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SCORE! Brooking man gets wish, going to Super Bowl

Desi Robinson has tried for 25 years to get tickets to the Super Bowl. He learned on Christmas that he was only one of a handful of fans with disabilities given the opportunity to purchase a pair of tickets and parking pass.

For any die-hard NFL football fan, attending a Super Bowl is the holy grail of bucket list items.

Thousands of fans try, and fail every year to garner tickets to the year’s most watched sporting event.

As was the case with Brookings resident Desi Robinson, who, for the past 25 years, submitted his name into the NFL’s annual Super Bowl ticket lottery — a drawing where a scant few tickets are made available to the general public. 

Like clockwork, Robinson submitted his postcard to the drawing every year — and was subsequently rejected, year after year.

“They send you a letter saying ‘yay’ or ‘nay,’ said Robinson. “I always got ‘nay.’

Until this year. 


Armored car driver robbed at Brookings Fred Meyer

Authorities arrested four people Friday afternoon after they allegedly robbed an armored car security guard at the Brookings Fred Meyer store and led police on a short, high-speed chase on Highway 101 near Gold Beach.

The suspects crashed their getaway truck near the intersection of Highway 101 and Hunter Creek Road. Two suspects were arrested at the scene, and the other two were found hiding in the nearby brush and apprehended with the help of a Brookings K-9 officer, according to Brookings Police Lt. Donny Dotson.

Arrested were James Goff, 20, of Gold Beach; Brittney Chisholm, 25, of Agness, Drake Wright, 19, of Gold Beach; and Anthony Bonnell, 29, of Agness.


Tough times for county offices

Curry County’s financially-strapped departments will have to prove their value to commissioners to get funding for 2016-17 fiscal year or risk major cutbacks — or even elimination.

The direction came this week as Curry County commissioners  began budget talks.

“We’re going to be seriously looking at cutting things selectively,” said County Accountant Gary Short. “Once we get past (this fiscal year’s) budget, it’s going to take radical tools to get where you’re going. You need to determine what you want to accomplish first.”


Downtown revitalization plans remain unrealized

At the turn of last century, the Brookings Town Center Revitalization Study envisioned Brookings in 2010 as having a “vital hub that reflects a real ‘hometown’ atmosphere enjoyed by everyone.”

The downtown master plan, called the PROUD study, stated in 2010 that downtown will offer an “interesting and rewarding pedestrian experience while presenting a wide variety of goods and services to both residents and tourists.

The plan stated, “This area reflects community pride, history and prosperity through attractive well-kept businesses, signage and landscaping. The public areas in downtown encourage people to park their cars and walk around and include convenient and well-maintained parking lots, streets, sidewalks and underground utilities.”

Many would agree those goals have yet to be met.


Cal-Ore Life Flight pilot Brattain makes emergency landing

Airport staff and Crescent City firefighters stand by to assist pilot Dan Brattain and his two passengers after he made an emergency landing caused by faulty equipment. Photo by Bryant Anderson / WesCom News Service

CRESCENT CITY — A single failed bolt nearly spelled disaster Tuesday for three people on a Cal-Ore plane, which managed a successful emergency landing at Jack McNamara Field in spite of malfunctioning gear.

Lead pilot Dan Brattain, of Harbor, as well as a business partner and a co-pilot in training, were returning to the Crescent City airport from a meeting in Roseburg around 3 p.m. when landing gear on the nose of the 7-passenger Piper Cheyenne failed to deploy.

“That was my first time doing a landing like that,” said Brattain, who founded Cal-Ore Life Flight more than 20 years ago. “That was the first, and hopefully the last.”


Two robbery suspects in custody, search for other suspects continues

Two robbery suspects are in custody and police are searching for two more in the Hunter Creek Loop area near Gold Beach this afternoon after they allegedly robbed an armored car security guard at the Brookings Fred Meyer store this morning.


One lane of Highway 101 open near sinkhole

One lane of southbound traffic was rolling along Highway 101 as of Tuesday afternoon, the first step toward normalcy since two sinkholes compromised that road and a landslide wiped out a section of Shopping Center Avenue parallel to it last month.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will announce which company has won the bid to repair the damage Thursday — and the winner will have a tight deadline to complete the work. Work could start as early as Friday.

According to ODOT spokesman Jared Castle, the agency wants Shopping Center Avenue and the pipe to the Port of Brookings Harbor repaired by Feb. 22 so the detour route can be diverted off Lower Harbor Road and closer to Highway 101. 


Spike in power bills prompts complaints

Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative hosted two meetings Friday afternoon to address complaints about electric bills, which some customers said increased dramatically in the past month.

About 20 customers attended the meeting at the Best Western Beachfront Inn, where Coos-Curry employees explained the reasons for the company’s increased rates. 

The cooperative raised its rates by 9 percent in July 2015, and again by 3 percent in January 2016. Several customers complained about their increased bills, especially for the month of December — some citing increases of between 40 and 70 percent, or $70 to $180.


City revisits panhandling rule

The Brookings City Council is reexamining a proposed panhandling ordinance after newly-appointed Councilor Dennis Triglia brought up numerous constitutional issues — and ultimate liabilities — that could result.

The ordinance was introduced after Curry County made it illegal for motorists to hand anything of value to people loitering on corners asking for money. The onus falls now on drivers — and has resulted in a substantial reduction in problems, particularly at the South Coast Center in Harbor where panhandlers routinely “fly” their signs.

“We actually stole this verbatim from the city of Medford,” City Public Works Director LauraLee Snook told city councilors during a meeting last week. “And there have been no challenges (there).”


Tourist drowns at Whalehead Beach

A Southern Oregon University student died at 2 p.m. Saturday at Whalehead Beach, eight miles north of Brookings, after he was caught in strong currents and pounding surf in the cold ocean water.

Alex Howell, 23, of Ashland and, Alex Smith, 22, of Medford, were visiting the coast with two other friends and decided to take a swim in the ocean. According to Oregon State Police and Curry County Sheriff’s reports, the two were about 75 yards offshore when Howell indicated he needed to get back to the beach.


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