A Prineville hunter is recovering in the hospital today after three chilly nights in the Ochoco National Forest. Alan Hewitt, 48, was elk hunting on Thanksgiving when his horse slipped and fell, both were injured and they were far from their main camp. After several days in the wilderness, another hunter found Hewitt on Sunday, but they had to leave his two horses behind. A Crook County Search and Rescue Team went out to get the horses yesterday. Spokesman Wes Palin says it's not their policy to search for animals, but they were able to help this time: "We needed a training mission because we just go some fresh snow and we had some people that needed a little bit of training in the snow. And also we have a mounted posse in our group and a lot of horse lovers our here in Prineville and thought we could go out and help." Palin says they found both horses and says they are doing fine. Hewitt is listed in serious condition at Saint Charles Medical Center in Bend.
Many Bend neighborhoods will hear the familiar sound of a fire truck parading thorough their neighborhoods next week as the 15th annual Santa Express will be out collecting food, toys and clothing for the Salvation Army. Bend Fire's Dan Derlacki says last years effort was pretty successful, but they want to beat it this year. "Last year we provided the Salvation Army with nearly 7200 pounds of food to help feed nearly 1500 people. So we have 2 facets. One, we come driving through the neighborhoods, Monday through Thursday, December 6 through the 9th, through several neighborhoods here in the Bend area collecting food and toys; or we have some static drop off points: at fire stations, Salvation Army, the Starbucks, Central Oregon Community College or Bend Memorial Clinics."Derlacki says they will begin on Monday in the Morning Star and Wishing Well neighborhoods. They are asking for staple food donations as well as toys and gently used clothing for the Salvation Army to distribute this holiday season. You can go to the Bend Fire web site to find the list of when they will visit various the neighborhoods. We have a link on our links page.
A local program that tries to offer health care coverage to employees who can't afford it, is growing. SharedCare, managed by Health Matters of Central Oregon currently has just under 100 participants. Jessie Rawlings with Health Matters says participants must meet specific criteria. “We cover small businesses with sole proprietors and 1099 contractors in terms of if they don’t have insurance they are eligible. There is some wage criteria in terms of, on a very general sense, it’s making approximately les than $33,000 per year.” SharedCare hopes to enroll 150 participants by the end of the year.
It’s Civil War Week in Oregon and everyone is rooting for their favorite team: the Ducks or the Beavers. NeighborImpact has a unique program where you can show your colors and help feed the hungry in Central Oregon: "Currently there is a “Civil War Food Battle” going on, which is a texting fundraiser. We’re encouraging Ducks and Beavers fans to text in a $5 or $10 donation to their cell phones to show their colors to help out the food banks." NeighborImpact's Sandy Klein says they decided to join in the state wide mobile text drive to raise funds for the food bank. She says all you have to do is text GODUCKS5 or GOBEAVS5 to 20222 for a $5 donation. You would text GODUCKS10 or GOBEAVS10 for a $10 donation. The contest ends Saturday and the totals will be displayed on the reader board at the Civil War game in Corvallis. Klein says right now, the Ducks fans are way ahead. For more information, you can contact NeighborImpact at 541-318-7506.
Redmond is moving forward with plans to bring a ice rink to Centennial Park in the next month. Mayor George Endicott says the only decision left is whether to rent or buy a chiller for the rink. “The rent for one of those is $8000 a year for the period we need it and purchase is $13,000 to $16,000 used. So the balance is whether to lease versus purchase and we've authorized the City Manager to do some more research. My personal inclination would be to rent one this year, try it and make sure its the right thing and its what we want to do going forward, then look at buying one next year.” The Redmond City Manager plans to get back to the Council within a week on his recommendation. Plans are still to hopefully open the new rink by mid to late December.
It can be the loneliest time of the year for seniors. “Holidays are a time about giving. These people gave their whole live and now maybe their family has passed away or lives across the country. They just don't get to see them. They might be in an assisted living, or nursing home, or even in their own home, and they spend the whole holiday by themselves.” Todd Sensenbach of Home Instead Senior Care started a program called "Be A Santa to a Senior.” If you know of a senior who will be lonely for the holidays, Sensenbach wants to know about them. The names are placed on various gift trees located throughout the community. You can take a name off the tree and buy a gift for the senior. Home Instead will make sure the gift is delivered. You can find more information at: www.beaSantatoasSenior.com.
Also, Sensenbach says the holidays should be the happiest time of the year, but for many in Central Oregon including seniors, it could be the loneliest time of the year. “They may be depressed. Things that you can watch for are changes in weight, changes in mood, changes in appetite.” Sensenbach says often families have moved away or have died and these seniors have no one with which to visit. He adds that often these seniors could be helped tremendously by a single visit or even a phone call. Small tokens that you have not forgotten them, such as a card or letter can mean a lot to a lonely senior.
The U.S. Senate passes a Food Safety Bill to protect families and small farmers. The vote was 73 for, 25 against. The Bill helps modernize our food safety systems while giving small family farms reasonable exemptions to continue operating without unnecessary regulation. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who supports the Bill, says the legislation will help pull our food safety systems into the 21st century and make it easier to trace contaminated food to its source and quickly get those foods off store shelves. The Bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed its own version of the Bill in 2009.
By this afternoon we should know who sits on the Bend City Council. A very close race for the Position seven seat is forcing a recount. Despite thousands of votes cast-only two votes separate the candidates: Scott Ramsay is beating Chuck Arnold by that thin margin. Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship says the recount will start around 9 a.m. "The Election Boards will be coming in and they'll be hand counting all of the ballots within the city of Bend, and they do that by precinct, so we'll do each of the precincts and verify the results for each precincts and then total those all together to see if the count remains the same or if there are any changes that have taken place." Blankenship says the candidates are allowed to observe the recount. She believes we'll know the final outcome of the race by early afternoon.
The St. Charles Health System family is growing. Doctors and nurses at the Cascade Medical Clinic in Redmond will become St. Charles employees starting on December 1st. The facility will now be known as St. Charles Family Care-Redmond. Medical Director Dr. Dan Murphy says they will be following the model of integrated delivery systems. “They seem to be the people that are achieving the best results. They’re the ones that are actually improving quality, reducing the cost of health care and improving the patient experience.” Dr. Murphy says he supports the move because he believes it will make healthcare more accessible for many Redmond patients.
The Bend Area Habitat for Humanity will receive a substantial donation from Wells Fargo to build two affordable homes. The Wells Fargo's Housing Foundation announces they will donate about $345,000 to eight habitat for humanities in Oregon and southwest Washington to support the construction of about 15 homes. The Bend Area Habitat will receive about $30,000 and 212 volunteer hours from the company. Over 550 Wells Fargo volunteers have worked to raise walls, paint, landscape and other construction projects in the past year. The money earmarked for the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity will go to help build two affordable homes for low to moderate income residents. Robin Cooper with Habitat says the donation is coming at a great time. “It is definitely an incredible gift especially with our economy. We aren't seeing the same donations, so the fact they've able to donate that much is really helping us out with two of our houses. We're very appreciative.” The two homes are scheduled to be ready for families early next year.
Oregon’s Senators Merkley and Wyden joined 27 other colleagues in calling for year-round renewal of unemployment benefits. The Senators wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, asking that unemployment continue with full federal funding.
With the nation's unemployment stuck at nearly 10%, that means that 15 million Americans remain out of work. According to the economic policy institute, an extension of the federally funded benefits would create 723,000 jobs and increase the gross domestic product by .7%.
Bend and Sisters will benefit from a portion of the $5.3-million in state money for bicycle and pedestrian improvements across the State. Oregon Department of Transportation’s Sheila Lyons says the number of applications tied a previous record. “Represents about almost a seven or eight to one ratio between the money asked for and the money available, and the applicants versus the number that got awarded. That is up from about a five to one ratio in prior years.” Lyons says it appears cities and counties are responding to increase requests from residents for improved bike and pedestrian access. The City of Bend will get $649,000 for cross improvements and bike lanes. Sisters will receive more than $1.3-million for phase one of an overall project to enhance the bicycle and pedestrian experience.
The Redmond City Council will meet Tuesday morning to decide whether to move forward with plans for a new skating rink at Centennial Park. Mayor George Endicott says they've been tossing the idea around for a while.
“About a month or six weeks ago, the idea popped up that we have this park that's family friendly and is there anything we can do in the winter months. And we thought about a ice skating rink. It’s another water feature, frozen feature. It’s family friendly, so we're pursing it.” The rink would cost the city about $50,000 and would be paid for with urban renewal money. Endicott says the City has $125,000 currently in the fund. If approved, they hope to open the rink mid to late December.
It’s not even winter yet and another storm is headed our way. This latest system is expected to bring 2-3 inches of snow in the Bend area and as much as 8 inches at Mount Bachelor. Mark Thibodeau with the Weather Channel says besides snow and some wind, the storm it may also bring some freezing rain. It's a very dangerous combination, even for experienced winter drivers. "Snow is one thing; it actually creates traction on the roads but when you have snow falling and you're mixing it up with freezing rain once in awhile we can get what is called transparent or black ice that's simply just ice that imbeds itself with the snow and when that happens you can't see it. So that can make for a dangerous situation." Thibodeau says this system should be winding down Wednesday morning and then another wetter storm should hit Central Oregon on Thursday. Forecasters expect some snow to continue off and on through Sunday, especially in the higher elevations.
Mount Bachelor officials are thrilled with opening day and the first holiday weekend of the ski season. Spokesman Andy Goggins says everything came together nicely and crowds were pleased. "Yeah, we couldn't ask for any better conditions for opening weekend. And opening over the Thanksgiving holiday we had great snow opening day and intermittently throughout the weekend we kept getting more snow. We had nice conditions in between." Goggins says they haven't crunched the numbers, but there were a lot of very happy skiers and snowboarders. He says this is the week to use your ski for schools pass that you purchased last week and they are expecting more snow this week too.
Gas prices are holding mostly steady across the country and in Oregon. Marie Dodds with the Triple-A says crude oil prices remain in the low 80's per barrel, and that should keep gas prices from changing dramatically. Diesel prices are down about a penny in Oregon to $3.35 a gallon. Bend’s average is just under $3a gallon. Nationally, Hawaii has the highest prices at $3.51. Washington's average of $3.11 is sixth highest and Oregon’s average of $3.01 is 10th highest in the country.
While many of us are agonizing over our holiday budget, State Senator Chris Telfer is thinking about much larger numbers; a state budget in the billions. "We’re not seeing Oregonians go back to work and until we see that we're not seeing the state turn around financially." Telfer, also a CPA, of Bend says she's already trying to figure out a way that the state can run more efficiently - she'll be pushing legislation that changes their entire approach: "Current statutes drive us to ever increasing budgets called current service level. I'm moving us more towards current improvement level which is more performance based so we're not looking at bigger and bigger budgets all the time, we're looking at better and better performance." Facing the worst recession in decades, she believes if political leaders don't change the way they run the government now, they may never do it. For the upcoming 2 year budget, Telfer explains the State would need to increase spending by almost a 40% in order to keep the same level of services.
It’s an effort by Central Oregon veterans outreach to provide free medical help to homeless veterans in Central Oregon. “We've been working to try and put together a team of medical providers who could go out into the camps. NeighborImpact donated to us their old answer van. It wasn't running. A group of vets got together, got it towed over to a place where another couple of vets worked on it, got the diesel engine running.” Chuck Hemingway is the Executive Director of the Central Oregon Veterans Outreach. Fuqua homes and Beaver Coaches have also made donations of material. Hemingway is hoping by the first of the year to get out into the homeless camps with volunteer medical providers to provide basic care services to veterans and the other homeless in the camps.
Central Oregon workers now have a health plan option that helps low income or contractors and leased employees. SharedCare, the community health improvement plan offered though Health Matters of Central Oregon has begun offering coverage to those who use 1099 tax forms. The new program could be a real boost for construction contractors, real estate brokers, hairstylists, and others. The non-profit HealthMatters serves all Central Oregon counties through several programs that links people to health care providers that can the proactive in their health care. Officials with shared care say they are targeting those people who are working and can't afford health insurance and make to much for the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare and Medicaid. There is a wage criteria to qualify. We have a link to the SharedCare program on our links page.
If you're worried about crime in Central Oregon, tonight is your chance to learn more about the problem and get involved. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton is the featured speaker at the "Central Oregon Patriots" meeting. Blanton will cover crime, budgeting and other issues facing the Sheriff's Department. The meeting is open to the general public, and organizer Carl Dewing hopes many people will turn out: “I think one of the things that's happened in this country is that people have become complacent as to what their government is doing." Dewing says this apathy has lead to big problems on the national, state and local levels. The Central Oregon Patriots meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Highlands Baptist Church in Redmond.
Today is another busy day at the Redmond Airport as the holiday weekend winds down. Roberts Field Manager Carrie Novick says they were busier than usual this past weekend, but not as frantic as the large metro airports. She says that's because people in Central Oregon tend to start Thanksgiving travel several days earlier, and return later. Going forward, if you're traveling in December, Novick has a reminder for you. "If you're going to bring gifts with you don't bring them wrapped. Bring the paper and you can wrap them when you go thru security or you can wrap them when you get to your destination. But, you don't want to be delayed because TSA wants you to unwrap something." And, if you're wondering about those much talked about airport scanners, Roberts Field doesn't have one, yet, Novick says they will probably get one next spring or summer.
The Central Oregon Islamic faithful are speaking out after police arrested a Corvallis teen for trying to bomb a Portland tree lighting ceremony Friday. Abdel Karim Aouri admits he doesn't watch much of the news, because he says it distorts the Islamic faith. “They would sometimes quote the Koran and they would quote a verse out of context, and they when I would go back and look up what is said, that is not what it says you know.” Aouri tells our news partner News Channel 21there are only about 20 members of the Islamic faith in Central Oregon. They meet in homes because the closest Mosque is in Corvallis. They are talking about opening a Mosque in Redmond. Aouri says instead of just tolerating each other, members of all religions should practice real love towards one another.
Maybe it was a turkey overload. Maybe they just wanted to burn off the calories. Or, maybe people are feeling a bit better about the economy and are ready to shop. Whatever the reason, a record number of shoppers in Central Oregon and around the nation took advantage of Black Friday specials. A published report says it wasn't just the retail stores; online business was brisk as well. The final Black Friday sales numbers should be out soon, but businesses are hoping that the shopping frenzy will continue throughout the holiday season.
A horizon flight destined for Redmond had some trouble Friday afternoon. The pilot noticed emergency sensors indicating the front landing gear had not deployed. Emergency units from Redmond Fire & Rescue stood by on the runway as the pilot made several circles around the field as ground crews determined the gear was operating properly. The plane involved had 59 people on board and was identified as a Bombardier Q-400 twin-engine turboprop. The flight originated in Portland.
Bend firefighters continue their investigation after Friday morning blaze totally destroyed a mobile home on SW McMullin Drive in Romaine Village. It was just before noon when Bend Fire found heavy smoke inside the residence when they arrived and put out the flames within ten minutes. No one was home during the blaze, but all the contents were destroyed. The Red Cross is assisting the resident who lives there. The cause has not been determined.
Another snowstorm is expected to move into the area tonight and tomorrow. Mark Thibodeau with the Weather Channel says we could see some accumulations. “Right now the snow amounts could be significant, Friday night into Saturday at least several inches possible maybe more.” Highs on Friday and Saturday will be in the high 30's, lows in the 20's.
The City of Bend is hoping to get some funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation's flexible funding program to improve some portions of Third Street. Bend Accessibility Manager Susan Duncan says they have identified a long stretch of Third Street that really needs help: “Primarily there for to support bicycle work, pedestrian work, transit work and to really help with the infrastructure. And so we've proposed for the south Third Street, which the Business 97 area for pedestrian access improvements from Franklin to Murphy Road." Duncan says they have applied for about $320,000 and if approved, it will provide lots of jobs to get the work done and the businesses along Third Street will benefit from the improvements too. Duncan says they should know by early February if the funding is approved.
The Redmond Police Chief is moving on to take the top police spot in Olympia, Washington. Starting in January, Chief Ron Roberts will supervise about twice as many people and move to a city with more than double the population of Redmond. He plans to help with a smooth transition for his replacement and admits that keeping a community safe is especially challenging right now because of stretched budgets. "This year we're really starting to see the impact of the economy on crime. A lot of property crimes, assaults, some of those behaviors you'd think would be reflective of poor economic conditions are really starting to show themselves and so this is a real challenge because when you don't have enough resources that problem can get worse." As far as challenges in the new job, Olympia has a history of protests that have sometimes turned violent; a very different environment than Redmond. Roberts is proud that he's been he's been able to build a strong foundation of community policing in Redmond. He says his journey north is bittersweet, because he's loved living and working in Redmond. He has a home in Central Oregon, so he still plans to "play" here.
It’s a tradition that's been happening for many years; the downtown Bend Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. It officially kicks off the Christmas season. The ceremony will be at Newport and Wall Street beginning at 6:00 p.m. with carolers, and other entertainment, and of course, Santa will be there to throw the switch to light the tree. He’ll then be at the plaza near Franklin and Wall, next to Starbucks to hear Christmas wishes. Wall Street from Newport Avenue to Oregon Avenue and Newport Avenue from NW 3rd Street to Wall Street will be closed from about 5:45-7:15 p.m. because of the event. Officials advise you get there early for parking.
The travel nightmare we hear about across the nation and the northwest has not made its way to the airport in Redmond. Roberts Field Manager Carrie Novick says Central Oregon air travelers are on a different schedule than most of the rest of the world: “In Central Oregon when school is out for the entire week people actually start leaving last Friday night and Saturday; so you don't have this mad rush, I mean we're busy, but about all that we see that's out of the ordinary is that more people come to pick someone up or drop someone off." As for Friday, Novick says it should be busy at the airport, but not as crowded as other airports in the northwest. Still, she says it's always good to allow extra time when you're traveling.
What are you thankful for? 11-10 KBND news asked people at the Bend Community Center on Thursday and there was a wide variety of answers. “What I think about a lot today, are our troops. I just, in my heart, pray for them to be safe and warm and protected.” “Companionship and fellowship with others.” “The social discussion here about old times in Bend and talk with our neighbors.” “Thank God for all the great moments, you know, that we enjoy with people when we come here.” Other items people we talked to are thankful for were friends, health and many who are still employed say they are very thankful to have a job today.
Yesterday was a day to give thanks. Hundreds of Central Oregonians showed up at the Bend Community Center for the annual Thanksgiving Day meal. They had different reasons for being there, but all agreed on one thing. The food and the company were just what they needed on a cold, lonely holiday. BCC Executive Director Taffy Gleason says people from all walks of like come to the center: “We have a wide variety of people who come in here. Some people are on fixed incomes and they live alone. They are just plain lonely and they have not place to go on thanksgiving or Christmas and they come here to socialize.”
With temperatures in the single digits and teens, it doesn't take very long to get frostbite or worse. Darren Durham, the E.R. Manager at St. Charles gives us some of the warning signs we're getting into trouble. “When your core body temperatures gets low there can be confusion, weakness is a big sign, you feel like you can't go on, you want to sleep.” Durham says make sure your extremities are covered with hats, gloves, and boots, because it doesn't take much to lose body heat.
Central Oregon Veterans Outreach goes out every Tuesday to check on the homeless at nearly 20 area camps. Jim Montoya with the group says the need gets more urgent when temperatures drop to dangerous levels. “They really were hunkered down, usually give them water, but a lot of their containers were frozen.
Montoya says they saw about two dozen homeless people when they were out yesterday [Tuesday].” But knows there are many more.
The Republican Transition Team for the incoming U.S. House Majority is tackling problems that the nation is facing after several years of economic troubles. Transition Team leader Congressman Greg Walden says the number one issue is getting America back to work. And that means businesses feeling confident to invest in expansions. But, Walden says, assuring businesses means to not make some changes: "Now we're a phase where the whole tax code is going to revert back ten years; or is it? Or parts of it, or which parts? As we approach this deadline which is the end of the year people began to go, I better hold off now. I don't know whether or not I can invest. I don't know what my rate of return is going to be; I don't know how to predict the risk. As so as a result, I think you've a got a real problem out there." Walden says its not the only problem in the economy, this uncertainly is not helping. Congressman Walden appeared on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell" Tuesday night.
While you're out doing those last minute holiday errands, the local Red Cross Chapter could sure use your help! "The severe weather is really impacting our ability to collect blood; we had some pretty low turnout yesterday, we're pretty sure it's the weather, our donors are loyal and good people but I think it's impacting our ability to collect." Jen Collins says the supply is low and they want to stay out of the danger zone. The donor center in Bend on Twin Knolls Drive is open until 4:30 today - the Blood bus is parked at Murray & Holt until 3 pm and the Redmond Grange is glad to take donations until 4 o'clock today.
Icy and snow covered roads have made for some challenging driving over the last couple days. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says officers have had their hands full. “Slow down, move over to the right. There are cinders to drive on and always if possible keep moving. If you have to stop and render aid everyone understands that, but keep moving.” Sheriff Blanton also warns to limit your brake use, because that limits your steering. Blanton was the guest on the KBND Morning Show "Your Town" this morning.
Skiers at Mt. Bachelor are braving some cold temperatures today as they hit the slopes for opening day. The lifts started taking skiers up the mountain at 9:00 a.m. The ski hill has three lifts open; the Pine Marten, Skyliner and Sunshine lifts are operating. They are all at the front of the mountain. The snow base is 41 inches, with temperatures in the single digits. Ticket prices for adults today run $50 for the day.
The City of Bend are hoping to get some state money to help improve a portion of Third Street between Franklin and Murphy road. ODOT’s Flexible Funds Program is there to fund non-highway transportation projects, like transit, pedestrian and bicycle improvements. The City is applying for about $320,000 to repair or build about 12,000 feet of sidewalks and curb ramps along Third Street, where the sidewalks are dilapidated or nonexistent. Improving those areas will also improve some high profile business areas, that also has a lot of public transit ridership. City officials say they could find out if they will receive the funds by early next year.
If you've been outside, you know how cold it is out there. Mark Thibodeau with the Weather Channel says the deep freeze has moved in and it’s not moving out for a while. “It’s like winter has already arrived about a month early around here. And we’re going to see those cold temperatures probably continue, the way it appears, for about another day or so. Then I think we’re going to slowly warm up some as we get into black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, of course. But it’s still not going to be warm. I still think Friday’s highs are going to be in the upper 30’s.” Another snowstorm could be moving into the area Friday night into Saturday, bringing with it some accumulation.
Thanksgiving can be a very lonely time for seniors. Over the past five years, Jake’s Diner has offered free Thanksgiving dinners to seniors who are alone and can't afford to buy a nice meal. "Its the traditional Thanksgiving fare. Everything’s done the old fashioned way, turkey, ham, all the trimmings. It’s the only time we do reservations only. So it's a reserved situation with a set amount of people per hour. And we have entertainment for them." Jakes owner Lyle Hicks says all the workers are volunteers. The food is donated by the food purveyors he uses and from private donations. Any tips or cash donation they come in will all go to the Family Access Network. Hicks says he chose them because they help kids stay in school. He says they also want to know about any shut-ins that could use a nice warm Thanksgiving meal, and they will deliver to them. You can call Jakes Diner for more information at 541-382-0118.
About a quarter of Redmond residents lot electricity early this morning. The first power lines failed around one a.m. and the second around 2:45 this morning, plunging about 4000 Pacific Power customers into the dark. Crews were quickly dispatched and power was restored to many around 5:30 this morning. Then around 7 a.m another outage occurred affecting another 350 people. Power was restored before 9:00 a.m. Then, another outage occurred around 9:15 a.m. plunging more into the dark. Officials are still investigating the cause of the outage, and one likely culprit is the bitterly cold weather. 11-10 KBND will have more information as it becomes available.
Powell Butte's Charter School that just opened this fall, is looking for a new principal. Principal Joyce Garrett resigned a couple weeks ago. Lynn Lundquist is on the Powell Butte Charter School Board. “There was some difference of opinion with principal and staff and parents. She resigned. She did it on her own. We didn't ask her to. She thought it was best for community and staff if she resigned and what's what she did. D.C. Lundy who has served as principal for Powell Butte Elementary School in the past will serve as interim principal for the charter school, until a permanent replacement is found.
A lot of veterans are having trouble finding work in Central Oregon. Worksource Oregon is helping line up jobs for some of them. Roy Morris is a veterans representative with Worksource Oregon. “A lot of the oldest veterans we deal with have been employed for 20 30 years either in construction industry or in their own business. But because of the economy, they lost their business. So now they need help training to seek other types of work or don't think they have.” Currently about 1900 veterans are seeking employment in Central Oregon. Roy Morris was the guest on "Your Town" during the KBND Morning News Tuesday morning.
A very early Tuesday morning tanker rollover causes Highway 26 north of Madras to be shut down for 12 hours. The Warm Springs Fire and Safety and Warm Springs Police were dispatched to milepost 93, which is about seven miles north of Madras, around 12:30 a.m. "One of the tanker trailers was on its side in the highway. The tractor-trailer with its attached tanker was still upright. So just the last tanker trailer basically fell. And it was due to the winter weather." Juanita Majel with the Warm Springs Public Safety Branch says the tanker trailer was carrying about 6300 gallons of fuel. The driver says he was driving very slow, and one of his tires must have caught some dirt and turned over. No one was hurt in the crash. Hazmat crews from Prineville and ODOT worked to clean up leaked fuel and pump fuel from the wrecked tanker. Highway 26 reopened about 12:30 this afternoon.
All you skiers who are ready to hit the slopes, Mt. Bachelor will be opening for the season Wednesday.Andy Goggins with the ski hill says a lot of people are excited. “Opening day we'll have final updates on lift status, ticket prices. Things are being firmed up; we're looking at conditions. It's a perfect storm. It's going to clear up in the next couple days. Looks like great opening to the season.” Ticket prices and open lifts will be on the Mt. Bachelor website at the end of the day. Lifts are scheduled to open by 9 a.m. Wednesday.
The bitterly cold temperatures can mean life or death for the homeless. Still, some will choose to stay out in the cold. One homeless man we talked to in Bend says he's seen people freeze to death on the streets and he's urging the homeless to swallow their pride and come in out of the cold. He's very happy to be at the Bethlehem Inn tonight: “Unless you’ve been there, it’s really hard to describe. The coldest you can be, So cold you can’t unbutton your clothing or you can’t tie your shoes. Just bone-chilling cold.” "Mike" says he is homeless by choice and has been on the streets for several years. He came to Bend about five months ago and helps at the shelters and does other odd jobs to pay for necessities. Besides the homeless, the single digit temperatures are brutal for our pets too. The Humane Society of Central Oregon says pets should be kept inside. Dogs and cats can get frostbite on their ears, nose and feet if left outside. If you have to keep your dog or cat outside they say you should make sure their bedding is dry, their water bowl isn't frozen, and that they have even more food than usual.
The National Weather Service is forecasting some frigid temperatures over the next several days. And when the thermometer begins to thaw, some homeowners may have an unpleasant surprise of their water pipes cracking due to the cold weather. "Some of the first things you should do, if you have foundation vents, you should block those off, so the air doesn't get down under the structure. If they are the older houses, that don't have insulation in the walls, they can leave the cabinet door open where there's plumbing underneath. They can also leave the water dripping a little bit, so the water's moving through the pipes. When it's moving it usually doesn't freeze." John Woolery with Deschutes Plumbing says some people put a space heater in their crawl space or under the sink, but he doesn't recommend that as it is a fire hazard. If you get to the pipes early enough, you can wrap them with insulating material.
There’s a break in the snowfall right now, but roads are still slick. Peter Murphy with ODOT says drivers still need to be careful. “The things we're going to be facing are cold temperatures and ice. All that snow, it's not going to melt much and it's going to get compacted on the highway. And that's what ODOT is trying to fix, so highways are safe for everybody. “ All the passes are open, but drivers should prepare for winter like driving conditions if they're going to travel them.
A Bend man accused of killing his wife was arraigned Monday on a charge of murder. Investigators say they believe Steven Blaylock killed his wife and then dumped her body into the Santiam River. It has not yet been recovered. A Grand Jury returned an indictment last week. He is due back in court December 20th to enter a plea. Meantime, the family and friends of Lori Blaylock have set up a fund to help pay for her funeral. You can make donations at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Woody Blaylock Fund. The family plans on taking the money and purchasing a headstone. Police are still trying to find the body.
The City of Bend has issued a declaration allowing the use of extra emergency shelters. This will go into effect if the two existing homeless shelters reach capacity of 175. This declaration allows some of the City's fire code restrictions pertaining to homeless shelters to be waived due to a weather emergency, but a facility must still be approved. “The goal is no dead bodies. It’s a very low bar to set, but it's something we can all, if we all work together, maintain safety and security for anybody who happens to find themselves in this bad weather. But if you see someone out there who needs shelter, have them come to the Bethlehem Inn, there is somebody here 24-hours a day.” The Bethlehem Inn's Chris Clouart says he has already called the Boys and Girls Club, and they are on standby. If the Bethlehem Inn reaches capacity, then the Boys and Girls Club can be used as a shelter
If you don't have to go out, the Oregon State Police is asking that you stay home due to winter like driving conditions. “Conditions are getting pretty dicey in a lot of the State, Santiam Pass has been hit real hard and there are troopers that have been working up there all day. They are asking you to delay any unnecessary travel in that area due to high winds, heavy winds, and low visibility.” Oregon State Police Lieutenant Greg Hastings says the forecast is that conditions will deteriorate Monday tonight. If you do have to travel, be prepared for winter like driving conditions and limited visibility. There have been at least ten crashes on Santiam Pass today, some of those involving injuries.
Driving conditions over Highways 20 and 26 are very bad right now. In fact if you don't have to drive, stay home, especially if you want to travel on Highways 20 or 26. “The were telling be that Condition “D” - the folks in our dispatch center don’t remember that last time it was implemented. So we’ve gone past where traction tires are required. If you don’t have chains, you can’t get up and over the mountain.” ODOT's Peter Murphy says even if you are driving a four wheel drive, you must have chains or you will not be allowed over the mountain passes. There are not enough Oregon State Police troopers to respond to all of the crashes. There have been at least ten crashes on Santiam Pass today.
While the snow isn't good news for motorists, it's great news for skiers. The HooDoo Ski Bowl will open for business Friday. As of late Monday afternoon, that resort received more than a foot snow in 24-hours. Mount Bachelor plans to open Wednesday. They received almost two feet of snow in the 72-hours preceding Monday night.
There will be a recount in the Bend City Council Position 7 race next Tuesday, November 30th. Initially only 8 votes separated leader Scott Ramsay and Chuck Arnold. After the certified results, there's only a two vote difference. Scott Ramsay says its been an interesting couple weeks. “Well, astounding is a good word for it, very surprised. Suddenly the 8 vote margin seem preferable after sweating that one for a few weeks.” Scott Ramsay says he's talked with Chuck Arnold and they both agree the final results on November 30th will be the final say. No one will contest the results.
The Oregon Department of Revenue is disputing claims that the state is trying to balance the budget by taking more out of your paycheck. A spokesman admits the State is changing the tables to allow for more tax to be withheld: “Over the last year or two, we have had people who contacted their lawmakers complaining that they have had to write a check at the end of the year because they have not had enough withheld during the year.” Derrick Gasperini of the Oregon Department of Revenue says the tables have not been changed since 2007, and several tax law changes have occurred since then. Gasperini stresses that the increasing withholding is not an attempt to balance the state budget.
Bend’s largest homeless shelter is bracing for the expected cold weather. “We are telling folks that if you need to get out of the cold, we are suspending our general residence rules for one night stays. We are opening up our dining hall; we will have mattresses and blankets. We will have coffee, hot water if they want some soup.”
Chris Clouart of the Bethlehem Inn says you can help by donating sleeping bags designed for 30 degree weather and colder, tarps, and tents. The Bethlehem Inn is working with Central Oregon veterans outreach to get supplies out to the homeless camps around Bend.
With our weather turning much colder, it's more important than ever, the homeless get help. Taffy Gleason, Executive Director of the Bend Community Center says during their supply drive, they got lots of clothes and blankets, but no tents: “We're completely out of tents. We serve dinners on Sundays and that's normally when we give out tents. And with winter coming. I had three people didn't have tents. I had one woman who is wrapping herself in sleeping bag and tarps because there are no tents left.” Gleason estimates there are about 3500 hundred homeless people in the Bend area, including 1200 students. Gleason was the guest on the KBND Morning Show "Your Town" Monday.
Unemployment went down slightly in one Central Oregon County in October, but remained the same in the other two. The unemployment rate in Crook County dropped from 19% to 18.6% in October. The rate in Deschutes and Jefferson Counties remained unchanged from September. Deschutes County's unemployment stands at 15.3% and Jefferson's is at 15.4%. State-wide, Oregon’s unemployment rate remained at 10.5% last month.
The Family Access Network (FAN) receives a $7000 grant from U.S. Bancorp. FAN spokesperson Cynthia Jurgensen says it being Thanksgiving week, the timing couldn't be better: "We can get that family or their child what they need the most right now. So Thanksgiving week is just really busy trying to make sure people have food on the table, holidays coming up; making sure there's toys at Christmas in this pretty challenging economy that we still live in." Jurgensen says fan served almost 7900 students and their families last year and the need increases with every month. She adds that they are appreciative of the big companies grants and donations they also rely on individuals in the community to help them. And right now they have a huge need for coats and warm winter clothing. If you can help, contact the Family Access Network. We have a link on the links page at KBND.com.
A new program debuts today at the High Desert Museum. "Owl Legends" features Aurora, the worlds largest species of owl. "We have our new Eurasian eagle owl. And this is the first time she's been out in public, so she's been a little bit shy. But this is going to be a really exciting program to have her out on stage and have her out in front of everybody. Visitors will be able to see her and get up close. She had a six foot wing span and is just remarkable to see such a large owl. She has enormous talons." Dana Whitelaw with the High Desert Museum says Aurora is not native to Central Oregon, but has imprinted on humans and is now part of the Museum's collection. The “Owl Legends” show is this week only. And the Museum is open every day but Thursday this week. You can get the hours and ticket prices at the High Desert Museum website and we have a link at kbnd-dot-com.
Central Oregon is bracing for another winter storm. We could get another three inches of snow today with westerly winds up to 24 miles per hour. “So far we have been fairly lucky. There have been slide offs and we have noted that. Basically is seems like people have been able to handle the conditions that we are getting into. Now, it's going to get worse. So, we are preparing to deal with frigid temperatures and additional snow coming in. So, we are just entering into this period and we will have to see where we will end up. Right now, it looks more or less under control. People are doing more or less what they need to do.” ODOT's Peter Murphy urges you to adjust your driving for winter conditions. That includes slowing down and increasing the traveling distance between you and the other vehicle
Priorities for the upcoming Oregon Legislative session were on the minds of key lawmakers and Oregon County officials Friday in Salem. Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger was in on the discussion: “There are going to be looking at who has the best ideas and how to keep the budget process fair as they figure out how to trim.” Lawmakers will have to deal with a $3.5 billion dollar deficit. Unger says County Commissioners will make every effort to ensure lawmakers are informed on how state money is spent on a local level to keep vital programs intact.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory and a winter weather warning for parts of Central Oregon that are in effect until Tuesday morning. The advisory covers Bend, La Pine, and Sunriver. The warning includes Madras, Redmond, and Prineville. Snow started Sunday. Gusty winds up will cause blowing and drifting snow. Roads will become snow packed and slippery. Travel could become hazardous. Winds could reach 30 mph. Prepare to protect your animals.
Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship has certified the election results from earlier this month, and the final numbers in a City Council race are even closer than originally thought. The Position 7 race between Scott Ramsey and Chuck Arnold is now within two votes. Ramsey leads Arnold by two. “So we'll have a recount on Tuesday, November 30th, just a couple votes apart, 10,501 to 10,499.” Nancy Blankenship says the Election Board will physically hand count the 20,000 ballots all on November 30th , and the final results will be the official count.
So far, the Oregon DEQ is giving the green light for a 25-megawatt La Pine Biomass plant. The plan is to build the $60-million plant at the Finley Butte Industrial Park. “There is a few different reasons why we need that plant. From an environmental standpoint, we have timberlands that have been mismanaged and some adverse conditions created on them by dense pine populations that don't allow for optimum wood growth. They end up creating significant ladder fuels for forest fires.” Rob Broberg is the President of Bio-Green Sustainable Energy. He says 20% of the project cost is going into pollution control. Broberg assures residents that 99% of the pollutants will be removed before emissions are allowed to vent. Up to 25 jobs will be created pumping $1.3 million into the local economy every year. You have a chance to hear the DEQ's report during a public meeting Tuesday night at 6 at the La Pine Senior Activity Center.
Scott Ray Sabec, 22, has been arrested by the Warm Springs Police Department. Local officials have been searching for him because of a violation of his Deschutes County Parole. They warned that Sabec was possibly in possession of a pocketknife and can have violent tendencies when contacted. He was arrested Saturday morning.
Redmond’s School Board is moving forward with plans to improve many of its schools in the coming years. The money is coming from an expected $15 million in bond savings. The money must be spent on capitol improvements, and the District will direct the funds toward improvements at Redmond High, and three of their elementary schools. “Each school will have a group that will participate in task force to take a look at what design changes and upgrades could be done at each of the schools.” Board President Jim Erickson hopes the improvements could be made by the fall of 2012.
A 2-vehicle crash on Hwy 361 just north of Culver Saturday evening killed Leonard Franklin Ross, 73 of Metolius. He was a passenger in a car that was struck by an SUV that reportedly ran a stop sign. The SUV was driven by Andrea Orozco, 28, of Metolius, who was driving on a suspended license. Three children in her vehicle were ejected from the vehicle. In addition to the fatality, ten people were seriously injured.
More people are expected to hit the road this week for the holiday and officers will be out in full force, making sure it's a safe one. Greg Hastings with Oregon State Police is giving drivers a heads up. “So we want to make sure people know starting Wednesday through Sunday, there'll be additional patrols. OSP has several enforcement efforts we’ll participate in around the state.” Travel in the northwest is expected to increase by 14% this Thanksgiving holiday.
Thanksgiving is one of the biggest food days of the year. The majority of Americans usually cook a turkey. And the folks at Butterball turkeys says there are always lots of people who wait to the last minute to buy a their bird, and then they panic when they realize it needs to be defrosted in a hurry. “We get that question starting probably right about now. And we actually sometimes get it the day before Thanksgiving. But we can do a quick thaw method. Which is thawing the turkey in a sink of cold water and you need about 30 minutes per pound to do that. So put it in a sink. Some people will use a cooler, set down in a bathtub for a day. Like a 20 pound turkey might take 10 hours." Marty Van Ness, a Turkey Talk Line supervisor with Butterball says they get about 100,000 calls every year at this time. Van Ness says their website can also answer a lot of your questions. We have put a link to it at KBND-dot-com.
Saturday started out to be a bad night on Central Oregon roadways. Overcast skies and intermittent snow have combined to create slippery surfaces and even black ice in some areas. A crash on Hwy 20 east, near MP 35 earlier this evening caused a single vehicle rollover crash that trapped two people in the vehicle, while a 3rd occupant managed to free himself. As emergency crews arrived on the scene from Bend, they all reported black ice approaching the scene. Injuries reportedly were not life threatening. Another crash, on Hwy 361 (that’s the Old Culver Highway) and Highland caused major injuries. Scanner reports indicate it was a head-on collision involving two vehicles. Apparently several people were ejected from the vehicle including a child. It took three ambulances to get the patients to area hospitals. Then, an ambulance from Bend was sent to meet one of the Jefferson County Ambulances on its way to St. Charles in Bend with several patients. No other details are available. Then, another call came in of a vehicle that rolled off the roadway on Skyliners Drive. Nobody was injured in that crash. The roads throughout Central Oregon are becoming extremely slippery. As the drunk driving crowd hits the streets at bar closing time, there will be a lot of black ice and packed snow.
A Bend resident returning home around 11:13 Friday night saw two men running from his home on Brookswood Blvd. He saw the suspects jump into a pickup truck and drive away. He when he entered his home, Guy Lawlor, 34, found a window broken and a bedroom door kicked in. After calling 911 and describing the truck and break-in, a short time later OSP saw the truck on the Bend Parkway and made a traffic stop. A search the truck finds a handgun. Three men are taken into custody. Nicholas Butler, 27, Derek Peterson, 22, both of Bend and Jeffery Mosher, 21, a transient, were taken into custody on burglary, mischief, DUII and other charges. According to the Bend Police report, Mr. Lawlor knew suspect Butler.
Three resorts in central and southern Oregon have new owners. A partnership of the Northview Hotel Group and Oaktree Capital Management has purchased Running Y, Ridgewater, Eagle Crest, and Brasada from Jeld Wen. Simon Hallgarten, a partner of Northview Hotel Group says it's a great opportunity: “The resorts are actually very well positions now. They are just a little tired. They haven’t had a lot of capital invested in them recently. They haven’t been marketed to the full extent. Because up until a few years ago, there was no need to market the resorts because the real estate was selling so well without marketing it; why take the time.” The team of managers and associates employed by Jeld Wen will continue working. Northview plans a list of improvements including landscaping, meeting rooms, spas, and some of the infrastructure. Oaktree Capital Management is headquartered in Los Angeles and has $79-billion in assets under management.
Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship has certified the election results from earlier this month, and the final numbers in a City Council race are even closer than originally thought. The Position 7 race between Scott Ramsey and Chuck Arnold is now within two votes. Ramsey leads Arnold by two. “So we'll have a recount on Tuesday, November 30th, the votes are now just a couple votes apart, 10,501 to 10,499.” Nancy Blankenship says the Election Board will physically hand count the 20,000 ballots all on November 30th, and the final result will be the official count.
Police believe the body of a Bend man missing since September has been found. The Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley says a hunter found the body on November 14th. "There’s evidence suggesting the body is the body of Daniel Russell Carter, reported missing in September of this year. We’re not releasing the actual evidence that draws to that conclusion at this point. But we have submitted DNA standards to the crime lab and the Bend City Police will also submit their standards. Those will be compared and hopefully, we can put the case of the missing person to rest." Nizley says the remains were found in a remote area of the Mt. Hood National Forest in Wasco County and if anyone is in that area and finds a white Subaru to contact police.
There is a sigh of relief going through the State Capital today, as the State Revenue Forecast is showing an increase in income for the first time in two years. State Economist Tom Potiowsky says it's an encouraging sign, but others are not so sure. Bend Senator Chris Telfer says the so called positive numbers are coming from some administrative slight of hand. “In essence what the Department of Revenue did was increase withholding on employees payroll checks by a $100-million. So now they have a $100-million more coming in. So without that little gimmick, they would be down $38-million.” Forecasters are saying the numbers will mean the state will not have to make any cuts to the current two-year budget. It is now in the black by about $60-million. But, the deficit in the next two-year budget has grown to $3.5 billion.
Deschutes County Sheriffs are looking for a 22 year old man wanted for a parole violation, and is considered dangerous. Scott Ray Sabec is currently on supervised probation for assault. He was last seen Thursday night in the area of NW Pershall Way and NW 10th Street. Sabec is 5'10", 130 pounds with short dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, black cowboy hat and tan military boots. Sabec is possibly in possession of a pocketknife and can have violent tendencies. If you see him, you are asked to call 911. Police say do not approach him.
Hundreds turned out Thursday night to remember Lori Blaylock, known as "Woody" to friends. The vigil at Bend's Drake Park was filled with candles and heart felt feelings about the woman believed murdered by her husband Stephen. Lori's body has not yet been found but detectives believe it was dumped in the north Santiam River near Marion Forks. Due to impending snowfall and rough terrain, the search for Blaylock's body along the North Santiam River has ended, at least for now. A Grand Jury has indicted her husband on murder charges.
We’re having a little break between storms right now, but another system is headed our way. Greg Hastings with Oregon State Police says drivers on the passes should be careful this weekend. “This weekend with the drop in freezing levels, the potential for snow, maybe even down to the valley floor in the Willamette Valley, and we know that the Oregon passes, eastern Oregon and Central Oregon definitely will have a greater chance of getting some snow which brings slicker highways and definitely driving challenges for many people.” Most of the snow is expected to move in on Sunday.
It's a sign that tensions may be lessening in the transition between outgoing Deschutes District Attorney Mike Dugan and incoming DA Patrick Flaherty. Both men met Wednesday and Dugan asked Flaherty to be the special prosecutor in the Steven Blaylock murder investigation. "The Blaylock murder investigation is still in its infancy stages, so to speak. That case will be pending when Mr. Flaherty takes office in January. It seemed to me that it would be advantageous to, not only Mr. Flaherty, but this office to have him involved from the start. So I asked him if he's like to do that and he agreed." Dugan says they will work together to make a smooth transition and have planned some staff meetings next week to discuss the transition. Dugan says both men agreed that their primary mission of the DA's Office is community safety and assuring the public that those people that commit crimes are held accountable.
The Bend City Council has voted to stop its parking validation program downtown. City Manager Eric King says the City Council unanimously made the decision at its Council meeting this week. “There was a lot of abuse with employees and business owners providing own receipts for validation program. It was a nightmare to administer, and so the council decided to discontinue parking validation in its current form. We're looking for alternative ways to provide parking for shoppers downtown.” The validation program costs the City over $73,000 every year that King says that money is needed to maintain the parking garage and other downtown parking facilities. The last day for validation will be December 31st.
An attempted home invasion robbery in northeast Bend puts four suspects in jail. Bend Police receive a call around 7:45 Wednesday night. Apparently three men and a woman forced their way into a home on northeast Lotus Drive, looking for payment from a debt. The suspects pointed a gun at two of the residents and struck one in the face. Several items inside the home and a car windshield outside were broken as the suspect left the home. The suspects left in a taxi to a home on southwest Westpine Place. Police were able to locate the suspects at that home and arrested Nicholas Scott, 20, Andrew Scott, 19, Cody Greff, 22, and Ciera Carr, 18, all of Bend on robbery, burglary, assault and other charges. Police found evidence of the robbery at the home. All are lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.
If you receive your water from the Avion Water Company, you could be in for a 16.9% rate increase as soon as next spring. Avion Vice President Jason Wick says the economy has forced the request to the Public Utilities Commission. "Increase costs that we are encountering. And everything from electrical to operations to health benefits." Wick says they had a public meeting to discuss the rate increase Wednesday night but only one person attended. He says they could receive approval from the PUC as early as March, but more likely by July first. Avion Water serves almost 11,000 residents in Bend. Their last rate increase was in 2007.
We saw a dusting of snow in the Bend area Wednesday night, but parts of the Cascades saw up to a foot of snow. Mark Thibodeau with the Weather Channel says we shouldn't see much more here: “Now we're in the home stretch with this first system. I’m a little concerned about what is coming down the road, maybe a threat of snow Sunday and Sunday night. And because this next system will have colder temperatures, the chance of a significant snow is a little greater.” The winter storm warning for the higher elevations in the Cascades, has been downgraded to an advisory, meaning travel could be inconvenient, but not severe.
The River Rim Homeowners Association appears as if it's getting out of the DMV controversy. The group held its annual Homeowners Association meeting Wednesday night and about 160 people showed up. Last week the HOA pulled its lawsuit against the DMV about moving into the Brookswood Plaza near their homes. Some residents objected to using HOA funds to pay for a lawsuit and upon further review the Board discovered they needed the approval of 75% of homeowners to do it anyway. Board President John Wytsma says the Board has no intention of going forward with a future lawsuit.
The annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign is over, and organizers say the two week effort was very successful. With your help, organizers collected enough food to stuff two Mount Bachelor ski busses full of non perishable food. It was donated to the NeighborImpact Food Bank. “The quality of the food collected this year was fantastic. This year we had lots of tuna fish, peanut butter, canned vegetables, rices, pastas, things that are really hardy types things that the food bank wants us to collect.” Steve Ries of Combined Communications says the goal was to gather up to 20,000 pounds of food. The food will be distributed to needy residents of Central Oregon through the NeighborImpact Food Bank.
A groundwater advisory committee is moving ahead in their effort to ensure the water is safe to drink in southern Deschutes County. “We have pretty much finalized our committee charter. It’s a document that outlines how the committee functions, and the goals and objectives of the committee. We are hopeful that committee members will sign the document at this upcoming meeting.” Robert Baggett is with the DEQ in Bend. Some scientists are concerned with septic tank outflow pushing too many nitrates into the groundwater. South county residents revolted when Deschutes County tried to force expensive septic tank upgrades. This new committee is organized by the State Department of Environmental Quality as they state takes the lead role in the issue. The committee's next meeting is December 7th in La Pine.
We’ve had some encouraging signs of an improving economy in Central Oregon lately. Redmond Mayor George Endicott believes things have stabilized, but: “I think that we may have a little more of a dip, certainly in the housing market to go through. The assessments, actually countywide, have continues to fall, actually for the whole region. Actually for the whole region. There may still be another year where they’re gunna dip down some more before they start recovering.”
Also, the Oregon Department of Transportation has named the intersection of Highland and 23rd in Redmond, as one of the most dangerous in the state. That's the intersection in front of Redmond High School. Mayor George Endicott says they're taking steps to make it safer. “And the solution that ODOT proposed and that we finally ended up adopting is putting in an island there. It’s a safety island for the kids to cross the street. And then there will actually be a left out of that shopping center, but no left in. Which is where you end up in with a lot of the conflicts between people and cars. “ About 200 kids a day cross Highland Avenue to get to a shopping center across the street. George Endicott was the guest on the KBND Morning News program "Your Town" Wednesday.
Central Oregon is becoming a more important travel hub for Allegiant Air. “With the relationship that we have developed over the years, they are not viewing Central Oregon as a destination in it's own right. Which means the folks in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Mesa will have the chance to buy Central Oregon destination packages, where prior to this time they could only buy air fare.” Alana Audette of the Central Oregon Visitor's Association says COVA will partner will Allegiant in marketing and putting together strongly competitive vacation packages. The cost of those packages will be announced very soon. She adds this is another important opportunity to more firmly establish Central Oregon has a destination.
Bend Fire has issued some safety reminders if you are planning to deep-fry your turkey this year. Most important, always use your fryer outdoors on a non-combustible, flat surface. Make sure an adult tends to the fryer at all times, and make sure they use proper protective gear. There are plenty other tips. You can find them at KBND.com. We also have a link to a turkey frying video that is a real eye-opener.
In a gesture to demonstrate the willingness of the new Republican Majority in Congress to reach across the aisle, Transition Team Chair Greg Walden has asked two Democrats to join the Transition Team in a limited capacity. "Frankly, I reached out with the support of Boehner and Mr. Kantor. I said I really think it’s important on a lot of the daily activities here that we include Democrats in helping reform how Congress operates. Because a lot of what we complain about affects members, regardless of party and so the day after the election we quietly reached out to the Speaker’s Office to suggest this. We realized they aren't going to write our rules, they're not going to run our conference, but there are things we want input on." Walden, appearing on today's Lars Larson Program says Robert Brady of Pennsylvania and Robert Andrews of New Jersey will be included in discussions during the transition. Walden says they already have a whole list of questions that they hope will help make the congress a more efficient body.
If you have some opinions or even great ideas about how our local schools could be improved, you may want to throw your hat into the ring to become part of the Bend La Pine Schools Board. Board Member Wells Ashby is resigning from the Board after being elected Deschutes County Circuit Court judge. Board Chair Peggy Kincade says mostly, a candidate needs to really want to serve: "No, I don't believe that there's an age limit. The person simply has to reside within the voting precincts that are in Zone One. They have to have been a resident in one of those precincts for at least one year and be a registered voter. But other than that, there aren't any particular qualifications." Candidates should be willing to attend meetings about twice a month plus spend time visiting schools and other district events. Kincaide says schools are a crucial part of our community and if we can prepare our children to be thriving citizens, it will help our community to be successful. You can find an application at the Bend La Pine Schools website. There will be an informational meeting at the Schools District building on Tuesday, November 30th.
Encouraging news for Oregon's economy. In October, we saw the biggest one month increase in the number of jobs in more than four years. “We did see a surprise in the payroll employment numbers, they were up by 7600 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. That is strong growth for one month. So, we have seen payroll employment growing now for several major industries including trade, transportation, utilities, business, and financial services.” However, Labor Economist David Cooke says the official unemployment rate is unchanged from last month at 10.5% percent. That is due to in-migration and young people entering the job market. The latest quarterly revenue forecast by the state of Oregon calls for very gradual growth in the state's economy in payroll employment. Education and health services were up 2300 and government was up 3500 jobs.
If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, you can get one for free. Healthwise is offering free flu shots today and Thursday at Newport Avenue Market. The shots will be offered both days from noon to 5 p.m. “For nine years or older, we're offering free flu shots to anyone who wants them. We're asking you donate $1 to $20 to Healthy Beginnings. But if anyone can't pay, it's free.” Sandy Petty with Healthwise says they have about 400 doses of the vaccine to give out. You can get the shots today from noon to five p.m.
A big financial shot in the arm for Cascade Bancorp, which is the parent company for Bank of the Cascades. $177-million will be raised through a stock sale to private investors. “It means a lot to our communities, our employees, our customers. It really positions the bank from a position of great financial strength to be able to grow and prosper in the community and to do what we want to do which is to be a community bank and provide better access to credit.” Cascade Bancorp CEO Patricia Moss says most of the sale is to four investors, with some minority investors in the mix. She says this sale means Bank of the Cascades notably exceeds the benchmark for a "well capitalized bank.” The bank will also perform a one for ten reverse stock split. That means ten shares of stock will be changed into one. That results in fewer shares and each share having a higher value.
More than 50 people turned out for Tuesday night's "Stop the DMV" meeting. It was mainly an informational meeting, to catch residents up on the latest efforts to prevent the DMV from moving into the Brookswood Plaza. “The general trend is the people were very encouraged. This process started on August 30th and here we are mid November and nothing has transpired except for a fence around the building. Things are working out in our favor and we're encouraged by that.” Joe Mansifeld with "Stop the DMV" says the group is waiting to hear whether the City of Bend will grant a building permit to the shopping center landlord for the DMV improvements. If they do grant a permit, the group plans to appeal.
Thursday is the 35th “Great American Smokeout.” The day was created to encourage those smokers wishing to stop to make a plan and take the first steps to stop. The Great American Smokeout also encourages friends of smokers to be supportive and buddy-up with their friends that want to quit. Some of the immediate benefits of quitting include: 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: your circulation improves and your lung function increases. A year after quitting, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. There are plenty of resources and tips at the Great American Smokeout page- you can get to it on our links page at KBND.com
The first significant prolonged snowfall for Central Oregon is headed our way. A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 3pm Wednesday through 10am Thursday. “In the Bend area, we could be expecting anywhere from three to five inches of snow with locally higher amount, locally higher amounts near the crest. So as you head up an elevation north and west of us we could be talking about amounts higher than that, maybe seven or eight inches of snow in those areas.” Weather Channel forecaster Mark Thibodeau says there would be blowing and drifting. The snow will be warm and wet, so it could cause a problem with trees and power lines. He also calls this "heart attack" snow so if you have a heart condition be careful as you shovel it because it will be heavy. We could feel the impact of three separate snow systems by the time the weekend arrives. The first heavy one will arrive within the next 18-hours, followed by a smaller one, and then possibly some more significant snowfall by the weekend. Temperatures will drop overnight after some daytime melting, so you can also expect some slick roads.
Police are still looking for the carjacker who held up a 71 year old Bend man Monday night. Paul Cook, who works as a janitor, was taking out the trash out at 7 p.m. when a 20 something man with a gun forced him to give up his wallet and keys: “Got my key and opened the car and as I was opening the car he said, I’m not going to shoot you. Then it dawned on me, I’m about ready to be shot. There's no kidding about it.” Our news partner, News Channel 21 talked with Cook. His abandoned car was found Tuesday morning in southeast Bend. Police are scouring the vehicle for clues to the suspect.
The U.S. Bank branch in La Pine was closed Tuesday afternoon while the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad investigated two suspicious packages. At 1:41 Tuesday afternoon, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office received a call that the two packages were found inside the bank. Neither the bank nor the Sheriffs Office received any kind of threatening note, but decided to play it safe and closed the branch for the rest of the afternoon. The Oregon State Police Bomb Squad was dispatched and determined the devices were smokeless cigarette containers used to help a person stop smoking and have been given back to the owner. The Sheriff’s Office says placement of these devices were not intended to threaten or cause harm.
Bank of the Cascades has received a much needed financial shot in the arm. Cascade Bancorp, the parent corporation of Bank of the Cascades, raised $177-million of capital by sales of common stock to private investors. Patricia Moss of Cascade Bancorp says she is very pleased with the sale and says their capital ratios now exceed the benchmark for a "well capitalized" bank.
Many Americans are asking the question today of have we reached the bottom of the economic recession. Private economic analyst Bill Watkins is sounding more optimistic: “We ran our model a couple of weeks ago and for the first time in a couple of years, we are not forecasting net job losses in the United States for any quarter.” Watkins says we seem to be past the worst losses. He believes that the recovery is here, but it's very soft and it may not feel like much of a recovery. Watkins is the Director for the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting. He will be back in Bend for his third annual Central Oregon Economic Forecast January 27th.
You still have a chance to help "Stuff the Bus" today. Combined Communications and some of our partners have extended your chance to help feed the needy in Central Oregon by one more day. Spokesman Steve Ries says we have partnered with Blockbuster Video to accept your donations for one more day. “So we got together with them trying to figure out how to make the very last day the absolute best we possibly could, when we normally unload the bus. And they have agreed to let us collect food at the Redmond location and the Madras location.” You will find two of our partner stations at those locations. Classic Rock, 98.3 The Twins will be at the Redmond Blockbuster and the Country 99.7 The Mountain will be in Madras. The Mount Bachelor Ski Buses will be unloaded later this morning at NeighborImpact. With your help, the goal is to collect between 12,000 and 20,000 pounds of food.
If you're looking for a great way to kick off the holiday season, you might want to check out the "Harmony 4 Women" holiday concert this weekend. The women's barbershop group will be performing at Summit High School this Saturday. Kelly Jones sings with the chorus: “It's been educational, it's been fun for a great cause. We’re all doing this; we're really inspired by charities we're raising the money for.” Saving Grace, Grandma's House, Women's Resource Center of Central Oregon all receive funds from the Harmony 4 Women concerts. Shows will be this Saturday, November 20th at 2:30 and 7 p.m. at Summit High School. Tickets are $15 at the door.
Some members of the Bend City Council want to tighten up the restrictions to prohibit loitering, panhandling, or sitting on the sidewalk. Some Council members like Mark Cappell don't agree: “The City of Portland passed an ordinance to stop people from laying and sitting on the sidewalk downtown. They ended up being challenged in court and lost. So, getting an ordinance that wouldn't cost us money is a bit of a challenge.” However, some Councilors feel tourists and shoppers feel intimidated by the pan handlers and people loitering downtown and that the City should do something to ensure visitors feel safe and welcome downtown.
Bend Police are investigating a carjacking that occurred Tuesday night on Northeast Fourth Street near Emerson. Paul Cook, 71, was held up while he was waiting in his car in a parking lot. Sgt. Nick Parker says the suspect took his wallet and his 2000 Toyota Camry. Officers found the car this morning near Schnitzer Steel in southeast Bend, along 5th Street. “We're currently processing the vehicle for any potential evidence left behind by the suspect. We’re hoping by processing the vehicle we'll locate leads or evidence to help us locate the suspect.” Police are looking for a white male in his 20's, 5'8'' thin build, wearing a sweatshirt with a hood.
Today President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta of Iowa. The 25 year old Giunta is the first living recipient since the Vietman War. Here in Oregon, Bob Maxwell, who also is a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, reflects on the moment he received his medal. He agrees with the statement Sgt. Giunta made that there are scores of military men and women who also deserve the medal.
"I wonder about the three guys that were with me on the command post that evening, that night rather. We were all four in pretty much and equal position. I just happened to be the one that had the grenade event. But there were many soldiers that deserve the medal, that have never gotten the recognition because t their event was neither observed nor written up." Maxwell says when he is called upon the give a speech about his experience, he always remembers to honor all the military men and women who have and are serving. Today’s Medal of Honor Ceremony took place around 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time in Washington D.C. One of the men Giunta saved was Staff Sergeant Joshua Brennan from Ontario, Oregon. Brennan died three days later from his injuries.
The area's first of its kind housing for homeless people with disabilities will officially open today. Barbara's Place" in Redmond is a six unit apartment complex. Keith Wooden with Housing Works says it will provide tenants with safe housing and needed social services. “It will be used as a supporting housing complex. What means is it will have people who are clients of Deschutes County Health Services who are also homeless. So this is the first one of it’s kind in the area serving both the homeless population a well as the homeless with mental illness.” The apartment is mostly funded through several State grants. Barbara's Place is named in honor of Barbara Stone, a long time Housing Works Board Member, and advocate of the disabled.
The Tower Theatre Foundation is receiving a $30,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to help expand the Tower Theatre's programs. "It is to help us hire one fulltime staff person to be a Development Executive, to help us raise money from a variety individuals and companies and groups and grants. And the focus of that work will also be to create an infrastructure that the Tower can then present and bring in programming in from kids around the world." The Towers' Executive Director Ray Solley says they already have some ideas in place designed to educate, enhance and engage the schools in Central Oregon.
Bend Police are looking for a man they consider to be armed and dangerous after a report of a car jacking. Police have been told that around 7:15 pm Monday night, a man approached the 71-year old male victim who was sitting in his car in a parking lot on Northeast Fourth Street near Franklin. The suspect had a gun in his hand and demanded the man's wallet and keys. The suspect got in the car and left, driving northbound. Police rushed to the scene, but were unable to find the suspect or the car he took. The vehicle had a full tank of gas and is described as a lavender 2000 four door Toyota Camry with Oregon license SRZ387. The suspect is described as a white male, in his 20s, about five-eight with a thin build, wearing an unknown color hooded sweatshirt. The victim was not injured. Anyone have information on this crime is asked to call Bend Police. However, the suspect is considered armed and dangerous so do not approach the suspect.
A Madras man is dead, and his female roommate is under arrest on a suspicion of murder. Police responded to a home on southwest First Street a little after 9pm Sunday night to a report of an unconscious man. Officers arrived to find Kenneth Danzuka, 30, with apparent stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lanelle Frances Warner, 29, was arrested Monday on murder and manslaughter charges. She was booked and lodged in the Jefferson County Jail. Right now, Madras Police are saying little about the case. Danzuka's body has been taken to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office in Portland as the investigation continues. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Madras Police.
Police have made some progress in the search for the body of Lori Blaylock. Bend Police Lt. Ben Gregory says they have recovered a black and white sweater that was buried under debris they believe belonged to Blaylock. It was found near a tree about four and a half miles down stream from Marion Forks on the Santiam River. Gregory says the weather conditions are making the search a real challenge: “Due to the swiftness of the river, we've been having some problems getting divers in that river, in areas that are safe. Some of the areas are just not safe to put divers in the river. And we're experiencing some winter like conditions that continue to plague that areas and is making it problematic." Gregory says they are hoping that the public can help with their search. If you are or have been in that area and have seen anything suspicious, contact Bend Police. Steven Blaylock remains in custody with no bail pending murder and other charges related to this case.
You may want to avoid 27th Street in Bend today as crews locate utilities in preparation for one of the largest utility projects we have seen in decades. The Southeast Interceptor will provide another route for the City's sewage to get to the sewage treatment plant. “It’s important because we are very capacity limited in these areas, as well as it's very difficult to work right downtown on some of the old pipelines that have been put in during the last 50 years. This helps route a significant portion of the wastewater flow from the southeast and southwest areas of Bend.” The traffic signal will be shut down at 27th and Butler Market at times from 9am to 3:30 today, and look for crews marking utilities from Butler Market all the way to Reed Market Road.
The City of Bend is getting involved in the DMV controversy at Brookswood Plaza. City Administrators must approve the building permits for the new DMV renovations, and City Manager Eric King says they are just making sure everything is by the book. “Most likely whatever decision they make has a high potential for a law suit. There have already been indications of that already. We just want to make sure the City is in the most legally sound position in how they process this building permit. That’s really what factored into our decision. The developer hasn't submitted his building permit application yet, but when he does, City Administrators will make a decision.” The developer doesn't agree with the decision, there will be an opportunity to appeal.
Investigators are trying to find the cause of a fire that destroyed a Redmond home Monday afternoon. The rental house on Euston Lane and Northwest Way was full engulfed when firefighters arrived midway through the noon hour. Units from Bend and the Crooked River Ranch were called in to help the Redmond Fire Department handle other calls. The home was vacant at the time of the fire.
It’s a move to improve quality in Oregon’s hospitals. The State Association of Hospitals and the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation are creating a new network. It’s called the Aligning Forces for Quality Hospital Network. “Through the Robert Way Johnson Foundation and their specific hospital quality network, they have provided a chance for hospitals to participate in a virtual collaborative effort on three areas of focus within a hospital.” The goal is to improve care to diverse patients, reduce the wait time in emergency rooms, and ensuring patients do not have to come back for treatment. Quality Services Director Diane Waldo says access to evidence based "best care" practices and national experts should help hospitals become more successful. Saint Charles in Bend and Redmond are participating, as well as the hospital in Prineville.
A Bend woman is making something good come out of a personal tragedy. Anissa Perkins wants to start a memorial in Bend that would honor the victims of violent death; such as war, murder or suicide. Perkins watched her husband shoot himself to death while she and her children watched. “Donating my yard for anyone who has ever experienced a loss. To put up a Christmas Tree in honor of the person that they lost. And to decorate it especially for them. And to form a networking group that is there year-round. But we will celebrate our memorial on Christmas Eve with a lighting.” Anissa Perkins says there is no memorial that specifically addresses victims and survivors of violent death. She is looking for donations to help make this dream a reality, and is hopeful that once the memorial is established another entity like the City can take over the project. For now, the memorial is proposed to be located in Perkin’s backyard which is across the street from Farewell Bend Park in Bend.
Icon City started more than six months ago, as a way to deal with the growing number of homeless young people in the area. The organization holds monthly concerts to raise awareness and money and they send out weekly texts on specific needs in the community. Lonnie Chapin says in its short tenure, the group is making a difference. “We’re taking people who want to help, but don’t know how and we’re taking them off the sidelines and throwing them into the game for the first time. I think, you know people talk about “I’d like to help, I just don’t know how. Where, what, do I make a sandwich, you know, where do I go?” So they can get in the game and give them an opportunity to really help, and use the things that they have.” Every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. behind the Tower Theater, the group collects donations for the homeless.
A new business is coming to Prineville, and that is putting plenty of smiles on everyone. HM3 Energy is a Gresham based company that manufactures biomass briquettes to replace coal as a fuel source. HM3 President Hiroshi Morihara says the decision to open a plant in Prineville was easy: “Since we use forest waste of hog fuel, and normally the material is very wet, dense and wet, we like to have a plant very close to where the hog fuel is gathered. We like to have one plant within the 40-mile radius of the tree stock. And so Prineville was the idea location because of the large amount of private forest and also BLM forest, so we just had to locate the plant there." Morihara says once the plant is fully operational, they will employ about 70 people. He adds that the location at the railroad transfer is perfect for them. They plan to begin construction in the spring and be fully operational by spring of 2012.
You only have two more days to help feed the less fortunate of Central Oregon through the “Stuff the Bus” campaign. “It’s going to be at All Seasons RV and Marine, which is on Jamieson on Empire on the north end of town. And at the Athletic Club of Bend.” Steve Ries of Combined Communications says more food was donated last year at the Athletic Club of Bend than at any other location. He says today estimates are that 25% of all Central Oregonians will miss a meal due to not being able to afford it. Today and tomorrow are the last days to donate non-perishable foods. Volunteers will be unloading the bus at NeighborImpact and from there the food will be distributed throughout Central Oregon.
Lay It Out Events and Saving Grace announced Friday that they will merge the popular Balloons Over Bend with Saving Grace's Children's Festival. In a news release, Sandy Henderson from Lay It Out Events says since families have been enjoying both events for decades, it made sense to draw from the best of both events to create what is sure to be the number one family summer program for the region. The 2011 event will take place July 22nd through the 24th at Riverbend Park. Besides the colorful balloons in the air during the day and the Night Glow, there will be plenty of activities, music and food to make the event a real destination event for the summer.
The River Rim Homeowners Association has decided to drop its lawsuit against the DMV concerning its planned move into the Brookswood Plaza. The Board of the Homeowners Association voted Thursday to drop the lawsuit after some residents demanded a vote before HOA money is used in a lawsuit. Regulations require the HOA get a 75 resident approval before filing a lawsuit with HOA money. Resident John Poe says he heard about the decision when he was researching how much the lawsuit cost, at the property management company: “We'll there's not going to be a letter going out on the explanation of the lawsuit. She said I’m waiting for an email that contains a letter stating they're withdrawing the lawsuit.” Letters went out to River Rim residents Friday notifying them of the lawsuit being dropped. They do still plan to conduct a vote and if 75% approve funding the lawsuit, it could be re-filed. Meanwhile, according to our news partner News channel 21; the City of Bend is re-evaluating the zoning situation for the use at Brookswood Plaza.
It’s a glimmer of hope in the home market. The number of foreclosures fell last moth in both the state and in Deschutes County. “I think that we have seen a stabilization in the NOD's which are the notices of default, which start every foreclosure action, have stabilized and we are starting to see a downward trend.” John Helmick of Gorilla Capital says the notices of default dropped by 20% last month in Deschutes County. He predicts that rate will stabilize for a while and then continue a slow decline.
Jefferson County’s Sheriff is preparing to ask voters again in the spring to approve a Operation Jail Levy. In November, they voted it down, 55% to 44%. “I'm not really surprised it failed because every time we go out for this “Operation levy;” it initially goes down in the first vote anyway. It is an increase in the amount, but that’s what it takes to run this jail with the minimum staffing we have.” Sheriff Jim Adkins says the levy was for $1.19 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s 20 cents more than residents are currently paying. The Sheriff says they've cut five positions, and the $1.19 is what it will take to run the jail at the current minimum staffing.
Construction is slated to begin next month on Bend's new eastside library branch. The new branch will be located in the Borden's Corner Shopping Center on Highway 20 near Longboard Louie’s. Library Director Todd Dunkelberg says they're right on schedule. “We’re looking at the beginning of December for beginning of construction. Our goal is to be up and running in March.” The new branch will be 8000 square feet and will include internet access, story times, children's programs as well as books, music and movies.
Fuel specialists from the Deschutes National Forest will begin a preventative burn project along both sides of Hwy 97, from the south end of Bend to Vandervert Road. The project begins today and will run for about a week. No road closures are expected; however, signs will be placed along Highway 97 to warn motorists of the prescribed burn activity. Smoke and the burning piles are expected to be visible from Highway 97. Motorists should reduce speeds and turn on headlights when smoke is present.
Over the years, there has been some tension between dog owners and those recreating in the Deschutes National Forest. Forest officials are hoping to alleviate these tensions. There will be an opportunity to discuss and explore ways for all recreation users and dog owners to interact responsibly and safely on trail and other areas in the Deschutes National Forest. A meeting is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday, November 18th at the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District Office on southwest Columbia Street. If you want more information, contact the Deschutes National Forest.
More students are attending OSU-Cascades. “For fall enrollment the numbers were just posted and OSU Cascades leads the state campuses in FTE enrollment. So we lead at 16%, and FTE is full time equivalency.” Christine Coffin at OSU Cascades says 678 students now use the campus with another 169 students taking the University classes while attending Central Oregon Community College. Growth has been across many programs with general social science, psychology, natural resources, human development and family sciences leading the way.
Have you tried to return books at the Deschutes Public Library and not found a place to park? Well, a new drive-by book drop may solve future problems. Library Director Todd Dunkelberg says they've been trying to do this for awhile: “It's great timing. We're ready for winter. People don't have to park and trudge to the book drop. They can drive right up and put it in.” The drive-by book drop is on the backside on the library, along the alley. It's recommended you come in off Louisiana and turn into the alley, so the book drop is on the driver's side.
A Bend man suspected of the baseball bat beating death could be arraigned today. Richard Ward Clarke, 25, has been in custody at the Deschutes County Jail since October 18th on a parole violation charge. Police have suspected Clarke in the baseball bat beating death of Matthew T. Fitzhenry, 36, who was his roommate. Fitzhenry was found badly beaten in the home on northwest Georgia Avenue on October 17th. He later died from his injuries. Although Clarke did make a brief appearance via video link, from the Jail on Friday, Judge Edward Perkins says a Grand Jury has been convened to consider the case and that Clarke could be arraigned today if the jury decides to indict him in Fitzhenry's death.
Mountain View Hospital in Madras will begin its planned expansion early next year. The Hospital Board's Vice Chair Lee Bissell says the project will greatly improve the older facility: “It’s somewhere in the $24-$25-million project, where we are building basically a new facility that is added on to what we have. We’re looking forward to that. I think it’s going to really Made Mountain View Hospital look different and feel different and be different.” The project is slated to be completed by April of 2012.
Detectives have spent the last two days searching the Santiam River area in Marion County, looking for the body of missing Bend woman, Lori Blaylock. Her husband, Steven is in custody under suspicion for her murder. Detectives have concentrated their search in the area between Marion Forks and the town of Idanha. They believe her body was dumped in the north Santiam River between Tuesday, October 26th and Sunday, October 31st. Volunteers and detectives from many law enforcement agencies have searched an 11 square mile area along the river, but haven't located Mrs. Blaylock yet. Police are now asking for the public's help again. Residents living along the Santiam River should search their property and report anything that may be related to this investigation.
The homeless situation in Central Oregon is getting worse. “We are seeing higher numbers. We are seeing people from all walks of life. I’ve had three people in here Wednesday. There unemployment is going to run out in the next two months. They can't find a job and they don't know what they are gonna do.” Taffy Gleason of the Bend Community Center says Central Oregon desperately needs shelter. She says Bethlehem Inn and the Shepherd's House can only hold 175 people and there are thousands that are homeless. She says the numbers of homeless have quadrupled in the last four years. In years past, the Bend Community Center did 200 meals a week and now they are doing 1200. Gleason has run out of tents and is asking for cold weather gear and donations. She adds that most of the new homeless are people that have lived in Central Oregon for more than a decade.
One local restaurant was filled with veterans Thursday. All 16 Applebee’s Restaurants in the northwest gave free meals to vets in honor of Veterans Day. “We are very busy, there is a wait; it's a lot of fun, we have probably served a thousand veterans.” Tabitha Johns is the Manager of the Bend Applebee’s. They opened a half hour early Thursday to serve veterans. Applebee’s staff is taking pictures and chatting with veterans.
A traffic stop in Bend late Wednesday night netted police two shotguns, three arrests, and may have stopped a robbery in the making. Police pulled over a vehicle with five people inside at Third Street and Underwood. The driver was ticketed for having no insurance and walked away with all of the passengers. Police then found a sawed off shotgun and another shotgun. Officers then re-located and arrested the vehicle occupants, but one of the passengers decided to flee on foot. Officers took Spencer Perez, 18, after they caught him. All four face charges for weapon possession and three are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.
If you have never attended a high action close up team sport like roller derby, this weekend you may want to try it out. The Lava City Roller Dolls Team, the Cinder Kittens will face off against the Lilac City Maidens from Seattle at the Cascade Indoor Sports Center. A spokesperson called "Mudslinger" says there's a lot at stake this Saturday. "I don't know if it's a rivalry. I think there's a lot weighing on the line this time. They obviously want to come down and beat us this time, which I’m hoping not. And we also have a lot of new girls on the team. So this should be a fund home game for us. It’s our first home game for the kittens, with all these new faces. So it's a lot to live up to this weekend." The roller derby event is family friendly and there will be plenty of fun for everyone. Tickets and more information is on their website: www.lavacityrollerdolls.com.
Veterans Day is of course a day to honor our veterans. And the demanding profession is taking its toll on vets from our current wars and past ones. Veterans advocate Dennis Guthrie from Redmond says the high incidence of suicide among veterans is disturbing: “As everyone knows, only 58,000 died in Vietnam. But since then there have been 100,000 that have completed suicide because of depression.” Dennis Guthrie was the guest on the KBND Morning News program "Your Town" this morning. He also helped coordinate today's Redmond Veterans Parade.
One of the leaders of the "Stop the DMV Effort" here in Bend, traveled to Keizer this week to again address the State Department of Transportation Board. Joe Mansfield made another plea to keep the Bend DMV at its current location and not move into the Brookswood Plaza in southwest Bend. With the pending lawsuit, Mansfield says Board members were much more tight-lipped, but he was encouraged. “It was just based on an intuitive sense and body language. The implication was they were trying to accelerate the process bring to a conclusion that would make everyone happy and allow the lawsuit not to be an issue anymore. My sense is they will try to resolve the DMV issue, so lawsuit will be a moot issue.” The "Stop the DMV" group will hold an informational meeting next Tuesday night at Elk Meadow Elementary School.
The CEO of Mountain View Hospital in Madras is stepping down. Eric Buckland has been the head of the hospital since April of 2009. During this week's Hospital Board meeting, Buckland announced he will be leaving Mountain View to pursue other opportunities, effective November 19th. The Board appointed Joe Smith, an experienced hospital executive, as Interim CEO until a long term replacement is found.
The search for the body of missing Bend woman Lori Blaylock continues. Detectives searched Wednesday for her body in an undisclosed remote location in Oregon, but didn't find her yet. Police arrested Lori’s husband, Steven Wednesday afternoon for her murder. Even though her body has not been found yet, detectives say they have probable cause he killed her. Steven Blaylock is in the Deschutes County Jail, charged with murder, domestic assault and tampering with evidence. Because of the Veterans Day holiday, the search for Lori's body, may have been stopped, but it is expected to commence Friday.
When the University of Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena opens in less than two months, players and spectators alike will be "wow-ed" by it's unique and intimidating basketball court, named Kilkenny floor. U of O Senior Associate Athletic Director Jim Bartko says it totally represents Oregon: "We got a court that was unique to Oregon and unique to the NCAA. And it kind of pays heritage to the tall firs, Matt Court, the history of Matt Court in a new building. And it is unique and we're getting a lot of comments on it, you know mostly positive, but we also have some comments like "what the heck is that?" so it'll shake it up a little bit.” Bartko says the arena, named for Matthew Knight, a former student and son of Nike owner Phil Knight, the University's Chief athletic benefactor. Matt Knight was killed in a diving accident several years ago. Kilkenny floor has distinctive graphics that give you the feeling you are looking up through a forest of tall firs. Bartko says they know the court will be intimidating to visiting teams, and that could be an advantage.
It’s getting a little crowded at some middle schools in Bend, so the Bend La Pine Schools is looking at redrawing some school boundaries to redistribute students. “The plan in terms of continued growth was to build our next middle school down on the south end of Bend. That is still the plan, but as growth has slowed down and as the economy challenges have hit, there is not another bond planned in the near future. So it will be a while until we have that next middle school built.” Bend La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says they are overcrowded the most at Cascade Middle School. They have more than 900 students in a building designed for 800. The District is right at capacity at High Desert Middle School. More available capacity is at Pilot Butte and Skyview Middle Schools. The School Board will appoint a committee in the next two to three weeks, and that committee should have a report finished by February.
Oregon Congressman Greg Walden joined Republican leader John Boehner Wednesday at a news conference to discuss the transition effort. In a statement issued to KBND, Walden says he believes the transition team has gotten off to a good start. Walden says he is striving to make the transition a very open process because it is the public's business. He also wants to find cost savings measures and improve efficiencies. One of Walden’s goals is also invite more technology into the house, so that more Americans can actually watch the government business being done.
The Bend Visitors Center is getting a new home. The lease was signed Wednesday for Visit Bend to move in February. “Very exciting for Bend tourism. We have been looking for a long-term home for Visit Bend. But more importantly a long term home for the Bend Visitor's Center. We found the ideal location in Putnam Point, which is in downtown Bend at the corner of Lava and Oregon.” Doug La Placa of Visit Bend says the new location will give them 40% more room and for the first year will be at the same cost they are paying now. La Placa says the Tourism Center has simply grown out of its current location. He adds that it's closer to an exit of the Bend Parkway and it provides more parking.
The husband of a missing Bend woman has been arrested under suspicion for her murder. Steven Blaylock was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after police said they had probable cause that he murdered his wife, Lori. He is currently in the Deschutes County Jail, charged with murder, domestic assault and tampering with evidence. The search for Lori's remains continues. “We have a remote area we’re searching actively. We believe we will find her, but at the moment, no.” Sgt. Brian Kindel won't disclose the location of the search.
Lori Blaylock was reported missing by her co-workers more than a week ago. Her husband had claimed he last saw her on the evening of October 28th.
Co-workers of Lori Blaylock, who worked as St. Charles, are mourning her death. Lori , who went by the name "Woody", worked as a respiratory therapist at the hospital. The Senior Vice President of Human Resources says Woody was a hard working and dedicated member of the St. Charles family for more than 17 years.
She says Woody touched the lives of many patients and co-workers in the community and today we're grieving not only for her family and friends, but also for all of our caregivers.
Dennis Luke has served as a Deschutes County Commissioner for ten years, but his term will be coming to a close at the end of the year. The long time, public official, who also served as a State legislator, says it will be a change. “I’m kinda looking forward to it. The pressure starts to go away and guys I have coffee with occasionally said “You’ve changed” and so I’m kinds looking forward to it, doing some other things.” Luke says he has no plans to run for elected office again, but never say never. Luke's Commission seat will be filled by Tony DeBone. Dennis Luke was the guest on "Your Town" during the KBND Morning News Wednesday morning.
The Deschutes County 911 just moved into a new building and it has a new Director at the helm. Rob Poirier previously headed up the Santiam Canyon 911 in Stayton, east of Salem. He's looking forward to his new job.
“You know my main goal is just to take a great 911 Center and continue to serve the public. Some of the things we’d like to expand a little bit to provide some regional training for not only telecommunications but other public safety. We have a great training facility at the new center.” Rob Poirier was the guest on the KBND Morning News program "Your Town" Wednesday morning.
This Saturday the Boy Scouts in Bend will be canvassing several neighborhoods to collect non-perishable food for the Salvation Army. "We have Cub Scouts, that are grade school boys and Boys Scouts, middle school and older out there collecting food throughout the communities in Bend and they will be dropping off flyers and informing people ahead of time and or collecting on Saturday morning. Bringing the food to our collection site which is the south Albertson's parking lot in Bend, where we'll be meeting with the Salvation Army truck and turning the food over to the Salvation Army." Susie Abbott with the Boy Scouts says they ask that you place your donation in a bag outside your door and the boys will pick it up on Saturday. If your neighborhood is not one of the targets, but your would like to donate; you can take your food to the Albertson’s on south Third Street on Saturday morning. Prineville, Redmond and La Pine communities will have drives next week.
It’s an expansion that is sorely needed and helps the community. St. Vincent de Paul Resale Store just added 4000 square feet of retail space to their northeast Division Street location. "We just felt that part of the operation that we had; we just didn't have enough space for clothes. And we had the opportunity to take over another building on the grounds here. As a result, we were able to expand into it and offer more jobs to people in the community. So we just kinda had that opportunity and we were able to jump towards it." Kreighton Edmonds, General Manager of St. Vincent’s Retail Store says they are thrilled to be able to offer more job training opportunities to people in the community. He says the money they make from their resale items go directly to overhead and job creation, it is not a profit making business. St. Vincent de Paul Retail Store features everything from clothing to household items. They are on northeast Division street, just north or Revere.
On Wednesday, November 10, 2010 just befor 1 pm, Steven Blaylock, 45, was taken into custody after Bend Police developed probable cause that he murdered his wife, Lori Blaylock. Steven was transported to the Deschutes County Adult Jail where he was lodged for the crimes of Murder, Domestic Assault II and Tampering with evidence.
Detectives with the Bend Police Department are actively searching for Lori Blaylock’s remains at an undisclosed location. The location is not being disclosed at this time.
Further details of this investigation are being withheld at this time as this investigation continues.
The investigation into a missing Bend woman's disappearance has taken a new turn. Investigators have served a search warrant on the Blaylock home on northeast Genet Court. The search included the Blaylock's three vehicles and an enclosed trailer. Police say there are looking for clues that may explain Lori Blaylock's disappearance. Bend Police are also asking for help from Deschutes, Marion, Lane, and Jefferson counties. They are asking for your help too. If you saw a white Isuzu Trooper pulling an enclosed white trailer between the dates of October 26th and Halloween call Bend Police. The vehicle and trailer may have traveled over one of the Cascade mountain passes during this time. The trailer is a cargo express trailer with large black letters on the back stating Nash Blaylock #706 and Marley Blaylock #5. Police have been saying that October 28th was the last time her husband saw Lori walking away from their home in the early evening.
The Bend Planning Commission took steps Monday to prevent future high traffic government agencies from moving into neighborhood shopping centers. The change won't affect the DMV's plans to move into the Brookswood Plaza in southwest Bend, but Bend’s Director of Community Development, Mel Oberst says it will prevent such future action. “It would prevent City Hall from locating a Community Commercial Zone. It would prevent Parks and Rec District from there. Any public agency that was wanting to located their main headquarters or offices would not be allowed in the Community Commercial Zone.” The Planning Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve the restriction to the zoning. The City Council will decide whether to accept that recommendation in December.
Part of the region's economy is showing some promise. Tourism numbers continue to rise in Central Oregon. “We are very happy to see that we were up again in September over 2009. That is a trend we saw the entire summer. We were glad to continue out the summer season with a continued upward trending. We are not seeing enormous gains, but we are seeing pretty steady significant gains and that's to the positive.” Alana Audette of the Central Oregon Visitor's Association says the airline passenger departure count was up 525 as compared to September of last year and arrivals were up 434. Those numbers represent about a three-percent increase from September of last year.
Is the Bend Parkway safe enough? ODOT is conducting a safety audit as they look for answers following the death of a Bend man a month ago near Reed Market Road. “What we are trying to do is determine the best solution for bicyclists, pedestrians and automobiles to occupy the parkway.” ODOT's Peter Murphy says the State agency will watch the Parkway through the end of the week. They are looking for traffic flows, spaces between moving vehicles and pay particular attention to how pedestrians cross the Parkway.
You will notice more landscaping and a nice walking path at the base of Pilot Butte. It's partly thanks to the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program. “We are going to have a lit flagpole here with low maintenance shrubbery in this triangle in this pathway, just a nice presentation for the Butte.” Park Ranger Carey Davis says the YCP Program spent part of last weekend staking in trees and doing other work to spruce up what used to be a dirt triangle in the middle of the parking lot.
As our weather turns colder, our homeless problem in Central Oregon becomes more urgent. Chris Clouart with the Bethlehem Inn, says unfortunately its a year round concern. “But homelessness is not a seasonal issue; it’s just that the sense of danger that you get from being homeless is much more aware in peoples’ consciousness when the weather turns cold. It doesn’t change the fact that it could be August and 90 degrees and somebody could be homeless. What I’m saying is the need for people to find shelter during these people is more critical. “ Clouart expects to have greater numbers needing shelter this winter, with our high unemployment rate. Clouart was the guest on "Your Town" during the KBND Morning News Tuesday.
The Education Foundation for Bend La Pine Schools has some events happening during November that will help raise some much needed funds for students needing help to participate in after school programs and classrooms needing supplies. Heather Vihstadt, Executive Director of the Foundation says fundraising is held year round, but at this time of year, it's a real fun effort: "We have actually been selected as the beneficiary for the Sunriver resorts annual Gingerbread Junction. It's really kind of a fun, festive event. It's a great tradition. And people who enjoy baking might enjoy partaking in this. You can purchase a lot to build on and then all those proceeds will be matched by Sunriver Resort and will come right back to the Education Foundation."Vihstadt says the Ski for Schools campaign is also in full swing. You can purchase one day lift tickets for $25 with all the profits going to the Foundation. The tickets must be purchased by November 26th and can be used the week after Thanksgiving. For a list of where to get the tickets, go to the education foundation website; we have a link on our links page.
The winter weather watch we have been under could leave the ground with packed snow or ice. The Humane Society of Central Oregon issued a warning about keeping your pet safe and healthy when the weather turns rough. Spokesperson Lynn Ouchida says imagine how you want to stay comfortable when it's cold outside.
"Particularly when the temperatures drop to around freezing, bring your pets inside. I think a lot of people don't realize that dogs and cats can get frost bitten ears and nose and feet and unfortunately we do see frostbitten damage on animals that do arrive here at the shelter, so our goal is to prevent some medical care that you're going to have to do for your dog and bring 'em on inside." Ouchida says also remember if you take your dog for a walk where deicers have been used, be sure to clean your pets' paws when you're done. It will not only sting their pads, they will lick the chemicals off and that could make them sick. As for cats, tap the hood of your car to make sure a cat has not found a nice warm engine to sleep on. For more tips, go to the Humane Society of Central Oregon website: www.hsco.org.
The outcome of Bend City Council race for Position Number Seven is still outstanding. Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship says the procedure to finalize the outcome takes time. "The ballot process right now that we're in is that; for the 10 days after the election there are ballots that are being returned to us from other counties, where people dropped off their ballots off in other counties. There are ballots that have had their signatures challenged, and so they have 10 days after the election to resolve those issues. We’ve got other ballots, such a provisional’s that we're doing research on and so we'll be working on that until through the end of this week." Blankenship says they will begin counting those provisional and other ballots by next Monday, and after the audits, the election will be certified by the 30th.
It’s an effort to prevent another neighborhood uproar that has affected the neighbors of Brookswood Meadow Plaza. The Bend City Planning Commission Monday night, approved on a 3-2 vote an amendment to tighten up the Convenience Commercial Zone to prevent a move similar to one the DMV just completed. That state agency is locating a branch to serve the entire City from what many believe is a remote residential mall designed only to serve a neighborhood. Many neighbors of Brookswood Plaza used the occasion to once again protest the DMV Branch Office, but City staff restated this amendment would have no affect on that move. The amendment to the Convenience Commercial Zone will specifically forbid the main branch office of a government entity to be located in such a zone in the future. The amendment must be approved by the City Council before it goes into effect.
Meanwhile, residents in the River Rim neighborhood in southwest Bend, continue to fight plans to put a DMV in a nearby shopping center. The group filed a lawsuit against the State and Department of Transportation for not meeting its own criteria on where to put a DMV office. Not all residents of the River Rim Neighborhood Association feel the lawsuit is a good idea, but organizer Maria Simonton says a majority do: “It’s my HOA money as well and my HOA fees and dues. And I would rather see that money going towards protecting the integrity of the community rather than putting in some new landscaping in the medians or planting a few new trees in the spring. So I think the long term effects are going to be much greater. And that people who aren’t willing to see a small increase in dues or to have their money go elsewhere in the short term are being short sighted. “ The lawsuit claims the new DMV location in southwest Bend is not near public transportation, nor is it centrally located. The DMV is scheduled to move into the Brookswood Meadow Plaza in January.
Thursday is Veterans Day and you will have an opportunity to honor our veterans. Bend will hold its parade downtown Thursday morning. Veterans advocate Dick Tobiason says a Bend veteran started the tradition.
“Mike Dolan, a World War II veteran, a few years back, we didn't have a parade, and he took a flag and an pole and walked down Wall Street, right through all the traffic with his World War II uniform on. And that started the parade program. So we always carry a big banner with Band of Brothers honoring Mike Dolan for starting our parade.” The Bend parade will start Thursday at 11 a.m.; that signifies the signing of the treatise: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Dick Tobiason was the guest on the KBND Morning program, “Your Town" Monday morning.
Some snow has fallen and the temperatures are dropping. These are the right conditions that Mount Bachelor needs to hopefully open for the season on Thanksgiving. Andy Goggins, Director of Marketing and Communications for Mt. Bachelor says they are cautiously optimistic about the big day: “Just with the amount of snow we have on the hill and compared to previous years, we're pretty optimistic that we should be able to open with more terrain than we have. In previous years, for opening day, we hope to be able to open the winter season with a great product and hopefully more skiing and get people ready for winter." Goggins says they should begin manufacturing snow this week. He says also they now have a "Club Card", where you can sign up and then purchase various ski passes online and you will have direct lift access. A link to Mt. Bachelor is on the links page here at KBND.com.
Kevin and Tami Sawyer are pleading "not guilty" to 21 counts of fraud and money laundering. Judge Thomas Coffin in Eugene appointed attorneys for both husband and wife because they cannot afford to pay for their legal defense. Prosecutors are also working on their case in what they are calling a $4-million investment scheme. A status conference is scheduled for December 20th and a jury trial is slated for January 11th. The Sawyers are not on conditional release. They told our news partner; News Channel 21 that they think Monday’s arraignment went well and are looking forward to fighting the allegations against them.
It’s welcome news for the families of troop members serving overseas, as well as the troops themselves. The defense video and imagery distribution system - or DVIDS- now has a website where anyone can view a recorded greeting from troop members. "It’s essentially a website that was designed about 2003-2004 and it's grown over the years. There’s many different things that it provides, but it’s all about gaining access to the deployed service members, that are deployed throughout the world, most specifically in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Major Scott Betts with DVIDS says the greetings are available for public viewing and media outlets to use during the holiday season. He adds that the website has been a vital link between the deployed troops and their families and the good cheer it generates has made a difference to people who see those service members who serve our nation so proudly.
New promising research on catching lung cancer early has a lot of people excited. A recent trial found high risk patients for lung cancer who were screened with CT scans discovered cancer at an earlier stage, resulting in an improved survival rate. St. Charles Oncologist Dr. Steve Kornfeld says the results are promising. “And if you can detect cancers at an earlier stage than a later stage then theoretically they’ll be more cures. It’s similar to the whole idea behind mammograms; finding breast cancer before you can feel an abnormality. And then hopefully find them at an earlier stage.” Dr. Kornfeld says the results are too preliminary to become standard care. There's also a concern about the cost. It would cost a lot to screen a lot of people, who might undergo invasive procedures, with little improvement in cure.
An Oregon State Police Trooper stops a cargo style truck just north of Bend and makes an interesting find. Three men were arrested Thursday after a traffic stop reveals they were holding over one pound of cocaine and some marijuana. OSP Sergeant Eric Brown stopped the truck on Highway 97 after watching it drift into other lanes and almost hitting another car. The driver, Juan Pablo Bucio Perez, 30, from Yakima, Washington and his passengers, Jose Cervantes Cuevas, 20, also from Yakima, and Antonio Castenada Patino, 33, from Santa Ana, California were all taken into custody by the Deschutes County Sheriff after a search by a drug detection dog finds the cocaine and pot in the truck. The estimated value of the cocaine is about $15,000. The three men are lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on drug charges.
As the time changes and we lose daylight, ODOT wants to remind drivers to continue to be on the alert through work zones. Shelley Snow with ODOT’s Transportation Safety Division says the number one tip for drivers in work zones is: “Slow down before a work zone. Most crashes relating to work zones occur in that area where people are trying to merge.” Snow says most work zones will have speed limit signs posted, but for a complete list of current projects, go to Tripcheck dot com.
The Ronald McDonald House in Bend has housed nearly 3000 families since it opened in 1997. Families with sick or injured children who are being treated at St. Charles, can stay at the home for free. A concert this Friday at the Tower Theatre will be raising money to help the program. Zac Boone with the Ronald McDonald House: “If you have a child in the hospital for a month, a hotel is not next to the hospital, no laundry, backyard, kitchen , computer ,wireless Internet. We try to give them a home so they can focus on the most important thing, which is the health of their child.” The Homegrown review will feature local talent at the Tower Theatre Friday, November 12th. Tickets are $12. Some of the performers include Mosely Wotta, Dennis McGregor and Shireen Amini.
A Prineville man led police on a 25-minute high-speed chase just before 1a.m. Saturday morning. A Crook County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle on Highway 26 between Prineville and Madras, but the vehicle fled, reaching speeds over 100 mph. Units from Oregon State Police, and Prineville joined the chase. The suspect nearly collided with the pursuing police cars several times. Joseph Furtado, 24, was eventually apprehended at Milepost 14 on Northwest O’Neil Highway after hitting two sets of spike stripes. He was arrested on various traffic charges, including DUII.
Rescue climbers were called out to north Deschutes County over the weekend. Rescuers were called out to Smith Rock State Park early Saturday night after two climbers under estimated the amount of rope they would need and were left hanging in the red wall climbing area. Jan Carlsen, 24, of Puyallup, Washington and Russell Howard, 22, of Gresham were trying to rappel down a wall and ran out of rope about 200 to 250 feet from the bottom of the rock wall. The climbers used their cell phones to call for help and the Deschutes County Search and Rescue responded and helped the climbers continue their descent to safety. They were cold and hungry, but otherwise alright.
Bend Police are investigating the early morning report of a robbery in the parking lot of a pet store. Just before 2:00 a.m. this morning, a female called 911 and said that two other females and a male approached her and demanded a watch and wallet. The victim gave up the items. Early reports are the robbery occurred in the parking lot of Bend Pet Express. Police are investigating.
A new $537,000 train station in Chemult will be dedicated Wednesday. Some people are asking the question why a project involving a 300 square foot building is costing so much. It's a large log cabin with wooden siding and large timbers. Planning and review has been underway since 2005. More than $387,000 came from the federal government. It paid for land purchase, a kit-built cabin, parking lot, a ramp, a kiosk, and parking lot. Officials justify the expense by saying it will serve about 9000 Amtrak passengers this year and 14,000 travelers by 2030. Some of the line item expenses were $75,000 for design which included a kit-built cabin, $188,000 paid for the parking area and platform, and $52,000 for kiosks and information signs. The dedication is 2pm Wednesday at Chemult. This project went through four committee screening processes before it was constructed.
Friends and neighbors of a missing Bend woman are still searching and will wondering what happened to Lori Blaylock, 48. She was last seen about a week and a half ago when she went from a walk from her Genet Court home. A citizen orchestrated a large search around Blaylock's home Saturday to no avail. Police and members of Search and Rescue have conducted other searches in areas known to be frequented by Blaylock and have turned up little information. If have any information at the location of Blaylock, you are asked to call Bend Police.
Highway traffic specialists and stakeholders will take to the Bend Parkway today, Tuesday and Wednesday to access bicycle and pedestrian safety on the busy stretch of highway at the crossing areas. "We have talked about this since the tragic accident that happened there. And we want to get a consensus of opinion about the best thing to do for pedestrian bicycle use on the Parkway as well. You know, it's a very busy stretch of highway. And obviously it has its problems. It’s dangerous." Peter Murphy with ODOT says the three-day audit will have people at different areas different time a day and then at the end, they will meet to discuss their findings and possible remedies.
He's already met with the Republican caucus. By Kelly Bleyer / Dave Adams
Jason Conger has already met with the Republican caucus and is ready to represent Central Oregon in the State House. With the even split in the Oregon house being 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats, Conger believes it will force both sides to work together. “I certainly see the potential for gridlock, but, I think, given the challenges that we're going to confront, as a Legislature to try to address, the problems in this state, the first being the unemployment rate and certainly right up with it is the potential budget gap; the problems with our State revenue and the growth of our State spending. Those challenges are not ones that can be deferred.” Conger believes both sides will need to compromise out of necessity, to solve the State's considerable challenges.