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Burglars target Chetco Music Company

Brookings Police arrested one man and are searching for accomplices suspected of breaking into Chetco Music Company this week and stealing instruments and other merchandise.

Police arrested Harbor resident Michael D. Bratton, 33, for first-degree burglary. Additional arrests are likely, said Lt. Donny Dotson.

Store owner Brandon Caldwell and his mother Sue Cruickshank entered their store on Chetco Avenue around 11 a.m. Wednesday to discover that several thousand dollars worth of merchandise had been stolen.


IT director files suit against county officials

Curry County Information Technology Director Todd Weeks filed a $9.3 million lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against the Board of County Commissioners and two of its board members.

The suit specifically alleges that commissioners Tom Huxley and Susan Brown have created a hostile work environment at the county offices. 

Brown declined to comment, citing personnel issues. In an email to the Pilot, Huxley said, “The standing policy with Curry County and their insurer regarding pending litigation is that commissioners, elected officials and all Curry County employees are not to discuss any pending litigation with anyone else regardless of whether they work for the county or not.”


Nuisance complaint filed against popular Brookings man

This year’s Azalea Festival’s Grand Marshal goes to trial June 2 to address building violations on his Marine Drive property in Brookings.

Ira Tozer — known locally as the “Waving Man” for his frenetic welcoming waves and thumbs up to drivers along Highway 101 — appeared in Brookings Municipal Court this week with more than 15 supporters, many of whom noted the irony of the well-liked citizen being summoned into court.

Court Judge Pro Tem Gary Milliman listened to Tozer’s request to dismiss the case.


Temporary works of art

Submitted photo

Dan Gardner is the artist behind the spirals in the sand, seen lately along Curry County’s beaches. The Brookings man says it’s his time in to meditate and just make art. His latest work has been seen at low tide on Harris Beach in Brookings. 

City may nix citizens citations

Brookings residents might not be able to issue “citizens citations” to others over perceived infractions of the law, including barking dogs and unkempt yards.

The city is considering enacting an ordinance to that effect at its next meeting, May 9, because the people who write them rarely show up in municipal court to pursue it — and the process consumes so much of the courts’ time.

Citizens will still be permitted, however, to issue traffic citations to others.


Brookings woman dies in car wreck

A Brookings woman died Sunday following a two-car collision on Highway 101 in Harbor last Friday, according to the Oregon State Police (OSP).

Susan Childress, 47, was driving a grey 2007 Mazda 3 north on the highway at 4:45 p.m. when the car rear-ended a pickup truck stopped in the left lane to make a left turn at Camellia Drive. 


A look at Curry County campaign contributions

Candidates for all the local elections are receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions — and spending it in a vigorous election cycle leading up to the May 17 primary.

Contributions can come from large, national political action ommittees that donate thousands, to individuals who chip in as little as $10. Funds are usually spent on media campaigns, signs, postage — and of late, social media and website-development firms.

Candidates who raise and spend less than $750, and committees that collect and spend less than $3,500 do not have to report finances to the state. And those who seem to have overspent what they’ve taken in, to date, usually balance those books before Election Day. Fines can be imposed on those who don’t file complete or timely reports.


Diggin’ in the dirt

OSU Master Gardener Scott Thiemann helps student Cohen Vick plant a seedling in one of several raised beds at the Chetco Community Public Library this week. Photo by Amy Vick.

Children participating in the Junior Master Gardener program happily dug up dirt and planted vegetable seeds and plants in raised flower beds at the Chetco Community Library Annex property this week.

The program, a collaboration among Oregon State University Master Gardeners, the library and AllCare Health, helps children learn about sustainable living. 


Man creates flashing tsunami sign

When Oregon Coast residents are scrambling for safety during a tsunami threat, Joe Ross hopes his new signs will be in place to lead them to safety.

Ross, a Gold Beach resident, has developed a tsunami warning sign with flashing blue lights that would be installed close to the ocean and along roadsides to lead people to safe areas outside of the tsunami zone.

“I came up with this technology, and we’ll be marketing it up and down the coast,” Ross said.

He has built a prototype of the sign and the patent is pending.


Proposed Port Orford golf course clears latest challenge

The Land Use Board of Appeals again sided with the developers of the proposed golf course near Port Orford, in a second appeal filed by the Oregon Coastal Alliance in its opposition to the county’s approval of the project.

The developer, Elk River Property Development, wants to build Pacific Gales, an 18-hole course on about 350 acres of the 1,100-acre Knapp Ranch north of Port Orford. The course would be situated along ocean bluffs overlooking the Pacific and Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

Developers said last October they hoped to begin construction this spring, but at the earliest, pre-construction won’t begin until late this year, they said.

Project Manager Troy Russell acknowledges it’s been a slow process.


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