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Outreach store, shelter closes

The Shabby to Chic thrift store in Brookings has been sold after doing business there for about six years.

The closing was expected to take place last week. It is unknown who the new owners are or what plans they might have for the building at the corner of Center and Chetco avenues.

The two-story building featured a thrift store downstairs that helped fund Outreach Gospel Mission in Harbor; upstairs had three bedrooms available for women seeking temporary housing.

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Funds from New Year’s Eve dance will help fix fairground’s leaky roof

Ron Crook hopes the public wants to cut a rug for a new roof.

And with that thought in mind, the manager of the Curry County fairgrounds is inviting everyone to the annual New Year’s Eve Dance Party featuring the Ferguson Brothers, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31.

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Another round of tsunami debris

Scientists are preparing for another onslaught of debris washing ashore this winter from Japan — almost four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the island.

And this time, researchers are treating the debris as a concern; it’s one thing to have, say, a refrigerator bob in the waves and make it onto the beach. It’s quite another to see what’s clinging to it, in the form of invasive mussels and other critters native to Asian waters, said John Chapman, a marine invasive species specialist at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

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Residents brainstorm rec center ideas

A group of about 40 citizens Wednesday night brainstormed ideas for a proposed community recreation center, where it could be located and, arguably most importantly, how it would be funded.

The group broke into five groups to discuss the idea: they included Stakeholders, Funding, Programming, Outreach and Sites.

“This is a community project,” said Juliane Leighton, a local physician and chairman of Friends of Brookings Harbor Aquatic Center (FBHAC). “The more involvement we have with the community, the more successful we’ll be.”

FBHAC members have been toying with the idea of a community swimming pool for about five years.

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Grant helps deputies target drunk motorists

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office has received a $10,000 grant to increase its visibility and reduce the number of drunk and distracted drivers on the road.

The grant, awarded by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the National Highway Transportation Administration, started today (Dec. 13). It will be applied for extra coverage on holidays, holiday weekends and other dates when high traffic is anticipated throughout 2015.

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Tax drop for Brookings property owners

Property owners in Brookings will see their taxes go down next year since the city paid off its last General Obligation bond, it was announced in a city council meeting Monday night.

The owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will see a $52.70 reduction on this year’s taxes, said Mayor Ron Hedenskog. It is the first time in more than 40 years that the city has had no property tax rate for bonded indebtedness. The last payment was made this month.

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Gold Beach mulls marijuana issues

After the November election, in which Oregon voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the city of Gold Beach will have to two topics to revisit: medical marijuana dispensaries, and the sale of recreational marijuana.

As of now, Gold Beach has a moratorium on medicinal marijuana, which ends on May 1. The state of Oregon allowed cities to pass a temporary moratorium on regulating dispensaries in their areas in order to give them time to determine whether they wanted to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana. 

During the moratorium period, cities can either take no action, and continue to enforce state rules within the city, or begin to regulate sales of medical marijuana through dispensaries. At the end of the period, the city has to pass an ordinance on whether to regulate sales of medical marijuana.

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Storm thrashes coast with high winds, power outages

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High tide and large storm waves attract visitors to Lone Ranch Beach north of Brookings on Thursday.
 

By this morning, the storm clouds have likely parted, the sun is shining and Curry County residents are breathing a sign of relief that the storm didn’t turn out as badly as originally forecast.

“Your area kind of dodged a bullet. It’s a bit of a mystery as to why the winds were not a high at the coast as they were inland,” said National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorologist Ryan Sandler.

The cities of Medford and Ashland reported major wind damage and up to 16,000 people without power at the height of the storm early Thursday morning. Winds gusts of up to 80 mph were reported in Ashland. Grants Pass, which is nestled against the mountains, escaped major damage, Sandler said. 

For reasons yet to be determined, Sandler said Curry County escaped the brunt of the wind — the NWS had initially forecast winds of 50 to 60 mphs with gusts of more than 100 mph along the headlands.

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Second storm front blows through

With gusts of up to 48 mph, the second of two storm fronts blew through Curry County this morning, dousing power to more than 800 homes, most of those in Brookings and Port Orford.

Other early damage reports include the scoreboard at Brookings-Harbor High and a community icon: the osprey nest over the Chetco River Bridge. Trees were blown over in various locations. Wind speeds at the bridge in Port Orford were clocked at 78 mph — before the worst of the storm hit 22 hours later.

Both Port Orford and Bandon schools delayed Thursday's classes by two hours.

Winds at the Crescent City airport have been as high as 68 mph this morning, with gusts over 40 mph repeatedly since 4 a.m. and continuing at 8:30 a.m. In Brookings, just under 3 inches of rain has fallen since Tuesday, with a half-inch of that falling since midnight Thursday morning. 

Forecasts have warned of severe weather for days, and most of the warnings for heavy rains, winds, flooding, and high surf continue through Friday.

Gusts in the first front were clocked at 41 mph during lunchtime Wednesday. The peak gust about 4:30 a.m. was 48 at the Pilot's weather station in downtown Brookings. 


Curry County braces for storm impact

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U.S.U.S. Coast Guard crew members this morning place sandbags in front of a Fely's Cafe at the Port of Brookings Harbor in anticipation of high wind and surf.

After a surprisingly calm night along the Curry County coastline, the south wind was picking up and heavy rain was falling this morning as a powerful storm began to envelop the region.

At the Port of Brookings Harbor, a crew of U.S. Coast Guardsmen were placing sandbags around a building near the beach that houses Fely’s Cafe and a laundromat. It was a precaution should the combination of high tide, huge waves and wind gusts this afternoon swamp the oceanfront parking lot at Sporthaven Beach.

Meanwhile, port employees were busy checking culverts and drainage to make sure they were clear of debris. County workers were doing likewise throughout the Harbor area and the rest of the unincorporated area.

The National Weather Service has issued a special detailed weather briefing that can be seen by clicking here.

 

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