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Man dies in head-on collision at Oregon state line

UPDATE: At 2:55 p.m. today, authorities confirmed that the man trapped in a truck that collided head on with a motorhome this afternoon at the Oregon/California border is dead. His identity has not been released, but the truck he was driving has an Oregon license plate. The people in the the motorhome that was hit head on by the man's GMC Canyon pickup received minor injuries. 

UPDATE: As of 1:25 p.m. today, law enforcement is advising motorists not to travel on Highway 101 in the area of the Oregon/California border unless absolutely necessary. A traffic accident at the border has caused a major traffic jam, with the backup reaching several miles in both directions. 

Highway 101 is closed in both directions at the Oregon/California border as rescue crews work to free a man pinned inside a small pickup truck after it collided headon with a motorhome. The condition of the man is unknown at this time. A Pilot reporter is on scene. The California HIghway Patrol said it did not know when all lanes would be open. We will report more information as it becomes available.

Accident closes one lane near stateline

Highway 101 has been opened to one lane of controlled traffic just south of the Oregon/California border because of a two-vehicle accident: a motorhome vs. a truck. The accident initially closed both lanes for about a half hour. A reporter has been dispatched to the location to get more information. The California HIghway Patrol said it did not know when all lanes would be open. We will report more information as it becomes available.

Communication outage reported in Southern Oregon area

According to Lt. Donnie Dotson of the Brookings Police Department, a communication outage has been reported Wednesday evening in both Curry and Coos Counties due to a fiber optic line being "cut" just outside of Myrtle Point. The outtage affects the ability to call long distance from land-line phones, cellphone coverage and Frontier cable subscribers.

Crews are working at fixing the outage and estimate communications issues to be resolved in four to five hours. 

Currently, there is very little service for land-line phones calling long distance and that there is only a slight chance of the call going through. Local calls are still functioning at this time. 

Cellphone coverage appears spotty and may or may not work depending on your location. Dotson states that the coverage does not appear to be affecting any specific cellphone provider, rather the coverage of certain cellphone towers irregardless of the cellphone service provider.

Lt. Dotson informs the public to keep their options open if they are unable to get cellphone coverage and need to contact the authorities. Dial 911 in case of an emergency. If that fails he states to contact the Brookings Police Department at 541-469-3118 extension 0, or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Live Oregon gubernatorial debate


The Curry Coastal Pilot will be one of many Oregon newspapers offering exclusive live coverage of Friday's debate between the candidates for governor in the 2014 election.

The 90-minute debate between incumbent John Kitzhaber and challenger Dennis Richardson is set for 10:15 a.m. Friday, July 18, at the annual convention of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in Salem.

The video feed is exclusive to ONPA members, arranged through KATU television of Portland.

Click on the "Read More" button below to view the live coverage during Friday's debate.


New hospital project delayed

An artist’s rendition shows the latest concept for a new, $10 million hospital to be built adjacent to the existing facility in Gold Beach. Submitted photo.

Curry Health District officials are moving forward with plans to build a new hospital in Gold Beach, but it may not happen as quickly as originally planned.

Circumstances surrounding the delay have spurred rumors that the district had lost the funding for the project — but it’s not true, officials said. 

“The misinformation floating about is disheartening and I know if we can get the word out there it will put the minds of our community members at ease,” said Cheryl McDermott, district executive assistant.  


Jim Welter: Fisherman, country philosopher, and natural scientist

Brookings’ beloved fisherman, volunteer advocate Jim Welter. Photo courtesy of Larry Ellis.

Jim Welter, known as Brookings’ “fishing guru” for his long-time volunteer efforts with local and state fisheries, died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 85.

According to his daughter, June Paul, Welter passed away while receiving hospice at his Brookings home. A memorial service has not been set yet and a full obituary will be published in a future issue of the Pilot.


Voters to decide 4-cent gas tax

Brookings City councilors will put a gas tax measure to the voters next May, after debating about even forging ahead with it, considering they are missing one critical element of the puzzle: how much gasoline is sold in Brookings every year.

That missing information makes it difficult to figure out how much tax to charge to garner the $300,000 revenue needed each year to replace and repair roads throughout the city.


Local jails not a good last resort for mentally ill

A major topic to be brought up in next year’s state legislative session is sure to be jails being used as holding facilities for people with mental health issues.

That was discussed at a Local Public Safety Coordinating Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, where Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith solicited ideas to take to the 2015 legislative session.

He won’t be the only one asking for help with the situation.


Expect lane closures north of Harris Beach

ODOT and prime contractor Legacy Contracting plan to begin construction on the Harris Beach Multiuse Path project this week.


Lt. Ward aims for sheriff slot

Lt. John Ward

No one can fill Curry County Sheriff John Bishop’s shoes — but Lt. John Ward is going to give it a try.

“There’s no one else qualified to do it,” he said. “I know the ins and outs of the Sheriff’s Department, I know the people, I know the county, I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

He plans to submit his letter of interest Monday.


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