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Woman gets stolen Jeep back after wild pursuit

Brookings resident Jennifer Harrah has her stolen Jeep Cherokee back after a wild car chase with the thief, who ultimately abandoned the vehicle and was still on the loose Tuesday afternoon.

“Honestly, when we were following him, it felt sort of like ‘Need for Speed Hot Pursuit,’” Harrah said, referencing a racing video game. “It was so intense it was unreal.”

While sleeping on the first floor of her house, Brookings resident Jennifer Harrah heard her Jeep being started up and driven away sometime between 6:16 and 6:50 a.m. on Monday morning. Still half-asleep, however, Harrah didn’t quite register what she was hearing.

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Carousel for KidTown gets council nod

The Brookings City Council Monday gave Bud Halliday a tentative go-ahead to install a carousel near KidTown in Azalea Park.

The Brookings man — an admitted carousel aficionado — has been researching the possibility for more than a year in hopes of bringing visitors to the city, putting smiles on their faces and getting money into local business coffers.

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Fire destroys two Whaleshead Resort cabins

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Firefighters extinguish a fire on Sunday morning that destroyed two cabins at the Whaleshead Resort.

A fire destroyed two homes at Whaleshead Resort north of Brookings Monday morning, and firefighters from five different agencies were able to keep it from spreading to adjacent units in the close-packed neighborhood.

Volunteer firefighters from Cape Ferrelo Fire Department were first on scene to the 6:15 a.m. fire, followed by Brookings, Pistol River, Harbor and Winchuck agencies. Smith River Fire Protection District firefighters stood by to provide additional assistance.

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Kalmiopsis Wilderness: Trailblazers

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The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 26-mile hiking trail through the wilderness, leads to stunning mountaintop views.

In 2002, the half-million acre Biscuit Fire — the second-largest wildfire in Oregon history — scorched most of the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness, east of Brookings. It left the area’s trail network covered in tangled bird’s nests of fallen burnt trees with hundreds of dead snags dominating the horizons.

By the time Ashland residents Gabe Howe and his wife Jillian Stokes started visiting the area in 2006, the damage had only accelerated, with dozens of snags falling onto trails with each windy storm.

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City seeks answers to annexation questions

The Brookings City Council will discuss a possible study to evaluate the financial pros and cons of annexing some or all of the land in the Urban Growth Area at its workshop at 4 p.m. Monday.

The study, which is listed in the city’s 2014 Strategic Plan, would entail evaluating service district mergers, property tax realignment, infrastructure needs and cost estimates to provide services to newly annexed areas.

An urban growth area (UGA) is a local government regulatory measure for delineating limits for urban growth over a period of time. Land within the UGA is made available for urban development while land outside the UGA remains primarily rural for farming, forestry, or low-density residential development.

Brookings’ UGA includes all of the land inside the city limits, and extends east along the Chetco River corridor, north to the Carpenterville Road area, and south to include most of Harbor and Harbor Hills.

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Efforts to build community center continue

The Brookings City Council Monday will discuss its role in creating a strategy to develop a community aquatics and community center during its 4 p.m. workshop.

The Friends of the Brookings Harbor Aquatics Center (FBHAC) approached the city council months ago asking for assistance from the staff to begin the process. The city and FBHAC formed a task force, who have since been researching the idea.

Some of that has included visiting other facilities along the coast, preparing preliminary site and concept plans at Bud Cross Park in Brookings and holding a community meeting with YMCA representatives to introduce the idea. The next task force meeting is Dec. 10.

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Two new restaurants opening in Harbor

Despite the ongoing economic struggles in Curry County, two new restaurants are opening — one at the Port of Brookings Harbor, in the Harbor area, another on Highway 101. 

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Two pedestrians killed in unrelated collisions

Two pedestrians were killed Wednesday in two separate and unrelated collisions in Del Norte County, including one near Lucky 7 Casino and a hit-and-run in Crescent City that ended with the driver’s arrest.

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Commercial crab season opens Dec. 1

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Crab pots are loaded on the Miss Emily at the Port of Brookings Harbor in anticipation of the start of crab season.

Waving away hovering gulls, Brookings commercial fisherman Bernie Lindley and his crew tossed blocks of frozen squid onto a table, chopping and stuffing it into little pots, screwing the lids on tight and tossing them into buckets.

“It’s bait for crab fishing,” Lindley said. 

The crew are among hundreds of commercial fishermen along the Oregon Coast busily preparing for the Dec. 1 opening of the Dungeness crab season.

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One big pile at a time

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Trash Dogs volunteers with their latest haul: trash collected along Carpenterville Road north of Brookings.

The Trash Dogs were awarded another grant earlier this month to continue the work they’ve done for the past seven years, picking up dumped trash in U.S. Forest Service lands in Curry County.

The $12,500 grant will be used to pay for dump fees and mileage accrued by the volunteers who drive to remote areas and collect trash — from junk mail to vehicles — people have dumped in the woods. The grant runs through autumn 2016.

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