Local News

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel has determined that the Sheriff’s Deputy who shot a man during a standoff near Alfalfa last month acted lawfully when he used lethal force to subdue a suicidal subject resisting arrest.  Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Mangin shot 53 year old Steven Newburg in the shoulder while serving an arrest warrant on behalf of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.  Newburg’s shoulder healed.  He’s now in custody in Washington for violating his parole tied to a prior kidnapping charge.

Starting next week, the Covid vaccination clinics run by Deschutes County Health and St. Charles are being moved to the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond so that more people can be vaccinated.  You’ll be able to sign up online on the county health services website to be notified when you’re eligible to get the vaccine and how to make an appointment.  This week the clinics will continue to vaccinate only those in the Phase 1A group – and only by appointment.  Those include health care providers, first responders, medically compromised children and their caretakers, and anyone with a mental disability.

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon Governor Kate Brown says there is no national reserve of COVID-19 vaccines. Brown says she talked with General Gustav Perna, Chief Operating Officer of Operation Warp Speed, and he told her states will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week because there is no federal reserve of doses. Governor Brown calls it deception on a national scale.  At a press briefing Friday afternoon the Governor said previous plans to begin vaccines for everyone over 65 on January 23rd have now been adjusted. The new plan is those 80 and older will be able to get vaccinated starting February 8th.  Staggered vaccination dates for seniors 75 and older, 70 and older and over 65 will begin in the weeks following.

January 15, 2021


Forest Service Releases Final Environmental Assessment and Decision 

for Large Diameter Trees in Eastern Oregon


Portland, Ore. – The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region has released a final environmental assessment and decision that amends forest plans on six national forests in eastern Oregon, revising a provision that prohibits harvesting trees larger than 21 inches in diameter. 


The decision replaces the existing 21-inch standard with management policy focused on protecting old and large trees and increasing forest resistance to disturbance. The new policy reflects scientific and experiential learning over the past 25 years, innovative management approaches that collaborative groups have explored for decades, and 24 prior project-level amendments that addressed this issue and informed the analysis. The proposal also implements an adaptive management and monitoring program to track landscape outcomes and share information across forests and with interested people and organizations. 


“This decision will help us to better manage forests for wildfires and other disturbances, and to protect old trees that are hard to replace once lost,” said Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa. “We look forward to continuing to work with everyone who has engaged with us on this issue through the monitoring program we will implement.” 


Many forests in eastern Oregon are uncharacteristically dense. Tree species that are less resistant to wildfire and other disturbances are increasing relative to historical conditions. This contributes to higher tree mortality risks from insects, fire, drought, and other disturbances. Meant to be an interim measure, the Eastside Screens were created in 1995 to protect riparian areas, encourage a healthy mix of young and old trees, and maintain wildlife habitat and connectivity. Now 25 years later, the 21-inch standard is being reassessed in light of current forest conditions, the latest science, project-level amendments, and public feedback.


Forests affected by the project include the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Malheur, Ochoco, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. The decision does not authorize any work on the ground; individual projects to authorize work will still be subject to established planning processes and opportunities for public engagement.


More information, including the final environmental assessment and decision notice, can be found on the Eastside Screens Plan Amendment homepage.

Governor Kate Brown Statement on Federal Reserve of COVID-19 Vaccines


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today issued the following statement on new information about the federal reserve of COVID-19 vaccines:

"Last night, I received disturbing news, confirmed to me directly by General Perna of Operation Warp Speed: States will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week, because there is no federal reserve of doses.

"I am demanding answers from the Trump Administration. I am shocked and appalled that they have set an expectation on which they could not deliver, with such grave consequences.

"This is a deception on a national scale. Oregon’s seniors, teachers, and all of us were depending on the promise of Oregon’s share of the federal reserve of vaccines being released to us."

A copy of a letter that Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen sent to U.S. DHS Secretary Azar about this discrepancy is available here.

Governor Brown will hold a press availability today at 2 p.m. to discuss the state's ongoing response to COVID-19. More information is available here



The FBI in Portland is prepared to respond to possible violent demonstrations ahead of the presidential inauguration. Special agent in charge Renn Cannon says they are aware of threats. The FBI has a command post to coordinate its response. They have special agents, bomb technicians and tactical teams ready to respond. They're asking for tips about any planned activity.


BEND, OR -- Three courtrooms that were built at the Main Courthouse in Bend in 1977 are getting a remodel and a new roof. Deschutes County Commissioners this week approved a bid of 1-million-223-thousand-750-dollars for the work. Deschutes County Facilities Director Lee Randall says the main goal of the courtroom remodels is to address accessibility issues in the jury box, the witness stand and staff areas. He says another goal is to make technological upgrades to the courtrooms. Randall says the bid also includes seismic upgrades to the courthouse.

A decision by the Crook County Health Department is prompting a return to in-person learning this month for middle and high school students.  That decision is to vaccinate any staff member in the school district that requests a Covid vaccination.  The plan is to bring middle and high school students back in-person on January 26th, but online instructional options will continue to be available for students who aren’t comfortable returning to the classroom.  District Administrators say they’ve put a safety plan together around Covid-19 in tandem with the health department that sets up new response protocols once someone on campus has been infected with the virus.  The district’s also planning to publish a weekly metrics report detailing Covid exposure and testing. K thru 5 students have been attending full-time since the start of the school year in September.

REDMOND, OR  -- Redmond Firefighters were called to the Super 8 Motel in Redmond about 2-20 this morning and on arrival found smoke coming from a first floor motel window. Motel staff was evacuating guests and the sprinklers were activated and that confined the fire to the room where it started. First reports indicated a mattress and the carpet in Room 110 were on fire and the sp[rinklers kept it contained. Motel guests were able to return to unaffected rooms within two hours while occupants of rooms near the room where the fire was, were moved  to other rooms in the motel. Captain Ken Brown with Redmond Fire told KBND late this (Thursday) morning, damage is estimated at about 6-thousand dollars. He says the cause was accidental and improper disposal of smoking materials.


BEND, OR The Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association is presenting a 10-thousand dollar check today to the Bend Heroes Foundation. The money will be given to foundation founder Dick Tobiason. The money will sponsor one of the 15 tiny homes at Central Oregon Veterans Village. Ground has been broken for the village and homes are being built by J-Bar-J construction. It is hoped veterans can move in by mid-February. The village will be operated by COVO, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach. The goal of the village is to get veterans connected with services to help them transition from homelessness to a stable lifestyle and permanent housing.  

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Health officer Doctor George Conway told county commissioners yesterday there is a new concern about the COVID virus infecting children who develop Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome. He says the syndrome may cause repeat virus infections. Conway also explained children that have had COVID may not have had a very effective immune response in the first place. He told commissioners children may not be faring as well with the more extreme end of the illness than predicted earlier in the pandemic.

Three Rivers Humane Society is asking for the public’s help to get to the bottom of a trailer theft between Sunday and Monday.  The society says one of their can and bottle trailers was stolen from the Petco in Redmond.  Police have been checking for any surveillance footage nearby businesses may have to try and track down whoever was responsible.  They say it’s a 5 X 8 foot trailer with their Three Rivers Humane Society logo on it, and they say it has two dog doors built into the right side of the trailer.  If you have any info that could help them, Three Rivers is asking that you call them at the shelter.


Investigators still have no i.d. tied to the human remains found on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on Tuesday, because medical exams indicate they may have been there for as long as ten years.  Warm Springs Tribal Police say a resident who was salvaging wood from an old wooden cattle chute along Tenino Road found what appeared to be a human skull – police say they found other bones near it.  Cadaver dogs have been brought in to continue searching the area. 



Members of the Central Oregon business community are being invited to complete an online survey to help local officials better determine the specific issues businesses have been wrestling with during the pandemic.  The survey comes from several local organizations that have banded together to provide businesses with the expert advice and resources they need.  That includes technical, legal, and financial advice as well as guidance for their Human Resource departments. www.surveymonkey.com/r/BusinessResourceSurvey


BEND, OR -- The Bend Police Department has had some staff and quite a number of officers exposed to the COVID-19 virus in recent months which means people have to miss work. Police Chief Mike Krantz says his officers along with city firefighters are now getting vaccinated and says a good percentage of the department is participating.  Krantz says he expects the numbers to go up for first responders as more vaccines become available. He says his officers can become exposed to the virus by everything from medical calls to other contacts with the public.

Oregon State University researchers say surveys suggest large numbers of Americans won’t get a vaccination for COVID19. OSU hosted a forum yesterday featuring college professors with expertise in vaccines. Anthropology Professor Beth Marino says messages about protecting one’s family and patriotism resonates with a lot of people while protecting the elderly was very well received across the spectrum of people they surveyed. She says they’re now doing focus groups to determine what people’s concerns are about vaccines and then addressing the concerns. Marino says addressing concerns means establishing a back and forth dialogue between communities of distrust and public institutions.

BEND, OR -- The Bend La Pine Schools Board voted unanimously last night to appoint Doctor Steve Cook as the new Superintendent. School board Chair Carrie Douglas says Cook met or exceeded four key criteria developed with community input. Douglas says Cook is a visionary leader…an advocate for equity…a community partner and capacity builder the community needs and wants. Cook is now the Superintendent of the Coeur d’Alene School District in Idaho and will  start his new job July 1st , succeeding interim Superintendent Lora Nordquist. Photo courtesy of Central Oregon Daily




The world’s oldest orangutan has died at the Oregon Zoo. The word orangutan means “man of the forest” but 61 year old Inji was a lady. Inji was brought to the zoo in the early 1960’s by a family that could no longer care for her. Orangutans typically only live into their 40’s in the wild. Inji beat the odds and leaves behind fond memories for generations of Oregonians.

An altered reservation window is being instituted once again for state parks in Oregon as of Thursday.  New reservations will now be accepted from one day to six months.  Normally the reservation window is one day to nine months, but it had been shortened during the Covid pandemic.  

A controversy’s brewing over river access for dogs in Bend.  Bend Parks & Rec is proposing the creation of a new year-round off-leash area to replace the current one in Riverbend Park, a bit further upstream.  But the Central Oregon nonprofit for dogs known as DogPAC says confining off-leash access to a single site will force dog owners to find other sites of their own to use, and will let their dogs swim in the river with currents that they say could be dangerous for the animals.  They want multiple approved sites.  The park board will address the issue at its next meeting on January 19th.


Girl Scout cookie season is officially underway and the Girl Scouts of Oregon will be selling their wares a bit differently this year in light of the Covid pandemic.  Creativity has kicked in to keep everyone safe and the girls are taking contact-free delivery orders online through a new national collaboration with Grubhub.  If you don’t know a Scout, you on February first for anyone who doesn’t know a scout from a local troop but wants to buy cookies.  Girl Scout cookie season in Oregon runs through March 14th.



Administrators in the Bend-La Pine school district are deciding how to respond to a letter they received on Monday from almost 50 teachers and staffers asking them to hold off on reopening schools for in-person learning February 8th until all of them can get the Covid vaccine.  Some of the teachers say they’ll consider staying home from school if they can’t get vaccinated beforehand.  Instructors will start getting the vaccine this week, but some say they’ll consider staying out of school until they get theirs.

The Deschutes County District Attorney is considering filing murder charges against a Bend man for allegedly attacking a woman on Christmas morning at a home in Bend.  The woman passed away after she was taken off of life support over the weekend.  Investigators say 35 year old Randall Kilby told them the woman fell and hit her head in the house in the 6000 block of Granite Drive.  But investigators didn’t believe him and took him into custody.  He was let out several days later pending further investigation and the woman – 43 year old Daphne Banks  –  was taken off of life support Friday.  An autopsy on her is scheduled for this week, and the D-A is waiting for the results before proceeding.  The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Dept. says Kilby has a long rap sheet, including 29 criminal cases he’s been tied to in the county since 2004.  Authorities say they’re still trying to assess the relationship between Kilby and Banks.  

BEND, OR -- A fight last October 3rd at Pilot Butte Park between pro and anti-Trump supporters  led to charges being filed against several people. Deschutes county D-A John Hummel says the cases are working through the courts. He says a man charged with pointing at and threatening people with a gun is 42 year old Jake Strayer of Bend who failed to appear in court. Hummel says 44 year old Michael Green of Bend is accused of assault and disorderly conduct and failed to appear in court.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Strayer and Green is asked to call police.


The Cascade Mountains got snow in recent weeks but Hydrologist Scott Oviatt with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says the Upper Deschutes - Crooked River Basin still needs more. He says a portion of the basin is still classified in extreme drought. Oviatt also says 90-per cent of Oregon is in some drought category. He  says snowpack in the Cascades looks okay for this time of year but says the region needs a series of storms to move in and drop more snow in the mountains this month and next.



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