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Torch burns bright in Curry County

Guided by Curry County Special Olympics head coach Macen Parke (right) runners carry the Special Olympic torch down Ellensburg Avenue in Gold Beach on Monday. The Oregon Special Olympics will be held this weekend in Newberg.

Carrying the iconic Olympic flame, the Special Olympians of Curry County jogged down the streets of Gold Beach Monday afternoon, waving to passengers and celebrating the things they’ve accomplished — and the goals they hope to achieve this weekend at the statewide competition in Newberg— one of their biggest events of the year.

They received the torch that morning from several members of the Brookings Police Department, the Coast Guard, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and their families, who met at the Oregon-California border and ran eight miles into town, carrying the flame.

“We’re running up from the border to Sea View RV park, and then from there to the Nazarene Church,” said Paul Davis of the Special Olympics, who joined the police officers for the run. “Then it’s going to continue up the coast, through Coos Bay.”


Brief weekend salmon showing in Brookings

Will Hunsaker of Bieber, Calif., holds a hatchery king salmon he caught June 27 out of Brookings, Ore., while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The king hit an anchovy fished with a Fish Flash flasher. He fought the salmon with a G.Loomis mooching rod and Shimano Tekota reel.

The salmon were out in force and biting over the weekend near the Port of Brookings-Harbor before slowing down to just a few fish per day for the rest of the week. Bottomfish remain plentiful in both Northern California and Southern Oregon, but choppy seas have slowed anglers from hauling them in quite as quickly as they have become accustomed to this year.


Retiring umpire a true baseball gem

Herman Hunt, who has umpired for the BHLL for the past 15 years, waves to the crowd after being honored by the league for his many years of volunteer service. Photo by Kelsie Ann Buckhorn.

When he was just 16 years old, Herman Hunt had a chance encounter that would lead to him meeting the love of his life — his wife of 39 years, Darlene. That encounter, like many throughout his life, involved his passion and love for the game of baseball.

“You know how we got acquainted?” Darlene asked during an interview on Wednesday. “He hit me with a baseball.”

“She was 14 and I pitched a ball and she was talking to somebody else and I hit her right in the nose,” explained Herman as Darlene laughed at the memory. 

“That’s one way to get my attention,” she jested.

So began their life together, with one of the constants, aside from their love of one another, being their love of baseball.


Drought conditions create stellar Rogue Bay fishing

Steve Wallace from Escalon, California and numerous other Brookings residents towed their boats up to Charleston Harbor in Coos Bay, Oregon last week to make a royal score on albacore ranging from 15 to 40 pounds which were only 30 miles from shore.

Lower-than-usual water releases out of Lost Creek Dam from now till October is probably going to produce higher-than-usual hookups on fall Chinook for anglers trolling in the lower Rogue Bay.

And the fantastic fall Chinook fishing should continue all the way through October due to the fact that the upper Rogue River flows are predicted to be lower than usual due to drought situations near Lost Creek Dam, lower-than-usual acre feet of water in Lost Creek Reservoir, and high-temperature scenarios that occur in the Rogue River Canyon.

Last Thursday, the water flows from the McLeod gauge (just below Lost Creek Dam) and the Agness gauge were reading 1,540 cubic feet per second (cfs) and 1,680 cfs respectively. Usually those two gauges read within 100 cfs of each other.

And the water flows are anticipated to go down even more during the summer months, which should keep the fishing in the Rogue Bay outstanding.


To Beat the Heat, go to Brookings

Bruins point guard Brandon Curtis make a pass during Saturday's

For many inland area high school basketball coaches the title of the Brookings-Harbor summer basketball tournament, “Beat the Heat”, is spot on.

“The biggest thing for us is the title,” said veteran Cascade Christian head coach Brian Morse, who has been coaching the Challengers for 28 years. “It’s 108 degrees in Medford right now. So to have a 40-degree swing is refreshing.”


Darger named to All-State baseball team

BHHS centerfielder Alec Darger

Brookings-Harbor High School graduate Alec Darger was selected as an Honorable Mention to the 2015 OSAA 4A All-State baseball team.


OSAA adopts football safety program; mandatory by 2016

OSAA became the first state high school activities association to require USA Football’s High School Heads Up Football program to advance player safety.

The Oregon Scholastic Activities Association (OSAA) also becomes the first state high school activities association in the United States to require coach enrollment into USA Football’s Heads Up Football® program for the benefit of its student-athletes, effective in 2016.

The OSAA recommends its 249 football-playing high schools enroll in High School Heads Up Football in 2015. Oregon high schools will be required to do so in 2016.


OSAA 4A All-State baseball and softball selections

The OSAA has released their 4A All-State baseball and softball selections for the 2015 season.

Rule change equals fewer campers

The Gold Beach Panthers football team competes in a scrimmage on Tuesday during the Gold Beach Team Football Camp at Gold Beach High School. Photo by Mandy Pearson.

Gold Beach Team Football Camp (GBTFC) was in full swing this past week, albeit with a noticeably smaller camp than in years past. 

The reduction in participating teams, down by roughly half from last year’s camp of over 800 to 405, and from two or three sessions to only one, is due to the absence of the California school teams who historically have been regular attendees of the nationally renowned prep pigskin warm-up venue.

The impact is being felt around Gold Beach, where merchants that have relied on the football teams and their supporters, like motels, restaurants and grocery stores, are feeling the pinch.


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