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Sea bird die-off puzzles scientists

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are investigating the deaths of large numbers of seabirds along the Pacific coast in the wake of harsh winter weather the past several weeks.

Common murres and Cassin’s auklets have been found dead on coast beaches in greater numbers than usual. Preliminary information obtained through necropsies conducted at ODFW’s pathology lab in Corvallis indicate the birds are extremely emaciated, likely related to exhaustion and starvation caused by exposure to cold temperatures and heavy wind.


Katelyn's Cause delivers

Police Chief Chris Wallace, wife, Molly, and daughter, Kennedy, deliver $12,000 worth of gifts to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

The children at Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital were delighted again this year with donations from the Brookings Police Department and the community.

Brookings Police Chief Chris Wallace and his wife, Molly, traveled to Portland in mid-December to deliver gifts to children battling cancer. The couple was joined by former Curry County Sheriff John Bishop and current Sheriff John Ward and their families. 


Women arrested after 30-minute car chase

Two Crescent City woman believed to be shoplifters are facing multiple charges in Curry and Del Norte counties after being chased by authorities from Brookings to Crescent City on New Year’s Day.

Krystal Star Evans-Thompson, 33, and Tiffany Elizabeth Maple, 20 were arrested without incident at 9:50 p.m. Thursday after a Brookings Police K-9 and his handler found them hiding in the bushes off Elk Valley Road.


New crosswalk planned for Chetco Avenue

The Brookings City Council will discuss the new crosswalk at Lucky Lane and Chetco Avenue where almost five months ago, an elderly woman was struck and killed while crossing the highway.

The meeting will be held at a city workshop beginning at 4 p.m. Jan. 8 at City Hall.


Brookings announces goals for 2015

The Brookings City Council will discuss its own version of New Year’s resolutions — the draft Strategic Plan — at its first workshop of the year, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

In a four-page document, city officials outlined their hopes and dreams under their four goals. The goals include to:

•have an effective, responsive, ethical city government that is fiscally sustainable;

•have a safe community;

•influence economic development and improve quality of life;

•and maintain effective intergovernmental relations.


Final days for Fely’s Cafe

In 2007, fans of Fely’s Cafe stage an impromptu protest of its pending closure then. Today, there will be no reprieve for the popular eatery, which closes Sunday at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

On Tuesday morning, three customers sat in Fely’s Cafe, sipping coffee and chatting. Getting up to leave, one customer gave owner and chief cook Fely Johnson a hug, saying, “We’ll look you up the next time you’re in town.”

That may be a difficult promise to keep.

Fely’s Cafe, a landmark at the Port of Brookings Harbor, will close its doors at the end of business Sunday. The cafe is a well-loved institution among Brookings and Harbor residents, as well as tourists.

The closure is a result of port plans to renovate the Sporthaven Beach area where Fely’s Cafe stands, as well as the cafe’s noncompliance with federal regulations. 


Quake upgrades for GB campus

Thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the state of Oregon, Riley Creek Elementary School in Gold Beach will upgrade six of its buildings to make them safer in case of an earthquake.

The remodeling is made possible by a grant through the state of Oregon called the “Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program,” which funds the rehabilitation of critical public buildings — especially schools and emergency service facilities such as hospitals. 

“We want to make sure we can exit buildings safely,” Central Curry School District superintendent Dennis Johnson said. “And we felt that safety was compromised.”


New maps help locate landslides in Curry

Curry County is loaded with landslides — some 3,000 of them in a 170-square-mile area the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) studied this year.

And the new maps, available at www.oregongeology.org/sub/slido, can even show residents — right down to their address — just how safe they are.

Overall, landslides don’t represent a huge danger for most people along the coast.

“The intent is to make it as simple as possible for people to review,” said Curry County Emergency Services Coordinator Don Kendall. “It provides much more information for the roads department, for ODOT, for county planning. It’s more the geology information that they thrive on, so they know what they need to do.”


Search and rescue crews find missing hikers

Sheriff’s search and rescue personnel helped reunite two different people with their families after they went on separate hikes and became lost last weekend.

According to Sheriff John Ward, a Port Orford woman called 911 Saturday evening to say her 16-year-old son hadn’t returned from a day hike into the Grassy Knob Wilderness area between the Elk and Sixes rivers. 

The youth had planned to hike with his two dogs from Elk River into the wilderness area and then down into the Dry Creek area off the Sixes River.

When he didn’t return home before dark, his family and friends started searching the roads nearby, Ward said.


Brookings light show a hit

Neither rain nor wind could keep away the 12,160 folks who meandered and oohed and ahhed among the hundreds of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights in the Nature’s Coastal Holiday display.

The 18th annual event, held in Azalea Park, ended Dec. 25.

“It’s kind of sad, kind of happy,” said Bryan Tillung, who heads up the event. “And the job’s not done. From now until we start up again, we have to have the figurines refurbished, replace old equipment, buy new lights …”


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