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Section of Chetco River awaits new status

A section of the Chetco River — and a stretch of the Molalla River in Clackamas County — merely await the swipe of the governor’s pen before being designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers on the state’s Scenic Waterways list, it was learned this week.

The designation of those two portions of rivers was recommended by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission, which would protect them and their banks from damage that can occur with development. The state Water Resources Committee agreed.

It would only affect a 14-mile portion of the Chetco River, from Loeb State Park to the Steel Bridge. The river is unique in that it is the only river in the state that begins and ends in the same county. Locally, rivers with Scenic Waterways status include the Elk, Illinois and sections of the Rogue.

Property owners along the banks of that section of the Chetco River would have to abide by only a few of the rules for such rivers, and proponents of the designation have said they wouldn’t be affected much, if all, here, said Steve Kay, the state parks recreation grants division manager told citizens in September.

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Police nab driver of stolen vehicle

A long test drive in a Hyundai Elantra stolen from a dealership in Elko, Nevada came to an end just north of Gold Beach Thanksgiving Day when law enforcement stopped it using spike strips after it sped through Brookings and Gold Beach.

They ultimately arrested 20-year-old Daniel William Talavera of Meridian, Idaho, Curry County Sheriff John Ward reported.

The incident started when officials with the Brookings Police Department notified local law enforcement at 4:30 p.m. that they were chasing a vehicle driving between 80 and 90 miles per hour northbound near Whaleshead Resort.

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Brookings' Elmo Williams dies at age 102

Elmo Williams

Long-time Brookings resident and retired Hollywood film producer Elmo Williams died peacefully in his home at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday at the age of 102.

Williams, who slipped into unconsciousness on Friday, spent his final days surrounded by family and friends. They celebrated Thanksgiving on Tuesday, setting a plate for Elmo at the dinner table while he rested in his bed nearby. The dinner included some of Elmo's favorite food and the family toasted Elmo, raising a glass of his favorite wine.

“It was a very peaceful passing,” said Elmo’s adult daughter Stacy Williams.

A memorial for Elmo is scheduled for Dec. 12 at the Brookings Elks Lodge. The time of the event is high noon, a nod to the classic western movie High Noon, in which Elmo received an Academy Award as film editor.

The family will hold a private service before then.

Check Saturday's Curry Coastal Pilot for a full story and photos about Elmo Williams.


Crab season delayed due to toxin

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The earliest commercial fishermen can harvest crab will be mid-December.

The traditional Dec. 1 commercial crab season has been delayed for the entire Oregon Coast due to above average levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can be fatal, found in Dungeness crab off certain parts of the coast, a state agency announced.

The earliest that commercial fisherman can harvest crab is mid-December — but only if future test results say the crab is safe for human consumption.

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Donation: Sheriff’s office gets new ATVs

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Curry County Sheriff John Ward, middle, receives new ATVs from Bob Snazuk, left, and David Snazuk, right. The vehicles will serve search and rescue efforts. Submitted photo.

Dave and Bob Snazuk, owners of Harbor’s Best Western Beachfront Inn, have donated two new, fully-equipped all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to the Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue department.

The vehicles, 2016 Honda Foreman ATVs, and additional equipment are valued at more than $16,000. They will be useful to the SAR team in searching for lost or injured people in difficult or otherwise inaccessible terrain. 

The Snazuk family has made repeated donations to the Search and Rescue team over the past 20 years.

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Group explores culinary tourism

Scores of local farmers, restaurateurs and store owners gathered last week at Rod and Reel Restaurant in Gold Beach to network and work together to grow, cook and sell everything local.

Ideas the group came up with included encouraging farmers to specialize in growing one fruit or vegetable to make it easier for cooks to shop in bulk, and developing new events to attract visitors to the area.

The event was the third in a series of an Eat Fresh and Local action team, a local culinary tourism endeavor to increase awareness of locally grown, organic foods grown in the area and attract visitors to farms, farmer’s markets, restaurants and stores.

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Businesses, offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Businesses and government offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26, in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

City and county offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but police, sheriff, fire and other emergency services will remain in operation. City offices will be closed on Friday. Curry County offices will be open on Friday, Nov. 27. 

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Homeless in Gold Beach

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A homeless man settles into softball dugout at Buffington Park in Gold Beach “to just rest for a while.” Gold Beach Police have been cracking down on people sleeping in the park overnight.

A few years ago it was not uncommon to see homeless people panhandling in Harbor, clutching cardboard signs that read: “Help, I’m hungry” and “Anything will help.” 

But their numbers have have dwindled since the county implemented anti-loitering and no panhandling ordinances. Some Gold Beach residents are convinced the homeless have migrated north to their city.

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County nixes business licenses

A proposal to implement business licenses in unincorporated Curry County died this week when the county’s planning department nixed the idea, agreeing with citizens’ complaints that details were too vague and it wouldn’t go over well with business owners. 

The question of the business license, a proposal to charge “home occupations” an outright use instead of making people obtain a conditional use permit (CUP), and another to allow cottage businesses, were unanimously struck down in Wednesday night’s meeting.

The commission plans to bring up issues related to home occupations and cottage industries at a meeting early next year.

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Seaweed: It’s what for breakfast!

Vegans rejoice!

Oregon State University researchers have developed a new strain of red marine seaweed that grows quickly, is abundant in the ocean, can easily be farmed, is packed with protein and best of all — tastes like bacon.

Dulse (Palmaria sp.) grows in the wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, where people harvest and sell it for up to $90 a pound in its dried form. The form created in giant tanks at OSU can be farmed, potentially opening up a new resource of healthy food.

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