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Local News Archives for 2013-11


DA Identifies Officer Involved in Shooting


The Bend Police officer who fired the shot that killed 31 year old Tyler Keinonen (ken-none-in) last week has been identified as Erick Supplee.

 

In a brief statement from Deschutes District Attorney Patrick Flaherty - the 37 year old Supplee has been with the department for 10 years. No other information will be released until the investigation is complete.

 

Supplee has been placed on paid administrative leave while Oregon State Police and the D-A's Office conduct their investigation.

 

Supplee and his K-9 partner - Zlatan were involved in other incidents this past year - but this recent event occurred on November 22nd when police responded to a burglary call at a home on NE Jackdraw Drive.

 

Neighbors say they heard shots coming from the home that was raided for drugs - guns and theft earlier in the day.

Company Plans to Move into Former Redmond Walmart and Bring 100 Jobs


BasX Solutions just purchased the 100-thousand square foot facility.

 

They will manufacture a wide range of self contained surgical units and power units.

 

BasX Soltuions projects the company will be adding upwards of 150 jobs over the next two years.

 

Redmond Economic Development and the Redmond Chamber of Commerce were instrumental in luring the company to locate in Redmond.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley Talks Obamacare and Filibusters at City Club of Central Oregon


He spoke at City Club of Central Oregon on Tuesday.

 

He told those in attendance, Oregon's website "Cover Oregon" tried to do much.

 

"But get the core and make it function and that was completely lost.  Oracle says they have their A team on it, so until it's up we've got to operate with paper.  But everyone knows Oregon has been ahead of the curve in healthcare, so everyone expected us to have a great exchange.  It's very unfortunate we've had the problem, but we have to address it."

 

Merkley supported allowing people on the individual market to keep their canceled policies as promised.  He also thinks for every day enrollment is delayed on the front end -- those days should be added on the back end for people to sign up for health insurance.

 

The senator also addressed the gridlock in Washington  -- specifically the abuse of the filibuster.

 

Recent Senate Democrats changed the Senate rules to allow judicial nominations to be approved by a simple majority -- following frustration many of the President's nominees weren't getting through.

 

"And on nominations I had hoped we could reinstate an up and down vote.  It was promised in 2005, then in January and then again in July.  Three times promised and three times broken.  And the rule change we did last week, restores the vision of the forefathers -- that advise and consent is not to be an instrument to block and destroy the other two branches of government.  (applause)."

Pacific Corp Decides to Stop Using the Newport Avenue Dam to Generate Power


Bob Gravely with Pacific Corp says after a lengthy inspection and looking at the economics of it, it just didn't make sense to continue using the dam.

 

"Typically we either sell dams to an interested party or remove them.  What we have here is essentially the same.  The only difference is a strong community interest in the future of Mirror Pond.  What's happening  is a desire not to act in a way that makes that decision for the community."

 

Pacific Corp is just starting to meet with Bend City Councilors and Parks and Rec officials about how much it would cost, if anything to obtain ownership of the dam.

 

Local officials say no money will be spent before public discussion of options are held.

Pacific Power Makes Decision on Newport Avenue Dam


Pacific Power - 11/25/13

PacifiCorp looking to divest its Bend Hydroelectric Project
Discussions to preserve the future vision of Mirror Pond underway

BEND, Ore. -- PacifiCorp has determined that it would not be cost-effective for its customers to make the investments needed to continue long-term operations at the company's Bend hydroelectric generating project.

The decision follows a thorough engineering inspection of the project dam after a leak in the dam developed in early October, the third such leak in approximately five years, which also prompted a broader analysis of the facility.

"First and foremost, the inspection confirmed what we expected; the dam remains safe and is in overall good condition for a 100-year old facility, but further investment would be required for the hydro project to operate long term," said Mark Tallman, PacifiCorp's vice president for renewable resources.

"After a century of producing clean, emission-free and affordable power for customers, it's time to divest or retire our Bend hydroelectric plant," Tallman said. "It simply isn't cost-effective or in the best interests of all our customers throughout six western states for PacifiCorp to rebuild the facility and generate power to serve current and future generations of customers."

The project is located near the Newport Avenue Bridge. In addition to diverting water for the company's hydroelectric project, the dam creates Mirror Pond on a section of the Deschutes River in downtown Bend. The Bend community has been engaged in extensive public discussions of its desires and priorities for the future of Mirror Pond.

"We've known and have been candid with the community that the facility was reaching the end of its useful life as a generating facility for PacifiCorp's customers. That time is now here, accelerated by the recent new leak. This converges with public conversations and comparison of options the public has participated in," said Pat Egan, PacifiCorp's vice president for customer and community affairs.

The company will pursue discussions with the Bend Parks and Recreation District and the City of Bend to determine if an agreement can be reached that places the dam under local control in a way that PacifiCorp can also demonstrate to regulators that the outcome is in the best interest of PacifiCorp's customers.

"The company wants to be supportive of community efforts to preserve its vision for the future of Mirror Pond as long as PacifiCorp can also meet its regulatory obligations," said Egan. "Among the various options we must responsibly explore, we are hopeful an agreement can be reached that allows this to happen and also protects the interest of our rate-paying customers in Bend and throughout our multi-state service area."
 

Cover Oregon Comes to Bend to Sign Up Those Without Health Insurance


They were in Bend last Friday where more than 300 people signed up for appointments to start the enrollment process.

 

Sam of Bend was there because he's been without health insurance for several years.

 

"I had health insurance, but I got into a car wreck and they told me my insurance was not feasible for a car wreck.  I didn't know that when I got it.  I was really mad, so I canceled it.  Why didn't they tell me.  But now my knees and hips went bad and I can't work.  I'm just tyring to survive."

 

Leanne of Bend lost her health insurance last year, but says the options aren't great.

 

"If you look at osme of the plans, they are $600 to $700 a month and the dedutible are $6000 and you have to pay that before they cover anything.  I'm going to the E-R.  By law they have to treat me.  You are going to have all these people who have coverage but don't have the money for the deductible."

 

Well over one thousand people applied during the fairs around the state in Mefrod, Eugene, Bend and Portland. 

 

There's a final fair in Salem today (Mon).

Republican State Lawmakers Fault Governor for Cover Oregon Troubles


Representative Mike McLane says Kitzhaber's priorities of education and healthcare reform -- haven't proved successful.

 

"But my concern is his second major project is healthcare reform.  Now he wants tax reform.  Well, if he can't get the first two right, why in the world would you give him a third."

 

Governor Kitzhaber announced he was bringing in two leaders in the healthcare industry to help get the Cover Oregon website up and running.

 

He is urging Oregonians to submit their applications to Cover Oregon by December 4th to begin the enrollment process.

 

The earliest the website is expected to start enrolling people electronically is December 16th.

Governor Makes Changes at Cover Oregon


Greg Van Pelt, former CEO of Providence Health System Oregon, will lend his expertise and provide an outsider's view.

 

He is also the current President of the Oregon Health Leadership Council.

 

The Governor is also bringing in Dr. Bruce Goldberg, the Director of the Oregon Health Authority to oversee the application, eligibility and enrollment process.

 

This will free up Rocky King and his team at Cover Oregon to focus on getting the website fully functional.

 

People are asked to submit their applications by December 4th to begin the enrollment process -- so to get coverage by the first of the year.

Madras Coach Faces Sexual Assault Charges


44 year old Michael Osborne is charged with engaging in a consensual sexual relationship with a 16 year old girl.

 

He has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

 

Osborne has been a coach in central Oregon since 2000.

 

Police officers search Osborne's coaches area at the high school and his home.

 

Jefferson County's District Attorney says given Osborne's lengthy coaching history, he expects the investigation could be fairly lengthy.

Merkley Applauds Senate Rule Change to Prevent Misuse of Filibuster


Merkley has been pushing for filibuster reform for years, but has finally made headway.

 

Merkley along with Senator Tom Udall of New Meixco led an effort in the senate to change the rule that would allow for a simple majority vote to approve executive and judicial nominees.

 

It doesn't apply to Supreme Court nominees.

 

 

Merkley calls ending the abusive filibuster on nomiantions, a big step toward restoring the functionality of the senate.

State Lawmakers Demand More Answers from the Executive Director of Cover Oregon


Rocky King answered questions from a panel of state legislators Wednesday.

 

He told lawmakers the website won't be fully operational until December 16th, one day after the deadline to enroll people by the first of the year.

 

State Representative Mike McLane delivered a letter to Rocky King with his questions.

 

"I ended my letter to Mr. King by saying, you failed with the launch, you haven't been transparent.  How do you expect what you say to be credible now?  Frankly, if you drive the bus off the road and you want credit because you help carry people up the embankment.  Yeah, but you drove thebus off the road."

 

Cover Oregon Officials are saying people need to get their paper applications submitted by December 4th in order for them to process them before the December 15th deadline.

 

 

Senator Wyden Supports Senate Bill To Crack Down on Sexual Assault in the Military


They are debating the "Military Justice Improvement Act" that will change who makes the decision whether to prosecute these sexual assault crimes.

 

Instead of the current chain of command, it would fall to independent military prosecutors to make the call.

 

Last year, the U.S. military saw 26 thousand cases of unwanted sexual assault and that's a 37 percnet increase from the year before.

 

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is on board with the bill.

 

"This is not a gender issue.  This is a violence issue. It is a violent act-- that's why it's called assault.  And violent crimes involve control and domination and the Department of Defense found that half the victims are men.  14-thosuand of the 26-thousand victims were men."

 

More than a quarter of the sexual assault victims say the unwanted sexual assaults involved someone in their military chain of command.

Redmond Fair and Expo Center will Now be Known as Bank of the Cascades Fair and Expo Center


The local bank is the newest sponsor of the Fair and Expo Center.

 

Head of marketing for Bank of the Cascades, Debbie Amerongen says this is a chance to give back.

 

"We're really excited, you know we have had a long term relationship with the county and this came up as a way we could help and support a long tyerm commitment.  It's a great opportunity to reach out to everyone who lives here."

 

This is a five year commitment for Bank of the Cascades.  They paid 200 thousand dollars for the rights.

 

Preivously Hooker Creek was the sponsor of the Expo Center.

Pronghorn Moves Forward with Plans for a New Multi-Million Dollar Hotel and Spa


The hotel will be named "The Huntington Lodge at Pronghorn."

 

Construction will start next April and is slated for completion in early 2015.

 

Pronghorn General Manager, Spencer Schaub says now is a good time to do this.

 

"Obviously the market in central Oreogn has reboudned not only in real estate perspective, but in tourism perspective as well.  We've done a lot of market research and we feel comfortable with this, as we prepare to start this spring, we wanted to get the news out to all central Oregonians."

 

The lodge will complement a full service spa and two world class golf courses.

 

Pronghorn is owned by Auberge Resorts -- which owns several resorts in California, Colorado and Mexico.

Oregon has One of the Nation's Lowest Rates of Antibiotic Misuse


The state has one of the nation's lowest rates of unneeded antibiotics use.

 

Dr. Ann Thomas with the Oregon Health Authority says colds and the flu are usually caused by viruses and antibiotics are ineffective against them.

 

"So what this means for consumers is wheter you have an upper respiratory infection or a skin infection, you need to ask, do I need to be treated and if you do, is this the best drug and to talk about the side effects."

 

Over prescribing antibiotics can also lead to antibiotic resistance,  but that remains relatively low in Oregon.

 

Dr. Thomas credits health care providers with working hard to reduce excessive antibiotic prescriptions.

Bend's Mike Bonetto to be Governor's Chief of Staff


Mike Bonetto had been the Governor's health policy advisor.  He wil lbe replacing Curtis Robinhold who is leaving to join the Port of Portland as Deputy Executive Director.

 

Bonetto was the Vice President of Business and Community Development at St. Charles Health System when he joined the Governor's team when he was elected in 2011.

 

In a press release, Bonetto said he was humbled by the appointment and considers it a privilege to work with the Governor to rethink and redesign critical government services like health care, education, job creation and economic development.

Rays Foods in Bend and Redmond Closing


The parent company is filing for bankruptcy.  But the Rays Foods stores in LaPine, Sisters and Prineville will stay open.

 

C & K Market is closing about one third of its stores, but 44 will remain open.

 

The company is filing for chapter 11 and hope to be out of bankruptcy in 2014.

Deschutes County and Bend Some of Fastest Growing Areas of the State


Portland State University found Deschutes County added nearly 24-hundred residents in the last year.  That's a growth rate of 1.5 percent.

 

That's well ahead of the state's overall growth rate of 0.9 percent for the year.

 

Deschutes County was the second fastest growing county in the state -- second to Gilliam County.

 

The city of Bend gained 825 residents during the last year for a one percent increase.

Cover Oregon Officials Point to Some Enrollment Success


Amy Fauver with "Cover Oregon" says the website continues to have technical problems, but expanded enrollment for medicaid has already signed up 70-thousand people for health insurance.

 

"Despite the challenges to our Cover Oregon wbsite, we have been incredibly successful with our expanded medicaid program.  So far, we've enrolled 70 thousand adults through this enrollment piece and I want to emphasize these numbers are not included in recent exchange numbers and they really should be."

 

These medicaid participants do not need to go to the Cover Oregon website, they can be automatically enrolled thorugh a one page consent letter or by calling an 800 number.

 

Another round of letters will be going out in the coming weeks to get more medicaid people enrolled.

 

Bend LaPine School District Unveils Plans for New Middle and Elementary Schools


BBT Architects is designing the middle school and last night (Mon) they held an open house at Miller Elementary to show folks their preliminary designs.

 

Principal architect Renee Alexander.

 

"We all know technology now is everyday thing and its used in teaching and schools of yesterday don't reflect that change and so that will change the feel and look in a school.

You are going to see a lot of spaces, very adaptable, moving cabinets, not fixed.  A lot of space, a lot of changes in what the spaces can be used for.  There will be a lot of changes in the library -- it's not just a p ace to check out a book, but a place to do colloborative learning, more hands on learning."

 

Wednesday night, Steel Associates will be revealing thier designs for the new elementary school at Jewell Elementary from 5:30 to7 P.M.

Fire Investigators Wrap Up Their Investigation of a Fatal Fire in Alfalfa


But they do believe it was accidental in origin.  The fire killed 54 year old Bruce Hammer.

 

Firefighters were called to the fire early Saturday morning.

the time of the fire.

 

After the fire was extinguished, the body was discovered inside the camper.

Oregon's Insurance Commissioner Approves President Obama's ACA Fix


Each state has the option of not allowing  President Obama's fix to the Affordable Care Act to allow people to keep their current policies.

 

The President's plan would allow peple with health insurance plans  on October 1st of this year that were subsequently canceled to contiue them for one year.

 

Oregon's Insruance Commissioner Laura Cali weighed the pros and cons.

 

"I think there are a lot of considerations -- things we need to be aware of -- like the rates people will pay not just in 2014 and what this means in terms of  access of coverage for people so."

 

The President's proposal would allow Americans in the individual market to keep their existing health coverage through 2014 without penalities -- even though it doesn't meet the new Obamacare standards.

State Speed Zone Review Panel Denies Request to Lower Speeds on 27th Street and Eagle Road


 

The city of Bend tried to get the state's speed zone reivew panel to lower the speeds on both roads, bu the panel said no.

 

Bend Transportation Engineer Robin Lewis.

 

"They really put all theirs eggs in the basket --  the road feels fast,  so drivers drive fast, without regard to some of the safety issues we were trying to get them to consider."

 

The city wanted to lower the speed limit on 27th from Bear Creek to Reed Market from 45 to 35 miles per hour .. and on Eagle Road from 40 to 30 miles per hour.

 

The city had heard from residents complaining of requent rear end accidents because there are no left turn lanes on either road.

Jefferson County Clerk Officially Approves Passage of Culver School Bond


The election was certified last Friday night with a five vote lead for the 8.8 milion dollar bond issue.

 

This is the fourth time the district has sought a school bond since 2006 --but the first time it's passed.

 

Superintendent of Schools Stephanie Garber is already thinking ahead to what's next.

 

"This is uncharted territory for me to be starting to plan for the improvemetns.  I'm sure we'll form a committee and prioritize with coaching from neighboring districts that just finished bond projects like Redmond.  Redmond's been incredibly helpful."

 

Superintendent Garber expects improvements to the elementary school will be their first priority.

 

The funds will add classroom space and allow them to fix the district's old heating and cooling system.

Central Oregon Landwatch Files Another Lawsuit to Stop Water Project


The Forest Service recently approved a new permit to allow the city of install a pipeline between Tumalo Creek and the City of Bend.

 

Paul Dewey of Central Oregon Landwatch says Tumalo Creek is in bad shape and suffers from low flows.  He believes this project will further damage it.

 

Last year the city was poised to start the pipeline, when Landwatch filed its first lawsuit and a federal judge stopped the project while she studied the complaint.  THe city instead came up with an adjusted plan that takes less water out of Tumalo Creek and reapplied for a Forest Service permit, which was just granted.

 

This latest lawsuit could once again delay the project as it is fought in the courts.

Progress Report from Cover Oregon Officials on the Struggling Website


The Executive Director of Cover Oregon, Rocky King told them Thursday , they had made some recent progress.

 

"We're really happy that today was the first day we could electronically determine eligibility.  So now instead of determining eligibility with the representatives, they can focus on data entry, and this really streamlines the process on a time basis.  It goes from one and a half hours to half an hour on an applicaton."

 

King was reluctant to put any timetable on when the website will be able to be fully functional so people can enroll.

 

Other Cover Oregon administrators when pressed suggested it could be mid to late December before the "Cover Oregon' website will be up and running.

What Does President's Plan to Fix Obamacare Mean for Congressional Measures?


This week, Senator Merkley also threw his support behind Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's plan to allow the grandfather clause to be clarified,  so to prevent people from losing their plans.

 

Some plans were to be grandfathered in, even though they didn't meet Affordable Care Standards, but they weren't.

 

Senator Landrieu says she's still pushing ahead with her legislation to make Obamacare better.

 

"I can't control other amendments.  It's important to focus on the problems when they come up.  And this is a problem and it needs to be fixed."

 

Landrieu's bill would allow insurance companies to keep offering plans that don't meet Obamacare standards indefinitely, as long as they explain the shortcomings to consumers.

Local Health Insurance Agent Reacts to President's Administrative Fix to Obamacare


The administrative fix will allow current plans tocontinue for anotehr year.

 

This is affecting those in the independent healthcare market which is about five percent of the population.

 

Local health insurance agent Don Layton isn't sure how that would work.

 

"My family happened to be one of those who lost their coverage.  I'm not entirely sure what this would mean.  Is the White House going to force insurance companies to extend coverage for another year?  I don't know if he can do that.  I have a lot of questions myself."

 

The President's move waas in response to democratic frustration over a program not working as promised.

Cover Oregon Application Fair Coming to Bend


Cover Oregon officials will be in Bend on Friday November 22nd from noon to 8 P.M. at the Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center.

 

You are asked to register online for a specific time slot before the fair.

 

You should bring the following items to the fair -- your social security number, employer and income information, policy numbers of current health insurance plans and information about health coverage available through an employer.

 

You can start your application at home by downloading and printing it out at the Cover Oregon website.

Bend LaPine Schools Start Rollout of the IPad Program


Buckingham Elementary is the first elementary school to start to hand out the devices.

 

Parents and students have come in the last couple nigths to get training and to sign "acceptable use" agreements for the IPads.

 

Every third through fifth grader at Buckingham will get one of the electronic devices to use at school and take home.

 

Buckingham Principal Skip Offenhauser.

 

"No other schools to my knowledge this side of the Cascades are doing this.  So kudos to the district administration and board.  This is very visionary.  This will actually help redue textbook costs, because textbooks will be downloaded onto the IPads.  Also these kids are getting full functionality of these comptuers in the student's hands.  Pretty amazing."

 

Other elementary schools in the distridt involved in the program wil  be rolling out in the coming weeks.

 

The district has added additional security software to the IPads that teachers will activate.  It will prevent kids form adding additional APS or going on certain websites.

Culver School Bond Passes in Final Vote Tally


Jefferson County Clerk Kathy Marsden counted the final two ballots for Culver to see if they would make a difference in the three vote lead in the election night results.

 

The two votes counted today were "yes votes" so the final tally appears to be 590 yes to 585 no.

 

Culver School Officials have been on edge during the last week, waiting to see if their slim lead would hold.

 

Culver Superintendent of Schools Stephanie Garber is thrilled.

 

"We had two ballots and they were both yes.. so we won by 5 votes.  So it's pretty much in teh bag.   I'm not sure what to do with myself.  I'm still in shock.   I found out when I was in a district meeting and I had to compose myself ... but then everyone let out a cheer. It's such a relief."

 

This is the third time that Culver has gone out for a school levy -- and after three tries it finally passed.

 

The funds will go to add classroom space and to fix antiquanted heating and cooling systems in their schools.

 

 

A New Poll Shows a Majority of West Coast Veterans Support Protecting Public Lands


Many of them want them preserved so their children and grandhchildren can enjoy them.

 

Jon Soltz with the "Vet Voice Foundation" that commissioned the poll says they found there's more unity among veterans than partisan politics would suggest.

 

"We've known for a long time that veterans depend on public lands to hike, hunt and fish and to heal their war wounds.  That's not very surprisng.  A lot use public lands because they're affordable for veterans and they aren't wealthy."

 

The polling of post 9/11 vetearns in West Coast states shows veteran's desire to see balanced public policies that protect public lands for future generations.

City of Bend Seeking Slower Speed Limits on 27th Street and Eagle Road in Northeast Bend


Bend Transportation Engineer Robin Lewis is going before the Oregon Speed Zone Review Panel in Salem on Thursday to ask th m to decrease the speed on 27th Street between Bear Creek and Reed Market Road.

 

"On 27th, the speed is currently is 45 mph and we would like it reduced to 35 mph -- primarily because of the rear end crashes we're seeing.  People don't have a left turn lane, so when they stop to turn left especially if there's traffic coming from the other way, they  are getting rear ended at very high speeds."

 

The city is also seeking to decrease the speed on Eagle Road form 40 to 30 miles per hour --because that road too doesn't have a left turn lane and there are a lot of residences off that road.

 

The state panel is expected to rule on the request immediately following the meeting Thursday afternoon.

Bend Man Sentenced for Possessing and Intending to Distribute Meth


49 year old Matthew Collins was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and will be on supervised release for five years after that.

 

Back in May, the Deshcutes County Sheriff's Office stopped a vehicle driven by Collins in Redmond and he fled on foot and jumped in to a nearby canal to escape being taken into custody.

 

Officers found a large amount of meth in his car.

 

Collins has a lengthy and violent criminal history and has been the subject of several recent Central Oregon  Drug Enforcmenet Team cases.

Oregon's Medical Teams International Sending Medical Personnel and Supplies to Typhoon Survivors


Thousands are camped out at the airport begging for help.

 

Medical Teams International, out of Tigard is sending medical personnel and supplies to the devastated country.

 

They are sending three doctors and a nurse.

 

Angela Pratt, marketing manager for the Christian global health organization, says they are also sending emergency health kits.

 

"We send something called emergency health kids which contain pharmaceutical supplies like first aid, gauze, bandages and antibiotics.  These kits coverthe  basic needs of ten thousand people for the next three months.  They really are large medical supply kits."

 

The typhoon left widespread devastation affecting 4.3 million people.

 

It's feared  t least ten thousand people are dead following the super storm.

 

The country's infrastrucutre was so damaged, supplies are still trickling in to those who need them.

Sisters Moving Forward with Plans for a New Amphitheater


City leaders have been talking about it for nearly ten years, but it appears to be finally happening.

 

The city has signed a contract to buy 11 acres off of Locust Street and Barclay Drive in Sisters, for am amphitheater and a parking lot.

 

Sisters Mayor Brad Boyd explains.

 

"We've got the property under contract, which means we have an agreement to buy the property.  We have five months or 150 days to do our due diligence, get cost estimates, raise money, but after five months we get a portion of our money back.  During the first five months, we get all the money back.  So we have 140 days to look at it , can we do this, can we really pull this off?"

 

One of the goals set by the city council this January was to make the new amphitheater happen.

 

The new facility should hold 35-hundred people.

Local Health Insurance Agent Not Surprised Some Oregonians Are Losing Their Health Care Plans


Thousands are getting cancellation notices for their policies, mainly becuase their previous plans don't meet the new minimum requirements.

 

Local health insurance expert Patrick O'Keefe says he's not surprised some plans are going away.

 

"I'm surprised that it's surprising to people.  When changes like this happen, individual plans that don't meet the requirements will go away.  All other individual plans that don't meet the requirements are going to go away.  It's kind of an obvious thing, when you set up attributes and none of the current plans meet that attribute, it's obvious that these plans are going to go away."

 

It is estimated that 150-thousand Oreognians enrolled in individual health care plans will see their plans cancelled.

OSP Identifies Man Killed in One Car Accident on Highway 26 Near Madras


50 year old Scott Young of Oregon City was killed in the accident that happened around 7 A.M. last Sunday morning

 

Authorities say Young was westbound on Highway 26, when he went onto the right shoulder. He over-corrected and lost control, crossed the highway, hit a driveway culvert and went airborne over several large bushes and rolled.

 

Young was found lying underneath the car.  He was not using safety restraints.

A Bend Medal of Honor Recipient is Honored with a New Stamp


The event last Friday was to celebrate the new Medal of Honor stamps coming out this week.

 

93 year old Bob Maxwell of Bend is one of eight World War Two Medal of Honor recipients still living.

 

A crowded Bend High library served as a celebration for the man who threw himself on a grenade in 1944 -- to save his fellow soldiers.

 

"Well, i just can'y get over all the hub bub and crowds and picture taking.  But someone has to do it.  It goes with the medal."

 

Maxwell feels his life was sprared "by divine providence" and has devoted the latter part of his life to working for veterans.

OSU Cascades Sees an Increase in Veteran Students


Seven percent of the student body at OSU Cascades are veterans.

 

The college has seen an increase of 36 veterans students over the last year.

 

Currently there are 76 students who receive veteran education benefits at OSU Cascades.

 

47 of them are women, 60 of them are from central Oregon.  The oldest is 58 and the youngest is 18.

Deschutes County Health Department Recommends People Get a Flu Shot


Heahter Kaisner with the Deschutes County Health Department says you should.

 

"We've had several confirmed cases from Oregon State health lab that flu is here.  It's not widespread, but we do have a few cases.  This usually means this is the tip of the iceberg because many people don't go to the doctor and don't get tested.  So there are probably more cases we don't know about."

 

Flu vaccine is available thorugh local health care providers as well as most pharmacies for people 11 and older.  The health deparmtent is also offering vaccine for children 6 months to 18.

U.S. Representative Greg Walden Introduces Legislation to Cut Down on Rural Hospital Red Tape


The bill called "The Critical Access Hospital Flexibiilty Act" would change federal regulations for rural hospitals to give them greater flexibility to meet patients needs.

 

Federal regulation limits the number of patients "critical access hospitals" can see in a day. They can see 25 patients and when they reach that cap, they must turn patients away.

 

The legislation would allow hospitals to meet he current 25 patients per day lmit or a limit of 20 patients per day -- averaged throughout the year.

Bend City Councilor Jodie Barram Running for Deschutes County Commissioner


Barram has been on the city council for five years, but is looking to serve in a different capacity.

 

"I have grown up here. I grew up in Redmond, lived in Terrebonne and Bend and for a short while in Sunriver.  I understand this county.  For me, my passion is for public service.  I just want to do that in a different way than the city council.  I'm a part time educational assistant and part time city coucilor.  I'd like to focus on serving the public."

 

Barram wil lbe running as a Democrat for Tony DeBone's commissioner seat.  Richard Esterman of Sisters has announced he's running for the seat as a Republican.

 

The primary will  be in May with the general election in November.

Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations Helping to Decrease E-R Visits


Per capita spending has been reduced by one percent and E-R visits are down.

 

Alissa Robins is a spokesperson with the Oregon Health Authority.

 

She says the Health Authority just released a report on how these CCO's are coordinating care for the Oregon Health Plan.

 

"We found that E-R visits were headed downward and primary care visits were up.  And that's exactly what we want to see in the coordianted care model."

 

Emergency room visits decreased by 9 percent across the state.

 

Hospitalizations for things like congestive heart failure have dropped 29 percent.

 

It's believed these community health workers who help coordinate care for the Oregon Health Plan -- direct patients to primary care doctors who treat them to prevent these health emergencies.

PILE BURNING TODAY


 

High Visibility Pile Burning near La Pine, Sunriver, and West of Bend

Central Oregon With weather forecasts predicting sustained fall weather conditions, fuels specialists continue to burn piles across Central Oregon. As part of this pile burning effort, the Deschutes National Forest intends to begin burning piles in several additional locations that will be highly visible beginning today, November 7th.

 

Specialists expect operations to continue for approximately one week as they burn piles in the following locations: 1) near La Pine between Huntington Road and the railroad tracks approximately 1 mile southeast of La Pine Fire Station 102, 2) three miles west of Sunriver near Forest Service Rd 41, and 3) west of Bend near the Skyliner Community off of Skyliners Road (Forest Service Rd 4601).

No closures are anticipated with these operations. However, smoke will be visible along: 1) Highway 97 near Vandervert Road and Huntington Road, 2) Forest Service Rd 41 near Sunriver, and 3) Skyliners Road (Forest Service Rd 4601) for several days post ignitions.

If smoke drifts on to roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care. Once ignited, units are monitored by firefighters until they are declared out.

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires (including pile burning) and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.

For more information, visit the Ochoco/Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.

Final Results of Culver School Bond Won't Be Known Until November 15th


The latest numbers show a 3 vote lead for the "yes" votes, but there are some ballots that haven't been counted yet.

 

Culver Superintendent of Schools Stepahnie Garber explains.

 

"There is a stack apparently of unsigned ballots and these voters wil  be called and will be able to come in between now and November 15th to sign their ballots.  These ballots aren't in the numbers.  So we don't know if they're yes or no votes.  So it's going to go down to the very wire on our nerves."

 

The school district is asking for 8.8 million to fund improvements to several older school buildings -- including badly needed upgrades to heating and cooing systems.

 

If the measure fails, Garber says they plan to go out again to voters next May.

Deschutes County and Bend Room Tax Increases Pass


It will increase Bend's room tax to 10.4 percent and Deschutes County's room tax to 8 percent.

 

Mike Shiel with the Deschutes County Fairgrounds Board -- is grateful for the support.

 

"Well, obviously extremely pleased.  We've been working on this for a long time and quite frankly, I didn't know if it would happen.  But it did.  A lot of great people worked on it and I'm thrilled beyond belief."

 

More than 60 percent of the electorate voted for both room tax increases.

Jefferson County Voters Approve a Five Year Jail Levy


It actually was a slight increase in the levy, but since a jail construction bond was expiring, total property tax bills for residents will be less.

 

Sheriff Jim Adkins is relieved.

 

"Oh I was very excited to see that it had passed. I'm looking forward to see how the vote breaks down by precinct.  I'm very happy the citiziens are continuing to support the Sheriff's office and our jail.  It's a way of making criminals accountable for their crimes and making Jefferson County a much safer place to life."

 

Sheriff Adkins says the approval of the levy will allow them to keep current staffing levels at the Sheriff's Department and jail.

Alfalfa Voters Approve New Fire District


This means residents in the rural area east of Bend, will pay a tax rate of up to $1.75 per one thousand dollars of assessed property value.

 

This will allow them to hire a fire chief and train volunteer firefighters to help fight fires in their area.

 

David Warren was instrumental in getting the measure passed.

 

"We're just elated.  It passed by a pretty wide margin. Glad so much support.  Glad it's over, it's done."

 

The new fire district will officially form in May and residents will begin paying for the new fire district in July.

 

Warren says they would like to hire a local fire chief in they can find someone qualified.

Oregon Has Highest Daycare Costs Per Capita in the Nation


Non-profit "Child Care Aware of America" released a ranking of the least affordable child care states.  Oregon is nubmer one.

 

The government considers affordable child care to be around 10 percent of a family's income -- but Oregon's is closer to 19 percent.

 

When compared to college costs, in Oregon is costs 8 thousand for higher educaiton, but 13-thousand for center-based infant care.

 

The second most expensive state is New York, followed by Minnesota, Massachusetts and Colorado.

Councilor Mark Capell Not Surprised Landwatch Plans to File Another Lawsuit Against the Water Project


The Forest Service issued a special permit for the project this week, but already Paul Dewey with "Landwatch" has notified the city they plan to file another lawsuit.

 

Councilor Mark Capell expected this.

 

"They're goal is just to delay this as long as possible.  they want to delay it until the next city council election and get more people on the council against the water project to slow everything down."

 

Capell says as long as they get the pipeline in by next spring or summer, they will be on schedule to coordinate work with Skyliners Road, so it won't be torn up twice.

 

He says the city anticipated future lawsuits and were careful about documenting everything about the potential environmental impact of the project.

BridgeCreek Water Pipeline in Bend Gets Green Light from Deschutes National Forest Service


Bend's Deschutes National Forest Service has given final approval for a special permit for the project.

 

They looked into objections the project would harm the environment, but found that not to be the case.

 

Rod Bonacker with the Froest Service is glad the project can finally go forward.

 

"Yeah, it's been a long process.  We think we found a reasonable balance between what's best for the environment and Tumalo Creek and what is best for the residents and citizens of Bend.  The way it works now, this new pipeline will leave more water in the creek and in terms of construction I believe the environmental impact will be nil, because it's going under a road."

 

The permit will allow the city of Bend to withdraw a maximum of 18.2 cubic feet per second from Tumalo Creek.  It also calls for the city of Bend to monitor the flow of water both at the top and bottom of the pipeline.

 

Construction on the pipeline is expected to start in early December.

Couple Deschutes County Roads to Close for Winter This Week


The Cascade Lakes Highway will be closed this Thrusday (Nov 7th), west of Mt. Bachelor.  It is expected to reopen prior to Memorial Day, weather permitting.

 

And the Paulina Lake Raod will be closed on Wednesday (Nov 6th).  The road will be closed at the Ten Mile Snow Park gate, restricting access to Paulina and East  Lake.  It should reopen the last week of May.

Republican Bend Businessman Sam Carpenter Withdraws from U.S. Senate Race


Carpenter, who owns Bend phone business, "Centratel" entered the race last month, against incument democratic  Senator Jeff Merkley.

 

He says at the time there was no well funded and highly qualified challengers, but since then Jason Conger and Moncia Wehby have announced.

 

Jason Conger is currently a state representative and Dr. Monica Wehby is a pediatric neurologist at a Portland hospital.

Preliminary Results of Mirror Pond Dam Leak Inspection


They are looking at the extent of the leak discovered last month at the dam.

 

Bob Gravely reports on what they found.

 

"I would say generally it was in line with our expectations, nothing alarming.  We're fully confident the dam is safe.  But it is showing signs of being one hundred years old.  It's showing signs of its age."

 

Gravely says they paln to do an internal review of the repair options and their costs and whether they make economic sense to do.

 

Pacific Power expects to get back with city of Bend officials on its plans by mid December.

Governor Kitzhaber Bringing One Hundred More Workers to Process Paper Applications at Cover Oregon


The additional workers are going to go through the increasing paper applications coming in , since the website still isn't up and running.

 

Michael Cox with "Cover Oregon"  says they're working on getting everything fully operational.

 

"And while the website and the technical problems are getting all the attention -- but we're more than just a website.  You can enroll on line or by paper applications and you'll get the same quality, affordable insurance."

 

You can print out the applicaton from the Cover Oregon website and send it in electronically or by mail.

 

It still isn't clear if the Cover Oreogn website will be fully operational by the December 15th deadline to be enrolled, so coverage will start on January 1st.

Commissioner Unger on Cline Falls Power Plant Historical Designation Decision


Pacific Corp is appealing a ruling that the entire site and not just the dam and powerhouse is an historic landmark.

 

Commissioner Alan Unger went to the site last week, along with fellow Commissioner Tammy Baney.

 

"We got the opportunity to see how the development started in 1918, when they diverted water to the dam then, flume and to the penstock to where electricity was developed.  A lot of equipment is gone.  We did get a good view that will help me make a good decision."

 

Pacific Corp is appealing the site's historic decision becuase they are facing potential fines for removing some generating equipment from the site.

 

Commissioners expect to make a decision by the end of this month.

Update on Cover Oregon


Michael Cox with "Cover Oregon" says paper and electronic applications are being utilized, until the website is fully functioning.

 

"We encourage everyone to go to the Cover Oregon website and fill out the paper application right there on the front page, you can do a traditional application and as long as you get it in by December 15th, you will be covered by January 1st."

 

Cover Oregon has hired additional workers to process these paper applications -- while the website is being worked on.

 

More than 17-thousand people have already applied.  Once the application is submitted, people will receive written notice from Cover Oregon about whether they're eligible for the Oregon Health Plan or subsidies.

 

Cover Oregon has brought in high tech staff and engineers at no cost to them to help get the website fully fucntioning.

EDCO Hires New Director for the Sisters Area


Caprielle Foote-Lewis will lead efforts to attract new business to the area.

 

EDCO Director Roger Lee says she's a familiar face.

 

"For Sisters, we're super excited about her.  We've had contract with her before. She's a co-founder basically of M-Press Packaging, an itneresting company up in Redmond."

 

Foote-Lewis will start next Monday in the new job.

 

She's been a resident of Sisters since 2005.

 

She is replacing Mac Hay who left the postion last year.

Senator Merkley Introduces Legislation to Provide Death and Disability Benefits to All Firefighters


Currently state and local police, firefighters, EMT's and federally employed firefighters have death and disability benefits, but not contracted workers.

 

These contracted firefighters make up 40 percent of the firefighters battling blazes on fedderal lands.

 

The bill would give the surviving spouses and childeren of fallen contracted firefighters the same survivor benefits that thsoe other firefighters and law enforcement receive.

 

Merkley crafted the legislation after hearing from families of contracted Oreogn firefighters killed in 2008, but were deneid benefits.

 

This last summer, a contracted Sisters firefighter was killed in the line of duty, when a tree fell on him.

Rush to Meet Minimum Sales of Keep Kids Safe License Plates


Legislation for the plates required a minimum of 500 plates be sold.

 

On Wednesday, 50 more licenses needed to sell to make 500, but by late Thursday afternoon, only five more plates needed to be sold.

 

The deadline was October 31st.

 

The plates raise money for child abuse prevention programs.

 

Sarah Peterson with Deschutes County Early Learning is cautiously optimsitic.

 

"I just want to thank the community that stepped up and bought plates via mail or at the DMV.  I have a lot of personal stories of people who rallied and extremely thankful for that support."

 

State Representative Gene Whisnant was instrumental in getting this license plate legislation passed.

 

It helps raise thousands of dollars for local child abuse preention efforts, but more importantly, it's a moving billboard to raise awareness about  preventing child abuse.

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