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Officials clash over citizens survey

County Commissioners David Brock Smith and David Itzen say their cohort’s community survey is too long, too technical and too detailed, and plan to “take more time and do it right,” Itzen said Tuesday during a special meeting.

Brown, who was not in attendance for the special meeting, has been working since February to craft a survey to determine what county services citizens value and are willing to fund. It comes on the heels of three failed tax proposals voters rejected in the past year, and is hoped to provide information to the board so it can get the county back on its fiscal feet.

The survey asks citizens to evaluate county services, rate their trust in county government and solicits input as to what officials could do to make things better, both in the service and spending realms.

She even had 15 people test the survey.

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Council sets marijuana tax rates

The Brookings City Council this week established sales tax rates for medical and recreational marijuana in anticipation voters may approve Measure 91 on the state ballot Nov. 4.

Medical marijuana has been legal for those who carry a qualifying card from the state, but voters will decide Tuesday if the herb should be available for recreational use by people older than 21.

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Pickup driver cited for destroying guardrail

Oregon State Trooper Dean Trent is still scratching his head over how a small pickup managed to take out a 60-plus-foot long section of guardrail on Highway 101 in Harbor.

“When I saw the guardrail, I was looking for a large truck that was absolutely destroyed, but it wasn’t” Trent said.

The vehicle responsible for hitting the guardrail, and knocking if off at least two dozen wooden support beams, was a Dodge Ram 150, he said.

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Tentative identity of human remains released

Authorities announced today that identification found with the skeletal human remains discovered Sunday in the woods east of Brookings was that of 26-year-old Keith Callaway.

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Port Orford storm damage: County seeks state’s help

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Twenty-foot-plus waves driven by sustained winds of more than 100 mph on Saturday sweep structures and other equipment from the dock at the Port of Port Orford into a turbulent sea.

Curry County commissioners, along with those at the Port of Port Orford, have requested the governor to declare a state of emergency after last Saturday’s storm blew through the area.

Sustained wind speeds of more than 100 miles an hour — equivalent to a Category II hurricane — helped whip up waves 28 feet tall, taking out port infrastructure, numerous crab totes and the Hallmark Fisheries building. The waves were cresting higher than the cranes that haul boats out of harbor and flooded the port offices in a foot of water, tossed up large boulders “like projectiles” from the nearby jetty, said County Commissioner David Brock Smith, who lives in Port Orford.

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Curry berries heading to China

One man can make a difference the whole world over — with the help of county and state officials.

That man is Robert McKenzie III, a Curry County cranberry farmer who wanted to make it easier for himself and others to export their frozen food products overseas.

McKenzie, the owner of McKenzie Cranberries, Inc., grows cranberries in the north end of Curry County. And while he’s been able to sell them abroad as fresh fruit, his attempts to send them overseas in frozen form has run into nothing but frustration due to federal policy, he said this week.

It’s a big economic issue, he said.

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Vandals target Democrats’ office again

Piles of broken glass littered the walkway. Volunteers swept the splinters into neat piles, collecting them from the base of the boarded-up windows. They dumped the shards into buckets, trying to make the room usable — as soon as they could get the glass out of the carpet.

The Brookings office of the Curry County Democrats, at 619 Chetco Blvd., was vandalized twice in the last week, marking the fourth and fifth acts of vandalism on the office in the last two years.

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Curry voter turnout at 31 percent so far

With six days left before Election Day, more than 31 percent of Curry County voters — 4,102 residents — have cast their ballots in the November general election.

Voters statewide have seven ballot measures on which to decide, six candidate choices for governor and five for U.S. senator.

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Mushroom hunter finds human remains near Chetco River

The unidentified skeletal remains of a human were found Sunday by a mushroom hunter near Steel Bridge, about 20 miles from Brookings near the Chetco River.

Authorities are seeking information from the public that may help them identify the body.

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Storm damages Port Orford dock

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Debris from the Port Orford docks collects on the beach
 A storm packing winds of more than 90 mph Saturday morning damaged the Port Orford dock, doused lights in Crescent City and left debris all along the Wild Rivers Coast.

Wind gusts above 90 mph were reported at Cape Blanco between 6 and 7 a.m. Saturday.

In nearby Port Orford winds and waves damaged the dock and washed away the Hallmark Fisheries building and equipment from the end of the pier. The Port Orford Beacon shared photos and information about the damage with the Curry Coastal Pilot.

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