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Local News Archives for 2014-02


Oregon Senate Approves A Bill That Hopes to Avoid Sage Grouse Being Put on Endagnered List


The legislation would persuade landowners to particpate voluntarily in sage grouse conservation plans -- and guarantees their private information  could not be disclosed.

 

Republican Senator Doug Whitsett explains to fellow lawmakers the possible consequences, especially in eastern Oregon if the sage grouse is listed as endangered.

 

"A large area of that part of the state is facing potential listings of sage grouse as endangered.  The endangered list would affect 15 million acres.  It woudl be comparable to the spotted owl and its affect on timberland.  It would restrict activities homeowners can do like building and repairing fences or roads, both on private and public lands, driving, hunting and grazing cattle."

 

The bill now goes back to the House to approve some provisions the Senate made to it.

Oregon Legislation Approves a Bill That Aims to Help Veterans Get Jobs


The legislation sponsored by Republican State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver -- directs various state boards and agencies to include military training and service to be counted as experience to get professional licenses and certificates.

 

Representative Whisnant says as a vetearn himself, he thinks the state has an obligation to do whatever it can to honor the sacrifice of our miltiary personnel.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley Criticizes the Killing of a Vets Bill


The legislation would have extended healthcare, education and job training benefits for veterans.

 

Republicans said the 21 billion dollar package was too expensive.

 

Washington State Democratic Senator Patty Murray spoke for others who supported the legislation -- like Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, on the floor of the Senate.

 

"Can we show these heroes that despite our differences, we will work diligently to get the healthcare and benefits they've earned?"

 

The legislation was the largest veterans bill in decades.  It would have funded 27 new clinics and medical centers and made V-A healthcare more accessible.

 

In a press release, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said "Supporting our veterans should not be a partisan issue.  Unfortunately, Republicans are putting politics over good policy for out veterans."

Local Reaction to Arizona's Governor Veto of Bill Allowing Denying Services to Gays


But other states are considering similar legislation.

 

In Oregon, an initiative is underway to allow businesses to refuse to participate in same sex ceremonies -- if it's against their religious beliefs.

 

Teresa Harke is behind the "Protect Religious Freedom Initiative."

 

"I'm not involved with the issue in Arizona.  It's my understanding their language is much broader.  There's an effort to characterize what we're doing to that , but ours is very specific because of the issue, how does someone opt out of same sex marriage without facing bullying or backlash or fines from the state."

 

The Oregon effort is fighting the title the Attorney General's Office wants to give the initiative on the ballot.  The Attorney General's Office wants to use the term "discrimination" in the title -- and supporters object to that.

St. Charles Takes Advantage of the County's Tax Exempt Status to Save Money on Selling Bonds for Projects


Hospital leaders went before county commissioners on Wednesday to take advantage of the county's tax exempt status.

 

This will allow them to minimize the interest they'll owe from the sale of bonds.

St. Charles Chief Financial Officer, Karen Shepherd says it's been five years since they've sold bonds.

 

"We haven't been out for debt for quite a time, since 2008.  And at that time we had to refinance when the interest rates went up significantly.  So this time we're in a much better position, a more stable position than we were at that time."

 

The commissioners approved the hospital tapping into their tax exempt position for these bond sales.

 

St. Charles plans to use the funds to build a new Prineville Hospital and a new cancer center in Bend, among other projects.

Critic of Legislation to Offer Free Community College in Oregon to Oregon High School Students


Redmond's Bob Perry, who serves on the Redmond School Board -- feels the bill is misguided.

 

"And for starters, we should not be paying for kids college , that falls on kids and parents, not the state.  And where's the money coming from?  You know the Democrats want a sales tax and that's how they'll get it."

 

It's estimated offering free community college for Oregon high school students would cost the state between 100 and 200 million each two year budget cycle.

 

Perry feels the state first needs to improve its public schools-- K through 12th -- before we start looking at higher education.

Republican Senate Candidate Monica Wehby Considering Not Participating in Dorcheseter Debate Next Week


The conference only invited Jason Conger and Monica Wehby -- considering them the top two candidates for the senate seat.

 

Wehby's manager says she's mulling the debate over, but believes all the candidates should be invited, not just the top two.

 

State Representative Jason Conger has already committed to the debate and in a press release says Wehby is trying to avoid the debate to avoid defending the mounting criticism over her positions  on amnesty, Obamacare and gun rights.

 

Conger says if Wehby wants to be taken seriously as candidate, she must be willing to debate her opponent and defend her views.  He says this is a race for one of the highest elected positions in the country, not a race for high school class president.

 

Wehby plans to make a decision on the debate by the end of the week.

Jefferson County Arrests Three More People in Eluding Police Case Near Madras


42 year old Dustin Nash of LaPine was arrested Tuesday evening during a traffic stop north of Terrebonne.  Investigators discovered Nash arranged for two friends from LaPine to pick him up as he was on the run.

 

Nash faces charges of driving a stolen vehicle, eluding authorities, reckless endangering and possession, distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine.

 

The two people who picked him up were arrested for hindering prosection.

 

And the man the woman from the original traffic stop that resulted in their arrests were from the Portland area.  They also face charges of possessing and manufacturing methamphetamine.

A Statewide Report Looks at the Job Vacancies in Central Oregon


Regional economist Damon Runberg says healthcare is a big employer in this region.

 

"We found in this survey there were 3 thousand vacancies at any given time for 2013 over the last year.  And some people may be surprised, maybe not, nearly 40 percent are in the healthcare or social assistance industires.  So a lot of healthcare jobs this year."

 

In this survey, central Oregon included not jsut Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties, but also Hood River and Klamath Counties among others.

 

Central Oregon's average hourly wage was $13.84 an hour compared to a statewide average of $15.04 an hour.

LaPine Puts Plans on Hold to Expand Its Park and Rec District


The district was looking at putting the issue on the May ballot, but the head of the Park and Rec District says too many people had too many questions to have an election that quickly.

 

Bob Schulz is the Director of the LaPine Park and Rec District.

 

"But as I heard from the public, we really decided to take a year and work with the groups that were going to be affected and develop more conversations and let people know what the election would mean to them once they're in place."

 

LaPine was looking at annexing the land between north of LaPine and Sunriver.  These residents would be asked to approve 30 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.  For a 200-thosuand dollar home, people would be paying 60 dollars a year.

 

Schulz says they are now looking at putting the issue on the ballot in 2015.

Senator Mark Hass on Free Community College Bill Impact


Democratic State Senator Mark Hass of Beaverton says Senate Bill 1524 -- also known as Oregon's Promise is about to be passed.   

 

It funds a study on offering two years of free community college for Oregon students who maintain a GPA of 2.0 or above.

 

Senator Hass expects lawmakers to move forward on making it a reality next year.  He says it just makes economic sense.

 

"This population is not going anywhere and they're very expensive.  They cost about $14-thousand dollars in social services and other direct services.  So the day one of these individuals takes a job as a welder, well that 14 thousand dollar expenditure for taxpayers comes off the table.  Two years of community college is a lot cheaper than food stamps and that's what we're talking about."

 

Because the House added amendments to the legislation,tti now goes back to the senate for consideration.  It will then go on to the Governor for his signature.

A House Committee Approves Amendments to Make Cover Oregon More Transparent and Accountable


The House Committee on healthcare passed two amendments Monday that lawmakers hope will prevent more problems.

 

The amendments were introduced by State Representative Jason Conger of Bend.  He says this was the third time he'd push for the measures, and with the Democratic Committee Chair's help, they secured their passage.

 

"It's not a political statement.  It's an issue of policy and public trust.  My amendement have nothing to do with assigning blame.  It's not based on a political decision, but more aimed at transparency by giving the legislature the information it needs so it's made publicly available and reviewed by everyone."

 

The amendments will provide demographics to lawmakers about who is signing up for Cover Oregon to see if its sustainable.  They also require the head of Cover Oregon to make public the results of any investigation into the exchange.

 

The senate is expected to approve the amendments as well.

A New Group of Republicans Forms to Support Gay Marriage in Oregon


The group just kicked off its efforts with an event in Portland last week with NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player.

 

Dan Occhipinti with Freedom Oregon says they are fighting for equal rights.

 

"And this is the new guard.  This is a lot of people, a lot of Republicans who are liberty minded citizens.  They hold the traditional Republican values, but also believe those values are consistent with freedom to marry who you want to marry. If you can pay taxes and die for your country, so you should be able to marry who you love."

 

Freedom Oregon is an independent organization, but is coordinating with Oregonians United for Marriage

Former Head of Partnership to End Poverty is Joining Neighbor Impact


Jason Carr will be Neighbor Impact's new Communications Director.

 

He brings a decade of media experience to the post.  He was a former KTVZ TV news anchor and has spent the last six year as the Economic Development Director for Crook County.

 

Carr says he's excited to join the staff of Neighbor Impact -- an organization that serves over 55-thousand people every year.

 

It helps with food distribtuion, housing assistance and financial counseling.

 

The head of Neighbor Impact, Scott Cooper says Jason's work in the anti-poverty area, his media background and knowledge of central Oregon will be an enormous asset to their team.

COCC Is Poised to Offer Drone Training Courses


The courses could be part of a two year degree program awaiting state approval to be held at COCC.

 

The program will focus only on commercial use training and not military training.

 

COCC currently offers an introductory course on the history of drones, but this would be more hands-on.

 

American Civil Liberities Union  leaders in Oregon hope COCC will include instruction and education on the privacy issues raised by the use of drones.

Latest on Settlement Negotiations Between City of Bend Leaders and Central Oregon Landwatch


The meetings are done in executive session -- and there's been no significant progress yet, but city councilor Mark Capell says they're getting there.

 

"What they're after is putting more water in Tumalo Creek.  I want  to put more water in Tumalo Creek, but I don't think you need to hold the water project hostage to do it. We can work together to accomplish that by making Tumalo Irrigation more efficient so they don't have to use as much."

 

Central Oregon Landwatch field a lawsuit to stop the city's water project claiming it would harm the environment and reduce the water flows in the creek.  In recent weeks, a federal judge in Eugene didn't buy that argument and denied that injunction, but ordered the two sides to continue settlement negotiations.

Oregon United for Marriage Puts Its Efforts to Put The Issue on the Ballot On Hold, For Now


Following last week's announcement by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum that the state would no longer defend the state's ban in federal corut -- the initiative is on hold.

 

Supporters are waiting to see how a U.S. District Judge is going to rule on two federal lawsuits challenging the state's ban.  THe ruling is expected this summer.

 

Peter Zuckerman with Oregon United for Marriage says they're taking a wait and see attitude.

 

"You know I think a lot is up in the iar.  It depends, if we need to focus on the discrimination measure, that's what we're going to do.  We're leaving our options open."

 

Oregon United for Marriage is starting a state-wide tour to fight an initiative to allow people with deeply held religious beliefs to decline to participate in same sex ceremonies.

Initiative is Underway to Allow People to Refuse to Participate in Same Sex Ceremonies in Oregon


Teresa Harke with "Friends of Religious Freedom" says they are trying to allow people with deeply held religious beliefs protection from doing something they don't want to do.

 

"How does someone opt out of same sex ceremonies without facing bullying and backlash and fines from the state?   We need to have religious protection from our first amendment rights -- to be able to say based on my personal beliefs, I don't want to participate in this particular event."

 

The Project Religious Freedom Initiative hasn't started to collect signatures yet, to put the issue on the November ballot.

 

This effort sprung up following an incident last year in Gresham -- where a bakery is now facing legal troubles after refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Crook County Asks Governor to be Declared a Drought Emergency


The County Commissioners approved a letter that will ask Governor Kitzhaber to follow suit.

 

This is the first step toward setting up government aid for farmers and ranchers.

 

Crook County is the fifth Oregon county to file a motion with the Governor's Office.  Kitzhaber has already approved drought declarations in Malheur, Harney, Lake and Klamath counties.

 

Current snow levels in Crook County at area reservoirs range between 33 to 64 percent, with no real snow pack to fill the lakes.

Local Insurance Agent Concerned About the Ratio of Medicaid to Private Plans in Healthcare


Cover Oregon is making progress on its website when it comes to clients who use insurance agents, but the general public is still using paper applications to get through the process.

 

 

Local insurance agent Don Layton is concerned about the large numbers of low income people signing up.

 

"For example, I'm concerned about the new Medicaid enrollees, the number of enrollment of Medicaid versus private insurance plans.  The last numbers I heard was a 3 and a half to 1, Medicaid to private plans.  That's a concern.  I don't see how it's a sustainable model.  I think there's going to have to be some adjustments somehow, somewhere."

 

Layton is also concerned about the number of older enrollees versus younger enrollees.  Since older Americans cost more, their numbers, must be offset by younger, healthier ones.  

 

The Obama Administration feels they need at least 35 percent of the enrollees to be younger people, to pencil out.

Representative Jason Conger Pushes a Bill to Help Community College Students Pay for Childcare


The bill sponsored by State Representative Jason Conger would offer grants to community colleges to set up child care centers.  Students would get childcare on a sliding scale.

 

Cogner is hopeful the bill will pass.

 

"This program is a matching funds, grant program to try and help and incentivize students to stay in school.  Students who participate have to maintain a GPA set up by the college and must be progressing toward a certificate or degree."

 

Conger is optimistic the bill will pass with its bipartisan support.

City Club of Central Oregon Tackles Mental Health


City Club of Central Oregon is tackling this neglected part of healthcare.

 

Robin Henderson is the Chief Behavioral Health Officer at St. Charles.  She says we have to make businesses realize there's a cost to not offering and encouraging mental health treatment.

 

"Lets start with dealing with a diabetic with undiagnosed depression and that can cost 10 to 12 times more for treatment and that 's the business case of this."

 

"We have to normalize it.  That's  one of the things that is behind some of the changes at St. Charles.  I'm the Chief of Behavioral Health and part of the reason we moved to that is to elevate behavioral health so it's as common as nursing to healthcare.  Behavioral  health really needs to be inbedded to all the services we provide."

 

City Club plans to explore the local impact of lack of recognition and treatment for mental health issues.

 

Cover Oregon Reporting Progress on Website


Local insurance agent, Don Layton says he's enrolled several people from beginning to end on the website since Monday.  The agent portal for those who use insurance agents is fully operational.

 

Layton says he's impressed.

 

"It was smooth.  It was a fairly straight forward process. I feel the site was well put together.  It was very interactive with what their goals were and user friendly, so  no complaints."

 

Layton says the website is much beter than it's been.

 

"I'm very optimistic about the website.  It seems to be one thousand percent improved from just two days before."

 

There's still no word on when the website will be fully operational and availabe to the public.

The Latest on Potential Flooding in Tumalo


Deschutes Basin Watermaster, Jeremy Giffin, says he's not expecting dangerous flood levels.

 

"I visited the homes that are prone to flooding and the flows are increasing and its working its way into yards, but they are not major.  We don't anticipate this to be a major flood, however, we are still monitoring it."

 

Giffin belives the high river levels will be coming through Tumalo throughtout the day on Wedneday.

 

Sandbags are available in downtown Tumalo if homeowners need them.

Portland Teachers Avert a Strike


The school district and teachers reached an agreement following an all nighter Monday night.

 

The teachers were poised to strike, but this last minute agreement avoids that.

 

Christine Miles is the spokeswoman for the Portland School District.  She says both sides really wanted to avoid the pain of a walkout.

 

"When both sides, the school district and the union are willing to work, there's going to be a positive outcome.  There were heated moments.  It was emotional and tiring. But both sides were focused on getting a deal done and they did that."

 

The settlement followed ten months of negotiations and prevents a strike at the state's largest district with its nearly 50 thousand students.

 

 

Bend LaPine School District Announces A Couple Principal Appointments


The new planning principal for the district's new middle school will be Chris Boyd from North Clackamas School District.

 

And the current principal at LaPine Elementary, Tammy Doty, will serve as the planning principal of the new elementary school.  She will be the school's principal when it opens in 2015.  Both schools are slated to open in 2015.

 

Also, the interim principal at Bear Creek Elementary School, Anissa Wisemen, has been named the school's full time principal.  She took over this school year when Matt Montoya was fired as the school's principal.

Students Must be Up to Date on School Vaccinations or Will Be Sent Home Wednesday


Children are allowed either a religious or medical exemption.

 

If school and child care vaccination records are not up to date, the child will be sent home Wednesday.

 

Heather Kaisner is with the Deschutes County Health Department.

 

"The law in Oregon is you have until February drop dead date to get shots.  Many feel it shoudl be September.  But with the issues of the busyness of school,  they do this.  But I agree.  I think it should be earlier."

 

Deschutes County sent more than one thousand letters to parents and guardians informing them their children need immunizations to stay in school.

 

 

Five Year Old Boy Killed in Madras Area Car Accident


The name of the boy is not being released per the family's request.

 

51 year old Leroy Hicks of Warm Springs was driving a Suburban with three occupants when he ran a stop sign and collided with a car driven by 19 year old Colton Hemenway of Madras.

 

The boy who died was ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of the injuries sustained during the crash.

 

Five people were badly injured in the accident.

Flooding in the Tumalo Area Appears to Have Peaked, But Tumalo May Be Next


The next area of concern is down stream in the Tumalo area.

 

Deschutes Basin Watermaster, Jeremy Giffin says they are wtaching the flows closely.

 

"We are monitoring the situation using the stream gauging stations.  We will definitely let the public know if we see anything that looks like inevitable flooding in the Tumalo area.  At this point, we're still not sure the degree of flooding we can expect in the town of Tumalo."

 

Currently the flows are about ten times of normal.

 

Giffin says they should know in the next 24 to 48 hours whether any homes in Tumalo along the Deschutes River are in danger of flooding.

Bend City Councilor Mark Capell Reacts to Judge's Decision to Allow the City's Water Project to Proceed


Judge Ann Aiken ruled last Friday that Central Oregon Landwatch failed to prove that the city and the forest service would harm the environment when putting in the pipeline for its water oorject.

 

City Councilor Mark Capell has been a vocal supporter of the project and is happy it can go forward.

 

"It's a great day for the city of Bend's water.  This pipeline supplies half of the city's water,  the other half comes from wells.  Short term its an expensive project, but in the long term it will save the ratepayers money."

 

Cappell says he's heard from a lot of happy constituents.

 

"I've probably had 20 or 35 people give me high fives.  Everyone I'm talking to is excited we can go forward on this proejct.  I believe the opponents are a very vocal minority.  It's nice  to see people who favor the project have finally stepped up and said let's get it done."

 

City officials say they will move ahead with the first phase of the pipeline project this week.

 

The judge's decision will allow the city to coordinate the water project with work on Skyliners Road -- to save money.

Dog Shot with Arrow in Sisters


The two year odl Pekingese mix called "Stewie" wandered away from his home off of Hinkle Butte Raod in Sisters on Sunday morning.

 

He returned a couple hours later with an arrow lodged in him.

 

The dog underwent a medical procedure to remove the arrow. He's back home with his family and his injury is considered non-life threatneing at this time.

 

Anyone with information of this case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office.

Eugene Judge Fails to Impose an Injunction to Stop Bend's Water Project


Environmental group "Landwatch of Central Oregon" again sued trying to stop the project saying it would hurt the wetlands and fish and decrease the water in the Tumalo Creek.

 

Last year  this same judge imposed an injunction to stop the project while she investigated whether it would harm the environment.

 

The city and Forest Service then resubmitted a new plan to meet some of Landwatch's concerns.

 

The two sides have been meeting in recent weeks  trying to reach an agreement on going forward.  

 

Judge Aiken instructed the two sides to continue meeting to try and work out their differences.

 

But her decision means that the city's water project can move forward -- especially the pipe installment that the city is trying to coordinate with the work being done on Skyliners road -- so the road won't have to be torn up twice.

Bend Man Re-Arrested and Faces More Sex Abuse Charges Involving Minors


49 year old Richard Gustafson was re-arrested on Friday on charges of sexual abuse involving a 9 year old girl and more than 100 counts of encouraging child sex abuse.  He also faces one count of possession of a controlled substance.

 

These additional charges are the result of the continuing investigation following the original incident back in January involving 8 and 9 year old girls who claim they were sexually abused during a sleepover party at Acrovision.

 

Gustafson was lodged in the DeschutesCounty jail.  His bail is currently set at one million 340-thousand dollars.

Vatican Rejects Father Radloff's Appeal to Reverse His Removal from Bend's St. Francis Catholic Church


The Vatican rejected Father Radloff's appeal concerning his removal from the parish.

 

It also rejected a request to order Bishop Cary who removed Radloff to make public the reasons behind it.

 

Bishop Cary removed Father Radloff as the head of Bend's biggest parish back in October.

 

For parishioners like Jean Pozzi, who has been a member at St. Francis for 47 years, it's devastating.

 

"I'm just so sad.  I would do anything to help him.  He makes everyone feel so special.  He would attract all kinds of people to church, non catholics coming to mass.  He never wrote his sermons down.  He said I guess it's just a gift from the holy spriit.  He would just go out there and preach."

 

Fellow parishioner Joe Corley is also disappointed by the Vatican's decision.

 

"It stinks.  I think what it says is parishioners don't have any say in their parish.  That's what it tells me."

 

It's unclear whether Father Radloff will be assigned to another parish.  That decision seems to be in the hands of Bishop Cary.

Governor Kitzhaber Declares Drought Emergencies in Four Southern Oregon Counties


Klamath, Lake, Harney and Malheur counties are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history.

 

Snowpack in the Klamath Basin is only about 20 percent normal and will not be resolved with substantial snow and rainfall.

 

The Governor says irrigators, ranchers, fisheries and communities are under severe stress from both water shortages and the risk of wildfires.

 

Through the declaration, the Governor hopes all the possible tools will be available to Oregon communities and businesses that need them.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Issues Flood and High Water Warning


Streams and creeks in the southern part of the county are expected to flood.  You can see standing water on roads and in low  lying areas.

 

We are expecting more rain on Saturday.

 

Numerous roads throughout the county have standing water that make driving hazardous.

 

The Sheriff's Office has stockpiled sandbags at Deschutes River Woods, LaPine and the Sisters areas.

 

And the Deschutes County Road Department has closed Darlene Way in LaPine from Finley Butte Road to Reed Road and Reed Road to Rosland Road.  The gravel road has washed out in two separate places.  You are asked to avoid this area if possible.  The road will remain closed until water recedes and road repairs can be made.

Severe Weather Alert for Deschutes County


* Flood Warning for...
  southern Deschutes County in central Oregon...

* until 10:00 am Saturday

Today...flooding was reported in and around the Sunriver area of southern Deschutes County. In addition to the melting snow...heavy rain overnight had cause water levels to increase rapidly on streams and creeks. The streams and creeks in southern Deschutes County will see flooding over the next 24 hours.


People near the creeks and streams should be alert for rising water. There will also be numerous areas of standing water on roads and in low lying areas. The light rain will be tapering off this afternoon...but another weather system will be moving through the region on Saturday with more rain and a mix of rain and snow. Snow levels will be around 6500 feet Saturday and lower to near 3500 feet on Sunday.

 

Precautionary/preparedness actions...
Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the Road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice...turn around...dont drown.
 

CENTRAL OREGON ROAD CLOSURE


IMMEDIATE ROAD CLOSURE

Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 8:25 a.m.

 

The Deschutes County Road Department has CLOSED Darlene Way in La Pine from Finley Butte Road to Reed Road and Reed Road to Rosland Road.  Darlene Way, a low volume gravel road, has washed-out in two separate places.

 

Road closed signs have been placed. Please avoid this area if possible.

 

Darlene Way will remain closed until water reseeds and road repairs can be made. #

 

Republican Senate Candidate Monica Wehby Defends Her Pro Choice Stance


Though she personally says she's pro-life, she feels the government is overreaching on this issue.

 

"I believe in this country, this decision is between a woman and her doctor  and a woman and her family and faith.  I don't believe the government should be telling a woman what to do with personal decisions."

 

Dr. Wehby says as a pediatric neurosurgeon she is in the business of saving children every day, but she feels the government is in our lives too much all ready.

 

Wehby is one of four Republicans trying to win the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Jeff Merkley.

Gun Control Bill Being Considered in Salem Still Alive, But Just Barely


The judiciary committee sent the legislation to the rules committee to keep it alive, but that's what happened last year and it never went to the senate floor for a vote.

 

Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson opposed the legislation last time and is poised to do the same if it makes it for a vote.

 

Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene sponsored the bill.

 

"Last I heard Betsy Johnson was having difficulty supporting it, which is interesting.  I'm not sure why she supports felongs having access to guns.  That's been her position.  That's apparently her position.  She supports felons having access to guns."

 

Republicans think Democrats want to force senators in swing districts to take a tough vote on gun control.

U.S. Congressman Walden Calls for An Investigation into the Funding of Cover Oregon


The GAO will look at how the $304 million in federal grants of the project have been spent. They'll also investigate if Oregon drops "Cover Oregon" can the federal government reclaim those funds.

 

Walden dismissed Governor Kitzhaber's hiring of a consultant to look into what went wrong.  He says he doesn't feel it's useful for the state to investigate itself.

Jail Illness Outbreak Was Caused By Norovirus


Heather Kaisner is with the Deschutes County Health Department.

 

"The county will typically go in there -- and we did that and sent samples up to the state lab in Portland and we're waiting and we should hear back in a few days.  Right now we don't believe it was from the food, so we're just waiting, we'll see."

 

Again, the results show the norovirus caused the illnesses.

 

The virus affected 40 inmates and 8 staff members.  But currently, no staff or inmates are experiencing any symptoms of the virus.

Two Survivors of an Oregon Avalanche Remain Hospitalized


After they were rescued on Wednesday, they were flown to a hospital in Walla Walla, Washington.

 

The man and woman who survived the avalanche suffered several broken bones.  No further information is available on their conditions.

 

They were part of a group of six experienced skiers from Washington state, being lead by two guides through the back country of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest when the avalanche hit.

 

Two skiers died in the avalanche and their bodies remain on the mountain.  They are no plans to retrieve the bodies right now because the risk of another avalanche is too high.

Landslide Near Hood River Is Creating Traffic Headaches


Oregon State Police say the landslide occurred on the south side of I-84 Wednesday evening and sent two thousand cubic yards of rock and debris onto the highway.

 

This has forced the closure of both east and westbound lanes.  The closure will remain in place at least through the weekend.

 

The closure affects nearly fifty miles along the interstate.

 

ODOT is recommending drivers use alternate routes by using U.S. 26 or I-205, but expect long delays.

Eugene Senator Tries Again to Pass Legislation to Require Universal Background Checks for Guns in Oregon


Last year his bill didn't get to the floor.

 

His latest bill requires background checks on all private gun sales and transfers.

 

He says he's trying to close some of the loopholes.

 

"The reality is we know Oregonians support closing these loopholes so felons won't have access to guns.  The latest data over the last two years shows there are 190 gun sale denials a month, where individuals failed the background checks on those transfers."

 

The background check legislation has to pass out of committee on Thursday to have a chance of passage.

 

Senator Prozanski says he's had assurances that if the committee approves the bill, it will at least get an up or down Senate floor vote.

How Deschutes County Prioritizes Which Roads Will Get Plowed First


The county is responsible for 900 miles -- and when we have a major snowstorm -- it challenges our resources.

 

Chris Doty, the Director of the County Road Department says they had every road crew person working to clear the roads.

 

"It's the first mile and last mile that is the most difficult to traverse. Generally, the main routes are open fairly quickly, but getting in and out of your house can be difficult.  And we appreciate the patience people were able to give us this last weekend."

 

Doty says the county plows major roadways connected to county roads and state highways first.  Then they plow intersections where vehicles need to stop and finally they plow residential areas.

House Democrats Kill Cover Oregon Reforms


House Democrats on the health care committee have killed a series of amendments.

 

Some of the bills would have expedited an audit of Cover Oregon or allowed Oregonians to receive federal subsidies when purchasing insurance outside the Oregon exchange.

 

Republican State Representatives Mike McLane and Jason Cogner blasted the democrats -- saying they are more interested in political cover than finding answers to Cover Oregon's failures.

Part of RPA Will Be Moving to a New Campus


RPA has been on the Hugh Hartman campus for a year when the school opened its 6th and 8th grade middle school program.

 

RPA currently has four facilities in downtown Redmond.  When school officials heard the Redmddn school district could use the space to accommodate kindergarten students for a full day, they announced they would move out.

 

RPA will stay at the Hugh Hartman campus through the 2014-2015 school year, while they look for another facility.

OSP Arrests Driver on Highway 97 Traffic Stop on Drug Charges


Oregon State Police made the stop last Thursday for a traffic violation.

 

The driver, 18 year old Francisco Huizar was arrested after trooopers discovered several ounces of methamphetamine and cocaine concealed in the car.

 

A drug detection canine found approximately 30 ounces of methamphetamine and over 5 ounces of cocaine in the car.

DANGEROUS DRIVING IN EASTERN OREGON


ODOT: East. Ore. - Motorists are advised to watch for high water on roads and highways throughout eastern Oregon. With warmer temperatures and rain, rapidly melting snow is creating high water hazards along some roads. Current reported high water areas on eastern Oregon highways include: OR 82 near Imbler; OR 237 southeast of Union (Pyles Canyon) MP 19-24; OR 19 northwest of Service Creek near MP 75. No eastern Oregon highways are closed due to high water at this time. Travelers should plan on possible delays and keep an eye out for potential flooding. Check TripCheck.com or call 511/800-977-6368 for update highway conditions. Outside of Oregon, call 503-588-2941. Posted: Wed. 12th, 10:51 AM

Avalanche Rescue in Baker County


 

Two cross-country skiers were killed about noon today (Feb. 11th) in an avalanche near Little Eagle Meadows, in the southern Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia.

The area is about 10 miles northwest of Halfway.

Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said a Life Flight helicopter has been dispatched to rescue survivors, but the helicopter can't get any closer than about a half-mile away from the scene.

Members of the Panhandle Snowmobile Club are en route to the scene as well, per Sheriff Southwick.

A total of eight people were skiing together when the avalanche hit. In addition to the two who were killed, two were seriously injured and four were not hurt.

The two people injured apparently suffered broken bones, Southwick said.

He said the skiers apparently were clients of a Joseph company, Wallowa Alpine Huts, Ski Outfitters that conducts wilderness ski tours. Southwick said one survivor apparently used a cell phone to report the avalanche.

The skiers, who were from the Seattle area, were on a guided multi-day trip, according to Connelly Brown, the owner of Wallowa Alpine Huts Ski Outfitters.

Brown said an unconfirmed report that a woman suffered two broken legs, and a man had one broken leg.

Wallowa Alpine Huts offers ski tours in the Southern Wallowas that include overnight accommodations in a yurt as well as the historic Schneider Cabin.

The Oregon National Guard has dispatched a helicopter, as well as Idaho Nation Guard.

The Associated Press is reporting that weather is hampering the current rescue from yesterday's Avalanche in Baker County.

 

Here is the news release from the Baker County Sheriff's office:

 

 

Local High Schools Show Support for Bend High Following Friday's Student Suicide


In an effort to show support, local Bend high schools wore blue andgGold -- Bend High's colors -- to show support for the school and what students are going through.

 

Bend High sophomore Delcie Hipps says it's been an emotional couple of days.

 

"Well, Monday everyone was still in shock, some were crying.  And today, people are starting to mellow out, but still people are in shock and not showing up to school about what happened on Friday."

 

Both Summit High School and Mountain View High School students and staff wore blue and gold Tuesday to show support to Bend High.

Pacific Corp Will Repair Leaking Mirror Pond Dam this Spring


There was some concern that the pond level would remain very low during the summer season.

 

Pacific Corp spokesman Bob Gravely says the repair work will take place in April.

 

"This hopefully will put people's concerns at ease through the rest of the summer season.  It should ensure the pond is full through the year.

 

Pacific Corp and officials with the Bend Parks and Rec and the city of Bend continue to meet to try to work out a potential transfer of the dam to a local entity.

 

The work to be done will put steel sheets into the river bed to fix the leaking dam.

Madras Aquatic Center Hires New Director


Todd Andres came from Klamath Falls, where he used to run a Jeld Wen resort there.

 

He brings a lot of experience turning around troubled organizations in the resort industry.

 

"When I came here during my interview process I told them, if you're looking for someone to manage your pool, I'm not your guy.  But if you're looking for someone to run multiple offerings and make it a stronger recreational dsitrict, then I might be a good fit.  And they agreed and that's why I moved up here to Madras."

 

Andres was selected from a large pool of applicants.  He stood out for his management and financial experience.

 

He plans to expand the flag football, basketball, softball and soccer programs at the MAC.

Following our Monster Snowstorm, More Precipitation is On the Way


Many parts of central Oregon saw two feet of snow -- and we're not done.

 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mary Wister says more precipitation is on the way.

 

"Things are starting to warm up, but the problem is we're going to get more moisture.  It will be snow in the higher elevations, but it's going to be wet and messy in these places that saw two feet of snow, mainly in the form of rain."

 

And all this snow and rain will help with our snowpack, but not as much as we need.

 

Before the storm, most places in Oregon were less than half of normal.  The Upper Deschutes Crooked Basin snowpack level near Bend was around 37 percent.

City of Bend Using Enterprise Zones to Entice Job Growth


The latest recipient of a five year tax break is Deschutes Brewery.  The city council just gave their approval to the deal last week.

 

Bend's business advocate Carolyn Eagan say these tax abatements really help local employment.

 

"Enterprise zones really are an effective tool to use in Oregon and have a strong link to employment.  It's one of the strongest links to creating jobs and we don't enter into an agreement with these businesses lightly."

 

Deschutes Brewery qualified for the tax break because it's beginning a 46 million dollar expansion that will be adding 15 new jobs that will pay at least $55-thousand dollars.

 

Typically these enterprise zones offer three year abatements on local taxes, but  they can get an additional two years if the employers meet certain salary standards for new jobs created.

Illness Outbreak at Deschutes County Jail


28 inmates are suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.

 

Because of the outbreak, the Sheriff's Office called the health department and they're taking additional sanitary steps to control it.

 

The duration of this illness is expected to be around 72 hours.

 

It's not uncommmon for illnesses like this to break out in spaes where a large poulation is put together, such as nursing homes, cruise ships or airplanes.

Challenger to D.A. Patrick Flaherty Says He's Costing County Too Much Money


John Hummel, who is running for D.A. says there have been four former employees who have sued the county for unfair firings -- and it's cost the county a lot of money.

 

"Three years Patrick's been in office and he's mismanaged 1.4 million dollars and that's not including Sharon Sweet which we expect will cost $300,000 to $400,000 dollars. I just think about what we could have used that money for. It's been unfortunate it's been squandered on Patrick's mismangement."

 

Sharon Sweet was a former investigator who sued Flaherty for discriminating against her and wrongly firing her.

 

The election for D.A. will  be decided on May 20th.

Destination Resorts are Coming Back in Central Oregon


Our region is home to seven of the state's nine destination resorts -- and many struggled during the economic downturn.

 

Regonal economist Damon Runberg says these type of jobs pay more than the typical service sector positions.

 

"So they have a huge impact.  These resorts pay significantly more than tourism because of the real estate jobs, so they pay better than tourism recreation type jobs.  And if this trend continues I expect we wil  be back to pre recession levels in the next year or so."

 

Destination resorts like Tetherow and Pronghorn are building new hotels and Black Butte Ranch is redesigning its lodge and pool.

DESCHUTES COUNTY ISSUES LOCAL TRAVEL WARNING


News Release from Deschutes County:

 

Heavy snowfall has blanketed all of Deschutes County leading to hazardous driving conditions.  Some roadways are impassable for most vehicles.  The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to forgo travel plans and stay off the roadways.  Please allow road crews to get the roads clear to ensure safe travel.

Emergency Services (law enforcement, fire, and EMS) are prepared to respond to emergencies and have enacted contingency plans to ensure response.  Road conditions may slow the response, but we will respond to emergencies.  Deschutes County is coordinating with all local cities and emergency responders to ensure that critical services are being provided.

Deschutes County Emergency Management offers the following tips for winter storms:

  • Stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary.
  • If you must travel, be sure you have a vehicle emergency kit including blankets, food, water, shovel, tire chains, and extra clothing.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need assistance.
  • Dig out your address marker and any fire hydrants near your home.
  • Ensure storm drains are clear to prevent localized flooding due to snow melt.
  • Ensure you have your 72 Hour kit available to meet your family’s needs for 3 days.
  • For more information go to: http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

NEW HOPE CHURCH IN BEND, SATURDAY NIGHT SERVICE CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW


Police Confirming Shooting at Bend High Was a Suicide


Police say the victim was a student and no one else was injured.

 

The school was in lockdown during the afternoon as police investigated the incident, but no students or staff were in any danger.

 

At the end of the school day at 2:35,  students will be escorted out of the building by wing to their cars or busess.  Parents can pick up their students at the Presbyterian Church on 9th Street.  The Bend High campus will remain closed to vistors through the weekend.

 

The school district is making counselors available to people tomorrow (Sat) at Bear Creek Elementary School from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.

 

All evening activites are cancelled at Bend High.

BEND HIGH SCHOOL UNDER LOCKDOWN


  Bend Police are reporting that Bend High School is under lockdown. They say the incident at the school involves a shooting- but there is currently no active shooter present. and no outstanding suspects.

 

Bend Police also says that 9-1-1 dispatchers have been flooded with calls and are asking the public to stop calling 9-1-1.

 

From the school district: - "Emergency services and law enforcement are on-site and information is limited.   Police report that there is no further danger to students or staff at the school, we will give you an update when more information becomes available."

Central Oregon Under Winter Storm Warning Until Friday Morning


The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for most of central Oregon -- that will go through Friday morning.  They are warning of 4 to 12 inches of snow -- with higher amounts expected above 35-hundered feet.

 

Meteorologist Vince Papol is with the National Weather Service and he says another storm is headed our way.

 

"There is potential for significant snowfall accumulation with this second system Friday night into Saturday.  That's in the forecast and there is the potential to issue more advisories or warnings."

 

Drivers should stay up on the forecast and be prepared for treacherous highways in the area for the rest of the week.

Portland Snow Wreaks Havoc on Roadways and Breaks Weather Records


It started in the morning and never stopped.

 

Meteorolgoist Steve Pierce says the Portland area saw six inches of snow and it was still coming overnight.

 

He says they're even breaking records.

 

"Portland will have had the coldest daytime high this late in the season since 1933, so since February 9th, 1933, when the high was 23 degrees.  It has stood for 81 years.  And the strongest snow storm and arctic blast in 25 years since the 1989 arctic blast."

 

Pierce says traffic came to a standstill on area highways when schools let out and businesses closed because of the snow Thursday afternoon.

 

Senator Wyden Conducts Hearing on His O & C Legislation


He will soon be the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

 

His legislation to get more revenue to 18 O & C counties by increasing logging was the focus of his last energy hearing.

 

The Wyden bill is trying to strike a balance between Oregon's priorities with the federal government managing these area's federal lands.

 

"By doubling the harvest of the last decade, these communities can save jobs and create more.  By assuring future harvests we can give employers confidence to grow their businesses and provide more good paying jobs."

 

Wyden's plan increases logging to sustainable levels to boost revenues to these struggligng rural counties.

Oregon Will Have One of Seven Climate Hubs Just Announced by the USDA to Deal with Climate Change


The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station will assess local climate risks like drought and wildfire and come up with plans to deal with them.

 

The past three years have brought some of the most severe weather and fires our nation has seen.

 

Bill Hohenstein is the Director of Climate Change at the USDA.

 

He says water shortage will be an important focus.

 

"Looking at long term water availability, one of the concerns for the Pacfic Northwest is we're seeing more precipitation in the form of rain rather than snow pack.  And as a region that  relies on snowpack that is threatened by climate change.  And farmers needs to find better ways to manage and store water different from snowpack."

 

The USDA selected seven cliamte hubs around the country.  The other hubs are located in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

New Report Shows Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations are Helping to Decrease ER Visits


A new report shows the state's CCO's are helping direct these Medicaid patients to primary care doctors as opposed to the E-R.

 

They found that E-R visits were down by 13 percent during the first nine months of 2013.

 

Lori Coyner with the Oregon Health Authority, belives these numbers show these CCO's are working.

 

"Yes, we do think the reduction in ER visits is a reflection of CCOs.  As Medicaid expands over 2014, we think this trend will continue and the innovation at the local level is very encouraging."

 

A Harvard study released earlier this year found the opposite result. They followed Medicaid patients in 2008 and found an increase in ER visits.

 

But Coyner says that was before the state had CCO's and they do a very effective job of directing patients to where they need to go.  She believes that's why the ER visits are significantly down.

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden Participates in Hearing to Implement New Food Safety Rules


The 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act is the largest food safety udpate in this country in 70 years.

 

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that heard testimony.

 

"I know when I met with onion growers they were pointing out that field to field could be radically different and it wasn't even manageable.  I was talking with one of the growers that told me in 100 years, they had never had a salmonella outbreak and I thought that was a pretty good sample if doing analysis of risk."

 

In November, Walden met with researchers and onion growers at Oregon State's Malhuer County experiment station to learn about their research into food safety rules the FDA is developing.

Dangerous Driving Conditions Expected for the Rest of the Week


Travelers should prepare for significant snowfall in the Cascades, and possible freezing rain and high winds.

 

The Oregon Department of Transportation wants drivers to stay up to date on the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

Older Online Dating Site Finds Bend One of the Fittest Cities in the Country


Our time.com has released a list of the top fittest cities where theirbmembers reside and Bend ranks number six.

 

Other fit cities include Naples, Florida,  San Diego, California,  Ann Arbor, Michigan,  Fort Collins, Colorado and Sarasota, Florida.

 

During the past year, the number of our time members who descrie themselves as fit grew 31 percent.

Bend's American Licorice Company Will Be Moving to Indiana


The Bend office employs 30 people.

 

The company just announced a new 10 million dollar expansion at its operations in La Porte, Indiana, east of Chicago.

 

American Licorice will be slowly winding down the Bend office and transitioning to the Indiana office.

Bend Family Barely Escapes a Fast Moving Fire


Bend fire officials say it could have been worse.  The Mom and her three young children barely escaped the fire.

 

The smoke alarm battery was dead and the Mom, 25 year old Stephanie Smith woke up when she heard the sound of breaking glass.  

 

It happened in SW Bend on Alderwood Circle -- just south of Reed Market Road.

 

Upon investigation, the cause of the fire was an iguana enclosure of plastic mesh located too close to the wood stove.  It caught fire.

 

The home and it's contents were a total loss.

Deschutes County D.A. Candidate John Hummel Reacts to Charges by Patrick Flaherty He's Not Qualified


He will participate in a Bend Chamber debate on March 4th with his opponent John Hummel, a former Bend City Councilor and criminal attorney.

 

City Club requested Flaherty participate in a debate in April and he said no.

 

Flaherty claims he hasn't hired a campaign manager or set up a campaign website.  He says he'll do that when someone qualified runs against him for D.A.

 

Hummel doesn't appreciate the dig.

 

"Well, I think that's what the community is sick and tired of from him, that so called "snide" leadership form him.  I haven't referred to him in those terms. He's qualified and I'm qualified.  We each have different strengths and weaknesses.  I'm disappointed with that comment, but unfortunately that's par for the course with him."

 

KBND is also trying to arrange a debate between Flaherty and Hummel.

The Head of Neighbor Impact Reacts to Farm Bill Cuts in the Food Stamp Program


Nationally, SNAP will be cutting 8.5 billion from the program by mainly changing the "Heat and Eat" program.

 

Scott Cooper, the head of Neighbor Impact says they knew the funding wouldn't continue at the same level as during the great recession.

 

"We should see some fall off in demand as the economic conditions improve.  Unfortunately, rural areas like in central Oregon recover slower than urban areas like Portland.  But at some point we need to slide back.  We can't continue at this level of investment forever."

 

To offset the cuts to the "Heat and Eat" program, the farm bill allocates at extra 200 millon to food banks to soften the blow.

 

In Oregon, the food bank expects to receive 54 million dollars less next year.

 

 

Deschutes County To Hold Public Hearing on Weed Control Ordinance


It imposes a more hefty fine for landowners who don't keep their noxious weeds under control.

 

Deschutes County Forester Ed Keith says he's already gotten feedback.

 

"We have heard from people.  We've received eight or nine emails, folks on both sides.  Folks who are supportive of more enforcement of weeds and then folks who really want to make sure it's not just the heavy hand of enforcement but taking the time to educate people."

 

The public hearing will be at 10 A.M. Wednesday morning in the Deschutes Services building.

COVO Hires a Permanent Director Following a Tumultuous Year


The group has been working with an interim director for the last six months, after the past director and several board members quit over the Board President living in subsidized veterans housing.

 

Retired Navy Officer Jerry Hollis is the new Executive Director of COVO.

 

"It was a tough time for us.  Quite honestly, COVO  was at a crossroads.  It would have gone either way, but if we went under it would have been bad for central Oregon and for the veterans.  I'm dealing with it. I've got fences to mend.
 

 

Hollis says the board is back to full capacity and he welcomes those who left over the housing flap, to come back.

HooDoo To Open Friday


Over the weekend, the skl hill got three inches of snow and that is allowing them to open.

 

Our unseasonably warm weather has prevented them from opening the last couple months.

 

HooDoo will open Friday and be open through Sunday.

 

They will maintain a Thursday thorugh Sunday schedule until the end of the season.

 

There are still ten more weeks of the season left.

The Dow Sees Its Worst Drop in Seven Months


The Dow fell 326 points -- droppping two percentage points.

 

It was the worst drop in seven months.

 

Financial Advisor Tyler Simonis with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management say we were due.

 

"So the market is down six percent from the highs at the end of last year.  But it wouldn't surprise me if the market sold off another six percent.  We haven't had a ten percent fall in over two years and historically we have a correction once a year."

 

Weak reports on U.S. manufacturing and construction spending prompted more concerns about the economy.

Two Dead in Workplace Shooting in Vancouver


It happened just before noon at the Benjamin Moore paint plant on Monday.

 

Police say that two people are dead and there is no threat to the public.

 

The shooter was initially described as a man in his 60's and reports indicate an employee shot his or her boss.

Weekend Accidents in Central Oregon


22 year old Tyelr Pierce was killed in the accident.

 

Three people were riding in the Polaris Ranger 900 when it overturned and came to rest on its top.

 

The driver of the vehicle, Mason Stafford was taken to the hospital, but refused treatment.  He was arrested, but has since posted bond.

 

And two people were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 20 near Suttle Lake Friday afternoon.

 

61 year old Bruce Sirnio of Salem was driving an SUV that crossed the center line and hit a pickup driven by 42 year old Andrew Deverna of Newberg.  Both drivers were killed.  A passenger in the truck suffered non life threatening injuries.

Construction Starting on Oregon's World War Two Memorial in Salem


It will be located at the state capitol at the corner of Cottage and State Streets.

 

Veterans advocate Dick Tobiason says Oreogn was one of six states without a memorial --but no more.

 

"So, Oregon finally is going to dedicate (a memoiral) to the 156-thousand veterans in World War Two -- almost 70 years after D Day and 69 years after the end of World War Two.  Most of the World War Two veterans are gone.  Oregon had 156-thousand, but its now down to 28 thousand."

 

The memorial is expected to be completed by June 6th -- the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

 

The World War Two Memorial Foundation raised the more than one million dollars to build the memorial.

Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney Running Again


She is one of three commissioners and has been in the post since 2007.

 

Baney says the region is just beginning ot show signs of recovery and she has more work to do.

 

She serves in several positions on state commissions involving transportation, housing and healthcare.

 

"Well, it's an old adage, if you aren't at the table, you're on the menu.  And Deshcutes County has no place on the menu.  We need to be front and center in the conversation, so whatever is changing at the state, work wells with who we're serving at the local level."

 

Baney is pledging to invest in public safety and roads as well as removing barriers to busienss expansions.

 

So far Baney has no opponent.  The election is May 20th.

COCC Names Presidential Finalists


All three will visit Central Oregon this month for an interview.

 

The finalists are Dr. Patrick Lanning - Campus President of Chemeketa Yamhill Valley.  He grew up in Prineville.

 

Dr. Sheila Oretego -- Interim President at Pima Community College in Arizona and former President of Santa Fe Community College.

 

And Dana Young -- President of Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon.

 

Bruce Abernethy, the chair of the COCC Board of Directors says they had a strong national pool of candidates to chose from.

 

The candidate will come to central Oregon the last two weeks of February for their interviews.

Local Disabled Veteran Gets New Home


Shane Gardner, his girlfriend Caitlin and his 5 and 6 year old sons Adam and Aaron will call this new house home.

 

For Shane, it's kind of overwhelming.

 

"It means the world for us.  My girlfriend and two boys have been sharing a bedroom at my Mom's house for two years.  We've been denied rentals because of our large dogs and our rental history, so this is huge, huge life changing event for us."

 

The Gardner famiyl applird for the home and COVO makes the decision based on need.

 

They will pay COVO reduced rental rate for the housing.

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