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Crab season delayed due to toxin

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The earliest commercial fishermen can harvest crab will be mid-December.

The traditional Dec. 1 commercial crab season has been delayed for the entire Oregon Coast due to above average levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can be fatal, found in Dungeness crab off certain parts of the coast, a state agency announced.

The earliest that commercial fisherman can harvest crab is mid-December — but only if future test results say the crab is safe for human consumption.

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Donation: Sheriff’s office gets new ATVs

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Curry County Sheriff John Ward, middle, receives new ATVs from Bob Snazuk, left, and David Snazuk, right. The vehicles will serve search and rescue efforts. Submitted photo.

Dave and Bob Snazuk, owners of Harbor’s Best Western Beachfront Inn, have donated two new, fully-equipped all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to the Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue department.

The vehicles, 2016 Honda Foreman ATVs, and additional equipment are valued at more than $16,000. They will be useful to the SAR team in searching for lost or injured people in difficult or otherwise inaccessible terrain. 

The Snazuk family has made repeated donations to the Search and Rescue team over the past 20 years.

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Group explores culinary tourism

Scores of local farmers, restaurateurs and store owners gathered last week at Rod and Reel Restaurant in Gold Beach to network and work together to grow, cook and sell everything local.

Ideas the group came up with included encouraging farmers to specialize in growing one fruit or vegetable to make it easier for cooks to shop in bulk, and developing new events to attract visitors to the area.

The event was the third in a series of an Eat Fresh and Local action team, a local culinary tourism endeavor to increase awareness of locally grown, organic foods grown in the area and attract visitors to farms, farmer’s markets, restaurants and stores.

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Businesses, offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Businesses and government offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26, in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

City and county offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but police, sheriff, fire and other emergency services will remain in operation. City offices will be closed on Friday. Curry County offices will be open on Friday, Nov. 27. 

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Homeless in Gold Beach

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A homeless man settles into softball dugout at Buffington Park in Gold Beach “to just rest for a while.” Gold Beach Police have been cracking down on people sleeping in the park overnight.

A few years ago it was not uncommon to see homeless people panhandling in Harbor, clutching cardboard signs that read: “Help, I’m hungry” and “Anything will help.” 

But their numbers have have dwindled since the county implemented anti-loitering and no panhandling ordinances. Some Gold Beach residents are convinced the homeless have migrated north to their city.

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County nixes business licenses

A proposal to implement business licenses in unincorporated Curry County died this week when the county’s planning department nixed the idea, agreeing with citizens’ complaints that details were too vague and it wouldn’t go over well with business owners. 

The question of the business license, a proposal to charge “home occupations” an outright use instead of making people obtain a conditional use permit (CUP), and another to allow cottage businesses, were unanimously struck down in Wednesday night’s meeting.

The commission plans to bring up issues related to home occupations and cottage industries at a meeting early next year.

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Seaweed: It’s what for breakfast!

Vegans rejoice!

Oregon State University researchers have developed a new strain of red marine seaweed that grows quickly, is abundant in the ocean, can easily be farmed, is packed with protein and best of all — tastes like bacon.

Dulse (Palmaria sp.) grows in the wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, where people harvest and sell it for up to $90 a pound in its dried form. The form created in giant tanks at OSU can be farmed, potentially opening up a new resource of healthy food.

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Port’s new policy limiting public input sparks concerns

Citizens who want to make a public comment at the Port of Brookings Harbor board meetings now have to submit their comments to the port office ahead of time in order to be placed on the agenda.

The new policy, approved at Tuesday’s port board meeting, limits public comment to agenda-only items.  

The change in procedure has caused some concerns among the board members about the individual actions of commissioners, as well as the potential restrictions of citizens’ abilities to communicate with port commissioners.

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Scam alert: Calls from IRS seeking tax payments is a hoax

The Curry Coastal Pilot and the Brookings Police Department has received numerous calls in the last few days from citizens targeted by scam artists pretending to represent the IRS.

In most instances, the callers identify themselves as working for the IRS and tell victims there is a warrant out for their arrested for not paying taxes.

 To avoid being arrested, the victim can pay the taxes, via money order or pre-paid debit card, to avoid arrest.

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Police brace for heroin rise

Heroin use was declared an epidemic in Coos County last week, and if it’s there, said Gold Beach Police Chief Dixon Andrews, the problem will find its way south to Curry County.

“It’s coming, no question about it,” Andrews said. “Five years ago Portland was awash in heroin. Still is. If they’re seeing that in Coos Bay, it’s not going to be too long before we see it down here.”

According to the state Medical Examiner’s Office, in 2012, the last year for which information is available, Multnomah County alone saw 130 drug overdose deaths. That year, Coos County had four methamphetamine overdoses. Curry reported none.

Here, there has been a slight uptick in heroin arrests, jail reports and court dockets indicate, but it’s not substantial, said Curry County Sheriff John Ward. 

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