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Local News Archives for 2011-11


New Madras Administrator


The man who has been the City of Madras' second in command is moving up to the top position. The Madras City Council selected current Public Works Director Gus Burrill to replace Mike Morgan, who is retiring next month. Mayor Melanie Widmer says the vote was unanimous: “We've seen the work he's done in the Public Works Department, and the Department has done amazingly well getting grants. We're able to do a lot of projects thanks to the grants. They are a lot of work to apply for and follow through. But he did really we l and we believe he will continue to do that as City Administrator.” Burrill will take over as City Administrator on December 19th.

 

 

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A New Look for the North End of Bend?


A hotel and a new shopping center could soon go in on Bend’s north side. Two proposals presented to the City in the past four months could result in further development of the Cascade Village Shopping Center, and in a new development along Highway 20 between Cooley and Robal Roads. Cascade Village wants to add a 55,000 square foot hotel and add 28,000 square feet of retail space. The all-new "Promenade at Bend" would include a 215,000 square foot "retail building envelope", a separate 14,000 square foot building and five other areas for future development. An article in the Bulletin says concerns about increased traffic in the area have already slowed development in the area and ODOT has proposed rerouting Highway 97.

 

 

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Wall Street Has A Big Down Day


A Bend financial advisor reacts to a big down day on Wall Street. U.S. stocks fell for a fourth session today. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 248 points.  Troy Reinhart with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management in Bend says Europe is mostly to blame. "This is all Europe. It’s really a continuation of what we've seen all year; been even more succinctly over the last quarter the last 3 or 4 months and Europe's dragging everything down. Everyone's worried, no one knows who owns what debt what the contagion is out there so it makes everybody sell off." He says light trading volume is another factor. He doesn't believe the super-committee's failure played a factor because he says that result was already priced into the market.

 

 

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Batten Down the Hatches- High Winds Are Coming!


Fierce winds will be with us for a few days says Scott Landis with the Weather Channel. "That wind is really going to be picking up for the remainder of today and by 7 o'clock this evening, there is a wind advisory in effect. And the wind is not going to ease up very quickly. In fact, that wind advisory is going to go all the way through Wednesday morning, until about 7 a-m." Landis says during that time there could be sustained winds of up to 35 miles an hour; and if you're traveling in the foothills, there could be gusts of up to 60 miles and hour.  But, the temperatures over the next two days will be much warmer and we could see highs in the low 50's. He says that Thanksgiving Day will be chillier, with highs in the 30's and a mixture of rain and snow showers.

 

 

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Lab Tests Link Sicknesses


In a very serious local meningococcal case; a 20 year old Prineville woman continues to fight for her life at St. Charles Bend. Stephany Mullen remains in critical condition today. In the latest development; lab tests just came back and are showing that Mullen has the same strain as two other cases that hit Crook Country earlier this year. Crook County spokesperson Karen Yeargain explains: "Sero-Group C was responsible in two of the three cases we saw in Crook County earlier this year. What that tells us is that we do have this strain circulating in our community. It’s impossible to know whether there's more of it than their would be otherwise or not. We only know who gets sick;  we do know that Crook County has been coughing and hacking for a couple of months. Crook County has a high rate of upper respiratory illnesses, and we're also seeing that last spring.” All off the Crook County people affected by this did have an upper respiratory illness within two weeks prior to their meningococcal onset.  Yeargain says there is a vaccine available to prevent the "C" strain of meningococcal, and she says its also a good idea to get a flu shot. 

 

 

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McMichael Files Bankruptcy


The owner of the Blacksmith Restaurant in Bend is filing for bankruptcy. Gavin McMichael says during the recent recession, they saw sales drop in half and their loan amounts triple. He explains why he filed for bankruptcy: “I file for individual bankruptcy. So if they're wondering what happens to the Blacksmith and Gatsby, nothing. In fact, the reason for me to file is to protect those two entities.”  McMichael filed for Chapter 7 which will liquidate his assets. He owes $2.4 million mostly in business debt. He saw customers will not notice any difference when eating at his restaurants. McMichael plans to continue as General Manager of the Blacksmith.

 

 

 
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Tower Theatre Gets A Facelift


Expect some congestion on Wall Street in downtown Bend today the Tower Theatre gets a mini-face lift.  Executive Director Ray Solley says the spire that spells the Tower name will be repainted for the first time since it's renovation in 2004. Crews from Carlson Sign Company will raise a lift nearly 80 feet to clean and touch up both sides of the spire. Carlson also renovated the original spire and built the neon marquee that wraps around the front of the theatre. A portion of the sidewalk in front of the theatre will be closed from 9 am to 2 pm.

 

 

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Climber Injured in Fall at Smith Rock


A 32-year-old climber from Bend suffered serious injuries Monday when he fell off a ledge near Smith Rock State Park. Aaron Seeman had been climbing with a partner when he fell about 25 feet. It took rescue workers about six hours to get him to safety. He was taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. He is listed in fair condition today. 

 

 

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Supreme Court to Hear About Obama's Healthcare Program


The Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of the sweeping healthcare reform approved by Congress last year. The high court will decide if the law's individual mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance by 2014, is within the power of Congress. OSU Cascades Political Science Professor, Jim Foster, says this ruling will have a profound effect on the history making legislation. “If you don't hold up the mandate, it basically guts the financing regime out of it. It’s like a house of cards. You pull out one card. It legally remains, but technically, that's the fundraising keystone and it will cause all kind of collapse.” The high court will hear arguments in March and will make a decision by the summer recess in June,  just a few months before the Presidential election. Foster expects this to be another 5 to 4 vote, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote.

 

 

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A Real Thanksgiving Dinner


For the fourth year in a row, the Crook County Kids Club is inviting the community to a free Thanksgiving dinner this week. Co-Chair Neva McPherson says it started as a big "thank you" to the community for helping the kids.  "Originally it was a thank you to the community for helping get the kids club on their feet. Because it's sponsored by the Kids Club of Prineville. So it was that idea and it's just grown from there." McPherson says there are a lot of community businesses helping put the feast on. Last year they served about 400 Thanksgiving dinners of ham, turkey and all the fixins'. This year, the dinner is at Carey Foster Hall this Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. McPherson says they are asking for donations: canned goods will go to St. Vincent de Paul's and money will help pay for the Kids Center.

 

 

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Balloons over Baghdad Grounded- for Now


A Bend man's plan to fly in his lawn chair with balloons over Baghdad this week is being delayed. Balloonists Kent Couch still plans to fly over Iraq at a record height and distance, but is postponing his trip until March to accommodate more sponsors.  There is apparently a lot of interest in the trip. Couch will be flying in his familiar lawn chair with dare devil Fareed Lafta. The pair will have to endure sub freezing temperatures, breathe through oxygen masks and fly in darkness for many hours.

 

 

 
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Blaylock Defense Rests


The defense rests in the Steven Blaylock murder trial, one day after it started. The jury is expected to begin deliberations later today. The defense called 13 witnesses, but Steven himself did not take the stand.  Blaylock claims he killed his wife Lori in October 2010 in self defense.

 

 

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Selco Members Growing


Selco Credit Union has about 12,000 members in Deschutes County and that number is growing rapidly due in part to the anger against big banks. Selco spokesperson Laura Illig says they saw twice as many new customers than usual on Saturday, the official "Bank Transfer Day." She believes the trend for people moving from big banks to credit unions and community banks will continue: “Yes,  it was a day or a period of time that there was a focus on this, but I think with this whole occupy movement and a focus on where are my dollars going? I think consumers overall are re-thinking their decisions and really thinking to themselves: ‘I have a choice of where I can keep my money and have my financial services and I'm going to choose a place that's local." Illeg says believes that what started as a negative reaction to big banks will grow into a positive movement as positive word of mouth takes over.  Selco has four branches in Central Oregon and like Mid Oregon Credit Union has seen big numbers of new customers during the last 5 weeks.

 

 

 
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