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Flights return to Crescent City

PenAir’s first flight out of Crescent City took off without a hitch Tuesday morning, carrying mostly media personnel and company executives safely over earth and stream to the city of Portland. 

After five months without a commercial carrier, Curry and Del Norte County residents are once again walking into the Del Norte Regional Airport twice a day to check their bags and hop on a short one-hour and 20-minute flight north. 

A quiet celebration was held in the twilight of Tuesday morning to mark this beginning, when some bleary-eyed Del Norte dignitaries chewed their bagels and lox, savoring whispers centering on the notion that a social event scheduled for 6 a.m. is one that’s scheduled too early. 

Just before the ribbon cutting, Del Norte County Supervisor Gerry Hemmingsen welcomed the early risers and thanked “everybody who made this come to fruition.”


Hazardous waste collection Saturday

Coos and Curry County residents can dispose of various household chemicals at a free “Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event” scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 19) at the Curry County Fairgrounds in Gold Beach.


Police search for hit-and-run suspect

Brookings Police officers on Thursday morning were searching for the suspect who fled the scene of a hit-and-run vehicle accident the night before.

The suspect does not pose a threat to the public, said Sgt. Terry Murray.

“We know who the suspect is and hope to arrest him sometime today,” Murray said.

The male suspect, whose name was not being released by police, was driving a 1990 Toyota 4Runner at 6:20 p.m. Wednesday when he allegedly struck another car near the corner of Highway 101 and North Bank Chetco River Road, Murray said.

None of the people in the other vehicle were injured, he said. The suspect, who may have been injured, drove away from the scene and crashed the Toyota near Thompson Road and fled the scene on foot.

It is likely the suspect is now somewhere in the general Brookings area, not up North Bank Chetco River Road, Murray said.

Brookings Baconfest Saturday

David Scaggs (submitted photo)

Enjoy life.

That’s David Scaggs’ motto as he plans the first Brookings Oregon Baconfest, scheduled 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Salmon Run golf course.

The free event will feature vendors, live music and bacon-related activities, including a “Miss Baconfest” pageant. 

“It celebrates bacon, but bacon’s not what it’s really about,” Scaggs said. “It promotes the community, and it promotes the fact that you shouldn’t have to pay a ton of money to have fun. It’s a celebration of life — and bacon’s a fun excuse to do it.”


Hospital in Brookings unlikely

The possibility of a new hospital being built in the Brookings area appeared less likely this week after officials with healthcare providers Asante and Providence stated they have no interest in pursuing such a facility on the coast.

The statements are good news for officials with the city of Brookings and Curry Health Network, who are championing a November ballot measure asking South County residents to join the network’s existing taxing district. 

If voters approve the annexation, the additional taxes will go into the network’s general fund and likely help fund a new hospital currently under construction in Gold Beach, and expand the network’s Fifth Street clinic in Brookings into an emergency room with additional services such as dialysis, MRI and infusion therapy.


Brookings council OKs tentative tower rules

The Brookings City Council Monday tentatively approved new rules regarding the height and location of amateur communication towers, primarily for ham radio operations, on private property.

The council also approved a contract to resurface the public swimming pool, and a cable television franchise agreement.


Fire danger remains despite cooler days

Don’t be fooled by the cool mornings and shorter days of September. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire officials say that they average more than 200 fires that burn in excess of 1,000 acres across the state each fall. 

In the early fall of 2014, the 36 Pit, Yellow Point and Scoggins Creek fires combined burned about 6,500 acres. More than 90 percent of the fires are caused by people during this time of year. To date in 2015, about 900 fires have burned more than 93,500 acres on ODF protected lands.


GB council tackles bag ban, abandoned house

The Gold Beach City councilors on Monday directed the city attorney to prepare a ballot measure for a proposed ban on plastic grocery bags. 

They will then decide whether or not to place the measure on the May 2016 ballot.

If the council decides not to place the measure on the ballot, the measure will be offered to citizen Amy Timeus, who has been petitioning Gold Beach citizens on whether they support the bag ban.


Officer foils suicide attempt

The quick actions of Brookings Police Officer Jaired Freeman saved the life of a woman trying to commit suicide by jumping from the Chetco River bridge Sunday night. 

The incident was captured on the officer’s body camera and submitted to the Curry Coastal Pilot.

Freeman responded to the 911 call of a suicidal woman on the bridge at 10:45 p.m. The first officer on scene, Freeman stoped his car in the southbound lane and started talking to the distraught woman. When the woman suddenly climbed over the railing to jump from the birdge, Freeman vaulted over the cement barrier, grab the woman and pulled her safely to the ground.

The woman, whose identity is not being released for privacy, was later transported to an area hospital for mental evaluation, according to Sgt. Terry Murray.

Freeman is a six-year officer, with the last three and a half years being with the Brookings Police Department.  

“We are extremely proud of Officer Freeman and credit his actions to saving this young woman’s life.” Murray said.


Note: Watch video from the officer's body camera on the Pilot's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/currypilot?fref=ts 

Granting music wishes

Beginning string music class students at Azalea Middle School this week began playing new instruments purchased with grant money from the Oregon Community Foundation.

Azalea Middle School student Evelyn Behunin had never played the cello, but after watching “If I Stay,” a movie about a young cellist, she knew it was the instrument for her.

“I really liked the cello and the sound it makes,” said Behunin, 11, who had never played any instrument before.

Her classmate Avery Sandusky, 11, is playing violin for the first time.

“It’s fun to do and I like the sound,” she said.


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