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Lost and found: Ring returned to owner

Port employee Bill Franks found a lost ring on a men’s bathroom floor and returned it to its rightful owner Harold Jurgens, of Brookings.

For more than 50 years, Harold Jurgens of Brookings has proudly worn his class ring on the third finger of his left hand.

And one day, his wife noticed it was gone.

“I had no idea,” the 95-year-old retired U.S. Army colonel said.

It would be another three months before he was reunited with the jewelry, which features a cherry-red stone in a gold setting with the name of his alma mater, the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on one side.

It was that clue that helped Bill Franks, a Port of Brookings-Harbor employee, get the ring back to its rightful owner.


Hospital closer to obtaining USDA loan

The Curry Hospital District is just over $1 million away from bringing anticipated costs under the amount required to obtain a USDA loan for a new hospital — after board members Tuesday eliminated items they believe aren’t absolutely essential to patient care.

Patients lifts? They don’t need one for every room, and cut that $100,000 cost to $5,000.

Room mock-ups, in which the contractor builds life-size rooms using cardboard and steel frames so those who can’t visualize them from maps can see how they work? Eliminated completely, saving $30,000.

Art? That’s been cut from $40,000 in the budget to $5,000.


Hwy. 101 delays cause frustration

Oregon Department of Transportation’s officials have received a few complaints about traffic control, primarily from residents on East Harris Heights Road, related to daytime road closures underway on Highway 101 north of Brookings.

“The nub of the problem is how motorists on East Harris Heights Road can turn left — south — onto 101 when the lane closures are in effect,” said Dan Latham, spokesman for ODOT. “There was an instance when northbound 101 traffic was backed up past East Harris Heights Road, and although the drivers on U.S. 101 left a gap for vehicles to get in and out of the side road, there was a large truck that blocked visibility of any 101 traffic heading south.”


Sheriff job open to qualified candidates

The Board of Curry County Commissioners is seeking qualified applicants for the vacant position of Curry County sheriff. 

The final candidate will replace current Sheriff John Bishop, who announced his resignation earlier this month, citing work-related stress in his struggle to keep his department financially stable as the county approaches what commissioners have called the “fiscal abyss.”


Active fire in Illinois Valley

Jackson County officials report that there is an active fire Tuesday morning in the Illinois Valley, off Reeves Creek Road and Highway 199.
Crews reportedly have a fireline around 70 percent of the perimeter. 
Oregon Department of Forestry, Illinois Valley Fire Department, Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County and additional resources are fighting a quick moving blaze.
Road Closures at this time are limited to Reeves Creek from Highway 199 to South Shore Drive.
Reeves Creek Road runs northeast of Highway 199 between Kerby and Lake Selmac, north of Cave Junction on the way to Grants Pass.

Union: No confidence in superintendent

The Brookings-Harbor School District union is demanding the school board immediately place Superintendent Brian Hodge on administrative leave, saying teachers and staff “overwhelmingly supported” a vote of no confidence in his ability to lead the district.

“We can’t go through what we did last year,” said Terri Poponi, president of the Brookings-Harbor Education Association (BHEA).

On Friday, school board chair Katherine Johnson said the board cannot place Hodge on administrative leave until an ongoing investigation into the complaints is concluded.


Port Orford prepares for music festival

Bi-Mart Country Music Festival venue layout

The Cape Blanco Music Festival is just around the corner, and an expected 20,000 country music fans, volunteers and festival workers descend on Port Orford and the surrounding areas, many local businesses and services are in the final stages of preparing for the massive event, the first of it’s kind in the Southern Oregon area. The theme around town seems to be the old Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

“The last six months we’ve been trying to prepare for this event,” said Jed Davis, supervisor of the Ray’s Food Place in Port Orford. “We’re just making sure everything falls into place at the right time. You can’t get everything done in one day and you can’t expect everything to show up in a day. So we are just making sure we are ready.”


Fundraiser benefits widow, children of crash victim

Friends of Brookings resident Joel Ramos, a Pelican Bay State Prison correctional officer who died in a car accident July 19, are hosting a car wash, raffle and bake sale today (July 26) to raise money for his surviving wife and three children.

“It’s a way that the CO family and community can help out,” said Brookings resident Cassandra Nelson, whose husband is a correctional officer.

The fundraiser is schedule for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brookings Harbor Medical Center, at the corner of Chetco Avenue and Oak Street in Brookings.


Fair offering 'Razzle Dazzle'

The Ferris Wheels looks out to the ocean.
Curry County Fair Manager Ron Crook is excited about this year’s event — scheduled Thursday through Sunday in Gold Beach — and has every reason to be.

“Last year was a great year!” Crook said. “The fair shattered all records across the boards. Food concessions, displays, attendance — you name it. We had it all.” 

Crook isn’t one to rest on his laurels. He and a small army of volunteer fair friends have been laboring all year to make this year’s fair better than the last. 


County no closer to solving cash crisis

Tick-tock; tick-tock.

Day by day, month after month, the county coffers are dwindling.

There’s a property tax measure on the September ballot that would benefit jail operations. County commissioners continue to work on the “smaller” economic development pieces. And House Bill 3453, which would allow the state to restructure county government here, still lurks in the corner as a safety net.

But the money will be gone — all of it — July 1, 2015, if not a week or two earlier. 


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