BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Community College's President will retire at the end of this school year, and the school's Board of Directors is on the hunt for a new leader. Board Chair John Mundy says they received 55 applications. "We're looking at half of them as having the qualifications that we really want, some of those candidates are very well qualified and very strong."
While it's still months before Dr. Shirley Metcalf retires, Mundy says the selection committee had to start the process early to attract the best candidates, "The later you wait, the more folks are being picked up by other colleges," he tells KBND News, "So our strategy from the very beginning was to move quickly in order to reach the point where we're interviewing that final candidate before anyone else has the opportunity to interview them." That committee is made up of faculty, classified staff, a student and community members. The group is currently reviewing applications and are expected to narrow the field down to 12 or 15, by Monday, "We want to make sure that everybody on the committee has a voice in choosing the set of candidates we move forward in the process."
Those top candidates will be interviewed via Skype throughout January. Then, Mundy says, "Based on the results of those interviews, we're going to recommend three or four semifinalists who we're going to invite to the college for a more intensive round of interviews. And hopefully, based on those interviews, where we bring the candidates to town, we'll be able to finalize one candidate that we really, really like." The goal is to have a new President named by the March Board of Directors meeting.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Schools now have another police officer on patrol. Officer Jordan Zamora started at the high school this week, allowing long-time School Resource Officer (SRO) Jeff Coffman to shift to the middle and elementary Schools. Crook County High Assistant Principal Joel Hoff tells KBND News, "Both the school board and the police department decided to collaborate to fund an additional resource officer, so one could focus primarily at our middle school and elementary school, while the other can focus at our traditional high school and our alternative high school, as well.
Hoff says SROs can investigate campus threats, but they also build rapport with students, "One thing that's been really cool to see is our school resource officers really focus on building those positive relationships with students, so that way, it's not just this 'I'm the Police Officer, you're in trouble,' they hopefully try to get to know students by name, so they're building those positive interactions between police and students so they're not seen as strangers or 'Hey, we're here to watch you'."
The salaries of both School Resource Officers are split evenly between the district and police department. "I think it's just really, really important and really cool to see our school district and the police department collaborate to make sure kids are safe," says Hoff, "Because I think that, at the end of the day, our number one priority is to make sure all Crook County schools feel safe and are safe here in our schools."
Approximately 2,800 students attend eight public schools in Crook County.
PORTLAND, OR -- It’s a common question across the Northwest: “Where’s the snow?” Oregon’s statewide snowpack is well below normal. It's now 57% of what it should be in mid-December.
Scott Oviatt, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), says the light snowfall is extremely bad news, following three year of very dry conditions, “Currently, 2/3 of the state is in extreme drought or greater according to the national drought monitor. And, over the past 180 days up at our SNOTEL sites, we only have a handful of sites - and those are in the upper elevation of the Blue Mountains and the Wallowas - that are anywhere close to approaching normal.”
Oviatt says many parts of the state aren’t even receiving rain in the higher elevations. “There’s still time. We’ve had years where we’ve had late season snow accumulation to get us near normal. However, every day that passes us, that much less available water is accumulating.” That water is needed for irrigators this spring and summer.
BEND, OR -- Jamie Sawyer, the father of Kaylee Sawyer – killed in 2016 by a Central Oregon Community College public safety officer – meets with lawmakers Friday in Salem, asking that they consider Kaylee’s Law, which is also supported by the Deschutes County District attorney and Bend's Police Chief. The proposed bill specifies what community college campus officers can do, wear and drive, including banning cages that prohibit someone from escaping the back seat.
COCC officials insist the school’s campus public safety (CPS) department is not in violation of current law, as described by the D.A. In a statement sent to KBND News, COCC's Ron Paradis says several changes were made to the department after Sawyer's murder. Among others, officers no longer conduct traffic stops, arrests or private investigations. He says CPS cars now have only red emergency lights, instead of red and blue, which could be confused for police. And, Paradis says, cars are no longer outfitted with partitions, or "cages."
On Thursday, Jim Bouziane, President of the Oregon College and University Public Safety Administrators Association, issued a letter to member schools saying Kaylee's Law "does not enhance safety on higher education campuses but rather diminishes prevention and deterrence efforts, reverses many institution's efforts to create safe campuses during a period of national focus on campus safety, hampers campus public safety officers from fulfilling their institution's mission, and puts unnecessary financial burdens on institutions."
BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested five teens Thursday, after receiving a tip that the boys were seen near SE Third and McKinley. The 16- and 17-year-olds had been reported as runaways from the J-5 Parole and Probation Revocation Program in northeast Bend.
Two were taken into custody right away, without incident, and cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. But the other three led police on a foot pursuit, running through yards and hopping fences. They were all captured within an hour and face additional charges of Escape, Criminal Trespass and Interfering with a Police Officer. One also had an outstanding warrant.
LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is searching for two men seen running from a La Pine house, Thursday morning. They are suspected of trying to steal a car from a garage near the intersection of Big Timber Drive and Dawn Road.
Despite help from a K-9 deputy and state police troopers, the men weren't found. Both were seen wearing blue jeans and black jackets and may have been picked up by white or silver four door sedan; possibly a Volvo.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office. Sightings should be reported to 911.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney and Bend’s Police Chief will meet with state lawmakers in Salem on Friday, in support of a proposed bill aimed at specifying what community college public safety departments are, and are not, allowed to do. D.A. John Hummel says the parents of a local murder victim will also testify before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, "They want to make sure that no other parents have to experience what they experienced. So, they worked with the Attorney General to come up with 'Kaylee's Law'."
The bill is named for Kaylee Sawyer, who was killed by a Central Oregon Community College security guard. Her father, Jamie Sawyer, helped develop the proposal. In July 2016, Edwin Lara abducted Kaylee Sawyer in his campus safety patrol car, while on duty. Hummel says she got into Lara’s vehicle because he looked like a cop. Once she realized he wasn't taking her home as promised, she couldn’t escape the backseat because COCC’s patrol cars are outfitted with police-like cages. "If you’re not allowed to arrest somebody, there should never be the need for a cage, because Oregon law says campus public safety officers on community colleges can’t arrest people." Kaylee’s Law would ban cages for those security vehicles. Hummel says it would also specify that campus public safety officers can’t dress or act like police, and it would require criminal background checks for campus safety staff. "If these rules had been in place and they’d been complied with by the college, Kaylee Sawyer would still be alive. The college hired a campus public safety officer without conducting a rigorous check into his background and without conducting a psychological test we think would’ve revealed his troubled mind."
Dateline NBC to Focus on Kaylee Sawyer Murder (04/27/2018)
Oregon law allows universities to form police departments; those officers attend the state police academy and undergo background and psychological testing, just like city and county law enforcement agencies. Community colleges do not send security officers to the academy. Hummel tells KBND News that after Sawyer's death, he and Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tried to work with COCC to prevent another tragedy, "We’ve made slight progress, but Central Oregon Community College persists in wanting to investigate criminal matters on their campus and, in effect, have their campus public safety officers act as de facto police officers. Yet, their campus public safety officers have not been properly trained, they’ve not gone through the academy, they’ve not gone through rigorous criminal background and psychological testing." He adds, "What Central Oregon Community College is doing is in violation of the law. They’re not allowed to operate a police force; but, practically speaking, they are. Central Oregon Community College says the law is not entirely clear. I respectfully disagree with them, but Kaylee’s Law would clarify it for them."
Hummel hopes the Legislature will consider Kaylee's Law in the 2019 session, "We believe she would be alive if this law had been passed and if the college had complied with it."
Update: After our original story aired, Central Oregon Community College responded to our request for comment via email. Read more, HERE.
BEND, OR -- Bend Police and the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office spent weeks investigating an alleged robbery near Shevlin Park involving two men in a black van, only to discover the supposed victim made up the story; but not before her daughter’s Facebook post detailing the attack went viral. The daughter didn’t know it was a lie and the D.A. says her mother didn’t initially realize the story had gone public.
Bend Police Chief Jim Porter says it’s an example of the power of social media and its occasional conflict with law enforcement, "Our social media is a double-edged sword. It brings us a lot of good things, but then again, on the other side, we can end up chasing things that are just smoke and mirrors." Chief Porter tells KBND News the Shevlin Park story isn’t the first time investigators found themselves chasing Facebook falsehoods, "They fan fear within the community. They’ve drawn resources away from other things we could be doing: traffic enforcement, helping people, doing those things. But, that’s the nature of the beast when you deal with humans. I mean, sometimes things just get out of control, they get on the internet and [it’s] the old game ‘Operator’ – where you whisper in one ear and by the time it comes around the circle on the other side, it’s a completely different thing."
He says Facebook and other platforms make it easy to get important information out quickly, but misinformation can often get caught in the mix, "It’s that give and take between keeping the public safe and getting the facts out there. And facts very seldom come in a very timely manner. They take time, you’ve got to chase people down – find them, rather than chase them down – get their statements, corroborate statements and try to get to the truth." Porter says Facebook users should question things posted by unofficial sources, and don’t be afraid to check with police. "If you see something unusual, call and ask us. We’re more than glad to address those issues. If it’s an ongoing investigation, we may not give you the details until we complete the investigation. But, just call and ask, be a critical thinker, work your way through things."
PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Crook County Natural Resources Committee held its first meeting Monday. The committee is tasked with upholding a controversial policy approved last year by the County Court. There are 11 appointed members representing a cross-section of Crook County.
Crook County Natural Resources Manager Tim Deboodt says the plan lays out guidelines for working with federal agencies and management practices, "The real interest, of course, of the county is forest health, economic activity, they'd like to see logging as a part of that forest health process, grazing is always kind of an important issue here in Crook County. But, I'm sure there'll be lots of other topics/issues all around that natural resource umbrella." Deboodt knows some people are wary of too much government involvement, but he tells KBND News most seem on-board with the new policy, "The residents of Crook County decided that our county government needed to be more involved in the management of natural resources throughout the county, whether it's private or public land." Federal statutes, like the Environmental Protection Act, invite local governments to participate in the planning process of local land management.
He says having a committee involved in this kind of work isn't new, "In the 90's, Crook County had a Natural Resources Advisory Committee that functioned for about 14 years; and so this Court, a year ago, revived it." Deboodt says everything the committee plans to do will be available for public scrutiny. "The meetings are always open to the public; the public is encouraged to come and listen. I know a lot of people are kind of nervous about the county becoming more engaged, but I see it as nothing but positive." He says it's important everyone has a voice in the plan.
TERREBONNE, OR -- A Crooked River Ranch woman sustained serious injuries in a Terrebonne-area crash that the Sheriff’s office says she caused. Investigators say 58-year-old Cynthia Marshall was stopped on Northwest 43rd, Tuesday afternoon, waiting to turn left on to Lower Bridge Road. When she saw an approaching vehicle slow to make a turn, she pulled out, not realizing there was a second westbound car.
The two vehicles collided just after 1:45 p.m., causing substantial damage and trapping Marshall. She was rescued by Redmond and Crooked River Ranch Fire crews and taken to St. Charles Redmond.
Deputies later cited Marshall for failing to obey a stop sign.
BEND, OR -- A Bend motorcyclist was killed Tuesday, in a crash that shut down Third Street for more than three hours.
According to Bend Police, 21-year-old Davis Franco was riding north on SE Third when, at about 10:15 a.m., his motorcycle collided with the side of a pickup pulling a utility trailer. That pickup was driven by 43-year-old Ryan Wannemaker, of Bend, who investigators say was initially stopped at the SE Miller stop sign. He then turned left on to Third, into the path of the bike.
Despite life-saving efforts, Franco was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Wannemaker is cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Investigators are looking for anyone who saw the crash or the involved vehicles prior to the collision. Witnesses are asked to call Bend PD at 541-383-6911.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners appear ready to approve a conditional use permit that would allow Bend Parks and Recreation to expand Big Sky Park, east of town. Parks and Rec Development Manager Brian Hudspeth says it’s been a lengthy process to mitigate concerns from neighbors. "We’ve been working with county staff now, since May or June, and have gone through several hearings. And, for every hearing, we’ve adjusted things and tailored things, trying to work with the neighbors. We had several independent neighborhood meetings where we invited the neighbors out to talk to them about what was going on, as early as last year." Commissioners are expected to approve permits Wednesday, with restrictions on things like lighting, noise and parking.
Hudspeth says the more than $4 million expansion project includes more walking trails and a new bike park, unlike anything else in the region, "It’s mostly mountain bike-type stuff but it’ll also have pump tracks for kids; for toddlers. It will allow for bike-style recreation from very, very little children all the way up to adults." He tells KBND News it’ll also include a unique slope-style course, "It has an elevated track and you can come down; it has jumps and gaps and big corner-banks that people ride down." He admits that's likely to bring more visitors to an already busy park, "It’s going to be an attraction out there, so that’s why one of the biggest components to this is to redo a lot of the parking area to increase parking by several hundred stalls within the park – both to make up for some parking issues that are going on out there today during tournaments, and to handle the additional parking for this component." The new design also includes a second entrance on Hamby Road. Currently, the only entrance to Big Sky Park is on Neff Road.
Construction is expected to get underway by next fall and will likely take six to eight months.
BEND, OR -- After 100 years serving Central Oregonians, the Deschutes Public Library is crafting a plan to remain relevant into the next century. Director Todd Dunkelberg says the library board is working with residents to determine how best to expand as the region grows, "We've been trying to figure out what we need to do with this very fast-growing population. We're just reaching the end of our first 100 years of service in Deschutes County and looking at how we're going to be successful in the future."
Over the past year, the board has talked with more than 1,600 residents about what they want in their library, and worked with a firm to start designing the new spaces, "Plans include updating all our library facilities, but also adding an additional new building in Bend - a Central Library, and expanding our Redmond library to 40,000 Sq ft." But, Dunkelberg tells KBND News, there's more work to do, "Where would that be? What would it look like? Working with the public to start designing these buildings, and then looking at how we can look forward to pay for them." He wants to explore all the options before asking voters to step up, "The first thing we'd do is look at our current budgeting. The next piece would be to go out for any possible grants, look for donors that would like to help support this, and look for any types of partnerships we could do." He says he would exhaust all those options before considering a bond proposal.
Dunkelberg says, no matter how large or technology-based the library gets, the atmosphere will still welcome everyone, "We're where people come to meet and gather, and that's always going to require human contact. And, that's a role that our librarians and staff already excel at, and it's something that we'll be able to do more of, as we grow."
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney says the story of a woman robbed by two men in a black van, near Shevlin Park, never happened.
In a Facebook post that went viral last month, a woman describes the ordeal, saying her mother was driving alone when she thought she hit a dog. She got out of the car and realized it was a stuffed animal just as two men jumped out with knives, slammed her against her car and took $4,000 from her purse before driving off in a black van.
D.A. John Hummel says 57-year-old Debra Connors made up the story and her daughter had no idea she was spreading the lie, "The daughter thought she was doing a service to the community, ‘hey everyone, look out for this van.’ And the mom didn’t know the daughter was posting it. And probably the mom was horrified when she found it the daughter did post it, but she didn’t stand up and tell her daughter it was false. And then, when the police came, she continued to lie to the police." Because police only began investigating the report after being tipped off to the online post, Hummel says Connors didn’t commit a crime. "She was sitting at home and the police reached out to her and then she lied to them. In Oregon, it’s not a crime just to lie to the police when they contact you and ask you questions."
She may not face charges, but Hummel hopes she will apologize for the wasting of resources, "She lied to her daughter, and they have to deal with that over the Christmas dinner table. But, you cannot lie to the police, particularly about a serious matter where you allege two people drew a knife; because, all hands are on deck. We had many Bend Police Detectives and officers working this case." He tells KBND News, "People always need to consider social media posts with a grain of salt. Just because someone says something, doesn’t mean it’s true. But, when the allegation is that there’s criminals who are pulling knives on people in the streets of Bend, that’s serious and law enforcement needs to investigate."
In 2015, Bend Police investigated a viral social media post about an alleged sexual assault on the River Trail, later determining it also wasn't true.
BEND, OR -- A Bend family was rescued after getting stuck in the snow near East Lake.
At about 7:45 p.m., Sunday, 24-year-old Soren Smith called 911 to report he and three family members had cut down their Christmas tree on the 9710 road, and after about four hours in the back-country, he planned to take Forest Service Road 21 home. The Forest Service has closed the 21 road for the season, since it's not maintained in the winter. Smith told the dispatcher the truck was stuck in about a foot and a half of snow, and it was still snowing. But, they had plenty of gas, clothing and water, and were able to stay warm in the vehicle.
Deschutes County Search and Rescue deployed an ATV to the area (pictured, right), which reached the family just after midnight. The Deputy took the four people and their dog to his patrol pickup and then provided them with a courtesy transport home.
The Oregon Department of Transportation recently renewed warnings about relying on GPS units to navigate mountainous areas. ODOT's Tom Stranberg says GPS units don't know when roads are closed nor do they take snow into account. He says if the directions take you off main roads, assess the conditions, "It also might be a forest road or county road, or BLM road that’s not suitable for travel in all weather conditions." He adds, "If you find yourself on a road that just doesn’t seem like a main highway route, you might want to maybe stop and double check, verify where you’re at." There's no indication whether the Bend family rescued over the weekend was relying on GPS when they got stuck. More information on Deschutes National Forest service road closures are available HERE, and ODOT recommends visiting Tripcheck.com for highway conditions.
SISTERS, OR -- Sisters Country Horizons recently released the results of a year's worth of work: a plan for how to grow, while maintaining the area's natural environment and small-town feel. Sisters Community Development Director Patrick Davenport says 32 citizens created the plan, based on community input. "We've been working for about a year to interview the community, and so we've been working on an action to implement our vision."
The group developed a strategy, which Davenport says turned out pretty elaborate with four main areas of focus. "We have strategies within each focus area; and within each strategy, we have several actions to help implement the strategy," Davenport tells KBND News. Those four focus areas are, "What we call Prosperous Sisters, Livable Sisters, Connected Sisters, and Resilient Sisters." And, he adds, "There's over three-dozen actions that have been assigned to different agencies, to work on over the next five to 10 years. So, a lot of work for us to do."
Davenport would not go into the specifics of the plan because city officials still have work to do after the first of the year, "We have the City Council scheduled to formally adopt it in mid-February, with a preview in early January on the entire project." Davenport says comments will be accepted on the draft plan through December 28, "We’re not just taking comments from those who live in Sisters Country, or work in Sisters Country. Anybody is welcome to review it and comment."
Sisters Country is the area of Deschutes County served by the Sisters School District, including the city of Sisters, surrounding small communities, ranches and farms, and Camp Sherman. Sisters County Horizons is sponsored by the city, Deschutes County, and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney says a Deputy was justified in shooting a suspect in October, near Deschutes Junction. D.A John Hummel held a press conference Friday to outline his findings, "There's no question that Deputy Jones shot Brandon Berrett, that's never been in dispute. The only question is whether he was legally justified in doing so."
Three deputies and two trainees arrived at the property known as the Funny Farm, October 12, to serve 33-year-old Brandon Berrett with a felony warrant. But, when they tried to arrest the suspect, Hummel says, Berrett drove his car at a high rate of speed toward Deputy Chris Jones and a trainee. "With Berrett driving in his direction, Deputy Jones, he drew his department issued Glock 17 9mm handgun, pointed it at Berrett and yelled 'Stop, Sheriff'!" Jones then fired through the driver's window, striking Berrett twice. "Based on all the available evidence, Deputy Jones' belief that Berrett was about to use physical force against him, or Corrections Deputy Lewis, is objectively reasonable," says Hummel.
Berrett survived the shooting and was rushed to the hospital, "Law enforcement was with Berrett at the hospital; and immediately after Berrett's arrival, he was overheard saying he was only trying to get away, and also, quote, 'I do a Lot of Meth'." But, Hummel says, that doesn't excuse his behavior, "If Berrett wasn't trying to hit him, Berrett was trying to get within an half inch of him, to scare him into thinking he was going to get hit, and that's extremely dangerous. He put Jones' life at risk, whether he was trying to hit him or not. I would've charged him with attempted murder, if I thought we could prove that he was trying to hit him."
While he ruled the shooting as justified, Hummel remains concerned by some of the decisions Deputy Jones made that day, which he says contributed to the danger of the situation. "Based on his prior visits to the Funny Farm, Jones knew the property to be 'A tactical nightmare.' Those are his words." Hummel says, because of that knowledge, Jones should never have entered the property to serve the warrant without a tactical plan. Even so, Hummel says the fault is Berrett's, "It was Mr. Berrett's decision to drive a car in a dangerous manner toward Deputy Jones and his ride-along that resulted in the shots' being fired." It is Hummel's recommendation that all deputies involved in the incident receive further training.
Berrett was later indicted by a Grand Jury on numerous charges, including Escape, Attempting to Elude, Recklessly Endangering, and DUII. He's due in court Monday afternoon.
TERREBONNE, OR -- Investigators continue to look for witnesses to a Terrebonne-area crash that occurred Friday afternoon and sent two people to the hospital. Deputies responded to NW 43rd and Chinook Drive at about 3:30 p.m. They say 71-year-old Cheryl Smith, of Crooked River Ranch, was driving westbound when, for an unknown reason, her car crossed the center line and crashed into an Eberhard’s Dairy delivery van.
Smith was seriously hurt and taken to St. Charles Bend. The delivery driver, 30-year-old Raymond Digby, was taken to the Redmond hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The road was blocked for more than an hour during the investigation and clean-up. Anyone with information or who might have seen the crash is asked to call the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.
HILLSBORO, OR -- A former Jefferson County Deputy was arrested Friday in Washington County. Jorge Serrano is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he met in 2015 while working as a security guard in the Hillsboro area.
Serrano allegedly met the victim again and assaulted her while she was unconscious, filming the attacks without her knowledge.
He was hired at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in January 2017; working at the Madras jail until a month ago. He allegedly uploaded video of the assaults to the internet, during that time. The 28-year-old was fired two weeks before the accusations came to light.
Investigators are working to identify other women in photos and videos uploaded by Serrano.
SISTERS, OR -- A Sisters clothing store was damaged, Saturday morning, when a 91-year-old driver crashed his car through the front entrance.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Donald Zerbe, of Sisters, mistook the gas for the brake while trying to park in front of Common Threads. His car jumped the curb and hit the front of the building, causing substantial damage.
The store was open at the time, but there were no injuries.
REDMOND, OR -- The Oregon Community College Association warns Governor Kate Brown’s proposed 2019-21 budget could force double-digit tuition increases and program cuts. Matt McCoy, Central Oregon Community College's Vice President for Administration, shares that concern. But, he says there is a bright spot in Brown’s proposal: $8 million for construction of a new building on COCC's Redmond campus.
McCoy says it’s important to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city, "All the population projections that we see put Central Oregon, as a region, growing to large numbers. So, we want to anticipate and be in front of that growth as much as we can. If we find ourselves behind the Eight-Ball and playing catch-up in five to 10 years from now, it’s going to be much more difficult and much more expensive to meet the demands of the community." He tells KBND News a new building is critical to the Redmond campus' future success, "We need a place where we can provide student services, student support services, perhaps food services, library services, things like that. But, from the instructional side of the house, we’re looking for a place where can have more fulltime faculty that are located there, in Redmond. And, we also would like a general purpose classroom building with advanced technology and science labs that would allow us to provide most, if not all, of our science courses."
If the Legislature approves the funding during the next session, which begins in January, COCC would need to come up with matching dollars. McCoy says, "We can acquire those dollars in multiple ways: through a bond, through our general fund accumulating over a number of years, through gifts from the community, etc. So, although the state could invest $8 million, we anticipate the cost of the building being at least $16+ million." He says exactly how that funding would be secured and where, specifically, the new facility would be built, has yet to be decided.
BEND, OR -- A plan to increase the development of multi-family housing in Bend got a big boost this week. City Councilors unanimously approved, Wednesday, an ordinance easing some restrictions for duplexes and triplexes.
City Planner Pauline Hardie says the biggest change is to lot sizes for new construction. "Today, to build a duplex, you need almost a 12,000' sf lot; and the new code would be 6,000. And then, to build a triplex today, you need almost an 18,000' sf lot; and the proposed code would be half of that. You’d only need 9,000. So, just by reducing the lot sizes would open up a lot more opportunities for developers to be able to build duplexes and triplexes."
There are also some changes to building standards regarding things like garage and front door placement. "If any of those new lots are abutting a residential lot, or across the street from a residential lot, then those lots would still have to meet all the standards. If the lots are interior to that subdivision, then they are exempt." Hardie tells KBND News, "It’s not a guarantee, but it helps ensure that these duplexes and triplexes, when built – particularly in your existing neighborhoods – that they integrate well into the existing neighbors; that the mapping is compatible with the existing homes that are around it."
If the second reading of the ordinance is approved, later this month, it would go into effect in mid-January.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have approved a first draft of a resolution that would lower the amount property owners must pay to convert from septic systems to the city's sewer service. But, one City Councilor believes more can be done to help alleviate costs.
Councilor Bill Moseley tells KBND News, "The original plan that was recommended would've cost everybody $25,000; it literally would've thrown people out of their homes. We brought those costs essentially down to an $8,500 connection fee, plus a system development charge." Around 600 homes in southeast Bend need to make the switch in order to comply with state law. "If we charge people $25,000, about 200 families would lose their homes out of 600, so that would be 1/3 of all households would lose their homes as a result of it." He says part of how the City plans to alleviate that cost is by taking on some of the expense of the project. "The city's going to take care of putting what they call a lateral, which is basically the sewage pipe going down your street." But, Moseley says having to fork out even $8,500 won't be possible for many, "I still worry, though, about the cost to families in the southeast part of town. I just think this is going to cause a lot of stress, especially for people on fixed incomes. I think it's still too much money, even though it's an improvement over where we were."
Moseley says the Southeast Interceptor project triggered the state's requirement that Bend phase out septic systems, citywide. But, he believes it wasn't done to force current homeowners to switch to sewer, "That pipe was put in there so that we could build new housing in our city. And I don't have anything against new housing; we need new housing. We have a housing shortage. But, I don't think it's fair to basically trigger this regulatory burden on a bunch of existing homes for the benefit of other people. And that's, essentially, what we've done."
A second reading of the fee resolution is scheduled for December 19.
EUGENE, OR -- A Redmond man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in an explosion in his home, two years ago. Prosecutors say William Wild admitted to smoking a cigarette near an illegal Butane Hash Oil (BHO) lab, causing the explosion in the detached garage, December 12, 2016. He was indicted and charged in May of 2017.
Wild and his 18-year-old daughter suffered burns and smoke inhalation. The teen was later flown to Portland for treatment. Investigators seized 57 mature marijuana plants, several pipe bombs, over $20,000 in cash and other drug paraphernalia.
Wild was sentenced Wednesday to four months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for Endangering Human Life by Manufacturing BHO.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested this week for allegedly uploading explicit photos depicting child pornography. Lt. Clint Burleigh says on Wednesday, Bend Police executed a search warrant at a home on Ferguson Road, following up on a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. "Back in October, we received a tip from the ICAC Task Force regarding some child pornography suspected of being uploaded. We were able to identify where this was occurring. During the search warrant, several hundred photos of child pornography were located."
Detectives spent seven hours at the home. During the investigation, they arrested 22-year-old Jonathan Walior on 20 counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse, but Burleigh says more could be added, "When somebody uploads or passes on child pornography, it becomes a crime. That’s what this person did – uploaded several hundred different photographs of child pornography." The investigation is ongoing.
BEND, OR -- A volunteer wrestling coach at Bend High face charges for allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a student-athlete. Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says 24-year-old Erick Nazario Aguirre contacted the teen through social media. "Basically, it was determined that the suspect had used a fake account, and ‘friended’ and sent the pictures over [through] that fake account. Later in the investigation, we found that the accusations were accurate."
Investigators say, at one point, the suspect tried to get the teen to engage in sexual activity with him. The student was able to identify Nazario Aguirre through online discussions and notified a school resource officer. Nazario Aguirre was arrested after school Wednesday on various charges, "Five counts of luring, five counts of sexual exploitation one and two," Lt. Burleigh tells KBND News, "But, it sounds like he’s only been charged with 10 counts of luring, is what the DA’s office has filed."
School administrators say Nazario Aguirre had inconsistent attendance at practices and meets. Lt. Burleigh would not comment on whether the victim was on the wrestling team.
REDMOND, OR -- There's a new way to report minor crimes in Redmond. Lt. Jesse Petersen says a new national online crime reporting tool is now available in Central Oregon. "It gives our community members an opportunity to report crime without having, necessarily, to talk to a police officer. They can do it online; we have a URL that dispatch can send out to them." A self-reporting kiosk is also available at the Redmond Police station on Deschutes Ave., for those without internet access.
Once the online form is completed, the person receives a copy of a final report and a case number, "I think the benefit of this for the community is the opportunity for them to instantly make a report, and then, of course, within five business days, they're getting these reports back to them once they've been approved by our police department." Lt. Petersen says it should make it more convenient, "A lot of our community members are IT savvy, and a lot of them are very busy, and don't have much time to be able to report things to law enforcement, so this is an opportunity to go ahead and be able to report these other crimes to us that we probably miss just because we don't get the opportunity to hear it from them."
The online reporting tool is designed only for minor incidents, like property crimes, theft, and criminal mischief with damages less than $10,000, "If it's a minor accident, or a minor incident, or a small crime, where they need to report it for insurance purposes, they can do this online," Petersen tells KBND News. Emergencies should still be reported by calling 911.
There are often costs for some reports, up to $20; using the online system is free. Petersen says reports submitted online receive the same time and attention as more conventional reporting. Click HERE to access the reporting website.
BEND, OR -- An ordinance designed to reduce the number of disposable carry-out bags in Bend received tentative approval from the city Council, Wednesday night. City Attorney Mary Winters says it’s not a radical idea, "Let’s recognize that all bags, whether plastic or paper, have an environmental impact and there’s no perfect solution. But, here in Bend, we didn’t create the ordinance. We looked at other jurisdictions."
Bend Closer to Plastic Bag Ordinance (11/02/2018)
The ordinance would force shoppers to use reusable bags, or pay a small fee for disposable bags used at check-out. Mayor-Elect Sally Russell says the Bend plan is very similar to ordinances already in place in a number of other Oregon cities, "Transition and change is always a little challenging, but I think what I like particularly about this is that there are cost savings – it’s in our recycling stream or landfill clean-up. Also, hopefully long-term there will a cost savings, since people are reusing bags again and again. We’re not leading the way; we’re following. And, even the Grocer’s Association has a template we’re following." The Northwest Grocer's Association support the plan, but only with the pass-through fee charged to shoppers.
The ordinance passed 4-to-2, with Councilors Justin Livingston and Bill Moseley voting no. The second reading and final vote is scheduled for December 19. If it receives final approval, the ordinance would go into effect July first.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have agreed to the process in which they will select their next member. When Sally Russell is sworn in as Mayor on January second, she will vacate her "Position Three" seat with two years left in her term.
Those interested in filling that vacancy and completing her term can submit an application and "letter of interest" through the City Council's webpage, between Thursday, December sixth and 5 p.m. January fourth. Councilors will then review the applications and select candidates for interviews.
They hope to appoint the new Councilor at their January 16th Council meeting.
MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is changing some policies, in the wake of an inmate's death. James Wippel died in April 2017 of a ruptured ulcer and artery. He had been arrested on multiple drug charges and showed signs of detoxing prior to his death. Three Corrections deputies were acquitted of criminal wrongdoing, earlier this week, in connection with Wippel's death.
Sheriff Jim Adkins says although his deputies weren't at fault, the agency has updated some practices in order to better protect both inmates and staff, "We did see areas where we were lacking in some protocols that would help the deputies." He wants deputies to get special training to recognize the symptoms of detoxing versus other medical conditions, and Adkins thinks having access to round-the-clock medical care would help, too. "We don't have 24-hour nurses, so we're trying to hire nurses to help the deputies. my deputies are not medically trained, so anything I can do to help them, in these types of circumstances, will make us all better."
Adkins says, for the size of Jefferson County's population, his agency see a disproportionately high percentage of inmates suffering addictions, and dealing with that costs money, "Running a jail is a very expensive and very difficult task, especially these days with the drug overdoses [and] the medical costs that we see every day." He tells KBND News, "We were spending $180,000 a year in medical spending. Now, we're up to $500,000 a year, just so we can take better care of the inmates."
REDMOND, OR -- About an hour after a head-on collision on the south end of Redmond claimed the life of a Prineville man, Wednesday morning, a Eugene man was seriously hurt in another crash on the east end of town.
At about 10:15 a.m., according to Redmond Police, 39-year-old Shan Dieringer was driving westbound when he came upon a vehicle stopped on the highway waiting to make a left on to Lake Road. Dieringer wasn’t able to stop and drove into eastbound lane, hitting a pickup, head-on. Investigators expect Dieringer will be cited, saying speed and following distance were contributing factors.
At the time of the crash, all available Redmond PD units were at the Highway 97 incident. Some were pulled to respond to Highway 126, and Deschutes County deputies were brought in to help.
REDMOND, OR -- A boom truck and passenger car collided on Highway 97, just after 9 Wednesday morning, forcing an extensive closure of the highway, on the south end of Redmond. Few details have been released. However, Redmond Police confirm at least one person was killed in the crash near the Yew Avenue/Airport Way onramp.
Redmond Fire, RPD, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police responded to the scene.
UPDATE (12:45 p.m.: All lanes re-opened just before 12:45 p.m.
(1:45 p.m.) According to Oregon State Police, a 73-year-old Prineville resident was northbound on Highway 97, driving a 2005 Chevy Malibu, when the Malibu crossed into oncoming traffic, near the Yew Ave. exit. The car crashed head-on into a Bend Roof Truss truck, driven by 48-year-old Kavan Rose, of Bend. The driver of the Malibu was pronounced dead at the scene; Rose was taken to St. Charles Redmond with non-life threatening injuries.
State Police later identified the deceased as 73-year-old Richard James Lanning.
Photos: courtesy Redmond Police, Oregon State Police.
MADRAS, OR -- A fire at the Brightwood facility in Madras, was kept small, Tuesday, limiting the damage to the mill. Jefferson County Fire crews responded to the building on Northwest Hess, at about 5:30 p.m., and found heavy smoke coming from two open loading doors. They quickly extinguished the blaze, which was confined to the immediate area. Damage is estimated at about $400.
Then, early Wednesday morning, firefighters put out a brush fire threatening two homes on Roosevelt, in Madras. The blaze was spotted by Jefferson County medics as they returned from an unrelated call. They alerted residents and fire crews, just before 1 a.m. The fire in juniper brush was held at a 50'x15' area. There was no damage to either home; however, three lawn decorations were destroyed.
The causes of both fires are under investigation.
BEND, OR -- Highway 20 was designation a Medal of Honor Highway by the 2017 State Legislature. At the same time, lawmakers also approved the designation of 12 cities as Medal of Honor communities, for their connection to 26 Medal of Honor recipients. Bend will be the first to receive its plaque noting the designation, during Wednesday night's City Council meeting. Bend resident Robert Maxwell, the nation’s oldest living recipient, is scheduled to attend the presentation, if his health allows.
Bend Heroes Foundation Chair Dick Tobiason helped get the legislation passed. He says only 3,500 people have earned the Medal of Honor since the Civil War. "Medal of Honor recipients don't think about going out to earn the Medal of Honor. Something happens and they all of a sudden react. I've often wondered how many lives have been saved by these 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients?" Tobiason tells KBND News, "Of course, with Bob Maxwell being the only [Oregon] Medal of Honor recipient living, we wanted to present the Bend Medal of Honor city plaque to Bend, first." He adds, "It's a big distinction for Bend to be home to our nation's oldest living Medal of honor recipient, as well as being the first city designated a Medal of Honor city."
Tobiason says the Oregon Department of Transportation has installed signs along Highway 20, "That highway passes through Bend; and we've raised some money to pay ODOT to put in 12 Medal of Honor highway signs between Newport and Idaho. There are four signs near Bend: two east of Bend and two west of Bend."
SISTERS, OR -- Hoodoo Ski Area will open for the season on Friday. As of Wednesday, they have 17" of snow at the base.
The Manzanita, Ed and Easy Rider Lift will run through the weekend with limited grooming and surface powder. The Autobahn Tubing Park will also be open Friday and Saturday, although the automated tow will not operate until more snow falls, so tubers must walk up the hill for each run.
Chairlifts will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. The tubing park is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Managers will evaluate conditions after Sunday, and update the schedule. Updates will be posted to the ski hill's website and social media pages.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes National Forest has closed several areas to the public, in an effort to protect critical winter habitat for local wildlife, "This is a really important time for those deer and elk to maintain their ability to get forage to make it through the winter," says Jean Nelson Dean, with the Forest Service, "And, constant disturbance really impacts their survival rate; their ability to reproduce."
Nelson Dean tells KBND News it’s important to make sure wildlife can access food, as snow moves into the mountains, "They come down closer to us this time of year, because that’s what they’re seeking is that forage that is in some of those less snowy places." She says there are four closures: "The Metolius Winter Range, the Opine Travel Management Area, the Tumalo Winter Range and the Cabin/Silver Lake area. And, you can go to our website and get maps for those closures."
Snow gates are also now closed near Three Creek Sno-Park, on the Sisters Ranger District, and Tumalo Falls, on the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District.
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools released three potential boundary maps for elementary schools, Tuesday, and are now taking public feedback on the proposals. The options were developed by the Attendance Area Review Committee, in an effort to balance attendance when the new elementary school opens on the north end of Bend, next fall.
Christy McLeod is on of the the 27 committee members who have worked for months to come up with maps that met the needs of schools, families and bus drivers. She says every elementary school is likely to see boundary changes, "The thing that I think is the most challenging is that there’s not a really simple easy answer – easy solution. So, it’s going to take a lot of back and forth. And it’s really critical that we get feedback from the community, and their views of the different things; maybe they’ve thought of something we haven’t."
She knows there won't be one answer that pleases everyone, but says it's about helping kids learn and finding the best solution for the broader community, "With the amount of growth that we’re having, it’s a good problem to have that we are building new schools and we’re able to look at the enrollment that can create the best learning environment for all the elementary students."
The committee heard from the public during a Tuesday open house. Another will be held Thursday at Pacific Crest Middle School, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Input will also be accepted through the district’s website where all three draft maps can be viewed in detail. McLeod tells KBND News, "The committee will get back together again, and we will come to terms with what we would view as one single map, based on the committee’s work that we’ve done to date and the feedback from the wider community, and make a recommendation to the district about what the boundary lines should be for all the elementary schools." That final recommendation is expected in January.
MADRAS, OR -- Three Jefferson County deputies charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide, stemming from the death of an inmate, were found "Not Guilty," on Tuesday. In April of 2017, 59-year-old James Wippel, of Portland, was arrested by Warm Springs Police for several drug related charges; he was reportedly detoxing while in custody when he died. Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins tells KBND News, "This was a tragedy. This guy had an ulcer that was in there for months, if not years. It ruptured, and it ruptured a(n) artery, and when it ruptured, it happened very rapidly." Deputy Michael Durkan, Deputy Cory Skidgel and Corporal Anthony Hansen were on duty at the time of Wippel's death. They were indicted by a Grand Jury, last spring.
Following the bench trial, Judge Daina Vitolins said evidence didn't prove Wippel would've survived if he'd received medical care more quickly. Sheriff Adkins tells KBND News, "I said in the very beginning that I believed in the system and that I would trust God to get us through this. So, we've gone through the investigation, we've come out the other side, and I think we're better off for it." He also says the agency has taken steps to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. "We're better prepared today than we were back then to handle a person who is detoxing hard from heroine, and who may exhibit the same type of symptoms as this."
Adkins says the verdict means his office can finally move forward. "It's very important for my office, and for the deputies themselves. I can get them back to work, and it means that my office can start to heal now." Durkan, Skidgel and Hansen will return to work next week, after nearly a year on paid administrative leave.
Photo: One acquitted Deputy hugs his wife, following Tuesday's "not guilty" verdict. Courtesy John Stevens, "Ranch Matters."
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- A Crooked River Ranch man faces arson charges, following a weekend house fire. James Winterholer III is accused of starting the fire that heavily damaged a double-wide manufactured home on SW High Cone Dr., Sunday afternoon.
According to CRR Fire and Rescue, crews responded at about 4 p.m. Winterholer was outside the home, when firefighters arrived. Damage to the living room was extensive and officials say heat and smoke damage was found throughout the building, totaling about $10,000.
Winterholer is currently housed at the Jefferson County Jail.
Photo: Dave Stangland, CRR Resident, "Ranch Matters"
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Construction of Crook County's new jail is on schedule. Undersheriff James Savage says drywall is currently being installed, the roof is going on, and he expects it will be weathered in, early this month.
Savage says construction should be complete by the end of April, "From there, we'll be about a two-month training period where we'll work out all the kinks, make sure the doors work appropriately, make sure everything's functioning, and have a staff training during that time." He says the public will also be invited inside, "We've got a couple things planned. We're working on whether we want to let people stay overnight or just do a walk-thru type thing, so we have a couple ideas." He tells KBND News, "We'll have an Open House for the public before we actually bring all the inmates over, probably around July first."
He says the new jail is being built with new features to keep inmates from re-offending, "One thing this jail is going to do is allow us to have programs to give them some work skills, so when they leave here they'll have some skills, rather than just go out on the street and come back in." There will also be opportunities for inmates to earn a GED. "You know, it's not just 'lock them up and feed them three times a day.' We are trying to get some productivity out of them while they're in, and so when they go out, they won't come back in."
The 76-bed facility is funded by a $10 million bond measure passed by voters in November 2016. Currently, most Crook County inmates are housed in the Jefferson County jail, through a lease agreement. That arrangement will end once the new jail opens in Prineville and inmates are transferred back to Crook County.
BEND, OR -- The 27-member Attendance Area Review Committee for Bend-La Pine Schools will release a draft of the new elementary school attendance area maps, during two open house meetings, this week. The first is Tuesday at Sky View Middle School, the second is Thursday at Pacific Crest Middle School. Both meetings are 4:30-6:30 p.m. Click HERE for more information on the events.
Shifting elementary school boundaries is necessary to balance attendance, as the district prepares to open the new 600-student elementary school on the north end of Bend. The draft boundary map was created using feedback from meetings and surveys conducted in October.
The committee is expected to make its final recommendation to the Superintendent in January. The approved attendance areas will take effect in the fall of 2019. District officials expect every neighborhood elementary school in Bend to see changes.
BEND, OR -- With temperatures in Bend forecast to dip into the single digits, this week, the City Manager declared a weather emergency, Monday. Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering tells KBND News, "When we have temperatures that drop below 25-degrees, consistently, it enables some of the shelters to temporarily increase their capacity and other locations that aren’t normally shelters to become shelters, if they meet the safety guidelines and are approved."
Kettering says the city is trying to help provide more options for the homeless, during winter, "We often see cold snaps where temperatures drop into the single digits, or even below zero. And that’s a condition that can be dangerous, if not outright deadly, for people who are camping outdoors."
Bend Fire inspects all shelters before they're allowed to open. Kettering says whether it's a permanent shelter that wants to exceed it's normal capacity during the cold weather, or a temporary shelter that wants to open, all must comply with safety guidelines, including building and fire codes. "We ensure that exiting is adequate; that they have working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms; that they’ll have staff providing fire watch; that they meet all the requirements in order to provide a safe place for people to either come in and warm up, or possibly sleep, as well."
Last year, both the Bethlehem Inn and Shepherd’s House were approved to exceed their normal capacity, and two other locations received emergency shelter approval. This year, Kettering has approved one temporary shelter and expect calls from more, this week. The weather emergency declaration is in effect through the end of February.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond horse died, last night, after escaping its pasture and getting struck by a car. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says the dark colored horse was walking southbound on Helmholtz, near Elkhorn Avenue, when it was hit broadside by a northbound car, just before midnight. That car was driven by 23-year-old Haley Jo Shaw.
The animal rolled on to the hood and hit the windshield before falling to the ground. It was still alive when emergency crews arrived but had to be euthanized by an emergency equine vet, at the scene.
Shaw complained of minor injuries and was evaluated by medics. The crash remains under investigation and no citations have been issued.
BEND, OR -- A Tumalo area barn was destroyed by fire, Monday morning. When Bend Fire crews arrived on Tweed Road, just after 6 a.m., they found the 30x40' outbuilding fully engulfed in flames and the roof caving in. No animals were inside, but a tractor, backhoe and forklift were destroyed by the blaze. The fire's cause has not been determined. It left about $140,000 in damage.
Cloverdale Fire provided a water tender and command officer, thanks to a recently updated mutual aid agreement. Officials say that made collaboration more effective.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon Congressman Greg Walden will maintain his position as the highest ranking Republican on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee. However, because Democrats now have a majority in the House, Walden will no longer be the Chairman. In a statement, Rep. Walden said, "The Energy and Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction over many of the issues we face in Oregon and across the West. Under my leadership, the Energy and Commerce Committee has worked in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to advance key legislation for our district."
Walden will also sit on the House Republican Steering Committee, which helps determine which party members serve on various House committees. "In this position, I will continue to advocate for public policy that addresses the unique challenges we face in the West," Walden said in a statement, "There is much more work to be done to improve federal forest policy to reduce the risk of wildfires, bring local input back to public land management decisions, and ensure our farming, ranching, and rural communities are able to thrive." In addition to Oregon, Walden will represent Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming on the House Republican Steering Committee as the Region 11 Representative for the 116th Congress.
BEND, OR -- St. Charles Health System is experiencing a critical shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants. Across its four hospitals in the region, St. Charles has more than 40 vacancies.
Nurse Manager Allea Thomas-Putnam says CNAs provide vital services, "Predominantly, CNAs are really there to do ‘activities of daily living’ for our patients. Things like: helping them get washed up and brush their teeth; helping them ambulate to and from the bathroom, doing vital signs and taking blood sugars, and things of that nature." She tells KBND News, "That is part of a nurse’s scope to function as a CNA. But, we certainly don’t want nurses chronically working as CNAs, because we want them working to the height of their license, with the medication administration and some of those critical thinking things that nurses do."
Thomas-Putnam says the nursing contract negotiations currently underway with St. Charles Bend isn't a factor in the shortage, because CNAs aren’t part of the union. "There’s a nationwide shortage of CNAs. CNA work is very, very rewarding work but it’s challenging work. And, I think that it’s just a growing occupation, so naturally we’re just seeing a shortage."
As an incentive for new hires, St. Charles recently increased the starting wage for CNA’s by $2 an hour, and the health system offers scholarships to help pay for training. Thomas-Putnam says becoming a CNA is a great way to enter the healthcare field, and is often a stepping stone to becoming an RN.
LA PINE, OR -- Fire destroyed a storage shed for Paulina Snowmobile Rentals, Thursday, crippling the small business. The owner believes the blaze was intentionally set, "There was nothing flammable, there was no electricity," Jay Chappell tells KBND News, "There's evidence of, somebody was trying to break in. Looks like an ax to the door,".
Chappell says he used the small building to store safety gear for clients, "I had 50 helmets, probably 20 pairs of overalls, goggles, I mean everything, boots, to make your adventure awesome." But now, that's all gone. "All my helmets, all my gear, all my stuff for all my rentals, that I give to people to wear for the rentals. So at this point, I have no gear; I have nothing."
He says he's lucky his snowmobiles were stored elsewhere. However, he can't rent them out without protective gear. Chappell says it's devastating at what should be the start of his busy season, "It's just now hitting where I should be making money and now I'm taking this hit and it's really hard, you know? I'm a father, I've got three kids and a beautiful wife. We've worked our asses off to make this, and this happens."
Chappell says the police are investigating, and even though the incident occurred at night, he hopes someone saw something, and will say something. "We've put together a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to figuring this out." He says, "This is my livelihood; I put all my everything into it. It's my passion to ride the snowmobiles." If he can partner with another business to provide gear for his clients, he may be able to stay in business.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond's Obsidian Middle School was the site of a traumatic scene, Friday. But what looked like the latest school shooting was just a drill.
At a mock press conference, Redmond Police Chief Dave Tarbet outlined the scenario: a single shooter opened fire in the school's commons, just as students arrived for the day. "The School Resource Officer at the school engaged the shooter, ending the threat on the scene. We can confirm one shooter is deceased, and there's no indication at this time that there are any others involved." Deschutes County Sheriff Sgt. William Bailey told reporters, "The School Resource officer, who was inside the school, confronted the shooter. And, I can confirm the shooter is deceased. And, He is the only person deceased in this incident. There are seven students in critical condition." He went on to describe how they were taken by ground and air ambulance to nearby hospitals.
Using a training channel, Deschutes County dispatchers called in units from all over Deschutes County. Along with the Sheriff's Office and Redmond PD, officers from Bend, Black Butte Ranch and Sunriver also took part. Along with several local fire departments. Redmond Police Lt. Curtis Chambers says those are important partnerships, "In an incident, such as this, if it were to happen, all agencies would be coming to help us." Even the FBI sent personnel from its Portland office because, Chambers says, they would respond to a school shooting to support local agencies and provide access to federal resources. The School District was also on hand to practice the process in which parents would be notified and then eventually reunited with their children.
Several dozen college students portrayed shooting victims. EMT-in training Sarah Barcelone tells KBND News things got intense during the simulation, "It actually got real pretty fast. So, what happens is, we wait in there, and they're coming in, and we're just screaming and yelling; we're really trying to recreate the scenario of how it would be in real life."
Lt. Chambers says exercises like Friday's are invaluable. Although, he admits, they hope to never have to utilize what they've learned. "In these large scale, multi-casualty incidents - whether it be at a school, a hospital, airport, anywhere - preparing and practicing, getting multiple agencies involved to work together, takes time and takes effort. What we are learning in this scenario [is] that we have a lot to improve upon. And, we are hopeful that by training and practicing now, we are better prepared if and when this incident actually does occur."
Photos: (top) College students portraying shooting victims rush from the school during the simulation.
(middle) DCSO Sgt. William Bailey takes questions during the mock press conference, as RPD Lt. Curtis Chambers looks on.
(lower right) Responding officers rush in to Obsidian Middle School during the training exercise.
Click HERE for more picture.