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Tyler Semonis

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Local News

BEND, OR -- Two Bend women were hurt in an early morning crash, Friday, near the Cascade Village Shopping Center. According to Bend Police, 64-year-old Rita Pedraza was driving south on Highway 97 when a Toyota Rav4 turned left in front of her vehicle, near Nels Anderson Road. The two cars collided at about 5:45 a.m.


Pedraza and the Rav4 driver, 87-year-old Janine Mosetick, were taken to St. Charles Bend. The crash remains under investigation and police ask for witnesses to contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.


The head-on collision tied up southbound traffic for about an hour, Friday morning. 

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools' new high school, under construction near the corner of Knott Road and 15th Street, in southeast Bend, needs its own identity. It'll be the fifth high school in Bend. Chris Boyd becomes Planning Principal for the new school on July first. He's currently Principal of Pacific Crest Middle School, which he helped open in Bend in 2015. There are a lot of similarities between his work at the middle school and what's to come, "We need to start the process of picking a school name and looking at school colors, because we want the physical environment of the building to reflect an identity and some of those emerging pieces that are part of a school culture."


Boyd says it's important that he start the process now, even though it'll be two years before students walk the halls, "Thinking about the enormity of a high school, there's the need to be on the ground from the beginning in that process; and they have begun the process - we are doing the excavation work at the site as we speak - so aligning those things is important."

His job is more than picking a mascot and  motto; although, those will come. Boyd says the culture is key to a school's success, "We need to bring a lot of different people together. When you're building culture, when you're building identity around something, there has to be a process in which multiple voices are at the table, and we're coming together and making some collaborative decisions." He tells KBND News, "Particularly thinking about ways in which the school can find greater ways of relevancy or connectivity across content areas, implementing career and technical implementation programs; there's a whole host of different programs we'll be looking at."


The yet-to-be-named southeast Bend high school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021. Boyd says he's looking forward to what's ahead, "When you look at what makes a school really successful, it's having that clear and shared focus and purpose, and if you can establish that in a new school, you've got traction for years and years to come."

REDMOND, OR -- About 10% more people are expected to travel through the Redmond Airport over the next several days, compared to last Memorial Day Weekend. Airport Director Zach Bass says it’s important to prepare for the crowds, "Making sure you’re out here early, especially for those early morning flights. Give yourself at least an hour and a half, two hours to get through security and make sure you’re ready for that flight to take off." He also suggests double checking carry-on luggage for hazardous items, including weapons or loose ammunition, and be ready to remove snacks and electronics larger than a cell phone, as you go through security.

In an effort to address well-known parking shortages during peak times, Bass says the airport has expanded its options, "We’ve opened up a credit card-only lot. It’s the first turn on your right, when you come into the airport loop, and there’s about a hundred extra spots in there. So, we have more availability this holiday season than we have in the past." He says it should be more efficient, "There’s no attendant there. You pull in, you receive your ticket and on your way out, you pay with a credit card and you’re free to leave." Visit the Roberts Field website for parking availability; click HERE to view the airport's parking lot cameras.

SALEM, OR -- Oregon's Senate passed a bipartisan PERS reform bill Thursday. Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) admits it won't solve the $26 billion unfunded liability, but says it's a step in the right direction. "There were some good elements of the bill, and there were some bad elements of the bill. But ultimately, the good element is that it saves millions of dollars for the Bend-La Pine and Redmond School Districts in terms of their PERS rates, which is desperately needed for them. Otherwise, even though they're getting more money [in the state budget], they would be in a position of potentially be making more cuts; and we just can't have that." He adds, "In politics, you hopefully get some of what you want, and I think this is the case with PERS reform. I don't think anybody's declaring victory; there's no celebrating, because there's still a substantial problem."


Knopp tells KBND News the bill keeps new state funding going to classrooms but it doesn't pay back the debt. And, he says, public employees don't get everything they wanted, "Lots of times in legislature, you get the opportunity to vote on things that both sides don't particularly like, and this is one of those cases where both sides really don't like the solution. But, it's the only solution that we could get in a super minority in both the House and the Senate, here in Oregon, in 2019."


He says the legislation provides temporary relief, so the rate at which schools must pay the PERS debt stays lower, which should save millions of dollars. The bill now heads to the Oregon House.

BEND, OR -- A new Regional Housing Needs Assessment released Thursday outlines the full extent of our housing crisis. Scott Aycock, with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) and the Housing for All (H4A) consortium, says a lot has changed since the last regional study, in 2006, "We’ve gone through a recession, we’ve come back out of it, we’ve had another spurt of population growth, and housing is in a crunch again."


The U.S. Census Bureau released 2018 population estimates this week, showing Bend added more than 3,000 people last year; Redmond grew by nearly a thousand. In fact, every city in the tri-county area grew 1%-5%, last year. According to H4A's assessment, new housing starts are not keeping up with that continued demand, "From 2010 to 2016, Deschutes County produced about .85 new housing units per new household, Crook produced .72 per new household and Jefferson only produced about .28 new units of housing per new household that’s coming into the region. So we’re behind on supply," says Aycock. And, while a report can't fix the problem, Aycock says it can help narrow the focus for possible solutions, and measure what's working, "There’s only so many resources and policies we can pursue. So, the Regional Housing Needs Assessment is going to help us define where the greatest needs are so that we can focus our policy, our funding, our collaboration, our program development, all that kind of stuff where the needs are greatest." The report says 24,000 low- and moderate-income households experience housing needs. Aycock says that means they spend too much of their income on housing, live in overcrowded situations or lack basic housing essentials, like plumbing. Researchers say if nothing changes, that number will grow to nearly 31,000 households by 2028.


Aycock believes the time is right to look for solutions, "We’re actually in a rare moment where the Governor, the Legislature, County Commissioners, local City Councilors, everybody sees this as a high priority; we just have an incredible amount of consensus on the need to address this issue. Obviously, there’s always differences of opinion on how to approach it." But, he tells KBND News it’s going to take a combination of approaches, including zoning changes- to stimulate housing development, and subsidies for households already in crisis, "It’s an ongoing challenge to get ahead of this problem. In my opinion, there’s no single bullet. We need to build more housing, we also need to support households and it’s going to take the integrated effort of the private sector, the public sector [and] state agencies."


Click HERE to access the full report, including key summaries of the findings.


Housing for All is a regional housing consortium with the mission “To address the full spectrum of Central Oregon’s housing needs – from homelessness to middle income market housing – through integrated regional effort and action.” H4A is steered by 19 member organizations representing 13 different sectors related to housing. COIC provides staff support but does not oversee H4A. 

SISTERS, OR -- A Terrebonne man was arrested Thursday night, accused of assaulting a former employee of his landscaping business. Investigators say 41-year-old Justin Swope and the victim had been arguing via phone and text for several days. Swope and his brother, 37-year-old Jonathan Stark, allegedly went to the victim’s campground, southwest of Sisters, Thursday, in an attempt to end the dispute. 

Deputies say a physical fight began and Stark damaged the victim’s truck with a wooden tool. At one point, Swope fired a pistol several times; no one was hurt. Investigators say the brothers left and hid the pistol on Stark’s Sisters property; it was later recovered by Deputies, with other evidence. 

Swope was arrested during a high-risk traffic stop on Highway 126. He's charged with Assault IV, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Disorderly Conduct II. Stark was cited in lieu of custody, for Criminal Mischief II. 

BEND, OR -- Bend's next high school is now officially under construction. "Right now, we're essentially moving earth and taking trees down, getting the site prepped," says Bend-La Pine Schools Assistant Superintendent Lora Nordquist. She says the design phase just ended, "We started work so we could keep to the timeline to have the school be ready to open in 2021. They did a site preparation package so they could get started on that work, even before the design of the school was finished." Nordquist says, to keep to the build schedule, the contractor needs to be chosen soon, "There's a bid package out on the street now. We'll be getting bids to build that high school by mid-June, and the school board will make a decision at their June Board meeting." 


Chris Boyd (pictured), Principal of Bend's Pacific Crest Middle School, was named Principal of the new high school in March. "Chris will start that job in the fall," Nordquist tells KBND News, "Because in starting a high school, there is so much work to be done."


The yet-to-be-named school is being built on SE 15th, near Knott Road, which means another change to school boundary lines, "Families will know ahead of time, Spring of 2020, where their child is slated to go to school in fall of 2021," says Nordquist, "So they'll have over a year's notice about boundary changes, so they can make decisions as a family about what they want and how that might impact them."

Once it opens in the Fall of 2021, Nordquist says the new high school will be the site of the district's Dual Immersion Program, which is currently only offered through middle school.

BEND, OR -- Local health care providers and county public health officials are working together to raise awareness of a disturbing trend: a rise in sleep-related infant deaths. Dr. Logan Thomas Clausen is the Chief Medical Officer for Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA). She says an upcoming social media campaign is in response to a new regional report, "We saw 14 children in Deschutes County die of suffocation or strangulation while sleeping; and five of these deaths alone occurred in 2016. That’s compared to one in 2012." She adds, "We do know what puts babies at high risk for having sleep-related death: sleeping on a soft surface, having any second-hand smoke exposure or sleeping on your stomach."


Lisa Goodman, with St. Charles Health System, tells KBND News, "The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, just two or three weeks ago, responded to an infant sleep-related death. So, this is happening in our community and we know how we can stop it." Dr. Clausen says babies are at highest risk between the ages of four and six months. "The general recommendation is to have the baby sleep with their parents in the same room but in a separate sleeping area, with a firm mattress, until somewhere between six months and one year of age. Basically, after a year, the rate of SIDS is very, very low." Sleep-related infant deaths fall under the umbrella of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also called "SIDS." 


Dr. Clausen acknowledges it can be tough for parents to focus on safe sleep practices, "It’s hard when you’re sleep deprived. I mean, I’m a mom, too and I know that those first few weeks are really a struggle. And, teaching safe sleep positioning is something that babies – it’s a skill you have to sort of teach. And, it’s hard but it’s so worth it because it is such a risk factor that we really need to mitigate."


Spearheaded by KIDS Center and St. Charles Health System, a collaborative effort is now underway to educate families via social media and in clinics, through the end of June. COPA, Summit Medical Group, Mosaic Medical and public health departments in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties are also taking part.

REDMOND, OR -- A 22-year-old Redmond man was arrested this week on multiple drug and weapons charges, following a short-term investigation by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team.


CODE obtained a search warrant for Daniel Olano, his home and car. Because he was known to carry guns, CERT stopped Olano on Highway 126, west of Redmond, Tuesday night. In his car, they found a loaded gun in the driver's door compartment, as well as commercial quantities of meth and user amounts of heroin. They found another gun and more drug paraphernalia during a search of his home near NW 35th and Hemlock.


Olano is charged with Possession, Manufacturing and Distributing Meth, Heroin Possession and being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. 

SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help after running out of leads in a Sisters-area assault investigation. Deputies were dispatched to North Tamarack Street, April 19, after a 24-year-old man was found with significant, but non-life threatening injuries. 

Investigators believe he was assaulted the night before, in the driveway of a home where he’d taken part in a get-together. He lives next door.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.

BEND, OR -- Newly revised numbers from the Oregon Employment Department reveal big changes in the High Desert. "The most notable ones, I think, were Deschutes County – by far – where the pace of growth dropped significantly," says Regional Economist Damon Runberg. The other is Crook County, which showed a much more positive shift.


In Deschutes County, Runberg says, "We’re now expanding, year-over-year, at about 2.6%. We were closer to 4%, before these revisions." He tells KBND News, "We haven’t seen a rate of growth this low, since 2012. Most economies growing at 2.6%, that’s good for them. But, for us, like I said, we haven’t done that in over six years." Runberg isn't surprised by the shift and points out the county is still growing, just at a slower rate, "We knew for over a year now, that 2019 was going to be a slower growth year. We knew that a lot of the energy that was behind the expansion was sort of running out, the labor supply was still tight, but the demand for labor, as far as help wanted ads, was starting to decrease from those historic peaks that we saw a few years back. 


On the other end of the spectrum, Crook County job growth in the first quarter was much higher than previously estimated. At 3.5%, it’s the third fastest growing county in the state. "A lot of it has to do with sort of the ripple effect from the data centers (pictured)," says Runberg, "We saw a big uptick in Construction, as well as Professional & Business Services. Professional & Business Services out there, most of the growth we’ve seen are sort of support businesses for these data centers." But, Runberg says Construction-sector jobs are likely not reflective of reality because many data center construction jobs are filled by subcontractors based out of the area. Because employment and growth stats are calculated based on payroll data, those jobs are counted in the counties where the companies are based. "Even with this growth that we’ve seen and these revisions upward in Crook County’s employment numbers, we’re still undercounting the total employment impact, out there, in Crook County, right now."


Deschutes County added 970 jobs in April; 50 shy of seasonal expectations. Unemployment held steady at 4.4%; essentially unchanged from the 4.5% rate in March. Crook County added 110 jobs, which was stronger than expected. April unemployment was 6%, compared with 6.1% in March. And, in Jefferson County, the jobless rate was unchanged at 5.8%. The county added 120 jobs in April, which is a slightly slower pace than expected. 


BEND, OR -- Ariel Mendez is the newest member of the Bend Parks and Recreation District board. He beat Travis Davis, 72% to 28%. As a first-time candidate, Mendez says the process was challenging; but he's ready to serve. "Now, the real work begins. I'm looking forward to actually doing the work that I set out to do. And I think that there's a real opportunity here for the parks district to help people in their daily lives in Bend, and I want to make sure the parks district is serving our community's needs in the best way that it can."

Mendez is the Board President of Bend Bikes, and has worked as a safe streets advocate. For the last three 3 years, he's been on the city's budget and transportation advisory committees. His focus will be on improving urban trail connectivity, "The District has not looked at its urban trail network as a way of getting around. They've focused on it as a means of recreation, and I think that's a big missed opportunity." He also wants to expand kids programs and affordable recreation classes.


His opponent, Travis Davis, is a local businessman who ran as the "east-side candidate."

BEND, OR --  Local school boards are in for a few changes, after Tuesday night's election.


Female candidates swept races for Bend-La Pine Schools. Board Chair Andy High lost his Zone Three seat to Shimiko Montgomery. The Justice and Equality pastor edged out High, 53% to his 47%. With just over 55% of the vote, Caroline Skidmore beat former City Councilor Mark Capell and Chet Liew, for Zone One. For Zone Six, Melissa Barnes Dhalokia earned 70% of the vote against Michael Way and Richard Asadoorian, and Amy Tatom ran for Zone Five unopposed. 


In Redmond, political newcomer Liz Goodrich handily defeated incumbent school board member Johnny Corbin, 71% to 28%. Tim Carpenter maintains his Redmond School Board seat; he ran unopposed. 


Sisters School Board member Jeff Smith holds on to his Position Three seat, beating two challengers. And, Don Hedrick returns to the board, beating Mandee Seeley for Position Four. 

REDMOND, OR -- The Cascade Swim Center will have to last a few years more. Voters defeated a construction bond and operating levy, Tuesday night. Measure 9-126, a $40 million bond to fund construction of a new activity and aquatic center and updated the 40-year-old Cascade Swim Center (pictured), failed by 16% margin; Measure 9-127, the five-year levy to run that new facility, failed by 12%. 


RAPRD board member Matthew Gilman believes low voter turnout contributed to the loss, "There's a lot of noise in society today, and being able to stick out amongst all of the other causes that there are out there is proving to be difficult." He tells KBND News, "We're a small group of people that were trying to get something passed for the community that we know is good for the community, so when we can't get the voters out to support it, then it's a sad day." Deschutes County turnout for the special election was just over 22%. Gilman also thinks residents didn't want to part with more money, "People are still struggling to make a living for themselves and paying more taxes to get a fitness center isn't necessarily their top priority." 


There are no immediate plans to try again. Gilman says other districts, including fire and schools, are expected to take other bonds and levies to voters in the next few years, so Parks and Rec will wait. "We just know there's a lot of 'no' voters out there that are going to continue to be out there, so until we get the 'yes' campaign to want to participate and to want to really care about something like this, than I think we'll continue to wait. We're not giving up the fight for now. I mean, for now we are, but for the long run, we still have a vision." He hopes those who want to update facilities will work with RAPRD to increase community support for the project. 

SALEM, OR -- A bill allowing public employees to conduct union-related work while on the clock, passed out of a State Senate committee, this week. HB 2016 would also permit unions to deduct dues without a written contract. SEIU 503 President Steven Demarest told a House committee in March, "Most of the language in this bill simply formalizes, in statute, agreements and best practices that are already widely accepted," adding, "I urge you to pass House Bill 2016 in order to clarify existing law and precedent, and to codify in state law best practices that are in the best interests of employees, employers, and the public."


But Aaron Withe, Oregon Director of the Freedom Foundation, says the bill is a clear conflict of interest because everything a union does is inherently political. He believes HB 2016 is, essentially, a union wish list. "It changes state law in a multitude of ways. Everything that it does exists to try and give unions continual power." Withe tells KBND News the bill doesn't protect employees who don't want to be in the union and makes it harder for them to opt-out or keep their information private. He believes the bill will pass, with the Democrat majority, but says the Freedom Foundation will continue to fight union overreach, because, "They have over 66% of the politicians in the capitol on their campaign payroll." He says, "What we will do is we will legally challenge it, because we believe there are some parts to the bill that are illegal." Withe says HB 2016 is in direct opposition to the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision.


The Senate Committee on Workforce agreed on a few amendments to the bill before approving it Tuesday, sending it to the Senate floor for a vote. 

MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff is relieved voters approved a three-year operating levy for the jail in the special election, especially after voting down a similar measure, last fall. "I've been going out, knocking on doors, going to committees, going to different events, just to tell people," says Sheriff Jim Adkins.


He talked with KBND News shortly after ballots were counted, Tuesday, saying he appreciates the community support, "We'll be able to continue on with the jail operations as we are currently doing today. We'll be able to maintain the current staffing without having to lay anybody off, so I'm very relieved." He adds, "We run 12-hour shifts, and each shift has a minimum of three deputies on, so we'll be able to maintain that; and we'll be able to still house the same number of inmates, and I have a whole bunch of relieved employees."


Adkins was concerned about losing revenue when Crook County opens its new jail and stops renting beds at the Madras facility. "This will give us, also, the opportunity to show everybody in Jefferson County that we'll be able to operate an efficient jail with Crook County leaving us." The property tax levy adds 15-cents per $1,000 of assessed value


In November, voters defeated a larger five-year levy. This three-year levy for $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value is 15-cents more than the current rate that expires next month. Adkins has about two years before he has to start campaigning for the next levy.  But, he says, he'd like to come up with a more stable funding source, "You know, everybody's getting tired of taxes. How much more of this can we take? So we're going to have to figure out, hopefully we can come up with a plan that's sustainable and good for everybody."

SUNRIVER, OR -- Another cougar was spotted in a populated area of Central Oregon, Tuesday morning. Sunriver Police received a call at about 8:30 a.m. from someone who reported seeing the animal cross the road near South Century Drive and Abbot Drive.


Sunriver PD, Deschutes County deputies and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel all responded but did not find the big cat. SPD says authorities determined there is no safety risk to the public at this time.


ODFW continues to search for a cougar last seen near the Bend Fred Meyer, last week, which has been deemed a public safety threat.


If you encounter a cougar, the Sheriff's office says don't run. Move slowly, keeping the animal in view as you get away from the area. If you live in an area where a cougar has been spotted, don't walk your dog at night, and supervise pets and kids while outside. If you see a cougar, you are encouraged to report it to local law enforcement, State Police or ODFW. Click HERE for more information.


UPDATE (4 p.m.) Authorities believe a cougar seen last week near the Bend Fred Meyer has moved on. ODFW has called off the effort to trap that animal because it hasn't returned to the area. Signs will remain, warning people that a cougar has been in the area. Anyone who sees a cougar during the day should call 911. 

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes Historical Museum is going high-tech. Executive Director Kelly Cannon-Miller tells KBND the nonprofit recently launched a new app, "It’s called Historic Deschutes, and what we can do is build tours within the app. So, right now, we have our first tour loaded up, called ‘Cruisin’ 97,’ which is an exhibit we’re working on that explores travel and tourism down Highway 97 between 1930 and 1960." She adds, "The cool thing about the app is that it’s as big or as little as we want to make it. The 'Cruisin’ 97 Tour' is our first tour; we’ve just gotten it loaded, we’ve just gone live on both Apple and Android products. But, we intend to keep going and build in tours of downtown Redmond, downtown Bend, downtown Sisters."


Cannon-Miller says the app is a high-tech, but less expensive approach to the audio tours offered in the past, "Museums used to have to buy in to those very expensive systems where you check something out to a visitor and they’re packing it around and listening, or it keys into different signs. This is totally something that you can download to the phone or tablet that you have on your person, and you can do it at your own pace and wherever you want to explore throughout the county."


Historic Deschutes is available for free in the Apple app store and Google Play store for Android devices. It costs the museum about $3,000 a year, paid for by grants. The "Cruisin' 97" exhibit opens at the Deschutes Historical Museum in June. 

CULVER, OR -- After about a dozen years of planning, the Opal Springs Diversion Dam upgrade is nearly complete. The dam is located on the Crooked River, in Jefferson County, just south of Lake Billy Chinook. Crooked River Watershed Council Director Chris Gannon says the project is designed to help native fish pass safely through to uptream habitat, "One way to do that, of course, is to put in a fish ladder, to mitigate its impact to fish. The other is to raise the dam so that the company gets some of the revenue back that it’s invested." He says raising the dam level by nearly two feet allows more water to be released into the fish ladder, to encourage fish to use it.


The $11-million project will also provide a more efficient source of renewable energy for the Deschutes Valley Water District, which provides drinking water to Jefferson County and the Earth20 bottled water company, "They sort of offset some of their pumping costs," Gannon tells KBND News, "Because they’re in a very deep canyon, they’ve got a pretty big electric bill, really, when they pump domestic water up out of that canyon to serve their service area for potable water. The hydro power- they sell the electricity on the open market at a higher rate than they actually have to buy it back to use to pump; so there’s actually a little bit of a profit margin between those two price points." He says that revenue allows the water district to keep prices down for its service area.  


Gannon says the district and watershed council worked together on the project, "This is sort of the Central Oregon approach to conservation challenges in Oregon. So, we’re very collaborative. This particular project is highly representative of how we approach these kinds of challenges – very expensive project, very sort of technical."


Visitors to the area will notice a difference, "There are going to be thousands and thousands of yards of new concrete, for example, to represent the ladder and the extra dam height," says Gannon, "So, there’s clearly more gray infrastructure, you might say, there, even though it’s a renewable project; it’s sort of been beefed up. It’s built to last a really long time. Now, with this ladder in place, or going to be in place shortly, it really provides the environmental sustainability." Click HERE to learn more. 


Deschutes Valley Water District signed an agreement with fish agencies to design the new dam, in 2011. Construction began last year. The work is ahead of schedule and should wrap up in August. 

BEND, OR -- In an effort to incentivize the creation of more affordable housing in Bend, City Councilors will consider an increase to Transportation Systems Development charges. Bend Growth Management Director Nick Arnis says those fees help pay for necessary infrastructure like intersection improvements and road development. But, he tells KBND News, they were intentionally kept low for years, "Back in the recession, we went through an update, and we didn't increase them. They haven't really been increased except for inflation, for many, many years. We're just at a place now where housing is so critical that we need to make some changes here and the Council really felt like they needed to do something here." The proposal is based on goals established by the Council for the next budget cycle, "Their two goals are housing and transportation," says Arnis. 


Transportation SDCs are paid by developers based on the anticipated impact of a project on the city's transportation infrastructure, "The current rate is about $6,800 per vehicle trip, and we would make two steps," Arnis tells KBND News, "The first one, we'd raise it to $7,400 on July first, 2019; and from there, we'd go up to $8,000 a trip, on January first, 2020." That increased revenue would pay for transportation-related work, "We have a number of projects to improve congestion, or lessen congestion, and then they will allow for more housing in different areas of the city, also."


Councilors plan to discuss the proposed fee increase at a public hearing, during the June 19th Council meeting.

BEND, OR -- A local transient was arrested early Tuesday morning for allegedly firing a gun at a Bend bar. Police responded to Mountain's Edge Bar just after 2 a.m., after a report that a man fired a gun while exiting the establishment. He was last seen walking westbound towards Goodwill, with the firearm still in his hand.


No one was hurt, but Mountain's Edge employees locked the doors and secured everyone else inside while providing officers with a description of the suspect. Within minutes of the call, police located a man matching the suspect description near the entrance to Walmart on South Highway 97. Using a "high risk approach," they detained 52-year-old John Lloyd Smith without incident.


Authorities say Smith had a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun on him at the time of his arrest. Officers located a spent casing in the Mountain's Edge parking lot and matched the caliber to Smith's weapon. Bar patrons also identified Smith as the man who fired the shot. 


A motive for his actions is not yet known, although investigators believe drugs and alcohol were contributing factors. 


BEND, OR -- A home on the east side of Bend was nearly destroyed by fire, Monday afternoon. Firefighters responded to Northeast Hope Drive, near 27th and Wells Acres, just after 3:30 p.m. They found smoke and flames coming from the back of the house. 

Crews contained the blaze before it spread to the garage, but the home’s interior suffered extensive damage, totaling $375,000. Smoke alarms alerted the family and they safely evacuated. They have renters insurance and are receiving help from neighbors and the Red Cross.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

BEND, OR -- Two California women and a Bend man were arrested at a local hotel over the weekend, as part of a prostitution investigation. According to Bend Police, a report came in to the county dispatch center Saturday night, regarding suspected prostitution at the Days Inn Hotel on NE Third Street. 


Responding officers contacted 28-year-old Menione Moore and 33-year-old Tanisha Hopkins, both of Stockton, CA. They told police they were staying at the hotel. Inside their room, they found 53-year-old Andrew Fecteau (pictured) with one of the women. 


Officers collected evidence and say the investigation is ongoing. 

SISTERS, OR -- Every 11 seconds, an older American is treated in an Emergency Room for injuries suffered in a fall; one in four people over the age of 65 falls each year, nationwide. On Friday, the Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District hosted its second annual Fall Prevention Symposium, in an effort to reduce that rate. 


Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom, Professor and Chief of Geriatrics at Oregon Health and Science University, was the keynote speaker. She believes it's important to keep seniors safe and healthy, "Falls are the biggest reason for injury deaths in older adults, as well as the biggest reason that people get placed into long-term care facilities like nursing homes. So, they can be a big loss of independence for older adults."


Friday's second annual Sisters symposium was for care providers, first responders, and therapists. "They're going out and doing home visits and really looking into some of the reasons that an older adult falls," Dr. Eckstrom tells KBND News, "And they're lucky to be in the home, because they can see some of the trip hazards and poorly lit areas." She believes a lot of people think falls are inevitable, and that's why getting training and education as a caregiver is important, "Many falls can be mitigated. I've been working in fall prevention for almost 20 years, and in all of that time, I've found that if we really help older adults understand what some of their risk factors are, we can markedly reduce falls." One solution she's researched extensively is Tai Chi, "It reduces your risk of falls in half. It's better than any other intervention for reducing fall risk."


Eckstrom says the whole community can be part of creating a safety for seniors, "Restaurants and banks and grocery stores and everything." She says everyone can help reduce the fall risk, "So that we can make sure that all of our older adults can be very, very safe and able to get out in the community and do the things that they want to do."

BEND, OR -- The U.S. Postal Service is paying tribute to some of America’s most beautiful waterways, with a new series of postage stamps. They’ll be dedicated Tuesday in Central Oregon. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, tells KBND News, "The post office has decided to do their first release of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act stamps – beautiful stamps – they’re going to do it here, in Tumalo State Park."


The Wild and Scenic Rivers system was approved by Congress in 1968. As of last year, it protects more than 13,000 miles of 226 rivers in 41 states and Puerto Rico. But only 12 rivers are featured in the stamp series, including the Deschutes. "The post office is making Bend special," says Nelson Dean, "We were picked out of all the places in the nation."


Tuesday's dedication ceremony involves local representatives from a number of agencies, "The Forest Service, the BLM, the Fish and Wildlife service, the Parks Service and State Parks, actually; people who manage Wild and Scenic Rivers." The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. and is open to the public, "Anybody who comes to the event will get that very first release stamp, which is a big deal, and get to learn about Wild and Scenic Rivers. There will be events and stamp events."

The series of 12 stamps features famously scenic waterways like the Missouri River, Flathead, Snake and Deschutes.


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  • Click on the link for the latest conditions on the mountain passes.
  • Roundabout at intersection of NW Shevlin Park Road and NW Mt. Washington Drive for roundabout reconstruction, road closure with detours, 5/13/19 - 6/27/19.
  • SE Cessna Drive between SE Piper Drive and SE Craven Road for waterline installation, road closure with detour, 5/20/19 – 6/6/19.
  • NE 6th Street between NE Greenwood Avenue (US Hwy 20) and NE Majesty Lane for asphalt speed hump installation, pavement markings, and concrete work at several intersections, rolling one block closures and detours along with day time flagging, 4/29/19 – 6/15/19.
  • Brosterhous Road between American Lane and Jacklight Lane for sewer main installation, southbound lane closures with detours, until 7/15/19.