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Live Oregon gubernatorial debate

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The Curry Coastal Pilot will be one of many Oregon newspapers offering exclusive live coverage of Friday's debate between the candidates for governor in the 2014 election.

The 90-minute debate between incumbent John Kitzhaber and challenger Dennis Richardson is set for 10:15 a.m. Friday, July 18, at the annual convention of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in Salem.

The video feed is exclusive to ONPA members, arranged through KATU television of Portland.

Click on the "Read More" button below to view the live coverage during Friday's debate.

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New hospital project delayed

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An artist’s rendition shows the latest concept for a new, $10 million hospital to be built adjacent to the existing facility in Gold Beach. Submitted photo.

Curry Health District officials are moving forward with plans to build a new hospital in Gold Beach, but it may not happen as quickly as originally planned.

Circumstances surrounding the delay have spurred rumors that the district had lost the funding for the project — but it’s not true, officials said. 

“The misinformation floating about is disheartening and I know if we can get the word out there it will put the minds of our community members at ease,” said Cheryl McDermott, district executive assistant.  

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Jim Welter: Fisherman, country philosopher, and natural scientist

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Brookings’ beloved fisherman, volunteer advocate Jim Welter. Photo courtesy of Larry Ellis.

Jim Welter, known as Brookings’ “fishing guru” for his long-time volunteer efforts with local and state fisheries, died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 85.

According to his daughter, June Paul, Welter passed away while receiving hospice at his Brookings home. A memorial service has not been set yet and a full obituary will be published in a future issue of the Pilot.

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Voters to decide 4-cent gas tax

Brookings City councilors will put a gas tax measure to the voters next May, after debating about even forging ahead with it, considering they are missing one critical element of the puzzle: how much gasoline is sold in Brookings every year.

That missing information makes it difficult to figure out how much tax to charge to garner the $300,000 revenue needed each year to replace and repair roads throughout the city.

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Local jails not a good last resort for mentally ill

A major topic to be brought up in next year’s state legislative session is sure to be jails being used as holding facilities for people with mental health issues.

That was discussed at a Local Public Safety Coordinating Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, where Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith solicited ideas to take to the 2015 legislative session.

He won’t be the only one asking for help with the situation.

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Expect lane closures north of Harris Beach

ODOT and prime contractor Legacy Contracting plan to begin construction on the Harris Beach Multiuse Path project this week.

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Lt. Ward aims for sheriff slot

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Lt. John Ward

No one can fill Curry County Sheriff John Bishop’s shoes — but Lt. John Ward is going to give it a try.

“There’s no one else qualified to do it,” he said. “I know the ins and outs of the Sheriff’s Department, I know the people, I know the county, I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

He plans to submit his letter of interest Monday.

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Brookings whistle buoy will stay afloat

The lighted whistle buoy that guides vessels in and out of the Port of Brookings Harbor will stay, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

The decision, announced Friday, was made after Coast Guard officials received what they called a “significant amount of public input.”

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Federal road funding loss may delay local projects

Inflation, gas-sipping vehicles and increases in the use of mass transit has put the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highway funds on the brink of insolvency, and unless Congress acts immediately, the agency will be out of money by the end of the year.

And that, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming, could mean delays for Brookings’ planned Railroad Street redesign, and the county’s funding request for two new Coastal Express vans and repaving a 4-mile stretch between Sixes and Port Orford.

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Commissioners defend decision to give cost of living raises

County Commissioner David Brock Smith declared “asinine” the rumors that the board’s decision earlier this month to grant cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and retirement benefit (PERS) reimbursements to all county employees — including themselves — will jeopardize September’s jail levy.

Three issues are entangled in the debacle, including the COLAs and PERS reimbursements commissioners granted; the fact Sheriff John Bishop abruptly resigned July 4; and the Sept. 16 property tax increase proposal.

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