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Local News Archives for 2013-05


BLM announced restrictions on Land in Oregon and Washington


FIREWORKS AND EXPLODING TARGETS BANNED ON BLM-MANAGED LANDS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON
 
Portland, OR – Effective June 1, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) prohibits the use of fireworks and exploding targets on all BLM-managed public lands throughout Oregon and Washington.
 
“We have some amazing places among the 16 million acres of lands managed by the BLM in Oregon and Washington. Fire season started early for us here in Oregon. We have had more than a dozen wildfires that were mostly concentrated in central and southwest Oregon. Our fire analysts anticipate above normal fire potential across much of Oregon,” explained Jerry Perez, State Director for BLM Oregon/Washington.
 
“In anticipation of the early fire potential, the ban on fireworks and exploding targets has been moved up this year. Summer, including the upcoming 4th of July holiday, is a great occasion for families and friends to get outside and enjoy our public lands. Please do so carefully. Help protect our wildlife habitats, watersheds, rangelands, and forests – the lands that work for you,” said Perez.
 
Those who ignite fireworks or exploding targets on BLM-managed lands can be fined up to $1,000, receive a prison term of up to one year, or both. In addition, individuals responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.
 
The BLM cooperates with the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group to fight wildland fires in the Pacific Northwest. The Geographic Area Coordination Center offers routine updates on the fire potential regionally and nationally. Information about the BLM’s fire program is available on the BLM Oregon/Washington web site at: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/fire/index.php.

Kevin S. Abel
Public Affairs Officer
Lakeview District
Bureau of Land Management
Office – (541) 947-6237
Cell – (541) 698-0017

 

Senator Merkley writes letter to Ag Secretary


 

Here is a news release sent to media Friday morning:

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Contact: Matt McNally
May 31, 2013                                                                                          

Merkley: USDA Must Give Guidance to Oregon Wheat Growers Within 10 Days

Merkley says review of GMO field-testing practices at USDA needed

 

Washington, DC- Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley called on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to give guidance to Oregon wheat growers on how ensure their product is marketable and meets the needs of their customers, following the discovery of genetically modified wheat engineered by Monsanto found in eastern Oregon. Merkley says their guidance must be given within 10 days, before the Oregon wheat harvest starts. Yesterday, Japan announced it had halted their purchase of Oregon wheat, illustrating need for quick action by USDA.

 

“USDA must move forward quickly with its investigation to determine how genetically engineered wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, and provide clear guidance to the wheat farmers throughout the Northwest to ensure that their product is marketable and meets the specifications of their customers.  In order to put the appropriate measures in place before the upcoming wheat harvest, USDA must provide this guidance within the next 10 days.”

 

Merkley also noted that “this incident underscores the need for an agency review of field-testing practices to determine how to avoid this situation in the future.”

 

Merkley led an effort last week to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act,” a rider quietly and anonymously dropped into a must-pass spending bill in March that stripped federal courts of their ability to require more thorough safety review for some genetically modified seeds. 

 

The text of the letter is below.

 

 

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

As you know, genetically modified  “Roundup Ready” wheat engineered by Monsanto was recently found in a wheat field in eastern Oregon.   Because there are no genetically engineered strains of wheat approved for sale in the United States, and there are countries that specifically restrict the import of genetically engineered foods, this incident has the potential to cause significant market disruptions if swift action is not taken to address the situation. 

In Oregon, 85-90% of the wheat grown is exported, most of which goes to Asian markets.   In 2011, this exported wheat was valued at over half a billion dollars.  Yesterday, Japan announced it would temporarily suspend imports of western white wheat and feed wheat from the U.S., and cancel a purchase of 24,936 metric tons of white wheat.

Within the next two weeks, farmers in Oregon will begin harvesting their wheat crops.  These wheat growers need to know what they can do to ensure that their product is marketable and will meet the needs of their customers in the Asian markets. 

USDA must move forward quickly with its investigation to determine how genetically engineered wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, and provide clear guidance to the wheat farmers throughout the Northwest to ensure that their product is marketable and meets the specifications of their customers.  In order to put the appropriate measures in place before the upcoming wheat harvest, USDA must provide this guidance within the next 10 days.

While it is still unclear how this wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, this incident underscores the need for an agency review of field-testing practices to determine how to avoid this situation in the future.

Sincerely,


Senator Jeff A. Merkley

###

Redmond Airport announces new Flights


 

For Immediate Release

Date: May 30, 2013

 

REDMOND MUNICIPAL AIRPORT ANNOUNCES

NEW FIRST CLASS SERVICE ON DELTA AIRLINES & SUMMER TRAVEL TIPS

Redmond, OR – Effective July 2, 2013, Delta Air Lines will be providing first class seating for the first time at RDM for service to Salt Lake City. The airline will be operating a CRJ-700 aircraft that has 76 seats and has both first class and economy seating. The aircraft will be utilized on the early morning departure flights.

Passenger traffic through Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is anticipated to increase during the summer months. Due to the increased traffic, travelers are encouraged to arrive early. Here are some suggested travel tips to prepare for the busy travel season.

Allow plenty of time by arriving to the Airport at least 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure time for check in. The airline ticket counters close 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.

Prepare for the TSA security screening processes for checked baggage and carry-on items by visiting the website at www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items.

Check the airlines policy regarding carry-ons, checked baggage fees, and policies for traveling with your pet.

For your travelling convenience, RDM offers several close parking options with rates as low as $1.00 for the first 30 minutes, $2.00 per hour, daily short term parking rate is $12.00, and long term parking daily rate is $8.00 per day.

A ‘Cell Phone Waiting Area’ is located across the street from the Airport Terminal on SE Salmon for drivers who are picking up passengers at the curb.

The Redmond Municipal Airport (Roberts Field - RDM) is the aviation gateway to Central Oregon. Owned and operated by the City of Redmond, the airport offers a full range of general and commercial aviation services. RDM is served by four air carriers; Alaska Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United with 15 daily direct flights to Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. For more information please visit us online at www.flyrdm.com.

###

Black Bear Sighting in Sisters


Here is a news release sent to media this morning from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office:

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

Black Bear sighted in Sisters Subdivision

 

By:  Lieutenant Chad Davis

 

 

Location:  18430 Fadjur Lane, Sisters  (approximately 4 miles northeast of Sisters)

 

 

Narrative:

 

On 5/30/13 at 6:39 p.m., a single black bear was seen on a homeowner’s property in a subdivision about four miles east of Sisters.  The black bear walked off  to the north from the residence and was not seen again.    Residents in the area were notified via e-mail  through their homeowners group  about the sighting.  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was notified of the sighting.  The Sheriff’s Office did not receive any other reports about the bear being seen again.

 

For more information about living in and around areas with black bears, see the attached link from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife-  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/black_bears.asp

 

A homeowner checklist from the ODW website is listed below for further information.

 

Homeowner Checklist

Bear proofing your yard and neighborhood can help avoid potentially dangerous bear encounters and keep Oregon’s bears safe and where they belong – in the wild.

Most problems are caused by people feeding bears, either actively or inadvertently. Once habituated to finding food near homes, bears can become a threat to human safety and must often be euthanized. Follow these guidelines to protect both humans and bears.

  • Keep pet food indoors. Feed pets in the house, garage or enclosed kennel.
  • Hang bird feeders from a wire at least 10 feet off the ground and 6 to 10 feet from the trunk of tree.
  • Remove fruit that has fallen from trees.
  • Add lime to compost piles to reduce odors ― do not compost meat, bones, fruit, dairy products or grease.
  • Secure garbage cans in a garage, shed or behind a chain link or electric fence.
  • Put garbage cans out just before pick-up time, not the night before.
  • Purchase bear-proof garbage cans if necessary.
  • Take garbage with you when leaving your vacation home.
  • Clean garbage containers regularly with bleach or moth balls to reduce odors.
  • Use electric fencing to keep bears from orchards, gardens, compost, beehives and berries.
  • Store livestock food in a secure place.
  • Don’t leave scented candles, soap or suntan lotions outdoors or near open windows.
  • Keep barbeques clean. Store them in a shed or garage.
  • Talk to neighbors to encourage everyone in the neighborhood to remove attractants.
  • Stay indoors and allow a snooping bear to move on.
  • Never, ever feed a bear.
  • Teach children about bear safety.

 

St Charles announces Prineville Hospital Details


HERE IS A NEWS RELEASE SENT TO MEDIA FRIDAY MORNING:

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2013

 

St. Charles purchases land, selects design-build firm, for new Prineville campus

 

Prineville, Ore. — St. Charles Health System has signed an agreement with the Ochoco Lumber Company for the purchase of a 20-acre site where a new health care campus will be constructed beginning early next year.

 

A committee made up of St. Charles and Pioneer Memorial Hospital representatives selected the site at 200 SE Combs Flat Road based on its close proximity to State Highway 26, as well as the positive impact its redevelopment will have on the Prineville community.

 

“This site is in a prime location,” said Kirk Schueler, St. Charles’ chief administrative officer. “Not only is it readily accessible from Third Street, but also the surplus land around it could be developed for synergistic uses with the hospital.”

 

As part of its agreement with Ochoco Lumber, St. Charles will pay about $1 million for the land. The health system will also be responsible for some off-site infrastructure, as well as the costs associated with rezoning the property and developing a master plan.

 

“Ochoco Lumber supports St. Charles’ commitment to offering quality healthcare in the region,” said Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber Company. “We’re pleased this property will provide the health care system with an opportunity to construct a state-of-the-art facility to meet the needs of the Prineville community.”

 

St. Charles has also selected The Neenan Company, a Fort Collins, Colo.-based integrated health care architecture and construction firm, to both design and construct the roughly 60,000-square-foot hospital and clinic.

 

“This project will enhance patient access to primary, emergent, diagnostic, procedural and preventative care locally,” said Michael Curtis, Neenan’s vice president. “It will also positively impact the local economy, as Neenan will hire regional engineers and construction trade subcontractors to perform the work.”

 

The health care campus will feature a primary care and specialty care physician clinic, Emergency Department, imaging and laboratory services, two surgical suites, 12 inpatient beds, a retail pharmacy and more.

 

Construction on the $30 million project will likely begin in the first quarter of 2014 and will take about eighteen months to complete.

 

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras and Redmond, and leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,000. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

 

                                                                        ###

 


 

Alfalfa Residents Looking to Create a Fire District


They have a small volunteer fire department and many homeowenrs are having trouble finding reasonable fire insruance since they don't have a fire distirct.

 

Residents have gathered more than 240 signatures to allow them to approve their own fire district this November.

 

If approved, it would cost a homeowners $1.75 per one thousand dollars of assessed value.

 

Carolyn Chase help collect the petition signatures.

 

"We have lost a lot of buildings and homes and property.  If we were well equipped or at least better equpped, we could do a lot better with the response and everything."

 

Deschutes County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on putting the issue on the November ballot in late June.

 

If commissioners give the final o.k., residents will decide whether to approve their own fire district in November 2013.

Behavioral Health Jobs Growing in Deschutes County


This department that provides mental health servcies will get nine more full time workers next year.

 

Scott Johnson is the head of the Behavioral Health Department.

 

"There seems to be broad support to add more mental health services that are deemed very important.  This is also a continuing increase in the people on the Oregon Health Plan and that is a very good thing.  I think the efforts in our state are very progressive in the changes in the health care system."

 

Johnson says this change reflects an increased emphasis on mental health services in the state and nation.

Bend Wages are Ten Percent Below the National Average


That's about ten percent below the U.S. average of $22 an hour.

 

The largest share of employment in Bend was in retail sales, followed by food prep and services.

 

Healthcare practitioners and the technical occupations saw the highest wages in Bend averaging almost $40 dollars an hour.

 

Their average wage was actually 13 percent above the national average.

Madras Man Recovering After Being Shot


Roberto Cortez is in stable condition and his injuries are not life threatening.  

 

Detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect.

 

Officers have recovered evidence at the scene are still investigating a possible motive for the shooting.

Tuesday's Stock Market Sets Another Record


The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high of 15-thousand 409 on Tuesday, gaining more than 100 points.

 

Financial Advisor Troy Reinarht with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, says economic indicators are moving in the right direction.

 

"We always need to remember the stock market is a forward looking instrument.  The economy is getting better, maybe not as fast as some would like, but it is getting better. Home prices are up, consumer confidence is up, employment numbers are up.  And as we go forward, Wall Street expects profits to be higher and that's the mother's milk of the stock market."

 

Reinart also warns the stock market is due for a correction of 5 to 15 percent -- since for the last twenty Tuesdays, we've had gains.

Crook County Latest Homeless Numbers


The one day homeless count taken in January showed 135 homeless people in Crook County compared to 279 last year.

 

But organizers have changed the way they collect data, so you're not comparing the same thing from year to year.

 

Karen Yeargain is the Preparedness Coordinators for Crook County.

 

"The groups that jumped out at us that were alarming or we need to pay attention to is 17 and under and survivors of domestic violence who are experiencing homelessness.  Those are the big categories that pop up or jump out at us when we look at this  year's count."

 

The number of homeless veterans in Crook County did go down in the last year.

 

In 2012 there were 18.  This year there were only 12.

 

Yeargain attributes the decrease to an increase in veterans programs serving this population.

Memorial Day Deaths for DUIIs


According to the Oreogn Department of Transportation, six people died in a five separate fatal traffic crashes in Oregon during this year's reporting period.  Three people died last year.

 

A total of 64 peoiple have died in Oregon traffic crashes during this holiday period since 2000. The highest number reported was in 1979 when  thirteen people were killed.

 

DUII arrests for Oregon State Police troopers during the holiday period show 48 drivers arrested.  Last year, OSP troopers reported 64 DUII arrests.

 

In Bend, there were 5 arrests, the second highest nubmer in the state, behind Springfield at 8.  The Portland area command office tied with Bend and saw 5 DUII arrests.

Youth Suffers Gunshot Wound


A Crooked River Ranch boy was accidentally shot in the abdomen by a family member late Friday morning.

 

The Deschutes County Sheriff responded to the call of a gunshot at a home on Thicket Lane and when they arrived, found the unidentified boy had been transported to St. Charles Bend by air ambulance with his non life threatening injury.

 

Lt. Tim Leak says the investigation is ongoing; but it appears to be an accident and their findings will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review.

Deschutes County Voters Approve Bend LaPine School Bond and 911 Levy Request


Voters very handily approved a 96 million dollar school bond for Bend LaPine schools that will help fund a new elementary and middle school.

 

They also approved by a 3 to 1 margin, a five year levy to fund the county's 9-1-1 disptach center.

 

911 Director Rob Poirier is grateful.

 

"Well, obviously extremely happy.  I was happy it passed, but I was really pleased by the margin in which it passed -- very grateful voters have confidence in our 911 center and what we do for the community."

 

The new rate approved is actually three cents less per one thousand dollars of assessed property value than we're currently paying.

 

Poirier says the long term plan is to have a permanent tax levy to support 9-1-1, but that won't be addressed until   the temporary levy expires five years from now.

Madras Aquatic Center Levy Passes


Voters approved a five year operating levy for the center.

 

The same issue went down to defeat last November, but this week it was approved.

 

MAC Operations Manager, Carolyn Harvey says she was cautiously optimistic about its passage this time around.

 

"I heard a lot more positive comments.  When we went out for the vote in November, I had just been in the position for a month.  Also this was not a general election.  And the MAC PAC also got the message out that we really do care about our community and what the MAC can do for it."

 

The operating levy will raise an estimated 1.2 million dollars.

 

In addition to keeping the facility open year-round, it will also help expanding recreation programs like youth and adult basetkball, soccer and softball.

Culver School Bond Fails Again


They were seeking 9.87 million to upgrade deteriorating schools and it lost.

 

School Superintendent Stephanie Garber says it was a tough defeat.

 

"Of course it's very disappointing, but there was also some good things that happened.  Our neighboring districts had low voter turnout and we had wonderful voter participation.  I'm encouraged by that and I'm encouraged that it was only defeated by 60 votes."

 

Last November, the district requested a higher bond, 14.5 million and that proposal was rejected nearly two to one.

 

Garber plans to go out for another bond request this November, probably for a lower amount.

Crook County School Bond Approved


More than half the funds will go toward a new elementary school.

 

Tax rates will not go up for residents since another bond is expiring.

 

Prineville Mayor Bette Roppe says the results were a little close for comfort.

 

"We had a budget meeting that night and I looked at the results and we were ahead by 140 votes, so I was kind of sweating it.  But a four percent win means we're getting a great new elementary school.  We got that accomplisehd, so we're very very happy."

 

Crook County is going to repalce Crooked River Elementary and Ochoco Elementary with a new elementary school.  These schools were built in the 1930's and 1940's.

 

The remaining funds will be used to upgrade existing district facilities.

Some Good Numbers for Central Oregon in the Latest Unemployment Figures


For the seocnd month in a row, all three counties in central Oregon saw a drop in their unemployment rate.

 

Regional economist Damon Runberg says it's nice to see significant job growth.

 

"So when you look at heh April numbers and the revised numbers from the first quarter, January through March, the jobs picture for Deschtues County is much better than first thought.  In April, the county gained 670 jobs seasonally."

 

Growing tourim and construction jobs help boost the numbers.

 

In April, Deschutes County's unemployment rate was 10.1 percent.  That's the lowest rate in the county since October of 2008.

 

Unemployment in Crook County was 12.8 percent and in Jefferson County 11.1 percent.

Local Tea Party Officials React to the Continuing Benghazi Scandal


Four Americans were killed in an attack on the Libyan embassy on that day -- including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

 

John Philo with the local Tea Paty group still has many questions.

 

"The Benghazi Operation was a debacle.  Originally people were called for additional help on the September 11th 2012 attack.  The agencies were within reach of Benghazi.  They could have responded.  It was a complete debacle that Obama was trying to hide prior to the election."

 

The emails showed that the State Department and CIA officials objected to and tried to water down references to Islamic Extremist groups in connection with the Benghazi attack.

 

White House officials  say they believed it would prejudge an FBI investigation on the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

Sisters City Councilors are Divided on How to Find a New Permanent City Manager


Andrew Gorayeb, a school board member is filling in on an interim basis until July.

 

Former city manager Eileen Stein was forced out earlier this year and city councilor David Asson wants the search for her permanent replacement to be more transparent.

 

He just wrote a letter to his fellow councilors explaining how he felt.

 

"I comment on the process and how disappointed I am about the actions last month and the second part is concern over the interim manager being appointed and possibly extended.   I would prefer a more formal process looking at several candidates for manager."

 

Asson says he's not unhappy with the jbo the current interim manager is doing.  He just wants the process to be more transparent, since the community is divided on how the whole city manager situation was handled.

Must Put Ballots in Drop Boxes at This Late Date


Ballots must be received by county elections officials by no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

You now must use a drop box to get your ballot in.

 

In Deschutes County, you can drop it off at the county service center, road department, clerks office or at the corner of Wall Street and Lafayette.

 

In Redmond you can drop it off at the Redmond library or city hall.

 

As of Monday afternoon, 25 percent had turned in their ballots.

Find Out What the Brewhaha is All About


This week is for beer lovers. The Second Annual Central Oregon Beer Week begins today and runs until next Monday.

 

Over the next 8 days, you will have plenty of opportunities to taste some of Central Oregon's craft brews, with over 20 breweries showcasing their beers all over the area.

 

John Abernathy, one of the organizers with Central Oregon Beer Week says their is plenty of fun and family friendly events that you can combine with your beer celebration.

 

"We’ll be seeing some fantastic events. At worthy brewing Monday night, we're doing the kickoff celebration there. Deschutes Brewery is having a “Beerlesque” event Wednesday night. Sunriver Resort, out title sponsor is doing their First Annual Brewfest on Sunday. That will be out at the resort in their new beer garden."

 

Organizer Carlos Perez says the first year was pretty informal; but this year, about 20 breweries will be celebrated in all kinds of businesses in Central Oregon.

 

"Central Oregon Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer in Central Oregon. We’re trying to highlight all the different breweries; places that serve or host their different types of beers and kind of bring the community together to celebrate the beer, for sure."

 

Perez says not only restaurants will showcase the beers; but tourist attractions like canoe tours, spas and the Sun Mountain Fun Center will highlight the local suds.

 

Matt Neltner, owner of the new Blue Pine Restaurant (used to be Players) on Bend's west side is fully involved in the event and says he's got a menu that reflects the beer culture in Central Oregon.

 

"We’ll be doing parings with the food. We’ll also be showcasing old world and new world beers. So we'll be offering specials featuring some on the old European original styles and showing what the Central Oregon brewers have taken with these styles. And how they've made them unique in their own. Which I’m really excited to do these side by side parings."

 

You can find out more about all of the daily events by going to: centraloregonbeerweek. com.

Prineville Hospital Back to Normal


Here is the News Release sent from St Charles at 11:30 a.m.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY

May 17, 2013

Pioneer Memorial Hospital modified lockdown lifted; operations back to normal

 

Prineville, Ore. The modified lockdown in place at Pioneer Memorial Hospital has been lifted and operations are back to normal. All entrances that are normally open to the public during business hours are open at this time and doors requiring caregiver badge access are functioning again.

 

The facility was locked down for most of the day Thursday after a caller made threatening remarks. Police contacted the caller and the lockdown was modified late that afternoon. St. Charles officials now feel it is safe to reopen all public entrances and those that require badge access.

 

St. Charles Health System thanks the public for its cooperation.

Pioneer Hospital in Lockdown


Pioneer Memorial hospital in Prineville is in lockdown today, Thursday. The facility was secured around 10:30 this morning. Here's Lisa Goodman a spokesperson with St Charles Health Systems with details:

 

"A patient called our bend facility last night and made threatening comments shortly after being seen in the emergency dept. we followed up with him this morning with a call during which he indicated he may go to pioneer memorial hosp (in prineville) today to seek care - based on the tenor of that conversation we decided to secure our facility for the safety of our patients and caregivers."

 

Bend and Prineville police are both working on the case.  Goodman says lockdowns are pretty rare, they typically only have a lockdown in their system about once or twice a year.

****************************************************************

Here is the news release from St. Charles...

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 16, 2013

 

Pioneer Memorial Hospital on lockdown due to security threat

 

Prineville, Ore. — Pioneer Memorial Hospital is on lockdown due to a security threat.  Patients with non-life threatening medical issues are being asked to stay away from the hospital until further notice.

 

Those who need to be seen for a medical emergency are still able to access the Emergency Department.

 

The health system will update this information regularly throughout the day.

 

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras and Redmond, and leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,000. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities

2013 Homeless Numbers for Central Oregon Up Slightly


The final count from the one day count taken back in January was 2198.

 

For the last three years in central Oregon, the homeless numbers have been similar.

 

Racheal Baker is the co-chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition and has been analyzing these numbers for the last eight years.

 

"The numbers say homeless continues to incrementally increase in central Oreogn.  What is alarming is the youth increase.  There are 914 youth under the age of 17 who are homeless and the number of people who have been continually homeless more than a year includes 304 children."

 

Last year there were 2,132 homeless in the tri county area. This year we saw an increase of 66 people.

 

The last couple years, the homeless numbers in central Oregon have remained fairly stable.

Missing Elderly Man in Bend Found Safe in LaPine


Tuesday afternoon, Wallaae Birdwell, who has mild dementia, was following his daughter in a separate vehicle in Bend when she lost sight of him.

 

Wednesday morning, brokers at High Lakes Realty in LaPine -- found Birdwell when he walked into the office, looking for a place to rent.

 

Mark Miller talked with him.

 

"And when we were walking out the door, one of the brokers went to the internet and said she remembered seeing that van in connection about him missing.  We called local authorities and they showed up."

 

Birdwell had been living with his daughter in Remdond, after being evicted from his home in Christmas Valley.

Three Teens Injured in Crash on Highway 97 Near Madras


The accident happened around 5 A.M. when a Chevy Blazer driven by 18 year old Nicholas Russell of Idaho crossed into the southbound lane and rolled.

 

One of the passengers -- 17 year old Joseph Gillespie was ejected and seriously injured.  He was treated and released from St. Charles Bend.

 

The driver, Russel and 18 year old Trent Martin were taken to St.  Charles Madras with non-life threatening injures.

 

The driver was ticketed for reckless driving, assault and not having a driver's license.

 

Driver fatigue is considered a contributing factor in the crash.

Local Reaction to IRS Targeting Tea Party Groups


Of course, Tea Party groups stood in opposition to many of President Obama's policies.

 

Local Tea Party member, John Philo isn't surprised by the charges.

 

"I believe this is kind of the modus operandai of the Obama Administration.  They're targeting groups that don't agree with his policies.  For that reason, the Tea Party formed in opposition to the increased spending an the beginning of the ACA , aka Obamacare. -- all things the Tea Party group objected to."

 

President Obama has vowed to hold the IRS accountable if these reports prove true.

NTSB Wants to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Considered Drunk Driving


Currently, a blood alcohol content level of .08 is considered drunk driving, but the NTSB wants to lower it to .05.

 

Lt. Chris Carney with the Bend Police Department appaulds the move.

 

"First, it sends a really great message of the importance of getting imparied drivers off the road.  We consistently have 17-thouand people die on roads from impaired drivers.  It's down to 10-thousand people dying from impaired drivers."

 

Lt. Carney thinks it's unlikely the blood alcohol content level will be lowered because of resistance from bar and restaurant owners who feel it would hurt business.

 

Thirty years ago, 20-thosuand people died on roads from drunk driving.  In recent years, that's been cut in half.

Crater Lake Opens Early


Here's the news release: 

 

North Entrance Road Opens at Crater Lake National Park

 

The North Entrance Road in Crater Lake National Park is now open for travel.  Superintendent Craig Ackerman announced that visitors can now drive to and from the park via this popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim Drive.   This is an exceptionally early opening for Crater Lake’s North Entrance.  Warm temperatures and a low snow pack have resulted in a greatly accelerated spring opening this year.

 

Some snow still remains on the ground at park headquarters – plenty for throwing snowballs!  Snow depth is greater at many locations around the rim.  All trails, including the Cleetwood Trail, are still closed and snow covered.  However, it is possible to hike and bike on the parts of East Rim Drive that have been plowed, but are not yet open to traffic.  National Park Service snow removal crews are now focusing their efforts on opening other parts of the park.  More information will be issued when the entire Rim Drive is open for travel.

 

Crater Lake Lodge will open for the season on Friday, May 17th.  The Rim Café and Gifts is open daily.  For lodging reservations, please call (888)774-2728; for general concession information, please call (541)594-2255.

 

Steel Visitor Center in Munson Valley is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.   Ranger talks will be given daily at Crater Lake Lodge beginning Friday, May 17th.  Our full complement of ranger-led programs, including boat tours and trolley tours, is scheduled to begin on Friday, June 28, 2013.  For more information, call the Steel Visitor Center at (541)594-3100.

 

With several feet of snow still covering much of the park, visitors should be aware of potential hazards such as slippery snow patches and falling rocks.  Please use caution when driving as icy and snowy roads can still occur this time of year, especially at night and in early morning hours.  Steep snowfields still exist at many of the overlooks along Rim Drive, and visitors should use extreme caution to prevent falls.  Because of the hazardous terrain that exists in the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, travel below the rim is prohibited at all times.   Be safe and have an enjoyable visit!

 

 

Bendfilm Festival One of the Top Festivals


It’s the 10th year for the Bendfilm Festival, and organizers have a big season lined up.

 

Festival Director Orit Schwartz says the Bendfilm Festival was just named one of the top 25 festivals worth entering, which is pretty impressive since there are about 5,000 festivals worldwide.

 

"We've steadily been growing the past 10 years, and it's just becoming stronger and stronger where filmmakers all over the world are wanting to submit and get programmed into our festival, which is really fantastic when you hear filmmakers come to you and say 'I’ve heard about it; I’ve heard s much about Bendfilm."

 

Schwartz says for the 10th anniversary; they are really ramping up the visibility in some major cities, hoping to draw some pretty big names.

 

There is a "Bendfilm Bash" to kick off the season at "Elevations" restaurant on the COCC campus on May 31st.  Tickets are available through Bendfilm.

Old Madras Hotel Could See Wrecking Ball


Decades ago, people used to come from all over Central Oregon to stay in the old Madras Hotel and now, it’s days could be numbered.

 

Local businessman Miguel Segoviano bought the old hotel that was built in 1911 for about $100,000 recently and now is deciding what to do with it.

 

Segoviano says the building is in such disrepair it is too expensive to renovate.

 

 

"If you get into the inside of the hotel, you can start imagining what and early 1900's used to be and the first level, I believe that it's only 1 bathroom for the whole 15 rooms."

 

The three story building has quite an interesting story: it was originally built at the Oregon Trunk Railroad Depot site in southwest  Madras; but the owners moved it to downtown Madras in 1925 on rolling logs pulled by horses and mules to its present location.

 

Segoviano says he might just tear it down, unless her can find a buyer for it.

 

Inmate Who Walked Away Near Bend is Caught in Beaverton


Beaverton Police arrested Jason Donaldson Friday morning after information led them to his whereabouts.

 

He is currently lodged at the Washington County Jail and is awaiting transport back to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

 

Donaldson walked away Tuesday afternoon from a work crew that was clearing debris from Phil's Trail, west of Bend.

 

He is serving time on theft and burglary charges.

Inmate Who Walked Away Near Bend is Caught in Beaverton


Beaverton Police arrested Jason Donaldson Friday morning after information led them to his whereabouts.

 

He is currently lodged at the Washington County Jail and is awaiting transport back to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

 

Donaldson walked away Tuesday afternoon from a work crew that was clearing debris from Phil's Trail, west of Bend.

 

He is serving time on theft and burglary charges.

OSU Cascades New Biomechanics Lab


OSU-Cascades now has another feather in their achievement cap- with a new "biomechanics" lab. 

 

Christine Pollard, Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the college and Director of the Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence, or “FORCE” says this lab is truly a milestone.

 

She says it’s collaboration between the college, Therapeutic Associates and "The Center. "  She says they will analyze sports injuries to advise the patient how to optimize their performance and avoid surgery or how to work with post surgery.

 

"We’ll have a focus on youth. We’ll have a focus all the way to active individuals who have had a total knee replacement or a total hip replacement and are wanting to access how they are moving post total hip or total knee replacement. So depending upon the project, we'll have a focus across the lifespan."

 

Pollard says they will concentrate on all kinds of ortho problems, from preventative therapy to post-surgery

analyzing how to keep you healthy and moving.

 

"What’s so different about this laboratory is; typically you see a laboratory with the equipment we have its on a university campus. And so often times they're in isolation. What so unique about the force lab is this partnership between the university, orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, physical therapists, and were all in the same building, under the same roof, that really promotes that multidisciplinary type of work that we can do."

 

And she says they are not limited to athletes; they want to help all ages of people who have ortho-type issues and need to find out what their limits are.

 

Pollard says this is one of the only partnerships of its kind in the nation, and it's located at The Center Orthopedic and Neurological Care and Research.

Oregon Leads the Nation in Childhood Immunization Exemption Rates


During the last ten yeras, the state has seen a doubling in immunziation exemption rates for children.

 

The Immunization Coordinator for Deschutes County, Heather Kaisner says exemption rates are up here as well.

 

"You know it doesn't surprise me -- unfortunately it's been creeping up every year for the last several years.  The state went from 5.8 percent to 6.4 percent.  In Deschutes County, we also went rom 7.7 percent to 8.1 percent. We're definitely higher than the state average which is definitely a concern in our county and region."

 

Last year Oregon had more than 800 cases of Pertussis, the highest rate since the 1950's.

Oregon Leads the Nation in Childhood Immunization Exemption Rates


During the last ten yeras, the state has seen a doubling in immunziation exemption rates for children.

 

The Immunization Coordinator for Deschutes County, Heather Kaisner says exemption rates are up here as well.

 

"You know it doesn't surprise me -- unfortunately it's been creeping up every year for the last several years.  The state went from 5.8 percent to 6.4 percent.  In Deschutes County, we also went rom 7.7 percent to 8.1 percent. We're definitely higher than the state average which is definitely a concern in our county and region."

 

Last year Oregon had more than 800 cases of Pertussis, the highest rate since the 1950's.

Large Disaster Drill in Crook County Next Week


Over 15 emergency response agencies will converge in Prineville for an emergency response drill next week.

 

Corey Grogan with the Office of Emergency Services says that not only includes local police, fire and sheriff; but state agencies such as the National Guard, FBI and state police are participating.

 

"The breadth of it is pretty large and it's very encouraging to see these different resources working together and being able to communicate. The key in an emergency response situation is communication."

 

Grogan says the topic of the drill is kept a secret, so they can get as much of a "real time" response from all involved.

 

He adds that this is a very timely drill as the Boston bombing is still fresh in people's minds, and this drill is demonstrate the readiness of our agencies.

Scholarship Helps Small Business


A scholarship to help small business owners and entrepreneurs has been established through the COCC Foundation.

 

Wendy Every - owner of Every Idea marketing wanted to find a way to honor the memory of long time COCC business instructor Lindsay Stevens - and help out local businesses as well.

 

The scholarship will pay for the recipient to attend classes at the small business development center.

 

"People who may not be able to come up with the money to take the program, could get a scholarship and learn what we all have learned over the past 20 years, about how to best run a business and not set yourself up for failure."

 

Every says she hopes businesses who have benefitted from Lindsay Stevens counsel will contribute to the scholarship fund.

 

Each year the COCC Foundation will choose a deserving business owner or entrepreneur for the scholarship.

Gun Control Bills Not Necessarily Dead in Oregon Legislature


Several Senators are pushing to have the Oregon Legislature vote on some gun control laws - but experts say the interest just isn't there.

 

Speaking on the "Lars Larson" show Tuesday, Kevin Starlett with the Oregon Firearms Federation says he's hoping these issues will come to a vote, just for the record.

 

"I’d love to see them vote on it. Because when we have a recorded vote, then we can tell people, this is a senator who is anti-gun. Alan Bates doesn't want to vote on it; Arnie Roblan doesn't want to vote on it because they're in districts that have a lot of gun owners in them. But I think they should be on the record." 

 

The four laws include background checks for gun sales within families; outlawing guns at schools; another would prohibit visible guns in public buildings and outlaw online gun safety training.

 

Starlett says there are some "diehard" Democrats hoping to get a vote on the issues voted on, because they just want to take away people's rights, but these laws would have a hard time passing.

Wednesday is Walk and Bike to School Day


Communities and schools are using the second annual “Walk and Bike to School Day” to promote healthier ways to get to school our around the neighborhood.

 

Kim Curley with Commute Options says one of the problems is people not observing the lower speed limits in school zones.

 

"The deal on 20 miles an hour is: i know that folks who aren't pedestrians, they don realize that there's a big, big difference between 30 and 20 especially if you strike an object. So that object has a much better chance of living and being healthy if you're going 20 compared to you going 10 miles over that."

 

The month of May is "Walk and Bike to School Month" but today, Curley says, they hope a lot of people will participate in the special day.

 

She says there are other ways to get to school or around town- and there are plenty of ideas on the Commute Options website.

Federal Cuts will not impact Fire Suppression


Local fire crews are starting to gear up and train for what may be one of the worst fire seasons in years. BLM spokesperson Lisa Clark says the dry conditions from last year in Eastern Oregon are still with us,  and they are more extreme, and have spread to Central Oregon.

 

She also says Federal budget cuts will *not* impact crews or equipment for fighting those wildfires.

 

"You know fire suppression is a little different - emergency response is always going to happen- we have helicopters -3 here in central oregon - repell crew - hotshots and smoke jumpers - air tankers and bringing on season firefighters right about now - we are gearing up for the summer and are ready for anything that happens here in Central Oregon."

 

Last year, Southeastern Oregon saw a dramatic fire season, with massive range fires. This year, that same prediction and weather outlook has been extended to Central Oregon.

Federal Cuts will not impact Fire Suppression


Local fire crews are starting to gear up and train for what may be one of the worst fire seasons in years. BLM spokesperson Lisa Clark says the dry conditions from last year in Eastern Oregon are still with us,  and they are more extreme, and have spread to Central Oregon.

 

She also says Federal budget cuts will *not* impact crews or equipment for fighting those wildfires.

 

"You know fire suppression is a little different - emergency response is always going to happen- we have helicopters -3 here in central oregon - repell crew - hotshots and smoke jumpers - air tankers and bringing on season firefighters right about now - we are gearing up for the summer and are ready for anything that happens here in Central Oregon."

 

Last year, Southeastern Oregon saw a dramatic fire season, with massive range fires. This year, that same prediction and weather outlook has been extended to Central Oregon.

Deschutes County Reminds People to Register Their Cell Phones for Reverse 911


Deschutes County is again reminding folks to register their cell phones at thier website, so if there's an evacuation in your neighborhood, you know about it.

 

Rob Poirier is the Director of Deschutes County's 911.

 

"If you have a cell phone of Voip phone such as Vonage, you do need to register these in order to ge the call at www.deschutes.org -- the home page.  It's over to the right , there's a link to register you cell phone."

 

If you have a landfile, you are automatically registerd for 911, but not for cell phones.

Local Reaction to Soccer Ref's Death


The player punched the ref in the head when he warned him another violation and he'd be kicked out of the game.  The ref later died.

 

Local soccer referee Mike Ficher says the whole story is sad.

 

"I think unfortunately it speaks volumes about how sports has grown out of proportion to everyday life.  I think it should be a call for some parents, coaches and players that these are games, especially since this occurred at the recreation level -- games that are supposed to be played for fun.  We have to keep some perspective about what the game is and what we're doing in youth sports."

 

The Utah ref suffered serious internal head injuries that ultimately killed him.

Ballots Go Out and a Bend LaPine School Bond is On It


The school district is asking for 96 million to build two new schools and renovate some existing schools.

 

Neil Bryant is part of the politcal action committee trying to get the bond measure passed.

 

"We are being proactive about growth.  We need a new middle school and elementary school.  11 of our 17 elementary schools are at capacity. It takes three years to get a school open -- there's the bond measure, then theelection and if it passes, the constrution.  So it's two and a half to three years to have a school open.  What will our population be then?"

 

The bond would cost the homeowner of a  a 200-thousand dollar  home about 70 dollars a year.  It will repalce another school bond that is expried.

 

It's been proejcted that the Bend LaPine shcool district will grow by three thousand students in the next ten years.

St. Charles Cancer Center Receives National Designation


It earned the "Certified quality breast cancer designation" the first in the state of Oregon.

 

Only 23 sites in the nation are reocgnized with this "seal of approval."

 

Dr. Linyee Chang is the Clinical Director of the St. Charles Cancer Center and is proud of the designation.

 

"If I were a patient and I cared about getting the best care, I would look for independently validated and verified centers to get the best quality care as opposed to just a label."

 

This deigination looked at such things as appointment scheduled to surgical treatment and patient outcomes.

Smart Phones in the Classroom


 

Governor Kitzhaber is signing a bill directing school districts to adopt policies for allowing students to use personal electronics like Smartphones and I-Pads in the classroom.

 

Shay Mikalson with the Bend La Pine School District says this is nothing new to them.

 

"This House Bill directs districts to allow students to bring that. We’ve allowed students to bring them, by board policy, for a number of years; so that doesn't change any aspect. And we've wrestled with that as a district and have really moved forward with a plan to provide those resources to all of our students. As we look forward, we're in the process of a digital conversion that will provide again those technology tools for our teachers and all of our students."

 

Mikalson says they are establishing a "lending library" for those students who don't own a Smartphone or I-Pad.

Bend City Council Considering Budget Proposal


 

Bend City Manager Eric King submitted his proposal to the Bend City Council for the 2013- 2015 biennial budget.

 

King says they have been very conservative in the past years - but the economy seems to be improving - and feels the city can support more staff in needed positions.

 

"We’ve been very conservative as we have been in years past, and this is the first time in over 5 years that we're proposing to add some staffing. We’re proposing to add staff to police, fire and also staffing the help with the infrastructure improvements that are being made across the city."

 

King says the public is invited to attend the Budget Committee meeting this Tuesday through Thursday evenings at the North Fire Station Training Center where comments will be accepted.

Now You Can Try to Balance Bend's Budget


 

Want to help the city of Bend balance it's budget; now there's a "app" for that - sort of - it's actually an interactive program on the Bend City website.

 

City Manager Eric King says in the program they supply you with all of the services that need to be funded - and you try your hand at allocating money appropriately.

 

All of the responses are taken into consideration by city officials.

 

"The responses go into our Communications Director and he'll tally those responses and we incorporate the feedback that we receive from that. Then we give it to Council when they are making decision so say this is the amount of folks that use this tool and here's what their suggestions are for how to balance the budget."

 

The City of Bend's General Fund revenues total about $35-million and there's always a lengthy debate on how that money should be spent.

 

King says the bend budget balancer is free to use and maybe a little educational too.

 

Fire Season is Right Around the Corner


With fires blazing in southern California and New Mexico and the potential for loss of hundreds of homes, Project Wildfire takes this opportunity to remind residents in central Oregon that YOU are our greatest resource when it comes to protecting homes and neighborhoods.   “There are many similarities between central Oregon and the areas affected in California and New Mexico including an abundance of grasses and strong springtime winds that can quickly turn into a similar disaster here, particularly in combination with debris burning,” warns Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester.”

 

The greatest risk of homes catching fire during a wildland fire event is from the advancing embers or “fire brands” that reach your property long before an actual flame front. “High winds can whip embers beyond the flame front and land in gutters, on decks, in vents, and in flammable vegetation, soon igniting and burning down the homes,” says Katie Lighthall, Program Director Project Wildfire.  “There simply are not enough fire personnel or resources to post a truck at each home, so it’s up to individual homeowners to take responsibility for the defensible space around their homes,” she adds.

 

With this in mind, Project Wildfire reminds you to take a look around your property in the “home ignition zone” where glowing embers can ignite spot fires and vulnerable areas like decks, patios and fences that can spread flames to your home.   And take advantage of upcoming FireFree Recycling Events to dispose of the debris for FREE.  

 

FireFree Recycling Events Start THIS Weekend:

 

Friday, May 3 THROUGH May 11 at Knott Landfill in Bend (closed Sunday).

 

Fridays & Saturdays, May 3 & 4 and May 10 & 11 at the Westside Collection Site in Bend.

 

Friday & Saturday, May 17 & 18 at Deschutes County Transfer Sites:

Negus Transfer Station in Redmond

Northwest Transfer Station in Cloverdale

Southwest Transfer Station in La Pine

 

Friday & Saturday May 3 & 4 at the Sunriver Compost Site in Sunriver.

 

Saturday & Sunday May 4 & 5 and 11 & 12 at Box Canyon Transfer Site in Madras.

 

Visit www.firefree.org or www.firewise.org for more information about how you can prepare your property for wildfire season.  Or call the Project Wildfire office at 541-322-7129. 

New Cooperative Agreement with Central Oregon Communities


Most Central Oregon cities and counties have recently signed a cooperative agreement to share public works equipment and sometimes services when the need arises.

 

Bend Public Works Director, Paul Rheault says Bend, Redmond and Deschutes County  have been informally doing this for over a year, and now other municipalities and counties are interested in the program.

 

"It's not just limited to those in Central Oregon; we've invited Grant County, Jefferson County to be part of this but right now what we do is a number of us communities, La Pine, Madras, Redmond, Bend, Prineville, Sisters, we all get together on a quarterly basis and have meetings and discuss many things related to the public works sector. For instance everything from chip seal projects to utility issues, you name it."

 

Rheault says they can easily share equipment for special projects, and that can bring costs savings to everyone in the long run, because it will eliminate the need for a city to have to purchase some equipment that would seldom be used.

Multiple Drug Arrests


Six bend residents - two of them brothers are arrested on various drug and drug trafficking charges in two separate investigations.

 

Detectives with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team arrested Tyler Keinonen, 30, and his brother Brock, 25, during a traffic stop on Hwy 20.

 

An ongoing investigation revealed the pair had been trafficking the drugs throughout the Deschutes County region.

 

The pair also had an unlawful gun in their possession.

 

In another investigation; four Bend residents were arrested on multiple drug and trafficking charges.

 

When "CODE" detectives got a search warrant and searched their residence, they found 3 minor children - ages five to nine inside.

 

Jason Stockton, 36,  Tiffany Warner, 29,  Robert Battles, 26, and Lewis Soltez, 33, were arrested taken to the Deschutes County Jail.

Terrebonne Woman Walks Away from Home


With a cut on her hand and stressed about a personal issue,- a Terrebonne woman walked away from her residence early Thursday morning,  and has not been seen or in contact with her family since.

 

Sgt. Vance Lawrence with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says Carol Pepper-Graves,69 left the Rustic Ranch Mobile Home Park  around 7:15 in the morning.

 

Lawrence says she does not know a lot of people in the area, had no cell phone and was not dressed appropriately for cool nighttime weather.

 

Deputies, Search and Rescue and a Bend Police K-9 unit were deployed to search for the woman who is described as 5-foot 6 inches, 200 pounds with grey neck length hair; wearing a white short sleeve shirt with a flower pattern and blue pants.

 

Police are asking if you have seen Carol Pepper-Graves or have any information to call Deschutes County 911.

Bend City Council Passes Noise Ordinance


There was over an hour of testimony and conversation regarding the "tweaking" of Bend's noise ordinance Wednesday night at the City Council meeting.

 

Bend resident Jason Switzer spoke about how frustrated the arts community is with how long the Council is taking to adopt changes to the ordinance that would make a more equitable rule.

 

"There are two main points simplified from the laundry list we brought to the council previously, that I would again beg you to consider. No.1:  require the use of those expensive decibel readers the city bought anytime there's a complaint involving a business. Your own stats show the calls to a business are an extreme minority, before you cost a whole lot of people involved a whole lot of revenue, you meter make sure they're breaking the ordinance in the first place. And 2: measure from the point of complaint."

 

Bend Police Chief Jeff Sale says the department has an internal policy to use decibel meters and they always try to reason the problem out with all involved.

 

Councilor Mark Capell pushed to get it done and see how it works in the short run.

 

"Let it have some time. Let’s let it get some age behind it to see exactly what is wrong with it. It was better than what we had; but it still needs some tweaking."

 

The Council decided to pass the revised noise ordinance, with a couple of amendments that would lower the fine for a first offense and that specifically a business would always have a decibel meter reading attached to the complaint after 10 p.m.

 

Pilot Butte Art Student Has Big Plans


Pilot Butte Middle School art student Olivia Springer is heading to Carnegie Hall in June to be honored by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her artwork.

 

Springer - an eighth grader says she was very surprised when she got the news that her landscape print - called "Violet Mountains" was chosen for one of the gold medals - but her classmates we not surprised.

 

"They weren't surprised really. I also got the “Most Artistic Award” for the yearbook this year, so most of them know I’m pretty artistic."

 

Springer says she wants to go to college and get an art degree and work in  the field, but not sure what that will be.

 

She says she is looking forward to the trip to New York for the ceremony and plans to see a Broadway show and the Empire State Building.

OSU-Cascades Enrollment Rising Quickly


Enrollment at OSU-Cascades has risen more than 60% over the past five years. 

 

Campus spokesperson, Christine Coffin says with 766 students taking classes in the spring term, that is a 14% increase over the previous year. 

 

She says the growth is on track to meet the campus' projected expansion to serve between 3,000-5,000 students by 2025.

 

In addition; another 250 students are dually enrolled at Central Oregon Community College who plan to transfer to a degree program at OSU-Cascades.

April Drug Bust Nets Three from Portland


We’re just now finding out about a drug bust in a Bend motel; and the arrest of three Portland people who were in the area to sell drugs.

 

It began with  a short investigation in mid-April by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team and the arrest of  Lenard Taylor, 46,  of Portland, at Third Street and DeKalb in Bend.

 

Taylor revealed he was in town to allegedly sell drugs.   Shortly after his arrest "CODE" detectives contacted Torrance Hunter, 38, and Karen Chambliss, 23, both of Portland in the motel room Taylor had been staying.

 

Drugs were found in the motel room; all were arrested for various narcotics charges and are lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.

Popular Tourists Sites Have Limited Opening


Beginning Thursday the Newberry National Volcanic Monument Lava Lands Visitor Center will be open from Thursdays through Mondays.

 

This includes the Lava River Cave and Lava Butte.

 

Beginning June 13th, the facilities will be open daily.

 

Parking at the Visitor Center requires a recreation pass and there is no accommodation for oversized vehicles when the Visitor Center is closed.

 

Parking at Lava River Cave requires the same recreation pass or can be purchases for f$5.

 

You can get more information atr the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District.

Redmond Offers City Manager Job to Keith Witcosky


Witcosky was one of three finalists competing for the job.

 

All the candidates were here interviewing last week.  The other candidates included current city councilor Camden King and Ashton Harrison, a county and city administrator  from Colorado.

 

Keith Witcosky is the head of Economic Development for Portland and  has a lot of government experience.

 

His family has a summer home in Black Butte Ranch and has been coming to central Oregon for many years and has always wanted to live here.

 

Redmond Mayor George Endicott says they still need to do a formal background check on Witcosky and negotiate salary.

 

They hope to have him in Redmond by July.

The Bend Fire Department Mourns the Loss of One of Its Firefighters


36 year oild Aaron Beatty died on Saturday afer accidentally falling from a ladder in his garage and hitting his head.

 

Interim Fire Chief Larry Langston hired Beatty 13 years ago.

 

"The department is having a hard time getting through this.  We had many members who were very close to him and good friends and worked in the same station and we're trying to help them through this."

 

A memorial service for Beatty will be held this Saturday at Westside Church beginning at 1 P.M.

 

The fire department's pipes and drum corps will be playing at the ceremony.

Tami and Kevin Sawyer Get Maximum Sentence for Fraudulent Real Estate Investment Scheme


Tami will serve nine years in federal prison on conspiracy, wire and bank fraud and money laundering charges.

 

Kevin Sawyer, a former Bend police captain was sentenced to just over two years for making false statemetns to financial insitutitons.

 

They also have to pay nearly 6 million dollars in restitution to the victims of the fraud.

 

The Sawyers began serving their sentences immediately following the hearing.

 

After they get out, they will also be under supervised released for five years.

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