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New airline flies as runway project takes off

In 2015 Crescent City’s little airport by the sea sent its passengers north to Portland for the first time, aboard a newcomer carrier’s Saab 340. All the while, it saw that its runways were made safer and settled into the related task of digging out acres upon acres of wetlands.

The Anchorage-based PenAir won the hearts of transportation officials near and far in March, when it beat out two smaller airlines in the bid to take over area skies for SkyWest. 

SkyWest, the carrier that had flown from Crescent City to San Francisco and sometimes Sacramento for years, retired its turbo props in favor of larger jets in April. 

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Local man survives two nights in woods

A Whaleshead area man was alive but suffering from hypothermia Thursday after search and rescuers found him in the woods several miles from his home.

Casey Kirkendall, 29, spent two nights in the forest after walking away from his home on Whaleshead Road, authorities said.

Kirkendall’s family reported him missing to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, the day after he was last seen walking from the house following a family dispute, said Lt. Michael Espinoza.

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Changes at Azalea Park ballfield underway

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Within the next four years, the eastern side of Azalea Park will have undergone enough changes to make it a destination for sports teams up and down the Wild Rivers Coast. 

The Brookings Parks and Recreation Department has recently entered a four-phase reconfiguration plan for its ball fields in Azalea Park which will include changes and additions to its baseball fields, adding a multi-use field and making general improvements to the sporting areas of the park. 

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Crews repair, monitor rain-damaged areas

This week, sunken grades along Highway 101 have been patched, one lane is open on Carpenterville Road, and state transportation officials are keeping watch over other precarious spots after back-to-back winter storms dumped more than 2 feet of rain over Curry County in December.

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Brookings considers 2016 projects

Brookings might add a second story to city hall, and develop an access point to the ocean from Tanbark Road, among many other projects, if the city council pursues the long-term goals outlined in its strategic plan.

The council prioritized and updated the plan Dec. 23 and will discuss how to accomplish the goals at a 4 p.m. workshop Monday.

It plans to tackle a master plan for its sewer system early this year. A similar master plan was done in 2014 for water and involved locating and evaluating the status of the systems.

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Freeze warning issued as crews scramble to repair damage from latest storms

Highway workers are taking advantage of sunshine while it’s here.

The storms that dumped more than 2 feet of rain over Curry County this month have dissipated for now, sending highway crews scrambling to get what work done they can on numerous spots along Highway 101.

Sunshine and highs in the mid-40s are forecast today (Dec. 30) through the weekend. The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning with overnight temperatues on Wednesday and Friday hovering around 30 degrees.

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Ban on suction dredge mining begins Jan. 2

A five-year ban on suction dredge mining — a popular pastime in Curry County — goes into effect Friday, Jan. 2.

Environmental groups hope legislators will make the temporary ban permanent later, while miners say the state is illegally interfering with their federally-granted rights and that the mining does no environmental harm.

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New Oregon laws for 2016

In Oregon, the new year often brings new changes to state law. This year is no exception.

The 2015 legislation has approved a slew of new laws, effective Jan. 1, including paid sick leave, expansion of birth control access, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. 

Here are the highlights:

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Fishermen ready for crab season

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The commercial fishing vessel Cape Sebastian is full of crab pots at the Port of Brookings Harbor Monday afternoon.

Crab season is set to begin Jan. 4 — and fishermen will finally get to begin the season they were ready for one month ago.

The season, which typically begins Dec. 1, was delayed due to concerns about the presence of domoic acid — a shellfish poison toxic to human beings. State agencies spent the past month testing crab to ensure that domoic acid levels were once again safe for human consumption.

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Former health network CFO arraigned on vandalism charges

Ken Landau, on administrative leave from his position as chief financial officer of the Curry Health Network, was arraigned Monday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony, and second-degree criminal trespassing, a Class C misdemeanor. 

Landau, 49, of Gold Beach, was arrested Saturday, Dec. 19, for allegedly spray-painting the home of hospital district CEO Ginny Razo Friday night. Damage is estimated at $3,000. He is being represented in Circuit Court by attorney John Spicer and no plea had been entered by Thursday morning.

Razo had installed on her property surveillance cameras last week. Sheriff John Ward said Landau was identified from video taken of the alleged incident.

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