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Diggin’ in the dirt

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OSU Master Gardener Scott Thiemann helps student Cohen Vick plant a seedling in one of several raised beds at the Chetco Community Public Library this week. Photo by Amy Vick.

Children participating in the Junior Master Gardener program happily dug up dirt and planted vegetable seeds and plants in raised flower beds at the Chetco Community Library Annex property this week.

The program, a collaboration among Oregon State University Master Gardeners, the library and AllCare Health, helps children learn about sustainable living. 

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Man creates flashing tsunami sign

When Oregon Coast residents are scrambling for safety during a tsunami threat, Joe Ross hopes his new signs will be in place to lead them to safety.

Ross, a Gold Beach resident, has developed a tsunami warning sign with flashing blue lights that would be installed close to the ocean and along roadsides to lead people to safe areas outside of the tsunami zone.

“I came up with this technology, and we’ll be marketing it up and down the coast,” Ross said.

He has built a prototype of the sign and the patent is pending.

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Proposed Port Orford golf course clears latest challenge

The Land Use Board of Appeals again sided with the developers of the proposed golf course near Port Orford, in a second appeal filed by the Oregon Coastal Alliance in its opposition to the county’s approval of the project.

The developer, Elk River Property Development, wants to build Pacific Gales, an 18-hole course on about 350 acres of the 1,100-acre Knapp Ranch north of Port Orford. The course would be situated along ocean bluffs overlooking the Pacific and Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

Developers said last October they hoped to begin construction this spring, but at the earliest, pre-construction won’t begin until late this year, they said.

Project Manager Troy Russell acknowledges it’s been a slow process.

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Vandalism sparks generous reactions

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Jim and Deb Turner, owners of D&J Shell, stand next to new glass door.

Jim and Deb Turner, owners of the  D & J Shell gas station and mini-mart in Gold Beach, stared at the shattered front glass door — and the rock in the middle of the sales floor.

The rock had been thrown through the door by a transient man also suspected of doing the same to the window of a bank down the street.

It wasn’t the Turner’s first encounter with the man. The couple, who have been in Gold Beach for 30-plus years, had experienced two previous problems with the transient, and this time, last week, they had ordered him to leave the premises and not return. The transient responded by throwing a rock through the front door.

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BLM plan draws fire from local official

Local elected officials close to the topic are none too pleased about the Bureau of Land Management’s recommended alternative selected as a way to sustainably log O&C lands while balancing the need to protect waterways and endangered species in the woods.

The federal agency has been working for three years to update the 1995 Northwest Forest Plan, and announced its preferred alternative — Alternative B — last week. 

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Trash Dogs leashed

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The Trash Dogs take a break during a cleanup project near the mouth of the Rogue River in February. Submitted photo.

The Trash Dogs, a volunteer group that makes forays into U.S. Forest Service lands and collects illegally-dumped trash, has been forced to put all its efforts on indefinite hold.

“We recently determined that the Trash Dogs — a strictly volunteer group — is required to have liability insurance,” said leader Ed Gross. “And to date, we have had little success finding insurance, much less a rate that is within the Trash Dogs’ budgetary means.”

Gross recently traveled to Gold Beach to introduce two new Dogs to the Lower Rogue Watershed Council, under whose 501(c)3 nonprofit status the Dogs operate.

Someone mentioned liability insurance.

“It seemed like the meeting was going pretty well, and then, someone mentioned something about liability,” Gross said. “It just kind of dawned on everybody.” 

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DA candidates field questions at forum

Incumbent Curry County District Attorney Everett Dial and challenger Eric Bryant answered the public’s questions during a forum Saturday that was relatively mild despite recent tension between the two. 

About 50 people attended the forum, hosted by the Curry County Democrats, asking the candidates questions about their policies and how they’d handle specific situations. 

Dial, county district attorney for nine years, discussed his experience with a variety of cases, and listed his accomplishments such as starting a mental health court, working with child advocates and expanding victim advocacy services.

Bryant talked about his vision for the DA office as well as the many ideas he would like to implement in the community. He said he’d like to have a better presence in southern Curry County, see more commitment to rehabilitating people with drug problems, and offer better victim services.

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Court ruling may affect cities’ public immunity

The city of Brookings’ insurance carrier is asking its policy holders not to build new skateboard parks — and even to consider limiting or discontinuing the use of existing facilities.

The advice came in light of a state Supreme Court ruling early this month regarding a municipality’s immunity in the recreation arena, said City Manager Gary Milliman.

The case involved a blind jogger who stepped in a hole while running through a Portland park. Rather than suing the city directly, she sued the city’s maintenance employee, who had dug the hole to repair a sprinkler.

The court ruled in her favor.

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State senate candidate: Jeff Kruse

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Jeff Kruse

Jeff Kruse has been a public servant for 40 years, and he’s not ready to quit any time soon. The Republican incumbent for State Senate, District 1, is now a familiar name to Curry County residents, and he is running again, for his fourth term as a senator.

Prior to his service in the senate, Kruse, 64, served for eight years in the Oregon House of Representatives. He also has been involved with the Boys and Girls Club, city and land use planning, and issues related to healthcare and education — issues he says are close to his heart.

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State senate candidate: Jessica Kensinger

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Jessica Kensinger

Jessica Kensinger, of Brookings, has had a lot of experience in the public eye, and she hopes to put that experience to use as a Republican candidate for State Senate, District 1.

Kensinger, 34, has been trying to get involved with local government for a few years. She said her status as a relative newcomer to public service has made it difficult to get involved, and she’s been inspired to make local involvement easier for others.

“The people at the bottom are not really welcome,” she said. “You can work your way up, but then you become a part of the problem.” 

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