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SMART volunteers work closely with young students

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SMART volunteer Virginia Frizzle, left, reads with a first grade student at Kalmiopsis Elementary School.

Helping students learn to read has helped Brookings Heidi Heikkila recover a skill she lost 14 years ago.

“I was hit by a car,” she remembers. “I was in a coma for one month. I had to learn how to read again, and how to write,” she said. 

Today, Heikkila is a volunteer for the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) program, a statewide initiative to help students get excited about reading.

Volunteers come in and read with students three days a week. The Kalmiopsis Elementary School SMART program provides reading partners for kindergartners and first graders.

The statewide program is set up to serve students from kindergarten to grade three. 

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Quake zone has gone eerily quiet

(AP) — The offshore fault zone expected to generate the next “big one” earthquake along the Oregon Coast has gone silent.

Researchers are baffled by the lack of activity along the Cascadia fault, which lies between 40 and 80 miles offshore and stretches from Northern Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino in California.

Experts believe the lack of activity could point to a build up of pressure — which could lead to a massive quake. 

Earthquake scientists have listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California. But those onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping one would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another, with the exception of the junctions on the north and south ends of what is formally known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. 

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Extension of Brookings bike path delayed

The extension of the bike path north of Brookings has been delayed six months, due to unexpected soil conditions found during pile driving and now, the weather.

The project, which was supposed to have been done by mid-November, will begin anew in April with plans for completion by the end of May, said ODOT Public Affairs Official Dan Latham.

The project involves extending the paved bike path from Harris Beach State Park north to Dawson Road with the hope of eventually connecting it to Southwestern Oregon Community College about 3.5 miles north of town.

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Curry County braces for major winter storm

A storm with heavy rain, high wind and huge surf was expected to pummel the Curry County coast starting late tonigh through Thursday, bringing with it the threat of flooding downed trees and power outages.

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Brookings man facing domestic assault charges

Brookings resident William Dale Scobee Jr. was arrested Saturday night after a domestic dispute that brought authorities to a home on Alder Ridge Road off Carpenterville Road.

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GMO measure recount underway

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County election workers Pam Hunter, left, and Sandy Sorensen recount ballots by hand on Thursday.

Four Curry County election officials spent the bulk of their day Thursday retabulating all the ballots cast in the county’s November General Election to verify the results of state Ballot Measure 92.

That measure would have required manufacturers to label food that is genetically modified; the question failed statewide by 812 votes out of 1.5 million cast.

And that close vote — within one-fifth of 1 percent — triggered a requirement to recount the ballots. Officials throughout the state have until Dec. 12 to finish recounting, but most expect to be done well before then. 

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County loses $1 million safety net

Curry County’s $1 million safety net for 2015 needs a safety net of its own.

County commissioners were in a regular meeting Wednesday when they received word that the funds U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden felt “confident” would be in the 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill being considered in Congress and allocated to O&C counties will not be considered in the bill.

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City will help, not lead, efforts on rec center

Brookings city councilors initially hemmed and hawed, but eventually decided they want to keep the momentum going on efforts to get a community center in town — but they will not take a lead role.

The council met in a workshop Monday to discuss if it wanted to make the endeavor a city project or not, as the project is not in the Strategic or Urban Renewal plans.

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Pearl Harbor history on display

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The Pearl Harbor display a the VFW Hall includes military hats and a model of the USS Arizona.

Nestled among military hats, books, and a small television playing the movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” a large model of a ship rests on a table in the foyer of Brookings’ Veterans of Foreign Wars building. 

The model is of the USS Arizona, better known as the United State Navy ship which suffered an attack at Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, Hawaii, for which Sunday will mark the 73rd anniversary.

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No rest for planners of Cape Blanco Country Music Festival

There are 236 more days until the second annual Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, and already promoters are lining up the talent, securing permits — and preparing to call next summer’s extravaganza a success.

The lineup for July 3 to Aug. 2 event — so far — includes Blake Shelton, the Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Lonestar, Parmalee, Sara Evans and Frankie Ballard.

The inaugural concert, held last August on a private cow field north of Port Orford, featured Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Pam Tillis, attracted 14,000 country music fans, brought an estimated $2 million to the local economy and garnered $45,000 for nonprofit organizations that helped out with the event.

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