Local News Archives for 2022-08

Portion Of China Hat Road To Get Work

BEND, OR -- A Deschutes National Forest road crew is repairing pavement edges and patching potholes on Forest Service Road 18 – also known as China Hat Road. They expect the work to last through this week and will cause delays of up to 30 minutes between Highway 97 and milepost 9. Beyond that the road is not impacted by the work and access from Highway 20 and other routes remain open.

Bend Firefighter Killed In Idaho Plane Crash

YELLOW PINE, ID -- Bend Fire & Rescue issued the following alert Monday afternoon:

Bend Fire & Rescue was struck with the tragic loss of a dedicated member on the morning of Monday, August 15, 2022. Engineer Daniel Harro, 38, was killed in a small plane crash near Yellow Pine, ID. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time and is under investigation by local authorities.  Engineer Harro and his twin brother Mark were returning to Bend from a back-country plane camping trip near McCall, ID. Daniel was the plane’s pilot and an avid flight enthusiast. He is survived by his wife, Elisif. “This is a devastating loss for our family,” Bend Fire Chief Todd Riley said in a statement, “Daniel was well-loved and well-respected by everyone who worked with him. We will miss his presence every day.” 

Harro, who had previously worked for the Scappoose Fire Department, began his career with Bend Fire on January 13, 2014 as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Daniel quickly established himself as a proven leader, and became heavily involved with the Bend Fire & Rescue specialty Rescue Team as well as serving on the Bend Professional Firefighter’s Local 227 Executive Board. A strong paramedic, Harro worked with department administrators and physician advisors to assist in the updating of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) protocols, maintaining Bend Fire & Rescue as a top-level provider of emergency medical services in the state of Oregon.

The Bend Fire Department family is shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy. Bend Fire & Rescue administrative staff and Local 227 representatives are coordinating active member honor services for Engineer Harro with the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard and the Harro family. 

Weekend Fire Closes Hwy 26

MADRAS, OR -- Several pieces of equipment were destroyed in a weekend fire north of Madras. According to Jefferson County Fire & EMS, crews initially responded to a backyard fire on NW Columbia Drive on Saturday, just before 7 p.m. They accessed adjacent properties and formed a fire line.

BLM fire crews mopped up the perimeter while other firefighters extinguished outbuildings and other equipment. The fire was contained to 4 acres, but damaged a large greenhouse, small outbuildings, a 4-wheeler, motorcycle, RV and other vehicles. 

Sunday morning, crews returned to check for hotspots. Around 5:30 p.m. they were called back to the scene when fire rekindled and jumped containment lines. It burned grass and juniper along Highway 26 for about 3/4 of an acre. Firefighters remained on scene late into the evening and plan to check on hot spots again Monday. 

Investigators believe the fire started with a campfire too close to other combustible materials. 

 

State Says Fire Map Won't Impact Insurance

SALEM, OR -- Insurance companies do not plan to use the statewide wildfire risk map to determine their rates, according to Oregon’s consumer protection agency. Mark Peterson, with the Department of Consumer and Business Services, says they’d had informal conversations with companies before the original map was released in July, "Once the concerns were raised during some of the public listening sessions about the map, we decided to put out a formal ‘data call,’ which is a formal inquiry that insurers are required by law to answer truthfully. What we found is that all of the insurers responded that they don’t use the map for rating and underwriting and they have no plans to use it." He tells KBND News, "The thing with the insurance companies is that they’ve been using their own maps and their other risk management tools to assess things like wildfire risk, for years."

Because the situation could cause confusion, DCBS urges insurance agents to be honest and careful how they describe underwriting decisions. "We obviously take any policy cancellations very seriously," says Peterson, "And if consumers have concerns they can contact our Division of Financial Regulations Consumer Advocacy Hotline." That number is 888-877-4894. You can also file a complaint at dfr.oregon.gov.

Fire Season Off To Mild Start

BEND, OR -- While a number of wildfires continue to burn in Oregon, we have not seen the mega-fires agencies expected at the start of the season. Oregon’s Office of State Fire Marshal continues to shift crews into regions at high wildfire risk, Oregon's Department of Forestry is flying recon flights to watch for new starts after lightning storms.

ODF’s Christie Shaw says the proactive moves are possible because there are - so far - no large fires, "This year definitely didn’t play out as the fire season we all thought it was going to, in March, when we start making all our fire season plans and we start planning for people to come on. Back in March we were - low snowpack, hadn’t seen moisture in forever and there were dire concerns about what fire season was going to be like." 

Those late rains pushed out the start of fire season, which Shaw says typically starts after Memorial Day, "In early June, we’re having team deployments and things like that. And we didn’t see that this year because we had all that moisture that kept coming through in May and June, where it was like cyclic rain. So then our concern - ‘oh, we’re going to have all these fuels out there, when fire season comes!’ And we do. But the thing that we haven’t seen play out is we haven’t had all those lightning storms come through." While multiple lightning storms have moved through in recent weeks, she says they’re much weaker than what we normally see this time of year.

We’re not out of the proverbial woods yet. Oregon’s fire season typically stretches into September.

 

Photo courtesy Oregon Department of Forestry

New Armor For K9 Deputy Safety

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County K9 deputies are getting new body armor. Sgt. Jayson Janes says, "We’ve tried different armored vests for our dogs for years, but they were all basically one-size-fits-all; small, medium and large. So, they didn’t work for our dogs because not all dogs are the same size. And they would get raw spots from the vests, and they just didn’t work out." He tells KBND News, "It wasn't until we found this company, K9 Storm, that we found body armor that was actually custom fit for each individual dog. So they could actually wear it and it doesn’t give them rub marks or injuries from wearing the vest all day."

Janes says the vests are more than just bullet- and stab-resistant, "If they’re searching a construction site, or somewhere out in the woods, it’ll protect their belly area from getting punctures or scrapes while they’re out searching around, as well."

Riko, Ronin and Roper are the first to be outfitted. The other two patrol K9s will get theirs in the next few months.

Bend Man Accused In Southern Oregon Carjacking

SHADY COVE, OR -- A 33-year-old Bend man is accused of trying to steal a car in Southern Oregon with a baby inside. Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a carjacking and attempted kidnapping at the Shady Cove Chevron gas station Friday morning at 10:45.

Investigators say a man stole the victim’s running vehicle parked with her 1-year-old child inside. A few feet away the mother saw what was happening and ran to the car, opened the driver’s door and pleaded with him to stop so she could get her child out. Knowing the infant was in the car he still attempted to flee with the mother hanging on the outside of the door. The mother fought with the suspect and was able to get him to stop in the middle of Hwy 62. The suspect ran and JCSO deputies and a K-9 unit began to track him. He was located hiding under a tarp and arrested.

Jason Lee Cheatham, of Bend, is charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of recklessly endangering, first-degree robbery, second-degree disorderly conduct, and harassment. He is lodged in the Jail under several Measure 11 felony charges and is not eligible for pre-trail release. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

Gov. Brown Visits Warm Springs

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Governor Kate Brown visited the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs last week for government-to-government meetings with tribal leaders. During the visit, her office says the Governor attended a Tribal Council meeting where she received a briefing on ongoing water treatment issues; toured the Tribe’s Native American Youth Suicide Hot Line office, as well as Warm Springs’ shelter units, which are helping people experiencing homelessness transition to permanent housing; and visited the Museum at Warm Springs. She was joined by Tribal Council members, including Vice Chair Raymond Moody and Acting Secretary-Treasurer Michael Collins, General Manager for Health and Human Services Caroline Cruz, as well as Executive Director of the Legislative Commission on Indian Services Patrick Flanagan.
“I want to thank the Warm Springs Tribal Council and staff for their hospitality, and for showing me how they are working to invest in the next generation and make quality-of-life improvements to tribal facilities for their members,” Governor Brown said in a statement. “Ongoing water treatment infrastructure challenges are incredibly concerning, and I appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from the Tribe on how they are working to use state and federal resources to address these issues. I am grateful for every opportunity to strengthen Oregon’s long-standing government-to-government relationship with the Warm Springs Tribe.”

CODE Continues Investigation Into International Cartel

MADRAS, OR -- The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team says detectives executed another search warrant in Madras Friday, related to an ongoing investigation into an international drug cartel. At approximately 7:30 AM, detectives with the Oregon State Police, CODE, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement team, and United States Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at 637 NE 10th St. 

This is a continuation of the June 2022 investigation and series of search warrants related to the international drug organization that is alleged to be growing and processing illicit marijuana from Madras and Culver, Oregon before delivering it to Portland for nationwide distribution. 

During this search, 60 lbs of bulk unprocessed marijuana and 807 plants were seized. Several additional suspects, both foreign and domestic, have been identified. Detectives expect additional arrests are forthcoming once additional follow-up investigations and search warrants are complete. 

Detectives found this particular grow site used jerry-rigged copper wire that bypassed the circuit breakers, inferior extension cords, and power strips secured with zip ties as permanent exterior wiring for processing equipment, lighting, fans, etc. Overloaded electrical wiring has caused fires in other marijuana to grow facilities. 

CODE and DCIME investigators have found illegal marijuana grows diverted or stolen significant water from nearby homes, commercial farms, or directly from pumps connected to underground sources in the arid central Oregon high desert. It is estimated that indoor marijuana cultivation uses between 2.5 and 3.0 gallons per day per plant. That equals to about 2,421 gallons per day or 72,630 gallons of water per month at this grow site alone. US Department of Interior and the USGS estimates that an average person uses 3,000 gallons of water monthly, so a family of 4 would use 12,000 gallons for bathing, cooking, washing, recreation and watering.

Additionally, Illegal marijuana farms, including this one, often use pesticides and insecticides that threaten residential water supplies and endanger the end user. This particular grow site was also infested with black mold. According to the CDC, Black mold is dangerous to those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems. There are reports that ingesting or inhaling toxigenic molds, like black mold, can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. 

This remains an active investigation. CODE and DCIME have identified additional grow sites operated by this organization. Investigators know the remaining locations and will continue to dismantle these sites as the investigation progresses.

 

 

 

 

BPRD Fall Registration Opens Tuesday

BEND, OR -- Bend Park and Recreation District opens registration for fall recreation programs beginning Tuesday, August 16 at 6:00 a.m. An online Fall 2022 Online Playbook is available for viewing and download.

Fall programs run from September through December and include youth and adult activities, no-school day programs, arts, outdoors, swimming, sports and ice season favorites including skating, hockey and curling.

Patrons are encouraged to register online or in person at the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, Larkspur Community Center, and the District Office during regular business hours.

If establishing a household account for the first time, the process can take up to 24 hours. All new and returning patrons are encouraged to verify account details before Aug. 16 when many programs are expected to fill up quickly.

For additional information, contact the BRPD Customer Service Team at (541) 389-7275 or visit www.bendparksandrec.org.

OHA Launches Monkeypox Website

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon Health Authority has launched a new webpage for information about the hMPXV outbreak. State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger says it’s more user-friendly, "Has more accessible information on who’s at risk for Monkeypox and how they can access testing, vaccines and treatments, and take additional steps to protect themselves and others. It has links to additional resources, including guidance on isolation, what to do if you’ve been exposed [and] answers to frequently asked questions." It will also provide weekly updates on the spread of the virus. Sidelinger says new information will typically post on Wednesdays.

As of Thursday, there are 95 confirmed and presumptive cases of hMPXV in Oregon, three are women. Dr. Sidelinger says cases are spread across seven counties, "Three in Clackamas, one in Columbia, one in Coos, 17 in Lane, one in Marion, 57 in Multnomah and 15 in Washington."

Lane County public health officer Dr. Patrick Luedke says access to the vaccine is critical, "Our recommendations to other jurisdictions that have not yet seen a case is to make sure that they secure a few doses of the JYNNEOS and TPOXX; when they get a case, they can jump right on it very quickly."

OHA stresses Monkeypox is not airborne, and, while men who have sex with men are most at risk, anyone can contract the virus through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. 

OSU-Cascades Close To Success Center Design

BEND, OR -- OSU-Cascades is getting closer to a final design for its $19 million Student Success Center. Jarrod Penttila is Construction Manager for the Bend campus, and says student input has been an important part of the process, "They want to see landscaping outside the building that they can really hang out in. They’re looking for spaces where they can socialize. And then, there are certain services that they’ve highlighted that are really important to have in the building, like academic success services, academic advising, student club spaces, a Diversity Equity lounge; and then student life and student government spaces, as well."

Penttila says the goal is to provide room for future expansion, "Over time, as we grow from the 1400-ish students that we have today, to 3,000 or 5,000 over the coming decade, that student success center will actually grow with the student population. So, for the next 15-20+ years, it’ll be that 20,000-square foot building." He tells KBND News they're going for a certain concept, "There’s an interesting look and feel to our campus character, and it’s really important to us to continue that, so we fit into the character of the greater Central Oregon area. And also, provide a building that’s comfortable for students and feels maybe a bit informal."

Lawmakers approved $14 million in state funding in the last legislative session. The other $5 million comes from student fees approved by the student body in 2017.

Penttila expects the design to be finalized later this year, and submitted for city permits. Construction on the 22,500 square foot facility should begin next spring, with completion slated for Summer of 2024.

Young Bus Riders Invited To Event

BEND,OR -- New bus riders, kindergarten students and their families are invited to learn about bus safety and take a spin on a school bus during the Winnie the Pooh School Bus Safety programs at Bend Transportation Department’s Bus Center August 16 and 17. During the events, families will watch a short movie featuring Winnie the Pooh, learn about the rules of bus riding and ride a bus together.

“The Winnie the Pooh Bus Safety events are a great opportunity for us to meet new bus riders and make sure they understand bus safety and how to ride our buses,” Kim Crabtree, Director of Transportation, said in a statement. “These events give us time before the start of the year to answer questions and demonstrate the safety features of buses, so come September, both riders and families feel confident about students riding the bus.”  

One-hour sessions are scheduled to take place at 501 SE Second St., Bend (at the corner of Second and Wilson avenues in Bend). 

• Tuesday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

• Wednesday,  Aug. 17, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

At the events, students learn how to cross the street safely, line up to wait for the bus and about behavior expectations while riding the bus. A Spanish-speaking staff member will be available during all sessions. Refreshments will be provided. 

For more information on the Winnie the Pooh School Bus Safety Program, contact 541-355-5702.

Defensible Space Code Mtgs In Central Oregon

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Office of State Fire Marshal will host a series of meetings in Central Oregon next week to discuss defensible space code. Allison Green says the agency was given a number of duties through SB 762, "One of them, which is why we’re visiting Central Oregon next week, is around developing a minimum defensible space standard and language that then we can use statewide."

The code will eventually be applied to properties deemed at high or extreme wildfire risk based on the map created by the Department of Forestry and OSU. ODF pulled down that map last week so it could be re-tooled. But Green says they don’t need a map to develop language, just for eventual rollout and application of the code. "We have to have that language done by the end of this year, which is why now we’re going out to Oregon to hear from folks. What are your concerns around defensible space? What do folks do in their yards, in their spaces that works? And what can we capture and add into the code to make sure that it works for as many Oregonians as possible?"

She tells KBND News, "We want to hear from folks on what’s working, what are the concerns, what can we address? Before we have the language finalized and adopted that doesn’t reflect the folks that we serve." Green adds, "We’re preaching to the choir that is Central Oregon, right? Folks in Central Oregon have been working on wildfire and wildfire risk things for going on almost 30 years, at this point. So, when we talk defensible space, we may learn a lot of things from Central Oregon. Folks are experts in their own property."

In the meetings they've held elsewhere, Green says they heard concerns from farmers and ranchers in areas that might be considered at high or extreme risk for wildfires, which would trigger potential future code enforcement, "We have folks here that have irrigated croplands. They have certain agricultural uses, and so folks were like, ‘Am I going to have to cut down my alfalfa field?’ All of agricultural lands are going to be considered exempt."

OSFM hopes to have draft language by October and will take more feedback at that point. SB 762 dictates the code must be finalized in December. Oregon is only the second state in the country to have such a code; California was the first. The agency plans a total of 17 public meetings around the state, five in Central Oregon: 

  • August 16 at 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sunriver, Three Rivers School Gym, 56900 Enterprise Drive 
  • August 16 at 5:30 – 7 p.m., Bend, Sky View Middle School Cafeteria, 63555 NE 18th Street 
  • August 17 at 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sisters, Sisters Community Room, Sisters Fire, 301 S Elm Street 
  • August 17 at 5:30 – 7 p.m., Prineville, Crook County High School Auditorium, 1100 SE Lynn Blvd 
  • August 18 at 5:30 – 7 p.m., Madras, Madras Performing Arts, 412 SE Buff Street  

For a full schedule, visit the Oregon Defensible Space Code webpage. 

The OSFM has a section on its website dedicated to the defensible space code development process. To learn more:  defensible space code requirements. 

Sisters Releases City Manager Survey

SISTERS, OR -- The city of Sisters continues its search for a new City Manager. They’ve released a survey to get feedback on what skills, experience, and other attributes the community feels are important for the successful candidate. Click HERE to access the survey. The deadline is August 25th. 

A virtual, facilitated input session will also be offered on Tuesday, August 23rd from 6-7 pm via Zoom. Click HERE register for the virtual input session. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Emily Rehder by email emily@jensenstrategies.com.

Current City Manager Cory Misley is stepping down at the end of the month to take a job in Portland.

CODE Welcomes New Team Member

BEND, OR -- The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team welcomes Bend Police drug detection K9 Ladybug and her handler, Detective Rob Pennock, to the team. Ladybug is highly trained at using her sense of smell to detect a variety of controlled substances, except marijuana. She will be a valuable tool to her teammates during our investigations all around central Oregon. 

K9 Ladybug was selected to join CODE based on her unusually high play, prey, hunt and retrieve drives.  K9 Ladybug was also selected based on her socialization, personality, size, and confidence in all environments such as elevated and slick surfaces, confined spaces, and inclement weather.   

Detective Pennock and K9 Ladybug have taken and passed the Drug Detection Dog Certification Test as written and administered by WSPCA (Washington State Police Canine Association) as well as the OPCA (Oregon Police Canine Association) and CNCA (California Narcotic Canine Association).  

Ladybug, who recently celebrated her 10th birthday, is a Belgian Malinois from California.  When she’s not working, she enjoys hanging out around campfire with her family and lots of tummy scratches.

Local Couple Accused Of Drug Trafficking

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Another local couple is accused of trafficking drugs from the Portland area to be distributed in Central Oregon. On Wednesday, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded a long-term investigation with the arrest of Israel Sanchez-Villagomez, age 26, of Prineville, and Katlyn McCue, age 22, of Redmond. 

During a concurrent investigation, drug agents identified Israel Sanchez-Villagomez as a fentanyl trafficker in the Crook County area. The initial investigation alleges Mr. Israel Sanchez-Villagomez imported fentanyl pills from the SE Portland / Gresham area into central Oregon where he distributes them throughout the community. Detectives had received information that Israel Sanchez-Villagomez may be armed with a firearm. 

Following an overnight multi-county surveillance operation, CODE Detectives applied for, obtained, and executed a search warrant. At approximately, 11:15 AM, Sanchez-Villagomez and his girlfriend were contacted during a traffic stop on Highway 26 near NW Ryegrass Rd while she was driving an Audi A4. 

CODE Detectives and Crook County Deputies gathered and seized a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of fentanyl along with powder fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other evidence of commercial drug sales from within the Audi. In addition to the drugs, Sanchez-Villagomez, a previously convicted felon, was also in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver. 

A “a commercial quantity” is defined by statute as five grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, or any substituted derivative of fentanyl as defined by the rules of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. This is not a separate criminal charge, rather an increase in the sentencing guidelines. 

The greater Portland area is a major transshipment hub where illegal drugs coming from the southwest border are stored in local warehouses, storage units, and residential properties. The bulk shipments of drugs are usually broken down into smaller quantities and transported to other states or distributed to local dealers. The Portland area has an international airport, interstate highways, and bus and train lines that make it easy for shipments to be smuggled to other destinations around the pacific northwest.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 people have died as a result from a drug overdose or poisoning in the U.S. Criminal drug networks in Mexico are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs. These fake pills are designed to look like real prescription pills right down to the size, shape, color and stamping. These fake pills typically replicate real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).

Mr. Sanchez-Villagomez and Ms. McCue were lodged in the Crook County Sheriff’s Jail with the following criminal charges:

  • Unlawful Possession and Attempted Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) 
  • Unlawful Possession and Attempted Distribution of Cocaine (Felony) 
  • Unlawful Possession and Attempted Distribution of Methamphetamine (Felony)
  • Unlawful Possession and Attempted Distribution of Heroin (Felony)
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Sanchez-Villagomez Only)
  • Arrest Warrant - Parole Abscond (Sanchez-Villagomez Only)

CODE Detectives were assisted by the Crook County Sheriff’s patrol deputies, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond Police Street Crimes Unit, Oregon State Police, Crook County Parole and Probation, Warm Springs Tribal Police and Crook County 9-1-1. 

Deschutes Co. Commissioners Discuss Psilocybin Land Use

BEND, OR -- Two days after agreeing to send a measure to the November ballot asking voters to ban psilocybin facilities in unincorporated areas, Deschutes County Commissioners began talking Wednesday about land use guidelines, should that measure fail.

County Community Development Director Peter Gutowsky told Commissioners, "Deschutes County - as I take a breath - is at the forefront of this issue. To my knowledge, you are the first county to officially adopt an opt out ordinance to refer the matter to the voters. You are the first county that has directed staff to develop TPM [Time, Place & Manner] amendments with a specific concept in mind." He added, "We don’t have the luxury of looking ahead to other jurisdictions that have had these conversations, that have engaged their legal counsel, that have engaged their County Commissioners with questions and comments. I dare say, most counties are tracking our process." 

Commissioner Phil Chang, the lone opponent of a ban, expressed frustration with discussion of another land use public hearing, "Again, I’m highly skeptical that, based on our recent performance in relation to this issue, that public testimony is going to be honored and utilized." He pointed to last month’s hearing, when Commissioners heard from around 80 people. Chang says after 90% testified in opposition to an opt out measure, the other two Commissioners still voted to send it to the ballot. Commission Patti Adair insisted they're trying to protect the interests of rural residents.

If the November opt-out measure fails and psilocybin treatment and manufacturing facilities are allowed in uncorporated Deschutes County, any land use restrictions must be in place before January's state rollout of the psilocybin program. 

Oregon legalized psilocybin with Measure 109, which passed in 2020 with nearly 53% support in Deschutes County. 

Thursday Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Forestry is flying reconnaissance flights across the region, looking for smoke or fires sparked by lightning. ODF’s Christie Shaw says crews have, so far, been able to keep fires small, following this week’s storm, "While there initially was a little bit of dry lightning at the very beginning, for the most part, there was a lot of moisture with them. So, that really moderated the fire behavior, allowed firefighters to get to those fires and kind of do an initial attack in a really direct way." The rain could, though, allow holdover fires to creep around for days or even weeks before getting large enough to create a visible smoke plume. 

Fire crews responded to around 15 new starts Wednesday, but Shaw says things could be much worse, "This is our fire season; right? This is kind of the peak of the fire season that we see in Central Oregon, where fuels and vegetation’s been drying all summer long. And then, we get these lightning storms and this is where we see lots of big fires." But that hasn't happened yet, "We’ve had a very mild fire season up until now," Shaw tells KBND News. "We haven’t even had lightning storms hardly come through. We didn’t have fires already on the landscape that we were battling. For the most part, all of our IA resources, including aircraft and tankers, everybody was available and staffed up, knowing that these thunderstorms were coming through. So, we had a lot of resources that were able to immediately respond and get on these fires, and move from fire, to fire, to fire."

Most of the fires sparked by this week's storm were held at less than a quarter acre, but two are drawing a larger response. Incident 674 is estimated at about 120 acres. It's burning on private lands within the Post-Paulina Rangeland Fire Protection Association. And, the Doghouse Gulch Fire (pictured) near the John Day River, is estimated at 57 acres.

The Cedar Creek Fire, spotted August first in the Willamette National Forest, is more than 3,800 acres and 0% contained. Crews are using drones to search for new lightning starts near that incident. Five small lightning-caused fires were quickly contained. The Waldo Lake Wilderness remains closed to allow for firefighting activities. However, the lake itself, campgrounds and trails on the east side remain open. 

Oregon’s Office of State Fire Marshal is pre-positioning resources due to the elevated fire risk in Central and Southern Oregon. The agency is moving two structural task forces. Officials say they’ll bolster initial fire attack and allow for quicker response to new incidents.
A crew from Marion County is heading into Deschutes County Thursday, with 13 firefighters, four engines and a water tender. And, on Saturday, a task force from Benton County will mobilize in Klamath County, with 14 firefighters, four engines and a water tender. 
 
 

Changes To Redmond City Council Coming In 2023

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s City Council will look different in the new year. Councilor Krisanna Clark-Endicott announced Tuesday she won’t seek re-election in November. Hers is one of three seats up for grabs this year.

Councilor Jay Patrick has filed to run for Mayor, opting not to run to keep his Council seat. And, the third position is held by Cat Zwicker, who plans to run for a full term after being appointed in 2021, although she has not yet submitted all appropriate paperwork. According to the City Recorder, Branegan Dixon and John Nielsen have filed to run for Council, and Kathryn Osborne and Bill Trumble say they are running but have not submitted paperwork.

Also running for Mayor: Councilor Ed Fitch, who lost his last race for Mayor in 2018. His Council seat isn’t up this year, so he’ll remain if he loses his Mayoral bid. Charles Baer, who ran unsuccessfully for Bend Mayor four years ago. And Ben Schimmoller, who narrowly lost to Jack Zika in the 2018 Republican primary for House District 53. 

Clark-Endicott is married to Mayor George Endicott who previously announced he’s retiring at the end of the year.

 

UPDATE (4:30 p.m.) -- Redmond's City Recorder says Cat Zwicker submitted her candidate paperwork Wednesday and officially qualifies for the November ballot. 

 

BPD Sees Rise In Opportunistic Theft

BEND, OR -- Following a number of recent theft cases, Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz acknowledges the city is seeing more low-level crimes. "We have a decrease in person crimes, crimes of violence," Krantz tells KBND News, "But we do have an increase in that opportunistic crime."

The unfortunate reality, he says, is that everyone bears responsibility to be proactive in preventing theft. "We always encourage people: Remember to lock your doors. This is Bend. I know a lot of people leave their doors unlocked; they still do, both in their house, their car, their shed and their garage. It’s really critical to lock doors."

Previous Coverage: Mail Theft On The Rise In Deschutes County

Krantz says it’s part of our changing city, "It’s growth. And with that comes some of these growing city pains, in that there is an increase in some of these criminal activities. You know, I’m still thankful that we live in a very safe community. I talk to people about that all the time - yes, some of our lower level crimes of opportunity are increasing. But, overall, our violent crime, our person-to-person crime [is] extremely low for a community our size, actually."

The Chief also responded to concerns, following a brazen theft in the Old Mill. Krantz believes the three people who stole $20,000 worth of sunglasses from a store in the Old Mill, are committing similar crimes up and down the west coast, "Where you have a small group of people who go in and just overwhelm the store - not by force, not by robbery. But just start taking stuff and piling it in. And, for a variety of reasons there’s apprehension on the part of the employees; whether it be they’re just outnumbered, they’re in fear, corporate policies, whatever it is, they don’t intervene. It’s such a fast crime. It’s a minute or two and they’re out. Our average response time for in-progress crimes is about four minutes, so trying to get there on time, while it’s in progress, is difficult."

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

Madras Hires Director Of Police Services

MADRAS, OR -- Madras now has a Director of Police Services. City Council approved the appointment of retired Milwaukie Police Chief Steve Bartol to oversee Madras PD while Chief Tanner Stanfill is on Medical Leave.

Initially, a Madras Sergeant was appointed as interim chief, but officials say it quickly became clear that created a shortage in detective and patrol efforts. Bartol will serve in a civilian capacity and is not authorized to make arrests, perform officer duties or carry a badge.

Beginning this week, he’ll oversee day-to-day operations and perform administrative functions until Chief Stanfill returns. 

Redmond Man Arrested Following Child Porn Investigation

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond police arrested a 47-year-old man, following a four-month investigation into child porn. Officers executed a search warrant at Brian Zollman’s home on Tuesday. He was taken to the Deschutes County jail for six counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the first degree and ten counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the second degree.   

Based on information learned during this investigation, police believe Zollman may have had access to children in Redmond and Bend.  If your child has had contact with Zollman over the last year, or if you have information regarding this case (RPD case #22-18415), please contact RPD through dispatch, at 541-693-6911. 

RPD thanks The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and the Central Oregon Digital Forensic Laboratory for their assistance with this investigation.  If you want to report child sexual exploitation you can do so through Deschutes County Dispatch, 541-693-6911, or through NCMEC’s Cyber Tip Line, https://report.cybertip.org, which is the nations centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children.  You can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, child sexual molestation, child sex abuse material, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet.       

Open House Schedule Announced For Camping Code

BEND, OR -- The City of Bend will host two open house meetings as part of its development of  municipal code provisions to regulate unsanctioned camping on City rights-of-way and City-owned property, like public streets, sidewalks, and landscape strips in Bend. 

The purpose of the open houses is to inform the community about how developing an unsanctioned camping code fits into the City and community response to homelessness. City staff will share information about the legal principles involved in regulating public property in light of recent federal court decisions and Oregon statutes and the process for developing the code, including when community members will have opportunities to provide input. The open houses will also provide time for community members to ask questions about this process.. Both open houses will be hybrid events. The online open houses will be available with live simultaneous Spanish interpretation.

The open houses will be held:

  • 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, in Council Chambers (710 NW Wall Street) or online
  • 5:30 p.m. on Monday, August 29, at Municipal Court (555 NE 15th Street) or online

Both open houses will be streamed on the City of Bend YouTube channel. Those who wish to ask questions during the open house should register with the Zoom links that will be posted on the unsanctioned camping code webpage.

Unsanctioned camping along City streets and sidewalks is the type of camping the City hears a lot of concerns about. The Bend Municipal Code currently does not ban camping on public property or rights-of-way. The City of Bend is developing a code to help regulate City-owned property and rights-of-way to make them safer for everyone, and intends to regulate unsanctioned camping in a manner consistent with federal court decisions and Oregon law. There will be opportunities for the community to provide input on the proposed code before Council votes on adopting a code this fall.

Learn more about the unsanctioned camping code at bendoregon.gov/camping-code.

Sisters To Host City Manager Recruitment Mtg

SISTERS, OR -- The city of Sisters is moving forward with plans to recruit a new City Manager. Cory Misley says he is stepping down and moving out of the area at the end of this month. A virtual community meeting is planned for August 23rd at 6 p.m., for citizens to provide feedback on the kind of person they want in the position. 

The City Manager oversees city departments and answers only to City Council and the Mayor.

 

 

Mail Theft On The Rise In Deschutes County

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office is investigating more theft cases, including identity and mail theft, "Particularly the mail theft, which is, historically, not something that we’ve seen a lot of around here. But, in the last few years - and even, I would say, in particular, in the last six months, we’ve seen a rise in mail theft cases," Chief Deputy DA Stephen Gunnels tells KBND News, "I think word gets around among thieves that that’s an easy way to steal someone’s identity."

Bend Police report officers investigated two reports of mail theft in the first six months of 2021, compared to four in the city in the past six months. 

He says it’s primarily a crime of opportunity, "For example, in rural areas, you have the mailbox that just opens and shuts and there’s no lock on it. Those are easy for thieves. Especially at night, if someone leaves their mail in the mailbox overnight. If you put a check in the mail to go out the next day, I would suggest that you not do that; that you wait until the next morning to put it out there for the mail carrier to pick it up." Gunnels adds, "There are just really obvious things that we see over and over again, where somebody gets ahold of your debit or credit card and they go into the store, they buy very expensive power tools in order to pawn them, so they can get cash. They order huge amounts of food at grocery stores; things like that. Until the person whose bank accounts are being exploited cancels their debit card or credit card."

There are simple things you can do to protect yourself: cancel lost or missing debit or credit cards right away, watch account statements and immediately report unauthorized purchases, and get a locking mailbox. Gunnels says thieves almost never target a locked box.

Swimmer Dies Near Terrebonne

TERREBONNE, OR -- The body of a 37-year-old from Prineville was found in the Deschutes River near Terrebonne, over the weekend. A friend reported the person missing Saturday night.

The two had been swimming near Lower Bridge Way, but the friend left for an errand and when he returned, the victim had disappeared.

Deschutes County Search and Rescue responded that evening, but were unable to find the person. More resources responded to the area Sunday morning, including 17 SAR volunteers and the swift water rescue team, K9’s, and drone teams. After approximately five and a half hours, they found the body in the river approximately ½ mile downstream from Lower Bridge Way.

DCSO says this is a non-criminal investigation and nothing suspicious was noted. 

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notification. 

Deschutes Co. Commissioners Meeting Heats Up Over Psilocybin Vote

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners formally voted Monday to ask voters in November to opt out of allowing psilocybin facilities in unincorporated areas.

Previous Coverage: Psilocybin Hearing Draws Dozens Of Supporters

Commission Phil Chang was the sole "no'' vote, expressing frustration with the debate over what he says is a scientifically proven treatment. He told the other two Commissioners, "You all have been trying to define this purely as a land use issue. But, to me, this is an issue that we need to consider under our authority as the local mental health authority and the community mental health program, because these treatments have been demonstrated by Johns Hopkins and a whole bunch of pretty prestigious medical institutions throughout the United States."

In November 2020, 53% of Deschutes County voters approved Measure 109, which legalized so-called "magic mushrooms" as a medical treatment in Oregon. Chang asked to discuss the wording of the new local measure, "I would encourage us to include those statistics in the measure language itself." But Commissioner Patti Adair, the Board Chair, replied, "I personally don’t want to go that far. People can write it when they want to. I believe that 19 of the 24 rural precincts voted against it. So, there’s different sides of the issue." Chang also said it's premature to vote on a measure when they haven't decided on the verbiage being sent to voters. The other two Commissioners agreed to debate the measure language on Wednesday. 

As they headed to a vote, Chang tried again, "I believe that referring this ballot measure is both unnecessary and an expense to the taxpayers of Deschutes County that we do not need to incur." Adair immediately responded, "Ok; for a vote then - Commissioner DeBone?" Tony DeBone voted yes. "Commissioner Chang?" He voted no. The vote closed with Adair saying, "And the Chair votes yes."

Crook and Jefferson Counties expect to send similar opt out questions to the ballot in November. Voters in those two counties opposed to M109 in 2020. 

La Pine Chase Ends In State Park

LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine man faces charges after leading Deputies on a pursuit that ended in La Pine State Park.

The Sheriff’s Office says a deputy tried to pull  35-year-old Robert Alford over after he blew through a stop sign at Huntington and State Rac Road, just after 11 p.m. Sunday. When he didn’t stop, DCSO chased him into the park where he tried to drive off-road.

He high-centered on a boulder and was taken into custody without further incident.

Monday Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- The Waldo Lake Wilderness remains closed as wildland crews battle the Cedar Creek Fire (pictured), east of Oakridge. It nearly doubled in size Sunday; estimated at 3,234 acres, as of Monday morning. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain, which makes it difficult for firefighters to access from the ground. A community meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday on the Cedar Creek Fire Facebook page

The Potter Fire, also in the Willamette National Forest, is 234 acres, with zero containment. The nearby Windigo Fire, in the Umpqua National Forest, is 1,053 acres and 25% contained. 

Near Maupin, the Miller Road Fire is now 98% contained at 10,847 acres. All evacuations were lifted Sunday.

On the Malheur National Forest, the Beech Creek Fire is at 155 acres and 69% contained. It continues to burn on both sides of Highway 395, nine miles south of Long Creek.

Locally, smoke jumpers responded to a new incident in the Deschutes National Forest, Sunday night. Incident 569 was reported near Lily Lake, northeast of Waldo Lake. Air resources responded from the Cedar Creek to provide water drops. 

 

Two Arrested In Redmond Drug Bust

REDMOND, OR -- Two people from Redmond were arrested during a drug bust last week. At about 8 a.m. on Thursday, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Detectives executed a search warrant in the 700 block of NW 5th Street in Redmond. A multi-county surveillance operation was conducted. They say 34-year-old Joseph Pedro and 26-year-old Kerstin Arias were observed in the Portland area, believed to be purchasing controlled substances for distribution in Central Oregon.  

Pedro and Arias were detained without incident, upon their arrival home. Pedro was found with a commercial quantity of Fentanyl. Arias had a felony amount of Methamphetamine.  

The greater Portland area is a major transshipment hub where illegal drugs from the southwest border are stored in local warehouses, storage units, and residential properties. The bulk shipments of drugs are usually broken down into smaller quantities and transported to other states or distributed to local dealers. In addition, the Portland area has an international airport, interstate highways, and bus and train lines, making it easy for shipments to be smuggled to other destinations around the Pacific Northwest. 

Both Arias and Pedro were taken to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Jail, where he is charged with Unlawful Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (commercial quantity of fentanyl) and Attempted Unlawful Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (fentanyl.)  She is accused of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine-Felony. 

Crook County Rancher Creates Celebration Of Dirt

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Central Oregon farm is partnering with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for a celebration of dirt, this weekend.

Crook County rancher Jeff Fox grows grass, lavender and bees at SunLife Farm, but he also wants it to be a destination for learning. "Soil is such an important part to framing that I just had a hair-brained idea to do something called Dirt Day." It's a "soilebration," if you will.

Dirt Day provides an exploration of dirt, with the help of some expert guests talking about important topics, "From native grasses and native soils, and the breakdown of what has happened on the native front here in Central Oregon, and just overall, the changes. And hopefully what we can do better, as the public, moving forward, to put some emphasis back into sustainability. And, I guess, give them more of an appreciation of where everything comes from and just how interconnected we all are." He tells KBND News he offers "Just an overall understanding of what has happened with soil, what is happening to soil at varying levels - be it from climate change, be it from our drought situation. But there’s an ever-changing nature to the ag industry, here in Central Oregon."

Saturday’s event includes food, the NRCS soil health trailer, and, of course, a big pit to explore, "Give a true, live look at what happens beneath the surface; what’s below there. And, how that all works relative to water and watering, if you would, relative to nutrients in the soil - what it takes to actually grow crops, here."

Dirt Day is Saturday from 10 to 3:30, you’ll find more information at SunLifeFarm.com.

 

Wildfire Risk Map Pulled Down, Redmond Meeting Still On

REDMOND, OR -- Barely a month after the Department of Forestry released a statewide wildfire risk map, the Oregon State Forester pulled down the original version. However, a public meeting in Central Oregon will go on as planned, this week.

ODF’s Derek Gasperini says the agency complied with a new law by getting a first version out by June 30th, "Senate Bill 762 has a lot of pieces for a lot of agencies. But, for the Department of Forestry - specifically, it required the Department of Forestry to work with Oregon State University, who are some of the nation’s leaders in fire science, to create a map that assesses wildfire risk at a property ownership level and identifies the wildland-urban interface; basically, where wildland fuels and vegetation meets homes and communities."

But, the State Forester says feedback from nearly 2,000 people over the past month helped them understand key areas of concern and are working with OSU to improve the map. Gasperini says those developers followed guidelines. "As the legislation requires, the risk is based on a combination of climate, weather, topography and vegetation," he told KBND News last week, "So, when you have a hot, dry climate; when you have troubling, steep topography - or proximity to those, then that increases the risk of occurrence of wildfire."

ODF sent out 100,000 notices to property owners in high and extreme risk areas, which are now subject to change with a new map. Any appeals are also moot.

ODF will be in Redmond this week, to talk with Central Oregonians about the map. Gasperini says they still want to provide a chance for Central Oregonians to talk to the agency and researchers from OSU, "The folks who have spent the last year writing the rules, building the map, just basically creating the policy and the science behind the risk assessment. And, sharing what the outcome of that map is, its purpose, [and] the appeal process."

Wednesday’s meeting is at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds at 7 p.m.

Motorcycle Rider Rescued After Crash Near Pine Mountain

SUNRIVER, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue helped a 27-year-old Bend man after he crashed his motorcycle on a Forest Road south of Pine Mountain, Sunday morning.

According to the Sheriff's Office, 13 SAR volunteers and two deputies responded to the area just before 11 a.m. The first responder on scene was a Seasonal Deputy, who was working OHV enforcement.  That deputy stayed with the rider and guided in SAR volunteers to the rider's location when they arrived with the second deputy.  

The rider was put into a wheeled litter and carried to nearby SAR vehicles, then driven to an OHV staging area where an ambulance was waiting.

He was taken to St. Charles for evaluation.

Photos courtesy Deschutes County Sheriff's Office

$20k In Sunglasses Taken In Theft

BEND, OR -- Three people are on the run after Bend Police say they stole $20,000 worth of sunglasses from the Sunglasses Hut in The Old Mill District, Sunday morning.

Officers responded just after 11 a.m. and learned a man and two women entered the store and began putting sunglasses into bags. They continued, even after being confronted by an employee. There were other customers in the store at the time. The three then took off.

During the investigation, police were able to get photos of the suspects and their vehicle - a gray Hyundai, possibly a Sonata, with tinted windows. There were no license plates on the vehicle when they left the location. There is damage to the driver’s side.

If you see this vehicle or the subjects in the photos, please contact the Bend Police Department through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy Bend PD

Defensible Space Code Development Meetings Planned

SALEM, OR -- The Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is hosting a series of town hall meetings to talk about the 2022 Oregon Defensible Space Code, its development, timelines, and upcoming opportunities for community input.

The OSFM has been working through a public development process with the Oregon Defensible Space Code Development committee; a diverse group of stakeholders, to develop the new code based on the framework established through SB 762. To continue that process, the OSFM is hosting a series of 17 community townhalls across Oregon, which began last week in Southern Oregon.

Local meetings are:

Tuesday, August 16

  • Sunriver, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Three Rivers School Gym, 569000 Enterprise Dr.
  • Bend, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Wednesday, August 17

  • Sisters, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Sisters Community Room, 301 S Elm St.
  • Prineville, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Location TBD

Thursday, August 18
  • Madras, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Madras Performing Arts, 412 SE Buff St.

For a full schedule, visit Oregon Defensible Space Code webpage.

Oregon Senate Bill 762 directs the OSFM to establish minimum defensible space code standards and where those may apply. Accordingly, the OSFM has set up a special section on its website dedicated to the defensible space code development process. Those wishing to learn more can do so here defensible space code requirements.

Bend Continues Work On Unsanctioned Camping Code

BEND, OR -- Bend’s City Council continues to get regular updates on efforts to reduce homelessness. Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman says the conversations are long overdue, "This Council has taken up, in the last several months, both unsanctioned camping and the regulation and siting of homeless shelters. So, two big issues previous Councils had not addressed. I don’t know why; obviously this is a top-line issue for folks in Bend." While many in Bend point to the pandemic as a big factor, Broadman says there has been a steady increase in the number of unhoused people in Bend, over the last 10 years. 

Broadman tells KBND News city staff now have clear instructions, "Build this code that prohibits camping. Then, make sure that, even on top of that, within residential areas, there’s no camping allowed. And a buffer around existing homeless service providers." He adds, "We need to restrict - we need to regulate where unsanctioned camping can occur, or limit it in many ways, by what the courts have told us in terms of regulating where and how people can camp." Those court decisions say cities cannot impose laws that criminalize homelessness, and a camper must have access to a shelter bed. But, Broadman says, Council can dictate how public rights of way are used, "We can regulate time, place and manner of where people can sleep and camp. And we have to do that because we regulate the public right of way in many ways. So, we’re not regulating the existence of people who are homeless. We’re simply saying ‘if you are going to use public space you have to do it in a safe way."

Council also plans more opportunities for feedback before the code is finalized, "We want the input from the public. We’re going to have multiple open houses on just the unsanctioned camping code," says Broadman. A draft code could be ready for public input later this summer or fall. 

Previous Coverage: City Council Agrees On Framework For Camping Code Development

Friday Morning Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- All evacuation levels for the Fly Creek Fire, near Lake Billy Chinook, have been lifted. As of Thursday afternoon, the fire was 95% contained at 274 acres. Due to firefighter's progress, management will be downgraded Friday morning, with no more official updates. 

The Green Butte Fire, about 13 miles southeast of La Pine, is estimated at just 23 acres adn 25% contained. Firefighters continue mop-up efforts Friday to improve the fire line. 

Friday morning's Central Oregon Fire briefing is HERE

The Windigo Fire in the Umpqua National Forest, 20 miles southwest of La Pine, is estimated at 978 acres, as of Friday morning. Nearby, the Potter Fire is about 125 acres in the Willamette National Forest. Both remain 0% contained.

The Cedar Creek Fire, also on the Willamette, has grown to 830 acres. It's about 15 miles east of Oakridge. Crews continue to struggle with access as it’s burning in steep, rugged terrain. It's also zero contained.

The massive Miller Road Fire in Wasco County continues to burn grass and brush 8 miles southwest of Maupin. Friday morning estimates put it at 11,186 acres with 25% containment. Evacuations remain in place for areas near Maupin and Tygh Valley.

At a Thursday briefing, Vince Stafford, with the State Fire Marshal's Office said, "We did lose one primary structure out there. We were fighting around and then we brought in some heavy aircraft to help us. They did a great job catching that." Another 880 structures are still threatened. Stafford says more resources are coming, "So, you’re going to see a lot more activity, more equipment and crews being put on the fire." A unified command takes over Friday morning. 

Another fire in The Dalles pulled some resources from Miller Road. 

Click HERE to read the full Friday morning briefing from the Northwest Coordination Center. 

 

Photo: Cedar Creek Fire 08/04/22, courtesy NWCC

FOUND: State Searches For Missing Bend Siblings

UPDATE: (08/04/22) Oregon's Deparment of Human Services says both children were found safe on Thursday, August 4th. 

 

BEND, OR -- (07/21/22) Oregon's Department of Human Services issued the following missing persons alert:

Nova Millsap, age 13-months, and Artimay Millsap, age 7-weeks, went missing with their father, Charles Millsap and their mother, Kayla Spills (aka: Kayla Millsap) from Bend on July 7. The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division believes that Nova and Artimay may be at risk and is searching for them to assess their safety.

ODHS asks the public to help in the effort to find Nova and Artimay. Anyone who suspects they have information about the location of Nova and Artimay, or their parents should call 911 or local law enforcement. 

They are believed to be in the Redmond, Terrebonne or Prineville areas of Oregon. There is also a chance they may travel out of state. They are suspected to be traveling together in a white Honda Accord with Oregon license plate #SBD139. Kayle Spills sometimes goes by the name Kayle Millsap. 

Name: Nova Lou Millsap
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: June 17, 2021
Height: 30-inches
Weight: 20-pounds
Hair: Strawberry blonde
Eye color: Blue

Name: Artimay Dianne Millsap
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: June 3, 2022
Height: 15-inches
Weight: 7-pounds
Hair: Strawberry blonde
Eye color: Blue
Other identifying information: Artimay is a very small infant

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. 

Bend Plans To Ban Pet Store Animal Sales

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council appears ready to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores. Councilor Megan Perkins says she proposed the ordinance after hearing repeatedly from a group concerned about puppy mills, "We’re sort of doing two things. One, is making a statement that Bend doesn’t want to see these types of pets from these irresponsible breeders in our stores and in our community. And, second, we want to encourage, as a community, that we should all be supporting our rescue organizations." She tells KBND News, "So far, there are no pet stores in Bend that are selling dogs, kittens and bunnies from these puppy mills. We’re just putting this ordinance through that would just say that this is not something we want to see in the future."

Perkins acknowledges this is not a major issue for the city, "This is not something that has taken up a lot of Council’s time; it has not taken up a lot of staff time. And we do not foresee that happening in the future. And part of that reason is because it is a proactive measure. But part of the reason is, we’re not going to be talking about this Council meeting after Council meeting after Council meeting. This is sort of like a one and done."

The first reading of the ordinance passed Wednesday night, 7-0. The second reading is scheduled for August 17. It encourages stores to continue partnering with animal rescue organizations to hold adoption events instead of selling dogs, cats and rabbits for profit.

At Least Seven Apparent Drownings In 12-Day Span

BEND, OR -- More than half a dozen people have died on Oregon waterways in just the past two weeks. The most recent apparent drowning was in Cottage Grove Lake, in Lane County. A 75-year-old man went into the water while boating Tuesday and didn’t resurface.

Ashley Massey, with the State Marine Board, says environmental factors can have a big impact on a person in the water, "Exposure to sun, to heat, to glare on the water, to wind, to noise. And then you add on top of that physical exertion, like swimming and getting back out, chasing your friends, jumping off a dock or any of that other activity."

She says victims don’t realize they’re in trouble until it’s too late, "Often times, when you’re just lounging around and floating on a lazy river, you may not recognize those impacts on your body, until you have to exert yourself."

Massey says there are proactive steps you can take, "Staying hydrated with water. Avoid the caffeinated drinks and alcohol, of course; any type of impairing substance. Also, wear a hat and sunscreen, and that glare really does impact you so wear sunglasses, too. And then, take frequent breaks in the shade." And, she urges everyone to wear a lifejacket, regardless of swimming ability.

Since July 22nd, incidents in the Portland-metro area and Lane, Deschutes and Jefferson counties claimed the lives of at least seven people. While one victim was 17, most are adults. Massey says around 85% of victims in fatal boating incidents were not wearing a life jacket, "It’s state law that if you’re in a boat that’s underway and you’re under 13, you have to wear a lifejacket. And we’re not seeing those kids get injured or involved in fatal accidents. We need to incorporate, not just what we tell our kids but take that behavior on ourselves." Click HERE for a map of life jacket loaner stations around the state. 

According to the Oregon State Marine Board, there have been 11 recreational boating fatalities so far this year; six occurring in July. Seven involved nonmotorized watercraft like kayaks, canoe, raft, SUP or sailboat. Four were motorized, involving open motorboats and a personal watercraft.

Thursday Morning Wildfire Update

REDMOND, OR -- The Miller Road Fire, burning 13 miles southwest of Maupin is now estimated at 10,500 acres, with no containment. As of Thursday morning, evacuation orders remain in place, as air tankers and ground crews converge on Juniper Flat in Wasco County. [Pictured: Miller Road Fire camp]

Carol Connolly, with the Northwest Coordination Center, says the Miller Road Fire is growing fast, "They have still been receiving some high winds and that fire has been wind-driven. It’s burning in heavy dry fuels, including grass, shrubs and juniper. The crews are currently evaluating some of the snags along the perimeter and along Highway 216. However, the primary focus is protecting structures and attacking the east and south flanks." She tells KBND News, "It’s a mixed landscape with a lot of ranches and farms, and there are primary structures, cabins, outbuildings in that area. So, there has been structural protection put in place in and around those buildings. However, I have not received a report if we have had any structures lost at this time."

FEMA has authorized federal funds to help pay for fighting the Miller Road Fire. The agency says the fire threatens to "cause such destruction it would constitute a major disaster." It threatens homes in and around Pine Grove, Tygh Valley and Maupin, as well as a major power transmission line and three communications towers.

Oregon received 5,000 lightning strikes in a 48-hour period, sparking more than a hundred small fires, including several in the Deschutes National Forest. About 13 miles southeast of La Pine, the Green Butte Fire is mapped at just 23 acres but is 0% contained. Connolly says, "Because we had the air support in the region, they assisted the ground firefighters and the ground engines working that fire. So, we’re very fortunate that we have had a lot of air tankers in Oregon and Washington."

The Cedar Creek Fire was discovered late Monday in the Willamette National Forest, 17 miles east of Oakridge. Connolly says it was first reported Monday and quickly grew to around 500 acres, "Local crews had a really hard time getting to the fire. It’s very steep, rugged terrain with minimum roads and minimum access. Aviation resources have been flying the fire." She adds, "Aviation resources have been working the fire. However, ground crews have not been able to get in there because there are no safety zones or escape routes for our firefighters." An incident management team takes over command of the fire Thursday, and there are emergency closures in place. 

In the Malheur National Forest, the Beech Creek Fire is now 15% contained, at 248 acres. Highway 395 is open with a pilot car from milepost 103 to milepost 106.5, north of John Day. But, drivers should expects delays and heavy fire traffic.

New Destination Coming To RDM

REDMOND, OR -- A new destination for the Redmond Airport was announced Thursday morning. Avelo Airlines, a low-cost boutique start-up, will offer direct flights to and from Palm Springs, beginning in the fall.

Avelo's Jim Olson tells KBND News there has been a lot of demand for the non-stop flight, "Redmond and Bend are a very popular location for people from southern California to visit; and vice versa. There are a lot of folks up in Central Oregon that want to go down to southern California. So, it’s one of those unique markets that actually has appeal on both ends of the route, and that’s not true for every single route. So it’s a win-win on both ends." He adds, "We know a lot of folks have second homes down there. We know that there are a lot of people, especially in the fall and winter that enjoy escaping to a little bit of sunshine."

Olson says the airline is growing, "Palm Springs, for us, is a new destination, so it’s a brand new dot on our map. There are going to be three spokes, or destinations that we’ll serve. So, it’s going to serve Santa Rosa, California, Eugene and Redmond."

He says adding Palm Springs to its Redmond and Eugene options fits in with their model, "One of the things we like to do at Avelo is fly to convenient airports. We like small airports, in particular." Olson says, "You just kind of walk right off the plane, you pick up your bag and you’re on your way to whatever you’re going to do. Same thing with the Palm Springs Airport. It is very much a community airport. It’s an open air airport and once you get there, you’re essentially on your way to play some golf or hang out by the pool, or go get some great food."

Avelo will fly from Redmond to Palm Springs twice a week, Fridays and Mondays, between November 11 and April 29. Olson says it could expand if there’s enough demand. One-way tickets are as low as $39 during an introductory period.

Palm Springs is the second destination for Avelo from Redmond. They launched in the spring of 2021 with direct flights to Burbank.

DA Rules Madras Officer-Involved Shooting "Justified"

MADRAS, OR -- The Jefferson County District Attorney has concluded his investigation into the July 22nd officer-involved shooting near the fairgrounds. DA Steve Leriche called the shooting justified, citing evidence the suspect - Rafael Gomez - tried to fire on law enforcement and civilians during a foot pursuit.

Previous Coverage: Investigation Continues Into Shooting Near Jefferson County Fairgrounds

Gomez is accused of stealing an AR-15 from a vehicle parked at the fairgrounds. Leriche says Gomez then ran toward several businesses, pointing the rifle at a number of people before deputies and police shot him as he tried to enter the Madras KFC. The gun was recovered with two rounds jammed in the chamber.

Gomez was treated at the hospital. While getting booked into the jail, Leriche says Gomez asked if media was present, and expressed an interest in becoming famous.

 

Help Wanted: Bend Parks & Rec Hiring 30+ Staff

BEND, OR -- With the school year around the corner, Bend Park and Recreation District is hosting a special KIDS Inc. Hiring Week for afterschool childcare job opportunities. BPRD hiring managers are looking for applicants who like working with children to join the team as a Youth Recreation Leader. To schedule an interview, interested applicants can complete a one-minute KIDS Inc. Hiring Week Interview Form. The KIDS Inc. Hiring Week is Tuesday, Aug. 9 through Thursday, Aug. 11 at the BPRD District Office (799 SW Columbia St. in Bend). 

During KIDS Inc. Hiring Week interviews, attendees can learn about positions and benefits and ask questions about their potential role. BPRD plans to make job offers on the spot and has successfully hired dozens of candidates at prior events this spring and summer.

From September to June, the KIDS Inc. program serves families with high-quality afterschool care. After a full day of school, kids need some down time to be care-free and Youth Recreation Leaders guide activities while creating a safe and enriching environment. The Youth Recreation Leader is responsible for facilitating classes and activities through developmentally appropriate crafts, games, and/or other planned activities. Youth recreation jobs have relevant, real-world experience to use towards professional pathways in childcare, education and other fields.

“While Youth Recreation Leaders can have a ton of fun on the job, they play a valuable role at the district,” said John Batacan-Wilson, BPRD Recruiting Specialist. “They help provide critical childcare services and support kids and their families in our community.”

BPRD offers benefits, which may include insurance, paid leave, recreation facility passes and recreation program discounts. Plus, KIDS Inc. employees receive a special benefit – their elementary school-age children can attend KIDS Inc. at no cost.

Available for ages 16 and older, the featured part-time openings include:

  • Afterschool Childcare/Youth Recreation Leader 1 – little to no experience
  • Afterschool Childcare/Youth Recreation Leader 2 - some experience
  • Afterschool Childcare/Youth Recreation Leader 3 – minimum 2 years’ experience

New this year, local high school or college students qualify for paid positions that include scholarships for COCC and OSU-Cascades students and paid internships for Bend La-Pine high school students.

KIDS Inc. hours are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 2:00 – 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 12:30 – 5:30 pm

Three-day and five-day schedules are available, and working only during weekday afternoons means mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays are free.

Learn more about positions and apply at: https://www.bendparksandrec.org/jobs.

Bend Woman Arrested After Early Morning Shooting

BEND, OR -- A Bend woman was arrested Wednesday morning, after a shooting. Officers responded to NE Scarlet Court at about 3:20 a.m., following a report of a woman firing a gun at a house. Bend Police and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputies found evidence of numerous handgun rounds being fired from a .380 handgun.

Around15 rounds were fired and several rounds struck the home and a parked vehicle. No one was injured and the house was unoccupied at the time. The shooter took off in a Jeep prior to police arriving.

An investigation by Bend Police Detectives led to the arrest of 26-year-old Megan Leeann Teeter around 09:30 a.m. at 61140 Chuckanut Drive by CERT (Central Oregon Emergency Response Team). According to the BPD Twitter account, the suspect surrendered after talking with negotiators. She was taken to St. Charles Medical Center for evaluation. She's accused of Unlawful use of a weapon, Reckless endangering and Attempted murder

The property at NE Scarlet Court is the home of a relative of Teeter. Detectives served a search warrant at the Chuckanut Drive address and seized the handgun they say was involved in the shooting. 

Wednesday Morning Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- The Fly Creek Fire, near Lake Billy Chinook, is now 80% contained. It held overnight at 280 acres and evacuation levels were reduced Tuesday. 

The Tolo Mountain Fire, in the Crescent Ranger District, is now 100% contained at just 41 acres. 

And, Local wildland fire crews continue to respond to new starts reported after several days of lightning. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest says Central Oregon’s fire season is now in full swing, "It’s easy, I think, for people to get kind of lulled into that we hadn’t had a lot of fires in June and July. But, we’re really just kind of at the start of when we normally do have fires." She urges campers to follow current restrictions and only have campfires in designated areas, before you leave, make sure those fires are “dead out” - which means cold to the touch.

In the Umpqua National Forest, the Windigo Fire is burning 20 miles southwest of La Pine. Updated mapping shows it's 978 acres, instead of the previously reported 1,200. As of Wednesday morning, it's remains 0% contained. Nelson Dean says spot fires have been reported in the Deschutes National Forest, "And that’s primarily around the Pacific Crest Trail area, so people have been moved out of the Pacific Crest Trail. We do have a closure form Hwy 138 to Hwy 58, given the amount of fuels we have in that area and the fact that a fire could really get up and run there." The size of the Potter Fire, in the Willamette National Forest, was also reduced Tuesday. It's 97 acres, as of Wednesday morning. Because of their proximity to each other, Potter and Windigo are being managed together.
Ryan Sullivan is on the management team. During a Tuesday briefing on the Potter Fire [pictured], he said, "This fire’s in some pretty steep, nasty terrain and we have just limited resources, right now." Of the Windigo Fire, he said, "We started pushing dozer line around the south side of the fire. We also had a few hotshot crews - two hotshot crews up on the north side of the fire, starting to construct some line."

Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act late Tuesday, in response to a new fire in Wasco County. As of Tuesday evening, the Miller Road Fire was estimated at 1,000 acres. It was first reported Tuesday morning; its cause is undetermined. By mid-day local agencies were calling for aerial support as it grew to 200 acres. "There are ground resources making progress on it. It is east of the small community of Pine Grove, Oregon; which is also east of the Mt. Hood National Forest boundary," Carol Connolly, with the Northwest Coordination Center, told KBND News, Tuesday. She added that it spread quickly in grass, brush and juniper, "So, it is on private land. It had a really strong wind on it and it was pushing the fire to the east. There were some evacuations in place, structures threatened, and Highway 216 is closed near Maupin." That highway reopened Wednesday morning, although drivers are asked to use caution. The Governor’s declaration clears the way for more resources available. An incident management team from the State Fire Marshal’s Office will take command Wednesday morning and five more task forces are expected to respond. 

DCSO Launches Text Alert For Deschutes County Fair

REDMOND, OR -- If you’re headed to the Deschutes County Fair this week, the Sheriff’s Office encourages you to sign up for text alerts to get notifications of emergencies related to the fair.

Sgt. Jayson Janes says it uses the existing “Deschutes Alerts” text notification system, "If there’s an emergency, we can let everybody know. Or, if we have a missing child and we need help finding the child. Anything that would be of interest that’s directly related to the fair."

He says the Sheriff’s Office came up with the idea after the officer-involved shooting in Madras two weeks ago, just outside the Jefferson County Fair.

Sgt. Janes tells KBND News it’s part of an updated plan, now that DCSO is in charge of fair security, "There will be times throughout the fair when we’ll have more deputies there, more security than typically they’ve had in the past. Now that we’re responsible for it, we’re going to start doing different things and trying to be creative in making it as safe as possible and still family friendly."

To sign up, text the word “DCFAIR” to the number 888-777, the keyword subscription automatically expires at the end of the fair. 

Gas Prices Still Dropping

BEND, OR -- Prices at the pump fell for the seventh week in a row. The national average dropped 14 cents to $4.19, Oregon’s average slipped a dime to $5.05 and Bend's local average fell 13 cents to $5.09, this week.

AAA-Oregon’s Marie Dodds says the decline is because of falling crude oil prices, "Crude has come down in price from where it was when Russia first invaded Ukraine. But it’s still higher than it was a year ago. It’s trading between $94-$96 a barrel. And, a year ago, crude was around $71a barrel."

About half of Oregon gas stations are now selling regular for less than $5 a gallon. Dodds says the Portland area is among the most expensive regions in the state, but drivers in more remote areas are paying even more, "The current average for Multnomah county: $5.24; Clatsop County: $5.19; Tillamook, $5.20. Wallowa County: $5.31; Coos County: $5.17; Curry County: $5.71 and Josephine: $5.26."

Deschutes County Fair Opens Today

REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Fair kicks off at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Director Geoff Hinds says it’s a far cry from the non-existent fair in 2020, and it’ll look more “normal” than last year. "But, there will still be some adjustments that we made last year," he tells KBND News, "Some of them that we kept in place because the response from our customers was overwhelmingly positive. And some we’re doing just to provide a responsible activity and event for our community. We’ll continue to have our concerts in an outdoor space and we continue to spread things out on the property and provide a lot more park-like setting." 

The rodeo moves indoors, "We have our first night of NPRA Championship Rodeo inside its new home in the Wilco Arena, inside the First Interstate Bank Center. So, we’re really excited to showcase that new venue for that event. As well as our first of our free summer concert series, with Chase Rice taking the stage."

The free summer concert series stretches five nights, this year, with the fair’s first-ever Spanish-language concert scheduled for Sunday, "We’re programming for a little of the diversity we have here in Central Oregon with a Spanish language show. But also showcasing the uniqueness of that entire culture with some baile folklorico groups and some other bands and entertainment throughout a number of stages on the grounds." Other entertainment - like the lumberjack show, ventriloquist and K-9 Kings are more spread out across the property, Hinds says it provides for more greenspace where people can relax. 

Don’t forget the carnival rides, animals and, of course, the typical fair fare, "We’ll obviously have the traditional deep-fried everything here at fair. And we’ve got over seven brand new food booths, showcasing all of their amazing different types of food."

The Deschutes County Fair opens at the fairgrounds in Redmond each day at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 p.m. on Sunday. Click HERE for a video on traffic pattern changes implemented by the county to address evening congestion. 

More Cases Of Bird Flu Found In Deschutes County

BEND, OR -- On July 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two non-commercial backyard flocks in Deschutes County. Each property had 70 to 80 birds, a mix of chickens, ducks, and Pea fowl. All birds were humanely euthanized on July 24. The flock owners did not sell eggs or other poultry products therefore federal guidelines do not require expansion of the existing regional quarantine.

Deschutes County now has 6 cases of HPAI confirmed. There will be no poultry exhibit at the county fair, which starts Wednesday, due to a quarantine from previous cases. State Veterinarian Ryan Scholz expects more cases of HPAI statewide as we move closer to the fall season and birds begin their winter migration. To keep the public informed ODA will provide weekly HPAI summaries beginning August 8 and post all confirmed Oregon HPAI cases online. Please sign up to receive HPAI updates via email. ODA will continue to issue news releases to announce the first case of HPAI in domestic poultry in a county that has not previously had a case of HPAI, and for new or expanded regional quarantines.

As always, ODA advises commercial poultry and backyard flock owners to be vigilant with biosecurity measures and surveillance. Preventing any contact between wild birds and domestic flocks is the best way to protect domestic birds from HPAI. Death or illness among domestic birds should be reported to ODA. Please report by calling 503-986-4711 (Alt phone 1-800-347-7028).

To report the death of wild birds please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) by calling 1-866-968-2600 or email Wildlife.Health@odfw.oregon.gov.

For more tips on protecting backyard flocks please visit ODA's Avian Influenza webpage or en Español at Avian Influenza-Spanish.

DCSO: Trailhead Theft Suspects Arrested With Cache of Weapons, Drugs

BEND, OR -- A couple suspected of breaking into vehicles at local trailheads was arrested over the weekend. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says an employee at All Seasons RV/Marine reported seeing the pair on Saturday, just before noon, saying the man had a gun in his waistband. 

DCSO deputies contacted and detained both people. They say 33-year-old Cody Huckaby was carrying a 9mm semi-auto handgun and suspected fentanyl pills. He was also had a nation-wide warrant for his arrest for escape out of Washington. With him was 26-year-old Jesi Whiteantelope, also from Washington.

Detectives were contacted and a search warrant was obtained for the truck and trailer belonging to Huckaby and Whiteantelope. During the search of the truck and trailer, they found numerous identification cards and credit cards from the trailhead and day use area thefts. Deputies also discovered property from a burglary in the La Pine area, as well as nine firearms, replica police badges, an external body armor vest with "US Marshals" markings and a ballistic helmet. The truck Huckaby was operating was also equipped with red and blue emergency lights along with a siren. Deputies also seized Methamphetamine and suspected Fentanyl. 

Previous Coverage: Suspects Sought In Trailhead Thefts

Huckaby and Whiteantelope were both transported to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Jail. He's accused of Racketeering, Felon in Possession of a Firearm (9 counts), Manufacture Delivery and Possession of Methamphetamine, Manufacture Delivery and Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), Felon in Possession of Body Armor, Aggravated Theft I, Criminal Impersonation of a Police Officer, False Information to a Police Officer, and a Warrant for Escape out of Washington State. She faces charges of Racketeering, Felon in Possession of a Firearm (9 counts), Manufacture Delivery and Possession of Methamphetamine, Manufacture Delivery and Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), Felon in Possession of Body Armor, Aggravated Theft I, and  Criminal Impersonation of a Police Officer. More charges are likely as deputies continue to sort through evidence and locate additional evidence of crimes and victims. 

The Sheriff’s Office thanks the observant community member for reporting what he saw to our office. His actions are believed to have helped solve this and a number of other cases. 

Tuesday Morning Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- Oregon saw more than 870 lightning strikes from Sunday to Monday morning, sparking at least 19 fires in that timeframe. Carol Connolly, at the Northwest Coordination Center, says that storm is believed to be responsible for two neighboring fires. Windigo was reported first, 20 miles southwest of La Pine. "The local unit, which is the Umpqua National Forest - which has the Windigo Fire, ordered a team," Conolly said, referring to an Incident Management team, "But they also said, under the direction of that team, they’d also like to include the Potter Fire, which is on the Willamette National Forest. So, this one team, working for two forests to manage the resources of both fires, because they’re so close together." 

As of Tuesday morning, the Windigo Fire is estimated at 1300 acres with zero containment; its cause is undetermined. The Potter Fire is estimated at 400 acres, also with zero containment. Investigators have confirmed it started by lightning.

Connolly says a variety of resources are now on-scene, working both fires, "We have Hotshot crews, Type 2 IA crews; there’s various pieces of equipment: engines, water tenders, etc. They’re working on setting up where fire camp will be and they’re setting up on how the management of those two collectively will go." A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is also closed. 

Central Oregon’s largest wildfire is burning in Jefferson County. The 280-acre Fly Creek Fire [pictured] started Sunday when lightning moved through the area, forcing evacuations of two campgrounds near Lake Billy Chinook. "It was a really fast-moving fire. It was burning in grass, brush and juniper and those fuels were pretty dry. Firefighters responded with three heavy air tankers, in addition, so we had air support as well," says Kaitlyn Webb, with the Central Oregon Fire Management Service.

Managers say lines held overnight and the Fly Creek Fire did not grow; it's still 280 acres, and is now 25% contained. The latest update issued Tuesday morning notes, "Seven engines, two handcrews, Prineville IHC, four water tenders and two dozers are on scene today. Air support will be available as needed and will be dipping out of Lake Billy Chinook. Portions of the lake will be closed for public safety again today where air resources are working." The Level 2 evacuation notice for Three Rivers was reduced to Level 1, Tuesday morning. However, Level 3 "go now" evacuations for Perry South and Monty campgrounds remain in place. 

Webb tells KBND News, "Obviously, we pay a lot of attention to weather predictions; we’re constantly evaluating fuel moisture levels. So, we knew that we were expecting to get lightning, we knew that fuels were dry, so resources were definitely prepared." Webb adds, "They’re responding as needed. It’s very fluid. Whenever we have lightning busts like this, where we have a number of incidents, our resources are very flexible and they are responding to multiple fires throughout the day, throughout the night, as needed."

Now, they’re concerned about what might pop up later this week, "Holdovers that we haven’t found yet, and then also how these predicted weather conditions are going to impact the active fires that we have, like the Fly Creek." Webb says now that fire season is in full swing, firefighters’ hands are full. She urges everyone to take precautions to prevent human-caused fires.

The Tolo Mountain Fire, which started last week in the Crescent Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest, is now 75% contained and remains at 41 acres. 

You'll find details on several smaller incidents in Central Oregon HERE.

Elsewhere in Oregon, the Big Rattlesnake Fire was reported late Sunday, "It’s 11 miles southwest of Medical Springs, Oregon, which is down in that kind of southeast part of the state," says NWCC's Carol Connolly. It burned 425 acres of grass and brush, 12 miles north of Baker City and is now considered 100% contained. 

National Night Out Returns In Person

REDMOND, OR -- A number of local agencies will participate in National Night Out Tuesday evening. It’s an annual event aimed at helping people connect with local law enforcement and learn about crime prevention. But Redmond Police Lt. Jesse Petersen says officers also benefit, "What we’ve seen in the past is after National Night out, the morale for our department has gone up significantly for at least a few weeks. And it’s because we get to see the people who enjoy seeing us, want to meet us, and it’s just a good time." The event was held virtually in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic. 

The national event is held each year on the first Tuesday in August. Redmond’s National Night Out starts at 6 p.m. at Centennial Park. Lt. Petersen tells KBND News, "You’ll see the vast majority of our police department out for this event. So, we’ll have us, along with the Sheriff’s Office just interacting with people, talking about crime prevention and awareness. We’ll have a K9 demonstration that takes place over by the splash park." He adds, "We’ll have community partners there with booths, so you will be able to talk about crime prevention and awareness. We’ll also have a free bar-b-q, you’ll have bouncy houses, all kinds of kids activities, you’ll have a dunk tank." Along with RPD and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond Fire & Rescue will also take part. Streets around Centennial Park are cloesd to vehicle traffic during the event.

Deschutes County deputies will also be at events in La Pine, at the Senior Center and Sisters, in Village Green Park. All events are free and run from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy Redmond PD

Neighborhood Investigation Leads To Five Charged, One On The Lam

BEND, OR -- Five people face criminal charges after a Police investigation into possible drug activity in a southeast Bend neighborhood. Bend PD says the investigation started in January, with complaints from neighbors near Jewell Elementary.

On Saturday, they arrested 52-year-old Joseph Sanchez and 51-year-old Christopher Drake at a house on Nisika Court, across the street from the school. They're both accused of "frequenting a place where controlled substances are used" and other charges.

Officers also suspected criminal activity at a nearby home on Foxborough Lane. With help from CERT, they executed a search warrant Monday. They arrested 25-year-old Chelsea Kelly for frequenting a place where drugs are used and 36-year-old Clayton Kirkey for being a felon in possession of a firearm, meth possession and other charges. Hayden Liapes, age 29, was cited for frequenting a place where drugs are used. Another suspect, 27-year-old Eric Kelly has not been found.

Investigators says a handgun, pepperball gun and numerous stolen items were seized during the search. Additional charges are anticipated as the investigation continues.

SW Redmond Brush Fire Quickly Extinguished

REDMOND, OR -- Officials say a Sunday evening brush fire may have been caused by someone throwing burning materials from a vehicle. The fire was reported near SW 61st and Young Ave., south of Redmond, just after 6 p.m.

First arriving crews found about a quarter-acre brush fire slowly burning on to private property. 

Witnesses told Redmond Fire & Rescue a southbound vehicle on 61st may have thrown something from the window that started the blaze. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and State Troopers are conducting an ongoing investigation into the person responsible. 

Bend-La Pine Schools Hopes To Fill Openings Through Job Fairs

BEND, OR -- With near record-low unemployment, Bend-La Pine Schools - like nearly every other company in town - is struggling to fill job openings for the upcoming school year.

The district’s Executive Director of Operations Terry Cashman says a series of job fairs is focusing on positions like full and part-time custodial staff. "We also have great opportunities for those people who want to work in our Nutrition Services department," Cashman tells KBND News, "These ones are part time jobs that are fantastic jobs for those parents who want to work while their kids are in school, seniors who want to work a few hours, students." He adds, "There’s career growth in both of those, but that’s what we’re looking for right now. Not only is it really fun, rewarding work, but the impact you make is so huge. A lot of times, people have jobs. But this is a career where you will be making a difference every day."

Job fairs are every Thursday through August 18th at Bend High, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cashman says attendees can drive a giant floor scrubber around an obstacle course, tour the district’s production kitchen, and take home fresh produce from the local farmers market, pizza and drinks are also provided.

Fire Crews Busy After Weekend Lightning

CULVER, OR -- Central Oregon remains under a red flag warning, after lightning moved through over the weekend sparking several fires. The largest is the Fly Creek Fire (pictured), burning in the Sisters Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest, near Balancing Rock. As of Monday morning, it's estimated at 280 acres and 5% contained. The Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook is closed until at least this afternoon and “go now” level three evacuation orders were issued for the Perry South and Monty campgrounds. Level two “get set” was issued for the Three Rivers area. 

Four other fires in the area are also staffed with crews, along with two in the Ochoco National Forest.

The Tolo Mountain Fire (below) also continues to burn in the Crescent Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest. As of Monday morning, it remains at 41 acres and is 50% contained. Crews continue mop-up efforts in the more remote areas of the fire. 
 

More Input Needed On Future Of Bend

BEND, OR -- The group Envision Bend continues to hold workshops, to hear what people in Bend want from their community in the future. Project Lead Jillian Taylor says about 800 people have respond to their online survey, so far, "Now, we are keeping an eye on the demographics of that. So that as we look at who's actually taking the survey, if we are missing key parts of our community, we are going out to where they are and encouraging them to participate."

But, she tells KBND News, it’s the listening sessions - or "workshops" - where they have real conversations, "We go deeper into four key questions, about values, challenges, dreams and opportunities, and game changers. It’s been really fun; we’ve done two of them, so far. We’ve had people from every quadrant and neighborhood from the city that have jumped on. And we just have these really rich conversations about what we’re concerned about and what we hope for."

Taylor says they hear from a lot of people grieving the loss of what they consider a small town feel, "Part of our mission is to dig into ‘What does that look like? What does that mean to you?’ And people will talk about knowing their neighbors, helping each other out, recognizing people when they go to a restaurant. How do we then translate that into city planning, transportation - you know, all these different structural mechanisms where we could actually create stronger neighborhoods?"

The next “Listen and Envision Workshop” is Tuesday, August 2 at 9 a.m. Click HERE to sign up for the free, virtual event. Taylor says they want to hear from all kinds of Bend residents, but also those who commute to Bend regularly.

In the fall, they’ll start putting together a five-year action plan, using the data they've gathered. Then, the full Bend Vision Project will be presented to the city early next year.

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