BEND, OR -- The race for Bend's House District 54 has a new entry. Amanda La Bell is the Founder and Director of The Rebecca Foundation.
She acknowledges that it might be confusing for some voters that she's running on the Working Families ticket, given that she's a Democrat. "It’s because the current Democrat nominee is not stepping aside even though he’s been pressured to and pretty much all support has been pulled from him. I supported that Democrat candidate, and I felt like I no longer had a place to put my vote." Democratic nominee Dr. Nathan Boddie is accused of groping a woman at a bar in 2012; allegations he has denied. She says, when the Working Families party approached her to run as their candidate, she agreed because she thought, otherwise, many Democrats would have no other choice, "I started in this race because I want to fight for housing, child care, for those families who are struggling to stay in Bend. Touching on those issues and working hard for them is what I plan on doing."
La Bell tells KBND News she recognizes her campaign is getting a late start, "I knew stepping into this was not going to be easy. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I’ve never taken a challenge and not run with it. I started a nonprofit from absolutely nothing: The Rebecca Foundation; we provide cloth diapers to lower income families across the United States. Today, we are in three countries with 150 chapters and 240 volunteers. So, obviously, hard work is not something I’m afraid of." She's lived in Bend just two years, but says she understands the needs of residents, "I try to do as much as I can to be a part of this community because it is my home. I don’t call any other place my home, but Bend is my home. And we moved here so that our kids would have a place to be, and grow up, and have great schools, and friends. So, here we are."
The District 54 seat is currently held by Republican Dr. Knute Buehler, who is running for Governor. La Bell is running against Republican nominee Cheri Helt, in November, and Nathan Boddie, assuming he does not drop out of the race before Friday evening's withdrawal deadline.
REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District (RAPRD) is considering asking voters to approve a bond, next spring, to expand the Cascade Swim Center. Redmond Schools Superintendent Mike McIntosh says his district is part of the equation, and there are a lot of unanswered questions, "That land is school district property and the pool is sitting on it. There’s a softball field and about a four to five-acre transportation lot, where we house our buses and bus barn, and so on. And so, the conversation is around how do we vacate that as a school district, and allow Parks and Rec to build a facility there?"
One proposal involves a land-swap that would relocate the bus barn to property owned by RAPRD, at SW 35th and Highway 126. "There is about 11 acres there – same size piece of land," says McIntosh, "It’s got several issues – one of them being the BPA [Bonneville Power Administration] has lines that go through, crisscross that piece of property, on part of it. Also, there’s access to the highway; we already know that’s a problem." That’s a problem, because SW 35th and Highway 126 is known for serious crashes. McIntosh acknowledges it's still very early in the conversation, but says it's one worth having, "There’s going to be a lot of people, from the city to the state to the county, all involved in how that would transpire. We also have - the piece that they’re owning is outside the city limits; it’s inside the UGB. There are a lot of good questions to be answered."
RAPRD Executive Director Katie Hammer tells KBND News a new facility would be built next door to the existing pool complex and would allow her agency to consolidate fitness and swim activities on to one campus. Currently, fitness and other classes are offered at a building at SW Odem Medo and Canal Blvd, two miles from the pool. Her goal is to create a fitness and aquatic center rivaling the Madras Aquatic Center
and Juniper Swim & Fitness
, in Bend. It could include indoor basketball courts, a walking track and a family water feature, like a lazy river. A bond measure to fund design and construction of the new facility would also pay to move the school district's transportation department, says Hammer. The preliminary price tag for both projects is $36 million.
BEND, OR -- In response to damage caused by overcrowding, three Cultus Lake campgrounds accessible only by boat will stop offering first-come, first-serve camping next year. Beginning August 1, 2019, advanced reservations will be required through Recreation.gov for Little Cove, Big Cove and West Cultus (pictured) campgrounds.
Kassidy Kern, with the Deschutes National Forest, says some campers get frustrated when they go through the trouble of boating to the locations, only to find all designated sites full, "People will load up, get all the way over to these sites, and then there won’t be any sites left and they’ll sort of make their own. There used to be distinctive campsites in these areas, and really not any more. Now it’s just one, essentially, huge group camp." She tells KBND News that's created significant resource damage, "There’s just been a lot of feet and a lot of bodies tromping on that ground and so what we need to do is get in there and make these sites more distinct, and then do some rehab work on the soils and the vegetation."
She says requiring advance reservations will also create more turn-over of campsites, "Because what we also see is folks who are out there for the whole summer; they’ll just have their stuff out there for a very long period of time. And, that’s also not fair to the people who want to come in and have a new and different experience."
The change is still a year out, "To give people who have utilized this site for decades, maybe, time to adjust to this. And, it will give us more time to educate the public as to why we’re doing this." Kern says camp hosts will help educate visitors and enforce the new rules.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville church is stepping in to fill the gap left by the closure of a local food pantry. St. Vincent De Paul was forced to shut down its Crook County food distribution service this week, due to a lack of funding.
Through a partnership with NeighborImpact, First Baptist Church in Prineville is expanding its food distribution program. St. Vincent De Paul will continue to help get donated groceries from stores to the church. Beginning September sixth, First Baptist will distribute food every Thursday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their own bags or boxes to get food home. Call First Baptist Church at 541-447-7717 with questions.
The church will only offer the extended service through the end of this year. NeighborImpact hopes to find other non-profits to step in and provide a more permanent solution. Any groups interested in stepping in to the role is asked to contact Carly
RICHLAND, WA -- A Prineville hunter found hanging upside down in a tree, in eastern Oregon, is reportedly now in a drug-induced coma. The East Oregonian reports 70-year-old Eddie Voelker is in critical condition at a Richland, Washington hospital.
A family friend told the newspaper he underwent a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain; He was breathing on his own for a while but doctors put him back on a ventilator, Thursday.
Voelker was hunting alone with his dogs, near the small community of Ukiah. He fell out of a tree stand and became tangled in a safety harness. He reportedly hung upside down for two days, 30-feet up, before another hunter found him Tuesday and called for help. Rescuers had to use a bucket truck to bring the man down; he was taken by Life Flight to the hospital.
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Veterans Affairs reached an agreement this week with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, to set up the state’s first tribal veteran service office. It’s also the first state-tribal partnership of this kind in state history.
ODVA officials say the new agency will operate like a county veteran service office, providing direct services to vets, while recognizing the unique challenges faced by this population. There is no date set, yet, for when the office will open.
Photo: ODVA Acting Dir. Mitch Sparks meets with Warm Springs Tribal Council Chair Eugene Greene, Jr., earlier this week (courtesy Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs).
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond's five-term Mayor, George Endicott, faces opposition in November from a former Mayor. Ed Fitch runs a local law group and says he’s grown frustrated, in recent years, with what he believes is the city’s lack of action on big issues, like congestion on South Highway 97. "We need to identify and preserve a corridor for the south half of the reroute in Redmond. We also need to come to – we’ve been working for six or seven years now on addressing the existing Highway 97; it’s getting worse every year. And, we’re running out of patience, in terms of getting some solutions done."
He says, if elected, he would also address what he sees is a lack of variety in Redmond's housing inventory, "I think we’re getting out of balance, with creating neighborhoods instead of just having more and more tract – call it ‘cheaper’ subdivisions. We need some of those, but we also need some more balance, in terms of how we’re creating neighborhoods and just approving whatever a developer comes in and puts on the table." He also wants to help clear the way so Central Oregon Community College could expand its Redmond campus, near the Redmond Airport.
Fitch was City Attorney for 19 years before he was elected mayor in 1999. He resigned from his seat in 2001 for what he calls "personal reasons." But, he says he's stayed active in the city, serving on several committees and commissions over the years. He tells KBND News he wants his old job back because it's the best position to help move the city forward, "Based on the experience I’ve had before and as City Attorney, when you try and put coalitions together, people will want to work with the Mayor; I mean, that’s just what happens. Not that it has any veto power, or anything like that, but when you’re dealing with other representatives from either the state, local or federal, they look to the Mayor for guidance."
BEND, OR -- capitalizing on its new-found fame, Bend's Blockbuster has a whole line of merchandise available in-store or online. Manager Ryan Harding says there are several ways to get your swag on, "We started off with just the classic t-shirts; they're the classic blue color." He tells KBND News, "And then, we have Blockbuster hats, and we have - on the way - magnets; and then yeah, the beer."
International Attention Keeps Blockbuster Busy (07/19/2018)
That's right. There's even a new beverage, "This one is pretty special because we're the last in America, so it's a complete 'collab' with 10 Barrel and Blockbuster. I saw the prototype not too long ago, it had a few different things like, 'Drink Beer Outside,' towards Bend, Oregon." 10 Barrel Brewing said in an Instagram post announcing the brew, "We promise each sip will deliver you back to a time when cracking open that blue and white VHS case was the sound of an epic Saturday evening." The beer will be released September 21, at a "block party" at Blockbuster.
Apparel and other items can be found at the brick and mortar location at Third and Revere, or through the store's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. But, Harding says, it may be difficult to get what you're looking for, since items are flying off shelves, "We can have them sent to you, it's just a little bit of a process to have them make sure we have the shirt in and whatnot. It's mostly just keeping up with the product. We've been selling out of shirts constantly. Like, currently, we're all sold out of shirts right now."
Harding says being employed at the movie rental store has turned what could've been a pretty normal job into a neat opportunity.
MADRAS, OR -- Madras City Councilors, this week, approved the formation of a new committee to help increase communication between city leaders and residents. Mayor Royce Embanks says the City Council is finally made up of both men and women, several of whom are from different ethnic backgrounds. But he still believes city leaders can do a better job reaching the various groups represented in the community.
Embanks says he and Councilor Denise Piza came up with the idea for the Community Advisory Committee during discussions about the legal status of some residents and the 2020 census, "We wanted to try and get a committee together that would help us disseminate information throughout the community because, constantly I hear from people, 'Oh, I didn't know about that!' even though it was in the paper or in the news. So, it's another form of communication and it's another form of self-examination of the city to see that we're doing the right thing." He tells KBND News, "We’re trying to get a real diverse group of people together, that we can bring questions to and to use them to disseminate information to the community."
Mayor Embanks says he'd like to see the committee made up of people from the city’s different ethnic and socio-economic populations, as well as a variety of ages, "Often in the City Council, we don’t have representation of young mothers and young fathers because they’re busy working and they don’t have time to come in. So, we want to try and reach as many people as we can." And, he adds, "We want to recruit one person not within the city limits, but within our zip code." He says those people often work in Madras, and are impacted by city decisions, yet can’t vote in city elections.
City Councilors will nominate potential members. Embanks is running for City Council in November and he would like to have the group in place before he steps down as Mayor, "We’ll have seven people; they’re elected or chosen for a two-year term."
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools is changing the focus of its alternative high school, to a Career and Technical Education (CTE) hub for its 189 students. Marshall High's new principal Sal Cassaro says he's excited about the shift, "What we wanted to do is reinvent Marshall so that kids have an absolute purpose and a reason and a relevance for coming to school in the morning."
Gone are the days when students built chairs and chessboards, Cassaro says. Marshall wants to train kids in construction technologies like electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and tile, "And then, we also offer engineering and STEM, and then we have our business and marketing academy where kids will learn about business," Cassaro tells KBND News, "And then, lastly, we have our health academies. The other caveat is that we are a National Guard Army JROTC program."
There are also internships and job-shadowing opportunities, "In today's world where we're becoming more connected, but at the same time disconnected; putting together a curriculum where students really come to school with a purpose, I just think we're going to hit a ton of success with a lot of kids."
Cassaro, who was just named Principal over the summer, says his staff is committed to this change, "A kid that graduates completing a program of study of two credits of CTE, the data shows they have a 95% chance of graduating high school. For that reason right there alone, I just see that as a perfect match for Marshall, where we're going to give kids a purpose for getting out of bed and coming to school in the morning."
Construction is also underway, at Marshall, on a new multi-use building with classrooms and a dedicated gym, funded by the school bond. That facility is slated to open in January.
UKIAH, OR -- A Prineville hunter was rescued after spending two days stuck in a tree, outside the small eastern Oregon community of Ukiah. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office responded to a hunting camp, Tuesday, for a report of a man entangled in his safety harness.
They found him suspended upside down, 30-feet in the air. He told rescuers he’d fallen from a hunting stand and was stuck for two days before being found by another hunter.
He was flown by Life Flight to a regional hospital. his current condition is unknown.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County's digital radio system, used by first responders, has been plagued with issues since it was installed more than a year ago, but officials believe they're in the final stages of making it fully functional. Experts say a system rated at 3.4 would be necessary for clear hand-held radio transmissions in urban areas, like Bend.
Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney says her board purchased they system they were asked to get, "The Board [of County Commissioners] purchased the radio system that was recommended by the Director of 911, based on information from the User Board."
Steve Reinke was 911 Director at the time and tells KBND News he now doesn't recall what he recommended. But, he says he believed the 3.0 system would only have minor problems in very limited places. Reinke retired from Deschutes County in March
, after less than three years as Director. He starts his new job as Director of Spokane County 911 next month.
Chief Porter says if he’d known the system that was ordered was not strong enough, he would’ve raised concerns before the contract was signed. But, he's now looking forward. "How do we fix this? How do we get the right system? The obvious answer is we upgrade the system to 3.4, which can be done. There is still funding left in the original project to help us upgrade this system to where it needs to be. We know that we can get there."
A new county technician is now reviewing the contract and system.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will again hear from residents involved in the Septic to Sewer project, in the southeast corner of the city. Property owners who have not yet provided testimony are invited to take part in the second listening session, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., the Bend Senior Center.
Septic To Sewer Meeting Draws Dozens (08/16/2018)
City Manager Eric King says converting from septic systems to sewer service is non-negotiable, "This is a state rule that we’re trying to comply with. I think, you can try and change state law, but that’s been there for a long, long time. And so, we have to also just be practical about the environment that we are working in and try best to work together. This is really about us – the city and neighborhoods – trying to find a solution." That state rule says that properties within 300' of a functioning sewer system must connect to that line. A large pocket of Southeast Bend was developed with septic tanks because, originally, it wasn't part of the city.
For some, King says, the transition could be cost prohibitive, "It’s a major expense. And, what we’re trying to avoid is having one neighbor having to pay, potentially, over $100,000 to connect to the sewer system when their tank fails, to comply with this rule; versus the other neighbor who might just be conveniently located near where that pipe is, and have to pay a lot less. We’re trying to spread that cost and make it more equitable throughout that area." He tells KBND News, "We’re trying to find ways that we can be sensitive to people that are on fixed incomes, that are in poverty; we don’t want to have people lose their homes over this, by any means. The committee’s recommendations have some suggestions on how to do that, and then Council is going to be vetting those recommendations over the next couple of months and hopefully come up with a resolution later this year."
Wednesday evening's meeting is purely for feedback, not deliberations. King is hopeful they’ll come up with a plan to address everyone’s concerns, which could impact all ratepayers, later this fall.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- After four terms as Prineville's Mayor, Betty Roppe is retiring at the end of this year, and a familiar face hopes to take her place. Steve Uffelman was first appointed to City Council in 1985, and served four terms as mayor, himself. He's currently City Council President.
Uffelman believes he's the right person for the top job, partly due to the city's current rate of growth, "There are multiple benefits. There's just myriad activities that are going on in the community, [and] it's helpful to have the experience and have the background to keep all the balls in the air and keep things moving forward. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm retired, so, I have the freedom to do that." He tells KBND News, "If they look around at the changes that they've seen in the community, I've had my hand in a whole lot of them." He points to the golf course, his first project as Mayor back in 1988, through the City Hall upgrade, both waste water treatment projects, and the saving of the railroad, which just celebrated its hundredth birthday. "Just a variety of things in the community, my fingerprints are on it. If that's what they like, then they should vote for me."
He says he and Mayor Roppe are on the same page about where the city is headed, "We are not at odds of having different opinions on how things should move forward, and so it's more a matter of collaboration, and 'let's get things done,' rather than who's in charge." Uffelman is running unopposed.
BEND, OR -- A Bend City Council candidate is in hot water after trying to flee police on a bicycle. Ronald Boozell was arrested Friday on a warrant for contempt of court. He's running for Position Six on Council.
Police say an officer was driving past City Hall when he recognized Boozell riding his bike and told the mand there was a warrant for his arrest. Boozell allegedly refused to stop his bike, prompting the officer to pursue him on foot and arrest him.
Boozell had been ordered to serve a 90-day sentence for failure to pay child support. Now he's facing a charge of interfering with a cop and will likely be spending election day in jail.
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council took formal action, yesterday (Tue) to close the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa, including its lodge and golf course. The Board of Directors recommended the closure in early July, due to a lack of profitability. The Board presented a number of eco-tourism options for the Tribal Council to consider, however they failed to gain traction. Read more HERE.
A number of events will take place at the resort, this weekend, including a horse parade and Salmon Bake. Then, in the coming week, staff will finalize inventory of assets and turn them over to the Tribes. It will close September fifth.
The facility was built over the 1960s and 70s, but had struggled financially in recent years, after Indian Head Casino moved to Highway 26 in 2012.
BEND, OR -- A Deschutes County Grand Jury has indicted a Bend mom for Aggravated Murder, in the killing her seven-year-old disabled son. Last week, police were called to Mount Hope Lane, in southwest Bend, by a family member who found the boy shot and Jordan unresponsive. She was taken to St. Charles with a life threatening condition.
District Attorney John Hummel says investigators were willing to wait for her to recover before charging the woman, "Upon her release is when we arrested her. So, her exact condition, I don't know those details, but the hospital professionals clearly thought she was well enough to be released."
Hummel says his investigation is just beginning, but he believes Jordan intentionally caused Mason's death, "What's clear is that Ms. Jordan shot her son, and the Grand Jury charged her with Aggravated Murder because of that." He tells KBND News, "It's a horrific situation. By all accounts, Mason was beloved by everyone who met him. So, we mourn his loss and, at the same time, we go forward with this prosecution."
Jordan is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. Hummel says he's not yet decided whether to ask for the death penalty.
BEND, OR -- Bend voters will have a dozen choices for City Council, come November. The candidate filing deadline for the fall election was 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Andrew Davis, Gena Goodman-Campbell and Victor Johnson submitted the required paperwork for position Five, currently held by Nathan Boddie – who’s running for the State House. Sarah McCormick, Ron Boozell and current City Councilor Barb Campbell will vie for Casey Roats’ position Six seat; he is not running for reelection. And, six people are running for Mayor (position Seven): City Councilors Sally Russel and Bill Moseley, along with Charles Baer, Brian Douglass, Michael Hughes and Joshua Langlais.
The winner of each contest will serve four-year terms.
MADRAS, OR -- (08/28/18) Detectives continue to search for the suspect they believe was involved in a shooting at the Topps Trailer Court in Madras, early Monday. "When the deputies responded, they found the victim outside and he had multiple gunshot wounds to the lower part of his body," Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins tells KBND News, "We had applied a couple of tourniquets until the ambulance arrived."
The victim has not been identified and is being treated at St. Charles Bend. The two appear to have known each other, but Sheriff Adkins says it took time to identify the shooter by his real name because the victim only knew him by his nickname. "His name is Alejandro Pineda Reynoso. He’s 29-years-old, has lived in the Madras area, he’s a Hispanic male, he has a large birthmark or mole on his left cheek; very recognizable." Adkins adds, "We have the Major Crime Team here and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab will be going through the residence and the surrounding area to identify evidence. We put out an Attempt to Locate nationwide, so every police department and Sheriff’s office in the nation will be notified." Dispatchers were heard on Broadcastify,
Monday, transmitting the information to other jurisdictions: "Short black hair, brown eyes, 170 (pounds), large mole on left cheek; driving a tan or silver 1996 Acura, plate 424GAU. Again, this is officer safety information, shooting that occurred in Madras."
Adkins says anyone who sees Reynoso or knows where he is should not contact the man, "He’s already shot one person multiple times. Obviously he’s armed, and I would consider him armed and dangerous. I don’t know what extent he’ll go to to escape." If you have information on the suspect's whereabouts, you're asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 541-475-2201 or 541-475-6520.
UPDATE: (08/29/18) The man accused in a Madras shooting turned himself in, Tuesday. Alejandro Pineda Reynoso walked into the Jefferson County Sheriff's office at about 7 p.m. and was arrested without incident for Attempted Murder, Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
Detectives had issued a nationwide alert for the 29-year-old who they believe shot a man early Monday morning, at Topps Trailer Court. The victim continues to recover at St. Charles Bend; his identity has not been released.
BEND, OR -- Jamie McLeod Skinner, Democrat nominee for the Second Congressional District, says Congressman Greg Walden won't schedule a debate with her. The two discussed debates in person, and she has sent written invitations, but says Walden has yet to respond, "Seems like he's not the kind of guy who likes to compete. Despite that, he's using a kind of running out the clock strategy," McLeod Skinner tells KBND News.
She's now scheduled to appear at several forums around the district, hosted by organizations she says would like to have debates. But, McLeod Skinner says if the Republican doesn't show, she'll take the opportunity to connect with voters. "We've responded and always said, 'name the date and the place, and I'll be there'."
Congressman Walden says, "Right now, it's more about how she can get attention for herself by issuing challenges, claiming I'm going to be places I'm not going to be. That's the California brand of politics she's brought with her." He tells KBND News he doesn't have time for those kinds of politics, "I also have a full-time job so I realize that if you have nothing else to do with your time but campaign, you can be anywhere anytime, but I take my job seriously, work hard at it, and get real results." Walden says campaigns are one long debate, but he intends to meet McLeod Skinner sometime soon.
McLeod Skinner looks forward to the prospect, "Voters have the right and deserve to hear what their candidates think. If you're running for office, you need to show up, you need to earn people's votes." She adds, "We're hearing more and more people getting frustrated with his lack of availability. I think it's been over 500 days since he's held an actual open Town Hall. No one seems to be able to get ahold of Greg Walden these days."
Former Combat Veteran Craig Jorgensen took part in last weekend's anti-Walden demonstration in downtown Bend. He believes debates are part of the democratic process, and he wants to see at least four across District Two, "It's the right thing to do. I want to hear both candidates give their opinions and tell us why they're running, and I think we're deprived if we don't have that debate."
Walden was first elected to Congress in 1998. He faces McLeod Skinner and Independent candidate Mark Roberts in November.
BEND, OR -- Father's House Church bought property off Stevens Road in southeast Bend, but they can't build on it until they get the okay from Deschutes County. Church leaders say they've outgrown their current building and are in desperate need of something bigger.
County Commissioner Tammy Baney says they heard more than five hours of testimony, Monday, about whether the new facility would fit in with other buildings in the area, which is designated as mixed-use, "I think the main point that individuals wanted to convey was, it isn't about the church, it's about the compatibility. I thought it was, with that many people and that amount of time spent on an issue, the dialogue was really respectful and I appreciated that very much." She tells KBND News, "The land use patterns in that area, mainly Multiple Use Agricultural land, which is kind of a transition zone; and then, it is on the outskirts of the Urban Growth Boundary, and then it's also surrounded by Exclusive Farm Use land, as well. So, it's kind of a mixture, which I think then brings about the question of 'Is it compatible and harmonious with that particular area'?"
Baney says it's still very early in the process. Commissioners are still accepting written comment; they've already received hundreds of pages of testimony. They'll also review the final notes from church leadership before rendering a decision. She believes it will be at least a month before Commissioners can rule on the conditional use permit.
ASTORIA, OR -- More than a third of Oregon’s Sheriffs want the state’s sanctuary law repealed. The Clatsop County Sheriff issued a letter Monday in which he and 15 other Sheriffs ask voters to throw out the 30-year-old Legislation.
Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson signed the letter supporting ballot measure 105
. Other counties represented are mostly rural, including Harney, Klamath and Lake counties. Click HERE
to read the full letter.
They cite the recent murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts
, allegedly at the hands of a man in the U.S. illegally. The statute bars Oregon law enforcement from arresting people whose only offense is being in the country illegally.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond area woman says a cougar has been stalking her property near busy soccer fields.
Kelli Fischer lives just east of the city limits, along NE 17th and Negus, not far from the High Desert Sports Complex. She says she spotted the big cat at about 5:30 Sunday evening, "All of the horses went on high alert – head straight up in the air, ears up. And, we were already on high alert because two weeks ago, a lady who was driving up where 17th connects to Negus witnessed a cougar with a small dog in its mouth and it happened to be our dog. Our dog was missing." She tells KBND News, "When we looked over at that area to see what the horses were looking at, there was a cougar – 300’ away, walking right across the property, right at the end of our arena."
Fischer admits she waited three hours to call authorities, "I just wasn’t sure, I know this sounds ignorant but, what to do- who to call. So, I ended up calling the non-emergency number, just to report it that we had seen the cougar - actually seen it. And, they were very nonchalant and not very concerned about it. He told me that next time I do see it I need to call immediately and also get pictures." She says she’s warning her neighbors to keep their small animals inside because she's now lost two small dogs. She's also worried about kids who frequent the area. "I’ve seen the tracks on my property. People say it’s dogs; it’s not dogs. I put the tracks right up next to the tracks that I Googled, and these are definitely cougar tracks."
SISTERS, OR -- A year after the Milli Fire scorched thousands of acres and cut off access to popular recreation areas, the Sisters Ranger District and Deschutes National Forest have reopened the Black Crater Trail. It suffered intense fire damage, as the blaze moved up steep slopes, near Highway 242.
Forest Service crews worked with the nonprofits Sisters Trail Alliance and Sawyers With Attitude To Spare - known as "SWATs" - to remove dead and downed trees and complete drainage work. And the Oregon Department of Transportation used heavy equipment to clean out sediment that filled the trailhead from a debris-flow.
Officials say there are still standing dead trees along the trail that won't be removed.
BEND, OR -- The Central Oregon Community College Board will hold a special meeting at noon, Monday, to discuss a proposal that would remove northern Lake County from the school’s district. "This has never happened before; let’s start with that," COCC’s Ron Paradis tells KBND News. He says the college has been talking with a group from the Fort Rock and Christmas Valley areas for about a year. "It’s not a surprise, right now. President Metcalf has had a couple of meetings with a couple of residents of north Lake County about some of their thoughts." The leader of the petition told the Klamath Falls Herald and News there is a lack of demand for COCC, in the northern park of Lake County.
"We knew they were working on this process and going to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission with their concerns," says Paradis. Two members of that commission, known as HECC, will hold a public hearing in Silver Lake, Monday evening. "If they decide to support the petition then it does have to go through the Oregon Legislature for final approval."
If the request is approved, the school would lose some tax revenue, "We collect property taxes, of course, from the residents of the district. Each year, from the part of Lake County that’s in our district, we get about $100,000 toward operations; and their obligation on the bond is about $20,000 per year." It also would mean students from Fort Rock and Christmas Valley would pay 40% higher tuition, as out-of-district students. And, they would lose out on additional financial assistance, "Each year, at least one North Lake (High School) student gets a merit scholarship, worth $1,500 per year. And, in the last five years, four students have earned Foundation Scholarships that are worth $4,000 a year; and those would no longer be available to residents of Lake County." Although, Paradis admits, it doesn't impact a large number of families, "Of their high school graduating class, which is usually between 10-20 students, we get an average of about three each year from North Lake." Paradis says when the school was developed in 1962, voters in northern Lake County unanimously approved inclusion in the district (29-0).
Paradis admits this is uncharted territory; a similar request was made in the 80s, but it didn't go this far. HECC will take written comment through mid-September and is likely to consider the issue at its October meeting. If the Commission approves the petition, it would go to lawmakers in the 2019 Legislature.
BEND, OR -- A group calling on Congressman Greg Walden to hold a public town hall caravanned through Bend, this weekend. They held a "Where's Walden?" rally, downtown, on Saturday, as they traveled from Ashland to Hood River. The Oregon Republican hasn't held a town hall in Deschutes County since April 2017.
Former Combat Veteran Craig Jorgensen says Walden isn't doing enough to help vets, especially those who are homeless, "We need an outreach to them, we need somebody going to them and bringing them in. These people don't trust society, they don't trust the police, they don't trust the community. They're in pain, and they're not being addressed." Jorgenson also called Trump's administration a horrific nightmare, fraught with illegal and immoral practices, and wants to know why Walden seems to support the President. "Walden is complicit in his silence," Jorgensen tells KBND News, "This guy does awful stuff; he says nothing."
Mickey King believes the Congressman isn't connected to the people who live in District Two. "We're not going to stand for Walden ignoring us anymore. He doesn't take our letters when we go knocking on the door, we're locked out and stuff. So, we're out here protesting against his policies, and him not being a Senator [sic] for all." King's other complaints include, Walden doesn't hold Town Halls in his community, hasn't done enough to make everyone's lives better, and voted for tax breaks for the top "one-percent."
Alexandra Sweet was protesting Walden's vote to overturn portions of Obamacare, but says his policies are illogical across the board, "He voted down the line to take away the EPA regulations, and then he has the nerve to come and say Oregonians deserve better air quality." Speakers riled up the crowd of approximately two dozen, discussing immigration, labor, gun safety, veterans, public lands, and healthcare.
Walden, who was first elected to Congress in 1998; he faces Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner and Independent Mark Roberts in November.
REDMOND, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden was in Central Oregon, this weekend. He attended a barbecue honoring veterans at the Redmond VFW hall, on Saturday. KBND News asked the Republican about the protest in Bend and calls for him to hold a local town hall, "This is what? My eighth or ninth trip to Deschutes County, this year; I was just down in Medford and Grants Pass and, you know, I’m around the district all the time. And I take it seriously. I work hard for the people of this district. These are the same people that have been protesting in my offices, shutting down our ability to do our work, frequently, since literally the day after the election." Walden says groups like "Indivisible Bend" never got over the last election, and he believes he's working hard to represent District Two.
The Oregon Republican attended Saturday's event because, he says, respecting veterans should be a way of life, "We don't have our freedom, we don't have our way of life, if it weren't for our veterans, the men and women who've worn our nation's uniform, who gave us our freedom and protect us today in far off places and we need to show our respect and support for them." He tells KBND News he's supported every VA bill and tries to help veterans every chance he gets, "More than half of our annual casework is helping individual veterans, we've had over 600 cases in the last 12 months, we've devoted our time and effort to making sure veterans get what they were promised." Walden adds, "We've done all kinds of work to expand access for veterans to health care to make sure that they get their benefits, and continue to."
Diane Kenyon says Walden has done a lot for veterans, but there will always be a need. Her husband is a veteran who's been in a recent accident, and she said Saturday that dealing with the VA process can be daunting, "There needs to be more done for the vets. There's not enough out there. The elected officials need to start stepping up and helping out the people that served." Korean conflict Veteran Robert Huntington, Sr. appreciates Walden's efforts to support vets, "He was back when I was in the honor flight in June, He was at the World war II memorial, presented flags that had flown over the capitol, to all the 25 veterans, which was great."
MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Topps Trailer Park, on the north end of Madras. Reports of shots fired came in at about 2:30 a.m., Monday. Responding law enforcement found a man shot multiple times outside a trailer. Deputies used two tourniquets to control the bleeding until medics arrived and took him to St. Charles Madras; he was then flown to Bend. His current condition is unknown.
Police from Madras and Warm Springs, as well as state troopers converged on the scene and set up a perimeter. Detectives from the Tri-County Major Incident team are assisting in the investigation. Officials say they have identified a suspect, who remains at large and is believed to be armed with a handgun. The suspect's identity has not been released.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.) -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has released the identity of the suspect. They say 29-year-old Alejandro Pineda-Reynoso, of Madras, should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 541-475-2201 or 541-475-6520.
TERREBONNE, OR -- A Virginia man was seriously hurt in a fall at Smith Rock, Sunday. Emergency crews responded to the southern-most portion of the State Park at about 4 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office says 21-year-old Benjamin Schulman was visiting the park with friends when he decided to solo “free climb” a rock face not identified as a climbing route. He had no ropes or safety equipment, and was using just hand and foot-holds to ascend. Schulman fell about 100-feet to the ground, then rolled another 100-feet down a slope.
Rescue personnel used a rope system to get him to the trail. Schulman was then flown by AirLink to St. Charles Bend with life-threatening injuries and was later transferred to a Portland trauma center, where he remains in critical condition.
Updated 9:40 a.m. to reflect updated fall distance, from DCSO, and current condition.
SISTERS, OR -- Multiple fires west of Eagle Crest flared back up, Sunday. What officials call Incident 1077 shut down Highway 126 for several hours, Friday evening, when three fires burned a total of 12 acres. Ground and air crews attacked the blaze, and remained on-scene in to Saturday, checking for spot fires.
Then, Sunday evening, it burned another acre before crews stopped the flames. No word on the cause of the fires.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- A Crooked River Ranch home was destroyed by a Saturday afternoon fire. Neighbors were able to get the resident out of the home on Fawn Drive before it was consumed by flames. Several pets also escaped.
The blaze also destroyed a vehicle and a nearby power line. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR (08/24/2018) -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in tracking down a 73-year-old Crooked River Ranch man reported missing, this week. Robert Hanna left home Monday and may be in the Redmond area. He's 5'10" tall, 170 pounds and was last seen driving a 1990 white Ford van, license plate 021-FDY.
Anyone with information is asked to call 541-475-6520 and speak with a deputy.
UPDATE (08/26/18): The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says Hanna was found safe on Saturday, in Terrebonne, following a citizen tip.
BEND, OR -- Three Central Oregon high schools rank in the top 50 best public high schools in the state, according to a new report.
The data website Niche.com analyzed academic and student life stats from the U.S. Department of Education, along with test scores, college data and ratings from Niche users. Click HERE to read more about the study's methodology.
Bend’s Summit High (top left) came in 25th, in the 2019 list, Sisters High (right) ranked 38th, and Redmond Proficiency Academy (bottom left) ranked 45th. South Eugene High school took the top spot.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Prineville community celebrates two big milestones, this weekend: the city's sesquicentennial and the 100th birthday of the Prineville Railway. "It's a very big deal: 150 years old. We are the oldest town in Central Oregon, and that's pretty significant. We've been around for quite awhile," says City Council President Steve Uffleman. "There's a lot of town pride. The age of the community itself, the fact that we were the first town in Central Oregon to be formed and other towns spun off from that, we're excited about that." There will be historic reenactments, tours, and vintage fire equipment demonstrations, in downtown Prineville.
To celebrate the railroad's milestone, Uffleman says, "In Pioneer Park will be a period costume information and activities. And then there will be a presentation at the Bowman Museum and that will be on both the City of Prineville as well as the railroad's centennial; and there will be, through the weekend, we will be giving away free rides on the railroad."
Prineville Railway General Manager Matt Wiederholt says there's also an opportunity to help a local charity. "Speeder Cars," which are small shuttle train cars, will offer rides on the short line, "They are $50 a head and the proceeds go to help the Crook County Foundation. It's a very rare opportunity to get a ride in these little speeder cars. That run will be 32 miles roundtrip; they'll go all the way from Prineville, almost all the way to the Prineville Junction and back." There will also be free rides, "We typically get between 2,000 and 3,000 people in one day to come out and ride the railroad with us, Wiederholt tells KBND News, "One hour - an hour and 15-minute rides, seven, eight miles, round trip, every hour on the hour."
Events kicked off at 8 a.m. Friday. Click HERE for more information on this weekend's special events, and to enter to win prizes.
MAUI, HI -- Hurricane Lane is bearing down on Hawaii. Downgraded to a category 3 hurricane overnight, Thursday, then category 2, Friday morning. The storm is moving slowly and flooding the islands.
For a Bend pastor and his wife on vacation in Maui, this week, the storm has given the term "trip of a lifetime" all new meaning. Allesha Looney says once they realized the severity of the storm, earlier this week, they were willing to cut the trip short; they packed up and rushed to the airport - along with what seemed like everyone else, "There is no single seat available anywhere. We begged the airlines, ‘Please! We’ll go anywhere. We don’t care how much it costs; we don’t care when; we don’t necessarily have to go back to Portland'." Their resort is on the west side of the island, directly in the path of the storm. She told KBND News Thursday that if they stayed, they risked not being able to get to their confirmed flight, Saturday, "The main highway that we need to take over to the airport runs right against the shoreline and there’s already been lots of surf coming up over the cement walls on to the road and everybody here is fully anticipating that that highway is going to be completely flooded with the potential of landslides." Through friends of friends, they found a house to stay at Thursday night, on higher ground, on the east side of the island. The couple acknowledges that the weather could hinder their ability to fly out, even with confirmed tickets.
Pastor Danny Looney says once they realized they'd need to hunker down, they asked locals what to expect, "I said, ‘ya know, what should we do about our rental car?’ And he said, ‘well, it’s going to be under water, so good thing you have insurance'."
They’re trying to make the most of it. They say they managed to squeeze in a zipline adventure and a swim with sea turtles, before bracing for the storm. Allesha says, "Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii, we’ve never been on vacation without kids. This was going to be our ‘trip of a lifetime.’ Which it has been." Danny adds, "It’s been amazing! I’m so excited to be able to get through this with Allesha and just have stories to call for years to come. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get her back in Hawaii."
to listen to our conversation with Allesha Looney, as the storm moved in Friday morning.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crews will begin Friday repairing Prineville's Wildland Firefighter Monument, two weeks after it was vandalized. Duane Garner, with Crook County Parks and Rec, says it's troubling to see a memorial to such bravery disrespected. "It basically, I think got climbed on, and parts and pieces got broken off," Garner Tells KBND News, "How deliberate is hard to say, no one actually saw who did it, or what exactly happened."
The monument was erected in honor of a 1994 tragedy, "This was a memorial that was dedicated to firefighters that were killed in a Colorado fire," says Garner. Nine of the 14 killed were Prineville Hotshots, "The parents of the firefighters got together initially and then they built the memorial. It was a wildfire that they got trapped in, and it was really a tragic event."
Parks and Rec has a dedicated account to maintain the three-statue monument, but the agency didn't have enough to pay fix it. So, Garner says, one resident created a way for the community to help, "This GoFundMe account was dedicated to Raise funds to fix it, and within about 6 days, over $16,000 was raised to do just that. It was just a wonderful response from this community and those even outside this community; there was donations that came from all over the place."
That immense outpouring of support is more than enough for the repairs. Garner says, "We're going to try to put some surveillance cameras up in the area, and we're also going to be redoing the lighting that was once there, and adding a little bit more to keep the area lit at night." The work should be done by early next week.
BEND, OR -- A Bend woman was hurt and her elderly father killed, after the two went over Dillon Falls, Thursday afternoon. They were first spotted by a fly fisherman who reported to 911 that the two were being swept toward the falls in a canoe, at about 3:15 p.m. They were wearing life-jackets.
At some point, the canoe tipped and they were unable to get to shore before going over the falls, southwest of Bend. Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Bend Fire and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement responded; but it was recreators who first got to the pair, pulling the unconscious man to shore and starting CPR. Emergency crews took over life-saving efforts when they arrived, but he was later pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter was taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life threatening injuries.
UPDATE: The Deschtutes County Sheriff's Office released the names of those involved, late Friday morning. They say 84-year-old Ronald Stevens, of Jackson, Wyoming, was killed; his 57-year-old daughter, Nancy Stevens was the woman hurt, Thursday afternoon.
TUMALO, OR -- Tumalo Irrigation District, this week, received federal approval of its watershed plan. District Manager Ken Rieck says they’ll start a major construction project in October, after the end of this irrigation season, "We’re piping our main Tumalo Feed Canal. This is the canal that brings water from Tumalo Creek in to the Tumalo Agricultural Area, mostly from the south side of Tumalo Reservoir Road." The district started piping in 2000, and Rieck says they've done about 5,000' per year. This last stretch of 84" pipe is the largest undertaking, at 8,400'.
The USDA approval also clears the way to apply for a $30 million grant, which Rieck says is about a 75% match for the overall project, "We’re assuming that we can obtain additional funds. We will start doing the laterals next year, after we do this main canal, this year. We’re really on our way; this is the start of an 11-year construction project." Those laterals carry water from the main canal to irrigators, and require a much smaller pipe, typically around 12" in diameter. Rieck says that could lead to pressurized lines, eliminating the need for ranchers to have their own pump systems.
By converting open irrigation ditches to a closed pipe system, the project will "reduce water loss from canals by up to 48 cubic feet per second, or 4.9 billion gallons per season," according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. And, Rieck says the watershed plan is only part of the district's greater conservation efforts, "At the same time, we’re running on-farm conservation projects that help the irrigators themselves save water; maybe switching from flood irrigation to a more efficient type of irrigation system. So, all that is going on in parallel with the infrastructure piping projects." He says, "My job is to deliver the water and conservation is how I ensure the future ability to deliver that water."
SISTERS, OR -- Landscaping in and around the Sisters roundabout will be delayed, as the city puts the project out to bid for a second time. Public Works Director Paul Bertagna tells KBND News, "We think it's due to the late-summer-everyone-being-busy bidding climate, that we only received one bid; and it was about $88,000 over budget." The federally funded project was originally budgeted at $225,000.
Bertagna asked Sisters City Councilors, Wednesday night, to allow him to break the project into at least two pieces, "What we need to do, out of fairness to the contractors, is value engineer the project, split it into multiple portions that make sense to the contracting community, and then put it out to bid in a different form to make it easier for contractors to bid."
Changing the bidding process will cost the city, "We do have to re-advertise, not just across the state, but federally," says Bertagna, "So that, and with some of the engineering work and document rewrite, it's going to be about an additional $4,000." But, he believes it's worth it to get the project done correctly, with the right contractor, "It's an important project, not only for our city, but we consider the highway entrance into our town to be a gateway into Central Oregon, so we want to impress upon the tourist community coming over here that we do things the right way."
Bertagna says The value engineering process should be complete by the end of the week, sending the project back out to bid for a new three-week window.
Photo: Aerial view of the Sisters Roundabout, shortly after completion in 2017.
WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs need a new water system. The reservation relies on three pumps to ensure drinkable water is available for the community's 4,000 residents, and to provide water to fight wildland fires. Two of those pumps are now not working.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers it an "imminent threat." Leland Jones, from Northwest regional HUD, tells KBND News, "They don't have to put all their eggs in one basket, or all of their hopes on just one of the three pumps. Better still, being able to rely on all three pumps, increases their capacity to make sure all have potable water and make sure they have the capacity to fight a fire if they need to." He adds, "The Confederated Tribes had been concerned and wished to be proactive and make sure that it avoids any problems should that third pump break down, by making sure the first two pumps are restored." But that's an expensive project, with an $850,000 price tag.
Because of the urgency of the situation, HUD is providing $447,000 to fix the system, "The Confederated Tribes believe there is an imminent risk or threat to their water system. The maximum amount that we can provide without a presidential disaster declaration is $450,000," says Jones. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service will provide the additional $423,000 dollars necessary for the project.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police are looking for a 15-year-old girl on probation who ran away from a Washington treatment facility, last weekend. She was with a 14-year-old now in protective custody. The younger girl told police they talked about how to get drugs without money, including using sex as payment.
There were rumors the pair was involved in sex trafficking in the area, but there are no credible reports of such activity. Investigators are looking into a possible sexual assault in Deschutes County or Washington. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Prineville Police Detective Kathryn Bottoms or Sgt. James Peterson, at 541-447-4168.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon fire officials say the thick smoke that rolled into our area Wednesday evening and overnight is from the a fire in the Willamette National Forest. Some in Bend reported a fine coating of ash on vehicles and buildings, last night, as the air quality worsened.
The Terwilliger Fire - first reported Sunday - is burning on both sides of Cougar Reservoir, along Forest Road 19, south of Highway 126. It's estimated at about 3,209 acres and is 1% contained. A number of campgrounds and trails are closed, including the Terwilliger Hot Springs recreation site.
for the latest air quality conditions.
(Updated 9:45 a.m. to reflect current acreage estimate, which more than doubled overnight.)
Photos: (top) Terwilliger Fire, courtesy USFS; (upper right) Smoky sunrise outside the KBND studios
LA PINE, OR -- A 38-year-old La Pine man is accused of burning down his own house. Emergency crews responded to Cassidy Drive at about 11, Tuesday night, after a report of an explosion and flames coming from living room windows.
When Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, they notified neighbors of possible evacuations and began investigating. Leonard Gothberg showed up later, and investigators say they obtained statements and evidence pointing to arson.
Gothberg was arrested for Arson I as the investigation continues.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man caught after nearly three years on the run, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually abusing a young family acquaintance on at least two occasions, over the course of several years. Stanley Richard Parrish, now 66, was sentenced Tuesday to more than 31 years in prison, with no possibility of early release.
The victim admitted the abuse to her step-sister who shared the information with her parents; they immediately took the information to Prineville Police. Shortly after, the suspect fled to California. A Grand Jury indicted Parrish for multiple counts of sexual abuse, and an arrest warrant was issued in February 2014.
In August 2016, Prineville PD launched a new phone app and Facebook page, highlighting wanted individuals. Less than a week later, an alert citizen spotted Parrish at a Walmart in Shasta County, CA and called police.
Prineville Fugitive Back in Custody (08/16/2016)
At Tuesday's sentencing, Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting requested the court impose a 375-month sentence due to the years of ongoing abuse and the defendant's extensive criminal history dating back to 1969. In 2011, he was convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor and ordered to register as a sex offender in Deschutes County.
BEND, OR -- As Central Oregon jobless rates remain at or near record lows, local businesses continue to struggle to find qualified workers. But a new video campaign aims to help. In July, Deschutes County's unemployment rate was again below 4%, dropping .1% from June, to 3.8%; Jefferson County's rate fell .2% to 4.8%, and Crook County's jobless rate held steady at 5.4%.
In response, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is launching two videos highlighting the benefits of living and working in the High Desert, to help employers attract new talent. In "Central Oregon is Hiring," EDCO describes the job market in their best Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the places you will work, with more time in your day; Central Oregon is hiring, so get on your way. With so many doors open, there's plenty to choose, As you're seeking new purpose in daily to-dos." There's also "Reboot in Bend," focused on high-tech job opportunities.
EDCO is making the video campaign available as a recruitment tool to all regional businesses, through their website. Click HERE
BEND, OR -- A Bend woman faces several charges, including drunk driving, after an early morning head-on collision on Highway 97. Deschutes County Deputies initially responded to several reports of a dark sedan driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the Bend Parkway at Pinebrook Blvd, just after 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Before Deputies arrived, 60-year-old Beverly Marsden collided with a northbound vehicle, driven by Merle Brubaker, of La Pine. Investigators say Marsden appeared impaired and was unaware of the divided highway. She's charged with DUII, Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering and Assault IV. No injuries were reported, but both vehicles sustained substantial damage.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces multiple charges after allegedly threatening a road crew then breaking into a southeast Bend business, early Wednesday morning.
Bend Police say officers first responded to the area of SE Third and Reed Market Road at about 3 a.m., after witnesses reported a man was harassing a city road construction crew, slapping his waistband and screaming that he had a gun. While police searched the area, another call came in from Cathy's Cleaners at Third and Vine Lane. A man matching the same description had reportedly shattered a glass front door and stole items from inside.
Eventually, investigators found 33-year-old Brian Kennedy, who matched the suspect description from both incidents. They say he was confronted by a cleaning crew at Cathy's Express Eco Laundromat, but refused to leave. He allegedly threw rocks at them to escape.
Kennedy is charged with Burglary, Robbery, Theft, Attempted Assault, Menacing, Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Conduct.
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office hosted Deputy Day Camp, Tuesday, to teach children about a career in law enforcement. Kids, like six-year-old Elijah, from Sunriver (right), practiced conducting traffic stops. They even got to talk to dispatchers over the radio. Elijah's mom, Jenna Gruber, says her three kids really enjoyed learning all about law enforcement, "They’re learning how to write tickets, about rescue, they got to meet the dog and see a presentation on how that dog protects and searches for different sorts of things."
Taven, a 10-year-old from Prineville, really enjoyed the learning about crime scene investigation, "I took pictures of the guns and blood on the phone, and stuff." And 8 1/2-year-old Ryan, from Redmond, got to fly a Search and Rescue drone while learning how and when they're used, "Like, when they go on the mountain and they can pack the small one, like in their backpack. But, if it’s too windy, it’s going to lose its balance." Deputies also talked about firearm safety at a squirt gun shooting range (below).
Traci Winters, of Redmond, brought five kids, "They got to pull over a car and talk on the radio, they learned what K-9s do; I learned how much they cost - $10,000 from Europe! So, that was pretty interesting. They did a crime scene, so they got to collect all the evidence and put it together and take pictures, and see how detectives put together a crime scene."
Pre-Registration for this first ever Deputy Day Camp filled up in two days, with nearly 200 kids taking part in two sessions. The Sheriff's Office considers it a success and organizers are already planning the next event.
BEND, OR -- A 15-year-old unlicensed driver is blamed for a crash east of Bend that caused an internet outage, just before noon, Tuesday. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the girl was northbound on Ward Road when the car in front of her stopped to turn left on to Bear Creek. The teen was reportedly following too close and tried to swerve to the left. Her pickup clipped the back of the stopped car before crashing into a power pole.
Century Link and Pacific Power had to remove the pole to prevent it from falling, and to allow crews to remove the truck. No injuries were reported. The teen, who had three other underage passengers, was cited for not having a license and following too close.
MADRAS, OR -- The Mayor of Madras says if all goes as planned in November, he’ll trade places with a City Councilor in 2019. Mayor Royce Embanks tells KBND News, "I ran twice and, unopposed, was re-elected. The city can have a change; they don’t need a Mayor for life." That realization led to an idea and a conversation.
City Councilor Richard Ladeby says he decided to run for the top job after talking with Embanks, "He asked me if I’d be interested in running for Mayor. I gave it some thought and I talked to the wife and I said, ‘well, I’ve already done the Planning Commission and I’ve done City Council for what will be eight years when I get done.’ And, I said, ‘it’d be fun to give it a shot and see how I could do."
Ladeby says his top priority is increasing civic involvement, especially at Council meetings, "For our visitors’ comments, we very seldom have anybody coming in. So, I want to get out in the community to our residents and to our businesses and encourage them to come talk to us." He adds, "I think they pay attention when we’re proposing some type of tax hike or an increase on something. The most engagement we’ve had was when we had the marijuana initiative; and then we had a packed house for every Council meeting. I’d like it to see it for any concerns or issues – to come in and voice their opinion." He says housing needs and bringing new businesses to Madras are also important issues.
Ladeby is a retired food services manager at Deer Ridge Prison and has lived in Madras for 12 years. He loves his city and appreciates how well the current City Council works together. He admits they have their differences, but believes they're doing a good job moving the city forward. If the election continues on the same course, the general make-up of the Council won't change. Mayor Embanks says he's running for Ladeby's Council seat, and two other Councilors are running for re-election unopposed. The candidate filling deadline for the November election is this Tuesday, August 28.
BEND, OR -- Reconstruction of the gym at Highland Magnet at Kenwood School is expected to be finished and open in the next two weeks, but the project hasn't gone quite as planned.
The gym is constructed with several rows of split face block at the foundation, transitioning to dark red brick. But, several loads of the wrong-colored brick were delivered to the site and installed before anyone noticed. Workers tried to use stain to make them match, but the job superintendent for Kirby Nagelhout tells KBND News that didn't work; and, in the end, the mis-matched material was ripped out and replaced.
There was no cost to taxpayers for the mistake, and the delay was not significant. The gym was rebuilt after massive snow caused the roof to collapse, in January 2017.
BEND, OR -- We're learning more about the southwest Bend death investigation, first reported Tuesday. Bend Police believe a seven-year-old disabled boy was killed by his mother.
Lt. Clint Burleigh says officers were called to Tashina Jordan's home on Mount Hope Lane just before 6 p.m., Monday. "The seven-year-old male child inside was shot, fatally. And the mother of the child, Tashina, she was found unconscious. Evidence that was found present at the scene, led us to believe that Tashina is the suspect in the shooting of her child."
Burleigh tells KBND News Jordan appears to have attempted suicide after killing her son, "She was transported to St. Charles and I know that she's currently suffering from a life threatening condition." He says it's too early to speculate about a motive because the investigation is ongoing, "Through a tragedy like this, there's still a lot of questions that need to be answered, and that's what we're working on."
Investigators don't believe there are any other suspects in the case, "We're really confident that there's no risk to the community at this point, based on this investigation. So, I think that's important to know that there's no safety concerns to the community." Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Bend PD at 541-693-6911.
: A Go Fund Me page is now raising funds for the boy's grandmother, to cover funeral costs. Click HERE
for more information.
Photo: Tashina Jordan and her son in a photo posted to her Facebook page on August 12, 2018.
MADRAS, OR -- One year after 100,000 people converged on Madras to watch the sky go dark in the middle of the day, Mayor Royce Embanks says the city is forever changed. With very few exceptions, like the robbery of a Madras bank, he believes the eclipse was great for the city.
This summer, several business owners organized a monthly event called “Downtown Park and Play," to re-create the community atmosphere that started with the eclipse. Mayor Embanks says, "Getting people downtown and interested in what’s going on gets them out on the street. And when they get out on the street, they stop in shops and buy things." The final Park and Play for the summer takes place the evening of September 6.
"The eclipse was a great opportunity for many of us that have businesses downtown because we had a lot of activity," says Embanks, "Even people in Madras walked into my shop and said, ‘wow! We didn’t know you were here; how long have you been doing this?’ I said, ‘ten years'." His art shop did a year’s worth of business in the few days surrounding August 21, 2017. And, he says the financial benefits and increase in tourism have continued, "We had a wonderful time; and we had very few events that were considered stressful or anything like that. Everybody was happy with what they got and when they left they sent hundreds of emails saying that. We got them from, ‘wow, this is really a friendly town; I want to come back.’ And some people have."
Embanks believes the positive eclipse publicity helped boost the city’s notoriety, resulting in more companies looking at the area. He tells KBND News a national truck stop chain plans to build its first Central Oregon facility in Madras. Love’s Travel Stop will feature a fast food restaurant and convenience store, "It’s going to employ 70 people because they’ve got a 24-hour operation; it’ll provide truckers on 97 an opportunity to get off, when there’s bad weather, or to spend the night if they want to catch up on their sleep time." The $11 million project is slated for just south of downtown, across from Bi-Mart and Burger King, in an area that Embanks says the city has struggled to develop. "It opens up that area for development, because we have to build a road in there. And then, once you establish that, we can go ahead and build some infrastructure in there and have some light industry and housing, that sort of thing." It's just one of several companies looking to expand in Madras. Dollar General is also considering a new store, and Daimler is looking to grow its existing test track facility.
To hear more from Madras Mayor Royce Embanks, visit our Podcast Page.
Photos: Madras, August 21, 2017
BEND, OR -- People who live and work near NE Empire Avenue had a chance to ask questions, Monday, about an upcoming construction project expected to tie of traffic in the area for years. The city of Bend hosted two open house events to help educate residents about the Empire Corridor Improvement Project.
Beth Hoover, who represents her neighborhood association, is hopeful this construction project will create solutions. But, she's worried about the unintended ramifications, "My biggest issue with this whole project is Purcell doesn't go through, so it's going to funnel traffic into our neighborhood. So, we need the city to fix that issue." She says she and her neighbors are willing to tolerate the lengthy construction; but she hopes, in exchange, the city will address some of the other traffic issues in the area, "Our neighborhood advocated for a roundabout at Wells Acres and Butler Market, and instead, we're getting a pretty clunky intersection, and that's causing a lot of cut-through traffic into our neighborhood right now."
Bonnie Snyder has mixed feelings, "I'm glad that it's going to be done. I hope it's done in a timely fashion and it's not like the roundabout here [at 18th and Empire] that was way too long under construction. I mean, we need the improvements; that's for sure."
Eric and Melinda Parkes have lived in the area for about five years. He says they've been looking forward to this project for some time, "We think this is the right approach because it just makes sense from the sequencing of weather when projects can be done and what can easily be done now just to get going to make progress early." His wife adds, "We know how to get around. You just have to allow five or 10 minutes extra to get where you're going. It's just one of those necessary things. It's part of change. Bend is growing. They have to change the roads to accommodate."
And, Mike Whittle says he knows the construction process will be difficult, "It's going to be an issue until they get everything done. They'll have to do some little detours and other things, but that's okay." But, he tells KBND News, it'll be worth the hassle, in the end, "It's great for the future use. It's going to improve the traffic flow so much better after they get everything done in two years. Even the small section they're doing right now will benefit everybody."
Phase one begins September 9 with the several months-long closure of Empire between NE 18th and Purcell. Eventually, work will include a roundabout at Empire and Purcell, and reconstruction of the corridor between Purcell and 18th. By the time the project is done in 2021, Empire will meet up with 27th Street.
BEND, OR -- Wildfire smoke from central Washington and British Columbia is covering most of the state and Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality alert for the High Desert through noon Thursday. People are urged to limit time spent outside, especially those with underlying cardiac or respiratory health problems.
Just like people, animals can also struggle in the smoke. Lynne Ouchida, with the Humane Society of Central Oregon, says pets should be kept inside, if at all possible. "The groups of dogs and cats that you want to keep a close eye on are seniors, short-muzzled breed cats and dogs – so, you’ve got your Persians, and then you’ve also got Pugs, your Boxers, your Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese – and then also, you want to take a little bit more precaution with those that are overweight and heavy."
Ouchida says pets can suffer with many of the same symptoms as people, "There’s an increase in coughing or gagging, difficulty breathing, even raspier or an increase in the noise that you’re hearing. We’re actually even seeing dogs in the shelter coming in with eye irritation and some watery eyes because they’ve been running around on the streets if they were a stray." And, in extreme cases, she says animals can suffer with asthma-like symptoms, "They can have an increased breathing rate because that smoke is bothering their lungs. Sometimes you’ll see them resting more, they’re kind of fatigued and kind of feeling weak. If you start seeing that, or if they seem disoriented or stumbling, maybe not drinking as much or have a reduced appetite – if you’re seeing those more serious types of symptoms, as well as the coughing and the gagging, definitely consult your veterinarian."
To help mitigate the smoky conditions, make sure air conditioners are set to recirculate air in your car or home, which will also help keep pets comfortable.
BEND, OR -- Bend Police Detectives are conducting a death investigation in southwest Bend but have released very few details.
Officers and medics responded to a home at the end of Mount Hope Lane, near Brookswood Boulevard, just before 6 p.m. Monday, and say there is no known threat to the community.
KBND News will continue to follow this developing story and bring you more information as it becomes available.
BEND, OR -- Several local high-profile cases have recently had their trials pushed out, some waiting six months or more to get their day in court. Deschutes County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Wells Ashby says there's a simple reason: the seven judges currently on the bench are not enough to handle the demand. "Deschutes County last added a judge about 65-70,000 people ago, in terms of our population growth. In the most recent study by the Supreme Court, that the Legislature looks at, we’re down about 2.6 judges from where we should be."
The shortage has led to overcrowded dockets and delays, "It creates a host of problems: multiple appearances for attorneys can drive up costs; it creates further delay because we have to touch a file, so to speak, many times before we can try the case; it has an impact on victims because they’re not getting case resolution. And, family law cases don’t age well," Judge Ashby tells KBND News, "Families need resolution when they’re in conflict and they need answers from the court and it’s frustrating to not be able to get those in a timely manner." He adds, "Our time to trial is just - it’s excessive, and these cases are competing with one another. Everybody is trying to get into those trial slots, whether it’s a civil case, a family law case, or a criminal case. We’re trying to get to each of those groups but it’s challenging each week to decide what will go and what won’t go."
Judges are trying to create space by doubling up the docket, so that if one cases reaches a settlement beforehand, another trial can move into its place. They also developed a program a few years ago to help family law cases move forward when the parties represent themselves. "We’ve come up with some, I think, good solutions: We developed a pilot program for family law cases to really move much more quickly, adding settlement conferences; so we try to be partners in looking for efficiencies. But, we’ve been dealing with this problem for several years."
But, Ashby says, adding a judge requires Legislative action, "We certainly do what we can but at some point you simply need another trial judge, and that’s where we’re at." Deschutes County was on the priority list last Legislative session, but only two were approved, for Josephine and Washington counties. He's hopeful lawmakers will consider Deschutes County's request again in 2019. Even if Salem gives the nod, it could take another two years for an eighth judge to start hearing cases.
SUNRIVER, OR -- A Sunriver bridge popular with recreators looking for easy river access could soon see changes. Deschutes County Commissioners will discuss a project Monday that aims to solve access and safety issues at Harper Bridge, on Spring River Road.
County Roads Director Chris Doty tells KBND News, "It's been promoted, from a recreational standpoint - between standup paddle boarding and a variety of other activities. People love access to the river; they love to get on the water, and that is something that gets a lot of use, and therefore a lot of parking adjacent to that activity area." And, that parking is now causing concern over the degradation of the riverbank, trespassing and pedestrians, "We have upwards of 100 vehicles that are parked on Spring River Road during peak weekends of the year. And, that proximity of high speed traffic next to people with kids and pets running around, that creates a safety issue."
Doty says County Commissioners will look at possible solutions, "The community, and the adjacent residents: Crosswater [and] Sunriver Owners' Association aren't thrilled, perhaps, with that level of activity taking place next to their developments, and the safety issue of high speed traffic next to parked vehicles." One proposal would create a dedicated parking area, near Harper Bridge, but residents are not enthusiastic about losing portions of their land for the proposed lot. Doty says if a solution can't be found and agreed upon, river access from Harper Bridge might have to close.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A 29-year-old Prineville man was seriously injured when the ATV he was driving flipped in a dry creek bed, Saturday afternoon. Crook County emergency crews responded to a ranch on NW McKay Creek Road, near NW Gerke Road, at about 2:30 p.m. after staff called for help.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Joe Beers failed to check in with co-workers Saturday morning, prompting employees to search the area. They discovered the crash, which appears to have occurred several hours earlier, and Beers, who was unable to call for help.
Investigators believe Beers was riding on an unimproved dirt road and failed to negotiate a curve. He rolled the vehicle about five feet down an embankment; he was not using a safety belt or helmet. Beers was taken by ground ambulance to St. Charles Prineville then flown to Bend for treatment for a severe head injury.
UPDATE (08/21/18): As of Tuesday morning, Beers is listed in Fair condition at St. Charles Bend.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Construction is underway on a second exit for Crooked River Ranch, but not all residents are pleased with the project. John Stevens has lived in CRR since 2013. He says, "It's a controversial project and there's an undercurrent here of funny businesses and misinformation and disinformation that most people aren't grasping."
He believes community leaders have not been transparent about the process and they moved forward with little to no input from residents. He tells KBND News the community was told the new Quail Road route would be a secondary emergency access road, "Why are we going from a gravel, graded road, which we were originally told was going to be expended through grants or other sources, to a Million Dollar road? Only after we called it the 'Million Dollar mile' did they start reducing that number; and I think now it's somewhere around $980,000, give or take." He adds, "You're looking at a project that's kind of morphed, where a lot of folks believed one thing was going to happen, and then something else happened. And then, while trying to obtain more accurate, or reliable, or timely information, it created some blowback, and there were some processes at work here that just weren't really all that transparent."
The growing price tag was part of the issue, "Each county [Jefferson and Deschutes], I believe, is throwing in $100,000. However, there's still going to be $700,000 or $800,000 that the Ranch members are paying for. A lot of folks are saying, 'Wait a minute! This is not even on HOA property, it's on federal Land, BLM land!' and the BLM ultimately has control over what happens on that land." But, Stevens says, there's also frustration about how the project was justified. Stevens says the people who live on the Ranch were told it was necessary to provide another route in case a wildfire breaks out and residents have to evacuate. But, he says, it was sold to lenders as a boon to tourism, allowing visitors easier access to recreation areas. "If Ranch officials and their government partners really thought this was necessary, why not be honest and forthright, and just say what we need and what it's going to cost and quit playing games?"
Construction of the new Quail Road access road is expected to be done in October.
CULVER, OR -- Numerous new fires were spotted Friday afternoon and evening, throughout Central Oregon, likely sparked by last week’s lightning storm. Six were on the Warm Springs Reservation; the largest of those, the Tenino Fire, was estimated at 9,400 acres, as of Sunday night, and 60% contained.
On the Crooked River National Grasslands, the Mile Post 6 Fire (pictured) prompted evacuations of campers near Haystack Reservoir, Friday. It’s now 50% contained at 1,500 acres. Evacuation notices were downgraded to Level 1 over the weekend.
Several smaller fires, from northeast of Antelope, to the Sisters Ranger District, were attacked quickly by Central Oregon wildland crews.
An Eastern Oregon fire that started Thursday near Condon, in Gilliam County, quickly spread over the weekend. Governor Kate Brown declared a conflagration to bring extra equipment and crews to protect houses. The Stubblefield Fire has burned some 17,000 acres and is now 29% contained.
A fire near the Terwilliger Hot Springs also grew quickly in hot, dry conditions. That fire was estimated at about 110 acres, last night, about four miles south of Highway 126, near McKenzie Bridge.
Click HERE to access a map of current incidents and air quality reports.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces DUII and other charges after a brief pursuit on the south end of Bend, Saturday afternoon. It started when several people called 911 to report a vehicle driving erratically - even going into oncoming traffic on Highway 97.
Deschutes County Deputies attempted to pull over the car near Powers Road but the driver refused to stop and sped away. They say 62-year-old Alfred Florence eventually pulled over near Colorado Avenue and was taken into custody. He's charged with DUII, Felony Attempt to Elude, Reckless Driving and Recklessly Endangering.
REDMOND, OR -- A missing 10-year-old Redmond boy was found safe, Sunday evening, following a two-hour search. "Ethan" was reported missing at about 5:20. He has Down Syndrome and was last seen near Volcano and Canal, in southwest Redmond.
Police issued a plea on social media for people to check outbuildings, vehicles and backyards. He was found unharmed about four blocks away - near SW 21st and Reindeer.
Ethan sported a Redmond Police hat and a big smile as officers drove him home.
SISTERS, OR -- A 63-year-old hiker was rescued from the Three Creek Wilderness after he suffered a potentially serious medical issue, Saturday afternoon.
Dennis Crowell, of Bend, was with a group of five, hiking an unmaintained trail in the Snow Creek drainage system. A Deschutes County Search and Rescue team responded to the area and brought the man back to the Park Meadow Trailhead on a wheeled litter. Sisters Fire medics then transported him to the hospital.
MADRAS, OR -- Three people were killed in a head-on collision, early Friday morning, just north of Madras. According to Oregon State Police, 33-year-old Sarah Marie Steffler was northbound on Highway 97 at about 2 a.m. when, for an unknown reason, her Mazda sedan crossed into the southbound lanes. She hit the guardrail before colliding with a Kia SUV, driven by 40-year-old Miguel Galvan Sanchez, of Manson, WA.
Steffler, of Moses Lake, WA, and a her young passenger were killed in the crash. Sanchez and one passenger were taken by ambulance to St. Charles Madras; another of his passengers was flown to St. Charles Bend. His fourth passenger, a girl, sustained fatal injuries.
Highway 97 was closed for about four hours to allow OSP, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, ODOT and medics to work the scene.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Construction is now underway on a new way to access Crooked River Ranch. More than 2,600 people live in the community of about 10,000 acres.
"Currently, we have one entrance and one exit, both the same two-lane road," CRR Fire Chief Harry Ward tells KBND News. "Last summer, we had paving going on and there were long, long lines of cars waiting a long time to get on and off the Ranch." And, he points out, that was a planned event. "If we had a real incident, and we needed to get resources on and get people off, we might not be able to accomplish that at all because it would be congested, and it would be a mess."
Plans Advance for Second CRR Access Road
Chief Ward says the new route off Quail Road will provide a safer option, especially in an emergency situation, like a wildfire. "If we have two lanes of people going out on the single lane, there's no way for us to get resources on to the Ranch to help us fight the fire. So, this will be a nice, safe way that we can get law enforcement to help exit the citizens of the Ranch that need to be evacuated, as well as bring on resources." He adds, "So, depending on where there might be a wildfire or an urban interface fire where we have to evacuate, we could designate where people go out."
Crews broke ground on the new Quail Road extension last week (pictured) and construction should be complete in October. The project is expected to cost more than $500,000 and will be paid by both Deschutes and Jefferson Counties, as well as through a state loan to be repaid through the Ranch's operating budget.
LA PINE, OR -- Several campgrounds near the Newberry Caldera will close early for the season, to allow crews to remove potentially dangerous trees. Summer campsite reservations for East Lake Campground will end Monday, but first-come-first-serve camping will be allowed until work begins. After September third, Little Crater and Cinder Hill Campgrounds will stop taking reservations for the season.
The “Shield” forest management project at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument will continue through the fall. It's aimed at removing trees that exhibit signs of "future failure" from campgrounds and along roads. The Forest Service marked trees last summer, identifying those at risk from insect infestations and disease. Although, officials say they do not pose an immediate hazard. Trees that imminently threaten visitors are removed each year.
Work will occur again through 2020, and could impact campground reservation availability next year, as well. For more on the Shield project, click HERE.
SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's office has provided law enforcement in Sisters under a $588,000 contract since the city force disbanded 20 years ago. But that could change.
"We recently received notice that the city of Sisters - the Mayor - was unhappy with, or in some manner dissatisfied with, the police service that we were providing," Sheriff's Sgt. William Bailey tells KBND News, "And, I've heard how some of that has to do with traffic enforcement and the number of citations that we write in the city of Sisters." While a new city police force is a possibility, it's very early in the conversation. Bailey says Sheriff Shane Nelson first spoke with Mayor Chuck Ryan about his concerns on Thursday.
According to Sgt. Bailey, DCSO conducts 1,000-2,000 traffic stops per month, and only 15-17% result in tickets, "One of the philosophies of the Sheriff's office is that we're a customer service oriented operation. Our office provides customer service to every citizen in Deschutes County and so every traffic stop that we make isn't going to result in a traffic citation." He acknowledges "customer service" doesn't always look impressive on paper, "I guess you just have to look at the broad spectrum of all the service we provide and look at it in its totality to determine if our police service is successful, and not just look at one number or one statistic." In Sisters, DCSO provides a full-time patrol deputy, 24/7, and an office and staff available weekdays, along with a new bike patrol, detectives, DUII services, school safety training, and SWAT.
The current contract between Sisters and DCSO is set to expire in 2020. "No matter what happens in the future with our contract with Sisters," says Sgt. Bailey, "If it continues for another 20 years or ends in the next one or two years, we'll continue to provide the best service we can to the citizens of Deschutes County and the City of Sisters."
BEND, OR -- Applications are due Friday for an affordable housing pilot project approved by the 2016 Legislature. Although nine cities were eligible, only Bend and Redmond plan to submit proposals and just one will be approved for the program. The HB 4079 pilot program allows a city to fast-track expansion of its Urban Growth Boundary for the purposes of creating more affordable housing.
Bend City Manager Eric King says his city's proposal involves 35 acres near Highway 20 and Ward Road, "About 340 homes that would be added, over 180 would be affordable to those that are making 60% of the area median income, which right now is about $67,000; so 60% of that for a family of four. Single family homes, apartments, a whole mix of housing out there, as well as a new park – a new amenity that’s currently a pond on the east side of Bend." Redmond’s application
is for about 485 units on 40 acres northeast of the city.
The winner is expected to be announced in November, but Bend City Manager Eric King doesn’t look at it like a competition with just one winner, "I think there’s a case to be made that both should, given our housing challenges in Central Oregon. So, we are both preparing to go to the Legislature this next session - 2019 - to say, ‘these are both worthwhile projects.' They should both be awarded."
REDMOND, OR -- A motorcycle rider was seriously injured in a crash west of Redmond that shut down Highway 126 for about 30 minutes, Thursday morning. According to State Police, 20-year-old Bailey Beaulaurier was eastbound at about 11:30 when he lost control while trying to pass a truck. He was then struck by an oncoming vehicle, near 67th street.
Beaulaurier was taken to St. Charles Bend where he is now listed in critical condition. No one else was hurt and the other vehicle sustained very little damage.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond middle school student could be out for Mayor George Endicott’s job. Riley Latta, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Redmond Proficiency Academy, recently won the statewide “If I were Mayor” contest. Mayor Endicott tells KBND News, "Our winner at the middle school category – that’s an essay – he won in the city; that then went to the state and there’s then an independent board that looks at all of those essays." Endicott was impressed by Latta's submission, "I’ve never seen an essay like his. Most of them say, ‘well, if I were Mayor I’d do this; if I were Mayor I’d do that.’ He said, ‘I’m going to consider four essential characteristics a Mayor should have, and then I will show you how you could apply them to do a better job in Redmond’.”
Latta says his inspiration came from his own life. "I came up with a list of traits that I possess and that could be helpful as Mayor. From there, I chose ideas that would go into those ideas that would go in to those traits. Then, I wrote about those ideas and how we could accomplish them." Those traits were "Helpfulness, kindness, encouragement and being a visionary." His ideas range from creating a food pantry in partnership with area grocery stores, to providing incentives for acts of kindness and reducing the city's reliance on fossil fuels, "I want to have stores be able to provide free reusable bags, so we would save plastic in order to protect the environment. We could also find alternative ways to use solar and wind power in your own backyard; that would save having to use fossil fuels. We could be the first town to run on green energy and not completely rely on non-renewable resources."
He says he has considered running for office someday; after all, his grandfather was Mayor of Chillicothe, a small town in Illinois, for eight years. Latta was presented his first place award at last month's Oregon Mayors Association summer conference in Florence, Oregon. He received an Apple iPad Air2 and accessories, courtesy of Facebook.
Photo: (L-R) Redmond Mayor George Endicotte, Riley Latta and Tigard Mayor John Cook, OMA President
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners are concerned with a new rule proposed for the state's Smoke Management Plan, which provides standards to help communities achieve and maintain clean air. The new proposal would prohibit prescribed burns that produce smoke for more than one hour, in areas near populated communities.
Commissioner Tammy Baney says 79% of Deschutes County land surrounding cities is mostly forested, which means fuels mitigation is especially important. She tells KBND News, "We need to be able to be allowed to do all the preventative work that's possible to be able to protect communities, and to protect our natural resources, which also, is critical to our economy." She acknowledges prescribed burns and other current practices aren't foolproof, but she says they do make a significant difference, "Will it make all forest fires go away? Absolutely not. But, do we know that areas that have been treated with prescribed burns or with other fuels management tools? Then the answer to that is 'absolutely yes,' we do know that that is an effective way to protect communities."
County Commissioners are drafting a letter to Oregon's Departments of Forestry and Environmental Quality, asking for the agencies to reconsider the proposed rule or allow an exemption so Deschutes County can continue thinning and prescribed burns in fire-prone areas, regardless of their proximity to communities. "The smoke management rules are, in some ways, restrictive in terms of our ability to do the types of management tools that we would like to do," says Baney, "Like introducing more smoke into the air where it is prescribed, but it is controlled, versus our forests burning up on their own." The letter is expected to be finalized and signed at the next County Commissioners meeting.
BEND, OR -- Three dozen Bend residents turned out to speak to City Councilors during Wednesday's Septic to Sewer listening session. The Southeast Septic to Sewer project aims to help nearly 600 homes connect to the city’s sewer system. But, many testified that the cost of the switch is out of reach and should be shared by the whole city.
County Commissioner Phil Henderson has lived in the area for 20 years. He calls it an expensive fix to a nonexistent problem, "Somebody testified that 'well, we don't want to be like La Pine.' La Pine and South County, the depth of the aquifer is much less, so you have a water problem, and a nitrogen loading problem - phosphorous. We don't really have that in our neighborhood."
Henderson says it would be cheaper for homeowners to maintain, and even replace, existing septic tanks. He asked Councilors to do more to help, "We're going to spend $50 million in our neighborhood, and $150 to $200 million for all this sewer. What have you done to lobby Salem about this rule? Because, I'm sure there are other cities, there are other people facing the same dilemma we're facing. And, it's extremely expensive to solve a problem that we don't really have." That led to a heated exchange with Councilor Barb Campbell who told the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, this your County Commissioner. He is the person who will not give you a permit to replace your system. In the system, the county has to give you a permit in order to fulfill state law. Phil, are you lobbying the state to change the law so you guys don't have to enforce it?" He replied, "I'd be happy to lobby the state," as Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell tried to regain control of the meeting saying, "This is not the time to have this conversation."
Bend City Manager Eric King talked in more detail about the Septic to Sewer Project and the controversy surrounding its cost, Thursday on KBND's Morning News. Click HERE
to listen to the full conversation. Another meeting on the project is scheduled for August 29 at the Bend Senior Center, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
BEND, OR -- Bend Mayor Casey Roats says he will not run for re-election in November. In June, Roats said he looked forward to serving another term on City Council because there was more work to do. However, In a letter released Wednesday, Roats says he cannot commit to the rigors of a campaign season. See below for his full letter. He made the decision while away focusing on his health, family and business. Roats plans to serve out his current term and looks forward to getting back to public service in the future.
The field of candidates vying for his Position six seat is getting bigger. Sarah McCormick announced Wednesday she plans to run. She's an Oregon native who moved to Bend four years ago so her husband could join his family’s business. She says she’s running because she’s seen how city rules and regulations impact small businesses; and as a mom, she wants Bend to remain a place she’s proud to raise her family.
McCormick joins Ron Boozell, Brian Hinderberger and current Councilor Barb Campbell in the race for Position Six.
TERREBONNE, OR -- A 32-year-old climber was hurt in a fall at Smith Rock State Park, Wenesday afternoon. Aaron Clark, of Gresham, is reportedly familiar with the area and was traversing a traditional route on the north point trailhead with gear, when he fell about 25 feet.
Redmond Fire personnel responded at about 4:30, along with 22 Search and Rescue volunteers and two Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies. They used a rope-rescue system to pull Clark up in a litter. He was then taken by ambulance to St. Charles Redmond for evaluation and treatment.
REDMOND, OR -- A major land swap was approved Tuesday by the State Land Board, clearing the way for city and county officials to move forward with plans for what’s known as the South Redmond Tract. The project will bring 945 acres into Redmond's Urban Growth Boundary.
Officials say 140 acres of state lands will go to the county, for expansion of the Fair and Expo Center and 20 acres would be sold to the Oregon Military Department for a new readiness center. The remaining land would be designated as “large lot industrial” for future development.
Photo: (L-R) Vicki Walker, Director of Dept. of State Lands, Jon Stark, Senior Director of Redmond Economic Development Inc (REDI), Stanley Hutchison, Dep. Dir. Oregon Military Department, Governor Kate Brown and Redmond Mayor George Endicott.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville's St. Vincent de Paul Food bank will close at the end of this month, due to a lack of money. The last eight grants the nonprofit applied for were rejected, leaving the nonprofit without sufficient operating funds.
St. Vincent de Paul has been in Crook County since 1985 and runs its current operation out of a building on Court Street. President Jim Rodosevich says the loss to the community is significant, "Currently, we supply clients in Crook County, of which there are like 22,000 people. And [in 2017] we distributed 223,000 pounds of food to 9,600 people." The organization also has a social services arm to assist people with rent and utility bills, and a used clothing service sells up to 6,000 pounds of donated clothes per year to help with overhead costs.
He tells KBND News the bank account will be empty by September, but all hope is not lost, "We've simply got to close our doors and regroup. And, the plan, is to contract into a much smaller building and operate a food bank only. But, in order to get to that point there, we've got to relinquish this operation here." Rodosevich believes could take two to four months, "We've got to build those funds back up through, primarily, individual donations. And perhaps at that point, there may be some capital funds out there from grantors that would be able to help buy that building, but that would take time beyond leaving this location."
Rodosevich says food distribution will end August 31, and the doors will close entirely by the end of September.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s Police Chief says the county is getting closer to fixing ongoing problems with the radio system used by first responders, which has been plagued with problems since last year’s digital conversion.
Chief Jim Porter believes the problem started when the county contracted for a digital system rated 3.0, on a scale of one to five. Porter tells KBND News he recently learned that's not strong enough for radios carried by police and fire personnel, "And they’re also degraded by the fact the officer wears it on his hip. So, his body sometimes will shield the antenna, as opposed to an antenna on top of a vehicle. A 3.0 system, as I understand it, will function very well for those higher output radios, such as in a vehicle."
He says his department has wasted time and money trying to fix problems with those portable radios, when the issue was the overall system strength, "The 911 staff has had us reprogram our portable radios numerous times to try and get us where we need to be. When, in fact, some of the definitions of a 3.0 system says, ‘you will have to repeat your calls, if you’re using a portable'." Porter says if he’d known that a year ago, he would’ve raised concerns before the contract was signed, "It’s a non-starter, if you will; we can’t. Us and fireman do not have the ability, us and paramedics do not have the ability to repeat our calls in the situations we deal with."
Porter is a member of the E-Board that helped develop recommendations for the new radio system, and says he doesn’t know why the county chose to purchase a lower-grade system, "I really wasn’t there at that final stage. I was on the E-board and we recommended, out of the Sparling Report, a system that was 3.4 or better."
Given all the issues, Porter is encouraged by planned upgrades, "County Commissioners are hiring somebody
, hopefully by the end of this week, to help us with that – a technician. And we can get this system where it needs to be, because all the industry standards say ‘inside city urban areas require stronger signal strength.’ So you have to be at that 3.4 or better."
Deschutes County Administrator Tom Anderson tells KBND News there is money in the 911 budget to reach the 3.4 goal. He says the 3.0 contract was based on ODOT's agreement with Harris Radio, since the county was piggy-backing on the state system. But, he believes the intention from the beginning was to upgrade to 3.4 for the urban areas of Bend and Redmond.
BEND, OR -- Four Bend residents vying to become the city's first directly elected Mayor faced off in their first debate, Tuesday night, in an event sponsored by the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Current City Councilors Sally Russell and Bill Moseley took part, as well as Brian Douglass, an advocate for people with disabilities, and self-proclaimed President of Earth Charles Baer. They discussed topics like growth, tourism, dredging Mirror Pond, and the role of neighborhood associations in city government.
On Appropriate Representation:
Brian Douglass supports changing to a ward system for city elections, "We need to put our councilors into districts, geographical districts, so they can be accountable to the residents who live in those Districts, and those residents know who to go to when they have a problem." Current City Councilor Bill Moseley says residents wanting to effect change should start in their own neighborhoods, "Is the Bend City Council actually representative of the City? My experience is that might be questionable at times. The neighborhood associations are a legitimate form that gives people a chance to participate." Charles Baer thinks hearing from the public won't always be pleasant, "If I was mayor, I would use eminent domain to create parking structures downtown, now that neighborhood association would be pretty upset, but you know, sometimes you gotta do things, make tough calls as mayor, and that's what I'd do. And, Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell stands on her record of being accessible to the public she's served as a City Councilor since 2012.
On Tourism and Affordable Housing:
Baer, who wants to ban cars downtown, believes preserving Bend's character is important, "We don't need to say, 'Hey, Bend's great, come here!' Everybody already knows it." He says, "If I was Mayor, every place that we can make a park within a 10-mile radius of Pilot Butte, I would make that a park before they turn them into apartments or shopping centers or whatever." Moseley believes there's too much emphasis on providing housing for tourists, and not enough focus on residents, "Right now, 10% of our housing is taken up in the form of second homes or short-term rentals - 10%! And in a community that is suffering a housing crisis." Russell agrees Bend is great as it is, but she believes it can get even better, "I know that working together, we can create choices that people need to thrive in our community." She added, "We're really changing the face of Bend and we're actually lowering the price of rents; 30% of the housing we've brought in in the last 14 months is multi-family, and we know that rents, according to some rental agencies, have dropped significantly." Douglass says La Pine offers tremendous opportunities for people to purchase land and build homes not too far from where they work in Bend.
On the Septic to Sewer Project:
One heated exchange took place when an audience member asked about the southeast sewer project, requiring homeowners to pay to connect with city infrastructure, which could be cost-prohibitive. Councilor Russell says the sewer system was originally built with federal funds, and that money is no longer available, "In some ways, it's not our problem to solve, but because they're our residents, we've taken this issue on. It's State law, the County enforces the septic, but these are people within our City, and I'm hoping that we find a solution that really works for everybody in this area." Douglass disagrees. "You know, Councilor Russell, I'm amazed at your answer," said Douglass, "To say, 'Well, It's not our problem, It's their problem,' The hell it's their problem; it's our problem. It's everybody in this community's problem!" Councilor Moseley says the City Council has come up with a plan to try equalizing the costs, but he acknowledged there's no perfect solution. Baer suggests if you don't want to pay to tie in to city services, you should not buy a home with a septic system.
Photo: (L-R) Bill Moseley, Brian Douglass, Sally Russell & Charles Baer take part in Tuesday's debate, hosted by the Bend Chamber of Commerce.
TUMALO, OR -- A horse was rescued from a Tumalo-area cattle guard, Tuesday morning, thanks to help from Bend Fire, the Sheriff’s office and Bend Equine Medical Center.
When the first team arrived at the cattle guard on High Mowing Lane, they found the horse had three legs trapped. They sedated the animal, and crews used the jaws of life to get the horse out. At last report, it did not appear to have any obvious fractures.
Bend Fire officials call the incident an example of the "broad spectrum of emergencies that Bend Fire and Rescue meets everyday." They thanked Bend Equine Medical Center for their teamwork and their "prompt and professional response."
Photo Courtesy of Bend Fire.
BURNS, OR -- Eight people were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Harney County, Monday morning. According to Oregon State Police, a 1999 Toyota 4Runner was westbound on Highway 78 at about 10 a.m. when it veered into the eastbound lane and collided with a 2016 4Runner.
The driver was the sole occupant of the first vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene, as well as all seven people inside the second SUV. The investigation is ongoing and authorities have not yet released the identities of those involved.
OSP was assisted at the scene by the Harney County Sheriff's Office, Hines Police Department, Harney District Ambulance, Burns Fire Department, Range Land Fire Protection Association and ODOT.
UPDATE (08/15/18): State Police released the names of eight people killed in Monday morning's crash in Harney County. They say 48-year-old Mark Rundell, of Prairie City, OR, was driving the 1999 Toyota when it veered into oncoming traffic. He hit a 2016 Toyota driven by 29-year-old Erika Boquet, of Tacoma, WA. Also in her vehicle were 28-year-old Kyla Marie Brown, of Olympia, 11-year-old Isabella Boquet, eight-year-old Elisabeth Boquet and six-year-old Tytis Boquet; as well as 10-year-old Arianna Brown and two-year-old Xavier Johnson.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- A manufactured home in Crooked River Ranch was destroyed by a Sunday night fire that killed the homeowner's dog. When fire crews arrived on Shad Road at about 11:30 p.m., they found heavy fire coming from the home, spreading to brush. They quickly extinguished the wildland fire.
Firefighters remained on scene into Monday afternoon to make sure the blaze inside the home was fully out. The operation was complicated by a roof collapse and a "man lift" was brought in to help crews get above the blaze and extinguish it (pictured).
The resident says his dog woke him up, allowing him to safely escape. The dog, however, did not survive. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s annual Veterans Day parade is now in the hands of the Central Oregon Veterans Outreach (COVO). The Bend Chamber of Commerce took over the annual event in 2014. But Robin Rogers, with the Chamber, says the business group never intended to run the event, long term, "The decision was, when we took the parade four years ago, was to really jump in and help bring it back where it needed to be. And, we always had the idea that at some point we really wanted to pass it over to one of the veterans’ organizations."
The Bend Chamber made the decision official Monday, leaving just a short window to raise the required funding before the November 11 event. COVO Executive Director J.W. Terry says there is some help available, "A former Bend police officer, who has since passed away, left some money that was for permits only," Terry says, "We’ll have to do some fundraising to put on the rest of the parade." He's confident the community will step up, as it always does. Rogers says sponsorships are a necessity, "Because there is absolutely no government funding, whatsoever, to help produce that parade. So, they’ll be pursuing that now and we will still be helping, as well."
Bend boasts one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the state. Terry looks forward to carrying on the tradition restarted by Mike Dolan, in 1999. "Bend had stopped doing the Veterans Day Parade and he was frustrated and grabbed an American flag and marched down Wall Street by himself to reinstitute a Veterans Day parade. And since that time, it’s just continued to grow." He tells KBND News it's a big honor, "I feel very excited; I feel very proud. I also – as a veteran – I feel very humbled with this responsibility."
BEND, OR -- Bend's new elementary school under construction near Cooley Road still doesn't have a name. Its new Principal, Kevin Gehrig, says the school board will make the final decision based on suggested names submitted by the public. But first, he needs to form a naming committee, "The people that would be on that team are the Principal - me - future staff members, future parents, and then some community members; [it's] kind of a broad base of people in Bend that help name that school."
The school board is expected to agree on the official naming process at Tuesday night's meeting. Gehrig tells KBND News names suggested by the public should fit into one of three categories, "People that made contributions to the community, recognized, historical places or geographical landmarks - points of interest - and then also, it could be themes - something that reflects the culture and the historical character of our community." The naming committee will then narrow the list of possible names to two or three before submitting them to the board for final approval. Gehrig hopes that will happen by winter break.
School Construction Projects Underway In Bend
As the first floor of the school takes shape, construction is on track, including nearby infrastructure, "There's a local road that goes through the property, on the edge of the property," says Gehrig, "That's completed and they're already diverting traffic to that local road so they can make improvements on O.B. Riley road and add those pedestrian walkways and those bike lanes." That local road is also without a name. "And they already were starting to work on the parking lots, even the light poles in the parking lots. So, they're moving along pretty quickly." The school is expected to open by Fall 2019.
BEND, OR -- Bend’s first ever Mayoral debate takes place Tuesday evening. Jamie Christman, with the Bend Chamber, will co-moderate the event. She acknowledges there was some controversy after the initial announcement that only City Councilors Bill Moseley and Sally Russell would take part. And then other candidates came forward. "You’re definitely still going to see Bill and Sally and you’re also going to see Brian Douglass," Christman tells KBND News, "And then, now, Charles Baer came into the office and requested to be a part of it. And thus, we’ll have those four.
She says it was difficult to determine who was serious about running, given we're still two weeks ahead of the candidate filing deadline for the November election, "They came in stages for us, as I learned about different PACs maybe, that they responded to, how serious that they’d taken some of the questions out there – some of their media responses. That really matters when you’re this early on."
Christman says she and the other two moderators will only guide the conversation, "It gets to be quite a bit when you have a lot of people up on that panel, but we’ve done it before." She expects growth will be a big focus, but topics are really up to the audience, "It’s heavily reliant on the Q & A from the audience, particularly where we have more candidates, like this, versus just two, we’ll kick it out to the audience even earlier. So, I encourage people to really start thinking now and be prepared. I will be very strict about people making sure they have a question versus just an opinion."
The debate starts at 5 p.m. at the 10 Barrel East Side Pub. Tickets are available through the Bend Chamber. Click HERE
for more information and to register.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces numerous charges after a small fire and evidence of drug use was discovered off Benham Falls Road, in the Deschutes National Forest. That fire, near the Lava Lands Visitors Center was about a quarter-acre. A U.S. Forest Service officer contacted a suspect, Monday afternoon, who initially gave a fake name before fleeing the scene.
About 90 minutes later, 911 took a report of a domestic disturbance inside a car, near Third and Franklin. The car's description matched the suspect vehicle in the reckless burning case. Bend Police and OSP pulled over the car and arrested 43-year-old Benjamin Osborn. He and his passenger, a 28-year-old California woman, were evaluated at the hospital for possible drug use.
Osborn is accused of DUII, Heroin possession, failing to register as a sex offender, as well as an outstanding warrant from California and other charges.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was injured in a single-vehicle crash, early Saturday morning, near the intersection of Butler Market Road and Wells Acres. According to Bend Police, 38-year-old Christopher Stenkamp was eastbound on Butler Market when his pickup left the road and struck numerous trees and rocks. His truck came to rest upside down.
Officers responded after someone reported hearing a crash. Emergency crews located the roll-over crash with Stenkamp still inside, but searched the area for more occupants or victims. They later determined he was alone in the vehicle.
Stenkamp was taken to St. Charles Bend where he was admitted for injuries.
BEND, OR -- Bend Police plan to open a new downtown substation, later this year. It would be a place for officers to "Write reports, take a second to collect themselves, make phone calls, do follow-up investigations, possibly meet someone down there for an investigation or if someone has a concern," says Lt. Clint Burleigh, even get out of extreme weather, "The downtown police officers are walking around in 106-degree heat. We do allow them to wear shorts in downtown patrol, but they still have their vests on. I think everybody knows the heat just drains you."
Burleigh tells KBND News the new substation won’t be staffed 24-hours a day, so emergencies should still be reported to 911. But, he believes it will help the department better serve downtown businesses, residents and visitors, "Presence is very important in a lot of enforcement and crime deterrent." It's part of a citywide effort to improve safety and livability
in the downtown core.
The small office-space is on Oregon Avenue, on the ground floor of the parking garage, and includes a dedicated parking space. Until now, Bend Police substations have only been inside fire stations. "The buildings are owned by the fire department and the rural fire district. We were able to operate out of those; they’re a little bigger, they have some more rooms. But, as we’ve progressed," says Burleigh, "working with the community, working with the Downtown Bend Business Association, working with City Hall, this just became the right plan for us."
The new downtown substation still needs to be outfitted with IT infrastructure, so computers can connect with the department's network; it should open later this year.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Deputies say they’ve solved a rash of burglaries in the small community of Post. After a three-week investigation, the Sheriff’s Office determined two homes were broken into, with the stolen goods - like food, electronics, firearms and ATVs - stored in vacant location.
They executed several search warrants, late last week, on a home and two vehicles in Prineville, as well as residence in Post. Josef Taylor (right), a 37-year-old from Post, and 39-year-old Daniel Hibbits of Prineville face a number of charges, ranging from Trespassing and Burglary to Tampering with Evidence.
The investigation continues, and more arrests are possible.
BEND, OR -- A 28-year-old Bend woman faces multiple charges, including Driving under the Influence, following a collision on the Bend Parkway.
Police say Hannah Baker was driving northbound in the southbound lanes, early Saturday morning, and collided with a semi truck. Investigators say the truck driver tried to swerve, but was unable to avoid hitting Baker’s car. Both drivers were evaluated by medics at the scene but did not require medical attention.
A portion of the Parkway was closed for about 90 minutes for the investigation.
SISTERS, OR -- It was a busy weekend for local fire crews. A brush fire east of Sisters destroyed two homes and several other buildings, forcing evacuations and the closure of Highway 20. The Cloverdale Fire broke out Saturday afternoon. By Sunday, crews were mopping up, and most area residents were allowed to return home. The blaze was mapped at about 75 acres and firefighters continue to patrol for hotspots.
A few hours before the Cloverdale fire was spotted, a La Pine fire destroyed a vacant home and led to a one-acre brush fire (right). It also prompted the closure of Burgess Road, west of Highway 97, for several hours.
And on Sunday, a fire in Bend caused significant damage to a home on Northeast Brightwater Drive (below). Neighbors called 911 just before 5 p.m. and arriving firefighters found an active fire spreading to the attic. No one was home at the time, and the cause is under investigation.
Firefighters also responded to a new start nine miles east of Clarno and the John Day River. The Porcupine II fire is about 25% contained, at a little more than 500 acres; investigators believe it was human caused.
UPDATE (08/14/15): Fire investigators have determined the blaze on Brightwater Drive, in Bend, started in a child's bedroom. They believe a lithium-ion battery pack was plugged in to charge, and likely overheated. The investigation is ongoing, as they work to determine whether the product had been tested in a lab and listed to meet specific nationally recognized safety standards.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Planning Commission Chair James Cook is running for Deschutes County Commissioner, in November, against the local Republican Party Chair, Patti Adair. Cook, a web designer and Commute Options board member, has lived in Central Oregon for eight years. He tells KBND News he first got involved in local government when Redmond was updating its Master Plan for the Dry Canyon.
Cook is running on a platform of what he calls good, strong, moderate leadership and is critical of his opponent, "I think Patti has been a lot more divisive and ideological in her politics. Her goals, at least from what I've seen, are not necessarily to do what's best for Deschutes County, but I think it's to do what fits her ideology."
He's concerned about the region's rapid growth and lack of affordable housing. Cook says decisions made now will affect residents for years to come, "We are going to continue to grow, and the growth we're looking at down the road 10, 20, 30 years, is going to be shocking compared to the growth we've had for the last 10 or 20 years, and that's really what we need to be concentrating on." He adds, "I've got two grandchildren, and in 18 to 20 years, my hope is that they would be able to afford to live in this area and Deschutes County would remain the special place it is and be a place they would want to live."
Cook also would like to see future County Commissioner elections be non-partisan; he hopes an initiative will be on this year's ballot. He believes a small minority of voters are currently choosing nominees.
REDMOND, OR -- A 25-year-old Bend man is accused of trying to grab a three-year-old at the Redmond Airport, Thursday. The child was holding his father's hand when Arnulfo Maldonado Lopez allegedly tried to grab the toddler. He let go after the father threatened the suspect.
While Redmond Police were enroute to Roberts Field, Maldonado reportedly attempted to pass through a TSA check point. Police say he ran around the airport erratically, yelling and screaming, before he was detained by security. They say the man bit a Redmond Police Sergeant on the hand when he attempted to get away from officers. He was restrained using the "WRAP" system. He was later taken to St. Charles Redmond and evaluated before he was booked at the jail. He faces multiple charges, including Kidnapping, Assault of a Public Safety Officer, and Disorderly Conduct.
Investigators say Maldonado did not know the family involved and the child was unhurt. He was also arrested July 28 for allegedly taking a Bend Police officers phone. The man called 911, and while officers tried to help him by using a "language line" service, he took the officer's phone and ran off. He was later caught and the phone returned.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Schools will roll out a new program this fall, in an effort to better meet the needs of students with behavioral problems.
Karen Mitchell is the program supervisor at Edwin Brown Education Center
. She says "StepUp" will provide flexible services, "We wanted to look at how can we better support our students, with what's going on in their lives - socially and emotionally - that causes the behaviors. Because it's not 'what's wrong' with the kids, it's what happened to the kid; so that we can help them better themselves and be able to then be successful in society." According to Mitchell, a team approach helps determine the appropriate services for each student, instead of applying a one-size-fits-all solution.
She tells KBND News, last year's pilot program was very successful, "We had some students that were not only at Brown, but also at their home campus with support from our staff. And, they were very successful. We started the year with one class, then added classes and by the end of the year they were half-time on each campus."
StepUp encompasses the district's Transition program, Expulsion program and Behavior-Emotional-Social Support program. Mitchell says those kids need a tailored approach to their education, "Sometimes, they're just not ready to be on their home campus, or they're ready for a blend - and that's where this allows us to be a lot more flexible in that. Previously, it was either you were with us or not, or you were half and half, but there was no blending. For example,we might have a student only accessing StepUp for an hour a day."
While the facility will continue to be known as the Edwin Brown Education Center, the overall program name is now called "StepUp," with a theme of #be, which Mitchell says represents their core values: Be brave, be amazing, be inspiring, be unstoppable and be the difference.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell announced, Thursday, she plans to run for re-election to Position Six.
She believes there is still work to be done to increase affordable housing, improve transportation options and mitigate the negative effects of tourism. She says she’s also focused on helping residents who need to pay to convert properties from septic to sewer.
In her announcement, Campbell's campaign says she "has removed barriers and created incentives to open the market for varied housing types. 'We need housing that is affordable for our current citizens and workforce,' said Councilor Campbell recently. 'Attracting more wealthy, educated people who can afford our housing, attracting more industris which pay nice fat salaries does not help our cooks, carpenters, day care givers and auto mechanics. It simply means we need more of them'."
Campbell is a local business owner who is finishing her first term on Council. A majority of Bend City Councilors are now campaigning: Sally Russell and Bill Moseley are vying for Mayor, Nathan Boddie is running for Bend's House District 54 seat, while Campbell and Casey Roats both plan to run for re-election.
REDMOND, OR -- Housing Works and NeighborImpact are working together to increase affordable housing options in Central Oregon. The two nonprofits' new combined entity, called "Housing Impact LLC," was recently awarded a large grant for two new projects, "Home Partnership, which is a federal grant program that's administered through the state, we applied for a little bit over a million dollars from that program," says Housing Works Executive Director David Brandt, "And then we applied for $200,000 in money that the state derives from state recording fees; so in total, it's a little over $1.2 million grant."
Brandt expects construction to begin on Redmond's Liberty Lodge (pictured) early next year, "We've done all the pre-development, so now we go out and we do the final development of the project, final architecture and all that, and get a contractor to build the house. And then we draw on these funds, and some other funds we have, to complete the project." He hopes it will take only 10 months to complete.
Liberty Lodge will be built as a two-story eight-plex near job opportunities, shopping and recreation, "We're directing it toward some of our neediest residents in the Redmond community, and it's a small project: it's eight units for intellectually disabled, low income residents," says Brandt, "This is a great little project, and I think it's going to do a lot of good in the community."
Funds were also awarded this month to Canal Commons, a 48-unit affordable housing project planned for Bend.
MADRAS, OR -- A Jefferson County shop was destroyed in a Thursday evening fire that spread to nearby grass and brush. When firefighters arrived on NW Elk Drive, about eight miles west of Madras, their first priority was to protect nearby structures. A wildland fire unit was second on-scene and contained the grass fire at less than an acre. The third truck then focused on extinguishing the fire in the pole barn, as well as salvage and overhaul.
Crews worked for more than three hours in 100-degree heat. The fire was initially reported by the homeowner at about 7:30 p.m.; its cause is under investigation.
SHANIKO, OR -- A new wildfire near the Highway 97/Highway 197 interchange, north of Madras, prompted Level One evacuation warnings in the small communities of Shaniko and Antelope, Thursday afternoon.
The all-volunteer Ashwood-Antelope Rangeland Fire Protection Association quickly responded, along with a Bureau of Land Management team and air tankers. The Wasco County Sheriff, State Police and ODOT were also on-scene by late afternoon.
As of Thursday night, the Cow Canyon Fire was estimated at 200 acres and crews had stopped its forward progress.
REDMOND, OR -- Operations were back to normal at the Redmond Airport, Thursday morning, after an internet and phone outage forced flight cancelations, Wednesday evening.
Emergency crews responded to a report of downed power line off Veterans Way, just after 1 p.m. But, when they arrived,
they discovered it was actually a CenturyLink fiber optic cable cut by a contractor. That line provides network service to Roberts Field. Crews worked into the night to restore service and by 7:30 a.m., airport officials reported things had returned to normal.
Those with morning flights scheduled are encouraged to confirm departures with your airline.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville’s newest affordable housing development is expected to be ready for tenants by October. Housing Works Director of Real Estate Keith Wooden is excited about the Ochoco School Crossing project, "It’s one of the coolest developments I’ve ever worked on because it’s so unique and so many different pieces put together." But he admits repurposing a school built in 1947 has had its challenges, "Probably the biggest, that we’ve faced so far, would be the water/moisture content in the flooring of the school – which we didn’t anticipate – it was high and we had to seal everything up and do crazy drainage, and stuff like that, that we just didn’t anticipate."
The 29 housing units are a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with rents starting at about $415. Wooden tells KBND News the complex includes some unique features not typically available in new construction, "We had these cool ceilings, and we had these high ceilings and sloping lines and hexagonal windows that we were able to keep." But, the property will have more than just housing, "It was a six-acre piece of property; we chopped it up into three. So, one of the unique features that’s going to be offered, as well, is we gave to the Parks and Rec Department some of the school field." So, Wooden says, it will become a truly multi-use development, "You’ve got a park, you’ve got a Head Start school, you’ve got this kind of back ‘orchard’ kind of food bank program, and then you have these affordable units. And, what’s really cool is that the gym was in immaculate condition and the Parks and Rec’s going to run a lot of the city center programming out of that gym and a stage. And so, all these amenities got kept." Two Head Start classes opened in September
, in what used to be the Ochoco Elementary cafeteria.
Between Monday and Thursday, next week, Housing Works will accept applications for the Ochoco School Crossing waiting list. For more information, or to download an application packet, click HERE
. Qualified applicants will then be entered into a lottery to determine who will get to move in once units are ready in the fall.
BEND, OR -- A local woman has been told by the state to halt private swim lessons at her home, until she can comply with state rules governing public pools. Mary McCool has taught swimming in a custom pool at her property east of Bend for a number of years. She says her pool is only used by clients accepted into her program, not the general public, and therefore should not be considered a "public" facility. She sent a letter to clients, this week, outlining the situation and explaining that a variance to continue operations was recently denied by the Oregon Health Authority.
Letters supporting McCool and her swimming school poured in to state and county officials this week, after she went public, prompting Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone to ask that the issue be added to the agenda for Wednesday's work session. He tells KBND News, "The community’s engaged, there’s some history here; people aren’t happy with the results from the state."
McCool's unique pool and teaching approach were featured in the Bulletin, in October. DeBone says problems arose when county code enforcement responded to an inquiry, "Last fall, it started – maybe somebody asked the question, ‘oh, are you a publicly certified pool?’ And then we look at the rules and regulations. It went right back to the Oregon Health Authority; a variance was requested and the variance was denied for the existing pool- the existing structure."
At Wednesday's meeting Commissioners acknowledged the variance denial was issued by the state not county. However, DeBone says they are supportive of finding a solution, "If it’s a gray area, where somebody at the state level needed to make a decision and they went one way, and they’re justified because of the statutes and the way the law is set up, maybe this is going to end up in a Legislative session."
In a letter to McCool's supporters, a representative from the OHA says, "We would certainly like Mary to be able to continue providing swimming lessons, and are actively looking for a ways [sic] to make this happen."
BEND, OR -- The canal piping project near Bends' Brookswood neighborhood is now in the beautification stage. Federal officials toured the site Wednesday, along with representatives from the Central Oregon Irrigation District.
COID has finished piping a 3,000-linear foot section of its main canal, in a joint three-month project with the Department of Reclamation. Parks and Recreation will soon develop biking and recreational trails in the area. During Wednesday's tour, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Department of the Interior Senior Advisor Alan Mikkelsen learned about the project and the effort to conserve water. "From fish and frogs to farmers and recreators, it all comes together right here in these types of projects," said Walden.
COID believe piping this this section of canal will save up to five cubic feet of water per second and will stabilize water levels in the Deschutes, benefiting riparian habitats for spotted frogs, salmon, and steelhead. But they say it costs roughly a million dollars per cubic foot of water saved to pipe the canal; estimates indicate the project could cost several hundred million dollars to complete over the next two to three decades. Walden says it's worth the cost, "The importance of piping these canals, what it means for the environment in Central Oregon, what it means for water management; and then you get a recreational trail out of it, as well, which for Parks and Rec, or people who want to walk or ride a bike, gives them a new opportunity in an urban setting for recreation and exercise."
Mikkelsen has toured the Klamath Basin nearly a dozen times, but this was his first trip to see Central Oregon’s system, "The Deschutes is an example of how things can and should work when people engage in collaboration and cooperation." Walden says teamwork between local, state, and federal policy makers is even more important as we learn more about the demands on our water, "They come together in the Oregon way to collaboratively figure out how to protect the environment, protect agriculture, and enhance the places where we live."
REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School Board unanimously approved a resolution, Wednesday night, to put a nearly $70 million bond measure on the November ballot. Talk of a bond started last year, when the board considered sending it to voters this past May. That plan was scrapped when, the Superintendent says, they determined there wasn't enough time to effectively educate voters.
And, some worried a proposed citywide public safety measure would make voters hesitant to approve two tax increases in one election. City officials decided in late July not to pursue a November tax measure.
The package would fund safety and security upgrades at nearly every school, including security cameras and secure school entrances. It would also pay for construction of a new school to replace the aging Lynch Elementary, at SW 15th and Kalama.
For more details on the district's plan, visit the new school bond website. Voters will get the final say, November 8th.
REDMOND, OR -- Seven people face drug-related charges, following an investigation in northwest Redmond, by the Sheriff’s Office Community Action Target (CAT) Team. The eight-person team began looking into suspected meth and heroin possession and sales at a home on NW Oak Avenue after neighbors complained about suspicious activity.
This week, the CAT team arrested the seven suspects during traffic stops conducted as they left the targeted area:
Andrew Johnston, a 33-year-old Redmond man, is charged with Meth possession and delivery, Heroin possession, supplying contraband, Felon in possession of a restricted weapon, Driving while suspended and an outstanding warrant for a parole violation;
Shawna Parck, age 37, from Eugene, was arrested for Meth and Heroin possession;
Breanne Peters, age 26, of Redmond, is charged with Heroin possession and violating her probation;
Jacob Richter, a 20-year-old Culver man, is accused of possessing, manufacturing and delivering Heroin, providing false information to police and an out of county warrant;
Milo Cross, a 37-year-old Redmond man was cited for Heroin possession;
Cameron Shelby, age 29, of Terrebonne, was cited for Meth possession;
Kayla Monson, age 26, of Prineville, was cited for Meth and Heroin possession.
The Sheriff's Office says the investigation continues into unlawful possession and sales of controlled substances in the area of NW Oak.
BEND, OR -- There are about a dozen major fires burning across Oregon, but our tri-county area has – so far – escaped a large-scale wildfire. Several local fires have been held at fewer than 30 acres. But, Kassidy Kern, with the Deschutes National Forest, says others aren’t so lucky, "We feel like, ‘well, our fire season’s not been so bad. We’ve been sucking some smoke from southwest Oregon, but not too bad.’ But, we have to remember that our neighbors to the east, here, have had a pretty rough fire season and it gets pretty taxing."
Kern tells KBND News
other areas within the Central Oregon Fire Management Service have seen a lot of activity, "We have public lands from the Cascade Crest, all the way over, basically to the John Day River and up to The Dalles. A lot of that is BLM land and unfortunately that river corridor – the Maupin/Dufur area – has gotten hit extra hard." That area has seen three consecutive fires in the past month – the Substation, Long Hollow and South Valley fires have collectively burned over 100,000 acres.
While local resources are stretched, she says our area remains protected, "We always have a contingent of individuals here, for what we call ‘initial attack.’ Because, the way we can keep our community safe, keep costs down, limit exposure and risk to firefighters, is to keep these fires small. And so, our lookouts are scanning the skies, we’re getting dispatched out to fires quickly, and so far, we’ve been able to get on them."
Crews held the Allen Creek Fire northeast of Prineville at 27 acres; it was discovered Sunday and reached full containment Tuesday morning
. Tuesday evening, Bend Fire responded to a blaze near 27th and Stevens Road, at about 8:30 Tuesday night. It was stopped at a tenth of an acre and its cause is under investigation.
Public Use Restrictions increase Thursday on federally managed lands across Central Oregon. As of midnight, open fires, including charcoal briquette fires, will be prohibited in all local wilderness areas within the Prineville District of the BLM and the Ochoco, Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. Campfires and barbecues are still allowed in designated campgrounds. For specific details on all fire restrictions, click HERE.
Photo: The South Valley Fire near Dufur (pictured Aug. 2, 2018) is now 80% contained, at 20,026 acres.
MADRAS, OR -- Sahalee Park in Madras was updated in 2009, with a pavilion, memorial, and realigned parking. But the initial $250,000 grant was not enough for a planned spray park. The project now appears to have the funding needed to move forward.
The city applied for a federal grant and that's when Public Works Director Jeff Hurd says the Oregon Parks and Recreation suggested a change, "We want to conserve water. Have you thought about putting in a collection system to collect the water and irrigate the park with?" He says they asked. "And I said, 'Yeah, I did, but we were going bare-bones, so I didn't put that in there. We thought we could do that down the road.' And they said, 'Oh. If we were able to give you some additional funding, would you be able to put in the cistern and the ADA stuff?' and that's when I went, 'Uh...yes...'." He tells KBND News, "Kids will come and use the spray park," and a 20,000 gallon tank underneath the splash pad will collect the runoff. "And at night, the guys will irrigate the parks with that water that's collected in the tank. So basically, we're getting another cycle out of the water before it goes away. So, it's going to be really awesome."
With Oregon Parks and Rec involved
, the $250,000 National Park Service grant was doubled to $500,000. Hurd says the community still has to raise matching funds, "We're about $10 to $15 [thousand] short to hit the $500,000 mark, but we're so close. One way or another we'll find that; that shouldn't be an issue. So, pretty much, we're saying we're fully funded, ready to go, so if there's somebody out there that's willing to kick in a few bucks, that would be great."
Hurd hopes to get final approval of the federal grant in October. He's optimistic the new spray pad will open by next summer.
BEND, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) met with local healthcare and law enforcement officials Tuesday, to discuss the ongoing opioid epidemic. He says finding ways to combat widespread addiction has to include determining how it started, "In a bipartisan effort, we sent letters to three of the major opioid pharmaceutical companies demanding to know what they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it. This is part of our ongoing investigation. We're now focused on those who made the drugs, did they know they were addictive?"
In Bend on Tuesday, Walden was joined by Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who says the FDA is trying to address new addicts, whose problems often start in the doctor's office, "Make sure that when prescriptions are written, they're written for a legitimate medical purpose, the patient really needed an opioid, duration of use comports with the clinical rationale for writing the prescription in the first place." He believes his agency is uniquely qualified to help combat the crisis with a three-pronged approach, "One is: efforts that we're doing to try and cut the rate of new addiction; two is: efforts that we have underway to improve the technology both for treatment of pain as well as the treatment of addiction; and three is: efforts we have underway to improve our enforcement footprint."
Rep. Walden chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been working with the FDA and other agencies on the issue, "We've passed 57 bills, 53 were unanimous. The others were a little more controversial, but bipartisan and eventually, big votes." The House voted to combine the bills into one, for ease; it's currently with the Senate and is expected to be debated this month.
Photos: (top) Congressman Walden and FDA Commissioner Gottlieb talk with officials from Mosaic Medical.
(above right) Talking with Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, Bend Police Chief Jim Porter and County Commissioner Tammy Baney.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Crook County Fair opens 5 p.m. Wednesday, in Prineville, and the predicted triple-digit temperatures are forcing changes to the schedule.
David White, 4-H Extension Educator, says swine events were supposed to start at 8:30 Thursday morning, "We actually moved their market class to earlier in the morning; so we’re going to start at 7:30 and hope that we can wrap that up before the heat becomes too much of a problem." He says most other animals at the fair, like poultry, lamb and cattle, can typically handle the heat, "Swine don’t sweat, so you’ve got to figure out a different way to cool them off. So, we’ve got misters; obviously we’ve got fans there and I think the real key here is to make sure that we get those shows started early and ended early."
It's the first time anyone can remember having to adjust events at the Crook County Fair, due to heat, "I can’t tell you that I know when it’s too hot – you know, when we should make these kinds of exceptions," White tells KBND News, "This just seemed to be the reasonable and prudent thing to do to make sure that we could ensure the health of the animals. If we were in the mid-90s, we might not be doing this. But, when we hit that century mark, I got a little bit concerned." He adds, "Obviously our concern, in terms of animal husbandry, is to make sure that we take care of all the animals here. And, quite frankly, at the same time, we’ve got to take care of the kids, too."
Crook County 4-H program coordinator Katy Joyce hopes the change - and the heat - don't keep people away, "Aside from the livestock, we have a carnival this year, and there’s going to be all sorts of different events – some magic shows, and each evening there’ll be some sort of live performing music on the main stage, here in Crook County."
This year’s fair theme is “Summer Days and Country Ways.” Admission and parking is free throughout the Crook County Fair, which runs through 10 p.m. Saturday.
SISTERS, OR -- Quick-thinking hikers near Three Creek Lake are credited with helping a 17-year-old who suffered a medical emergency on the Park Meadow Trail, Tuesday morning.
There were no witnesses to the incident. But, his mother and a separate hiking group, consisting of several off-duty medical professionals, took swift action. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says the group improvised a stretcher and were carrying him down the trail when they were met by a Search and Rescue team.
SAR evaluated the teen and called for LifeFlight. He was then flown to St. Charles Bend for further treatment.
REDMOND, OR -- High temperatures, low humidity and wind fueled a fire that destroyed a Redmond home, Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters were called to Northwest Rimrock Lane at about 3 p.m. Other regional resources also responded, as flames spread quickly into nearby brush and sent smoke towering above the neighborhood.
Three people home at the time the fire started got out safely and neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution. The house and its contents were a total loss; several out buildings and some equipment stored at the site were also damaged.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and the Red cross is assisting the family.
SALEM, OR -- Oregon's Kid Governor has produced a video on civics. Fifth grader Dom Peters was selected as Kid Governor and sworn in earlier this year.
In the video, he tours the state Capitol, describes the Legislative branch and meets with Governor Kate Brown to learn what she does. He also meets with the Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Head Justice at the Oregon Supreme Court.
Capitol Tour & Civics Lesson with Oregon's Kid Governor
Peters wrote an anti-bullying book titled "Pippin and the Super Kind Friends Club." He'll read it at the state fair.
Oregon is the second state to have a Kid Governor program. Registration is open for next year's Kid Governor, on the Secretary of State's website.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Firefighters working the 27-acre Allen Creek Fire, 12 miles north of Prineville, report they achieved 100% containment, as of Tuesday morning. Two 20-person crews will continue mop-up activities throughout the day.
Monday, they focused on hot spots and maintaining the perimeter; in some cases, they were able to work 100' into the fire line. With extreme temperatures expected this week, managers are now focusing efforts on making sure the fire does not rekindle or move outside current lines.
The blaze was reported Sunday at about 11:30 a.m. and burned primarily grass and brush on steep and rocky terrain near Allen Creek Road, in northwest Crook County. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Department of Environmental Quality is giving Prineville $10,000 to clean its air. The city's Planning Director Joshua Smith tells KBND News, "90% of the time, our air is very good. There's a few times a year when we get inversions in the winter, that kick us over the limit. In the wintertime, there is a strong argument that it's caused by woodstoves. But, we're also in a caldera here in Prineville, so we get a lot of smoke from outside the community."
Smith says they've gotten smaller grants from the DEQ in recent years, and that has helped educate the public about how smoke from wood stoves impacts the community, "In an inversion, if you have a separate heat source, please use it. We recognize that not everyone's going to have that ability. It's expensive to run your electric heaters and maybe it's your only heat source- wood stoves. It's not about eliminating the burning of wood stoves, it's really more of a voluntary action." The DEQ limit for particulates in the air is 35; Prineville has scored higher, but since it began working with the DEQ, Smith says they've managed to stay below the limit, "We've controlled our outdoor burning quite a bit now, really ramped up that level; and the DEQ has provided us a grant to do a lot more cleanup and yard debris days. And since we started that in 2015
, we've seen our numbers drop significantly."
The city has a new "call before you burn" number that Smith says appears to be helping, as well, "We're actually under the line. We're just trying to stay under the line." The new grant will go toward public awareness initiatives about outdoor burning, more signage, and the addition of yard debris disposal days.
MADRAS, OR -- Water levels are low and getting lower, and local irrigation officials are concerned there won't be enough to satisfy customers' needs through irrigation season.
Mike Britton is Chair of the Deschutes Basin Board of Control and General Manager of the North Unit Irrigation District in Madras. He tells KBND News Wickiup Reservoir started the season full - maximum capacity is 200,000 acre feet. But, "There is a reduced natural flow component to the river this year, just simply because the previous winter didn't really result in much snowpack- or much snowpack that carried over. And, although North Unit started with a full reservoir up at Wickiup, I think the prior two or three years of dry winters affected this year's natural flows." He adds, "We had the historical winter of 2016 with all the snow, and I think a lot of people thought that was going to cure the multiple year dry spell, but we're seeing that it's really not - at this point - quite enough."
According to Britton, the lowest Wickiup has dropped in recent years is 13,000 acre feet and the lowest it is allowed is 8,000 acre feet, "At that point, we're done for the season," he says, "I mean, there's no other water to work with." Wickiup Reservoir currently measures at about 47,000 acre feet, and that needs to last through October. "For our patrons, they're concerned about the ability to make it through the balance of the irrigation season, then that could affect their operations. We're keeping our fingers crossed that that won't happen, but we're watching it day by day and measuring every drop of water that comes on to the land."
REDMOND, OR -- Oregon fire crews are getting a little help from Down Under. A group of 85 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand arrived at the Redmond Air Center Monday, and are preparing for deployment across the west.
Queensland Station Officer David Sealy is headed to Southern Oregon. He says it’s taken time to adjust to the sheer number of fires burning across such a large area, "We might have fires burning in New South Wales, [and] fires burning in Queensland or Victoria. But, nothing on that scale as to what we’re going to face here in the U.S. At last count, there were 14 states or something, within the U.S. that have active fires."
Dan Barwick, a Deputy Captain from New South Wales, says he’s prepared for the challenging conditions. He tells KBND News he’s already learning how our different trees burn, and the importance of creating fire lines. "We don’t have the duff layer that you guys have here. We don’t need to dig at home. It’s a totally different firefighting in that regard, whilst we found out you do a lot of digging here!" David Sealy, a Station Officer from Queensland, says the accent could prove challenging, as well, "Especially on radios; face to face is not too bad. But, just – it’ll be the accent and different terminologies."
They’ll work as safety officers, task force leaders, crew bosses and other positions over the next six to eight weeks. "The first couple of days will be a challenge," says Ken Murphy, who's ready to be deployed to the 40,000-acre Taylor Creek Fire, "Just understanding the fire behavior over here, understanding the topography, and just getting our head around how the incident is managed; even though we look at these very similar, in how we manage the incidents." Murphy is a Chief Superintendent from New South Wales. He says he’s here to learn, pass along his knowledge to American crews, and assist in any way he can. "At the end of the day, the whole firefighting fraternity across the world is a really big family and we’re just here to help our mates."
Australia and New Zealand are said to be key partners for U.S. Forestry crews and were last mobilized to the area in 2015, during a similarly active fire season.
BEND, OR -- A home east of Tumalo was destroyed by fire, Monday. Firefighters arrived at the home on Mira Circle at about 10 a.m. and found the back deck fully involved, with flames quickly spreading into the house. No one was home at the time, and a neighbor rescued a dog from inside.
Investigators believe the blaze started with a carelessly disposed of cigarette. The homeowners hosted a wedding over the weekend and guests were smoking outside. Losses are estimated at about 500,000 dollars.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a tree along Deschutes Market Road, early Monday morning. A passerby called 911 just after 6 a.m., when they found the rider lying near the shoulder of the road, unresponsive.
Despite life-saving efforts by first responders, 55-year-old Robert Kragness was pronounced dead at the scene. It's not yet known why the 2013 Harley Davidson motorcycle left the roadway near Pioneer Loop. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 541-693-6911.
MADRAS, OR -- Madras officials are trying to figure out what to do with 200 tons of baled recyclables, now that China won't take it. With such a backlog and an exhausted recyclables market, Madras Sanitary Service President Melanie Widmer is asking the City Council to allow her company to dump the recyclables in a landfill, "The best option, unfortunately, at this point, is to dispose of the materials that we currently have." She tells KBND News it's a one-time request, "Just for the backlog that we have. And then after that, we will continue to take them to processors."
Local Recycling Bins Under Scrutiny
The DEQ allows this practice, but Widmer says she only wants to do this once, "It's kind of a worst-case scenario, our last option. We never have thrown away recycling before, and we hope not to have to do it again in the future." Local recycling centers will take it but, "They just are charging us to accept the material right now because they may, in some cases, have to pay to get rid of that material." And, she says, those inside the Madras city limits will pay 3% more, "We will be implementing a rate increase that will offset the additional cost of the recycling program, going forward."
City Council meet August 28 to and officially decide whether to allow the dumping of recyclables, and weigh in on Madras Sanitary's future options.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police arrested six people for Driving Under the Influence, during the five days of the Deschutes County Fair, including a 24-year-old Redmond man who rolled his vehicle, Saturday evening.
An off-duty officer reported the pickup speeding north on Highway 97, at about 5:30 p.m. It then went down SW 61st and Canal Blvd, at times going 80 miles an hour. As Redmond PD, the Sheriff's Office and State Police responded, the driver lost control and the pickup rolled several times.
Yosef Valdivia-Perez and his passenger refused medical attention after the Saturday evening crash. Hes charged with DUII-Alcohol, Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief.
SISTERS, OR -- The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District is warning residents about a letter suddenly showing up in local mailboxes. The letter from the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance starts with the headline “Sisters Area Volunteer Firefighter Drive” and describes how agencies face a crisis because of too few volunteers.
Deputy Fire Chief Tim Craig tells KBND News, "Printed at the bottom, there’s a little tear-off with check boxes, indicating whether or not someone is interested in becoming a volunteer with a local fire department. But, it’s also got some check boxes soliciting donations." It also includes a postage-paid return envelope. The problem is, according to Craig, the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District is not in dire need of volunteers, and they only recruit a couple times of year, "We only solicit for volunteer firefighters on kind of a prescribed basis, based on when we can put on volunteer recruit academies, and that sort of thing." And, he says, they alert the community through local media, their own website and social media; not direct mailings.
"I honestly don’t know anything about the organization that’s putting this out," says Craig, "I’ve never heard of them before." He says officials learned of the mailing by accident, "We found out about it when this letter was addressed to the spouse of one of our long-time volunteer fire captains."
KBND News attempted to contact the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance, which has a Tennessee mailing address and claims to be a nationwide nonprofit. However, an outgoing voice mail message says the "extension is unavailable" and does not mention a company name. Dep. Fire Chief Craig is worried some residents could be misled to believe donated funds benefit the local fire district, "We just want to make sure that it’s very clear that this did not come from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District and that this is not something that we have sanctioned and not something that we participate in."
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man reported missing Saturday, was found dead Sunday morning, of an apparent accident. Prineville Police believe 56-year-old Jim Heggie slipped or fell into a steep portion of Ochoco Creek. His body was discovered in an area difficult to access and covered by vegetation.
Heggie was last seen leaving a bar Friday night, and alcohol and/or medical complications may have been factors in his death. Police say there is no evidence of suspicious or criminal activity.
The Prineville Police Department thanked the Crooked County Sheriff's Office, Search and Rescue and citizens who worked to provide information on the missing persons case.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A small wildfire 12 miles north of Prineville prompted level one evacuation warnings, Sunday afternoon. Resources quickly attacked the 24-acre Allen Creek Fire from the ground and air and it was fully lined by last night. Evacuation warnings were lifted after about two hours.
Near Dufur, The South Valley Fire, is now about 40% contained at just over 20,000 acres. Firefighters will spend the next few days mopping up and attacking hot spots.
In southern Oregon, more state resources are headed to the Sugar Pine fire, east of Grants Pass. The Governor declared a conflagration Friday for the blaze that's now nearly 9,000 acres. And, more National guard firefighters are working the 38,000-acre Taylor Creek Fire, which has been especially tough due to rugged terrain; it's now 38% contained.
CULVER, OR -- Five people were injured in a head on collision near Culver, Saturday evening. The crash occurred at about 5 p.m. on Highway 97, near Iris Lane.
Four people had to be pulled out of one car; two were flown to St. Charles Bend, another was taken by ground ambulance to Bend and the fourth went by ambulance to the Redmond hospital. The only person in the second car was taken to the hospital in Madras.
The highway was blocked for more than an hour as emergency crews worked to clear wreckage from the southbound lane and shoulder. State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
UPDATE: Oregon State Police say the 35-year-old Madras woman driving the second car was northbound when, she told investigators, she swerved into the northbound shoulder to miss an animal and lost control. OSP does not believe she was intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
All four people taken to Bend and Redmond hospitals have undergone surgery. They are all from the Portland area and are expected to recover.
BEND, OR -- Two local high school athletes are being recognized by the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for their work on and off the field.
Bend High grad Jenavieve Lustyik plays volleyball and tennis, and is very involved in the community, including with the rotary's Interact Club, Ted-X, Bethlehem Inn, and St. Charles. She'll attend U of O in the fall. She tells KBND News that growing up with a single mother taught her the importance of teamwork, "Sports really helped me out, making friends and getting involved in high school, and keeping me focused on my grades which helps benefit me, getting into college."
Cole Little, Culver High's valedictorian, is on the football, baseball, and wrestling teams, and will attend Oregon Tech. He designed a website to educate teens. "My website is about how texting and driving can take away the lives of people too early. I wanted to bring awareness to that so people would get off the phone while they're driving."
The two will be honored, along with four other students, by the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame at its annual induction ceremony, in September, with awards delivered by former Blazer announcer Bill Schonley. They also each receive a $3,000 scholarship from the MacTarnahan Family Trust. Joel Roth, with the Hall of Fame, says it's not easy to earn this type of recognition, "They have to go through quite a process to submit all the information about themselves, including financial need, and a list of all their accomplishments in the classroom, on the field and in the community."
BEND, OR -- Rev. Franklin Graham brings his Decision America Tour to Bend, Friday night. He says his message of salvation is available to everyone for free, "We're not coming in at any cost to the local community or local churches. We're not asking for any money, we don't take up any collections; we're coming in to present the gospel."
Graham's father, the Reverend Billy Graham, was internationally known for his crusades, preaching to crowds in more than 185 countries. Rather than live in that long shadow, Graham wants to reflect his father's legacy, "This is different from what my father has done in the past. But, we certainly are giving a gospel invitation, giving a gospel message. People will get saved, and so we hope and we believe there will be hundreds of people who will put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ." Unlike his father, Graham encourages his audience to get involved in politics, "I think what's happened in our country, Christians have stayed home, and they've taken the attitude, 'well, my vote doesn't count.' Votes do count! I don't tell people how to vote or what party to vote, I encourage them to pray before they vote and ask God how they should vote."
Graham says America is polarized and impassioned speech is often considered hateful. He hopes people will come hear a message of God's love. "We're not coming to preach against anybody, but I think as Christians, we have a right in this country for our beliefs to be heard." Especially, Graham says, when those beliefs can help others live lives of purpose, "They're looking for happiness, and they're looking for peace and joy and they're not finding it. God created us in such a way that we have a vacuum in each one of our hearts that can only be filled by God."
Decision America begins at 7:30 p.m.
with performances by Jeremy Camp and other well-known Christian bands, followed by a short salvation message. It's outside at the Bend Christian Life Center Amphitheater; people are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Decision America began in Southern California in May. Bend is one of Rev. Graham's final tour stops.
BEND, OR -- Fire lookouts are credited with catching several recent wildfires in Central Oregon before they grew out of control, but the smoky haze from southern Oregon and California fires is making their job more difficult.
Kassidy Kern, with the Deschutes National Forest, says lookouts can typically see 20 to 60 miles, depending on their position, "The visibility has been limited to, in some cases, five miles. And in some cases, it’s not at all limited and we’re in that 15-30 [mile] realm where maybe we would’ve been 20-60." She tells KBND News, "Obviously, that is compromised when we start to get smoke in. But, what they’re doing is, when they’re in that same spot all day, every day, they know when something changes."
Kern says there are several ways to detect new wildfires, including technology that predicts where lightning will strike and recon planes that fly over an area after a storm. But, the old-school way is often the most reliable, "We look at all the tools in the toolbox and one of our best tools still, and always, is going to be lookouts because the recon planes sometimes get grounded because of the smoke. Well, our lookouts are there all the time."
The lookout on Lava Butte is credited with spotting last month’s Bessie Butte fire, in southeast Bend
, "The lookout called the firefighters first and then he called dispatch and that gave them three to five extra minutes to get mobilized and going before they even got the order," says Kern, "When you have a fire that is close enough to Bend that it’s going to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, those minutes are really critical."
There are seven federal lookouts in the Deschutes National Forest, "You really cannot look at what they do on the ground and over-sell the importance of that. It is critical."
Photo: Green Ridge Lookout, as photographed by Fred Fost
BEND, OR -- The Democrat challenging Congressman Greg Walden wants to debate the Republican several times before the November election.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner made the request in person, during a recent parade in the small town of Joseph. She approached Walden's car as he rode along the parade route (pictured above), and said, "I’d like to challenge you to at least three debates within the district; I’d be happy to debate you in every single county, if you’d like." He responded with, "I look forward to a schedule." McLeod-Skinner continued, "I’d like do southern Oregon, Central Oregon, eastern Oregon, as well, so everyone can hear us debate. Would you be willing to debate me?" Walden replied with, "I look forward to debating you."
She followed up that exchange with a written request to meet in debates and town hall-style events over the next several months, specifically asking about an event in Umatilla County on August 31, and two in October, in Jackson and Deschutes counties.
LA PINE, OR -- The man stabbed during a domestic dispute near La Pine, Monday night, is now under arrest.
According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, 53-year-old Martin Adler, of Bend, drove his live-in girlfriend out to Paulina Lake Road, ignoring her requests to take her home. They say he tried to strangle the 23-year-old woman and, fearing for her life, she pulled a small knife from her pocket and stabbed him in self-defense.
She was able to flag down a car for help; the driver allowed her to call 911 and took her to the Sheriff's Office substation in La Pine to meet Deputies.
Adler was later found at a La Pine home and flown to the hospital with serious injuries. On Wednesday, he was taken into custody on charges of Coercion, Strangulation and Assault IV.
DUFUR, OR -- A new wildfire is growing quickly with strong winds, in Wasco County. The South Valley Fire was first spotted Wednesday, and spread five to seven miles over a four hour period. As of Thursday morning, it's estimated at 15,000 acres and just 5% contained. Governor Kate Brown Wednesday night declared a conflagration, clearing the way for more resources to attack the blaze.
Stefan Meyer, with the Oregon Fire Marshals Office, says, "The Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office has been deployed to this fire. We brought an Incident Management Team, as well as three task forces that came in last night. We have three more task forces that are on the way; those are coming from several counties throughout our state." He adds, "We are going to be focused on saving structures that are in the line of the fire, as well as life safety, out here."
The fire is burning in oak, ponderosa pine and wheat fields. Mandatory evacuations are in place, and Meyer says 80-100 buildings are threatened. "We do know we've lost structures. We don't have an exact number of how many have been effected, as well as whether they were dwellings or outbuildings."
ODOT shut down a portion of Highway 197 overnight, Wednesday, due to low visibility and firefighter activity. It reopened early Thursday. There have been no reports of injuries. The fire was human caused, but the source has not been revealed.
Photo: Courtesy KPTV FOX 12
BEND, OR -- Mid Oregon Credit Union is banking on the generosity of visitors to the Deschutes County Fair, Friday. They'll collect school supplies at the Mid Oregon booth. Kyle Frick, with the credit union, says it's part of their month-long effort to help the Family Access Network (also known as "FAN") in local schools, "That's a great group of people that really do reach out to people that are in need."
Donations can also be made at any Mid Oregon Credit Union branch through the end of August, "We collect a bunch of different school supplies; they go to the communities were we collect them," Frick tells KBND News. They'll take everything from traditional items, like pens to binders, to more tech-related supplies, "More recently it's been backpacks and calculators and earbuds - so, a lot of kids now in schools are using iPads and so they can do their lessons with their iPads, but they can listen to that through their earbuds."
On Wednesday, a Redmond bus driver donated 140 backpacks filled with supplies and hygiene kits to the Redmond branch, to kick off the effort:
BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney has ruled that an officer involved shooting that occurred last month during a traffic stop near the Bend Lowe’s, was justified. D.A. John Hummel says the Medical Examiner determined Timothy Bontrager died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, But, the D.A.'s office still had to investigate whether it was appropriate for Officer Timothy Williams to use deadly force.
Hummel says Williams believed Bontrager was driving under the influence and called for back-up. Williams repeatedly asked the suspect to submit to a field sobriety test and present proof of insurance, while Officer Kevin Uballez observed. Then, Hummel says, Bontrager lunged for his glove compartment, "Uballez is standing in that cover position, looking through the window. He sees the hands; where do the hands go? Right to that glove box and a gun comes out. He grabs the gun, ‘here’s my proof of insurance.’ Uballez yells, ‘gun!’ Immediately Bontrager put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger." Hummel says Williams returned fire, thinking the man was shooting at police, "Williams, who was backing up, didn’t see the hands, hears, ‘Gun! [bam],’ sees the muzzle. He thinks Bontrager is shooting at him or Uballez. He returns fire, ‘bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.’ Seven shots into the car; struck Bontrager twice." The Medical Examiner found that Bontrager was dead before he was struck by the officer's bullets, and reports that Williams' shots would not have been fatal.
The full exchange was captured in a police audio recording. Click HERE
to listen to the full recording. A warning for sensitive listeners: it could be difficult to hear.
Both officers were placed on leave after the June 26 incident. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter says Officer Uballez is already back at work and Williams is expected to return this week.
Hummel says there is no way to know why Bontrager took his own life, or why, after a relatively polite exchange with police, he suddenly grabbed a gun. However, he says the man admitted to Officer Williams he was sleeping in his car and others report Bontrager had strained relationships with several family members.
Photo: At an August first press conference, D.A. John Hummel points out drone footage of the scene, taken just after the June 26th shooting.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie sat mostly quiet during Wednesday night's Council meeting. It was his first public appearance since allegations surfaced that he groped a woman at a bar in 2012. While Boddie's comments were limited to voting on routine matters, he listened to others openly condemn his response to the accusations; he has said the woman has a substance abuse problem.
During the citizen comment period, Bill Caram said, "In the face of an allegation, Councilor Boddie decided to attack her character and accuse her of having substance abuse issues. I was appalled and disgusted by this response. I understand that the Council cannot censure Dr. Boddie. But I would expect you to, in some way, make it clear that attacking and demonizing the victim, as well as medical and substance abuse issues, does not represent the views of this Council." Aaron Jeffers asked the rest of the Council to take a stand and protect women, "We believe that our community deserves better, especially from our Council members. Bend is having a 'me too' moment; we are not supporting the women of our community. Mr. Boddie, please step down and let our community begin to heal. Please withdraw from the House race and let us vote for a candidate who can better represent all of our citizens. To the rest of the Council: Take action, make changes, show the women you represent they have your support." Officials say Boddie cannot be forced out
of office, nor out of his House race
. He would have to voluntarily step down.
Boddie skipped the last City Council meeting
, when fellow Councilors discussed a possible censure. The City Attorney said then the allegations do not meet the requirements for such action.
REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Fair opens today at 10 am, and visitors can expect animal and crafted exhibits, an amateur talent show, major concerts, vendors, a rodeo, and even a watermelon eating contest. With so many fun events on tap, the Redmond Police Department is preparing for the increased traffic and activity in the City between today and Sunday.
Lieutenant Curtis Chambers says it's a good idea to plan ahead, and know that as the day progresses, the crowds will grow. "Most people arrive at the Fair during the afternoon and into the early evening, and stay late, especially when it's so hot."
Chambers says traffic is always heavier during fair week, but he's expecting some extra challenges this year. "To complicate things even worse this year is the closure of a good portion of SW Canal Blvd, meaning everyone will be redirected onto the Highway." He adds, "Do not anticipate just a quick, 20 minute drive to the Fairgrounds." He says you'll keep your frustration level down, and have a better time at the Fair, if you expect to spend more time on the road than usual. "Plan ahead. Arrive early. Carpool if you can. Pack some water in your car. Take the time, enjoy the trip, and arrive in good spirits."
Dan Despotopolous, who has managed the Deschutes County Fair and Rodeo for 18 years, says transportation can be free, fun and easy. "Mom and Dad and the kids could take the bus from Sisters, Redmond, and Bend, drop off right out front, don't have to deal with all the traffic." The Fair Shuttle is free and a schedule can be found at the Deschutes County Fair
Despotopolous adds that Thursday, kids 12 and under get into the Fair for free, and if they bring a can of food for donation, they'll receive a ticket for a free carnival ride, which should be even more fun this year. "We have a whole new carnival area. We'll still have the main carnival, but one's going to be more focused on the younger kids, called Familyville, so we're going to have double the rides."
BEND, OR -- The Commissioners shared their perspectives last night on the State of Deschutes County.
Tammy Baney, Phil Henderson, and Tony DeBone discussed marijuana regulations, budget highlights, managing for growth, capital projects, and the future of solid waste. DeBone says they've done some hard work through the Great Recession, and the future looks bright. "Deschutes County is dialed in, it has been dialed in for a long time. The tax rate, the services, all the employees, the professionalism. I am proud to represent the citizens and to work with all the staff in Deschutes County."
Commissioner Henderson says he'd had several careers before running for office, and he did it because he wanted to teach his children that civic involvement is important. "We're only as good as the people who are involved in our government. And, I worry a lot. How do you pass on the civic culture that has made our country what it is, our state what it is, our community what it is, and so you all need to be involved in this thing."
Commissioner Baney says one reason we're going strong now is because Deschutes County partnered with Economic Development for Central Oregon during the Great Recession. They took an existing fund from HUD and added money when the County had little to spare. "And the hope was to be able to retain and attract businesses during one of the most dire times of our history." The program created nearly 1,300 jobs by offering loans to businesses that could be turned into grants. "They make a commitment of staying, and we make a commitment of funding, and we create jobs together." Tony DeBone said the program not only kept businesses in the area, it allowed the County to effectively manage the growth they knew would come as a result of its success.
All three commissioners had a point of pride -- for Henderson it was the reduction of property taxes by .06 per $1,000 assessed value over the last two years, Baney expressed satisfaction with the Commissioners' creative and successful attempts to build the economy and maintain growth, and DeBone says they've responsibly managed the rapid change of the area with an eye toward whatever comes next.
The event was hosted at 10 Barrel East by the Bend Chamber.
BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley wants to look into how the high number of special events taking place downtown impact local businesses and the greater community. He says it’s time to evaluate whether it’s more important to cater to visitors or locals, "Most of the downtown businesses would actually prefer a pretty stable business from serving Bendites – people who live here year-round."
He says as the Council liaison for the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), he's heard from business owners that they lose money during events because visitors shop and dine at event booths and others stay away due to the constant crowds. He plans to ask city staff at Wednesday's Council meeting to look at potentially limiting the number of event permits issued each year, "Over time, if we change our focus from being event after event, after event, Bend might not be quite as hot of a tourist destination. All I can say right now is, I think most people would say, ‘thank goodness.’ We’re having a hard enough time keeping up with just our regular growth." He tells KBND News, "Right now, the city just has an open permitting process where, if you apply and you meet the criteria – you’re able clean up after yourself, and that sort of thing – then they’ll let you have as many events as you want. No one has really looked at this before until some of the businesses started asking this question."
Moseley believes it is possible to find a balance, "We have a charming downtown; it really is the heart of our community. And there are a lot of events that occur that I think people really do appreciate. But, we’re getting to the point that almost every single weekend seems to be scheduled with an event that looks almost identical to the previous event."
Permits have already been issued through the end of this summer, and he says those would still be honored, "If there were any changes, we’d be looking at it through the rest of this fall and winter, then implementing something for next year."
UPDATE (08/02/18): At Wednesday's Council meeting, Moseley asked the DBBA and BEDAB (Bend Economic Development Advisory Board) to look at the frequency of downtown events. Economic Development Director Carolyn Eagan says there is a limit to the number of event allowed, but that there is a need for event space.
BEND, OR -- A damaged plane blocked an active runway at the Bend Airport, Tuesday afternoon, after a "hard landing."
A 75-year-old Bend man had just taken delivery of the 2018 Cub Crafter FX280 in Hood River earlier in the day. When Michael Herzog tried to land his new plane, the strut failed and collapsed, causing the wing and tail to hit the runway and pushing the plane into a “ground loop.” It came to rest in the middle of the runway, with a collapsed wheel strut, resting on its left wing tip and leaking a small amount of fuel.
Citizens and other pilots helped move the damaged plane out of the way. No one was hurt and the incident is under investigation by the NTSB and FAA.
BEND, OR -- There's a new parking spot lined in blue paint at the main Sheriff’s Office in Bend. Sheriff Shane Nelson says it's designed for people who need a safe, public place to meet, "Law enforcement is known as the 'thin blue line,' protecting our community. The Sheriff's 'Blue Line Safety Zone' provides a safer, video recorded, public area for parent exchanges of children, as well as in-person transactions following online sales."
Sgt. William Bailey says the area is under 24-hour surveillance, "Although we do not monitor the location 24-hours a day, we are available, should the need arise, through either recalling video surveillance or investigating incidents there." He tells KBND News the location in front of the Sheriff's Office should make criminals think twice, "Our hope is that those that would do harm or attempt to defraud our community members are less likely to do that in a location like our parking lot."
Sgt. Bailey cautions that meeting strangers to complete an online transaction comes with inherent risk and should be done carefully and in a public place. The Blue Line Safety Zone is not specifically patrolled but Deputies are always available in an emergency, by calling 911.
MADRAS, OR -- Two children have confessed to starting a fire that destroyed four homes inside the Tops Trailer Court in Madras, Tuesday afternoon. The fire started between two trailers, just before 4 p.m. and quickly spread to two others.
There were no injuries and the Red Cross is helping the 17 people displaced by the blaze.
The Jefferson County Sheriff says the two kids, seven and ten years old, are friends who live in the area. They admitted to starting the fire and said it quickly “got away” from them. The two were cited in lieu of custody.