Local News

Two Rescued In Separate DCSO SAR Incidents

LA PINE, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue has had a busy weekend, starting Friday afternoon with a motorcycle crash in the East Fort Rock OHV trail system. A 63-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries but was unable to get out under her own power.

Eight SAR volunteers responded on ATVs. The patient's injuries were evaluated by medical team members and she was loaded into a wheeled litter and onto a patient transport trailer towed by an ATV . She was transported out of the trail system to China Hat Road, where Bend Fire and Rescue were staged with an ambulance (pictured, above). The patient was taken to St. Charles Bend. 

Then Saturday, a 66-year-old woman fell while hiking the Paulina Lakeshore Trail. Seven SAR volunteers responded in two teams, one by trail and the other with DCSO Marine Patrol, because part of the trail is accessible by boat.  The patient was transported by wheeled litter to a boat accessible location on Paulina Lake and loaded onto the Marine Patrol boat. She was taken to the Paulina Lake Lodge boat dock, where they met with La Pine Paramedics. She was then taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend. 

Redmond Woman Missing For Several Days

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are asking for the public's help finding 56-year-old Loni Michelle, who may be in danger. Authorities say she has a mental health diagnosis and was last seen May 21st at her southwest Redmond apartment. Her family says she tends to wander and may be in remote or undeveloped areas. 

She was contacted in the early morning hours of May 23 on Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond, prior to being reported missing. 

Michelle was last seen wearing blue jean capri-style pants, white/gray sneakers, and a green checkered shirt (pictured above). 

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement or the Redmond Police Department, reference case report 2023-15140. All Deschutes County law enforcement agencies can be contacted by calling 541-693-6911. 

Two Arrested Following Fight With Golf Course Staff

BEND, OR -- An alleged assault at Lost Tracks Golf Club resulted in two arrests Wednesday night. Witnesses told Deschutes County deputies Laura Allison confronted a teen working at the golf course; she was reportedly upset about balls hit over the driving range net toward her nearby encampment. Allison chased the teen when he tried to leave, then punched a second employee in the head. She was eventually detained by staff. But another nearby camper arrived, brandishing a machete, forcing them to release Allison.

Deputies contacted Michael Parker at his camp trailer on Forest Service land, shortly after the incident. He's charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing.  Allison was taken into custody the following day, charged with fourth degree Assault and two counts of Menacing. 

Flooding Strands Driver In Maury Mountains

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Search and Rescue responded to the Maury Mountains last Friday evening, after a driver got stuck in the mud. The person called 911 at about 8:45 p.m., but no return call was possible, due to cell coverage in the area.  GPS coordinates from the call showed that they were in on the 1750 Road. 

The Crook County Sheriff's Office says the driver got caught in a heavy localized rainstorm and the vehicle became stuck in mud and water.  The people in the car had food and water and were prepared to make it through the night, if necessary. 

Crook County SAR was notified and nine personnel responded with four vehicles including the side-by-side.  The stranded motorists and their dog were located on the 1750 road and brought to Prineville.

Memorial Weekend - Campfires Allowed, Snowed In Campgrounds

BEND, OR -- The start of the outdoor recreation season begins this weekend.

Forest Service officials ask visitors to be mindful of wildfire as they head out to campgrounds and recreation spots.

“Campfires are allowed across the Deschutes National Forest. We don’t currently have any fire restrictions in place. That being said we have moved to a moderate fire danger level. So, we do want to remind folks they need to be fully extinguishing their campfire before they leave it unattended. And that means making sure it’s cold to the touch,” Jaimie Olle with the Deschutes National Forest says no prescribed burns are scheduled through the long weekend.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department released tips for having safe fires.

Maintain campfire flames at knee height (no more than 2 feet high). A smaller flame helps prevent embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out.

In a state park campground, only build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation.

Always keep plenty of water on hand to safely put out the campfire. Douse the flames with water and stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat. Repeat these steps until the fire no longer emits heat.

For propane fire rings, follow the same safety precautions you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may be restricted depending on local conditions.

Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.”

Olle says there are also many high-elevation destinations still under snow, “While the Cascade Lakes highway has opened for the full route there are several areas where there is no place to park and pull off. So, folks should be mindful and if they’re looking for a hike or some type of activity, they might choose a lower elevation. Most campgrounds, trailheads, and day-use areas right along the Cascade Lakes Highway and those higher elevation areas are still inaccessible without parking access.”

The Forest Service has a list of what’s open and what’s not at their website.


Archaeology Roadshow Returns To Bend

BEND, OR -- Portland State University’s Archaeology Roadshow returns this weekend for the first time since 2019. The outdoor event is a partnership between the Deschutes Historical Museum and the Archaeology Society of Central Oregon, and will focus on research happening in our area.

"You’re able to meet Archaeologists who are doing cutting edge work in the field, and what their work is showing us about this region prehistorically, as well as historically," says Museum Executive Director Kelly Cannon-Miller. University of Oregon Archaeologists are working at Connley Caves, near Fort Rock, and the University of Nevada-Reno is studying western tools and manufacturing in the Great Basin. Cannon-Miller says they will be on hand to talk about their local work. "We really tried to focus on who’s doing archaeology in our backyard, and what are they uncovering? So we purposefully reached out to and invited U of O and UNR to come and present that as their booth, and show people what is being discovered right near where they live."

The overall theme of this year's event is "Transportation," and Cannon-Miller tells KBND News she's excited about the diversity of voices available to the public, "The Klamath tribes will be with us, helping us host the Deschutes Historical Museum’s booth. We’re going to be looking at the Huntington Wagon Road."

There are also hands-on activities for the whole family, "We’re going to have a scavenger hunt for kids that is totally designed to make them think about archaeology as a career." And a panel of experts will help identify artifacts brought by visitors. 

Cannon-Miller says archaeology is about more than Indiana Jones and Dinosaur bones, "That’s actually the really great thing about Archaeology Roadshow - those are pop culture concepts of what Archaeologists do and reality is so very different. This is the chance for folks to engage in real archaeology." Also, she says, Paleontologists dig for dinosaur bones, not Archaeologists - so don’t expect to see Jurassic Park at Saturday's event.

Archaeology Roadshow is outside the Deschutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click HERE for more information. It then heads to Burns in late June and The Dalles in mid September. 


Property Tax Increases Approved In Deschutes Co. Budget

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s budget committee has finalized its recommendations for the next fiscal year, and it includes big property tax increases for law enforcement services. 

County Commissioner Phil Chang says he’s frustrated with the increase requested by Sheriff Shane Nelson to max out DCSO's tax rate: 17 cents more per $1,000 of assessed property value, countywide, and an additional 12 cents for rural properties. "So, very dramatic tax increases. They are needed to sustain the current level of service and make a few strategic investments," Chang tells KBND News, "The problem is, we should have seen this coming - we should have seen the fiscal cliff a few years out, and then slowly dialing up these assessed rates." He estimates homeowners will see tax increases of around $90 for law enforcement.

The Sheriff had also asked for money from the transient room tax and federal land payments. That request was denied, while the tax increase was approved. 

Chang says funding the courthouse expansion is a top priority for county coffers, "We’d like to put $10 million down on the courthouse, so we have to borrow $10 million less." But he says property tax reductions in 2018 and 2019 left reserve accounts without the money for such a large project. "At this point, that is costing the county $1.8 million per year in missed revenue. While, for a homeowner like myself, it maybe saves us $15." He adds, "Because we haven’t been collecting those tax revenues, we’re going to have to borrow $10 million more now than we would’ve had to. And that $10 million over the course of our debt service is going to cost us another $6.2 million in interest payments. To pay $16 million over the next 20 years instead of having the $10 million in the bank right now, it’s disappointing." 

The budget committee approved using money from the county’s American Rescue Plan (ARPA) allocation. "That’s going to provide close to $5 million of the $10 million we’re trying to cobble together," says Chang.

The budget committee is made up of all three county commissioners and three members of the public. During final budget committee deliberations Thursday, Chang voted against an 11% pay hike for himself and other county elected officials, saying county staff only received a 4% cost of living increase. He was outvoted and the pay increase was approved. 

County Commissioners still need to formally approve the budget prior to the start of the next fiscal year in July.  


Redmond Man Indicted On Sex, Animal Abuse Charges

BEND, OR -- A Redmond man faces numerous charges related to a child sex abuse case. Bend Police began investigating last July, following tips from the International Crimes Against Children Task Force. Detectives determined that a cloud account containing images of child and animal sex abuse belonged to 32-year-old Jacob Trudell.

Authorities searched his Redmond home in January and seized cell phones and computers. After analyzing the evidence, they say they found indications Trudell sexually assaulted a dog at a Bend home, as well as evidence of past sexual abuse of a minor. 

The investigation also led to the arrest of a man in North Carolina, associated with images found on Trudell's devices and authorities in multiple cities are working to identify the children. 

Trudell was indicted by a grand jury this week on 23 counts: 10 counts of first-degree Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse, 10 counts of second-degree Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse, two counts of Sexual Assault of an Animal and one count fo Encouraging Sexual Assault of an Animal. 

He was arrested Wednesday in Idaho and awaits extradition to Oregon.

Bend Police Arrest Suspected Trespasser

BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested a man they say trespassed at a home Wednesday night, following a brief chase. Officers responded to a house on McMullin Drive just before 11 p.m. and say 31-year-old Christopher Lavery took off running, jumped a fence and was tracked by a K-9 to a home on Granite Drive.

Investigators say Lavery had been kicked off the property before, was on probation for strangulation and had an outstanding warrant.

He's charged with a felony probation violation, second-degree criminal trespass and the warrant. 

Search Continues For Brothers Allegedly Connected To Illegal Pot Grow

BEND, OR -- A pair of brothers are wanted in connection with a large illegal marijuana operation linked to five properties in Bend and La Pine raided by authorities earlier this week. Authorities seized 665 pounds of processed marijuana and 630 plants in the operation. 

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson praises neighbors for calling in suspicious activity, which led to the investigation. "That stuff reeks, so folks smell something. They see a lot of cars at some address and they’re not having a potluck, right? Nobody’s bringing a casserole dish. Well, there’s probably something going on there that’s not on the up and up," Nelson tells KBND News, "We want that information so we can go out and take care of that problem."

He says search warrants were executed through careful coordination between multiple agencies, and the operation was conducted simultaneously at all five properties, "Because you don’t want to hit them one at a time; everybody has a mobile phone now - cell phone, and spread the message. You want to be able to take care of that issue and make that case right there."

Detectives believe the pot was being grown for sale in the midwest and eastern U.S. Sheriff Nelson says illicit grows have become common, despite the 2014 measure legalizing personal use of pot, "Oregon marijuana is very well known across the country, and I’d even argue, across the world. And so, you export marijuana out of here illegally, and you’ll get far more money on the black market. So, you have people who don’t want to follow the rules, even under Ballot Measure 91."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of 36-year-old Daniel Liautaud and his 31-year-old brother Jackson are asked to contact Detectives Dustin Miller or Tony Ramos at 541-693-9111, reference case #23-25857. Do not attempt to detain the men.


Houseless Response Director Resigns

BEND, OR -- Board members overseeing Deschutes County’s Coordinated Houseless Response Office are responding to the resignation of the director.  

Cheyenne Purrington started last fall and will step down June 9th. 

The office is overseen by a board made up of one representative from each city council and a County Commissioner. 

Commissioner Patti Adair serves as chair of the oversight board and says the agency has made progress on addressing homelessness, “We have a lot of good things to look at. I really wanted more answers on what is working. What is working in Deschutes County and I think I can really happily say that the safe parking programs in Bend and Redmond are really making a difference.” She pointed to Bethlehem Inn and the Veterans Village as other successes.

Bend councilor and board member Megan Perkins was not surprised by Purrington's resignation, “There have been discussions going on for a while. I think we all acknowledge, and I think Cheyenne acknowledges that it wasn’t a good fit. While I’m sad to see her leave I think it was the best decision.”

Perkins says it’s important in the days ahead for the board to discuss an operational plan for the next 30 to 60 days, “The most important thing that we need to do is really talk from the beginning about what roles and responsibilities we have as cities and as a county.”

Adair agrees the board needs to look at other areas for potential solutions, including a statement made in Purrington’s resignation letter that more staffing is needed for the office, “I definitely will take her ideas under advisement. I just know what the state recommendations are.”

A $1-million state grant funds the Office.

Purrington will step down June 9th; neither board member could say why the resignation isn’t immediate. 


Yard Debris Burn Leads To Sisters Brush Fire

SISTERS, OR -- A neighbor burning yard debris is blamed for a small grass fire near Sisters, Tuesday evening. The property owner reported they’d extinguished the debris burn earlier in the day. But Shift Commander Jeremy Ast said, “Clearance around the property owner’s burn pile was an issue, and the fire rekindled with increasing afternoon temperatures and wind from the pile, which had been left smoldering.” At about 6:35 p.m., 17 firefighters and four emergency vehicles responded, holding the brush fire to about an eighth of an acre.

Ast reminds residents to clear the area of combustible material around your burn pile for at least ten feet in all directions, and make sure your fire is completely extinguished.

Outdoor yard debris burn season ends at sunset next Wednesday. 

Wyden Talks Housing Bills At Bend Apartments

BEND, OR -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden was at Bend's Legacy Landing Apartments Tuesday, joined by Mayor Melanie Kebler, and officials from Housing Works and Mosaic Community Health.

The Senior complex was built in part with the federal low-income housing tax credit, along with state and local funds.

“More than 300,000 Oregon households report that after paying rent, they don't have enough left over to afford the basics. So, the reason a program like this is so important, is for seniors, they're not going to get pushed off this economic tight rope,” The Senator said he’s committed to finding solutions for affordable housing, particularly for seniors, through the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. “This would be the largest expansion in history of the low-income housing tax credit. It would help build nearly two million new affordable homes over the next decade.”

The Democrat also has reintroduced his Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing for All… or "DASH act" to address homelessness and housing issues.

Redmond Schools Accepts Feedback On Proposed Curriculum

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Schools officials will soon approve new curriculum for a handful of courses. For high school A.P. US Government: “American Government: Stories of a Nation;" for high school Sociology: “Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach;” for middle school dual language Language Arts: “Galeria” and various plays for high school Drama class. The district is offering the public an opportunity to weigh in on the selections, through May 31st. 

Selecting public school curriculum is traditionally done behind the scenes with teachers, administrators and the school board. But Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline acknowledges new political rhetoric puts the process center stage, "Teachers work on it for quite a bit of time, we have recommendations from the state about what meets state standards. We also have board members involved with that selection. So we review and after the teachers have done their hard work - and it is a lot of hard work - then we open it up for the community to look at. There’s a lot of misconceptions about what we teach kids, and so this is an opportunity for people to see the curriculum we’re adopting."

He tells KBND News, "We select curriculum about once every seven years per subject. As you can imagine, they’re very expensive to buy. It’s kind of this ongoing cycle. We got a little behind during the pandemic and so we’re playing catch-up right now."

A final decision on each course will be made by the school board. "If people are really, really opposed to what we’ve selected, then the board will ask us to start over again. And, of course that delays things and it’s expensive and all that. But as part of a good community partnership, that’s what we do."

Dr. Cline says the best way to look at the curriculum in-depth is at the district office at 145 SE Salmon Ave., weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. "We’ve also got links on our webpage, if you want to take a look at these virtually." Links can be found in the secondary curriculum preview announcement on the school district site, located on the homepage under the district news section. 


Local Training Addresses Trauma-Informed Care In The Workplace

BEND, OR -- Trauma impacts a person’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. It can even change how we interact with co-workers, clients or service providers. Cheryl Mills says someone who has suffered trauma may appear quiet, "Maybe just the way someone speaks to them could remind them of a traumatic event years and years and years ago, so they really don’t have the words to feel safe enough to say something."

Mills is co-founder and president of Haelan House. The local nonprofit hosts a training for businesses and organizations next week called “Practicing Trauma-Informed Care Where You Work.” She says it’s most important for those in the healthcare industry or anyone who works with people who may have been traumatized, "So that they can see what policies and procedures they have in place that might not be trauma sensitive." She tells KBND News, "People can get more information about trauma-informed care; what is it and why is it important? You know, why should I have those policies in place in my workplace? Why does it matter?" Mills notes the importance of recognizing the full impacts of trauma, "If the folks in those places don’t know anything about trauma and how they might inadvertently re-traumatize someone by the way their environment is set up or something that they say, then that can actually cause harm."

The workshop is Saturday June third at the Rosie Bareis Community Campus in northwest Bend. Pre-registration is required. The $160 fee includes the training, a film screening of "The Invisible War" and a workbook. Click HERE for more details. 

Listen to our full conversation with Cheryl Mills of Haelan House:


Five Properties Raided In Central Oregon Drug Bust

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s Illegal Marijuana Enforcement team and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team seized 665 pounds of processed marijuana flower and 630 pot plants from five locations this week, following an investigation that began with complaints from neighbors on Berg Lane, north of Cooley Road.

During the several months-long investigation, DCSO says surveillance showed a large criminal organization. Tuesday morning, CODE and DCIME detectives, with the help from SWAT and CERT, executed simultaneous search warrants at two Bend properties and three growing and processing properties in La Pine. 

Detectives say they found a failing septic system overwhelmed with waste and raw sewage flooding the Berg Lane property. Authorities say they found dangerous electrical wiring and other hazards at the other locations. 

No arrests have been made, but detectives are searching for two people of interest: 36-year-old Daniel Liautaud of Bend and 31-year-old Jackson Liautaud of La Pine. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Detectives Dustin Miller or Tony Ramos at 541-693-9111, reference case #23-25857.


photos courtesy of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office

Persistent Drought To Impact Fire Season, Despite Recent Rain

BEND, OR -- Despite a wet spring and a strong snowpack, experts predict Oregon is in for another hot, fire-prone summer, partly due to late spring rains. "It really drives the fuel development," says Professor John Bailey, an Oregon State University expert in forest management, "Particularly fine fuels that later on, when we dry out - we fully expect this summer, at some point, we will dry out - those fuels will cure. So the fuels will be more abundant." 

He says the fire season is rooted in three things: Fuels, topography and weather. But Erica Fleishman, Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, says that triangle doesn’t take into account the preventable, "The overwhelming majority of ignitions in Oregon and across the west are human caused. They’re not from lightning."

Oregon's snowpack remains strong (pictured; right), but State Climatologist Larry O’Neill believes it won't hang on for much longer and conditions will dry out quickly. He expects many basins will see below average streamflows this summer, even if the region receives  typical levels of precipitation, "There will be a very sharp recession from above average flows to below average. So, if you’re into rafting and things, now’s the time to go out and get your high flows in because by the time we hit July, we’ll be below average in a lot of places." And, he says, it could hit Central Oregon especially hard, "Now that the snow is mostly melted out below 5,000 feet and it’s melting out above there as well pretty quickly, the streamflows around the area - so, the Crooked River and the John Day River system, for instance, as well as the Deschutes - we expect a significant and fast recession of those flows. Right now, they’re above average for this time of year. But we expect in the next month to six weeks, those flows will become significantly below average."

O’Neill says late winter snow, the strong snowpack and abundant spring rain - causing flooding in recent weeks - are not enough to bring the High Desert out of drought. "Since October 2019, that region [Central Oregon] has missed out on the equivalent of a full year’s worth of rain there. And what that’s left is the surface soil - so the top three to six feet of the soil column - is estimated to be the driest it’s ever been in our historical record."

Prineville Reservoir is now at capacity and Haystack is 85% full. But O’Neill says those are only small steps toward recovery, "Other reservoirs in the region - for instance, Wickiup and Crescent Lake - are still quite low for this time of year and they’re close to their lowest on record for this time of year. So, they’re not projected to refill." It all points to a potentially difficult fire season. 

In the Southern Oregon Cascades, it's a very different story, where a record snowpack is melting more slowly, "And that’s basically a function of just how much snow there was this year," says O'Neill, "So that tends to push back the start of fire season a little bit." However, that could mean fire season stretches into October or November in that region.

Top Image: The U.S. Drought Monitor reflects conditions as of May 18, 2023, showing a portion of Crook County remains in Extreme Drought. 

Warm Springs Celebrates Funding For New Water Treatment Plant

CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF WARM SPRINGS -- Warm Springs is getting $28 million in federal funding to build a new water treatment plant. Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley visited the site Monday, along with tribal leaders. 

"There is a shameful legacy, right here in this spot of Oregon," said Wyden, "The burst pipes, the boil water notices, year after year of failing water treatment." He added, the funding ensures the community has safe, reliable drinking water, "That horrendous legacy of the past where families would suffer here, and people all across Oregon would get up in the morning and they’d be able to have clean water for their families. We’re on our way to that kind of future right here; and it is long, long overdue."

The two Democrats say they worked together to secure the investment through the omnibus spending package and the Environmental Protection Agency. "Members of the Confederated Tribes have just waited far too long for something that ought to be a basic human right," said Wyden. 

And he says more work is needed, "So, I wrote a law called the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act, which means that in the future, Warm Springs and other tribes will have the ability to cut through some of this red tape." He believes it will streamline the process when other repairs are needed.

"Water is life," said Tribal Council Chairman Jonathan Smith, "For us, water is everything. It's the first thing we put down at the Long House; it's something we protect for our fish, for the ecosystem."

Wyden also announced money for the Warm Springs Housing Authority to build eight new homes, "The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing two-million dollars to increase the availability of affordable housing for tribal members here." The Burns Paiute Tribe is also getting nearly a million dollars from HUD to repair a cultural heritage center. 


Parks & Rec Tips For Fun (And Safe) Floating

BEND, OR -- With summer fast approaching, Bend Parks and Rec urges river users to take safety precautions, especially as local waterways get crowded. 

“In a typical summer, we will have close to a quarter million river users, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And I anticipate that that activity will probably have a similar level of interest. It’s always a little bit weather dependent,” Julie Brown, with the Bend Park and Recreation District, urges people planning to float the river to prepare for crowds and conditions. 

“We really encourage people to use durable gear and either have your own tube or consider renting durable gear, wearing a life jacket. That water is very cold, even on the hottest days of the summer, but certainly right now. It is extremely cold, so people need to take precautions for that,” Brown offers another caution about being on the water, “We’re also seeing a lot of alcohol use in our parks and in our river, and that’s a very dangerous combination. We really want people to refrain from using alcohol, especially if they’re going to be engaging in any of the river activities. It’s just - it’s a bad idea.” 

Parks and Rec anticipates a busy 3-day holiday weekend. “We are going to be having the concession activities, with the ability to rent tubes; that’s going to get kicked off this weekend at Riverbend Park,” says Brown.

The Ride the River shuttle, running from the Park and Float near the Pavilion, to Drake and Riverbend Parks, begins Saturday, June 17th.   


Suspect Arrested Following Six-Hour Tumalo Standoff

TUMALO, OR -- A Bend man faces criminal charges after a six-hour standoff Monday in Tumalo. Deschutes County deputies responded to a home on Tumalo Rim Drive after receiving reports a woman and two young children may be inside with a man who had assaulted her in the past. 

The woman initially told investigators she and her kids were not home, but authorities determined that was not true. Because of the domestic violence history, SWAT responded and treated the incident as a hostage situation. 

Eventually, the woman came outside with her kids, both under the age of four. But deputies continued to negotiate with the suspect, identified as 47-year-old Jeremiah Vincent. 

After several more hours, law enforcement entered the front door, and they say Vincent ran out the back, where he was arrested. He's charged with violating his probation stemming from an Assault conviction. 

People living close to the incident were notified through the Emergency Preparedness Network and advised there was no threat to the community, however there was a heavy law enforcement presence in the area.


Miao Wins Elections, Eyes Narrow Fire Vote

BEND, OR -- Ray Miao was re-elected by a large margin last week to two local boards; the Deschutes Public Library, and Deschutes county’s Rural Fire Protection District, where he ran unopposed.

He’s grateful for the victories as well as what looks to be approval of the fire levy in the city of Bend and outlying district, “This levy even passing by a slim margin says ‘yes we look at these frontline providers of fire and medical services as being essential.’ They’re the heroes in our community and we need to support them.”

Miao is concerned about the 3% margin in the rural district, “Being that narrow a win for Fire Department isn’t that great. We need to really find out what does the public really need. We knew it was going to be close because of the price. And in this day and age with inflation and all, that’s always an issue.” 

Miao says voters understand the need to maintain high-quality fire and emergency services,It’s nice because now the Fire Department and the Rural District can sit down and say ‘ok where do we go from here. As the community and the rural district continue to grow, what’s the best thing we can do here?’”

In the city of Bend, the levy is passing by a 5% margin. Updated election results will come out Wednesday. The vote will be certified by June 12th.


Photo: Miao with Rural Fire Protection Board Members and Bend City Councilors at Bend Fire & Rescue Training Demo

State Funding Needed To Open Redmond's Oasis Village

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Oasis Village is one of a handful of local projects now in contract talks to receive funding from the state emergency homelessness package. Click HERE to learn more about the project. 

Things are moving fast after severl years of planning. "I haven’t seen anything like this timeline before," Oasis Village board vice chair James Cook tells KBND News, "A few months ago, we were feeling dead in the water and working on Plan B, to see how we could make things happen." Then, the city of Redmond offered to coordinate their application with COIC, requesting $975,000 to develop a community of small shelters east of town on county-owned land. He hopes to house up to 20 people in those 15 one-room structures, which are being built by local high school students and other groups. 

"Primarily, the biggest obstacle is getting the utilities underneath Highway 126 and up to the site, which this grant will help us do," says Cook, "And this will also help us fund the community building for the site." That community building "will offer toilets, showers, some cooking facilities, community space, office space for case management services. Ultimately, we’d like to add about maybe 10 units each year after opening, to get to somewhere between 30 and 40 units."

Under the guidelines set by the Governor, projects funded by the emergency relief package must be operational by January 10, 2024. Cook says coordination between Oasis Village, city officials and the county gives him confidence it will open before then. He's optimistic at least part of the facility will open by November, giving priority to clients from Redmond.

He says the project needs the state funding to cover one-time expenses; operational funds are already secured, "It’s really hard to open something without having assurances that you’re going to be able to operate for a while. And fortunately, we have some funding from the Central Oregon Health Council and some flexible funding from the state already in place. So, we’re feeling pretty comfortable about our ability to get through the first year, year and a half, without needing sizable infusions of cash."

The long-term goal is to help transition people from homelessness into permanent housing. 


St. Charles Nurses Authorize Strike

BEND, OR -- Nurses at St. Charles Bend have voted to authorize a strike at the hospital. The vote closed Sunday evening and the Oregon Nurses Association says participation was nearly 100% of the 962 nurses eligible to vote.

Contract negotiations continue Tuesday and Wednesday with hospital management. ONA says nurses will also meet this week to begin strike preparations.

When a strike is called, the union says it will give St. Charles a 10-day notice "to allow management adequate time to cease admissions and transfer patients or to reach a fair agreement with nurses and avert a work stoppage."

Responding to KBND's request for an interview, St. Charles Health System sent this statement from Julie Ostrom, Senior Nursing Leader and member of the St. Charles bargaining team:

“This vote is not a surprise and is a fairly standard step in the negotiation process. This vote does not mean a strike will occur and we continue to be committed to reaching a contract agreement in the coming weeks.

While ONA’s strike tactics are not unexpected, we believe they are detrimental to our shared goals of recruiting and retaining quality nursing staff.

We have every intention of coming to an agreement and we are looking forward to two productive bargaining sessions this week, followed by four additional sessions in June. In the unlikely event we are unable to reach an agreement, we want to reassure our patients and community that our doors will remain open to provide care.”

At St. Charles, we have made numerous strides in our goals of recruiting and retaining our nursing staff. A recent $5 hourly wage increase for all bedside nurses puts St. Charles wages among the highest in the state (for an average annual full-time base salary of $108,000 a year, not including premium and overtime pay). ONA’s data analyst confirmed in recent bargaining that our nurses are currently among the highest paid in the state and nurses in Oregon are among the top paid in the nation. 

We can see that these efforts for recruitment and retention are working. Turnover among our Bend nursing staff is declining and in 2022 St. Charles Bend reported its lowest turnover rate in three years.


Flooding, Fires Caused By Weekend Storm

CULVER, OR -- Weekend thunderstorms produced a handful of small fires near Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and in the Badlands Wilderness. Firefighters held all to less than a quarter of an acre.

The storms also caused flooding in some areas. Saturday night, Jefferson County authorities were forced to close SW Jordan Road, leading to Lake Billy Chinook, due to a small landslide. It reopened Sunday.

And, the wet weather forced the cancellation of a prescribed burn planned for Monday, southwest of Bend.


photo of Jordan Road, courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Swimmer Drowns At Prineville Reservoir

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A 20-year-old died in Prineville Reservoir Saturday. Crook County Marine deputies responded at about 5 p.m. to a report of a swimmer who went under water and didn’t resurface. Witnesses say Oscar Chavez Salazar was on his way back to shore when he went under.

Due to Saturday's lightning storm, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office dive team was unable to respond, for safety reasons. Crook County deputies continued the search and Sunday morning the DCSO dive time recovered his body near where he was last seen.


photo courtesy Crook County Sheriff's Office


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