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Brookings man loses envelope with cash

Long-time resident Patrick Hoch hopes the person who may have found his money will return it. Photo by Jayati Ramakrishnan/Curry Coastal Pilot.

Patrick Hoch was a bit flustered when he left his home to meet a man to buy a newer, upgraded wheelchair in Brookings.

He had chrome cleaning supplies on his mind.

He had the money for the purchase of the new chair — money he’d saved for about four years — in an old, tattered envelope.

And after he purchased the new wheelchair, he went into Bi-Mart and pulled his wallet out to check to see if he was the Lucky Tuesday winner.

He wasn’t, but the envelope was still there — he’s sure of it.


Building a new general

So far, 3,272 cubic yards of concrete and 756 tons of structural steel have been used to build the facility.

Nearly a year after the ground-breaking ceremony, construction of the new hospital in Gold Beach is on time and on budget, according to Curry Health Network officials.

Funded in part by a $10 million bond approved by voters in the Curry Health District in November 2013, and a $20.9 million federal loan, the $32 million, 62,000-square-foot facility is slated to complete by the end of the year. It will replace the existing Curry General Hospital, nicknamed “The General,” that was built more than 60 years ago.

Despite a wintery mix of rain and high force winds for six to eight weeks that temporarily slowed construction, Curry Health Network’s Facility Operating Officer David Sanford has hopes that by the new year the hospital will, indeed, be open to care for the community.


County board candidates face off

Citizens got their first glimpse into the goals of seven of the eight candidates running for two Curry County commissioner seats at a Brookings-Harbor TEA Party forum Saturday at the Best Western Beachfront Inn in Harbor.

The candidates for each seat — Eric Hanson was absent — were asked the same questions before the audience was permitted to pose additional ones.

They were asked if they had read the county’s charter and understood the roles and responsibilities of a commissioner, what opportunities they would use to reduce expenses at the county, how citizens would benefit under their leadership, and what their top priority is regarding the county.


Trash Dogs struggle with abandoned vehicles

The Trash Dogs are more than ready to traipse into Curry County’s forests and collect illegally dumped trash — but the uptick in abandoned vehicles has made the job overwhelming, said volunteer leader Ed Gross.

“Most of these vehicles appeared to be lived in for a short while, and then repeatedly moved to out-of-the-way locations where they are ultimately abandoned,” he said. “Others are just pulled out and dropped off along a convenient public roadside. Compounding the blight are the loads of trash stuffed in the abandoned RVs and camp trailers.”


Pilot explores allegations against candidates

As the day nears for ballots to hit the mail, the rumors are hitting the fan.

As a general rule, the Curry Coastal Pilot tries to stay out of the fray, but when rumors are spreading throughout the community — especially with today’s social media — it is necessary to check into serious allegations and report findings.

Through searches of news articles and Oregon-based court documents and crime databases, we found nothing more serious about the eight county commissioner candidates than minor vehicular violations, most involving parking or speeding.


Body of CTR employee found in truck

A man was found dead in his work truck parked near the intersection of Highway 101 and Carpenterville Road on Monday afternoon. 

Police identified the man as Ralph Wiles, 61, an employee of Curry Transfer and Recycling in Brookings. 

The cause of death was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon and police did not suspect foul play.


New dredge arrives

Port of Brookings Harbor employees watch as the Ellicott 360 Swinging Dragon dredge is lowered into the water on Thursday. Purchased by the state of Oregon, the dredge serves to clear debris from boat basins in ports along the entire south coast, from Reedsport to Brookings. This is the first time the dredge has come to the Port of Brookings Harbor. Earlier this year, the dredge was being used to remove sand and silt at the Port of Gold Beach. 

City pursues golf course losses

The city of Brookings plans to do whatever it can to recoup at least $93,000 in losses from Wild Rivers Management Group (WRMG), whose lease to operate Samon Run Golf course was terminated by the city earlier this month.

Losses include $60,000 in lease payments through the end of the five-year contract in 2019, $16,656 in past due property taxes, up to $10,000 to replace the event tent, up to $75,000 to finish repairs to the clubhouse roof, $6,000 in utility services and various other expenditures.

City Manager Gary Milliman said in a staff report to the city council Monday evening that Ed Murdoch, principal of WRMG, indicated in meetings late last month that, “in no uncertain terms (can WRMG) comply with the notice and cure the violations in accordance with the lease agreement.”


Grant for airport in Gold Beach

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio announced Wednesday that the Department of Transportation has awarded the airport in Gold Beach a grant to replace the rotating beacon at its general aviation facility.

The equipment helps guide pilots at night or in inclement weather.


New digs, changes for local chamber

Relocating to Harbor is just the latest in a series of changes for the Chamber Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce which, in the past few months, experienced an abrupt change in leadership and reduced its participation in the annual Azalea Festival.

“I look at this move to a new location as a new beginning for the chamber,” said newly hired Executive Director Linda Moran.

The chamber will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, April 25, at its new office in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center, located at 97900 Shopping Center Avenue.  

The move from the Port of Brookings-Harbor was spurred by the port’s decision to lease the property to a new tenant. 


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