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Local veteran groups host Sunday event at Azalea Park

Several Brookings-Harbor veterans groups are saying “thank you” to the community — for everything — with a free concert from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 27).

The Vietnam Veterans of America, the Marine Corps League and the Disabled American Veterans will sponsor “Vet Fest” at the Azalea Park bandshell. The event will feature two bands: the J. Barley Band, a bluegrass group from the Illinois Valley that will play at 2 p.m., and local blues rock band Spence Brothers, which will play at 4 p.m.

VVA president Bill Farrell explained the chapter’s long history with the community.


Azalea Park: The Elmo connection

Mention the decades-long transformation of Brookings’ Azalea Park and Elmo Williams is quick to give others the credit.

“It couldn’t have been done without so many great volunteers,” the Brookings resident said wistfully.

With a smile on his face, Williams asked, “Did I tell you they were using it as a pasture to graze mules when we first went in there?”

For several decades, Elmo, a retired Hollywood director, and his late wife, Lorraine, along with a small army of volunteers, transformed Azalea Park from an overgrown, neglected piece of property into the beloved city park that now serves as the backdrop for local festivals, afternoon games of catch, and family picnics.


Public can learn more about CHD proposal

As the November election draws near, public discussions of the proposed changes to Curry Health District are becoming more frequent — and with them several opportunities to learn about the upcoming ballot measures in the next few weeks. 

Measures 8-83 and 8-84 both deal with the potential annexation of the south end of the county into the Curry Health District. 

Measure 8-83 asks residents of the current health district, just south of Pistol River to the north end of the county, whether they would like to have the southern end of the county annexed into the district. Measure 8-84, meanwhile, asks voters from south of Pistol River to the California border whether they would like to be annexed into the health district.


Project aims to slow traffic south of border

Curry County motorists traveling south on Highway 101 through Smith River may have noticed a recent increase in radar feedback signs letting them know how fast they’re going.

The signs are one component of a larger project spearheaded by the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation that will create a 7-mile-long safety corridor between the Oregon border and Rowdy Creek Road in the Smith River area. 


Port of Brookings sets sights on new lift

The Port of Brookings Harbor continues to improve its infrastructure and has identified a list of top priorities — repairing the docks, repaving, and updating some of its buildings — as they refinance their current debt.

The port also has immediate plans to purchase a new travel lift to replace the current, worn out model.


Search for car wreck suspect continues

Brookings Police are seeking the public’s help in finding the suspects of last week’s hit-and-run vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 101 and North Bank Chetco River Road.

Police have identified the suspect as 33-year-old Harbor resident Donald Eugene Phillips. Phillips is wanted for driving with a suspended license, felony reckless endangerment and failure to stop at the scene of an accident. Additional charges may be filed, according to police.


West Nile virus confirmed in Brookings

West Nile virus has been detected a second time in Curry County — this time in a horse in Brookings, based on testing done on Sept. 16, state officials reported Tuesday.

The first time the virus was detected in Curry County was in 2007, when a dead crow found near Port Orford tested positive. 

Dr. Emilio E. DeBess, DVM at Oregon Health Authority, said Tuesday that the Oregon State University Veterinary  Diagnostic Laboratory in Corvallis confirmed the positive horse.


Bigger boat has right of way

Recreational fishermen at the Port of Brookings Harbor learn first-hand just how small their vessel is compared to the commercial trawler Miss Pacific. Photo by Grant Fraley

City questions tribe’s property transfer request

Members of the Smith River Rancheria celebrate the grand opening of the tribes new apartment complex in Brookings in March. File photo.

The Brookings mayor and city manager aren’t happy with the request by a regional Indian tribe to transfer its Brookings apartment property to federal ownership, effectively making it exempt from local taxes, development fees and building and zoning codes.

“The transfer means they would get out of paying property taxes but keep using the city services — police, water, sewer — for free,” Mayor Ron Hedenskog said Thursday.

Also, the property owners, Smith River Rancheria, would be exempt from paying county taxes and those for special districts 


Police arrest theft suspect

Brookings Police officers were busy this week searching for a vehicle hit-and-run suspect and arresting a 41-year-old transient man suspected of stealing items from a Chetco Avenue store and breaking into vehicles.

Police contacted transient Ryan D. Martin on Wednesday and found stolen property in his possession. He was arrested and transported to Curry County Jail, where he was charged with three counts of breaking into vehicles, second and third degree theft and theft by receiving.

On Sept. 14, the Brookings Police Department received a report of an overnight burglary from the owner of Silver City Coins and Collectibles on Chetco Avenue


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