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Cash for quake alert system

No one, no technology, can predict an earthquake.

But Congress this week bet $8.2 million that researchers from the University of Oregon, University of Washington, UC-Berkeley and Caltech might be able to improve upon Berkeley’s ShakeAlert warning system that is the closest prognosticators have come to a crystal ball.

That’s good news for residents of Curry County and those on the West Coast from Mendocino County to British Columbia who live near the Cascadia Fault, which has the potential to create a destructive earthquake.

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Senate passes 3-tiered wage plan

SALEM — Advocates for a higher minimum wage in Oregon came one step closer to their goal Thursday.

After more than six hours of debate and opposition from all Republicans and one Democrat, the Oregon Senate voted 16-12 to pass a bill that would split the state into three regions with different minimum wage rates for each.

The bill heads next to the House, where Democratic leaders have largely supported the effort.

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Highway 101 lane reopens as sinkhole fix continues

One lane of northbound traffic on Highway 101 was reopened Thursday as work continues on repairs to the landslide and sinkhole between Hearing Health Care and the Fireside Diner in Harbor.

The one-lane southbound access will remain as it has been since Feb. 3.

Until Thursday, northbound traffic had been detoured from Highway 101 to Benham Lane to Lower Harbor Road since the beginning of February.

“We realize people acclimate to the detour, and if we don’t put up signs that say, ‘Don’t take a left,’ people might take a left,” said ODOT spokesman Jared Castle.

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Sheriff issues scam alert for Curry County

A scam hit Curry County Thursday — the second in a week — involving a male caller identifying himself as an officer with the Sheriff’s Department and telling the victims they owe the office large sums of money.

The caller has told people that, if they do not pay the money, a bench warrant will be issued for their arrest. The suspect has also asked victims to meet them to exchange the money.

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Northbound 101 opens

One lane of northbound traffic on Highway 101 will open at 9 p.m. tonight (Feb. 11) as work continues on repairs to the landslide and sinkhole between Hearing Health Care and the Fireside Diner in Harbor.

The southbound access will remain as it has been Feb. 3 when state transportation agency officials closed the southbound lanes in front of an encroaching sinkhole. Traffic has been detoured from Highway 101 to Lower Harbor Road since the beginning of February.

Two signs will be placed at Benham Lane to alert drivers to the change.

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Woman, dog rescued

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Search and rescue volunteer Ryan McGinnis helps stranded April Sachanowski and her dog climb nearly 200 feet up an oceanside cliff Monday. A small army of about 10 people are pulling on the ropes from the top of the cliff.

A Brookings woman and her rottweiler who spent the night trapped by the high tide at the base of a seaside cliff were rescued Monday afternoon by a search and rescue worker who rappelled down to her.

April Sachanowski, 34, and her 100-plus-pound dog, Achilles, were exhausted but otherwise uninjured after the ordeal, which began when the pair took a walk late Sunday evening at Mill Beach.

According to her boyfriend, James, the couple and their dog were staying at nearby Blue Coast Inn when April decided to take a walk. The extremely low tide that afternoon allowed her access to a boulder-strewn area north of Mill Beach, below Collis Lane. As the tide came in, she scrambled to a ledge about 50 feet above the water, where she stayed overnight.

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Governor OKs scenic designation for Chetco

Gov. Kate Brown has designated a portion of the Chetco River as a State Scenic Waterway for its outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, cultural and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Chetco River, which divides the communities of Brookings and Harbor, and the Molalla River in Clackamas County are the first waterways to be designated under the Scenic Waterways Act in almost three decades.

“Their inclusion into Oregon’s network of Scenic Waterways is a fitting way to reinvigorate a valuable state program,” John DeVoe, executive director of WaterWatch, wrote in a newsletter. “One of the most important benefits of the State Scenic Waterways designations for fish populations in the Chetco and Molalla are the protection of scenic flows against future developments.

“This is a big win for Oregon’s rivers deserving of celebration,” he said.

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Two survive Gold Beach plane wreck

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Two Del Norte County men walked away from a plane crash at Gold Beach Airport Monday. A tire on the plane clipped the perimeter fence during landing, causing it to flip. Photo: Joshua McPherson.

Two Del Norte County residents escaped major injuries Monday after their Cessna plane crash landed at the Gold Beach Airport.

Pilot Daniel R. Harrison, 76, of Fort Dick,was approaching the runway from the north at 10:25 a.m. when one of the plane’s tires clipped the 5-foot-tall perimeter fence, causing the plane to flip upside down and land on the cockpit roof, according to Gold Beach Police Chief Dixon Andrews.

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Construction work on Harbor sinkhole begins

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Tidewater Contractors employees use excavators to move tons of dirt where a slide destroyed a section of Shopping Center Avenue in Harbor.

Work has begun on $3.7 million in repairs to Shopping Center Avenue, the parking lot of the Fireside Diner, Highway 101 and the replacement of culverts that run underneath all of them after a sinkhole and landslide developed in Harbor over the past two months.

Northbound traffic, which has been detoured to Lower Harbor Road to Benham Lane for the past few weeks, could reopen on Highway 101 as early as Saturday, said ODOT spokesman Jared Castle.

Tidewater Contractors won the bid to do the work, beating out three other firms. Work will start at the east side of Shopping Center Avenue between the Rice Bowl restaurant and Pacific Hearing Center and move east.

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Brookings woman and her dog rescued from base of 250-foot ocean cliff

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SAR climber Ryan McGinnis helps April Sachanowski and her dog, Achilles, up the side of the cliff Monday afternoon.
 

A Brookings woman and her rottweiler who spent the night trapped by the high tide at the base of a 250-foot seaside cliff were rescued Monday afternoon by a member of search and rescue who rappelled down to her.

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