Judge dismisses lawsuit in ferry case

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A federal judge in Spokane has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to create competition to the lone ferry operator that serves the town of Stehekin on Lake Chelan.

The lawsuit brought by brothers Jim and Cliff Courtney was dismissed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice. The brothers plan to appeal the decision.

The Courtneys for the past 15 years have tried to launch a competing ferry on Lake Chelan, but have been blocked by Washington law. To provide ferry service on the scenic lake, they must obtain a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" from the state. The state will only issue a certificate if the lake's existing ferry company consents or the applicant can prove to the government that competing ferry service is needed.