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Curry coast escapes brunt of winter storm

Brookings city work crews scrambled Friday to clear plugged culverts and storm water drains, but otherwise Curry County escaped the brunt of a storm that caused major flooding and downed trees in areas of Grants Pass and Medford.

The second wave of the storm was expected to bring an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Southern Oregon Coast this morning through Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

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City crews respond to storm-flooded areas

Brookings city crews worked through the night and were scrambling this morning to clear culverts and storm water drains as the latest winter storm dropped at least 1.5 inches of rain since midnight.

A total of 5.37 inches has fallen in downtown Brookings since Monday, and an additional 2 to 4 inches is expect today through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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Heavy rains begin tonight

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Just when you thought the rain might be over, a second storm is headed our way, bring with it a prolonged period of rain — in some places, up to 10 inches — for the entire coast of Oregon.

Moderate to heavy rainfall beginning today is expected to come from the north, spread into Northern California by Thursday and continue through the weekend.

With the rain forecast come warnings for high winds, heavy surf, possible flooding and the potential for slides.

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Lifeline with some kick

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The line throw, which operates like a gun, uses CO2 canisters to fire a safety line.

For hours last summer, treacherous rip currents kept a Brookings teenager and his would-be rescuer, a sheriff’s deputy, from reaching the shore.

Today, the Brookings Fire Department has a new lifesaving device that could have cut that rescue effort down to mere minutes.

The CO2-operated line throw, which fires just like a gun, uses canisters of compressed air to shoot up to 500 feet of rope. If someone is in a place inaccessible to rescue crews, the fire department can “shoot” the rope out, giving the person something to hold onto while rescuers reel in that person.

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Reactions to sheriff’s proposed levy mixed

A ballot measure asking voters to increase their property taxes to pay for the sheriff’s department hasn’t even been written yet, and it’s already attracting mixed reviews throughout Curry County.

As proposed by Sheriff John Ward’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a ballot question on the May 19 election would ask voters to increase their property taxes by $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation for those living in cities, and $2.52 per $1,000 for those living in unincorporated Curry County.

The disparity in the two rates reflects the cost of patrols in the unincorporated areas, as each of the three cities have their own police protection. The rest of the revenue raised would pay for sheriff’s operations, including the jail — the most expensive element — 911 dispatch offices, Search and Rescue operations and administrative duties associated with the department.

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City will notify residents of new building projects

The city of Brookings next week will introduce a new public notification system to alert citizens about all new private development projects proposed in the city.

The notifications are part of the city’s attempts to bring citizens into the development process as new businesses come to town. Many people were upset when O’Reilly Auto Parts opened its door at the entrance to town, but that frustration was exacerbated by what initially looked like a tin shed going in at Chetco and Easy Street a few months later.

Citizens said they had no idea anything was proposed for either lot and wished they could have had a say in the matter. 

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Community garden, lights proposed for Azalea Park

Installing lights in a dark parking lot at Azalea Park and transforming the existing sand volleyball court there into a community garden were proposals warmly received by the Brookings City Council during a workshop Monday.

The council did not make any decisions during the workshop, but they instructed staff to investigate both proposals and bring them back for a final decision later this month.

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Rain returns with special warning

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This week's weather service forecast.

 

February may be less than 36 hours old, but it has already posted a quarter of the rainfall recorded in Brookings during January. In fact, it could break the January total by midweek.

With rain forecast through next weekend, the National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for Southern Oregon, warning of wet and windy conditions that will be heaviest along the coast.

To find links to all the latest forecasts and weather conditions, go to www.currypilot.com/weather

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Shannon: Gold Beach’s newest police officer

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Garrett Shannon is sworn in as a police officer during Monday’s city council meeting.

The Gold Beach Police Department was delighted to add a new member to their team at Monday night’s city council meeting.

Garrett Shannon, 28, stood before the council and repeated his oath after Mayor Karl Popoff. 

A former U.S. Marine and a volunteer firefighter for the city of Gold Beach since his teenage years, Shannon is eager to begin his career with the police department.

“My family has always been involved in law enforcement,” Shannon said. “Growing up, it was something I always wanted to do.” 

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Group proposes split-rate law levy

Now, the hard work begins.

So said Curry County Sheriff John Ward’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Friday afternoon in agreeing to recommend a split-rate property tax increase to fund the sheriff’s department, the jail and dispatch for three years.

The rate the CAC gave to Ward — he will present it to the Curry County Board of Commissioners Feb. 4 — is $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation for those living in the cities and $2.52 for those living in unincorporated parts of the county. 

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