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Council sets marijuana tax rates

The Brookings City Council this week established sales tax rates for medical and recreational marijuana in anticipation voters may approve Measure 91 on the state ballot Nov. 4.

Medical marijuana has been legal for those who carry a qualifying card from the state, but voters will decide Tuesday if the herb should be available for recreational use by people older than 21.

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Pickup driver cited for destroying guardrail

Oregon State Trooper Dean Trent is still scratching his head over how a small pickup managed to take out a 60-plus-foot long section of guardrail on Highway 101 in Harbor.

“When I saw the guardrail, I was looking for a large truck that was absolutely destroyed, but it wasn’t” Trent said.

The vehicle responsible for hitting the guardrail, and knocking if off at least two dozen wooden support beams, was a Dodge Ram 150, he said.

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Tentative identity of human remains released

Authorities announced today that identification found with the skeletal human remains discovered Sunday in the woods east of Brookings was that of 26-year-old Keith Callaway.

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Port Orford storm damage: County seeks state’s help

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Twenty-foot-plus waves driven by sustained winds of more than 100 mph on Saturday sweep structures and other equipment from the dock at the Port of Port Orford into a turbulent sea.

Curry County commissioners, along with those at the Port of Port Orford, have requested the governor to declare a state of emergency after last Saturday’s storm blew through the area.

Sustained wind speeds of more than 100 miles an hour — equivalent to a Category II hurricane — helped whip up waves 28 feet tall, taking out port infrastructure, numerous crab totes and the Hallmark Fisheries building. The waves were cresting higher than the cranes that haul boats out of harbor and flooded the port offices in a foot of water, tossed up large boulders “like projectiles” from the nearby jetty, said County Commissioner David Brock Smith, who lives in Port Orford.

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Curry berries heading to China

One man can make a difference the whole world over — with the help of county and state officials.

That man is Robert McKenzie III, a Curry County cranberry farmer who wanted to make it easier for himself and others to export their frozen food products overseas.

McKenzie, the owner of McKenzie Cranberries, Inc., grows cranberries in the north end of Curry County. And while he’s been able to sell them abroad as fresh fruit, his attempts to send them overseas in frozen form has run into nothing but frustration due to federal policy, he said this week.

It’s a big economic issue, he said.

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Vandals target Democrats’ office again

Piles of broken glass littered the walkway. Volunteers swept the splinters into neat piles, collecting them from the base of the boarded-up windows. They dumped the shards into buckets, trying to make the room usable — as soon as they could get the glass out of the carpet.

The Brookings office of the Curry County Democrats, at 619 Chetco Blvd., was vandalized twice in the last week, marking the fourth and fifth acts of vandalism on the office in the last two years.

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Curry voter turnout at 31 percent so far

With six days left before Election Day, more than 31 percent of Curry County voters — 4,102 residents — have cast their ballots in the November general election.

Voters statewide have seven ballot measures on which to decide, six candidate choices for governor and five for U.S. senator.

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Mushroom hunter finds human remains near Chetco River

The unidentified skeletal remains of a human were found Sunday by a mushroom hunter near Steel Bridge, about 20 miles from Brookings near the Chetco River.

Authorities are seeking information from the public that may help them identify the body.

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Storm damages Port Orford dock

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Debris from the Port Orford docks collects on the beach
 A storm packing winds of more than 90 mph Saturday morning damaged the Port Orford dock, doused lights in Crescent City and left debris all along the Wild Rivers Coast.

Wind gusts above 90 mph were reported at Cape Blanco between 6 and 7 a.m. Saturday.

In nearby Port Orford winds and waves damaged the dock and washed away the Hallmark Fisheries building and equipment from the end of the pier. The Port Orford Beacon shared photos and information about the damage with the Curry Coastal Pilot.

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Relaford: Annex port to city of Brookings

 Tuesday’s Port of Brookings-Harbor meeting took an unexpected turn when Port Commissioner Jim Relaford stunned the audience and his fellow board members with a proposal: to annex approximately 50 acres of port property to the city of Brookings.

“I’ve spent a lot of the last year thinking about the growth of the port, and we’ve just unanimously adopted a strategic plan.” Relaford said. “It’s my opinion that we can’t do that without discussing annexation of the port to the city of Brookings.”

Everyone in the room sat up. Audience members — about seven of them — looked on in surprise, some bristling visibly. In the past 20 years, the discussion of annexation has been a source of dispute between some residents of Brookings and unincorporated Curry County, especially Harbor.

Relaford continued that he wanted the commission to vote on the annexation at next month’s meeting. 

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