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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.”


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.


Schafer faces embezzlement charges

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.


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.


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. 


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.


Principals ready for challenges

Principal Lisa Dion, right, and Vice Principal Alex Merritt are ready to help students, parents and teachers overcome challenges spurred by recent changes in staff and grading systems at BHHS.

Teachers and students returning to Brookings-Harbor High School on Sept. 2 may do so with trepidation following a year of turmoil and changes throughout the district.

Lisa Dion, the new BHHS principal, wouldn’t blame them.

“We have a community that has lost confidence in our district,” Dion said. “We have parents and students who are feeling disinfranchised. We have teachers and staff who are disillusioned and frustrated.”

The district’s superintendent resigned this summer amid criticism of his leadership skills, the high school principal retired, and nearly a dozen BHHS teachers resigned or retired. Several teachers cited issues with low morale and last year’s trouble-plagued implementation of a new proficiency-based grading system and Common Core teaching. 


Pedestrian death spurs community concern

A hand-written memorial where Joyce Betties died

The death of Joyce Marie Betties has sparked concern in the Brookings community, with scores of residents demanding a crosswalk be installed north of Fifth Street.

Betties, 73, was struck and killed last Friday while crossing the highway after time spent at the Chetco Activity Center that day.

“I have no anger against the man who hit her,” said Betties’s daughter, Terri Single, of Grants Pass, as she admired the chalk art, flowers and pennies people had placed at the corner of Chetco Lane and Highway 101. “I want to find out what happened before I place anger anywhere.”


Residents remember Joyce Betties

Friends of Joyce Marie Betties are hoping she’s having a happy time — a tribute to the phrase the vivacious woman said to everyone.

Betties died after being struck by a car on Chetco Avenue last Friday; she was 73.

She was likely headed to Fred Meyer after visiting with people playing cards at the Chetco Activity Center that afternoon.


Ward is county’s new sheriff

New county sheriff John Ward

Lieutenant John Ward was unanimously selected to take the place of Sheriff John Bishop when he departs Curry County at the end of September.

County commissioners, who interviewed Ward and Sgt. Joel Hensley last week, made the decision Tuesday morning in a special meeting.

“We were lucky to have two qualified and willing candidates to take on the tremendous challenges in Curry County,” said Commissioner David Itzen. “It’s my view that Lt. Ward is the best qualified at this point to take on this task.”


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