BEND, OR -- Now that temperatures have warmed, melting snow and ice and rain throughout Central Oregon increase the risk of localized flooding. Sandbags went fast at self-serve filling stations offered Tuesday in Bend, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine and Prineville.
Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says the four locations around Bend stayed busy. "We had a really good response from the community. We’ve depleted our resources that were set aside for the community for sandbags." The city of Bend handed out 13,000 bags and about 193-tons of sand. Stations opened Tuesday morning and the Bend locations were out by midday. Redmond officials also saw a big response at their three filling stations, providing around 7,000 sandbags to residents.
Lt. Burleigh says there are no plans to offer more sandbags, but they are available at local retailers. "There’s the alternative to sandbags, we’ve been letting people know about that." He adds, "You can use dirt in plastic bags or visqueen and duct tape; we’ve shown some people to – ‘thinking beyond the sandbags’ is what we’re trying to say – tires and visqueen."
And, he tells KBND News, "There’s also looking at clearing storm drains and catch basins, pulling snow away from your foundation and siding, getting roofs cleared off and finding your fire hydrants; those are some things you can do to really help get yourself through the situation we’re looking at right now."
BEND, OR -- Despite warmer temperatures, Oregon Department of Transportation road crews continue on 12-hour shifts, working to clear snow and ice from state highways. ODOT’s Peter Murphy says the region is heading into a weather pattern likely to create more problems. "You get that freeze/thaw cycle going on, where it’ll melt a little bit, then it’ll melt and freeze and melt and freeze; and that’s pothole city. So, coming out of this, whenever it’s going to be, that’s what will happen. So, we’ll go out initially and use a cold patch. You can’t really do a whole lot about a pothole until it warms up and dries out."
Warmer temperatures are naturally clearing some snow and ice, but it's not even halfway through winter and Murphy tells KBND News, "You’re going to have moisture rolling somewhere, that’s the bottom line - whether it’s snow or rain or whatever. And so, ice expands – that’s the one thing that expands when it gets cold. So, it’ll expand; the water, when it warms up, it’ll drop down; it’ll expand then drop down and it just kind of widens out that pothole. So, if people do see a major pothole, we probably know where it is but it’s ok to call us and let us know."
"Wash-boarding" can be the most difficult hazard during a thaw and Murphy says in severe cases they’ll send out a road grader. "That’s pretty massive weight going down and breaking it up; takes a little while to do that. That kind of thing you don’t move in a hurry on; you don’t want to tear up the highway, either. So, that takes a real skill and it takes time. Where and when it’s necessary we do that; but we do try to wait. Plus, we’ll throw magnesium chloride in, where the opportunity exists to help melt that down first; or maybe that’s all it needs."
Heavy rain on top of snow and ice also causes a risk of landslides. Ali Ryan Hansen, with the Oregon Department of Geology, says super-saturated ground could shift in many areas around the state. She says you can normally hear a landslide before it starts. "You're going to want to listen for unusual sounds that may indicate moving debris; trees cracking, boulders knocking together. A trickle of mud falling or debris may proceed a larger landslide." She adds drivers and pedestrians need to "be extra alert; use all of your senses." And, "Around the home, it may be something like cracks appearing in the foundation, walls leaning, trees leaning."
BEND, OR -- Most Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools return to some sense of normalcy Wednesday after closures – first from the massive amount of snow from several storms, then from concerns over the stability of roofs at district facilities under the weight of all that snow.
Tuesday evening, Bend-La Pine Schools officials announced 30 facilities would re-open Wednesday, after snow removal efforts and engineering assessments. Those schools will run on-time, with no early release. Five elementary schools remain closed: Elk Meadow, Lava Ridge, Pine Ridge, Ponderosa and W.E. Miller. Three middle schools are also closed for another day: Pacific Crest, Pilot Butte and REALMS.
In the Redmond School District, Terrebonne and Tumalo Community Schools are closed for what the Superintendent says will hopefully be just one more day, to allow crews to complete snow removal in areas that are said to be difficult to access. All other schools in the Redmond district are on a typical "School Improvement Wednesday" schedule.
Click HERE to read the full statement from Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh. Access the full statement from Bend-La Pine Schools HERE. These 30 BLP Schools facilities are open Wednesday:
Administration – Education Center
Amity Creek at Thompson School
Bear Creek Elementary
High Lakes Elementary
Highland at Kenwood School
La Pine Elementary
R.E. Jewell Elementary
Silver Rail Elementary
Three Rivers Elementary
Westside Village at Kingston School
High Desert Middle
La Pine Middle
Sky View Middle
Bend Senior High
La Pine High
Mountain View High
Transportation, La Pine
Warehouse – Distribution
Bend International School
REDMOND, OR -- Some local propane customers are going without heating fuel due to an apparent problem with a rail shipment. William Tallman relies on deliveries from Co-Energy Propane as his primary source of heat for his Prineville home.
He tells KBND News he's been waiting more than a week. "I called them on the seventh that I was in peril of running out, and that’s when I first found out I was going to be put on a list. And, they were taking the worst-case scenarios first – like, if you were already out of fuel, they were going to take care of you first. And, you’d be moved up the list as things progressed." After several more calls, Tallman says he finally got some answers, "And then finally, I got, I guess it was this past weekend, someone told me they were having train trouble; the railroad wouldn’t release a car and that’s all they would tell me."
A Co-Energy employee confirms the propane is sitting on a train in Redmond, but the railroad won’t release the shipment. She tells KBND News she's received a number of calls from angry customers. Burlington Northern would not discuss specific clients or shipments.
"In the meantime," says Tallman, "The only other heat we have in the house – in each bedroom, there’s electric heat – but, in the main room in the house there is no other heat. I’m in the kitchen, so I turned the stove on and the burners on til it warms up really good. And then, I went out and bought a propane bottle with a heatilator on top and I run that until the tank runs out."
BEND, OR -- Flood concerns have eased; However, local officials are still urging residents to take precautions over the next few days. The National Weather Service has reduced the amount of expected rainfall and temperatures have moderated, slightly. Experts now say the amount of runoff from melting snow won’t be as severe as initially thought.
Sisters City Hall - 520 E Cascades Ave
Sunriver Public Works - 57455 Abbot Dr
Deschutes Co. Road Dept. - 61550 SE 27th St. Bend
Deschutes Co. South Services Bldg - 51340 US 97, La Pine
Bend residents can find sandbag materials, beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, as well:
Pacific Crest Middle School - 3030 NW Elwood Ln
Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office (upper parking lot) - Jamison Rd., south of the main office.
Bend Streets & Operations Headquarters - 575 NE 15th St (behind Bend PD)
South Bend Fire Station - 61080 Country Club Cr.
And, materials for 5,000 sandbags will be available in Redmond, also starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday:
Umatilla Sports Complex - 3000 SW Umatilla Ave.
Spud Bowl - 164 SW 15th
Quince Park - 1101 NW Quince Ave.
Crook County announced late Tuesday morning a station would open in Prineville at the Fairgrounds (1280 SE Main St), 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and again 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Alternative materials are also encouraged.
BEND, OR -- Schools in Central Oregon’s two largest districts remain closed Tuesday for snow removal and facility assessments. Hundreds of employees and contractors worked through the holiday weekend to clear snow from rooftops at Redmond and Bend-La Pine schools, but not all are finished. Efforts began after the gym roof collapsed at Highland Magnet School on Newport Ave. in Bend.
In Redmond, Superintendent Mike McIntosh tells KBND News roofs still need to be cleared at Redmond High (above) and Tumalo and Terrebonne Community Schools. "We’ve been working feverishly and have not gotten to all of our school sites. And so, we believe we can get that finished up [Tuesday] and our engineers are back on site to give us one final evaluation before we get back to work. Hopefully school resumes on Wednesday." He says engineers have, so far, not found any structural damage. As snow was removed, sagging roofs have returned to normal positions. Read the full statement issued by McIntosh Monday evening: HERE.
Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson released a statement Monday evening, saying he hopes to begin "rolling openings," Wednesday. Some schools are expected to open Wednesday, followed by more schools each day this week. Bend-La Pine Schools updates can be found HERE.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend will open its downtown location (500 NW Wall St) for all-day programming, Tuesday. Due to limited space, they say they'll welcome 250 K-12 grade kids on a first come, first serve basis. REACH in Redmond will open its main location to the first 80 students.
BEND, OR -- The Fed-Ex Ship Center in Bend remains closed after massive snow loads put the roof in danger of collapsing at the Northeast Jamison warehouse. Fed-Ex customers have complained they’ve received very little information from the company about current shipments. Many say they are unable get the roof rakes they ordered online when local stores sold out during recent storms.
A Fed-Ex spokesperson says they have moved all packages from the closed station to a nearby facility and are now working to prioritize and expedite deliveries.
Heather Wilson, at the FedEx corporate office, released the following statement to KBND News:
"All shipments have been relocated from the impacted station to a nearby facility and are being prioritized for expedited delivery. We regret any inconvenience and are committed to providing service to the best of our ability. While we can confirm there are not thousands of undelivered packages, we are committed to safely delivering any outstanding packages as quickly as possible."
LA PINE, OR -- The Red Cross is helping several local families impacted by weekend fires. A La Pine house (above) was partially destroyed Friday morning in a fire on Caribou Road that may have started in the chimney. No one was home at the time.
Friday afternoon, Crooked River Ranch firefighters responded to
a mobile home (right) on Mustang Road. They say the homeowner was trying to thaw the main water line when the fire started.
Redmond Fire is investigating the cause of a Friday night blaze at a Terrebonne home that caused $35,000 in damage.
And, crews responded to a house fire on Choctaw Road in Deschutes River Woods on Saturday that affected two adults and their pets.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville woman faces charges after allegedly stealing a car and crashing into a patrol car during a police pursuit.
According to Prineville police, the car was stolen Saturday night after the owner left it running and unlocked. It was spotted just after midnight. When police tried to stop the car, it took off. During the pursuit, they say the driver, Elizabeth Ann Butler, struck the front of a police car, causing minor damage.
The chase ended when the stolen car crashed into a parked vehicle near SE Idlewood and First Street. Both vehicles were totaled and 28-year-old Butler was arrested. She was checked by medics after she complained of cuts on her face from the ice sustained during her arrest.
BEND, OR -- Bend Firefighters rescued a person who fell through the ice on the Deschutes River near the Old Mill District, Saturday afternoon. Fire officials say the victim was one of three people who ventured out onto the ice at about 3 p.m.
The person got out of the water on their own and was sitting on an unstable ice shelf when rescuers arrived. A firefighter in a dry suit crawled out onto the ice to secure the victim and get them back to shore.
Bend Fire reminds everyone of the dangers of iced over bodies of water... rivers are particularly dangerous, as currents can pull victims underneath the ice and make recovery difficult.
BEND, OR -- Local school districts continue to assess and repair schools, after record snowfall and in anticipation of possible flooding, this week.
Sisters Schools officials reopened facilities late Friday, declaring all are safe. Bend-La Pine Superintendent Shay Mikalson said yesterday he is less optimistic all schools will reopen Tuesday following weekend clean-up efforts at three-dozen sites. Engineers found structural damage at R.E. Jewell Elementary and possible problems at Bear Creek Elementary and Westside Village Magnet School. Bend-La Pine Schools updates are available on the district's website.
Both Mikalson and Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh expect to announce at 5 p.m. Monday whether all or some schools will resume tomorrow. Click HERE
to read the full statement from Mike McIntosh, issued Sunday.
BEND, OR -- Over the weekend crews in cities and counties across Central Oregon began working to clear storm drains on major roads in anticipation of the threat of region-wide flooding. Anne Aurand, with the city of Bend, tells KBND News, "The street plows will be continually scraping more and more snow and slush and ice off the roads to open up those storm drains. Our Utilities Department is also working to clear block storm drains."
And, she says they're staging equipment in high risk areas. "The Utilities Department knows, based on history, sort of where the high-risk flooding areas are, so they’re focusing their efforts on those particular locations." She adds, "Some of them are like the underpasses or certain neighborhoods that are sort of in a basin or lower parts of runoff areas. The Utilities Department has mobile pumps and Vactor trucks ready to pump high water areas. And then, we’re also ready to create detours and street closures to manage flooded areas to keep cars out of those."
Bend's IT Department created an interactive map of drains and fire hydrants so residents can help in the effort. "This is a new tool for us, but it’s so important right now that people help this whole community preventing floods and fires. We really need folks to dig out their storm drains and fire hydrants. We also understand these things are buried in sometimes feet of snow." To access Bend's map, click HERE.
The city of Redmond also released an online interactive map over the weekend. Click HERE
to view Redmond's storm drain map.
BEND, OR -- Warming weather forecast for early next week has local officials worried about the potential for flooding. Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the flood danger is serious, given unprecedented snow totals. "We have more snow on the ground than I can remember and there is just really no place for it to go if we haven’t uncovered our street drains. Some people may even need sandbags. Now’s the time to prepare; don’t wait until we start seeing those warmer temperatures because by then it’s going to be too late."
Murphy tells KBND News, "We have been spending some time and money trying to uncover our highway drains, and that’s part of why we’re doing the snow removal process. But, it’s the same issue, whether it’s the county, the state or the city. It’s going to be a flood event, we’re preparing for it now, and we just think everybody else should, too." He acknowledges the massive amount of snow that fell over the past six weeks makes uncovering drains an issue. "We have kind of multiple problems in that you can’t find some of those street drains; and even if you do, it’s frozen. So, what we’re looking out there at is a potential for some flooding here in the area and we want people to start getting ready now to get ahead of it."
But, he says, it is possible to find and clear them, "What you look for is the low spot in the road; that’s where it goes. So, if you can find a low spot where you live and maybe poke around a little bit with a wooden handle, or something to that effect, you might have some success." In extreme cases, Murphy says sandbags may be necessary to protect property.
Temperatures are expected to warm into the forties Tuesday and Wednesday, with rain forecast for both days.
REDMOND, OR -- Delta Airlines will add two daily nonstop flights from Redmond to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Roberts Field officials announced Friday. Flights begin June 12 and will be operated by SkyWest. The additional service between Central Oregon and SeaTac coincides with Delta's expanding service at the airline's Seattle hub.
The twice daily flights will depart from Redmond at 6 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. and depart SeaTac at 3 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. In a statement released by Roberts Field, Airport Director Zachary Bass said, "The additional capacity these Delta flights add with jet service are a great benefit to the Central Oregon communities. RDM experienced record breaking passenger numbers last year. This proves air carriers have noticed RDM's growth."
Tickets for the additional flights will be available for purchase beginning Sunday (January 15, 2017).
PRINEVILLE, OR-- Central Oregon cities and counties continue to take advantage of a break in the weather to clear roads. Prineville’s Street Superintendent Scott Smith briefed City Councilors, Thursday, on the immense effort to clear the city’s 57 miles of road.
He told Councilors, "We’ve been using every single piece of equipment that Public Works has. We even actually borrowed a backhoe from an employee’s family and we’re using that, right now, too. But, we’re running two road graders, one dump truck snowplow; we’ve got two sanders, we’ve got three backhoes, a loader."
He says he has an $11,500 annual overtime budget and has already easily burned through that, along with more than a thousand yards of sanding cinders. "Folks, last week, I panicked because I thought we were going to run out and wouldn’t have enough to get through the weekend," Smith told Councilors, Thursday. "So, we purchased another $5,000 worth. The problem is, there aren’t any trucks that are available to haul it, so we’re struggling to get those in. We got a load today, and hopefully with that, we’re going to be all right."
Prineville city crews begin at midnight or 1 a.m. and Smith says, if everything goes well, they can clear all streets in three days; until the next storm.
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials are now laser focused on the district's roofs, after one roof collapsed from the weight of all the snow.
Staff at Highland Magnet School at Kenwood discovered debris near the gym, when they got to work, Thursday morning. But, it wasn't until the sun came up that they realized the roof had collapsed sometime in the night. Dave Howe, with Bend Fire, says recent snowfall proved too much. "You can see how much snow collected on the roof. It looks to me that the snow was at least two-feet deep up there on the roof. That is a lot of weight." Crews demolished the building, Thursday.
The gym was built in the 1950s and had a flat roof, which made it more vulnerable. "A building like this built today would probably be built to higher standards," Howe tells KBND News. "Not only that, but when you have a flat roof and you have decades and decades of snowstorms, just like this one here, with snow piling up, it weakens the structure over the span of time." The school itself is a separate building and is much older than the gym. So far, officials say it appears fine.
All Bend-La Pine schools will remain closed through the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. "Once this was discovered, the school district took the action of closing all the schools, sending everybody home, so they could make a very thorough assessment of all of their buildings." Howe adds, "They feel very strongly that they're completely responsible for the safety of thousands of kids and don't want anything to go wrong. Thankfully there was nobody in this building when it collapsed."
Photo Credit: Mike Albright Photography
BEND, OR -- After Bend-La Pine Schools officials learned of the roof collapse at Highland Magnet School, they decided to shut down all schools as a precaution. But, with many students already on campus, it was organized chaos. Arriving parents checked in and students' names were called out over a loud speaker.
Alandra Johnson, with the district, says there is an emergency operations plan that guides the process. "We asked that all of our school take attendance so we knew the students that were at the school. So, that way, when parents came to pick up their students, we would make sure we knew who was there and tried to keep track of that as well as we could."
Johnson says she understands that cancelling school after many students are already on-campus was difficult for families. "We tried to communicate as quickly as we can, as urgently as we received the information; get that out to parents. Obviously, we wish students had never gotten to school so we could’ve just prevented that. But, we are really happy that parents responded so well and we were able to clear all of our schools of staff and students within a really short period of time."
Engineers are expected to continue to assess all facilities through the weekend and were already discovering possible problems by Thursday afternoon. "We have a couple of sites that have potential roof load issues and those are all being assessed: The education center in downtown Bend, Buckingham Elementary School, one building at Juniper Elementary School, La Pine High School and RE Jewell Elementary School." Johnson hopeful students will be able to return Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
REDMOND, OR -- Engineers are evaluating the roof of M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond after Students were evacuated Thursday morning due to concerns of the snow load on the roof.
Superintendent Mike McIntosh tells KBND News, "There’s some visible sagging in some of the roof portions, but that’s the extent of it. The building’s been there since 1969, I think it was, and it’s been sagging for a long time. We just think the snow-load factor demands that we take some measures to protect the health and safety of our kids and staff." He's mainly concerned about Lynch, although the district closed all schools Thursday afternoon after a number of roof leaks were reported. McIntosh says students were never in immediate danger but to err on the side of caution all facilities will remain closed through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. "The code changed in ’87 or ’84 or something, so we believe with great confidence that our more modern structures will in fact sustain the snow load we’re experiencing right now. But, the old buildings, I think it’s just prudent to be cautious."
He says Lynch students dropped off by parents were turned around Thursday before they could get out of the car, but those on buses had to wait to be picked up by their parents. "This is a tougher call than even a snow day call in the sense that we don’t know necessarily what’s between what we can see from the inside and what you can see from the outside. We can measure the depth of the snow, we can calculate its weight; and frankly, the only serious solution would be to remove it. And, that’s our plan for Lynch, is to get the snow removed from there and eliminate the hazard." He adds, "Shoveling the snow off the roof is only half the battle. If there’s damage, and I say ‘if,’ that will still be there. There may be some repairs to the structure, if in fact some damage is detected. Again, we don’t know that there is at Lynch, but there’s a recipe there that has a higher potential than other places."
According to McIntosh, engineers visited all Redmond schools in the last 12 months to conduct seismic assessments. But, he says checking for earthquake readiness is very different than predicting the risk of roof collapse under a massive snow load.
Dominoes continued to fall, later in the day, after Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools shuttered buildings. The Sisters School District announced Thursday night all schools would close to allow roof assessments. And, Central Christian School in Redmond said they would close Friday so crews could safely remove snow from its roof.
Crook County and Jefferson County 509-J schools both said their districts would remain open although officials are monitoring all facilities.
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials are extending the school year because of the five snow days impacting student instruction time. Schools were closed for a sixth and seventh day, Thursday and Friday, after a roof collapse at Kenwood School prompted an emergency closure of all facilities.
The end of the semester will move out one week, and the district has added four days to the end of the school year, in June. Students will now go to a full day of school Friday, June 16th, which was initially scheduled as a short last day. They’ll also have classes Monday, June 19th through Thursday, June 22nd. graduation days will not change.
In Redmond and Sisters, students have lost six days. Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh met Wednesday
with the Education Association to discuss the calendar. He expects a decision within the next week. Although they've lost roughly 30 hours of instructional time, McIntosh says they are not yet required to add time.
The Sisters School board will take up the issue at their next meeting, February first.
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials announced the immediate closure of all facilities Thursday, after students were transported to school. The district released the following statement just after 8 a.m.:
"ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED today, Thursday, Jan. 12. Roof collapse at Highland Magnet at Kenwood School gym prompts emergency closure of all schools to allow for roof assessments districtwide. No one was inside the gym at the time of the roof collapse.
Parents of bus riders, your student will be transported to school. Please pick up your student as soon as possible. Checkout using usual attendance systems. Again, please pick up your student as soon as possible.
All staff will leave schools and report back home after students are clear of the building. Bend-La Pine Schools classes and activities will be cancelled tomorrow, Friday, January 13 as well.
Thank you for your support and understanding. Your students’ safety is paramount."
Roads surrounding Kenwood School, near Newport Ave, are reportedly closed due to the emergency response. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area.
Top Photo: Mike Albright Photography
BEND, OR -- Bend's FedEx building is in danger of collapsing under the weight of heavy snow. Employees at the shipping center noticed the roof sagging, the smell of natural gas, and heard groaning and creaking noises, just before 11 a.m., Wednesday.
Cindy Kettering, with Bend Fire, says everyone immediately evacuated and Pacific Power and Cascade Natural Gas responded. "The building is very unsafe. At this time, everyone is out of the building, the utilities are being shut off and we're making sure it's a safe situation."
She says the facility remains closed until further notice. "What'll happen now is the building owner will contact structural engineers; they will have to determine what the safest way is to secure this building and make it safe for entry, and mitigate the situation."
"Anybody that has a package with FedEx that they were going to come and pick up, they're not able to do so," Kettering tells KBND News. "We can't put anybody in the building and risk their safety. We would ask the public to not come down to Jamison and attempt to pick up a package; they would not be able to do so." Ironically, she says the first person turned away after the evacuation was a person trying to pick up a roof rake ordered online.
BEND, OR -- Bend's Southwest Industrial Way is closed, because of a roof collapse at a building owned by Hooker Creek. The building runs along the road and Bend Fire says there is danger of further collapse.
No one was inside the KorePine building when the roof caved in at about 5:30 p.m., Wednesday. Emergency crews responded, but did not enter the building due to its instability. Debris was found as far as 100 yards away.
Hooker Creek uses the facility to store construction and private recreational vehicles. The company will bring in structural engineers to assess the building and work to prevent further loss.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond students have now lost six school days, plus another two hours from a delay. Superintendent Mike McIntosh plans to meet Wednesday with representatives from the Education Association to discuss the future of this year's calendar.
McIntosh tells KBND News that, although they've lost roughly 30 hours of instructional time, the district is not yet required by the state to make up days. He also says there are no plans to move graduation, which is scheduled for June 7 for Ridgeview High School, and June 9 for Redmond High.
Those living near school bus stops are asked to help clear snow to allow a place for students to safely wait for the bus, once school reopens; McIntosh hopes that will be Thursday. He says the school district clears parking lots and sidewalks adjacent to district-owned facilities like schools.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon students have enjoyed a number of snow days, this school year, and districts are looking at what that means for the calendar. Julianne Repman, with Bend-La Pine Schools, says they've already lost five days. "Just to give you a little bit of perspective, from 1989 to 2009 we had five full school closures, in total. In the last five years, we've also had five closures. So, this is definitely a very unique situation for Bend-La Pine Schools, as well as your seeing, school districts across the state of Oregon."
She says the district, so far, does not have to adjust the calendar. "This school district has one of the longer, or longest school years in the state, those school contact days. But, it's really important for us to have students in class. And, right now, we're already pushing missing a whole week of this first semester of the school year. While we don't necessarily need to make up those days, we are looking very closely at the possibility of bringing some days back in the calendar." She tells KBND News the state has a complicated forumula to calculate the required number of student instruction days which dictates whether days must be added back in.
BEND, OR -- This most recent storm is keeping emergency dispatchers incredibly busy. Deschutes County 911 Director Steve Reinke says each passing storm seems to compound the problem. "We understand the public is looking for resources for what’s a very unusual situation, this winter. One of the things we’re not equipped to do is to help people make decisions on dealing with their roofs – clearing them or repairing them. We aren’t allowed to make recommendations for any specific vendor and are really drowning in other calls and wouldn’t be able to give the dedication to someone looking for information. Same thing with plumbing issues."
Reinke tells KBND News, the most common call coming in this week is for a crash. "Once a major crash happens on a major roadway, because of the challenge of getting vehicles removed, more road closures are happening probably than usual. And, we just ask everybody not to go out unless they absolutely have to. Certainly, we want people to drive slower. Even though it seems like it’s OK, it’s the stopping part that’s always the challenge."
The county set up an Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday to help prioritize resources during the biggest incidents. Reinke says it was an unusual but necessary move due to the amount of new snow piled on top of the massive amount already on the ground, which makes it difficult for first responders. "Folks from public safety and support agencies are coordinating responses to major incidents and making sure that resources are available to take care of the day-to-day stuff, as well as some of the extra ordinary stuff that’s going on; especially the crashes." He adds, "It’s just a way for everybody to make sure that we are dedicating the resources to the highest priority areas and incidents, to make sure that people that really need help are able to get it, and sometimes, when you have extraordinary situations like this, decisions have to be made about what’s going to be done next. Everybody’s taxed for resources and things only stretch so far."
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Several Crook County communities find themselves cut off by a massive amount of snow on unmaintained private roads. Officials are now asking the state to send personnel and equipment to help.
Crook County Emergency Manager Michael Ryan tells KBND News, "Juniper Acres is a specific area that’s giving us some concern, right now. They’ve had a large amount of snowfall; and then this weekend we had heavy winds that created snow drifts, some of which are eight to 10-feet high. And, the road system is pretty much been shut down." Juniper Acres is located about 25 miles south of Prineville and is not serviced by the county road department or municipal water; many residents rely on private water and propane deliveries, which can’t get through given the current conditions.
"County Court, in a regularly scheduled work session, made an emergency declaration, which is being forwarded up to the Governor’s Office," says Ryan. "We’ve specifically asked for National Guard resources, in the form of large front loaders and road graders to assist us with the problem out in Juniper Acres and in other areas."
Search and Rescue will go in on snowmobiles to help, if there’s a life-safety issue; Ryan says they’ve already had to do that a couple times in the past few days. But, he says they won't use those resources to deliver food, water or fuel. "Somebody has a medical emergency. Or, they’re saying ‘we’re freezing to death and we don’t have any supplies, stuff to keep the house warm; we want to be evacuated.’ Those are life safety priorities for us and we, in conjunction with the fire district and the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, will go in by snowmobile and either bring the patient out or bring those people out."
BEND, OR -- A winter storm dropped several more inches of snow across Central Oregon, leading to more closures of schools and other organizations.
- Bend-La Pine Schools
- Redmond Schools
- Sisters Schools
- Jefferson Co. 509-J (including Madras Head Start)
- Culver Schools
- Central Oregon Community College
- Trinity Lutheran School
- Central Christian School
- REACH (Redmond)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend
- Powell Butte Community Charter School
- State offices in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County open at 10 a.m.
- Deschutes Public Library branches will open at noon
BEND, OR -- Two people were seriously injured in a crash that tied up the Tuesday morning commute for several hours. Investigators say a northbound Toyota Corolla lost control on icy Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond. The car collided with a southbound pickup, just before 6:30 a.m.
The driver of the Corolla, 46-year-old Kimberly Baker and her passenger, 34-year-old Kelly Shehan, both of Redmond, were taken by ground ambulance to St. Charles Bend. The pickup driver and his two passengers were not hurt.
BEND, OR -- Bend city crews continue efforts to keep roadways clear; but, plows leave big berms of snow on the side of the road, causing their own problems.
David Abbas, Bend Streets and Operations Director, says getting rid of all that snow depends on where – and how much – there is. "The volumes of snow we’ve received so far this winter, as everybody can see out there, is becoming a challenge. Real estate of places to put snow is becoming limited. But, in the downtown core, so far this winter, a few occasions we’ve worked on some snow removal involving a few dump trucks that we have and a loader," Abbas tells KBND News. "So far, we’ve taken it down the street to near Colorado, Scott Street and the Parkway, there. ODOT’s worked with us on some of the right of way and being able to be dump some snow there. Space is becoming limited so we’re looking at potentially some other areas where we can try to get rid of some snow. Looking at the forecast, we’re looking at upwards of maybe 15” again this week." Those removal efforts are limited to when crews are available and take place overnight, when there’s less traffic. He says the first priority is always making sure traffic is flowing and travel lanes are clear.
Abbas has a request of drivers, as the snow continues. "If you can not park on the street, that’s a huge help, as we all try to deal with this winter storm. I think the last time we had a storm like this was the early 90s, so it doesn’t happen often but we’re all trying to work through it the best we can, here." He asks drivers to utilize off-street parking options, when available, to allow plows and graders to reach the full width of the road.
Redmond Public Works says they will evaluate snow volumes Wednesday, after the latest storm, and determine whether to start trucking it out of the downtown core. Click HERE
to read more about Redmond businesses struggling with the conditions.
REDMOND, OR -- A number of small businesses are suffering under the weight of all this snow. Fearless Baking in Bend closed Monday and Tuesday due to a buildup of snow and ice that has caused the roof to leak. In downtown Redmond, Proust Coffee has been closed for several days.
Proust owner Lauren Blackwelder says as the snow piled up last week, so did the problems. "Sunday came around and we could not open; there was no way anyone could get to work. Two of my employees live in Prineville and I live in Bend; the one in Redmond was snowed into her house." And, she tells KBND News customer parking has become a big issue. "When they plowed the streets, they didn’t leave us any parking. The yoga studio next door was messaging that they’d had two mirrors clipped off of cars when students were in yoga class and people weren’t coming as much because they didn’t want to risk parking. So, myself and three of my employees went out and shoveled as much snow as we could get out of the road to allow some parking; and we thought we’d kind of won it over a little bit." But, the snow keeps coming.
Blackwelder says she makes sure to keep sidewalks clear, as required by the city. "We have multiple people who knock on our door and ask if they can shovel for a couple dollars; so they’re shoveled everyday, regardless. But, the amount of snow that’s getting bermed up in front of our door from the city plowing is unmanageable. We didn’t know where to put it – we’re not strong enough to carry it very far and we don’t own a dump truck or a plow."
Based on lost revenue, she says she’s not sure the business will recover. "I don’t know if I will make it, to tell you the truth. I don’t have any reserves. We’ve always been alright, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull through this one." She hppes to reopen Tuesday.
Redmond Public Works says they will evaluate snow volumes Wednesday, after the latest storm, and determine whether to start trucking it out of the downtown core. In Bend, that’s already happening
LA PINE, OR -- Investigators have released the identity of the man killed in a crash north of La Pine that shut down Highway 97 for several hours, Sunday afternoon.
According to Oregon State Police, a northbound tractor-trailer lost control on the icy highway, just before 3 p.m. The semi collided with a southbound SUV and a pickup. The SUV driver, 40-year-old Derek Tedrow of La Pine, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the pickup was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The semi driver, a 29-year-old Sacramento man, was not hurt.
OSP continues to investigate and is looking for anyone who may have witnessed the crash. Anyone with new information is asked to call or text Senior Trooper Jason Hansen at 541-410-3793.
BEND, OR -- Another storm is moving through Central Oregon, forcing some school districts and other organizations to make adjustments. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 4 a.m., Wednesday. Forecasters predict another 4-8" of snow.
- Bend-La Pine Schools
- Redmond Schools
- Sisters Schools
- Central Christian School (Redmond)
- Trinity Lutheran School (Bend)
- Powell Butte Community Charter School
**Culver Schools are on time, but buses are running on SNOW ROUTES.
- REACH is CLOSED
- Deschutes County Circuit Court is CLOSED
- Saving Grace administrative office is CLOSED
- All Bend Parks & Rec offices and facilities will close at 1 p.m. and reopen Wednesday at 9 a.m.
- Some Deschutes County offices have altered business hours. Click HERE for the list.
SISTERS, OR -- Redmond-based Housing Works has received funding for two new projects that will eventually create 90 more affordable housing units for Central Oregon.
La Pine Townhomes would provide one-, two- and three-bedroom units for 42 households on a 2.5-acre parcel southwest of La Pine. In Sisters, Village Meadows Apartments is expected to provide 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on two lots behind Ray’s Food Place.
Oregon Housing and Community Services has allocated over $3.6 million in state funding for the two projects. Housing Works hopes to begin construction by summer, with completion slated for mid-2018.
BEND, OR -- Recent extreme weather is keeping local plumbers incredibly busy. Anita Quinn, Service Manager at Sunset Plumbing in Bend, says they've received at least 20 calls a day for frozen pipes, and she expects that number to increase when things start to thaw.
Quinn tells KBND News, "Older pipes, once they freeze, they’re going to be brittle, they’re going to thaw and as soon as they thaw, then they’re going to break." However, "Typically, on a newer home, there’s not a lot we can do on frozen pipes because they’re PEX and we cannot heat to it because it’ll melt. But, we’re doing a lot of just precautionary stuff, right now."
With cold weather expected to continue, Quinn says precautions also must continue, including, "Making sure that foundation vents are closed, that they have no hoses attached to any hose bibs on their house and keeping cupboard doors open, keeping the heat up in the home and faucets dripping." She adds, "If you have a crawl space, making sure that you’ve got some heat in there. We do not recommend putting any kind of a heater in the crawl space because that’s definitely a fire hazard. If you can open up the crawl space, just get some heat in there."
If pipes do freeze in a newer home, Quinn says it doesn't necessarily require a response from a professional. "I’ve told people ‘turn your thermostat up to its highest setting, open up all your cupboard doors and you will find that a lot of times it will thaw itself out.’" And, of course, never use an open flame to thaw pipes. She recommends using a hairdryer.
SALEM, OR -- Nearly the entire state saw winter weather, this weekend. Oregon State Police had trouble responding to all of the problems. Capt. Bill Fugate says, "By midday Sunday, we had responded to over 750 traffic incidents. Those included traffic crashes, hazards, disabled vehicles; those were statewide numbers." Nearly 400 of those calls for service were traffic accidents.
He says most of those crashes were caused by drivers going too fast for the conditions, "A lot of people think that since the speed limit is 55, let’s say, that driving 55 is acceptable in this weather. But, really it’s not. Reduce your speed down to half that with plenty of following distance." And, he asks that drivers, "Know what the traction chain requirements are and just be ready to take your time."
There was freezing rain in the Willamette Valley and heavy snow and sleet in Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon. Severe weather and crashes shut down some highways across the state, Saturday and Sunday. A semi vs. vehicle crash closed Highway 97 north of La Pine for several hours, Sunday afternoon.
REDMOND, OR -- An electrical fire damaged a Redmond mill, Sunday morning. Firefighters arrived at the Bright Wood complex on SE First Street just before 10:30 a.m. and found power lines down, which they say caused a fire in the electrical box of one of the mill buildings.
Sprinklers activated and contained the blaze until the power company could shut off electricity to the site. The fire caused about $400,000 in damage.
BEND, OR -- A weekend storm dumped more snow across Central Oregon, forcing some school districts and other organizations to make adjustments.
- Jefferson County School District 509J
- Culver School District
- Central Christian School (Redmond)
- Redmond Schools
- Sisters Schools
- Powell Butte Community Charter School
- OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College close at 1 p.m.
BEND, OR -- Students move into the new OSU Cascades residence hall this weekend, in advance of the winter term, which begins Monday. The residence hall can accommodate 300 undergraduate and graduate students in single, double and triple rooms; as well as apartment-style suites.
Initially, about 60 students are expected to live there. The hall also includes a dining facility that will focus on healthy and, whenever possible, locally or Oregon grown foods.
The facility's opening is the next phase of Oregon State University's campus in Bend.
BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement and fire crews have responded to a string of nearly two-dozen tragic incidents in the past month. Each time, a chaplain has responded to provide emotional support and counseling.
Pastor Jim Crowley, with Central Oregon Police Chaplaincy
, says his job is dedicated to first responders on-scene and afterwards. "They’re kicked in; they have a job to do. They’re very professional; they do an outstanding job for our community. And, when they’re doing those kinds of things, they’re not thinking about themselves, or how this is going to impact them. But it’s the two, three, four days, sometimes weeks after – sometimes months after, that that impact resonates. And, then it’s that opportunity for us to kind of stand in that gap with them." He tells KBND News, "It’s kind of like dropping a great big rock in a puddle, and the ripples go out and they come back. So, it’s an ongoing impact, not only at the moment but down the road, for months, years, does that make an impact for the guys and gals in uniform."
Chaplains have responded to more than 20 deaths in the past month, including nearly a dozen fatal crashes from Warm Springs to La Pine, and last month’s officer involved shooting in Bend. While a chaplain's first priority is the emergency crews and dispatchers working a tough case, Crowley says they're also available to help anyone involved in the incident. "More often than not they’ll point us to the family and say ‘this is the loved one, these are the deceased person’s [family] is in this area,’ to help us to know how we can care for the family and for the community."
His nonprofit has more than 20 chaplains in the tri-county area who respond to a number of incidents east of the Cascades. To listen to our full conversation with Chaplain Jim Crowley, click HERE
or visit our Podcast Page
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon has had a very snowy winter, so far. Three significant storms have dropped dozens of inches of snow, and another cold front is expected to move in to the area Saturday.
Meteorologist Rob Kramp, with the National Weather Service, says this is not the norm, "Especially when you compare it to last winter and, in particular, the last few winters. We were way on the low end of snow the last few winters, so comparing to that, this is significantly above that."
He says the immense snowfall may be challenging for drivers, but it's good for the snow pack. "Just compared to climatological averages, we're starting to get above average and the snow pack in the mountains is starting to get way above average, at this point. It looks like at least next week or so, before we start to see a much more significant warm up. The snow is just going to continue to accumulate; and the mountains, in particular, are far above normal on snow pack, now."
The weather service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 10 a.m. Saturday through 4 a.m. Sunday. The next storm could bring another two to four inches of snow, Saturday; and freezing rain, Sunday. More snow is expected into next week, as well.
BEND, OR -- Bend's three new City Councilors were sworn in at Wednesday night's meeting, followed by the election of Casey Roats as Mayor.
Roats tells KBND News he is humbled by the vote of confidence. "I didn't campaign to be mayor. I had a conversation with a couple of colleagues and was fortunate enough to have their trust that I would do what hopefully will be a good job. I think it's important to know that it was a leap of faith for this group, in particular, to take what could be a slightly different direction. I'm excited to be a part of this Council. I will be leading the meetings, but I'm still just one of seven in our system." Roats adds, "I'm happy to help run efficient meetings that will hopefully be timely and productive. We'll make sure that the minority opinion is respected, but that the will of the majority is enacted. And, I may not find myself in the majority on a good number of issues and I understand that. But, I'll work hard to find common ground and be a part of the majority when I can." Roats was elected to Council in 2014 amid controversy over his residency. Lawsuits filed over the issue were later dropped.
Fellow City Councilor Sally Russell was re-elected to her seat in November. She had expressed a desire to become Mayor, but she lacked the support of enough of Council. "Between November eighth and today - this is politics in Bend; this is how we choose our mayor. Sooner or later, you figure out whether or not you have the votes or not to become Mayor." She tells KBND News, "I told Casey I would be happy to be Pro Tem again, in that position. I didn't have the votes to be mayor this time, and so I'm thrilled to be in a leadership position for this city."
Mayor Roats says he wants to get back to basics, "I want the people of Bend to realize City Council is focused on the core services we provide. I think we could spend a good year making sure that people understand we are focused on the streets, and we are focused on permitting, planning and really the core services and utilities that we provide. Of course, we'll take other issues into account. We've spent a lot of time working on a lot of global issues here locally and I'm looking forward to a renewed focus on some of the things that are kind of the nuts and bolts of what a city government does."
Mayor Pro Tem Russell was sworn in, Wednesday, along with newly elected Councilors Bill Moseley and Justin Livingston, and Bruce Abernethy, who returns to Council after eight years in the private sector.
REDMOND, OR -- Police continue to look into a assault that occurred Tuesday afternoon at a vacant property on the east side of Redmond. The site is near several transient camps, and a 29-year-old transient suffered serious injuries.
A man reported the assault when he called 911 to say he was driving an unconscious male to St. Charles Redmond. The victim did not have a heartbeat and was not breathing when he arrived at the hospital. After lifesaving measures, he was flown to St. Charles Bend. He remains in critical condition.
Two people were questioned by police, but were released pending the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon snow blowers and shovels have gotten a lot of use in the last month, and we're not done with them, yet.
The latest storm dropped about a foot of snow over the past two days. Meteorologist Rob Kramp, with the National Weather Service, says temperatures are going to stay bitterly cold, "High pressure [is] building in, which essentially means dry and cold, especially with all the snow on the ground. Highs over the next few days in the teens, maybe in the 20s at best; overnight lows very cold on the order of about zero to 15 below."
Flurries are dying down, but he tells KBND News another storm is on the way. "We're looking at another storm over the weekend. So, additional snow on Saturday, Saturday night; possibly warming up and changing over to rain by Sunday." That front could bring another three to six-inches of snow before warming into the 40s on Sunday.
As the snow piles up, so does the garbage in some neighborhoods. Susan Baker, with Bend Garbage and Recycling, says trucks are out, but they aren’t able to reach everyone. "The roads are pretty treacherous out there. The main roads, the drivers are able to get around but it’s a lot into the side roads that just haven’t been able to be plowed; it’s been a bit dangerous for them to try and get down there with the trucks to collect the garbage from our customers." She tells KBND News trash will eventually get picked up, "We are definitely encouraging the customer to give us a call, or Cascade Disposal, if that’s their service area, or High Country Disposal up in Redmond, and we definitely can notify them when we think we’ll be back in the area. We’re trying to be a little proactive and get a list of some of the neighborhoods we know for sure we were unable to go to, and reach out to our customers now to let them know what’s going on."
Baker says this is highly unusual. "We’ve had a pretty good service record, where I think we’ve only missed one day in the past 10 years. But, we’ve been trying to notify our customers to let them know if we weren’t able to service that area just due to access and safety concerns for the driver, once the weather does lighten up and it permits we will be back in the area to service them." She says customers can help by making sure cans are out by 6 a.m. on pickup day, and she asks everyone to clear access between the can and street.
BEND, OR -- While area homeless shelters, churches and other groups provide options for people to get out of the cold, hundreds remain outside in sub-zero temperatures. Tory Flory, Outreach Program Manager for Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, says volunteers distributed cold-weather gear to a number of homeless camps prior to the storm, because they knew some would be unreachable once the snow hit. "We’ve added an increased effort to provide propane gas, so people can use that – not only just to cook but also to keep themselves warm – that can be the difference between a cold-related injury and not, especially in weather like this. We’ve also had an increase here at our walk-in center, with that propane gas as well. We also provide hot coffee and hot soup." He adds, "We’ve also really increased our supplies of cold weather coats; we tried to increase our supplies of sleeping bags, shelter items such as tents and tarps, in preparation for this cold weather." Donations of tents, tarps, socks and coats can be made at COVO’s outreach center, across from the Bend Fred Meyer on Highway 97.
COVO Executive Director J.W. Terry tells KBND News, "Everybody who walks through the door, we’re telling them where the shelters are during this cold weather spell. We’re trying to get as many of them inside as we can." But, Flory says there are a variety of reasons why they won’t seek shelter. "Everything from feelings of persecution, embarrassment for being in that position, all the way to addiction problems that would cause them to even be turned away from the shelters." Most homeless facilities don’t accept animals and Flory says some refuse to leave pets behind. Others can't handle the crowds at a shelter.
Ron Moore is a volunteer with COVO. He’s lived outside for six years and says he stays safe with a tarp over his tent and by keeping his bed off the ground. "Just take care of your equipment, is the main thing. You’ve got to watch so that you don’t tear it or rip it. I keep a roll of duct tape just in case. If you can stay out of the wind, you can stay pretty good, because the wind is what gets you cold. If you get wet when that wind is blowing, you’re going to freeze." He says deep snow can cause tents to cave in.
The Shepherd's House, which helps run warming shelters in Redmond and Sisters, is also asking for emergency donations. The organization says they need money to purchase food and other necessities for men, women and children during extreme weather. Monetary donations can be made online. They also need sleeping bags, gloves, hats, hand warmers and tents; those donations can be made at the Shepherd's House Bend shelter on Division, or at Grace Gate Church in Redmond between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. And, they're looking for alternate daytime locations for those seeking shelter over the next couple of days to warm up and get a hot meal.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson was sworn in for his first full term, Tuesday. Following the oath of office, he addressed the audience to thank his family and staff for their continued support, and acknowledge his first year and a half in office. "We’ve seen some challenges, and I know you’re all aware of that. But, I couldn’t have done it without all of you and I especially could not have done it without my family; and that’s what it’s all about. We stay together and we look forward; and be positive about it."
Nelson was appointed Sheriff in July 2015, but a number of internal investigation has scarred the agency over the past 18 months. "Now, I can’t guarantee you everything is always going to be terrific and I don’t think you expect that," Sheriff Nelson told Tuesday's crowd. "What I will guarantee you, is that I will lead all of you and all of your talent forward so that we can best possibly serve the citizens of this county and that’s what we’re going to do; just like we always have done. Thank you for being here today and thank you for electing me as your Sheriff. I’m proud to serve you." Nelson defeated his challenger in November by a near 10% margin.
Also sworn in Tuesday, local home builder Phil Henderson replaces Alan Unger on the board of County Commissioners. Henderson takes part in his first work session, Wednesday afternoon.
BEND, OR -- State Police have released the names of the two Bend Police officers involved in last month’s fatal shooting. Officer Scott Schaier and Officer Marc Tisher contacted 31-year-old Michael Jacques on December 23, following several reports of reckless driving. During the encounter, one or both officers deployed a taser and Officer Schaier fired his handgun.
REDMOND, OR -- Officials at the Redmond Airport say crews are working to keep planes moving, despite the snowstorm. However, air carriers make their own decisions on flight cancelations and delays.
A number of flights were canceled, Tuesday evening and only a couple of flights are are expected to arrive in Redmond, Wednesday morning. All departures scheduled before 10 a.m. have been canceled.
Passengers are urged to verify flight information with their provider before arriving at the airport. Click HERE
to access the Redmond Airport's website. Authorities recommend allowing extra travel time and wear appropriate footwear to safely get to the terminal from the parking lot.
BEND, OR -- Due to inclement weather, all local school districts closed Wednesday, 01/04/17:
- Bend-La Pine Schools
- Redmond Schools
- Sisters Schools
- Jefferson Co. School District 509-J
- Crook County Schools
- Culver Schools
- Central Christian School
- Trinity Lutheran School
- Powell Butte Community Charter School
- Central Oregon Community College
- All state offices in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson and counties.
(State offices in Klamath, Lake, Josephine, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties are also closed)
- Deschutes County Circuit Court
- Crook/Jefferson County Circuit Court
- REACH (frmrly: Boys & Girls Clubs of Redmond/Terrebonne)
- Deschutes Public Library branches in Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver
- OSU Cascades plans to open at 10 a.m.
- Deschutes County Health Services plans to open at 10 a.m.
- Crook County Court (County Commissioners) will work on a 2-hour delay, beginning at 10 a.m.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Salem sex offender was arrested in Prineville, earlier this week, after seven people were discovered riding in the cargo section of a Budget Rental truck. Responding to a driving complaint, police pulled over the truck driven by 21-year-old Guadalupe Gabino Sanchez-Alden, just before 8:30 Monday morning. He was arrested on an outstanding Marion County warrant and a new charge of failing to register as a sex offender.
Officers found two minors in the cab of the truck and three adults and four other juveniles riding in the back. Investigators believe they were heading to Washington from New Mexico. The Department of Human Services is assisting the nine family members.
BEND, OR -- Bitter cold temperatures continue through the week as the region battles another blast of winter weather. A winter storm warning is in effect for Central Oregon from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Meteorologist Mike Murphy, with the National Weather Service in Pendleton, says the biggest snowfall will come Tuesday night. "We are expecting more snow to develop later on this afternoon through Wednesday night. We're expecting some pretty significant snow; we're looking for anywhere from six to 12-inches of snow for Bend, Redmond, Madras - basically, the entire area from Tuesday night through Wednesday night."
Drivers should expect snow-covered roadways and poor visibility. Some blowing and drifting snow is possible. Winds will be 5-15 MPH, with gusts up to 25 MPH.
Murphy tells KBND News the storm is also bringing extreme temperatures. "It's going to be very cold and very snowy. We're expecting high temperatures on Tuesday in the lower teens, between 10-15; then, Tuesday night with that snow, temperatures between five to 10-degrees. Then, pretty much the same for Wednesday, highs around 10. So, staying very cold." Thursday is expected to remain in the mid-teens before things start to warm up. Friday's high should be near 30-degrees.
REDMOND, OR -- With the New Year comes a new City Hall for Redmond. Renovations are nearly complete at the former Evergreen school, and City Council and a number of departments plan to move into their new space in about seven weeks. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND News, "Floors are in, in the last two areas they’re working in – one of which is Council chambers and then some of the lease space that we have. 'REDI,' Redmond Economic Development officially announced that they’re going to occupy some of the lease space, so they’ll be moving in as well. That’ll be a good partner." He says technology installed in the nearly 100-year-old building needs to be fully tested before Councilors can move in.
The facility's history is celebrated through the City Hall design and artwork. Endicott says, "We approved a piece of art glass that actually has the mascots for the three different schools. Because, it was a high school then it was a middle school, then it was an elementary school – so, you’ve got a panther, then you’ve got an eagle, then, I think it’s a wolf are all represented in this piece of art glass for the mascots that were in that building over the years. It’s kind of cool."
The current City Hall, across from Centennial Park, will eventually be sold to a developer. "We transferred the current City Hall building over to the Urban Area Commission – or, their board – who then will sell it to a private party," says Endicott. "Our intent there is that someone comes in that’s going to build a venue that will attract people to downtown in the hours that currently aren’t – for example, an entertainment center of some kind." Mayor Endicott expects the new City Hall facility will be ready for staff to move in by mid February.
Evergreen School Stock Photo
BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating at least two break-ins on the north end of town that they believe are connected. Officers first responded to a burglary alarm at Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers at the Cascade Village Shopping Center Monday at about 1:15 a.m. They discovered a broken window and several watches and other items were taken.
About eight minutes later, officers were notified of an alarm at Smolich Volvo, one mile north of Cascade Village. There, they also found a broken window and items taken.
Investigators are looking for a silver or gray extended cab pickup similar to a Dodge, which may be connected to the break-ins. Anyone with information is asked to call Bend Police at 541-693-6911.
BEND, OR -- A New Year’s Eve celebration turned violent in northeast Bend, landing one man in the hospital and another in jail on assault charges.
According to police, the two men got into a fight at a home on Vogt Road. Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, 33-year-old Daniel Jastrab allegedly hit Andrew Lentz over the head with a champagne bottle. The 37-year-old Bend man suffered serious injuries and was taken by medics to the hospital.
Jastrab took off after the fight, but turned himself into police, Monday.
BEND, OR -- After eight years as a Deschutes County Commissioner, Alan Unger is leaving. Republican Phil Henderson defeated Unger in the November election and will be sworn in as Commissioner, January third.
Unger admits election night was tough, but he's looking forward. "People wanted change. So, I just need to respect that and move on. I'll tell you, I've enjoyed working for Deschutes County and serving the people here. I think I've done a lot of good things to help us manage the growth we have, both in Redmond and Deschutes County. And, try to help protect those things that we enjoy, which is our natural resources and just mange how we get from one community to the next."
Prior to being elected to the Board of County Commissioners, Unger was the Mayor of Redmond for eight years. Before that, he was a Redmond City Councilor. He tells KBND News he got a lot accomplished during his time in government. "I think a collaborative approach is the way we get things done. I've always tried to lead from the middle, that way you bring people in from both sides, find out what is in common and then you've got a place build from to get to where you want to go. You don't necessarily get there in one jump, but you can get closer by taking several jumps to get to where you want to be." He adds, "I still want to be engaged in that. There's a program called 'Better Together,' that brings school districts in, the teaching they do in community colleges with business. We need to create a strong, robust system that gives our children a path. They need to be successful."
Unger is still considering his next move, and has not ruled out a future run for office. "I need to be looking at things like being a consultant and looking for those things I can add value to. I'm not ready to retire, so the challenge is 'how do you put yourself out there in a way where people want to support you with that effort.'"
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Judge Mike McCabe said his final goodbyes, last week. He retired Friday after more than two decades of public service. McCabe did not run for re-election in November, choosing to retire at the end of his term.
He said his final public goodbye in a Crook County video podcast: "It’s been truly an honor to serve the constituents of Prineville and Crook County these past 24 years. And, I’m leaving a little bit sadly that I won’t maybe get to see some of you as much. As I go, I want you to know that we have a tremendous staff in Crook County. They’ve done a tremendous job and they’re just the greatest folks that I’ve had the pleasure of working with." He added, "I’ll be around; my home is here so if any of you want to contact me or stop by for a visit, please feel free to do it. I just live eight miles north of town on the Madras Highway. I’ll see you around town as time goes on. Again, it’s been my honor that you found me worthy to represent you through this whole process the last 24 years. So, thank you very much Crook County and the citizens of Prineville, and all the folks I’ve been able to work with over the years."
McCabe started as a County Commissioner in 1992; he was elected Judge in 2008. Seth Crawford now takes over as Judge, beating fellow Commissioner Ken Fahlgren in the November election, which leaves Crawford’s seat open. Newly elected Commissioner Jerry Brummer and Judge Crawford will appoint someone to that vacancy in the coming months.
SUNRIVER, OR -- A 20-year-old California woman was shot early New Year's Day at a home in Sunriver. Police responded to a report of a disturbance on Shagbark Lane, just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday, with at least one shot fired. They found 14 people at the home.
Medics transported Kelly Piluyeva, of Rancho Cordova, California, to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested 21-year-old Mikhail Pitsul, from Antelope, California, for Assault III, Unlawful Use of a Weapon Disorderly Conduct and three counts of Reckless Endangering. Sunriver Police, the Sheriff’s Office and State Police continue to investigate the incident.
REDMOND, OR -- Local Red Cross volunteers are helping three families impacted by separate fires on New Year’s Eve.
Early Saturday morning, Redmond Fire responded to a home on Southwest Cascade Avenue. They say an aging wood stove led to the fire in walls and the attic space. That blaze caused an estimated $35,000 in damage and displaced two adults and five pets.
Just before 11 a.m., Redmond Fire responded to a fire near 19th and Elkhorn. The single-family fire affected two adults.
And, at about 5 p.m., Crook County Fire and Rescue arrived at a motor home fire with explosions on SE Cahvilla Road, south of Prineville (pictured). Nine firefighters arrived to find the motor home completely consumed by flames with multiple propane tanks. Two people lived in the RV, which was a total loss.
LA PINE, OR -- A Deschutes County Sheriff's K-9 Unit tracked a wanted man to a tree in South County, Friday afternoon. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies spotted 32-year-old Robert Edmondson just after 2 p.m. at a home on Green Forest Road in La Pine. He had a felony warrant for a parole violation, and was recently indicted in Deschutes County for Burglary.
When the deputy attempted to contact Edmondson, he allegedly ran from the property. Deputies and State Troopers set up a perimeter and they tracked him through the snow and forested terrain for more than a mile. K-9 Deputy "Brolo" found the suspect hiding about 30' up a tree near Buena Vista Drive. He was given verbal commands to climb down, which he complied.
BEND, OR -- The family of a Bend man shot and killed by police says he was unarmed and wearing his seatbelt when he was shot. Bend Police were responding to a report of an erratic driver on December 23 when they approached a minivan driven by Michael Jacques stopped in a parking lot. Within five minutes, shots were fired, killing him.
State Police are investigating the shooting and haven't released details. The attorney for the Jacques family released a statement saying police fired at close range while Jacques was belted into the driver's seat. He was reportedly traveling with his service dog. The family urged police to conduct a fair and honorable investigation.
On Friday, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the Department of Justice assuming the lead role in reviewing the case. The Deschutes County District Attorney asked for help after discovering a potential conflict of interest within his office. John Hummel retained the Bend law firm of Brothers, Hawn and Coughhlin to represent him in litigation related to a car crash in which he was injured, several months ago. It's the same firm now representing the Jacques family. In a statement released Friday, Hummel said, "I would try my best to disregard my relationship with my personal injury attorney when deciding whether the officers in this case acted lawfully. However, because I have the same attorney as the family of Michael Jacques, the public would rightfully question any decision I made in this case. For this reason, I proactively asked Attorney General Rosenblum to take over this case. I am confident that her team will conduct a thorough and fair review of the facts of this unfortunate incident."
SISTERS, OR -- A Sisters man is hospitalized and another is arrested, following a Thursday afternoon stabbing.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.
Detectives searched a home on South Pine Street in Sisters and say evidence shows that 28-year-old Peter Kanzig stabbed 29-year-old Kyle Benhower several times, causing serious injuries.
Kanzig is charged with Attempted Murder, First Degree Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Bail is set at $150,000 and he's due back in court, Friday.
SISTERS, OR -- A new homeless shelter is expected to open Sunday in Sisters. It's a community that lacked a place for those living outside in the winter. Earlier this month, a man living in his car in Sisters died of exposure. But, Pastor Ron Gregg, with Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church says members of the faith community began meeting in October to address the issue.
He tells KBND News, "We advertised for a volunteer night and we had over 60 people show up and receive training and a lot of them have volunteered to spend the night. They've all had to have background checks and training, and there has to be at least two people there at all times." He adds, "The neatest thing in my mind, is the way the community has come together - not just church people. I don't want to put a percentage on it, but the majority are probably not church people; it's the whole community that's come together. The churches are the facilities that are going to be used, but the volunteer-base is a broad group that I think is pretty cool."
Pastor Gregg says the location will rotate. "On January first, at the Westside Church in Sisters, their facility will be open the entire month of January. Another church in February, Sisters Community Church will be hosting it. Hopefully, we'll have a place in March. But, it will be [open] from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m."
REDMOND, OR -- Winter is just getting started, but local students have already enjoyed several snow days. Redmond Students got a few extra days of winter break when a massive snowstorm canceled several days of class. But, as they prepare to return to class, Superintendent Mike McIntosh is hoping the forecast will stay favorable.
McIntosh tells KBND News so far they don't have to make up any lost days. "We’re required by the state of Oregon to have our high school students in session for 990 hours; our elementary folks for the most part are around 900. So, what we’re expected to do is have kids in school. What we have is a calendar that has more hours than that. So, at this point, we’ve cut three days and do not have to make them up; we have enough hours not to be below that minimum. But there are not very many left." But, he acknowledges we've got a lot of winter still to go. "We don’t normally get days in November, December; most of our days off come in January and February. So, we’re going to cross our fingers and hold our breath. We build a calendar hoping that we get students in class a lot of time and make up for those times when snow is not going to be an issue."
If the district does decide to make up days, McIntosh says he wants to avoid adding to the end of the school year. "Graduation dates are set, last day of school is set, family vacations are set. So, tacking on days in June is difficult without a lot of warning. We will do our best to warn folks when we need to make up those days and when they will be."
CULVER, OR -- Several law enforcement agencies in three counties
were involved in a pursuit that stretched from Prineville to Culver, Wednesday. The incident started just before 10 a.m. when a Prineville officer attempted to stop a car and it took off.
The chase went through Redmond and Terrebonne and eventually ended when officers used spike strips to stop the vehicle in Culver.
23-year-old Eddie Villagomez-Lopez of Prineville and 21-year-old David Castaneda-Valerio of Salem were arrested and taken to the Jefferson County jail.
Top: Eddie Villagomez-Lopez in November 2016. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, he has refused to participate in a new photo.
Bottom: David Castaneda-Valerio, following his December 28 arrest.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in high visibility patrols to crack down on impaired and dangerous drivers, over New Year’s weekend. In Prineville, police will team up with a local cab company to offer free rides to revelers.
Crook County’s DUII Victim’s Impact Panel will donate ride vouchers with Country Cab, from local bars to Crook County homes within a 10-mile radius.
Enhanced police patrols are paid for through a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man was killed in an accident on Highway 126, just east of Roberts Field, Tuesday night. Oregon State Police say 19-year-old Brianna Cerullo, of Powell Butte, was driving a Ford pickup eastbound at about 8:30 p.m., when she hit and killed 22-year-old Anthony Mason, who was walking in the eastbound lane.
Officers say he was wearing dark clothes and was pronounced dead at the scene. The highway was closed for three hours while officers investigated the crash.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police arrested a 17-year-old from Aumsville after he allegedly eluded police and crashed into a canal, early Wednesday morning. An officer tried to pull over the pickup at about 1:30 a.m., but lost sight of it in southwest Redmond. A few minutes later, the truck reportedly hit a snow berm and flew over a canal, landing about a hundred feet away. The driver left the scene and was found near the Comfort Suites at about 5 a.m.
Investigators say he had permission to borrow his grandparents pickup but drove it from Marion County to Redmond without their knowledge.
He was treated for minor injuries and arrested for a list of charges. The vehicle was totaled and towed from the scene.
BEND, OR -- It’s been a deadly month in Central Oregon. Eight people have died in five separate crashes in the past week; all on Highway 97. A father and son died in a crash south of Madras, December 19; a Redmond women died Tuesday night, December 20; a pedestrian was struck and killed in Bend, December 21; Friday, December 23, it was a woman near La Pine; then, December 26, three people were killed near Warm Springs.
Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation says it’s too early to know the cause of each one. "We just don’t have all the information that we need to have. And, we have to be not emotional about it; we have to be logical about what took place, because that path will lead us to solutions that we can implement to prevent this in the future." But, he tells KBND News, ODOT has found a common factor among crashes that have occurred on 97 over the past five years. "We have people who run reports, and virtually across the board, as those reports have come back, it appears that driver error is the leading factor in many of these crashes." According to ODOT statistics compiled between 2010 and 2015, from Madras to Lava Butte, the leading cause of crashes on Highway 97 was following too close. Driving too fast for the conditions, failing to yield and careless driving were also in the top five.
With the most recent string of accidents, It's easy to blame the weather. But Murphy says, "During the week when we had the worst weather we’ve had so far, we didn’t have any fatal crashes. Now, we’ve had a moderation of the weather and we’ve had the holiday come up, and we have crashes. I can’t go from point A to point B to point C with that; but what I can do is say that driver error is the most significant contributor to crashes we have on Highway 97. Hands down."
"In the 10 years that I’ve been working for ODOT, I’ve never heard of this happening with such frequency on a highway in Central Oregon," says Murphy. "To me, to have eight people die on Central Oregon highways in a week is unprecedented. It’s not just unprecedented, its hurtful; it hurts those families, it hurts the other people who are part of it but don’t die, it hurts the actors in it, it hurts society as a whole, it hurts our engineers. I mean there’s just hurt."
Emergency crews responded to another serious crash, Tuesday night. Details have yet to be released, but when crews arrived at the scene on Highway 126, just east of the Redmond Airport, they reported a pedestrian unconscious and not breathing. KBND News will provide more information when it becomes available.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police say an elderly man reported missing over the weekend has been found safe. The agency released a missing persons alert Monday night, for 81-year-old Thomas Kirkpatrick, with possible onset of dementia. Police tracked his cell phone, which pinged to a tower near Sunriver.
At about 6:30 Tuesday morning, Kirkpatrick was involved in a non-injury accident on Highway 97 near Klamath Falls. Oregon State Police notified his family and made arrangements to reunite them.
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Three people died in a multi-vehicle crash west of Warm Springs, Monday evening. Oregon State Police believe 31-year-old Nathan Verhaeghe, of Spokane, was westbound on Highway 26 when he rear-ended a car driven by 37-year-old Adam Clausen, of Portland. Clausen’s vehicle was then pushed into oncoming traffic and hit a van.
Clausen and his passenger, 39-year-old Shannon O’Leary, were both pronounced dead at the scene; a four-year-old in their car was taken to St. Charles Bend with minor injuries. The driver of the van, 34-year-old Robert Burke, was also killed in the crash. His passenger, 29-year-old Rachel Burke was flown to St. Charles with serious injuries; a toddler went to the hospital with minor injuries. Verhaeghe also suffered minor injuries.
OSP is investigating speed and other factors as potential causes of the crash.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Detectives continue to investigate Friday night’s fatal officer involved shooting, in downtown Bend. Police pulled over a minivan just before 10:30 p.m., after multiple people reported seeing it driving erratically, including nearly hitting a bicyclist and driving into snow banks.
During the traffic stop near Franklin and Bond, Bend police say the driver – later identified as 31-year-old Michael Jacques – did not cooperate with officers trying to place him under arrest. A taser was deployed without success and at least one officer fired his duty weapon, striking the suspect.
Jacques was pulled from the vehicle and officers provided first aid, but the Bend man was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Oregon State Police is leading that multi-agency investigation.
BEND, OR -- A Bend Police officer was involved in a shooting during a traffic stop, Friday night. Police pulled over the vehicle near Bond and Franklin at abou 10:30 p.m. According to officials, an occupant of the vehicle got into an altercation with police and at least one officer fired their weapon. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Streets were closed in the area of the incident for several hours to accommodate the investigation. Multiple agencies are involved, including the Deschutes County District Attorney, the Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police.
More information is expected to be released following a Saturday briefing.
LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine woman died in an icy crash on Highway 97, Friday night. According to Oregon State Police, the woman was driving an SUV lost control while driving southbound, near Vandervert Road, north of La Pine. The car crossed into oncoming traffic and was sliding sideways when it was struck by a tractor-trailer.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene; the driver of the semi was unhurt. Highway conditions at the time were reportedly snow and ice. Highway 97 was closed for almost three hours for the investigation.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Oregon State Police identified the woman as 57-year-old Lola Maye Stanphill, of La Pine.
REDMOND, OR -- A 24-year old Redmond woman was killed in a crash south of Redmond, earlier this week, and now a Facebook post from her grieving boyfriend has gone viral. Brandon Forseth posted a picture Wednesday of three Christmas stockings - labeled "Brandon," "Kylee" and "Baby." On top is a sonogram photo.
He writes, “You made me promise not to announce our baby to the world until 20 weeks” and he goes on to describe how Kylee Bruce was 18 weeks pregnant when she died Tuesday.
According to investigators
, the Redmond woman lost control while passing on Highway 97, near Tomahawk Ave., Tuesday evening. She crossed into oncoming traffic and struck two other vehicles. Two other drivers were injured in the crash; Kylee Bruce was pronounced dead at the scene.
has been shared 160,000 times. As of Thursday morning, a GoFundMe page
had raised more than $16,000 to help cover funeral expenses.
REDMOND, OR -- A local home builder has filed a formal ethics complaint against Redmond City Councilor Anne Graham. Kevin Fitzpatrick, with Alder Creek Homes, submitted his claims last month with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, "One for a conflict of interest that I thought she had with the Community Development Department. The other one was using her office for financial gain."
Fitzpatrick believes Councilor Graham attempted to influence the approval of permits
for homes he is building in her neighborhood. He thinks she was motivated by concerns over possible impacts on her own property’s value. He tells KBND News, "My first problem I had with her in ’15 - that cost me a bunch of money to redo, that I didn’t really have to do. And then when I went in this year, I was treated a whole lot differently. And, I think part of it is her interaction with the Community Development Department and not going through the City Manager, which she was supposed to do." In previous interviews with KBND News, Graham has said she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to interact directly with city staff.
He decided to take it to the state board after he submitted a public records request for emails between Graham and Community Development Department staff. Fitzpatrick says, "There were some emails that I saw, different departments and different people commenting that ‘Anne Graham was in here.’ And, I think some of the younger planners were intimidated by her calling in or her talking directly with [City Planner] Deborah McMahon; and I think she just crossed the boundary, there."
Mayor George Endicott says he’s aware of the filing, which is still under preliminary review. "They take these complaints; they take them very seriously. They do an investigation and then they make a decision on whether it’s warranted or not. The furthest they go is they can fine people." This is the first ethics complaint filed against a sitting Redmond Councilor in at least the last 10 years, according to the Commission. "I do know other cities are a lot more contentious; they have some filed from time to time. But, in Redmond, I’ve never heard of one before."
Graham says the allegations are “without merit” but refused further comment.
POWELL BUTTE, OR -- A Powell Butte home was destroyed in an early morning fire. Crews arrived at the two-story house near Northwest Reif and Copely Road just after 1:30 a.m. Thursday, and found it fully involved with several other structures threatened.
The large home was a total loss and firefighters say there was minor damage to one out building. The owners were not home at the time and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- A Smokejumper from Redmond has died following a November accident in Alabama. Ray Rubio died Monday. The 52-year-old fell over a rail into a parking garage on November 23 while on his way to a Birmingham hotel. He fell 15 feet hitting his head.
Rubio was deployed to Alabama to help with large fires in the region. He was staying overnight in Birmingham on his way back home.
Governor Brown called the loss of the Oregon native and Army veteran heartbreaking and says he will be remembered as a loving husband and father who dedicated his life to service.