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Caretaking days over for Azalea Park group

After 20 years of tending the rhododendrons and azaleas in the “formal” gardens of Azalea Park, the foundation in charge is calling it quits.

The Brookings City Council will discuss the ramifications of the organization’s disincorporation at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

“It’s been 20 years,” said Azalea Park Foundation (APF) President Shirley Hyatt. 

“My friends and I have worked in the gardens for years, and I’ve gotten to the point that when I do the work I enjoy, I get sick. I can’t do it anymore,” she said.

It’s difficult, too, to attract volunteers and train them to the specifics of pruning and clearing of the flowers, some of which are natives dating back to the early 1800s.

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District hires 10 teachers

Staff changes continue at Brookings Harbor School District as the school board this week hired 10 new teachers  — bringing the total number of new hires in recent months to 28.

The board also accepted the resignation of three teachers — bringing the total number of resignations this summer to at least 27. Teachers who resigned were Marci Kime, Eric Sullivan and Michelle Arnold.

School board members were surprised by the calibre of the new teachers and were curious as to what attracted them to a rural area such as Brookings.

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Work on new Curry hospital continues

Curry Health Network officials don’t yet have the final results of soil testing on land where the new hospital is slated to be built, but they’re forging ahead with details such as the location of cabinets and furniture in the four-story facility.

Voters in the hospital district, which extends from the Pistol River area north to the Coos County line and out to Agness, voted earlier this year to approve a $10 million bond to build a new hospital on the site of the present one.

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Brookings pedestrian killed on Chetco Avenue

Brookings resident Joyce Marie Betties, 73, was struck and killed by a car when she walked across Chetco Avenue at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon near Chetco Lane.

The driver of the vehicle, Wayne Eugene Welbourn, of Gold Beach, was not injured in the crash, according to Brookings Police Sgt. Terry Murray. Welbourn was driving a 2013 Huundai Santa Fe north on Chetco Avenue and when he struck Betties.

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Group says Wyden’s timber bill is flawed

The Association of O&C Counties (AOCC) is urging U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) to have an expert analysis conducted of his O&C Lands bill, saying it is “grossly deficient” and could result in its failure as it wends its way through Congress.

The proposed legislation outlines how the 2.1 million acres of O&C lands in Oregon would be used, designating some areas for preservation and others for timber harvest. 

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Warning lifted at Mill Beach

It’s safe to go back in the water at Mill Beach, the Oregon Health Authority announced today.

The agency lifted a public health advisory for contact with water there, after just over two weeks of its placement when fecal bacteria was discovered during routine testing.

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Collision claims man's life

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Firefighters check on the driver of a semi-truck involved in the crash.

A 39-year-old Crescent City man traveling on the Dr. Fine Bridge on Highway 101 was killed Tuesday morning when his car drifted across the double line and collided head-on with a 70,000-pound 18-wheeler driven by a Harbor man.

The driver was traveling northbound on the bridge shortly before 11 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, he crossed the double line into the 18-wheeler’s path, according to California Highway Patrol. 

The truck driver, William Terebesi, 42, of Harbor, walked away uninjured. The Mazda driver’s name is being withheld pending notification of family.

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Two apply for county sheriff job

Curry County commissioners posed a total of 10 pre-written, generic questions to sheriff’s candidates as part of the hiring process to find a replacement for John Bishop who is leaving in late September.

Only two candidates — Curry County Lt. John Ward and Dep. Joel HHensley — submitted letters of interest for the position. Short interviews were held Monday afternoon; commissioners will select a new sheriff Tuesday, Aug. 26, at a 10 a.m. meeting.

Bishop is taking over as executive director with the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, a nonprofit organization that lobbies the legislature on behalf of sheriffs’ issues, in Salem. His last day is Sept. 30.

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No water restrictions yet for Brookings

Water levels might be low in the Chetco River, but demand is low, so city officials are not putting in place any restrictions on water use, said City Manager Gary Milliman.

The city’s municipal code requires two things to occur — water flows dipping below certain levels and use increasing — before any restrictions are announced, and both criteria must be met.

Voluntary restrictions are triggered when river flows drop below 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) and water withdrawal is above 4.5 cfs. Mandatory curtailment may be implemented when river flows drop below 80 cfs and water withdrawals exceed 4.5 cfs.

As of Aug. 19, water flow was at 56 cfs, but withdrawal — demand from consumers — was only 2.2 cfs, most likely because few people are watering their lawns in the cooler, overcast weather Brookings has been experiencing.

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County must interpret marijuana ordinance

It can’t be said that Curry County Attorney Jerry Herbage didn’t warn county commissioners what they were getting themselves into Monday morning.

“You’ll be sitting like judges or juries today,” he told them in a special board meeting. “This is an exercise in interpreting an ordinance.”

At issue was the appeal of a denial of an application to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Wedderburn, and the appeal was based on missing wordage in a section of county law regarding such businesses in unincorporated Curry County. 

The ordinance indicates that only employees and volunteers — and not the owners — in medical marijuana dispensaries must pass a background check.

“It doesn’t say ‘owners’ in that section,” Herbage said. “It’s for you to interpret this ordinance. One could conclude that ‘owners’ have the standard set for the state of Oregon.”

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