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Local News Archives for 2012-09


No Growth for the Pole Creek Fire


A local Type 3 Incident Management Team, John Erwert Incident Commander, assumed command of the Pole Creek Fire at 7:00 A.M. on Saturday morning.

 

The incident command post will remain at the rodeo grounds east of Sisters.

 

Firefighters worked on the north end of the fire yesterday, mopping up hot spots and reinforcing existing lines. Crews are rehabilitating the lines on the east side from Three Creek Lake north along Forest Road 16.

 

Senator Jeff Merkley toured the fire area and the Incident Command Post on Friday.

 

Plans for Saturday are to continue working on the spots around the Trout Creek Butte and strengthening lines and mopping up.

 

The area around the fire remains closed to public access for public and firefighter safety. Included in the closure area are the Forest Road 16 (Three Creek Lake), Forest Road 15 (Pole Creek Road), and a portion

of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). A reroute is in place for that portion of the PCT that is closed. See Inciweb.org/incidents/3244 for further details.

 

Smoke is expected to settle into low-lying areas around the fire until a season-ending weather event occurs. Citizens should take proper precautions when inversions occur and smoke becomes dense. There is a link to the Department of Environmental Quality website on Inciweb.

 

Weather over the next few days is forecast to be above normal afternoon temperatures and lower relative humidity values. A weak cold front is expected to push over the fire area on Friday night through Saturday, but little more than a few clouds are anticipated. Westerly winds are predicted to be 4-8 mph with gusts to 16 mph on Saturday afternoon.

 

Residents are reminded that the fire is not out and they should continue to monitor information sources for fire updates.

 

Check www.firewise.org for tips and techniques on providing defensible space around your property.

 

Estimated Acreage 26,285 acres

Containment 85%

Cause: Under Investigation

Resources:  Total – 570
     Type 1 Crews – 0 Dozers – 2 Water Tenders – 8 Helicopters – 2

     Type 2 Crews -- 16 Engines -- 20 Camp Crews -- 3 Overhead -- 92

 

Plans Hold, mop-up, and continue suppression rehabilitation

 

Fire Weather Forecast:  Wind 5-10, Temperature 77° Wind direction NNW, Relative humidity 21%

Bend Woman Critical After Motorcycle Crash


A Bend woman is seriously injured in a motorcycle crash around 1:30 Friday afternoon, that closed the northbound lanes of the Parkway in the north end of Bend for about two hours.

 

Nellie Conte, 56, was thrown from her motorcycle on the northbound lanes of the Parkway at the Empire exit.

 

Lt. Brian Kindel with Bend Police reports another crash further north on the Parkway was causing congestion and Conte was adjusting her speed when she lost control of the motorcycle.

 

She was transported to St. Charles where she remains with critical injuries.

 

Kindal states she was wearing a helmet and drugs do not appear to be a factor, but the investigation is continuing. The parkway was closed for about two hours.

Bray Sentenced to 25 Years


A Bend judge has sentenced former COCC instructor Thomas Bray to 25 years in prison for rape.

 

The prosecution was requesting for 33 years and the defense wanted ten years.

 

Originally, the prosecution was asking for a minimum sentence of 25 years, as part of Measure 73, which states repeat felony sex crime offenders  will get a minimum of 25 years.

 

But Judge Stephen Tiktin ruled Measure 73 does not apply because the attack was one continuous incident.

 

District Attorney Patrick Flaherty reacts to the verdict:  “Well, I believe it was a good outcome. We’d requested 400 months. That is, we were asking the Court to run all 4 of the sex offenses consecutive; they each carried a 100 month mandatory minimum. But we certainly appreciate the great analysis that Judge Tiktin engaged in, in explaining his sentence. And so, we’re happy.”

 

Bray was convicted of six rape and assault charges involving a woman he met on match.com last year.

New Chairman of the Board


Long time Central Oregon resident Ryan Patrick is named to lead Cascade Bancorp's Board of Directors.

 

Patrick was born and grew up in Redmond, and his family has owned Cent Wise Hardware and Sporting Goods for over 60 years.

 

He says he's seen the economy have it's ups and downs, and believes he can help steer Cascade Bancorp into the future:  "I’m very optimistic about the future and I do feel that we are beginning to see some of the signs of things turning around and becoming better. But that isn't for everybody, unfortunately, and we would just hope that the economy would come around and some of our customers and other folks would get a little relief from what's been a pretty rough patch of time."

 

Patrick says they are going to work on some safeguards that will help protect them, if there is another economic dip in the future.

Hospital Workers Could Vote on Union Soon


St. Charles caregivers could call for a vote about union representation within the next few weeks.

 

SEIU Local 49 spokesman Zach Roberts says the National Labor Relations Board and St. Charles administration have settled some charges that stemmed from earlier conflicts and charges of intimidation to pro-union workers, and now the union members want a vote.

 

Roberts says the mood in the hospital is a bit tense and it is affecting patients:  "There is a lot going on at St. Charles these days. You know, we have been bargaining with the hospital for our first contract over the past year and a half. The nurses have been now bargaining for another contract. They've been represented by the ONA for 30 years now, but they've been bargaining for another contract for the past few months and have been having a lot of difficulty.  The community is probably aware of the picket that took place a few weeks ago. So there's a lot of energy at the hospital and there's a lot of things going on that is affecting patient care."

 

Roberts says people are being treated respectfully, but there is a lot of talk.

 

He says he knows the union workers are looking forward to the vote and he's confident of a "yes" vote in the election.

Some "Quirky" Laws in Bend


There are a few local laws on the books that could be very expensive for you, if they are enforced.

Lt. Chris Carney with the Bend Police says many people don't know that if your driver's license is suspended or revoked, you'd better turn it in:  "It's actually a “Class C” misdemeanor in Oregon to still possess the license, the physical license. The license is actually owned by DMV, not the person who has it. So technically, by the law, you could be arrested and serve 30 days in jail as a maximum fine is $500, if you possessed a license that was not valid."

 

Carney says it's you responsibility to turn the license in to the DMV, either in person or mail it in.

 

He adds that another problem you could have by leaving your revoked or suspended license in a drawer is identity theft.

Will Whooping Cough Hit Central Oregon???


Members of the medical team at Central Oregon Pediatric Associates are bracing for a busy season for whooping cough, or pertussis.
 
They base that prediction on the fact that national cases are up year over year and there's a huge outbreak in the northwest, especially Washington State.  There have also been more cases in the Portland area and surrounding counties.   
 
So far in Deschutes County, health officials haven't seen alarming numbers yet.
 
Health Department spokesperson Heather Kaisner says whooping cough, or pertussis, can be fatal, so its important to get vaccinated to prevent it.  If you do think you may have it she urges you to see a doctor, and avoid passing it to other people, especially infants. 
 
 "IF YOU HAVE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERTUSSIS OR YOUR CHILD- WHICH IS THAT CONSTANT COUGH YOU CANT' GET RID OF - FEVER- ACHES - THOSE KINDS OF THINGS-  GO TO YOUR DOCTOR AND YOUR DOCTOR  CAN DO A TEST TO SEE IF YOU HAVE PERTUSSIS...AND THEN ITS IMPORTANT TO STAY AWAY FROM OTHERS ESPECAILLY INFANTS SINCE THEY DO HAVE THE HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE.... IS UNDER 3 MONTHS OF AGE."
 
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control is seeing double the number of cases compared to last year and a total number rising to levels not seen since 1959.  Kaisner spoke to 1110 KBND radio news Thursday morning.
 
"it is increasing obviously across the nation - in oregon they are seeing more cases this year - especially in portland area- so far in deschutes county  we have not seen a big increase in pertussis yet- i say that (yet) because there is a concern it could come this way."
 
The CDC is currently studying the outbreak in Washington State to try to determine what is causing so many people to come down with it.  Health officials say fewer people are getting vaccines and that could play into the outbreak.  There are also reports that a recent vaccine wasn't as effective as ones used in the past. 
 

Bend La Pine Schools Superintendent is hopeful for PERS Reform


The big stock market crash happened years ago, but local cities, counties, school districts and state agencies are still footing the bill for the big loss.
 
The state statute mandates that the Public Employee Retirement System portfolio is funded at 80 percent.  Bend La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says with such a big crash, it's taking awhile to make up the difference and get the fund back up to the level the statute mandates.  The fund wasn't immediately made whole because the amount of increase is capped so that goverment agencies don't have to come up with a big chunk of money all at once.
 
The state is now announcing the latest amount of increase, the total amount of the increase statewide is almost one billion dollars and that breaks down to about 4 mllion more for the Bend La Pine District to pitch in.  Wilkinson says PERS will now make up 23 percent of the district's payroll budget.  And, employee wages and benefits account for about 55 percent of the total school district buget.
 
He says this is a huge drain on all government agencies and state lawmakers need to address it now.
 
 "AND I THINK ITS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL IN THIS SESSION THAT WE DON'T DANCE AROUND THIS ISSUE-THAT THE LEGISLATORS WILL ACTUALLY TAKE A LOOK AT IT- WE BELIEVE THERE ARE SOME CHANGES THAT WE COULD MAKE THAT WILL ACTUALLY START REDUCING THE UN-FUNDED ACTUARILITY LIABILITY AND MAKE THE FUND MORE STABLE FOR THE LONG TERM."
 
He's glad to hear the governor, treasurer and more state lawmakers seriously talking about PERS reform.  In past sessions ideas have come forward, but partisan politics took over.
 
"unfortunately -it  sorta turned into a partisan issue in the last two sessions - and it should not be a partisan issue it needs to be a bi-partisan solution to find a way to get through the situation. its obviously a huge impact to schools- but its also and impact to all state agencies because of the portion of their money that goes to this one single item."
 
Wilkinson says that State Representative Jason Conger of Bend was pushing for reform last session and has new bills in the works right now.   

OSU Cascades Gets Million Dollar Gift


The Tykeson Family Charitable Trust has given a one million dollar gift to help turn the campus into a four year university.

 

The President of Oregon State University, Ed Ray was in Bend on Wednesday to announce the generous gift.

 

It is the first time in OSU Cascades history, the college has been the recipient of a million dollar donation.

 

The Tykeson family owns Bend Broadband.  The Tykeson Family Charitable Trust was established twenty years ago in order to support higher education, healthcare and the arts.

Deschutes County Commissioners Consider Juvenile Detention Facility Options


The commissioners have decided to use the current juvenile detention facility for adults starting next summer.  But then, where do they house the juveniles?

 

The commissioners looked at three options from utilizing the former downtown juvenile facility to expanding the sheriff's facility on Britta Street.

 

Ken Hales, the county director of the Department of Community Justice will study the three options and get back to the commisisoenrs with his recommendations in two weeks.

 

The adults will move into the current juvenile facility by July 1st of 2013.

Level 2 Evacuation Lifted for Sisters Residents


Residents in the Edington and Remuda subdivisions of the Sisters area are no longer in a Level 2 Evacuation level.

 

Fire spokesman Bill Queen says crews are keeping a close eye on three new fires they spotted near the west side of Trout Butte.  "Until we are competent that we found all the spots on the west side of the butte, we're working to keep residents safety foremost in the actions that we're taking."

 

Queen says the fire stand at  26,285 acres with 75% containment,  and they hope for full containment by mid- October.

 

The Canyon Creek Fire northwest of Camp Sherman is 80% contained and has burned just over 37 acres. Full containment on that fire is expected this weekend.

National Forests Want to Know: How Are We Doing?


Don’t be surprised if you are asked a few interesting questions when you visit the National Forest over the next 12 months.

 

Forest officials with the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland will begin a national forest survey, where they hope to find out just what everyone thinks about the National Forests.

 

Recreation Program Manager Mark Christiansen says the survey results are very useful:  "Anytime that we can get valuable feedback from the public on their experiences, on their wants, and needs as well as come up with visitor use data, it's always helpful for us in a variety of areas, whether it be grants for federal funding."

 

Christiansen says student volunteers will stop random visitors leaving the forest and ask them about their experience and how things can be improved.

 

They do the survey every five years and they begin October first and will be ongoing for 12 months.

Newest Bend Police Officer Proves His Worth


It was the first day of duty for the newest member of the Bend Police force - and "Ranger" helped find a missing man within an hour. 

 

Wednesday just before noon, an over-70 year old man with dementia wandered away from his home in the High Desert Assisted Living facility, and the residence officials alerted Bend Police - because the man had health issues.

 

Lt. Chris Carney says Ranger came to the rescue.  "The brand new member of our canine program, Ranger's first day at work. Him and his handler, Officer Voll, came in at 9:45 [a.m.] for the regular shift and at 12:37[p.m.] the call came out.  So they went out and when the officers were trying to check the area in their cars, and on foot at some locations, we were actually able to track, using Ranger from the facility over to where they found him."

 

Ranger is a purebred bloodhound - and that breed's specialty is tracking because they have such a keen sense of smell.

 

Carney says the man was found in pretty good condition near Rose Pharmacy - although a bit dehydrated because he was wearing a heavy jacket in the temperature was near 70.

New Voters at Redmond High School


Redmond High students are enthusiastic about "getting out the vote" this November.

 

All day Tuesday, Susan Bale's government classes manned a table on the school grounds to encourage eligible students or even visitors to the school who were not registered to vote - to sign up.  "One of the things is: it opened up the opportunity to talk about the importance of voting in general, and you cant vote unless you're registered. And we've talked quite a bit about the power of young people. That seems to be an untapped power right now, so hopefully they got the idea that it's important to participate and have their voiced heard."

 

Dale says her students are very interested in the Presidential race; and the topic generates a lot of opinions  and all are well thought out.

 

She says they gathered about 120 "new voter" registration cards that they will deliver to the county clerk in the next few days.

Senior Crimes continue to Rise


As senior crimes continue to rise, a Bend business owner has created a kit to help seniors and family members prevent things like Identity Theft and other widespread scams. Some of the popular scams include fake bills from "Medicare" or "Medicaid", and calls from a so-called relative, usually a grandchild, who says they are in trouble and need money wired to them.  Identity Theft continues to also dominate in all age groups, but seniors are especially vulernatble. 
 
Todd Sensenbach with Home Instead Senior Care in Bend says sometimes a senior will get ripped off once and then they get on a list that opens the door to a flood of other criminals.
 
He says another problem is that some victims feel too embarassed and violated so they don't report the theft or abuse.
 
"IT'S HARD FOR THEM TO EVEN ADMIT THAT SOMETHINGS HAPPENED TO THEM- THEY'RE EMBARASSED-- BUT IF THEY DON'T REPORT IT THEN SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO GET SCAMMED FROM THE SAME SCAM.
 
The prevention kit includes a checklist of what to do and who to contact.  It even has a test to see how vulnerable a person may be to theft.  Its something that Home Instead Senior Care put together sp it include local resources.    
 
Sensenbach says they wanted to do something helpful because he hates seeing people spend their life saving up a nestegg and then in a very short amount of time have someone steal their money.  And besides the financial impact, there's the emotional component too.   
 
 "THEY FEEL LIKE THEY ARE coMPLETELY TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF - THEY WERE VIOLATED AND THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY WANT TO BRING THIS  OUT- AND THAT EMOTIONAL IMPACT- FEELING VIOLATED- MAKES IT ACTUALLY hard to GO THROUGH THE LIST- CALL THE POLICE- GET A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT- CLOSE ANY ACCOUNTS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED.  
 
You can call Home Instead Senior Care to get a free kit.
 
 
 

Bend Community Center's Future Looking Brighter


Earlier this mnoth, it looked like the center would be forced to close due to financial troubles.

 

But Board Chairman Bruce Abernethy says they are working on a more viable financial plan to close some of their programs to reduce costs while working on more fundraising to reduce their debt.

 

Currently the center has 110-thousand dollars in debt, not including its mortgage.

 

The board is always heartened by the community response to help keep the center open.

 

They are looking at continuing to serve the weekday senior meals, the Sunday "Feed the Hungry" meal and "Becca's Closet."

More than 25-Hundred Helped at Project Connect


Event Coordinator Shellie Campbell says they helped upwards of 25-hundred people on Saturday at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

 

That's down from last year's high of 34-hundred people, but people received more individualized care this time.

 

They had 16 doctors and 16 dentists providing free medical and dental care to needy recipients.

 

Campbell believes the numbers may be down because more people are receiving services year-round from thier "Mobile Connect" program that travels to local communities during the year to provide periodic services.

Redmond School Board Member Resigns


His last day will be December 31st of this year.

 

Erickson was a teacher in the Redmond school district for more than thirty years and retired in 2004.

 

He currently teaches at Central Oregon Community College and has been on the school board since 2006.

 

Erickson says he feels he would be more useful working to support the district as it moves forward.

 

The school district will take applications for Erickson's seat.  They will appoint a replacement until elections next May.

 

 

Choice is Made for New Redmond Manager


David Mickagelian is Redmond's choice for new City Manager; but there are a few more "hoops" that need to be jumped through before it's official. 

 

Mayor George Endicott officially presented the choice to the Redmond City Council last night.

 

Endicott says if all the vetting goes well, Mickagelian probably won't be able to start for a couple of months.

"He has one of those contracts that has a 60-day clause in it. So my guess is maybe in December.  We were hoping for one in November, but I just don't think we can make it happen, because if her comes up here early October and he likes us and we like him, them we have some vetting to do. And then we'd make the formal offer, at which time he can start his clock. So I’m thinking some time in December is a more realistic guess."

 

Endicott  says it was pretty unanimous that he was the right guy for the job and he's coming with a wealth of experience in areas that are unique to Redmond.

 

Next step is a public meet and greet and tour of city facilities on October 8th.

Costs of funding the Public Employee Retirement System for next budget cycle estimated near 1 Billion


The cost of funding Oregon's Public Employee Retirement System or PERS continues to rise and the state's financial experts are projecting an increased cost of close to one Billion dollars for this next budget cycle.
 
State Representative Jason Conger of Bend says details on how much each county, city, state agency and school district will be required to put in the fund will be released on Friday, Sept. 28th.  
 
He says the five percent increase is boud to have a big impact on local and state budgets.
"the bad news is- it means another billion dollars- of our state revenue will be sucked into the pers fund instead of going to pay for services- and it really illustrates a problem we have in terms of the sustainability of our cost structure in delivering those state services."
 
Conger says there's more bad news- the increase this budget cycle was capped, so the math shows that ideally more should go into the PERS fund.  He says this means that we can expect another increase during the next budget cycle.

Pole Creek Fire Winds Down


Fire crews who continue to battle the Pole Creek Fire near Ssiters are getting some support from the local community: cookies and therapy dogs.
 
Fire Information officer Ada Takacs says tackling a wildfire is often very tough work and the crews enjoy the extra support from the locals.
 
i think at last count it was about 3000 cookies that the local community has baked - and the firefighters have really enjoyed them - and therapy dogs- they walk down the chow  lines and the firefighters have been enjoying them as well - they've been taking pictures with them and petting them and things like that- so that's been kind of neat all the community support we've been getting."
 
 "the dogs generally go into hospitals or nursing homes - the handlers bring them into camp each night - a lot of them said this was the first time they'd been at an incident like a fire - the most we had was six -- and every breed you can imagine.  and they walk them around camp and then when firefighters come in off the line the ff have been taking pictures with the dogs and send them to their families -  things like that- so i think its really raising the spirits of the fire fighters."
 
At the height of the fire about 1200 crews were on the lines  recently several hundred  fire fighters were been released to go to higher priority fires.  The Pole Creek fire broke out on September 9th and the cause is still under investigation. 

Forest Road Closure


Beginning Wednesday,  the Deschutes National Forest is closing Tumalo Falls road to begin staging equipment and materials for the construction of a replacement water line for the City of Bend water system. 

 

The closure of the road will be from the intersection Skyliners Road to the Tumalo Falls Trailhead. 

 

Forest Service sites and trails included in the closure are: Skyliners Trailhead, Tumalo Falls day use area,  Farewell Trail, Bridge Creek Trail and portions of the North and South Fork trails. 

 

The closure is estimated to be from September 26th until May 24th, 2013. Contact the Deschutes National Forest for more information.

Pastor Remembers John Hartford


54 year old John Hartford was killed Friday evening in a motorcycle accident on Highway 26 just outside of Mitchell.  He was the principal at Elton Gregory Middle School.

 

His pastor, Chris Blair of "Powell Butte Chrisitian Church" says Hartford was the kind of guy who was always looking out for other people.

 

A candlelight vigil for Hartford was held at Powell Butte Christian Church Monday night.  A memorial service will be held at Ridgeview High School Wednesday night at 6 p.m. 

Redmond Schools Getting Counseling Following Principal's Death


54 year old John Hartford died in a motorcycle accident on Highway 26 Friday evening.  He was the principal at Elton Gregory Middle School in Redmond.

 

Superintendent of Schools Mike McIntosh says counselors are are Elton Gregory as well as Lynch Elementary and Redmond High where students of Hartford's are attending classes.

 

About a dozen retired teachers are also helping the teachers themselves deal with the loss of their administrator and friend.

Albertson's Beef Recall


Apparently the beef may be contaminated with E. Coli.  No illnesses have been reported.

 

The recall involves one pound fresh ground beef patties with the Albertson's store lable.  All the products were sold between September 3rd and 21st.

 

Customers should return the rcalled products for refund or replacement.

Oregon Unemployment Relatively Unchanged in August


In Deschutes County, the rate stands around 11.4 percent.

 

Jefferson County's rate rose slightly to 12.4 percent.

 

And Crook County has the state's highest unemployment rate at 14.3 percent.  That's up slightly from August.

 

The unemployment rates for central Oregon's three counties are all down compared to a year ago.

Leadman Epic 250


The Leadman Epic 250 Triathlon is one of the roughest races in America and this year it moved from Las Vegas to Bend.

It features a 3.1 mile swim, 138 mile bike ride and 5.3 mile run.

The Leadman was run around Mount Bachelor, and was won by Christine Anderson, and returning males champion Jordan Wrapp.

Vote OR Vote


The student government of Central Oregon College, A.S.C.O.C.C, is spearheading an effort to get out the vote on the campuses of C.O.C.C. The project is called “Vote-OR-Vote”.

They will make close to two hundred and fifty class room visits to sign students up to vote at all four campuses: Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond.

Plus they will have students posted in high traffic areas on campus to register voters as well.

Back To School For Local College Students


School is back in session at Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University Cascade Campus.

This year, the Bend Campus of C-O-C-C has two new buildings for students to learn in, a Health Careers building and a new Science building.

These were financed with a bond measure, which was passed in 2009.

The new facilities will allow more students to have access to better facilities in some of the college’s most popular programs.

How Dry We Are


If it seems that it's been ages since we saw any real rain, you're right.

 

Dennis Hull with the National Weather Service in Pendleton says August and September are usually pretty dry in the Pacific Northwest;  but this is a little unusual.  "Yes, most areas east of the Cascades have not had anymore than about a 1/10 of inch of moisture. Most places have had little or no moisture for September, so it's well below normal, even though September and following august is usually some our drier months, we have not had any precipitation of significance."

 

Hull says his "models" show that we could be in a weak El Nino pattern over the winter; and that means it could also be drier.

 

He also says that smoky conditions should be better this week, because a low front moved through, bringing more wind to blow away the smoke.

Open Communication for the City of Bend


The City of Bend is hoping a new program will encourage more citizens to voice their opinions on city business.

 

Bend Communications Manager Justin Finestone says very soon, they will launch a new online program that will make it much easier to get involved:  "All these tools are online based because the bottom line is: we know people here are busy. Bend’s such a great place to live and I think folks, after work, would rather go for a run or spend time with their family or ride their bike than come to a meeting, so we're going to bring the meeting to them. And after they put the kids to bed at 9:00 they can get on their I-Pad and take 15 minutes to connect with us and if that's all they want to do, we welcome that, and we just want to make it so they don't have to come to us, we kinds of want to come to them more."

 

Finestone says there will be opportunities to express opinions on every agenda item the City Council will discuss at the next meetings; polls to vote if you agree or disagree, and all "open house" project will have places for you to give your thoughts.

 

Finestone says we new program should be up and running in four to six weeks.

Bend La Pine To Call for $98-Million Bond Measure


The Bend La Pine School District administrators have decided to ask for a $98-million bond measure to fund the cost of many building improvements and the construction of two new schools.

Citing growing school enrollment; the administrators will bring the proposal before the School Board on Tuesday.

 

According to the Bulletin, long term projections  indicate district enrollment will be over 19,000 students by 2020.

 

The proposed projects the bond would funs include new middle and elementary schools; the purchase of land for the new elementary school and remodeling some areas of various schools.

Some with Group Health Insurance Could See Big Hikes


More than 36,000 Oregonians with small group health coverage could see their rates rise between 8 1/2% and 14 1/2% next January.

 

Jesse O'Brien with the watchdog group OSPRIG says their independent analysis does not support one insurance company, PacificSource’s claim that they should hike their rates by 14 ½%.  "It's certainly true that  the underlying cost of medical care is going up, it's a big problem. We really feel that in the information that PacificSource has made available so far, they really haven't shown that costs are going up as fast as they say they are. We just have a lot of questions about how the data they've provided really shows that. Because it looks to us as though they should be raising rate by a significantly smaller amount  based on the data they're giving."

 

PacificSource and the Oregon Insurance Division is holding a hearing today in Salem that will be an open door for public comments and O'Brien plans to testify and question such a big rate hike.

 

The Insurance Division will decide to approve or deny the hikes in the next few weeks and they would go into effect in January 2013.

Ochoco National Forest Open for Business Again


 

The Ochoco National Forest building and parking lot reopened today after being closed for renovations.

 

The renovation is being completed in four stages throughout the building on northeast Third Street in Prineville.

 

While the office was closed,  employees were relocated to other areas including the Prineville District BLM and all services and information was generated from there.

 

At this time, the renovation is halfway completed and is scheduled to be done by the end of October; but all Ochoco National Forest services are now back in the main building.

Attorney General Candidate to Speak in Redmond Monday


The Republican candidate running for Oregon Attorney General in November says the state needs a better watchdog on scandals and reckless spending done by government officials.
 
Candidate James Buchal says one recent example of waste is The Columbia River Bridge Crossing project.  Buchal is an attorney who lives in the Portland area.
 
He gave 1110 KBND news an extensive interview on Friday.
 
"they spent either 108 or 140 million to plan a bridge and then they realized that it was 50 feet shorter than all the other bridges - SO STUFF CAN'T GET UNDER IT SO MAYBE WE SHOULD START ALL OVER- AND THEN THEY STARTED LOOKING AT HOW THIS THING WAS FUNDED- AND THEN THEY FOUND THAT SOMEONE HAD ARBITRARILY PADDED IN AN EXTRA 4 PERCENT FOR SUBCONTRACTORS- AND THEN THE STATE SAID MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST AMMEND THE CONTRACT AND GIVE THEM THE MONEY."
 
Buchal is speaking at the Redmond Patriots meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the HIghland Baptish Church.  Buchal says two other strategies in his 3 point approach includes simplifying government and reducing the control that the Federal Government has in Oregon. 

 "there's another whole area that the attorney general can work on - in terms of simplifying things- we've got a whole rash of rules and laws that are choking off business and the attorney general has the power to enforce the state statute that says the rules have to be as simple and clear as possible and work on simplifying things.
 
 As for too much Federal  control and mis-management, he says people in Central Oregon are living through an example of that right now with the Pole Creek Fire near Sisters. 
 
"we have got to claw back some power from the federal government- the federal government controls more than half of oregon and it's burning it to the ground and it's impoverishing the state."
 
Buchal's opponent is Democrat, Ellen Rosenblum, who just won in the May primary. 
Republican Secretary of State candidate Dr. Knute Buehler is also scheduled to speak on Monday.  He is running against incumbent Kate Brown, a Democrat.  Buehler plans to spend a lot of time talking about PERS reform.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

Redmond School District Mourns Loss of Principal


REDMOND, Oregon (September 22, 2012) – The Redmond School District and community mourn the loss of Elton Gregory Middle School Principal John Hartford, who passed away in a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon.  Hartford joined the district as the assistant principal of Hugh Hartman Middle School.  In 2005, he assumed the role of principal at M.A. Lynch Elementary School, serving for three years before being named principal of Elton Gregory Middle School in 2009.

 

All who encountered John admired his courage, honesty, and unwavering love for the students and staff of Elton Gregory Middle School and the Redmond School District.

 

"This is a tremendous loss for all of us in Redmond, not just our school district, but the entire community," said RSD Superintendent Mike McIntosh.  "John was an outstanding educator and a good man.  He will be missed.  Our prayers are with his family."

 

Support for students and staff will be provided through the Tri-County Crisis Response Team and the school district counseling staff throughout the coming days and weeks.

Pole Creek Fire Saturday Morning Update


 

 

 

Current

Status

 

The Pole Creek Fire is located approximately five miles southwest of Sisters, OR

 

www.inciweb.org

 

 

Email:

polecreekfire@gmail.com

 

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/PoleCreekFire

 

Twitter:

http://twitter.com/desnatlforest/

 

Flickr:

www.flickr.com/photos/polecreekfire

The Pole Creek fire held at 25,553 acres on Friday. Firefighters completed contingency lines and are conducting mop-up and rehabilitation of fire lines.

There is a RED FLAG WARNING in effect from Friday evening through Saturday evening for the fire area due to potential for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning over the area. The Pole Creek Fire is supporting the Deschutes National Forest with two Initial Attack Task Forces should any lightning fires develop. Resources are staging in Prineville and Bend to support initial attack, should lightning fires develop.

Today firefighters will continue to mop-up and keep fire spread in check to the north in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

ALL major routes remain open to tourist destinations like Sisters and other central Oregon communities.  For information on smoke tips, visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/index.htm, or call (503) 229-6397.

Residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas remain under a Level 2, pre-evacuation alert (west of the 16 Road and South of Highway 20 in the vicinity of Sisters). Public safety agencies will keep the public updated about when to leave and which routes to take.  In addition, agencies will notify residents when the alert is lifted.  In the event that there is a need for evacuation, citizens in affected areas will receive a call from 911 Dispatch with a recorded message with specific evacuation information.  To receive these messages on cell phones, citizens are encouraged to visit http://www.deschutes.org/citizenalerts and register their numbers with the Citizen Alert program.  At this time, there are no towns, subdivisions or structures under evacuation.

For firefighter and public safety, the current closure area includes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Trail #3531 and the PCT Trailhead on Highway 242.  PCT hikers have a reroute option using the Scott Trail traveling west to Highway 242. The closure still includes Forest Roads 15 (Pole Ck RD) & 16 (Three Creeks Rd) south to FS 4601 Road. Maps and descriptions are available at Forest Service offices and at http://inciweb.org/incident/3244/.

The Incident Management Team will host camp tours at the Command Post at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds today. Times:  10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. The public is welcome to come see how camp works!

A community fire information update is planned for Sunday, September 23 at 4:00 pm at the Sisters Elementary School, on 611 East Cascades Avenue. The briefing will provide an in-depth update on the Pole Creek fire.

Estimated Acreage

25,553 acres (from infrared flight)

Containment

50%

Cause

Unknown – Under Investigation

Resources

Total – 1,091

Type 1 Crews – 0             Dozers – 4                Water Tenders – 16           Helicopters – 8                

Type 2 Crews – 28           Engines – 38              Camp Crews – 2               Overhead – 199                  

Plans

Support the host unit with Initial Attack Task Forces in the event lightning starts new fires. Continue mop-up and efforts to keep fire spread ion check to the north in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Fire Weather Forecast

Temps, 62-76 degrees; Relative humidity, 53-74%; afternoon winds, 7-11 mph from the NW, afternoon gusts 17 mph. Partly cloudy, becoming mostly cloudy with scattered Thunderstorms within the fire area, shifting to the north by 5:00 A.M.

Cooperators

Deschutes County Sheriff, Deschutes County SAR, City of Sisters, Sisters/Camp Sherman Fire District, Black Butte Ranch RFPD, Cloverdale FD, Oregon Department of Forestry, American Red Cross, Oregon Department of Transportation

 

Merkley Denounces House's Inaction on Farm Bill


MERKLEY DENOUNCES HOUSE’S INACTION ON FARM BILL

 

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today denounced the House of Representatives’ failure to pass a farm bill before adjourning for the election. This is the first time since 1949 that Congress has allowed the nation’s farm programs to expire.

 

“I thought it was unacceptable when the House didn’t pass the farm bill before the August recess, but allowing these programs to expire is completely irresponsible,” said Merkley. “Our farmers and ranchers in Oregon rely on the farm bill and the uncertainty is hurting our economy.  And those affected by the historic wildfires in Oregon are still waiting for disaster relief assistance included in the bill. I can’t believe that the House is unwilling to pass bipartisan legislation, especially the farm bill.”

 

The farm bill passed the Senate in June 2012 with a strong bipartisan vote of 64-35 and included two key provisions that Senator Merkley sponsored. One improves crop insurance for organic farmers and the other provides low-cost loans for energy efficiency renovations of homes and businesses in rural areas.  The Senate passed farm bill also includes extensions of crucial disaster relief programs that Merkley has been fighting for. These are essential for Oregon’s farmers and ranchers affected by wildfires and drought. 

Parade of Olympians Promises to Be Inspirational


Downtown Bend has held some fun and grand parades in the past, and this Sunday’s "Parade of Olympians" will be extra special for many reasons. 

 

The fevered pitch of the community's support for Ashton Eaton's quest of Olympic gold sparked a long-overdue idea: we need to show Eaton how proud we are of him and all Olympians in Central Oregon.  And that's how the "Parade of Olympians" was created.

 

This Sunday, not only will Ashton Eaton and his family be the guest of honor, but there will be at least 13 other Olympians, past, present, and even a Special Olympian who will also be honored and walk in the parade.

 

The parade will also feature music from local bands and Ashton's alumni high school, the Mountain View Cheer, Dance Team and Marching Band; the U of O Duck,  as well as many other fun entrants.

 

There will be a "fun run" and autograph event after the parade.  Everything begins at 1p.m. Sunday in downtown Bend. 

EDCO – Crook County Names New Leader


Economic Development for Central Oregon announced that Russell DeBoodt has been hired to head up the Prineville – Crook County office.

 

DeBoodt is a Prineville native, currently living in Portland.

 

City of Prineville Manager Steve Forrester says they are extremely impressed with all the finalists, but DeBoodt was a standout.

 

DeBoodt continued to be involved with the community; volunteering for the Crooked River Round-Up,  Crook County Future Farmers of America Alumni and serves as Director of Crook County's Farm Bureau Scholarship Golf Tournament.

 

DeBoodt replaces Jason Carr, who left to become the Executive Director of Partnership to End Poverty. He begins his position on October first.

Pole Creek Firefighters Making Progress


The Pole Creek Fire still manages to send up columns of spectacular smoke from time to time, but reports indicate firefighters are gaining the upper hand.

Fire spokesperson Kristin Bowles says at last report, the fire burned 24,392 acres and is 40% contained.

 

"The last update that we got from operations is that all of our lines are holding, mop-ups continuing. The columns that folks are seeing, at this point is all the interior of the fire. All of the closures are still in place and that's for public and firefighter safety."

 

Bowles says helicopters are still being used to fight the fire, and overnight smoke will continue to be a problem.

 

The Deschutes County Health Department issued a continued smoke advisory, especially for Sisters area residents, that the levels will probably be "high" for two weeks or more.

Redmond Fire Quickly Stops Fire


Redmond fire crews were able to stop a small vacant lot fire from advancing to nearby buildings, and in short order.

 

Around 2:30 Thursday afternoon, Redmond Fire was called to a fire that was burning grass, trees, and brush in a vacant lot on Larch Avenue.

 

Traci Cooper with Redmond Fire reports the cause of the fire was from sparks from a grinder used at a neighboring business.

 

There were no injuries and no buildings were affected.

Secretary of State's Race Turns Nasty


Current Secretary of State Kate Brown is challenging Republican candidate Knute Buehler to limit their campaign fundraising to one million dollars.

 

This came just before Dr. Buehler unveiled some of the reforms he'd like to see if elected Secretary of State -- including campaign finance reform.

 

Dr. Buehler won't agree to the limits this close to the election and Brown feels that's hypocritical.

 

Buehler says Brown has been in public office for more than twenty years and up until recently has never advocated for campaign finance reform.  He believes the only reason she's doing it now is because he is out fundraising her.

Warm Springs Mill Temporarily Closing for Three Months


Warm Springs Forest Products usually takes only month long maintenance shutdowns.  But the extnesive upgrade and a lack of timber is causing the longer temporary shutdown.

 

93 of the mills 126 workes will be laid off mid November and are expected to be called back by early  March when the mill starts up again.

Plague Survivor Gets Help from Prineville Band of Brothers


On Monday, Paul Gaylord had part of his fingers and toes amputated.  They had become blackened by the plague and had to be removed.

 

While he recovers, Prineville's Band of Brothers is helping Gaylord out by clearing his lot of a dilapidated trailer and geting it ready to build either a handicap accessible stick house or trailer.

 

The family has collected 16-thosuand dollars from donations, but needs  more money to build the house.

Redmond Settles on a New City Manager


Mayor George Endicott says they selected Dave Michaelian of northern California from the final five candidates.

 

He says Michaelian has extensive  experience with golf courses, airports and collective bargaining and stood out above the rest.  

 

It was hoped Michaelian could start by November 1st, but those details are still being worked out.

 

He will be replacing David Brandt who left Redmond at the end of August to take a city manager job in his hometown of Cupertino, California.

Bend Parks and Rec Grapple with Mirror Pond Silt


Bend Parks and Rec officials and the Mirror Pond Steering Committee are looking for public input about problems with Mirror Pond.

 

Parks Board Member Dallas Brown says they are considering  several options; including dredging, but that is only a short term solution.  "People have to realize that the mirror pond issue is going to be a long term problem. And that anything that we do, right now is only going to be a short term address for the issue, which is the silt that is going to continue to build and build and build as long as the dam's there. It’s going to cost us money every 15-20 years to dredge that or find a solution to the build up. So to have a stable tax supported district that could continually manage the funds to dredge and take care of Mirror Pond is an option."

 

Brown says he's not in favor of just letting the silt build up and the pond area becoming a mudflat, but they first want to hear from the public.

 

Brown says they estimate the cost of dredging is between $2-million and $5- million; and it must be done about every 15 to 20 years, so having stable funding to maintain Mirror Pond makes sense.

 

But the committee and Board will first work on finding the right person or company to conduct the feasibility study, taking the public's comments into consideration.

Sisters IS Open for Business


Sisters area businesses want to let you know that they are open for business, even with smoke and fire nearby.

 

The Sisters Country Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, Jeri Buckmann says all of the firefighters housed at the rodeo fairgrounds have been spending their money in town:  “I have seen that the fire crews.  They are out at the rodeo grounds, and throughout town, I have seen them come in, go into the stores, walk around. So they are partaking in the town, so I do think that they do support that. They know how tough it is."

 

Buckmann says the smoke seems to clear up in the afternoons, and all businesses are operating normal business hours.

 

She says most businesses have current information of fire activity and there are kiosks around town so visitors can get up to date information.

Parade of Olympians Will Feature the Future


The Parade of Olympians honoring Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton on Sunday will feature some local students that could be future professional athletes or Olympians.

 

Heather Vihstadt with the Education Foundation for Bend La Pine Schools says they have asked administrators from each middle and high school to nominate a girl and boy to march in the parade:  "Ashton has publicly thanked the organization for support, because he was a beneficiary himself and it helped him on his journey and his path and I know that he's very much about inspiring young kids and so we thought, what better way to do that than involve them in the parade."

 

Vihstadt says the foundation is focused on providing means for students who, because of finances would not be able to participate in after school activities.

 

The Parade of Olympians is this Sunday at 1 p.m. in downtown Bend.  After the parade, there will be an opportunity to meet Ashton Eaton.

Leadman Tri Bend This Weekend


Athletes from all over the world are coming into town for the first ever "Leadman Tri Bend" this week.

 

Matt Lieto an elite athlete says he worked hard to help bring the event to Bend, because it's such a different venue for the race, something many of the athletes are not accustomed to.  “I think a lot of athletes will be surprised at the challenges that the high desert's going to offer.  It’s going to be very cold in the morning and it could be pretty hot in the afternoon. And the altitude; the hardest part of the course is up Sparks Grade. And it's a 20 minute climb for some of the better athletes and that's at 6500 feet. So people that aren't used to riding in those conditions."

 

Lieto says the $50,000 "purse" draws athletes from all over the world; and he's expecting about 350 entries.

 

Lieto says the race is a 5-K swim on Cultus Lake; 138 mile bike ride around the Crane Prairie Reservoir and back and a 13.7 mile run around Mt. Bachelor.  The best athletes could finish the race in about 9 hours.

 

Lieto says he doesn't believe that the smoky skies will be much of a problem by the weekend.

 

The official Leadman race begins on Saturday at 7 a.m. at Cultus Lake, but there will be festivities on Friday before the race in the Old Mill District and long after the race ends.

Campfires Are Limited on State and Private Lands


The contained hot and dry weather prompts a reminder from the Oregon Department of Forestry that campfires are prohibited on most of the 16 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management forest lands. 

 

Tom Fields with the Oregon Department of Forestry says conditions are just too dangerous.  “We’re seeing some conditions that we haven't seen all summer, with the continued dry, hot weather that we've had. And we have seen also, several campfires that have been left unattended in some precarious area that could actually turn into large wildfires."

 

Fields says there are a few areas that will allow a campfire; but you need to check with the campgrounds.

 

They have had the "regulated use closure" in affect for most of the fire season; and the restriction will probably stay in effect through the end of the fire season, or the first good rain.

Smoke Affecting Much of Central Oregon


The Pole Creek Fire continues to produce lot of smoke in the area and for some, it's becoming dangerous.

 

Frank Messina with the Department of Environmental Quality says folks with asthma or other respiratory problems are probably already feeling the effects; and even healthy people are beginning to feel it.

 

"Healthy folks should be cautions on breathing in these particulates, what we call pm 2.5 small particulates, to prevent them from breathing them deep into their lungs. I mean, it's not a logical idea to go out and exert yourself in these kind of smoke impact conditions."

 

Messina says the smoke has reached most of Central Oregon now, and weather conditions mean the "inversion" we are experiencing now will be with us for a while longer.

 

He encourages anyone that feels poorly to see their doctor and for everyone to try to stay indoors as much as possible to minimize the impact from breathing smoke and ash.

Pole Creek Fire Containment Slow


17,500 acres with 15% containment; that's what fire bosses report is the latest numbers for the Pole Creek Fire near Sisters.

 

Kristin Bowles, spokesperson for the Pole Creek Fire says crews are mopping up behind the containment lines and may also decide to start some "back burns" to rid the fire of fuels, and that could cause more smoke.

 

She says Sisters residents that need to get out of the smoke have an option.  "For those in the Sisters area that are impacted by the smoke, Red Cross does have a respite at Sisters Elementary, where they can get out of the smoke. They have filtered air circulation, so exposure to the smoke is minimal. And we are planning a community meeting Thursday, September 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Sisters Elementary."

 

Bowles says the weather forecast is not ideal for firefighters; there will be a continued inversion layer keeping the smoke closer to the ground and hotter temperatures with wind could make the fire unstable.

U of O Student Drowns in Klamath County


A 21 year old University of Oregon student died from drowning at Summit Lake in Klamath County.

 

Apparently Carlene Ho, from San Francisc,o did not know how to swim, and was last seen standing on the lake shore with her feet in the water when her two friends decided to swim to a nearby island.

 

When they returned, her friends found her face down underwater. Despite all efforts, Ho was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

There is no sign of suspicious injury and the investigation is ongoing.

Bend LaPine Enrollment Continues to Grow


The district expected to see an increase of fifty students, but they've had two hundred additional students over last year.

 

Bend LaPine Superintendent of Schools Ron Wilkinson says the growth is happening at the elementary and middle school levels.

 

Current enrollment  is around 16-thousdand 500 students.

 

Since 1986, every year Bend LaPine enrollment has grown, except for 2009.

Highway 97 Fatal


The accident happened around 3 a.m.   

 

Deputies say a red Chevrolet pickup was traveling south on Highway 97, crossed the northbound lane and struck a large tree.

 

The crash is still being investigated and the driver's name is not being released until family is notified.

Pickle Ball


Tonight, the Bend Parks and Recreation Board will be discussing a “memorandum of understanding” which proposes to refurbish a couple existing structures and to build a few new courts to accommodate the fast-growing game of Pickleball.

Pickleball is similar to team tennis, but is played on a smaller court with a wiffleball and paddles instead of rackets and tennis balls.

The game is especially popular with seniors because it is not as fast paced as tennis.

Highway 20 Crash


A truck and a motorcycle collided in the eastbound lane of Highway 20 last night (Monday), closing the road near Pilot Butte for a few hours.

No information is available on injuries or fatalities, but Sergeant Todd Fletcher says it is a good reminder to be extra careful when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

Sisters Students Fundraise for Their Sports


Fundraising for student activities in a small community can be a challenge, but the students at Sisters High are up for that challenge.

 

Recently kids pulled some knapweed in an industrial park that raised money for various athletics, and that money was also tax deductible for the park owner because it complied with a statute to get the weeds out.

 

Athletic Director Tim Roth says he is working on creating a student advisory group that hopefully will generate good ideas for fundraising and problem solving.  "What we're planning on doing this year is having a group of kids, you can call them an ambassador's group, like a student athlete from every group. We’re going to meet once a month and just talk about the concerns and issues that they have and to talk about their budgets, and talk about creative ways for them to raise funds."

 

Roth says one of his missions t to get the kids out working in the community, both for fundraising and to volunteer for programs, to show how appreciative they are that the community supports them so much in this small community.

Destroyer Near Libya Has Bend Connection


 

Navy destroyer the U.S.S McFaul is named for Donald McFaul, a 1975 graduate of Bend Senior High School. 

 

Dick Tobiason with Bend Heroes Foundation says McFaul was a member of Navy Seal Teams One and later Team Four, who was instrumental in helping to take out Panama's Manuel Noriega in 1989 and rescuing other Navy Seals in the mission.

 

"He was killed in that rescue and received the Navy Cross which is only second to the Medal of Honor. So then when he was killed, the U.S.S. McFaul Destroyer was being built at the time. In fact, even before it was commissioned during sea trials, they named it the McFaul. And so that coincided with his death within months. And then the ship has been deployed ever since."

 

Tobiason says it was when McFaul was with Navy Seal Team Four when he was killed while saving other Navy Seals in the Panama mission.

Five Candidates for New Deschutes County Administrator


Five candidates for the Deschutes County Administrator position are in town today for panel interviews.

 

Interim County Administrator Erik Kropp says the candidates; Donald Bohn, Assistant County Administrator in  Washington County, Oregon, Dana Hlavac, Deputy County Manager for Mohave County, Arizona, Michael McNees, Chief Operating Officer for USA Track and Field and County Administrator, Blane County, Idaho, David Meriwether, County Administrator, Hood River County and Gail Shibley, Administrator, Center for Health Protection, from Portland, are all extremely well qualified.  "Anytime you hire in a position, the problem you want to have is you want a difficult choice. You want to say, 'Wow, any of the candidates would be excellent' and you want it to be a hard choice that's a good sign."

 

Kropp says the candidates will be interviewed by the Board of Commissioners and three other panels today, and depending on background checks, could make a decision in a couple of weeks.  But, he says, it could be longer before an announcement is made because of negotiations.

 

 

Oregon Legislators Angry Over Wildfire Fighting Procedures

Pole Creek Fire Explodes


 

The Pole Creek Fire grew to over 12,000 acres on Friday as higher afternoon temperatures, lower humidity and a strong westerly wind caused smoke columns to form and rise to almost 28,000 feet. Active fire behavior followed fire behavior analyst's predictions testing overall containment lines. Fire growth occurred both north and south within the wilderness, and breached lines on the northwest fire perimeter. Early evening fire induced cumulus clouds resulted in slight moisture in the surrounding area raising relative humidity and dampening overnight fire activity. Suppression crews worked through the night to burnout along Forest Roads 15, 1516 and 16 to establish a new containment line perimeter. Fire officials are expecting another active fire today as favorable burning conditions continue, likely producing smoke clouds high above the fire area.

 

 Residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas remain under a Level 2, pre-evacuation alert, meaning folks need to be ready to leave at a moments notice. Incident Management will conduct two informational briefings at the Sisters Preparedness Fair at the Sisters Elementary School on Saturday September 15th. Briefings will be at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Fire Information Officers will also staff a booth from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fair.

 

Smoke is likely to remain in the greater Sisters area as it settles at night into valleys and drainages. County Health Officials advise that people with respiratory problems or other health issues stay indoors with windows and doors closed during periods of heavy smoke. Visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/index.htm, for more information on air quality, along with tools to help people assess smoke levels in their area. For firefighter and public safety, the current closure area has been modified to include the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Trail #3531(Four in One Cone) and the PCT Trailhead on Highway 242. Information will be posted at all trailheads and access points from Elk Lake Trailhead north to Santiam Pass. PCT hikers will have a reroute option using the Scott Trail traveling west to Highway 242.

 

The closure still includes Forest Roads (FR)15 & 16 (Three Creeks Rd); spur roads, trailheads and Three Creeks Campground area. It now also includes an extension of FR 370 to FR 4601. Closed roads are signed, barricaded, and/or staffed to advise the public of the closure. Maps and closure descriptions are available at Deschutes National Forest offices and http://inciweb.org/incident/3244/.

 

 

Estimated Acreage:   12,000 Acres plus

Containment:  10%

Cause:  Unknown – Under Investigation

Resources Total – 821*

Type 1 Crews – 4 Dozers – 4 Water Tenders – 14 Helicopters – 8 Type 2 Crews – 15 Engines – 32 Camp Crews – 2 Overhead – 187 *

 

Plans:  Establish new containment lines near Forest Road 15 and 1516 on the north and Forest Road 16 on the east. Anchoring to Forest Road 16, recon and establish an east-west containment line to the old Park Meadow fire.

 

Fire Weather Forecast

Temps 68-77, humidity 22-26%, and winds rebuilding from the WNW to 5-9 mph with gusts to 20.

Cooperators

 

Deschutes County Sheriff, Deschutes County SAR, City of Sisters, Sisters/Camp Sherman Fire District, Black Butte Ranch RFPD, Cloverdale FD, Oregon Department of Forestry, American Red Cross, Oregon Department of Transportation

Old McKenzie Highway Closed Due to Fire


ODOT advises Highway 242 (Old Mckenzie Highway) is closed from the east gate in Sisters westward to Obsidian Trailhead to allow fire personnel and equipment access to the Pole Creek Fire.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Pole Creek Fire Grows to Over 7,000 Acres


We have not yet received any new reports of fires due to the last night's thunderstorms but fire bosses with the Deschutes National Forest report that, as of Friday evening, the Pole Creek Fire is estimated to have burned about 7000 acres.

 

The smoke columns rose to over 28,000 feet and are visible throughout Central Oregon.

 

The fire breached lines on the northwest perimeter; but firefighters established a new containment line near Forest Road 1026.

 

Officials have closed a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, between “Four in One Cone”  (Trail #3531) and Highway 242.  All other closures are still intact.

 

The weather is forecasted to be fairly warm and dry- with some winds; not good news for firefighters,

 

Heavy smoke is still expected in the immediate Sisters area and people are advised to stay indoors and limit activity.

Fire Destroys NE Bend Home


All residents of a home on NE 11th Street escaped safely as their home was completely destroyed by fire early this morning.

 

Bend Fire responded to the 911 call around 1230 a.m., after the residents heard popping and crackling sounds. They found a fully involved fire that was spreading to the trees.

 

The house is reported to be owned by Linda Olson.

 

Battalion Chief Bill Boos reports the numerous additions and void spaces in the house made searching the residence difficult.

 

Estimated damage is about $160,000 to the house and its contents, and is considered a complete loss.

 

Fire officials want to remind you to have working smoke detectors in your home and to check them about twice a year to make sure they stay in working order.

A Second Bubonic Plague Case in Crook County


The Prineville area woman only suffered minor symptoms and got put on antibiotics quickly.

 

Paul Gaylord, the other Prineville rsident bitten by the sick cat spent a couple months in the intensive care unit at St. Chalres battling the plague.  He is now back home recouperating.

 

Karne Yeargain, the Communicable Disease Coordinator for Crook County says the woman got put on antibiotics quickly after symptoms appeared and they disappeared within a couple days.

 

Smoke Affecting Sister's High Activities


The Pole Creek Fire is producing enough smoke that it is affecting student activities at Sister High School.

 

Athletic Director Tim Roth says they are forced to makes minute by minute decisions.  "Right now, we have no physical activity outdoors in the Sisters School District. Typically, by noon the smoke is lifted and the air quality gets significantly better. So we're still waiting to make a call on afternoon practices. Yesterday all middle school and elementary school practices were canceled. We had limited high school practices. And so we're still waiting to make a call on that right now, in terms of this afternoon."

 

Roth says luckily, the Sisters football game is an away game in Madras, but other games scheduled at the school are being moved to alternate locations.

 

All Sisters High students are being kept inside buildings today for health reasons.

Tim Knopp Attends Nurses Informational Picket at St. Charles


Knopp was at the picket and wanted to hear the nurses concerns about patient care.

 

He has spent a lot of time at St. Charles in recent years, especially when his daughter underwent brain surgery a couple years ago.

 

Knopp says the nurses have concerns about patient care in regards to proposed changes St. Charles administrators want to make.

 

Knopp says he's hopeful the hospital and the nurses will work thorough the patient care issue and come to a contract agreement.

Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon Fundraising Luncheon


Scholarships offered by the club help parents afford childcare.

 

And so the Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon held luncheons this week to raise funds for these scholarships.

 

The goal is to raise 100-thousand dollars by the end of  November.

 

Newstalk 1110 KBND's Kelly Bleyer helped host the Bend luncheon on Thursday.

 

The Redmond club will hold their fundraising luncheon on Friday.

Commute Options Honored for Programs


Commute Options of Central Oregon has received the "Oregon Transportation Options Program of the Year" trophy.  In a news release - Commute Options spokesman Jeff Monson - says the program was honored for their "exemplary work" in employee outreach - in encouraging alternative ways of commuting to and from work -also their "Safe Routes to School" and  "Drive Less Connect" programs.  Monson and Community Outreach Coordinator Kim Curley accepted the award at a luncheon of the Oregon Transit Association on Wednesday.

"Craigslist" Scammers Hit Central Oregon


Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty issued a warning about scammers taking advantage of people wanting to rent property.

 

Lester Friedman with Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate says it's primarily scammers posting bogus rentals on "Craigslist" of houses for sale.  "And then they go to a website that shows the listing information and photographs for a property.  And they scrape off the photos, they scrape off the address and they scrape off the description of the property listed for sale and they put it up on "Craigslist" as a rental property."

 

Friedman says the scammer will require a security deposit from you, that probably will never be returned, and when you get to the house, usually the homeowner and you are surprised.

 

He says one tip to look for is: these scammers usually advertise unusually low rents; so buyer beware.

 

He says if you encounter a scammed property, to notify the realtor listed on the house sign or the Central Oregon Realtors Association and the District Attorney's Office.

WWII Veterans Honor Flight Preparing to Leave for D.C.


A group of about 28 Central Oregonians are preparing to go on the 6th World War II Veterans Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

 

Bend Heroes Foundation President Dick Tobiason says they are taking 48 vets from all over Oregon; 28 of them are from Bend, Redmond, Prineville, La Pine and Powell Butte.

 

Tobiason says the vets have a full schedule that includes seeing all the war memorials.  "We’ll get on buses and head up to Capitol Hill for breakfast with our Senators and Congressmen and get a tour of the Capitol. And then we'll got to the WWII Memorial for lunch and tour the WWII Memorial for several hours. We'll present the veterans with flags that have been flown over the U.S. Capitol as part of the Congressional Record that makes them a permanent part of American history, thanking them for service to our nation 70 years ago."

 

Tobiason says this visit means so much to these vets and it makes them feel very special and appreciated; as other visitors to the memorials always want to shake their hand and take pictures when they find out these men had something to do with the Memorial.

 

The 6th Honor Flight leaves from Portland on September 19th and returns on the 23rd.

Health Advisory for Sisters in Place Now


SISTERS RESIDENTS ADVISED TO SHELTER IN PLACE

During Evening/Overnight Hours and Mornings

 

As of this evening, a voluntary health advisory has been put into affect by the Deschutes County Health Department until further notice for the community of Sisters. The advisory is a result of the hazardous air pollution created by the Pole Creek fire specifically in the evenings, through the night and into the mornings.

 

This health advisory directs residents of Sisters to take shelter in their homes in the evenings and overnight, and to secure buildings occupied in the mornings according to the guidelines below to protect themselves from wildfire smoke inhalation.

 

What is happening now:

1. DEQ air monitoring data shows hazardous air quality levels in the Sisters area due to the wildfire.

2. Deschutes County Health officials recommend all members of the community to discontinue outdoor activities in the evenings, overnight and mornings until conditions improve.

3. Being outside during these times of the day are particularly harmful to one's health due to the concentration of wildfire smoke in the air.

4. These recommendations will continue until further notice, pending weather forecasts (changing wind direction and temperatures) and the containment progress of the Pole Creek fire.

 

What does “Shelter in Place” mean?

“Shelter-in-place" means to take shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. In this case, it also means "seal the building;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. It is important to continue to monitor the news to understand whether health officials wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

 

Action Steps:

1. Avoid smoke by staying indoors, closing and sealing all windows and doors. Use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter. Turn air conditioning off, turn fans on inside your home. Locking windows may provide a tighter seal from the smoky air.

 

2. People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions, should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.

 

3. Continue to monitor local news outlets; we will continue to provide updated information as we receive it.

 

What about masks?

N-95 masks are the best masks to protect one's health, but require fit testing. Based on scientific data, surgical masks, bandanas and t-shirts worn as masks offer little to no protective.

 

For more information about preparing to shelter in place, and for mask information to prevent smoke inhalation, please visit http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Documents/WildfireExposure_final.pdf . ##

 

Sisters Fall Street Festival still on Tap for this weekend


Hundreds of people are expected to come out to the the Sisters Fall Street Festival this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.
 
Organizer Richard Esterman says so far the fire is not impacting Sisters much - local roads are open and the smoke has been clearing out of the area by mid-morning.
 
He says the event is also an important local fundraiser.
 
"one thing important about this is i put on auctions and raise money for charities - and 100 percent of those funds go to that organization- and in this case its the sisters h.s. art department- they'll be a special booth there- a silent auction and the items come from the artists and 100 percent of that money goes to the art department so we can keep creativity going in the schools."
 
 Some of the art featured includes wood working, soap making, fused glass, pottery, photography, dog clothes, and even blacksmithing.
 
The Sisters Fall Street Festival runs from 10 to 5 on Saturday and on Sunday from 10 to 4.
 
"BLACKSMITHING IN TODAY'S DATE??  BUT HE'S REALLY DOING IT - IN THE LAST SHOW SOMEONE ASKED HIM TO MAKE A WINE CORKER - HE DID IT- IT TOOK HIM ABOUT 5 HOURS - -BUT ITS AN ART- ITS AN ART - AND THAT'S ONE THING THAT TODAY WITH ALL THE COMPUTERS WE LOSE THE CREATIVITY - AND SO ITS AN ART- THAT'S WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT THESE EVENTS. 
 
Esterman was a guest Thursday morning on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  To listen to the full interview you can go to the Your Town podcast on this website.  This is the 5th year of the Art Festival.

The Fire near Sisters Expected to give Central Oregon another big Smoke Show


 

 

 

 
Hotter weather over the next couple of days could pose a big threat to fire suppression efforts near Ssiters.
 
The change in the forecast is calling for warmer temperatures and lower humidity.  The fire behavior is expected to be more similar to last Sunday when it first broke out and grew quickly casting a massive smoke plume seen throughout the area.
 
Fire spokesperson Katie Lighthall says the fire is still burning away from the populated areas and they hope the weather won't dramatically change its direction.
 

LIghthall spoke to 1110 KBND news Thursday afternoon.  "The Pole Creek Fire" is currently estimated at just over 5 thousand acres. 

 
"GOING INTO THE WEEKEND WE ARE LOOKING AT A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER CHANGE- AND WE ARE ALREADY SEEING THE SMOKE INVERSION LIFT - WHICH IS WHAT WE EXPECTED - AND GOING INTO THE WEEKEND WE'RE EXPECTING HIGHER TEMPERATURES AND HIGHER HUMIDITY - THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL ALSO MAKE IT MUCH MORE LIKELY FOR PEOPLE TO SEE A HUGE SMOKE COLUmn MUCH LIKE WE DID THAT FIRST DAY."
 
"WE HAVE 650 PEOPLE FIGHTING THE FIRE- WE'RE LEARNING HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE TO GET THOSE RESOURCES-WE'VE STILL GOT 6 HELICOPTERS HERE SO WE'RE ABLE TO PUT SOME OF THOSE AIR RESOURCES ON THE FIRE - AND THAT'S PRETTY GOOD CONSIDERING THE WEST IS STILL BURNING AND THERE ARE FIRES WITH HIGHER PRIORITIES THAN US."
 
Washington State has seen many wildfires crop up after a weekend lightning storm.  The Pole Creek Fire was reported on Sunday and the cause is still under investigation, but lightning has been ruled out.  More fire crews and resources have been ordered.  Deschutes County has a special fire information number set up - if the fire escalates the hotline will be updated frequently. It's 541-550-4886.  
 
Lori Raab

 

Progress on FEMA Reimbursement for Deschutes County


Deschutes County and FEMA have gone round and round the last couple years on trying to get reimbursement for fuel reduction work to prevent wildfires.

 

FEMA said the county did more than the grant specified and wouldn't pay up. 

 

But Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congresman Greg Walden got involved and help broker an agreement between the agencies.

 

Deschutes County Forester Ed Keith says they've reached agreement on a 2007 grant and are still reviewing a 2008 grant.

Commissioner Unger Reacts to Change of Direction on Jail Expansion


They were leaning toward building a 144 jail bed addition to the existing jail for ten million dollars.

 

But now they are looking at renovating the juvenile detention facility instead because it is cheaper.

 

Commissioner Alan Unger knows Sheriff Blanton is not happy about the decision, but says given the current economic climate -- the cheaper price tag convinced them to change direction.

 

The commissioners still have to find a location to house juvenile inmates, but Unger says even if they have to build a new juvenile facility, that cost is estimated to be around five million dollars.  It's still cheaper than building the jail addition.

 

The commissioner will get a cost analysis on different juvenile facility options in a couple weeks.

Warm, Dry Weather Forecasted for Pole Creek Fire


Pole Creek fire bosses report the fire has burned almost 4600 acres as of Wednesday evening.  The authorities with Deschutes National Forest are keeping a wary eye on the weather, as a warm front is apparently moving into the area, bringing higher temperatures and lower humidity.  This weather will also likely produce large smoke columns visible through Central Oregon.  The containment is still listed at 5% - and it's cause is still under investigation.  Area closures are still in place.

New Medi-Pot Help in Prineville


Prineville now has a new business that caters to those having a Medical Marijuana card.  The business that opened  August 24th is called "5C - The Crook County Compassion Clinic/Club."

 

Co-Owner Ryan Cole says they have very strict federal and state guidelines that they follow.  "We are a safe access point for medicine for medical card owners. We do not sell it; it's all upon donations. We reimburse the growers. We’re basically a place that; it's a community of different card holders altogether that are working to insure that there is safety and privacy."

 

Cole says he's gotten a warm welcome from the Prineville businesses near the shop.

 

He says patients need a safe place to get their marijuana legally.  "After doing a lot of research, we found that what they were doing was going to the local parks where the children were handling the marijuana and distributing it and we wanted to provide a place that didn't target children."

 

He says the store is more like an actual clinic- and the marijuana is not on display or accessible to anyone; that legitimate cardholders must meet specific requirements before they are allowed into the area where the medicine is kept.

 

He adds that he had operated out of a home for about two years prior - and he and his partner, Robert Mills decided that a downtown Prineville location would make things easier for card-holders.

 

 

Business 3rd Street (North) Has Slower Speed


The Oregon Department of Transportation has lowered the speed limit from 45 miles per hour to 35 on a portion of Business 97, or North Third Street for safety reasons.

 

Peter Murphy, spokesman for ODOT says the growth of the area in the north part of Bend prompted the change .  "Well what drives the change is safety, primarily. We’ve noticed a great increase in the number of pedestrians and the number of cars in and about the area that is described between empire and them Boyd Acres. We've got new businesses in place, the sonic, the big new DMV Office is really a big factor, plus there has been some changes to the transit pattern along that portion of the highway too."

 

Murphy says the 35 mph speed will be enforced from Empire to Mt. Washington Drive.

 

He adds that the traffic problems in the north end of Bend, including the Parkway entrance and exit on Empire and the Cooley Road issues are long-term projects; but they will address immediate problems when they arise.

 

August A Deadly Month for Motorcyclists


Recent ODOT studies indicates that  in the State of Oregon, 13 motorcycle deaths during the month of August made it the worst since 1986. 

 

Spokesman Peter Murphy says 70% of the deaths are attributed to the cyclists behavior and not to another cause for rising accidents - texting.   "Well, what we're finding with the motorcycle crashes is that's not a factor. It really comes down to the person that's behind the handlebars on the motorcycle and the type of behavior that they're involved with. So, you know education, alerting first, like we're doing, that there's a problem. Secondly, making sure that there are educational opportunities in place. And three is encourage people to attend those educational sessions."

 

Murphy says those sessions are offered on a regular basis through Team Oregon Basic Rider Training.

 

Over the next three years, more riders will be required to take the riding course, until everyone is included.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden reacts to US Ambassador Killing


Congressman Greg Walden (R) of Oregon says in Washington DC people are upset and outraged over the death of US Ambassador to Libya 52 year old Chris Stevens.
 
Stevens served 21 years in public service and was appointed as the US Ambassador to Libya this past January.  Three other government officials were also killed in Tuesday's attack.
 
Walden spoke with 1110 KBND news Wednesday morning.
 
"and we have to remain steadfast and face this violence in these extremist s- like those who attacked our embassies and emerging threats - domestically and abroad - as we've even seen the christmas tree bomber in portland and elsewhere - we have to remain vigility both here and abroad.." 
 
In a statement on Wednesday President Obama called Stevens a "courageous man who exemplified American's committment to freedom and justice."
 
Walden and other lawmakers are also grieving for the families who lost loved ones in the sudden attack.
 
 "MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FAMILY WHO'VE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS TRAGIC ASSAULT-  ESPECIALLY WITH AMBASSADOR CHRIS STEVENS - THESE Are PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO WORK TIRELESSLY  ON BEHALF OF AMERICANS AND FRANKLY IN THIS CASE THE LiByAN PEOPLE. AND OUR NATION WILL ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR THEIR SERVICE- BUT IT'S CLEAR THAT 11 YEARS AFTER 9-11 VIOLENT FORCES CONTINUE TO TARGET FREEDOM LOVING PEOPLE- EVERYWHERE…
 
KBND news asked Walden what the atmosphere was like Wednesday morning at the nation's Capitol.
 

"lORI: WHAT IS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE ON THE HILL- WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS- I THINK PEOPLE ARE PRETTY UPSET - THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN 30 PLUS YEARS THAT- ONE OF AMERICA'S AMBASSADORS HAS BEEN KILLED WHILE SERVING THE COUNTRY- PEOPLE ARE OUTRAGED- OUR CODE OF CONDUCT INTERNATIONALLY IS THAT COUNTRIES THAT HOST EMBASSYS AND CONSOLATES ARE SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE SECURITY- -- IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT."

 
Walden also responded to a recent AP report that implies that Iran may be looking at computer scenerios that estimate the potential damage in the region nuclear weapons were used.  More of Walden's interview with KBND News Director Lori Raab can be heard on 1110 KBND news at 5:10a - 7:10a and 8:10a Thursday morning. 
 

Goody's Soon to Open in Portland Area


 

Goody's Candy opened it's first store in Sunriver in 1984and hopefully,  by the end of the year, will have a new store in Beaverton.

 

Owner Dane Danforth says this will be the eighth store with the Goody's name; and there seems to be a lot of interest for even more Portland locations.  "You know we're not aggressively marketing that. All of our franchises come from people calling us.  But I am in talks with a gentleman up there who is looking at four additional stores. Not the same people we are doing our franchises with now. So I think there's a definite interest in our product. People really love our brand."

 

Danforth says they also are selling their carmelcorn in 44 Csto's in the northwest; and the "Goody's" name is rapidly becoming well known.

 

The Beaverton store could be open before the Christmas holiday.

Hazardous Smoke in the Sisters Area


Lack of winds and the fact that the fire "lays down" overnight makes for some very hazardous air quality in the Sisters area.

 

Frank Messina with the Department of Environmental Quality says they need to remind people that the air quality, especially in the early morning is very bad.  "It’s sorta like an inversion, when you get those cool mornings, and you have that warm air on top, it will just sock down and it will prevent a lot of wind. And it's great for firefighting, because hopefully, the dew and everything, you can try to help put it out. But it does affect low lying areas, and sisters happens to hit that area."

 

Messina says the Sisters area is hit the hardest because they are close to the fire, and recommends everyone stay inside as much as possible.

 

He says the weather forecast indicates there will be several mornings when the smoke will be particularly bad, but Bend and Redmond should be spared the dangerous levels.

Deschutes County Commissioners Decide to Stop Plans for a Jail Expansion


The Deschutes County Commissoiners decided unanimously to put a stop to plans for a new jail expansion and instead look into retrofitting the juvenile detention facility for adult prisoners.

 

Sheriff Larry Blanton is frustrated by the commissioners lengthy process in studying different alternatives.

 

The commissioners hope to utilize the under utilized juvenile detention facility and make changes to accomodate adult prisoners.

 

They are studying what repositioning the juvenile facillity for adults would cost and hope to have more answers in a couple months.

 

Bend Community Center Hopes to Stay Open Past Friday


Board member Chuck Hemingway says the Bend Community Center will still probably close their doors, just not this week.  They're working with the bank to keep the building open until they can get other organizations to pick up the services they provide.

 

Meetings on the future of the Bend Community Center are schedueld for later this week.

 

Regardless, the senior meals at the center will continue for the the time being.

Veterans Breakfast


General Chuck Rosenfeld delivered the keynote address at the Bend Elks Club.

 

He said we must be vigilant on the global war on terror.  Rosenfeld believes this will be an eternal probelm for us. 

 

Veterans installed flags at the Bend heroes Memorial this morning  -- as did Redmond, to commemorate the more than three thousand killed on this date in 2001.

Redmond's Ridgeview High Opens


Principal Lee Loving says the students got tours of the school, met their teachers and even finished the day by eating ice cream sandwiches donated by Eberhard's Dairy.

 

Ridgeview will not have any seniors this year.  All seniors will be attending Redmond High this year.

 

Next year will be Ridgeview's first senior class.

New Face of Homeless in Central Oregon


In Bend, the face of the homeless has changed dramatically in recent years. That "face" looks more like you and I and your neighbor.
 
Chris Clouart works at the Bethlehem Inn in Bend.  It's the largest homeless shelter in the region. 
 
"and i've been doing this job for 5 years now - its changed dramatically since i've been here-  back in 2007 when i started the area was in the boom time- things were still going great - and we had a certain type of person who would come to the shelter...and these were people who were really struggling on a constant basis...we referred to them as the chronic homeless and that has changed - now i'm seeing the faces of people who've been  essentially the middle class - for a lot of their lives.
 
Clouart also points out that about one third of the people living at the Inn have jobs - they just don't pay enough to cover the rent.
 
 
bite "the economic crash of 2008 has allowed people to experience levels of insecurity in their income and lifestyles that has not been seen for generations- and that is what we are seeing at the bethlehem inn - and we are helping people from all walks of life trying to make it through and some to a better life at some point in the future.  
 
Clouart says in the past they mostly helped people who were considered continually homeless and had major challenges to becoming independent.  They helped those people learn the life skills and needed to start breaking the cycle of poverty and turn their lives around.  But many of the people at the shelter now don't fit that profile.  He fears the trend will continue in this area.
 
"there aren't enough jobs- there aren't enough well paying jobs - about a third of the residents at the bethleham inn are working currently- its just not enough income for them to pay the rent - the rents are going up in the community --- this is a difficult time to be a low income person in america - what we find here is we do our best to help people have the resouces to move forward- it just takes a lot of resources to do that. "
 
Clouart was a guest Tuesday morning on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  The entire interview can be heard on the podcast located on the KBND website. 

Pole Creek Fire Continues to Challenge Fire Crews


Tuesday fire bosses reported that the Pole Creek Fire was still estimated at 43 hundred acres, but winds started affecting the fire fighting effort Tuesday morning.  Janice Madden with the Central Oregon Dispatch Center says they plan to do an infrared mapping Tuesday night.
 
People who live near the wildfire continue to be on standby- officially on "pre-evacuation" notice and they are asked to remain aware of the situation and be prepared to leave if necessary. 
 
COIDC spokeswoman Janice Madden spoke with KBND radio news Tuesday morning and says the next few days could be crucial to the fire fighting effort.  It's currently 0 percent contained.
 
"our situation out there is that we are extremely dry - here on the eastside of the cascades we haven't recieved any significant precipitation and we don't have any in the forecast for at least the next 10 days- and that's our biggest concern - the word is dry."
 
As of Tuesday morning about 300 people were working the fire and more help was on the way.
 
"we've got over 300 people on the fire and crews en-route and other resources  on order- we expect them to arrive in the next day or so - we have a number of crews -  we have helicopters - dozers - engines- water tenders....and have established the fire camp, the incident command post is at the sisters rodeo grounds."
 
Madden says that smoke will continue to be an issue - especially in the Sisters area.
 
bite "and we also want folks to realize there is going to be a lot of smoke that's going to remain that area- and at night smoke is going to settle in the valleys and in the drainages- and where its going to end up is going to depend on the wind direction and the speed of that wind.
 
The area is popular for hiking, camping, running and other outdoor activities.  She says people need to be aware that the fire is nearby and affecting access to some areas.  But there are signs and staff to let people know where the dangerous areas are located. 
 
"we still have the closures in effect- it covers the pacific crest trail along  the county line on the west side- and it's forest service roads 15, 16, and several of the spur roads that lead to the fire area - trailheads are closed and the three creeks campground area is also closed- and we will have "closed road signs" and barricades and people staffing the area to advise the public of that closure."
 
Fire officials say the cause is still under investigation.  While lightning storms sparked several wildfires in the Northwest over the weekend, they have ruled out lightning as the cause of the Pole Creek Fire.  It was reported at 10:45 Sunday morning.  Monday night about 300 people turned out for a community fire information meeting at Sisters Elementary School.
 

Pole Creek Fire Update


Approximatley 300 firefighers battled the blaze on Monday.

 

Most of the heavy burning in the fire is occurring in the wilderness with lighter under burning occurring in lower portions of the fire.

Bend Community Center Set to Close


But plans are now to close it down on Friday because of financial difficulties.

 

Pam Noor with the Central Oregon Council on Aging is already looking at contingency plans for the seniors who get their meals at the Bend Community Center.

 

Noor says the seniors will get their meals -- either by contracting for them with another agency, offering restaurant vouchers or offering box lunches out of the Council on Aging building itself.

 

Short of a benefactor coming forward, the Bend Community Center is slated to close for good on Friday.

Nurses Hold Informational Picket at St. Charles


The more than 600 nureses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association says they've met 17 times in recent months to reach a contract, but with no success.

 

John Nangle has been a nurse at St. Charles for ten years.

 

He says the nurses don't like some of the changes administrators want to do like doing away with floating "critical care" nurses that are pressed into service when emergencies arise, or replacing charge nurses with non clinical administrators.

 

The hospital did not hold interviews on the picket, but said in a press release they look forward to future negotiations with the nurses in their attempt to reach a contract agreement.

Redmond Schools Start 2012-13 School Year


Of course, Redmond's new high school Ridgeview opened its doros to students for the first time.

 

But Redmond Superintendent of Schools, Mike McIntosh says many of the schools in the district are undergoing construction, including elementary schools and Redmond High School.

 

Mcintosh also says enrollment district wide is up 50 students.

Special 911 Breakfast in Bend


At least 150 people are expected to turn out to honor local veterans and first responders at a special September 11th Breakfast.  It runs Tuesday from 8:30a to 10 at the Bend Elks Lodge.
 
Chuck Hemingway with Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, or COVO, says it'll be a time for locals to get together and remember 9-11. 
 
 "covo is coordinating and cooperating with cocoa to do a breakfast at the elks lodge at 8:30 first thing in the morning- especially for retired first responders and veterans we'd like  to honor them.
 
 Hemingway spoke to 1110 KBND news about the event.  He says first responders play a very important role in an emergency or terrorist attack.
 
"YOU HAVE TO THINK OF THOSE FIRST RESPONDERS WHO WENT UP THE STAIRS - TO THE 2 TOWERS IN NEW YORK AND THE FIRST RESPONDERS TO THE PENTAGON AND THE FIELD IN PENNSYLVANIA-  WHERE THE OTHER FLIGHT WENT DOWN - THEY TOOK NO HESITATION- TO DO WHAT WAS NEEDED TO SAVE LIVES."
 
All proceeds from the $5 breakfast will benefit the Central Oregon Council on Aging.  Jakes Diner is supplying food for the buffet.
 

Fire SW of Sisters Estimated at 2000 acres


Heavy smoke continues to impact people in the Bend and Sisters area due to a fire burning Southwest of Sisters.
 
Fire bosses say "The Pole Creek Fire" is now estimated at 2000 acres and is burning in thick fire fuels - fire crews were concerned about wind gusts Monday afternoon.
 
Janice Madden with the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville spoke to KBND news Monday morning on "Your Town."
 
 "what we're calling it is a fuel's driven fire- and we have a lot of heavy - dead and dying timber up there - and there are a lot of snags- and that sort of thing so we're concerned about fire-fighter safety up there and access to that portion of the fire-  so that we can make sure we contained the many folks who might be affected."
 
Madden says they are asking people not to call 911 about the fire unless they have new information to report. 
 
 
The fast moving fire was first reported Sunday morning.  It destroyed four vehicles and damaged others at the Pole Creek Trailhead.  Several campgrounds were evacuated and roads closed.
 
 
"yeah- 9-1-1 is there in case we get new information or new emergencies-  please call anotyher number - we are all aware of the smoke in the west- and its the only fire in our area at this time....don't panic- just be prepared...don't call them - they know about it - "
 
The fast moving fire was first reported Sunday morning.  It destroyed four vehicles and damaged others at the Pole Creek Trailhead.  Several campgrounds were evacuated and roads closed.
 
 " I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT OUR CREWS HAD A PRETTY GOOD BURNOUT OPERATION LAST NIGHT- THINGS GOING PRETTY WELL - THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY ESTABLISH A GOOD ANCHOR POINT-  AT THE SOUTH END OF THE FIRE."
 
Deschutes County has set up a special fire information number: 541-550-4886.
 
 

Run to the Cascades Shut Down


The Run to the Cascades Motorcycle Rally was shutdown on Saturday after a confrontation between The Hells Angels and rival motorcycle clubs The Mongols and The Jokers.

The Hells Angles had a booth at the event at which they were selling Hells Angels's merchandice.

Around 150 members of the rival groups showed up to inform the Hell's Angels that they had "15 minutes to leave" according to police.

When the Hells Angels left, they made it clear that they were planning on getting re-enforcements to come back and confront the Mongols and Jokers.

Captain Brian McNoughton of the Redmond police said that at that point they had to shut down the event to protect the public.

According to McNoughton, Bend Police, State Police and officers from the Deschutes Country Sherrif's department helped resolve the sitution without any actual violence.

 

Cold Front


A cold front came through Central Oregon last night and will result in freezing temperatures tonight, however the biggest threat from the weather system are the increased winds which are frustrating fire containment efforts.

Due to a wet spring, our water table is fine, however Central Oregon has not seen any measurable rain since June.

Temperatures are expected to be back up into the 80’s in the next few days as the cold front moves out.

Redmond Narrows Manager Candidate List


The City of Redmond ended up with about 30 candidates for the City Manager's position, and the council narrowed the list down to about six.

 

Mayor George Endicott says the candidates come from as far away as Michigan, and all have great resumes.

 

He says they are looking for someone who could really "think outside the box."  "If you think about someone like David [Brandt] that we brought in from outside the state and how successful he's been, because he's not trapped by rules as they exist, and he can do a lot of the "what if?" stuff. So it's kinda fun look at those two philosophies as away to look at stuff.  I don't know what we'll end up with, but we just have to consider all that as we do the interviews."

 

Endicott says they will hold interviews with the prospects this weekend and hopefully make a selection shortly after.

 

Depending on the candidate, Endicott says they hope the new manager will be in place by November, if not sooner.

Wyden Wants to Keep Prescription Costs Down


Now that the Democratic National Convention is over, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is going to begin work on legislation that will keep the cost of prescriptions down.

 

Wyden says there is a lot of tweaking to health care that needs to be done.  "A big push I’m going to make is to hold down the cost of prescription medicine.  I think it's very important to lift the restriction on Medicare, so that Medicare can bargain to hold down the cost of medicine."

 

Wyden says he's like to see people have the ability to pay for all the prescriptions they need, when they need than and not one at a time.

 

He adds that he's also working to continue keeping Oregon in the forefront of "green jobs," encouraging more businesses to come to Oregon, and develop "green" programs.

 

"I think we've got some of the building blocks in place. For example, natural gas production is way up; carbon dioxide emissions were down for the first time in 20 years, and that's absolutely key. Cleaner, affordable natural gas, good paying jobs in Oregon."

 

Wyden said the affected industries like heavy equipment, steel and food processing, are all seeing growth with more development of green programs.

 

Wyden says he also wants to begin working on healthcare issues, specifically keeping prescription drug prices low.

Kitzhaber to Visit Bend


Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is visiting Pine Ridge Elementary this morning.

 

Kitzhaber spokesperson Amy Wwojcicki says the governor is going to meet the staff and read with the new kindergartners, to welcome them to the class of 2025.

 

Wojcicki says the Governor is making a point of his initiative to raise education in Oregon:  "The Governor has set a very ambitious goal of getting 100% completion rate by the class of 2025, and so as the school year is kicking off, he's going out there and getting into classrooms and not only meeting teachers and parents, but also dropping by and getting to know the students that are part of that goal."

 

She says the Governor's only stop in the area will be to Pine Ridge Elementary; Superintendent Ron Wilkinson will be accompanying him to the classroom. 

Forum Center "Locked Down" After Report of Gunman


Hundreds of shoppers at the Forum Shopping Center on Bend's east side found themselves in a "lockdown" as police receive a call from a woman, reporting there was a man in the parking lot drunk and waving a gun, threatening to shoot people.

 

Our news partner, News Channel 21 reports it happened last night around 7:45 p.m.

 

After receiving the call, Bend Police alerted the stores in the Forum Center to lock their doors and keep shoppers inside for safety.

 

After a half-hour search, police did not find the possible suspect and gave the "all clear" to the businesses.

 

Right now, police believe the call may have been a hoax and they are working to find the woman who called.  If found, she would be charged with making a false police report.

 

If you have any information about this incident, contact Bend Police.

Man Stabbed by Acquaintance


A 59 year old Bend man sustained life-threatening injuries when he is attacked and stabbed.

 

Sgt. Nick Parker reports that just before 9 p.m. Friday night, Bend Police are called to a home at 318 NW Colorado; the victim called 911 to report he had been stabbed by an intruder.

 

Police find the victim with stab wounds to his abdomen and he was taken to St. Charles with his life threatening injuries.

 

Nicole Lynn Clark, 31, of Bend was arrested for the assault.  The investigation reveals Clark and the victim were acquaintances,

 

Clark is charged with burglary, and several assault and unlawful use of a weapons charges and is lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.

4 Teens Involved in Accident- 2 Hurt


Two Bend teens are injured; one seriously as passengers in a car that struck a house on NE Red Oak in northeast Bend Friday just before noon.

 

A 16 year old Bend boy was driving a black VW Jetta at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the car, sideswiped another car, then left the road and struck a front porch pillar at the home on Red Oak, and then a tree.

 

One 17 year old boy was ejected from the car and was taken to St. Charles with serious injuries; it was believed he did not wear a seatbelt.

 

A 15 year old boy was also taken to St. Charles with non-life threatening injuries. A third boy, also 17 years old was not injured.

 

The case is still under investigation, but the driver was cited for reckless driving; several charges of assault; criminal mischief; speed racing and more.

 

Due to his age, he was released to relatives but will appear in Deschutes Circuit Court in the future.

Dozens of Cows Perish in Traffic Accident


44 cows died after five different commercial trucks on Highway 97 north of Madras struck most of them.

 

Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings says it happened last Thursday night just before midnight. "A large group of cattle, it appears that they breached through a fence, and they got onto Highway 97 about 14 miles north of Madras. There were approximately 50 cattle in the area, 44 of them died. A majority of them were hit by five different commercial truck that were traveling along Highway 97 in that area."

 

Hastings says the entire incident took just a few minutes and those cows that were not killed by the truck had to be put down.

 

The cattle were owned by the R2 Ranch.  No truck drivers were injured; but Highway 97 was closed down for several hours. 

 

Hastings says that while farm animals do get loose from time to time; having 50 cows get out was quite unusual. He warns all drivers to be extra alert when driving through agricultural areas, as from time to time animals do get loose.  And if you see one animal, there is a good chance that another or more are near.

Chemult Death Identified


Below is the Oregon State Police report identifying the man who died  during an incident  in Chemult Tuesday, the cause has not been determined.

 

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Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigation Division detectives are continuing the investigation into the death of an adult male during an incident Tuesday morning in Chemult. The names of persons involved are released in this update, but a cause of death hasn't been confirmed by the State Medical Examiner's Office following an autopsy Thursday.

 

On September 4, 2012 at approximately 9:45 a.m. Chemult EMS were dispatched to a report of a man who fell near a Chevron gas station along Highway 97 in Chemult. Prior to EMS arrival, the man later identified as DONALD BRENT SMITH, age 52, was reportedly acting erratically. Witnesses tried calming SMITH, talking to him and giving him water while awaiting emergency responders. As the ambulance was arriving, SMITH jumped in front of it before approaching a nearby apartment believed to be occupied by a pregnant female.

 

The woman's father, GEORGE GRAY from Chemult, and three adult male witnesses approached SMITH. Believing the woman was in the apartment and out of concern for her safety, they physically restrained SMITH on the ground as EMS personnel monitored the situation and requested OSP troopers respond.

 

Before OSP arrived, SMITH lost consciousness and stopped breathing. EMS personnel started CPR and requested air ambulance response. SMITH was pronounced deceased at the scene. Next of kin were located out of state and notified Thursday. OSP detectives learned SMITH, whose last known Oregon address is in North Bend, was living out of his pickup while camping in the area mushroom picking.

 

On September 6, 2012, the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy and a cause of death was not confirmed. Toxicology test results may not be available for several weeks.

Detectives are updating the Klamath County District Attorney's Office as the investigation progresses.

Redmond Lunch


Mid Oregon Credit Union and the Redmond Rotary Club got together to provide lunch to the staff of Redmond City Schools as they get ready to start the school year on Thursday.

The lunch attracted close to three hundred attendees.

This year, Redmond will welcome a new high school to their family of schools, as Ridgeview opens its doors.

Run To the Cascades


The Run To The Cascades Motorcycle Rally kicks off today at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.

The event is advertized in national motorcycle publications and is expected to bring in bikers from all over the West Coast.

Also, as part of the rally, the expo center will host a tattoo exposition, a trick riding demonstration and real live jousting by the Knights of Mayhem.

Two Die in Skiing Accident at Lake Billy Chinook


Tragedy struck twice on Lake Billy Chinook yesterday. 37-year-old Mark Harris of Madras was skiing around 11 AM when he fell off his skis.

When his father, who was driving the boat, turned around to pick him up, he accidently hit and killed Mark.

73-year-old Eugene Harris, jumped in to save his son, but sank himself, at last report his body has not been recovered yet.

Police say alcohol was not involved in the accident.

Local Builders Hope for Fees Deferral Program Extension


The Bend City Council is considering if they want to continue the System Development Charges Deferral Program for another year.

 

The SDC's are collected when a builder pulls permits to build homes or commercial buildings, and those fees could be hefty.

 

Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore says the deferral will give them up to nine months to pay those fees. "If they can hold off on the SDC payments, I think it's about $20,000, somewhere in there, it's a benefit for them to be able to push that off until they have a final purchaser for the home.  It's an annual program and the council wants to have the ability to review the effectiveness of it on an annual basis."

 

Skidmore says the fees are used to build or improve roads, water and sewer systems, transportation and the Bend Parks and recreation department.

 

He adds they could approve the deferral program in just a few weeks - just before the current program ends.

Get Ready for Ashton Eaton's Return


Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton is coming to Bend.

 

Sunday, September 23rd will be a big day in downtown Bend, as the city is rolling out the red carpet to honor Ashton’s accomplishments.

 

His mother, Roz says Ashton is very excited about coming home.  "We would like to thank everyone for their support and I’m so happy that this parade is going to allow Ashton, at the end of it, to address the city and to thank everyone for the support they've given him, and to encourage all the children as well to just go for their dreams, no matter what they are."

 

Right now, the "Parade of Olympians" is Sunday, September 23rd in downtown Bend and it will also feature many other Olympians who live in the area.

 

There will also be an opportunity for kids to do a "fun run" with Ashton after the parade, and he will sign autographs.

Wyden Touts Oregon's Achievements at Convention


Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says he was very proud to lead the Oregon delegation in casting votes to nominate Barack Obama for the Democratic ticket.

 

He says he and Senator Jeff Merkley took the opportunity during the convention, to sing the praises of the State of Oregon.  “It was a chance to make some our key points. Of course, our state has always been at the end of the Oregon Trail, but we feel we're in the forefront now of American innovation. Particularly in those areas that are going to lead to more good-paying jobs and have some fun and give a big shout out for Chip Kelly's Ducks and Craig Robinson's Beavers. We had a good time."

 

Wyden says he also highlighted Oregon's very successful vote by mail system; how it's being used as a template for other states voting systems.

 

He adds that President Clinton’s speech really made some "concrete cases"  to continue the course of Obama’s administration and that it really ignited the crowd.

Merkley Says Clinton Hit All the Right Notes


The crowd at the Democratic National Convention continues to get pumped up about their candidate, President Barak Obama.

 

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was electrified by President Clinton's speech and feels he hit the right notes.

"Bill Clinton used all of his experience and rhetorical skills to lay out the case of how we have a lot of work to do to  put this economy back on track, and we're not going to succeed with the top-down approach that put us in trouble in the first place. And again, a very positive direction, looking forward."

 

Merkley says he's looking forward to tonight's speeches by President Obama and Joe Biden.

 

He says he loved having the privilege of speaking on behalf of the delegation to cast votes to nominate Barack Obama last night.

More Details Emerge on Boating Accident


We have a few more details on the accident at Lake Billy Chinook. Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins tells our news partner News Channel 21, a boat was pulling a skier who apparently fell.

 

The accident happened near the Crooked River Bridge this morning.

 

When the boat circled around to pick up the skier, it may have run over the skier.  Witnesses say the driver jumped into the water, bobbing a few times and disappeared.

 

One body has been recovered and identification is being withheld until the family is notified. The second body, which at this time is unidentified, has not been located.

 

Deschutes County Search and Rescue divers have been called to search, along with Warm Springs Police.

1110 KBND will bring you more details when they become available.

Accident at Lake Billy Chinook


We have a report of an accident at Lake Billy Chinook – according to Tom Jaca with Jefferson County Fire, authorities are in the recovery mode.  1110 KBND is still working on the story and we’ll give you more details as they become available.

Local DNC reaction


With the Democratic Nation Convention wrapping up tonight with speeches from President Obama and Vice President Biden, local democrat precinct member Mary Clark says that the First Lady’s speech has been a real highlight of the event so far, referring to her as a “rock-star”.

We will be carrying the final night of the convention live at 5:00 pm.

"Pared Down" Jail Expansion Proposed


A pared down Deschutes County jail expansion proposal was offered the Deschutes County Commissioners Wednesday.

 

Commissioner Alan Unger says Sheriff Blanton's proposal would basically add a "pod" on the existing facility and house 144 beds, and the cost would be shared.  "We determined with all the costs, it would cost about $10-million. And that we could fund it through a debt service that would be funded basically 50/50 with Sheriff budget funding and General Funds from the County supported by land sales in the future."

 

Unger says they  decided to do a bit more research about the proposal, but plan to again discuss and probably decide on the proposal next week.

 

Unger adds that Sheriff Blanton is ready to get moving on the  expansion as soon as he gets the go-ahead.

 

 

Lots of Opinions on MAC Funding Ballot Measure


Supporters of the November ballot measure in Jefferson County to approve additional funding for the Madras Aquatic Center say they hope people will see the big picture of the proposal.

 

Bobby Deroest, General Manager of the "MAC Center" says he hopes the nay-sayers will see that having safe and constructive alternatives for kids can deter problems.  "We’re one community. And we need to support all out programs here. What we're offering is recreation services for the youth of our community, which I think is a good thing to say, it can be preventative as far as the jails go. We’re giving them a safe and a great outlet to utilize their time with."

 

Deroest says they have a "MAC Pac" that is helping get the word out.  He adds that the funding will add about $200,000 for the center to provide more services and "out of the water" programs.

 

The cap limits property taxes to $10 per $1000 assess value of real estate for local government projects and $5 per $1000 for schools.

 

The MAC Center was approved in 2004 for 25 cents and now they want an additional 40 cents.

 

 

Bendfilm Festival Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow for Members


It’s almost time for the 2012 Bendfilm Festival, and organizers say this year's will definitely outshine last year's.

Orit Schwartz says the first night of the festival will feature a very special documentary.

 

"We have a lot of great narratives and documentaries and short films. We are running 90 films this year and we have 7 screens, 6 venues, and we are opening the festival with the Ethel Kennedy documentary that her daughter, Rory directed."

 

Pre-sale tickets for members go on sale Thursday and then the general public can buy tickets beginning September 10th. Beginning tomorrow the bendfilm website will have synopsis of each film and where it will be shown and when. 

 

The Bendfilm Festival is October 10th through the 14th; you can get venue locations, and other information at www.bendfilm.org.

 

First Day of School Brings "Elbow Room" at One School


Now that the excitement of the first day of school for most bend la pine students is under their belt - things will settle down.

 

Stephanie Bennett, Principal at Cascade Middle School says this is the first full year with the new school boundaries their enrollment is about 870, instead of around a thousand, so it's great to have a bit of elbow room.  "The students that were at Pine Ridge are now going to Pilot Butte instead of Cascade."

 

Bennett says they do have some new hires at the school that are bringing a lot of very positive energy to the school and it's looking to be a very good year.

 

It was also the first day for freshmen in the Bend La Pine High schools; the 10th through 12th graders have their first day Thursday.

Bend Set to Get a New Park


Construction will begin next spring on a new park in Bend.

 

Miller Park will be located across the River from McKay Park and will feature a dock which will make it easier for people with physical disabilities to boat on the Deschutes River.

 

It will also have rest rooms, off street parking and a picnic shelter. The park should be finished by the end of next summer.

Bend Senior Center Controversy


United Senior Citizens of Bend is demanding one million dollars from the Bend Parks and Recreation District because it feels the Bend Senior Center is not living up to obligations it made while U-S-C-B was helping them raise funds over a decade ago.

At the heart of the controversy is a free lunch program, which has been relocated to the Bend Community Center.

While the Senior Center does offer free lunches a few times a week, and some free clinics for seniors, U-S-C-B does not think it offers enough for older, low-income seniors and instead caters to younger more active seniors.

New Welcome Center for Deschutes Forest


A new welcome center is planned for the Deschutes National Forest off the Cascades Lake Highway, south of Widgi Creek Gold club. The new center will feature restrooms, maps and will have staff to answer questions and to help out residents and tourists who want to enjoy the forest. The building is being paid for with grant money from the National Scenic Byways Program. There are also plans to pave a bike path from the welcome center into the Deschutes National Forest.

Awbrey Butte Towers on Hold


The "State Radio Project," a program that consolidates state radio systems for better communication during an emergency, is going back to the drawing board.  The project that would place a 200-foot tower on Awbrey Butte is going back to the drawing board.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff Captain Erik Utter says when they first started working on the project, a lot of concerns from local residents were raised - that were not previously taken into consideration.  "I think for us, and for the citizens here, I think it's good that it got shelved. We’re going to step back and trying to do some things carefully, cautiously, and with objective input that will help us identify really, how we should best move forward as a county and just as one single agency, as we move forward to try to address our needs."

 

Utter says they will eventually have to build the tower somewhere; but they will do a lot more research and assessment of what their exact needs are and how to keep interference with residents at a minimum.

Cascade Natural Gas to Lower Rates


Just in time for the holidays; Cascade Natural Gas is asking the Public Utilities Commission permission to lower the price of natural gas to their customers.

 

Mark Hanson, spokesman for CNG says if approved, the reduction would take place on November first and be very noticeable.  "So it will range from a residential customer, using an average amount of natural gas with average weather, not quite about 17.5%. So on a monthly basis they will see a reduction of about $9.86 on their monthly bill or a little over $118.00 a year; which comes out for a commercial customer about a little over $41.00 a month or just a little over $500.00 a year."

 

Hanson says the rate change is an annual adjustment that will "true-up" the actual cost of rates to the customers.  CNG serves about 260,000 customers in Oregon and Washington.

Redmond Proficiency Academy Has First Day


The Redmond Proficiency Academy already had their first day of classes, and Director Jon Bullock says they are not discouraging using social media to help kids learn.

 

"We adopted, this year, a bring your own technology policy, which allows students to bring their own technology to school. So students, throughout the school day will have their laptops or their phones or their tablets. We’re really encouraging students to integrate technology throughout their day."

 

Bullock says all classes have an online component; where notes from classes, assignments and other information is posted throughout the day.

 

He says they have 700 students this year in grades six through 12 and they do have room for a few more seniors.

Representative McClane on State Budget


Last week state economists found in the short term, Oregon will have 81 milllion dollars more in revenue than expected.

 

But long term, revenues look like they'll be down nearly 600 million dolalrs from original estimates.

 

State Representative Mike McClane of Powell Butte says he's grateful the state will have some reserves to help shore up funding gaps for the coming years.

 

Economists expect the slow economic recovery to stagnate even more in coming years, mainly due to slow wage growth.

High Lakes Healthcare to Participate in National Pilot Program


High Lakes Helathcare on Bend's east side and in Sisters will take part in the four year Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative.

 

Annie Thomas with the clinics says the program is trying to improve access to primary care and better manage chronic conditions.  They also hope to better coordinate care among different caregivers.

 

Seven states were singled out to participate in the program -- including Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey and Oregon.

Waterfalls 2 Fire Update


Fire crews expected to meet mop-up standards by the end of shift Sunday. These standards include having all spot fires lined and secured, along with having a 300 foot buffer area around the perimeter line. Snags that were within two tree lengths of the control lines will have been removed.

 

On Friday, one of the firefighters was struck on the shoulder by a one inch diameter, two foot long piece from the top of a tree. The tree branch that hit the firefighter fell from the top of a tree that was struck by another tree falling as it was cut. The firefighter was transported from the line to the Incident Command Post where he was examined in the medical unit. As a precaution, he was transported to the Redmond hospital for x-rays. No serious injuries were found, and the firefighter was released and authorized to work light duty as he recovers.

 

As the Labor Day weekend comes to a close Monday, drivers are reminded that there will be heavy traffic on Highway 26 that fire crews must also navigate as they depart and return to fire camp. Drivers should be extra cautious at these busy intersections. 

Mt. Washington Accident Victim Doing Better


Seairra Nelson is now listed in fair condition at St. Charles after being in critical condition for the last couple weeks.

 

The accident happened on August 17th at 4:30 in the morning, when her car hit a curb and went down a ten foot embankment on Mt. Washington near Archie Briggs.  She was ejected from the vehicle.

Paul Ryan Coming to Portland


Oregon's GOP Chairman Allen Alley says Ryan will be making a fundraising stop in Portland  on September 10th.

 

He will also be stopping in Seattle for two private fundraisers.

 

Mitt Romney has traveled to Portland three times for fundraising events in the last 14 months.

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