BEND, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) is on his way back to Central Oregon for a series of town hall meetings, this weekend, as the partial federal government shutdown enters its 28th day. Walden believes people want to talk about the economy, healthcare and veterans' services, along with the shutdown. He says with the current impasse, he's looking for creative solutions, "Day to day, the American people expect those they send to Washington to get their job done, like they have to do their own job. And, that means funding the government and providing security for the country. It's unfortunate those two items have been on a collision course."
Walden had voted to end the shutdown, but voted against a short-term funding bill on Tuesday that he says lacked adequate resources to secure the southern border and address illegal immigration. In bipartisan efforts over the years, more than 750 miles of border fencing have been built, but Walden tells KBND New it's no longer enough, "We've got to beef up border security, or else our country doesn't have security. And, we should have a thoughtful, measured way to deal with those who come here seeking asylum, and we don't have that today."
The Republican says he's doing all he can to get everyone paid and back to work, but until he's successful he is asking his pay be withheld, too, "If they're not going to get paid and they're working in the BLM Office over in Prineville, or Burns, or Vale or somewhere there's a Forest Service office, or Crater Lake, we should stand in solidarity."
Walden hosts several southern Oregon town halls on Friday, and will be in Bend on Saturday, for a town hall at Mountain View High School at 2:30 p.m. It's his first public event in Bend since April 2017.
On Sunday, He'll be at the Jefferson County Senior center at 11 a.m. and at Crook County High at 2 p.m. Walden hosts events in Malheur and Harney counties, Monday. Plans to visit Baker, Wallowa, Union, Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Hood River and Wasco counties later in the week were scrapped after changes were made to the Congressional calendar due to the shutdown.
Photo: Rep. Walden tours Bend's Humm Kombucha in March 2018
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Culver woman is accused of Driving Under the Influence, following a Thursday crash on SE Juniper Canyon Road. According to the Crook County Sheriff's Office, 30-year-old Jenna Mazour was northbound, just after 4 p.m., "at variable rates of speed" and lost control. The car went off the east side of the road and continued for about 30 feet before flipping on to its side.
Mazour's was the only vehicle involved in the crash. She refused medical treatment and was arrested at the scene.
REDMOND, OR -- NeighborImpact hopes to grow its Early Head Start program that serves high-risk families with infants and toddlers, "We have 22 families that we home visit in our Early Head Start program in the Redmond community, right now," says Deschutes and Crook County Head Start Director Kimberly Brown, "But, I did just put in a grant to hopefully be able to expand into all the communities, next year."
The program launched about a year ago. "Early Head Start participants are pregnant moms through age three. Then, at age three, they would transition into the Head Start Program," Brown tells KBND News, adding that it provides social opportunities, training and weekly home visits, "Our home visitors go into the home and use a parenting curriculum to work with the family around goals they might have, to help get them further along in life with whatever that might be. And, then we also have child goals, to help get the child school-ready."
NeighborImpact recently opened a new center to make it easier for these families to meet for monthly socials. A ribbon cutting was held Thursday at that facility near Consumer Cellular on the south end of Redmond.
Brown says families interested in getting involved can apply online, "We serve families who are the neediest of the needy within our community, and have specific selection criteria to ensure that we are serving the neediest."
BEND, OR -- Chris Piper expects to become Bend’s newest City Councilor, at the end of the month. Councilors selected him Wednesday night, from among six finalists, to fill the vacancy created when Sally Russell was elected Mayor.
Piper was out of town on business and watched the meeting on the live stream. "When I learned of the appointment I, actually – in all honesty, was numb with excitement," he told KBND News Thursday, from his hotel room, "And then the energy started kicking in and I started writing down things that I’m looking forward to addressing with the Council as a whole." Those top priorities include identifying and addressing transportation and affordable housing needs, and getting to know the rest of Council and constituents. He acknowledges he has extra work to do on those relationships because he didn't go through a traditional election, "The personal piece of it was missed. Because in campaigning, you know, that’s where you really get to connect and get to know the individual running and to truly get to understand that individual as a person and then also as someone you want to begin to know and trust to take the city forward. With the application process, that’s very difficult."
He has lived in Bend 14 years, and works from home for Proforma, an Ohio-based marketing company, "Telecommuting has gotten me to get very engaged with the community by working at some of the workspace centers – the tech service on Emkay, the coffee shop downtown, and that was one of the reasons I took the opportunity to apply." Bend leads the nation in telecommuting workers, according to a new study, and some Councilors supported Piper’s appointment in part because of his remote work. Click HERE to listen to City Manager Eric King explain the selection process and rationale.
Piper is expected to be sworn in to office during the January 30 City Council meeting.
SALEM, OR -- Two local businesses face reprimands from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Horseshoe Saloon, in Prineville (pictured), will surrender its liquor license after the OLCC found numerous violations. The agency says the restaurant and bar has a history of serious and persistent problems, citing 50 documented incidents; 28 of which involved violence. They were also found to allow self-service alcohol, permitting consumption of alcohol between 2:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. and serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.
A Bend marijuana lab is forced to surrender its lab license to the OLCC. Managers of Evio Labs, on O.B. Riley Road, agree to accept the reprimand for three violations, although the agency did not specify what those were. Evio's Eugene lab is also surrendering its lab license for six violations.
BEND, OR -- Authorities have released the identity of the suspected shooter involved in a Wednesday homicide, north of Bend. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says 49-year-old Joanna Kasner faces one count of Murder. She’s accused of shooting 58-year-old Valerie Peterson in the Boonesborough neighborhood. Peterson died outside a home on McGrath Road, which is owned by Kasner, according to county property records.
DCSO Investigates Homicide North of Bend (01/17/19)
Kasner has not been booked into the jail, and as of Thursday night remained in police custody at St. Charles Bend, although authorities have not commented on what she is being treated for. Sheriff Shane Nelson confirms to KBND News Bend Fire was called to the same house the day before the shooting. But, he refused to comment on the nature of the call, citing the ongoing investigation. In a Facebook post dated Monday, Kasner complains of mistreatment by law enforcement and says she hasn't eaten or slept in the last month, and is suffering from PTSD.
Investigators have not released a possible motive, nor whether the two women knew each other prior to Wednesday morning.
BEND, OR -- A second meeting is scheduled for Friday, to allow neighbors to provide more input on a controversial 170-unit apartment complex proposed for southwest Bend. A meeting last week drew heated discussions among residents opposed to the four-story building. The Planning Division's Colin Stephens says the hearings officer is looking for new information, "I think it's a good opportunity for people who weren't able to come to the previous one to come and give their testimony. I'm just hopeful that it's not just a rehash of what we've already heard, and that we can get some new people, new ideas and new comments into the record."
Seattle-based Evergreen Housing is behind the proposal, seeing it as a solution to the area's ongoing housing crisis. But the plan to build a nearly 50-foot building on Shevlin Hixon has drawn criticism for potentially blocking views of the Deschutes River and increasing traffic congestion. Stephens tells KBND News emotions ran high at last week's meeting, but progress was made, "There were certainly people who spoke outside the criteria, very emotionally and very persuasively. But, they also were able to steer a lot of their comments to the criterion, which I think was helpful to the hearings officer." He adds, "In making land use decisions, they have to be based on code, and the criteria and regulations contained in the code; not on feelings, and emotion and the number of people who testify one way or the other. So, it's going to be up to the hearings officer to make the determination." He says there will be two more weeks' worth of discussion, followed by some final input from Evergreen Housing before a final decision will be made on whether the development can move forward.
Friday's meeting starts at 3 p.m. at Bend City Hall.
BEND, OR -- Bend Firefighters are responding to nearly double the number of calls involving gas leaks, compared to just five years ago. "In 2015, we went from an average of 30 up to 67, and it’s just up in the 70s, now," says Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe, "So, we’re averaging over 70 gas leak calls per year; that’s a big jump for us and we’re trying to figure out why."
Battalion Chief Dave Howe suspects it could be partly due to the overall increase in construction around Bend, "Which means there’s more construction vehicles digging. And, the second thing was Cascade Natural Gas is continuing with their major gas line upgrade, where they’re replacing all the old lines in, like, 17 phases. And, there are a lot of line-strikes in that particular project." That gas line replacement project began in 2016, and Howe tells KBND News it has been challenging for contractors, "Replacing the gas lines in a city like Bend is a very complex job. And, there are gas lines that were presumed to be abandoned and were not abandoned; they were live."
Howe says other leaks were caused by homeowners working at their own property who failed to properly locate underground lines by calling 811 prior to digging.
Photo: Bend Fire responds to a gas like downtown, on November 7, 2018
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond officials are changing gears on the future of the former city hall property. City Manager Keith Witcosky says the original plan to develop market-rate housing isn’t cost effective in this economy. "As it turns out, it would require a pretty big subsidy from the city, which wouldn’t be appropriate for market-rate housing. And so, what we’re looking at right now, as we examine the needs, public parking is a need downtown. We’ve got a new theater, we’re going to have a new hotel open this year, we’re going to have a new park. Giving people a place to park off-street is going to be important; and it looks like we’re going to go down that route."
Witcosky tells KBND News the lot across from Centennial Park could be converted into housing or some other use in the future, "As the economy turns around and continues to grow over the years, I could see that parking lot be developed at some point in time, which happens in major metropolitan areas." But, for now, he says it's important to make sure the property doesn't fall into disrepair, "We look at ‘what’s an interim use that serves a community need?’ Public parking is a need and we’re responsible for providing it."
Developing the lot will still take time and money, "You’ve got structures on it and then you’ve got to kind of create the parking lot. And even that is going to cost – we’ve been pretty open about it - $700,000 to $800,000. It costs around $7,000 per stall to build a surface parking lot." Witcosky believes it would provide free parking to about 100 vehicles, adding around 30 to the 70 spots already adjacent to the former City Hall building. It has yet to be designed but could be open by the end of the year.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide in the Boonesborough neighborhood, north of Bend. "At approximately 11 a.m., our office received reports of shots fired," Sheriff Shane Nelson said Wednesday, "Deputies responded to the scene and found a female with apparent gunshot wounds. Oregon State Police and deputies from our office attempted life-saving efforts; the victim was pronounced dead at the scene." The victim, 58-year-old Valerie Peterson, was found down in the street outside a home on McGrath Road.
Nelson refused to provide many details, citing the ongoing investigation, "There is no active threat to the community. We do have a person of interest in custody and more details will be released as we continue the investigation." He refused to release the name of the person in custody; as of Wednesday night, his office reported detectives were with the person at St. Charles Bend.
Sheriff Nelson confirms first responders were at the same home the day before the shooting, "We have preliminary information that the fire department was dispatched to this residence; but that’s part of the ongoing investigation." SWAT and other special investigation teams responded to the scene. Roads in the area were closed for several hours and the Sheriff's office took to social media to urge neighbors to stay indoors until the situation was more stable. "This investigation is ongoing. We’ve called out the Tri County Major Incident Team to assist our detectives in examining the scene and completing the investigation," said Nelson. McGrath Road fully reopened overnight.
Investigators don’t yet know whether the victim and shooter knew each other.
Photos: (top) Law enforcement vehicles line McGrath Road during the homicide investigation.
(upper right) Deschutes County SWAT and Command Center vehicles at McGrath and Morrill Rd.
(middle) Sheriff Shane Nelson directs traffic as residents attempt to return home, through roadblocks.
(bottom) The Tri-County Major Incident Team continues to investigate.
BEND, OR -- In a four-to-two vote, Wednesday night, Bend City Councilors appointed Chris Piper to fill the Position Three seat vacated when Sally Russell was elected Mayor. At first, Katherine Austin appeared to have more support. But, after deliberations, Councilors selected Piper, the VP of New Business Development for Ohio-based marketing company Proforma.
Mayor Sally Russell was enthusiastic about the choice. "He represents a demographic of people who work in the city of Bend at home, they raise their families, they grow their businesses, they travel all over the United States, they give to their community, they give to veterans, they contribute to schools; they participate actively in our community." She added, "I felt that he had a strong interview." Russell recognized all six candidates were strong in certain areas, but said, "There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle. Each person has a different piece of the puzzle to offer. Whoever sits on this dais has to be good and broad enough to be able to recognize all the pieces of the puzzle because not all those pieces can sit up here in seven places." Piper will serve the remaining two years of Russell’s term.
Councilors Barb Campbell and Gena Goodman-Campbell voted against Piper’s appointment.
SALEM, OR -- The 2019 Legislative session begins Tuesday. But first, this week, all lawmakers are taking part in mandatory training to recognize, combat and report harassment. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) says for too long, certain powerful people were allowed to create hostile work environments for women and minorities, with no one calling them to task, "That culture must end and it has to end now. And, it's up to all of us to join together and say it's not going to be tolerated anymore." He tells KBND News, "I mean, it's the silence that has allowed all this stuff to continue."
Knopp was outspoken when allegations involving former State Senator Jeff Kruse emerged nearly a year ago. He says there's no room for harassing and disrespectful behavior in the Legislature or anywhere else, "I think we're at a critical moment in our culture when we have the opportunity to do some real good out of what has been a very ugly year of revelations all across the country; in many state houses, and Hollywood, board rooms, and companies, large and small, all across Oregon and America."
The Bend Republican is Vice Co-Chair of the new Joint Committee on Capitol Culture and he's sponsored a bill that would change laws regarding sexual harassment allegations. It would extend the statute of limitations beyond 365 days, create liability for those who know about harassment and do nothing, disallow confidential settlements that silence the accuser and prohibit a company from firing an alleged victim just for coming forward. Knopp says, "I look forward to working with my colleagues to set an example of the type of workplace that we all should have here in Oregon." He adds, "Nobody is held accountable publicly. So now that that is going to occur, I think it will have a marked difference and change in behavior now that people know what the consequence is going to be."
TUMALO, OR -- The Oregon Department of Transportation is considering changes to Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond. While it’s still very early in the process, ODOT’s Peter Murphy says the agency wants to improve safety, "You’ve got increasing demands placed on the highway, there’ve been some crashes that we don’t like to talk about; nobody does. And, so, what we’re trying to do is, short of putting billions of dollars into the highway, what can we do with what we have available? So, we have asked for some input."
The public is invited to weigh in on what’s needed, at a community meeting, Wednesday evening. Murphy says ODOT has some ideas, "Maybe increased lighting, other kinds of improvements that are smaller or less expensive than the big ‘let’s do this whole median barrier all through the highway system,’ and build backage roads and frontage roads. Those kinds of things may be in the offing, but in the short term, what can we do to make the highway safer?" He tells KBND News a nine-mile median isn’t an easy option, "You see a driveway there that means ODOT has given that person access to the highway. Now, this goes back, in many cases, to when it was a horse trail or something similar to that. So, over time, people have gotten access rights. You can’t just take that away. Those rights belong to the people who have obtained them. So, in our world, we can’t just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take away your right to have a turn into your driveway’."
Click HERE for more details on the project. Wednesday's community meeting It starts at 5 p.m. at Three Sisters School on Tumalo Road. For those unable to attend in person, ODOT is also hosting a virtual open house through February first.
BEND, OR -- The Humane Society of Central Oregon is offering free premium dog and cat food for federal employees on furlough due to the partial government shutdown. HSCO has partnered with FreeKibble and Halo Pet Food to make sure government workers can still feed their animals.
Furloughed federal workers Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and Klamath counties can pick up about a month's worth of premium pet food at the Bend shelter on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They must bring proof of employment.
Federal employees can receive pet food assistance at the Humane Society Shelter on SE 27th St. at any time.
BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating more than 15 reports of counterfeit $20 bills being used at local businesses. The bills look identical, including the same serial number and markings. They have the words "COPY MONEY" written in the corner of one side and "SPECIMEN" printed in red on the other side. The money looks legitimate, but investigators say the paper feels different than real cash.
The fake money was passed at Bend establishments like 7-11, Burger King, McDonalds, Taco bell and Bogey's Burgers. In some cases, employees noticed the counterfeit and contacted police; but in others, the money was reported by the bank who received it.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to call law enforcement through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.
Photo: Submitted by Bend Police; the recovered counterfeit money have similar markings, but different serial numbers than what's shown above.
LA PINE, OR -- A 79-year-old La Pine woman reportedly mistook the gas pedal for the brake, sending her car through the front of the La Pine Ray’s Food Place, at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Anita Jaramillo told Sheriff’s deputies she’d recently bought the car and wasn’t very familiar with it.
While trying to park in front of the store, She drove over the sidewalk and through the front window, causing substantial damage to the building and checkstands. The store was open, but no one was hurt. No citations have been issued.
BEND, OR -- A northeast Bend chicken coop was destroyed in a fire blamed on a heating lamp, Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters responded to the home near Fourth and Hawthorne, across from Hawthorne Station, just before 12:30 p.m. and found the coop fully engulfed, with flames spreading to brush. They were able to stop the blaze before it reached a nearby detached garage.
Fire investigators say a heat lamp secured by a clamp inside the coop fell into bedding, igniting the fire. Officials suggest heat lamps used for animals be secured to their supports by more than a clamp, which loses strength as it warms.
REDMOND, OR -- A Culver woman was arrested in Redmond by officers with guns drawn, Tuesday morning. Redmond Police were first called to a car dealership on South Highway 97, just before 10:30 a.m., on a report of a woman intentionally ramming vehicles and nearly hitting two employees. The suspect left before police arrived but, after several calls from the public, they caught up with her in the Petco parking lot, on the north end of town. Vanessa Hancock was arrested during a high-risk traffic stop.
Investigators say the 37-year-old damaged six vehicles at the dealership, as well as her own 2011 Kia Sportage (right). She reportedly littered car parts along the road as she drove north. Police say she was upset with employees at the dealership over an ongoing civil dispute.
Hancock is charged with Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another, Criminal Mischief and Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver Involved in an Accident. Redmond Police encourage those involved in civil disputes to seek a legal resolution.
REDMOND, OR -- Crews are nearly finished installing a large sewer line in northwest Redmond, to accommodate the exponential growth expected in the area over the next couple of years. Steve Wilson, a Civil Engineer with the city of Redmond, tells KBND News, "This project replaces a pump station that was at Spruce Avenue that served the parcels that are adjacent to 19th Street, but it didn’t have capacity nor flow depth to serve anything beyond that point." That means the old pump station could not have handled the more than 500 new housing units now in development on 77 acres near NW Spruce and Northwest Way. Wilson says the new Far West Interceptor corrects that issue, "This particular piece does serve a very large portion of land. There’s a sewer master plan that breaks things down where different basins will go in the future. As each section develops farther and farther to the west and to the east, these areas are collected by new infrastructure.
He says the work was complicated by the geology of the area. Crews had to bore through the rock wall on the north end of the Dry Canyon, to connect the line to the waste water treatment plant. "There’s all sorts of things that you just cannot see until you’re actually doing the boring. In this particular case, there was a lot of unique geology, but our borer did a really, really good job working with that geology to get us a fairly good alignment." The pipe was installed Friday and tested Monday morning; Wilson says it passed inspection "with flying colors."
The Far West Interceptor is expected to come on line in the next three to four weeks.
BEND, OR -- When the latest local jobless numbers are released next week, they won’t yet show how the the partial federal government shutdown is impacting Central Oregon's economy. Damon Runberg, Regional Economist with the Oregon Employment Department, tells KBND News, "The reference week that we use for the unemployment rate and hiring numbers was before the shutdown began. So, when the December numbers come out, we won’t see an effect. For sure we will in January, because those folks are counted as unemployed – well, if they are looking for work on the side." Those January numbers are released in mid-February.
Even when those January stats come out, Runberg says it won't provide a complete picture of how furloughed workers are coping, "They’re not a traditional unemployed person; right? So, if they’re sitting back and waiting for the government to reopen and they’re not looking for work to fill the void, they would not be counted as unemployed. But, they still would qualify for unemployment insurance benefits." He adds, "It’s a little confusing, how we’re going to try to capture some of this on the data. We do generally know the number of positions that have been funded, locally, by the federal government that are effected – about 800 jobs. But, it might be a little bit skewed. Some of the natural resource/land management agencies, some of those positions that we’re estimating were affected, might actually be seasonal jobs."
Tuesday is day 25 of the longest ever shutdown of the federal government.
BEND, OR -- OSU-Cascades is seeking federal funds to help clean up a 72-acre former landfill, to allow for construction of more academic buildings at the Bend campus. Blair Garland, with OSU-Cascades, tells KBND News the university has received $9.5 million in state money, and they're now hoping to get a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. "The EPA is going to award around 40 of them around the country, and we'd certainly like some of these federal funds to come here and be applied here in Central Oregon. That'll help us make best use of state funds. And, if we receive the grant, it's going to expand the size of the first phase of remediation, and possible do it faster."
Garland believes the school's proposal is a good fit for the EPA grant committee, "Combining this former landfill and the former pumice mine, which were two sites that were formerly unusable, and bringing those together in order to build a university, which is a benefit to the community. And, it's a way to serve an underserved region with higher education. We think that's going to be one of the most innovative land reclamation stories in the country, so we think we have a good shot." A public meeting will be held Wednesday evening at Tykeson Hall to discuss the EPA application process and get community feedback. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.
Even before securing the additional money, Garland says work is already underway at the former demolition landfill, "Right now, we're mostly doing the preparation work, like finalizing testing and planning with contractors. And, we're going to start moving dirt around on the site beginning in the spring, or possibly the summer."
BEND, OR -- After more than six months working under an expired contract, and 26 negotiation sessions, nurses at St. Charles Bend reached a new labor deal with the hospital over the weekend. Both sides call compromise that was finally hammered out in a marathon two-day session, which ended 1 a.m. Saturday. Details were released Monday. Kevin Mealy, with the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), says the agreement addresses concerns about patient care, "What we see in this agreement is commitments to limit floating, so that the right nurse is in the right place at the right time; we’ve seen commitments to add some shared governance structure, where it’s 50% representation from direct care nurses and 50% nurses from managers. And, it really gives direct care nurses a voice in changing that care."
Mealy says it also provides yearly pay increases for nurses to address the rising cost of living in Bend, while giving the hospital financial flexibility, "Nurses will see between a 2-4% wage increase per year. But, in year three that’s going to be linked to the consumer price index. So, if the cost of living goes up significantly, nurses’ wages will go up a little more to try and keep pace; if it stays flat or goes down, nurses won’t make as much." And, he says, nurses accepted increases in the cost of their health benefits.
The new labor contract stretches through December of 2022. "[It's] A four and a half year-long contract, which is unusual in negotiations. But, I think it speaks to both sides’ willingness to work together and find ways to give those upstream solutions that we’ve hammered out in negotiations time take effect and to see the improvements in patient care as time goes on." It still must still be ratified by a majority of the more than 900 nurses represented by the ONA. Mealy expects that will happen in the next two to three weeks.
An informational picket scheduled for next Monday has been canceled, but a food drive planned to coincide with the demonstration is expected to still take place.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors continue efforts to fill the vacancy on Council created when Sally Russell was elected Mayor. They interviewed their top six candidates during a special meeting, Monday night. Kathy Austin, James Dorofi, Kerani Mitchell, Andrew Davis, Chuck Allen and Chris Piper were selected from among nearly 40 applications received earlier this month.
Councilor Barb Campbell acknowledged it’s difficult to choose someone for a seat that’s normally elected by voters, "My experience is, sometimes the voters want a complete outsider who has never set foot in City Hall, sometimes they want someone with a great deal of experience." But, she said she didn't think readiness was going to be an issue with this pool of candidates, "Looking at this specific list, I don’t see any of these folks that make me worried that they’re not going to be able to get up to speed."
The six Councilors agreed all of the finalists had good things to say and represent a broad range of ideas. But, after several hours of interviews and deliberations, Councilor Bruce Abernethy told the small crowd gathered in Council Chambers they would push a final decision to Wednesday’s regular meeting, "Unfortunately this is probably not what the candidates are going to want to hear. But, again, you are getting a sense of what you may be getting into, and that it’s a little bit messy. I think there was some really good discussion; we’ll get a chance to sleep on it and reflect a little bit more."
Wednesday's Bend City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m.
LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine man was found dead outside his Newberry Estates home, Monday. Authorities say he likely died of exposure.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says 66-year-old Larry Campbell lived on Penny Court, which is a dead end street. They believe he came home Sunday night, got out of his car and slipped on the ice. "Mr. Campbell was unable to get to his feet and began crawling towards an area of the driveway with less ice, where he could get back onto his feet," Sgt. William Bailey said in a statement. Campbell was unsuccessful and succumbed to the cold. He was discovered just before noon Monday.
BEND, OR -- With the Government Shutdown now in Day 24, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) says his colleagues have taken sides. He believes most Americans understand the country's immigration system and border security need fixing, but no one in the U.S. House is compromising, right now. "What's happening down there [on the southern border], in many ways, is pretty inhumane and cruel. We need to fix this problem, and it's unfortunate that the sides can't come together." Walden tells KBND News he's frustrated because border security is important, but that's not helping people in District Two who are employed by the federal government or otherwise affected by the shutdown, "This is having real life consequences, and I wish the big players would figure a way through this." As the shutdown drags on, he said it will make it more difficult for furloughed employees to catch up on their work once they are back on the job.
Walden has asked for his own pay to be withheld in solidarity with federal employees who are currently furloughed, "I wish Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer would negotiate in better faith than they have been, frankly. The President has presented multiple alternatives to them, and they've just told him 'No,' and no doesn't get you very far in a negotiation." He says he wants the government to reopen, but that doesn't mean he's not in favor of increased border security, "We should fund enhanced border security. We have a problem at the border; it's a crisis, and we need to deal with it for humanitarian purposes, and for national security purposes."
Now in the minority party, Walden is confident the good working, bipartisan relationships he's built over time will continue, "Obviously, there's a new party in town in the majority in the House and they have a different agenda in some areas, but in a lot of areas I think we'll find common ground and get things done for the country." That is, once the government reopens for business.