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Herbage retiring after 34 years serving Curry County

Jerry Herbage

When Curry County Attorney Jerry Herbage was hired on in 1981, the Dow Jones closed the year at $875, the yearly inflation rate was 10.35 percent, the median price for an existing home was $66,400, the average income was $21,050 a year and the cost of a gallon of gas was $1.25.

Boy, have things changed — and not just at the national level.

Herbage remembers that the commissioner board back then was elected along party lines. The county usually was flush — sometimes obscenely so — with money. And he was a young attorney, just embarking on his career.


Operation Christmas child underway

Last Christmas, there were more than 627 boxes — stacked one atop another, row after row — filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene products donated by Curry County churches and residents.

The boxes, which often include uplifting notes, were mailed to needy children around the world who live in impoverished conditions. The gifts might very well be the only Christmas they will ever know.

This year, Operation Christmas has joined forces with Samaritan Purse, and representatives of both groups hope that Curry County residents will fill even more boxes than last year.


Authorities: Attempted murder suspect may be in Brookings area


Layla Strnad

A woman wanted for attempted murder in Del Norte County may be in the Brookings area, said the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Layla Strnad, 20, is wanted for pointing a handgun at two Smith River residents and threatening to kill them earlier this week, the sheriff’s office said. Strnad is also a suspect in a carjacking a week earlier in Del Norte County.


Oregon crab off limits — for now


A state agency on Friday closed recreational crab harvesting along the Curry County coast because the crab contain high levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can be fatal.

Any crab caught between Heceta Head, near Florence, south to the Oregon-California border should not be eaten, officials said.


Veterans Day: Keeping history alive

VFW Post Commander Rick Bremer’s collection of models includes one his father flew in World War II.

“This building was in shambles when I got here — they were talking about tearing it down,” Rick Bremer said as he sat in his sunshine-filled office at the VFW Post 966 in Brookings. 

Bremer has served as the post commander for the last decade and, under his direction, the VFW hall has been transformed from derelict property to a community treasure. 

A large mural dominates the north end of the hall, while a small part of Bremer’s World War II memorabilia and model aircraft collection lines all available wall space.


Election shows a county divided

Talk about a county divided.

Voters looking to place blame — or take credit — for the failure of the hospital annexation question on the ballot Nov. 3 need look no further than themselves.

According to the Curry County Elections Department, all of the 14 precincts in the south county — regardless of whether they’re in the city or Brookings or unincorporated county areas — voted against annexing into the hospital district. It lost 1,653 to 2,927.

The district roughly runs from south of Pistol River to Langlois and east to the county line with Josephine County.


Council will mull marijuana sales tax

In light of the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana, the Gold Beach City Council will consider a marijuana tax and adopting it as early as January.

City Administrator Jodi Fritts on Monday provided the council with reviews of ordinances in several cities with marijuana taxes, including  Ashland, Brookings, Happy Valley and Portland.

The city of Gold Beach had a moratorium on medical marijuana, which expired April 30, 2015. At that time the council, after much deliberation, voted 3-2 not to renew the moratorium and allowed state regulations on medical marijuana to apply within the city.


University students strip whale carcass

OSU students remove blubber from the whale.

The smell and smoke of burning whale blubber floated over a small army of volunteers as they hacked away at the carcass of a 78-foot-long blue whale that washed up on the beach north of Gold Beach last week.

“Normally we would just bury a whale on the beach where it was found,” explained Oregon State Parks Ocean Shore Specialist Calum Stevenson last Friday. “However, they will be stripping this one due to the rarity of the whale.” 

Oregon State Parks is overseeing the effort to remove the carcass. 


City balks at paying bill for golf course work

The city of Brookings will wait for more detailed invoices from Salmon Run golf course before it decides to pay an almost $9,000 bill for higher-than-anticipated labor costs — and costs the management company is billing the city to rent the golf course’s own equipment.

The city council in July agreed to waive this year’s $20,000 lease payment so Wild Rivers Golf Management (WRGM) could instead build a 1-mile-long irrigation bypass line at the 18-hole course on South Bank Chetco River Road.

That line would provide a much-needed permanent water source for the city-owned golf course to ensure its financial success, the council agreed this year.


A time to remember

Veterans from area care facilities enjoy lunch and discussion at the Brookings VFW Hall Wednesday.

Local veterans from World War II to Desert Storm — and nearly every war in between — shared lunch and stories on Wednesday at the Brookings VFW Post 966.

As buses from Sea View Senior Living and Ocean Park Memory Care dropped veterans and their spouses off at the VFW, volunteers Bonnier Bremer and Cathy Hernandez put the finishing touches on lunch in the kitchen. 

“Every year the boys from the post visit the nursing homes and visit with veterans,” Bremer said, “This is the first year we have brought them all here.”

Post Commander Rick Bremer told guests, “We don’t do enough to honor our veterans in nursing homes, our seniors. We want you to know you are not forgotten.”


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