Josephine Co. commissioner speaks out regarding Flying Lark, says ‘book is not closed’

GRANTS PASS, Ore — Josephine county leaders are speaking out for the first time and keeping hopes high, following the state’s denial of the Flying Lark in Grants Pass.

On February 17th, the Oregon Racing Commission formally voted to deny TMB Racing’s historic horse racing machine application, after it was delayed for months. While openly expressing its disapproval of the Oregon Department of Justice’s opinion – which determined that the Flying Lark would operate as an illegal casino if it was granted the HHR machines, ORC followed orders to reject the last needed approval for the business.

A day before the vote, Governor Kate Brown issued a letter to the state-appointed ORC commissioners – urging them to follow the DOJ’s opinion, or face discipline that could provide, “grounds to initiate removal from the  appointment.”

RELATED: Governor Brown informed ORC commissioners to deny Flying Lark, or face possible removal from seat

Josephine county commissioner Dan DeYoung, said he was disappointed in the opinion, and noted that the Flying Lark would have been a perfect tourist destination for the city. However, he hinted that it may not permanently keep its doors closed.

“This book is not closed on the Flying Lark,” DeYoung told NBC5. “We’ll work through it.”

DeYoung said he’s also “troubled” that the business is labeled as a casino. He said they had a brief meeting with staff at the Josephine County Fairgrounds about its next steps.

Flying Lark owner Travis Boersma, said during the February 17th meeting, that he plans to personally fund this year’s horse racing events at the Grant

“It may just be something that we need to pump the breaks on,” DeYoung said. “You never know what’s going to happen in November at the Capitol building either.”

Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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