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Pedestrian death spurs community concern

A hand-written memorial where Joyce Betties died

The death of Joyce Marie Betties has sparked concern in the Brookings community, with scores of residents demanding a crosswalk be installed north of Fifth Street.

Betties, 73, was struck and killed last Friday while crossing the highway after time spent at the Chetco Activity Center that day.

“I have no anger against the man who hit her,” said Betties’s daughter, Terri Single, of Grants Pass, as she admired the chalk art, flowers and pennies people had placed at the corner of Chetco Lane and Highway 101. “I want to find out what happened before I place anger anywhere.”


Residents remember Joyce Betties

Friends of Joyce Marie Betties are hoping she’s having a happy time — a tribute to the phrase the vivacious woman said to everyone.

Betties died after being struck by a car on Chetco Avenue last Friday; she was 73.

She was likely headed to Fred Meyer after visiting with people playing cards at the Chetco Activity Center that afternoon.


Ward is county’s new sheriff

New county sheriff John Ward

Lieutenant John Ward was unanimously selected to take the place of Sheriff John Bishop when he departs Curry County at the end of September.

County commissioners, who interviewed Ward and Sgt. Joel Hensley last week, made the decision Tuesday morning in a special meeting.

“We were lucky to have two qualified and willing candidates to take on the tremendous challenges in Curry County,” said Commissioner David Itzen. “It’s my view that Lt. Ward is the best qualified at this point to take on this task.”


C&K Inc. moves to Medford

C&K Market Inc. is moving its administrative offices in Brookings to Medford and is taking along any of its 30 employees who want to relocate.

“No jobs are being eliminated,” said company marketing manager Stacey Reynolds. “If you want to move to Medford, you have a job.”

The small-town grocery firm got its start in 1956 in Brookings, but has been beleaguered by financial complications with pressure from big-box retailers that have moved into town in recent years.


Pedestrian killed on Chetco Avenue

Brookings resident Joyce Marie Betties, 73, was struck and killed by a car when she walked across Chetco Avenue at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon near Chetco Lane.

The driver of the vehicle, Wayne Eugene Welbourn, of Gold Beach, was not injured in the crash, according to Brookings Police Sgt. Terry Murray. 


Medical marijuana grows exceed legal limit

A sheriff’s deputy secures marijuana plants confiscated during a bust on South Bank Chetco River Road.

Curry County Sheriff’s deputies had their first two busts related to medical marijuana grow operations this month, Lt. John Ward said Thursday.

The investigations resulted in two people being cited for manufacturing marijuana.

The Sheriff’s office received two complaints from citizens in the past two weeks regarding suspicious activities, and discovered marijuana growing operations that were not operating within the law. 


Four-cent gas tax for road repairs

The Brookings City Council will discuss a resolution to place a 4-cent-per-gallon fuel tax on the May 19, 2015 ballot during its regular 7 p.m. meeting on Monday.

The proposal was crafted to generate funds for road repair and improvements throughout town as the current method — a Street System Replacement Fee (SRF) that shows up on water and sewer bills — isn’t generating enough money to keep up with the city’s needs.

Under the terms of the resolution, any tax approved by voters would be adjusted, to a maximum of 4 cents per gallon, to garner up to $300,000. The first year of the tax, too, will provide city officials with much-needed information regarding fuel consumption in the city.


Caretaking days over for Azalea Park group

After 20 years of tending the rhododendrons and azaleas in the “formal” gardens of Azalea Park, the foundation in charge is calling it quits.

The Brookings City Council will discuss the ramifications of the organization’s disincorporation at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

“It’s been 20 years,” said Azalea Park Foundation (APF) President Shirley Hyatt. 

“My friends and I have worked in the gardens for years, and I’ve gotten to the point that when I do the work I enjoy, I get sick. I can’t do it anymore,” she said.

It’s difficult, too, to attract volunteers and train them to the specifics of pruning and clearing of the flowers, some of which are natives dating back to the early 1800s.


District hires 10 teachers

Staff changes continue at Brookings Harbor School District as the school board this week hired 10 new teachers  — bringing the total number of new hires in recent months to 28.

The board also accepted the resignation of three teachers — bringing the total number of resignations this summer to at least 27. Teachers who resigned were Marci Kime, Eric Sullivan and Michelle Arnold.

School board members were surprised by the calibre of the new teachers and were curious as to what attracted them to a rural area such as Brookings.


Work on new Curry hospital continues

Curry Health Network officials don’t yet have the final results of soil testing on land where the new hospital is slated to be built, but they’re forging ahead with details such as the location of cabinets and furniture in the four-story facility.

Voters in the hospital district, which extends from the Pistol River area north to the Coos County line and out to Agness, voted earlier this year to approve a $10 million bond to build a new hospital on the site of the present one.


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