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Local News Archives for 2012-12


Latest on Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff


Congress is franctically trying to reach agreement before midnight when the Bush tax cuts expire and across the board federal government cuts go into effect.

 

Financial advisor Troy Reinhart with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management says if we go over, there will be a lot of losers, mostly the American public.

 

"And politically there's gonna be no winners in this.  Democrats and Republcians ... everyone is going to get blamed if we go over.  It's going to leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.  There will be no political winners in this.  So we'll have to find some way to come up with a solution."

 

In the final hours, it appears an emerging tentative agreement would extend the current rates rates for households making 450-thousands or less.  It would also extend  unemployment benefits set to expire Tuesday.

Healthcare Changes Coming in 2013


All adults must have insruance by January of 2014.

 

Health exchanges will be set up nationwide to give workers different health insurance options at hopefully lower costs.

 

Patrick O'Keefe who owns Cascade Insurance Center in Bend says healthcare will be evolving and changes brings anxiety.

 

"I think people are nervous.  I think they're nervous for two reasons.  One there's the fear of the unknown.  We were facing msssive invreases, the past few yeats about 15 percent.  And they're still averaging 15 percent and you add slightly older employees and you could see a 25 percent increase.  There's concern also nothing is going on that is causing relief."

 

O'Keefe proejcts that  small business with fifty or more employees will see moderst increases around four percent.  But he says individuals seeking plans will see bigger increases.

 

 

Top 10 Local Stories for 2012


Each year we select the top ten local stories we covered.  The criteria are local impact and attention.  Here is our list for 2012.

 

 

1-ELECTION:  Bend Parks 29 Million Dollar Bond Passes, Tim Knopp defeats Chris Telfer in Republican primart; Statewide measure 79 passes bans taxing real estate transfers, Bend Dr. Knute Buehler runs for Secretary of State, longtime Bend City council member Kathie Eckman losses seat to Sally Russell.

2- ASHTON EATON.  Eaton - Bend's own Ashton Easton breaks world record in Eugene; then goes on to win the Gold in Olympics; thousands turn out for a  Heroes Parade in Bend to honor Ashton and other Olympic athletes.

3- OSU CASCADES -efforts to make it into a four year school moves forward in a big way after years of discussions. Many individual and business donations come in to help the effort.  Two large donations from the Tykeson Foundation (1 million dollars) and Cutting Foundation (2 million dollars) are also announced. .

4.  SWIP STOPPED - Bend's controsversial Surface Water Improvement Project is halted by a judge in Eugene after Central Oregon Landwatch files a lawsuit. Estimated pricetag for project is 68 million dollars.

5.  POLE CREEK FIRE  - The fire near Sisters burned 40 squre miles in the Deschutes National Forest, cost 18 million to fight and resulted in smoke health advisories for several days and "pre-evacuation" notices for nearby subdivisions.. A report issued after the fire shows a Federal dispatcher received the call 3 hours before crews were dispatched to the fire. 

 

6.   REDMOND SCHOOLS (ups and downs) - Four students die car crashes,  school principal dies in motorcycle crash, and the head of the Redmond Proficiency Academy is arrested for his relationship with a student and other crimes.  On a positive note, the district opens the state of the art Ridgeview High School and starts major upgrades to Redmond High School. .

7. SPECIAL SESSION CALLED IN SALEM.  Lawmakers pass a bill that keeps Nike from expanding in another state.  The bill also impacts other large businesses who want to expand and create new jobs. The one day session is held on December 14th.

8. BEND NOISE ORDINANCE CHANGES.  Changes to the city's noise ordinance impacts the local music scene and Century Center announces it will close because of the changes.  The first ticket connected with the Ordinance is thrown out by a local judge. The council plans to re-visit it in January or February.

9.  BEND ROADS PROJECTS START.  As the result of the 30 million dollar bond passed by voters recently there is a lot of construction around Bend in 2012.  The three main projects are roundabouts at Northwest Crossing, 18th and Empire and Powers and Brookswood.  Another big project is slated soon for Reed Market Road.

10.  MADRAS SCHOOLS PASS VOTER REQUEST.  Paves the way for upgrades and new schools in Madras and Warm Springs.   

 

Highlights of these stories will also air in a special report on Monday, Dec. 31st at 8:40a on 1110 KBND's Morning News.

Fiscal Cliff Could Impact Local Non Profits


The President of the High Desert Museum says some non profits may be impacted by the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff.  Janeanne Upp says about 70 percent of their supporters are individuals, 12 percent comes from corporations and the rest from foundations.
 
"I WAS TALKING TO A LOCAL C-P-A WHO SAYS HIS CLIENTS ARE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO - WHAT DECISIONS DO YOU MAKE BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE TAX CODE - WE FEEL THIS TOO- EVERYTHING'S ON HOLD RIGHT NOW UNTIL CONGRESS MAKES A DECISION."
 
Upp was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  She says the breakdown of High Desert donors is similar to the trend nationwide for museums and other non profit groups.
 
She says the data has changed over the past 5 years.
 
"...AND CORPORATIONS THOSE NUMBERS HAVE REALLY SHIFTED- IT USED TO BE THAT LARGE SUPPORTERS OF NOT FOR PROFITS - BUT THAT HAS SHRUNK DOWN WITH THE CHANGE IN THE ECONOMY - THE SAME THING WITH THE STOCK MARKET DROP - AND FOUNDATIONS HAVE LESS TO GIVE - SO YOU'VE REALLY SEEN INDIVIDUALS STep UP INTO THAT VOID."
 
Upp explains that about half of the museum's budget comes from admission costs and the other half from donations.  She says one bright note right now is that many museum leaders in the northwest are much more optimistic about their financial health.  She recently attended a regional convention in California, where she says the overall tone was more "upbeat" compared to recent years.  The High Desert Museum has also seen an increase in visitors over the last five years, and many of those people are tourists.
 

Longtime Bend Doctor Paul Eckman Dies


77 year old Paul Eckman died on Christmas Day of cancer.

 

The husband of former Bend City councilor Kahtie Eckman had been a neurologist in the Bend area since the mid 1970's.

 

Kathie says she'll miss her hsuband of nearly twenty years.

 

"To me Paul was bigger than life.  First he was a physically large man, 6'3", 250 pounds.  He had a large booming voice.  That's probably what I'm going to miss the most.  He was also a walking encyclopedia.  Sometimes I think he made stuff up.  He was very intelligent, had high ethical values and was an amazing doctor.  He took time with patients.  He's just an amazing person."

 

A Memorial Service for Paul Eckman will be held at the Mormon Church on Shevlin Park in Bend on Saturday at 2 P.M., followed by a reception at Awbrey Glen.

Milk Prices Could Jump if Farm Bill Agreement Not Reached


Congress has until the end of the year or a 1949 law will take effect that could cause milk prices to double.

 

Bob Eberhard of Eberhard's Dairy is frustrated by the inaction.

 

"Well, I think what everyone is sick and tired about is our elected officials not doing the job they've been elected to do.  They've known about this deadline for months and haven't gotten it done.  They need to quit taking vacation and get their work done."

 

One of the main sticking points is food stamps.  The Senate bill cuts food stamps and other nutrition programs by four billion dollars over ten yeras.  The House bill cuts $16 billion over ten years.

 

If congress cannot agree on a new farm bill, it's hoped lawmakers will at least extend the 2008 bill by January first.

Fiscal Cliff Nearing


Now it's hoped congress can reach a scaled back agreement that would extend the tax cuts for households earning less than 250-thousand dollars.

 

The sticking point is taxes.  Republicans want all the tax cuts continued.  Democrats want those earning more than 250-thousand dollars to return to the tax rates of the 1990's.

 

Financial advisor Troy Reinahrt with Northwest Quadrant Management, says if agreement isn't reached, a lot of people will be hurt.

 

"If you take all the taxes that are going to get raised on the middle class and rich and all the federal spending cuts, it will be a three and a half to five percent drag on the economy.  When the economy is only growing at three percent, it will cause us to go into recession."

 

President Obama and congressional leaders are back in Washington trying to work out a deal before the end of the year.

Sheriff Blanton says to Stay Away from the Kill Zone


Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says sometimes people do the exact opposite of what they should do when they hear gunfire.  Sheriff Blanton says some people who were in the Clackamas Town Center during the recent shooting said they actually went towards the noise. 
 
He says some people may be curious or have a natural instinct to help - but that is not the safe thing to do.
 
"if you're in a public venue or a crowded area- leave the area as fast as you can - and be the best witness you can.  in fact, that's what we teach our cops, sheriff deputies carry off-duty all the time.  but first and foremost we must get our families safe so then we can be effective in dealing with the issue or the threat at the time."
 
Blanton also urges people to be aware of their surroundings, especially in public places.
 
The Sheriff was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  He also reacted to the recent NRA state about putting more armed people in schools to deal with mass shooters.  Blanton says he would like to see more Resource Officers in schools rather than trained teachers and other staff members. 
 

State Rep. Jason Conger ready for Gun Control Debate


State Representative Jason Conger of Bend says he's ready for a comprehensive debate on gun control in this upcoming session in Salem.
 
While he's open to discussion and new ideas, he says so far the numbers that he's studied does not seem to show that strict gun control laws work.  He compared states with many gun restrictions and those with little or now gun control laws.  He says the murder rate in states with more gun control is not lower.  In California, for example, the most restrictive state for gun owners, the murder rate is considerably higher than states like Oregon, that have a relatively low murder rate.
 
"in california the murder rate has been 4.8 per 100,000- oregon is on the lower end - oregon does background checks- less than half of california's (rate).  so i looked for other correlations- (but didn't find them)
 
By contrast, in Utah where there is almost no gun control laws, Conger says the murder rate is very low, less than half of California's.
 
Conger describes himself as mostly "agnostic" when it comes to guns and is open to hearing new ideas next session to better protect people from gun violence.  He is a relatively new gun owner and says he didn't have guns in the home when his kids were younger.
 
He also feels strongly that the conversation over new gun control laws on a national and state level seemed too early when it started just hours after the shooting in Connecticut.
 
"i felt like maybe a few days going by - so families of victims could grieve before this gets trotting out in the polical sphere- and batted around - you know i feel that when people jump on an event like that - AND BRING IT INTO THE ARENA SO QUICKLY- IT STRIKES ME AS EXPLOITATION  -  JUST SEEMS "INAPPROPRIATE."
 
Conger says school safety, violent entertainment and mental health issues also need to be addressed as part of a comprehensive conversation on gun violence.
 
Conger was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  His complete interview is found on this website under the Podcast icon.

More Icy Roads


Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says the bulk of the recent winter storm is behind us, but you still need to watch for icy spots in Central Oregon, especially at intersections. 
 
As the temperatures hover around freezing, the road may be tricky for awhile.
 
"stop well in advance of an intsection  and make sure you can stop also watch for people - just because you have the right of way doesn't mean we don't all have a responsibility - someday you might now be able to stop and you hope that someone is watching for you... accidents happen and sometimes people drive as safe as they can but they still can't stop and they slide into one another."
 
He also says to if someone passes you and you don't see any water spray off of the vehicle, even though it looks wet, that is probably a sign that you are on ice. Sheriff Blanton was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town Wednesday morning.
 

Chris Telfer's Final Days in Salem as a State Senator


She's a certified public accountant by profession and she plans on building up her practice agin now that she won't be in Salem so much.  

 

But it's not like she won't be traveling to Salem again.  She's been approached by several people.

 

"I've got lots of opportunities.  The Governor's Office has talked with me and some others have contacted me.  I'm working on a woman's PAC.  There's a lot of things going on -- which is kind of fun to sit back and decide what I want to do."

 

Telfer says she's also been approached to be an advocate for several local issues since she has the ear of lawmakers and both sides o the aisle.

 

 

Update on OSU Cascades Funding


The two year campus is well on its way to becoming a four year one.

 

It's received a couple million dollar donations this year and is in the middle of a four million dollar fundraising campaign.

 

So far the college has raised almost three million of its four million dollar goal .

 

OSU Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson says now they're waiting for final approval of state funds.  "Once we have assurance that we have the 16 million in funds and we complete the four million dollar fundraising campaign, then we'll start looking for real estate to expand the campus."

 

Johnson say they hope to secure buildings and renovate them in the next year or so, so the year ready to begin freshmen programs by 2015.

 

Shepherds House Asking for Financial Help


But the Shepherds House needs some help of its own.  They have struggled to raise enough money to keep the doors open in recent months.

 

Executive Director Curt Floski is asking for the community's help. "The last quarter,  October, November, December, we depend on almost fifty percent of our budget.  And December has not developed as we would have hoped.  We're hoping we can finish this month out strong."

 

The annual budget for the Shepehrds House is 350-thousand dollars and comes almost exclusively from individual donations.  

 

In the last year, the hose has provided 25-thousand meals and 10 thousand nights of shelter.

Dangerous Driving this Holiday Season


Driving conditions in Oregon have been dangerous during the past several days, from the local side roads to the steep mountain passes.

 

Oregon Department of Transportation officials say it's best to stay home if possible when the roads are really slick and visibility is poor.  O-DOT's Peter Murphy says if you must travel, leave earlier.

 

"What i'd like to emphasize is giving yourself alittle more time is the solution to your "hurry up - let's get there mindset" As americans we want to get there right away - and we have to fight the urge (to hurry) and then if we wait until the last minute to go we find ourselves driving too fast and up against the bumper of the guy in front of you - and we just have to  plan in advance and leave enough room between you and the guy in front of you."

 

To give you an idea of how dangerous the roads have been lately, on Sunday State Police reponded to about 30 crashes and "slide offs" just in Central Oregon.  ODOT's Peter Murphy was a recent guest on 11-10 KBND's Your Town.

Dangerous Driving this Holiday Season


Driving conditions in Oregon have been dangerous during the past several days, from the local side roads to the steep mountain passes.

 

Oregon Department of Transportation officials say it's best to stay home if possible when the roads are really slick and visibility is poor.  O-DOT's Peter Murphy says if you must travel, leave earlier.

 

"What i'd like to emphasize is giving yourself alittle more time is the solution to your "hurry up - let's get there mindset" As americans we want to get there right away - and we have to fight the urge (to hurry) and then if we wait until the last minute to go we find ourselves driving too fast and up against the bumper of the guy in front of you - and we just have to  plan in advance and leave enough room between you and the guy in front of you."

 

To give you an idea of how dangerous the roads have been lately, on Sunday State Police reponded to about 30 crashes and "slide offs" just in Central Oregon.  ODOT's Peter Murphy was a recent guest on 11-10 KBND's Your Town.

Community Learning Very Popular in Central Oregon


Over the past 60 years, the COCC Community Learning Center has grown from a grassroots program to a huge multidirectional program that enriches the community.

 

Jerry Schultz with the Center says they offer all kinds of classes from workplace development - to personal enrichment.  "The classes that maybe we wish we would’ve taken back when we were in school, but didn't have time. We have a huge variety of art classes, personal enrichment. We also have a lot of professional development, where people need to keep their license up to date to build new skills. We’ve got a very popular management academy going on right now that helps people to get certified in that area."

 

Schultz says classes are held in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

 

About 7000 students of the 17,000 enrolled at COCC are part of the Community Learning Program.

Redmond Pursues Nike


Redmond is hoping they can lure Nike to build a facility in their city.

 

Jon Stark with Redmond Economic Development says they believe Redmond is a perfect location for some of Nike's projects.  “We still have yet to learn exactly what Nike’s growth  potential is and where they're going to grow. Is it executive, is it engineering, is it development, is it manufacturing? Because Redmond lends itself very well to manufacturers, because of its available space, very competitive prices and incentives.  And proximity to our regional airport."

 

Stark says they are building a strategy to present to the company in the next few weeks.

 

The challenge, he says, is that almost every city in Oregon is also vying for a piece of the Nike pie.

Holiday Décor & Pets = Bad Mix


You may love looking at your festively decorated Christmas tree with all the shiny presents underneath, but so does your pet.

 

Lynne Ouchida with the Humane Society of Central Oregon says this is a very dangerous time for pets, because they may try to eat everything from ribbons to chocolate to lights.  "We want to make sure that those bones from the turkeys and all the other meats that we have are put away securely, in a garbage can with a lid, or behind a locking cabinet door.  Cats and dogs can open up those cabinets and they are clever. People don't even think that they might eat those bones. We've had dogs arrive and actually vomit up entire carcasses of turkey."

 

Ouchida says with all the people coming into your home, a pet can get scared or overexcited and slip out the door, so it might be good to put them in another room with water, toys and treats to help them stay calm.

Santa is Already Airborne!


It’s Christmas Eve, and kids all over the world anxiously await a visit from Santa Clause.

 

When Santa flies over Oregon- he'll have some help.

 

The 142nd Fighter Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard has a very special assignment tonight: they will protect and escort Santa over Oregon skies.

 

Major Melinda Leport with the Guard says every Christmas Eve they begin getting reports from the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord Air Force Base about erratic blips on their radar screen.

 

Because the F-15's are on continuous alert, they may be ordered airborne to investigate anything they can't positively  identify on radar. 

 

But once airborne, they realize it's St. Nick and in fact the reindeer have become accustomed to flying formation with F-15's.

 

You can watch Santa's progress by logging onto: WWW.NORADSANTA.NET

LaPine Woman Killed in Highway 97 Accident


36 year old Cherie Richardson of LaPine was killed when a car driven by a San Diego woman headed southbound lost control and crossed over into the northbound lanes and hit her car head-on.

 

Richardson was a passenger in the car hit.

 

Seven passengers in all were taken to the hospital.  Two remain in fair condition and all the others have been treated and released.

Bend Plans for Its Next New Roundabout at Reed Market and 15th Street


Bend Transportation Engineering Manager, Nick Arnis just gave the Bend City Council an update on what's planned.  

 

They are trying to aleveiate traffic tie-ups from nearby trains.  "What we've come up with mitigation.  We're going to add another lane circulating in the roundabout.  Apparently there's one lane approaching and one lane around and we're going to add an additional lane and we'll have "train ahead"  activated types of signing."

 

Arnis says signs approaching the roundabout will warn drivers when a train is coming and give them an opportunity to avoid the intersection.

 

Construction is set to start in the summer of 2013 and finish by the fall of 2014.

Jefferson County 509-J Schools Closed


Students in Jefferson County 509-J schools get their winter break early. 

 

A combination of rumors of violence, because of the Mayan Calendar “doomsday” forecast, and community reaction to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has prompted Jefferson county 509-J School District officials to close all schools today despite no credible threats.

 

Superintendent Rick Molitor states the district has been working closely with law enforcement on the rumors of violence - and have found no credible threats - but the rumors have caused a significant interruption and made it a difficult educational setting.

 

Molitor says closing the schools early will allow for students, staff and family some added peace of mind during this difficult time; as well as staff reviewing current safety protocols.

 

In addition to the school closures today, there will be a 2-hour delay when they return on January 7th, to update  teachers and staff on new safety procedures.

 

 

We have placed the entire district statement below:  

 

Dear 509-J Students, Parents, Families and Staff,

 

Re: 509-J Schools Canceled on Friday, December 21st, and 2-Hour Late Start on

Monday, January 7, 2013

 

All Jefferson County School District schools will be closed this Friday, December 21st, 2012

and a 2-hour late start will be held on Monday, January 7, 2013

 

I know there have been a number of recent rumors about student safety. I want to assure

our students, families and staff that your district has been working closely with local law

enforcement in Madras and Warm Springs and have found no credible threats to our

schools. However, these rumors have created a significant interruption to our schools and

will make it difficult to have an appropriate educational setting on Friday, December 21,

2012.

 

With that said, I also feel it’s important to acknowledge the heightened sense of concern

our community is experiencing in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. As

a result, this school closure will allow students, staff and families some added

peace-of-mind during this difficult time.

 

Furthermore, this school closure will allow our district-wide safety team to focus on a

careful review of our current school safety plans.

 

Our District support staff will be working with local law and fire departments this Friday,

December 21, 2012 to reconfirm our current safety procedures and make adjustments

over the break where we find opportunities to make our schools safer for students and

staff.

 

School will start again on January 7th with a two-hour late start. We will spend that

morning updating teachers and staff on new and existing safety protocols and be prepared

to work with students to ensure everyone knows safety is a priority and students will be

safe in our schools.

 

Thank you for your support and cooperation. We wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday

season.

Warm Wishes,

Rick Molitor

Terrebonne Man Busted for Meth Trafficking


A Terrebonne man is arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine in the tri-county region.

 

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team 's investigation led them to obtain a search warrant of  Jeffery Paxton’s ,42,  home in the Crooked River Ranch area.

 

Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and "CODE" -  found user amounts of meth - drug paraphernalia and evidence of sales and manufacturing meth - as well as an illegal handgun and a stolen pickup truck.

 

Due to the safety concerns of meth manufacturing - they requested the assistance of the Oregon Emergency Response Team (CERT) to help remove evidence from the home.

 

Paxton was taken into custody without incident and is lodged in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

City – County to Share Some Services


The Bend City Council agreed to allow "sharing" of some Public Works equipment, staff and services with Deschutes County and other jurisdictions.

 

Public Works Director Paul Rheault says they have been doing some sharing over this year and it's been very successful; he gives an example of what was done in cooperation with the county. "They've been very helpful, easy to work with. We’ve done staff training on major pieces of equipment. We actually have a striper that we used to stripe the roads. It gets very limited use; it's just a certain time of year, it sits a lot, so we're looking at maybe taking that vehicle on the road for a fee, and maybe painting some stripes, doing some striping for other communities."

 

Rheault says there are a lot of maintenance projects where the city and county could share equipment and staff, as well as nearby jurisdictions.

 

The sharing that was done this year was on a "courtesy" basis; but all  jurisdictions agree that a fee schedule needs to be developed for the future.

Gun Control and the Constitution


We've had these conversations before, but there appears to be more political will from the President and congressional leaders to get some reasonable legislation passed to prevent these tragedies.

 

OSU Cascades Political Science Professor Jim Foster says a 2008 Supreme Court case, District of Columbia verus Heller - where the high court struck down the D.C. ban on handguns in the home  - offers some perimeters.

 

"So what Heller said was indiivduals do have a right to have a gun.  And what McDonald states is states and localities have to respect that right.  But Heller found just because it's an individual right to own a gun, and there is no such thing as an absolute right, it doesn't preclude reasonable regulation and that opens the door to what is reasonable."

 

Foster says gun control legislation will have to come not just from the federal level, but from the state and local levels as well.

"Freedom from Religion" Participates in Prineville's Nativity Scene


The Christmas scene has been up since early December, but "Freedom from Religion" just put up their banner this week espousing their views.

 

Bob Orlando has put up the city's nativity display for the last couple years.  "It says something like the Winter Solstice. There are no Gods, no devils.  You know it's not the kind of display I'd like,  but they're welcome to their opinion."

 

Patrick Elliott with "Freedom from Religion" in Wisconsin says the first amendment protects their voices too.  "We think it's appropriate to participate in the nativity scene which is not representative of all residents and express the view for some people and we can actually be a a part of it."

 

Orlando says a lot of people have called him to complain about the banner, but feels there's not much hhey can do.  They have a right to be there too.

Emergency Declared for Additional Shelter Capacity


It's been very cold recently, especially with the wind chill factor, and Bend City leaders don't want homeless people forced to sleep outside.

 

The city just declared an "emergency" so that extra homeless shelters can be set up.

 

Justin Finestone, with the City of Bend, says this first surfaced a few years ago during a cold snap.  Several Churches wanted to help by opening temporary shelters.  But thet Fire Department was concerned about safety.    

 

"WE WORKED WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO COME UP WITH SOME MINIMUM GUIDELINES -SO THOSE CHURCHES COULD PICK UP THE CAPACITY BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE SPENDING THE NIGHT OUTSIDE - IF THEY DON'T HAVE TO - - WE CAME UP WITH A PLAN WHERE THE CITY CAN DECLARE AN EMERGENCY IF IT GETS TO BE 25 DEGREES OR LESS OVERNIGHT.  SO PLACES CAN CALL THE FIRE MARSHAL AND THEN THEY CAN COME OUT AND GIVE THEM THE REQUIREMENTS AND INSPECT THE PROPERTY TO MAKE SURE THEY AREN'T HOUSING TOO MANY PEOPLE AND THAT THEIR FACILITY IS SAFE."

 

The Declaration is in effect until February 28th, 2013.

Bend Council Approves EA Spending


The Bend City Council was almost unanimous in approving a roughly 55-thousand dollar authorization for the U.S. Forest Service to begin working on the Bridge Creek Pipeline project.

 

Mayor Jeff Eager said if they can begin the environmental analysis soon, the construction of the pipeline could coincide with the Skyliner's Road project, and that would save the city millions of dollars.  "I think it wouldn't be responsible for us, as much as I would not like to be talking about water at my last city council meeting, I think it would be irresponsible for us to not move this forward to keep the timeline in tact; consistent with what this council approved unanimously, which is to go forward with the modified environmental assessment."

 

Councilor Mark Capell added that there will now be more time for public input on the project.

 

City Manager Eric King reassured the Council that, if the new Council pulls back on the project, the funding would be reduced to whatever work was already done.

The Positive Side of December 21st


December 21st,  Friday, has many people wondering if something monumental will happen, as it will be the last day of the Mayan calendar.

 

There has been "doomsday" or "end of the world" forecasters for years; but many people are feeling a little apprehensive that this time it may well happen.

 

Life coach and counselor, Eileen Locke says she's been trying to reassure people that all the hype can be used for good.  "The first thing that we need to understand is that none of us really know what's going to happen. Because it's never happened before. and so it's largely speculation. And those people that have noticed that there's been a lot of change in the world the last couple of years; they're afraid that it's just going to escalate.  I tried to help them understand that that change is making space for something new."

 

Locke says December 21st is also the Winter Solstice, and that has significant meaning to many. and this is the reason for the concern.  She says to use the time to focus on being positive.

Keep Those Fire Hydrants Clear


Winter has started in earnest; and we've has several snow storms already.

 

Cindy Kettering with Bend Fire reminds us that it's very important to shovel the walkways; and if you have a fire hydrant on your property, clear that too.  "Go one step further and clear the area around the hydrant. In the event of a fire, it's very important that we can get to that hydrant and connect to it quickly and easily. That’s going to help us reduce the chance of death, injury or property damage, by being able to make that quick connection to a fire hydrant."

 

Kettering says they need about a three foot clearance around the hydrant, and if you have a commercial property, you need to clear the emergency exits that are seldom used.

 

The city ordinance requires a homeowner to clear sidewalks and driveways of snow within the first day of snowfall and businesses within six hours of the snowfall.

Bend Couple Pledges Two Million Dollar Gift to OSU Cascades from their Estate


The funds will be used to support academic degree programs.

 

The Cuttings are both OSU alumni.  They grew up in McMinnville and retired to Bend in 2006.

 

Mike Cutting says they believe in higher education.  "Both Carmen and I went to OSU and we fee very strongly about the university.  We feel it's important that OSU have a four year campus in central Oregon.  It's timie for this area to have a four year university.  The opportunity for kids growing up in central Oregon and on the economy.  We thought now is the right opportunity to do something."

 

Mike Cutting is a co-founder of Northwest Atlantic Partners, a comprehenisve real estate brokerage service for retailers.

 

OSU Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson is humbled by the generous donation.  "Well, it's just an incredible show of support for the future of OSU.  As you know, they are OSU alums and they understand the importance of supporting your alma mater.  We're all part of the OSU family, so it's great to see alums supporting OSU  Cascades."

 

When the Cuttings estate is settled, OSU Cascades V-p will have the discretion to spend the funds on academic degree programs as they see fit, which is highly unusual.

 

 

 

Permitting Process Starts Over for Bend Water Project


The Deschutes National Forest Service is withdrawing its original approval of a special permit that would allow the waterline to go through the Tumalo Creek area.

 

Opponents went to court to stop the project and got a jduge to issue an injunction.

 

So the city of Bend has issued a new modified proposal that limits the water diversion for the project to remain at current levels, instead of using the maximum allowed by their water rights.

 

The Forest Service will hold public comment on the modified proposal starting December 20th until the end of January.

 

If the permit is approved, the project could move forward by this summer.

 

It's unclear whether opponents will fight this proposal as well.

Bremont Gets 19 Years


Michael Bremont- the former executive director of the Redmond Proficiency Academy is sentenced to 19 months in prison.

 

Bremont was convicted of sexually abusing two former students.

 

One of the students, now 18 years old spoke at the sentencing saying Bremont "stole her innocence and ruined her trust in men."

 

Deschutes County Deputy D.A. Mary Anderson tells our news partner, News Channel 21 that some adults described Bremont as a kid magnet; very involved with kids. But others saw it as grooming behavior.

 

Bremont spoke briefly, saying how sorry he was for letting down his family, the community and the school.

 

Earlier this year, Bremont agreed to an Alford plea on similar sexual abuse charges  from a former student at Central Linn High School, when he was principal there.

 

Bremont also must pay $50,000 in restitution to the Redmond school (RPA) after another Alford plea on theft from the school.

"Santa Express" Gives to Many


Remember the "Santa Express" the Bend Fire Department held a couple of weeks ago?  Well,  the families are about to receive their Christmas gifts.

 

Cindy Kettering with the Salvation Army Advisory Board says they are helping a huge number of families this year.  "My understanding is there are over 1000 families. Some of them a just going to be getting food, some of them, those with children will be getting clothing and toys for the kids. We've been packing up bags for quite some time now and it's always a great experience when we're distributing those bags; just the families that would have had nothing for the kids."

 

Kettering says the giveaway is Wednesday all day long and for her, being involved in the giveaway is "what makes the holidays" for her.

Heating Bills Can Eat You Alive


Cold days and even colder nights can have you reaching to turn up your thermostat; but there are ways to keep you warm without turning up the heater.

 

Tom Gauntt with Pacific Power says there are simple things to do, like covering drafty windows with plastic sheeting and try to block drafty doors.

 

But the simplest money saver:  "If you can remember to lower the thermostat when you're gone or asleep, then you'll be able to make more effective use of when you do need to turn it up to keep nice and cozy, you will have saved that energy from making sure to turn it down at night. So you just kind of maximize the energy that you do use."

 

Gauntt says also to only wash full loads of laundry and use cold water as much as possible; also only wash full loads in the dishwasher.

 

You can get more tips at:   www.pacificpower.net.

Bend Fire Stairclimbers Looking for a "Spark"


Bend Fire is looking for a little inspiration.

 

Spokesperson Cindy Kettering says they are planning on participating in the National Firefighters Stairclimb in Seattle in March, and to help raise funds for leukemia / lymphoma, they are looking for their "Inspiration to Climb".  "We are also looking for our "inspiration to climb." each year we look for a local child who is battling leukemia /lymphoma, one of the blood cancers. And we like to honor the child and their family; as our inspiration to climb and we are looking for that child, we have not yet found them."

 

Kettering says the Bend Firefighters will be at the Bend Brewing Company Wednesday hoisting brews to raise money for leukemia. All proceeds from 5-7 p.m. will go to the firefighters 2013 Stairclimb .

Icy Roads Cited for Multi-Car Crash


Ice and snow are cited as the cause for a multi-car crash on Highway 97 just north of La Pine.

 

Tuesday afternoon, just before 2 p.m., Frances Sittel, 62, from La Pine was southbound on Hwy 97 when she lost control of her car on the ice and crashed into the back of one car that cause it to crash into a second car.

 

The second car then spun across lanes, crashing into a car driving northbound by Lisa Stewart of Bend.

 

Stewart's car caught fire, but she was able to get out of the car. She was taken to St. Charles with non-life threatening injuries; all other drivers were not injured.

 

Oregon State Police, Deschutes County Sheriff, ODOT, and the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District all responded to the scene. The investigation into this accident is continuing.

Winter Weather Driving Advice


This week may be especially dangerous on local roads and mountain passes.

snow and wind is expected every day this week - with another big system coming in on Wednesday.

 

Peter Murphy with the Oregon Department of Transportation talks about the challenge of driving in these conditions.

 

"THE WIND IS A CHALLENGE IN ITSELF- BECAUSE WE'RE GETTING BLIZZARD-LIKE CONDITIONS....BLOWING SNOW -LIGHT- A LOT OF WIND AND THE SNOW THAT COMES WITH IT ACROSS THE HIGHWAY MAKES FOR VERY LOW VISIBILITY - GO SLOW- CAUTION- TAKE THEIR TIME AND LEAVE PLENTY OF SPACE BETWEEN YOU AND GUY IN FRONT OF YOU - AND THERE'S A BIG CHANCE FOR PEOPLE TO COME UP ON SOMEONE THEY DIDN'T EXPECT WITHOUT THEM BEING ABLE TO SEE VERY FAR IN THE DISTANCE."

 

Murphy was up on Mount Bachelor and saw the dangerous conditions first hand on Monday morning.  He says it was very dramatic with tons of snow, lots of wind and very poor visibility. He said you could only see about 20 feet in front of you.  Murphy says when conditions are that bad it's best to just avoid driving on mountain passes if possible.

 

The National Weather Service in Pendleton says another big system with wind and snow could move into the area on Wednesday and continue on for a few hours into Thursday.   Later Thursday and Friday will be more mild, but a change of snow showers are still in the forecast.  

Conger Calls Friday's Session a Success


State Representative Jason Conger (R-Bend) calls Friday's special session a "success" and hope the "Nike Bill" can be expaned to include tax certainty to small businesses in Oregon

 

He says it was important to keep the expanding retail giant here in Oregon.  

 

 "AS A RESULT - NIKE WILL CREATE A MINIMUM OF 500 JOBS AND THE PROJECTION WE WERE SHOWN WAS 12 THOUSAND DIRECT AND IN-DIRECT JOBS..AS A RESULT OF THE PASSAGE OF THE BILL....CONTRACT WITH THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.

 

The Bill from Friday's special session applies to companies that will invest 150 million dollars and create at least 500 jobs.  The bill sunsets in January 2013.  Conger says in February's session they may be able to broaden the bill and address any other issues that surface between now and then.  He says several states have been courting Nike to move and expand there. 

 

Three of those states were Washington, Idaho and Colorado.

 

Conger also says even though the special session was very important for Oregon, their action that day was overshadowed by the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. 

 

Local Non-Profit Helps Kids Deal with Anger to Prevent Violence


Preventing anger from escalating in the first place is a start.

 

A local non-profit group called "Winning Against Anger and Violence" has been trying to do that for 25 years in central Oregon.

 

The group's director, Karen Hobbs says they try to reach people with anger issues before things escalate into violent acts.

 

"But that's the end of the road for them.  I hear what you're saying, we're seeing a kind of Rambo act.  What about reaching these people before they act out.  That's what concerns Winning, getting these people who need help, the extra help they need.  We can teach them to make different choices."

 

"Winning Against Anger and Violence" offers counseling to adults and chidlren dealing with anger issues.  Some are mandated by the courts and others are self referred.  The group is specifically reaching out in area schools working alongside school counselors to help students deal with their anger and make better choices. 

Sunriver Preschool Looks to Deschutes County for Help


But Deschutes County Commissioenrs have indicated they hope to help.

 

"New Generations" has 29 students and has been forced to reduce hours and layoff a staff member because they just lost a Headstart grant.

 

The school's director, Jennifer Abanto says tuition will be going up too.   "So you lose major fundraising from Headstart, you have to find other fundraising to repalce that.  We've reduced our hours and been careful with our spending.  And tuition has to go up."

 

Deschutes County Commissioners are leaning toward giving the center a three thousand dollar grant to help them weather the loss of the Headstart grant.

Chuck Hemmingway Retires


 

When Chuck Hemmingway, Executive Director of the Central Oregon Veteran's Outreach retires at the end of the month, he's leaving a legacy of good accomplishments.

 

Hemmingway says they have improved the living conditions for many homeless vets; but the biggest obstacle for vets today:  "Well, for the returning veterans, finding jobs and finding housing and finding employers who are willing to take a chance on a veteran. A lot of the young people that are coming back from having served are finding it difficult to convince employers that the job skills that they had in the military are translatable into jobs in the workplace."

 

Hemmingway says they are also working with the Oregon Legislature to get regulations that help returning vets get various licenses by using their work experience in the service.

 

Hemmingway's successor with the COVO is Allison Perry, someone many veterans already know because she was a counselor for vets at one time.

School Security Examined


 

In light of the school shootings in Connecticut, we asked local school officials about security at Central Oregon schools.

 

Jayel Hayden, who coordinates the monthly Safe School Alliance meetings for Deschutes and Crook County schools says ever since the school shooting in Springfield in 1998, they have developed safety procedures to help keep kids safe.  “One of the things that this group has been able to do is be consistent on our evacuation procedures, our lock down procedures. And we, from this group has developed those types of plans for schools and we discussed those and share them with our schools and then school implement them. And that's the same with policy development; we make recommendations back tot he schools."

 

Hayden says he's not sure what can be done about an outsider coming into schools with bad intentions, but they will discuss all options.

 

The Safe School Alliance will meet again this week and he's sure increased security will be on the agenda.

New City Hall Building Almost Ready


Bend Fire Chief Announces Retirement


Bend Fire Chief Larry Huhn wraps up 30-years of service as he announces his April retirement.  The search for his replacement will begin in January and Huhn says he’ll stay until the new chief is hired.  Huhn joined the Bend Fire Department in 1983 and was promoted to captain in 1992, and then to battalion chief in 1997.  In 2003, he was promoted to deputy chief and logistics officer.  City Manager Eric King promoted him to fire chief in 2008.  Hunn says he’s looking forward to opening a new chapter in his life and seeing where it takes him.

Oregon Lawmaker Wants to Arm Teachers


An Oregon lawmaker says the Sandy Hook shooting incident is proof that teachers should be armed. State Representative Dennis Richardson recently contacted three Rogue Valley school superintendents…telling them that gun bans on school property should be overturned. He said the shootings represent another failure of school personnel to protect our children.

Richardson is a Republican from Central Point.  He says at least three officials in every school should be trained in the use of a firearm and have it available at the school.

Hwy 97 Crash Kills Two


Two people were killed early in a Saturday evening crash on Hwy 97 near Terrebonne. 

OSP reports that 19-year-old Justin Hendrix was driving northbound on Hwy 97 when a pickup truck driven by a 67-year-old man from Vancouver, Washington tried to pass him in a prohibited passing area on a snow-covered surface. 

The pickup driver lost control and crashed into the Hendrix vehicle.  Both vehicles went off the road. The pickup truck rolled on to its top, trapping all three occupants in the wreckage. 

The driver and one of his passengers died at the scene.  Another passenger was transported to a hospital with major injuries after being extricated by Redmond Fire and Rescue. 

The bad weather conditions contributed to the crash.  Saturday night’s storm…and people driving too fast…caused a number of other crashes…on the Bend Parkway and on Third Street near Reed Market Road…and other locations around the county.  There were no major injuries in those incidents.

Sunday House Fire


An early morning structure fire caused an estimated $10-thousand dollars damage on Joe Neil Road, northeast of Bend.  Bend Fire & Rescue responded to a report of smoke coming from under the house around 6:30 Sunday morning.  Firefighters found smoke coming into the house from around the fireplace.  After dismantling the fireplace, they found the mortar between the fireplace box and hearth had fail, allowing embers to fall onto the subflooring and starting a fire.  They were able to extinguish the flames…preventing further damage to the house.   There were no injuries during the incident.  Fire officials recommend that fireplaces and woodstoves are cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.

Bend Woman Shot


A Bend couple made up a story about a burglary at their home…to cover up the fact the woman had been shot by her boyfriend.  Officers went to a house on Ross Road in northeast Bend around 6 on Saturday morning on the report of a burglary.  44-year-old Anthony Pastran told police someone had knocked on the door and that his girlfriend answered the door.  He said that the girlfriend  found a gun on the front porch when she opened the door…and that she had been shot in the leg by the gun.  39-year-old Lisa Anne Schnittke was taken to St. Charles Medical Center and was treated for a gunshot that went through her left thigh and then lodged in her right thigh.  Further investigation revealed that there was no burglar and no knock on the door…and no gun was found on the porch.  Instead…the .22 caliber handgun was already in the house…and Schnittke was shot during a struggle over the gun.

Pastran was arrested for Assault, Possession of Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Reckless Endangering  Another Person.

 

Two Killed in Hwy 97 Crash


OSP PRESS RELEASE

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - DOUBLE FATAL TRAFFIC CRASH - HIGHWAY 97 NORTH OF REDMOND

Posted: December 15th, 2012 7:49 PM

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are starting an investigation into a two-vehicle traffic crash on Highway 97 north of Redmond in Deschutes County near milepost 114.

Preliminary information indicates on December 15, 2012 at approximately 6:30 p.m., a passenger car and pickup were involved in the collision. Two people in the pickup are reported deceased at the scene. There is at least one other person injured in the passenger vehicle.

No other details will be released pending the initial on scene investigation and next of kin notifications. More details should be released Sunday.

Traffic-related information is posted on ODOT's website www.TripCheck.com.

The Head of the Oregon Firearms Federation Speaks Out


A spokesman from the Oregon Firearms Federation" is speaking out on the recent fatal shootings.  One was last Tuesday at The Clackamas Towne Center in Portland and the other was on Friday at an elementary school in Connecticut.
 
While gun control legislation is already gaining some attention in Oregon and on the national level, the Executive Director of The Oregon Firearms Federation has a different point of view. 
 
Kevin Starrett says we need more guns, in the hands of the right people, to stop senseless violence.
 
 
"nobody will address the fact that somebody has to be there to stop these people- because we just don't want to deal with it- the anti-gun people are living in a fantasy land...this has happened everywhere from isreal..to...canada - but as long as we're willing to send our little babies into unprotected government buildings..we won't see the end of it."
 
Starrett says in the absence of having an armed person to guard schools, another option would be to have armed and trained teachers and other staff members who are in the school and would automatically be the first responders.
 
Starrett was a guest on Friday on the Lars Larson Show heard on 1110 KBND from Noon to 3 Monday through Friday. 
 

Bend City Manager Says Noise Ordinance will be Re-visited


Bend's City Manager says he was surprised by the recent closing of the Century Center, on Bend's westside.
 
In the closing, the people associated with local music spot cited concerns about changes tot he city's noise ordinance that went into effect this past summer. 
 
City manager Eric King was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town, heard at 8:40a each morning.
 
"I WAS ACTUALLY SURPRISED BY THAT- BECAUSE WE TOOK OUT TIME LAST YEAR TO INVOLVE EVENT PROMOTERS AND OTHERS ON BOTH SIDES TO INVOLVE THEM ON CHANGES TO THE NOISE ORDINANCE- BECAUSE WE HAD HEARD FROM NEIGHBORS- THAT THE NOISE ORDINANCE WASN'T WORKING- SO WE CHANGED IT- AND WE ACTUALLY RAISED THE DECIBLE LEVELS FROM THE EARLIER ORDINANCE- and MADE IT LESS RESTRICTIVE."
 
He says the new council will talk about the noise ordinance changes in January or February after several newly elected council members are up to speed.
 
The city will also choose its new mayor during the upcoming January 16th meeting. 
 
You can hear this entire interview on this website under Your Town Podcast.
 

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton Suffers Concussion


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is recovering at home after suffering a concussion, a spokesman said Saturday.

 

“While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion,” Philippe Reines said in a statement. “She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors.”

 

At the recommendation of her doctors, “she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials,” he said. Ms. Clinton canceled a trip to North Africa last week due to illness.

 

Congressional aides do not expect her to testify as scheduled at congressional hearings on Thursday into the Sept. 11 attack against a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

 

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss Ms. Clinton's status.

Connecticut Shooting Update


The details continue to come in on the horrific school shooting in Connecticut.

 

27 people, mostly children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, were gunned down and killed this morning.

 

A gunman identified as 20 year old Adam Lanza walked into a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school where his mom worked as a teacher and killed dozens.   Authorities say 20 children were killed and six adults,  including Lanza's mother.

 

Lanza's father, who lived in New Jersey was killed at his home.

 

Police are interviewing Lanza's 24 year old brother Ryan.

 

Three people remain hospitalized from the shooting, but it's believed their injuries are not life threatening.

 

This is the second worst mass shooting in u.s. history, exceeded only by the virginia tech shooting in 2007 when 32 were killed.

 

We will have more information as it becomes available.

A Bend Counselor Has Advice for Parents About Shooting


A Bend counselor says children may be especially shocked by today's fatal school shooting- especially on the heels of the fatal mall shooting here in Oregon a few days ago.

 

Counselor Jane Meyers also says you should probably shelter young children from TV reports and other dramatic visual images of the shooting.

 

"They're just too little - they're too little to process those images and so the very best thing a parent can do is to keep them away from it and they've heard about it I think the best way you can explain it to young kids is to say there are people in the world who are very sick- just like you get sick with the flu- they are sick in their hearts- they do things that don't make any sense."

 

She says to balance out all of the negative media coverage you can tell your children and grandchildren that there are many more good, non-violent people in the world.  Its also good to find stories about heroes of tell your kids about those people.  One example that is circulating on Facebook today is about a woman in Nazi Germany who risked her life and was able to save about 25 hundred children from the concentration camps. 

 

 

Greg Walden Statement on the Tragedy in Newtown, Conn.


Hermiston, Ore. — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today condemned the tragic attack in Newtown, Conn. He issued the following statement:

 

“Mylene and I were horrified to learn of this senseless tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the children, teachers, and families. Our entire nation mourns this senseless loss.  As parents, we know that there are no words to adequately express our sorrow at today’s horrific events.”

Rumors Can Be Costly


The date of December 21st has gathered a lot of attention lately; some think it's the "end of the world" because the Mayan calendar ends,-but some are taking it a bit too far.

 

There has been some rumors, both on social media and in person about a plan to create a "safety issue" at Mountain View High School on that date.

 

Bend La Pine School spokesperson Julianne Repman says they contacted Bend Police and they are taking all the rumor talk seriously; and there will be repercussions.  "In this situation, I think it's also important to know that there are some very hefty consequences. If a source of the rumor is found, potential charges include more than 1400 - that's more than 1400 counts of computer crimes, disorderly conduct and harassment. So we take it very seriously and we will make sure that the right things happen here in the end if there is a rumor."

 

Repman says that they appreciate that students are reporting the rumors they hear to authorities at the school, indicating the open lines of communication.  "And thanks to the eyes and ears of the 16,000 students here in the school district; kids just don't hesitate to let us know when they hear something that just doesn't sound right. And thanks to that, we can say our schools are safe places to learn and we plan to keep it that way, thanks to all those eyes out there."

 

She says the utmost importance in the safety of all students - faculty and staff at all schools.

Say "Bye" to Loud Commercials


The Federal Communication Commission has instituted a new rule that the loudness lever of all commercials must be at a certain level.

 

The "Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation" or "CALM” rule was a reaction by the FCC to many complaints about "blasting" commercials during TV programs.

 

Greg Sair with Zolo Media says their research shows that sometimes the ads are not the problem.  “What we've discovered through our data collection is many times, it's the program level that's low. The commercial may be in compliance perfectly; right on the nose with how loud it's supposed to be. But the program you're watching is low; that audio is low. So it appears the commercial comes on loud, and it is, because you've turned up your TV for the program, not the commercial level."

 

Sair says they began monitoring and adjusting their ads months ago to be well ahead of the deadline. That was Thursday.

Say Happy Holidays With A Song


Are you stumped about a unique gift for the holidays?

 

The Bend Senior High Orchestra has its fundraising "Seasons Greetings" program where, for $25 - a quartet of musicians will brighten someone's day.

 

Brenda Simmons is the orchestra director: "Last year was the first year and it was just so amazing. The gift of being in the moment and receiving music as a gift is really awesome. Especially in today's economy, where we're trying to recycle everything and no one needs a bunch of extra stuff. It’s nice to stave off a little of that consumerism that tends to happen in the winter holidays and just give a wholesome gift of music."

 

Simmons says there are several popular holiday or traditional selections to choose from including Hanukkah music.

 

Contact Bend High to schedule a greeting.  They will deliver them next Thursday and Friday.

Clackamas Town Center Shooting Victims Remembered


One of those killed wass 45 yera old Steve Forstyth- a husband and father of two.

 

He owned a marekting agency, but had previously worked for Entercom Communications, which owns several radio stations in the Portland area.

 

Steve Ries of Combined Communications worked with Steve at Entercom and was shocked when he heard about his death.  "He's the kind of guy when you met him, everyone loved him, really liked him.  His wife worked with him at Entercom and still does.  She's worked there for 24 years.  They have two wonderful kids.  Steve was the kind of guy who when you were down, he'd pep you  up."

 

The other victim killed in the shooting was 54 year old Cindy Yuille who was a nurse at Kaiser Permanenete in  hospice care.

Bend Broadband Offers Madras Aquatic Scholarships for Kids


Bend Broadband is offering seven thousand dollars in scholarships to qualified applicants as part of their yearly holiday giving.

 

Sonja Conohue with Bend Broadband says the funds should allow two to three hundred kids to get into sports programs offered through the center.

 

Some previous recipients of Bend Broadband's holiday giving include the Family Access Network, The Deschutes Children's Foundation and the Cascade School of Music.

Ridgeview High School Sex Arrest


The woman, Amanda Hinshaw was ac ampus monitor at Ridgeview High School.

 

The school got an anonymous tip she was allegedly providing alcohol to minors and having sex with a 16 year old juvenile.

 

Detectives investigated the claims and arrested Hinshaw on charges of sex abuse and providing alcohol to a minor.

 

She was lodged in the Deschutes County Jail, but has since posted bail.

John Overbay Resigns from COCC Board of Directors


At its December 12 meeting, Central Oregon Community College’s Board of Directors accepted the resignation of John Overbay effective February 1, 2013.

 

“John has a lifetime relationship with Central Oregon Community College,” stated Don Reeder, COCC board chair and Overbay’s long-time board colleague.

 

“He was one of COCC's first students and from there has been highly successful in business. John has given back to his alma mater by his financial contributions, but more importantly by what must be many months service on the COCC Foundation Board, COCC Board of Directors, and his other efforts to make COCC a better place for students.”

 

Overbay has served on COCC’s Board of Directors since 1999; he is one of only eight individuals to serve on the board for more than 12 years.

 

In addition to his governing board tenure, John has contributed as a member of the COCC Foundation Board for 20 years, and served as co-chair of the Foundation’s successful 50th Anniversary Campaign in 1999.

The board approved a resolution to name a conference room in the Health Careers Center the John Overbay Conference Room.

Mt. Bachelor Makes Impressive List


A recent New York Times article names Mt. Bachelor as one the best places to ski in July. 

 

Mt. Bachelor spokesman Andy Goggins says we are spoiled with both good snow and great conditions. "Just having the highest resort peak in the Pacific Northwest and the Cascades. We get ample snowfall throughout the winter season. I think we're pretty spoiled here with the quality of the snow and the amount of snow that we get. It lingers, we have great conditions through late spring. We have one of the longest season in the U.S. with operations extending through Memorial Day weekend and then we're looking at even June this year."

 

Goggins says the weather conditions have been pretty good this year; and mid mountain has over 69 inches of snow right now.

 

He says they hope to have all the lifts open in the next couple of weeks; just in time for the holiday crowds.

133 Cadets Graduate From ONGYC


133 cadets graduated from the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge program this week.

 

Spokesman Frank Strupish says these kids were taken out of a troubling situation and places in an intense program to give them tools to succeed.  "These kids have gone through 22 weeks of a residential program. It's a military modeled school,  that provides a lot of discipline and structure for these kids. They're earned anywhere between 8-10 high school credits apiece, to help them get back on track to graduate school. And so they've finished the first phase of our program, the residential phase, and they're fixing to embark on the second phase of the program, which is the mentor phase."

 

Strupish says in the mentoring phase the kids have chosen mentors that will stay in contact with them for the next 12 months as they work towards their goals.

 

Strupish says their program has a high success rate; statistics show that after graduation 80% of the students are still doing something meaningful in the community.

Victims, Shooter ID'd in Clackamas Shooting


Today Clackamas County Sheriff's officials identified the gunman in the fatal mall shooting as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, of Portland.

 

The victims were identified as Cindy Anne Yule, 54, of northeast Portland; the other person who died was Steve Forsythe, 45, of West Linn.  A 15 year old girl is in "serious" condition at OHSU.

 

Sheriff Craig Roberts:  “At this time we don't understand the motive of this attack, except to say there's no apparent relationship between the suspect and his victims."

 

He was armed with an AR15 semi-automatic rifle, stolen earlier in the day from someone he knew.  Police say they don't know how many rounds were fired, but say he was armed with several fully loaded magazines.

  

They've searched his house in Portland and his VW Jetta in the mall parking lot, but aren't releasing details of what those searches revealed.

Merkley to Join Powerful Senate Appropriations Committee


 

Washington, DC – Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced that he will be joining the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill, is responsible for deciding how the federal government spends money.

“I am thrilled to join the Senate Appropriations Committee and follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Senator Mark Hatfield,” said Merkley.  “There is no clearer statement of values and priorities than how our government allocates its resources.  I look forward to bringing common-sense, Oregon values to the national conversation in this new role.”   

Oregon has not had a member of Congress on the Appropriations Committee in either the House or Senate since Sen. Mark Hatfield, who was Chairman of the committee, retired in 1996. Senator Merkley will be only the second Oregon Senator ever to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Merkley’s appointment will take effect when the 113th Congress begins its session in January.

Cougar Sighting in Bend


There’s been another cougar sighting in the Deschutes River Woods area.

 

The big cat was seen munching on a bird in the yard of a resident on Shoshone Road Monday morning.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff's Lt. Kevin Dizney says they searched the area, but could not find the cougar.

 

He says this is the time when the big cats come closer to human areas searching for animals that feed on the plants in your yards.  "If you should encounter a cougar, one of the things we're encouraging you not to run, but to move slowly, keeping the animal in view as you move away from the area. And certainly, the Sheriff’s Office welcomes people who have cougar sightings to contact us. We're happy to come out and look at each individual case. And to keep the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife appraised of the situation."

 

Dizney says there have been instances in the past where they have to remove or destroy cougars in the area- but that is not their preference.

What's Next For Boys Involved in Alleged Attempted Carjacking?


Two boys, ages 7 and 11 allegedly tried to rob and carjack a woman's truck in Portland with a loaded gun recently.

 

The incident happened over the weekend; Ami Garrett, 22, said she saw the gun and bullets and drove away quickly without giving the kids anything.

 

Speaking on the Lars Larson Show Monday, Defense lawyer Bill Meyer says it is very unusual for kids of this age to do this.  "Most of the time, kids get in trouble, they do something stupid one time, and you don't hear from them again. The typical thing would be, getting a MIP, Minor in Possession of alcohol, and they do an alcohol class, do some community service and you don't hear from these kids again. Once kids get one whiff of the juvenile justice system, they just don't want any part of it and they straighten up."

 

Meyer says the parents could also be found liable in this case; depending on where the kids got the gun. "Where did these kids get these guns from? I would certainly want to do an investigation. I think that's where the criminal justice system and the juvenile court system really needs to stick their nose in. They need to find out, who these parents are, what's going on with this kid. How come this kid has access to weapons, where did he get them? What does he do after school, who's watching him?"

 

Meyer says the parents could be held for neglect, criminal mistreatment or even weapons charges.

The Private School Public School Debate Continues


the idea of school voucher keeps gathering momentum, but the Bend La Pine Schools Superintendent says vouchers could pose a big threat to public schools.

 

Supt. Ron Wilkinson says most school are dealing with very tight budgets, and many are worried this crisis could be worse lots of people left to put their kids in private schools. 

 

Those in favor of voucers or other tax credits say that both public and private schools could benefit from increased competition.  But Wilkinson says they don't have the luxury of keeping some kids out of their classrooms.

 

"IT'S A GOOD POLITICAL DISCUSSION - I THINK THE CHALLENGE THAT WE SEE IS THAT THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS THE ONLY PLACE THAT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SERVING ALL - WE GET THE KIDS WHO COME THROUGH THE DOOR- IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY'VE BEEN FED - WHETHER THEY'VE BEEN WASHED- WHETHER THEY'RE SMART OR WHETHER THEY ARE CHALLENGED, BUT WE GET THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SERVING THEM."

 

Ron Wilkinson just returned from a national convention in Washington D.C. of the top school superintendents across the country.  He was "Supintendent of the Year for 2012 in Oregon" and says McMinnville's Superintendent Maryalice Russell in McMinnville is the award winner for 2013.   

Governor Calls Special Session for this Friday


News Release from Governor's Office 12/10/12

 

Governor Kitzhaber Calls Special Legislative Session to Secure Jobs and Investment

 

(Salem, OR) —  The Oregon Legislature will meet in Special Session on Friday, December 14, to consider authorizing Governor Kitzhaber to enter into agreements with companies committing to significant job growth and investment in Oregon. The Governor called the session at a news conference today where he emphasized an extraordinary opportunity exists to boost Oregon’s economy with high wage jobs.
 
“With legislative action this week, Oregon can secure high wage jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of new private investment in the next five years,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “In fact, Nike is ready to commit to a significant expansion of its Oregon operations if the state can provide certainty we won’t change tax rules after they make a new investment. It’s an easy call and a perfect fit with our strategy to attract and retain companies that create jobs and boost per capita income.”

The Economic Impact Investment Act would allow the Governor to enter into qualifying investment contracts with any company committing to a minimum of 500 jobs and $150 million in capital investment over five years. The Act creates a new economic development tool and has no fiscal impact on the state.
 
Nike would expand to accommodate current and future job growth. Nike’s employment in Oregon has grown 60 percent since 2007 with an average annual compensation of over $100,000, about double state and regional averages. A recent analysis by AECOM, a global professional services firm, estimates the economic impact of a potential expansion to be more than $2 billion a year and more than 12,000 jobs by 2020 (direct, indirect and induced). Construction alone accounts for about $440 million and more than 2,900 jobs. 
 

“Private sector job growth is driving Oregon’s economic recovery, but state government has an important role to play in helping create a business climate to accelerate that growth,” said Oregon Business Association President Ryan Deckert. “We've been focused on finding ways to boost wages, and the Economic Impact Investment Act will be a powerful tool to drive per capita income up in Oregon.”
 
Governor Kitzhaber is convening the special session under his authority pursuant to section 12, Article V of the Oregon Constitution.
 
Link to Proclamation: 
http://www.oregon.gov/gov/docs/executive_orders/eo_SpecialSession2012.pdf


 

Controversy Over New Golf Rules


By the year 2016 new golf rules will prohibit the use of anchoring a putter to your body for a shot.

 

Lewis Bennett,  Golf Pro at Broken Top says while the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient are firm on the change, many other golf organizations including the PGA are protesting.  "PGA of America, as a whole, you know there's 28,000 PGA professionals in the world. I think if that body, that association of PGA professionals, has a big enough push back, that maybe, we might be able to at least make them reconsider, but I think that the folks at USG and R and A are stubborn enough that there probably won't be any kind of a change."

 

Bennett says the talk of the new rule has been dominating conversations in the clubhouse, and most don't want the change and enjoy using their long putters.

 

He also thinks that by eliminating the popular putting technique could hurt the efforts of trying to bring new golfers to the game.

Another Reason to get a Flu Shot


The Flu Season is off to its earlier start in nearly 10 years, and it could be a bad one, especially for the elderly.
 
Earlier this week National Health Officials say suspected flu cases have jumped in 4 Southern state.  And the primary strain circulating is one that makes people sicker, especially infants and the elderly.  Local health spokesperson Heather Kaisner with Deschutes County says  a flu shot can help, you don't have to be perfectly healthy to get one.
 
 "you can have a common cold - a common cold and still get a flu shot- what we say is if you're healthy enough to walk in and get your flu shot- you're probably healthy enough to get it - if you're sick in bed- high fever-  you probably don't want want to be walking out of your house anyway."
 
Kaisner was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.  The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden says the good news is the that the nation is pretty well prepared, with more than one third of the population already vaccinated.  He also says this year's shot seems to be very well matched to the flu strains they are already seeing.
 
Kaisner adds that getting a flu shot locally is easy and pretty inexpensive.
 
"the pharmacies - for anyone kids who is aged 11 to 18 or adults - for kids they can go to their local provider, or the health department - and we offer vaccinations for kids through age 18.
 
She says the price for people without insurance is usaully around 15 dollars, and if you have coverage they will bill the ocmpany. 
 
 

Redmond Adjusts to Having Two Public High Schools


Remond Schools Superintendent Mike McIntosh says they are in the final stages of a 110 million dollar massive expansion and improvement project for the district.
 
The biggest part of that voter approved project was about 72 million for the new high school, Ridgeview High. 
 
The district is also winding down on a 10 million dollar improvement and update to Redmond High School.  McIntosh was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town on Thursday and gives us an update.
 
"AND IF YOU'VE DRIVEN BY REDMOND HIGH SCHOOL LATELY- YOU'LL NOTICE NEW WINDOWS- INSIDE IT LOOKS IDENTICAL - IT'S NEW - IT'S MODERN - we didn't want to have to have the "haves" and "Have nots" in the district- at least structurally speaking."
 
He also says that a healthy cross town rivalry is developing between the two schools. 
 
When the district announced the new boundaries for the two high schools there was "barely" any controversy.  And when the dust settled and the enrollment numbers were available, he noticed only a 25 student difference in the schools, and that's in a district of about 7000 students.  
 
If you'd like to hear his entire interview it's available on this website under  the "Your Town" Podcast icon.
 

Redmond Spokesman: No More "Hard News"


 

A Redmond institution is cut to the quick with staff layoffs and the announcement that there won't be any more "hard news" for the “Redmond Spokesman.”

 

Mayor George Eendicott says he wrote a protest letter to “The Bulletin” the publisher of the Redmond Spokesman,  after they announced the changes for the only Redmond newspaper.  "My issue is: they've laid off 2 of the folks that work there out of the 5. One lady has been there 30 years, so they repaid her loyalty by laying her off, so I’m upset about that too. She actually is an excellent reporter. She’s a true reporter from the old school that just reports the news, doesn't editorialize."

 

Endicott says he finds it hard enough to get news about Redmond out and now he feels they've lost the "Redmond beat."

Holiday Home Tour Promises to Sparkle


Several houses in Bend are opening their doors to the public to share their ornate holiday decor as a fundraiser Friday and Saturday.

 

The "I'll Be Home for Christmas Home Tour" features the home of Susan Jorgensen and neighboring homes.

"My home is completely decorated from top to bottom. Every room has at least one Christmas tree; sometimes there's as many as 5 in one room.  There's a lot of theme trees, such as "The Wizard of Oz,' cartoon characters, fishing, hunting tree, bird tree, Hershey's ornament tree, handmade ornaments, vintage glass, I have probably 18 trees with different styles."

 

Jorgenson says this is the sixth year for the tour, and they average about 150 people viewing the homes.

 

Tickets are $5; profits will benefit the Des Chutes Historical Museum, the Williams Syndrome Foundation, the Children’s Vision Foundation and Bend Heroes Foundation

Hoo Doo Ready to Roll


Hoo Doo Ski Resort will open it's 75th season Friday, they are all groomed up and ready to go.

 

Spokesman Leif Williams says they've got a season of events beginning Friday.  "It's “Campus Day.”  If you have a valid student I.D., you can get a season pass for $199. And right around the corner is our New Year's Eve party up here, which is always fun. Fireworks and great festivities. And then we also have our 75th Anniversary celebration, where we'll be doing 75 days of giveaways starting on January 14th."

 

The good news is that at $45 ticket prices have not changed; except for "Tightwad Tuesdays" which is cheaper this year at $19.

 

Hoo Doo opens at 9 a.m. daily and some runs are open for night skiing.

Group Hopes To Rid Traps on Oregon's Public Lands


The problems caused by trappers setting animal traps on public lands is addressed in a recent initiative by "Trap Free Oregon."

 

Spokesperson Lucinda Baker says the traps have caused too many injuries or deaths to family pets and even humans, because wild animals will follow the same trails, where the traps are set.  "Now the ODF &W has a regulation that a trap has to be set 50 feet from a marked trail. Well, we have hundreds of thousands of acres unmarked trails, and if your dog is off a leash, it can smell that bait up to a half a mile or a mile away."

 

Baker says their ballot initiative is only for public lands; the private lands owned by farmers and ranchers would not be affected.

 

They are circulating a preliminary sponsorship petition to get the signatures needed to launch a formal petition and will expand to the Portland area once they get an official petition granted by the Secretary of State's Office.

 

They need about 100,0000 signatures to qualify as a ballot measure in 2014.

 

There will be an informational meeting at the Environmental Center on Wednesday,  December 12 to find out more about the initiative.

Wyden, Merkley Ask President for Disaster Relief Help


Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are pressing President Obama to include wildfire relief in any disaster aid package before the end of 2012.

 

Key disaster relief programs at the USDA expired at the end of 2011, leaving farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock or grazing land few options.

 

A reauthorization of those programs was included in the farm bill passed by the Senate in June, but not by the House.

 

In a letter to the President, the Senators say "Opportunities for these programs this year are slipping away - impacting families across the country."

 

News reports indicate President Obama is preparing to send a detailed request to Congress for emergency disaster relief.

 

Below is the news release and letter to President Obama:

 

United States Senate

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           

December 5, 2012                                                                                              

 

Merkley, Wyden Press Obama to Include Wildfire Relief in Disaster Package

 

“Opportunities to fund these programs this year are slipping away,” the senators write

 

 WASHINGTON, DC – With the farm bill stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives and Oregon farmers and ranchers hit hard by 2012’s historic wildfires, Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are urging President Obama to include wildfire relief in any disaster aid package before the end of this year. A supplemental disaster relief package is expected to move through Congress in December due to Superstorm Sandy.

 

In a letter sent Wednesday, the senators wrote that “opportunities to fund these programs this year are slipping away.  While months have passed since the droughts and wildfires this summer, the impacts are still being felt by families across the country, and the need for assistance remains great. Now is the time to assemble a disaster relief package that will help American families regain their footing after having lost crops, livestock, homes, and lives.”  

 

News reports indicate that President Obama is preparing this week to send a detailed request to Congress for emergency disaster relief.

 

Key disaster relief programs at the USDA expired at the end of 2011, leaving farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock or grazing land with few options. A reauthorization of those programs was included in the farm bill passed by the Senate in June, but the House has not passed a farm bill, preventing the bill from reaching the President’s desk. In July, Senator Merkley introduced a stand-alone bill extending programs that assist farmers and ranchers that were impacted by the historic wildfires and drought in 2012.

 

The full text of the letter follows below.

 

 ###

 

December 5th, 2012

 

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

We are writing to express the urgent need for additional funding for disaster relief programs.  During the 2012 fire season, we saw historic levels of natural disasters across the country.  Twenty six states and over one thousand counties were impacted by severe drought, which contributed to several western states experiencing the largest wildfires in decades.  Additionally, severe storms destroyed billions of dollars in infrastructure and property along the East and Gulf Coasts.  

 

As you consider your request to Congress for supplemental disaster funding to aid in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, we urge you to also include retroactive authorization and funding for the expired USDA programs that assist the farmers and ranchers impacted by the wildfires and drought that occurred this past year.  Specifically, it is essential to retroactively fund the disaster relief programs included in the Senate-passed Farm Bill.  We would also urge you to include supplemental funding for other important programs that are critical to recovery efforts from natural disasters, such as the Emergency Conservation Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   

 

Undoubtedly, the best solution to assist our farmers and ranchers would be for Congress to pass a Farm Bill that includes funding for these disaster programs.  However, because the House has not yet taken up the Senate Farm Bill or passed their own Farm Bill, opportunities to fund these programs this year are slipping away.  While months have passed since the droughts and wildfires this summer, the impacts are still being felt by families across the country, and the need for assistance remains great.          

 

Now is the time to assemble a disaster relief package that will help American families regain their footing after having lost crops, livestock, homes, and lives.                   

 

Sincerely,

 

--

 

Martina McLennan

Press Secretary/Speechwriter

Office of Senator Jeff Merkley

313 Hart Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510

 

 

 

It's A Great Time for Viewing Wildlife


If you're looking for an interesting family outing, now is the time of year to "view" some spectacular local wildlife.

 

Outdoor adventurer Gary Lewis says the best time to see the natives of Central Oregon are dusk and dawn.

"One of my favorite drives is just out past the top of Prineville Reservoir, along that Post Paulina Highway. And it's a good place to watch for deer and coyotes and other animals that frequent that area."

 

Lewis says the deer and elk are coming down from the high country, and it's exciting to get pretty close to these creatures.

Traffic Safety Campaign To Begin


The holiday season traditionally brings lots of parties and gathering where alcohol is consumed and sadly, too many people get behind the wheel after imbibing.

 

The 2012 Traffic Safety Campaign gets under way from December 14th through January first.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff Lt. Kevin Dizney says if you get stopped for impaired driving, the punishment can be severe.  "The minimum is an 'A' Misdemeanor crime with a bail of $2500. Certainly those charges increase drastically when you include court time, potential tow fees, time off work and all of the associated difficulties that come with that. Not to mention the havoc that it can could on your driver's record and/or jail time if it becomes a considerable problem."

 

Dizney says they will employ about 13 additional patrol units to look for impaired drivers; but they appreciate your help by reporting  erratic driving you see on the roads.

Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree? Be Ready for Anything!


Lots of people love to have the adventure of cutting down their own Christmas tree in the forest; but there could be hidden dangers.

 

Jean Nelson Dean with the Deschutes national forest says to look at the weather forecast closely and prepare for anything.  The thing is that when people go out, they need to be prepared for potentially getting stuck. And they need to thinking: if it is getting bad, turn around right then, don't get stuck. Don't ask people to come out and find you. And if you do get stuck, please have warm clothing, food and water, a way to communicate."

 

Nelson Dean says remember that not only will it worry your family; the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team,  which could number several dozen, would have to come out and fund out.

 

Also, they do not plow the forest service roads during the winter unless they have a project they are working on - so stay on the well traveled roads.

The 'Gift of Giving'


 

There are a lot of homebound seniors in Central Oregon who depend on volunteers from organizations like the Central Oregon Council on Aging (COCOA) to receive meals and get a welfare check.

 

Pamela Knorr with COCOA says they serve about 170-thousand meals each year and the volunteers get a lot of rewards from helping.  "There's some really committed volunteers. I just can't tell you what it feels like to drop of a meal for a senior. And have conversations with them. And hear some of their stories.  It’s just so heartwarming. I would equate it to what people feel like giving to children too. It’s just a heartwarming feeling."

 

Knorr says they can always use more volunteers, either for the "Meals on Wheels" program or other service, such a serving at the Senior Center.

 

The commitment can be for as little as four hours a month.  They need help in the tri-county area.

 

Contact the Central Oregon Council on Aging if you can help. (541-548-8817)

Home Federal Bank


Home Federal Bank is closing four of its branches in Oregon.

Two of these closures will be in Bend. The branches on Empire and South Highway 97 are set to close by February 13th.

However, the branches on Bond Steet and Greenwood Avenue will remain open.

Oregon Representatives Still Waiting on A Repsonse From Hilda Solice


In a recent speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Oregon Congressman Greg Walden expressed his frustration in dealing with the Department of Labor.

In August, he and 5 other elected representatives from both parties in Oregon sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solice about the Department of Labor’s practices.

The hot-button issue is the use of “hot-goods orders” which essentially shut down a farm’s ability to ship perishable goods to market.

Over a hundred days later, Solice has still not responded to their concerns.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses go on sale


Hunting and fishing licenses went on sale December 1st in Oregon.

The prices remain unchanged from last year.

Hunters are reminded that you need a license and a tag for the species you plan on hunting. Discount packages are available for youth hunters.

Spills, Chills and Speed Coming to Bend


Cyclocross lovers are anxiously awaiting the Deschutes Brewery Cup this weekend.

 

Joan Hanscom with the Trek U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross says about 200  professional racers will be in town for the race and many more amateurs.

 

But the surprising field will be the women.  "I think our pro-women's field this year is insanely deep. When I first started working in cyclocross, maybe there were 3-5 women who were competitive. It’s not that way anymore. Now the fields are really deep, they're really fast. We’ve seen a lot of women come over from the “road” side; and they come with some really good horsepower on the bike."

 

The Deschutes Brewery Cup is also the finals for team selection of the U.S. World Championship Team to compete in Kentucky in February.

 

The event will be at the Deschutes Brewery grounds in the Old Mill; it's free to watch.

Medical Services Van Expands Coverage


The Central Oregon Veteran’s Outreach transfers their outreach medical van services to Mosaic Medical; bringing those services to more people in Central Oregon.

 

COVA spokesperson Chuck Hemmingway says the COVO medical van has been very effective for the past year and a half in Bend, and now having Mosaic Medical staff operate the van will have a big impact on all Central Oregon communities.  "We believe we've cut down on visits to the emergency room, the number of police calls out into the camps, the number of ambulance calls out into the camps. And all that has resulted, we think, in a very significant taxpayers savings, as a result of this program that was initiated by veterans to help the greater community at large."

 

Hemmingway says they were running out of volunteer doctors and nurses to work with the van, and with their association with Mosaic Medical, all of their clinics and personnel will be available to them.

 

The COVO van begins new services on January first and will visit various areas in Central Oregon about six times a month.

Home Federal Bank To Close Branches


Home Federal Bank announces they will be closing several branches in Oregon; two are in Bend.

 

The Empire Avenue and South Highway 97 branches will close by the end of February.

 

According to “Globe Newswire, Len E. Williams, the company's CEO and President says  with the ever changing economic and regulatory climate, they needed to adjust  to offer top-quality banking services at competitive rates.

 

He adds that with more clients using the electronic banking services, it makes sense to consolidate branches.

 

Williams says the affected team members will be able to pursue other jobs within the bank.

POWER OUT IN BEND


Almost 3000 customers of Pacific power have been without electricity since 7 this evening. Deschutes County 9-1-1 received reports of a loud explosion about the same time.  Pacific Power now says a circuit break blew at a power substation on SE Cleveland

9-1-1 dispatchers have been swamped with calls. There is no real need to contact them unless you have some type of emergency...as they don't know anything more than what the power company tells them.

The power company is working on the problem and is giving us an estimated time of repair at about 10 PM.  Ifyou have some type of emergency because of the power failure, such as a fire or smoke, or a medical issue, or any other emergency, call 9-1-1, but please don't call them to find out a time of repair.

Fire Causes $130,000 Loss to Redmond Home


The Red Cross is assisting the Wattenburger family, after a fire destroyed part of their home on NW Canyon Drive in Redmond late Friday afternoon.

 

When Redmond fire arrived at the home around 5:45 p.m., the garage was fully engulfed with flames burning through the roof.

 

Fortunately, the firewall that separated the living space from the garage was not breaches by the fire, and crews were able to stop it from damaging the rest of the house.

 

Fire crews rescued one of the three dogs the Wattenburgers owned.  Losses are estimated to be at $130,000 damages to the building and it’s contents. No one was injured.

 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

Bend Fire and Crooked River Ranch and the Redmond Police Department assisted in the fire.

Bremont Sentencing Delayed


Convicted sex abuser and former Director of the Redmond Proficiency Academy, Michael Bremont's sentencing has been delayed as he faces new charges of theft of computers and other equipment from the Academy.

 

Bremont, 39, was convicted of sexually abusing a female student at the academy in 2009 and 2010. He was already serving a 30 day sentence for sexually abusing another girl between 2005 and 2006 when he was the principal at another school.

 

Bremont will be back in court on December 18th for his sentencing on the sex abuse charges.

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