Local News Archives for 2022-06

DCSO Investigates Deadly Shooting

ALFALFA, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies were called to a reported shooting, just after 2 p.m. Thursday, on Bureau of Land Management land near milepost 4 on Alfalfa Market Road.  When deputies and Bend Fire Department medics arrived, they determined a man was deceased. Detectives have been called out to the scene and are leading the investigation into the shooting death.  They are being assisted by the Bend Police Department, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab and the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office. 

This is an active investigation, and the public should expect a heavy law enforcement presence in the area for an extended period.  We do not currently have information that there is an active threat to public safety.  

Detectives are also asking to speak anyone that was in the area of the BLM land near milepost 4 on Alfalfa Market Road around 2:00 pm Thursday.  Anyone with information should call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 and ask to speak with a detective.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

 

UPDATE (07/01/22) -- The Sheriff's Office has identified the victim as 53-year-old Neil Martell of Bend. This case is being investigated as a possible accidental shooting. Detectives ask anyone that was in the area of Mayfield Pond target shooting on the afternoon of June 30, 2022 to come forward. They are specifically asking for information on a person and vehicle observed near the scene of the shooting described as a smaller, white SUV or crossover; likely less than ten years old. The driver is described as a white male in his 30’s. 

DCSO detectives are also seeking home video surveillance from anyone who may have captured vehicle traffic after 1:00 pm Thursday at the following locations: Neff Road between the City of Bend and Powell Butte Highway and on Alfalfa Market Road between Powell Butte Highway and the Alfalfa Store.

Anyone with information about this case should call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 and ask to speak with a detective.

Photo Released: More Victims Sought In Child Sex Abuse Case

CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Oregon State Police arrested a Terrebonne man Wesdnesday, after executing a search warrant at a home in Crooked River Ranch related to an investigation into Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material. OSP was assisted by members of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the Redmond Police Department. 

Detectives say 30-year-old Andres Carrera-Garcia was in possession of hundreds of images of child sexual abuse material, downloaded from the internet. During Garcia’s interview with law enforcement, he admitted to sexually molesting a child, who was 2 years old at the time, while babysitting him at his residence in Redmond, in late 2020 and early 2021. Digital evidence was located supporting his admissions. 

Garcia was arrested for Sodomy I, Sodomy II, Sodomy III, Sexual Abuse I, Sexual Abuse III, Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor, Sexual Misconduct, Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse I, Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse II, Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse III. He was lodged at the Deschutes County Adult Jail. Additional charges are pending in Jefferson County for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material. 

OSP detectives believe it is possible there are additional victims that have yet to be identified. If your child had unsupervised contact with Andres Carrera-Garcia please contact OSP Dispatch at (800)422-0776 or *OSP (*677) from your mobile phone. Reference case number SP22-026887.

 

UPDATE: Photo of Andres Carrera-Garcia was released due to the concern of unidentified victims, in the hope the photo will help families determine if their child had unsupervised contact with Carrera-Garcia. 

CET Continues Mobility Hub Research

BEND, OR-- Cascades East Transit continues to gather public feedback on future mobility hubs. CET’s Derek Hofbauer says Hawthorne Station is the only one in Bend, but more are needed in the city, "Maybe not the size of Hawthorne Station, these can be scaled. It could be a simple curb cut-out, where you have some transit transfer points, and you could have some bike parking or some bikeshare." He tells KBND News, "Basically, a mobility hub is a nexus of a lot of different transportation options coming together. So, you could have an Uber and a Lyft drop off and pick up area. You could have some on-demand shuttles - so, this would be kind of like your 12-passenger vans that you could summon from your phone that do shared rides." It could also have space for food carts or other services. 

"For transit to be successful, we really need to look at how we can make the system more efficient, more reliable. So, eliminating those transfers by - if you had a northeast hub and a southeast hub, or a south hub, you could basically go from hub to hub without having to transfer at that middle point," says Hofbauer. “Our hope is that with Bend growing so much and so much traffic, that a lot of people will choose maybe one day a week, ‘hey, let’s leave my car at home. I’ll hop on the bike, ride to the bus stop, put my bike on the bus, grab a cup of coffee at the mobility hub, and get to work’.”

An online survey asking what amenities people want and where it should go, is available through July 31st. The next in-person opportunity for feedback is July 6th at Riverbend Park. 

Redmond has a smaller hub near Fred Meyer, and one is under construction in La Pine, at 5th and Huntington. CET has $5 million in city and state money to build another hub in Bend. 

Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Derek Hofbauer.

New Bend Roundabout Opens Today

BEND, OR-- Bend’s newest roundabout is set to open Thursday evening. It’s at 9th and Wilson, and features a unique design with a dedicated bike lane. "It’s a kind of a one-of-a-kind roundabout here," says Bend Engineering Director Ryan Oster, "Definitely the first one we’ve ever done in Bend. Sources are telling me it’s the first one in the state and only one of a few in the US right now." Oster tells KBND News, "This roundabout has a dedicated bike lane in the roundabout. So, you have your normal vehicle traveling, you have a dedicated bike lane, and then you have a separate pedestrian path up on the sidewalk."

He says pavement markings show bikes where to go, but drivers and cyclists need to acknowledge each other to make sure an exiting car doesn’t hit a bike, "As a vehicle, you’ll see these big green boxes, and there’s actually a separate crossing for the bikes than there is for the pedestrians. So, definitely some more interaction that the public’s going to need to get used to."

He says it’s part of a bigger effort to create a more bike-friendly Wilson corridor, although the next roundabout at 15th and Wilson won’t have a dedicated bike lane. "We simply don’t have the right of way to put this big of a footprint of a roundabout in, so we’ll still have protected bike lanes up to the roundabout," says Oster. "But then, like a more traditional roundabout, the biker will need to choose to either get up on the shared-use path - you know, the 8-10’ wide sidewalk - or they can, as always, enter into the travel lane and act as a vehicle." Construction on the roundabout at 15th and Wilson is scheduled to begin in August and should open by late fall.

Local Meat Processor To Increase Capacity With State Grant

PRINEVILLE, OR-- Oregon’s Department of Agriculture is awarding $2 million in grants to six meat processors, including $105,598 for Prineville's Central Oregon Butcher Boys. ODA’s Theresa Yoshioka says the legislature approved the funding to increase capacity when the pandemic caused food supply-chain issues, "As people became concerned about availability of meat, they turned to local supplies. And our local producers used these processors to process their meat for the local market. There was so much demand, and our producers - meaning the ranchers and farmers - weren’t able to get their animals processed locally." She says in some cases, the backlog grew to three years long.

"Oregon has many small ranchers and farmers that want to produce and supply to the local market, and having more local processors enables them to do that," Yoshioka tells KBND News. Recipients will use the funds to expand their processing capacity and shorten turnaround, "Address some aging equipment or cooling systems that are a bottleneck in their process, or it’s to do upgrades and make things more efficient." 

It also means ranchers don’t have to send meat to the midwest for processing, "Oregon consumers care about local and there is a demand for local meat," says Yoshioka, "And having this kind of a stronger food system in Oregon will help to provide that."

ODA received 44 applications but only six grants were awarded to processors in Elgin, Prineville, Roseburg, Bandon, Parkdale and Hillsboro, in an effort to reach every corner of the state. 

Deschutes Co. Imposes Fire Restrictions

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners voted Wednesday to impose public use restrictions on unprotected lands within the county and on all county-owned land to help prevent human-caused wildfires. The restrictions go into effect immediately and mirror restrictions on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Deschutes County. Unprotected lands are defined as unincorporated lands that are not a part of a Rural Fire Protection District or protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Landowners can visit the county's website to review regulations and see if they apply to their property.

The following restrictions are now in place:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads. Note: ORS 476.715 prohibits throwing away any lighted tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, matches or other lighted material, on any forestland, private road, public highway or railroad right of way within this state.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. At all other times, the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one axe, one shovel, and one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order. 
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
  • Mowing of dried grass with power-driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • The release of sky lanterns is prohibited.
  • The discharging of exploding targets or tracer ammunition is prohibited.
  • Blasting is prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be: a) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and b) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.  

Information and maps of regulated closures for the Oregon Department of Forestry can be found HERE. Information and maps of public use restrictions on Deschutes National Forest can be found HERE

Cougar Spotted In Deschutes River Woods

BEND, OR -- A cougar was spotted in Deschutes River Woods, Wednesday evening. The Sheriff's Office says someone reported seeing the big cat on a vacant lot on River Bend Drive at about 7:40 p.m.

Deputies responded and found the cougar in a residential area. After a short time, it left toward the National Forest. DCSO is in contact with Oregon State Police who are relaying information to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Sheriff's Office reminds everyone to stay alert, hike in groups, keep dogs on leashes, don't feed wildlife and store food in containers. If you encounter a cougar that doesn't retreat, don't run, but make noise, raise your arms and prepare to fight back. Click HERE for more information from ODFW. If you are involved in a face-to-face encounter with a cougar or any dangerous animal, call ODFW or OSP. 

 

File photo

Wanted Bend Man Arrested After Brief Standoff

BEND, OR -- A 35-year-old Bend man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a brief standoff with police. According to Bend PD, officers responded to the home on Murphy Road around 12:30 p.m., after a parole and probation officer attempted to contact Gary Vincent Spaniol, Jr. 

According to the officer, Spaniol had a felony warrant for absconding on his probation. When the officer told Spaniol that he was under arrest, he retreated into the house and refused to come out. 

Bend Police surrounded the home and were able to make phone contact with the man, who was on probation after a first-degree theft conviction. A crisis negotiator spoke with Spaniol for approximately 45 minutes to convince him to exit the house.  He was taken into custody without incident at 1:54 p.m. 

Semi Blocks Single-Lane Jefferson County Bridge

MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is urging drivers to avoid Pelton Dam Road - the road that leads to Lake Simtustus. A semi apparently tried to cross the Willow Creek Bridge late Tuesday night, and got stuck. The bridge is a single lane and signs are posted noted a restricted length for this portion of the road. In a Facebook post, JCSO says a crew is removing the truck and hopes to have the road reopened by 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

Alternate access to the lake is off SW Belmont Lane to Elk Drive. 

 

Photos courtesy the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

 

More Beers Bought, More Trees Planted

BEND, OR-- Four Oregon beverage makers - including one in Central Oregon - are teaming up to plant trees in Oregon's parks and forests, following the devestating 2020 wildfires and damaging heat in 2021.

Sunriver Brewing’s Ryan Duley tells KBND News, "We really wanted to find a way to support the regrowth - or, whatever we could do to help out this situation. Having Stoller Wine, Fort George and Portland Cider all involved, we can have a larger impact than we’d be able to do on our own, as far as how much we could raise and in turn, how many trees we could help plant." It's a partnership with the nonprofit Oregon Parks Forever.

Duley says, "In the month of July and August, every six-pack of cans of one of the four participating breweries, wineries, cideries we give $1 and that $1 equates to one tree." Those purchases must be made at a participating retailer. Duley says shoppers can look for large displays promoting the "You buy one, we plant one" campaign, "Our goal is to raise $25,000 to plant 25,000 trees."

It's the second year for the effort. Duley says the group raised $25,000 in 2021. 

Declines In Oregon Gas Prices

BEND, OR-- Prices at the pump fell for the second week in a row. AAA’s Marie Dodds tells KBND News, "National average for regular drops 9 cents, to $4.88 a gallon. The Oregon average dips three cents to $5.50. And, we’re seeing similar drops in most Oregon communities this week, ahead of the busy Fourth of July travel period." In Bend, the local average fell 4 cents to $5.55.

Dodds says there’s one main reason for the decline, "We saw the price of crude fall the last couple of weeks, basically, on global fears of an economic slowdown, which would lead to less demand for oil."

She believes gas prices will rebound next week, "We are expecting huge demand numbers for gasoline the rest of this week and through next week, because of the Fourth of July holiday. And, in addition, we are seeing crude oil prices climb again this week." The spike in demand and the cost of crude are sure to push gas prices back up next week.

 

Washington Driver Hurt In Tumalo-Area Crash

TUMALO, OR -- A Washington woman was hurt in a crash near the Tumalo Cemetery, Tuesday. Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies responded to Cline Falls Highway at about 4:40 p.m. and found a Subaru Forester laying on its driver's side on the southbound shoulder. 

Investigators say the 34-year-old was driving north on Cline Falls Highway when she failed to negotiate a curve. Her car crossed the road and struck a fence and power pole. She was thrown from the vehicle when it rolled on its side. Deputies provided medical care until medics arrived and transported her to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. 

Investigators say they haven’t yet determined whether speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. DCSO was assisted in the investigation by the Bend Fire Department, the Oregon State Police, Pacific Power, and the Deschutes County Public Works.

Changes Coming For Bail Guidelines

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Circuit Court is adjusting its bail rules to align with new state law, beginning July first. Presiding Judge Wells Ashby says it eliminates the use of bail schedules which mandated how much someone paid to be released while awaiting trial, "The goal was to move toward more equity in who’s being held at the jail, certainly pre-trial, while also maintaining community safety, pre-trial."

The change is to comply with SB 48, passed by the Oregon Legislature earlier this year. It recognizes the Supreme Court’s 1987 ruling that detention prior to trial should be a “carefully limited exception.”

After a person is arrested, the jail will use the crime category and any overriding factors to decide whether a person is a good candidate to be released on their own recognizance or should be booked until they see a judge, "There will be either a Sheriff’s deputy or a release assistance officer who will look at the crime charged, look at some of the overriding circumstances," Judge Ashby tells KBND News, "So, if it’s a DUI, they could be released on sobriety conditions; but if they got a DUI the week before, they’re going to be held to see the judge. And that’s when those overriding circumstances are important."

Some may still have to post bail - or “security.” Ashby says, "It doesn’t eliminate it altogether, and there’s an important middle category, which is ‘release on conditions.’ Those conditions could be no victim contact, no consumption of intoxicants, but it still allows for security."

He says the hope is to stop dangerous people from being released too quickly, "Cash bail systems really favor people with cash. And that’s a very crude measure of crime seriousness - so, typically, the more serious the crime, the higher the amount required to post to be released - there are some people who can really post any amount. Or, it’s much easier for people of means to post security in cases. And that doesn’t necessarily reflect the risk they pose to the community."

Motorcyclist Killed In Jefferson County Crash

CULVER, OR -- A motorcyclist was killed and two other people were injured in a crash that shut down Highway 97 north of Terrebonne Tuesday afternoon. The crash occurred at about 2 o’clock, at the intersection of Highway 97 and Culver Highway.

State Police say 31-year-old Mario Villagomez, of Prineville, was driving west on Culver Highway and ran a stop sign. His car collided with a Honda motorcycle, ridden by a couple from Manson, Washington.  OSP says 65-year-old Martin Fox died at the seen; 62-year-old Susan Fox was critically injured and flown to St. Charles Bend.

Villagomez was also taken to the hospital. Highway 97 didn’t fully reopen until almost 7 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy Central Oregon Daily News

High Desert Rendezvous Returns In Person

BEND, OR-- For the first time since 2019, the High Desert Museum’s signature fundraiser, High Desert Rendezvous, will take place in person at the Museum on Saturday, August 27 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. This marks the 33rd year of the High Desert Rendezvous, making it one of the longest-running fundraisers in Central Oregon.

“Returning in person after two years makes this a very special High Desert Rendezvous,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, in a statement. “We will gather together again, celebrate the Museum’s 40th anniversary and the accomplishments of the past year, and raise a glass to our generous community.”

In addition to dinner, a raffle and entertainment, Rendezvous is also a chance to bid on art by traditional and contemporary artists in the juried exhibition and silent auction Art in the West, which opens at the Museum on Saturday, July 23. A gallery guide of the artwork in the exhibition will be available on the Museum’s website on July 18 at highdesertmuseum.org/aiw.

An individual ticket for Rendezvous is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers, and for a couple the event costs $300 for members and $350 for nonmembers. Sponsorship tables are available for parties of eight or 10. A list of sponsor benefits including VIP perks and community recognition can be viewed at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr.

The 2022 Rendezvous Honoree is Cameron Kerr. The wife of Museum founder Don Kerr and a self-described “lifetime volunteer,” she has been an active and stalwart supporter since the institution opened in 1982. Today, she is a Museum Trustee and Collections 

Committee Chair, and she can be seen regularly in the Museum’s collections department helping volunteers and supporting staff. 

“Cameron is a treasured friend of the Museum and a meaningful Honoree for our 40th year,” Whitelaw said. “She has supported the staff, volunteers and visitors since the very beginning and through four decades of growth.”

This year’s High Desert Rendezvous silent auction will take place online. It’s packed with luxurious items and one-of-a-kind experiences, from wine tastings in California to stays at your favorite Central Oregon resorts. Online bidding opens Friday, August 19 and ends on Monday, August 29. 

We are grateful to all the generous businesses and organizations that donate items and experiences to our silent auction. Those interested in donating items to be featured in the High Desert Rendezvous silent auction may contact Senior Donor Relations Manager Megan Kantrim at mkantrim@highdesertmuseum.org or call 541-382-4754 ext. 332. 

The High Desert Rendezvous helps support the Museum’s educational programs, ensuring the Museum continues to be a place where people and the landscape thrive together.

The 33rd annual High Desert Rendezvous is presented by First Interstate Bank. 

Learn more about and register for the High Desert Rendezvous at highdesertmuseum.org/hdr

Hot Weather Brings Safety Reminders At Bend's Whitewater Park

BEND, OR-- Warm weather brings renewed calls for safety at Bend’s Whitewater Park. Julie Brown, with Bend Parks and Rec, says recent rule changes caught some users by surprise, "We’re not allowing leashes of any kind. And, that is an adjustment for surfers in particular. The large majority of surfers previously had been using a leash attached to their surfboard." She tells KBND News, "Anything that has the ability to hold you underwater can be a real hazard. So, we have a new rule where we’re not allowing leashes."

The new rule is in response to an April 30th incident that killed a local surfer. An investigation found the teen’s leash may have gotten caught in part of the wave mechanism, pulling him underwater.

Brown says, "We’re also strongly encouraging the use of helmets and life jackets, or PFDs. For life jackets and PFDs, we worked with Bend Paddle Trail Alliance and have some loaners available".

Brown says surfing in a river is unique, "The whitewater park includes class 3 and above whitewater conditions and so these safety improvements are really important for everyone to continue to enjoy it."

 

Photo courtesy Bend Park and Recreation District

Drought Lingers In Southern, Central Oregon

BEND, OR-- Following the fourth wettest April to May ever recorded in Oregon, we’re now heading into the dry season. While the precipitation is needed, Climatologist Karen Bumbaco says some crops are now suffering from all that late season rain, "Some of the reports that came out of NASS, such as the US cherry production is down about 21% from 2021, and they were putting that blame on the cold weather we were seeing in spring."

And, the wet spring doesn’t mean we’re done with drought. Dr. Joe Casola, NOAA’s Western Regional Climate Services Director, says central and southern Oregon won’t get enough rain to recover from three years of persistent drought. "Given that the average precipitation for July and August are so little, the numbers that you’d need would be astronomical for, let’s say southern Oregon. The reality is they’re not going to recover from drought this water year." He predicts most of the west will see above average temperatures with below average rainfall this summer, and those dry conditions will increase the risk of wildfire.

Dr. Casola says moisture in western and northern Oregon has helped. "Streams had a lot of drought improvement. However, there is drought persistent in southern parts of Oregon and southern parts of Idaho, and that is anticipated to continue throughout the summertime."

 

Image courtesy of Dr. Casola, NOAA

Alpenglow Park Ready For Visitors

BEND, OR -- The Bend Park and Recreation District is ready to open Alpenglow Community Park in Southeast Bend. Located at 61049 SE 15th Street, a half mile north of Knott Road, the 37-acre park is in one of Bend’s rapidly growing areas. The park is open for public use now, with a couple of exceptions – the playground awaits final approval, expected next week, and the pedestrian bridge over the railroad will be completed next month. Surfacing installation challenges and the wet spring weather caused playground delays that are resolved now and final inspection is scheduled for next week.

Alpenglow Park includes an open lawn area, bouldering area, playground and sprayground, event pavilion, off-leash area for dogs, future demonstration garden, and several accessible trails and multi-use pathways.

“Alpenglow is a community park that has something for everyone, regardless of age or ability, and I am beyond excited for the public be able to enjoy this amazing space,” said Ian Isaacson, BPRD landscape architect and project manager. “I had the opportunity to work with an incredible team to see Alpenglow go from the drawing board to reality. This was only made possible because of the engagement, support and, most importantly, the patience of the community.”

A park grand opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, July 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. It's a free community event with entertainment, demonstrations of the park amenities, family-friendly activities, and an opportunity to connect with area neighborhood associations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic; a small number of vendors will be on site with food for purchase too.

The property for Alpenglow Community Park was acquired in 2014, with funds from a 2012 voter- approved bond measure. The 37-acre parcel was purchased from the J.L. Ward family for $3.77 million. Construction began last year

Development of the park is funded by System Development Charge (SDC) resources. SDCs are collected to provide funding for parks and trails to support growth in the community. Development of the park, including planning, design, permitting, construction and purchase of a residence lot in the Hidden Hills neighborhood for a railroad bridge crossing was $9.53 million.

The construction contract for the park was awarded to Griffith Construction in a competitive bid process. This company has main offices in Prineville and much of the work on the park was completed by local tradespeople.

Park features

With less than 8% of the park space being lawn area, Alpenglow Community Park is intentionally abundant with natural areas.The views of the Cascades showcase the high desert landscape and incorporate mature stands of ponderosa pine and juniper trees.

The sprayground is the first of its kind for the park district and an often-requested park amenity. Water play is reported to benefit a wide range of users with a space to develop social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. Available to users of all ages, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds, the new sprayground will provide a reprieve from hot weather, free of charge.

The sprayground is controlled by a timer and sensors, using less than 4 gallons of water per minute cycle. Reclaimed water from the sprayground will enter landscape swales in the parking lot and eventually return a portion of water to the natural water table.

Adjacent to the sprayground is the 6,500 sq. ft. playground. Designed using universal design principals, the playground is usable by people of all ages and abilities. It includes musical play features and a wheelchair swing that is unique to Bend.

Alpenglow also has accessible pathways and trail connections, bringing new recreation and transportation possibilities for a wide variety of users. There are 2.2 miles of ADA-accessible paved paths, including a 0.9-mile perimeter loop path, and 1.3 miles of soft surface natural trail too.

The bouldering area is another first for a Bend park. Three structures include natural routes, set routes with hand-holds and accessible routes with rope assist climbing for adaptive climbers and climbers with disabilities. The park also includes two shade structures, four restrooms, parking and 12 bike racks.

Learn more about the park on Bend Parks & Rec's webpage.

DCSO Seeks Homes For Livestock

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to find forever homes for a number of animals at their rescue ranch, including four pigs.

Mariya Leufven has been caring for Poppy and Tulip (pictured) since last year, "We received a report of these two pigs who were abandoned by the previous owner who left town, and we were able to confirm that he moved out of state." She tells KBND News, "They were very stand-offish in the beginning. They were - I wouldn’t say fearful - but they just didn’t like interacting with people. So, part of what we do is we want to make sure that the animals that we do place into permanent homes do not have any fear of people or any aggression." One also turned out to be pregnant and gave birth to a premature litter. The one survivor, Thomas, is also available for adoption. And, there's Gertrude, "She came to us as a 'stray,' summer of last year. She was found in La Pine. We attempted to locate the owner but no one came forward."

Technician Leufven says these pigs aren’t bacon. The Sheriff's Office spends time, money and energy nursing them back to health, and expects them to be cared for. "These are large breed pigs, so we are looking for a home that will provide a proper environment." She adds, "Part of our requirements, when folks adopt from us, is that they own the pigs or any animal they adopt from us for a minimum of a year."

Two horses, a couple of sheep and a goose will also soon be available for adoption, "If folks are interested in adopting any of the animals that are available, they do need to fill out an application and we’ll do a background check and a property check, as well as check on references." You’ll find contact information and details on the four pigs at the Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page. The other animals will be posted soon.

Passing Train Blamed For Bend Brush Fire

BEND, OR -- Bend Fire & Rescue responded to a report of a small "outside fire" in southeast Bend, near Robal Lane and Nels Anderson Road, just before 1:30 p.m. Monday. Before crews arrived, 911 received more calls of a rapidly growing brush fire on the east side of the railroad tracks in the area, possibly spreading to a shed. 

When they arrived, they found a fast moving fire on Raymond Ct. Everyone in a nearby home evacuated safely with their two cats, and neighbors were spraying flames with a garden hose. 

The fire was quickly knocked down, and crews remained on scene for approximately 90 minutes to mop up and ensure no spot fires. An older shed was destroyed, along with some belongings stored inside; damage is estimated at $500. Bend Fire & Rescue was assisted on scene by Bend Police, the US Forest Service, and BNSF. 

Investigators discovered a train passed through the area about 30 minutes prior, and sparks from that train ignited tall grass and brush on the Raymond Court side of the tracks. Officials say fortunately, many of the fuels still have a high moisture content due to spring rains. They believe it would have been far more intense if this occurred 3-4 weeks further in to fire season.  

They say, "Now is the time to look at your property, and prepare for wildfire season.  Cut tall grass, thin and remove excessive or dead brush, and limb up trees on your property. If you live within the boundaries of Bend Fire & Rescue, or Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District #2, we offer free consultations." Call 541-322-6386 to schedule an appointment.  

Eight-Hour Standoff Leads To Arrest In La Pine

LA PINE, OR -- An eight-hour standoff led to an arrest early Monday morning. According to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a report of a restraining order violation on Sparks Drive in La Pine, Sunday evening. 

During the investigation deputies learned 42-year-old Kelly Lee Clark was on a property he was restrained from due to an active Restraining Order. At approximately 4:30 pm, deputies went to the property in an effort to contact Clark, but he went inside and barricaded himself in the house. The SWAT team responded to the location. During further investigation, deputies learned Clark had assaulted and pointed a firearm at another man at the residence earlier in the day.

SWAT Team members attempted to contact Clark through multiple means for eight hours, until he was ultimately taken into custody at 12:30 am on June 27th and booked into the jail.

Clark is charged with Assault in the Second Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Menacing, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Contempt of Court (Restraining Order Violation), Theft in the Third Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, Escape in the Third Degree.

The investigation is ongoing and additional information may follow.

Bend Fire Celebrates New Ladder Truck

BEND, OR-- Bend Fire and Rescue celebrates its new ladder truck Tuesday with a traditional fire service ceremony. The 107' truck will respond to calls in and around Bend, and Chief Todd Riley says it replaces a previous truck that was in service for more than 19 years, "Our response equipment - it doesn’t last forever. To get 20 years out of a ladder truck, that is the end of its life and that’s industry standard. And, it’s time for us to replace it." He adds, "The reach is the same; we can still reach every building in Bend. We have 107’ vertical capability." But, he says, "It’s a new engine, new chassis and the safety features that come along with it are really important. But, it does have a ton more equipment on it and gives us a lot more capabilities."

Bend Fire and Rescue puts a new apparatus into operation this week. Chief Riley says, "The types of things that firefighters on a ladder truck do on a fire are essential for, not only putting fires out, but for keeping firefighters and civilians safe. So, they actually do serve a different and unique function on fires." 

The public is invited to take part in Tuesday's celebration. Chief Riley says there will be, "A ceremonial wash-down, which is symbolic of rinsing off the horses from way back in the day, after a fire. And then, we’re actually going to do a push-in, with the community members pushing this ladder truck into the fire station." That event starts at 2 p.m. at the North Station on Northeast Jamison.

New Route For Fourth Of July Pet Parade

BEND, OR -- Bend’s annual Fourth of July Pet Parade returns this year with a new route. Bend Parks and Rec announced parade staging will be at Harmon Park at 9 a.m. Monday. Then at 10, the parade heads north on Harmon to Newport, then east to Wall Street and onto Drake Park - it’s the same route used for the Christmas Parade, Veterans Parade and others.

Parade participants are encouraged to arrive in costume with a pet or stuffed animal and on pulled wagons, bikes or trikes. Parade spectators are also welcome to watch all the action on the new parade route.

The Fourth of July Parade began in 1924. It was canceled in 1943 for World War II, and in 2020 and 21 due to COVID.

“Bringing the pet parade back as part of the holiday is welcomed by community members and park district staff,” said BPRD's Julie Brown in a statement. “We encourage all parade goers to review the new route that we anticipate will accommodate the size of the event from recent years and make for a great event.”

Returning for this year’s parade are traditional entries of the Pioneer Queen, a 1929 Pershing fire truck and Boy Scout Troop #25 as flag bearers. One of the largest parades in Central Oregon, it is anticipated that more than 8,000 people participate and watch the parade.

PARADE DETAILS & PARKING:

  • All ages welcome.
  • No registration necessary.
  • Leash up and clean up after pets.
  • No rabbits, cats or aggressive animals. Do not give away or sell animals.
  • Large animals need to arrive early; trailer parking on Riverside Blvd.
  • Equestrians, please wear helmets.
  • No solicitation, commercial floats, motorized vehicles, motorcycles or distribution of anything, including candy.
  • Best parking: Outer perimeter of downtown and in parking garage.
  • ADA parking available at Highland at Kenwood School on Newport Ave., in downtown parking garage and in City of Bend parking lot on Franklin Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help as monitors on the parade route, assist in the start & finish areas and more. Click HERE for more information and volunteer sign up.

Prineville Police Chief To Retire

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins plans to retire this Friday and Captain Larry Seymour will take over. Cummins has served 38 years in law enforcement, working in San Diego and Gresham before coming to Prineville in 2015. 

While the shift seems sudden to some, City Manager Steve Forrester says Cummins and others have been working for years to train up the department’s next leaders. Forrester says when Cummins was hired seven years ago, the department was working to get fully accredited and train up leaders from within. "Larry, because he was identified as a leader - Mr. Seymour, who’s now Captain - He was on the ground floor of that." Forrester tells KBND News, "I wanted somebody in leadership, as he worked his way through Sergeants and then on to Captain, to have that skill set; and he’s done that in spades, along with a whole lot of other things." He adds, "It became very clear to us that we had our next chief. And, we have been investing in him: FBI Academy, professional trainings, leadership training, developmental trainings, all these skill sets."

Forrester says, "We wanted to have somebody who’s vested in the community, who has roots here, family here and dedication to our community - ideally, that would be our best candidate. And that’s why we have made these investments and put this time in with Larry. He’s met all these requirements that were set back, literally 8 years ago, on his pathway to becoming our choice - and really it’s my choice - for our next Chief."

Cummins issued a statement Friday saying he’s confident Captain Seymour is the right person to lead Prineville PD.

 

Photo: Chief Dale Cummins in 2015

OR Politicians Vow To Protect Abortion Rights

PORTLAND, OR -- Reaction from Oregon lawmakers was overwhelmingly opposed to the Supreme Court's abortion decision. Representative Cliff Bentz - the only Republican in Oregon’s Congressional delegation - tweeted “A momentous decision. Every human life is sacred.” But his was a rare statement among Oregon’s elected officials. Governor Kate Brown appeared in a video with the Governors of Washington and California saying, "We will continue to protect patients from any state who come to our states for abortion care." Oregon’s Secretary of State, Attorney General, other members of Congress and U.S. Senators - all Democrats - issued statements saying they will protect abortion rights here.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was back in Oregon over the weekend, just 24 hours after the High Court's decision. He told reporters on Saturday Congress needs to pass legislation to protect women’s web searches, text messages and location tracking, "I believe the language in the Alito opinion is so sweeping that women are going to have their personal data weaponized against them." The Oregon Democrat also called on tech companies to take immediate steps to limit collection and retention of customer data.

And, he says, supporters need to speak out more than just at the ballot box, "Voting is a key part of it. But, we’ve got to be everywhere. We’ve got to be in the communities, we’ve got to be holding rallies, we’ve got to be doing advocacy work and education work."

On Friday, within hours of the opinion going publice, Senators Wyden and Jeff Merkley issued video statements from a Washington D.C. pro-choice rally. Merkley said, "Choices that should be only their choice with the consultation with their doctor and whoever else they want, in terms of religious advisor or their partner. Our entire government is set up to defend the rights of individuals against overbearing government. This is overbearing government at its worst."

Wyden said it takes away a fundamental right, "This is a horrifying decision and it means, for American women, they will have fewer rights than their grandmothers had." Both Oregon Democrats said they are committed to passing federal protections of abortion rights and preventing a nationwide ban. 

Bend Woman Killed In Klamath County Crash

CHILOQUIN, OR -- A Bend woman was killed in an overnight crash on Highway 97 in Klamath County. According to OSP, a pickup collided head-on with an SUV driven by 35-year-old Cybil Nelson of Bend. Both vehicles were destroyed by the resulting fire; Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in the pickup, from Yuba City, CA was also killed. The truck’s driver was flown to St. Charles Bend. Two toddlers and another adult passenger were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The crash was reported at 12:35 a.m. Friday, 20 miles south of Chiloquin. Highway 97 was closed for about 5 hours for the investigation.

Any witnesses to the collision who were not already interviewed by investigators or those with information related to the crash are asked to call OSP Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888. Reference Case #SP22-155016.

St. Charles To Offer COVID Vaccines To Young Children

BEND, OR -- Young children can begin receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at St. Charles Family Care clinics starting Monday. The vaccine is free and available for children 6 months to 4 years of age. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling a Family Care clinic or via the MyChart patient portal.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccination for young children who are at least 6 months old. “This is important progress in our fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Cynthia Maree, St. Charles’ medical director of infection prevention said in a statement. “Vaccines continue to be effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization. In children, they also help prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome and may prevent long COVID.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization because clinical trials—which included more than 4,500 children and continued during different phases of the Omicron wave—proved it is safe and effective. The FDA also gave emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine, but for efficiency, St. Charles is only offering the Pfizer vaccine.

For the 6-months to 4-years-old age group, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered in three doses, with two doses spaced three weeks apart and followed by a third dose at least two months later. Each shot has less vaccine in it than the dosage for older children and adults. Vaccination is considered most effective seven days after the third dose.

“COVID-19 is still in Central Oregon and is still a threat to our children,” Maree said. “I strongly recommend parents discuss vaccination with their pediatrician if they have more questions.”

To schedule an appointment:

Filing Period Opens For Bend City Council Candidates

BEND, OR -- Three City Council seats and the position of Mayor will appear on the November ballot.  The filing period is now open through August 30. Information about filing, including forms, can be found here. Candidates must reside within the city limits of Bend for at least one year prior to taking office and be a registered voter. 

The Bend City Council is comprised of six Council members and an elected Mayor. Councilors are elected to four-year terms. This time, however, one of the Council positions is for the remaining two years of a vacated seat. (Position 4 was formerly Rita Schenkelberg’s seat which is now filled by Stephen Seghal as an appointee through the end of this year.)

Other terms that expire at the end of this year are Gena Goodman-Campbell (Council Position 5) and Barb Campbell (Position 6). Goodman-Campbell is temporarily filling the role of Mayor (Council Position 7) following the resignation of former Mayor Sally Russell, and the current mayoral term also expires the end of 2022. Those elected in November will begin serving January 2023.

Council meets at least four nights each month; Councilors automatically sit on the Bend Urban Renewal Agency Board, serve on the Budget Committee and participate in other local and regional committees.

Information on nomination petitions is available in the office of the Bend City Recorder, 710 NW Wall Street, second floor. For additional information, call the City Recorder’s Office at 541-388-5517.

U.S. Senate Passes Gun Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Biden is calling on the House to quickly vote on a gun safety bill approved Thursday night in the Senate. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley tweeted a video shortly after the vote, calling the bipartisan gun safety bill a victory. "It, for example, invests in mental health for our schools and our community health clinics, and it provides extra scrutiny for those under 21 who are buying a rifle, and it closes the boyfriend loophole." He added, "These are not earth shattering, but they are substantial. And, we saw Democrats and Republicans come together and enact gun safety legislation of some significance for the first time in 30 years."

All 50 Democrats voted for the bill, along with 15 Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will bring quickly bring it for a vote so it can be signed by the President.

Bethlehem Inn Opens Redmond Shelter

REDMOND, OR -- The Bethlehem Inn officially opens its new Redmond homeless shelter this week. Executive Director Gwenn Wysling says work to renovate the 1960s-era Greenway Motel was partially funded through the Legislature, which approved money to help communities convert old hotels and motels into shelters for the houseless. It’s the first “Project Turnkey” property in Redmond. "And it is the first year-round shelter in Redmond," Wysling tells KBND News, "One of our wonderful partners, Shepherd’s House, has done winter shelters for, I believe, 7 or 8 years and they too are looking to bring a shelter also here to Redmond, because we have seen the need expand."

Wysling says they'll start with 15-20 adults, but the facility will eventually house 88 in dormitory-style rooms. She adds, they learned from their Bend facility and included critical features in Redmond, "We have a commercial kitchen. We’ve operated a shelter before, for 10 years, without a kitchen and we weren’t going to do that again. A dining room; and, we of course needed a dining space if we’re going to have 88 people living in this facility."

The shelter recently received its certificate of occupancy, Wysling says they can now provide a slate of services to the houseless community, "We offer case management to immediately assess what their individual situation is. Housing is, obviously, of utmost concern. But we want to look at: what is their current employment status/income? Many people are working; they’re just struggling to find housing. So, we want to use the case management goal setting to see how they can get connected to the resources." She says they work with 70 partner agencies to help residents.

The Redmond Chamber will host a ribbon-cutting Friday at 1 p.m. at the shelter located at 5th and NW Birch. 

Oregon Lawmakers React To SCOTUS Abortion Decision

SALEM, OR -- The U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade with their Friday morning deision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Their ruling allows individual states to ban abortion. 

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel tweeted the decision "undermines trust in our criminal legal system and the safety of our communities. In response, I joined with 82 fellow elected prosecutors in pledging to not prosecute those who seek or assist w/ abortion care."

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan issued a statement shortly after the decision was public: 

"The right to control your own body and future is fundamental to our freedom in America. With today’s decision to end our national constitutional right to an abortion, 6 people on the Supreme Court have put the lives of millions in danger and made our country less free.

"Let’s be clear: In Oregon, abortion is legal. It is still your right. You can travel to Oregon to get an abortion if you need to.

"In 2017 Oregon passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), one of the strongest abortion access laws in the country, codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and making the full range of reproductive health care services more accessible and affordable for all Oregonians.

"While our rights are protected in Oregon, today’s decision will have devastating consequences around the country. This is a difficult day and many of us are concerned for our communities and our children. We are in this together though. I’ve been in this struggle to support access to abortion and I’ll continue to be no matter what."

Moments after the decision came down, Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said it forever changes the right to abortion for Americans:

“When you have to make the most intimate, personal decisions that will impact your life and your health and body, I don’t know anyone who wants some politician in the room. Yet, that is exactly the impact of this Supreme Court opinion for millions and millions of Americans, who suddenly find an overbearing government dictating their path. This assault on Americans’ rights and freedom is shocking.

“After today, we will see the very real and dangerous consequences across the country of taking away the right to safe and legal abortions. It’s on all of us – Members of Congress, medical professionals, advocates,and voters – to stand up against this nightmare vision of people forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will.  Each one of us should have the freedom to live our lives without politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.

“Across the country, millions of Americans face abortion being criminalized – even in the case of rape or incest or when the patient’s life is in danger. I’m proud to be from a state like Oregon, where we have made it clear we will stand strong for the right to compassionate reproductive care. The decision to have an abortion is one that should be made by you and only you – not by judges, not by MAGA politicians, and not by your ability to pay or the zip code you live in. Today’s news is incredibly disturbing and a huge blow to freedom across America, but we will not give up the fight.”

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued this statement:

“Today’s radical decision to overturn Roe v. Wade tosses out a half century of legal precedent, curtails the fundamental rights of women, and jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of people across the country. These radical Justices have ensured American women today have fewer rights than their grandmothers had decades ago – rights that have proven essential to the health, economic participation and freedom of people to control their own bodies. To be clear, the anti-abortion movement won’t stop here. What’s next is the criminalization of abortion – women and doctors in jail, or worse. 

“We knew this decision was coming, but that doesn't make it any less horrifying. The Court has betrayed and defied the American people, who are rightfully terrified that the most powerful people in the country are clearly eager to violate their privacy and the basic human right to control their own bodies.

“The ultimate recourse for the American people is to expand majorities in the House and Senate that will do whatever it takes to codify Roe into law and expand access to safe, legal abortion nationwide. In the meantime, beginning right now, state and local leaders who are committed to women’s rights must take steps to expand access to abortion and protect the people and health care providers they represent from the extremists who are criminalizing it. States that respect women’s rights have a duty to put in place insurmountable obstacles to the prosecution of women or doctors for decisions made within their borders. Furthermore, the Congress must pass legislation protecting people’s data so their web searches, text messages and location tracking aren’t weaponized against them. Technology companies must take immediate steps to limit the collection and retention of customer data so that they don’t become tools of persecution.

“This is going to be the fight of our lifetime, and I am all in to do what it takes to protect the right to safe and legal abortion for generations to come.”

The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued a joint statement, saying they've made a Multi-State Commitment to "defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states."
This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors’ commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states. The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible.
A copy of the Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom can be found here.
In a video message, the governors share a powerful message that the West Coast will remain a place where reproductive health care will be accessible and protected.
“Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry, and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care –– please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tweeted: 

Oregon U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader tweeted

Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio Tweeted: 

 

 

This is a developing story.

 

Great Drake Park Duck Race Returns

BEND, OR-- The ducks are headed back to the river! We’re talking about those little rubber duckies that float downstream as part of the Great Drake Park Duck Race.

Duck race raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at First Community, Mid Oregon, OnPoint, and SELCO Credit Union or online, starting June 29th. Local Rotarians and the Duck mascot will also be out in the community promoting ticket sales throughout the summer. Look for them at familiar venues such as Newport Avenue Market.

This year’s ticket sales benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Deschutes Children's Foundation and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery. After a two-year hiatus, the ducks take the plunge September 11th!

Biden Proposes Federal Gas Tax Holiday

BEND, OR -- President Biden has called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days, through the busy summer travel season. "Whenever we fill up, we pay 18 cents in federal gas taxes," says AAA's Marie Dodds.

A so-called “holiday” for that federal tax would bring down prices at the pump, "Supporters say, ‘yes it’s much needed because even 18 cents a gallon is helpful right now when gas prices are still near record highs."

But, she says, it also means less money for federal transportation projects, "When we look at transportation infrastructure in the U.S., it gets a C to a D to an F, when it comes to safety and maintenance. "

Oregon’s state fuel tax is 38 cents a gallon. 

Bend Parks & Rec Grants Available For Summer Pgms

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Recreation is offering financial help to families who can’t afford summer recreation activities. The support is through an Oregon Community Summer Grant award allocated through the Legislature.

Families can apply for help paying for programs like summer day camps, swim lessons and art programs, or to buy necessary equipment. To register, complete a recreation scholarship application or call 541-389-7275.

BPRD distributed $925,000 in recreation scholarships to individuals with financial need over the past three years. Financial assistance jumped 76% from 2019 to 2021, with increased investment in programs serving low-income populations.

250+ Drivers Ticketed For Parkway Speeding

BEND, OR -- Bend Police issued 259 citations during a recent 14-day speed detail on the Parkway. The agency says 250 of those were for speeding, eight for driving while suspended and one other ticket.

They also issued 68 warnings and one person was arrested for an active warrant. Speeders were ticketed for going between 58 and 84 miles an hour; the speed limit on the parkway is 45.

Their busiest day was June 10, when they stopped 42 drivers and wrote 36 tickets.

 

File Photo

Redmond Police Shoot "Aggressive" Dog

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police shot two dogs during a Tuesday night investigation into a stolen trailer. Authorities say detectives were trying to talk to people in a camp east of 17th Street, when they were confronted by two aggressive off-leash dogs. They say one of the detectives unsuccessfully attempted to get away from the dogs and fired at one of the dogs, which later died.   

A short time later, police say, a third off leash and aggressive dog ran towards the detective.  The dog owner and another person attempted to gain control of the dog without success.  The detective shot at the dog, which fled.  The status of this dog is currently unknown.  Officers stayed on scene and buried the deceased dog for the owner. 

RPD is conducting an internal review of the incident, with findings later presented to the captain and chief. The incident will also be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review, per policy. 

Jefferson County Celebrates Health Campus Opening

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical celebrate their new Health and Wellness Center Friday, with a 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony.

County Health Services Director Michael Baker says the facility opened last month and is already providing more streamlined healthcare for the community, "As simple as, a client walks in and we don’t provide the services that they need, we can now physically walk them to the provider that they need to make sure there’s that warm hand-off. To make sure that someone gets engaged in the services. And, I think that’s something that was missed as we were all spread out throughout town."

The building is 19,486 square feet: 9,050 for Mosaic Medical and 7,856 for County Public Health, which includes a community room with teaching kitchen. The space will be used for classes and is available for community use. Cost for the total project was $11 million. Mosaic raised nearly $5.3 million for the facility through community donations and private, state and federal grants. Jefferson County will receive $2.7 million from the state and the balance for its portion will come from the county.

The facility was built next to the Madras hospital on land donated by St. Charles. Mosaic Medical’s Elaine Knobbs says the hospital has expressed concern in the past about uninsured patients seeking treatment in the ER for preventable illness. "And now if they get that, they can say, ‘it’s your choice but there’s Mosaic Medical, right across the parking lot that you can go and establish and have a consistent medical provider that hopefully will prevent the things that are influencing you showing up in the Emergency Room'." Knobbs tells KBND News it also allows easy access to behavioral health, private medical providers, even dental care, "So, when you say ‘across the hall, you can establish with a medical provider’ or, ‘you need a dentist? It’s your choice but here’s something that’s convenient and open to seeing anyone.’ Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic will help anyone, no matter if you have insurance."

She says Mosaic has also opened a retail pharmacy on the campus, "[It] Offers discounts to the entire community. So, we could get more space for our existing medical, we could add pharmacy, and we could add more space for behavioral health and dental. We’re tripling our dental space."

For the county, Baker says the location makes serving the community and partnering with other provicers more convenient and accessible, "Selfishly, for public health, it gets us in the heart of healthcare." He adds, "As one of the most unhealthy counties in the state of Oregon, this facility and this campus really is designed to shift that. I honestly believe in the next couple of years, there will be some tremendous gains in our overall health status of the community here."

Central OR Economic Recovery Complete, Labor Shortage Continues

BEND, OR -- All three Central Oregon counties saw improved jobless numbers again in May. Jefferson County’s unemployment rate was 4.6% in May and Crook County's was 4.8%. Deschutes County’s jobless rate is now 3.4%; that's just a tenth of a point above the record low set right before the pandemic. But, Regional Economist Damon Runberg says it's no longer the fastest growing metro area, with employment expanding by just 2.5% last month. "That puts us now towards one of the slowest growth metro areas in Oregon. Portland is faster now, Eugene is faster, Corvallis is faster, Salem. The reality is, those are still metro areas that are continuing to try to recover from the pandemic. We’re just in a whole different phase of the labor market today, in Central Oregon."

That slowdown is not due to a lack of available jobs. "The level of hiring demand as measured by help wanted ads was nearly identical to what it was last summer, at a time when we were growing faster and still 77% higher than it was back in the spring of 2019," Runberg tells KBND News, "So, businesses are still trying to hire like crazy, but we’re not seeing it show up in jobs because, just lack of labor."

And that ongoing labor shortage means more job opportunities for teens who are taking advantage of signing bonuses and higher wages, "In the last six months to a year, we’ve reversed a 20+ year trend of declining rates of participation by young people, and they are reengaging in the labor market." He says the hospitality industry lost a lot of workers during pandemic shutdowns who found better pay and more stability in other fields. When things re-opened, they didn’t return, "These restaurants, these hotels are sort of left with, ‘well, who do we have left?’ And, they’re able to recruit young people and find folks who are sort of marginally attached to the labor market on the fringes a little bit."

Abortion Clinics Await SCOTUS Decision

BEND, OR -- The Supreme Court is expected to hand down another round of decisions Thursday, although it’s unclear if abortion will be among them. A decision in the Dobbs case could overturn Roe v. Wade, but it won’t change abortion access here, where state law protects providers and patients.

Because it’s such a divisive issue, clinics are taking a hard look at security. "We’re used to, anytime abortion gets in the news a little more, we do see an increase in protest activity," says Joanna Dennis-Cook, Health Center Manager for Bend's Planned Parenthood clinic, "Obviously, this is a pretty big way for abortion to be in the news so much. So, we are seeing a more sustained level of increased protest activity." She tells KBND News, "I would say, we haven’t had any problems, other than they’ve gotten more vocal than we’re used to. So far though, we’ve been fortunate that they’ve followed the rules and stayed where they need to stay."

She says staff are receiving training reminders to stay vigilant, not to wear name tags outside and be careful of who they talk to about where they work, "Keeping up the situational awareness, like we always talk to employees about. And just reminders, of course, because we can all get complacent. It’s been pretty mellow here for a really long time."

According to Dennis-Cook, clinics all over Oregon expect to see more patients from states with more restrictive abortion laws if  Roe v. Wade is overturned, "We’re just going to see a lot more pressure put on clinics surrounding those states, as they see an influx of patients." She adds, "We definitely want to ensure that we continue to be available for people who live locally, people who live in Oregon. We have definitely seen an increase of people traveling from Idaho. Specifically here in Bend, we’ve seen a significant increase over the last month or two."

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release their decision before the end of their term. They typically try to adjourn by the end of June.

Warm Weather Appealing to Boaters But Hazards Remain

SALEM, OR -- Most of Oregon will see our warmest temperatures so far this year this weekend, and rivers, lakes and reservoirs will be crowded. "The fact that school’s out; the fact that we finally have warm weather. People have been having their boats ready to go for a long time," says Brian Paulson, with the Oregon Marine Board, "Finally the stars are aligned, and people want to get out and recreate." 

Paulson is the Boating Safety Program Manager. He says our late warm-up means waterways are much colder than we’re used to, "In Downtown Portland, the Willamette River is about 57 degrees. This time last year it was 70 degrees. When you drop below 60 degrees it’s definitely high risk for cold water shock." That, he says, can turn deadly for someone who goes in the water, "That first minute is when somebody will go into muscle spasms, hyperventilation. It’s really critical that you’re wearing your life jacket. That keeps a person afloat and breathing." Paulson urges everyone to wear a life jacket equipped with a whistle or other noise making device to alert others if you get into trouble.

Boaters also need to realize many areas have higher than normal water levels, "With these stronger currents, it’s creating strainers and capsizing situations that they may not have encountered last year." Paulson says many waterways also have more debris and other hazards than typical for June. 

ODOT Wraps Several Projects Ahead Of Peak Summer Travel

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Transportation is wrapping up a number of local projects, trying to clear out crews before the busy Fourth of July weekend. ODOT’s Kacey Davey says work to expand the median on Highway 97 between Sunriver and La Pine is nearly complete. "The only thing left to do on that project is fencing for the wildlife undercrossing. So, all of the pavement work and the structures are already done, and now we’re fencing to funnel those deer and other animals under the bridge so they can safely cross the highway." Click HERE to learn more about the overall project. 

They’ve also installed a number of digital speed signs between Bend and La Pine, "Those signs will eventually be displaying the speed limit," Davey tells KBND News, "They have these crazy computer sensors on them that can sense if the road is snowy or icy, or if it’s smoky or foggy, and it’ll be able to change the speed limit to let people know what a safe driving speed will be for those highways." She says more electrical work is needed, so they won’t turn on until later this year.

ODOT crews are also nearly finished with a new pedestrian island on Highway 20 at 6th Street in Bend. Workers struck a waterline Tuesday afternoon, flooding Greenwood and surrounding businesses, and leading to be traffic delays during the evening commute. It was repaired by 10 p.m. Davey says that pedestrian crossing project should be complete by the Fourth of July. Then, crews will shift to Third Street, "That’ll be night work from 7 pm to 7am. You’ll still have single lanes of traffic there, but it’ll be a little bit more congested while we put in new signals and sidewalks and curb ramps. This is just updating existing infrastructure. Those traffic signals are getting old and the utilities under the ground and everything."

Listen to our full conversation with ODOT's Kacey Davey at our Podcast page

New Jefferson County Sheriff Gets Down To Business

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County’s new Sheriff was sworn in Monday evening. Jason Pollock was appointed to the post when former Sheriff Marc Heckathorn stepped down, following his loss to Pollock in the May election. Heckathorn's decision puts Pollock in place six months ahead of schedule.

Sheriff Pollock spoke with KBND News Tuesday evening, at the end of his first 24 hours in office. He says he has a long to-do list, "Just kind of prioritizing. Obviously, my first step this morning was to come up and make sure I get everybody in my office sworn in under me as Sheriff. The next step is to start knocking off those things I have to follow by statute." Pollock feels he’s starting out with a lot of support, "I’ve had Sheriffs reach out to me from other counties; I’ve had other department heads, locally, reach out to me. I’m pretty open minded and humbled in that I know that I don’t know everything."

After a contentious election, Pollock says his first priority is to address uncertainty and provide stability for his office, "Making sure people understand they’ve got a job. My intention is not to clean house, which some people think that is what a Sheriff does or what some Sheriffs have done in the past."

Pollock spent much of his first day in meetings. He says it's important he improves local and regional partnerships, "Under the prior administration, there was a huge disconnect with other agencies and I’m working to repair that now. Other agencies - and I don’t want to speak for them - but just the ones I’ve spoken to are very excited. And, I’m honored they’ve reached out and offered their support in any way they can. I think that’s really the first step in the healing process, not just for our community, but for our surrounding agencies."

He hopes, within six months, he can start fulfilling the campaign promise of prioritizing child abuse, drug abuse and mental health issues. "Those all, somewhat, run hand in hand," says Pollock, "So, tackling those and putting detectives in the right position, being able to fill those or keep those positions filled and set them on the right path, I think is key for being able to tackle some of those issues."

Sheriff Pollock's appointment by Jefferson County Commissioners is for the remainder of Heckathorn's term. He must still be officially elected in November, although Pollock's will be the only name to appear on the ballot. 

Broken Water Line Floods Greenwood

BEND, OR -- Crews installing a new pedestrian island on Greenwood at 6th Street hit a waterline Tuesday afternoon, causing big backups in the area. Traffic was reduced to one lane in each direction for a while, then directed through with a flagger while it was repaired.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has been working at the intersection; the new pedestrian island is part of a larger project to improve safety along Highway 20. 

Photos Courtesy Oregon Department of Transportation

FBI Offers Reward For Warm Springs Arson

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The FBI is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of people responsible for a 2021 brush fire in Warm Springs.

Emergency crews responded to Highway 3 at about 8:40 p.m. on June 21, 2021. The fire burned around 42 acres of brush and grass on the Fish Hatchery Grade, between milepost 13 and 14. 

Investigators believe the blaze was intentionally set. Anyone with information is asked to call their local FBI office. Or, Submit an anonymous Tip online.

OSU Studies Blue-Green Algae Toxins

CORVALLIS, OR -- Research at Oregon State University sheds new light on dangers posed by algae blooms that often impact water recreation in the summer.

In the summer of 2018, a blue-green algae bloom in Detroit Reservoir fouled Salem’s drinking water, forcing people to use bottled water because the toxin can’t be boiled away. "That’s a big deal," says OSU Professor of Microbiology Theo Dreher, "It put people at risk. It’s an enormous cost. And then, in the previous summer, on a private reservoir down near Lakeview in southeast Oregon, slightly over 30 cattle died in one toxicosis event."

Professor Dreher is leading the study of these blooms, to help narrow down when warnings should be issued. He tells KBND News, "In terms of the canonical toxins, not all of these blooms are toxic. But, there’s enough worry to be concerned that having close contact with any of those blooms is not a good idea. Those that are toxic can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, even liver or neurological problems. Dogs, he says, are most at risk because the algae sticks to their fur. The toxin can leach through their skin or be ingested when they lick their fur.

Researchers sampled 10 Oregon lakes and found toxic blooms in Detroit Reservoir - which supplies Salem’s drinking water, Odell Lake in the Cascades,  the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon, and Junipers Reservoir in Lake County. "It’s an enormous family of related toxins and information is still coming out, especially the one family called microcystin. There are about 200 slightly different types. And, as you can imagine, it’s hard to get your head around all of that and figure out the precise toxicity of all of those."

If a person or a pet comes in contact with water that may contain harmful bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises immediate rinsing with fresh water. Dogs should not be allowed to lick the contaminated water off their fur, the CDC adds, and a veterinarian should be called right away. Anyone swallowing water near a harmful algal bloom should immediately call a doctor or poison control center.  

BPD Investigating Shots Fired In Safeway Bathroom

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating a shooting at the Safeway on Century Drive. Officers responded to the store just after 10:15 p.m. on Monday, for a report that a shooting had taken place in the restroom. A witness informed officers a man said he’d dropped a firearm in the restroom and it had discharged. The witness reported hearing two gunshots. 

Blood was found in the restroom and the mirror was shattered. A round and shell casing were recovered at the scene. The suspect, who left the grocery store, is described as an adult male approximately 5 feet 10 inches and 170 to 180 pounds. He has not been identified.

Bend Police alerted nearby residents of a possibly armed, injured person in the area. An investigation is ongoing. 

TSA Predicts Record Season For Air Travel

REDMOND, OR -- The summer of 2019 set records at airports around the country. "TSA’s predicting that the summer travel volumes of 2022 will meet or exceed what we experienced in 2019 - those are pre-pandemic volumes," the TSA's Lorie Dankers tells KBND News, "Here at the Redmond Airport, we’re screening an average of 1,500 departing passengers a day through the security checkpoint."

Summer vacations often start with long airport security lines. But, the Transportation Security Administration says there are things you can do to ease those travel headaches. "The busiest times at the airport are early in the morning, when we have a large number of flights departing in a short period of time; that is what makes the security lines long." But, Dankers says, travelers should arrive at the airport early, regardless of the time of day your flight leaves. 

She asks everyone to do their part to keep lines moving smoothly, "People have the power to make the security screening process quick and efficient by coming prepared, by removing those prohibited items from carry-on luggage, making sure they don’t have oversized liquids. They’re going to go through the checkpoint very quickly." Dankers suggests dressing appropriately, "Make sure that when you come to the checkpoint, you’re ready to remove your shoes, that you dress for security screening; things like glitter on the shirt, glitter on your pockets - they alarm the technology. That may result in you having to be re-screened."

Dankers says the busiest US airports so far this year are those near national parks.

Pediatricians Prepare For Toddler COVID Vaccine

BEND, OR -- With the weekend approval of two COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old, many parents are asking which one is better. Dr. John Peoples, with Central Oregon Pediatric Associates, says the two versions are very different. "The Pfizer dose is 3 micrograms, the Moderna dose is 25 micrograms; as such, there are a little bit higher side effects with the Moderna dose. That being said, Pfizer did not demonstrate any efficacy of their vaccine after two doses, so it takes three doses to achieve efficacy. Moderna was able to achieve good antibody levels after two doses and they are testing a third dose." Those side effects in young children, he says, are similar to adults, like  irritability, slight fever and pain at the injection site. 

COPA expects to start giving out pediatric doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday. Dr. Peoples tells KBND News he encourages families to get their infants and toddlers immunized, "The benefit of receiving the vaccine far outweighs the risk of not getting the vaccine. It’s much safer to have the vaccine, in terms of protection. And that’s the way all our vaccine trials are designed." He's heard from parents worried about a heart condition possibly linked to the vaccine, and says the risk is small. "Myocarditis that you would get from COVID, there’s a higher risk of that and it’s a far worse outcome than the risk of Myocarditis from the immunization. Also, Myocarditis is much less common in kids 0-5 years of age."

Dr. Peoples says this is an important step in protecting infants and toddlers from preventable death, "Since 2020, 442 children 0-4 years of age have died from COVID-19 and that doesn’t sound like a huge number, but that is in the top 10 leading causes of death for children in that timeframe." He believes we’ll see another surge of the virus in the fall, when kids head back to school, "This is really a very important step because kids 6 months-5 years of age are a huge reservoir of illness and if we can start to protect them, then hopefully we can start to have COVID rates go down overall."

He urges parents to talk to their pediatrician - ask questions to learn about the risks and benefits of both versions.

Sisters Celebrates Recent Accomplishments

SISTERS, OR -- The city of Sisters and the Sisters Country Vision Implementation Team host an event Tuesday afternoon at Creekside Park, "To celebrate the collaboration and that things are getting done, that they originally came up with three years ago." Josie Newport is the Executive Director of Citizens 4 Community, which supports the Sisters Vision effort.

She says attendees at the event can take a self-guided tour of improvements at Creekside Park and around the area, "The city is providing a map and some of the projects on that map so people can see the work that’s been done."

They'll also recognize efforts of five people to improve Sisters Country, including: "Elizabeth Kirby, who has been working really hard on a community-based website. And then, she also did an event on food security, called Feast. And then we have Ian Reid at the Forest Service; he has been working with the city on a collaboration. And then we have some folks that have been working with houseless people in the forest."

Newport says Citizens 4 Community is also celebrating their recent projects, "A big one was C4C did a survey on what the community envisions for the old elementary school. That’s pretty exciting; that was kind of a combo of the Sisters School District and C4C working together to find out what the community wants that building to be."

Tuesday's event at Creekside Park is from 4-6 p.m. and includes refreshments. 

Caught: Psychiatric Patient Escapes From St. Charles Bend

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are searching for a psychiatric patient who escaped from St. Charles Bend Monday morning. They say 41-year-old Jeremy Allbritton is wanted for several new crimes, in addition to warrants out of Oregon and California.

Investigators say Allbritton recently assaulted hospital staff and should be considered dangerous. He was not armed when he left the hospital around 8:30 a.m.

Allbritton is 6' tall, about 220 pounds with short or shaved brown hair. He has numerous tattoos (pictured) and was last seen wearing green hospital scrub pants without shoes. He had removed his scrubs top. 

Anyone with information on his location should call 911; do not approach him. 

 

UPDATE (06/21/22): Bend Police say Allbritton returned to the hospital after 11 p.m. Monday. He was taken into custody and booked at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of coercion, menacing, fourth-degree assault and harassment, as well as two Deschutes County warrants and a warrant out of California and a violation of his release agreement. 

Toddlers Now Eligible For COVID Shot

SALEM, OR -- The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has unanimously approved Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old, clearing the way for those doses to be available in Oregon. "The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended expanding Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer Biotech vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years, and the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years," State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger told reporters Friday. 

Dr. Dawn Nolt, an OHSU professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases, says research on the proper dosage for young children was extensive, "You know, we wish the vaccine process was quicker for kids. But, thankfully today we’re here now and we have two vaccine products." She says many families continue to isolate and mask because of the risk to unvaccinated children, "According to the CDC, children did not fair very well during the Omicron wave. There were a lot of hospitalizations, particularly for those under five years of age. And, for our state of Oregon, those under four years of age have had the highest hospitalization rate since Omicron really surged, and that’s likely because those kids under four years of age don’t have the vaccine available."

The Oregon Health Authority believes the latest rise of COVID cases has peaked in the state, although there is still high community spread.

Bend, Redmond Urge Caution On The Fourth

BEND, OR -- This Fourth of July is the second since the city of Bend imposed a permanent ban on fireworks. However, Redmond’s City Council has decided against such a ban. Redmond Mayor George Endicott says the city is still asking people to be safe – especially in high-risk areas. "The [Dry] Canyon is a difficult area if we were to get a fire, plus it’s a natural habitat. So, please do not do fireworks in the Canyon, city parks." Endicott tells KBND News, "If you want to do them, go do them in front of your house, out in the street and use a bucket of water and all those rules the fire department tells you." And, he says, "We’re going to do a big advertising campaign to discourage use, but we’re not preventing use."

Bend City Manager Eric King acknowledges different rules in other areas mean personal fireworks are easily accessible, and says they can only do so much, "We will be focused on creating a safe environment here." King says, despite recent rain, fire danger remains high, "It’s very green everywhere; a lot of tall grasses, cheatgrass, which can actually add to some of the fire fuels. And things dry out pretty quickly in the summer. The forecast still shows a prolonged dry period." King tells KBND News, "60% of our fires are human-caused. We can’t control the lightning strikes or fierce winds that might fan a fire. But we can do our part to control our property, remove fuels and just be vigilant. As well as please sign up at Deschutes.org – sign up to get alerts so that you’re prepared in the event of a fire or any other emergency."

In Bend, you can still watch professional fireworks on the Fourth of July. The annual display launched from atop Pilot Butte starts at 10 p.m. A fireworks show is also planned for the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond on July fourth. Personal fireworks are not allowed on fairgrounds property. 

Proposed Central Oregon Villages Shelter Continues To Face Opposition

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council continues to hear concerns about a planned homeless shelter at the Desert Streams Church, near 27th and Bear Creek. Former Police Chief Jim Porter is President of the Board for Central Oregon Villages – the nonprofit proposing the shelter.

He says he understands why people are worried, "People were envisioning Hunnel Road moving into their neighborhood – unmanaged camping. And, what we’re trying to do is put managed camping in place, so you don’t see the drug abuse, you don’t see the crimes, you don’t see the victimization, you don’t see the uncontrolled camping spreading out all over." He adds, "It’s controlled camping where people are required to, number one: assist in the cleaning up of the camp. There are going to be 24-hour management on site. It’s going to be a separated, fenced in area to protect the campers as much as protect the neighborhood because we don’t want unsanctioned people sneaking in at night trying to stay at the camp." He tells KBND News because the camp would be on private church property, management can kick people out who cause a problem; something not possible on public land. 

A group opposed to the plan recently launched a website claiming people will be living in “plastic boxes.” Porter says Central Oregon Villages is modeled after what he calls a succesful managed camp in Eugene and says these tiny homes have been used successfully in other communities, "They have [a] heating source in them, an air conditioning source in them. It’s one unit. They have plug ins for recharging anything you need to recharge, they have fold-down beds, and you can fold them up and put them together in about three hours. They’re weatherproof, they’re insulated and you can break them down and move them to another location if you want to."
Porter says he saw the problems associated with unmanaged camps, during his law enforcement career and believes a public-private partnership is needed to start providing solutions. They plan to start with 10 structures serving women and children. 
 
Rendering Courtesy Central Oregon Villages

New York Hiker Rescued From South Sister

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County 911 received a call from a hiker, just before 7 p.m. Saturday. He was hurt in a fall on the north side of the South Sister and was unable to continue on his own. The 23-year-old from Ithaca, New York reportedly triggered a small avalanche, which caused him to tumble down the mountain.   

Poor weather conditions did not allow for a helicopter rescue that evening.  The hiker had access to a tent and a sleeping bag to secure himself in until a rescue team could reach him. 

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue was activated and a team set out to the hiker's location at about 9100 feet elevation on the mountain. The time it would take to travel to the location and the need to negotiate avalanche terrain made a daylight rescue the only viable option. DCSO contacted the Oregon Office of Emergency Management SAR Coordinator to request assistance from an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter Sunday morning, hoping weather conditions would allow a hoist rescue. The Oregon Army National Guard agreed to assist.

The Deschutes County Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Unit departed the Pole Creek Trailhead at about 1:00 AM to travel the nearly 9 miles to the subject. A contingency SAR team followed up the trail at about 6:00 AM, in case weather worsened and a helicopter rescue was not possible.  The first team reached the hiker at 8:50 AM, and began evaluating his condition and preparing him to move down a glacier into an area where a helicopter hoist would be safer away from a vertical cliff. The Army National Guard launched their helicopter from Salem and arrived on scene at about 10:39 AM.  At about 11:33 AM, the patient was hoisted into the Blackhawk helicopter and transported to the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. 

NE Bend Home Damaged By Fire

BEND, OR -- A garage fire sent smoke pouring into a northeast Bend home, Saturday afternoon. Crews arrived on Hunters Circle at about 1:30 p.m. and found everyone evacuated, except two cats who were rescued by firefighters.

They quickly put out the fire and determined it was caused by one of the residents welding too close to a pile of combustible materials. Sparks smoldered and later ignited. Damage is estimated at about $30,000.

Bend Fire & Rescue reminds everyone hot work such as welding or grinding can pose a fire hazard, and appropriate precautions must be taken before beginning this type of work.  The work area should be free of combustible materials, and a fire extinguisher should be nearby.  Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn.  After welding or grinding, maintain a fire watch in the area for at least 30 minutes.

McKenzie Pass Opens Monday

SISTERS, OR -- After a long winter and some surprising spring snow dumps, Oregon Department of Transportation crews have cleared OR 242 and the gates open for all travelers on Monday, June 20. The pass closed for the winter season on November 1. 

ODOT reminds motorists driving this winding road to be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians, as this is a popular scenic route for many types of road users. Remember vehicles longer than 35 feet are prohibited from using the historic highway due to its sharp, narrow curves. And, travelers could still encounter snow on the side of the road around the higher elevations of the pass. In the event of more late snow storms, there may be plows on the road.

Private funding built the highway in the 1870s for use as a wagon toll road. The section between the towns of Blue River in Lane County and Sisters in Deschutes County became a Forest Road in 1919, and soon after in 1925 was designated an Oregon State Highway.

McKenzie Pass became a seasonal scenic highway in 1962 with the completion of Oregon 126. Even during its tenure as the main route between the southern Willamette Valley and Central Oregon, the narrow, twisting roadway and high elevation (5,325 feet) made the highway too difficult to maintain and keep clear during the winter months.

Motorcyclist Killed in NW Bend Crash

BEND, OR -- A 39-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a weekend crash. Bend Police responded to Northwest Riverside Blvd and Tumalo Ave just before 2:30 Saturday morning and found witnesses performing CPR on the rider, who was partially covered by the bike.

The victim, who is from Bend, was later pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say it appears the motorcyclist was eastbound on Galveston when they failed to negotiate the curve onto Riverside. The person's name has not been released. 

Bend-La Pine Schools Launches Summer Meals

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools will again offer free, healthy meals to students throughout Central Oregon this summer as part of its annual Summer Meals program.  Meals will be available at the following locations and dates:

June 21 through Aug. 19, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Closed on June 20 and July 4.

  • Ensworth Elementary – 2150 NE Daggett Lane, Bend
  • Larkspur Park – 1700 SE Reed market Road, Bend
  • Silver Rail Elementary - 61530 SE Stone Creek Lane, Bend
  • La Pine Elementary – 51615 Coach Road, La Pine

June 27 through Aug. 26, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Closed on July 4 and Aug. 15.

  • Boys & Girls Club Downtown at Bend-La Pine Schools Ed Center 520 NW Wall Street

Anyone 18 years old and younger may participate. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children and may purchase a meal for $5.

Juneteenth Celebration Planned This Weekend

BEND, OR -- Government offices will close Monday in observance of Juneteenth. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared in 1983.

Deschutes Historical Museum Executive Director Kelly Cannon-Miller says Juneteenth honors the day the last American slaves were freed, on June 19, 1865, "The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863. It took two-and-a-half years before the message of freedom really truly reached all of the United States. And the last place was Texas." She adds, "That moment when the United States Army reaches Galveston, Texas and reads aloud this proclamation that ‘you are now free’ to the 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas, that’s a really seminal moment."

Cannon-Miller tells KBND News African American communities around the country have celebrated Juneteenth for years but it only recently gained widespread recognition. "Part of the glory of Juneteenth is that it’s very organically celebrated," she says, "It spread through African American communities across the nation, and those are special kinds of holidays." She calls it, "A moment for us to celebrate, as Americans, really trying to achieve the best qualities that we want to see in ourselves as a country. But it’s also a chance for us to learn these important lessons about why we need this holiday."

A celebration is planned Saturday and Sunday at Drake Park, from 11 to 6. Click HERE for details. The Deschutes Historical Museum is also free on Saturday as part of the commemoration. 

Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, government offices, including the DMV, will close Monday, as well as most banks and other institutions.

Bend City Council Wants Camping Ban Near Shelters

BEND, OR -- Bend city officials are preparing to clear some homeless camps near China Hat Road on the south end of town. City Manager Eric King says eviction notices have gone out to those living in that area. "It’s anticipated that some of those individuals will come into the city," says King, "And, what we want to do is create a safe place around the permitted shelters. So, creating a buffer zone where camping is prohibited - Just a policy to create a stop-gap until that more comprehensive code is developed."

City Council recently asked King’s office to develop that so-called buffer zone around sanctioned shelters, "There’s the Central Oregon Villages in the process of doing some outreach for an outdoor shelter – kind of some tiny homes," King tells KBND News, "There’s St. Vincent DePaul, a private organization; the Hero’s Foundation Veterans Village on the north end of town."
King says he would need to approve the policy before it could take effect, "Really coming up with better clarity around camping in the right-of-way. We do have unsanctioned camps in Bend, and outside of Bend, on forest land, etc. We can only control what’s in the city. But we feel it’s necessary to have better regulations in place." He adds, "There are federal and state laws that dictate what cities have the ability to do, in terms of regulating camping; what’s called ‘time, place and manner.’ Kind of the how, where and when camping is allowed. It’s really difficult to do just an outright ban on camping without ensuring you have a safe place for somebody to go." He says, essentially, the city can’t criminalize being houseless. 
 

Garage Fire Blamed On Oily Rags

BEND, OR -- Bend Fire and Rescue responded to a house fire on NE Bobbie Ct early Friday morning. First arriving crews found a fire on the exterior of the single-story home, spreading into the attic, and were able to quickly stop its progress. 

According to Bend Fire, the family was home at the time and awoke to the smoke alarms going off. They found fire on the outside of the garage. All three were able to escape without injury. With the quick response of the smoke alarms and early 911 call, the fire was kept from spreading inside the home and damage was limited to the garage and attic. The living space of the home was spared damage from smoke or flames, protecting all the family’s irreplaceable items such as photos and family heirlooms. Damage is estimated at $100,000. 

Investigators determined oily rags were improperly disposed of in the trash the night before, after staining the deck. Spontaneous combustion of oily rags occurs when rag or cloth is slowly heated to its ignition point through oxidation. This is an accidental fire but this type of fire can be prevented. Bend Fire and Rescue reminds everyone that when you’re using any natural stains and oils to treat decks, furniture, or any other wood projects to be sure to dispose of the cloth used properly. Use a container with a tight-fitting lid. A metal can is preferable but a plastic can or zip lock bag can work if nothing else is available. Place soiled and used rags inside and then fill the rest the way with water, seal the top and do not open it. This will prevent the oils from oxidizing, and thus keeping the rags from heating up and igniting. This will prevent the oil in cloth from starting its oxidation and heating process. 

More information can be found on their website.

Feedback Needed On Bend Mobility Hubs

BEND, OR -- Cascades East Transit wants public input as it considers locations for mobility hubs in Bend. A “mobility hub” is a place where you can catch a bus, get dropped off by rideshare, rent an electric bike, car or scooter or access other ways to get around without your own car.

CET says it wants the community to provied input on possible locations and what amenities are desired. 

An online survey is now available and CET plans to host a series of events over the next month to get more feedback. Click HERE for more information. 

Redmond Home Listed On National Historic Register

REDMOND, OR -- An old house in Redmond is now considered historic. The Norman and Frances Swanson House was built in 1966. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 6. 

Jason Allen, with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, says the home is notable for its architecture, "Of [the] mid-century modernist period, as it occurs in the Pacific Northwest, which is a little bit unique from the rest of the country. Modernist in the northwest really focused on making sure that we’re using native and local materials. And that’s what’s happening at the Swanson House." Allen tells KBND News, "Using the local materials works to kind of situate the house within its natural surroundings, which was a really important element of the modernist style – the modernist movement across the country. But as it happens in the Pacific Northwest, we end up with a lot douglas firs and cedars, those types of woods, and then a lot of kind of volcanic stones and granites, and things like that." Allen says the Swanson House also has, "A really open interior floorplan, we have a lot of wood exposed and veneers. We also have a lot of glass that’s used to kind of blur that line between interior and exterior."

The Swanson House, near the Dry Canyon on NW Canyon Drive, is only the second residential property in Redmond to be listed on the Historic Register, and it's the first to receive the designation under a new Multiple Property Document for Redmond historic homes. Allen says the MPD streamlines the process to encourage more people to apply, "The whole process moves faster and is cheaper and easier to sort of navigate."

Listing on the national register doesn’t impose any restrictions on a property unless the owner chooses to participate in a tax or grant program.

Public's Help Needed In Poaching Case

HERMISTON, OR -- OSP Fish and Wildlife need the public’s help to track down the owner of a vehicle connected to a 2021 eastern Oregon poaching incident. Investigators say the light-colored SUV was captured by an OSP mobile recorder but the license plate is un-readable.

They believe the owner possibly lives in Benton County, Washington. The SUV was spotted near Hermiston around October of last year, but OSP says they’ve exhausted all leads in the case. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip-line at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov.  Please, reference case number SP21-290284.

 
UPDATE (06/16/22 5 p.m.) -- Oregon State Police say they have identified a suspect and the investigation is again moving forward. They thanked the public for the help. 

SW Salmon To Odem Medo Connection Coming Soon

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond City Council has advanced plans to realign Southwest Salmon Avenue to improve traffic flow. Mayor George Endicott says News Salmon will eventually curve south, just east of 19th. "There's going to be kind of an 'S' shape, and go over and connect into Odem Medo," Endicott told KBND News Wednesday, "We're rebuilding a strip of the roadway there so you get a connection at a signalized intersection." He says bringing Salmon to a signal at Canal will fix the left-turn problem in that growing residential area.

It means the demolition of the old Parks and Rec facility at Canal and Odem Medo; although one building can be moved if a buyer is found, "It was built 10 years ago by Redmond Area Parks and Rec. We loaned them the property - or, leasted it to them for nothing for 10 years. So, if anyone wants a building, go look at it, talk to the contractor. I mean, destruction is built in the contract, but it was built to be moved." That $1.1 million contract with Knife River was approved by Council earlier this week. Endicott says construction could begin in July. 

Bend Man Accused Of Selling Home He Didn't Own

BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces criminal charges for allegedly selling a home he didn’t own. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says 28-year-old Gabe Campisi agreed to have a manufactured home delivered to an Idaho property, and accepted partial payment for the sale. But he didn’t have the authority to sell the house.

DCSO first learned about the allegations in late May. Investigators believe Campisi used his company "OHS Enterprises" to conduct the transaction, forging ownership documents for the manufactured home. 

He was arrested last week on charges including ID Theft and Forgery. Investigators now believe he may have attempted other such scams outside the area using OHS Enterprises.

If you have recently made a purchase of a manufactured home or trailer from Campisi or his business, OHS Enterprises, or if you have any information relevant to this investigation please contact Deputy Blalack at 541-693-6911 reference case #22-27184. 

Five Arrested In Massive Jeff. Co. Pot Bust

MADRAS, OR -- Authorities are releasing more details on Tuesday’s massive drug bust in Jefferson County. The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team says the case began two years ago with complaints about 20 grow locations in the area.

Because of the magnitude of the investigation, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office requested help from CODE and the Deschutes County Illicit Marjuana Enforcement (DCIME) Team. Over the next 18 months, they say they uncovered a compex network that used Chinese restaurants to launder money from illegal marijuana operations. They say the money was then diverted back to China disguised as an international business transaction. Eventually, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS, US Customs, Homeland Security joined the investigation. 

Six properties were searched Tuesday in Madras and Culver, netting 16,240 pounds of processed pot, nearly 17,704 marijuana plants, 4 firearms and a large amount of cash. Ten laborers were detained, identified, interviewed and later released. CODE detectives believe Chinese laborers were trafficked into the US through Mexico and found work in restaurants in Oregon and Washington. Later, the cartel would recruit those people to work in the illegal marijuana trade.

Investigators believe 64-year-old Robert Dale, of Madras, was one of the organization's leaders. The grow sites searched are mainly owned by Dale or his family members. He's one of five people arrested at the scene; the other four are:

  • Sam Chen, of Madras
  • Dong Hai Zhu, of Beaverton
  • Sky Hong He Su, of Portland
  • Wenjian Yan, of Brooklyn, New York

CODE and DCIME say they dismantled the largest and most active grow sites. Investigators are aware of others and will dismantle them soon. 

Gas Prices Hit New Record, Again

BEND, OR -- With the cost of oil nearly double what it was last summer, prices at the pump continue to rise. The national average hit $5.02 this week - the first time ever it’s topped $5 a gallon. "And, of course, that’s old news to those of us in Oregon," says AAA's Marie Dodds, "We’ve been above the $5 gallon mark for some time now, and our current average is $5.54." Bend's average jumped a whopping 13 cents this week, to $5.63 a gallon. 

Dodds says a number of factors are pushing prices higher, in addition to the war in Ukraine, "You have crude oil prices, which are about twice as expensive as they were last summer." Crude oil continues to hover around $120 a barrel. Dodds adds, "You have reduced refining capacity, here in the US." That's because many refineries that shut down when demand tanked during the pandemic have not restarted. "And, you have very strong demand for gas in the US." That demand, she says, isn't expected to decline this summer. "Normally, we would expect demand destruction really when the national average gets above $3.75 a gallon and, of course, we’re well above that now. We really haven’t seen demand for gas fall off."

At least we can be glad we’re not in California: Drivers there are paying more than $6 a gallon. 

Traffic Blitz Nets Parkway Speeders

BEND, OR -- Bend Police will continue increased traffic patrols on the Parkway through Monday. Chief Mike Krantz says it’s an effort to improve safety for everyone, "What we’re seeing now is heavier traffic, speeds that are still very high and - I think we had statistics around 200 collisions in the last couple years involving someone in the Parkway. Not all of those, of course, are speed related but speed does have a factor in a lot of factors, and also it increases severity of crashes."

Even if you’re annoyed with the 45 MPH speed limit, Chief Krantz says speeding on the Parkway is dangerous, "Forty-five is specifically intended for the Parkway for a number of reasons, mostly around the engineering of the Parkway. It was not created as a freeway, like I-5, so speeds similar to I-5 aren’t appropriate. There’s no physical divider in that area, so obviously [it's] more concerning at high speeds.

In the first nine days of the "safety blitz," Krantz says officers had very little time between tickets, "We have consistently seen speeds in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and those are receiving citations. When we’re getting people in the 70s and 80s, especially - that’s 30 MPH over the speed limit."

Through Monday, BPD expects to have at least two officers enforcing Parkway speed limits every day; 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. 

Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz. 

TSA Hiring Screeners For Redmond Airport

REDMOND, OR -- Even the Transportation Security Administration isn’t immune to hiring challenges. The TSA’s Lorie Dankers says there are enough security screeners at the Redmond Airport for what’s expected to be a record-breaking summer travel season, but only because they have outside help, "We are using those National Deployment Officers in Oregon to supplement our local staffing. So, what we would like to do is hire people who live in Oregon to work in our airports in Oregon."

Dankers tells KBND News the agency is offering up to $1,000 as a signing bonus and other incentives to attract new workers, "Every job here, because it is a federal job, comes with full federal benefits. And what that means is, whether you’re a part-time or a full-time employee, you’re going to have federal health benefits, you’re going to have a 401K, as well as a pension plan." She adds, "The jobs here are local, they’re flexible, in terms of the times and days you work. And our starting wage is $18.59 per hour." She says some hesitate to apply because they think the job entails close interaction with people, "We use a lot of technology to screen travelers, to screen their belongings. And the vast majority of travelers never have any physical contact with the TSA; so, that’s something to keep in mind."

WorkSource Oregon will help applicants get through what can be a complicated process at two sessions: June 15 at the WorkSource Bend office (1645 NE Forbes Rd. #100), and June 21 at WorkSource Redmond (2158 SE College Lp, Suite B). Both sessions are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

"This is a federal job, to be a TSA officer here in Redmond," says Dankers, "So, completing the application, completing the paperwork is important, and making sure it’s accurate is also important." For more information, visit jobs.tsa.gov/TSO, or text "RDM" to 95495.

 

 

Sen. Wyden Pushes For Federal Drought Help

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An Oregon Senator wants federal agencies to take a bigger step in improving the water situation in the west, amid ongoing drought.

In Tuesday’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) used Oregon as an example of the dire circumstances, "The summer begins next week. More than half of my state is already suffering extreme or severe drought. Seventeen Oregon counties have been declared to be in a state of emergency because of water shortages. This is the first time Deschutes County has been in a drought emergency three years in a row." He added, "Drought conditions have been so bad in Central Oregon that for 18 straight months, Wickiup Reservoir, the primary source of irrigation water for Jefferson County, set record lows for months-end contents." And, he pointed to ongoing hardship in the Klamath Basin, where farms and tribes are without water and residential wells run dry.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law commits $8.3 billion for western water infrastructure. Wyden pressed Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton on how that money will be used to help Oregon. Touton told him the agency has hired more than 80 new staffers to more quickly process grant requests and send out funding air enough.

Wyden also called on colleagues to pass his "Watershed Results Act," which he says will improve the resilience and health of the country's watersheds by using scientific data to identify solutions. 

CODE Executes Simultaneous Search Warrants

MADRAS, OR -- The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, US Department of Homeland Security, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Crook County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police are in Jefferson County executing multiple search warrants simultaneously. 

Drug Agents, SWAT Teams and support aircraft are currently in the areas of:

  • SW Ford Lane near S Adams Dr, Culver
  • SW Feather Drive near SW Jericho Ln, Culver
  • SW Dover Lane near Highway 26, Madras
  • SW Bear Drive near the Culver Highway, Madras

They ask everyone to avoid these areas while law enforcement executes these search warrants. There are no outstanding suspects or dangers to the community at large. However, this is an active investigation. There may be some minor traffic delays until the mid-morning.

This is a developing story and KBND News will provide more information when it is available. 

 

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.) -- Jefferson County Sheriff Marc Heckathorn released the following statement, Tuesday afternoon, regarding the large law enforcement presence in Culver and Madras:

A long term DTO (Drug Trafficking Organization) investigation culminated today on June 14, 2022 when law enforcement professionals from across Oregon arrived in the early morning and served six simultaneous search warrants at six different addresses across northern Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office partnered with CODE (Central Oregon Drug Enforcement) and utilized CERT (Central Oregon Emergency Response Team) and Deschutes County SWAT in helping safely serve the warrants and to clear all the properties of people. This has now been accomplished allowing detectives and investigators to safely access the scene to processes and collect evidence. By all accounts this will be the largest “drug bust” in Jefferson County history.

Sheriff Marc Heckathorn wants to personally thank not only all the agencies who sent personnel and resources from across the state to assist us but to the community as a whole for their patience in waiting for us to properly develop the case. Organized Drug Trafficking cases are extremely complex and dangerous investigations. Additional investigation will be occurring and multiple arrests were made today. Drug types / weights, arrested person / charges, weapons, money, and additional information will be provided in a subsequent release likely tomorrow. This matter is still actively being investigated.

Redmond Experiences One Of Its Wettest Junes Ever

REDMOND, OR -- The "atmospheric river" drenching the Valley over the last few days is also responsible for Central Oregon's unseasonably soggy forecast. Ed Townsend, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Pendleton, says Redmond recorded 1.83" of rain in the first 13 days of this month, making this one of the top 10 wettest Junes at the airport. "There’s only been two days when they haven’t recorded at least a trace of precip," Townsend tells KBND News, "So, this is a pretty wet start to the month, when usually you’re looking at maybe 2/3” for normal precip in June and we’re already well in excess of that."

He says the atmospheric river covered Oregon and parts of Washington and Idaho for several days. Townsend says that length of time is unusual, especially in June, "It’s pretty atypical to see one this time of the year. Usually, when we think of these giant plumes of moisture coming into the Pacific Northwest, we’re thinking winter and spring."

Elsewhere in the state, the NWS has recorded as much as 6" of precipitation in the Blue Mountains and 8" on the west slopes of the Cascades. Townsend says there will be a little break in the weather mid-week, but some areas will see a little more precipitation this weekend, "Starting Friday and Saturday, the focus is more going to be on the mountains, either in Eastern Oregon or the Cascades and south/central Oregon mountains. For the most part, it looks like most will be staying dry, especially in lower elevations." And, he promises summer weather will eventually make it to Oregon, "It definitely looks like we’re going to see a return to more seasonable temperatures, once we get into early next week." Just in time for the official start of summer on Tuesday.

Deschutes County DA Urges Use Of Traffic Cams

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s District Attorney is calling on local jurisdictions to start using traffic cameras to improve safety on our roads. John Hummel appeared live on KBND's Your Town Monday, telling Frank Bonacquisti law enforcement should be focused on serious crimes like child sex abuse and domestic violence. "I want our police officers working those cases. I want them working all the cases that cannot be enforced any other way than having boots on the ground - you know, real live people doing it. Dangerous roads? We can enforce those with radar and red light cameras." He adds, "We need to post prominent signs on our streets informing drivers that their speed is being checked by radar and that the traffic lights have a camera. If we do that, what’s going to happen? People are going to slow down. People will not run red lights."

While Hummel did not say how such a program would be funded, he believes the technology is cheaper than paying for more police to conduct traffic patrols, "If we want to have the level of enforcement with police officers and Sheriff’s deputies that is necessary to make our roads safe, well, we’ve got to hire a lot more cops and that’s going to require higher taxes. But, we don’t have to do that. We can put up red light cameras and we can put up photo radar."

KBND News reached out to the three largest law enforcement agencies in the county to see if any are considering installing traffic cams. Redmond officials say the city has no plans to install cameras. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says it’s not currently under consideration.

Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz issued the following written statement:

The Bend Police Department is always looking for ways to improve traffic safety in our community, and we are open to exploring any options to achieve that goal.

Automated traffic safety cameras for speed and red light enforcement may have a place in our overall strategy for traffic safety by assisting in specific problematic areas. However, automated traffic safety cameras do not replace police officers assigned to the Traffic Division. Traffic officers are more effective at handling problematic traffic concerns in our community because their enforcement allows for discretion and human interaction during a traffic stop.

While it may seem that red-light cameras and mobile speed enforcement are automated systems, both programs would require additional full-time positions to verify the citations, appear in court, and provide additional support.

The Bend Police Department conducts bi-annual community surveys that are statistically validated. The 2021 survey showed that more than 60% of the community supports Bend PD adding police officers to specifically address traffic enforcement. The same survey showed that 46% of the community supports the implementation of an automated traffic safety camera program. 

The Bend Police Department would be interested in reviewing research on similar communities that have implemented an automated traffic safety camera program to determine its effectiveness in reducing traffic crashes and increasing overall community safety. 

Finally, a program like this would come at City Council direction. While the City Council did not include traffic safety as one of its goals, if it is prepared to fund additional traffic enforcement, the Bend Police Department will evaluate implementing an automated traffic safety program.

Two Bend City Councilors Sworn In

BEND, OR -- Mo Mitchell and Stephen Sehgal were sworn in as Bend’s two new City Councilors during a special meeting Monday afternoon. Mitchell was sworn in virtually (below) while Sehgal took the oath of office in person (above).

Mitchell tells KBND News she wants to provide a fresh perspective, "My hope is to really keep steering Council toward those goals that they’ve lined out, with equity at the center of those goals. Really trying to be a voice to make sure that Bend, and as we continue to grow as a city and community, becomes a place of belonging for all people here." 

Councilor Mitchell considers herself a strong communicator and says she’s ready for tough conversations, "I’m definitely someone who’s comfortable saying the uncomfortable - or, the phrase that’s sort of talking about ‘the elephant in the room,’ sometimes. My training in mental health I consider so valuable. Because when you learn and you study in the field of mental health, and you learn about people and their experiences, you just learn about how many ways life can kind of shake out for people, and what can happen for people. And, it really helps you, in my experience, have a greater respect for the diversity of human experience."

Mitchell says she shares some of the identity and cultures that made former Councilor Rita Schenkelberg a target of some. But she believes her support system will help her through stressful times. "I think Council is aware of some of the changes that need to be made, as to why Councilor Schenkelberg left, as well." Mitchell adds, "My hope is that it can be a moment of change. That’s my hope, at least."

She says she hasn’t yet decided whether she will run to keep her seat in November. With a toddler at home, Mitchell says she needs to wait and see what’s best for her family.

KBND News reached out to Councilor Sehgal but he has not yet scheduled an interview. 

RHS Students Present Firefighters With New Table

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Fire Station has a new kitchen table, thanks to a Redmond High School wood shop class. The project began in the fall of 2019, when a fire captain asked shop teacher Allen Wheeler if his students could help.

The fire department then purchased the wood from a local shop and students set to work.

Redmond Fire & Rescue said in a statement, "One of the most sacred areas of a firehouse, not to mention one of the most sacred aspects of a firefighter’s career, is the firehouse kitchen table. Our second family consists of those who we are fortunate to serve alongside on every shift for 48 hours or any length of time."

The project faced a long delay due to the pandemic. But after just under three years, the new table - featuring the department’s logo - was recently presented to the firehouse.

The steel for the base of the table was donated by BASX Solutions in Redmond. 

OSP: Drunk Man Kicked Out Of Rodeo Assaults Cold Springs Campers

SISTERS, OR -- A man kicked out of the Sisters Rodeo Saturday was later arrested for causing a disturbance in Camp Sherman and an RV park. State Police say troopers were first called to a report of an intoxicated man causing problems in Camp Sherman, just after 10 p.m.

Later, they learned 26-year-old Sean Brabham, of Willamina, walked from Camp Sherman to the Cold Springs Resort and confronted a couple inside their cabin. After fighting with them, troopers say he went into a second cabin where the owner was armed with a loaded shotgun. Brabham allegedly took the shotgun and threatened the resort manager before trying to break into a third cabin, where he caused around $2,000 in damage. 

At one point, Brabham set down the shotgun and the manager was able to secure it until troopers arrived. He was then taken into custody without incident. Brabham was taken at the Jefferson County Jail for Burglary I x 2, Assault IV x 2, Robbery II, Criminal Mischief I, Menacing x 2 and Harassment x4, Criminal Trespass II, Disorderly Conduct II and Attempted Burglary II. 

DCSO Investigates Shooting East of Redmond

REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a reported shooting in the area of Highway 126 and SE Sherman Road. Deputies say they responded to a call about a person with a gunshot wound. 

DCSO is searching the area for a person of interest. They ask everyone to avoid the area while law enforcement attempts to locate this subject.

This is an ongoing story and KBND News will provide more details once they're available. 

 

UPDATE (06/13/22 4 p.m.) -- The Sheriff's Office says deputies located a person of interest but are not releasing any other details until detectives have concluded their investigation. 

 

UPDATE (06/14/22 5 p.m.) -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is releasing more details about a Monday morning shooting east of Redmond. According to investigators a 32-year-old man was shot; he’s being treated for a non-life threatening injury. They say everyone involved in the incident has been interviewed and evidence seized. A report will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

BPRD Hosts Free Fitness Week And Health & Wellness Fair

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec kicks off its annual Free Fitness week Monday, after a two-year pandemic break. BPRD Fitness Supervisor Alli Jorgensen says there are more than 35 no-cost classes at Juniper Swim & Fitness and Larkspur Community Center, "We’ve got yoga, line dancing, TRX Circuit class, zoomba, there’s a Bliss dance party happening one of those nights. It’s just a good way to showcase what we have for this summer."

Classes are held daily between 5:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and pre-registration is not required, "They just need to look on our website and there is a list of the free classes that are available that week. Just show up and have fun."

Tuesday, the annual “For the Health of It” health and wellness fair also returns to the Larkspur Community Center, from noon to 3 p.m. Jorgensen tells KBND News, "We’re hoping that we have some good weather and the crowds come out. There’s a lot to offer during that day. We’ve got a free BBQ from 12-1:30, and about 50 vendors - community partners coming out. They’re going to be doing vaccines, health screenings, demonstrations, organizations will have samples, we’re also bringing in a little mini farmers market."

 

Saturday Community Connector, Summer Shuttles To Return

BEND, OR -- Cascades East Transit resumes Saturday Community Connector Service this weekend. Saturday routes between Bend and Redmond, Madras, Warm Springs, Sisters and Prineville were cut in February due to a driver shortage. CET’s Derek Hofbauer says they’re still trying to hire more people but they’re competing with a lot of other employers. "We’ve increased our wages; that was helpful. And then, we’re just kind of working on - between our recreation services and our other service, how to have more full time jobs, so they aren’t these kind of seasonal, on-call."

He tells KBND News CET still needs more drivers before the full bus system will return to regular frequency, "Our Bend fixed routes, most of them are still on what we call a Saturday schedule, which is just a reduced frequency schedule. Except for our routes one and six, which cover the main portions of Bend. They’re our highest ridership routes, and those we actually have enough drivers, we were able to bring those back to a regular frequency."

Hofbauer says for now, Bend Fixed Route, Dial-A-Ride and community Connector routes remain free to the public, probably through the end of the year, "If our fixed-route system were whole and we had that increased frequency, we would probably do it sooner. We’re kind of waiting until we have enough drivers for the Bend fixed route." He says COVID Relief dollars help cover the loss in revenue.

Also launching this weekend Ride the River and Lava Butte summer shuttles run through Labor Day, weather permitting. Ride the River is $4 for an all-day wristband; the Lava Butte bus is $3 per passenger for a round trip.

Schedule information for Ride the River, Lava Butte, and Saturday Community Connector Routes 20, 22, 24, and 26 can be accessed at CascadesEastTransit.com.

Deschutes County Commissioners Discuss Landfill Site Criteria

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners will start discussions Monday on the kind of property they want to pursue for the next landfill. Director of Solid Waste Chad Centola tells KBND News an advisory committee created a list of criteria for Commissioners to consider, like how far it should be from an airport and the economic and environmental impacts of a site. "Looking at private and publicly owned land, exclusive of the federal government, that meets criteria. One of the base criteria that will be part of the first selection is - the Solid Waste Management Plan identified that we would need a 250-acre site for the landfill, and at least a 250-acre buffer." That buffer would not necessarily be owned by the county, but it should be space not needed for housing or commercial development. 

Officials have already agreed the new landfill will be sited inside Deschutes County. Centola says, "If you ship waste off to an out-of-county landfill, you’re paying a host fee to that county and city that landfill resides in. So, there’s a cost there. It gives us a little bit more flexibility in how we manage our waste, if technologies or improvements in existing technologies come up that we can do better diversion and keep things out of the landfill. If all that is happening within Deschutes County, we just have better control over that waste flow." He says shipping out of the area would also significantly increase the county’s carbon footprint.

Centola stresses there is no specific location under consideration yet. "At the start, we could have a couple hundred properties that come out in the first step in the analysis, and they’ll drop off as we apply the criteria to it. The goal, through next March, is to get to a short list of, ideally, three sites. And then those three sites have to go through a much more detailed analysis." 

He says the new location needs to be on line by the time the Knott Landfill reaches capacity, which is estimated to happen in 2029. 

Prineville Police Issue Warning For Toy Gun

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police recently issued a warning about Orbeez “toy” guns, saying they look like a specialized firearm but shoot gel water beads. A few teens and young adults now face criminal charges in Prineville for using these replica weapons in public; the latest just last week. Police say they are easily confused for a real firearm. 

The department issued the following statement on its Facebook page:

I think we can all agree that prevention is much better than a criminal investigation or an incident where a citizen is badly injured because they pointed something like the pictured “toy” at a citizen or officer. Police Officers are not the only people out there carrying real firearms, so we felt like maybe this post would help parents know what we are seeing, and possibly help keep these fun toys at home.

Two New Bend City Councilors Named

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council selected two new members, following candidate interviews Thursday evening. The city issued the following information:

Stephen Sehgal, who has worked as a Victim Advocate for Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office since 2019, volunteers on the District Attorney Office’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion team and is a member of the City’s Human Right and Equity Commission. To the question “Why are you interested in serving on the City Council?” Sehgal wrote: “I believe a City Council member should be a passionate advocate and representative of the public they are serving. They should be someone who has compassion, listening and communication skills, knowledge of the city, and understands the community as it is and has the commitment to helping grow Bend to what it can be. I am interested in this public servant position, as I believe I embody those skills and knowledge. I am interested because I want to give back to the city that gave so much to me.” Sehgal said in his application that he does intend to run for election in November.

 

Mo Mitchell owns Mo Mitchell Psychotherapy, Inc. and provides psychotherapy and counseling services to adults, and also volunteers on the Human Rights and Equity Commission. To answer the question why Mitchell is interested, Mitchell wrote, “I am interested in serving on City Council because I want to create lasting systemic change. I align with the Council’s current goals and the power of equity at the center of its framework. Without equity, we continue to oppress members of our society – consciously or not. I want to be a part of a system that has a voice that values all people and the planet. I’d like to help the City of Bend make equitable changes in its way of service delivery, system change, and perspective.” Mitchell said they could potentially consider running in November – “it depends.”

 

Following the resignations of former Mayor Sally Russell and former Councilor Rita Schenkelberg in May, Councilors appointed Gena Goodman-Campbell as the new Mayor, which vacated her Council seat. The appointments filled Goodman-Campbell’s seat and Schenkelberg’s seat.

Both Council seats will be on the ballot for the general election in November, at which time both need to be filled by election. The appointees Sehgal and Mitchell will serve on the Council until the newly elected Councilors take office on January 4, 2023.

A subcommittee of councilors (Anthony Broadman, Melanie Kebler and Megan Perkins) reviewed 36 applications and suggested 10 candidates for interviews. The whole Council interviewed eight applicants on June 9.

For more information, section 21 of the Bend Charter and section 9 of the City Council Rules explain the requirements associated with the process to fill vacancies.

Three Council seats and the position of Mayor will be placed on the ballot for the November 2022 election. One of the Council positions is for the remaining two years of a vacated seat (formerly Schenkelberg’s seat).

Individuals elected to a seat on the City Council will begin serving January 2023.

Bend residents interested in being elected in November to serve on the City Council can file completed petitions now through August 30, 2022. Candidates must reside within the city limits of Bend for no less than one year prior to taking office and be a registered voter. More information about the 2022 Council elections can be found here.

The Bend City Council is comprised of six council members and an elected Mayor. All are elected to four-year terms.

ODF Declares Fire Season Begins Monday In Central OR

BEND, OR -- Oregon Department of Forestry declared fire season begins Monday morning for ODF-protected lands in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County. "While we’re just now entering fire season, we’ve been preparing for fire season, well, since fire season ended last year," says ODF's Christie Shaw. She tells KBND News recent rainfall helped push the season a little, but now, "We’ve had a few escaped debris burns in the last couple weeks and the fire behavior from those burns - we’re being challenged more for containing those fires."

The declaration doesn't apply to the rest of ODF's Central Oregon District, which stretches up to The Dalles and over to John Day. Shaw says that's because other regions are not struggling with the same drought impacts, "We’re seeing all of those conditions in this High Desert area. Grasses and stuff are going to start curing out, if they haven’t already started that process and so they just are burning more readily."

Last year, the season started May 15 - the earliest ever. Shaw says this year is closer to typical. Although, she anticipates it'll be a tough summer, "If you look at Predictive Services that kind of give us the forecast for what fire season’s going to be like, they have really kind of put the mark in the Central Oregon area that this is going to be a challenging fire season for us."

With the declaration, the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition is banned, so is backyard debris burning. There are also restrictions on forest operations. Shaw says even people using equipment to create defensible space need to take precautions, "You’re going to need to do a fire watch for that to make sure for three hours after you shut down equipment, whether it’s a chainsaw, whatever it might be. You’re going to be wanting to watch and monitor for fires, that the hot exhaust didn’t spark something, that your chain didn’t hit a rock and spark something." You'll find a complete guide to restrictions on ODF's website

OSU-Cascades To Hold First On-Campus Commencement

BEND, OR -- Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus hosts its 21st commencement Sunday. Interim Vice President Andrew Ketsdever says it’s the first graduation ceremony to take place on the Bend campus, "We’ll be in a former pumice mine - it used to be a 100’ hole in the ground. And, to transform that from a pit into a bowl where we could hold commencement, has been absolutely exciting for us." Previous commencements were held elsewhere in Bend, including the Amphitheater (pictured above). 

Around 290 students will receive diplomas; OSU-Cascades will award 224 Bachelors Degrees and 66 Masters.The oldest grad to walk Sunday is 85-year-old Bob Weed, of Redmond. "He started at Oregon State University in 1955 and left part way through his undergraduate career to become a radio broadcast engineer," says Ketsdever, "One day, he found out that OSU Cascades was here and he wandered in and talked to Becky Johnson about coming back to school and she encouraged him to do that. And he’s graduating on Sunday with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies." On the other end of the spectrum, the youngest OSU-Cascades graduate this year, is 19. 

The ceremony will also honor OSU's Interim President Becky Johnson for her 12 years leading the Bend campus. "She was instrumental in bringing the campus here to Central Oregon. And extremely instrumental in bringing it to the location we’re at today - a former pumice mine, demolition landfill." Johnson will deliver the commencement address and receive the Distinguished Service award. "There are very few people who would’ve had the vision to think about what this university might be in the place that we’re at," says Ketsdever.

OSU-Cascades has been without a permanent leader since Johnson's departure about 13 months ago when she took over as Interim President for all of OSU. Ketsdever says, "We were waiting for a Presidential transition in Corvallis. That process has completed and so now it's time to start to focus on the business at hand of hiring a new leader of this campus." Ketsdever says he’s been proud to handle interim duties and will continue to do so until a new Vice President is found. Then, he will return to his position as Dean of Academic Affairs.

He says a new VP could come as soon as January. But, most likely, it’ll be spring or summer before a new head is named. 

Sisters Rodeo Returns From Pandemic Break

SISTERS, OR -- The Biggest Little Show in the World returned from its pandemic hiatus this week. Sisters Rodeo officials made the tough decision to cancel the show in both 2020 and 2021.

After such a long break, Rodeo announcer Curt Robinson wasn't sure fans would come back. He felt one of two scenarios would play out: "One, the anticipation builds. But on the other hand, when you go two years without having it, people might think, ‘Well, you know, we went to the lake last year. Maybe we should try that again this year.’ But that wasn’t the case." He tells KBND News, "The fans have been very supportive and very loyal to Sisters and I look for them to have great crowds all four performances."

Robinson says the cowboys are also thrilled to be back, "They know they’ve had great success here before and the money is good, a great chance to set themselves up with some momentum for the summer run."

PRCA-sanctioned performances start Friday at 7 p.m., with more on Saturday and Sunday. The Rodeo parade winds through downtown Sisters tomorrow morning, starting at 9:30. You'll find a complete rundown of events, visit the Sisters Rodeo website

 

Photo courtesy Central Oregon Daily News

 

High Desert Museum Welcomes New Otter Pup

BEND, OR -- An 8-week-old otter pup now calls the High Desert Museum home. He was found in mid-May on a golf course in Sunriver - emaciated and severely dehydrated.

He received care at the museum while wildlife experts searched for his mother. But when that search was unsuccessful, ODFW determined the pup should remain at the museum.

He hasn’t met the museum’s other two otters, but officials say they’ll eventually be introduced.

“We don’t know exactly what happened to this otter, although we do know that without his parents he wouldn’t have survived in the wild,” Museum Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson said in a statement. “This was a unique situation where this otter pup does appear to have been legitimately orphaned,” Nelson continued. “This is the time of year when people will sometimes find young animals seemingly alone in nature. Often, though, the parent has only temporarily left the young in a secluded spot to feed or rest and plans to return. The best thing to do is leave the animal there and contact the local ODFW office to report it.”

The pup, which weighed 2.4 pounds on arrival, is gaining weight rapidly and getting healthier by the day. He presently weighs about 4.6 pounds.

No Injuries Reported In Sunriver Plane Crash

SUNRIVER, OR -- Sunriver Police and Fire were called to a plane crash at the Sunriver Airport Wednesday, just after 5 p.m. 

The pilot and co-pilot were the only people involved in the crash. Both were uninjured and declined medical treatment. According to statements from a witness and the pilots, the airplane lost control due to a gust of wind during takeoff and came to rest approximately 20 feet off the runway.  A small fuel leak was mitigated by Sunriver Fire and Rescue. The Sunriver Airport runway was reopened after the involved airplane was removed from the runway. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were notified and will investigate.

No arrests were made as a result of the crash. 

Envision Bend Works to Create Community Vision

BEND, OR -- The public will soon get a chance to weigh in on what they want for the future of Bend. Envision Bend Executive Director Laura Fritz says it’s not a new concept, "We’ve been in existence since 2007. Many people may know us formerly as Bend 2030." But, she says this time is different - Envision Bend is a nonpartisan nonprofit, where Bend 2030 was a city-run endeavor. 

Fritz tells KBND News, "This type of a project was done way back in 2005-2006, that was the first time a long-range vision was created by the community for its future. It’s a plan of your desired destiny. And, the reason it’s so important to do this kind of work is you don’t want to leave your future to chance."

The goal, she says, is to listen to all segments of the population and then create a vision, "I can’t say exactly what the vision will say because the community will determine that. But at the same time, we definitely know some of the themes we will see in it - the priority areas our community wants to work on." Those priorities, she assumes, will include affordability, drought and transportation.

Envision Bend will launch an online survey later this month and hold community events throughout this year, to give people a chance to provide input. It's also the focus of Tuesday's City Club of Central Oregon forum, where attendees are expected to participate. For more information on that event, click HERE. Visit Envision Bend's website to sign up for alerts about other events and the survey. 

Fritz expects they'll release their findings by March of 2023. Then, she hopes the work will be used by others around the region, "We hope the county will do the same thing, that the parks district will do the same thing. Really, the community has spoken and then all sorts of entities can use it to guide their own planning efforts and their own project work, and so on."

Jefferson Co. Sheriff-Elect To Take Office Six Months Early

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Commissioners unanimously agreed to appoint Jason Pollock as the next Sheriff, six months ahead of schedule. At Wednesday's meeting, Commissioners heard public comment from numerous people supportive of the decision but upset about plans to pay outgoing Sheriff Marc Heckathorn more than $82,000. 

One woman told them, "I, personally, am glad Sheriff Heckathorn seems to be vacating the position. I don’t believe he’s shown that he has the mental or emotional temperament to be in law enforcement, let alone be the Sheriff of any county." She went on to say, "I know we all work so hard for our money. To see someone paid for doing nothing just grates me the wrong way. I mean, there must be something he can do; school resource officer, mow the county lawns, do something for that $82,600." Another person told Commissioners, "I found Marc’s - how he’s handled this election situation with his friends extremely troubling. And now this: expecting or trying to extort money out of the county, really bothers me."

Pollock beat Sheriff Heckathorn in the May election, but wasn’t slated to be sworn in until January. In fact, he technically he won't have been elected to the position until November. Although, his name will appear alone on the ballot. On June first, Heckathorn announced he would step down at 5 p.m. June 20 and take a number of vacation days before that time. Commissioners' Wednesday decision puts Pollock in place at 5:01 p.m. 

One Commissioner addressed the crowd's complaints about the severance package, saying they need to avoid future litigation, citing ongoing lawsuits against the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office as an example. "The transition wasn’t going to be as smooth as we’d like it to be, so the main thing is protect the county and the citizens from liability. But at the same time, get Jason in there and, you know, it doesn’t do us any good to have him driving around in a patrol car the next six months. We want to surround him with as much support as we can and make him as successful as he can be." 

One man told Commissioners, "We believe that Jefferson County dodged a bullet. I totally agree with you: let him go." 

D.A.: Murder Suspect Was Victim's Houseguest

BEND, OR -- We’re learning more about the murder of a man inside his own northeast Bend apartment. Firefighters found 53-year-old Glen Ely early Tuesday morning, when they went inside to battle a fire. At the same time, police were talking to 35-year-old Thomas Craig a few blocks away because neighbors had reported him acting suspiciously.

According to the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office, Craig was the victim’s houseguest at the time of the murder; although, the exact nature of their relationship is unclear. Craig was arrested based on forensic evidence found on him and Ely’s stab wounds.

He is charged with murder and arson, and is due back in court June 15.

Fire Season Prompts Calls to Create Defensible Space

BEND, OR -- It’s time to get our properties ready for wildfire season. "Now’s the time to be prepared," Heather Miller tells KBND News, "We’re in wildfire season. In Central Oregon we’ve had large fires that start at the end of May, beginning of June. We’re getting thunderstorms coming through. It’s really starting to become that time." Miller is the regional Fire Risk Reduction Specialist with Oregon’s Office of State Fire Marshal. She was in Bend Tuesday, talking with homeowners about creating defensible space.

Miller says clearing debris from rooftops and gutters is essential, "It’s not the wall of flames that blow through a neighborhood that’s a risk, so much as it’s the ember shower that comes before the wall of flames. So, if we can get our house ready for those embers then we stand a much better chance of surviving a wildfire." She also suggests trimming trees and shrubs away from your home and create vegetation breaks in your landscaping. Miller admits not everyone wants to get rid of hazardous shrubs, "I think some people like having vegetation around their house and that feeling of seclusion, but there can be choices in how that landscaping is done." Those choices include purchasing fire-resistant plants. 

She also recommends helping elderly or disabled neighbors, because the more defensible space in a neighborhood, the more everyone is protected. Miller says it's all about holding off the flames as long as possible, if fire moves through your area, "It’s not so much that a house is a miracle for surviving, it’s that it was able to withstand the ember shower that came through. And the vegetation breaks around the home were enough where the house could survive the fire."

Miller says it’s also a good time to prepare in advance for possible evacuations. You can sign up for text alerts from your county at ORAlert.gov.

Two Highway Projects Receive State Funding

BEND, OR -- Two Central Oregon highway projects will get $20 million from the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

A single-lane roundabout in Sisters will get $5 million. That project is for the intersection of Highway 20 and Locust Avenue. ODOT says it’ll help traffic flow in the area.

The other $15 million is for the Bend North Corridor Project, to realign Highway 97 between Empire and Cooley, add a roundabout at Highway 20 and Cooley and other updates.

BPRD Makes Adjustments to Whitewater Park, Plans to Reopen

BEND, OR -- The Bend Park and Recreation District Board has announced plans to reopen the Whitewater Park next week. They discussed the recent accident that led to the death of a 17-year-old in late April and say changes have been made in an effort to prevent future incidents. Following Tuesday night's meeting, the board issued the following statement:

Following the accident that occurred on April 30, the surf wave at the Bend Whitewater Park has been flattened for a thorough evaluation. During a work session presentation, BPRD staff and the president of Bend Paddle Trail Alliance shared results of the evaluations, including contributing factors to the accident, risk assessment, recommendations and reopening considerations. In business session, the board voted to accept the reopening plan for the surf wave.

Tentative reopening of the surf wave is scheduled for June 18.

Contributing factors to the accident

  • Video evidence indicates that Ben Murphy, the surfer, fell off his board at the interface between the static wave block and pneumatic (moveable) gate, on river left.
  • Water levels on April 30 were seasonally low, which can make it more likely for a surfer to come in contact with the bottom of the river and/or the gate system. During higher water levels this condition becomes far less likely.
  • Ben was wearing a surf-leash with a quick release, which connects the board to the surfer’s leg. Upon inspection days later, the leash is gray in color and is marked with black rubber across the majority of the length of the leash. The leash was significantly stretched and severed, indicating it experienced intense pressure/load. The black rubber markings likely came from the rubber framing around the pneumatic gate. The black rubber framing is intended to provide protection to a surfer from falling onto the edge of the steel plate.

The evaluation found there is approximately a 1.5”- 2” space between the static block and the pneumatic (moveable) gate that shapes the surf wave. There is also approximately a 3” space between the bottom of the gate and the concrete base where the bladder and gate attach to the bottom slab of concrete that supports the wave feature. A modification to the surf wave blocks has already been installed to reduce this hazard.

Sweepers were installed on the static blocks to eliminate any gap between the pneumatic gate and the static gate. The installation occurred on May 25 in order to take advantage of low-water level conditions. Waiting could have rendered the modification impossible to accomplish until water levels receded in the fall. According to BPRD staff, the installation of the sweepers accomplished the desired effect.

Rules and operational changes taking effect upon reopening include:

1.       Prohibit the use of leashes in the park. To obtain compliance with the rule change, BPRD staff will flatten the wave for all surfers if a leash is observed.

2.       PFDs and helmets will be strongly recommended as whitewater must-haves. Helmets and PFDs worn should be properly fitted and meet appropriate standards for class III or IV whitewater. A communications campaign will educate river surfers with website information, handouts at local retailers, social media, etc.

BPRD staff also committed to research the ability to upgrade the air compressor chamber that inflates and deflates the gate bladders to expedite movement of the gates.  In addition, BPRD plans to add a webcam capable to zoom, tilt and scan to better monitor the entire whitewater park.

The tentative date for reopening the surf wave is pending completion of three items, including the installation of the sweeper that is already completed. Other reopening requirements include a meeting with Bend Fire to revisit emergency protocols and installation of signage at the whitewater park to communicate the new rules.

The board of directors also requested that staff monitor the situation with regard to leashes and adjust as necessary. The topic will be revisited at a board meeting later in the summer.

Bend City Council Agrees on 8 Finalists for Vacancies

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council has formalized its list of eight finalists; two will be selected to fill Council vacancies created by the departures of Rita Schenkelberg and Sally Russell.

They plan to interview all eight on Thursday during a public meeting that starts at 5p.m., and expect to spend about 20 minutes talking with each applicant. Council will meet again at 5 p.m. on June 13th if they need more time to deliberate. 

The eight finalists are:

  • Brittany Brown
  • Mark Capell
  • David Daniels
  • Jordan Elliott
  • Mo Mitchell
  • Stephen Platt
  • Stephen Sehgal  
  • Judy Sieigler

HDMS Put On Alert for Suspicious Man

BEND, OR -- The report of a suspicious person around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday put High Desert Middle School into what’s now known as “SECURE” - when all students are brought inside and exterior doors are locked; although classes continued as usual. The lock-out lasted a little more than 30 minutes, until Bend Police took the man into custody.

According to BPD, officers responded after 40-year-old Thomas Lee Bear showed up at the school. Officers found him down the street from HDMS and confirmed he had a federal warrant. He was arrested and taken to the Deschutes County Jail.

Bear has an extensive criminal history, including a 2020 conviction in Deschutes County for sex abuse.

Verizon Customers Unable to Call Bend City Offices

UPDATE (6/8/22) -- Bend city officials say the phone problem was resolved before 7 a.m. Wednesday, and operations have returned to normal. 

 

BEND, OR -- The City of Bend issued a statement after discovering an issue with Verizon phone users trying to reach city offices:

Anyone calling a City of Bend phone number from a phone with Verizon service cannot get through today. Verizon customers are getting a message “all circuits are busy now” or “you have reached a non-working number” due to a call routing issue with Verizon’s network. We apologize for any inconvenience and are uncertain how long it will take Verizon to fix this issue.

Emergencies should still be directed to 911, and non-emergencies to 541-693-6911. These are not City phones and not affected by the outage.

Here are some alternatives to help Verizon customers access services at the City:

Utility billing:

  • To access Utility Billing Call center, email utilitiesonline@bendoregon.gov, or visit in-person at 639 NW Franklin Avenue, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m..
  • Customers can make utility bill payments online at utilitiesonline@bendoregon.gov or via drop boxes located at the City Hall campus, 710 NW Wall Street, in the west parking lot; inside the City Hall double doors at the west entrance, or in the Utility Billing lobby on Franklin Avenue.

Utility and Public Works infrastructure-related questions or problems: 

utilitiesonline@bendoregon.gov.

Community and Economic Development Department:

For planning and permitting questions, email permitcenter@bendoregon.gov or walk in to the Permit Center at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St., which is open to the public.

Bend Police:

Email police@bendoregon.gov or visit the lobby 555 NE 15th Street between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

City Hall or something else?

For other, general questions that are not addressed above, email cssupport@bendoregon.gov and staff at City Hall will route the message.

No access to email?

For those who cannot access a computer or email the above addresses, front desk staff at City Hall are also monitoring a cell phone until this is resolved. Call 541-410-9341 and staff will direct your message to the appropriate place.

 

City phones are able to call out, so we can call back people who email us a phone number.  

OSU Names Next President

CORVALLIS, OR -- Oregon State University’s Board unanimously approved the appointment of its next President, Tuesday morning. OSU Board Chair Kirk Schueler announced the decision to hire Dr. Jayathi Murthy, telling the board she's "A national leader in higher education engineering teaching, research and service, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion."

Dr. Murthy comes from UCLA’s School of Engineering. She spoke following the vote, saying she’s excited for this opportunity, "I know I’m joining the right university at the right time. OSU embodies everything that I think a great university should be. And I believe in the power of education to transform lives. I believe deeply in public higher ed." She went on to say, "I believe fervently that the work that we do must have relevance in the world, that we must live in the world and be of it, and that we must leave the world a better place than we found it."

She also thanked interim President Becky Johnson - who took the post after retiring as VP in charge of OSU-Cascades in Bend - and former President Ed Ray for their leadership.  

Dr. Murthy was selected by a 17-person search committee that included several faculty and staff from OSU-Cascades. She becomes OSU’s 16th president on September 9th. 

Body Discovered During Bend Arson Investigation

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating the death of a person found in an apartment complex early Tuesday morning. The body was discovered around 2:30 a.m. when fire crews responded to smoke inside the complex on Northeast Dagget Lane. Active fire was found on the second floor of the two-story unit; the body was on the first floor. 

While investigating the cause of the fire, authorities identified a person of interest and an arrest was made several blocks away. Firefighters had control of the blaze by 3:30 a.m. The Red Cross is helping tenants whose units were damaged by water from the sprinkler system. 
The arson and death investigation are ongoing, and the identities of the suspect and the victim have not been released.
 

UPDATE (5 p.m.): Bend Police identified the person found dead as 53-year-old Glen Allan Ely, who lived at the Dagget Lane apartment. They arrested 35-year-old Thomas Craig on suspicion of murder and arson in the incident. He's also accused of failing to register as a sex offender and a warrant out of Colorado. Craig was transported and booked into the Deschutes County Jail. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Remote Work Eases Central OR Office Vacancy Rates

BEND, OR -- As Elon Musk pushes Tesla employees back to the office, remote work may be here to stay in the High Desert. Bruce Barrett, with Windermere Central Oregon Real Estate, says local vacancy rates for office space peaked around 7% during the pandemic; but that availability didn’t last. "As companies pivoted to a remote workforce, it allowed other companies to come into the area," Barrett told KBND News, "So, that 7% vacancy was quickly assimilated as new companies came to the area." He added, "A lot of those companies with large work areas in those metropolitan areas found their employees were willing to make that transition and they actually moved their offices from there to here, or they opened a remote office in Central Oregon."

Barrett says many local companies discovered remote work was a benefit for employees and don’t plan to return to the traditional model - even if they could find space to lease. According to Barrett, the market is especially tight in Redmond, where growth means more services and companies who need more space. And, he expects low vacancy rates will continue because lease rates aren’t high enough to cover the cost of new construction, so builders aren't adding inventory. 

Hear more of our conversation with Broker Bruce Barrett at our Podcast Page

Concept Plan Approved for Stevens Road Development

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council has approved a concept plan for a 261-acre parcel off Stevens Road. "It’s not the Stevens Road tract that people see that’s already being developed," says Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman, "It’s the piece just to the southeast of that, adjacent to the landfill."

Broadman tells KBND News, "The concept plan that we approved has lots of open space; commercial. It’s a really complete community where people can walk, use transit, work and live all in one area." But, the big focus is housing, "The idea, really, is to focus on missing middle housing. So, we have 20 acres that are deeded directly to the city. Part of those are going to have priority for employees of the school district so we can make sure the folks who are educating our kids can afford to live in this community." Overall, 800 housing units would be designated for affordable housing with seven acres for school district employees. You'll find more information on the City of Bend's website

Broadman adds, "I would call this the most complete community in the history of Bend expansion areas. It will have multi-family housing, it will have single family detached, it will have single family attached - so, like, a townhome or a duplex, and it will have commercial."

Actual development is a ways off. The property is currently owned by the state, managed by the Department of State Lands. The city is negotiating details of the future transfer of the 20 acres needed for the affordable housing portion of the plan. Officials say the eventual sale of the rest of the parcel will benefit the Common Schools Fund. The city must also get approval to expand the Urban Growth Boundary before any construction could begin. 

 

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the transfer of the 20 acres for affordable housing. KBND News regrets the error. 

Murder Suspect Arraigned, More Details Released

BEND, OR -- The 22-year-old Redmond man accused of killing a woman on her property outside Sisters had his first court appearance Monday afternoon. Tina Klein-Lewis' body was discovered May 31 on Cloverdale Road. "She was found by her boyfriend and he found her in the bucket of a tractor that she owned on her property," Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel tells KBND News. 

Hummel says investigators still don’t know how the suspect - Alexander Smith - knew the 55-year-old victim, "Nothing to indicate that he worked on the property, that he was a family friend, that he was a relative; just nothing. We’re at a loss as to how they even encountered one another. There’s no evidence that they had a previous relationship."

Smith was arrested Friday, after he asked a man on Jordan Road to call medics because his feet were infected. Hummel says deputies responded to the "welfare check" call and discovered evidence linking Smith to the murder nearly four miles away. They took him into custody based on that evidence and statements he made to deputies. "We think he was sleeping on the property where the police encountered him or another property - these are large tracts of land out there," says Hummel, "Smith had recently been estranged from his parents. They had told him he was no longer welcome at their home, so it seems like he was struggling with life."

Hummel would not comment on how Klein-Lewis was killed, citing the ongoing investigation, but says, "This is a very forensic-heavy case. The autopsy that was conducted early on was a key part of this case."

Smith was a 2018 graduate of Redmond High and had been attending classes at OSU.

He now has a court-appointed attorney and was arraigned on several charges, including Second Degree Murder, Trespass and Burglary. Hummel says he's presenting the case to the Grand Jury. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment June 13th. 

Local Utility Provides Drone Research Field

REDMOND, OR -- A local power company is providing the research field for a Texas drone company hoping to prevent wildfires. Brent ten Pas, with Central Electric Co-Op, says they’re working with Brains 4 Drones to reduce the cost of aerial power line inspections. Brains 4 Drones is working "to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technology for off-the-shelf drones that can help identify damaged energy infrastructure and assess vegetation status," according to ten Pas.

Numerous wildfires have been sparked by damaged transmission lines. While hiring a commercial drone crew is expensive, ten Pas says aerial inspections are key to finding damage that can spark a fire, "You want to try and inspect every inch of your power lines, specifically as a top priority in high-risk wildfire areas. And, frankly, there are things that a drone can capture that may not necessarily be seen by the naked eye doing visual inspections." Research conducted by Brains 4 Drones aims to prove utilities could retro-fit consumer-grade drones with their AI. 

Redmond-based CEC and Consumers Power in Philomath, outside Corvallis, are the only utilities in the nation to offer up a research field. Ten Pas tells KBND News the two regions offer very different terrain, "So it allowed them really a two-for-one punch because with our service territories being somewhat close. They can come out, visually inspect lines with their drones, gather data." 

Eventually, CEC hopes field crews will carry drones in their trucks. "They could send it up over a stretch of line that may be difficult to get to or to visually inspect," says ten Pas. 

Brains 4 Drones hopes to demonstrate their research results by fall.

Ten Finalists Considered for Two Bend Council Vacancies

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will interview finalists for two Council vacancies later this week. At a special meeting Friday, three Councilors whittled down the list from 36 applicants. They quickly pulled three out, saying they were unqualified. Ten others rose to the top based on resume, community involvement and geographic area. 

Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman noted there were a lot of great candidates who didn’t make the cut, "People who are so committed to Council and so committed to the City. I know there’s lots of roles we all can play, and lots of these people have said they want to run so they’re going to run and I’m excited for that. I also know we have to narrow this down." Councilor Melanie Kebler also thanked everyone who showed the dedication to submit an application.

Councilor Megan Perkins acknowledged the list of 10 finalists came quickly after the subcommittee - Broadman, Kebler and Perkins (pictured) - discovered several applicants were favored by multiple Councilors, "We came here after studying these packets. It’s not like we - this was not a discussion beforehand. This was literally all of us sitting individually and going over all of this and thinking about criteria. So, there was nothing decided or anything. This is all just personal preference based on what we saw."

The full Council meets Tuesday to discuss whether to interview all or just some of those ten finalists. Interviews are scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m.

St. Charles Doctors And Other Providers Plan to Unionize

BEND, OR -- More than 300 physicians, psychologists, midwives, and other providers who work at St Charles hospitals and clinics around Central Oregon are taking an unusual step. They say they have filed for union representation. Physician Assistant Erin Butler tells KBND News frustration with the administration came to a breaking point three months ago, when Chief Medical Officer Richard Freeman was let go. "We had been making really good strides; people were feeling confident that we were part of a meaningful system, I think. Dr. Freeman was someone who we felt that he was going to bat for us and that he was on our team," She says, "To lose him, we really felt like we were losing our legs."

Butler says many feel the health system thinks they’re expendable and left out of important discussions, "It was fairly clear that we were not the ones who were directing care and providing that input; that it was decisions being made by administrators focused more on money than patient care." She adds, "There have been changes and decisions made at the administrative level at St. Charles that haven’t taken into consideration the actual well-being of the communities, input from the providers who are providing that care and it’s gotten to the point where we really feel that they’ve overstepped their bounds and are making short-sighted decisions." Butler says the decision to unionize will not impact patient care. 

St. Charles Health System issued the following written statement Friday:

St. Charles Medical Group is the employed provider arm of St. Charles Health System. It encompasses about 300 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, licensed clinical psychologists and other health professionals. Many providers who practice in St. Charles’ hospitals are not part of this group.  

“As always, we want to reassure our community that patient care is and will continue to be our top priority,” said Dr. Jeff Absalon, chief physician executive for St. Charles Health System. “We greatly value our employed providers and respect their right to take this step, although we’d far prefer to work directly with them in partnership while navigating these unprecedented times. We know many health care workers are frustrated and exhausted after the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus as individuals and a health system needs to be on healing and recovering from the pandemic and stabilizing our finances so that we can preserve and strengthen the vital health care services that we provide to our community.”

 

Bend Man Arrested Following Weekend Shooting

BEND, OR -- A Bend man faces charges after a shooting in northeast Bend. A woman was found shot inside a home on Hunters Circle, just before 1 a.m. Sunday. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and is expected to survive.

Bend Police arrested 48-year-old Keven Baessler; he's charged with Assault II, Reckless Endangering, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Pointing a Firearm at Another. Investigators say alcohol was a factor in the shooting.

Redmond Man Arrested For Murder

CLOVERDALE, OR -- A Redmond man faces murder, abuse of a corpse and other charges, as the investigation continues into the death of a woman near Sisters.

The body of 55-year-old Tina Lynn Klein-Lewis was discovered at a property on Cloverdale Road last Tuesday night.

Friday afternoon, a man reported a person on his Jordan Road property asking for medics. Deputies arrived and arrested 22-year-old Alexander Smith after they say he had evidence linking him to Klein-Lewis’ death.

Smith is also charged with Burglary, Trespass, Unauthorized Entry Into a Motor Vehicle and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. 

Water Levels Too Low for Numerous Boat Docks

BEND, OR -- As a result of low water levels at East Lake, Crescent Lake and Wickiup Reservoir, the Forest Service will not install a number of docks this season.

At East Lake, Cinder Hill Boating, East Lake Boating and Hot Springs Boating will not receive dock installation this season. The current East Lake water level does not reach the East Lake Boat Ramp, while the boat ramps at Cinder Hill Boating and Hot Springs Boating extend into the water at a shallow depth that will likely recede through summer. East Lake first dropped to levels that prevented dock installation in the spring of 2021. The Forest Service recognizes East Lake’s low water level as an emerging situation. Forest staff are working on a strategy to address future access to East Lake.

On Crescent Lake, Crescent Lake Boating and Spring Boating docks will not be installed due to low water levels. The low water boat ramp at Crescent Lake Boating is open.

On Wickiup Reservoir, the North Wickiup Boating docks will also not be installed due to low water levels.

Docks on Paulina Lake at Little Crater Boating and Paulina Lake Campground are scheduled to be installed Friday.

During the spring and early summer recreation season, the Forest Service reminds visitors it’s extremely important to “Know Before You Go.” This means confirming your destination is open for use, checking to see if routes of travel are open and reviewing predicted weather forecasts. Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained during winter conditions.

Visit the Deschutes National Forest website to check on the operational status of recreation sites and to find the status of boat dock installation.

 

File Photo: East Lake Campground

Broken Top House Fire Caused By Gas Fireplace Vent

BEND, OR -- A home on Fall Creek Loop was heavily damaged in a Thursday evening fire. Crews arrived to find smoke coming from the roof. They quickly put out the fire, but remained on scene about two hours.

Damages are estimated at $230,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

 

UPDATE: Bend Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be vent pipe for the gas fireplace installed too close to structural framing. The wood was exposed to high heat over a period of years, drying and degrading the wood and leading to a process called pyrolysis. As the wood degrades, the temperature required  to ignite the wood decreases, until it reaches the point of ignition.  In this case, the fire was mostly contained within the wall and attic space of the home.

Bend Fire & Rescue reminds everyone that anything producing heat needs space around it. Maintain clearance between combustible materials and appliances such as fireplaces and woodstoves. Have fireplaces and woodstoves inspected and cleaned annually, and don't leave a fire burning unattended.

Bend Church Considers Leasing Property for Outdoor Shelter

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have approved $45,300 for phase one of a temporary outdoor shelter near 27th and Bear Creek. Former Bend Police Chief Jim Porter is now with Central Oregon Villages - the group working to lease the property and manage the camp, which would primarily serve women and children. He told Councilors at this week's meeting, "There’s a lot of fear out there; and it’s justified fear. The neighbors are talking about drug use, people using - if you will - the street for bathrooms. Crime and graffiti, specifically graffiti in that area by people who are living in unmanaged camps. It’s true; in unmanaged camp situations, these things do exist. And our proposal is to turn that around and have managed camps."

After hearing from numerous neighbors during the public comment period, Porter told Council, "We’re proposing a solution to unmanaged camps and the lawlessness which occurs around them. We’re also proposing we move this to the private/public sector, because police and fire shouldn’t be doing this. I mean, they’ve got more important jobs. We can introduce another layer of safety by starting to manage these camps, changing people’s behavior and ensuring they have a safe, sound place to sleep and not have to build campfires, which can turn into wildfires."

The proposed temporary outdoor shelter would include up to 20 small structures alongside the existing Desert Streams Church. Because it's private property, Porter says managers would be allowed to remove unwanted campers, unlike on public land. Under state law, this type of shelter must be approved if it meets certain requirements. The funding granted by Council comes from the city's American Rescue Plan allocation and helps cover the expense of Phase One, which includes outreach and feasibility work. Operating the shelter comes in Phase Two, which is not yet approved.

Porter told Council the camp wants to be a good neighbor, "Maybe it’s a little superficial, but I think it’s really important how it looks. This is a rare opportunity we’re given to establish the first one of Bend, and we want it to look nice. We want it to look like it fits in the neighborhood. We don’t want trash around; we don’t want gatherings of bicycles. Every unit’s going to have its own storage locker. We just have to get this right, and that means keeping it cleaned, picked up and livable so the neighbors don’t drive by and say ‘look at the eyesore in our neighborhood’."

Desert Streams Church issued a statement Thursday, saying it is working on a lease agreement with Central Oregon Villages. "We consider it a great honor to live in Bend and to be a part of the community that does more than just talk about problems. We are looking for real solutions to the issues we face. The program offered by Central Oregon Villages is something we support," Pastor Daniel Burgess said in the statement. The church is considering leasing about 1.3 acres to Central Oregon VIllages for the program, along with providing volunteer support. The church notes it's been part of the Bend community for 35 years. 

Bend Chamber Launches ADU Guide

BEND, OR -- Bend’s Chamber of Commerce is getting more involved in work to increase the housing inventory. Its “Leadership Bend” program just launched a new online ADU guide, to help people through the process of building an accessory dwelling unit on their property. Chamber CEO Katy Brooks tells KBND News, "It’s the A-Z, step by step instructions on how to assess if you can build an ADU on your property, how much it will cost, how much to expect to earn in income, and what that permitting process looks like. And then, the ‘care and feeding’ of having an extra unit at your property."

Brooks says it’s part of a larger effort by the Chamber, "It includes ADU; it includes incentivizing below market housing, as well as affordable housing that’s priced for entry-level workforce. We’re also looking at policies that will incentivize this type of development. We’re working with employers who want to build housing or provide housing for their employees, and we’re matching them up with developers, investors and property managers."

Brooks believes creating more housing inventory is just good business, "I hear from employers almost every day how they’re losing labor force, because they just can’t get people to live here because of the housing prices. And wages are simply unable to keep up with the increase of what it costs to live here."

Housing is the focus of the Chamber's June 21st "What's Brewing Event" at OSU Cascades. Click HERE for more information and to register. 

 

Redmond School Board Seeks Applicants to Fill Vacancy

REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School District is seeking qualified people to apply for a vacancy on its Board of Directors. The person appointed will serve July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 and will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jill Cummings effective June 1, 2022. Cummings was elected in 2020. 

The board consists of five members elected at large.  Those interested must be registered voters and residents of the Redmond School District for at least the past year.

Applications will be accepted until June 13 at 5:00 p.m.  An applicant will be appointed, or interviews will be scheduled the evening of June 22, 2022. Please contact Executive Assistant Gina Blanchette, at 541-923-8250 or visit the Board of Directors’ web page for more information or apply online

Anyone wishing to be elected to serve the remaining two-year portion of the four-year term may file an application with the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office for placement on the May 2023 ballot.   

Jefferson Co. Sheriff Steps Down Early

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Sheriff Marc Heckathorn will step down a full six months before the end of his term. In a letter to staff, he says he’s signed a separation agreement with the county. His last day as Sheriff is June 20, but he will take vacation days leading up to that date; it’s unclear how many.

County Commissioners are expected to appoint an interim Sheriff at their meeting next Wednesday. Heckathorn says he assumes they’ll select Jason Pollock, who beat him in the May election but wasn’t slated to take office until January. 

Heckathorn has worked in law enforcement since 1996, the last 23 years at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. 

Death Investigation Underway Near Sisters

SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a woman outside Sisters. Her body was found Tuesday night at a property on Cloverdale Road.

Detectives responded and are working with the Medical Examiner, DA’s office and State Police Crime Lab. They say it’s early in the investigation and the cause of death is unknown. 

Bend Councilors Advance Plans to Fill Two Vacancies

BEND, OR -- More than 30 people applied to fill two vacant positions on Bend City Council, following the resignation of Mayor Sally Russell and Councilor Rita Schenkelberg. Newly appointed Mayor Gena Goodman-Campbell says the process of selecting two qualified applicants is now underway, based on Council rules. "We have appointed a subcommittee of Councilors, so that’s Councilor Melanie Kebler, Councilor Megan Perkins and Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman. The three of them will be meeting June third, from 2-4 pm, and reviewing applications and recommending a list to the full Council for us to interview." Recommendations are expected at a June seventh meeting, with interviews on June ninth.

Goodman-Campbell expects they’ll ask applicants if they plan to run for election in November, "Not because we have a preference, but because it’s just an important piece of information for us to understand whether the person is intending to just serve out the remainder of the six-month term for each seat or whether they intend to run for a full term on Council - or, in the case of Councilor Schenkelberg’s seat, to serve the remainder of the two years of their term."

Deliberations will then take place during a June 13th meeting, if needed. She says the goal is to have the two new members seated by June 15.

Goodman-Campbell tells KBND News it’s a fast but necessary timeline, "We are midway through a really ambitious work plan and set of goals for this Council for this two year period that we’re in the middle of. So, I have full confidence in city staff and the remaining Councilors to bring people on board and up to speed quickly."

Teaters Road Reopens After Years of Disputes

PRINEVILLE, OR -- After years of discussions, disputes and legal battles, Teaters Road is again open near Post, east of Prineville. A court order requires nearby Waibel Ranches to allow the public and the government to use Teaters Road, which connects Highway 380 to the North Fork Crooked River area and the Ochoco National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management says gates blocking the road, installed by the ranch a number of years ago, opened Wednesday. 

Waibel Ranches had claimed the public misused the road, causing damage. The BLM asks everyone to be respectful and mindful that Teaters Road borders private land.

 

Library Makes Attraction Passes Available for Online Check-Out

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes Public Library now offers free passes to local attractions for “check out” through the library system. The new Discovery Pass online reservation system provides passes to the Deschutes Historical Museum, High Desert Museum, Oregon Observatory at Sunriver and the Sunriver Nature Center.

Starting June 15, users can also check out a Wilderness Pass, needed for hiking certain trail systems in the Cascades.

In the past, people had to visit a library to check out a pass. But library officials say Discovery Pass streamlines the system, making it easy for customers to check out available passes online from anywhere with internet access. Passes, much like books and other items in the Library’s collection, are limited in number, but users can view available dates in the online system.

“We know people love checking out books and movies from the Library, but we are proud to offer so much more,” Library Director Todd Dunkelberg said in a statement. “Not only do we offer Discovery Passes, we also have the Library of Things, which includes everything from bike repair kits and sewing machines to an air fryer and a GoPro. Plus, we have a growing collection of board games and puzzles available for checkout, as well as mobile hotspots that make internet access available to more people.”

For more information about what’s available “beyond the books,” visit the Deschutes Public Library website.

BPD Searches for Hit and Run Suspect

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are searching for the vehicle involved in a hit and run, Tuesday afternoon. Officers were dispatched to an injury crash in the 2000 block of NE Highway 20 in Bend, at about 4:25 p.m. When officers arrived, they found an injured 15-year-old bicyclist. 

The bicyclist was eastbound in the bike lane on an electric bicycle. As he crossed the west driveway of the small shopping plaza that contains Cibelli’s, Allure Nails and Double Tap Firearms, the bicyclist struck the rear passenger side of a vehicle turning into the driveway from the center lane. 

The bicyclist was thrown from his bike, and the driver entered the parking lot, paused, then backed toward the east driveway and exited back onto Highway 20. The victim suffered a dislocated elbow and broken arm. 

Officers reviewed video surveillance footage from a nearby business and determined the suspect vehicle is likely an older model Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Escape in a two-tone tan or gold, with darker paint on the bottom half of the SUV. The force of the impact may have resulted in damage to the rear passenger side of the vehicle, and it’s extremely unlikely the driver would not have known a collision occurred. It is a crime to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident without providing your information to those involved. 

Bend Police asks anyone who may have information about this accident or the suspect vehicle to please contact the dispatch nonemergency line at 541-693-6911. 

Attempted Arson Suspect Arrested in Bend

BEND, OR -- A Bend man suspected of attempted arson was arrested after a three-hour search, Wednesday. A witness reported seeing the man siphoning gas from a vehicle on Northeast Red Rock Lane just after 11 a.m. The suspect threw the gas into the back of a trailer, which caught fire.

As officers saturated the area, a woman reportedly found a man hiding under her car and - at his request - took him to the hospital. Just after 2 p.m., he was seen hiding under cars at the Pinewood Apartments. Eventually, police found and arrested 38-year-old Kalvin Dean Hobin. He's charged with Reckless Burning, Disorderly Conduct II, Attempted Arson II.

Bend Police reminds the community that if you observe something suspicious, such as someone hiding under your vehicle, to please contact 911.

 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said Pilot Butte Middle School was placed in lockout during the search for the suspect, based on information provided by Bend Police. BPD says the school was not on lockout. 

CODE Arrests Gladstone Pair for Trafficking Fentanyl

REDMOND, OR -- A Gladstone couple is accused of trafficking Fentanyl in Central Oregon. Following a short-term investigation, the CODE team arrested 39-year-old Johnny Stavrakis and his wife Martha during a Tuesday night traffic stop on Highway 97.

Detectives say they found a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of Fentanyl inside the couple’s car, as well as other evidence. They say the pair provided fictitious names and became uncooperative in an effort to conceal Johnny's two outstanding warrants.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team says, "Fentanyl is a very strong synthetic opioid. Although fentanyl is made and used pharmaceutically, it is also produced illegally in Mexico and trafficked into the United States, usually as powder or fake prescription pills. A very small amount of fentanyl can cause someone to overdose and die."

Johnny Stavrokis was taken to the Deschutes County Jail on these charges: 

  • Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, and Attempted Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) 
  • Giving false information to a peace officer
  • Parole Violation Arrest Warrant
  • Clackamas County Arrest Warrant for UUMV

Martha Stavrokis was cited for:

  • Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, and Attempted Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) 
  • Hindering Prosecution 

CODE Detectives were assisted by Redmond Police Officers and Oregon State Police Troopers.

Deschutes Co. Approves Funding for Saving Grace, Redmond Seniors

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners approved $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars Wednesday, to support Saving Grace and the Redmond Senior Center.

Funding includes $450,000 for Saving Grace to increase capacity to provide mental health support and case management services to survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Money will also increase food access and provide safe emergency shelter for survivors through short term motel stays.

“Saving Grace is beyond grateful for the generous ARPA Funds allocated to us by the Deschutes County Commissioners,” said Saving Grace Executive Director Cassi MacQueen in a statement. “Our organization and survivors in Deschutes County have seen tremendous impacts from COVID-19 including increased intimate partner violence, limited community resources for those fleeing abuse, and decreased federal funding. Not only will these funds ensure that we can continue providing safety to those in greatest need, they allow us to expand on our mission and work to help all survivors in Central Oregon find safety, hope, and healing.”

Funds allocated by Commissioners also includes $250,000 for the Redmond Senior Center to repair and update their kitchen and add a food storage space so that they can meet the increased demand for food assistance due to the pandemic.

“The Redmond Senior Center is overjoyed and humbled by this commitment from Deschutes County,” Redmond Senior Center Executive Director Todd Dickerson said in a statement. “Using our 30-year-old kitchen, we prep, serve, and deliver nearly 40,000 meals per year to members of the greater Redmond community. Much of the equipment we have does not operate properly and what does work is old and antiquated. The additional funds from the county will fill the gap between what the generous Redmond community provided, and the budget needed to complete this remodel. It will allow us to better serve our current needs, allow us to increase the capacity of those we serve, and be a revenue source for our Center so we can reach and support more older adults in our community.”

Deschutes County will receive more than $38 million in ARPA funds. Click HERE learn more about the County’s ARPA investments.

Crook County Justice Center Begins with Demolition

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Demolition began Tuesday in Prineville, in preparation for Crook County’s new Justice Center. Crews tore down the old bowling alley on Northwest Second. The building has also been a car dealership, a church, even a secondhand store. But it’s been vacant for years. County Judge Seth Crawford got a little surprise during the work, "One of the most exciting things, at least for me, was that during the process they found a beehive in the building. They were able to have someone come down before the demo started and save 20,000 bees out of the wall."

Crawford says the new facility should open in 2024, "It’s going to be 60,000 square feet; three stories. It’s going to house the courts, the DA, the Sheriff, Victims Advocate and the Juvenile Department." And, he hopes it will revitalize downtown Prineville, "This building that’s being torn down is not a great looking building. And, putting a newer building in this area I think will really help this area of downtown."

The $60 million project is funded by a 2021 bond measure, and includes more than just construction of the new Crook County Justice Center. "As soon as we finish that and can move people out of the courthouse, then the second phase of the project is to start fixing up the courthouse," Crawford tells KBND News, "It’s a very important building to our community." That original courthouse on Third Street is more than a hundred years old.

 

 

Photos courtesy Seth Crawford

St. Charles Urgent Care Launches "Test to Treat"

BEND, OR -- St. Charles Urgent Care Clinics are now federally designated as “Test to Treat” sites for COVID-19. St. Charles Medical Director of Infection Prevention Dr. Cynthia Maree tells KBND News it streamlines the process for patients at risk of severe illness, "Now we’re able to dispense directly from our Urgent Cares, so it’s really a one-stop-shopping for folks, so to speak. So, they can come in, get their rapid test done onsite, and if appropriate, either get monoclonal antibodies or the oral therapies such as Paxlovid." 

Dr. Maree says it's important that treatment start quickly, "From diagnosis or beginning of symptoms, to start with oral therapies, people need to be tested and a consult to happen and be given therapy within 5 days. So, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for people to seek medical care." She adds, "For this medication to work, it needs to stop the replication of the virus before it gets to the cells, and so it really needs to be given early on in the disease process. That speed is crucial for it to have its effectiveness of 80% from hospitalizations and severe disease."

She says it’s part of an overall effort to improve outcomes for COVID patients and reduce confusion, "As we’ve streamlined this process in our community and tried to help educate people how to access these medications and treatments, we’ve seen a lot of decrease in our call volumes to our call centers from frustrated patients and providers who are trying to access treatments for their patients." Dr. Maree says Test to Treat clinics are for immunocompromised patients and others who need immediate treatment to prevent hospitalization.

St. Charles now offers “Test to Treat” at its Bend South, La Pine and Prineville Urgent Care Clinics. Along with a clinic in Warm Springs, they’re Oregon's only federally designated “Test to Treat” sites outside of the Portland-metro area, according to US Health and Human Services.

Redmond Mayor Will Not Seek 8th Term

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Mayor George Endicott says he will not run for an 8th term. He tells KBND News, "Sometimes you just have to say, ‘ya know, I’ve done my part’."

Endicott has served on City Council 17 years - 14 of those as Mayor. He says he’s pleased with what he accomplished, "Centennial Park, of course. Taking Redmond Union High and making it our new City Hall; that was huge. Rebuilding 5th and 6th Street, and the arch. You know, I fought hard for that arch and - golly, almost every news report you see has a picture of the arch in it, so that’s pretty cool." But, he’s most proud of opening Hope Playground - the all-abilities area at Sam Johnson Park, "You know, I remember a young woman in a cast being able to slide down the slides. I remember a kid coming out of a wheelchair to climb the rockwall. I’m not kidding, it kind of brings tears to your eyes to see that these kids can participate fully with their buddies and play."

He’s the third local Mayor to announce retirement in the past month. Bend Mayor Sally Russell stepped down May 18th, and Madras Mayor Richard Ladeby says he will also not seek reelection. Endicott acknowledges the loss of experience and institutional knowledge, "I think one of the things that we’ll lose as a result of me, and to some degree, Madras - and that is relationships outside the city. Both the Mayor of Madras and myself have been Chair of the Central Oregon Cities Organization. I spent a lot of time in Salem advocating and testifying about different projects. And even at the national level, going back to Washington to advocate."

He plans to remain until his term ends in December. Then, he will retire. "You know, I’ve loved every minute of it," Endicott said Tuesday, "I love city government. But, I’m 74 this week. I’m just ready to smell the roses."

Endicott says he will endorse someone for his position. That person is expected to announce their candidacy this week.

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