Local News

Army official apologizes for low-flying copters

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - An Army official traveled 80 miles from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to an Olympic Peninsula city to apologize in person Tuesday night for a recent nighttime training exercise that the Port Angeles mayor says "terrorized" her city with low-flying helicopters.

The Lewis-McChord garrison commander, Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., told City Council members and about 30 residents that the Army didn't do its typical public notification before dispatching the four helicopters last Thursday night.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that some residents thanked Hodges for his apology while others made clear they felt no apology was needed.

On Monday, Mayor Cherie Kidd went to Lewis-McChord and met with Hodges and two officers with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. She says they listened to her concerns about the thundering choppers that shook residents, awakened children and startled animals -- and said they would try to keep that from happening again.