Local News Archives for 2017-01

BLP & High Desert ESD Board Members In DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Members of the Oregon School Boards Association are in Washington D.C. to discuss educational priorities with lawmakers. Cheri Helt, with the Bend-La Pine School Board, is looking forward to meeting with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) Tuesday morning, and Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Tuesday afternoon. Helt says, "One of my personal top priorities is the Secure Rural Schools Act, which is very important to the state of Oregon since we have so much federal forestland, and that helps us fund schools. Currently, this year, it hasn’t been put into a bill so we won’t be getting funds. But, in the past, it’s been up to $500 million for the nation." Dr. Doug Nelson, with High Desert ESD, is also at the Capitol.


The conference is part of an annual trip organized by the National School Boards Association. "We will be the first people to talk to the new administration and the new Congress about education, so that’s an exciting thing, and to remind them that kids matter and we need to have kids at the top of mind when they’re making legislation," Helt tells KBND News. She says she’s pleased to have received clarity and assurances from Trump Administration officials regarding the Every School Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind. "It does look like the new administration will go forward in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act; that’s what we’ve been hearing from legislators. So, we’re very hopeful to get some flexibility from the federal government around assessments and what is required of states as far as reporting. That’s really excited news, for us to be able to lay our vision forward for our local districts."

Oregon Legislative Session Begins Wednesday

BEND, OR -- Governor Kate Brown believes there is common ground to be found between the Trump administration and the state, and she sees infrastructure as a place to start. "I wish our new President well. I am very committed to making sure that Oregon's economy continues to thrive in every single corner of the state. And, from my perspective, that means making investments in infrastructure; investing in our roads and bridges, making sure that Highway 97 can be an effective and efficient thoroughfare. I want to make sure that we have an alternative route in the event of an earthquake." Governor Brown made the statement during last week's Western Oregon Governor's Conference on forest and rangeland. She says she wants to work with the federal government to help ensure the state is ready to withstand a future seismic event. 

While in Bend, she also talked about the upcoming Legislative Session, which gets underway Wednesday in Salem. Among the items on her wish list: A transportation package. "I am absolutely committed to moving forward with a transportation package. It is a challenge to businesses in the Central Oregon arena to attract employees because there's no workforce housing. So, I think that transportation; we need the infrastructure and we need to build more work to provide more affordable housing across the state of Oregon." Lawmakers failed to pass a transportation bill in the 2016 session. 
Gov. Brown is also focused on PERS reform. Paying for contracted pensions pinches state coffers, including local school budgets. The challenge is finding a solution to fund the Public Employees Retirement System that will pass legal muster. "We need to keep our promises to Oregon retirees. The Supreme Court verified that in their decision, last year. I am open to any solution that is legally viable. I don't want us to end up on the hamster wheel of litigation." State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) is working with a bipartisan group to come up with possible funding solutions for PERS. 

Local Flu Cases Declining, Season Not Over

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon may already be on the back end of this year’s flu season. "We can see trends over the years and flu hit us early, this year. Really, the highest peak we saw was at the end of December, which is rare," says Heather Kaisner, with Deschutes County Public Health. "Usually, we peak around early February for flu cases. And, I remember hearing about a lot of sick people over the holidays, and a lot of visits to the ER. The last couple weeks, those numbers have been going on the decline."


But, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, yet. Kaisner tells KBND News it’s not too late to get a flu shot. "[Last year,] We didn’t peak until March; we had a late flu season, last year. So, I don’t want to give a drop-dead date of ‘no vaccine needed,’ because we could still see cases into March." She admits weather-related school closures could have served to keep infected children from sharing germs in the past month. "What we have seen in our data is that those being affected by flu this season are more of the elderly; we haven’t seen very many children. It could be interesting now that school is back in session, what’s going to happen? Are we going to see another little blip and a peak in flu? It’s just kind of a wait and see." Kaisner says there have been flu outbreaks in at least two local retirement communities, this season. 

Oregon State To Remain Sanctuary University

CORVALLIS, OR -- Oregon State University officials are responding to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries with high rates of terrorism. OSU President Ed Ray issued a statement Monday telling faculty, staff and students the school will remain a sanctuary university.


Questions remain about the future of undocumented students and their families, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students, and how federal policies will affect funding for public research institutions like Oregon State. In the memo, President Ray said he is "angry and disappointed" over the executive order. He also outlines anxiety the order is causing for refugees, immigrants and those with green cards. 


OSU Vice President of Public Relations Steve Clark says this is not a political statement. “If the government is going to implement policies, they need to do those with much greater detail.” He adds, "Beyond that, what we sought to do was inform our community as to services that the university can provide and our continuance of being a sanctuary university."


Over the next few weeks, Clark says the university will hold education sessions, “To inform people to provide them knowledge of where they can go for resources, to allow them to know what the university can and cannot do.”


DUII Suspect Leads BPD On Chase

BEND, OR -- A suspected drunk driver led Bend Police on a circular chase, late Sunday night. An officer first tried to pull over an SUV just before midnight, because it was speeding on Franklin, near NE Second Street. Police observed the vehicle traveling at 40-45 mph in a posted 25 mph zone. The vehicle turned right onto Third, then made another quick right onto Emerson. 


The driver, later identified as 31-year-old Michael Anderson of Bend, turned off his headlights while continuing to drive. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, they say Anderson sped through the Walgreens parking lot, up Second Street and back to Franklin. He allegedly ran a red light at Third Street before finally stopping near Fourth Street.
He was taken into custody without incident. Investigators say his blood alcohol content was .15%, well above the legal limit of .08%. 

BLP Teachers To Benefit From OSU Grant

BEND, OR -- A new grant will allow up to 80 Oregon teachers in five districts, including Bend-La Pine Schools, to receive more training in working with students who don’t speak English proficiently. The $2.5-million grant was awarded to Oregon State University’s College of Education.


Assistant Professor Karen Thompson says many students considered “English Learners” are taught by less qualified educators. "Unfortunately, in some cases, less experienced, newer teachers are sometimes assigned to work with English Learners. We’ve had experiences at OSU of brand-newly licensed teachers who are hired by districts to serve as EL specialists. And, that’s a really challenging job for someone who hasn’t been a classroom teacher before." She tells KBND News, "There are many teachers all across Oregon who are teaching English learners in their second grade class, or in their high school science class, who just didn’t have an opportunity during their pre-teacher education program to have very much coursework focused on English Learners."
In Bend-La Pine Schools, about 5% of kindergarten through 12th graders are English Learner students; statewide, that number grows to about 10%. Thompson says connecting with these students is important for every type of educator. "Let’s say you’re a high school science teacher who is teaching in English, it’s to your advantage to know some strategies that could help make that science content accessible and meaningful for all the kids in your class so you don’t have kids who are tuning out because they have no way to – no hooks to grab onto to learn."
Online courses begin this summer for select teachers in Bend-La Pine, Beaverton, Springfield, Greater Albany and Corvallis schools, aimed at improving achievement goals for EL students. The five districts currently work with OSU’s College of Education. Thompson says changes may be seen in district classrooms as soon as this fall. 

Oregonians Protest Immigration Policy At PDX

PORTLAND, OR -- After President Donald Trump announced a ban on visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, hundreds of people rallied at Portland International Airport. They chanted things like, "No hate; no fear, refugees are welcome here."


One organizer says the ban goes against everything the country stands for. "You can’t ban a group of people based on their religion. You can’t ban a group of people from the United States based on how they pray." She adds,  "he point of this country, as it was founded, was for immigrants, for refugees, for people to come together who had no other place to go."


Traveler Deveninne Lander disagrees with the demonstration, saying, "We should be talking about the things that are going to make America great again, and all we’re doing is publicizing those who want to tear America down." KBND News received an email from a Damascus man who said he and his wife wanted to "be an encouragement to President Trump for keeping his promises." They took "Thank you President Trump" signs to PDX (pictured) and say they initially ran into resistance from some protesters, but some were willing to engage in a sincere conversation. Steve Spinnett says they all agreed that "loving one another was more important than our disagreements politically."


Port of Portland Police say there were no arrests during the weekend demonstration. 

Prineville Man Accused Of Double Stabbing

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A 25-year-old Prineville man was arrested Sunday, following a stabbing on Northeast Elk Street. 

According to police, officers responding to a 911 call found two female stabbing victims and an attempted rape in progress. Police were able to stop the alleged rape and medics transported the women to St. Charles Prineville. They were later flown to the Bend hospital due to the extent of their injuries to the face and neck. 
Anthony James Smith faces a list of charges, including attempted murder, attempted rape, burglary and kidnapping. 

Two Arrested For Alleged Assault, Kidnapping

SISTERS, OR -- A Crooked River Ranch woman and a California man are accused of kidnapping the woman’s roommates, in an ordeal that spanned two counties over two days.  Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 36-year-old Alisha Bryden and 37-year-old Jeremiah Degraw Friday, after the 23-year-old victims reported they’d been left at a Sisters gas station. 


According to investigators, Bryden and Degraw accused the couple of stealing, Thursday night, and assaulted them for over an hour at their Crooked River Ranch home, in Jefferson County. The man and woman were allegedly threatened and ordered to contact friends and family for money. Later, they were reportedly bound and taken to a Sisters motel where they spent the night. 
The victims were released Friday afternoon when Bryden and Degraw were unable to get any money. Bryden’s 9-year-old daughter was taken into protective custody following the arrest; investigators believe she witnessed the crimes.
DCSO is working with the Jefferson County Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices. They are also looking for additional witnesses to last week's events.
Bryden and Degraw are currently being held on more than a million dollars bail; they're due in court Monday afternoon. 

DCSO Deputy Charged With Harassment

BEND, OR -- A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy is accused of harassment, following a minor crash in the parking lot of the Bend Fred Meyer, Christmas Eve. District Attorney John Hummel announced Friday Bend Police conducted a thorough investigation and he was charging Deputy Bradley Wright with one criminal count. 


Wright was involved in a fender bender with a 67-year-old woman, December 24. He was off-duty at the time. While exchanging insurance information, he’s accused of – without provocation - aggressively grabbing the woman's arm, leaving a bruise. 
Sheriff Shane Nelson says he’s troubled by the allegations and his agency is conducting its own internal investigation.
Wright is now on paid administrative leave. 

Construction Safety Summit Open To DIYers

BEND, OR -- Construction workers from across the region will gather at the Riverhouse in Bend, next week, for their annual safety summit. Lindsey Wenick, with the Central Oregon Safety and Health Association, says it’s important training for workers, but it also helps Construction companies bypass certain inspections. "If they have four hours of training, they have a safety committee, they’ve had no accidents it’s telling Oregon OSHA in a roundabout way, that these are very proactive employers."


The two-day conference also offers information for the average do-it-yourselfer. Wenick says a common – and dangerous – mistake he sees homeowners make involves placing the ladder when climbing up on a roof, "Fourteen or 18-foot extension ladder and they throw it up against an eave. They don’t make sure they’ve dug down to have a good base, it’s not at the right angle and they don’t have it three rungs above so when they get at the top of the eave, that’s where the ladder stops. So, now they’re trying to grab the roof or vent or wherever to get on up."
The 16th annual COSHA Safety Summit is Monday and Tuesday, January 30 and 31. Register online, and learn more at COSHA's website. Listen to our full conversation with Lindsey Wenick at our Podcast Page, or click HERE

Local Districts Respond To HS Grad Rates

BEND, OR -- The Oregon Department of Education says schools are getting more students to graduate, but they have a long way to go. In 2016, 74.8% of Oregon students earned a high school diploma in four years; that’s a 1% increase from the year before and keeps the state near the lowest in the country. Students considered "Underserved" saw more improvement than the average. African American students had a nearly 4% gain, while Latinos saw an increase of about 2%.


Bend-La Pine Schools Deputy Superintendent Jay Mathisen says it’s easy to get frustrated with Oregon’s continued low standing in national rankings. However, he says graduation requirements aren’t the same in every state. "A number of other states, they don’t require near what Oregon does to get a diploma. So, we’re comparing apples and tractors when we say that Oregon is the 47th or 48th in the country. In Florida, for instance, any student in the last three years of high school, can be taken off a 24-credit diploma and put on an 18-credit diploma, where they have significantly less mathematics required, English required, science required. That comes out to more than a full year of high school less than what the Bend academic diploma requires."


Mathisen's district continues to outpace the statewide rate; but, after showing no improvement from 2014 to 2015, the 2016 rate grew by just 3-tenths of a percent. Mathisen says the district is still pleased with its 77.5% rate. "This is our second highest graduation rate ever as a district, and that’s a good thing for us. To receive a Bend-La Pine academic diploma requires two more credits, so that’s four more semester classes than what most high schools in the state require. So, the vast majority of the kids getting diplomas in June, walking across the stage and doing that at our comprehensive high schools, have essentially taken more than a half of a term more of high school." Mathisen acknowledges there’s room for improvement but says it’s not realistic to expect a 100% rate because some students, like those with special needs, aren’t able to earn a diploma in four years. And, he notes that several alternative programs, like the J Bar J Learning Center and National Guard Youth Challenge (OYCP) are also included in the district stats. "Students who go to those programs, because they’re within Bend-La Pine, physically – their campuses are - they’re our students in terms of state numbers. So, as we dig through those numbers, we know that we’ve got numbers of students who don’t attend any of our high schools, but they get counted in our data." 


David Burke, Redmond Schools’ Director of Secondary Education, is celebrating his district's 8.6% increase in 2016, but he says there is still work to do, "[To] Make sure that we’re going to continue that growth over time and that’s really what we’re looking for. Not just one year of some good data, but how do we sustain that and just have growth over time, as well." 
Redmond’s four-year graduation rate is now 79.1%, but he says statistics tell only part of the story. "We’re not chasing a graduation number; we’re chasing each and every individual kid. The truth is we want every single kid to complete high school. Some kids complete in five years, but we want every kid to complete something meaningful and be prepared with a diploma or GED."  He tells KBND News, "Education isn’t just about reading and math, it’s about kids being creative, innovative and collaborative. So, we’re trying to broaden that view and say we want them to have lots of experiences in school where they can find their passions and get engaged and envision themselves in the future maybe doing some of the things they’re experiencing while they’re in school. When they’re coming to school and engaged, they’re going to be successful." He says if kids want to be in school, they’ll graduate and cites national data showing kids who are in school at least 90% of the time graduate at much higher rates than those who miss class.
According to Burke, this is the first year all of the district’s three high schools showed big improvements. "Often times, what you’ll see are fluctuations between your schools, as a result, the district overall data grows minimally. But, this is the first time we’ve seen this kind of growth and had all of our schools growing at that rate, which is a positive thing for us."
Crook County Schools also saw improvement, rising to nearly 68%; that rate includes Crook County High School and Pioneer Alternative School. 

Three Arrested For Drugs After DUII Stop

BEND, OR -- An arrest for driving under the influence led to a drug investigation and two more arrests at a Bend motel, Thursday. Police arrested 44-year-old Hara Lim of Bend for DUII early Thursday morning. During the investigation, officers uncovered 98 grams of suspected methamphetamine and items used to sell and manufacture the drug.


Police then searched her room at the Shilo Inn and say they found commercial amounts of meth. They arrested two transients at the motel; 40-year-old Jared Michael Reed (center) and 43-year-old James Anthony Dyer (right) are charged with conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess meth.

Federal Rule To Impact Oregon Hunters, Anglers

BEND, OR -- Hunters and anglers are starting to get a more complete picture of rule changes made in the final days of the Obama Administration. KBND Outdoor expert Gary Lewis explains one of Daniel Ashe’s final actions as Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service: "Director Ashe issued an order to expand the use of non-toxic ammunition and fishing tackle on lands administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and that includes Prineville Reservoir. Effective immediately, what he did was make it illegal to use lead split-shot, lead jig heads and anything made of lead while you’re fishing."


Lewis says the order came January 19 without much publicity, due to the inauguration. "As I read it, I find that Oregon law is at odds with federal law," says Lewis. "Such that it would be illegal to do the hunt I’m planning this August with a muzzleloader that the state of Oregon requires that I use only a lead bullet; and the federal government won’t let me use that lead bullet on the land I’m intending to hunt on." Click HERE to visit ODFW's website outlining state ammunition restrictions. 
He adds, "We’ve been working on this stuff voluntarily for years; we can switch to non-lead. But, we have it forced down our throats all of a sudden by a guy whose last act in office, as he’s closing the door ‘oh yeah, here’s this to deal with.’"

Volunteers Count Central Oregon's Homeless

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon’s “point-in time” homeless count took place Wednesday at more than a dozen sites throughout the tri-county area. Cody Standiford is Co-chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition. He tells KBND News, "We need data in order to be able to apply for federal funding. Not only is the data very important so we can collect the numbers of homeless in our tri-county area, but that also, as a community, helps us understand what the problem really is and how we might be able to start tackling that, moving forward."
Volunteers also visited homeless camps during the one-day count, to try and connect with those who may be unable or unwilling to stop at a count site. Standiford says the effort also allows volunteers to connect directly with a vulnerable population. "If we can help identify folks and know where they’re at so that we can, as service providers, start targeting services to those areas – that’s the biggest hurdle is finding people. A lot of people don’t necessarily want to be found. So, once we find them, we can start providing individualized services. Everybody’s story’s a little different and everybody has a little different need."
The count takes place every two years. In 2015, they identified 2,087 who said they didn't have permanent housing, 43% were under the age of 18. Standiford expects that number to be higher, this year. Although, when work began at Bend’s United Methodist Church, Wednesday morning, he was concerned the weather would keep some from participating. "This has been one of the harder winters in the last couple decades, and we’re standing out here in downtown Bend and there are at least 50 people down here that are living outside in these conditions while we all sit nice and snug and warm in our homes and offices. It adds a little sense of urgency to it, for sure."  
Fellow Coalition Co-Chair Molly Taroli tells KBND News, "You know, it’s cold and it’s not going to be easy to find people outside, trying to do the count. But, what we have done, I believe, is a really good job with our community partners saying, ‘how can we do better this year and get a better count.’ So, how can we find people to make sure that we’re doing our job, this year?" Despite the weather, Standiford is confident they'll be able to contact most people. "Our partners, who work with these people daily, have a rapport, so they’re able to access them a little better. If we just walk up to someone cold and say, ‘Hi, I’m Cody and I want to count you,’ we may not get a real warm response. We’re really counting on those partnerships like at United Methodist Church, and it makes it just a little more comfortable to say, ‘you know me; I’m going to ask you these questions and I promise I’m not going to give it to the FBI and nobody’s going to come find you."
The data will be compiled over the next few days.  A full report likely won’t be made public until spring.  

Fugitive Accused of Stealing Two Cars, One Night

REDMOND, OR -- A man wanted for drug possession and violating parole allegedly led Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit, Wednesday night. An officer spotted a stolen Ford Focus at about 8:20 p.m. in northwest Redmond.


While the deputy waited for backup, a man got into the car and drove off. The deputy initiated a traffic stop but the car stopped in a nearby driveway and the driver – recognized as 36-year-old Ryan Fischer-Salt - ran from the scene. 

As units set up a perimeter, another deputy spotted a pickup without working tail lights. That vehicle led police on a 12-mile chase topping speeds of 80 miles per hour. 
The pickup ran over police spike strips on Cline Falls Highway, forcing it to come to a stop. Fischer-Salt got out of the vehicle and again ran. He was taken into custody with the help of a Redmond K-9 unit and faces a long list of charges. 

School Districts Hope To Recoup Storm Expenses

REDMOND, OR -- Local school districts continue to contend with the aftermath of several winter storms that hammered Central Oregon. Officials are hopeful this will be the first full week for students since mid-December. Between snow days and closures to inspect snow loads on roofs, Redmond schools lost eight days. A revised calendar attempts to recoup some of that student instructional time. 


But, Superintendent Mike McIntosh says recouping the money spent during that time is a little more complicated. He tells KBND News, "We’re looking at all sources possible to defray some of those costs but this is unpredictable, unprecedented and costly. But, when you look at the result of no loss of life and no danger, it was all worth it." Massive amounts of snow caused hazardous road conditions and straining school roofs. "We hired a company to come in and pitch those out," says McIntosh. "I can’t tell you the number of yards of snow, dump truck loads of snow we’ve removed from roofs, but a tremendous amount in an effort to save those roofs and, to the extent possible, predict safety for our staff and kids."
And, those expenses are taking its toll. "It is killer for a budget that’s already lacking. We don’t put in a huge number for snow removal; we have snowplows on district vehicles and so on. So, we have reserve funds we’re going to use, we’re talking with regional coordinator Nathan Garibay about some FEMA relief, we’ve got some insurance claims on roof structural leaks due to ice dams and a few other things." 
McIntosh hopes insurance will pay for facility repairs. He estimates removing snow from roofs cost the district about half a million dollars, and that doesn't include private contractors hired to clear parking lots. Roof clearing expenses are likely to come from reserve funds. Bend-La Pine Schools officials estimate they've spent more than a million dollars on snow removal. Both districts plan to ask FEMA for financial assistance. 
Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh, or visit our Podcast Page

Tight Desch. Co. Labor Mkt. Bolsters Outlying Areas

BEND, OR -- December’s unemployment numbers are out and regional economist Damon Runberg says, as a whole, 2016 was a good year for Central Oregon’s economy - especially in Deschutes County. "Our employment rate is now 4.4%, which is historically about as low as we’ve ever seen in Deschutes County. That’s a real challenge now for businesses, but the beneficiary is workers. It puts an upward pressure on wages so we’re starting to see some really strong wage gains across the county, right now."


Crook County’s unemployment rate dropped half a point to 6.5% in December, and Jefferson County’s rate also fell .5%, to 6.1%. Runberg tells KBND News, "Most of that is being driven by the fact that most of these workers in Crook and Jefferson counties are finding work in Deschutes County." He adds, "A rising tide of business hiring in Deschutes County lowers all unemployment rates in Central Oregon. And, that’s what I’m talking about with the commuters that we see. In a lot of ways, some of these communities are bedroom communities for our larger employment centers in Central Oregon." 
Runberg says the positive shift in rural counties is partly because there were no major lay-off events, like in 2015. "We haven’t overcome those losses yet, either. To not have seen many significant gains in the last year implies that the number of jobs that were in those communities is about the same as after those layoffs occurred. So, we haven’t seen any worsening of the employment picture in those communities, but we also haven’t seen significant recovery, particularly in Crook County."


More Cougars Spotted In South County

LA PINE, OR -- State officials urge South County residents to be aware of cougars in the La Pine area. USDA Wildlife Services and ODFW are tracking a cougar after a sighting Tuesday morning near the Corner Store in La Pine. 


They killed three cougars Monday, and a Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a cougar under a residential deck on Saturday
Investigators say the animals are responsible for the deaths of at least two pets and a dozen chickens, recently.  They believe the cats are having trouble hunting for food in deep snow.   
ODFW also asks people not to put out feed for deer and elk because it can lead to concentrations of those animals and attract cougars looking for prey. Visit ODFW's website for more tips

Apt. Plans Lead to Neighborhood Assoc. Revival

BEND, OR --  Opposition to a proposed apartment complex is leading to the revitalization of a previously dormant Bend neighborhood association. Some residents in the Southern Crossing area want the city to refuse a zoning change that would allow a 118-unit apartment complex near Reed lane and the Bend Parkway. However, officials don’t recognize the group as an organized neighborhood association because there hasn’t been a formal membership meeting in about four years.


Valerie Durkin is working to revive the Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association. She has a community development background and says neighbors are rightly concerned about the impact to traffic in the area, if the apartment complex is built. "I feel like this development project that they want to build is not a good fit for the area. The streets are too narrow, there are too many people who walk their dogs and their baby strollers; it’s not safe and we don’t believe that it’s smart development. We’d rather see something that’s low-density go in there and not have a zoning change."
Durkin tells KBND News the outcome of the zoning change won’t impact the future of the Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association, but they are related. "It might be a good reason for neighbors to become alarmed that if they don’t get involved with their neighborhood association, they’re not ever going to have a say about the future growth of our neighborhood. And, other neighborhood associations that do have power, and do work with the city and work with developers, the people do have input. But, because of the rules and regulations, you do have to be organized." She adds, "I think that something like this is going to light people’s feet on fire and make them more passionate to get involved. It seems like volunteerism is on the decline and it’s like, you almost, something big has to really happen before people wake up and actually do something about it."
She expects a number of neighbors to testify at a February 6 meeting with a city hearings officer. Then, Durkin plans to hold the first meeting of the new Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association, February 9. 


Local Sockeye Return in Big Numbers

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Fisheries officials with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) are pleased to see native sockeye salmon return to the area in large numbers. Lab results released Tuesday show 536 sockeye returned to the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project during the 2016 run. That far exceeds returns over the past few years, when they ranged between 19 and 86 fish.  


Genetic testing confirms 92% were from Lake Billy Chinook and fisheries manager Brad Houslet says it's a clear result of reintroduction efforts that began in 2010.
Based on physical characteristics of the fish, ODFW and CTWS authorized the passage of 463 sockeye upstream of the hydro project to complete their lifecycle and spawn in the Metolius basin. The remaining 73 were retained at the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's Round Butte Fish Hatchery to spawn.
Click HERE to view in-stream video of one returning sockeye.

Bend Begins To Calculate Cost of Storms

BEND, OR -- Like other cities in the region, Bend’s budget has taken a hit from this winter’s extreme weather. City Manager Eric King says staff and contractors have had to plan for a variety of issues. "We have had different version of this storm, from the heavy snow to structural concerns, to flooding concerns; it’s just had a lot of dimensions to it. I think we’ve also worked really well with our partners in Deschutes County, city of Redmond and really making sure that we’re taking a coordinated approach in responding to these series of storms."


Bend officials are now starting to get an idea of just how this winter’s severe storms have impacted city coffers. City Councilors approved an additional half million dollars for private contractors in December. King tells KBND News they've spent a little more than $671,000 of that $685,000 budget. "Every time we call out the contractors for a storm, it’s about a $100,000 to do so, and there’s probably been at least four or five call-outs in the last month and a half. We also had equipment needs pop up unexpectedly. We had a grader that reached the end of its life after 30 years, so we went to Council and approved the purchase of a new grader." Adding in city staff overtime and equipment maintenance in December, that price tag rises to nearly $725,000. King says January overtime costs are not yet available.

While savings in the last fiscal year are expected to cover most of this year’s additional expenses, King says they’re looking at future adjustments. "Transportation funding is one of our top Legislative priorities. The hope is that that the state Legislature puts together a transportation package. We’re not alone; there are many cities across Oregon - across the country – that are facing the same issue where you’re on the edge of just being able to keep up with deteriorating roads and then you have a bad winter and it depletes that budget further."

Apartment Fire Displaces Prineville Family

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville family of four was displaced by a fire that broke out in the kitchen of their apartment, Monday. 


Crook County firefighters responded to the four-plex on NE 10th Street just before noon. They say the blaze started when grease ignited while deep-frying food.It caused extensive damage to the kitchen, with flames reaching into the attic. 
The family safely evacuated and is getting help from the local Red Cross. None of the other apartments was damaged. 

Gov. Brown Talks Forest Management In Bend

BEND, OR -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown believes there is a way to grow the timber industry and protect the environment. She shared her thoughts during the keynote speech at the Western Governor's Association Forest and Rangeland Workshop Monday, at the Riverhouse in Bend.


She highlighted John Day-based Iron Triangle Timber as an example: "Because of the sustainable supply of wood on the Malheur National Forest, Iron Triangle is now in the process of reopening and upgrading a post and pole mill in Seneca, Oregon that's been sitting idle for years." In 2013, the Forest Service awarded a 10-year, $68 million contract to Iron Triangle, allowing them to accelerate restoration work over the next decade. "Thanks to this particular partnership, we've seen a 14% increase in timber harvest and a 16% increase in timber-related jobs as a result of partnerships like these," said Brown. "I believe we have to continue to search for similar innovative programs that are both good for the economy and for the environment."


Gov. Brown also talked about new industries helping rural economies in the state. She told the crowd, "Unmanned aerial vehicles and cross-laminated timber aren’t just the hot tech trends of the moment. I see these as brilliant innovations that can’t grow without space or trees." Brown says, "We're certainly working hard to invest in technologies that inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs."


She points out there are also opportunities to protect forest and rangelands, "Drought and wildfire threaten family incomes and our local economies." The workshop continues Tuesday with a discussion on how to support and diversify rural economies. Bend Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell will participate in that panel. 


JeffCo Residents Help Find New Superintendent

MADRAS, OR --  Jefferson County 509-J Schools Superintendent Rick Molitor will retire in June and the school board is asking for volunteers to help select the district’s next leader. Board member Courtney Snead says they’ve already identified what kind of person will next lead the district. "Someone with vision and leadership toward our mission, which is really to celebrate the diversity and the differences that we have in our very unique district. And then, also looking for someone who understands how to work with different and multiple perspectives and how to bring those together to create a really exciting and positive environment for our learners."


The board is hoping 10 residents will join them in determining the best candidates from among the Superintendent applicants. "We’re really looking for community engagement and involvement and for the community to shape the type of Superintendent we’re looking for. And, when I say ‘community,’ I mean the community at large - parents, teachers, our staff – to all be involved in that process of defining what the qualifications and the skills are that we’re looking for in that person." Snead adds, "As one board member, I’m really looking to ensure that we’ve got really good representation, not only from all of our different constituency groups impacted by the Superintendent position, but also ensuring that we have demographic representation from our Latino community, our native community, and then also gender and age; all of those things. I’m trying to make sure that we have a really good cross-section of our community as a part of that selection group."


Applications for the search committee are due February sixth. Click HERE to learn more about the committee and download an application. Snead says the Superintendent selection process is going to move quickly, in order to beat other districts to the best candidates. The board would like to have two finalists for the job chosen and ready to interview by the end of March.

Teen Driver Injured In Century Dr Crash

BEND, OR -- A 17-year-old driver was injured in a Sunday morning crash on Century Drive. According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, the Bend teen was westbound when she lost control of her pickup on an icy patch of road and swerved into oncoming traffic. 
An eastbound SUV was unable to avoid hitting the vehicle. The teen was extricated from the pickup by Bend Fire personnel and then air-lifted to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. Investigators say she was not wearing her seatbelt.
Neither of the two people in the other vehicle was injured. 
UPDATE: The Deschutes County Sheriff's investigators now believe the girl was wearing her seatbelt, contrary to initial witness reports. Her family released the following statement:
"Our daughter is doing very well. She is in stable condition and will hopefully be released from the hospital tomorrow [Tuesday]. We are so very thankful for the quick actions of the emergency response folks, those first on the scene to support our daughter, Air Link and all of the doctors and nurses that helped our daughter get through this tough time. We are also so grateful for the wonderful outpouring of support from family, friends, Summit High School, Bend FC Timbers and our great community. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to Deschutes County Search and Rescue."

Cougar Killed by DCSO in La Pine

LA PINE, OR -- A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed a cougar in La Pine, over the weekend. The agency says the incident came following multiple reports of pets attacked – and in some cases killed – by the cougar in the past week. 


A trapper was contacted by Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife after the first report of a dog attacked on Coyote Road. Just after midnight Saturday, a resident of Glenwood Drive reported the cougar was under their deck, which is less than a quarter mile from a daycare and about a mile from Rosland Elementary. 
Deputies responded and killed the animal due to the danger it posed to the public.  

Sex Offender Arrested For Indecent Exposure

BEND, OR -- A 50-year-old Bend transient was arrested Saturday after he allegedly exposed himself at the Regroup Thrift Store on Northeast Greenwood in Bend. An employee called 911 to report the man was found nude in a dressing room. 


He left prior to police arrival, and was found nearby a short time later. He led officers on a short foot pursuit but was eventually taken into custody. 
Shawn Cline faces a number of charges, including public indecency, failing to register as a sex offender and driving while suspended. 

Multiple Weekend Fires Keep Crews Busy

BEND, OR -- Fire investigators blame a clothes dryer for a fire that caused about $25,000 in damage to a home on Northeast Canyon Park Drive, Friday afternoon. They say residents were alerted by smoke detectors and safely evacuated. 


Saturday afternoon, Crook County Fire and Rescue responded to an attic fire at a two-story home in northeast Prineville (right). The home was a total loss and the Red Cross is assisting the family of five. The cause of that blaze is under investigation. 

And, Early Sunday morning, Bend firefighters responded to a Widgi Creek condo, after an explosion blew the front off a garage (pictured above). Investigators say the propane meter was buried by several feet of snow when nearby roofs were cleared. A pipe had broken adjacent to the meter in the garage wall, filling the garage with propane until it found an ignition source. The explosion and fire left about $90,000 in damage. No one was in the condo at the time and someone in the adjacent unit discovered the fire. 



Bend Code Changes Would Clear Way For Uber

BEND, OR -- Ride-sharing services could be available in Bend as soon as mid-March, if City Councilors approve changes to current code. "Transportation Network Companies," like Uber and Lyft now operate in Bozeman, Montana and Spokane, Washington, and Bend officials are looking to how similar cities have accommodated the popular service.



City Manager Eric King tells KBND News, "There are some provisions in the code that don’t really work for Transportation Network Companies, so we’re doing an overhaul of that code. And, there are some basic principles of equity in terms of a taxicab company vs. an Uber driver. But, there are also differences in how those two operate. So, there are some adjustments that have to be made to the code." 
Local cab companies have opposed the move. But King says overhauling the code should address their concerns. "The big issue is the insurance issue and background checks. And, in both cases, there is some equity with the insurance but there are also some differences and that’s just because those models are different. There are tiered insurance levels that are available for Transportation Network Companies and so we talked about that with Council. Other than that, we’re really [trying to achieve] equity between the two."  He says changes to things like background check requirements would apply to both cabs and ride-sharing services. "We had been doing them in the police department; we want the companies to take care of those background checks and give the ability to the city to audit. [It’s] A much more efficient way to sort of manage the system. There’s also a very different way of doing background checks – the fingerprinting that had been done, it was referred in our code as somewhat of an antiquated way to determine whether or not someone has a criminal background. Just cleaning some of the code up is going to, I think, help address some of those concerns." Council will hear the first reading of the code changes and take public comment, February first. 
Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Bend City Manager Eric King, or visit our Podcast Page

Local Women Take Part In National March

WASHINGTON, DC -- More than 200,000 people from around the country are expected to take part in the Women's March on Washington; and a Bend woman will be among them. Local realto Marcia Hilber says she wanted to stand up for what she believes in and isn't necessarily against the President-Elect. 


"I just felt driven to go," Hilber tells KBND News. "I just think it's a very, very important time to express, not our pushing against or fighting against our new Administration, but to make sure that we voice those things that are important to us." She adds, "As a woman who was sexually assaulted most of my growing-up life, I take offense to the fact that he thinks that assaulting women is Okay. I want to make sure we aren't moving backwards when it comes to women's right to choose, LGBTQ rights, the rights of women, the rights to our religious beliefs."


Hilber says she hasn't been politically active in 20 or 30 years. "I have to share Obama's viewpoint that I think that we have a lot to look forward to. I'm going there to try and express a positive movement going forward and not so much to fight against or resist what is simply a reality that Donald Trump is going to be our President."

The national march takes place at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, Saturday. Similar marches will occur in hundreds of cities across the country, and 32 other countries. The Bend's Women's March is expected to draw more than a thousand people to downtown Bend. It begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Drake Park Amphitheater. 


Redmond Transit Center Design Released

BEND, OR -- The group that manages Cascades East Transit, the region’s bus system, is moving forward with plans to build a transit hub in southwest Redmond, between Fred Meyer and Lowe's [pictured below]. Currently, Cascades East Transit buses line up in front of the Redmond library, but it was never intended to be a permanent transfer station.
Judy Watts, with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, says the new facility will be very different than their only other hub – Hawthorne Station, in Bend. "Hawthorne, you know, it has this big building and buses line up as they come, in order. What we’re doing that’s very different and a bit new for us, we have what’s called a ‘saw-tooth design,’ so buses will have dedicated little parking spot." She tells KBND News, "It’ll be great for accessibility issues, for ease of finding your bus and then also transferring from one of your community connector shuttles – say you’re transferring on to another city, you’re not going to have to walk all over the hub to find your bus. You’ll have a pretty good idea of where it is." 
COIC was scheduled to present the proposed Redmond design at a meeting earlier this month, but it was canceled due to the weather. They’re still hoping the community will provide feedback before plans are finalized at the end of February. Construction is slated to begin this spring with the facility scheduled to be ready for buses by the end of the year. Click HERE to access the full design presentation. Questions and comments can be sent to CET's Senior Transit Planner Jackson Lester at jlester@coic.org.


Watts says they’re also working on a transit center in La Pine. "It’ll be similar to Redmond, in that it’ll also be a park and ride, it’ll be a little bit of a multi-use facility. And, even though La Pine is as far south as Cascades East Transit operates, there are buses that go out of our region from La Pine." The South County transit center is still a few years away.
Redmond's new transit hub will be built this spring between Fred Meyer and Lowe's


All Central Oregon Schools Open Friday

BEND, OR -- While snow clean-up efforts continue at W.E. Miller elementary and Elk Meadow elementary, this morning, Bend-La Pine Schools officials say all schools are open on regular schedule FridayThe announcement comes after a week of closures due to record-setting snowfall and concerns over facility safety. 


Redmond officials, this week, released a revised school calendar to address the growing number of missed days in that district. Students will now attend school on several days previously scheduled as off, including Friday, January 27, which was a conference day. They’ll also go to school on President’s Day, February 20. The last day of school for Redmond students moves out one day; it's now June 16 - a half day.  Click HERE to read the full memo released by Superintendent Mike McIntosh. 

Women's March Planned For Downtown Bend

BEND, OR -- Organizers of Bend’s “Love Trumps Hate” rally in November plan a similar event Saturday, to coincide with the large Women’s March in Washington D.C. Melissa Adams says she and four other women began planning the Bend event after the success of the post-election demonstration. "Shortly before Christmas, one of the organizers for the Women’s March on Washington who lives here locally approached me and said, ‘would you guys come under the women’s march umbrella?’ And, reading their mission statement with our own, there was so much overlap that we decided to be part of something that was larger than just Bend."


Adams is a local therapist and tells KBND News, "For me, a lot of this is about standing up as a voice for my clients who don’t have a voice, as well as to be a beacon of light and hope for everyone in our community who has been left feeling fearful, anxious and isolated in the wake of this presidential election." She says those groups include women, the disabled, survivors of domestic violence and minorities.

November's "Love Trumps Hate" rally attracted about 400 people and drew some counter-protests. When they began preparing for Saturday’s event, Adams says they knew not everyone would be supportive. "We anticipate there will be some pushback and some counter-protest but we’re prepared to deal with that. Our message is about unity and solidarity and we’re going to have another lawful and peaceful event." She says they are working with Bend Police to make ensure everyone’s safety.


The Bend Women’s March is open to everyone and begins at the Drake Park Amphitheater. About a thousand people have so far RSVP'd on social media. They'll gather Saturday morning at 11; the march starts at 11:30. It’s expected to weave through downtown and end at Crow’s Feet Commons with a number of speeches and presentations. 


Help Available For Snow-Damaged Properties

BEND, OR -- As snow melts, Central Oregonians are finding damage to homes and businesses. Deschutes County Assessor Scot Langton says there is some financial help available through a little-known property tax program.


Langton tells KBND News property owners can apply for relief if they've suffered significan damage. "Unfortunately, if somebody has suffered a loss, there is at least a pro-ration of property taxes that can occur. Like the Ray's store, for example, that the roof collapsed on - if they make an application, we're going to take the period of the tax year it was damaged and refund those taxes, in essence." But, there are limitations, "It needs to be something significant. Personally, I had an ice dam and got some water inside my house but it really didn't do much damage; and my old garden shed didn't hold up and I'll have to replace it. But, that didn't really significantly impact the value. But, somebody with their carport or, like the Ray's building, something like that with significant damage. That does have a pretty significant impact on value."


Applications are available on the Deschutes County Assessor's Office website. Langton says, "We hope these type of events don't occur, but since something has occurred now we just want to make sure people are aware of it. It's been a few years, but the last time we had a significant amount of this was due to wildfire." Applications must be submitted by June 30.


Photo: Bend's FedEx Ship Center closed Jan. 10 after snow caused the roof to sag and crack.

Cities Start To Tally Snow Removal Cost

REDMOND, OR - Central Oregon crews were out Wednesday trying to clear slush from main roads. Bend's Public Works had all 18 pieces of available equipment out targeting problem areas. Redmond had five graders out. State road crews also continue efforts to clear highways. Last week, dump trucks removed 7,000 yards of highly compacted snow and ice from Greenwood and Third St. in Bend to a vacant lot near the Highway 20/97 interchange. That’s enough to cover a high school football field four-feet deep. ODOT officials say if it was fluffed back to its original state, it would likely be 3-4 times as high.


It’ll be several months before the complete financial impact of this winter’s extreme weather is known, but preliminary numbers are starting to come in. Redmond Mayor George Endicott tells KBND News it's difficult to tell just how much the city will end up spending on snow removal. "We’ve had somewhere between 45" and 50" in the last month and that’s just so hard to contend with. You know, your budgets go out of control; we spent $150,000 in the city; I know they’ve spent about $125,000 with all kinds of overtime and contractors. It throws the whole system out of kilter, which these things happen. It’s Mother Nature and you can’t control it."  


Prineville's Street Superintendent said last week he's already exhausted this year's overtime budget. 


Airport Director Zach Bass says, "It’s a constant focus on a 7,000 sf x 150 sf runway. We go in ‘12s’ – we have six individuals out there at all times. What some people don’t realize, apart from the airfield, is that our custodians actually are the ones doing all the sidewalks and all the parking lots. They really step up. We had about nine days straight where it was 12 hours for everybody on-board." Bass says through the series of storms, Roberts Field shut down for a total of 14 hours; although, some airlines canceled additional flights due to weather or other issues in other cities. 
Mayor Endicott says this year's snow rivals the winter of 1992-93, "Before that, supposedly the year I was born – 1948 – was a really bad year; a very cold year, that year. The last huge one that really and truly was catastrophic was 1919. So, you’re looking at 100 years ago. Not that this was a hundred-year storm, but it certainly ranks up there in the top few." And, winter isn’t over yet.

COIC Holds Public Transit Meetings

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council is refining a region-wide strategic plan for public transit, in an effort to help secure state and federal transportation funds. 


Judy Watts, with COIC, says a meeting Thursday in Prineville is the next step in a year-long process. "We have collected a lot of data, census data and transit propensity information; and we’ve gathered a pretty good idea of some baseline needs but we want to vet that with each of the counties and the public to make sure that nothing is missing. And, we also want to meet just to help get some feedback on prioritizing." She adds, "Particularly [for] people who have clients who are low-income, seniors and persons with disabilities. It’s really to provide an opportunity to look at the needs that we have identified so far and help COIC staff prioritize those needs."


Meetings are planned for all three counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs over the next month. "Each county has a group called a Special Transportation Funding Committee and in order to apply for these STF funds from the state and federal government, they have to have a plan about how they would use transportation funds for certain populations; so, for seniors, low income and persons with disabilities." COIC manages Cascades East Transit and Dial-A-Ride. 


Thursday's Prineville meeting begins at 11 a.m. at the Crook County Library on NW Meadow Lakes Dr. Click HERE for more information. 

More Roofs Collapse Under Snow, Rain

BEND, OR -- The weight of snow and rain continues to cause problems for buildings across the High Desert. The roof collapsed at the vacant Ray’s Food Place on Century Drive, Wednesday morning. There were reports of smaller collapses from Sisters to Prineville, as well. 


Bend Fire says no one was inside the Ray’s when two-thirds of the roof collapsed. Firefighters checked to make sure there was no danger to life or imminent secondary collapse, then turned the site over to the property management firm. 
The Bend Ray’s closed in early 2014 when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. 

Sandbag Supplies Go Quickly

BEND, OR -- Now that temperatures have warmed, melting snow and ice and rain throughout Central Oregon increase the risk of localized flooding. Sandbags went fast at self-serve filling stations offered Tuesday in Bend, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine and Prineville. 


Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says the four locations around Bend stayed busy. "We had a really good response from the community. We’ve depleted our resources that were set aside for the community for sandbags." The city of Bend handed out 13,000 bags and about 193-tons of sand. Stations opened Tuesday morning and the Bend locations were out by midday. Redmond officials also saw a big response at their three filling stations, providing around 7,000 sandbags to residents.


Lt. Burleigh says there are no plans to offer more sandbags, but they are available at local retailers. "There’s the alternative to sandbags, we’ve been letting people know about that." He adds, "You can use dirt in plastic bags or visqueen and duct tape; we’ve shown some people to – ‘thinking beyond the sandbags’ is what we’re trying to say – tires and visqueen."


And, he tells KBND News, "There’s also looking at clearing storm drains and catch basins, pulling snow away from your foundation and siding, getting roofs cleared off and finding your fire hydrants; those are some things you can do to really help get yourself through the situation we’re looking at right now."




'The Great Thaw' Poses New Hazards

BEND, OR -- Despite warmer temperatures, Oregon Department of Transportation road crews continue on 12-hour shifts, working to clear snow and ice from state highways. ODOT’s Peter Murphy says the region is heading into a weather pattern likely to create more problems. "You get that freeze/thaw cycle going on, where it’ll melt a little bit, then it’ll melt and freeze and melt and freeze; and that’s pothole city. So, coming out of this, whenever it’s going to be, that’s what will happen. So, we’ll go out initially and use a cold patch. You can’t really do a whole lot about a pothole until it warms up and dries out." 


Warmer temperatures are naturally clearing some snow and ice, but it's not even halfway through winter and Murphy tells KBND News, "You’re going to have moisture rolling somewhere, that’s the bottom line - whether it’s snow or rain or whatever. And so, ice expands – that’s the one thing that expands when it gets cold. So, it’ll expand; the water, when it warms up, it’ll drop down; it’ll expand then drop down and it just kind of widens out that pothole. So, if people do see a major pothole, we probably know where it is but it’s ok to call us and let us know." 


"Wash-boarding" can be the most difficult hazard during a thaw and Murphy says in severe cases they’ll send out a road grader. "That’s pretty massive weight going down and breaking it up; takes a little while to do that. That kind of thing you don’t move in a hurry on; you don’t want to tear up the highway, either. So, that takes a real skill and it takes time. Where and when it’s necessary we do that; but we do try to wait. Plus, we’ll throw magnesium chloride in, where the opportunity exists to help melt that down first; or maybe that’s all it needs."


Heavy rain on top of snow and ice also causes a risk of landslides. Ali Ryan Hansen, with the Oregon Department of Geology, says super-saturated ground could shift in many areas around the state. She says you can normally hear a landslide before it starts. "You're going to want to listen for unusual sounds that may indicate moving debris; trees cracking, boulders knocking together. A trickle of mud falling or debris may proceed a larger landslide." She adds drivers and pedestrians need to "be extra alert; use all of your senses." And, "Around the home, it may be something like cracks appearing in the foundation, walls leaning, trees leaning." 
The Oregon Department of Geology website has more tips, along with a map of areas with the highest risk of slides


Most BLP, RSD Schools Reopen Wednesday

BEND, OR -- Most Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools return to some sense of normalcy Wednesday after closures – first from the massive amount of snow from several storms, then from concerns over the stability of roofs at district facilities under the weight of all that snow.


Tuesday evening, Bend-La Pine Schools officials announced 30 facilities would re-open Wednesday, after snow removal efforts and engineering assessments. Those schools will run on-time, with no early release. Five elementary schools remain closed: Elk Meadow, Lava Ridge, Pine Ridge, Ponderosa and W.E. Miller. Three middle schools are also closed for another day: Pacific Crest, Pilot Butte and REALMS.


In the Redmond School District, Terrebonne and Tumalo Community Schools are closed for what the Superintendent says will hopefully be just one more day, to allow crews to complete snow removal in areas that are said to be difficult to access. All other schools in the Redmond district are on a typical "School Improvement Wednesday" schedule.


Click HERE to read the full statement from Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh. Access the full statement from Bend-La Pine Schools HERE. These 30 BLP Schools facilities are open Wednesday:

  • Administration – Education Center
  • Amity Creek at Thompson School
  • Bear Creek Elementary
  • Buckingham Elementary
  • Ensworth Elementary
  • High Lakes Elementary
  • Highland at Kenwood School
  • Juniper Elementary
  • La Pine Elementary
  • R.E. Jewell Elementary
  • Rosland Elementary
  • Silver Rail Elementary
  • Three Rivers Elementary
  • Westside Village at Kingston School
  • Cascade Middle
  • High Desert Middle
  • La Pine Middle
  • Sky View Middle
  • Bend Senior High
  • La Pine High
  • Marshall High
  • Mountain View High
  • Summit High
  • Tamarack
  • Transition Co-op
  • Maintenance
  • Transporation, Bend
  • Transportation, La Pine
  • Warehouse – Distribution
  • Bend International School


Some Local Propane Customers Go Without

REDMOND, OR -- Some local propane customers are going without heating fuel due to an apparent problem with a rail shipment. William Tallman relies on deliveries from Co-Energy Propane as his primary source of heat for his Prineville home.


He tells KBND News he's been waiting more than a week. "I called them on the seventh that I was in peril of running out, and that’s when I first found out I was going to be put on a list. And, they were taking the worst-case scenarios first – like, if you were already out of fuel, they were going to take care of you first. And, you’d be moved up the list as things progressed." After several more calls, Tallman says he finally got some answers, "And then finally, I got, I guess it was this past weekend, someone told me they were having train trouble; the railroad wouldn’t release a car and that’s all they would tell me."
A Co-Energy employee confirms the propane is sitting on a train in Redmond, but the railroad won’t release the shipment. She tells KBND News she's received a number of calls from angry customers. Burlington Northern would not discuss specific clients or shipments.
"In the meantime," says Tallman, "The only other heat we have in the house – in each bedroom, there’s electric heat – but, in the main room in the house there is no other heat. I’m in the kitchen, so I turned the stove on and the burners on til it warms up really good. And then, I went out and bought a propane bottle with a heatilator on top and I run that until the tank runs out."

County, Cities Provide Sandbag Stations

BEND, OR -- Flood concerns have eased; However, local officials are still urging residents to take precautions over the next few days. The National Weather Service has reduced the amount of expected rainfall and temperatures have moderated, slightly. Experts now say the amount of runoff from melting snow won’t be as severe as initially thought. 


Self-serve sandbag filling stations will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, for those in need, throughout Deschutes County:
  • Sisters City Hall - 520 E Cascades Ave
  • Sunriver Public Works - 57455 Abbot Dr
  • Deschutes Co. Road Dept. - 61550 SE 27th St. Bend
  • Deschutes Co. South Services Bldg - 51340 US 97, La Pine


Bend residents can find sandbag materials, beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, as well:

  • Pacific Crest Middle School - 3030 NW Elwood Ln
  • Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office (upper parking lot) - Jamison Rd., south of the main office.
  • Bend Streets & Operations Headquarters - 575 NE 15th St (behind Bend PD)
  • South Bend Fire Station - 61080 Country Club Cr.


And, materials for 5,000 sandbags will be available in Redmond, also starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday:

  • Umatilla Sports Complex - 3000 SW Umatilla Ave.
  • Spud Bowl - 164 SW 15th
  • Quince Park - 1101 NW Quince Ave.


Crook County announced late Tuesday morning a station would open in Prineville at the Fairgrounds (1280 SE Main St), 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and again 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. 


Alternative materials are also encouraged. 

Bend-La Pine, Redmond Schools Remain Closed

BEND, OR -- Schools in Central Oregon’s two largest districts remain closed Tuesday for snow removal and facility assessments. Hundreds of employees and contractors worked through the holiday weekend to clear snow from rooftops at Redmond and Bend-La Pine schools, but not all are finished. Efforts began after the gym roof collapsed at Highland Magnet School on Newport Ave. in Bend.


In Redmond, Superintendent Mike McIntosh tells KBND News roofs still need to be cleared at Redmond High (above) and Tumalo and Terrebonne Community Schools. "We’ve been working feverishly and have not gotten to all of our school sites. And so, we believe we can get that finished up [Tuesday] and our engineers are back on site to give us one final evaluation before we get back to work. Hopefully school resumes on Wednesday." He says engineers have, so far, not found any structural damage. As snow was removed, sagging roofs have returned to normal positions. Read the full statement issued by McIntosh Monday evening: HERE
Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson released a statement Monday evening, saying he hopes to begin "rolling openings," Wednesday. Some schools are expected to open Wednesday, followed by more schools each day this week. Bend-La Pine Schools updates can be found HERE


Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend will open its downtown location (500 NW Wall St) for all-day programming, Tuesday. Due to limited space, they say they'll welcome 250 K-12 grade kids on a first come, first serve basis. REACH in Redmond will open its main location to the first 80 students. 

FedEx To Resume Deliveries Despite Bend Closure

BEND, OR -- The Fed-Ex Ship Center in Bend remains closed after massive snow loads put the roof in danger of collapsing at the Northeast Jamison warehouse. Fed-Ex customers have complained they’ve received very little information from the company about current shipments. Many say they are unable get the roof rakes they ordered online when local stores sold out during recent storms. 


A Fed-Ex spokesperson says they have moved all packages from the closed station to a nearby facility and are now working to prioritize and expedite deliveries. 
Heather Wilson, at the FedEx corporate office, released the following statement to KBND News: 
"All shipments have been relocated from the impacted station to a nearby facility and are being prioritized for expedited delivery. We regret any inconvenience and are committed to providing service to the best of our ability. While we can confirm there are not thousands of undelivered packages, we are committed to safely delivering any outstanding packages as quickly as possible."


Multiple Fires Damage Local Homes

LA PINE, OR -- The Red Cross is helping several local families impacted by weekend fires. A La Pine house (above) was partially destroyed Friday morning in a fire on Caribou Road that may have started in the chimney. No one was home at the time. 
Friday afternoon, Crooked River Ranch firefighters responded to 

a mobile home (right) on Mustang Road. They say the homeowner was trying to thaw the main water line when the fire started. 

Redmond Fire is investigating the cause of a Friday night blaze at a Terrebonne home that caused $35,000 in damage. 
And, crews responded to a house fire on Choctaw Road in Deschutes River Woods on Saturday that affected two adults and their pets. 


Prineville Police Chase Ends With Crash

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville woman faces charges after allegedly stealing a car and crashing into a patrol car during a police pursuit. 


According to Prineville police, the car was stolen Saturday night after the owner left it running and unlocked. It was spotted just after midnight. When police tried to stop the car, it took off. During the pursuit, they say the driver, Elizabeth Ann Butler, struck the front of a police car, causing minor damage. 
The chase ended when the stolen car crashed into a parked vehicle near SE Idlewood and First Street. Both vehicles were totaled and 28-year-old Butler was arrested. She was checked by medics after she complained of cuts on her face from the ice sustained during her arrest. 

Icy River Rescue

BEND, OR -- Bend Firefighters rescued a person who fell through the ice on the Deschutes River near the Old Mill District, Saturday afternoon. Fire officials say the victim was one of three people who ventured out onto the ice at about 3 p.m. 
The person got out of the water on their own and was sitting on an unstable ice shelf when rescuers arrived. A firefighter in a dry suit crawled out onto the ice to secure the victim and get them back to shore.  

Bend Fire reminds everyone of the dangers of iced over bodies of water... rivers are particularly dangerous, as currents can pull victims underneath the ice and make recovery difficult. 

School Districts Continue Facility Assessments

BEND, OR -- Local school districts continue to assess and repair schools, after record snowfall and in anticipation of possible flooding, this week. 


Sisters Schools officials reopened facilities late Friday, declaring all are safe. Bend-La Pine Superintendent Shay Mikalson said yesterday he is less optimistic all schools will reopen Tuesday following weekend clean-up efforts at three-dozen sites. Engineers found structural damage at R.E. Jewell Elementary and possible problems at Bear Creek Elementary and Westside Village Magnet School. Bend-La Pine Schools updates are available on the district's website


Both Mikalson and Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh expect to announce at 5 p.m. Monday whether all or some schools will resume tomorrow. Click HERE to read the full statement from Mike McIntosh, issued Sunday. 

Cities Work To Clear Storm Drains

BEND, OR -- Over the weekend crews in cities and counties across Central Oregon began working to clear storm drains on major roads in anticipation of the threat of region-wide flooding. Anne Aurand, with the city of Bend, tells KBND News, "The street plows will be continually scraping more and more snow and slush and ice off the roads to open up those storm drains. Our Utilities Department is also working to clear block storm drains."

And, she says they're staging equipment in high risk areas. "The Utilities Department knows, based on history, sort of where the high-risk flooding areas are, so they’re focusing their efforts on those particular locations." She adds, "Some of them are like the underpasses or certain neighborhoods that are sort of in a basin or lower parts of runoff areas. The Utilities Department has mobile pumps and Vactor trucks ready to pump high water areas. And then, we’re also ready to create detours and street closures to manage flooded areas to keep cars out of those."


Bend's IT Department created an interactive map of drains and fire hydrants so residents can help in the effort. "This is a new tool for us, but it’s so important right now that people help this whole community preventing floods and fires. We really need folks to dig out their storm drains and fire hydrants. We also understand these things are buried in sometimes feet of snow." To access Bend's map, click HERE

The city of Redmond also released an online interactive map over the weekend. Click HERE to view Redmond's storm drain map. 


Flooding Concerns Prompt Local Warnings

BEND, OR -- Warming weather forecast for early next week has local officials worried about the potential for flooding. Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the flood danger is serious, given unprecedented snow totals. "We have more snow on the ground than I can remember and there is just really no place for it to go if we haven’t uncovered our street drains. Some people may even need sandbags. Now’s the time to prepare; don’t wait until we start seeing those warmer temperatures because by then it’s going to be too late."


Murphy tells KBND News, "We have been spending some time and money trying to uncover our highway drains, and that’s part of why we’re doing the snow removal process. But, it’s the same issue, whether it’s the county, the state or the city. It’s going to be a flood event, we’re preparing for it now, and we just think everybody else should, too." He acknowledges the massive amount of snow that fell over the past six weeks makes uncovering drains an issue. "We have kind of multiple problems in that you can’t find some of those street drains; and even if you do, it’s frozen. So, what we’re looking out there at is a potential for some flooding here in the area and we want people to start getting ready now to get ahead of it." 

But, he says, it is possible to find and clear them, "What you look for is the low spot in the road; that’s where it goes. So, if you can find a low spot where you live and maybe poke around a little bit with a wooden handle, or something to that effect, you might have some success." In extreme cases, Murphy says sandbags may be necessary to protect property.
Temperatures are expected to warm into the forties Tuesday and Wednesday, with rain forecast for both days. 


Redmond Airport Adds Seattle Flights

REDMOND, OR -- Delta Airlines will add two daily nonstop flights from Redmond to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Roberts Field officials announced Friday. Flights begin June 12 and will be operated by SkyWest. The additional service between Central Oregon and SeaTac coincides with Delta's expanding service at the airline's Seattle hub.


The twice daily flights will depart from Redmond at 6 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. and depart SeaTac at 3 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. In a statement released by Roberts Field, Airport Director Zachary Bass said, "The additional capacity these Delta flights add with jet service are a great benefit to the Central Oregon communities. RDM experienced record breaking passenger numbers last year. This proves air carriers have noticed RDM's growth."


Tickets for the additional flights will be available for purchase beginning Sunday (January 15, 2017). 

Prineville Scrambles For More Road Cinders

PRINEVILLE, OR-- Central Oregon cities and counties continue to take advantage of a break in the weather to clear roads. Prineville’s Street Superintendent Scott Smith briefed City Councilors, Thursday, on the immense effort to clear the city’s 57 miles of road. 


He told Councilors, "We’ve been using every single piece of equipment that Public Works has. We even actually borrowed a backhoe from an employee’s family and we’re using that, right now, too. But, we’re running two road graders, one dump truck snowplow; we’ve got two sanders, we’ve got three backhoes, a loader."


He says he has an $11,500 annual overtime budget and has already easily burned through that, along with more than a thousand yards of sanding cinders. "Folks, last week, I panicked because I thought we were going to run out and wouldn’t have enough to get through the weekend," Smith told Councilors, Thursday. "So, we purchased another $5,000 worth. The problem is, there aren’t any trucks that are available to haul it, so we’re struggling to get those in. We got a load today, and hopefully with that, we’re going to be all right."
Prineville city crews begin at midnight or 1 a.m. and Smith says, if everything goes well, they can clear all streets in three days; until the next storm. 

Bend Gym Demolished After Roof Collapse

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials are now laser focused on the district's roofs, after one roof collapsed from the weight of all the snow. 


Staff at Highland Magnet School at Kenwood discovered debris near the gym, when they got to work, Thursday morning. But, it wasn't until the sun came up that they realized the roof had collapsed sometime in the night. Dave Howe, with Bend Fire, says recent snowfall proved too much. "You can see how much snow collected on the roof. It looks to me that the snow was at least two-feet deep up there on the roof. That is a lot of weight." Crews demolished the building, Thursday. 
The gym was built in the 1950s and had a flat roof, which made it more vulnerable. "A building like this built today would probably be built to higher standards," Howe tells KBND News. "Not only that, but when you have a flat roof and you have decades and decades of snowstorms, just like this one here, with snow piling up, it weakens the structure over the span of time." The school itself is a separate building and is much older than the gym. So far, officials say it appears fine. 
All Bend-La Pine schools will remain closed through the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. "Once this was discovered, the school district took the action of closing all the schools, sending everybody home, so they could make a very thorough assessment of all of their buildings." Howe adds, "They feel very strongly that they're completely responsible for the safety of thousands of kids and don't want anything to go wrong. Thankfully there was nobody in this building when it collapsed."
 Photo Credit: Mike Albright Photography

District Reacts To Frustration Over Sudden Closure

BEND, OR -- After Bend-La Pine Schools officials learned of the roof collapse at Highland Magnet School, they decided to shut down all schools as a precaution. But, with many students already on campus, it was organized chaos. Arriving parents checked in and students' names were called out over a loud speaker. 

Alandra Johnson, with the district, says there is an emergency operations plan that guides the process. "We asked that all of our school take attendance so we knew the students that were at the school. So, that way, when parents came to pick up their students, we would make sure we knew who was there and tried to keep track of that as well as we could."
Johnson says she understands that cancelling school after many students are already on-campus was difficult for families. "We tried to communicate as quickly as we can, as urgently as we received the information; get that out to parents. Obviously, we wish students had never gotten to school so we could’ve just prevented that. But, we are really happy that parents responded so well and we were able to clear all of our schools of staff and students within a really short period of time."
Engineers are expected to continue to assess all facilities through the weekend and were already discovering possible problems by Thursday afternoon. "We have a couple of sites that have potential roof load issues and those are all being assessed: The education center in downtown Bend, Buckingham Elementary School, one building at Juniper Elementary School, La Pine High School and RE Jewell Elementary School." Johnson hopeful students will be able to return Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.  

Redmond, Sisters Schools Close Due to Roof Woes

REDMOND, OR -- Engineers are evaluating the roof of M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond after Students were evacuated Thursday morning due to concerns of the snow load on the roof.

Superintendent Mike McIntosh tells KBND News, "
There’s some visible sagging in some of the roof portions, but that’s the extent of it. The building’s been there since 1969, I think it was, and it’s been sagging for a long time. We just think the snow-load factor demands that we take some measures to protect the health and safety of our kids and staff." He's mainly concerned about Lynch, although the district closed all schools Thursday afternoon after a number of roof leaks were reported. McIntosh says students were never in immediate danger but to err on the side of caution all facilities will remain closed through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. "The code changed in ’87 or ’84 or something, so we believe with great confidence that our more modern structures will in fact sustain the snow load we’re experiencing right now. But, the old buildings, I think it’s just prudent to be cautious."


He says Lynch students dropped off by parents were turned around Thursday before they could get out of the car, but those on buses had to wait to be picked up by their parents. "This is a tougher call than even a snow day call in the sense that we don’t know necessarily what’s between what we can see from the inside and what you can see from the outside. We can measure the depth of the snow, we can calculate its weight; and frankly, the only serious solution would be to remove it. And, that’s our plan for Lynch, is to get the snow removed from there and eliminate the hazard." He adds, "Shoveling the snow off the roof is only half the battle. If there’s damage, and I say ‘if,’ that will still be there. There may be some repairs to the structure, if in fact some damage is detected. Again, we don’t know that there is at Lynch, but there’s a recipe there that has a higher potential than other places."


According to McIntosh, engineers visited all Redmond schools in the last 12 months to conduct seismic assessments. But, he says checking for earthquake readiness is very different than predicting the risk of roof collapse under a massive snow load. 
Dominoes continued to fall, later in the day, after Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools shuttered buildings. The Sisters School District announced Thursday night all schools would close to allow roof assessments. And, Central Christian School in Redmond said they would close Friday so crews could safely remove snow from its roof. 
Crook County and Jefferson County 509-J schools both said their districts would remain open although officials are monitoring all facilities. 


Bend-La Pine Schools' Calendar Extended

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials are extending the school year because of the five snow days impacting student instruction time. Schools were closed for a sixth and seventh day, Thursday and Friday, after a roof collapse at Kenwood School prompted an emergency closure of all facilities.


The end of the semester will move out one week, and the district has added four days to the end of the school year, in June. Students will now go to a full day of school Friday, June 16th, which was initially scheduled as a short last day. They’ll also have classes Monday, June 19th through Thursday, June 22nd. graduation days will not change.
In Redmond and Sisters, students have lost six days. Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh met Wednesday with the Education Association to discuss the calendar. He expects a decision within the next week. Although they've lost roughly 30 hours of instructional time, McIntosh says they are not yet required to add time.
The Sisters School board will take up the issue at their next meeting, February first. 

Bend-La Pine Schools Immediately Close

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials announced the immediate closure of all facilities Thursday, after students were transported to school. The district released the following statement just after 8 a.m.:


"ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED today, Thursday, Jan. 12. Roof collapse at Highland Magnet at Kenwood School gym prompts emergency closure of all schools to allow for roof assessments districtwide. No one was inside the gym at the time of the roof collapse.  

Parents of bus riders, your student will be transported to school. Please pick up your student as soon as possible. Checkout using usual attendance systems. Again, please pick up your student as soon as possible.


All staff will leave schools and report back home after students are clear of the building. Bend-La Pine Schools classes and activities will be cancelled tomorrow, Friday, January 13 as well. 


Thank you for your support and understanding. Your students’ safety is paramount."



Roads surrounding Kenwood School, near Newport Ave, are reportedly closed due to the emergency response. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area. 


Top Photo: Mike Albright Photography

FedEx Roof Damaged By Snow

BEND, OR --  Bend's FedEx building is in danger of collapsing under the weight of heavy snow. Employees at the shipping center noticed the roof sagging, the smell of natural gas, and heard groaning and creaking noises, just before 11 a.m., Wednesday.


Cindy Kettering, with Bend Fire, says everyone immediately evacuated and Pacific Power and Cascade Natural Gas responded. "The building is very unsafe. At this time, everyone is out of the building, the utilities are being shut off and we're making sure it's a safe situation."


She says the facility remains closed until further notice. "What'll happen now is the building owner will contact structural engineers; they will have to determine what the safest way is to secure this building and make it safe for entry, and mitigate the situation."


"Anybody that has a package with FedEx that they were going to come and pick up, they're not able to do so," Kettering tells KBND News. "We can't put anybody in the building and risk their safety. We would ask the public to not come down to Jamison and attempt to pick up a package; they would not be able to do so." Ironically, she says the first person turned away after the evacuation was a person trying to pick up a roof rake ordered online. 

SW Industrial Way Closed By Building Collapse

BEND, OR -- Bend's Southwest Industrial Way is closed, because of a roof collapse at a building owned by Hooker Creek. The building runs along the road and Bend Fire says there is danger of further collapse. 


No one was inside the KorePine building when the roof caved in at about 5:30 p.m., Wednesday. Emergency crews responded, but did not enter the building due to its instability. Debris was found as far as 100 yards away. 
Hooker Creek uses the facility to store construction and private recreational vehicles. The company will bring in structural engineers to assess the building and work to prevent further loss. 

Redmond To Discuss School Calendar

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond students have now lost six school days, plus another two hours from a delay. Superintendent Mike McIntosh plans to meet Wednesday with representatives from the Education Association to discuss the future of this year's calendar. 


McIntosh tells KBND News that, although they've lost roughly 30 hours of instructional time, the district is not yet required by the state to make up days. He also says there are no plans to move graduation, which is scheduled for June 7 for Ridgeview High School, and June 9 for Redmond High.


Those living near school bus stops are asked to help clear snow to allow a place for students to safely wait for the bus, once school reopens; McIntosh hopes that will be Thursday. He says the school district clears parking lots and sidewalks adjacent to district-owned facilities like schools. 

Bend-La Pine Schools Lose Fifth Day

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon students have enjoyed a number of snow days, this school year, and districts are looking at what that means for the calendar. Julianne Repman, with Bend-La Pine Schools, says they've already lost five days. "Just to give you a little bit of perspective, from 1989 to 2009 we had five full school closures, in total. In the last five years, we've also had five closures. So, this is definitely a very unique situation for Bend-La Pine Schools, as well as your seeing, school districts across the state of Oregon."


She says the district, so far, does not have to adjust the calendar. "This school district has one of the longer, or longest school years in the state, those school contact days. But, it's really important for us to have students in class. And, right now, we're already pushing missing a whole week of this first semester of the school year. While we don't necessarily need to make up those days, we are looking very closely at the possibility of bringing some days back in the calendar." She tells KBND News the state has a complicated forumula to calculate the required number of student instruction days which dictates whether days must be added back in. 


Deschutes County Opens Emergency Ops. Center

BEND, OR -- This most recent storm is keeping emergency dispatchers incredibly busy. Deschutes County 911 Director Steve Reinke says each passing storm seems to compound the problem. "We understand the public is looking for resources for what’s a very unusual situation, this winter. One of the things we’re not equipped to do is to help people make decisions on dealing with their roofs – clearing them or repairing them. We aren’t allowed to make recommendations for any specific vendor and are really drowning in other calls and wouldn’t be able to give the dedication to someone looking for information. Same thing with plumbing issues."

Reinke tells KBND News, the most common call coming in this week is for a crash. "Once a major crash happens on a major roadway, because of the challenge of getting vehicles removed, more road closures are happening probably than usual. And, we just ask everybody not to go out unless they absolutely have to. Certainly, we want people to drive slower. Even though it seems like it’s OK, it’s the stopping part that’s always the challenge."
The county set up an Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday to help prioritize resources during the biggest incidents. Reinke says it was an unusual but necessary move due to the amount of new snow piled on top of the massive amount already on the ground, which makes it difficult for first responders. "Folks from public safety and support agencies are coordinating responses to major incidents and making sure that resources are available to take care of the day-to-day stuff, as well as some of the extra ordinary stuff that’s going on; especially the crashes." He adds, "It’s just a way for everybody to make sure that we are dedicating the resources to the highest priority areas and incidents, to make sure that people that really need help are able to get it, and sometimes, when you have extraordinary situations like this, decisions have to be made about what’s going to be done next. Everybody’s taxed for resources and things only stretch so far."

Crook County Declares Local Emergency

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Several Crook County communities find themselves cut off by a massive amount of snow on unmaintained private roads. Officials are now asking the state to send personnel and equipment to help.


Crook County Emergency Manager Michael Ryan tells KBND News, "Juniper Acres is a specific area that’s giving us some concern, right now. They’ve had a large amount of snowfall; and then this weekend we had heavy winds that created snow drifts, some of which are eight to 10-feet high. And, the road system is pretty much been shut down." Juniper Acres is located about 25 miles south of Prineville and is not serviced by the county road department or municipal water; many residents rely on private water and propane deliveries, which can’t get through given the current conditions.


"County Court, in a regularly scheduled work session, made an emergency declaration, which is being forwarded up to the Governor’s Office," says Ryan. "We’ve specifically asked for National Guard resources, in the form of large front loaders and road graders to assist us with the problem out in Juniper Acres and in other areas." 


Search and Rescue will go in on snowmobiles to help, if there’s a life-safety issue; Ryan says they’ve already had to do that a couple times in the past few days. But, he says they won't use those resources to deliver food, water or fuel. "Somebody has a medical emergency. Or, they’re saying ‘we’re freezing to death and we don’t have any supplies, stuff to keep the house warm; we want to be evacuated.’ Those are life safety priorities for us and we, in conjunction with the fire district and the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, will go in by snowmobile and either bring the patient out or bring those people out."

Closures & Delays For Wednesday 1/11

BEND, OR -- A winter storm dropped several more inches of snow across Central Oregon, leading to more closures of schools and other organizations.



- Bend-La Pine Schools

- Redmond Schools

- Sisters Schools

- Jefferson Co. 509-J (including Madras Head Start)

- Culver Schools

- Central Oregon Community College

- OSU-Cascades

- Trinity Lutheran School

- Central Christian School

- REACH (Redmond)

- Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend



- Powell Butte Community Charter School

- State offices in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County open at 10 a.m.

- Deschutes Public Library branches will open at noon

Two Seriously Injured In Tuesday Crash

BEND, OR -- Two people were seriously injured in a crash that tied up the Tuesday morning commute for several hours. Investigators say a northbound Toyota Corolla lost control on icy Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond. The car collided with a southbound pickup, just before 6:30 a.m.


The driver of the Corolla, 46-year-old Kimberly Baker and her passenger, 34-year-old Kelly Shehan, both of Redmond, were taken by ground ambulance to St. Charles Bend. The pickup driver and his two passengers were not hurt. 

Bend Crews Start Trucking Out Snow

BEND, OR -- Bend city crews continue efforts to keep roadways clear; but, plows leave big berms of snow on the side of the road, causing their own problems. 


David Abbas, Bend Streets and Operations Director, says getting rid of all that snow depends on where – and how much – there is. "The volumes of snow we’ve received so far this winter, as everybody can see out there, is becoming a challenge. Real estate of places to put snow is becoming limited. But, in the downtown core, so far this winter, a few occasions we’ve worked on some snow removal involving a few dump trucks that we have and a loader," Abbas tells KBND News. "So far, we’ve taken it down the street to near Colorado, Scott Street and the Parkway, there. ODOT’s worked with us on some of the right of way and being able to be dump some snow there. Space is becoming limited so we’re looking at potentially some other areas where we can try to get rid of some snow. Looking at the forecast, we’re looking at upwards of maybe 15” again this week." Those removal efforts are limited to when crews are available and take place overnight, when there’s less traffic. He says the first priority is always making sure traffic is flowing and travel lanes are clear.


Abbas has a request of drivers, as the snow continues. "If you can not park on the street, that’s a huge help, as we all try to deal with this winter storm. I think the last time we had a storm like this was the early 90s, so it doesn’t happen often but we’re all trying to work through it the best we can, here." He asks drivers to utilize off-street parking options, when available, to allow plows and graders to reach the full width of the road. 
Redmond Public Works says they will evaluate snow volumes Wednesday, after the latest storm, and determine whether to start trucking it out of the downtown core. Click HERE to read more about Redmond businesses struggling with the conditions. 


Local Businesses Struggle With Immense Snow

REDMOND, OR -- A number of small businesses are suffering under the weight of all this snow. Fearless Baking in Bend closed Monday and Tuesday due to a buildup of snow and ice that has caused the roof to leak. In downtown Redmond, Proust Coffee has been closed for several days.
Proust owner Lauren Blackwelder says as the snow piled up last week, so did the problems. "Sunday came around and we could not open; there was no way anyone could get to work. Two of my employees live in Prineville and I live in Bend; the one in Redmond was snowed into her house." And, she tells KBND News customer parking has become a big issue. "When they plowed the streets, they didn’t leave us any parking. The yoga studio next door was messaging that they’d had two mirrors clipped off of cars when students were in yoga class and people weren’t coming as much because they didn’t want to risk parking. So, myself and three of my employees went out and shoveled as much snow as we could get out of the road to allow some parking; and we thought we’d kind of won it over a little bit." But, the snow keeps coming.
Blackwelder says she makes sure to keep sidewalks clear, as required by the city. "We have multiple people who knock on our door and ask if they can shovel for a couple dollars; so they’re shoveled everyday, regardless. But, the amount of snow that’s getting bermed up in front of our door from the city plowing is unmanageable. We didn’t know where to put it – we’re not strong enough to carry it very far and we don’t own a dump truck or a plow." 
Based on lost revenue, she says she’s not sure the business will recover. "I don’t know if I will make it, to tell you the truth. I don’t have any reserves. We’ve always been alright, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull through this one." She hppes to reopen Tuesday. 
Redmond Public Works says they will evaluate snow volumes Wednesday, after the latest storm, and determine whether to start trucking it out of the downtown core. In Bend, that’s already happening.


La Pine Man Killed in Sunday Crash

LA PINE, OR -- Investigators have released the identity of the man killed in a crash north of La Pine that shut down Highway 97 for several hours, Sunday afternoon. 
According to Oregon State Police, a northbound tractor-trailer lost control on the icy highway, just before 3 p.m. The semi collided with a southbound SUV and a pickup. The SUV driver, 40-year-old Derek Tedrow of La Pine, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of the pickup was treated at the scene for minor injuries.  The semi driver, a 29-year-old Sacramento man, was not hurt. 
OSP continues to investigate and is looking for anyone who may have witnessed the crash. Anyone with new information is asked to call or text Senior Trooper Jason Hansen at 541-410-3793.



Tuesday Closures and Delays

BEND, OR -- Another storm is moving through Central Oregon, forcing some school districts and other organizations to make adjustments. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 4 a.m., Wednesday. Forecasters predict another 4-8" of snow.


- Bend-La Pine Schools

- Redmond Schools

- Sisters Schools


- OSU-Cascades

- Central Christian School (Redmond)

- Trinity Lutheran School (Bend)

- Powell Butte Community Charter School

**Culver Schools are on time, but buses are running on SNOW ROUTES.



- Deschutes County Circuit Court is CLOSED

- Saving Grace administrative office is CLOSED

- All Bend Parks & Rec offices and facilities will close at 1 p.m. and reopen Wednesday at 9 a.m.

- Some Deschutes County offices have altered business hours. Click HERE for the list. 

Two Affordable Housing Projects Receive Funding

SISTERS, OR -- Redmond-based Housing Works has received funding for two new projects that will eventually create 90 more affordable housing units for Central Oregon. 
La Pine Townhomes would provide one-, two- and three-bedroom units for 42 households on a 2.5-acre parcel southwest of La Pine. In Sisters, Village Meadows Apartments is expected to provide 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on two lots behind Ray’s Food Place. 
Oregon Housing and Community Services has allocated over $3.6 million in state funding for the two projects. Housing Works hopes to begin construction by summer, with completion slated for mid-2018.  

Plumbers Stay Busy During Winter Storms

BEND, OR -- Recent extreme weather is keeping local plumbers incredibly busy. Anita Quinn, Service Manager at Sunset Plumbing in Bend, says they've received at least 20 calls a day for frozen pipes, and she expects that number to increase when things start to thaw.


Quinn tells KBND News, "Older pipes, once they freeze, they’re going to be brittle, they’re going to thaw and as soon as they thaw, then they’re going to break." However, "Typically, on a newer home, there’s not a lot we can do on frozen pipes because they’re PEX and we cannot heat to it because it’ll melt. But, we’re doing a lot of just precautionary stuff, right now."


With cold weather expected to continue, Quinn says precautions also must continue, including, "Making sure that foundation vents are closed, that they have no hoses attached to any hose bibs on their house and keeping cupboard doors open, keeping the heat up in the home and faucets dripping." She adds, "If you have a crawl space, making sure that you’ve got some heat in there. We do not recommend putting any kind of a heater in the crawl space because that’s definitely a fire hazard. If you can open up the crawl space, just get some heat in there." 


If pipes do freeze in a newer home, Quinn says it doesn't necessarily require a response from a professional. "I’ve told people ‘turn your thermostat up to its highest setting, open up all your cupboard doors and you will find that a lot of times it will thaw itself out.’" And, of course, never use an open flame to thaw pipes. She recommends using a hairdryer.

OSP Responds To Hundreds Of Traffic Incidents

SALEM, OR -- Nearly the entire state saw winter weather, this weekend. Oregon State Police had trouble responding to all of the problems. Capt. Bill Fugate says, "By midday Sunday, we had responded to over 750 traffic incidents. Those included traffic crashes, hazards, disabled vehicles; those were statewide numbers." Nearly 400 of those calls for service were traffic accidents.


He says most of those crashes were caused by drivers going too fast for the conditions, "A lot of people think that since the speed limit is 55, let’s say, that driving 55 is acceptable in this weather. But, really it’s not. Reduce your speed down to half that with plenty of following distance." And, he asks that drivers, "Know what the traction chain requirements are and just be ready to take your time."


There was freezing rain in the Willamette Valley and heavy snow and sleet in Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon. Severe weather and crashes shut down some highways across the state, Saturday and Sunday. A semi vs. vehicle crash closed Highway 97 north of La Pine for several hours, Sunday afternoon. 

Fire Damages Redmond Mill

REDMOND, OR -- An electrical fire damaged a Redmond mill, Sunday morning. Firefighters arrived at the Bright Wood complex on SE First Street just before 10:30 a.m. and found power lines down, which they say caused a fire in the electrical box of one of the mill buildings. 


Sprinklers activated and contained the blaze until the power company could shut off electricity to the site. The fire caused about $400,000 in damage.

Monday Closures & Delays

BEND, OR -- A weekend storm dumped more snow across Central Oregon, forcing some school districts and other organizations to make adjustments. 


- Jefferson County School District 509J

- Culver School District

- Central Christian School (Redmond)


2-Hour DELAY:

- Redmond Schools

- Sisters Schools

- Powell Butte Community Charter School




- OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College close at 1 p.m.

OSU-Cascades Opens Residence Hall

BEND, OR -- Students move into the new OSU Cascades residence hall this weekend, in advance of the winter term, which begins Monday. The residence hall can accommodate 300 undergraduate and graduate students in single, double and triple rooms; as well as apartment-style suites.


Initially, about 60 students are expected to live there. The hall also includes a dining facility that will focus on healthy and, whenever possible, locally or Oregon grown foods.


The facility's opening is the next phase of Oregon State University's campus in Bend. 

Local Chaplains Respond To Deadly Incidents

BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement and fire crews have responded to a string of nearly two-dozen tragic incidents in the past month. Each time, a chaplain has responded to provide emotional support and counseling.


Pastor Jim Crowley, with Central Oregon Police Chaplaincy, says his job is dedicated to first responders on-scene and afterwards. "They’re kicked in; they have a job to do. They’re very professional; they do an outstanding job for our community. And, when they’re doing those kinds of things, they’re not thinking about themselves, or how this is going to impact them. But it’s the two, three, four days, sometimes weeks after – sometimes months after, that that impact resonates. And, then it’s that opportunity for us to kind of stand in that gap with them." He tells KBND News, "It’s kind of like dropping a great big rock in a puddle, and the ripples go out and they come back. So, it’s an ongoing impact, not only at the moment but down the road, for months, years, does that make an impact for the guys and gals in uniform."
Chaplains have responded to more than 20 deaths in the past month, including nearly a dozen fatal crashes from Warm Springs to La Pine, and last month’s officer involved shooting in Bend. While a chaplain's first priority is the emergency crews and dispatchers working a tough case, Crowley says they're also available to help anyone involved in the incident. "More often than not they’ll point us to the family and say ‘this is the loved one, these are the deceased person’s [family] is in this area,’ to help us to know how we can care for the family and for the community."
His nonprofit has more than 20 chaplains in the tri-county area who respond to a number of incidents east of the Cascades. To listen to our full conversation with Chaplain Jim Crowley, click HERE or visit our Podcast Page

New Storm Expected Saturday

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon has had a very snowy winter, so far. Three significant storms have dropped dozens of inches of snow, and another cold front is expected to move in to the area Saturday.


Meteorologist Rob Kramp, with the National Weather Service, says this is not the norm, "Especially when you compare it to last winter and, in particular, the last few winters. We were way on the low end of snow the last few winters, so comparing to that, this is significantly above that."
He says the immense snowfall may be challenging for drivers, but it's good for the snow pack. "Just compared to climatological averages, we're starting to get above average and the snow pack in the mountains is starting to get way above average, at this point. It looks like at least next week or so, before we start to see a much more significant warm up. The snow is just going to continue to accumulate; and the mountains, in particular, are far above normal on snow pack, now."
The weather service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 10 a.m. Saturday through 4 a.m. Sunday. The next storm could bring another two to four inches of snow, Saturday; and freezing rain, Sunday. More snow is expected into next week, as well. 

Bend City Councilors Elect Roats Mayor

BEND, OR -- Bend's three new City Councilors were sworn in at Wednesday night's meeting, followed by the election of Casey Roats as Mayor. 


Roats tells KBND News he is humbled by the vote of confidence. "I didn't campaign to be mayor. I had a conversation with a couple of colleagues and was fortunate enough to have their trust that I would do what hopefully will be a good job. I think it's important to know that it was a leap of faith for this group, in particular, to take what could be a slightly different direction. I'm excited to be a part of this Council. I will be leading the meetings, but I'm still just one of seven in our system."  Roats adds, "I'm happy to help run efficient meetings that will hopefully be timely and productive. We'll make sure that the minority opinion is respected, but that the will of the majority is enacted. And, I may not find myself in the majority on a good number of issues and I understand that. But, I'll work hard to find common ground and be a part of the majority when I can." Roats was elected to Council in 2014 amid controversy over his residency. Lawsuits filed over the issue were later dropped


Fellow City Councilor Sally Russell was re-elected to her seat in November. She had expressed a desire to become Mayor, but she lacked the support of enough of Council. "Between November eighth and today - this is politics in Bend; this is how we choose our mayor. Sooner or later, you figure out whether or not you have the votes or not to become Mayor." She tells KBND News, "I told Casey I would be happy to be Pro Tem again, in that position. I didn't have the votes to be mayor this time, and so I'm thrilled to be in a leadership position for this city."


Mayor Roats says he wants to get back to basics, "I want the people of Bend to realize City Council is focused on the core services we provide. I think we could spend a good year making sure that people understand we are focused on the streets, and we are focused on permitting, planning and really the core services and utilities that we provide. Of course, we'll take other issues into account. We've spent a lot of time working on a lot of global issues here locally and I'm looking forward to a renewed focus on some of the things that are kind of the nuts and bolts of what a city government does."


Mayor Pro Tem Russell was sworn in, Wednesday, along with newly elected Councilors Bill Moseley and Justin Livingston, and Bruce Abernethy, who returns to Council after eight years in the private sector.

Redmond Transient Seriously Injured in Assault

REDMOND, OR -- Police continue to look into a assault that occurred Tuesday afternoon at a vacant property on the east side of Redmond. The site is near several transient camps, and a 29-year-old transient suffered serious injuries. 


A man reported the assault when he called 911 to say he was driving an unconscious male to St. Charles Redmond. The victim did not have a heartbeat and was not breathing when he arrived at the hospital. After lifesaving measures, he was flown to St. Charles Bend. He remains in critical condition. 


Two people were questioned by police, but were released pending the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing. 

Central OR Gets A Break Between Storms

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon snow blowers and shovels have gotten a lot of use in the last month, and we're not done with them, yet. 


The latest storm dropped about a foot of snow over the past two days. Meteorologist Rob Kramp, with the National Weather Service, says temperatures are going to stay bitterly cold, "High pressure [is]  building in, which essentially means dry and cold, especially with all the snow on the ground. Highs over the next few days in the teens, maybe in the 20s at best; overnight lows very cold on the order of about zero to 15 below."


Flurries are dying down, but he tells KBND News another storm is on the way. "We're looking at another storm over the weekend. So, additional snow on Saturday, Saturday night; possibly warming up and changing over to rain by Sunday." That front could bring another three to six-inches of snow before warming into the 40s on Sunday.


As the snow piles up, so does the garbage in some neighborhoods. Susan Baker, with Bend Garbage and Recycling, says trucks are out, but they aren’t able to reach everyone. "The roads are pretty treacherous out there. The main roads, the drivers are able to get around but it’s a lot into the side roads that just haven’t been able to be plowed; it’s been a bit dangerous for them to try and get down there with the trucks to collect the garbage from our customers." She tells KBND News trash will eventually get picked up, "We are definitely encouraging the customer to give us a call, or Cascade Disposal, if that’s their service area, or High Country Disposal up in Redmond, and we definitely can notify them when we think we’ll be back in the area. We’re trying to be a little proactive and get a list of some of the neighborhoods we know for sure we were unable to go to, and reach out to our customers now to let them know what’s going on."
Baker says this is highly unusual. "We’ve had a pretty good service record, where I think we’ve only missed one day in the past 10 years. But, we’ve been trying to notify our customers to let them know if we weren’t able to service that area just due to access and safety concerns for the driver, once the weather does lighten up and it permits we will be back in the area to service them." She says customers can help by making sure cans are out by 6 a.m. on pickup day, and she asks everyone to clear access between the can and street. 

Area Homeless Battle Frigid Temps

BEND, OR -- While area homeless shelters, churches and other groups provide options for people to get out of the cold, hundreds remain outside in sub-zero temperatures. Tory Flory, Outreach Program Manager for Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, says volunteers distributed cold-weather gear to a number of homeless camps prior to the storm, because they knew some would be unreachable once the snow hit. "We’ve added an increased effort to provide propane gas, so people can use that – not only just to cook but also to keep themselves warm – that can be the difference between a cold-related injury and not, especially in weather like this. We’ve also had an increase here at our walk-in center, with that propane gas as well. We also provide hot coffee and hot soup." He adds, "We’ve also really increased our supplies of cold weather coats; we tried to increase our supplies of sleeping bags, shelter items such as tents and tarps, in preparation for this cold weather." Donations of tents, tarps, socks and coats can be made at COVO’s outreach center, across from the Bend Fred Meyer on Highway 97. 


COVO Executive Director J.W. Terry tells KBND News, "Everybody who walks through the door, we’re telling them where the shelters are during this cold weather spell. We’re trying to get as many of them inside as we can." But, Flory says there are a variety of reasons why they won’t seek shelter. "Everything from feelings of persecution, embarrassment for being in that position, all the way to addiction problems that would cause them to even be turned away from the shelters." Most homeless facilities don’t accept animals and Flory says some refuse to leave pets behind. Others can't handle the crowds at a shelter. 


Ron Moore is a volunteer with COVO. He’s lived outside for six years and says he stays safe with a tarp over his tent and by keeping his bed off the ground. "Just take care of your equipment, is the main thing. You’ve got to watch so that you don’t tear it or rip it. I keep a roll of duct tape just in case. If you can stay out of the wind, you can stay pretty good, because the wind is what gets you cold. If you get wet when that wind is blowing, you’re going to freeze."  He says deep snow can cause tents to cave in. 


The Shepherd's House, which helps run warming shelters in Redmond and Sisters, is also asking for emergency donations. The organization says they need money to purchase food and other necessities for men, women and children during extreme weather. Monetary donations can be made online. They also need sleeping bags, gloves, hats, hand warmers and tents; those donations can be made at the Shepherd's House Bend shelter on Division, or at Grace Gate Church in Redmond between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. And, they're looking for alternate daytime locations for those seeking shelter over the next couple of days to warm up and get a hot meal.

Deschutes Co. Sheriff, Commissioner Sworn In

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson was sworn in for his first full term, Tuesday. Following the oath of office, he addressed the audience to thank his family and staff for their continued support, and acknowledge his first year and a half in office. "We’ve seen some challenges, and I know you’re all aware of that. But, I couldn’t have done it without all of you and I especially could not have done it without my family; and that’s what it’s all about. We stay together and we look forward; and be positive about it."


Nelson was appointed Sheriff in July 2015, but a number of internal investigation has scarred the agency over the past 18 months. "Now, I can’t guarantee you everything is always going to be terrific and I don’t think you expect that," Sheriff Nelson told Tuesday's crowd. "What I will guarantee you, is that I will lead all of you and all of your talent forward so that we can best possibly serve the citizens of this county and that’s what we’re going to do; just like we always have done. Thank you for being here today and thank you for electing me as your Sheriff. I’m proud to serve you." Nelson defeated his challenger in November by a near 10% margin. 


Also sworn in Tuesday, local home builder Phil Henderson replaces Alan Unger on the board of County Commissioners. Henderson takes part in his first work session, Wednesday afternoon.

Names Released In Officer Involved Shooting

BEND, OR -- State Police have released the names of the two Bend Police officers involved in last month’s fatal shootingOfficer Scott Schaier and Officer Marc Tisher contacted 31-year-old Michael Jacques on December 23, following several reports of reckless driving. During the encounter, one or both officers deployed a taser and Officer Schaier fired his handgun. 


Jacques’ family says he was unarmed and still buckled into the driver’s seat when he was fatally shot. OSP and the state Department of Justice continue to investigate.

Roberts Field Remains Open Despite Weather

REDMOND, OR -- Officials at the Redmond Airport say crews are working to keep planes moving, despite the snowstorm. However, air carriers make their own decisions on flight cancelations and delays.


A number of flights were canceled, Tuesday evening and only a couple of flights are are expected to arrive in Redmond, Wednesday morning. All departures scheduled before 10 a.m. have been canceled. 


Passengers are urged to verify flight information with their provider before arriving at the airport. Click HERE to access the Redmond Airport's website. Authorities recommend allowing extra travel time and wear appropriate footwear to safely get to the terminal from the parking lot. 

Schools, State Offices Closed Wednesday

BEND, OR -- Due to inclement weather, all local school districts closed Wednesday, 01/04/17:

- Bend-La Pine Schools

- Redmond Schools

- Sisters Schools

- Jefferson Co. School District 509-J

- Crook County Schools

- Culver Schools

- Central Christian School 

- Trinity Lutheran School

- Powell Butte Community Charter School

- Central Oregon Community College

- All state offices in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson and counties.

(State offices in Klamath, Lake, Josephine, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties are also closed)

- Deschutes County Circuit Court

- Crook/Jefferson County Circuit Court

- REACH (frmrly: Boys & Girls Clubs of Redmond/Terrebonne)

- Deschutes Public Library branches in Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver


- OSU Cascades plans to open at 10 a.m.

- Deschutes County Health Services plans to open at 10 a.m.

- Crook County Court (County Commissioners) will work on a 2-hour delay, beginning at 10 a.m.

Salem Sex Offender Arrested In Prineville Stop

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Salem sex offender was arrested in Prineville, earlier this week, after seven people were discovered riding in the cargo section of a Budget Rental truck. Responding to a driving complaint, police pulled over the truck driven by 21-year-old Guadalupe Gabino Sanchez-Alden, just before 8:30 Monday morning. He was arrested on an outstanding Marion County warrant and a new charge of failing to register as a sex offender. 


Officers found two minors in the cab of the truck and three adults and four other juveniles riding in the back. Investigators believe they were heading to Washington from New Mexico. The Department of Human Services is assisting the nine family members.

Winter Storm Blasts High Desert

BEND, OR -- Bitter cold temperatures continue through the week as the region battles another blast of winter weather. A winter storm warning is in effect for Central Oregon from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday.


Meteorologist Mike Murphy, with the National Weather Service in Pendleton, says the biggest snowfall will come Tuesday night. "We are expecting more snow to develop later on this afternoon through Wednesday night. We're expecting some pretty significant snow; we're looking for anywhere from six to 12-inches of snow for Bend, Redmond, Madras - basically, the entire area from Tuesday night through Wednesday night."


Drivers should expect snow-covered roadways and poor visibility. Some blowing and drifting snow is possible. Winds will be 5-15 MPH, with gusts up to 25 MPH. 


Murphy tells KBND News the storm is also bringing extreme temperatures. "It's going to be very cold and very snowy. We're expecting high temperatures on Tuesday in the lower teens, between 10-15; then, Tuesday night with that snow, temperatures between five to 10-degrees. Then, pretty much the same for Wednesday, highs around 10. So, staying very cold." Thursday is expected to remain in the mid-teens before things start to warm up. Friday's high should be near 30-degrees. 

New Redmond City Hall Nearly Complete

REDMOND, OR -- With the New Year comes a new City Hall for Redmond. Renovations are nearly complete at the former Evergreen school, and City Council and a number of departments plan to move into their new space in about seven weeks. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND News, "Floors are in, in the last two areas they’re working in – one of which is Council chambers and then some of the lease space that we have. 'REDI,' Redmond Economic Development officially announced that they’re going to occupy some of the lease space, so they’ll be moving in as well. That’ll be a good partner." He says technology installed in the nearly 100-year-old building needs to be fully tested before Councilors can move in. 


The facility's history is celebrated through the City Hall design and artwork. Endicott says, "We approved a piece of art glass that actually has the mascots for the three different schools. Because, it was a high school then it was a middle school, then it was an elementary school – so, you’ve got a panther, then you’ve got an eagle, then, I think it’s a wolf are all represented in this piece of art glass for the mascots that were in that building over the years. It’s kind of cool."

The current City Hall, across from Centennial Park, will eventually be sold to a developer. "We transferred the current City Hall building over to the Urban Area Commission – or, their board – who then will sell it to a private party," says Endicott. "Our intent there is that someone comes in that’s going to build a venue that will attract people to downtown in the hours that currently aren’t – for example, an entertainment center of some kind." Mayor Endicott expects the new City Hall facility will be ready for staff to move in by mid February.
Evergreen School Stock Photo

Two Bend Burglaries May Be Connected

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating at least two break-ins on the north end of town that they believe are connected. Officers first responded to a burglary alarm at Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers at the Cascade Village Shopping Center Monday at about 1:15 a.m. They discovered a broken window and several watches and other items were taken. 


About eight minutes later, officers were notified of an alarm at Smolich Volvo, one mile north of Cascade Village. There, they also found a broken window and items taken.
Investigators are looking for a silver or gray extended cab pickup similar to a Dodge, which may be connected to the break-ins. Anyone with information is asked to call Bend Police at 541-693-6911.

New Year's Eve Celebration Leads To Arrest

BEND, OR -- A New Year’s Eve celebration turned violent in northeast Bend, landing one man in the hospital and another in jail on assault charges. 


According to police, the two men got into a fight at a home on Vogt Road. Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, 33-year-old Daniel Jastrab allegedly hit Andrew Lentz over the head with a champagne bottle. The 37-year-old Bend man suffered serious injuries and was taken by medics to the hospital. 


Jastrab took off after the fight, but turned himself into police, Monday.

Commissioner Unger Reflects On Public Service

BEND, OR -- After eight years as a Deschutes County Commissioner, Alan Unger is leaving. Republican Phil Henderson defeated Unger in the November election and will be sworn in as Commissioner, January third.


Unger admits election night was tough, but he's looking forward. "People wanted change. So, I just need to respect that and move on. I'll tell you, I've enjoyed working for Deschutes County and serving the people here. I think I've done a lot of good things to help us manage the growth we have, both in Redmond and Deschutes County. And, try to help protect those things that we enjoy, which is our natural resources and just mange how we get from one community to the next."


Prior to being elected to the Board of County Commissioners, Unger was the Mayor of Redmond for eight years. Before that, he was a Redmond City Councilor. He tells KBND News he got a lot accomplished during his time in government. "I think a collaborative approach is the way we get things done. I've always tried to lead from the middle, that way you bring people in from both sides, find out what is in common and then you've got a place build from to get to where you want to go. You don't necessarily get there in one jump, but you can get closer by taking several jumps to get to where you want to be."  He adds, "I still want to be engaged in that. There's a program called 'Better Together,' that brings school districts in, the teaching they do in community colleges with business. We need to create a strong, robust system that gives our children a path. They need to be successful."


Unger is still considering his next move, and has not ruled out a future run for office. "I need to be looking at things like being a consultant and looking for those things I can add value to. I'm not ready to retire, so the challenge is 'how do you put yourself out there in a way where people want to support you with that effort.'"

Crook County Judge McCabe Says Final Goodbye

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Judge Mike McCabe said his final goodbyes, last week. He retired Friday after more than two decades of public service. McCabe did not run for re-election in November, choosing to retire at the end of his term. 


He said his final public goodbye in a Crook County video podcast: "It’s been truly an honor to serve the constituents of Prineville and Crook County these past 24 years. And, I’m leaving a little bit sadly that I won’t maybe get to see some of you as much. As I go, I want you to know that we have a tremendous staff in Crook County. They’ve done a tremendous job and they’re just the greatest folks that I’ve had the pleasure of working with." He added, "I’ll be around; my home is here so if any of you want to contact me or stop by for a visit, please feel free to do it. I just live eight miles north of town on the Madras Highway. I’ll see you around town as time goes on. Again, it’s been my honor that you found me worthy to represent you through this whole process the last 24 years. So, thank you very much Crook County and the citizens of Prineville, and all the folks I’ve been able to work with over the years."


McCabe started as a County Commissioner in 1992; he was elected Judge in 2008. Seth Crawford now takes over as Judge, beating fellow Commissioner Ken Fahlgren in the November election, which leaves Crawford’s seat open. Newly elected Commissioner Jerry Brummer and Judge Crawford will appoint someone to that vacancy in the coming months. 

New Year's Shooting Leads To One Arrest

SUNRIVER, OR -- A 20-year-old California woman was shot early New Year's Day at a home in Sunriver. Police responded to a report of a disturbance on Shagbark Lane, just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday, with at least one shot fired. They found 14 people at the home. 


Medics transported Kelly Piluyeva, of Rancho Cordova, California, to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested 21-year-old Mikhail Pitsul, from Antelope, California, for Assault III, Unlawful Use of a Weapon Disorderly Conduct and three counts of Reckless Endangering. Sunriver Police, the Sheriff’s Office and State Police continue to investigate the incident. 

Families Impacted By Multiple New Year's Eve Fires

REDMOND, OR -- Local Red Cross volunteers are helping three families impacted by separate fires on New Year’s Eve. 

Early Saturday morning, Redmond Fire responded to a home on Southwest Cascade Avenue. They say an aging wood stove led to the fire in walls and the attic space. That blaze caused an estimated $35,000 in damage and displaced two adults and five pets. 
Just before 11 a.m., Redmond Fire responded to a fire near 19th and Elkhorn. The single-family fire affected two adults.
And, at about 5 p.m., Crook County Fire and Rescue arrived at a motor home fire with explosions on SE Cahvilla Road, south of Prineville (pictured). Nine firefighters arrived to find the motor home completely consumed by flames with multiple propane tanks. Two people lived in the RV, which was a total loss. 


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