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Local News Archives for 2013-01


BLM Closes Some Rec Areas to Protect Nesting Wildlife


The Bureau of Land Management  is closing several recreation areas to protect some species of birds of prey that are nesting.

 

Lisa Clark with the BLM says harassment by humans, unintentional or deliberate, is a leading cause of nest failure or abandonment.

 

People walking or riding near a nest or even being within view of an eagle on a nest can cause the adult bird to abandon the nest, leaving eggs to get cold  or the young could starve.

 

The following areas now have seasonal closures in effect:

 
• BLM Beach on the south side of Lake Billy Chinook will be closed from Jan. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting bald eagles. The BLM does not have alternate campsites in the area.
 
• Millican Plateau OHV Trail System (Route #95 only) –This route closed Jan. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting bald eagles. There are numerous other routes in the area for out-and-back as well as loop rides.
 
• North Millican OHV Trail System (Route #25) – This route closed from Feb. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. There are numerous other routes in the area.
 
• Trout Creek Trail (South side of the Trout Creek Trail only) - Visitors are required to stay on the Trout Creek Trail or between Trout Creek Trail and the Lower Deschutes River. This area is closed from Jan. 15 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Climbers can use other climbing locations such as Rattlesnake, Skinners Butte or the Gorge at Smith Rocks. 
 
• Cline Buttes Recreation Area (portions of the Deep Canyon, Fryrear, Maston, and Jaguar Road only) – are closed from Feb. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Alternative Trail Use Areas in Cline Buttes include Tumalo Canal Historic Area, the Buttes and the open portions of the areas listed above.
 
• Horny Hollow Trail near Crooked River Ranch is closed from Feb. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Alternate trail sites in the area include Otter Bench, Scout Camp, Folley Waters and Steelhead Falls.
 
• Dry River Canyon Trail on the southeast side of the Badlands is closed to protect nesting prairie falcons and golden eagles from Feb. 1 – Aug. 31. Alternate places in the area to recreate include Badlands Rock Trail, Flatiron Trail and the Horse Ridge Trail Complex.
 
Bald and golden eagles are protected by three Federal laws: The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act. Coverage provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act also extends to prairie falcons. 
 
• The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act protects bald and golden eagles by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit. Under this Act, “take" includes activities such as molesting or disturbing eagles, as well as more severe actions like killing or wounding them. 
 
• The Lacey Act also protects bald eagles by making it a Federal offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state, tribal or U.S. law. 
 
• Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a Federal law that carries out the United States’ commitment to four international conventions with Canada, Japan, Mexico and Russia. Those conventions protect birds that migrate across international borders.
 
Violating the Prineville District closure orders can lead to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both. Convictions under the protection acts listed above can be much more severe. BLM will lift closures earlier if biologists determine a nest is not occupied or the young have left the nest.
 
More information about these closures as well as maps of closure areas can be found on the Alerts/Notices section of the Prineville BLM website; www.or.blm.gov/prineville or by calling the Prineville BLM office at (541) 416-6700.

 

Petersen Rock Garden and Museum to Temporarily Close


After 70 years of operation, Petersen Rock Garden and Museum will close temporarily for repairs, renovations and improvements. 

 

Development Director Owen Evans says the landmark between Bend and Redmond is very unique with it's rock replicas of other historical landmarks and structures. 

 

Evans says the Garden is under consideration to be included in the National Register of Historical Places.  "The way it's described on the Historic Preservation league website is it is a roadside architecture, a geology significance. It talks about the effort of Rasmus Petersen, from the ground up, building this tourist attraction from local stone, from his own interest and how it's been significant for the last 70 years."

 

The four acre garden that features stone replicas of other historical landmarks, ponds, bridges and other structures should re-open on Memorial Day.

Bars and Restaurants Gearing Up for the Super Bowl


Where will you be for Sunday’s Super Bowl Game?  They're expecting a big crowd in downtown Bend.

 

It’s supposed to be the biggest party of the year - or is it? 

 

Shane Caito, Manager of Sidelines Sports Bar and Grill says actually St. Patrick's Day is much bigger. 

 

But, he says, the Super Bowl is second, and most people come for the fun of being with other fans.   "For the most part, it's pretty calm. We don't allow people to get too rowdy. As long as people are being friendly and positive; people are allowed to cheer, as long as it's a positive cheer. If we get somebody that starts negative cheering like just cheering against the other team out loud to try to incite people, we nip it in the bud right off the bat."

 

Caito says there's already been lots of talk in the bar about the upcoming game; and it looks like there's lots of support for San Francisco.  “It’s mostly 49’er fans; but we did have a big group of Ravens fans in yesterday that were pretty excited about the game. All 10 of them were from Baltimore.”

 

Caito says it's also a big day for chicken wings, nachos, breakfast all day and of course - beer. 

 

He says actually St. Patrick's Day has much bigger crowds; but they are expecting more families this Sunday. 

 

He warns that the place fills up quickly and advises you to get to your viewing location at least an hour before kick off at 3:30 p.m.

Big Drug Bust Nets Over $1-Million


A big drug bust nets over a million dollars of drugs - but no arrests.

 

Acting on information received from California Law Enforcement -Wednesday afternoon - the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (code) and other officers stopped a Frontera del Norte commercial bus on U-S 97 near O'Neil junction. 

 

Lt. Ken Mannix with "CODE" says the search of the bus finds two pieces of luggage: one containing  almost 151/2 pounds of meth worth $300,000 and the other has almost 81/2 pounds of heroin, worth about $820,000. 

 

CODE officials say this seizure is a significant disruption to drug trafficking in Central Oregon.

 

Below is the report from the CODE team:

 

Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team

Media Release

Date:  January 31, 2013                                                                           

Date & Time of Incident:  Wednesday, January 30, 2013 @ 1215 hrs.                

Type of Incident:  Drug Seizure               

Location of Incident:  U.S. Hwy 97 @ O’Neil Junction (Redmond, OR)   

                                           

Narrative:

 

On Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at approximately 1215 hrs. Detectives assigned to the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team, along with assistance from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Redmond Police Department, stopped a Frontera Del Norte commercial bus line on U.S. Hwy 97 near O’Neil Junction.

 

Prior to the stop, Detectives had received information there was a male on board and this male had eluded California Law Enforcement during an earlier stop of the same bus.  The male was not located by California Law Enforcement.  

 

During the stop in Redmond, Oregon, Detectives with the CODE team contacted and spoke with several individuals aboard the bus.  As the investigation continued, a drug detection K-9 dog from the Redmond Police Department was requested.  A subsequent search of various luggage items aboard the bus was conducted.  Items located and seized during the search included approximately 15.4 pounds of methamphetamine, which carries a street value of approximately $300,000, and approximately 8.3 pounds of heroin, which carries a street value of approximately $820,000.  Detectives discovered that these items were being transported in two separate pieces of luggage and packaged in a manner to avoid a drug detection dog from alerting on the presence of the narcotics located in the luggage.

 

This is an active and on-going investigation by the CODE team and no arrests have been made at this time.  The seizure of approximately 23 pounds of narcotics, which carries a street value of over one million dollars, will result in a significant disruption to the drug trafficking organization responsible for it as well as disrupt the flow of narcotics into the Central Oregon region.

 

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies:  Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department,  Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s, and the Oregon National Guard.

 

The Oregon HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces to disrupt or dismantle local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations.

 

Farm Weddings a Subject on Lars Larsons Show


In case you missed it: Deschutes County Planner Nick Lelack and farm owner John Shepherd were on the Lars Larson Show today, to talk about regulating farm weddings.  Click here to listen. 

Bend Councilors Hear Argument for An Increased Lodging Tax


Would a 2% increase in a Transient Room Tax (TRT), that visitors pay for lodging, scare people away?

 

That is the question Bend City Councilors contemplated in their work session Wednesday night.

 

Councilor Mark Capell is in favor of the increase because it could give more marketing opportunities.  "I'm a believer in marketing. So I have a tendency to think that if we're going to market a little over a half a million dollars more in say, Seattle and San Francisco, we're going to bring a lot more people to bend than pay any attention to the transient room tax."

 

Ben Perle from the Oxford Hotel and Matt Williams, who owns a hotel management company,  spoke on behalf of the proposal  saying a 2% increase would generate about $850,000 a year for the City of Bend and Visit Bend marketing.

 

Any increase in the Transient Room Tax must come before voters and the Councilors decided that they will hear and make a decision on if they want to put the proposal on the May ballot at the next City Council meeting.

A Better Education Means a Bright Future


To compete in business in the 21st century means we need to have better educated kids.

 

Dr. Craig Barrett, retired CEO of Intel Corporation and keynote speaker of the 2013 Oregon Business Conference says we need to take a look at how other countries put an emphasis on quality education.

"The Asian philosophy and the Eastern European philosophy very strongly is quality education is what is important. And the United States has to get on the bandwagon here. It's what you know is what will make you successful in the 21st century; it's not who you know, and if you don't have a quality education, you're going to not do well and your standard of living is going to suffer."

 

Barrett says as a country, we used to be number one in percentage of the workforce with a post secondary education in the world; and now we're number 14.  And to compare: more people over the age of 55 have post secondary degrees than those in the 25-35 age category.

 

Other speakers at the conference include Keith Rivera with Rivera Wealth Management and Chairman of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF); Dr. Knute Buehler, former candidate for Secretary of State, Dr. Bill Watkins from California Lutheran University and Executive Director of CERF and Katherine Klingensmith, Executive Director and Economic & Policy Strategist with UBS Wealth Management Group.

 

The 2012 Oregon Business Conference is at the Oxford Hotel this morning.

Small Bags of Kindness Go A Long Way


It didn't take much for a local group of women to find a way to help the homeless.

 

Recently, a group of about 9 women got together to assemble some  "small bags of kindness” consisting of personal hygiene items and snacks to give to any homeless person they see on the street.

 

Organizer Lisa Smith says they've gotten so much interest in the project, they are considering making many more.  "We’re really lucky, we're able to secure donations from Rebound Physical Therapy of lip balm; and Aesthetic General Dentistry in Redmond donated the toothbrushes. So I guess, I think if we could get additional supplies donated by local businesses and individuals, we could definitely do it on a larger scale."

 

Smith came up with the idea after seeing a similar project on the Internet.

 

She says they hope their small acts of kindness will inspire others to do the same to help those down on their luck.

New Veterans Clinic Opens Wednesday


Veterans in Central Oregon now have a clinic they can go to, instead of having to travel to Portland for medical help.

 

Dan Herrigstad with the Portland VA Medical Center says the new clinic will offer many more services that will be convenient for local vets.  "Our audiology, physical therapy, our eye care is going to be expanded, podiatry, dermatology will be expanded. Increased clinical pharmacy presence, we're going to have a pharmacist here, right on site. Tele-Health, which is video Tele-Health services. Video conferencing, video appointments for veterans, we can do that right out of this facility. It helps a lot of folks so they don't even have to come into the clinic here."

 

Herrigstad says the 25,000 square foot facility will be open Monday through Friday and they will also have walk-in days on Wednesdays.

Merkley Hopes New Senate Rules Will Work


U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is disappointed that the proposed filibuster reform bill was passed in a pared down version.

 

He says he'll continue to fight for more reform; because the Senate is still not operating in a productive manner.

 

He says bills are being held up by arbitrary interruptions.  "Last 2 years of the 24 Appropriation Bills, only one was considered on the of the Senate. Because the time's all eaten up with these completely arbitrary interruptions that would have been unacceptable, socially unacceptable to waste the senate's time, but are now being done as an instrument of partisan warfare."

 

Merkley says while the Senate passed sown a modest version of his proposal, he's hopeful that the "baby steps" will walk towards more reform.  He says they really need to take on the 'silent filibuster,"  which is described as a threat to delay action on a bill.

 

He adds that he hopes that the Senate will revisit the rules revision to eliminate these speed bumps in their work.

Local Reaction to Bend Hotel Tax Increase Proposal


Visti Bend supports the idea to fund more marketing for the city, but smaller hotel owners are concerned it will hurt business.

 

Rocky Patel owns Bend's Econo Lodge.

 

"I think it would, the tax increase would overall hurt business because prices would go up."

 

An informational meeting for local hotel owners was held at the Riverhouse on Monday to discuss the pros and cons of the proposal.

 

The proposal calls for a two percentage point increase to nearly twelve percent in Bend.  That would make our hotel tax one of the highest in the state.

 

Bend City Councilors will  discuss Wednesday night whether to put the issue before voters in May.

 

Voters must approve the increase for it to go forward.

 

 

Deschutes County Farmer Plans New Tactic to Allow Farm Weddings


John Shepherd owns 200 acres northeast of Sisters.

 

He is going before the Deschutes County Commissioners Wednesday to seek a two acre private park permit.

 

This permit would allow him to hold up to 18 weddings a year on his property.

 

"One of the arguments I'm using is a full billet of weddings could mean 1.25 million of economic activity in Deschutes County.  That's based on economic activity based on what visitors spend and based on what the average consumer spends, $29-thousand on the average wedding."

 

Shepherd says it would be a win-win-win for him, the county and brides wanting to get married on his property.

 

 

Americans for Prosperity Plan to Be Involved in Upcoming PERS Discussion


Without changes to the Public Employees Retirement System, fewer dollars will go to the classroom, class sizes will get bigger and school days will continue to be reduced.

 

Karla Kay Edwards with Americans for Prosperity, says they plan to be involed in the discussion.

 

"One of the the things AFP will be engaging in will be the PERS discussion and how to reduce the impact of PERS on our overall state budget.  We'll talk about who we can streamline and be more efficient with the government to get the biggest bang for the buck."

 

The Governor has proposed capping "cost of living" adjustments for PERS members and curbing a tax benefits some members get. 

 

Kitzhaber says his reforms would generate more than 850 million in savings.

 

Currently the pension system is facing a 16 billion dollar funding deficit.

Bend Transit System Under Review


The future of the Bend Bus System is under the microscope and the Bend City Council could hear proposed changes in March.

 

Scott Aycock, a Transportation Planner with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, who is working with the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, says they are already looking at some long term changes that would increase bus usage in the future.  "There’s some neat opportunities as far as partnerships, in terms of what's happening in the City of Bend, particularly in the growth around  the possibility of a 4-year OSU Cascade Campus. All of these kinds of things drive additional needs for transit but also opportunities to partner."

 

Aycock says they are also looking at amending a couple of routes that would serve St. Charles Medical Center or even creating a new route just for people to get to St. Charles.

 

He says another possibility is: in the future Bend residents could be asked to vote on a Transit District Tax.

Local Lego Robotics Teams Win at States Level


Two Bend Legos Robotics teams achieve high honors in a competition that improves the lives of seniors.

 

The "American Fish" team, a group of 4th and 5th graders from Cascades Academy took first place in the Garmin Teamwork Category for demonstrating their abilities to work together and communicate.

 

Lea Hart is their advisor.  "They were so proud. This is the 4th year that I’ve had a team that made it to states. And we've never done well up there. It’s very competitive because there's teams from southwest Washington, Northern California and all of Oregon. And it's really hard. These kids spend a lot of time on it. And so they weren't expecting anything. but i have to say, they just rocked."

 

The kids created a device that can help an elderly person who gets confused or lost in their own home, the device can give directions to where they want to go and keep them on track.

 

Also, the "I-Team," a team of home schooled kids from Bend took second place in the Robot Programming Category.

Redmond Shelter Gets New Name


The Humane Society of Redmond has been renamed "BrightSide Animal Center" thanks to a special re-branding program from the Ad-Fed of Central Oregon.

 

BrightSide Manager Chris Bauersfled says they have one of the highest "no-kill" rates for cats in the nation and with the Jefferson County shelter closing, it will put more of a strain on them.  "They no longer have a humane society which was a private non-profit. And they dealt more with cats than they did with dogs. And yes, that does affect us; it affects all of the organizations within Central Oregon. It's unfortunate, but it's a reflection of the economy. And it's a reflection of the level of importance that certain areas place on different specials of animals." 

 

Bauersfeld says they are starting out the year on a high note after receiving a large endowment from a trust.

 

She goes on to say that with their new name, they hope that more people will realize that they are a non-profit organization and do not receive any government funding.

Combustibles Near Heater Ignite and Heavily Damage Home


Combustibles left too close to a propane heater are cited as the cause of a garage and house fire Friday night in Deschutes River Woods.

 

About 7 p.m. Bend Fire is called to a home on Apache Road and find the garage completely engulfed in flames, that had also spread to the house and attic.

 

The occupants of the home, renters Casey Bergum and Jaqueline Dodd-Perry lost nearly all of their possessions, but fortunately, they had renter’s insurance.

 

The investigation reveals that the renters were working on a vehicle in the garage and left materials too close to the heater, igniting and spreading the fire.

 

Fire officials remind you to keep combustibles such as paper, wood, fabrics and furniture at least three feet from heating devices.

 

The estimated the loss is at about $250,000.

Local Reaction to Introduction of Assault Weapons Ban Legislation in the Senate


Don Thomas with the Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association is against any type of gun control.

 

"All legislation is slanted anti-gun.  Any legislation won't prevent more gun deaths, not in school children or mentally deranged people who want to carry out what they want to do."

 

Bend psychologist Don Hartsough believes some reasonable regulation needs to be done.

 

"I am not opposed to the Second Amendment. Some people think looking at any greater regulation, they think we're opposed to the second amendment.  We can have greater regulation, which I think the assault weapons ban is headed for."

 

Hartsough says no one is talking about banning all guns, just asault rifles and clips with more than ten rounds. 

Lively Town Hall Thursday Night


Several hundred people, conservatives and liberals turned out to the Town Hall at Bend's Senior Center last night.

 

The subjects ranged from immigration to frustration with Congress not getting things done, to school safety and how to get more jobs.

 

Most questions were aimed at U.S. Congressman Greg Walden about the frustration of the Congress not being able to get things done.  Audience: "Can you give us assurances that over the next 4 years, you and your colleagues will work with the president to help heal America, rather than obstruct Obama with every move?" (clapping) Walden: "My view is, I go to Washington to try to solve problems. This is a huge problem. Nobody gets ‘my way or the highway,’ or we don't solve the problem. Now I cast votes that some of my friends here on the right aren't happy with me on. Some have threatened to primary me."

 

Walden went on to say part of the problem is that there is no real relationship with the Obama Administration and that would go a long way to help get work done.

Oregon Women Have Been in Combat for a While


The announcement by the Pentagon that the ban on women in the combat has sparked controversy around the nation.

 

Oregon National Guard spokesman Capt. Steven Bomar says the edict will have the most affect on the Army, Marines and Air Force because the Guard has deployed women for a long time: "Well, we'll see what comes down from our service secretaries on what specific jobs are now going to be open. But we'll continue to recruit the best and the brightest to any of these positions that are available. Interestingly enough, for the Oregon National Guard, this is not going to change us all that drastically, as you know we've been deploying females in combat since the first Gulf War and since 9/11."

 

Bomar says the change will be phased in over the next few years.

 

He adds that by lifting the ban, the doors will open for more women to advance in their particular branch of service.

Deer Ridge Correctional Institution Inmate Unexpected Death


An inmate from Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras unexpectedly died Monday afternoon.

 

Liz Craig with the Department of Corrections reports the death was caused from a medical issue, not a crime.

 

The inmate is identified as John Derrick Stafford, 49, who was incarcerated  in March of 2011 for Burglary in the First Degree out of  Marion County.

 

The Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation, as with all unanticipated deaths at the institution.

Partnership to End Poverty to Close Doors


 

Saying it's been the "worst kept secret;" Jason Carr, Executive Director of the Partnership to End Poverty announced that they organization will be ending at the end of 2013.

 

Carr says the Partnership's finding source has tied their hands.  "Part of the issue is that- the grant agreement with the Northwest Area Foundation, we cannot use the remaining dollars that we have for 2013 as an endowment or investment to continue the partnership. Essentially, they wanted the funds to be expended out to help make investments in the region. And so the Board was really as a crossroads, they can't really use this as an investment."

 

Carr says the structure of the organization has changed and its hard to raise money for what they're doing.

 

He adds that they have organized a steering committee to possibly identify another option for the future.

Commercial Real Estate Looking Good


The Bend Commercial Real Estate market showed slow growth at the end of 2012, but there was growth.

 

Compass Commercial Real Estate's market survey results indicate this is the second straight year for recovery.

 

Compass Commercial partner Howard Friedman says this is very good news on many fronts.  "This is very good news. The less vacancy means there is more people occupying spaces, which will lead to more demand.  Less supply and hopefully rising rates, for the landlords that have worked so hard to get these buildings leased. And especially in the industrial and retail markets, we're seeing very positive signs of growth."

 

Friedman says industrial vacancy rates in Bend dropped by about 7% between 2011 and 2012.

 

He says they are seeing a lot more growth in downtown Bend; especially with new restaurants coming in.

Local Outdoor Reporter Gary Lewis attends Naitonal Gun Show


Local Outdoor reporter Gary Lewis says there was a shift in emphasis this year at a huge national gun show held on the Vegas strip last week.  About 60,000 people attended the annual "National Shooting Sports Foundation" show.

 

Gary Lewis was on 1110 KBND's Your Town on Wednesday morning.  He attends the show every year and says things were different this year. 

 

Besides a lot of talk and concern about new gun control laws, there was alos a change in focus away from military gear.  He believes this is because of the huge drawdown of troops in the Middle East.  The show is not for the general public, but rather gun industry insiders.

 

 

" BUT THERE'S ALSO A SHIFT THIS YEAR FROM COMPANIES- they offer things other than guns like ACCESSORIES, LIGHTS, EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (etc.) There's a SHIFT IN EMPHASIS away from the military gear, WHICH WAS PRETTY LARGE, now there's MORE OF A FOCUS ON CIVILIAN AND LAW ENFORCEMENT MARKETS HERE AND AROUND THE WORLD."
 
This year on the heels of the Sandy Hook school shooting the group received so many media request to cover the show that they ended up having to restrict media access.  Lewis has attended the show for the past 10 years.

Local Jobless Numbers Mostly Flat


The Central Oregon jobless numbers are out for December 2012 and there's one surprising bright spot.  But, the latest unemployment numbers show mostly a flat picture.
 
In Deschutes County the jobless rate was 10.5 last month, down from 10.7 in November of 2012.  Regional Economist Damon Runberg says the December year-over-year number also show a slight improvement. 
 
 "some very modest increases in non farm payroll increases over the year- point 6 percent increase - really kind of a continuation of what's been going on in 2012- we're recovering 'slowly but surely'  but the slowly part is to be emphasized - there."
 
He also says the rate seems to be going down faster than the number of jobs added, so he believes that this area has seen a high number of people leaving the workforce.  That trend is reflected in what's called the U6 number.  In Oregon, the number of "discouraged" workers who have simply stopped trying to get work is high, according to labor statistics.
 
Crook County also lost about 100 jobs between December 2011 and 2012.
 
One bright spot in the central oregon jobs report is in Jefferson County. The year-over-year contrast shows Jefferson County added a net 90 private sector jobs, mostly in the manufacturing sector.
 
Economist Damon Runberg spoke with 1110 KBND news Wednesday morning, shortly after the latest report was issued.  He says a larger overview of local labor trends in 2012 is expected out in early March.
 

Thursday Annual Central Oregon Homeless Count Will Be Held


Those without a permanent home will be counted in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties.

 

Volunteers will be conducting confidential and anonymous surveys in many cities, including Bend, Redmond, LaPine, Sisters, Prineville and Madras.

 

Individuals and families staying at weekly motels, shelters, transition housing, living with family or camping or sleeping in cars will be counted.

 

This count helps local agencies qualify for increased funding for those dealing with poverty or homlessness in central Oregon.

 

The last couple years, the homeless count was just over 2-thousand people  in central Oregon.

Andy High New Bend LaPine School Board Member


He'll replace Beth Bagley who stepped down when she was elected as a circuit court judge.

 

He has volunteered on several district committees and is the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Central Oregon Builders Association.

 

He says the Public Employees Retirement System, is one of the issues he's prepared to tackle.

 

"Well, I think a lot of it will be the funding level from the state.  The funding issues in regards to retirement, we're looking at 4.25 million increase from the PERS system  and it only goes up from there.  We have to make sure our lawmakers know they have to do something about that.  Those are dollars that are going away from the classroom."

 

High will be sworn in at the next school board meeting on February 12th.

Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon Gets 200-Thousand Dollar Gift


The funds came from the 21st annaul Gala at the Riverhouse -- an annual fundraiser for local non-profits.

 

The Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon has been around for 18 years, but in recent years has run into some financial troubles.

 

Lisa Maxwell, the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, says this 200-thousand dollar gift will really help.

 

"The gift comes from individuals, sponsorships, seats sold and silent auction items.  The intent is to put the money in a separate account for lack of a better term, a rainy day fund.  So it does not help with annual operations, but it does help us with our goal to be self sufficient."

 

Maxwell says they will continue to raise funds to meet their operating expenses, but this allows them to start an endowment fund for the Boys and Girls Club.

Consumer Cellular Launches New Products - Hires More People


Consumer Cellular and Sears have announced the expansion of their partnership with the introduction of new products.

 

These products include two new phone options: a Smartphone and a new easy to use "senior phone" with larger screen and buttons. Both can be found at Sears.

 

Consumer Cellular President and CEO John Marick says:  " We’ve had our phones in Sears for about 1 1/2 years now and that partnership is working really well. It’s a great place for our customers to go in and purchase a phone, and based on some of that past success, we've expanded out. We’ve just launched a new smartphone in sears for people that are interested in that end of the spectrum. And then on the other end, we have our senior phones, a big-button- big screen phone that launched as well. It’s called a Doro Phone Easy 618."

 

That phone also has a camera and soft touch coating.

 

Their product's popularity is growing by leaps and bounds, and that mean hiring more people for the Redmond Call Center.  "We couldn't be more pleased with the quality of the employees that we've been able to acquire there in Redmond. We’re at about 180 employees right now and hiring about 30 a month, so the hiring's been going really well there."

 

 He says if you enjoy helping people, they may have a job for you.

Former Bend Mayor Expands His Law Practice


He is establishing a public affairs practice at his law firm.

 

It is designed to help people deal with different branches of government.

 

"You know sometimes business, non profits and individuals have to deal with local, state and federal goernments. They need some help communicating their problems and maybe a solution and see that problem through."

 

Eager says in 2008, he worked with Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation and state lawmakers to change employment law.

 

MBSEF was having problems using volunteers to run their youth ski races until the law was changed.

Local Reaction to Roe versus Wade's 40th Anniversary


The subject still solicits strong reactions on either side.

 

The Pregnancy Resource Center in Bend provides services for those who are pregnant.

 

Director, Eileen Fahlgren, says she's seeing attitudes change.

 

"Well, I'm really positive about it . We've learned a lot ofver the last forty years.  We've learned the consequneces of abotion, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I think we're headed in a positive direction.  people are starting to undestand a lot about it.  Forty years ago we didn't understand the choices, many, including myself then come to regret that choice."

 

Fahlgren says she carried anger and depression around regarding her abortions for thirty years, until she got some help to work through her feelings on the issue.  

 

She now hopes to prevent other women from going through that by telling her story.

 

The latest polls show 70 percent of Americans would not like to see Roe versus Wade overturned.

Bend Parks and Rec Wants Public Input on Mirror Pond


Silt buildup is a problem for the city's pond and Parks and Rec wants some direction from the public on what they want done.

 

They want people to go to their new webitie, www.mirrorpondbend.com and fill out a questionnnaire.

 

Jim Figurski is the manager of the Mirror Pond Project.

 

"This first step is with the website and that will be going on from now thorugh February.  The second step is figuring out which options we want in March and April and the third step is identifying what people want to have happen in May and June."

 

Public meetings will be held at the Parks and Rec District Office, Wednesday February 6th and the following Tuesday, February 12th starting at 6:30 p.m.

Good Sign for Redmond Housing Market


It looks like the Redmond housing market may be following Bend with an upswing in construction permits.
 
Redmond Community Development Director Heather Richards was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.
 
"the good news is that residential permitting in redmond is up and its up considerably from previous years, 85 single family permits and the year prior was 31 and that's considerably higher than previous years, and we watch that - and  as sort of an indicator- bend rebounded earlier than us and we saw that last year, and we tend to follow bend and we're watching to see if that happened."
 
Richards says during the boom years of 2005 and 2006 they saw between 500 and 800 building permits each year, which she believes is too many for a community the size of Redmond.
 
"it was an anomoly- in redmond we had a couple of years in 2005 and 2006 where we were issuing about 500 to 800 building permits - so there's the differential and i don't expect us to get back up to those numbers - those are hard numbers for a community our size to absorb."
 
She says healthy growth is probably between 250 and 300 residential building permits each year.  This entire interview is located on this website under the Your Town Podcast tab. 
 

Myrlie Evers-Williams of Bend Delivers President Obama's Second Inaugural Invocation


Her comments focusedon our enduring quest for equality and referenced  a hymn from the early 20th Century called "Something Within."

 

"Let their spirit guide us as we claim the spirit of old.  There's something within me that holds the reins.  There's somthing within me that banishes pain,  something within me I cannot explain.  All that I know America is there is something within.  There is something within."

 

Evers-Williams owns a home in Bend, but is currently a distinguished scholar at Alcorn State University in Mississippi.

 

She was the chairwoman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.

Prayer Vigil in Bend's Drake Park to Raise Awareness of Poverty


The Bend Faith Network is holding a prayer vigil at Drake Park's amphitheater.

 

Ken Bennet with the Bend Faith Network says they've held community awarness events like this for ten years.

 

"I went back and looked at press releases over the previous years and it was kind of interesting.  A lot of clever themes over the years, but the message was the same.  The problem never goes away and there's never enough."

 

Poverty affects 1 in 9 adults and 1 in 5 children in central Oregon.

 

Poverty is considered a family of four living on 23-thousand dollars a year.

Is the Dream Deferred on this Martin Luther King Junior Day?


In Oreogn, 17 percent of all Oregonians live in poverty and the numbers are even worse for minorites in the state.

 

Juan Carlos Ordonez with  the "Oregon Center for Public Policy" says minorities are typically earning less income than whites.

 

"Well what our numbers are showing is we still have a long way to go.  We still have economic inequity here in Oregon.  The newest and most recent numbers are much higher for racial and ethical groups and the medican household is much less for all minorities."

 

In 2011, the typical Oreogn household earning 46-thousand dollars -- while African Americans and Native Americans earn just over 30 thousand dollars.

Bend Mayor Clinton Looks Ahead to the City's Challenges


Clinton feels the council will have to deal with what to do next on the Surface Water Improvement Project, update the city's antiquated sewer system and formulate a vision for its urban growth boundary plans.

 

"And I think my experience of working with different councilors and working with all kinds of different organizations,  It seemed like I would be in the best position to help the city through the difficult issues we continue to face."

 

Clinton says the council needs to decide what to do with a lot of piping that has already been purchased for the water project.

 

The project is on hold while more studies are being done on the environmental impact of the project due to lawsuits.

Greg Walden to Hold Town Hall Meetings in Central and Eastern Oregon This Week


PRINEVILLE - U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will hold town hall meetings in central and eastern Oregon next week, kicking off a nine day trip throughout the Second District with town hall meetings in eight counties, including Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Union, Wallowa, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties.

 

 “While the Congress and the country face difficult choices about reducing the debt and growing our economy, I’m also working on finding solutions for local problems here at home.  Providing enough water and power for job creation, unleashing innovation in the technology sector, improving management of our federal forests, and taking care of those who wear or have worn our nation’s uniform remain priorities for me,” said Rep. Walden.  

 

By Feb. 1, Rep. Walden will have held town hall meetings in 16 of the 20 counties in the Second District. Last year, Rep. Walden held 24 town hall meetings, at least one in each of the 20 counties.

 

 Details on additional events, including the other town hall meetings, will be announced as they are finalized.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

 

What:            Crook County Town Hall Meeting

When:           2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.   

Where:          Prineville Senior Center, 180 NE Belknap Street, Prineville 

 

What:            Deschutes County Town Hall Meeting

When:           5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.    

Where:          Bend Senior Center, 1600 SE Reed Market Road, Bend 

Note:             Rep. Walden will be joined by special guests state Sen. Tim Knopp and state Reps. Gene Whisnant and Jason Conger.

 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

 

What:           Jefferson County Town Hall Meeting

When:          8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  

Where:         Madras Senior Center, 860 SW Madison, Madras 

 

What:            Union County Town Hall Meeting

When:           4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.    

Where:          La Grande Public Library Community Room, 2006 Fourth Street, La Grande

 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

 

What:            Wallowa County Town Hall Meeting

When:           2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.    

Where:          Community Connections Building, 702 NW First Street, Enterprise

National Day of Service


Today is designated as the National Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Locally, the Volunteer Connect program has about 28 projects in Deschutes County that could use some help.

 

Spokesperson Natasha Smith explains how it came about.  "It was a long battle in legislation to get it passed. But it did years ago. It’s just a way to give back to communities. One of dr. king's beliefs was to give back to communities to strengthen it, so everyone can reach a common goal. So that's what we're trying to do here, is we're trying to get people out in the communities to give back and then hopefully they'll continue to do it though out the year and not just one day."

 

Smith says there are opportunities to volunteer in almost all cities in Central Oregon, you can find out what's needed on the volunteer-connect website.

No More Plastic at Ray's Food Place


If you shop at any Ray's Food Place you won't hear the familiar question "paper or plastic?" anymore.

 

All Ray's Food Place spokesman Grant Lunde says their move to offer paper only bags or reusable cloth bags is just another step towards being "green".  "We wanted to basically make a step in the right direction. And help be good stewards of our environment. And also reduce plastic bag waste that is out there today and by taking these measures, we think we'll have an impact on that."

 

Lunde says they tested the new bagging options in California and got an overwhelming positive response.

 

Your groceries will be bagged in paper bags unless you bring your own bags, and if you do- you'll get five cents for every bag you reuse.

Paula Poundstone Ready for Bend


Comedian Paula Poundstone is known for her ability to spontaneously interact with her audiences, and usually turns her jabs inward.

 

Poundstone spoke with Frank "The Count" Bonacquisti on the 1110 KBND Morning News.  "And my son was sauntering, which is something that drives me insane. I find that my kids don't run when they're in a hurry. And I keep saying 'You can fake it. You can give the illusion that you're trying to get out there quickly, 'cuz then people aren't as mad. He's going to be on the sauntering team in high school. We're very proud. He's the captain of the sauntering team."

 

Poundstone was recently indicted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, and was the first woman to perform at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

 

She will be appearing at the Tower Theatre this Saturday (1/19).  Tickets are still available on the Tower Theatre website.

Flu Shot Clinics Extend Hours


The interest in getting a flu shot has snowballed since the recent "epidemic" declaration on the East Coast.

 

Deschutes County Health Services Community Health Manager Tom Kuhn says their phone lines are very busy with people asking questions.  "We really had not much as all last year at this time. For example: the strain that's out there is a seasonal-type strain 'H3N2' however it's a pretty virulent strain. So sometimes the illness can be more severe than in past flu seasons that we've seen."

 

Kuhn says they were able to get more vaccine and has decided to extend the hours of the walk-in clinic from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

 

The clinic is located on NE Courtney Drive and everyone six months and above can receive a flu vaccine.  The cost is $15.  The clinic cannot accept insurance at this time.

 

Also, Mosaic Medical will hold a walk-in flu clinic on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.  You sdo not need to be a patient to receive a flu shot or the flu mist.   Insurance will be accepted at Mosaic Medical: cash, debit or credit card payments will be $30 for people over 18 with no insurance and $15 for all people under 18 with no insurance – a sliding scale for Mosaic patients will be applied.   

 

Mosaic Medical is located at 4th and NE Greenwood Ave. in Bend.

Friday is "Furlough Friday" for State Workers


Friday is the first "Furlough Friday" in 2013 for state employees.

 

Most Oregon offices will be closed; and since January 21st is Martin Luther King Day, they won't reopen until next Tuesday. 

 

This includes county courthouses, the DMV, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and other state offices. 

 

State Police, prisons and liquor stores and a handful of other agencies will remain open. 

 

This is the eighth of 10 "Furlough Fridays" state employees are required to take in the 2011-13 budget cycle.  The last two days are April 19th and May 24th.

Central Oregon Gun Merchant Speaks Out


A Central Oregon man who's been selling guns at his hobby business for more than 25 years has seen tighter rules in the past, and doesn't believe more regulation again will work to stop gun violence.
 
Marvin Mills is responding to the sweeping gun control package unveiled by the President on Wednesday.  While he says the Sandy Hook shooting was very tragic, he describes some moves  by politicians as "knee-jerk" reactions. 
 
Mills says one reason that the issue is so emotional is because gun owners and others that he knows feel very strongly about protecting the constitution. 
 
Mills spoke with 1110 KBND news Thursday morning.
 
"it goes back so far to the beginning of this country- its going to be an emotional issue- i just talked to a person i know from l-a. and she didn't see any reason for a person to have  firearms- she didn't know anyone who grew up hunting- but i grew up hunting- it's a way of life- its family time."
 
Mills sold guns during the Clinton adminstration bans when ammunition was more regulated and there were waiting periods for hand gun purchases.  He says he didn't see any evidence that those rules were effective to a large degree.  He says criminals and the mentally disturbed will still find ways to get guns, regardless of the laws in place.
 

Oregon Sheriffs Push Back on President Obama's Proposed Gun Measures


Sheriffs are already pushing back saying they won't enforce some of the executive orders -- including Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton also says he's got some problems with the proposed changes.

 

"First and foremost, I support the constitution of the United States and the second amendment.  As long as I'm elected sheriff, I'll protect that.  We have ten thousand concealed weapons permits and we process 300 a month.  The President issued a lot of executive orders that I don't support."

 

President Obama signed 23 executive orders concerning gun control -- some of them beef up the national criminal background check system.

 

He also wants congress to implement mandatory background checks on all gun purchases, reinstate a ban on some assault style weapons and ban high capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

 

 

Local Victim Reacts to Sawyers Plea Deal


Dr. Daivd Redwine, who invested more than 800-thousand dollars into the Sawyer's company, says he's glad the several year ordeal is almost over.

 

"The plea deal was a predictable outcome given the massie evidence against them.  It doesn't make right all the wrongs done to the victims over the years though.  The ripple effect will continue to be felt in central Oregon for some time."

 

Dr. Redwine will go to the sentencing of the Sawyers on April 30th in Eugene.

 

The Sawyers face up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud and 30 years for making a false statement to a financial institution and bank fraud.

Local Reaction to Lance Armstrong's Admission He Doped


He admitted his guilt in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be aired on Thursday and Friday.

 

Armstrong has always denied he doped, while teammates claim he did.

 

Cancer survivor Gary Bonacker and founder of the Tour Des Chutes Bike Race that raises money for cancer survivors says he's disappointed, but not surprised by the revelation.

 

"I'm not totally unsympathetic.  On the other hand, his lies became his truth.  That's how lying works.  You say it so much you believe it.  For him that was his reality.  I certainly hope he didn't come clean to be an Ironman winner."

 

Bonacker says he's disappointed that Armstrong cheated and hopes he apoloigzes to al lthe cancer patients and survivors who worked and raised money for his cancer fighting organization -- Live Strong.

Bend Man Arrested After Vehicle Pursuit


Bend Police released the following report:

 

 

Date:   Wednesday, January 16, 2013                          Case # 13-10340

 

Date & Time of Incident:      01-16-13 6:04 PM

Type of Incident:                    Vehicle Pursuit/Arrest

Location of Incident:  Highway 97/Robal Road

 

Suspect Information:

Adam Jason Hagenbach 
38 year-old Bend resident

 

Narrative:

On 01-16-13, a Bend Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Highway 97 near Robal Road.  The officer had recognized the driver of a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado as Adam Hagenbach.  The driver was wanted for Parole violation and had also committed a traffic violation.  Hagenbach did not stop for the officer and fled in his vehicle.  The officer pursued Hagenbach into the Cooley Road area.

The officer stopped pursuing Hagenbach on Vogt Road.  A subsequent area search located Hagenbach near his parked vehicle on Lynn Way.  Hagenbach was in possession of a restricted weapon and was taken into custody without incident.  An Oregon State Police drug detection canine searched that area and located methamphetamine which Hagenbach had attempted to discard.

 

Charges:

Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer
DCS-Methamphetamine
PCS-Methamphetamine
Warrant-Parole Violation
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Felon in Possession of a Weapon (restricted knife)

Clinton Chosen as Bend's New Mayor


Councilor Jim Clinton was unanimously elected mayor of the new City Council, after Jodie Barram and Mark Capell surprisingly withdrew their bid for the seat.

 

At last night's Bend City Council meeting, after new Council members Victor Chudowsky, Doug Knight, Sally Russell and re-elected Councilor Jim Clinton took the Oath of Office, Barram and Capell made their surprise announcements:  Barram:  “I respect you tremendously as a colleague and I care for you as a friend. And if being Mayor is what you really want, and I believe that it is, then I want for you, so I am withdrawing myself from consideration as Mayor.”  Capell: “Thank you Jodie. I also will withdraw as candidate for Mayor.”  

 

Barram was re-elected as Mayor Pro-Tem, but several councilors were supporting Capell for the post.

 

Outgoing Mayor Jeff Eager, Councilors Tom Greene and Kathie Eckman were also honored at Wednesday night's meeting.

 

During the Public Comments portion of the meeting , many residents spoke of the City's water issues, encouraging the new council to examine them closely.

Local Officials Not Surprised with Kelly Move


After weeks of speculation, Oregon Duck Head Coach Chip Kelly is moving to Philadelphia to coach the Eagles.

 

Jason Fleck, President of the Oregon Club of Central Oregon says they are not surprised by Kelly's move- because it always was his dream.  "Chip has been very open about; it's been his dream to coach in the NFL.  He talks about every game being their Super Bowl. And makes a lot of references to that. From what I've heard, after talking with the Eagles and the Browns a week and a half ago; he's thought long and hard about this, and it's a great opportunity for him to take that challenge. And you never know if that opportunity is going to present itself again next year."

 

Fleck says Athletic Director Rob Mullens is already searching for Kelly's replacement.  Meanwhile Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich will step in during the search.

 

Fleck adds that the team is pretty solid with 15 returning starters next year.

 

There will be a big "Duck signing event"  here in Bend on February 6th at the Seventh Mountain Resort.

Dallas Brown Resigns from Park Board


Bend Park and Recreation Board Member Dallas Brown resigned at Tuesday night's meeting.

 

Brown, who was elected to the post in 2011 says he's been toying with the idea of doing some personal travel in Latin America for a while.  "I’ve wanted to learn Spanish and I’ve always wanted to backpack for four months, and at age 28, now is the time to do it."

 

Brown says he tendered his resignation at Tuesday night's meeting and the board accepted it.

 

He says they will decide how to fill his seat: either by waiting for a special election or by appointment.

 

He adds that he is leaving sometime next week, and plans to be gone for at least four months.

Sawyer's Trial Ends in A Deal


Tami and Kevin Sawyer avoid a trial with a plea deal in federal court in Eugene today.

 

It's been nearly four years since the fraud investigation began into what prosecutors call a real estate scheme that took about $4-million from investors.

 

Tami and Kevin Sawyer were able to get numerous continuances  for the trial, and finally, made a "conditional guilty plea" - similar to an "Alford Plea" for their deeds.

 

Our news partner, News Channel 21 reports Tami pled a conditional guilty to 21 counts, while her husband, a former Bend Police Lieutenant pled to only one count.

 

Their lawyers’ defense was that they would repay the money; but U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken rejected that line of defense and the lawyer quickly asked for a plea deal.

 

The Sawyers will likely spend some time in prison: up to 30 years for Kevin and even decades for Tami.  The sentencing date is April 30th. 

Two Walk-In Flu Clinics Scheduled


Due to the current high demand for the flu vaccine, Deschutes County Health Services and Mosaic Medical are holding walk-in clinics.

 

The Deschutes clinic is Friday from 11 am to 1 pm.

 

There will be a limited amount of flu mist for children two years and older and  the cost of each vaccine is $15.19 at the time of service. The county is unable to accept private insurance at this clinic.

 

The clinic is located on NE Courtney Drive in Bend.

 

The Mosaic Medical walk-in clinic is Saturday from 8 a-m to noon for people ages 4 and up.

 

All insurance will be accepted and billed.  It's $30 for those 18 and over without insurance and $15 for those 18 and under without insurance.  You don't need to be a Mosaic patient to get a shot.

Record Breaking Weather Events in 2012


 

A national research program announced that Oregon had 54 record breaking extreme weather events in 2012.

 

The Natural Resources Defense Council has released an interactive map that shows the number of large wildfires, inches of precipitation or record cold and hot temperatures throughout the state.

 

Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist with the NRDC says there is a direct correlation between the extreme weather events and climate change, so people need to work towards preventing disasters.

 

"On the prevention side: it's a very strong step that we can all take to say to our elected officials it's really important to limit carbon pollution. To turn the way that we get energy towards a better mix; a cleaner more renewable mix. to rely more on energy efficiency. To do that, be cause then we limit the worst effect of climate change. And one of those worst effects are those darn extreme weather events."

 

Deschutes County had record breaking precipitation in 2012 with about 5.5 inches on one day; the previous record was two inches in 2010.

Second Suspect in Two Robberies Arrested


The second suspect in two alleged robberies late last year was arrested by Bend Police Tuesday afternoon.

 

Lt. Ben Gregory reports Lisa Schnittke, 39, of Bend is suspected as being the driver for the August robbery of an Arco Gas Station on Bend's east side and the robbery of North Shari's Restaurant in November.

 

In mid-December, police investigated a shooting incident involving Schnittke and Anthony Pastran, 44, and during the investigation found information that the two were involved in the robberies.

 

Both were indicted by the Grand Jury on charges stemming from the robberies.

 

Pastran has been in custody since the shooting incident and Schnittke was located Tuesday and taken into custody.

 

Both have been charged with three counts of Robbery 1,  two counts of Assault 4 and several other charges.

Bend Council to Pick Mayor Wednesday Night


Wednesday night at the Bend City Council meeting, it will be an unusual more pubic process to pick the next mayor.
 
In the past, the choice has been more internal, but this year three councilors voiced publically their desire to be mayor and some even asked citizens to send in their "votes" by email.  So far, as of Friday only a few dozen citizens had sent in their choices.
 
In the Wednesday night meeting the vote for new mayor is one of the agenda items.
 
Bend City Manager Eric King was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town.
 
"in bend we elect a mayor amongst the council members, versus a lot of other communities where the citizens elect a mayor.  we've attempt a few times to change the charter to move in that direction, but there has not been enough council support to change the system to put something on the ballot for citizens to decide. but for right now that's the system that we have."   
 
The three councilors who would like to be the next mayor are mayor pro tem, Jodie Barram, Councilor Mark Capell and Councilor Jim Clinton.  The mayor serves for two years.  The prior mayor was Jeff Eager.

A Bend Pedestrian is Critically Injured


A young Bend man who was hit by a vehicle in Bend Monday night was listed in critical condition Tuesday at St. Charles in Bend. 
 
Bend Police say 20 year old Pedro Huerta was trying to cross Reed Market Road in a dimly lit area that was not near a crosswalk.  It happened around 10:16 Monday night.
 
Police also say he was reportedly wearing dark clothing.
Bend Police Sgt. Todd Fletcher urges all pedestrians and cyclists to be extra careful around cars and trucks. 1110 KBND news spoke with Sgt. Fletcher Tuesday morning.
 
"it's one of those things where people who even if they believe they have the right of way - it's not a good idea for pedestrians to step out in front of a moving vehicle. they're going to loose that collision every time- it doesn't really matter who's at fault...the pedestrian is going to suffer the greatest injury."
 
The driver, who police are not identifying was not injured and not cited in the crash.  Bend Police also say speed and alcohol were not factors in the incident.
 

Redmond's St. Vincent De Paul Looking for a Permanent Home


They are starting a 1.2 million dollar fundraising campaign to purchase a permanent facility.

 

The campaign will seek grants and community donations.

 

Store Manager Don Smith says they've grown tremendously in the last fifteen years.

 

"We've increased from a small house serving 12 families to 70 to 80-people per day now.  And it's something we've been able to do because of our thrift store.  It helps us to cover our operational costs and then some."

 

St. Vince De Paul currently serves more than 24 thousand meals each month to those in need.  

 

Their current facility is located on Veterans Way and the nonprofit is looking at possibly buying it.

Bend's Bethlehem Inn Seeing a Full Shelter Lately


Gwen Wysling, the Executive Director of the Bethlehim Inn says they've had a full house lately.

 

"We have been crowded, yes.  We are at peak numbers.  Unfortuantely we only have five family units and that's a challenge for us and for our community.  We work with a case worker to try and transition families into affordable housing opportunities."

 

Wysling says when they do get full and people still need a palce to stay during the winter months -- Nativity Lutheran Chruch in Bend takes people in.

Flu Cases Continue to Increase in Oregon


Kari Coe, the Infectious Disease Manager for St. Charles warns it's early in the season.

 

"We are definitely on an up upswing overall for the year.  As the CDC has been saying, it's a severe flu and its an earlier flu season.  What we're saying is it's a more severe flu season this year."

 

There are only three states in the U.S. not seeing widespread flu cases -- California, Mississippi,  and the District of Columbia.

Representative Mike McLane Against Oregon Sales Tax


Some democratic senators have proposed a five percent sales tax -- that they say would raise 1.8 billion per biennium.

 

Republican Representative Mike McLane doesn't support the bill, but is willing to listen.

 

"The proposed sales tax increase has the effect of raising taxes 1.8 billion dollars in the biennium.  But it doesn't do away with income taxes or property taxes.  It  clearly is a significant tax increase."

 

Supporters of the bill believe a sales tax would help with the state's revenue drop during tough economic times.

Superintendent Ron Wilkinson Talks about School Funding for 2013 Session


The Superintendent of Bend La Pine Schools hope state lawmakers follow the Governor's direction from his "State of the State" address.  Ron Wilkinson was the Oregon Superintendent of the Year recently and says he's hear a lot of dramatic budget stories across the state, from big district like Beaverton to small districts in very rural areas.   

 

"REMOTE DISTRICTS FACE A CHALLENGE ANYWAY- JUST BECAUSE OF THE COST OF DELIVERING SERVICES- . SAY YOU HAVE 9 KIDS IN A HIGH SCHOOL - THEN WHEN YOU REDUCE FUNDING- AS WE HAVE IT MAKES IT EVEN MORE DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS."

 

Even though Bend La Pine is a richer district compared to others, he says he had to cut 70 teaching positions during the Great Recession.  Sisters and Redmond have been hit very hard, having to cut staff and school days.

 

Redmond Mom Has A School Safety Plan


A new website, www.schoolsafetyproposal.com is getting a lot of attention from Central Oregonians as well as the rest of the nation.

 

Redmond parent Mandi Puckett started the website after the Newtown, Connecticut shooting and recently spoke at the Redmond School Board about her proposal.  "Really, its about not going to the extremes of armed SWAT-team machine guns. It is about finding smart, reasonable approaches to this, and they're there. If money is an issue, then we need to start looking more creatively and outside the box in what resources that we do have at our disposal. Because there are people that are saying on this website, and they're signing up 'I’m one that would be willing to volunteer.' So we need to look at the people that we know and trust anyway that are trained and capable to enforce the law to do that to protect our kids and our school staff."

 

Puckett says her proposal is a visual one: a three legged stool with a leg for prevention, treatment and enforcement that will bring a balanced approach to school safety.

 

She has been working with Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins and Oregon Representative John Huffman to bring the plan to Oregon legislators this session.

Rep. Huffman of New Gas Tax Proposal


The increase of more fuel efficient cars means there is less revenue available for road maintenance and other projects funded by gas tax money.

 

State Representative John Huffman, who is a Prius owner, says he's willing to consider some taxing options to raise more money.  "I do think that we Prius owners or volt owners need to pay our fair share; although our cars are much lighter than on 1-ton farm truck or whatever. and so maybe it doesn't do quite the wear and tear on roads and bridges as the larger trucks. but i do think we need to get some equity into the equation."

 

Huffman says he will look closely at what the budget committee proposes, because he is cautious about how they propose to collect the information.

 

And, he says the fee has to be reasonable.

School Exclusion Day is Just Around the Corner


In the 1950's a horrific Polio outbreak swept through the country, but today it's almost been erradicated from our country today.
 
A Deschutes County Health Department spokeswoman says some younger people who didn't live through that time may not fully understand the gravity of Polio, and the importance of keeping their kids protected against it and other serious diseases.
   
As we near the "exclusion day" deadline for local schools and daycare centers, Deschutes County Health Department spokesperson Heather Kaisner says parents who aren't current on their kids shots will get a reminder letter.
 
She says the ultimate goal is for these shots to someday become obsolete. 

 

"LOOK AT SMALL POX- WE WERE ABLE TO ERrADICATE THAT FROM THE WORLD AND WE DON'T HAVE THAT VACCINE ANYMORE.  SOME PEOPLE DON'T REMEMBER HOW HORRIBLE POLIO WAS IN OUR OWN COUNTRY AND today IT'S JUST A PLANE RIDE AWAY."
 
In some communities childhood diseases that were almost gone, have been on the rise because some parents are reluctant to immunize their kids.
 
Kaisner encouraged people who are nervous about the safety of the vaccines to make sure they are getting good, scientific information from credible sources.
 
The school exclusion day is Feb. 20th. 

Security Cameras for Bend?


 Would security cameras help stop crime in downtown Bend?  City manager Eric King says they are watching how the program works in Redmond and may consider it for some places in Bend.
 
King was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town. 
 
 
On Tuesday, the Redmond City Council voted unanimously to put security camers in local parks and other public places that seem to attract crime.  The total one time cost will be close to 120 thousand dollars.
 
 
"WE'VE TALKED ABOUT CAMERAS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA BETWEEN MIRROR POND PLAZA AND DRAKE PARK. THERE TENDS TO BE A LOT OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY -  BUT THE SPACE IS NOW LEASED TO CROW FEET AND SO THE HOPE IS THAT   POSITIVE ACTIVITY- PUSHING OUT the NEGATIVE activity..."
 
King says another trouble spot is in the parking garage, where vandals strike on a regular basis.  He says the key to effectively using security cameras is monitoring them and then enforcing the law.
 
 

Ribbon Cutting for New Madras City Hall This Weekend


The city is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and offering tours so people can get a close-up look at the new facility.

 

Madras Mayor Melanie Widmer says it looks great.  "It's about 14 thousand square feet. It's a huge improvement from where we've been.  There's a lot of new things in this facility, especially  for the police station.  It's in much better condition than where they were.  They'll have an interview room, evidence storage and training space, nice offices, unlikes the offices they have now which were formerly jail cells."

 

The former city hall was in a floodway and was half the size of the new facility.

 

City officials and the police deparment will officially move into the new city hall next Friday Janaury 18th.

Tim Knopp Speaks to Gun Advocates


State Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Jason Conger addressed a packed house at the Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association (COSSA)Thursday night.

 

Knopp first spoke about the need let their voices be heard as politicians debate impending gun control laws.

"We need to make sure that we are defending the rights of all the citizens who legally own guns in this country. And so my message to you is simple: whatever you can do, whether that's sending an email, a letter, write a letter to the newspapers and respectfully and factually deliver the message, that gun ownership is a right in this country."

 

Knopp says while there has been talk from some legislators in the Portland area about radical gun or ammunition restrictions; he believes that the majority of Oregonians appreciate legal and responsible gun ownership.

 

Bill Lewis, President of COSSA says the issue is not as simple as taking away or restricting guns or ammunition.  "Well, I think that we've got a lot of things that are broken. And instigating new laws that restrict ownership of firearms is not going to fix anything. And we're right now in an emotional situation because of what's been going on and I think we should cool down a bit before we do something.  And I think that there are people that, their whole livelihood is to take away our firearms and history says that they shouldn't do that and they don't seem to be listening to history."

 

Lewis says a reasonable compromise has already been talked about and doing away with "scary guns" and limiting magazine capacities is ineffective and an "executive order" will violate the constitution.

Steelhead Get New Designation


Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Congressman Greg Walden announce that steelhead in Central Oregon will receive a new federal designation.  The new "experimental" designation from "NOAA" allows collaborative conservation efforts without risking violations of the Endangered Species Act.  Merkley says Central Oregon communities have done great innovative work to ensure success for the reintroduction of steelhead in the Deschutes Basin and getting rid of federal red tape will allow us to continue leading the way in finding solutions that protect fish and habitat while allowing job creation and recreation to thrive. Steelhead will now be designated as a "non-essential- experimental" population.

Legislature to Consider School and Guns Next Session


The issue of how to keep our kids safe in school is one hot topic, and the Oregon Legislature will take it up this session.

 

District 59 Representative John Huffman says he's been working with a proactive group School Safety Proposal, to find a reasonable and balanced plan for the legislature to consider.  "It's definitely going to be a hot topic this session. And I’m trying to bring it to a reasonable conversation with balance and common sense, saying, you know it's difficult to have 100% security for any facility, school or otherwise. But, could we be doing better in every facility and encouraging every school district to look at their policies and procedures."

 

Huffman says many of the school districts he's spoken with are already working to increase security, some even are considering armed guards.

 

But he says there is not a "one size fits all" fix for the issue, and the mental health component also needs to be considered.

Central Oregon Mental Health Program Takes Aim at early Psychosis


 

It's a local prevention program that trie to get to the root problem very early on with people who may suffer from serious psychosis later in life.

 

Dealing with mental health issues early on- before things escalate into random shootings and other violence is a big topic in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut.  The local program is availalbe to people aged 15 to 27 in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties.  

 

Clinical Coordinator Katie Hayden-Lewis says people can ask for help if they see warning signs in family members, friends or themselves.

 

She was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town and talked about some of the red flags they watch for.



 "a YOUNG PErson WHO SEEMS AFRAID FOR NO REASON - look for UNUSUAL BEHAVIORS- saying things OUT OF CONTEXT - saying their MIND is PLAYING TRICKS ON THEM...SEEING OR HEARING THINGS that others don't see, a CHANGe IN SPEECH like dropping words, they tend to ISOLATE MORE, they are bothered by how they are feeling so they go off by themselves, THEY just DON'T FEEL GOOD."
 
Hayden-Lewis says their data shows that the "Easly Assessment and Support Alliance" or EASA program has reduced the likelihood of hospitalization.  It's a family centered program this is part of a statewide effort that is unique to Oregon. It started in Salem as a pilot and when it became successful lawmakers agreed to fund it in 18 counties across Oregon.
 
She says while the program works, sometimes it's tough for people to take the first step and get the mental health they need.

THE LARGEST CHALLENGE IS STIGMA -against young people that struggle- i think we I THINK WE have a lot of high expectations for our young people to become independent too early- i think with mental health some people feel overly vulernable or ashamed."
 
If you'd like more information on the program the website is: www.easacommunity.org.
Her entire interview is located on this website under the Podcast icon.
 

 

More People Moving Into Oregon Than Out


The 36th Annual United Van Lines Migration Study indicates that Oregon is one of the most desirable state to move in to.

 

Roger Lee with Economic Development for Central Oregon says that's not news to him.  "Everything that I’ve ever seen is that we certainly have much more in migration than out migration. And Oregon’s been pretty strong for that for years. It’s really driven by quality of life factors; quality schools, especially for California, lower cost of living. You know, the kind of quality of life that attracts people here, overall, into our region, certainly in spades."

 

Lee says that one difference he's seen lately is that a few more people are looking to move here from the warmer states like Texas and the south, and that trend could stem from the recent several years of strong weather events.

 

The study also show that more people are moving away from the northeastern area of the nation.

Pile Burning Planned for Next Week


Fuels specialists with the Prineville Bureau of Land Management are anticipating being able to burn15 acres of piles at the BLM Beach next week.

 

The BLM Beach is a campground on the south short of the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook, east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area.

 

The material is leftover from a thinning project to reduce the risk of wildfire moving from BLM lands to private lands.

 

The Three Rivers area lost 18 homes in the catastrophic 2002 Eyerly Fire.

 

Smoke will be visible to local residents and boaters on the lake; no road closures are expected.  Burning should take only one day, depending on weather conditions.

Wedding and Event Show An Annual Affair


Four different fashion shows will highlight the Central Oregon Wedding and Event Show on Saturday.

 

Laura Chick with Incredible Events says this is the fifth year for the event at the Riverhouse Convention Center, and it grows each year.  "This year we have 85 different vendor booths, and it's upstairs and downstairs at the Riverhouse. So it's a fun event. We also have a groom's lounge, so the guys can come in and have bar food and some beer and the girls can have some wine if they'd like, and spend the entire day. You can have lunch and enjoy all the fashion shows and go and see all the booths. It’s really fun. It’s my favorite event of the year."

 

Chick says the event showcases a lot of venues and vendors for any kind of event; so the show  will appeal to more than brides.

 

The Central Oregon Wedding and Event Show is Saturday from 9-4 at the Riverhouse.  Admission is $5 or four non perishable food items; all food and admissions will go to the Ronald McDonald House.

 

You can pre-register online at:  www.thecoshow.com.

Jefferson County's Humane Society Closes


The board consisted of six women in their 70's and with their donations tried to control the county's feral population.

 

Jefferson County Animal Control deals exclusively with dogs, not cats.  So the humane society did what it could to control the cat population.

 

Glennis Fellas was the President of the Humane Society.  She hopes someone steps in to control the cat population, otherwise without spaying neutering, that population will  only grow.

 

Neither the city of Madras or Jefferson County had funds they'd be willing to donate.

Deschutes County Looking to Improve Mental Health Response


The county is starting to assess those who call in with mental health issues within 48 hours.  In the past, if they weren't in crisis, an appointment was made for a couple weeks later.

 

The county is also looking at hiring a mental health supervisor to help insure these faster response times.

 

Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney says the county has always been very good about responding quickly to those in crisis.  But now they want to make sure those who are struggling get assessed quickly as well, before they could spiral out of control.

La Pine City Council Could Have A Younger Face


The La Pine City Council will discuss adding a new “member" to the Council in the next few weeks.

 

Mayor Ken Mulenex says they have been discussing the possibility of having a student from the high school be a non-voting member of the Council.  "We have a motto down here 'We Support Our Youth,' and I wanted to put teeth into that. And if we're gong to say that, let's do something. And by supporting our youth, by getting them involved in city government, in a way that they could participate and learn at the same time, that would be supporting them. And that would valuable to them down the road."

 

Mulenex says there is a La Pine student currently on their student council who has expressed an interest in joining the City Council.

 

He says all of the council is enthusiastic about the idea and they will discuss the idea again Wednesday and possibly draft a resolution to have the student in place by mid-February.

Merlie Evers-Williams to Deliver Invocation for Obama


Former Bend resident and activist Myrlie Eevers-williams will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

 

Evers-Williams expressed her appreciation for the invitation; especially since 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Evers-Williams is the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who was killed in Mississippi in a racially charged murder that is credited with beginning the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Evers-Williams is currently at Alcorn State University as a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.

 

The Presidential Inauguration also falls on Martin Luther King, Junior Day, Monday, January 21st.

EDCO Looking Forward, Happily


Officials with Economic Development for Central Oregon, or EDCO, have high hopes for 2013.

 

Executive Director Roger Lee says 2012 was the best year ever for numbers of companies: new jobs and capital investment in the region, and 2013 looks to be a banner year.  “We see some of the signs of growth in the economy slowing, but at the same time, I think we still have some growth period to capitalize on here. Very brisk for us, we have between 90 and 100 companies in the final stages of making a decisions on locating here or growing or starting up. So it's brisk activity."

 

Lee says the success of expanding opportunities for education in Central Oregon are a real draw for new business to consider moving here.

Madras Pioneer Has New Owner


The Pamplin Media Group has purchased the Madras Pioneer newspaper -and five other Oregon newspapers according to "Wweek.com." (Willamette Weekly)

 

Pamplin Newspaper Division President Mark Garber says it was a great move for them and shows their confidence in community journalism. 

 

The media group, that also publishes the Portland Tribune is in an ongoing media battle with The Oregonian for readers, and with this purchase brings their newspapers to 24.

 

The Madras Pioneer was previously owned by Eagle Newspapers Incorporated, who also owns the Central Oregonian in Prineville.

 

Pamplin also purchased from Eagle newspapers, the Canby Herald, The Newberg Graphic, the Molalla Pioneer, the Wilsonville Spokesman and the Woodburn Independent.

Early Tourism numbers a good sign for rest of Season


Early tourism numbers in Central Oregon from the Christmas Holiday season are showing a big increase over the local trends from December 2011.
 
Alana Hughson with the Central Oregon Visitors Association says the numbers are up between 4 and 15 percent year over year.
 
She adds that good figures in December are important for the overall Winter season. 
 

 "it's a critical month- i believe most businesses will tell you that december will make or break their winter season. and if we lose a healthy holiday season they spend the rest of the season trying to make up for that...so the fact we had a good during the holiday period and we saw some recovery over the prior year, that's going to position the business better as well."

 

Hughson says Winter tourism business can also get some extra momentum from Christmas travelers because a good impression means that may return in the next few months and/or tell their friends about Bachelor.

 

"and also from a perception standpoint if travelers have a great holiday experience it tends to keep returning top of the mind for the rest of the season - so that means a better m-l-k weekend a better presidents day weekend, so it gives us optmism moving into the winter." 
 
Hughson says their official numbers for the Holiday Season will come out in early February.
Last year's season was weak because of the lack of snow.  Hughson this year was not only better weatherwise, but Christmas and New Years Holidays in the middle of the week also help visitor numbers because they lead to longer vacations in Central Oregon.
 
Most of the visitors continue to come from within Oregon, Northern California and the Seattle area.
 

Crowd Funding could help bring in new Local Jobs


A Bend Commercial Real Estate Agent says a new law could help generate new jobs in Central Oregon and across the country.  Darren Powderly with "Compass Commercial Real Estate" says Crowd Funding is now allowed.  The concept allows businesses and others to ask for donations or investors to help them fund good ideas and new products.
 
Crowd Funding is gaining a lot of momentum in other countries where its bringing a lot of money, and Powderly says it's especially useful for business start-ups who may not be able to get traditional funding from a bank or credit union.
 
 
"PRESident OBAMA SIGNED THE JOBS ACT LAST YEAR AND THERE ARE 2 ELEMENTS OF THE ACT THAT ARE REALLY IMPORTANT - ONE, IT LIFTS THE BAN ON PUBLIC SOLITITATION FROM A COMPANY - SO COMPANIES WILL START ADVERTISING FOR FUNDS this year.  - THAT HAS BEEN ILLEGAL SINCE 1934. "
 
The other aspect opens up Crowd Funding for not just businesses, but everyone else.  Powderly gives a local example of a possibility - he says part of the OSU-Cascades effort could be funded by Crowd Funding.  It allows people to give smaller amounts like $25 dollars to a project and those many small donations are pooled for the larger effort.  Another method is to ask for small investiments, similar to buying stock for equity or bonds for income.  
 
Some experts are projecting a 300 billion dollar market for Crowd Funding.
 
 

Former Intel CEO to speak in Bend


It was a surprising discovery for Intel Inc.  they found that most of their workers had to be outsourced because managers couldn't find enough skilled people in Oregon to take jobs offered by Intel.
 
The former CEO of Intel will be the keynote speaker later this month at the Oregon Business Conference on January 31st, in Bend at the Riverhouse.   Dr. Craig Barrett will address the need for education reform in Oregon and across the country.
 
Business Conference spokesman Keith Rivera says it's an important discussion.
 
 
 "IN 2010- WE HAD AN 8.3 GROWTH RATE IN OREGON -THAT'S EQUAL TO CHINA- AT THE SAME TIME... we noticed that our unemployment rate was still high.  people were wondering was what causing that and then intel managers discovered and announced at a meeting in Portland that 70 PERCENT of their jobs were being OUTSOURCEd- only 30 PERCENT HAD OREGON DEGREES....of that (some had masters) and ONLY 2 PERCENT HAVE PH.D'S.... "
 
Rivera says everyone,  including the government, can play a role in changing our education system.  For example, he says we need to emphasize more vocational training for some people.   
 
"education is probably the most important thing we can do for our economy and job creation and self esteem - we're going into a very competitive time period- 21st century - but things in oregon are declining....academic standards declining...."
 
 Other speakers will include Dr. Knute Buehler and Economist Dr. Bill Watkins.  Again, the 6th annual CERF Oregon Business Conference is on January 31st, at the Riverhouse. Keith Rivera was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town on Tuesday, January 8th.  The entire interview is on this website under the Podcast icon.

Congresman Walden Says Gun Control Won't Solve Our Gun Violence Problems


It appears they want a reinstatement of the expired assault weapons ban, as well as universal background checks for gun buyers.

 

U.S. Congresman Greg Walden of Oregon says the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut affected everyone, but he doesn't believe gun control will solve the problem.

 

"We're all heart sick about the Clackamas Towne Center shooting of the Connecticut shooting.  In each of these cases, mental health issues or suicde were the problem  And we passed a mental health initiative and the administration has to write the rules to implement. Why not do  your job, first of all?"

 

Other legislation being considered by the administration is strengthening mental health checks and stiffening penalties for those carrying guns near schools.

Affordable Care Act Provision Prevents Doctors from Recording Whether Patients Have Guns


The provision was added to the bill after pressure from the National Rifle Association in the final weeks of the healthcare debate.

 

Bend psychologist, Mike Conner, who also is a gun owner, says he is appalled at the restriction.

 

"I felt it could be negligent not to ask about firearms.  In what way?  If a patient has an alcohol problem and is depressed, you have to ask them about firearms, because if you can remove that from the situation, the risk of violence or suicide goes way down."

 

The language doesn't prevent doctors from asking about gun ownership, but prevents them from documenting it.

 

It was a move to prevent doctors from targeting firearms as a matter of public health.

 

 

Redmond School Board to Swear In New Member


Jim Erickson resigned last month from the school board, so the school district had to replace him.

 

After considering several applicants, the baord appoint Pat Reck.

 

Redmond Superintendent of Schools, Mike McIntosh, says she's been a long time member of the community.  "She's a retired educator and she works as a substitute teacher in the district.  With some encouragement, she decided she had what it took to be on the school board.  We're happy to have her."

 

Reck will serve on the board until next May and will then have to run for the seat in the May election.

Prineville Car-Train Crash Causes Minor Injuries


59 year old Norma Sharp tried to break as she appraoched the crossing and heard the train's signal, but icy conditions caused her to hit the train's lead engine car.

 

Sharp was transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond to be treated for her minor injuries.

State Senator Chris Telfer Talks About the Danger of Not Reaching Across the Political Aisle


But partianship remains strong and makes it difficult to reach middle ground.

 

Republican State Senator Chris Telfer who reently lost her re-election bid, say the unwillingness to work across the aisle, is frustrating a lot of voters.

 

"I can tell you there's a swell of people wanting to go to the Independent Party, from the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.  The two parties are not working together.  Look at what happened when we fell of the fiscal cliff.  Those who work across the aisle get booted out of office.  It's an interesting dichotomy and how you do solve it?"

 

Telfer's term as a state senator will end mid January.  She is considering staying involved politically in other ways and is expanding her CPA practice in Bend.

Madras-Warm Springs Transit Route Cut


The Cascades East Transit's Madras-Warm Springs Community Connector Shuttle will be eliminated as of Wednesday.

 

Scott Aycock with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council says budget cuts in the lack of funding caused them to shut down several routs in the past few months.  "It was originally slated to be cut on October first, like all the other services that were cut.  But in the period of time between then and the end of December, no additional funding was identified, and so we had to cut it. I’ll note, it's funded a little differently than the rest of the system in that warm springs, through grants, funds the entire amount of that. Elsewhere it's a cobbling. There’s no other source of funding for that shuttle."

 

He says the ridership just wasn't there to sustain the route.

 

Aycock says there may be a slight possibility of the route returning after the new fiscal year for them begins in July - but that's a remote possibility.

 

Also, he says they will begin a study on fares, which happen to be some of the lowest in the nation, so there could be an incremental increase on those.

Ice Fishing Anyone?


For the first time in decades, Diamond Lake is open to year-round fishing.

 

And outdoorsman Gary Lewis says this is a fun opportunity to try ice fishing.  "This is just something we don't do much of out here. You cut a little hole in the ice and you sit there and try to catch a fish through it. And why are they do this at Diamond Lake? Because there's a lot of fish in Diamond Lake. The people haven't been keeping as many fish, they've been letting them go and these fish are there to be caught. And so here's one way to do it: lets open the lake year-round and let people go fishing through the ice."

 

Lewis says Diamond Lake is known for having some of the biggest rainbow trout; and during the cold months  they are very flavorful.

 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold classes on ice fishing in early February.  Contact ODFW for more information.

Unger Chosen to Chair Commission


Deschutes County Commissioners elected Alan Unger to Chair the Board this year and Tammy Baney as Vice-Chair.

 

Unger says the Board will soon hold a goal setting session to identify what their focus will be in 2013.  "One of those things will probably be, as we look at budgets, to reevaluate employee costs. PERs has had a significant increase and so have medical costs; so how do we manage those within our budgets?"

 

Unger says as Board Chair, he's charged with making sure the meeting as well as county business runs well.

 

He says any issues or projects that come from the state will be divided up between the three commissioners.

Two Hurt in Alleged Assault


Police are asking for your help in finding two suspects in an alleged stabbing incident on New Year’s Day.

 

Sgt. Nick Parker with Bend Police says an unidentified man and woman at the Reserves at Pilot Butte were assaulted around 4:30 in the morning.

 

When police arrived, the woman had injuries to her arm and the man had an injury to this head.  They were transported to St. Charles-Bend for treatment.

 

Parker say the victims did not know the suspects, who fled by car after the incident.

 

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call the Bend Police Department. (541-693-6911)

Pioneer Hospital Looking for New Facility


With all of the new technology businesses opening up in the Prineville area, it's only natural that a new, bigger  and better hospital is needed.

 

Bob Gomes, CEO of Pioneer Memorial Hospital says they have narrowed down locations to two areas in Prineville: Iron Horse and Ochoco Lumber; and they are excited to move forward.

 

"I think it's an exciting time to think about the future of healthcare and where we're going as a nation. And a new facility lets us adapt to where we're going, so, something that we could look forward to for the next 50+ years. And I’m personally excited about it because both have come together at one time. So we're not just building a replacement hospital, we're trying to say "where's healthcare going?" and what are the needs of the community for healthcare in the future."

 

Gomes says it could be April when all decision makers get together to approve the next phase of the project and funding.

Judge Sullivan Honored


Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Michael Sullivan retires after almost 25 years on the bench.

 

Sullivan says in those 25 years, he's very proud that he helped improve the court system.  "So things that I'm particularly please about are: 2 new courtroom that we got several years ago. The security at the front desk that the sheriff provides; in addition to that, I’m very please about our Family Court, our Family Drug Court, our Mental Health Court; our Deferred Sentencing Domestic Relations Violence Court. So all of those programs are not only more efficient, but they bring about better results."

 

Sullivan says he's seen a lot of changes in how the judicial system works, especially with electronic technology, allowing them to cut costs.

 

While in retirement, Sullivan could be called in to work as a replacement judge from time to time, but he's looking forward to some special time with his grand kids.

Mountain View Hospital is Now St. Charles-Madras


As of January 1st, Mountain View Hospital in Madras in now known as St. Charles-Madras.

 

St. Charles - Madras CEO Jeanie Gentry says the transition has gone smoothly and there couldn't be a better partner than St. Charles.

 

"We’re just really pleased that we could find a partner that had the resources we needed. They’re so close to us already. St. Charles is the perfect partner because they already take care of the people of Jefferson County and now they can do it in a more coordinated, systematic way; so we're very excited about the changes."

 

Gentry says the cold weather has prohibited them from painting the new sign with their new name, but everything else has gone well and they appreciate having access to all of the tools available through the St. Charles system.

 

She adds that within the next few years, St. Charles has committed to spending about $10-million to expand the facility.

Bend Author Named One of the Nation's Best in 2012


A Bend author is named to a "Top 100 Writers of 2012" list in Conversations Magazine, after his first book is published.

 

Bryan Johnson, author of "Yield" a novel about how survivors in an apocalyptic world survives.

 

Johnson says it took a long time to write this novel, which is the first in a series of three books.  "It's really just an interesting look at our current way of life. I’ve integrated some contemporary headlines and news into it to give it a bit more of a bit more of a sense of realism. But it's really a descent from that point into a dark and apocalyptic world. After our country is attacked, it's really a story of people trying to make sense of what's happened. And try to put their lives back together in a very savage and anarchic world."

 

He says he's named his trilogy "The Armageddia Series" and is currently working on books two and three.

 

Johnson currently works as the Director of Creative Services at KOHD here in Bend.

Walden Speaks Out About Fiscal Cliff Bill


Oregon Congressman Greg Walden says he voted for the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" bill because it locks in the Death Tax Exemption and that is a benefit to ranchers, farmers and small business owners.

 

Speaking on the Lars Larson" show Wednesday, Walden says the GOP had no alternative but to pass the bill.

"Here’s the deal: had we changed anything in there, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell said: "It's dead." Remember, they left town.  They left and said they aren't coming back so change it, you kill it. And that's when 89 Senators vote that way; the House has very little leverage at that point."

 

Walden says what's happening the in U.S. is similar to what Europe has been going through over the past few years.

 

But, Walden says, the big fight is really coming in March- when the new Congress will have to tackle the debt ceiling question and funding the federal government. 

 

The passage of the fiscal cliff bill stops huge tax increases to 98% of Americans and will help small business owners, farmers and ranchers keep their property and businesses in their families upon their death.

 

But Walden says how the bill's passage came about will have some ramifications in Congress, as the bill effectively split the GOP.  "He’s certainly done that. That’s his goal, because he wants Nancy Polisi back as speaker. So in his last 2 years, he can govern as he did in his first 2 years. That’s what's behind all this. He’s never shut down his political machine. His allies were putting out direct mail into different districts, encouraging people to support the president on that. They’re full on to take back the House to govern as they did before."

 

Walden says he fears the Dems will begin pushing bills quickly through the Congress; not giving legislators enough time to digest them and make thoughtful arguments.

Oregonians Love to Give


Oregonians may have gone through tough economic times recently, but that didn't seem to stop them from always finding a little something more to help their neighbors in need.

 

Joan Vallejo with the Oregon Community Foundation says their recent report shows that Oregon ranks in the top 20 states for giving.  "Oregon usually ranks fairly high compared to other states, even to our sister states north and south of here. Per capita giving is higher than average. During the recession, it was interesting to see that some of the big contributions went down, but more people were giving. So they gave what they could, more people stepped up to the plate."

 

Vallejo says even with a national disaster, Oregon residents are quick to respond and help wherever the problem is.

 

She says education non-profits usually get the largest donations; but health and human services and animal welfare is not far behind.

Oregon Lawmakers React to Passage of Legislation to Avoid Fiscal Cliff


Merkley said although it does not do as much as he wanted, it does ensure that the wealthy will be contributing more as we work to bring our deficits under control.

 

Wyden said he's glad congress was able to steer Americans from steep income tax increases on the middle class, but said he will do everything possible to end the political  brinksmanship and work for bipartisan budget and medicare reforms.

 

And Republican U.S. Congressman Greg Walden voted for the legislation in the House.  He said although the plan isn't perfect, he could not sit by as taxes go up on all Americans, including more than three thousand dollars a year for the average Oregon family.

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