The legislation would persuade landowners to particpate voluntarily in sage grouse conservation plans -- and guarantees their private information could not be disclosed.
Republican Senator Doug Whitsett explains to fellow lawmakers the possible consequences, especially in eastern Oregon if the sage grouse is listed as endangered.
"A large area of that part of the state is facing potential listings of sage grouse as endangered. The endangered list would affect 15 million acres. It woudl be comparable to the spotted owl and its affect on timberland. It would restrict activities homeowners can do like building and repairing fences or roads, both on private and public lands, driving, hunting and grazing cattle."
The bill now goes back to the House to approve some provisions the Senate made to it.
The legislation sponsored by Republican State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver -- directs various state boards and agencies to include military training and service to be counted as experience to get professional licenses and certificates.
Representative Whisnant says as a vetearn himself, he thinks the state has an obligation to do whatever it can to honor the sacrifice of our miltiary personnel.
But other states are considering similar legislation.
In Oregon, an initiative is underway to allow businesses to refuse to participate in same sex ceremonies -- if it's against their religious beliefs.
Teresa Harke is behind the "Protect Religious Freedom Initiative."
"I'm not involved with the issue in Arizona. It's my understanding their language is much broader. There's an effort to characterize what we're doing to that , but ours is very specific because of the issue, how does someone opt out of same sex marriage without facing bullying or backlash or fines from the state."
The Oregon effort is fighting the title the Attorney General's Office wants to give the initiative on the ballot. The Attorney General's Office wants to use the term "discrimination" in the title -- and supporters object to that.
Hospital leaders went before county commissioners on Wednesday to take advantage of the county's tax exempt status.
This will allow them to minimize the interest they'll owe from the sale of bonds.
St. Charles Chief Financial Officer, Karen Shepherd says it's been five years since they've sold bonds.
"We haven't been out for debt for quite a time, since 2008. And at that time we had to refinance when the interest rates went up significantly. So this time we're in a much better position, a more stable position than we were at that time."
The commissioners approved the hospital tapping into their tax exempt position for these bond sales.
St. Charles plans to use the funds to build a new Prineville Hospital and a new cancer center in Bend, among other projects.
Redmond's Bob Perry, who serves on the Redmond School Board -- feels the bill is misguided.
"And for starters, we should not be paying for kids college , that falls on kids and parents, not the state. And where's the money coming from? You know the Democrats want a sales tax and that's how they'll get it."
It's estimated offering free community college for Oregon high school students would cost the state between 100 and 200 million each two year budget cycle.
Perry feels the state first needs to improve its public schools-- K through 12th -- before we start looking at higher education.
The conference only invited Jason Conger and Monica Wehby -- considering them the top two candidates for the senate seat.
Wehby's manager says she's mulling the debate over, but believes all the candidates should be invited, not just the top two.
State Representative Jason Conger has already committed to the debate and in a press release says Wehby is trying to avoid the debate to avoid defending the mounting criticism over her positions on amnesty, Obamacare and gun rights.
Conger says if Wehby wants to be taken seriously as candidate, she must be willing to debate her opponent and defend her views. He says this is a race for one of the highest elected positions in the country, not a race for high school class president.
Wehby plans to make a decision on the debate by the end of the week.
42 year old Dustin Nash of LaPine was arrested Tuesday evening during a traffic stop north of Terrebonne. Investigators discovered Nash arranged for two friends from LaPine to pick him up as he was on the run.
Nash faces charges of driving a stolen vehicle, eluding authorities, reckless endangering and possession, distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine.
The two people who picked him up were arrested for hindering prosection.
And the man the woman from the original traffic stop that resulted in their arrests were from the Portland area. They also face charges of possessing and manufacturing methamphetamine.
Regional economist Damon Runberg says healthcare is a big employer in this region.
"We found in this survey there were 3 thousand vacancies at any given time for 2013 over the last year. And some people may be surprised, maybe not, nearly 40 percent are in the healthcare or social assistance industires. So a lot of healthcare jobs this year."
In this survey, central Oregon included not jsut Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties, but also Hood River and Klamath Counties among others.
Central Oregon's average hourly wage was $13.84 an hour compared to a statewide average of $15.04 an hour.
The district was looking at putting the issue on the May ballot, but the head of the Park and Rec District says too many people had too many questions to have an election that quickly.
Bob Schulz is the Director of the LaPine Park and Rec District.
"But as I heard from the public, we really decided to take a year and work with the groups that were going to be affected and develop more conversations and let people know what the election would mean to them once they're in place."
LaPine was looking at annexing the land between north of LaPine and Sunriver. These residents would be asked to approve 30 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. For a 200-thosuand dollar home, people would be paying 60 dollars a year.
Schulz says they are now looking at putting the issue on the ballot in 2015.
Democratic State Senator Mark Hass of Beaverton says Senate Bill 1524 -- also known as Oregon's Promise is about to be passed.
It funds a study on offering two years of free community college for Oregon students who maintain a GPA of 2.0 or above.
Senator Hass expects lawmakers to move forward on making it a reality next year. He says it just makes economic sense.
"This population is not going anywhere and they're very expensive. They cost about $14-thousand dollars in social services and other direct services. So the day one of these individuals takes a job as a welder, well that 14 thousand dollar expenditure for taxpayers comes off the table. Two years of community college is a lot cheaper than food stamps and that's what we're talking about."
Because the House added amendments to the legislation,tti now goes back to the senate for consideration. It will then go on to the Governor for his signature.
The House Committee on healthcare passed two amendments Monday that lawmakers hope will prevent more problems.
The amendments were introduced by State Representative Jason Conger of Bend. He says this was the third time he'd push for the measures, and with the Democratic Committee Chair's help, they secured their passage.
"It's not a political statement. It's an issue of policy and public trust. My amendement have nothing to do with assigning blame. It's not based on a political decision, but more aimed at transparency by giving the legislature the information it needs so it's made publicly available and reviewed by everyone."
The amendments will provide demographics to lawmakers about who is signing up for Cover Oregon to see if its sustainable. They also require the head of Cover Oregon to make public the results of any investigation into the exchange.
The senate is expected to approve the amendments as well.
The group just kicked off its efforts with an event in Portland last week with NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player.
Dan Occhipinti with Freedom Oregon says they are fighting for equal rights.
"And this is the new guard. This is a lot of people, a lot of Republicans who are liberty minded citizens. They hold the traditional Republican values, but also believe those values are consistent with freedom to marry who you want to marry. If you can pay taxes and die for your country, so you should be able to marry who you love."
Freedom Oregon is an independent organization, but is coordinating with Oregonians United for Marriage
The meetings are done in executive session -- and there's been no significant progress yet, but city councilor Mark Capell says they're getting there.
"What they're after is putting more water in Tumalo Creek. I want to put more water in Tumalo Creek, but I don't think you need to hold the water project hostage to do it. We can work together to accomplish that by making Tumalo Irrigation more efficient so they don't have to use as much."
Central Oregon Landwatch field a lawsuit to stop the city's water project claiming it would harm the environment and reduce the water flows in the creek. In recent weeks, a federal judge in Eugene didn't buy that argument and denied that injunction, but ordered the two sides to continue settlement negotiations.
Teresa Harke with "Friends of Religious Freedom" says they are trying to allow people with deeply held religious beliefs protection from doing something they don't want to do.
"How does someone opt out of same sex ceremonies without facing bullying and backlash and fines from the state? We need to have religious protection from our first amendment rights -- to be able to say based on my personal beliefs, I don't want to participate in this particular event."
The Project Religious Freedom Initiative hasn't started to collect signatures yet, to put the issue on the November ballot.
This effort sprung up following an incident last year in Gresham -- where a bakery is now facing legal troubles after refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
Cover Oregon is making progress on its website when it comes to clients who use insurance agents, but the general public is still using paper applications to get through the process.
Local insurance agent Don Layton is concerned about the large numbers of low income people signing up.
"For example, I'm concerned about the new Medicaid enrollees, the number of enrollment of Medicaid versus private insurance plans. The last numbers I heard was a 3 and a half to 1, Medicaid to private plans. That's a concern. I don't see how it's a sustainable model. I think there's going to have to be some adjustments somehow, somewhere."
Layton is also concerned about the number of older enrollees versus younger enrollees. Since older Americans cost more, their numbers, must be offset by younger, healthier ones.
The Obama Administration feels they need at least 35 percent of the enrollees to be younger people, to pencil out.
The bill sponsored by State Representative Jason Conger would offer grants to community colleges to set up child care centers. Students would get childcare on a sliding scale.
Cogner is hopeful the bill will pass.
"This program is a matching funds, grant program to try and help and incentivize students to stay in school. Students who participate have to maintain a GPA set up by the college and must be progressing toward a certificate or degree."
Conger is optimistic the bill will pass with its bipartisan support.
City Club of Central Oregon is tackling this neglected part of healthcare.
Robin Henderson is the Chief Behavioral Health Officer at St. Charles. She says we have to make businesses realize there's a cost to not offering and encouraging mental health treatment.
"Lets start with dealing with a diabetic with undiagnosed depression and that can cost 10 to 12 times more for treatment and that 's the business case of this."
"We have to normalize it. That's one of the things that is behind some of the changes at St. Charles. I'm the Chief of Behavioral Health and part of the reason we moved to that is to elevate behavioral health so it's as common as nursing to healthcare. Behavioral health really needs to be inbedded to all the services we provide."
City Club plans to explore the local impact of lack of recognition and treatment for mental health issues.
Deschutes Basin Watermaster, Jeremy Giffin, says he's not expecting dangerous flood levels.
"I visited the homes that are prone to flooding and the flows are increasing and its working its way into yards, but they are not major. We don't anticipate this to be a major flood, however, we are still monitoring it."
Giffin belives the high river levels will be coming through Tumalo throughtout the day on Wedneday.
Sandbags are available in downtown Tumalo if homeowners need them.
The school district and teachers reached an agreement following an all nighter Monday night.
The teachers were poised to strike, but this last minute agreement avoids that.
Christine Miles is the spokeswoman for the Portland School District. She says both sides really wanted to avoid the pain of a walkout.
"When both sides, the school district and the union are willing to work, there's going to be a positive outcome. There were heated moments. It was emotional and tiring. But both sides were focused on getting a deal done and they did that."
The settlement followed ten months of negotiations and prevents a strike at the state's largest district with its nearly 50 thousand students.
The new planning principal for the district's new middle school will be Chris Boyd from North Clackamas School District.
And the current principal at LaPine Elementary, Tammy Doty, will serve as the planning principal of the new elementary school. She will be the school's principal when it opens in 2015. Both schools are slated to open in 2015.
Also, the interim principal at Bear Creek Elementary School, Anissa Wisemen, has been named the school's full time principal. She took over this school year when Matt Montoya was fired as the school's principal.
Children are allowed either a religious or medical exemption.
If school and child care vaccination records are not up to date, the child will be sent home Wednesday.
Heather Kaisner is with the Deschutes County Health Department.
"The law in Oregon is you have until February drop dead date to get shots. Many feel it shoudl be September. But with the issues of the busyness of school, they do this. But I agree. I think it should be earlier."
Deschutes County sent more than one thousand letters to parents and guardians informing them their children need immunizations to stay in school.
The next area of concern is down stream in the Tumalo area.
Deschutes Basin Watermaster, Jeremy Giffin says they are wtaching the flows closely.
"We are monitoring the situation using the stream gauging stations. We will definitely let the public know if we see anything that looks like inevitable flooding in the Tumalo area. At this point, we're still not sure the degree of flooding we can expect in the town of Tumalo."
Currently the flows are about ten times of normal.
Giffin says they should know in the next 24 to 48 hours whether any homes in Tumalo along the Deschutes River are in danger of flooding.
Judge Ann Aiken ruled last Friday that Central Oregon Landwatch failed to prove that the city and the forest service would harm the environment when putting in the pipeline for its water oorject.
City Councilor Mark Capell has been a vocal supporter of the project and is happy it can go forward.
"It's a great day for the city of Bend's water. This pipeline supplies half of the city's water, the other half comes from wells. Short term its an expensive project, but in the long term it will save the ratepayers money."
Cappell says he's heard from a lot of happy constituents.
"I've probably had 20 or 35 people give me high fives. Everyone I'm talking to is excited we can go forward on this proejct. I believe the opponents are a very vocal minority. It's nice to see people who favor the project have finally stepped up and said let's get it done."
City officials say they will move ahead with the first phase of the pipeline project this week.
The judge's decision will allow the city to coordinate the water project with work on Skyliners Road -- to save money.
Environmental group "Landwatch of Central Oregon" again sued trying to stop the project saying it would hurt the wetlands and fish and decrease the water in the Tumalo Creek.
Last year this same judge imposed an injunction to stop the project while she investigated whether it would harm the environment.
The city and Forest Service then resubmitted a new plan to meet some of Landwatch's concerns.
The two sides have been meeting in recent weeks trying to reach an agreement on going forward.
Judge Aiken instructed the two sides to continue meeting to try and work out their differences.
But her decision means that the city's water project can move forward -- especially the pipe installment that the city is trying to coordinate with the work being done on Skyliners road -- so the road won't have to be torn up twice.
49 year old Richard Gustafson was re-arrested on Friday on charges of sexual abuse involving a 9 year old girl and more than 100 counts of encouraging child sex abuse. He also faces one count of possession of a controlled substance.
These additional charges are the result of the continuing investigation following the original incident back in January involving 8 and 9 year old girls who claim they were sexually abused during a sleepover party at Acrovision.
Gustafson was lodged in the DeschutesCounty jail. His bail is currently set at one million 340-thousand dollars.
The Vatican rejected Father Radloff's appeal concerning his removal from the parish.
It also rejected a request to order Bishop Cary who removed Radloff to make public the reasons behind it.
Bishop Cary removed Father Radloff as the head of Bend's biggest parish back in October.
For parishioners like Jean Pozzi, who has been a member at St. Francis for 47 years, it's devastating.
"I'm just so sad. I would do anything to help him. He makes everyone feel so special. He would attract all kinds of people to church, non catholics coming to mass. He never wrote his sermons down. He said I guess it's just a gift from the holy spriit. He would just go out there and preach."
Fellow parishioner Joe Corley is also disappointed by the Vatican's decision.
"It stinks. I think what it says is parishioners don't have any say in their parish. That's what it tells me."
It's unclear whether Father Radloff will be assigned to another parish. That decision seems to be in the hands of Bishop Cary.
Streams and creeks in the southern part of the county are expected to flood. You can see standing water on roads and in low lying areas.
We are expecting more rain on Saturday.
Numerous roads throughout the county have standing water that make driving hazardous.
The Sheriff's Office has stockpiled sandbags at Deschutes River Woods, LaPine and the Sisters areas.
And the Deschutes County Road Department has closed Darlene Way in LaPine from Finley Butte Road to Reed Road and Reed Road to Rosland Road. The gravel road has washed out in two separate places. You are asked to avoid this area if possible. The road will remain closed until water recedes and road repairs can be made.
* Flood Warning for...
southern Deschutes County in central Oregon...
* until 10:00 am Saturday
Today...flooding was reported in and around the Sunriver area of southern Deschutes County. In addition to the melting snow...heavy rain overnight had cause water levels to increase rapidly on streams and creeks. The streams and creeks in southern Deschutes County will see flooding over the next 24 hours.
People near the creeks and streams should be alert for rising water. There will also be numerous areas of standing water on roads and in low lying areas. The light rain will be tapering off this afternoon...but another weather system will be moving through the region on Saturday with more rain and a mix of rain and snow. Snow levels will be around 6500 feet Saturday and lower to near 3500 feet on Sunday.
Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the Road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice...turn around...dont drown.
The Deschutes County Road Department has CLOSED Darlene Way in La Pine from Finley Butte Road to Reed Road and Reed Road to Rosland Road. Darlene Way, a low volume gravel road, has washed-out in two separate places.
Road closed signs have been placed. Please avoid this area if possible.
Darlene Way will remain closed until water reseeds and road repairs can be made. #
Though she personally says she's pro-life, she feels the government is overreaching on this issue.
"I believe in this country, this decision is between a woman and her doctor and a woman and her family and faith. I don't believe the government should be telling a woman what to do with personal decisions."
Dr. Wehby says as a pediatric neurosurgeon she is in the business of saving children every day, but she feels the government is in our lives too much all ready.
Wehby is one of four Republicans trying to win the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Jeff Merkley.
The judiciary committee sent the legislation to the rules committee to keep it alive, but that's what happened last year and it never went to the senate floor for a vote.
Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson opposed the legislation last time and is poised to do the same if it makes it for a vote.
Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene sponsored the bill.
"Last I heard Betsy Johnson was having difficulty supporting it, which is interesting. I'm not sure why she supports felongs having access to guns. That's been her position. That's apparently her position. She supports felons having access to guns."
Republicans think Democrats want to force senators in swing districts to take a tough vote on gun control.
Heather Kaisner is with the Deschutes County Health Department.
"The county will typically go in there -- and we did that and sent samples up to the state lab in Portland and we're waiting and we should hear back in a few days. Right now we don't believe it was from the food, so we're just waiting, we'll see."
Again, the results show the norovirus caused the illnesses.
The virus affected 40 inmates and 8 staff members. But currently, no staff or inmates are experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
His latest bill requires background checks on all private gun sales and transfers.
He says he's trying to close some of the loopholes.
"The reality is we know Oregonians support closing these loopholes so felons won't have access to guns. The latest data over the last two years shows there are 190 gun sale denials a month, where individuals failed the background checks on those transfers."
The background check legislation has to pass out of committee on Thursday to have a chance of passage.
Senator Prozanski says he's had assurances that if the committee approves the bill, it will at least get an up or down Senate floor vote.
The county is responsible for 900 miles -- and when we have a major snowstorm -- it challenges our resources.
Chris Doty, the Director of the County Road Department says they had every road crew person working to clear the roads.
"It's the first mile and last mile that is the most difficult to traverse. Generally, the main routes are open fairly quickly, but getting in and out of your house can be difficult. And we appreciate the patience people were able to give us this last weekend."
Doty says the county plows major roadways connected to county roads and state highways first. Then they plow intersections where vehicles need to stop and finally they plow residential areas.
RPA has been on the Hugh Hartman campus for a year when the school opened its 6th and 8th grade middle school program.
RPA currently has four facilities in downtown Redmond. When school officials heard the Redmddn school district could use the space to accommodate kindergarten students for a full day, they announced they would move out.
RPA will stay at the Hugh Hartman campus through the 2014-2015 school year, while they look for another facility.
• ODOT: East. Ore. - Motorists are advised to watch for high water on roads and highways throughout eastern Oregon. With warmer temperatures and rain, rapidly melting snow is creating high water hazards along some roads. Current reported high water areas on eastern Oregon highways include: OR 82 near Imbler; OR 237 southeast of Union (Pyles Canyon) MP 19-24; OR 19 northwest of Service Creek near MP 75. No eastern Oregon highways are closed due to high water at this time. Travelers should plan on possible delays and keep an eye out for potential flooding. Check TripCheck.com or call 511/800-977-6368 for update highway conditions. Outside of Oregon, call 503-588-2941. Posted: Wed. 12th, 10:51 AM
Two cross-country skiers were killed about today (Feb. 11th) in an avalanche near Little Eagle Meadows, in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia.
The area is about 10 miles northwest of Halfway.
Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said a Life Flight helicopter has been dispatched to rescue survivors, but the helicopter can't get any closer than about a half-mile away from the scene.
Members of the Panhandle Snowmobile Club are en route to the scene as well, per Sheriff Southwick.
A total of eight people were skiing together when the avalanche hit. In addition to the two who were killed, two were seriously injured and four were not hurt.
The two people injured apparently suffered broken bones, Southwick said.
He said the skiers apparently were clients of a Joseph company, Wallowa Alpine Huts, Ski Outfitters that conducts wilderness ski tours. Southwick said one survivor apparently used a cell phone to report the avalanche.
The skiers, who were from the Seattle area, were on a guided multi-day trip, according to Connelly Brown, the owner of Wallowa Alpine Huts Ski Outfitters.
Brown said an unconfirmed report that a woman suffered two broken legs, and a man had one broken leg.
Wallowa Alpine Huts offers ski tours in the Southern Wallowas that include overnight accommodations in a yurt as well as the historic Schneider Cabin.
The Oregon National Guard has dispatched a helicopter, as well as Idaho Nation Guard.
The Associated Press is reporting that weather is hampering the current rescue from yesterday's Avalanche in Baker County.
Here is the news release from the Baker County Sheriff's office:
Todd Andres came from Klamath Falls, where he used to run a Jeld Wen resort there.
He brings a lot of experience turning around troubled organizations in the resort industry.
"When I came here during my interview process I told them, if you're looking for someone to manage your pool, I'm not your guy. But if you're looking for someone to run multiple offerings and make it a stronger recreational dsitrict, then I might be a good fit. And they agreed and that's why I moved up here to Madras."
Andres was selected from a large pool of applicants. He stood out for his management and financial experience.
He plans to expand the flag football, basketball, softball and soccer programs at the MAC.
Many parts of central Oregon saw two feet of snow -- and we're not done.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mary Wister says more precipitation is on the way.
"Things are starting to warm up, but the problem is we're going to get more moisture. It will be snow in the higher elevations, but it's going to be wet and messy in these places that saw two feet of snow, mainly in the form of rain."
And all this snow and rain will help with our snowpack, but not as much as we need.
Before the storm, most places in Oregon were less than half of normal. The Upper Deschutes Crooked Basin snowpack level near Bend was around 37 percent.
The latest recipient of a five year tax break is Deschutes Brewery. The city council just gave their approval to the deal last week.
Bend's business advocate Carolyn Eagan say these tax abatements really help local employment.
"Enterprise zones really are an effective tool to use in Oregon and have a strong link to employment. It's one of the strongest links to creating jobs and we don't enter into an agreement with these businesses lightly."
Deschutes Brewery qualified for the tax break because it's beginning a 46 million dollar expansion that will be adding 15 new jobs that will pay at least $55-thousand dollars.
Typically these enterprise zones offer three year abatements on local taxes, but they can get an additional two years if the employers meet certain salary standards for new jobs created.
John Hummel, who is running for D.A. says there have been four former employees who have sued the county for unfair firings -- and it's cost the county a lot of money.
"Three years Patrick's been in office and he's mismanaged 1.4 million dollars and that's not including Sharon Sweet which we expect will cost $300,000 to $400,000 dollars. I just think about what we could have used that money for. It's been unfortunate it's been squandered on Patrick's mismangement."
Sharon Sweet was a former investigator who sued Flaherty for discriminating against her and wrongly firing her.
The election for D.A. will be decided on May 20th.
Our region is home to seven of the state's nine destination resorts -- and many struggled during the economic downturn.
Regonal economist Damon Runberg says these type of jobs pay more than the typical service sector positions.
"So they have a huge impact. These resorts pay significantly more than tourism because of the real estate jobs, so they pay better than tourism recreation type jobs. And if this trend continues I expect we wil be back to pre recession levels in the next year or so."
Destination resorts like Tetherow and Pronghorn are building new hotels and Black Butte Ranch is redesigning its lodge and pool.
Heavy snowfall has blanketed all of Deschutes County leading to hazardous driving conditions. Some roadways are impassable for most vehicles. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to forgo travel plans and stay off the roadways. Please allow road crews to get the roads clear to ensure safe travel.
Emergency Services (law enforcement, fire, and EMS) are prepared to respond to emergencies and have enacted contingency plans to ensure response. Road conditions may slow the response, but we will respond to emergencies. Deschutes County is coordinating with all local cities and emergency responders to ensure that critical services are being provided.
Deschutes County Emergency Management offers the following tips for winter storms:
Stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary.
If you must travel, be sure you have a vehicle emergency kit including blankets, food, water, shovel, tire chains, and extra clothing.
Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need assistance.
Dig out your address marker and any fire hydrants near your home.
Ensure storm drains are clear to prevent localized flooding due to snow melt.
Ensure you have your 72 Hour kit available to meet your family’s needs for 3 days.
Police say the victim was a student and no one else was injured.
The school was in lockdown during the afternoon as police investigated the incident, but no students or staff were in any danger.
At the end of the school day at 2:35, students will be escorted out of the building by wing to their cars or busess. Parents can pick up their students at the Presbyterian Church on 9th Street. The Bend High campus will remain closed to vistors through the weekend.
The school district is making counselors available to people tomorrow (Sat) at Bear Creek Elementary School from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.
Bend Police are reporting that Bend High School is under lockdown. They say the incident at the school involves a shooting- but there is currently no active shooter present. and no outstanding suspects.
Bend Police also says that 9-1-1 dispatchers have been flooded with calls and are asking the public to stop calling 9-1-1.
From the school district: - "Emergency services and law enforcement are on-site and information is limited. Police report that there is no further danger to students or staff at the school, we will give you an update when more information becomes available."
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for most of central Oregon -- that will go through Friday morning. They are warning of 4 to 12 inches of snow -- with higher amounts expected above 35-hundered feet.
Meteorologist Vince Papol is with the National Weather Service and he says another storm is headed our way.
"There is potential for significant snowfall accumulation with this second system Friday night into Saturday. That's in the forecast and there is the potential to issue more advisories or warnings."
Drivers should stay up on the forecast and be prepared for treacherous highways in the area for the rest of the week.
Meteorolgoist Steve Pierce says the Portland area saw six inches of snow and it was still coming overnight.
He says they're even breaking records.
"Portland will have had the coldest daytime high this late in the season since 1933, so since February 9th, 1933, when the high was 23 degrees. It has stood for 81 years. And the strongest snow storm and arctic blast in 25 years since the 1989 arctic blast."
Pierce says traffic came to a standstill on area highways when schools let out and businesses closed because of the snow Thursday afternoon.
He will soon be the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
His legislation to get more revenue to 18 O & C counties by increasing logging was the focus of his last energy hearing.
The Wyden bill is trying to strike a balance between Oregon's priorities with the federal government managing these area's federal lands.
"By doubling the harvest of the last decade, these communities can save jobs and create more. By assuring future harvests we can give employers confidence to grow their businesses and provide more good paying jobs."
Wyden's plan increases logging to sustainable levels to boost revenues to these struggligng rural counties.
The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station will assess local climate risks like drought and wildfire and come up with plans to deal with them.
The past three years have brought some of the most severe weather and fires our nation has seen.
Bill Hohenstein is the Director of Climate Change at the USDA.
He says water shortage will be an important focus.
"Looking at long term water availability, one of the concerns for the Pacfic Northwest is we're seeing more precipitation in the form of rain rather than snow pack. And as a region that relies on snowpack that is threatened by climate change. And farmers needs to find better ways to manage and store water different from snowpack."
The USDA selected seven cliamte hubs around the country. The other hubs are located in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act is the largest food safety udpate in this country in 70 years.
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that heard testimony.
"I know when I met with onion growers they were pointing out that field to field could be radically different and it wasn't even manageable. I was talking with one of the growers that told me in 100 years, they had never had a salmonella outbreak and I thought that was a pretty good sample if doing analysis of risk."
In November, Walden met with researchers and onion growers at Oregon State's Malhuer County experiment station to learn about their research into food safety rules the FDA is developing.
He will participate in a Bend Chamber debate on March 4th with his opponent John Hummel, a former Bend City Councilor and criminal attorney.
City Club requested Flaherty participate in a debate in April and he said no.
Flaherty claims he hasn't hired a campaign manager or set up a campaign website. He says he'll do that when someone qualified runs against him for D.A.
Hummel doesn't appreciate the dig.
"Well, I think that's what the community is sick and tired of from him, that so called "snide" leadership form him. I haven't referred to him in those terms. He's qualified and I'm qualified. We each have different strengths and weaknesses. I'm disappointed with that comment, but unfortunately that's par for the course with him."
KBND is also trying to arrange a debate between Flaherty and Hummel.
Nationally, SNAP will be cutting 8.5 billion from the program by mainly changing the "Heat and Eat" program.
Scott Cooper, the head of Neighbor Impact says they knew the funding wouldn't continue at the same level as during the great recession.
"We should see some fall off in demand as the economic conditions improve. Unfortunately, rural areas like in central Oregon recover slower than urban areas like Portland. But at some point we need to slide back. We can't continue at this level of investment forever."
To offset the cuts to the "Heat and Eat" program, the farm bill allocates at extra 200 millon to food banks to soften the blow.
In Oregon, the food bank expects to receive 54 million dollars less next year.
It imposes a more hefty fine for landowners who don't keep their noxious weeds under control.
Deschutes County Forester Ed Keith says he's already gotten feedback.
"We have heard from people. We've received eight or nine emails, folks on both sides. Folks who are supportive of more enforcement of weeds and then folks who really want to make sure it's not just the heavy hand of enforcement but taking the time to educate people."
The public hearing will be at 10 A.M. Wednesday morning in the Deschutes Services building.
The group has been working with an interim director for the last six months, after the past director and several board members quit over the Board President living in subsidized veterans housing.
Retired Navy Officer Jerry Hollis is the new Executive Director of COVO.
"It was a tough time for us. Quite honestly, COVO was at a crossroads. It would have gone either way, but if we went under it would have been bad for central Oregon and for the veterans. I'm dealing with it. I've got fences to mend.
Hollis says the board is back to full capacity and he welcomes those who left over the housing flap, to come back.
The Dow fell 326 points -- droppping two percentage points.
It was the worst drop in seven months.
Financial Advisor Tyler Simonis with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management say we were due.
"So the market is down six percent from the highs at the end of last year. But it wouldn't surprise me if the market sold off another six percent. We haven't had a ten percent fall in over two years and historically we have a correction once a year."
Weak reports on U.S. manufacturing and construction spending prompted more concerns about the economy.
22 year old Tyelr Pierce was killed in the accident.
Three people were riding in the Polaris Ranger 900 when it overturned and came to rest on its top.
The driver of the vehicle, Mason Stafford was taken to the hospital, but refused treatment. He was arrested, but has since posted bond.
And two people were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 20 near Suttle Lake Friday afternoon.
61 year old Bruce Sirnio of Salem was driving an SUV that crossed the center line and hit a pickup driven by 42 year old Andrew Deverna of Newberg. Both drivers were killed. A passenger in the truck suffered non life threatening injuries.
It will be located at the state capitol at the corner of Cottage and State Streets.
Veterans advocate Dick Tobiason says Oreogn was one of six states without a memorial --but no more.
"So, Oregon finally is going to dedicate (a memoiral) to the 156-thousand veterans in World War Two -- almost 70 years after D Day and 69 years after the end of World War Two. Most of the World War Two veterans are gone. Oregon had 156-thousand, but its now down to 28 thousand."
The memorial is expected to be completed by June 6th -- the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The World War Two Memorial Foundation raised the more than one million dollars to build the memorial.
She is one of three commissioners and has been in the post since 2007.
Baney says the region is just beginning ot show signs of recovery and she has more work to do.
She serves in several positions on state commissions involving transportation, housing and healthcare.
"Well, it's an old adage, if you aren't at the table, you're on the menu. And Deshcutes County has no place on the menu. We need to be front and center in the conversation, so whatever is changing at the state, work wells with who we're serving at the local level."
Baney is pledging to invest in public safety and roads as well as removing barriers to busienss expansions.
So far Baney has no opponent. The election is May 20th.
Shane Gardner, his girlfriend Caitlin and his 5 and 6 year old sons Adam and Aaron will call this new house home.
For Shane, it's kind of overwhelming.
"It means the world for us. My girlfriend and two boys have been sharing a bedroom at my Mom's house for two years. We've been denied rentals because of our large dogs and our rental history, so this is huge, huge life changing event for us."
The Gardner famiyl applird for the home and COVO makes the decision based on need.
They will pay COVO reduced rental rate for the housing.