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Woman burned in attempted suicide

A woman was listed in “fair” condition Tuesday after she was severely burned in what officials believe was a suicide attempt near Loeb State Park, eight miles up the north bank of the Chetco River.

Curry County District Attorney Everett Dial summoned the Major Crimes Team last Friday to suspicious conditions near the popular park, and by the end of the day, authorities were investigating an attempted suicide, a burned-out vehicle and drops of blood next to a pile of personal belongings on a river bar.

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Huxley's management style questioned

Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith took fellow Commission Tom Huxley to task during a regular board meeting May 20, accusing him of intimidating and harassing employees, threatening lawsuits against the county and generally wasting staff time in his numerous requests for trivial chores.

Frustration between county employees and Huxley began shortly after he was sworn into office and he refused to accept his pay or health care benefits, potentially throwing about half the county’s employees into risk of losing their health insurance benefits. He cited his campaign promise to make more cuts in the county budget, which is facing a financial meltdown.

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Solemn observance

A Brookings World War II veteran drops flowers on a symbolic grave during a Memorial Day ceremony Monday at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

The annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Port of Brookings Harbor Monday drew a  crowd of more than 100 people who gathered to hear speeches and comments honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed services. They also honored those still serving the country today. 

Dozens of people — retired and active soldiers, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and grandchildren — took turns placing flowers on the symbolic grave of the fallen soldier. Some took a moment to announce who they were honoring and why.

Look for a full story in Wednesday’s Curry Coastal Pilot.


Record low Chetco River level may threaten habitats

The Chetco River Tuesday afternoon continued it slow, steady fall, to 161 cubic feet per second, almost half of the lowest recorded level in 45 years of reporting.

The mean for May 19 is 1,300 cfs. 

Rain forecast for last week didn’t transpire, and overcast skies this week have yet to let loose any moisture, either. Brookings has seen no rainfall in May, compared to a 3.6-inch average over the past four and a half decades.

And low water levels mean warmer water — which might be nice for people playing in the river, but can spell death for fish.

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Sheriff losing more deputies

The failure of Measure 8-81, a ballot question that, if approved May 19 would have funded the sheriff’s office for the next three years, is not the only issue that has discouraged Sheriff John Ward.

In the two days following its defeat by about 1,000 votes, three of his deputies have told him they intend to look for work elsewhere.

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Always in our memory

 

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Jim Newman reads names of Vietnam War dead while others stand in line for their turn to read.

The annual Vietnam Veterans Roll Call touched a personal note for several Brookings citizens. Friday evening in front of Brookings City Hall, about 30 citizens stood and listened as the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) made a tribute to veterans who died in the war.

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Pesticide movie 'Drift' sparks discussion among Curry County residents

All the residents of Cedar Valley want is buffers from aerial sprays to homes, schools and waterways.

And they just can’t seem to get legislators to realize that human lives are more important than the value of a tree, said Kathryn Rickard, a resident who was severely burned by a chemical herbicide illegally sprayed over her home in October 2013.

She was among 45 people who attended the documentary “Drift: A Community Seeking Justice,” a movie created by a group of University of Oregon environmental law students who spent most of the past year talking with those who fell ill — and in many cases, are still sick — after the spraying.

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Scoutís project brings dog park to Brookings

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Scouts Spencer Loring, left, and Ethan Warner put the finishing touches on the dog park at Brookings Stout Park last week.

The often-ignored northeast corner of Stout Park will soon be the city’s first dog park — thanks to a little help from Brookings-Harbor High School student Spencer Loring.

Loring, a sophomore at Brookings-Harbor High School, was looking for a project to complete his Eagle Scout requirements, and asked Parks Director Tony Baron if he had any projects that needed work.

“My brother had done his project with the city too,” Loring said. “I talked to the city and Tony suggested this idea.”

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Brookings resident Betty Jean Wait is Azalea Festival grand marshal

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Betty Jean Waite will be featured during several festival events.

As Brookings’ 76th annual Azalea Festival unfolds this weekend, people find plenty of opportunities to meet this year’s festival grand marshal: Betty Jean Waite.

“I’m not one for the limelight,” Waite admits. “But I’m doing this for all the kids I’ve had in the classroom.”

Community members and former students came together with an overwhelming show of support for Waite as grand marshal.

“We had at least 100 nominations this year for Betty Jean,” said Arlis Steele, CEO of the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber coordinates the Azalea Festival.

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Brookings voters approve gasoline tax

People will pay 4 more cents per gallon of fuel — but drive on well-maintained streets — since Brookings voters approved Measure 8-80 Tuesday night.

The measure won, 1,009 to 582, or 63.7 to 36.6 percent. Voter count totalled 1,591.

“Is this exciting or what?” exclaimed Brookings Councilor Kelly McClain, who with Hedenskog promoted the levy. “I cannot believe. … This shows the people of Brookings are paying attention. Unbelievable. This is awesome. It feels excellent. This is so good for the city — so good for the city. And I’m so glad for the mayor. We worked well together on this one.”

“That’s great; that’s really good news,” said Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman when he heard the news “I’m not good at predicting elections, and it was hard to tell. We put our information out, but we didn’t really receive any inquiries to speak of, so it appears people understood the information we provided and felt it was a good way to go.”

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