Curry Health Network gets new

Curry Health Network announced this week that Dr. Richard (Rik) Battey has joined the team of provider specialists and serves the gynecological needs of women of all ages.

Battey comes to CHN from the Grants Pass area and has extensive experience in performing various obstetric and gynecologic procedures, both in the clinic and hospital settings, according to a press release from CHN. He has participated in over 5,000 deliveries and manages routine and high-risk pregnancies.

Currently Battey is providing gynecological care only. While he is licensed and board-certified in both gynecology and obstetrics, an obstetrician is only one component needed to provide future obstetrical delivery services.

He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport, a city in which he also completed an obstetrics and gynecology internship and residency.

Battey said he is excited to be living on the Southern Oregon Coast along with the opportunity to utilize his experience and training as an OB-GYN physician to care for the patients.

He is seeing patients at Curry Medical Practice in Gold Beach and at Curry Medical Center in Brookings. For appointments, call 541-247-3910.

Clarno-Boice tie

Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Curry County native Bev Boice Clarno to fill the remainder of Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s term. Richardson died Feb. 26.

And if Clarno’s maiden name looks familiar, it’s because she and Curry County Commissioner Court Boice are first cousins.

“Bev was born in Langlois, so it’s certainly a proud time for our county,” Boice said. “She is an exceptional leader and as an Oregonian, I’m grateful she was willing to step in during this critical time for our state.”

Clarno took her oath of office last week.

“I am honored by the confidence you have placed in me in appointing me to serve as Secretary of State,” she said. “My priorities are to listen, ensure that the office in which I serve is fulfilling its responsibilities in a professional and non-partisan manner, and that

hard-working Oregonians’ tax dollars are spent in the most cost-effective way possible.”

Clarno is a third-generation Oregonian with a diverse professional career and historic tenure in Oregon elected politics. She was the first woman Republican Speaker of the House and the first Republican woman to serve as her party’s leader in the Oregon State Senate. She was also the first woman to hold leadership positions in both the Oregon House and Senate.

Clarno had been a hog farmer and cattle rancher, real estate broker and appraiser among other occupations before her election in 1988 to the House of Representatives. She was re-elected three times, serving as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1997. She was elected to the state senate in 2000 and served as Senate Republican Leader in the 2003 session.

Slow growth

Curry County ranked 27th of Oregon’s 36 counties in growth in 2017-2018, with a rate of 0.6 percent, according to data extrapolated from the U.S. Census.

The population here is 22,813, and the number of new residents increased in that year by 137 people.

The largest growth rate in Oregon was in Central Oregon — Crook County, with a 3.4 percent increase; Deschutes, with 2.8 percent; Jefferson County at 2.1 percent and Linn County at 1.9 percent.

Curry’s neighbors grew at the following rates: Jackson County at 1.3 percent, making it the 12th fastest; Coos County at 1 percent and ranking 17th; and Douglas and Josephine counties at 0.9 percent for 18th and 19th rankings, respectively.

Lake, Hood River, Baker and Sherman counties all suffered negative growth rates, ranging from -0.1 to -1.9 percent.

Statewide, growth was up 1.1 percent, with an additional 44,121 residents moving or being born here.

Boat lift fees lowered

The Port of Port Orford lowered its boat lift fees 40 percent for most user groups this week during its regular board meeting.

Recreational boats will now cost $30, research boats range from $55 to $80 and charter boats are in the $45 range.

Commercial fishing boats, however, will not see a rate reduction, and the 1 percent landing tax remains on top of those higher commercial rates.

All rates will increase by the annual cost of living adjustment.

The rate reduction will be continued until November, when the board revisits its fee schedule.

Tribal grants for housing

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley earlier this week announced Oregon tribes will receive more than $15 million in federal grants to support affordable housing.

“Quality of life throughout our state requires housing that Oregonians can afford,” Wyden said. “These fresh federal resources for Oregon’s tribes will help them achieve that essential quality-of-life goal and help to honor America’s historic obligations for people living and working in these communities.”

“The country is facing its biggest housing affordability crisis in decades, with rents dramatically outpacing incomes — and is so often the case, this economic challenge is hitting tribal communities in our state especially hard,” Merkley said. “These grants will help develop affordable housing for tribes in Oregon, and I will continue to use my seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to fight for these resources and be a strong federal partner in supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”

One area tribe, the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Confederated tribe, which is spread out over five counties including Curry, will receive $929,652.

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Oregon will increase again July 1, with wages in Curry County — defined as a non-urban county — increasing by 50 cents, to $10.50 an hour.

From there, each July the wage will increase by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour until 2022, when it will be tagged to the “standard wage” that makes up the bulk of the state and be $1 less than the wages earned in those counties.

After 2022, minimum wages for workers in nonurban areas will be adjusted according to the consumer price index, which is typically based on prices in Portland.

Standard wage earners — those in Josephine, Jackson and Deschutes counties, along with all the coastal and Willamette Valley counties north of Douglas County, will see a bump from $10.75 this July to $13.50 in 2022.

Three counties surrounding Portland have the highest minimum wage, currently at $11.75 an hour. That will increase in 75-cent increments each July, and in 2022 will be calibrated to be $1.25 an hour above the standard wage.

The increases were established in the legislature in 2016 through Senate Bill 1532.

Special library meeting

The Chetco Community Public Library District Board of Directors will hold a special meeting April 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the library annex building, 402 Alder St. in Brookings, to discuss budget committee membership.

Regular board meetings are at 9 a.m. on the second Friday of the month at the annex.

Knowledge Bowl

The Brookings-Harbor High School Knowledge Bowl Team will demonstrate its skills live at the Chetco Community Public Library, April 22, 5 p.m.

The team will compete against a dream team of adults and the competition will air on KCIW 100.7 FM.

he undefeated BHHS Knowledge Bowl Team will compete in the National Academic Quiz Bowl Tournament in Chicago in May. While in Chicago, the students will tour of The Art Institute of Chicago and visit the Museum of Science and Industry.

Donations to support the trip can be made through the BHHS office, 541-469-2108.

Soroptimist International of Gold Beach

Soroptimist International of Gold Beach and Brookings is sponsoring sex trafficking awareness training for the hospitality industry.

During April, all local hotels and motels in Brookings and Gold Beach will be asked by a team of Soroptimist women to have their staff trained in the recognition and reporting of sex trafficking. Each of the hotels and motels will be presented with directions for a free, online course to aid in the prevention and to protect themselves.

Individuals working in local hospitality businesses will register to take the course from Stanford University by clicking on a link from the Soroptimist Facebook link (Hospitality Human Trafficking Training) or by following instructions from Google. The course, from Stanford University, takes about one hour and, when completed, a certificate is issued.

A similar course is in the planning for the local restaurant industry.

Members of the community may also take a free course designed for the general public by going to: or Google: Stanford online human trafficking and click on the first link.

Voter registration deadline approaches

In preparation for the May 21 special district election, Curry County Clerk Reneé Kolen is reminding Curry County residents that voter registration closes on April 30.

Additionally, registered voters who have recently moved are reminded they need to update their address by election day, as Oregon does not allow the post office to forward ballots.

Up for a vote in this election are school, port, fire, library, cemetery, health, water, and sanitary district candidates. Voters will also cast ballots on Curry County measures, including a Curry County Transient Lodging Tax and advisory questions on a consumption tax and marijuana production tax.

Voters may register at post offices, libraries, online or by contacting the county clerk’s office directly. Voters can also verify their ballot made its way to the election office by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.

For more information, go to or contact the county clerk at 541-247-3297.

Gold Beach Egg Hunt

In Gold Beach, kids up to age 10 are invited to search for eggs beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at Buffington Park. It is sponsored by Gold Beach Moose Lodge and chapter.

Both events are free and take place rain or shine.

—Curry Pilot