Local News Archives for 2021-12

Bend Police Looking for Armed Robbery Suspect

Bend Police are looking for a suspect after a reported armed robbery Tuesday morning. At about 2 a.m., officers arrived at Ashley’s Cafe on 3rd Street, but the suspect, said to be armed, got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Bend PD is investigating and has no other information.

OSU Resumes In-person Instruction Monday

Despite concerns over the Omicron variant, Oregon State University plans to resume in-person instruction on Monday, January 3rd, at all campuses. However, OSU will require students, staff and faculty to get a COVID-19 booster shot.

Yesterday the National Weather Service issued a “Special Weather Statement,” warning of dangerously cold temperatures. Today, expect high temperatures in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits. With these low temperatures, the National Weather Service says frostbite and hypothermia can occur much faster. If outdoors, remember to dress in layers and cover exposed skin. Uncovered pipes will be susceptible to freezing and bursting. A slow moderating trend is expected to begin on Thursday with the potential for wintry weather that will continue into Saturday.

St Charles Prepares for Omicron

Even though COVID hospitalizations have been decreasing, health care workers are preparing for a surge from omicron, which officials expect to be more severe than the  Delta variant. St. Charles says conditions are far from normal and hospitalizations are running over 100% capacity, illustrating all the delayed care that’s been happening throughout the pandemic. Oregon Nurses Association urges Oregonians to protect your health — and the State’s nurses. ONA recommends:

  • Getting vaccinated, including the booster shot
  • Holding  virtual gatherings, and
  • Wearing a mask indoors

Expect Busy Roads and Airports

Central Oregon is getting slammed with visitors this time of year, so expect crowded roads and airports. Nationwide, Triple-A projects 109 million Americans are traveling for the holidays and that includes about one and half million Oregonians. Know that your trip will take longer than usual, especially when you factor in winter weather.

Dog Dies After Accidentally Starting Fire

A dog accidentally turned on the kitchen stove while the family was away and caused a house fire on Gallop Court in NE Bend last night. Bend Fire responded just before 8 o’clock and put out the flames quickly but the home sustained significant damage. Fire investigators say the dog, who perished, was attempting to reach food on the stove top when it accidentally turned on a gas burner, catching items left on the stove on fire, which quickly spread.

Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

We know that  holidays can be stressful for families. But this time of year can also be tough on our pets. Animals that are shy or aren’t socialized can get anxious when their owners are entertaining a houseful of guests. When this happens, cats, and especially dogs, try to escape and often end up lost. Lynne Ouchida from the Humane Society of Central Oregon tells KBND News it’s critical for owners to have collars and tags with a current phone number on the furry companions. Ouchida says to report a lost pet to HSCO (541) 382-3537and hopefully they can be reunited. You can also check online to see if your pet has been found.


Redmond Police Seeking Information in Fatal Accident

Redmond Police are asking for any information regarding a July accident in which a car struck and killed a pedestrian. Around 10 p.m. on July 2nd, officers and paramedics arrived at Highland Avenue and 15th Street to find a person who had just been hit by a car. Police say 54-year-old Cleland Weber was crossing Highland Ave. when he was hit by a car heading west on Highland. Investigators say Weber was taken to St. Charles the night of the crash and he died from his injuries on Oct. 15th. If you witnessed or have information about this vehicle versus pedestrian accident, please contact RPD through non-emergency dispatch, (5441) 693-6911, and reference RPD case #21-16651.


Deschutes County Gains New Judges

Governor Kate Brown is appointing two judges to fill the new positions on the Deschutes County Circuit Court, recently created by the Legislature in House Bill 3011. Effective immediately, the Governor will appoint Michelle McIver to the newly created Position 8 and Alycia Herriott to Position 9. Both McIver and Herriott were previously criminal defense attorneys.

Family Escapes Prineville Fire

A family escaped a Prinville house fire Saturday night, but their dog passed away. Officials say  at about 8:30 p.m., a neighbor reported a fire at a home on 6th St. Crook County Fire & Rescue arrived to find active flames in the living room. They were able to contain them quickly, but not before the family’s dog perished in the fire. Red Cross helped the family, who was uninjured, find accommodations. Authorities determined that the fire was started accidentally by combustibles stored too close to the wood stove.

Bend Homeless

There are approximately 11-hundred homeless in Bend and enough shelter space for only about 20-precent of them. The Bend City Council took up the topic of homeless campsites in city Right-of-Ways this week.  Council is working on adding more shelters; some out-of-doors.  There could be an announcement early next year.

Redmond Airport coming into some cash

Oregon airports will split more than 42-million dollars from the Federal Aviation Administration.  An estimated 3-point-6 million is coming to Redmond’s Roberts Field from the newly passed infrastructure bill. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the funding will help airports around the country with projects put off for years due to lack of money.

The F-A-A estimates the backlog of airport modernization and safety projects totals 43.6-billion dollars.

New Redmond City Councilor

Catherine “Cat” Zwicker is Redmond’s newest City Councilor. This week, with Council approval, Mayor Endicott appointed Zwicker, replacing John Bullock, who resigned in November. The appointment leaves a vacancy on the Planning Commission, a committee Zwicker has served since 20-19. Her appointment runs through the end of 2022.  If Zwicker wishes to reamin on City Council after that, she will need to successfully run for the seat in the 2022 election year.

Workforce Update

Central Oregon lost more than 15% of all jobs during the pandemic, but State economist Damon Runberg tells KBND News the economy is nearly back to pre-COVID levels. Runberg will talk more about the recovery at the Bend Chamber’s “Central Oregon Workforce Update.” The webinar starts at noon today. It’s free, but you must register to get the zoom link.


Be a Santa to a Senior

The holidays can be an especially isolating time of year for some seniors, and the pandemic has only exaggerated the problem. One local organization is trying to help by encouraging Central Oregonians to “Be a Santa to a Senior” in time for Christmas.


Gloria Vloedman, with Home Instead, says they host this annual effort year to make sure seniors feel loved. She tells KBND News this year has been especially tough for those without family nearby, “That big fear of catching COVID, so there’s a lot of hesitation to go do activities that they maybe once enjoyed.”


To get involved, find a Home Instead tree, select a tag and shop for that senior. There are 13 trees around Central Oregon. Vloedman says recipients are selected by organizations like Meals on Wheels and Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, “So, a lot of these folks are in their own home or they’re in a low income 55 and older apartment complex.”


Most want simple gifts like socks,  blankets and chocolate. Unwrapped gifts must be returned to the tree by December 24th. Click HERE for more information. 

Redmond Airport Director Honored

Redmond Airport Director is named “Top 40 Under 40” by Airport Business Magazine. In its tenth year, the award recognizes Zachary Bass as one of the 40 most talented in the aviation industry. Bass is a former Air Force Officer and has been the Redmond Airport director since 2016. In 2017, he was named “Oregon Airport Manager of the Year,” by the Oregon Airport Managers Association. The airport serves more than a million annual commercial airline customers; 113 aircraft; and 2,600 acres of property.

Pedestrian Death

We have an update to the Tuesday night closure of Highway 26. About 7 p.m., a Warm Springs man was killed while crossing the highway after he was struck by an SUV near the Indian Head Casino. The road was closed to investigate the crash. Warm Springs Tribal Police Lieutenant Ron Gregory says paramedics arrived, but the man died at the scene. The driver of the SUV, also a Warm Springs Tribal member, cooperated with police during the investigation. Gregory says alcohol is not a factor in the crash. The man was wearing dark clothing and tried to cross in an area with poor lighting.


Ridgeview High School Lockdown Lifted

Update: As of 2:29 p.m. Redmond Schools says:

The lockdown at Ridgeview has been lifted. We have sent a phone call to all Ridgeview families letting them know that. Students will be released via our lockdown protocol and buses will run as normal. Students were released at 2:20 p.m. We will share further information when we have it. 


From 1:42 p.m.:

Ridgeview High School in Redmond is currently in lockdown. Redmond Police are on the scene. Public Information Officer Sheila Miller says they have secured the building and called all RVHS families to let them know. In an email, Miller says, "We ask that families do not come to the school site to pick up their students. We will release more information as soon as we can."


City Plans to Spend $19 Million on Wilson Avenue Corridor

The City of Bend expects to spend $19-million-dollars on the Wilson Avenue Corridor Project. The stretch of Wilson Avenue between Second and Fifteenth Streets lacks sidewalks and bike lanes. Bend Engineer Deedee Fraley, tells KBND News the Wilson Avenue project is just one of twenty-one projects within the scope of 2020 Transportation GO Bond. Tomorrow afternoon, an open house will display an overview of the project, design concepts and timelines. It takes place in-person from 4 to  6 p-m in the Bend Fieldhouse in Vince Genna Stadium.Can’t make it in person? Visit the online open house.


Highway 26 Reopened

Part of U.S. Highway 26 was closed yesterday evening due to a major crash on the Warm Springs Reservation. Few details were released and investigation is ongoing.

Felon Arrested with AR-15

A 35-year-old Bend man is in the Deschutes County jail this morning for a weapons offense.  Around 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Bend Police got a tip that Mark Menke had a firearm.  He is a convicted felon who is prohibited from having firearms. Police went to Menke's apartment on Aaron Way and found him there with an AR-15 style rifle, two silencers and body armor.

Locals Hold Republican Leadership Positions

Locals now hold both major Republican leadership roles in the Oregon Legislature. Prineville Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson is the new caucus leader in the House, replacing Representative Christine Drazan, who stepped down on Tuesday. This comes just after Bend Representative Tim Knopp took over as the Senate’s GOP leader in October.



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