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Cal Coast News will continue to operate, owner says after $1.1 million libel verdict

Cal Coast News owner Karen Velie testifies Wednesday in court in the defamation trial against her.
Cal Coast News owner Karen Velie testifies Wednesday in court in the defamation trial against her. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The owner of Cal Coast News said on a local radio program Friday that the website will continue to operate and that attorneys are considering appealing a $1.1 million libel verdict against her and the site’s former co-owner.

The judgment, rendered Thursday, found that Karen Velie and Daniel Blackburn libeled a hazardous waste contractor when they accused him of illegal activity in a 2012 article.

Velie appeared on Dave Congalton’s radio show on KVEC-AM. She said that she removed the libelous article from the website on Friday, that the verdict was “quite a shock” and that she was “very unhappy.”

Neither Velie nor Blackburn responded to requests for comment from The Tribune on Thursday.

Plaintiff Charles Tenborg and his lawyer, James Wagstaffe, discuss their defamation case against Cal Coast News on Thursday, March 16, 2017. A jury found Cal Coast News libels a Tenborg, a former Arroyo Grande hazardous waste contractor, when they

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