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Bears invade Brookings

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Sean Nelson, left, Marcie Woudstra, middle, and artist Mike Woudstra erect a 1,500-pound concrete sculpture at the city of Brookings’ Oasis pocket park on Chetco Avenue Monday. See full story on Page 3A.
 

Kelly McClain has finally got his bear — sort of.

The Brookings City Councilor readily admits he loves the artistic bears Evergreen Federal Bank loaned the city last summer. And he’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of the city’s first permanent Evergreen bear, called Bruin, depicted as a football player. Bruin arrives at the local bank and will be unveiled and introduced to the city at 4 p.m. Friday.

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Law enforcement memorial: Honoring the fallen

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Members of the Calvin E Murphy Detachment 578 Marine Corps League fire a gun salute during Wednesday Law Enforcement Memorial in Gold Beach honoring officers who died while on the job.

About 75 people, including law enforcement officers, family members of fallen officers, and Curry County officials, gathered in Gold Beach Wednesday to remember officers who had died in the line of duty.

Under warm sunny skies, the quiet assembly filled the recently completed Veterans Memorial as a large American flag waved above. 

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Election complaints filed with state

Complaints have been filed with the state against opponents of the Home Rule Charter on the May 20 ballot, as well as against County Commissioner David Itzen, who is up for reelection on the same day.

Carl King, who authored the Home Rule Charter, filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office last week alleging that the opposing Political Action Committee (PAC) Curry County Protect Your Right to Vote has not reported expenses it should have incurred from placing ads in a Gold Beach newspaper.

County Commissioner David Brock Smith laughed, and said he just received the bills this week. 

Smith is one of two people involved with the campaign to defeat Measure 8-76 and who, on behalf of the PAC, has access to the state’s campaign reporting system ORESTAR.

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Couple arrested on drug charges

Brookings Police, acting on a tip, arrested two people Thursday at the lower Mill Beach parking lot on charges of possession, delivery and manufacturing of methamphetamine.

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Crumley: Leave road funds alone

Curry County Roadmaster Dan Crumley pleaded with county commissioners and the budget committee to use road fund monies for the maintenance and repair of county roads — and nothing else.

His budget outline was among the many shared Monday and Tuesday by department heads as county officials go into the 2014-2015 budget cycle discussions. And his road budget is arguably among the most important, they agree, because it’s the only one with money.

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Curry County voter turnout approaching 35 percent

As of Friday afternoon, the Curry County Elections Department reported that 4,540 ballots — a 34.8 percent return —  have been submitted for the May 20 primary election. 

That is comparable to the last primary election in May 2012, when 35.7 percent of voters had cast ballots by this time. When votes were tabulated for the 2012 election, 55.73 percent of voters had cast ballots, said Shelley Denney, supervisor of elections.

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Flowers brighten downtown

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City employee George Kreger and Flora Pacifica employee Vicente Zavala install flower pots Tuesday.

Brookings parks employee George Kreger and Flora Pacifica employee Vicente Zavala secured 32 hanging flower arrangements to light poles along Chetco Avenue Tuesday morning as part of the city’s beautification plan.

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Brookings fireworks show in trouble

The Brookings Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 966 is seeking the community’s help to ensure the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at the Port of Brookings Harbor happens this year.

A late start on fundraising combined with a downturn in donations and volunteers has left the show in a precarious situation.

“It’s always an arduous trip, begging for money and volunteers,” said Rick Bremmer, VFW post commander and coordinator of the fireworks show. “Last year we met our goal close to the holiday. This year we got a late start and it’s made it difficult.” 

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Sheriff needs $1.6 million

Curry County Sheriff John Bishop told county commissioners Monday he’s been trying to work with them through their fiscal challenges, but he can no longer limp along with inadequate staff levels.

He added that, after much thought, he will need $1.6 million from the county’s road funds to even staff his department to “adequately functional” levels.

He and other department heads outlined their financial needs for next year during budget discussions Monday. The talks continue through the week and address the $57.3 million budget, of which only $2.11 million goes to the county’s general fund.

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Tourism advisory group digs in

The Brookings Tourism and Marketing Advisory Committee is now a permanent group with a more focused goal to help others create new events, increase visitor numbers and decrease the “blood, sweat and tears” that committee member Candace Michael said went into their work this past year.

The need to codify the eight-member board came about because many on the board believe they have a better idea of what kinds of promotions, advertising and marketing works — and because the demands it places on city staff time have become onerous.

The city staff, City Manager Gary Milliman said, has helped put together contracts, coordinate photo shoots and research topics the committee wished to pursue.

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