Local News Archives for 2011-10

OSU Cascades Has Special Benefactor

OSU Cascades bought its first building today. The building on Columbia near downtown will house the University's Graduate Programs. One of the people who help make the purchase a reality, is former Bend Mayor, Alan Bruckner, who donated $800,000 to the project. OSU Vice President Becky Johnson says his generosity was overwhelming. “He did approach us which is very unusual. Alan and I are in the same Rotary Club. He knew we needed more space. And he asked if he could help. It was a very generous offer and I was more than happy to take him up on it.” The rest of the money is coming from State Lottery Bonds and funds provided by OSU Cascades. The building needs to undergo extensive renovations to make it classroom-ready; but OSU Cascades plans to have it ready for students by summer term.




Bowne Fundraiser This Weekend

Gary Bowne, the Bend man struck while riding his bike near Sisters High School last week, continues to improve at St. Charles. He is out of the intensive care unit and is in serious condition. Since Gary doesn't have health insurance, friends will be holding a fundraiser this weekend to help out his family. Entertainer Brad Tisdale is coordinating the event. “And so I, as a musician and colleague, decided to hold a fundraiser which will have a visual arts and silent auction component to try to raise funds for Gary, the family and his medical expenses.” The fundraiser will be Sunday starting at 6 p.m. at Sisters High School. Brad will be performing along with Gary's own band: The Pitt Stones.




Record October for Wall Street

A Bend financial advisor says we are on the verge of having a historic month on Wall Street. Troy Reinhart says if the trend holds by the close of trading Monday, it will be the biggest month ever for the U.S. Stock Market. "We're up about 17% for the month. We've taken what was a Bear Market, in Bear Market territory and turned around and had a fantastic rally on good earnings news. Better than expected economic data and I guess you could call it temporary solution in Europe." He also says October is an interesting month when you look at history. Reinhart says there is only one month in the last 150 years that the market top was in October and that was in October 2007, when the market crested over right before it started going into the abyss in October of 2008. Another big October crash was in 1987.

Deschutes County Animal Rescue Ranch is Pretty Busy

This economy continues to take its toll on families in Deschutes County and especially their animals and livestock. The Deschutes County Rescue Ranch opened up two years ago and remains busy. Lt. Shane Nelson tells us what they see at the ranch: “We have had anywhere from emus, rabbits, goats, horses, cows and chickens at the facility so there is one of two ways an animal can go there. Either through a criminal case and we're doing a neglect investigation, we'll seize that animal so we can bring it back to health and monitor its progress." Lt. Shane Nelson says the other way an animal may end up there is if its lost or abandoned, and they try to find the owner or adopt it out. Sheriff's officials say the Rescue Ranch has been very busy in this economy as families struggle to put food on the table and their pets or livestock become one more burden for them. He says they are always happy to get donations of hay, tack or even cash to help with the Rescue Ranch.




Gas Leak at Redmond Kids’ Club

A Saturday morning gas leak in Redmond at the Boys and Girls Club site forced of the evacuation of one home, a town house complex, and a construction site.  Redmond Fire & Rescue responded to the area of Southwest 15th Street and Obsidian Avenue.  It was a natural gas leak from a one inch service line leading in to the future site of the Redmond Boys and Girls Club, renovation of an existing building.” Redmond Battalion Chief Jon Wood says approximately 200 volunteers were working at the construction site of the Boys & Girls Club, and they had to be evacuated to a nearby school playground.  Southwest 15th was closed between Obsidian and Metolius Avenues for several hours.  The leak was caused by one of the volunteers that accidentally struck the gas line with a hand pick there were no injuries.




Poachers Strike Near Camp Sherman

It’s hunting season, and every year the Oregon State Police see too many instances of poaching. The OSP and the Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife are asking your help to find the person responsible for killing a cow elk, leaving the body to rot in the Metolius Unit about five miles west of Camp Sherman. OSP reports: on October 18th, around 5 p.m., an adult male accompanied by a boy about 10 years old killed the female elk in an area where only bull elk can be hunted. The man is described as about 25 years old with glasses, wearing a gray and blue plaid shirt. The boy is described wearing a large orange vest that hung down below his knees and may have been carrying a rifle. Authorities donated the meat to a local raptor rehabilitator. Anyone with information on this incident are asked to call Oregon State Police. A $500 reward is offered by the Oregon Hunters Association “TIP” Program.




Cascades East Crash Details

It was the first multiple injury accident for Cascades East Transit. This morning an accident in Prineville injured several passengers and the bus driver.  Prineville Police say it happened around 7:40 this morning at the intersection of NW 2nd and NW Deer Streets. Police say it was a t-bone accident where a truck hit the bus and tipped it over.  Deputy Director Karen Friend says all of the people injured were going to be treated and released from the hospital, and they are glad that the injuries were minor. “Just that we're relieved that everyone is okay; it was a scary thing."  Prineville Police and members of the Crook County Fire Department had to extricate the passengers from the upside down bus. The investigation is still underway. Police say that alcohol nor speed appeared to be factors in the crash. The initial report also shows that the Cascades East Transit bus was being driven safely.  




Blaylock Trial Begins Next Week

Lori Blaylock's murder trial will get underway next week. Blaylock is the Bend woman who went missing last October and her body was never found. Her husband, Stephen was arrested and is charged with her murder. Officers believe he dumped her body in the Santaim River near Idanha. Former D.A. Mike Dugan says you can plead guilty, even though Stephen led police to the river. “If you plead not guilty and go to trial, you have a number of defenses that could be raised; extreme emotional disturbance, mental disease or defect in another one.” Dugan talked with our news partner News Channel 21. The trial is expected to start next Tuesday and should last 13 days.




Kitzhaber Visits Sisters High School

A new biomass heat installation at Sisters High School has now been officially dedicated. In his swing through Central Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber was at the ceremony yesterday afternoon. He spoke to a mixed audience of students, teachers, parents and the public and called the project a triple, bottom-line win.

In addition to maintaining the health of the surrounding forests, the boiler is expected to save the District between $35,000 and $65,000 per year in fuel costs. It also brings new jobs to the community.  The price tag of the project was around $350,000, and the District expects it to pay for itself in about six years.

Aspen Lakes Water Problem

A boil water notice was issued to residents in the Aspen Lakes subdivision, near Sisters. A test last week showed cloriform bacteria in the water system that supplies the homes, golf course and clubhouse. In a published report, golf course and clubhouse owner Matt Cyrus says the bacteria was discovered in a routine test, and no one got sick. He said that this was the first time that the bacteria was found in the system, and it is being disinfected now and she should be back to normal in a couple of days. The Brand 33 Restaurant has been using bottled water and bagged ice since the notice was issued; it is been closed Monday and today, but should re-open Wednesday.




900 Wall Pizza Oven Fire

A fire in a pizza over at 900 Wall Restaurant in downtown Bend caused minimal damage,  but an interruption around lunchtime yesterday. Bend Fire reports that when crews arrived the fire had already been put out by restaurant cooks. Department was called out for a possible commercial structure fire just after the lunch hour today in downtown.  The cause appears to be grease build up in a hard to clean area of the duct ignited as the oven was being warmed up for the dinner crowd.




Conger Speaking with Governor on Health Care Reform

State Representative Jason Conger of Bend is meeting with the Governor today in Central Oregon and they are talking about health care reform. Kitzaber is still in town following the big meeting of the Democratic Party over the weekend.  House Bill 36-50 sets up a framework for health care reform. It’s aimed at changing how the State delivers the Oregon Health Plan, or Medicaid, differently in Oregon.  Conger just met with leaders in the local health care industry and plans to deliver their concerns to Governor Kitzhaber. “They had a variety of concerns, some were cost drivers, things like regulations that prevent them from doing things that would save money for patients for the healthcare delivery system. So there some concerns about that. And they also felt they weren't given a chance to actively participate in the in this health care transformation process that we're engaged in right now." Conger's meeting with the Governor at 12:30 and then later this afternoon. Governor Kitzhaber is touring the bio mass facility at Sisters High School. 




Occupy Bend Has Temporary / Permanent Home

Occupy Bend now has a permanent location for the next couple weeks. Protestors got a city permit to camp out across from Pioneer Park, at the old Bend Bulletin site. More than a dozen people have been out there since the weekend. They plan to stay for a couple weeks. Camp participant Ed Gunderson told our news partner, News Channel 21 that we've allowed corporations to hold us down too long, but no more. “There's hope. There's hope in America, when people are stand in unity together, I really hope this is the start of something.” The group plans to hold daily marches down Wall Street in protest of corporate corruption and their role in the recession.




Officials Meet Over Timber Payments

Mike McLane of Powell Butte is on a bi-partisan task force assigned with the difficult goal of finding ways for timber dependant communities to survive. After most logging was banned on federal forests for environmental reasons; for about 10 years the government has been routing money to the most timber dependent communities. But now those payments are expiring and even if they are extended, Representative Mike McLane says a long term solution is desperately needed. “The federal government also needs to acknowledge that when it owns 53%t of a state, like it does in Oregon or 78% of a county like it does in Lake County, that to simply cut off the economic benefits of that land and to make Lake County meet its needs on 22% of the land, it’s ludicrous to say that we can be competitive with say, Multnomah County." The task force met with government leaders in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook County on Friday. McLane says one idea he has is to increase tax incentives for businesses to locate in enterprise zones. The task force will present its plan during the next session.




New Bend Police Chief Talks Strategy

The new Bend Police Chief is laying out his strategy for the police department.  Chief Jeff Sale says for one, he'd like to work with other local agencies like Redmond Police and the County to develop an information lead style. He says for example, as they spot trends they could respond within days instead of weeks; and in the more minor cases, he'd like the public to be able to use an online system: “So that certain crimes could be reported to us online, so that we're not sending officers clear across town for a minor theft to take that report. People will have access to us through the Internet. We'll still report those crimes and we can still evaluate the impact of those crimes on the community." Chief Sale is also taking a closer look at how the Traffic Enforcement Division is run. And if their approach to animal control issues need to change.




Chester Cabinets Fire

A spark from a sander ignites some sawdust, sending 15 employees out of a commercial building on Boyd Acres Road around 8:15 this morning. Bend Fire and Rescue reports that when they arrived, heavy fire was coming from the rear of the Chester Cabinets building. Owner Robin Chester says he heard an explosion; employees noticed the fire and called 911. The fire originated in the dust collection system. The building fire sprinklers activated and prevented the fire from spreading too much. .Fire crews were able to knock down the fire quickly. The loss is estimated at $30,000.




Governor Kitzhaber Proclaims October 9-15 Fire Prevention Week




Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed October 9 - 15 Fire Prevention Week in Oregon. The Governor, State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace and Oregon Red Cross CEO Maree Wacker, in supporting Fire Prevention Week in Oregon and across the nation, are encouraging Oregonians to take the necessary steps to protect their families from fire by having working smoke alarms, practicing a home escape plan, and to consider installing home fire sprinklers.
Read the complete news release in the attached PDF for more fire safety tips.
"Every year, the biggest disaster threat to families across Oregon is not winter storms or floods. It's home fires. This year, volunteers from the Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross have responded to an average of 10 home fires a week in our state where families have been displaced. Hundreds of families are affected every year by this devastating personal disaster," said Maree Wacker, CEO of the Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross.
"Fire safety always begins at home, and Fire Prevention Week is a great time to start fire safe habits," said Oregon State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. "Last year, one out of every four structure fires was in a home with no smoke alarm or where a smoke alarm failed to operate. That's why we continuously encourage residents to test and maintain their smoke alarms to be sure they are working properly. Families should also be sure to develop a home escape plan and practice it."
The Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross, the Office of State Fire Marshal along with fire agencies statewide are teaming up in support of October's national fire prevention campaign, Protect Your Family From Fire, to reinforce the message that fire safety starts at home.
In 2010, in Oregon there were 2,733 fires in one- & two-family dwellings resulting in 16 deaths, 172 injuries, and more than $62 million in property loss.
Remember, working smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape and increase your chance of surviving a fire.
Additional safety tips:
• To ensure maximum protection, install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each
separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
• Replace smoke alarms 10 years old or older.
• Hard-wired alarms (those wired directly into home electrical systems) should have battery
• Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
• If your smoke alarm sounds, immediately go outside and stay out, then call 9-1-1.
• If you need assistance with smoke alarms, contact your local fire agency.
For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire agency or visit http://
www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_SA_Program.shtml. You can also visit www.redcross.org/
homefires for more tips.
Make a home fire escape plan today:
• Draw a map of your home showing doors and windows.
• Show two ways out of each room.
• Make sure young children, older adults, and people with disabilities can get out.
• Agree on a meeting place outside (a safe visible are where firefighters can locate you).
• Never go back in for people, pets, or personal belongings.
• Practice your plan at least twice every year during the day and night.
Download a free home fire escape map from the OSFM website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/
Home fire sprinklers are also a great idea. If you are building your own home or remodeling, consider
the life saving benefits of home fire sprinklers. For more information on home fire sprinklers visit the
OSFM website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Comm_Ed_Sprinkler_Information.shtml.
Fire Prevention Week is observed annually throughout North America and Europe, acknowledging the
anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which destroyed a large part of the city and killed 250 people
on October 9, 1871. For more information on fire safety and fire prevention week, contact your local
fire agency or visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/FPW_2011.shtml or www.redcross.org/
Contact Info: James Roddey
Director of Communications
American Red Cross, Oregon Region
503.528.5629 (w) - 503.867.4699 (c)
Rich Hoover,Public Affairs Specialist
Office of the State Fire Marshal
503-934-8217 office, or 503-370-0033 pager richard.hoover@state.or.us

Bend Garbage Changing Pick Up Days/Times

Bend Garbage customers will see different pickup days and times starting this week. The company is changing a lot of their routes to make them more efficient.  The changes take effect today. Bend Garbage President Brad Bailey says it was something that had to be done. “Well as we've had tremendous growth in the city and county over time, we changed our routes piece by piece, piecemeal if you will. This is the first time we've rerouted the entire area to be the most efficient and we consolidated dates and made sure pick ups close together, so we should shave off fuel and time on collection.” Bend Garbage asks that you put out your garbage by 6 a.m. on pick up days. The company notified customers of the changes in their last bill a couple weeks ago. If you don't know your new pickup day, you can call Bend Garbage to find out.




Oily Rags Cause Fire

Oily rags cause of another home fire in Bend. Bend fire & Rescue responded to the blaze around 2:30 Saturday morning on Cinder Butte Lane. Firefighters confined the blaze to an outside deck, with only minor intrusion into the structure.  Fortunately, a passerby saw the flames and awakened the two occupants who then got out safely with their pets. Damage is estimated at over $422,000.




Sunriver Music Names New Director

The Sunriver Music Festival has hired a new Artistic Director. The man who conducted most of the concerts this year will lead the festival for the next three years. George Hanson has been the Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 1996. He will take over the Sunriver Music Festival, following the retirement of long time director Lawrence Leighton Smith. He was forced to step down due to health problems. Hanson was originally scheduled to be the guest conductor at this last summer's festival, but when Smith's health caused him to cancel at the last minute, Hanson stepped in and conducted most of the festival.




New Head of BOTC

Bank of the Cascades has decided on a new leader to replace Patty Moss. Terry Zink will take over the bank on January 1st 2012. Moss is retiring and the board conducted a national search to find Zink. He most recently had served as President of Fifth Third Bank Chicago. Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, Zink served 17 years at Wells Fargo in senior management positions.




Myers Was Shot Multiple Times

The Oregon State Police is now reporting that Cody Myers, 19, was shot multiple times in the head and torso.  Lieutenant Gregg Hastings says they also think two arrests in California give them the suspects they want. Pederson and Grigsby are also wanted in the Washington state murder of Pederson’s stepmother and the disappearance of his father.




Deschutes County Fire Chiefs Announce Open of Burn Season

Deschutes County Fire Chiefs have agreed to open controlled burning within Deschutes County this weekend. Municipal and rural fire jurisdictions will open burning this Saturday, October 8, 2011 for outdoor burning of debris and agricultural burns with the exceptions noted below.   

Black Butte Ranch Fire District will enter a limited burning period that begins October 15th and runs through November 30th. 
The city of Bend and the city of Sisters have year-round bans on outdoor burning within city limits.  
Residents are strongly encouraged to contact their local fire protection agencies for specifics or any regulations regarding open burning of debris or agricultural burns. The Chiefs also strongly recommend that those who chose to burn debris do so early in the day, prior to winds picking up that could spread a fire to nearby combustibles.
“While colder temperatures and added moisture decrease the potential for debris burns to escape and become a wildfire hazard, we ask that residents please take special care in burning activities,” adds Chief Koellermeier, Chairman of Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association. Fire agencies may make independent changes based on weather and fuel conditions so please review all local regulations before burning activities.
The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will continue with planned burning projects on federal lands.

Oregon Department of Forestry will allow regulated burning on lands protected exclusively ODF. 




Body Found is Cody Myers

Two Everett Washington murders suspects connected to the disappearance of Cody Myers, 19, have been arrested in Yuba County, California. A California Highway Patrol officer spotted Cody Myers' white 1999 Plymouth Breeze north of Sacramento. Oregon State Police Lieutenant Gregg Hastings: “They detained the two occupants, and positively identified them as the two murder suspects wanted out of Everett, Washington.” David "Joey" Pedersen and Holly Grigsby are in custody. A couple hours before the arrest, police announced the body of a young man had been discovered in a rural area of the Mid-Willamette Valley. A medical examiner has determined the body is that of Myers, missing since Saturday.




Walden's Bill Takes Major Step

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Greg Walden’s legislation to create much-needed jobs, clean energy, and water conservation in Crook County took an important step forward today.

The House Natural Resources Committee today voted to send Rep. Walden’s Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act (H.R. 2060) to the House floor, setting up a final vote for passage on the House floor. The bill would fix a boundary line error at Bowman Dam, paving the way for construction of a small scale hydropower facility at the base of the dam. It would also provide job-creating water for the city of Prineville to attract additional projects like Facebook, and give life to important water conservation projects in the region.
“This is exactly the kind of commonsense, no-cost legislation that Congress should be taking up to create good jobs at no cost to the taxpayer,” Rep. Walden said. “Fixing the clerical error at Bowman Dam would give rise to a hydropower project that will create about 50 jobs over the course of two construction seasons. Giving the city of Prineville access to needed additional water will allow them to continue to attract job-creating projects like the recently opened Facebook data center, and could help them fully serve water needs for residents in the city. And the bill would spur the McKay Creek Restoration Project, aiding steelhead migration and emergence. Getting the bill out of committee today is an important step, with a vote on the House floor next in line.”
Crook County Judge Mike McCabe: “It’s going to be so good for the community all the way around and it takes important steps to keep agriculture alive and well. The bill will also help ensure that we can grow out and attract companies like Facebook to help build our community.”
Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe: “The passage of H.R. 2060 will enable Prineville to meet its existing and future water supply needs, sustain and create jobs in our community, and attract new businesses. H.R. 2060 would benefit Facebook and all other companies considering Prineville because it ensures a reliable water supply for business development.”
John Mohlis, executive secretary for the Oregon State Building and Trades Council: “Central Oregon’s construction industry continues to feel the impacts of the economic downturn. Proposals like Congressman Walden’s bill making changes to the Bowman Dam, such as for hydropower generation, will help promote economic development and put our workforce back to doing what they do best—working.”
H.R. 2060: Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act
1.      Carbon free energy and hydropower jobs . A clerical error led to the boundary line of the Crooked River Wild and Scenic Area being drawn down the middle of Bowman Dam, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation dam and reservoir. Correcting the error requires congressional action.
Moving the boundary line only ¼ mile downstream will allow a small-scale, private hydropower facility at the base of Bowman Dam to be constructed.
Construction of such a facility would employ about 50 skilled workers over the course of two construction seasons and would also provide approximately $140,000 in annual property tax revenues to Crook County.
The hydropower facility may also resolve a “total dissolved gas” problem at Bowman Dam. This problem, which occurs at dams around the world, can impair fish and wildlife habitat. The new facility could potentially alleviate this problem, improving habitat in the Crooked River.
2.      Job-supporting water for Prineville. The legislation would allow the city of Prineville to utilize 5,100 acre feet of groundwater to meet existing and future demands, and allow it to attract new, sustainable businesses similar to the Facebook data center, which has created new jobs and sparked investment.
Prineville relies solely on groundwater.  The legislation would allow the City to secure up to 5,100 acre-feet of “mitigation credits” from the new releases of stored water at the dam into the Crooked River. These supplies would also be protected from diversion by others, benefitting fish and wildlife habitat in the river. These new releases represent a small fraction of the 80,000 acre feet of un-contracted water stored annually in the Reservoir.
The new releases will increase existing minimum releases by a total of 7 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the entire year. In dry years, particularly in the winter, this higher release requirement could benefit fish and wildlife, including the blue-ribbon trout fishery below Bowman Dam.
The water allocation for Prineville will also help the city create jobs and improve business opportunities. The city is currently in talks with multiple technology companies that are interested in locating to Prineville, but have indicated that the availability of water is a key consideration in their final decision.
3.      McKay Creek restoration and other conservation efforts. Rep. Walden’s legislation would help spur the McKay Creek restoration project — which has stalled in recent years — by allowing Ochoco Irrigation District to deliver water to upper small family farms on McKay Creek.
The restoration project would restore up to 11.2 cfs of water rights instream to McKay Creek.  The project also improves flow during the early summer, a critical period for steelhead emergence and migration. This project is supported by numerous watershed councils and organizations including the Deschutes River Conservancy.

The legislation also allows the Ochoco Irrigation District to participate in the Conserved Water program under Oregon State law, whereby a minimum of 25 percent of the total amount of water conserved must be placed instream, forever, as part of the program. Right now, the Ochoco Irrigation District, because of limitations in its contract with the Bureau of Reclamation, is unable to participate in this program.




Wal-Mart Could Expand

It’s a move that could bring more jobs to Bend. The Wal-Mart store in Bend is hoping to do a major expansion that they say would add about 85 jobs.  The store at Pinebrook Boulevard is asking the City of Bend for a permit to add a grocery, bakery and other departments to that site. If approved, the store would grow from 122,000 square feet to 161,000 square feet. That store opened in 1994. This past July, representatives from Wal-Mart held a community meeting to unveil their plans.




Endicott Received Prestigious Award

BEND, Ore. – The League of Oregon Cities’ (LOC) prestigious James C. Richards Memorial Award for 2011


was presented to Redmond Mayor George Endicott during the League’s 86th Annual Conference, held September 29 - October 1 in Bend. The award is given to elected city officials who serve the citizens of Oregon through an exceptional personal investment in intergovernmental affairs.
Endicott has served on the Redmond City Council since 2005 and was elected mayor in 2008. He is known for his commitment to regionalism and open government. His regional service includes the following organizations:
the South Redmond Collaborative Planning Group; the Higher Education Assessment Team of Central Oregon; the Central Oregon Cities Organization (“COCO”), which he currently chairs; the Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation; the Deschutes Water Alliance; and the Deschutes County Fair Board.
As part of his commitment to open government, Mayor Endicott personally addresses his community through a monthly letter in the city’s utility bill as well as regular addresses on important city issues on local radio and TV stations.  These outreach efforts have paved the way for success of a number of city initiatives.
Mayor Endicott’s passion for building strong, positive relationships at all levels of government has led him to make numerous trips to the Capitol during legislative sessions to meet with legislators and testify in hearings. To provide a strong voice on issues of importance to Central Oregon residents, he participated in twice-monthly video conferences with local state legislators during the 2011 session. He has served on the board of directors of the League of Oregon Cities and the Oregon Mayors Association, and is currently chair of the Local Officials Advisory Committee to the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission and the League’s Community Development Policy Committee.


Amanda Knox Freed

Seattle college student Amanda Knox shook and wept when the ruling was read, clearing her of the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. When yesterday's decision was announced it was also a very emotional moment in Seattle for friend Karen Pruitt. "Absolute joy. Just so thankful that they let her go and it was the right thing to do. This is truly justice for Amanda now."  The verdict came after independent forensic investigators sharply criticized police scientific evidence in the original investigation. Those independent investigators said it was unreliable. Meantime, the victims’ family still thinks that Knox and her boyfriend are guilty.




Meeting Tonight on Sunriver Post Office

There are pages and pages of petition signatures from people in Sunriver who are opposed to the U.S. Postal Service's plans to shutdown the local office. And a meeting tonight in Sunriver, hosted by the postal service,  is expected to draw a lot of people. Brook Snavely with the Sunriver Owners Association says there is a big difference between towns like Shaniko, Post, Brothers, Fort Rock, and Sunriver. He says records from the post office shows they get much more revenue in Sunriver than other places in Oregon targeted for closure: “They even sent out some information about the revenues over the past five years, they are making an average between $450,000 and $500,000 a year at this location; this is not a 50 dollars a day post office." He says if the local office closes down, some people may be forced to travel to Bend for services, which isn't very realistic in the winter-time with a mountain pass like Lava Butte in between Bend and Sunriver. Nationwide, the U.S. Postal Service is fighting for survival and is cutting costs by shutting down offices that aren't very profitable.




Cougar Spooks Crooked River Fisherman

A Redmond man wants to warn Crooked River Ranch residents about cougars that may be in the area. The man, who doesn't want to be identified, says he was fly fishing in the Folley Waters area on Saturday when an aggressive cougar was on his trail. “It was about dusk and I was walking up the canyon and I don't know why, because I didn't hear anything, but I turned around and there was this cougar about 10 feet behind me. He was crouched position and looked like he was ready to pound. I was by myself and I had no weapon. He looked me in the eye and it was incredibly terrifying encounter, experience.” There have been no more sightings of the cougar since Saturday night.




Deschutes County Looking for New Administrator

The search for a new Deschutes County Administrator is underway. Deschutes County Deputy Administrator Erik Krupp is filling in on an interim basis after Commissioners fired Dave Kanner back in August. Krupp has told Commissioners he's not interested in the position, so a national search has begun. Krupp expects to fill in for about six months. “There's a high probability that the person will be coming from outside the area, so he has to move out here, so I’m expecting it probably will be a springtime appointment.” Commissioners decided to fire Kanner because of concerns over his sometimes abrasive management style.




Another Home-Invasion Robbery

Local Sheriff's deputies are still on the lookout for the suspect in a local home invastion case that involved a man displaying a revolver in the middle of the night. A Deschutes River Woods man says he was up early friday morning around 3 a.m. when a young man with a revolver kicked in his front door. He says the intruder asked for money and a suitcase, and then ransacked the home. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says a recent rise in these crimes is alarming.   "Oftentimes, these are not from a stranger. It’s usually someone that has a distant acquaintance. They often have been to the property before, that sort of thing." It was the second reported home-invasion robbery south of Bend in the past couple of weeks. Troy Dahl, 26, was arrested after detectives linked him to a home-invasion robbery south of Sunriver.




Home Break-In Nets Shoplifters

An empty wine bottle, and the persistence of two very sharp Bend Police officers put two people in jail this weekend. The officers were called to a home on NW Harmon Boulevard on Friday to investigate a break-in. Suspects forced open a door to gain entry. While inside, the suspects did a lot of damage. They even ate some of the victim's food. Their downfall was the bottle of wine they brought with them. While the officers were conducting the investigation, they determined the wine bottle did not belong to the victim. Lt. Brian Kindel explains further: “The officers that were on the scene were able to track down the suspect by obtaining evidence from the home through, basically a wine bottle. And they found it. It was supposed to have been purchased from 7-Eleven on Galveston, however, when the officer was viewing the video surveillance, he found out the items were shoplifted.” By watching an extensive amount of surveillance tape from 7-Eleven, the officers finally saw both suspects, and knew them from previous encounters.  Ryan Undervagt, 33, and Christopher Ward, 23, were arrested and charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and theft.




Crash Kills One on Powell Butte Highway

Oregon State Police officials say a 76 year old woman was killed and her daughter injured early Friday morning when their car left Powell Butte Highway on a curve and smashed into a tree. The crash was reported around 6:00 a.m. at the intersection of McCafferty Road and the Powell Butte Highway. Redmond and Crook County Fire Medics were called to the scene. Afton Slaughter was pronounced dead at the scene. The car was driven by her daughter, Debra Lynn Ivie, 56, who received non-life threatening injuries.




Lightning Storm Causes Fire

A lightning storm that tracked up through Nevada and into the eastern part of Oregon Friday ignited several wildfires southeast of Dayville. Wind and warm daytime temperatures helped push three of these fires past the initial attack period. The largest new fire Murderer’s Creek is located approximately 11 miles southeast of Dayville on the east side of the South Fork John Day River. This fire is 350 acres and burning from the north side of the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area up into the Malheur National Forest. This fire is burning in a mix of grass and shrubs in the lower elevations and has moved up into timber on the upper slopes.





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