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Itzen, Huxley debate county issues

Candidates Tom Huxley, left, and incumbent Curry County Commissioner David Itzen discuss topics at Saturday’s forum.

If Curry County commissioner candidates David Itzen and Tom Huxley agree on one thing regarding county operations, it’s that there’s very little upon which they agree.

That was apparent at a candidate forum Saturday afternoon at the Best Western Beachfront Inn, where they elaborated on questions submitted before the event, additional queries posed by Sue Gold of the Tea Party and from the audience.

The two shared their opinions on topics ranging from the use of road funds for county government to the justification of employee raises to department consolidation and staffing levels.  


Handling mentally ill a challenge for police

All the law enforcement training in the world doesn’t always prepare police officers for the wide array of what they see when dealing with the mentally ill.

That’s why people are getting shot — as in the incident last week in Medford — Brookings Police Chief Chris Wallace recently told members of the League of Women Voters.


Mayor: ‘If you don’t like it, get involved’

There weren’t more than a dozen wooden survey stakes in the ground at the corner of Easy Street and Highway 101 in Brookings last week before people started to wonder what was going on.

It was “bad enough,” some said, that a third auto parts store had moved to town earlier this summer. And now, they learned, a Dollar General was breaking ground — in a residential area. At the entrance to town.


Del Norte airport wins long-awaited federal grants

“This is it. This is one of the major reasons we formed the airport authority.”

That was Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan’s response when he learned the Oregon Transportation Commission approved funding for the airport in Del Norte County.

Tuesday, Brookings leaders attended a meeting held to show the appreciation Border Coast Regional Airport Authority officials have in the city’s effort to secure grant funding for safety improvements at the facility.

The airport, while located in another state, is felt to be of vital significance to the economic well being of those across the border in Oregon.


Harbor grower seeks biosolid waste

Brookings city leaders hope to pen an agreement with a Harbor flower grower to let the city give its biosolids to the hydrangea farmer to fertilize his plants.

Currently, the city pays $60,000 a year to dispose of biosolids — the dry, caked organic material recycled from sewage — at the landfill in White City. If Curry Transfer and Recycling, which hauls the material, only had to go across the bridge, the city could save about $50,000 a year, City Manager Gary Milliman said in a report to council.

The city council will discuss the agreement at a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 22).


Police arrest two in counterfeit cash case

The Brookings Police Department has arrested two people so far in connection with counterfeit money, forgery and possession of methamphetamines.

“We will be executing more search warrants and expect more arrests,” Sgt. Terry Murray said Friday.

Murray said phony $100 bills have shown up in Brookings and in Del Norte and Josephine counties.


County Commission candidates square off

The Curry County Board of Realtors got a preview of what people might see at the first of many county commissioner candidate forums this fall when County Commissioner David Itzen faced off with candidate Tom Huxley at a board meeting Thursday.

The two were asked five questions culled from the real estate board, ranging from their opinion of the possible state designation of the Chetco River as a “scenic” waterway to how county government can be fixed.


Sheriff puzzled by voters' rejection of jail levy

Sheriff John Bishop

Tuesday’s defeat of Measure 8-78 — which would have provide funds solely for the county jail — has Sheriff John Bishop befuddled.

He didn’t think it would be defeated by the margin it did — even wider than the last referendum that asked for a larger tax increase. He understands that people are on tight budgets, and that many citizens don’t trust the county commissioners and are mad that they voted themselves a raise in June.

But he doesn’t get why the people don’t understand the necessity of a jail.


Two walk away from Highway 101 crash


Two people escaped major injures this morning after the SUV they were driving in veered off Highway 101 in Harbor, knocked down a telephone pole and narrowly missed hitting a storefront.

The identity of the two is unknown at this time, but the vehicle had Oregon license plates.

Emergency crews responded to the call of an accident in front of Floors ‘n More and Chetco RV Park at 10:46 a.m. When they arrived they found a black Nissan Pathfinder lodged against an embankment between the parking lot of Rogue Credit Union and the Floors ‘n More store. 

The vehicle left a trail of debris after leaving the northbound lane, jumping the curb and cutting across at least two properties. The vehicle crossed two driveways, knocked out a real estate sign, narrowly missed a parked car, a 50-foot-tall electronic sign post, a dumpster and a delivery van parked in front of Floors ‘n More.

The driver and passengers were being treated by paramedics at the scene, while waiting for an Oregon State Police officer to arrive.



No second chance for Fely’s Cafe

Fely Johnson has been serving breakfast lunch at her small cafe at the port’s Beachfront RV Park since 1993.

The popular Fely’s Cafe at the Port of Brookings Harbor’s Sporthaven Beach will stay open until January, 2015, but after that it will have to close for good.

“There’s not much I can do about it. I’m not the one that’s in control of it,” cafe owner Fely Johnson said Tuesday morning.

The reason is twofold: The port is planning to renovate the building that holds the cafe; and the cafe is in noncompliance with certain federal regulations by which the port must abide.

“There really is no easy way to handle this,” Port Commissioner Jim Relaford said Tuesday. “We’re doing whatever we can to make it as easy as possible for Fely, but it has to happen.” 


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