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Crab season begins

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A Brookings fisherman unloads the crab from the fishing vessel Catalyst Monday, the first day of crab season along the Oregon Coast.

The commercial crab boat Catalyst pulled into the Port of Brookings Harbor around 1 p.m. Monday, with 8,000 to 9,000 Dungeness crab swimming in the hold.

The boat started its journey in Crescent City several hours earlier, where the commercial crab season had begun at midnight. The boat returned to  Brookings to unload their catch and restock their bait supply.

Standing on the pile of live crab in the hold, two fishermen tossed handfuls of the scurrying crustaceans into metal bins, which were hoisted up onto the dock and dumped into plastic crates, closed up, and stacked. Next stop? A processing plant in Eureka.

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City seeks annexation data

The Brookings City Council was apparently able to assuage the standing-room-only crowd at its Monday workshop about an annexation study it wants to conduct.

The proposed study would evaluate the pros and cons of annexing all the land in the city’s Urban Growth Area (UGA), which extends up the Chetco River, north to Carpenterville Road, and much of Harbor south to the Winchuck River.

The council wasn’t sure what to anticipate during the discussion, primarily because it rarely gets an audience for workshops and that a proposal to annex part of the Port of Brookings Harbor property to the city stirred emotions among residents there.

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Woman gets stolen Jeep back after wild pursuit

Brookings resident Jennifer Harrah has her stolen Jeep Cherokee back after a wild car chase with the thief, who ultimately abandoned the vehicle and was still on the loose Tuesday afternoon.

“Honestly, when we were following him, it felt sort of like ‘Need for Speed Hot Pursuit,’” Harrah said, referencing a racing video game. “It was so intense it was unreal.”

While sleeping on the first floor of her house, Brookings resident Jennifer Harrah heard her Jeep being started up and driven away sometime between 6:16 and 6:50 a.m. on Monday morning. Still half-asleep, however, Harrah didn’t quite register what she was hearing.

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Carousel for KidTown gets council nod

The Brookings City Council Monday gave Bud Halliday a tentative go-ahead to install a carousel near KidTown in Azalea Park.

The Brookings man — an admitted carousel aficionado — has been researching the possibility for more than a year in hopes of bringing visitors to the city, putting smiles on their faces and getting money into local business coffers.

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Fire destroys two Whaleshead Resort cabins

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Firefighters extinguish a fire on Sunday morning that destroyed two cabins at the Whaleshead Resort.

A fire destroyed two homes at Whaleshead Resort north of Brookings Monday morning, and firefighters from five different agencies were able to keep it from spreading to adjacent units in the close-packed neighborhood.

Volunteer firefighters from Cape Ferrelo Fire Department were first on scene to the 6:15 a.m. fire, followed by Brookings, Pistol River, Harbor and Winchuck agencies. Smith River Fire Protection District firefighters stood by to provide additional assistance.

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Kalmiopsis Wilderness: Trailblazers

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The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 26-mile hiking trail through the wilderness, leads to stunning mountaintop views.

In 2002, the half-million acre Biscuit Fire — the second-largest wildfire in Oregon history — scorched most of the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness, east of Brookings. It left the area’s trail network covered in tangled bird’s nests of fallen burnt trees with hundreds of dead snags dominating the horizons.

By the time Ashland residents Gabe Howe and his wife Jillian Stokes started visiting the area in 2006, the damage had only accelerated, with dozens of snags falling onto trails with each windy storm.

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City seeks answers to annexation questions

The Brookings City Council will discuss a possible study to evaluate the financial pros and cons of annexing some or all of the land in the Urban Growth Area at its workshop at 4 p.m. Monday.

The study, which is listed in the city’s 2014 Strategic Plan, would entail evaluating service district mergers, property tax realignment, infrastructure needs and cost estimates to provide services to newly annexed areas.

An urban growth area (UGA) is a local government regulatory measure for delineating limits for urban growth over a period of time. Land within the UGA is made available for urban development while land outside the UGA remains primarily rural for farming, forestry, or low-density residential development.

Brookings’ UGA includes all of the land inside the city limits, and extends east along the Chetco River corridor, north to the Carpenterville Road area, and south to include most of Harbor and Harbor Hills.

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Efforts to build community center continue

The Brookings City Council Monday will discuss its role in creating a strategy to develop a community aquatics and community center during its 4 p.m. workshop.

The Friends of the Brookings Harbor Aquatics Center (FBHAC) approached the city council months ago asking for assistance from the staff to begin the process. The city and FBHAC formed a task force, who have since been researching the idea.

Some of that has included visiting other facilities along the coast, preparing preliminary site and concept plans at Bud Cross Park in Brookings and holding a community meeting with YMCA representatives to introduce the idea. The next task force meeting is Dec. 10.

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Two new restaurants opening in Harbor

Despite the ongoing economic struggles in Curry County, two new restaurants are opening — one at the Port of Brookings Harbor, in the Harbor area, another on Highway 101. 

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Two pedestrians killed in unrelated collisions

Two pedestrians were killed Wednesday in two separate and unrelated collisions in Del Norte County, including one near Lucky 7 Casino and a hit-and-run in Crescent City that ended with the driver’s arrest.

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