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Smoke from distant wildfire reaches coast

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A shift in winds has sent smoke from a distant California wildfire to the Southern Oregon Coast, causing hazy conditions in Brookings and Harbor.

The Happy Camp Complex fire has burned more than 72,000 acres in the Klamath National Forest since it was ignited by a lightning strike Aug. 11. Happy Camp is located in California’s Siskiyou County, east of Del Norte County.

The fire, now the largest wildfire in California, was just 15 percent contained this afternoon, according to the the U.S. Forest Service. And it’s expected to grow to to high winds and extremely dry conditions.

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Kiss Scott Perry goodbye

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“It’s a chance for me to thank everybody for their support.” — Scott William Perry

There’s no stopping Brookings’ country singer Scott William Perry.

Fresh off a performance with his band at this summer’s Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, Perry is moving to Nashville to pursue his music dream.

But first, the longtime Brookings resident will play two free farewell concerts: 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday at the 101 Bar and Grill in Harbor; 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Lucky 7 Casino in Smith River.

“This is where I started, playing around my hometown, and I just want everybody who hasn’t seen me in a while to come out one last time to say goodbye and have some fun,” said Perry, 29. “It’s a chance for me to thank everybody for their support.”

He’s calling the two local concerts the “Come Kiss Scott William Perry Goodbye” tour.

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Brookings motorcyclist dies in 101 wreck

A Brookings man is dead and another is in serious condition at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City after an accident near Wonderstump Road on Highway 101 in California late Friday night.

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Measure will fund Curry jail facility

Registered voters are receiving their ballots in the mail this week for the special election whose only question is a tax levy to support the jail.

Ballot Measure 8-78 asks voters to approve a property tax increase of 68 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation; revenue generated from the levy would go only toward the jail. If it passes, property owners will see the new levy on their tax statements this November, said County Assessor Jim Kolen.

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Police search Brookings neighborhood for wanted man

Police continued their search Tuesday evening for a man wanted on several warrants after he eluded a police officer who stopped him earlier in the day, said Brookings Police Lt. Donny Dotson.

“That’s the thing about warrants — they don’t expire,” Dotson said at 7 p.m. Tuesday. “We will catch him sooner or later.”

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Further review of golf course plans

The Curry County Planning Commission will hold a meeting Sept. 11 to further consider a golf proposal on the Knapp Ranch overlooking the ocean in Port Orford.

Elk River Development, the developers of the proposed Pacific Gales golf course, have been working since 2009 to break ground on the upscale facility that overlooks the ocean and Cape Blanco lighthouse.

Curry County originally approved the application, and the Oregon Coast Alliance, a nonprofit environmental protection group, promptly filed an appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) in March.

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Schafer faces embezzlement charges

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Marlyn Schafer booking photo

Marlyn Schafer — former Gold Beach city councilor and mayor, former Curry County commissioner, longtime treasurer of the Gold Beach Senior Center and secretary/treasurer of the Curry Health District — turned herself in to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office Friday to be booked on allegations of embezzling funds from the senior center.

A warrant was issued for her arrest after a grand jury indicted her Thursday on charges of aggravated theft, or theft over $10,000, from the senior center in Gold Beach. She was booked and, based on her medical condition and age, released, Friday afternoon.

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Will climate change impact Highway 101?

Multi-million dollar transportation projects are meant to outlive their planners by decades, but how do you build long-lasting infrastructure in light of the dynamic world created by climate change?

The Federal Highway Administration is funding studies on what infrastructure is most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather, and the North Coast is one of 19 pilot areas across the country going under the microscope to study how to deal with a changing world.

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Sutter Coast foes consider different tactic

The board of the Del Norte Healthcare District voted Tuesday to seek consultants for advice related to eminent domain action against the embattled Sutter Coast Hospital.

The process would seek to stop plans to change the hospital to a Critical Access facility, a proposal that has seen vocal opposition for more than two years.

If granted, eminent domain would allow the government agency to take control of the hospital for public use.

The five-member board discussed its decision at its monthly meeting Tuesday night. Board member Dwayne Reichlin said Sutter Health administration was not willing to scrap its plans to convert the local hospital into a Critical Access hospital  and “regionalize” its governing body, which would move its local governing powers to a Bay Area-based Sutter Health group.

“It has been determined in the last two months since we met with these folks that Sutter Health believes that their decision to  continue with regionalization and Critical Access designation is the best that they can offer the residents in the community,” Reichlin said.

A Critical Access designation would limit the number of inpatient beds at the facility to 25, which could lead to an increase of patients being transferred to other hospitals. Reichlin claimed during Tuesday’s meeting that Sutter Health has already cut staffing and closed beds to prepare for Critical Access. 

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County reassessing property values in North Curry

Curry County appraisers are reassessing the values of residential, farm, forest and commercial properties in the north end of the county, a process that is expected to take at least a year.

According to County Assessor Jim Kolen, assessors will be working in and around Agness, Ophir, Nesika Beach, Pistol River and from the southern end of Port Orford’s city limits to the Arizona Beach area.

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