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Police: Man's Death Appears To Be In Self-defense

(Madras, OR)  --  Police say the shooting death of a man by his wife appears to have been in self-defense. Jefferson County sheriff's deputies say Mark Province was intoxicated when he arrived at his home in the community of Metolius late last night, and was shot once with a handgun after he had attacked his wife and his father. Authorities say no arrests have been made and all witnesses are cooperating with the investigation.

Latest on the Transition in the Deschutes County D.A.'s Office

He was elected to the office back in May, but won't assume the office until January.


He talked with KBND'S Kelly Bleyer about the transition.


"Kelly:  You still haven't met with Patrick?  Hummel: No, I haven't.  I hope that does happen."


Hummel has been meeting with District Attorneys from across the state though.


"The transition is going well. I'm traveling around the state meeting with D.A.'s and I've met up to 13 of the 36.  I'm asking them how they run their office and picking their brains.  It isn't one size fits all.  I'm learning bits and pieces from all of them and its going to help me hit the ground running."


Hummel says he wants the office to play more of a role in crime prevention.


He wants to help community groups and law enforcement to work together in this area.


He has also met with Deschutes County Commisioners, civil leaders and local law enforcement to get ready for his job which will start in January.

Latest on the Showdown Between COID and Homeowners Along the Pilot Butte Canal

COID wants to pipe the canal in northeast Bend to conserve water, but the homeowners are fighting those plans -- saying it will ruin their views and property values.


COID Director Craig Horrell says they have brought in a facilitator to mediate.


"Her name is Anne George.  She has been contacting neighbors and meeting with them.  I'm staying out of it.  I'm an interested party.  We initiated the process, but we're not direting the process."


So this mediator will meet with both sides and see if there's some common ground that can be reached on piping the canals.


The timeline to reach some kind of agreement is by March of 2015.

Senator Merkley Pushes for a Bill to Reduce Student Debt

A couple years back, student debt surpassed credit card debt in the U.S.


U.S. Senator Merkely supports abill that would allow students with high interest loans to refinance them.


The bill was filibustered last session, but Merkley hopes to revisit it.


"I view college as a public good that is an investment in the next generation.  Some of my colleagues say any loss of profit from student loans has to be offset somewehre else.  My feeling is this should not be a profit making proposition.  We should be breaking even or even subsidizing it to strengthen our economy for the next generation."


Student loan debt in the U.S. hit the one trillion dollar mark in 2013.


For most middle class families, college costs are the second biggest expense they face, second only to buying a house.


So far this bill has not beeen scheduled for a vote.

St. Charles is Offering Free Lung Cancer Screenings for Smokers and Former Smokers

The screenings are made possible thanks to funding from the St. Charles Foundation.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. but if caught early, treatment is much more successful.


Jessica Keegan is the cancer screening coordinator for St. Charles.


"We are looking to diagnose individuals before they have symptoms.  Usually lung cancer patients don't know they have the disease until the later stages and by promoting the screenings we get individuals in to be screened."


Starting Monday September 15th, people between the ages of 55 and 74 who are current smokers or who have quit in the last fifteen years can receive the screenings.


If you are interested, call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment.

Latest on the Search for the Source of the EColi that Killed a Young Oregon Girl

The two children shared a turkey sandwich at a Otis Oergon resaurant over Lab Day weekend.


But Dr. David Long, the Health Officer for Lincoln County says it's a leap to believe that is the definite source.


"We've tested what we feel could be the likely source ,things like food.  We went to the restaurant they ate it.  We haven't ruled it out, but we haven't ruled it in.  It's unfortunate early on the public assumed it was the source and that was unfair."


It will be a couple days before test results will come back.


Because the incubation period for EColi is up to twelve  days, the source could be something the two kids were exposed to a week before Labor Day.  


The five year old boy in Washignton State is in serious condition at a Tacoma hospital.

Deputy D.A. Pleads with County's Health Insurance to Approve a Life Saving Liver Transplant

Dan Reesor was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year and his doctors at UCLA say the only treatment is a liver transplant.


The problem is, the county's health insurance has rejected his plea to approve the transplant.


They claim its experimental and not medically necessary.


Reesor begs to differ.  


"If I don't get a liver transplant, I'll die, plain and simple."


Reesor's freinds and family have appealed to the Deschutes County Commissioners asking them to intervene and approve the life saving transplant, but they claim they can't do that.  All they can do is try to expedite the process.


Without approval, Ressor can't even be placed on the wait list for a new liver.

Three Car Crash in LaPine Sends People to the Hospital

The accident happened at the intersection of Burgess Raod and Meadow Lane just before 1 P.M. Wednesday.


A Ford van was eastbound on Burgess Road and was stopepd waiting to turn left onto Meadow Lane.  A Blazer was stopped behind the van.


A Dodge pickup driven by 21 year old Kameron Michael of LaPine rear-ended the Blazer and struck the Ford van.


Occupants of the Blazer and van were injured as a result of this collision and transported to St. Charles by ambulance.


The road was closed in both directions for one hour during the investigation.


The driver of the truck was ticketed for following too closely.

Believed Cause of a Garage Fire in Northeast Bend

They found cigarette butts stored in a plastic garbage container under the carport, against the side of the house on Northeast Lesley Place.


A neighbor claims he heard sounds like a freight train and witnessed flames coming from the carport.  Aerosol cans, flammable liquids and ammunition were stored near the garbage container and exploded in the fire.


The homeowners were not home at the time of the fire.


The estimated loss in building and contents is 43 thousand dollars.

COCC Will be Holding Training This Friday on How to Handle an Active Shooter

The event will run from 9 A.M. to noon.


There will be numerous police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and even helicopters as part of the drill.


They are not letting people know which buildings are being used for the exercise, but will notify those affected by email. They will also rope off the area, so people don't wander into the training.


Drivers and pedestrians in the area should be aware of the influx of emergency vehicles into the area.

Deschutes County Judge Sentences Bend Man to 50 Years in Prison for the Rape of a Nine Year Old Girl

William Paul Cisneros was found unanimously guilty by a jury of his peers Tuesday after a four day trial.


The defendant showed no remorse for the rape and molestation of the young victim and offered no apology.


Judge Forte sentenced Cisneros to 50 years in prison.


The defendant's crimes were subject to provisions known as "Jessica's Law."


He wil  be subject to supervision for the rest of his life.

Deschutes County's District Attorneys Make a Plea to County Commissioners to Save the Life of a Deputy D.A.

Dan Reesor has liver cancer and has been told by doctors he needs a liver transplant or he will die.


The county is self insured and the claims administrator has denied his claim.


Patrick Flaherty and John Hummel are appealing to the county commissioners to overturn that decision and save Dan's life.


John Hummel hopes the commissioners will step in.


"The problem Dan has is he's not eligible to be put on the waiting list until payment has been approved from insurance.  So he's not even on the waiting list.  So once it's approved, then he's on the waiting list and you have to wait until a liver becomes available."


Dan Reeser has served as a Deputy D.A. for Deschutes County for seven years and is the sole support for his wife and their four year old twins.

Republican Senate Candidate Monica Wehby Gets Some Support from the Gay Community

One of the plaintiffs who sued the state of Oregon to marry his partner is throwing his support behind Wehby.


Ben West is featured prominently in an ad just hitting the airwaves.


"Whether it's standing up for equality for the unemployed or for the next generation, we need leaders who have the courage to do what's right.  That's why I support Monica Wehby for Senate.  I know she'll fight for every Oregon family, including mine."


In the past, Wehby has said she doesn't have a problem with gay marriage, but doesn't believe it's a government decision.


Her opponent, Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement after the ads starting airing, saying as a long time advocate for equality and opportunity for our LGBT community, he welcomes Wehby's change of heart in support of marriage equality.

St. Charles Hires a New CEO

Jim Diegel announced in January he would be stepping down and the St. Charles Board of Directors has just hired Jos Sluka as its new CEO.


Sluka comes from Rapid City, South Dakota, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Adminstirative Officer for Regional Health for four years.


St. Charles has had a lot of administrative turnover in recent years.


Sluka knows he has work to do.


"It's rallying around the common vision.  As long as we are keeping patients at the center of our focus.  That's a vision or a mission that anyone in healthcare can rally around.  That's the most important thing.  We know there's been change and we'll continue to assemble a great team at St. Charles and we'll continue to assemble a great team."


Tom Sayeg is the Chair of the Hospital Board that hired Sluka.


"I did a site visit to Regional as part of our due diligence and I was very impressed with the way he interacted with his senior team.  He took me on a tour of the system and I was impressed how he interacted with people and how people were enthusiastic and excited about the things he's done and is trying to accomplish within the system."


Sluka will be taking over as CEO on December 1st.  Until then, Jim Diegel will continue to serve in the job.

Homeowners Along the Pilot Butte Canal are Concerned After a Leak is Discovered and Repaired

The leak was reported on Friday and district workers quickly repaired it.


COID Director Craig Horrell says this is part of routine maintenance.


"What we have is a 100 year old canal and new construction is part of standard repair of the existing facility.  This happens 6 to 12 times a year throughout the whole system.  It was a small leak."


Nearby homeowner Tom Hignell who opposes plans to pipe the canal, was alarmed by the leak.  He was the one who notified COID of it.


"You know, all it takes is one time.  And they can fix this, but it could happen again. They are propsoing a dam above ground and if that leaks it would do significant damge to property and possibly loss of life if its in the middle of the night or without any warning."


Horrell with COID says nearby residents were never at any risk and these small leaks occur along the canals are are routinely repaired.

Bend Restaurant Helps Raise Funds for a Bend Family Dealing with Brain Cancer

Longboard Louie's is helping the Harris family.


42 year old Dan Harris was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year.


The famiy with eight children didn't have health insurance and they were forced to close their appliance business because Dan couldn't work.


His wife Andrea says it was overwhelming, so Jeff at Longboard Louie's is offering some help.


"It's to benefit our famiy.  My husband was diagnosed with brain cancer in Janaury.  And its the most deadly and fast growing brain cancer.  Since January, he's had two operations, chemo, radiation, you know, you name it."

Longboard Louie's is in northeast Bend near the eastside library.


All the profits from Monday's sales will go to the Harris family to help pay their medical bills.

Cougar Sighting in Southwest Bend

This time in the area of Buck Canyon Road, west of Brookswood Boulevard.


The person who reported the sighting was running and when the cougar saw this person, it ran away towards the Deschutes River.


When Sheriff's deputies arrived in the area, they observed cougar tracks, but didn't see the cougar.


They notified the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about the cougar activity.

Latest Poll on Oregon's Senate Race

750 voters were polled in the state the first week of September.


It found Merkley had 48 percent of the vote, with Wehby getting 35 percent.


The poll was conducted by Rasmussen.  The margin of error is four percentage points.

Judge Miller Sworn In as Deschutes County's Newest Circuit Court Judge

Randy Miller was sworn in during a ceremony  Thursday at the Deschutes County Justice Buidling.


Judge Miller is taking over for Judge Barbara Haslinger who retired from the bench on June 30th.


He was elected in the May primary for a six year term beginning next January.


But Governor Kitzhaber appointed him to serve the remainder of Judge Haslinger's term.


In his remarks following his swearing in, Judge Miller said he's witnessed judges here in Deschutes County displaying honor, courage and commitment and its his intention to continue these high standards.

Temporary Closure on Sisters Ranger District this Weekend

The closure is to allow officials to use explosives to remove the last remaining concrete dam on Whychus Creek.


The area wil  be closed to the public beginning Sunday at 5 P.M. originally it was thought explosives would not be needed, but upon further review it was determined they would be.


Once the dam is removed, 13 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook Salmon, steelhead and trout will be restored in Whychus Creek.

Republican Candidates for November Races at Crooked River Ranch this Saturday

The annual event for Republcian candidates will be held this Saturday.


Such candidates as Greg Walden, Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson and Senate candidates Monica Wehby will be there.


Kate Adams with Crook County Republicans says it gives people a chance to mingle with the candidates.


"This all started in '06 as a remembrance of 9/11 and its grown to a Republican political party rally.  Originally we had speakers and had 60 to 70 people and called it steaks and old fashioned politics back then and now its grown into something bigger."


The event is free and will be this Saturday September 6th from 2 to 6 at MacPherson Park.

Bend Forum Addresses the Lack of Affordable Housing Here

As housing prices continue to go up again, it is pricing more and more people out of hte market.


It was a topic of discussion during this month's League of Women Voters meeting.


Lynne McConnell with Neighbor Impact told the group they have several affordable housing complexes, but no availability.


"Housing Works currently has a dearth, a lack of affordable housing for 55 hundred in the city of Bend. These are people who work here, live here and need somewhere to stay."


The working poor often live at the Bethlehem Inn, the area's homeless shelter, or in rural areas like Gilchrist or LaPine that have cheaper housing, but they have to fund larger transportation costs.


Jim Long is the Affordable Housing Manager for the City of Bend.


He says the current median home price in Bend is 343-thousand dollars.


"So if you really want to play with the numbers.  If you can afford to put ten percent down, it would be 34 thousand dollars and say you get a five percent loan, maybe, maybe  not.  Your payments will be two thousand dollars a month.  That means you have to make $79-thousands dollars which is 126 % of the area's median income for owning a house in this town."


The Bend City Council is slated to look at several options to increase affordable housing in the area.

Governor Kitzhaber Declares a Drought Emergency in Baker County

Dry conditions continue to plague the state, resulting in water shortages, low stream flows and increased fire risk.


The Governor's drought declaration for Baker County allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used effectively.


The Oregon Drought Council met and determined current water conditions and future forecasts in Baker County justify a drought emergency.

Update on How Cover Oregon is Doing in Its Transition to the Federal Website

Tina Edlund gave an update on how things are going for the November 15th start date for people to enroll for health insurance again.


She says they have a new "landing page" that will help direct Oregonians where they need to go.


"But if you don't know whether you should go to Medicaid or, the landing page will help you.  We like to say there's no wrong door policy.  We want people to go there and end up in the right place."


Edlund says they have had to move more services over to the state data center sooner than originally planned since Oracle refused to offer services outside what is stipulated in the current contract.


Of course Oracle and the state are suing each other over the failed Cover Oregon website.

Woman Ordered To Pay $7.9 Million In Restitution For Arson

(Portland, OR)  --  A Warm Springs woman, who prosecutors say started a brush fire because her bored firefighter friends needed work, will be paying for that mistake for the rest of her life.  Twenty-three-year-old Sadie Renee Johnson has been ordered by a federal judge to pay a minimum of 50 dollars a month until she pays off the seven-point-nine-million dollars it cost to fight the brush fire, which grew into a full-blown wildfire that scorched more than 51-thousand acres in central Oregon last year.  Prosecutors say Johnson posted a Facebook message saying she had started the fire, which devastated land on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.  Johnson was also sentenced to 18 months behind bars and will be required to spend an additional six months at an in-patient drug-and-alcohol center.

Bend Chamber Holds Deschutes County Commissioner Debate

The Bend Chamber hosted the event that included KBND'S Kelly Bleyer as one of the moderators.


The debate started with opening statements.


First, Tony Debone.


"My priorites are jobs and the economy and cost effective government as well as protecting our natural resources. I'm open and honest and I'm a family man.  I'm a smal  business owner with a high tech background.  I've produced effective and proven leadership."


His democratic challenger, Jodie Barram is currently on the Bend City Council and wants to help run the county.


"I'm asking you to elect me because we need a commissioner who represents the whole county and is willing to lead giving full time attention to serving you.  I've lived in Terrebonne, Redmond, Bend and Sunriver so I understand the diversity.  I served first on the Planning Commission and then city council where I've been elected Mayor Pro Tem two times, recognizing my collaborative leadership style."


The canddiates also discussed the importance of OSU Cascades, funding for mental health and how they would manage smart growth.


On the issue of OSU Cascades, Councilor Barram has been critical of the county not doing enough.


"I think the county could have shown stronger leadership through partnerships with cities.  And not just with OSU Cascades but COCC which has a new technology center in Redmond.  Funding opportunities for higher education are going to be critical."


Incumbent Commissioner Tony DeBone believes the commission was prudent with the county's money when it comes to OSU Cascades.


"As commissioners we did have the chance to open the people's pocketbook for the philanthropy funds.  But we know with the site at the Simpson roundabout, the county is going to deal with this for many years."


When asked what would surprise people to know about them, Councilor Barram says she has five tattoos and Commissioner DeBone admits he cuts and bales hay, driving a tractor once a year for fun.





Hearings Officer Approves Plan for OSU Cascades Site on Bend's Westside

The officer heard public testimony from more than 200 proponents and opponents back in June in Bend.


Opponents wanted to see the colegee present a master plan for future growth, but the hearings officer ruled that wasn't required until the college buys more  land.  They currently own a ten acre parcel at southwest Century and Chandler.


OSU Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson is happy with the decision.


"Very relieved, very optimsitic and excited that we are finally getting around to building a campus, something the community has wanted for three decades.  I know there are more processes invovled in this, but it's a great first step."


"I want to reiterate that our goal is to be a good neighbor.  That doesn't mean that we'll stop listening.  We are moving forward on a campus and hopefully neighbors will be active participants in that planning."


The opposition to OSU Cascades has said in the past it would appeal if the decision did not go in their favor, so they have twelve days to do that.


Any appeal would be heard by the Bend City Council.

Several Small Grass Fires Crop Up on the South Side of Bend

The fires broke out just after 4:30 P.M. They occurred off of Highway 97 and the Baker Road overpass and China Hat Road.


The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says a motor home's faulty exhaust system triggered the fires.  Apparently burning material from the exhaust was blown to the shoulder of the highway causing the fires.


Traffic was diverted off of northbound 97 for two hours.


The operator of the motor home fully cooperated with the investigation and no charges have been filed against him.

Bend Woman Faces Assault Charges Involving a 21 Month Old Little Girl

The girl was taken to the St. Charles Emergency Room with multiple injuries that doctors felt were not accidental.


28 year old Sarah Hendriks of Bend was the caretaker for the child at the time the child received the injuries.  


Police say after the child received the injuries, Hendiriks failed to provide medical attention to her.


Hendriks is lodged in the Deschutes County jail on 100-thousand dollars bail.


She will face asault in the first degree and criminal mistreatment in the first degree charges.

St. Charles Board Approves 16 Million Dollars of Improvements to Madras Hospital

It will add 26 thousand square feet to the facility and enhance outpatient and primary care services.


The 25 bed critical access hospital serves 21-thousand people in Madras and the surrounding communities.


The renovation will improve the hospital's current small laboratory, will expand the number of beds in the Emergency Department and the number of operating rooms.


The work is slated for construction in May of 2015.


The 16 million dollars for the project will be partially financed by bonds and fulfills the hospital's commitment to the Madras community to upgrade the hospital.

OSU Cascades Decision released

City of Bend issues decision on 10-acre site application for new campus 

BEND, Ore. – Oregon State University – Cascades today took a step closer to developing a four-year undergraduate campus on a 10-acre parcel it owns in southwest Bend, with the approval of a site plan application by the City of Bend’s hearings officer.

Approval of the plan by Hearings Officer Ken Helm includes certain conditions recommended by the City’s planning department, including public road crossing improvements and parking monitoring enhancements.  The hearings officer’s review process included public meetings that took place in early June, when Helm heard input from about 250 community members who testified or submitted written comments. 

Plans for the campus site, which is located at the intersection of Southwest Century and Southwest Chandler avenues, include plans for buildings for academic space, dining and student housing, as well as for outdoor gathering spaces, parking and pathways.  The facilities will accommodate a maximum of 1,960 students, faculty and staff, which reflects an additional 849 students than are currently taking classes from OSU-Cascades.

“We appreciate the City’s and Mr. Helm’s thorough review of our application, as well as the extensive community input regarding the site plan,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.

Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning, who has led both the application effort on behalf of the branch campus and many of the community planning meetings said, “We look forward to engaging in continued community collaboration as we develop the comprehensive undergraduate and research institution that has been long sought by Central Oregon residents and regional leaders.”

OSU-Cascades officials anticipate the new campus will open in fall 2016 for undergraduates.  Graduate programs will be conducted at the Graduate & Research Center, which is located a half-mile from the new undergraduate campus.  University officials plan to accommodate the first freshmen in fall 2015 using classrooms in both Cascades Hall, where undergraduates currently take classes, and in the Graduate & Research Center while construction occurs on the new campus site.

“The site approval marks another exciting step towards a four-year university for Bend and Central Oregon,” said Johnson.


OSU Cascades Craft Brewery Workshop

OSU-Cascades hosts second PACE craft brewery startup workshop

Oregon State University's Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) is offering a second Craft Brewery Startup Workshop beginning September 2014 at OSU-Cascades in Bend. Participants will learn how to start and run a successful brewery from industry professionals.  Instructors includes professionals from Ninkasi Brewing Company of Eugene, Karnopp Peterson LLP of Bend, Portland Kettle Works and Briess Malt & Ingredients of Chilton, Wis.

“I think [the workshop] will be a good holistic look at what it really takes to be a part of this growing and dynamic industry,” Ninkasi co-founder and CEO Nikos Ridge said.

Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Oregon; Alaska; California; Idaho; Montana; Washington; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned.

In the upcoming workshop, Ridge and Floyd will lead a day of lessons and host the final discussion panel where Ninkasi professionals will share their experiences and answer questions about the brewery business, processes and culture.

Participants will have the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, beer enthusiasts and professional beer brewers while learning to create a sustainable business plan. The workshop will cover best practices for growing and marketing a brewery, capital and infrastructure, and current industry trends.

The inaugural workshop in 2013 attracted more than 40 students who traveled from as far away as Taiwan to take part in the five-day, immersion workshop at OSU-Cascades. Many of the participants went on to open successful brewery startups and distribution businesses.

Participant Kevin Cuffe of Fort Point Beer Company in San Francisco wrote in a recent email, “In short, we are pleased with our progress and consider that the Craft Brewery Startup Workshop was an enormously useful step in our concept, planning and execution processes.”

For more information, or to register for the Craft Brewery Startup Workshop, go to, email or call PACE at 541-737-4197.


Bend Broadband Merger Update, News Release

MADISON, Wis. (Sept. 2, 2014)—TDS Telecom, a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], announces the completion of the purchase of substantially all of the assets of BendBroadband, a cable and broadband company headquartered in Bend, Oregon, effective September 1, 2014, for a purchase price of $261 million.

In May, Telephone and Data Systems announced its intention to acquire BendBroadband in Central Oregon pending regulatory approvals, which have been received. TDS Telecom will manage the acquired BendBroadband businesses.

“BendBroadband is an exceptional company,” states Mark Barber, vice president of Cable Operations for TDS Telecom. “BendBroadband customers should continue to expect the same great products and services, along with the strong local traditions BendBroadband has established.”

Transition teams have been anticipating the announcement and working to prepare both organizations for a successful start. TDS Telecom is focused on supporting the nearly 300 BendBroadband employees who have now joined the company. “Working together to implement a successful integration within the TDS organization is a top priority,” adds Barber.

In 2013, BendBroadband reported annual revenues of $70 million. BendBroadband businesses, including The Vault™ and Zolo Media, offer an extensive range of broadband, fiber connectivity, cable television and telephone services for thousands of commercial and residential customers. OneNeck® IT Solutions, a TDS company, plans to integrate The Vault into its portfolio of data centers across the U.S.

“Our success will be fueled by a geographic region that is exploding with business growth and residential development. It’s the hot spot of Central Oregon,” said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom. “I believe the BendBroadband businesses have significant potential to deliver increased returns over time and the team of talented employees in Bend will help us expand our cable operations and expertise in other states as well.”

16 Million Dollar Hospital renovation in Madras unveiled


Sept. 2, 2014


St. Charles board of directors approves $16 million renovation to Madras hospital


BEND, Ore. — The St. Charles Health System board of directors has approved a $16 million renovation to St. Charles Madras that will add 26,000 square feet to the facility and enhance outpatient and primary care services.


The 25-bed critical access hospital serves 21,000 people in Madras and surrounding communities. But the facility—built in 1967—does not meet current standards of care. Some of the most pressing problems include:


·         The hospital’s laboratory, which is located in an aging modular unit that is too small to accommodate staff and equipment.

·         An emergency department that is only equipped with seven beds separated by curtains.

·         Only one operating room.

·         HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems that are original to the 1967 building, and in need of significant upgrades.

·         Multiple entryways that have resulted from numerous additions over the years, making it difficult for patients to identify a main entrance.


Slated for construction in May 2015, the addition will include a new main entrance, a new combined operating room and emergency department, a new imaging department and laboratory. The existing infrastructure will also undergo upgrades.


St. Charles Madras and Pioneer Memorial Hospital CEO Jeanie Gentry said other options were considered, including renovating the existing space and building an entirely new facility. A renovation, however, would cost more than new construction and would interrupt critical services. And a new facility would cost about twice as much.


“After studying the needs of our community and the problems with the St. Charles Madras facility, we decided that building an addition as part of a longer-term plan was the most practical and economical choice,” Gentry said. “This renovation will help us improve efficiency and focus mainly on outpatient and primary care services, rather than inpatient volume.”


The Madras facility has been studied by architecture firms a number of times over the last decade. Master site plans were developed, and an entire replacement facility was proposed for HUD financing in 2011. This information, along with work performed in the last six months by The Neenan Company, was taken into consideration when identifying options for a building plan.


The $16 million for the project—which will be partially financed by bonds—fulfills St. Charles’ commitment to the Madras community to upgrade the hospital as part of the asset transfer agreement with the Mountain View Hospital District.


“The need for facility improvements has been recognized for years,” said James A. Diegel, FACHE, president and CEO of St. Charles Health System. “This renovation to St. Charles Madras is truly going to enhance the quality and safety of patient care, and serve the community for years to come.”


About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras and Redmond, and leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,400 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.





Semi-Truck load on fire. HWY 97 North of Madras closed both directions.

Jefferson County 9-1-1- operators confirm an accident involving a semi truck that is hauling paper.
Apparently the paper is on fire and it's impacting traffic in that area.
It's north of Madras on highway 97. Emergency crews are closing the highway there in both directions-
it's at milepost 83 - which is roughly 8 miles north of Madras.

Hearings Officer Will Release His Decision Tuesday on Whether He Approved OSU Cascades Proposed Site

It was supposed to be released Friday, but the hearings officer informed the city of Bend he will issue his decision on September 2nd.


Ken Helm will be deciding whether OSU Cascades can build its new campus at Chandelr and Mt. Washington.


Hundreds of proponents and opponents showed up for a hearing back in June.


Helm will be deciding whether traffic and parking concerns by some neighbors will prevent the college from going forward.

OSP Arrests a LaPine Woman for Setting Fires in North Klamath County

Officers say 64 year old Gail Thorpe set several small fires in Sun Forest Estates off of Highway 31 Thursday.


Local residents discovered the small fires and were able to put them out.  Local firefighters responded as well to look for any other fire starts.


An OSP trooper found Thorpe walking along an area road.


Investigators claim she started the small fires following a domestic argument.

Redmond's Boys and Girls Club Scrambles to Raise One Hundred Thousand Dollars to Keep Its Doors Open

They have closed the club for the next month to see if they can raise about 100-thousand dollars more to sustain them through the year.


Board Chair Paul Rodby says they have about 60 thousand dollars, enough to run the club for a couple months, but they need more.


"It's not about how much cash we have.  We have enough to possibly run it for a couple months. But we don't have enogh to sustain us until we get some grants written and get them in the pipeline.  I think our board decided we needed a year's worth of revenue or we shouldn't move forward.  It wouldn't be prudent."


Rodby says they are relying on the community to step up.


"We're trying to keep the doors open which literally impacst about 200 to 250 kids a day and we have 500 members who realistically need after school care.  And it's critically important to provide a safe place for them to go, a positive environment.  And if we can't do it, then we've done our best to make this happen."


Rodby didn't want to open the doors in Septmber, only to close them in November.


He says the board decided they need to raise one hundred thousand dollars more so they can open the doors again in October.

Wounded Veterans Banquet Planned at Eagle Crest Tuesday to Raise Funds

The event at Eagle Crest is sponsored by Grace Lutheran Church in Redmond and by HAVA -- which stands for "Honored American Veterans Afield."


This group on the east coast was formed by those in the shooting and outdoor industry to help disabled veerans with their healing process through hunts.


Pastor Randy VanMehren says this is one of the first events HAVA has done in the Pacfic Northwest.


"We're doing this, we'll pull our permits and we're gong to take some returning National Gaurd members to Florida for some gator hunting.  This is the type of work HAVA would like to do in central Oregon and when I mentioend it to soldiers during their departing ceremony it sounded like they'd like to see HAVA do more things like this as well."


The banquet is Tuesday September 2nd from 5 to 8 P.M. at the Eagle Crest Banquet and Conference Center.  


Tickets are $55 dollars per person before the event and $60 at the door.

Senator Ron Wyden Hears from Local Health Providers How to Improve the System

Wyden has introduced bi-partisan legislation that will help Medicare providers better serve chronically ill patients and save the healthcare system a lot of money in the long run.


He listened to the local professionals and reacted.


"Everyone is in their own silos.  Everyone is getting their own check from the government .. family practice, doctors, nurses.  That's what I'm most interested in changing.  The team day one should be saying "we're going to coordinate."


Wyden's bill would transform Medicare from a program that pays for services separately to one where teams would get one payment for providing care to chronically ill patients.  It is hoped it will help reduce Medicare's soaring costs.


For example, diabetes treatment needs prior authorization for every step in the process and that caught his attention.


"I'm being told that there's some kind of rule tht even after a patient is cleared, they still need prior authorization every single time.  If this is the case, I need someone to get to me a piece of paper or rule, something"


Senator Wyden says he's heard about the problems with prior authorization before, but he needs some documentation on it, to do something about it.

Smokey Air in the Bend Area is Declared Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has declared the air in the area unhealthy for sensitive groups.


Larry Calkins is with the Air Quality program in Bend.


"What we found was rather high numbers in Bend for sensitive groups like children, the elderly, those with asthma, respiratory problems or heart ailments."


The air in Bend and Klamath County are being called "unhealthy" for these groups.


People should try to avoid being outside and close their windows to limit exposure to the smokey conditions.

Mount Bachelor Season Prices unveiled


News Release from Mt. Bachelor-



Mt. Bachelor Gears Up:

Season Pass and Kids “Gravity School” Pricing Announced


Bend, OR. Mt. Bachelor today announced season pass pricing for the upcoming 2014-2015 ski and snowboard season, and also announced several new “perks” of pass ownership.


The resort also released pricing on seasonal children’s programs offered by the resort’s newly re-branded “Gravity School” (formerly Snowsports School). The seasonal programs typically sell out prior the start of the season.


Payment plans for both programs are available, allowing guests to spread costs over several months.


Season pass rates purchased before September 30 are priced at $869 for adults. Young Adult (ages 19-26) pass prices will be $399; Teen (13-18) and Senior 70+ are priced at $289; passes for youth ages 6- 12 are priced at $179; passes for Seniors ages 65-69 are $559. Season passes for children younger than age 6 remain $29. Midweek, non-holiday prices for adults will be $589 for adults and $459 for seniors ages 65-69.


The price increase on season passes represents a $20 increase over last year’s prices for adults, and a $10 increase on most other pass products. All pass prices will go up on October 1.


Full season passes also come with “Pass Perks.” Each full season pass holder is entitled to up to three days of skiing or riding at each of Mt. Bachelor’s sister resorts:  Copper Mountain, Colorado; Park City Mountain Resort, Utah; Boreal, California; Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort in Nevada and Killington, Vermont.  Teen, Youth and Child full season passes come with unlimited skiing or riding at these sister resorts.


Payment plans for season passes require a down payment of $49 for each pass ordered by September 16, with $20 serving as an administrative fee. Equal payments for the balance are due October 15 and November 15 and will be automatically charged to purchasers’ credit cards.


Seasonal childrens’ programs are offered in three- and nine-week configurations on Saturdays and Sundays, and serve a range of different interests.


“Mighty Mites” and “Mighty Riders” serve skiers ages 6 – 14 and snowboarders ages 7 – 14, respectively, and are priced at $149 for three-week sessions and $439 for nine-week sessions. Classes run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day.


“All Mountain Skiers” and “All Mountain Riders” serve skiers ages 4 – 6 and snowboarders ages 5 – 6, respectively, and are priced at $159 for three-week sessions and $469 for nine-week sessions. Classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day.


Childrens’ program payment plans require a down payment of $49 per child, with $10 serving as an administrative fee.  Equal payments for the balance are due at the end of October and November and will be automatically charged to purchasers’ credit cards.


Additional information on both season passes and seasonal programs may be found on Mt. Bachelor’s website.


Mt. Bachelor will hold the line on single-day lift ticket prices this winter, with adult single-day tickets offered at $79; Teen (ages 13-18) and Senior (ages 65-69) will be $67, and Youth (ages 6-12) and Seniors 70+ will be $47.



About Mt. Bachelor: Mt. Bachelor is the largest ski resort in the Cascade Range, offering 3,683 acres of lift-accessible terrain. The mountain features 10 lifts, seven of which are Express Quads, plus two tubing lifts and two beginner carpets and an average annual snowfall of 462 inches. Mt. Bachelor also features 5 terrain parks, a superpipe, 56K of groomed and tracked cross country trails, snowshoeing, tubing, sled dog rides and summer attractions including downhill mountain biking. For weather conditions, news, and events visit



Drowning, Press Release from Deschutes County

From the Deschutes County Sheriff's office.




On Thursday, August 28, 2014, at approximately 12:44 PM, deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of a swimmer in distress and in need of a water rescue at Reynolds Pond, which is located just south of Alfalfa. 


Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area with assistance from the Bend Fire Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, and BLM.  Upon arrival, the victim could not be located in the water.  Resources including dive members and area searchers were called to assist. 


The swimmer, identified as Lawrence Domanski, was found deceased in the water approximately 40 minutes later.  Mr. Domanski was with another person at the pond, and an investigation into the specific manner of Mr. Domanski’s death is still underway.   



Suspect Who Shot Klamath County Deputy Arrested

Police also arrested his girlfriend.


Klamath County Sheriff Frank SKrah says William Parkerson of Klamath Falls was taken into custody just before 6 A.M. in Chiloquin, about 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls.


Parkerson is charged with attempted aggravated murder with a firearm and first degree assault itih a firearm.


Skrah says Parkerson's girlfriend was also arrested after a manhunt involving nearly every police officer in the state.


33 year old Karey Pascoe, faces charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder with a firearm and first degree assault with a firearm.

Monica Wehby Travels to Bend to Do Some Campaigning

The woman who will be taking on incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley was in town to meet with media and constitutents.


"People in Oregon, I think people know we need to turn things around.  We're going in the wrong direction.  Deschutes County has a much higher unemployment rate than the national average, it's 8 percent, Crook County's is 10 percent and it's all because of the policies of Senator Merkley and President Obama leading us in the wrong direction."


Wehby says too much regulation and uncertainty are hurting our economy and contributing to our sluggish growth.


"Senator Merkley has voted with his party and Harry Reid 95 percent of the time and that's now how we are in Oregon.  We don't agree with anyone 95 percent of the time.  We're not a blue state, we're a purple state, a red state with a couple of blue islands.  We can't be voting lockstep with a party, that's not representing our state.  I want to be somebody who represents the entire state."


She believes she has the qualifications to bring people together and reduce some of the gridlock.


"I think I have the talent and ability to be a problem solver.  I did that at the Oregon Medical Associaton, which is really a microcosm of the state.  We're all of different political parties.  We all want our country to be strong, our children to be susccessful.  We have the same goals, but different ways of getting there."


Wehby says her team is still negotiating on upcoing debates with Senator Merkley.

Triple A Predicts an Increase in Holiday Travelers This Weekend

Triple A expects the number of motorists to be up across the country.


Marie Dodds with Triple A Oregon says the roads will be busy.


"This is actually the highest volume for Labor Day since 2008.  It looks like the eocnomy has shown slow and steady growth.  And people want to travel and more and more and that's what we've seen over the last few years."


Triple A expects to see a 1.3 percent increase in the number of travelers this Labor Day weekend.


The buiest travel times are expected to be Friday afternoon and Monday night.

State Sheriff's Association Writes a Big Check to Make Sure a Madras Anti Drug Summit is Held

The confernece was in danger of being cancelled when sponsors pulled out over controversy for using federal grant money to bring in speakers to speak against marijuana.


Oregon voters will be voting on Meausre 91 to legalize marijuana in the state this November.


Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins told News Channel 21 a ten thousand dollar donation will keep the event on track.


"The Oregon State Sheriff's Association stepped up and basically saved the day and has provided a total of 15-thousand to get this summit off and running."


Best Care Treatment had pulled out last week after pressure from Measure 91 supporters who objected to federal funds being used to bring in speakers.


Local leaders have raised the 15-thousand that best care was to provide, so the summit should go on the first week of October.

The 2014 Final Candidates for Bend City Council

They are currently held by Jodie Barram, Mark Capell and Scott Ramsay.


Jodie Barram is running for Deschutes County Commissioner, so her postiion six seat will go to one of four candidates.


They are Casey Roats of Roats Water, Lisa Seales, a COCC instructor, Ron Boozell and Richard Robertson.  They all gathered the required signatures to be placed on the ballot.


Mark Capell will face local doctor Nathan Boddie for his psoition five seat.


And Scott Ramsay will face Barb Campbell who owns downtown Bend store Waibisabi for his position 7 seat.  She ran for city council a couple years ago, but lost to Victor Chudowsky.


Tuesday was the filing deadline to turn in the required 150 qualified signatures needed to run for city council.


A High Speed Chase in the Redmond Area Lands a Bend Man in Jail

Just after noon Tuesday, officers observed a reported stolen Chevrolet Camaro northbound on SW 27th near Elm in Redmond.


The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the Camaro fled at speeds reaching 80 miles an hour.  The pursuit was discontinued after eight minutes.


The stolen vehicle was found abandoned in the area of Dale Road a short time later.


The Sheriff's K-9 "Duco" was on the scene minutes later and was able to locate the suspect.


Arrested was 36 year old Robert Hansen and he was charged with attempting to elude and reckless driving.

Warm Springs Dedicates Its Brand New K-8 School

The new K-8th grade school will hold a ceremony Wednesday morning.


The new 80-thousand square foot school replaces an 83 year old one.


Principal Glenna DeSouza says they've been looking forwrad to this day.


"Oh it's very exciting.  It's wonderful to see all the hard work that has come to be and see the new classrooms and new design.  I know the staff is excited and I can't wait to see the student reaction on the first day of school."


Nearly 700 students will be attending the new school when classes start on September 9th.

Bend City Council Gets Ready to Debate the Challenges of Vacation Rentals

And that is changing the makeup and feel of some neighborhoods.


The Bend City Council is slated to discuss the issue next month.


Steve Pierce of Bend has lived here for more than 40 yeras.  He is planning to rent out his home in the Old Mill District for the first time.


"The renters that are all around us are really nice and we like them.  Everyone watches out for everyone else's property.  So, so far it's good."


Pierce says his neighborhood has not had any problems with vacation rentals, but not every neighbood has been so lucky.


Some neighbors have complained of loud parties and don't like that they don't know their neighbors because they keep changing.


Currently, there are more than 350 vacation home rentals in the Bend area and the Bend City Council is slated to disucss how to regulate them at its September 17th meeting.

A Pickleball Fan Donates a Quarter of a Million Dollars to Double the Number of Courts at Pine Nursery

Well, a pickleball fan is donating a quarter of a million dollars to double the number of the courts there.


Werner Zehnder is donating the money so Bend Parks and Rec can build eight more courts for the popular sport.


He moved here with his wife Susan from Seattle a couple years ago and wanted to give back to the community.


Zehnder says if they waited for Bend Parks and Rec to fund the courts, it would be at least five more years.


"Rather than waiting for us to die and have a sign on the court that says in loving memory of Werner and Susan Zehnder, we decided to do this now when we can enjoy the courts and our friends can enjoy the courts.  That's why we did this."


The courts should be completed by next June when the area will again host the Senior Games.

Three Teens are Seriously Injured in a Jefferson County Car Accident

The accident happened just before 3:30 A.M. on Highway 26.  The Camry driven by 16 year old Rosebud Whipple of Warm Springs was traveling westbound eight miles southeast of Madras, when it left the roadway and rolled several times.


The driver and both passengers -- 13 year old Annalisa Whipple and 16 year old Rhienna Wolfe were seriously injured.  Whipple is at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hosptatl in Portland and Wolfe is at St. Charles in Bend.


A dog was found deceased inside the vehicle.


The investigation into the crash continues.

Bend Police Arrest a Man for Stealing 10 Thousand Worth of Merchandise at the Vince Genna Stadium Pro Shop

Andrew Sherrell is charged with stealing 10-thousand dollars in merchandise from the pro shop Sunday morning.


They caught Sherrell when he tried to return merchandise to some area sporting goods stores for merchandise they did not carry.


He was arrested at Big 5 Sporting Goods where they recovered some of the stolen merchandise.


Sherrell was also in possession of methamphetamine and faces charges for that.

Fundraising Continues as a Major Sponsor Pulls Out from an Anti Drug Summit in Madras

A major sponsor of the event, "Best Care Treatment" pulled out last week after pressure from Measure 91 supporters, who felt the summit would influence the upcoming election.


D.A. Steve Leriche says this annual summit has nothing to do with Measure 91 that voters will be voting on this November, that would legalize marijuana.  


Leriche says he took offense when Measure 91 supporters overreacted to the conference.


"I'm definitely not a statewide warrior trying to be anti Measure 91 or anti-marijuana.  I think my biggest concern is that this is Jefferson County, in my backyard and we can have the kinds of conversatiosn we think are appropriate without any outside influence."


Best Care was sponsoring the event and helping pay to bring in speakers for the summit.


D.A. Leriche and others are trying to raise 15-thousand dollars in the next couple weeks so the event can go on.  So far, they've raised three thousand toward that goal.

Central Oregon Will Host One of the Gubernatorial Debates Next Month in Sunriver

The Oregon Association of Broadcasters is holding its annual conference in Sunriver in late September, so they will be hosting the debate between Governor Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson -- Friday September 26th at 11 A.M.


OAB President Bill Johnstone says they're excited to play a role.


"We have tried on numerous occasions to be able to sponsor a debate.  What happened this year they specifially said it was going to be in central Oregon and we're going to be there for our annual conference in Sunriver. So we finally got one of the debates.  We thought we had an opportunity to get a yes on one of these debates and we did get it on this particular one."


Johnstone says they are proposing to have one moderator and allow  OAB members to ask questions of the candidates, but the candidates haven't agreed to a format yet.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Will Be in Bend This Thursday to Talk to the Bend Chamber

The senator plans to discuss his work as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and particularly his effort to raise wages and pass laws that create private sector jobs.


Wyden will be speaking at Central Oregon Community College's Wille Hall starting at noon on Thursday.

Warm Springs Woman Will Be Sentenced Next Week for Starting a Fire Last July

23 year old Sadie Renee Johnson has pleaded guilty to setting brush and timber on fire on July 20th 2013.


She says she wasbriding as a passenger in a car traveling on Route 3 in Warm Srpings and lit a small firwork with her lighter and threw it out the window into the brush along the road.


She says her firefighter friends were bored and needed work, though she didn't intend to set a fire that burned 51-thousand acres and cost nearly 8 million dollars to fight.


Johnson will be sentenced on September 3rd and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars. She is required to pay back the money spent fighting the fire.

Four People Injured In Marion County Crash

(Salem, OR)  --  Four people, including a small child, are injured in a head-on collision in Salem.  The wreck happened around 1:30 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of Portland Road Northeast and Scott Avenue.  Police say the child was thrown from one of the vehicles.  The other three people involved in the crash sustained minor injuries.    

Beaverton Police Investigate Car Vandalism

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Beaverton police say they're investigating more than 30 separate incidents in which vehicles were vandalized by gunfire.  Authorities say windows were shattered or shot out by bullets sometime after 10 p.m. Saturday, and all the shootings appear to be random.  The neighborhoods affected were both in the southwestern area of the city.  Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to call 503-629-0111.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Dennis Richardson Reacts to Filing of Lawsuit Against Oracle

The suit filed in Marion County Circuit Court on Friday accuses Oracle of fraud, false claims, breach of contract and racketeering.


Republican Gubernatorial candiate Dennis Richardson isn't buying it.


"I think that this is political theater at the cost of the taxpayers.  These lawsuits are expensive.  They had a contract for time and materials.  To say it's essentially racketeering -- that is a tough burden of proof.  It's about political theater and elections and this thing will go away after election day."


It appears the state has a former Oracle employee that claims Oracle tried to persuade the state not to hire a systems integrator, since it would mean more money for them as the primary contractor.


The state is seeking 200 million dollars.


Oracle filed its own lawsuit against Oregon a couple weeks ago.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley Comes to Bend to Talk to a State Union Group About Jobs

He told the group middle income jobs are the backbone of any stable economy and says we need to stop rewarding companies from shipping jobs overseas.


"One study shows Oregon has 250-thousand jobs at risk of being off shored.  Unfortuantely Republicans killed the Bring Jobs Home bill.  My opponent and I have come from different places, so I've taken on China cheating on trade deals, giving them subsidies for shipping jobs overseas and my opponent has the opposite view."


Last session, Rebublicans refused to pass legislation that would end tax subsidies for companies shipping jobs overseas, while endorsing companies with local jobs.


It would have given a 20 percent tax credit to businesses relocating from overseas.


Merkley's opponent, Monica Wehby says she would have opposed the measure as well.

An Anti Drug Summit in Madras Is In Danger of Being Cancelled After Some Major Sponsors Pull Out

Some of the major sponsors of the event are pulling out after pressure from supporters of Measure 91 -- which seeks to legalize marijuana in the state.

Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche is trying to raise the funds privately to make up for the loss.


"This conference and previous conferences have been sponsored by Best Care long before Meausre 91 ever existed.  So to say it's associated with defeating the measure, that's a little bit of a stretch to me."


The Madras event scheduled for October was gonig to bring in a former White House Drug Advisor who opposes marijuana legalization.


Supporters of Measure 91 feel its wrong to use federal money from a grant to pay for a public appearance on this issue so close to the November election.

City Club of Central Oregon Tackles How Climate Change is Affecting the Region

Kathie Dello was brought in Thursday to address the City Club of Central Oregon on how climate change is affecting our region.


One of the audience members asked how global warming is affecting the ski industry.


"Snow pack is declining and it will continue to decline.  There will always be snow at the higher elevations.  Some people say there will be no snow at Mt. Hood.  There will always be snow at the higher elevations of Mt. Hood, but I would be concerned about the lower elevations.  In part because it wasn't snowing or raining, but we also had warmer temperatures at higher elevations."


Dello says there is still time to act, but we need to have the political will to do so.  She says the most effective change on this issue occurs at the local and state level.

Crook County is Close to Approving an Ordinance Banning the Sale of ECigarettes to Minors

You may be surprised to learn it's not illegal to sell ecigarettes to youth because the industry is not regulated.


Ecigarettes contain nicotine, but not tobacco.


Crook County Judge Mike McCabe says they are leading central Oregon, by being the first county in the area to ban the sales to youngsters.


"We just think they need to be more forthcoming.  It's something hazardous and they try to dress it up and look like candy so they can get young people to buy 'em."


Crook County plans to vote on her new ordinance banning the sale of ecigarettes to minors at their next meeting September 3rd.


In Europe, a new survey found that a majority of Europe's 30 million ecigarette users are between the ages of 15 and 24.

Judge Convicts an Oregon Man of Robbing Bend's Columbia State Bank This June

Judge Michael Adler found Peterson guilty of robbery in the third degree and theft in the second degree Tuesday.


He was sentenced to 30 months in prison with 24 months post prison supervision.


The judge said when sentencing Peterson, despite the defendant being "polite" during the crime, it still constituted robbery.


Peterson walked into Bend's Columbia State Bank on June 16th this year and in a low voice told the teller, "I need you to do me a favor, I need you to pull out all the money in your drawer, starting with the hundreds and do not push any buttons or alarms."


Peterson was arrested in Stayton Oregon later that day and brought back to Deschutes County to face trial.

Oregonians Pay Some of the Highest Gas Prices in the Nation

We have the third highest prices for gas in the country, while many states are seeing their prices drop.


Oregon's average is around $3.90 an gallon, while the national average is $3.45 a gallon.


Drivers in the Pacific states continue to pay the highest prices because this region is geographically isolated in terms of being supplied by refineries that have access to cheaper crude products, that are available in the central U.S.

Supporters of Legalizing Marijuana in Oregon Pour More Money Into TV Ads

"New Approach Oregon" has spent 2.3 million dollars in TV advertising.


The new ads that will hit airwaves within days, feature drug treatment expert Richard Harris.


"I'm the former Director of Addiction and Mental Health Division.  Drug treatment is woefully underfunded right now and Measure 91 would better fund drug treatment and prevention programs.  Marijuana isn't going anywhere. We're not stopping it with the war on drugs."


Much of the money for these ads come from out of state.


It is expected to be the most expensive pro-marijuana campaign in the state's history.


Oregonians voted down a similar measure two years ago, but polls show a majority of people in the state support this measure.

City of Bend Reveals a Plan to Make Walking, Biking and Driving Better in Downtown Bend

They have held several public forums to give the public an opportunity for feedback.  The last one was held this week.


The plan looks to make it easier to get around what's called the Central District downtown.


That's the area around Third Street from Revere to Burnside.


Wendy Robinson with Bend's Community Development Department says their plan should relieve congestion.


"And Third Street is a major north-south street that runs through the district and if we don't do anyting, the congestion is going to get exponentially worse.  We need to put a complete street system network together, so we can diversify paths people are taking to their destination."


The development plan for the downtown Central District also calls for a combination of housing and businesses.


They are trying to improve connections for everyone traveling downtown.

Oregon Department of Justice Decides Prineville's Former Police Chief Committed No Crimes

Prineville asked the DOJ to conduct a criminal investigation into these allegations.


The DOJ investigated them by interviewing witnesses from the city of Prineville and military as well as Chief Bush himself.


They concluded there is insufficient evidence to prove that Chief Bush committed a crime.


Bush argued there is a lot of overlap in his positions with the city of Prineville and the National Guard since he is the manager for the city and Director of the 911 Center.


Chief Bush was fired by the city in July based on these allegations and the chief is suing the city for 2.5 million dollars for wrongful termination.

Oregon Nonprofit Supports Some Bend Homeowners Fighting Plans to Pipe Their Canal

"Restore Oregon" heard from many of these homeowners seeking help on what to do.


The group that helps save historic places supports their effort to keep the canal as is and not pipe it for historic reasons.


It was built in the early 1900's and Restore Oregon's Executive Director Peggy Moretti says they recently wrote an article in support of preserving the canal.


"The goal isn't to freeze them in amber or stop progress. Often these things there is a way to preserve some piece or structure or resources and be able to keep evidence of that past and what it represents.  And there's a beauty aspect, the community benefits from the aesthetics of it."


The Central Oregon Irrigation District wants to pipe the canal north of Bend to reduce water leaks and to create hydroelectric power for its plant.


The Deschutes County Commissioners are expected to decide this month whether to approve the piping project.

Deschutes County Continues to Lead the State in Job Growth

The July numbers for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County remained unchanged last month.


But our job growth in Deschutes County has increased by more than five percent since last July.


Workforce Analyst Melissa Greenaway says it's been impressive.


"Deschutes County has already added over 3300 jobs over the past year.  And that makes it by far the top metropolitan area with the fastest job growth in Oregon.  And in fact, all three counties have had job growth better than the state and national average is spread across the whole region."


The majority of the employment gains were in the private sector.


The lack of change in the unemployment rate mirrors statewide and national trends.

Crews Repair a Gasoline Break in Bend

Homes within a half block radius of the leak Monday morning were evacuated for about an hour and the road closed for several hours.


The break occurred when crews were working to fix a water leak yesterday (Mon) morning just after 9:30, when they hit a two inch natural gas line.


The leak was fixed after the gas leak was stopped.


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