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Triglia appointed to city council

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Dennis Triglia

The Brookings City Council appointed Dennis Triglia to serve the remaining three years of Kelly McClain’s Position 4 seat. McClain returned to Arizona late last year.

Triglia was one of seven applicants — a number that impressed the council and Judge Richard Harper when Triglia took his oath of office.

“I have never seen this many applications,” said Councilor Jake Pieper. “Eight years ago, when I applied, they had to take me. I was the only one.”

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Scam targets renters

The Gold Beach Police Department is warning people of a scam victimizing potential renters in the Gold Beach area, Chief Dixon Andrews announced on Monday.

The scam started when a person contacted the KGBR radio station by email, and asked if they could advertise a home for rent in Gold Beach. The person, who identified himself as “Jeff Rowland,” asked interested parties to contact him by email.

Claiming to be a missionary, Rowland said he owned a home in Gold Beach but worked out of the area, and wanted to rent his home out. He asked interested parties to wire him various amounts for the rental and deposit, ranging from $650 to $1,350.

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Officials agree on psychiatric hold policy

Patients being assessed for their mental health can be held up to five days — not 30 — in Curry General Hospital’s “hold room,” but must be transported somewhere else when that time is up.

The consensus isn’t the greatest, but it’s a start, agreed law enforcement, hospital officials, mental health and addiction advocates at a meeting last week in Gold Beach.

The hold room has been a problem for all involved for months, with patients endlessly waiting for space to become available in a psychiatric hospital; interfering with work, doctors and patients in the adjacent emergency room operations; being released just to be rearrested for petty crimes and causing havoc for citizens and law enforcement while they’re out.

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Brookings council OKs Lone Ranch extension

The Brookings City Council granted Rio Tinto Borax a 12-year extension on its master plan for the Lone Ranch development north of town, which has been more than a decade in the making — and whose momentum collapsed in the Great Recession.

The city planning commission approved the extension at its last meeting, agreeing with the developer that the Great Recession of 2008, the lack of local economic growth in the recovery since, and Brookings’ slow growth rate combine to make a poor time to break ground on project as large as Lone Ranch.

The project, originally approved in 2004, is proposed to include 540 single-family homes, 150 townhomes, a 2.4-acre convenience and commercial area and the 10-acre site on which Southwest Oregon Community College has since been built.

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Sinkhole a headache for ODOT crews

While hundreds of people participated in the Sinkhole-de-Mayo party above-ground at the Fireside Diner in Harbor Thursday night, water continued to flow into the 25-foot sinkhole from upstream, overflowing the gaping hole in the parking lot there.

Oregon Department of Transportation workers had minimal success last week in trying to unclog an almost 100-year-old pipe in which asphalt and other debris is trapped. Almost-constant rain since early December has kept the hole filled with water, despite efforts to pump it out.

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No disaster funds for Brookings

Thirteen cities will divvy up $1 billion from President Obama’s National Disaster Resiliency Competition — but Brookings is not one of them, it was announced Thursday.

Brookings was one of two cities in Oregon — the other being Reedsport — that made the final round of the competition. Analysts who evaluated the applicants’ goals gave Brookings a high score — leading many to think it stood a good chance of winning.

“That means we won’t get our $6-some-odd million for our emergency room in Brookings,” said Mayor Ron Hedenskog. “That means we can’t help Harbor solve their water problems.” 

“It’s very disappointing, said Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman who, with his staff spent “hours, after-hours and weekends” — including seminars in Seattle and Denver — compiling data and tailoring it to the competition. “Maybe they determined the need in these locations was greater; that’s kind of what competition is.”

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Major changes for Brookings-Harbor chamber

The Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce is making major changes in the new year — a new director, a different office and updated goals for the future of the organization.

Linda Moran has been hired as executive director, a role chamber board members have been looking to fill for months. Moran has served as a temporary leader for the chamber since former director Arlis Steele’s sudden departure several months earlier. 

Jeremy Small, chairman of the Brookings-Harbor chamber and manager of Harbrook Jewelers, lauded Moran’s positive attitude, new ideas for the chamber and enthusiasm for the job.

“The transition was abrupt,” Small said. “We were really in a bind — everyone on the board has a full-time job. Linda had been a volunteer full-time. She stepped up to help the chamber, and also to earn a spot to be part of the interview process.”

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Police report spike in car burglaries

The Brookings Police Department has seen a spike in breaking and entering of vehicles in the past few weeks both within the city of Brookings and out in the county, and officers are now looking into factors that could be causing the uptick in thefts.

Several weeks ago, police officers reported an influx of criminal activity in the Brookings area coming from Del Norte County, and officers suspect the increase in break-ins may have a Del Norte tie as well.

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Captain is sole survivor in crab boat wreck

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The Eagle III, shown here in dry dock at the Port of Port Orford, broke apart Tuesday night near the entrance to the Port of Coos Bay. Submitted photo.
 

The captain of the Port Orford-based fishing vessel Eagle III is the sole survivor after his boat broke apart on the north jetty near Coos Bay Tuesday night, dumping all four of the crew into the icy water.

Captain Glenn A. Burkhow Sr., 52, of Port Orford, swam to the jetty and climbed to safety, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Coos County Sheriff’s Office.

Crewmember Blain Steinmetz, 52, of Port Orford, died and was found by the Coast Guard on the jetty shortly after the wreck

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard stopped searching for the Joshua W. Paulus, 31, and Daniel N. Matlock, 37, both of Port Orford.

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Climate change talk

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Retired science professor Alan Journet links climate trends to temperatures and rain in Brookings.

In a room in which there were so many people they had to sit on the floor, retired biology and environmental science professor Alan Journet outlined the climate trends taking place in the Pacific Northwest — and the near- and long-term possibilities that will occur if nothing is done to curb carbon emissions.

Journet, a founder of Jacksonville-based Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, was not in Harbor Monday night to convince people that global warming or climate change is real.

“I was a skeptic,” he said of his collegiate days when he first heard about the emerging science in the 1970s. “It wasn’t until much later I started taking this much more seriously.”

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