County Sheriff

Community Conversations: Growing Grassroots Civility, Episode 1

Curry Coast Community Radio’s Community Conversations announces a new year-long series called Growing Grassroots Civility.

During the inaugural episode of this important series, Host Connie Hunter talks with Julie Schmelzer, head of Economic Development and Administration for Curry County, Lt. Michael “Mick” Espinoza, Curry County Sheriff’s Department Operations Commander, and Jonathan “Jay” Trost, Director of the Curry County Juvenile Department, about how to grow grassroots civility in Curry County.

Born out of frustration with community divisions, Curry County leaders and citizens are working together to “grow grassroots civility.” In recent months, issues of incivility began to be discussed in local social media groups because of acknowledged abuses. Beyond social media, a recent “Law Enforcement Night” sponsored by the Southwestern Oregon Community College Associated Student Government, provided a real life lesson in civility, with both good and bad examples of what was supposed to be a “civilized debate.” Our local newspaper suddenly changed its letter-to-the-editor standards to emphasize quality of arguments and to avoid abuses.

The question remains: can we citizens of Curry County disagree without being disagreeable? (Show host Connie Hunter admits to stealing the that line from local Vietnam veteran, Terry Brayer!) This conversation lays it on the line — let’s work it out, People!

Look for upcoming programs to include a KCIW collaboration between Our Community’s Candice Michel and Connie Hunter as they address civility issues in our schools, community organizations, and between the cities and the county.

Host: Connie Hunter, Producer: Connie Hunter, Recording Engineer: Jim Newman


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Special Program: Gold Beach Mayor Karl Popoff Sheriff’s Patrol Ride-Along

Curry County Sheriff's DepartmentIn this special program, Curry Coast Community Radio’s Bryan Tillung and Connie Hunter use the occasion of Gold Beach Mayor Karl Popoff’s Sheriff’s Patrol ride-along to discuss the many challenges facing the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and how they relate to the public safety property tax measure that will appear on the May 16th ballot.

Participating in the discussion are Mayor Popoff, Curry County Sheriff John Ward, Operations Commander Lt. Mike Espinoza, and Deputy Jared Gray.


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual participants. Curry Coast Community Radio takes no position on any issues discussed in this program.


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Special Program: Public Safety Property Tax Levy Town Hall Meeting

Curry Coast Community Radio is pleased to provide this special public interest program.

On Saturday, March 21st, 2015, the Curry County Democratic Central Committee hosted a special town hall meeting in the Gold Beach City Council chambers. The purpose of the meeting was to help inform the voters of Curry County about the Sheriff’s Department property tax levy that will appear on the May 19 ballot.

Sheriff John Ward

Sheriff John Ward

Almost every seat was occupied as Curry County Sheriff John Ward and members of his command staff fielded a wide range of questions about Sheriff’s Department operations and the rationale for the public safety property tax levy, including patrol staffing levels and what happens if the jail is forced to close due to lack of funds.

The moderator is Carl King, Chair of the Curry County Democratic Central Committee. Fielding questions are Sheriff John Ward, Lieutenant Mike Espinoza, and Jail Commander Sergeant Joel Hensley.


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Curry Matters: Curry County Jail Tour

KCIW LogoKCIW’s Jan Barbas, Connie Hunter, and Jim Newman speak to Curry County Sheriff John Ward, Operations Commander Lt. Mike Espinoza, and Jail Commander Sgt. Joel Hensley in an extended interview at the Curry County Jail for Curry Matters and KCIW, Curry Coast Community Radio.  This is part two in our ongoing coverage of the Sheriff’s office, which faces a funding shortfall beginning in July, and seeks increased taxpayer support.

We touch on veteran’s affairs, substance abuse and mental health, dive into the intricacies of jail design, and deliver insight into the daily lives of inmates and their jailers.


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Intro and end music “Devil on my Shoulder” from the album “The ExtraOrdinary Adventures of…“, by The Underscore Orkestra. The ExtraOrdinary Adventures of… (The Underscore Orkestra) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Curry Matters: Curry County Sheriff John Ward

Curry County Sheriff John WardThis is the inaugural show for “Curry Matters” on Curry Coast Community Radio, KCIW. It’s community radio. I, your host Jan Barbas, have never done anything like this before. I didn’t ask my guest, Curry County Sheriff John Ward if he had ever done a radio show before, but my guess is that while he has probably been interviewed by local reporters when a story breaks, this is likely his first experience with an extended interview for radio or podcast. This is community. Real people, real challenges, the real faces of Curry taking a moment out to share with you, our listeners.

At Curry Matters we’ll try to bring you the news makers in Curry County in their own voice. It’s a chance to get a little deeper and more personal look at the issues we face in our community.

I’d like to thank Sheriff Ward for taking the time to do this first show, and I’d to thank our listeners for taking their time as well. We’d love to hear from you. Please let us know how you liked the show, who you’d like hear on a future show and what issues you’d like to know more about. You may leave comment in the 3C Radio General Discussion forum section of our website or on our Facebook page.


If you like this program and want to hear more like it, consider supporting Curry Coast Community Radio. Here’s How.


Intro and end music “Devil on my Shoulder” from the album “The ExtraOrdinary Adventures of…“, by The Underscore Orkestra. The ExtraOrdinary Adventures of… (The Underscore Orkestra) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0