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Officials pursue separate surveys

Curry County Commissioners David Itzen and David Brock Smith plan to use Commissioner Susan Brown’s voter survey as a template for a second Oregon Kitchen Table citizen poll.

Brown’s survey, which she has been working on since February, was slated to go online Friday (Nov. 7) at www.currycountysurvey.com; it asks respondents to rate county services and solicits input about its weaknesses.

Feeling Itzen and Smith were procrastinating about its release, Brown announced this week she would distribute the survey without the blessing of the board. 

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Welbourn charged in death of city walker

A grand jury Thursday indicted Wayne Eugene Welbourn of Gold Beach on charges of criminal negligence homicide for his part in the death of Brookings pedestrian Joyce Marie Betties, 73, Aug. 22.

Welbourn, 82, was driving a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe north on Chetco Avenue and when he struck Betties as she was attempting to cross Highway 101 from Chetco Lane that afternoon. He was not injured in the crash, said Brookings Police Sgt. Terry Murray. 

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Man guilty of dumping minks in port waters

Charles Case, owner of the fishing vessel Ann Me, pleaded guilty to second degree unlawful water pollution in connection with the illegal dumping of mink carcasses in Port of Brookings Harbor waters last April.

According to District Attorney Everett Dial, the 48-year-old man said he was trying to take them out to the ocean to properly dispose of the carcasses, but some spilled and he opted to just dump the remainder, thinking they’d sink.

Instead, the bloated, rotten carcasses created a stinking mess port officials spent most of the next day trying to clean up. Employees placed a boom around a commercial dock underneath which a large amount of carcasses had been found, and then used a boat to patrol the basins, using nets to scoop up carcasses. 

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Medford hospital on list of ebola treatment centers

Providence Medford Medical Center is one of six hospitals in Oregon designated as a specialized facility for people suspected of having, or diagnosed with, Ebola, the deadly hemorrhagic fever disease.

The others include Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health, Peace Health, Providence Health, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and Samaritan Health, it was announced Monday.

The odds of someone infected with Ebola coming to Curry County are, at this point in the epidemic, “very low, but of course there is always a potential,” said Chief Nursing Officer Lora Maxwell.

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Election 2014

Election 2014

Huxley defeats incumbent Itzen

In a race that’s been too close for most to predict, Tom Huxley of Harbor soundly defeated incumbent County Commissioner David Itzen, 4,117 to 2,769, or 57 to 38 percent, Tuesday night.

Chuck Weller, a Brookings resident who threw his name in as a write-in at the last minute, garnered 272 votes.

Just over 60 percent of Curry County’s 13,112 eligible voters — 8,031 voters — cast ballots in the midterm elections.

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Campbell, Kaufman win seats

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Gold Beach City Council seat winners.

The most highly contested race of the Gold Beach City Council elections found Becky Campbell, a former police officer, the victor in the competition for Council Position 3. She vied for the spot against Evald Nelson IV and Kitty Root-Bunten.

Campbell won with 61 percent of the votes. Root-Bunten, in second place, received 24 percent, and Nelson finished third with 12 percent.

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Recreational marijuana in, GMO labels out

A majority of voters in Curry County and throughout Oregon said yes to legalizing recreational marijuana Tuesday, making Oregon the third state to do so.

In Curry County, voters approved Measure 91 55.38 percent (3,801 votes) to 44.62 percent (3,062 votes).

Statewide, voters approved the measure 53.70 percent (512,668 votes) to 46.30 percent (442,215 votes).

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Harbor man arrested on meth charges

Authorities arrested a 60-year-old Harbor man Monday after officers found methamphetamine in a car he was a passenger in and drug-related items at his residence on Hanscam Lane.

Theodore Ward Ketchem, who authorities believed was dealing large amounts of methamphetamine in the community, was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, unlawful delivery and manufacture of the drug. Bail was set at $125,000.

According to Curry County Sheriff’s Det. Dave Gardiner, his office and the Brookings Police Department received information starting in September that Ketchem was selling methamphetamine from his 5th-wheel home on Hanscam Lane, behind the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center.

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