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New Oregon laws for 2016

In Oregon, the new year often brings new changes to state law. This year is no exception.

The 2015 legislation has approved a slew of new laws, effective Jan. 1, including paid sick leave, expansion of birth control access, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. 

Here are the highlights:


Fishermen ready for crab season

The commercial fishing vessel Cape Sebastian is full of crab pots at the Port of Brookings Harbor Monday afternoon.

Crab season is set to begin Jan. 4 — and fishermen will finally get to begin the season they were ready for one month ago.

The season, which typically begins Dec. 1, was delayed due to concerns about the presence of domoic acid — a shellfish poison toxic to human beings. State agencies spent the past month testing crab to ensure that domoic acid levels were once again safe for human consumption.


Former health network CFO arraigned on vandalism charges

Ken Landau, on administrative leave from his position as chief financial officer of the Curry Health Network, was arraigned Monday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony, and second-degree criminal trespassing, a Class C misdemeanor. 

Landau, 49, of Gold Beach, was arrested Saturday, Dec. 19, for allegedly spray-painting the home of hospital district CEO Ginny Razo Friday night. Damage is estimated at $3,000. He is being represented in Circuit Court by attorney John Spicer and no plea had been entered by Thursday morning.

Razo had installed on her property surveillance cameras last week. Sheriff John Ward said Landau was identified from video taken of the alleged incident.


Missing fisherman found in basin

Miguel Gonzales, 44, was found dead around 4 p.m. Dec. 23 by a Curry County sheriff’s detective at the Port of Brookings Harbor, 10 days after he was reported missing.

The body of Gonzales, a fisherman with the Miss Emily fishing vessel, was recovered in the area of the “N” dock. He was found fully clothed and partially submerged in the water.


Road Repairs begin

Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation

Tidewater Contractors began work on Carpenterville Road this week, repairing a section of road that sluffed down the hillside during torrential rain Dec. 12 and forcing area residents to travel north toward Pistol River to access Highway 101. No date has been set for completion. 

Animal control at an impasse

Curry County Sheriff John Ward and Pennies For Pooches CEO Mark Curran are no closer to solving their problem regarding the impounding of animals — most often, dogs — after a workshop held Tuesday afternoon.

By law, personnel at Pennies for Pooches — the nonprofit organization spun off from the county in 2012 — cannot legally impound dogs. And Ward doesn’t have the resources to conduct full investigations before his deputies can do so.

“I’ve tried explaining over and over and over again,” he said in a county commissioner workshop. “We have a priority list for calls we respond to: a burglary in progress, a domestic in progress. Animals at large is a priority 4. We don’t even respond to them. We don’t have the resources.”


Winter whale watch week begins Sunday


This weekend, people can pull themselves away from the new toys and Christmas cookies for a few hours and be rewarded with a classic Oregon Coast sighting: migrating gray whales making their annual trip south to Mexico. 

From Dec. 27 to 31, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual “Whale Watching Spoken Here” program. The department has trained volunteers stationed at 23 sites from Astoria to Brookings, as well as one in Crescent City. 


Annual homeless count scheduled for Jan. 29

For homeless people in Curry County, cold, wet weather and a lack of shelter can make the winter months among the most taxing.

Each year, the Oregon Coast Community Action organization conducts an assessment of the homeless individuals and families in Coos and Curry counties — called the Point in Time count — in order to provide better services for those without a permanent place to live. 


CTR to begin charging to drop off scrap metal

Starting Jan. 1, Curry Transfer and Recycling will begin charging customers to deposit scrap metal at its transfer sites, a change that reflects the decreased global demand for scrap metal products.


Highways closed

Those travelling for the holidays take note of the following closures and warnings.



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