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New cattery is the catís meow

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A cat named Lucky enjoys the afternoon sun at the feline shelter in Gold Beach.

You could call it “Catnap City, USA.”

Sunlight streams through a large window at the Curry Animal Shelter’s new cattery in Gold Beach, and the felines are making the most of it. Balls of fur are curled up, stretched out, in general making themselves comfortable on couches, in carpeted houses atop poles and in wooden crates attached to the upper walls.

The 23 cats have just one thing on their mind, sleeping.

The cattery is a perfect place for these domesticated cats to land after becoming lost, abandoned or given up for adoption. 

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Deadline nears for potential politicians

The race is (almost) on.

Citizens interested in running for various open government seats in the May 17 primary election have until Tuesday, March 8, to register at the County Clerk and Recorder’s office in Gold Beach.

Many have already signed up to run for office, said County Clerk Reneé Kolen.

County Commissioner David Brock Smith plans to vie to keep his Seat No. 2. It is being contested by Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog and Christopher Paasch of Gold Beach, a former owner of a thoroughbred horse breeding and training company in the East and currently a metal arts sign company owner.

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Congress considering bills about federal forest land

Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith, long a proponent of reinvigorating the local timber industry, isn’t keen on two bills that propose transferring federal lands to state management.

The bills will be heard Thursday in Congress.

Both bills would allow states to take over management of the federal lands within their boundaries and use parts of them for economic pursuits, including timber harvesting.

 Smith argues that neither proposal addresses the numerous different characteristics of Western lands, and that such a transfer shouldn’t — can’t, he said — be handled in one broad sweep.

“It’s more complicated than that, he said, noting that Oregon has 15.7 million acres of land managed by nine BLM districts and covering a variety of landscapes, including grasslands, wetlands, forests and desert. “Having a bill that does not address the uniqueness of the lands within our individual states could cause more bureaucratic issues and exacerbate the problems it intends to help.”

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City: Tourism videos a hit

Thousands of people have viewed the city of Brookings’ YouTube, Facebook and Oregon Lifestyle videos since their debut in August 2015, the city’s Tourism Promotion and Advisory Commission reported earlier this month.

The Great Place for a Romantic Getaway video has been viewed by more than 32,800 people on Facebook, shared by 1,471 of those and “liked” by 300 viewers.

The Brookings Lifestyle video, featured on KOBI TV, was also viewed by 14,781 people.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I think the viewership has been really good,” said City Manager Gary Milliman. “People like to see new things. One of the motivations is to add one video each year to the library.”

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Prescription drug abuse a big issue in Curry

Curry County’s prescription drug abuse problem is so bad, the state has awarded Curry Community Health’s Behavioral Health department a $500,000 grant to combat it.

“It’s based on need,” said Jan Barker, addictions director for the organization. “And Curry County fell into the top 10 counties in Oregon that have this problem. That fact that the state is willing to give us a grant for that speaks loudly.”

The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success grant was issued through the state health authority.

The news did not surprise Barker.

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New dredge a perfect fit for small local ports

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A crew lowers the dredge The Laura into the water at the Port of Gold Beach earlier this week. Next stop for the dredge is the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Sand. Lots of it.

It’s an ongoing and familiar problem for those who navigate the waterways along the Southern Oregon Coast. 

Until recently, the answer for the federal navigation channels has been the Army Corps of Engineers’ dredge, Yaquina, which routinely scoops the river bottoms, removing accumulated silt. But what of the areas too small for the 200-foot ship to maneuver?

Thanks to a cooperative agreement between the South Coast Ports Coalition and the state of Oregon, a $700,000 Ellicott 360 Swinging Dragon dredge named The Laura, will be used to clear mooring basins inside of breakwater areas at ports from Brookings north to Coos Bay.

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Coast Guard to honor Curry County rescuers

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Brookings Police Officer Kyle Kennedy, right, tries to deliver a lifeline to Deputy Terry Brown, rescue swimmer Logan Couch and 14-year-old Joshua Peterson at Harris Beach in June 2014. Pilot file photo.

Participants in the rescue of a young teenager near Harris Beach in June 2014 will be recognized Monday by the Coast Guard in a 10 a.m. ceremony at Chetco River Station in Brookings.

The prestigious Gold Lifesaving Medal will be presented to Terry L. Brown, an Oregon native currently residing in Salem, for extreme and heroic actions in recognition for saving 14-year-old Brookings resident Joshua Peterson on June 2, 2014. 

Logan Couch, Sheriff John Ward and Brookings Police officer Kyle Kennedy were also involved in the rescue, and will receive the Silver Life Saving Medal, Certificate of Valor and the Meritorious Public Service Award, respectively, during Monday’s ceremony.

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Brookings OSP officer injured in highway accident

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OSP Officer Dean Trent received a minor head injury after his patrol vehicle was hit from behind by an alleged drunk driver early Wednesday morning.
 

Local Oregon State Police Trooper Dean Trent escaped major injuries early Wednesday morning after his patrol car was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver speeding on Highway 101 north of Brookings.

Trent received a head injury in the accident and was transported to Curry General Hospital, where he was treated for a concussion and released, officials said.

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Port plant brings jobs

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A seafood processing plant is under construction at the Port of Brookings Harbor, next to the commercial fishing docks. Photo by Grant Fraley.

The new structure under construction at the Port of Brookings Harbor will soon allow seafood caught by commercial trawlers to be processed locally, creating about 25 new jobs. 

Located next to the cold storage facility on Lower Harbor Road, the facility is being built and will be operated by Brookings-based buyer B.C. Fisheries. It is scheduled to open in time for shrimp season.

“Completion of the plant will be done around June, but we’ll be operational by April 15,” said Mike Manning, a port commissioner and owner of B.C. Fisheries, at a meeting Feb. 16.

Processors will initially focus on cooking and peeling Oregon pink shrimp, sending the product to distributors on the West Coast. In the future, however, they hope to process other types of fish.

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Counterfeit money still a problem in Curry

Counterfeit bills are still circulating throughout Curry County and being used in local businesses, a problem Brookings Police began to see late last year. 

Police Chief Chris Wallace said several companies in the Brookings area began to see a surge in the use of fake bills, shortly after they began to appear in Del Norte County. While officers have not yet caught any of the perpetrators using counterfeit cash, Wallace warned individuals and business owners to be aware, and to take extra precautions when accepting bills.

“The problem we’re having is that technology has gotten so good, it’s getting harder for smaller businesses to detect them,” Wallace said of counterfeit bills.

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