Biologist kill black bear near lake

Wildlife biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife killed a black bear that had been seen next to a popular boat ramp at Henry Hagg Lake numerous times over the past week, according to a press release from the agency.

The release said the incident prompted multiple calls to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police.

According to the release, wildlife officials were summoned to the scene early Thursday morning after state troopers reported the bear had become habituated to the park as the result of people feeding the animal, which biologists encountered eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and other foodstuffs left next to the highway near the intersection of Scoggins Valley Road and Herr Road approximately one mile to entrance of Scoggins Valley Park.

Law enforcement became aware of interactions between the bear and humans after some individuals took “selfie” photographs of themselves and the bear and posted them on social media.

Over the past week, officers were called to the same area several times where individuals had left food for the animal. Oregon law makes it illegal to “scatter food, garbage or any other attractant so as to knowingly constitute a lure, enticement or attractant for potentially habituated wildlife.”

In the release ODFW said it does not translocate bears that have been habituated to humans because these animals are much more likely to have dangerous interactions with humans in the future.

“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” said Kurt Licence. “While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed.

In addition to creating a threat to public safety, people can harm wild animals by feeding them “junk food” that potentially will make them sick, the release said.

“It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals,” said Licence, adding, “They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”

Fair handbooks have been distributed

The 2019 Curry County Fair Exhibitors Handbook has been distributed to merchants throughout Curry County for those interested in showing what they have made and grown.

“You Don’t See THAT Every Day” is the theme for the Curry County Fair, which runs July 24-27. The latest information on fair theme contests, sponsored awards and any new categories in any of the departments for Photography, Creative Art, Hobbycraft, Fiber Art, Culinary, Land Products and Floral.

There are no fees to enter any of the contests and no pre-entry is required by any of the static exhibit departments for non-livestock entries. Premium money payout will be at the fair office beginning on Saturday afternoon of fair, July 27 and continuing through exhibit pick-up time from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 28.

A hard copy of the handbook is available at locations in Gold Beach: the fairgrounds office, Corner Drug, Curry County Courthouse, Curry Public Library, Gold Beach Animal Clinic, Gold Beach Lumber, Gold Beach Senior Center, McKay’s Market, Rogue Credit Union, Town and Country Animal Hospital, Umpqua Bank, Wedderburn Market and Nesika Market in Nesika Beach.

In Brookings: By My Hand, Chase Bank, Chetco Activity Center, Chetco Community Public Library, Curry Coastal Pilot, Evergreen Federal Bank, KURY, Manley Art Center, Rogue Credit Union, Umpqua Bank and Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies.

In Harbor: Brookings-Harbor Veterinary Clinic, Del Cur Supply, Gold Beach Lumber, and Town and Country Animal Hospital in Harbor.

In Port Orford: Coos Curry Supply, Gold Beach Lumber, Port Orford Public Library, Port Orford Senior Center, the post office, quilters store, Rogue Credit Union and the visitor center.

In Langlois: B&B Farm Supply, Langlois Market, Oregon State University 4-H.

View the handbook online at eventcenteronthebeach.com and on Facebook.

For more information, send email to curryfair@gmail.com or call the fair office at 541-247-4541.

Curry County Juvenile announces summer art group

Christine Neil and Alisha Wibking-Krohn with the Curry County Juvenile Department announced the Juvenile Department had received grant funds to promote prosocial activities and enhance emotional and social growth for county youth.

The money will pay for the Juvenile Department to offer creative and fun art projects at no cost to participants June 18 through Aug. 29.

Tuesday sessions will be held in Gold Beach at the Curry County Courthouse in the Juvenile Training Office and Thursdays will be held in Brookings at the Veteran’s building on Railroad in the large meeting room.

Attendance of all groups is not mandatory. The activities will build skill and increase artistic expression. Juvenile Probation Officer, Christine Neil, reports this will be a great program for youth and parents or guardians by giving options for summer activities.

The free program includes a weekly class in Brookings and Gold Beach. There will be no class the week of July 1 through 5.

Additional information is available on the Curry County Juvenile Department Facebook Page or for questions/assistance you can call Christine Neil at 541-247-3235 or 541-373-0413 or Alisha Wibking-Krohn at 541-247-3249 or 541-373-0187.

Single-use plastic bags banned

Single-use plastic bags for groceries, restaurant takeout and other retail items will be a thing of the past, under a bill approved Wednesday by the Oregon Senate.

House Bill 2509, which passed with a 17 to 12 vote on the Senate floor, prohibits retail establishments and restaurants from providing single-use plastic checkout bags to customers. Under the bill, those establishments would be able to provide consumers with recycled paper bags or reusable plastic bags for a fee of at least 5 cents, paid by the consumer.

“Plastic bags are difficult to recycle and are light enough to be blown around easily,” Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) said. “As a result, they are strewn all over the place and are a common form of pollution in our world’s oceans. They don’t biodegrade and so the only way to rid ourselves of them is to stop using them.”

Bags that will be exempted from this law include those used to package bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, greeting cards or small hardware items and others. Across the United States, 12 state legislatures have considered measures to regulate using single-use checkout bags, especially plastic bags at grocery stores and other businesses.

In Oregon, 10 cities have banned single-use checkout bags, beginning with Portland in 2011. Each city’s policy is slightly different. This bill will create statewide consistency, which is the primary reason it is supported by the Northwest Grocery Association.

“Oregon’s local governments already have been stepping up to do their part,” Dembrow said. “But we need a consistent, statewide effort to have a truly meaningful impact in keeping plastic bags out of our natural environment and out of our oceans, where they are doing significant damage to aquatic life.”

Deschutes prosecutor cited for child neglect

A prosecutor with the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office was cited for child neglect after allegedly forgetting his baby son was asleep in his car and returning to work.

Evander R. “Van” McIver is on paid administrative leave while the Oregon Attorney General’s Office investigates a May 30 incident in which a Bend Police officer discovered a sleeping baby in a vehicle outside the Deschutes County Courthouse.

McIver, who was at work inside, was cited with one count of second-degree child neglect, a misdemeanor.

The child was unharmed and remains in “excellent health,” according to a statement from District Attorney John Hummel, who called the former U.S. Navy pilot one of his “most valued” deputy attorneys.

“My thoughts are with he and his family during this difficult time,” Hummel wrote. “I trust Attorney General (Ellen) Rosenblum will give this matter the attention it deserves and will render the appropriate decision.”

McIver called the episode the “worst mistake of my life” in a statement Hummel released Tuesday.

“As every parent of young children knows, sleep can be hard to come by,” McIver said. “Last Thursday, our morning routine changed and after dropping off two children at school, I went straight to work on autopilot and left my son in his car seat in the back of my car. Thankfully, Bend Police responded and my son is just fine … No matter the fallout with respect to me, I am beyond grateful that my son is happy and healthy.”

—Staff and Wire Sources

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