MADRAS, OR -- An independent consultant takes over the Madras Aquatic Center Recreation District on Monday, a little over a month after the previous Executive Director was fired. Board Chair Jinnell Lewis says Gary Barth, of Barth Consultants, will handle day-to-day operations, "He’s going to be in that position as the interim Executive Director role for about the next three months, with the option to extend past that while we’re recruiting for a permanent Executive Director."
Lewis says the district is still not able to comment on why the Board fired Joe McHaney in June, two months after he was put on leave for undisclosed reasons. "We understand people want answers, but we want everything to be done appropriately and with minimal interference. So, the less we can talk about it, so they can conduct an accurate investigation, the better, I think." The Department of Justice is now investigating McHaney and has, so far, not released any details.
The new consultant will provide executive oversight for the MAC and overall district, as well as evaluate whether the district's five-year strategic plan is on track. Barth recently worked for Clackamas County, providing oversight of the North Clackamas Parks and Rec. Lewis tells KBND News he’ll provide a valuable fresh perspective on the district's goals, "I think it’ll be helpful to have an outside person with a really extensive background and experience with a recreation district to be able to come in and help identify those things."
She says despite the transition, operations continue uninterrupted, "We have an amazing staff that’s been able to come together, work together to keep things running as smoothly as possible. We haven’t had any issues that I’m aware of; I haven’t heard any negative comments from any patrons of the pool or the rec district. So, I think that just speaks very highly to the staff that we do have in place."
SISTERS, OR -- Sisters Park and Recreation District Executive Director Todd Garrett is stepping down less than four months after taking the job. Board Chair Jeff Tryens tells KBND News, "Todd submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors, and the Board accepted it. July 27th will be his last day and between now and then, he will report to me on wrapping up his employment."
Tryens says he'll be taking on a more active role, starting Monday, "I will - as a volunteer, unpaid, Board representative - will act as the Executive of the SPRD until we're able to find a suitable person to come in and be the interim Executive Director." He adds they'll look for a permanent replacement in the fall, "We're right in the middle of really busy summer schedule where we have camps every day and trips every day, and so it's my job just to kind of keep the ship sailing."
He would not comment on why Garrett chose to leave, "Todd, for his own reasons, decided this was not the right job for him, and he submitted his resignation." It's just latest upheaval for Sisters Parks and Rec; another employee resigned in April and Tryens says it's because she wanted another candidate to be hired as Director instead of Garrett. A second employee who had previously submitted her resignation called the Board Friday, after Garrett's, announcement and withdrew her request.
BEND, OR -- Friday the 13th proved a busy night for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were involved in two sumultaneou pursuits, both with unusual circumstances. The first began near Eagle Crest when a man being questioned for public urination provided a fake name, jumped in a car and took off at speeds from 80 to 100 miles an hour on Highway 126.
Deputies called off the chase for safety reasons, but he was found by Black Butte Police about an hour later, northeast of Sisters. After another short pursuit, John Logston, of Bend (right), was arrested near Cloverdale Road after his vehicle ran over spike strips. Investigators say police found meth on Logston, and he had multiple outstanding warrants from Deschutes, Lake and Multnomah counties. They're also looking into whether the car and/or plates were stolen, as they didn't match.
While deputies were searching for Logston, the second incident began when deputies tried to pull over a driver, near 15th and Knott Road, for not wearing his seatbelt. After about a quarter mile, the driver's side front tire came off the vehicle (pictured above). The car eventually stopped and the passenger got out. But the driver, later identified as Jake Daniels, of Redmond, reportedly locked all the doors, began taking his clothes off and was acting erratically. Deputies broke several windows and pulled him out of the car.
He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries caused by a broken window. Daniels was then arrested on several charges, including an outstanding warrant for violating probation.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville woman was arrested Saturday, with what investigators say was nearly 80 grams of meth and heroin.
Prineville police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle near SE Kramer Ln. and SE Palin Ln. at about 6 a.m., and found three people from Deschutes County who said they were meeting Maddie Lindburg. Officers say they knew Lindburg was wanted for several warrants. When she arrived, she allegedly tried to avoid contact with police and ditched her car near Crooked River Elementary. She was taken into custody as she walked away from her car.
During the arrest, officers say they found her with 63 grams of meth and 15 grams of heroin. In addition to the outstanding warrants, Lindburg is also accused of making, possessing and delivering drugs within 1,000' of a school.
REDMOND, OR -- Hot and dry weather led to several small fires, across the High Desert, over the weekend. A vehicle fire near Pelton Dam in Jefferson County spread to vegetation, Friday afternoon; it was held at a tenth of an acre.
Another blaze was discovered in Crook County on Round Mountain, in the Ochocos. It was reported Friday afternoon at a third of an acre, burning in heavy fuels. Crews immediately attacked it from the ground and air, pulling water from Walton Lake.
In Deschutes County, crews responded to a fast-moving grass fire along Highway 97 on the north end of Redmond, Friday night (pictured). It was held to one acre.
And, wildfire crews are getting the upper hand on the Solitude Fire, near Spray. It's nearly fully contained at just over 700 acres.
BEND, OR -- The Bend Chamber released results this week of a study into the cost and availability of child care in Central Oregon and how the overall economy is impacted. The report shows a lack of local childcare options impacts nearly 75% of Central Oregonian families, and 92% of businesses say the childcare shortage affects employee attendance.
Kara Tachikawa is the Executive Director of Inspire Early Learning Centers and a member of the chamber’s Childcare Task Force. She says a Redmond business owner told her he’s losing employees over the lack of daycare options, "One of his key employees couldn’t come to work because he couldn’t find childcare. So, he’s considering different options. He saying potentially half of the workforce are staying home with their kids, so, ‘I can use some of those employees, so how do I make it so that they can come to work?’." Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Tachikawa.
Some childcare facilities have two-year waiting lists. Tachikawa says one father was so frustrated with the situation, he said, "So my wife is pregnant and you’re saying we should’ve gotten on the wait list before we were married?" And, she says some parents are forced to stay home when they can’t find affordable, qualified daycare, "There are other families who, grandmas and grandpas are moving to town, aunts and uncles are moving to town," Tachikawa tells KBND News. In some cases, they use neighbors or local teens and, "Some families are able to find a nanny share; there’s a new business launching, I think August or September, that is a nanny introduction service, so that families would have someone to call who has already background checked all of the families."
The report also found the expense is prohibitive for many, with some families saying the pay the same on childcare as they do on their mortgage. Tachikawa says the new data is important to helping the task force look for solutions, "We’ve talked about working with developers to include childcare in any sort of multi-family housing unit. We’ve talked about trying to partner with businesses where businesses would reserve slots." The Bend Chamber's Childcare Task Force meets again on Monday.
CULVER, OR -- Jefferson County businesses dependent on tourism are frustrated with this week's expansion of a health advisory for Lake Billy Chinook, by the Oregon Health Authority. Jim Cyr, with the Cove Corner Store, says the water appears fine, "Since July second the lake has cleared off and has been crystal clear; it’s as clean as it is in the middle of winter." And, he says the warning to visitors has caused a 50% drop in business, during what should be his busiest time of year. "The phone is not ringing to reserve boats but it is ringing to cancel boats. So, basically, our only hope is to direct them to our Facebook page so they can see that the conditions of the lake are phenomenal."
Rebecca Hillwig, a Natural Resource Specialist with the Oregon Health Authority, understands the frustration. But, she tells KBND News, not all toxins create a scum on the surface of the water. And, she says due to the heat our area has experienced, the bacteria doesn't need to come to the surface to find warmth.
Cyr points out the samples used to determine the safety of the water were taken 10 days ago, and conditions could've changed between then and now. Hillwig says the advisory was issued based on the most current data available, and the OHA's mission is to keep people safe and healthy. Water samples were taken July third, and she admits testing and the release of results were delayed by the Independence Day holiday. Those results showed the Metolius is pushing Cyanobacteria toxins downstream, which is why the advisory was expanded to include the entire lake. She expects new samples will be taken in the next couple of days, with results available by the end of next week.
Lake Billy Chinook has had algae bloom advisories issued before, and Cyr says it always impacts business, "In the past, I know the campgrounds are empty when these alerts come out. We do get more people calling and asking us, ‘what are the actual conditions of the lake – what’s it look like to you?’ And, it’s helped a bunch having the Facebook page." He adds, "From the restaurants to the gas stations to the motels to the recreational businesses; it just affects everybody."
Despite warnings, "People are definitely using the lake," says Cyr. He thinks it's a lot of concern over something potentially very minor, "I wish I could find the email that I received from the Oregon Health Authority, because I’d emailed earlier in the year and asked them how many people have been sick from the waters of Lake Billy Chinook. We have approximately 800,000 visitors a year and since 2009, they believe possibly two people have gotten sick." Hillwig, who is a toxicology specialist, says because Cyanotoxin is a liver toxin, exposure symptoms can mimic food poisoning, so not everyone who gets sick knows it's from the water, nor does everyone report it to state officials. And, she says it can take up to 24 hours for symptoms to develop in humans. Although, dogs and small children are much more at risk, with symptoms showing up in one to two hours.
OMAHA, NE -- College teams will soon make their way from Nebraska to Bend, racing in solar vehicles, as part of the American Solar Challenge. Event organizer Gail Lueck says college teams must qualify for the rally-style race, "They went through four days of an inspection process we call 'scrutineering.' Those that pass scrutineering were eligible to take the track in the Formula Sun Grand Prix. So the teams that complete a minimum number of laps during the track event are then eligible to go on the road for the American Solar Challenge event. A total of 14 teams successfully completed the qualifier, Thursday, in Hastings, Nebraska.
Each team designs, builds and then tests their creation, prior to the big event, "We have the single-occupant class, which is more the traditional solar car class that just has a single driver in the vehicle. And, we also have the multi-occupant vehicle class, where there are passengers in the vehicle," Lueck tells KBND News, "There are some two-seater cars and there are a couple of four-seater cars. Their scoring is slightly different."
They'll take off from Omaha, Saturday, for the endurance race. Lueck says the route changes each year, and this is the first time it's come to Oregon. "This year’s particular route was chosen with our event partner, the National Park Service, they are celebrating their 50th anniversary of the National Trails System. We’re, of course, starting in Omaha at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters. And then we’ll be following portions of the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail and other trail routes as we head out to Bend, Oregon." It also recognizes the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail.
She expects it’ll take them nine days to cover 1,700-miles. The final leg takes teams from Burns to the finish line at the High Desert Museum, July 22. They're expected to arrive between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., depending on traffic, weather and energy-management decisions made by each team. The High Desert Museum will host a free, public event to welcome them across the finish line. Follow their progress at the ASC Facebook Page.
The Innovators Educational Foundation organizes the American Solar Challenge every two years.
BEND, OR -- Over the last few months, Bend Police have arrested 24 people for crimes committed around the Bottle Drop recycling center at Second and Hawthorne.
Lt. Clint Burleigh says the crackdown started after Bend PD began receiving a growing number of calls related to problems in the area, "About four months ago - the beginning of this year, if you went by there, there were a lot of abandoned vehicles around, there was a lot of activity. We were getting complaints of people being aggressive, or fights. Our informational Policing team understood the problem, knew it was a community safety issue, and started devising a plan." The plan was to beef up patrols, remove seven abandoned vehicles and return the nearly 100 shopping carts taken from local businesses. He says, "I think the majority of the arrests were for drug possession. There were arrests for offensive littering, there's garbage there all the time, and then we had a lot of abandoned vehicles; but mostly it was drug charges."
Burleigh says one vehicle in particular, a silver Jeep Liberty, led to four arrests, "We know that that Jeep was being used to use controlled substances; we know that Jeep was being used to sell controlled substances out of. And, making that case was a big deal to making sure to provide the best or the safest environment for the people who want to use that area." Thomas Dillard was charged with meth possession, distribution, and frequenting a place where drugs are used, kept or sold. Cassie Davis was charged with possession and frequenting. David Cook and Guadalupe Hernandez were arrested on warrants and also charged with frequenting; Hernandez was also charged with giving the police false information. Lt. Burleigh says the other arrests were for drug possession, offensive littering, and theft.
He tells KBND News, "There's more to come. We understand that Bend's a big city, and we understand that there's a lot of neighborhoods and neighbors that have concerned situations; and this is not about finding a drug house and just doing that. This is about finding issues in neighborhoods and trying to find solutions, and doesn't always mean there's going to be an arrest. The reality is, we want to work toward creating safe environments throughout Bend."
BEND, OR -- the Blockbuster Video in Bend will soon be the last in the country. The video rental chain filed for bankruptcy in 2010, but a few holdout franchisees were able to remain, mostly in rural areas where internet service is spotty.
A year ago, there were still 10 locations left: one in Texas, three in Oregon - including Bend and Redmond - and six in Alaska. But, in recent months, most of those slowly folded. The Redmond store closed in February
The final two Alaska stores are slated to close Monday, leaving just Bend, where management says they have no plans to close anytime soon.
LA PINE, OR -- A 77-year-old La Pine man was seriously hurt Thursday, when he was struck by a car while crossing Highway 97 at Huntington Road. As of Friday morning, Harold Headrick was listed in fair condition at St. Charles Bend.
Sgt. William Bailey, with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, says witnesses reported a woman, later identified as 53-year-old Sherif Barnes, was driving erratically. But, Deputies weren't able to catch up to her before she hit 77-year-old Harold Headrick as he crossed the highway at about 10:15 a.m.
Sgt. Bailey tells KBND News, "Deputies arrived at the scene is less than a minute. So, first aid was quickly rendered, La Pine Fire was nearby and got there quick, and then he was transported to St. Charles; so he's been given a great opportunity to recover from this incident, but he probably does have a long road ahead." He says Barnes stayed at the scene during the investigation, "In this case, Deputies felt that she was impaired to a noticeable and perceptible degree, so [they] took her into custody for the DUII charge. Because of Mr. Headrick's level of injury, she was charged with Assault II and additionally she was charged with possession of Methamphetamine at the felony level." She's also accused of Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering.
Barnes is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
MADRAS, OR -- Several people were hurt in a Thursday night crash in a construction zone south of Madras. According to State Police, a 23-year-old Portland woman was southbound on Highway 97 at about 9 p.m., when she failed to stop for a line of traffic waiting to be let through construction. Knife River is repaving a section of the highway and crews were working in the area.
Casandra Monsivais' Saturn rear-ended a Dodge pickup, driven by 27-year-old Kelty Godby, of Spokane. The pickup was then pushed into a Subaru, driven by a 57-year-old Chiloquin man.
Two of Monsivais' passengers were taken to the hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. Others hurt in the crash were treated for minor injuries and released.
BEND, OR -- A small group of local high school students will take part in a special summer camp, next week, at Central Oregon Community College. Campers don't take part in campfires or canoeing, instead focusing on keeping computer networks safe from hackers.
Charlie Kawasaki, with the Portland-based tech company PacStar, created NW Cyber Camp three years ago because of the growing need for cyber-security experts, "They’re very, very difficult to find. Right now, there are 3,000 unfilled cyber-security jobs in Oregon. So, we’re doing this, in part, to help us meet our needs for trained cyber-security professionals." He tells KBND News the program is completely volunteer run, "We actually started in my basement with my daughter and I. It was a community service project that we ran at Lincoln High School in Portland. It’s really grown because of the level of excitement from industry."
Ten local kids will take part in the Bend day camp, "Learning all about best practices for building the most secure computer systems. So, this isn’t hacking school. This is a broad survey of techniques and tools that professionals would use in a typical enterprise environment to secure networks and keep them secure from attack." Kawasaki says they'll also learn from Bend-based Redhawk Network security, "We have guest speakers coming in from organizations like Facebook and Intel, and some of the major cyber-security companies."
Five NW Cyber Camps take place, simultaneously, in Portland, Gresham, Wilsonville, OSU-Corvallis and Bend. It's the first year the program has been offered outside the Portland area, and the camp at Portland's Franklin High is for girls only. Kawasaki says, "It’s giving them in insight into careers that they may not know about; not only because they are in high demand, but also, they are – frankly – high paying jobs."
BEND, OR -- A Bend environmental activist says she’s running for City Council. This isn’t Gena Goodman-Campbell’s first campaign; she ran against Knute Buehler for House District 54, in 2016. She says that experience gave her a unique perspective and offered her a chance to meet and talk with residents, learning about their concerns over affordable housing, transportation and quality of life.
Goodman-Campbell cites her campaign to protect the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, between 2007 and 2009, as evidence she can bring together diverse groups. She says she now focuses on supporting local leaders who are speaking up for Oregon's public lands.
She’s vying for City Council Position Five, currently held by Justin Livingston. He has yet to announce whether he will run for reelection. Goodman-Campbell is collecting signatures to get her name on the ballot.
CULVER, OR -- A health advisory issued for Lake Billy Chinook has expanded. The Oregon Health Authority first issued the warning June 22, after a harmful algae bloom was discovered from the cove at Perry South Campground to the southern tip of Chinook Island. Now, the agency has confirmed the presence of harmful Cyanobacteria in the Metolius, Deschutes and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook. Click HERE to view the full advisory.
The level of concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals. Drinking water directly from this area of the lake is considered especially dangerous. The OHA says people should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities like water skiing, to prevent ingesting the water.
Although the toxins are not absorbed through the skin, those with skin sensitivities may experience a puffy rash, with contact.
SISTERS, OR -- After just one year as Sisters City Manager, Brant Kucera will take over as City Administrator for Ashland, Wisconsin, in August. According to the Ashland Daily Press, that city's Councilors selected Kucera this week, following a nationwide search to replace the former City Administrator who resigned in March.
Kucera took over in Sisters last July. At that time, he told KBND News
he hoped to provide stability for the city, where two previous city managers were forced out amid controversies. He was City Manager of Cannon Beach before moving to Sisters.
Kucera did not return our request for comment and there is no word yet on how the city plans to search for his replacement.
UPDATE: Kucera has announced his resignation is effective August 18, to accept the new position in Wisconsin. In his resignation letter, Kucera says, "Over the past year it has been a true pleasure to get to know everyone. However, I feel that I am missing out on my son's life and have decided to move back to the Midwest in order to be closer to him. I want to assure you that this decision to move on is only for personal reasons. Council and Staff's hard work and dedication have made this a great city, and no matter who sits in the Manager's office, it will continue to be a great city. We have a great team in place and employees who will make the transition successful."
City officials say Mayor Chuck Ryan will work with Councilors and staff to create a transition plan for finding Kucera's replacement.
SPRAY, OR -- Wildfire crews are concerned about efforts to suppress the Solitude Fire near Spray, with a heat wave moving in to the area. The fire was first reported Sunday evening and is burning in dried grass and brush across a steep slope above the John Day River. As of Wednesday morning, it's grown to 750 acres and is 30% contained.
Due to the difficult terrain, aircraft are playing a big role in the firefight – four tankers and six helicopters are dropping retardant and water scooped from the river. Several structures are at risk, including one home and four historic cabins. The John Day River remains open to recreation, but visitors are asked to use caution and be aware of firefighting efforts.
In southern Oregon, a small wildfire just north of Klamath Falls forced Highway 97 to close for about an hour, Tuesday afternoon. It was stopped at 10 acres, with mop-up operations continuing into the night.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- While ODOT crews finish work on Prineville’s first roundabout, at Highway 126 and Tom McCall Road, city and county officials are narrowing down options for what should anchor the center. City Engineer Eric Klann tells KBND News, "As you come to Prineville from Redmond or Bend, you have the beautiful view of the community as you drop down the grade; but before that, it's just a very industrial area, really not the best view. So, I think we have just a wonderful opportunity here to communicate to people that they are welcome and provide them with some history of our community."
About a thousand people responded to a recent online survey looking for community input, "There's a good portion of our demographic here that wants to celebrate our uniqueness, and what makes Prineville stand out. You drive into town and you see that beautiful view of the City, the Golf Course, the Ochoco Mountains, and what can we add to that that will just make people think of Prineville," Klann says. "Our citizens want us to celebrate history and the character of our community, they want it to really do a good job of paying homage to our past." That means something reflecting ranching, logging, rodeo, nature or history.
Klann says he wasn't surprised responses were so honest, "One of the common themes that also came up that was kind of funny was the term 'modern crap.' So, a lot of people said they did not want 'modern crap' up there, so you know that's a Prineville survey when you get a response like that."
The survey results were revealed at the Tuesday night City Council work session, and Klann says the top three ideas are being presented to the community for a vote. Construction of the roundabout should be done by October. Installation of the winning art feature is expected in the spring of 2019.
BEND, OR -- Construction crews recently broke ground on a 3,200-square foot convent at St. Francis Church in Bend; it's the first convent Central Oregon has had in 58 years. The new facility will be home to the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, who will arrive from Texas to teach at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in the fall.
The convent will feature six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a chapel, two laundry rooms, kitchen, dining and living areas. St. Francis principal Crystal Mooney says the project was made possible with multiple partners, including Redmond-based Hayden Homes and the Parish community.
It's expected to be finished in August.
BEND, OR -- Nearly a year after converting to a digital radio system, Bend Police transmission problems remain. Chief Jim Porter says officers have actually lost connectivity in some buildings.
Chief Porter acknowledges there have been improvements over the last few months, including at the Bend hospital, "Since I’ve been with the Bend Police Department, we’ve had two significant dead spots: one is on the north end of Awbrey Butte; the other has been St. Charles, in the shadow behind Pilot Butte. Now, it appears we have solved the problem with St. Charles, other than we still have a [disparity] between the broadcast volume and the officer’s volume." However, he tells KBND News, "We still have a very bad dead spot on the north end of Awbrey Butte, which is an area that could be subject to forest fires, could be subject to many issues that we have to deal with up there. We’ve been struggling with this since 1999. And, that was one of the agreements we made, that that would be solved. Now, my understanding is we might be able to solve that through some program settings. But, again, I believe we’re on our 13th programming of our radios."
He wants the county to look at whether Harris Radio, the system's maker, is meeting its contractual obligations. And, he's asking the company to provide data showing all the reprogramming is working. Porter us frustrated engineers delayed fixing key issues because they were focused on hardware, not the radios’ software, "Once we got the technicians to quit staring at the microphones on our lapels and actually engaging the fact that the system has a problem then we started reprogramming them." He says each time radios get reprogrammed takes officers off the street, "These are hands-on; we have to bring the radio in, plug it in and reprogram it every time. So, these are time consuming. By no means is the system adequate at this point."
Chief Porter is also calling on Harris Radio to create a timeline for fixing the remaining issues, "There is adequate funding still left in the budget for this project. So, we’re looking at ways – what is the best effective way to use taxpayer money to possibly get the system up to where we need to be."
to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.
GOLD BEACH, OR -- A Redmond man was killed Monday outside Gold Beach, on the southern Oregon coast, in what appears to be a work-related accident.
Trevor Ramirez worked for Bend-based Apex Explosives. Curry County Sheriff John Ward says He was drilling in a remote area, "Goat Rock is a big, huge rock pit area and Mr. Ramirez was trying to drill rock. The rock came off the side of the mountain and hit him, several rocks, and crushed him." Sheriff Ward tells KBND News, "A witness saw him, or saw a bunch of dust up above him where this rock pit was, saw the equipment was teetering back and forth. He ran up there and he found him." Emergency crews were immediately called, but he says, "By the time the medical arrived, he had passed away due to his injuries. He had some extensive internal injuries; I'm pretty sure of the cause of death."
The Goat Rock area is about 17 miles northeast of Gold Beach and Ward says it can be difficult getting emergency services to the remote area. OSHA is now investigating the incident.
UPDATE: (7/13/18) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the x-ray machine has been repaired and checkpoint screening at the Redmond Airport has returned to normal.
REDMOND, OR -- (7/11/18) Travelers departing from the Redmond Airport should expect delays getting carry-on bags checked through security lines, over the next couple of days. "There’s a mechanical issue with one of the parts that needs to be replaced," says Airport Director Zach Bass, "Of course, that order has been put in for priority delivery."
With the TSA X-Ray machine out of commission until the part comes in, he says passengers could experience 35-45 minute delays, "It means that our capacity for through-put is going to go from two lines to one – or 50% less, which is probably going to cause some delays. We’re really urging people to show up early. The line opens at 3:30."
Bass tells KBND News mornings will have the longest delays, "Between 5 o’clock, our first flight going out, and 7 o’clock, we have about nine different aircraft leave. Between 6:00 a.m. and 7 a.m., I think it’s closer to six of those are leaving all at once." He suggests getting to the airport at least two hours early, and take steps to keep things moving smoothly, "If you get the chance, get on to TSA.gov
, find out what the restrictions are and what you can bring and not bring. Make sure your liquids are ready to go and separately bagged. One other thing that is not required but would really help the through-put would be putting your food into a specific bag, bunched together and then also bringing that out of your bag so it’s not misidentified as something else and you have to get your bag searched and re-ran."
Bass hopes the X-Ray machine will be fixed Friday, at the latest. "We just want people to be aware it’s going to be busy over the next two mornings, especially, and to expect some delays at the TSA line, and make sure you’ve got all your stuff ready to go."
BEND, OR -- The Bethlehem Inn's newly constructed family services building is nearly ready to start serving families.
Gwenn Wysling, the Bend shelter's Executive Director, says furniture is being assembled and the rooms outfitted, this week. She admits the transition has been hectic, but she's glad they've been able to continue helping those in need, "The process has been planned out such that we don't ever have to have a disruption of services. Now that we have this building up and running, we'll take the trailers away, and the 1970s family building will be going away. It has really been beyond its expiration date." But, she says there are a few final steps before residents can move in, "We're working as quickly as we can to get the staffing level that we need, and getting the furniture in place so we're able to make sure that we're ready when families are coming to us in need."
Construction began in September. The new facility includes office and meeting spaces, two dining rooms and a commercial kitchen, and will allow the inn to serve 10 families instead of the current five. The kitchen and both dining rooms are now open, allowing volunteers to cook and serve meals for all residents, on-site.
The homeless shelter plans to build a new housing facility for single residents, too. Wysling says now that the new family center and commercial kitchen are finished, the next phase of construction should go even more smoothly.
SUNRIVER, OR -- Sunriver Police are asking for the public's help locating a man who hasn't been seen since July third. Raul Arturo Rodriguez may have left his Sunriver home on the morning of July fourth in his maroon 1990 Nissan pickup (similar to above).
Rodriguez is a 57-year-old Hispanic man, 6' tall and 170 pounds. His family has been unable to reach Rodriguez and are concerned for his well-being. There is no indication that he has been the victim of a crime; however, they say it's unusual for him to be out of contact with family. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Sunriver PD at 541-593-1014 or Deschutes County non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.
McAllen, TX -- Congressman Greg Walden toured the border region near the Rio Grande, Monday, and spoke with patrol agents and administrators. The Oregon Republican visited a centralized processing center and an office of Refugee Resettlement that care for both adults and children who've entered the country to seek asylum. He then traveled to the Rio Grande border crossing area to view patrols in action.
Walden believes drug cartels are taking advantage of the border situation, "They use the human trafficking to overload our system, and then they can get their drugs across a lot easier because we're busy, consumed I'd say, with dealing humanely with all these unaccompanied minors, adults, and families, and so they're making money both ways and tying us up." He tells KBND News it can cost as much as $8,000 for a person to get into the U.S., which only benefits the cartels and their coyotes.
His first stop was the processing center in McAllen, Texas, where both children and adults are held for up to 72 hours. Walden says many who've just crossed the Rio Grande stand in the road and wait to be picked up and taken to the center, "This is where they get showers and fresh clothes and meals and medical attention. This strikes me that this isn't about chasing people down at the border; they're actually coming into the arms, if you will, of border security folks." He adds, "They've made it across the Rio Grande and frankly, the safest part of their journey is being in the United States in Border Patrol custody."
Rep. Walden says the unintended consequences of a strict Zero Tolerance policy aside, it's important to enforce immigration laws, "We know that aggressively enforcing immigration laws at the border has reduced the number of people crossing into the United states illegally. Here, they went to this 'zero tolerance for all' and then separated the families and that was a mistake - shouldn't have been done. And I'm glad they've reversed it, and now we've got to reunite these young children with their parents." But, he says the next step is comprehensive Immigration reform, "I'm just disappointed that the House and the Senate weren't able to pass either of the bills that were up for consideration. We need to change the law, and I'm going to keep working until we do."
BEND, OR -- While Bend City Councilor Russell and Deschutes County D.A. Hummel call on Nathan Boddie to step down, following allegations he inappropriately touched a woman at a bar in 2012, there is no indication he will do so. Dr. Boddie has, so far, not returned our request for comment on this latest allegation. Two weeks ago, when a Portland political action committee accused him of making sexist of homophobic comments, Boddie told KBND News he had no intention of stepping back from his House campaign.
Bend City Manager Eric King says it’s too early to know how these new allegations will impact the City Council, "I’m assuming that there will be a discussion about this at the July 18th meeting, as I think that that seems somewhat inevitable that there will be some questions. But, I couldn’t tell you anything more than that." And, he says the City Council can’t force out a sitting member, "Councilors can censure each other, and that basically amounts to a public reprimand; that can be done at a Council meeting. There’s no authority that that has - unless someone has committed a crime, [and] there’s some specific things that would have to take place."
The city charter has just two ways for a sitting Councilor to leave mid-term, "A recall vote or the person just voluntarily resigning," says King. And, If Boddie does step down, "The Council would have 30 days to fill a vacant position, if there was a resignation. If Council is unable to fill that position in 30 days, then voters would decide in the next intervening election." That next election would be in November. Boddie chose not to seek re-election this year, opting instead to run for the Legislature, so his seat was already up for grabs.
King admits this is a rare situation for the city to be considering. Mid-term vacancies have only occurred twice in recent memory, and neither involved such controversial circumstances. Bill Friedman passed away in 2008, while in office; and in 2007 then City Councilor John Hummel resigned to join the Peace Corps.
BEND, OR -- Pressure is mounting for Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie to resign and step away from his campaign for House District 54. Over the weekend, details emerged of an alleged encounter between an environmental activist and Boddie, before he was elected to Council. She claims he groped her during a conversation at a local bar, in 2012. He reportedly has responded by claiming she has a substance abuse problem. As of Tuesday morning, there is no indication Boddie plans to step aside.
Fellow Councilor, and candidate for Mayor, Sally Russell said in a statement it's "clear Dr. Boddie can no longer remain an effective City Councilor representing Bend, or an effective candidate for HD 54. His effort to impune [sic] Ms. Newbold's character instead of acknowledging his actions is unconscionable, and I applaud her bravery in coming forward with her story."
Russell tells KBND News, "Increasingly, in society, it’s becoming clearer that this type of behavior happens more often than we may be aware." She adds, "It’s like so many things today, where we’re much more aware of these types behaviors and how destructive they can be to communities as well as individuals." She plans to introduce a new city policy requiring mandatory harassment training for elected officials, "The city already has a process in place for all of its employees. So, the next obvious step, which was already being considered and certainly, now more than ever, it’s clear that we need to accelerate that, is simply to extend those processes for elected officials and for appointed positions on our various committees." She says businesses and municipalities increasingly recognize the need for more education and awareness, "This is an obvious step forward for Bend. And, I will say, this particular incident illustrates in black and white why it’s important to be doing it, and so we need to be doing it now." Russell says Boddie is "obscuring the truth" in not directly responding to the accusations, "As an elected official, it’s really our responsibility to encourage an open and transparent dialog around these kinds of issues. And, sexual harassment shouldn’t be tolerated, and must never be tolerated anywhere. So, this is a moment to recognize that and to make the adjustments within our community and within the city of Bend to ensure this behavior doesn’t happen."
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, who had supported Boddie’s State Rep. campaign, calls his response to the allegations “reprehensible and beneath the dignity of a sitting city councilor and candidate for future office.” Hummel withdrew his support Monday and called on others to do the same. He issued a statement saying "When Future PAC went public with vague allegations against Boddie and refused to release the details
, I withheld judgment because I respect the presumption of innocence and was aware of no details that would permit me to make up my own mind as to the veracity of the claims. Future PAC handled this matter in a ham-handed fashion and should immediately release the details of the allegations against Boddie so that voters and the entire public can judge their significance for themselves."
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Lines have been drawn, after President Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Protesters shouting their disapproval on the steps of the Supreme Court Monday night were joined by a number of Democratic Senators, including Jeff Merkley of Oregon. He says he’s worried about the future of reproductive rights, healthcare and marriage equality. And, Merkley claims, “racial inequality and blatant voter suppression could be further embraced by the highest court in the land.” He said in a statement, "The justices of the Supreme Court should be selected based on the wisdom, experience and values they bring to the job, not hand-picked by ideological organizations committed to rolling back the ability of women, minorities, workers and consumers to participate fully and freely in society. To safeguard the rights of all Americans and our founding vision of a 'We the People' nation, Americans must rise up and make their voices heard in the U.S. Senate."
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued a statement expressing grave concerns about the President's nomination, "Tonight the president begins a forced march back to the days when women's health care choices were made by the government." He went on to say, "There can be no mistaking Trump's Supreme Court nomination for anything but what it is: a direct attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. American women could lose the right to chart the courses of their own lives, finding their futures are determined by the whims of fanatical state legislators and the availability of contraception. Make no mistake: we will go back to those days."
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- A federal judge has sentenced a Warm Springs man to 25 years in prison for molesting an 11-year-old girl. According to court documents, the victim told her mother 36-year-old Lawren Slockish touched her inappropriately and attempted to further assault her. The child then told Warm Springs police it was not the first time Slockish had molested her.
Prosecutors say the victim showed great courage in coming forward. "Sexual abuse of children casts a lifelong shadow on the health of the victims," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said in a statement, "The Warm Springs Multi-Disciplinary Child Abuse Team brings together tribal police and prosecutors, Child Protective Services, the Indian Health Service, and federal law enforcement author ties to collaboratively investigate these cases in a thorough, compassionate manner ensuring justice for these vulnerable victims."
Steve Goldman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon, says the victim's strength allowed law enforcement, the community and her family to keep other children safe. "The FBI, working with our tribal partners, will do everything to bring justice for the victim with a long-term goal of identifying and addressing child sexual abuse within our community."
Slockish pleaded guilty to one count of abusive sexual contact with a child on January 19, 2017. After serving his 300-month sentence, he will be on supervised release for life.
REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport plans to create more space for commercial planes to park. "Currently, our ramp holds nine aircraft, which are mostly full at night," Airport Director Zach Bass tells KBND News, "So, we’re adding actually two larger aircraft parking spots for future mainline expansion." He says that could lead to the ability to hold as many as 12 planes, depending on their size.
The "apron" expansion project is expected to cost nearly $8 million. "Basically, when you fly in and out of here, when you get off or on the plane you’re going to be walking over the concrete out there; that is the pad, and we’re just going to expand it," says Bass. The bulk of the project, nearly 94%, would be paid for by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bass says the project was already approved by the FAA, as part of the five-year capital improvement plan the airport submitted to the agency. The other 6% of the work would be paid for by the city of Redmond or, Bass says, the airport could apply for an ODOT grant to cover the remainder.
Redmond City Councilors are expected to approve a request Tuesday to send the official grant application to the FAA. Bass hopes work will get underway by spring 2019, "There should be no effect for passengers, other than when you’re out there, you might view some work going on on the other side of a fence." He says it means, for now, passengers will still walk outside to board their plane, "We are actually looking at, maybe a possibility of adding on to the terminal in about five years from now, and maybe having the opportunity to put two or three jet bridges in to give the customers that complete inside feeling." Those future jet-ways are included in the airports 10-year master plan.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden met with fire and law enforcement officials in Crooked River Ranch Friday to celebrate the upcoming vote on his Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act. The Oregon Republican has been working on the proposal for over a year, "With Crooked River Ranch and more than 5,000 people living here, there's one way in and one way out, and it's the same way. And so, if a fire takes off, and you have a strong wind, which, by the way, we get here, it could be just devastating."
HR 2075 would change the status of an 832-acre area from a "wilderness study area," which Walden says prevents some fire prevention activities, "How do we get in and do the mechanical treatment we all know needs to be done? What you do on the Ranch today, what homeowners all across Oregon do, is to thin out, clean out, brush out, create safe zones, and that's what this legislation will allow us to do mechanically on these BLM lands, once it becomes law." He tells KBND News, "We're trying to create a safe zone around Crooked River Ranch - an area that needs it. Now, you're not going to go in and clear-cut everything down. But, at least you could go in and thin it out and get it back down like we do everywhere else; and you could do it with mechanical equipment, and make it a safe, manageable, but still pristine area."
Walden says he understands not everyone who lives in the area is on board with the plan, "Life and safety issues override the visual, in this case, because we know, in talking to professional firefighters that they are really worried about what happens if fire breaks out, and their ability to even go fight it." Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue works closely with BLM to fight wildfire in the area. But, due to jurisdictional issues, local crews aren't allowed to work on the 832-acres in question unless its classification as a "study area" is lifted.
The resolution is expected to receive a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, and Walden hopes the Senate will fast track it so experts can work this fire season on reducing the risk to CRR residents.
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- After more than 50 years, one of Oregon’s largest resorts will shut down in September. Kah-Nee-Ta announced Friday it would close in 60 days, laying off 146 workers.
According to the notice sent to employees, the resort can no longer operate below a self-sustaining level and the closure is necessary to protect the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs from further financial risk. The resort struggled with profitability after Indian Head Casino moved from Kah-Nee-Ta to Highway 26 in 2012.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa
was built over the 1960s and 70s and now features 139 rooms, golf course, soaking pools, RV park and meeting space.
It will continue taking reservations through September fifth.
BEND, OR -- An Oregon City woman was rescued from the summit of Broken Top after she was hurt during a fall. The 29-year-old reportedly lost her footing when she unintentionally went off-trail. Sarah Rask grabbed a boulder with both hands, to stabilize herself, but the rock gave way and she fell about 25 feet. During the fall, the rock rolled over her and down the mountain.
Callers to 911 reported she sustained significant injuries and was in a precarious position near a 60 to 70-foot cliff. More than a dozen Deschutes County Search and rescue volunteers responded, along with a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter.
Rask was stabilized and lifted off the mountain in a litter, via hoist, then immediately flown to St. Charles Bend.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond Police Detective has been named 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for Oregon and the Western Region, by the American Legion. Detective Steven Binstock was honored last week at the annual Oregon American Legion Conference in Florence, OR. Det. Binstock has been with Redmond PD since 2012, and worked as a Marine Deputy for the Crook County Sheriff's Office, prior to moving to Redmond.
He was honored for displaying “outstanding selfless service over and above normal duties through community service and professional achievement.”
Each year, American Legion posts across the state nominate officers for the award; one is selected to advance to the regional contest. The Western Region is comprised of 11 states, the Department of Mexico and Department of the Philippines. Each winner from the American Legion's five regions then compete for the national award. Det. Binstock was runner up for the national honor. This is the second Redmond officer to receive the state and regional award in the past two years.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s Farmers markets can be a great place to stock up on local produce, but one group is using the weekly events to help local food banks. "We collect fresh produce of all shapes, sizes and seasons and we give that to NeighborImpact food bank, who then distributes it to their 45 food banks and food pantry clients," says Jess Weiland, with High Desert Food and Farm Alliance (HDFFA). She tells KBND News, "We have a booth where we accept donations, either monetary or fresh produce from gardeners or farmers who have extra at the end of the market. It has the potential to have a really big impact on the amount of fresh food available for food bank clients."
HDFFA also accepts cash donations, and the group is now partnering with First Interstate Bank to help fund the Grow & Give program. Weiland says children under the age of 18 who open a minor account at First Interstate get a $10 donation voucher, "Then, the person who opened up the bank account can take it to us and give it to our program and we will purchase fresh produce with that donation. Or," she adds, "People can bring fresh produce straight to us, either from their garden or if they’ve purchased any extra from the farmers market."
Grow and Give donation booths can be found at the downtown Bend farmers market
, Wednesday afternoons from 2-6 p.m., and at the Northwest Crossing farmers market, each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
MITCHELL, OR -- A large number of visitors will converge on the small town of Mitchell, this weekend, for the annual three-day Crawfest Music Festival. Oregon’s Department of Transportation urges drivers to prepare for congestion on Highway 26 near and in Mitchell. ODOT’s Peter Murphy asks that visitors not park on the highway.
Crawfest starts Friday at 5 p.m. and features three music stages, free camping, and food and craft vendors.
BEND, OR -- Bend Fire says Wednesday's Pilot Butte fire, and the large number of smaller fires reported in the past week, serve as a reminder of just how dry and dangerous are the conditions across Central Oregon.
Deputy Fire Marshall Cindy Kettering says the Fourth of July was extremely busy, "On a normal day, we run between 20 and 30 calls. [Wednesday] we ran 62; significantly above our normal call volume." Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says many of those calls were for illegal fireworks, or the unsafe use of legal fireworks, "We Responded to several fires with Bend Fire and Rescue that were fairly big. As a community, I think, that we realize that those aerial fireworks are becoming very dangerous." Fourteen of Wednesday's calls were brush fires, several were fire alarms due to the power outage caused by the Pilot Butte fire, three fire calls involved structures, and one was a utility trailer fire. In Redmond, police say they responded to 50 calls regarding illegal fireworks on the Fourth, including one where an intoxicated man allegedly lit an illegal firework in front of an officer.
A Red Flag warning has been extended through 9 p.m. Friday, due to increasing winds, low humidity, and the high risk of fire. Kettering tells KBND News, "People may still be looking to celebrate and light fireworks, so we would really encourage people to be cautious."
BEND, OR -- Two Bend men face criminal charges in connection with the Fourth of July brush fire on Pilot Butte. Police say witnesses heard fireworks about a minute before the fire started. At least one resident from a nearby apartment complex even took pictures of two vehicles seen leaving the state park trailhead.
Brush Fire Forces Evacuations Near Pilot Butte
Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says that help from the public led investigators to two suspects, "We were able to make an arrest of Brandon Hastings, and then we were able to arrest Alan Stout." Officers arrested 38-year-old Hastings (left) in Redmond, Wednesday night; 29-year-old Stout was taken into custody Thursday morning.
"We believe the fire was caused by a mortar type firework being lit off," Burleigh tells KBND News, "We were really concerned about losing that apartment complex by the Butte, so that's what caused us to evacuate it." The firework caused 10 acres to burn on the butte, and reached Hwy 20 before it was stopped by firefighters from multiple agencies. The two men are charged with Criminal Mischief, Reckless Burning and violating their probation.
Burleigh says the suspects may not have realized just how quickly the fire would spread, "What this shows is that when we have a really dry and warm climate like we do here in Bend, just legal fireworks need to be lit off and used in a very, very safe manner. And then, when you add the aerial fireworks that are illegal, it gives another layer of danger to the community." He adds, "The Butte's going to catch fire during the main fireworks, that happens 98% of the time, but having a fire this big, I mean, this is rare."
Hastings and Stout are scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
BEND, OR -- A number of schools in Bend will see some level of construction, this summer. Bend-La Pine Schools Executive Director of Facilities Mike Tiller says a major remodeling project at Pilot Butte Middle School is now underway, "We’re doing a full interior renovation, which starts at the floor: new flooring, new cabinetry, new painting, ceiling, lights – LED lighting – technology upgrades. It’s going to be a very modern school on the inside, once we’re complete with that." It’s also getting a security upgrade, with a shifting of the front entrance, "We’re doing that at several locations, this year. Sky View and Lava Ridge are also getting new secure entrances. And, it does create that visibility so staff can see who’s coming and create a safe environment for the kids." Tiller tells KBND News the Pilot Butte MS project won’t be done at once, so as not to disrupt class time, "There’s a lot of work that’s going to be happening over the next four summers."
The work is paid for by a school bond approved by voters in 2017, "We had over 150 projects in that bond measure; two of those were the signature projects to meet capacity needs, which was the new high school and the new elementary." Construction of that new elementary school has begun (pictured). Bend-La Pine Schools Project Manager Gina Franzosa says concrete footings are in place at the site at Cooley and O.B. Riley Roads, "You can kind of tell where the building’s going to go because the building pad has been leveled out. We have to build a new small local road, as part of the development, so you can kind of see that. Drivers in the area will notice some traffic changes, but it’s really moving right along. It’s going to start looking like a building real soon." The school has yet to be named; it's expected to open in the fall of 2019. Construction of the new high school will follow.
Marshall High is also getting a new gym and two new classrooms this summer, among other summer projects undertaken by Bend-La Pine Schools.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police say officers responded to nearly 160 incidents in the 24 hours surrounding Independence Day; 50 involved illegal fireworks.
Wednesday afternoon, police responded to a fight between four people at American Legion Park. Authorities say two 17-year-olds confronted two adults who had sold them marijuana, asking for their money back; they claimed they were sold poor-quality pot. A knife was allegedly seen, but none was found by investigators. They arrested 21-year-old Sabastian Dubar (pictured above) and 20-year-old Dominica Wallace, both of Redmond, for unlawful delivery of marijuana. One teen was cited for being a minor in possession of marijuana.
They're investigating a separate dispute reported at the fairgrounds, stemming from a disagreement over illegal fireworks. Redmond PD is also looking into a fire at John Tuck Elementary, where fireworks burned a tree. And, one officer allegedly witnessed an intoxicated man light an illegal firework; that man was arrested for a probation violation.
RPD did not arrest any intoxicated drivers between 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, but authorities say calls for service kept officers busy and unable to proactively look for impaired drivers.
BEND, OR -- Bend Fire responded to a house fire reported Thursday morning on Hollinshead Drive. When crews arrived at about 6:15 a.m., they found fire on the outside of the building, with smoke coming from the garage. They got the fire under control within 30 minutes.
Residents used a meat smoker Wednesday evening, and investigators believe heat from the smoker ignited the side of the garage. The fire eventually moved into the attic. Damage is estimated at about $30,000.
The Bend Fire Department reminds everyone that placing any heat source near a combustible surface can lead to a fire.
Photos (Top): Fire damaged a home on Hollinshead Dr.
(Right) Fire engines line Hollinshead Drive, Thursday morning.
REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff's Detectives seized a white Dodge pickup, this week, believed to have been involved in a June hit and run. Investigators say tips from the public led them to the truck and a person of interest.
A 26-year-old Redmond man suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash on Old Bend Redmond Highway, the evening of June 22. DCSO says Alberto Hernandez was driving northbound when he passed a Dodge pickup. Shortly after completing the pass, the pickup struck the right rear of Hernandez's Subaru, causing him to lose control. His car skidded of the road and into a juniper tree. The driver of the pickup then left the scene.
At the time, the only description of the suspect vehicle was a white 2004-2008 Dodge full sized four-door pickup, with a black bumper, silver rims and "headache rack." Detectives continue to gather evidence and DCSO thanks those who came forward with information.
POST, OR -- One person was killed and another seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash near Post, in Crook County, Tuesday night.
According to State Police, 28-year-old Joshua Perman, of Post, drove off the road and rolled his car several times, just after midnight. Both Perman and his passenger, 46-year-old Alfred Cody, were ejected. Perman was pronounced dead at the scene. Cody was flown to St. Charles Bend.
Speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors, and authorities say Perman was not wearing a seatbelt.
LA PINE, OR -- Two teens are accused of starting fires in La Pine State Park, last month. The first fire broke out June third, but was held at a quarter-acre. A second, smaller fire was reported within the burn area, June 28.
Investigators determined the incidents were human caused, and the following day Department of Forestry crews conducting follow-up saw possible suspects in the area. The Sheriff’s Office and State Police responded and a deputy contacted a 14- and 16-year-old.
Investigators say the two boys had built a fort in the area and were burning pine needles and other debris but failed to properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area. They were cited for Reckless Burning and Criminal Mischief.
BEND, OR -- A brush fire broke out Wednesday afternoon, near Pilot Butte, forcing the evacuation of nearby apartments and the closure of Highway 20 between Third Street and Purcell. Pacific Power reports an outage in the area is also impacting more than 13,000 customers. The utility estimates power will be restored around 8:30 p.m.
The blaze was first reported on NE Linnea Drive, just before 5 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Local, state and federal fire units are working to stop the fire. As of 6 p.m., officials had not yet determined the fate of the annual fireworks show, "Blast at the Butte."
6:30 p.m. UPDATE: Evacuated residents are being let back into apartments near Pilot Butte, following Wednesday's brush fire. Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe tells KBND News the blaze spread quickly before firefighters had it fully contained. High winds, warm temperatures and dry conditions fueled the flames, causing it to grow from two to eight acres in juniper, brush and grass, in about 20 minutes.
Bend Fire responded with three engines, while U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry Crews brought five engines to the scene, as well as hand crews. Firefighters are expected to continue mop-up operations into the night. The fireworks display is expected to take place as planned. Three power substations were impacted by the fire, and as of 6:45 p.m., most residents reported electrical service had been restored.
Howe urges residents to think twice before lighting fireworks, due to the extreme fire danger. He says any damage caused by the fireworks, whether legal or illegal, is the responsibility of the person igniting the flammable explosive; including the cost of suppressing a fire. The cause of Wednesday evening's fire remains under investigation.
BEND, OR -- A pedestrian was killed trying to cross the Bend Parkway, late Tuesday night. According to Bend Police, the woman was wearing dark clothing when she was hit by a southbound pickup near Powers Road, just before 11 p.m.
The first officers on scene attempted life-saving efforts on the unconscious victim, but were unsuccessful. The name of the victim has not been released.
Highway 97 was closed for four hours during the investigation.
UPDATE: (07/05/18) Bend Police have released the identities of those involved in Tuesday's fatal crash on the Bend Parkway. They say 47-year-old Stephanie Ann Rogers, of Bend, was wearing dark clothing when she crossed the highway from east to west, near Powers Road. Investigators say 51-year-old Shawn Walter Buche, of La Pine, struck and killed Rogers with his pickup.
BEND, OR -- Sally Russell, who has served on the Bend City Council since 2012, announced Monday she is running for Mayor. She tells KBND News, "I'm running for Mayor because I love this town. I've lived here for awhile now and I've watched it change and I've also been involved in the community for quite awhile, and it takes a lot of work to keep it really cool and a place where everybody can continue to live and thrive."
Russell has served as Mayor Pro Tem since 2015. She believes the best way to lead is to celebrate the city as a single, but diverse, community, "Bend's not an east side or a west side; I really see our town as one town. I don't see our town as a rich Bend or a poor Bend. We have to look at Bend as one, whole community. That's the kind of leader I've always been and I can be a really good leader for everyone in this town." She adds, "I'm also really committed to making sure that people can move around this town in a cost effective way that works for them, and I'm really interested in transportation and making sure transportation in our city works for all the members in our community." Russell says affordable housing is also an important issue. She'd like to get get rents to stabilize and make sure working people can afford to live in Bend.
Bend voters will elect the Mayor for the first time, in November. Fellow City Councilor Bill Moseley announced last month his candidacy for the position. Current Mayor Casey Roats, the last one to be appointed by Council, has said he does not plan to seek the top job, opting instead to run for re-election to Council.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners continue to propose changes to marijuana regulations, after a year of working with the current time, place and manner restrictions. Commissioner Phil Henderson says the county needs reasonable regulations, especially on odor and noise. He would like operators to be required to prove they have a viable odor control system in place; currently, he says, they only have to say they’ll make sure smells are controlled. "We also are looking at issues of the density of marijuana. I think Oregon is the most liberal state in terms of where it allows marijuana and we have thousands – tens of thousands – of lots in rural Deschutes County that could have marijuana. I think it’s a real livability issue for people who are already there. We have quite a few grows already approved; we’ve approved over 30 in the county."
How the county handles legalized recreational marijuana has been an issue for Henderson since he ran for election in 2016, "We’ve had a lot of pushback from rural residents, which I was aware of when I ran, and was one of the reasons I thought was should have had a vote. Most of the people, almost overwhelmingly, that appear and come to our hearings on marijuana, are against having it in their neighborhoods."
Commissioners proposed amendments to land use rules governing pot operations, Monday. A public hearing on those changes is planned for August 22.
Hear our full conversation with Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Henderson at our Podcast Page.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Several flags have been stolen from the display along downtown Prineville streets. More than 430 flag poles line Main, Third and Fourth streets during certain holiday periods. Five have disappeared since they were put out for Independence Day; most recently, a flag was taken Saturday from in front of a coffee shop on Third Street.
"It's not like someone is just taking this random flag that we put up to celebrate our patriotism and how much we love America," says Crook County Judge Seth Crawford, "Each individual flag has been flown over the nation's capitol and then, it's got a certificate to a specific person to honor them." He tells KBND News, "Each one of these flags represents a single person in our community or somebody that wants to put these flags up for someone they love or respect. And so, if you lose a single one, it's really, really, really horrible for that person."
Flags are 4'x6' with embroidering on the spine honoring a community member; they hang on 10' long poles. The display is maintained by the Prineville Band of Brothers, who puts the flags out each morning and collects them at dusk. Crawford says, "Just keep your eyes peeled. If you see somebody messing with the flags, tell them to quit it. If you're not part of that group, Band of Brothers, which really makes sure that this happens, hands off. Just leave them alone."
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- A new wildfire forced the closure of Highway 26 in Warm Springs for about six hours Monday. It was first spotted around 2 p.m., and was initially called the Cancer Fire. It was later renamed Mecca Fire.
Indian Head Casino and the Museum at Warm Springs were evacuated as a precaution, and Level Three and Level Two evacuation alerts were issued for homes in the Greeley Heights subdivision. The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Warm Springs Community Center for those forced out of their homes.
Crews from Jefferson County, Sisters, Black Butte Ranch, Cloverdale, Redmond and Crooked River Ranch were activated as part of a task force to fight the fire, which is estimated at between 500 and 800 acres.
BEND, OR -- A motorcyclist was killed in a crash that closed Southwest Century Drive for more than four hours, yesterday afternoon. Bend Police are still investigating and the names of those involved have not been released.
Investigators say a Chevy Silverado pickup collided with a Harley Davidson near Mammoth Drive, just before 2 p.m. Initial reports indicated the rider suffered life-threatening injuries. When Medics arrived, they started life-saving efforts, but the motorcyclist did not survive.
Any witnesses to the crash are asked to contact Bend Police at 541-693-6911.
UPDATE: (07/04/18) Bend Police investigators believe Monday's fatal crash was initially caused by a deer. Authorities say 59-year-old John Alan Boop was unable to stop when a deer ran in front of his motorcycle. He collided with the animal, causing the bike to go down in the road. Boop was then struck by a pickup, driven by 21-year-old Nikole Cox, of La Pine. They say Cox is cooperating with the investigation.
REDMOND, OR -- An Eagle Crest apartment was damaged by a Monday morning fire. Redmond firefighters responded to the four-plex on Golden Pheasant Drive just before 8:30 a.m. and found one unit in the middle of the building fully involved.
The family living there was home at the time. A woman told fire crews she woke to smoke in her bedroom… She alerted her three kids and they evacuated with their dog. She credits her eldest son with thinking quickly and helping them all get to safety. That apartment was a total loss; two neighboring units sustained significant damage.
The fire’s cause is under investigation. The Red Cross is helping those displaced by the blaze. Three of the units had full-time residents, while the fourth was used as a vacation rental.
REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office continues efforts to clear out a large area east of Redmond used as a transient camp. Captain Michael Shultz, Deschutes County Jail Commander, says the clean-up operation provides a valuable opportunity for inmates, "They can learn skills of using chainsaws, picking up debris; and take those skills to the public sector and look for jobs. These inmates will go out and clean up these sites, whether it’s removing human feces to debris and wood, all the way to cleaning up graffiti, as well, that’s on the road."
Patrol Captain Paul Garrison says, "We’ve got over 124 cubic yards of debris and tires – 51 tires – that were hauled off." He says the type of debris and trash runs the gamut, "They could be pallets, it could be discarded food. It’s been a collaborative effort between ourselves the Central Oregon Irrigation District, the Redmond School District, the Redmond Police Department, as well." The properties are owned by COID, the school district and the county.
Eviction orders were issued in early June, but deputies are still working to contact each person living near 11th and East Antler; the remote area is a maze of dirt roads and campsites. Captain Garrison He says contacting people at each campsite has taken time, but most have been cooperative. One person was cited for trespassing, after refusing to leave.
BEND, OR -- A major infrastructure improvement project is wrapping up at the Bend Airport. The city’s Business Advocate, Ben Hemson, says it was important to create dedicated areas for helicopters and fixed-wing planes, "Bend is a surprisingly busy airport; it’s third in the state in terms of take-off and landings. And that’s because we have a whole lot of helicopters taking off and landing out there, plus we have a fair amount of planes, as well."
The $10 million project was funded by grant money, "The first stage was moving helicopters to what’s called the helicopter operations area, which is a big eight-acre take-off and landing pad." That portion of the project started in 2016, on the east side of the airport. "And now this stage two is reconfiguring the former helicopter operations area and turning that back into, really, just a dedicated plane parking and operations area," Hemson says.
Last week, crews finished converting the former helicopter landing pad to a dedicated plane parking area. "Before these operations were split up, both planes and helicopters were operating in pretty close quarters. So, while this was a dedicated helicopter area that’s being reconfigured right now on the west side of the airport, there were planes in pretty close proximity. So, now you’re going to have a whole lot more room for plane operations; and then over on the east side, we’ll have the helicopters taking off and landing. So, a lot safer, more capacity." He says it also creates more room for future economic development.
While paving is now done, crews will continue striping this week, as well as other finishing touches.
Photo courtesy of Ben Hemson
BEND, OR -- A southern Oregon woman was hurt in a fall near Tumalo Falls, Saturday afternoon. The Sheriff’s Office says a hiking party went off the marked trail onto a side trail blocked by multiple downed trees. While trying to navigate a narrow section, 57-year-old Elizabeth Wright, of Jacksonville, fell about 20 feet down a steep embankment.
A Sheriff's Deputy was first on-scene and, with the help of a citizen, lowered an anchored stabilizing rope to prevent her from falling farther. Deschutes County Search and Rescue responded and Mountain Rescue volunteers lowered themselves to her location and brought her back up to the trail.
Due to her injuries, she was wheeled out to her vehicle and waiting family; she refused further medical attention.
REDMOND, OR -- Several homes southwest of Redmond were threatened by a brush fire, Sunday afternoon. Firefighters responded to the fast-moving blaze in the canyon near Jaguar and Loma Linda, just before 3:30 p.m. Homes on the south side of Jaguar were notified of a Level Two evacuation alert as aerial units dropped retardant and water. The blaze was held at eight acres and its cause is under investigation.
Saturday afternoon, multiple agencies responded to a brush fire near the Cimarron City subdivision (right), east of Bend. That fire was stopped at 2.7 acres and authorities say it was human caused.
WELCHES, OR -- Highway 26 was closed in both directions, Friday morning, following a fatal crash in Welches, west of Mt. Hood. State Police responded to the area near milepost 48, just after 4 a.m.
Preliminary investigation shows an eastbound car crossed into the westbound lanes, for an unknown reason, crashing head-on into a semi truck hauling wood chips. The truck came to rest off the road in some trees and caught fire. Both drivers were killed; no one else was in either vehicle.
OSP asks that anyone with information, or who may have witnessed the crash, to call 503-375-3555. Visit Tripcheck.com for the latest highway conditions.
BEND, OR -- A Bend teen is accused of trying to break into a local pot shop, earlier this week. A neighbor reported hearing glass breaking at the Herb Center, on Division, late Tuesday night; another witness saw a man running from the area.
Bend Police found 19-year-old Daniel Shumny in the neighborhood and say he partially fit the description provided by the witness. Investigators believe Shumny broke a window at the marijuana dispensary, in an effort to get inside. However, he didn't actually enter the store. They say he also had evidence of other crimes at the time of this arrest.
Shumny is charged with Attempted Burglary and Criminal Mischief.
BEND, OR -- Ride Bend, the free summer shuttle offered by Cascades East Transit (CET), kicks off its second year of operations Friday. Derek Hofbauer, with CET, says its a good way to have fun and leave the driving to someone else, "It's basically a circulator shuttle that goes around greater downtown Bend. It connects Downtown Bend with the Old Mill District, with Century Drive and with Galveston. It's a lot of destination points along the way."
With more visitors expected in Bend, this summer, Hofbauer says Ride Bend aims to ease traffic congestion during tourist season, "A lot of visitors come to recreate here and go to all our craft breweries and visit all of our great restaurants, so this free shuttle that allows people to leave their car at home or leave their car at the hotel and just hop on a shuttle and get to where they need to go." He tells KBND News, "It's promoting community livability, it's promoting economic development, and it's a good way for folks to just get around. Especially, if they've been out and they've had a few drinks they can just take the shuttle around to get them home and leave the driving to us."
Ride Bend is funded through a partnership between the city of Bend, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Visit Bend. The organizations will kick-off the season's first trip at 11:30 a.m., Friday at the corner of Wall and Franklin, with food, speeches and a bus trip that tours each stop. It runs every 15 minutes, between noon and 10 p.m., every day until Labor Day.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s annual fireworks display will take off from Pilot Butte on July Fourth, as planned, thanks to a group of local car dealers. Following weeks of speculation that the show was at risk, Subaru of Bend President Matt Thomas says he was approached by The Bend Bulletin, the show’s main organizer, "They had a bunch of people back out at the last minute. It was a $30,000 obligation and they were shy like $18,300. Mike Smolich put some money towards it, and I called Jeff Robberson and then Robert Durfee over at Kendall Group and said, ‘Hey, why don’t we just all get together and split it, and make sure this happens?’" He tells KBND News, "They thought they had it handled, and then when they had some people back out at the last minute, my Bulletin rep reached out to me. And so, we just put it back together."
The Bend New Car Dealership Association is made up of Subaru of Bend, Robberson Ford, Kendall Toyota, Team Kia of Bend, Team Hyundai of Bend, Bend Honda and Chevrolet of Bend. Jeff Robberson, President of Robberson Ford, says working with his competitors to save the event was an easy decision, "Individually, we give a ton back to the community, but collectively we’ve never gotten together and done anything like this. So, hopefully this is the start of something great." He adds, "The Fourth has been such a big party in Bend since I moved here in 1957 – from Drake Park and everything, to the culmination of the fireworks – it’s just fun to be a part of it."
Thomas says he wants to do more in the future, "Next year, our hope is that we can get involved earlier and then just have the Bend New Car Dealer Association take it up every year so we don’t have a funding issue on it. It is a really big event for Central Oregon." The "Blast at the Butte" fireworks show starts Wednesday above Pilot Butte, at 10 p.m.
BEND, OR -- Healthy Beginnings is hiring parents to become advocates in four rural areas of Central Oregon. Executive Director Diane Murray-Fleck says the new program is in response to feedback she’s received from rural residents who want to see the non-profit’s early childhood screenings run by people from their own communities. "We’re looking for dynamic, engaged parents that might be interested in owning and getting educated on early childhood development and being the face of our program, locally."
Murray-Fleck says they've already found a rural advocate for Prineville, but they're still looking for advocates to take over screenings in Madras, La Pine and Sisters, "These local rural advocates will be the host –the face of these Healthy Beginnings screenings, but they’ll also be kind of living their lives as young parents and talking about how important those first five years are."
Healthy Beginnings has provided free medical, behavioral and developmental screenings for Central Oregon children, birth to age five, for nearly 23 years. The Bend-based organization has received several large grants in the last three months to help cover the cost of implementing the Rural Advocate Program, including $94,000 from the Ford Family Foundation.
To hear our full conversation with Healthy Beginnings Executive Director Diane Murray-Fleck, visit our Podcast Page
BEND, OR -- Fireworks stands opened over the weekend, and with Independence Day less than a week away, many are already beginning to celebrate. Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe tells KBND News a few key tips can keep everyone safe. "If you're going to use consumer fireworks, make sure that you've got a nice, clear area, that you have a charged hose line ready, a bucket of water you can put the spent fireworks into overnight, and don't let your kids light them." He also suggests not picking up an unexploded firework; instead, make sure it's in a safe place and far away from trees, grass, buildings and people.
Howe also asks that residents stick to what's legal, "There's plenty of fireworks that are illegal, and those are fireworks that either fly more than 12 inches in the air, travel more than six feet, or explode. And, if they do any of those things, they're not legal in the state of Oregon." For those who do decide to use fireworks in a dangerous manner, Howe says you should be prepared to pay for the consequences, "That bottle rocket, or whatever they're lighting off, once the fuse is lit and it goes, they're responsible for anything that happens; and that includes the cost of suppression of fires, it includes any damage to somebody's house. There is a certain level of responsibility that people have to bear when they decide to use illegal fireworks."
BEND, OR -- Several local public agencies worked together to launch a new website, to provide important information to Central Oregonians, during fire season. "People can find health information, information about smoke, information about prescribed fires, wildfires, defensible space, all those things. We’re trying to make it a one-stop-shop for the public," says Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest.
CentralOregonFire.org replaces a Blogspot page created during the 2014 Two Bulls Fire. It was later converted to provide public updates on local fire incidents.
The new website is a joint effort between the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon DEQ, Deschutes County, local public health officials and the Nature Conservancy.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney says the man killed during a traffic stop two nights ago, appears to have taken his own life. Bend Police officers Timothy Williams and Kevin Uballez stopped 36-year-old Timothy Bontrager for not using his turn signal. D.A. John Hummel says, "Based on Officer Williams' interactions with Bontrager, Williams suspected Bontrager was impaired from alcohol or drugs, and he thus expanded his investigation to include the potential crime of driving while under the influence of intoxicants."
What happened after that is still under investigation, "Initial evidence suggests that while Bontrager was in the truck and being questioned by Williams, he took his life by suicide and he did so by shooting himself." He adds, "Initial evidence also indicates that Williams shot from outside the truck into the truck. the timing of the shots, the number of the shots, what bullets may have struck where, and when, that's an active part of the investigation. I won't be releasing that."
The Bend man was pronounced dead by Bend Fire medics, who reported he was holding a gun. Other than a misdemeanor marijuana arrest in Texas in 2000, Bontrager had no criminal record. Both police officers involved in the incident are now on paid administrative leave. An autopsy on Bontrager's body is scheduled for Thursday morning.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor and Democratic nominee for House District 54 Nathan Boddie lost several key endorsements for his State Rep. campaign, this week, after allegations of inappropriate behavior surfaced. Boddie tells KBND News he doesn’t know where the allegations are from, "It’s certainly not local supporters because the support on the ground here has been great and continues to be. I don’t think this is Democrats; I don’t think this is one group or another." He insists he has no intention of quitting the race.
FuturePAC, an influential Democratic political action committee, claims Boddie made sexist or homophobic remarks
; although, the group has so far not elaborated on the accusation. Boddie is suspicious of the timing, "When a political action committee from Portland got in touch with me, I looked into whether they could help with the campaign. They began asking me for campaign money from my supporters and I refused, so the relationship really soured and resulted in I think kind of strange behavior. "He adds, "That’s why I don’t get involved in shadowy political action committees and out of town organizations from Portland. I’m really in this for the people in Bend."
KBND News asked Boddie whether he’s made inappropriate statements, or said anything that could have been misconstrued as sexist or homophobic. He responded, Wednesday, "Certainly not. And, I think that anybody who knows me knows that that’s true. That’s not what I do in my medical career; it’s not what I do in my political career. I think this is just kind of fabricated accusations for reasons that I don’t fully understand. But, it’s not surprising anybody that politics gets weird."
The District 54 Oregon House seat is currently held by Dr. Knute Buehler, now the Republican nominee for Governor. Boddie's Republican opponent condemned Boddie's alleged behavior. Click HERE
to listen to our complete conversation with Nathan Boddie.
Photo: Nathan Boddie speaks at Bend's Pride gathering at Drake Park, June 23, 2018.
MAUPIN, OR -- Management of the Graham Fire, near Lake Billy Chinook (pictured), has been returned to local control, as crews continue mop-up efforts. The blaze is now considered 100% contained at 2,175 acres.
Firefighters have also achieved significant containment on the Boxcar and Jack Knife fires, near Maupin. As of Wednesday morning, Boxcar is 85% contained at 100,207 acres, and Jack Knife is 90% contained at 15,676 acres. Crews continue to mop-up as there was no significant growth in either blaze.
All three are believed to have started with last week’s lightning.
BEND, OR -- The Oregon Employment Department says over the next ten years, job opportunities will continue to grow, especially in the local tri-county area. Regional Economist Damon Runberg, with the Employment Department, says Central Oregon's population is growing quickly, and jobs will need to keep pace, "Over the next 10 years, we're expected to be the fastest growing - or have the fastest pace of job growth of any of the regions across the state. Our rate of job growth is anticipated to be around 15%, and for some context, the state's supposed to grow around 12%."
He says Information, Business Services and Healthcare will be plentiful, but Runberg expects one sector to outpace them all, "When we actually break it down by industry, we feel that, at least our projections show that construction is supposed to be, by far, the fastest growing industry; so, 35% growth, over the next 10 years, which really blows all the other industries out of the water." Runberg tells KBND News, "When you actually consider these growth openings from economic gains, combined with having to replace these open positions that will have been vacated, there's really closer to 137,000 job openings expected by 2027." He says, "That is a huge, huge number."
Runberg credits changes around the region for the exponential growth, "As we continue to see this transformation of Central Oregon, in particular the Bend/Redmond areas from this traditional rural job base to more of this urban composition, growth in the Professional sector, the Business Services, really taking up a larger share of our employment than it ever has, historically."
REDMOND, OR -- After the sudden resignation of its principal, Redmond High School will start back up in the fall without a permanent leader. District Superintendent Mike McIntosh says he tried to find a replacement earlier this month, "We had a candidate pool, we screened the pool, we sent out a Skype interview – which is kind of an interview online; we had a candidate and that candidate pulled out at the last minute for some very legitimate reasons. We accept that. So, we have decided to not have that process continue."
McIntosh says the biggest issue with finding a replacement is that most educators were already set in their positions when the opening occurred, "It was really late and folks were committed. And, you know, you have to appreciate the commitment of our leadership that, when they say they’re going to be here next year, they really are and don’t bail at the last minute. And, that’s just a service to everybody; so, we appreciate that, understand that and accept that." But, he tells KBND News, he's not giving up, "We’ll go out in February or March when the hiring season in spring is in its prime, next spring, and find the replacement."
And, McIntosh says RHS won't be without administrative leadership in September, "We’ll go into next year with Traci Renwick serving as the district office support. There are two amazing Vice Principals there that’ll carry the ball. I’ve also contacted HD Weddel; he’s going to come help us, as well. We’re going to be in good hands. They’ll get a chance to capture the spirit of Redmond High School and write down their vision, their mission, and then find the principal who will help them lead it." Renwick is Redmond Schools’ Director of Secondary Education; McIntosh says she’ll be at Redmond High every day. Weddel is the former principal of Bend High, and one of two principals now at Madras High. He’ll work at Redmond two days a week.
To hear more of our conversation with Superintendent Mike McIntosh, visit our Podcast Page.
BEND, OR -- A Bend-based State Police Captain is being charged with Domestic Violence. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says Captain Bill Fugate has been under investigation since February when his wife filed a complaint, "I requested some follow-up investigation, and after completing my review, I determined that Mr. Fugate had committed two separate incidents of Domestic Violence/Harassment." He's due in court July 10.
Fugate is accused of bruising his wife by grabbing her in 2017 and, on one occasion, throwing her to the ground. Hummel says other allegations were also investigated, dating back to 2007 when the Fugates lived in Roseburg, "Five incidents were time barred by the Oregon statute of limitations. Even if I had determined there was sufficient evidence that Fugate committed a crime in those incidents, I could not bring charges."
Hummel calls Fugate's wife brave for telling her story, "It's always hard to come forward and tell the public the pain that you experienced at the hands of someone you love. It's also, no doubt, harder for somebody who is accusing a prominent member of our law enforcement community." He says that standing as an officer did not factor into his decision. Hummel tells KBND News, "I let the facts and the law dictate my charging decisions when it comes to police officers just as I do with any other member of the public."
Fugate has worked for OSP 11 years and was the agency's senior public information officer when he was placed on leave in March. Oregon State Police is managing a concurrent personnel investigation into Captain Fugate. OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton issued a statement Tuesday, saying "While Captain Fugate is entitled to due process, the Oregon State Police strongly condemns acts of domestic violence, which is especially alarming and disgraceful when involving a police officer. Conduct of this nature is grossly unacceptable and employee that engage in these actions have no place in law enforcement. Pursuant to OSP policy, the agency is modifying Fugate's state to unpaid administrative leave.
Photo Courtesy KPTV-TV
BEND, OR -- A man was killed by Bend Police, during a late-night traffic stop, Tuesday. Few details have been released, but officials say officers stopped a vehicle on Highway 97, south of Cooley Road, just after 11:30 p.m. An officer-involved shooting occurred, and the 36-year-old driver was killed. Two Bend PD officers were involved in the incident.
The Deschutes County Major Incident Team has been activated, and the Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the incident.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Firefighters responded to two new incidents, Tuesday afternoon. The largest forced evacuations of several homes in Prineville. The Barnes Butte Fire (pictured) was held at 16 acres, with the help of ground and aerial crews, including one hot shot team. Firefighters mopped up the perimeter overnight and the Red Cross is helping those impacted by the fire activity.
Firefighters also responded to a blaze east of Sunriver, holding it to just a half-acre. The causes of both fires are under investigation.
WED. A.M. UPDATE (6/27/18) Crook County Fire and Rescue says two homes near were damaged in the Barnes Butte Fire, and a fifth wheel trailer was destroyed. Officials say battling the blaze was a multi agency coordination effort, "Local, state and federal resources happened to be stationed just blocks from where the fire started and were on scene within minutes." When crews arrived, they say multiple homes were threatened near NE Laughlin, NE Compass and NE Denton roads, with the trailer fully involved in fire. Firefighters were able to divert the flames around the home.
SISTERS, OR -- An herbicide proven dangerous to Ponderosa Pines was used along Highway 20 near Sisters, from 2013 to 2015, killing one in eight trees. Responding to new criticism over the dead trees, officials say the mistake was because they did not receive up-to-date information.
Forest Service To Remove Trees Along Highway 20
The Oregon Department of Transportation contracted with Jefferson County Public Works to spray Perspective along the highway, in an effort to kill flammable brush and grass. After the herbicide was selected, the EPA changed the labeling to include language about the potential danger to pine trees, but ODOT's Peter Murphy says his agency did not receive the updated information prior to its application. He says ODOT, the Forest Service and Jefferson County Public Works are now working together to find a solution, "We've identified the problem and now we have to decide what our best course of action for the future is." Murphy tells KBND News, "What we need to do is figure out what our plan is for the future. We need to make sure that that's a safe highway corridor, and we have to take a look at the impact this herbicide has had, and that involves the potential mortality of the trees, and then determine a long term plan to make sure that we do the right thing."
He says the public has been weighing in on the issue, "There will be a public process that allows folks to have the opportunity to hear what we think is the best solution," adding, "We want to be transparent, let people know what's going on and hear what they have to say still about what our safety action plan would be. So, we're working together with the forest service to develop that, and as for specifics, we just haven't gotten there yet."
BEND, OR -- Oregon's Construction Contractors Board is warning homeowners who need work done on their driveways not to fall for a deal that sounds too good to be true. Cheryl Martinis, with the CCB, says the repaving scam is a simple one, "Typically someone comes to a homeowner's door, says they have been working in the neighborhood and they have a lot of leftover supplies, so that's why they can offer this one-time, immediate, great low price on repaving a driveway."
The scammers then say they need to start work immediately, and demand a significant portion of the quoted price be paid up front. Martinis says if they do start work, they won't get far before asking for more, "They'll demand more money to finish the job. They'll say, 'You should've known this was going to cost us a lot more, you need to pay us,' and a lot of homeowners feel intimidated by that." She adds, "Be careful about how much they pay up front, they should always get something in writing about the work that's going to be performed. And never pay cash to an individual - you'll write a check to a business, use a credit card, that sort of thing."
Martinis tells KBND News, "People should always check out a contractor by getting their CCB License number and looking them up on our website to make sure they're active, and they can see if there's a complaint history." And, she says, it's a good idea to get a recommendation from a trusted source. "90% of the people are out there, trying to please their customers, and it's the small minority of scammers that gives everyone a bad name."
BEND, OR -- A 21-year-old Bend man turned himself in Monday, telling Sheriff's Detectives he was responsible for a weekend hit and run that sent a bicyclist to the hospital. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says Travis Roberts was driving a blue 1997 Toyota Tacoma Saturday morning, near Skyline Ranch Road and Macalpine Loop. He allegedly hit 61-year-old Roy Holtvedt while he road his bike, causing serious injuries.
The truck, seen in surveillance photos released Sunday, has been seized as evidence and the Sheriff's Office says Roberts' 26-year-old passenger has also been contacted and interviewed.
Roberts is charged with Assault II, Failing to Perform the Duties of a Driver and Reckless Driving. He's scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.
BEND, OR -- A local Democrat running for the Oregon House is losing the support of his party. OregonLive reports the Democrat political action committee "FuturePAC" took the unusual step Monday to withdraw support from Nathan Boddie, citing unspecified allegations against him.
Currently a Bend City Councilor, Boddie is running for Knute Buehler’s House District 54 seat; Buehler is the Republican nominee for Governor. In a press release, Democratic leaders said they were disappointed that an investigation confirmed the allegations, although they did not elaborate.
Boddie's Republican opponent, Cheri Helt issued a statement Monday evening, in response to the allegations, "As a working mom, parent of a teenage daughter and supporter of LGBTQ rights, I deplore sexist and homophobic behavior. My campaign will remain focused on improving education and being a moderate, inclusive and independent leader for Bend."