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COOS COUNTY — Want to know what's happening in Coos County? 

You could read The World Newspaper or watch the news on KCBY, but reporters at both outfits can only be in so many places at once.

Enter "What's Happening Coos County," a Facebook group where more than 12,400 of your neighbors are ready to answer your question — whether it's about the weather down at the beach, the location of a missing pet or the reason for all those sirens nearby.

At deadline, "What's Happening Coos County" counted 12,437 people as members, most of whom are local. That's nearly 2,500 more than follow The World on Facebook, more than 5,000 more than follow KCBY-TV.

Not bad for a group that's only a year old. The group celebrated its one-year anniversary in June of this year.

"Within a month or two, the group started growing," said Deborah Sapp, one of the group's five admins.

Catrina Rose Clayholt founded the group, with Sapp and Beth Keller quickly joining her as the original admins for the site. 

Earlier this summer, Frances Williams and Travis Beam joined the trio.

"I dragged (Williams) in," Sapp joked, adding that the two were life-long friends.

Even with five admins, moderating the group can feel like a full-time job.

"Our phones go non-stop with site notifications," Williams said, her phone buzzing even as she spoke. 

She said it helped that admins keep different hours, insuring that somebody is usually around in the event that moderation is needed.

"We're up at different hours and such," Williams said.

Sapp said each admin has a unique style and perspective for the site.

"Beth (Keller) is the really sweet one. ... Frances (Williams) is our sternest. ... Travis (Beam) is our guy. He puts a male input into (admin discussions)," Sapp said.

She added that "Catrina (Clayholt) is our firecracker (but) she has got the softest heart."

Clayholt agreed with that assessment.

"I would say I'm the most outspoken and passionate one.

Clayholt's passionate views have earned her more than occasional online abuse, something Sapp said is ironic.

"I am the No. 1 person who boots people," Sapp said.

Sapp and Williams expressed disgust at the actions of a minority of "What's Happening Coos County" group members. Sapp said she has occasionally had to ban members for making posts that are "mean and nasty for no reason," while Williams said she had a hair trigger when it came to moderating posts that were derogatory toward law enforcement, veterans or people with disabilities. 

"I'd never think anyone would do that," Williams said.

When some of those posters are banned, they go to other Facebook groups where they post derogatory, and often misogynistic, remarks about the site's four female admins.

Despite that, Sapp and Williams said the majority of group members fell on the opposite end of the spectrum, providing those in the community who are in need with overwhelming support. Whether a person has lost a pet or just doesn't have enough money to pay for gas or groceries, Sapp said group members are quick to help. In fact, Sapp and Williams said the charitable nature of group members was one of their favorite parts of running the group.

Sapp said she also liked the variety of posts.

"It's kind of a hodgepodge of everything," she said, from business reviews to community news to emergency information to "Where can I find clear gel for canning?"

Sapp said What's Happening Coos County is "quicker than going to the phonebook."

Keller said she enjoys helping people "behind the scenes."

"Many of the things I do, I do in private. I don't do it for glorification," Keller wrote in a Facebook message. "Like a stealth ninja in the night."

Beam said one of his favorite things about the group is how it can serve as an aid to law enforcement.

"The one thing I've loved is helping get info on thieves in the area, whether it's from surveillance video of a home robbery or from a privately owned shop," he wrote through Facebook Messenger. "One was picked up and went to jail, and the shop was actually paid back for the items stolen."

Beam said he hopes the group serves as a deterrent to aspiring thieves.

For Clayholt, the celebrity that comes from administrating a group of more than 12,000 members is both her least favorite and one of her favorite parts of the gig. 

"People recognize me, and they say, 'Hey, I love your group,'" she said.

But one of her favorite moments running the group actually came just two months after its creation.

In September 2015, Clayholt wrote a post titled "A Stranger's Kindness."

She wrote about a positive experience she had with a barista at Dutch Bros. Coffee, how he moved her to tears when gave her her drink on him after she told him how long she had been clean and sober.

The post netted 550 likes and 77 comments.

"I think that was kind of a turning point for the group," Clayholt said. 

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Reporter Andrew Sheeler can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 234, or by email at andrew.sheeler@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewsheeler.

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