Willamette Week has endorsed him over his fellow Repbulcian challenger Dr. Monica Wehby for the seat.
The newspaper's managing editor, Brent Walth says they spoke with both candidates a couple weeks ago .. and were not impressed with Wehby.
"Dr. Wehby seemed to not be anywhere near prepared to answer key questions on a range of issues even healthcare and given she's a physician seemed kind of glaring to us."
Walth says Cogner was much more knowledgeable and was much more consistent with his postions.
He says Wehby has been all over the map on her positiins regarding the Affordable Care Act -- going from advocating to tweak it to her postion now to repeal it.
Conger says he's honored by the endorsement. He said the editorial board put the candidates through a pretty grueling process.
"Because they asked tough questions and follwed up asking greater detail and more nuanced answers. I was thrilled when they said I was real, prepared, clear and conscise. That I understood the issues and was able to articulate and explain my positions on the issues."
Conger says he liked that a newspaper with a more liberal bent -- would endorse his candidacy because of his clear and consistent positions.
Hundreds showed up at the first "Truth in Site" meeting in late March to prevent the new campus from being on their side of town.
The head of the group -- Scott Morgan -- says he's not surprised the college won't meet its timeline to get the campus ready.
"I think it's an unrealistic time frame anyway. It was in a meeting with two city leaders in January who admitted it was not a realistic time frame anyway."
Morgan says the "Truth in Site" group is collecting funds to fight the propsoed site on Bend's westside and has secured legal counsel.
Polcie say the driver of the SUV, 31 year old Justin Miller of Warm Springs was northbound on Highway 97 when he turned onto Jefferson Street in front of a commercial truck.
The crash pushed the SUV back into the northbound lane where it was struck by a second commercial truck.
The SUV had two passengers. The driver and one of the passengers suffered non-life threatening injuries. They were wearing seat belts, but 56 year old Grant Smith of Warm Springs was not and he was critically injured.
Smith remains in critical condition at St. Charles in Bend.
The two truck drivers were not injured. They too were wearing safety belts.
The House Republican Office sought a legal opinion from legislative counsel on this issue.
Lawyers determined that Cover Oregon is not granted the legal authority to move to healthcare.gov without legislative amendments to state law.
One interpretation of this opinion is that the Oregon legislature will have to meet in special session to amend state laws.
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the cause of Tuesday night's single vehicle fatal traffic crash that occurred along Highway 97 about two miles north of the Highway 58 junction in Klamath County. The victim's name is released in this update.
On April 29, 2014 at approximately 9:35 p.m., a 1996 Telstar motorhome driven by NORMAN LEE HORN, age 66, from Bend, was traveling northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 193. For an unknown reason, it traveled off the highway and rolled several times about 40 feet down an embankment before coming to a rest.
HORN was pronounced deceased at the scene.
OSP troopers from the Bend and Klamath Falls offices responded to investigate. Senior Trooper Scott Salisbury is the lead investigator.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Crescent Rural Fire Protection District, and ODOT.
The college is making plans to house students elsewhere temporarily in the Fall of 2015 -- if building of the new campus is delayed over land use complaints.
Mike Hollern has been involved in the site selection process .. and is frustrated with news of a potential delay.
"I'd say it's just disappointing. It's the way land use works in our state. I think its smart for Becky and OSU Cascades to have contingency plans in case the appeals process holds things up. But we'd be able to enroll freshmen September 2015. I hope they can accommodate them at the site selected, because I think it's a great site."
OSU Cascades submitted its site application plan to the city of Bend last Friday. The city has sent it to a hearings officer anticipating an appeal.
The Democrats need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster by Republicans.
No Republicans support the measure -- feeling it will hurt businesses and stall the recovery.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon says the legislation would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. He feels the bump in pay is sorely needed.
"The vast majority of folks that will be affected by this are adults and more than half of them are women and this increase helps support 1 in 4 children. So it's not just women, but the children."
A recent report by the National Employment Law Project found that low wage industries like food services and retail are helping fuel the recovery. They account for 43 percent of the total job growth.
The accident involved a sport utility vehicle and a commercial truck and happened just about 3:30 along HighwaY 97 and N.E. Jefferson Street in Madras.
Three occupants in the SUV were injured, at least one critically.
Names and more details are expected to be released.
The race between state lawmaker Jason Conger and Dr. Monica Wehby has been pretty contentious and it's not getting better.
Some feel Conger is so set on harming Wehby .. he's not concerned about harming the party.
Wehby talked about it with Lars Larson.
"I have no interest in getting in a food fight. Not interested in attcking other Republicans -- we have to stay together. We can't be divided up like this."
The Republican primary in the Senate race will be May 20th. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley in November.
It is estimated their backlog and secret waiting lists to hide that fact have resulted in at least 40 deaths.
Dr. Maryann Curl with the Portland V-A says nothing like that is happening here.
"It is not occurring in Portland. It is not to my knowledge. It is not happening. We have actually sought out looking at our wait lists and ongoing management of our vets waiting. We work on that. It's not occurring in Portland."
Dr. Curl says Oregon's V-A system has seen a 30 percent increase in patients in the last five years.
Some of the patients are younger veterans, but a lot are older veterans who weren't using the system, but are now to meet the ACA's health insurance mandate.
Secretary of State Kate Brown is reminding voters time is running out.
"The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday April 29th via paper with the county clerk's office is by the end of the business day and to register online you can sign up by 11:59 if you have a drivers license. I would encourage you not to wait until the last minute."
The May primary will decide which candidates face off in November for the U.S. Senate, Governor and Oregon's five congressional districts -- along with several local ballot measures.
It was decided the cost of trying to get the Cover Oregon site fully functioning would be too much and wouldn't allow them to be up and running for the next enrollment period in November.
Alex Pettit is the Acting I-T Leader for Cover Oregon.
"The work group unanimously concluded that moving to the federal website as our core was the most reliable, least costly option to provide a working website for Oregonians by November 2014. So we all agreed."
Cover Oregon has spent 181 million in its 33 month existence with most of that money going to Oracle and other technology contractors.
11 of Oregon's 16 insurance partners are set up to switch to the federal exchange -- and it's not clear if those that aren't will pour money into doing that.
(Sisters, OR) -- One person is dead and two others are injured following a crash in the Santiam Pass area. Oregon State Police say 86-year-old Deana May Igoe of Colorado lost control of her vehicle as she drove in icy conditions along Highway 20 yesterday morning. The car veered into the opposite lanes and was hit by an SUV. Igoe died at the scene, and two people in the SUV are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect is described as a tall, slender man with brown hair, grey on the sides, with a beard. He's in his 50's and was last seen wearing a light green sweat shirt.
As a precaution, nearby area businesses and schools were put in lockdown while they searched for the suspect.
The susepct was last seen running west on Irving off of Greenwood.
No weapons were seen during the bank robbery.
This will be the city's sixth unsolved bank holdup in two years. But police don't believe the more slender robber is the serial bank robber who held up several local banks -- because that suspect was shorter and much heavier.
The technology work group met Thursday and their recommendation will be presented to the full Cover Oregon Board Friday.
They were considering between going to the federal exchange versus trying to fix the state health exchange.
Fixing the existing system would be 78 million and officals felt it would be take too long and be too risky.
Going to the federal system would cost between 4 and 6 million dollars.
Oregon is expected to continue using its current technology for Medicaid enrollment, but not for people buying private plans.
It shows Merkley leading Republican state lawmaker Jason Conger by 16 points and Dr. Monica Wehby by 20 points.
The poll was conducted on behalf of Democratic Senator Merkley's campaign. It involved 600 likely general election voters statewide and 400 likely Republican voters.
The interviews were conducted last week.
This poll supports a poll out of a couple weeks ago that shows Merkley defeating his Republican challengers -- though by lesser margins.
Work on transferring Bureau of Land Management land started eight years ago and it is finally coming to fruition.
Oreogn's newest city, wants to use the land to expand its wastewater treatment facility and build a permanent home for its "Greatest Little Rodeo in Oregon."
Former LaPine Mayor Stu Martinez was at the county commission meeting Wednesday when the transfer was accepted. He reminisced with county commissioner Tony Debone, who lives in LaPine.
"It was quite a journey. I do remember the first meetings. Tony was the Chairman of the Board for the Park and Rec District and he came up with this crazy idea and no one knew if it would work. But it turned out for the community and county."
This land transfer literally took an Act of Congress because the land was federal land.
The official transfer is expected to be completed sometime in June.
Father James Radloff was removed from St. Francis by the Baker Diocese last fall.
He sent Bishop Liam Cary his resignation on Good Friday -- after waiting for him for half a year to place him in a new parish.
Father Radloff will be a priest with the breakaway denomination, the Evangelical Catholic Church -- a more liberal denomination that allows priests to marry and supports gay marriage.
Former St. Francis parishioner, Michael Cleavenger left St. Francis after 27 years when Radloff was removed and is helping him start up this new church.
"I think there's a significant number of people already that have left and they are attending many other churches in central Oregon searching for their spiritual home. This gives Christian Catholics a chance to belong to a church pastored by Father Radloff."
"We are looking forward to putting our time, talent and treasure into this with people who share our view. We hope to establish this with this new church."
An informational meeting will be held on Saturday June7th at Bend's Riverhouse and Convention Center for interested people. The new chruch will be called "Holy Communion Church."
A couple months ago, Oregon's Attorney General decided not to argue in court to keep the ban, so the National Organization for Marriage says it will do it.
John Eastman with the group just filed the motion to intervene in the case.
"Look our system is based on an adversarial process. It's a legal problem when the court is all in agreement. It deprives jurisprudence when there is no active case or controversy. Quite frankly, you'd think our motion remedies that problem and you would hope the judge will welcome our participation as a result."
Judge Michael McShane will start hearing oral arguments at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon and it's unclear when he will rule whether the National Organization for Marriage can intervene.
Bend Police say 16 year old Chad RIcker of Bend has not been arrested, but he could soon face charges.
Three vicitms suffered water damage in their homes becuase of the hydrant being opened.
The incident happened early Sunday morning in the area of Wild Rapids Drive on the westside.
Two of the homes were flooded and one had several inches of standing water. Damage is expected to be in the thousands of dollars.
Supporters of gay marriage will be gathering in downtown Bend at the corner of Greenwood and Wall on Tuesday to show their support.
Oregon's Attorney General has decided not to defend the marriage ban so the judge will only be hearing arguments to get rid of it.
Ron Berry of Bend says he feels the tide is turning on this issue.
"We're feeling pretty optimistic, but we don't want to count our chickens before they're hatched. We've got a back up plan if he doesn't rule in our favor or in time. We will submit it to the ballot."
Supporters of gay marriage have gathered signatures on petitions to put the issue on the November ballot. They are waiting to see if that is necessary -- depending on how the judge rules.
It is not known when Judge Michael McShane is expected to rule, but the deadline to put the issue on the November ballot is early July.
Oregon State Police arrested 36 year old James Wilson on Friday after a Klamath County grand jury indicted him on charges he sexually abused a young male.
Lt. Gregg Hastings with OSP says they were called into investigate.
"Well, we're investigating those allegations that Wilson sexually abused a young male who was a minor at the time over a period of several years. Mr. Wilson had been involved with Boy Scouts in Prineville for several years. Once we brought these allegations to their attention, his assocation with that organization ended."
Wilson faces charges of sex abuse in the first degree.
OSP believes there may be more victims out there and would like to hear from anyone with information on this case.
Wilson was also the I-T Director for the city of Prineville, but is now on paid leave.
Bend Police Corporal Troy Wiles was called to the scene where he found a van had crashed into a home on Locke Court just before noon.
The driver, Terry Howard was unconscious and not breathing. Corporal Wiles pulled the driver from the van and started CPR.
COCC's Campus Public Safety Officer Kevin Lanier arrived at the scene too and helped with life saving efforts. By the time Howard was taken to St. Charles, he was breathing on his own. He is currently listed in critical condition at the hospital.
There were two people at home at the time of the crash, but no one was injured.
The investigation into what caused Howard to crash is ongoing.
The fire on Cliff Swallow Drive started early Monday morning on the deck and quickly burned into the attic.
These areas suffered 50-thousand dollars in damage and the interior of the home sustained smoke and water damage.
The renter of the home was at home when the fire broke out at 3 A.M., but escaped without injury.
Of course, with Jim Middleton retiring, leadership will be changing -- and with OSU Cascades expanding to a four year campus in 2015, the relationship between the two institutions will be changing.
Jim MIddleton, current President of COCC sees great promise.
"Certainly challenge, but also great opportunity as an established education hub. There will be a lot of students who come here with interest in OSU Cascades, that will also end up taking courses with us."
Middleton says OSU Cascades' course load wil be limited as it starts up in the fall of 2015 and consequently many students will be taking classes at COCC instead.
He believes its much beter for the institutions to be in partnership rather than competition.
Jason Conger claims the boyfriend of his opponent Monica Wehby -- Andrew Miller is violating campaign election laws.
Andrew Miller, the head of Stimson Lumber has given more than 100-thousand dollars to her campaign -- along with Nevada businessman Loren Parks.
Miller refuses to say whether he is romantically involved with Wehby.
"Well I'm not going to comment on my personal life. I'm not going to say. It's irrelevant. It's fine for them to accuse me, but it's not true and if they want to push it down the road, they'll find out it absolutely is not true."
Miller says all his donations are above board.
"You know I have really good boundaries around a lot of this stuff. I have friendships and relationships from people from all walks of life and the only time you get in trouble with these things is when you mix it. If you live within the boundaries, you don't have any problems."
The Conger campaign believes there has been coordination between the Parks and Miller Committee and Wehby and if that were true -- that would be a violation of federal election laws.
This agreement represents nine months of good faith efforts from Klamath tribes and upper basin water users to develop solutions to their water shortage problems.
Senator Wyden says the agreement saves water, protects habitat and provides economic certainty for the basin.
Senator Merkley says it means the water wars of the past decades are behind us.
38 year old Mark Ellis admitted that he made a false claim to the I-R-S including false tax returns and obtained a fraudulent refund of more than 300-thousand dollars.
Ellis was also ordered to pay back the $311,459 dollars in restitution.
What investments should we be doing to make this industuy continues to thrive?
That was the subject of this month's City Club of Central Oregon meeting.
Dave Rathbun with Mt. Bachelor was on the panel and singled out forest management.
"The ski industry - until there is some other means of funding how to suppress wildfires and how to manage our forests so they're healthy, we're always going to be short in rerceational dollars."
Panel members agreed going forward, they have to work together.
"As time goes by we have to do a good job of collaborating and make sure we are making the best use of our resources for the benefit of all -- and not just your little piece of it. And we're probably have to break ground on making everyone happy."
Hiking and biking are two of the biggest draws to central Oregon, followed by shopping, dining, cycling, beer drinking, golf and fishing.
Wedell learned of the honor through a surprise schoolwide assembly Thursday.
Oregon's Deputy Superintendent of Schools Rob Saxton came to Bend to make the announcement to a surprised H.D. Wedell.
"I'm happy I got this, but I'm more proud of you. I'm struggling today and I don't struggle very often. Thank you Bend LaPine School District and Ron and Rob. It was nice of you to travel here. It was a surprise. You got me!"
After nine years as principal at Bend High, Wedell si leaving at the end of the school year to take a job with Oreogn State University.
The current Assistant Principal, Chris Reese will become the new principal.
Cascade Angels Fund opens new application round for entrepreneurs
Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC is now accepting applications through May 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm for launch stage companies on Gust.com.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling, monthly basis or as application rounds close. Our plan is to notify applicants if we need additional information or to set up an initial meeting. If you have questions about how your company fits with the Cascade Angels vision, please contact us. We have held previous application rounds this year and plan to make 1-4 investments in 2014.
Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC is committed to helping build Oregon's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Typical investments are planned to be in launch stage companies in Oregon from any industry. Investments are anticipated to average from approximately $50,000 to $200,000.
Greg Walden to meet with brewers, veterans, and small businesses in Bend next week
BEND— U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) will be in Central Oregon next week to discuss growing jobs and holding federal agencies accountable with brewers, veterans, and small businesses. On Monday, Walden will have a roundtable meeting with craft brewers in Bend. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a draft rule that would tightly regulate brewers’ “spent grains,” a byproduct of the beer-making process that is often sold or given to ranchers for use as animal feed.
The draft rule could harm the craft brewing and livestock industries in Oregon, and Walden has urged the FDA to reconsider its rule. He will announce steps he is taking legislatively to bring common-sense to this rule-making process.
Walden will then kick off Facebook’s “Small Business Boost” workshop, where Central Oregon small businesses can learn to better use social media to reach potential customers. As the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Walden has worked to unleash innovation and grow technology jobs in Oregon.
On Tuesday, Walden will meet with veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hall in Bend. He will give an update on legislation in the House to reduce the claims backlog at the Veterans Administration (VA) and ensure those who have worn the uniform receive the benefits they’ve earned.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and local small businesses will present Walden with the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” for his efforts to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Oregon. Later in the week, Walden will have meetings in southern and eastern Oregon. A full schedule will be sent out once it’s finalized.
News Release - 4-18-14
Geocaches to be removed from Oregon Badlands Wilderness
Central Oregon – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District Office will be working with the local geocaching community to remove approximately 84 physical geocaches that are located in Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, Research Natural Areas (RNAs) and some Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Of these, 47 will be removed permanently, while 37 will be closed seasonally because they are located in sites closed part of the year to protect wildlife or other resources.
The geocaches in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and in an ACEC on nearby Horse Ridge are very popular because of their proximity to Bend, and can be so heavily used that trails are actually created. “It’s important to get the word out about where geocaches should and shouldn't be placed because some sites are not designed to handle the type of concentrated use brought on by geocaching.” says Molly Brown, Field Manager for the Prineville BLM. “The great news is that, once the groups know about the restrictions they’re very responsive and responsible. We’re grateful for the cooperation.”
Prineville began identifying geocaching limits in 2005 with the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan, which provides management direction for BLM-administered lands in Crook, Deschutes, and northern Klamath Counties. In 2012 BLM policy prohibited physical geocaches in wilderness areas, while still allowing virtual geocaches. Removal of these geocaches will bring the Prineville BLM into compliance with national policy and protect sensitive sites.
“Geocaching is absolutely a legitimate use of public land but it’s inappropriate in wilderness areas,” says Carol Benkosky, Prineville BLM District Manager. “Most times when the public is setting up a site, they’re unaware that they might be putting it in a closed or a sensitive area, so we rely on the geocaching community to help us spread the word and educate fellow geocachers.”
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to a specific set of coordinates. Once there, they attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches can be physical, meaning an actual container is located at the site, or virtual, where the objective is to locate an existing feature such as a specific tree, rock or viewpoint. Often, the container may contain a log for participants to document their find, or small tokens that can be taken if an item of equal value can be left behind. Some tokens are even marked with a unique code that makes them “trackable” as geocachers move them from cache to cache and document the moves online.
April 22 Professional Enrichment Series – What Workforce Trends Will HR See in 2014? – Volcanic Theatre Pub – 70 SW Century Dr – 11:30 a.m.
Bend Chamber Members: $25. Community Members $30
While most want to stand out and be the go-to person in their field with a consistent flow of clients and profit, the reality is they’re stuck on the wrong side of the gap blaming the income ceiling imposed upon them by a ‘bad economy.’
Bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be, as a leader in business depends upon your willingness to take the right kind of decisive action, to understand and gain the upper hand with your Money DNA, to connect your business to your purpose while leveraging the team outside of you and yours so that you can do what you do best - lead in your business.
In this insightful truth-telling talk, Stephanie Trager, a once practicing attorney turned Business & Success Coach (founder of Intentional Paradigms), will engage attendees through a well-rounded investigation of the top 3 things that separate leaders in business who forge ahead to their next level of success, and those who get stuck.
To register or for more information, go to bendchamber.org.
April 23 Business After Hours – Goodwill Industries – 61315 S Hwy 97 – 5 p.m. (541) 382-3221
Join fellow Chamber members this month at Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (GICW)! Goodwill provides vocational opportunities to people with barriers to employment. Through your donations and purchases, they help people find jobs, offer training opportunities to individuals with disabilities, and provide free employee enhancement, ESL, and citizenship classes. Each time a donation is sold, 95-cents on the dollar goes directly into mission services. In 2013, in Bend alone, their free Job Connection program placed 547 people into community jobs and provided more than 3,700 services. So grab your business cards and get ready for some serious networking at this month’s Business After Hours while also learning more about our fantastic host, Goodwill Industries! RSVP today at bendchamber.org.
Here's the Press Release.....
For Immediate Release
Deschutes County Republican Party Endorses Patrick Flaherty for DA
The DCRP Executive Committee votes unanimously to endorse Flaherty
April 17, 2014
The DCRP would like to thank John Hummel and Patrick Flaherty for speaking before their Central Committee members during their March and April meetings. Both men should be commended for their service to the community and for making the sacrifice to run for Deschutes County District Attorney.
Our Executive Committee has decided, by unanimous vote, to join the Bend Police Officer’s Association and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Association in our endorsement of Mr. Flaherty in the May 20th primary election.
Chair Philo stated, “The DCRP is pleased to support such a quality leader who is not affected by the whims of politics while serving the citizens of our community, and we hope our endorsement will help others when making their choice during this important election. Because of the tireless work of Patrick Flaherty, Deschutes County remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family and will continue to be an attractive place for many to visit.”
The following is a news release distributed for Klamath County District Attorney's Office:
On Thursday, April 17, 2014, at approximately 6:12 a.m. Klamath Falls Police Department officers responded to the 1800 block of Laverne Avenue on the report of a murder. Officers arrived on the scene and discovered a deceased male who had been shot multiple times. Officers took James Harold Forshee II, age 58, from Klamath Falls, into custody at the scene and have charged him with Murder.
The Klamath County Major Crime Team has been activated to investigate. The investigation is currently active.
The Klamath County District Attorney intends to present this case to the Klamath County Grand Jury next Thursday, April 24, 2014. Questions regarding the investigation and arrest should be directed to Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge at (541) 840-1600.
The Klamath County Major Crime Team is comprised of members from the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, Klamath County Community Corrections, and Klamath County District Attorney's Office.
Jane Smilie will replace Scott Johnson, who is retiring at the end of May.
There were 50 applications for the position. Smilie comes to Bend from Helena, Montana.
She served as the Administrator for the Public Health and Safety Division for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for the past nine years.
She brings 25 years of experience in different health positions.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at the park in northeast Bend.
An American Bull Dog killed a Papillon -- both were off leash in the park.
Vance Lawrence is a patrol sergeant with the Deschutes County Sheiff's Office and says this is the first dog death he's heard of at a park.
"I'm not aware of any incident of this level. We do hear about people having aggressive dogs and the Parks and Rec controls the dog park. They handle most of the issues and patrol issues."
The Sheriff's Office was called in because of the severity of the incident.
"I wasn't there, but after talking with the technician, they both seemed appropriately traumatized by this and the suspect's dog owner was unaware their dog had this kind of aggression in it."
The owner of the bull dog was ticketed for animal nuisance, but that is as far as law enforcement can go, unless the Papillon owner pursues civil action.
This agreement represents an historic milestone in reaching a solution to water issues affecting the region.
The signing will be held at Collier State Park, 30 miles north of Klamath Falls starting around 9 A.M.
The event will celebrate the leadership, good faith and hard work that made this agreement possible.
It will highlight the economic and environmental benefits for the Klamath region.
He will be staying on until the fall now and then Dr. Shirley Metcalf will take over through the school year on an interim-basis.
Dr. Middleton says he'll spend the summer helping get Dr. Metcalf up to speed.
"I think what it does is it gives us a great opportunity with Shirley Metcalf and I to work through the summer not only to discuss the transition, but to work on materials to assist the President we expect to come in July of 2015."
Middleton says Dr. Metcalf has no interest in the permanent position.
The board plans to restart its search for a new President this fall -- with the hopes of having a new President in place next summer.
The college dropped its top candiate, Patrick Lanning, after he failed to tell them he was on paid administrative leave from his current job.
Our unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent and added 7500 jobs in March -- which is double the average rate.
State Economist Nick Bielichicks says this is great news.
"Oregon's labor force for the fifth consecutive month showed job growth and this follows two years of job loss. And we're seeing more people entering the work force and their more encouraged about their prospects."
Governor Ktizhaber says these latest numbers show Oregon's continued economic expansion. He says many of the state's major industries, including construction, leisure and hospitality and health care -- are all adding more than one thousand jobs each.
A survey by Neighbor Works America found 29 percent of Americans would be unable to weather these storms.
Lynne McConnell with Neighbor Impact says more people need to save for a rainy day.
"A large proportion of Americans do not have enough savings if they were to face a financial emergency. Many of us are not saving enough to weather a health probelm or our vehicle breaks down or we temporarily lose employment."
While low income folks are often hit hardest during these emergencies, even higher income earners lack adequate savings.
Eleven percent of those earning more than 100-thousand dolalrs have no savings.
OREGON STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE:
Update: On April 14, 2014, Oregon State Police (OSP) received phone calls that led to identifying two juvenile males, ages 16 and 17, as suspects in the April 13, 2014, throwing of a cinder block off an Interstate 5 / Creswell-area overpass that struck a vehicle's windshield and injured a woman inside the car.
The lead OSP investigating trooper contacted both suspects and parents at their Creswell residences. They are cooperating with the investigation and no arrests have been made. The suspects' names and other information are not being released at this time because of the ongoing investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, OSP will meet with the Lane County District Attorney's Office when potential charges will be decided.
On April 13, 2014 at approximately 4:28 a.m., a 2012 Toyota Camry driven by MICHAEL BECKER, age 28, from Roy, Washington, was northbound on Interstate 5 in the right lane traveling under the E. Oregon Avenue overpass in Creswell when a cinder block fell from the overpass and came through the windshield. The block struck passenger TIFFANY BECKER, age 30, in her face causing non-life threatening injury.
TIFFANY BECKER was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend for treatment. She was treated and released. The driver was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation.
This was necessary after the college backed off its top pick -- Patrick Lanning -- when it learned he was on administrative leave from his current job.
First, the current President, Jim MIddleton will continue at the helm of COCC until mid September and won't retire at the end of June as planned.
Then in September, Dr. Shirley Metcalf, COCC's Dean of Extended Learning will assume the position.
Board Chair, Bruce Abernethy, says Dr. Metcalf has proven herself as a quality leader, both in terms of her experience prior to coming to COCC, in Hawaii and Washington and in her roles here.
The board plans to begin a search for a permanent President in October. They hope to name a new President to start in July of 2015.
A recent poll found that her opponent, state lawmaker Jason Conger actually would have a better showing in a contest against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley than Wehby.
Wehby talked with Lars Larson about it.
"I tell you it couldn't be more ridiculous. I'm a first time candidate. I've never been invovled in poltiics before. This is my first run for public office. I'm not a hand picked candidate. It's quite humorous. I decided to run for office because I was concerned for the opportuntiies for my chidlren and the direction of the country."
The article was written by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. He believes the Republican estalbishment is pushing for the more liberal candidate, in this case, Wehby, to win in the general election.
The state is seeing more vacancies and fewer unemployed seeking work.
Employment Economist Jessica Nelson is with the Oregon Employment Department.
"As the labor market has tightened, employers are having more difficulty finding the workers they need. One year ago it was just 39 percent of the vacancies that were difficult to fill and at this point, it is up to 54 percent that are difficult to fill."
Food preparation and serving workers and production workers topped the list of occupations with vacancies, with more than four thousand a piece.
While every region in the state saw increases in the number of job vacancies, more than half of the openings were in the Portland area.
The board will meet at noon and the agenda calls for them to possibly appoint an interim President.
The board voted last week to start its search for a new COCC President over this fall, when they learned their top candidate, Patrick Lanning was on administrative leave from his job.
The college hopes to name an interim president for a year while they search for a new president.
This will allow current COCC President Jim Middleton to retire as planned this summer.
The school district has selected Reese for the position over two other candidates.
The current principal, H.D. Wedell is leaving to take a job at Oregon State University.
Reese says he's excited for the opportunity to be the principal at Bend High and looks forward to building upon the culture of trust, respect and acceptance there.
He will assume his new role on July first.
A Gallup Poll found that 48 percent of people 65 and older identify themselves as being Republican or Republican-leaning.
Back in 2003, a similar poll found 45 percent leaned Republican -- while in 1993, only 39 percent had Republican leanings.
While seniors are leaning Republican, younger people are leaning Democratic.
46 precent of those between 50 and 64 identified with the Democratic party.
People are having to chose plans that serve their needs best and that means people need to be more informed.
Everyone's needs aren't the same, so buyers beware.
Don Silver, author "The Best Obamacare Guide" says you have to be a savvy consumer.
"It's tough. You're balancing policy provisions, you're balancing higher deductible versus lower premiums -- and what is the right point for me? You have to understand co-pay, co-insurance, annual deductible and out of pocket expenses and see how this all comes together for them."
Silvers says we still don't have firm numbers about how many young healthy people have signed up for coverge versus those who are older and probably sicker. He thinks around 25 to 30 percent of the enrollees are under 35.
The Cover Oregon Board last week accepted the resignation of Dr. Bruce Goldberg who was the interim Director of Cover Oregon.
The Portland "turnaround" firm "Hamstreet and Associates" will act as interim leader until they hire a new permanent Executive Director in the next month.
The chair of the Cover Oregon Board thanked Dr. Goldberg for his service.
"Board Member: I feel I need to say this is bittersweet. Your resignation has been in my in box for weeks. I just want to say thank you for stepping in and helping us out. Dr. Goldberg: Thank you I appreciate that. I think we're going in the right direction."
There are seven semi finalists for the Director position who have been interviewed.
They hope to narrow it down to two to three finalists and make a recommendation to the board sometime in May.
Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division detectives are continuing the investigation into the death of a 66-year old man whose body was found Wednesday morning in the back of a burning pickup on a dirt road south of Highway 140W west of Klamath Falls. An autopsy conducted Thursday, April 10, by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
On April 9, 2014 at approximately 8:00 a.m., Rocky Point Fire & EMS responded to a reported vehicle fire on a dirt road about a mile south of Highway 140W near milepost 51. OSP troopers responded, and after the fire was extinguished they found the body of a deceased male in the bed of a charred pickup.
Initial investigation identified the deceased male as JOSEPH E. HUNTSTIGER, age 66, from Klamath Falls. A handgun was found with the victim.
An OSP arson detective responded to the scene to assist with determining the cause of the vehicle fire. The fire started in the rear of the camper but the cause is undetermined at this time.
Two people were arrested last Friday in connection with an Oregon State Police (OSP) traffic stop on Highway 97 about four miles south of Bend after a trooper located approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine in their vehicle.
On April 4, 2014 at approximately 12:20 p.m., an OSP trooper stopped a 2003 Hyundai Elantra displaying Oregon license plates northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 146 for a speed violation. During the traffic stop the two occupants were identified as driver CARMEN D. ZAVALA, age 32, from Madras, and passenger DAVEY L. CULPUS, age 28, from Warm Springs.
Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led troopers to discover approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the car's trunk and rear passenger compartment. Estimated value of the seized methamphetamine is $60,000.
ZAVALA and CULPUS were arrested for Unlawful Delivery and Possession of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine.
Clean up Time, Don’t Get Burned!
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 11, 2014 (9:22 AM)
With recent and forecasted warm weather, landowners are in the mode of spring cleaning their properties by removing dead material to reduce flammable vegetation build-up. Those choosing to remove vegetation and litter through burning need to be careful and take the precautions to prevent the spread of fire.
“Although the soil may still be wet from recent (above average) rains in the month of March, dead vegetation such as last year’s grass and brush can dry out fast from the sun. When afternoon winds develop, that’s enough to carry a fire out of control. Dead grass and brush can burn even though there is moisture in areas on the ground,” stated Randall Baley, Fire Planner with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Overall, we are way behind in precipitation averages such as snow pack and rainfall over the duration of winter. We need to get into good habits of being careful. Fires have occurred in the past couple of weeks from various types of debris burning and some have escaped the control of the landowner”.
The following are considerations when debris burning during your SPRING CLEAN UP. These practices may not prevent a fire from spreading, but they do decrease the risks to the landowner:
1. Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. Extra people and tools may be necessary to control your fire.
2. Clear around your burn area to mineral soil to eliminate the fire spreading to dead and down material or green vegetation.
3. Check the weather -- don’t burn on dry, windy days.
4. Be sure to stay with your fire until it is “out”; “from first flame to the last spark”.
5. Check your burn regularly and frequently. Check your piles for hidden hot spots by digging into the piles, after the fire appears to be “dead out” and after the wind has blown in the area.
The Oregon Department of Forestry does not require a burn permit at this time, BUT other fire protection agencies/departments do require permits. Please contact your local fire department for current requirements, as well as the 882-BURN number. Remember those within the Klamath Falls Air Quality Zone may only use burning as a clean-up tool between April 4th and April 19thth.
The Oregon Department of Forestry, and other area fire districts and agencies, would like to encourage you to develop a potentially survivable space on your property for high fire danger times of year. Information on fire protecting your property may be obtained from the Oregon Department of Forestry and other fire protection agencies. If you decide to use burning as a tool to dispose of debris in your clean up, consider all risks in your decision. Be sure that you have taken every precaution before burning, and double check the burn area after it appears to be dead out.
# # # # #
The board on Thursday heard that exchange leaders have narrowed down their options to two choices -- continue to try to fix the state exchange or go to the federal one.
Dr. Bruce Goldberg, interim Director of Cover Oregon, say this is a complicated and important decision.
"We have to get this right. It's a big decision and we have to take the time to get it right. We have a short window over the next few weeks and both options need to be fully vetted before we can make that final decision."
The option of using another state's exchange was taken off the table because it was considered too risky and would take too long.
Negative ads by fellow Republicans are starting to hit the airwaves.
Jason Conger doesn't appreciate their tone or inaccuracy.
"Republican Jason Cogner voted with Democrats for Oregon's Obamacare. Not once or twice or three or four times, but Republican Jason Conger voted five times for Oregon's Obamacare."
Conger says the ads come from the Monica Wehby campaign.
"It's an outright lie. Anyone who hears them will be turned off by the obnoxious tone and no state lawmakers vote on federal law and people will recognize that."
People will start getting their ballots in just a couple weeks and election day is May 20th.
The winner in the Republican primary will face Jeff Merkley in November.
We've spent 134 million on it, but people still cannot go on the Cover Oregon website and sign up for plans from beginning to end.
Don Silver, the author of the book "The Best Obamacare Guide" says a decision has to come soon.
"But the clock is ticking the next open enrollment is November 15th and it's almost April 15 and that's practically seven months away. And you have to get everything to work. I just don't see how you can continue on the current path for 21 months and doing everything by hand is going to work."
A report recently found fixing the current site is far more expensive than hooking up with the federal exchange or another state's exchange.
Both those options would be cheaper and take less time.
Governor Kitzhaber extended the enrollment period through the end of April.
Arian Holm with Cover Oregon says they are warning people not to wait until the last minute.
"Time is running out to apply for Cover Oregon. Oregonians have until April 30th to submit applications. That's just about two weeks away , so people should apply now and not wait until April 30th."
You can apply either through an insurance agent or community partner or through the Cover Oregon website, but the website has to process some of the applications by hand.
The next enrollment period starts mid November.
School Board Chair Don Hedrick says last month's school board meeting, people made their opinion clear.
"Well, since our last meeting, the community made very clear at that meeting they don't want a four day week. So what we're trying to do is come up with other ways to solve our budget problem. We got a number of suggestions we're following up on some of those suggestions."
The school board met Wednesday night and heard more suggestions on ways to cut the budget or raise revenue to balance the budget.
They are looking at consolidating schools and attracting more students to the district to get there.
In May, the school board plans to make a final decision on what to do.
The former First Lady was speaking at Oregon's International speaker series -- featuring women changing the world.
Clinton told the group a nation's economic prosperity is limited when women are excluded from schools and workplaces.
She says foreign leaders were most receptive when she'd make an economic argument for women's rights.
She says the U.S. has a ways to go to close the pay gap between men and women.
April 9, 2014
COCC Board chooses to not hire for president, extends search
The Central Oregon Community College Board of Directors has decided not to hire a new president for the College at this time. COCC Board Chair Bruce Abernethy said the board has determined there are unanswered questions that provide concern and that the College needs to move forward.
Following an Executive Session meeting, the Board passed a resolution to “not hire” any of the candidates, and to “extend the search.” The Board did not make a formal decision on a timeline for the next phase of the search, but did indicate it would likely start the process back up in the fall. No decision has been made as to who will serve as president after June 30, when current president Jim Middleton is scheduled to retire. The Board also scheduled a meeting next week to continue the conversation.
“It is very disappointing to have gone through this process, involved so many members of the campus and the community, yet not be able to hire at this time,” Abernethy said. “I want to thank the members of the Search Advisory Committee and everyone who participated in the interview process. I know they will all be disappointed with this news.”
The college conducted a national search, beginning last fall. A 17-member Search Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members, screened all of the applications and selected three candidates whom the Board invited for interviews. After the interviews, the Board identified Dr. Patrick Lanning as the top candidate and then began what it hoped were the final steps.
Director of College Relations
Central Oregon Community College
Central Oregon Community College News Release below:
The groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday at the site -- which is the former Ochocco Lumber site.
The hospital's CEO, Jeanie Gentry says it will be more patient-friendly.
"Actually it isn't larger, it's smaller than the current square footage. That's because it's more efficient and make it more patient centered. When I go to the doctors office I want it in a short amount of space and to not have to repeat my info 15 times."
The new healthcare campus will include primary and specialty care along with an E-R department and surgery suites.
The new hospital should be completed by the fall of 2015.
The bill aims to slash pay disparities between men and women.
Women still earn less than men, on average 77 cents to the one dollar men earn.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley says the legislation will give equal pay for equal work.
"Here's the bottom line, the pay gap costs Oregon families thousands of dollars and takes away the equality and fairness they deserve and I hope all my senate colleagues join in this fight."
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day -- and President Obama marked the day by signing two executive actions aimed at strengthening existing equal pay laws.
The latest polls out late last week show Conger only 7 percentage points behind incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.
Conger's Republican opponent Monica Wehby is 12 percentage points behind.
Conger says he's excited about the latest numbers.
"It shows our message is resonating with Republicans and there's also a lot of support with swing voters and independents. When we look deeper in the polls, I'm ahead of Jeff Merkley by 7 percentage points and 15 percentage points above Wehby and that's critical. YOu have to be able to win statewide."
Conger is greatly encouraged to be within seven percentage points behind Merkley this early in the race.
Her campaign has announced she has raised more than one million dollars for her race.
Wehby faces State Representative Jason Conger and a couple other candidates in next month's Republican primary.
Wehby herself has contributed 52-hundred dollars to her campaign.
Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley is seeking a second term. He's raised more than four million dollars.
24 year old Christopher Labauve was arrested for brekaing into the home of an elerly couple.
Police say a highly intoxicated Labauve entered the home of Robert and Beverly Johnson Sunday night through a back door and found the couple in the living room.
The 73 year old Robert confronted the man and chased him to a back bedroom and tackled him and held him down until law enforcement arrived.
Labauve had a 18 inch knife in his waist band, but he did not use it against the Johnsons.
Labauve was arrested and charged with burglary and criminal trespassing, but he was released because there was not enough jail space.
Bend police are looking for a missing 15 year old with asperger syndrome and autism.
15 year old Ken Schuchman is 5'9" and weighs 140 pounds, with short brown hair and eyes.
He was last seen wearing a "mustard" colored hooded sweatshirt, a "breaking bad" black t-shirt with white lettering, blue jeans, and he was carrying a gray backpack.
He was last seen at his home around 1:30 early this (Tue) morning.
he is likely to be walking and has been known to ride public busses. anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Bend Police. The non-emergency number for 911 is 541-693-6911.
News Release below:
Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Date & Time of Incident: 04/08/14 / 0130
Type of Incident: Missing Person
Location of Incident: 20623 Sierra Drive
Kenneth Currin Schuchman
15 years of age
White male, 5’09”, 140 pounds, short brown hair, brown eyes
Last seen wearing: “mustard” colored hooded sweatshirt, “Breaking Bad” black tshirt with white lettering, blue jeans, carrying a gray backpack.
Diagnosed: Asperger Syndrome and Autism Disorder
The Bend Police Department is actively trying to locate Kenneth Currin Schuchman. He is a 15 year old juvenile diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and Autism Disorder. He left his residence at about 0130 hours earlier on this date. He is believed to be walking, without access to a vehicle, and has been known to ride public busses.
Anyone with information about Kenneth Schuchman’s whereabouts or observes someone that resembles him is asked to contact the Bend Police at 541-693-6911.
Deschutes County Search and Rescue K-9 Team to assist with Washington State search efforts
DATE: April 4, 2014
BY: Lt. Scott Shelton
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
Search and Rescue Coordinator
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will deploy a K-9 Search team to the community of Oso in the foothills the Cascade Moutains, Northeast of Seattle.
Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton has been in contact with Snohomish County Sheriff Sheriff’s Office and has offered the assistance of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team and staff.
In support of the ongoing search efforts in the devastated community of Oso, Deschutes County SAR K-9 “meg” her handler and a flanker will be deployed to the area on Friday April 4, 2014. The team will be deployed for approximately 5 days.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will continue to offer assistance to our neighbors in Washington as long as the search continues.
It was on this week's agenda, but Deschutes County legal counsel decided to withdraw the request to broaden the definition.
Laurie Craghead explained the action to commissioners.
"The timing was bad on how we brought it forward. Our intent was for the use to be qualfiied, but unfortunately it raised the ire of some and so we recommend we remain with the current defintion. O.K."
The commissioners did take some public comment, but said they will revisit this issue in the future.
The definition of what constitutes a church just applies to the county -- not home churches in the city of Bend.
The city plans to break ground in early May and will start taking bids from contractors Thursday.
That means the facility wil be done by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
Project Manager Heidi Lansdowne says it will be more than a year late to meet the federal government's deadline to be treating the water for parasites like cyptosporidium.
"For a project this size and complexity, it's gonna take awhile to be completed. It should be done by December 2015 or Janaury 2016. It's a big building with technical equipment and piping. It's a 30 million dollar project."
Lansdowne says they are in contact with the Oregon Health Authority about the timeline. The filtration plant is supposed to be operaitng by October 2014, but the OHS says contact them then and they'll discuss what the options are.
Foster Fell is starting to collect signatures to put a measure on the ballot that would make sure the river remains healthy and may require the city to build fish passage before any projects go forward.
"They would prohibit any tax money -- any project that would detract from the river regarding fish passage. They need to maintain the health of the river. There are standards that are accepted to maintain river health such as river temperature, dissolve oxygen and sediment and algae in the river."
Fell is creating a website, "Free the River.org" to collect signatures. Supporters must gather 7-thousand signatures by August 7th, to be put on the November ballot.
The Redmond City Council has to vote *again* on the whether or not to ban medical marijuana. The Redmond City Council passed a 1 year medical marijuana moratorium on Tuesday. But it's back to the drawing board today.
Mayor George Endicott says they just heard from the state, The Oregon Health Authority, that any ordinance has to say it "expires" on May 1st to 2015.
"Ourselves- Sisters and potentially about 30 other cities passed ordinances- and now we have to do a "do-over" after all of the expense and effort - because of that late arriving direction from the state."
The council will re-vote this coming Tuesday...
The deadline for cities and counties to have the new ordinances in place in order to qualify for the one year ban is May 1st.
The state legislature paved the way for local governments to restrict medical marijuana dispensaries until May 1st, 2015.
TUNE IN FOR OUR LIVE DEBATE BETWEEN DESCHUTES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PATRICK FLAHERTY AND CHALLENGER JOHN HUMMEL. CALL IN AT 388-1110 OR EMAIL QUESTIONS AT LORI@KBND.COM BY 7:30A THURSDAY, APRIL 3RD.
The deadline to do so ended Monday night. Oregonians have until the end of April to sign up because of all our website problems at Cover Oregon.
Linda Hendrix of Bend is self employed and used to buy her health insurance on the individual market.
She says she signed up through Cover Oregon and got a better plan than she had -- for less money.
"Well for me it's good, but I know it's not good for eveyrone. I think they'll keep working on it. I feel pretty good about working out the kinks and everything so."
The latest polls show Americans still split on Obamacare -- 49 percent support it, while 48 percent oppose it.
The university wants to put it on the westside and is seeking approval from the city of Bend to develop the site.
But many residents on that side of town are fighting those plans.
Bend City Manager Eric King says the OSU Cascades application is in front of a city of Bend hearings officer.
"The process becomes more formal and the city needs to be netural as we go through the application process. The city needs to be careful as any developer who would be applying . We have to review their application based on criteria in our code."
City councilors are anticipating to hear an appeal on the university's plan for the new campus.
This issue could ultimately land in front of the State Land Use Board of Appeals.
Esterman is taking on incumbent Deschutes County Commisisoner Tony Debone.
He recently talked with Lars Larson about some controversial land use issues.
"On farm land, people want to hold weddings, but they have to pay permit fees. I think these permit fees are really just a way to create revenue more than anything. Because if you want to do a event in Deschutes County, if you have 500 people its $35, but if its 501, it's $2500 dollars.
Esterman is an event coordinator and photographer by profession.
Whoever wins the Republican primary for commissioner, wil face Democrat Jodie Barram in the fall.
Judge Barbara Haslinger is retiring and that's creating the opening.
He is facing local attorney Randy Miller for the judgeship.
"I think our current court is occupied mainly by criminal law matters. I've tried over one hundred jury trials. And I think that's a factor I've had trial experience in circuit court. The only qualification for judge is that you're a lawyer and passed the Oreogn State Bar. However, I think people need to look at the background and experience the candidates have."
There was a third candidate for Judge, Steven Kurzer, but he has withdrawn from the race, but his name will still be on the May ballot.
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