America in the Morning

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Local News Archives for 2019-09

The Oregon youth Climate Strike will meet at 4PM at the corner of Newport Avenue and Wall Street. The groups which includes Bend and Redmond area schools and businesses are demanding the federal government stop fossil-fuel infrastructure projects and pass a Green New Deal to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. 


Several speakers, including youth activists, will speak at the event and give the public a petition to sign.


Freddy Finney-Jourdet, a 17-year-old senior student from Redmond who is one of the organizers, says he expects between 100-200 students to attend and many more non-students. 


The event will coincide with youth-led climate strikes around the world Friday, led by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Students from around the state are expected to also walk out as a sign of solidarity. 

A Bend man identified as 21-year-old William Wight was arrested Thursday morning. He is accused of posting a threat to Bend Senior HS on a social media site. Lietuenant Juli McConkey with Bend PD, says they got a quick heads up about the threat from the school's social media manager. Wight was arrested at his home where police seized a shotgun. He was jailed on charges of Disorderly Conduct, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Menacing. Wight will be taken to St. Charles for evaluation. 


** Updated September 19, 2019 at 09:35am **

The human remains located near the intersection of Highway 20 and Robal Road on September 15, 2019 have been positively identified as belonging to thirty-five year old Charles F. Shepard of Bend.  No foul play is suspected in his death.

Shepard's next of kin has been notified.


On September 15, 2019, at approximately 10:45 am, deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) were dispatched to a report of human remains that had been located just north of the City of Bend, near the intersection of Hwy 20 West and Robal Road.  An individual walking their dog on private property between Highway 20 and OB Riley Road made the discovery and reported the finding to Deschutes County 911.

Deputies and DCSO detectives arrived at the location and confirmed the discovery of decomposed human remains, likely belonging to that of an adult male.  Deputies and detectives worked throughout the afternoon, assisted by the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, Deschutes County Medical Examiner, and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, to document, collect evidence, and recover the human remains for autopsy. 

SALEM, OR -- Gun owners who fail to secure their weapons would be held accountable for crimes committed with that weapon under legislation being proposed by gun safety advocates. The bill is supported by the State of Safety Action group. Their proposed bill would also require gun owners to either use a gun safe, locks or cables to secure their weapons. The State of Safety Action group hopes the legislature passes the bill. However, if lawmakers don’t pass the bill the group says efforts are underway to put the measure before Oregon voters in November, 2020.

BEND, OR -- State biologists say they don’t expect a spike in cougar sightings now that the deer and elk migrations have started in Central Oregon. ODF&W Regional Biologist Corey Heath, says more cougar sightings will likely occur after snow falls and pushes wildlife out of the high country. Heath says cougar sightings have been fairly common in rural and urban areas of Central Oregon over the past year or so, but says there have been no attacks on humans. He says the only fatal cougar attack occured last year near Mt. Hood. However, Heath notes there have been cougar attacks on some pets and livestock in Central Oregon. 

BEND, OR -- The Bend Heroes Foundation is putting on a ceremony tomorrow for POW/MIA Recognition Day. The Chair of the foundation, Dick Tobiason, says there are 16 missing veterans from Bend, 15 from World War Two and one from Vietnam. Tobiason says searches continue around the world for American MIA’s. The POW/MIA Recognition Day event, designated by Congress for the third Friday in September, begins at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow at the Bend Heroes Memorial in Brooks Park. The ceremony will include presentations regarding Highway 26 being designated a POW/MIA Memorial Highway. The 427-mile long Highway 26 extends from Seaside to the Oregon - Idaho Border and its designation as a memorial highway was approved unanimously by state lawmakers earlier this year.   



Elton Gregory Middle School in Redmond was locked down for a short time Wednesday after a student used a knife to carve into a wall and a bench. Police say a lockdown occurs when any level of threat or potential of threat happens in a school. Officers responded and took the student to St Charles Redmond for evaluation. Any criminal charges are pending the results of the medical evaluation.

SALEM, OR -- (Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown released the following statement regarding a special session to clarify the ambiguity around Senate Bill 1013, the Death Penalty Bill.
"While it is clear there is a misunderstanding regarding the intent of the words in Senate Bill 1013, it is also clear there is not sufficient support for a special session to pass a fix. When announcing my support for a special session, I said that it was conditional on stakeholders and legislators crafting bill language that had the votes to pass. That has not been achieved. I cannot justify the additional cost and time a special session requires without that support, and I will not be calling the legislature into a special session this month before the law goes into effect."

The Oregon Department of Justice has stated the bill would apply retroactively to death penalty cases. If that turns out to be the case, some death row inmates could get a new trial. Republicans in Salem say the measure should be sent to voters.  

The Crook County Health Department in partnership with The Central Oregon Health Council will be holding two community Naloxone Trainings in Prineville on Thursday, September 19th at 12:30PM and 5:30PM at the Crook County Library, Broughton Room- 175 NW Meadow Lakes Dr. Priveville, OR 97754.


Please contact Heather Stuart at Crook County Health Department for details as there are a limited number of spaces. 


Office: 541-323-2451

BEND, OR -- Nationwide investigations are underway into the deaths and illnesses of people who were vaping marijuana, tobacco or, tobacco flavored products. Dr Ryan Nelson is a Pulomonolgist at Saint Charles and says when the vaping devices first came out, many people thought they would be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Nelson says what researchers are trying to figure out is, what is in the vaping device that causes harm. Nelson says the illnesses and deaths are not seen among traditional marijuana and cigarette users. This has led researchers to view the device itself, not what is put in it, as the cause of the health problems. 

BEND, OR -- The Cascade Disposal and Bend Garbage Companies are offering to recyle food waste and turn it into something good for the garden. Cascade's Community Outreach Coordinator, Patricia Williams, says the recycling of the waste is for customers who have yard debris service. "We are taking everything. Bones, meat, dairy, bread, processed and cooked foods. All of that can go into the yard debris container," Williams said.  The food waste will be taken to Deschutes Recycling by Knott Landfill where it will turn into compost in 90 days. Williams says 2-gallon buckets are available to customers of Cascade Disposal and Bend Garbage. The buckets can be placed in the kitchen and when the bucket is full it can be dropped in the yard debris container.

BEND, OR -- Some Portland police officers were in town Monday to conduct training designed to catch people trying to sexually exploit others. Lieutenant Juli McConkey with Bend Police, says 55 year old Daniel Vance Packman responded to a website seeking sex, without knowing he was really communicationg with police. Packman was told there were two females, one 17 years old, who wanted to participate. McConkey says a short time later Packman showed up at the hotel and was arrested, jailed and Charged with Prostituton and Purchasing Sex With A Minor. McConkey says police locally are using the internet to catch people engaged in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of teenagers.


Thursday, Sept. 19, the Old Bend-Redmond Highway will be closed from Rogers Road to Highway 20 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


The Deschutes County Road Department will be completing repairs and conducting environmental cleanup in response to a concrete truck crash that occurred in late August.


A detour route will be provided.


For more information, please contact the Deschutes County Road Department at (541) 388-6581.

BEND, OR -- A 23 year old transient man, identified as Jeffrey J. Ebel, was arrested Monday following an incident at Trader Joe’s. Employees at Trader Joe’s told a Security Officer about a man yelling and causing a disturbance. The officer found Ebel at Food 4 Less and told him not to return to Trader Joe’s. Ebel was given directions to the bus stop and was walking north when he saw the Security Officer following him.  Ebel pulled out a hatchet and began threatening to harm the officer, who called 911.  Ebel then reportedly charged the officer, with the hatchet over his head and the officer ran and hid. Ebel was then seen running and the JC Penney store was briefly locked down. Bend Police arrived and found Ebel near Hunnel Road and Robal Road. Police took the hatchet and Ebel was arrested without incident. He is jailed on charges of Menacing, Disorderly Conduct and, Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is investigating the discovery of human remains found this past Sunday,  The remains were found north of Bend by a person walking a dog on private property, between Highway 20 and OB Riley Road. The person contacted 911. Investigators believe the remains are those of an adult man. Sheriff's deputies were helped by the Medical examiner and the State Police Crime Lab. An autopsy is scheduled today to help police identify the subject and the cause of his death.

BEND, OR -- The 3rd Annual Go Clean Energy Conference is coming up in Bend. The Executive Director of 350Deschutes, Diane Hodiak, says 35 speakers at the conference, will cover a broad range of clean energy sources that include incentives. She says, "Energy efficiency, clean energy, including microhydro and solar, as well as electric vehicles. And things you can do as an individual or a business to green up your life."  Hodiak says there are incentives, rebates and tax credits for many clean energy sources although they keep changing and that creates confusion. She says the conference will clear up confusion. The Go Clean Energy Conference is Thursday, October 3rd from 8:30-to-430 at the downtown Bend Episcopal Church. Tickets for the conference are 35-dollars and includes lunch. To register log onto Go Clean Energy.org, and use promo code 350D.


BEND, OR -- The non-profit Discover Your Forest organization is teaming up today with hundreds of volunteers from REI and the Deschutes National Forest to clean up the China Butte area. Amy Jensen with Discover Your Forest, says the Cabin Butte Pit and Horse Butte Trailhead areas need to cleaned up. She says, "There's some citizen-made shooting lanes and just kind of a large accumulation of trash, debris and bullet casings everywhere. So they decided that would be a great opportunity where we could use a couple hundred volunteers to combine their efforts." Jensen says the volunteers would also put up rail fencing and de-commission the illegal shooting areas. Jensen says today’s project will help encourage native plant regrowth and increase recreation opportunities.

BEND, OR -- Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote. They are less common than they once were according to Bend Battalion Fire Chief David Howe because many people have switched to other sources of heating fuel like electricity or natural gas. But for those burning wood products, Howe says, getting the chimney flu inspected and cleaned is important because, "If you burn fuel that is fairly wet and hasn't been seasoned a long time, you are more likely to build up more creosote. And if you burn fuel fairly cool, like a smoldering fire, that's gonna build up creosote really fast." Howe says get the chimney inspected and cleaned twice a year if your fuel is increasing the creosote build up in the chimney.

BEND, OR -- The popular Mid Oregon Credit Union Financial Workshops are coming up. Kyle Frick with MOCU says they are offering a first-time workshop on the topic of Parenting in a Digital World. The workshop will help parents learn how to keep their kids safe. The parenting workshop is at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 18th. Frick says another popular workshop in will feature a representative of PERS, the Public Employee Retirement System. The workshop will include a discussion of the basics of PERS and includes an overview of PERS Tier 1/Tier 2. The PERS workshop is at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 24th. Frick says a third workshop being offered is Estate Planning Essentials. The workshop will feature an attorney who will discuss wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care issues. The estate workshop is at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 3rd. All of the workshops are free. You are asked to pre-register by logging ionto the Mid Oregon Credit Union Website. All of the workshops will be held at 1386 NE Cushing Drive.  

BEND, OR -- The U-S Interior Department has issued an order to allow Class 1, 2 and 3 E-Bikes on lands the agency manages. This means E-Bikes would be allowed on BLM, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands. The Chair of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance, Bruce Schroeder, says, "Our main goal in this is to educate our ridership about what's new and what the scope of that Interior Department order really is." The Interior Department order does not include U-S Forest Service lands because that agency is under the U-S Department of Agriculture. Schroeder says that difference could possibly lead to confusion and conflict on trails. 

SWEET HOME, OR -- A Terrbonne man was killed Thursday afternoon in a wreck on Highway 20 east of Sweet Home. Oregon State Police investigators say 58-year old Michael Falcioni was eastbound when he lost control of his motorcylce and crossed into the path of a Ford F250 pickup driven by 53-year old Dale Zoon of Sweet home. Falcioni was pronounced dead at the scene. Zoon was not injured.  

MADRAS, OR -- An early morning wreck on Highway 26 just west of Madras has killed one person and injured another.

Oregon State Police say at about 2-10 this (Friday) morning, a Buick driven by 20-year old Arrita Augustine Sampson of Warm Springs, was traveling on Earl Street. Sampson failed to stop for a stop sign at the intersection with Highway 26. Sampson's car drove into the path of an eastbound tractor-trailer rig, driven by 30-year old Brandon McMurrian of Prineville. Sampson died at the scene. A passenger in Sampson's car, 18-year old May Spino of Warm Springs was taken to Saint Charles-Madras and then airlifted to St Charles-Bend for injuries. McMurrian was not injured.    

UPDATE from Brad Haynes, Traffic Director City of Redmond. Roadblock on Airport Way to be removed by 2:30PM today "Thursday" Brad says to "please be careful and allow workers to pull away their signage" 

ODOT has a new director. The Oregon Transportation Commission has selected Kris Strickler, who is currently Oregon’s Highway Administrator. Democratic State Senator Betsy Johnson was one of the people who interviewed the candidates. She says unlike some state agency heads, Strickler was chosen by the Oregon Transportation Commission, not the governor. Strickler would become the 12th ODOT Director. His appointment must still be approved by the Oregon Senate.

BEND, OR -- Thanks to quick action by neighbors, a family at a home on Century Drive was alerted to a fire on their roof late Tuesday night, which broke out while they were asleep. Bend Fire Battalion Chief David Howe told KBND, the ventilation fan in a 2nd story bathroom caused the blaze. Howe says, "You have to make sure ventilation fans are cleaned out every now and then,. It is something you want to do every year." He says to take the cover off the fan and, "Use a vaccum cleaner to clear out the lint in the fan," Howe says lint buildup in the fan can cause the unit to overheat and cause a fire. Also important, Howe says, make sure your home has working smoke alarms.  

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff L. Shane Nelson filed Thursday for reelection.  Nelson started his law enforcement career here in 1993. Nelson told KBND, if reelected one of his top priorities will be continued enforcement of illegal or black market marijuana. Nelson says," I think it’s a very big and sensitive issue for this community. We want to ensure those in the business follow the rules.” Nelson became the 9th Deschutes County Sheriff in history in 2015. Nelson has served with the sheriff’s office for nearly 26 years. For more on the sheriiff's conversation with KBND, join us Friday morning for the KBND News with Frank Bonacquists and Paul Hanson.

BEND, OR -- Bend Police Chief Jim Porter is crediting foot patrols for a big drop in crime in the Downtown Bend--Mirror Pond area. Porter says in the summer SRO’s join the special Problem Oriented Policing Team working in the area. The Police Chief says the drop in crime in the Downtown - Mirror Pond area over the past three years way down. He says, "We've been able to push intoxicated calls down 45%, Animal Control complaints down 20%, Mental Health calls down almost 39%. The important ones that we really focused on was Assault calls which are down by 74% Dispute calls down 74% and overall theft cases dropped by nearly 60%." Porter says they worked closely with the Bend Downtown Association to make the area safer.

BEND, OR -- 

Central Oregon Community College is getting its first  School Resource Officer thanks to a partnership with the City of Bend.

A 12 year police department veteran, Chris Smelser, will start his new job on Monday. Lieutenant Juli McConkey with Bend Police tells KBND, Smelser will also be available for other assignments, as needed, off campus. "He can respond off of the campus to help other officers of course, if there's an emergency call." Funding for Smelser’s new job as the community college SRO. will be shared between the City of Bend and the COCC.

Community members, local leaders, school officials and students will join to celebrate the groundbreaking for Bend-La Pine schools’ new high school in Southeast Bend, Thursday, September 19th at 1 p.m. The new 16-hundred-seat high school, which is slated to open to students in the fall of 2021, is part of the 2017 school construction bond. The new high school will include nearly 60 new classrooms, including several career and technical education classrooms, a 600-seat auditorium, a library as the central focal point, a football stadium as well as two secure main entries.

In observance of National Suicide Prevention Week, there is a special event at 6:30-this evening in Bend, titled, “True Stories.” The event will focus on how we publicly communicate and talk about suicide and how that can have a negative or positive impact. Participants include suicide prevention experts and community members. The event is being put on by the Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance. If you plan to attend, register at prevent-suicide-co-dot-org-slash-events. The discussion is at St Charles Bend in Conference Rooms C & D

The Board of Directors of Central Oregon Community College meets at the Madras campus tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 6:30. The board will get a briefing on how things are going at the Madras campus. The new Director of Education Programs at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution will talk about the GED Programs, the Welding Program and other educational services provided to inmates by the college.

The 15-hundred Cycle Oregon bike riders will move through Bend today heading to Cascade Lakes Highway. The riders then head to Sunriver and eventually La Pine where they will camp for the night. Tomorrow, Wednesday, the cyclists leave La Pine for a scenic ride to Diamond Lake where they will campout for the night. Riders on this year’s Cycle Oregon have the option of a side trip to Crater lake National Park. 

The Deschutes County Sheriff was sent to a home in Sisters early Monday morning for a report of a burglary in progress. Deputies were told a man broke into the back door of a home but was confronted by the homeowner with a rifle. The suspect, 43-year-old Ryan Paul Huber, of Sisters left the home went to a neighbor’s house and rang the doorbell. The second homeowner called 9-1-1- and told Huber to leave. Huber went back to the first home where he was held by the armed homeowner until police arrived. Hyber told police he believed his family…who lived nearby…was being held hostage. Police found the family unharmed and asleep. Huber is jailed on charges of Burglary and Criminal Mischief. 

Bend, OR -- Oregon State Poiice say a Prineville man was killed Thursday  night on Highway 370, the O’Neill Highway. Police responded to a report of the collision at about 6:40 p.m. Investigators says a Chevy  Impala, driven by 43 year old Matthew Herrera, was eastbound at a high rate of speed. Herrera  lost control on a corner and slid sideways into the westbound lane. The Impala collided with a westbound GMC pickup, driven by 37 year old Aaron Ruhl, of Prineville. Herrera died at the scene. Ruhl and his passenger, 32 year old Jessica Heggie of Prineville were taken to St Charles for treatment.

UPDATE ...The Deschutes County Sheriff's search for a 49 year old missing horseback rider in the Cline Buttes Area ended Monday, with the discovery of his body. Police say Chad Hurtley of Redmond apparently took his own life. Hurtley had gone horseback riding at about 10:30 Sunday morning. Several hours later, the horse was found alone on Cline Falls Road heading back to Hurtley’s home. A search began Sunday but hurtley was not found. Search teams resumed the search monday morning and  located Hurtley's body on the west side of one of the Cline Buttes.  

Bend, OR -- A recent cluster of heroin overdoses has Deschutes County Health Services warning the public about an increased risk of heroin overdoses. Health care providers report the heroin may be laced with synthetic fentanyl.
Patients seen last week were very ill and required  unusually high doses Naloxone ... also known as Narcan ... to be stabilized. Naloxone is a medication that was designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. Health offciials say however, the effects of naloxone are temporary and the person still need medical attention because after the medication wears out, the overdose victim may fall back into a coma. 


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  • NE 3rd Street between NE Greenwood Avenue and NE Franklin Avenue for Citywide Pedestrian Safety Improvements, periodic lane closures with local access, 9/16/19 - 10/25/19, night work from 10 p.m. - 10 a.m.
  • NE Revere Avenue between Division Street and NE Lytle Street for railroad crossing repairs, road closure with detours, 9/18/19 - 9/20/19.