BEND, OR -- In January, the state conducted a one-day homeless count to found out how many Oregonians are without permanent housing. Local numbers were released in May, but the statewide stats just came out this week. Kati McDonald with NeighborImpact says, despite an improving economy, lack of affordable housing is leading to an increase in homelessness. "2013 versus 2015, we have more than in 2013. Our chronically homeless folks - those experiencing homelessness longer who have a disability, are actually up."
She tells KBND the local numbers are higher than what the state shows, because Central Oregon statistics include those who are living in motels or staying with friends or family. The statewide report only counts those living outside, in cars or in emergency homeless shelters. "They are reporting there were 503 homeless individuals in Deschutes County, and we reported 1624."
REDMOND, OR -- Ridgeview High school went into lockdown Thursday morning after a student reportedly texted threats to the school. Redmond Schools Superintendent Mike McIntosh says the lockdown started at 8 a.m. and lasted about 12 minutes. "Two students report text messages to Ridgeview administration. We immediately took them seriously, as we do all threats. We called law enforcement and proceeded to go into what we call lockdown protocol. At that time, we didn’t know the location of the student who had sent the texts, so we treated it as if he were on campus."
Superintendent McIntosh tells KBND the 15-year-old student accused of sending the text was located off campus and taken into custody. "The kids were as safe as ever possible, we took all kinds of precautions to make sure that was the case. Lockdown is not to be considered a feared thing, or a fearful thing, it’s just a protocol that we’ve implemented." He adds, "The protocols that we’ve been putting in place with respect to student safety and critical incidents were tested in a real way and I’m pleased with how they functioned. A great partnership with law enforcement, both Redmond city and Deschutes County; school officials did a great job making decisions based on the input they were gathering from multiple sources in very short order; all in an effort to maintain student safety."
McIntosh acknowledges frustration by parents who weren’t notified by the district until the incident was over. "I can say with a clear conscience that our intent is never to deny parents access to their child. But, in these events, if they receive a text from their student saying ‘we’re in lockdown, I’m scared.’ Do their best from their location to text them back reassuring messages, encouraging them to listen to the adult in the room, be safe, make good choices and don’t overreact." He says if concerned parents suddenly showed up at the campus it could've caused an even bigger logistical issue.
LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes National Forest is joining forces with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to create a plan for responding to wildfires across jurisdictional boundaries. Jean Nelson Dean with the Forest Service says the new Greater La Pine Cohesive Strategy Project means “all hands, all lands.”
"That applies both to wildfire fighting and treating areas. And, one great thing is the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forest Service have received funding to do cohesive strategy work down in the La Pine area," Nelson Dean tells KBND. "The idea is that treating both federal lands – BLM, forest service - treating state lands. And, also through the NRCS, being able to treat private lands. So, private landowners being able to apply for grant dollars that they can then do work on their own lands if they’re interested."
She says it's a long-term plan that includes guidelines for how to treat 300,000 acres of designated land. Agencies involved in the Cohesive Strategy Plan will kick off the multi-year project in La Pine, Friday morning.
BEND, OR -- First came the new roundabout on Brookswood Blvd in southwest Bend. And as of 10:30 Monday morning, the new Murphy Road extension from Third Street to Brookswood is open for traffic.
Peter Murphy with the Oregon Department of Transportation says the new road will help move east/west traffic. “People will be able to use Murphy Road, Murphy Bridge to get across from the west side to the east side and back which is something we really didn’t have before. You know we had to go through a couple of stop lights to get across or go a real roundabout way to get across the parkway basically."
This project will eliminate the traffic light at Pinebrook Boulevard on the Parkway. There will also be a median barrier placed on the parkway at Pinebrook.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the new Murphy Road extension Monday at 10 a.m., and traffic will begin flowing at 10:30 a.m.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man was killed in a forklift accident, Thursday afternoon. Emergency crews responded to a property on NW Lamonta Road just before 5 p.m. and found the 70-year-old man underneath the machine.
Investigators say the man was working on the forklift when it fell and pinned him. It appears he was working alone and was pinned for several hours before the accident was discovered.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man was killed in a head on collision in southeast Bend Thursday afternoon. The accident happened at about 1 p.m., in front of the Knott Landfill and shut down Southeast 27th for four hours.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office says 54-year-old David Matthew McDermott was southbound when his pickup crossed the centerline, hitting a semi head on. The semi driver was not injured, but McDermott was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney announced he will not file charges against a man who rescued two people from a crash then held the driver at gunpoint until police arrived. D.A. John Hummel says Joshua Dornon discovered the single-vehicle rollover crash on August 15 in Redmond and extricated both people inside the car.
When the driver took off, Dornon went to his vehicle, grabbed his gun and chased the driver. He found him in a nearby alley and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. That driver now faces criminal charges.
D.A. Hummel admits what Dornan did was against the law, but taking into account that he rescued two people first, Hummel says he's declining to file criminal charges against Dornon.
LA PINE, OR -- Highway 97 was partially blocked for about two hours Thursday morning, while law enforcement investigated a crash involving a semi and a passenger car. The crash occurred at about 4:40 a.m. near State Rec Road.
According to Oregon State Police, 32-year-old Richard Moller of Roseburg was southbound when he crossed the centerline and drove into the path of a northbound semi.
Moller and his passenger, 46-year-old William Liles of Bend, were transported to St. Charles Bend with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the semi, 51-year-old David Hendricks of Idaho, was not hurt.
Updated at 1:45 p.m. to correct the name of the pickup driver and passenger, based on incorrect information provided to KBND.
REDMOND, OR -- Ridgeview High school in Redmond went into lockdown earlier this morning due to what is being described as a potential hazard. Redmond Police secured the facility and the school day has resumed.
District officials say the lockdown began at about 8 a.m. when a student shared that a threat to the school had been made by a person via text. The lockdown lasted 12 minutes, when students, staff and visitors were instructed to move out of site, lock doors, turn off lights and stay quiet.
Once the source of the threat was located, off campus, police and administrators released the lockdown protocol. Redmond Police say there is no further threat.
The school has made counselors available to any student or staff who may need additional assistance.
BEND, OR -- Volkswagen says up to 11 million vehicles worldwide contain the diesel engine with software used to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. So, what do you do if you drive one? “Well, at this point in time there’s nothing to do. There’s not a retrofit available or a change to the car,” says David Thompson, General Manager of Kendall Volkswagen of Bend. He tells KBND owners of the affected VWs have received form letters apologizing for the deception and asking for patience.
Thompson, too, is waiting for officials to come up with a plan. “There’s no fix available at this time. Once that information is created with a fixed plan and all that, we’ll be informed at that time as well.” He adds, “It’s the highest priority of that company, Volkswagen that is, to get the plan approved and get those repairs and changes out to the dealers.”
Until then, Thompson says cars are safe and the Environmental Protection Agency says they’re legal to drive.
Impacted vehicles include:
VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009-2015)
VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2015)
VW Golf Sportwagen TDI (Model Year 2015)
VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)
VW Passat TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)
BEND, OR -- Merchants are still in the process of switching over credit card machines, despite an October first deadline. Businesses without the new EMV card readers are now liable if fraud occurs on a customer’s card. But, Ray Spreier, Chief Information Officer for Mid Oregon Credit Union in Bend, tells KBND transitioning to the new technology is no simple task. "Any part of that transaction chain that is not EMV compliant bears the liability. So, we’ve seen this mad scramble to suddenly update point of sale terminals. And, I don’t think people realize all the moving parts that are between the place where you insert, or used to swipe your card, and the financial institute that’s actually approving the transaction based on the balance."
And, he admits many retailers have seen delays. "So, in a lot of cases, it would be the merchant software systems maybe have not been updated, or aren’t ready to handle the nature of the EMV transaction compared to the old style transaction. What we see at the point of sale is relatively easy, it’s just a different terminal - you just get rid of 'Box A' and replace it with 'Box B.' But, until all that software is placed all the way back into the financial institution, you can’t really support the EMV security." A recent Wells Fargo survey revealed about a fifth of small businesses nationwide have no plans to upgrade.
Spreier says once the new technology is fully functioning, customers shouldn't ignore their own personal responsibility. "I think the general maxim that any consumer should be looking for in handling your finances is what I refer to as “total visibility,” and back that up with control. Most card issuers and most financial institution online banking systems now offer live alerting. So, the minute a transaction hits your card or account, you can get an email or a text message alerting you to that fact. And you can get balance alerts and other things."
To hear more of our conversation with Ray Spreier about EMV technology, visit our Podcast Page
BEND, OR -- A 19-year-old Walmart employee is accused of setting several fires inside the Bend store. Bend Police and Fire investigators say the Monday fires were suspicious in nature, and were located in two areas of the store. Damage was limited to the items ignited and the immediate areas and no one was injured.
Investigators say employee Travis Kyle, of La Pine, started the fires with a pocket lighter. Kyle was arrested on arson charges and lodged at the Deschutes County Jail.
ROSEBURG, OR -- The Douglas County District Attorney has released more information about the death of the man responsible for last week’s shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College. Investigators say the gunman fired at two officers as they arrived at the college Thursday morning, and those officers returned fire, striking the suspect in the side.
Roseburg Police Chief Jim Burge says Detective Sgt. Joe Kaney and Detective Todd Spingath are heroes. "They knew they could be injured or killed during this confrontation as they ran toward the sound of gunfire. I have spoken with both officers and they don’t want to be heralded as heroes, they feel they are only first responders who got there first."
Investigators say after exchanging gunfire with police, the shooter ducked back into a classroom and turned the gun on himself.
At a Wednesday morning press conference, Douglas County D.A. Rick Wesenberg said, "Sgt. Kaney and Det. Spingath used their training and discipline to determine the best time to take a shot at the shooter. Once the suspect engaged the police officers, he did not shoot another student."
Det. Sgt. Kaney is former Marine and 23-year veteran of the Roseburg Police Department, Det. Spingath is a 16-year veteran of the force. They are asking the public to remain focused on the victims.
SISTERS, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger is trying to reboot efforts to build a paved path in Sisters. He tells KBND he's been gathering feedback from area residents over the past several months. "In the time that I've been working on this, 1200 people have contacted me - people and groups. And, basically, 93% of those contacting me supported this concept and want this to move forward."
Unger is asking the Forest Service to conduct another environmental assessment on the idea. "I basically took what I heard, that was positive and what was negative, from the people who contacted me and put it in a letter that I then sent to Kristi Miller, the District Forest Ranger for the Sisters Forest. What I learned was that people support a paved path, and they would engage in the process if the Forest Service brought it up for a new environmental assessment." A new assessment would include a lot of public input and could take a couple of years. "They would handle that with a lot of public process, because that's what the federal government requires, and that's a good thing. They would look at all possibilities, listen to everybody and through that process, come come to a conclusion," he says.
The USFS conducted an environmental assessment several years ago, but stopped progress on the plan when public opposition grew. Currently there is no funding in the agency's budget for an assessment, so payment would need to be worked out.
REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School District is now one month in to the first year of all-day kindergarten, and officials say it is going smoothly. Amber McCloud is the Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Coordinator for the district, and tells KBND adjustments have been made to accommodate the young age of these 468 students. "Our teachers are making sure their activities are short – five to ten minute spurts of time, getting them up and moving; transitioning them from a sitting position working with their fine/gross motor skills, to getting up and singing songs. There’s a lot of action going on in that kindergarten room and a lot of learning."
Superintendent Mike McIntosh says alternating activities helps build up their stamina. "I know we get reports from parents who are getting their kids everyday that kids are going home tired; that’s normal for first and second graders too. So, we’re hearing the normal things, things to be expected. But, I’m not hearing or seeing any great big red flags saying this is an impossible task or a challenge that we can’t do." He encourages parents to create a regular after-school routine with kids, and maintain open communication with teachers.
All-day kindergarten launched statewide September, mandated by the Legislature.
BEND, OR -- The head of the Oregon Health Authority will be in Bend Wednesday evening, to gather feedback on the state's mental health services. OHA Director Lynne Saxton and Senator Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) are conducting a listening tour around the state. Patricia Fenny with the OHA tells KBND they've already been to Klamath Falls and La Grande. "They shared things that were working for them, like finding affordable housing, to what was challenging, finding permanent employment. But other challenges were the fact that there was just a single psychiatrist for that area, and there was only one child psychiatric expert for that entire area."
Fenny says there will be a total of six town hall meetings across the state. "The goal is to identify areas within the behavioral health system which could be strengthened by legislation or created by legislation."
Bend's meeting is at Central Oregon Community College's Willie Hall from 5-8 p.m. "In order to encourage good conversation in a safe environment where people feel supported, it's fairly intimate. We have table-top discussion, so there are about six to eight people per table with a trained facilitator and questions are what's working for you and what are your challenges?" Fenny says.
BEND, OR -- After more than two years of construction, Bend’s Reed Market Road is open in both directions from Third to 27th Street. The project was finished a month ahead of schedule, but not a moment too soon for Tom Healey, who owns the Expressway Corner Market at 15th and Reed Market. “It was 2 1/2 years of different sections of the road, as you well know, being blocked off and alternate routes and it’s been difficult to say the least.” He tells KBND, “It’s finally happened and we’ve got traffic back and a lineup at the pumps and cars going by. Doesn’t get much better.”
In addition to a new center turn lane, there is a new railroad crossing and the bridge at American Lane was rebuilt and moved to the west. There are also new bike lanes. The project cost $18.3 million, and was paid for by a $30 million traffic bond.
Traffic is flowing east and west, but some landscaping and signage is still to come.
TERREBONNE, OR -- A semi crash on Lone Pine Road near Smith Rock Way in Terrebonne blocked the roadway for several hours, early Tuesday morning. Crook County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the truck on its side with severe damage, just after 1 a.m. The driver was uninjured.
Investigators say the man was driving too fast for the conditions when he drove onto the shoulder, jumped an irrigation canal and rolled the truck onto its side, spilling a load of asphalt.
No citations were issued at the time.
MADRAS, OR -- One block from the current Jefferson County Courthouse in Madras, sits the original courthouse, now nearly 100 years old. Steve Jansen now owns the building, and is thrilled it received approval to be listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. "The county declared it surplus back in 2013 and put it up on the market for sale and nobody ever bid on it. Back in December 2013 I just threw a lowball offer to purchase it because the next step, it was going out for bid to demo it and I wanted to save it," Jansen tells KBND.
The original courthouse was built in 1917 as the Madras City Hall, but housed county offices and court until 1961, when the current courthouse opened a block away.
He says shortly after he purchased the building in January 2014, he began looking in to ways to preserve its history. But, inclusion on the National Register wasn't easy. "One of the reasons was, there was no history on the building. None of the records, nothing existed, they were all lost over the years. It took quite a bit of research to get as much info on it as we do have." According to Jansen, the courthouse is the second oldest building in the county, behind the original train depot in Metolius, and it is the third building in Jefferson County to make it on the National Register.
He calls his restoration effort an "ongoing act of love" for what is now referred to in Madras as "the Old Courthouse." He hopes to eventually rent out the second-floor courtroom for special events. Work should be completed in time for the building's centennial in 2017. He’s in the process of leasing out first floor office space.
Jansen also owns the original jail that sits in front of the Old Courthouse, but says its history would be lost if he were to renovate the small concrete structure.
BEND, OR -- After more than a decade without much in the way of multi-family housing construction in Bend, developers have proposed a slew of new apartments. The city could see more than 1,500 new units in the next few years.
But, Pat Kesgard with Compass Commercial
tells KBND opposition is mounting by neighbors of those developments. "About 500 of those are still in the preliminary stages; we don’t know if they’re going to move forward or not. And, so it’s really a challenge. You’ve got the city that’s agreed to pass on some SDC fees for affordable housing; Park and Rec opted out, they may well change that decision. So, there’s a lot of momentum to make things happen and we just have to wait and see."
Kesgard believes that opposition doesn’t have much of an argument, but could put development at risk. "By far, the majority, if not all of them, are outright allowed use. But, when these people say 'I don’t want this built in my backyard,' then the developer has to decide whether to fight it. Can these people potentially delay the project? Yes. Just like OSU [Cascades]." And, he says developers could decide the fight isn't worth the cost. "Interest rates are going to go up and in some point in time, it’s no longer going to be affordable for that developer to build those apartments. So, it’s a real issue."
ROSEBURG, OR -- As Oregonians try to rationalize last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College, many speculate that the gunman was suffering from a mental illness.
But Psychiatrist Dr. Dan Bristow says it’s important to wait on such discussions until all the facts are known. "The fear that often accompanies an act like that in the general population sometimes it leads to certain reports from the media that aren’t good. We try to explain the unexplainable in these situations, and I think a lot of times that leads us down political roads and discussions about gun control, someone has to have a mental illness to commit an act like this. And those are things that are way premature in talking about, when we should be talking about how do we support the survivors, how do we support the city of Roseburg?"
A neighbor told the New York Times that the shooter’s mother said her son was dealing with “some mental issues.”
Dr. Bristow tells KBND, "The vast majority of violent crime in America is committed through criminal behavior – in other words, the person knows that what they’re doing is wrong and they do it anyway. To say that that’s mental illness is basically falsely connecting any sort of abnormal criminal behavior with a mental illness, which is very rarely the case." He adds, "Some studies have shown that people with severe mental illness are no more likely to commit a violent act than the general population. So, when that connection is made, I think it makes people who are experiencing mental health problems less likely to get help for them because it creates more fear.
A doctor with the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association, Dr. Bristow traveled to Roseburg Friday to meet with first responders. What he found was a community caring for its own. "I met with a couple of State Police officers down the road from UCC. It was about 10:30 Friday night and I just wanted to stop in and thank them for their work. And, as we were talking a family dropped off a couple of boxed meals for the officers. And, immediately seeing the support and the heart of the people of Roseburg, it made me think the national media isn’t getting the whole story here, because this community is really banding together."
BEND, OR -- A grant from the Helen Lorenz Foundation is helping put 32 defibrillators in Bend Police cars. The devices are being installed and will be used during patrol operations.
The department has also initiated CPR training to allow for seamless patient care in emergency situations, no matter the first responder on scene.
Recent statistics show a 50% survival rate for cardiac arrest patients in Bend with a shocakable rhythm who are treated with a defibrillator in the field. Nationwide, the survival rate is about 33%.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners have decided to weigh in on whether solar farms should be allowed in rural areas. Norwest Energy plans to build two of these farms along Neff Road, near Big Sky Park.
Commissioner Alan Unger says a hearings officer approved the developments, but some neighbors have appealed. "The board decided to accept the appeal. And, as we look it, this is the first time solar farms have been introduced into Deschutes County. We feel like it's good for us, when there are new applications for new things coming into the county, to bring it up for appeal, to strengthen the decision."
He tells KBND they will hear arguments during a public hearing on October 19. "So, when they go to LUBA, the Land Use Board of Appeals, which it seems like everything does, the county's case is stronger. I'm not saying we won't overturn the hearing officer's decision and I'm not saying we'll affirm it. But, we're going to have a hearing to accept the appeal and listen for more."
Commissioners expect to make a decision by November 7. If neighbors aren't happy, they can appeal to LUBA.
"This is the kind of policy we have, which is if there are new things, let's firm the record up and a solid decision that's supportable by the county up to the board, not just a hearings officer. Because it makes a difference when they go to the Land Use Board of Appeals, and it gives us standing if they were to remand this back to us," Unger says.
GRANTS PASS, OR -- Classes were canceled at Rogue Community College Monday, following a bomb threat. The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the school, working with campus officials to evacuate and investigate.
Officials believe the threat was directed at the Redwood campus, although RCC's Riverside campus in Medford and Table Rock campus in White City were also evacuated as a precaution.
The Redwood campus in Grants Pass is just 80 miles from last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are applying for additional grant money to fund DUII patrols over the next year.
In the final month of the current grant year, Redmond Police arrested seven people suspected of driving under the influence. One of those arrests in September was made during an overtime shift funded by grants.
The primary intent of the increased patrols is to prevent deaths, injuries and property damage caused by those driving while impaired.
BEND, OR -- A second mediation session between Oregon Nurses Association members and St. Charles Medical Center in Bend is planned for this week. But a survey taken by the union shows little support for the hospital’s contract offer.
The nearly 720 nurses at the Bend hospital have been working without a contract since July. And if last week’s informal survey of members is any indication, it might be a while longer before the two sides come together.
ONA members were offered a survey by union leadership asking if they approve of what the hospital is currently proposing in a new contract. Nurses were asked about salary increases, earned time off, shift premiums, disability and staffing. The union has been vocal about what it considers inadequate staffing of nurses for patient loads at St. Charles. 609 Bend nurses took the survey; 606 said they do not approve of the hospital’s current offer.
It is important to clarify this was not a ratification vote of the contract offer, rather a survey to see what the ONA membership is thinking.
Union leaders say they’ll take the overwhelming results into Thursday’s federal mediation session between the two parties.
St. Charles does not comment on contract negotiations but has stated, ”St. Charles remains focused on reaching an agreement on a contract that is competitive across the industry and provides a work environment that is consistent with our vision, mission and values."
BEND, OR -- Two teens were arrested Saturday morning, after they were seen allegedly entering unlocked vehicles in northeast Bend.
According to police, a concerned citizen called to report two 15-year-old boys trying to open car doors in the parking of apartment complexes near Northeast Purcell. An officer arrived in an unmarked car and says the two were observed in the act. They were quickly taken into custody.
Investigators say the pair was looking for unlocked vehicles with items in plain view, including clothing, marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.
BEND, OR -- A Bend man discovered an intoxicated man in his apartment Saturday night, trying to steal an unloaded shotgun. The victim was home at the time of the burglary, but initially thought the suspect was his roommate. He ordered the man out and called police.
Officers responded to NW 11th and Newport and spent a long period of time trying to call the suspect out of a hallway at the apartment complex. They eventually arrested 24-year-old Eric Koester.
He was taken to St. Charles Bend with cuts on his hands. He's charged with Burglary I, Theft I and Criminal Mischief II.
The shotgun was recovered at the scene. Based on its appearance, police believe Koester threw the gun over the balcony during the burglary.
ROSEBURG, OR -- The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is releasing more details of how events unfolded at Umpqua Community College Thursday morning. The first 911 calls came into the dispatch center at 10:38 a.m. and the first law enforcement units were on scene at 10:44.
According to investigators, two Roseburg Police officers engaged the shooter with gunfire just two minutes later, at 10:46 a.m. And, two minutes after that, they reported "suspect down." The Oregon State Police Medical Examiner has determined the gunman's cause of death to be suicide.
Previous accounts have identified the shooter as 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer, although Sheriff John Hanlin has refused to name him. A spokesperson for the suspect's family released the following public statement: "We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific events that unfolded on Thursday, October 1. Our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and were injured."
Read more about the nine killed in the rampage, including statements from some of their families.
The Douglas County Sheriff released a number of ways those outside of Roseburg can help the community heal after the tragedy:
ROSEBURG, OR -- The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the nine people killed in Thursday morning's shooting rampage:
18-year-old Rebecka Ann Carnes of Myrtle Creek
18-year-old Quinn Glen Cooper of Roseburg (family statement below)
18-year-old Lucas Eibel of Roseburg (family statement below)
19-year-old Lucero Alcaraz of Roseburg
20-year-old Treven Taylor Anspach of Sutherlin (family statement below)
34-year-old Jason Dale Johnson of Winston (family statement below)
44-year old Sarena Dawn Moore of Myrtle Creek
59-year-old Kim Saltmarsh Dietz of Roseburg
Assistant Professor of English at UCC: 67-year-old Lawrence (Larry) Levine of Glide
Officials have increased the number of wounded to nine, who are all being treated at area hospitals. The tenth fatality in yesterday's incident was the suspected gunman who was killed during a shootout with law enforcement.
Classes at Umpqua Community College have now been canceled through next week.
UPDATE: Some families of the slain victims released public statements through the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Here they are, unedited, in their entirety:
Jason Johnson Family Statement: "Jason Johnson, age 34, was proud to be a Christian. Jason recently enrolled in school at Umpqua Community College. Jason's mother said that Jason was proud of himself for enrolling in school, and so was his mom. They felt that Jason had finally found his path. His family says that he will be loved and missed."
Lucas Eibel Family Statement: "We have been trying to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years. Lucas loved Future Farmers of America volunteering at Wildlife Safari, and Saving Grace animal shelter. He was an amazing soccer player. He graduated Roseburg High School with high academic marks. He was a Ford Family Foundation scholarship recipient. He was a Umpqua Community College scholars award recipient. He was studying chemistry."
"Memorial donations can be made to Roseburg High School FFA and to the injured victims."
Treven Anspach Family Statement: "The Anspach family would like to thank everybody for their heart felt thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. Treven was one of the most positive young man always looking for the best in life. Treven was larger than life and brought out the best in those around him."
"In Justin's and Kim's words Treven was a perfect son."
Quinn Cooper Family Statement: "We are in shock this happened. Quinn was only 18 years old. He just graduated in June from Roseburg High school. Yesterday was his fourth day of college. Quinn was funny, sweet, compassionate and such a wonderful loving person. He always stood up for people. Quinn and his brother Cody are inseparable. Quinn was going to take his brown belt test on October 10th. He loved dancing and voice acting and playing Ingress with Cody, my oldest son. I don't know how we are going to move forward with our lives without Quinn. Our lives are shattered beyond repair. We send our condolences to all the families who have been so tragically affected by this deranged gunman. No one should ever have to feel the pain we are feeling."
"We are hearing so many people talk about gun control and taking people's guns away. If the public couldn't have guns it wouldn't help since sick people like this will always be able to get their hands on a gun(s). We need to be able to protect ourselves as a community and as a nation. Please don't let this horrible act of insanity become about who should or shouldn't have a gun. Please remember the victims and their families. Please remember Quinn."
"Thank you. The Coopers."
ROSEBURG, OR -- Umpqua Community College remains closed, following the deadly shooting where nine people were killed and a number of others were wounded in a classroom, Thursday morning. The gunman died during a shootout with police.
Governor Kate Brown held a news conference Friday, from Roseburg. She said, "As we move forward, we can honor lives lost by remember to be a caring community. This is a very difficult time, especially for those in Douglas County whose lives were changed by the events of yesterday."
No victims have been officially identified. That information is expected to be released by the Medical Examiner's office later today.
The gunman's motive remains under investigation. Authorities found six firearms at the school and another seven at his apartment. Governor Brown says action must be taken to prevent these tragedies, but says that discussion is for another day. "Oregon has worked constructively to stop these tragedies, but they keep happening here and across the country. We have to decide we want them to stop. There's no single solution. We must and will do better to prevent senseless violence."
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) was at the press conference and said his family moved to Roseburg when he was in the first grade. He says UCC has joined a list of mass shootings no one wants to be on. "Eighteen schools have had shootings in 2015 and there have been 45 mass shootings in the U.S. this year. So, we will be carrying in our hearts, not only the sorrow and grief, but the responsibility of pondering what we can do to prevent the list from continuing to grow as it has." He says a great-granddaughter of one of his first cousins was killed in the shooting.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) also spoke, saying he believes Oregon can lead the way to prevent these violence tragedies. "For the future, it's clear it does need to be about more than words and good intentions. As a country, we can't just shrug our shoulders and move on." He says we need to strike a compromise that deals with rights and responsibilities.
College officials say the campus will reopen sometime early next week.
Photo Credit: OregonLive.com
BEND, OR -- Marijuana users celebrated the first day of recreational pot sales Thursday, many by visiting a local dispensary for their first legal purchase. Levi Vannoy, co-owner of 5th LMNT on the north end of Bend, tells KBND his store saw a big jump in business. "It has been a steady flow of new patients – recreational people and medical patients, also. It’s been about 10 to one, in favor of recreational; they’re very excited to be able to buy legal cannabis."
Without a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Redmond, Brandon had to travel to Bend to shop. He was one of those excited customers at 5th LMNT. "I [had] seen that we’re allowed to come in at midnight, and I was thinking about it, but I decided to wait until I woke up. I knew what I wanted before I got here. Then I [saw] on the screen it’s the cheapest one here, so I’m pretty excited about that."
Vannoy says his staff answered product questions from nearly every customer. "Some questions are like ‘I want something to help me relax in the evening.’ In that case, we suggest an indica which is more a slow you down, relaxation type of cannabis. If they come in and say ‘I need something to get me going and help me do my housework.’ We suggest a sutiva, which is more a pep-up type of cannabis."
Joe, from Bend, didn't have to ask too many questions. "The first time I bought pot was in a hallway in Greenwich Village before a Fillmore East concert, that was the first time. And, it’s come a long way, and it’s good to see! It’s healthy, I think." He tells KBND, "It’s pretty happy and it’s good to see how laid back it is. It’s kind of fun that it’s laid back and it’s just open. People who smoke pot are cool and just laid back, and yet it’s a business."
The store only allows a small number of customers behind the closed door of the product area, and Joe and fellow customers were willing to wait 20 minutes or more, for their turn to shop.
At 5th LMNT, Vannoy says he doesn't think this uptick in business will last forever. "I believe it will taper off some, there are just a lot of patients waiting on October first and uh, they’re coming in to see. It’s the first time they’ve been in a dispensary and they all seem pretty happy."
BEND, OR -- The Redmond man who was driving drunk with five children in his car when he crashed, killing his step-daughter, was sentenced to nine years in prison. 33-year-old William Fix pleaded guilty Thursday to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Assault charges. His driver's license will be suspended for life.
In September 2014, Fix lost control of his vehicle on Highway 97 while driving home from a child's birthday party in Bend. His car rolled and struck a rock formation. His seven-year-old step-daughter, Phoenix Price, was killed instantly. The other four children injured in the crash ranged in age from seven to 14.
LA PINE, OR -- Two people were arrested by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, after detectives say they found a large quantity of methamphetamine during a traffic stop.
According to the CODE team, Alex Barajas of Culver, was suspected of trafficking drugs in Deschutes and Jefferson counties. When officers stopped a pickup in La Pine Monday night, a K-9 unit alerted to the presence of narcotics.
Investigators say several pounds of meth were hidden in the dashboard and other compartments, valued at around $32,000. They also seized a small amount of other drugs.
The driver of the pickup, 34-year-old Bonita Leonard of Warm Springs, and 31-year-old Barajas were both arrested for drug possession and other charges.
BEND, OR -- A local alternative transportation advocacy group launches its third annual Drive Less Challenge on Monday. Kim Curley with Commute Options tells KBND, "This is our statewide challenge to anyone over the age of 18 to log those trips that they make by biking, walking, carpool, telework, compressed work week or taking the bus – and right now, in Bend, you can take the bus until 8 P.M."
Prizes will be offered for those who sign up and eliminate trips taken alone by car, but you must log eight or more one-way trips. "October 5, Monday, we want you to walk, bike, carpool, ride the bus to anywhere. Not just work, not just school, but soccer practice, the movies, carpool to the neighbors, walk to the mailbox; all those trips count, you just have to put in the address of the place that you’re going. And, we’ve got piles of prizes: Visa gift cards. We’ve got lots of local sponsors, too: Hutch’s, RuffWear, Worthy, Gear Fix, Savory Spice Shop."
Participation in the Drive Less Challenge is free, and Curley says should result in savings, in the long run. Learn more about the challenge and sign up HERE
ROSEBURG, OR -- 1:30 P.M. UPDATE: Douglas County Sheriff confirms the shooter is dead. He refuses to confirm the total number of fatalities. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has said there are at least 13 dead. It's unclear of that includes the shooter.
State Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend) issued the following statement: "As someone who grew up in Roseburg and experienced many special times as a youth at Umpqua Community College, I am devastated by the horrific events that took place there today. I stand together with Oregonians across the state in offering my most heartfelt thoughts and prayers. There will be very difficult days ahead, but I know the people of the Roseburg community, as we always do, will emerge stronger and more united than ever before."
House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) issued the following statement: “I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy that took place today at Umpqua Community College. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, our first responders and the people of Roseburg. Oregonians across the state are united in grief with the Roseburg community and resolved to bring help and healing to those impacted by today’s horrible events.”
1 P.M. UPDATE: The Oregon Attorney General confirms 13 are dead from this morning's shooting. Oregon State Police believes there was only one shooter who is "no longer a threat."
Staff and family are being taken by bus to the Douglas County Fairgrounds to meet family. Emergency personnel urge the public to avoid the area as it could hamper emergency efforts.
Gov. Kate Brown released the following statement prior to a 1:30 Portland press conference: "Today is heartbreaking for Umpqua Community College, the greater Roseburg community and all of Oregon. My heart is heavy as details of today's shooting become available. While it is still too early to know all of the facts, the effects of an incident such as this one are long-lasting. Please join me in keeping the victims and their families, as well as first responders, in your thoughts."
A gunman entered the Umpqua Community College campus at about 10:30 a.m. and opened fire. So far, seven are confirmed dead but some estimates have the death toll as high as 15. Twenty others are reportedly injured.
The shooter is reportedly in custody, but his condition is unknown.
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) issued the following statement on the tragedy: "Today's news out of Roseburg is heartbreaking. My thought and prayers go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy, their families and the entire community. Oregon and the entire nation mourn this senseless loss."
The FBI's Portland Division is responding to the incident. Agents and specialty personnel are responding from FBI offices in Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.
KBND will continue to monitor the story and bring you information as it becomes available. Stay tuned to FM 100.1 and 1110 AM for live updates.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists plan to light several prescribed burns, beginning Thursday. The first is an 80-acre burn expected east of Highway 97, one mile west of Horse Butte along the south side of Bend. Another 51-acre burn is expected three miles west of Sisters, adjacent to Black Butte Ranch.
Depending on weather, other burns could happen this weekend northwest of Wickiup Reservoir, including a 281-acre effort. They expect to begin work west of Bend by early next week.
In a statement, forestry officials said, "All prescribed burns have been scheduled to take advantage of the cooler and more humid fall season, which minimizes the detrimental impacts of a summer wildfire by consuming surface fuels and reducing shrub and small trees densities. These prescribed fire projects are being conducted to reduce the threat of large scale wildfire to the community of Bend." No road closures are expected, but the burns could send dense smoke into the area.
BEND, OR -- With recreational pot sales allowed starting today, comes increased concern by anti-drug advocates and some parents that minors will have easier access to marijuana. Hunter Neubauer, cannabis expert and owner of the Bend-based dispensary OreGrown, says there are simple steps users can follow to keep kids safe. "Keep it locked up; use some common sense. Ya know, the old liquor cabinet situation – normally, liquor cabinets haven’t been locked up and that’s just kind of been our society. I think with cannabis you’ll see a little bit different approach. I think people will maybe take a little more precaution, and I think a safe is a great way to completely get rid of that opportunity."
He admits parents are on the front lines of navigating the new landscape, but says making sure kids stay safe at the homes of friends and neighbors comes down to communication. "You really need to feel open and be approachable yourself, as much as you want the other person to be approachable to discuss that openly. And, not only have that conversation between parents, which is very, very important. It also comes down to parenting, though, too. You also need to educate your children. This is something now becoming part of your socio-economic culture."
Neubauer suggests similar conversations between cannabis users and non-smoking neighbors. While Measure 91 does not allow smoking marijuana in public, he admits some neighbors may still smell cannabis from a neighbor's house. Neubauer says users should talk to neighbors about potential conflicts before they arise. "There are a lot of people who are very excited about this becoming legal and feel proud and very protective of that. But, I think we also need to remember that we are neighbors and are part of a community. I think we just need to approach it correctly and politely and I think you need to have that conversation and discuss concerns that either party might have."
Limited quantities of Recreational pot can legally be purchased by those 21 and over with valid ID, from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. You're allowed to buy up to a quarter ounce of dried leaves or flowers, seeds and immature plants. Those under 21 can still purchase pot with a valid medical marijuana (OMMP) card.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Both Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) spoke out in favor of the U.S. Senate’s approval of a bill to keep the government running through mid-December. The legislation also includes $700 million in emergency funding to refill wildfire accounts drained during this summer’s devastating fire season. But, Wyden says it’s not enough. "The short-term fix is an unfortunate necessity, as once again, the Congress has chosen to govern by crisis. Congress can and must do better. I will keep pushing for a bipartisan, long-term fix to provide funding for prevention as well as wildfire suppression."
Wyden went on to say, "Short-changing the forest service funds is not just a problem for western states. Forest work in other states gets short-changed when money has to be diverted to fight wildfires in Oregon and the west. It’s time to treat the major fires like the disasters they are."
Senator Merkley says that without the emergency funds, the Forest Service and other agencies would be forced to undergo massive cuts to operating costs. Both Merkley and Wyden called on Congress to pass a long-term funding fix that would treat major fires like other natural disasters.
BEND, OR -- Bend is well-known as a dog town, but is it a cat town as well? If the number of stray cats is any indication, apparently not. The local non-profit CRAFT (Cat Rescue, Adoption and Foster Team) has cared for more than a thousand cats and kittens a year since 2006, and they've seen an increase in calls, recently.
Janice Sershen is a CRAFT volunteer and says without her group, there are few other options. "I think more could have been done in past years. The shelters don't go out in the field and do trapping or go out there. They want cats brought to them and they'll deal with it. I'm probably one of the few that goes out and puts a hundred miles on my car a day picking up the cats or trapping them, checking the situation." She adds, "You can't expect people, everyone to know how to trap. A lot of people don't want to touch a cat. And, there's a fear, understandably, of rabies, you have to worry about being bit - that's a serious issue. I have enough experience that I feel comfortable doing it. For my love and passion for cats, I'll do it."
She says they've received 77 calls at CRAFT's Bend shelter, in just the last three weeks. "We get calls everyday. I cannot keep up with trapping. I get so many calls for strays or abandoned, people evicted leaving cats behind, feral colonies, people feeding or not feeding, breeding moms and babies. I just don't have enough foster homes to pick up the moms and kittens."
CRAFT's Bend shelter is currently home to 60 cats. The organization runs on donations and some grant money. They are now asking for more volunteers and foster families to help until new families can be found for the cats and kittens.
BEND, OR -- The FBI released its annual national crime statistics this week, and Central Oregon’s two largest cities showed big drops in property crimes in 2014. But Redmond Police Lt. Mike Kidwell says increases in rape and robbery in his city are not the full picture. "Our Part I crimes are significantly down. For instance, in 2001, we had 1,648 part one crimes reported to the Redmond Police Department. In 2014, we only had 1,128." Part I crimes are those considered more severe. The FBI measures eight categories of Part I offenses: Robbery, Rape, Aggravated Assault, Murder, Burglary, Larceny/Theft, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson.
In Bend, Lt. Clint Burleigh agrees. He says the raw numbers are only part of the story. "You may have very good successes as an organization or a group and your numbers might be a little worse. And, it’s not because you didn’t do well, there are just a lot of other factors that are tough to measure – how many visitors did we have this summer? How long were they here? How many crashes on the road did we have?"
In Redmond, violent crimes increased by less than 1%, but Lt. Kidwell disputes some of the numbers, saying how the FBI calculates the stats can be subjective and lead to skewed results. "For instance, there is an increase in robbery, but sometimes that can be a shoplifting case where the shoplifter actually pushed away from and ran away from the security officer at the store. Since force is used, that all of a sudden becomes a robbery. So, we’ll look at is that what caused an increase or do we actually have an increase. So, we’ll try to address it that way with the stores and any other way we can address it."
Redmond Police Chief Dave Tarbet talks in-depth about the numbers, on our Podcast Page
In Bend, violent crimes dropped by 60%, but Lt. Burleigh says it's important to look at the big picture. "Looking at the top 10 cities in Oregon, we’re the sixth largest city by population and, out of those 10, we have the third lowest numbers in violent crime and fourth lowest in property crime. I think that speaks a lot to our department in trying to be proactive in preventing crime and I think it speaks a lot to our officers going out there and making contacts with everybody in the community." He adds, "We look at everything and try to measure ourselves that way, but I don’t think you can just completely rely on just a number itself. I think there are so many other factors that you have to pay attention to. I think the number one thing to look at is, we had 114 violent crimes reported in 2014 - that’s at least 114 people that were impacted tremendously that year. I’d love it to be zero. If we could have zeroes across the board, I think that would be awesome." In Prineville, violent crimes fell 9%.
According to the FBI report, property crimes dropped, last year, by 6% in Bend and 11% in Redmond. In Prineville, they rose by 20% in 2014.
BEND, OR -- The Bend Fire Department is replacing its most commonly used fire trucks, this fall. Deputy Chief of Fire Operations Bob Madden conducted their final inspection earlier this week at the factory in South Dakota. "We have six new fire engines coming. We’ll be getting two a week over a three-week period. And, we’ll be doing our in-service training and anticipate to have our first ones actually in service, responding to calls, probably by late November."
The city originally hoped to replace the units several years ago, but the plan was delayed due to the economy. Madden tells KBND, "We didn’t get a lot of new equipment; they’ll pull in next to our old ones, we’ll take all of the stuff off of those and put them onto those. But, our higher technology equipment, I think is in the EMS equipment – our 12-lead EKG machines and things like that – that’s where probably the largest dollar amount is going into, is in that medical equipment."
The current fleet of Structural engines is over 20 years old. "We did that replacement in 1994. They served us well, but they’re beyond their service age now and, of course, our maintenance costs are going up. So we’ve got this new fleet that we purchased with great help from the city and rural fire district to be able to fund this," Madden says. He expects two engines will come to Bend each week over a three-week period next month, and should also last about 20 years. He says other vehicles - ladder trucks, wildland fire units and quick response vehicles - are all still within their expected service life.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville is moving ahead with a new wastewater treatment system, thanks to new federal funds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just awarded the city a $4 million loan and a $1 million grant to put in new sewer lines and upgrade the pump station, among other things. Vicki Walker with the USDA Rural Development Department tells KBND, "They're doing some really unique things. They're going to put their treated wastewater into a wetland instead of discharging it into the Crooked River. I think that's very environmentally sound and it will help the community be able to expand capacity."
The funding will cover more than half of the $9 million project. Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe tells KBND the new wetland area will be cheaper than a traditional mechanical system. "A mechanical plant would have cost $62 million and it was reduced to $6.6 million; and our wastewater System Development Charges were reduced from $9,147 to $3,875 per equipment dwelling unit, which will really stimulate economic development for us." She says it will also allow the wastewater rates to remain constant for quite a while. "And, riparian improvements will be made to over two miles of the Crooked River. And, our citizens will have access to over two miles of the Crooked River, as well as 160-acres of wetland park area," Roppe says.
Prineville's existing system began operations in 1960 and currently serves more than 9,000 residents. The city will start taking bids for the work in the next couple weeks and hope to break ground in October. The project is expected to take two to three years. Mayor Roppe hopes to have the new system up and running in 2017.
BEND, OR -- Medical Marijuana dispensaries in Bend are just two days away from being allowed to sell recreational pot. Hunter Neubauer serves on the OLCC advisory committee tasked with creating rules for future retail outlets. As the owner of OreGrown in Bend, he’s also navigating early rec. sales at his own dispensary, as regulated by the Oregon Health Authority. "There’s some things that came from the OHA, as far as requirements go. We need to make sure we check IDs, we need to input them into our system, keep track of what they purchased. Everybody can purchase up to a quarter ounce of buds or flowers, they can also get four clones or seeds. So, we have to keep track of all that information and make sure we don’t oversell that allotment per day, per person." Those rec sales are taxed by the state, while Medical marijuana sales are not.
Neubauer tells KBND he expects the clientele at his dispensary to shift in the coming year. "We have to really change the ebb and flow of how our dispensary works. We have two different point of sale systems, we have a brand new set of packaging and materials we think are going to be a great way for new customers to come in and figure out what they’re looking for, what this industry is about and help guide them to choose correctly." He adds, "Attaining your medical card is a long process and if you have a true medical condition, it’s very much needed. But, I think that you’ll see the same thing happen in Oregon as it did in Washington and Colorado. A lot of medical patients stopped getting their medical cards and have now just become full recreational adult users. It’s just easier."
Eventually, recreational retail outlets allowed in January, will be overseen by the OLCC.
To hear the full conversation with Hunter Neubauer, visit our Podcast Page.
BEND, OR -- A Silverton man arrested Saturday for allegedly stealing a car from a Bend coffee drive-thru was arrested again Sunday afternoon under very similar circumstances. Aaron Hodges was arrested at around 8:30 Saturday night after the incident at Dutch Bros on Third Street. Lt. Nick Parker with Bend Police says he was released from jail Sunday morning, just hours before his next run-in with police. "Officers were dispatched to the Looney Bean Coffee shop off of Brooks Street, where an individual – we didn’t know who it was at the time – was causing a disruption at the business and not letting customers get their drinks as they were being ordered. Officers contacted a male subject there, who turned out to be the same person – Aaron Hodges – from the day before."
Read more about Hodges' first arrest.
Lt. Parker tells KBND the downtown incident began at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. "A white van entered down the alleyway, in front of the Looney Bean Coffee shop. He made a comment to officers that he was going to take the van, or steal the van. And so he got up and went over to the van that was occupied with two people, and tried opening the doors. The officer placed him under arrest at that time." He adds, "It’s definitely concerning to draw that much attention and then get arrested twice in a matter of hours. It’s pretty concerning."
Hodges now faces new charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and menacing, on top of the original allegations.
BEND, OR -- A Klamath Falls man was arrested early Monday morning, following an armed robbery at K Market on NW Albany in Bend. According to Bend Police, 32-year-old Brian Gifford threatened the store clerk with a knife and demanded money, just after 9 p.m., Sunday. The suspect left in a white Jeep Cherokee with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Just before 2 a.m. Monday, Redmond Police responded to an unrelated incident near SW 33rd and Newberry. They found Gifford with a white Jeep Cherokee registered to the state, and discovered it had been reported stolen. Redmond officers recovered property allegedly stolen from the K Market robbery and the weapon used.
The Klamath Falls man was taken to the Deschutes County Jail on several charges, including Robbery I and Menacing.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney will head up a committee that is expected to finish work on a 30-year transportation plan for the state. Baney was appointed to the Governor's transportation committee in 2014. She says their work came to a halt when Governor Kitzhaber resigned in February.
Commissioner Baney is happy they're getting back at it. "Transportation right now is a very political subject. But, this work too many people have put a lot of time and effort and energy into making up this particular draft that we have. It's great work and it needs to be completed."
The transportation panel is scheduled to come up with a plan by the end of March. "The Governor [Brown] really is wanting to complete the 30-year vision for the state of Oregon. It is unfortunate that it's being linked to the recent Legislative session, that was more aligned in a transporation funding package," Baney tells KBND.
BEND, OR -- A Silverton man was arrested Saturday for allegedly stealing a car from a customer at a Bend Dutch Bros coffee drive-thru.
Bend Police say 40-year-old Aaron Hodges had been yelling at a customer when he jumped into the passenger seat of a pickup at about 8:30 p.m. and demanded a ride. When the 18-year-old driver refused, Hodges reportedly used his hand to push the gas pedal.
The driver tried to press the brakes, but eventually jumped out of the vehicle, concerned for his own safety. Hodges then crashed into a parked car near Third and Lafayette.
He was arrested on a number of charges, including Robbery and Menacing. Hodges was released Sunday morning on his own recognizance. According to the Deschutes County Jail he was re-arrested on new charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Sunday afternoon.
REDMOND, OR -- Recreational marijuana will be allowed to be sold at medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon, beginning Thursday. The Redmond Patriots are holding a forum on the dangers of the drug, Monday evening, especially for young people.
Mandi Pucket, certified Prevention Specialist and Executive Director of Clear Alliance, is on the panel. She tells KBND, "You know, parents need to be aware of things like vapor pens and e-cigarettes. These items can be disguised like pens, cell phones, Bluetooth and things they wouldn't necessarily think of. All the forms that marijuana is taking today, between edibles and joints, marijuana is morphing into new strains that parents really need to know how different it looks."
Also participating in the forum, retired Oregon Circuit Court Judge Gary Thompson and Emergency Room Tech Maggie Heising. Pucket says, "Our target audience is youth and parents and young adults; that's because they face significant risk with marijuana. With stores opening up on October first, that, to parents, means increased accessibility, increased availability." She adds, "Research shows when you increase access and availability, and you lower the perception of harm, that means youth use typically goes up. And, when you look at the stats from national surveys, that's what it shows. It shows perception of harm is going down and youth use is going up; and we want to prevent that from happening in communities throughout Oregon."
The Redmond Patriots forum begins at 6:30 p.m. at Highland Baptist Church.
NORTH SISTER, OR -- Deschutes County Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue teams, along with two helicopters, worked in wind and darkness Friday to reach an injured Salem climber on North Sister. Sgt. Ronny Dozier says 45-year-old Gordon Kenyon fell while climbing the 10,085-foot peak.
He tells KBND Kenyon was able to stop his fall with an ax and held in place until rescuers arrived. "With the assistance of Air Link helicopters [rescuers] were taken up to a saddle between the Middle Sister and the North Sister and dropped off. They hiked up as close as they could to Mr. Kenyon's location."
Dozier says Kenyon stayed in contact with his rescuers by text message. He was taken to St. Charles Bend for further medical attention.
BEND, OR -- Governor Kate Brown announced Friday the formation of a workgroup to evaluate the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, following allegations of evidence tampering at the Bend facility.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel commended the Governor’s move, even as he continues to investigate the actions of Bend analyst Nika Larsen. "The investigation isn’t over yet, but we’re seeing evidence that drugs that she would analyze, that were sent to the crime lab, sometimes she would take them and drugs would be missing. Other times she would take drugs and ‘backfill’ to try and hide her tracks, it seems like. Like, if there were 50 pills that were supposed to be oxycodone, you go back and look and two are oxycodone and 48 are an antihistamine."
That investigation involves his office, OSP and the Attorney General. Hummel says more than 500 cases must be re-evaluated, including more than two-dozen pending prosecution. "There are some cases that are still pending; those are a little easier to address because we can still try and fix any wrongs before any improper convictions would occur. But, the convictions that have already occurred, those are more difficult, but we’re going to look at every one of those."
Larsen is one of seven analysts at the Bend lab; Hummel says there’s no indication any others are involved, but he praised the Governor's move to look deeper. "You can bet your bottom dollar that the Nika Larson case will be discussed by that work group. But, I think that it’s important for that work group to look overall at policies, procedures and controls at crime labs across the state, don’t just look at one person who had misdeeds at the Bend crime lab. So, it’s appropriate that they’re taking a broader look at the crime lab." The 7-member group is made up of lawmakers, the Keizer Police chief and current and former attorneys. They may also recommend changes for discussion during the February Legislative Session.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson announced Friday he has placed a supervisor on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into how department funds were used.
A county auditor recommended additional internal analysis into the money used for investigative purposes, during the transition between retiring Sheriff Larry Blanton and incoming Sheriff Nelson.
Nelson says the internal audit, which is ongoing, found issues relating to the funds. Preliminary findings prompted a broader look and the DCSO supervisor was placed on leave in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation.
The Sheriff's Office is working with Bend Police, Oregon State Police, the Deschutes County District Attorney, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI. Deschutes County D.A. John Hummel released a statement saying, "Deschutes County residents should be confident that when a misdeed occurs in local government, local officials will root it out and right the wrong."
BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine School District officials are pleased with local student performance in the first year of Smarter Balanced testing. State numbers released last week showed 41% of Oregon students were proficient in math, 54% in English and Language Arts. Bend-La Pine Assistant Superintendent Lora Nordquist tells KBND local results were better, but also mixed. " As a district we outperform the state in both math and English/language arts, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that only about half (49%) our students were proficient or above in math and about 2/3 of our students (63%) in English/Language arts. So, we’ve got work to do."
Nordquist acknowledges the new standardized test isn't perfect. "We’re so supportive of the Common Core state standards, because we really believe they’re internationally benchmarked standards; they are really helping students to be college and career ready and that’s the intent behind them. We support the assessments, in terms of their challenge and difficulty and that they’re asking students to really perform at a high levels. But, we too are concerned about the amount of time it takes for the test," says Nordquist. "As a district, we have been using ACT for many, many years. All our 11th graders take the ACT; we think that’s another test that also has high benchmarks and really looks at college and career readiness, and is far shorter. We don’t have the power as a district to determine what our state assessment is, but I know we’re advocating at the state level for perhaps other options or changes to Smarter Balanced to make it shorter."
School-by-school results should be released in the next two weeks. To hear more of our conversation with Lora Nordquist, visit our Podcast Page
REDMOND, OR -- Oregon State Police are looking for witnesses who may have information on a reported sexual assault, Wednesday night. Two 17-year-old Prineville girls contacted the Lake County Sheriff's Office Thursday afternoon to report they had been kidnapped from the Redmond Walmart at about midnight, Wednesday night.
The girls were were at Walmart when their car wouldn't start. They told investigators two men pulled up in a silver SUV and offered to let them sit in their car to get out of the cold. When the teens sat down, the men pulled a handgun and drove off with them inside.
The victims believe they were drugged and fell unconscious. They recalled being on Highway 20 east of Bend, then at a residence in Christmas Valley. Sometime during the day, they say they managed to escape. The Lake County Sheriff, Oregon State Police and Redmond Police immediately launched an investigation.
Early Thursday evening, the Lake County Sheriff's Office took a report of a stolen Chevrolet Tahoe. Investigators believe the car was taken by the same men who allegedly kidnapped the girls from Redmond. At 9:15 Thursday night, OSP observed the vehicle on Highway 31 south of La Pine in Klamath County. The vehicle was stopped and two men were detained.
The suspects were identified as 50-year-old James Borchers of Portland and 32-year-old Joseph Cheek of Christmas Valley. Both were arrested for Kidnapping I and Rape I.
Anyone who may have seen the two men near the Redmond Walmart on Wednesday, September 23 or anywhere on Thursday, September 24 are asked to contact Detective Pat Irish at 541-883-5713. Investigators are also looking for a silver or gray Toyota 4-runner that the suspects were seen operating the night in question.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pope Francis delivered an historic message to Congress Thursday, touching on issues like immigration, the Golden Rule and family. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) said shortly after the speech, "It was a real honor to be on the escort committee for the Pope's visit to the U.S. House to speak to a joint session of Congress. I'm here on the balcony where he came out after the speech and gave a blessing to the audience. I thought his remarks were challenging and uplifting." Rep. Walden added, "Clearly he's a man of the people who speaks his mind. I think he calls on all of us to be better citizens and better human beings and really look after those who are less fortunate. It was just an historic day in Washington and I think for all of America."
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) was there as well, and said in a statement, "Pope Francis powerfully reminded us all of our true purpose as public servants: that we are 'called to defend and preserve the dignity of our fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good.' I especially thank the Pope for his unwavering belief that we can and we should do more to protect our communities from global warming and to take on the scourge of poverty here in the United States."
Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney was among the 50,000 people outside the Capitol to watch Pope Francis on a big screen television. She received tickets from Congressman Walden's office. She tells KBND News it was like nothing she's ever seen. "I've never been in a large crowd so passionate about seeing an individual in my life. There was just a lot of peace in the crowd. With that many people, you could certainly have issues come up, as people are kind of walking almost on top of each other. There was just a sense of community in the crowd."
She says his address was inspirational. "I thought his message was one of inclusivity. He really talked about, in essence, how we are one community and to care for one another as you would for your own child. It was very powerful. He certainly talked about political issues, as well; but I think if you put it in the frame of mind that he's thinking of the essence of people not the essence of politics, the message is a powerful one." Baney adds, "When I was a child, I was raised Catholic, and it was not as inclusive as I find myself today. This Pope is one that brings me back to the origin of my faith. Regardless of your faith or no faith at all, he spoke to everyone."
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond firefighters appeared to be at the right place at the right time, Thursday evening, when they discovered a house fire. Crews were cleaning up a car fire in the Desert Terrace Mobile Estates on South Highway 97 when they noticed a column of smoke from deeper in the park.
They headed to the scene at about 6:20 p.m., just as witnesses called 911 to report a structure fire. Heavy fire surrounded the home, and crews worked to prevent further spread to the inside.
A man and two children escaped unharmed, but the fire left about $20,000 in damage. Investigators determined the blaze was caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials into barkdust.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Redmond man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Prineville, earlier this month.
The woman reported being raped September 12 in the area of South Main Street. Crook County Sheriff’s Deputies collected significant evidence the following day.
Deputies arrested 19-year-old Juan Manual Retano Hernandez Thursday after executing a search warrant at his home near NW 25th and Cedar Ave. in Redmond.
Hernandez is charged with first degree rape and sex abuse.
REDMOND, OR -- When the Oregon Department of Transportation bought the Redmond Greenhouse earlier this year, rumors swirled around what the state wanted with the property along South Highway 97.
ODOT’s Peter Murphy tells KBND there aren't plans to do much with it, for now. "What we’re trying to do is gain control over who can enter onto, or exit, the highway. With the volume of traffic growing faster, exponentially almost, we’re trying to get control over the left turns that force motorists to cross over, not just the median, but two other lanes of traffic to get in and out of places." And, he says that danger will only increase as speeds are raised to 65 MPH next year.
"What we try to do is identify situations in which there's an opportunity to take that access out of the picture, which is what happened with the Redmond Greenhouse. It was for sale; we purchased it in order to control the access going in and out. You know, you have a greenhouse that has 'X' number of cars going in and out. Maybe someone puts a restaurant in there, and now you have three times 'X' going in and out. Again, that's inherently dangerous," Murphy says. "We’re not in a position to go out and buy all these chunks of property. There was a reason we bought that one, the greenhouse, because there was a frontage road already. So, when it extends to the greenhouse then we’ll get rid of [the property] and sell it to someone who doesn’t need the access that used to be there."
ODOT bought The Brand restaurant back in 2003, also to control the number of cars turning onto and off of the highway. Both the old restaurant lot and the Redmond Greenhouse now sit vacant south of Redmond.
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- A 16-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries at Crooked River Ranch Tuesday evening, when he fell 40 to 50 feet down a cliff.
Captain Sean Hartley, with Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue, says it took nearly two hours to bring the teen up.
We used a high-angle rope rescue system to remove him from the canyon safely. Then, he was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to St. Charles Bend. Later Tuesday evening, he was taken to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland."
Capt. Hartley says the teen apparently fell while trying to retrieve a dropped cell phone.
BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners appear poised to approve a proposed housing development between NorthWest Crossing and Shevlin Park. The Miller Tree Farm would include five subdivisions, each consisting of ten residential lots and open space.
A county hearings officer denied the initial application over concerns not enough was being done to protect homes from potential wildfire or allow adequate access to wildlife. The developer has since beefed up wildfire and wildlife plans, including paying for experts in these fields through Homeowners Association fees. At yesterday's meeting, County Commissioner Tammy Baney was pleased with the change. "While it resonates with me in terms of the costs associated with a Homeowners Association, really that makes sure that as homeowners, you are collectively embracing the responsibility of living in that particular area. I see that as a cost associated with the ability to live in this particular community."
Commissioners Alan Unger and Toney DeBone agreed. "I think we're defining the envelope and setting the standard so, as people develop the area, they know what they're buying," Unger said at the meeting. "So, they're buying a two-acre property, but they can only build on an envelope," DeBone noted. "But, they're doing it on the west side of Bend where they have other amenities, and this is one of those things that they're agreeing to to have that opportunity." Unger continued, "A person doesn't have to buy into this if they don't want to. They have the choice to accept the conditions or not. I like the conditions. I think it will help keep this area in the type of condition that we have agreed to in the plan, into the future." The developer plans to build wildfire buffer zones around homes, and increase access to wildlife in the area.
County Commissioners are expected to formally approve the Miller Tree Farm development October 7.
BEND, OR -- An interim three-way stop at Brookswood Blvd and Baker Rd in Bend will now be permanent. The Road Department studied the idea on the request of drivers in the area.
The stop sign was installed to accommodate detour traffic during the construction of the Brookswood roundabout. After studying traffic volumes now that flows have normalized, officials decided the stop sign should remain.
BEND, OR -- More than 200 students will move into Central Oregon Community College's new residence hall Thursday. Stephanie Bilbrey with COCC says they learned a lot with last weekend's practice run, when 30 OSU-Cascades students moved in. "We're going to meet with campus Public Safety talk about the moving of cars and boxes and people all throughout. And, we'll convene with all our volunteers to fine-tune everything we saw; we had some lessons learned, so we'll kind of re-tool and make every tiny detail perfect," Bilbrey tells KBND.
And, she reminds students packing carefully will help things run smoothly. "Tip number one is to check out our 'what to bring' list that we provide. That's highly recommended. It's also 'what not bring.' You know, there are certain things like, you can't bring a toaster!"
Move-in starts at 9 a.m. and will continue through 5 p.m. COCC says about 70% of students are from Oregon, 20% are from western states including California, Washington and Idaho. Classes start Monday.
BEND, OR -- Full-time nurses have been on staff at the Deschutes County Jail since August, but there are plans to bring more on-board. Captain Deron McMaster became Jail Commander in July and says he didn’t expect the hiring process to take so long. "I can’t imagine when a nurse enters nursing school, that they’re like, ‘hey, I want to go work in a jail.’ I think most nurses think they’re going to work in a clinic somewhere or a hospital. I don’t think they dream of working in a jail. It’s been difficult to find good, qualified nurses, especially nurses that do have a corrections background."
But, Capt. McMaster tells KBND the program is moving forward. "We have five nurses on, and we’ve achieved our goal in the sense of we’ve put nurses on 24/7; we’ve assigned a nurse to each one of our jail teams, which works 4/12s, so we do have 24/7 coverage." And, he says the goal is to hire three more so that two are on duty each shift, and can cover vacations or sick time.
Corrections prospective nurses must be willing to undergo specialized training. "We can’t just bring someone in off the street and have them start working in the jail. They have to be aware of all of our protocols, which are completely different from a hospital, from a safety and security standpoint. Even just personal relationships with the inmates is different, in the sense that there are a number of people in the jail that are good at manipulation and they’ll try and manipulate staff to get their way. If you’re not aware of those things, you can be easily sucked into a situation that’s not good."
At the same time, he says they must remain compassionate. "I think there’s a time and a place where they need to be very direct, they need to realize when they’re potentially being manipulated and they need to be able to say ‘you need to stop that, or I’m not going to buy into what you’re trying to do.’ So, they have to walk that fine line because they still do need to be compassionate and caring, because that’s what nursing is all about. That’s what we think of nurses as being."
BEND, OR -- Buy a solar panel…get a break on your electric bill - That’s the essence of a new program from Central Electric Cooperative. Crews broke ground on the new solar project Wednesday, adjacent to CEC’s facility on SE 27th in Bend, next to Knott landfill. “We are going to be filling 1.5-acres of land with over 700 solar panels,” says Courtney Linville with Central Electric Co-Op.
Linville tells KBND a customer survey last year showed enthusiasm for the project. Members will be able to purchase a solar panel and Linville says, “Members will actually get the credit from the energy that is created from the panel onto their bills.” The company is awaiting word on grant applications before establishing pricing for the panels.
The solar project will be visible from 27th Street. Linville says they will plant vegetation to help obstruct that view. If successful, there is room for four additional solar “gardens” at the southeast Bend location.
BEND, OR -- The Shepherd’s House is moving forward with plans to expand its homeless services to women and children. Gloria Hall is the new Director of Women and Children’s Ministry for the nonprofit and tells KBND they are in talks to purchase a large house to help women struggling with abuse, addiction and homelessness. "We are hoping that it gets off in the next couple of months. We’ve essentially been talking with more than 2,000 women since I got here at Thanksgiving. I love talking with people about my vision and that is to have a safe, healing environment where women and children can go and they can be changed from the inside out."
If current plans are approved and funded, she says the first facility would house nine women. "No children at this point, the city says only nine women. But, we’re trying to get an acre and a half right across from it, and we would be able to build a large building – as large as the city will let us. We want to house up to 40 women, plus children." She hopes the purchase of that first building will come through in the next month or two.
Hall moved to Central Oregon after launching similar programs in Portland and Seattle. She says this project is growing from the ground up. "I’ve been doing this over 27 years and this is the first time I’ve come to a place that I didn’t already have at least some building to get started in and some staff that could team up with me to help get this going. I’m very excited. I’ve been able to raise a little bit of money for staff and we’re in the process of trying to raise the funds for getting these buildings."
BEND, OR -- Two companies, Cypress Creek Renewables and Oregon Solar Land Holdings, plan solar farms on 70-acres along Highway 20, just east of Bend. Nearby residents objected, saying the projects do not fit in the neighborhood. Under Oregon law, solar farms are allowed in agricultural zones, as long as they meet certain criteria.
A Deschutes County hearings officer ruled in favor of the development, with some conditions. Jason Carr, with with Cypress Creek Renewables, tells KBND, “We anticipated with a project of this kind, the first really in the county, that the hearings officer would likely add some conditions. While we have to look more into them internally as a company, I don’t really see anything that stands out that would prevent us from moving forward.”
Conditions include installing a 6-foot fence with tan screening and no barbed wire; solar panels within 100 feet of property line cannot exceed 8 feet in height; developers must plant new shrubs at least 6-feet tall, and they must preserve existing landscape and topography. Both companies must also post $1 million bonds to Deschutes County.
Neighbors have until next Wednesday to appeal. If no appeal is filed, construction could begin in early 2016.
BEND, OR -- Central Oregon counties saw unemployment rates remain relatively flat in August. However, regional economist Damon Runberg tells KBND there was good news again on the hiring front. "Looking at it as an individual month, it was fairly uneventful. Hiring was, we’ll say, decently strong. I think Deschutes County was a bit surprising, we had a pretty significant jump in hiring in August compared to what we’d normally expect, seasonally. A lot of that looks like it was from a late-season push from both our tourism sector and construction."
Unemployment in Deschutes County remained essentially unchanged, going from 6.6% in July to 6.5% in August. Crook County's rate increased from 8.6 to 8.7% and Jefferson County rose .3 points to 7.5%. Runberg says, "It’s not really a statistically significant jump, it could be just white noise for all we know. But, to compare the two, Crook County in general is in a situation where they’re not seeing very much job growth, the labor force is declining, and the unemployment rate’s not really getting any better. On the other hand, Jefferson County has seen some more significant job growth and their labor force is growing; so people are either moving to Jefferson County, or more people are looking for work again. There’s kind of some more optimism coming out of Jefferson County."
Runberg says the growing labor force is a good thing because it means people are moving here looking for work, but it does cause a problem. "It actually puts a negative pressure on the unemployment rate, so it can make the unemployment rate rise, because when those people first move here or just graduate from school or whatever it is, they initially enter the workforce usually as unemployed. So, in the long-run, we may actually see the unemployment rate rise moving forward for a couple months. But, in the long-run, that’s a really good thing because it means we are getting those workers who are hopefully back filling the retirees who are leaving right now, which are significant numbers."
This month's flat numbers are in line with the statewide trend. "In general, it seems like our improvements - our expanding economy - are slowing a little bit. There are signs that, even though we have exceptional growth in employment right now – Deschutes County, for example is up 5.8% the number of jobs from this time last year – so, really strong growth. But, that rate of growth is really slowing down," Runberg says. "It definitely seems like we’ve got to the point where we’re in an expanding economy and maybe that expansion is slowing down just a little bit, right now."
MADRAS, OR -- Oregon State Police say fatigue was a contributing factor in a single-vehicle crash that tied up traffic in Madras during the Tuesday morning commute.
According to OSP, the 16-year-old driver from Antelope, Oregon was southbound on Highway 97 when she crossed into oncoming traffic near the intersection with Highway 26. She drove off the road and hit a power pole, sending live power lines onto the roadway.
Highway 97 was closed for about an hour while utility crews removed the power lines. The driver suffered only minor injuries.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville’s interim Police Chief has picked a date to retire and the new chief is ready to take the helm. Dale Cummins was hired as a Captain six months ago, after serving as assistant chief with Gresham Police for 27 years.
Current Chief Les Stiles tells KBND he's pleased with The selection of Cummins as his successor. “Dale has been here six months. He’s a really good addition to the team. He’s got everything in terms of all of the qualifications for a professional police chief in 2015. He’s there.” Cummins is out of the office with an illness and was unavailable to comment.
Stiles came on board in August 2014, replacing the fired Eric Bush
. He will finish updating the department’s accreditation and a study on the future of Crook County 911 before stepping down at the end of February.
Cummins will be sworn in as the new Police Chief March first.
Photo: Capt. Dale Cummins, courtesy Prineville PD.
REDMOND, OR -- Redmond will host the first flight of a unique glider designed to reach the upper edges of our atmosphere, Wednesday morning. James Darcy with Airbus Group, says the Perlan II will make aviation history in Redmond. "Perlan is primarily a source of scientific knowledge. So, it will be able to collect data about the upper reaches of the atmosphere that no aircraft has been able to collect before. That’s really going to hopefully inform a more accurate picture of climate change, a more accurate understanding of what’s going on with the ozone layer. From Airbus’ perspective, we’re also interested in learning about aviation at extremely high altitudes."
Darcy says, "Wednesday’s flight will be historic because it’s the first flight of the world’s first pressurized glider and the only aircraft developed capable of doing what Perlan can do. It’s not going to set any records, but it’s going to allow Redmond to look back and say ‘this landmark moment in the history of aviation began in Redmond and we all supported it.’" Redmond was selected for the first flight, Darcy says in part, because a local aerospace contractor did the bulk of the construction on the glider.
He says the Perlan II is only expected to reach 5,000 feet during its Redmond test flight. "Eventually it will transition down to Minden, NV and that’s where it will start to work toward higher and higher altitudes. And then, finally, when they’re ready to go toward the record breaking flight they’ll move down to a region in Argentina where there’s the right combination of environmental factors to create what they call stratospheric mountain waves." In Argentina, it is hoped the Perlan glider will reach 90,000-feet, in an attempt to set a new world altitude record and collect scientific data.
The non-profit Perlan Project is funded by Airbus and other sponsors. Wednesday morning’s test flight is not open to the public, due to FAA regulations, although some might be able to catch a glimpse from a distance.
REDMOND, OR -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Redmond-Terrebonne continues to look for ways to manage the explosive growth they’ve experienced over the past year. Executive Director Jenny O’Keefe tells KBND that in just the first week of fall operations, Redmond has averaged 77 kids a day; last year’s peak days saw no more than 65. However, in Terrebonne, it's a different story. "The numbers in Terrebonne have remained consistently low. There are about 30 kiddos that attend regularly, and those numbers have stayed consistent since January," says O'Keefe. Families were told Monday that the Terrebonne club would close at the end of October. "We value those families and we want to make sure we can continue to serve them at the Redmond site. We’re going to work out a way to be able to transport the Terrebonne kids and the Tom McCall kids. Tom McCall is another school that right now, we’re unable to provide transportation to, since we don’t have a large enough vehicle to do that."
But, O'Keefe says families in Terrebonne won't be left out in the cold. "So, we’ve partnered with both the school district and Parks and Recreation. Adventure Quest, through Parks and Rec, will be taking over the morning and after-school program immediately when we finish our program on October 30. Parks and Rec will take over immediately, on November second."
She says the decision to shutdown the Terrebonne site wasn't made lightly, but was the best option to manage the needs of the clubs as a whole. "One of the most important things for us is to make sure we have a low adult to child ratio. Our entire mission is built on relationships with kids and in order to be there for those kids in a really individual way, we need to make sure that we have the number of staff to meet that need. We do, right now have assistants in each of our program areas." O'Keefe says Terrebonne staff will be diverted to the Redmond location to help balance those staffing needs. The board has not decided what will happen to the club located at Terrebonne Community School; she says it's in need of about $50,000 in repairs and maintenance.
She adds, "We are looking at the option that we are going to have to add a second site. Unfortunately, the location of the Terrebonne site just does not meet the need of the whole community. It does meet the need of the Terrebonne community and we have been committed to helping them with that. Unfortunately, we have to look at the whole community because that’s our mission. And, in order to balance that, if we do add another site in the next year or two, we’re going to have to look at more of a central location to be able to do that."
Other changes are coming in November, as well. O'Keefe says weekday operations at the Redmond site will expand to 8 p.m. and they will soon provide a special evening program for teen athletes, both for an additional fee. She expects the clubs to be open weekends, starting in 2016. O'Keefe admits all this expansion costs money and she hopes business sponsors will continue to step up and support the non-profit, so full-day operations can remain free for registered families on the days there is no school.
LINN COUNTY, OR -- A young climber from Bend was killed in a fall from Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, over the weekend.
Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley explains what they think happened on the mountain on Sunday. "The investigation reveals that two climbers: one named Corey Franklin, 23-years of age from Bend and his friend Tyler Jeffrey Heilman, 22-years of age from Bend, had been hiking Three Fingered Jack and were climbing the mountain up to the 7700' level. There's a lot of loose rock and scree up there and Heilman fell. They estimate he fell 500-600 feet."
Sheriff Riley says their Search and Rescue coordinated a search for Heilman with the Oregon Air National Guard. His body was recovered Monday.
MADRAS, OR -- Work on Highway 97 on the south end of Madras is nearing completion, and many in the area are concerned about the bottleneck created by the single-lane roadway. The Oregon Department of Transportation is re-aligning northbound 97 to better accommodate cross-traffic on “J” Street.
ODOT’s Peter Murphy tells KBND the single-lane portion of the highway is only temporary. "Before, there were two lanes going through tow, and there are going to be two lanes going through town. There’s construction that takes place continuously; we had to make available the lane so we could do work on the other sections. So, as we proceed with the project and get done with it, it’ll be back to two lanes." He adds, "There’s plenty of room, if you look at the roadway there, it’s just striped for one. Just wait a little bit, have a little patience, and it’s going to be two lanes."
Road work on the $4.5 million project is expected to be completed by the end of the month, with lighting and other aesthetics finished by the end of October.
PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville officially has a new hospital. Patients were moved to the new St. Charles Prineville facility overnight, with everyone arriving by 4 a.m. The Emergency Room received its first patient at 4:43 a.m.
Jeanne Gentry, CEO of the Prineville hospital, tells KBND the move was a big undertaking. "Over 65 years you gather a lot of stuff. So, we've been going through a lot of housecleaning and evaluating what supplies we need to keep on hand and trying to lean up how we do things. It was a lot of work, but it was good work."
She says patients will notice some differences from the old building. "They're much larger so that family members can stay over with the patient. They're modern in-patient rooms, so that will be a big difference. There will be 16 of those rooms, where in the old hospital we only had 11. There's much more space for taking care of in-patients."
The $30 million health care campus includes a primary care and specialty physician clinic, an emergency department, surgery suites and a lab. The new family care clinic, located inside the hospital, opened at 8 a.m.
REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man was killed in a rollover crash, Friday evening. Redmond Police say 45-year-old Steven Roth was not wearing his seatbelt when he rolled his SUV at about 5:45 p.m. in a gravel area on the east side of the Chaparral Apartments, near Redmond High School.
Roth was pinned under the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger was reportedly wearing a seatbelt and suffered minor injuries.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Colorado Bridge will be closed for 6 weeks from October 5 until November 17.
Nightwork: Lane closure on the Parkway: Reed Market Road off-ramp. 7pm-6am starting October 12.
Lane closure on Parrell Road near Silver Sage 7am - 4pm through October 9.