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Reprieve for historic ship

Community members have mixed feelings about whether to leave the once-majestic Mary D. Hume whaling ship as is at the Port of Gold Beach or remove it from the water.

Thar she stays!

The moss-laden Mary D. Hume whaling ship half-submerged in the Gold Beach harbor will stay put for at least the immediate future, the Port of Gold Beach commissioners decided Thursday night.

The issue of whether the 130-year-old vessel should be removed or allowed to stay has recently been bandied about in the community, leaving the final decision in the hands of the port commission, on whose land she rests.

The old wooden boat is in a sorry state. Since the foundation on which she rested sunk in the 1980s and the Curry Historical Society abandoned its ownership of it, moss has crept up the sides of the hull, grass grows on its deck, the pilothouse has crumbled in on itself and the hull is beginning to fall apart.


Port losing money on special events

Festivals and other  large public events can be a major economic component at the Port of Brookings Harbor, but this year most events have lost money — something that has not gone unnoticed by port officials.

Port commissioners were so concerned that,  during their regular board meeting Tuesday, they questioned the fate of one of the port’s biggest events — the Slam’n Salmon Derby — scheduled for September.

“How many applicants (for the derby) do we have?” said Commissioner Roger Thompson.

He directed the question at Crissy Cooper-Perry, who was hired as an independent contractor by the port at the beginning of the year to plan all the port’s major events.


Authorities prepare for Cape Blanco Festival

Various law enforcement departments in Curry and Coos counties will dedicate extra DUII patrols to the roads during the weekend of the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, July 29 to 31.

But their work will also likely entail — if the past two years are any indication — directing traffic, locating “missing” people, rousting people out of others’ camps and dealing with overly exuberant fans, said Curry County Sheriff’s Capt. Mick Espinoza.

Bi-Mart’s country music festivals in the grazing lands north of Port Orford — this year’s will be the third and last in Curry County, as it is relocating to the Rogue Valley — didn’t result in a flurry of DUII arrests, Espinoza said.

“But there were a lot of alcohol-related incidents,” he said. “We do our best, but when you’re out doing crowd (control) and all that, it’s not as easy to do DUII enforcement. This year, we hope to be better established. Our goal is to work with Oregon State Police to put ourselves in places where we’ll be more capable of doing enforcement to provide better safety for the public.”


Second body recovered from offshore plane wreck

Dive rescue members Friday morning recovered a second body about 30 feet from the wreckage of the Cessna 172 that crashed into the ocean July 4 about a half-mile from Rainbow Rock northwest of Brookings.

Officials believe they know the identity of the male, but aren’t releasing the information until they can confirm it with the mortuary. Family members of those lost in the wreck have been notified, said Curry County Sheriff John Ward.

The first body was recovered Thursday at about noon, pinned under a wing of the plane in 55 feet of water in the ocean. The identity of that person is not yet known, either.


Divers find body, plane wreckage off Brookings coast

Dive-rescue team members recovered the body of one of three Grants Pass residents from the ocean floor Thursday afternoon after finding the twisted debris of a Cessna 172 that crashed offshore northwest of Brookings on the moonless night of July 4.

The body, which was pinned under a wing of the plane, was released to Redwood Memorial for identification, and the other two who were on the plane have yet to be found.


Wildfire danger prompts restrictions

The Coos Forest Protective Association has expanded fire restrictions in Curry, Coos and western Douglas counties due to increased dry conditions and fire danger in the forests.

That means no more smoking cigarettes along the trail. No more roasting s’mores by a crackling campfire. And no more off-roading in grassy meadows.

Effective Thursday, July 21, a “regulated use closure” for the general public will be in effect on all private, county, state and BLM lands. Additional restrictions are being implemented in northern California, where many Curry County residents hike, camp, boat and fish in the hot summer months.

The Coos Forest Protective Association (CFPA) has already responded to nine wildfires this season.


Smith River pushes for resident deputy

Smith River Neighborhood Watch members brainstormed steps they could take that would encourage the sheriff to bring a resident deputy back to their rural community south of the Oregon border.

The group, at the encouragement of Del Norte County District  Supervisor Chris Howard, made a pledge last week to have a proposal before the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors by the time it considers the county’s final budget in October. 

Howard also urged the Neighborhood Watch group to get input from Del Norte County Sheriff Erik Apperson before going to supervisors.

“You’re going to have to advocate all the way to October to get any kind of traction or movement amongst the board,” Howard said.


Brookings country band is Britt-bound

The members of the Brookings band Scott William Perry will perform one of their biggest concerts of the year this month, as they open for country singer Justin Moore at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville July 30. 

Scott William Perry, lead singer and guitarist for the Brookings-based band, has dabbled in the national country music scene, recorded an album in Nashville and played shows all around the western United States. But he hopes this event will be a new opportunity for his band.


Kite festival weekend!

Kites soar above the Kite Field at the Port of Brookings Harbor last year as thousands watch from chairs and blankets on the sidelines. Photo by Bill Schlichting / The Pilot.

Look to the skies above the Port of Brookings Harbor this weekend and witness some man-made magic as kites of many sizes and colors take flight. 

The 24th annual Southern Oregon Kite Festival runs today and Sunday at the Kite Field, with events ranging from kite-making workshops to a childrens’ kite parade, and a variety of kites — and flying skills  — on display.

The free festival lifts off at 10 a.m. today with an opening ceremony, with kite flying and related events continuing until 4 p.m. The event continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking this year will be handled differnetly than in past years. 


Four charged in stolen car case

Clough and Aldridge

What started out Tuesday as a citizen report of a stolen SUV spotted in Port Orford ended Wednesday with the arrest of four Gold Beach residents on charges of possession of methamphetamine, vehicle theft and reckless driving.


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