Local News

Lifeguards, Swim Instructors Needed for Summer

BEND, OR -- The Bend Park and Recreation District will host another hiring event, this time focused on lifeguards and swim instructors. 

The hiring event is Wednesday, May 18, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Bend Park & Recreation District Office: 799 S.W. Columbia Street. 

At the event, attendees can learn about positions, complete applications and participate in on-site interviews. BPRD plans to make job offers on the spot. Lifeguard and swim instructor applicants can schedule in-water testing for next steps.

This pre-season event features numerous recreation positions for the important work of our aquatics, recreation, therapeutic recreation and custodial teams.

“We’ve hosted two prior hiring events this spring and hired more than two dozen new employees at those events,” John Bataclan-Wilson, BPRD recruiting specialist, said in a statement. “This event is focused on our aquatics and recreation position openings and we invite people to come learn what working for play means with BPRD.”

Featured openings include:

  • Lifeguard – part-time
  • Swim Instructor – part-time
  • Facility Manager-on-Duty – part-time and full-time
  • Therapeutic Recreation Leader – part-time
  • Recreation Staff – part-time, specializing in various activities including art, climbing, outdoors or tennis
  • Custodian – part-time

To streamline attendance at the event, interested applicants are encouraged to complete a one-minute Hiring Event Pre-registration Form.

The positions offer a variety of benefits, which may include paid leave, recreation facility passes and recreation program registration discounts. Working hours vary and multiple shifts are available. Some positions are available for age 15 years and older; other positions are available for age 18 years and older.

Learn more about positions and apply at: https://www.bendparksandrec.org/jobs.

Warm Springs Man Pleads Guilty For Sexual Assault

PORTLAND, OR -- A Warm Springs man pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting a woman on the Warm Springs Reservation in August of 2020. According to court documents, 27-year-old Jerome Stanley want into the woman’s room after being told not to, assaulted her, then later admitted to the encounter during a recorded phone call with the victim and acknowledged it shouldn’t have happened.

The US Attorney's Office says Stanley faces a maximum sentence of two years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and five years' supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for August 8. As part of his plea deal, he will pay restitution to the victim and register as a sex offender.

Man-made Beaver Dams Coming to Jefferson County

MADRAS, OR -- Crews will soon install artificial beaver dams in a Jefferson County waterway, in an effort to remove pollutants. Ally Steinmetz, with the Middle Deschutes Watershed Council, says a new grant will pay for “Beaver Dam Analogues” - or BDAs - in Campbell Creek. "It’s basically a way to filter agricultural runoff coming off of Agency Plains, which is a heavy agricultural use area," Steinmetz tells KBND News, "And our monitoring has found high levels of pesticides in this creek, so these BDAs will act as natural water filters."

The BDAs are created using organic material to mimic the water purfying work beavers have been doing for thousands of years, "We use a hydraulic post pounder to install untreated posts into the creekbed laterally across the creek. And then we’ll weave natural materials like willow sticks or juniper branches through the posts, so it forms this sort of tight webbing that will, over time, fill with sediment and leaves."

It's one of two projects to be funded through a $587,919 grant from Oregon's Watershed Enhancement Board awarded to the Jefferson County Soil and Watershed Conservation District. "We’ve been monitoring the creek; been doing water quality monitoring for about six years," says Steinmetz, "So we have a really good baseline to see what the watershed is telling us about pesticide use over time. And then hopefully be able to track the effectiveness of beaver dams in removing pollutants."

The grant will also fund juniper removal in the Trout Creek area. Projects are expected to begin early next year, when streamflows are low and the risk of fire from the use of heavy machinery is reduced. 


Photo: BDA in Bridge Creek, courtesy USFS

BPRD Offers College Scholarships as Recruitment Tool

BEND, OR -- Hiring struggles continue for the Bend Parks and Recreation District. But, there's a new incentive for applicants of one chronically understaffed program. "We definitely recognize that the staffing challenges that everyone is experiencing right now do make it so you have to have more creative solutions," BPRD's Julie Brown tells KBND News. That creative solution is to entice college students to apply for a position in its Kids Inc. after-school program, "What we have is a $5200 a year scholarship in exchange for being a paid staff member in our program to work 20 hours a week."

There are 12 scholarships available at each local college - OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College. And Brown says their major doesn’t matter, "If we have students that are studying the sciences or theater arts or math, they are welcome to participate in this program, too." The scholarship is in addition to the employee's hourly pay of more than $18 an hour. Brown says funding for the scholarships will come from the district's budget and she expects this to be an ongoing program.

BPRD is also working with Bend-La Pine Schools to remove barriers for juniors and seniors who want to apply for a paid internship, "With the assistance of the Future Center at their individual high schools, they can coordinate their class schedules so that they can have an open period at the end of the day and be able to have the hours worked to be an employee in the Kids Inc. program," says Brown. Paid high school interns can also earn school credit on top of their hourly wage. 

You'll find more information on both the college and high school programs at BPRD's website. All positions start in the fall. 

It's Election Day!

BEND, OR -- Statewide voter turnout was just 18% as of Monday. Deschutes County's rate is slightly better at 24%. Voters are deciding who will get their party’s nod for big races like Governor and several Congressional seats, as well as various city, county and regional contests.

But your vote won’t count if it’s not in on time. This is the first statewide election with the new postmark law. Secretary of State Shemia Fagan says you need to pay attention if you still need to mail your ballot. "We want to make note that if folks are putting that ballot into a blue USPS collection box, check the collection time; right? If you’re putting it in at 7pm on Election night but the last collection was 4pm, you’re not going to get that postmark." Ballots postmarked today will still count if they’re received within seven days.

If you’re dropping yours off at an official county drop site, it must be in by 8 p.m. today. 


Candle Blamed for Prineville House Fire

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville home was destroyed in a Monday morning fire blamed on an unattended candle. Fire crews responded to NW Seehale Avenue before 9:30 a.m. and found smoke and flames coming from the front of the house.

They were able to quickly put out the fire, but the home was deemed a complete loss and one cat was found dead inside.

No one was home at the time. The Red Cross is helping the displaced family of five. 

Price Gouging, Infant Health Concerns Amid Formula Shortage

SALEM, OR -- Governor Kate Brown declared an “abnormal market interruption” Friday, due to the nationwide baby formula shortage. "That allows Oregon’s price gouging laws to kick in and allows us to regulate and go after any businesses who are upping the price of baby formula," says Kristina Edmunson with the Oregon Department of Justice.

She says it’s already happening, mostly on websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, "We’re seeing individuals who are selling to other individuals at really high prices. And we’re also seeing people who might hear of a shipment that comes into a store and goes into the store and purchases a high amount of this formula. And that’s why many stores have put the restrictions on."

The shortage is due to a major recall of one brand, combined with labor shortages and supply chain issues. Edmunson tells KBND News, "We want to make sure that families who need this formula are able to go into their grocery store. So, we want to make sure that people have as much access to the limited supply of baby formula as there is right now." 

Report suspected violations to the Attorney General's price gouging hotline at 503-378-8442 or online. You'll find more information on the statute at the Oregon DOJ's website


Families struggling to find baby formula may be tempted to make their own. You can find recipes for homemade baby formula online, even on TikTok. But Oregon’s WIC director says that could lead to serious health issues. "Formula is just that; it’s a formula," says Tiare Sanna, "It’s got very specific nutrients and it is impossible to replicate that at home. So you could have nutrient imbalances, you could have electrolyte imbalances, you can actually put too much of a load on the infant’s kidneys that can be dangerous."

Sanna says there’s also the risk of over-dilution, "Sometimes parents will over-dilute the formula; they think it will last longer. And that’s a problem because children don’t get the right amount of calories and nutrients. And again, babies have very small kidneys and they could actually get water intoxication."

And, she says babies shouldn't switch to cow’s milk until 12 months old, because it’s not considered a “complete food.”

Her best advice: keep checking stores, and consider switching brands, "it’s kind of like Crest and Colgate; they all meet the same needs, they all meet the child’s formula and nutrition needs." For moms who've recently weaned, re-lactating may be possible. For families using formula to supplement breastmilk, moving to full-time breastfeeding could be an option. She says your pediatrician may also be able to help secure more formula and can discuss other options and WIC clients can get help from their local office. 

Recent Pot Busts Highlight Risk to Water Supply

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A recent drug bust in Crook County highlights the risk illegal marijuan grow operations pose to the region’s water supply. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Sgt. Kent van der Kamp says illicit grows, like the one seized in Juniper Canyon last week, are often found in residential areas. "They’ll just take more than their share of water," he tells KBND News, "A marijuana farm or a marijuana indoor grow requires lots of water. And, they’ll usually just take an abundance of the water leaving nothing in the well or they’ll dry a well."

Sgt. van der Kamp says illicit operations are very different from legal pot farms who have rules to follow and often apply for water rights, "Hydroponic grows or indoor grows, they’re recycling the water so not using as much. But what we’ve seen with a lot of these cartel grows or really illicit grows is they don’t care. They show up, they devastate the land, they’re putting human waste in holes and covering them up, they’re just spraying every pesticide imaginable in every direction [and] insecticides and they’re not caring about the environment."

Sgt. van der Kamp says tips frequently come in from fed-up neighbors, which is how the Crook County grow was discovered, "Neighbors will call and complain and say 'hey. I have a marijuana grow next door to me. I don’t have an issue with marijuana, but now I can’t take a shower because I don’t have water.' Or, 'I can’t cook food because I don't have water. And they’ve now dried my well with their well'.”

Van der Kamp believes the problem is growing in Central Oregon as southern Oregon agencies crack down on cartel activity. On Wednesday, Jackson County officials seized 4,800 marijuana plants. "They put so much attention and enforcement action in Josephine and Jackson County the cartels are realizing, ‘hey, this is a bad plan. Let’s start breaking this up and going around to different parts of the state.’ So now what we’re seeing is the old game of Whack-A-Mole," says Sgt. van der Kamp, "They whack the mole over there and the mole is going to pop up somewhere over here." While Thursday's bust in Crook County is not directly linked to cartels, van der Kamp says the operation had a lot of similarities.

He also says these illegal grows are becoming more sophisticated and more dangerous as their Central Oregon footprint gets bigger, frequently setting up in residential or remote areas where they won't be noticed.


File photo

Bend City Council Considers Shelter Code Amendments

BEND, OR -- After hearing from dozens of people concerned about code changes for Bend shelters, City Council asked staff to draft amendments for them to consider later this week.

A number of complaints were due to an allowance for shelters to use an on-call manager. That is no longer under consideration, "They're removing 'on-call' and requiring on-site management," says Pauline Hardie, a Senior Planner for the city. That means a shelter open 24 hours must have a manager on site at all times, "But they’re also going to allow that on-site management to be provided by a shelter resident that’s designated by the shelter provider."

Hardie tells KBND News using an RV as a temporary shelter in a private residential driveway is also out of the proposed changes, "Based on a lot of public comments, the Council is recommending to remove hardship shelters from the proposed code amendment. And possibly looking at a later date at how else to accommodate people who are going through hardships, on people’s properties." She says the existing "medical hardship" code remains in place, which allows a temporary dwelling on private property for specific, documented medical cases. 

And, Council asked for a revision to require shelters communicate not only with adjacent neighbors but also with neighborhood associations, "Every shelter probably does it different, so we didn’t codify how it has to happen. We’ll leave that to the shelters and how they typically do their outreach to the adjacent neighbors and to, now, the Neighborhood Association land use chairs," says Hardie.

Council will discuss and vote on the changes at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.


Prineville Woman Accused of Trafficking Drugs From Portland

MADRAS, OR -- A Prineville woman is accused of bringing dangerous drugs into Crook County from the Portland area.

Detectives with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team arrested 42-year-old Judith Carter early Saturday morning, following a multi-day surveillance operation in the metro area and Central Oregon. She was detained at a Madras truck stop at 3 a.m., with the help of Jefferson County deputies and State troopers. CODE says Carter had been the focus of a long-term investigation.

During a search of her car, detectives say they found a commercial quantity of meth and counterfeit pills made of fentanyl, along with other evidence. They have also identified several associates and more arrests are expected. 

DCSO Makes Drug Arrest at Storage Unit

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County deputies arrested a Bend man on multiple drug-related charges after he was found at a local storage facility. 53-year-old Chris Humphrey also had an outstanding warrant for violating parole at the time of his arrest.

Detectives say he was found at the U-Haul Storage facility where he rented a unit, with two pounds of meth, a Butane Hash Oil lab and a felony amount of BHO.

Humphrey was arrested Thursday and charged with Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Manufacture of an Illegal Extract (Marijuana item), Unlawful Possession of an Illegal Extract (Marijuana item) and Warrant (Probation Violation). 


Employers Address Rising Gas Prices For Staff

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon employers are getting creative in how they attract new workers and address rising costs for existing staff. One company is shelling out cash. 

"With the rising prices of gas here in Bend - not only Bend but Oregon and across our footprint  - it’s really having a significant financial impact on employees," says First Interstate Bank Vice Presient Eliescha Stone. First Interstate started providing a gas stipend last month to employees making less than $65,000 a year. "It’s now $65 per pay period, which equates to $130 a month," says Stone, "This is ongoing through June. At that point, we’re going to reassess based on if gas prices continue to rise, if our employees are still experiencing this." Stone tells KBND News, while some companies allow employees to work from home to alleviate fuel costs, bank tellers and other staff are needed to make sure branches open every day. 

According to Stone, the idea started with the CEO, "He was going and getting gas in his truck and he started thinking about one of our employees who was commuting - their drive was an hour and a half every day. And he thought 'wow, they have to fill up and we need to help our employees'."

Stone is the Bend Retail Hub Manager, and says the stipend is also helping attract new workers among staffing shortages, "Some of our greatest recruiters are actually our internal employees who are out talking about this. So, it’s worked to the benefit of the bank because they’re doing some of the recruiting."

Detectives: Nursery Supply Store Was Front For Drug Operation

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Central Oregon drug investigators seized 1880 marijuana plants and arrested two people following a long-term investigation in Crook County. CODE detectives executed search warrants Wednesday at the Prineville home of Robert and Fawn Griffin, a commercial indoor grow operation and their nursery supply store. The store, called “Herbology,” was not licensed to sell, export or grow pot.

During the search, police also found 168 pounds of processed marijuana and $20,000 in cash, along with three rifles and two pistols. Detectives say the couple also used a complex money laundering scheme involving real estate and structured banking transactions. 

The Griffins face numerous charges and are now in the Crook County Jail.

La Pine Man To Serve 91 Years For Child Sex Abuse

BEND, OR -- A La Pine man was sentenced this week to more than 90 years in prison for child sex abuse. Rusty Allen Pugh was found guilty earlier this year on 17 charges involving three victims.

In court documents, prosecutors argued Pugh’s sentence should represent the years of abuse that each child victim was subjected to. 

Previous coverage: https://kbnd.com/kbnd-news/local-news-feed/459650 

Pugh was initially charged with more than 90 counts involving six victims. Prosecutors say he will be tried separately for charges involving the other three victims. 


Motorcyclist Killed In OBR Crash

TUMALO, OR -- A Redmond man was killed in a Wednesday night crash, when his motorcycle collided with an SUV on Old Bend-Redmond Highway. Deschutes County deputies say 30-year-old Quinn Chastain was northbound at a high rate of speed when the car pulled out of a driveway near 94th Street.

Investigators say the driver tried to avoid the collision but was unable; she is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Bystanders performed CPR on Chastain, but he died at the scene. 

OBR was closed for five hours during the investigation. 

DCSO Searches For Armed Suspect

REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County Deputies are looking for a man they say ran from a northeast Redmond traffic stop late Wednesday night. The search prompted Deschutes County 911 to send emergency alerts to people living around NE 5th and Maple, warning of a possibly armed suspect in the area. 

A deputy tried to stop a car just before 11 p.m., but the driver refused to pull over and eventually took off on foot. Shortly after, a deputy and residents reported hearing what sounded like gunfire in the area. The shots are unconfirmed and no injuries or damage was reported. 

Investigators believe the suspect is 36-year-old Braxton Michael Monson. He's described as 6', 200 pounds and was wearing dark jeans and a hoodie. Monson has a dark flower tattoo on his neck and various tattoos on his arms. DCSO says his facial hair is not as long as what's shows in the most available mug shot. He's known to frequent Prineville and Madras. DCSO says anyone who sees Monson should call 911 and not approach him, as he may be armed. 

Gunnels Poised To Take Over As Deschutes Co. D.A.

BEND, OR -- As campaigns head into the home stretch, one local race appears already decided. With only one person running for Deschutes County District Attorney, it seems Steve Gunnels will replace John Hummel as DA. Hummel says it means six months of training and transition before Gunnels takes over, "The last few transitions in the DA’s office, here in Deschutes County, hasve not been smooth. When Mike Dugan went out it was pretty contentious with his challenger, and when I came in it was a little contentious with the person I replaced. So, this is going to be smooth; it’s going to be done right."

Gunnels has been a prosecutor for 27 years, but Hummel says there are still lessons to be learned about leading the office, "The role is different as the head. You know, there’s budgeting and managing, and supervising and hiring, and coaching and disciplining; so all that. But we have six months to work on it, so there will be a smooth transition."

Hummel announced last year he would not seek re-election. He told KBND in a recent interview, "I just think, when you stay in office for 10-20 years, you actually start believing you’re the smartest person in the room when, of course, you're not. And you start thinking your way is the only way, and it’s not healthy. So, I decided I didn’t want to become that person."

Assuming Steve Gunnels wins on Tuesday, he’ll take over the office in January

Mentorship Program Helps New Farmers

BEND, OR -- A new mentorship program aims to address the changing face of Oregon’s agricultural community. Bend-based High Desert Food and Farm Alliance launched “Growing Together” last month. HDFFA’s Annie Nichols says it helps a rising number of growers who weren’t raised on the farm, "I think we’re seeing a shift in agriculture as a lot of new producers are getting into this field. They’re interested in growing food and nourishing their communities, they’re interested in stewarding the land but they don’t have that generational knowledge." She tells KBND News, "We’ve had folks come from journalism, supply chain management; pick a field and you’ll find somebody who’s retired from that life and gone into farming."

She says three farms have signed on as mentors in Alfalfa, Antelope and Tumalo. Those mentors are compensated for their time through a USDA grant, while mentees receive help for free. So far, two mentee farms are participating, in Sisters and east of Bend. Nichols says that extra emotional and knowledge support increases the chance for their success, "Making the connections, so they can ask, ‘what do I do when I’m getting rot on my potatoes?’ or ‘how did you get into the Bend Farmers Market?’ It’s not even just production but understanding some of those things that many of these farmers have had to figure out themselves." Click HERE for more information.


Photo courtesy HDFFA

Summer Drought, Fire Outlook Shows Little Change

CORVALLIS, OR -- Despite recent rain and snow, parts of Oregon  continue to struggle under drought conditions. State Climatologist Larry O'Neill says it's a tale of two Oregons, "This late snow and rain that we got and cooler temperatures actually substantially changed some of the drought outlooks for parts of the state, mostly in western Oregon and in northern Oregon around the counties that border the Columbia River Basin. That is really good news right now. But what that does is kind of exacerbates that we have current drought conditions that are part of the last three years of drought in Central Oregon, specifically around Crook County and Deschutes, and then going down into Klamath County and the Klamath Basin." He adds, "The US Army Corps of Engineer projects in the Willamette Valley are doing very well and most surprisingly, it’s down into southwest Oregon. So, Lost Creek and Applegate are actually seeing very healthy in-flows." But, he says the rest of the state isn't fairing as well, "On the other hand, when you go into Eastern and Central Oregon, conditions have not improved materially. Things in the Prineville and Ochoco, Bowman Dam systems, those are still near historical levels." 

O'Neill and other experts from Oregon State University took part in a Wednesday forum to discuss the summer wildfire outlook. He says the summer monsoon season could bring some relief for dry areas, but our region isn't likely to improve enough this year. "We’ve got a large area in Central Oregon that’s at D4, or 'exceptional drought.' You know, that’s the worst drought level and reserved only for the most historically significant droughts that we have. In that place, we would need something like 200-300% of normal precipitation within the next six months to bring that drought index back into normal category."

OSU Ecologist Erica Fleishman says the improvement we have seen this spring is probably not enough to prevent wildfires from growing out of control this summer, "Fire season is being pushed off a bit in most of the state because it’s been generally cool and, in some areas, fairly wet. But, if it becomes relatively hot and dry after that, which is in the longer range outlook - especially if there are high winds - I would say that the fire risk is similar to what it’s been the past couple of years." She says vegetation is still very dry in the most fire-prone areas of the state. 


File Photo

Bend Gas Prices Hit New Record High

BEND, OR -- Skyrocketing gas prices are causing sticker shock for drivers. AAA's Marie Dodds says gas prices all over the state hit new records after crude oil shot up over $110 a barrell, "It’s a big jump. Any time we see prices jump more than a dime I think most folks consider that a significant jump. National average is up 17 cents. Oregon average is up 16 cents. And, believe it or not, there are states that are seeing jumps that are twice as big."

The national average also hit a new record at $4.37 a gallon; Oregon’s average is now $4.85 a gallon and Bend's average jumped 14 cents to $4.86. 

Dodds says drivers can save a few cents a gallon by changing habits and behaviors, "Driving more slowly helps you save fuel. Check your tires - over and under inflated tires will cause you to burn more gas. Make sure that you get all of the extra stuff out of your car - every pound that you carry makes you burn a little more fuel." Combining your errands can also help, and Dodds suggests using a mobile app to help find the cheapest gas stations in your area.

No Back-Up Plan if RPD Bond Fails

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Police Chief says there is no “plan B” if a $40 million bond does not get voter approval next week. Chief Devin Lewis tells KBND News his department has far outgrown its current building, "It was built on 1.1 acres, it only has 16 secure parking spots and it was built in the late 90s for 36 employees. We have over 60 employees now, so we’ve almost doubled our staffing size. The population of Redmond has almost tripled in that amount of time." He says evidence is housed in various locations around the city and they’ve delayed hiring in the past because there isn’t enough parking.

The city recently purchased property on NW Canal (pictured), where a new police facility would be built, "That was 8 acres of property, so Council gave us the approval to make that purchase. At that point, we did a needs assessment, looking at not only that property but what kind of size of a building are we going to need for the amount of people we currently have, but obviously looking beyond that to the next 20-30 years, kind of trying to forecast the growth of the city and the growth of the department."

But that project hinges on voter approval of the 20-year General Obligation bond. "Failure isn’t really an option," says Lewis. He believes the department will need to ask again in November if the May measure doesn't pass, "I don’t see another way at this point. We’ve maximized every nook and cranny we could in this space. We’ve converted closets and janitorial spaces, and the old Council chambers - we’ve converted all that and we’re still outgrowing it." City Council has committed $9 million to the project, which is expected to cost $49 million. The bond would cover the remaining $40 million. 

If the property tax measure is approved, property owners would pay 73-cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Chief Lewis says that’s about $150 dollars a year for the average Redmond house. 

There is no organized opposition to the measure. Although, a Facebook page supporting the bond has drawn critical comments. 


Plans Released for Green Ridge Area

SISTERS, OR -- Plans are in motion for a major restoration project in the Green Ridge area, near Sisters. Lauren Durocher, Sister Ranger District Environmental Coordinator, says the draft plan just released Tuesday includes more than 19,000 acres of thinning, mowing, prescribed burning and other treatments. It also authorizes restoration of cottonwood and aspen stands.

It's part of a broader effort by the Forest Service, "We’re looking at this 10-year wildfire crisis plan to promote resiliency on the landscape," Durocher tells KBND News, "And this project really ties into that, to promote that resiliency against large-scale wildfire, large-scale disease outbreaks."

Tuesday's release starts a 45-day clock for filing objections. Durocher says the latest draft includes revisions made after hearing early concerns from the public, "The Green Ridge Project Area overlaps with Northern Spotted Owl habitat, as well as mule deer habitat. And so we learned from various interested publics about their concerns about how this project would affect those wildlife species."

The 25,000-acre Green Ridge area is about 13 miles north of Sisters. Durocher says with the official draft release, things move pretty quickly, "We’re expecting in the fall of 2022 we should have that final decision in hand, and we’ll be starting that preparation for getting that work done on the ground." That work is then expected to begin in the summer of 2023. More details are available on the USFS website

Bend PD Seeks Advisory Council Applicants

BEND, OR -- Bend Police continues to accept applications for the Chief’s Advisory Council. Chief Mike Krantz says it’s similar to committees the department has looked to for input over the last 18 years, "It’s a advisory council to the police chief, obviously - to the command of the police department. And, its goal is to have community people give input to the chief of police on issues from the community’s perspective."

Krantz says it’s important to have diverse voices on the council, "Issues could include anything from developing strategies, increasing community awareness about policy or budget issues, developing workforce recruitment and retention strategies, reviewing training processes," he tells KBND News, "Just a wide variety of information could come out of this." He adds, "Its goal is to be a communication conduit between different community networks and the police department. And, just to continue to enhance relationship building with the community and the police department through transparency." 

He says more than 60 people have applied since the application period opened in April, and more are expected before the June 15th deadline. There are just 20 positions available.  
Applicants must live in Bend, be willing to participate in a Ride-A-Long, and able to attend regular meetings. Click HERE for more information and to apply. 

Bend Property Used In Real Estate Scam

PORTLAND, OR -- A Portland man will serve 18 months in federal prison for using a house he didn’t own as collateral for a new loan. Federal prosecutors say Alireza Zamanizadeh filed a quitclaim deed in Deschutes County to transfer a Bend property to his business for one dollar. He then forged the owner’s signature on a statement verifying the transfer, which allowed him to secure a loan for $316,092. 

The real owner was not aware of the transaction and spent $400,000 to purchase the house back from foreclosure after Zamanizadeh defaulted on the loan. 

Zamanizadeh pleaded guilty to bank fraud in September and was just sentenced Tuesday. After his prison time, he'll serve five years' supervised release and he's been ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution to the owner of the proeprty. 

Voters to Decide Sunriver Levy

SUNRIVER, OR -- Sunriver voters will decide next week whether to fund construction of a new public safety facility. Police Chief Cory Darling says his department’s building was not meant to be a police station. "It’s an office space," he tells KBND News, "So, we’ve really had to make do since 2002, when the Sunriver Police Department became a part of the district. And then, the fire department has some structural integrity issues that we saw a few years ago during a major snow storm, where the fire department actually had to evacuate their facility over the winter months."

Deschutes County and the Sunriver Service District have committed  $11 million to build a facility to house both police and fire services. A 10-year property tax levy on the May ballot would provide the other $7 million needed for the project. If approved, property owners would pay $.47 per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. 

Darling says his existing police station lacks basic law enforcement necessities. "We had one officer that was working a graveyard shift. He went to a motor vehicle fire, where his clothing was contaminated. He had to come back to the police department, remove his contaminated clothing, putting it in a plastic bag and setting it outside the police department," says the Chief, "He was not able to take a shower. And then, the same night, he went to a fatal motor vehicle crash where he, again, saturated his uniform with bodily fluids, blood, etc. And had to come back and do the exact same thing." 

Darling believes public safety upgrades are long overdue, "Currently, the police department, we have no backup power. So, if we lose power, we’re pretty much done. We have no decontamination facility, whatsoever. No showers. Our security is very inadequate for a police department. No interview rooms. Soundproofing is very limited, so you can hear conversations throughout the building. We have no ventilation for processing of evidence or holding of evidence. We have no holding cells."

Police Chief Darling says the fire department is also struggling, "The fire department was built in 1995. They fall short in a lot of areas where safety procedures have enhanced for fire departments. Decontamination is very limited on their side. The processing of the oxygen tanks is problematic. They have a lot of concerns for the safety of their firefighters."

They’ve been conducting tours for the last few months and Chief Darling says everyone who comes through the building sees why a new facility is needed. The last tour before the election is Friday at 1 p.m. Sign up in advance at the Sunriver Service District website

There is no organized opposition to the levy.


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