Local News Archives for 2022-09

Fatal Crash North Of Redmond

REDMOND, OR -- Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel from Redmond Fire and Rescue, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and ODOT responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 97 near milepost 117, north of Redmond Thursday night.

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound gray Honda Accord, operated by 23 year-old Micah Borden of Madras, crossed into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a red Ford F150, operated by 37 year-old Jon Moore of Redmond. 

Borden sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Moore was injured and transported to an area hospital. 

 

Cedar Creek Fire Update

OAKRIDGE, OR -- There is progress on the lightning-caused Cedar Creek Fire. The blaze has burned 120,546 acres.

Wildfire official Eric Hendrickson says the hard work by Firefighters over the past week has strengthened fire lines, “we have increased containment percentage up to 27%. That’s due to a lot of the work that we have performed over the last few days with favorable conditions.”

Hendrickson says favorable weather conditions allowed firefighters an opportunity to reduce risk to firefighters and get the area open to the public sooner, “we’ve got a lot of the hazards and fire line strengthened. This would actually help increase that percentage. That’s just a reflection of the hard work that’s been going on the past 3 to 4 days,” adding they are keeping an eye on the long-range weather forecast, “we’re always looking at that and taking it into consideration. That is why you will see a lot of these numbers increase slowly and not too quickly and overconfident for the potential that some of these weather systems can bring in.”

Warm, dry, breezy weather is expected through the weekend with the potentially most challenging combination of wind and low humidity occurring Saturday.  

Closures: The Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest both have closures and fire restrictions in effect. Some of these closures will remain in effect until areas that have been heavily impacted by the fire are surveyed for safety hazards. Please visit Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest for the most recent closure orders and maps.

Bend Holds Camping Code Roundtable

BEND, OR -- Bend city councilors received feedback this week on a draft of a code to regulate homeless individuals camping on public rights of way and city-owned property.

Questions ranged from enforcing the code to where homeless individuals can get services like access to bathroom facilities.  

“I feel like we need to establish where those safe places are. How do we build that infrastructure where people can have that dignity. It’s not like you all have to go one place. We all have to get to make some choices in our life. And houselessness shouldn’t take that choice away from you,” said Mayor Gena Goodman-Campbell who also addressed the question about individuals who do not have the funds to pay for a citation, “If somebody gets to that point of having a citation that could include some sort of program to help people access that service and support their need. It's challenging because obviously we want those services to continue to be voluntary. We’re really open to unique ideas from others how we could look at alternatives to a citation”.

Participants included public agencies, business groups, nonprofits, community members, and people experiencing houselessness.
The information from these roundtables will be used to address current code structure. 

National Forest Usage Survey Starts Saturday

BEND, OR -- Expect to see Visitor Survey sites when using the forests starting this weekend. Jaimie Olle with the Forest Service explained this national study, “beginning October 1st the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland will be conducting our National Visitor Use Monitoring survey that happens every five years on National Forests across the nation,” Olle added, “the number of people recreating, satisfaction levels with activities, and local economic contributions are part of the Usage Survey.”

Interviewers will be on site throughout the fall and winter, and continue into next summer’s recreation season ending September 30th, 2023.

Camp Fire Central Oregon Seeks Pro Photographers

BEND, OR -- Camp Fire Central Oregon is looking for help with their Fall Fundraiser. Beth Getsinger, the Special Projects Coordinator, says the fundraiser is being revitalized this year, “it’s a Photo Day Fundraiser so we get local professional photographers to volunteer their time and talent in order to take donation-based portraits for families in our network.”

The Photo Day Fundraiser helps the non-profit with scholarship funds.  “We do a wide variety of things to help kids and teens get connected with community, nature, and with themselves. That’s after school programs, summer camps, we have a robotics team, we’ve really expanded our reach over the last few years especially,” Getsinger says.

The event takes place on October 22nd but the recruiting of volunteer professional photographers is happening now. The deadline is October 4th. More information is at the Campfire Central Oregon website

Gubernatorial Candidates Debate In Bend

BEND, OR -- Oregon State University-Cascades hosted a debate Tuesday featuring the three leading candidates for Oregon governor. Topics included affordable housing, gun laws, and environmental rights.

During the opening remarks, Democrat Tina Kotek referenced issues facing Central Oregon. “It’s inspiring to be here and to watch local leaders take on statewide problems from child care issues to water to housing. Here in central Oregon, you’re building more affordable housing. Yes, there needs to be more but you’re working on it. You have a new navigation center in Bend. You have the veteran’s village that is helping veterans in tiny homes and into permanency,” said Kotetk

Republican Christine Drazan commented on gun laws, saying “what happened in Bend was absolute tragedy. Someone facing extreme mental health challenges was intent on hurting others and was effectively able to do so. It is a tragedy whenever it happens but more gun laws will not prevent it from happening”. Kotek was the only candidate who was for Measure 114. This would require a permit and other requirements from local enforcement to own a firearm.  

Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson on the houseless issue said, “we need to build about 580,000 units in the next twenty years compared to the paltry number that we are building now. We’re better at pitching tents than pulling permits. We need to expand developable land for housing as well for industry and commerce. As governor I would take a very serious look at doing that.”

Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate is the only one set to take place in Central Oregon.

Redmond Mayoral Candidates Forum

REDMOND,OR -- The four candidates for Redmond mayor faced off in a forum Tuesday. Current councilors Ed Fitch, and Jay Patrick, along with challengers Ben Schimmoller, and Charles Baer gave their thoughts for leading the city council.

Councilor Ed Fitch believes the goal process needs improvement. “Start establishing what’s important to the council as a whole. Taking input from all the people that are going to be on the council,” while councilor Jay Patrick says there is a lot to learn, “we need to communicate and understand in what we want to achieve in the city”. 

Shimmoler wants to use resources to help city officials, “mayors and councilors can together talk about the issues facing their cities. How they have approached those issues to really use that knowledgeable growth.”

Baer is happy with how Redmond is being run, saying “Redmond, Oregon city government is doing a fantastic job and so I can’t really think of anything I would want to change.”

The mayoral candidates fielded questions on affordable housing, child care, parking and transportation, and new legislative redistricting boundaries.

Voter pamphlets are out next month.

Police Seek Public's Help To Identify Human Remains

BEND, OR -- The Bend Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying human remains found last month in the Deschutes River north of Archie Briggs Road. 

On Saturday, August 27th, Bend Police officers responded and learned that a juvenile had been swimming in the river when she found what appeared to be human bones underwater. Officers recovered the remains, then contacted Bend Police detectives and the state medical examiner’s office, which confirmed the remains were human. 

On Sunday, August 28th, the Deschutes County Search & Rescue dive team searched the area of the Deschutes River and located additional human bones. The remains are believed to be from one individual, likely an adult. They are believed to have been in the water for more than a year.  

The skeletal remains have been taken to the state medical examiner’s office for possible DNA identification, but no identification has yet been made. 

If you have information about a missing person, you are asked to call the nonemergency dispatch line at 541-693-6911. 

Authorities Investigate Shooting Death Near Redmond

REDMOND, OR -- On Sunday morning, the Oregon State Police and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office responded to 5677 SW Young Avenue in Redmond and located an adult male, identified as 45-year-old Trevit C. Law of Redmond, who had been shot. Responding officers provided immediate first aid but Law was pronounced deceased. 

During the subsequent investigation, Skyler R. Myers, of Redmond was developed as the suspect in the shooting. A multi-agency effort tracked Myers approximately 7 hours, eventually locating him near Gift Road and the Deschutes Canal. Myers sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was transported to St. Charles Medical Center where he later was pronounced deceased. 

Oregon State Police was assisted in the ground search by Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Bend Police Department, and Redmond Police Department. The investigation is active and no further information will be released at this time.

Cedar Creek Fire Update

BEND, OR -- The Cedar Creek fire, east of Oakridge, has burned 114,104 acres and is 20% contained.

Operators and firefighters continue working on the shaded fuel breaks along Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway/ Highway 46, Forest Service Road 4630, Forest Service Road 4636, and Charlton Lake Road. To keep the public and our firefighters safe, please continue to observe the Forest Closure. The large machines used to help create the shaded fuel break can throw large chunks of wood, quickly and with great force, which can damage anything they hit.

Advantageous weather conditions continue to enable firefighting crews to make steady progress cleaning up fire breaks and creating defensible spaces. Fire crews have begun to remove firefighting equipment from the Twin and Davis Lake areas, and sprinklers, hoses, pumps, and pumpkin tanks from the Odell Lake area. Any fire spread is expected to be limited in scope with no perimeter growth expected.

Weather similar to yesterday is forecast through today and Tuesday, with warm temperatures and low humidity recovery overnight. A dry cold front is expected Wednesday bringing with it stronger winds and marine moisture.

Closures: The Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest both have closures and fire restrictions in effect. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. The use of drones is prohibited in the fire area, please make it safe for our firefighters to use aircraft on the fire.

Bend Prepares For Camping Code Roundtables

BEND, OR -- Bend City Council hosts its first ever roundtable meetings this week. The meetings - on Tuesday and Thursday - focus on the proposed unsanctioned camping code. Councilor Megan Perkins tells KBND News, "It’s a real chance for us to talk with community stakeholders, as it relates to houselssness." She says that’s something not allowed at regular Council meetings. 

The conversations will be specifically focused on the initial draft code, "We’re trying to achieve a sort of agreed-upon regulations about camping on our public rights of way. That’s what this camping code is. This camping code is not there to solve houselessness. It is not there to punish people for existing. It is to work together to really provide this set of rules for our community."

Tuesday, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., they’ll talk with representatives from a host of city commissions and committees. Then Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon, the group includes people experiencing houselessness, service providers, business owners and public agencies, "This is a community thing that we all need to tackle together, not just the city of Bend. And it’s all intertwined," says Perkins, "So, we’ll have representatives from the Forest Service, and from the county, and from the school district and the parks department, and ODOT." 

Councilor Megan Perkins says public comment will not be taken but both meetings will be livestreamed, "The public is invited to listen and watch. But, the only people who will be speaking are the people that have been specifically invited to the roundtable. When we do get to the point we have a public hearing, that’s one of the opportunities for the public to sort of have their say on the code."

To register to watch either meeting, visit the city's camping code webpage.

Search For Wanted Man Prompts SE Bend Emergency Alert

BEND, OR -- A Medford man was arrested early Friday morning in Bend, after police say he ran from officers. Bend Police responded to a report of a stolen car on SE Sixth Street, just after 2 a.m. When law enforcement arrived, the vehicle had already been returned, but investigators learned Jacob Randall Granger, a 32-year-old Medford resident with a felony conviction, had left the area in a vehicle that contained firearms. 

When officers tried to pull over the vehicle, Granger took off. Officers did not pursue, but soon after located Granger’s vehicle, a silver pickup truck, in the area of Jaycee Park on SE Railroad Street, where it had crashed into a fence. 

Bend Police and Deschutes County 911 sent out an emergency alert to neighbors in the area. Officers executed a search warrant on the vehicle. While collecting evidence in the vehicle, they say Granger ran from a nearby residence. He was arrested without incident on the following charges:  Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Hit and Run Accident with Property Damage, Criminal Trespass I, Criminal Trespass II (2 counts), Burglary I, Theft II (2 counts)

Senator Wyden Prioritizes Head Start Program

BEND, OR- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden attended a rally for the National Head Start Association Wednesday in Washington, DC. Wyden told the gathered crowd he would prioritize the early-education program in the Senate Finance Committee. 

Patrick Carey, Deputy Executive Director for Neighbor Impact in Central Oregon says Head Start is always struggling for funding but especially in the current economy, “with inflation ranging on various things what you were able to do last year you can’t do this year. And in addition, the labor market has changed so drastically that I don’t think there is a Head Start program that isn’t struggling to hire and retain quality staff.”

Head Start and Early Head Start integrate high-quality early education with other critical services says Carey, “one of my favorite things about the Head Start program is it is not only pre-school but we also have a family services component. There is really no limit to what we can and will help a family with; whether that be housing, employment, you name it. So that they have a path out of poverty,” adding “when you look at generational data, it’s very clear that that program works. It also affords children in extreme poverty opportunities that without it just wouldn’t have the capacity to attend pre-school.”

NeighborImpact’s Head Start program operates in 12 sites (27 classrooms; 15 full day and 12 half-day) in Bend, La Pine, Prineville, and Redmond.

Crook County Superintendent Receives Major Honor

PRINEVILLE, OR --Crook County School District Superintendent has been named the best in the state. Dr. Sara Johnson was awarded Oregon Superintendent of the Year in a surprise ceremony at Crook County High School on Wednesday. 

In an emotional speech, Johnson said she doesn’t do it alone.  “Unbelievable. This team. It isn’t a surprise to me that we’re successful. It is a surprise that I’m a superintendent of such a successful district. These people have put an incredible amount of work into this district. Nothing is too great to ask of them; they do it. I’m probably the weakest link.”

Krista Parent, with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, says the district’s success tells only part of the story. “95.2% freshman on-track rate; a 98.2% four-year graduation rate; a 79% alternative school graduation rate. A special ed graduation rate that’s 20% higher than the state average. Now, you may just think that’s the norm because it probably is here. But these things don’t happen by chance.”

She says Johnson was also chosen because of her caring attitude and leadership ability. “Dr. Johnson has prioritized creating a safe and secure learning environment, where it is safe to take risks and where failure becomes an opportunity for growth. She does this, not just by hardening the exterior of our schools to make them safer, but by softening the hearts of those inside those schools.”

Dr. Johnson has been Crook County Superintendent since 2018. She’s now in the running for 2023 national superintendent of the year.

Redmond Airport Eyes Expansion Project

REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport is preparing for a large expansion project that could cost upwards of $200 million. Airport Director Zach Bass says it’ll be paid for through various sources and won’t ask taxpayers for additional money. “Another revenue bond; when I say ‘bond,’ it’s just on the airport. It’s not a GO [general obligation] bond. And then, quite a bit of FAA money that we’ve been competing for and been successful at, will help us get to that at least initial phase one of $100 million.”

Bass promises Roberts Field won’t lose its small-town Central Oregon charm. “The loyalty we’ve seen from Central Oregon customers has been awesome. 88% of people that fly out of Central Oregon are using Redmond. Only 11% are going to Portland. Hopefully with this expansion, we can continue to offer those services and new services that you’re looking for; but also keep that small-town feel, right? We want views of the mountains. We want a lot of glass. We want a cozy, friendly, fast and clean feel,” he said, adding, “what this will do is bring us up to the next level. We’ll have what could be up to a $200 million project, but at least $100 million will be put into a large ‘hold room,’ jet bridges, more concessions, retail. And so, that’s what the customers will probably see even beginning as early as next fall.” 

Bass says travel volumes are back to pre-pandemic levels and people expect certain amenities. 

Redmond Man Arrested For Theft, Drugs

REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man faces several charges after Detectives searched his home during a drug investigation. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit conducted a short term investigation into 30-year-old Troy Schaffner for possession of fentanyl pills and possession of stolen property. 

During the investigation and search warrant execution, Wednesday afternoon, a commercial quantity of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl was located. Detectives also located numerous pieces of stolen mail to include checks, credit/debit cards and stolen vehicle license plates.

Schaffner was taken into custody without incident. He was transported to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Jail on charges of Possession of Fentanyl, Mail Theft and Theft III. 

Street Crimes Detectives were assisted by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team. This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges may follow.

 

Nonprofit Provides Beds For Needy Kids

BEND, OR -- A local nonprofit wants to make sure every child in Central Oregon has their own bed. When Sleep In Heavenly Peace volunteers reach a home, they often find children have been sleeping on the floor, in a pile of blankets in a closet, or in a bed with two other family members. Many of these children have never known a good night’s sleep.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) wants to make sure every child (ages 3-17) in Central Oregon has their own bunk bed and mattress. The national organization has provided more than 100,000 beds across the country, including 380 purchased, assembled and delivered to children in Central Oregon in just the last two years. SHP has free beds available and is looking for families who need them. SHP’s motto is, “No child sleeps on the floor in our town!"

"We provide children a new, hand built bed, a new mattress, sheets, comforter and pillow,” says Joe Myers, outreach coordinator for SHP in Central Oregon. “A good night’s sleep can really have an impact on their life at home and in school,” Joe says. “I can’t tell you how it makes me feel when these children learn that this is their bed. For many, it is their first soft thing to sleep on.”

SHP has partnered with many local organizations to obtain donations and build beds. Several Bend-area Rotary clubs will hold a build day on October 29.

You can apply for a bed for a child, to donate, or to sign up to volunteer making and/or delivering beds, visit the local chapter's website.  SHP also has chapters in Portland and Medford. 

High Desert Museum Debuts Newest Animal Addition

BEND, OR -- A new baby otter made his debut at High Desert Museum Wednesday. The 5.5-months-old pup came to the Museum in May after he was found abandoned near Sunriver.

Museum Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson spent time feeding and caring for the otter all summer, “since then, it’s been a process mainly of allowing him to grow and develop and to spend increasing amounts of time with the adult river otters so he can be on exhibit full time.” Nelson added it was a big effort to introduce him to swimming, “They don’t naturally take to the water; which seems a little counterintuitive. But they have to be taught how to swim and gradually introduced to the water. And so he would get a couple of hours a day, every day, to kind of do that.”

Nelson learned how to introduce the otters to each other, by talking to other organizations. “There are resources and I’m able to reach out to colleagues at places like the Oregon Zoo and get tips for how they have been successful in the past, but really there is no playbook because we are dealing with wildlife. So, although we like to use dogs and cats and domestic animals for an analogy, you never really know for sure how it’s going to go,” Nelson said.

The opportunity to name the new otter was auctioned off in August at the High Desert Rendezvous, the Museum’s largest fundraising event of the year. The winning bidder has yet to determine the name.

 The High Desert Museum cares for more than 130 animals, from otters to raptors. All the animals are non-releasable, primarily due to injuries or because they are habituated, meaning they became too familiar with humans and possibly never learned how to hunt or avoid predators. At the Museum, they serve as ambassadors who educate visitors about the conservation of High Desert species and landscapes.

 

Pedestrian Killed In Parkway Crash

BEND, OR -- A Bend woman was killed overnight after she was struck by a car on the Parkway. Bend Police and Sheriff's Deputies responded just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, following a report of a pedestrian struck in the northbound lanes south of the Empire Avenue exit. 

Officers arrived and medically assessed the pedestrian, identified as 43-year-old Jennifer Bell. She suffered fatal injuries due to the impact of the crash.

The original caller was the driver of the involved, 29-year-old Portland resident Austin Smith. Two additional callers reported seeing the pedestrian standing still in the roadway prior to the collision. Smith cooperated with the investigation. At this time, investigators have ruled out speed and intoxication as factors in the crash.

Members of the Bend Police crash reconstruction team responded to investigate and process the scene. The northbound lanes of the Parkway were closed between the NE Revere off-ramp and the NE Empire off-ramp for approximately four hours. Investigators were assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation Incident Response team.

Unemployment Ticks Up In Central Oregon

BEND, OR -- Local unemployment rates ticked up slightly in August. Regional Economist Dallas Fridley is not surprised all three counties saw similar increases, "We’ve had such a long string of months where we’ve had rates improving, that doesn’t mean they’re going to continue to improve because, let’s face it, we’re at or near historic lows. There really is nowhere to go but up, in terms of rates, so they’re really not going to get much lower. And this 0.2% increase, while it did happen, is not a huge deal yet."

He says “yet” because he doesn’t believe talk of a global recession is impacting Central Oregon jobless rates, "We’re not adding quite as many jobs as we had early on. A lot of industries have been hiring - even Leisure and Hospitality is getting closer to its pre-pandemic level. So there really isn’t as many gains to be made and, again, really the rate of those gains is slowing down."

Deschutes County’s rate is now 3.6%; Crook County’s is 4.9%, and in Jefferson County it’s now 4.8%. While unemployment edged up, Fridley says the labor force is still growing with Deschutes County adding 320 jobs last month. 

Fridley isn’t concerned the uptick is the start of a trend, and he thinks we’ll see more job gains in the coming season, despite recession rumors, "Really, what’s important for all of it, for tourism, for retail, for Leisure & Hospitality, Accommodations & Food Services is for the winter recreation season to get off without a hitch." That, of course, will be dependent on the weather. "Even if we’re in a recession, if it’s a good year for snow, we’re still going to have a good recreational season," Fridley tells KBND News, "It does help lift the area. Let’s face it, folks aren’t going to give up their winter recreation activity if they can still afford to do it."

Candidates For Bend Mayor And Council Take Part In Forum

BEND, OR -- Candidates for Bend Mayor discussed affordable housing, homelessness, transportation, and the Bend Central District at a forum Monday night.

City council member and mayoral candidate Melanie Kebler says housing is a middle-class issue, “We need to work to make sure all kinds of housing are more affordable. And we’re not losing people like nurses, teachers, or just the person who makes your coffee, or pours your beer. And we also need to look at our UGB, and it’s really important who is in charge.”

Mayoral candidate and former council member Chris Piper wants to hasten the home building process to address workforce housing. “We need our state and local governments to amend land use policies to make housing development easier. Stream line notoriously cumbersome permitting processes, and lower taxes or unnecessary requirements that depress development,” he said.

Piper has a goal for the bus system, Cascades East Transit. He wants to “stay involved with CET’s plan to provide better connected routes and have open discussion to have CET become its own district, currently being funded by the City now and from payroll deductions.”

Kebler says transportation in Bend is at a critical point. “So that’s been a priority for me on council as we move through the bond projects the voters approved and we’re implementing is to make sure we’re always thinking about prioritizing safety. Especially when it comes to giving people options to go by bike or by walking,” she said.

With those options in mind, Kebler is excited for the prospects of the Bend Central District. “The opportunity we have to build incredible housing infrastructure in this area that’s going to support transit and help businesses as well. We already know that sprawl as a solution isn’t going to work and this one of our best chances to really create the housing we need without doing that,” she said.

Piper believes communication with those involved in the Central District is key. “We need to erase the uncertainty that the BCD stakeholders are feeling with the city. This can be done by including stakeholders at a participatory level well in advance of when decisions and policy are being drafted that may impact prospective development,” he said.

City Council positions 4, 5, and 6 are also open. All Council candidates agreed affordable housing and transportation are Bend’s most pressing issues.

Voter’s pamphlets will be in mail boxes in about a month.

Local Clerks See Rise In Records Requests Related To "Big Lie"

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Secretary of State says elections offices are still dealing with misinformation from two years ago, as they try to prepare for the upcoming election. According to Secretary Shemia Fagan, a recent poll indicates a third of Oregon voters believe fraudulent votes changed the outcome of the 2020 election, despite evidence to the contrary. And, she says, continued efforts to prove that false narrative are bogging down local elections offices ahead of this November’s election, "Our county elections offices are inundated with requests that are stemming from ‘the big lie.’ And they haven’t had more staff, they don’t have more people to run their operations, but they’re being inundated, as is our office, with public records requests based on the false information of the 2020 election."

Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang says Commissioners and the Clerk have received a large number of requests and threats of litigation in the last few months. "I can’t remember a single one of them being signed by a resident of Deschutes County. This is a distraction to our Clerk’s Office that is busy preparing to protect the integrity of the coming election and it is demoralizing to have your competence and integrity constantly challenged," Chang said in a written statement.

Fagan says staff in local elections offices around the state have told her the requests are time consuming and expensive, "People are asking for certain things, there are then hours that go into even just figuring out what even applies in Oregon, what they have, what it would require to redact security information or private ballot information. Then, they’ll go back to the requester and say, ‘ok, it will cost this much money.’ And the people just go away and they come back and request something different."

She encourages people to get educated about elections by walking into their local office, "A lot of what people are asking for - if they just were to come in and observe in their local elections office, they would see this process that is actually not closed-door."

 

Bend-La Pine Schools Seeks New Board Member

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools’ board is down to six following the resignation, earlier this month, of the Zone Seven member who moved out of the district. School Board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia says they’re looking for someone to fill the vacancy who has personal or professional experience and expertise to help with the board’s goals for the district. "Personal or professional experience and expertise can come from a lot of different sectors or experiences in supporting that work," she tells KBND News, "The second thing that we’re looking for is someone that really wants to do this work as a volunteer public servant."

Applicants must live inside Bend-La Pine Schools’ attendance area, have lived in Deschutes County for at least one year and be registered to vote. 

Applications are due October 11 at 4 p.m. and are accepted online. The board will narrow down their list of finalists at the regular meeting on November 8th, "We’ll have a special board meeting on November 15th that is just for interviewing the finalists and then deliberating and deciding on who we will appoint. That person, once appointed, if they accept, will be sworn in at our December 13th board meeting."

But Dholakia says that person will only serve for six months, "In Oregon, an appointment can be filled, but it is filled only until the next regularly scheduled school board election. And our next election is in May, so if this person wished to serve past the June 30th expiration, they would need to file and run in the May 2023 election."

 

Missing Bend Boy Returns Home Safe

BEND, OR -- Bend Police say a boy reported missing Monday morning has been found safe. 

At approximately 9:50 a.m., police were called to the 20800 block of Comet Lane on a welfare check. When officers arrived, they learned 7-year-old Silas Brown was last seen at his home at about 8 a.m. and was not at his elementary school. Silas was apparently on foot and had last been seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. 

More than a dozen officers responded and began searching the area, including parks and trails nearby. Deschutes County 911 issued an emergency alert for homes in the area. 

At approximately 12:09 p.m., Silas returned home. 

Bend Police thanks the community for its quick response in sharing Silas’s picture and description. 

Local Teachers Recognized By State

REDMOND, OR -- Two local educators are in the running for Oregon Teacher of the Year. Redmond High School music teacher Ben Lawson and Derek Burbank, an Ag Sciences and Technology teacher at Culver High School, each receive a $1,000 award from the Oregon Lottery for being selected as regional winners. 

RHS Principal Audrey Haugan says Lawson deserves the recognition for consistently going above and beyond, "During COVID, he kept reinventing himself in terms of how to connect with kids. Because, when you’re online and you’re choir or you’re band, trying to get kids to do things online was pretty challenging. And he did all different things to try to get his kids to get their cameras on and to sing and to practice." She tells KBND News, "He made his garage into like a studio so he could just be outside and be with his kids and do as much as he could to get his kids to be engaged."  

Just before the pandemic, "He raised $55,000 to get brand new uniforms for his band, and pretty much did that on his own and made that work. So, he’s beautiful uniforms for the kids and just really did a really nice job with that."

She says it’s well-deserved recognition for the school, too, "It shows what a great teacher is but also, how he does such a great job for our kids. So, it lets us know that we have teachers like him who just go above, beyond what most teachers do all the time."

The state Teacher of the Year will be chosen from the 16 regional winners, including Lawson and Burbank. That winner will be announced later this fall.

 

Irrigation Water Transferred To Jefferson County Farmers

MADRAS, OR -- North Unit Irrigation is set to receive water from the Thornburgh Resort through a Drought Water Right Transfer recently approved by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Mike Briton, general manager for the irrigation district, says he appreciates the water but believes the transfer process takes too long.  “There’s still some work to be done at the state level to expedite these processes. This shouldn’t be a multi-month process it should be 30 days. We’re still struggling with those even today,” said Briton.

Briton acknowledges 200-Acre-Feet of water will not go a long way for the 60,000-acre district, but every little bit helps. “I would say it’s beyond dire. We’re in a multi-year severe drought pattern. Our farmers have been allocated less than 25% of their normal allotment of water. Estimates are that we have about 50% of our district fallow right now,” he said.

October 14th is the tentative irrigation water shut-off for this season.

Local Events Celebrate National Public Lands Day

BEND, OR -- The BLM Prineville District will host a National Public Lands Day event on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes four different projects. Activities consist of picking up trash at dispersed sites, removing a fire enclosure fence line, hanging flight diverters on barbed wire fence, building bird boxes, and filling wildlife guzzlers. The public is invited to participate, all projects will be family friendly and open to anyone.  

National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is held annually on or about the fourth Saturday in September each year. It is the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and general health. 

Volunteers interested in participating should plan to arrive at the event staging area, at the intersection of Fox Butte Road and Moffitt Road, at 10 a.m. To get to the site from Bend, head east on Highway 20 for approximately 25 miles, and then turn south on Fox Butte Road. Travel about 7 miles south on Fox Butte Road to the intersection with Moffitt Road. Participants will meet with BLM project leads at the staging area prior to dispersing to separate project stations and beginning work. Volunteers should expect to drive themselves from the staging area to the site of the project they will be helping with. The attached map displays the location of the staging area and the four different project stations.  

Participants should wear sturdy shoes, bring a hat and sunscreen, and be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. Tools, safety glasses, work gloves, and trash bags will be provided. While the BLM will provide light snacks, volunteers should bring a lunch and plenty of water. For more information, please contact the Prineville District BLM at (541) 416-6700. 

Tumalo Home Destroyed By Fire

TUMALO, OR -- A Tumalo home was destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon. Bend firefighters responded to the manufactured home on 97th Street at about 4 p.m. and found flames coming from the home.

No one was at home at the time of the fire.  While the majority of the active fire was knocked down quickly, complete extinguishment was challenging due to a large quantity of combustible materials in and around the home.  Bend Fire was assisted by a water tender from Cloverdale Fire District, and the last units cleared the scene at 7:37 pm.  The single occupant of the residence, a renter who did not have insurance, was assisted by Red Cross, and both the home and contents were a total loss.  Losses are estimated at $80,000 for the structure and $20,000 for the contents.  Three cats are missing but may have been able to get outside through a pet door.  

Upon investigation, it was determined that the fire originated outside the residence at the front deck area and extended into the structure. The exact cause of the fire could not be determined but is accidental in nature.

Bend Fire & Rescue encourages anyone who is renting or leasing their home to have renter's insurance. The homeowner's insurance policy typically does not cover the possessions of the tenant.  Renter's insurance is very inexpensive and may cover not only belongings, but living expenses incurred if your home becomes uninhabitable.  For more information on renter's insurance, visit the State of Oregon's page.

 

Photo courtesy Bend Fire

Seattle Climber Rescued After Fall At Smith Rock

TERREBONNE, OR -- Saturday morning, 911 Dispatch received a call regarding an injured hiker who reportedly had fallen approximately 35-50 feet on an unimproved route southwest of Asterick's Pass. The injured hiker was scrambling up a rock outcropping to set up a slack line. During the fall, the 21-year-old Seattle man sustained injuries that prevented him from making it down to the river trail. 

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Team was conducting a joint training with multiple out of county MRU teams at Smith Rock. Among those were two members of the Hood River Crag Rats, seven members of Corvallis Mountain Rescue and nine member of the Eugene Mountain Rescue.

The DCSO SAR MRU Team was notified of the incident and responded to the injured hiker. Nine DCSO SAR Volunteers responded and made contact with the injured hiker at about 10:45 a.m. DCSO SAR Volunteers saw he would have to be lowered  approximately 650 feet down to the river trail in a litter. The teams training with DCSO SAR assisted in the operation. 

The hiker was safely brought down with the assistance of the MRU Teams and was transferred to an ambulance at approximately 3:30 p.m. and was transported to St Charles for further medical evaluation.   

Sprinklers Credited For Quick Knockdown Of Apartment Fire

BEND, OR -- Bend Fire is crediting sprinklers for quickly putting out a kitchen fire at the Legacy Landing Apartments on Tucson Way, Saturday evening. Crews arrived to find fire in the third-floor apartment and everyone evacuated.

Crews worked to stop the water and clear the smoke from the building. The building contains 60 apartments on the upper three floors and houses a Mosaic Medical Clinic on the ground floor. There was water damage found in the clinic as well but shouldn’t keep the business from opening for regular business on Monday. Damages are estimated at $50,000. 

Due to the water and smoke damage, five apartments have been displaced until the clean up can be completed. Red Cross arrived and were helping the six occupants find hotel rooms for the night. All other occupants were able to safely return to their apartments. The fire sprinkler and alarm systems were restored to ensure the building was safe for occupancy after the incident. Restoration company is on scene to start the clean up process. 

The fire sprinkler system stopped the fire quickly and helped keep the damage to a minimum. With the fire stopped before it could spread out of the kitchen, the amount of smoke in the building was kept to a minimum and allowed the occupants to evacuated safely. 

Bend Fire Department reminds everyone to keep a watchful eye on anything you’re cooking. Cooking fires are leading cause of home fires in the country. 

If You Have a Cooking Fire:

  • Get out and Stay out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Turn off the stove and oven when you leave if you can do it safely. 
  • Ensure everyone else in the home is evacuating as well. 
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and calling 911 for you. Ensure you have a clear way out too.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it’s completely cooled!
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 

Photo courtesy Bend Fire

Redmond Teen Killed In Friday Morning Crash

REDMOND, OR -- Oregon State Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a four-vehicle crash on Highway 97 near milepost 127, south of Redmond, Monday morning at about 8:15. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that a silver 2003 Jeep Liberty, operated by a 16-year-old female Redmond resident, had been traveling southbound and for unknown reasons, initiated a lane change and lost control of the vehicle.  The Jeep Liberty crossed over into oncoming lanes, striking a black 2018 Jeep Renegade that was traveling northbound.  The Jeep Renegade was pushed onto the northbound shoulder where it rolled multiple times.  The Jeep Liberty next collided into a northbound white 2012 GMC Yukon, and subsequently an additional vehicle, a grey 2017 Toyota Camry that had been traveling southbound behind the Jeep Liberty. 

The silver Jeep Liberty was operated by a 16-year-old female Redmond resident who sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

The Jeep Renegade was operated by, Araceli Rodriguez Giles (21) of Bend, and had passengers Brayan Olvera (23) of Bend, Victorina Giles (53) of Bend and an additional 16-year-old juvenile male.  Giles and the 16-year-old minor in this vehicle were transported to a Bend area hospital where they were treated with non-life-threatening injuries. 

The white GMC Yukon was operated by Bradly Pearce (43) of Bend.  Pearce was uninjured.

The 2017 Toyota Camry was operated by Amie Gassner (39) of Central Point.  Passengers in the vehicle, Jamie Richmond (39) and a 12-year-old female were transported via ground ambulance and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Bend-LaPine Schools Temporarily Remove Compromised Messaging App

BEND, OR -- Bend-LaPine Schools removed the messaging app, Seesaw, that had been compromised earlier in the week.

Skip Offenhauser, BLPS executive director of Elementary Programs and Instructional Technology, said they had to act quickly. “Very shortly after the news started coming in and we were trying to figure out what was going on; out of an abundance of caution the best thing to do was just remove the app from every device, not only students but teachers. (And) to advise our teachers not to use it and then wait to listen on how things transpired with Seesaw.”

Offenhauser says they are monitoring the situation, “So right now we’re in contact with Seesaw. We’re working with our rep to just better understand all the steps they have taken and considering maybe some different settings that we think might add another layer of protection if this ever were to happen again.”

A small number of parents’ user information was compromised but not students’ and Offehauser credits the technology staff. “What I’m proud of is just the response that we had. We have a wonderful team of IT professionals and engineers that that is their number one concern to make sure that we are safe from anyone that would do that to us,” said Offenhauser.

The school district is expecting to put the Seesaw App back on devices next week.

Plan for SE Bend Development Gets Initial State Approval

BEND, OR -- State officials gave the green light this week to the city of Bend’s conceptual plan for the state-owned Stevens Road Tract. Long-Range Planning Manager Brian Rankin says it’s a big first step in development of 261 acres in southeast Bend.

Next, the city needs approval to expand the Urban Growth Boundary, "After that, to do what are called planning amendments. And those are essentially policies in our regulatory document that direct the eventual development of that property," said Rankin.

He expects those steps to play out in the next year. Expanding the UGB is expected to be much faster than in 2016, thanks to a streamlined process laid out in House Bill 3318, "This bill I think is in response to the fact that it takes a long time to do this kind of work and the city of Bend is in a housing crisis. There was a unique opportunity, legislatively, it essentially allowed the city to move forward on a housing-related project because of the site and because we’re in a housing crisis now." He adds, "This bill is unique because 20 acres of that 261 will go to the city," Rankin tells KBND News, "The city’s essentially purchasing that land for a reasonable appraised value, but not urban value. And then that land gets used for deed-restricted affordable housing."

There’s also a large portion set aside for greenspace and parks. Rankin says, "Putting that deed-restricted affordable housing around that park, having a small commercial area, all of that kind of being the heart of that development. So, kind of putting an emphasis on people who are essentially making - I would call it - your average incomes in Bend, being able to have a real seat at some of the prime places in the development. That’s unique." The rest will be sold to a private developer for market-rate housing and commercial properties, with the proceeds benefitting the state's Common Schools Fund.

If all goes smoothly, Rankin says dirt could start moving within four years. 

 

Fire Season Is Not Over Yet

BEND, OR -- Temperatures are cooling but Oregon’s Department of Forestry says it’s not ready to declare the end of fire season just yet. ODF’s Christie Shaw says public use restrictions also remain in Central Oregon because of the high fire danger, “There’s a lot of really dried, cured fuels out there from all summer long being hot and dry. So, by the time midday rolls around and that moisture from overnight has dried itself out with wind and temperatures, those fuels are really receptive to a fire.” That means a debris burn or warming fire could get out of control quickly, "And it just challenges us and it's unnecessary. So, we would just rather make sure that we don’t have to be chasing fire during the day and all day, and let folks focus on the fires that are on the landscape already. There’s a lot of firefighters and resources committed to those large fires that are in Oregon."

Shaw says a big concern is hunting season, “We see people out there camping and leaving campfires and leaving warming fires and so, if we open that up like, ‘yeah, you can do debris burning and you can do this,’ we just find that people aren’t conscientious. They think that once we say it’s not fire season anymore, then that fire risk is gone. So, we just really want people to be vigilant and mindful about the things that they do. It still is fire season, even though we’re in September.” 

There may not be a so-called “season ending” rain event, but if temperatures stay cool and humidity rises long enough, ODF will start easing restrictions soon.

 

New Wolves Spotted In Warm Springs

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is labeling the northern Oregon Cascades a new "Area of Known Wolf Activity" after two pups were spotted on a trail camera on the Warm Springs Reservation. Two wolves were initially found in December by Warm Springs biologists, but then there was no activity until these pups showed up last month.

ODFW’s Michelle Dennehy says it’s the second recent wolf designation, "Earlier this summer, we designated the Upper Deschutes area of wolves and that includes parts of Klamath County. That was an example - and this has happened a number of times - where people saw wolf activity or wolf signs and they actually reported it to us. And that really helped us to focus our monitoring efforts."

Dennehy tells KBND News wolves have been slowly migrating westward from Idaho and other states where populations were reestablished earlier, "At this point, we have a number of wolf packs in northeast Oregon. But now we’re starting to see more in the Cascades, including this new Warm Springs group of wolves." She adds, "It’s what wolves do, they will strike out on their own because they want to find a mate."

She says the Area of Known Wolf Activity designation only comes when they settle into a region and are considered “resident.” Wolves just passing through don’t prompt the same warnings for the public and livestock producers. 

If this new group still has at least four wolves by the end of this year, they’ll be deemed the Warm Springs Pack

 

File photo

Bow & Arrow Threat Prompts Bend Hotel Lockdown

BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested Thursday morning after police say he threatened to kill someone behind the Best Western Plus on Grandview Drive. The hotel, near the northern city limits, went into lockdown and officers responded at about 10:25 a.m. 

People camping in the area of Clausen Drive reported the 54-year-old victim and Dalyn Albert Olsen had been arguing, and the victim reportedly threatened Olsen. Police believe 36-year-old Olsen, who lives in an encampment in the area, returned to his camp, retrieved a bow and arrow, and returned to the scene of the verbal altercation. Olsen then pointed the bow and arrow at the victim and threatened him, before returning to his encampment.  

Bend Police took Olsen into custody without incident and recovered the bow and arrow. He was transported to the Deschutes County Jail on charges of menacing, unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree disorderly conduct. 

 

File photo

Idaho Fugitive Caught In Bend After 16 Months On The Lam

BEND, OR -- An Idaho fugitive on the loose since May of 2021 is now in the Deschutes County Jail. In August, Bend Police say 36-year-old Zachary Heward used a false name in a traffic stop. On Thursday, just before 10 a.m., an officer saw the same vehicle associated with Heward. 

When the officer recognized the vehicle, he attempted to catch up to it. By the time the officer arrived, the vehicle was abandoned by the side of the road and the suspect ran toward the Pilot Butte Cemetery in the 600 block of NE 12th Street. 

Bend Police caught him after a short foot pursuit in the cemetery. Heward was transported to the Deschutes County Jail on the out-of-state warrant and a charge of third-degree escape. 

Heward walked away from the Idaho Falls Work Release Center on May 17, 2021. He was in custody on charges including methamphetamine possession, grand theft, burglary, and resisting and obstructing an officer. 

Officers were assisted by community members who reported seeing a suspicious male matched the fugitive’s description running in the area. 

State House Candidates Take Part In Chamber Forum

BEND, OR -- A Bend Chamber Candidate Forum Wednesday gave those running for State House District 53 and 54 time to talk about their campaign issues. They took questions in front of a crowd - some of whom had to be quieted a few times by the moderator. Topics including homelessness, transportation infrastructure, and business challenges relating to affordable housing and child care.
Democrat Emerson Levy is running in the newly-drawn 53rd District; a seat currently held by Republican Jack Zika. Levy wants transportation safety and infrastructure planning to “make sure that we’re making all the right decisions for our community that brings value and safety. And we need to build resilient infrastructure that can handle our weather and all the things that happen here.”
Levy faces Republican Michael Sipe, who said prioritizing state and federal funds, and better execution can help Central Oregon’s transportation needs. 
Sipe went on to say Oregon needs to be more friendly to business, “This would be good for everyone, because as business prospers so does everyone else. Healthy businesses bring good paying jobs, economic stability, and more tax dollars ultimately as the businesses thrive.”  Levy feels lack of childcare along with finding affordable housing is stalling business growth.
Incumbent District 54 Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend) spoke on housing, “We need to have housing for our workforce. We need to have more affordable housing. Employers have not been able to cultivate and bring workers in because people are saying this is just too expensive of a place to live.”
His challenger, Republican Judy Trego says strategies must be developed to bring the technology sector and other businesses to Central Oregon. 
On the homeless issue, Trego is looking to other cities and areas for solutions. “The goal should be to make homelessness rare and brief. Encampments highlight decades of calamitous decisions by planners, politicians and health and housing authorities,” said Trego. Kropf stated he will continue to pursue programs to solve the problem by working for more funding and collaborating with community partners.
In a statement about crowd behavior, Thursday morning, the Bend Chamber tweeted
"Bend Chamber events have historically been welcoming and business-centric. We tried something different this year to make it accessible to all, resulting in a different mix of attendees that did not represent the Central Oregon business community. The behavior of some attendees in last night's state house seat forum was not what we expect or condone from our events. Our Chamber must work with all parties and believe different points of view and political affiliations are part of our political system and deserve respect."
The next Chamber candidate forum is Monday the 19th and will feature Bend Mayor and City Council positions.

Bend Music Teacher Arrested For Child Porn

BEND, OR -- A Bend teacher was arrested Thursday morning for possessing explicit images of children. On Sunday, Bend Police received a report from the Department of Justice’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force indicating a video containing child sexual abuse had been uploaded and linked to Erik Ekstrom’s digital devices. Ekstrom is a 35-year-old Bend resident and a music teacher in Bend-La Pine Schools. He's also listed as the Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon. 

Further investigation revealed additional tips from the task force connected to Ekstrom’s digital devices.

At 7 a.m. Thursday, police executed a search warrant in the 1200 block of NE Viking Avenue in Bend. Investigators seized multiple digital devices and Ekstrom was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. 

This investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Ian Macdonell at non-emergency dispatch: 541-693-6911.

Record Number Of Candidates Run For Madras Positions

Madras, OR -- Amid population and economic growth, Madras is seeing renewed interest in participating in local government. 

Elections Officer Lysa Vattimo says five candidates running for Mayor is the most ever in this elected-volunteer spot. “Especially a mayoral position is truly a leadership position for their community. They can look back at the projects they help implement and the connections they made for their community and that kind of thing that have helped benefit and grow their community, right? So that’s their reward, it’s not a monetary one."
Vattimo says five people running for Mayor is a record. “I tried to reach back to the historians here in town and ask them if they had any specifics, right, on the numbers of people running for this office, because I couldn’t find anything here on file. Nobody had anything specific but they all agreed 'wow it does seem like this is the most we’ve ever had run'.”
All 5 are first time mayoral candidates. “We’ve had incumbents the last few years and what I’ve seen in my short time here is just two people, and typically one of them is off the council. And from the people that are running, none of them have sat in this mayoral position before,” said Vattimo.
In addition to the five mayoral candidates, three others are running for City Council. 
The Madras ballot also includes a measure to ban psilocybin-related businesses.
The Deadline to register to Vote for the November Election is October 18th. Oregonians can check their voter registration online at the Secretary of State’s MY VOTE webpage.

Crook County Schools See Enrollment Increase

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Despite declining public school enrollments nationwide, the Crook County School District saw a 2.6% increase in students this year. Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson says they have 83 more students than this time last year. “Our schools are performing well and I think that’s part of the reason people put their kids in our schools," she tells KBND News, "But I also think that Crook County is a desirable place to live, and the population is continuing to grow and, of course, the school district benefits from that.” 
The Superintendent says they have enough room for those additional students for now, “We’re trying to make sure we have a 10-year plan; and we won’t be okay in 10 years. But for this year, we’re fine.”
She says families are happy with how the district handled COVID-19, including one school employee who used to commute from another city, “They watched Crook County School District during the pandemic, when we were open and the district from which they came was closed. And so, they realized we’re doing a good job and we’re really working to make sure kids are getting serviced.”
Dr. Johnson credits school employees for the district's success, “Our staff, I think they’re doing well. I mean, it’s a hard time to be a teacher. But Crook County teachers are a robust group of people who are really committed to their job. We just need to be sensitive to how we treat teachers and how we take care of them.” 
Crook County’s total enrollment is now 3,313 students. 
 

Safeway Reopens After Fatal Shooting

BEND, OR -- As the east side Safeway reopens Wednesday morning, Bend Police are putting a renewed focus on officer mental health. "The days of the ‘tough guy’ persona-thing is long gone," says Bend PD's Sheila Miller. While officers see traumatic events all the time, Miller says the August 28th shooting was especially difficult. To help on a daily basis, officers have access to a nationally recognized wellness program, "We have yoga four days a week, we have an on-site therapist, we have mindfulness and sleep programs. And, probably most importantly after an incident like this, we offer critical incident stress management debriefs for everyone who’s involved with something like this."

And, she says those involved in the grocery store shooting took part in their own diffusing, "Which is sort of like a short version of a debrief the night of the incident, for those who were immediately impacted - those who were first on the scene," Miller tells KBND News, "So, we had chaplains come in, we have a lot of resources that we put towards making sure our officers are not only physically healthy, but also mentally and emotionally healthy."

KBND News asked Safeway what resources are in place for employees as the store reopens. We received this written statement Tuesday evening: 

“We are re-opening our Highway 20, Bend, Safeway tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and will be resuming normal hours. We are so grateful for our team members, as well as for the Bend community.  We will continue to provide our associates support during this difficult time."

 

Oregon State University Welcomes New President

CORVALLIS, OR -- Oregon State University’s new president started her first week on the job with a press conference Monday.  Jayathi Murthy says she has a broad vision for the future of OSU, with students at the heart of the operation, “A big focus on student access and student success is really important to us. We do wonderfully on the access front; we serve such a broad population of students. And I’d like to focus on getting our graduation rates up and ensuring that our students have a wonderful experience at OSU, but great success and placement going forward.”

Murthy says she takes enrollment and tuition costs seriously. “Certainly, our on-campus footprint is really important. But, there’s a growing interest in our e-campus operation, which is truly unique. One of a kind. And there, we’re seeing quite significant growth in enrollment. Through e-campus we can serve classes of students who are non-traditional and these are important populations, so I see us investing quite heavily in both our on-campus operation and the e-campus,” said Murthy.

Murthy comes from UCLA’s School of Engineering and says she’s pleased with the work OSU has done to expand engineering opportunities, specifically for women.

East Bend Safeway Set To Open Wednesday

BEND, OR -- A banner hanging outside the eastside Bend Safeway says the store will reopen soon while its website says it opens Wednesday at 6 am. It’s been closed since August 28th when a 20-year-old gunman opened fire inside. He killed two people before taking his own life. 
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel continues to praise the response to the fatal shooting, “Right away, Bend Police was on it. And every law enforcement agency in Central Oregon was on it.” Investigators say officers entered during the gunfire. “We all know about the missteps of the cops in Uvalde; not here. Bend Police were in that Safeway seconds after arriving, never asked whether it would be safe for them to do so. They knew people were in danger and they went in there,” said Hummel. Along with commending police for entering the store while shots were being fired, Hummel praised Don Surrett the produce worker killed while trying to stop the gunman.
The DA went on to say no community is immune to gun violence, “It could happen anywhere and we’re somewhere. It could happen anywhere. You have a lot of guns and a lot of people who, for whatever reason, are at a point in their life where they want to be a star and take people out." He says it’s time we stop saying we don’t want to get involved when we see a social media post threatening violence, “So many of us, me included, have seen that post and said, ‘oh, that person is probably just blowing off steam. I mean, if you take literally what they said, I’d be real concerned. But they probably don’t really mean it.’ And you move on. Well, most people who post something on social media with a veiled threat don’t literally mean it; some do. And we need to start reaching out to those people and reaching out to law enforcement when we see those posts.” 

La Pine Shop Fire Caused By Lightning

LA PINE, OR -- La Pine firefighters responded to a fire on Polar Road, Monday evening. Arriving crews found flames "shooting" from the roof of a large workshop and threatening two large trees near a dry field.

The department says the quick response of firefighters held the blaze to the building, with most damage in the attic space and the rear portion of the roof.

A witness reported seeing lightning strike the roof before the fire started.  

Hazardous Air Closes Businesses, Clinics

BEND, OR -- As the Air Quality Index soared past 400 in some areas of Central Oregon on Monday, businesses with outdoor workers - like Sunriver’s SHARC - shutdown. Mosaic Medical also closed several Bend clinics. "Wildfire smoke has small particulate matter that can be an irritant on the lungs and it can cause people to have wheezing, cough, sore throat, headache," says Dr. Jessica LeBlanc, Mosaic's Chief Health Officer. 

She told KBND News Monday, "If you are, for instance, out in this air for 24 hours, it would be equivalent small particulate matter with smoking 15 cigarettes, with where our AQI is at right now." Dr. LeBlanc added, "It’s not tobacco, it’s wildfire smoke, but it still has that fine particulate that can cause irritation and damage to the lungs over time. So, those folks that have to work outside, please wear an N95. And, especially thinking about our unhoused population that can’t get indoors, seek sites where you can get indoors or use an N95."

The Air Quality Advisory for Crook and Deschutes Counties is extended to Wednesday. LeBlanc encourages everyone to take warnings seriously, "If you have to go outside, it’s really important to wear an approved mask, and ideally an N95 that will help with filtering that particulate. And, to stay indoors, as much as possible. If you have access to higher quality filters in your home, then that can help as well."

Deschutes County Public Health tells KBND News crews helped the Oregon Health Authority deliver large air filtration units known as "air scrubbers" to the Lighthouse Navigation Center for the homeless in Bend and to schools in La Pine. 

The Humane Society of Central Oregon says unhealthy air also applies to pets, wildlife and livestock. When possible, animals should be kept indoors during such conditions. 

 

Sex Crime Prevention Funds Coming To Warm Springs

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Monday the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will receive nearly $211,000 from the Department of Justice, aimed at protecting the community and preventing sex crimes.

“The U.S. government can do more to protect children from predators on and off tribal land, and it is long past time for that to happen,” Wyden said in a statement. “This funding provides a dedicated administrator and crucial training that the Warm Springs tribal justice system needs to improve kids’ safety.”

"We must do everything in our power to?prevent sexual assault and abuse, and protect vulnerable communities in Oregon facing?disproportionate rates of sexual violence,?including?tribal communities,”?said Senator Merkley.?“This funding will provide crucial services and resources for the Warm Springs community.” 

This DOJ program is funded by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and will provide services and training for the Warm Springs Police Department, Tribal Prosecution, Victims of Crimes Services, Tribal Court, Children’s Protective Services, Warm Springs Community Counseling Center, and the tribal community on how to contact and continue registration for the known convicted sex offenders residing in or working within the boundaries of the reservation. This grant also funds a dedicated, full-time staff member to serve as Sex Offender Administrator.

Prineville Reservoir Decreases Flow Releases Starting Wednesday

PRINEVILLE, OR -- The already low levels at Prineville Reservoir will drop even more on Wednesday due to less demand for seasonal irrigation. Peter Cooper, a Civil Engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation tells KBND News, “The main change the public is going to see is lower river flows below Prineville reservoir. We will be decreasing our diversions from the reservoir at the same time irrigations diversions will be decreasing their diversions down stream.”
Prineville Reservoir was 12% full last week. “Following the decrease in releases the water level in the reservoir should stabilize right there at about 11% full. So it will continue to decrease here for a few days and then will kind of flatten out as the Reservoir decreases,” Cooper said. Lower-than-normal water levels in the Crooked River are expected, which could potentially impact recreational activities
Cooper calls the already-low levels at the reservoir "unprecedented." He says, “Digital Records of Prineville Reservoir levels go back to 1976. Multiple years of Drought have resulted in an extremely limited water supply in the Crooked River basin this season. Crooked River Basin received one of the lowest snow packs on records [which] date back to the early 1980s”.
 
File Photo

Cedar Creek Fire Grows In Weekend Winds

OAKRIDGE, OR -- The Cedar Creek Fire jumped containment lines during high winds, this weekend, and is back to zero percent containment. As of Monday morning, its estimated at 86,734 acres. 

Friday night, the towns of Oakridge and Westfir were given Level Three (GO NOW) evacuation orders; they were reduced to Level two on Sunday. Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harold says other areas remain at Level Three, "That’s that High Prairie, McFarland Rd area, as well as Dunning, Fish Hatchery and on down to a chunk of Highway 58. Those need to stay in a three because the fire, frankly, is not that far away from those spaces." Sheriff Harold says it’s important everyone in the Level Two areas remain ready to leave again, The reality is, the fire is going to be out there for a little while and no one can guarantee that we won’t have to go back to a Level Three."

Governor Kate Brown declared the Cedar Creek Fire a conflagration, clearing the way for more resources. Kale Casey is on the Deschutes side of the fire with an incident management team from Alaska. He says more crews are already in the area, "Because of the significant fire growth, a second incident management team was brought in in unified command with Northwest Team 6, who’s working out of Oakridge. The Alaska team was prepositioned in Redmond, OR and it only took a few hours to mobilize, and is now setting up their command post at Mt. Bachelor Ski Area." He adds, "While we have the winds calmed down, all areas of the fire are able to be more aggressive. The resources have been coming in from as far away as Louisiana, Hawaii, the southeast and Alaska, of course, where we are from. There’s a strike team of five engines that were on a barge from Anchorage to Seattle that had worked another fire in the area that have arrived."

With multiple fires burning in Oregon and central Idaho, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality issued Air Quality Advisories over the weekend for Deschutes, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and eastern Lane counties. "This type of 2.5 particulate matter smoke, this thick wildfire smoke, is very hard on your lungs," says Casey, "Please, reduce your exertion, especially if you’re pregnant, if you have cardiac or respiratory issues. The smoke will remain around for quite a while. The wind that will be needed to blow it out of the area would also increase fire activity. So, this is just one of those times where you have to take care of yourselves, take care of others." DEQ says the agency is monitoring the situation and may lift some advisories Monday afternoon. You can check air quality for your home HERE.

Highway 58 remains closed between Oakridge and Crescent Lake. 


 

COCC Plans Madras Expansion

MADRAS, OR -- Central Oregon Community College plans to more than double the size of its Madras campus over the next two years. Campus Director Jeremy Green says the new 15,000-square foot facility will bring new education, training and childcare programs to Jefferson County. "Not wanting to say ‘what can COCC do for Madras,’ but really, ‘what does the community need and how can COCC help meet those needs’ has been our approach," Green tells KBND News, "And this is what we’re doing: early childhood education, health careers and partnering up with the Children’s Learning Center to bring roughly 100 new childcare slots to the community of Madras."

Green says it’s a 60-mile roundtrip for students to access those programs in Bend, "A lot of our Madras students, they’re ‘place-bound’ when we talk about distances of that length. And so, the health careers and the public health program, Madras will be the second site for those COCC offerings. Those offerings are only available in Bend."

He says the new daycare facility will be open to area families, "Madras is known to be a childcare desert, meaning there is not enough slots in the community to meet the current childcare need. So to bring 100 additional childcare slots to the community of Madras is something that - that’s a big deal. That’s a need that’s going to be met with this expansion."

The 26-acres needed for the facility were donated by The Bean Foundation. Green says the rest of the $12 million project will come from donors and government funding.

He expects construciton to begin in the spring, with opening planned for fall of 2024.

 

Central Oregon Veterans Outreach Receives Bend Strong Donation

BEND, OR -- "Bend Strong" is a new effort to honor the victims of the August 28th Safeway shooting. Bend Broadband began the campaign Thursday with a donation to Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, a nonprofit that provides basic necessities to homeless veterans and others in need.

COVO Executive Director Kathy Skidmore says they lean on the efforts of people lending a hand, “So many people with big hearts. You know we couldn’t do it without the community support. Everything in there and you see the vast amount of stuff we have is all from the community.”

Skidmore says the community rallying around COVO builds morale in the staff and for those they help who may feel marginalize, “Not only we don’t have to spend the money on it but the people that come here know that they are being supported by the community and most of the people we deal with they don’t really feel like they belong anywhere.”

Local businesses and others are encouraged to also donate time, money, or other items to nonprofits, as part of the Bend Strong campaign. Skidmore says the donated money and goods will make a big impact, “We’re a community non-profit and we’re here not only to serve the people that need help but a non-profit is an opportunity for the community to give back.”

Bend City Council Work Session Set To Discuss Gun Safety

BEND, OR -- Bend's City Council plans to discuss gun safety and potential city action at its next work session. Councilor Melanie Kebler requested the agenda item this week, in response to the Safeway shooting. “This is something that I think has been important to this Council from day one. We’ve previously had people come and educate us and the public about our emergency protective orders, about gun safety,” Kebler said.

Councilor Barb Campbell agreed, saying she’d like to see the city sponsor public messaging specifically around red flag laws, “We do have a red flag law in our state but I don’t think very many people know it exists or how they might be able to use that to get help for someone if they know of someone who seems in danger of harming themself or others.”

Kebler also asked for time to talk with staff about what action the city can and can’t take, “There are other laws that preempt us from doing a lot on this issue. But there are still some things we could do here, locally. And then to talk about things like whether or not this Council wants to formally support Measure 114 that’s going to be on the ballot this year, and if we want to explore any other programs we might want to do.” Measure 114 would ban high-capacity magazines and require gun buyers to have a special permit issued by law enforcement.

The next City Council work session is Wednesday, September 21.

Local Democrat Eyes Finish Line In Congressional Race

TERREBONNE, OR -- Two women from opposite ends of the newly redrawn Fifth Congressional District both say they’re the better candidate. 

During a meeting with local business leaders earlier this week, former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the Republican nominee, said she’s still learning about Central Oregon, which is new to the district in this election. Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner, of Terrebonne, says many issues - like economic development - are important no matter where you live, "And then our rural areas; okay, they get a little more water on the other side of the hill but our agricultural issues, there are some tie-ins there, as well, and needing some of that infrastructure support. I actually really like the district because it’s kind of a microcosm of our state and really challenges us to work together to solve these problems." 

McLeod Skinner acknowledges the newly redrawn Fifth District is diverse - now stretching from southeast Portland to Bend, "The core thing is, regardless of party affiliation, Oregonians want to be able to put a roof over our head and food on our tables, we want opportunities for our kids and healthcare for our families that are sick. We want to feel safe in our communities, and that includes not having our homes burn down or our family farms going under. And, the toxicity that we’re seeing start to contaminate Central Oregon is hurting and we need to be able to say no to that."

KBND News asked her about her top prioirities. McLeod Skinner says she's focused on the issues she's hearing about from Oregonians, "The high cost of living; housing, healthcare, prescription drugs, supply-chain issues. I’m actually working on an affordable housing project, a pilot project, now that’s a huge issue in Central Oregon, but really across the district. Community safety; and that’s everything from public safety to threats of wildfire and drought."

McLeod Skinner lost to former Congressman Greg Walden in 2018. In 2020, she ran for Secretary of State but lost in the Democratic Primary. 

Bear Encounters Increasing In Oregon

BEND, OR -- After two dangerous bear encounters in Oregon this week, ODFW is asking everyone to be careful. "It’s definitely been a bad year for bear damage," says Michelle Dennehy, with Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. She believes the late berry season is partly to blame. 

In Bend, a cub was spotted in a neighborhood Tuesday. It was tranquilized inside the city’s utility department compound the Wednesdaay morning, "We think it just kind of got confused and wandered into town, and we do see that occasionally. There are instances where we can relocate those bears, like we did in this case."

But that wasn’t the case in Medford. On Monday, a bear attacked a woman and her dog inside her West Medford yard. Both survived. The bear was later shot and killed by police when it started to climb down from a neighborhood tree. Dennehy says ODFW makes decisions on how to handle a bear based on its past actions, "This young bear in Bend, no history of it causing damage, causing human safety issues. Unlike the one in Medford that actually swiped a woman, attacked a woman. So, that’s the big difference between these situations."

Dennehy says these incidents can be prevented, "You might’ve heard the saying, ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.’ Don’t feed the bear because once they get used to it, they’re going to keep coming back; they’re going to get more and more aggressive."

She suggests making your property uninviting by using bear-proof garbage cans and removing food sources from your property, including bird feeders. If you encounter a bear, don’t run, avoid eye contact, raise your arms to appear large and make a lot of noise.

 

Bend Teen Charged With Attempted Murder After Shooting

BEND, OR -- A 17-year-old has been arrested in connetion with a shooting at a rave party in northwest Bend. Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a gunshot wound late Tuesday night. They found a 17-year-old victim on NW Skyliners Road near Forest Service Road 4606. He was taken to St. Charles Medical Center by Bend Fire and is expected to recover.

Bend Police and the State Troopers also responded to the area. During the investigation, they learned the shooting occurred at a rave off of the 4606 road. By the time Deputies arrived, most people had fled. Those still on scene said there had been a fight between two teens, one of whom had a gun. During the fight the gun went off striking the victim.

Sheriff's detectives processed the scene and contacted the victim. While at the hospital, a second injured victim arrived with minor injuries from the fight. This victim says he wrestled the gun from the suspect and turned it over to detectives.  He was treated and released.

Thursday morning, the suspect was located and taken into custody without incident. That afternoon, detectives executed a search warrant at his home in the 61000 block of Sally Lane in Bend. The suspect was lodged at the juvenile detention center. He's accused of Attempted Murder, Assault II X 2, Menacing, Theft I, Theft III, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, and Altering a Firearms ID.

This investigation is ongoing. Investigators ask if anyone from this party has video of this incident to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911. 

Congressional Candidate Lori Chavez-DeRemer Meets With Local Business Leaders

BEND, OR -- Republican Congressional Candidate Lori Chavez-DeRemer was in Bend Wednesday meeting with local business leaders. The former Mayor of Happy Valley is running for the newly re-drawn Fifth Congressional District.

She talked about the need for keeping money coming to build infrastructure, telling the group, "Working with State Government, working with the Federal Government; making sure we can focus on those. That’s where communities thrive. People want to stay there. We have to think about the land-use process. It’s not easy to, and it’s not cheap." She also said she aims to continue funding for area transportation projects. "Your access is very difficult, she said, "And when talking to Congressman Bentz, we know that there was some money dedicated to this area and I want to make sure I can get back there and fight to complete, you know, maybe some of the infrastructure pressures and points that we’re feeling here."

Due to redistricting, Bend and Redmond are now part of the Fifth District. Chavez-Deremer acknowledged it's now a very diverse district, "This is part of this process, is learning Central Oregon, right? Because you know, I’m not from this part of the state and that’s one of the issues. It’s like, 'Lori, what about us?' Well, that’s been the good part of [former] Congressman [Greg] Walden and Congressman [Cliff] Bentz really wanting to school me and give me the tools I need to fight for all of the Fifth District."

Chavez-DeRemer faces Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner, of Terrebonne, in November. 

Twenty Arrested In Bend Human Trafficking Investigation

BEND, OR -- Bend Police say a several months-long investigation into human trafficking, sex work and luring of minors has led to the arrest of 20 people. Investigators put an emphasis on identifying and arresting people who are attempting to meet underage children for sex. 

Bend PD says officers posted ads online, then posed as minors in both text and phone conversations. Over the course of the project, people at more than 200 distinct phone numbers answered officers’ ads. Many of those people, upon learning they were apparently communicating with a minor, immediately cut off communication. However, of the 200-plus people who answered Bend Police’s online ads and learned of a minor child being trafficked for sex, not one subsequently shared that information with law enforcement.

Police identified themselves as underage. Those arrested then agreed to meet, sometimes bringing drugs and alcohol to the agreed-upon location. Upon arrival, they were taken into custody on the above charges and lodged at the Deschutes County Jail.

During the course of the project, multiple people came forward and identified themselves as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of these suspects. Bend Police ask the public to contact nonemergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 if you or someone you know is the victim of any of these suspects.

The agency's goal is to identify traffickers and prevent this activity from taking place in the community. During the operation, Bend Police saw a significant decrease for demand in sex work, and by extension, a decrease in sex workers.

Bend Police also reminds parents, guardians and caregivers to stay involved in their children’s digital world, know the apps they are using and implement parental controls when possible. Children should talk with a trusted adult so they understand online risks, only chat with people they know, and make sure their online accounts are private. There are people who target vulnerable youth via online apps and other internet sources, and we have to work together to keep our children safe. 

Those arrested as part of this investigation conducted between May 19 and August 23:

  • Mathieu Ackah, 46-year-old Oxnard, Calif., resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct
  • Christopher Arroway, 30-year-old Bend resident: purchasing sex with a minor, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III (arrest #2)
  • Gage Bergeron, 31-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted rape III, delivery of a controlled substance to a minor (marijuana)
  • David Burnham, 73-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III
  • Forrest Dodge, 28-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Cody Fortune, 32-year-old Bend resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III
  • Ryan Frye, 23-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Rene Hernandez, 28-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor, parole violation, endangering the welfare of a minor
  • Joshua Huddleston, 45-year-old Bend resident: attempted rape III, attempted delivery of a controlled substance to a minor (marijuana)
  • James Kapsalis, 26-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted rape III, delivery of marijuana to a minor
  • Miles Leffler, 40-year-old Sisters resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Devin Linker, 34-year-old Redmond resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Ian McCord, 38-year-old Prineville resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted sodomy III, attempted rape III
  • Jorge Beltran Mendoza, 29-year-old Redmond resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted sodomy III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Waynerd Montgomery, 47-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, escape III, criminal mischief III, resisting arrest
  • Jacob Schneider, 36-year-old Bend resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Connor Strupith, 22-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted furnishing liquor to a minor
  • Isaac Testerman, 41-year-old Bend resident: purchasing sex with a minor, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III
  • Eduardo Vega-Ruiz, 22-year-old Madras resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, escape III, attempt to elude (felony), attempted assault on a public safety officer, reckless driving
  • Dylan Zook, 20-year-old La Pine resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor

During the investigation, police also arrested eight people who attempted to patronize adult sex workers. They were cited and released. Patronizing a prostitute is a Class A misdemeanor. 

 

Voters To Decide Partisan Future For Deschutes Commissioners

BEND, OR -- Supporters of a plan to make Deschutes County Commissioner seats non-partisan are celebrating getting the issue on the November ballot. Of Oregon’s 36 counties, only 10 still have partisan Commissioner elections.

Commissioner Phil Chang believes the current partisan primary system favors extreme candidates, "It disenfranchises over 50,000 registered voters in Deschutes County. So, if you are registered Independent, nonaffiliated, if you’re Working Families, if you’re Libertarian, any of those minor parties, you didn’t have any say in who was going to come out of the May election season." He tells KBND News, "Often it’s the most partisan registered voters in either party who participate in the Primaries. There is very little room for the moderate, pragmatic, centrists in our community to come forward and throw their hat in the ring to run for Commissioner."

A campaign to ask voters to shift to non-partisan positions is now underway. Commissioner Chang has fought for the change since his 2020 campaign and credits 90 volunteers for working 15 months to get Measure 9-148 to voters. “Basically, this is a ‘good government’ measure," says Chang, "These people’s commitment to good government, these people’s understanding of what nonpartisan Commissioner seats can do for our community, in terms of creating opportunities for different kinds of leaders. I am just so appreciative of the work that those volunteers have done to get this measure on to the ballot.”

The other two Commissioners, Patty Adair and Tony DeBone are both up for re-election this year. In 2021, both voted against referring the issue to the ballot, which led to the initiative petition. DeBone said at a recent forum he now supports the idea.

If M9-148 is approved in November, Chang’s seat would be the first up for election under the new guidelines.

Fairgrounds COVID Vax Clinic Reopens

REDMOND, OR -- The high-volume COVID-19 vaccination clinic has reopened at the Deschutes County fairgrounds, through a county and state partnership. The Redmond clinic offers the new Bivalent booster and is open for walk-ins Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through September 25. 

"Both Moderna and Pfizer’s updated boosters have an mRNA component that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariant and an mRNA component that targets the original virus strain," says State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger. He adds, the Omicron subvariant BA.5 is now responsible for nearly all new COVID cases in Oregon. 

The Deschutes County Fairgrounds vaccination clinic is one of three opening this week, "in addition to our existing high-volume sites and smaller clinics," says Sidelinger, "We know that [the new boosters] opens up eligibility across even more Oregonians than we’ve seen with previous vaccine changes, we wanted to be prepared to have vaccines available to individuals in as convenient a way as possible." Boosters are free and a previous booster is not required.

The Oregon Health Authority says 69,400 doses of the updated shot are now in the state, and Dr. Sidelinger says more is coming, "OHA expects to have two waves of orders this week, for 75,500 doses. We also expect a similar number - another 75,500 to be delivered to pharmacies, for a total of at least 150,000, which we believe is enough supply to meet initial demand.

According to the latest report, COVID-related hospitalizations have fallen 44% since July, although the OHA says cases could rise again this winter. 

 

More Evacuations For Cedar Creek Fire

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office released a new list of areas impacted by the Cedar Creek Fire, burning east of Oakridge and west of Sunriver. As of Wednesday morning, the fire was considered 12% contained 18,143 acres. However, fire managers say it's been very active. 

Wednesday afternoon, DCSO said released the following list. Click HERE for an interactive map. 

Level 3 - GO NOW:

  • Areas east of the Lane County/Deschutes County Line, North of the Klamath County/Deschutes County line, northwest side of Wickiup Reservoir, the area surrounding Crane Prairie Reservoir and south of 6 Lakes Trail and Lava and Little Lava Lakes to include:
    • Cultus Lake Lodge and Campground
    • Little & Big Cove Boat-In Campground
    • West Cultus Boat-In Campground
    • Little Cultus
    • Cultus Mountain
    • Crane Prairie Reservoir
    • Brown's Mountain
    • Lemish Butte
    • Ketchketch Butte
    • Johnny Lake

Level 2 - BE SET

  • North of the line delineating Township 20S from Township 19S, east of the Lane County/Deschutes County line, south of 6 Lakes Trail, and west of Cascade Lakes Highway to include
    • Lucky Butte
    • Williamson Mountain
    • Winopee, Snowshoe, Senoj, Big Finger, Upper Snowshoe, Long, Puppy, Leech, Goldeneye, and Lucky Lakes
  • The northwest side of Davis Lake

Level 1 - BE READY

  • The area surrounding Lava and Little Lava Lakes

Deschutes County 911 will use wireless emergency alerts (WEA) to reach visitors in the evacuation areas that may not be signed up for Deschutes Alerts. 

 

7:15 p.m. UPDATE: The area around South and North Twin Lakes west of Forest Road 4262including Twin Lakes Lodge, Gull Point Campground, North Wickiup Campground and Sheep Bridge Campground have all been placed on Level 2 evacuation status.  

BPD Recover Stolen Catalytic Converters, Seek Victims

BEND, OR -- Bend Police are asking the public for help in identifying the victims of catalytic converter thefts between August 28 and 31, 2022. Early in the morning of the 31st, officers contacted 37-year-old Michael Barr; they say he was parked illegally and then driving slowly down SE Second Street near Scott Street. When officers spoke to Barr, they spotted two catalytic converters in the backseat of his Mitsubishi Outlander.

During a pat down, officers located 2 grams of methamphetamine, pliers and four Sawzall blades in Barr’s pants pockets, as well as a Sawzall, pliers, clamps, bolt cutters and binoculars on the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Officers also located a floor jack in the back of the vehicle. 

Bend Police executed a search warrant on the vehicle and say they recovered four catalytic converters as well as the tools used for stealing them. Officers are still trying to identify the owners of these catalytic converters, and ask people to call nonemergency at 541-693-6911 if they suspect they were the victim of catalytic converter theft between Sunday, Aug. 28 and Wednesday, Aug. 31. 

Barr was transported to the Deschutes County Jail on suspicion of first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.

Deschutes County Commission Candidates Hold Public Forum

BEND, OR -- The Bend Chamber of Commerce held a public forum for Deschutes County Commissioner candidates Tuesday night. The four candidates running for Positions One and Three gave their outlook on topics including affordable housing, transportation, and economic development.
Incumbent Tony Debone faces challenger Oliver Tatom. When asked how the county can help increase workforce housing, Commissioner Debone responded, "The best thing we can do as the government is set the table for the opportunity. When it comes to building out we tie ourselves into a knot here in the state of Oregon. Why can’t we figure out where the next person is going to go?” 
Tatom has a different vision for the housing plan, saying, "Endless tracts of single family homes. That’s not a solution to our housing crisis because while it might provide housing it also deprives us of why many of us chose to move here in the first place."
All three candidates were all asked what Deschutes County can do to resolve the homeless issue. Morgan Schmidt, running for Position Three against incumbent Patti Adair, said more can be done with other agencies, "We have the opportunity with the joint office on homelessness to really do some collaborative work with each of our cities in the county and our service providers to sort of streamline and more effectively respond to the needs of our unhoused community."
Commissioner Adair mentioned the need for more medical help. "I have been talking to so many people about getting a state mental health hospital on this side of the mountains. We’re number 50 in the nation for residential treatment beds," said Adair.
All of the candidates said they are eager to serve the public in the Commissioner role and agreed on the need for collaboration at the city, state and federal level.

UPDATE: Black Bear Tranquilized In NE Bend

BEND, OR -- A black bear was spotted by multiple people in northeast Bend, Tuesday evening. According to Bend Police, between around 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Bend Police received reports of a black bear, possibly a cub, in the area of NE 18th Street and Cooley Road. Several community members also flagged down officers to report sightings. Bend Police and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife responded and found tracks, but did not locate the bear.  

With school back in session and many people walking and traveling through the area, Bend PD asks the public to be aware. If you see a black bear in the area, please call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.

Do not approach the bear. Bend Police work closely with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, who specialize in handling this type of wildlife. 

 

UPDATE 1 P.M.: Police were called to the City of Bend's Utility Department compound on Boyd Acres just after 11:30 Wednesday morning, where a black bear cub was seen. Officers located the cub in the compound and contacted the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. ODFW responded to the location and used a tranquilizer dart to safely take the bear into custody.

 

Wednesday night, ODFW released the following statement:

A young black bear that ended up in town in Bend will be released back into suitable habitat on the Deschutes National Forest. 

The male bear is approximately 7-8 months old, a “cub of the year” that would have been born in late winter (January or February). 

While young bears are typically still with their mothers at this age, they are also capable of surviving on their own in the wild. It is unclear why the bear was separated from its mother prematurely. ODFW has received no reports of a dead sow in the area.  

“We have no reports of damage associated with this bear, so it’s likely the young bear just got confused and wandered into town,” said Andrew Walch, ODFW Deschutes district wildlife biologist.  

ODFW had tranquilized the bear earlier today after being alerted by the Bend Police Department. The bear had wandered into the 62000 block of Boyd Acres Road and was also seen yesterday around NE 18th?Street and Cooley Road. 

“We are glad we were able to get this young bear back to the wild and thank the Bend Police Department for their assistance and the public for alerting us to the bear,” continued Walch. “The young bear is in good physical condition which should increase its survival chances.” 

Bears are feeding on a variety of plants, nuts, seeds, and berries at this time of year. The bear was released into what biologists considered good bear habitat which should also improve the chances for a successful outcome for this animal. 

Cultus Lake Resort Evacuated For Cedar Creek Fire

BEND, OR -- Cultus Lake Resort says it's under a Level 3 (Go Now!) evacuation order due to the Cedar Creek Fire. The Lane County Sheriff's Office increased evacuation levels Tuesday night. Click HERE for a full map of the evacuation area. Wednesday morning, resort managers sent this letter to guests:

Yes, unfortunately we are on a level 3 evacuation at Cultus Lake Resort. We were notified in the evening last night that we would be moving to a Level 2 evacuation, and within another few hours they had upgraded us to a level 3. We spent the next several hours making sure that staff and guests were able to move off-site. Our phone is still currently at the resort and the power is off (which means our internet and cell boosters are off), so we had very limited means of communication late into the evening.

We worked late into the night making sure that guests and staff were safely off property, and we removed many of our rental boats as well. As of about midnight last night, everything was still fine at the resort, albeit smokey. We realize that very few of you were able to drop everything and retrieve your boats last night. Upon speaking to a fire manager last night, we were told that as long as the fire wasn't an immediate danger to the resort OR the road in, that we would be allowed up this morning to continue moving more property off-site. We warned the fire manager that we have MANY boat owners that would also be up there trying to retrieve boats. We were told that you would be allowed up there to retrieve your boats, unless the fire was an immediate danger in which case law enforcement would turn everyone away.

The fire manager did not anticipate this situation improving anytime soon, but only continuing to deteriorate. Your best opportunity to retrieve your boat is going to be today, the earlier the better. Our zodiac is already out of the water but our aluminum fishing boat is still on the dock. We will likely not be available to give rides to buoys but please use our fishing boat and put it back when you're done.

We will be headed up to the resort shortly to check on conditions and continue removing resort property. If for some reason they aren't allowing us back on the property, we will respond to this email and let everyone know as soon as we can.

Please please please be safe!!

 

Image: Map of evacuation area, as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

 

DCSO Lieutenant Killed In Off-Duty Crash

JUNCTION CITY, OR -- A Deschutes County Sheriff's Lieutenant was killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash in Junction City, over the weekend. According to DCSO, Lt. Ernie Brown was taken to the hospital after the crash, but passed away from his injuries.

Lt. Brown began his career with the Sheriff’s Office 24 years ago as a Corrections technician. He became a Corrections deputy in 2001. During his time with the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff says Lt. Brown proved himself to be a leader, earning the rank of Sergeant in 2011. He later became the Sheriff’s Office training Sergeant before being promoted to Lieutenant in 2019. Lt. Brown was also a founding member of the DCSO SWAT Team and the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. 

Lt. Brown is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and is survived by his wife and three adult children.  His family requests privacy during this time. 

"Ernie was a humble and kind man, a selfless public servant, and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather," Sheriff Shane Nelson said in a statement, "He touched many lives and was always willing to lend a helping hand to everyone. Our office has lost a great teammate and friend, and our community has lost a dedicated public servant."

The family issued this statement, "Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and honor for our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.  Thank you for helping us through this most difficult time." 

Lt. Brown's remains will come home from Springfield on Wednesday. Members of the public are invited to view the procession and show their support for Lt. Brown’s family. The route and approximate arrival times for the procession are outlined below:

  • Highway 20 through the City of Sisters, arriving approximately 11:30 AM
  • Hwy 20 east into the City of Bend, arriving approximately 12:00 PM
  • South on 3rd St to NW Greenwood Ave. 
  • West on NW Greenwood Ave. to NW Hill St.
  • South on NW Hill St to Niswonger-Reynolds Funeral Home 105 NW Irving Ave, Bend
  • Arriving at Niswonger-Reynolds Funeral Home approximately 12:15 PM

All local first responders are welcome to participate in the procession. Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office members will stage at Black Butte Ranch at 10:30 AM and will join the procession from that location. 

 

09/07/22 10:30 A.M. UPDATE

  • At this time it is estimated the procession will arrive in the City of Sisters at approximately 12:30-12:45 PM
  • Arrival into the City of Bend at approximately 1:00-1:15 PM
  • Arrival at Niswonger-Reynolds at approximately 1:15-1:30 PM

09/12/22 UPDATEA public memorial will be held this week for Lt. Ernie Brown. The service is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Little Sister building at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds. The public is invited to pay their respects. 

 

Historic Logging Engine Leaves Prineville, Headed To Portland

PRINEVILLE, OR -- A 1920s-era logging train is getting a new home at the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. President Roy Hemmingway says the “Mount Emily Shay” locomotive has a unique place in the history of Oregon’s logging industry, "They were used to go into the woods over very rough track laid up the valleys, to access timber that otherwise couldn’t be reached. These tracks were often very rough, they went over steep terrain." He tells KBND News, "It was instrumental in opening the woods for the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Oregon."

After it was no longer needed for logging, the engine spent time in West Virginia. Since 1994, it's run on the Prineville Railway. Hemmingway says the city could no longer use it, so they sought to find a new home. It is now coming to the Foundation's museum in Portland

It needs a federal inspection to make sure it’s in good working order, "And then when that’s completed, we can use it on the Oregon Pacific Railway tracks next to our museum to pull both our holiday train, as well as excursions on weekends along the river, between the museum and Oaks Park."

He says very few Shays are still running, and this engine will be the foundation’s first to exhibit the importance of logging railroads in Oregon.

 

Seven Puppies Rescued From Drowning

BEND, OR -- A local rescue organization says seven puppies saved from drowning are now thriving after their original owner tried to toss them into a canal.  Jaymie Friesner says a passerby brought them all to Street Dog Hero in July. Friesner's family took all seven dogs home at first, "We were bottle feeding them about every three hours. On top of that, you have to do everything mom does; clean them up, stimulate them to go to the bathroom, keep them warm."

She says a social media post helped spur community help, "People donating blankets and bottles and these little puppies love the pacifiers called WubbaNubs and we had many people donate those. And then, on top of that, monetary donations. And, we had one donor who bought all the formula that got these puppies through." The dogs are now nine weeks old. 

Five of the pups; Lemon, Macintosh, Coconut, Pomegranate, and Melon have all found forever homes. Apricot and Peaches are still available for adoption. "And if one of these isn’t the one," Friesner tells KBND News, "These puppies opened the floodgates and in the last five weeks, we currently have - I think it’s 27 puppies under nine weeks old. And that’s not including their litter." Find information on all the puppies available for adoption at Street Dog Hero’s website.  

 

Increased Law Enforcement For Bend Schools

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials say they’re hearing from families concerned about sending their kids back to school this week, in the wake of the Safeway shooting. The district’s Director of Safety Julianne Repman says there is a concerted effort to help students feel safe, "Specifically, when school starts, people will see law enforcement in front of our schools, law enforcement in our schools," Repman tells KBND News, "These will be maybe something as simple as seeing a patrol officer doing paperwork in a school, coming inside to use a restroom, could be one of our partners with the FBI coming in to have lunch with our students, Oregon State Police also continuing to step up. These are partnerships that we’ve always had." She adds, "These are all the baseline, really. And then, what we’re adding on is a really intentional - and we’re very thankful for it - commitment by our partners to have additional presence around the schools, in the schools and being very visible and engaged with our students." 

And, Repman says, that presence will be at more than just Bend schools, "Additionally, we have law enforcement committed to helping support private schools in the area, schools outside Bend-La Pine but in Redmond and other areas. So, if you see someone in uniform, please join us in thanking them."

Repman encourages parents to talk with kids to normalize conversations around law enforcement and safety, "Take a step back. Think about the training your student gets around a person who is unauthorized enters the school, and talk to them about ‘what would that look like in our home?’ And let the students lead those conversations and lead the family through it. And then, applying those to things like public gatherings, at a concert or going to the grocery store and other places." 

Bend-La Pine Schools also recently launched a new online portal called “Care Solace,” to connect families with social and emotional supports.

 

Gov. Brown Meets With Bend First Responders

BEND, OR -- Governor Kate Brown met with first responders Friday, to talk about the deadly Safeway shooting. The meeting was closed to the public. But afterwards, she told reporters she expressed sympathy to the families of the victims, "I know the community is grieving. Oregon has their back. This is going to take time for folks to grieve and heal and that whatever resources they need, the state of Oregon will be there for them." 

The Governor also commended Bend Police, Fire & Rescue and other agencies in the region, "These first responders showed enormous courage and strength, given the circumstances. It's folks like these, as well as the actions of the victims, that make me so incredibly proud to be an Oregonian." Brown praised officers' preparation and training, along with being properly equipped to handle the situation. 

She also called on the Legislature to take action to prevent future tragedies, "We need to do everything in our power to end gun violence. Republicans and Democrats need to come together. We need to end the scourge of gun violence in this state and this country."

In a statement issued after the Bend meeting, Gov. Brown said, "I’d like to thank the Bend police officers and first responders who were on duty Sunday night. From the time of the initial dispatch call to the time the store was secured, only four minutes elapsed. They ran into the store while shots were being fired. Because they responded so quickly, lives were saved."

The Governor was joined by Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz, Fire Chief Todd Riley, City Manager Eric King, Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman, and members of the Bend City Council.

Lost Hikers Assisted Off South Sister Trail

SISTERS, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue assisted in helping lost hikers earlier this week. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, Deschutes County 911 received a request from a Lane County Sheriff's Office SAR Coordinator for assistance in locating two lost hikers who were about ½ mile west of the South Sister Climber's Trail (in Lane County).  It was learned that earlier in the evening, the two hikers called in stating they were lost. Both a Lane County and Deschutes County Search and Rescue Coordinator assisted the hikers via phone in locating the Climbers Trail and the hikers informed them they were headed back down to the trailhead.  
During the following few hours, they lost the trail again which prompted the phone call to dispatch in the early morning hours.  It was also reported the female had slid approximately 30 feet down a slope and had injured her knee. Deschutes County 911 was able to ping the female's cell phone which confirmed they were still west of the climbers trail.  

One Deschutes County Sheriff's Office deputy, along with eight Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue volunteers responded to the call. A initial hasty team consisting of three Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue members headed to the subjects location. An additional team of four SAR members - along with three members of the Lane County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue - headed up the trail with a wheeled litter in the event the female was unable to walk out on her own.

The hasty team was able to get a visual on the hikers at 06:45 hours, but due to the terrain not able to reach them until 07:30.  They conducted an assessment of the female's injuries and determined she was able to walk on her own. The SAR teams escorted both hikers back down the trail, reaching the trailhead at 11:50 am.  The hikers did not need any additional medical attention.

National Preparedness Month Looks Different In Oregon

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management is urging everyone to prepare now for potential future disasters. OEM Director Andrew Phelps says Oregonians have faced more than their fair share of emergencies in the past two years, in addition to the pandemic and devastating storms. "It never seems to stop; the wildfires, and even thinking about the horrible impacts of the shooting in Bend earlier this week. You never know what is going to be around the corner, in terms of hazards, and what those hazards can do to impact our community. So, it’s really important that we, as Oregonians, have this shared responsibility to try to reduce our risk of hazards."

There's also the ever-present threat of a devastating Cascadia Quake, which means we need to be more prepared than the three days recommended by federal agencies, "Three days may not cut it for our worst day," says Phelps, "We really want to make sure that Oregonians have that expectation in their mind that it could be two weeks before a first responder can make it to their home to get them critical supplies, or get them evacuated to safety."

September is National Preparedness Month, and Phelps says it’s good time to make sure you’re ready. He tells KBND News that means having, "Food, water, non-perishable food, extra medication if you rely on medication to keep yourself healthy, extra clothing to keep yourself warm, sturdy boots or shoes in case you do need to evacuate on foot. Trying to keep fuel in your vehicle; not letting your vehicle fall below a half tank of gasoline becomes important." And, if you have children or pets, make sure to have supplies for them, too. 

But, it’s more than just gathering things. Phelps says we need to also think about evacuation routes, make copies of important documents and sign up for local emergency alerts.

 

Shooting Aftermath: Mourning And Support

BEND, OR -- The investigation continues into Sunday’s deadly shooting. Bend Police have said to expect it to take an extended amount of time. Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman says it’s a complicated effort with multiple agencies. "I’ve got to commend Chief Krantz and Bend Police Department for helming a multi-agency approach to this," Broadman told KBND News on Thursday, "It required interaction with ATF, because we were concerned about explosives. It required working with State Police, and we got resources from the Governor and State Police, which were very essential that night. Every day new details are coming out; some of them are more disturbing than the day before."

Investigators are done collecting evidence from inside the eastside Safeway where two people were shot before the gunman took his own life. But, the site remains off limits to the public and Safeway’s corporate headquarters says there’s no timeline for when it might reopen. Broadman says it’s important for everyone to have time to process what happened, especially those who work at the store, "I think we’re still very much in the mourning phase of this, as a city, as a community. I know the most important thing that the city can do is make sure that everybody’s safe, right away. And that’s what Bend Police Department, working with the FBI, Deschutes County Sheriff and State Police did. I’m very proud of our response on Sunday morning and going forward."

Broadman credits previous training for saving lives, "In June, every single one of our sworn officers participated in an active shooter training up at Mt. Bachelor, in the Sunrise Lodge. Our officers are trained to run as quickly as they can, enter a building where a shooting is occurring, and run toward gunfire. And that’s exactly what happened on Sunday night. And I believe that prevented this from being a much worse tragedy."

He tells KBND News, "There’s a lot of trauma in this community right now, I think, even for people who may not have had any personal connection to the victims or the people who were in the store that night. We have an illness in this country; we have a gun problem in this country; we have a shooting problem in this country. I don’t think - it would’ve been naive to think this was never going to happen in Bend. It still doesn’t make it any less shocking and it still doesn’t make it any less difficult to process for folks who are struggling with it." For those who are struggling, the Community Assistance Center is open at Pilot Butte Middle School Friday afternoon. Saturday it moves to the Deschutes County Crisis Stabilization Center (63311 NE Jamison St., Bend) through Monday. It's available 3 to 7 p.m. each day. 

 

 

Expect Crowded Roads For Labor Day Weekend

BEND, OR -- Travelers are already getting out of town for the long holiday weekend. Roads are busy, "But when we look at the three big summer holidays: Memorial Day and Fourth of July, Labor Day always comes in as third busiest," says AAA's Marie Dodds. That’s because so many families are simultaneously preparing for back-to-school.

Oregonians who are traveling, are hitting the common popular destinations, "Number one, still Anaheim; number two, Seattle; three, Central Oregon; four, Oregon coast; five, Vegas." Dodds adds, "Thursday and Friday afternoons will be very, very busy. And likewise, Monday the return time, from about noon and six will be also busy."

And, if you're driving, plan for a spendy trip, "Gas prices for Labor Day will be the most expensive ever, because we are well about $4, here in Oregon," Dodds tells KBND News, "The last time we came close was in 2012, when the average on Labor Day was $4.02."

Heat Postpones Bend Cyclocross Series

BEND, OR -- The Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation has delayed the start of a weekly cyclocross series. With highs expected in the upper 90s, MBSEF's Molly Cogswell-Kelly says the course designer agrees it’s too hot to start the bike races Thursday as planned, "It’s a dusty course, and especially since we have not had any moisture and it’s going to be so hot, he said that if we were to race in that heat it’s going to really wreak havoc on the course," she tells KBND News.

Instead, the Thrilla Cyclocross series, a fundraiser for MBSEF, will take place September 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th at the Athletic Club of Bend, "It’s more of a fall sport and having it on the first of September just didn’t seem ‘cross’ enough."

Cogswell-Kelly expects 80 to 100 riders in each race, with two each evening, "The 5:15 race is kind of for the beginners. It’s just a little bit shorter; it’s a 30-minute race, opposed to the 6 o’clock race, which is kind of the more advanced riders and they go for 45 minutes."

Cyclocross is a form of mountain bike racing where riders must dismount and carry their bikes for parts of the race, "[There are] Obstacles that you have to go over, like barricades. Usually a cross race will have mud; and we will, believe it or not, even in the summertime, we will have mud. They usually are on single-track, some pavement, some dirt." The sport is very popular in traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

To register for the race series, go to obra.org/schedule and scroll to September. For more info contact molly@mbsef.org or call 541-388-0002.

Support Grows For Shooting Victims' Families

BEND, OR -- Friends and complete strangers are helping the families of the two men killed in Sunday’s shooting at Safeway.

As of Thurdasy morning, a GoFundMe page for Glenn Bennett - the 84-year-old shopper killed near the store entrance - had raised over $47,000 to help his elderly sister with funeral and living expenses. She is reportedly on a fixed income and Bennett was her primary source of financial support, according to information on the page.

More than $107,000 has come in to the GoFundMe page for Donald Surrett - the employee who attacked the gunman with a produce knife. He's credited with saving lives by slowing down the gunman as police entered the store. According to the GoFundMe page, the money raised will go to Surrett's widow who is on disability. 

 

Photos courtesy of GoFundMe

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