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2016 Primary Election wrap-up

Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog narrowly bumped David Itzen to get the second-most number of votes in the last hours of Tuesday’s Primary Election for County Commissioner Position 2, securing him a spot on the November ballot.

He’ll be up against Sue Gold, who received by far the most votes, with 3,154. As of press time Tuesday night, Gold had sewn up her first-place position, while Hedenskog had 1,634 votes and Itzen had 1,522, making the race for second place too close to call by midnight. By Tuesday, results indicated Hedenskog garnered 1,864 votes to Itzen’s 1,762 — 24.3 to 23 percent.

Because Gold didn’t receive more than 50 percent of the vote — the number was 41.17 percent — she and Hedenskog will advance to the General Election in November.

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Gold will face Hedenskog or Itzen for county seat

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Sue Gold

A crowded race for Curry County Commissioner position 2 was still hotly contested on Tuesday night, as current Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog battled David Itzen for second place. The winner of the second-place slot will face off against Sue Gold, who was the clear leader with 42 percent of the votes. Because no one received 50 percent of the votes, the top two candidates must now face off in November’s election.

But as of Tuesday night, it was still unclear whether Hedenskog or Itzen would be the challenger. Hedenskog had received 24 percent of the votes, and Itzen, 23. But around 10:30 p.m., only 54 percent of the votes had been counted.

Candidates said they’re focused on the next step. 

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Boice, Brown in run-off for commissioner seat

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Boice/Brown

In a tight race for Curry County commissioner Position 3 Tuesday, incumbent candidate Susan Brown and Court Boice, a jet-boat operator from Agness, will continue to the November General Election, unofficial voter results indicate.

In Oregon, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the ones with the most and second-most votes will appear on the November ballot.

Boice garnered 2,932, or 43.9 percent of the vote, while incumbent County Commissioner Susan Brown picked up 2,344, or 35 percent of the vote. The numbers reflect 54 percent of the precincts counted as of press time late Tuesday night.

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Incumbent Dial defeats Bryant in district attorney race

In the hotly contested Curry County District Attorney race, incumbent Everett Dial narrowly defeated Brookings attorney Eric Bryant by only a 8 percent margin, with 3,493 ballots cast for Dial and 2,945 for Bryant with 54 percent of precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Bryant, who campaigned aggressively throughout the Brookings-Harbor area in the weeks leading up to the race, ran on a platform of being tough on crime, working with police, and helping victims in offices in the South County.

He also wanted to focus more on educating teens on the ramifications of their choices, and more transparency in the DA’s office.

“I appreciate everyone who came out and voted for me,” Bryant said. “I think contested elections are healthy for the public. I love Curry County, and look forward to continuing to be involved in the future.”

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Burglars target Harbor vehicles

Almost two dozen vehicles, all of them unlocked, had several items stolen from them in the past several days, primarily in Harbor, Curry County Sheriff John Ward reported Tuesday.

Sheriff’s reports indicate there were 18 break-ins in Harbor from Sunday, May 8 through May 14, most of them in the  Oceanview Drive and Lower Harbor Road areas. (See Sheriff’s Report, Page 7A.)

“Several people didn’t report anything,” Ward said, noting that someone had apparently just rifled through belongings in some cars. Stolen was primarily cash, although reports of binoculars and a camera were also taken.

The perpetrator, who was caught on video after-hours in the parking lot of the 101 Bar and Grill, was wearing a dark hoodie and riding a blue bicycle. Ward noticed him while he was conducting rounds late Thursday night.

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Official: Guardrails not an option for troubled section

Guard rails are not a solution to preventing future car accidents on Highway 199, around the 10.5 mile mark, a California transportation official announced last week.

Concerns have been raised about that section of the highway following three crashes, two of them fatal, in the past five months in the same area. One occurred at the 10.3 mile mark to a vehicle heading southbound, and two involved vehicles heading northbound at the 10.5 mile mark.

Caltrans Traffic Safety Chief David Morgan, during a presentation at the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission meeting May 12, said unsafe driving and weather conditions were a big factor in those accidents. 

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Leave them alone

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David Crosby spotted this baby resting at Lone Ranch Beach while its mother was in the nearby ocean. Photo by David Crosby.

David Crosby was walking at Lone Ranch Beach north of Brookings last week when he came upon the baby seal. 

“It was 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. It was left there by the mother as she went fishing,” he said.

The seal noticed the human, who kept his distance. A short time later, Crosby saw it scampering into the ocean.

Close encounters with Oregon Coast wildlife are nothing new, especially in May and June, the months when newborn animals are getting their start.

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Brookings shelves annexation research

Brookings’s new study to determine if it is economically viable to annex the Harbor area will be relegated to a shelf to collect dust — at least until the issue rears its contentious head again.

City councilors Monday decided to accept Portland State University’s Center for Public Service’s study conducted last year, but not act upon any of its recommendations.

Councilor Brent Hodges said he was surprised the study showed it wouldn’t benefit Brookings to annex its neighbor to the south.

“I thought it would be much more beneficial,” he said. “I always thought having the (property tax)  income from that area would be worth it, and it’s not.”

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Motor boat restrictions on Chetco proposed

The State Marine Board has received a petition requesting it adopt a new rule to ban the use of motorized boats on a portion of the Chetco River due to perceived conflicts among users, it was announced earlier this week.

The petition proposes prohibiting the use of motors on the Chetco River from the downstream boundary of the national forest near Miller Bar to the lower water tower below Social Security Bar.

The petitioners include private boater and bank anglers Paul LeFebvre, Shane Hendren, Richard Heap, Ken Range and Ted Olson, all of Brookings; and Chetco riverfront property owners Richard Behrens, Peter Celli, Randy Warren and Rhonda Seymore.

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Fireside Diner a victim of Harbor sinkhole

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Crews excavate an area next to the Fireside Diner in February. A sinkhole in the parking lot shut down the eatery. Photo by Al Brodock.

While the roads affected by a Harbor sinkhole and landslide last December have since reopened, there’s one thing that won’t: the Fireside Diner.

David and Angel Allen, owners of the fledgling eatery at the corner of Highway 101 and Hoffeldt Lane, have decided to lease out the building with hopes that someone else will open a restaurant there.

David Allen said it has been difficult to maintain the business with the additional expenses incurred by the sinkhole, which destroyed much of the parking lot. The restaurant has been closed since Jan. 28

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