Local News Archives for 2021-07

New Holiday Light Display Coming to the Fairgrounds

It’s a bit of a reach to think of the holidays while we’re anticipating a heat wave in Central Oregon, but a new holiday tradition will be coming to the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center this winter.  One hundred thousand holiday lights will adorn the fairgrounds from November 19th through New Years Day.  It’s a walking exhibit, so you’ll be able to stroll with the family at your own pace taking in food and shopping for crafts.  Holiday melodies will be playing and of course – Santa will be there.   

Maligned Sisters Spa Owner Seeks Restitution

The owner of the spa in Sisters accused of touching a customer inappropriately during a consensual massage says he’s taking legal action now that the DA has cleared him following an extensive investigation.  Deschutes County DA John Hummel says he decided not to file criminal charges against Michael Boyle - who owns Hop in the Spa - because the state couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had touched his primary accuser on a part of her body that would have constituted a crime.  Boyle says he has no idea who lodged the complaint but says the accusation has destroyed his reputation – and he now plans to get restitution.

Some Reopenings in Phil's Trail Area

Some of the recreation trails and roads in the Phil’s Trail area west of Bend have reopened following a temporary closure due to logging in the area.  Fire precautions being taken by the Deschutes National Forest have put all commercial timber operations on hold, which has allowed the reopenings.  Timber operations will be allowed to continue hauling logs on the roads until the end of the month, but still won’t be falling any trees.

Rabid Bat Found in Bend

A dead bat found in southeast Bend has tested positive for rabies.  Deschutes County Health says pet owners should make sure their dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines.  If they get bitten, contact the county’s Environmental Health department.  Rabies affects the central nervous system and exposure is most often through a bite from a rabid animal.

Bootleg Fire Caused by Lightning

The Swamp Wells Trail Fire near Boyd Cave 9 miles outside of Bend is now 30% contained after charring 64 acres.


The Grandview fire also burning on forestry land is virtually unchanged in size from yest - more than 6 thousand acres strong  - now 84 percent contained and the closures around the area have been lifted.


The Darlene Fire near La Pine is almost fully contained after consuming almost 700 acres.


The enormous Bootleg Fire northeast of Klamath County - caused by lightning - has grown to almost 400 thousand acres as thousands of firefighters from around the country continue to fight it … its 32 percent contained.

Bootleg Fire Among Biggest in State History








Bend Park & Rec Seeking to Better Serve the Underserved

Bend Park & Rec is working to become the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization it can be.  Marketing Manager Julie Brown says they’re asking community members to complete a short survey between now and August 22nd as part of a year-long effort to build on what they’re already doing.  She says the survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is available in both English and Spanish on the Bend Park and Rec website. Brown says their goal is to better serve members of the community that have historically been underserved.

Covid Vaccines Are Coming to You in Central Oregon

A mobile clinic offering Covid vaccinations is making its way through Central Oregon thanks to partnerships between local communities and the OHA.  The clinic will be at a variety of locations in Crook County the last week of this month.  The clinic will be open from 9 am to 6 pm in each location, and you can choose which of the three vaccines you want to get. If you choose the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine rather than the one shot Johnson & Johnson, the mobile clinic will returned in 28 days to administer the second dose.  To see the dates and locations, contact the Crook County Health Department.


The Fires: Some Progress, Some Growth

Swamp Wells Trail Fire a mile south of Boyd Cove and 9 miles south of Bend in the Deschutes National Forest – 64 acres burned – China Hat Road had been closed but is now open.


Both the Grandview Fire northeast of Sisters and the Darlene Fire southeast of La Pine are close to containment – 6 thousand acres have been lost in the Grandview Fire – almost 700 charred in Darlene … Evacuation orders are still in place for Grandview but have been dropped for most residents near Darlene.


The Bootleg Fire 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls grew over the weekend – now over 300 thousand acres – that one’s 25 percent contained … more than 70 homes have been lost already, another 3,000 are still threatened … more than 21 hundred firefighters are tackling the blaze.

Redmond Police 4th National Night Out

The 4th Rednmond Police National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 3rd at 5 pm in Centennial Park.   This year NNO includes a virtual K9 Puppy Pentathlon presented on Facebook July 26th through July 30th.  RPD will be providing goody bags to 100 families throughout Redmond and the surrounding areas.  Bags will include useful crime prevention and awareness strategies as well as NNO shirts, beverages, gift cards for pizza, popcorn, and fun kid activities.   

St. Charles Health Issues Fraud Warning

St. Charles says caregivers and patients have received phone calls from fraudsters identifying themselves as employees of other local health care organizations or Medicare officials who are seeking valuable Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes.  The caller ID may appear as a legitimate number from a local medical facility. Falsifying a caller ID number in this way is known as “spoofing” and unfortunately St. Charles cannot prevent this type of criminal activity. According to the Office of Inspector General, these fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs and door-to-door visits.  St. Charles is advising the public to be extremely cautious about ever giving medical or insurance information over the phone. If you think a caller is falsely representing St. Charles, Medicare or any other local medical facility, hang up and call your St. Charles provider’s office to find out if information is needed from you. 

Forest Service Area Closure Prompted by Grandview Fire

The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland have issued a temporary area closure around the Grandview Fire, currently burning approximately 10 miles northeast of Sisters.
For the safety of the public, the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters Ranger District and the Ochoco National Forest, Crooked River National Grassland will temporarily close all Forest Service managed roads, trailheads and trails within the Grandview Fire perimeter.
Road closures along the perimeter and outside of the closure area are as follows:
  1. Forest Road 2050 from Indian Ford Road to its intersection with Forest Road 2055
  2. Forest Road 2055 from Forest Road 2050 to its intersection with the west line of T13S, R11E, Section 18.
  3. Wilt Road from Buffalo Road north to the County line.
  4. Forest Road 6330 from Holmes Road north to the County line.

Jockey Dies During Opening Night of 2021 Crooked River Roundup

A horrifying experience for spectators and a horrible tragedy on opening night at the 2021 Crooked River Roundup in Prineville – one of the jockeys died Wednesday night at the track.  The jockey reportedly fell off of the horse as it leaned to the left close to the railing.  Prineville Police say it’s the first tragedy at the track in more than forty years.  Racing had just started up again after a year-long suspension because of the pandemic.

Relentless Fires Burning in Oregon - Bootleg Fire Expected to Burn into the Fall




Bend Joins In Ban On Recreational Fires

As of tomorrow , Bend Fire & Rescue will impose restrictions on recreational fires to help reduce the risk of fire causes associated with recreational burning.  This restriction will be in effect for all residents and visitors in the City of Bend until further notice.  Open recreational fires using wood, charcoal and similar solid fuels used for cooking, warming or similar purposes are prohibited. Not included in this restriction are recreational fires using commercially manufactured appliances or equipment such as propane, butane, natural gas or electric portable cooking appliances, outdoor chimneys, approved manufactured firepits with screens, barbeques, smokers and similar appliances used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. These commercially manufactured fire enclosures are typically smaller than open fires, have screens on them to prevent embers from floating away and limit the exposure of embers and ash to combustibles on the ground. 

Forest Service Takes Extreme Action to Reduce Wildfire Potential

This Saturday the Industrial Fire Precaution Level for the Deschutes and Ochoco Forests, Prineville BLM, and Crooked River Grassland move to a Level Four – which is a complete shutdown.  It prohibits all commercial and industrial operations that were previously permitted, to reduce the chance of wildfire. Wood cutting has already been prohibited because a single spark from a piece of equipment could ignite a fire.  This is an extreme move the forest service feels is warranted in response to the extreme potential we now have for wildfires in Central Oregon.  It will facilitate a comparison of current information from remote weather stations throughout the region to get an indication of the wildfire potential - assessing temperatures, precipitation, humidity, and fuel moisture … and will then compare current readings to historical ones, to see what conditions have caused wildfires in the past. 

Wildfires Continue to Scorch Oregon

Darlene Fire about two miles southeast of La Pine – no structures lost so far – 700 acres with level 3 evacuations in place…red flag warnings have been issued for high winds in the area …


Grandview Fire – northeast of Sisters – now more than 59 hundred acres with 5% containment – winds are expected to be a challenge there today as well


Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon  is the largest fire burning in the country – more than 212 thousand acres – twice the size of Portland – almost two thousand homes are in jeopardy with no containment yet .. more than 13 hundred firefighters are attacking it in two separate zones now


Don't Forget to Prep for Potentially Evacuating the Pets

Wildfire season isn’t just about preparing for a potential evacuation for the people in your family – it’s also about preparing for the potential evacuation of your pet.  Lynne Ouchida with the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend says you should put together a pet evacuation kit as part of your standard “to go” bag including food, food dishes, any meds, an extra leash, a blanket, a copy of their vet records, a first aid kit, and photos of you with your pet to identify you as the owner in case they get frightened and take off.


Recruitment Underway for School Bus Drivers in Bend and La Pine

Bend and La Pine are holding interactive transportation job fairs this month to recruit new school bus drivers, and you can test your skill at driving a bus as part of it.  The job fairs are being held tomorrow from 11 to 2 and on the next two Wednesdays at the same time.  The test drives will include a free b-b-q lunch and will be held at Bend Transportation on Second Street and at La Pine Middle School.  Pay is $20 an hour for bus drivers and training is provided.   

Wildfire Updates (as of 11 am Tuesday)

The Grandview Fire 8 miles east of Black Butte near Culver has grown to more than 57 hundred acres and is 5% contained …

The Bootleg Fire 11 miles northeast of Sprague River has spread to more than 201 thousand acres with no containment …

The Jack Fire east of Roseburg  is almost up to 14 thousand acres and is 15 % contained …

The newly reported Bruler Fire near Detroit Lake has consumed 60 acres with no containment …

Redmond Bans Recreational Burning

Redmond Fire and Rescue is imposing a ban on all recreational burning in the city beginning tomorrow.  The ban will remain in effect until further notice and prohibits all open fires – that includes campfires, charcoal fires, and warming fires.  Portable cooking stoves that use liquefied fuel will still be allowed.  The forest services have already imposed a similar ban.

Wildfires Continue to Burn and Threaten

Grandview Fire northeast of Sisters - 4,000 acres - large animals being housed at Deschutes County Fairgrounds, and emergency shelter at Sisters Middle School - 0% containment

Newberry Fire east of La Pine - worsens air quality in our area - 54 acres - evacuation orders have been dropped

Bootleg Fire northeast of Sprague River - over 153 thousand acres - level 2 and 3 evacuations in place - over 1,000 firefighters on it

Campfire Restrictions Take Hold Monday

The extreme temperatures and exceedingly dry brush have prompted a complete ban on any campfires that takes effect Monday on all land administered by the Deschutes National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River Grasslands, and BLM land.  The restrictions also prohibit campfires in wilderness areas.  There are no exceptions for developed or hosted campgrounds.  Portable cooking stoves or lanterns using fuel can continue to be used while camping, but smoking must be done inside a building or car, in a designated campground area, on a lake or river, or while you’re stopped in a spot at least 3 feet from anything flammable.

Bend Extends State of Emergency, Fireworks Ban

The local state of emergency in the city of Bend in response to the extreme heat has been extended through the end of August.  The emergency order enables the city to move more quickly and with more flexibility in providing support services to the homeless.  It also extends the ban on the use of fireworks.

Parent Company to Bend Broadband (TDS) Issues Statement on Outages

BendBroadband became aware of the outage at approximately 3 p.m. yesterday. It is believed a commercial dump truck with an extended bucket accidently ripped down a 72-count and a 144-count aerial fiber cable. Unfortunately, this impacted nearly 22,000 customers in La Pine, Sunriver, and Bend, Oregon and LaCenter, Washington.  BendBroadband crews worked through the night on repairing the extensive damage and have been responding to hundreds of customer inquiries.

BendBroadband has been actively providing updates on our restoration work on our social media channels as soon as we get updated information from the field.  BendBroadband understands how important our services are to our customers and appreciates their patience.

At this time, service is close to being fully restored.  Several communities are already restored and back in service.

Phone and Internet Services Impacted by Bend Broadband Outage

Bend Broadband is reporting scattered phone and internet outages this morning. Some may be tied to a fiber splicing repair on a cable that split yesterday afternoon, affecting internet service for customers in Bend, La Pine, and Sunriver.

Tickets On Sale for 32nd Great Drake Park Duck Race

Local rotary clubs and credit unions are banding together to sponsor the 32nd Great Drake Park Duck Race.  Like last year, this year’s race will be held virtually but organizers are hoping to return to the in-person event next year.  Kyle Frick with Mid-Oregon Credit union – one of the sponsors – says proceeds from the tickets sold this year will benefit the Children’s Foundation, J Bar J Youth Services, KIDS Center, and Mountain Star.   This year’s virtual race will take place on Sunday, September 12th.  The grand prize is $5,000 cash and more than a dozen other prizes valued at over $13,500 will be raffled off.  There will also be weekly drawings until the week of the race for $100 gift cards to local restaurants.  To buy tickets, go to “the duck race dot com”. 

Governor Calls for Emergency Heat Wave Measures

In the face of an unprecedented heat wave, Governor Kate Brown has directed OSHA to enact emergency rules this week to ensure urgent protection for workers from extreme heat. The temporary rules are expected to expand requirements for employers to provide shade, rest time, and cool water for workers during high and extreme heat events. Oregon OSHA will continue working on permanent rules focused on worker safety from heat and extreme weather, which are expected to be adopted this fall.



Crooked River Roundup Horse Races Returning

The Crooked River Roundup horse races are returning to Prineville July 14th thru the 17th.  The races are known for attracting the largest average daily attendance of any track in the state, and are among only four pari-mutuel races being held in Oregon this year.  A full field of horses is expected on all four nights of the event this year, with race distances ranging from 250 yards to five and a half furlongs with betting a favorite part of it.  The races are held at the Crook County Fairgrounds, and are sponsored by First Interstate Bank.

Applications Being Accepted for Deschutes County College Program

If you live in Deschutes County and you’ve always wanted to know more about the services and programs offered by the county, here’s your chance.  Deschutes County is now accepting applications for its 2021 County College Program.  The program provides an opportunity to hear about county functions from staff in the various departments.  You also get to tour county facilities.  The program runs for ten weeks on Tuesday nights starting at 5:15 pm.  The next session begins August 31st and space is limited.  You can apply on the county website.  The application deadline is July 30th.

Oregon Reaches Initial Vaccination Goal

Oregon has reached another Covid vaccination milestone.  OHA is reporting 70% of adults 18 years and older have now received at least one vaccination in advance of the July 4th holiday weekend.

It's Time to Enjoy The Holiday

With Covid restrictions now eased, many Central Oregonians will be heading toward their favorite Fourth of July events on Sunday.  The annual Rumble on the Runway at Sisters Eagle Airport begins at 7 am and includes a pancake breakfast and classic car show, the parade down 6th street starts at 10 am in Redmond and includes the Patriotic Porch Parade and the mini-parade from last year, and the annual public fireworks show in Bend begins at 10 pm from the top of Pilot Butte.

Spa Owner in Sisters Facing Sex Abuse Charges

The owner of Hop In The Spa in Sisters has been arrested for sex abuse, harassment, and for performing illegal massages.  60 year old Michael Boyle was the subject of a long term investigation into the business by detectives with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and was reportedly performing massages on multiple women without a license.  If you’ve ever had him give you a massage at the business, you’re urged to call the sheriff’s office. 


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