JOHN DAY, OR -- Two people were shot and wounded during an altercation at the John Day Trailer Park, just before 11 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Grant County District Attorney's Office, 32-year-old Christopher Woodell was flown by Life Flight to St. Charles Bend in critical condition.; 35-year-old Eric Towers was taken by ambulance to John Day Hospital where he was treated and released.
A suspect has been interviewed and the investigation is ongoing. Multiple agencies are assisting, including Oregon State Police, John Day PD and the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police will conduct a "virtual ride-along" on Facebook and Twitter, Friday afternoon. One officer will post "near real-time" updates as he responds to calls, conducts investigations and makes traffic stops. The unique opportunity is part of an effort by the department to share a "typical day" with the public.
In a statement issued by Redmond Police, Lt. Keith Knight said, "Since not everyone has the ability to go out on a real ride-along in a patrol vehicle, RPD will bring the ride-along to everyone."
Those who follow Redmond Police on Facebook and Twitter will begin receiving updates at noon. The virtual ride-along will last until about midnight, and will be split between day shift and night shift officers. Another officer will draft posts and take pictures, possibly even sharing short videos.
Exact details of an incident won't be disclosed, nor will the names of those involved.
SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors voted unanimously, Thursday night, to accept the resignation of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb, who had been on paid administrative leave for the last two months.
City officials have declined to say why he was placed on leave, only to say it was due to employee complaints that were not financial, physical or sexual in nature. The results of an investigation conducted by the city's insurance company has not been made public. In a written statement, Gorayeb declined to accept disciplinary measures that could’ve kept him on the job.
Councilors voted 4-to-1 for a severance package which includes a 12-month salary and a neutral letter of recommendation for future employment. The city also agreed not to take a stand if Gorayeb files for unemployment.
City officials are expected to meet today to determine whether an interim City Manager is needed.
BEND, OR -- The American Red Cross will install free smoke alarms in Bend, Saturday. The local event is part of a nationwide campaign to help reduce the risk of home fire.
Volunteers will begin installing smoke detectors at 9:30 a.m. in neighborhoods near the Bend Red Cross office on Southwest Bond. They’ll spread out across Bend until 3 p.m., visiting those who sign up for help.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County voters will likely be asked in November to approve a construction bond for a new jail. After a year of research and discussions, a citizen committee submitted a recommendation to a joint city and county meeting earlier this week, for a new 70-bed facility.
Read more about the work done by the citizen committee.
County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren says the specific amount of the project, and subsequent bond request, is still up in the air. "If we can keep this number down to a basic jail, and not try to build the Taj Mahal, and do just what it is that we need and nothing more – and that would mean we would still utilize our police department in its location, we would also use our Sheriff’s Department in its location. We would tie the two in this area together with the jail so those other services don’t have to be replicated or changed, and we would have the jail space that we need."
Fahlgren tells KBND News a new facility would end the current contract to rent 25 beds at the Jefferson County Jail. "Today we have, between those 25 beds and the 16 that we have, we then have 41 beds; we’re showing that we need between 67 and 80 beds, through the research we’ve done. So, this jail will be a 70-bed jail, with the ability to double bunk or add to it, as we need space." Ending that rental agreement would save Crook County about $700,000 a year. Fahlgren says that money would be used to operate the new facility. He also notes there would be additional time and money savings when deputies and officers can stop transporting prisoners to Madras.
The committee recommended moving forward with designing a new facility and asking voters to approve a bond measure. "They looked at many sites and decided that it would be best to leave it very close to where the jail is today. And, we have some space here, between the city and the county," Fahlgren says. "Again, it would be a partnership for us to, as an in-kind from the city, closing a street and using county space as well as a city parking lot to generate a large enough block that we could use this in that same location."
Fahlgren expects financial analysis and design work to be completed in about a month, after which time the construction amount could be determined.
BEND, OR -- A new poll of Deschutes County voters shows a majority favor allowing marijuana growers in unincorporated areas. The phone poll was conducted by California-Based research firm FM3. According to Amy Margolis, with Oregon Cannabis Association, 400 people participated in the survey, last week. "We hired a professional polling company to go out and do this kind of outreach because we wanted to let the Commissioners know what was happening and how the voters feel about this issue," Margolis tells KBND News. "And so, even though we paid for it, this was not something that we did on our own. We hired a sophisticated company who does these, who's nonpartisan; and the results reflect that."
She says they asked two questions. The first: "As you may know, in 2014 Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for adults to use in Oregon. Do you approve or disapprove of this law?" Margolis says, "When Ballot Measure 91 passed, it passed by 51.8%. Now, you can see that the total number who approve has actually jumped up almost two points to 53%."
According to the results, 32% "strongly approve," the other 21% "somewhat approve." Of those who oppose it, 11% "somewhat disapprove" and 31% "strongly disapprove" of M91. Five-percent responded they didn't know.
Deschutes County Commissioners temporarily opted out of allowing grow operations in unincorporated areas, in December. They're expected to decide next week whether to lift the ban and impose regulations or continue to opt out and send the issue to voters in November. Margolis says, "When you look at the second question, people feel very strongly that they want to see the Board of Commissioners implement rules."
In that second question (pictured above), respondents were asked to choose which of two statements come closest to their opinion. Of the 400 polled, 61% said they agree with: "Some people say that the voting public in Deschutes County approved Measure 91 legalizing marijuana, and now it is the responsibility of the County Commissioners to establish reasonable regulations for marijuana businesses to operate." Another 28% agreed with: "Other people say even though legal marijuana is the law in Oregon, voters did not understand what they were voting for and the County Commissioners should refer a measure to Deschutes County so people can vote on it again." The final nine-percent did not know which to choose.
County Commissioners are expected to announce their decision on the issue May fourth.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) continues to push for a fix to how the federal government funds wildfire prevention and suppression efforts. He spoke on the Senate floor yesterday, again urging for passage of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act he says would end the cycle of underfunding. "The wildfire season raging across our forests and special places is no longer limited to a single time of the year. Fighting fires has become a continuous battle virtually year round, throughout the country."
Senator Wyden acknowledged similar failed attempts in recent years, but says he won’t give up. He called the early start to this year’s fire season in the west "a wake-up call," saying, "To understand how important it is to fix this broken system of fighting fire, because the funding system for doing so is leading to dysfunction throughout the Forest Service and contributing to the breakdown of national forest management that is needed to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the first place."
The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), aims to end the current practice of borrowing from prevention funds to pay for fighting the nation’s largest fires, treating them instead as natural disasters. "It is time for the Congress to find a solution to ensure, one: that wildfires can be fought, and two: to control the costs of fighting these wildfires by better preparing our forests and making them healthier." A similar effort failed to pass Congress, last year.
BEND, OR -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Bend businessman Sam Carpenter announced Wednesday he is endorsing Donald Trump for President. He issued a statement explaining why he thinks Trump can turn things around:
"Whether its immigration and the refusal to close the borders, or the bad trade deals rubber stamped and fast-tracked through Congress, Wyden and Obama have been working against Oregon workers. And, it's high time we had a President and a Senator who will fight for jobs for Oregonians rather than for jobs for the Chinese or for illegal immigrants."
Carpenter says Americans are tired of career politicians and are ready for an outsider to fix the problems in Washington, D.C.
BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement are looking for a transient with an outstanding fugitive warrant, following a car chase, earlier this week. The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team attempted to arrest 35-year-old Ryan Fischer-Salt as he left a home near Hunnel and Tumalo Road.
Police say he was a passenger in the car that took off at high speeds. A mile away, Fischer-Salt ran from the car. The driver, 26-year-old Benjamin Richardson of Redmond was arrested and officers discovered Fischer-Salt’s 3-year-old child in the back seat. The Department of Human Services took custody of the child.
Fischer-Salt remains at large.
ALFALFA, OR -- Detectives discovered a large illegal marijuana grow operation while investigating a fire that destroyed an Alfalfa manufactured home, Tuesday afternoon. According to the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, one grow inside the home was destroyed by the fire, but they found a second operation in a detached shed on the Elk Lane property. They also seized evidence of butane honey oil (BHO) manufacturing from a second detached shed; neither structure was damaged by the blaze.
Officers arrested 23-year-old Autumn Averette (pictured), Wednesday morning. Her roommates, 28-year-old Lauren Todd and 34-year-old Alexander Lioulios are wanted for questioning.
The cause of the fire was preliminarily ruled "accidental."
An Alfalfa-area home was destroyed by fire, Tuesday afternoon. The Red Cross is helping the one person affected with temporary lodging and recovery services.
The blaze was reported just before 12:30 p.m. on Elk Lane. Flames were prevented from spreading to neighboring homes thanks to efforts by Alfalfa's new fire chief and neighbors.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man faces charges after a crash Tuesday night on O'Neil Highway in Crook County. Investigators say 20-yearo-old Noel Solis, Jr. failed to negotiate a curve, crashed through a fence and brought his pickup to a rest in a field.
He had two juveniles with him at the time; all were evaluated by medics and refused further treatment. Solis is charged with Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief. He was also cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and having an open container.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners have a tough decision, next week. Commissioners are expected to decide on May fourth whether or not to continue to ban marijuana grow operations in unincorporated areas. They elected to temporarily opt out of allowing outdoor grows in December, while a Marijuana Advisory Committee discussed possible regulations.
Matt Cyrus, head of the Deschutes County Farm Bureau, was part of the 13-member committee. He says it was evenly split with supporters and the opposition. He sees pot purely as a crop that should be legal to grow. “For example, I voted against Measure 91 that would’ve legalized it. I’ve never tried it, I don’t have an interest in recreational marijuana. However, from an agricultural standpoint, it’s now legal and Deschutes County’s farmers should have the right to raise it.”
He tells KBND the group reached agreement on the biggest issues. “We were able to reach consensus on mitigation on nuisances such as odor, noise and light – which are the primary nuisance issues. Issues such as setbacks, minimum lot sizes certainly don’t come into play as much.”
OreGrown co-owner Hunter Neubauer was also on the MAC and agrees County Commissioners need to lift the ban, instead of sending it to voters in November. “Kicking the can down the line is not what it seems like; by not acting, it’s not going to provide political cover. It is very clearly saying who they support and why they support it.”
Several members of the MAC also belong to the group Preserve Rural Deschutes, which opposes marijuana grows. “The reason that it became so, unfortunately, one way at the end, as far as the proceedings of the committee were going, was because there was no reasonable approach from the opposition,” Neubauer tells KBND. “We tried extremely hard again and again and again to say, ‘Hey look, we’re willing to go above and beyond what we know is reasonable, and let us remind you again, we are talking about Exclusive Farm Use.’”
Click HERE to learn more about the opposition's take on MAC negotiations.
BEND, OR -- Ballots start going out Wednesday for the May primary, and it’s an unusual one for the state. Thanks to Former Governor John Kitzhaber’s resignation, Oregonians will decide on a Governor and Secretary of State in a Presidential election year.
KBND political analyst and former State Representative Jason Conger (R-Bend) says Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins was likely appointed a year ago because she had no aspirations to run for the office. "Having some continuity, not having an election right away, but then allowing other Democrats. And, of course, the result is there are three legitimate, strong candidates, each of them." In Oregon, Secretary of State is first in the line of succession behind Governor.
Judy Stiegler, a former Democratic State Representative for Bend, says on the Democrat's side of the race, Brad Avakian
, Richard Devlin
and Val Hoyle
need to set themselves apart. "They all talk about the Audits Division, which is an important part – it’s not a sexy part. They talk about the elections and things like that, but I think they all have different approaches to the office. I think a lot of it’s going to be a matter of how well they can articulate those distinctions."
Conger says, while Labor Commissioner Avakian benefits from statewide name recognition, State Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) is also a strong candidate. "His knowledge will have an impact, I think, in making the audit division a lot more effective. There’s the election side of it, that I think is very important to every voter; the audit division is more focused on looking at waste, looking at opportunities to be more efficient spending our tax dollars within state agencies." Hoyle is a Democratic State Representative for West Eugene/Junction City.
For the Republicans, Conger believes Dennis Richardson
has a very good chance at the GOP nomination, against Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken
. "Just the existence of name recognition is difficult to overcome, unless you have a very well-funded campaign. He was a very legitimate contender for Governor, he’s got a lot of good experience. He’s a very attractive candidate and, most likely, he’ll win."
RENTON, WA -- Two 16-year-olds reported as runaways from the Prineville area were found Tuesday evening at a Renton, Washington Walmart store. Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office had asked for the public's help in finding the pair, after they hadn't been heard from in several weeks.
Lance Stanley's guardian reported him as a runaway March 23, at the same time his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported by her mother. Investigators believed they might have been with Catina Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but was believed to now be in Renton.
The teens were taken to the King County Youth Detention Center pending transfer back to Oregon. According to police, more information came out after they were taken into custody indicating further investigation will follow.
LA PINE, OR -- La Pine's Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, to create recommendations for marijuana grow operations in the industrial park. City Councilors chose to allow commercial grow operations in industrial areas, but they need to set rules for growers.
Interim City Manager Rick Allen says there has been a lot of interest in La Pine because land is cheaper than in Bend, and there is still uncertainty about whether Deschutes County will continue to opt out of allowing grows in unincorporated areas. "So, now that it would be legal in the industrial park, we need to set some rules that people must follow, if they're going to build. We have had numerous inquiries over the last six months, from people wanting to look into that."
Allen tells KBND News, "What we lacked were measures that would make sure we didn't get hoop houses and some of the other, more flimsy structures like greenhouses that would blow around - we didn't want those. If we're going to have a commercial growing operation in an industrial park, we have the proper protections in there to make sure that the building meets snow and wind loads and requires a building permit."
The Planning Commission will make recommendations to the City Council this week. Councilors are expected to act on them, next week.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office are working together to find a pair of 16-year-old runaways who haven't been heard from in several weeks. Lance Stanley's guardian contacted Prineville PD to report him as a runaway March 23; at the same time, his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported to CCSO as a runaway by her mother.
Investigators believe the couple may be hiding out with Catina (Tina) Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but may now be in Renton, Washington. Numerous tips have placed the teens in Seattle, Renton and various locations in Oregon.
Stanley is 5'5", 125 lbs with brown eyes and curly brown hair. Tavernia is also 5'5", 100 pounds with blue eyes and shoulder-length hair. She has been known to have various hair colors.
While both have juvenile probation warrants on unrelated issues, law enforcement say their primary concern is for their welfare and safe return home. There is no evidence of foul play, but they say all avenues of investigation are being considered.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Prineville PD Det. Brandin Noland or Sgt. Monroe at 541-447-4168, or Sgt. Bill Elliott with CCSO at 541-447-6398.
SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors met again Monday morning to discuss the employment of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb. But, once again, they left without making a public announcement as to his future. Gorayeb was placed on paid administrative leave at the end of February, after several complaints from city employees. Officials have declined to provide specifics.
Sisters business owner Chris Wilder was at City Hall, hopeful to get an update. "They don't have all their 'T's crossed and 'I's dotted. I know in past things from my corporate life, and from a human resources standpoint, they want to make sure that everything is all in place, I guess. And, I'm assuming from all this, that that's what happened."
Wilder is the President of the Sisters Chamber board, and tells KBND News he hopes, for the community's sake, a final decision comes soon. "My understanding from afterwards is that Thursday evening, at the Council meeting, there's supposed to be a decision; they're hoping to have a decision at that point. For the community, I was hoping there would be some resolution. I was kind of disappointed there was no resolution, but I know it's a very, very tenuous situation for all involved. I'm sure they're doing the right thing." He adds, "That's the hard part about it, we're in the dark here in the community. That's appropriate only for the Council members, and insurance companies and attorneys to deal with it, but from the outside it seems like it's been a slow process. Knowing several of the Councilors personally, I know they're doing a heck of a job trying to make sure they're doing the right decision. Everybody, I think, in town wants resolution to this."
Gorayeb has been City Manager in Sisters for two years.
REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Kiwanis Club is once again raising money for play equipment at Sam Johnson Park, six months after “Hope Playground” first opened to the public. Redmond Parks Division Manager Annie McVay says a fully accessible merry-go-round was part of the original design. "As we got into construction the project kind of grew and this one piece, we couldn’t fund it initially, so we intended to make this – we’re calling it phase 1.5, is to finish the merry go round and get that in place." She says there is already a space reserved.
But, the Kiwanis Club still doesn't have the money for the feature. "It’s actually a pretty expensive piece of equipment; it’s about $55,000. It ships from Germany. So, they’re looking at funding the whole thing and then the city would install it – pay for the installation costs of that," McVay tells KBND News. "It’s a pretty big price tag so we don’t have necessarily a deadline or a timeframe, we’re just hoping to see what we get."
This special merry-go-round, just like the rest of Hope Playground, is for kids of all ages and all abilities. "It’s flush to the ground, so it’ll be flush, centered set in the flooring itself, so there’s no lip and no curb. If you were in a wheelchair, you could roll directly onto it, or if you have other mobility issues, it’s really easy to get onto the merry-go-round. Then, it swirls in place."
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police arrested a man wanted for a warrant out of Clackamas county, following an early morning pursuit. An officer spotted a Toyota Corolla with a stolen license plate, near NE 9th and Hemlock. When attempting a traffic stop at about 4:20 a.m., the car sped onto northbound Highway 97.
Police say the chase continued through the Tetherow area towards Eagle Crest. But, pursuing officers lost the car near 74th and SW Eagle Dr. A short time later, a resident reported an unoccupied vehicle off the roadway, with an open door and running engine.
A K-9 unit eventually located 28-year-old Kendall Hickman inside a barn a few hundred yards away from the car. The Redmond man was taken into custody without incident. He's charged with Felony Elude, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Driving While Suspended and an out of county warrant.
When officers recovered the stolen plates from the car, they learned the Toyota was recently reported stolen from the Redmond area.
Kendall Hickman, Clackamas County Mugshot
BEND, OR -- Bend city officials are exploring opportunities to get involved with generating hydroelectric power within the municipal water system. City Manager Eric King says there’s already some infrastructure that lends itself to a hydro-project. "So, we’ve got water storage tanks up on Aubrey Butte and Overturf Butte. So, as the water comes down into town from those storage tanks, there’s gravity and energy, and so we would like to capture that energy and generate electric power and, as a result, the potential revenue source, as well." He tells KBND News that revenue could range from a couple hundred thousand to a million dollars.
City Councilors discussed the idea last week, after hearing potential concepts from Energy Trust of Oregon and an Energy Service Company (ESCo) that could help get a project off the ground. King says it is still early in the process and more fiscal analysis is needed. One of the things Councilors are considering is how to mitigate costs. "Bring somebody on so you really minimize that upfront cost; they’ll handle that for you. And then, as the revenue comes in from that project, a portion goes to the third party that built the hydro, then eventually there’s a payback. That type of analysis, that financial analysis will be something that we’ll be doing over the next couple of months." That analysis will be done over the next couple of months.
BEND, OR -- The High Desert Civil Air Patrol Squadron conducted a training at the Bend Airport, over the weekend, in preparation for a major quake and tsunami. Bend acted as the incident command post, as the group practiced how they would react to the massive devastation that may come with the predicted Cascadia event.
During the all-day exercise, the group used HF and VHF radios to communicate with other units across the state. They also launched aircraft to act as a relay between the Bend base and other units.
In a major quake, Bend units would be responsible for establishing communication with other parts of the state, conduct search and rescue operations and report on the extent of damage to infrastructure.
REDMOND, OR -- Two pigs died in a fire southwest of Redmond, late Sunday night. Firefighters responded to the SW Harvest Ave home just before midnight. They discovered a fully involved shed fire, extending to nearby Juniper trees.
Redmond Fire officials say part of the shed had been converted to a temporary shelter for the owner's daughter to house her 4-H Swine project.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
BEND, OR --- The Coalition For the Deschutes feels the region could do more to restore consistent flows to the Upper Deschutes River Basin. It's believed varying water flows harm the threatened spotted frog.
Gail Snyder is board president of the group. She recently told The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings, "There's enough water, we can have water for fish and farms and families. We need short-term, immediate solutions to resolve the problem with the extreme high and low flows that are impacting the river ecology; we need some intermediary solutions and we need some longer term."
The Coalition has worked for more than 30 years to restore flows and would like to see fewer irrigation swings from the Wickiup Dam that can lead to both high and low river flows. Snyder believes local irrigation districts are ready to act. "I do think they're willing to cooperate. I think they need the public to both support them and give them a good nudge, and say, 'guys, we know that change is hard, but it's time. This is everybody's river. If we want a sustainable future for all of us, then we have to change.'"
Click HERE to listen to the full Sourcecast.
BEND, OR -- Two people were hurt and three face charges, after shots were fired during a fight in Northwest Bend, early Saturday morning. According to Bend Police, a group of five people were walking near NW 15th and Newport and got into a verbal – then physical – dispute with three men at a house, just before 3 a.m.
During the fight, Walker Henneke (pictured left) allegedly went into his house and returned with an AK-47 assault rifle. Investigators say he fired several shots, hitting Erik Menezes and Blake Blevins in the lower body.
CERT units used gas to force Philip True, Maxwell Haldeman and Henneke out of the home. They all face charges in connection with the incident. The rifle was later found in a neighboring backyard.
Henneke is charged with Attempted Murder, Tampering with Evidence and Reckless Endangering, among others. True (right) is also lodged at the jail, charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Probation Violation and Disorderly Conduct. Haldeman was cited for Disorderly Conduct and ordered to appear in court.
TIGARD, OR -- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is doubling down in Oregon by opening two campaign offices, this week. His first opened Wednesday in Eugene, the second on Thursday in Tigard.
This is the first Republican candidate to open offices in Oregon ahead of the Primary on May 17. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders already have offices in the state. Sanders is the only one with a Central Oregon campaign office.
BEND, OR -- Since Deschutes County Commissioners formed a Marijuana Advisory Committee several months ago, the 13-member group has tackled possible restrictions on outdoor marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. But, after 26 hours of meetings, member Sam Davis says they haven't found much to agree on. "A lot has been made about the rights of the marijuana industry, but our rural residents have rights, too. We've spent far more investing in our homes than the marijuana industry will ever invest in their properties. It's been estimated by one of the anti-marijuana activists on the other side of the mountains that one facility impacts 16-20 residential homes." He says nine committee members were affiliated with the pot industry, four were against allowing outdoor grows.
Member Liz Lotochinski tells KBND News she hopes Commissioners continue to ban the operations. "The County Commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to all of the citizens of Deschutes County, not just those that are involved in this industry. And, I hope that they take seriously that responsibility and look at what risks, issues and impacts will be afforded to those individuals living next to those potential marijuana grows." She doesn't think this is what voters intended when they passed Measure 91. "The state lawmakers took Measure 91 and hoodwinked the voters by identifying marijuana as a crop, and affording it all the protections that it gets by being a crop by Oregon's Right to Farm laws. That means, neighbors can't sue for nuisance impacts. It has all the rights associated with any other farming crop, but it's not like any other farming crop."
Deschutes County Commissioners are expected to make a decision May fourth. If they continue to opt out, voters would decide the future of the ban in November. Or, they could agree to allow outdoor pot grows in rural areas, with certain restrictions.
BEND, OR -- Complaints about people living in cars in neighborhoods had the Bend City Council questioning policy, this week. Police Chief Jim Porter reviewed for Councilors the process of tagging a vehicle parked in a residential area more than five days. Seven days later, if the vehicle is still there, it is tagged for towing. Seven days after that, it's supposed to be towed. “A realistic side or humanistic side of that is, this is in fact their residence. And we do try to avoid seizing these vehicles. Because if we seize them we make them homeless.” Balancing the idea of taking what essentially could be someone's home and addressing resident complaints were discussed.
Councilor Victor Chudowski argued the timeframe provided to move cars should be shortened. “They’re not complaining about the fact that that person is homeless. The specific complaint is that these people are parked, they’re living in front of my house for too long. And that’s a very simple, it seems to be, to address. If it is five-days narrow it down to three.”
After discussion, however, there was not enough support on the Council to change the timeframe, so the current policy remains in place.
BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor’s parent company Powdr Corp. announced Thursday plans to install a new chairlift for the 2016-17 ski season. Interim General Manager John McLeod says the $6 million project will result in the mountain’s first new chairlift in 20 years. "The last time we opened a brand new chairlift that provided access to new terrain was in 1996. But, in 2006, we replaced the Pine Marten lift in its current alignment with all new terminals and drive equipment, so that was the most recent major lift investment."
The Cloudchaser lift
will run up the east side of the ski hill, which McLeod says provides greater protection during storms, and increases the resort's total skiable area to more than 4,300 acres.
McLeod tells KBND News the project has been highly anticipated since the Master Development Plan was approved by the U.S. Forest Service. "That sort of outlines the things we want to do with the resort over the next 10 years. That Master Development Plan was approved in 2013 by the Forest Service. And, one of the major elements of that plan was to install this new lift on the east side of our mountain that opens up an additional 635 acres of terrain."
He says Cloudchaser likely won't be ready by the start of next season, but its exact opening is dependent on the weather. "The construction period goes into early December; we would hope to be open elsewhere on the mountain earlier than that. We would hope that in a normal year, with normal snow conditions, and provided we stick to the construction schedule, that lift would be operational for the public in time for the Christmas holiday period. "
BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested a transient yesterday morning, after they say he threatened people at St. Charles Medical Center. Investigators say 31-year-old Ryan Simpson was contacted by security guards inside the hospital because he was acting suspicious.
As they walked him out of the facility, Simpson allegedly brandished a knife and at one point threatened to shoot the men. After an area search by several agencies, Bend Police officers took Simpson into custody without incident, at about 8 a.m., in a backyard near NE Williamson and Paula Drive. A knife was recovered nearby, but no gun was found.
Simpson possibly matches the description of a suspect in a recent crime in Redmond, as well. The investigation is ongoing.
BEND, OR -- An Ashland man is ready to take on Republican Congressman Greg Walden, this fall. Democrat Jim Crary hopes to stop Walden from winning a ninth term in Oregon's Second District.
Crary retired from British Petroleum in 2013, and tells KBND News he'd like to be part of fixing several issues that face the state. "I don’t like to complain about something without trying to change it, that’s the big motivation. The other thing is, I just feel like Congress is not addressing the things it should be addressing. I feel like they’re like Nero, they’re fiddling while Rome is burning." Crary used to negotiate contracts for BP, so he says he's used to bridging differences.
He cites climate change and campaign finance reform as two of his top priorities. "On the climate change, what I would do is either cap and trade or a carbon tax. British Columbia has instituted a carbon tax very successfully, and the business community is in favor of it. We could do the same thing. It’s something that we need to do. I worked for BP – I worked for an oil company – and BP is actually in favor of a carbon tax."
Crary grew up in North Dakota and worked for many years in Alaska, where he ran for the State Legislature. This is his first run for office in Oregon. He moved to the state with his family 10 years ago. He knows he faces an uphill battle running against Oregon's only Republican member of Congress. He is also aware the Second District includes rural Eastern Oregon. Crary says the recent Harney County occupation disturbed him. "You know what, if somebody wants to protest, that is great; I’m all for it. But, when you protest with a weapon on your hip or in your arms, that’s pure intimidation and I do not agree with that in any way, shape or form. That’s pure intimidation and it really kind of makes me angry."
Crary was in Bend for a town hall at the downtown library, Wednesday evening.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners will decide next month whether to continue to opt out of allowing marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. Commissioners agreed to a temporary ban in December, to allow them to continue to discuss the matter.
Deschutes Republicans voted this week to endorse a continued ban. "I was happy to see that the Republicans took a stand," Says Deschutes GOP Chair Bob Perry. "We sent an email out to Tony DeBone and Tammy Baney, who are both Republicans. We sent an email telling them about the results of the unanimous vote, so hopefully they’ll take that to heart."
Perry says he would like to see Commissioners to let county voters decide on the future of the ban, in November. "I remember the first meeting I ever attended, Sheriff Nelson was there, and he said ‘You know folks, you are going to get some tax benefit out of this. But, everything I’ve heard is you’re going to spend 10 times as much on crime prevention and safety as you’re getting in tax benefit.’ That’s the same thing I heard from George Endicott, the Mayor of Redmond. Shane [Nelson] said, ‘Just put it to a vote, put it to a vote.’ We’re going along, really, with the Sheriff’s recommendation."
County Commissioners are scheduled to decide May fourth whether to continue the opt out and send it to voters, or allow the ban to expire.
BEND, OR -- Saving Grace will honor victims of sexual abuse, Friday, at its annual Take Back the Night event in downtown Bend. Erin Rook, with the local non-profit, says it’s a chance for everyone to ask questions and learn how to prevent sexual violence. "We’ll have a healthy relationships fair that spans the whole time, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday. That’ll take place at the Liberty Theater space downtown. We’ll have booths and different activities that people can participate in; things for all ages that really just emphasize healthy relationship skills."
He tells KBND News the event is family-friendly, and important for all ages. "[To] kind of get them to ask questions about myths and facts, and really have a lot of creative interactive activities. But, in addition to that, we’ll also have survivors speak out; so, folks that have experienced sexual violence or who work with folks who have, will kind of share their stories and talk about why it’s so important for the community to come together as a whole around this."
At 7 p.m., survivors are scheduled to speak out at Mirror Pond Plaza, about the impacts of sexual and domestic violence. And at 7:30, attendees can participate in the annual "Shine a Light Walk" through downtown.
More of our conversation with Erin Rook of Saving Grace is available at our Podcast
BEND, OR -- The group Advocates for Disabled Americans, Inc. asked the Bend City Council Wednesday night to consider a tax on water and sewer users. Brian Douglass told Councilors it could would raise $100 million, or $8.5 million a year for up to 15 years, to finance construction of sidewalks and curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The revenue stream is created from a monthly fee or tax on city water-sewer accounts. This additional charge will increase incrementally based on the amount of construction work that can be done over a given three year period and the actual amount of the debt that is issued.”
Douglass asked for a three-tiered approach to the issue. “One, place this issue on the council agenda now; number two, hold any legally required public hearings. And most importantly, hold an up or down vote by June the 30.”
Advocates for Disabled Americans is one of seven members of the Make Bend Accessible Coalition, which has been pushing for more accessible sidewalks and curbs for several years. Councilors agreed to schedule a work session to discuss the proposal.
REDMOND, OR -- A number of Redmond residents, including the Mayor, have received anonymous letters from someone claiming to self-enforce perceived violations of city ordinances and homeowners association rules. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND, "There is an individual that has sent letters, in fact I got one, that says people are out of compliance with the CC&Rs and so forth; it lists a bunch of incorrect information. It basically says the police will come around, which is untrue; our community resource officer will come around, which is untrue. If you get a letter, ignore it, throw it in the trash."
In a letter to Redmond Police, the anonymous person says they will enforce things like parking a vehicle or boat on the street or in a driveway, garbage cans visible from the street, or blocking a neighbor’s view. While many homeowners associations enforce similar rules, Redmond PD say the listed infractions are not criminal matters.
Some of the fake tickets ask the violator to pay a fine by donating to certain charities, "And then it says ‘send your donation to’ certain charities. We contacted one of the charities that said ‘we have nothing to do with us, don’t send us any money, we don’t want to be implicated or tied to this,’ because they agree it’s just crazy," says Endicott.
He adds, "Somebody’s disgruntled, so they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands, which, in fact, could be illegal." Redmond Police say anyone receiving an anonymous citation should disregard it and call them. They point out that Simulating a Legal Process is a class C Felony. So far, citations appear targeted to the Juniper Hills and Majestic Ridge neighborhoods, although others are also involved.
BEND, OR -- Bend Senior High's nurse is tops in the state. Connie Hoffstetter has been named Oregon School Nurse of the Year by the Oregon School Nurses Association.
Hoffstetter was nominated by BSH Principal Christopher Reece, who called her passionate, caring and phenomenal with students. She began with the Bend-La Pine School District in 2000 and first worked with students and schools in La Pine for three years before moving to Bend High. She also serves students at Marshall, Bend's alternative high school.
In a statement released Wednesday, Hoffstetter said, "I feel really ecstatic to be recognized. It means a lot." She added, "It's not a job, it's my passion and I learn something new everyday. The key is being flexible. You can never plan your day. You can go from helping with injuries, to mental health concerns, to managing acute illnesses, to working with health education."
BEND, OR -- On the heels of Victor Chudowsky’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to the Bend City Council, a local businessman says he will run for the seat. Justin Livingston has lived in Bend for 16 years and says the city continues to face challenges. "My wife has been a longtime Bend resident, since the late 70s; and she ended up, after graduating high school in the late 80s, had to move away from Bend. And, I just don’t want that to be the situation, where my kids have to move away from Bend to start their lives."
The 38-year-old is a partner in the Genesis Construction Group and was one of three members of the Street Funding Committee that urged the Council not to pursue a gas tax. Livingston tells KBND News there's a lot of frustration with the current City Council. "Particularly the gas tax, obviously that’s the most glaring one. But, it isn’t just the most recent Council, it’s been a lot of decisions over the years. Whether it’s the Bulletin site, or Juniper Ridge, or other big-ticket items that have cost the city a lot of money. And, I think it’s time for the city to get back down to its core things that it does, and does right and does good."
Livingston admits his policies mirror Chudowsky's, "Obviously, Victor is a brilliant policy maker, and a brilliant mind, and those will be very large shoes to fill. But, I would say that Victor and I – we do align, not on everything, but we do align on a lot of the issues, particularly fiscal issues." Candidates can’t officially file until June first, for the November election, but Livingston says he wanted residents to know that he’s involved. "I have been involved in a lot of different aspects, whether that was the Street Funding Committee, I currently sit on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, I’m a board member and newest Chair for the Old Farm Neighborhood Association. So, I’ve been involved quite a bit the last number of years, and I still continue to plan on being involved in those items up until the election."
LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says remains found in a La Pine home last Friday, were that of a woman who died of natural causes. Medics were called to the home on Center Drive after 59-year-old Elizabeth Freise fell on her porch and needed help.
Responding medical personnel noticed a foul smell and asked for a welfare check by law enforcement. Deputies discovered the remains of Freise's sister, who the woman admitted died in November. Freise cared for her bed-ridden sister who suffered from a long-term illness.
Detectives also found deceased cats, live cats and garbage covering the floors. Several cats were taken to the Humane Society. Due to decomposition, it will take a little longer to positively identify the body.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville breaks ground this week on the city’s new, unique wastewater treatment facility. A new treatment plant would’ve cost the city about $57 million. Instead, Assistant City Engineer Mike Kasberger says they opted to create 120-acres of ponds and lagoons to treat the water. "That will naturally take this water and bring us to the future where we can use this wetlands, for a cost to the city of about $4 million." Another $2 million is coming to the project from grants and community partners.
But, Kasberger tells KBND News, it's not only about wastewater. "It’s a great project, in that it takes care of the city’s future needs for wastewater treatment, and it also has a lot of qualities for the environment. It has habitat for birds and for fish, and it takes care of a lot of erosion issues for the Crooked River." The project also includes five miles of hiking trails and educational kiosks.
He says breaking ground on Friday is intentional. "Friday is Earth Day and we want to celebrate the generosity of all the funders, and the project’s benefits to the ecology and the patrons, we want to take care of all of that in one big celebration. Just thank everybody for all their support." That ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
on NW Rimrock Acres Loop.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man is accused of leading Deschutes County deputies on a high-speed chase through the north end of Redmond, early Wednesday morning.
Just after 12:30 a.m., a deputy tried to pull over a motorcycle for a minor traffic offense on Northwest Way. The rider, later identified as 32-year-old Colton Leigh, allegedly accelerated, reaching speeds of around 100 miles per hour. He headed east on Maple Ave, crossed Highway 97 against a red light and failed to negotiate the curve near NE 11th and Negus Way.
Leigh was taken to St. Charles Redmond for non-life threatening injuries. He's charged with Felony Attempt to Elude, and Reckless Driving. Leigh was cited and released due to treatment for his injuries.
CEDAR CITY, UT -- A Redmond man was arrested in Utah last week, for his alleged involvement in the Harney County standoff, earlier this year. Travis Levi Cox was the last to be arrested, of the 26 people indicted on federal charges relating to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.
Iron County authorities say 21-year-old Cox was aware of the charges against him and turned himself in voluntarily. He was booked as a "Federal Fugitive" into the jail in Cedar City, Utah on April 11. He remained there, as of Tuesday. Court papers say Cox will not fight a return to Oregon.
BEND, OR -- Jesse Fishkin is a member of Boy Scout Troop 25, working on earning his Eagle Scout ranking, the highest achievement in scouting. In doing so, he hopes to raise awareness of the human trafficking problem in Central Oregon.
The high school student calls his project called "Shadows of Hope." You might have seen some of the seven life-size black human silhouettes posted around Bend. They represent victims of human trafficking, a problem Fishkin says is largely unknown and ignored. "The way human trafficking works is that people refuse to admit that it is there, so it operates undetected. Hopefully with this project it won’t remain undetected," he tells KBND News.
He says, "Silhouettes are painted black because they represent the shadows, these people are in the shadows of society. Attached to each of the silhouettes are flyers with information pertaining to them." Those flyers describing how to identify victims of human trafficking. "My biggest hope is that someone would pick up a flyer, read about the issue and learn to identify a victim. Because, the largest way that human trafficking succeeds is that people refuse to acknowledge that it’s in their homes. I want to state that it is here in Bend, Oregon and the best way to stop it is to raise awareness." Fishkin moves the cutouts randomly every few days.
The Eagle Scout-to-be recently convinced Bend City Councilors to get behind his "Shadows of Hope" campaign, which runs through the end of April.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky says he's one and done: "I won't be running for reelection this fall." Chudowsky tells KBND News, "The main reason is, a lot of the things I've been concerned with the last few years have gone my way - I got my way, I won! And, I'm really pleased. It's kind of like a chapter closing in a book. I feel very satisfied with what I've accomplished, it's been a lot and I just feel it's time to move on to other things." He was elected to the Council in 2012; his first four-year term expires at the end of this year.
Chudowsky says the first of those successes involved the Urban Growth Boundary. "We lost a lot of time, we lost a huge amount of money - many millions. And, that failure is also one of the reasons housing costs are so expensive in Bend, right now. So, when I was elected, I took over as the Chair of that steering committee and got things back on the right track. Now, here we are three years later and we're getting closer to the finish line on this project with a really good product." He says he's also proud of the completion of the Bridge Creek Water Project and the recent defeat of a local gas tax proposal.
He plans to return to the consulting firm he runs with his wife. "My wife has put up with a lot over the past four years, it was kind of unfair to ask her to put up with it for another four years. I just feel I need to return my attention to that. And also to my daughter: I have a teenage daughter; she's going to be going off to college soon. I've got a few more short years with her in the house and I want to enjoy them as much as I can."
Collectively, between the City Council and his work on several committees, Chudowsky says he has served Bend for 10 years.
BEND, OR -- A bend entrepreneur will appear on ABC's Shark Tank, this Friday. Will Warne invented a high-performance all-terrain jogging stroller he claims is better than any other currently on the market. Warne says he was contacted by the show after one of the producers, who is a runner, learned of the Kid Runner.
Warne tells KBND News, "Kid Runner is the world's first and only hands and arms-free kid jogger. Any parent-runners out there listening will know that pushing a traditional jogger is really heavy, awkward and injury-prone. So, we set out to solve, really, what was a big engineering and technical opportunity, which was how to run freely with your hands and arms, like you naturally do." He says it also allows parents to go on various surfaces safely.
Kid Runner sells for about $1200. Warne admits, "Ours is expensive, and works. Other kid joggers are expensive and don't; I think that's really the main difference. We compare our kid jogger, really for the first time in the industry, to a piece of actual sports equipment. For us, it's like a ski or a mountain bike or a snowboard; it's made of the same materials, it's got a lot of technology, a lot of design in it; it enables you to do the kinds of things that athletes want to do with sports equipment."
Warne plans to manufacture the joggers in Bend. "We're the only kid jogger made in the United States. We're manufacturing here in Bend, Oregon, which is something we're really proud of and really committed to because we've always gone into this with a sense of community."
Kid Runner is the third local business to be featured on the show. Shark Tank airs Fridays at 9 p.m., on ABC-TV.
BEND, OR -- State wildlife officials are monitoring for a deadly disease in local bats, after White Nose Syndrome was found in a little brown bat in Washington. Colin Gillin is a veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He tells KBND News Central Oregon is key to monitoring for the disease due to the large number of caves throughout the region. "We do not have caves throughout the state where we have millions of bats; at least not that we know of like you might see at Carlsbad Caverns or some of the big bat caves we see down in the southwestern part of the United States. Our caves generally have less than 100 bats in them."
Dr. Gillin says bats eat thousands of flying insects each night and are key to our ecosystem. White Nose Syndrome causes unusual behavior in infected bats. He says, "It is a disease that disrupts the bats’ hibernation. Also, it causes problems with their skin; it’s a fungus that attaches to the bat and causes a skin infection and wakes the bat up in the middle of winter." And, he says waking too early from hibernation can lead to the bat using up its winter fat reserves too early and can lead to death.
White Nose Syndrome has been found in 28 states; so far, it has not been found in Oregon. Anyone who sees a sick bat should report it. "We have an online reporting site," says Dr. Gillin. "They can also call and contact their local ODFW office and biologist and report any bats that you might be seeing flying in the middle of the day or unusual behavior, any bats on the ground and appear sick. We’re not asking anyone to pick the bats up, because there is always the risk of rabies." ODFW recently launched its online bat reporting site
, to track possible sightings.
REDMOND, OR -- St. Charles will hold a job fair, next week. The health system plans to hire full time, part time and relief positions for all four of its hospitals and clinics.
The job fair takes place Tuesday, April 26, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Deschutes County Expo Center in Redmond. Applicants are encouraged to RSVP for the fair HERE, submit a digital resume prior to attending and bring multiple hard copies of that resume to the event.
CAMP SHERMAN, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for more public input on a proposal to turn an abandoned fish hatchery near Camp Sherman into a fishing pond for kids 17 and younger. The proposal includes a small pond and parking area on the 15-acre property on Spring Creek.
The agency holds its second public meeting on the idea, Monday evening. Jennifer Luke, with ODFW, says feedback so far has been mostly positive. "I think there’s some folks that are concerned it’s going to get very busy there – maybe a little too much visitation. I believe the community at large is in support; we heard a fair amount of support that it is a good idea and is something that’s needed in the area." She tells KBND News, "The Metolius is fly fishing only, it’s very difficult for kids to fish there. We do have so many tourists coming in and camping and visiting that area in the summer. And, to have a place to bring kids to fish where they can easily fish, or learn how to fish – either fly fish or use other gear – we think that will be popular and a valuable use."
It's not a unique idea. Luke says it's somewhat patterned after Shevlin Pond, west of Bend. "We get calls all the time about ‘where can I bring my kids or grandkids to fish, and we know they can be successful fishing and it’s easy to get to and easy to fish?’ In fact, I believe, the Shevlin Park [pond] - that used to be an old Fish and Game Commission hatchery back in the day. And, when the city bought it they put in that fishing pond."
She says most of the $400,000 needed for the project would come from grants funded by fishing licenses. Monday’s public meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Camp Sherman Community Hall.
BIGGS JCT, OR -- The Madras fugitive who escaped capture during a high-speed chase through two counties, last week, was arrested over the weekend in the Gorge. An Oregon State Police Sergeant spotted Malcolm Harpole on I-84, east of Biggs Junction, Sunday morning.
OSP says Harpole sped up when they tried to pull him over. Shortly after running over police spike strips, the pickup he was driving came to a stop in the middle of the highway.
Harpole is charged with driving while suspended, attempting to elude and a probation violation, among others. His passenger, 28-year-old William Worthington of Terrebonne, was arrested for meth possession.
BEND, OR -- Bend's Park & Rec District is offering free recreation opportunities at The Pavilion this week. The ice is gone and they are setting up the hoops sport courts for the warm weather season.
To showcase the new activities, this is “Free Play Week,” meaning there is no charge at the covered sports complex on Simpson Ave. All ages are welcome to drop in for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton and yard games. Skateboarders and scooter riders can try out new skate park features at the pavilion. Skaters and riders need to bring their own board or scooter and helmet.
This week’s schedule is as follows: Pickleball, badminton, skate park features and yard games are offered 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; basketball, volleyball, skate park features and yard games are available 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Click HERE
for more information.
Or if water sports is your thing, don’t forget the whitewater park where surfers are already hanging-10.
BEND, OR -- State lawmakers passed PERS reform a couple of years ago, but the Oregon Supreme Court ruled many of those savings unconstitutional. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) wants lawmakers to be ready to pass new reforms during the 2017 Legislative Session.
Knopp sent a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), last week, calling for meetings during upcoming Legislative Days in May, September and December to discuss would could survive constitutional scrutiny. Knopp tells KBND News, "I just think it's really important that the State Legislature gets started now, as opposed to February of next year, to start talking about PERS reform and what's really necessary to happen to the system that makes it more fair and sustainable, long term."
He says there are several options that have not yet been tried. "The money market rate for money match would cut the annuity rate almost in half. And, we're highly confident that's constitutional. Obviously, starting a new plan for new-hires is constitutional, as well as setting some caps on what an individual can contribute part of their salary toward the retirement."
Knopp says if lawmakers don't take action, state and local governments will face a billion dollar increase in PERS costs during the 2017-2019 biennium. "If nothing else happens, it's the equivalent of losing 146 teachers over the next six years at Bend-La Pine School District. And that's essentially 15% of the entire teacher workforce in the district. A similar number will happen, as a percentage, in Redmond schools, as well."
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was seriously injured in a Saturday evening motorcycle crash near the Seventh Mountain Resort. Investigators say there were no witnesses to the accident, but one person reported seeing the motorcycle traveling eastbound from Mt Bachelor at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.
Just before 8 p.m., Deschutes County deputies found 48-year-old Shawn Holm on the shoulder of the road, unconscious but breathing. He was air lifted to St. Charles Bend, where he remains in critical condition.
He was wearing a helmet; alcohol and speed appear to be factors in the crash.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested Sunday after a neighbor dispute involving a handgun. Edgar Puga Castro allegedly refused to leave a home on Tango Creek Avenue in northeast Bend, and fired one round during a fight. No one was hit by the bullet, but the victim suffered minor injuries in the altercation.
Castro left the scene, but was found several hours later at the Ariel Glen Apartments and taken into custody on a number of charges including Attempted Assault, Menacing and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The investigation is ongoing.
BEND, OR -- Two Bend men will be back in court later this week to face felony animal abuse charges, in two separate attacks.
In the first case, 23-year-old Ethan Allen Buck is accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s dog. Investigators say the man punched and kicked the dog during the brutal attack. The seven-year-old lab suffered serious injuries, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Separately, 55-year-old Glen Lacoss allegedly hung his neighbor’s cat from a fence. The District Attorney’s office says he set a snare and trapped the cat. He was reportedly upset because it came into his yard. In that case, the animal did not survive.
District Attorney John Hummel said in a statement, "Buck and Lacoss are presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court. However, my office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and if they are convicted, we will seek a significant penalty."
Both men are due back in court on Wednesday.
LA PINE, OR -- A woman's body was found inside a La Pine home, and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says it appears she had been dead for "an extended period of time." Initially, deputies were called to the home on Center Drive, Friday morning, on a request to check the welfare of the person or people inside.
An autopsy will be scheduled at the State Medical Examiner's office in Clackamas; no other information has yet been released.
DCSO detectives, the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab and the Deschutes County Medical Examiner are all assisting in the ongoing investigation.
BEND, OR -- Bend's new $33 million water treatment facility is finally up and running. Political and legal issues slowed the project, but the city will celebrate its completion on Friday. Public Works Director Paul Rehault tells KBND News, "We were originally regulated to have this done by 2012. We received some extensions to that. We then signed with the Oregon Health Authority last year, a document called a bilateral compliance agreement that said we’d have this operational by April 15, 2016. We’ve met that so this is kind of a celebration of meeting that."
Read more about the project.
He says the upgrades were necessary to prevent certain water-borne illnesses. "It will make it safer. A bug that is sometimes in water called cryptosporidium, it has caused illnesses in other parts of the country before, and the US government has required that we filter for that. We’re one of the last systems in the country to have the requirement to be filtered." Rehault adds, "This is a great thing for the city of Bend. We’re so dependent on water here, whether it be our climate or some of the industries that are obviously growing here in the city. It’s great to have the water supplies that we do, and it’s even greater now that we have them properly treated."
The city tested the system for a couple of months using pretreated well water. They started treating Bridge Creek water a couple of weeks ago. Bend's water used to be treated with chlorine to prevent contaminants.
This project also included a new 11-mile pipe that diverts water from Bridge Creek to Tumalo Creek.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon teens have a chance to meet a dozen published authors in the Young Adult genre, this weekend. It’s billed as the first ever local Teen Literary Festival, by the Deschutes Public Library. Community Librarian April Witteveen tells KBND News they were looking for a way to make a bigger impact with local book-loving teens. “Instead of touring one author around, we thought we would bring multiple authors in for a one-day conference style event that will really attract those strong readers and writers, and really give them a chance to hear from a bunch of authors, and see what life might be like if they pursue their dreams of writing.”
Authors from Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada will be on hand. Witteveen says the event “Gives the teens that really cool chance to meet authors in person. And for somebody who loves books and reading, authors are kind of like rock stars, so it’s a big deal.” The Teen Lit Festival is open to middle and high school students, along with adults interested in the genre.
There is no charge but online registration is required.
SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of calls in the past week, regarding a man filming citizens. He posts his videos on YouTube under the handle "FedSmoker." Some videos are profanity laden, and others show recent interactions with deputies at the Sisters substation. "I’m here to do a business. I want to do business out here, brother. You guys cannot push me out of this town, and it’s the wrong guy to push, is all I’ll say, sir. I want you clean to tell you that." In another video he tells a deputy, "Your city needs to realize, you understand that records and cameras are legal in this state, right sir? My car’s get ‘em all over the place."
His real name is Conald Peterson, and Lt. Chad Davis says he’s right – his videos aren’t illegal. "He’s been in and around Sisters doing that with people’s knowledge and without people’s knowledge. But there is no statutes or anything preventing him from doing that." He tells KBND News, "Most of the calls have been regarding concerns for people’s safety. And, folks are doing exactly what we ask them to do – to call in when things don’t look right or look suspicious. So, we encourage them to keep doing so, to call in when they see any suspicious activity or activity that they believe is criminal in nature or possibly where the public is in danger." But, so far, he says, "Most of our contacts with him have been congenial. And, he’s been compliant with requests; he has been trespassed from a few businesses."
Peterson is a transient who appears to have arrived in Sisters within the past week. Lt. Davis says he's had run-ins with law enforcement during past visits, but doesn't appear to have a criminal record.
REDMOND, OR -- Police are looking for a 33-year-old Madras man who led them on a high-speed chase Wednesday evening. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement detectives spotted a known fugitive driving on Highway 97, north of Redmond at about 7:30 p.m. But, when they tried to stop Malcolm Harpole on the Culver Highway, he sped off.
He traveled down a number of rural and forest service roads before running over police spike strips at Lone Pine and Smith Rock Way. After driving on two flat tires northeast of Redmond at speeds of 45-55 MPH, Harpole took off on foot near NE 45th and Walnut.
Despite a ground and aerial search, he remains at large. Anyone with information on this ongoing investigation is asked to call 911.
The vehicle Harpole was driving was stolen from Lane County in 2015; the motorcycle in its bed was stolen earlier this year from Redmond.
BEND, OR -- Bend Police will start penalizing those with monitored alarms, for false alarms that force a police response. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News, "At the beginning of the year, we had a crime analyst in our office with us, and I asked her what is the biggest waste of time we had – what did we spend time on that is zero productivity and is absorbing our time. And, she immediately, off the top of her head without looking at the stats, said it’s the false alarms for response."
He says stats show about 2/3 of the alarm calls police responded to in 2015 were false alarms. "We had 2300 alarms last year. Of those 2300, about 1700 were false alarms caused by either inattentiveness, a system that needs to be worked on, or people who just weren’t engaged with how to use the alarm – like a new-hire employee who isn’t given the alarm code."
Chief Porter says fines won't be imposed until the second false alarm. "The first alarm is a warning letter; we provide you with a warning letter. The second false alarm is a $250 fine, which you have the right to appeal. I look at the facts, and determine in fact if there was anything they could have done to prevent the alarm." The third offense carries a $500 fine, and it goes up to $1200 by the fourth. After that, he says the department could decide not to respond to that location. "Our job at the police department is not to collect revenue from people, but is to change people’s behavior."
to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors made some headway in finding needed money to fund road repairs, following last month's defeat of a local gas tax. They spent more than four hours combing through the budget to find nearly $760,000 of the nearly $1.3 million they're trying to put toward roads. A majority agreed not to pull from the law enforcement budget.
Councilor Sally Russell tells KBND News, "It's a really hard conversation. We found probably just over half of what we should really have. The finally proposal was actually to pull from our reserves to fund the gap. Boy, I don’t know that we agree that that’s what reserves should really be used for." She says pulling from the transient room tax is not enough. "Yes, they are growing, but they’re not growing nearly quickly enough to even begin to scratch the surface of what we as a community have to invest in our roads to just stabilize them."
Councilor Victor Chudowsky has proposed dipping into reserves and using more room tax money to get through 2017. "What we’re doing now is we’re passing the budget we really should’ve passed. The argument was for $5 million, the extra money from a gas tax. And, what we’ve learned from this meeting is that’s clearly not true. We’re looking now, basically, at about $300,000 to $500,000 to plug this gap for streets." He tells KBND News, "We have more than enough money for this fiscal year. Now, we’re down to a very small gap for next year. And, moving forward, revenue growth will be strong enough to cover streets in the future. Basically, what it shows today is that a gas tax was not necessary."
Councilors will meet again April 27 to make more cuts.
BEND, OR -- The book Euphoria is the Deschutes Public Library’s 2016 Novel Idea selection, read by more than 6,000 locals; among those are quilters who create artwork based on their impressions of the book. Marilyn Forestell owns QuiltWorks on Greenwood Avenue in Bend, where quilters have been busy filling her gallery. “We have 43 art pieces, mostly quilts, but some other textile projects based on the novel Euphoria by Lilly King.” The book is loosely based on the life of cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade.
At the gallery, located on the second floor of QuiltWorks, quilts, masks and textile projects depict life in the south seas in the 1930’s. “Each piece has a description of why the quilter chose this, what they made. And the descriptions are as interesting as the pieces,” Forestell tells KBND News.
Libraries in New York and Washington State have asked Forestell about doing similar projects for their community reading events. In addition, nearly 40 local book clubs are holding their meetings at QuiltWorks to discuss Euphoria while viewing the artwork.
TERREBONNE, OR -- A Terrebonne woman admits she fell asleep, causing a crash near Odem Avenue, Wednesday afternoon. Deschutes County investigators say 25-year-old Vanisha Shuey was driving on NW 19th at about 2:15 p.m. when she crossed the center line, went off the road and hit a power pole. Her car then crashed through a barbed wire fence before stopping in a grass field.
Shuey does not have a license and was not hurt. Deputies later arrested her for an unrelated parole violation.
About 300 nearby residents lost electricity for several hours while crews repaired the power pole.
Deputies responded to another crash, about 45 minutes later, at the other end of the county. Two people were hurt at Huntington and State Rec Road in La Pine. Investigators say a 26-year-old Bend woman failed to stop at a stop sign and hit an SUV driven by Rosemarie Trejo Arcos, of La Pine.
Trejo Arcos was trapped inside her car, but was later extricated by fire personnel. She was flown to St. Charles Bend. Stephanie Beutler was treated at the scene for minor injuries and later cited for failing to obey a traffic control device.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s 911 Service District is moving ahead with plans to replace its aging radio system, in the hopes voters will pass a permanent funding levy in May. Director Steve Reinke says the state will cover about half of the cost of building the new system, lowering the county’s obligation to $6.5 million, which it already has in reserves. "We just signed an agreement with the state for that partnership and with the corporation that’s providing the equipment. But, what we don’t have is long-term stable funding for the maintenance and operation and the eventual replacement of the system when it becomes out of date in 15 years."
Deschutes County voters will be asked next month to approve a new permanent funding levy for the Service District. Reinke acknowledges this is an interesting time to be on the ballot, especially with some voters threatening to stay away from the polls on May 17. He tells KBND News, "I sure hope that that’s not the case. I think there’s so much energy around the candidates of the two major parties, that I wouldn’t be surprised if turnout isn’t somewhat better because people want to get their voice heard on the candidate of the two from each party that they support."
Reinke is optimistic voters will approve the funding, which would not only help fund system maintenance, but eventually hire more dispatchers. "One of the things that we’ve tried to do at the district over the years is be frugal with money, to take reserve funds and make sure we allocate them for projects we need in the future, like the radio system, so we don’t have to go out for a bond; we are actually able to pay cash. We’re hoping that the public sees us as a worthy service and that we’ve earned their trust and respect." The new levy would replace the current combination of levies with one that could increase over time, up to 42.5-cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
to hear more of our conversation with 911 Director Steve Reinke, or visit our Podcast Page
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Ochoco National Forest officials closed a two-mile stretch of road south of the Black Canyon Wilderness, Tuesday, after crews discovered a large hole.
A ponderosa pine uprooted, tearing a 10-foot deep and 20-foot wide hole in Forest Road 5850, inside the Paulina Ranger District. Road closure signs are in place; work is scheduled to be completed within the next 10 days.
MADRAS, OR -- The first of six homes built for agricultural workers in the Madras area is now finished. Housing Works, NeighborImpact and the Heart of Oregon Corps' Youth Build program have joined together to produce the affordable homes for lower income families.
Kelly Fisher, with Housing Works, tells KBND News the partnership began a couple of years ago. "We've done several homes with Youth Build over the past few years, and they had a grant and a need to have some projects available for their youth to work on. Initially, we had one lot available to start with in Madras, and then we worked with NeighborImpact to acquire some additional lots." Heart of Oregon provides young people the opportunity to work toward their high school diploma by building affordable housing in the community.
On Friday, the partners will celebrate the completion of the first house, "This is just a chance for all of the partners to come together, to acknowledge the youth for all of their hard work and just introduce the home to the community and the new tenants that will be moving into the house, congratulating them," says Fisher. "They'll get a chance to then buy the house after they're there for 10 years." She describes the 1200-square foot home: "It's a three-bedroom, two-bath, double-car garage, with a really nice open floor plan. It'll have all the appliances, and a fully-fenced backyard. It's a great little property; it's going to be a great addition to the neighborhood."
Work on a second Madras home is already underway and a third will begin soon.
BEND, OR -- A local nonprofit working with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault hopes to provide permanent housing for its clients. Survivors of family violence often face a housing dilemma: If they can’t find a place locally, and don’t want to move out of the area, they sometimes return home, where they were attacked, rather than face homelessness.
Executive Director Janet Huerta wants to create a village of cottages survivors can rent and get a new, safe start. “These are permanent small cottages between 250-to-450-square feet. We’re really looking to build anywhere from 20 to 30 units in a village model, so that it’s not going to look like a typical subdivision.” The cottages would have a bathroom and a kitchen. The village would have a community center.
Huerta tells KBND News, “We’ve got some great development budget plans and operating plans. We’ve got some really great expertise of people who are providing the technical assistance to us. The thing that’s holding us back right now is having the land. ” She says they need a donation of at least 1.5-acres, but would prefer 2.5 acres. Once the land is secured, Huerta says survivors of family violence or sexual assault could start a new life within a year and a half.
BEND, OR -- Improperly discarded cigarettes are blamed for a fire at a townhouse under construction in the Broken Top neighborhood, Tuesday.
Firefighters responded to the five-unit complex on Painted Ridge Loop, just after 5 p.m. They knocked down the second floor fire in less than 10 minutes and damage was limited to a deck and surrounding area.
Bend Fire officials say the improper disposal of smoking materials is the leading cause of structure fires in the city.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One of Oregon’s most beloved literary figures celebrated her 100th birthday, Tuesday. Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville and moved to Portland when she was young.
Senator Ron Wyden recognize her contributions to the state, during a speech on the Senate floor. "Her book series Ramona and Henry Huggins are both set in Portland and continue to serve as important threads throughout Oregon’s literary fabric. Ms Cleary’s impact on the state of Oregon and the city of Portland have not gone unnoticed." A northeast Portland K-8 school is named after the author, and in 2000 the Library of Congress named her a “living legend.”
Wyden added, "For years, Beverly Cleary’s characters have called Portland home, and for the countless children who grew up with her writing, Ms Cleary’s stories have been their haven. With enduring and relatable themes of adventure and adolescence and friendship, Ms Cleary’s novels have withstood the test of time and have established their place in the pages of Oregon’s cultural heritage."
Cleary was born in McMinnville and moved to Portland as a child. Throughout her 66-year career, Cleary wrote more than 40 children’s books, selling 90-million copies.
BEND, OR -- If you’ve been putting off doing your taxes thinking they are due Friday, you're not alone. April 15 strikes fear in the hearts of many taxpayers, especially the procrastinator.
But, David Tucker with the IRS tells KBND News procrastinators can celebrate, this year. “There’s a holiday called Emancipation day that’s celebrated in Washington D.C." Emancipation Day is April 16, but because that falls on a weekend in 2016, it will be recognized on Friday, April 15. The holiday forces the closure of IRS offices in D.C. Tucker says, “This year people are going to have a few more days to actually do their tax return and file it by Monday, April 18.” Emancipation Day marks the release of 3100 slaves in Washington D.C. by Abraham Lincoln in 1862.
The Oregon Department of Revenue has already processed more than a million tax returns. However, 700,000 Oregonians have yet to file their taxes.
REDMOND, OR -- Consumer Cellular is hiring again for its Redmond call center. Several job fairs this week aim to find people to fill about 120 openings. Tiffany Smith tells KBND News the company continues to grow. "I’d say it’s pretty typical for what we’ve been hiring for. So far, we’ve been experiencing huge growth as a company. Not only here in Redmond are we hiring at that rate, but also in our Phoenix office, as well." She adds, "We’re hiring at about 30 every two weeks. Once we get to full staff, which we figure would be at about 120 positions, then we would just hire to [account for] any attrition we had." The call center has about 550 employees
Job fairs will be held at the Redmond center from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Smith says, "What we would do at the job fair, for those who are interested, if they could please apply to our website. When they’re here, we would actually do an on-site interview with them, give them a tour of the building, allow them to see what the job is all about, maybe listen to some phone calls that our current representatives would take." Positions are full time and include benefits.
REDMOND, OR -- Construction continues on the former Evergreen School, as it is converted into Redmond’s next City Hall. But, crews keep finding surprises, which has led to some delays on the project.
Heather Richards, with the city of Redmond, tells KBND News some of what they’ve discovered highlights the building’s history. "We found two arched doorways that are now inside the building, but were originally the exterior entrances to the building from the backside. They were covered in three layers of ceilings and walls. We’ve removed all that and we’re actually going to restore them because they’re brick archways; very beautiful. And, we’ll just have them restored as hallway archways inside the building and we’ll put interpretive plaques by them."
But, she says not all surprises are positive. "There’s a northwest wing, which was an addition to the building and interestingly, it was built with a couple of different types of products. One wall was built with hollow clay tile, which doesn’t have a lot of structural integrity; so we have to reinforce that." And, she says they planned for asbestos abatement, but didn't realize it would require the removal of the roof. "We knew there was asbestos on the roof; we removed a couple of layers of it. When we got down to the decking, what we found out was the decking had been impregnated with asbestos materials, as well. For instance, where you have nails going through the decking, the asbestos in the layers above it started to migrate down into those nails holes. Because of that, we had to abate the decking for the roof as well, so we took down the whole roof and we hadn’t anticipated having to do that."
Richards is hopeful the delays won’t push completion too far beyond the original goal. "We’re not where we’d hoped to be in the schedule of the construction project; however, it is a 12-month project, so there might be opportunities to win back those days down the road, so to speak." But, because the city isn't in a rush to move out of it's existing facility, she's not worried. "Our end date right now is 12/31/16, however if we have to go into January we can; there’s no financial impact from that, so that’s nice."
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Warm Springs Forest Products Industry mill is no longer considered viable, and tribal leaders took steps this week to shut down the mill, permanently. It has not been in operation for several weeks, but that was initially intended to be temporary until logging roads were usable.
However, the company - which is primarily owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs - owes money to a number of logging companies and missed its latest payment to the tribe, according to Spilyay Tymoo
, the tribe's newspaper. The enterprise is now in court-supervised receivership, with assets slated to be sold off to help pay its debts.
About 85 people, mostly tribal members, were working at the mill prior to the closure. The tribe purchased the operation from Jefferson Plywood in the 1960s, and say it provided substantial dividends for decades. However, they say the lumber market is changing and the mill's equipment is no longer appropriate for the current type of logs coming through. Officials are considering a number of business models to bring new revenue to the tribe.
BEND, OR -- A predatory sex offender reportedly disconnected his ankle monitor Wednesday morning. Law enforcement throughout the region is now looking for 42-year-old Justin Lampke. He is on post-prison supervision for Sexual Abuse and Attempted Sodomy convictions.
Lampke is described as a white male, 5'7", 160 pounds. He has longish brown hair and was last seen wearing dark sweat pants, a blue polo-type shirt and a jacket.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately.
FRIDAY UPDATE: Deschutes County authorities believe Lampke is no longer in Central Oregon, although the search for him continues.
MONDAY UPDATE: Authorities arrested Lampke in Seattle on Sunday. He will be returned to Oregon where he is expected to serve time for violating parole.
Photo: Lampke in Jan. 2013
BEND, OR -- Local jail officials say too many people with mental health problems are filling their cells. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says Sheriff Shane Nelson has been working on a potential solution.
During a recent talk with the League of Women Voters, he explained the idea behind a drop off site: "What if a loved one could bring their son or daughter to a center that's not a secure facility - the person doesn't have to be there but it's trained professionals. Law enforcement is there, if something gets out of control. But, it's a place you can drop off and leave them for a day or two." He adds, "It's voluntary and paid for by the community - you don't have to pay an entry fee. Just a cooling off period so the loved ones can have some time on their own and this person can get the help they need to talk to someone. There's a site that's been identified, just a few days ago. This is really neat; it's just in the beginning steps."
Hummel says this type of center could reduce the number of mentally ill in local jails, and give families another option aside from calling 911. Other communities have similar sites for those who are drunk or high and need to detox, but haven't committed a crime.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors stopped short of formally rejecting a zoning change for Troy Field, at their meeting last week. The Bend-La Pine School District owns the downtown property and wants to sell it to pay for needed school projects. The potential buyer from Portland wants to build a hotel on the lot, but a zoning change is needed to allow for construction.
School Board member Andy High tells KBND News why they asked Councilors to delay their decision. "The City Council gave us an extension of 30 days before the vote. This will allow us to continue to explore the options we have with Troy Field and allow both parties a little bit more time to decide how we would like to move forward."
He adds, "We could just appeal the City Council's decision not to remove 'public facility,' or we could tell the buyer that 'it appears the City Council is not going to remove the public facilities designation. Therefore, you can either buy it as is, or --.' We just need more time exploring those options."
City Councilors are expected to make a final decision at its meeting on May fourth.
BEND, OR -- Scientific studies show that pollinating animals have suffered from loss of habitat in developing communities. That alarming fact sparked the creation of a local bee and butterfly garden. Basey Klopp received a grant from Mt. Bachelor’s Protect Your Playground program three years ago.
Working with the city of Bend, Klopp and some like-minded volunteers were given a space next to the community garden at the corner of NE 9th and Franklin. Klopp tells KBND News, “I’ve planted specific plants to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds that will help pollinate the garden plants in the community garden right next to us.”
The strip of property has more than 200 native pollinator plants, including “Flowering buckwheat, we have spirea, we have a mock orange,” says Klopp. A local Monarch Butterfly advocate group joined forces with the Native Pollinator garden and added native milkweed plants to attract the butterfly.
Klopp says her first measure of success was finding in more bees and butterflies in the native pollinator garden by year two, which was welcome news for the community gardeners next door.
Mt. Bachelor's “Protect Your Playground” grant process is now accepting new applications for ideas that could help the future of local environment and outdoor spaces. Grants are $100 to $2,500. Click HERE
to apply. Applications can be made through Friday. Winning proposals will be announced April 22, Earth Day.
Ferguson Road closed between 15th Street and King Solomon Lane. (6/13)
Murphy Road and Parrell Road closed with detours. (9/30)
Powell Butte Highway at Neff and Alfalfa Market Roads (8/31)