A $10,000 dollar reward is being offered to find and convict whoever was responsible for vandalizing the Tumalo Irrigation District's new pipeline near Pinehurst Road. Investigators say they discovered multiple holes that were drilled into the pipeline during final inspections and testing, and say they were drilled intentionally and without authorization by someone that climbed into the open trench and drilled the holes between January 6th and 13th. The district is working to repair the pipeline now, with repair costs estimated between $125,000 and $250,000 dollars.
The cause of a fire in a home that was the scene of multiple murders in Bend is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall and Oregon State Police. Bend Fire & Rescue responded to the blaze just before 11 Tuesday night that gutted the home on Granite Drive. Brothers-in-law Jeffrey Taylor and Benjamin Taylor - both in their 60's - were found dead in the home last month, and in January 43 year old Daphne Banks was beaten so badly in the home she later died after being taken off of life support. 35 year old Randall Kilby of Bend has been charged with all three of the murders. He and his mother had been living in the home with the Taylors when the murders took place.
Redmond Police are investing the cause of a crash involving two pickups yesterday (Tuesday) morning that killed one person and injured two others. It happened south of NW 6th Street and NW Quince Avenue just before 8:30 am. Investigators say one of the pickups crossed the road and slammed into the other. The driver of the pickup that crossed the road was killed, and has been identified as 79 year old Archie Carrol of Redmond. The driver of the pickup that was hit - 38 year old Mario Lopez of Prineville - was airlifted to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. His passenger 41 year old Rodolfo Lopez of Prineville was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Pacific Power crews are working to restore power to about 1400 customers in the area of Northwest Newport in Bend. They say the cause is blown fuses tied to a bird or squirrel that got into the lines.
A 37 year old Sergeant with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has resigned during a criminal investigation into charges of sexual abuse and domestic violence against him. Deke DeMars has been on paid leave since February of last year when Redmond police started investigating the alleged assault charges filed by a woman in a romantic relationship with DeMars. The case had been turned over the Deschutes County D-A's Office with a police recommendation to charge DeMars with a sex crime. His resignation is retroactive to April first.
A 40 year old Bend man convicted of killing his house guest in 2013 has been found not guilty following six hours of deliberation in a second trial that lasted more than 3 weeks in Deschutes County Circuit Court. Luke Wirkkala has been in custody since February of 2013 and was convicted in 2014 of intentionally killing 31 year old David Ryder with a shotgun despite claiming he shot Ryder in self-defense after Ryder sexually assaulted him. The state appeals court ordered a retrial following the first conviction because the jury heard a police interview after Wirkkala had invoked his right to request an attorney.
A 30 year old woman from Bend has been arrested for conspiracy in connection with the March 28th stabbing incident on China Hat Road. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says they now have evidence showing Tesla Delury conspired with Anthony Reyes to lure the alleged victim to China Hat Road so Reyes could assault him. Detectives took Reyes into custody after the incident, and say they believe the man he's suspected of stabbing was someone he knew who was going to testify against him in another case. The man he allegedly stabbed suffered serious injuries. The investigation is continuing.
A 46 year old Bend man has been arrested following an active investigation over the last few months by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team. Investigators say Thomas VanHoose was trafficking large amounts of meth through Deschutes County. Cops arrested him during a traffic stop in Redmond, and say they found a pound of meth in the car along with close to $19 thousand dollars in cash believed to have come from sales of the drug. During the investigation, authorities also found nine pounds of meth, scales, packaging material, and other evidence of meth sales in a storage unit traced to VanHoose.
The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals - which is the union representing medical technicians at St. Charles Medical Center - has ratified the union’s first contract. The contract spans three years, which includes wage increases averaging 11%, according to St. Charles Spokeswoman Lisa Goodman. 150 workers went on strike for just over a week on March 4th following a year of off and on negotiations.
The annual Home and Garden Show at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Redmond has been canceled for 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.
Wilderness permit reservations for the Central Cascade Wilderness can be made starting on Tuesday at 7 am for the 2021 season. Permits are required for any overnights in the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, or Mt. Washington wilderness areas between the Friday of Memorial Day weekend May 28th until the last Friday in September, September 24th. To reserve a permit next week, go to recreation dot gov.
Internships are in the offing through Bend-La Pine Schools thanks to a new partnership with Youth CareerConnect. The internships will provide an opportunity for students to expand their skills and obtain real-world work experience with employers in Central Oregon. Along with providing work experience, YCC says the internships provide the opportunity for students to build their resume and college applications, explore career opportunities, and earn elective credit. Some of the employers will offer PAID internships. For more info, go to the YCC website.
The former long-time publisher and editor of The Bulletin has died. John Costa was 76. Costa lived in Richmond, Virginia and died of a heart attack. Costa first started as Editor-in-Chief at the Bulletin in 1997. He’s survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.
For the second time since the start of the pandemic, a coffee shop in Bend has been cited and fined for neglecting to take safety measures to protect its employees against Covid 19. OSHA has just imposed a fine of more than $27 thousand dollars on Kevista Coffee for continuing to serve customers indoors while Deschutes County was at the "extreme risk" level for Covid. Last July, OSHA had imposed an almost $9,000 fine on Kevista for refusing to ensure the wearing of masks. The company has already appealed the July citation and is expected to appeal this one, as well.
Beginning Wednesday, the Deschutes National Forest will be conducting prescribed burns 5 miles west of Pine Mountain near Forest Road for up to three days. The plan is to under-burn approximately a thousand acres, with ignitions between 10 am and 5 pm for up to 3 days. Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week after the burning. OHV trails 10, 12, and 28 will be closed temporarily. The objective of the prescribed burn is to improve the wildlife habitat, and reduce future rates of wildfire spread.
Central Oregon welcoming a return to job gains in February following the partial reopening of in-person school and the easing of public health measures out of the extreme level. The improvement in February was most notable in Deschutes County after getting hit harder with COVID-19 related layoffs earlier in the recession. Deschutes County posted a gain of 430 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, concentrated primarily in leisure and hospitality as the county moved out of the extreme category of COVID-19 restrictions allowing for a return to limited indoor dining and recreation. There was also a notable gain in local government education jobs after a partial return to in-person learning.
Police in Prineville have arrested a 28 year old resident in connection with the stabbing of another man in front of the Ace Hardware and Rite Aid on Northeast 3rd Street Monday night just after 6 pm. Police say Nicholas Myers had posted bail in connection with another stabbing in a different county and was taken into custody this time after he ran away from the scene following the stabbing – police caught up with him. Investigators say Myers knew the 35 year old victim who suffered life threatening injuries. Myers is now expected to go before a Grand Jury.
The Redmond School District is bringing all secondary students back to school five days a week beginning Monday, April 19th. More details will be coming out between now and then, but the district says students will have a modified schedule on Wednesdays. Elementary school students in Redmond returned to in-person learning last month. Masks, social distancing guidelines, and handwashing are still in place as safety protocols. Until April 19th, middle and high school students will continue with their hybrid instruction that was put in place last month.
About 2,000 customers of Pacific Power in Southwest Bend are still in the dark - 72 hundred had been at the height of the high winds yesterday that brought trees and power lines down in many neighborhoods.
Thousands of Bend residents near Dechutes River Woods in the South part of the city are still in the dark this morning after heavy winds brought trees and power lines down yesterday. That left six thousand residents without power. Pacific Power crews are working on it. They had expected to restore power by late last night, but were unable to get residents back on line as they were hoping.
Here’s the latest fire update from Bend Fire.
The Bulls Fire Level 3 evacuation order is still in effect for homes on Kuhlman Road. All west Saddleback residences have been reduced to Level 1 “Be Ready” status. The evacuation order for all east Saddleback residences have been completely lifted. The fire is fully contained.
Fire crews are still patrolling the area. The fire is approximately 75 acres and the cause is still under investigation. No residential homes were impacted by the fire although two out buildings were lost.
The one at Cinder Butte Road started from a burn pile that rekindled. It didn’t spread to any homes and was brought under control quickly.
Power outages are reportedly affecting more than 200 residents impacted by brush fires in Deschutes River Woods on the South side of Bend and in Tumalo. Pacific Power crews are working on the downed lines and expect to have power restored by 9 pm.
Brush fire prompting LEVEL THREE "Go Now" EVACUATIONS for all addresses west of Johnson Road from Bull Springs Road Road to Kuhlman Road. All homes on the EAST SIDE of Johnson Road are on LEVEL ONE evacuations, which means "be ready" for potential evacuations. Traffic is being diverted and Tyler Road is shut down.
Bend Fire is working two wind-driven brush fires at this hour - one in Tumalo, prompting evacuations. The other - now under control - is in Deschutes River Woods in the South part of Bend. No word yet on the number of evacuees, but it is believed to be a Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order. No word on any loss of services in the area. This story is developing.
A 33 year old Bend man has been arrested in connection with a stabbing on China Hat Road near Sunset View Drive. A female who saw it called 9-1-1 saying her male friend had been stabbed in the neck and head. Investigators arrested Anthony Reyes in connection with the incident – they say he knew the 32 year old man he stabbed, and say they believe that man was a witness in another criminal case involving Reyes. Investigators say the two got into a physical altercation before the stabbing. The victim was taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. The investigation into the incident is continuing.