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Sheriff is no fan of gun sales measure

Curry County Sheriff John Ward doesn’t plan to make it a priority to ensure that even private individuals obtain criminal background checks when they sell a firearm to another person.

Senate Bill 941, approved at the legislature Monday, would require that; the legislation awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

“Right now, with resources as low as they are, and the priority list we try to respond to, that will not be in my sights,” Ward said. “It’s not that I won’t investigate it, it’ll just be a low priority.”

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Flights to Portland go on sale soon

As Crescent City’s new air carrier approaches its Sept. 15 takeoff, area travelers may soon be able to purchase their first tickets to and from Portland.

No flights have been available in or out of Crescent City since early April while equipment at Del Norte County Regional Airport is updated to accommodate its new carrier, PenAir, which will fly exclusively to Portland, Ore. The airline is replacing SkyWest, which retired its only aircraft capable of using Del Norte’s runways.

Booking and fares for PenAir’s twice-daily flights in and out of the Del Norte Regional Airport may go live as early as this weekend, according to Vice President of Marketing and Sales Melissa Roberts, who told the Triplicate Monday that updating a reservation system is a complicated process and sales wouldn’t be going live until the company’s codeshare partner, Alaska Airlines, has updated the system on its end. 

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Brookings water plans based on worst-case

The Brookings City Council is planning for the worst when it comes to its water supply.

It recently voted to hire Garrett Pallo of Civil West Engineering services in Coos Bay to evaluate alternative water sources for the city in the event of a natural disaster. The $40,378 study will be done as part of the city’s efforts to become more resilient in the face of disasters, specifically the inevitable slipping of the Cascadia fault just off shore, a major conflagration in the forests that surround town or a prolonged drought.

A major earthquake and its subsequent tsunami would likely isolate Curry County survivors for about three weeks from the outside world. Bridges would be out, roads ruined — and infrastructure crumbled for months, if not years, experts say.

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Volcano may be erupting off Oregon Coast

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The arm of a submersible cracks the crust on the Axial Seamount during an earlier visit. The possible eruption of the volcano, 300 miles off the coast, does not pose a tsunami threat.

NEWPORT — Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano located about 300 miles off the coast of Oregon, appears to be erupting, according to two scientists who predicted such an event would happen this year.

Researchers say such an eruption is not a threat to coastal residents. The earthquakes at Axial Seamount are small and the seafloor movements gradual and thus cannot cause a tsunami.

Geologists Bill Chadwick of Oregon State University and Scott Nooner of the University of North Carolina Wilmington made their forecast last September during a public lecture, and followed it up with blog posts and a reiteration of their forecast just last week at a scientific workshop. 

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9 vie for 3 school board positions

Nine Gold Beach citizens will vie for three positions on the Central Curry School Board in the May 19 Special District Election. The district has faced growing problems in the last few years, including difficulty retaining both teachers and students, budgetary problems and low morale. Next year, the district will also be tasked with finding a new superintendent. The district has worked hard this year to make changes, creating a strategic plan committee that met monthly to target the main problems facing the district and create a five-year plan to fix them. Board candidates addressed these problems, and offered their take on how to help the district.

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Proposed budget focuses on capital improvements

A $22.29 million budget the Brookings Budget Committee approved this week will take a big bite out of capital improvement needs and fund other projects more proactively.

The city council will discuss the budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 at a meeting next month.

The biggest change city residents will see is a 1-percent increase in both the water and sewer rates, which equates to an 81-cent increase to consumers. Homeowners should also expect to see a 1- to 2-percent increase in both 2016 and 2017 in the wastewater portion of the bills.

“It’s quite remarkable that it’s only 1 percent, given Coos-Curry Electric is increasing rates 9 percent,” said City Manager Gary Milliman at a budget hearing last week. “We’re a big consumer, particularly the sewer plant — that’s a huge energy consumer. The public works department has done a great job of decreasing our energy consumption.”

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Security efforts of Port paying off

The Port of Brookings Harbor has recently taken strides to ensure the safety of people and property after many visitors voiced concern about the lack of consistent law enforcement and security.

“Safety and crime are down here in the port,” said Manager Ted Fitzgerald. “We’ve taken steps to reassure people.”

One of the port’s major steps to address crime was to hire a private security company, Knight Security, to patrol the area. Initially used to keep an eye on the port during the evenings, the company has now expanded its services to daytime patrol as well.

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The waving, riding man

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Ira Tozer parks his scooter along Highway 101 in Brookings where he smiles, waves and gives thumbs up to passing motorists. Photo by Grant Fraley

Passing through the north end of Brookings, it’s hard not to notice Ira Tozer. He’s the one waving at cars as they go past — with a big, beaming smile on his face. 

Parked at the corner of Highway 101 and Parkview Drive, Tozer sits on a bright blue scooter adorned with ribbons and flags, grinning and waving excitedly at passersby. He tips his hat at some, and throws a salute to all police officers.

Tozer, 72, became a community icon about 15 years ago, when he started walking up and down Highway 101. Though hip troubles prevent him from walking and waving like he used to, Tozer continues to spread positive energy.

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Gold Beach seeks votes to buy new fire truck

Gold Beach residents will have a chance to vote for the third time on the passage of a levy to fund the purchase of a new fire truck for their fire department.

The May 19 ballot includes Measure 8-82, which proposes to collect $60,000 per year over seven years, or $0.27 per $1,000 of assessed property value. 

If approved, the money collected would accrue in a reserve fund over seven years. The city of Gold Beach expects to spend $550,000 to $700,000 to buy a new fire truck on June 30, 2023. 

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Four running for Brookings library board

The Chetco Community Library District has four candidates vying for two positions in the May 19 election. 

Candidates have identified a range of issues for this election, including increasing services and library capacity, lowering library taxes, and accessibility to the public. 

In addition to lending books, DVDs, magazines and many other items, the library also provides technology services including wi-fi, computer access and printer use to all cardholders. The library collects about $588,000 in taxes annually and has a projected expense budget of $800,000.

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