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No more smoking in Brookings’ parks

The city of Brookings approved a proposal Monday to ban smoking in all areas of city parks, altering a 2011 ordinance that allowed smoking in specific parts of parks property.

Parks Director Tony Baron presented a proposal to the council in May 2015, noting that after frequently receiving complaints from park visitors about litter from cigarettes, fire hazards, and secondhand smoke, the parks commission had unanimously voted to propose a complete ban on smoking in city parks.


Leader of the pack

Photo by Grant Fraley

Recreational fishermen make sure they stay out of the path of the Brookings-based commercial fishing vessel Miss Sarah as it heads into the Port of Brookings Harbor earlier this week.

Hedenskog seeks county job

Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog will run for one of two Curry County Commissioner seats in the May 2016, election, but he’s going to do so at the foundation level and without spending much money.

“I intend to run a grassroots campaign (based) on my record of participating in the operation of a successful city, and will carry that forward to the county,” Hedenskog said Thursday.

He filed for Curry County Commissioner Position No. 2 on Sept. 21, competing against incumbent Commissioner David Brock Smith, who filed for reelection on Sept. 11.


Positive changes at GB schools

Students, teachers, and administrators of the Central Curry School District have changed things up this year and the consensus at the last school board meeting was that it’s for the better.

“We have added 10 brand new teachers to round out the total of 27 teachers on staff and added one new counselor as well” said district Business Manager Krystal Carpenter. “The overall energy for the new school year has been very positive.”

While a third of the district’s teaching positions have been filled, the changes don’t end there.


Local veteran groups host Sunday event at Azalea Park

Several Brookings-Harbor veterans groups are saying “thank you” to the community — for everything — with a free concert from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 27).

The Vietnam Veterans of America, the Marine Corps League and the Disabled American Veterans will sponsor “Vet Fest” at the Azalea Park bandshell. The event will feature two bands: the J. Barley Band, a bluegrass group from the Illinois Valley that will play at 2 p.m., and local blues rock band Spence Brothers, which will play at 4 p.m.

VVA president Bill Farrell explained the chapter’s long history with the community.


Azalea Park: The Elmo connection

Mention the decades-long transformation of Brookings’ Azalea Park and Elmo Williams is quick to give others the credit.

“It couldn’t have been done without so many great volunteers,” the Brookings resident said wistfully.

With a smile on his face, Williams asked, “Did I tell you they were using it as a pasture to graze mules when we first went in there?”

For several decades, Elmo, a retired Hollywood director, and his late wife, Lorraine, along with a small army of volunteers, transformed Azalea Park from an overgrown, neglected piece of property into the beloved city park that now serves as the backdrop for local festivals, afternoon games of catch, and family picnics.


Public can learn more about CHD proposal

As the November election draws near, public discussions of the proposed changes to Curry Health District are becoming more frequent — and with them several opportunities to learn about the upcoming ballot measures in the next few weeks. 

Measures 8-83 and 8-84 both deal with the potential annexation of the south end of the county into the Curry Health District. 

Measure 8-83 asks residents of the current health district, just south of Pistol River to the north end of the county, whether they would like to have the southern end of the county annexed into the district. Measure 8-84, meanwhile, asks voters from south of Pistol River to the California border whether they would like to be annexed into the health district.


Project aims to slow traffic south of border

Curry County motorists traveling south on Highway 101 through Smith River may have noticed a recent increase in radar feedback signs letting them know how fast they’re going.

The signs are one component of a larger project spearheaded by the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation that will create a 7-mile-long safety corridor between the Oregon border and Rowdy Creek Road in the Smith River area. 


Port of Brookings sets sights on new lift

The Port of Brookings Harbor continues to improve its infrastructure and has identified a list of top priorities — repairing the docks, repaving, and updating some of its buildings — as they refinance their current debt.

The port also has immediate plans to purchase a new travel lift to replace the current, worn out model.


Search for car wreck suspect continues

Brookings Police are seeking the public’s help in finding the suspects of last week’s hit-and-run vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 101 and North Bank Chetco River Road.

Police have identified the suspect as 33-year-old Harbor resident Donald Eugene Phillips. Phillips is wanted for driving with a suspended license, felony reckless endangerment and failure to stop at the scene of an accident. Additional charges may be filed, according to police.


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