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Beach emergency signs in place

Beachgoers may notice new signs at trailheads this summer that Oregon State Park (OSP) officials hope will reduce the amount of time it takes to find someone who’s lost or injured on the shoreline.

The last of Curry County’s allotment were placed in the past month, from Crissey Field at the California/Oregon border to Flores Lake to the north.

The idea was conceived by a former parks beach safety coordinator who brought together first responders and people from the public who had bad experiences while beachcombing, surfing or otherwise enjoying the 363 miles of Oregon’s coastline.


Brookings council supports expansion of health district

The Brookings City Council approved a resolution Monday night agreeing to accept Curry Health District’s invitation to join its district and supports putting the annexation question to county voters in November.

The proposed annexation would include the land south of Pistol River, where the current health district boundary ends, to the California border. All registered voters within the county will have the opportunity to vote on the issue, and the annexation will only be finalized if both parts — the in- and out-of-district voters — approve the measure.

“District voters vote, and Brookings and Harbor voters vote as one,” said City Manager Gary Milliman. “It’s not a city vote and a Harbor vote, but a Brookings-Harbor vote.”


Work on crosswalk begins May 26

The painting of a new  crosswalk near the intersection of Lucky Lane and Highway 101 in Brookings is slated to begin after Memorial Day, almost nine months after a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle there.

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials said Tuesday they have one more pre-construction meeting before they can finalize the work schedule.

“The project is set to begin the day after Memorial Day and will be finished by the end of June,” said ODOT spokesman Jared Castle


Rogue gets starring role in movie

Director Curtis Sackett, left, and cinematographer Star Rosencrans, do some test filming during a visit to the Rogue River last summer. Submitted photo.

Filmmaker Curtis David Sackett describes his latest project as “my personal love letter to the Rogue.”

Sackett is in the process of creating his first feature-length film project, and it’s based on his experiences in his beloved home state — and the beauty of the Rogue River.

“I want to make a film to show the world the beauty I saw growing up,” Sackett said.

Sackett’s film, entitled “Boundary Springs,” follows the journey of Clay, mourning the death of his grandfather who raised him. Clay is followed throughout the story by the spirit of his grandfather, who wants him to scatter his ashes from the mouth of the Rogue River to the source, Boundary Springs. Along the way, the boy tries to find his estranged father who lives in Grants Pass. 


Regional publisher to lead the Pilot, Triplicate

Western Communications, the owner of the Curry Coastal Pilot and the Del Norte Triplicate in Crescent City, is changing the organizational structure of both newspapers.

Cindy Vosburg, publisher of the Triplicate will become the regional publisher of the two newspapers, which share a printing plant in Smith River. 

John Costa, president of Western Communications, said, “We believe that the service of both newspapers to their communities will be enhanced with a regionalized structure, taking advantage of the combined strengths of both organizations.”


Authorities respond to multiple incidents

Curry County Sheriff’s deputies were busy Wednesday, responding to three simultaneous car wrecks, a report of a woman who fell out of a tree, and the death of a man whose mower flipped over and killed him.

The first call came in at about 8:30 a.m. from 25-year-old Robyn Culley of Port Orford, who said she and 27-year-old Sean Richards thought police were chasing them through the woods south of the Sea Crest Motel. Culley climbed a tree — but then fell about 100 feet from it, she said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the call along with the Port Orford Fire Department and ambulance personnel. Several cell phone calls were placed back and forth to Culley and Richards to determine their location. About an hour and a half later, deputies, Search and Rescue volunteers and ambulance crews found the two in heavy brush between Cemetery Loop and Old Mill roads.

Culley was wet, cold and suffering from hypothermia, and was transported to Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach where she was treated and then taken into custody for violating her probation in connection with an attempted-murder case in January 2013. 


Ballots roll in, vote deadline nears

Election officials were hit with 285 ballots on Monday, received another 514 by Wednesday morning and had a total of 1,673 by Friday — and there are still 10 days left until the May 19 election.

Those numbers represent 12.7 percent of the county’s 13,168 registered voters, and are pretty comparable to returns in previous elections, said Supervisor of Elections Shelley Denney. In last November’s runoff, 54 percent of registered voters cast ballots; in the last May special election, 30 percent did. 

Voters have until 8 p.m. May 19 to hand deliver to the white ballot boxes at the Brookings and Port Orford city halls or outside the County Courthouse in Gold Beach. Elections officials advise voters to mail their ballots no later than May 13 to get to the Elections Department in time for the 8 p.m. May 19 deadline. 

“We dropped off the ballots to be delivered on Thursday (April 28), and they didn’t get to people until Saturday,” Denney said. Mail first goes to Portland — no longer Eugene — before it returns to mailboxes here, she added.


Cat shelter closer to happening

A cat shelter that’s been 20 years in the planning became one step closer to reality in 15 minutes, after Curry County commissioners unanimously approved deeding the animal shelter building in Gold Beach to Pennies for Pooches for $1.

A roar of applause came from the standing-room-only crowd in the meeting room earlier this week after the board agreed to the proposal.


Winds fan wildfire near Gold Beach


GOLD BEACH — Firefighters contained a brushfire by 4:30 p.m. today, two and half hours after it was reported in an outbuilding along Cedar Valley Road northeast of Gold Beach. The fire burned a structure and a truck before it climbed up a hill and over a ridge in dry brush.

Firefighters from Ophir and Cedar Valley fire departments, along with Coos Forest Protective Association, arrived on scene in thick smoke to battle the blaze, which had consumed about five acres within 20 minutes.

Firefighters expressed concern about winds in the area, which were steady at 11 miles per hour with gusts up to 18 mph.

Hospital: from dream to reality

Solomon Levine shovels dirt as officials with Curry Health District watch during Monday’s official groundbreaking at the site in Gold Beach where a new hospital will be built.

The first shovel that struck the gravel pile at the groundbreaking of the new Curry General Hospital Monday evening represented the culmination of two years of work by hundreds of Gold Beach-area residents — and the beginning of a summer flurry of construction.

“A lot has happened in a very short time,” outgoing Curry Health District CEO Wayne Hellerstedt told a crowd of about 200 who gathered at the site of the new facility. “It’s gone from being just a dream to being reality. It’s a giant leap forward for everyone, and without your vote for the $10 million general obligation bond, this project would not happen.”

Voters approved the bond in November, and hospital officials are now awaiting news from the USDA regarding a $19 million loan to complement it so they can start construction.


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