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Local News Archives for 2013-03


Trinity Episcopal Damage Far Greater Then Thought


It could be two years and almost $2-million before Trinity Episcopal Church will fully reopen after the devastating fire on March 6th.

 

The fire that burned the church and hall along with two cars, two garages and a woodpile in a nearby alley is believed to be deliberately set.

 

The Bulletin reports Senior Church Warden Peter Lovering says the church suffered about  $1.4-million damage to the main building and another $650,000 to St. Helen's Hall; the former Lutheran Church that now belongs to Trinity.

 

Apparently, there is extensive smoke and water damage. The walls had to be stripped down to the studs, because asbestos was found in the building and needed to be removed.

 

Bend Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this fire.

Chris Telfer Named to Lottery Board


Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed former State Senator Chris Telfer to the Lottery Commission.

 

Telfer says she's one of five members on the board; and one of two CPA's overlooking lottery business.

 

"The focus of the Commission is obviously maintaining the integrity and honest of the games. So we'll be working at that. I also know there's a number of pieces of legislation currently in the works regarding the advertising, it being sensitive to compulsive gambling and how lottery affects that. It’s a great honor and it'll be challenging to balance the financial needs of the state with some of the negative behavior that can be created through gambling."

 

Telfer says the Governor's Office indicated her business background will be a big asset to the commission; and she believed she'll also be on a marketing subcommittee.

 

Her appointment is still subject to Senate approval.

Assistance League and Nike Will Just Do it


Nike has donated to the Assistance league of bend over 400 pairs of brand new athletic shoes for their "Operation School Bell" program.

 

League spokesperson Judy Uriz says it was a matter of "ask and ye shall receive."

 

"We just didn't quite fit into their program, because they like to work with sports programs. But we talked to them several times and, she say 'You know what, there is one thing we can do for you. We have some samples come in, and if you'd like to make the decision today, we can send a couple hundred shoes to you, with just a couple of sizes.' And we said ok, we'll take them."

 

Uriz says there are 35 different shoe styles; and most will fit middle and high school kids.

 

The Family Access Network, Latino organizations and CASA have given the league names of about 100 kids who could use the shoes.

 

The shoes will be distributed on April 6th at the Assistance League Bend Chapter House.

 

If you know a needy child that could use some shoes, contact the FAN or CASA Offices.

 

Also, dental hygienists from the Kemple Clinic will also be at the giveaway site, offering free dental exams and oral care instruction to eligible children.

Senator Knopp is Fighting Human Trafficking in Oregon


It's another attempt in Salem to crack down on pimps and johns who prey on children.

State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend is pushing a bill that would strengthen the penalties for sex traffickers in a state that has lenient laws compared to other nearby states.  

He says pimps won't stop their high paying activity - if there are just minor legal consequences.

 

“The only thing that's going to stop them is putting them away- we're talking about girls here- there worst nightmare is that their child is being co-opted and put into this lifestyle.”

 

Those who work with the young victims of sex trafficking say the pimps can be extremely clever and manipulative.  They will pretend to be a boyfriend, offer a rich lifestyle, addict the girls to drugs, any weakness that works to get them to agree to sexual slavery. 

 

Knopp testified in favor of Senate Bill 786 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday.  He says Oregon has a "D" grade in terms of laws that try to stop sex trafficking.  Non-profit groups trying to fight the problem say nearby states have tougher laws, so Oregon is becoming a haven for those involved in sex trafficking. 

Budgeting for Increased Healthcare


The Affordable Healthcare Act goes into effect in 20-14 and experts say you need to plan now for how that cost will affect your budget.  Patrick O'Keefe with the Cascade Insurance Center says premiums may go up an average of 38 percent - but there could be some help. 

 

"All in all, we are looking at some pretty hefty increases in premiums next year. a little caveat with that, is that those increased premiums, in a lot of cases,  there are richer benefits. So while we are, I hate to say the word forced, but we're going to have to pay more for insurance beginning next year, at least there is some additional value that we're going be getting out of that additional premium.  And a large percentage of the population will have access to federal subsidies to help them offset the increase, help them pay for their health insurance."

 

O’Keefe says there will be a lot of new rules and regulations that will impact what you will be able to claim on your taxes as well.

 

He advises everyone to educate yourself on how these costs will affect your budget by attending workshops when they are offered - and reading up all the information that is available. 

 

Sheriffs Office Plays Santa in the Spring


Recently the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office had the pleasure of disbursing over $20,000 in merchandise to some local nonprofits.

 

Captain Shane Nelson with DCS says Wal-Mart contacted them asking if they could help distribute 20 pallets of unused merchandise in the community after completion of their new supercenter.

 

"So this is a one time opportunity. The Wal-Mart store really stepped up to help their community.  And trusted our office to get in touch with community resources and get these unused products out there, so that we could give those less fortunate a hand up and help them out."

 

Nelson says Wal-Mart worked through the sheriff's office because of their relationship with their "Shop with a Cop" program.

 

Over 25 charities received a portion of the merchandise that includes clothing, games, shoes and toys.

EDCO Meets Goal


 

Economic Development for Central Oregon met its goal and "then some" to hopefully make the direct flight between Redmond and L.A  a reality.

 

At the end of business on Monday, $375, 500 in travel vouchers was collected to demonstrate to American Air that there is a strong interest in the flight.

 

"I can't tell you how gratifying it is to work in a region, where in this short time line you can actually have businesses and public entities come together to support the same cause. In this short time line, it's amazing. So hats off to Central Oregon for help making it happen."

 

Roger Lee with EDCO says the decision now rests with American Airlines and any possible announcements regarding proposed air service, start dates, times and costs would be made by American Air.

 

Earlier, EDCO was able to raise $100,000 from businesses and governments to help Redmond Airport get ready for the new service. 

Effort to Help Downtown Redmond Businesses During Construction


A Sisters businessman is trying to help downtown Redmond businesses and set a precedent for road projects that affect businesses.

 

Richard Esterman says he sent a letter to O-DOT and local and state politicians outlining how the downtown road construction project in Redmond will affect already struggling businesses.

 

"They should be financially compensated for maybe help out with the rent. If you can see their books are showing that, due to construction, they're 70% down or 50% down, and it's a legitimatize reason, I think they should be financially compensated."

 

ODOT spokesman Rex Holloway says they cannot by law compensate businesses.  

 

"We’re not allowed under state law to compensate businesses for losses. And we cannot spend gas tax dollars for that."

 

Holloway says they are willing to work with the businesses to provide the best information to the public, so they will know how to get to downtown businesses while construction in ongoing.

Ducks Will Be Ready for Cardinals


How sweet it is!  The #25 Oregon Ducks are headed to the “Sweet 16” playing against #1 seed Louisville on Friday.

 

Ducks radio announcer Jerry Allen says it's a dream come true for all Ducks fans; and he's not surprised that the Ducks won, but how they won is another matter.

 

"Oklahoma State, a very athletic team. I thought probably more athletic than Oregon. Jumpers, athletes, very good, had a great season. But Oregon handled them so well, they just kind of took the game to them and that's physical, and they played a better mental game. St. Louis was a veteran team. They had pretty much put defensive pressure on everybody they played; forced turnovers; pretty much owned their opponents and Oregon turned it on them.  It wasn't surprising that Oregon was able to win those games; I thinks it was as easily as they won those games."

 

Allen says Coach Dana Altman is a great teacher, and he's sure that he will take the next few days to teach the team about Louisville.

 

"Dana Altman is the Head Coach and one of the best teacher's I've been around, and he really teaches these guys what they need to be prepared for an opponent. I think that's why they were so ready for the first round of the NCAA tournament."

 

Allen says the team works together very well to get the job done; but the fact that they were seeded so low really got the team fired up to prove the selection committee missed the mark.

 

1110 KBND will begin coverage of the game this Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m.

 

Former State Lawmaker Supports "No Labels" Movement


Politicans have always disagreed, but they used to be able to find some common ground.

 

A citizens movement called "No Labels" includes democrats, republicans and independents -- trying to force our lawmakers to reach some middle ground to solve our nation's problems.

 

Former state lawmaker, Chris Telfer says she hears from lots of people who support the effort.

 

"I think there's a movement to bring this together as a coordinated effort.  Half our voters really want to go back to the time when we reached middle ground.  They're fed up with nothing getting done.  It's all about who got the power and who's willing to cut a deal to get the power."

 

"No Labels" has recruited dozens of members of congress to become part of the movement.  They meet regularly to built trust across the political aisle.

Run To Raise Money for Abused Chilldren Advocates


But CASA needs more of these volunteers.

 

CASA Director Pam Fortier says they're holding a5 K and 10 K run in April to risie money to train more advocates.

 

"I want to get the word out there we need more volunteers.  We had 100 kids who didn't have the benefit of an advocate last year. The run will help raise money so we can recruit and train these volunteers that are very much needed for these children."

 

It costs aobut 300 dollars per volunteer to recruit and train these volunteers on being an advocate for these children.

 

The CASA "Light of Hope" run will be Sunday April 21st.

LaPine Again Searches for a New City Manager


Steve Hasson announced last week he's resigning from the post and will be leaving in a month.

 

He is quitting for personal as well as professional resasons.  His wife inherited a farm near Portland, but there were also differeing opinions between city councilors and Hasson on how to move the city forward into the future.

 

LaPine Mayor Ken Mulenex says they want to move the city forward.

 

"LaPine wants to be seen and be a small town and feel a little bit rural nature to it.  But we still need jobs, economic development and all the other things that make a city viable for the people who live here."

 

Hasson plans to stay on  the job for another month --but siad he will stay longer if the city has trouble getting an interim city manager.

Madras Aquatic Center Will Ask for Additional Levy This May


Last November, they voted the request down by a couple hundred votes.

 

So they are asking again for voters to approve an additional 40 cents per one thousand dollars of assessed property value -- to fully fund the center.

 

It would cost about $40 dollars for a 100-thousand dollar home in Madras.

 

The Director of the MAC, Bobby DeRoest says this levy would help them meet expenses - which they current don't do.

 

"When they did build the center, there was anticipated a little boom here, but then there was a housing bust, they thought the prison was going to bring in a lot of people.  But like a lot of places, the recession kind of put everything on hold.  So the money anticipated was a lot less than what was brought in."

 

If approved, the levy would be in addition to the 25 center per one thousand dollars of assessed value.  Collectively, it would be around 65 dollars a year for an average home in Madras.

More Kids on the Street Mean Spring Break


School kids may be sleeping in this week, now that most are on Spring Break; but we have advice for parents to make sure everyone stays safe while having a bit more "idle time."

 

Kelly Richard with the Redmond School District says with kids heavy use of social media, one valuable tip will keep your child safe and even your home: don't tell where you are.

 

"They should be very careful about reveling their location. Especially during a time of year when there's a lot of students out and about. And just, not a lot of adults to watch over them. So be careful about where your student is checking in or if they're using instagram or Foursquare or some sort of social media that's revealing their location."

 

Richards says predators know when and where spring breaks are happening, and that's when the prey on students.

 

Also experts say to have a talk with your kids about who can or can't be at your house while your child is home alone while you're at work.

Huge Air Museum in Madras


Lots of World War Two aircraft and other memorabilia will be featured in the new 64,000 square foot air museum at the Madras Airport. 

 

Airport Manager Rob Berg says this is going to be huge for all of Central Oregon.

 

"This will be the first one of its kind in Central Oregon. And it is a big deal, not just for the Madras Airport, but for all of Central Oregon and tourism for the whole area. The draw for a WWII type air museum with flying aircraft; it's a once in a lifetime chance for a lot of people to see these airplanes."

 

Berg says they hope to have the museum open by the end of summer, just in time for the Air Show of the Cascades that usually draws more than 10,000 visitors to the area.

 

Erickson Aero Air is bringing its museum from Tillamook to Madras because the climate and conditions are much better for the aircraft.

Police Seek Help in Solving Mystery


Police are asking for your help in solving a mysterious crime that happened last month in northeast Bend.

 

On February first, as an unidentified victim was leaving his home in the 1500 block of NE Bear Creek Road around 6:45 a.m. for work,  he felt something brush against his leg and heard a big explosion.

 

He felt something hit his arm.

 

Sgt. Nick Parker with Bend Police says they and found a trip wire had been strung across the victim's porch, intending to  assault the victim.

 

The victim received a minor injury to one of his arms from part of the device striking him.

 

If you have any information about this crime, please contact Bend Police. (541-693-6911)

Council Hears Unhappy Residents in Northwest Crossing


A proposed storage facility to be built in the Northwest Crossing area is meeting with some resistance from residents.   

 

At Wednesday night's Bend City Council meeting - resident Marie Suhre, who lives within 500 feet of the proposed storage facility says it's a real safety issue. 

 

"Problems with unlawful activities are often conducted in such units, and compromise our neighborhood watch program and are a threat to the safety of our neighborhood. Unfortunately these structures are used by criminals; to hide stolen and contraband goods."

 

Other residents said they didn't feel the city had given them enough information about the project and requested to be included in a decision.

 

Colin Stephens, Current Planning Manager for Bend said this project within the zoning application, and usually does not require a hearing, but increased interest in the project could allow for them to reclassify the project and require a hearing.

Warning About Pesticides


 

More central Oregonians are rolling up their sleeves to dig into their gardens and cleaning up yards now that spring is here.

 

Sometimes - that includes using pesticides to rid plants and grass of creatures that emerge with warmer weather.

 

Sunny Jones with the Oregon Department of Agriculture says they are ramping up education about the proper use of pesticides - and it can only take three words...

 

"Read the label. Read those instructions. And just as importantly, actually follow the instructions on the label. You are going to save yourself a lot of headaches in the long run if you can follow those two steps."

 

Jones says the label tells you not only what the pesticide takes care of - but gives you special precautions and helps you understand if its the right one to use.

 

She adds that to follow the instructions for storage and disposal as well.

Oregon Department of Transportation Reveals Direction for Highway Project


Oregon Department of Transportation officials plan to unveil more of their direction on how to design a 150 million dollar highway project on the north end of Bend.
 
ODOT's Peter Murphy says they plan a public meeting in a few weeks - probably in mid-April, to explain their thoughts on the massive project.
 
 
"What we'll be coming down in favor of is having the current alignment come basically along the line of the railroad tracks."
 
In a related story, the City of Bend is asking the Oregon Transportation Commission in Salem to take the "expressway" designation off of the highway in that area.  ODOT owns the right of way in that area surrounding the Cascade Village Shopping Center.  They want to keep it as an expressway, which limits access points and keep traffic flow moving. 
 
Several businesses asked the city of Bend to push for the removal of the expressway designation because they want to make it easier for drivers to move in and out of the Mall and other stores like Target and Home Depot.
 
The Oregon Transportation Commission is analyzing expressway designations across Oregon to determine if they are still the best way to handle traffic in those sometimes congested areas.  Murphy says OTC members took comments and testimony in a meeting on Wednesday, March 20th, in Salem, and could make their decision next month during their meeting.
 

Controversial Tuition Equity Bill Passes Oregon Senate


The controversial Tuition Equity Bill passed 19 to 11 on Thursday in the Oregon Senate.  It originated in the House and easily passed in that Chamber.  It now goes to the Governor's desk for his signature.  The Governor has been a big supporter of giving in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students.

 

State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend voted "no" on the bill.  He agrees with a woman from Hungary who came to the United States decades ago and was put through an extensive and invasive process to become a citizen, and who doesn't feel the bill is fair.  

 

"She indicated that when she came to this country in 1956 she had to go through a physical - a criminal background check...get vaccinated - and more before she was even allowed in the country. She doesn't think it's equitable that people who are here illegally- whether its through their fault or not- would have in-state tuition." 

 

Knopp also talked about an Oregon student who is from California who has to pay out of state tuition.  He says that student doesn't think it's fair that someone who is not a legal citizen would be granted the much lower tuition rate.

 

 

City Councilor Holds Another Marathon Meeting


The Bend City Council voted 6 to 1 to approve the first reading of the Bend Development Code for Central Oregon Community College roads to establish standards.

 

Councilor Jody Barram, who was absent at the last meeting when the decision ended in a tie, says she reviewed the last meeting along with public comments and believes the code amendment is fair.

 

"As I was looking through the record, i was trying to see if they were ding something really egregious that's not meeting the standards or criteria for the overlay district. And trying to come up with the argument against, I found I was leaning more into the argument in favor, because i wasn't finding some of that."

 

Councilor Doug Knight was against approving the code amendment because he felt some “criteria” details were omitted in the proposal.

 

"The way I last left this topic is I had requested from staff that more be generated in the form of criteria for approval of the road. I don't see that information before me this evening, and so in absence of that, it's difficult for me to vote in favor of this."

 

Councilor Marc Capell disagreed wholeheartedly and said he felt the college bent over backwards to accommodate the nearby residents.

 

The Council voted 6 to 1 in favor of moving ahead with the ordinance amendment that gives the college autonomy in constructing needed roads on the campus.

 

Water Issues Rise Again

 

Bend City Councilors again had to revisit a portion of the Water Public Facility Plan to respond to a Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) remand order.

 

While the Council voted 4 to 3 to adopt the Amended Goal 11 Water Facility Plan, Councilor Sally Russell questioned the costs that are already committed to the project.

 

City Manager Eric King said because the scope of the project has changed somewhat; a new accounting will be generated.

 

"The project, as was originally envisioned has completely changed and is not longer a $68-million project as was estimated, and that number gets used a lot. It was really about the pipe and intake facility. I hear your point about just telling that story about the evolution of how things have changes and generating some number associated with that. And that's something that we can do."

 

Councilor Jody Barram agreed that also a new list of all projects included for the water plan is needed.

 

 

ALSO-

 

Another water related issue was approved by the Bend City Council Wednesday night.

 

They unanimously approved an agreement for Apollo Incorporated to construct the Water Reclamation Facility expansion  at a cost of about $31.5-million.

 

Councilor Marc Capell was amazed that there has been no interest from the public on this particular project.

 

"It’s really amazing that we're spending this much money and no one in the community telling us we're either wonderful or awful people. We do a $2-million project and we get feedback.  This is a huge thing in the community, this is really an important project for this community and we've got no comment. I think that's pretty amazing."

 

Capell went onto say that it's a testament to the staff doing a great job in preparing the project.

Hasson Leaving On A Good Note


There were apparent gasps at the special session of the La Pine City Council Wednesday afternoon when City Manager Steve Hasson announced his resignation.

 

Hasson says most people did not know that he was contemplating leaving - but disagreements with the city council on the cities’ direction and personal issues made the decision for him.

 

"We have some people here who are still not receptive to La Pine being a city. It was a very close vote. And they'd just soon live in a rural area and enjoy their privacy, and aren't real keen on rules and regulations. And of course the city is all about organization and structure. And so just by virtue of trying to enact some basic things like land use and code enforcement, there's been push back."

 

"You know, I’ve tried to push this place pretty hard, pretty fast and I think there's been some difficulty being receptive to some of the things that I’ve wanted to have the city do. But it's been difficult in this regard: and that is: it's a brand new city and there's no operational manual that goes with it."

 

Hasson says the city is on the cusp of being a very important place in Central Oregon and he hopes that more people will realize the potential, and he's leaving on a good note.

 

Hasson will be staying on for about 30 days to make sure there's a smooth transition for the new interim city manager, then he'll be going to a family farm near Portland that needs some attention.

La Pine City Manager Resigns


The La Pine City Council met in a special session Wednesday and accepted the resignation of City Manager Steve Hasson. 

 

City Councilor Stu Martinez says while Hasson has done a fine job - it was time to part ways.

 

"The City Council and Steven both came to terms about it. It was time to move in different directions. And Steven has accomplished a lot here in La Pine, but there's some things that the city wants to look at doing, and we need to find another person to help us get going in that direction."

 

Martinez says Hasson comes from a big city and La Pine is still a small community, so they have some differing ideas.

 

Hasson will remain in the job for about 30 days - or until an interim city manager is found.

 

How about a County Income Tax?


Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is pushing for a bill that would force a county income tax in distressed counties that can't pay for essential services.

 

Remond Mayor George Endicott is also the President of the League of Oregon Cities.  He met with Kitzhaber on Monday and told the Governor that the league opposes such a move.

 

Endicott says the bill would "punish" cities in those hard hit counties even though the cities are not having fiscal problems.  The counties most likely impacted are several in southwestern Oregon who've been hit hard by the recession and a big shortfall in timber funds from the Federal government.  They are facing the equivalency of bankruptcy.

 

Endicott says that citizens in these areas have already voted down property tax increases that would put more money in the county budgets. 

 

"If they were willing to self impose a property tax on themselves that would work.  Either you do it for yourself or someone is going to do it to you.  You cannot have a situation where it's anarchy." 

 

Ultimately, the State is responsible if a county goes "bankrupt".  So, the governor is pushing for a way to make those areas pay for their services, rather than making the rest of the citizens in Oregon make up for the shortfall. 

 

Mayor Endicott was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town, Wednesday, March 20th.   You can listen to the entire interview on this website Podcast under "Your Town." 

10TH Anniversary of Iraq War


Marking the 10-year anniversary of the start of the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, many want to remember the sacrifices so many American have made so others can know freedom.

 

Veteran's advocate Dick Tobiason says he wants to be mindful of those Central Oregonians who paid the ultimate sacrifice by volunteering.

 

"We have 6 veterans from Central Oregon who have lost their lives in Iraq, guaranteeing those people the freedom of elections and democracy. Tommy Tucker from Madras, Dale Peterson from Redmond, Randy Newman from Bend, Jessica Ellis from Bend, Zachary McBride from Bend and Cody Eggleston from La Pine."

 

Tobiason says these folks wanted to serve; it was a volunteer service, they were not drafted, this their sacrifice should always be remembered. 

 

He believes that the U.S. did the right thing by getting involved in the Iraq war, because the Iraqi people needed to be liberated from a tyrant.

 

"What kind of a world are we, if we allow tyrants to run it. 70-million people were killed in World War II, and the same kind of thought in practice in Iraq. And what do we have 10 years later? We have a country that has no occupation by foreign military, we have a few advisors there, but it has returned to some degree of normalcy, but we have to give those people a generation, perhaps to be able to do the things they always wanted to do. They know what is going on in the free world."

 

Oregon Senate Cancels after Suspicious Bag Found


An unattended bag found in the stairwell of the Oregon State Senate forced an evacuation of the building and cancellation of Senate work Tuesday. 

 

State Police Lt. Terrie Davie says just before 10 a.m., OSP Capitol Mall Troopers were notified that an employee found a suspicious object in a stairwell near the Senate gallery.

 

The owner was not immediately found, so OSP coordinated an evacuation of area offices. 

 

Hazardous device technicians responded,  x-rayed the contents and found it contained camera equipment. 

 

Workers returned to their offices by 11 a.m. and the camera equipment was returned to its owner after contact with the OSP.

Baby Chicks Might Give You More Than Joy


Baby chicks may be cute and cuddly, but they can spread some diseases that can make you very sick if you're not careful.  Deschutes County Environmental Health spokesman Eric Mone says 8,000 to 10,000 chicks are bought every year in Deschutes County and they get numerous reports of people getting sick after handling them. 

 

"Understand that these animals can carry pretty virulent bacteria that can cause anything from a mild illness to hospitalization or worse, so we're just trying to raise awareness about some of the infections that these chicks and different animals can carry."

 

Mone says the best way to stay healthy is to wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds after handling the chicks or cleaning up after the animal pens. And children under 5 years old or people with a compromised immune system should not handle them at all.

Manufacturing Jobs are still here in Central Oregon and the Nation


The head of a local program to train people for manufacturing jobs says its a myth to think most of our manufacturing jobs are going overseas.

 

Chris Redgrave is the director of the manufacturing program for Central Oregon Community College at the Redmond campus.  He has 26 years of industry experience.

 

He says manufacturing is alive and well in the U.S., but big factories are becoming a thing of the past.  

 

"One of the things that's happened in the last 20 years or so is that once upon a time there were large 300 and 400 man companies making a wide range of products- now its smaller companies -  with the advent of computers and technology what you see is the average business is made up of less than 10 employees.

 

He says because of that shift - manufacturing students these days have to be very versatile in the workplace and have the skills to no just make things - but also be able to talk with accountants and engineers. 

 

He says with the economic downturn his program is very popular- especially for students aged 25 TO 35.  Redgrave was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town on Monday.

La Pine Town Hall This Week


Oregon’s newest city - La Pine is really getting its footing, and will hold a Town Hall this Wednesday - to discuss their transportation system plan.

 

City Manager Steve Hasson says things are getting very exciting for the city, and the future is very bright.

 

"Right now, right out in front of City Hall, we have and average of 14,000 transportation trips a day. A lot of those are trips of people made on 97, who have never made before and they come by and say 'Oh, what's this?, Where am I?' and then they see it's La Pine, oh ok, cool. You know a lot of businesses are relying on traffic viewing. This as it grows, as Hwy 97 grows, is going to be well poised to capture a lot of market."'

 

Hasson says they are formulating a vision of the future of La Pine and they want to share what's going on with residents and hear what they want.

 

The town hall is Wednesday in the La Pine Community Center at 6:30 p.m.

Real Estate Forecast Breakfast Has Good News


The real estate scene in Central Oregon has both good news and an opportunity to learn.

 

The Bend Chamber's Real Estate Forecast Breakfast Tuesday will feature speaker Bruce Kemp with Compass Commercial Real Estate - talking about what we've learned over the past few years about how to read the real estate market.

 

"Well, I think it's important that we know what's happening in the economy, particularly if you're an investor, looking for opportunities, education is key. And if you're going to make sound investment decisions, it’s pretty important to understand the facts and the data.  I think that's one of the mistakes a lot of people made in the past, they just didn't have all the correct data, or didn't really look at the data and understand some of the opportunities were out there and some of the challenges, the pitfalls."

 

Also speaking at the breakfast is Ralph W. Cole - Senior V.P. of Research - Ferguson- Wellman Capitol Management.

 

The Real Estate Forecast Breakfast is Tuesday at the Riverhouse Convention Center - contact the Bend Chamber for details and reservations.

EDCO Reachs Financial Goal


Economic Developoment for Central Oregon reaches the $350,000 goal to bring a non-stop flight between Redmond and L.A.\

 

Here's their press release:

 

 

 

 

Airline Travel Bank between RDM and LAX Successful in Raising $350,000 in Pledges

American Airlines extends deadline to March 22nd to collect payment

 

 

BEND, OR – March 15, 2013 - Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to announce that they have met the $350,000 goal in pledges for the Airline Travel Bank (ATB) by today’s required deadline. Thus far, $81,000 has been collected in checks and other payments. The pledge initiative is a key element in establishing direct service between Redmond Airport (RDM) and Los Angeles Airport (LAX) by American Airlines.   

 

“This is great news,” said Roger Lee, Executive Director of EDCO.  “It demonstrates to American Airlines that Central Oregon as a region is highly supportive of the proposed service, especially given the small window to make it happen.” 

 

Lee went on to say that commitments on the final day of the initiative pushed past the $350,000 goal, in part because of a late groundswell of grassroots outreach and press coverage.  

 

“I can’t express how proud we are of how the Central Oregon region—our residents, businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, and visitors’ associations—responded to this opportunity,” said Lee.  “The response should give American great confidence in the use of this flight if launched.”  

 

In terms of the process to finalize the American Airlines service, Lee noted that the next course of action for EDCO is to contact all those who made a pledge and collect payments, either by credit card or check. Payments must be received by Friday, March 22nd.   

 

Service between RDM and LAX could start as soon as early summer on a 50-seat commercial jet operated by SkyWest. The daily flight is proposed to leave RDM in the morning and return from LAX in the evening.  If Central Oregon’s support package is accepted, American will make any announcements that include exact timing of flights. 

 

For those delivering checks:

EDCO’s Bend office is located at 705 SW Bonnett Way, Suite #1000, Bend Oregon, 97702.  The closest intersection to the office is Columbia and Colorado (the former site of Robby J’s Bistro).  

 

About Economic Development for Central Oregon

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a private non-profit corporation founded over 30 years ago and dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving regional economy by attracting new investment and traded-sector jobs (manufacturing, professional, headquarters and high technology businesses) through marketing, recruitment and substantive assistance to existing companies. Learn more about EDCO at www.edcoinfo.com.  

Terrebonne Boys and Girls Club Hit by Burglar


The Boys and Girls Club of Terrebonne is hit by burglars Friday morning.

 

Sgt. Deke Demars says they responded to the audible alarm at the facility around 5:30 Friday morning.

 

"What we found is that there was a forced entry into the building. A small amount of cash had been taken. And we don't have any suspect at this time but we did collect several pieced of evidence from the scene that are going to be analyzed to try to identify a suspect in the future."

 

Demars says this is not the first time the facility has been broken into.

 

The Boys and Girls Club is able to be open for business today.

 

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department hopes that the public will help them solve this crime.  If you have any information about this burglary, contact the Sheriff's non-emergency phone number (541-639-6911).

One Arrested for January Stabbing


Bend Police make an arrest of a suspect from a January stabbing case.

 

Gerrit Van Houweling, 23, was arrested lThursday for allegedly stabbing Triet Tran, 37, and Kathy Thibeault, 38, both of Bend on January first.

 

Sgt. Nick Parker says police were called to a residence on Highway 20 and find the two victims with stab wounds.  Both were taken to St. Charles - Bend for treatment of their injuries.

 

The investigation revealed that Tran and Thibeault had an argument at another location.  Tran went to their home and Thibeault got a ride from Van Houweling to the home. There a fight broke out and the couple were stabbed and Van Houweling fled.

 

Police searched exhaustively for Van Houweling, and thanks to a tip, were able to locate and arrest him on March 15th.

Internation Speaker and Author in Bend


David Rubin is an author who's appeared on national TV and radio shows to talk about peace in Israel.  He's in Bend tomorrow night, Saturday,  at 7 pm at the "Sound Garden" near Searing Electric on 2nd Street. 

 

He moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Israel and became the mayor of a town of 8 thousand,  Shiloh, Israel. 

 

"Became the Mayor of Shiloh and then a couple of years after that- was driving home with my 3 year old son in his car seat and we were hit by a massive hail of bullets.  I was shot in the leg and my 3 year old son, was shot in the head, we miraculously survived...”

 

Because of his son’s, trauma, Rubin started a non-profit that helps children deal with post traumatic stress syndrome in that sometimes violent area.  He's also written several books.  His most recent is called "Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East"".

 

He says there are a lot of misconceptions about Israel, the Arab Spring and other topics involving The Middle East.  He believes the media sometimes perpetuates the misinformation.

 

His talk is free and open to the public.  If you'd like to hear his conversation with 1110 KBND on Friday, March 15th, it's available on this website under the "Your Town" icon.    

KidWind Challenge in Crook County


The "Kid Wind Challenge" is a competition among Oregon school students to design and build a wind turbine.

 

Crook County Middle School Science Teacher Fred Hisaw says he was able to get $30,000 in grant money to pay for a teacher's workshop to learn how to teach the design and building of a wind turbine. 

 

Hisaw says the students will lean all about the turbines from beginning to end.

 

"They'll be designing the fan blade that goes on the front of a wind turbine. And we'll have a standard set up that they'll mount their blade on and it'll be a wind tunnel. So they'll all have the same conditions. And they'll be hooked up to a volt meter to see how much electricity they'll be able to generate."

 

He says the kids will learn about the importance of various energy types and their impact on the environment; but first teachers need the training.

 

"There will be a teacher's training workshop. And that's to bring us teachers in and show us what wind turbine design is all about. And it's set in a fun and competitive atmosphere for the kids. See what kind of wind turbine they can design. Get the most power they can out of that wind turbine that they can."

 

The two $15,000 grant requests; one from Facebook and the other from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to pay for the teacher workshop.

 

Hisaw says Crook County Middle School students will host the Oregon "Kid Wind Challenge" in May.

Bend Police Chief Talks about Arson Case


More than one week since the fires in downtown Bend Police are still trying to find the person or people responsible for the seven fires. 
 
Bend Police Chief Jeff Sale was a guest on 11-10 KBND's Morning News on Wednesday and says they are still asking for tips from the public.  
 
"It's still a very active case for the police dept. at the height we had over  40 people working it Bend Fire  state police- etc.  There is still forensic evidence at a lab that we're waiting for that to come back -Host: Are you getting a lot of tips from the public? Yes. and we're following up on those leads, but we're still actively looking for tips from the public."
 
A $10,000 reward is being offered in the case. 
 
Chief Sale says at this point they have no reason to believe this is the work of a serial arsonist.  In some recent arson cases during the past year or so in Bend, he says they have made arrests and don’t believe those suspects are connected to the string of fires that started at Trinity Episcopal Church last Wednesday morning, they were reported around 2:15 a.m. 
 

Latest on EDCO Fundraising to Bring Direct L.A. Flights to Central Oregon


EDCO is trying to entice American to start direct flights between central Oreogn and L.A. and is raising the money to show the community's interest in the flights.

 

Roger Lee with EDCO has been heading up the whirwind fundraising effort for the last eight days.

 

"I think it's just important to remember, American didn't say to raise 350-thousand, that's what we offered.  And I think we should make good on what we offered. It's not them pushign this agenda.  It's trying to deliver on what's been put on the table."

 

As of Thrusday morning, EDCO had raised 70 percent toward its goal.  They've raised 253-thousand dollars.

Latest Damage Estimate on Bend Church Arson Fires


The main Trinity Episcopal Church buiilding sustained 1.5 million in damge.

 

Damage at the adjacent building where Family Kitchen serves its meals -- is estimated at half a million dollars.

 

Police haven't gathered estimates from the other garage and  car fires in the neighborhood that happened that same night.

 

Police are still asking for the public's help with any tips that could lead to the arrest of any suspects in this case.

Central Oregon Diocese Reaction to New Pope


A majority of cardinals in Vatican City elected Jorge Bergoglio of Argnetina.  He'll be known as Pope Francis.

 

Bishop Liam Cary of the Baker Diocese that serves central Oregon was impressed by the swift and decisive vote.

 

Pope Francis apparently came in second place at the last conclave in 2005.

 

"To me there's grounds for a great deal of confidence.  Not all of these cardinals were at the conclave in 2005, but many of them were.  So they wre judged by them to be worthy.  And the fact that he remians in their minds and they settled on him so quickly -- it's impressive."

 

Pope Franics is the first non European Pope in hundreds of years and the first from Latin America.

911 Levy Amount Could Be Lowered


Deschutes County Commissioners will consider asking 3¢ less than earlier anticipated for the 911 Levy on the May ballot.

 

After a detailed analysis of how and when future funds would be used if the levy passes, officials testified to the Commission that their could operate with a lesser amount requested in the levy.

 

Interim County Administrator Tom Anderson says instead of 23¢ per one thousand dollars assessed value, the new rate would be 20¢.

 

"Frankly in response to some concern that have been raised by local citizens and the sheriffs office and City of Bend Police, and concluded that 20¢ per $1000, should be enough at least for the first few years of the 20¢ levy to be able to pay for operations."

 

The Commissioners will consider the change at the next meeting on Monday,  March 18th.

 

The 911 Local Option Levy will appear on the May 21st ballot.

Deschutes County Commissioners Invested In Direct Route Plan


In Wednesday’s meeting - the Deschutes County Commissioners voted to approve an investment in Central Oregon's business future.

 

Commissioner Tammy Baney says they are supporting the Economic Development for Central Oregon project with American Airlines for a direct flight between Redmond and L.A.

 

"We made an investment of $25,000 into the up-front investment pool. And that is to bring the carrier to the area. So we also may make a contribution into the “Travel Bank,” but this is really the dollars that are set aside to make sure that they know there's a commitment to offset costs, should there be any costs to offset. And we're excited about the opportunity to have American Airlines in our market."

 

Baney says they are pledging $2,000 to the "Travel Bank."

 

She says the L.A. market is important to our tourism and our economy for jobs.

 

She adds that with the $25,000 into the  $100,000 of up-front money, the goal is pretty close.

Knopp Supporting Bill to Help Small Business


State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend filed a bill Wednesday that will be a big benefit to Oregon small businesses.

 

Knopp says the bill is similar to the recent "Nike Bill" that was passed in December.

 

"I have a bill that would basically expand that provision to all small businesses who use the single sales factor, which is what Nike asked for tax certainty as it related to the single sales factor and that - that would be around. And I think if it’s good enough for one of our biggest and best businesses, a Fortune 500 business, its good for small businesses as well."

 

The single sales factor will assure smaller businesses that their sales tax would stay at the same rate for a certain period of time - giving them room to grow their business.

 

Knopp says the first step is filing the bill today.

Latest on EDCO Fundraising Drive to Bring Direct L.A. Flights to Central Oregon


They have until Friday to raise 350-thousand dollars mainly from locall businesses for direct flights from Redmond to Los Angeles.

 

EDCO told American Airlines they could raise the money to show community interest in the flights.

 

Roger Lee with EDCO has spent the last week traveling the region raising funds.

 

"It's certainly a solid start.  We've got so little time to get this done.  If we had several weeks I think we would have been ahead of schedule.  But we have until the end of the week, so there's a lot to compress.  We're very close to $200-thousand of the $350-thousand dollars and we are encouraging people to send their peldge forms in along with checks if at all possible."

 

In addition to the 350-thousand dollars in travel vouchers that need to be sold, EDCO also needs to raise 100-thousand dollars in revenue guarantees from different municipalities.

 

Lee says they have those pledges on paper -- the tougher deadline is the 350-thousand dollars from area businesses.  Those pledges are the funds must be collected by Friday at 5 p.m.

Former State Lawmaker Weighs In On New Book on Women in the Workplace


She's written a new book called "Lean In" about how women prevent themselves from gaining a seat at the table by not aggressively competing.

 

Former State Lawmaker Chris Telfer, says she finds many women don't aspire to leadership positions.

 

That's why she's starting a women's political action committee to get more women in government.

 

"What I've found in elected positions, a lot of women don't think they can do it.  But there are a lot of women who would make great legislators, working for their constitutents to get good legislation done."

 

Sandberg says she wrote the book because she saw women working the same hours, working just as hard, but not getting the promotions.

 

Sandberg says women are tuaght its wrong to be outspoken, aggressive and consequently pull back when they should lean in.

 

Currently women hold 14 percent of Fortune 500 executive positions and 17 percent of board seats.

Sisters School District Funding Continues


The only ballot item in Tuesday’s election was Measure 9-88, that would continue funding for the Sisters School District for another five years.

 

Sisters School Board Member Kay Grady says the whoop that supporters gave up when they saw that it got over 79% approval was deafening.

 

"I think that people knew that it was a renewal of something that they were already paying for. And every family, when they make their budget, I assume that it's like our own, that it's value based. And so their values are with education."

 

Grady says the money amounts to about a million dollars a year and for a small school district, that's huge.

 

"For our school district, it's about a million dollars a year difference. And for a small school district, that makes or breaks the attitude and the climate of the whole community. When you have to let go of 13 teachers or you have to let go of a lot of school day, it's a very defeating feeling."

 

She said about 60% of registered voters in the district voted.

 

She adds the old levy expires in June and the new levy, continuing the same 75 cents per $1,000 assessed value will continue.

La Pine Hopes to See a Light


The intersection of U.S. Highway 97 and First Street in La Pine sees about 14,000 transportation trips every day, making it a very dangerous intersection. 

 

La Pine city officials hope to have a new traffic light in the intersection in the near future, but funding the project is very expensive.

 

City Manager Steve Hasson says Deschutes County has been collecting revenues from a La Pine industrial park that could be used to offset costs for the light but there is a roadblock in state statutes that restrict how the money is used.

 

"There is a bill now, called House Bill 3130, and what it would do is it would widen the discretion of the use of that money so it could be applied toward that intersection."

 

Hasson says that would give La Pine about $200,000 toward the project; and O-DOT said they would kick in another $500,000.

 

State Representatives Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) and Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) are supporting the bill.

 

He doesn't know when the bill would be voted on - but encourages residents to write their state legislator to support HB 31-30.

Walden Not "Charmed" by Obama's Recent Overtures


U.S. Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon says the Senate's failure to pass a budget in four years given the House an opportunity to chip away at frivolous spending.

 

Speaking on the “Lou Dobbs Show” Tuesday, Walden says the Senate's budget just doesn't go far enough.

 

"Rip Van Winkle woke up. It’s been all these years. They had to blow the dust off the manuals on how to put together a budget over in the Senate. But you remember the continuing resolution, we actually cut a billion dollars out of Obama Care there. We denied the IRS money to hire all these new agents to implement it, from their perspective. So we're chipping away at his every chance we get, because we think there's a better way to reform health care and make sure Americans get that opportunity going forward."

 

Walden says he's looking forward to hearing what the President has to say when he visits Congress Wednesday, but that his "charm offensive" isn't working on them.

Medical Liability Bill Easily Passes Oregon House


It's a big moment in the long debate in Oregon over medical liability reform. The Governor-backed Senate Bill 483 passed in the Senate earlier and passed in the house 55 to 1 on Tuesday.   it allows for doctors to have confidential talks with patients that cannot be used later in court. 

State Representative Jason Conger of Bend was a co-sponsor on the bill.  

 

 "Put yourself in the position of being a family member of someone who's been a victim of a medical error and has god forbid died- and your surgeon doesn't come and talk to you about what happened because he has been counseled not to - i think i would be confused first- and then very very angry.  you can imagine why that would increase significantly the chance that that kind of situation would proceed to litigation. "

 

Conger was picked by the governor to be on a special task force to look into the issue of medical liability reform. He called the vote "historic" because it brought both doctors and trial lawyers together on a bill. State Rep. Gene Whisnant of Sunriver was the lone ‘no’ vote on the bill. It now goes to the governor’s desk.

Immigration Bus Tour Reaction to Trintiy Episcopal Church Fires


Police believe a person or people set the fires at the downtown church and nearby Family Kitchen early Wednesday morning.

 

Earlier that day, before the fires, a bus left from the church filled with fifty supporters who were embarking on a statewide bus tour pushing for immigration reform.

 

Greg Delgado was one of the organizers of the bus trip.

 

"And as far as arson is concerned, we pray it wasn't related.  But we hope those people are brought to justice.  And we want to help rebuild the church and the community it supports and its message as well."

 

Investigators have determined the fires were intentionally set, but have not released any possible motive.

 

They are offering a 10-thosuand dollar reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.

Sisters Voters Will Decide Whether to Renew 6.8 Million Dollar School Levy on Tuesday


Already Sisters has passed the threshold of fifty percent of residents voting.  Now a majority has to say yes for it to go through.

 

School Board Chair Don Hedrick thinks it look good.

 

"I would say cautiously optimsitic is a good term.  We have to have 50 petcent.  It's a double whammy election.  We have to have 50 percent vote and then 50 percent of them have to vote yes."

 

The levy amounts to 75 cents per one thosuand dollars of assessed property value.  For the average home in Sisters, that's around $130 dollars a year.

BEDAB Throws Support Behind Direct Route to LA


The Bend Economic Department Advisory Board voted to throw ample support behind the proposal to bring a direct flight between Redmond and Los Angeles in the near future. 

 

Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky says having this direct link is vary important to Central Oregon's economy and the monetary investment is well worthwhile.

 

"One of the problems for Central Oregon's economy is our geographical isolation. A lot of people who run firms here or a lot of businesses who are interested in moving to Bend complain abut the fact that it's sometime hard to get here, to fly here from across the country or from Southern California in this case. This is kind of an investment in our local economy; to make it easier for businesses people and for tourists as well."

 

Chudowsky says it's a split the commitment: a 350-thousand dollar travel bank that will be shared with local businesses with them purchasing travel vouchers up-front.

 

The second part is a 100-thousand dollar revenue guarantee that goes to the Redmond Airport to get the service going and that cost will be shared by the city of Bend and other Central Oregon cities and counties.

City Club Forum to Address Gun Concerns


"Finding the Middle Ground in Firearms Regulations" is the topic in this month's City Club Forum.

 

Moderator Bill Buchanen says they know this contentious issue can bring out some determined voices, but he's pretty sure that this forum is constructed to bring out the voice of reason.

 

"It's really not City Club's Culture to have an 'in your face' discussion. And I think that people will respect that. We’re tough on issues, but easy on people.  And, as the moderator, I’d also add that I’m hoping that no one shoots the messenger."

 

Panelists include the President of Nosler Inc., Bob Nosler, OSU-Cascades Professor Jim Foster and other community leaders.

 

Questions on neighborhood safety - what are your 2nd Amendment rights and "Are We Polarized or Paralyzed?" will be addressed.

 

City Club will meet at St. Charles on March 21st at 11-30. Contact City Club for reservations.

Shots Fired in Domestic Dispute


A domestic dispute between a father and daughter resulted in gunfire with breaking glass and non-life threatening injuries.

 

On Friday afternoon, around 2:30 Deschutes County Sheriff Deputies receive a report that Pamela Allen, 39, of Tumalo had allegedly been shot at by her father, Terry Allen, 60, at a home on Pinehurst Rd.

 

Apparently, after a domestic dispute between the two, the father shot a gun, breaking glass that injured Pamela.

 

The elder Allen then fled the scene, but was stopped by officers a short time later and arrested.

 

Terry Allen is charged with attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and assault in the 4th degree.

Dennis Luke Tapped for State Board


Former Deschutes County Commissioner Dennis Luke is tapped by Governor Kitzhaber to serve on the Oregon Governing Board of the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI).

 

Luke says his experience serving as county commissioner has given him a good "education" in geology and mining issues.

 

"Back in the 90's I was appointed to the Seismic Advisory Commission for the Governor. And that's when they started getting into the really big earthquake that they predict will happen off the Oregon coast. DOGAMI is developing rules and mitigations for a big earthquake; so they deal with earthquakes, they deal with geo-thermal; they deal with mining and water resource and reclamation, those kinds of things."

 

Luke says he appeared before a Senate committee on Wednesday and final approval should be Tuesday.

Become a Partner in Care


It’s time for the annual "Country Cares" St. Jude Radiothon on our sister station, KMKTK, Country 99.7 - The Mountain all day Friday.  Many local businesses are helping the effort: Ale Goldman, owner of Cathy's Cleaners says they joined the effort - because it supports the local community.

 

"They provide the care for children in need, without asking any questions about financial ability. They provide care all over the country; they don't have to be all the way at St. Jude. And as a father of 2 small children, and imagine anybody who might ever need it; it's just an amazing cause. Obviously, it's very important for us as a company to give back to the community, because it does reach back here to Central Oregon."

 

KMTK Morning Show Hosts Donna and Nute will be broadcasting all day, encouraging you to call in with your pledges and become a “Partner in Care.”

 

We have a link to the St. Jude Radiothon here.

Studded Tires Bills in Salem Would Target Users With Fees or Taxes


State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver says he's a “no” vote on any bills that ban studded tires or try to add taxes or fees to users.  Currently, there are three bills that deal with studded tires and their damage to the roads and highways in Oregon.

 

"I'll be opposing those-i don't know- maybe we need to make a geographic restrcition- i hear people driving down the streets in salem and portland with studs and it doesn't make sense...but for people in central oregon it does provide safety and i'll be opposing any fee increase.”

 

Oregon Department of Transportation's Peter Murphy says they see about $40 million to $50 million of damage on our highway system because of studded tires

Local Veterans Helped Pave the Way for I-84 Designation


The chief sponsor of an Oregon bill that would dedicate I-84 to Vietnam Vets says local veterans made a big difference in the bill's success. Last week- the bill passed in the senate by a 28 to 0 vote.  Chief sponsor Republican State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend says nearby states may also follow Oregon's lead.

 

“This is one of those things where we have an opportunity to honor those vets from the Viet Nam war. and Oregon can do some amazing things in terms of being able to honor these veterans- and naming i-84 for them i think is exceptional." 

 

Republican State Representative John Huffman of The Dalles is also a sponsor of the bill.  More than 57,000 Oregonians served in the Vietnam war.

 

Bill would Mandate Eye Exams


Parents are complaining to local State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend about a bill that would mandate comprehensive eye exams for their children. 

 

Knopp says similar to immunizations - kids couldn't go to school until they have the exams.  Some parents don't have insurance and don't want the expense of the exam if their child has healthy eye-sight.  others feel its too much government intervention.

 

"I think it's just a general backlash from parents who don't like the government telling them what to do -i think the sponsors have gotten the message - and are favoring a more educational approach encouraging the importance of eye screenings" 

 

Knopp predicts this Senate Bill will die - but a trimmed down version on the house side may move forward.

Marathon City Council Meeting But Not Much Action


A marathon Bend City Council meeting last (wed) night had councilors tabling several proposals.

 

Topics included public comments from plastic bag bans to Mirror Pond and the 15th Street - Reed Market roundabout.

 

But one of the most contentious debates by the public came with the consideration of changing a stretch of Highway 97 from an “Expressway” back to a highway.

 

Resident Michel Bayard says he fears losing a lot of business if the road remains an expressway - eliminating access to business on the north end of Bend.

 

"What I’m afraid of is in the long term, the expressway designation will affect the economic health of the city and it's livability, and create another north-sough barrier to traffic within the city. We already have one barrier, which is the railroad, we don't need another one."

 

ODOT 's spokesperson - Bob Bryant said they would be willing to work with city staffers to clarify what the city wants with the road in that area.

 

Other hot topics included stable funding for the Bend Fire Department, comment on changing some ordinances and codes that will affect new roads on the COCC Campus; streamlining some code that regulates the city’s Non-Residential Zoning Districts and always a hot button: SWIP.  It was after 11 p.m. by then, and some people who wanted to comment had given up and gone home.  But what the council was to consider actually just had to do with language in LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals) remands.

Reaction to Possible Arson Fire at Trinity Episcopal Church Fire in Bend


A passerby noticed flames at Trinity Episcopal Church around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

 

This church is very involved in the community and runs the "Family Kitchen" that feeds the homeless out of their adjacent church building.

 

Interim pastor Roy Green says a lot of programs and people wil  be affected by this fire.

 

"It's devastating.  We're strong people.  We will come together. We're in the resurrection business.  This is a beloved building for a lot of people.  AA groups meet here.  Now we don't have a place for them.  It's heartbreaking."

 

Investigators are looking into seven arson fires in all, two church buidlings, three sheds and garages and two cars.

 

Police found snowy footprints near the church and say rocks apparently had been thrown thorugh the church's windows.

Central Oregon Has Chance to Resume Direct Redmond to Los Angeles Flights


Roger Lee with Economic Development for Central Oregon says in order to get the direct flights to L.A., central Oregon has to raise 350-thousand dollars in local incentives.

 

He made the announcement at the annnual EDCO luncheon on Wednesday.

 

"We have two weeks to do this which normally takes a lot longer.  It's an unbelievably short time to get this done.  To my knowledge, it's never been done before.  But we're going to put together a travel bank.  Central Oregon has a reputation of getting stuff done and this is definitely in that spirit."

 

Central Oregon successfully used travel banks in 2005 to raise funds to bring Delta Airlines to central Oregon.  

 

EDCO has until March 15th to raise the funds -- which businesses can use as travel vouchers or credit cards to be used on American.

 

If approved, the flights could start this summer.

Skatepark Closer to a Reality


The new skatepark at Ponderosa Park is one step closer to reality.

 

Wednesday night, Bend Park and Rec District held a workshop with the parks design consultant and all interested parties to gather information on what users would like to see in the new park.

 

Matt Mercer, the Recreation Director says they are looking at a long-range plan for future skateparks.

 

"It’s our long range plan to have a system of skateparks in the community. I think they will all be developed based on strong public input. One of the key things we're going to be doing is communicating with people throughout this project is that this is not the one and only skatepark, we're going to be developing. As a result, we don't need one skatepark to be the end-all for everybody."

 

Mercer says they have also launched a Facebook page where they will post updates and meeting times, as well and receive comments from anyone who wants to get involved in the planning of the new skatepark.

 

 

Redmond Ice Rink Has A Good Season


The Redmond ice rink will close for the season on March 11th.

 

Redmond Community Development Director Heather Richards says crews will dismantle the rink and turn it back into a plaza.

 

Richards says the rink was cost neutral for them - with all of the visitors - it paid for all the operating costs.

 

She says they have heard a request from some enterprising school kids about an alternative use of the area.

"We have, interestingly, I received a petition from an elementary school students who want us to consider a roller skating rink there for the summertime, so we're looking at that."

 

Richards says she's seen the ice rink as a community gathering place where people kind of get together and talk about city issues and she would like to see something in place that would continue that activity.

New Online School Will Help Many


A new online school for Redmond "K thru 12" students will be offered next year and open enrollment is now.

 

Kelly Richard, Communications Coordinator with the Redmond School District says they want to offer more educational opportunities for their students.

 

"So that they stay in our district and they stay active in our clubs and our athletics and they see the best parts of relationship-building that most students get when they're in the district and going to a bricks and mortar school, but they also get the online program that might fit their needs a little bit more."

 

Richard says the program is free and there will be several opportunities to learn more about the school this week and next.

 

Below is the Medial Release from the Redmond School District.

 

Redmond, Ore – Redmond School District has unveiled Redmond K-12 Online, a new program for the 2013-14 school year.

 

Redmond K-12 Online is the district’s first virtual school that will be offered as a no-cost option. The online program will be available to kindergarten through grade 12 as a full-time option.

 

Students will have access to more than 600 courses as well as a dedicated local mentor who will support them throughout the duration of the school year. Those enrolled in the program will be connected to their assigned neighborhood school and will have the opportunity to participate in district activities, clubs and athletics.

 

The district will be hosting information sessions for parents and families interested in the program:

 

·         Thursday, March 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Ridgeview High School Skybox

 

·         Thursday, March 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Ridgeview High School Skybox

 

·         Wednesday, March 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Redmond School District Offices

 

·         Thursday, March 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Redmond School District Offices

 

“Students have many needs and some require different learning environments,” shared Mike McIntosh, Superintendent. “Redmond K-12 Online supports the needs of those who desire the virtual classroom but want to remain socially active in their assigned neighborhood school.”

 

Those interested in participating are encouraged to enroll during the March 1 through April 1 open enrollment period. For questions or more information about Redmond K-12 Online, contact Mike Nye, Online School Coordinator, at 541-923-8928 or visit www.redmondk12online.org.

Local Reaction to Denying CPR to Senior Who Collapsed and Died in California


The 87 year old woman collapsed at a senior living facility.  

 

The 9-1-1 oprrator frantically tried to get the nurse to do CPR on the woman, but she refused saying it was against their policy.

 

Todd Sensebach with "Home Instead Senior Care" here in Bend is shocked by that behavior.

 

"To say that they have a no CPR policy, is appalling -- especiaily because the lady, who is a nurse, who obviously knows how to do CPR, doesn't do it to follow some policy.   I don't know the right words, that's just really stupid."

 

Sensenbach says he knows of no senior care facilities in Oregon that would forbid delivering CPR  at them.

How Will Sequestration Cuts Affect Meals on Wheels and Other Senior Programs?


Pam Noor with the Central Oregon Council on Aging says there's a lot they don't know.

 

"Well, that's part of the problem.  We don't know what we're going to be dealing with. We don't know what the results will be, how much the cuts will be and how fast.  There's a very strong probability it will effect us.  When you serve 170-thousand meals a year, these cuts are going to be significant for us."

 

Statewide, the sequestration cuts are expected to mean a cut of 690-thousand dollars in federal funds for Oregon's senior nutrition programs.

 

Noor says if they have a ten percent cut, that would cut 90-thousand dollars from their budget this year.

Breast Cancer Increase in Young Women


The study just published inthe Journal of the American Medical Association found the incidence of advanced breast cancer in women ages 25 to 39, rose 2.9 percnet over the last three decades.

 

Dr. Linyee Chang, with St. Charles Cancer Center, says an increase is concerning.

 

"To be alarmed by the study would be an overreaction.  But it does highlight the importance of controling the risk factors you can and seeking attention when something doesn't feel right or seem right."

 

Dr. Change says we don't know what's behind the slight increase in breast cancer in young women, but she suspects environmental or lifestyle factors may be to blame.  She says more study is needed.

Mirror Pond Questionnaire Shows Divide in the Community


A majority of respondents say they value the pond's beauty and historical significance.

 

But there's a divide on whether to remove the dam and let the river return to its natural state or to keep the dam and dredge the pond.

 

The unscientific questionnaire shows a pretty even split between the two options.

 

The next two months, Bend Parks and Rec will try to come up with four options for residents to consider on what to do with Mirror Pond.

 

These options may include doing nothing, removing the dam  or doing some kind of designer dredging.

 

There will be several public forums for people to offer their opinion in the coming months.

Women Need to Network


 

March is "Women's History Month" and a perfect time for women to come together and network.  

 

The Bend Chamber of Commerce will hold its Kick-Off Women's Roundtable series on Wednesday.

 

Chamber spokesperson Robin Rogers says they want to connect women with resources they may not know are out there. 

 

"To try to bring some resources to our women in the community. Actually more so the women that are out there who maybe do need to find the resources; who might not have the resources at their fingertips. So this is going to give them that venue to reach out and connect with some of our stronger, more powerful women out in our community that can mentor these young women." 

 

Rogers says women from all walks of life will be there. 

 

The Women's Roundtable is Wednesday (March 6) at Studio 3 in Bend beginning at 5:30. Contact the Bend Chamber for more details.

Greg Walden Continues Quest for Less Government Spending


 

U.S. Representative Greg Walden of Oregon has been making the rounds of T-V commentary shows, hammering away with is position of wasteful government spending. 

 

 On a recent appearance on "Fox and Friends" Walden accuses Washington of setting the wrong priorities when cutting budgets.  

 

"They want to inflict the most pain possible on the most people possible rather than go after this wasteful Washington spending. Last year alone, according to a GAO report, government overpaid various people and contractors $115-billion. That's more than the sequester. This could be resolved and managed. Having been a small business owner for 22 years, there is a way to do this." 

 

Walden went on to say Washington wants bigger government and higher taxes, yet four out of five years - the presidents has not submitted a budget on time.

 

School Bond Request a Wash


 

The $93-million school bond that will be on the May ballot really won't cost you another dime. 

 

Neil Bryant - the co-chair of the Bend La Pine Schools Bond Committee says a lot of research has gone into the decision to ask for the bond - that will replace another bond that is about to be paid off. 

 

 "Because we're trying to be proactive; we're trying to plan. We know there's a need now and there'll be a greater need. So, would you rather wait 3 years and try to do something? It’s a nice point that your taxes won't go up; although it's a new tax, it's replacing one that's expiring. So hopefully the voter will say: 'that's fair, this is a great investment.' helps economic development, jobs through construction. And good schools attract businesses too." 

 

Bryant says the funding will build a new elementary and middle school is the projected growth area - upgrade classrooms for science, technology, engineering, arts and math classrooms  and implement safety improvements.

Cities Want More Autonomy in Tax Collection


 

The complicated and confusing property tax laws in Oregon really tie up cities, municipalities and districts from collecting much needed revenue for improvements or essential services.

 

George Endicott, President of the League of Oregon Cities says the current tax caps have stymied some cities ability to fund needed services like fire and police.  

 

"The way it works now is there is a maximum cap on any property tax that a city can collect, a municipality, and there's a different cap on anything school districts can collect. So even if you approve an operating levy, you do a self-inflicted operating levy increase, they still can't collect the money because it exceeds that cap." 

 

He adds there is also another problem with "compression;" in that if cities need to use the money from an approved levy that goes beyond the cap, they have to take money from another levy funded service to keep it below the cap.

 

They are asking the legislature to ask voters to revise current measures to allow cities and the like to have more autonomy in tax collection.

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