Local News Archives for 2022-10

Jefferson County Voter Turnout Pacing Normal

MADRAS, OR -- In Jefferson County; Commissioner, Clerk, Sheriff, and Treasurer are all on the ballot, and Madras is fielding it’s most-ever mayoral candidates.

But County Clerk Kate Zemke says these local decisions aren’t driving early voting, “I’m sure it will boost it a little bit but I don’t think that’s the real race. We have a year for the governor on the ballot and I think that motivates a lot of people to vote.”

Jefferson County voters have returned about 12% of their ballots, as of Friday. Zemke considers it a normal pace, a week before the election.

She’ll run a public test Tuesday of the ballot counting machine, “It’s just standard to notify the public. We’re going to be running a predetermined, like little election through that tally machine. And I generally notify someone from the Democrat and the Republican party that I’m going to be doing this; encouraging them to come in.” This tally machine test is run every election but Zemke says she has received more calls about it this year, “I do have a number of people who have called and want to come in and want to observe the process. I’ve really been encouraging this. I want the elector in Jefferson County to feel good about what we’re doing here and that they can trust the election process.”

Jefferson County voters are deciding on Culver, Metolius, and Madras City Council and Mayor races, as well as measures regarding psilocybin and the Madras Aquatic Center.

CD5 Campaigns In The Final Stretch

REDMOND, OR -- The candidates for the newly redrawn Fifth Congressional district met in their last scheduled debate on Saturday, in Redmond. It's the final campaign stretch for a race some are calling "extremely tight," between Republican Lori Chaves DeRemer and Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner.

When asked about whether they could work in a bipartisan manner, both said yes. McLeod Skinner, who lives in Terrebonne, called on her work on the boards of the local ESD and Watershed Enhancement board, "We create solutions by staying away from buzz words, staying away from the politics of it, focusing on the challenges we all face, and then working together to develop those solutions." Chavez DeRemer cited her experience as the former Mayor of Happy Valley, "You represent everybody and you bring them to the table on the issues. And the tables that we’re seeing set for us today, by one party rule, has not benefited all Oregonians."

On abortion, the two drew distinct lines. Chavez DeRemer believes it's a states' rights issue, "I am not for a national ban; I don’t want to see this on the floor of Congress. I think the Supreme Court did have it right in sending it back to the states." McLeod Skinner says it's an issue of privacy, "I believe very strongly that government should not be telling us what to do with our bodies. Period. That’s not the government’s business; that’s our personal business."

When asked about curbing mass shootings, Chavez DeRemer said more needs to be done to address the mental health crisis, "Every single case that we’ve seen, there has been some sort of back history on mental health. That is where I think we need to focus our dollars. We have laws in place that are not enforced. We have laws in place where we have the cashless bail, people are returning to the streets." McLeod Skinner cited the Bend grocery store shooting, and wants better background checks and safe storage laws, "Absolutely, we need to fully fund the police. That’s something I have a long track record of doing, as a Councilmember, as a Vice Mayor, as a City Manager, I’ve done that. And I’m really proud to be endorsed by the Former Chief of Police in Bend because of my stance and because of my support for law enforcement. But, we have to close loopholes."

If elected, both agreed to hold regular town hall meetings across the newly redrawn district, which now stretches from a corner of Portland, Clackamas, Marion and Linn counties, into Bend and Redmond.

Saturday’s debate was held at the Deschutes County Expo Center, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Deschutes County. Click HERE to watch the entire forum.


Four Injured In Hwy 20 Crash

SWEET HOME, OR -- A Bend man was injured in a Monday morning crash that closed Highway 20 west of Santiam Pass for several hours. State Troopers responded to milepost 40, east of Sweet Home, just after 5:30 a.m. for the two-vehicle crash. 

Preliminary investigation revealed an eastbound black Hyundai Kona, operated by 20-year-old Edwin Dominguez of Bend, crossed into the westbound lane and collided head-on with a silver Honda CRV, operated by 26-year-old Tia Miller of Albany. Impairment is being investigated as a possible contributing factor. 

Both drivers were flown to an area hospital with injuries. Two passengers in Miller's vehicle, ages 1 and 4, were taken via ground ambulance with injuries. 

Hwy 20 reopened just before 11 a.m. OSP urges motorists to check tripcheck.com or call 511 for current roadway alerts. OSP was assisted by Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Sweet Home Fire Department/EMS and ODOT. 

Bend Man Critical After Hit And Run

BEND, OR -- A Bend man is in critical condition after he was hit by a vehicle Thursday night. Bend Police say the 76-year-old was found on the ground at the NW 14th and Newport Roundabout, at about 9:30 p.m. He was immediatly taken to St. Charles Bend with life-threatening injuries.

The cause and details of the crash remain under investigation, but BPD says he was the victim of Felony Hit and Run. Investigators ask for the public's help locating the suspect and vehicle, described as a dark colored larger SUV, possibly a Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade or Chevrolet Suburban.  The vehicle was described as clean, shiny and possibly a 2008 to 2012 model. The driver was a white male, 40-60 years of age, 5'10"-6'00", 180 lbs., medium build with brown hair and a scruffy brown beard.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Bend Police Department at the non-emergency dispatch: 541-693-6911.  


UPDATE (10/31/22) -- Bend Police say 76-year-old Wlter James Lane has died from injuries he sustained on October 27th. Investigators continue to search for leads and ask for the public's help to identify the driver.

Bend City Council Debates Camping Code Draft

BEND, OR -- Bend’s unsanctioned camping code continues to take shape. City Council spent two hours discussing the latest draft in a Thursday afternoon work session.

Council and city staff agree the goal is voluntary compliance; providing resources so campers aren’t living on the streets. When pushed on how the new code would be enforced without causing more harm to a vulnerable population, City Manager Eric King said the city is doing what it can, "We need to grow our outreach services and that’s happening. So that is why it has to be - this isn’t just a code; it’s a living, breathing, with a multidisciplinary team, with us all talking together so that we’re balancing safety and individual needs. It’s a complex thing, so it has to be a complex system that responds."

Much of Thursday's discussion was spent talking about how long someone can camp in the right-of-way before they are in violation. The current draft provides 24 hours. But Mayor Gena Goodman-Campbell pushed for campers to have more time, saying many suffer trauma and mental illness, and moving every day would be a hardship. "We’re outside of the box here, in terms of what other cities have done," she told Council, "And I understand what this means in practice, is that then you end up with people camping in the same place for longer. But, I feel we’re still accomplishing that goal of moving from an unmanaged situation to a managed situation with guardrails. I’m just talking about a longer time guardrail." City staff note the reality of the timeline would be longer due to requirements to provide 72-hours notice of camp removal.

Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz says camps that are allowed to remain for longer lengths of time often grow and conditions deteriorate. "There have been a lot of community members who aren’t part of the camps that have been harmed by people in the camps," he said, "There has been harm on many different angles. So, I think the balance; the difficult job for all of you: can we find a middle ground where the goal is harm reduction for everybody as much as we can, knowing that it’s never going to be 100% correct. "

Council will talk more about the draft code on November second. 


St. Charles, Bend PD Host Drug Take-Back

BEND, OR -- St. Charles Health System will host a medication take-back event on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bend Police Department at 555 NE 15th St.

The event is intended to help households dispose of medications that could be ingested by someone other than the person for whom they were prescribed, and to prevent medications from ending up in the water table. In 2021, St. Charles collected 427 pounds of medication from more than 300 community members. The health system is pleased to be able to provide this opportunity, as other community drops sites have not been accessible due to COVID-19 safety measures.

Individuals can drive through the parking lot and drop off medications right from their car window, no questions asked. Bend police will accept the medications, then give them to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispose of safely.

They'll accept any non-oncology medication including liquids, pills, powders, patches, creams, prescriptions or over-the-counter. Representatives from St. Charles pharmacy will also be on-site to answer questions.

Suspect Arrested After Stabbing At Shelter

BEND, OR -- A 28-year-old man was hospitalized Thursday night after a stabbing at the Second Street warming shelter in Bend. Police responded to the shelter at about 7 p.m.

They say Manuel Alejandro Garcia Martinez thought the victim was going through his things. He confronted the victim and police say 35-year-old Martinez stabbed the man in the chest with a box knife.

The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries. Martinez was arrested on charges of Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. 


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La Pine Mother, Son Arrested In Drug Bust

LA PINE, OR -- Detectives with the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement team and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded an investigation Wednesday involving a mother and son in La Pine. Investigators believe the two were involved in growing and processing marijuana in La Pine, before delivering it around the Pacific Northwest.

This case began with community complaints and tips about 67-year-old Carol Ann Stam and her son, 26-year-old Darle Thomas Stam operating a large-scale marijuana grow in a residential area.

CODE and DCIME detectives, drug agents, and intelligence analysts conducted physical and electronic surveillance of the pair. As a result, the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement team confirmed the Stam family built unpermitted structures and converted others into indoor marijuana grow facilities.

Detectives executed a Search Warrant on the 52500 block of Day Road Wednesday morning and seized 160 lbs. of processed marijuana flower, 474 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, and two firearms were seized. The estimated street value of the black-market processed marijuana flower is $160,000.

This commercial grow operation was located in a rural residential area of Deschutes County. Most of this area's residents depend on the ground or well water for their households and own agricultural ventures. In March 2022, Governor Brown declared Deschutes County to be in extreme drought conditions and struggling with consistent groundwater sources. 

It is estimated that indoor marijuana cultivation uses between 2.5 and 3.0 gallons per day per plant. That equals about 1,500 gallons per day or 45,000 gallons of water per month at this grow site alone. The US Department of Interior and the USGS estimate that an average person uses 3,000 gallons of water monthly, so a family of 4 would use 12,000 gallons for bathing, cooking, washing, recreation, and watering.

The Stams were arrested and lodged in the Deschutes County Sheriff's Jail and charged with the Unlawful Manufacturing, Delivery, and Possession of Marijuana.

DCSO, Sheriff Target Of Defendant's Civil Suit

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is the target of yet another lawsuit. Michael Boyle was the subject of multiple investigations over the last two years. He is now suing DCSO, Sheriff Shane Nelson, Deschutes County and several deputies for more than $10 million, claiming civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference in economic relations. 

Boyle owned Hop in the Spa in Sisters and was accused of sex abuse, providing massages without a license and other charges in 2021. After the District Attorney dropped initial charges, Boyle threatened legal action. Boyle was then indicted by a Grand Jury in September 2021, months after the initial investigation. According to court documents, that criminal case remains open, with a jury trial scheduled for next April. 

In his civil suit, Boyle claims the Sheriff’s office gave false testimony to gain a search warrant and then fabricated evidence. He's asking for $8 million for civil rights violations, $125,000 for liquidated damages, $126,200 for general damages, uncalculated legal fees and unspecified punitive damages. Sheriff Shane Nelson is also personally listed for $2 million.

In response to a request by KBND, the Sheriff's Office issued a written statement saying, "The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Boyle. The Sheriff’s Office disputes the allegations made in this complaint and plans to vigorously defend the Sheriff’s Office against these allegations. No further information will be released due to the pending litigation."


Police Kill Cougar In NW Bend

BEND, OR -- Bend Police shot and killed a cougar they say was a danger to the public, Wednesday evening. First reports of the big cat came in that morning. At about 10:15, officers responded to a cougar sighting in the area of NW Third Street and Portland Avenue. Upon arrival, community service officers found a deer kill site in the backyard of a nearby home and warned neighbors of the cougar. Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife responded to remove the deer, posted signs warning of a cougar in the area, and determined the cougar was a risk to public safety.

At 8:20 p.m., Bend Police responded to a second cougar sighting in the area. In this instance, the reporting party said they’d been driving and almost hit the cougar as it was crossing NW Saginaw Avenue. Dispatch received another call reporting the cougar in the area, which was heavily populated. When officers responded, multiple people were walking dogs in the area. Officers located the cougar about 6 feet off the road in the 500 block of NW Roanoke Ave. The cougar was exhibiting behaviors consistent with being a public safety risk, including showing no fear of humans in extremely close proximity, hunting in a heavily populated area and returning to the kill site.

ODFW advised earlier in the day that if the cougar returned and continued to display these behaviors, Bend Police should dispatch the animal. After setting up a containment area and ensuring the location was safe, officers shot and killed the cougar. ODFW took possession of the cougar. 


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ODF Declares End Of Fire Season

SALEM, OR -- Most of Oregon has seen some precipitation in the past week and, with cooler temperatures here to stay, the Department of Forestry declared Fire Season officially ends Saturday for all of its districts around the state. ODF’s Jessica Prakke says despite predictions, "It was a more tame season, compared to 2021, 2020. On ODF, specifically, we had two fires. One was the Rum Creek Fire and then also the Van Meter Fire." The Rum Creek Fire burned more than 21,000 acres, northwest of Grants Pass. The Van Meter burned just over 2,600 acres, near Klamath Falls.

"Our detection systems, like our multi-mission aircraft and our camera detention system, helped us in early detecting in more remote forested areas, and being able to send out our crews early to then put the fire out," says Prakke, "We were able to put out 96% of our fires at 10 acres or less."

She says the lighter than expected season allowed ODF to help other agencies battling their own wildfires, "We sent resources to some of the larger fires across the state; we helped out our friends at the Office of State Fire Marshal with aviation needs." ODF teams also helped fight fires in New Mexico, Texas and Alaska. 

With the end of fire season comes debris burning. Prakke asks everyone to keep wildfire prevention top of mind and take appropriate precautions, even with more moisture on the ground. 

Mayoral Candidates Face Off At Bend Forum

BEND, OR -- Former city councilor Chris Piper and current councilor Melanie Kebler squared off in the final stretch of their campaigns for mayor of Bend in a forum Wednesday night.

There is some disagreement on transportation planning. Piper is concerned about what is happening on East-West connections, “I believe in safe bike routes but to restrict lanes which would then impact our public safety resources such as fire and police; that creates a big issue.”

Kebler says getting public input on projects for bike and pedestrian projects has been important, “Yes it can be scary to think about the way things are now and if those might change; I think that’s something we face a lot as a city. But I also believe in trying things out and piloting projects that we know have worked in other cities to see if they could work for us.”

Another focus is wildfire mitigation. Kebler pointed to council actions like banning fireworks and funding the fire department as ways she’s helped protect and preserve the environment. “We need to be part of this conversation as a community that’s effected by some of these actions that are being taken by the federal government or the county. We need to be advocating and working with folks at all levels to take care of our forests,” she said.

Piper agreed work needs to be collaborative and encourages everyone to educate themselves on defensible space, “Also utilizing our 13 neighborhood associations to work together. This is going to take all of us. And as mayor my goal is to help lead and facilitate the neighborhood associations in this effort.”


Questions on childcare, houselessness, and loud concerts were some of the topics taken on by the candidates.

But one chief concern is transparency in affordable housing development.

Kebler is proud of what she has achieved in her position as a current councilor, “We have pushed forward with really strong goals about making sure that we are ourselves investing our own affordable housing into subsidized housing that is for lower- and middle-income people in Bend.”

Piper cited his plan to better communicate with planning partners, “One of the key goals was to have city government to provide services in ways that work for everyone. Build public trust and promote civic engagement.”

The three candidates for city council position 6 Julia Brown, Rick Johns, and Mike Riley also took part in the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and City Club of Central Oregon.

Ballots are due November 8th.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Takes Part In Domestic Violence Arrest Sweep

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was among more than a dozen law enforcement agencies who took part in a special domestic violence crack-down last week.

 Sheriff Shane Nelson says it’s part of the annual Family Violence Apprehension Detail, “We’ve been doing it every year with our local partners here, to include Parole & Probation, and going out and trying to roundup domestic violence-related arrest warrants, which would include assault, harassment, menacing. This year, we tried 90 warrants and 5 people were taken into custody on that.

This year, more than 215 agencies in 15 states worked the detail which started 19 years ago in Clackamas County. 

Sisters Asks For Input On Housing Plan

SISTERS, OR -- Like every community in Central Oregon, Sisters Country needs more affordable housing. Community Development Director Scott Woodford says the city is looking for feedback before it makes changes to its housing and growth plan. "We’re contemplating some different strategies - development code amendments, financial incentives, those kinds of things - to get more affordable housing built," He tells KBND News, "Some of those changes have impacts on the community, in terms of maybe increased building heights and densities, so we want to get some input from the community before we adopt any of these things."

Woodford says the population of Sisters could double in the next 20 years, "[We're] Looking at ways we can create more in-fill development, so we don’t have to expand outwards. And, we’re also looking to be able to make more of the housing that’s built here affordable to more folks."

Typically, the city would ask for feedback at public hearings. But this time they’re using an online public survey in an effort to get more diverse opinions. "Because these changes are maybe a little bit on the potential larger scale of impacts to the community, we wanted the residents to be aware [and] to have a voice in the process, so we thought that additional outreach efforts were necessary," says Woodford.

The survey launched this fall and has, so far, received about 100 responses. But officials hope for more before it closes Sunday. To participate, click HERE.

Two Students Found With Gun At CCHS

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Two Crook County High School students were taken into custody Wednesday, after a gun was found. Police responded to CCHS just after 1:00 pm after a student was reported carrying a firearm at school. Prineville Police say school staff contacted the student and removed the gun before officers arrived. Investigators learned a 15- and 16-year-old were in possession of the gun at different times throughout the school day. Both were taken into custody. Police say the recovered firearm had been reported stolen out of a car in Prineville on Monday. 

No threats were made against staff or students, and school officials say the incident was "swiftly resolved by staff and Prineville Police." Since this incident involves juveniles, the students' names were not released. 

District officials credit the student who saw the firearm and immediately reported it to the school staff. "I’m extremely proud of Crook County High School staff for their quick and professional response and for our partnership with Prineville Police," Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said in a statement, "We train for these kinds of situations to ensure we maintain a safe environment for students and staff."


Updated at 7 p.m. with new details released from Prineville PD.

Suspect Arrested For Threatening Mini-Mart Workers

BEND, OR -- A 36-year-old Bend man is accused fo threatening employees at a local mini-mart. Just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Bend Police responded to the Chevron Circle K on NE Highway 20 for a report of a man armed with a handgun.  

According to witnesses, the man threatened employees and customers, reportedly cocked the handgun, put it in his waistband, and pointed the gun at a customer before leaving. When he left the adjoining Super Burrito, he left behind a jacket containing his wallet and several pocket knives. No shots were fired during the incident.

Responding officers contacted Dustin Deans in the area and took him into custody without incident. He was taken to jail on charges of Menacing x3, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Pointing a Firearm at Another, Disorderly Conduct II and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.  

Anyone who was inside the store during the incident who has not yet been contacted by Bend Police is asked to contact the non-emergency line at 541-693-6911.  


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Deschutes County Has Two More Drop Box Locations

BEND, OR -- Ballots are starting to trickle in to Deschutes County’s Elections Office. As of Tuesday evening, turnout is at just 3%. County Clerk Steve Dennison says there are two new drop box sites for voters open until 8 pm on Election Day, “A walk-up ballot drop box, right here on our campus, just across from the regular drive-up one that we have in our parking lot. It’s a little more accessible for walk-up or bike-up. And then, we also added one up at the Redmond Fairgrounds.”

Postmarks do count but, "If you’re mailing it closer to election day, make sure you bring it to the counter at the post office and get it hand postmarked. And, as long as we receive those ballots in the mail up until seven days after election day, we can still count that ballot. And, don’t forget to sign your ballot,” reminds Dennison.

The new postmark rule will change the certification timeline, “It does draw things out a little bit longer. Voters have another week; if they have signature challenges or signature issues, they have another week to resolve those. And, we’re also certifying the election a week later than we typically have in the past."

If you prefer to drop it off, you’ll find the closest official site on the Oregon Secretary of State’s Ballot dropbox locator webpage

RSD Dispels School Litter Box Myth

REDMOND, OR -- An urban myth and political talking point about school inclusion has made it to Central Oregon. "I just want to say clearly to everyone: there are no litter boxes in our bathrooms. There have never been any litter boxes in our bathrooms, and there will never be any litter boxes in our bathrooms," Redmond Schools Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline tells KBND News.

He says concerns over the rumor have picked up in recent weeks, "Our principals get letters, our teachers get letters. I mean, we got a letter two days ago at the district office; people talking about us having litter boxes in the bathrooms." 

According to national media reports, the rumor started on social media in 2021 and proliferated at school board meetings around the country where districts found themselves addressing a myth about accommodating students who allegedly identify as animals. Now Redmond is among them. "It’s simply not true," says Dr. Cline, "And, if you think about it just a little bit, it doesn’t make a ton of sense."

It’s become political fodder at campaign rallies around the country this election season and is now so prolific, Wikipedia recently created a page dedicated to debunking the myth. 

"I’ve talked to many, many Superintendents," says Cline, "We’re all getting barraged with emails and letters saying, ‘why are you putting litter boxes in your bathrooms?’ And, we’re not. Nobody has. The power of the propaganda on this is kind of amazing. It’s like an urban myth; we don’t know where it comes from. We don’t know why it’s being propagated."

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Mt. Bachelor Thankful For First Big Snow

BEND, OR -- Last weekend’s storm was a welcomed sight for at least one Oregon ski resort. At Mt Bachelor, the switch has flipped. "In one day we went from fall to winter and [we] couldn’t be happier," John Sereni told KBND News Monday.

The resort got more than a foot of snow over the weekend, and more is expected this week. That puts the resort on track for a November 25th opening - if the snow sticks around, "There’s still a chance that this snow could disappear and melt away. We’re hoping that it will stay settled and give us a good cold base, and freeze the ground down. But, at the moment, we’re still sort of four-odd weeks out from the season, so anything could still happen."

Sereni is cautiously optimistic about the weather. But, he admits resorts around the state aren’t sure what to expect for this post-pandemic ski season, "We actually are now finding it very hard to predict what is going to happen, going forward. People have - they’re certainly doing more overseas trips than they did during COVID, and various other things, which can change their travel habits just a little bit."

RIght now, though, he’s more worried about travel to the mountain. Sereni says visitors need to watch for changing road conditions, "Being careful on the roads; they are slippery at the moment. There is snow settling on the roads on the way up here. That means making sure that our cars are prepared and our tires are prepared for actually getting here, so they can enjoy themselves."

Mt. Bachelor hosts a winter job fair Saturday, to try to fill the remaining 40+ openings for the season. Click HERE for details. 


Prineville's Bowman Museum Seeks Increase To Local Option Levy

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County voters are being asked to support the Bowman Museum with a new property tax.

The museum’s local option levy rate has not changed since 1998 and Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely says it's been easily renewed every 4 years, “In 2014 it passed with a little over 83 percent. In ‘18 it was again a little over 83 percent of the votes. So always had a pretty good number as far as yes votes go.”

Crook County’s voter registration numbers keep growing, “I know we’re over 20 thousand now. I know we were kind of hovering right around that in the spring for that election. But yeah, the numbers keeping coming, records keep increasing. People keep relocating and you know of course we get a lot of people that move with in the county as well.” Seely isn’t sure what that increase means for voter sentiment this time around.

The levy helps keep the museum running, “Just ongoing expenses including building maintenance, upkeep, staffing, collection development, that sort of thing. The museum does courthouse tours and different things like that and they’ve got a lot of programs that they have in their additional building,” says Seely.

This is the first time a tax increase has been suggested.  A property with an assessed value of $200,000 would pay $8 more than previous years for a total of $20 per year if Measure 7-82 passes.

If measure 7-82 fails, the museum says staffing and hours would be reduced along with cutting programs and activities.

Accused Serial Burglar Arrested In Bend

BEND, OR -- Bend Police say they've arrested a woman responsible for a string of break-ins in Bend and Redmond. 

At about 9:40 p.m. Monday, police responded to a report of a burglary in the 63000 block of Nels Anderson Road in Bend. The business owner was watching the suspect inside the business on video surveillance. Responding officers say they saw Laura Marie Zachary, a 30-year-old Bend resident, run from the scene. After a short foot pursuit, officers took Zachary into custody without incident.  

Between Sept. 15 and Oct. 24, Bend Police investigated multiple commercial burglaries with the same methods. The suspect in these burglaries was identified as a white female who often wore face coverings. 

Redmond Police was also investigating nine burglaries using the same methods which occurred between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19. After a joint interview, Redmond PD confirmed Zachary as the suspect in those burglaries as well. 

Zachary was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of Burglary II x13, Attempted Burglary II x1, Theft II x5, Criminal Mischief II x10, Theft III x2, Criminal Mischief III x3, Possession of Burglars Tools x4. Additional charges may follow.

Bend Police asks local businesses to examine their external doors, particularly those with circular locks in glass doors, and report any damage or tooling marks to non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911. 


Bend Police Department cases/victims: 
2022-00055393 Van Henion Brewing
2022-00062595 Somewhere That’s Green
2022-00064103 Spork
2022-00064243 Urban Forest Tree Service
2022-00064253 Bend Roasting Company

Redmond Police Department cases/victims: 
2022-28648 Fiesta Mazatlan
2022-28771 Big O Bagels
2022-29062 Mo’s Egg House
2022-29088 Jody’s Diner
2022-29172 Choice Car Wash
2022-29175 Redmond Bazaar
2022-29180 Salon Bliss
2022-29185 Brightside Thrift Store
2022-29197 Spirit Halloween
2022-29395 Baldy’s Barbeque

Deschutes County Ballot Counting System Certified

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County officially has certified its ballot counting system, ahead of the November 8th election. County Clerk Steve Dennison says Monday’s test ensures an accurate count, “We use a system called Clear Ballot. It is a state and federally certified voting system. These voting system vendors do a great job with their software and it does work as designed. But, this is just one more piece of the puzzle to let us know - and we can, of course, in turn let you know and voters know the system is operating as designed.”

Hand-marked test ballots were run through the machine, “To test each position on every ballot, in every precinct and ballot style. So, we’re basically testing that our system is tabulating the way we expect it to." Dennison noted the process required 1,500 test ballots because with 50 precincts and even more so-called “splits,” the machine has to be able to read 60 different ballots, “So, around 60 individual pieces of paper, you know, ballots that are unique from one another, we need to test all positions on each one of those instances.” The machine will be tested for accuracy one more time after the election, before the results are officially certified. 

Dennison says his office feels the pressure as federal and state elections officials target dis- and mis-information, “We have the technology in place, we have the know-how, we have the institutional knowledge in our staff to conduct these elections accurately and fairly. So, we always have that sense of ‘this is critical.’ All we want to do is get it right."

Pavilion Ice Rink Opens Its Season

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec finally opens the Pavilion Ice Rink Tuesday. "Mother Nature was really holding on tight there to summer and our opening is about eight days past when we originally had scheduled it," Julie Brown tells KBND News. The team had to wait until overnight lows were cold enough, "Really, we have to work overnight in order to build ice, and it takes about a week." 

The ice season stretches into April, weather permitting, "The depth of the ice is just about 2” - maybe 1 ¾ - which is probably not as deep or as thick as most people would think that we would need," says Brown, "But, that depth of a slab will take us all the way through to the end of the season in April. It just takes a really long time for us to be able to build it."

She says daytime temperatures in the 50s, forecast for this week, shouldn't impact the integrity of the ice, "It’s lots of very, very tiny layers that you spray out and have to let freeze, and you do that over and over and over again. Once the ice is built, it is ready to go and we can take care of it with the Zamboni. The temperature outside isn’t as much of a concern as when we do get a lot of sustained wind. That will tend to carry away the cool-air layer that builds up right above the ice."

The Pavilion is open from pre-dawn to late night, seven days a week, including public open skate opportunities and the return of adult and youth hockey leagues. Weekly schedules are available here. All public skate sessions are drop-in with rental skates available and no reservation needed. Skaters are encouraged to bring their helmet or borrow one at The Pavilion.

Youth and adult hockey programs, curling and skate lessons begin this week along with hockey clinics and specialized ice times for hockey and curling. A second session of ice skating and sports programs, offered from January to March, will open for registration beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:00 a.m.


File photo

Cheyenne Purrington Is First Houseless Response Director

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s first Houseless Strategies and Solutions Director has been on the job just over a month. 

Cheyenne Purrington’s mission is to streamline the work done by dozens of local organizations.

“The councils and commission are very aware of the challenges in terms of homelessness as a hot topic for this community like many others. And so, I think that the role of this office is truly around coordination intending to provide support to the efforts that are ongoing,” she said.

Purrington feels policy-makers are on top of the main issue, “The high unsheltered rate that we have locally is around 80 percent, which is one of the highest in the nation. And of course, with that comes additional challenges. The needs are much higher once someone is unsheltered.”

The Houseless Strategies and Solutions Director is the first of its kind in Central Oregon. Deschutes County and the Cities of Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Redmond are recipients of House Bill 4123, which will provide $1 million in funding over two years for the newly created Coordinated Houseless Response Office.

“As we establish this office, I think it’s going to be important because it is new, to communicate to folks what we’re doing that is different and supportive. Our intention with this office is not to duplicate the efforts that are already underway but really support and invest in capacity building,” said Purrington.

Former DCSO Deputy Charged With Misconduct

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel filed criminal charges against a former Sheriff's Deputy Monday. Ron Brown faces three counts of Official Misconduct in the First Degree and one count of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image. 

The charges stem from a death investigation on September 28, 2021. Hummel's office alleges then-Deputy Brown responded to the scene and spoke with the dead man's girlfriend who asked Brown to delete sexual photos and videos from her boyfriend's phone. Instead, prosecutors say, Brown transferred the images and videos to his own phone.

On December 30, prosecutors say the woman was denied access to her personal property during an eviction from a local motel. She called Brown for help because of the previous encounter at her boyfriend's death. In a statement, Hummel says, "Brown, eager to 'help,' went to the motel, represented to motel management that he was there on law enforcement business and retrieved the victim's belongings. This misrepresentation to motel management constituted the crime of Official Misconduct in the First Degree."

After helping retrieve the woman's items from the motel, prosecutors say Brown called her and asked to meet in a Shari's Restaurant parking lot. When she arrived, he allegedly directed her to get in the car where he was watching pornography on his phone and was breathing heavily. 

Hummel said in a statement, "Shame on Ron Brown. Our community entrusted him with a badge, handcuffs, and a gun on the condition that he would use the authority we granted him to keep our community safe. Instead, the evidence shows he weaponized the trust we put in him by taking advantage of someone who was particularly vulnerable due to her grief from losing her boyfriend. Additionally, Brown’s actions besmirch the reputation of the hundreds of excellent law enforcement officers in our community."

The Deschutes County Sheriff issued a statement saying Brown was placed on leave January 12, 2022, when Sheriff Shane Nelson learned of the allegations. He retired during the internal affairs investigation.

Brown's first court appearance is scheduled for November 29.


Photo: Image posted to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Facebook page on August 11, 2020 with the caption that said in part, "Detective Ron Brown has been with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office for over 20 years! He started out as a Reserve Deputy, and has worked both in Corrections and Patrol. For the past five years, he has been working as a criminal detective within our Detective Division. He says the most enjoyable thing about his job is that he gets to help people."

NW Bend Fire Blamed On Welder

BEND, OR -- A welding tool is blamed for a Friday afternoon fire that destroyed a Northwest Bend shed built in 1920. Firefighters responded to NW Delaware Street at about 4 p.m. While en route, a large column of smoke was visible and additional units were added.  On arrival, a working fire was found involving an outbuilding, deck, and a large travel trailer.  The fire was just beginning to extend  to the residence as crews arrived, and they were able to minimize the damage to the home and quickly knock down the fire.  

Complete extinguishment of the shed was challenging as the roof structure consisted of multiple layers of old roofing.  The 764 square foot home was built in 1915; the adjacent 120 square foot shed was constructed in 1920.  Damages are estimated at $60,000 to the structure, $50,000 to the contents, and $15,000 to the 2015 Forest River travel trailer.  

A man sleeping in the house at the time of the fire was awakened by a neighbor who alerted him to the fire.  Red Cross assistance was requested for the occupant.  

Investigators say the man had been welding earlier in the day and placed the hot welder on a combustible wood deck, up against the side of the shed.  Bend Fire & Rescue reminds everyone that anything which produces heat needs space around it.  This could include portable space heaters, fireplaces and woodstoves, even the kitchen stove.  Outdoors, items such as welders, grinders, and portable fire pits need space as well.  Never place any heat producing appliance on a combustible surface, such as a wood deck.  For more fire safety information, please visit their website.


Photos Courtesy Bend Fire

Nine Redmond Businesses Burglarized In Five Days

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are investigating a string of break-ins at small businesses, occurring between October 15 and 20.  "In most cases, your suspect is showing up at the location on foot," Lt. Jesse Petersen tells KBND News, "They’re breaking into the business after hours and they’re stealing, or attempting to steal, cash from the business. That can be safes; that can be cash boxes."

RPD hopes the public can help identify and locating those responsible for these crimes. Petersen asks, "Were you in the area and saw something suspicious? Do you have video surveillance in that area that you can look at that video surveillance and see if there’s somebody who may be associated with one of these burglaries?" Because the crimes were committed after closing, most instances would've been in the dark, "So you’re going to see something suspicious, such as someone’s got a flashlight or somebody’s wearing all dark clothing and covering themselves." If you witnessed or have information about these burglaries, please contact RPD through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.  

Petersen adds, "Burglaries have a tremendous impact on our small local businesses, because it’s financially difficult for these businesses to maintain operations when they’re victims of crimes."

Top photo courtesy RPD: a cash box taken from the Redmond Bazaar, since recovered.

Story updated 10/24/22 to include quotes from Redmond Police.

Drazan At Bend Homelessness Roundtable

BEND, OR -- Republican nominee for Governor, Christine Drazan met with local politicians and veterans outreach officials in Bend Thursday for a roundtable discussion on homelessness.

She heard about the challenges and solutions in Deschutes County. “I think the number that was mentioned was about 2 thousand anticipated folks that need access to housing or services. That is not going to resolve locally. That needs a state level response, state level support,” she said.

The meeting took place at Central Oregon Veterans Village where she heard about the work to create the nearly one-year-old shelter.

 “You can see this in your own community here in Central Oregon that this is an issue area that people really want to rally around. And that there’s an opportunity to really kind of work with ready-made partners here and I look forward to doing that.” The Republican candidate added that she’s committed to providing more state funding, if elected, “We need to ensure that we adequately assess and understand the needs across the state. And that I’m not going to pick winners and losers. I’m going to apply resources in a way that addresses the challenges and I’m going to work with the willing.”

Votes Pour In For Creepiest Doll

BEND, OR -- Election season and Halloween have converged at the Deschutes Historical Museum. The nonprofit is asking the public to vote for the creepiest doll. Executive Director Kelly Cannon-Miller says the idea started with a young volunteer asked to create a Halloween display, "As she was diving into the collection, she was just like, ‘do you realize how many creepy dolls you have?’ And we’re like, ‘yeah!’"

Five candidates are posted on the museum’s website for the public to choose from. Doll number one has seen better days, "Her eyes kind of look dead because she’s lost the pupils in the paint, so it’s just kind of white. And everything about her face is crackling." Cannon-Miller tells KBND News, "Doll number two, there’s just no explaining him. He’s looking at you sideways and has very, very, very red lips." That doll is currently the frontrunner.

Number three is lovingly referred to as Two Face, "She has a leather covering that is over the stuffing and that is what the face was painted on, originally. This doll was so loved and so used and worn, that half of that face at some point broke off, exposing just the cloth padding for the head underneath. Someone drew an eye, nose and partial mouth on that cloth to give her a whole face again, to keep the doll going." Number four is the requisite clown, and the fifth entry is actually two dolls, called The Twins, "Their stares make your imagination go wild as to what they’re thinking. They could be plotting the overthrow of the government or just what they might want to have for tea."

Cannon-Miller says, unlike the actual election, you can vote in this contest as often as you want, "This is not scientific; we are not cracking down on voting. We’re spamming everyone with creepy dolls and it’s just for fun to have a great time this Halloween." She says it's already proven so popular, it's likely to become an annual event. The museum has hundreds of historic dolls in its collection, so there are many to choose from.

Voting closes at midnight October 30th. The winner will be featured in a live stream "Fright Night" event on Halloween, when a local musician stays overnight in the Bend museum with its famous ghostly residents.



Wind Fans Landfill Fire

BEND, OR -- Piles of mulch are smoldering at the Knott Landfill in Bend, thanks to Thursday's strong north wind. Firefighters responded to the landfill just before 5 p.m. after several piles were found burning. Crews stopped the spread of the fire, using fire from a ladder truck to reach all parts of the large fire.

Bend Fire says the piles contain as much as 20,000 yards of yard debris that had been ground down into mulch. During the decomposition process, heat is generated which helps break down material and eliminate weed seeds. Afternoon winds appear to have whipped that heat into a fire and helped spread the flames.

Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste and Deschutes Recycling remain on scene into Friday to removed burned material and extinguish any hot spots.

Landfill and recycling center operations should not be impacted. 


Photo courtesy Bend Fire

California Driver Injured In La Pine Crash

LA PINE, OR -- A 23-year-old California man crashed early Friday morning on his way to Bend. According to Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies, the driver was northbound on Highway 97 when he crossed the southbound lanes and exited the highway. His car rolled several times, coming to rest back on the highway.

When medics and deputies arrived at about 3 a.m., they found the driver with serious injuries. He was taken to St. Charles Bend. Investigators say he was wearing his seatbelt. Fatigue and speed are believed to have been factors in the crash. 

BNSF officials responded to the scene and determined there was no damage to nearby railroad tracks. 

Public Input Sought For COIC Survey

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council is asking for feedback in a new regional survey. Through a partnership with the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, COIC wants input on local issues like the economy, houseless services, housing, transportation and childcare. The survey is available in Spanish and English until midnight on November 9.

Those who participate are entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card; five will be awarded.

Click HERE to take COIC's regional values and beliefs survey.


Commissioners Disagree On Abortion Coverage For County Employees

BEND, OR -- Abortion access took center stage at Wednesday's meeting of the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners, during a discussion about employee health coverage. They were asked to vote on seven changes to the county's health insurance plan previously approved by an Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (EBAC). One proposed change would list abortion as a covered health service. In a memo to Commissioners, the EBAC says it's a state mandated covered benefit and removing the abortion exclusion would align the county with most other employers in Oregon.

Commissioners Tony DeBone and Patti Adair - both of whom are running for re-election - voted to maintain the current language. Commissioner Phil Chang disagreed and asked the two to go on the record with their reasons for opposing the EBAC's recommendation. DeBone responded saying it's a political discussion, "I support having it here in front of us, as the Board of Commissioners, and coming to the same conclusion as I’ve had before. And, the values I bring to this office." Adair added, "I would agree with the values and the fact that our plan is in compliance, per legal, and it has been grandfathered in." She went on to say, "The current plan excludes abortion services or treatment, unless the life of the mother is in danger by the continued pregnancy, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or instes [sic]. So, if they have a relationship with a doctor, apparently, I think that’s the way I’d like it to stand."

Chang pushed back, saying denying coverage won't reduce the number of abortions in the county, "All this would do is send a message to our employees that if they need to make that hard and difficult decision, we are not supporting them." He added, "We are hearing from employees that they would like to have this benefit. EBAC voted 14-1 to support this change and the cost is very small. Comparing to other employers’ plans indicates that we are out of step with most other employers on this issue."

Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve the other six recommended changes, most of which were administrative in nature.


BPRD Public Perception Survey Underway

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec launches a new public survey effort Thursday. Julie Brown says the district conducts a public perception survey every three years, "Really trying to get at values, satisfaction level, if people feel that the Park District is using tax funds wisely. Those are the types of questions that we aim to get insights into during this survey." She tells KBND News, "We have other surveys where we get to better understand the recreation needs and activities that people are engaging in."

She expects this year’s results to be different from the last survey conducted in 2019, "The last time that we did this survey was prior to the pandemic. And there’s a lot of aspects [sic] of how we have served the community that has evolved during that time period."

Parks & Rec has hired Portland-based DHM Consulting to conduct the statistically valid survey. They will "Select community members and addresses at random. They’re going to make phone calls and they’re also going to send texts to encourage people to go online to take a survey," says Brown. The goal is to get 400-500 anonymous responses to questions about things like safety, fees, and inclusion. 

After that first phase is complete, a public link will be available for everyone to take part, from October 28 to November 18.

Results are expected early next year. 


One Killed In Wednesday Night Parkway Crash

BEND, OR -- The Bend Parkway was closed for nearly four hours Wednesday night, following a fatal crash near Reed Lane. According to Bend Police, 37-year-old Cody Dupont, of Bend, was driving southbound at about 75 MPH when he crashed into an SUV. Investigators believe Dupont then lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a northbound car, driven by 56-year-old Gregory Canfield.

Despite life-saving efforts by Bend Police, Dupont died at the scene. Canfield, also of Bend, refused medical treatment but was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. The driver of the SUV was a 17-year-old Bend resident. The teen was not hurt.

Alcohol and excessive speed are believed to be factors in Dupont’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

The Bend Parkway was closed in both directions from approximately 9:27 p.m. until 1:15 a.m.

Structure Fire Spreads To Brush SW Of Redmond

REDMOND, OR -- Two buildings were heavily damaged by an early morning fire, southwest of Redmond. Firefighters responded to Harvest Avenue at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday and found flames spreading to dry brush and junipers.
Redmond Fire officials say crews quickly knocked down the fire and remained on scene for several hours, putting out hot spots. The cause is under investigation.

Fire Marshal Tom Mooney said in a statement, "This is a good reminder to have working smoke alarms in your home and to have and practice your home fire escape plan. Plan, practice and be prepared."


UPDATE: Redmond Fire investigators believe the fire was intentionally set. Law enforcement is now involved in this ongoing investigation. 

Goats To Get Redmond Weeds

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond is trying a new approach to attack weeds on city-owned property.

Mayor George Endicott says a herd of goats is coming to town, “In particular, out near our irrigation fields, northwest of town. We’ve got some weeds, of course, end of season. So, we’re going to turn some goats loose to go out there and trim them for us.”

It’s a win-win agreement, providing free vegetative management for 138 acres of orchard grass in a tough-to mow area, according to the Wastewater Division, while the contractor gets free high-quality feed for as many as 500 goats.

The same herd is currently chomping away on a Bend Parks contract. 

Second Ballot Dropbox Added In Redmond

REDMOND, OR -- Ballots are now arriving in mailboxes and ballot drop sites open Friday around the region. 

During a live interview on Wednesday morning, Mayor George Endicott told KBND News the Redmond Library dropbox had moved. However, Deschutes County Clerk Steve Dennison says that shift won't happen until after this November election. Due to construction at the library, the dropbox will temporarily relocate to near Centennial Park ahead of the May 2023 special election.

There is also now a second Redmond ballot drop location at the fairgrounds. Click HERE for a map of official Deschutes County drop sites.

Ballots must be dropped off before 8 p.m. on Election Day - November 8th. If you choose to mail it in, postage is paid and it must be postmarked by November 8th.

Great Oregon Shakeout Is Thursday

BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians are encouraged to prepare for “The Big One” by participating in Thursday's Great Oregon Shakeout. The annual event takes place nationwide on 10/20 at 10:20 a.m. local time.

Althea Rizzo, with Oregon's Office of Emergency Management, says we should ask ourselves how we would respond if the earth started quaking, "What would I do right now if I needed to drop, cover and hold?"

The biggest threat is from the Cascadia Subduction Zone running along Oregon's coast. Rizzo says concerns about a large-scale quake are not "if" but "when." She tells KBND News, "It will happen at some point; we will have a major earthquake that will severely damage our infrastructure, our transportation systems, our economy, our healthcare systems, and then, over on the coast, we know we’re going to have a very large tsunami."

When The Big One does hit, Rizzo says the response is simple and immediate, "Drop, cover and hold on until the ground stops shaking. And then move to a safe place outside of the building until you know that the building is safe. If you’re over on the coast, once the shaking stops and you leave the building, then we want you to get to high ground as soon as possible - not waiting for anyone to tell you to get to high ground. Just know that the shaking is your tsunami warning."

It’s been a few hundred years since the last Cascadia Subduction Zone quake and, she admits, no one knows when the next one will happen. Instead of getting complacent, she encourages everyone to use the Shakeout to plan ahead for any disaster or emergency, "The opportunity, starting with the Shakeout, to kind of look at your whole household preparedness as we head into winter. Cascadia may be 200 years, but we have other things that we can prepare for in the meantime."

Learn more and register as a participant at shakeout.org/Oregon.  More than half a million Oregonians have already signed up to take part. You can also download the “MyShake” app and get a test alert at 10:20 a.m. on 10/20.


Bend HWY 97/20 North Corridor Groundbreaking Celebration

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Transportation officially broke ground Monday on the Bend North Corridor U.S. Highway 97 and 20 improvement project.

State and federal officials joined local dignitaries at Robal and Nels Anderson road.

ODOT regional manager Gary Farnsworth is enthusiastic for the scope of the work, “This project is going to be amazing in terms of all aspects but also because it’s so big and impacts both US 97 and 20. We’re going to be putting the community under a lot of stress as well during construction. That will be super important to us.”

ODOT will give notice when traffic will be affected.

Farnsworth says once complete, Highways 97 and 20 will feature the latest technology, “We’ll have the ability to favor when we need to freight, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists. And then really optimize mobility; address congestion, crashes, fuel efficiency, and improve safety, of course.”

Bend City Manager Eric King is excited for what this means to Bend, “I look at this project as kind of the good example of the work that we’re doing so collaboratively with ODOT. Everything from planning to just balancing all those needs. We’ve got many more projects in the cue. I’m very optimistic about all the work ahead of us for a growing community.”

All of the dignitaries at Monday's ceremony mentioned the cooperation from various levels of government to make this nearly $175 million project happen.

Construction impacts are expected to be minor this fall but will increase as time goes on. The Bend North Corridor is expected to be complete by late 2024.

Redmond Airport To Hold Emergency Drill Wednesday

REDMOND, OR -- First responders across the area will take part in a full-scale emergency drill at the Redmond Airport Wednesday. 

Airport Security Manager Jayde Hawkins tells KBND News they will practice responding to a commercial passenger aircraft disaster, “We are required by law, once every three years, to do a full-scale emergency drill, just to make sure we are in good working order with our local emergency services, as far as if we were ever to get faced with a real scenario; a real event. Then, we have hands-on training, so we’re better able to address those situations if they were to ever come up.”

Hawkins says the full-scale disaster exercise will take place from 9 to 1 but you won’t see much inside the terminal, “It would be the passengers that are going to be on-board aircraft that are taxiing out to take off. At the time of departure, off to the east side of the airport, they might see quite a bit of emergency service vehicles and activity happening out on the far side of the airfield."

She says about 100 responders will take part, “We have units coming from all the outlying agencies. If we were to have an incident with a larger aircraft, then obviously we’re going to be dealing with more passengers and more potential victims.” 

Those victims will be portrayed by around 35 actors so responders can triage mock injuries, transport victims and practice reunifying passengers with family.

“It’s about three years of work coming into play for this event and we are just making sure that if we ever have a real scenario that we are well equipped to handle it as best as we can,” said Hawkins.

Academy Backlog Delays Bend PD Hiring Process

BEND, OR -- A backlog at the police academy in Salem is causing problems for law enforcement agencies all over the state. Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz tells KBND News getting a new recruit into the academy now takes months, "Now we have six or seven months where we have to find other work for them and get them some of the internal training we may provide, that previously they used to just go right to the academy within a month or so."

Oregon's Police Academy is run by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). Acting Executive Director Brian Henson says the goal is to get recruits in within 90 days of hire. Right now, that timeline is closer to seven months, "We’re coming out of the COVID years when agencies weren’t hiring. We’re coming out of a time when we had a lot of police reform and, for a while, becoming a police officer was seen as a profession people wanted to go into," he tells KBND News, "That’s changed. Right now, we have a very large demand for the classes we offer and we have a limited supply." He says, "It's a perfect storm where that demand bubble has just far exceeded the capacity of the agency. In time, it will go back; it will level out back to that 90-day timeframe. But, for right now, it’s a big concern for all."

Henson says capacity is limited because of financial and staffing limitations, and classroom space. DPSST gets funding for 16 classes in each two-year budget, "In each basic police class, there are 40 students. And there are four basic police classes going on at any given time in the agency, all starting about a month apart from one another." That must accommodate new hires from all of Oregon's 208 law enforcement agencies. 

The legislature approved funding for two more classes but Henson says it still wasn’t enough, "This is the first time in the 20 years that I’ve been at the agency that that adjusting of the class schedule has not taken care of the big concern." Currently, he says the next available academy openings are in May. Henson plans to ask the Legislature in December to fund another two classes in 2023. 

Photo: courtesy Oregon State Police

Resident Fires Warning Shot During Burglary

BEND, OR -- A Bend transient was arrested for Burglary early Monday morning after police say he broke into a home on Northeast Fourth Street. Officers arrived just before 5 a.m. and detained 52-year-old Joseph Ruben Sanchez, who was still inside the house.

Officers determined a resident at the property encountered Sanchez in the backyard and told him to leave. Sanchez did not leave and instead entered the home. 

The resident, who was armed with a handgun, again told Sanchez to leave. Sanchez verbally threatened the man and began moving toward him. The resident fired one round in Sanchez’s direction, which he described as a warning shot. Sanchez was not injured and remained inside until police arrived.

Drug impairment was believed to be a factor in this event. 

Madras Police Chief Resigns

MADRAS, OR -- Madras Police Chief Tanner Stanfill has officially resigned, three months after going on medical leave.

Stanfill was hired as a reserve officer in Madras in 1999. He worked his way up in the department and became chief in 2015.

Due to his extended medical leave, in July, Madras City Council appointed retired Milwaukie Police Chief Steve Bartol as temporary Director of Madras Police Services. He will now assist the city in the recruitment of a new Chief.

Redmond Woman Killed In Hwy 26 Crash

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- A Redmond woman was killed in a weekend crash near Warm Springs. According to State Police, an eastbound car driven by a Texas man traveled into the westbound lane, at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Investigators say he collided with a westbound car driven by 63-year-old Carla Nichols, of Redmond. Both drivers were killed. A dog in Nichols' car survived and was cared for by passersby until emergency crews arrived. 

Highway 26 was closed in Wasco County for about five hours Saturday, while OSP's Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the crash. 

Stranded Fish Rescued On Upper Deschutes

BEND, OR -- The end of the irrigation season means lower water levels and stranded fish in the upper Deschutes river.

Marisa Hossick from the Deschutes River Conservancy says teams of experts and volunteers move several thousand fish from the area between Lava Island and Meadow Camp, “It’s kind of a complicated process. Not for the faint of heart. People who have lots of experience with fish net them, and then we put them into buckets going back down the river trail to the boat ramp at Lava Island. We release the fish and then just get a count at that point of what species of fish we’re releasing and how many.”

The Deschutes River Conservancy helps coordinate the volunteer rescue effort that follows the end of irrigation season.

 “The water’s dropping down while flows are being stored for summer irrigation for farmers in Madras and Culver. It’s just a really complex landscape of water management, and this is one of the unfortunate things that happen. What we’ve seen over the last several years is that when the water drops there’s really large, deep pools that they get stranded in and they can’t get out of. And we usually get several thousand fish, some of them quite large. And so, it is really important to move those fish and get them back into the main stem of the Deschutes,” said Hossick.

Fish are taken in oxygenated buckets along the river trail near Meadow Camp and released at the boat ramp at Lava Island.

EDCO Responds To Laird Closure

SISTERS, OR -- Sisters is losing what was once a major employer in the city, but officials say the closure of Laird Superfood’s manufacturing facility is not the start of a trend. Last week, Laird announced the lay off of 46 workers as it closes its Sisters manufacturing and fulfillment centers by January.

"It was a start-up, really, and grew in Sisters to what it has become. And yes, they got into some business issues and problems, and that happens for all kinds of reasons. I really don’t think it was anything to do with Sisters. I think they were really welcomed by the city, by the citizens. It’s a shame to have them leave. It was a good company; it was a good fit," says Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) Sisters Country Director Eric Strobel. However, "I think there’s a little bit of lemonade to be made from the lemons."

Strobel tells KBND News, "We’ve got four or five companies in Sisters that are expanding and need employees. So, our hope is that we can have some of those Laird employees go to some of the other Sisters companies that are expanding." And, he adds, two other Portland-based companies recently relocated to Sisters. EDCO plans to host a job fair at Laird Superfood in November, with at least eight businesses taking part. In this tight labor market, he believes those laid-off workers will be in high demand.

Strobel also sees Laird's manufacturing buildings filling back up very quicly. "Those same companies that are expanding are also very interested in looking at those buildings for lease. It’s really nice to have that amount of square footage available for expanding companies."


Nonpartisan Explainer For Ballot Measures

BEND, OR -- The League of Women Voters of Deschutes County wants to educate voters about the 10 ballot measures appearing in various areas. Four are statewide measures, two are countywide, then one each for the city of Sisters, Redmond Parks and Rec, City of La Pine and Bend-La Pine Schools.

A virtual presentation to provide non-partisan explanations on the measures will be held Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m.

Join the live Zoom meeting by clicking HERE

  • Meeting ID: 214 100 1920
  • Passcode: LWVDC

The video will also post to the LWVDC website the following day. 


Two Children Killed In Crook County Fire

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Two children were killed in a Crook County house fire Saturday morning.

Firefighters and Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the fire in Juniper Acres, off Southeast Cascade Way and Reservoir Road, just before 6 a.m. When crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames and most of the family had already evacuated. But the Sheriff’s Office says two children could not get out and died in the blaze. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Crook County Sheriff's Office thanked assisting agencies with this investigation, including Crook County Fire and Rescue, Deschutes County Fire and Rescue, Alfalfa Fire District, Oregon State Police, the Crook County District Attorney’s Office, and the Prineville Funeral Home. CCSO also extended thoughts and prayers to the impacted family. 

Builders See Permit Delays In Some Parts Of Central Oregon

BEND, OR -- Last week, KBND News posted a story about building permit wait times in our growing region. For some readers, our story was misleading and statements needed more context. We apologize to those who were affected by the story. Here is a clarified version:

Oregon's Employment Department reports Central Oregon counties are three of the state’s four fastest-growing since 2010. Deschutes county saw a 28.9% increase; Crook County grew by 21.5%, Polk by 17.9%, Jefferson by 14.6% and Washington county grew by 14.2%. Clackamas and Morrow counties tied for fifth place with 13.1%.
The accelerated growth brought a renewed demand for building, and some counties are having a difficult time processing the permits. Fratzke Commercial Real Estate's Brian Fratzke believes long wait times for a permit "will change the economy differently than inflation or interest rates." 
He tells KBND News about a client who applied for a permit this summer, "He submitted his permits on July 22nd. On September 14th he was contacted by the entity that said, 'the first review we’ll get to on your permits will be April of 2023' - nine months before they're going to get back to him on his permits.” According to Fratzke Commercial Real Estate's website, the company has clients throught Central Oregon and Fratzke did not specify where this client is building nor why the permitting process is delayed. 
In a follow-up email, Fratzke says, "My experience with Deschutes County has been excellent and I just received great service."
To listen to our full conversation with Brian Fratzke from October 3, 2022, visit our Podcast Page

Tumalo Firehouse Damaged By Accused DUII Driver

TUMALO, OR -- A crew of three Bend Firefighters at the Tumalo station had quite the rude awakening just before 11:30 Wednesday night. "Most of them were asleep and experienced a really loud crash- loud boom inside the station, which woke them up," Deputy Chief Jason Bolen tells KBND News, "They were not sure what had happened, but quickly discovered that an SUV had driven into the front of the station and caused some pretty significant damage."

A Crooked River Ranch man now faces criminal charges. "Our crew that was on scene, they quickly made their way downstairs, figured out that there was a vehicle into their station, and started to render aid. But, it turns out, both the driver and the passenger were denying any kind of injuries. Fortunately it was a non-injury event for both them and for our people," says Bolen. 

A team assessed the damage first thing Thursday morning, "We were fortunate to have the city of Bend’s structural engineer come out, was able to look at the building and spent about an hour and a half going over it. And, we pretty much were able to ensure that we can stay in there. We’re going to obviously avoid one room, which is the exercise room. But, until repairs can be made, we’re going to keep the same staffing level in that station; we’re going to continue to respond out of it. 

According to the Sheriff’s Office, 46-year-old Jamie Slagter was driving the Ford Explorer. He was cited for DUII and criminal mischief. 

Bolen says the timeline and total cost of repairs to the building have not yet been determined. It's unknwon whether the driver has insurance to cover the expense, but Bolen says the city is insured. 

Photos: (top) Courtesy DCSO; (upper right) courtesy Bend Fire & Rescue

Rural Deschutes County Growth And Development Meetings Set

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County has seen major population increases in recent years making it one of the fastest growing counties in the state. 

The Planning Division wants to hear from the community about how the rural parts of the county should develop through this growth.  

“The Deschutes County 2040 Project is an update to Deschutes County comprehensive plan. It’s the policy document that includes goals, policies, and actions that guide day to day decisions of elected officials and staff pertaining to county development,” Deschutes County Community Development Senior Planner Nicole Mardell says the county must start now to meet the needs of expansion, “We’re expected to keep rising in population, so our goal is to adequately address that growth through planning for housing, recreation, jobs, preserving our farmland, forest land, and of course our cultural resources. So that’s having a comprehensive vision for the future of the county.”

Input has already been received on livability with wildfire, smoke impacts, and drought.

The 20-40 Project is an interactive effort, “We’re asking community members to share some of the key issues, challenges, opportunities facing the county today and in the future. And their preferred vision for the future. We’re holding in-person open houses where folks can come in and chat with planners; learn a little bit more about the state of the county,” said Mardell.

The Open House schedule starts next week.

Bend Area Open House – Deschutes County Service Center (1300 NW Wall Street, Bend) Barnes and Sawyer Room. Wednesday, October 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sisters Area Open House – Sisters High School (1700 W McKinney Butte Rd, Sisters) Lecture Room. Thursday, October 20, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

 Sunriver Area Open House – Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC) 57250 Overlook Road, Sunriver, Benham Hall.

Monday, October 24, 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Redmond Area Open House – Redmond City Hall (411 SW 9th St, Redmond) Rooms 207/208. Tuesday, October 25, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

An online survey and localized meetings are also available.

For more information, visit the project website deschutes.org/2040 or email the project team at deschutes2040@deschutes.org.

Bend-LaPine Schools Look For Bond Measure Approval

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools will ask voters in November to approve a $250 million dollar bond measure. 

“The bond is for $250 million but I think that’s important to note that that’s no increased taxes because of expiration of other bond measures that we’ve had in the past. So, that covers about 80-90 projects that we’ve identified across the district,” Deputy Superintendent Lora Nordquist says the money isn’t needed for more schools; she believes there’s enough capacity for at least five years, Safety is very important to us and we’ve invested significant amounts of money into safety upgrades over the years, but this is to continue with that, what best practices are. Even things like upgrading fire alarm systems and doors that can be locked from the interior. It’s focused on safety and security upgrades across the district, touching every school in the district; some significant renovation of instructional spaces at Bend Senior High School, and then the addition of classroom spaces at Skyview Middle School and Buckingham Elementary and Juniper Elementary School.”

There is no organized opposition to the measure, however some people have commented on posts by the school board saying they don’t want to put more money into the district until student success rates improve.

Redmond Schools Sports Complex Grand Reopening Saturday

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Schools celebrates the reopening of the Jaqua Sports Complex this weekend. 

Superintendent Charan Cline says the district and local businesses have done a lot in the past year to improve the 54-year-old fields, “We sold a piece of land to a manufacturing firm, a while back, and used those proceeds to put in turf.”

“It ends up being the largest piece of continuous turf in the state, we believe. It’s multi-sport: it can do football, and it can do lacrosse, baseball and softball,” said Dr. Cline who highlighted business contributions to the project, “We also got donations from Hayden Homes [and] installed field lights. We had partnerships with York Bros. Excavation and HA McCoy Engineering and Smith Rock Electric; all donated to create this wonderful space.”

The school district has owned the fields near Redmond High since 1968 and recent renovations were much needed, according to Cline, “It’s been something that we’ve maintained and we’ve watered, and we’ve used for community use. It’s not really a high school field. It’s more of kindergarten through grade eight. So, we decided to put a huge amount of resources into making it something really special.”

Saturday’s Grand Opening starts at 4 pm and includes a cornhole tournament and short ceremony, followed by Redmond Youth Football games.

Laird Superfood Closes Sisters Plant

SISTERS, OR -- Laird Superfood announced Tuesday it's closing its Sisters production facility. The fulfillment center, which is also closing, just opened a year ago. The company makes plant-based powdered coffee creamers and other health foods.

In a letter to employees, the CEO says the Sisters facility is unable to produce at a rate that’s competitive with the industry.

The CEO told Business Wire the decision to outsource its manufacturing was difficult but necessary. 

A total of 46 employees will be laid off. The facilities are expected to shut down at the end of January.


CEO Jason Vieth's letter to employees, dated October 12, 2022:

It is with great sadness that we announce today that we will be closing our Production and Fulfillment facility and will begin to co-manufacture our products. The reason for this decision is based on an inability to produce at this facility at a rate that is competitive with the industry, which is exacerbating significant financial pressure currently on the business.

Therefore, the Company must implement layoffs at its facility located at 275 W. Lundgren Mill Drive, Sisters, OR 97759. The entire facility is expected to permanently close on approximately December 31st, 2022. There will be different termination dates based on departments, which are expected to be as follows:

• December 12, 2022 – Production and Engineering, Maintenance, and Facilities employees;

• December 31, 2022 – Warehouse, Fulfillment, Inventory employees, as well as some Marketing and Administrative employees; and

• January 31, 2022 – the final group of employees handling the plant wind-down.

We understand that this has great impact on our employees and their families. We will be offering severance benefits to eligible employees as well as coordinating outplacement support to assist you in finding new opportunities. You will receive a packet of information regarding your specific situation today. Also, we are required to point out that there are no “bumping rights” that apply here.

We thank all of our employees for their hard work and dedication.


Redmond City Council Candidates Discuss Topics At Forum

REDMOND, OR -- Five Redmond City Council candidates vying for three openings took part in a forum Tuesday, discussing a lack of childcare, the recent public safety facility bond, Parks and Rec support and homelessness. 

Branegan Dixon owns the Redmond Athletic Club and says his experience makes him qualified for the position, “I know little about politics; this is all pretty new to me, so I’m kind of learning as I go. But what I do know is how to run a business. I took a failing business and turned it into a winning one.”

Naval veteran and caregiver Bill Trumble believes his expertise in conflict resolution is an asset, “I have a goal or a vision that Redmond will be where we all want to live 20 years from now.”

Marketing coordinator Kathryn Osborne says she’s learned a lot about how the city operates through her roles on several commissions.

Banker John Nielsen wants to use his experience on the REDI board to help Council.

And realtor Cat Zwicker, the only sitting Councilor running, believes she has more to offer with a full term. 


On homelessness, Osborne believes everyone needs to get involved, “Make paths for our houseless neighbors to find safe, comfortable places to live.” 

Trumble and current Councilor Cat Zwicker want a bigger focus on transitional housing, “If you take an out of sight out of mind approach, it doesn’t work very well,” said Trumble.

Zwicker added, “The really big part that’s missing is that transitional-space housing, so we need to make sure that we’re also supporting measures to create housing for people that might be at 30-40% of the average median income.” 

Dixon wants more planning and communication, “Because this thing is out of control. We need to get ahead of it. Because otherwise, we’re going to end up looking like some other cities.”

And Nielsen believes police need more support, “So that when we have folks that don’t want help and are causing a disturbance, that we can make sure that we’re keeping the community, in general, safe.”


With only one incumbent running and a new Mayor, Council is guaranteed to look different next year. The top three vote-getters in November will take seats on Council in January.

Evacuations Ordered For La Pine Fire

LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office issued Level 3 (go now) evacuations for a La Pine neighborhood. The notice is for homes between Camino De Oro, north to Sparks Drive and Boundary Road, east to Second Street.

Firefighters responded to a house fire in the area, but flames are now spreading to nearby homes and the wilderness, according to DCSO. 

Authorities as everyone to avoid the area while fire crews are working to extinguish this fire. 


UPDATE: Evacuation orders were dropped at 3:40 p.m. and residents were allowed to return.


Wednesday morning, La Pine Fire released more information about Tuesday afternoon's incident: The fire started in a manufactured home on Boundary Road, just before 2:30 p.m. Arriving crews found the house, shed and multiple vehicles on fire, with flames spreading to neighbor’s homes, RVs and outbuildings. Stored ammunition exploded in the blaze as crews shuttled more than 25,000 gallons of water to the property.

The home was a total loss, although no one was home at the time and no injuries were reported.


File Photo


Bend Homicide Victim Identified

BEND, OR -- Investigators have identified the man found dead Sunday morning, east of Bend. 70-year-old Leonard Peverieri’s body was discovered at his property on Los Serranos Drive.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is releasing very few details. 

“Based on what we saw at the scene, our detectives determined that it was a murder,” Sgt. Jayson Janes says after a search, neighbors were later notified the suspect was likely gone. “We checked the neighborhood with our K9 teams and our SWAT deputies, as well as drones, and our detectives did canvasses of the neighborhood and initially we put out an alert to those in the neighborhood. The suspect is out there somewhere. We just wanted to let the neighborhood know that we didn’t believe the suspect was still in the vicinity of the area.” But Jaynes added, “It’s always good to be vigilant and pay attention to your safety, and make sure that your homes are locked and your cars are locked, and if you observe something suspicious, report it.”

According to property records, Peverieri owned the town of Millican and a number of other properties in the area. 

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Teen Arrested For Madras-Area Burglaries

MADRAS, OR -- A 15-year-old from Warm Springs faces criminal charges following a string of break-ins. On October second, Jefferson County deputies along with members Madras Police, with assistance from the Warm Springs Police Department, began investigating several burglaries in the City of Madras, where several items were stolen.

At about 3:45 a.m. Sunday, a person broke the window of the Shell gas station at 5th and B Street.  Police say the teen took several items and returned to the station at 4:30 a.m. to commit a second burglary.

At approximately 5:15am, investigators believe the same teen broke the window at Pioneer Cannabis at 5th and C St in Madras stealing several items before being chased by a Jefferson County deputy. The suspect was not caught, but was later identified through leads developed by Officer Alonso of the Madras Police Department and Detective Roth of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  After interviewing the suspect the teen was arrested and charged with Burglary 2, Theft 3 and Criminal Mischief 2.   

Additionally, investigators charged the juvenile with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and disorderly conduct related to a fight that occurred at the fair in July of this year.

Anyone who may have additional information on these crimes are encouraged to contact Det. Roth at 541-475-6520 or Officer Alonso at 541-475-2201.

Heightened Security At Four Redmond Schools

REDMOND, OR -- Four Redmond schools went into "Secure" Monday morning after police received a tip from a concerned parent about a possible threat. Redmond School District officials say School Resource Officer Nathan Rankin was at Redmond High when the first Secure went into place. Redmond Police assessed the situation and determined there was not a direct threat to any students. In a "Secure," classes still continue, exterior doors are locked, and students stay in the building. Three more schools went into Secure as a precaution, although there was not a threat to them directly.

The police department continued to update the school district as they attempted to locate a suspect who was outside of any school campuses. “While the situation was unfolding, our students were safe, which is the most important aspect of this morning,” Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline said in a statement.

The school district sent this message out to parents and students of the district after the event was resolved:

“At approximately 9 a.m. Redmond High School went into Secure after the Redmond Police Department received a tip from a concerned parent about a possible threat. Terrebonne Elementary, Tom McCall Elementary, and Elton Gregory Middle School also went into Secure as a precaution. Secure means all exterior doors are locked, students do not leave the building, but classes are continuing. Redmond police have located and detained the suspect. The police have determined there is not a threat to any students at this time and all Secures have been lifted. The Redmond School District appreciates the swift and thorough response of the Redmond PD and supporting agencies that keep our students, staff, and community safe.” 

The district is also thankful for the parent who called in the tip. The district does not have any specific information about the suspect who was detained.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.  

Homicide Investigation In NE Bend

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a murder in the area of Los Serranos Drive in Bend. At approximately 5:30 AM Sunday, deputies responded for a reported deceased male. Upon the initial investigation the death of the 70-year-old male was determined to be suspicious. The Tri-County Major Incident Team being led by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has been activated to assist with this investigation. Detectives do not believe there is still a suspect in the vicinity of the crime scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Bend Food Project Reaches Major Milestone

BEND, OR -- The Bend Food Project hit the 1-million-pound mark of donated food at their monthly collection day.

Ranae Staley, Executive Director at The Giving Plate, who works closely with the Bend Food Project, says the milestone is very impressive, “This to me every time I see makes me emotional. It is the power of community. Each of these green bags represents somebody in our community filling it. Some people fill two. Everyone doing a little, does a lot.”

Bend Food Project’s green bags are picked up the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of every even month. Neighborhood coordinators pick up bags and take them to the collection site or local food banks, like the Giving Plate.

“Just fill a green bag. Every other month we collect them and bring them all together. Together we can make a big impact. BendFoodProject.com is where you can learn more about the Bend Food Project,” says Staley.

The next pick-up is scheduled for this Saturday the 15th.

Riverbend Park Project Begins

BEND, OR -- Bend Park and Recreation and Upper Deschutes Watershed Council are ready to begin a construction and river restoration project. Ian Isaacson, Landscape Architect for Bend Park and Recreation says the project takes place between the Bill Healy Bridge and downstream to the Farewell Bend pedestrian bridge, “Currently we do not have any designated water access points in that stretch of the river, on that side. All those points that folks are accessing those points are user created.”

Boulders, trees, and other materials will start getting staged this week. Isaacson says next week there will be some closures, “Starting on Monday, October 17th that’s when the trail closure is going to go into effect. We’ll have a detour for folks to go over the foot bridge and down the Bill Healy bridge to reconnect to the river left side of that trail.”

Isaacson says crews are hardening river access points using natural cut stone, “That will actually create a safer and better access point for the user and prevent any erosion and sediment getting put into the river since it will be hardened. The fence we’ll have along the restoration area will give the vegetation a chance to grow and thrive.”

The project is funded by multiple sources. Implementation of the project is funded by BPRD and grants from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Sunderland Foundation that were awarded to UDWC. The project was also awarded funds by Bend Sustainability Fund, a Visit Bend project. Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2023, weather permitting. 

First Responder Career Fair In Riverbend Park

BEND, OR -- The First Responder Career Fair and Community Event is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Riverbend Park. Booths will have information about public safety, first responder careers, and job openings.

Bend Police will set up the Oregon Physical Abilities Test. All applicants in Oregon take this test before they become an officer. 

The event is free to attend and open to the public. Youth are also welcome to interact with local police, fire, and first responders. 

Bend Council Discusses Camping Code Feedback

BEND, OR -- This week, the City of Bend discussed the feedback they received at two roundtable sessions that took place last week for the camping code. Mayor Gena Goodman Campbell says implementing the code could take place March of 2023 at the earliest.

The council would like to add context to the City's efforts, address shelter acquisition, shelter code, and safe parking.
Since June, the Bend City Council has been working on developing a code to regulate how, where and when people can camp in the public right-of-way, like streets and sidewalks.

Envision Bend Planning Survey

BEND, OR -- A new 5 year Community Vision and Action Plan survey is underway. Envision Bend Executive director Laura Fritz explains the information gathering process, "What do you value most about the Bend area?' 'What do you think are our community’s greatest challenges?' 'What are some solutions that would have an impact on people’s lives?' We’re holding focus groups in tandem with the survey. Our consultants will analyze that data and evaluate it and help create the long-range vision that the community has shared.”

This is the first large-scale community visioning project for the greater Bend area since 2005-06.

The survey is open through October 31st. Then the information will be compiled for presentation.

“We will assemble volunteer action teams to take that vision and also the data that has been gathered through these various means, and build the first five-year action plan,” said Fritz.

People who have completed the survey and provide their contact information are eligible for prize drawings, including two grand prize awards that will be drawn in early November. Envision Bend will award a $2,000 cash prize to one survey participant, and a $1,000 cash prize to another survey participant, each of whom will choose a local nonprofit to receive the funds. The funds were provided by an anonymous donor for the specific purpose of encouraging community engagement in the survey.

The survey is available in both English and Spanish at https://envisionbend.org/

OSP Arrest And Heroin Seizure

MADRAS, OR -- On Sunday, October 2nd, an Oregon State Police Trooper stopped a vehicle for speeding on US 97 near milepost 84, about 13 miles north of Madras. During the course of the stop, reasonable suspicion was developed for drug trafficking. A search of the car revealed 11 bundles of narcotics in the trunk of the car, with a gross weight of nearly 14 pounds; a preliminary test showed the narcotics to be heroin. 

The 29-year-old driver from Vancouver, Washington was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail for various drug crimes. A 23-year-old female passenger was released.

Bend Council Approves Changes To Short Term Rentals

BEND, OR -- In a 6-0 unanimous vote, the Bend City Council approved code changes that increase the buffer between Short Term Rentals and provide flexibility for property owners.

Changes include increasing the buffer zone between permitted Short Term Rentals from 250 feet up to 500 feet in residential zones, as well as in portions of the Mixed Riverfront zone. The proposed changes would also allow Short Term Rental permit holders to rent out their properties as a long-term rental without losing their short-term rental license for up to three years.

These code changes were informed by results from a Short Term Rental property owner survey that was conducted earlier this year.

Wilderness Permit System Sees User Increase

BEND, OR -- The Central Cascades Wilderness permit system runs through next Saturday the 15th.

Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Jean Nelson-Dean says the program has worked well this season, “overall people are enjoying the fact that parking lots aren’t jampacked. That they can kind of have an experience, particularly in the overnight. Definitely saw an increase of use over our first year of the season due to some of our changes. For our overnight permit system, we issued 10,000 permits which allowed 37,0000 people to spend 35,000 nights. Somewhere between 2 and 4 people going in together to have an overnight experience.”

26,000 day-use permits were issued this summer along with another 20,000 people on day-use passes which were not part of the Wilderness Permit System.

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

BLPS School Board Informational Meeting

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools’ Board of Directors invites interested community members to learn more about what it’s like to serve on the school board. An informational session is set to take place at the Hutchinson Room at Deschutes Public Library’s Downtown Bend branch on Thursday at 6 pm. 

Board Chair Melissa Barnes-Dholakia says they are looking for applicants within the Bend-La Pine School district, “We are now looking for interested community members to be appointed to serve for the remainder of the term which will run through June 30th 2023. This will be a chance for me to share a little bit about our district. As well as the joint goals that our board and district leadership has agreed to. So, the people will understand what the work is that the district and board is doing.”

She says the latest opening received a lot of applications, “I expect this to be back to the normal as in terms to an appointment cycle. Remember, this person is only appointed through the remainder of that term. So, if they sought to be a board member moving forward, they too would have to be elected in the May election.”

Applicants must reside within a Deschutes County voting precinct, have resided within a Deschutes County voting precinct for at least one year, reside within Bend-La Pine Schools’ attendance area and be registered to vote.

School Board member applications are being accepted until October 11th. 

Deschutes County Commissioner Forum

REDMOND,OR -- A candidate forum for Deschutes County Commissioner on Tuesday in Redmond featured Incumbent Patty Adair facing off with Challenger Morgan Schmidt.

Adair has a priority for allocating the County’s Budget, “I want to get some workforce housing. We just dropped a pilot project for over 300 single wide homes. People that work in Deschutes County. They need to be able to live in Deschutes County.”

Schmidt wants to look at how Deschutes County can benefit with its growth, “I understand that money that goes out has to match money that comes in. That’s pretty foundational. And we need to look at what it means to invest in our growing county. Not keep decreasing services.”

Schmidt gave her thoughts on working with county staff, “whether that’s health services or behavioral health we need to be listening to those professionals. Especially when that’s not what we might be experts in.”

Adair agreed listening to staff is key, “it’s very important to always think: both sides of the issue. What does the staff think, what are they saying they need?”

Affordable Housing, Land and Water Use, and Public Health were among other Issues discussed.

Voter Pamphlets and Ballots will arrive later this month.

OSP Fentanyl Bust In Jefferson County

MADRAS, OR -- An Oregon State Police Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in Madras on Wednesday, September 28th. During the course of the stop, reasonable suspicion was developed for drug trafficking. The drug dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search of the vehicle revealed 6 bundles concealed within the vehicle, with a gross weight of approximately 14.48 pounds. A preliminary test of the narcotics showed it was fentanyl powder.

The driver and a passenger, both from Arizona, were lodged in the Jefferson County Jail for various drug crimes.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Get There Challenge Kicks Off

BEND, OR -- For the next two weeks, The Get There Challenge and Oregon Department of Transportation are asking you to drive less and use transportation options more.

The aim is to reduce traffic and emissions across the state, making Oregon a better place to live, work. and play. Kim Curley, Community Engagement Coordinator for Commute Options, says there a variety of ways to participate, “Any trip you make by walk, bike, carpool, ride your horse, throw your kayak in the river, get in your electric car with somebody, not by yourself, anything that takes you out of a single occupancy trip - any trip - any of those trips will count.”

Participants can log their trips at GetThereOregon.org. The Get There Challenge is offering different transportation achievements and awards for weekly winners and a grand prize drawing. 

Get There Oregon, launched by the Oregon Department of Transportation and local partners across the state, helps commuters and employers shift commute habits and work practices one trip at a time.

Bend Police Investigate Saturday Shooting

BEND, OR -- Bend Police responded to a call of a gunshot wound at a residence in the 1900 block of NE Otelah Place on Saturday night, October 1st.  Upon arrival, officers found two men with gunshot wounds related to a dispute. The two men, a 27-year-old Bend resident and a 53-year-old Bend resident, were transported to St. Charles Medical Center where they are both in stable condition. This remains an active investigation and no charges have yet been filed. 


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