Local News

Wanted Bend Man Arrested After Brief Standoff

BEND, OR -- A 35-year-old Bend man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a brief standoff with police. According to Bend PD, officers responded to the home on Murphy Road around 12:30 p.m., after a parole and probation officer attempted to contact Gary Vincent Spaniol, Jr. 

According to the officer, Spaniol had a felony warrant for absconding on his probation. When the officer told Spaniol that he was under arrest, he retreated into the house and refused to come out. 

Bend Police surrounded the home and were able to make phone contact with the man, who was on probation after a first-degree theft conviction. A crisis negotiator spoke with Spaniol for approximately 45 minutes to convince him to exit the house.  He was taken into custody without incident at 1:54 p.m. 

Semi Blocks Single-Lane Jefferson County Bridge

MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is urging drivers to avoid Pelton Dam Road - the road that leads to Lake Simtustus. A semi apparently tried to cross the Willow Creek Bridge late Tuesday night, and got stuck. The bridge is a single lane and signs are posted noted a restricted length for this portion of the road. In a Facebook post, JCSO says a crew is removing the truck and hopes to have the road reopened by 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

Alternate access to the lake is off SW Belmont Lane to Elk Drive. 

 

Photos courtesy the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

 

More Beers Bought, More Trees Planted

BEND, OR-- Four Oregon beverage makers - including one in Central Oregon - are teaming up to plant trees in Oregon's parks and forests, following the devestating 2020 wildfires and damaging heat in 2021.

Sunriver Brewing’s Ryan Duley tells KBND News, "We really wanted to find a way to support the regrowth - or, whatever we could do to help out this situation. Having Stoller Wine, Fort George and Portland Cider all involved, we can have a larger impact than we’d be able to do on our own, as far as how much we could raise and in turn, how many trees we could help plant." It's a partnership with the nonprofit Oregon Parks Forever.

Duley says, "In the month of July and August, every six-pack of cans of one of the four participating breweries, wineries, cideries we give $1 and that $1 equates to one tree." Those purchases must be made at a participating retailer. Duley says shoppers can look for large displays promoting the "You buy one, we plant one" campaign, "Our goal is to raise $25,000 to plant 25,000 trees."

It's the second year for the effort. Duley says the group raised $25,000 in 2021. 

Declines In Oregon Gas Prices

BEND, OR-- Prices at the pump fell for the second week in a row. AAA’s Marie Dodds tells KBND News, "National average for regular drops 9 cents, to $4.88 a gallon. The Oregon average dips three cents to $5.50. And, we’re seeing similar drops in most Oregon communities this week, ahead of the busy Fourth of July travel period." In Bend, the local average fell 4 cents to $5.55.

Dodds says there’s one main reason for the decline, "We saw the price of crude fall the last couple of weeks, basically, on global fears of an economic slowdown, which would lead to less demand for oil."

She believes gas prices will rebound next week, "We are expecting huge demand numbers for gasoline the rest of this week and through next week, because of the Fourth of July holiday. And, in addition, we are seeing crude oil prices climb again this week." The spike in demand and the cost of crude are sure to push gas prices back up next week.

 

Washington Driver Hurt In Tumalo-Area Crash

TUMALO, OR -- A Washington woman was hurt in a crash near the Tumalo Cemetery, Tuesday. Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies responded to Cline Falls Highway at about 4:40 p.m. and found a Subaru Forester laying on its driver's side on the southbound shoulder. 

Investigators say the 34-year-old was driving north on Cline Falls Highway when she failed to negotiate a curve. Her car crossed the road and struck a fence and power pole. She was thrown from the vehicle when it rolled on its side. Deputies provided medical care until medics arrived and transported her to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. 

Investigators say they haven’t yet determined whether speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. DCSO was assisted in the investigation by the Bend Fire Department, the Oregon State Police, Pacific Power, and the Deschutes County Public Works.

Changes Coming For Bail Guidelines

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Circuit Court is adjusting its bail rules to align with new state law, beginning July first. Presiding Judge Wells Ashby says it eliminates the use of bail schedules which mandated how much someone paid to be released while awaiting trial, "The goal was to move toward more equity in who’s being held at the jail, certainly pre-trial, while also maintaining community safety, pre-trial."

The change is to comply with SB 48, passed by the Oregon Legislature earlier this year. It recognizes the Supreme Court’s 1987 ruling that detention prior to trial should be a “carefully limited exception.”

After a person is arrested, the jail will use the crime category and any overriding factors to decide whether a person is a good candidate to be released on their own recognizance or should be booked until they see a judge, "There will be either a Sheriff’s deputy or a release assistance officer who will look at the crime charged, look at some of the overriding circumstances," Judge Ashby tells KBND News, "So, if it’s a DUI, they could be released on sobriety conditions; but if they got a DUI the week before, they’re going to be held to see the judge. And that’s when those overriding circumstances are important."

Some may still have to post bail - or “security.” Ashby says, "It doesn’t eliminate it altogether, and there’s an important middle category, which is ‘release on conditions.’ Those conditions could be no victim contact, no consumption of intoxicants, but it still allows for security."

He says the hope is to stop dangerous people from being released too quickly, "Cash bail systems really favor people with cash. And that’s a very crude measure of crime seriousness - so, typically, the more serious the crime, the higher the amount required to post to be released - there are some people who can really post any amount. Or, it’s much easier for people of means to post security in cases. And that doesn’t necessarily reflect the risk they pose to the community."

Motorcyclist Killed In Jefferson County Crash

CULVER, OR -- A motorcyclist was killed and two other people were injured in a crash that shut down Highway 97 north of Terrebonne Tuesday afternoon. The crash occurred at about 2 o’clock, at the intersection of Highway 97 and Culver Highway.

State Police say 31-year-old Mario Villagomez, of Prineville, was driving west on Culver Highway and ran a stop sign. His car collided with a Honda motorcycle, ridden by a couple from Manson, Washington.  OSP says 65-year-old Martin Fox died at the seen; 62-year-old Susan Fox was critically injured and flown to St. Charles Bend.

Villagomez was also taken to the hospital. Highway 97 didn’t fully reopen until almost 7 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy Central Oregon Daily News

High Desert Rendezvous Returns In Person

BEND, OR-- For the first time since 2019, the High Desert Museum’s signature fundraiser, High Desert Rendezvous, will take place in person at the Museum on Saturday, August 27 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. This marks the 33rd year of the High Desert Rendezvous, making it one of the longest-running fundraisers in Central Oregon.

“Returning in person after two years makes this a very special High Desert Rendezvous,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, in a statement. “We will gather together again, celebrate the Museum’s 40th anniversary and the accomplishments of the past year, and raise a glass to our generous community.”

In addition to dinner, a raffle and entertainment, Rendezvous is also a chance to bid on art by traditional and contemporary artists in the juried exhibition and silent auction Art in the West, which opens at the Museum on Saturday, July 23. A gallery guide of the artwork in the exhibition will be available on the Museum’s website on July 18 at highdesertmuseum.org/aiw.

An individual ticket for Rendezvous is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers, and for a couple the event costs $300 for members and $350 for nonmembers. Sponsorship tables are available for parties of eight or 10. A list of sponsor benefits including VIP perks and community recognition can be viewed at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr.

The 2022 Rendezvous Honoree is Cameron Kerr. The wife of Museum founder Don Kerr and a self-described “lifetime volunteer,” she has been an active and stalwart supporter since the institution opened in 1982. Today, she is a Museum Trustee and Collections 

Committee Chair, and she can be seen regularly in the Museum’s collections department helping volunteers and supporting staff. 

“Cameron is a treasured friend of the Museum and a meaningful Honoree for our 40th year,” Whitelaw said. “She has supported the staff, volunteers and visitors since the very beginning and through four decades of growth.”

This year’s High Desert Rendezvous silent auction will take place online. It’s packed with luxurious items and one-of-a-kind experiences, from wine tastings in California to stays at your favorite Central Oregon resorts. Online bidding opens Friday, August 19 and ends on Monday, August 29. 

We are grateful to all the generous businesses and organizations that donate items and experiences to our silent auction. Those interested in donating items to be featured in the High Desert Rendezvous silent auction may contact Senior Donor Relations Manager Megan Kantrim at mkantrim@highdesertmuseum.org or call 541-382-4754 ext. 332. 

The High Desert Rendezvous helps support the Museum’s educational programs, ensuring the Museum continues to be a place where people and the landscape thrive together.

The 33rd annual High Desert Rendezvous is presented by First Interstate Bank. 

Learn more about and register for the High Desert Rendezvous at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr

Hot Weather Brings Safety Reminders At Bend's Whitewater Park

BEND, OR-- Warm weather brings renewed calls for safety at Bend’s Whitewater Park. Julie Brown, with Bend Parks and Rec, says recent rule changes caught some users by surprise, "We’re not allowing leashes of any kind. And, that is an adjustment for surfers in particular. The large majority of surfers previously had been using a leash attached to their surfboard." She tells KBND News, "Anything that has the ability to hold you underwater can be a real hazard. So, we have a new rule where we’re not allowing leashes."

The new rule is in response to an April 30th incident that killed a local surfer. An investigation found the teen’s leash may have gotten caught in part of the wave mechanism, pulling him underwater.

Brown says, "We’re also strongly encouraging the use of helmets and life jackets, or PFDs. For life jackets and PFDs, we worked with Bend Paddle Trail Alliance and have some loaners available".

Brown says surfing in a river is unique, "The whitewater park includes class 3 and above whitewater conditions and so these safety improvements are really important for everyone to continue to enjoy it."

 

Photo courtesy Bend Park and Recreation District

Drought Lingers In Southern, Central Oregon

BEND, OR-- Following the fourth wettest April to May ever recorded in Oregon, we’re now heading into the dry season. While the precipitation is needed, Climatologist Karen Bumbaco says some crops are now suffering from all that late season rain, "Some of the reports that came out of NASS, such as the US cherry production is down about 21% from 2021, and they were putting that blame on the cold weather we were seeing in spring."

And, the wet spring doesn’t mean we’re done with drought. Dr. Joe Casola, NOAA’s Western Regional Climate Services Director, says central and southern Oregon won’t get enough rain to recover from three years of persistent drought. "Given that the average precipitation for July and August are so little, the numbers that you’d need would be astronomical for, let’s say southern Oregon. The reality is they’re not going to recover from drought this water year." He predicts most of the west will see above average temperatures with below average rainfall this summer, and those dry conditions will increase the risk of wildfire.

Dr. Casola says moisture in western and northern Oregon has helped. "Streams had a lot of drought improvement. However, there is drought persistent in southern parts of Oregon and southern parts of Idaho, and that is anticipated to continue throughout the summertime."

 

Image courtesy of Dr. Casola, NOAA

Alpenglow Park Ready For Visitors

BEND, OR -- The Bend Park and Recreation District is ready to open Alpenglow Community Park in Southeast Bend. Located at 61049 SE 15th Street, a half mile north of Knott Road, the 37-acre park is in one of Bend’s rapidly growing areas. The park is open for public use now, with a couple of exceptions – the playground awaits final approval, expected next week, and the pedestrian bridge over the railroad will be completed next month. Surfacing installation challenges and the wet spring weather caused playground delays that are resolved now and final inspection is scheduled for next week.

Alpenglow Park includes an open lawn area, bouldering area, playground and sprayground, event pavilion, off-leash area for dogs, future demonstration garden, and several accessible trails and multi-use pathways.

“Alpenglow is a community park that has something for everyone, regardless of age or ability, and I am beyond excited for the public be able to enjoy this amazing space,” said Ian Isaacson, BPRD landscape architect and project manager. “I had the opportunity to work with an incredible team to see Alpenglow go from the drawing board to reality. This was only made possible because of the engagement, support and, most importantly, the patience of the community.”

A park grand opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, July 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. It's a free community event with entertainment, demonstrations of the park amenities, family-friendly activities, and an opportunity to connect with area neighborhood associations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic; a small number of vendors will be on site with food for purchase too.

The property for Alpenglow Community Park was acquired in 2014, with funds from a 2012 voter- approved bond measure. The 37-acre parcel was purchased from the J.L. Ward family for $3.77 million. Construction began last year

Development of the park is funded by System Development Charge (SDC) resources. SDCs are collected to provide funding for parks and trails to support growth in the community. Development of the park, including planning, design, permitting, construction and purchase of a residence lot in the Hidden Hills neighborhood for a railroad bridge crossing was $9.53 million.

The construction contract for the park was awarded to Griffith Construction in a competitive bid process. This company has main offices in Prineville and much of the work on the park was completed by local tradespeople.

Park features

With less than 8% of the park space being lawn area, Alpenglow Community Park is intentionally abundant with natural areas.The views of the Cascades showcase the high desert landscape and incorporate mature stands of ponderosa pine and juniper trees.

The sprayground is the first of its kind for the park district and an often-requested park amenity. Water play is reported to benefit a wide range of users with a space to develop social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. Available to users of all ages, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds, the new sprayground will provide a reprieve from hot weather, free of charge.

The sprayground is controlled by a timer and sensors, using less than 4 gallons of water per minute cycle. Reclaimed water from the sprayground will enter landscape swales in the parking lot and eventually return a portion of water to the natural water table.

Adjacent to the sprayground is the 6,500 sq. ft. playground. Designed using universal design principals, the playground is usable by people of all ages and abilities. It includes musical play features and a wheelchair swing that is unique to Bend.

Alpenglow also has accessible pathways and trail connections, bringing new recreation and transportation possibilities for a wide variety of users. There are 2.2 miles of ADA-accessible paved paths, including a 0.9-mile perimeter loop path, and 1.3 miles of soft surface natural trail too.

The bouldering area is another first for a Bend park. Three structures include natural routes, set routes with hand-holds and accessible routes with rope assist climbing for adaptive climbers and climbers with disabilities. The park also includes two shade structures, four restrooms, parking and 12 bike racks.

Learn more about the park on Bend Parks & Rec's webpage.

DCSO Seeks Homes For Livestock

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to find forever homes for a number of animals at their rescue ranch, including four pigs.

Mariya Leufven has been caring for Poppy and Tulip (pictured) since last year, "We received a report of these two pigs who were abandoned by the previous owner who left town, and we were able to confirm that he moved out of state." She tells KBND News, "They were very stand-offish in the beginning. They were - I wouldn’t say fearful - but they just didn’t like interacting with people. So, part of what we do is we want to make sure that the animals that we do place into permanent homes do not have any fear of people or any aggression." One also turned out to be pregnant and gave birth to a premature litter. The one survivor, Thomas, is also available for adoption. And, there's Gertrude, "She came to us as a 'stray,' summer of last year. She was found in La Pine. We attempted to locate the owner but no one came forward."

Technician Leufven says these pigs aren’t bacon. The Sheriff's Office spends time, money and energy nursing them back to health, and expects them to be cared for. "These are large breed pigs, so we are looking for a home that will provide a proper environment." She adds, "Part of our requirements, when folks adopt from us, is that they own the pigs or any animal they adopt from us for a minimum of a year."

Two horses, a couple of sheep and a goose will also soon be available for adoption, "If folks are interested in adopting any of the animals that are available, they do need to fill out an application and we’ll do a background check and a property check, as well as check on references." You’ll find contact information and details on the four pigs at the Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page. The other animals will be posted soon.

Passing Train Blamed For Bend Brush Fire

BEND, OR -- Bend Fire & Rescue responded to a report of a small "outside fire" in southeast Bend, near Robal Lane and Nels Anderson Road, just before 1:30 p.m. Monday. Before crews arrived, 911 received more calls of a rapidly growing brush fire on the east side of the railroad tracks in the area, possibly spreading to a shed. 

When they arrived, they found a fast moving fire on Raymond Ct. Everyone in a nearby home evacuated safely with their two cats, and neighbors were spraying flames with a garden hose. 

The fire was quickly knocked down, and crews remained on scene for approximately 90 minutes to mop up and ensure no spot fires. An older shed was destroyed, along with some belongings stored inside; damage is estimated at $500. Bend Fire & Rescue was assisted on scene by Bend Police, the US Forest Service, and BNSF. 

Investigators discovered a train passed through the area about 30 minutes prior, and sparks from that train ignited tall grass and brush on the Raymond Court side of the tracks. Officials say fortunately, many of the fuels still have a high moisture content due to spring rains. They believe it would have been far more intense if this occurred 3-4 weeks further in to fire season.  

They say, "Now is the time to look at your property, and prepare for wildfire season.  Cut tall grass, thin and remove excessive or dead brush, and limb up trees on your property. If you live within the boundaries of Bend Fire & Rescue, or Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District #2, we offer free consultations." Call 541-322-6386 to schedule an appointment.  

Eight-Hour Standoff Leads To Arrest In La Pine

LA PINE, OR -- An eight-hour standoff led to an arrest early Monday morning. According to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a report of a restraining order violation on Sparks Drive in La Pine, Sunday evening. 

During the investigation deputies learned 42-year-old Kelly Lee Clark was on a property he was restrained from due to an active Restraining Order. At approximately 4:30 pm, deputies went to the property in an effort to contact Clark, but he went inside and barricaded himself in the house. The SWAT team responded to the location. During further investigation, deputies learned Clark had assaulted and pointed a firearm at another man at the residence earlier in the day.

SWAT Team members attempted to contact Clark through multiple means for eight hours, until he was ultimately taken into custody at 12:30 am on June 27th and booked into the jail.

Clark is charged with Assault in the Second Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Menacing, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Contempt of Court (Restraining Order Violation), Theft in the Third Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, Escape in the Third Degree.

The investigation is ongoing and additional information may follow.

Bend Fire Celebrates New Ladder Truck

BEND, OR-- Bend Fire and Rescue celebrates its new ladder truck Tuesday with a traditional fire service ceremony. The 107' truck will respond to calls in and around Bend, and Chief Todd Riley says it replaces a previous truck that was in service for more than 19 years, "Our response equipment - it doesn’t last forever. To get 20 years out of a ladder truck, that is the end of its life and that’s industry standard. And, it’s time for us to replace it." He adds, "The reach is the same; we can still reach every building in Bend. We have 107’ vertical capability." But, he says, "It’s a new engine, new chassis and the safety features that come along with it are really important. But, it does have a ton more equipment on it and gives us a lot more capabilities."

Bend Fire and Rescue puts a new apparatus into operation this week. Chief Riley says, "The types of things that firefighters on a ladder truck do on a fire are essential for, not only putting fires out, but for keeping firefighters and civilians safe. So, they actually do serve a different and unique function on fires." 

The public is invited to take part in Tuesday's celebration. Chief Riley says there will be, "A ceremonial wash-down, which is symbolic of rinsing off the horses from way back in the day, after a fire. And then, we’re actually going to do a push-in, with the community members pushing this ladder truck into the fire station." That event starts at 2 p.m. at the North Station on Northeast Jamison.

New Route For Fourth Of July Pet Parade

BEND, OR -- Bend’s annual Fourth of July Pet Parade returns this year with a new route. Bend Parks and Rec announced parade staging will be at Harmon Park at 9 a.m. Monday. Then at 10, the parade heads north on Harmon to Newport, then east to Wall Street and onto Drake Park - it’s the same route used for the Christmas Parade, Veterans Parade and others.

Parade participants are encouraged to arrive in costume with a pet or stuffed animal and on pulled wagons, bikes or trikes. Parade spectators are also welcome to watch all the action on the new parade route.

The Fourth of July Parade began in 1924. It was canceled in 1943 for World War II, and in 2020 and 21 due to COVID.

“Bringing the pet parade back as part of the holiday is welcomed by community members and park district staff,” said BPRD's Julie Brown in a statement. “We encourage all parade goers to review the new route that we anticipate will accommodate the size of the event from recent years and make for a great event.”

Returning for this year’s parade are traditional entries of the Pioneer Queen, a 1929 Pershing fire truck and Boy Scout Troop #25 as flag bearers. One of the largest parades in Central Oregon, it is anticipated that more than 8,000 people participate and watch the parade.

PARADE DETAILS & PARKING:

  • All ages welcome.
  • No registration necessary.
  • Leash up and clean up after pets.
  • No rabbits, cats or aggressive animals. Do not give away or sell animals.
  • Large animals need to arrive early; trailer parking on Riverside Blvd.
  • Equestrians, please wear helmets.
  • No solicitation, commercial floats, motorized vehicles, motorcycles or distribution of anything, including candy.
  • Best parking: Outer perimeter of downtown and in parking garage.
  • ADA parking available at Highland at Kenwood School on Newport Ave., in downtown parking garage and in City of Bend parking lot on Franklin Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help as monitors on the parade route, assist in the start & finish areas and more. Click HERE for more information and volunteer sign up.

Prineville Police Chief To Retire

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins plans to retire this Friday and Captain Larry Seymour will take over. Cummins has served 38 years in law enforcement, working in San Diego and Gresham before coming to Prineville in 2015. 

While the shift seems sudden to some, City Manager Steve Forrester says Cummins and others have been working for years to train up the department’s next leaders. Forrester says when Cummins was hired seven years ago, the department was working to get fully accredited and train up leaders from within. "Larry, because he was identified as a leader - Mr. Seymour, who’s now Captain - He was on the ground floor of that." Forrester tells KBND News, "I wanted somebody in leadership, as he worked his way through Sergeants and then on to Captain, to have that skill set; and he’s done that in spades, along with a whole lot of other things." He adds, "It became very clear to us that we had our next chief. And, we have been investing in him: FBI Academy, professional trainings, leadership training, developmental trainings, all these skill sets."

Forrester says, "We wanted to have somebody who’s vested in the community, who has roots here, family here and dedication to our community - ideally, that would be our best candidate. And that’s why we have made these investments and put this time in with Larry. He’s met all these requirements that were set back, literally 8 years ago, on his pathway to becoming our choice - and really it’s my choice - for our next Chief."

Cummins issued a statement Friday saying he’s confident Captain Seymour is the right person to lead Prineville PD.

 

Photo: Chief Dale Cummins in 2015

OR Politicians Vow To Protect Abortion Rights

PORTLAND, OR -- Reaction from Oregon lawmakers was overwhelmingly opposed to the Supreme Court's abortion decision. Representative Cliff Bentz - the only Republican in Oregon’s Congressional delegation - tweeted “A momentous decision. Every human life is sacred.” But his was a rare statement among Oregon’s elected officials. Governor Kate Brown appeared in a video with the Governors of Washington and California saying, "We will continue to protect patients from any state who come to our states for abortion care." Oregon’s Secretary of State, Attorney General, other members of Congress and U.S. Senators - all Democrats - issued statements saying they will protect abortion rights here.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was back in Oregon over the weekend, just 24 hours after the High Court's decision. He told reporters on Saturday Congress needs to pass legislation to protect women’s web searches, text messages and location tracking, "I believe the language in the Alito opinion is so sweeping that women are going to have their personal data weaponized against them." The Oregon Democrat also called on tech companies to take immediate steps to limit collection and retention of customer data.

And, he says, supporters need to speak out more than just at the ballot box, "Voting is a key part of it. But, we’ve got to be everywhere. We’ve got to be in the communities, we’ve got to be holding rallies, we’ve got to be doing advocacy work and education work."

On Friday, within hours of the opinion going publice, Senators Wyden and Jeff Merkley issued video statements from a Washington D.C. pro-choice rally. Merkley said, "Choices that should be only their choice with the consultation with their doctor and whoever else they want, in terms of religious advisor or their partner. Our entire government is set up to defend the rights of individuals against overbearing government. This is overbearing government at its worst."

Wyden said it takes away a fundamental right, "This is a horrifying decision and it means, for American women, they will have fewer rights than their grandmothers had." Both Oregon Democrats said they are committed to passing federal protections of abortion rights and preventing a nationwide ban. 

Bend Woman Killed In Klamath County Crash

CHILOQUIN, OR -- A Bend woman was killed in an overnight crash on Highway 97 in Klamath County. According to OSP, a pickup collided head-on with an SUV driven by 35-year-old Cybil Nelson of Bend. Both vehicles were destroyed by the resulting fire; Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in the pickup, from Yuba City, CA was also killed. The truck’s driver was flown to St. Charles Bend. Two toddlers and another adult passenger were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The crash was reported at 12:35 a.m. Friday, 20 miles south of Chiloquin. Highway 97 was closed for about 5 hours for the investigation.

Any witnesses to the collision who were not already interviewed by investigators or those with information related to the crash are asked to call OSP Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888. Reference Case #SP22-155016.

St. Charles To Offer COVID Vaccines To Young Children

BEND, OR -- Young children can begin receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at St. Charles Family Care clinics starting Monday. The vaccine is free and available for children 6 months to 4 years of age. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling a Family Care clinic or via the MyChart patient portal.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccination for young children who are at least 6 months old. “This is important progress in our fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Cynthia Maree, St. Charles’ medical director of infection prevention said in a statement. “Vaccines continue to be effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization. In children, they also help prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome and may prevent long COVID.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization because clinical trials—which included more than 4,500 children and continued during different phases of the Omicron wave—proved it is safe and effective. The FDA also gave emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine, but for efficiency, St. Charles is only offering the Pfizer vaccine.

For the 6-months to 4-years-old age group, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered in three doses, with two doses spaced three weeks apart and followed by a third dose at least two months later. Each shot has less vaccine in it than the dosage for older children and adults. Vaccination is considered most effective seven days after the third dose.

“COVID-19 is still in Central Oregon and is still a threat to our children,” Maree said. “I strongly recommend parents discuss vaccination with their pediatrician if they have more questions.”

To schedule an appointment:

Filing Period Opens For Bend City Council Candidates

BEND, OR -- Three City Council seats and the position of Mayor will appear on the November ballot.  The filing period is now open through August 30. Information about filing, including forms, can be found here. Candidates must reside within the city limits of Bend for at least one year prior to taking office and be a registered voter. 

The Bend City Council is comprised of six Council members and an elected Mayor. Councilors are elected to four-year terms. This time, however, one of the Council positions is for the remaining two years of a vacated seat. (Position 4 was formerly Rita Schenkelberg’s seat which is now filled by Stephen Seghal as an appointee through the end of this year.)

Other terms that expire at the end of this year are Gena Goodman-Campbell (Council Position 5) and Barb Campbell (Position 6). Goodman-Campbell is temporarily filling the role of Mayor (Council Position 7) following the resignation of former Mayor Sally Russell, and the current mayoral term also expires the end of 2022. Those elected in November will begin serving January 2023.

Council meets at least four nights each month; Councilors automatically sit on the Bend Urban Renewal Agency Board, serve on the Budget Committee and participate in other local and regional committees.

Information on nomination petitions is available in the office of the Bend City Recorder, 710 NW Wall Street, second floor. For additional information, call the City Recorder’s Office at 541-388-5517.

U.S. Senate Passes Gun Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Biden is calling on the House to quickly vote on a gun safety bill approved Thursday night in the Senate. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley tweeted a video shortly after the vote, calling the bipartisan gun safety bill a victory. "It, for example, invests in mental health for our schools and our community health clinics, and it provides extra scrutiny for those under 21 who are buying a rifle, and it closes the boyfriend loophole." He added, "These are not earth shattering, but they are substantial. And, we saw Democrats and Republicans come together and enact gun safety legislation of some significance for the first time in 30 years."

All 50 Democrats voted for the bill, along with 15 Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will bring quickly bring it for a vote so it can be signed by the President.

Bethlehem Inn Opens Redmond Shelter

REDMOND, OR -- The Bethlehem Inn officially opens its new Redmond homeless shelter this week. Executive Director Gwenn Wysling says work to renovate the 1960s-era Greenway Motel was partially funded through the Legislature, which approved money to help communities convert old hotels and motels into shelters for the houseless. It’s the first “Project Turnkey” property in Redmond. "And it is the first year-round shelter in Redmond," Wysling tells KBND News, "One of our wonderful partners, Shepherd’s House, has done winter shelters for, I believe, 7 or 8 years and they too are looking to bring a shelter also here to Redmond, because we have seen the need expand."

Wysling says they'll start with 15-20 adults, but the facility will eventually house 88 in dormitory-style rooms. She adds, they learned from their Bend facility and included critical features in Redmond, "We have a commercial kitchen. We’ve operated a shelter before, for 10 years, without a kitchen and we weren’t going to do that again. A dining room; and, we of course needed a dining space if we’re going to have 88 people living in this facility."

The shelter recently received its certificate of occupancy, Wysling says they can now provide a slate of services to the houseless community, "We offer case management to immediately assess what their individual situation is. Housing is, obviously, of utmost concern. But we want to look at: what is their current employment status/income? Many people are working; they’re just struggling to find housing. So, we want to use the case management goal setting to see how they can get connected to the resources." She says they work with 70 partner agencies to help residents.

The Redmond Chamber will host a ribbon-cutting Friday at 1 p.m. at the shelter located at 5th and NW Birch. 

Oregon Lawmakers React To SCOTUS Abortion Decision

SALEM, OR -- The U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade with their Friday morning deision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Their ruling allows individual states to ban abortion. 

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel tweeted the decision "undermines trust in our criminal legal system and the safety of our communities. In response, I joined with 82 fellow elected prosecutors in pledging to not prosecute those who seek or assist w/ abortion care."

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan issued a statement shortly after the decision was public: 

"The right to control your own body and future is fundamental to our freedom in America. With today’s decision to end our national constitutional right to an abortion, 6 people on the Supreme Court have put the lives of millions in danger and made our country less free.

"Let’s be clear: In Oregon, abortion is legal. It is still your right. You can travel to Oregon to get an abortion if you need to.

"In 2017 Oregon passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), one of the strongest abortion access laws in the country, codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and making the full range of reproductive health care services more accessible and affordable for all Oregonians.

"While our rights are protected in Oregon, today’s decision will have devastating consequences around the country. This is a difficult day and many of us are concerned for our communities and our children. We are in this together though. I’ve been in this struggle to support access to abortion and I’ll continue to be no matter what."

Moments after the decision came down, Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said it forever changes the right to abortion for Americans:

“When you have to make the most intimate, personal decisions that will impact your life and your health and body, I don’t know anyone who wants some politician in the room. Yet, that is exactly the impact of this Supreme Court opinion for millions and millions of Americans, who suddenly find an overbearing government dictating their path. This assault on Americans’ rights and freedom is shocking.

“After today, we will see the very real and dangerous consequences across the country of taking away the right to safe and legal abortions. It’s on all of us – Members of Congress, medical professionals, advocates,and voters – to stand up against this nightmare vision of people forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will.  Each one of us should have the freedom to live our lives without politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.

“Across the country, millions of Americans face abortion being criminalized – even in the case of rape or incest or when the patient’s life is in danger. I’m proud to be from a state like Oregon, where we have made it clear we will stand strong for the right to compassionate reproductive care. The decision to have an abortion is one that should be made by you and only you – not by judges, not by MAGA politicians, and not by your ability to pay or the zip code you live in. Today’s news is incredibly disturbing and a huge blow to freedom across America, but we will not give up the fight.”

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued this statement:

“Today’s radical decision to overturn Roe v. Wade tosses out a half century of legal precedent, curtails the fundamental rights of women, and jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of people across the country. These radical Justices have ensured American women today have fewer rights than their grandmothers had decades ago – rights that have proven essential to the health, economic participation and freedom of people to control their own bodies. To be clear, the anti-abortion movement won’t stop here. What’s next is the criminalization of abortion – women and doctors in jail, or worse. 

“We knew this decision was coming, but that doesn't make it any less horrifying. The Court has betrayed and defied the American people, who are rightfully terrified that the most powerful people in the country are clearly eager to violate their privacy and the basic human right to control their own bodies.

“The ultimate recourse for the American people is to expand majorities in the House and Senate that will do whatever it takes to codify Roe into law and expand access to safe, legal abortion nationwide. In the meantime, beginning right now, state and local leaders who are committed to women’s rights must take steps to expand access to abortion and protect the people and health care providers they represent from the extremists who are criminalizing it. States that respect women’s rights have a duty to put in place insurmountable obstacles to the prosecution of women or doctors for decisions made within their borders. Furthermore, the Congress must pass legislation protecting people’s data so their web searches, text messages and location tracking aren’t weaponized against them. Technology companies must take immediate steps to limit the collection and retention of customer data so that they don’t become tools of persecution.

“This is going to be the fight of our lifetime, and I am all in to do what it takes to protect the right to safe and legal abortion for generations to come.”

The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued a joint statement, saying they've made a Multi-State Commitment to "defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states."
This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors’ commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states. The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible.
A copy of the Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom can be found here.
In a video message, the governors share a powerful message that the West Coast will remain a place where reproductive health care will be accessible and protected.
“Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry, and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care –– please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tweeted: 

Oregon U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader tweeted

Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio Tweeted: 

 

 

This is a developing story.

 

Great Drake Park Duck Race Returns

BEND, OR-- The ducks are headed back to the river! We’re talking about those little rubber duckies that float downstream as part of the Great Drake Park Duck Race.

Duck race raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at First Community, Mid Oregon, OnPoint, and SELCO Credit Union or online, starting June 29th. Local Rotarians and the Duck mascot will also be out in the community promoting ticket sales throughout the summer. Look for them at familiar venues such as Newport Avenue Market.

This year’s ticket sales benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Deschutes Children's Foundation and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery. After a two-year hiatus, the ducks take the plunge September 11th!

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