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Pool time for beginners

Volunteer Charlotte Rering instructs Kalmiopsis Elementary School third-graders at the Brookings public pool Monday.

It may have been raining Monday morning, but that didn’t stop the annual water safety classes for every third-grade student from Kalmiopsis Elementary School at the Brookings  municipal pool.

More than 130 students in five classes were assessed for water skills on Monday. More than half were not able to swim, and many of those were not willing to let go of volunteers when they first entered the heated outdoor pool.

By the end of the first 30-minute session, every student had let go of the wall to be on their own in the water, said new Pool Manager Gerry Livingston. 


Chetco River level half of normal

The flow in the Chetco River dipped to 72 cubic feet per second (cfs) Monday morning, meeting one of two criteria before Brookings city officials ask residents to voluntarily curtail water use.

The second criteria is demand, said City Manager Gary Milliman.

But Sunday night through Monday evening, it rained 1.38 inches in Brookings — and people along the Winchuck River said five inches fell overnight. The rain brought Chetco River levels temporarily up to 214 cfs — an improvement, but still less than half of normal. Averages are based on 45 years of record-taking.


Fely’s Cafe opens in Harbor

Fely Johnson takes a well-deserved break at her new cafe in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center in Harbor.

After a nearly six-month hiatus, Fely Johnson is back in business. 

The new storefront of Fely’s Cafe, which had its soft opening on Saturday, sparkles with freshly-painted walls, an ocean-themed mural, a wall of lighthouse photographs and new floors. 

A couple coming into the restaurant around noon walked up to the front of the restaurant to order, when Johnson reached across the counter and embraced them. “Hi, honey!” she said, smiling warmly.

“It’s sure good to see you back behind the counter,” the man said.

“Thank goodness,” Johnson agreed. “I’m happy to be back.” 


Rescued dogs coming to Curry

A group of dogs on death’s door will arrive in Gold Beach Friday where they will get a second chance at life.

It’s a cooperative venture that starts with Operation Paws Rescue in the Bay Area in California and ends with volunteers at Pennies for Pooches in Gold Beach, that takes in a group of dogs from a high-kill shelter for safe haven.


Port officials want to refinance $7 million state debt

The Port of Brookings Harbor board of commissioners is looking to refinance the remainder of its $7 million debt to the state after a state agency sought to increase the port’s monthly payments. 

The port had taken out several loans from the Infrastructure Finance Authority (IFA), a state entity that loans money to cities, counties and special districts for infrastructure projects, over the past three decades. In 2009, port leaders negotiated a payment plan — at $62,500 every three months — to the IFA for the remaining debt. 

Recently, the port received news that the IFA wants to change the terms of their agreement.  


Series of quakes off Oregon Coast

The West Coast of North America isn’t about to be left out of the recent seismic activity going on throughout the Ring of Fire in the Pacific OCean.

Starting in the wee hours this morning morning, four quakes rumbled at the juncture of the Pacific Plate and the Blanco Fault Zone about 130 miles west of Newport.

The most severe was a 5.8 magnitude temblor at 12:52 a.m.


Gettin’ their Jam on!

Photo by Grant Fraley

Rod McLeod and Troy Spence Jr. play guitar licks on the same guitar during a recent Sunday Music Jam session at Zola’s Pizzeria at the Port of Brookings Harbor. 

Hospital gets $19 million loan

Curry Health Network officials learned this week they will receive a $19 million USDA loan to build a new Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach.

 The letter from the USDA, dated May 15, states the federal agency’s finance office has set aside $19,061,000 for the project.

“We have been anticipating the arrival of this letter for weeks,” said the network’s CEO Virginia “Ginny” Razo. “The USDA has been very supportive throughout the entire process.” 


Deputy cleared in election complaint

The Secretary of State’s Elections Division has cleared Curry County Sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Krohn of any wrongdoing in connection with allegedly campaigning for Measure 8-81 in a letter to the editor in the Curry Coastal Pilot.

According to investigator Alana Cox, Brookings resident John Johnson filed a complaint with the office saying Krohn had violated state law in connection with the property tax question.


State mulls idea of free community college

SALEM — Lawmakers hoping to make community college free for most students got a resounding message from the higher education community during a hearing on the matter Thursday: The proposal isn’t ready for prime time.

Senate Bill 81 was proposed as a way to create a free college degree for low- and middle-income students. The cost to the state is estimated at around $20 million every two years, and aspects of the proposed law could bring in a rush of federal student aid to help carry the program.

But representatives from community colleges and Oregon’s university system said the bipartisan group of legislators proposing the bill still isn’t taking into account the cost of an unexpected rush of students hopeful to take advantage of the free program.


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