Local News

Phil's Trailhead Reopens After Arrest

BEND, OR -- A Canby man was arrested in the area of Phil's Trealhead Wednesday afternoon, after allegedly threatening to hurt himself and others. According to the Sheriff's Office, the man contacted the FBI’s Threat Operations Center and provided enough information for authorities to determine he was in Deschutes County.

Deputies say the man was in crisis and armed with a handgun and possibly a rifle. The area of Phil's Trailhead and USFS Road 4610 was closed to the public while DCSO’s SWAT responded with an armored vehicle and a negotiator.

Following talks with the negotiator, the 33-year-old man was taken into custody without incident and evaluated at St. Charles. He was cited for Disorderly Conduct. 


Crook County Superintendent Announces Resignation

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson plans to resign July sixth, a year before the end of her contract. At Monday’s school board meeting, she’ll ask for a mutual termination agreement.

Three new board members - dubbed “the mama bears” during the May 2023 election - ousted three sitting members, and a fourth recently resigned following a brain injury

Dr. Johnson refused KBND's request for an interview but issued a written statement. "When the new school board members begin their terms in July, Scott Cooper will be the only existing board member who hired me five years ago" she said, "It’s become evident that the new board members do not share my vision or mission for district leadership and how to operate the school district. I believe we are all better when working collaboratively together and focusing on the success of every student. It has become clear that it is in the best interest of the school district - and me - to step aside and allow the new board to select their own leader." 

Dr. Johnson was recognized as Oregon's Principal of the Year in 2007 and Superintendent of the Year for 2023.
"I’m incredibly proud of the systems we created to produce high graduation rates and track younger students to prevent them from falling through the cracks. We’re making gains in elementary math and English, and the teamwork and collaboration between teachers and administrators are inspiring. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to elevate staff pay so we can compete with neighboring school districts and keep good people in Crook County," said Johnson. "I’m proud of our fiscal management, which has allowed us to increase programs, retain teachers, and reduce class sizes. We’ve created a comprehensive reading program, improved interventions, and dramatically enhanced our support of Pioneer High School Alternative students. I’ve had a great relationship with the existing school board members and appreciate how we collaborated respectfully together to achieve these accomplishments and keep students as the main focus of our work."
One board vacancy is expected to be filled Monday. The three newly elected members will be sworn in on July 17. They will select the new superintendent for the 2023-24 school year. 

RPA Students Study Ocean In Unique Class

REDMOND, OR -- Students at Redmond Proficiency Academy are getting a one of a kind experience during the charter school's June term. Blue Humanities - Ocean Stories teaches about the various ways the ocean impacts our lives, and vice versa.

The course was created, and is co-taught, by former RPA teacher George Hegerty. He wrote the curriculum last year as part of his dissertation as a graduate student at UC Davis. RPA Students are studying the Newport area. “They’re doing research in order to how to kind of determine what are the stories that make up how we understand that place. And we’re trying to emulate that with field work experience at the coast.”

Matt Killpack, a co-teacher of the two-week course, says the 14 students get hands-on experience, “Because we’re headed to Newport, we talked about the Dungeness fishing industry as well as the dangers that are associated with the economy based off of a fishery and what’s happening in the world around us.”

Killpack says the class is a collaborative effort with experts, “Biologists and geologists come down and talk with the kids. Oregon State University is sending some of their professors over to discuss what’s happening with the oceans. Especially off the Oregon Coast.”

“We’ll also be going to the aquarium and getting a backstage tour there, and then we’ll go to Hatfield Marine Science Center. So, the students will get a pretty well-rounded look at the type of research and what life’s like in Newport,” says Hegerty.

The class is a partnership with UC Davis and is funded through a grant from the Bodega Marine Laboratory in California.


Thousands Vie For A Chance To Buy Bachelor Lift Chair

BEND, OR -- Thousands of Mt. Bachelor fans are trying to get a piece of history. General Manager John Merriman says entries are pouring in for the chance to buy a chair from the decommissioned Skyliner Lift. "The price is $500. It’s in support of our Play Forever fund, with all proceeds going directly to Vamanos Outside," he tells KBND News, "They support local Latinx families and community members, and help them get into the outdoors. So what they’re going to be using this funding for is a purchase of a new van, to visit local rivers and hiking trails in a much more reliable van." 

Merriman says only 50 of Skyliner’s 120 chairs will be sold because the four-packs are still compatible with other lifts on the mountain, "So, we have to hold some back to use for maintenance. And then, we’ve also set some aside for employees and valued partners." The lottery opened Tuesday, and Merriman says they received a massive response in just the first day, "We feel like this is a great way for our community to own a piece of Mt. Bachelor. We have already had over 5,000 people requesting a chair. So the response has been absolutely overwhelming." 

The chairs are roughly 7' x 2.5' x 5' and weigh around 200 pounds each. Lottery winners who choose to purchase a chair must be able to haul it away. 

"It’s not that often that we have something like this available. I think it’s super cool to have one of these in your backyard," says Merriman. Entries will be accepted through 4 p.m. Friday, "Of course, we’ve had over 5,000 entries. I am sure we will get plenty more. But stay tuned, because if you don’t get this, we may have a little something else up our sleeves."

Construction began in the spring on the new Skyliner Lift, with its larger six-pack chairs, with opening slated for just before Christmas. 


BPD Finishing Up Dash Cam Installation

BEND, OR -- A year after signing a $679,500 contract, the Bend Police Department is nearly done installing dash cams and rear-facing cameras in its fleet of patrol cars. "The contract provided for the purchase and installation of the cameras, as well as software and video storage," BPD's Sheila Miller said in a video released by the department this week. "The goal of these systems is to further increase the transparency of our local law enforcement actions, as well as to improve public safety, reduce crime and assist in prosecution efforts."

Technicians with Axon will finish installation next week, "When complete, every officer will use a body-worn camera, and every vehicle will be equipped with a camera during their shifts," said Miller, "This is the second and final phase in the Bend Police Department’s body-worn camera project that was brought before the City Council and approved in 2021." That initial contract was for officer body cams. "The camera systems serve as an effective tool for helping the public access and understand interactions between officers and community members. All video recordings will be stored in a secure cloud location and the District Attorney’s office will have the ability to review the recordings."

The five-year contract with Axon includes the installation work, system software and video storage. 

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