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U.S. senators oppose Medford casino

U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have opposed a proposal by the Coquille Indian Tribe to build a casino in Medford.

In an Oct. 21 letter written to Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the two senators representing Oregon say they agree with Gov. John Kitzhaber, the Jackson County Commissioners and the city of Medford in opposing the casino.

The Coquille tribe has proposed a casino at the Roxy Ann Lanes bowling alley, which is still operating, and at the former Kim's Restaurant on South Pacific Highway in south Medford. The tribe also has agreed to lease the nearby Bear Creek Golf Course.

The Coquille tribe has asked the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the 2.42-acre property, excluding the golf course, in a government trust. In addition, the Coquilles have asked the federal Office of Indian Gaming Management for an exception to a prohibition on gaming on lands acquired after October 1988.

— Damian Mann