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Few injuries reported during Fourth festivities

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Brookings photographer Earle Sidelle created a composite photo of the fireworks set off in the harbor on the Fourth of July.

Three injuries and low-hanging fog that partially obscured the Fourth of July fireworks in Harbor wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of the throngs that descended on Sporthaven Beach Saturday to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

Hot inland temperatures lured thousands to the coast over the three-day weekend, prompting a closure of Sporthaven Beach to bonfires until the weekend, when pent-up demand to party took over.

Just as the official fireworks began, an illegal and errant mortar careened into the crowd on the beach, striking a woman and giving her a concussion before ricocheting into a 4-year-old girl, whose clothes caught fire and who was peppered with second-degree burns, said Harbor Fire Chief John Brazil.

People nearby extinguished the girl’s clothing, and she and the woman were taken to the hospital for observation, but later released.

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Sen. Kruse denounces residents

If the citizens of Cedar Valley — illegally sprayed with herbicides in October of 2013 — felt invalidated and ignored after a settlement with the aerial sprayer was announced last week, they were even more stunned Tuesday when State Sen. Jeff Kruse (R) denounced their characters, as well.

His statement came during the third hearing of House Bill 3549 — the so-called baby buffer bill — that would require pilots to avoid homes and schools when they spray poisonous chemicals.

“Those people of the South Coast who complained,” Kruse said, “I know for a fact that the chemicals sprayed could, in no way, shape or form, could have caused the reactions they (said they) caused.

“I also know, those people have a long history of substances and adult beverages that might have contributed to it,” he added. “The two chemicals sprayed did not cause the reactions they have, could not have killed their dogs. They were herbicides; I know this for an absolute fact.” 

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