Local News Archives for 2019-08

Trash Fire Damages Transfer Station

MADRAS, OR --  A truck full of trash caught fire at the Madras Transfer Station early Thursday morning.


The Jefferson County Fire Chief told Central Oregon Daily, the trailer was loaded and cleared to leave when employees noticed smoke and flames just after midnight. The fire was reported by JeffCo Fire to be in a transfer container with a small excavator also on fire. Flames had extended to a truck hooked to the transfer container and also to an attached building which housed two forklifts and miscellaneous equipment.


Fire crews worked quickly to knock down the excavator fire and worked throughout the night to get the container fire under control. The cause is still under investigation.


Be Safe With Fire this Labor Day Weekend

CENTRAL OREGON -- This Labor Day Weekend, Fire officials say wildfire season isn’t over yet, and ask that everyone shows extra caution with fire. Jean Nelson-Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, is concerned that campers and other outdoor enthusiasts may not be as careful as they should be, because fire season has seemed so much more mild this year. "We're just asking people to remain vigilant, we're continuing on a warming trend, these fuels dry out quickly, and it just takes a single spark to get things going."

She says there's rain, but with thunderstorms comes lightning, and coupled with dry conditions, fire crews are busy with holdovers. Nelson-Dean says the majority of this year’s local fires have been nature caused - she wants us to maintain that record and encourages all humans to be safe with fire. "Labor Day weekend is a prime time for people to still get out, enjoy the last days of summer, go camping with family, and/or riding, or shooting, and we just want folks to still be aware, though we've had a milder than usual fire season, it is still fire season, and we're looking at warming trends drying out our fuels."

She says after Labor Day, comes hunting season, and with cooler morning and evening temperatures, people want warming fires. Never leave a fire unattended and never abandon a fire that's not cold to the touch. "We want people to make sure, if they have a campfire, it's dead out, cold to the touch, so that requires water, and stirring, until there's really  nothing remaining. Do not walk away from a campfire."

She says the big concern is just people not paying attention because they're having fun - it doesn't take much for a campfire to spark a wildfire.

Local Cold Weather Shelter Needs More Space

BEND, OR -- A Bend cold weather homeless shelter needs more space this winter. Sagewood Sanctuary is located in the Pfeiffer and Associates building in Downtown Bend, and it's always been overcrowded. Director Larry Kogovsek says he doesn't want to have to turn people away again when the weather gets cold. "Probably someplace in an industrial area, but who knows? Just some kind of space where we can provide day services, get people into addiction treatment and mental health treatment, and then provide them a safe space to stay."

Kogovsek says, if one larger space can't be found, another smaller space and more volunteers would also be a welcome option. They currently serve 50 to 70 people, but often have need for double that number. "We need that space. We need to find it. It's been the hardest thing to come by, in town. We need a space where people, would be appropriate, large enough, and acceptable to the neighbors."

To learn more go to Sagewood Sanctuary's Facebook page, or you can reach Larry at lkogovsek@icloud.com or 541-390-1351.

Central Oregon Fire Updates

CENTRAL OREGON -- 8/30 UPDATE: Firefighters with the Central Oregon Fire Management Service picked up 5 new lightning starts – 3 fires on Prineville BLM lands and 2 on Deschutes National Forest. All of the new starts are estimated at 1/10th of an acre and are currently being staffed by firefighters.


Of the 8 new starts picked up, following our most recent thunderstorms, 7 of the fires are now contained at less than an acre.


The Tumalo Creek Fire is currently mapped at 10 acres. Firefighters have direct hand line around 25% of the fire. The fire received heavy precipitation, giving fire personnel increased options for utilizing direct line construction. Indirect line construction will continue to be utilized where hazards, including snags and loose rocks, cannot be mitigated. Current resources on the Tumalo Creek Fire include 3 hand crews, 3 engines, 6 smokejumpers, 4 rappellers, and a water tender. Prior to the afternoon storm cell, the incident was staffed by a number of aerial resources, as well.


Forest Service Road 370 is closed at the following locations: FR 370/ FR 380 junction, FR 370 junction at Three Creek Lakes, and at FR 4601/ FR 370 junction. There are no trail closures at this time, but Field Rangers have posted fire activity notices at the Flagline, North Fork, and Mrazek Trailheads


Information courtesy of: CentralOregonFire.org

Alleged Rapist Rusty Pugh is Back in Jail

LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine man was arrested again Wednesday, and faces more child rape charges.


Bend Police Department Lieutenant JuliAnn McConkey says 47-year old Rusty Allen Pugh is accused of raping a woman 5 times nearly 20 years ago, and since his arrest last week, more potential victims have contacted investigators. "Since we released the information on the 22nd of August, we're actively investigating several other cases involving Mr. Pugh. 3 more victims, at least, have been identified."

Pugh had been released on $25,000 bail and fitted with a GPS ankle monitor. He's been returned to the Deschutes County Jail. McConkey says, if you think you know a victim of Pugh's contact the Bend Police Department Non-Emergency Dispatch. "Pay attention to kids. Pay attention to if they're saying something or acting differently, and be vigilant in making sure that we keep our children safe."

2 of Pugh's most recent accusers are from Yamhill County. The third is a 6-year-old local girl. McConkey says Pugh's new rape charges stemfrom incidents between 2004 and now. "One victim, at least, was this month and we're certain there are more victims out there, and we do encourage people to call in if they have been a victim of Mr. Pugh's, or any crimes, with any information that would get them justice and help." Investigators want to make sure every on of Pugh's victims is able to tell her story. "People keep calling in and we're actively investigating current cases, and I think the only thing we can keep doing is encourage that they have a voice, and they aren't the only ones, and that we are here to help them through this process."

Pugh is awaiting his next court appearance.

Land Speed Record Attempt Ends In Tragedy

Burns, OR -- The Harney County Sheriff's Office reports a California woman was killed Tuesday as she attempted to set a new land speed record.  39 year old Jessica (Jessi) Michelle Combs of Long Beach, California died at the scene after her jet car crashed on the Alvord Desert, 90 miles south of Burns.


Combs was known as the "Fastest Woman on Four Wheels" after she set a record speed of 398 miles an hour in 2013.  She posted on Instagram last Sunday she wanted to break 512 miles an hour. The cause of the crash is unknown. The incident remains under investigation. 

RDM Adding California Flights

Redmond, OR -- Redmond's Roberts Field announced Wednesday, they're adding 3 new non-stop flights to L-A-X, San Francisco, and San Diego, next year.The LAX flights begin in early January, and the others take off in mid-March .

RDM's Zach Bass told Central Oregon Daily, the extra flights are added to give residents options, but he wants the airport to maintain it's atmosphere. "We want to keep this airport the regional airport, but at the same time we want to be able to offer our customers a lot of great destinations. A lot of frequency. A lot of great options to get out of Central Oregon without having to drive over the mountains to PDX and get involved in all that traffic"


Roberts field has seen a 100 percent increase in the number of passengers it serves in the last 6 years, and Bass thinks, with the new flights it could grow another 10 percent. "We’re growing quickly and it’s part of our job to make sure that infrastructure keeps up. The feel is what it has been and will continue to be."


Along with the new flights, the airport will eventually provide a third TSA Precheck line, more parking, and a new operations building. Tickets for the new non-stop flights are already on sale.

D-A Hummel Closes Murder Case

Bendd, OR -- A double shooting last October left 2 dead, and the Deschutes County District Attorney says, there was no clear motive.
D-A John Hummel says his investigation into why Tyler Herrick killed Kyle Adams, and tried to Kill Brennan Pebbles, his next-door neighbors, is closed, but incomplete. "It was not a whodunit. We knew within a few hours what happened, but the community wanted to know why." Hummel thought, initially, Herrick might have ingested Psychedelic substances, but blood samples taken from his body underwent analysis but all that was found was marijuana and an over-the-counter antihistamine.


They did find Chinese water beads, sticky children's toys that are sometimes used as smoke diffusers in bongs. "Some studies have shown that the coating on the beads, which causes them to stick together, when water is added, it can create a chemical that can turn toxic when ingested." The toxin creates G-H-B in the system, which causes breathing problems and unconsciousness, but the testing on Herrick's blood was negative


Herrick had not shown any signs of mental illness previous to the shooting and Hummel says he can only conclude it was a tragic psychotic break and that Adams and Pebbles did nothing to cause it. Hummel mourned Adams and said there's no clear reason for Herrick's actions. " We don't know definitively why. We do know that Herrick was exhibiting symptoms of a psychotic episode of some sort. he was clearly operating with delusional thoughts". The investigation is officially closed. Hummel calls it a senseless crime and tragedy.

DA Drops Charges Against Redmond Man

REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man, arrested in Sam Johnson Park, has fewer charges, thanks to the Deschutes County District Attorney. 25-year-old Darian Belles was involved in an altercation with Police where officers alleged he tried to take and use their Taser. He was punched twice in the head and restrained. DA John Hummel says he and his office investigated, interviewing witnesses and watching all the footage of the incident, and decided to drop 5 of the 7 charges lodged against Belles. "In this case, after reviewing the evidence, we determined we believe the suspect has committed 2 crimes, so we've charged him with 2 crimes, Resisting Arrest, and Interfering with a Peace Officer."

The Redmond Police Department has already been cleared this month on allegations of using excessive force. The other incident also included Officer Bryan Holman. Hummel says his office is investigating this incident to determine whether the RPD Officers' use of force against Belles was justified. "He was punched in the face, that's not in dispute. There's video of it. So the question, separate from the guilt or innocence of this suspect and his Resisting Arrest charge is, was it appropriate for the officer to use force, and that's what we'll decide."

Hummel says these cases take careful investigation, because of the circumstances that often surround an arrest. "Police officers have to make decisions in the heat of the moment when there's often many people around and it's a chaotic situation and they have to make quick decisions."


The DA's office is expecting to have their investigation completed by mid-September.


DesCo Wants to Expand the Courthouse

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners are continuting discussions on a plan to expand the Courthouse.


Commissioner Tony DeBone says the County is responsible for that facility, and it needs to grow before a new judge can be moved to Deschutes County. "We thought we had a Judge, that was going to be scheduled up to come to Deschues County from the Legislative session, the Legislature's the one that adds a seat to the Courts, and that didn't happen this time. It sounds like it may happen in the near future. it needs to happen, we've got cases being backed up over there."

DeBone says Deschutes County is unlikely to get a grant from the State for the Courthouse improvements, because we don't have seismic considerations, and we're not a poor County. And, he says, it'll cost quite a lot. "$17 to $20 million, I think is the big picture. We could build the fixtures and interior improvements on 2 of the courtrooms, and then leave the third for a future date, but it's also construction timing, if it's done in the next year or a couple years from now, it could go up also, so it's definitely more than $15 million, and we'll see where it goes from there." The vision, Debone says, is another wing, built toward the street on the Greenwood Avenue side, 3 floors with 3 courtrooms plus accessory roomsm but the plan is just in its preliminary stages. "The timing in this, it could be in the next 6 months or a year budget cycle, or it could be another year after that. But, it is a vision, it is going to be expensive, we are going to need to do it, we're just not sure when we're really, officially, going to start the process."

Current Deschutes County judges are faced with growing work every day, and a new Judge could really ease the burden, DeBone says, but if the Legislature grants the County another Judge, the Courthouse must be expanded to accommodate the appointment ahead of time.

CRR Rescue Dispatched for a Goat

CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- A goat got stuck on a rock ledge in Crooked River Ranch Tuesday, and several people went out on the ledge to help it.


The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office responded and when they arrived, learned a man had gotten himself stuck on the same rock ledge as the goat and was unable to get down. The Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue Rope Rescue Team was activated to rescue both man and goat - the man was able to climb out on his own without aid, and the the Rescue Team collected the goat. There were no injuries.


After discovering that several people had put themselves at risk trying to save the goat, the decision was made to send a trained technical rescuer down the cliff to retrieve it. This would prevent more members of the public from putting themselves in a dangerous situation.


When you see a domestic animal in a distressed situation the best thing to do is call the non-emergency dispatch number in your area.

UPDATE: Teen Dies in Reed Market Crash

BEND, OR -- The Bend Police Department is Currently on the Scene of a 2 vehicle crash at the intersection of Reed Market and SE American Lane.


At least one person has died.


The accident occurred at approximately 8 pm, and investigators say it will take several hours before the road is open. 


More details as they become available.


UPDATE: A Redmond Teenager lost his life in a car crash Tuesday night.

At around 8 pm, 19-year-old Marshall Sarabia was turning left onto American Lane when his car was broadsided by a pickup, driven by 18-year-old Chase Turnbull of Bend.


Sarabia had two passengers, 18-year-old Brooklyn Klaus of Bend, and 18-year-old Connor Hunt of Redmond.

Hunt did not survive the collision. 


Streets were closed until after 2 a.m. The investigation is still ongoing, but early indications suggest both vehicles entered the intersection on yellow lights.

Child Dies in Crash on Hwy 20

HARNEY COUNTY, OR -- A child was killed in a car crash on Highway 20 in Harney County, early Tuesday morning.


Oregon State Police investigated, and their early conclusions are that 28-year-old La Pine resident, Moriah Shackelford, was driving westbound just after 4 am, when she left the road and struck a raised driveway, sending the car airborne.


Four juveniles were also in the car. Two were treated at the scene, another was taken to Portland via air ambulance, and the fourth was pronounced dead at the scene.


Shackelford suffered minor injuries.


OSP was assisted by the Hines Police Department, Harney County Ambulance, Burns Fire Department, and ODOT.


Commute Options Expands 'Walking School Bus'

BEND, OR -- The Oregon Department of Transportation has granted Commute Options more funding. Community Outreach Director for Commute Options, Kim Curley, says now they can cover the whole region. "We're really branching out from just Bend, we received a little bit more funding, and we're guaranteed for 3 years to offer Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs in our three counties." Commute Options will provide training, and the staff of each school can teach the kids why transportation options are important. 


Another program that boosts SRTS is not just for paid educators. "If you're involved in school, if you're a parent of a school, give us a call, check out our website, Commute.Options.org. We have an amazing Walking School Bus program, where we pay adult leaders to walk with kids to make that a convenient and safe option." The Walking School Bus program is funded by the Central Oregon Health Council through the 2019-2020 school year. 

Most Central Oregon Schools start next week and Commute Options is excited to see some ODOT funded infrastructure projects to build safer sidewalks and crosswalks near schools. Curley says safer sidewalks and crosswalks make it easier for kids to bike and walk to school, where they'll learn about transportation options. "That infrastructure engineering goes hand in hand with the education and encouragement we offer. So, put it in your mind, think about it, mull it over, talk about with your kids and your neighborhood, how we can do more walking and biking. It's good for us."

Recent grant awards in the ODOT Safe Routes to Schools means $15 Million is being spent on 24 statewide projects that make the areas around schools safer for kids, like the one nearly finished near Terrebonne Community School. Priorities were given for elementary and middle schools, projects that were shovel-ready and schools in high poverty areas.


Commute Options wants to teach school kids that walking or biking to school is fun, and Curley says it starts with adults. "We train P.E. teachers how to do pedestrian safety, right in their own classrooms, so we don't even have to show up in Madras to walk with kids, the P.E. teacher already knows how."

Redmond Chooses a New Police Captain

REDMOND, OR -- The City of Redmond announced Devin Lewis, a Bend Police Department Lieutenant, will serve as the Redmond Police Department’s next Captain. Redmond Police Chief Dave Tarbet says Lewis is the right man for the job. Lewis was chosen from 15 qualified candidates. "Devin rose to the top in the process. He's a skilled leader, a great manager, with a diverse background in law enforcement administration and I look forward to having him help me build a leadership bench here at the Redmond Police Department."

Lewis has worked for both the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Bend Police. He lead the Central Oregon Emergency Response team, managed training programs, lead internal affairs investigations, and the Bend Investigations unit.


Tarbet says Lewis, who is currently a Lieutenant in the Bend Police Department, has served the Central Oregon community for a long time. "Devin's coming from Bend PD. He's been with Bend for 15 years. Deschutes County Sheriff's Office 5 years previous to that. So, he's got 20 years of experience. He's a Lieutenant of the Bend Police Department, currently." Tarbet says he's looking forward to Lewis' joining the team. He will take over for the retired Brian McNaughton on September 23rd. "Looking forward to having him come on board and moving forward with the Deparment." He called Lewis an excellent coach and mentor, and says he'll be an asset. "He also brings a fresh perspective, which will help propel Redmond Police into the future, with new ideas."


On September 23rd, Lewis replaces Brian McNaughton, who served in the position for the past 10 years and retired last month. He became a Deputy with Deschutes County in 1999, and In 2004, he joined the Bend Police Department, where he became a Lieutenant in 2018. 

Immunizations Proof is Required for School Students

DESCHUTES COUNTY -- With some schools already open and the rest set to begin next Tuesday, parents are asked to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. Deschutes County Immunization Coordinator Jill Johnson says vaccines are necessary for keeping people safe. "By state mandate, immunizations are required at all public and private schools, pre-schools, certified day care and Head Start programs."

Johnson tells KBND News the immunization rate in Deschutes County is good but there are some pockets of schools that don't have high immunization rates. "That puts the school or the children at school at risk for outbreaks should one of the vaccine preventable diseases be introduced there." Parents must have documentation showing proof of immunizations, a medical exemption, or non-medical exemption on file with their child's school.


Johnson says there are 11 vaccinations that are required for each child, including pertussis, also known as whooping cough. "Pertussis we've had cases in Deschutes County recently, with the end of the school year and over the summer, so, that's an especially important vaccine, and then several others that will keep kids healthy at school." Parents have options when it comes to getting kids vaccinated. "And we have 6 school-based health centers and any child can go to those, it doesn't matter if they attend that school or not."

If kids are 7 years or older, they can go to a pharmacy for shots.

Negotiations Stall Between Universities and Workers

BEND, OR -- In about a month, students will be heading back to school at Oregon's public universities, but labor negotiations for some university employees has reached an impasse.


Rob Fullmer, SEIU 503 Representative, told Central Oregon Daily, giving workers cost of living increases isn't good enough. "Our members are feeling like that the offers they are getting from management in this contract, which are comparable to what we saw in the last contract, aren’t enough to be able to make ends meet." But, Vice President of University Relations for Oregon State University, Steve Clark, says they're hopeful a solution can be found that won't raise tuition costs. "We are optimistic. We continue to be optimistic that we can find common ground that will serve both these valuable employees and avert a strike."

Final offers from both sides were presented Friday to the Oregon Employment Relations Board, but the University workers have rejected the University's offer. The workers affected by this include custodians, food service, information technology, and nurses. The current annual compensation for these 5,000 employees ranges from $33,000 to $141,000, averaging $57,000 pay, plus benefits. 


According to Clark, they need to find a balance that works for everyone. "We need to find a common ground that not only serves our employees but also our financial ability to educate students of Oregon without causing more cuts in operational expenditures and higher tuition." But Fullmer says 'the other side' talks about 12% increases, but not to anyone who's topped out the wage system, and he says that's more than 1/4 of University workers. "The only compensation increase we see is the cost of living increase and 1% COLA isn’t going to cut it." Clark says, "That’s why negotiations occur is to understand what are the differences that are being put forth, and to understand the needs of both the union members and the universities. That’s why we negotiate."

The Union's current proposal would take more than half the $100 million recently granted the Universities by the Legislature to help with tuition costs and employee pensions. Both sides say they don't want to strike, but are prepared to do so.



Madras Man Injured in Freak ATV Accident

MADRAS, OR -- A Madras man is struck by an ATV while traveling on Highway 26.


72-year-old Enes Smith of Madras was riding his motorcycle Eastbound on Highway 26 near milepost 202 Friday morning, when an ATV fell off the flatbed of a truck traveling West and collided with him. The truck, a Ford F350, being driven by Justin Jacobs, 38, of Prairie City, was hauling the ATV. The strap holding it to the truck came loose, and the ATV fell off the truck into Smith's lane.


Smith was transported by Air Ambulance with serious injuries. Oregon State Police was assisted by the Baker County Sheriff's Office, EMS from Unity and Baker City, and the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

UPDATE: Man Dies at Smith Rock

REDMOND, OR -- A man fell about 100 feet at Smith Rock State Park Saturday morning, and died.


Redmond Fire, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Officer Search and Rescue responded. They pronounced the man dead at the scene. His name is being withheld until his family is told.


Investigators say he was making his way down a climber's path around 9:40 am, toward the Northeast Lower Gorge inside the park, when apparently tripped and fell the 100 feet.


Search and Rescue volunteers completed the recovery. 


More details, as they become available.


UPDATE: The man has been identified as Chaitanya Sathe, a 35-year-old from Hillsboro.

Bend Broadband Fiber Optic Line Damaged by Gunfire

BEND, OR -- Early Saturday morning, Bend Broadband employees told the Bend Police Department about damage that had been done to a fiber optic cable, suspended between two poles in Northeast Bend.


The Facebook Server in Prineville was interrupted at about 1:30 Saturday morning, caused by the damaged cable.


Bend Broadband had been investigating an outage in the area of NE Brinson and Daniel Duke Way when the damage was discovered and determined to be malicious. Employees found bullet casings in the area, and the police believe the cable was hit by one of the rounds.


The Bend Police Department is asking that anyone whose property was damaged in this incident, or anyone why may have information about the shooters, to please call non-emergency dispatch.




Teens Throw a Party That Leads to Arrests

BEND, OR -- Teenagers threw a wild party Friday night at the Bellevue Apartment complex near Worthy Brewing off Highway 20 in Bend. 911 Dispatch received a call that the teens in Apartment #206 were being extremely loud and throwing beer cans.


The first officer on the scene witnessed a teen vomiting in the stairwell, and another standing on #206's balcony, yelling. He knocked on the apartment door, but the teens inside the apartment turned off the lights and didn't answer. A second officer looked through the window and saw a man pushing a woman, so officers pushed the unlocked front door open to check her welfare. The woman involved in the altercation identified herself as 18-year-old Allison Lea, and said she was the resident. She was uninjured, but intoxicated, and told police alcohol was being consumed in the apartment, but refused to identify the others inside.


A juvenile girl joined Lea outside the apartment. Officers discovered she had an arrest warrant for Failure to Appear with an original charge of Resisting Arrest. When the officer attempted to arrest the juvenile, she resisted. Two males from inside the apartment came out and yelled at the officers. Then the male who'd been seen pushing Lea also joined in yelling at police, refusing to back up when ordered. Officers briefly detained him in handcuffs; Lea interfered and refused to obey commands while officers arrested the juvenile female.


Additional officers arrived, and witnessed two juveniles jumping out of the apartment's windows and attempting to flee. Lea and the juvenile were taken to patrol cars. Lea was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail, charged with Allowing Consumption by Minor on Property, and Interfering with a Police Officer. 


Once placed in the police vehicle, the juvenile continue to resist, and began kicking the interior of the patrol car. She was transported to the Deschutes County Juvenile Department. Once there, she began throwing bedding and spitting inside her cell. She has been charged with Failure to Appear/Resisting Arrest, Interfering with a Police Officer, and Resisting Arrest. She is 16 years old.

An Old Rape Case Sees a New Arrest

LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine man was arrested Thursday and charged with rape, nearly 20 years after the fact.

Bend Police Department Lieutenant JuliAnn McConkey says 47-year old Rusty Allen Pugh is accused of raping a woman 5 times nearly 20 years ago. "About 2 months ago, the detectives received a case regarding several rapes that had occurred in the early 2000s, and the rapes occurred for about 8 years or so, and the detectives located him."

Officers contacted Pugh during a traffic stop at Empire Avenue and the Northbound Parkway. He was arrested and jailed, but McConkey says there could be more to this case. "This was years ago that the first report was made, so we believe that there's other victims out there, as well, throughout the last 19 years." If you have information, or are a victim of Pugh's, McConkey encourages you to contact the Bend Police Department non-emergency dispatch. "They are looking for additional people who Mr. Pugh has been in contact with, because there are potential additional victims out there." 

Pugh is now in the Deschutes County Jail.


In Oregon, if a person is under 18 at the time of a rape, the statute of limitations remains in effect until they are 30 years old. Pugh's accuser is 23.

Ruptured Gas Line Prompts Evacuation

REDMOND, OR -- A contractor digging a post hole hit a natural gas service line Thursday morning, prompting an evacuation and a brief road closure in Redmond.

Battalion FIre Chief Jon Wood says, Redmond FIre and Rescue was called to Premier Auto Body and Paint on NE Fifth Street at 10:25 a.m. Cascade Natural Gas crews came and put a clamp on the line. Wood says it took about 15 minutes to fix it. Jackpine Court was closed during the repairs.


A damaged gate was being replaced for Premier Auto Body and Paint. Wood says he's not sure the contractor had called 8-1-1 to locate any lines in the area before dig.

Man Arrested for Trying to Hit Pedestrians

BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested Thursday morning in the Old Mill Box Factory after witnesses observed him trying to run over a woman riding a motorcycle. He was also seen deliberately attempting to hit pedestrians with his SUV.


21-year-old Cameron Hall was contacted by Bend Police, but ran from the traffic stop. After a short pursuit, he was captured at Bond Street and Franklin Avenue. He damaged a police car after being taken into custody.


He faces several charges including Attempted Assault, DUII, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Fleeing or Attempt to Elude Misdemeanor, Escape, Felony Arrest Warrant, Interfering with a Police Officer, and Criminal Mischief.


Hall was lodged in the Deschutes County Adult Jail.

Local Boy Scout Helps Animals At DCSO Ranch

BEND, OR -- Farm animals, rescued from hoarding situations or being kept as evidence, live in fields out at the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Ranch. But now, thanks to a Boy Scout, Mithcell White, they have covered enclosures.


Sergeant William Bailey says White spearheaded creating covered areas and climbing apparatus for the livestock as part of his Eagle Scout Project. "He identified this problem we had with shelter, and being able to expand some of our pastures, and house more and a different variety of animals. He worked with his Boy Scout Troop 25 to build these shelters for our animals."


The Boy Scouts were able to get the supplies to build the enclosures donated, and they provided the labor. The rescued sheep and goats who live on the ranch, now have covered enclosures, and places to climb. Bailey says making sure there's space for every animal who needs it has not always been easy. "We never know what animals we're going to get, or how many, and so we always want to be prepared, and this young man, Mitchell White, was aware of our ranch, and he was looking for a project working toward his Eagle Scout. He worked with his Boy Scout troop to build these shelters for our animals."


Bailey says the ranch is mostly wide open, and had a limited number of sheltered pastures ... he says the new spaces will make it easier to take in more rescues, should the need arise. "The new shelters are in some of our shelter open areas, pastures on the East side of the ranch, which allows us to spread out animals, feed and comfort, they can spread out a little bit. So, if we were to end up with another large seizure, we have more pasture, more areas now, where we can house animals on the ranch."


The D-C-S-O ranch is currently home to 90 horses, sheep, goats, ducks, and even a few roosters ... to adopt an animal from the Sheriff's Office, go to sheriff dot deschutes dot o-r-g.


MAC Director Sentenced To Jail

MADRAS, OR -- The former Madras Aquatic Center Director will serve 30 days in jail for theft. 39-year old Joseph McHaney pleaded 'No contest' in Jefferson County Circuit Court to 3 counts of theft, 3 counts of computer crimes, and 1 count of official misconduct. He has also been ordered to pay back $7,353 in restitution.

McHaney was charged in March for stealing money from the MAC and from the Jefferson County Kids Club. Investigators from the Oregon Department of Justice concluded he did so, mostly, by voiding cash transactions and pocketing the money.


The MAC placed McHaney on Paid Administrative leave in April and fired him in June. McHaney had been named Outstanding Director of the Year by the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in 2017. 

North Corridor Project To Begin in Late 2020

BEND, OR -- The Oregon Department of Transportation has a plan to move the Bend North Highway East, closer to the railroad tracks, and the recent $60 million Federal grant from the Department of Transportation, means work could start sooner than expected.


ODOT’S Peter Murphy says they've started the process of figuring out how to allocate those funds. "The money has to be allocated, not necessarily spent, but allocated, by this time next year, which means we have to have our act together, and be able to identify where those funds are going to go. So, that's pretty quick, in ODOT terms, to have a $60 million grant that we have to put to use in about a year." Murphy says the funds must be allocated by this time next year. "We're going to put it to use on the Bend North Corridor project to move the current highway up on the north side of Bend a little bit to the East, closer to the railroad tracks. And, ti's got a whole lot of, we'll call them, 'spaghetti connections' that move people onto Highway 20, onto what would be onto the new 3rd Street, or a similar name, and then, onto the Highway itself. It's a big project."


Murphy says the work could begin by this time next year. "That process is unfolding. The City and the County are our partners, they've contributed funds to the project, as well.  So, the good news is that it is going to accelerate some changes, the bad news is, watch for those changes coming up in your driving pattern."

The North Corridor project will move the current Highway on the North side of Bend to the East, closer to the railroad tracks, and simplify the connections to the area's various routes.

BLP Schools Construction To Finish By First Day

BEND, OR -- More than 20 projects are underway this summer at various schools in the Bend La Pine District, And Executive Director of Facilities, Mike Tiller, says they'll be wrapped up by the first day of school. Tiller says big and small changes have been made, designed to improve area kids' educational experiences. "We're in a good spot, there's a lot of work still ongoing, but we will be open and ready for the start of school."

The biggest projects are the completion of Bend's newest Elementary school, North Star, the start of construction on the new high school, and Phase 2 of the Pilot Butte Middle School renovation. Marshall High School also just got 2 more CET classrooms and a gym. But, Tiller says there's been a lot of general maintenance projects going on, too. "We've got roofing work going on at 5 different locations, paving projects at another 5 or 6 locations, we're doing a lot, all across the District."


Tiller, says each of the schools being worked on has its own personality, and all work must be personalized to enhance the individual school's atmosphere and spirit. "One of the best things, from my standpoint, is our community has always supported the preservation of our existing assets, and that's what we're doing with the bulk of these projects." Of the many projects already underway, Tiller says they're making good progress. "We think, right now, we're about 60% of the way through."

Tiller says in addition to small projects like roofing and paving, several big projects have been completed like Bend's newest Elementary school, North Star, and Phase 2 of the Pilot Butte Middle School renovation. Tiller says they've been working on more than 20 big and small projects this summer, and the smaller ones will definitely be wrapped up in time for the first day of school. "So, the roofing projects and the paving projects are virtually complete, they're just putting the finishing touches on them. If you drive down 27th street, you can see roofing work going on right there at Mt. View High School that's not quite done, but we anticipate it'll be done in the next 2 weeks.


Voters approved a 5-year bond to fund more than 150 projects in 2017. Tiller says they've completed roughly 60% of them.

Three Lives Taken in Single Vehicle Crash

EAGLE CREST, OR -- All 3 occupants of an SUV died Tuesday morning in a crash that impeded traffic on Highway 126 for about 90 minutes, near Eagle Crest. 

According to State Police, the SUV was headed West on the highway and left the roadway for an unknown reason, striking a driveway abutment.

Oregon State Police and Redmond Police Department responded around 11:30 am, to the intersecton of 126 and Eagle Crest Boulevard.

The 3 were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was Kenneth Vaughn, 69 of Redmond, and his passengers were 63-year-old Sheryl Vaughn and 33-year-old April Vaughn.


OSP was assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond Fire Department, and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Job Growth Slows Across All Three Counties

CENTRAL OREGON -- Central Oregon has been consistently growing, with record low unemployment across all three counties, but the expansion trend is slowing. Regional Economist Damon Runberg says professional services and tourism industries both saw fewer jobs, with employers hiring at a slower pace. "I might not call it the peak, but we're approaching, or maybe we're at a new peak for this business cycle. That's not to say recession's around the corner, it just means we're no longer seeing that energy, that hiring energy in the economy that we were accustomed to for, Gosh, 8 or 9 years."

Crook and Jefferson counties saw their jobless rates drop a tenth of a point from June to July. Deschutes' rate stayed the same. "Mostly seasonal industries are just hiring, or did hire, at a slower pace this summer than they did last summer. It's just, we're entering a new phase where hiring demand is lower. By the way, for those of you looking for a job, it's going to be increasingly difficult to find, sort of, 'the perfect job' out there."

Deschutes County shed 160 jobs last month, Jefferson County lost 90, but Crook added 30. Runberg says these numbers are fairly typical for this time of year. He says we're not isolated from global goings-on, and uncertainty could be making some employers slower to hire. "We're not talking recession, we're just saying businesses are not seeking to hire to the extent that we're accustomed to, and that's just important for all of us who are workers, laborers in the economy to understand that we're hitting a new phase in the business cycle right now."

For July, Deschutes County's jobless rate remained unchanged, at 4.2%. Crook County came in at 5.6%, and Jefferson County's unemployment was 5.4%.


A Fire Costs a Family Their Home

BEND, OR -- Shortly after midnight Tuesday, a family evacuated their burning home. Bend Fire Department received several 911 calls, and when they responded, the house was already fully involved. 


Crews worked for nearly an hour to fully contain the fire, but the home suffered an estimated $650,000 loss. The family lost the majority of their belongings, and also their vehicle.


The home is located on Golden Meadow Loop. Fire crews were assisted by the Bend Police Department. 


The cause is still under investigation.

A Yak Attack Could Cost 9-1-1 Millions

REDMOND, OR -- The wife of a Redmond man, gored by his yak in August of 2017, is suing Deschutes County 911.

According to Oregon Live, 39-year-old Brian Wing of Redmond called 911 after he was attacked by the yak and moaned in pain, but was unable to describe his emergency. The dispatcher pinged his location and called him back, but did not send an ambulance. 

He was found by his wife, Valerie Wing, approximately 9 hours after the initial call. She called 911 again, and an ambulance arrived within minutes, but Wing died from his injuries. 

Mrs. Wing is suing for $7 million. Deschutes County 911 says they’re working with legal counsel to evaluate the lawsuit and respond.

Builders Trapped When Building Collapses

REDMOND, OR -- Builders, working on a Redmond Construction site, were injured when the building's trusses collapsed on them.

Workers told rescuers they heard a loud, cracking noise, then the trusses that had already been installed all fell, pinning and trapping 2 workers who'd been using a scissor lift. One was able to get himself out from under the collapse.

Redmond Fire and Rescue worked to stabilize the trusses before the second worker could be rescued, he sustained minor injuries.


The building is located on Glacier and 15th in Redmond.

Oregon Senators Describe the Last Session

BEND, OR -- Bend State Senator Tim Knopp says the Republican walkout, that occurred in Oregon's last legislative session, to protest of Cap and Trade, was totally justified. He explained how rural residents would have to carry a disproportionate share of the expense, if the Cap and Trade bill were allowed to pass the legislature. "We were quite unhappy with what they wanted to do, and our constituents said, 'do whatever you can to stop this bill,' and so, that's really what it was about." Cap and Trade doesn't lead to a healthier planet, Knopp claims, and that's why the Republicans denied Quorum to keep it from passing. He says improving the environment needs to be a District by District issue - the same solutions won't work for the different areas of Oregon where geography and infrastructure can vary widely. 


State Senator Herman Baertschiger says relying on Cap and Trade to solve the problems with the environment won't work. He says replacing fossil fuels is the most plausible step, and giving people a reason to try something new should be a priority. "The State should start looking at how to incentivize that, and embrace that, especially as new technology comes forward, with clean energy. And I think we can do it in a way that doesn't turn our economy upside down." He says one obvious way is through electric cars. He says the vehicles are getting better all the time, and many Oregonians should be able to use that technology. Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants 20,000 electric cars on the road by 2020, but Baertschiger says that many is unlikely.

Senator Herman Baertschiger says he's not positive Cap and Trade will come back to the floor any time soon, even though Oregon's Governor Kate Brown is determined to see it passed. "You know, I've had some conversations with the Governor and the Senate President last week, and I don't know. I really can't tell you what they're going to do, because I don't think they know what they're going to do right now." The Republican walkout created a Denial of Quorum, which made it impossible for the Democrat Super Majority to vote on the bill


But, Knopp says the last session wasn't all just about the Republican walkout. He says bipartisanship prevailed in the passing of Kaylee's Law, the Redmond Affordable Housing Act, and working toward an Oregon with less dependence on fossil fuels. He admits there were disappointments, too. "And there were other things that were bipartisan that were pretty major issues in the legislature, and it just so happened, that on a couple of these pretty significant ones, the majority decided that they wanted to just enact their agenda, and our constituents don't necessarily agree with that agenda, and so we have to do everything that we can do to have our voices heard."

Hamby Road and Hwy 20 to Get a Roundabout

BEND, OR -- The intersection of Highway 20 and Hamby Road on the East side of Bend will get a major reconstruction. The Deschutes County Commissioners Monday approved a plan to partner with the Oregon Department of Transportation and contribute $500,000 to redesign the intersection, and purchase right-of-way.

Commissioner Tony DeBone says the intersection has been a problem for a long time, with many accidents and some fatalities in the last few years. "So, it's already in our capital improvement plan, Gantt chart of the future, so we're scheduled for spending these dollars, so I don't see any downside in approving it."

The project is estimated, at this early stage, to cost about $4.4 million - ODOT has $3.9 million approved to build the roundabout, but the money is not yet available. Commissioner Patti Adair says it's time to take action. "I believe I went through that intersection and there was a fatality, maybe last year, that same day that I went through it, so it's really critical. What? Two fatalities in the last 5 years, but a lot of accidents there, so the sooner we get going with that project, the better it is."

Construction on the project is slated to begin in late 2021. According to ODOT, About 7,500 vehicles use that stretch of the Highway daily.


Thornburgh Resort Revisited by Commissioners

REDMOND, OR -- 14 years after plans first started, a planned resort West of Redmond may have a chance to get built. In 2017, the Thornburgh Resort project was halted due to concerns it would negatively impact Wychus Creek, and the record closed. 

The Deschutes County Commissioners decided Monday to approve a reopening of the record. Their decision makes it possible for a LUBA hearings officer, that's the Land Use Board of Appeals, to revisit the remand.


The Recession,  neighbor opposition, and bankruptcy has plagued the project, putting the completion of the 1,000 homes, 475 overnight units, and 3 golf courses on the 1,970 acre resort, in question.

The area is near the Cline Buttes, surrounded by public land, primarily BLM, with Eagle Crest Resort on the North end.

Crook County Makes a Land Purchase

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Crook County School District is in escrow, buying the acre plus next door to the High School. The School Board voted unanimously to purchase the land for $300,000. The District's Holly Scholz says owning the piece of property gives them options. "We thought it was a good opportunity to purchase. We don't have a specific use in mind, but it does give us many options. Our population for the High School has not grown enough that we need to expand, but we just wanted to have some options in case we do need to expand. It's not every day that the land right next to a high school comes up for sale, so we wanted to take that opportunity while we had the chance."

Scholz says they don't have a specific plan for the land. "It could be anything from a parking lot, to possibly expanding the Career and Technical Education aspect at the high school, but really right now, we're really just securing that purchase and the ideas for what it will be used for will come in the future."

The student body hasn't grown enough to warrant a larger building at this point, but they're also considering holding the land in case the need for future expansion arises. Escrow closes Friday.

Mass Transit Meets Mobility Hubs

BEND, OR -- Cascades East Transit met with the neighbors of their Hawthorne Station Hub Monday to discuss short, mid, and long-term solutions they think will help the line keep up with growth over the next 22 years.

Andrea Breault, with CET, says one solution they're pursuing is the concept of satellite hubs, that would serve all different kinds of transportation, and Cascades East Transit is trying to be transparent in where the plan is leading. "This plan will not exactly identify a particular intersection or street for a future site. It will be a conglomerate of information on the capacity of the area of Central Oregon, in conjunction with a lot of other property and facility needs that we have throughout the region, not just the City of Bend."

For CET, Breault says, it's about creating a way for the transportation system to grow with the region and meet its needs not just in the immediate, but for decades. They're working with everyone in the neighborhood, and law enforcement, to create solutions that will work. "Short and mid-term solutions revolve around the safety of that corridor, and what we can do to better utilize that area that we have right now, add pedestrian safety components and increased security, and then the long-term projects and planning that's going on in the area, the future of the capacity of that station, and the concept of mobility hubs." Mobility hubs are satellite stations that meet more than one kind of transportation need, bike share, scooters, pickup and drop off loading zones for rideshare and personal car, as examples, and CET is hopeful these hubs would reduce the traffic at their hub. "All modes of transportation would come in to help with the first and last mile surrounding a lot of modes of transit, and working with the city to see if that could help increase 'Choice Riders,' as well as reduce capacity at Hawthorne Station, itself."

The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council will vote on whether to accept the plan in March of 2020.


Bend PD Sends Officers to Help During Protests

BEND, OR -- A protest and a counter-protest took place in Portland Saturday, and Bend Police Department was on hand to help. Bend Police Chief, Jim Porter, says the agencies always try to help when they hear of a need. "When they requested assistance, we were able to provide 5 officers, a Sergeant, and a Lieutenant. their main function will be to act as a backup element to Portland's Emergency Services Team." He says Portland needed help from several agencies, because they have a very active populace. "People are willing to get out and protest, and march. And sometimes, it's a challenging environment to police in."

Porter says some complain about Bend's tax dollars going to help Portland, but Portland's tax dollars are spent here in Bend when they help with training. "We're a small state, we all have limited resources, limited equipment, and limited staffing, and the more we can share this expertise, and share the equipment, the more it actually saves tax dollars, and also it makes it a safer environment." He says, every police agency steps up whenever another calls for help, and in the end, that saves the taxpayers money. "We often share resources so we save tax dollars, we share equipment, saving tax dollars, and this is another one of those cases, where they needed extra assistance, so we were more than willing to go up there and help them with their needs."

The protests were well attended, and Porter says being part of keeping everyone safe is rather a thankless job in situations like that. "It's just the nature of the beast in what we do, and it's specifically amplified in the Portland Metro area, the negativeness that comes toward the law enforcement up there. No matter what Portland does, either they not going to act quick enough, or they're going to act too quickly, depending on which side of the street you're standing on."


Two people were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center, nine were criminally cited and released, and two juveniles were referred to the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Juvenile Services Division. 


Photo Courtesy of FoxNews


Injured Climber Rescued from Smith Rock

SMITH ROCK, OR -- A climber is rescued from the Dihedrals Climbing Area at Smith Rock State Park.

A Deschutes County Sheriff's Deputy and Search and Rescue volunteers, Redmond Fire And Rescue, and State Parks Staff responded to the park at about 2:49 pm Friday.

The climber, Luke Wilson of California, had fallen from the rock face. He was caught by his climbing protection, but swung hard into the wall, causing significant damage to one of his legs on impact.

Medics treated him at the scene, then loaded him into a wheeled litter. He was taken by ambulance to St Charles Medical Center, Bend. 

Natural Resources Expert Runs for Secretary of State

BEND, OR -- Jamie McLeod Skinner isn't new to politics - She ran against Congressman Greg Walden for District 2's seat in 2018, and now she's planning a run for Secretary of State in 2020. "Really building, and rebuilding, public trust, ensuring safe, and secure, and fair elections, the audit process so that accountability for government spending, and ensuring public safety through how resources are spent."

She's an attorney and Natural Resources Consultant and Oregon's public lands are important to her. "A lot of folks don't know about the public lands role, and serving on the State Lands Board, and so my background in natural resources and water really ties in well with that."


McLeod-Skinner says she learned a lot about what Oregonians want when she was campaigning against Walden. "What I've seen and heard from folks is real concerns about the urban rural divide, and concerns about the sense of a growing gap between Oregonians." She is also interested in improving economic Development in Oregon and solving some of Oregon's complex challenges. "People's confidence in one's ability to listen, and hear, and work effectively with people across our state, and across the political and urban and rural divide, is I think, a really important part of that role." She says the Secretary of State's position covers everything from elections security to public lands to small business registries, as well as helping determine how many representatives the state will have. "The Secretary of State is the backdrop for redistricting, and we will see that come up after the 2020 Census."


She can't file and officially announce her candidacy before mid-September. Current Secretary of State Bev Clarno was appointed by Governor Kate Brown to finish the late Dennis Richardson's term and is not running for election.

Theft Suspect Brought Down by K-9 Officer

BEND, OR -- A Bend man wanted on multiple theft charges ran when officers came to his home Thursday.

Bend Police Department Lieutenant Juliann McConkey says 24-year-old Taylor Steven Connelly was considered dangerous. "He has previously said that he would point firearms at officers to avoid being arrested, and that's why it was such an imperative that we get him into custody."

McConkey says, in his attempt to elude officers, Connelly took them on quite a chase. "So, once the officers tried to contact him at the house on SE Yew avenue, he took off running and they chased him. Of course, he went across SE 3rd Street and all the way over to the Bus Barn, which is on 2nd Street."

Officers deployed a flash bang in an attempt to slow Connelly, but he managed to escape it. So, K-9 Rony was released into the area where Connelly had fled, and brought him down. "K-9 Rony was deployed and he ended up biting Mr. Connelly and they were able to get him under arrest."

Connelly was treated for the non life-threatening bites he received from Rony at St. Charles Medical Center.  It is not known if he had a gun on him at the time of his arrest. He has been charged with multiple counts of theft, both physical and identity, resisting arrest, and drug charges. He is lodged at the Deschutes County Adult Jail.


Unleashed Dog Leads to Arrest

REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man was arrested Wednesday, following a scuffle with police. 

Two Redmond Police officers approached a man at Sam Johnson Park to discuss his unleashed dog, and he refused to speak to them. After an unheeded warning, they proceeded to arrest 25-year-old Darian Belles for Interfering with a Peace Officer. 

Belles resisted. Officers Bryan Holman and Chris Wooten tasered Belles, whom they say attempted to grab the Taser and use it on them. Belles was struck in the head twice, ending his attempt to control the Taser, and was eventually secured into custody.

Both officers were wearing body cams and the recorded footage will be sent to the Deschutes County District Attorney's office for review. Belles was charged with Interfering with a Peace officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct, Attempted Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Attempted Unlawful Use of a Stun Gun, and Criminal Mischief.

Orman Named EdCo Director for South County Cities

LA PINE, OR -- Scott Orman has been named Economic Development Director for Sunriver and La Pine through EdCo - Economic Development for Central Oregon. "La Pine is the youngest City in the State of Oregon, and they're a little bit behind in terms of how they navigate and where they are in comparison to Bend or Redmond, but the opportunities here are greater than anywhere else in Central Oregon."

His position has always been part time before now. He's looking forward to working full tiem, helping the area grow. "There's a lot of little things that I'll be able to work with the community leaders here to do, in addition to, my primary focus, which is bringing new businesses to La Pine." Orman intends to focus on Community assists, capitalizing on what makes Sunriver and La Pine so attractive to new businesses. He lives in Sunriver, and believes La Pine is Central Oregon's next great opportunity for growth. "We have low land prices, we have plenty of industrial spots available that are shovel ready for building, all the infrastructure's in place and we have two housing developments going up, and with the congestion of the Bend and Redmond areas, the overflow is going to end up here, and I just looked at that as an opportunity."

EdCo is committed to helping businesses move, start, and grow in Central Oregon. Orman intends to focus on how EdCo can help support the leadership and residents of La Pine and Sunriver, to make sure smart decisions are made as growth is happening.


Local 8th Graders Get Acquainted with High School

BEND, OR -- Local high schools are opening their doors to incoming freshmen this week as part of Bend-La Pine Schools’ Base Camp.  About 180 kids are meeting their new teachers, touring schools, and learning how to become successful freshman.


Steph Bennett, of Bend LaPine Schools, is the coordinator for Base Camp. "By having that base and that foundation, when they walk in the door, they're not just walking into school like a deer in the headlights. They're actually going to go in very prepared."

Bennett says if a 9th grader succeeds, they're much more likely to stick with school all the way through to graduation. "What we know is that if a freshman fails any class their freshman year, they're always trying to catch up, but if they do really well their freshman year and they pass all their classes and they get the rhythm of high school, they do much better." She says Base Camp helps get them the information they need before what can be a hectic first day of school. "It's kind of a big transition time for them and so it's a really healthy way to start."

The kids have the chance to meet their teachers and spend time with them, learn how their new high school is laid out, and learn what classes they'll be taking.

An Events Pavilion May Be Added to a Popular Venue

REDMOND, OR -- The Juniper Golf Course, already a popular Redmond venue, could be getting a new addition - an events pavilion.


Annie McVay, Redmond Parks Director, says leadership wanted to reevaluate Juniper and see how it's meeting the community's needs, when the idea of adding a larger events venue to the property came up. "There is a restaurant out there now that handles a lot of events, but it is kind of small, so the idea of having a larger event pavilion where we could do larger weddings and other events like that might be sort of a catalytic change for Juniper Golf Course."

Tuesday night, the Redmond City Council decided to study the cost and impact of the proposed pavilion over the next year or so, do targeted market research, and determine demand. "We want to understand what our events pavilion would look like, howmuch it would cost, and then also, would it get the use that we think it will get. It's really an exciting idea and Juniper Golf Course is a beautiful setting for an events center."

City Council will revisit the idea after the market research phase is completed. If approved, the events pavilion would enter design phase and funding. 

Hail Devastates Local Hemp Farmers

TUMALO, OR -- Severe thunderstorms brought golf ball-sized hail last weekend, and devastated acres of growing hemp. Matt Cyrus, of Triple C Farms says that hail storm could cost farmers millions. "In lost production value, my best estimate is that there were somewhere between 4 and 500 acres that were affected by the storm, of hemp. My guess is it's somewhere between 20 and 25 million dollars in lost value at what they would have harvested."

According to Cyrus, hemp is the number one crop in Oregon, bringing in over a Billion dollars in income. "Dollars and cents-wise, hemp is an expensive crop to raise, and so those who've got complete losses are going to have a significant total loss, certainly on their income side, and outright cost of production." He says that means money that Central Oregonians won't see. "Currently, there's 60,000 registered acres in Oregon, and the total value of the hemp industry in Oregon is expected to top a billion, probably closer to 1.5 billion."

Hail is so destructive because it strips the leaves off the plants, and Cyrus says hemp relies on numerous leaves to contribute to the plants' biomass.

Cyrus is the President of the Deschutes County Farm Bureau. He says he and the Deschutes County Sheriff's office emergency management division are working together to bring in disaster relief funds for the affected farmers. 

Redmond Revisits Their Hemp Regulations

REDMOND, OR -- Industrial hemp farmers in Redmond will soon have amended time, place, and manner regulations for their crops. Since the 2018 Farm Bill classified hemp as a crop, the Redmond City Council set forward their amendments that will allow for the processing of industrial hemp.


John Roberts, Deputy City Manager, says Councilors voted 6 to 1 to accept the amendments to the City Code at their meeting Tuesday. But, they won't go into effect immediately. "If the regulations were approved unanimously, the regulations would've gone into affect September 12th. However, because there was a dissenting vote, the ordinance needs to return to them next month, thus, effectively putting the regulations into play around October 12th." That second reading will take place on September 10th.

The 6 amendments to the ordinance clarify the area of the city where processing can take place, building specifications, odor and outdoor storage regulations, retail sales, and compliance to state and federal laws regarding hemp. The Redmond City Council voted 6 to 1 at their Tuesday meeting to approve amendments to their current time, place, and manner regulations regarding hemp. "The first one is to allow for the processing only in the M-2 Heavy Industrial Zone, second is processing be conducted in a permanent and enclosed structure that requires a building permit, third: odor is not detectable from the property line, fourth: no outdoor storage allowed, fifth: on allowing limited retail sales, and then the sixth is that the business stay compliant with existing and changing State and Federal laws."

Roberts says he doesn't think anything will change for the Councilors with a second reading. "It goes back to them September 10th, they reread the ordinance for adoption, and they take another vote. I'm making the assumption the vote will be the same."


The soonest the ordinance changes could go into effect will be October 12th.

Pedestrian Struck on Hwy 97 Is Identified

MADRAS, OR -- A pedestrian died while crossing Highway 97 last night near milepost 108.


On Wednesday, March 14, 2019, at approximately 9:20 P.M. Oregon State Police and Emergency Personnel responded to a vehicle crash. Their investigation shows a commercial motor vehicle stopped on the Northbound shoulder and its operator got out and started to cross the road. 


28-year-old Megan Kelly of Bend was traveling southbound, and struck the pedestrian.


The pedestrian sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Their name will be released when next of kin has been notified. Kelly was transported to St. Charles in Bend.


OSP was assisted by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Medical Services, and ODOT.


UPDATE: 08/16/2019 The pedestrian who died has been identified as Sarabjit Singh (66) of Kent, WA.

Dog Attack Leaves One Dead, Another Quarantined

BEND, OR -- A dog on dog attack left one dog with fatal injuries and the other quarantined. The attacking dog's owner, Phillip Briley, has been cited for Animal at Large and Nuisance Animal, civil infractions that carry fines.


Sergeant William Bailey says the owner of the whippet mixed-breed dog who was killed says she and her dog were about to leave Reynolds Pond near Alfalfa when a pitbull attacked her pet. Bailey says they've found that dog. "We do believe that the dog we've located, the 7-year-old dog named Lily is the suspect dog that attacked the other dog out at Reynolds Pond, and we still need to do some more background investigation to determine if there's any other history, other acts of aggression, other incidents where this dog has attacked either another dog, or another animal, or bitten another person." The attack lasted nearly an half hour, with the owners and witnesses trying to free the smaller dog, unsuccessfully. It was taken to a veterinary emergency room, and had to be euthanized due to severe injuries. "Lily has been placed into a 10-day quarantine, because that same day, she did bite the victim dog's owner, during this dog attack."


Bailey says during the suspect dog's 10-day quarantine, deputies are investigating her background. The statute for determining how severe the consequences for the attacking dog can be is clear - serious physical injury or death to a person, or prior incidences of aggression. "So that's that prior incidences that we're looking into, we're reviewing information, talking to people to see if there are other prior incidents where this dog would meet the definition of a dangerous dog." 


Bailey says the Department is investigating all leads, and once the investigation is complete, a judge will determine any consequences.

Early Morning Crash Takes Bend Man's Life

BROTHERS, OR -- A Bend man was killed in a motor vehicle collision, early Wednesday morning, just West of Burns. The crash occurred at about 4:30 a.m. and shut down the highway for several hours. 

According to State Police, 77-year-old Nicholas Fagen was traveling West in his Ford F-350, hauling a 40' gooseneck trailer, carrying two other pickups when, for an unknown reason, His Ford became disabled and he pulled over, partially blocking the Westbound lane.

He was outside the truck, working under the hood, when his vehicle was struck by a Kenworth, operated by Lloyd Theen, a 69-year-old Winlock, Washington man. Theen's Kenworth pushed both the 350 and the trailer off the road and onto the shoulder, killing Fagen. Fagen's passenger, Danny Reinhart, 61, was treated for minor injuries.


Theen was not injured in the crash. 100 to 125 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the roadway and into the nearby ditch, resulting in a Haz-mat cleanup.


Oregon State Police Troopers and Emergency Personnel responded.


Image courtesy of Oregon State Police.

Dumped Ashes Burn An Acre in Madras

MADRAS, OR -- An acre of grass, sage and jumper near City View and B streets in Madras was burned Tuesday after dumped ash from a burn barrel ignited.

Jefferson County Fire responded and two crews battled the blaze, it was an half acre when they started, but doubled in size before they were able to put it out.


Crews stayed for 4 hours doing mop up and checking for hot spots. There were no injuries. 

Breese-Iverson Sworn in for District 55

DISTRICT 55, OR -- One of Central Oregon's newest lawmakers was sworn in Tuesday.


District 55 Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson says she was honored to be given the oath of office by her longtime friend, Secretary of State, Bev Clarno. She plans to get right to work. "Getting to know my District very well, and frankly, just want to see how our District's working together and see how we can represent them in Oregon and talk about local control."

Breese-Iverson is a business owner and realtor, and she believes the skills she's learned growing her professional life will stand her in good stead in Oregon's fractured legislature. "Problem solving is Number 1 in being a realtor, and I do look forward to using those skills in conversations in Salem."


She's taking over mid-term for Mike McLane who retired in July, and she wants to continue his good communication, listening, and problem solving practices for District 55. That starts, Breese-Iverson says, with the County Commissioners from each of the 5 counties District 55 encompasses. "My experience thus far with the local leadership throughout the District has been phenomenal. They're a great group of Commissioners. I look forward to meeting more of the leadership, but the ones that I have met have been very open for communication, which is going to be key in making a difference for them in Salem."


Breese-Iverson wants to use her experiences as a rancher, community leader, and real estate broker to help build a collaborative experience for District 55. It's a large district, and she plans to work hard to represent it. "I want to advocate for the hard-working families of house district 55! I hope I can do as good of a job and build on the success that he's created down here and I do feel like I've got some experience to bring to Salem."


District 55 covers all of Crook County, and parts of Deschutes, Jackson, Klamath, and Lake Counties. 

Trailer Fire Sends One to the Hospital

MADRAS, OR -- An unoccupied trailer caught fire Monday in the Green Spot Mobile Home Park in  Madras.

Jefferson County Fire was dispatched, and found light grey smoke coming out under the eaves of the trailer, but no visible flames. The crew quickly found and extinguished the fire. 


The trailer was empty, and the fire cause is under investigation. One person was transported via EMS for smoke inhalation. 

Local Man Sentenced to Federal Prison

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man will spend the next 18 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years’ supervised release. 

33-year-old Michael James Friesen was sentenced for conspiracy to transfer and unlawful possession of a machine gun. 


In May and June of 2018, Friesen agreed to broker the sale of a machine gun for 38-year-old Prineville man John Widener Jordan, and discussed the sale with an undercover ATF agent posing as a purchaser. 


Friesen met with the agent at a Prineville motel room and transacted the sale for 3,000 dollars. Jordan allegedly also met with the agent and paid Friesen for arranging the sale. 

Friesen pleaded guilty - Jordan is awaiting trial.

Prineville's Roundabout Gets a Makeover

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Work begins Wednesday on a curb reconstruction project for the Tom McCall Roundabout.

Peter Murphy from the Oregon Department of Transportation says the Tom McCall Roundabout was the first of its kind in Central Oregon, and was a learning experience. "What we've learned was that having vertical curbs can cause problems, particularly for trucks, who are trying to navigate that roundabout. So, what we decided was having a mountable, kind of an angled, curb, is much better."

Crews will only be working Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7 pm to 7 am, and Murphy says that could mean construction could last awhile. "It's, really, relatively speaking, kind of a small job, but the way we have to kind of squeeze it in with our contractor, it means it's going to take a couple of weeks, maybe even 4 to 5 weeks to get the job done." 

He says the work is necessary because, while the roundabout only opened in June of 2018, it has proven to be less easy to navigate than ODOT had hoped. "The idea at the time was a vertical curb, well that doesn't work, trucks have to go up and over that, so a mountable one works a lot better for the freight industry, and it actually works better for everybody when it comes to winter and icy conditions out there."

The work is expected to cost $185,000, which ODOT will cover.


Bend Fire Has Its First Female Fire Battalion Chief

BEND, OR -- It's a first - Bend Fire has a new Battalion Fire Chief, and she's a woman. Patricia Connolly has been part of the Bend Fire Department for 19 years. "I was hired as a firefighter in 2000 and I've been promoted up the ranks. My last held position was as Captain. And before I worked for the Fire Department, I was a wildland firefighter for 5 years, so I've really kind of grown up in this industry."

Battalion Fire Chief Dave Howe says the Fire Department is doing a lot of promoting from within, as they move deserving people up the ladder. "So, we have quite a bit of movement going on in our department right now. It's really, really healthy for an organization to have this kind of movement, and we have the depth to do it, pretty seamlessly."

One of the biggest changes coming to Bend Fire is the retirement of longtime chief, Larry Langston - for the second time, and his job will be filled by new Chief, Todd Riley.


Connolly says the changes are good ones, and she's happy to be on the ground floor. "I love being a female in our industry, and I think it's really important that we have more women become firefighters, so I love talking to females about the fire service and becoming a firefighter." She says it's an exciting time at the department, because a lot of change is happening. "We have some big changes that are going to happen with our leadership team, and all positive, and we really have some talented people coming up through the ranks, so our city is in good hands, for sure."

A Promotion Celebration is planned in the next few weeks.

Kids Get to Be Deputies for the Day with the DCSO

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its Second Annual Deputy Day Camp. Nearly 200 kids went last year, and Sergeant William Bailey hopes even more can attend this time. The event lets young recruits catch an inside look at law enforcement. 

"School's out, and this is a great event to come down. They're welcome to walk around and do stations as many times as they want, parents can hang out, take photographs, participate, and just watch their kids' excitement as they become a junior deputy for that day." Kids will get to solve crimes, rescue someone, work with a K-9 officer, and dress like a Deputy.  And, they'll learn important lessons like firearm safety at the squirt gun firing range. "We have simulated traffic stops where they can talk on the radio, we have a Search and Rescue station where they can use some of the Search and Rescue gear and we have a Squirt Gun Range Course and then also talking about firearms safety. They can do some crime scene investigation, take photographs, and work to solve a crime with our detectives , and we also have K-9 on site for our K-9 demonstrations for the kids and their parents."

There are 2 chances for kids, aged 6 to 12 to have fun, learning how to become deputies. "We want to accommodate as may kids as we can. And so, we have 2 time slots, the morning is from 9 in the morning until noon, and then we have the afternoon from 1 until 3:30."

Bailey says there will also be SWAT vehicles on hand to tour, new surprises, and younger kids are welcomed, too. It helps kids and their parents see what the Sheriff's Office is all about, Bailey says, and it's good on-the-job training for future deputies. "You know, we are always looking for great teammates to join us, and I know the Sheriff is always recruiting, always looking and telling kids, 'Hey, when you turn 21, come apply with us at the Sheriff's Office'." Bailey wants kids to come to the second annual Deputy Day Camp so they can learn about law enforcement - how they show up when bad things happen, but when good things happen, too. "We're always looking for ways to find positive experiences where our deputies, and law enforcement in general, can interact with kids."

Everyone's welcome. The stations are set up to accommodate 6 to 12 year olds, but parents and younger kids can participate, too.

Fire Season is Just Beginning in the DNF

BEND, OR -- It's the start of fire season in the Deschutes National Forest, and Fire Managers are preparing to handle any wildfires sparked before snow hits. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Forest Service, says a lot of years there are already big fires by this time, and that may be why people think the fire season has been slow to start this year. "Oftentimes, we get some larger fires out in our shrub and grass and we didn't really see that this year. That's because it started warming in June, and then we had a fairly wet July."

Every year, she says, is different when it comes to carelessness and lightning, and there's no way to know if this could be a busy one. "We still have a lot of fire season left to go, and I would say we're more on-trend than really, slow, it's just we haven't had fires like we've had in recent years." She says this is really the time of year when things start to get busy. "We, in firefighting, tend to call it 'Dirty August,' because that's when, usually, we really see the most of fire season. so, we're still in it and still have a lot of lightning ahead of us."


She says crews are prepared for whatever is going to happen this season. "The reason that we have a fire adapted ecosystem is because we tend to get these lightning storms, we tend to get them in August, and we tend to get them along the crest of the cascades that acts as a lightning rod, and at this point, we're starting to see that activity." They're preparing their gear and studying the forecast. "We're still ready for fire season. We have resources responding to what's out there now, just making sure we're in good shape, and hope that we continue to get a lot of moisture with the lightning, when we do get lightning."

She says the current fires are contained. There are 3 new small blazes, one on private lands near Sisters, and the others are east of Prineville. Nelson Dean says Fire Crews' main job right now is patrolling for new fires and following up on smoke reports.

Abandoned Motor Home Catches Fire in NE Bend

BEND, OR -- A motorhome, abandoned in Juniper Ridge, was responsible for a column of black smoke seen coming from the undeveloped area in North Bend.


It was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on scene Sunday. The Bend Fire Department was called just before noon, and had some difficulty reaching the source of the flames due to the terrain. The motor home had been driven into a trench and appeared to have been stuck there for some time.


The owners of the vehicle couldn't be located at the time of the fire.

Woman Rescued After Fall Near No Name Lake

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue volunteers were at Broken Top Sunday afternoon to help an injured woman.


Mary Ortman was coming down the trail near No Name Lake when she fell. A Sheriff's deputy was able to make phone contact with Ortman's group about 3:00 as they made a careful descent to get their friend to medics.


After about 2 hours Ortman was met by the search party, treated for her injuries and taken to the Todd Lake trailhead in a wheeled litter to meet a waiting ambulance which took her to St. Charles hospital in Bend.


Ortman sustained serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Lightning Strikes Car, Sets Interior Ablaze

BEND, OR -- Lightning struck a parked car Friday, piercing the windshield and setting the interior on fire.

A neighbor heard a car alarm, and investigating, discovered the car’s shattered windshield and a fire inside - shortly afterward, the airbag deployed.

Deputy Fire Marshal Susie Maniscalco says crews were called to a car on fire outside a house on the South End of Bend about 5:45 pm on Friday. The car was unoccupied and the owners were out of town. The fire caused about $7,000 in damage to the car.

The strike was part of a severe lightning storm in the area Friday evening that also caused heavy rain, high winds, and hail.

A Train Derails Near Madras, No Injuries

MADRAS, OR -- A cargo train has derailed just North of Madras, near Gateway.

Gus Melonas from BNSF says the engineer noticed rocks on the track and went into emergency braking around 2:30 this morning. The train struck the rocks and the wheels were lifted off the tracks. He says 5 engines are derailed along with one railroad car. All the engines and rail cars are still upright.


Some diesel fuel has spilled from one of the engines, but hasn't gone near Trout Creek, and environmental agencies and protocol are being utilized to minimize any harm. 

Melonas says the tracks are being repaired and the boulders removed. Equipment is being transported from Pasco, Washington, to lift the train back onto the tracks. The route will be closed for 24 hours.


There were no injuries and vehicle traffic in the area is not affected.

Injured Hiker needed rescue on Broken Top

Deschutes County Search and Rescue volunteers were at Broken Top yesterday afternoon to help a woman who had fallen. Mary Ortman was coming down the trail near No Name Lake when she fell. A Sheriff's deputy was able to make phone contact with Ortmans group about 3 o'clock as they made a careful descent to get their friend to medics. After about 2 hours Ortman was met by the search party, treated for her injuries and taken to the Todd Lake trailhead in a wheeled litter to meet a waiting ambulance which took her to St. Charles hospital in Bend. Ortman sustained serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Flash Flooding Closes the Hwy Near Powell Butte

POWELL BUTTE, OR -- Powell Butte Highway saw dangerous flash flooding near Alfalfa.

Crook County Sheriff's Sergeant Mitch Madden says the Highway and surrounding roadways were closed for nearly 2 hours Thursday while the County worked to clear them. At least 10" of water was running down Powell Butte Highway, according to Madden, with a lot of debris. "There was a large amount of between basketball sized up to, oh, about 2 feet in diameter rock coming down SW Bussett Road. Came down the middle of the road."

At least one house was damaged by water and rocks, and Madden says flooding could continue to be a problem with thunderstorms expected in the forecast. "I just strongly urge people to turn around and not drown. Don't travel through water coming across the roadway, as you don't know how deep the water is or if the roadway, itself, is washed out."

The road reopened about 8:30 pm.


A Gas Line Rupture Closes Highway 97

MADRAS, OR -- Traffic was detoured and Highway 97 in Madras closed for nearly 90 minutes Thursday.


Jefferson County Fire Chief Brian Huff says he was called about a gas line rupture at Bi-Mart at 11:21 am. "It actually was across the parking lot, in front of East Cascades Veterinary Clinic, right on the corner of their property, and the highway." Huff says First Responders created a safety perimeter and started checking the nearby businesses in the Palisades Shopping Center. "There was a private contractor that was digging inthe corner there, they were looking for communications, and accidentally hit the gas line." The line had been located by Cascade Natural Gas prior to digging.


Law enforcement, firefighters, and CNG arrived, with the gas company capping off the leak and making the necessary repairs in under an hour. There were no injuries.

A Third Man is Arrested for the Bomb Hoax

BEND, OR -- A third suspect has been arrested by Bend Police as a 'Person of Interest' in the Bomb Threat Hoax at the Deschutes County Courthouse.

40-year-old William Swanson of Redmond is charged with Possession of a Hoax Device, Disorderly Conduct, and Criminal Conspiracy.The other 2 suspects, Jonathon Tyler Allen, 23, and Kellie Kent Cameron, 30, were arrested by Police during a traffic stop Saturday night. They and the Dodge Van they were driving were searched. The Deschutes County District Attorney's Office dropped all charges against Allen and Cameron Friday when the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon's office filed charges against them in Federal Court.

The Bomb Threat Hoax on July 29th closed several Downtown Bend streets for most of the work day. The Oregon State Police Explosives Unit used a water cannon to neutralize the device. It did not contain any explosive materials.


Swanson was previously arrested by the Redmond Police Department when he was clocked going 76 in a 35 mph zone and attempted to elude officers.

US Attorney Charges Bomb Hoaxters

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney's Office dropped all charges today against Jonathon Tyler Allen and Kellie Kent Cameron.

The 2 men are accused of Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Possession of a Hoax Device in connection with a suspicious package that was left on the Deschutes County Courthouse steps last week. 


DA John Hummel says he is handing the case over to the Feds because it's a serious offense when someone tries to disrupt the operations of a branch of government ... the case will now be tried by Federal Prosecutor Billy Williams. "The United States attorney for the District of Oregon just charged the Defendants federally. They've been charged with conspiracy to make a threat regarding explosive material, and also with false information, and hoaxes, which is a federal crime."

This does not apply to William Swanson of Redmond who was arrested in connection with this case Thursday. Swanson was previously arrested by the Redmond Police Department in April when he was clocked going 76 in a 35 mph zone.

DA: Redmond Police Did Not Use Excessive Force

REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County DA John Hummel has cleared Redmond Police officers of Excessive Force allegations, stemming from 5 arrests made in June. 


39-year-old Brett Blake is accused of nearly hitting a small child while driving drunk on June 29th. He was confronted by the child's parents, who were in turn confronted by 4 of Blake's friends or family members. Police arrived on scene and arrested 5 people, using force. The arrests were recorded and the videos shared on social media, with some people alleging that force was excessive. Hummel says he's watched them all, including those recorded by the Police. "So, I looked at every video that exists, read all the witness statements, and the accounts of the police officers, took into account what the suspects said, as well, of course, then at that point, you're driven by the facts and the law. and the facts and the law, in this case, indicate that the officers did not commit any crimes, so they weren't charged with any crimes."

After completing his investigation, he believes the Officers' use of force, at the time, was appropriate. "You could say, 'Alright, the officer had the right to use force because the suspect was being a bit aggressive, but that could mean that The OFFICER could get him in handcuffs and then beat them after they're cuffed. No. The officer could use the reasonable amount of force to subdue a person, and once they're in custody, handcuffed, and the threat is taken care of, then you can't continue to use force. And that's what I saw here." He continued, "The officers had a legal right to use force, because of some actions from the suspects. They used the appropriate amount of force, and once the suspects were in custody, no more force was used. And so, that's what happened here, so no crime committed by the officers."

5 people were arrested during that June 29th event, when an impaired driver was pulled over by Redmond Police, and the District Attorney's Office is pursuing charges against 4 of them: Cash Reece, Kameron Leisek, and Lorence Ortega are charged with Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Peace Officer, and Brett Blake was arrested for DUII, Reckless Driving, and 2 Counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

The Redmond Police department conducted an Internal Review of the allegations as well and concluded the force used by the Officers did not violate Redmond Police Department policies.

District 55 Has a New Representative

DISTRICT 55, OR -- Vikki Breese Iverson is the new Representative for Oregon's District 55.


Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone attended a meeting Thursday morning at the Crook County Courthouse, along with 12 of the 15 other County Commissioners who represent the 5 counties that make up District 55. He says some were there in person and others on the phone, and all went through an interview process with the 3 candidates that had been chosen earlier this month by Republican leadership from the 5 Counties - Vikki Breese Iverson, Peter Sharp, and Deborah Tilden.


DeBone says it was actually a unanimous decision to appoint Vikki Iverson, with even the other candidates supporting her.


Iverson is a real estate broker from Prineville, and experienced with working in the State Capitol in Salem, according to DeBone. He says she'll be an excellent Representative for the residents of Crook, Deschutes, Klamath, Jackson, and Lake Counties in the Oregon Legislature.


Iverson is taking over mid-term for Representative Mike McLane, who joined the 22nd Circuit Court as a judge in July. She will be eligible to run for District 55's Seat in 2020.

Man Gets Caught Invading a Woman's Privacy

BEND, OR -- A Redmond man was arrested after a woman caught him taking pictures up her skirt.


Bend Police Lieutenant Juli McConkey says 35 year old Jesse James Calkins has been charged with Invasion of Personal Privacy. "There was a woman who was cleaning out her car. And she noticed that somebody was unusually close to her. This guy was standing behind her and had a selfie stick with a phone attached to it, and was looking up her skirt."

McConkey says the woman confronted Calkins, and he left the area in his older model white Ford Escape before officers arrived. Police investigated and reviewed surveillance footage, identifying Calkins. He was arrested and taken to the Deschutes County Jail. "We are certain there are other victims, however uncertain that they've called in, and now we know who the suspect is, so hopefully, we can reach out to find other victims and put the pieces of the puzzle together."

This incident took place at the Empire Car Wash on July 17th. Contact the Bend Police Department if you have any information about this, or any other incident, involving Calkins.

Deschutes Commissioners Opt Out of Pot

DESCHUTES COUNTY -- Deschutes County Commissioners want voters to have a say regarding future recreational marijuana grows. During a public hearing Wednesday, the Board reviewed information that's been gathered in the last month, asking them to opt out, when it comes to marijuana.

Board Chair, Commissioner Phil Henderson, says they were planning to do their one-year review on regulations, but decided changing the rules wasn't going to fix the issue. "In the last two years, we've had a lot of challenges by people saying they want to get rid of the ability for the county to regulate marijuana at all, and by the same token, there's a lot unhappiness out there in the County with people who are faced with living next door."


Henderson says marijuana is a complicated issue because it's illegal on the federal level, legal on the state, and only half the major cities in Deschutes County allow its recreational sale inside their limits. But, he says the Commissioners unanimously agree - it's time the voters weighed in, as they're the most affected by the industry. "It'll be on the ballot, so you're going to have, for the first time, a vote by the residents of Deschutes County as to whether or not they want to allow marijuana grows throughout the County."


He says it's been an interesting 2 years in Deschutes County, as they try to make the new industry work for everyone. Many County residents attended Wednesday's meeting, and Henderson says marijuana has been a hot-button issue for the community ever since it was first legalized and the County decided to give it a go. "3 Commissioners in 2016 opted in, with all these regulations, and now, 3 commissioners are opting out, giving the vote to the residents of the County to decide themselves what they want to do. A kind of interesting twist."

Henderson says the official vote to opt out won't take place until August 19th, and it's likely the Commissioners will choose to invoke the emergency clause, meaning no applications accepted more than 30 days later, will be approved. Not many applications have come in to the County in recent months, as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates recreational pot grows, has delayed their application approval process. Henderson says 20 applications approved by the County have yet to make it through the OLCC.


Bend Fire Has Chosen Its New Chief

BEND, OR -- The City of Bend is getting a new Fire Chief.

Todd Riley has served with Bend Fire and Rescue for 16 years, after serving as a firefighter and paramedic in Sacramento. He's been Battalion Chief since April of 2016. As Chief, he's interested in improving the service they already provide. "Bend is continually booming, the streets are getting busier, the streets aren't getting bigger, so we have more cars on our streets, and we have to be able to navigate that to get to calls. Bend is growing up, right? Buildings are getting taller, and as we do that, that presents challenges to our fire fighters, so we need to stay on top of all of those changes." He wants to make sure the community knows the level of service won't change, just because there's a new chief. "The community still comes first. I will make it my mission to place the needs of the community at the forefront, and our Fire Department is here to serve them, and we will continue to be good stewards of the public's money, and continue to be innovative when that makes sense, and ultimately, everything that we do is aimed at the goal of providing excellent customer service."

Riley has more than 20 years of experience as a paramedic and firefighter, Engineer, Captain and Battalion Fire Chief and he's looking forward to continuing to serve the community, in a new capacity. "I feel two things at once. I'm very excited, but I'm also extremely humbled with the opportunity to lead the men and women of the Fire Department. I've worked here a long time and I hold these professionals in such high regard, There's really no better way, at least for me personally, to give back to them, than to be the Fire Chief." 

Riley replaces Chief Larry Langston who will retire October 11th, after serving as Chief since 1994. He'll be Bend Fire and Rescue's 6th Chief in its 100 year history.

OSU Cascades Kicks Off Expansion Project

BEND, OR -- Oregon State University Cascades kicked off Phase One construction of their new expansion plan at a ceremony in the old pumice mine Wednesday. "We were celebrating the next phase of our campus development, which involves taking a former pumice mine, which is about 150 feet deep, and raising the elevation of that and getting it ready to build campus buildings and develop a beautiful new campus."

As Vice President Becky Johnson told Central Oregon Daily, once the land in the former mine and landfill is prepped for development, the University will build a 50,000 square foot academic building outfitted for STEAM disciplines - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

Johnson said it would not have been possible without a $5 million anonymous gift, $1 million from Charles McGrath, Founder and President of Grace-Bio Labs, and other donors who contributed $9 million to match State funding.

The first phase of the project will also add an Amphitheater and Oval Green, improved infrastructure, nearby road improvements, and a new pedestrian and bike path from the new entrance on SW Simpson Avenue to SW Century Drive.

Construction could be finished by Summer of 2021.

A Madras Man Dies in a Rollover Crash

MADRAS, OR -- A 26-year-old man was killed Wednesday near Madras.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says Jose Torres Ramos was driving east on Elm Lane at a high rate of speed. For unknown reasons, he drifted onto the right shoulder, overcorrected, and rolled numerous times in a nearby alfalfa field.

Sheriff Jim Adkins says Ramos was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown about 50 feet from his car. First responders provided emergency care, and Air Life was directed to the scene.

Ramos died from his injuries before he could be transported.

Fire Crews Stay Busy with Small Lightning Fires

CENTRAL OREGON -- New fires, lightning holdovers, sparked by a lightning storm that passed through Central Oregon, Sunday, have kept local fire crews busy.


Most were held to less than a tenth of an acre – typically called a single tree fire – with a few that grew larger.


The Shady Grove Fire grew to 15 acres Monday, and a new start 26 miles east of Bend was discovered Tuesday. Crews responded quickly and have held that incident, the Kotzman Fire, to 40 acres.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Central Oregon through Saturday morning.

Construction Complete, Crook County's Jail is Open

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The new Crook County Jail opened Monday, and deputies walked the 19 inmates living in the old jail across the street to their new home.

Sheriff John Gautney called the transition an historic event for Crook County. The old jail had been used since 1968, and the new facility is modern, with technology designed to help Corrections Staff with safety and security.

Soon, the 26 Crook County inmates currently serving time in the Jefferson County jail will be transported to Prineville for the remainders of their sentences.


Crook County voters approved a $10 million bond measure in November 2016 to pay for the jail.

A Former Candidate Has Returned to Politics

BEND, OR -- Former Representative and Gubernatorial Candidate, Dr. Knute Buehler is working in politics again, but this time, he's fundraising for District 54 Representative, Cheri Helt, and her 2020 reelection campaign.

Buehler, who represented District 54 for 4 years, says it's been awhile since he talked to donors, but it's important to him that Helt keeps the seat. 54 has always been one of the most competitive districts in the state. "Overwhelming Democrat district now, which has been held by republicans most often, Republicans who are more independent-minded." He believes Helt's moderate viewpoints speak to Bend's independent voters, but he doesn't think 2020 will be as easy for her as 2018 was when the Democrat challenger was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal and the Working Party candidate was accused of lying in the Voter's Pamphlet. "I suspect there'll be a robust challenge by the Democrats, since it is such a Democratic advantage, registration advantage in the district now."


Buehler's belief is that Democratic advantage comes from gerrymandering. "The incumbents, who are in the legislature, draw their district boundaries safer and safer, so they have an easier time getting reelected." He says, drawing district lines in private doesn't properly represent citizens. "Unfortunately, it doesn't create enough competitive Districts so the voters don't have the advantage of hearing from 2 candidates on a regular basis." He's on a mission to bring transparency to drawing district lines, working on a measure that could be on the ballot by 2020 that would discourage gerrymandering and put districting decisions in the hands of voters.

Buehler says Oregon can and should be doing better, and the best way is to vote in independent thinkers for positions of leadership, and his goal is to pursue what he thinks is best for Oregon, without having to be an elected official. "What I'm looking for is to support good people and good ideas, and I want to see independent leadership to fix the big problems in Oregon that have been ignored for way too long."


Helt is up for reelection in November of 2020.

A CO Couple Detained in Malaysia, Returns to the US

REDMOND, OR -- A Central Oregon couple who spent a week detained by Malaysian officials at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport is headed back to the United States.

18-year-old Samantha Henry's dad, Aaron, says hearing the news his daughter, and her 22-year-old boyfriend Will Lucas, were being extradited back to the United States was overwhelming. "You can't fathom what you feel like as a parent. It's like the best day ever." He says this was the longest week of his life, waiting to hear what was going to happen to Samantha. "It was scary. I guess the scariest part is like, the US Embassy was walking on eggshells with the Malaysian Government. It's a whole different world over there."

Henry and Lucas had been in Asia for much of the summer, on a humanitarian work-away trip, but when they went to catch their return flight, they learned they were missing a passport stamp. The couple was placed in holding cells at the Airport's Immigration Center in what Henry told her father were 'deplorable conditions.' "You just feel so alone, so completely alone, that's the worst part. We're a million miles away."

Henry's dad received help from several places, anywhere he thought might have the connections necessary to get his daughter out of detainment - Interpol, the Redmond Police Department, a Malaysian attorney, and Senator Jeff Merkley. Henry says, when he got the call from Merkley's office, that's when the situation started to change. " 'Hey, Aaron, this is Jeff,' and I'm like, 'yeah, right,' and he's like, 'No, this is Jeff. I understand your situation and I'm going to do everything I can to help you,' and I'm like, 'okay, great,' that's, you know, speechless, of course."


Merkley says he's just glad help. "A lot of times, there aren’t a lot of joyful moments working on American policy. And I was just thrilled they were being released. and so, a terrific, joyous outcome." The couple landed in LA last night, and knowing that he was able to help make it happen, brought a smile to his face, Merkley said. "This is the type of situation that I think all of us can identify with. To have a young son or daughter who is detained in a foreign country under a system where the rules  are hard to understand and the consequences are hard to be sure of, just strikes terror into the heart of any parent."

Brush Fire Sparks Two Days After Lightning Strike

BEND, OR -- A lightning holdover brush fire ignited Tuesday in a neighborhood North of Deschutes Junction. 


The Bend Fire Department was called in shortly after 5 p.m. to a home on Morrill Road, where a neighbor was already on scene to help keep the fire from spreading. 


BLM and Alfalfa Crews also responded and quickly stopped the flames. The small blaze was kept well away from any structures and no property was damaged. 


Officials say a tree that was struck by lightning during Sunday's storm was the cause of the fire.

Community Invited to Celebrate Centennial Park

REDMOND, OR -- The near-decade long Expansion of Redmond’s Centennial Park has reached an end.

Redmond Mayor George Endicott says they built the park in 2 phases. "The first phase, of course, was Centennial Park, which we opened on our Centennial in 2010, and then we decided to obtain that other property, and yeah, it was another 9 years from the original Centennial Park ribbon cutting."


Endicott says the $2.2 million project creates a centralized location where important downtown buildings are connected by green space, with places for the young and old alike to find something fun or relaxing to do. "We decided to do this Civic plaza. So, from the Chamber of Commerce to City Hall, and try and put a bunch of green space right in the middle of downtown, so the people would feel comfortable to go there, take your children to play in the water park, have lunch there, so there's a lot of nice, interesting features, as part of the park." There's also the reading space, near the library, in honor of Redmond citizen, Kae Eberhard. "All the people that have talked to me about it, just love it, I mean, they're raving about the new park, and how it looks, and so I'm just hoping that we get a good turnout and it turns out to be a popular place." In addition to the reading area, it’ll feature a small grove of trees and an event stage, the water park, restaurants and retail opportunities. 

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the Park's Grand opening at 530 Tuesday, followed at 6 pm by the Redmond Police Department's community building event, the National Night Out.

The City To Hold Open Houses About Murphy Road

BEND, OR -- Murphy Road is about to undergo a serious construction project, and the City of Bend wants to make sure residents and business owners know what to expect.

Assistant Project Manager, Alex Doza, says there will be two Open House events Tuesday to give those who'd like to attend more than just one option, as many, if not most, of Bend's residents will be affected by this extensive project. "The project will include extending Murphy Road, from the existing terminus at Brosterhouse Road, East over the BNSF railroad tracks, via a bridge overcrossing, and connect to 15th Street. It'll also include complete street upgrades on Murphy Road between Parrell Road and Brosterhouse Road."

The first Open House will be held from 9 to 11 am, and the second from 5 to 7 pm, in the staging area for the project, across the street from the Bridges Development on 15th. She says, "The Open House will be, primarily, to explain the portion of construction that's upcoming for this project, which includes the roundabout at 15th street and the future Murphy Road extension, as well as the sidewalk extension along 15th Street."

The project will launch this month. Doza says it's completion will greatly improve Bend's Connectivity, Safety, and Mobility.

A Motorcyclist is Gravely Injured After Colliding with a Dump Truck

MADRAS, OR -- A collision between a dump truck and a motorcycle resulted in severe injuries for the biker ... the crash took place about 11 miles north of Madras, Monday morning.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, when deputies arrived at the accident site on Quaale road, they found the motorcyle and its driver, pinned beneath the rear trailer tires of the dump truck. Fire and Ambulance personnel and law enforcement worked together to free and care for the biker, who's name is not yet known. He was life flighted to St Charles Bend with life-threatening injuries.

The accident is being investigated by Oregon State police, but the Sheriff's office says it appears the truck was making a left turn onto Quaale, and the motorcyclist rode into the left side of the truck, going under.

We'll keep you updated on the motorcyclist's condition.

Young Caught, Police Search A Success

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is actively searching for Michael Young, who is wanted for questioning about a Domestic Violence Incident, and has outstanding warrants from Colorado. Young ran from law enforcement when they attempted a traffic stop, and he is on foot in the vicinity of Hamby Road in Bend. DCSO is using a canine and drones to search for Young. They do not know whether he is armed, but he is described as aggressive and dangerous. He is 6'1", 175 pounds, white male with brown hair and hazel eyes. He's wearing a grey, long-sleeved shirt and grey shorts. If you see him, please call 911 and use caution. 


UPDATE -- Michael Young was apprehended around 8 pm Monday night when he approached a home on Neff Road and asked if he could use the phone. The homeowner knew about the manhunt and immediately called 911. Young surrendered to the first deputy to arrive on the scene. DCSO Sergeant William Bailey says even though the initial search didn't find Young, he sees this as an excellent example of collaboration between law enforcement, the media, and the community. Young has been booked into the Deschutes County Jail on a variety of charges including Kidnapping, Domestic Violence, Assault and Coercion. He's also being held on his outstand Colorado warrants.

Man Charged with DUII After Hitting a Concrete Divider

TUMALO, OR -- A Bend man was arrested early Sunday morning after he hit the concrete center divider on Highway 97 so hard with his van, he moved it 10 feet into oncoming traffic lanes.

Investigators say 47-year-old Richard Lee Kroth was speeding down the Tumalo Place onramp, when he failed to negotiate the turn to merge into southbound lanes. The van traveled through both southbound lanes, and struck the center divider, moving it more than 10 feet into the northbound "fast" lane.


Deputies charged Kroth with DUII and Reckless Driving. He was booked into the Deschutes County Jail, but was released to a responsible party.

It took the Oregon Department of Transportation more than 3 hours to make repairs to the concrete divider. Law enforcement says Kroth was not injured in the crash.

Thunderstorms Spark More Than A Dozen Fires

CENTRAL OREGON -- Residents all over Central Oregon lost power Sunday night, more than 12,400 Pacific Power customers' lights went off around 630 pm, and many didn't have power back before 8pm.

More than 1,000 Prineville utility customers, and 150 Central Electric Coop customers in Southeast bend, also reported outages, and lightning strikes sparked several fires. By 5 p.m., Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch reported firefighters had responded to new blazes, mostly in the Three Sisters Wilderness and west of Cultus Lake. Lisa Clark from the Prineville Bureau of Land Management says there were actually 15 new starts from Sunday's storm, most were single tree, and one grew to about an half acre in size. With the hot, dry weather expected, along with the chance for more thunderstorms, she's expecting more to pop up.

The Milepost 97 fire, which started on July 24th, has grown to 13,119 acres, and firefighters say it is now 50 percent contained. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, firefighters have constructed line completely surrounding the fire, and are actively working the mop-up stage, extinguishing any flame to within 150 feet of the containment line.  


The Milepost 97 fire has cost nearly 15 million so far, to fight, and is believed to have been human caused. An Evacuation Level 1 Warning remains in effect.

Bend Hoax Bomb Threat Suspects Identified

BEND, OR -- A traffic stop has led to the arrest of 2 suspects, believed to have been the perpetrators of the Bend Hoax Bomb Threat, that occurred after a suspicious package was spotted near the Deschutes County Courthouse.


30-year-old Kellie Kent Cameron and 23-year-old Jonathon Tyler Allen, both of Bend, were arrested Saturday after a traffic stop. Search warrants were conducted on both suspects, as well as the Dodge Van they were driving. Law enforcement arrested both Cameron and Allen and they are lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.


They face charges of Possession of a Hoax Destructive Device, Disorderly Conduct 1, PCS - Methamphetamine, and Criminal Conspiracy.

A Horseman is Injured at Quinn Meadow

BEND, OR -- A horse rider was injured on the trail near the Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, located off Century Drive between Devils Lake and Elk Lake, Saturday.


At 12:40pm, Deschutes County Dispatch received a 911 call, and 15 Search and Rescue volunteers and 1 Deschutes County Deputy responded to the scene, while another stayed to coordinate the response.


57-year-old Robert Laroe of Creswell, OR was reached by rescuers at 1:54pm, about a mile down the trail from the horse camp. He was treated for potentially life-threatening injuries at the scene, and transported via wheeled litter from Quinn Meadow to a waiting helicopter.


Laroe was Life Flighted to St. Charles Bend for further treatment.


3 Names Chosen to Fill District 55 Seat

LA Pine, OR -- Republican leaders representing House District 55 met in La Pine Saturday to select 3 candidates to finish retired Republican Representative, Mike McLane's, term.


Real Estate Broker from Prineville Vikki Iverson, Central Oregon Federation of Republican Women Chair, Deborah Tilden, also of Prineville, and Crook County Republican activist Peter Sharp were chosen during the meeting at the La Pine Community Center, according to Deschutes County Commissioner, Tony DeBone. He says he is looking forward to the next step in filling the vacancy McLane left when he recently took the bench, as a Circuit Court Judge.



Man Arrested for Making Vague Bomb Threat

BEND, OR -- Mathew Henderson was arrested today for Disorderly Conduct, after someone overheard him saying he was going to blow up the Alexander Drake Building in Downtown Bend.


Henderson, who is a 37-year-old transient, was seen wearing a backpack when he entered the building on Northwest Franklin Avenue, agitated and yelling, when he was overheard. That person called 911. Bend Police responded, setting up a perimeter around the building, closing off several roadways in the vicinity for the second time this week. They evacuated the building and attempted to make contact with Henderson.


After approximately 15 minutes, Henderson came out of the Alexander Drake Building on his own accord and was taken into custody without incident. He and his backpack were searched and no explosive devices or material were located. He was lodged in Deschutes County Adult Jail.


Police do not believe today's incident is in any way related to the Bomb Threat Hoax of Monday, when someone left a suspicious package on the Deschutes County Courthouse steps.

Investigators Learn Dead Man's Identity

SUNRIVER, OR -- The human remains, discovered by a camper six miles west of Sunriver, have been identified.


The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says they belong to Curtis Fredrick Pagel, who was 48 years old. He had no known address, but had reportedly lived in Oregon for many years.


The State Police Crime Lab and the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office are assisting the Sheriff's Office in the investigation. An autopsy was completed on Tuesday. Cause of death is suspected foul play, but is still being determined.


The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is asking for help from the community. If anyone has any information about Pagel, call the non-emergency dispatch number.


Crews to Resume Paving Santiam Pass

BEND, OR -- Crews will resume paving Santiam Pass starting at 7pm on Sunday.


Paving is scheduled Sundays from 7pm to 8am, and Monday through Thursday nights from 6pm to 10am between Sunday and October 31st.


Two way traffic will be controlled with flaggers and a pilot car, and travelers can expect up to 20 minute delays.


The paving project will cover nearly 14 miles between the Santiam Junction in Linn County and Jack Lake Road in Jefferson County.


For more information, go to TripCheck.com or call 511. 

CRR Buggy Driver Recovering from Hit and Run

CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office arrested a Crooked River Ranch man after allegedly striking a horse drawn carriage with his SUV, then fleeing the scene.


The horse drawn buggy, driven by 66-year-old Isaac Goodin of Crooked River Ranch, was reportedly hit by a Chevy Tahoe, after which the driver fled the scene in his damaged vehicle, police said. Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue responded and transported the victim to St. Charles Redmond. Investigators received a tip of a vehicle matching the suspect Tahoe's description, parked at a nearby Crooked River Ranch residence.


The suspect driver, 54-year-old Scott Stickey, also of Crooked River Ranch, admitted to being involved in a crash. Police believe Stickley shaved his head and facial hair, prior to being contacted by the deputy. He was arrested for Failing To Perform The Duties of a Driver, Hit and Run, Driving Under The Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. He was transported to the Jefferson County Jail and lodged without incident. His Blood Alcohol level at the jail was .20.

Random Explosions in Prineville are Still Unexplained

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville has been rocked by recent, unexplained explosions, at all hours, and the Crook County Sheriff's office has gotten several complaints. Sergeant Bill Elliott says he's been investigating, but he still doesn't know yet who's exploding what. "We are investigating this, we're trying to find information into what is causing these. It could be any number of things, but we are trying to identify where it's coming from." He's communicating with the rock quarries operating near town, but he suspects it's something else. "Tannerite, which seems to be popular in this part of the region." Tannerite is a binary explosive target that explodes when someone shoots it with a high velocity bullet. He says that could be a problem, this time of year. "With the heat and the dry vegetation around, it is extremely dangerous and could cause a fire."


Elliott says his investigation is hampered, because he's having trouble determining where the explosions are coming from.
"If we could get an area located where it could be going on, it might be a little easier to pinpoint where it's coming from." There's a range of possible charges the doers could face - disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, or in the worst case, if a fire is started, arson. If you hear one of these random explosions, call the Crook County Sheriff's non emergency line.

A Hiker Gets Rescued After Falling on Misery Ridge

REDMOND, OR -- A Connecticut woman was injured while hiking at Smith Rock State Park, and was unable to get back down from the summit unassisted. 56-year-old Dorothy Jankowski reportedly slipped while walking on the back side of Misery Ridge, and just after 10:30 am, another hiker who came across Jankowski where she'd been injured, called 911.

Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Bryan Husband says both the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Redmond Fire and Rescue responded. "Redmond Fire, obviously being closest, and having on-duty personnel, made it there first, arriving at Ms. Jankowski's location at 11:24 in the morning. Our Search and Rescue volunteers were paged out, responded to our shop, and then continued on up to Smith Rock State Park, and they arrived at Ms. Jankowski's location at about 11:52."


Husband says Jankowski and her husband stayed where they were and waited for rescuers to arrive. "Ms. Jankowski was stabilized, and then she was loaded on to one of our titanium, wheeled litters, which is basically a basket for patients, and then it's on top of a wheel, in our case, it's a fat tire wheel with a disc brake. And she was transported back down the back side of Misery Ridge Trail." They then rafted her across the Crooked River.


As Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Sheriff's Office, Husband says climbing up Misery Ridge treats you to spectacular views, but it can be treacherous, and that's where he and his team come in. "[She] made it all the way to the top, on the back side, the area that overlooks the very popular monkey face rock formation, and in that area, while she was hiking, she sustained a significant injury."


9 volunteers also assisted Search and Rescue personnel with Jankowski's rescue. She was taken to St. Charles Redmond with non-life threatening injuries.

Empire's New RAB Opens Monday with Fanfare

BEND, OR -- City road crews are nearly finished installing the roundabout at Empire and Purcell, in NE Bend. Project Engineer Sinclair Burr says this is just Phase One of the Empire project - there's a lot more work still to come. "The Empire Extension, which will extend Empire from Purcell, all the way down to the intersection of Butler Market and 27th, and we'll be working on that through this fall. And then we'll work on the canal crossing this winter, we gotta do it when the water's off, and then, the last piece of the whole extension is the work at 27th and Butler Market, and that will be a new, double lane roundabout. That's a big one out there."

The roundabout will open Monday, and the City Councilors will attend a ribbon cutting at the site to mark the occasion. They're stopping to see the new roundabout as part of their already scheduled City Tour. "The Councilors will be on a bus, and they'll arrive around 10 am. They'll get out, look around, there'll be a couple words said. we'll cut the ribbon and then we'll be open for business." Burr hopes the public will also attend. "This is a big milestone for the project, but it's definitely not the completion of the project. Some of the big, impactful improvements are still out there."

He says those next phases will take him and his crews at least 18 months. "So, end of 2020 we should be done with the extension and the improvements to 27th, Butler Market, and future Empire." Other items Burr intends to complete, related to this project, are improvements to Purcell, South of the canal, and to the Butler Market and Purcell intersection.

Commissioners Officially Adopt the County Budget

DESCHUTES COUNTY, OR -- Deschutes County’s Commissioner Board has officially adopted the 2019 - 2020 fiscal year budget. The total budget is $428,117,309, with the operating budget totaling $227,788,787.

County Administrator Tom Anderson says it’s mostly a continuation of existing services, expanded for the area's growth. "Positions were added in a range of county departments, including the DA's office, our Health Department, the Sheriff's Office, mostly to maintain the quality of service that our citizens expect." Anderson says, overall, the County’s budget is balanced without cuts to services or tax increases. He says a large portion of the budget is going toward capital and transportation infrastructure like funding the new Crisis Stabilization Center and $5 million to the Cooley Road Interchange project, as well as improvements to the Old Bend-Redmond Highway. "We're also participating with ODOT on transportation improvements in both Terrebonne and Tumalo to help with public safety and traffic flow."

Anderson says the Budget Committee voted to leave the levies alone, even though most of them still have growth capacity. "We were able to keep those levy rates the same, based primarily on the growth that's happened in the County, and the increase in assessed valuation based on new construction that's been added to the tax roles over the last year."

To review the Budget, please visit www.deschutes.org/budget.

Autopsy Completed on Remains Found Near Sunriver

BEND, OR -- An autopsy has been completed on the human remains a camper found Sunday, west of Sunriver.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Sergeant William Bailey says the autopsy gave law enforcement clues to the person's identity, but they still don't who he is. "The preliminary results from the autopsy have determined the remains belong to a white male with an age range of 18 to 40 years old."  Bailey says they still don't know cause of death. 
They were also able to gather more information about when the man died. "They've narrowed down that window, but it's still in the weeks to month category. Still pending."

Law enforcement is still searching through missing persons reports. If they don't match these remains to someone from Central Oregon, they will extend their search to the state, and then the pacific Northwest. "We haven't finished trying to figure out who he is. We have other avenues that they're actively working on. They will continue to do that until they've exhausted that, and they're unable to identify him through those means." The next step may involve sharing more information with the public in the hope that someone will recognize this man.

The remains were discovered about 6 miles west of Sunriver alongside 1 of 2 forest roads in the popular area. Evidence at the scene pointed to foul play, and the autopsy further supported that theory.

Local Man Honored for Delivering Meals in the Snow

BEND, OR -- Robert ‘Bob’ Bennett was honored by Central Oregon’s Council on Aging as the Volunteer of the Year. 


Bennett delivered Meals on Wheels to elderly shut-ins in La Pine during February’s record-breaking snowstorm. He slipped on ice, and had to call 911 to be rescued. First responders dug him out from under his pickup where he'd been trapped, and the Council on Aging says a lesser individual would have gone home, but once Bennett was freed, he continued on with his route, making sure everyone got meals during the days-long storm. 

The Council on Aging has been serving Central Oregon Seniors since 1975. Bennett shares his Volunteer of the Year status with Sylvia Peterson, who helps local seniors navigate the Medicare system.

Bend Makes Changes to Right-of-Way Parking Rules

BEND, OR -- The City of Bend began enforcing a new three-business day parking limit for vehicles parked in the public right of way Wednesday. City Manager Eric King says the change is intended to promote parking turnover. "We can regulate parking, we can regulate what we call abandoned vehicles. If somebody is just stationary, in a vehicle, it has to be moved within 3 days."

The Bend Police Department will be in charge of ticketing vehicles that are out of compliance by following up on complaints from the community. But King says this new shorter time limit isn't for rousting the homeless. "We can't just focus on a certain population. That would be discriminatory. There are ways to deal with that situation, but technically, it's not illegal for somebody to be sleeping in their car."

Volunteers will make contact with a reported vehicle, mark the tire with chalk, and return in 3 business days ... if it hasn't been moved, it will be towed, and the owner will be cited. King says, if you see a vehicle that hasn't moved in more than a couple days, you should contact the bend Police department. "Vehicles cannot be on the public right of way, it used to be 5 days, they can't be stationary, because we consider them an abandoned vehicle after 3 business days."


If you've filed a complaint regarding a specific vehicle prior to this week, you will need to resubmit it. You can do that online by going to bendoregon.gov/parkingcomplaint.

Killer Wasps Invade Central Oregon

BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians have had their share of insect invasions this year, tortoiseshell butterflies, pandora moths, cicadas, and now cicada killer wasps. Retired Entomology Professor from OSU, Ralph Berry, says these wasps infest wherever cicadas have settled, because the females need them for their larvae. "The females provision their nests with the cicadas, and they tend to be coordinated. In other words, the cicada killers come out about the same time as the adult cicadas." Berry says the wasps have 2 inch long bodies, and are more than a match for the cicadas, those small winged insects who click and buzz during the summer months. "She catches the cicada in the air, stings it and immobilizes it, carries it back to her nest, takes it down into the burrow that she's built."

For every 3 cicadas the wasp captures, she will lay 1 egg. She buries them together in sandy soil, and the larvae will eat the paralyzed cicadas throughout the long winter. "The female catches the cicadas, stings them with the venom, and it doesn't kill them, it just immobilizes the cicadas, then the wasp takes them bak to a nest in the soil." Berry says seeing the wasps prey on the cicadas is fascinating, and best of all, completely harmless for humans. 


Central Oregon has an ideal climate and soil conditions for the cicada killer. "They are now digging burrows in particularly sandy soils, and this country's perfect for the females to dig a burrow and about, usually, 8-10" deep, it's pretty deep." The larvae then have food for the long winter. "And so the cicadas are alive in the nest, and they continue to be alive. If they died, they would just decay and the wasp larvae wouldn't have anything to eat."

Berry suggests leaving any cicadas or wasps you see alone.



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