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County fair continues: Rain won’t stop the fun

The Legendary Longhorns parade around the fairgrounds Thursday, with riders discussing the history of the animals and offering photo opportunities.

This weekend’s rain won’t curtail most activities at the the Curry County Fair, which continues today through Sunday at the Event Center on the Beach in Gold Beach.

“We have to change a few things around, but most, if not all, of the events will happen as scheduled,” said fair spokeswoman Mureen Walker.

This weekend’s activities include performances by the Las Vegas-based Chinese acrobats, a pirate parrot show, longhorn cattle riders, interactive drumming, comedic hypnotists and carnival rides.


Jam sessions strike sour chord

Since March of 2015, patrons at the Port of Brookings Harbor have been able to enjoy their afternoon at the docks to the tunes of several local bands at the Sunday jam sessions hosted by Zola’s Pizzeria. 

Recently, however, several residents and business owners have objected to the music — both for its noise level and its content — and the port is taking action to resolve the issue. 

“We’re going to redirect speakers and lower the volume of the music,” said Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald and the owner of Zola’s, who has met with the families that have complained about the noise. “And we’re going to stop the music at 6 p.m.”


Wet roads to cause driving hazards

With heavy rains and wind expected to hit the South Coast this weekend, the Oregon Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to exercise increased caution when they travel.

Jared Castle, a spokesman for ODOT, noted some of the issues that typically throw off drivers during the first rainstorm.

“Oil and other solvents accumulate on the roads over the summer,” Castle said. “And the rain causes that to lift up, and makes the roads a little slicker.” 


Tax funds road fixes

The city of Brookings has announced its first list of road projects to be addressed this fall in anticipation of gas-tax revenue just now trickling into town coffers.

All revenue receipts are expected to be received by the end of the month. A 4-cent per gallon fuel tax was approved by voters in May and will go toward fixing and maintaining city roads.

Beginning Aug. 31 and extending two weeks, workers will prepare roads prior to applying slurry sealant to seal cracks.


Weather may affect firefighting

Well, it’s a start.

About an inch of rain is forecast to fall on the South Coast this weekend, answering prayers for gardeners, forcing concert venue changes, and raining on the 103rd annual Curry County Fair — but also providing a little relief to crews battling the Collier Butte Fire 18 miles southeast of Gold Beach.

Alternatively, rain could cause isolated areas of flooding where the Collier Butte Fire has burned, forcing crews to switch their mindsets and create water bars and other soil management operations to control any runoff.


Advocate promotes touring mental health program

Veteran and mental health advocate Connie Hunter was in the midst of starting a traveling community-based mental health suicide program that could go statewide when her brother Keith killed himself in July.

“Much of my work as a mental health advocate is because my brother had a mental illness,” she said. “I remember him saying when he was 12 years old, that he believed that he would end his life at some point. When it hits home, it’s easier to go out and advocate.”


Fiber optic cut impacts coast phone service

UPDATE: Frontier Communications reported at 6 p.m. that full service has been restored. 

A fiber optic line was cut this morning (Aug. 26) between Myrtle Point and Coos Bay, leaving some people in Curry County without phone service.

Emergency 911 lines are operational, but if something changes and callers don’t get an answer, they should call the business line at 541-469-3118.

Frontier Communications does not yet have an estimate as to when repairs will be made, but an update will be posted here when the Pilot is notified.

Phones affected at this time include landlines calling long-distance and landlines calling some cell phones. People who receive an “all circuits are busy” message are urged to try the call again, as sometimes the calls go through on the second attempt.

“This has happened before,” said Brookings Police Lt. Donny Dotson. “It’s hit or miss right now.”


Curry County: Fair opens Thursday

Exhibits featuring livestock, arts and crafts, and culinary creations will be part of the Curry County Fair Thursday through Sunday. Carnival rides and demonstrations are scheduled daily.

The fair opens Thursday and continues through Sunday at the Event Center on the Beach in Gold Beach.

Fair Manager Ron Crook promised “the best line up I think we have ever had!” 

Crook said his fair employees and volunteers have been working hard to bring everyone “another great fair experience.”


Keeping a check on the Chetco

Carl Page places probes at various places in the Chetco River to check on water temperature and quality. He downloads the data to a laptop for study.

Traveling down the Chetco River in a kayak isn’t the most typical day to spend a workday, but it’s certainly not a bad one.

For fisheries biologist Carl Page, though, it’s a fairly regular occurrence. Page, a Smith River resident, has been collecting data from the Chetco River for about six years, placing devices called temperature probes at various points along the lower nine miles of the river.

Page’s goal in collecting data, he says, is not so much for current projects but for future reference. In the event that the river needs to be maintained in the future, he said, it’s important to record what it’s like right now. 


Smoke increases as firefighters corral blaze

Smoke filled the Brookings-Harbor skies Tuesday, more than it has in weeks past, but fire officials say it was due to weather patterns directing smoke from three distant wildfires toward the coast.

Clearer skies were predicted for today (Aug. 26), officials said.

The Collier Butte Fire, deep in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness east of Gold Beach, had grown to almost 11,000 acres as of Tuesday afternoon, most of it inside containment lines. More than 230 firefighters are battling the lightning-caused blaze that started Aug. 2. Using six engines, seven water tenders, two helicopters and two dozers, firefighters had the blaze 40 percent contained.


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