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Teacher resigns in wake of complaints

A Brookings-Harbor High School English teacher has resigned following controversy over a piece of literature he handed out to students that riled parents and created a firestorm of comments on social media sites.

Teacher Chris McConnell, who was also the golf coach, turned in his resignation, effective Thursday, administrators said Friday. 

Prior to that, school officials had remained mum while they investigated complaints by parents and students that the material McConnell handed out was inappropriate.


Medical marijuana proprietors want to bust stereotypes

Jim Klahr and Desmond Robinson, the proprietors of Curry County’s first medical marijuana dispensary, aren’t just out to help people ease the pain of their skin cancer, or stop the obsessive yelling of an Alzheimer’s patient.

They opened the shop in Harbor, in part, with a goal of educating people that medicinal marijuana isn’t the scourge the “War on Drugs” has led many to believe — and might just be the solution to chronic problems traditional Western medicine has been unable to alleviate.


Harbor Shell gas station closes, employees laid off

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The Shell gas station in Harbor was unexpectedly shut down Wednesday morning and at least 12 employees were let go by Medford-based company Hays Oil.

Owner Steve Hays said the station was losing money and it will be converted to a 24-hour Pacific Pride commercial fueling station franchise. Pacific Pride operates more than 1,300 cardlock fueling sites in the U.S. sites,

“It was a hard thing to do,” Hays said about laying off the employees. “We hated doing it, but we can’t keep running it as a retail station if it’s losing money.”

The Shell station was closed at 9 a.m. and workers were told to leave.


Sheriff says reported crime stats are skewed

Consider the source.

That’s Curry County Sheriff John Bishop’s attitude when it comes to crime statistics — whether they’re reported by the state, the feds or the media.

That was the case last week when The Oregonian, in a four-part series about crime in cash-strapped southern Oregon counties, provided a chart showing Curry County’s crime rate had spiked 94 percent in the past seven years.

Not so fast, Bishop said.


Burkhow trial underway

Corrections: Glenn Burkhow Jr. is on trial this week and next for felony first-degree assault, second-degree assault, kidnapping, robbery, first- and second-degree theft and felon in possession of a firearm. The Pilot's earlier report missed a change in the charges before the start of trial. Additionally, court statements have been that it was Russ Peters, not Burkhow, who pulled the .38 revolver out in the struggle that led to the trial.  The Pilot regrets the errors.


 A jury of 15 — 12 jurors and three alternates — will decide in the next two weeks the fate of Glenn Burkhow Jr. when they determine his role in the near-death of Wayne Russell Peters one-and-a-half years ago.

Burkhow is charged with assault, kidnapping, robbery, theft and felon in possession of a firearm.


Searchers recover body of former Brookings resident

Jefferson County search and rescue members on May 27 found the body of former Brookings resident Isamu (Sam) Furuichi, who drowned after accidently falling into the Metolius River the day before.


Deputy rescues teen: "We're going to make it"


Brookings Police Officer Kyle Kennedy, right, tries to deliver a lifeline to Deputy Terry Brown, rescue swimmer Logan Couch and 14-year-old Joshua Peterson at Harris Beach. The effort failed and Kennedy was forced to swim back to shore.

Wearing only a T-shirt and pants, Curry County Sheriff Deputy Terry Brown clutched the teenage boy in his arms, struggling to keep both their heads above the surface of the frigid Pacific Ocean.

“We’re going to make it. We’re going to make it,” Brown kept telling 14-year-old Joshua Peterson. Meanwhile, hypothermia was creeping in and Brown’s strength was failing. 


Deputy and boy rescued at Harris Beach

Rescuers safely bring Deputy Terry Brown and a teenage boy to shore at Harris Beach Monday evening.

A sheriff deputy and a 13-year-old boy struggling for nearly two hours to stay afloat in the ocean off Harris Beach in Brookings were rescued Monday evening — but it took at least three attempts by rescuers to get the pair safely ashore.


City utility rate hikes coming

Brookings city officials announced Tuesday that water, sewer and System Replacement Fees (SRFs) will go up in the upcoming year, but not nearly as much as expected, during preliminary budget discussions.

Water fees are going up July 1 by 2.94 percent, while sewer will increase 1.58 percent and SRFs 1.5 percent to reflect the CPI-U — the cost of living in urban areas, which Brookings uses as its guideline in making many budgetary decisions.


County hands septic services to state

Curry County will no longer operate its Environmental Sanitation program and will hand the duties back to the state Department of Environmental Quality, forcing residents here to go north to obtain permits for septic systems.

Effective June 16, residents and sanitation professionals seeking permits and licenses for onsite septic systems installation, maintenance and repair will be required to contact the regional office in Coos Bay.


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