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Home Rule Charter nixed

Halfway into its two-year project, the county-appointed Home Rule Charter Committee will disband after unanimously deciding to recommend to county commissioners that Curry County remain under a general law form of government.

“I just don’t think things are broken,” said board member Jacqueline Moger.

On the other hand, the committee voted 3-2 to recommend the commissioners consider creating a county administrator position to address daily departmental issues and free them up to concentrate on issues that affect the county on a larger scale, such as the impending fiscal crisis.


GB council hashes out marijuana legalization

When Oregon voters voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November, some thought it would be a simple transition from the back-alley dealings to the “weed for sale” signs on main street.

It’s not that easy. At least not for Gold Beach City Council members who met Monday for a marijuana workshop to discuss the transition.

“It is not the purpose of this meeting to say that marijuana is good or bad; that is not why we are here tonight,” said Gold Beach City Administrator Jodi Fritts.  


Council considers gas tax brochuresThe city decided to propose a fuel tax after it became apparent t

The Brookings City Council on Monday will discuss whether it should mail a series of three informational brochures to voters to explain how a 4-cent gasoline tax will help the city keep up with its anticipated road maintenance and repair.

Voters will cast ballots on the measure May 19.

It will cost the city $6,045 to produce and mail the three brochures. City Manager Gary Milliman pointed out that the Secretary of State has already ruled that none of the brochures violate election laws regarding the promotion or advocacy of ballot measures.


Police seek hit and run driver

Laying in a hospital bed Friday with a broken hip, knee and multiple cuts, Brookings resident Tim Price was thinking about only one thing.

“I hope they find the guy who did this,” the 29-year-old resident said. “I could have died that night.”


Price was heading home from work at 6 p.m. Wednesday, riding his motorized bicycle on North Bank Chetco River Road, when he was hit head on by a large pickup. The driver of the truck fled the scene, leaving Price’s crumpled body on the side of the road, about 2 miles east of Brookings.


Port picks up two popular events

The Port of Brookings Harbor has assumed responsibility for two events — a summer farmers market and this Saturday’s crab festival — in an effort to make them bigger and better.

For its 13 years of operation, the Saturday Farmers Market at the port’s boardwalk, which typically starts in early June and runs through the second week in October, has been run by local residents. The current organizers, Tina and Dale Kirkpatrick, have run the market for two years. Before them, Vi and Len Burton ran the market for seven years.


Prison time for woman guilty of identity theft

Kassandra Michelle White was sentenced to 36 months in prison after she was found guilty of three counts of identity theft and two of mail theft in Circuit Court Jan. 13.

The Brookings Police Department and Curry County Sheriff’s Office officials said a lengthy investigation showed White gave people methamphetamine in exchange for bags of mail they’d stolen from more than 50 Brookings-Harbor residents.

In the mail was blank checks of a couple from Brookings that White used in an attempt to cash or make purchases in town.


Curry Medical Center sees uptick in patients

The number of patients being seen at Curry Medical Center in Brookings has increased 45 percent from its opening in 2011, primarily due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, officials of the health network said earlier this month.

On average, the clinic and urgent care facility, at 500 Fifth Street, now treat 2,171 patients per month.

To combat the 25 percent increase of patient registrations within the last year, the number of providers has more than doubled to include seven primary care providers, in addition to specialists pediatrician Raymond Harris, M.D., and pain management specialist Christopher Amsden, M.D.


Woman hit by car in Harbor

Caitlin Getz

Brookings resident Caitlin Elizabeth Getz, 21, is in stable condition at a Redding hospital after she was struck by a car Monday night while crossing Highway 101 in Harbor.

Getz, who suffereded head injury and possible brain bleeding, was transported first to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City and then airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California. On Tuesday, a hospital official listed Getz as being in stable condition in the intensive care unit. No more information was available.   



Anti-panhandling efforts effective


Bill Vogel’s frustration with trash on the beach has resulted in county ordinances that ban those in passing cars from giving panhandlers anything, signs erected to let people know about the new law, and information pamphlets directing the homeless to churches and agencies that can help them.

“Maybe that will solve our transient problems,” the Harbor resident said. “It seems to be working. You see people panhandling and you come by 10 minutes later and they’re gone. It might be working out on both angles.”

For years, Vogel strolled the beaches, becoming increasingly frustrated with the amount of trash he found. Although much comes from the ocean, piles — including tents, clothing, blankets and kitchen detritus — are often left behind by transients, in the grasses and under the trees higher on the shoreline.

He and others — residents Forbes Duncan, Gloria Draper and Nancy McVay — decided to try to tackle the problem at its source: the homeless who routinely panhandle at South Coast Center in Harbor.


Possible impacts of big quake more dire

The repercussions of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along Oregon’s coast are more dire than originally anticipated, Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman learned at a Southwest Area Commission on Transportation meeting in Coquille earlier this month.

According to a report made by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials, residents on the coast could be isolated for as long as two to three years — not months.

The report was based on a study recently completed regarding the scheduling of retrofitting the state’s bridges. That study now puts coastal bridge priorities in the middle of a 1-6 ranking.


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