Acting Executive Director, Dr. Bruce Goldberg says they are moving forward processing thousands of paper applications to get people enrolled by the first of the year.
They have applications for 65-thousand people they are trying to plow through, to get people coverage by January first.
Dr. Goldberg says they continue to develop code and test it on the Cover Oregon website, but it's still not functioning at the level it has to.
"This is not what I think anyone wanted it to be. But it's where we are at. And we're going to work thorugh it to get everyone the coverage they need."
Dr. Goldberg recommends people concerned they won't have coverage in January and currenlty have it, they should continue that policy through January. He says if you don't have coverage, you can apply directly with carriers and then reapply for subsidies once the Cover Oregon website is up and running.
The Jefferson and Crook County Bar Association is hosting the first "Wills for Heroes" event in Prineville.
Local attorney Fred Schroder will be offering his legal expertise to help people who give so much to the community.
"There's a need. Everyone whether they be in law enforcement or the general population, when I talk to them them are positive about supporting this. It's finding out out how can I help, how can I get the word out."
The "Wills for Heroes" event will be at the Stahancyk, Kent and Hook law firm in Prineville on Friday from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M.
No RSVP is required. The free help will be ona first come, first served basis. Participants are asked to download and complete an estate planning questionnaire before they arrive.
You can get it at www.centraloregonestateplanning.com
News Release from Oregon State Police:
Oregon State Police (OSP) and local emergency responders are on scene of a fatal collision involving a train and passenger vehicle at a crossing on an access road off Highway 97 south of Klamath Falls.
Preliminary information indicates on December 10, 2013 at approximately 10:54 a.m., OSP was dispatched to the reported crash along with local emergency responders. Upon arrival, it was confirmed that two people in the passenger vehicle were deceased and at least one other person was seriously injured. The train did not derail and no injuries were reported on the train.
OSP is starting the investigation and no other details are available for release until later today after investigators clear the scene. An update news release will be sent when information can be released.
He made the announcement Monday morning.
He says he has four key goals - -adequate education funding, implementation of the state's health care reforms, reducing Oregon's carbon footprint and boosting middle class jobs.
Kitzhaber says he plans to tackle tax reform next.
He served two terms in the mid 1990's and won a third term in 2010.
Landwatch has filed a lawsuit against the project in an attempt to stop it.
The city and the Forest Service have agreed to hold off on the pipeline until January 20th -- so a judge can hear their arguments and rule.
Bend City Manager Eric King.
"Our deadline is to try and get the pipe in the ground alog Skyliners Raod by Spring of 2015, by May. We need a good year to do that. And federal funds are tied to that. So no, a month or two is going to be o.k., but further delays would be concerning about meeting that deadline."
The city of Bend and the Forest Service must resond to the Landwatch lawsuit by December 16th and Landwatch has to reply by January 3rd.
Eugene Judge Ann Aiken will again hear the case and is expected to rule before January 20th.
Juan Williams says Senator Merkley stands out because of his push to "go nuclear" to end the abuse of the filibuster in the senate.
Williams calede the vote on Capitol Hill allowing a simple majority to approve judicial and executive branch nominees, a gutsy move to break the gridlock.
Senator Merkley says when he first went to Washington as an intern for Senator Hatfield, things were different. He talked about it recently at City Club of Central Oregon.
"We had a legislative process that worked in the House and Senate and we had confidnece in it. It was not to engage in a paralyzing process if you're not the majority."
Williams says Merkley's victory was getting senior Democrats, particualrly Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to see changing the filibuster rules as a way to end corrosive, etxremist politics.
55 year old Bryan Gruetter was a personal injury lawyer with offices in Bend and Portland.
As part of his guilty plea, he admitted he diverted more than 1.1 milion in client settlement funds by interstate wrie transfers. He also admitted he used client's money to pay for personal and business expenses.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 17th.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine.
Frigid temperatures and high winds convinced parade organizers it would be dangerous to hold the parade with temperatures well below zero.
They felt the risk of frostbite due to exposure was too great, especially for young children.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the area until 4 A.M. on Saturday.
They are calling for 5 to 7 inches of snow in central Oregon with a bitterly cold wind chill Firday night of 20 to 25 below zero.
Saturday will be even colder with a high of only 14 degrees as opposed to 20 degrees today (Fri).
Sunday's temperatures will be like today's -- with temperatures reaching into the thirties by Monday and Tuesday.
Governor Kitzhaber, Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Commissioner Connor Celebrate Successful Completion of Klamath Task Force and Upper Basin Agreement
(Klamath Falls, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber, Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor joined today with members of the Klamath Basin Task Force and Upper Basin Water Group to announce the successful completion of work by the Task Force and an agreement in principle on Upper Basin water and economic issues.
Over the past six months, the water subgroup of the Task Force, which includes representatives of the upper Klamath Basin agricultural community and the Klamath Tribes and state and federal representatives, has been working to develop solutions to outstanding water and resource management issues. The solutions are outlined in an agreement in principle, released earlier this week. The agreement also addresses ways to improve the economic condition of the Klamath Tribes. The agreement in principle on water completed one part of the charge to the Task Force to address the continuing conflicts over water use in the upper basin.
The full Klamath Basin Task Force held its final meeting yesterday, December 3, to review the agreement in principle on water, proposals to reduce the federal costs of the Klamath agreements, and ways to provide affordable power for irrigators. The group's final report includes recommendations to Senators Wyden and Merkley, Congressman Walden, and Governor Kitzhaber, completing the charge of the Task Force while building on years of prior work and laying the foundation for federal legislation that will make permanent success possible.
“This is a momentous day because it shows that Oregon’s reputation as a place where people find solutions to tough problems is well-earned,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Between the Agreement and the Task Force recommendations, we are poised to move forward with federal legislation that supports a stable agricultural economy and sustainable ﬁsheries.”
“This comprehensive Klamath Basin agreement will be the foundation for legislation that will come before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources early next year," Senator Wyden said. "This agreement obviously didn’t happen by osmosis. On issue after issue, the members of the task force agreed to give up their right to obstruct in the name of the greater good. The task force has built on good work done in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, and now we have a game plan for economic development, agricultural prosperity, and environmental restoration throughout the basin.”
“Getting to today’s agreements has been a long and challenging journey. To all those involved, I say, ‘well done!’” said U.S. Senator Merkley. “These agreements will create a stronger farming and ranching economy for the region and a healthier Klamath River Basin, which is an enormous stride forward. I look forward to helping propel this legislation forward in Congress.”
“We look forward to working with all of the stakeholders in the coming months as we move forward in finalizing and implementing the Klamath Agreements, including the KBRA and the KHSA,” said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor, who represented the Department of the Interior at today’s event. “We cannot take care of ourselves if we fail to also take care of our neighbors, and this agreement in principle helps pave the way for long-term solutions rooted in collaboration. I applaud Governor Kitzhaber, Senators Wyden and Merkley, Chairman Gentry and the members of the Task Force who have worked tirelessly to reach this important milestone.”
Following input from community members, the agreement in principle will be finalized in early 2014, leading to the introduction of federal legislation thereafter.
A Madras woman is in critical condition following a weekend shooting.
23 year old Jessica Haynes is at St. Charles in Bend after being initially taken to the hospital in Madras and then life-flighted to Bend. Police say it appears to be a domestic violence case. Madras Police say the man who lives at the Willow Creek Apartments with her is in custody and booked on several charges in connection with the shooting. The suspect is 18 year old Thomas Knapp. The shooting happened at the apartment on Saturday night around 10 o'clock.
Knapp is charged with Assault 2 and 3 and the unlawful use of a weapon...and is in the county jail.
Cover Oregon Progress Report: Nearly 3,500 Oregonians Enroll in Health Insurance to Date, Applications Moving More Quickly,
Rocky King Notifies Board of 3-Month Medical Leave
Durham, Ore. (Dec. 2, 2013)–– Cover Oregon announced today that it has enrolled 3,470 Oregonians in health insurance to date and are moving forward quickly to ensure that all completed applications received by Dec. 4 will be processed in time for coverage to start by Jan. 1, 2014.
Also today, Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King requested permission from the Board of Directors to take a three-month medical leave of absence effective Tuesday, Dec. 3, due to issues related to a previously diagnosed medical condition. The Cover Oregon Board will begin conducting a swift search for an interim executive director through King’s medical leave of absence. During that search, Bruce Goldberg, M.D., will serve as acting Cover Oregon Executive Director.
“We are starting to see enrollments and are gaining momentum. I am confident we are on the right track to get people the health coverage they need. While our work is not done, I had to make the difficult decision to focus on my health now so that I can get better. I know that the Board and Dr. Goldberg will keep things moving forward in my absence,” said King.
Today’s announced enrollments include a total of 3,470 Oregonians enrolled through Cover Oregon. Of those, 219 Oregonians enrolled in a private plan and 3,251 enrolled in Oregon Health Plan. Cover Oregon has received in total more than 54,000 applications received so far and staff are working to get those applications processed as quickly as possible.
People eligible for private plans will receive an enrollment packet in the mail, with instructions on how to select a plan, and they need to return that packet no later than Dec. 15 for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014. Those eligible for the Oregon Health Plan will be automatically enrolled in coverage.
Here are important deadlines and tips to keep in mind:
Dec. 4, 2013: Applications must be complete and postmarked by this date for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014. Once processed the applicant will receive a letter letting them know whether they are eligible for private insurance with or without tax credits, or for Oregon Health Plan.
Dec.15, 2013: Deadline for enrollment forms to be returned (postmarked) to Cover Oregon. People who are eligible for a private plan will receive an enrollment packet in the mail from Cover Oregon.
March 31, 2014: Open enrollment for Cover Oregon ends. The next open enrollment period begins Oct. 15, 2014 for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015.
There are many ways to get help completing an application or enrolling in a health insurance plan. They can go to CoverOregon.com and find a certified community partner or insurance agent or call 1-855-CoverOR. To date, Cover Oregon has received nearly 890,000 hits on the CoverOregon.com website and more than 50,000 calls to the service center.
# # #
About Cover Oregon
Cover Oregon is a health insurance marketplace where Oregonians can choose from different health carriers and plans that fit their needs and budget, and find savings to pay for coverage. Cover Oregon includes health insurance from both private companies and public medical programs such as the Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids. Many people—for example, an individual earning up to $45,900 a year and a family of four earning up to $94,000 a year—will qualify for financial help. Visit CoverOregon.com or call 1-855-CoverOR (toll free 1-855-268-3767).
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.
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.
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)."
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 - 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."
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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