manager, Ben Wolf.


We followed Johnson over to the Airport Operations Office and told him we would wait outside for either Ben Wolf’s call or personal contact.

While waiting we noticed a Redmond Police Vehicle drive passed and then parked at the entrance of the Hillsboro Aero Academy’s parking lot.

A short time later, Mr. Wolf exited the Operation’s building and asked us, “What’s going on?”
We responded with some brief background and asked him about Hillsboro Aero flying during the pandemic. He stated, “I have no information or jurisdiction about Hillsboro Aero flying while other flight schools are grounded.”

He would not or could not confirm whether he has had any contact with other government officials about this story and quickly added, “I have no further comments” and walked away.

Next, we made contact with the Redmond Police Officer parked at the entrance to Hillsboro Aero.

We introduced ourselves and asked Officer B. Haywood, why was he parked at their entrance. He stated, Air Operations had called about some “reporters” in the area.

Officer Haywood had no information about Hillsboro Aero flying during the crisis or who would potentially be responsible for enforcing Governor Brown’s Executive Order if necessary.

He had no knowledge or information regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s possible involvement, but did hear something about “OSHA.”

Officer Haywood was very professional, cordial and stated he is the assigned Redmond Police Officer for the airport.

While in the field, Beth Anne Steele, media coordinator for the Portland Office of the FBI returned our call. We explained the situation and brought to her attention our stories and questions.

Ms. Steele clarified the FBI’s role vs the Department of Homeland Security’s role and suggested we contact the appropriate agency within Homeland Security.

Ranch Matter Staff

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