Local News Archives for 2021-05

Investigation Launched into Fatal Truck Crash in Little Deschutes River

The cause of a high speed crash just after 9:00 Saturday night that sent a Ford F150 into the Little Deschutes River is under investigation.  An off-duty Deputy with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says he witnessed the truck speeding on Bridge Drive and after hearing a crash found the truck on its side in the river.  He says the truck caught fire and he was unable to get the driver out before he died in the burning car.  The victim has been identified as 58 year old Toye Jeffers of La Pine. The cause of a high speed crash just after 9:00 Saturday night that sent a Ford F150 into the Little Deschutes River is under investigation.  An off-duty Deputy with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says he witnessed the truck speeding on Bridge Drive and after hearing a crash found the truck on its side in the river.  He says the truck caught fire and he was unable to get the driver out before he died in the burning car.  The victim has been identified as 58 year old Toye Jeffers of La Pine. 

St. Charles Tapped Out by Covid

St. Charles Health in Bend is hitting its breaking point with COVID-19 patients. Hospital officials have reported more than 40 admitted patients, which is actually more than a larger facility like OHSU Hospital in Portland. According to Deschutes County health officials, 98-percent of the infected patients showing up at the hospital have not been vaccinated.

Climber Fatality at Mt. Hood

A 63 year old mountain climber is dead after falling 500 feet while descending Mt. Hood. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says the man was climbing with his adult son when he fell Sunday morning. Rescuers say he was dead by the time they got to him.

Car Accident that Injured Three Teens in Bend Under Investigation

The cause of a car accident early this morning in Bend that seriously injured three teens is under investigation.  The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says it happened just after one in the morning near a bridge on Skyliners Road and involved a 1997 Honda CRV that rolled over onto it’s top.  Investigators say all three of the 16 year old males were taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries.  One of them had to be cut out of the car.  Investigators say they think alcohol may have been a factor.

County Fair Returns This Summer

The Deschutes County Fair & Expo is returning this year.  This year marks the 101st edition of Central Oregon’s largest event, after the pandemic forced cancellation of the event last year.  The theme for the 2021 Fair & Rodeo is “Back in the Saddle”.  It will run from July 28th to August 1st.

Guy Posing as Handyman Facing Charges

A guy who has regularly posed as a handyman in Deschutes and Crook counties is now facing theft charges tied to deception by fraud. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office started getting complaints from residents claiming they’d been defrauded in March.  Investigators say 29 year old Jacob Quesada of Lodi, California solicited customers and downpayments on Facebook.  Residents say they either never heard from him after paying the downpayment, had work started and then abandoned, or had substandard work performed – Quesada is not a licensed contractor.  Crook County issued a theft warrant for Quesada and he was arrested during a traffic stop in Bend.

Free Drive-Thru Covid Testing in Redmond

Free drive-thru Covid testing events are being held in Redmond next month. Deschutes County Health Services is partnering with Central Oregon Community College to offer the events on alternating Tuesdays. The testing will be conducted at the COCC Redmond Campus parking lot on College Loop from 2 to 6 pm. It’s open to anyone, and you don’t need to bring a photo ID or have any Covid symptoms to be tested. Just wear a mask and – if possible – sign up in advance online. Otherwise they’ll help you register there. The first event for the month is being held on Tuesday, June first, and – again – on every other Tuesday after that for the rest of the month.

Redmond City Council Approves Federal Covid Recovery Grant for Redmond Airport

The Redmond City Council has approved an almost three and a half million dollar Covid relief grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will go to the Redmond Airport.  The federal funds are intended to help airports severely impacted by low passenger levels, sanitizing, and other pandemic-related expenses.  Typically the funds go toward airport upgrades and expansions, but this time around the money will go toward recovery and survival.  Redmond Airport has already received more than nine million dollars in federal Covid relief funding.


April Unemployment in Central Oregon Virtually Unchanged from March

The latest jobs report from the state shows only slight changes in Central Oregon's unemployment rate last month.  Unemployment in Deschutes County dropped to 6.3 percent in April from 6.4 percent in March.  In Jefferson County unemployment dipped slightly as well, to 7.0 percent in April from 7.2 percent in March.  Crook County saw a slight increase in unemployment to 7.6 percent in April from 7.4 percent in March.

Local School Districts Re-Adjusting to Covid

Redmond Schools are adjusting their Covid safety protocols as the state announces guideline changes.  Redmond Schools Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline says anyone attending an after school activity can go without a mask if they show proof of full vaccination status.  The Covid situation has flip-flopped for some high schoolers in the Bend-La Pine School District.  Almost half of the students and staff at La Pine High School who were attending in-person classes after being online are back to online learning until June 4th because of a Covid outbreak among 15 people associated with the school – the day of their graduation ceremony – but school administrators say the graduation won’t be impacted.

Reward Increased for Pipeline Tampering

The Tumalo Irrigation District is now offering an increased reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for vandalizing an irrigation pipeline near Pinehurst Road in January.  The district is now offering a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest, and a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.  Inspectors say several holes they found in the pipeline during inspection had been drilled intentionally.

OHA Lifts Outdoor Mask Requirement for Everyone, Lifts Indoor Requirement for Fully Vaccinated

The Oregon Health Authority has released updated guidance regarding masking and physical distancing for fully vaccinated Oregonians - which means two weeks have passed since you've gotten your complete dosage. Under the new guidelines, masks are not required indoors for anyone fully vaccinated in most public settings where vaccination status is checked. In public settings where vaccination status is not checked, masks will continue to be required. Additionally, the OHA has lifted outdoor masking requirements for everyone - regardless of their vaccination status. Masking is still recommended in crowded areas and at large gatherings like sporting events.  If a business or church chooses not to require masks and physical distancing for Covid, it needs to have a process to check for proof of vaccination before people enter.

New Two Year Budget Approved for Bend

The Bend City Council has approved a new two year budget of just over $919 million dollars.  The money plan reflects a 3% increase that City Manager Eric King says is needed to keep pace with the needs of the growing population in the city.  Much of the money will go toward addressing the housing crisis in the city.

Bend Police Chief to Present New Budget Proposal Tuesday Night

Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz will be presenting his proposed police budget to the City Council Tuesday night. It's his first budget request since coming on board in July from the Portland Police Bureau, and he's asking for additional staffers. The $69 million dollar 2 year budget Krantz is asking the council to approve includes funding for an officer dedicated to homeless outreach in the city, a communications staffer, a child abuse detective, two new school resource officers that will be partially funded by the schools, and a technician to support the new body cams coming to the department by the summer.

Neighbors Pitch In to Help Residents Displaced By Duplex Fire in Redmond

A Go Fund Me account has been set up by neighbors to help the Redmond residents who lost their home over the weekend. It was half of a residential duplex on Metolius Avenue. Fire officials say the blaze was tied to the improper storage of smoking materials. No one was in either side of the duplex at the time. One side of the duplex is a total loss, with damage estimates around $175 thousand dollars.



Deschutes and Crook Counties Among 15 in Oregon Moving Out of Extreme Risk

Deschutes and Crook Counties return to the "High Risk" level for Covid from "Extreme Risk" on Friday.  Jefferson County will remain at "High Risk".  Some of the indoor dining and business restrictions will be adjusted, though Governor Brown is begging Oregonians not to let their guard down.

Pacific Power to Consolidate Services and Training with New Facility in Bend

Pacific Power is building a new training facility and consolidated service center in Bend. The new facility will be in the Juniper Ridge Industrial and Business Park in northeast Bend, and will consolidate the operations of three offices that are now spread throughout the Bend area. The goal is to enhance efficiency with one centralized center where new and current employees can be trained. The facility will go up on 17 acres and will serve as the base for about 70 employees in the area.

Covid Numbers Point to Schools as Cause of Recent Spike in Oregon

Oregon State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger says most of the recent spike in Covid cases statewide can be traced to kids returning to school. He says only three percent of Covid cases are tied to restaurants and bars in the state - despite the tighter dining restrictions imposed by the Governor. Of the 257 new outbreaks during the last week in Oregon, Dr. Sidelinger says 30 percent were attributed to single case outbreaks associated with schools, 12 percent were attributed to two or more case outbreaks associated with schools, and four and a half percent of cases were attributed to recreational sports and sports teams.



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