BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians are urged to "buy local" this winter, when it comes to firewood. Oregon's Department of Agriculture issued warnings this week against importing firewood from outside the region because of the threat posed by invasive species. Helmuth Rogg with the ODA says most of those pests come from the east coast. "We're talking about what we call exotic wood borers, so those are bark beetles, those are Ambrosia beetles, these are tiny little beetles that can kill trees here in Oregon if they get on the loose."
The Oregon Legislature passed a firewood law in 2011, authorizing the ODA to create rules prohibiting the spread of invasive species. Rogg says those who buy commercial firewood need to look for the "heat Treated" label, "So, if it's a commercial company that's selling firewood into Oregon, they have to heat treat that firewood 60-minutes at 60-degrees celsius to potentially kill the pests that are hitching a ride on that firewood."
He says local firewood does often contain insects, but native bugs don't pose a risk to our forests.
BEND, OR -- Supporters of Lisa Seals for Bend City Council have taken issue with one of her opponents' residency in the year prior to the election. Seales says she's not the one behind the negative campaigning against Casey Roats. But, she admits she is not denouncing Charlie Ringo or Michael Funke for making claims that Roats violated residency requirements. "I support them as concerned citizens. They needed to bring this issue of residency forward and that's totally within their rights to do so." She says, "As far as people thinking that I'm behind this - that's an unfair accusation." Seales says she wanted to stay positive in the campaign but Ringo, who heads a Political Action Committee supporting her, wanted to go negative.
She's now defending accusations from Roats, who claims Seales has her own residency issues to deal with. Roats says she doesn't have an Oregon drivers license and just recently registered to vote in this state. Seales admits she owns homes in Eugene and Florida, but says, "I live in Bend and I've had a lease in Bend for the last four years. I've been teaching at the college for the last two years. I did my disseratation remotely since I've moved here in 2010. I did not graduate from the University of Floriday until May of this year, and just before I graduated, I registered to vote in Oregon." Seales confirmed she was a student at the University of Florida and paid in-state tuition.
BEND, OR -- Dr. Knute Buehler and Craig Wilhelm - both running for State Representative for District 54 (Bend) - have been criticized by some for being too similar. Wilhelm and Buehler both are pro-choice, pro-OSU Cascades ... both agree on the need to create jobs and to support schools and education. So KBND asked them how they differ.
Dr. Buehler, a Republican, says Wilhelm has a long history of partisan activity. "My campaign is really idea driven - and if you look and compare our positions, just look at the different websites and the level of detail and ideas coming from the Buehler campaign is really different." He adds, "Our level of experience and connections to this community - I've lived in this community almost 20 years - I've started businesses here, I've raised my kids here."
Wilhelm, a Democrat and local business owner, says his real world experience from the military makes him a proven leader. "I've led in combat. I've led through very adverse conditions where there was limited resources and we had many different organizations and commanders vying for those limited resources. So, it was making sure that we brought everyone to the table and reached very critical compromises." Dr. Buehler has accused Wilhelm of being too partisan. Wilhelm says he is a "proud Democrat," but he's not afraid to buck party trends to do what's right for Central Oregon.
To listen to our full conversations with both candidates, visit our podcast page: http://kbnd.com/podcasts/your-town
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A high-speed chase that started in Prineville, came to a sudden stop on Highway 26, yesterday morning. Police initially tried to stop 35-year old Marlin Dickerson after a witness told police he had stolen a car from the Bank of The Cascades parking lot in downtown Prineville. Dickerson pulled over in front of Ochoco School and officers drew their weapons as he got out of the car.
Police say he then jumped back into the car and took off toward Madras. As speeds reached 95 MPH on Highway 26, Oregon State Police and Jefferson County deputies threw out spike strips in the roadway. After his tires deflated, Dickerson was taken into custody without incident. He now faces a list of charges, including attempting to elude, driving while suspended, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
BEND, OR -- State forestry officials are moving forward with a plan to update the maps used to decide what lands will be protected from wildfire in Deschutes County. Kristin Dodd with the Department of Forestry says want to work with landowners. "Part of our goal is to make this fair and equitable." She said, "The landowners that should be receiving fire protection from the Department of Forestry should be paying into the system. Conversely, landowners that shouldn't be receiving fire protection shouldn't be paying into the system."
Dodd says the newly formed mapping committee will work to divide lands into several categories. "If they meet the definition of Forest Lands, which is a very broad definition, they are further classified as Class 2 or Class 3 lands, which are referred to as Timber or Grazing Lands." The classifications will help determine which lands should be patrolled every year, which should receive wildfire protection services and which private landowners should be assessed additional property taxes.
She says it's been over 40 years since they've evaluated wildfire protection maps, and the landscape has changed a lot in that time.
The public is invited to the first committee meeting to discuss mapping plans: Wednesday, November 5th, 6-8pm at the Deschutes County Road Dept. Building, located at 61150 SE 27th St., Bend.
BEND, OR -- Negative campaigning between Lisa Seales and Casey Roats continues in their race for the Bend City Council.
Seales' supporters have filed a formal complaint with the Secretary of State's office, claiming Roats violated residency requirements by failing to live within the city limits the year prior to the election.
Roats says he moved to his parents house 2 miles outside the city temporarily while his house was being built. "We've done our homework and called the Secretary of State's office and they've told us it's very common for people to file with a residence they are going to be in." He said, "They've given us every indication that there are no problems."
He says, as a lifelong Bend resident, the charges are ridiculous. "This kind of politics should stay in Salem or Washington D.C. or large metro areas. "We should be talking about important issues. And it turns out my opponent has her own residency question herself." Roats claims Seales was a resident of Florida until earlier this year while she finished her doctorate at the University of Florida. He says she 's never voted in a Bend election and does not have a current Oregon driver's license.
Roats says he wants voters to see the difference between he and his opponent, "In my camp, I call the shots. I don't let people speak for me. I'm responsible for everything in my campaign. Lisa has not been involved. she has never served on a city committee. She's never even voted in an election in Deschutes County." He says if he wins, he's fully prepared to present his case to the Secretary of State and/or the Bend City Council, if challenged.
KBND News will speak with Lisa Roats, later today.
BEND, OR -- Many Oregonians have been bracing for a big earthquake for years. The Tower Theatre held a forum last night to help people prepare for such a disaster. Lisa stroup with the local chapter of the American Red Cross says our part of the state will probably not be the hardest hit. "We may be a refugee center for a lot of folks from Portland and the coast." She says, "Central Oregon could have a lot of visitors so we need to be prepared. We'll be without power for quite awhile and if it were to happen in the winter, we need to think about those things."
Many experts predict a major earthquake will hit this state in the next 50 years. Stroup says the risk is real, "It's realistic. The Governor has set up a council to look at it. There's been a lot of science on it and they feel like its over due. If you don't think it will happen, think about the little quake at Mt. Hood. These are wake up calls. There's nothing we can do to stop it if the earth wants to move, it'll move. You can't stop Mother Nature, but you can be prepared."
Wednesday's event, called "Shaken II," featured a panel that included Dr. Scott Ashford, Dean of the College of Engineering at OSU and Sgt. Nathan Garibay, Emergency Services Manager for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.
BEND, OR -- In the final days before the election, many politicians will visit the area for one final push.
Senator Jeff Merkley will be in Central Oregon Friday. He'll be at Redmond's Smith Rock Brewing Co. at 4 p.m., and at Sisters' Eurosports Bike Shop at 5:15, finally ending up at the Bend Democratic Party Headquarters on NE 3rd Street at 6:30 p.m.
Merkley's Republican challenger, Dr. Monica Wehby, will be in town Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Deschutes County Republican Headquarters on SE 3rd Stree.
Congressman Greg Walden will be in Redmond Monday for a Town Hall meeting at the Redmond City Hall, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man is dead and his mother hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an incident in southeast Bend, yesterday. Just before 4 p.m., medics were called to Donkey Sled Road by a man reporting an unconscious woman who wasn't breathing. Paramedics discovered 60-year old Susan Stafford in the front yard, with a critical chest wound. When police responded, 23-year old Seth Roberts retreated into the home... that's when Officers heard one gunshot.
After attempts to contact Roberts failed, CERT-team members entered the home and found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Neighbors were evacuated during the ordeal, but were allowed home around 8 p.m.
As of Thursday morning, Stafford was listed in good condition at St Charles Medical Center. Bend Police say the investigation into Wednesday's events remain under investigation.
--- UPDATE ---
Bend Police investigators confirm Stafford was stabbed by her son. She continues to recover at St. Charles Medical Center.
REDMOND, OR -- The City of Redmond just approved a new partnership aimed at saving $100,000 per year in energy costs. The $1.2 million contract with Ameresco will bring upgrades to 11 city buildings.
Over the next several months, crews will install lighting and control upgrades, as well as a solar power system at the Redmond Airport. City officials expect the projects to be completed by spring. At that point, they hope to take advantage of nearly $160,000 in rebates and incentives fom the Energy Trust of Oregon.
It's estimated the project will keep more than a million pounds of CO2 out of the environment - the equivalent of removing 189 cars from the road, each year.
BEND, OR -- Oregon's special child abuse awareness license plate is at risk of being discontinued if more aren't sold by Friday, October 31. State Representative Gene Whisnant was closely involved in the creation of the "Keep Kids Safe" license plate campaign when the program began 2 years ago. "Did you know we used COCC and OSU Cascades? They helped us design the plate and figure out the marketing campaign for it," he said.
Drivers pay an additional $30 registration fee every two years to have the "Keep Kids Safe" plate, money that benefits the Children's Trust Fund of Oregon and child abuse awareness and prevention programs. Whisnant says it's a cause well worth the money. "I'm sorry we have this issue, but we do. And this plate helps people be aware of it and provides a little bit of money to help those agencies that are serving those children who have been abused."
500 plates must be sold by close of business on Friday for the program to continue. Whisnant says they are nearly 100 shy of that goal. A year ago, organizers met the minimum only after Lithia Motors agreed to put the plates on a handful of their new dealership cars.
BEND, OR -- Superintendent Ron Wilkinson announced plant to retire, at last night's Bend-La Pine School District board meeting. Wilkinson has been with the district 17 years, and has served as chief since 2008. He advocated for school choice options for parents and students, and supported the development of the district's magnet school programs.
Wilkinson said he will retire June 30, 2015. Attempts to find a search firm to assist in hiring Wilkinson's successor will begin today.
REDMOND, OR -- City Councilors approved taxes on marijuana and marijuana infused products at last night's Council meeting. The final approval means a 5% tax on medical marijuana sales within the city of Redmond, and a 15% tax on recreational marijuana.
Mayor George Endicott says the vote does not mean councilors endorse pot legalization; only that the city would collect a tax to offset potential costs incurred with the introduction of marijuana outlets. The 15% recreational marijuana tax would only apply if Measure 91 passes on Tuesday.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission just approved new rates that will go into effect on Saturday.
Bob Valdez with Cascade Natural Gas says rates will go up less than one percent for residential customers.
"A typical customer we estimate will see their bill go up 38 cents a month. As you can see, that's not a whole lot. Industrial customers will increase 3.7 percent and it will go up .3 percent for commercial customers."
Cascade Gas estimates for a typical residential customer, their bills will go from $51.61 to $51.99 a month.
Cascade Gas servces central Oregon and parts of northeast Oregon.
They want the state to loosen fire restrictions so they can burn more, but state officials are reluctant to do it because it could mean more smoke in the area.
Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger would rather see smoke from prescribed burns than wildfires.
"It seems like the policy is no smoke, when we're trying to do 200 acres prescribed burns up slope from a community. it's just gonna happen. So how do we allow ourselves minimal predictable so we can avoid uncontrolled burns like the Two Bulls or Pole Creek fires."
Unger says they need to keep ahead of the wildfire threat.
"The Forest Service wants to double the pace and scale of the burns to get more defensible space. Right now the burn bosses are concerned about the smoke and they are going to slow down the pace and scale because they haven't figures out how to manage this intrusion problem."
Nick Younger is a meterologist with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He puts together the forecasts to allow these burns.
"The idea is we try to burn it when the mixing is up so the smoke lifts upward and it moves up and outward from Bend. And that can be done pretty well during the nighttime hours, but it can be difficult during the day when there is smoldering overnight and it drains into Bend."
Last week, state environmental officials met in Bend to discuss how to strike a balance to allow the areas to conduct more of these controlled burns, while avoiding high smoke levels.
A poll just conducted by the Oregonian shows Kitzhaber with a seven point lead over Richardson, but that's much closer than in recent months.
Kitzhaber used to lead Richardson by double digits in recent months.
A poll last week by KATU TV found voters were switching sides following the Cylvia Hayes controversies.
The latest poll conducted on Sunday and Monday which interviewed 403 voters, found 45 percent plan to re-elect Kitzhaber, while 38 percent will chose Richardson.
SALEM, OR -- In about a week, high school and college students will be able to start applying for financial aid through a large state database. Oregon's Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is the largest provider of scholarships in the state. Their application database opens November 3rd.
OSAC Executive Director Bob Brew says there's something for every type of student, "OSAC is the administrator for nearly 500 privately funded scholarships for students across the state, and we have a whole variety of scholarships. From ones that are designd specifically for community colleges, some for four-year universities and others for trade school."
The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2015. More information is available at OregonStudentAid.gov.
BEND, OR -- What can be done to provide more affordable housing options in Central Oregon? Bend 2030 is working to come up with a solution, and will focus on the issue at a forum later this week.
The group has been soliciting citizen input through their website and will release the results of the survey at Thursday's meeting. Project Manager Marika Yuma says they're looking at various aspects, "So, availability has to do with what's available. We have a .5% availability rate. Affordability, that has to do with people getting prices out of the market and we can't keep doing that. And, finally, who's responsible who can fix that, who do we turn to? Is there anyone who can fix this?" Yuma says it's really about the residents, "It is not just about listening, but we're going to take what we learn and share it with community leaders. It's been heart wrenching to hear their stories of finding affordable housing. It really is a critical issue."
Thursday's meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Bend Senior Center. Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney and Bend City Manager Eric King are scheduled to speak at the event.
BEND, OR -- The Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA) will move from its shared space with Economic Development Office (EDCO) in Bend, into a new facility in Sunriver. COVA CEO Alana Hughson says Bend's tourism needs are already being met by agencies like Visit Bend and the Chamber of Commerce. "COVA's intention is that destination visitors - we know they're not stayin gin a single location, whether that be Sunriver or Bend or Redmond or Sisters or any of the communities - They're moving throughout the region." She adds, "We need to get that regional visitor information to the visitor where they're located."
Sunriver hosts the largest number of overnight visitors per-capita than anywhere else in the High Desert. However, after the announcement, critics expressed concerns over special treatment for the Sunriver Resort, possibly at the expense of other areas. Jodie Barram is running for the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners and said, "I thought they were well suited to be in with Economic Development of Central Oregon, they shared an office space here in Bend." Barram did acknowledge Sunriver's contributions to COVA's funding and promotional efforts.
Her opponent, incumbent Tony DeBone, says the move is already gaining support, "The other destination resorts are being represented by COVA, all the rural destination resorts in the county. The board members support it. We're going to have more of a visitors' front end in the Village at Sunriver."
Hughson says COVA will continue to be a regional resource, working to promote all of Central Oregon, "From the operations perspective of how COVA delivers our strategic marketing programs, it's really not relevant where our office is based. So, for reasons of efficiency and economy, it makes sense to have our operations located in the [Sunriver] visitors information center."
COVA hopes to be fully moved into the new Sunriver location before Christmas, to take advantage of the large number of visitors expected during the holiday season.
BEND, OR -- With just a week left in the fight for Deschutes County's Board of Commissions (pos. 1), we offered both candidates a chance to address each other's campaign claims.
Tony Debone says his opponent would increase taxes; a claim Barram disputes: "You have to work within the tax structure you have. And, if you ever have a need to go to the voters for something, then you implement the will of the voters."
DeBone insists he's the candidate who would continue to keep taxes in check, "As a County Commissioner, I have been in the spot where we can put items on the ballot. And we did - we reduced the 911 Operating Levy by 3-cents and I have voted against our budget for this year, knowing we're going to see growth in our tax assessed value in Deschutes County."
Jodie Barram says she's the only one who would truly represent everyone in Deschutes County. Debone says he's proud to be from La Pine, but he's focused on the whole county, "I've got great relationships in Redmond, Sisters and the chambers of Commerce and all the business owners in the area. As commissioners we have the opportunity to be all over the county, everyday."
Barram insists her deep roots in this area makes her a better choice, "I've spent a lot of time in La Pine this past year ... I take off my campaign button and I want to participate in cities and communities as a citizen, because I think you get a more authentic feel."
Barram currently serves on the Bend City Council. DeBone is the incumbent running for his second term on the Board of Commissioners.
To hear our full conversation with Jodie Barram and Tony DeBone, visit our Podcast Page: http://kbnd.com/podcasts/your-town
REDMOND, OR -- The "Safe Touch" program taught in Redmond schools helped uncover alleged sex abuse involving a young girl, last week. The 8-year old girl came forward after learning about appropriate and inappropriate touching at school. Angie Chown is a school counselor at Sage Elementary in Redmond. She's pleaesd the program is resonating with students, "My first reaction was, 'that's great that what we're teaching, the kids are listening to and it had an effect on her and helped her.'"
Chown says the students are taught about the deceptive ways people may try to lure them and how they can stay safe. "I feel like this program is important due to the data and research that one in 10 children end up being victims of sex about by the age of 18." She added, "I think we're teaching kids about these offenders."
The Safe Touch curriculum includes "my body belongs to me," "my feelings," "my body is private" and "your body belongs to you."
The program was created by Bend's KIDS Center.
41-year old Randy Allen Moore was arrested last week after the young girl told her parents she had been touched. Redmond investigators say she had gone through the "Safe Touch" program at school a few days before. Moore faces 7 counts of Sex Abuse I.
BEND, OR -- East Coast fans of Deschutes Brewery will soon start seeing their famous Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Fresh Squeezed IPA filtering through Washington, D.C. markets. The Bend-based brewery ix expanding into D.C. and northern Virginia in the next couple of weeks. Jason randalls with Deschutes Brewery says they're not sure exactly where the brews will pop up first, "Well, we don't know yet, and we don't dictate that right away. Right now, we're working with our distribution manager to get it placed in as many places as possible. At first, right now, we're working on some events for November, the week of November 17th. And, we'll be doing some events at some craft beer bars and Hosea Andre's restaurants that week."
Randalls believes the expansion will benefit from built-in name recognition, "We're one of the largest craft brewers in the country that's not in all 50 states, or not in the majority of the states. And, I think the people in Washington, D.C. are mainly not from D.C. - Mostly from everywhere else. So, they're more familiar with our beer, and have had a chance to try our beer."
Deschutes Brewery will also feature their Zarabanda brand - they'll have a limited amount of their seasonal beers provided for the launch.
SUNRIVER, OR -- A Bend man remains hospitalized after a hunting accident near Sunriver.
21-yera old Colton Nye and 22-year old Jesse Derrick were duck hunting between Sunriver and Benham Falls Sunday morning. As the pair hiked back to their vehicle at about 11:30 a.m., investigators say Derrick's shotgun discharged a single round, hitting Nye in the back of the leg.
Nye was flown to St Charles Medical Center Bend, where he is listed in fair condition.
MADRAS, OR -- The historic Madras Hotel & Motel was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning. Jefferson county fire crews were on-scene for several hours, working to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings. The approximately 100-year old hotel was vacant, but the neighboring motel was evacuated as crews battled the blaze. The Red Cross is assisting those families displaced by the fire.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
BEND, OR -- Dennis Richardson visited Bend Saturday, rallying supporters and addressing a number of new developments in his race for Governor. Richardson's campaign stopped at the Deschutes County Republicans headquarters, where he spoke to KBND News about the case he filed this past week with the US Attorney. Richardson is pressing for an investigation into Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiance Cylvia Hayes, and whether they broke ethics laws.
Hayes reportedly tripled her personal income last year. Opponents argue she used her position as first lady and the governor's adviser for personal gain. "The allegations of corruption and unethical behavior need to go forward," Richardson said about his letter to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. "[The allegations] are much more egregious than those that were against Robert McDonnell, and he's going to do time." Richardson's request has yet to be referred to the FBI.
A SurveyUSA poll conducted for KATU-TV in Portland released Wednesday showed Richardson leading 55 to 39 percent among the voters following the scandals. Out of the 856 Oregon adults polled, only 407 factored into the final percentage.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man faces seven counts of Sex Abuse I after a young girl came forward earlier this week. Det. Sergeant Jesse Petersen with Redmond Police says allegations stretch from May until October of this year. "The 8-year old victim had told her parents about some inappropriate touching with a 41-year old male named Randy Allen Moore." Det. Sgt. Petersen says she came forward on Monday, "She had recently in school gone over the safe touch curriculum and she had disclosed to her parents some inappropriate touching." A search warrant was executed at his southeast Redmond home on Wednesday, Moore was arrested a short time later.
Moore was a volunteer mail courier for the Bend Police Department. Bend Police officials report his volunteer status was terminated when the accusations came to light. His position with BPD never required him to have contact with children.
REDMOND, OR -- A Prineville man was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash east of Redmond, Thursday night. Just before 10 pm, 23-year old Jason Gordeon was westbound on Highway 126 when his pickup left the road, rolled several times and hit a tree. Gordon was partially thrown from the vehicle.
An off-duty Crook county deputy and OSP sergeant witnessed the crash and were able to begin medical care until paramedics arrived. Alcohol is being investigated as a factor in last night's crash.
PORTLAND, OR -- A new poll suggests there may be a shift in Oregon's gubernatorial race. Polls as recent as earlier this week showed incumbent Governor John Kitzhaber leading by 13 points over his Republican challenger, Dennis Richardson. But, a new KATU-TV poll shows both candidates with around 37% support, and nearly 20% of those who planned to vote for Gov. Kitzhaber now say they will vote for Richardson following the recent Cylvia Hayes scandals.
Willamette Week has endorsed Kitzhaber, and its Managing Editor Brent Walth defended their choice yesterday with Lars Larson, "I think it's naiive to express, Lars, that someon who has expressed prejudice against gays in the past and has taken a position against women's right to choose, wouldn't also cary forward those ideas into office. Mr. Richardson's argument is that 'these are all settled' and therefore, what he thinks doesn't matter. In fact, what he thinks does matter."
Walth says Willamette Week endorses Kitzhaber because of his innovations, "Willamette Week's concern in 2010 was he has a pention to alway have to be right and he doesn't follow through. But, now the Oregon Health Plan, which expanded Medicaid... His efforts to establish CCOs, which created a community approach to healthcare ... and creating an education system that is continuous from kindergarten through college are all three innovative ideas."
This is the first poll ever to show Richardson with a lead in the Governor's race. The KATU poll involved just over 400 voters who were registered to vote and reported paying close attention to the election.
BEND, OR -- Casey Roats is not backing down from a challenge that he doesn't meet the residency requirements to run for Bend City Council. Roats sold his former home in Bend in October 2013, and moved into his parents' house just two miles outside the city limits while his new home was under construction in southwest Bend.
A political action committee supporting one of Roats' opponents is pushing the matter and is calling for him to withdraw. He says he won't, "Oh, there's no way I'm going to shrink from this. I've lived in the Bend city limits exclusively for the last 15 years. I was raised two miles outside the city limits. My grandfolks moved here in the 1920s. I have been humbled by the number of people who have emailed and phoned and are dropping by the office."
Roats says he feels he's on firm ground with the residency requirements, "We checked into all the rules in the state regarding residency and it's very clear. When it's a temporary hiatus from a residence - especially if you don't make any documentation like utility bills, and we didn't - it was just a short amount of time while we continued to build our house. And it took longer than expected, which anyone that has built a house understands how that goes."
If he wins the city council seat and it's challenged, it would be left up to the city council to decide whether he meets residency stipulations.
BEND, OR -- It's been nearly 10 years and $11 million in the making, but Deschutes County's newly expanded jail is nearly ready for its first residents. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says the jail will start filling those additional 144 beds within the next two weeks, "We're working out some technology bugs in there right now. For security reasons, I can't tell you the actual date [to open]. But, more importantly, it's going to provide us with some additional opportunities to provide treatment for those that are drug or alcohol dependent and/or suffer from mental illness."
Sheriff Blanton says this is the first large expansion of a jail in Oregon in the past 10 years, and it was funded without imposing any new taxes, "So, not only did we build this facility, which is really going to enhance public safety in Deschutes County and effect recidivism in a positive way. And, we also have the money for staffing incrementally over time - and we need that."
The nearly 23,000 sf extension was paid for from within the county budget after voters turned down a bond measure four years ago that would've allowed for a larger project.
BEND, OR -- As Halloween approaches, the Deschutes Historical Society is offering an up-close look at Bend's most haunted locations. Now in their fifth year, one-mile public tours of Historical Haunts start Thursday evening and continue through the weekend in downtown Bend.
Museum Board member Anna Johnson says the tour guides visitors through stories of mystery, love and the after-life, including that of George Brosterhouse, "He and his brother were building the old Reid School and he fell to his death. And, our building- for the Deschutes Historical Museum- is haunted because he did die there. There are also stories of the downing building and the O'Kane Building, as well as McMenamins and some other stories as well. But, I don't want to give too much away."
Public Tours begin at the Deschutes historical Museum and end at Crow's Feet Commons.
All ages and abilities are welcome, although visitors are reminded to dress for the weather.
Tickets can be purchased at the museum.
MADRAS, OR -- Three llamas were found wandering 8 miles east of Madras, earlier this week, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's office is now looking for their owner.
The two females and one male are now being cared for by the nonprofit group Mustangs to the Rescue and have been examined by a vet. Deputies believe the trio has been on their own for some time.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Jefferson County sheriff's office at 541-475-6520.
SISTERS, OR -- The Sisters District Ranger who wanted to build a paved path from Sisters to Black Butte Ranch, has withdrawn her decision. Kristie Miller says there is too little community compromise for the proposal to continue. She says many community members showed a great deal of support for the trail, but objectors failed to agree on a compromise during resolution meetings in recent weeks.
Miller says it could be possible in the future. A broader community led process could develop a proposal for a variety of trails. But, for now, the paved path will not be built.
BEND, OR -- Notices will start going out Wednesday to Bend residents, informing them the city will not meet the state's deadline to treat certain potential parasites in the city's water supply. Delays from the public process deciding which type of treatement plant to install, along with lawsuits, took longer than originally planned.
The city is required to notify residents to keep them informed of plans to meet state and federal government deadlines to treat for Cryptosporidium. Steve Prazak, Bend's Water Quality Manager says, "We are on the path forward to come in compliance with federal and state guidelines." Prazak says the city received a waiver to move the deadline to April 15, 2016, "That is the deadline that we agreed to witht he Oregon Health Authority, to complete the water treatment plant and supply that treated water to the public.
Once finished, the new treatment plant will treat for Cryptosporidium and will remove silt and other particulates, allowing Bridge Creek to provide water year-round, even if there was a fire in the watershed. Currently, water from Bridge Creek is treated with Chlorine, however that does not destroy Cryptosporidium.
The district lost 16-thousand 500 acres to fire and that's nearly double the ten year average.
George Ponte with the Oregon Department of Forestry says it was a tough year.
"You know we came into fire season under drought conditions and those drought conditions got worse. We're still in a drought. We had frequent lightning in July and August. Those were the big reasons for the tough fire season. We also had some unfortunate human caused fires that remain under investigation."
Central Oregon's fire season was 134 days long, which is longer than usual, but Ponte urges people to continue to be careful.
The U.S. has only had three cases that started here , but it makes people nervous.
Heather Kaisner is the Communicable Disease Coordinator for Deschutes County and she thinks people have to put thier risk in perspective.
"It's gotten somewhat political. Oncea person has been quarantined for 21 days and they are fine, they're not contagious, they were never contagious. We shouldn't shun people. Fear can be scary, but we can do more harm."
"And while these communicabloe disease can be risky and unknown, but when you put it in perspective about things like smoking, car accidents, not weraing seat belts. All these things put it in perspective, when we've just had three cases from the U.S. that were from here."
Ebola is spread through close contact with an infected person and is not spread through the air.
You have to be exposed through bodily fluids, as many health care workers have been.
Bishop Liam Carey removed Father Radloff from Bend's St. Francis Catholic Church last October and refused to place him with a new parish.
Radloff has since started a new church in Bend through the Evangelical Catholic Church, but he is seeking some settlement.
Charlie Burr with the State Bureau of Labor and Industries says that could take several different forms.
"All these complaints are different. The settlement could be financial. It would be non economical and if there was retaliation it could be an agreement to provide a netural reference or sometimes the agreement could be the employer has to undergo training to avoid similar violations."
The investigation into the allegations could take up to a year, but Burr says it usually takes between three to six months.
This is not a presidential year, so pollster Tim Hibbits with DHM Resrach in Portland says turnout will be down.
"I would expect gubernatorial turnout to be substantially below a presidential year. when you look at the history of Oregon Gubernatorial races in the last 55 to 60 years, they've fallen into fairly narrow turnout range 68 to 73 percent and based on what I've seen, I think it will fall on the lower end of that range."
Election Day is November 4th. Your ballot must be received by election officials no later than 8 P.M. on Election Day to be counted.
After October 31st, the Friday before Election Day, you should hand deliver any ballot to ensure they are counted.
(Sisters, OR) -- Police are still investigating a crash that killed a Tigard couple and their baby daughter in Linn County. Oregon State Police say 34-year-old Fred Fefelov, 27-year-old Tiffany Fefelov, and seven-month-old Mila were killed Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 20 near Sisters. Troopers say their car went out of control and was hit by an oncoming SUV that was towing a trailer. The people in the SUV were not injured.
Monday, Oct. 20 --
It's a great time for job seekers to live in Deschutes County.
The latest employment study from the Oregon Employment Department shows that Deschutes County has had a 5.4 percent job growth this September.
That puts the county as both the fastest-growing metro area in the state and the fastest-growing county.
"[It's] a really blistering pace of job growth," says Central Oregon regional economist Damon Runberg. "Over the last year, there's been over 35 hundred new jobs added into Deschutes County's economy."
Deschutes County usually sees a loss of about 700 jobs in September, due to changes from summer tourism.
Instead, there was a growth of 40 jobs.
Local school hiring, one of the largest factors in that statistic, went up by 240 positions more than last year.
BEND, OR -- Several Central Oregon businesses received recognition, along with a financial boost at this weekend's Bend Venture Conference. The annual event hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) featured $900,000 in investments and prizes.
Volcano Veggies received a $1,500 award, along with a $10,000 Bend Broadband prize. Volcano Veggies is a local start-up which grows organic vegetable and fish indoors, year-round.
Other local businesses honored at the event include Crowd Street, Poached Jobs, Amplion Researc and Bright MD. Amplion Research - a company that consults with medical companies - received the biggest award at the conference, a $250,000 investment.
EDCO officials believe about $175,000 in side investments were made at the weekend event.
BEND, OR -- A civil complaint filed against outgoing Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty alleges he fired an employee for not providing enough political connections during Flaherty's re-election campaign.
The Bend Bulletin reports Bruce Endicott is suing Flaherty for $750,000. In the complaint, Endicott claims Flaherty hired him as Office Administrator to further his political prospects during the election - Endicott is related to Redmond Mayor George Endicott. Bruce Endicott says he was fired in May, just two days after Flaherty lost his re-election bid to John Hummel.
In July 2013, Flaherty settled a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by three other former employees for $710,000.
BEND, OR -- Three teens face a list of charges after they were caught by an alleged victim, breaking into cars. According to the Deschutes County Sheriff's office, a homeowner confronted the group late Saturday night on Old Wood Road south of Bend. After a brief struggle, the homeowner was able to detain one of the suspects while the other two ran off. They were later arrested.
18-year old Michael Lester of La Pine was taken to the Deschutes County jail; the 14- and 16-year old suspects were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. Investigators say the three are responsible for several car break-ins in the area, and face multiple charges, including assault and robbery.
BEND, OR -- A Friday dirt bike ride turned into an Air-Link flight to the hospital for a Washingotn man.
Just before 2pm Friday, Deschutes County Search and Rescue responded to a call about 51-year-old Steve Headley, who was found in the East Fort Rock OHV area near Camp 2, east of Bend.
"He didn't hit anything other than the ground," said Ronny Dozier, Search and Rescue manager for Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. "He came off of his dirt bike ... he had some sort of chest injury."
Two Deschutes County SAR ATV teams helped find and transport Headley, after which Air-Link transported him to Bend St. Charles Hospital.
CAVE JUNCTION, OR -- A new ruling says Oregon cities can restrict or ban medical marijuana dispensaries.
Thursday night, Josephine Circuit Court Judge Pat Wolke addressed a ruling against the state from Cave Junction, which said cities shouldn't have to follow state laws that violate federal law.
While the Circuit Court ruling did not address the point of marijuana being a federally banned substance, it will give the local government more control on dispensaries.
This would apply if a city's development code or business license code says the city does not have to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
"The state cannot stop us if we so desire," Redmond Mayor George Endicott said. "And if the state really meant it, than they're going to have to go back in the next legislative session, and explicitly say so."
It is not known if the state will appeal the ruling, or address the wording of the law to make it more explicit.
If the ruling does remain unchallenged, then after the allowed year-long moratoriums for Oregon cities end in May, then local governments can continue to restrict or ban medical marijuana dispensaries.
The ruling will have no impact on controlling the effects of the November ballot measure on recreational marijuana, if it passes.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man was cited for Driving Under the Infulence of an Intoxicant and Reckless Endangering in connection with a single-car rollover accident Thursday evening. At about 7:20 pm, Crook County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a crash on NW Grizzly Mountain Rd. Investigators say 61-year old Stephen Donald Newhouse of Prineville was driving the Ford Explorer south on Grizzly Mountain Road when he lost control, collided with a juniper tree, rolled over across a barbed wire fence and landed back on its tires. He and his passenger were found walking away from the crash scene when deputies arrived.
Newhouse suffered minor injuries. His passenger, Lorane Elizabeth Teeters of Prineville, was uninjured.
BEND, OR -- The latest polling shows a slight majority of Oregonians leaning toward legalizing marijuana in November, but it's close and could come down to who votes. City Club of Central Oregon discussed Measure 91 on Thursday, bringing in panel members that include the chief petitioner of the measure, Anthony Johnson, and a Redmond parent and substance abuse prevention specialist Mandi Puckett, who is against M91.
Colorado pharmacist, George DiCarlo was in the audience and was asked by the moderator what he would recommend Oregonians do, "I think having a firm handle on managing the edibles and the tax situation and having an economist explain who is going to incentivize this. You know money is fungible and if the revenue is going to education, that means politicians don't have to spend as much money on education." DiCarlo added, "Let Colorado be the canary in the coal mine, perhaps." He says his state is still struggling through growing pains, "But I will tell you, one of the things I noticed is, I see the revenue numbers and they are incredible. A lot of politicians are against it, but they're taking the state money. That makes it difficult- All that money. I don't know what's going to happen."
8 months since legalizing marijuana, Colorado is seeing record high sales. According to the latest figures, Coloradans spent $34 million on recreational pot in August. That's up from $29 million in July.
SISTERS, OR -- A prescribed burn is planned for Friday in the Sisters area. Fuels specialists plan to burn 145 acres three miles west of Sisters and two miles southwest of Highway 20.
The burn should take a day to complete.
Officials expect people in the area will see smoke in the Sisters and Black Butte Ranch areas. The goal of this project is to restore ponderosa pine ecosystems to healthier, more resilient natural conditions and to improve the wildlife habitat.
CROOK COUNTY, OR -- The Crook County Sheriff's Office responded to an accidental death of a woodcutter after a tree fell on him in the Ochoco National Forest, yesterday.
Killed was 76-year old Terry Dessenberger of Redmond. He and a friend were cutting firewood when reportedly the victim sawed a limb off of a downed tree causing it to fall on top of him.
Dessenberger's friend pulled him from underneath the tree and attempted CPR but was unable to revive him.
BEND, OR -- The City of Bend is hanging a "Help Wanted" sign. City councilors unanimously approved a plan to hire 26 new workers - a sign of an improving economy. Positions include building inspectors, police officers, engineers and city planners.
At Wednesday night's meeting, councilor Jim Clinton said one area drove his vote, "First of all, it would have to do with us getting a grip on this vacation rental problem, which I tend to agree has gotten grossly out of hand."
Two of the added positions are specifically to handle the vacation rental issue: a public safety officer and a permit coordinator. City Manager Eric King said increased revenue from
City Manager Eric King said increased revenue from room and property taxes and building fees allows the city to make those hires.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces a long list of theft charges after he was caught reportedly wearing a witness' stolen jacket. A victim called police yesterday afternoon to report seeing a man on a bicycle wearing a jacket that had been stolen out of his car. The jacket was quite unique and the victim was able to give a detailed description.
Officers located the suspect in Juniper Park, but he took off. 21-year old Taylor Steven Connelly was taken into custody a short time later near Pilot Butte Cemetery.
Investigators believe Connelly is responsible for as many as 10 car break-ins over the past 2 weeks.
BEND, OR -- As ballots start hitting mailboxes this week, Central Oregonians may notice an increasing trend - candidates listed with more than one party affiliation. Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship says more candidates are accepting multiple party nominations, "Like Tammy Baney who ran for Deschutes County Commissioner. She ran as a Republican and won that nomination. There was no one running for Democrat. The write-in votes gave her that nomination for the Democrat party, and she accepted that. So both the ballot and the voters pamphlet will show the Republican and Democrat nomination by her name." State Representatives Gene Whisnant and John Huffman are also listed as both Republicans and Democrats, and a handful of other candidates have received nods from multiple lesser-known parties.
Blankenship says legislation allows candidates to claim the nomination of more than one party in a general election, "So, this is not the first year that this has occurred. Legislation was passed several years ago, but you’re seeing more of it."
BEND, OR -- The Cascade Cycling Classic has a new sponsor. Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon will be the title sponsor for the bike race for the next three years. There was concern the race would be cancelled when the previous sponsor - Bend Memorial Clinic - pulled out. The Cascade Cycling Classic has been held in Central Oregon since 1979. This event is a fundraiser for the Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation. CCC will be held July 22nd through the 26th.
BEND, OR -- Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes on the heels of several high-profile domestic abuse cases. But Lauren Biskind with Saving Grace says t's something that can happen to anyone, including many in Central Oregon. She says victims may be surprised when things get out of control, but there are warning signs, "It's something that evolves. It's often kept behind closed doors, there's often a lot of emotional abuse, there can be financial abuse. There's a lot that goes to it. We hear that a lot on the hotline, people might call and say 'well, he never hit me.'"
Biskind says nationwide, one in three women will be Affected by Domestic violence. Saving Grace serves the tri-county area and can offer help and advice to not only victims, but also friends and family who may want to help. "Over 80% of the people who are going through this, the first person they're going to turn to is a family memeber or friend and ask 'what should I do, where can I go?'" Biskind adds, "We want those pepole to know Saving Grace is here in this community, so if someone does come to you, you know where to refer them." She says there is no harm in asking for advice if you're concerned someone you know is in an abusive relationship, "At any point, if you're feeling in doubt, it's a good idea to call. We have a 24-hour hotline. It's a great way to connect with one of our advocates and just talk through your situation." Biskind says Saving Grace's first priority is safety, followed by healing and eventually moving on.
Their services are free and confidential. Those needing help can call Saving Grace's 24-hour helpline at 541-389-7021.
The first question dealt with the Oregonian not endorsing either candidate for Senate.
Monica Wehby responded.
"This was the first time I've run a campaign and things have not gone totally perfectly with it. And a lot of their criticism had to do with that. I do think what they said about Senator Merkley was accurate though, he doesn't represent the middle class."
The Oregonian criticized Merkley for being too partisan and he responded that as Oregon's Speaker of the House and in the U.S. Senate he has worked across party lines to get legislation passed.
Both claimed to fight for the middle class.
It was the main thrust of Merkley's closing statements.
"This election poses a clear choice between two very different views. One that allows the wealthy and people like the Koch brothers to get ahead and one that allows every American to get a fair shot and I'm fighting for the fair shot. It's been an honor to serve as your Senator. We've made progress, but we're not gone far enough."
The two debated such issues as healthcare, bringing jobs to rural Oregon, gun rights and legalizing marijuana.
The debate at KGW TV Tuesday night gave the Governor another chance to clear the air.
"First of all I do not believe there was any conflict, but I understand there may be a perception and I'm concerned about that. And that's why I turned this matter over to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, but there are only three companies and they will basically review it if they're within the bounds of ethics laws."
During the debate, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson says he believes Governor Ktizhaber was told not to let Hayes operate her businesses out of the Governor's Office and he ignored that advice.
And a meeting Tuesday night tried to draw attention to it -- in an attempt to stop it.
Central Oregon Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans held the meeting at the Bend Community Center.
One of the panelists was a sex trafficking survivor and case manager at a facility that fights it in Phoenix. Her name is Rozlind Saumalu.
"My message is talking to everyone about my experience and how it happened in hopes that I can bring more awareness and possibly touch someone who is currently being trafficked and hears me speak."
Saumalu was first trafficked when she was only three and it continued until she was in her mid 20's. But now she works at a Phoenix facility that helps rescue girls ages 11 to 17 who are victims of sex trafficking.
The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says Nickolas Hurlbut died at St. Charles followiing the accident.
Investigators say Hurlbut was westbound on Paulina Lake Road just after 7 A.M. Tuesday morning and failed to negotiate a turn and his vehicle ended upsdie down in the embankment adjacent to the road.
He was able to walk three quarters of a mile from the crash toward LaPine when a passing motorist called 911 and reported the incident.
Hurlbut was the only person in the car.
Investigators say speed appears to be a factor in the crash and the victim was not wearing a seat belt. They are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
Triple A says the national average for regular unleaded fell 9 cents to $3.19 a gallon this week, while Oregon's average dropped 11 cents to $3.50 a gallon.
The Oregon average is the lowest it's been since mid March.
Triple A expects gas prices to keep falling due to relatively low demand and abundant supplies.
It could fall another 10 to 20 cents a gallon by the end of the year.
Today (Wednesday) was the day for a groundbreaking ceremony ... for a new affordable housing complex, Eastlake Village Phase II, in Bend.
That was at 11:00 a.m.
State Housing Director Margaret Vliet, Bend Mayor Jim Clinton and City Manager Eric King were all present.
Phase II will include 40 units. Eight will be for one-bedroom apartments, 16 will be two-bed apartments, and 16 will be three-bed apartments.
Kenny LaPoint, the public affairs director with its funding source, Housing Works, says the housing will focus on providing for those in the lower income range.
"Half of the complex will serve folks that are under 50 percent of the area median income," LaPoint said. "The other half will serve folks who are under 60 percent of the area median income."
The complex will also have two units for formerly homeless veterans, and two unit for families coming out of homelessness.
The property is located off of NE Bellevue Road.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Redmond man died Wednesday morning, after the log truck he was driving went off the roadway into a ravine.
Around 3:30 this morning, 30-year old Daniel Williams was eastbound on Spur Road, off of Northeast Duncan Creek Road in Prineville, when the truck veered into a ravine.
Crook County Sheriff's Sergeant Dave Dethman says the truck's load of logs shifted, covering Williams.
Equipment from a nearby loggin site was brought to the scene and several tons of logs were removed.
Williams was found deceased under the load.
Crook County Sheriff's Office and Crook County Fire and Rescue medics responded to the incident.
BEND, OR -- A meeting last night at the Bend Community Center called "Slavery in the High Desert" attempted to shine a light on sex trafficking in Central Oregon. Survivor Rozlind Saumalu of Arizona shared her story, "I think, first of all, it does happen across the country and literally it's happening in our own backyard with our neighbors. And when we know that, we can look for signs with our friends, daughters and our sons." She says signs to watch for include kids who are withdrawing and are hiding who they are hanging out with.
Saumalu was first sex trafficked when she was only three, and was not able to escape until she was in her mid-20s. She now works for a facility in Arizona that helps rescue girls ages 11 to 17.
Last night's discussion was hosted by the Central Oregon chapter of Oregonians Against Trafficking of Humans (OATH).
REDMOND, OR -- After spending the last 2 years working to annex a property north of Redmond into the city, Central Christian School has scrapped plans to build - for now. Development Director Amy Fisher says things changed when administrators discovered the property would not be ready for construction soon enough. Instead, the school is set to purchase a building near the current campus on Airport Way. "We need to move our school from our current location before 2017. Preferably, we'd like to move now!" Fisher said. "The exciting part about the building over there is that it's 20,000 square feet and we can move into that building after a little bit of remodeling, and be able to grow our school up to about 100 more students."
She adds, part of the need to expand is due to the need for gym space. Currently, CCS has an agreement with the Redmond Proficiency Academy to use the Hugh Hartman facility. But with RPA's anticipated move in 2015, CCS administrators found themselves pushing up their timeline. Fisher says the newly purchased property on Airport Way includes a vacant adjacent lot. She tells KBND, "With that adjacent lot, we're going to build a gymnasium and a playground for our older students. And, there is a possibility of a soccer field in the area, as well.
For now, the school will hold on to the North Redmond property, keeping options open for future school leaders. Fisher said the school will have that loan paid off by the end of the week, "So, we own that free and clear. We were blessed with donations over the summer of $1.2M towards the purchase price of the land and the structure on Airport Way, so we only needed to get a loan of $800,000. So, actually, our mortgage payment is less than what we pay on lease in the existing building we're in right now."
Central Christian is holding a fundraising event October 25th to help fund the remodel of the newly purchased building. Administrators hope to move into the new facility by Spring 2015.
It wil take place in Medford at KOBI TV and will also be streamed on the web starting at 7 P.M.
The two candidates have gone round and round about different debates, but the two failed to come to terms on any other debate except the one Tuesday night in Medford.
Senator Merkley is seeking his first reelection and his Republcian challenger Monica Wehby, who is a Portland pediatric neurosurgeon and has never run for public office before.
The city sends treated wastewater to a number of aerated lagoons in LaPine and they are requried to submit wastewater monitoring reports by the fifteenth of each month.
The DEQ says the city has been chronically late in submitting the reports, missing the deadline 17 times between March of 2011 and July of 2014.
The city of LaPine has until October 22nd to appeal the penalty.
Steve Reinke comes from Washignton State and replaces Rob Poirier who left more than a year ago.
Long time managers stepped in to keep the department running while a replacement was found.
Reinke says he's excited to be on the job.
"Well, I hope to add some stability. I intend to be here six to seven years. It's a good fit, the area, the job itself is attractive to me. I want to be able to make a difference."
Deschutes County has gone through 17 911 directors in the past twenty years.
Reinke says the biggest challenge for the department now is finding 911 dispatchers. They are down eight positions and plan to hire new workers in the next six months.
This is the highest amount ever raised from the golf outing and is a 35 percent increase over last year.
The primary beneficiary of the funds will be the Ronald McDonald House of Central Oregon, which provides vital servcies for families of cancer patients. They will get a check for 50-thousaund dollars.
The Bend LaPine Schools Education Foundation and the Assistnance League will each get 11-thousand dollars and Heartwarmers will get 3-thousand dollars.
The Ghost Tree Invitational was founded by Combined Communciatons to raise money for children's charities.
Aelea Christofferson of Bend is challenging Congressman Walden.
She has not run for public office before and in her closing statemetns at the debate argued why she'd be a better choice.
"In the last year, I've made five thousand personal calls, knocked on hundreds of doors and when I talked with people they don't talk about the fine points of Obamacare. They are worried about putting food on the table, getting a job. I'm from Bend and I care deeply about Oregon and the health of our forests and people who don't have jobs."
Walden says he'll continue to do the work he's done for the last sixteen years.
"I commit to do everything I can get to America back on track. I'll continue to work on veterans healthcare issues like I pushed for clinics in Bend, Burns and LaGrande. I pushed the administration to tell the truth about the treatment of veterans. I'll stand up for ag."
The debate was held Sunday night at the Sunriver Resort.
CROOK COUNTY, OR -- Crook County Sheriff's deputies are looking for the owner of a herd of cows blamed for two separate car crashes on Highway 26 East, late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Both drivers came upon the black cows in the roadway near milepost 49 and were unable to stop in time. Luckily, neither driver suffered injuries in the collisions, although one vehicle had to be towed from the scene.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue teams were put on standby or deployed for five different incidents Saturday. At 10 am, a 3-year old was reported missing, but was found by Bend Police in the family's garage. Then, just after 2 pm, another 3-year old wandered from a Deschutes River Woods home. Oregon State Police found that child about 45 minutes later, walking near railroad tracks a half mile away.
Less than an hour later, crews responded to Crane Prairie Reservoir when a hunter was unable to swim to shore after trying to retrieve a goose. He was found clinging to a tree in the water and was pulled to safety by rescuers using private boats available at the scene. He was taken to St. Charles Bend and treated for hypothermia.
Just before 6 pm, DCSO deputies found an 81-year old man who had been reported missing from a home east of Bend. He was disoriented and confused, but otherwise fine.
Local SAR teams also responded to rural Douglas County to assist in the search of a missing deer hunter.
KLAMATH COUNTY, OR -- Oregon State Police continue to investigate a crash on Highway 97, north of Highway 58 in Klamath County. A Washington man was seriously injured when his car slammed into a semi-truck and burst into flames, Friday evening. According to investigators, 69-year old Roger Macomber of Redmond, OR was driving the semi northbound on Highway 97 when he attempted a U-turn, causing the flatbed trailer to become high centered. A passenger car driven by 49-year old Brent Campbell of West Richland, WA collided with the truck and caught fire.
Campbell was pulled out of his car by witnesses, and flown to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Citations have yet to be issued pending review by the Klamath County DA's office.
The newspaper accusd Cylvia Hayes of misusing her office for business gain -- and revealed she had been secretly married to an illegal immigrant for a couple years nearly twenty years ago.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson says the marriage issue is a personal matter, but not the question about Hayes work as Kitzhaber's energy advisor.
"And so I call on the Governor to ask for a special prosecutor. He's speaking as a fiancee, but who is speaking for the people if our Govenor is speaking as a fiancee?"
Governor Kitzhaber doesn't support calling in a special proseuctor and refutes Willamette Week's claim that Hayes misused her office to benefit her consulting business.
The Governor waas asked about whether he would continue to use his fiancee as his energy advisor -- in light of this weeks' Willamette Week article saying she is using her position as First Lady to benefit her consulting business.
This follows revelations that Hayes had a secret marriage the Governor didn't know about 17 years ago, so that an Ethiopian immigrant could stay in the country.
"We have some work we have to do to build our relationship. But we'll make that decision together and we'll base it on her ability and experience in clean energy, fighting for bio diversity and her deep and abiding passion on leading people from poverty to find a pathway to posterity."
Dennis Richardson is calling for a special prosecutor to be called in to investigate whether Cylvia Hayes misused her position as First Lady.
Fire crews responded to a 1.9 acre blaze outside of Sisters at about 2:00 p.m. this (Saturday) afternoon.
The blaze was one mile north of Highway 20 between Road 11 and the Indian Ford Road.
Public Affairs Specialist Kassidy Kern with the Deschutes National Forest says there was growth potential, as winds in the area were 15-20 miles per hour.
Federal, state and local resources came out to the area.
Ten smoke jumpers were able to help get it into control.
Crews will be working on the fire all day and mopping up this evening.
They plan to monitor the area for the next couple of days, to make sure nothing starts up.
The Bend Police are spreading the word ... several cars and garages were recently broken into in the South Bend area.
That was discovered Friday night, when a Bend man realized his bicycle was in the front seat of another vehicle, with some juveniles.
"He's not the only victim," says Sergeant Liz Lawrence with the Bend PD. "We're trying to find more victimes. We believe cars have been brokein into, or just unlocked cars have been rummaged through, and we need victims to come forward."
The police have recovered several stolen items, including car keys, knives, a firearm and other property.
They say if you have any information, or if you've been burglarized, call (541) 693-6911.
This is the only debate scheduled between Republican incumbent Greg Walden and Democrat Aelea Christofferson.
We asked Christofferson what's the biggest difference between her and Walden.
"One of the major ones is health care reform. I've worked on that for nearly a dozen years and help bring health coverage to 350,000 Oregonians, while Walden has voted against it 54 times and that costs millions of dollars to vote that many times. He came out in support of the Ryan budget and that will take healthcare away from 234,000 people who just got it."
The debate will be Sunday at the Sunriver Resort from 5 to 6 P.M.
The event will be moderated by the Bend Chamber's Jamie Christman.
Measure 89 is on the ballot this November. It would change Oregon's constitution to guranatee equal rights for all, regardless of sex.
The owners of the Pine Tavern are holding a fundraiser for the measure this Sunday.
Gail McCormick believes its improtant for Oregon to join the other states in ensuring equal rights for everyone.
"The younger generation don't realize that people have sacrificed and blazed the trail before them. Women who had definite hardships, not equal pay and had discrimination. It's a good tie in with the Pine Tavern that was founded by two women in 1936 and run for twenty years during the depression."
The fundraiser for Meausre 89 will be this Sunday at the Pine Tavern. It will run from 3 to 5 P.M.
Tickets are $50 a person or $75 for a couple.
It started Thursday and will run through Sunday.
The festival's new Executive Director Todd Loobie says this event brings in people from all over the country and even world.
"Our counts are around 6-thousand or so, but we get quite a few visitors coming from out of town just for the festival. So I've learned its a great community cultural outlet, but also an economic stimulant."
The films shorts and documentaries can be seen on seven different venues throughout Bend and this year for the first time, films will be shown at the new Warm Springs Elementary school.
The easiest way to purchase tickets is online at www.bendfilm.org and you can print your tickets at home.
John Hammack, a fallen firefighter from Madras, is one of the 107 fallen firefighters to be honored at the 2014 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service this Sunday.
"Every year we bring the fire service, the families, the survivers together, in what has become a weekend of remembrance, and honor with flags, songs, and prayer," says Tom Olshanki, the public affairs director for the memorial service.
John Hammack died in the summer of 2013.
He was struck and killed while clearing hazardous trees in the Deschutes National Forest.
He and another man, Norman Crowford from Sisters, responded to the lightening-prompted incident.
Hammack was 58.
State health officials have confirmed Enterovirus D68 has reached Central Oregon. The virus can cause severe respiratory illness and has recently spread across the country, with four cases confirmed in Oregon yesterday. Three of those were in Multnomah County, and one here in Deschutes County. All four patients are under the age of 17 and were reportedly sick enough to be treated in intensive care.
Symptoms of Enterovirus include fever, sneezing and cough, skin rash, mouth blisters and body aches. Health officials say the illness typically lasts about a week, and most children recover with no lasting problems; however, children with asthma may be more susceptible to serious illness. According to the CDC, the virus has sickened 678 people from 46 states and is the suspected cause of four deaths.
It's the maximum amount allowed by state law to settle a lawsuit.
Originally Bush sued for 2.5 million dollars for being unfairly fired.
The City of Prineville decided not to fight the case in court. A press release said the city's insurance provider and their attorneys strongly recommended the city settle the claim.
City officials, on advice of attorneys, say they are not going to comment on Mr. Bush or this settlement other than to say -- they are pleased this case is now behind them and they can move forward with new leadership in the police department.
Bush was on paid administrative leave for nearly a year before he was fired this summer.
The city accused him of misusing flex time in his two jobs with the city and in the Oregon Army National Guard.
Oregon law does not allow a local government to pay more than $666,700 dollars in lawsuits against government entitites.
A story by Willamette Week found that Hayes used her roles as First Lady and adviser to advance her private consulting business.
Kitzhaber says Hayes has done nothing wrong with her outside work.
He says she doesn't take a state salary and no longer has any contracts or paychecks from any entity.
Willamette Week also revealed that Hayes had a third marriage in 1997 with an Ethiopian immigrant -- a union that apparently the Governor didn't know about until this week when the newspaper revealed it.
Hayes is expected to release a statement on Thursday on the marriage that lasted a couple years, but one that had her husband living in North Carolina and Hayes living in Washington State.
Currently twenty five states allow gay marriage, but OSU Cascades first amendment professor Jim Foster says the high court's decision not to weigh in, allows more states to decide.
"It's fascinating to watch and a great teaching tool about who the Supreme Court works. It's been pretty clear from op-ed commentary the court is going to stay out of the issue and allow state by state to decide the policy making process and let the changes in attitude play out in each of the states."
Following Monday's decision, it's now projected that gay marriage will be allowed in thirty states.
The appeals that the high court decided not to hear will allow same sex couples to marry in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Mike Adye lives near Juniper Ridge on the northside of Bend and says the problem has gotten worse over the last couple years.
"The area where these people are inhabitating -- they are trashing it. It's a big area. There are palces that are beautiful, but they are camping out there and they are not considerate campers. So there is trash out there as well as hazardous waste issues."
Adye is a retired police officer from California and he wrote a letter to the editor recently demanding the city do more to clean up the area. He feels the city should start regular police patrols and give transients warning when they will be bulldozing the camps and then enforce it.
This week the City started having inmate work crews go out in the Juniper Ridge area to clean it up.
David Abbas with the city of Bend says the Deschutes County Sheriff's Deaprtment came up with the idea to help them out.
"This effort is a combined effort with the Sheriff's Deaprtment and want to thank them for helping to coordinate this. They brought in inmate crews for three days. We are also using road department equipment like dump trucks, pickups and excavators to help clean up the trash out there."
Abbas says the city is starting discussinos on how the city can keep the Juniper Ridge area clean in an ongoing basis. He says this effort was a clean up, but going forward they need to come up with a community wide solution to the transient problem.
Scott Ramsey was not able to attend because he was out of town and Ron Bozell didn't participate.
But Mark Capell, Nathan Boddie, Barb Campbell, Casey Roats, Richard Robertson and Lisa Seales were there.
Incumbent Mark Capell and physician Nathan Boddie are competing for the same seat.
Here are their closing argumetns on managing growth.
"Mark Capell: There is a distinct difference between me and my opponent. Several years ago the city got behind in keeping up with infrastructure due to our phenomenal growth and we got behind. But we worked hard to put in more infrastructure and that's the kind of long range planning my opponent wants to abandon. Nathan Boddie: As a physician, my patient is the city and we have to be responsible planning and handling growth and I believe we are teetering on the brink and that's why this is an important election because of that."
Jodie Barram is running for Deschutes County Commissioner and four people are running for her council seat. Two of the candidates are Casey Roats and Lisa Seales.
"Casey Roats: Clearly the only distinction between Lisa and me is the UGB and how we'd deal with it. I don't know how you create affordable housing if you don't have a supply of land. The UGB requires us to have a supply for the next twenty years. It's not arbitrary. I think it has to be a mix. Lisa Seales: I'm really concerned about all the current Bend residents and I believe we have to have planning. But I don't necessarily believe that the people of Bend should shoulder the burden of paying for growth for the future."
Council candidate Richard Roertson who is 39 year old and works at Abilitree, that our sources work for people with disabilities wants to focus on accessibility.
"Richard Robertson: I want the Americans with Disabilities Act to finish our sidewalks so senior citizens and people in the city will be able to get around."
Barb Campbell is challenging current city councilor Scott Ramsey.
"I am very concerned that our entire economy rests on our quality of life. That's why people move here. We have something special here. But I am running because I feel that's being threatened."
Bend City Councilor Mark Capell just met with the CEO of Pacific Power that owns the dam last week and is encouraged they will be able to work something out to satisfy most people.
"What we're trying to do is come up with a public-private partnership of some sort to answer the question, the community is really divided on what to do with Mirror Pond -- river or a pond. The one thing that people feel really strongly about is they don't want to spend any money and with a public-private partnership we can accomplish that as well.
Councilor Capell is part of the Mirror Pond Ad Hoc committee tasked with deciding what to do with Mirror Pond.
Capell expects to have designs for the public to look at and offer input on in the next couple weeks.
Fuel specialists are planning an 86 acre burn just noth of Kelsey Butte. It's located approximately five miles southeast of the High Desert Museum.
It should be completed in one day.
Smoke will be visible in the area and may impact residents in southeast Bend.
Arrested was 56 year old Kurt Kelso.
He is charged with stabbing 35 year old Heath Boyer.
Deschutes County deputies were called to a LaPine trailer park Sunday afternoon. When they arrived they discovered Boyer sustained serious injuries and had him transported to St. Charles in Bend. But they were unable to locate Kelso.
Monday Deschutes County dispatch received a 911 call from a person in LaPine saying Kelso was currenlty at a residnece. Deputies arrived and took Kelso into custody without incident.
He is facing attempted murder, assault, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing charges.
25 year old Silvestre Rivera Fernandez was stopped on Highway 97 north of Madras for speeding on Friday.
Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led the trooper to discover three vacuum sealed bags concealed in the vehicle, that turned out to be liquid meth.
Fernandez faces charges of unlawful possession and delivery of a controlled substance.
Dan Reesor needs a liver transplant to save his life. Liver cancer destroyed his liver, but the county's health insurance initially denied coverage for the procedure claiming it was experimental.
Reesor's doctors at UCLA disagreed and supplied information to the plan adminsitrator to allow him to overturn the decision.
Reesor's wife, Jo Mongan talked about the good news with KTVZ.
"This transplant is his cure for cancer. I don't think I can come up with the words how happy I am. They made the right decision."
Until health insurance approved the transplant, Reesor couldn't even be put on the liver transplant waiting list.
For the last couple months, friends and family advocatedfor Reesor to county commissioners and other leaders to reverse their decision to deny the transplant.
Oregonians will be voting next month on whether to require food labeling for GMO's.
The firm EconoNorthwest looked at more than two dozen studies on GE labeling.
Bob Whelan with the group says they calculated the median figure.
"I guess in theory you could skip labeling food altogether and save a few dollars a year on groceries. But consumers value information and when you cut through all the research, it's quite clear -- the cost of changing the label is about $2.30 a year."
Two dollars 30 cents is in sharp contrast to anti Measure 92 ads which claim that farmers and food producers will have to spend millions of dollars to accommodate food labeling.
Researchers found the costs ranged from 32 cents to $15 dollars per consumer per year.
The newly formed group aims to get local women to pledge one hundred dollars to go to local charities every three months.
The idea is to get a greater bang for their giving buck.
Co-founder Lisa Conners explains.
"If I give a check for one hundred dollars and someone else gives a hundred dollars and my co-founder gives a hundred dollars to the Bethlehem Inn that's great. But when we pool our resources, look at what we've achieved. We're going to give them thosuands of dollars just by collaborating and working together as a group."
The group just started last month and more than 160 women showed up for the first meeting. The beneficiary this quarter is the Bethlehem Inn, which will get a ten thousand dolalr donation from the group.
The group meets every three months for one hour to vote on where the money goes.
The next meeting is December 2nd at the Oxford Hotel
The clubs in Redmond and Terrebonne closed for the month of September to raise money to keep their doors open for the whole year.
They needed to raise 170-thosuand dollars and they did.
Executive Diretor Jenny O'Keefe says kids and parents alike are happy the club is open again.
"The gratitude was profound. The sense of releif from parents was profound. The excitement on kids faces was really joyful. There was no negative responses whatsoever. Everyone knew we could do it, they had confidence in it, but I don't think they expected it to happen so quickly."
Redmond community businesses and indiviudals donated 170-thousand dollars to help keep the clubs doors open.
About 150 kids have registered so far to return to the clubs, about half the number before they closed last month.
On Monday, the Central Oregon Arts Summit will be held at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend.
They are partnering with the Oregon Arts Commission to help artists, administration and community members to come together to learn how art can be an economic driver.
Carrie Kikel with the Oregon Arts Commission says they're excited about what will be discussed.
"It's called exploring connections. There will be break out sessions which will including public value of the arts, arts in healthcare, cultural tourism, Oregon's art economy, which is always interesting and art in business."
The summit's keyntoe speaker will be Doug Borwick, the author of "Building Communites, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S.
It addresses how arts can be a powerful force for building better communities.
Up to 110 acres could be burned three mile west of Sisters.
Also, approximately 64 acres could be burned two miles north of Camp Sherman beginning as early as Monday if weather conditions remain favorable.
The communities of Tollgate and Crossroads as well as Black Butte Ranch could be impacted by smoke as a a result of this project.
No road closures are anticipated with these projects.
The latest numbers show 300 more students are attending the district this year.
17-thouand 163 students currently attend Bend LaPine Schools and that's about a two percent increase over last year.
For the past decade, enrollment here has steadily increased by more than two thosuand students since 2004.
Currently 17 of the district's 27 schools are near or above capacity.
The district is of course currently building two new schools, an elementary and middle school, which are slated to open in September of 2015.
Analysts expect the district's population to reach 19-thousand 600 students by 2021.
The accident happened last Friday evening when a Suburban lost control and rolled with five young girls inside, including the driver William Fix of Redmond.
He remains in the Deschutes County jail on a half million dollars bail. He faces manslaughter, assault and reckless driving charges.
7 year old Phoenix Price was killed in the crash and 14 year old Naomi Spansel and 10 year old Olivia Jeanes were critically injured.
They were transported to Portland hospitals where they remain in critical condition.
He was at OSU Cascades to meet with a handful of students about how he's trying to pass legislation to allow them to refinance their college loans, just like car or home loans.
"And this is a big deal in Oregon because we have 500-thousand people with student loans and the vast bulk of them have intrest rates higher than the current rate. If they could re-finance them, their paymetns would be lower and it would be much more likely to make payments and not defalt and certainly there would be more money at the end of the month after they pay their loans."
Senator Merkley heard from OSU Cascades student Christina Jackson who is sturggling to stay in school financially.
"Christina Jackson: I had $2700 for classes and I pay $1200 in rent a month and after I paid COCC I had $2200. So the only hours I have to sacrifice are my sleeping hours. I have a child that is severely disabled, mentally ill (starts crying). Senator Merkley: So you're between a rock and a hard place. Christina Jackson: I don't want to quit, but I might to go to two thirds time. I don't want to quit."
Senator Merkley wants to pass legislation that would allow students to refinance student loans like car or home laons, but the bill has been filibustered in the past. He hopes to revisit the legislation after the midterm elections in November.
Starting on Monday, a 27.7 million dollar project, known as the "Bend Tower Remodel" will get underway.
It will increase patient rooms on the third and fourth floors of the hosptial and make them thirty percent larger. The majority of the bathrooms will also be made larger and will be handicap accessible.
The project will also update the facility's electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems.
The work will be done in eight phases ove ra two and a half year period.
Earlier this summer, the Deschutes County Commissioners imposed fire use restrictions on unprotected wild lands within Deschutes County.
They did it because central Oregon had a below average snow pack and the threat for wild land fires was high. And of course we had the Two Bulls fire in June that burned more than six thousand acres.
But current weather patterns have decreased and the threat is much less, so the commissioners rescinded the resolution originally set to expire on October 15th.
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