BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces criminal charges after a trophy class 205" mule deer was killed under what investigators are calling suspicious circumstances. The deer was found dead over the weekend in the Metolius Wildlife Management Unit. 54-year old Danny Davidson later provided a full confession to the illegal harvest of the buck deer.
Davidson was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of the illegal take of the buck deer and hunting on the enclosed lands of another.
The plant's roof collpased a couple weeks ago after heavy snow.
Production was halted, while the company decided what to do.
Workers were asked to attend a meeting at the Crook County Fairgrounds Tuesday, where they learned most of them, about 200, would be laid off.
The company is keeping 36 full time jobs in other operations not affected by the roof collapse.
The ski hill had hoped to offer a couple more lifts to skiers by mid week, but rain has reduced conditions.
Mt. Bachelor is actually going to be closed on Thursday, but they hope to open some of those lifts on Friday.
The Nordic Center will also be closed Wednesday and Thanksgiving.
The judge sentenced Richard Gustafson to nearly 33 years behind bars.
He imposed a slightly longer sentence than the 31 year mandatory minimum sentence requried by Ballot Measure 11.
Gustafson was found guilty on 11 counts of first degree sex abuse and 20 counts of encouraging child sex abuse.
The judge also imposed when Gustafson gets out of prison, he must not have any contact with the victims or their families or with minors and while in prison he must undergo sex offender treatment. He is forbidden to possess alcohol or controlled substances.
The Deschutes County Commissioners just approved a new plan that shows how the county figures out how to use its limited equipment and personnel when snow falls.
The head of the Roads Department, Chris Doty explains how they go about it.
"We've divided the county into 16 snow zones and we dispatch equipment and personnel around the urban areas -- mainly in the Bend, Redmond, Sisters and LaPine areas. We get arterials opened up in the communities and between the communities."
The cities plow the roads within the city limits and the county handles the rest -- about 900 miles of roadway.
To view the plan, go to county's website and click on the roads department to find the snow and ice removal plan.
BEND, OR -- The Humane Society of Central Oregon is now caring for 35 dogs seized from a property on the east side of Bend. Two women have been charged with 35 counts of aggravated animal neglect. Read the full story on the animal seizure, HERE.
Lynne Ouchida tells KBND News the dogs are now being evaluated and cared for at the Bend shelter. "The conditions of the dogs vary in terms of externally and in terms of how they were housed: Dirt, feces, etc. Some others were in relatively good shape. There's a wide range of the level of care needed for these animals."
A decision has not yet been made as to when or whether the dogs will be available for adoption, pending the ongoing criminal investigation. Ouchida says, "We're just waiting to find out if these animals will be released to us, or if it's going to be a long-going case. If that's the case, we really need resources from the community to care for these animals."
The Humane Society of Central Oregon is asking for the public's help. They're asking for donations to help cover the cost of medical care, tests, treatment and other expenses. You can donate online at HSCO's website. They are also in need of canned dog food, pill pockets and spray/canned cheese (for medication), peanut butter and interactive toys, gallon and quart size ziplock bags, and groomers.
CENTRAL OREGON -- Another arctic cold front is expected to move across the region by this coming holiday weekend. The cold front is expected to drop southward out of canada late Friday night and on Saturday. High temperatures on saturday will be in the 30s and 40s... Cooling to the 20s and 30s on Sunday and Monday. Overnight lows will be mostly in the teens... Locally in the single digits in the mountains. There is a possibility of snow or a mix of snow... Freezing rain and rain beginning late Friday night and continuing through the weekend into early next week. Those traveling this weekend are urged to keep aware of the latest forecasts as this event unfolds.
BEND, OR -- It’s the season of heading “over the river and through the woods” through less than ideal weather and road conditions. Lisa Stroup with the Oregon Mountain River Chapter of the Red Cross says with a little advance prep, your car can be a safe haven … even in extreme conditions. "It’s really important, and I know it can be expensive sometimes, but make sure your car is full of fuel all the time. That’s a good backup to have heat and a place to be. Water is very important."
Stroup suggests drivers create a “go bag” and keep it in their vehicle in case of a crash or a breakdown. She says, "that kit in your car with the ability to stay warm- extra clothes, extra socks, blankets, water, some backup food, flashlight … basic things, again, things we probably have in our house already that we can gather up, put in a duffel bag and put it in our car in less than 15 minutes."
for a list of ideas from the Red Cross for your car's emergency kit.
LA PINE, OR -- An apparent neighbor dispute turned tense in La Pine, yesterday. Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies responded to Railroad Street just before 6 p.m., after a report of shots fired in the area. Investigators say dogs belonging to 52-year old Monte Hamilton were on a neighbor's property when he returned home. Hamilton allegedly confronted the neighbor, which turned into a physical altercation. Hamilton then returned home, allegedly loaded his shotgun and fired one shot into the ground in his yard.
No one was injured during the incident, but Hamilton now faces a list of charges, including menacing and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
BEND, OR -- More than 30 dogs were seized after they were found in squalid conditions at a Bend property, yesterday morning. Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at the location on bend's east side, where they found the dogs stored in cages and kennels, many living in their own waste and lacking food and water. DCSO says many suffered from a range of health conditions, including tooth decay and severe emaciation.
55-year old Goldie Coats and 71-year old Sonya Henderson each face dozens of animal neglect charges ... they were cited and released, yesterday.
The dogs were removed and placed into shelter.
BEND, OR -- Executive Chef Bill Ballard says you don't have to get stuck in a rut, this Thanksgiving. He spoke with KBND News and provided a few recipe ideas to help dress up your dinner table:
Sausage Pear and Cornbread Stuffing
Enough stuffing for a 20-pound turkey:
1.5 sticks Butter, salted
2.5 cups Onions, yellow, chopped
3 Pears, cored and diced
1 pound Sage sausage, loose
3 cups Cornbread, crumbled
3 cups Whole wheat bread, crumbled
3 cups French bread, crumbled
2 teaspoons Thyme, dried
2 teaspoons Sage
Salt and pepper to taste
.5 cup Italian parsely, chopped
1.5 cups Pecans, shelled
1. Melt half of the butter in a medium skillet, and onions and cook until tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add pears and cook till lightly colored, but not mushy. Transfer to mixing bowl.
3. Crumble the sausage in the skillet and cook till light brown.
4. Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine. Cool completely and stuff the bird.
Baked Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash, cut in 1/2
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
Toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries, as needed
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of the squash cavities and discard.
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, allspice, butter, nutmeg, syrup, salt and pepper, to taste. Rub the squash cavities with the butter mixture and place cut side down on a baking sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Top with toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries.
Bourbon Pumpkin Raisin Ice Cream
4 cups Half and half
2 cups Heavy cream
4 Egg yolks
32 ounces Sugar
.25 ounce Cinnamon
16 ouces Pumpkin puree`
Juice of one Lemon
1 ounce Bourbon
2 ounces Raisins
1. Heat half and half and heavy cream together to 150 degrees. Do not scorch.
2. Whisk together eggs, cinnamon and sugar.
3. Temper the egg mix with a bit of the cream.
4. Add eggs mixture to cream mixture, heat to 170 degrees, do not boil.
5. Add lemon juice to pumpkin.
6. Add bourbon to the raisins in a medium saucepan over medium heat and ignite, plump the raisins.
7. Fold raisins into pumpkin and finally into cream mixture.
8. Coolin a stainless bowl inserted in an ice bath.
9. Freeze in an ice cream machine.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon continues to add jobs, but our unemployment rates haven't moved. That's because more people are entering the work force, optimsitic they can now find work. Regional Economist Damon Runberg says Deschutes County in particular is seeing a lot of population growth. "We're seeing that in the labor force figures. People who were unemployed are coming back to the labor force. They are more optimistic they can find work again. So these discouraged workers are being encouraged. And that's a big reason why we're not seeing improvements to the employment rate. And that's actually good news-- those folks are coming back to the labor force right now."
Deschutes County's unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, while Jefferson Coutny's is around 9 percent and Crook County's is ten percent. Jefferson and Crook County both saw a significant boost in manufacturing jobs.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police have arrested a Madras man in connection with gunshots fired at Redmond strip club over the weekend. 31-year old Miguel Estrada was arrested and charged with several crimes including unlawful possession and manufacture of cocaine, and assault charges. Investigators say Estrada's gun discharged in an argument with another person at the club involving money over an old debt.
It's believed the gun unintentionally fired during the altercation. One person suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, which was not life-threatening. Another person was injured as a result of broken glass. Miguel Estrada was lodged in the Deschutes County jail.
REDMOND, OR -- Pavement work began in September as part of a multi-phase project to maintain the airport's runways. Work included asphalt runway reconstruction and drainage improvements and new runway lights. This portion of the project was completed in 77 days and was within budget. The remaining construction in this phase will be completed this coming spring.
BEND, OR -- The city opened the new roundabout at 15th and Reed Market Road last Friday. It was slated to open a week earlier, but it was delayed by all the snow that hit the region. City Engineer Ryan Oster says it was good news to a lot of drivers who live near there. "It opened up Friday afternoon. The traffic was in it by 3 P.M. it was very helpful to those traveling north and south on 15th. They no longer have to take the detour on to 9th. So we now have full access 15th to 27th along Reed Market as well."
Traffic on Reed Market between Third and Ninth Street will remain one lane until next year. The whole Reed Market project is expected to wrap up in the fall of 2015.
BEND, OR -- The latest population estimates from Portland State University show Deschutes County grew by nearly 3900 people. Risa Prohel is with PSU's Population Research Center: "Deschutes County's population increased by 2.4%, and that's a lot higher than the state's growth rate. That means 3800 were added 2013, 2014, so population growth is number one of all of Oregon's counties in the past year."
The other top growth counties were Hood River, Washington, Gilliam and Clackamas counties. The state's population increased by 43,000 in the last year -- an increase of just 1.1%.
BEND, OR -- Christmas tree permits are now available in Central Oregon. Kassidy Kern with the Deschutes National Forest: " We invite the public to come out and cut their Christmas tree out on the Deschutes or Ochoco National Forest." Kern tells KBND, "It's a fun, family outing."
She says, if you pick up a permit at a forestry office, they can provide information on where to find different types of trees. "I think that there are a lot of people who still get Lodgepole or Ponderosa Pine; they are going to be your lower elevation trees. So, if you're looking for those fir species, you're going to have to go up to a higher elevation." Forest Service officials are warning that weather in higher elevations can turn cold and unpredictable very quickly.
For more information about permit costs and locations, visit the Forest Service's website.
BEND, OR -- A school bus carrying six students rolled over down an embankement when the driver lost control Saturday morning. just before 10 a.m., the bus slid off the road at milepost 15.5 on Century Drive west of Bend. It went through the eastbound lane and down an embankment, rolled twice, and finally came to rest against trees 50 feet from the road.
Oregon State Police report one student was taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with minor injuries. Russell Johnson, 55, from Prineville, was driving a cross country ski team from Prineville to Mt. Bachelor at the time of the crash.
BEND, OR -- The newly elected head of the Deschutes County Republican Party is thought to be one of the youngest in the country. 19-year old Reagan Knopp, son of State Senator Tim Knopp, was just elected to the post. Reagan Knopp believes he can help attract new voters. "We're going to be focused on new ways to contact voters and modernizing it by new technologies, like Greg Walden did in national elections, but we'll use it locally. And, we'll be taking our message to the voters and tailor our message. And, I think you'll see us being successful in 2016."
Knopp tells KBND News he's excited about plans for the local party. "We're going to be reaching out to the community through letters to the editors and social media, and we're bringing a new message. The Republican brand is not highly regared, and we want voters to know our agenda and what we're for." He is a student at COCC and worked for two years as a legislative assistant in Salem. He has also worked as a grassroots volunteer, field director and deputy campaign manager.
BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor will open on a limited basis on Monday, November 24th, several days ahead of schedule. Management had planned to open by Thanksgiving weekend, but moved that date up after the area was blanketed in snow. Drew Jackson with Mt. Bachelor says it's a good sign for the season. "We're really optimistic about the way the season is starting. Summer really went on into the fall, but now that theweather has turned and snow is falling, we have high hopes for big snow totals this weekend and we're really excited and set for a great start and a good weekend coming up."
Jackson says it'll be a soft opening, Monday. "We will have the Accelerator Lift open and a little terrain park and also the Nordic Center." He tells KBND News, "With the forecast for the weekend calling for more snow, hopefully that will allow us to open more lifts next week. Monday and Tuesday, the Sunshine Accelerator Lift will be open 9-4. They hope to open the Pine Martin and Skyliner lifts by Wednesday.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond police are ruling the death of a Redmond man found in a burned out car an accident. After an extensive investigation, Redmond PD says 21-year old Sam Villa died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Friday, November 14, at about 11 p.m., Redmond Fire and Police responded to NW 21st near Larch Ave and extinguished a car fire. Villa's body was discovered in the back seat. Witnesses say Villa got stuck in heavy snow earlier in the night. While a nearby resident tried to help him, he appeared severely intoxicated and upset about his situation. Villa was reportedly revving the engine in an attempt to move the car, and got stuck a couple more times.
Investigators believe the fire started in the engine compartment as a result of the revving engine. They believe Villa climbed into the backseat of the car to rest or sleep and kept the engine running to stay warm.
An autopsy was conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, indicating Villa was alive at the time of the fire. There were no signs of trauma and no indications that his death was anything other than an accident.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor-elect Casey Roats appeared in court Wednesday, as he continues to fight to take his seat on the city council. A lawsuit was filed earlier this month, claiming Roats didn't meet the city's residency requirement to be elected, and shouldn't be allowed to take office. In court yesterday, a judge ruled that any deposition with Roats must wait until the court considers a motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit. That motion is expected to be heard next week.
The plaintiff's attorney, Charlie Ringo, tried to impose an injunction to stop the city council from voting on Roats' elgibility, but the judge refused to grant that motion. City councilors voted last night to meet with Roats in a closed session on December 1st to discuss his eligibility. They expect to then decide whether he will be certified with the other two newly elected councilors on December 3rd. City Manager Eric King tells KBND News, the city's charter dictates councilors decide such eligibility issues, not the state government or the courts.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s newest middle school under construction near Summit High will remain nameless … for now. School board members discussed a list of names presented by the school’s principal, but all were rejected. Board member Andy High says it wasn’t that the names were bad, but they’re looking for something that properly reflects the school’s purpose.
"If you look at the design, it’s very innovative; it’s going to be very different from our other middle schools. And, it’s really set up to help young people to learn going into the future, because a lot of the jobs we’re training them for, aren’t even in existence yet," he said. "So, I think that’s the idea. It wasn’t the rejection of the names; it was ‘is this the identity as we want to move forward.’"
High says ‘Bachelor Butte,’ ‘Bridge Creek,’ ‘Deschutes River’ and ‘Manzanita’ are not completely off the table. "What the board did was challenge the committee a little bit more, to make sure this is the identity going forward. Not so much that these are terrible names, it was ‘is this the identity,’ and ‘does this fit with how we’re trying to change that type of education at the middle school level?’"
High says the board asked the committee to reconsider some of the estimated 1,000 names submitted by the public to see if any of them better represent the school’s style. The new middle school is scheduled to open to students next fall.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a rush to make sure rural TV subscribers don't lose access to local channels at the first of the year, the U.S. House passed the STELA reauthorization on Wednesday. The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act provides rural TV users to access local channles through satellite providers. Oregon Congressman Greg Walden authored the bill, and says this version of the bill is a compromise with the Senate. "Now, by coming together to produce legislation with strong bipartison, bicameral support, we've demonstrated our commitment to the continued availability of broadcast programming to millions of subscribers. And, to some targeted, and in some cases much-needed reforms, to our communications laws."
Walden testified on the House floor yesterday that if Congress doesn't act by the end of the session, "a million and a half subscribers to satellite television, including many in my home state of Oregon, won't have access to broadcast network programming, come New Years Day."
The STELA reauthorization passed the House yesterday, and is now headed to the Senate.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond city officials took extreme steps overnight to remove the four-foot high piles of snow from a stretch of downtown. Mayor George Endicott says crews shut down four blocks of sixth street from 6 p.m. until 5:30 this morning, and hauled away 45 truck-loads of snow. "The idea was try and smooth out the rough road, clear the sidewalks and clear the parking spots, to open that up in anticipation of the holiday season."
Endicott says it’s the first time they’ve taken such measures, and calls the effort a success.
BEND, OR -- A pot of food left cooking on the stove is blamed for an apartment fire in Bend, Tuesday morning. Bend Fire crews responded to the apartment complex at NE 4th and Norton Ave. just after 10 a.m. and found the apartment unoccupied and full of smoke. The building was evacuated and crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire.
Bend fire says a passing delivery driver heard the smoke alarms, saw smoke through the windows and called 911. The resident apparently left for work with the pot still on the hot stove. Most of the clothing and contents in that apartment are considered a loss, due to extensive smoke damage.
MADRAS, OR -- The final results were posted Tuesday night- Mae Huston will be Jefferson County's newest county commissioner. On election night, the two candidates- Huston and Tom Brown- were only separated by one vote. But Jefferson County had outstanding ballots coming in from other counties and challenged ballots that needed to be considered.
The final tally was 3028 for Huston and 3016 for Brown.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The controversial Keystone Pipeline Vote in the Senate Tuesday went down to defeat by one vote. The vote would've allowed Canada to build a piepline thorugh the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is in a tight December runoff and had hoped to push the measure through.
Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has been a staunch opponent of the pipeline and spoke against it on the Senate floor. "And the argument goes that this will strengthen our national security by decreasing our dependnce on oil in the MIddle East. But they're overlooking the fact that this is not American oil, It's Canadian oil and it's being sent down to the gulf to be exported. The Tar Sands do nothing more for the U.S. as if it were exported through Canada to the world market."
Merkley says the pipeline would turn on the faucet for the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet and would increase global warming.
REDMOND, OR -- The body of 19-year old Jamie Garr was found in a canal Sunday morning. She was last seen at Timbers Tavern around 11 p.m. Saturday night, and she was reported missing at around 3 a.m. after friends and family couldn't find her. Police were told Garr was intoxicated when she left the bar. Lt. Mike Kidwell with the Redmond Police Department says, "We were told there had been some sort of argument between the two of them and gotten separated at that point. She had last been seen by another witness at the back of Timbers."
Lt. Kidwell says this is a fatal reminder of the dangers of drinking. "When you combine alcohol and extremely cold weather, that brings on the dangerous effects and the onset of hypothermia." He says, "We caution people if you are going to be drinking, take a taxi, get a ride from someone, don't try to walk in the extremely cold weather."
The investigative report is being forwarded to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for possible action against an establishment that served an underage patron.
MADRAS, OR -- Nearly a dozen Jefferson County dogs have been placed in foster homes during this week's freezing conditions. The Three Rivers Humane Society in Madras has only 10 indoor kennels, which are currently at capacity with young puppies. Megan Wellinghoff, Executive Director for the Bend Spay and Neuter Project tells KBND News shelter workers were doing their best, given the conditions. "They have been busy shoveling snow and making sure the dogs have not frozen water, food and they're as comfortable as they can make them. So, I think they had been really overwhelmed," she said. "So, we saw a chance to give them foster homes, for the dogs that were staying in the outdoor kennels."
Bend Spay and Neuter issued a plea for help on their facebook page. "We thought about asking the shelter for help here in Bend, but just figured there's no reason to give them more work, when there's all these community members who are willing to take these dogs into their homes." Wellinghoff added, "The dogs also get to lay be a fire and be with a family instead of having to go into another shelter setting."
Wellinghoff says this is not an isolated issue. "These dogs are always outside, every night. Not just during these extremely cold temperatures, but every night. So, there's always a need for foster homes, not just right now." She said, "I encouraged the people that didn't get dogs to contact the shelter and let them know they were available to foster at other times as well."
Two Madras vet clinics took in 7 of the dogs. Bend Spay and Neuter then transported seven others to Bend, where they were placed in foster homes. Shelter officials hope all the dogs will be able to remain indoors until this cold snap is over. The Three Rivers Humane Society is looking for grants and donations to help build a new shelter facility.
BEND, OR -- The body of 39-year old Bend man Benjamin Newkirk was recovered from Middle Sister late Sunday morning. Newkirk was found 800 to 900 feet below where he fell from, near the summit. He fell Wednesday evening, althogh whiteout conditions, extreme cold and ice forced searchers off the mountain until Sunday.
Volunteers and SAR units from Eugene, Corvallis and Bend took part in yesterday's recovery effort. While Newkirk was reportedly an experienced climber, Sgt. John Miller with the Lane County Sheriff's Office says it appears he was not dressed for the extreme weather.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are investigating the death of a person found inside a burned out vehicle, Friday night. Firefighters responded to a car fire just after 11 p.m. Friday. Redmond PD Sgt Curtis Chambers says, "Redmond Police and Fire responded to a vehicle fire on NW 21st Street and NW Larch Ave. After Fire and Rescue put out the vehicle fire, a deceased person was found inside. An investigation into the cause of th fire and the manner and cause of death is ongoing."
Sgt. Chambers says the vehicle was completely destroyed in that fire. "It was a residential area off main roads. We have tentatively identified the person and his family has been notified. We fully expect an autopsy to be conducted in the next few days." Redmond PD asks anyone who may have been in the area late Friday night and might have seen a suspicious person or car, to call investigators at 541-693-6911.
BEND, OR -- A small attic fire forced a Bend family out of their home, early Monday morning.
Before Bend Fire and Rescue arrived on South Queens Drive, the homeowners had doused most of the flames with a pan and water from the kitchen sink.
Wiring was damaged, so power had to be shut off to the home. Red Cross provided translation services, lodging, food and clothing to three adults and two children. Damage is estimated at around $2,500.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Slick roads are thought to be the main factor in a slew of crashes across Central Oregon, Thursday. A 91-year old man was killed when he lost control of his pickup on Highway 26 east of Prineville, just before 1 p.m. Robert Akins' truck went down an embankment and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two juveniles were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a separate crash in Crook County, Thursday morning. The Chevy truck they were driving caught fire after rolling on SE Juniper Canyon Road.
On Highway 97 near Sunriver, a driver suffered minor injuries when he lost control on the icy roadway and rolled his Dodge pickup, just after 11:30 Thursday morning. The driver of that pickup was unable to avoid an SUV that had slid into oncoming traffic. The SUV driver was not hurt.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police and Fire have responded to a report of a building collapse on Southeast Railroad and Veterans Way. Employees of Hooker Creek, across the street from the industrial building, called 9-1-1 just after 9 a.m. after the roof collapsed on the backside of the building. Witnesses report there was no one inside at the time of the collapse.
According to Redmond FD, the southern portion of the structure collapsed just after 9 a.m., Friday. Power lines were damaged and gas was leaking from the building when crews arrived. The sprinkler system had ruptured and water was flowing from the pipes.
Cascade Natural Gas, Pacific Power and Redmond Public Works also responded to the building at 1559 SE Railroad Blvd.
We'll have more information as it becomes available.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police and Fire responded this morning to Woodgrain Millwork, north of downtown Prineville after a report of a roof collapse. Employees immediately evacuated. However, Prineville PD confirmed to KBND News one person suffered minor injuries when he fell during the evacuation.
We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
CLOSED Friday, November 14th:
Bend-La Pine Schools
Jefferson Co 509J Schools
Crook Co Schools
Trinity Lutheran School
Central Christian School
Redmond's Roberts Field re-opened at 2 p.m.
Redmond Area Parks & Rec has closed the Redmond pool and the Activity Center, and all RAPRD programs scheduled for Friday are canceled.
Pure Care Dental in Bend is closed.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend AND of Redmond/Terrebonne are closed.
The Humane Society of Central Oregon (in Bend) is closed. And, the Brightside Animal Center in Redmond is closed, as well.
St Charles Family Care in Bend is closed.
Crook and Jefferson County Circuit Court offices will close at noon Friday.
From the City of Bend: This winter storm has delayed the opening of the roundabout under construction at Reed Market Road and 15th Street. The new roundabout was scheduled to open today, November 14. Crews have continued to install signs and poles during this winter weather. The only thing left to do before opening the intersection and eliminating the detour is the striping on the ground.
However, striping machines don’t work in freezing weather and the paint won’t stick with the snow falling.
We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
BEND, OR -- All Central Oregon school districts shut down Friday due to the winter weather. However, parents are questioning the Bend-La Pine School District's decision to remain open Thursday, when all other districts closed. Parents dropping off students at High Desert Middle School in Bend thought conditions were unsafe. The school parking lots were not plowed, so it was pretty deep snow. And, the sidewalks were not cleared for the kids. Even the bus lane hadn't been plowed," said a Bend mom. "The cars were slipping around and people were having a hard time getting going with the deep snow, so it was kind of a fiasco." A mom at Jewell Elementary said she saw cars sliding durnig morning drop-off, Thursday. "It had snowed since they'd been through, so it was compact snow and ice, very slick. And, not a real good job clearing sidewalks for the kids, either. And, they told the kids no recess." She added, "They can't get there, they can't go out for recess. I'm not really sure why you wouldn't just call school."
Jay Mathisen, assistant Superintendent for Bend-La Pine Schools said over a dozen crews worked multiple sites at once to clear the snow. "We had a small window of time between 3:45 and 7, where we did as much as we could on as many campuses as possible. And then, if parents came in after that, because the snow was coming down so hard and accumulating so quickly, the first places that got plowed looked like they hadn't been touched." He said the decision to close or delay school is made at or before 5 a.m. each day during incelement weather. "At the time we made the decision, we didn't feel that we had road conditions that warranted a 2-hour delay. We felt that if we moved to a delay with what we were seeing on the roads at the time we made the call, that we'd be setting a pretty low bar around weather related delays and closures. That's why we went the way we did." Mathisen says snow plows start working at schools when snow reaches 2-inches.
BEND, OR -- School districts across Central Oregon reacted to this morning's winter weather conditions. Jefferson County 509-J, Culver, Crook County, Sisters and Redmond schools all closed, while Bend-La Pine schools remained on schedule.
Central Oregon Community College and OSU-Cascades have cancelled Thursday evening classes, as well. Classes scheduled after 3 p.m. are canceled and all campuses will close at 5 p.m. That includes libraries, computer labs, gym and other facilities in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville will close.
Redmond Area Parks and Recreation's activity center will close at 3 p.m. The Redmond pool closed at noon. All evening programs are canceled. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Redmond/Terrebonne will remain open with their all-day program today.
Bend-La Pine Schools will release all middle and high schools 10 minutes early to allow bus drivers extra time to drive routes this afternoon. Elementary schools will dismiss at normal times. District officials warn afternoon drop-off could be delayed as drivers slow down for changing road and weather conditions.
Central Oregon remains under a winter storm warning until 10 p.m. Friday, with significantly higher snow accumulations than originally predicted. The National Weather Service now says we could see 7-10 inches before the storm moves out tomorrow night. Precipitation could change to freezing rain this evening, returning to snow overnight.
BEND, OR -- Bend Broadband crews worked into the night yesterday to restore internet and other services to the south end of Bend after a hit and run crash damaged a cable box.
According to Bend Police, the crash occurred at Third and Wilson yesterday just after midnight.
32-year old Nathan Goldberg of Bend was arrested Wednesday evening, charged with reckless driving and tampering with evidence among others. Bend Broadband crews worked all day to repair the fiber damage. The service outage impacted businesses and homes south of Greenwood.
REDMOND, OR -- When temperatures dip below freezing, there are not a lot of options for Central Oregonians without permanent housing. Sarah Kelly is a homeless advocate who meets with clients at Deschutes Public Libraries across the county. She says this time of year leaves many without a place to stay. "I have folks that are sleeping in their cars who were coming to me earlier this week, saying 'where do I go, I can't sleep in my car Wednesday night, it's going to be 10 degrees.'" She says those in Bend can find help: "The Bethlehem Inn has emergency shelter- they do offer one night, so that's the direction I send people. It'd be great if we had additional resources for that, it's pretty limited. And, they're here in Bend. So, if I'm talking to someone in Redmond or Sisters, that's not terribly helpful."
In Redmond, the Shepherd's House
is now training community volunteers to staff the cold weather shelter at Highland Baptist Church. HBC Deacon Doug Taylor says those who come to the church have nowhere else to turn. "People are staying in their cars. Some of them have tents that are in the brush way out on the edge of town. And, if they run out of fuel, they just get so cold they can't stand it."
HBC's cold weather shelter just re-opened this month. "We had to shut the center down last year in January because our church security decided we were probably putting people at risk of the unknowns coming into our shelter from off the street- People that might be high on drugs or something, because we weren't trained properly." Taylor says, "Since then, we've got this new bunch with us and we feel a lot safer now and we're not putting people at risk."
Each night, Four trained volunteers provide supervision, security and resource connections for those who come to HBC for a warm place to sleep. The cold weather shelter is open from October until March, any night when temperatures are predicted to hit 25 degrees or colder, or when freezing rain or snow accumulation is expected.
To find out if the Redmond cold weather shelter is open or to get volunteer information, call 541-788-8098.
TERREBONNE, OR -- Redmond fire responded to a structure fire at a Terrebonne out building, early this morning. Crews responded at 3:30 a.m. to NW Wimp Way and found a pump house fully engulfed, with a neighboring building at risk. Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading, but damage to the pump house totaled $35,000 dollars.
Investigators believe a heat lamp was placed too close to flammable materials.
BEND, OR -- Winter weather has arrived on the High Desert. Lows last night were in the low teens, and even single digits in some area, and snow is expected tonight. Meteorologist Ann Adams with the National Weather Service tells KBND Central Oregon could see 3-6 inches with more accumulation east of us in the Ochocos and the highlands near John Day. Adams adds, "Everything is coming from the south/southwest. We'll the be the first to see it in our area." She says most of the snow will move in overnight, tonight. "It gets moving in the morning and we'll see another 1 1/2 inches to two inches in the morning. And it looks like Thursday afternoon things have kind of moved to the north and northeast."
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch, from 6 p.m. tonight, through 4 a.m. Saturday. With temps predicted to remain in the low 30s through the end of the week, any snow that does fall is likely to stick around.
All this talk of snow has local ski resorts cautiously optimistic. After a dismal season last year, and a warmer forecast for this winter, Hoodoo Ski Area is ready for the snow. "We could get over a foot Wednesday, Thursday," said Daidre Streeter with Hoodoo. "Then it looks like it could change to freezing rain, which we're not real excited about. But, sometimes they're wrong. Ya know, we'll take anything we can get to start building our base up." Streeter said Hoodoo needs a minimum 30-inch base to be able to open, and that won't happen before the traditional start of the season- Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, Hoodoo opened three months late, and saw about a fifth of its typical visitors during a season that only lasted just over a month.
Bob Maxwell is the nation's oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor.
He threw himself on a grenade in 1944 to save his fellow soldiers.
He refelcts on what Veterans Day is about.
"To remember all the way back to World War One, remember what they did for our country -- going to war, sending young men away from their families and careers to fight someone's war. Now we need to honor them and make sure all fo them are taken care of."
Maxwell is one of eight living World War Two Medal of Honor recipients still living.
BEND, OR -- A former Bend resident faces a number of child sex abuse charges. 32-year old Micah Kennedy is accused of online sexual corruption of a child, luring a minor and encouraging child sex abuse. He was arrested more than three weeks ago for using various social media sites to contact and pursue minor children for sexual purposes.
Following his arrest, a search warrant led officers to multiple images of child pornography on his computer and and he now faces additional charges of encouraging child sexual abuse. Kennedy is currently at the Deschutes County Jail; bail is set at $350,000. Bend Police are asking anyone with information about this case to call detectives.
MADRAS, OR -- 69 more ballots were added to the election results in the Jefferson County Commissioner's race and Mae Huston is now in the lead. Madras City Council member Tom Brown and Culver resident Huston are battling it out for the seat. On election day, Brown was in the lead, but only by one vote.
Huston is now ahead by 16 votes - 3025 to Brown's 3009. Jefferson County Clerk Kathy Marston says she's expecting 12 more ballots to come in today, from Multnomah and Washington counties. There are also 30 other ballots that are missing signatures or have signatures that don't match the voter's registration card. Those voters have until November 18th to clear up their ballots with the County Clerk. Final results will be released on November 19th.
BEND, OR -- The city of Bend declared an emergency late yesterday, regarding the need for more shelter space. With temperatures dipping into the low twenties in Bend, and even colder in outlying areas, Bend City Manager Eric King declared the emergency. The original recommendation came from Bend Fire Marshal Larry Medina and comes due to the potential need for the city to create temporary cold-weather shelters.
This declaration runs through the end of February, and goes into effect when temperatures are expected to dip below 25 degrees and area shelters are full.
REDMOND, OR -- A train blocked the roadway at Airport Way and Yew Avenue in Redmond for several hours on Monday. Just after 2 p.m., the Burlington Northern train suffered some an unknown type of mechanical problem and stalled on the track. BNSF crews arrived a short time later. The train was moved and the road reopened just before 5 p.m.
MADRAS, OR -- An inmate at the Jefferson County Jail faces additional criminal charges after allegedly assaulting another inmate, Saturday evening. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, inmates were cleaning their dorm area when 28-year old Nicholas Rodin got into an argument with another inmate. Captain Tim Edwards says Rodin assaulted the man with a mop bucket: "The inmates are responsible for cleaning their own cells and so we provide them with cleaning supplies at the same time everyday to do that. They're supposed to assist each other in the cleaning of the cell block. So, he had permission to have the bucket, but not to hit people with it." Capt. Edwards said the victim sustained cuts to his head and was treated with stitches by jail medical staff.
Rodin was in jail on drug related charges. He now faces four new charges, including assault in the 2nd degree and unlawful use of a weapon.
BEND, OR -- It's not unusual to see a vehicle run out of gas on the highway. But, it is unusual for that vehicle to be an airplane. Just after 7 Friday evening, a small aircraft was headed from Tracy, California to Prineville when it apparently ran out of fuel and was forced to land on Highway 20, east of Bend. Kevin Dizney with Bend Police says the road was wide enough for a safe landing, although it might've been nerve-wracking for those on board. "I'm sure that this was a very uncomfortable landing for everyone involved. If the plane is losing power and the highway was probably dark, I'm sure that was a very scary circumstance." He said, "I'm not familiar with there being any vehicles in the area, but that certainly could've been a secondary complication with trying to land on the highway."
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident. No one was hurt and there was no damage to the plane. The pilot was able to refuel and take off again. His passengers elected to finish their journey to Prineville by car.
BEND, OR -- Bend's city council election may be over, the but the fighting is not. Voters elected Casey Roats to the council on Election Day, but supporters of his opponent are still trying to prevent him from taking his seat. They claim Roats didn't meet residency requirements, and they've tried three different ways to stop him. The Secretary of State's office is investigating, the Bend City Council will probably have to decide whether Roats met residency requirements. And now, Foster Fell, who happens to be the partner of newly elected councilor Barb Campbell is suing Roats saying he wasn't a valid candidate.
Roats says the continuing battle is exhausting. "I'm really disappointed. I wasn't expecting it." He said, "I'ts going to cost me money to hire a lawyer. And i was brought forward by the partner of a councilor-elect." He says that could make things awkward. "It'll make it that much more challenging to get a good working relationship if you're getting sued from someon'e significant other. But, I'm willing to work past that for the sake of the community and get down to business."
Fell's attorney is Charlie Ringo, who heads up the political action committee that suported Roats' opponent. Ringo wants to ask Casey Roats questions on the record, next week.
BEND, OR -- A new K through 8 charter school is moving forward with plans to open in Bend next fall. The Bend International School received a $700,000 federal charter schools start-up grant. But, BIS Director Meera Rupp says the hardest part so far, has been finding a location. "It's very difficult for charter schools - especially a start-up, because - although we received this great grant, which we are so honored to have received- only 15 schools in the nation received this grant - we're not allowed to spend any of that money on our facility." Fundraisers are planned for early next year to raise money for a building.
Rupp says she's excited about the opportunity to bring international studies to Central Oregon. "We have a fairly low population of diversity here - about 15% - and we want our kids ot be able to compete across the world, to work with people from all different cultures. So, we're all about promoting diversity and respect and appreciation of other cultures." She says the bilingual model is unique. "What we're doing, is we're teaching the core academics in English. Then, in the afternoon, we're teaching our specials - including the lunch period, music, electives, project based learning - those are all being taught in Spanish."
90 Students have submitted "Intent to Enroll" forms. Rupp says they hope to have up to 195 students by the time they open next fall. Bend International School would join REALMS in Bend and the Redmond Proficiency Academy a the only charter schools in the region. Charter schools must be approved by the host distric, and Rupp says she expects Bend-La Pine Schools to approve their application in the next few months. The first community informational meeting is scheduled for December 2nd at Bend's Community Center (1036 NE 5th St.). Spanish speakers are invited to come at 6 p.m. An English speaking meeting will be held 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. More details can be found at Bend International School's website
SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says a cougar was spotted west of Sisters. DCSO received a report of the cougar sighting west of the Crossroads subdivision, adjacent to the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Thursday morning.
During this time of year, snow pushes game down to lower elevations and DCSO says it's more likely wildlife will come to populated areas. They're asking people who live near forestland or in other rural areas to be aware and exercise appropriate caution when outdoors.
BEND, OR -- OSU-Cascades continues to experience growth. The Central Oregon branch campus now serves 1172 students, including 980 juniors, seniors and graduate students.
The college saw a nearly 6% increase in total students and a 4% jump in unpper-classmen. Ethnic diversity remains around 14% with half of those students identifying as Hispanic or Latino. The average age of an OSU Cascades student is 29, and range from 17 to 73 years old.
MADRAS, OR -- It'll be a couple more weeks before Jefferson County voters know who will become their newest county commissioner. That race is still too close to call.
Only one vote separates Mae Huston from Tom Brown. Jefferson County Clerk Kathy Marston tells KBND News there are still ballots to be counted. "To my knowledge, we have 53 ballots coming from other counties. Deschutes County has 49 ballots for Jefferson County and four other counteis are sending us ballots," said Marston. She adds, "We have 30 ballots challenged that have no signatures or the signatures don't match. So, these folks have until up to the 18th of November to fix it."
After everything is counted, an automatic recall would be triggered if there's a difference of less than 1/5 of 1% between the two candidates. Currently, that would be anything less than a 12-vote difference. The election must be certified by November 24th.
BEND, OR -- City Councilor-Elect Casey Roats is being sued over his residency. Bend resident Foster Fell filed the lawsuit, claiming Roats didn't meet residency requirements to run for the council. Fell is the partner of fellow newly elected city councilor Barb Campbell. Fell's attorney is Charlie Ringo, head of the political action committee that supported Roats' opponoent Lisa Seales. Roats was served with the suit yesterday.
Roats has admitted to living in his parents' home just outside city limits while his house was under construction. Fell and Ringo claim that violates city election rules which say a candidate must live inside the city for the year prior to the election.
The suit also names the city of Bend, but attorney Charlie Ringo tells KBND News he only plans to depose Roats, not any city officials.
Roats defeated challenger Lisa Seales by a 4% margin on Tuesday. Seales' supporters had said they would continue to make an issue of Roats' residency if he won.
Oregon's Secretary of State is already looking into claims made a couple of weeks prior to the election, claiming Roats violated residency requirements.
REDMOND, OR -- A small group of volunteers has quietly provided over 2500 loads of clean laundry to Redmond families over the past four years. The Laundry Love project started in Redmond in 2010 when Angela Bacuyani and Nicky Merritt saw how wearing dirty clothes effected kids in their local schools. "I think that society, we just judge everyone by how they look and smell." Bacuyani says, "Clean clothes make us feel good about ourselves. It helps individuals with getting jobs and interviewing and that kind of thing, that they're able to wear clean clothes." On the 10th of each month, a small group of volunteers provides laundry soap, dryer sheets, quarters, snacks and conversation to families. Bacuyani says often, it's the only chance they get to wash their laundry.
Bacuyani and her troupe of volunteers are excited about a new partnership with Cathy's Eco-Laundromat
in Redmond. "The owner has generously offered to match any money we spend there each month. And, we usually spend close to $200 per month, so he's going to be paying for half of that. The facility is beautiful, the machines look like they work well - they're super fast and efficient." She says the project if funded by donations, with area churches providing many of the volunteers.
To celebrate their fourth anniversary this month, Laundry Love Redmond
will offer cake and other treats Monday evening. Cathy's Eco-Laundromat is located on Highway 97, across from Safeway. Laundry Love provides services on the 10th of each month, from 6-8 p.m.
BEND, OR -- This evening, The Tower Theatre will host "An Evening of Empowerment," to raise money for "Kids in the Game. Ken Streer is producer and director of the event. He says tonight will feature both talent shows and motivational speakers. "Brianna Marcotto is a teenage cancer survivor who moved from California to New York to live the life she dreamed of as a professional dancer, and she's coming back to Central Oregon to regale us with some new stories and some new dance moves."
Admission is $25 for adults, and $16 for those 16 and under. Tonight's fundraiser begins at 7 p.m. Kids in the Game
helps provide funding for low-income students to participate in school sports.
The brewery is one of the country's fastest growing breweries.
10 Barrel expects to sell aprroximately 40 thousand barrels of beer this year. Apocalypse IPA, the brewer's most popular beer, accounts for nearly half of the company's total volume.
In addition to the Bend Brewery, the acquisition will include the company's existing brewpubs in Bend and Boise, Idaho and a Portland Brewpub scheduled to open next year.
Final sale of 10 Barrel is expected to close by the end of the year.
OSU Cascades Political Science Professor Jim Foster says elected leaders are getting the message loud and clear.
"What it adds up to is an unhappy and anxious electorate. And unfortuanely ther'es no institutional way to deal with it. If you think a REpbulican laed congress is goign to get anything done between now and 2016, I have a bridge i wnat to sell you."
Foster says there's a lot of anger about our tepid economic recovery and other issues like Isis and ebola that are contibiuting to our dissatisfaction with our poltiical leaders.
He lost his re-election bid to challenger Nathan Boddie.
"Of course it's really disappointing and it's really surprising. I didn't think people were buying into all the negative stuff coming out, but I guess they did."
Capell says he is proud of what they've accomplisehd during his eight years on the city council.
He says they changed the management of the city and have done a lot of the heavy lifting to catch up on infrastructure improvements that had been put off.
Capell will serve on the city council until the end of the year.
After that, he plans to concentrate on his computer business that has taken a back seat to city government for many years.
Mark Capell and Scott Ramsay both lost their seats.
Barb Campbell defeated Ramsay and agrees the council will look a lot different next year.
"It is a big change and I do think its going to change the dynamic for sure. It's going to make sure all the voices in the city are being heard and represented-- whether or not these voices have een powerful in the past."
Campbell ran for Bend City Council two years ago and lost, but she ran again this year and won.
BEND, OR -- It's once again studded tire season, and again time for the Oregon Department of Transportation to issue warnings about the destruction studs cause. ODOT's Peter Murphy says once the damage is done, it's difficult and expensive to repair. He says they're often unnecessary. "Around here, what we like to think of is that 1% of the year is when a studded tire might help you. Because, we're out there plowing. or it's snowy - which you don't really need studded tires in." Murphy says, "The only time ... most of the time, it's the ice that's on the highway."
Despite the warnings, many Central Oregon drivers still choose traditional studded tires. Larry Miller from La Pine drives to Bend everyday, and has studded tires put on both of his vehicles each year. He says he's heard the warnings. "It's a calculated risk on my part. I don't want to damage the roads, but I want to be safe and I want my wife safe."
Miller is not alone. The manager of the Franklin Avenue Les Schwab store in Bend says studless snow tires have gained momentum in recent years, but the majority of winter sales are still traditional studded tires. With recent mild temperatures, this season has gotten off to a modest start. At the height of the season, they expect to install winter tires on 250 to 300 cars per day. That peak could hit in the next couple of weeks, unless snow arrives sooner.
The Crook County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the ordinance Wednesday.
Kris Williams with the Crook County Health Department say the ordinance if approved, would ban minors from buying or possessing e-cigarettes. It would also require retailers to put hte cigarettes behind the counter.
"E cigarettes are increasing extremly rapidly by youth and w'ere trying to educate the community on the way that e-cigarettes are being used to initiate tobacco use and nicotine dependence. E-cigarettes are also very toxic. The poison control centers have received a lot of calls regarding children getting their hands on these cigarettes."
Crook County Commissioners held a first reading on the ordinance Wednesday morning. A second reading is required for final approval.
The city of Prineville is also looking to pass a e-cigarette ban for minors.
Bend City Councilor Jodie Barram challenged Debone, but came up short.
DeBone is encouraged by the results.
"Well, I'm honored to be the county commissioner for all of Deschutes County. You know we do work hard to provide cost effective services to everyone. It's been a heck of a year running for office and I can't thank my supporters enough and all the people who voted for me for county commissioner."
Bend City Councilor Jodie Barram left her seat on the Bend City Council to run for county commissioner against incumbent Tony DeBone.
"You know I had hoped for a different outcome in my race, but I am so proud of my campaign team. We ran a great race. We kept it positive, we kept it honest. Though I'm disappointed in the outcome, it's very tempered by the fact we ran a phenomenal campaign."
Barram says she has a Bend City Council meeting Wednesday night and will serve on the council until the end of the year. She says then she'll decide how she will continue to serve the public.
SISTERS, OR -- Supporters of the Sisters School District Measure 9-102 expected people to be surprised about the amount of money they wanted. What they didn't expect was for the measure to be voted down by a margin of over 13%. Sisters business owner Bill Willitts, from Five Pine Lodge, spearheaded efforts for the measure. He said results were uncharacteristic of past years, when there was widespread support for school measures. "There's a lot of negative feedback in the community," Willitts said. "We've got a great community, and ultimately I think they will support our schools ... I think we failed to communicate the importance of the school bond."
The measure would have approved $14.5 million in bonds to repair and improve school buildings and grounds. It also would have provided funds for school safety. Willitts said results are following a larger trend. "People I think are a little bit more leery [to support issues] than I think five years ago," Willitts said. "We really need to communicate and build support to be successful."
David Asson agrees. The Sisters City Councilor that was just voted in for another term. According to Asson, some of the ADA concerns, lockdown safety issues and other concerns that the bond money would have addressed can't be ignored going forward. "We have four buildings, and all of them need substantial effort. I don't think we did a good job in presenting an issue to the populace," Asson said. "We'll have to do a much better job in getting the information out to the public, and perhaps even reducing the amount."
BEND, OR -- Changes are coming to Bend, Redmond and Sisters city councils. Barb Campbell beat incumbent Scott Ramsay for Bend City Council position 7. Early in the evening, Ramsay was surprised with initial returns, "Because there was so much negative campaigning in the first cycle, and I was trying to stay above all of that." He added, "The things I had heard, the feedback I got was that [voters] were tired of negative ads, and election results are coming out a little bit different than that, so it's a little disappointing."
Incumbent Bend City Councilor Mark Capell was also unseated in his position 5 race. Nathan Boddie won that seat by a 10% margin.
In Redmond, Jay Patrick, Anne Graham and Tory Allman will take the three seats up for grabs. The fourth candidate, Ed Onimus, received only 19% of the votes - not enough to rank in the top three.
The Sisters City Council had five candidates vying for three seats. Nancy Connolly, Wendy Holzman, and David Asson came out on top.
And, in Crook County, Seth Crawford has been re-elected to the Crook County commission, defeating challenger Walt Wagner.
In Jefferson County, the Commissioner race between Mae Huston and Thomas Brown is still too close to call, with only one vote separating them.
BEND, OR -- Florida officials are looking into whether Bend City Council candidate Lisa Seales truly has been a permanent resident of the state. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Florida and owns a home there. The Gainesville area is now looking into her Homestead Exemption status at that Floriday property. The exemption gives her a break on property taxes. Ed Crapo is the property appraiser in that area and says last Friday they received a call and started looking into whether she qualified for the exemption. He says there could be consequences if she was inelligible to receive the tax break. "If they've been receiving homestead exemption for a period of time and we can go back 10 years from a period of time when they were not in fact entitled to it, then they're assessed back taxes plus a 50% penalty and 15% interest on the amounts of the money that were due."
When asked if Seales is considered a resident of Florida, Crapo replied, "Well, I'm going to assume Oregon is like Florida. In order to run for public office, you have to be registered to vote and in order to register to vote, you have to be a resident of that state. And, you can't be the resident of two states simultaneously."
Attempts by KBND to contact Seales for comment were unsuccesful.
Several of her supporters have taken issue with opponent Casey Roats' residency. They claim he doesn't meet residentcy requirements because he moved outside city limits while his new home was built.
BEND, OR -- Bend's homeless shelters have issued an emergency request for food and supplies, in preparation for the cold winter months. The Bethlehem Inn's Managing Director Chris Clouart says resources have been stretched thin all year, preventing them from storing donations from the traditionally slower summer months: "This year we didn't see a drop in our population and part of that is a reflection of the difficulty in finding housing in Central Oregon right now." He adds, "We have a lot of folks who are working, doing their best to get by. They've got the money they need to get into an apartment, they just can't find an apartment. Or, the apartments are outside their reach, even if they are working full-time."
At the Shepherd's House, Executive Director Curt Floski is seeing a similar trend. "We didn't see a drop in our numbers during the summer, we didn't see a drop in our food counts throughout the months. So, we're just not seeing a change, at least in our numbers, in terms of a reflection of a better economy." Floski says he expects demand to increase as those who have been sleeping outside seek shelter from the cold winter conditions.
Clouart says this year has been different. "This is not like any other year. I have a parking problem for the first time ever, in my history with the Bethlehem Inn. Because, we have people here that have cars. They have cars, they have jobs, they don't have the ability to find housing." The Bethlehem Inn averages 90 residents per night and has already had to turn people away in the past few weeks.
The Bethlehem Inn prepares about 68-thousand meals per year, Clouart says many of those are sack lunches offered to anyone who is in need, even those who aren't residents of the inn. The shelter is asking for donations of high protein foods like sliced cheese, lunch meat, and chicken. Floski, at the Shepherd's House, is asking for winter gear, like sleeping bags, tents and outerwear.
BEND, OR -- As the Central Oregon economy improves, more businesses are relocating to the High Desert. Pat Kesgard with Compass Commercial in Bend says lease prices are on the way up and office vacancy rates are headed down. "My sense is, in the office market- and, we're actually already seeing this - we're gonna see more and more conversation about new buildings being built." He added, "You look at a bell curve, we're in the cycle, we're recovering. If you plan to build an office building, you're a year- year and a half out, if you own the land."
According to Compass Commercial's newly released report, third quarter lease rates in Bend are up about 50-cents per square foot from a year ago, and office space availability is down about 7%, standing at 11.3%. That's the tenth consecutive drop, and lowest rate since first quarter 2008.
Kesgard says how the recovery continues is dependent on long term interest rates. "If rates tick up gradually, it's not gonna slow it down dramatically. If there's an appreciable increase in a short period of time, then it's gonna knock it down. Probably by the end of the 2nd quarter next year, I think conceivably, we could be down to that 7%, which is kind of a healthy range for vacancy," he said.
Despite those improvements, retail space remains relatively flat. Kesgard says he's not surprised the retail real estate market is not recovering as quickly. "We think over time this will continue to tighten up a little bit. You've seen all the new construction - the Walgreens, the new Wilco - so there will be redevelopment of retail to a fairly high degree."
Between the second and third quarters of this year, Compass Commercial's report shows industrial vacancy rates in Bend down about a quarter of a percent, landing at just under 8%. In Redmond, available industrial space stands at less than 16% - it's the first time that rate has been below 20% in seven years.
LA PINE, OR -- A Sunriver-area home was damaged Monday morning, after a propane water heater caught fire. According to the La Pine Fire Chief, the family of five evacuated at around 8:40 a.m. after the water heater began making noise and emitting an odor.
Leigh Ulrich used a garden hose to slow the spread of the fire in exterior walls and the attic of his house. Firefighters from La Pine and Sunriver were able to control the blaze within 30 minutes.
BEND, OR -- It was one of the final stops on her "Countdown to Victory" tour, and her last chance to engage Central Oregon voters: Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby visited Bend Sunday evening.
Jim Fleming, with Vietnam Veterans of America, was one of about 20 supporters at the Bend event. He says he's voting for change. "I think she's going to do a good job, especially against Merkley, who has not done a good job. He's - like she said - 98% voting with Obama and Harry Reid, and I don't want that." Fleming added, "I didn't fight for this country for that."
Wehby's opponent, incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, was also in Central Oregon as part of his "Jobs and Opportunity" tour. Polls taken over the past couple of weeks show Merkley with a 12-21 point lead.
REDMOND, OR -- We're getting more information about a marijuana-grow raid that took place in Redmond last month. Officials say appears a personal-use medical marijuana grow was actually a cover for a large marijuana shipping operation. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Detectives searched the property off Euston Lane near Northwest Way in early October and found 56 mature plants - many over 11 feet tall - along with guns and cash.
The street value of the pot is estimated at between 500 to 675 thousand dollars. 21-year old David Harlan Ross and 34-year old John Raymond Cuddeback were arrested in connection with the operation.
BEND, OR -- OSU-Cascades is one of 15 universities across the country to receive a grant to help prevent suicide in college age students. Oregon has one of the nation's highest rates of suicide and this age group, in particular, can be vulnerable.
OSU-Cascades associate professor Susan Keys says the $305,000 grant will be put to good use. "Suicide is the second leading cause of death, so it's a major public health problem." Keys says, "College campuses are a really good vehicle to reach a large segment of this population age group. This [grant] will give us a great opportunity to look at prevention strategies and to promote good mental health on campus." Keys chairs the Deschutes County Suicide Prevention Advisory Council.
This grant will help create web-based suicide prevention information for students, faculty and staff and help train students in prevention methods. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people in the U.S, age 18-25.
LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine woman was killed Friday night in a hit and run crash as she walked along Highway 97. The accident happened near William Foss Road in front of the La Pine Inn Restaurant, Friday at about 9 p.m.
Deschutes County Sheriff's Deputies arrested the driver, Jerry Hannu, on Saturday.
The initial investigation showed Hannu was northbound on the highway when he struck the pedestrian. 44-year old Angela Bartleson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hannu is charged with failing to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person. The investigation is ongoing.
BEND, OR -- Just after midnight Saturday, Bend Police discovered a Central Oregon Community College student in a campus hallway with multiple stab wounds. 18-year old James Briles was rushed to St. Charles Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Briles' roommate, 22-year old Eric Norgaard was arrested in connection with the assault.
Bend Police believe Norgaard stabbed Briles with a knife at the Juniper Residence Hall, in a reportedly unprovoked attack.
Norgaard is currently being held at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and first degree assault.
Briles is a freshman forestry major at COCC. Norgaard has been enrolled at both COCC and OSU-Cascades for nearly a year.
LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine man faces a long list of charges after allegedly leading Oregon State Police on a high speed chase through residential streets, Friday evening.
According to Oregon State Police, just before 7 p.m., 22-year old Tylor Bates rear-ended an SUV stopped to allow pedestrians to cross Highway 97 at 1st Street in La Pine. An OSP trooper witnessed the accident and heard a young girl yell she wanted out of the car. Bates put the car in reverse and fled the crash scene. As the trooper pursued Bates, a boy was seen jumping from the moving car and rolling across the road. Witnesses ran to help him, as the trooper continued the pursuit. That boy was later identified as Bates' 14-year old brother.
OSP says the Chrysler Sebring reached high speeds as it passed other vehicles on both sides of the road. Eventually, Bates lost control of his vehicle on Skidgel Road, rolled into a ditch, through a couple of fences and hit a tree before stopping.
The OSP trooper discovered Bates' 11-year old sister holding a dog near the crash scene. Investigators say she was trying to escape the driver. She told police Bates punched her in the face while driving, prior to the initial hit and run crash. A third sibling - a 9-year old brother - was found uninjured near the first crash on Highway 97. Troopers say he also jumped from the moving vehicle.
Bates faces DUII, reckless driving, felony hit and run and felony attempt to elude, among other charges.