Local News Archives for 2021-03


Wilderness permit reservations for the Central Cascade Wilderness can be made starting on Tuesday at 7 am for the 2021 season.  Permits are required for any overnights in the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, or Mt. Washington wilderness areas between the Friday of Memorial Day weekend May 28th until the last Friday in September, September 24th.  To reserve a permit next week, go to recreation dot gov.



Internships are in the offing through Bend-La Pine Schools thanks to a new partnership with Youth CareerConnect.  The internships will provide an opportunity for students to expand their skills and obtain real-world work experience with employers in Central Oregon.  Along with providing work experience, YCC says the internships provide the opportunity for students to build their resume and college applications, explore career opportunities, and earn elective credit.  Some of the employers will offer PAID internships. For more info, go to the YCC website.



The former long-time publisher and editor of The Bulletin has died.  John Costa was 76.  Costa lived in Richmond, Virginia and died of a heart attack.  Costa first started as Editor-in-Chief at the Bulletin in 1997.  He’s survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.



For the second time since the start of the pandemic, a coffee shop in Bend has been cited and fined for neglecting to take safety measures to protect its employees against Covid 19.  OSHA has just imposed a fine of  more than $27 thousand dollars on Kevista Coffee for continuing to serve customers indoors while Deschutes County was at the "extreme risk" level for Covid. Last July, OSHA had imposed an almost $9,000 fine on Kevista for refusing to ensure the wearing of masks.  The company has already appealed the July citation and is expected to appeal this one, as well.



Beginning Wednesday, the Deschutes National Forest will be conducting prescribed burns 5 miles west of Pine Mountain near Forest Road for up to three days.  The plan is to under-burn approximately a thousand acres, with ignitions between 10 am and 5 pm for up to 3 days. Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week after the burning. OHV trails 10, 12, and 28 will be closed temporarily. The objective of the prescribed burn is to improve the wildlife habitat, and reduce future rates of wildfire spread.



Central Oregon welcoming a return to job gains in February following the partial reopening of in-person school and the easing of public health measures out of the extreme level. The improvement in February was most notable in Deschutes County after getting hit harder with COVID-19 related layoffs earlier in the recession.  Deschutes County posted a gain of 430 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, concentrated primarily in leisure and hospitality as the county moved out of the extreme category of COVID-19 restrictions allowing for a return to limited indoor dining and recreation. There was also a notable gain in local government education jobs after a partial return to in-person learning.



Police in Prineville have arrested a 28 year old resident in connection with the stabbing of another man in front of the Ace Hardware and Rite Aid on Northeast 3rd Street Monday night just after 6 pm.  Police say Nicholas Myers had posted bail in connection with another stabbing in a different county and was taken into custody this time after he ran away from the scene following the stabbing – police caught up with him.  Investigators say Myers knew the 35 year old victim who suffered life threatening injuries.  Myers is now expected to go before a Grand Jury.  
 


The Redmond School District is bringing all secondary students back to school five days a week beginning Monday, April 19th.  More details will be coming out between now and then, but the district says students will have a modified schedule on Wednesdays.  Elementary school students in Redmond returned to in-person learning last month.  Masks, social distancing guidelines, and handwashing are still in place as safety protocols.  Until April 19th, middle and high school students will continue with their hybrid instruction that was put in place last month.  



About 2,000 customers of Pacific Power in Southwest Bend are still in the dark - 72 hundred had been at the height of the high winds yesterday that brought trees and power lines down in many neighborhoods.  



Thousands of Bend residents near Dechutes River Woods in the South part of the city are still in the dark this morning after heavy winds brought trees and power lines down yesterday.  That left six thousand residents without power.  Pacific Power crews are working on it.  They had expected to restore power by late last night, but were unable to get residents back on line as they were hoping.



Here’s the latest fire update from Bend Fire. 

The Bulls Fire Level 3 evacuation order is still in effect for homes on Kuhlman Road. All west Saddleback residences have been reduced to Level 1 “Be Ready” status. The evacuation order for all east Saddleback residences have been completely lifted.  The fire is fully contained.

Fire crews are still patrolling the area. The fire is approximately 75 acres and the cause is still under investigation.  No residential homes were impacted by the fire although two out buildings were lost.

The one at Cinder Butte Road started from a burn pile that rekindled.  It didn’t spread to any homes and was brought under control quickly. 

 



Power outages are reportedly affecting more than 200 residents impacted by brush fires in Deschutes River Woods on the South side of Bend and in Tumalo.  Pacific Power crews are working on the downed lines and expect to have power restored by 9 pm.

 



Brush fire prompting LEVEL THREE "Go Now" EVACUATIONS for all addresses west of Johnson Road from Bull Springs Road Road to Kuhlman Road. All homes on the EAST SIDE of Johnson Road are on LEVEL ONE evacuations, which means "be ready" for potential evacuations. Traffic is being diverted and Tyler Road is shut down.



Bend Fire is working two wind-driven brush fires at this hour - one in Tumalo, prompting evacuations.  The other - now under control - is in Deschutes River Woods in the South part of Bend.  No word yet on the number of evacuees, but it is believed to be a Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order.  No word on any loss of services in the area.  This story is developing.  



A 33 year old Bend man has been arrested in connection with a stabbing on China Hat Road near Sunset View Drive.  A female who saw it called 9-1-1 saying her male friend had been stabbed in the neck and head.  Investigators arrested Anthony Reyes in connection with the incident – they say he knew the 32 year old man he stabbed, and say they believe that man was a witness in another criminal case involving Reyes.  Investigators say the two got into a physical altercation before the stabbing.  The victim was taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries.  The investigation into the incident is continuing.

 



Redmond Police have arrested the three suspects in connection with the stabbing of a 27 year old cashier and a robbery at the Chevron Circle K on South Highway 97 at 3:30 in the morning on Saturday.  Their getaway vehicle was traced to the Walmart parking lot in Redmond later in the day and after a short pursuit South on Highway 97, the three were apprehended.  They include 24 year old Abraham Ruiz of Central Oregon who already had an outstanding warrant for a parole violation, 21 year old Brandon Petri of Bend, and 31 year old Meahgan Webb of Madras.  The employee who was stabbed is recovering.


Oregon has reached a landmark in the vaccination effort against COVID-19.  One million people have received at least one vaccination. Nearly one in five Oregonians who are eligible have received at least one dose of the vaccine.



Starting next month, Baker Technical Institute in Prineville will begin offering technical workforce training.  The school will be offering nationally recognized courses and specialized training to support existing industries and companies in the region. School officials say there’s a renewed demand for hands-on workers with competitive skills that they’re hoping to supply through the new vocational training in truck driving and logistics. They say their goal is to help supply a new workforce to Central Oregon. 



The Board of Trustees at Oregon State University has unanimously agreed to accept the resignation of President F. King Alexander amid charges he mishandled a sexual misconduct scandal in his former position as President of Louisiana State University.  Alexander will be on administrative leave for the rest of the month – his resignation takes effect April First.  The settlement agreement reached today will pay Alexander six hundred thousand dollars, which amounts to his salary for an additional year.  He began his tenure at OSU last year.


More details are now surfacing tied to the discovery of two bodies at a home in Romaine Village in Sothwest Bend over the weekend.  Investigators say the man taken into custody hours after the bodies were found - 35 year old Randall Kilby of Bend - has formally been charged with both murders.  He has also now been charged for the murder of 43 year old Daphne Banks last Christmas Day in the same home – up until now he had been the prime suspect in the woman’s death.  A local resident tells KBND News the men were brothers-in-law and says Kilby and his mother had been living in the home where all of the murders took place.  District Attorney John Hummel says Kilby’s mother told authorities her son killed one of them with a hatchet in front of her on Saturday.  The victims have been identified as 66 year old Jeffrey Taylor and his 69 year old brother Benjamin Taylor.  Kilby was arraigned in court on some of the charges today.



Bend Police now say the man they’ve arrested in connection with the discovery of two bodies inside a home in Southwest Bend early yesterday afternoon is the same man now facing murder charges tied to the brutal attack on a woman who lived on the same street last Christmas morning.  Police say 35 year old Randall Kilby was taken into custody yesterday hours after after two bodies were discovered in a manufactured home in the Romaine Village neighborhood on Granite Drive.  The investigation is continuing.



Beginning Monday, Deschutes County and other counties in the state have the Governor’s permission to begin offering vaccines to the next groups on their eligibility list along with seasonal farm workers in the counties.  So far, health officials in Deschutes County say about 73 percent of the seniors in the county have been vaccinated against Covid.  The county’s expected to receive more than 39 hundred doses of the vaccine this week, and as of May first the Governor says all Oregonians16 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated.



Redmond Police are continuing their investigation into the reported firing of a shotgun through the front door of a home on Peridot  Avenue in Redmond last Thursday.  Investigators say it followed a domestic dispute between 42 year old Matt Frazier of Redmond and his girlfriend.  Responding officers say Frazier barricaded himself alone inside the resident at 2907 Southwest Peridot for three hours before coming out and confronting CERT team members.  No one was hurt, and Frazier was taken into custody.  He faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangerment, coercion, and menacing.



The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a 42 year old Bend man in connection with a stabbing Saturday afternoon at a homeless camp in Juniper Ridge.  Investigators say they took Marion Douglas into custody after the victim, a 38 year old Bend man, called 9-1-1 claiming Douglas had stabbed him in the neck multiple times.  Investigators say the stack appears to be unprovoked, but say a female who went to the hospital with the victim had a restraining order against Douglas.  The victim is fighting for his life at St. Charles.



Bend Police are investigating the discovery of two bodies found inside a manufactured home in Southwest Bend early this afternoon.  Police say the home was in the Romaine Village neighborhood on Granite Drive, and say they have one person in custody.  The Central Oregon Major Incident Team and the Oregon State Police Forensics Lab are assisting Bend police in the investigation.  Police say the bodies were discovered on the same street where a woman was beaten to death at her home last Christmas Day.  



Facebook is beefing up its data center in Prineville, and it will soon become the biggest data center in the country.  The social media giant plans to add two new buildings to its Prineville campus of 11 buildings that will make it the size of almost 80 football fields.  Construction is set to get underway next month, with completion slated for 2024.  Prineville Mayor Jason Beebe says he thinks the expansion will help to woo other businesses to his city.



A former gymnastics coach at Redmond Gymnastics Academy charged with having inappropriate relationships with two girls at the school has had his sentence behind bars doubled.  The judge in the case in Deschutes County Circuit Court yesterday handed that additional sentence down to Kellee Johnson, who has pled guilty to the crime.  Johnson has already served 29 days in the Deschutes County jail and had expected to be released at the 30 day mark based on his original sentence, but the judge disregarded his plea deal and ordered two thirty day sentences to run consecutively – doubling it to 60 days.  Johnson was 25 at the time the abuse took place – the girls were 17.



The High Desert Museum is among the 15 finalists for the highest honor for museums and libraries nationwide.  It’s the 2021 Institute of Museum and Library Sciences  national medal for library service that recognizes three museums and three libraries each year that go above and beyond to serve their community.  The High Desert Museum was also a finalist in 2018, but didn’t win.



A 26 year old Prineville man has died in a bizarre electrocution accident while he was burning decorative designs into wood outside his camp trailer at an RV park just east of Prineville.  It happened Tuesday at the Lakeshore RV Park on the Ochoco Highway.  The victim has been identified as Kyle Johnson.  Deputies say they found him lying on the ground next to a trailer and say it looked like Johnson had built a homemade power supply box to burn designs into the wood.  They say it was connected by an extension cord to a power outlet in the trailer, but say they still aren’t sure what exactly caused the electrocution because nothing they saw had been tripped.

 



The Deschutes County Planning Commission is asking for the public’s input as it puts together the projects and goals for the coming year.  They include providing more affordable housing in the county and wildfire prep.  The full list of what’s been outlined so far is on the county’s website.  If you’d like to provide input you can attend a virtual public hearing at 5:30 pm next Thursday, March 25.



Oregon State University is ramping up COVID-19 testing for students and staff to prepare for spring break next week.  OSU officials say they've tested about three-thousand students a week since the beginning of February.  The hope is to potentially prevent students from spreading the virus if they have any plans to travel for the weeklong break this year.  



The Family Access Network Foundation of Redmond has raised more than $32 thousand dollars during its fourth annual luncheon fundraiser to help break the cycle of poverty for needy families locally.  That money will go toward assisting families who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.  FAN began in 1993 and currently has 62 sites in Central Oregon.  The foundation places 26 advocates within schools that help to reach and connect disadvantaged children and their families to essential basic needs.



A Crook County woman charged with felony animal neglect in January and then again last week heads back to Crook County Circuit Court next month.  51 year old Richele McCarl was charged with ditching her horses on land she didn’t own and taking off as their health went downhill.  She has maintained the animal were fine, despite seeing graphic evidence of alleged neglect.



A 72 year old Bend man taken into custody by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office for child porn possession may spark a national investigation into the crime.  Detectives took Peter Hiatt into custody, capping off an initial investigation launched by Redmond Police last month.  Their investigation involved a search of the man’s home where they uncovered numerous pornographic photographs of children including 59 listed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 



A Prineville man heads back to Crook County Circuit Court next month after pleading not guilty to charges of forcing an 11 year old to steal a handgun from the Prepper Up store in Prineville.  33 year old Cameron Holt is barred from having any firearms following a prior felony domestic violence conviction.   Video surveillance led cops to Holt through a DMV "pull" on his license plate.  Records show he has an 11 year old relative.

 



Finally an end to the more than week-long strike by technical workers at St. Charles Bend.  The union representing 150 workers has agreed to a cooling off period with a federal mediator until Tuesday morning and will be back on the job Monday.  Both sides have agreed to secure a contract by the end of the month.  Replacement workers had been filling in since the picketing began March 4th so hospital operations were not affected.  The workers have been fighting for a new contract that includes higher wages.



For the second year in a row, the Pole Pedal Paddle in Bend has been cancelled.  The race has been held the third week in May in Bend for 43 years, but event organizers decided it was too hard to work safely around the current Covid restrictions this year with so many participants coming in from outside the city.  All of the paid 2020 registrations for the event will be rolled over to the 2022 race.



Bend Fire says a failed water heater in the baseball team locker room and storage building at Mt View High School last night destroyed the building.  It broke out around 6 pm.  All the team gear was saved and no one was hurt but the building loss is up around $20 thousand dollars.  The building sits a few hundred feet from the main school building and didn’t affect it.



The inventory of homes for sale in the Bend-Redmond area continues to sit at a historic low according to the latest report from the Beacon Appraisal Group of Redmond.  Most of those on the market cost a million dollars or more, and it’s definitely still a seller’s market.  In both Bend and Redmond, homes for sale last month were on the market an average of four days.  The median sales price of a home in Bend is more than a hundred thousand dollars higher than it was at this time last year - now $575 thousand dollars. 

 

 



School projects within the Redmond School District are getting a boost.  Hayden Homes has donated $60 thousand dollars to the projects over the last few months.  The biggest piece of the pie was $50 thousand dollars that went to outdoor lighting at the Rotary Fields at the David M. Jaqua Complex near Redmond High.  Smaller Hayden mini grants of between $75 dollars and $14 hundred dollars have been doled out this month throughout the district, as well.

 



Bend Foundation is donating $400K in grants to nonprofit organizations in Central Oregon.  Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity got a $200K grant to support its goals to provide affordable housing for needy Central Oregonians.  The other half of the grant money is being doled out to organizations in Bend that are addressing challenges related to the Covid pandemic including food, clothing, and shelter. 



The Red Cross for the Cascades Region is hosting a free virtual wildfire safety preparedness classTuesday night from

6 to 7 pm.  It’s part of the their efforts to better prepare Oregonians for wildfires, and is part of their emergency preparedness series.  Their other free virtual safety preparedness classes this month address Earthquake Safety, Flooding Safety, and Home Fire Safety.  All of the sessions are free and will be held virtually on Tuesday nights from 6 to 7 pm.  To take a class go to redcross.org/cascades.

 

 



You may have run into some construction on The Parkway this morning.  A long-term construction project starting on the southbound side began Monday and will continue through May 15th.  It’s a $7.5 M repaving project to address deterioration in the roadway that will span six miles of Highway 97 in Bend.  It begins with single lane closures for construction work from 8 pm to 6 am Sunday to Friday, with full closures in one direction beginning this Sunday March 14th and ALL weekend during the last two weekends of the month.

 



This week student-athletes from Bend-La Pine Schools are competing for the first time in a year. And although the bleachers are bare, fans now have the opportunity to watch their team through a new streaming option. Bend La Pine Schools is launching a new free subscription service to allow families and community members the ability to watch select high school athletic teams from their homes during the remainder of the school year. The link to sign up for the service is on the Bend La Pine Schools website.



The Oregon Health Authority reports 13 new Covid-19 deaths in the state, including a 91 year old woman from Deschutes County. This brings the death toll in Oregon to 2,225. The OHA reports 269 new cases of the virus in the state: 6 of those are in Deschutes County, 2 in Jefferson County and 1 in Crook County. Deschutes County reports vaccine appointments for residents 65 and older are now closed for this week. Those appointments filled up within an hour of opening yesterday.



The strike of 150 technical employees at the St. Charles Health System campus in Bend looks like it’s still on for tomorrow. The Health System reports a federal judge declined to grant an injunction request yesterday that would have paused the strike planned by members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. Aaron Adams, president of St. Charles Bend says they will continue to hire replacement workers to minimize disruptions to patients. The parties will meet again to negotiate on March 10th.



Two transients are facing charges in the theft of a log splitter which led police to other thefts from a construction site. Bend Police say video surveillance showed 31 yr old Michael Delucia and 30 yr old Brent Hermanns took the log splitter from a Bend Lowe’s store early yesterday morning. During that investigation police determined Hermanns was tied to an earlier theft of a recovered cargo trailer and 15-thousand dollars’ worth of tools taken from a construction site in the 600 block of NW York. Both men were arrested on numerous charges and police say further arrests could follow.



(Portland, OR) -- Police are releasing the identities of two men killed in a weekend shooting at a bar in Sellwood. The Portland Police Bureau says 39-year-old William Peters of Portland and 36-year-old Adam David-Lawrence Arrambide of La Pine both died from gunshot wounds. The men were shot late Saturday night at the Acropolis Steakhouse on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.



The Oregon Health Authority reports 292 new confirmed and presumptive cases of Covid-19 in the state with 6 in Deschutes County and 3 in Jefferson County. The OHA reports no new deaths in the state on Sunday, with the death toll sitting at 2,208. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 134 with 26 patients in ICU beds. Sunday marked the one year anniversary of the first case of Covid-19 in the state. 



Governor Kate Brown is announcing the next group eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.  She says starting March 29th, Group 1B will include adults ages 45 to 64 with underlying conditions, along with some frontline workers, such as those in the seafood industry, agriculture and food processing. Low income and homeless people are also included in that group. On May 1st, the rest of the frontline workers along with media, transportation and postal service employees can get vaccines. Starting June 1st the vaccine will be available to the general public.



The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a new addition to the current vaccine arsenal in the U-S. Dr. Cynthia Maree, Infectious Disease Specialist at Saint Charles Health System spoke last week during a Bend Chamber webinar. Maree said the J & J vaccine is one-dose and can be mass produced and stored more easily than the familiar Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. She says efficacy of the J & J and UK Astra Zeneca vaccines range from 62 to 77 percent…and are very good at preventing serious disease.
 



The Oregon Health Authority has allocated 2,340 first-dose vaccines to Deschutes County for this week. Beginning today  people 65 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine…that’s about 40-thousand Deschutes County residents.  The county’s Health services Director, Dr. George Conway, says unfortunately, due to limited vaccine supply, it may be several weeks before all eligible people will able to schedule their vaccination.



Starting today, the City of Bend will begin a limited re-opening of some of its public facilities for in-person services. In a recent release the city says parts of City Hall will be open for public inquiries, like permitting. There will be in-person service for utility customers, Bend Police Department and the Municipal Court lobby, with modifications for safety. Masks and distancing are required. Public meetings will continue to be held virtually. For more information, visit bendoregon-dot-gov.



Jefferson County residents may be eligible for a grant reimbursement for minimizing fire danger on their property. The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), with the Jefferson County Fire Chiefs, is offering private landowners the opportunity to apply for a flat-rate reimbursement of $500 for treating the land around their homes. The COIC says the goal of this project is to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire by reducing hazardous fuels on private lands. To find out more contact your local fire protection district.


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