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Woman's body retrieved from Gold Beach surf

A transient woman who recently arrived in Gold Beach died Wednesday shortly after her body was pulled from the ocean near the south jetty at the mouth of the Rogue River, authorities said.

A Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue swimmer retrieved the unresponsive 52-year-old woman from the surf at about 1:20 p.m. She had been floating facedown in the water for nearly 50 minutes. 


City proposes 3 percent pot tax

The city of Brookings will join the county in putting a question to voters in November asking to implement a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana.

If approved, it would be in addition to a 25 percent tax the state has in place.

The county tax would only affect people who purchase marijuana from dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county, and the city tax would only be placed on those purchasing marijuana at dispensaries in city limits.


Former Brookings man faces murder charges

Duane Eugene Bond, 31, formerly of Brookings, was arrested on murder charges in Grants Pass Saturday.

Oregon State Police responded to a residence Friday to help with a medical situation when they found the body of Jerald Wesley Eigenbrod, 78, who was deemed to have died by homicidal violence, according to a press release. 


2016 salmon season looks grim

Oregon salmon fishermen might face a second consecutive dismal season, after forecasts call for diminished numbers of fish due to drought in California and its subsequent political battles and water diversions to protect agricultural interests.

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council has outlined three season alternatives for commercial troll fishermen, all of which portend heavy restrictions to come.

“We’ve been hearing that, and most of the time, it rings true,” said Jeff Cox, owner of the fishing vessel Ann, of Brookings, of the limited season.


City of Gold Beach will tear down abandoned building

The City of Gold Beach will move forward with plans to tear down an abandoned house on Russell Street, after months of deliberation about how to address problems there.

The house, designated a “dangerous building” by the city, has been vacant for the last several months and is in a state of decay. In the past year, citizens have complained about the structure, which has attracted rats and transients. Neighbors have said they are concerned the lot will decrease property values of surrounding homes, and that it poses health hazards to other residents.

The city began the hearing process to discuss the fate of the building in August 2015. The property is currently owned by an out-of-state mortgage company. The city directed the company to take action on the property by November 2015, but it failed to do so. In February, the council directed Fritts to begin seeking bids from contractors to demolish the structure.


New group explores options for Curry County health care

It’s been four months since the ballot measure to annex Southern Curry County into the Curry Health District failed, and a new group hopes to answer a question still unclear to many: what’s next for health care in Curry County?

The group, which held its first public meeting in February, was formed by people who contend that a hospital can be built in Brookings. The group’s first meeting drew a crowd of 60, and featured a presentation by organization chair Catherine Wiley. 

Wiley spoke about the differences between a critical access and an acute care hospital, and the status of both Curry Health Network and Sutter Coast Hospital. The group also discussed the financial state of Curry Health Network.


Smith River steelhead

Submitted photo.

Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing holds a trophy Smith River steelhead caught and released earlier this month by client Sam Scarborough of Corvallis, who used roe cured with Pautzke’s BorXOFire. 

Entrance closed for safety reasons

ODOT closed the south entrance to the South Coast Center to discourage motorists looking for a short cut.

The south entrance of South Coast Center, which houses Grocery Outlet and other businesses, was closed Friday morning and will remain blocked until all sinkhole-related construction on Highway 101 in Harbor is complete. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) closed the entrance to prohibit drivers from using the shopping center parking lot as a shortcut around the construction zone. 

Despite the recent opening of nearby Shopping Center Avenue as a detour for traffic, commuters have continued to drive through the parking lot, creating problems for the businesses and causing two small accidents so far, according to Oregon State Trooper David Wehner.


State Rep. Krieger bowing out of politics

State Rep. Wayne Krieger officially announced Thursday that he is not seeking reelection to the seat he has held for the past 16 years.

“It’s with mixed emotions that I make this announcement,” said Krieger, who calls Gold Beach home. “It was never my intent to come to the legislature, but with much arm-twisting, I ran in 2000 — and won. Originally I planned to run three times.”

Three sessions turned into nine.

“Since then, several health issues, the (Gold Beach-area) ranch, family, a desire to travel and a new business venture, makes me step back and say, maybe it is time to step down and let someone new with fresh ideas and more energy step up,” he said.


County considers pot tax for Nov. ballot

Curry County commissioners plan to ask voters in November to approve a 3 percent tax on marijuana, adding to the current state tax of 17 percent.

The only time the county has the opportunity to do so is in a year in which there is a general election, said Commissioner Susan Brown, so if commissioners opt out of the election in November, they’d have to wait until 2020.

“Is it going to save us? No,” said Economic Development Director Julie Schmelzer in urging the board to put the question to the voters. “Is it going to help us? Yes.”


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