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Dire times for activity center

Chetco Community Center board members dipped into their endowment fund for the first time ever this month — and laid off two employees Friday — to prevent the facility from reducing services to more than 650 people.

Executive Director Janice Scanlon and an unnamed dishwasher were laid off, it was announced Friday.

“We’re struggling a bit,” Scanlon admitted that morning. “So much of our funding came from donations from people who are no longer here. It’s gotten dire. We’re thinking of all kinds of options.”


Cal-Ore endorses ballot measures

Cal-Ore Life Flight CEO Dan Brattain rarely takes sides on contentious election issues, but with his ambulance company playing a major role in  ballot measures 8-83 and 8-84, he decided to make an exception. 

“We’re in a position to see day to day the medical emergencies that happen in our community, and I support the measures strictly based on the benefits of a local emergency department to our patients,” Brattain said.

He hoped this story would answer questions people have about Cal-Ore services and its involvement with the Curry Health District’s planned emergency department in Brookings. 


New life for Harbor shopping center?

After sitting half-vacant for about two years, the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Mall might have a new owner as early as the end of the month.

That’s what Jeff Azuse, senior vice president of Hilco Real Estate of Northbrook, Illinois, said could be the case for the 106,867-square-foot commercial and retail center.

The minimum auction bid is $1.25 million.


Radio skills come in handy

New teacher Craig Cooper uses his experience as a radio DJ to connect with students in his classroom.

“Why do we care about current events?” Craig Cooper asks.

The obvious answer might be something along the lines of “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” but Cooper takes a more personal, optimistic approach.

“That’s how you get to be funny,” he says. “I had this conversation with a student the other day — if you want to be funny, you have to know stuff.”


70th birthday party a gas

Chevron station owner Everett Amos celebrated his 70th birthday by rolling back fuel prices to $1.70 a gallon.

Turning 70 on Monday, Everett Amos, longtime owner of the Chevron station in Gold Beach, decided to celebrate the milestone with the entire community — rolling back gas prices to $1.70 for all grades!

“I’m just going to throw a party for the whole town,” he said.

And it seemed like the whole town showed up — not just for the cheap gas, but to wish Amos a happy birthday.


Police nab man hiding in Harbor residence

Johnnie Lee Roberson

Acting on a citizen tip, Curry County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Johnnie Lee Roberson Saturday night in a home on Hall Way in Harbor.

Roberson was initially sought as a suspect in the armed robbery of a Harbor woman on Friday, but he was arraigned Monday on just two counts of violating his probation.


More advisories about polluted beaches likely

Warnings about high levels of unhealthy bacterial on local beaches are likely to increase dramatically next summer — but only because the federal government is tightening its criteria regarding contaminants that can make beachgoers ill.

This past summer, for the first time in many years, Curry County beaches had no contaminated-water advisories issued; they usually follow a summer rainfall that washes pathogens into creeks that run to the ocean.

Mill and Harris beaches are most often cited, and are usually contaminated with fecal bacteria emanating from a variety of upstream sources. 


Voters to decide lodging tax, health district annexations

Election officials will begin mailing ballots for the Nov. 3 election Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Only three measures are on ballots this fall: one, asking for voter approval for a transient lodging tax in unincorporated areas of the county; the other two related to annexation of the southern end of the county into Curry Health Network’s hospital district in the northern end.

Approximately 13,080 of Curry County’s estimated 22,335 citizens are registered to vote. And nine of them — in the military or currently out of the country and whose ballots were mailed to them in September — have already cast their ballots.


Brookings man dies in surf

Brookings resident Andrew Jason Paul, 33, was declared dead, most likely from drowning, after his body was spotted floating facedown in the waves in Gold Beach Sunday morning, authorities said.

A Gold Beach Police officer responding to a 8:30 a.m. 911 call arrived at the scene near Fifth Place and spotted Paul’s body in the surf. The officer and a Curry County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the body out of the water and moved up the beach away from the incoming tide.

Authorities said Paul was as a frequent visitor to Gold Beach and was likely the victim of the season’s first round of high surf. The National Weather Service had issued a warning last weekend about high surf, up to 18 feet high, along the Oregon Coast.

Authorities urged people to use caution when walking on the beach and look out for sneaker waves.


Woman robbed at gunpoint

Authorities on Friday were searching for a man who robbed a Harbor woman at gunpoint while she was walking on West Benham Lane at 6:20 a.m.

At the same time authorities in Curry and Del Norte counties were searching for two men, one of them possibly the robbery suspect, who led sheriff deputies on a high-speed chase south on Highway 101 into California at 10:30 a.m. 

The suspects, who ditched the vehicle near Fort Dick and fled into a brushy area near Kellogg Beach, remained at large as of Friday evening. 

The robbery victim knew the suspect, identifying him as Johnnie Roberson 31, of Brookings, according to Curry County Sheriff John Ward.


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