On Air Now

KBND Morning News
KBND Morning News
5:00am - 9:00am

Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Local News

REDMOND, OR -- It’s the first year for Oregon high school seniors to participate in a  new Community College tuition assistance program. Redmond Schools’ Director of Secondary Education David Burke tells KBND News students only have a few more weeks to get applications submitted for next fall. "The deadline to apply for the 'Oregon Promise' is March first. So the process really is for students who would earn a diploma in the spring of 2016, a GED or complete 12th grade in the spring of 2016, to go to their high schools, work with their counselors to fill out the FAFSA." The “FAFSA” is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.


The “Oregon Promise” program was established by state lawmakers in 2015, and  says many families aren’t aware of the process. "In Redmond, we just sent out a letter to all of our parents of seniors. But, we’d like to get more questions. We’d like to get kids, even if they’re not sure they qualify, we need them to step forward and begin to ask questions, and contact their counselors at the schools and sign up and apply. It’s always a good idea to fill out their FAFSA early anyway, so our goal is to get every senior to complete their FAFSA this spring so they know what their best options are moving forward."


Burke says the FAFSA form helps determine how much money a student is eligible to receive through "Oregon Promise," since all federal financial aid options are utilized first. "Then the Oregon Promise kicks in as a backfill," says Burke. "So, students qualify for Pell Grants and federal dollars, and then the Oregon Promise is a backfill that fills in to cover the rest of students’ needs." 
To qualify, students need to complete the 12th grade this spring with at least a 2.5 GPA, and attend a qualifying in-state community college. For more information visit the Oregon Promise website

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors are expected to decide in a couple of weeks whether to change the zoning of Troy Field. The Bend-La Pine School District wants to sell the downtown property to raise money for several school projects.

Some residents have been vocal about keeping one of the city's few downtown green spaces. But, School Board member Nori Juba says the district needs the $2 million that could come from the land sale. "We understand the community's desire. We understand the neighbors - they've had the green space for a long time and most of us like green space. I think one of the great things about Bend is that it does have quite a bit of green space. We have Drake Park and other parks that are in our neighborhoods. And so, I think we have to weigh our priorities, and as a school district, we have to think what's best for our students."


The property is left over from when Bend High was located downtown; Troy Field was an athletic field. Recently, a Hearings Officer ruled the City Council could legally change its zoning to allow a developer to build a hotel on Troy Field, but he recommended against it since it is one of downtown's few green spaces. "I think we've heard from a lot of people in the community and I know it's a controversial topic," Juba tells KBND News. "I think we've looked for every way that we can to come up with the money to finish these projects. We're going out and asking the City Council to approve this so we can do right by our kids."

City Councilors are scheduled to vote on the zoning change at their February 24 meeting. 


BEND, OR -- Kix Brooks, of country music’s Brooks and Dunn, is taking his talents to the kitchen. Brooks has hired Bend resident Donna Britt to oversee the production of a cookbook called “Cookin’ It with Kix.”


Britt is a cookbook producer, in her own right. She tells KBND News, “It’s about food and life and celebrating with friends and family. Kix is from Louisiana, so that food culture in that part of the south is very festive and very much about being with friends and family.” The book will include barbecuing, tailgating, big spreads, beverages and desserts. “Then there’s also a basics chapter on how to do some basic things,” Britt says. “How do you make rice that’s awesome every time? And what kind of equipment do you need if you’re going to a tailgate party?”

Britt produced Brooks’ radio show “American Country Countdown” for 8 years. There will be 110 recipes in “Cookin’ It With Kix.” Local photographer Tambi Lane is capturing each finished dish on film. 
The book will be published August 30th.

BEND, OR -- A Bend man has pleaded guilty to a number of domestic violence-related charges stemming from crimes committed between January and April of last year. Brett Vanscoy changed his plea two weeks into his trial.

Bend Police Lt. Nick Parker told KBND News shortly after Vanscoy's arrest, "Officers investigating the case determined that Brett Vanscoy had held the female victim in a residence against her will, at one point. Over that time he had assaulted her, ad strangled her, had forcibly raped her, and then had committed additional sexual-related offenses."
The Deschutes County District Attorney says investigators disproved Vanscoy's claims that he suffered from PTSD caused by his deployment as a sniper. Prosecutors discovered he was never a sniper, nor was he deployed. 
Vanscoy was sentenced to 100 months in prison, must register as a sex offender and complete mental health treatment.

SISTERS, OR -- A Prineville man was arrested early Saturday morning, accused of stealing a car as it was warming up in a Sisters driveway. The car’s owner reported it stolen just before 6 a.m. About 20 minutes later, a passerby happened upon a crash on Wilt Road, near Camp Polk Road involving the stolen vehicle.


The suspect, 22-year-old Miguel Pacheco, was quickly found at a nearby property. He was treated for minor injuries then taken to jail. 
Pacheco faces several charges, including DUII.

UPDATE: Burns Police arrested Whitney Grosso, Sunday afternoon. 

She was transported to the Deschutes County Jail on heroin, methamphetamine, burglary and theft-related charges.




REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are looking for two women in connection with an ongoing drug investigation.


Officers executed a search warrant at space #17 of the Aspen Court Mobile Home Park in Northwest Redmond, early on January 31. The manufactured home was empty at the time, and officers say they found methamphetamine and heroin, as well as scales and packaging equipment. They also recovered stolen property from recent burglaries and thefts from cars in Redmond and Bend.

Officers are asking for the public's help in tracking down Whitney Grosso (left) and Ashley Manahan, both 25-years-old. 
Six people were arrested following the search of another residence in that same mobile home park, this past Friday. Mary Tittle (40), Tanner Hilgers (19), Makayla Kozlowski (20), Abrahan Sandoval (19), Omar Pacheco (22), Miguel Diaz (18) and a 17-year-old girl all face a variety of drug and theft charges.
           Tanner Hilgers                 Makayla Kozlowski              Abrahan Sandoval Ruiz    


BEND, OR -- A Bend woman was arrested Friday for the murder of a 92-year-old. Bend Police say 45-year-old Angela Judd killed Nada Bodholdt at about 9:30 p.m. on December 31, 2015. 


Investigators says Judd and the victim were related to each other and have determined there is no further threat to the public. The investigation is ongoing and Lt. Clint Burleigh says no further information will be released at this time. 


Police did not say whether this case is related to the remains pulled from the Deschutes River on Thursday, however the two incidents have different Bend PD case numbers. Lt. Burleigh told KBND News Friday the body had not been identified and an autopsy was scheduled at the State Medical Examiner's Office, this weekend. 

UPDATE: Bend Police confirm the remains pulle from the river Thursday afternoon, is that of a white male adult. An autopsy is scheduled over the weekend at the State Medical Examiner's Office. No further information will be released until after that is complete.




BEND, OR -- Bend Police responded to a report of human remains in the Deschutes River near the Newport Avenue bridge, Thursday afternoon. The report came in at about 3:30 p.m.


Bend Fire and Deschutes County Search and Rescue assisted in the effort to remove the suspected body from the water. 
The investigation is ongoing and officials have not released any other information.

BEND, OR -- Crews will spend the next couple of weeks working to reduce wildfire fuels on 37 acres of Shevlin Park. Click image (left) to enlarge work area.


Bend Park and Recreation officials say no closures are anticipated during the effort on the park's east side and south of Shevlin Park Road. Work begins Tuesday, and includes brush and shrub mowing and small tree removal. 

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors approved changes this week to regulations around Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), but not everyone is pleased with the easing of restrictions. Local real estate agent Fred Johnson says getting rid of the conditional use permitting process will anger neighbors, who now don’t have a say in whether an ADU is built next door. "This allows apartments in a single-family neighborhood, basically. And, it’s interesting, because it flies in the face of exactly what we were talking about with short-term vacation rentals and the main concerns were: they didn’t want rentals in residential neighborhoods, they didn’t want traffic and they didn’t want noise. And then, this comes along less than a year later and completely flies in the face of all of those main objections of the short-term rentals."


Johnson disagrees with the changes likely to be made to to the permitting process, ADU size allowances and parking. "There’s a requirement to have one off-street parking, then there’s a credit provision for an interesting thing called tandem parking – which is where you park end to end, in other words, you have a little longer driveway. The reality is, it sort of works for a vehicle that isn’t used frequently. The way that would work is, you go to your wife and say, ‘hey, honey, I want to go to the store, can you move your car?’ Well, that’s only going to go on for so long before somebody finally just parks the other car out in the street."


City Councilors voted 5-to-2 to ease restrictions on permitting, parking and unit size, during the first reading of the ordinance. The second reading is scheduled for February 17. Johnson says if it passes, the new ordinance will remove resident control of their own neighborhoods. "There’s been a number of regulatory entities that are allowed to protect the neighborhood and protect our land rights. Basically, what this does it flies into that and says nope. They removed the conditional use process, which means there’s no need for a public hearing and there’s no way that the adjacent property owner can state their objection or appeal the application process." Click HERE to read more about proposed changes.
Supporters say the move will create more much-needed affordable housing in Bend.

BURNS, OR -- The people of Harney County continue to deal with the strife caused by the ongoing occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Pastor Matthew Littau, of St. Andrew's Episcopal/Peace Lutheran church in Burns, tells KBND News the last month has been difficult. "Our lives have been disrupted with deliberate intimidation tactics against ordinary common citizens out there on the street." Littau is also pastor of the Living Waters Mission on the Burns-Paiute Reservation, "I know that a week ago Wednesday, the tribal offices on the Reservation were closed because there was a threat against the tribe. I don't know the exact nature of that threat or what it was, but it was enough that they closed their offices on Wednesday."


Pastor Littau says he's seen first-hand how relationships are suffering. "The dueling rally, I think, was a good example of what it's doing to our people here in our community; it's splitting them. One person takes that point of view, the other takes that point of view, and they get very passionate about it. Pretty soon, they're yelling and screaming at each other. And pretty soon, friendships that have been solid for a couple of decades are broken. It's weird."


Four people remain at the refuge, refusing to leave. Pastor Littau says the continuing standoff has many people scared to attend church. "We have several people, probably half a dozen, who aren't coming to church right now because they just don't feel safe. So, our attendance at our church in town is down, as a result. We've also had some personal animosity between some of the members and one visitor in particular, that has not exactly been pleasant. But, on the other side, the church on the Reservation - the Church of Living Waters - the Paiute church, during this last month, our attendance has actually increased."


As of Friday, the refuge occupation hit its 35th day. 


BEND, OR -- Several firms are vying for the contract to design the new expanded campus for OSU-Cascades on Bend’s west side. Three firms presented their ideas for how the school should look and feel, during public presentations, Thursday.


They took information from community advisory committees and college officials to create their vision for how the campus might look and feel. Each group took 90 minutes to outline relevant experience and community engagement plans.
"These are teams of architects and engineers and they each presented their approach to developing the long range development plan," Christine Coffin tells KBND News. "So. of course, it included possible approaches to where the buildings are put on the expanded campus, and aspects of sustainability and net-zero energy on the campus."
Read more HERE about plans by OSU-Cascades to purchase more land and expand beyond its current 10-acre parcel.
A selection committee of college officials will make their selection of the campus design team within a few weeks. Coffin says, "The selection team has the hard job of taking the all of the community input that we heard during these presentations and campus community input and selecting the final design team."


PORTLAND, OR -- A federal Grand Jury handed down indictments against Ammon Bundy and 15 others (click photo for complete list) connected with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Bundy's attorney, Mike Arnold, told the judge it was wrong that his client wasn't in court for a Wednesday hearing. "Mr. Bundy put on the record today, through me, that he expects and requests to be at every single federal court appearance."


The judge said it wasn't necessary, because the indictments suspend previous court actions. Arnold said, "We find it terribly ironic that a judge ruled that he was a risk, on pre-trial release, to not attend court appearances. Then, while in custody of the government, he was prevented from attending today’s court appearance."


Indictments were unsealed Thursday morning and reveal the 16 defendants each face one count of Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States. According to the document, the group "knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed together ... to prevent by force, intimidation and threats, officers and employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service ... from discharging the duties of their office at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge."


The indictment outlines accusations that the conspiracy began "on or about October 5, 2015" when "two conspirators traveled to Harney County, Oregon to warn the Harney County Sheriff of 'extreme civil unrest' if certain demands were not met." It notes that defendants "recruited and encouraged other individuals ... through social media and other means of communication, to participate and assist" in the conspiracy, beginning in November.


A group of armed militants took over the refuge on January 2, 2016. The indictment says the defendants' actions prevented federal officials from performing their official duties at the refuge "by force, threats and intimidation." The four people who remain at the refuge are among the 16 defendants named in the indictment. 

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man was arrested Wednesday evening, following a slow-speed pursuit through a residential neighborhood.


According to the Crook County Sheriff's Office, a deputy tried to pull over Case Adams for expired tags and failing to stop at a stop sign. Deputies followed his car for several blocks, while they say Adams appeared to be trying to hide something inside his car.
The 24-year-old eventually pulled into a driveway at 5th and Deer Street, where deputies performed a high-risk traffic stop. During his arrest, investigators say they discovered methamphetamine concealed on his person, and a meth pipe hidden in his car. 

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors held a final public hearing on proposed code changes regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as "granny flats" or "in-law suites."


Much of Wednesday night's discussion focused on neighbor notification if a resident plans an ADU, although there was not enough support to add a rule to notify neighbors. 
Mayor Jim Clinton explained at the meeting, “The way this proposed ordinance reads is that an ADU on property that is 6,000-square feet or less shall not exceed 600 [square feet]. And so if the lot is bigger than 6,000 [square feet], then they can jump up to 800 [square feet].”
The council also stuck with Planning Commission recommendations for parking, and the elimination of a conditional use permit to a Type-1 permit process. The driving force behind the ADU code change is the desire for more affordable housing in Bend. This was the first reading of the new ordinance.


BEND, OR -- Two runaways from the J Bar J Youth Ranch are accused of breaking into a convenience store on the south end of Bend and stealing several items.


Law enforcement responded to a burglary alarm at the Butler Market Store South, just before 3 a.m., Wednesday. Two teens seen running from the store were arrested.
Police say the 16- and 17-year-old boys stole several hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise, including beer and cigarettes, and caused about a thousand dollars in damage to the store. 
Photo courtesy Google Earth

KLAMATH FALLS, OR -- A crash that closed Highway 97 north of Klamath Falls, Wednesday afternoon, may have been the result of a driver's medical emergency.


Oregon State Police investigators say a 65-year-old Oakridge man drove off the road and rolled his semi at about 3 p.m., partially blocking the highway 27 miles north of Klamath Falls. The driver, Kennth Wagnon, was pronounced dead at the scene.
One of the responding OSP troopers also serves as a Deputy State Medical Examiner and is looking into the possibility that Wagnon suffered a medical emergency before the crash.
The highway was closed for about an hour for the investigation.

UPDATE:  Oregon State Police released the names of the two people killed in a Highway 20 crash near Burns, earlier this week. Witnesses say 65-year-old Robert Heath of Christmas Valley attempted to pass a semi when he hit a car driven by 71-year-old Milton Kowalski of Redmond. Both men were killed.


According to OSP, Kowalski's passenger, 69-year-old Darlene McGown from Redmond, was airlifted to a Boise hospital with critical injuries. 




BURNS, OR -- (02/02/16) Two people are dead following a head-on crash on Highway 20 near Burns, Monday.


Oregon State Police say a pickup truck was eastbound at about 12:30 p.m., when it attempted to pass a commercial truck. Investigators say that pickup then struck a Cadillac.


The driver of the Cadillac was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger was taken to a Boise hospital with critical injuries. The driver of the pickup later died at the hospital.


OSP has not released the identities of those involved, pending family notification. The highway was closed for two hours during the investigation. 

BEND, OR -- The Family Kitchen in Bend has the mission of serving anyone who needs a nutritious meal in a safe and caring environment. They serve 60,000 meals a year, and they just received their largest donation ever.


Newport Avenue Market's Lauren Johnson presented a $56,000 check to the Family Kitchen on Tuesday, thanks to the store's “Food In February” campaign. Customers donated $26,000, Newport Ave. Market contributed the rest. 
Donna Burklo, with the Family Kitchen, tells KBND News, “It takes care of a huge percentage of our food costs for the year. But, in addition, it just represents so much of the community coming together. The Oregon Country Beef folks and the Newport Avenue folks, all of that together. It means that each of the people eating here has that team behind them.”
She says this will help them continue their mission, “We hear often from our diners that it’s the ability to have some respect and dignity. When they come here they are served their meals when it’s dinner time. Meals are brought to them with eye contact and a smile and they’re asked if they’d like more.”
A ceremonial check was presented to Family Kitchen at its location inside the downtown Bend Episcopal Church, one of the Family Kitchen’s supporting sponsors.

BURNS, OR -- It will be at least another month before more information is released on the Harney County officer-involved shooting that left militant Robert "LaVoy" Finicum dead. The 54-year-old was killed January 26, when officers stopped him and other leaders of the refuge occupation on their way to John Day.


The FBI released aerial footage of the altercation; officials say Finicum was shot when he reached inside of his coat. The Deschutes County Major Incident Team is leading that investigation, and Sheriff Shane Nelson says he won't release further information until it's completed. He says that could be at least four to six weeks.  


Ammon Bundy is again asking the four holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to give up. Although, his father, Cliven Bundy, says he's sent letters to the Harney County Sheriff (pictured), Governor Kate Brown and President Obama telling them the occupation will continue. 


Through his attorney, Ammon said Tuesday, "Because of the restrictions of solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, I have not been able to speak to my father. I’m requesting that the four remaining protesters go home now, so their lives are not taken." He added, "This will allow the FBI and OSP to also go home and end their armed occupation of Burns and Harney County."


Bundy remains in the Multnomah County Jail in Portland while his attorney collects more evidence to use in a detention hearing. He hopes to be released on home confinement. The judge allowed Joe O'Shaughnessy, who was arrested in a separate event on January 26, to go free. However the judge ruled Pete Santilli must remain in jail, because he's considered a potential threat.


BURNS, OR -- The latest demands from the remaining militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge involve a conservative Christian preacher. During a phone call with the anti-government group "Oath Keepers," they said they've asked the FBI for a third-party negotiator, "A man named Franklin Graham. They tell us they're working on it."


Occupiers went on to say, "He's a Christian man; he's a spiritual leader. He's actually traveling around the country, right now. He's holding prayer meetings on the state capitol of every state so that we can get some good elections, ya know, get rid of some of this corruption."


The phone call occurred on Sunday, just before phone service was cut to the refuge. They are able to access one phone line, which is now controlled by law enforcement. The entire conversation was posted to YouTube


BURNS, OR -- There are no local radio or TV stations in Burns, but one Harney County teen is filling that gap during the ongoing wildlife refuge occupation. Eighth grader Dustin Beers live streams nearly all of the occupation-related meetings and events on his DBTV YouTube channel.


His mom, Kelli Beers, tells KBND News he got the idea after watching other people’s coverage that he felt included too much commentary. "When he first started with the live feeds, it was because there was nobody here that would show the whole truth. There were other You-Tubers who would get on there and say their two-cents worth, but never just let people talk. So, he decided he was going to let people see the truth about the meetings that were happening."


Dustin says the community seems to appreciate his efforts. "They like to watch it when they can’t make it to whatever is going on. People have donated lots of money to help me get equipment. Me and my family have been overwhelmed with the support." His parents set up an online giving page to collect donations, after friends started asking how they could contribute to his efforts.


Kelli says those donations have already topped $1,200, "We had one big huge donor that donated to him, that wanted to remain anonymous. They interviewed him to see what his plans were with all of this." And, those plans don't include quitting. "After the standoff is over, I’m going to try film the football games and the sports games," Dustin says, "So the parents that can’t make it to their kids’ games can still watch it."


He hopes to eventually turn his YouTube channel into a revenue generating business. But, he says for now, he’s happy providing a community service.

BEND, OR -- Commercial vacancy rates continue to fall in Bend. Pat Kesgard, with Compass Commercial, says office, retail and industrial markets tightened in the fourth quarter, following a year of recovery.


And, he tells KBND News he expects that trend to continue in 2016. "We’re going to see new buildings; we’re going to see redevelopment. We have some companies that have survived this downturn, that now are growing, and some of these companies are traded sector, where we ship their product outside of Central Oregon. And, they’re stepping up in the size of production or warehouse facilities. So, consequently we see this continuing at this point." He adds, "If you own a business and you want to look at buying, again, that’s starting to get very tight. On the other side, if you’re a landlord, your rates can be higher. If you’re a landlord and you want to sell, or you want to sell your business, now would be a very good time." That growth is resulting in less available space and higher lease rates, which he says is good for landlords not locked into recession-era rates.


According to the latest statistics gathered by Compass Commercial, Office vacancies fell from 7.4% in the Third Quarter to 6.8% in the Fourth; industrial vacancies fell from 6.3% to 5.9% in Q4 and Retail saw the biggest decline, from 6.4% to 5.2%.


Kesgard says things could change if the national economic climate changes, but he doesn't see that happening anytime soon. "But, if you look at long-term interest rates, if they tick up appreciably in any short period of time, that’ll put downward pressure on everything. But, at this point, we’re rather bullish on 2016. So, what that means is, if you’re a tenant and you need more space, you need to be talking to a commercial broker sooner rather than later."


Eventually, Bend's Urban Growth Boundary expansion could help ease the market, with an influx of buildable land. But, Kesgard says that fix could be at least four years out.  


To hear our full conversation with Pat Kesgard, visit our Podcast page.

SALEM, OR -- Lawmakers arrived in Salem Monday, for the first day of the Legislative session. Democratic leaders have an aggressive agenda for the 35-day session. House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) spoke about it on the House floor:


"It appears the majority party in this session wants to move significant policy changes to the state of Oregon, with notices going out as short as one hour before a hearing is posted." McLane referred to public hearings on several bills during the 2015 session when discussion was either cut short or little notice was given beforehand. In the case of a gun background check bill, Central and Eastern Oregonians arrived to testify in Salem, only to be turned away when hearings went too long.


McLane said, "And, I ask you Madam Speaker, if you do this, I hope you understand what that does to the people east of the mountains who won't have the opportunity to participate. I urge you, restrain yourself and give all Oregonians a chance to participate."


The first day of the session was spent introducing a number of bills, but McLane called the list too ambitious. 

BURNS, OR -- A Burns businesswoman, who is benefiting from the influx of people there, has a message for the visitors: Go home.


It's an odd message from a motel operator with a constant full house. But, Vickie Allen, of America’s Best Value Motor Inn, is tired of the constant inundation of militia supporters. “It’s just building up again. It’s just gotten worse because we’ve got more people from out of state coming in. Enough’s enough. Go home and let us go back to our nice quiet little town.”


Allen tells KBND News she believes the majority of locals want the outsiders to leave, even those who might support the occupiers' original message of government overreach. It was a sentiment shared by many at a Monday rally at the Harney County Courthouse n Burns. One woman said, "I don’t think there’s a person here that’s in disagreement that the government has overreached. But, we have to make changes, and it needs to happen in a way different than the way the militia is wanting it to happen."


But, nearby, another demonstration called for the arrest of law enforcement responsible for the death of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. Ron Wharton drove from Roseburg to participate "This is not going to stop unless we stop it. And, we don’t need the federal government killing our protesters. We have the right to free speech, to protest and to carry a firearm."


Both sides faced off for more than two hours. Despite a lot of shouting, there were not reports of violence between the groups. 


LA PINE, OR -- A trucker from Boise was arrested Sunday evening, after Oregon State Police say he fled from the scene of a crash, south of La Pine. Two tow truck drivers were on scene of a wreck on Highway 97, near milepost 172 at around 7:45 p.m., when a semi-tractor/trailer struck and damaged one of the tow trucks. The tow truck driver suffered a leg injury. 


According to OSP investigators, 40-year-old Stewart Maze fled the scene in his semi after the collision. He was located about eight miles away and arrested. Maze is charged with DUII, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Criminal Mischief, Assault IV and Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver. 

BEND, OR -- The state stepped in last week, in an effort to keep Moda Health from going under. The health insurer is in financial trouble and is not allowed to accept new policies, although current policies will be honored.


Read more about the state's action


Jason Epple, with Century Insurance in Bend, has spent a lot of time lately on the phone with worried clients. "The sky is not falling, we don't need to panic. Moda is going to pay their claims, we're all going to have continuous coverage; it'll be ok. Yeah, realistically we're all going to have to move our health plan to somebody else, most likely. That's the way it's looking right now. But, we're going to have time to do that. We're going to have time to sort it all out, we don't need to knee-jerk it."


He tells KBND News, "At some point, the state may determine that the individual market - they may determine that all of the markets go away for Moda - or maybe just the sectors of individual, maybe Medicare, maybe small group. We don't know the answers yet. But, if they do indeed go away, there will be a timeframe."


Epple expects the state will announce its plans for Moda within the next week.


SALEM, OR -- The state's short Legislative session kicks off Monday in Salem. Lawmakers have 35 days to introduce and pass bills.

Democrats want to increase the minimum wage and affordable housing. House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte)  says Democrats are just trying to throw more money at the state's problems. "They're going to talk about how the most vulnerable amongst us, 'seniors who need assistance, the disabled and the like, will also be negatively impacted if you don't give them your money.' A 27% increase in state revenues is what they're demanding that Oregonians give them."


He thinks it's going to be a tough month. "It comes down to how they're positioning a 27% growth in state government, which of course, over the last 20 years, it had had record growth already. But, they're doing it by marketing that it's about the kids. They're going to say 'hey, if you don't give us your money, the kids are going to have a bad education system, etc.'"


Last Friday, Governor Kate Brown announced she has changed her proposal to increase the minimum wage. She's calling for a higher minimum of $9.75 an hour starting in July, six month earlier than originally slated. It would then rise to $13.25 by 2022. That proposal still must be approved by the Legislature. 




BEND, OR -- Irrigation districts are carefully watching river flows in the Deschutes, as they schedule stock runs for ranchers to refill ponds. Kyle Gorman, Regional Manager of Oregon’s Water Resources Department, tells KBND News current flows are right were they should be, although the Deschutes is lower than it was a year ago. "The lingering drought conditions that we had, stream flows were low and it hasn’t picked up yet, because it hasn’t really received the moisture and recharge yet. And then, the outflow from Wickiup Reservoir is held to the minimum for this year, for the storage in Wickiup Reservoir to try and maximize storage before this irrigation season."


Gorman says last year's flows were higher last year because most winter precipitation came in the form of rain, which became immediate runoff. "The level that it’s at right now, is very common to see after a very dry year, or consecutive dry years. The outflow now is around 23 cfs (cubic feet per second), that’s what it was last year. The big difference is the outflow out of Wickiup is about the same but the Little Deschutes was seeing that immediate runoff, where this year it’s yet to come." This year’s snowpack is much stronger, which he says is the best way to plan for the coming irrigation season, but keeps the river lower in the winter months. 

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- A Vancouver, Washington man was killed in a crash outside of Warm Springs, Friday night. Witnesses reported heavy snowfall at the time of the crash, on Highway 26. 


According to Oregon State Police, 42-year-old Juan Guerrero Gomez of Gresham was westbound when he crossed into oncoming traffic at about 9 p.m. He hit an SUV driven by 42-year-old Matthew Hiller.  Hiller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife and an 

infant were taken to the Madras hospital with minor injuries. A 12-year old passenger was flown to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. 
Gomez, driving an F-250 pickup, suffered minor injuries.

REDMOND, OR -- A group of high school students from Redmond Proficiency Academy will spend their spring break in Mexico - but not on vacation. Spanish teacher Troy Longstroth and 14 of his students will spend five days building a house for a needy family. "We are working in conjunction with, basically, the social services department in Mexico. So, they’ve set us up with a family who needs a house, has applied and has gone through their process. We kind of have a Habitat For Humanity style program, where we have partnered with some locals in San Luis Del Rio Colorado, which is in northern Mexico, near Yuma, Arizona."


Longstroth tells KBND News, "When we arrive, the guys that we’re partnering with down

  there will already have the concrete floor and the first-floor walls built out of bricks. So, we will install doors and windows on the first floor, and a staircase, and then add a whole second floor, we’ll frame that and put a roof on – a metal roof – and finish up the inside with electrical. So, we’ll have them a house built in five days."


They’re driving down to save money. Longstroth says it’s the first time he’s been able to organize a trip like this. "I’ve been the Spanish teacher here for a while, and taught in the Redmond School district before as a Spanish teacher, and I’ve wanted to take kids overseas but money seems to always be a big obstacle. So, one of the reasons for this trip is that it gives kids a cross-cultural experience with a low dollar amount. So, the $500 is quite a bit for a 9-day trip. But, on the other hand, most programs are $2,000 or $3,000 to go for a week." Longstroth says they still need to raise about $17,000 to cover travel expenses and building materials.
Click HERE to give to the "Raise the Roof" fundraising campaign.
Above left: The family to be helped by RPA students.
Above right: RPA students will build a house similar to this previous one built by another student group.


BEND, OR -- Bend's Cascades Theatrical Company continues with Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," this weekend. But, Saturday's performance will be unique.


We have reserved 16 seats for the deaf and hard of hearing," Janice Sharpe, with CTC, tells KBND News. "We have signers coming. I didn't realize it, but they kind of have to tag team; it's a pretty taxing process. So, they're going to switch off and one of them will do 15 minutes or so, then switch off with the next one."


Sharpe adds, "It's amazing how much expression, I mean, what they're doing is almost a performance in and of itself! They are really putting a lot of effort into making what they're doing a performance, as well."


The sign language show of "The 39 Steps" is Saturday at 7 p.m. Sharpe says if there is continued interest, they're considering offering one show each season for the deaf and hearing impaired. 

BEND, OR -- While OSU-Cascades officials celebrate the final purchase of a 46-acre pumice mine property, due diligence continues on the 76-acre County Demolition Landfill, also adjoining the existing 10-acre campus.


OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson tells KBND News they are in the fact finding phase to see if the landfill will work for expansion. “We’re going to bring over some faculty, experts in engineering from Corvallis who are going to take a look at that site with us with county representatives and others and see if there is some out-of-the-box thinking about how you can clean it up.” She admits, that won't be easy, “We know that you can scoop out a lot of bad material and truck it off to somewhere else. That’s like the most expensive way to remediate that site. But there might be some other ideas that have to do with capping, building on piers, you know, things like that that aren’t as expensive and then, where do you get the funds for whichever option we end up choosing.”
A non-binding letter of intent between Deschutes County and OSU-Cascades provides for a two-year framework for exploring the viability of reclaiming the former demolition landfill as part of the OSU-Cascades campus.

PORTLAND, OR -- The state of Oregon is closely monitoring Moda Health, which is in severe financial trouble. Lisa Morawski, with the Department of Consumer and Business Services, says they will keep the company in operation, "Reviewing any financial transactions they want to take and insuring claims are being paid." Current policy holders should continue to get medical care. 


Morawski adds, "The order also prohibits Moda from issuing new policies or renewing current policies." Moda Health must submit a plan to the state by Friday that will detail how they plan to continue operations into the future. 


BEND, OR -- A group of SkyView Middle School students only have a few more days to rally the popular vote in the Verizon App Challenge. The team already beat out 1200 other teams to win the state title with their outdoor safety app idea, and is now in the running for the $15,000 national prize.


Eighth grader Grant Hillis says his team is doing their best to recruit support before the Sunday night deadline. "If you were at SkyView on Tuesday in the cafeteria, and brought your phone with proof that you voted, you would’ve gotten a free sucker and a chance to win a pizza party."


Principal Scott Olszewski tells KBND News the contest isn't just about the monetary prize. "The money is, of course, nice. It’s great that they’re bringing in some grant money for the school, it’s nice that they’re all getting a tablet. More than anything, though, I think what’s great about it is they went through this engineering process, identified a problem, came together as a team, collaborated, and then took it all the way to the top."


The team of seventh and eighth graders has until midnight Sunday night to beat the other 49 teams through text voting. View their explanitory video HERE. To submit your vote for SkyView Middle School, text “outdoorsafe1” to 22-333.
To hear our full conversation with two members of the App Challenge team, and Principal Olszewski, visit our Podcast Page

BURNS, OR -- The FBI has released video of the officer-involved shooting outside of Burns that left Robert "LaVoy" Finicum dead. He was shot by law enforcement during a traffic stop that also led to the arrest of Ammon Bundy, the leader of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


The video was shot from an FBI plane. Special Agent Greg Bretzing says officers had information that Finicum and others in his truck were armed. Finicum was outside of his pickup and in the snow when officers confronted him. "On at least two occasions, Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket," Bretzing told reporters at a Thursday news conference. "He did have a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket."


Officers shot and killed Finicum. Bretzing says they're releasing the video to end speculation about what led to the shooting. The FBI posted the unedited video on the agency's YouTube channel. Click HERE to view the raw footage. Finicum exits his truck at 9:20 into the video.


Four people remained at the refuge, as of Thursday night. Negotiators are working to get them to give themselves up peacefully, as Bundy renewed calls for occupiers to leave.

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville City Councilors, like Crook County Commissioners, have voted to oppose a plan that would convert part of the Ochoco National Forest into a National Recreation Area. Oregon Wild is proposing the idea, but it has met large opposition in the region.


600 people showed up at Tuesday's City Council meeting to voice their opinion, and all but a few opposed it. Mayor Betty Roppe doesn't believe it's needed. 


"I think it's working, right now. We're quite comfortable with how it's working with the Forest Service managing it. And, I don't know what any of the proposals would add to that. In fact, I think it may detract from it, because they're proposing to close more roads. And, I know the Forest Service has already done some of that." She adds, "They were going to create three new wilderness areas. When you have a wilderness areas, you cannot take any motorized vehicles into that, you cannot go in with chainsaws, etc. And, I didn't see that was an advantage. I think the Forest Service is doing a fine job with what they're doing."


Councilors listened to an hour and a half of comments from residents and Roppe says the feedback was pretty one-sided. "A significant number of our citizens were saying they didn't trust it to stop with what they were initially proposing. They thought once they proposed one thing that it could be increased to encompass other things." 


Roppe says Councilors plans to send letters to Congressman Greg Walden and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, saying the city opposes the plan.

BURNS, OR -- Deschutes County’s Major Incident Team is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of militant frontman Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson spoke with KBND News from Harney County, Wednesday afternoon. He says Oregon State Police requested his team about 30 minutes after that deadly traffic stop, north of Burns.


He tells KBND News his agency has a very specific purpose, right now. "Our office is overseeing the officer-involved shooting aspect. We’re being helped with the Major Incident Team of Deschutes County and several people combined to assist in that – Bend Police Department, Redmond Police Department the State Police and other agencies that came over here to help us investigate this scene."
"They [OSP] reached out to our partners that are a part of our Major Incident Team from Deschutes County," Sheriff Nelson says. "And they have been wonderful in committing resources to come over here and continue this investigation in partnership with Oregon State Police and any other agencies."
Sheriff Nelson stood behind Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward during Wednesday's press conference. He has continually supported Sheriff Ward, as has the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association. "OSSA stands together in supporting Sheriff Ward. I think he has shown tremendous strength. I admire his leadership abilities and his strong partnership with his community."


BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials say high school graduation rates continue to outpace the statewide average.


According to new information released by the Oregon Department of Education, Bend-La Pine’s rate held steady last year, at 77.2%. That's more than three-percentage points ahead of the statewide average of 74%.


Summit High reported the highest rate in the district, at 91.6%. Bend High came in second, at 85.2%.
We'll have more on the statewide and local numbers, coming up on KBND News.

BEND, OR -- Pot holes seem worse this year in Bend because more moisture and extreme temperature swings are wreaking havoc on the roads. “This year has been a little bit wetter. 40-degrees during the day and freezing temperatures in the evening. But then with stormy weather and the moisture it’s been a tough year for the pot holes,” Bend Streets Director David Abbas tells KBND News.


He says, “Our crews have been out on 14th street, one of the bad areas for us. Colorado Roundabout and different areas in town. So we’re out there this week trying to do a more long term fix on those.” That long term fix means using a hot asphalt mix, rather than a temporary cold mix. 


This temporary warm spell is allowing the hot to be used before mother nature once again gives us the cold shoulder.

BURNS, OR -- FBI, Special Agent in Charge, Greg Bretzing read from a prepared statement during Wednesday morning's press conference:


Good morning. My name is Greg Bretzing, and I am the Special Agent in Charge for the FBI in Oregon.

For the past month, the FBI -- along with our partners at the Harney County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and the many other federal and local agencies -- have had a very deliberate and measured response. We worked diligently to bring the situation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to a peaceful end. Some of those actions were seen, some unseen. But, because this is an on-going investigation with some armed individuals illegally remaining in the refuge, we cannot get into details as to every action tried or taken.

I will say that the armed occupiers were given ample opportunities to leave peacefully. They were given the opportunity to negotiate. As outsiders to Oregon, they were given the opportunity to return to their homes and have their grievances heard through legal and appropriate means. They chose, instead, to threaten the very America they profess to love with violence, intimidation and criminal acts.

Yesterday, the FBI and our partners took the necessary actions to start bringing this situation to an end. We worked to ensure that we could do so in the safest way possible -- removing the threat of danger from innocent citizens. We continue to work to empty the refuge of the armed occupiers in the safest way possible.

Eight people were arrested, and one man died yesterday as we attempted to take him into custody. Because there is an on-going investigation by the Deschutes County Major Crimes Team on behalf of OSP related to this piece of the investigation, I will not be able to comment on the specifics.

I would, however, ask for your patience as the shooting investigation works its way through that outside process. At the appropriate time, the Medical Examiner's office will release the decedent's identity, and OSP will address the details of the event.

Let me be clear: It is fully and unequivocally the behavior and the choices made by the armed occupiers that have led us to where we are today. And, as the FBI and our partners have demonstrated, actions are not without consequences.
Containment road blocks are now in place around the Refuge. The disruption that the good people of Harney County have had to endure over the last few months will continue -- for now.

If the people at the refuge want to leave, they can do so through the checkpoints where they will be identified. If they have questions or concerns, they can call the negotiators at the number that has been provided to them.

As I conclude I want to share my promise to the people who live and work here -- who are raising their families here - that we will continue to look for safe, peaceful and productive ways to end this armed occupation. We recognize that the sooner we do that, the sooner the citizens of Harney County can start healing this community they cherish so much.


Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and U.S. Attorney Bill Williams also spoke at Wednesday's press conference. 

BURNS, OR -- Leaders of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were arrested during a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon. They were traveling on Highway 395 from Burns to a planned meeting in John Day. During the arrest, shots were fired and "Lavoy" Finicum was killed. Ryan Bundy was shot in the arm. Those arrested are now being held at the Multnomah County Jail, in Portland.


Ammon Bundy's sister-in-law Briana Bundy tells ABC News, "Ammon said that he doesn’t know why they shot him. It was completely unprovoked, there was no reason for it, it was uncalled for and they were complying. And, nobody had a weapon." Cliven Bundy, Ammon and Ryan's father, reacted after the shooting, "I feel like my sons are on good nations doing good things, helping people. They weren’t threatening nobody." Deschutes County's Major Incident team, Oregon State Police and the Harney County District Attorney's Office are investigating the officer-involved shooting.


Robert "Lavoy" Finicum was an outspoken member of the occupation, often appearing with Ammon Bundy at press conferences and granting interviews with reporters and bloggers sympathetic to their cause. He spoke with The Oregonian about Tuesday's planned meeting in Grant County. "They reached out to us, and they're fed up. They're sick and tired of what's been happening to them. So, they want us to come and have us explain to them - most of the time we spend is teaching. And, they're considering taking the same steps that have been taken in Utah, here and what looks like is going to happen this Friday in Malheur County. What you're seeing is the citizens themselves saying, 'We're done. We're through.'" Finicum was a rancher from Arizona and he and his wife cared for several foster children who were taken away after the standoff began. 


Top: Brian Cavalier, Ammon Edward Bundy, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, Peter Santilli

Bottom: Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox, Jon Ritzheimer


The FBI has now set up checkpoints around the refuge to stop anyone from entering the property. Those coming out of the refuge will have their identity confirmed and vehicle searched. FBI, Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing, U.S. Attorney Bill Williams and Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward are scheduled to hold a press conference in Burns at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday.


** UPDATE ** Wednesday's press conference has been postponed to 11 a.m.


Despite previous reports to the contrary, St. Charles Medical Center officials say the Bend hospital did not receive any patients from Harney County, although it remained in lockdown until 5:30 Wednesday morning, as a security precaution.


Harney County Judge Steve Grasty issued a statement Tuesday evening: "I am relieved this situation is coming to an end, however, I am saddened by the loss of life. I hope and pray that those who remain at the Refuge will stand down peacefully."


Governor Kate Brown released the following statement shortly after news broke of the shootout. "The situation in Harney County continues to be the subject of a federal investigation that is in progress. My highest priority is the safety of all Oregonians and their communities. I ask for patience as officials continue pursuit of a swift and peaceful resolution."


Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement Wednesday morning, saying, “I've been in close contact with local and federal officials throughout this long standoff, and we had all hoped for a peaceful conclusion to the situation in Harney County. Sadly, our hopes were shattered with the shooting that occurred during last night's arrest.   While we wait to learn more details and next steps, we must keep the people of Harney County in our hearts as they are a strong community and have endured a great deal. Once again, I urge those who remain at the refuge to go home before anyone else gets hurt. And when this done and the cameras' glare turns away from rural Oregon, the healing process will be a long one. Widespread frustration will continue until people in rural American feel like they are being heard and meaningful changes are made to federal land management policy.”    


BEND, OR -- Members of the opposition group "Truth in Site" say they're not surprised OSU-Cascades is buying a 46-acre former pumice mine. Jack Matthews tells KBND News he believes it was the school's intention all along. "In my honest opinion, they've been totally disingenuous. Not only with the public, but with Truth in Site; we've been calling them on that since day one. It's a shell game. They want to have it, but they don't want to have a master plan. Doesn't surprise me in the least." Matthews admits he is happy the campus won't be spread all around since the college will now have two adjacent parcels and potentially a third.

Marie Matthews with the group says she's also looking forward to seeing a master plan. "We're not really surprised. We do hope the master plan will be a good, logical, sound plan. I should suspend judgment. But, if it's anything like the plan that they put up for the 10 acres, it's going to be difficult for their students to find parking, to find housing."


The university is also looking at an adjacent 76-acre parcel that used to be the Deschutes County Demolition Landfill. They have two years to explore the viability of that property for future expansion.

BEND, OR -- A national leader on racial inclusiveness will visit Central Oregon Community College, as part of COCC’s Season of Non-Violence. Professor John A. Powell will give two different presentations Wednesday, both are open to the public.

Karen Roth, with the college, says he will focus on how to increase respect and care for all people, even between those who disagree. "He’s asking us to think about how do we practice respect and care for all people. Not that we have to agree with their ideas or their beliefs, but that we care about them as human beings," she tells KBND News.  "How do we open up our circle of human compassion to include what we have often called ‘the other’ and how all of us have this need to belong – to belong to a larger society, to belong to other people, and to be cared about by other people. So, how do we do that from our conditioning of ‘othering.’"
Professor Powell will speak at COCC at noon and 6:30 p.m., both presentations are open to the public. Click HERE to learn more. 
COCC is hosting a series of events through February 29 as part of its 8th annual Season of Non-Violence. It’s part of an international effort corresponding with the anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination and Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday. About the events, Roth says, "Where conflict is, I believe, normal and a part of the human condition. But, it’s how we resolve our conflict that I think we can draw on the legacies of King and Gandhi and others who have fought for social justice."
To hear our full conversation with Karen Roth, visit our Podcast Page.

HARNEY CO, OR -- Federal authorities have arrested Ammon Bundy, the leader of a group that has occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge since January second.


The FBI and Oregon State Police stopped a car with Bundy and several others just before 4:30 p.m., traveling on Highway 395 on their way to a meeting in John Day. They were scheduled to meet with supporters sympathetic to their cause.


One militant was killed, but law enforcement will not be releasing any information pending identification by the medical examiner's office.


Arrested were 40-year-old Ammon Bundy, 43-year-old Ryan Bundy, 44-year-old Brian Cavalier, 59-year-old Shawna Cox and 32-year-old Ryan Payne.


Officers also arrested 45-year-old Joseph O'Shaughnessy and 50-year-old Peter Santilli at separate events in Burns.


The FBI in Phoenix, Arizona arrested 32-year-old Jon Ritzheimer at 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, in connection with the standoff. Officials say he turned himself into the Peoria Police Department.


All defendants face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the U.S.

BEND, OR --   After two years of studying the old pumice mine on southwest Chandler Avenue, OSU-Cascades has reached an agreement to purchase the 46-acre property, adjacent to the 10-acre campus currently under construction.


The announcement came at yesterday’s meeting of the college board of advisors. Following due diligence, which included title, environmental, geotechnical and engineering reviews, the deal will close this Friday. OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson tells KBND News, “A lot of work with firms, geotechnical and environmental and architectural forms. We want to make sure the site will work. And so they’ve been looking at the walls there, and how do you need to reinforce those. How m much will you have to bring in to make it useable. Are we sure there’s no contamination from the landfill? There’s not. All those things have to be checked off.”
She adds, “I think the biggest significance is that it gives us more space to think about our campus expansion. Obviously we’ve been talking abut this 46 acres for a long time and closing on that and making it certain we now know that there will be enough room to expand out university to 3,000 to 5,000 students.”
Read reaction from the opposition group Truth in Site, HERE.
The 46-acre pumice mine will be purchased for $7,963,000. The college expects it will cost another $7- to $8-million for remediation. The university will consider the option to purchase the adjoining 76-acre Deschutes County demolition landfill. The due diligence for that property is under way.

BEND, OR -- All three Central Oregon counties saw job gains, in December. But, regional economist Damon Runberg says 2015 as a whole was difficult for both Crook and Jefferson counties. "We saw all the counties go down in December, so we saw improvement there. But, those monthly changes - we wouldn’t call it a trend. But, needless to say, it’s good to see our rural community also see their unemployment rates drop a little bit." He tells KBND News, "Crook County is the one that actually job losses over the last year, so not a good year for them. In fact, employment numbers are down 2.1% over the last year, which was the largest employment drop of any county in Oregon, over the last year." He says it’s largely due to the massive layoffs from the shutdown of Woodgrain Millworks. "Although employment levels are down in the county, it’s not like this is a trend that’s affecting all industries in Crook County. It was really specific to one major layoff event."


Runberg adds, "If you just looked at the raw numbers of all of Central Oregon, it makes it look like an exceptional year for Central Oregon; the economy would be red hot. And, that’s true. But, it’s really only true for Deschutes County which, in the beginning of 2015, recovered completely from the recession all the jobs that were lost. And, since then, we’ve been in a period of economic expansion. So really, good times for Deschutes County, our only urban, metro community east of the Cascades."


Deschutes County’s rate dropped 0.2% last month, to 5.8%. Runberg says, "What’s even more impressive about the unemployment rate going down, is we’re actually seeing the labor force grow – which is partially from population growth; there’s a lot of people moving here – it also means there’s a lot of optimism in the local labor market, meaning folks who may have been discouraged a few years ago, and left the labor market, they’re back in it and looking for work because there are jobs out there."
Jefferson and Crook counties each dropped 0.3% in December, landing at 7.3% for Jefferson County and 8% in Crook County. 

BEND, OR -- There’s a new grass-roots effort trying to organize formal opposition to the negative impacts they say will occur if recreational marijuana businesses are allowed in rural Deschutes County. Larry Fulkerson says he got involved with PreserveRuralDeschutes.Org after he discovered a medical marijuana grow operation opened next door. "And at the ripe old age of 69, I was not aware that a grow site produces an odor like a skunk. And, it took me a while to figure out what was going on next door. So, I became involved and went to the public meetings. There were a bunch of is that have been attending the meetings that didn’t particularly like the way the recommendations were going and decided to get involved, and think that people need to be educated."


Fulkerson says his group is not against marijuana use, but they are concerned about increased odor, lighting and traffic issues that could come with this new industry. He feels County Commissioners are doing their best to navigate this uncharted territory and blames state lawmakers for putting Commissioners in a no-win situation. "The marijuana industry, through the Oregon Legislature, has gotten rules and regulations in place that have determined that marijuana is a farm crop," He tells KBND News. "It is protected by all of the parts of the right to farm law." He feels the state legislature should have never passed HB 3400, designating pot as a crop. "Any rules and regulations that the Board of County Commissioners try to impose on the marijuana industry that it doesn’t impose on all other farm products will get voted out of office. How can you tell a marijuana farmer that he can only grow his marijuana on a 20-acre parcel or above, and let the alfalfa farmers grow their crop anywhere they want?"
He says rules imposed on local grow operations are likely to be challenged in court, if the same restrictions aren’t placed on all crops in the county. "They [County Commissioners] have been boxed in by the legislature and marijuana industry to the point that, if they propose rules and regulations that protect property values and standard of living, it stands a very good chance of getting voted down."
Fulkerson says they want to see regulations and enforcement work together. To hear our full conversation with Larry Fulkerson, visit our Podcast Page

BEND, OR -- Eastern Oregon State Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) is expected to pitch the idea of annexing several eastern Oregon counties to Idaho, in the upcoming legislative session. He cites a disconnect between Portland area legislators and rural counties. 


Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) tells KBND News the idea is not a far fetched as one might think. “People scoff at these ideas when they don't understand what underlies them. And the issue here is that people feel like your voice doesn’t matter when you're in eastern Oregon because the population is in Portland and they wag the whole dog. And people get tired of that, so they look for alternatives so their voice is heard and respected.” He adds, “I’ll tell you the sentiment out in much of eastern Oregon is that they’d rather be connected to Idaho than to Portland. I understand that. Yeah, when you feel like the fix is in against you with your own government [that] you’re paying for, and nobody understands or cares about what you’re going through, there’s a huge level of frustration that is just kind of ignored by those on the west side.”
Although, Walden admits the possibility of eastern Oregon and eastern Washington counties seceding to Idaho is remote. Fifteen years ago, Rep. Greg Smith’s idea of eastern Oregon counties forming a new state received no response in the legislature.
Rep. Smith originally spoke about his idea with the East Oregonian newspaper, in September. Read more HERE.  A La Grande farmer has started a Yahoo Group to garner support for the plan. 

SALEM, OR -- Tuesday is the 316th Anniversary of the last Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Earthquake experts from across the region will take to Twitter, beginning at 10 a.m., to answer questions and help Oregonians prepare for the next "big one."


Ali Ryan Hansen, with the Oregon Department of Geology, says it's an opportunity to learn how bad it could be. "What they know about the science of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, to find out from emergency management experts what the best ways are to prepare." But, she admits, Oregonians are getting ready, "People know about it and they are being proactive to get ready to face a Cascadia Subduction zone earthquake."


Over the last 3500 years, there have been seven of these massive earthquakes and geologists say we need to be prepared for a 9.0 quake that will hit in the future. 


Join the conversation on Twitter using the #CascadiaEQ. 


LA PINE, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue was dispatched to an injured snowmobile rider at Paulina Lake, Sunday morning. Initial calls to 911 reported 63-year-old Debbie Baldwin had struck a tree and was unconscious. La Pine medics were unable to reach the area due to deep snow.


A six-member SAR team snowmobiled into the site and transported Baldwin back to the 10 Mile Snow Park where medics picked her up and took her to St. Charles Medical Center. The woman suffered unspecified injuries, but officials say she was wearing appropriate safety gear.


Witnesses say Baldwin was trying to execute a side hill turn, accelerated and struck a group of trees on the downhill side.

REDMOND, OR -- Crews are pushing ahead on renovations that will eventually convert Evergreen school into Redmond’s new City Hall. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND News the work is part construction, part archeological dig at the nearly 100-year-old building. "We’ve been told that somewhere in that building, one of the classes put a time capsule. My dad graduated in ’38, he knows the rumor; my aunt graduated in about ’42, she knows the rumor; several other people we’ve talked to around town that graduated in later years have heard the rumor, but we have not found it. So, it’s one of those fun little treasure hunts that’s going on as they do the work inside the building."

Workers tore down an outbuilding a couple of weeks ago, unearthing just one artifact shedding light on just a piece of the building’s past. "They found the door with all the 
signatures - People like Bob Eberhard and others," says Endicott. "So, it’s a lot of fun." The "door" is actually a brick wall signed by various classes. The school was built in 1920 as Redmond Union High School. About 50 years later it was turned into a junior high, then eventually into Evergreen Elementary.  
Endicott says work is on track for the new City Hall to open by the end of the year. 
Above photo: Mike McIntosh, "class of '81," is now Redmond Schools Superintendent.
Right: Signatures of various classes grace the brick wall uncovered last week.

BEND, OR -- An advisory committee has found some middle ground on Bend's latest proposal to expand the Urban Growth Boundary. The group is looking at adding 2,000 acres around the city for future expansion. UGB Project Manager Brian Rankin tells KBND News, the group has done a good job finding some agreement. "So, we have a really diverse committee, first of all. It's folks from different parts of town, folks that are pro expansion, folks that typically haven't been pro expansion in the past, lots of different viewpoints. The great thing about the meeting, I thought was, the committee really clicked. They had one more meeting; the City Council said go ahead and figure this out, 'help us to get more consensus from the group, see what you can all agree to and bring it back to us.' And, the group really performed well."


In 2010, the state rejected Bend's UGB plan to expand by 8,000 acres, saying it was too large. 


A meeting last week focused on the west side of Bend. "The west side kept presenting a number of difficulties, really around how much development, where that development should be on the west side," says Rankin. "We also talked about all the other parts of the city, as well, where the expansion is going to be located." He adds, "There was one committee member who didn't agree with the final result. But, it's really tough to get 100% of folks to approve anything this big and controversial. So, I think it was still a great success."


Public hearings on the UGB proposal will be held in the spring, and the city plans to formally apply to the state in June. Rankin expects to hear within a year if it is approved. 

BURNS, OR -- Harney County officials have canceled Monday night's scheduled community meeting. The weekly meetings had been held at a local school, but continued concerns over firearms at a school facility - which violated district policy - pushed this week's meeting to the Burns Senior Center.


Officials also had announced this meeting would be open only to Harney County residents, with tickets issued after proof of residency was provided. Click HERE to read about changes to the format, imposed by county officials.
County Judge Steve Grasty issued a statement Sunday, saying the meeting was canceled after community leaders learning of plans to protest the event and block the entrance to the Senior Center. Click HERE to read Judge Grasty's full statement.
No word yet, on when these weekly meetings will resume.

BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces a list of charges after police say he broke into several businesses inside a Franklin avenue building, in downtown Bend, early Friday morning.

An officer found 20-year-old Christian Keller near the building, and say he was in possession of items linking him to the burglary.
During the investigation, police found substantial damage to outside windows and the inside of several business suites, including tipped over cabinets, holes in walls, broken computers, damaged furniture and damaged art.
Keller is charged with several counts of burglary and criminal mischief. 

BEND, OR -- As we get closer to the February Legislative session, Bend City staff are identifying priority issues they’ll be watching. City Manager Eric King says Affordable Housing is a key state issue that could have big local impacts. He tells KBND News there is talk lawmakers could look at freeing up resources to build more housing. "But also, is there something that can be done on the land supply side of things so that we can make it easier to increase the land supply? We’ve got a very regulatory process with land use in Oregon. I think Bend is almost a poster child for having both of those issues of limited land supply and this affordable housing problem, so how can Bend position itself to be part of that compromise, or at least bring awareness to how that’s playing out on the ground?"


King says they're watching anything land use related. "There’s a technical fix on Urban Growth Boundaries that’s very important to us. As we’re getting close to having that complete we just want to make sure the rules of the game aren’t changing. There are also some issues around property tax reform – just tax reform in general that’s needed at the state; really some inequities in the system." He's also hoping for tax reform, specifically in regards to the transient room tax. "That’s the tax that folks pay when they stay in hotels. [The city is] Wanting more flexibility for how those resources can be used. It’s one thing to promote tourism, but we want to make sure that once visitors are here, we have the facilities to support tourism – good roads and good facilities. Right now, the state restricts a lot of that as a revenue option for the city."


Other priority issues for Bend include recreational marijuana regulations and public transit funding. Lawmakers open the short session on February first. 

PRINEVILLE, OR -- With hundreds packed into a town hall at the Crook County Fairgrounds, County Commissioners officially took a stand against a proposal to turn part of the Ochocos into a national recreation area. Residents who spoke up at Thursday night's meeting reiterated concerns the Commissioners have heard for several months.


Following the public testimony, the court voted unanimously to write a letter to Oregon's Congressional delegation in opposition to the Oregon Wild proposal.
Congressman Greg Walden has said changing the Ochocos' designation would take Congressional approval, and he doesn't see that happening anytime soon. 

BEND, OR -- The community engagement phase of OSU-Cascades' long range planning took a big leap forward Thursday. Four community advisory groups presented their recommendations for the new campus on Century Drive, at a joint sharing session. 


Richard Ross co-chairs the community integration group. He tells KBND News, “Our thought was keep the campus focused toward the river, towards areas of higher activity and away from the residential areas north and west.” His committee also suggested the campus take the form of a ski village. “The ski village, I was talking about more architecturally, that it would work as a mixed use community, the campus itself. So you that you have housing, some commercial services and you have education all in the same area. It’s all convenient.”
There are three other advisory groups: health and wellness, sustainability, and arts, culture and enrichment. Dozens of recommendations were presented to create a vision for what OSU-Cascades will become. None of the ideas are yet set in stone.

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Hundreds of Crook County residents are expected to turn out for Thursday night's town hall meeting on a proposal to turn part of the Ochoco Mountains into a National Recreation Area. Oregon Wild introduced the proposal. So far, it's been met with a lot of local opposition.


County Commissioners will hold a public meeting to give residents another chance to speak out on the idea. Sarah Cuddy, with Oregon Wild, tells KBND News if the last meeting was any indication, there will be more discourse. "We wanted to have a collaborative atmosphere and and we want to hear from the community, but that requires thoughtful dialog and it takes time. The last several weeks have really increased the level of hostility and the level of nonproductive conversations." 


Cuddy, who grew up in Crook County, admits things changed after the start of the Harney County standoff. "It's just very polarizing time to talk about public lands. There's talk from the Bundys of privatization of public lands, so there is some opposition that is emboldened by that talk. And, it seems to have made the conversation regarding the Ochocos much more emotionally driven and some divisive rhetoric, versus kind of a collaborative conversation."


Click HERE to watch County Judge Mike McCabe's recent video on the proposal.


Thursday's meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Carey Foster Hall in the Crook County Fairgrounds. County Commissioners plan to have a public discussion on the proposal, then will make a recommendation at the end of the meeting.

BEND, OR -- While sympathetic to the philosophy behind the occupation of the wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) says it is time for them to leave. On a swing through central Oregon this week, the Republican said the group has made it’s point, but now it’s time to go back where they came from.


"The message I would have for the folks at the refuge is, while you’ve highlighted and made national these issues on federal public lands, you’ve gone too far," he tells KBND News. "I’ve not supported the armed takeover of the refuge, for goodness sakes. And the community, for the most part, would appreciate it if they left. I think if they overstay they begin to hurt the cause of the people they want to help."


However, Walden agrees with the militants that rural Oregonian’s voices are often not heard by the federal government regarding how land is managed in their communities. "And they’re feeling that all too often the fix is in before the process starts and that they're voice is not heard and what they have to say about how things are managed in their communities is ignored. We’ve got to get back to where people have faith in their government because they’re government listens to them. And that’s not always been the case." But he says the militia has broken the law and he does not support their tactics.


Governor Kate Brown says she plans to ask state lawmakers to find money to help Harney County pay for the standoff. County costs are now running at about $100,000 a week.  "I have asked us to scour the budget to make sure we can have the resources at the state level to subsidize the cost for Harney County, and we’ll be asking federal officials to reimburse the state for these costs." Governor Brown adds, "The situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately. The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart."



REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger spoke with Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) earlier this week about the standoff near Burns. Unger told him about a recent conversation with his counterpart, Harney County Judge Steve Grasty. "Judge Grasty told us ‘be aware in your other counties, they might be looking around to expand their influence; so, be watching and be careful.’"


Unger added, "Judge Grasty looks at this as an opportunity to have a conversation with the federal government. He wants to get into an appointment with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to start talking about some of the issues that really underlie a lot of the problems that are there." He noted that Deschutes County sent several deputies to help patrol in and around Burns during the occupation.
He also thanked Walden for supporting Harney County leaders, including Grasty and county Sheriff Dave Ward.


BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors wrangled again over a proposal to relax requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) - also known as "Granny flats" - Wednesday night. 


The Planning Commission and Affordable Housing Committee presented recommendations at the  hearing, where public testimony was mixed. Planning Commissioner Karen Johnson presented parking recommendations for ADUs. “We decided that we should keep the parking requirement as it is, and that is at least one off street parking space per ADU.” The Council is recommending one off street parking space per ADU, and one per primary residence, in tandem - or one vehicle behind the other. 


The council also recommends a maximum ADU size of 800 square feet, and second story ADUs larger than 600 square feet should have extra property line setbacks.
Councilor Victor Chudowsky says easing restrictions on ADUs makes sense to encourage more affordable rental options. “Opportunities to have either rentals or have their in-laws live next to them, I think these are all healthy things and we should accommodate people.”
City Councilors will accept written public testimony until their next meeting on February third. 

COOS BAY, OR -- The Coast Guard has suspended the search for two fishermen who were lost when their boat crashed into a jetty on the southern Oregon coast. One of the missing is reportedly Josh Paulus, a 2002 graduate of Mountain View High School in Bend. 


The captain of the Eagle III made it ashore after the accident and was picked up by a good Samaritan who dropped him off at USCG Air Station North Bend. His condition is unknown.


The search began at 8:30 Tuesday night when a distress beacon was picked up by the Coast Guard. Searchers later found debris from the crabbing vessel, and the body of a third crewman. 


The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Photos of the vessel's debris field, courtesy of the USCG.

BEND, OR -- Preliminary numbers from the Oregon Department of Transportation show a rise in the number of traffic-related deaths, last year. ODOT’s Peter Murphy says full 2015 statistics are not yet available, but he suspects there is one big reason for the increase in fatal crashes. "It seems that volumes are up; we count that, we know how many people are traveling on the highways. There’s just a correlation between the number of people traveling and the number of crashes taking place." He adds, "And then, the other thing is, just as an anecdotal observation from my particular perspective – and I do travel the highways, and I do look out to see what’s going on – it seems like people are driving faster. I don’t know that, but it just seems to me that there’s a number of people that are traveling in excess of the speed limit."


Murphy tells KBND News it could get worse after the state raises speed limits on a number of rural highways, including Highway 97, on March first. "And, it still all comes down – whether you’re speeding or not – driving for the conditions that you find yourself in, is really going to do the best you can to avoid those kinds of troubles."


Early numbers show 447 traffic-related deaths statewide in 2015, compared to 356 the year before; that’s a 25.6% year-over-year increase. Official numbers won’t be released until summer. 

BEND, OR -- Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) thinks the proposed minimum wage in Oregon goes too far.


Appearing before a Civics Class at Bend Senior High on Tuesday, the Republican was asked by a student how he feels about the proposed increase. Walden says although it is a popular move, it could have negative consequences. “What happened then is it’s not just that wage. What people don't understand is that there are taxes that are pushed against that. There’s unemployment taxes. There’s social security and Medicare. All of those costs go up too. Ultimately then prices have to go up to pay for that.”


He added, “Practically speaking employers than have to decide, 'how do I pay for that? Do I have a smaller workforce, do I automate, or just go out of business?'” 


Governor Kate Brown has proposed increasing the minimum wage to $15.52 an hour in the Portland area and $13.52 elsewhere in the state.

BEND, OR -- Rain didn't stop a couple hundred people from showing support for public lands during a downtown Bend rally, Tuesday afternoon. The Riverfront Plaza event was the city's second rally in support of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the last five days, and took place at the same time as several others across the state.


Bend resident B.J. Thomas says she's frustrated with the ongoing occupation. "What the Bundy people are doing is wrong; it's anti-government. They have no clue what is going on at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. There's been a great collaboration there that's making everything work. And they're going to end up undoing it." She tells KBND News, "I wish it would end. The birds are going to start nesting, and they're not going to have a safe place to go."


Chris Gardner, with "Friends of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge," was also there. "This is one of the jewels of our refuge system. For them to be there and to spoil it is to dishonor a great American tradition of protecting our wildlife and the necessary habitat for it, in our most beautiful scenery." He adds, "These people are a direct assault on our democracy. Rosa Parks didn't sit on that bus with an assault rifle on her lap, yet she sparked a change in our whole culture. If they have that kind of support, then they can do it without their means. So, the means they're choosing are evidence of their weakness." 


Speakers at the rally talked about the importance of these habitats, clean water and recreational opportunities. The event was organized by the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society. 

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Family Access Network (FAN) is expanding into Crook County. FAN advocates work with struggling families to connect them with local community resources. 


FAN Executive Director Julie Lyche tells KBND News, "We've been working with Crook County on a plan to be able to support the FAN advocates in their area, and their school district has been really excited about doing this and has stepped up and put money into the initial project to get the FAN advocates going over there."


The program is already in all 50 public schools in Deschutes County. "I see this as a really similar development to how we started in Deschutes County, with some of the schools - the highest need schools - then adding more FAN advocates on. As we have gained support in Deschutes County, we're now in all public schools and early childhood centers. Our hope is, down the line, that's how it's going to look in Crook County, as well," says Lyche.


Barnes Butte and Crooked River Elementary schools will each have advocates working half time. "This is going to be an amazing resource for our families living in poverty in Prineville. Families that have children in those schools will be able to contact their FAN advocate at the school and get assistance with connections to basic needs like food, shelter, utilities and clothing."

BEND, OR -- Sometime during the night of December 4, 2015, someone cut down and removed a 300-year-old Juniper tree at the Oregon Badlands Wilderness trailhead, 16 miles east of Bend. Larry Pennington of the Juniper Group Sierra Club tells KBND News, “The stump is right in the middle of the Flatiron Rock Trailhead parking area with kind of a little island. And it had three trees in it, all about the same age, I guess; this is one of those three that’s no longer there. So it is quite visible to anyone who goes to hike at the trailhead.”


He's asking that anyone who knows anything about the vandalism contact the Bureau of Land Management. “The destruction of any government property is a crime so we’d like to find whoever did it and hold them accountable but also say that this kind of behavior on government lands especially government lands set aside for the use of the people as a natural area has consequences.”

A $1,000 reward has been offered by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, Friends of Oregon Badlands Wilderness and the Juniper Group of the Sierra Club for information leading to an arrest in the case.

REDMOND, OR -- Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) met with Redmond city leaders this week to discuss how the region is preparing for the predicted Cascadia earthquake. Mayor George Endicott has been vocal in his efforts to prepare his city, especially given predictions that the Redmond airport could be the only functioning commercial air center if a massive quake hits the state.


Walden tells KBND news he hopes to get FEMA better involved in local emergency management plans. "The moment that the earth shakes at the level they think it could, people are going to be calling my office saying, ‘help!’ We need to be ahead of that. A lot of work has been done locally and at the sate and federal levels, but it sounds like there are still some questions out there involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its relationship with the state and the community."


During Monday's roundtable discussion, Walden was also briefed on on the upcoming closure of Central Oregon’s only commercial airport. Roberts Field officials say the three-week shutdown in May will cost about $400,000 in lost revenue. But, Walden says he’s pleased with the two-years of planning leading up to the major runway-paving project.

"We’ll find out how important the airport is when it’s closed; but they have to do it, just the way the layout of the runways are. I’m sure they’ll do it in the most efficient, effective way possible, knowing the way Redmond operates the airport and has always operated. I’m sure they’d rather not close it, but this seems like the most efficient way in the long-term to get the runway in the shape it needs to be to continue to expand air service, which is vital to Central Oregon."
Listen to our conversation with Mayor George Endicott, discussing his visit with Walden, at our Podcast Page.

LA PINE, OR -- Two people escaped serious injuries in a head-on crash on Highway 97 at State Rec Road Monday morning. Deschutes County deputies responded to the crash just before 11 a.m., and say that 72-year-old William Bones, of La Pine, was northbound when he lost control of his SUV on icy roads.


Bones crossed into oncoming traffic and struck another SUV, driven by a 45-year-old Eugene man. Bones was treated by La Pine medics at the scene and released. The other driver, David Gonyea, was taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life threatening injuries.


Highway 97 near La Pine was closed for about 25 minutes. 

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) met with Crook County residents Monday, to discuss a proposal by a conservation group that would change how a large part of the Ochoco National Forest is managed. Oregon Wild would like to see it designated a National Recreation Area. 


Walden opposes the plan, as did the majority of those at the meeting. He tells KBND News, "It seems like these [conservation] groups are just trying to restrict access to public land, what we can do on that public land, so they get everyone off the public land. And there are people who, for generations have hunted there, worked there, hiked there, camped there, feel like they’re just being not listened to, shoved aside; and once again, a group and the government are going to take another piece of federal ground away from them."  
He says nearly everyone he's heard from is worried the change could bring increased regulation and decreased access. "Now people feel we just don't manage these forests, we just let them burn. You see these enormous wildfires, and people can’t access their traditional areas that they used to access, and the threat just seems to build." But, he says, he doesn't think it'll make it past the idea stage. "The Oregon Wild proposal would have to pass congress, and I don't see that happening anytime soon."
He says the only people at the Prineville meeting in support of the plan were those representing Oregon Wild. Afterwards, Walden drew parallels between the frustration in Crook County and the issues that lead to the refuge takeover outside of Burns. "It’s part of the same theme. There are these groups that make a lot of money by creating this next new thing they have to go preserve and save and it’s who they work for and it’s how they do it. And for some, it's their cause in life; that’s they’re view of how it should happen. I respect all that. But, for most people in these rural communities, they just feel like their way of life is being threatened."
Photo courtesy Greg Walden Instagram


REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Proficiency Academy high school students are jumping on the Tiny House bandwagon, in a special one-month engineering class. Science and math teacher Amy Mitchell says her students are creating presentations, prototypes, and eventually, their own tiny house. "We talked about why people would want to live in tiny houses, so they’re including that in their presentation. And, they’re [writing] from the point of view of what kinds of problems does a tiny house help families solve: affordable housing, environmental issues, things like that. We talk a lot about drawbacks, and they have to include that in their presentations." Local tiny house builders have shared their creations with the class and are providing feedback on students' scale models.


Mitchell is designing her own tiny house alongside her students and says she’s learning a lot from them. "Their minds work a lot better than mine at organizing things – ‘How can I fit these things into this space in the most compact, economical way possible?’ Storage is probably one of the biggest challenges in a tiny house. They have all kinds of cool ideas that I have not thought of."


Mitchell says the class is part of the new Next Generation Science Standards that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). "And they require all students, grades 9-12, to go through the engineering process. So, we have a problem that we’re trying to solve, we come up with multiple solutions for it, pick one solution and design a prototype – the prototype is their model tiny house. And, they make decisions on what parts do they want to keep and what parts can they improve. That process is the engineering design process."
The charter school offers students the opportunity to focus on a single course of study during the short January Term. They will share their creations at the January Showcase, on Wednesday, January 20.


BEND, OR -- The occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge say they want the federal lands given back to local communities. But about 200 who attended a recent rally in Bend say those public lands are important. 


Great Old Broads for Wilderness hosted the event on Friday in downtown Bend. At the rally, Rinda Clark told KBND News, "I'm here because I care about our lands. I care about our forests, our wildlife refuges, our public parks, our recreation areas, and I want those areas preserved for my children and my grandchildren. I wan the bullies to go home. Enough is enough; we need to take back the refuge in Harney County."


Several Harney County ranchers came to Bend for the rally, to voice their opposition to the armed occupation of the refuge. Julie Weikel said, "I'm not a fearful person, I leave 30 miles from the nearest grocery store, I've never locked my doors in my entire life until last Monday night. I don't choose to live that way, but there's way too many guns just down the road from me, and I want them out of there."  Weikel is involved in the group Friends of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. She added, "I'm here because the Malheur Refuge absoulutely doesn't deserve this. It has worked so hard to be collaborative with the community, to serve the community. That community, and the employees of the refuge, are intertwined at a family level, at a school level, at a community level, and this is just so wrong."
Great Old Broads for Wilderness started 25 years ago to protect public lands for future generations. 

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge has raised the issue of the federal government's over-reach into private land, pushing it into the national spotlight. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) will talk with Crook County residents about plans to expand the Ochoco National Forest by 30,000 acres.


The Oregon Wild proposal would convert part of the forest into a National Recreation Area. Crook County Commissioner Seth Crawford is against the idea and plans to be at Monday's meeting. "I went to people throughout the community and asked what they thought about this. The resounding response I got was 'we don't want it, it's not right for Crook County.' I did a lot of research through the process to figure out what our community wanted and what this group was up to." 


Crawford tells KBND News, "It's been just a constant beating of the drum of trying to add regulations to our forests, and I think people are tired of it. Every time you turn, you're getting a new regulations, you're getting a new rule, you're losing your rights. People aren't going to put up with it anymore." He and others believe the designation would make it hard to manage the land. Congressman Walden will meet with Crook County residents at 1:30 p.m. at Room 1868.


Prior to the Prineville meeting, Walden will meet with Crooked River Ranch residents to discuss wilderness and wildfire risks. Then, Monday afternoon, he'll hold a roundtable discussion in Redmond with Mayor George Endicott. 


BEND, OR -- Deschutes County is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2016. Kelly Cannon-Miller, with the Des Chutes Historical Museum, says there is a list of events so that everyone can get involved. "We’re the youngest county in the state; we’re the last ones that get to celebrate our Centennial birthday. So, we just decided to put on a whole bunch of fun things. We have some art contests, we have our 1907 Holsman car from the museum on display, traveling around the county all this summer, and we’ll be at the county fair, and we’re going to do some theater."


The county is now accepting submissions from local artists to create an official Centennial poster. " We would really like to have a Centennial poster that grabs everyone’s attention to say ‘hey, Deschutes County history matters,’ and highlights kind of those important aspects of our community and what makes Deschutes County great." Designs should represent the past 100 years of Deschutes County history and will be accepted through February 16. Click HERE for contest and entry information.


Traffic & Weather



LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services