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Man injured in plane crash at Brookings Airport

Firefighters watch as a tow truck pulls the airplane from a ravine near the runway at the Brookings Airport Wednesday morning.

A Grants Pass man is being treated for injuries after crashing his small plane at the Brookings Airport at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

Robert Earl Stonebrook, 78, was landing his plane at the south end of the runway and it made contact with the ground when he veered off to the right, and his plane took a nosedive into the nearby ravine. He was alone in the plane.



Dori Randall: Champion for children, theater

Dori Randall was known as “Miss Dori” by hundreds of children who visited the public library or participated in local theater. In April, nearly 100 people attended a ceremony to rename the theater she founded to the Dori Randall Performing Arts Center.

Brookings resident Dori Randall, who influenced the lives of countless children and adults during nearly 20 years of community volunteer work, died Saturday after a 10-month battle with breast cancer. She was 59.

Randall, known by many as “Miss Dori,” was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and left Brookings in July 2015 to be with family in Colorado, where she received medical treatment and eventually hospice. She died peacefully in her sleep, according to family members.

Her death, while expected by many, left her friends and acquaintances mourning the loss and recalling their favorite experiences with Randall.


101: Veterans memorial highway

Middle East veterans Dominick Imperatrice and Drew Kelley look up at sign revealed by Tony Voudy while veterans of earlier wars look on. The Pilot / Bill Schlichting

The entire length of Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast has been designated as a memorial highway and two of 10 road signs honoring U.S. veterans of Middle East wars were unveiled Monday in Harbor and Port Orford.

“It’s a wonderful way to honor our veterans who have served our country,” said Tony Voudy, officer for Curry County Veteran’s Services (CCVS), which purchased the signs.

“Oregon is the only state that dedicates their highways in honor of their veterans, and the conflicts in which they served,” Voudy said.


Mill Beach access proposal draws fire

Mill Beach-area residents filled the Brookings City Council hearing room Monday evening to urge the board to reconsider its idea of allowing unlimited access to Mill Beach’s small park at the base of Macklyn Cove Road.

The issue was brought up by Councilor Jake Pieper after he took his family to the popular beach and saw a sign posting dawn-to-dusk hours of operation. He feels people are being increasingly limited in their recreational opportunities and advocated leaving that road and park — the city’s only easy access to the beach — open longer than other city parks.

But residents in the area — many who said they’d recently moved here — said ever since the sign went up two years ago, problems with homeless people, trespassing, loud noise and bonfires have decreased.


Brookings Azalea Festival begins Thursday

Brookings’ 77th Azalea Festival kicks off for a five-day run starting with a book sale on Thursday, continuing with a parade on Saturday, and ending with Memorial Day services on Monday.

The event features the Party at the Port with music, vendor booths and carnival attractions; an art show (see story on Page 1B), quilt show, a flower show and sale and more.

Readers will find a full schedule of events and locater map in a special section inside this issue. The section also features stories and photos about the grand marshal, the Azalea Scholarship Pageant and the pioneer citizens.


Osprey wear out their welcome

An osprey with a fish in its talons perches atop a 150-foot-tall communication tower next to Brookings City Hall. Photo by Donny Dotson.

Brookings City Hall has new residents — a pair of osprey — but the mess the predatory birds are making has officials looking for a way to gently evict them from their perch at the top of a 150-foot radio tower.

“They are beautiful birds, and we don’t want to harass them, but we want them to go elsewhere,” said Brookings Police Lt. Donny Dotson.

The birds were spotted two weeks ago bringing sticks and other woody debris to the top of the tower rising above the city’s emergency communication center on Elk Drive. The birds’ efforts to build a nest have not been very successful, Dotson said. There’s not enough of a nest built yet for eggs.


Groups mobilize to help women veterans

Elizabeth Estabrooks, the women veterans coordinator for statewide veteran services, says women are less likely to identify themselves as veterans than men.

Representatives from the state of Oregon were in Brookings recently to find out how they can improve services for a group that often falls through the cracks — female veterans struggling with issues such as homelessness and suicide.

Many Curry County organizations are currently working to build veteran services in the area. A new Veteran’s Affairs clinic is currently being constructed on Railroad Street, and local veterans advocates are trying to treensform the now-defunct Green Building at the Port of Brookings Harbor into a resource center for veterans. 

Members of local organizations gathered at Southwestern Oregon Community College to discuss what else can be done to support veterans — specifically, women veterans. Following the community discussion, local women veterans were invited to a closed session to discuss some of their specific experiences and issues following their military service.

Elizabeth Estabrooks, the Women Veterans Coordinator for Statewide Veteran Services and Taher Christensen, the Women Veterans Program Manager for the Roseburg V.A., were present to help facilitate the discussion. 


State orders care facility to correct safety issues

The state Department of Human Services is not allowing any new residents to be admitted to Sea View Assisted Living Community’s Brightcreek memory care unit in Harbor, citing an array of possible violations following a “multitude” of investigations there.

Most of the violations were related to the lack of documentation regarding patient care. Signs have been posted on the building’s entrances indicating no more residents will be accepted into Sea View’s care until the violations are addressed satisfactorily.

Oregon Adult Protective Service investigations indicated in a 37-page report that the facility failed to “provide a safe medication administration system, update resident care plans and provide a safe and secure environment … that create a threat to the health and safety of the residents.” Such practices violate nine Oregon Administrative Rules regarding the facility’s license.

Some employees have already lost their jobs there, and Sea View has placed an ad looking for replacements. Sea View officials did not return the Pilot’s numerous phone calls this week.


Fate of Brookings’ July 4 fireworks show uncertain

The Brookings Veterans of Foreign Wars have labored for the last few months to raise funds for the annual fireworks show at the Port of Brookings Harbor — with unsatisfying results. 

With $16,000 left to raise, post commander Rick Bremer is uncertain if the community will see a fireworks show this Independence Day. 

“We’re hanging by a cliff here,” Bremer said. Currently, the VFW has raised the $9,000 needed as a downpayment to the fireworks company, Oregon-based Homeland Fireworks. The company extended the deadline by more than a month to give Bremer extra time to raise the money.

The VFW has sponsored the show, which takes place every July 4 at the Port of Brookings Harbor, for the past four years. The group solicits donations from citizens and corporations, but in the past few years has found it increasingly difficult to raise the money in time for the show.


City of Brookings, company reach accord on Salmon Run

The city of Brookings Thursday forged a settlement with Wild Rivers Golf Management (WRGM), which reneged on the terms of its contract to manage Salmon Run golf course earlier this year.

WRGM will relinquish assets it owns to settle its debt to the city. It will then fall to the city to pay for overdue maintenance, and unpaid property taxes and operations bills. 

The city terminated the lease with the firm in March after WRGM Principal Ed Murdock said “in no uncertain terms (can WRMG) comply with the notice and cure the violations in accordance with the lease agreement.”


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