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No sign of measles in Curry County

Oregon has been host to only one person with the measles — a Lane County man who was among those who caught it at Disneyland last month — and health officials want it to stay that way.

In recent years, the virus has taken its toll across the United States as parents have opted out of vaccinations for their children, citing philosophical and religious reasons.

In Oregon, a total of 17 people were diagnosed with measles from 2000 to 2012, but there were six in 2013 and five last year.

Nationwide, 644 people contracted the disease last year — the largest single-year count since 1994. This year, 68 cases have been reported nationwide.

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Jail decision has GB manager fuming

Gold Beach residents and officials are seeing first-hand the impacts of the county’s financial problems in that a jail with a reduced number of beds is resulting in an increased number of released prisoners on the streets.

City Administrator Jodi Fritts is angry that Sheriff John Ward created a matrix by which his deputies determine who will be held in the county jail and who will be released. Ward implemented the matrix, which keeps the worst offenders in jail but releases the least dangerous, in an attempt to stretch his limited dollars to the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

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Curry coast escapes brunt of winter storm

Brookings city work crews scrambled Friday to clear plugged culverts and storm water drains, but otherwise Curry County escaped the brunt of a storm that caused major flooding and downed trees in areas of Grants Pass and Medford.

The second wave of the storm was expected to bring an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Southern Oregon Coast this morning through Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

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City crews respond to storm-flooded areas

Brookings city crews worked through the night and were scrambling this morning to clear culverts and storm water drains as the latest winter storm dropped at least 1.5 inches of rain since midnight.

A total of 5.37 inches has fallen in downtown Brookings since Monday, and an additional 2 to 4 inches is expect today through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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Heavy rains begin tonight

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Just when you thought the rain might be over, a second storm is headed our way, bring with it a prolonged period of rain — in some places, up to 10 inches — for the entire coast of Oregon.

Moderate to heavy rainfall beginning today is expected to come from the north, spread into Northern California by Thursday and continue through the weekend.

With the rain forecast come warnings for high winds, heavy surf, possible flooding and the potential for slides.

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Lifeline with some kick

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The line throw, which operates like a gun, uses CO2 canisters to fire a safety line.

For hours last summer, treacherous rip currents kept a Brookings teenager and his would-be rescuer, a sheriff’s deputy, from reaching the shore.

Today, the Brookings Fire Department has a new lifesaving device that could have cut that rescue effort down to mere minutes.

The CO2-operated line throw, which fires just like a gun, uses canisters of compressed air to shoot up to 500 feet of rope. If someone is in a place inaccessible to rescue crews, the fire department can “shoot” the rope out, giving the person something to hold onto while rescuers reel in that person.

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Reactions to sheriff’s proposed levy mixed

A ballot measure asking voters to increase their property taxes to pay for the sheriff’s department hasn’t even been written yet, and it’s already attracting mixed reviews throughout Curry County.

As proposed by Sheriff John Ward’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a ballot question on the May 19 election would ask voters to increase their property taxes by $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation for those living in cities, and $2.52 per $1,000 for those living in unincorporated Curry County.

The disparity in the two rates reflects the cost of patrols in the unincorporated areas, as each of the three cities have their own police protection. The rest of the revenue raised would pay for sheriff’s operations, including the jail — the most expensive element — 911 dispatch offices, Search and Rescue operations and administrative duties associated with the department.

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City will notify residents of new building projects

The city of Brookings next week will introduce a new public notification system to alert citizens about all new private development projects proposed in the city.

The notifications are part of the city’s attempts to bring citizens into the development process as new businesses come to town. Many people were upset when O’Reilly Auto Parts opened its door at the entrance to town, but that frustration was exacerbated by what initially looked like a tin shed going in at Chetco and Easy Street a few months later.

Citizens said they had no idea anything was proposed for either lot and wished they could have had a say in the matter. 

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Community garden, lights proposed for Azalea Park

Installing lights in a dark parking lot at Azalea Park and transforming the existing sand volleyball court there into a community garden were proposals warmly received by the Brookings City Council during a workshop Monday.

The council did not make any decisions during the workshop, but they instructed staff to investigate both proposals and bring them back for a final decision later this month.

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Rain returns with special warning

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This week's weather service forecast.

 

February may be less than 36 hours old, but it has already posted a quarter of the rainfall recorded in Brookings during January. In fact, it could break the January total by midweek.

With rain forecast through next weekend, the National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for Southern Oregon, warning of wet and windy conditions that will be heaviest along the coast.

To find links to all the latest forecasts and weather conditions, go to www.currypilot.com/weather

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