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Fire destroys High Hopes vessel

Harbor firefighter Bart Kast talks with witnesses while a fishing boat High Hopes is consumed by flames in a parking lot at the Port of Brookings Harbor Saturday. Photo courtesy of Martin Shepherd.

The 24-foot recreational vessel High Hopes was completely destroyed in a fire at the public boat dock Saturday afternoon.

According to Port of Brookings Harbor Director Ted Fitzgerald, the owner, Robert Phillips of Brookings, had just filled the tank of his 2005 Trophy with fuel and launched the boat in the water. Phillips was trying to start the motor and, failing to do so, pulled the boat from the water.


City law makes it easier to catch service stealers

Brookings city officials have made it faster to prosecute people who use other people’s trash cans or Dumpsters — or city receptacles — as their personal dump sites.

Effective Aug. 27, a new ordinance adopted by the Brookings City Council will take the 90-day nuisance abatement process out of the equation, making it easier to catch and prosecute violators.


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School board, union ratify 3-year contract

The Brookings-Harbor School District and the teachers’ union have agreed on a 3-year contract that both sides are calling a success — and resulted in raises in salaries and health benefits for most of the districts’ 190 employees.

 “The teachers and staff are very happy with the way things turned out,” Matt Bennett, union negotiation chairman for the Brookings Harbor Education Association (BHEA), said Friday.


Brookings flood victim sues city

Memory Lane residents are keeping an eye on fellow neighbor David Smith, who is suing the city of Brookings in hopes of obtaining the former value of his oceanview home — before the storm of 2012 flooded his neighborhood.

That flood is still fresh in the minds of those whose houses were inundated with water that November night when storms powered by 80 mile-per-hour winds dumped 8 inches of rain on Curry County in two days.


Country fans flock to Cape Blanco music festival


Country music fans from across the Pacific Northwest descended on the Sixes River area as the Cape Blanco Music Festival kicked off Friday.

Organizers expect more than 15,000 fans throughout the weekend.


Brookings Superintendent Hodge resigns


Superintendent Brian Hodge’s desk remained empty all week as school board members discussed his resignation.

The Brookings-Harbor School Board Thursday unanimously accepted the resignation of embattled Superintendent Brian Hodge and agreed to a $75,000 buyout agreement.

Hodge’s initially asked for a $212,000 buyout.

“It was with a heavy heart that Brian asked to resign; I’m aware that he knows that he is not without fault in this situation,” said school board member Katherine Johnson.


Home-grown country goes big

Brookings country musicians Scott William Perry and Jessie Goergen and their respective bands will perform for thousands of people this week at the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival near Port Orford.

Opportunities don’t come much bigger than this for Brookings country musicians Scott William Perry and Jessie Goergen. Both lead bands that will perform for thousands of people during this week’s Cape Blanco Country Music Festival near Port Orford.


Lost and found: Ring returned to owner

Port employee Bill Franks found a lost ring on a men’s bathroom floor and returned it to its rightful owner Harold Jurgens, of Brookings.

For more than 50 years, Harold Jurgens of Brookings has proudly worn his class ring on the third finger of his left hand.

And one day, his wife noticed it was gone.

“I had no idea,” the 95-year-old retired U.S. Army colonel said.

It would be another three months before he was reunited with the jewelry, which features a cherry-red stone in a gold setting with the name of his alma mater, the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on one side.

It was that clue that helped Bill Franks, a Port of Brookings-Harbor employee, get the ring back to its rightful owner.


Hospital closer to obtaining USDA loan

The Curry Hospital District is just over $1 million away from bringing anticipated costs under the amount required to obtain a USDA loan for a new hospital — after board members Tuesday eliminated items they believe aren’t absolutely essential to patient care.

Patients lifts? They don’t need one for every room, and cut that $100,000 cost to $5,000.

Room mock-ups, in which the contractor builds life-size rooms using cardboard and steel frames so those who can’t visualize them from maps can see how they work? Eliminated completely, saving $30,000.

Art? That’s been cut from $40,000 in the budget to $5,000.


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