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Rancheria celebrates opening of new apartments in Brookings

A crowd of about 30 people recently gathered on the road in front of 1122 Fifield St., admiring the new apartments that had just been constructed. 

The sign reading Chit-xu Mee-ne’, or “Chetco Homes,” welcomed visitors and residents to a housing unit for tribal members of Smith River Rancheria.

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Brookings fire claims three lives

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Investigators with the Oregon State Fire Marshal office on Wednesday dig through the charred remnants of a house fire that took the lives of two adults and a 4-year-old child
 

Authorities believe that Brookings resident Douglas Landers rescued two grandchildren from a burning trailer Wednesday morning before he, his wife and another grandchild perished.

A fast-moving blaze destroyed the family’s single-wide trailer around 4 a.m., claiming the lives of Douglas, 54, his wife Kelly, 52, and their 4-year-old granddaughter Arianna.

Two other grandchildren, Michael, 1, and Kelly, 10, escaped.

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New redwoods for Curry County

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Submitted photo Curry County children help plant a redwood sapling at a county campground in the mountains east of Gold Beach.

Sunday’s tree planting in Lobster Creek Park marked the beginning of what could be a 3,000-year life for 10 redwoods — themselves cloned from a stump in Northern California that was around before Jesus was born.

Two youths involved in the juvenile department, along with Juvenile Director Jay Trost and County Commissioners Susan Brown and David Brock Smith, helped plant the 3- and 4-foot-tall saplings in the county campground northeast of Gold Beach.

Some 30 more trees will be planted there later.

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Port Orford home listed as historic landmark

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The Lindberg home stands out because of unique architectural features.

The Lindberg home in Port Orford joined the ranks of buildings in the U.S. National Parks Register of Historic Places Jan. 7, bringing to five the number of structures in Curry County that carry the prestigious listing.

It is located at 906. N. Washington Street.

The others include the Central Building in Brookings, which just celebrated its 100th birthday, the Gold Beach Ranger Station (1936), the Patrick Hughes house in Port Orford (1898), and Sixes Hotel (1895) at the north end of the county.

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City considers fee for sidewalks

The Brookings City Council decided in a workshop to again jettison its latest idea to change how Deferred Improvement Agreements are managed, and will meet later this month to discuss the option of changing that fee structure to pay for sidewalks in town.

Deferred Improvement Agreements (DIAs) are created when a developer can’t, or opts not to, put the final improvements — curbs, gutters and sidewalks — in their project. But it’s resulted in a patchwork of sidewalks in neighborhoods with individual lots, where some people have put the infrastructure in and others have deferred the work through the agreements with the city.

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‘Clean’ audit bright spot for struggling Curry County

Curry County again received a clean annual audit, but county commissioners were warned that they have tough times ahead in light of the fiscal problems they face.

Those challenges will begin later this month as the county begins to discuss its budget requirements for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and continue until it knows if Sheriff John Ward’s property tax increase is approved by voters May 19.

Federal timber revenues ended last year, although numerous counties throughout the West have passed resolutions urging Congress to extend them again. Ward is hoping voters approve a three-year tax increase to fund the sheriff’s department, separate from county operations. The ballot questions asks for a tax increase of $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation for those living in cities and $2.52 per $1,000 for those living in unincorporated Curry County.

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Message in a bottle: A letter from Japan

Long before there was Internet dating, there might just have been secret notes tucked into wine bottles and tossed asea.

That’s what’s been surmised from what has been translated from a two-page note Steve Johnson of Brookings found while walking near Pistol River Tuesday.

“You usually don’t find that much garbage on that beach,” he said of the long stretch of mostly log-strewn sand. “I picked it up, saw the message inside; I just put it in my sack of garbage, and sorted through it and pulled it out when I got home.”

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Law levy looms over budget talks

Commissioner discussions regarding the county’s financial situation are all leading up to talks about the 2015-2016 budget, which might be dramatically different if voters reject Sheriff John Ward’s proposed tax question on the May 19 ballot.

The tax question has yet to be approved by the state for inclusion on the ballot; it would ask voters to approve a property tax increase of $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation for those living in cities and $2.52 per $1,000 for those in unincorporated parts of the county.

Revenue would be used to fund law enforcement activity in the county, and would serve as the first step to give Ward and his citizen’s committee three years to draw up a special law enforcement taxing district separate from county operations.

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Candidates file for May 19 election

Curry County voters will have the opportunity to elect people to several different positions in the May 19 Special District Election, including seats on the school board, port commission and multiple fire protection district positions. 

There are 13 districts on the ballot for the upcoming election. The deadline to file for candidacy with the county is March 19.

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