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Local News Archives for 2012-06


Another Year of Timber Payments


The U.S. House passed a one year extension of County Timber payments as part of the Transportation Bill.

 

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon called the action "a lifeline to rural communities to keep essential services like law enforcement and schools up and running."  Walden says he will continue to work on a long-term solution to create jobs in the woods, to make Oregon’s federally forested communities more self-reliant.

10 Year Old Collapses After Swimming in Creek


A young boy collapses after swimming in the swimming hole below McKay Crossing Falls.  The boy, his sister and father were swimming in the creek and after getting out of the water he said he didn't feel well and collapsed. His sister called 911, saying the boy was unconscious and pale in color.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Deschutes County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Forest Service, Oregon State Police and La Pine Fire were all dispatched to the scene where they climbed down a 15’ embankment and waded across Paulina Creek to reach the boy. The boy was taken to St. Charles with non-life threatening injuries.

California Hiker Found Safe


It was a happy ending early this morning as Deschutes County Search and Rescue crews located a missing California man.  The call came in to 911 about 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  The man's wife, Monica Fitzgerald, called to report her husband had gotten separated from the hiking group and was lost near Horse Lake.  Lt. Chad Davis says around 11:30 Thursday night, they found an important clue:  “The tracking teams located a single set of footprints, leaving the Pacific Crest Trail, which they believed belonged to the male hiker.  They tracked though patches of snow that consisted of 2-5’ snowdrifts and downed trees. Approximately 1:15 this morning, our ground team located Mr. Francis approximately 5.3 miles northwest of Elk Lake Trailhead.”

 

About 16 searchers and Airlink assisted in trying to find Francis Fitzgerald.  He says the search was further complicated because the man's cell phone wasn't fully charged.

Smoke Alarms Helped Save A Home From Big Damage


In Redmond, fire officials say neighbors hearing the smoke alarms blaring at a southwest Redmond home on Thursday, called 911 and allowed firefighters to save the structure from possibly significant damage.  Fire Marshal Traci Cooper says the neighbors of the family at 2935 SW Deschutes Drive called Deschutes County 911 dispatchers around 9:15 a.m. to say they heard the smoke alarms.  Cooper says the first firefighters on scene gained access and learned a pan with a spatula had been left heating on the stove. Cooper says without the working smoke alarms, the outcome would have been significantly different.

Vigil in Drake Park


It was a candlelight vigil in Drake Park Thursday night.  About 100 friends and family of Bend resident Shane Munoz, who was shot and killed during an alleged burglary last Sunday.  The vigil was last night and our news partner, News Channel 21 spoke with friend, Heather Murphy.  “I knew a lot of people would show up. He was something and we really, really miss him."  Friends are questioning the details of the death investigation released by local police.  Shortly after midnight on Saturday, the homeowner on Awbrey Road reported that he came home to find Munoz had broken into this house, a fight allegedly ensured and the homeowner fatally shot Munoz.  Bend Police are still investigating the case.

New Duck Store About to Open


The Oregon Duck Store is opening up a brand new store this Sunday.  Katie Conway with the Duck Store says they have moved into the old Verizon building in the Shopko Shopping Center, and they will be sharing the huge space with the University of Oregon.  "They have about 4 classrooms and meeting spaces over there. So they'll have Duck Athletic Fund events, Foundation events, Alumni Association and then what they call their “Academic Extension” and the Lifelong Learning Institute, and they host a Continuing Education Program."

 

Conway says their kicking off the grand opening with three days of celebrations; including games, face painting, sidewalk sales and lots of Duck spirit.  They will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Oh, and Gooooooo Ducks!

Another Supreme Court Ruling Has Swift Reaction


Reaction was swift and strong to the U.S. Supreme Courts ruling, striking down the "Stolen Valor Act," that would punish people trying to claim they are legitimate recipients of military medals.  Local veteran's advocate Dick Tobiason says there has been thousands of instances where people, some of them high profile, made claims of military service and honors they did not deserve.  "People who do this generally are people who are envious, who have low self esteem and who want to pawn themselves off as heroes to an unsuspecting public.  There is not database for which anybody can challenge these people, the author of the "Stolen Valor Act" is a dear friend of mine, and he and his wife started this whole thing 4-5  years ago, and have exposed hundreds, if not thousands of impostors. Now all their work is in vain."  Tobiason says that's it's shameful that the nation's highest court does not see fit to honor those who have given their life and served this nation, by  striking down the Act, citing the First Amendment of "Free Speech."  He says he does not know what the next move will be, but he hopes that somehow this problem can be stopped.

St. Charles CEO Applauds Supreme Court Decision


Jim Diegel, the CEO of St. Charles Healthcare Systems, believes more innovative healthcare changes can occur, now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  “The upholding of the ACA actually puts Oregon into the national spotlight. What we are doing is very innovative and will make our healthcare more effective.  Some of the revenue streams will now materialize now as a result of the ACA is being upheld.

 

Diegel says the American Hospital Association and the Oregon Association of Hospitals supported the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Robert's Decision Was Bold


The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the Affordable Care Act by a 5 to 4 vote.  It was expected to be a close vote, but what was surprising was Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority to uphold the healthcare legislation.  OSU Cascades Political Science Professor Jim Foster says Chief Robert's decision was a bold and important move.  “One of the adroit characteristics of Justice Robert's decision. Everyone was lining up saying this Court has gotten so partisan that whichever way it goes, it will be driven by politics. In writing an opinion going against what everyone assumed was his ideologue leanings, he takes the Court out of the limelight and off the hot seat.”  Many believed that Justice Anthony Kennedy who is often the swing vote, would be the swing vote in this case, but he squarely sided with the conservatives.

Kitzhaber Happy with Supreme Court Ruling on Healthcare


Governor Kitzhaber supports the ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.  “I'm delighted by Supreme Court decision to uphold the Obama Administration approach to healthcare reform.  It was an incredibly bold and courageous political accomplishment the President took on and apparently succeeds at.  I think the reason the federal government and President Obama was really willing to work with Oregon in a partnership on healthcare is because our Coordinated Care Organizations essentially embodies the key elements of the Affordable Care Act.”  Governor Kitzhaber says Oregon is moving forward with its Coordinated Care Organizations that will transform Medicaid for better health and lower costs.

Financial Advisor Says Small Businesses Will Suffer Most with "Obama Care"


Bend financial advisor Troy Reinhart of Bend says the Supreme Court's decision to uphold “Obama Care” will have a big impact to small businesses.  For one, he says some small business owners have told him they'll have to lower wages to compensate for the health insurance mandate.  And for businesses who hire a lot of temporary workers; they may have to re-think their strategy. 

 

"Temporary employees are employees less than 90 days; a typical ski season is about 180 days.  So they might hire 2 separate batches of workers.  You take someone like Mount Bachelor; they can't afford to provide health insurance to all those workers.  Either the price of a lift ticket goes way up or they find a way to manage it, because there aren't the margins in the ski industry for them to make that happen.”   Reinhart says he was very shocked when he learned of the Supreme Court ruling.

Walden Says Healthcare Law a "Bad Bet" for Oregon


Oregon Congressman Greg Walden says the Health Care law is still a bad bet for Oregon and that it must be repealed before it does more damage to the economy, families, and seniors.   "It rips $500 billion out of Medi-care.  And for Oregonians, that means your Medicare Advantage will be hit; harder access to doctors, when you become Medicare eligible.  That's bad policy.  So we need to repeal this law and replace it with something that we can afford and that works, and that reduced the cost of healthcare insurance and increases access.”  Congressman Walden says he looks forward to voting on July 11 to fully repeal the law.

American Legion State Convention in Redmond


More than 400 veterans are attending the State American Legion Convention starting today in Redmond.

 

Veterans from Oregon’s 122 Posts will be attending sessions at Obsidian Middle School and the American Legion Post in Redmond.  Larry Rosach, the Commander of the Redmond American Legion Post, says they want to help veterans keep and find jobs.  “This is one of the big things trying to get, that the veterans have jobs when they get back and helping them get jobs.  And one of the other things we do is: when veterans are deployed, and their families with troubles, we try to go in and assist, so they can be taken care of.”  The State convention will wrap up on Saturday.  This is the first time since 1955; Redmond has hosted the American Legion State Convention.

Portland Hiker Rescued


A Portland man is lucky that his cell phone reception was just enough to rescue him off of Broken Top mountain.  The Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue received a call from William Aue, 57 Tuesday afternoon around 2 p.m., when Aue knew he had taken a wrong turn in his attempt to climb South Sister.

 

Two fellow hikers; Axel and Katju Nastansky, both from Denmark said they had been hiking with Aue earlier, but split up when Aue decided not to attempt the South Sister Summit.  Through several phone calls SAR was able to determine Aue's location and "talked" him down to the area of Moraine Lake near Devil's Lake Trailhead.

Bend Man Convicted in Baseball Bat Killing


A Deschutes County jury has convicted a Bend man for the beating death of his roommate.  Richard Clark was found guilty of murdering his roommate, Matthew Fitzhenry in October 2010 with a baseball bat.  Sentencing is set for Thursday morning.  As a Measure 11 crime, Fitzhenry faces a mandatory sentence of 25 years. The jury took four hours to deliberate before reaching its verdict.

A Friend of Munoz Doesn't Believe Police Report


A lifelong friend of Shane Munoz says the police press release doesn't line up with what he believes happened late Saturday night.  The unidentified friend spoke with our news partner, News Channel 21.   "I don't believe it was a home invasion intruder.  All of that is just not Shane's M.O."  He also doesn't think his friend had a motive for a home invasion.  He says he had a place to live, a job and a family.

Bend City Council Could Vote on Sidewalk Ordinances


The City of Bend may regulate sidewalk displays downtown.   A group that represents businesses in downtown Bend says its time to regulate the racks and tables that often pop up during the summer months.  The Downtown Bend Business Association wants to keep the area visually pleasing for tourists and free of sidewalk clutter that could get in the way of people with disabilities.  The City Council is expected to vote on July 18 on an ordinance that would create new sidewalk merchandise rules.

 

Oregon Officials Eye Colorado Fires with Caution


Thousands of acres on fire and more than 32,000 evacuations are hitting Colorado.  The Governor calls it Colorado's worst fire season.  And while we watch from Central Oregon, Deschutes County officials say large evacuations have happened here.  Lt. Shane Nelson was a guest on 1110 KBND's “Your Town” today. "I have been on some of the evacuations and let me tell you its heartbreaking to see these folks who've been part of the community for so long and have their whole lives inside their home and their main concern is photographs and memorabilia from their entire family.  And so to see them lose all of that in sometimes just seconds, it’s very heartbreaking."  In Central Oregon, forest officials say we do have similar dry and beetle kill conditions that could grow to very large fires.   To be prepared for a quick evacuation they recommend that you have a plan that includes emergency supplies, important keepsakes, prescription drugs and a plan for your pets and livestock.

Ashton Eaton Soaking In His World Record


The mother of the world record holder Ashton Eaton is back in Bend and slowly coming back to earth.  Roslyn or "Roz" Eaton was there in last weekend Eugene when Ashton not only qualified for the Olympic Track Team, but also broke the World Record for the top Decathlon mark.  "Really, it’s more of a surreal experience, for all of us really.  We all kind of sat around the table and said, what just happened?  We didn't have any doubts that he was going to qualify for the Olympics. What was surprising was the world record; we didn't expect that.  And I don't think Ashton expected that, and so it’s the cherry on top of the whole thing.  So things have changed drastically for Ashton, I'm sure in Ashton's life.  I'm still trying to soak it in, trying to wrap my brain around it."

 

Now, Bend's own Ashton Eaton is the World Record holder in the 10-event discipline that determines the World's Greatest All Around Track and Field Athlete.  We'll have more of our interview with Roz Eaton on Monday's “Take Five.”

Police Offer Tips for Home Safety


There have been reports of a couple break-ins or home invasions in the last week in Bend.  Though these kind of crimes are fairly rare in the area, police want to give residents with some tips to keep them safe.  Lt Paul Kansky is with the Bend Police Department:  “We always recommend in any such incident that people dial 911 as quickly as possible.  If arriving at home and you see something not right, even if minor. Just call us.  That can be done.  We do this on a fairly routine basis throughout the year.”  Kansky reminds people to put a barrier between you and the intruder either by leaving the home, or locking yourself in a room away from them.

 

"1776" The Musical Promises to Wow!


An all female cast will take the stage at the Tower Theater this weekend.  "1776" is a musical first produced in the late 1960's right before our bicentennial.  Director Kymberli Colbourne says Producer David Simpson came up with the idea of having an all female cast.  “Mr. Simpson approached me with this show and came up with idea of all women.  He knew that would be irresistible to me.  He baited the hook and I bit.”  "1776" will have three shows this weekend.  Friday at 7, Saturday and 7 and Sunday at 2.  Tickets are $20.  It is a fundraiser for the Tower Theater Foundation.

Walmart Gives Assistance League of Bend a Big Boost


The Assistance League of Bend’s  "Operation School Bell" program gets a big $25,000 boost from Walmart.

 

Assistance League spokesperson Maggie Chmiel says the program helps to clothe low income and homeless kids in the Bend La Pine Schools.  She says many of these kids have never been a store to buy clothing for themselves.  “You will some of them come in, where just their little heads are down on their chests, but then you'll see them, once their on the floor shopping, it's just joyful, it really is joyful. And they see what they can pick out. And they'll come hopping out and skipping out and some of them will maybe have a pair of shoes for the first time that really fits them and they don't have to share with their siblings."  Chmiel says they usually help 1300 kids; and with the Walmart donation, they can clothes an additional 300.  She adds that although the donation will help tremendously, they still need the communities help with "Operation School Bell."

Awbrey Shooting Update


Friends of the Bend man killed in a reported "home invasion" Awbrey Butte last weekend are shedding more light on the case.  News Channel 21 is reporting friends of the man killed in a reported home invasion on Awbrey Butte last weekend, was a “life long” friend of homeowner Kevin Perry.  The friend says Kerry and Shane Munoz were together Saturday evening at a bar in Bend and then Munoz was either invited or brought to Perry’s home later that night.  Munoz was shot and killed in the home Saturday night.

Fire District Gets New Name


The Three Rivers Rural Fire Protection District is now  renamed  Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue.  According to a report in the Madras Pioneer, Fire Chief Don Colfels says the new name creates and identity that is more inclusive of the fire district's larger service area.   The district serves the entire Grandview area, Rim Park, Forest Park and Three Rivers subdivisions as well as other outlying areas.  The Fire District was first formed in 2008 and serves about 40 square miles on Lake Billy Chinook, nine miles northwest of Culver.

Second Home Invasion in a Week


Two Bend homes have been victims of home invasions in the last week.  The first one occurred Saturday night on Awbrey Butte.  The second one happened Tuesday morning just before 6 a.m. at a home off Empire in northeast Bend.  Sgt. Ron Taylor with Bend Police explains what happened.  “There were two females in the residence and neither one knew the suspect, which is Cody Hammond.  After he broke in he punched a woman in the face.  They (victim & her roommate) locked themselves in the bathroom and continue to give info to the 911 operator.”  The women did not know the intruder.  Police believe he was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time he broke in.  They also believe Hammond is responsible for numerous vehicle break-ins through the area.  He is currently lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on burglary and assault charges.

Airshow of the Cascades Needs Sponsors


One of the largest airshows in the Northwest needs some sponsors to help bring more entertainment to the production.  Tom Brown, Chair of the "Airshow of the Cascades" committee says 60% of visitors to the show come from Deschutes County, and statistics show people who come to the airshows have money to spend.

"People that attend an Airshow; 79% of them have some college, 45% have at least 1 degree; 63% earn $50,000 a year, 75% own their own homes; and 73% have made an Internet purchase in the last 6 months. It’s a way for sponsors to actually reach people. It’s more than just giving money, you're getting back something from it."  Brown says the major sponsor for the past few years, Butler Aircraft has decided not to sponsor the show this year.  This years Airshow of the Cascades is August 24th and 25th.  If you wish to help sponsor the show, contact the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

Awbrey Road Shooting Prompts More Questions


Bend Police continue to investigate Saturday night's burglary of a home off Awbrey Road.  Kevin Perry returned home and found his front door forced in and found Shane Munoz, 33, in his living room, an altercation ensued and Perry shot Munoz dead.  Lt. Paul Kansky with Bend Police talked with KBND’s John McAulay, but didn't reveal much.  KBND:  “Are the residents facing any charges or is this a case of self defense?”  Kansky: “The case is still under investigation.  No one is in custody, but its still under investigation.”  KBND:  “Any indication the subjects knew each other?”  Kansky: “Ah, no comment on that.”  An autopsy was conducted on Monday at the State Medical Examiner's Office near Portland.  Police are awaiting word on the cause of Munoz’s death.

Another Home Invasion


Bend Police are handling another home invasion case.  This one happened in northeast Bend at a home on Fairey Court off of Empire.  The break in happened this morning just before 6 a.m. when Cody Hammond, 29, of Bend forced his way into a home.  After he entered the home, he punched a sleeping womanin the face, while she was sleeping in the home. She and another woman living there locked themselves in the bathroom and called police.  Police arrived with the K-9 unit and were able to subdue Hammond with the dog and the use of a taser.  Hammond is not known to either women, and it's believed he was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time he broke into the home.  Officers also believe Hammond is responsible for numerous vehicle break-ins throughout the area.

 

Hammond is currently lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on charges of burglary and assault.

Suggestions Wanted for Secondhand Smoke Issues


Deschutes County is reacting to public concerns about secondhand smoke and cigarette butts downtown Bend.  Deschutes County Health Educator David Visiko says they are asking people to do a short survey by this Friday.  They hope to get 1000 surveys and will then use the results in directing their public policy to possibly establish smoke free zones.  "This is mostly driven by the people.  We're getting anecdotal reports of people affected by secondhand smoke.  Visitors and businesses in our downtown area talk about secondhand smoke and cleaning up cigarette butts from neighboring businesses; so this isn't exactly driven by government, but what people are asking for."  To do the survey or get more info, you can go to Deschutes County's website or their Facebook page.  The results will be final in September 2012 and will be unveiled at a special event.

Bend Woman Dies From Fall


The body of a Bend woman was recovered in Jefferson County, about 200 feet down the Crooked River Canyon.  Authorities say it appears that Valerie McKie, 38, tragically fell into the ravine.  Tim MclLren, the Fire Chief for Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue explains: "Today we recovered the body of a female victim off the Horny Hollow Trail.  When I say victim, I will just say that it was a recovery not a rescue, I believe they are going to determine that it was an accident."  Deschutes County Sheriff's officials say Valerie McKie was reported missing around 3:30 Sunday afternoon.  Sheriff's Captain Marc Meckathorn urges people who enjoy the outdoors to let someone know where they are going and when they plan to return.

Illegal Fireworks Still Big Problem in Bend


In Oregon, many fireworks are illegal.  But that isn't stopping people from trying to find them this Fourth of July.

 

Illegal fireworks in Oregon are those that fly, explode, eject balls of fire, or  move a large distance across the ground.  Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering says this year "sky lanterns" are also a big draw, and people seem to be trying to track down  illegal fireworks.  "I visited several of our fireworks stands yesterday and one theme I’m hearing is that people are asking them 'where can you find illegal fireworks?' And that's really a mistake.  You don't want to have them in your possession.  You don't want to be setting off illegal fireworks.”  The ticket for using an illegal firework can be as high as $750, not including other costs and court fees.  She reminds you that in Bend, you must be at least 18 to buy sell and possess fire works.  Fireworks went on sale in Oregon last Saturday, the 23rd.

Bend Woman Arrested at Logging Demonstration


Six people, including a Bend woman, were arrested Monday in a logging demonstration at the Oregon capitol.

 

Two of the demonstrators climbed flagpoles and attached homemade banners protesting plans to increase logging on state land.  The others were arrested more than three hours after they chained themselves together in the offices of Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.  Oregon State Police said six people were booked at the Marion County Jail, cited and released, including Anna Armstrong, 19, of Bend. 

 

They were cited to appear at a later date in Marion County Circuit Court on charges of second-degree criminal trespass, first-degree disorderly conduct and first-degree criminal mischief.  The timber industry has said the plan will create new jobs and boost school funding, but conservation groups say it would harm fish and wildlife.

Professor Fears for His Job


A chemistry instructor at Oregon State University suspects he is out of a job because he’s a critic of “climate change”.  The school has not weighed in on the allegation.  Nick Drapela, 47, earned his Doctorate at the school and has taught chemistry there for 10 years.  He says though, that when he started going against the grain on climate change, he got the cold shoulder.  He told the Albany Democrat-Herald yesterday that as soon as he started publically questioning global warming and giving skeptical talks about it.  He stopped getting awards and raises.  He was told last month his year to year contract would not be renewed.

Master Development Plan for Deschutes National Forest & Mt. Bachelor


Mount Bachelor managers and Deschutes National Forest officials are working on the 10 year Master Development Plan right now.  Tomorrow night,  the public will have the chance to ask questions and get more details about the current proposal.  Jean Nelson-Dean with the forest service says they are holding an open house in Bend from 6 to 8.  She says they welcome public feedback on ways to make the plan better  :”Or they have concerns that haven't been thought of; or things that we're missing or, if they have concerns, whether they have new ideas or anything.  They can just be involved in what that analysis is saying and what's going to occur there and provide that feedback to Mount Bachelor and to the forest.”  Again, the open house is Tuesday night from 6 to 8 in Bend at the Deschutes National Forest Office on Deschutes Market Road.

Transportation Lottery Dollars Could Come to Central Oregon


Redmond Airport managers are asking for lottery funds to help fund improvements at the airport.  The total price tag is $8.5 million for a general aviation ramp and two taxiways.  The city has to come up with 10%  and the FAA covers the rest.  Mayor George Endicott is hopeful the state will come through with $350,000 to help with a chunk of the cost.  "Bend talked about bumps in their taxiways.  We have the same problem.  Most of these were built in World War 2, or post WW II so they're getting pretty long in the tooth, and need re-building. They’re full of cracks and bumps, and all that.  They're worn out.  They need to replace them.”  KBND: “Is that really dangerous more of a hassle or a safety issue?”  Endicott: “Probably more of a hassle.  You hope that a bolt doesn't fall out when you go over a bump, you know." Other Central Oregon airports are asking for "Connect Oregon" lottery funds; and in Madras, a railroad project is part of the request.  The Oregon Lottery has $40 million in funds to give out to local transportation projects, and an estimated $4 million should come to Central Oregon.

Robberson Ford Receives Major Award


Robberson Ford in Bend has won the 2011 Presidents Award from the Ford Motor Company for the second time.  Spokesperson Leslie Seaton says of over 3006 dealers nationwide; only 9 dealers in the northwest received the accolade, and only two in Oregon were honored.  "We really take pride in our dealership. And the employees that work here and the service and sales relationships that we have with our customers.  But really it's a pride issue. It’s our customers telling us that 'Hey, you guts are really great' and that's what we like to hear, because we want them to think we're really great."  Seaton says it's an indication that they have led the nation in providing their customers with excellent service, sales and overall ownership of their Ford or Lincoln vehicle.  She adds that they are very proud to have been selected for the second time; the first was in 2008.

911 Board Decided to Continue with Temporary Funding


The Deschutes County 911 Executive Board wants to continue with its temporary levels for another year, before requesting permanent funding again.  The voters rejected a request for permanent levy during the May election.  911 Board Chair Tim Moor says they decided to wait and do a better job of informing the public on why the levy is  needed.  “I'm very positive by buying ourselves some time and going back out in 2014.  We’re taking the time to do it right; getting out in community, with yard signs.  Doing focused presentations with service groups, more grassroots.  I think it will be critical part of education process.”  Moor says they plan to ask for another temporary levy next year and then request permanent funding again for the district in 2014.

 

They plan to do a better job of informing the public why the levy is needed.

Pancreatic Cancer Hits One Family Hard


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers a person can get.  Today, only 6% of those diagnosed with the disease survive more than five years.  Unlike other cancers, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer hasn't improved in forty years.  Teresa Hogue and her husband Roy of Bend have lost too many friends and family members to this disease lately.  “We really need a lot more.  My husband I are just one family and we've had four people in our immediate circle of friends and family die from this disease in the last two years; with a very fast death rates, and we're just one family.”  Hogue will be among 500 advocates participating in "Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day"  in Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow.

Helpful Tips for Outdoor Cooking


There’s a cornucopia of fresh food available during the summer; and a few simple steps can help keep you healthy while enjoying the fresh produce.  Susan Kendrick with the Oregon Department of Agriculture says last year's E-coli outbreak involving cantaloupe and strawberries have some people leery of the fresh produce.

But Kendrick says to just heed a simple precaution:  "Certainly there's the health benefit from eating fresh produce, so I wouldn't discourage people from eating fresh produce. But definitely wash it before you eat it, no matter what type of produce it is."  Kendrick says also cooking meats to proper temperature and keeping perishable foods cold by using an ice chest or cooler, and tossing out food that that has sat out for more than four hours can help make eating this summer safe and enjoyable.

Finally! Roundabout Construction Begins


Last year Bend voters approved a $30-million bond measure to fund local road improvements throughout the city.  The General Obligation, or “GO” Bond kicks into high gear with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new roundabout at Mt. Washington and Simpson.  City spokesman Justin Finestone says they decided to make it a celebration.  "We're going to have a little groundbreaking with City Council and some of the other folks that helped make it happen to kind of commemorate the kick off of the GO Bond construction.  The “Summer of the Three Roundabouts” that were approved by voters and then next year you'll start seeing the Reed Market construction taking place so, it’s just kind of a thank you to the community for approving this and we want people to know that the projects are on time and on budget and underway."  Finestone says people will begin seeing the detours tomorrow.  You can see the detour maps on the City of Bend website.  The groundbreaking ceremony is Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the site on Mt. Washington and Simpson.

Bend Doctor Identitied as Crash Victim


A Bend doctor has died as the result of a bike accident that happened on the west side of Bend last week.

 

Dr. Ginny Vader was a pathologist in Bend for the past ten years.  Police say last Tuesday, Dr. Vader was riding her bike on Century Drive south of the Reed Market roundabout when she crashed.  The cause of the crash wasn't determined, but witnesses say no other vehicles or pedestrians contributed to it.  Initially, it was thought her injuries were not life threatening, but Dr. Vader died five days later.  The Deschutes County Medical Examiner is looking into whether any pre-existing medical condition contributed to her death.

Oily Rags Caused the Fire on Vogt Road


Oily rags caused a home in northeast bend to go up in flames.  the fire occurred during the noon hour on Thursday at a home on Vogt Road off of Boyd Acres Road.  Luckily, the mom and her two kids got out of the house along with the pets.  Neighbor Mindy Paul saw the flames and called 911.  “I just looked out the bedroom window and saw smoke.  And I saw the playhouse that they just started building this weekend was  going up in flames.  So I called 911 they said people were coming.”  Fire investigators say improper disposal of oily rags caused the playhouse go up in flames and spread to the house.  The oily rags were left in a pile less than a foot from the home.  The rags ignited and started the fire.  The house is considered a total loss.  Damage is estimated at  $100,000.

Plague Patient Identified


The family of the Prineville-area man fighting for his life is releasing his name to the public.  He is Paul Gaylord and he remains in critical condition at Saint Charles in Bend.  His niece, Andrea Gibb spoke with our news partner News Channel 21, says its been a roller coaster ride for the family: "It became very grave, and the doctor said that they had done all that they could do, they weren't sure he was going to pull through this."

 

Earlier this month, Gaylord was bitten by his cat, while trying to help take a mouse out of its mouth. 

Some Oregon Families to Get Healthcare Rebates


About 12,000 Oregon families will get rebates from their health insurers.  That’s thanks to a provision of the Federal Health Reform Law.  The law requires that insurers spend at least 80% of the premiums collected on medical claims and quality improvement.  The rest can be spent on administration, but 4 Oregon companies failed in that mandate.  The average check will be $388.  According to an article in the Bulletin, the four companies are:  Mega Life, Time Insurance, Aetna Life and Lifewise Health Plan. 

Hiker Rescued in Crook County


Search and Rescue crews and an air ambulance medics were called out to help an injured hiker stranded in a remote area.  It happened Thursday  morning northeast of Prineville at Twin Pillars Trailhead, near Wildcat Campground.   Julie Packard, 38, fell and broke her leg while hiking with relatives. She was about 4 ½ miles from the trailhead at the time.  LifeFlight was activated due to the remoteness of the area, savage said. Deputies, fire personnel and SAR members were able to hike in, reaching the woman around 1:40 p.m.

Missing A Horse?


The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says the owner of a residence off of Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond found a horse that had wandered onto the property.  Thursday afternoon deputies answered the call and examined the horse,  temporarily named "Smoke" by the Sheriff's Office, and found her to be well taken care of; although she has some fresh scratches on her lower chest,  possibly from breaking through fencing.

 

They are asking if you are missing a horse,  or have any information to call the non-emergency "dispatch" line and be prepared to give descriptive details to claim the horse.  (541-693-6911)

Crooked River Ranch Residents Get "Boil Water" Advisory


Crooked River Ranch residents are notified their drinking water could be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria.  At the state health officials direction, the Crooked River Ranch Water Company "boil-water" notification was issued Thursday to the 1500 residents through the CCR Water Company website. 

 

Water Company Manager Frank Day told our news partner, News Channel 2, the problem arose on Tuesday when a large pipe burst, sending water everywhere and causing a water outage for about 12 hours until the pipe was repaired. 

 

One resident says his wife and a neighbor experienced diarrhea symptoms after Tuesday’s water problem, but didn’t make the connection until they say a sign at the entrance to CCR.

 

Day says they have done their best to contact all CCR residents, but because the area is so large, it’s been a struggle.

 

A message on the CCR Water Company phone number says the advisory is "precautionary" and would be in place until new water testing results after flushing the system.  Day says new tests results should be available  Friday.

State of Oregon Declares Fire Season


 

 

A Declaration of Fire Season has been issued for the Central Oregon Forest Protection District of ODF.  This applies to ODF protected lands in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Hood River, Wasco, Grant Wheeler, Morrow, Gillam, and Harney Counties.  Fire Season will be effective next Monday, June 25th, 2012.

 

STATE OF OREGON

DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY

DECLARATION OF FIRE SEASON

 

 

Effective: 12:01 a.m., PDT, June 25, 2012

 

By virtue of the authority vested in me by ORS 477.505, I have determined conditions of fire hazard exist in the following subject area and declare Fire Season to be in effect:

                     

All lands protected by the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.

 

Fire Season shall remain in effect until terminated by an additional declaration of the State Forester that conditions of fire hazard no longer exist.

 

Maps of the subject area may be viewed at the State Forester's Office, in Salem, Oregon, and at principal offices of the Forest Protection District.

Paul Bell, Deputy State Forester

Done in Salem, Oregon,      , 2012

"Property Manager" Faces Theft Charges


A Bend man claiming to be a licensed property manager is arrested for first degree theft after several homeowners, living outside of the Bend area, say he allegedly ripped them off for more than $11,000.  Bend Police Sgt. Ron Taylor reports the victims contacted them regarding Larry Betker, 34, who they had hired to care for their rental properties in Bend.  Police believe there may be more victims.  Apparently Betker advertises on Craigslist and uses businesses names  "Larry's Rentals" and "4 Rent Property Management."  The investigation is continuing, and if you feel you have been a victim, contact Bend Police.

Northeast Bend Home Heavily Damaged in Fire


A Bend family escaped safely after their home caught fire just after the noon hour today.  Firefighters are still on the scene, but the fire is out.  The home is located on Vogt Road off of Boyd Acres Road between Empire and Cooley in northeast Bend.  Neighbor Mindy Paul saw the flames:  “I just looked out my bedroom window and saw play structure they just built this weekend up in flames.  So I called 911.  I told them it was on fire and the flames we're starting up the side of their house.” 

 

Fire Battalion Chief Bill Boos says lots of neighbors called 911.  “It sounds like 911 was buried.  A lot of neighbors called.  It's a pretty populated area.  You could see the smoke from a long ways away.”  About a quarter of the home was damaged in the fire, so the home is uninhabitable right now.   There’s no damage estimate yet or possible cause.

City Council Candidate Urges Pot Legalization


It was an interesting request at the Bend City Council meeting.  Wednesday night, Ron Buzell, or "Rondo," a past and current Bend City Council candidate is urging the city to completely decriminalize the use of marijuana:  "I ask the City Council today to for a declaration or resolution to completely decriminalize cannabis in any form or quantity.  I ask for the Bend City Council today to cease using our community resources to arrest, prosecute or otherwise hinder or molest any person who participates in the growing or consumption of cannabis.  Stop the insanity."  Rondo spoke during the Public Comment session at Tuesday night's City Council meeting; so there was no discussion on the issue.  He's urging Bend to follow in the steps of the Mayor of Seattle who is one of many people in Washington State leading the charge to legalize marijuana.

Police & Fire Get Unexpected Windfall


The Bend City Council has some good budget news: police and fire services will benefit from an unexpected $1.8 million in extra tax revenue.  Most of the windfall came from property taxes that came in higher than expected.  Police Chief Jeff Sale said one good use of the funds is to buy an E-ticketing System that will handle traffic tickets and other paperwork.  The council talked about the extra money during a work session Wednesday.  According to an article in the Bulletin, the system allows officers to easily gather information by scanning the bar-code of a person’s driver license and registration records. 

Sheriff Blanton Witnesses Explosion


Sheriff Larry Blanton was not a first responder in an emergency situation; instead he was a witness. It happened Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee when a gas explosion rocked the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  At the "National Sheriff's Association Conference." He says it was tough not to jump in and help with the emergency

“One of the things, you know, when you’re used to running towards problems, it’s hard to run away from problems. But very early on you had the faith and confidence of the professionals taking care of the situations, that you just had to be a victim for a while, and let the trained professionals take care of it.  We’re not trained that way; we’re trained to take case of the situation and dive into action.  But it was very obvious early on that there were qualified professionals here.”  Blanton says it was a miracle that no one was hurt in the explosion. There were several conventions going on at the time, and it was in an area where people were constantly coming and going.  Guests were allowed back in Wednesday morning. Damage to the building was estimated at less than $750,000.

Bend City Council Approved Smaller Events Noise Ordinance


Council members approved the new rules for smaller events in the city last night during their meeting.  Before the vote, neighbors near the Century Center said the noise problem isn't going away and that zoning changes could solve the problem and protect the neighborhood in the future. A resident speaks up: "I think it's important to maintain the integrity of this neighborhood.  The neighborhood’s been there for 90 years, and they've just been here for a couple of years. OSU / Cascades is going in over there and I think its really important that we pay attention to how this neighborhood is developed going forward, and try to maintain some integrity.  It’s a historical neighborhood- it'd like to protect it if we can.”  Wednesday night, the city did approve a new noise ordinance  that mandates "quiet hours" between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.  But only for smaller events.  And some special permits for concerts may also be allowed.  Its not clear yet how the new rules will affect concerts near the Century Center.

Olympic Track and Field Trials Begin Friday in Eugene


Bend’s decathlete, Ashton Eaton is considered the one to beat as the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials start in Eugene Friday.  Julie Brown with the University of Oregon says besides Eaton there are about 50 Oregon based athletes competing in Eugene at Hayward Field.  She says during the 2008 trials, they had an amazing gold, silver and bronze finish in the men's 800 meter finals, that were all local athletes." And afterwards they all talked about how much inspiration they received from the crowd.  We hope we'll have more of those magical moments and finishes this time around."  Decathlete Ashton Eaton is competing Friday and Saturday.

Ric Nowak to Be Laid to Rest Friday


Redmond businessman and civic leader Ric Nowak will be laid to rest Friday.  He died on Sunday of cancer.

 

He’s been a forty year Redmond resident.  He owned Country By Design Antiques in downtown Redmond.

 

Eric Sande with the Redmond Chamber says Ric will be missed.  “And he's been involved in city council, the Redmond Historical Society, the Deschutes County Landmark Commission and he was instrumental in discussions with ODOT on the moving of the highway.  He was always engaged in making Redmond businesses and successful here.”  In 2009, Nowak was Redmond's “Citizen of the Year.”  A graveside service will be held Friday at Redmond Memorial Cemetery at 2 p.m.

Council Back to Square One with False Alarm Ordinance


The Bend City Council had a long discussion - but in the end decided not to approve the proposed false alarm ordinance.  A preliminary vote was split with Councilors Scott Ramsay - Tom Greene and Mayor Jeff Eager disagreeing with some of the language requiring a fee to register security alarms and a stiff fee for first false calls.  Mayor Eager:  "So, ok, I think we've talked about this issue for a while. And we'll have the opportunity to talk about it again. So I think the consensus is to bring it back in it's current form. If people want to amend it, they can do it with the first reading, if there are the votes."  Most objections were regarding when fees should be imposed and how high the fines should be.  Councilor Jodie Barram was absent - she would have cast the deciding vote -  so the Council agreed to go back to square one with another first reading in July.

Wyden Writes Amendments to "Farm Bill"


A pair of amendments to the Senate Farm Bill written by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon have been approved.  One amendment establishes multiple" farm to school" demonstration projects across the U.S.  It will allow schools and local school food authorities to serve healthy local produce to kids every day.  The second amendment helps gleaners; those who voluntarily collect food that would otherwise be thrown away and donate it to food banks or other institutions for those in need.  It would make USDA backed microloans available to them so they could purchase refrigerators or vehicles to expand their efforts.  Final passage of the entire Senate Farm Bill is expected later this week.

Mt. Bachelor to Open for Skiing One More Time


Mt. Bachelor announces it's going to open one more time for skiing and snowboarding June 29th through July 1st.  Spokesman Andy Goggins says the snow on the upper mountain is still in tact and conditions are spring-like so the hours will be early.  “The earlier the better. Especially depending on overnight conditions; if it doesn't freeze overnight, you get enough radiant cooling in the snowpack. Where it's pretty good snow conditions first thing in the morning, and then in the late afternoon is when it gets slushy. So we'll operate 7:30 in the morning and then we'll close at 1 p.m. before it gets too slushy. Skiing this time of year is always fun."

 

Goggins says lift tickets are $30 for anyone; but 2011-12 pass holders get a discount at $20.  Summer operations begin on Friday, July 6th- you can get more information at:  www.mtbachelor.com.

Keep Kids Brains Active Over the Summer!


Keeping your child's brain active over the summer can help them be better prepared when school starts in September.  Laura Dillon with Oregon Connections Academy says she's seen a difference in kids that stay engaged in learning.  "I know from being a teacher for over 15 years and having my own kids; that if there isn't some active learning going on and some purposeful activities going on over the summer, even just a couple of time a week, then there is loss of those skills and concepts that have been taught over the school year."

 

Dillion says even just reading together a few times a week is helpful.  Or take advantage of current events,  such as the election this yea0,r and make a game of researching how elections work.  The Oregon Connections Academy website has more tips and ideas.  We have a link on our "Links" page.

Geese Hazers Are Making A difference


Dozens of volunteers are part of Bend's geese hazing program and they feel they're making a difference in decreasing the geese population.  Ernie Gilpin is one of those volunteers.  He and his dog "Flame" go to area parks and chase the geese away to prevent them from leaving droppings on the grass.  “And I personally can tell you that its better.  Compared to five years ago, the grass is pretty clear.  If you remember three to four years ago, the poop was everywhere.”  Parks and Rec officials reassured geese lovers that they do not intend to euthanize any geese this year.  They believe the hazing program and oiling the eggs to prevent them from hatching are keeping the geese population down.

Conger Says Wingard's Scandal Won't Tarnish GOP


State Representative Jason Conger of Bend says he doesn't believe a scandal surrounding a top state lawmaker will tarnish the party.  Matt Wingard, a Republican House Member from Wilsonville announced yesterday he would not seek re-election, after admitting to a sexual relationship with a younger aide who was on his payroll.  Conger received $1000 in campaign money from Wingard and decided to donate that money to the Education Foundation for Bend La Pine Schools.  Wingard first entered politics to champion education reform in Oregon and Conger says that focus played a role in his decision to donate the campaign money to the local schools.  “It actually was.  He certainly said that when he served on the education committee, and I served on that committee. He was keenly interested in education issues, and given the circumstances that came up, somehow seemed appropriate."  The Republican Party can run a candidate to fill the vacant seat in the November election.

Endicott Says They Weren't Totally Surprised by Allegiant Decision


Redmond Mayor George Endicott says they weren't totally caught off guard by Allegiant Air's recent announcement to discontinue service in Central Oregon.  The Airport Manager had attended a couple of weeks before, hand where Allegiant managers talked about the higher costs of operating out of Redmond.  He says their business model favors cheap flights that include packages of car rentals and hotels; but people in Central Oregon were mostly just buying the cheap flights.  “And so I guess they figured they had more lucrative markets than ours; we just weren’t doing what they need to see, to make money.”  KBND: “Was that a blow to airport manager? She’s fairly new to the job, and kind of a big blow, right off the bat?”  Endicott: “Interestingly enough, it was about 13% hit, as I understand, and so they had to go back and scrub the budget pretty hard.   Some equipment aren't going to buy now, employee we were going to hire, not going to hire now.”  Mayor Endicott was a guest on "Your Town" this morning.

Firefighting Training & Prescribed Burn Thursday


All this week, about 55 men and women new to wildland firefighting have been learning and training in Central Oregon.  Thursday, they are putting their skills and classroom knowledge to the test in a live burn near Sisters.

 

Guard School spokesperson Heather Fisher says the burn will be about 5 miles north of town.  "So when they show up on scene they go through the whole incident from beginning to end. They'll show up look at the fire; assess the situation, determine what tactics to use and then decide how to suppress the fire and make sure its out."  The training exercise is also a prescribed burn.  It will start around noon and last about 2 hours.  At some times people on Highway 20 and Tollgate and Cascade Meadows subdivisions may be able to see smoke from the "live burn."

Bond Measure Could Go on November Ballot


The Bend Parks and Rec Board have decided to move forward with the bond measure for future improvements and projects, but with a reduced price tag.  At Tuesday night's work session, the Board received a report from the District's Jan Taylor with results of the recent open houses and website survey about the proposed projects; and for the most part there is support.

 

Executive Director Don Horton suggested that the dollar amount of the bond should be reduced to make it more attractive to voters, and the Board agreed to changing a $31-million bond to $29-million.  Board Member Ruth Williamson expressed concern that more of the community will have to show a lot of support for the bond measure, and possibly canvass neighborhoods and events to spread the word.  The Board decided to go ahead and prepare the bond draft for approval at the July meeting

No Geese Killing


Several residents came to the Bend Parks and Rec Board, armed with protests over the possibility that geese in Bend parks would be euthanized.  Park and Rec Executive Director Don Horton, at Tuesday night's work session stated that they do not want to consider killing geese in order to keep their numbers manageable.

" We will continue to egg oiling, and hazing of geese, like we've done for the past couple of decades. But we will be capturing immature geese and relocating them to Summer Lake. But there's no plans for us to euthanize geese this year."  Horton went on to explain that they needed to submit a request to the federal government for permission to kill the geese, just as a precautionary measure, but there was never any real consideration of that procedure actually happening. He says the oiling and hazing have done a very god job at keeping the geese numbers in check.

No 911 Permanent Funding on November Ballot


The Deschutes County 911 Board is recommending the County wait to ask voters to approve permanent funding for its 911 Service District.  The levy went down to defeat during last May's election.  County leaders were considering asking voters again in November; but the 911 Board felt it was to soon after voters rejected the levy.  It looks like the County is leaning toward asking for another temporary levy in 2013 and asking for permanent funding again in 2014

"This is Your Brain on Stress"


Stress was the subject of last night's OSU / Cascades "Science Pub"  at McMenamins.  OSU Assistant Professor of Psychology Sarina Saturn delivered the keynote speech: "This is Your Brain on Stress."  A recent study found people are more stressed now than 25 years ago.  Professor Saturn says she tries to give audience members tools to  manage their stress.  “But there are healthy ways to manage stress: exercise, fresh air, nature, spiritual.  I’ll be showing data on how love is the best way to conquer stress.  I also study the pro social hormone, which is released when feeling love.”  Recent findings also found that stress decreases as people age.  The Science Pub at McMenamin's Tuesday night was sold out.  We will have more on the Science Pub during this week's "Heart of the Arts."

Fewer Kids Being Immunized


A study of Portland children shows a disturbing trend.   An increasing number of parents are not getting their children immunized enough.  Parents are delaying the shots required by the Centers for Disease Control.

 

The study looked at the immunization records of 97,000 Portland children born between 2003 and 2009. It found the percentage of parents not keeping up with the required immunizations increased from 2% to nearly 10%.  Steve Robison  with the Oregon Health Authority is the study's author.  “A lot of parents hear real emotional accounts of risk and worry and they're trying to balance the risk and worry  and people saying don't do anything, with providers saying to get the shots.  Once you have the emotional concerns looking at more science doesn't help that.” 

 

According to the CDC, you're supposed to take your child to the doctor 9 or 10 times during the first year of life.  This study found the 10% of kids on the delayed schedule,  only received on average six vaccines.

Bend Airport Could Get Much Needed Finding


A state program may be able to help the Bend Airport fix a very old runway.  "Connect Oregon," a program funded by the Lottery, has about $40 million to dole out.  Bend Airport managers are asking for about $200,000 grant money.  "It deteriorated to the point where the local aircraft operators were having to keep spare tire, the plane would hit the cracks hard enough it could actually flatten the tire.”  Airport Manager Gary Judd spoke with our news partner News Channel 21.  A review committee is recommending six projects in Central Oregon totaling $4 million.  Other projects include improvements to the Redmond, Prineville and Sisters airports, and a grant for a railroad project in Madras.

Tetherow Get 6-Month Reprieve


Deschutes County Commissioners are giving Tetherow Resort six more months to complete foreclosure proceedings.  They are also allowing resort managers to clarify who owns what, before they must build roads and utilities.  The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners made the decision yesterday and it affects a portion of the distressed resort just outside of Bend.  According to an article in the Bulletin, developer TD Cascade Highlands LLC is already a year late in buildings roads, sewers and other fundamental requirements.   The infrastructure work was supported to be done by June of 2011.

Geese Problem Could Be Topic In Tonight's Park Board Meeting


Bend Parks and Rec Board Member Dallas Brown says some residents are concerned geese at Drake Park could be euthanized, because overpopulation remains a problem.  He says people may show up in number at tonight's work session.  Brown was a guest this morning on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  "Well you know,  people who've gotten wind of this are upset, as you remember this turned into a national story a few years ago.  And some people are worried that's the wrong image for Bend."  Other important topics on the agenda include feedback on a $31 million potential bond measure.  Citizens so far are favoring beefing up the river trail system and improving the safety on the river at the Colorado Dam.  Tonight's work session starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Parks District headquarters in Bend.

Merkley Wants More Veteran's Mental Health Providers in Oregon


U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is pushing for more mental health providers in Oregon’s veteran’s clinics.

 

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is recruiting 1600 new mental health clinicians to serve veterans nationwide.

 

But only five of those new hires are scheduled for the State of Oregon.  Oregon is part of the VA Northwest Health Network that includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  The region accounts for f5% of the nation's veterans population,  but will only be receiving 1% of the new hires.  Merkley is asking the head of the VA to explain the criteria determining who gets these new mental health providers.

McKenzie Pass Early Opening


The scenic McKenzie Pass is opening about 5 weeks earlier this season, compared to last year.  Highway 242 officially opens to motorists on Thursday.  "It should be available to them on Thursday, some question about time, I'm told 8 o'clock, so prepare to go.”  ODOT's Peter Murphy says drivers still need to be careful and watch for cyclists and pedestrians also using the curvy road.  The scenic highway is closed during the winter because the highway is  covered with snow.  Last year there was so much snow that crews didn't open the highway until July 29th, the latest opening ever.

Road Maintenance Project Begin This Week


Starting this week, Deschutes County will begin some road overlay projects during day hours that could affect your travel route.  George Kolb, County Engineer says these will not be  major construction projects, but an annual or semi-annual maintenance project.  “We have an overlay program that we budget for. And we base the roads that we overlay on what we call the pavement management system. It rates our roads and we look at those ratings. And we'll use that in combination with how much traffic is on that road to determine which ones we select for overlays that year."  Beginning today one side of Bear Creek road from Highway 20 to Ten Bar Ranch Road will begin Tuesday the other side of the road will be overlayed.  Then Brookswood from Bend City limits to Baker Road will begin.  Most projects will only take two to three days; so expect delays of up to 20 minutes in those areas.  The City of Bend is also working on Empire and Brookswood this week.

 

Special Visitors to Visit Bend in July


The Deschutes Economic Alliance, along with Co-Serve International will host 20 students from Kazakhstan in mid-July as part of a year long study program.  Dave Lewis with the DEA says these students have been attending universities in their country, studying leadership and  business, and this week -long "field trip" will help them understand how a successful business and community is run in the U.S. "It's pretty exciting because they come from a culture that they're not vary far post-soviet domination in their country and these concepts and ideas of serving and providing leadership are not things that have been a big part of their culture. So it's pretty exciting to see the changes and the illustrations of how that's represented here."  Lewis says the students will stay with host families in the area, and will visit American Licorice, Bend Research and the nonprofit Healing Reins Therapeutic Center.  They will also receive presentations from various community leaders and then, when they return to Kazakhstan they must actually do some kind of project in their own communities to complete the program.

Stay Safe in the Pool This Summer


County health officials want to stress that it's very important to shower before you go swimming in a pool. John Mason with Deschutes Health Services says persistent bacteria can take a surprisingly long time to die and so the chorine needs all the help it can get without having to fight lotions, deodorants and the like.  “We have done a really good job in public health, explaining that chlorine is the 'savior of the world' and it's really not. I want swimmers to understand that chlorine takes time to kill. For example: E-coli in a swimming pool with 1 part per million chlorine gets killed in about a minute. But if you look at hepatitis; that takes 16 minutes to kill. Giardia takes about 45 minutes to kill."  Mason says some simple procedures can help keep your insides safe when you swim: take a shower, don't swallow the pool water and if you've been sick, don't go swimming until you've been well for two weeks.

OSU/Cascades "Cautiously Optimistic" for Fundraising


OSU/Cascades officials are cautiously optimistic they'll meet their fundraising goal of getting $1-million by the end of June.  Last month the college started soliciting donations of $25,000 from 40 donors.  This is to show the community is behind making OSU/Cascades a four year university.  OSU/Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson says they're close to reaching their goal and she feels that will help their case to get more state funds.

 

“And having these donations in hand when we go there on August 3rd.  If we can tell them that in six weeks, the Central Oregon community contributed $1-million to this.  I think that's going to make a statement.”  OSU/Cascades leaders are scheduled to appear before the Oregon university system on August 3rd to request $16-million.

Educators Still Dealing with Budget Cuts


School districts throughout the state are struggling with decreasing budgets. Many districts are dealing with teacher layoffs and shortened school years.  Gail Rasmussen, the President of the Oregon Education Association admits these are challenging times for education.  “Oh, I think continuing funding crisis and continuing teacher layoffs and shortened programs.  As educators are still excited, but these shortened school year impacts students and their learning.”  The OEA is helping gather signatures for Initiative Petition 35, that would reform the corporate kicker by putting money into Oregon K through 12 classrooms.

Cell Phone Distraction Causes Crash


A ringing cell phone is believed to have created a distraction that was a factor in a serious injury crash between a car and motorcycle north of Redmond. 

 

Oregon State Police report that around 8 p-m Friday night, David Danner, 36, of Portland was northbound on Highway 97 near the Crooked River Bridge, when he was distracted by his cell phone ringing and drifted across the centerline, sideswiping Steven Horton, 41, of Klamath Falls while on his motorcycle.

 

Horton was able to maintain control of his bike and come to a safe stop and laid down his cycle; but he was injured.

 

He was taken to St. Charles Redmond for treatment of a serious leg injury.

 

Danner was cited for careless driving.

Fireworks Causes Fire to Spread


A small campfire in a Redmond backyard quickly spread to buildings and trees in the area.  Just before 5 p.m. Redmond Fire and Rescue received a call about the fire on NW 38th Street.  The investigation revealed that apparently, the person who started the campfire threw some fireworks into it and the devices became airborne, spreading the fire to nearby outbuildings and trees, including a neighbors' shed.  Firefighters were able to quickly douse the flames, but one person received minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.  Damages are undetermined at this time.

Blasting Cap is "Explosive Device"


Updating you on a story we brought you earlier this week.  The explosive device discovered in Joseph Seeley's possession is described as a live blasting cap, according to an article in the Bulletin.  Jessica Wheeler,  spokeswoman for Allegiant Airlines told the Bulletin she didn't want to speculate on what would happen if the cap detonated on board; but an explosives expert says it could cause bodily harm to the holder, but probably would not bring down an airplane. Seeley was cited for being in possession of an explosive without a permit or license.  The case has been turned over to the Deschutes County D.A. and U.S. Attorney for consideration of further charges.

St. Charles Lockdown for "Loud Pop"


Police converged on St. Charles Medical Center - Bend Friday afternoon looking for a possible gunman; but officers didn't find any evidence of that.  Police were called when someone heard a loud pop and thought it might be gunfire.  Lisa Goodman with St Charles says nothing was found.  “At this time doesn't appear anyone with a gun in the hospital.  The hospital did call a “Code Silver” that there was a weapon in the hospital; and that triggers protocol of procedures act on in order to insure safety of our caregivers and patients.  Police converged on the hospital just after 4:30 p.m., and began searching floors and elevators; but haven't found anything yet. 

 

No evacuations have been ordered.

 

No weapon was seen according to police reports, but there was a loud "pop" which prompted the call to police.

 

New U of O President Named


Michael Gottfredson is the new President of the University of Oregon.  He was appointed today by the Oregon Board of Higher Education.  Ben Eckstein, the outgoing President of the University of Oregon's Association of Students, says Gottfredson is a great choice because he has tremendous leadership capabilities and bring a lot of concern for the university.  Gottfredson comes to the U of O from the University of California, Irvine.  He'll start August 1st.

Balloon Man to Fly Again


Bend’s "Balloon Man," Kent Couch  and a daredevil from Iraq  say they plan to attempt a new world record for the Longest 2-Man Cluster Balloon Flight” next month in the skies over the northwest.  They made the announcement yesterday.  Their flight is planned to begin in Bend on the morning of Saturday, July 14th and, if all goes well, won't end until the following day.  Flight preparations will begin around 7 a.m. and the public is welcome to come watch them take off. The flight is scheduled to go overnight, landing somewhere in southern Montana.  Couch says: “If the winds are strong and endurance is up, we could end up in Fargo, North Dakota, but that is unlikely.”  Couch's flight in 2008 set the world record for the “Longest Cluster Balloon Flight” at 235 miles.

Bend's Airport Could Get State Funds


The State of Oregon is in the process of divvying out money for local projects; and the Bend Airport's request looks like it has a chance of getting state funds.  Bend Airport managers have applied for almost $200,000 in state grant money to pay for replacing the decades old taxiway.  A state committee is recommending that 38 projects go forward for funding.   Meantime, the City of Bend is also in the process of working on the airport's Master Plan.  "That's in the works and what we're trying to do out there is add some additional industrial lands that are airport related. And its a little tight out there now so we're trying to find some room for people who want to be out there, so its a good thing."  That was Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore, who was a guest on Thursday’s "Your Town."  As for the state grant money: other local projects that made the initial cut include money for the Redmond Airport, Prineville and Sisters airports and a madras railroad improvement project.

Deschutes County to Get More Timber Payment Money


Deschutes County will get an increase from the federal government in timber payments.  Overall, 36 local governments in Oregon are receiving a total of just over $14 million in "Timber Payments"  for the 2012 fiscal year.  The payments are part of a record $393 million in  these allocations to nearly 2,000 local governments to compensate for non-taxable federal land in under their jurisdictions.  Deschutes County's payment increased by a sizable amount, from $472,000 in 2011, to nearly $731,000 this year. Crook County's amount of almost $319,000 is about $9,000 more than last year, while Jefferson County's nearly $269,000 is up about $66,000 from fiscal 2011.

Bend La Pine Schools Get New Board Member


The Bend La Pine School Board voted to appoint a new board member. Last night, Board members okayed Julie Craig, 37, for a Board position.  The spot has been open for several weeks after the death of Board Member Kelly Goff.  Its also a big weekend for Julie Craig; she graduates this weekend from OSU-Cascades with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts.  According to an article in the Bulletin, Craig has worked for the City of Bend for several years.  She was laid off, and then went back to school to get her degree.

IRS Trying to Audit Indian Tribes


The IRS is trying to audit Indian tribes, including the Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs.  Once the audit is done then the government can tax tribal payments made to members.  The Secretary-Treasurer for the tribes says the Council recently received a letter from the IRS requesting a list of member and the amount of payments made to each person.  The money comes from timber proceeds from tribal lands.

 

According to an article in the Bulletin,  tribal leaders are asking for a face to face meeting with the IRS to voice their objections.

Bend Man Arrested for Explosive Device at Redmond Airport


Some flights at the Redmond Municipal Airport were delayed for a short time Thursday morning after a possible explosive device is found in a passengers' possession.  Joseph Seeley, 24, of Bend was detained by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners and then arrested by Redmond Police after discovery of the device in the screening area.  Lt. Nathan Garibay with Redmond Police says because it is an open investigation, they can't identify the device but says there are many items that can be considered explosive.

 

"Firecrackers are not considered explosives. Other items that can be considered as explosives are actually listed in the statutes such as, blasting agents and explosives and dynamite, things like that. I can tell you that this was not a large explosive device, it was something that, at this point, we're comfortable saying that there is no threat to public safety."  Garibay says upon further investigation they determined that Seeley did not intend to cause harm or flight delays; but there was a slight delay until Seely was taken to the police station and charged with possession of an explosive with a license or permit.  The matter has been turned over to the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney to consider further charges. 

Crash Near Sisters Sends Several to the Hospital


A head on collision near Sisters this sent several people to the hospital; one went by air ambulance.  Deschutes County Sheriff Lt. Deron McMaster says the head-on collision happened about one mile east of Sisters on Highway 126.  The crash involved a motor home and a passenger car.  The driver in the passenger car is the one who was taken to the hospital by air. Lt. McMaster says the early investigation shows that speed was probably a big factor:  “The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, obviously its summertime, a lot of people out recreating.  Road conditions are generally pretty good, dry pavement, there’s no snow or ice or anything, so people have a habit of increasing their speed.  But speed is the number one cause of accidents nationally even above that of drugs and alcohol."  Hhe says at this point they don't know if drugs or alcohol played a role in the head-on crash.

Skidmore Applauds Expanded Enterprise Zones


Bend’s Assistant City Manager applauds the recent approval to greatly expand Enterprise Zones in Bend.

 

Hard hit cities are allowed to offer special tax incentives to businesses that locate in those zones.  The amount of the incentive is tied to the number of jobs the business will create.  Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town this morning.  " We think it's going to make not only Juniper Ridge but other areas attractive to businesses looking to expand, grow, build new buildings.  It’s a great tax incentive program and I was really happy we were able to expand it because it will put us on a competitive level with our neighboring cities as well as throughout the state.”  The size of the current zone expands from about 2 acres to almost 6 acres. The State approved the change last week.

St. Charles/SEIU Trying to Hammer Out A Contract


St. Charles leaders and the bargaining team for the hospital's 600 service workers continue to meet, trying to hammer out a contract.  Zack Roberts is on the bargaining team, and says they've logged a lot of hours.  “We started meeting last year for our first bargaining date on May 15th, 2011 and we've met 37 or 38 times since then.  And usually they go 6 to 8 hours.  So it's a full day at the office kind of deal.”  Roberts remains optimistic the two sides can reach agreement on a contract.  He says the sticking points remain the core issues of health benefits, wages and compensation and management rights.

Bike-Ped Summit Tuesday


Issues involving the cycling community will be addressed at the First Annual Tri-County Bicycle and Pedestrian Summit in Black Butte Ranch Tuesday.  Committee organizer Cheryl Howard says many subjects will be discussed; such as problems when road maintenance or improvements make dangerous situations for the cyclists. "In the past, there were situations where the chip sealing projects were not great for the cyclist. And so we're looking at the methodology; smaller rock sizes. Maybe we roll the bike lanes a couple of times. But those things that kind of balance out how those roadways operate for everyday users who bike to work rather than drive their car."

 

Howard says the Deschutes County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee works with all municipalities to help design road projects and programs that will help the cycling and walking public stay safe and improve conditions.  The Tri-County Summit is Tuesday at the Black Butte Ranch from 1o a.m. until 4 p.m.

COCC Graduates to Hear A Local Artist


Hundreds of students will receive their diplomas from Central Oregon Community College this Saturday.  The people assembled will hear local poet and hip hop artist Jason Graham deliver the keynote address.  He says his message will be simple.  “To address the fact the diploma represents accomplishment and achievement.  But there is something internal as well.  The drive to put yourself through that kind of work and put your nose to the proverbial grindstone.”  Graham is a former COCC student himself and was last year's winner of "Last Band Standing" with his band Mosley Wotta.  Nearly 1000 students will be receiving their diplomas on Saturday, but just 420 will be attending the ceremony.

Merkley Surprised by Dimon's Comments


Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley says he was surprised by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's testimony to Congress that they made a mistake costing the company billions of dollars.  Merkley supports legislation that would require banks to put depositor's money in treasury bonds or government backed investments.

Health Officials Urge People to get Pertussis Vaccine


Deschutes County health officials are warning the county has seen its first pertussis case in the last eight months.  A 3 year old contracted the disease.  Tom Kuhn, the head of the Deschutes County Health Department says the danger isn't anywhere near Washington's outbreak, where they've seen 2000 cases of whopping cough.   They just want the public to be aware.  “However we have seen a larger number of cases this year.  We’ve already had 380 cases in Oregon and in all of 2011 we had 328 cases, so we are seeing an increase in Oregon.  Not to the same level as Washington, but there is an increase.”  Health officials recommend people get vaccinated against pertussis.  People 11 and older should get the T-DAP vaccine.

Infants and children should get the D-TAP vaccine.

Plague Confirmed


Public health officials say a Crook County man in critical condition at St. Charles Bend is infected with the plague.  They believe he was exposed from a sick outdoor cat.  The cat named "Charlie" returned home after a couple days away very ill.  In an attempt to save the cat, the man became infected.  The cat has since died.

Plague is spread to humans or animals through a bite from an infected flea or by contact with an animal with the disease.  Plague is very rare in Oregon.  Only 3 human cases have been diagnosed statewide and there have been no human fatalities.

Oregon Youth Challenge Graduates 126


126 cadets from the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge program held its graduation today.  It was held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.  The Youth Challenge Program is a statewide alternative program that provides youth at risk of not graduating high school a second change to succeed.  21 of the cadets will receive high school diplomas and ten will earn GED’s.  The rest will be able to return to high school and graduate with their respective classes.  Oregon State Representative Jason Conger was the keynote speaker

Wyden Concerned Over Lack of Transparency


The Huffington Post is reporting that U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is "incensed" by the Obama Administration's lack of transparency in free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations.  The leak of a critical document Wednesday reveals the administration intends to grant radical new political powers to multi-national corporations, which would contradict prior administration promises. Senator Wyden is so angry about the lack of transparency that he considered legislature to require disclosure.  Recently Senator Wyden talked with 1110 KBND News about his concerns over the secret trade negotiations. "I think the Obama Administration needs to be more open and accountable - especially in these trade negotiations." Wyden sits on the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness.   Wyden says in some cases corporations and special interest groups know more about the  trade negotiations than lawmakers do.

Oregon Colleges Could Be Falling Short


The Secretary of State's Office looked at whether Oregon’s community colleges are adequately preparing students for the future.  The audit found that our job training is falling short in some industries.  Secretary of state Kate Brown:  “Well, we found middle skill workers is projected to fall short over the next ten years.  Middle skills jobs are bookkeepers; computer support, truck drivers and these jobs are an important part of the economy. They make up a third of the jobs across Oregon.” In contrast, the audit found there is an oversupply of insurance agents,  health care support workers and massage therapists.

 

 

Oregon is An Expensive State to Hire Employees


A survey of small business owners gives Oregon a failing grade for parts of its business climate.  “Thumbtack” is a website that helps local businesses hire local people.  They surveyed 6000 small business owners from around the country.  They found Oregon was the third most expensive state in the country for hiring employees.  Tim Casey, the President of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, says system development fees can be a deterrent to building a new building. “Imagine how many cups of coffee you'd have to see, for $100,000 to $200,000 in SDF fees.  Investors need to pay attention to the new incoming council members to see if they're business friendly.  Economic growth is going to help us all in the community.”  Casey is seeing an up uptick in business in the first quarter of the year.  He also finds attitudes are much better than they've been in the last several years

IDA Tech to Layoff 30 Employees


About 30 employees are reportedly being laid off at a Bend based Alternative Energy Company.  IDA-Tech  opened its doors in Bend in 1996, and had a few large contracts for sustainable back-up power systems and fuel cell technology.  One former employee says 50 of the 140 workers in Bend and Tijuana are being laid off.

She told our news partner, News Channel 21, that the Research and Development Department took the biggest hit:  “They just decided they are going to promote the one product that's already in production and all R & D items are actually going to be put on hold."  The firm's big customers include telecommunications companies that need back-up power to supply their networks when the electrical grid goes down.

 

Candidate Hovecamp Says the State Should Rethink the Corporate Kicker


A local candidate running for state office says it could make sense for Oregon to eliminate the corporate kicker and send that money to schools.  Democrat Nathan Hovecamp of Bend is running against incumbent Jason Conger for the District 54 seat.  He says the personal kicker is great, but maybe the state should rethink the corporate rebate.  " I like the idea of getting money back in my pocket. However, I've been learning about the corporate tax kicker and a lot of that money goes to large, out of state corporations.  About 80% of the corporate kicker.”  The Oregon Constitution mandates that the rebate be issued when the calculated revenue for a given biennium exceeds the forecast revenue by at least 2%.  Hovecamp served on the Bend La Pine School Board for four years and eight years on the Bend Planning Commission.  He also taught biology at Central Oregon Community College.

St. Charles Workers Still Without a Contract


Service workers at St. Charles still don't have a contract.  Workers voted to unionize, but have been unable to reach a contract with the hospital.  Members plan to hold a public forum this Saturday about their continuing concerns regarding pay and patient care.  Jesse Stemmler with the Service Employees International Union says the two sides continue to meet.  “We're still steadfast in our efforts to reach a fair contract with the hospital.  The workers on the bargaining team are bargaining in good faith and trying to come up with a fair contract.”  Some hospital workers did file unfair labor practice charges against St. Charles several months ago, claiming a hostile work environment at the hospital.

Wyden Applauds Obama on Quick Action to Fight Wildfires


President Obama has signed legislation allowing the U.S. Forest Service to speed up the purchase of additional air tankers to fight forest fires.  Oregon Senator Ron Wyden who introduced the bill, applauds the quick action of congress and President Obama in addressing the need for more air tankers.  This bill will speed up the contracting process and will allow the forest service to devote more planes to fighting fires in six western states.

Big Fines for Unlicensed Dog


Buying a license for your dog is cheaper than the alternative of paying a hefty fine if your unlicensed dog is found in Deschutes County.  Cheryl Circle with the county says there are several reasons for getting your dog licensed.  "Could be as much as $287 for not having your dog licensed. Well, it is a county ordinance, a requirement and a state requirement. It gives kind of a piece of mind to the owner, it improves your lost pets chance of being reunited with the owner. For communities, there is a rabies vaccination requirement before we're able to issue a license."  Circle says licenses are affordable $12 for a spayed or neutered dog and $27 for unaltered dogs.  She says a portion of the fees so go to the Humane Society Shelters of Central Oregon and Redmond.  Dogs six months and older or that have all their permanent canine teeth need to be licensed.

Summer Lunch Program Launches


The percentage of kids who are qualified for the free and reduced lunch program in Bend La Pine Schools has jumped from 35 to 50% in just a few years.  Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says over the summer they will take care of those kids who received daily meals during the school year with their Summer Lunch Program.  "There are several different locations around the community in terms of the lunch program. And then there's always a little bit of a learning side with it with books and so forth available, and so its a great program and does continue and we certainly encourage our students to take advantage of that."  The program is open to any kids 18 and younger and there is no registration or fee.  Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Fr more information, and to find the sites and times of the meals, click here.

High Desert Museum Honors Active Military Families


The High Desert Museum is joining over 1500 other museums in the nation as a "Blue Star Museum."  All active duty military members and their families can enjoy the museum free of charge until Labor Day.  Melissa Hochschild with the museum says they are honored to offer these families who have given so much to the country a little enjoyment.  "Well, we really want to reach out to military families; whether or not their active duty family member is with them, to give them something to do this summer and enjoy the museum on us."

 

Blue Star Museums are in all 50 states.  This is the 3rs year for the program.  Hochschild says the offer includes up to five family members.  She adds that another special they are offering this Sunday is free entrance for all fathers on Father's Day.

"State of the County" on Thursday


Deschutes County is looking pretty good so far in 2012.  Commissioner Tammy Baney says she and Tony DeBone are looking forward to addressing the Bend Chamber of Commerce Town Hall breakfast with the "State of the County" talk Thursday morning.  She says the county is taking advantage of sharing some project with the City of Bend at a cost savings to both.  "I think the most important this is that we've been able to keep on without having to make catastrophic layoffs across the board.  We've had the traditional ebb and flo with federal funding; and that means staffing will ebb and flo.  We've been trying our darndest to right-size our Building Department. But I think out biggest success are some of the shared services opportunities that we've had."  Baney says they will talk about the possibility of more shared services with the city and how that will affect both the County and Bend.  The Town Hall breakfast this Thursday at the Bend Golf and County Club beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Hair Salon Workers Think Fast in Dryer Fire


Quick thinking workers at a Bend hair salon kept smoke and fire in a clothes dryer at a minimum.  Just before noon on Tuesday; Bend Fire responded to a call about the fire at Plethora Salon on SW Knoll.  When the firefighters arrived, salon workers had used fire extinguishers to keep the fire from spreading and contained within the dryer that was being used to dry salon towels.  The fire report says while the investigation is continuing, they remind you to clean your dryer lint collectors and  that rags that were used with any kind of alkaloid oil such as linseed or olive oils can react to high dryer heat and combust.  The damages were confined to the dryer with a loss of about $500.

Local Blood Supplies Low


The blood supply for several types of blood are at critically low levels nationally.  Locally, the same is true.

 

Jen Collins with the local Red Cross says the need is urgent.  “It is definitely the worse I've seen in my five years at the local Red Cross.  The mere fact they are allowing us to use the word critical, urgent.  We hate to cry wolf, because we always in need of blood. In this case, we need enough for blood on the shelf, for cancer treatment, liver transplants and things that come up that need blood.”  To donate, just call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.  The Red Cross is in need of O-Positive, O-Negative, B-Negative and A-Negative.

Oregon Has One of the Fastest Growing GDP in the Nation


A new report shows Oregon’s GDP last year grew nearly three times faster than the U.S. economy, and Oregon is ranked as the 2nd fastest growing economy in the nation in 2011.  Some of the growth Oregon is seeing is from the reverse off shoring trend: manufacturing jobs are being brought back to the U.S.  Business economic development experts say companies who operate overseas are finding that its making better business sense to bring some jobs back home.  Nathan Buehler is with Business Oregon:  "That's where we're doing a lot of opportunity right now.  This idea of on-shoring; manufacturers bringing back their manufacturing processes and jobs back here to the states, and particularly back here to Oregon.  In the issues of quality, issues of costs- costs are rising in Asia as well, and we’re also seeing opportunities, where not just labor costs, but energy costs particularly wit the tragic events in Japans, they’re having an energy crisis right now.” The state's durable goods manufacturing industry was the second-fastest growing sector in the nation with a 3.94% growth rate, that accounts for almost 20% of Oregon’s economic expansion.  And another very strong sector,  high tech companies like Intel, which employs about 16,000 people in Portland.  North Dakota had the fastest growing economy last year.

Lessons from Early Wildfires


Central Oregon fire bosses hope the devastating wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado will serve as a wake up call here.  Katie Lighthall with a prevention program called Project Wildfire says it could happen here, and draws a comparison to the landscape in Colorado and in Central Oregon.  "Its similar because coming off the mountains we've got pine trees, lodge pole, beetle kill, similar in that we have forests, that are a dry mixed conifer (on the west side) and so its also overstocked because there hasn't been a fire there in 100 years.  And so it hasn't been cleaned out so we are due for a fire here that could get big and ugly really fast."  The fast moving fire in Colorado has burned more than 100 structures, affected hundred's of families and is even responsible for one death.  A 72 year old woman died when her cabin burned down.  Emergency officials say they called her but don't know if she got the message.

Jobless Rate Down Slightly


Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was 8.4%, down slightly from April.  Trade, transportation and utilities added 5000 jobs in May.  Retail also added more jobs than expected.  Local government though continued to post employment below seasonal norms.  State Economist Nick Belichicks says it continues to be a slow slog.  “Part of the reason the recovery is so slow is the hole was so deep.  In May we had 164,000 Oregonians out of work and that's near the same level we saw in 2008.”  In recent months, government declines were in contrast to modest job gains in much of the private sector.

Man Stricken With Plague Still in Critical Condition


Its an aggressive fight in a rare case of plague in Central Oregon.  A Crook County man in his 50's continues to be in critical condition at St. Charles Bend today.  Crook County Health Department spokesperson Karen Yeargain says the Bubonic Plague actually has a higher survival rate than the form that this person has, which is in his bloodstream.   "The antibiotics start kicking in very quickly and then after that  it just depends on how the person is doing and they are given the utmost of medical care.  And at that point we watch and wait and hope."   Family members tell our news partner, News Channel 21 that they were told he only has a 30% survival rate.  The plague is extremely rare, with only 3 cases in Oregon since 1995.  One was in Crook County in '95 and two in Lake County.  All three people survived.  Health officials believe he was exposed to the plague through a sick cat that later died.

Retail Market Space Coming Back to Life


Bend currently has 2.3 million square feet of business space that commercial realtors constantly monitor. One gauge of economic health of the community is the occupancy rate of these business buildings.

 

Darren Powderly with Compass Commercial Real Estate says while the residential market has seen a great "uptick"  recently, the retail market is just "bumping along."  "We are seeing slight increases. I will tell you that from my personal experiences, our phones are ringing, and we are doing more deals.  Those deals are significantly more noticeable than last year. And if you look at the facts, the numbers of deals that we're doing, we're seeing an uptick in office leasing market than last year."  Powderly says the rental rates are still very low and this is still an excellent time to get into a building if you're thinking of starting or moving your business.

 

He says the Bend office market is still pretty hard hit, and there is about a 22% vacancy in office space, but the retail market only has about 4 percent.

Walden Visits Central Oregon Today


Congressman Walden has a full schedule today in Central Oregon.  He'll start the day meeting with Redmond business and civic leaders at the Redmond City Hall.  Then he'll tour 10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, and discuss issues relating to Bend's popular brewing industry.  At noon he's the keynote speaker at the Public Utility Commissioners Conference at the Sunriver Resort.  And later in the afternoon Walden will meet with La Pine community leaders at the La Pine library.  He'll discuss the latest on the La Pine Land Conveyance Act, which will transfer some federal land to local control for economic development in La Pine.

Wisconsin Outcome Bad News for Unions


The failed attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is bad news for unions.  The main reason people tried to recall Walker was his move to limit collective bargaining rights for the state's public employees.  Steve Buckstein with Portland's Cascade Policy Institute hopes this will prompt a discussion in Oregon about becoming a "Right to Work" state.  “Whether it’s going to pass or not, I hope they will talk about it.  Our research shows if Oregon did become a "Right to Work" state in five years we'd had 50,000 more employees with no additional tax money, just be making Oregon a more attractive place to do business.”  A “Right to Work” state means mandatory union membership is forbidden to get a job.  23 states are currently "Right to Work" states, mostly in the south and west.

Proposed Land Transfer with "Tidy Things Up"


The proposed bill that will transfer over 900 acres of federal land to the City of La Pine and Deschutes County will really clean up a lot of loose ends for the city. 

 

Last week, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved the bill that will give the La Pine Rodeo a permanent home and provide a location for a permanent wastewater treatment plant.  Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone, when he was on the La Pine Rodeo Board, began working on getting the parcel of land transferred to the city back in 2005 for the rodeo home.  "The Sewer District board had been requesting federal land also.  And once we found this out, we ended up putting it all back together in the same bill. And then the City of La Pine, at some point found this odd parcel in the middle of town where the library is; so the thought was, just as a clean up move to put the parcel in the center of town, to ownership with the city and have the library have a long term lease with the city rather than the federal government."

 

DeBone says this is another step in establishing the identity of La Pine, since its incorporation in 2006.  He says the bill should be approved by Congress, and signed by the President by the end of the year or it will expire; but the House Committee's approval almost insures its passage.

BMX "Race for Life" Will Go On


The BMX track in Redmond is up and running again following the theft of several of its gates.  Robbers stole the gates at the end of May and that forced the track owners to cancel about a week's worth of races.

 

Track Manager Brian Phillips says the community stepped up.  “We needed roughly around $1400 we got that from individuals and companies like Sounds Fast and Quickway Market in Bend.”  The BMX track will hold a "Race for Life” tomorrow to raise local funds for the Leukemia Foundation.

Bank Robbery Locks Down School


Bend Police are on the lookout for a suspect who allegedly held up the U.S. Bank on Third Street in Bend this morning.  The hold up happened just before 10 a.m. this morning.  This same bank was hit by robbers last fall.

 

Sgt. Clint Burleigh with the Bend Police Department says for a short time students at nearby Marshall High school were restricted.  “There was a lockout at Marshall High School to keep kids inside, which is different than a lock down, there's a difference. This was done for the safety of the school.  After 65 to 75 minutes until officers could search the perimeter, and that it was safe for everybody.  The suspect is described as 5'10" male, with a slender build.  He was wearing dark clothing.

New School Based Health Center to Open


Sisters is breaking ground today on a new school based health center.  The clinic will be near Sisters High School.  Once the clinic is open,  families can come in for physical exams, immunizations, vision , dental  and other health services.  Construction on the 2600 square foot clinic will begin next month and is expected to open in December.  The clinic is primarily being paid for through a federal grant.

 

Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Bray Case


The Oregon Supreme Court makes a ruling that could help the defense team in a local rape case.  Thomas Bray, 38, a former Central Oregon Community College instructor,  is accused of assaulting and raping a woman he met on Match.com.  The alleged rape happened in Bend in February 2011.  Thursday’s Oregon Supreme Court ruling would allow the defense team to access the Internet search records of the 24 year old woman.  According to an article in the Bulletin,  the defense lawyers say the woman was uncertain about what happened and conducted an internet search to see what the legal definition of rape was before she reported it to police.

La Pine Land Conveyance Act Passes House Committee


The House Natural Resources Committee has passed the "La Pine Land Conveyance Act" which transfers federal land to local control for economic and civic development in La Pine.  The bill, which passed Thursday in the committee, would allow for the transfer of 900 acres of federal lands.  Senator Ron Wyden sponsored the bill, and Representative Greg Walden has helped usher it through the House.  On Monday, Representative Walden will update community leaders on the effort to get the bill signed into law.  Incorporated in 2006, La Pine has worked to develop economic opportunities locally over the past few years, but has struggled because its surrounded most by federal lands.

Prineville Man Accused of Texting While Driving


A Prineville man is accused of driving under the influence and texting.  The Crook County Sheriff's Office says David Gordon, Jr., 23,  was in a single car accident last night shortly after 11 o'clock.  Investigators say while texting on his cell phone he crossed over the centerline on SE David Loop and then crashed through a barbed wire fence and into a stand of trees.  He was taken to the local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  At the hospital he was issued a citation on charges of DUII, reckless driving and using a cell phone while driving.  He was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, and the airbags did deploy.

Another Robbery at Same U.S. Bank


An unidentified man held up the U.S. Bank in northeast Bend this morning.  The robber was wearing a block hooded sweatshirt and white bandana over his face.  The hold up occurred just before 10 a.m. at the bank on NE Third Street.  The suspect is described as a white male adult in his 20's , about six feet fall with a thin build.  He also had a block backpack with green on it.  Nearby Marshall High School is on precautionary lockdown.

Bremont Arrested Again


Oregon State Police arrested the former head of the Redmond Proficiency Academy Thursday on charges of abusing another female student.  Michael Bremont is awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing a 17 year old student at the Redmond Proficiency Academy.  These new charges stem from when he was Principal of Central Linn High School.  Greg Hastings is with the Oregon State Police.  “Michael Bremont was part of an investigation originated by the Redmond Police Department because of information provided.  Based on our detectives, we started our own investigation.  Bremont was taken into custody on one county of sex abuse in the second degree.”  Bremont posted bail and was released by Thursday afternoon from the Linn County Jail.  The abuse allegedly occurred from December 2005 to March 2006.

La Pine Grill Is One Lucky Place


Vic’s Bar and Grill in La Pine must have some lucky stars shining on it; there have been a couple of big Keno winners.  The Oregon Lottery reports that Daniel Parker of La Pine is the most recent winner.  He won a total of over $20,000 in mid-May playing Keno.  In April, Dana Stone of Sunriver claimed an almost  $100,000 prize with a winning Keno ticket she bought at Vic's.  Tammie Lowry, who works at Vic's, says everyone's pretty excited about the story.  "It's pretty exciting.  We get a fake check from the lottery, that says how much was won and we get a couple of banners to put outside. And it's still being talked about quite a bit."  Lowry says the Lottery pays Vic's about one percent of the winnings.  She adds that business has picked up since the news about their luck has come out.

Inheritance Tax Could Be Up for Vote in November


Oregonians may decide in November whether they want to get rid of the state's "Inheritance Tax."  A statewide petition drive to put the initiative before voters in November has 65,000 signatures.  Organizers of the petition drive need a little more than 87,000 valid signatures to put it on the ballot.  Megan Chuinard with Comon Sense for Oregon:  "In 2001 all 50 states had an estate tax or death tax.  And since then, 30 states have eliminated their estate tax.  And that's tremendous and by comparison we're not doing so great."  She also says there are just three states west of the Mississippi that have an inheritance tax- they are Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

 

They have about 4 weeks to gather signatures and are shooting for 110,000 -120, 000 signatures so it can easily qualify. 

Walden to Visit Central Oregon Next Week


U.S. Representative Greg Walden will be in Central Oregon on Monday.  He plans to meet with Redmond business and civil leaders Monday morning at the Redmond City Hall.  Then he will tour 10 Barrel's Brewing facility in Bend.  Walden is the co-sponsor of a House bill that reduces the excise tax for brewers who produce less than 6 million barrels of beer a year.  In the afternoon, Walden will be the keynote speaker at the Public Utility Commissioners at the Sunriver resort.  And later he'll meet with La Pine community leaders at the La Pine Library.

Body Found in Redmond


The Redmond Police Department is investigating a dead body found in an irrigation canal along south Highway 97.  The body was found just after eight o'clock Thursday morning.  The police department does not believe any crimes were involved in the death and there are currently no suspects.  The name of the deceased person is not being released until the next of kin is notified.  That could take several days.

Bend Council Moving on False Alarm Problem


The City of Bend is moving toward a public / private partnership to solve an expensive problem for the police department.  On April 18th, Bend Police Chief Jeff Sale reported to the Council that they spend about $111,000 each year monitoring and responding to false security alarms.   At a recent meeting, one citizen spoke out and agreed with an idea to have a private sector business monitor the alarms.  "I think there's a great opportunity in the private sector to assume the responsibility in the private sector to assume the burden and the obligation that the police department currently assumes, at the expense of the police department of having to respond to all these private alarms at the rate of $100,000 a year.”  Last night, the council moved forward with the proposal to hire a private third party to monitor the alarms.  Chief Sale also suggested a progressive fee for multiple call-outs for false alarms; beginning with $100 for the first and up to $300 for additional call outs.

 

Baseball Bat Murder Trial Began Today


A Bend murder trial starts today.  It only took one day for jury selection in the trial of Richard Clark, the Bend man who's been accused of killing his roommate with a baseball bat.  Wednesday's jury selection went quickly and Clark's trial is set to begin today.  Clark is accused of killing Matthew Fitzhenry, 36, in October of 2010.

Our news partner, News Channel 21 reports that during jury selection, Defense Attorney Jacques DeKalb  asked potential jurors if they could be fair and impartial, even if they know many of the possible witnesses were on drugs at the time of the crime.  Several jurors said they were uncomfortable and did not trust anyone  who used drugs.

Noise Ordinance Has Exceptions


The Les Schwab Amphitheater is getting an exception to a noise ordinance in Bend.  The new rules for loud events exempt places with a capacity for more than 5000 people.  The ordinance, which was adopted last month, bans smaller loud events between the hours of  10 p.m. and 7 a.m.  Amphitheater Director Marnie Smith told the council last night that the three concerts held mover the Memorial Day weekend generated no noise complaints to the Bend Police Department. 

Sisters School District to Cut Positions


A follow-up to a story we first brought you a few days ago;  the Sisters School Board approved cutting 6 teaching positions.  The Board met last night and also voted to trim 5 days out of the school calendar. 

 

The district is facing a $1.3 million gap in a $10.5 million budget.  Cuts to the school calendar are not permanent yet because the union also has to okay those changes.

"Heart of Oregon" Celebrates Volunteers


A big celebration in Redmond honored 29 volunteers with the Heart of Oregon, who have completed their service to the organization.  Spokesperson Amy Mentuck says these young people have come from  some very tough circumstances.  "Many of the young people that participate in our programs come to us as disconnected students from the traditional learning environment. So they may have dropped out of high school or they may have previous court involvement. Or they may be resource challenged; they may be low-income young adults. They may have barriers to employment. They may have a learning disability. So we provide them with training and education to complete wither their high school diplomas or obtain their G.E.D." 

Mentuck says throughout their term of service they worked with educators to focus on their education and gained job skills they can use for the rest of their lives.  She says this group of young people have collectively earned about $127,000 in stipends; and over $57,000 in post-secondary education scholarships.  A celebration was held Thursday afternoon at the Heart of Oregon Training Center in Redmond.

Bend City Council Serious About False Alarms


The Bend City Council passed the first reading of a new city ordinance that will control false security alarms within the city.  On April 18th, Bend Police Chief Jeff Sale reported to the council that they spend about  $111,000 each year monitoring and responding to false security alarms.  He gave the council several proposals to mitigate the costs of the problem and at Wednesday night's meeting, the council approved the first reading for the proposal to hire a private third party to monitor the alarms and that would free up Bend Police officers.  Chief Sale also suggested a progressive fee for multiple call-outs for false alarms- beginning with $100 for the first and up to $300 for additional call outs.  Sale says by having a third party involved, revenues should increase and false alarm response costs should decrease.

Some Congressmen Tried to Block HR2060


A Republican congressman from Washington state says even though there was wide-spread local consensus, national environmental groups were trying to block Greg Walden's bill.  Tuesday the bill passed in the U.S. House.  The Central Oregon Jobs and Security Act" authorizes more water into the Crooked River, paving the way for more businesses to consider Prineville.  Congressman Doc Hastings of Washington state says people who know very little about Prineville were trying to block the bill:  “The frustration we continue to have when we try to move legislation like this to help the local economy to people in those areas is that you have national groups that don't live in those areas opposing it."  The Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act authorizes the release of more water into the Crooked River.  Prineville needs the extra water to attract data centers and other high tech companies.

Reaction to Walker's Win in Wisconsin


Governors all over the country are struggling with budget deficits.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made some bold changes especially with the public employee unions, and not everyone liked it.  But a majority of Wisconsin voters supported him in Tuesday's Recall Election.  Steve Buckstein with the Cascade Policy Institute in Portland feels Governor Kitzhaber should take notice.  “Now I hope Governor Kitzhaber will look at the results in Wisconsin and realize he can go further.  I don't have to burn bridges with public employee unions.  After the reforms in Wisconsin, a majority of union members stopped paying dues when they weren't forced to pay them.  In Oregon, it’s taken out of your paychecks.  But it's time to see how many of the people would really support the political agenda of their union.”  Governor Walker defeated his Democratic opponent in the recall election by 7 percentage points.

Wyden Trying to Stop "Pension Poachers"


U.S. Senator Ron Wyden calls them "pension poachers" and says its time to "drain the swamp".  Wyden hosted a special hearing Wednesday in Washington D.C.  The two hour hearing covered the problem of some lawyers and financial advisors showing veterans how they can hide assets in order to qualify for veterans benefits.  Many who testified said it’s almost criminal: that the veterans pay thousands of dollars in fees and commissions, and then find out later that they are unknowingly cheating the system.  “So you see veterans hurt, and second it seems to me when you see the federal budget, what we face ahead, all of these tough decisions, we need to protect a life line for the needy.  That's what this is all about; for the needy.  It’s for them, instead of people who fleece it."  Wyden says the risk is if the program is wrought with fraud the danger is that it will be discontinued and then very poor veterans won't get anything.

Sisters Businesses Rolling Out the Red Carpet


Sisters businesses are rolling out the red carpet to welcome visitors attending the 72nd Annual Sisters Rodeo this week.  Erin Borla with the Sisters Chamber of Commerce says the rodeo will draw at least 24,000 visitors to the area, and businesses are having special events throughout the town to celebrate.  “Well, everybody loves the kick off of the busy season of course, and rodeo has such a great vibe in town and people are very excited and they are very passionate, and just looking forward to a really great weekend and a really great time. And with the addition of “Extreme Bulls,”  we're excited for that, and then, of course the performances Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  And the parade, that goes right through downtown Saturday morning, starting at 9:30, that's all sorts of fun."  Borla says the rodeo is the traditional kickoff to big summer activities and businesses are ready for the onslaught of visitors, and traffic.

Boys & Girls Club of Central Oregon Opens New Redmond Facility


The ribbon cutting for the new home of the Redmond branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon brought smiles and cheers.  Executive Director Lisa Maxwell says it took about 18 months for the building to be renovated, but already kids are excited and thrilled to have a much larger space to play and learn.  “And the outdoor area will be so much better as we move forward. They'll just have a lot more room to be outside and get active. So I think they're all so excited. And our membership was dropping because we were over next to Evergreen Elementary, which closed down. So it's fun to be able to have kids have better access to the club. That's the whole point."  Maxwell says the entire community helped raise funds to renovate the building by either donating money, supplies or their time to make it happen.  She says since they have a huge piece of property at the back, for the next phase they hope to raise more funds to build a gym for the kids.

Regional Tourism Meetings Will be Monthly


Local tourism agencies have been meeting several times a year, but now they will start meeting monthly.  Tuesday, representatives of Visit Bend, the Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA) and all the area’s local cities met in a regional tourism meeting.  Alana Hughson with COVA says they agreed to keep the same tourism model going forward and reaffirmed the unique goals of each agency.  “And I think the significant difference Visit Bend and COVA is; COVA is the regional umbrella, where Visit Bend's emphasis is obviously Bend.  COVA is the regional umbrella for the entire region.  We're going to continue to meet and collaborate on media strategies and getting our message in the marketplace.”  Representatives from Bend, Redmond , La Pine, Sisters and Sunriver all participated in Tuesday's meeting with two Portland facilitators.

Oregon is #1 for Multiple Job Holders


More and more people are taking on second jobs to make ends meet.  And that's true in Oregon.  The latest statistics show 6% of Oregonians hold multiple jobs.  Tian Luo is with the U.S. Department of Labor:  “So in the Pacific Northwest region, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon, Oregon is the ranked number one with the highest multiple jobs holders followed by Alaska and Hawaii.”  The rate of multiple job holders in Oregon has remained around 6% for the last couple years.

Good Results for Credit Union Lending


May was a very busy month for lending for Mid Oregon Credit Union.  Spokesman Kyle Frick says they did almost  $105 million in lending ranging from car, home and small business loans.  He says compared to last May, the credit union did about $5 million more in volume.  "The thing for us in looking at the trend is the last 7 months, we've seen strong lending growth, even in January and February which is usually pretty slow because people are recovering from the holidays.”  Frick says this much positive lending growth is usually an indicator of the upturn in the economy.  Frick was  a guest Wednesday on 1110 KBND's 'Your Town."

Expert Says Banking – As We Know It- May Have to Change


A Bend financial advisor brings some perspective to the recent $2-billion loss by J.P. Morgan Chase.  Chief Executive Jamie Dimon will face Congressional questioning next week about the bank's huge loss.  Bend financial advisor Troy Reinhart says this shows it may be time to think about separating banks, insurance companies and investment firms.  “Part of the question this continues to bring up is: have we reached a point that we have to go back to the old Glass-Siegel Act, of the Depression, where banks are banks, investment companies are investment companies, insurance companies, are insurance companies, because some of these investment vehicles are getting so complicated.  I don’t think that Jamie Dimon went out and tried not to manage his risk right. But it became so complicated, there’s an added layer of risk because you may not know exactly what your risk is. And I think we found that in 2008 with mortgages.”  Dimon is expected to testify at the Senate Committee hearing, which is  part of the  oversight process of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform law.  The hearing was initially scheduled for June 7th, but had to be rescheduled.

Tourism Officials Strike the Right Chord


Tourism officials feel progress was made during their Regional Tourism meeting in Bend.  Leaders from all the region's destination marketing organizations participated, including Visit Bend and the Central Oregon Visitors Association.  Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone feels the region's on the right track.  “A lot of good things are happening. There will be no great change.  Each organization has sat in a room and compare notes and we all want to see the same things; see tourism come to the area, spend dollars an help rise the tide for everybody.”  About 30 representatives from Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver attended.

Walker Survives Recall Effort


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the first governor to survive a recall effort.  He took on the unions in the Dairy State and was the victor.  Steve Buckstein with the Cascade Policy Institute says union membership in Wisconsin has dropped in recent years.  “Now , as a  few days ago, it looks like Public Employees Union members has dropped by more than half.  The state no longer takes the union dues out of their paychecks.  The unions have to collect the funds themselves, which is the way it should be.”  Steve Buckstein was the guest on 1110 KBND's Lars Larson show on Tuesday.

Grant to Help Stop Underage Drinking


A $12,000 grant will go to Deschutes County Children and Families Commission to help fund and improve Redmond’s "TAPS" or “Think Again Parents" campaign to stop underage drinking.  CFC spokesperson Julie Spackman says the Redmond program fits the structure of the grant.  "We’re looking at other strategic opportunities for increasing enforcement and patrols for underage parties. But we're also working on increasing awareness of the crime stoppers tip line for use on reporting suspected underage drinking or other drug use. And so, we'll have a media campaign that will move along with enforcement." Spackman says the grant for enforcing underage drinking laws is very important, as studies show that alcohol consumption by teens is not only illegal, it brings on health issues later in life.

Something Good Blooms from Something Bad


Alicia Flint hadn't talked with her father Michael, for 20 years, when she learned he was in a horrible house fire in downtown Bend in March.  When her parents divorced when she was a child, she was never able to connect with her father again.  That is until she learned about his accident and traveled to a Portland hospital to see her dad for the first time in decades.  Alicia Flint says out of something bad came something good.

 

“You know I joke with him.  I wouldn't have found you if you hadn't been in that fire.  There's a silver lining to everything and this one has such a beautiful one.”  Alicia says her dad is staying with friends and his recovery continues to be miraculous.  He's walking and eating.  And the two are enjoying getting to know each other again, after all these years. 

Noxious Weeds Taking Hold in Central Oregon


Central Oregon is getting inundated with noxious weeds; the warmer weather and rain are causing them to take hold and choke out native plants.  Deschutes County Vegetation Manager Dan Sherwin says  when removing the weeds either by pulling, cutting or spraying, you must  have a good replacement for the weeds.

"Once you get rid of those weeds, you need to get something back in the ground. Because if you don't get something back in, to revegetate it, like native grasses or other plants, if you you're just in a home residential site, you're going to continue to have that weed or some other weed come on, because something is going to replace it."  Sherman says fortunately, most weed spray products are made with salts and do not harm other plants, but it's best to use them early in the morning when winds are calm.  There is a community weed pull this Saturday:  the 9th Annual "Let's Pull Together" to help rid the common areas of the community of the noxious weeds.  It's a family friendly event and you can get more information at let's-pull-together-dot-com.

The House Votes for More Water to Prineville


A major hurdle in getting more water and jobs into Crook County is achieved as the U.S. House passes Representative Greg Walden's Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act.  Walden says the legislation will allow more water into Prineville, a key in developing new business in the area.  "So this bill will allow Prineville to access roughly 6% of that water, or 5,100 acre feet, and the city would pay a fair market value for the water.  Now that extra water would allow the city to tell perspective companies 'hey, you can bring your businesses and jobs to Prineville, we now have the water you need.' That’s certainty in the job market. It would also allow the city to provide water to an additional 500 homes within the city, which currently, the City of Prineville it can't do because it's maxed out it's mitigation credits."  Walden says the legislation will also allow small scale hydro-power; that will improve the release of water and improve fish and wildlife habitat, by correcting the boundary line of the Crooked River Wild and Scenic Area.

Democrat Candidate Geri Hauser Hopes to Lure Moderates


A longtime Deschutes County employee and political newcomer says she hopes to offer a choice to moderate voters in Central Oregon.  Geri Hauser is running as a Democrat for the State Senate seat in District 27, taking on well-known Republican, Tim Knopp.  Hauser said she was on the sidelines and then decided to run on the last filing day when she heard that Tim Knopp was running.  She thought that he may win in the primary, and says she wanted to offer voters a contrast.  "In the last four years, I've gotten more civic minded and joined the League of Women Voters, and gotten more involved in my AFSME group; been involved in that."  Geri Hauser makes computer maps for Deschutes County, and has worked for the county for 20 years.  At one point she also worked for Mount Bachelor.

Be Prepared: Sisters Rodeo Will Snarl Traffic


ODOT is warning drivers to be careful driving through Sisters, as the rodeo is getting underway.  It will start on Wednesday afternoon; and so motorists can expect up to 20 minute delays on highway 20 near the rodeo grounds.  Officers will be out managing traffic.  On Saturday, Highway 20 will be closed in Sisters for the Rodeo Parade, which will start around 9:30 a.m.  The highway will reopen following the parade, but drivers should anticipate heavy traffic all weekend long.

Parks and Rec Meets Tonight on Bond Request


The Bend Parks and Rec Board is meeting tonight and board members could decide on whether they will put a $31 million bond request up for a vote in November.  Board member Dallas Brown says they've been gathering public feedback for the past few weeks:  “We're getting all sorts of feedback.  Most of the feedback has been positive.  It’s really important for us to hear from the community.  The bond sounds like its something the community as a whole supports.  Of course people have different projects they support; community as a whole supports.”  If passed, the bond measure would increase property taxes by about $5 a month for the owner of a $200,000 home.  Two major projects take up a lot of the money.  The first, completing the Deschutes River Trail all the way from Tumalo State Park to Sunriver."   The second project would create a safe passage around the Colorado Avenue spillway for people floating the Deschutes River through Bend.  

Stamping Out Food Stamp Fraud


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing new rules in an effort to crack down on Food Stamp fraud.  The new rules would allow states to ask why recipients need additional Food Stamp cards.  It's estimated that 1000 cases of fraud are investigated in Oregon every month.  Gene Evans is with the Oregon Department of Human Services: “They misreport their income or they misreport the number of people who live in the home in order to get more benefits than they would legally be in titled to, and that's fraud.”  Currently, about 800,000 Oregonians get Food Stamps in Oregon.  The fraud rate is around 1%.

Oregon Senators Fighting for Fire Fighting Tankers


U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is agreeing with Ron Wyden in efforts to allocate more funding for air tankers for fighting wildfires.  On Sunday, two of the 11 air tankers ear-marked for use this fire season crashed.  One was a very rough landing; the other a fatal crash the killed two men from Boise.  That plane was 50 years old.

Senator Ron Wyden says this makes a bad situation even worse.  And Senator Merkley spoke this morning with our news department about the problem:  KBND: Funding is tight in so many areas, is this a tough sell on Capitol Hill?”  Wyden:  “I don't think many Senators would start out understanding it very well; especially if they don't live in a forest fire state.  But it’s our job to education them.  I think we have enough Senators in wildfire states.”  Senator Wyden says in 2006, the forest service had 44 large air tankers in their fleet.  Today, it has just 11 under contracts many of which are old.  After the two crashes this past Sunday the company that contracts with the forest service grounded the nine remaining tankers.

Free Camping Fees


The Bureau of Land Management Prineville District is celebrating National Get Outdoors Day by waiving overnight camping fees on the Crooked River on June 9th.  The waiver applies only on the Chimney Rock segment of the lower Crooked River south of Prineville.  The area has more than 90 campsites, available on a first come basis.  The area provides many types of recreation including camping, fishing, hiking, bicycling or driving on the Crooked River byway, as well as boating on the Prineville reservoir.  The Get Outdoors, or "GO" day  is an outgrowth of "Get Outdoors U.S.A." which encourages Americans,  especially youth to find healthy outdoors activities.

Honor Flight Group Funds Running Low


World War II veterans had to wait a long time to get their own memorial in Washington D.C., and now that it’s there, many won't be able to see it.  That's because the aging population is dying off and the local non-profit that takes them to the memorial is running out of money.  Dick Tobiason is with the Bend Heroes Foundation:  "90% of the WWII vets are already gone; they've already died.  Yes, 16 million served we're down to 1.7 million.  So 7 years ago they started an Honor Flight program because a veteran asked his doctor, ‘Are we ever going to have a program where vets can fly back and see their memorial?’"  An Honor Flight trip this week will their 5th trip to D.C., and then there is another smaller trip planned in September.  Tobiason says after that,  they are broke.  It costs at least $1000 to take each vet to the World War II Memorial.  For more information you can go to: www.bendheroes.org

Deschutes Children's Forests Host's First "Outdoor School"


A group of fifth graders from Three Rivers Elementary in Sunriver will be experienced the first "Outdoor School" in the Deschutes Children's Forest this week.  Larry Berrin with Northwest Outdoors says they believe this is just the beginning of a very busy season for the Children's Forest.  He says they are partnering with several organizations: one being the healthcare community, with a program called Prescription to Thrive:  "Where pediatricians are actually going to write prescription to families that have children that have either too much screen time or have issues with obesity and prescribe them activities they can do in the outdoors to get them active, as part of the health angle of our Children's forest. So it's really just a large effort to bring all these things together and just create this culture of activity and learning in the outdoors in Central Oregon."  Berrin says the forest is also open to tourists families that want to experience a learning environment.  The "Outdoor School" will be held in an area at Cultus Lake Resort, and Berrin says the resort is donating services like cooking the meals and providing lodging for the three day field trip.

A Greenhouse Blooms in Bend


The brand new Life Skills program greenhouse is having a grand opening on the Bend High campus this morning.  The Life Skills Program Coordinator, Robert Tadjiki says the greenhouse will have multiple uses, and various departments will use the facility, but it's mainly for the Life Skills kids to learn how to grow plant and market them.  "We'll work with our award-winning Culinary Department and we'll work with our Business Department through DECA, and will work with the school district and Nutritional Services. And of course our Science Department, which will be able to do a lot of hands-on activities. They will find out how amazing it is to work in a greenhouse and work with plants through biology and all these good areas as well. It’s just amazing and a win-win for everyone." Tadjiki says the students will raise flowers, herbs and other greenery that they will sell to the public, as well as for use in local restaurants and even the school district kitchens.  He says it's taken five years for greenhouse to become a reality, and it couldn't have happened without the community's support.  The supporter’s will be honored at the official ribbon cutting this morning at 10 am.  The public is invited.

Oregon Health Reform Care Topic at Town Hall


The Central Oregon Health Council is holding a town hall meeting this Friday to discuss the latest efforts in Oregon to reform health care.  State Representative Jason Conger of bend is on a Health Care Committee and says this town hall will help people and business owners better understand how the reform will affect them.

Conger says some projections show the price tag for Medicaid, or the Oregon Health Plan, will grow from $3 billion to $8 billion a year in the next 3 years.  He says a higher demand coupled with year over yearincreased health care costs show this isn't sustainable.  "They are budget busters, in effect. So what has motivated the State of Oregon to take a lead on healthcare reform, specifically on Medicaid, we simply can't leave the system the way that it is."  Conger will moderate a discussion featuring Mike Bonetto, the Health Care Policy Advisor to the Governor, and other local health care experts.

Controversial Book Gets Mixed Reviews


Bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey" is flying off bookstore shelves and library shelves, if it’s available.  Some libraries in Wisconsin and Georgia have even banned the trilogy of books from their collections feeling they're too graphic.  Glenna Rhoades with the Deschutes County Library says they never considered banning the book.  “I was just talking to someone and said there are other books that I’ve read that obviously people don't know about.  I’ll have to do a comparison, which one is more graphic.”  Some libraries in Florida temporarily banned the "Shades of Grey" books but added them back to the collection, when patrons complained.

SUNDAY CRASH HWY 20


A Sunday morning crash involving four vehicles caused minor injuries to four Bend residents just before noon…and slowed traffic on Hwy 20 at Hamby Road for 30 minutes.  Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies report that a car driven by 50-year-old Andrew Hager was southbound on Hamby Road and attempted to cross the intersection in the path of a vehicle operated by 59-year-old Mark Johnson.  Johnson swerved to avoid the collision and collided head-on into a vehicle operated by 76-year-old Rita Harris.  They then both struck a fourth vehicle driven by 25-year-old Mami Whitsett.  Amazingly, all four drivers where checked by paramedics at the scene and were released.  Harris was later evaluated at a hospital.

Saturday Crash


Two Bend residents are recovering from injuries received in a head-on crash on Hwy 20, near Fryrear Road, between Bend and Sisters.  The crash happened around 8:30 Saturday morning and kept the highway closed for over two hours. OSP troopers say that 20-year-old Vanessa Maddox was eastbound on Hwy 20 and drifted into the oncoming lane where she collided head-on with a car driven by 47-year-old David O'Connor. Firefighters had to use rescue tools to get the drivers out of their vehicles.  St. Charles-Bend listed both victims in fair condition Saturday night.

Murder Suspects In Custody


Two Warm Springs tribal members are in custody in the beating death of a Seattle fisherman whose body was found in an abandoned railroad tunnel near Mecca Flats this past week. Sheriff’s Sergeant Jason Erickson tells news partner NewsChannel 21 the two suspects were identified on Thursday and were contacted by detectives.  31-year-old James Ryan Johnson and 23-year-old Steven Neal Anderson are now in the Jefferson County Jail without bail on a warrant for murder and first –degree manslaughter. The name of the victim has not yet been released. Sheriff Jim Adkins says the victim knew at least one of the suspects.  An autopsy says the cause of death was blunt force trauma.  Alcohol appears to have been involved.

Elder Exploitation


A Bend man is charged with stealing more than 180-thousand dollars from an 83-year-old victim.  The victim and his family contacted police on Thursday to report the thefts that occurred over a six-month period.  The initial report alleges that Larry McCright stole personal items from the victim and sold them for cash…and used bank cards belonging to the victim. Bend Police say McCright used the stolen funds to support his company…Diamond Point Ventures Development.  McCright was arrested Friday on charges that include: Mail Theft, Identity Theft (64 counts), Criminal Mistreatment, Aggravated Theft by Deception (3 counts), and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (32 counts).  If you have any information involving McCright or his company, contact Bend Police.

OSP News Release About Burns Death


News Release from: Oregon State Police

 

UPDATE #3: DEATH INVESTIGATION NEAR BURNS, OREGON

 

Posted: June 1st, 2012 4:55 PM

 

The investigation into the death of an adult male Wednesday in Harney County is continuing by Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division detectives with the assistance of the Harney County District Attorney's Office.

 

Information authorized for release by the Harney County District Attorney's Office indicates the ongoing investigation using fingerprints confirmed the deceased man is PHILLIP LLOYD FERGUSON (aka: ROY VERNON COX), age 62. FERGUSON was sought by the FBI in relation to a fraud investigation in Indiana several years ago. In 2004, the America's Most Wanted television show highlighted the case and search for FERGUSON. Questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the FBI in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

On June 1, 2012 an autopsy was conducted by Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson confirming the cause of death was from a single gunshot wound to the head by a small caliber firearm.

 

No other information to be released at this time. No photograph available for this release.

Body Found Near Warm Springs is From Seattle


Two men are being held in connection with the beating death of a Seattle man near Warm Springs.  A fisherman found the body on Wednesday in an abandoned railroad tunnel.  The victim was a fisherman from Seattle who had been to the Deschutes River fishing spot before.  The Jefferson County’s Sheriff's Department says the victim knew at least one of the suspects and that alcohol appears to have been involved.  The names of the suspects are not yet being released.

Outdoor Burning Ends Sunday


Outdoor debris burning in Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District #2 will close on Sunday (6/3).  Outdoor debris burning in Bend's city limits is closed by Bend City Ordinance.  Backyard fires, which include warming fires, campfires and cooking fires are allowed in the Bend area when used within the Bend Fire Burning Regulation guidelines.  Now that warm weather is drying out vegetation, Bend Fire also reminds residents to be aware of the increased risk of potential wildfire especially when operating tools or ATV's that can throw sparks.  You can go to: WWW.firefree.org for more fire protection tips.

Stocks End Day Way Down


It was the worst day of 2012 on the U.S stock market.  A weak jobs report lead to a huge sell-off and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 275 points.  Stocks fell more than 2%, dragging the dow into negative territory for the year.  bend financial advisor Tyler Simones of Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management has more:  “It was a bad day; and it was not unexpected.  Economists had expected 165,000 jobs in May, and we only added 69,000 and the March and April numbers were revised down.  Usually you can look at  a jobs report and find some good news, but there wasn't any and that combined with Europe, people were running for the exits and stocks sold off."  The S&P 500 also closed at its lowest since early January and ended below its 200-day moving average for the first time in 2012.

Endicott Says He's Not Finished


George Endicott will be running again to be Redmond’s mayor.  He filed the paper this week.  Endicott became a councilor in 2005 and was elected mayor in 2008.  He says his top priorities are to keep Redmond “open for business” and to keep their community family-friendly. Other priorities include improving services at Redmond’s Airport and improving community relations through town hall meetings.  He wants to target  Redmond youth and seniors.

Big Turnout Expected for La Pine Clean Up


More than 100 people are expected to show up Saturday morning to help clean up La Pine.  This will be the second annual "City of La Pine Cleanup Day."  Teams will be sweeping, weeding, raking and picking up debris and trash.  La Pine Mayor Ken Mulenex says workers will get a meal for all their hard work.  “We'll have at the end of the event a big BBQ around 12:30 to 1:30.  All the workers will come back to City Hall. Chefs from the community kitchens are going to cook so there will be plenty of food and drink.  Last year about 60 people came out to help clean up the city , but this year, organizers are expecting double that.

Group Hopes to List Marbeled Murrelet as Endangered


A lawsuit filed in federal court is alleging that logging in three Oregon State forests in the coast range is harming a protected bird, the Marbled Murrelet.  Three conservation groups filed the suit yesterday asking a judge to halt the logging, including planned sales in the Tillamook, Clatsop and Elliott State Forests.  Filing the action are: Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Audubon Society of Portland.

 

Marbled Murrelets are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act.  The seabirds spend most of their life on the ocean but fly inland to lay their eggs in mature or old-growth forests.  State officials say they take prudent measures to avoid harming the birds.

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