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All aboard the Ornament Express

Volunteer Herb Hedgpeth adjusts a section of the elaborate miniature train system in a Harbor storefront.

This holiday season people are flocking to “The Ornament Express,” a miniature train system built by members of the Stout Mountain Railway group. The display, which fills an entire storefront at the Brookings Harbor Shopping Center in Harbor, is open daily from 1 to 7 p.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 24.

Crab season off to slow start

Commercial crab fishermen are reporting lackluster harvests two days into the season, with some calling it the worst they have seen in 30 years. 

“We’re seeing a tenth of what we got last year,” Bernie Lindley, fishermen and boat owner, said Tuesday. “It’s not enough to pay the bills.”

Last year, Brookings had a record year in crab landings, with the port leading the state with more than 5 million pounds. Crab harvests are cyclical, with harvests fluctuating from year to year. 

Hugh Link, executive director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, said he still had not heard from fishermen in other ports on what their harvests were looking like. 

Lindley said many fishermen thought this year’s harvest would be similar to last year’s, perhaps not as much, but still more than they’ve seen so far.


Commercial crab season opens Monday


Workers on the dock use a hoist to load crab pots onto small fishing boats at the Port of Brookings Harbor

Fishermen agree on a price of $2.65 per pound for crab that can be brought to port beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday

Commercial crab season in Curry County kicks off this weekend, with the start of the season beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday. 

Boats were already in the water at 8 a.m. Friday. Fishermen are allowed to set their crab pots in the water 64 hours ahead of the beginning of the commercial harvesting season.



Roadmaster wants Curry County commissioners to keep $33 million for roads

Curry County Roadmaster Dan Crumley doesn’t want anyone touching one penny of the $33 million or so he has saved over the years to take care of the county’s roads.

“Oh, that’s no secret,” he admitted, with a laugh. “I recognize the county’s in a really difficult situation, but. …”

Crumley’s road fund is the only county coffer with a seeming abundance of money — and the only one from which county commissioners can take funds to help soften the fiscal blows that have come its way in the past several years.

To some, it appears to have become the trough at which the county rescues its floundering sheriff patrol services; to others, it’s a coveted pot of gold that could solve the county’s fiscal woes.

On both counts, of course, it’s not that simple, Crumley said.


Arrests made in car theft case


IEDs found in Gold Beach

Eighteen-year-old Erik Harris of Gold Beach was found to be carrying three improvised explosive devices after sheriff’s deputies pulled him over Wednesday afternoon for driving an unlicensed, non-street-legal motorcycle.

According to Sheriff Lt. John Ward, the youth was stopped near Motel 6 on Jerry’s Flat Road and taken into custody at the request of his probation officer for an unrelated probation violation. Officers searched his Harris’ backpack and found three small homemade pipe bombs inside. The Oregon State Police were contacted and a bomb technician from Medford seized the items.

Harris was lodged in the Curry County Jail for a probation violation and three counts of possession of a destructive device.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police will continue the investigation.

Harris was arraigned on felony possession of a methamphetamine and second-degree criminal trespassing charges in October.

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