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Burl thefts hit Oregon forests
June 24, 2014 08:46 pm

Shut down the spur roads.

That’s the message one environmental group is trying to get to the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon after one of its members stumbled upon a redwood tree on a spur road off Peavine Road and another along the Smith River from whose sides burls had been carved out and stolen.

“So far, most media attention has been focused on burl removal from ancient redwoods in Redwood national and state parks in Humboldt and Del Norte counties in California,” Steve Pedery, the conservation director with Oregon Wild, wrote to forest officials earlier this month. “Forest Service lands also contain many centuries-old redwoods, and these trees are now also subject to this same destruction.”

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Mountain men rendezvous at Rowdy Creek
June 24, 2014 08:45 pm

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Jed Smith Mountain Men shoot old rifles, many that use black powder, during Tall Trees Rendezvous.

Some may see the nation’s birthday as a time to look to the future, but for others the week leading up to Independence Day is a time to return to the country’s roots.

New and experienced mountaineers and their families bring their muzzle-loading rifles, tomahawks and bows and arrows at the 36th annual Jed Smith Mountain Men Tall Trees Rendezvous, which starts on Saturday and ends on July 5. 

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Cougar kills family’s goat
June 20, 2014 08:29 pm

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Mellodee Behunin, 14, holds the family goat on Friday after it was attacked by a cougar the night before. The animal was euthanized a short time later.

The commotion that woke Jason and Darcie Gutierrez’s daughter late Thursday night wasn’t the  delivery of twin goats they were awaiting.

It was a cougar, attacking their pregnant goat, Opal.

“It was a monster cat,” Jason said Friday morning. “It came right over the top of a 6-foot livestock fence, pretty much crushed the fence, grabbed her and started hauling her off. He buckled (the fence) over like it was a napkin; bent a post on the fence almost halfway to the ground. If it hadn’t been for her extra size, he would’ve just pulled her over the fence and been gone with her.”

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Goodwill coming to Brookings
June 20, 2014 08:27 pm

A banner is up, workers are building walls and the rumors have been confirmed: Goodwill Industries is coming to Brookings.

The rumors had floated around town for months, with the former owners of Chetco Pharmacy — C&K Markets — saying they knew nothing about the arrival of the nonprofit agency except what they’d heard on the streets, as well.

But building owner Ann Bauer of Grants Pass said the sale closed in late April; the thrift store is slated to open in mid-September.

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County considers property tax
June 20, 2014 08:25 pm

Curry County commissioners plan to take an additional $400,000 from the road fund to pay for sheriff’s deputies as well as pose a property tax increase to voters on the September ballot.

The decision to take more funds from the road department was unanimous, but Commissioner Susan Brown tried to put an immediate stop to a September ballot measure, saying the board still needs to learn what citizens are willing to pay for before they “toss everything at the wall and see what sticks.”

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Mission inundated by requests from families
June 20, 2014 08:24 pm

Once again, for reasons he cannot fathom, the cupboards keep going bare at the Outreach Gospel Mission in Harbor, said executive director Michael Olsen.

The mission has been inundated with requests — increasingly from families — for food this month. Last Monday alone, OGM distributed more than 200 pounds of food in a three-hour time frame. That doesn’t include the 40 to 45 people who are seeking shelter that OGM is feeding each day.

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Sheriff calls on volunteers to curb panhandling
June 20, 2014 08:23 pm

Volunteers trained by the Curry County Sheriff’s Office will be going straight to the source — drivers leaving shopping malls — to educate them about the county’s new law regarding giving money or food to panhandlers.

The law goes into effect Sept. 4 and fines are $250.

“People don’t give them $1, or change,” Sheriff John Bishop told a group of residents, most from Harbor, in a meeting Wednesday night. “They’re giving them $5, $10. We’re causing our own problems by giving them cash.”

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Suspect faces assault charges
June 17, 2014 10:19 pm

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Lorenzo Ignacio King, booking photo

A man is in Curry County Jail on $1 million bail after being charged with assault and sodomy following a 12-hour police standoff inside a Brookings home last weekend.

Lorenzo Ignacio King, 42, was arraigned in court Monday and is suspected of sexually assaulting an adult Brookings woman he met at a local bar. More charges are likely, said  Curry County Sheriff John Bishop.

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Ordinance aims to stop handouts to transients
June 17, 2014 10:15 pm

County commissioners have tried making it illegal to panhandle, but the nation’s First Amendment kept getting in the way.

Trying to ban it via loitering laws didn’t work. Neither did making it a safety issue. Sending Sheriff’s deputies — or even a security firm — to shoo them away only worked for an hour or so.

So commissioners finally went to the source: Drivers giving anything away — money, food, drugs — to people flying signs on corners of popular streets and highways can now be cited for doing so.

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Burl poaching spreads to Oregon
June 17, 2014 10:12 pm

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A wildlife biologist stands next to a massive scar where a burl was cut by poachers from a redwood tree.

GRANTS PASS, (AP) –  The poaching of knobby growths on ancient redwood trees has spread to national forests in Northern California and Oregon.

The growths, known as burls, appear at the base of redwoods, where they send out sprouts. Their intricate grain is prized for furniture and decorations.

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