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Brayer seeks state representative seat

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Terry Brayer

Terry Brayer of Nesika Beach is running for State Representative as a fresh voice.

“I am not a professional politician,” he stated. “I will be a representative for all the people. I am a fresh choice, a fresh voice.”

Brayer is a strong proponent of improving the education system here, particularly as it relates to the trades and vocational education.

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Kaufman: Write-in candidate for state legislative race

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Tamie Kaufman

Tamie Kaufman, city councilor in Gold Beach, threw her hat in the state legislative race this month as a write-in candidate to fulfill a dream she’s had since she heard a speech by Newt Gingrich that encouraged citizens to get involved in local politics.

At the time, she lived outside the city limits of Gold Beach, so she volunteered to work on crafting the area’s Strategic Management Plan — at the age of 23. 

Kaufman also received a judicial appointment to the Citizens Review Board, which makes recommendations regarding foster care cases. 

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Smith running for state representative

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David Brock Smith

Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith is banking on his extensive experience in local government to boost him to the state level in the May primary election, in which he is running for State Representative.

“The (person elected) needs to be an experienced voice for District 1,” he said. “Someone who understands the rural issues and the divide that exists with Portland, who can articulate those issues in the legislature. This is something I have been doing for years.”

One of those local issues on which he has assisted including the acquisition of $1.6 million to buy a dredge for the South Coast ports. 

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Bryant challenges Dial for DA job

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Eric Bryant

Eric Bryant, a Brookings attorney running against District Attorney Everett Dial in the May election, said he’s running on a platform of accessibility, fiscal prudence and leadership.

“I accept cases from people whose life I thought I could be making a difference in,” Bryant said. “I always wanted to be a prosecutor.”

After he graduated from law school nine years ago, he worked for two years in private general practice in Portland before coming to Curry County where he was hired as a deputy district attorney. 

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Incumbent DA Dial guards his turf

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Everett Dial

Everett Dial, the incumbent district attorney for Curry County, cites the numerous cases he has successfully prosecuted among the reasons voters should cast their ballots for him.

His favorite part of the job is trials work.

“The trials themselves are interesting,” Dial said. “Getting ready is taxing, all the little details. The state has the entire burden of presenting the case in a manner jurors can understand to reach a verdict. A good attorney needs to know all the rules of evidence very well. And the trial is the ultimate test of an attorney’s skills.” 

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Trio guilty of robbing armored vehicle

Brittney Rachel Chisholm has been convicted on three charges for her part in a robbery of an armored vehicle at Fred Meyer in Brookings Feb. 5.

Judge Cynthia Beaman found the 25-year-old Agness woman guilty of second-degree robbery, a Measure 11 felony; first-degree aggravated theft, and third-degree assault. Judge Jessie Margolis sentenced her to 70 months in prison. She was sentenced to 20 days in Curry County jail and 24 and 36 months probation, respectively, on the other charges. Those sentences will run concurrent to the prison time.

Deputy District Attorney Jake Conde argued that Chisholm aided and abetted Brenden Griffith (aka Anthony Bonnell) and Drake Wright, 19, in the robbery. Those two assaulted a security guard with pepper spray, stole a bank bag with approximately $119,000 in cash and checks and fled the scene in a Ford pickup truck.

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Sheriff wants to reinstate community service

Citizens throughout Curry County might see a few new faces among those working for municipalities and nonprofits — if the Sheriff’s Office can convince organizations to allow non-violent offenders to work off community service time.

Major budget cuts forced the county to eliminate its community service program more than 10 years ago. Sheriff John Ward said supervising even one inmate — regardless how minor their crime — can take a deputy off the streets. The office operates on a skeleton crew, with seven patrol deputies on the road — not enough to offer protection around the clock.

Now, with urging from the courts and district attorney’s office, Ward is considering reinstating a community service program.

“Community service is another means to hold accountable those sentenced for non-violent offenses while reducing the possibility, or amount, of jail time they’d have to serve,” said Lt. Mick Espinoza. “Instead (of jail), they could be sentenced to fines, fees and community service hours.”

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Incumbent DA, challenger at odds over accusations

It’s rare for a District Attorney to have to defend his or her work in a campaign for reelection.

But Brookings attorney Eric Bryant, who is running against Curry County DA Everett Dial in May, has placed ads and is running on a platform with claims that many citizens are repeating throughout town — information Dial says is being misinterpreted or downright false.

Bryant accuses Dial of giving three pay raises to one deputy DA in his office in the span of a year, that another was demoted yet given a raise, and that Dial “illegally” prosecuted “hundreds” of methamphetamine possession cases at a higher felony level than allowed under state law. 

Bryant also said, as part of his platform, that if elected there will be no more “costly” without-cause terminations in that office, and that under his leadership, expenses in that office will be decreased, likely through the layoff of one deputy attorney and other smaller measures.

“I stand by all my claims,” Bryant told the Pilot Friday. “It’s true that (Dial) gave an employee three payraises in a year, and it’s true that he violated the Constitution by charging the meth cases at a higher level. I think he changed those charges later because he knew he was wrong.”

The accusations have the community talking, and Dial said he wants to stop misinformation and clarify other facts that are becoming distorted with every reiteration.

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Curry County commissioner position 3 candidate: Carleton Strom

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Carleton Strom

Carleton Strom, a candidate for county commissioner position 3, says he is “traditional, yet unconventional,” meaning that if he hits a roadblock in life, he’s determined to find a way around it.

“Just because someone says ‘no’ doesn’t mean I can’t find a back door,” he said. “Once I get a ‘no’ answer, it opens up a can of worms.”

Determination has paid off for him before.  

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Curry County commissioner position 3 candidate: Eric Hanson

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Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson, the county’s maintenance director, said he’s seen it all in his years with Curry County. And he believes he can bank on that insight.

The first thing he’d address as a county commissioner is cooperation, the key to getting anything accomplished at that level in the future, he said.

“I’ve worked with nine commissioners and seen the plusses and minuses of all of them,” Hanson said. 

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