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BEND, OR -- Despite Public Use Restrictions, Forest Service officials report a troubling increase in the number of human-caused fires in Central Oregon.

 

Kassidy Kern, with the Deschutes National Forest, tells KBND they take the extreme fire conditions very seriously. "We were at 10% of our normal snow pack heading into the fire season, then we had a very dry spring – with the exception of a few thunderstorms that came through in May. So, our brush is about one to two months ahead of their normal moisture levels, and our sagebrush in particular is currently at its lowest moisture level in 7 years. So, we look at those fuel moisture contents and we realize those forest fuels are really receptive to fire right now."

 
Due to the rise in human-caused fires, they’re increasing law enforcement patrols in the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grasslands. "Just the Deschutes National Forest alone is 1.6 million acres, but obviously we’re not as concerned in areas were people don’t tend to camp. We have seen a lot of abandoned or escaped campfires, that’s one of the major fire responses we’ve been having recently. So, we’re going to where we know people are going to be."
 
Of the 208 wildfires reported in Central Oregon so far this year, Kern says more than half were human-caused. "When we have those escaped campfires, or abandoned campfires, unfortunately, if they’re in an area where that brush can catch, it will. And, that puts a lot of unneeded pressure on our firefighters to go out and take care of these human-caused starts, when we really do want them patrolling, but also looking for, in some cases, holdovers from lightning." While most of the human-caused fires appear accidental, she says several are being investigated as suspicious. 

 



BEND, OR -- Job growth remains strong in Deschutes County, especially in the tourism industry. Regional Economist Damon Runberg says it's one of the region's dominant fields. He tells KBND the three fastest growing sectors were Leisure/Hospitality, Accommodations/Food Services and Retail Trade. "We are at all time records of employment in Deschutes County for those kind of tourism jobs. Pretty much every summer over the last three, we've broken the record for summer employment in those tourism-related industries. It continues to be really strong."

 

But, Runberg says, "I think we're starting to see this plateau a bit, or approaching a plateau, because the growth over the last year is a little bit slower than it has been in years prior. So, I think we're starting to see a point where we're starting to hit capacity with some of those in tourism jobs, perhaps."

 

In June, the three primary tourism-related sectors accounted for more than 31,000 jobs in Deschutes County. 



BEND, OR -- Three local artists were selected by Bend's Arts and Beautification Commission to adorn four storm drains with messages addressing the connection with the Deschutes River.

 

Artist and river guide David Kinker began work Friday on two storm drains next to Harmon Park. “The river is what we’re really talking about and what we put into it. And keep an awareness that you can’t just throw your oil out in the street or anything like that and expect to have a river full of fish. Because it’s a metaphor for life.”

 

Kinker has 25-years experience as a river guide and artist. “Really what I want to convey is something very happy and we want to keep it that way. SO I’m going to use a lot of festival signage techniques using highlights and reflective lights, bright colors and lots of sloping shapes. I’m trying use symbols and dragonflies and butterflies and things of the river and fish.”
 
He tells KBND he wants to remind everyone to be aware that what we dump in the street will eventually make it’s way to the river.
 


BEND, OR -- A Bend man is accused of driving under the influence, in connection with an early Saturday morning hit and run near Southwest 15th and Galveston. 

 

According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, 33-year-old Stan Glover hit a power pole. While dragging the power pole with his car, he continued for three blocks where he collided with a car, which then hit another vehicle. 
 
When deputies arrived, they say he Glover was walking away from the scene. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He faces a number of charges. 


BEND, OR -- A Canadian bicyclist had to be rescued after crashing in the Phil's Trailhead area west of Bend. Another bicyclist in the area called 9-1-1 to report that Catherine Laurendeau was injured near Kents Trail.

 

A Deschutes County Sheriff's deputy and Forest Service officer were nearby and hiked in about 1.5 miles and confirmed Laurendau was not able to walk out under her own power. 


Two Search and Rescue volunteers and one SAR deputy responded with ATVs and assisted Bend Fire in transporting her to the trailhead, where she was loaded into an ambulance and taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life threatening injuries. 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Washington couple suffered serious injuries when their motorcycle struck a deer in Crook County, Saturday night. According to the Sheriff's Office, 66-year-old Michael Freeman was driving westbound on the Ochoco Highway when a deer ran into the side of the bike, causing them to crash.

 

Freeman's wife, 65-year-old Patricia was a passenger, and the pair was pulling a trailer at the time of the crash. Michael Freeman was transported to St. Charles Bend by LifeFlight, his wife was taken to St. Charles Prineville by ground ambulance. 



BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested early Saturday morning after his landlord was found dead. Bend Police responded to the duplex on NE Nova Loop, near 18th and Empire, just after midnight. Officers discovered 30-year-old Andrew Cordes deceased by gunshot wounds inside the home of Daniel Norquist.

 

Investigators say the two were neighbors, and the 34-year-old Norquist rented the neighboring unit from Cordes. Cordes was reportedly in the duplex with Norquist for over two hours prior to the shooting.

 

Norquist was detained at the scene and subsequently arrested for murder. One neighbor tells KBND News the two may have been arguing because the victim was trying to evict the suspect. 

 

The investigation is ongoing.

 

 



SISTERS, OR -- A Lane County man was killed in a rollover crash outside of Sisters, early Friday morning. According to Oregon State Police, 35-year-old Troy Crabb was eastbound on Highway 20 when his 1996 Honda left the road and struck a tree just west of Sisters.

 

Emergency crews responded at about 6 a.m. and discovered the Blue River man deceased at the scene. 


OSP troopers believe fatigue may have been a contributing factor, although the investigation is ongoing. 



BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools hope to renew funding to continue two popular lunch programs. Terry Cashman, Director of Child Nutrition for the district says a grant is set to expire this year, which pays for the two-year-old programs. One, he calls Pork to Fork: "We had the kids from Mt. View who were actually raising pigs for the program. Then, once the pigs were ready to be – I guess you would call it ‘harvested’ – we’d have the kids at both Bend High culinary and Mt. View culinary butcher them for us; then we would utilize the products in our program."

 

Another new program. called Boat to School, provides Oregon seafood for Bend-La Pine student lunches. "We actually had sushi grade tuna we’re providing the kids through this grant, it’s just a phenomenal product and a really tasty treat, once you get to try these things. If you think about where we are in Bend, we have a pretty amazing food culture. So, kids are exposed to a wide variety of foods that they may not be in some other areas."

 

Both are off-shoots of the district’s successful “Farm to School” program, which has provided local fruits and vegetables for lunches for 12 years. "You want to expose kids to as many different choices so, as their pallet develops, then they’re going to be more accepting of different foods. We found that the kids, obviously at first, aren’t super excited about some of these items. But, when they sample them out and they try them, you can convert several of them. And the adults obviously love these kinds of choices," Cashman tells KBND.  To hear our full conversation with Terry Cashman, visit our Podcast Page
 
The district is also looking for lunchroom workers for new schools slated to open in the fall. 


REDMOND, OR -- A quarter of a million people are expected to attend the 95-year-old Deschutes County Fair, next week.  That's about 8,000 cars filling parking lots. But, there is a way to avoid fighting traffic.

 

For the past 10 years the Deschutes County Fair has offered free transportation from Bend to the fair. Fair Director Dan Despotopulos tells KBND, “We do have traffic and parking issues because we have so many people coming on a single lane road. It’s very difficult to get everybody flowing as fast as we would like to. We’ve worked on it for years now. So by offering the free bus rides, that eliminates some of the traffic.”
 
Despotopulos says this year, the fair is adding shuttles from Sisters and Redmond, as well. “We would hope that people would be able to take the bus because they don’t have to spend money and it drops them off right at the front gate. They don’t have to worry about parking.”
 
The fair begins Wednesday. Click HERE for a downloadable fair guide. Shuttles will pick up in Bend at Mt. View High School, Sisters Elementary and Redmond High School. Click HERE for the Fair Bus schedule. 
 
For those who have been caught in post concert traffic from the Expo Center, letting someone else do the driving might just be the ticket.


BEND, OR -- Police body cameras have been in the spotlight, lately, whether it’s catching officers behaving badly elsewhere in the country, or local agencies dropping camera programs in light of a new state law. But, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson says it’s technology his department won’t be using anytime soon. "We had looked into body cameras because you always want to be aware of the options that are out there. But, the body cam issue in the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office came down to: we try to be as transparent as we can be and we have an excellent working relationship with the citizens we serve. We do hold ourselves accountable and we very much know the citizens who pay their tax dollars hold us accountable. I felt that sometimes body cameras don’t necessarily tell the whole story."

 

Sheriff Nelson tells KBND it also came down to the cost. "I think there’s a little more research that can be done as far as fiscal responsibility. In looking at deploying body cameras, there’s a cost associated with that. The new law wants certain people’s faces blurred out, wants certain things redacted. If we’re mandated we will; however, I don’t believe we need them right now. And, that’s because of the relationship we have with the people we serve."
 
As head of Central Oregon's largest law enforcement agency, he says he could change his mind. But for now, "It wasn’t a mandate. We didn’t feel it was a benefit for the cost right now. Now, being in the public eye, you will always get complaints that come into the office. However, right now we have a process in place for vetting those complaints out. We take a look at every single complaint we get. We’ve never run into an issue trying to resolve a complaint we get."


BEND, OR -- In the past couple of days, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team has arrested more than half a dozen people suspected of selling drugs in the region. Wednesday afternoon, officers arrested a Bend man in the Deschutes County Health Services parking lot on NE Courtney. He's accused of illegally selling prescription drugs. 


The arrest of 41-year-old Scot Kreidenweis (right) follows a long investigation by CODE detectives. They later searched his home and found additional evidence of possession and distribution of controlled substances.
 
Also Wednesday, CODE detectives arrested three people suspected of trafficking narcotics. Corey Wellman of Bend, Michelle Winter and Andrea Brown of Redmond were all taken into custody during a traffic stop on Northeast Purcell in Bend. Police are looking for 35-year-old Richard Enquist of La Pine, who took off during that stop. 
 
Then on Thursday afternoon, three more people were arrested on multiple drug-related charges, following an investigation into suspicious activity at a Bend parking lot. 47-year-old Ryan Crossley of Redmond, and 23-year-old Christian Killelea of Bend were taken into custody after detectives observed what they believed to be a drug transaction between the two.
 
Investigators believe Crossley purchased meth from 34-year-old Erminio Pena of Redmond, intending to sell it to Killelea. Pena was later arrested, as well. In 2011, Crossley was arrested by CODE detectives for suspicion of trafficking heroin in the area. 
 
    
Corey Wellman                     Michelle Winter                     Andrea Brown
 
    
Ryan Crossley                     Christian Killelea                   Erminio Pena
 

 



BEND, OR -- Oregon's Fish Passage Task Force meets in Bend today. The group gathers together quarterly to advise on fish passage policies and issues, to help fish better connect with habitats where they can thrive.


Greg Apke, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, tells KBND they'll also examine local dams. "The sites we're going to be visiting near Bend include the North Unit Dam, Mirror Pond Dam and the Colorado Street Fish Passage Project. And, on Saturday, we'll be visiting Opal Springs Dam as well as the Pelton Round Butte Dam facility." He says obstructions can sometimes prohibit fish from getting to important waterways. "For example, the Oregon Department of Transportation who owns thousands of culverts that are impeding fish passage. The cost associated with fixing a magnitude that large is millions, if not billions of dollars."

 

They'll also get a progress report. "As an overview, I think we're doing great. We've got a long way to go. We have made marked improvements throughout the state in addressing fish passage barriers, but one of our primary limitations is funding, as is always the case. While we've done great things to date, we have a lot of things yet to do," Apke says.

 

The public is welcome to attend the meeting at the Holiday Inn Express from 8-2 p.m. Friday. A question and answer session will begin at 1 p.m.

 



LA PINE, OR -- A La Pine woman was seriously injured in a crash Thursday night in Northern Klamath County. The head-on crash occurred after Oregon State police received a report of a pickup driving erratically in the southbound shoulder.

 

Troopers were trying to catch up to the vehicle speeding at close to 100 mph when it crashed into a northbound car, just before 10 p.m. The driver of the pick-up, a 72-year-old Florida man, was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
OSP says 30-year-old Chamreun Newton was driving the northbound car. She was flown to St. Charles Bend where she was listed in critical condition, as of Friday morning.
 
Highway 97 was closed in both directions for more than five hours during the investigation. 


BEND, OR -- When a truck slammed into a power pole in northeast Bend early Monday morning, many Bend Broadband customers questioned why the impact was so widespread.

Cindy Tomlinson, with Bend Broadband’s parent company TDS Telecom, says size of the outage was due to where the crash occurred. "We have some primary fiber lines that are adjacent to our central operations that were cut. Where that cut occurred was at a critical point. Because of the close proximity to our main office, it caused the outage to be widespread."
 
More than 20,000 customers lost phone service for much of the day, 17,000 of them also lost cable and Internet service, which led to headaches for businesses and individuals across Central Oregon.
 
Tomlinson says the company is investigating how to better protect the pole at Empire and Nels Anderson, and the fiber line. "We just can’t prepare for what might happen, but we can and are continuing to look at what we can do to add more protections around where that pole is located. Our teams will continue to assess the situation and to identify how we might add greater protections to that area."


BEND, OR -- Continued hot and dry conditions mean the region remains under extreme fire danger. That means if people are careless, fires can start very easily. 

 

Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki tells KBND everyone needs to know what is and isn't allowed during these conditions. "Burning, especially debris burning is closed throughout Central Oregon and also in Bend. That includes burn barrels, trash, yard debris or burning of grass. It's not allowed this time of year due to the serious nature of how dry it is and how quickly that fire can get out of control."

 

Derlacki recommends spark-generating work be done by mid-morning to reduce the threat of fire. "We actually had two lawn mowers, people mowing grass fields and the blades hit rocks and it started grass on fire. And, a contractor was working on doing some demolition and using a saw to cut through metal. Those sparks landed on combustibles and caused a fire there."
 

And, he hopes parents will use this time to talk to kids about how dangerous fire is. "We had several kids on the north end of town misusing fire and caught multiple bits of brush on fire and it spread. They ended up with citations for reckless burning."

 

Regulations vary between jurisdictions. Derlacki says if you aren't sure what is allowed in your area, you can call your local, state or federal fire agency with questions. 



REDMOND, OR -- The state Housing Council has approved funds for 13 affordable housing projects around the state. In Central Oregon, Housing Works will use those funds to oversee two new developments for seniors in the Redmond area.

 

Tom Kemper, Housing Works Executive Director, tells KBND there is a big need. "It's creating 48 new homes and 8 newly rehabbed homes for residents here in Redmond, which is a big deal. Some of them are probably in single-family homes that they've been in forever. Presumably, that will create an opportunity for young families to buy into a house or rent a house."
 

The bigger project will be a four-story building adjacent to the Lowe's parking lot off of Veteran's Way. The rehabbed property is about a block away, and is an eight-unit development built in 1977. 

 

Kemper says now that the funding is available, it's full steam ahead. "Hopefully we'll start construction by the end of the year or the beginning of 2016, with the idea that we can have the property built by the end of the year, 2016."  He adds, "It's going to be a very nice property. Our rents will vary between $428 to $557; they will be very attractive from a renter's standpoint." To be eligible, applicants must earn less than $30,000 a year.



BEND, OR -- Nurses at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend have been working with an expired union contract since the end of June. Now both sides have agreed to bring in a federal mediator to help find common ground.

 

Staffing for adequate patient care is the main issue for the 720 nurses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association. John Nangle is an RN and the ONA Bend Facility Bargaining Unit Chair. “We have proposed several solutions to these problems to St. Charles and they’ve largely been rejected. The better the nurse staffing, the safer the patients and the better the outcome,” he tells KBND. “Nurse staffing in many units is inadequate. The nurses are routinely working short-handed. Nurses are routinely not being provided meal and rest breaks because there’s not a nurse to give them the breaks.” Nangle says the union also wants written into a new contract that nurses should be able to speak up about inadequate staffing without fear of retaliation. 
 
St. Charles officials declined to be interviewed on the topic, but  issued a statement saying in part, “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.”
 
A mediator has not yet been appointed.  The existing labor agreement will be in effect throughout the negotiations. The contract issue addresses only nurses at the Bend hospital.


BEND, OR -- In the past month, the Bend Fire Department has responded to eight gas leaks, seven of those just in the past week. While it may seem like a sudden spike, Mark Hanson with Cascade Natural Gas tells KBND the total number of accidents is similar to this time last year. "The number of line hits is kind of in the same neighborhood, but there have been a lot more line locates this year, so it’s definitely a busier construction time, or people doing activities that require line locates. There were about 160 more line locates from April to June this year, than last year, and that resulted in one additional line strike than we had last year."

 

Hanson says it’s not uncommon to have more incidents during the summer construction season, but most contractors follow the law. "To call 8-1-1, the 'Call Before You Dig' line, to have all underground utilities located prior to digging, so you know where to and where not to dig. And, that’s the biggest way to have lines protected." He adds, "Anytime you’re digging around those types of buried lines, you should take every precaution and take it very seriously for safety. It’s for the safety of the person digging and everyone around. A line strike can result in, not only damage and an outage, where you can knock out the natural gas service or electrical to your neighbor or an entire neighborhood, but striking those lines, you can also be injured or, in some cases, it can lead to a fatality."
 
He says the overall number of construction-related gas leaks has trended downward in recent years, due to increased usage of the hotline; however, more than a third of the gas leaks in Bend in the past four months involved someone failing to call. And there are consequences aside from the danger. "If we have a repeat offender and they don’t call in for locates, they are billed for the damage.
 
Bend Fire officials say crews respond to every reported gas leak to help locate the source, evacuate the area if needed, and protect utility workers until the gas can be shut off. Battalion Chief Dave Howe says if you suspect a leak, you should get outside and call 9-1-1 immediately. 

 



BEND, OR -- Bend Police are investigating a late night crash that critically injured a Colorado man. Emergency crews responded to SE 3rd Street and Cleveland at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, where 22-year-old John Weiss was struck by a car. 

 

Investigators say Weiss was crossing SE 3rd where there was no crosswalk and was hit by a car driven by 53-year-old Russ Pennavaria of Bend. Weiss was taken to St. Charles with life threatening injuries. 
 
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Bend Police through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911


BEND, OR -- A Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputy has been honored with a prestigious award from the state police academy. Sheriff Shane Nelson says Shadoe Majetich is not the first in his family to receive this award. "He won the Victor G. Atiyeh award. It’s a tremendous award for the most outstanding student at the academy. I went over, along with Captain Utter, to watch the graduation. It was a wonderful surprise to hear his name read when he won that award. Ironically, his father won the very same award when he went through the academy."

 

The award is named for former Governor Vic Atiyeh. "The faculty, as well as his co-students at the academy, decide who wins that award based on attitude, leadership, survival skills, academics and physical fitness. It’s a tremendous award. The Victor G. Atiyeh award went to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and we’re very proud of that," Sheriff Nelson tells KBND.
 
Deputy Majetich Majetich was the only Deschutes County deputy in his class of more than 30 students. He continues his training, out on patrol.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Deschutes County Sheriff's Office

r-l: Sheriff Nelson, Dep. Majetich, Capt. Utter



MAUPIN, OR -- A Clackamas County man was killed in a motorcycle crash west of Maupin, Tuesday night. According to Oregon State Police, 48-year-old Guy Medgin was westbound on Highway 216 when he failed to negotiate a curve.

 

A witness told investigators Medgin was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the 8 p.m. crash. The Mulino man was ejected from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead by emergency crews at the scene. 

 

The investigation continues, with the assistance of the Wasco County District Attorney's Office and the Wasco County Sheriff's Department.

 



BEND, OR -- Several surveys have already been conducted on the new Westside location for OSU-Cascades. And now, the opposition group is conducting its own study. Truth in Site is asking nine questions, soliciting public input on the location. 

 

Previous community surveys have shown a majority support the site off Chandler Ave. and Mt. Washington Drive. But, Marie Matthews with Truth in Site doesn't believe those surveys are an accurate reflection of public opinion. "There are an awful lot of people in Bend who are concerned about the site. There are at least three other viable locations that are located closer to Highway 97, that offer more land- economically buildable land. Since there are alternative sites, we wanted to give Central Oregonians an opportunity to weigh-in on what they would like to see for a brand new university campus," Matthews tells KBND.

 

She says they're asking, "If they feel the campus is in a good location for Central Oregon, or would it be more accessible if it was located closer to Highway 97? Were they were given adequate opportunity to participate in the site selection process for this new university campus? Then, we're asking them if they would like for OSU Cascades to actually cease development of the 10-acre proposed campus and work with the community to select a campus location that would be optimal for Central Oregonians and the university?"

 

Truth in Site will offer the survey on its website until August 7, after which time they plan to release the results to the public. 

 



METOLIUS, OR -- A Jefferson County rancher suffered thousands of dollars in losses when water was shut off to his cattle, last week. According to Jefferson County deputies, someone turned off the water that feeds a number of cattle troughs near Alma Lane and Elbe Drive, west of Metolius.

 

The vandalism wasn't discovered by Bar CK Cattle Company for three days, and during that time, one cow died of dehydration and several others lost unborn calves.
 
The Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as trespassing and criminal mischief, although there are no leads.


McMINNVILLE, OR -- Howard Hughes’ famous H-4 Hercules flying boat - most commonly known as the "Spruce Goose" - has called McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum home since 1993.

 

The museum’s Melissa Grace announced Tuesday, an agreement with the Aero Club of Southern California to keep the giant wooden plane in Oregon. She says the museum will take title of the historic plane in a matter of weeks. "The museum actually bought the aircraft in 1992 under a long-term payment. The Aero Club uses the payments to fund a scholarship program, and it's annual presentation of the Howard Hughes Memorial Award to outstanding aviation and aerospace pioneers."
 

Grace said terms of the agreement aren’t being disclosed. There was a dispute over the aero club receiving a percentage of revenue generated by the plane. 
 
The plane was completed in 1947 and only flew once. It’s actually made of laminated birch, not spruce. It's 79-feet high, 218-feet long and has a wingspan of 320-feet.


PRINEVILLE, OR -- A new state law requiring certain mandates for law enforcement agencies that use body cams could bring one such local program to an end.

 

Prineville police have been using body cams for several years, and Interim chief Les Stiles is a big fan. But the new law requires the blurring of faces on video released to the public, and Chief stiles tells KBND the requirement could place a big financial burden on the department. “Everything that I’ve been able to find out so far is that for every hour of video we’re going to release it could take three to potentially four hours to blur out any faces for privacy concern. That’s the problem. Because if it comes down to having a cop on the street or a technician that’s being paid almost compatible wages I’m going to go for the cop every day in Prineville.”

 

Stiles says more data storage will be required under the new law, as well. Stiles says his force already complies with 95% of the new law, which took effect last month.



MADRAS, OR -- A project to provide Madras with more affordable housing gets underway Tuesday, by Housing Works and NeighborImpact. The plan is to construct six new homes for agricultural workers.

 

Kelly Fisher with Housing Works tells KBND, "Some of the studies we looked at by the American Community Survey show that 42% of households in the city of Madras are rent burdened, which means they're paying more than 30% of their income on their housing. So, we think this will be a really great opportunity to get a family in; and, while they are leasing a home, they're actually getting equity in the property before they even buy it."

 

Those who get the new houses will pay $650 a month in rent for 10 years. After that, they can buy the house for around $125,000.

 

Heart of Oregon Corp's Youth Build Program will supply the labor. Youth Build participants are 16-24 year old high school dropouts who earn a high school diploma and gain construction experience in the program. Fisher says, "It's unique partnerships like this with different organizations, public and private, coming together to create affordable home ownership opportunities. We're really excited that our partners are all working together to make this happen and we look forward to doing more." 

 

Partner groups, government officials and local youth will come together to raise the walls on a new affordable home Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Third and H Streets in Madras. 



BEND, OR -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend has doubled in size, this summer. The nonprofit is able to accommodate the increase in kids by renting more space from St. Francis on NE 27th Street. 

 

In the past, the Bend club could only handle about 250 kids during the summer, with a long wait list. Derek Beauvais, Executive Director of the Bend club, tells KBND, "Between the two clubs, we've been able to service everyone, so we don't have a wait list right now. We have over 580 kids registered for the summer program. We're averaging over 200 at the downtown facility; and 170-200 at the St. Francis site, each day." They have doubled staffing to accommodate the growth.

 

Beauvais says they couldn't do it without the help of St. Francis. "Our facility use is a large ask from any organization. We needed 10 to 11 weeks of programming, 55 hours a week for up to 250 kids. There aren't a lot of facilities that have that capacity in Bend. So it did take us a full year to find a space that was a good home."

 

Between the two sites, he says the Boys and Girls Club of Bend is on track to serve more than a thousand children, this year. 



BEND, OR -- When a semi hit a power pole in northeast Bend yesterday morning (Mon), it knocked out TV, phone and internet service to thousands of Bend Broadband customers in Redmond, Terrebonne, Sisters, Black Butte and Prineville.

 

A number of telephone customers in Bend and Sunriver were also impacted, including at Sun Country tours. Owner Dennis Oliphant tells KBND News, "There’s not much we can do. Our hope was that we could get calls forwarded – we have 25 cell phones – we wanted to get it forwarded on, but that didn’t happen. Sometimes stuff happens."
 
Oliphant says, "Mondays are, by far, our busiest day of the week, call volume wise: 40-50 calls an hour. But the phones aren’t ringing today. We’ve had folks check in and say ‘we were lost and tried to call you, and your phones aren’t working!’  Yeah, I have five full-time reservationist who are doing a lot of cleaning around the office and organizing, waiting for the phone service to go back on."
 
DMV offices across Central Oregon shut down at noon due to the outage. Service was restored by early afternoon, more than eight hours after the crash.
 
Bend Broadband officials tell KBND they are investigating how one broken power pole could impact 6 communities.


BEND, OR -- Bend-based Saving Grace is praising the state Legislature’s passage of a bill last month designed to protect the privacy of sex abuse victims. The so-called “Advocate Privilege Bill” provides confidentiality protections to domestic violence and assault victim programs.

 

Lauren DuBose says Saving Grace already has strict confidentiality policies, but they weren’t protected by law, until now. "So if we did have an advocate called to testify, or someone is really prying for information, they can refer to this House Bill. So, it just really cements the fact that confidentiality is in place, and they can be sure of that."
 
DuBose says the law extends confidentiality similar to what is available for doctors, lawyers and clergy. Thanks to HB 3476, domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking victim service groups cannot be compelled to disclose information without the approval of the person seeking help. She says without that privacy guarantee, some victims are not willing to come forward and seek help.


REDMOND, OR -- Redmond will soon increase its affordable housing options by two. Deschutes County Commissioners approved the projects Monday, donating two foreclosed upon properties to Housing Works and Redmond Habitat for Humanity.

 

James Lewis, with the Deschutes County Property and Facilities Department, told Commissioners one home needs to be renovated, while the other is an open lot. "This is a vacant property located in an existing neighborhood. It would need a new house built on it. Working with Housing Works, addressing the ownership issue, they retain ownership of the property but they're able to sell the home. The homeowner would gain equity in the home but would not be able to sell the property in its entirety. It would be retained by Housing Works so it can remain in the affordable housing stock."

 

The foreclosed house is located on SW Black Butte Avenue; the vacant lot is on SW Valleyview Drive. County Commissioner Tammy Baney says it's a great outcome from a bad situation. "Obviously, someone was in dire straits when those properties came back to the county. And, to be able to take those two opportunities and build those back to the county and to our residents as a way to get them back into the community, I think is the right path to take."

 

Housing Works and Redmond Habitat for Humanity hope to have a family in the existing house within the next couple of months. To qualify, potential homeowners must earn between $15,000 and $30,000 a year. 



BEND, OR -- Last week saw the dedication of Bend’s newest park, Discovery Park, in NorthWest Crossing. And the Bend Park and Recreation District is working on a handful of other new parks, slated to open soon.

 

Work will soon begin on Rockridge Park in northeast Bend, adjacent to Sky View Middle School and Lava Ridge Elementary School. Pat Erwert is the Bend Park and Recreation District’s director of park services. “It’s a unique site with a lot of topography with a little picnic shelter and playground and some green space and then we’re projecting lots of trails for biking and the addition of a skate park up there as well to kind of mirror what we put in down at Ponderosa Park.” Rockridge Park has a price tag of $1.3 million.

 

Canal Row Park is also planned for northeast Bend. Erwert tells KBND it'll be situated on the corner of Butler Market Road and Brinson Avenue, “It’s going to be a nice little neighborhood park with neighborhood park features. It sits right on the North Unit Irrigation canal." He adds, "And then, a renovation of an existing park that’s in need of upgrade. It’s called Hillside Park on the side of Awbrey Butte.”

 

All three park projects should be completed by Fall 2016.


KLAMATH COUNTY, OR -- A cement truck driver was injured in a rollover crash near the Lake and Klamath County lines, Monday morning. La Pine Fire responded to Highway 31, along with the Outback Fire District of Klamath County and a Sunriver Fire ambulance, at about 5:15 a.m.

 

La Pine Fire helped extricate the driver, who was injured and trapped in the Redi-Mix truck. He was flown by Air Link to St. Charles Bend. 

 

Highway 31 was closed for about an hour and a half while emergency crews responded. Oregon State Police continue to investigate.



BEND, OR -- A semi crash led to widespread phone and internet outages, Monday morning. At about 6 a.m. a semi truck hit a power pole at Empire Avenue and Nels Anderson. The accident tangled power, phone and fiber lines.

 

Cindy Tomlinson with Bend Broadband tells KBND phone, TV and internet service has been cut to Redmond, Terrebonne, Sisters, Black Butte Ranch and Prineville. Some phone customers in Bend and Sunriver are also impacted. 

 

Repair crews are on scene, but Tomlinson says there is no estimated time for service to be restored.

 

KBND will continue to update this information as it becomes available. 

 

---

 

1:00 p.m. UPDATE:

Bend Broadband says fiber lines are being spliced, but there is still no ETA for completed repairs. Some customers in Sisters and Redmond report restored service.

 

The outage has forced the closure of DMV offices in Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. According to ODOT, the DMV is not able to service customers without power or computer connections. Officials are hopeful they will reopen on Tuesday.


 



BEND, OR -- The Bend City Council plans to meet with other stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss a transportation package that could include a local gas tax. Councilors must decide by early August whether to put the issue on the November ballot. 

 

Bend 2030 recommends building a more comprehensive transportation package with public support before moving forward. But, Bend resident Bob Brell says the time to move forward is now "I don't see this as a political issue, I'm baffled. If we want tourists to come into this community and get bounced around, they're going to think twice before coming back. And, tourists are what are funding our businesses."

 

Brell tells KBND, "I'm a proponent of moving forward and moving forward aggressively. I've recommended to the council in writing that we go with a 10 cent a gallon fuel charge. The financial impact is absolutely minimal on an individual and our businesses who are benefiting from good roads in our community."

 

The Council is considering a five cents per gallon gas tax to help fund $80 million in deferred street maintenance. Groups like the Deschutes Republicans have already come out against the idea, saying additional funds could be found through cost savings and increased revenue. 

 


SILVERTON, OR -- The second in command of the U.S. Department of Agriculture was in Oregon last week to talk to female farmers and ranchers. USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden has traveled the country to learn about the opportunities and challenges women face in agriculture.
 
In Oregon, she heard mostly of successes. "You are so lucky that you have the richness and tradition in this state that it's almost taken for granted. I think it's so rewarding."
 
"It's about valuing their contributions and the role that they have played - whether it's bookkeeping or marketing or buying insurance or doing the leasing or driving the combine or planting or buying the seed. Whatever it might be, it's a vital part of that operation," Harden said.
 
The tour has also been an opportunity for the women to network with each other and encourage the next generation to get involved in farming. "It's about having a venue, an opportunity for women to just spend some time together, talking about issues they care about. Sometimes they are life balance issues. It's about how to encourage their daughters and nieces and granddaughters to get involved in agriculture." Harden was impressed to learn that one out of five principal farm operators in Oregon are women compared to one in fifty in her home state of Georgia. 
 
Last week's panel discussion was moderated by Katy Coba, the Oregon Department of Agriculture's first female director.


REDMOND, OR --  A motorcyclist was severely injured in a crash near the Jefferson and Crook County Line, over the weekend. A Crook County Sheriff's Sergeant found the 23-year-old Lincoln City man's bike 75 yards from the road, through a barb wire fence, just after 2:30 Saturday morning. 

 
Based on witness accounts, investigators believe Tyler Funk was traveling at 95 to 100 miles per hour on Lone Pine Road when he failed to negotiate a curve.
 
He was taken to St. Charles Redmond for treatment and is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.


PRINEVILLE, OR  -- A Prineville man died after he tried to flee from police early Saturday morning during a traffic stop.

 

Prineville Police attempted to stop 23-year-old Chaz Evans at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Evans failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another car. He lost control of his vehicle and hit several parked vehicles before being ejected from his pickup.

 

He was taken to St Charles in Bend and died while being treated for his injuries.

 

The driver of the other vehicle sustained non life threatening injuries and was treated at St Charles Hospital in Prineville.

 

This is an ongoing investigation.

 

 



BEND, OR --  Local firefighting officials say dry conditions are a couple months ahead of what's normal for this time of year -- and that concerns them.

 

John Allen with the Deschutes National Forest told Senator Wyden during their briefing this weekend, they're prepared for a challenging season. "Because of the low snow pack in the Cascades, obviously its a tough situation. But because off the low snow pack and the fuels drying out faster, what we will see is a longer fire season especially at the higher elevations.  The season it'll go into October." Allen says usually the wildfire season is over by mid September, but he expects area agencies will be fighting wildfires into October.

 

So far this summer, firefighters in the region have battled more than 200 wildfires, more than half of them were human caused.  Luckily 93% have been kept to less than 10 acres.



BEND, OR   -- Senator Ron Wyden was briefed by local forestry officials over the weekend on how the fight against wildfires is going in the region.

 

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest and the Oregon Department of Forestry told the Senator the area has seen more than two hundred wildfires destroying more than 44-thousand acres.  Luckily, most were kept to under ten acres.

 

Senator Wyden is nervous. "Oregon is less than a month into the summer and already we're looking at a terrible trifecta -- drought, high temperatures and fuel build up on the forest floor."

 

Senator Wyden says his legislation that would put more funds into prevention and help avoid these large infernos is gaining traction in congress -- as lawmakers realize our firefighting system is broken.



DAYVILLE, OR -- Firefighters plan to conduct burn out operations along the southern boundary of the Corner Creek Fire, which continues to burn 11 miles south of Dayville. Controlled burns will range between 400 and 600 acres in the Black Canyon Wilderness, just east of Mud Springs Campground.

 

Rain fell in the area over the past week, providing crews with much needed relief and moderating fire behavior. The fire remains 90% contained at 29,407 acres.

 

The fire was first spotted June 29, 2015 and is believed to have been started by lightning. 



BEND, OR -- Central Oregon's population is expected to increase by 76% in the next 30 years. Dr. Arthur Nelson talked about the expected housing needs for the area with the Bend City Council and City Club of Central Oregon, this week.

 

The Professor of Planning and Real Estate Development at the University of Arizona told the groups, "A lot of people sense that Bend is a magnet for elderly retirees, and it is, certainly. But, what surprises me is the share of the population over the age of 65 is less than the national average, and slightly less than Oregon. Yes, you'll be adding more seniors moving in, but they're going to be a smaller share of the population change than the national average and the state as a whole."

 

"About a third of the household growth will be in the peak demand housing group - those who need homes. But that's half of what it's been in the last 20 years, so your demographic composition is changing," he told the audience. "They're favoring something less than the larger single-family detached homes. Maybe something more like smaller homes, smaller lots, apartments, condos and townhouses."

 

Dr. Nelson adds, "But if you're looking ahead from a planning perspective between now and 2020 to 2030, I would recommend you, at least for now, assume that maybe 45% of the net change in demand for housing would be single-family detached homes - many of them renters; ten percent attached - town houses, basically; and 45% multi-family attached - apartments and condos and so forth." He says demand for single-family homes will continue, but many will seek smaller homes on smaller lots, due to younger people moving to the area and older Central Oregonians looking to downsize. 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- We’re used to seeing the big fire retardant air tankers in local skies during fire season, but nimble new Single Engine Air Tankers (also called "SEATS") are designed to keep forest fire outbreaks small until reinforcements show up.

 

Kristin Dodd, Protection Unit Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry in Prineville, tells KBND News, “They’re able to drop this retardant product, over 700-gallons. You work them in tandem, that’s 1500 gallons. To be able to get aviation support to back up our crews on the ground allows us to box a fire in to keep it at the smallest acreage possible.”
 
These planes have a crew of one - just the pilot. They can be in the air 15 minutes after a fire is called in and can reload new non-toxic fire retardant in just five minutes. The day they arrived at the Prinevill airport they went out on a fire south of Dufur.
 
The Single Engine Air Tankers will respond to fires on BLM, Forest Service or State Forestry land; wherever they are needed.
 


PRINEVILLE, OR -- An Eastern Oregon man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash east of Prineville.

 

Crook County deputies and medics responded to Highway 26 near the Ochoco Reservoir just before 6 p.m. Thursday, and found the 59-year-old Enterprise man lying on the ground a few feet from his bike. 

 

He was transported by helicopter to St. Charles Bend. Deputies say Owen Holum was westbound when he drifted off the side of the highway for unknown reasons and was thrown from the motorcycle.  
 
The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.


BEND, OR -- A gas leak just south of Drake Park led to evacuations in the area, Thursday afternoon. KBND News spoke with Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe while he was at the scene on standby, as a precaution.  

 

Howe said a company was drilling a new gas line under Riverfront Street using a technique that doesn’t require digging a trench. "They were drilling along and they hit a 2” gas line under pressure under these streets. In order to actually locate the leak, it took some time to dig around in the general area that they know it was and finally home in on it. At the same time, make sure the gas isn’t migrating into people’s basements, and also making sure people are actually evacuated out of the area."

 

29 homes were evacuated for about an hour while Cascade Natural Gas responded to shut down the line. "This is a potentially a very dangerous substance, and we want to take all the precautions that, not only that we need to take, but that we’re supposed to take to keep people safe. That’s our job," Howe said.
 
Riverfront Street was closed between Hixon and McCann all afternoon while crews repaired the break.


REDMOND, OR -- Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne is a well-known rock-climbing Mecca, but climbing faces are mostly vertical. Ian Caldwell, sometimes called the "Mayor of Smith Rock," is an elite climber working to bring a horizontal climbing opportunity to Central Oregon.

 

Caldwell is developing a climbing wall on the underside of Redmond's Maple Avenue Bridge. "We are working on putting up the first routes. We have eight potential arches we want to put routes up, and right now we’re working on the first arch. It’s about 130’ long of rock climbing and about 70’ tall."
 
He says the 8-year-old span is ideal because it crosses a public park, not a river or railroad track like other bridges. "What’s unique is that it’s steep and overhung. Most of the climbing at Smith Rock is on vertical faces. We have some of the most difficult routes in America at Smith Rock, but nothing that’s really steep. These walls start at 45-degree overhung and they continue to be completely horizontal climbing," Caldwell says.
 
"In 2013, I took a trip to a place called Maple Canyon in Utah. It has really steep overhanging walls, similar to this angle. When I came back I came and looked at these arches and I thought, ‘wow, that’s just like Maple Canyon.’ It was kind of ironic it was on the Maple Bridge. It got me thinking we don’t have any steep climbing at Smith Rock and we need some of it for training."
 
The project is funded by donations and recently received the full approval of Redmond City Councilors. The first routes could be done by this full.


SISTERS, OR -- The Sisters area rental market is very tight, just like Bend. Hayden Homes is looking to build a housing development that could be a mix of single- and multi-family housing.

 

City planners are hosting a public workshop to get community input on the Village At Cold Springs development. Sisters Community Development Director Patrick Davenport tells KBND the builder is looking to change its original plan. "We don't have all the details of the proposed revisions, but the eastern half of the subdivision they have entitlements for 273 dwelling units, which are in 109 attached single-family homes, or townhomes, and 164 apartments."

 

However, Hayden Homes is proposing changes that could involve fewer multi-family units. "There's a definite need for workforce housing and affordable housing. Units like townhouses and apartments and other multi-plexes, there's certainly a need for that in the region and in Sisters. Our housing types are mostly single-family and single-family detached. We don't have too many apartments in town," Davenport says.

 

The public workshop on the Village At Cold Springs begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, at Sisters City Hall. 



BEND, OR -- Bend 2030 is wading into the local gas tax debate. City Councilors are considering putting the issue to voters in November, but a recent survey by Bend 2030 found that many think there could be a better way to pay for much-needed road maintenance.

 

Erin Foote Marlow, Executive Director of Bend 2030, tells KBND the city should not move too quickly like she feels they did with water system changes, instead following the pattern set by sewer system improvements. "Let's try for that same outcome. Let's not slap dash something on the ballot. Let's actually reach out to stake holders in the community and see if we can together a package of funding options that feels more equitable and comprehensive in the community, where people really have a say. We'll get a better outcome and one which is much more supported."

 

The group presented the findings of the survey at Wednesday night's City Council meeting. "The big take-aways are that people have an expectation there will be more funding for street maintenance and repair and also more funding for safety projects like pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and safer, better bike lanes around Bend."

 

The survey of 1600 respondents found a majority favored a studded tire fee to fund street improvements, followed by a gas tax or a tourism tax on food and beverage purchases. City Manager Eric King tells KBND Councilors will make a final decision within three weeks on whether to put a gas tax before voters in November.



BEND, OR -- A maintenance worker was allegedly threatened with a knife by a resident at a northeast Bend apartment complex, Wednesday morning.

 

Bend Police responded to the apartment on Full Moon Drive, and evacuated neighboring units while they attempted to contact the suspect. Investigators say 41-year-old Michael Fuller threatened the worker who was trying to perform maintenance on a fire extinguisher on Fuller's front porch.

 
Fuller was eventually taken into custody without incident and taken to St. Charles for evaluation.


BEND, OR -- Work will get underway this week on expanding the parking lot at Phil's Trailhead. Kassidy Kern with the Deschutes National Forest tells KBND there are only 20 parking spots right now. "Currently, we have a lack of parking which creates some safety issues and traffic flow problems, and potentially some resource damage. Because there isn't enough parking, people parking off the road."

 

The facelift will increase parking capacity to 76. "It will still be open to the public during construction, which we anticipate will last through the fall. It's going to include a couple of phases."

 

Work will also include installation of a new double-vault toilet and a large kiosk.



BEND, OR -- A Redmond man was killed in a Bend crash, overnight Wednesday. According to Oregon State Police, 83-year-old Albert Haslebacher was westbound on Cooley Road at about 11 p.m. when he failed to stop at a red light at Highway 20. His Subaru was struck by a Dodge pickup and a Toyota Prius. 

 
Haslebacher was pronounced dead at the scene. Two people in the Prius were taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries, and the five people in the pickup were treated at the scene.


BEND, OR -- A number of homeowners who suffered extensive damage when a water pipe burst along 8th Street last month, told City Councilors last night they're disappointed the city hasn't taken more financial responsibility.

 

Shortly after the June 10 flood, the city announced its insurance provider, CIS, will only pay for limited things, like water removal and drying of homes. Homeowners like Scott Jennrich aren't happy. "That was a city-owned line on city property. The city claims no negligence, but 8th Street has been under constant work due to an old sewer line in the area. That sewer line was supposed to be replaced years ago but wasn't because the city ran out of funds. Response time to the break was not adequate, the water ran until 5:45 a.m. I personally watched Public Works employees frantically try to find the shut-off, to no avail." Jennrich also says not one person from the city offered them a word of condolence for the incident. 

 

Todd Robles' home was the hardest hit. "That pipe doesn’t even service our house. They told us we would be out of water probably all day. We had water all day - we didn’t have hot water because our hot water was in our basement that sustained nearly 50,000 gallons of water that we had to have pumped out, that the city is balking to pay for. That water wasn't even water to service my house, yet you guys voted not to cover us. I don’t understand that, it doesn’t seem fair."
 
Robles says he may need to pursue more drastic action. "The house that had the damage, that the pipe broke in front of, their driveway was fixed and grated and new rock put in from the 3-foot creek bed that was dug out - done by the city. Why did the city do that but they’re not going to do it at our house? And, they're not going to fix our house. Something is really messed up there, and something needs to be done. We don’t want to have to litigate, but that’s the direction we’re being pushed."
 
Florian Bell says he was disappointed with the city's lack of response throughout the entire process. "The disaster repair company told me the city of Bend trucks had been told to knock off for the day and go home and the water was still being pumped out of our houses. We had to call the city and ask them to kindly send their trucks back and continue pumping out the water out of the storm sewer so the disaster companies could continue to do their work. This is absurd."

 

City councilors agreed to do more research into what CIS will cover, and said they would discuss the matter further.


BEND, OR -- The City of Bend is now accepting license applications for short term rentals. The process is part of the city's new vacation rental rules and regulations. 

 

Lorelei Williams, Short Term Rentals Program Manager, tells KBND applications starting coming in earlier this month. "People are understanding about the program. They get that it's like a license for driving or getting married. One of the misconceptions is that the City Council did this to benefit short term rental owners. When, they really did this to benefit the neighborhoods where short term rentals were growing at a rapid rate." In order to qualify for a license, applicants must already have a land use permit. 

 

Williams says current rental operators will get a notice if they don't submit their application by September first. "If it gets to be October second and you haven't made the application, then the land use permit will become void. And that means applicants will have to reapply and will be subject to new rules and regulations; that includes the 250-feet density rules. If there's a short term rental within 250 feet of their property, they won't be able to obtain a permit."


There is an initial $275 application fee, with a $200 annual renewal. For more details on the process and rules, visit the City of Bend's website.



PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Crook County Sheriff’s Office now has more available jail space, thanks to increased funding for the fiscal year that began July first. Sheriff Jim Hensley says the county is now renting 25 beds at the Jefferson County Jail, taking Crook County’s total inmate capacity to 41. "The District Attorney’s office said they were quite amazed to have people to arraign on a Monday after the weekend’s arrests.  Typically, in the past, we haven’t had beds to hold them and they just get released, and [the DA] might only have one arraignment. For the last couple weeks, they’ve had up to five people to arraign, and then they appear before the judge, like the system is supposed to work, and then they get released or held at the judge’s discretion." 

 

However, Sheriff Hensley tells KBND he doesn't think the ability to hold everyone will last. "I believe this is short lived because we’re building back up to the numbers already. We only have 2 beds available now, and we still have a backlog of over 130 people waiting to serve jail time."

 

The number of beds rented from Jefferson County can fluctuate based on available funding, and has remained at 16 for the past eight years. During that time Hensley says they released an average of nine to 12 inmates per week. "We use the matrix system. It scores people on the seriousness of the charge, their criminal history, the types of things they’ve been convicted of in the past. And then, they’re scored amongst all of them. Then, those with the lower threat to the community, those are the ones that are released."
 

Sheriff Hensley says the money for nine more beds this year came from a county land sale, and may not be renewed next year. 



SALEM, OR -- Unemployment ticked up slightly in Oregon last month, moving from 5.3% in May to 5.5% in June. State Economist Nick Beleiciks says he's pleased with the outlook. "Despite a slight increase in unemployment, it is still really low and is indicative of a strong job market. It's also significantly lower than last year's rate of 7% at this time."

 

Beleiciks says the bump isn't unexpected. "Unemployment rose more, but not because people lost their jobs. There are more people looking for work. Every summer people move to Oregon, recent graduates and students are looking for work, and they are considered unemployed until they find a job."

 

 

 

The state added 2300 jobs in June, mostly in the retail industry and government sector.

 



REDMOND, OR -- An assault investigation shut down Highway 97 in Redmond Monday, just before the morning commute. Initial reports were of a man lying in the road with serious injuries and may have been hit by a car, at about 4:20 a.m. However, as the investigation continued, Redmond police determined the 39-year-old transient had been assaulted.

 

The victim was able to provide details to police at the hospital. Jonathan Bailey of Redmond was arrested yesterday afternoon, in connection with the assault. A second suspect, Jason Nelson, has been contacted through his attorney.
 
Investigators say the suspects and the victim were acquaintances and the assault may have been been related to an earlier trespassing incident. 
 
--
 
UPDATE: Redmond Police say Jason Nelson has been charged with Third Degree Assault. He was booked then released from the Deschutes County Jail, Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing, as is the underlying alleged trespassing potentially connected with the assault.


REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School District will launch a new initiative this fall, issuing electronic devices to every high school student. Jeremy MacDonald, head of Technology and Innovation for the district, tells KBND they tested the idea on a handful of incoming freshman, last year. "About 120 students last year had an iPad to use for academics in all their classrooms. This year, we’ve decided to expand that to all high school students. We’re moving away from a tablet device and going to a different device this year. But, now every student in grade 9-12 will have a device to use at school and at home for academics." Superintendent Mike McIntosh says instead of iPads, students will get a new model of Chrome-book, and training is already underway for teachers and staff. 

 

McIntosh acknowledges Redmond is two years behind Bend-La Pine Schools in making the digital conversion with students, but he says they’re still ahead of most districts. "We’re in that awkward stage of, there’s technology that’s available, but a year from now it’s already going to be antiquated. I don’t regret for a minute waiting longer than, say Bend, because what we would’ve chosen a year ago is not what we would’ve chosen right now for the device. The curriculum is changing daily. I think we’re doing it very systematically on one hand, but very appropriately, timing-wise, on the other hand."
 
For parents with security concerns, McIntosh says students are ready. "We have a culture of responsibility. There’s no way to build a fence high enough or a firewall thick enough or a filter that will catch everything. We’re going to lean on some parents and kids to use them responsibility. Because we can’t, and then at the same time expect them to have access that’s wide enough to do the things we expect them to do with these devices." He tells KBND the district will work with families to make sure students have access to wi-fi both in and out of school.
 
Students participating in the district’s Camp 9 summer school program will be the first to receive their devices next month. The "One to One" initiative rolls out to all high school students in September.

 



BEND, OR -- "Go Set A Watchman," the sequel to the Pulitzer Prize winning "To Kill A Mockingbird," goes on sale Tuesday. Barns and Noble and other bookstores will open early so anxious readers can get their hands on the widely anticipated book, sooner. Harper Lee wrote "Go Set A Watchman" before "Mockingbird," but it was just released by the publisher. 

 

Anita Bond, Assistant Manager at the Bend Barnes and Noble, tells KBND this is a literary event. "It's like Star Wars! Something that was old, it came out so many years ago, and yet here comes this new book. It's like introducing all these younger people to this great author and this great book, hopefully."

 

She adds, "Just the whole allure of it. The fact that this woman has only published one book - and it was such an iconic book - and that it was made into a great movie - and it was just a great iconic movie, as well. I just think that, in and of itself, is making this book highly anticipated."

 

"Go Set A Watchman" centers around the character "Scout" in the 1950s, 20 years after "To Kill A Mockingbird," as she travels from New York to visit her aging father Atticus Finch in Alabama. Some critics have expressed displeasure that Atticus Finch shows more racist tendencies in the new book. 


BEND, OR -- Bend's Knute Buehler is considering a run for Oregon. The first-term State Representative is coming off his first legislative session, where he sponsored several successful bills, including on that will increase access to birth control.

 

Deschutes Republican Chair Reagan Knopp tells KBND he's glad Buehler is considering higher office. "We're always encouraged to see Republicans run for statewide office. It's going to be the next big election in 2016. Deschutes County Republicans would support him, whatever position he chooses to run for."

 

Rep. Buehler (R-Bend) said in an email to supporters that Oregon deserves a strong independent leader, and he believes the stat is not getting that with Kate Brown. He ran against Brown for Secretary of State in 2012, but lost with 43% of the vote. Knopp says, "I think the dynamics will be a lot different. The biggest thing for Republicans running for Governor is we saw a leadership vacuum with the Democratic agenda. They only focused on their agenda and didn't let anything else fly." Buehler believes Brown is vulnerable as Governor.

 

He plans to make a decision on whether to run for Governor, or for re-election as State Representative, by the end of September.



BEND, OR -- The popularity of Bend’s newest park has prompted Bend Parks and Recreation to issue warnings to swimmers. Discovery Park and its irrigation lake opened during one of the hottest Junes on record, and visitors flocked to the oasis in search of relief.  "There’s a little beach on the south end, so it was quite tempting when the park first opened- because it was so warm, for people to start swimming in there. We’re not restricting swimming, but people need to be aware it was not designed for swimming," Park Services Director Pat Erwert tells KBND News.

 

Erwert says the lake is intended as an irrigation pond and a holding tank for storm water runoff. "It was not designed for swimming; that would be an incredibly expensive project to try and do something like that. You’d have to line it and chlorinate the water and treat it basically like an outdoor swimming pool. We can’t be chlorinating the water when we’re putting it on our vegetation and the lawns around the park site." Because it’s not chlorinated, Erwert is concerned about the water quality.
 
Given the popularity of the lake, Parks and Rec will test the water on a weekly basis for E. Coli and coliform, but Erwert says that’s not a complete picture of its safety.
 
Officials are also concerned about the many visitors choosing to jump and dive into the shallow pond. "There’s a dock on the lake that was intended to be a fishing dock, but due to the high number of people just in the water, we’re not stocking it for fishing at this time. But, the water is very shallow; it could be 12” right next to that. When there’s a lot of activity, it gets a little murky and people can’t see how deep it is. There’s also a concrete block retaining wall and people are jumping in there, also into very shallow water."
 
Crews will install signs this week alerting visitors of the hazards and warning that swimmers do so at their own risk. Bend Parks and Rec is hosting a grand opening celebration for Discovery park in NorthWest Crossing on Thursday. 


REDMOND, OR -- A 100-year-old barn went up in flames Monday morning in Redmond. When firefighters arrived at the Wickiup Avenue property at around 11 a.m., the barn was fully engulfed.

 

The barn was filled with hay and cardboard and was a total loss. No one was hurt in the blaze. The loss is estimated at $75,000 and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. 



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House has passed legislation that would speed up the development and approval of drugs to treat some of our most deadly diseases. The 21st Century Cures Act is a bipartisan bill supported by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR). "All of us have known someone afflicted by a deadly disease. Most of us have seen people in our own families; my mother passed away from Ovarian Cancer; my sister-in-law had brain cancer. I lost a son to a congenital heart defect. My mother-in-law had Rheumatoid Arthritis from a very early age; my step-mother died of a stroke. We're all affected."

 

Rep. Walden adds, "This legislation would modernize the nation's biomedical innovation infrastructure and streamline the process for how drugs and medical devices are approved, in order to get new treatments to patients faster." It typically takes upwards of 15 years to bring a new drug to market.

 

The 21st Century Cures Act would boost medical research funding and streamline approval for new treatments. It now heads to the Senate, where critics feel a rush to approve drugs could sacrifice safeguards currently in place. 



MADRAS, OR -- For the next month, expectant mothers in Jefferson County who go into active labor are asked to go directly to St. Charles Redmond, instead of the Madras hospital. St. Charles Madras CEO Jeanie Gentry says this is the first time her hospital has had to close to certain patients for such a long period of time. "This is something that all hospitals have to divert patients of different types, from one time or another. But, when it comes to OB, when we never know when a baby is going to arrive, it’s a little more difficult."

 

She says a couple of experienced OB nurses moved to other facilities, leaving Madras without enough labor and delivery nurses for every shift. Gentry says the hospital lost a couple of veteran Obstetrics nurses, and several new hires, including three from Jamaica, aren’t ready yet. "Those nurses and a couple of others are almost done with their training, but they’re not quite done. Part of that is that we don’t deliver babies every day here in Madras. So, this break in diverting patients to Bend and Redmond is going to allow them to go to Bend and Redmond and complete their training in a higher volume place."
 
Emergency Obstetrics patients will still be treated in Madras during the diversion period, as needed. Gentry tells KBND News, "We’ll still have one O.B. nurse on each shift. The same doctors that take care of our O.B. patients also take care of our in-patients, here in Madras. It’s our family practice docs that do O.B., so those physicians will still be on-call. If a person can be safely transported to Redmond or Bend, we’ll help make that happen. But, if that’s not safe, we’ll definitely take care of the mom and baby here." When it's safe to do so, Jefferson County medics will take women in labor directly to Redmond. She expects the O.B. closure to last approximately 30 days. 

 



MADRAS, OR -- Farmers in the Madras area are being careful about how much water they use this summer. Because of dry conditions, many started irrigating earlier than usual; but, with only a set amount of water available, once it's gone, it's gone.

 

Mike Britton, General Manager of the North Unit Irrigation District, says farmers are being pro-active. "They'll have to look at their crops and determine how far they can stretch the water they're allotted. They can go out and search for water within the district - maybe a neighbor is fallowing some ground and has some water he can transfer or provide to his neighbor. That's typically how folks get by."

 

Britton says the district has helped conserve water by lining some irrigation canals and farmers have been aggressive about conserving water for their crops. "The farmers themselves have done a tremendous amount of work on farm efficiencies. A lot of them use sprinklers, pivots and drip tape on some of their crops, which puts water right on the ground at the base of the plant so you don't lose much."

 

The district serves about 850 farmers across 59,000 acres of farmland in the Madras and Culver area. 



CULVER, OR -- A Culver man was killed during a police pursuit, Friday night. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy attempted to pull over vehicle for erratic driving. But, it sped out of Culver, reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
 
Eventually, the driver lost control and crashed into a tree, near Southwest Imo Lane. 

Deputies say the driver, 33-year-old Derek Mach was not wearing his seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. He had an outstanding warrant, and investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
 
His passenger, 20-year-old Emilio Lucero of Bend was taken by Life Flight to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Kyle Mach 



BEND, OR --  The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is searching for the owner of three calves found Saturday evening near Highway 20 and Gosney Road. A homeowner contacted deputies when she discovered the trio on her property.

 
Because the calves were dangerously close to the highway, and their owner could not be identified, they were taken to the Sheriff's Livestock Rescue Ranch.
 
The three calves are 300-400 pounds each and appear to be in good health.  Anyone with any information on the calves' owner is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 541-693-6911.


MADRAS, OR -- Cooler temperatures over the weekend helped firefighters gain ground on wildfires burning across Central Oregon.

 

The Geneva 15 fire was reported south of Lake Billy Chinook at 4 p.m. Friday, near the Three Rivers Subdivision. Officials say it was started by lightning and, at 875 acres, it's now 90% contained.

 

The Corner Creek Fire, 11 miles south of Dayville, is now more than 29,000 acres and 75% contained. 
 
And, the Ten Mile Canyon fire north of Madras is nearly fully contained at 6,700 acres. 


MADRAS, OR -- A new wildfire reported Friday afternoon south of Lake Billy Chinook is burning near the Three Rivers subdivision. Firefighters continued burnout operations into the night on what is now called the Geneva 15 Fire, which has grown to 880 acres and is 20% contained. The blaze was reported at about 4 p.m., Friday, and the cause is under investigation. The Three Rivers subdivision has not been evacuated; however, Jordan Road is closed to the public.

 

Crews responded to 16 other confirmed fires in Central Oregon Friday, all started by lightning and held to under 1/10 of an acre.

 

The Ten Mile Canyon Fire burning north of Madras, near the junction of Highways 97 and 197, is now 90% contained. It continues to burn within established containment lines and is holding at 6,707 acres. 

 

The Corner Creek Fire 11 miles south of Dayville continues to grow within containment lines and is now more than 29,000 acres. Little precipitation fell over the area on Friday, but cloud cover and cooler temperatures helped crews continue mop up efforts near fire lines. Corner Creek i now 60% contained. 



CULVER, OR -- Oregon State Police are investigating a fatal crash in Culver that occurred during a police pursuit, Friday night. At about 9:20 p.m., investigators say a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop a vehicle when it took off. The driver went several miles when the car crashed into a tree near SW Feather Drive and SW Imo Lane in Culver.

 

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene; the passenger was taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries. No other details have been released at this time. 



WHEELER COUNTY, OR -- A Bend man was killed in a motorcycle crash in Wheeler County, Thursday night. Oregon State Police received a report that Michael Denmark was traveling from Bend to Baker City, but had not arrived at his destination as expected.

 

Law enforcement checked Highway 26, but attempts to find the 64-year-old man were unsuccessful. At around 9 a.m. Friday morning, an OSP trooper discovered the wreckage of a crash near milepost 93 of Highway 26, in Wheeler County.

 

According to the preliminary investigation by OSP, Denmark was eastbound on the highway when for unknown reasons, his 2007 Yamaha motorcycle left the road, traveled a short distance on the gravel shoulder and dropped off a steep embankment. Denmark's body was found at the scene. Because evidence of the crash was minimal, the location of the wreckage was not easily seen by passing motorists.

 

The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.



BEND, OR -- Two Bend residents, along with police, helped save a woman who fell into an irrigation canal in northeast Bend, Thursday night.

 

According to Bend Police, 57-year-old Michelle Howard fell into the canal with her electric scooter, at around 9:30 p.m. She was swept downstream about 200 yards before she was able to grab vegetation on the side of the canal.

 

Melissa Thompson and Al Steiner heard Howard calling for help and called 911. Steiner found her and held on to her until officers arrived and helped pull her out of the canal. She was taken to St. Charles Bend for overnight observation. 



SISTERS, OR -- Sisters merchants are bracing for big sales during this weekend’s 40th annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Retailers already report increased sales this week, as early-bird quilters blanket the town.

 

Judy Trego, Executive Director of the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, tells KBND News, "Attendee estimates vary from 12,000 to 30,000 people. All of our lodging properties are full and our vacation rentals as well. In fact we have a 75-person waiting list at Best Western Ponderosa Lodge.” She says big attendance translates to big business. "Our latest economic analysis showed a direct economic  impact of $1.7-million, and a total economic significance of $2.4-million."

 

The Sisters Rodeo, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and the Sisters Folk Festival are expected to bring in around 100,000 visitors from just those three events, this summer. Retailers point to an improved economy as the reason for the increased attendance and sales.

 



SALEM, OR -- Oregon businesses reported more than 53,000 job vacancies in the spring - that’s the largest number ever reported by the state’s Job Vacancy Survey.

Senior Economic Analyst Gail Krumenauer says 6,300 of those vacancies were in Central Oregon. "For the spring of 2015, we saw a big bump in the number of vacancies in Central Oregon. The numbers in Central Oregon were boosted by vacancies for wildland firefighters and also for leisure and hospitality."
 
Krumenauer says the newly released state report reflects a record-setting number of openings. "53,300 job vacancies in the spring of 2015, that’s the most that we’ve ever found in the history of the Oregon job vacancy survey. That’s more than we found even in the spring of 2008." The spring statistic is 6,400 more vacancies than a year ago.
 
Many employers reported having a more difficult time finding the workers they need. Krumenauer says Central Oregon reported the highest share of difficult-to-fill job openings in the state, at 71%. Businesses most commonly reported a lack of applicants or a lack of qualified candidates as the primary reason for having difficulty filling vacancies.
 
The ratio of unemployed Oregonians to vacancies is now two to one.
 


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House passed legislation to deal with the continuing wildfire funding problem in the west. The bill, called "The Resilient Federal Forests Act," includes several parts that would help pay for prevention and allow for quicker reforestation.

 

Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) says this will modernize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Act, along with other past efforts. "The long and the short of it is, our communities are suffering. We have high poverty, our mills can't stay open, we have to fix this. We can't continue to search for obscure funding for Secure Rural Schools. We need sustainable forests to produce a sustainable resilient economy."

 

The bill could help solve the "fire borrowing" problem by allowing the Forest Service to request FEMA disaster funds during big wildfires, without dipping into prevention funds. "We see these catastrophic fires devouring our budgets, devouring our community and damaging our air quality. We're always going to have them, but if we can get our forests in decent shape, these wildfires won't be as destructive," Rep. Walden tells KBND. 
 
He says it doesn't include everything he wanted, "This is different than what we did two years ago. It's not as expansive. We took half of the O&C Lands and put them in a trust. None of that is in there. It's not as far as I'd like, but it's what we think we can certainly pass and get through the Senate." The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.


MADRAS, OR -- Central Oregon saw more than 150 lightning strikes yesterday, resulting in at least four small fires. Crews held most to under a quarter acre. The largest fire of Thursday afternoon was north of Tumalo Reservoir at .55 acres. Its cause is under investigation.

 

The wildfire north of Madras, near the junction of Highways 97 and 197, has been named the Ten Mile Canyon Fire. It’s now nearly 6,707 acres and 25% contained. That fire was first reported Wednesday and investigators say it was human caused. 

 

The Corner Creek Fire near Dayville remains the state’s largest wildfire right now. 
It’s 50-percent contained at just under 29,000 acres.

 

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