Local News Archives for 2016-04

Two Shot in John Day Altercation

JOHN DAY, OR -- Two people were shot and wounded during an altercation at the John Day Trailer Park, just before 11 p.m. Thursday.


According to the Grant County District Attorney's Office, 32-year-old Christopher Woodell was flown by Life Flight to St. Charles Bend in critical condition.; 35-year-old Eric Towers was taken by ambulance to John Day Hospital where he was treated and released. 


A suspect has been interviewed and the investigation is ongoing. Multiple agencies are assisting, including Oregon State Police, John Day PD and the Grant County Sheriff's Office. 

Redmond PD Offers Virtual Ride Along

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police will conduct a "virtual ride-along" on Facebook and Twitter, Friday afternoon. One officer will post "near real-time" updates as he responds to calls, conducts investigations and makes traffic stops. The unique opportunity is part of an effort by the department to share a "typical day" with the public.


In a statement issued by Redmond Police, Lt. Keith Knight said, "Since not everyone has the ability to go out on a real ride-along in a patrol vehicle, RPD will bring the ride-along to everyone."


Those who follow Redmond Police on Facebook and Twitter will begin receiving updates at noon. The virtual ride-along will last until about midnight, and will be split between day shift and night shift officers. Another officer will draft posts and take pictures, possibly even sharing short videos.


Exact details of an incident won't be disclosed, nor will the names of those involved. 

Sisters City Manager Resigns

SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors voted unanimously, Thursday night, to accept the resignation of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb, who had been on paid administrative leave for the last two months. 


City officials have declined to say why he was placed on leave, only to say it was due to employee complaints that were not financial, physical or sexual in nature. The results of an investigation conducted by the city's insurance company has not been made public. In a written statement, Gorayeb declined to accept disciplinary measures that could’ve kept him on the job. 
Councilors voted 4-to-1 for a severance package which includes a 12-month salary and a neutral letter of recommendation for future employment. The city also agreed not to take a stand if Gorayeb files for unemployment.
City officials are expected to meet today to determine whether an interim City Manager is needed. 

Red Cross Offers Free Smoke Alarms

BEND, OR -- The American Red Cross will install free smoke alarms in Bend, Saturday. The local event is part of a nationwide campaign to help reduce the risk of home fire. 


Volunteers will begin installing smoke detectors at 9:30 a.m. in neighborhoods near the Bend Red Cross office on Southwest Bond. They’ll spread out across Bend until 3 p.m., visiting those who sign up for help. 
To make an appointment, call 541-749-4144 or visit the Red Cross website.

Crook Co. Jail Construction Bond Considered

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County voters will likely be asked in November to approve a construction bond for a new jail. After a year of research and discussions, a citizen committee submitted a recommendation to a joint city and county meeting earlier this week, for a new 70-bed facility.


Read more about the work done by the citizen committee


County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren says the specific amount of the project, and subsequent bond request, is still up in the air. "If we can keep this number down to a basic jail, and not try to build the Taj Mahal, and do just what it is that we need and nothing more – and that would mean we would still utilize our police department in its location, we would also use our Sheriff’s Department in its location. We would tie the two in this area together with the jail so those other services don’t have to be replicated or changed, and we would have the jail space that we need."
Fahlgren tells KBND News a new facility would end the current contract to rent 25 beds at the Jefferson County Jail. "Today we have, between those 25 beds and the 16 that we have, we then have 41 beds; we’re showing that we need between 67 and 80 beds, through the research we’ve done. So, this jail will be a 70-bed jail, with the ability to double bunk or add to it, as we need space." Ending that rental agreement would save Crook County about $700,000 a year. Fahlgren says that money would be used to operate the new facility. He also notes there would be additional time and money savings when deputies and officers can stop transporting prisoners to Madras.
The committee recommended moving forward with designing a new facility and asking voters to approve a bond measure. "They looked at many sites and decided that it would be best to leave it very close to where the jail is today. And, we have some space here, between the city and the county," Fahlgren says. "Again, it would be a partnership for us to, as an in-kind from the city, closing a street and using county space as well as a city parking lot to generate a large enough block that we could use this in that same location." 
Fahlgren expects financial analysis and design work to be completed in about a month, after which time the construction amount could be determined. 

Survey Reveals Support for Rural Pot Grows

BEND, OR -- A new poll of Deschutes County voters shows a majority favor allowing marijuana growers in unincorporated areas. The phone poll was conducted by California-Based research firm FM3. According to Amy Margolis, with Oregon Cannabis Association, 400 people participated in the survey, last week. "We hired a professional polling company to go out and do this kind of outreach because we wanted to let the Commissioners know what was happening and how the voters feel about this issue," Margolis tells KBND News. "And so, even though we paid for it, this was not something that we did on our own. We hired a sophisticated company who does these, who's nonpartisan; and the results reflect that."


She says they asked two questions. The first: "As you may know, in 2014 Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for adults to use in Oregon. Do you approve or disapprove of this law?" Margolis says, "When Ballot Measure 91 passed, it passed by 51.8%. Now, you can see that the total number who approve has actually jumped up almost two points to 53%."


According to the results, 32% "strongly approve," the other 21% "somewhat approve." Of those who oppose it, 11% "somewhat disapprove" and 31% "strongly disapprove" of M91. Five-percent responded they didn't know.


Deschutes County Commissioners temporarily opted out of allowing grow operations in unincorporated areas, in December. They're expected to decide next week whether to lift the ban and impose regulations or continue to opt out and send the issue to voters in November. Margolis says, "When you look at the second question, people feel very strongly that they want to see the Board of Commissioners implement rules."


In that second question (pictured above), respondents were asked to choose which of two statements come closest to their opinion. Of the 400 polled, 61% said they agree with: "Some people say that the voting public in Deschutes County approved Measure 91 legalizing marijuana, and now it is the responsibility of the County Commissioners to establish reasonable regulations for marijuana businesses to operate." Another 28% agreed with: "Other people say even though legal marijuana is the law in Oregon, voters did not understand what they were voting for and the County Commissioners should refer a measure to Deschutes County so people can vote on it again." The final nine-percent did not know which to choose.


County Commissioners are expected to announce their decision on the issue May fourth.

Wyden Urges Better Wildfire Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) continues to push for a fix to how the federal government funds wildfire prevention and suppression efforts. He spoke on the Senate floor yesterday, again urging for passage of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act he says would end the cycle of underfunding. "The wildfire season raging across our forests and special places is no longer limited to a single time of the year. Fighting fires has become a continuous battle virtually year round, throughout the country."


Senator Wyden acknowledged similar failed attempts in recent years, but says he won’t give up. He called the early start to this year’s fire season in the west "a wake-up call," saying, "To understand how important it is to fix this broken system of fighting fire, because the funding system for doing so is leading to dysfunction throughout the Forest Service and contributing to the breakdown of national forest management that is needed to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the first place."


The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), aims to end the current practice of borrowing from prevention funds to pay for fighting the nation’s largest fires, treating them instead as natural disasters. "It is time for the Congress to find a solution to ensure, one: that wildfires can be fought, and two: to control the costs of fighting these wildfires by better preparing our forests and making them healthier." A similar effort failed to pass Congress, last year. 

GOP Senate Hopeful Carpenter Endorses Trump

BEND, OR -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Bend businessman Sam Carpenter announced Wednesday he is endorsing Donald Trump for President. He issued a statement explaining why he thinks Trump can turn things around: 

"Whether its immigration and the refusal to close the borders, or the bad trade deals rubber stamped and fast-tracked through Congress, Wyden and Obama have been working against Oregon workers. And, it's high time we had a President and a Senator who will fight for jobs for Oregonians rather than for jobs for the Chinese or for illegal immigrants."


Carpenter says Americans are tired of career politicians and are ready for an outsider to fix the problems in Washington, D.C.

Drug Detectives Search for Wanted Fugitive

BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement are looking for a transient with an outstanding fugitive warrant, following a car chase, earlier this week. The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team attempted to arrest 35-year-old Ryan Fischer-Salt as he left a home near Hunnel and Tumalo Road.


Police say he was a passenger in the car that took off at high speeds. A mile away, Fischer-Salt ran from the car. The driver, 26-year-old Benjamin Richardson of Redmond was arrested and officers discovered Fischer-Salt’s 3-year-old child in the back seat. The Department of Human Services took custody of the child. 

Fischer-Salt remains at large.

Alfalfa House Fire Leads to Drug Bust

ALFALFA, OR -- Detectives discovered a large illegal marijuana grow operation while investigating a fire that destroyed an Alfalfa manufactured home, Tuesday afternoon. According to the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, one grow inside the home was destroyed by the fire, but they found a second operation in a detached shed on the Elk Lane property. They also seized evidence of butane honey oil (BHO) manufacturing from a second detached shed; neither structure was damaged by the blaze. 


Officers arrested 23-year-old Autumn Averette (pictured), Wednesday morning. Her roommates, 28-year-old Lauren Todd and 34-year-old Alexander Lioulios are wanted for questioning. 

The cause of the fire was preliminarily ruled "accidental."
Previous information:
An Alfalfa-area home was destroyed by fire, Tuesday afternoon. The Red Cross is helping the one person affected with temporary lodging and recovery services. 
The blaze was reported just before 12:30 p.m. on Elk Lane. Flames were prevented from spreading to neighboring homes thanks to efforts by Alfalfa's new fire chief and neighbors. 


Prineville Man Charged in Crash

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man faces charges after a crash Tuesday night on O'Neil Highway in Crook County. Investigators say 20-yearo-old Noel Solis, Jr. failed to negotiate a curve, crashed through a fence and brought his pickup to a rest in a field.


He had two juveniles with him at the time; all were evaluated by medics and refused further treatment. Solis is charged with Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief. He was also cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and having an open container.

Pot Supporters Push for Rural Grows

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners have a tough decision, next week. Commissioners are expected to decide on May fourth whether or not to continue to ban marijuana grow operations in unincorporated areas. They elected to temporarily opt out of allowing outdoor grows in December, while a Marijuana Advisory Committee discussed possible regulations.


Matt Cyrus, head of the Deschutes County Farm Bureau, was part of the 13-member committee. He says it was evenly split with supporters and the opposition. He sees pot purely as a crop that should be legal to grow. “For example, I voted against Measure 91 that would’ve legalized it. I’ve never tried it, I don’t have an interest in recreational marijuana. However, from an agricultural standpoint, it’s now legal and Deschutes County’s farmers should have the right to raise it.”


He tells KBND the group reached agreement on the biggest issues. “We were able to reach consensus on mitigation on nuisances such as odor, noise and light – which are the primary nuisance issues. Issues such as setbacks, minimum lot sizes certainly don’t come into play as much.” 


OreGrown co-owner Hunter Neubauer was also on the MAC and agrees County Commissioners need to lift the ban, instead of sending it to voters in November. “Kicking the can down the line is not what it seems like; by not acting, it’s not going to provide political cover. It is very clearly saying who they support and why they support it.”


Several members of the MAC also belong to the group Preserve Rural Deschutes, which opposes marijuana grows. “The reason that it became so, unfortunately, one way at the end, as far as the proceedings of the committee were going, was because there was no reasonable approach from the opposition,” Neubauer tells KBND. “We tried extremely hard again and again and again to say, ‘Hey look, we’re willing to go above and beyond what we know is reasonable, and let us remind you again, we are talking about Exclusive Farm Use.’”


Click HERE to learn more about the opposition's take on MAC negotiations. 

Unusual Primary Race for OR Secretary of State

BEND, OR -- Ballots start going out Wednesday for the May primary, and it’s an unusual one for the state. Thanks to Former Governor John Kitzhaber’s resignation, Oregonians will decide on a Governor and Secretary of State in a Presidential election year.  


KBND political analyst and former State Representative Jason Conger (R-Bend) says Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins was likely appointed a year ago because she had no aspirations to run for the office. "Having some continuity, not having an election right away, but then allowing other Democrats. And, of course, the result is there are three legitimate, strong candidates, each of them." In Oregon, Secretary of State is first in the line of succession behind  Governor.
Judy Stiegler, a former Democratic State Representative for Bend, says on the Democrat's side of the race, Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin and Val Hoyle need to set themselves apart. "They all talk about the Audits Division, which is an important part – it’s not a sexy part. They talk about the elections and things like that, but I think they all have different approaches to the office. I think a lot of it’s going to be a matter of how well they can articulate those distinctions."
Conger says, while Labor Commissioner Avakian benefits from statewide name recognition, State Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) is also a strong candidate. "His knowledge will have an impact, I think, in making the audit division a lot more effective. There’s the election side of it, that I think is very important to every voter; the audit division is more focused on looking at waste, looking at opportunities to be more efficient spending our tax dollars within state agencies." Hoyle is a Democratic State Representative for West Eugene/Junction City.
For the Republicans, Conger believes Dennis Richardson has a very good chance at the GOP nomination, against Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken. "Just the existence of name recognition is difficult to overcome, unless you have a very well-funded campaign. He was a very legitimate contender for Governor, he’s got a lot of good experience. He’s a very attractive candidate and, most likely, he’ll win."

Missing Crook County Teens Found

RENTON, WA -- Two 16-year-olds reported as runaways from the Prineville area were found Tuesday evening at a Renton, Washington Walmart store. Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office had asked for the public's help in finding the pair, after they hadn't been heard from in several weeks.


Lance Stanley's guardian reported him as a runaway March 23, at the same time his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported by her mother. Investigators believed they might have been with Catina Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but was believed to now be in Renton. 

The teens were taken to the King County Youth Detention Center pending transfer back to Oregon. According to police, more information came out after they were taken into custody indicating further investigation will follow.

La Pine to Consider Indoor Pot Grow Rules

LA PINE, OR -- La Pine's Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, to create recommendations for marijuana grow operations in the industrial park. City Councilors chose to allow commercial grow operations in industrial areas, but they need to set rules for growers. 


Interim City Manager Rick Allen says there has been a lot of interest in La Pine because land is cheaper than in Bend, and there is still uncertainty about whether Deschutes County will continue to opt out of allowing grows in unincorporated areas. "So, now that it would be legal in the industrial park, we need to set some rules that people must follow, if they're going to build. We have had numerous inquiries over the last six months, from people wanting to look into that."


Allen tells KBND News, "What we lacked were measures that would make sure we didn't get hoop houses and some of the other, more flimsy structures like greenhouses that would blow around - we didn't want those. If we're going to have a commercial growing operation in an industrial park, we have the proper protections in there to make sure that the building meets snow and wind loads and requires a building permit."


The Planning Commission will make recommendations to the City Council this week. Councilors are expected to act on them, next week.



Search Underway for Crook Co. Runaways

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office are working together to find a pair of 16-year-old runaways who haven't been heard from in several weeks. Lance Stanley's guardian contacted Prineville PD to report him as a runaway March 23; at the same time, his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported to CCSO as a runaway by her mother.


Investigators believe the couple may be hiding out with Catina (Tina) Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but may now be in Renton, Washington. Numerous tips have placed the teens in Seattle, Renton and various locations in Oregon. 
Stanley is 5'5", 125 lbs with brown eyes and curly brown hair. Tavernia is also 5'5", 100 pounds with blue eyes and shoulder-length hair. She has been known to have various hair colors. 
While both have juvenile probation warrants on unrelated issues, law enforcement say their primary concern is for their welfare and safe return home. There is no evidence of foul play, but they say all avenues of investigation are being considered. 
Anyone with information is asked to contact Prineville PD Det. Brandin Noland or Sgt. Monroe at 541-447-4168, or Sgt. Bill Elliott with CCSO at 541-447-6398.

Still No Decision on Sisters City Manager

SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors met again Monday morning to discuss the employment of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb. But, once again, they left without making a public announcement as to his future. Gorayeb was placed on paid administrative leave at the end of February, after several complaints from city employees. Officials have declined to provide specifics.


Sisters business owner Chris Wilder was at City Hall, hopeful to get an update. "They don't have all their 'T's crossed and 'I's dotted. I know in past things from my corporate life, and from a human resources standpoint, they want to make sure that everything is all in place, I guess. And, I'm assuming from all this, that that's what happened."


Wilder is the President of the Sisters Chamber board, and tells KBND News he hopes, for the community's sake, a final decision comes soon. "My understanding from afterwards is that Thursday evening, at the Council meeting, there's supposed to be a decision; they're hoping to have a decision at that point. For the community, I was hoping there would be some resolution. I was kind of disappointed there was no resolution, but I know it's a very, very tenuous situation for all involved. I'm sure they're doing the right thing." He adds, "That's the hard part about it, we're in the dark here in the community. That's appropriate only for the Council members, and insurance companies and attorneys to deal with it, but from the outside it seems like it's been a slow process. Knowing several of the Councilors personally, I know they're doing a heck of a job trying to make sure they're doing the right decision. Everybody, I think, in town wants resolution to this."


Gorayeb has been City Manager in Sisters for two years. 


Funds Needed for Redmond Merry-Go-Round

REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Kiwanis Club is once again raising money for play equipment at Sam Johnson Park, six months after “Hope Playground” first opened to the public. Redmond Parks Division Manager Annie McVay says a fully accessible merry-go-round was part of the original design. "As we got into construction the project kind of grew and this one piece, we couldn’t fund it initially, so we intended to make this – we’re calling it phase 1.5, is to finish the merry go round and get that in place." She says there is already a space reserved.


But, the Kiwanis Club still doesn't have the money for the feature. "It’s actually a pretty expensive piece of equipment; it’s about $55,000. It ships from Germany. So, they’re looking at funding the whole thing and then the city would install it – pay for the installation costs of that," McVay tells KBND News. "It’s a pretty big price tag so we don’t have necessarily a deadline or a timeframe, we’re just hoping to see what we get."


This special merry-go-round, just like the rest of Hope Playground, is for kids of all ages and all abilities. "It’s flush to the ground, so it’ll be flush, centered set in the flooring itself, so there’s no lip and no curb. If you were in a wheelchair, you could roll directly onto it, or if you have other mobility issues, it’s really easy to get onto the merry-go-round. Then, it swirls in place."
A Go-Fund-Me page for the project has raised a little over $300, so far.

Wanted Man Arrested After Redmond Chase

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police arrested a man wanted for a warrant out of Clackamas county, following an early morning pursuit. An officer spotted a Toyota Corolla with a stolen license plate, near NE 9th and Hemlock. When attempting a traffic stop at about 4:20 a.m., the car sped onto northbound Highway 97.


Police say the chase continued through the Tetherow area towards Eagle Crest. But, pursuing officers lost the car near 74th and SW Eagle Dr. A short time later, a resident reported an unoccupied vehicle off the roadway, with an open door and running engine. 


A K-9 unit eventually located 28-year-old Kendall Hickman inside a barn a few hundred yards away from the car. The Redmond man was taken into custody without incident. He's charged with Felony Elude, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Driving While Suspended and an out of county warrant. 


When officers recovered the stolen plates from the car, they learned the Toyota was recently reported stolen from the Redmond area. 




Kendall Hickman, Clackamas County Mugshot

Councilors Consider Municipal Hydro Project

BEND, OR -- Bend city officials are exploring opportunities to get involved with generating hydroelectric power within the municipal water system. City Manager Eric King says there’s already some infrastructure that lends itself to a hydro-project. "So, we’ve got water storage tanks up on Aubrey Butte and Overturf Butte. So, as the water comes down into town from those storage tanks, there’s gravity and energy, and so we would like to capture that energy and generate electric power and, as a result, the potential revenue source, as well." He tells KBND News that revenue could range from a couple hundred thousand to a million dollars.


City Councilors discussed the idea last week, after hearing potential concepts from Energy Trust of Oregon and an Energy Service Company (ESCo) that could help get a project off the ground. King says it is still early in the process and more fiscal analysis is needed. One of the things Councilors are considering is how to mitigate costs. "Bring somebody on so you really minimize that upfront cost; they’ll handle that for you. And then, as the revenue comes in from that project, a portion goes to the third party that built the hydro, then eventually there’s a payback. That type of analysis, that financial analysis will be something that we’ll be doing over the next couple of months." That analysis will be done over the next couple of months. 

Local Civil Air Patrol Train for Cascadia Quake

BEND, OR -- The High Desert Civil Air Patrol Squadron conducted a training at the Bend Airport, over the weekend, in preparation for a major quake and tsunami. Bend acted as the incident command post, as the group practiced how they would react to the massive devastation that may come with the predicted Cascadia event. 


During the all-day exercise, the group used HF and VHF radios to communicate with other units across the state. They also launched aircraft to act as a relay between the Bend base and other units. 
In a major quake, Bend units would be responsible for establishing communication with other parts of the state, conduct search and rescue operations and report on the extent of damage to infrastructure.

Pigs Destroyed in Redmond-Area Fire

REDMOND, OR -- Two pigs died in a fire southwest of Redmond, late Sunday night. Firefighters responded to the SW Harvest Ave home just before midnight. They discovered a fully involved shed fire, extending to nearby Juniper trees.


Redmond Fire officials say part of the shed had been converted to a temporary shelter for the owner's daughter to house her 4-H Swine project. 


The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Coalition Fights for Consistent River Flows

BEND, OR --- The Coalition For the Deschutes feels the region could do more to restore consistent flows to the Upper Deschutes River Basin. It's believed varying water flows harm the threatened spotted frog.


Gail Snyder is board president of the group. She recently told The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings, "There's enough water, we can have water for fish and farms and families. We need short-term, immediate solutions to resolve the problem with the extreme high and low flows that are impacting the river ecology; we need some intermediary solutions and we need some longer term."


The Coalition has worked for more than 30 years to restore flows and would like to see fewer irrigation swings from the Wickiup Dam that can lead to both high and low river flows. Snyder believes local irrigation districts are ready to act. "I do think they're willing to cooperate. I think they need the public to both support them and give them a good nudge, and say, 'guys, we know that change is hard, but it's time. This is everybody's river. If we want a sustainable future for all of us, then we have to change.'"


Click HERE to listen to the full Sourcecast.


Two Hurt by Gunfire, Three Charged in NW Bend

BEND, OR -- Two people were hurt and three face charges, after shots were fired during a fight in Northwest Bend, early Saturday morning. According to Bend Police, a group of five people were walking near NW 15th and Newport and got into a verbal – then physical – dispute with three men at a house, just before 3 a.m. 


During the fight, Walker Henneke (pictured left) allegedly went into his house and returned with an AK-47 assault rifle. Investigators say he fired several shots, hitting Erik Menezes and Blake Blevins in the lower body. 
CERT units used gas to force Philip True, Maxwell Haldeman and Henneke out of the home. They all face charges in connection with the incident. The rifle was later found in a neighboring backyard. 

Henneke is charged with Attempted Murder, Tampering with Evidence and Reckless Endangering, among others. True (right) is also lodged at the jail, charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Probation Violation and Disorderly Conduct. Haldeman was cited for Disorderly Conduct and ordered to appear in court. 

Trump Opens Oregon Campaign Offices

TIGARD, OR -- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is doubling down in Oregon by opening two campaign offices, this week. His first opened Wednesday in Eugene, the second on Thursday in Tigard.


This is the first Republican candidate to open offices in Oregon ahead of the Primary on May 17. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders already have offices in the state. Sanders is the only one with a Central Oregon campaign office. 

Advocates Lobby to Keep Pot Grows Out

BEND, OR -- Since Deschutes County Commissioners formed a Marijuana Advisory Committee several months ago, the 13-member group has tackled possible restrictions on outdoor marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. But, after 26 hours of meetings, member Sam Davis says they haven't found much to agree on. "A lot has been made about the rights of the marijuana industry, but our rural residents have rights, too. We've spent far more investing in our homes than the marijuana industry will ever invest in their properties. It's been estimated by one of the anti-marijuana activists on the other side of the mountains that one facility impacts 16-20 residential homes." He says nine committee members were affiliated with the pot industry, four were against allowing outdoor grows.


Member Liz Lotochinski tells KBND News she hopes Commissioners continue to ban the operations. "The County Commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to all of the citizens of Deschutes County, not just those that are involved in this industry. And, I hope that they take seriously that responsibility and look at what risks, issues and impacts will be afforded to those individuals living next to those potential marijuana grows." She doesn't think this is what voters intended when they passed Measure 91. "The state lawmakers took Measure 91 and hoodwinked the voters by identifying marijuana as a crop, and affording it all the protections that it gets by being a crop by Oregon's Right to Farm laws. That means, neighbors can't sue for nuisance impacts. It has all the rights associated with any other farming crop, but it's not like any other farming crop."


Deschutes County Commissioners are expected to make a decision May fourth. If they continue to opt out, voters would decide the future of the ban in November. Or, they could agree to allow outdoor pot grows in rural areas, with certain restrictions. 

Bend Councilors Discuss Abandoned Car Policy

BEND, OR -- Complaints about people living in cars in neighborhoods had the Bend City Council questioning policy, this week. Police Chief Jim Porter reviewed for Councilors the process of tagging a vehicle parked in a residential area more than five days. Seven days later, if the vehicle is still there, it is tagged for towing. Seven days after that, it's supposed to be towed. “A realistic side or humanistic side of that is, this is in fact their residence. And we do try to avoid seizing these vehicles. Because if we seize them we make them homeless.” Balancing the idea of taking what essentially could be someone's home and addressing resident complaints were discussed. 


Councilor Victor Chudowski argued the timeframe provided to move cars should be shortened. “They’re not complaining about the fact that that person is homeless. The specific complaint is that these people are parked, they’re living in front of my house for too long. And that’s a very simple, it seems to be, to address. If it is five-days narrow it down to three.” 
After discussion, however, there was not enough support on the Council to change the timeframe, so the current policy remains in place.

Bachelor to Install New East Side Chairlift

BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor’s parent company Powdr Corp. announced Thursday plans to install a new chairlift for the 2016-17 ski season. Interim General Manager John McLeod says the $6 million project will result in the mountain’s first new chairlift in 20 years. "The last time we opened a brand new chairlift that provided access to new terrain was in 1996. But, in 2006, we replaced the Pine Marten lift in its current alignment with all new terminals and drive equipment, so that was the most recent major lift investment."

The Cloudchaser lift will run up the east side of the ski hill, which McLeod says provides greater protection during storms, and increases the resort's total skiable area to more than 4,300 acres.
McLeod tells KBND News the project has been highly anticipated since the Master Development Plan was approved by the U.S. Forest Service. "That sort of outlines the things we want to do with the resort over the next 10 years. That Master Development Plan was approved in 2013 by the Forest Service. And, one of the major elements of that plan was to install this new lift on the east side of our mountain that opens up an additional 635 acres of terrain."
He says Cloudchaser likely won't be ready by the start of next season, but its exact opening is dependent on the weather. "The construction period goes into early December; we would hope to be open elsewhere on the mountain earlier than that. We would hope that in a normal year, with normal snow conditions, and provided we stick to the construction schedule, that lift would be operational for the public in time for the Christmas holiday period. "


Bend Man Arrested After St. Charles Threats

BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested a transient yesterday morning, after they say he threatened people at St. Charles Medical Center. Investigators say 31-year-old Ryan Simpson was contacted by security guards inside the hospital because he was acting suspicious. 

As they walked him out of the facility, Simpson allegedly brandished a knife and at one point threatened to shoot the men. After an area search by several agencies, Bend Police officers took Simpson into custody without incident, at about 8 a.m., in a backyard near NE Williamson and Paula Drive. A knife was recovered nearby, but no gun was found. 
Simpson possibly matches the description of a suspect in a recent crime in Redmond, as well. The investigation is ongoing. 



Southern Oregon Democrat to Take On Walden

BEND, OR -- An Ashland man is ready to take on Republican Congressman Greg Walden, this fall. Democrat Jim Crary hopes to stop Walden from winning a ninth term in Oregon's Second District.


Crary retired from British Petroleum in 2013, and tells KBND News he'd like to be part of fixing several issues that face the state. "I don’t like to complain about something without trying to change it, that’s the big motivation. The other thing is, I just feel like Congress is not addressing the things it should be addressing. I feel like they’re like Nero, they’re fiddling while Rome is burning." Crary used to negotiate contracts for BP, so he says he's used to bridging differences.


He cites climate change and campaign finance reform as two of his top priorities. "On the climate change, what I would do is either cap and trade or a carbon tax. British Columbia has instituted a carbon tax very successfully, and the business community is in favor of it. We could do the same thing. It’s something that we need to do. I worked for BP – I worked for an oil company – and BP is actually in favor of a carbon tax."


Crary grew up in North Dakota and worked for many years in Alaska, where he ran for the State Legislature. This is his first run for office in Oregon. He moved to the state with his family 10 years ago. He knows he faces an uphill battle running against Oregon's only Republican member of Congress. He is also aware the Second District includes rural Eastern Oregon. Crary says the recent Harney County occupation disturbed him. "You know what, if somebody wants to protest, that is great; I’m all for it. But, when you protest with a weapon on your hip or in your arms, that’s pure intimidation and I do not agree with that in any way, shape or form. That’s pure intimidation and it really kind of makes me angry."
Crary was in Bend for a town hall at the downtown library, Wednesday evening. 

Deschutes Republicans Support Rural Pot Ban

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners will decide next month whether to continue to opt out of allowing marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. Commissioners agreed to a temporary ban in December, to allow them to continue to discuss the matter.


Deschutes Republicans voted this week to endorse a continued ban. "I was happy to see that the Republicans took a stand," Says Deschutes GOP Chair Bob Perry. "We sent an email out to Tony DeBone and Tammy Baney, who are both Republicans. We sent an email telling them about the results of the unanimous vote, so hopefully they’ll take that to heart."


Perry says he would like to see Commissioners to let county voters decide on the future of the ban, in November. "I remember the first meeting I ever attended, Sheriff Nelson was there, and he said ‘You know folks, you are going to get some tax benefit out of this. But, everything I’ve heard is you’re going to spend 10 times as much on crime prevention and safety as you’re getting in tax benefit.’ That’s the same thing I heard from George Endicott, the Mayor of Redmond. Shane [Nelson] said, ‘Just put it to a vote, put it to a vote.’ We’re going along, really, with the Sheriff’s recommendation."


County Commissioners are scheduled to decide May fourth whether to continue the opt out and send it to voters, or allow the ban to expire. 

Take Back the Night Honors Assault Victims

BEND, OR -- Saving Grace will honor victims of sexual abuse, Friday, at its annual Take Back the Night event in downtown Bend. Erin Rook, with the local non-profit, says it’s a chance for everyone to ask questions and learn how to prevent sexual violence. "We’ll have a healthy relationships fair that spans the whole time, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday. That’ll take place at the Liberty Theater space downtown. We’ll have booths and different activities that people can participate in; things for all ages that really just emphasize healthy relationship skills."


He tells KBND News the event is family-friendly, and important for all ages. "[To] kind of get them to ask questions about myths and facts, and really have a lot of creative interactive activities. But, in addition to that, we’ll also have survivors speak out; so, folks that have experienced sexual violence or who work with folks who have, will kind of share their stories and talk about why it’s so important for the community to come together as a whole around this."


At 7 p.m., survivors are scheduled to speak out at Mirror Pond Plaza, about the impacts of sexual and domestic violence. And at 7:30, attendees can participate in the annual "Shine a Light Walk" through downtown.
More of our conversation with Erin Rook of Saving Grace is available at our Podcast.

City Council to Discuss Fee for ADA Sidewalks

BEND, OR -- The group Advocates for Disabled Americans, Inc. asked the Bend City Council Wednesday night to consider a tax on water and sewer users. Brian Douglass told Councilors it could would raise $100 million, or $8.5 million a year for up to 15 years, to finance construction of sidewalks and curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The revenue stream is created from a monthly fee or tax on city water-sewer accounts. This additional charge will increase incrementally based on the amount of construction work that can be done over a given three year period and the actual amount of the debt that is issued.”


Douglass asked for a three-tiered approach to the issue. “One, place this issue on the council agenda now; number two, hold any legally required public hearings. And most importantly, hold an up or down vote by June the 30.”


Advocates for Disabled Americans is one of seven members of the Make Bend Accessible Coalition, which has been pushing for more accessible sidewalks and curbs for several years. Councilors agreed to schedule a work session to discuss the proposal.

Fake Tickets Sent to Redmond Residents

REDMOND, OR -- A number of Redmond residents, including the Mayor, have received anonymous letters from someone claiming to self-enforce perceived violations of city ordinances and homeowners association rules. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND, "There is an individual that has sent letters, in fact I got one, that says people are out of compliance with the CC&Rs and so forth; it lists a bunch of incorrect information. It basically says the police will come around, which is untrue; our community resource officer will come around, which is untrue. If you get a letter, ignore it, throw it in the trash."


In a letter to Redmond Police, the anonymous person says they will enforce things like parking a vehicle or boat on the street or in a driveway, garbage cans visible from the street, or blocking a neighbor’s view. While many homeowners associations enforce similar rules,  Redmond PD say the listed infractions are not criminal matters.
Some of the fake tickets ask the violator to pay a fine by donating to certain charities, "And then it says ‘send your donation to’ certain charities. We contacted one of the charities that said ‘we have nothing to do with us, don’t send us any money, we don’t want to be implicated or tied to this,’ because they agree it’s just crazy," says Endicott. 
He adds, "Somebody’s disgruntled, so they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands, which, in fact, could be illegal." Redmond Police say anyone receiving an anonymous citation should disregard it and call them. They point out that Simulating a Legal Process is a class C Felony. So far, citations appear targeted to the Juniper Hills and Majestic Ridge neighborhoods, although others are also involved. 


Bend High Nurse Recognized with State Honor

BEND, OR -- Bend Senior High's nurse is tops in the state. Connie Hoffstetter has been named Oregon School Nurse of the Year by the Oregon School Nurses Association.


Hoffstetter was nominated by BSH Principal Christopher Reece, who called her passionate, caring and phenomenal with students. She began with the Bend-La Pine School District in 2000 and first worked with students and schools in La Pine for three years before moving to Bend High. She also serves students at Marshall, Bend's alternative high school.
In a statement released Wednesday, Hoffstetter said, "I feel really ecstatic to be recognized. It means a lot." She added, "It's not a job, it's my passion and I learn something new everyday. The key is being flexible. You can never plan your day. You can go from helping with injuries, to mental health concerns, to managing acute illnesses, to working with health education."

Bend Businessman to Run for City Council

BEND, OR -- On the heels of Victor Chudowsky’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to the Bend City Council, a local businessman says he will run for the seat. Justin Livingston has lived in Bend for 16 years and says the city continues to face challenges. "My wife has been a longtime Bend resident, since the late 70s; and she ended up, after graduating high school in the late 80s, had to move away from Bend. And, I just don’t want that to be the situation, where my kids have to move away from Bend to start their lives."


The 38-year-old is a partner in the Genesis Construction Group and was one of three members of the Street Funding Committee that urged the Council not to pursue a gas tax. Livingston tells KBND News there's a lot of frustration with the current City Council. "Particularly the gas tax, obviously that’s the most glaring one. But, it isn’t just the most recent Council, it’s been a lot of decisions over the years. Whether it’s the Bulletin site, or Juniper Ridge, or other big-ticket items that have cost the city a lot of money. And, I think it’s time for the city to get back down to its core things that it does, and does right and does good."
Livingston admits his policies mirror Chudowsky's, "Obviously, Victor is a brilliant policy maker, and a brilliant mind, and those will be very large shoes to fill. But, I would say that Victor and I – we do align, not on everything, but we do align on a lot of the issues, particularly fiscal issues." Candidates can’t officially file until June first, for the November election, but Livingston says he wanted residents to know that he’s involved. "I have been involved in a lot of different aspects, whether that was the Street Funding Committee, I currently sit on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, I’m a board member and newest Chair for the Old Farm Neighborhood Association. So, I’ve been involved quite a bit the last number of years, and I still continue to plan on being involved in those items up until the election."

Woman Lived with Dead Sister for Months

LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says remains found in a La Pine home last Friday, were that of a woman who died of natural causes. Medics were called to the home on Center Drive after 59-year-old Elizabeth Freise fell on her porch and needed help.


Responding medical personnel noticed a foul smell and asked for a welfare check by law enforcement. Deputies discovered the remains of Freise's sister, who the woman admitted died in November. Freise cared for her bed-ridden sister who suffered from a long-term illness.


Detectives also found deceased cats, live cats and garbage covering the floors. Several cats were taken to the Humane Society. Due to decomposition, it will take a little longer to positively identify the body. 

Wetlands Project to Get Underway in Prineville

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville breaks ground this week on the city’s new, unique wastewater treatment facility. A new treatment plant would’ve cost the city about $57 million. Instead, Assistant City Engineer Mike Kasberger says they opted to create 120-acres of ponds and lagoons to treat the water. "That will naturally take this water and bring us to the future where we can use this wetlands, for a cost to the city of about $4 million." Another $2 million is coming to the project from grants and community partners. 


But, Kasberger tells KBND News, it's not only about wastewater. "It’s a great project, in that it takes care of the city’s future needs for wastewater treatment, and it also has a lot of qualities for the environment. It has habitat for birds and for fish, and it takes care of a lot of erosion issues for the Crooked River." The project also includes five miles of hiking trails and educational kiosks.


He says breaking ground on Friday is intentional. "Friday is Earth Day and we want to celebrate the generosity of all the funders, and the project’s benefits to the ecology and the patrons, we want to take care of all of that in one big celebration. Just thank everybody for all their support." That ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on NW Rimrock Acres Loop.

Motorcyclist Crashes During Redmond Pursuit

REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man is accused of leading Deschutes County deputies on a high-speed chase through the north end of Redmond, early Wednesday morning.


Just after 12:30 a.m., a deputy tried to pull over a motorcycle for a minor traffic offense on Northwest Way. The rider, later identified as 32-year-old Colton Leigh, allegedly accelerated, reaching speeds of around 100 miles per hour. He headed east on Maple Ave, crossed Highway 97 against a red light and failed to negotiate the curve near NE 11th and Negus Way.


Leigh was taken to St. Charles Redmond for non-life threatening injuries. He's charged with Felony Attempt to Elude, and Reckless Driving. Leigh was cited and released due to treatment for his injuries.

Redmond Man Arrested in Utah

CEDAR CITY, UT -- A Redmond man was arrested in Utah last week, for his alleged involvement in the Harney County standoff, earlier this year. Travis Levi Cox was the last to be arrested, of the 26 people indicted on federal charges relating to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.


Iron County authorities say 21-year-old Cox was aware of the charges against him and turned himself in voluntarily. He was booked as a "Federal Fugitive" into the jail in Cedar City, Utah on April 11. He remained there, as of Tuesday. Court papers say Cox will not fight a return to Oregon.

Local Boy Scout Launches Shadows of Hope

BEND, OR -- Jesse Fishkin is a member of Boy Scout Troop 25, working on earning his Eagle Scout ranking, the highest achievement in scouting. In doing so, he hopes to raise awareness of the human trafficking problem in Central Oregon.

The high school student calls his project called "Shadows of Hope." You might have seen some of the seven life-size black human silhouettes posted around Bend. They represent victims of human trafficking, a problem Fishkin says is largely unknown and ignored. "The way human trafficking works is that people refuse to admit that it is there, so it operates undetected. Hopefully with this project it won’t remain undetected," he tells KBND News.
He says, "Silhouettes are painted black because they represent the shadows, these people are in the shadows of society. Attached to each of the silhouettes are flyers with information pertaining to them." Those flyers describing how to identify victims of human trafficking. "My biggest hope is that someone would pick up a flyer, read about the issue and learn to identify a victim. Because, the largest way that human trafficking succeeds is that people refuse to acknowledge that it’s in their homes. I want to state that it is here in Bend, Oregon and the best way to stop it is to raise awareness." Fishkin moves the cutouts randomly every few days.
The Eagle Scout-to-be recently convinced Bend City Councilors to get behind his "Shadows of Hope" campaign, which runs through the end of April.

Councilor Chudowsky Not Running for Reelection

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky says he's one and done: "I won't be running for reelection this fall." Chudowsky tells KBND News, "The main reason is, a lot of the things I've been concerned with the last few years have gone my way - I got my way, I won! And, I'm really pleased. It's kind of like a chapter closing in a book. I feel very satisfied with what I've accomplished, it's been a lot and I just feel it's time to move on to other things." He was elected to the Council in 2012; his first four-year term expires at the end of this year.


Chudowsky says the first of those successes involved the Urban Growth Boundary. "We lost a lot of time, we lost a huge amount of money - many millions. And, that failure is also one of the reasons housing costs are so expensive in Bend, right now. So, when I was elected, I took over as the Chair of that steering committee and got things back on the right track. Now, here we are three years later and we're getting closer to the finish line on this project with a really good product." He says he's also proud of the completion of the Bridge Creek Water Project and the recent defeat of a local gas tax proposal.


He plans to return to the consulting firm he runs with his wife. "My wife has put up with a lot over the past four years, it was kind of unfair to ask her to put up with it for another four years. I just feel I need to return my attention to that. And also to my daughter: I have a teenage daughter; she's going to be going off to college soon. I've got a few more short years with her in the house and I want to enjoy them as much as I can." 


Collectively, between the City Council and his work on several committees, Chudowsky says he has served Bend for 10 years. 

Bend Entrepreneur Featured on Shark Tank

BEND, OR -- A bend entrepreneur will appear on ABC's Shark Tank, this Friday. Will Warne invented a high-performance all-terrain jogging stroller he claims is better than any other currently on the market. Warne says he was contacted by the show after one of the producers, who is a runner, learned of the Kid Runner.


Warne tells KBND News, "Kid Runner is the world's first and only hands and arms-free kid jogger. Any parent-runners out there listening will know that pushing a traditional jogger is really heavy, awkward and injury-prone. So, we set out to solve, really, what was a big engineering and technical opportunity, which was how to run freely with your hands and arms, like you naturally do." He says it also allows parents to go on various surfaces safely.

Kid Runner sells for about $1200. Warne admits, "Ours is expensive, and works. Other kid joggers are expensive and don't; I think that's really the main difference. We compare our kid jogger, really for the first time in the industry, to a piece of actual sports equipment. For us, it's like a ski or a mountain bike or a snowboard; it's made of the same materials, it's got a lot of technology, a lot of design in it; it enables you to do the kinds of things that athletes want to do with sports equipment." 


Warne plans to manufacture the joggers in Bend. "We're the only kid jogger made in the United States. We're manufacturing here in Bend, Oregon, which is something we're really proud of and really committed to because we've always gone into this with a sense of community."

Kid Runner is the third local business to be featured on the show. Shark Tank airs Fridays at 9 p.m., on ABC-TV.

Central Oregon Bats at Risk of Deadly Disease

BEND, OR -- State wildlife officials are monitoring for a deadly disease in local bats, after White Nose Syndrome was found in a little brown bat in Washington. Colin Gillin is a veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He tells KBND News Central Oregon is key to monitoring for the disease due to the large number of caves throughout the region. "We do not have caves throughout the state where we have millions of bats; at least not that we know of like you might see at Carlsbad Caverns or some of the big bat caves we see down in the southwestern part of the United States. Our caves generally have less than 100 bats in them."


Dr. Gillin says bats eat thousands of flying insects each night and are key to our ecosystem. White Nose Syndrome causes unusual behavior in infected bats. He says, "It is a disease that disrupts the bats’ hibernation. Also, it causes problems with their skin; it’s a fungus that attaches to the bat and causes a skin infection and wakes the bat up in the middle of winter." And, he says waking too early from hibernation can lead to the bat using up its winter fat reserves too early and can lead to death.
White Nose Syndrome has been found in 28 states; so far, it has not been found in Oregon. Anyone who sees a sick bat should report it. "We have an online reporting site," says Dr. Gillin. "They can also call and contact their local ODFW office and biologist and report any bats that you might be seeing flying in the middle of the day or unusual behavior, any bats on the ground and appear sick. We’re not asking anyone to pick the bats up, because there is always the risk of rabies." ODFW recently launched its online bat reporting site, to track possible sightings. 

St Charles Job Fair Offered

REDMOND, OR -- St. Charles will hold a job fair, next week. The health system plans to hire full time, part time and relief positions for all four of its hospitals and clinics.


The job fair takes place Tuesday, April 26, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Deschutes County Expo Center in Redmond. Applicants are encouraged to RSVP for the fair HERE, submit a digital resume prior to attending and bring multiple hard copies of that resume to the event. 


Youth Fishing Pond Proposed for Spring Creek

CAMP SHERMAN, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for more public input on a proposal to turn an abandoned fish hatchery near Camp Sherman into a fishing pond for kids 17 and younger. The proposal includes a small pond and parking area on the 15-acre property on Spring Creek.


The agency holds its second public meeting on the idea, Monday evening. Jennifer Luke, with ODFW, says feedback so far has been mostly positive. "I think there’s some folks that are concerned it’s going to get very busy there – maybe a little too much visitation. I believe the community at large is in support; we heard a fair amount of support that it is a good idea and is something that’s needed in the area." She tells KBND News, "The Metolius is fly fishing only, it’s very difficult for kids to fish there. We do have so many tourists coming in and camping and visiting that area in the summer. And, to have a place to bring kids to fish where they can easily fish, or learn how to fish – either fly fish or use other gear – we think that will be popular and a valuable use."


It's not a unique idea. Luke says it's somewhat patterned after Shevlin Pond, west of Bend. "We get calls all the time about ‘where can I bring my kids or grandkids to fish, and we know they can be successful fishing and it’s easy to get to and easy to fish?’  In fact, I believe, the Shevlin Park [pond] - that used to be an old Fish and Game Commission hatchery back in the day. And, when the city bought it they put in that fishing pond."


She says most of the $400,000 needed for the project would come from grants funded by fishing licenses. Monday’s public meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Camp Sherman Community Hall. 


Madras Fugitive Arrested Near Biggs Junction

BIGGS JCT, OR -- The Madras fugitive who escaped capture during a high-speed chase through two counties, last week, was arrested over the weekend in the Gorge. An Oregon State Police Sergeant spotted Malcolm Harpole on I-84, east of Biggs Junction, Sunday morning.


OSP says Harpole sped up when they tried to pull him over. Shortly after running over police spike strips, the pickup he was driving came to a stop in the middle of the highway.

Harpole is charged with driving while suspended, attempting to elude and a probation violation, among others. His passenger, 28-year-old William Worthington of Terrebonne, was arrested for meth possession.
Harpole is also suspected of running from police in northeast Redmond, last Wednesday.
William Worthington          

Free Play Week Offered at Bend's Pavilion

BEND, OR -- Bend's Park & Rec District is offering free recreation opportunities at The Pavilion this week. The ice is gone and they are setting up the hoops sport courts for the warm weather season.


To showcase the new activities, this is “Free Play Week,” meaning there is no charge at the covered sports complex on Simpson Ave. All ages are welcome to drop in for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton and yard games. Skateboarders and scooter riders can try out new skate park features at the pavilion. Skaters and riders need to bring their own board or scooter and helmet.
This week’s schedule is as follows: Pickleball, badminton, skate park features and yard games are offered 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; basketball, volleyball, skate park features and yard games are available 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Click HERE for more information.
Or if water sports is your thing, don’t forget the whitewater park where surfers are already hanging-10.

Knopp Pushes for PERS Reform in 2017

BEND, OR -- State lawmakers passed PERS reform a couple of years ago, but the Oregon Supreme Court ruled many of those savings unconstitutional. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) wants lawmakers to be ready to pass new reforms during the 2017 Legislative Session.


Knopp sent a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), last week, calling for meetings during upcoming Legislative Days in May, September and December to discuss would could survive constitutional scrutiny. Knopp tells KBND News, "I just think it's really important that the State Legislature gets started now, as opposed to February of next year, to start talking about PERS reform and what's really necessary to happen to the system that makes it more fair and sustainable, long term."


He says there are several options that have not yet been tried. "The money market rate for money match would cut the annuity rate almost in half. And, we're highly confident that's constitutional. Obviously, starting a new plan for new-hires is constitutional, as well as setting some caps on what an individual can contribute part of their salary toward the retirement."


Knopp says if lawmakers don't take action, state and local governments will face a billion dollar increase in PERS costs during the 2017-2019 biennium. "If nothing else happens, it's the equivalent of losing 146 teachers over the next six years at Bend-La Pine School District. And that's essentially 15% of the entire teacher workforce in the district. A similar number will happen, as a percentage, in Redmond schools, as well."

Bend Motorcyclist Critically Hurt in Crash

BEND, OR -- A Bend man was seriously injured in a Saturday evening motorcycle crash near the Seventh Mountain Resort. Investigators say there were no witnesses to the accident, but one person reported seeing the motorcycle traveling eastbound from Mt Bachelor at a high rate of speed prior to the crash. 


Just before 8 p.m., Deschutes County deputies found 48-year-old Shawn Holm on the shoulder of the road, unconscious but breathing. He was air lifted to St. Charles Bend, where he remains in critical condition. 
He was wearing a helmet; alcohol and speed appear to be factors in the crash.

Two Men Face Animal Abuse Charges

BEND, OR -- Two Bend men will be back in court later this week to face felony animal abuse charges, in two separate attacks. 


In the first case, 23-year-old Ethan Allen Buck is accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s dog. Investigators say the man punched and kicked the dog during the brutal attack. The seven-year-old lab suffered serious injuries, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Separately, 55-year-old Glen Lacoss allegedly hung his neighbor’s cat from a fence. The District Attorney’s office says he set a snare and trapped the cat. He was reportedly upset because it came into his yard. In that case, the animal did not survive. 
District Attorney John Hummel said in a statement, "Buck and Lacoss are presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court. However, my office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and if they are convicted, we will seek a significant penalty."
Both men are due back in court on Wednesday.

Woman Found Dead in La Pine Home

LA PINE, OR -- A woman's body was found inside a La Pine home, and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says it appears she had been dead for "an extended period of time." Initially, deputies were called to the home on Center Drive, Friday morning, on a request to check the welfare of the person or people inside. 


An autopsy will be scheduled at the State Medical Examiner's office in Clackamas; no other information has yet been released.


DCSO detectives, the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab and the Deschutes County Medical Examiner are all assisting in the ongoing investigation.

Bridge Creek Water Project Complete

BEND, OR -- Bend's new $33 million water treatment facility is finally up and running. Political and legal issues slowed the project, but the city will celebrate its completion on Friday. Public Works Director Paul Rehault tells KBND News, "We were originally regulated to have this done by 2012. We received some extensions to that. We then signed with the Oregon Health Authority last year, a document called a bilateral compliance agreement that said we’d have this operational by April 15, 2016. We’ve met that so this is kind of a celebration of meeting that."


Read more about the project.


He says the upgrades were necessary to prevent certain water-borne illnesses. "It will make it safer. A bug that is sometimes in water called cryptosporidium, it has caused illnesses in other parts of the country before, and the US government has required that we filter for that. We’re one of the last systems in the country to have the requirement to be filtered." Rehault adds, "This is a great thing for the city of Bend. We’re so dependent on water here, whether it be our climate or some of the industries that are obviously growing here in the city. It’s great to have the water supplies that we do, and it’s even greater now that we have them properly treated."


The city tested the system for a couple of months using pretreated well water. They started treating Bridge Creek water a couple of weeks ago. Bend's water used to be treated with chlorine to prevent contaminants.


This project also included a new 11-mile pipe that diverts water from Bridge Creek to Tumalo Creek. 

First Bend Teen Lit Festival This Weekend

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon teens have a chance to meet a dozen published authors in the Young Adult genre, this weekend. It’s billed as the first ever local Teen Literary Festival, by the Deschutes Public Library. Community Librarian April Witteveen tells KBND News they were looking for a way to make a bigger impact with local book-loving teens. “Instead of touring one author around, we thought we would bring multiple authors in for a one-day conference style event that will really attract those strong readers and writers, and really give them a chance to hear from a bunch of authors, and see what life might be like if they pursue their dreams of writing.”


Authors from Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada will be on hand. Witteveen says the event  “Gives the teens that really cool chance to meet authors in person. And for somebody who loves books and reading, authors are kind of like rock stars, so it’s a big deal.” The Teen Lit Festival is open to middle and high school students, along with adults interested in the genre.


There is no charge but online registration is required.

Public Filming Worries Some in Sisters

SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of calls in the past week, regarding a man filming citizens. He posts his videos on YouTube under the handle "FedSmoker." Some videos are profanity laden, and others show recent interactions with deputies at the Sisters substation. "I’m here to do a business. I want to do business out here, brother. You guys cannot push me out of this town, and it’s the wrong guy to push, is all I’ll say, sir. I want you clean to tell you that." In another video he tells a deputy, "Your city needs to realize, you understand that records and cameras are legal in this state, right sir? My car’s get ‘em all over the place."


His real name is Conald Peterson, and Lt. Chad Davis says he’s right – his videos aren’t illegal. "He’s been in and around Sisters doing that with people’s knowledge and without people’s knowledge. But there is no statutes or anything preventing him from doing that." He tells KBND News, "Most of the calls have been regarding concerns for people’s safety. And, folks are doing exactly what we ask them to do – to call in when things don’t look right or look suspicious. So, we encourage them to keep doing so, to call in when they see any suspicious activity or activity that they believe is criminal in nature or possibly where the public is in danger." But, so far, he says, "Most of our contacts with him have been congenial. And, he’s been compliant with requests; he has been trespassed from a few businesses." 
Peterson is a transient who appears to have arrived in Sisters within the past week. Lt. Davis says he's had run-ins with law enforcement during past visits, but doesn't appear to have a criminal record. 


Police Search for Madras Fugitive

REDMOND, OR -- Police are looking for a 33-year-old Madras man who led them on a high-speed chase Wednesday evening. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement detectives spotted a known fugitive driving on Highway 97, north of Redmond at about 7:30 p.m. But, when they tried to stop Malcolm Harpole on the Culver Highway, he sped off. 


He traveled down a number of rural and forest service roads before running over police spike strips at Lone Pine and Smith Rock Way. After driving on two flat tires northeast of Redmond at speeds of 45-55 MPH, Harpole took off on foot near NE 45th and Walnut. 
Despite a ground and aerial search, he remains at large. Anyone with information on this ongoing investigation is asked to call 911.
The vehicle Harpole was driving was stolen from Lane County in 2015; the motorcycle in its bed was stolen earlier this year from Redmond. 

Bend PD to Fine for Chronic False Alarms

BEND, OR -- Bend Police will start penalizing those with monitored alarms, for false alarms that force a police response. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News, "At the beginning of the year, we had a crime analyst in our office with us, and I asked her what is the biggest waste of time we had – what did we spend time on that is zero productivity and is absorbing our time. And, she immediately, off the top of her head without looking at the stats, said it’s the false alarms for response."


He says stats show about 2/3 of the alarm calls police responded to in 2015 were false alarms. "We had 2300 alarms last year. Of those 2300, about 1700 were false alarms caused by either inattentiveness, a system that needs to be worked on, or people who just weren’t engaged with how to use the alarm – like a new-hire employee who isn’t given the alarm code." 
Chief Porter says fines won't be imposed until the second false alarm. "The first alarm is a warning letter; we provide you with a warning letter. The second false alarm is a $250 fine, which you have the right to appeal. I look at the facts, and determine in fact if there was anything they could have done to prevent the alarm." The third offense carries a $500 fine, and it goes up to $1200 by the fourth. After that, he says the department could decide not to respond to that location. "Our job at the police department is not to collect revenue from people, but is to change people’s behavior."
Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.

City Councilors Pour Over Streets Budget

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors made some headway in finding needed money to fund road repairs, following last month's defeat of a local gas tax. They spent more than four hours combing through the budget to find nearly $760,000 of the nearly $1.3 million they're trying to put toward roads. A majority agreed not to pull from the law enforcement budget. 


Councilor Sally Russell tells KBND News, "It's a really hard conversation. We found probably just over half of what we should really have. The finally proposal was actually to pull from our reserves to fund the gap. Boy, I don’t know that we agree that that’s what reserves should really be used for."  She says pulling from the transient room tax is not enough. "Yes, they are growing, but they’re not growing nearly quickly enough to even begin to scratch the surface of what we as a community have to invest in our roads to just stabilize them."


Councilor Victor Chudowsky has proposed dipping into reserves and using more room tax money to get through 2017. "What we’re doing now is we’re passing the budget we really should’ve passed. The argument was for $5 million, the extra money from a gas tax. And, what we’ve learned from this meeting is that’s clearly not true. We’re looking now, basically, at about $300,000 to $500,000 to plug this gap for streets." He tells KBND News, "We have more than enough money for this fiscal year. Now, we’re down to a very small gap for next year. And, moving forward, revenue growth will be strong enough to cover streets in the future. Basically, what it shows today is that a gas tax was not necessary."


Councilors will meet again April 27 to make more cuts.

Euphoria Novel Inspires Local Quilters

BEND, OR -- The book Euphoria is the Deschutes Public Library’s 2016 Novel Idea selection, read by more than 6,000 locals; among those are quilters who create artwork based on their impressions of the book. Marilyn Forestell owns QuiltWorks on Greenwood Avenue in Bend, where quilters have been busy filling her gallery. “We have 43 art pieces, mostly quilts, but some other textile projects based on the novel Euphoria by Lilly King.” The book is loosely based on the life of cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade.

At the gallery, located on the second floor of QuiltWorks, quilts, masks and textile projects depict life in the south seas in the 1930’s. “Each piece has a description of why the quilter chose this, what they made. And the descriptions are as interesting as the pieces,” Forestell tells KBND News.
Libraries in New York and Washington State have asked Forestell about doing similar projects for their community reading events. In addition, nearly 40 local book clubs are holding their meetings at QuiltWorks to discuss Euphoria while viewing the artwork.

Power Cut Following Terrebonne Crash

TERREBONNE, OR -- A Terrebonne woman admits she fell asleep, causing a crash near Odem Avenue, Wednesday afternoon. Deschutes County investigators say 25-year-old Vanisha Shuey was driving on NW 19th at about 2:15 p.m. when she crossed the center line, went off the road and hit a power pole. Her car then crashed through a barbed wire fence before stopping in a grass field.


Shuey does not have a license and was not hurt. Deputies later arrested her for an unrelated parole violation.
About 300 nearby residents lost electricity for several hours while crews repaired the power pole.
Deputies responded to another crash, about 45 minutes later, at the other end of the county. Two people were hurt at Huntington and State Rec Road in La Pine. Investigators say a 26-year-old Bend woman failed to stop at a stop sign and hit an SUV driven by Rosemarie Trejo Arcos, of La Pine.


Trejo Arcos was trapped inside her car, but was later extricated by fire personnel. She was flown to St. Charles Bend. Stephanie Beutler was treated at the scene for minor injuries and later cited for failing to obey a traffic control device. 

911 Moves Ahead With New Radio System

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s 911 Service District is moving ahead with plans to replace its aging radio system, in the hopes voters will pass a permanent funding levy in May. Director Steve Reinke says the state will cover about half of the cost of building the new system, lowering the county’s obligation to $6.5 million, which it already has in reserves. "We just signed an agreement with the state for that partnership and with the corporation that’s providing the equipment. But, what we don’t have is long-term stable funding for the maintenance and operation and the eventual replacement of the system when it becomes out of date in 15 years."


Deschutes County voters will be asked next month to approve a new permanent funding levy for the Service District. Reinke acknowledges this is an interesting time to be on the ballot, especially with some voters threatening to stay away from the polls on May 17. He tells KBND News, "I sure hope that that’s not the case. I think there’s so much energy around the candidates of the two major parties, that I wouldn’t be surprised if turnout isn’t somewhat better because people want to get their voice heard on the candidate of the two from each party that they support."


Reinke is optimistic voters will approve the funding, which would not only help fund system maintenance, but eventually hire more dispatchers. "One of the things that we’ve tried to do at the district over the years is be frugal with money, to take reserve funds and make sure we allocate them for projects we need in the future, like the radio system, so we don’t have to go out for a bond; we are actually able to pay cash. We’re hoping that the public sees us as a worthy service and that we’ve earned their trust and respect." The new levy would replace the current combination of levies with one that could increase over time, up to 42.5-cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.

A Political Action Committee recently launched a website supporting Measure 9-107. There is, so far, no organized opposition. 
Click HERE to hear more of our conversation with 911 Director Steve Reinke, or visit our Podcast Page

Ochoco National Forest Road Closed for Repairs

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Ochoco National Forest officials closed a two-mile stretch of road south of the Black Canyon Wilderness, Tuesday, after crews discovered a large hole.


A ponderosa pine uprooted, tearing a 10-foot deep and 20-foot wide hole in Forest Road 5850, inside the Paulina Ranger District.  Road closure signs are in place; work is scheduled to be completed within the next 10 days.

New Affordable Housing Opens in Madras

MADRAS, OR -- The first of six homes built for agricultural workers in the Madras area is now finished. Housing Works, NeighborImpact and the Heart of Oregon Corps' Youth Build program have joined together to produce the affordable homes for lower income families.


Kelly Fisher, with Housing Works, tells KBND News the partnership began a couple of years ago. "We've done several homes with Youth Build over the past few years, and they had a grant and a need to have some projects available for their youth to work on. Initially, we had one lot available to start with in Madras, and then we worked with NeighborImpact to acquire some additional lots." Heart of Oregon provides young people the opportunity to work toward their high school diploma by building affordable housing in the community. 


On Friday, the partners will celebrate the completion of the first house, "This is just a chance for all of the partners to come together, to acknowledge the youth for all of their hard work and just introduce the home to the community and the new tenants that will be moving into the house, congratulating them," says Fisher. "They'll get a chance to then buy the house after they're there for 10 years." She describes the 1200-square foot home: "It's a three-bedroom, two-bath, double-car garage, with a really nice open floor plan. It'll have all the appliances, and a fully-fenced backyard. It's a great little property; it's going to be a great addition to the neighborhood."


Work on a second Madras home is already underway and a third will begin soon.



Saving Grace Looks at Offering Housing

BEND, OR -- A local nonprofit working with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault hopes to provide permanent housing for its clients. Survivors of family violence often face a housing dilemma: If they can’t find a place locally, and don’t want to move out of the area, they sometimes return home, where they were attacked, rather than face homelessness.


Saving Grace Executive Director Janet Huerta wants to create a village of cottages survivors can rent and get a new, safe start. “These are permanent small cottages between 250-to-450-square feet. We’re really looking to build anywhere from 20 to 30 units in a village model, so that it’s not going to look like a typical subdivision.” The cottages would have a bathroom and a kitchen. The village would have a community center.
Huerta tells KBND News, “We’ve got some great development budget plans and operating plans. We’ve got some really great expertise of people who are providing the technical assistance to us. The thing that’s holding us back right now is having the land. ” She says they need a donation of at least 1.5-acres, but would prefer 2.5 acres. Once the land is secured, Huerta says survivors of family violence or sexual assault could start a new life within a year and a half.

Cigarettes blamed for Construction Fire

BEND, OR -- Improperly discarded cigarettes are blamed for a fire at a townhouse under construction in the Broken Top neighborhood, Tuesday.  


Firefighters responded to the five-unit complex on Painted Ridge Loop, just after 5 p.m. They knocked down the second floor fire in less than 10 minutes and damage was limited to a deck and surrounding area. 


Bend Fire officials say the improper disposal of smoking materials is the leading cause of structure fires in the city.

Beverly Cleary Honored on 100th Birthday

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One of Oregon’s most beloved literary figures celebrated her 100th birthday, Tuesday. Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville and moved to Portland when she was young.


Senator Ron Wyden recognize her contributions to the state, during a speech on the Senate floor. "Her book series Ramona and Henry Huggins are both set in Portland and continue to serve as important threads throughout Oregon’s literary fabric. Ms Cleary’s impact on the state of Oregon and the city of Portland have not gone unnoticed." A northeast Portland K-8 school is named after the author, and in 2000 the Library of Congress named her a “living legend.”
Wyden added, "For years, Beverly Cleary’s characters have called Portland home, and for the countless children who grew up with her writing, Ms Cleary’s stories have been their haven. With enduring and relatable themes of adventure and adolescence and friendship, Ms Cleary’s novels have withstood the test of time and have established their place in the pages of Oregon’s cultural heritage."
Cleary was born in McMinnville and moved to Portland as a child. Throughout her 66-year career, Cleary wrote more than 40 children’s books, selling 90-million copies.


Extended Tax Deadline Pleases Procrastinators

BEND, OR -- If you’ve been putting off doing your taxes thinking they are due Friday, you're not alone.  April 15 strikes fear in the hearts of many taxpayers, especially the procrastinator. 
But, David Tucker with the IRS tells KBND News procrastinators can celebrate, this year. “There’s a holiday called Emancipation day that’s celebrated in Washington D.C." Emancipation Day is April 16, but because that falls on a weekend in 2016, it will be recognized on Friday, April 15. The holiday forces the closure of IRS offices in D.C. Tucker says, “This year people are going to have a few more days to actually do their tax return and file it by Monday, April 18.” Emancipation Day marks the release of 3100 slaves in Washington D.C. by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. 
The Oregon Department of Revenue has already processed more than a million tax returns. However, 700,000 Oregonians have yet to file their taxes.

Consumer Cellular to Host Job Fairs

REDMOND, OR -- Consumer Cellular is hiring again for its Redmond call center. Several job fairs this week aim to find people to fill about 120 openings. Tiffany Smith tells KBND News the company continues to grow. "I’d say it’s pretty typical for what we’ve been hiring for. So far, we’ve been experiencing huge growth as a company. Not only here in Redmond are we hiring at that rate, but also in our Phoenix office, as well." She adds, "We’re hiring at about 30 every two weeks. Once we get to full staff, which we figure would be at about 120 positions, then we would just hire to [account for] any attrition we had." The call center has about 550 employees


Job fairs will be held at the Redmond center from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Smith says, "What we would do at the job fair, for those who are interested, if they could please apply to our website. When they’re here, we would actually do an on-site interview with them, give them a tour of the building, allow them to see what the job is all about, maybe listen to some phone calls that our current representatives would take." Positions are full time and include benefits. 

More Surprises Found at Evergreen School

REDMOND, OR -- Construction continues on the former Evergreen School, as it is converted into Redmond’s next City Hall. But, crews keep finding surprises, which has led to some delays on the project.


Heather Richards, with the city of Redmond, tells KBND News some of what they’ve discovered highlights the building’s history. "We found two arched doorways that are now inside the building, but were originally the exterior entrances to the building from the backside. They were covered in three layers of ceilings and walls. We’ve removed all that and we’re actually going to restore them because they’re brick archways; very beautiful. And, we’ll just have them restored as hallway archways inside the building and we’ll put interpretive plaques by them."
But, she says not all surprises are positive. "There’s a northwest wing, which was an addition to the building and interestingly, it was built with a couple of different types of products. One wall was built with hollow clay tile, which doesn’t have a lot of structural integrity; so we have to reinforce that." And, she says they planned for asbestos abatement, but didn't realize it would require the removal of the roof. "We knew there was asbestos on the roof; we removed a couple of layers of it. When we got down to the decking, what we found out was the decking had been impregnated with asbestos materials, as well. For instance, where you have nails going through the decking, the asbestos in the layers above it started to migrate down into those nails holes. Because of that, we had to abate the decking for the roof as well, so we took down the whole roof and we hadn’t anticipated having to do that."
Richards is hopeful the delays won’t push completion too far beyond the original goal. "We’re not where we’d hoped to be in the schedule of the construction project; however, it is a 12-month project, so there might be opportunities to win back those days down the road, so to speak." But, because the city isn't in a rush to move out of it's existing facility, she's not worried. "Our end date right now is 12/31/16, however if we have to go into January we can; there’s no financial impact from that, so that’s nice."

Warm Springs Mill Closes Permanently

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Warm Springs Forest Products Industry mill is no longer considered viable, and tribal leaders took steps this week to shut down the mill, permanently. It has not been in operation for several weeks, but that was initially intended to be temporary until logging roads were usable.


However, the company - which is primarily owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs - owes money to a number of logging companies and missed its latest payment to the tribe, according to Spilyay Tymoo, the tribe's newspaper. The enterprise is now in court-supervised receivership, with assets slated to be sold off to help pay its debts.
About 85 people, mostly tribal members, were working at the mill prior to the closure. The tribe purchased the operation from Jefferson Plywood in the 1960s, and say it provided substantial dividends for decades. However, they say the lumber market is changing and the mill's equipment is no longer appropriate for the current type of logs coming through. Officials are considering a number of business models to bring new revenue to the tribe.

Police Arrest Missing Sex Offender

BEND, OR -- A predatory sex offender reportedly disconnected his ankle monitor Wednesday morning. Law enforcement throughout the region is now looking for 42-year-old Justin Lampke. He is on post-prison supervision for Sexual Abuse and Attempted Sodomy convictions.


Lampke is described as a white male, 5'7", 160 pounds. He has longish brown hair and was last seen wearing dark sweat pants, a blue polo-type shirt and a jacket. 


Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately. 


FRIDAY UPDATE: Deschutes County authorities believe Lampke is no longer in Central Oregon, although the search for him continues.


MONDAY UPDATE: Authorities arrested Lampke in Seattle on Sunday. He will be returned to Oregon where he is expected to serve time for violating parole. 



Photo: Lampke in Jan. 2013

Desch. Co. Considers Mental Health Crisis Site

BEND, OR -- Local jail officials say too many people with mental health problems are filling their cells. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says Sheriff Shane Nelson has been working on a potential solution.


During a recent talk with the League of Women Voters, he explained the idea behind a drop off site: "What if a loved one could bring their son or daughter to a center that's not a secure facility - the person doesn't have to be there but it's trained professionals. Law enforcement is there, if something gets out of control. But, it's a place you can drop off and leave them for a day or two." He adds, "It's voluntary and paid for by the community - you don't have to pay an entry fee. Just a cooling off period so the loved ones can have some time on their own and this person can get the help they need to talk to someone. There's a site that's been identified, just a few days ago. This is really neat; it's just in the beginning steps." 

Hummel says this type of center could reduce the number of mentally ill in local jails, and give families another option aside from calling 911. Other communities have similar sites for those who are drunk or high and need to detox, but haven't committed a crime. 

Troy Field Decision Delayed Until May

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors stopped short of formally rejecting a zoning change for Troy Field, at their meeting last week. The Bend-La Pine School District owns the downtown property and wants to sell it to pay for needed school projects. The potential buyer from Portland wants to build a hotel on the lot, but a zoning change is needed to allow for construction.


School Board member Andy High tells KBND News why they asked Councilors to delay their decision. "The City Council gave us an extension of 30 days before the vote. This will allow us to continue to explore the options we have with Troy Field and allow both parties a little bit more time to decide how we would like to move forward."


He adds, "We could just appeal the City Council's decision not to remove 'public facility,' or we could tell the buyer that 'it appears the City Council is not going to remove the public facilities designation. Therefore, you can either buy it as is, or --.' We just need more time exploring those options."
City Councilors are expected to make a final decision at its meeting on May fourth.


Local Pollinator Garden Sees Success

BEND, OR --  Scientific studies show that pollinating animals have suffered from loss of habitat in developing communities. That alarming fact sparked the creation of a local bee and butterfly garden. Basey Klopp received a grant from Mt. Bachelor’s Protect Your Playground program three years ago.


Working with the city of Bend, Klopp and some like-minded volunteers were given a space next to the community garden at the corner of NE 9th and Franklin. Klopp tells KBND News, “I’ve planted specific plants to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds that will help pollinate the garden plants in the community garden right next to us.”


The strip of property has more than 200 native pollinator plants, including “Flowering buckwheat, we have spirea, we have a mock orange,” says Klopp. A local Monarch Butterfly advocate group joined forces with the Native Pollinator garden and added native milkweed plants to attract the butterfly.
Klopp says her first measure of success was finding in more bees and butterflies in the native pollinator garden by year two, which was welcome news for the community gardeners next door.
Mt. Bachelor's “Protect Your Playground” grant process is now accepting new applications for ideas that could help the future of local environment and outdoor spaces. Grants are $100 to $2,500. Click HERE to apply. Applications can be made through Friday. Winning proposals will be announced April 22, Earth Day.


Injured Hiker Rescued from Smith Rock Trail

TERREBONNE, OR -- A Salem man was injured at Smith Rock State Park, Friday afternoon, forcing a rescue operation by Deschutes County Search and Rescue.


A team of eight SAR volunteers and a Sergeant, along with Redmond Fire personnel and a Park Ranger, responded to the Misery Ridge Trail to help 30-year-old Jerrid Williams. He reportedly slipped on the trail and was thought to have broken his ankle. 


He was stabilized and taken to a waiting ambulance.

Motorcyclist Injured, Charged with DUII

REDMOND, OR -- A 55-year-old Bend man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, Saturday night. Redmond Police say Robert Skierkiewicz was westbound on Highway 126 near the airport, when he attempted to pass a group of military vehicles at about 8 p.m.


Another vehicle approached from the opposite direction, the motorcycle left the roadway and Skierkiewicz was thrown from the bike. Several military medics in the convoy stopped to provide aid until Redmond Fire and Rescue arrived.
Skierkiewicz was flown to St. Charles Bend with life-threatening injuries. He was later arrested for DUII and other charges, although he remains in critical condition.


Harney County Bird Festival Sees Big Boost

BURNS, OR -- Harney County's Migratory Bird Festival gets underway today, and plenty of people are flocking there, partly due to the exposure the region received during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


Chelsea Harrison, with the Harney County Chamber of Commerce, says out of something bad comes something good. "There is a whole lot of advertising about Harney County that has happened over the past few months. And, definitely the refuge is a beautiful place to see. I think a lot of people have always thought about going there, and now they've just decided to take the opportunity to actually come."


Some were concerned during the 41-day standoff that the festival wouldn't happen. But, Harrison tells KBND News not only is it happening, attendance is up. "It seems like about average was between 150 and 200, depending on the year and depending on who our guest speaker was, as well. This year, we're actually up to 250 and we expect more because we get quite a few people in who don't actually sign up for a tour, plus we max out on how many tours we can give."


The three-day festival occurs during the height of the spring sandhill crane, waterfowl and shorebird migrations. Organizers say attendees can view more than 100 species during the event.



Sanders Opens Central Oregon Campaign Office

TUMALO, OR -- Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) will open Central Oregon’s first presidential campaign office of this election cycle, on Sunday. In the past week, the Sanders campaign has opened offices in Eugene and Portland, and another one is slated for Medford this weekend.


Monte Jarvis, Oregon Campaign Director, says it’s important they reach across the state prior to the April 26 voter registration deadline. "A lot of our supporters are not necessarily Democrats at the moment and we need to move them over. They need to either reregister as a Democrat or they’re not quite registered yet. A lot of our supporters are not necessarily the political establishment, right? So, we need to register those folks before the 26th." Jarvis tells KBND News, "We’re right in the middle of this fight, no matter what the other side says. We have the momentum; we have six states in a row and we’re going for more. It’s really important to take Oregon seriously; we want it to be a focal point of the campaign." Oregon’s primary has traditionally landed after each party has a presumptive nominee, but the state could be an important factor in the delegate count, this year.
The local Sanders campaign will host a grand opening event Sunday at noon, at its new office on Strickler Ave in Tumalo. Jarvis says there will be a rally and other features at the event, which is free and open to the public. "We will try to sign folks up to be volunteer leaders, to do volunteer phoning and door-to-door canvassing. So, that’s our really big push for Sunday and we hope to propel that into the following week."

Two Missions Keep CCSO SAR Busy

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team were busy, Thursday. 

Just after 2 p.m., deputies began looking for a 75-year-old man who had wandered away from his Powell Butte home. Family was concerned due to a pre-existing medical condition and the warm weather.
Joe Cruz was found laying down near a fence about three hours later, a quarter mile away. He was dehydrated but in otherwise good condition. 
That evening, just before 7 p.m., SAR was dispatched for two men who were nearly seven hours overdue from a shooting trip in the Ochoco Mountains. They were later found safe and transported back to Prineville. 

Future of Sisters City Manager Still Unclear

SISTERS, OR -- There's still no decision on the future of the Sisters City Manager. City Councilors met in Executive Session Thursday to discuss Andrew Gorayeb, who has been on paid leave for the last six weeks. 


City officials have so far refused to say why he was placed on administrative leave, other than to say it's not financial, physical or sexual in nature. Sisters Mayor Chris Frye says another Executive Session is planned for next Thursday.  
He says it's still not clear when a final decision on Gorayeb's future will be made.

Surf's Up on the Deschutes River

BEND, OR -- The sun is out and people are headed to the river, with their surfboards! Dave Jaber and about a dozen other hardy souls in wetsuits took advantage of the warm weather to try out the Bend Whitewater Park on the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District.


Jaber is no stranger to whitewater parks, having moved to Bend from Idaho where he surfed the Boise River. “The time is right. It’s warming up. The flow is up so the wave is getting big and it’s a challenge but it’s a lot of fun. It’s different than actually surfing. You’re kind of going against the current. It’s definitely a good time.”
After seeing the success of the Boise surf park Jaber plans to open a mobile surfboard rental shop near Bend's whitewater park adjacent to the Colorado Bridge. “I just know this park is going to do really well. As you can tell, spring has barely sprung and there's already like 20 guys out here surfing.”
In the meantime, Jaber and his surfing pals will be on the river as much as they can.

Deschutes Co D.A. Continues Crime Lab Review

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel continues to review cases involving Bend's Oregon State Police Crime Lab. Lab analyst Nika Larsen is currently under investigation for allegedly tampering with drug evidence. 


D.A. Hummel told the League of Women Voters Thursday, he's about a third of the way through the review. "There are 1100 cases that I'm going through, looking through every single case. I've gotten through now about 300 and I think about nine of them I've determined the conviction will be overturned."


He says there are several factors to consider during each review. "If she was directly involved and we have 15 other pieces of evidence showing guilt, I say 'hold it.' But, if she's directly involved and we have no other evidence of guilt, I don't have confidence in the conviction. So, that happened nine times. By August, I'll get through those all, and I'll announce the final numbers to the public."


The investigation into Larsen's work at the lab began last fall


Redmond High Names New Principal

REDMOND, OR -- Just a week after the departure of Redmond High Principal Tony Pupo was announced, his replacement has already been selected. Superintendent Mike McIntosh admits the decision to promote Assistant Principal Paul Nolan was quick, but says the direction was clear after speaking with the school’s leadership staff, earlier this week. McIntosh tells KBND News, "It was just week ago that I announced Tony was leaving, and a week later we announced our replacement in Paul. It’s pretty rapid, but I don’t believe we shortchanged or did anything knee-jerk. I think there was considerable contemplation and considerable input and very clear direction on behalf of that leadership team." He adds, "As the conversation proceeded, we got down to ‘do you want to post it far and wide and try and find somebody to match that description or do you feel comfortable with the internal candidates?’ They looked at each other and discussed that for quite some time. And decided ‘we believe with all our heart that there are internal people that are the exact people we want.’"


Prior to joining Redmond High as an Assistant Principal in 2014, Nolan was a teacher for the Pendleton School District. He’ll take over as Principal in July, when Pupo moves into his new job at the district office.
Nolan will be Redmond High's fifth principal in six years. McIntosh says that instability was a consideration. "The elephant in the room was that there has been some fairly significant wounds created by the high school principalship turnover – there’s been a fairly constant shift in leadership there. I’m having confidence that Paul is the next constant."


Horse Killed in Powell Butte Crash

POWELL BUTTE, OR -- A horse was killed when it collided with a van in Powell Butte, Wednesday evening. According to the Crook County Sheriff's Office, 54-year-old Johnny Garcia of Veneta, OR was westbound on Highway 126, pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with construction equipment, when he saw two horses running towards him in his lane of travel.


Garcia told deputies he was driving 50-55 MPH and was able to miss one of the horses, but hit the Appaloosa which died at the scene. The driver was not hurt. That portion of the highway is considered open range. The owner of the horse, Joseph Waibel of Prineville, was notified of the incident. CCSO assisted Waibel in finding the loose horse. 

Prescribed Burn Season Begins in Central OR

BEND, OR -- The Forest Service conducted a number of controlled burns Wednesday, some of which are expected to continue Thursday. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says with nice weather comes more smoke in the air. "We really do the majority of our prescribed burning in the spring when we have some moisture in the soils and the vegetation, but it’s warming up enough that the fire can carry. So, people are going to start seeing a lot more prescribed burning in the area."


Fuels specialists plan to conduct a burn three miles west of Sisters near the Tollgate community, on Thursday. She says many projects, like near Hole In the Ground southeast of La Pine, have been in the works for a while, some for years. "Prescribed burning is kind of the final part of the process. First we do some thinning, then we do some mowing – or, what’s called ‘mastication’ – and then prescribed burning is the final part of getting rid of those fine fuels and making sure that an area will at least slow down or not carry fire if there was a wildfire."  However, she admits despite all the planning, outside factors can change things. "Projects have been significantly analyzed and plans have been laid out, and so we have kind of a whole group of those. Depending on the weather conditions in different areas, when we can make sure the smoke is going to go up and out of the area, is when we make those decisions."


A map of current and prospective burns on the Forest Service website shows dozens of projects in the works for this season. Click HERE to access the interactive prescribed burn map. Nelson Dean asks those in rural areas to check their site before calling 911 for smoke in the area.
To hear more of our conversation with Jean Nelson Dean, click HERE or visit our Podcast Page

Sheriff Fills Five Command Vacancies

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson has filled five leadership vacancies in his agency, including the two captains. Sheriff Nelson tells KBND News he received a lot of input from staff and the public over the last month. "This new process of identifying the next generation of supervisors here, it’s already fostered a new culture within our organization and it has positively effected our operations by changing how we work together, how we have a two-way communication so we make sure to capture input. So, it just strengthens our sheriff’s office team."


Detective Captain John Bocciolatt replaces Scott Beard who was fired for allegedly embezzling from the department. Sheriff Nelson says Captain Bocciolatt brings 28-years of experience with the Portland Police Bureau, most recently with the Internal Affairs division. "I’m excited about that piece because it’ll bring in a fresh perspective. Captain Bocciolatt has already been identifying areas where we can adjust procedure or add to policy. It’s been an asset."


He chose to promote from within for the other four positions, including new Patrol Captain Paul Garrison, replacing Erik Utter who resigned amid an internal investigation into policy violations. "In this particular case, teammates at the Sheriff’s office weighed in and Capt. Garrison and Sgt. Mike and Jeff Sundberg, as well as Lt. Rupert have the respect of their peers and that is an important piece when you look at the future of leadership in this organization." Mike and Jeff Sundberg happen to also be brothers. 
Photo: (L-R) Corrections Sgt. Jeff Sundberg, Patrol Lt. Ty Rupert, Patrol Sgt. Mike Sundberg, Patrol Capt. Paul Garrison, Detective Captain John Bocciolatt


Juniper Utility Sale Approved by Council

BEND, OR -- After operating the Juniper Utility water system for 14 years, Bend City Councilors heard public testimony Wednesday night regarding selling the utility to Roats and Avion water companies. 


Representatives from four affected subdivisions addressed the Council. All who testified supported the sale. One resident said, "We recommend the city council members approve the divestiture agreement as presented." Another added, "If you pass this resolution and if the sale goes through, you will have 1,500 very happy constituents." Others echoed, "The 161 homeowners of Tillicum Village are in great favor of the sale of the former Juniper Utility to Roats and Avion. Please let’s move forward." The Council unanimously approved the sale.
Avion and Roats approached the city about buying the system that serves several neighborhoods on the south side of Bend. Jason Wick, President of Avion Water, believes they can serve these residents better than the city. "The idea came about after watching a City Council meeting where the homeowner associations' presidents were explaining the problems they were having trying to meet the funding required by the city to go to a one-pipe system and get rid of their irrigation water." Wick tells KBND News, "Avion water company has been providing domestic and irrigation to many subdivisions since its creation in 1968, which gives it 48-years of experience with dual-pipe systems. The city of Bend doesn't have much experience with those in a neighborhood setting and Avion does. With the neighborhoods' locations, we approached Roats because the inner-ties with their systems for Mountain High, Tillicum Village and Timber Ridge would be very easy to do." Avion will take over customers in Stone Gate and Knottingham neighborhoods.
This agreement means the city won't have to make needed expensive repairs to the water system and costs for customers should decline.
In other business, the Bend-La Pine School District asked Councilors to delay a final decision on the designation of Troy Field until May so the district can sell the property. Councilor Victor Chudowski said, "The key really is to get a cooperative agreement with them and avoid lawsuits." The Council agreed to take up the issue at it’s May 4 meeting.

USDA Grants Available for Farmers Markets

BEND, OR -- The USDA is working to support local fruit and vegetable farmers with more than $90 million in new grant money. Bruce Pokarney, with Oregon's Department of Agriculture, says a lot of the state’s smaller growers – like many in Central Oregon – aren’t able to take advantage of big national marketing opportunities. "Oregon is a specialty crop state. Generally speaking, these are crops that don’t fall into the program-type crops like corn, soybeans and wheat and some of those very large federal programs you see in the Midwest. Oregon, of course, grows a lot of fruits of vegetables and the types of things you see in a farmers market."


Pokarney tells KBND News grants can be used to promote farmers markets, which are growing in popularity. "We’re seeing new farmers markets crop up everyday. We have a lot more smaller, beginning growers who want to grow locally. And, it goes beyond the farmers markets; some of this farm-direct marketing is aimed at farm to school programs, getting into the school lunch programs." Available grants include the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program.

The number of farmers markets has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. Pokarney says there are now 150 in Oregon, with many of the new markets east of the Cascades. Those local markets are a key opportunity for small farmers. "It gives a lot of small and local growers an opportunity to market their product. They may not be into the export market, or growing things that end up very far away, in terms of geography, but they do find the local markets very important and sustaining to them. And, it’s a great way to just bring the urban folks and rural folks together." Bend’s Farmers Market is slated to open June first.  

The ODA manages many of the grants in Oregon for the USDA. Applications for the competitive process are due May 12. For more information, visit the USDA's website.

Finance Retreat to Focus on Street Funding

BEND, OR -- In the wake of the resounding defeat of the proposed gas tax, Bend City Councilors will tackle the issue of funding road maintenance at its annual finance retreat April 13. Mayor Jim Clinton tells KBND News it’s back to the drawing board. “So now we need to go back and squeeze additional money out of the existing budget in order to devote more to fixing streets.”


Mayor Clinton says the finance retreat will primarily focus on streets funding. “We’ll hear from the finance department and they will project how revenues are looking in terms of room taxes, in terms of franchise fees, and in terms of the general money that comes in from property taxes.”

Based on what the Council hears, it will look for ways to adjust the city’s budget to find more money to maintain Bend’s roads.

City Considers Sale of Juniper Utility

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will consider at their Wednesday meeting whether to move forward with the sale of Juniper Utility to two local water companies. City Attorney Mary Winters tells KBND News Roats and Avion Water companies approached the city last year about purchasing the system. "Really, the HOAs were quite supportive of that concept. It wasn't the city's idea to sell it to the private utilities. It was the private utilities and, most importantly, the homeowners in that area and the HOAs in that area."


The city acquired the utility 14 years ago, when it was condemned. Winters says the system still needs significant and costly work, and customers now pay a surcharge to help cover extra expenses. "They thought, with the surcharge, it would be a good 30 years before the return on investment, with the estimates of the cost, would be a break-even point. If Council chose, because of concerns from homeowners, to not charge the surcharge, it would be even longer."


If Councilors agree to the sale, it would still have to be approved by the Public Utilities Commission. City Councilor Casey Roats is Vice President of Roats Water; he has recused himself from the issue. 

New Videos Released of Finicum Shooting

BEND, OR -- Two videos just released by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office reveal more about the traffic stop of Militia members that resulted in the fatal shooting of LaVoy Finicum. DCSO is leading the investigation into the January officer-involved shooting, outside of Burns.


The new cell phone videos were taken by Ryan Bundy, the brother of militia leader Ammon Bundy. He was in the truck driven by Finicum when the group was pulled over on their way to John Day, January 26, 2016. In the video, Ryan Bundy can be heard off camera saying, "We got too lackadaisical trying to speak to people. Anyway, they ambushed us on the way to John Day, now they’re shooting at our vehicle and we’re hunkered down."


Click HERE to view the full videos.


The group eventually gave up without further incident and were taken into custody. They are awaiting trial in Portland on charges that include Conspiracy to Impeded Federal Officers. 

Three Injured in Sisters-Area Crash

SISTERS, OR -- Three people were hurt in a Tuesday evening crash just east of Sisters. Oregon State Police investigators say 22-year-old Tyler Myers of Corvallis was southbound on Holmes Road, just before 5:30 p.m., when he failed to obey a stop sign at Highway 126.


His Ford Escort was struck by a westbound Toyota 4Runner, driven by Jacquelyn Ekern of Redmond, pushing Myers’ car through a fence. The Toyota was then hit by a Jeep Cherokee driven by Jayden Jones of Sisters.
Myers was flown to St. Charles Bend with life threatening injuries. The other two drivers were taken by ground ambulance.
Highway 126 was closed for about an hour and a half during the investigation.

County Clerk Teams with Prof. Basketball Players

MEDFORD, OR -- Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship is teaming up with a pair of professional basketball players to encourage young voters to participate in upcoming elections.


Kyle and E.J. Singler are originally from the Medford area. Kyle is a small forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder; E.J. plays for the NBA’s development league.
In the videos, the brothers focus on the importance of voting. "This election season, we want you to know how much your vote matters. Our elected officials could change your life for good or bad; that’s huge. Go to OregonVotes.gov to get registered." In a second video, they acknowledge this year's contentious battles. "This next election cycle could be one of the craziest. And so, voting matters, big time."
Click HERE to view the :30 video, and HERE to watch the :15 version. 
The Singlers volunteered their time for the videos that will air in Central and Southern Oregon through partnerships with Deschutes and Jackson counties.  

Two Arrested for Bighorn Sheep Poaching

BIGGS, OR -- Oregon State Police arrested two men for beheading two bighorn Sheep along Interstate 84, east of Biggs Junction. A driver reported seeing someone gutting a big game animal and was concerned it was a bighorn sheep, Sunday morning.


OSP wildlife troopers responded to the area and arrested 32-year-old Justin Samora of Utah, and 28-year-old Cody Plagmann of Troutdale, Oregon. The investigation revealed Plagmann and Samora worked together to shoot and remove the heads of the bighorn sheep. Both animals were recovered but were unable to be salvaged. 
Only a small number of these sheep are allowed to be killed in the state, and hunters must have tags. 
"It's an outrage that someone would poach a bighorn sheep, when hunters can wait their whole life and still never get the opportunity to hunt this iconic species," said Jeremy Thompson, district wildlife biologist in The Dalles. " This herd is also a popular viewing attraction for people driving along I-84, and has been there since 1993."
The two men are charged with taking bighorn sheep, wasting of a game animal and hunting on another's enclosed land. Any persons who may have witnessed the incident or has information is asked to call The Dalles Area Command at 541-296-9646.

Redmond High to Lose Principal

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond High has had four principals in the past six years, and the school will go through another leadership transition, come summer. Tony Pupo has been tapped by the district to take over as Director of Support Services, when current director JB Demaris retires in July.  


Superintendent Mike McIntosh says the number of recent principals at the school was a consideration in his decision to appoint Pupo, but ultimately decided he was the best person for the district position. "I have to give him a ton of credit for being the absolute steadying influence in that whole transition from principal to principal." 
McIntosh met with RHS leadership staff Monday afternoon and hopes to have a replacement hired in time for the start of school in the fall. "Nobody is looking for drastic changes. We like the path we’re on; we like the path that’s been set before them and they do, too." He tells KBND News he wants the work started by Pupo to continue. "He has done an incredible job of turning Redmond High School around, in the sense that it was having difficulty managing that flux, that change over time. So, Tony applied his hand two years ago in an effort to create a culture where people wanted to be and students wanted to be." And, he expects Assistant Principals Paul Nolan and Chad Lowe will provide the same strength during this next transition. "[Pupo] has done such an amazing job at Redmond High School creating what I say is an optimistic culture, and that has been embraced and endorsed by virtually every staff member and student there. But, they also like the other two," says McIntosh. "I mean, Paul and Chad are also well received by the student body. I think Redmond High School is in great hands. Those two gentlemen remain in tact in their current capacity."
Pupo has worked at RHS for nine years and was promoted to Principal in the fall of 2014, after Nicole MacTavish left for a job in Idaho. She was also Principal only two years. Prior to MacTavish, Lee Loving served as Principal for a year before he moved to Ridgeview High. He took over in October 2011, when Brian Lemos was fired after a year on the job. McIntosh explains, "High schools, by their very nature are the high stress, high energy, high profile positions in our district."
Click HERE to read more from the district on the changes. As Director of Support Services, Pupo will oversee transportation, maintenance and nutrition services. 

One Teen Arrested, Another Sought for Burglary

REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond teen is in custody, charged with stealing a van and several guns. The burglary happened March 21 at a home on Southwest Mesa Way, just outside of Redmond. 


Deschutes County Sheriff’s investigators later located the van and arrested the 13-year-old. They’re still looking for a second juvenile. 
The stolen firearms were sold in the Redmond area and some have since been recovered. Three adults were arrested during the investigation; 34-year-old Lori Donovan, 53-year-old Dwaine Copeland and 48-year-old Cassandra Tischler are charged with being felons in possession of a firearm and theft. 
Dwaine Copeland                      Cassandra Tischler

New Photos Released of Bank Burglar

BEND, OR -- Bend Police released new pictures of the man who broke into the Columbia Bank on NE Third Street, the evening of March 16.
Surveillance photos show a younger Caucasian man entering the bank wearing dark clothing and a bandana over his face. Investigators say he intentionally broke the front window of the closed bank, to get inside. 
He didn’t appear to take anything, and left the area in a light colored, older model Toyota Tacoma or similar pickup, with a dark canopy. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call Bend PD at 541-693-6911.
The suspect vehicle can be seen through the window:

CRAFT Cats In Need of Volunteers

BEND, OR -- A local cat rescue group is not accepting any more cats at this time, due to a lack of volunteers. The Cat Rescue, Adoption and Foster Team (CRAFT) of Central Oregon has a full house and the nonprofit needs more people to help care for the animals.


Judith Parker, CRAFT Volunteer Coordinator tells KBND News, "Right now, we’re very, very low on just our basic care giving volunteer. In particular, we’re really low on people right now for the weekends. We just need help taking care of the kitties, doing basic litter box maintenance, feeding, watering, cleaning the facilities." She adds, "We’d like to have most of our volunteers be 18 years or older. However, we have got a couple of mother-daughter teams. We have a wonderful team right now – the mother homeschools the daughter and the daughter wants to be a vet tech when she grows up, or a veterinarian. So, this is just really good experience, in the trenches."


But, Parker says the organization is also challenged by choosing not to take in dogs. "We’re always looking for additional funding. Being a cat only shelter limits us very much. If we handled dogs too, we’d have a lot more of a body of foundations to choose from and ask for funding, but a lot of the funding sources are drying up."


CRAFT's shelter between Bend and Redmond is completely volunteer run. The nonprofit rescues an average of 1,000 to 1,200 cats each year.

Statewide Prepared! Workshop at Kah-Nee-Ta

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- State emergency managers are back in Central Oregon this week for the third annual Prepared! Workshop. Andrew Phelps, Director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management, says this is the first time the Oregon Health Authority has co-sponsored the event. "Most emergencies, and certainly every disaster, have a pretty big public health component. I don’t think we’ve always looked at emergencies and disasters from that lens. Certainly, emergency management’s involvement in the H1N1 response, back in 2009 was an eye-opening moment for a lot of us in the emergency management community, realizing it’s more than just vaccination and medication that’s needed to combat a pandemic or an epidemic. There’s sheltering issues; there’s mass care issues; there’s communication and public information and warning issues."


For the last two years, the conference has been held in Sunriver. Phelps says his agency has dealt with a number of big incidents, in the past year – from catastrophic wildfires and other natural disasters, to manmade events like the mass shooting at UCC. "Very often, the public doesn’t care why the lights went out – whether someone hacked the electrical system, or there was a car crash into a telephone pole, or there were severe winds that knocked down power lines. We don’t look at specific hazards and say that those are the hazards we’re going to deal with. We really take an ‘all hazards’ approach and deal with the consequences and try to prepare and respond to and recover form those consequences, regardless of the cause." He says the annual conference allows less experienced emergency managers to learn from their more experienced peers.
This year’s topics include disaster myths, collaborating with volunteer agencies and even how to monitor and control social media rumors during a big event. "A lot of our emergency managers, when they’re going through a disaster, for the most part, it’s the first time they’ve experienced that and they don’t always know what to expect and what they’re going to need," Phelps tells KBND News. "So, using this conference to share some information from emergency managers who have been through these processes, have worked with the Red Cross, have worked with the State Fire Marshall’s office and some of the other partners we utilize during a disaster, and sharing some of those lessons learned with those emergency managers that don’t have that level of experience – that’s where I see this conference really paying off."
Nearly 300 emergency management leaders are expected to attend this year's Prepared! Workshop, which takes place all week at the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort. Phelps says continuing to hold the annual event in Central Oregon is important to ensuring communities from all corners of the state can participate. 

Bend Man Killed in Saturday Crash

LA PINE, OR -- A Bend man was killed in a crash that shut down Highway 97 north of La Pine for more than three hours, Saturday afternoon. According to Oregon State Police, 26-year-old Nathan Mackey was southbound at about 1:45 p.m. when he crossed the centerline and collided with a semi-truck. 


Mackey was pronounced dead at the scene; the truck driver was unhurt. It’s unclear why he crossed into oncoming traffic and the crash remains under investigation. 

Couple Arrested in Redmond Bust

REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Police Street Crimes Unit arrested two adults and took three children into protective custody, following a several weeks-long investigation. On Friday, detectives searched a home near SW 24th and Salmon Ave, and seized 19 grams of meth, cash, scales and packaging materials. During the bust, the Department of Human Services took three children under the age of 13 into custody. 


The two people who lived at the house, 32-year-old Thomas Grubb and 34-year-old Angela Roberts, are charged with manufacture, possession and distribution of meth, frequenting a place were drugs are sold and endangering the welfare of a minor.  

Researchers: Climate Change to Impact Rec.

BEND, OR -- Climate change research conducted at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station points to changes we will eventually have to adjust to. Nobel Laureate on Climate Change David Peterson is helping gather these findings. "Everyone is very concerned about water in the future," he tells The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings. "This is already a very arid region, and it’s going to get drier in the future – that’s going to effect water supply, it’s going to effect fish and it’s going to effect, to a certain extent, people’s access to certain things like water supply, recreational opportunities and so forth." 


This year's snowpack is considerably better than a year ago, but Peterson is still concerned. "I think it was really a gift to us to have this low snowpack here because it was sort of a wake-up call. I know a lot of climatologists think 2015 might be a window into the future; kind of the new normal after about mid-century. So, it gives us something to think about in terms of how will we manage this, how will we adapt to this?"


Jessica Halofsky is a University of Washington researcher. She says the future holds, "Definitely increasing temperatures across the board, that’s pretty certain. We also expect decreased snowpack, particularly at lower elevations and those middle elevations that don’t always have a lot of snow, to lose the snow; maybe almost completely. Precipitation is more uncertain for the future." Halofsky expects longer spring, summer and fall recreation seasons with higher temperatures, and shorter winters.


Click HERE to listen to the complete SourceCast.


Butane Honey Oil Drug Lab Raided

BEND, OR -- Oregon State Police and Central Oregon drug detectives (CODE) discovered a large butane honey oil and marijuana grow operation at two Bend homes, on Thursday. Three people were arrested following a three-month investigation and the execution of the search warrants. 


At the locations on Remington Drive and Hamehook Road, officers seized 136 pounds of pot, 104 mature plants and several pressurized vessels used to store butane, which is considered highly explosive. Butane Honey Oil is considered a “cannabinoid extract,” and making it is extremely dangerous and illegal. 

The Central Oregon Emergency Response Team (CERT) served the warrant at 63465 Hamehook Rd (pictured) due to its size, location and information officers received about potential hazards. CODE and OSP detectives searched the building and discovered no one lived at the residence and it was used only to manufacture butane honey oil and grow marijuana. 
The three arrested, 29-year-old Trevor Thayer, 37-year-old Thaddeus Petterson and 32-year-old Jason Pittman all face a number of drug possession and manufacturing charges. 


New Park Coming to Northeast Bend

BEND, OR -- A new park is under construction in northeast Bend. It's called Canal Row Park, and it's at the corner of Brinson and Butler Market Road. 


Chelsea Schneider, with Bend Parks and Rec, is overseeing the project. "A neighborhood park is typically a nice walkable park; it's meant to support the immediate neighborhood so people can walk there and enjoy picnic spaces, a new playground and lots of recreational trails, as well."


But, Canal Row will also include something a little different. "We're also going to be bringing in a water play feature that is meant to tell the story of this part of the region as it relates to irrigation systems and canals," Schneider tells KBND News. "So, we're going to have this feature so the kids can actually manipulate where the water goes, push the water this way and pull the water that way."


Unusual for a neighborhood park, Canal Row will have a small parking lot, so people won't be forced to park on Butler Market Road. Schneider says, "We expect construction will take about six months, so we anticipate people being able to enjoy the park by this fall. Most of the timeframe is, realistically, so that we can enable the lawn area to get established before we see a lot of foot traffic on it."



Bend Veteran Presented with Purple Heart

BEND, OR --  Bend resident Chris Dahlen was presented with his Purple Hear medal by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) on Thursday, 4 1/2 years after he was injured in combat in Afghanistan.

Specialist Dahlen was wounded September 10, 2011 when his vehicle was struck by an IED - an Improvised Explosive Device. The Purple Heart is presented to soldiers injured or killed in combat. At the ceremony at Walden's office, Dahlen downplayed his injury. 

“When I got wounded 78 others got wounded and we look at it as we did our job. That’s why I guess look at it like we don’t want to have things get real big or out of hand, we just look at it like we were doing our job.”
This was the first time the Congressman presented the Purple Heart to a solider. “So, for me, it’s very moving because he suffered a lot. It’s a unique and special privilege to be able to present the Purple Heart.” It took so long to get Dahlen his medal because his name was misspelled on the original paperwork.

Sisters High Offers Flight Science Essay Contest

SISTERS, OR -- Aviation students at Sisters High School have an opportunity to win free flight lessons from a professional. Advanced Flight Dynamics and the Sisters Eagle Airport, are sponsoring an essay contest. Students are asked to write about why aviation is important to them, or how it has changed the world. 


A panel will select the two best essays. Those winners will then receive instruction from local pilot Mike Klock. "It's helping promote aviation. We need more young people in aviation," he tells KBND News. "We'll provide something exciting for the students do, maybe motivate them more. Two students will win hour flights with me in our aerobatic airplane." 


Essays are due by April 15 and winners will be announced May 25. The winning flight lessons will occur at the Sisters Airport in June. 

Buehler Endorses Alley, Says No to Trump

BEND, OR -- As the field of Presidential candidates narrows, the race for Oregon Governor remains broad. Six weeks ahead of the state's primary, two Independents, five Republicans and six Democrats - including current governor Kate Brown - are vying for their parties' nominations.


Bend State Representative Knute Buehler is endorsing Republican Allen Alley; a man he says he’s known for a number of years. "He’s a thoughtful, very capable person, and I think Oregon needs a change. After 30 years of Democrats having the Governor’s mansion, we absolutely have to turn this around," Buehler tells KBND News. 


In a statement released this week, Alley says he has received endorsements from eight other State Representatives, as well. He is running against Bob Forthan, Bob Niemeyer, Bruce Cuff and Bud Pierce in the May primary. Patrick Barney and Cliff Thomason will both appear on the Independent Party primary ballot for Governor. For the Democrats, Dave Stauffer, Kevin Forsythe, Chet Chance, Steve Johnson and Julian Bell are all running against Governor Brown. 


Buehler says, "Our system works best with balance. We’ve been out of balance in our political system for a long time. Having a thoughtful, capable Governor like Allen Alley, I think is where we need to be."  But, he's much less confident about his choice for a GOP Presidential nominee. What he's sure of - he won’t support Donald Trump. Buehler says Trump raises important issues, including border security and campaign finance reform; however, "I think he identifies these problems, but he doesn’t have viable solutions. I want to see solutions and I want to see people who solve our problems. People, I think, are disgusted, irritated and their patience has worn thin with the problems in this country not being adequately solved. And, I don’t see him as the person who can do it." Buehler had supported Marco Rubio, prior to his departure from the race. 


Photo: Allen Alley Facebook page

Seven Wonders Designation Impacts Smith Rock

TERREBONNE, OR -- When the Seven Wonders of Oregon national ad campaign launched in 2014, the state’s Tourism Commission wanted to get visitors and residents out exploring our natural wonders. But, at Central Oregon's local wonder, the campaign may have worked a little too well.


Park Manager Scott Brown says at only 650 acres, Smith Rock State Park is much more compact than the other six features, and it's surrounded by residential neighborhoods. "We have had some neighbors who are concerned about the parking issue. On busy days, there just isn’t any parking and people sometimes find creative ways to park and it disturbs our neighbors’ quality of life." 
He says annual visitation has skyrocketed 55%, from 450,000 a year in 2011, to 700,000 in 2015. "Some of the impacts are the trails, [we] are not able to keep up with maintenance so they’re getting degraded; some negative influence on wildlife and plant populations, and just the fact that we don’t currently have enough restrooms and staff to support the visitation," Brown tells KBND News.
But, he says the Travel Oregon ad campaign isn't solely to blame. "Seven Wonders was obviously a very successful campaign and we did see a lot of new traffic from that, and that’s part of the rapid increase in visitation here. It’s also because the entire Central Oregon area, and all of the recreational opportunities out here, are growing rapidly. The concern that we’re having now is that the park is tending to get overcrowded." To try and ease that overcrowding, Brown urges locals to consider visiting during off-peak times, like weekdays and non-holidays. And, he asks everyone to respect the park, native wildlife and the neighbors. 
Coming up on Monday, KBND News will take an in-depth look at Smith Rock's popularity, in the first installment of our Take Five series on the Seven Wonders of Oregon. 


Suspected Meth Lab Shutdown in Madras

MADRAS, OR -- Madras Police raided a suspected meth lab near Buff Elementary School, Thursday. Officers initially responded to the Ponderosa Street home on Wednesday, to investigate a report of Domestic Violence. Jeremiah Leach was arrested at that time, after police found him with a half ounce of methamphetamine. 


Investigators executed a search warrant at the home at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, putting the nearby school in “lock out” for about 10 minutes as a precaution. During the search, they found chemicals and other evidence of meth manufacturing. The home is now posted as unfit for use. 
In addition to the original drug possession charges, Leach is also accused of manufacturing meth within a thousand feet of a school. 

Bend Man Arrested After Tumalo Crash

TUMALO, OR -- A Bend man is accused of killing a dog while speeding down Gerking Market Road in Tumalo, Wednesday evening. Oregon State Police arrested 65-year-old Bruce Hoover on criminal mischief, reckless driving and aggravated animal abuse charges on Thursday.


The dog’s owner told OSP he was working on his property at about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, when he saw a man driving at a high rate of speed. He motioned for him to slow down and instead the driver accelerated, swerved directly at him and struck his dog. After the collision, he continued down at an estimated 80 miles per hour.  The dalmatian died at the scene. 


Through car parts and other evidence left at the scene, and tips from the public, OSP located the suspect and his vehicle, which they say showed recent damage. 

One Killed, One Injured in Hwy 126 Crash

REDMOND, OR -- A Madras man was killed in a head-on collision west of Redmond, Thursday evening. Oregon State Police and Deschutes County deputies responded to Highway 126 near 67th Street at about 6:30 p.m. 

Investigators say an eastbound Ford Explorer 
crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a mini van. The driver of the van, 41-year-old Jason Franklin, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, 18-year-old Justice Collins of Prineville, suffered non-life threatening injuries. He was taken to St. Charles Bend. 
The highway was shut down for several hours while police investigated. It reopened just before 11 p.m.


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