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BEND, OR -- While air traffic is shut down at the airport in Redmond for runway construction, business at the Bend Municipal Airport has taken off. Bend Airport Manager Gary Judd tells KBND News, “We’ve had a real increase in the corporate aircraft coming and going. The small jets, those type of things. Federal Express and UPS have both moved their operations down here so we’ve picked up three or four aircraft to that.” 

 

He says hangar space and tie-downs were already limited in Bend. Many private pilots pre-arranged to move their planes to the Bend Airport prior to the closure. “These are people who are picking up, but a lot of them are transients that would normally be going into Redmond just bringing people in and dropping them off. They don’t have an alternative right now so they’re going to be bringing them in to Bend until Redmond gets opened up again.” Among the new aircraft at the Bend Airport is a huge Chinook military helicopter.

 

Roberts Field is scheduled to reopen in about three weeks. 



BEND, OR -- The President of Oregon State University called for an infusion of state funds for OSU-Cascades, during his State of the University address delivered at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend, Tuesday evening. Ed Ray says the new Bend campus must be a statewide priority. He told the crowd, "[There is a] need for the Higher Education Commissioner, the Governor, the Legislature to have a serious conversation about what can be done to provide capital support for the Cascades campus."

 

President Ray says, "We need to continue the process of investing in OSU Cascades, if it’s to realize its promise of having a campus of 3,000 to 5,000 students around 2025." For the next biennium, OSU-Cascades has requested 69 million in state bonding for the next phase of its expansion." To do that, he says, "We need $150-$250 million over the next 10 years. So, what we’re asking for in the ’17-19 biennium is the 9.5 million for the land reclamation, another 11 million for infrastructure purposes, another 39 million to have the second academic building."

 
He also announced last night, the first academic building on the new campus will be called "Tykeson Hall," after the Tykeson Family Foundation that donated a million dollars to launch the first OSU-Cascades capital campaign. The foundation recently committed an additional one million toward the next phase of the expansion.


BEND, OR -- While conditions may be just right for controlled burns, this week, many Central Oregonians don’t find the smoke all that "favorable." Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says while hazy skies are an inconvenience, the burns are necessary. "I think all of us who do this work, we certainly understand that it isn’t pleasant – especially for those people with certain conditions – asthma and some breathing conditions. We do have a map where people can see where our prescribed burns in the hope that people will know the situation at the time. We always encourage people, close your windows at night, especially when we’re having burns really close to town."

 

She tells KBND News they carefully watch weather conditions to make sure winds will carry smoke away from populated areas during burns. "We are constantly monitoring throughout a burn. The reality is, we’re going to have smoke; if we’re going to live in a fire-adapted ecosystem, there’s going to be smoke. It’s just a matter of how much smoke there is."  And, Nelson Dean says despite those best efforts, hazy skies are often unavoidable. "Prime time is to burn in Spring, because that’s when we have the fuel conditions that we want to burn- winds and all of those things. We can’t burn in the summer and we can’t burn in the winter. In spring, we also have those conditions, you’re cooling the air in the evening and bringing that smoke back down. There’s not a really a perfect, perfect scenario when there’s no smoke."


FOSSIL, OR -- The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team helped bust an illegal outdoor marijuana grow with over 8,000 plants in southern Wheeler County. The grow was discovered by a Wheeler County resident who immediately reported it to the Sheriff’s Office. Drug detectives say things like propane tanks, large amounts of black irrigation piping and fertilizer bags may be signs of an illegal grow operation.  

 

This week’s bust was a joint effort by the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office, CODE and Oregon State Police. 


BEND, OR -- A local high school was recently ranked among the top in the state. U.S. News and World Report named Summit High the 11th best public high school in Oregon.

 

Summit Principal Alice DeWittie thinks the school’s advanced placement classes garnered them the high ranking. “We have an open AP program so any student can take AP. For example, we’re in AP testing season right now and we’re just under a thousand AP tests. That’s up a lot over recent years.” 

 

Click HERE to view the full state ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

 

DeWittie tells KBND News, “Kids are challenging themselves. Our pass rates are continuing to improve over that time as well. I think that speaks to the strength of the teachers and the work they’re doing in the classroom and the students wanting to take on a challenge and then really giving it everything they’ve got.” 

 

Summit High has ranked in the top-20 before, but never as high as number 11. It was also the highest ranked school outside of the Portland Metro or Eugene areas. 


PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce will host a forum Tuesday evening, with the seven candidates for County Commissioner, Position One. Candidate Peter Sharp says it’s an opportunity for voters to get to know each candidate. "To me, I think it’s very important. And, I sometimes get frustrated that we can’t get out more to get people more involved. Because, I really want the people out to look at all of us."

 

Melanie Marlow says it’s important voters learn about what makes each candidate different. "I’m a small business owner, we need more of the same. We need to diversify Prineville/Crook County’s economy. And, I believe the way to do that is to start utilizing what you already have."

 

Retired Prineville Public Works Director Jerry Brummer tells KBND News his top priority is getting a new jail. "We haven’t had a decent jail facility in a number of years. They tried to pass a levy 10 or 12 years ago and wasn’t successful, and the jail has really deteriorated. We’ve been renting rooms from Jefferson County for a number of years and I just feel that we need to take care of our own."
 
Sharp, Marlow and Brummer are running against Shelby Duncan, Tom Jay, Jodie Fleck and Jason Carr for the nonpartisan position. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the May 17 primary, the top two will face off in the November election. 
 
Tuesday's forum begins at 6:30 p.m. at Carey Foster Hall, inside the Crook County Fairgrounds. 


BEND, OR -- Commercial vacancy rates dropped to near-record lows in Bend in the first quarter of 2016. Pat Kesgard, with Compass Commercial Real Estate, says office vacancies dropped another half a percent, to 6.3%. "What that means in square feet, is about 19 – almost 20,000 square-feet of office that was absorbed in that quarter." He says the tightening market will cause lease rates to rise in the coming year, assuming things like interest rates and future growth continue as expected.

 

Kesgard tells KBND News, "When we talk about that vacancy, 6.3%, the majority of that is going to be along Third Street corridor in Bend – about 12% vacancy in that area." But, he also says redevelopment along Third Street is likely to tighten that area, as well. "Perfect example of a retail development is where the Platypus Pub is, that and two adjacent buildings, was recently sold and that will be totally redeveloped. So, you’re going to see that retail development, and some of those older buildings go away."

 

Retail availability also dropped a half a percent, to 4.7% in the first quarter. And, the Industrial vacancy rate fell nearly three-percent to 3.4%.
 
Kesgard says that lack of availability is forcing many companies to Prineville and Redmond. "What is so interesting about Redmond, there is so much industrial land, and so many finished lots that are ready to be built on, that’s going to be a lot of where the industrial tenants are going to go." Redmond’s industrial vacancy rate fell from 5.4% to 4.8%, in the first quarter.
 
To hear our full conversation with Pat Kesgard, click HERE or visit our Podcast Page.


PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County authorities believe they know who has been knocking down and destroying campaign signs in the Prineville area. County Commissioner candidate Jason Carr had several of his signs damaged, and some were taken. "There were about a dozen or so small yard signs that were stolen, and they haven't been able to determine who took those," Carr tells KBND News. "But, what they did find out, was that there was a particular person who didn't like a larger sign and where it was located at Third and Locust."

 

The man was told to contact the candidate or authorities if he has problems with where a sign is, and not to remove it himself. 

 

Carr says he won't press charges, and the man does not appear related to a specific campaign. "I think this was just a guy who, unfortunately, took it upon himself to try to knock down and remove a sign without getting in touch with me or somebody else to say, 'hey, is there a possibility this could be moved, I don't like it there. It's blocking my vision.'" He admits many are suffering from sign fatigue but says the primary will be over in less than two weeks. 



BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners heard four hours of public opinion Monday, on whether to allow recreational marijuana grow operations in rural areas. People packed the hearing room for a chance to share their thoughts, and passionate pleas were heard on both sides of the issue.

 

Leila Carter, of Bend, told Commissioners many have a negative impression of those in the marijuana industry, but she says  that hasn't been her experience. "The last time I checked, I couldn't pick my neighbors. Whether it's NorthWest Crossing or rural Deschutes County, I couldn't pick their profession or how many animals they had, or how many parties they chose to throw, what kind of car they drove, or the color of their skin; or, if they were going to be good and reasonable neighbors. The only control I have is myself."

 

Read more about a recent survey, paid for by the industry, showing support for allowing rural pot grows.

 

Kevin Hogan, co-owner of local cannabis company OreGrown, also asked the board to end the ban. "The very notion of a 'do over' vote silences the vote of your constituents, is anti American. They're counting on you to opt in, implement and let their voice be heard. Furthermore, by opting out, you're placing unwarranted stress on small business, the backbone of America. For the local cannabis industry, the short-term effects of the opt out are felt daily; and the long-term effects, and our worst-case scenario, will be disastrous. There will be layoffs in all cases."

 

But, many rural property owners, like Tumalo resident Carrie Deetin, spoke in favor of sending the issue back to voters. "The decision before you today, is momentous to the future of Bend. In some fashion, it will effect every man, woman and child who lives in this county. To date, many hours have been spent by dedicated citizens searching for a middle ground, to no avail. The disparity and discord is as strong and wide as ever. I respectfully request that you, the County Commissioners, put this decision back in the hands of the people of this county."  

 

Read more about a grassroots effort to continue the "opt out."

 

And others, like Robert Pederson, talked about how grow operations could impact quality of life in rural parts of Deschutes County. "Why allow an industry here, with water, electricity, odor and unsightly plastic greenhouse issues? Stunning scenery and outdoor recreation have always been magnets for tourists and residents, alike. Why spoil that lifestyle and undermine the investment of property owners? Those threats will increase dramatically with more than one license per parcel."

 

County Commissioners expect to begin deliberating Wednesday. They'll decide whether to continue the temporary ban on rural grow operations and send the issue to voters in November, or opt in and impose regulations on the industry. 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- Habitat for Humanity in Crook County is shutting down operations, and the ReStore in Prineville will close June 30. Bend Habitat merged with Crook County in 2008 to help build more affordable housing in the region. 

 

Robin Cooper-Engle, with Habitat, says it was not an easy decision. "It's been a challenge, financially. We've put money into the community to help further the mission of Habitat, and it's just not moving forward like we had hoped." She tells KBND News, "So many of us put lots of heart and soul into the time there. We've been trying to move things forward over this last year to see if things would change a little bit. And, unfortunately, this is a decision our board made that it's time to close operations." She says rising costs of land and construction contributed to the economic problems.

 

Cooper-Engle says over the last eight years, Habitat has invested $275,000 to help the Prineville community. They've served five families and completed 40 home repairs.  

 



BEND, OR -- It could be the negative side of Deschutes County’s record low unemployment – the Bend-La Pine School District is struggling to hire enough bus drivers. Transportation Director Denice Blake tells KBND News it’s been difficult to recruit qualified applicants. "The need for school bus drivers is nationwide. Anywhere I travel, we see signs up for school bus drivers; our trade journals are always commenting on recruiting, and hiring, etc."

 

She says many don’t realize how flexible the job is. Local recruitment efforts are targeted to stay-at-home parents and retirees. "We have the holidays off, we have two weeks at Christmas, and we have all summer. So, you can be retired, work part-time, get involved in the community, meet new people, be involved with children; and yet, you still have the time to go and relax and play." 

 

The district provides all necessary training. "We have a complete training team. We can take people that, if you have a drivers license, you have a good driving record, you can pass a criminal background and pre-employment drug/alcohol screening, we can train you from ground zero to having a complete commercial drivers license," says Blake. Pay starts at $11 an hour during training, then goes up to $13.50 for substitute drivers. Regular drivers are paid $16.07 to $23.33 per hour, plus benefits.  

 

Learn more about the open positions, HERE. Interested candidates can attend an open house at the "bus barn" at 501 SE Second Street in Bend, May 21. For details on the open house, call 541-355-5700.


REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police helped save a boy after he jumped into the canal to escape capture, Sunday night. The juvenile was a runaway from Rimrock Trails Adolescent Treatment Center in Prineville.

 

When fficers located him along SW Canal Blvd, he ran from police and jumped into the canal. In an effort to prevent the boy from going down the spillway, officers, with help from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, performed an impromptu water rescue. The juvenile fought one officer trying to get him out of the water, and other officers were able to assist in pulling him out.

 

He faces several charges including, escape, resisting arrest and interfering with a peace officer.


REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Airport is closed to commercial flights for three weeks, beginning Monday, as crews continue a $20 million runway paving project. But, Roberts Field Security Director Nicole Jurgensen says the airport won’t sit idle.

 

Multiple law enforcement and fire agencies will take part this week in "active threat" trainings, "To make use of this unique time we have. Most airports aren’t able to support a full-on training exercise. We’re still open, but there won’t be very many people here, with the air carriers not being active, so it’s a great opportunity," Jurgensen tells KBND News. She adds, "This will be the best realistic training that we’ll be able to experience with the law enforcement. They’re going to use their training weapons, which are safe, of course. But, it will sound like real gunfire, so that does create a realistic element to it."

 

The Transportation Safety Administration will also conduct "Run, Hide, Fight" training for civilians. Jurgensen says, "The TSA law enforcement officer from Portland is coming to do training with civilians that will be then be role-players for the scenario." The various groups will then work together in a number of scenarios throughout the week.

 

Visitors will see emergency vehicles at the airport, and could hear realistic gunfire during the exercises. Flights are expected to resume at the airport in three weeks.
 
 
File photo.
 


BEND, OR -- Bend Police participated in the first statewide job fair hosted by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), over the weekend in Salem. Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News Bend is just part of a nationwide officer shortage. "We have been facing a shortage of officers for the last 24 months. Presently, we have three officers in the academy, we have five officers in various stages of field training and we have six openings, potentially seven openings by the end of the month, that we’re trying to fill."

 

More than four-dozen city, county, state, tribal, university and federal agencies took part in the two-day job fair. DPSST says those agencies need to hire more than 500 employees to fill both sworn and non-sworn positions, statewide.

 

Chief Porter cites a number of reasons for his department's vacancies. In Bend, typical retirements by long-time officers are now coupled with younger cops changing careers early. He says that's because the job is harder than it used to be. "We’re seeing our officers facing challenges they’ve never had to face in their career before. One officer, just this last week, he covered five completed suicides, three of them with firearms, in a one-week period in Bend. That is a lot, a lot of trauma for one person to carry with them."

 

He says negative publicity surrounding law enforcement in other parts of the country is also pushing some to choose not to go into the field. But, in Bend, there's another big hindrance to recruiting: the region's tight housing market. "We find very good officers, we actively recruit them, and then they say, ‘sorry Chief, we’ve looked it over and looked at houses.’ One of them actually spent an entire week in Bend, looking for a house, spent time downtown talking to people to see what kind of police department we were to see if he wanted to join us. And then he came back and said, ‘after a week, Chief, I could not find someplace that I could put my family in, that I feel comfortable renting.’"

 

So, BPD is trying to entice potential officers with an attractive recruiting package, including help with moving expenses. "Presently, for a lateral police officer – that means an officer that’s already certified and can work in the state of Oregon – we’re offering a $6,000 signing bonus. We’re also offering, in addition to that, a week’s worth of sick leave once they’re here, and a week’s worth of vacation. So, even with those high number of incentives, what I’m hearing directly from two officers we actively recruited – both of them called me back and said, ‘Chief, I’m sorry. I’ve looked it over, I cannot afford to buy a house in Bend and maintain the lifestyle where I presently am.’"



SISTERS, OR -- The Sisters City Council is already working to hire a new City Manager, following last week's resignation of Andrew Gorayeb. The former City Manager had been on paid administrative leave due to employee complaints, prior to submitting his resignation at Thursday night's City Council meeting. Officials have refused to elaborate on the nature of those complaints because of an agreement with Gorayeb.

 

City Councilor David Asson tells KBND News accepting his resignation and paying a severance package seemed the lesser of two evils, since it was possible Gorayeb would sue the city. "Given the complexities of HR law and codes, and so on, different councilors had different perspectives on it. I think that we ended up providing an excessive severance package; others contend it was the proper thing to do in order to avoid more complications." Gorayeb could have gotten his job back, but he refused to accept terms that included a probation period, evaluations and management training. Instead, he will receive 12-months of pay and benefits worth more than $100,000.

 

Asson says they are now moving forward with hiring Gorayeb's replacement. "We're going to hurriedly interview new applicants for a permanent City Manager. We hope to even start interviewing as early as [this] week. We know that there are several qualified people who are willing to apply and we are contacting them." He admits they've had trouble with the last two City Managers, but he says they've already heard from interested candidates. "From what I've gathered, these people have approached us. So, I guess Sisters is still a very dynamic place and people want to come here. That has been a question, it has been a worry. But, from what I can tell, at least three are very interested."

 

Councilors hope to have a permanent person hired within the month. 



BEND, OR -- Kids of all ages enjoyed Sunday's Family Free Day at the Pavilion covered sports complex on Simpson Avenue in Bend. Now that winter ice sports are done, Recreation Coordinator Shalee Hanks-Mink says it's time to see what the Pavilion has to offer for the summer. “We have our skate park that we’re really excited about and we also have sport court games going on; soccer, basketball, badminton, pickle ball. We have lawn games happening; croquet, corn hole.” 


She tells KBND news families can now enjoy sports throughout the week, “Pick-up adult sports that are happening during the lunch hour. The 6:00 hour we have the Pavilion open for all ages, from 4:00 to 6:00, so kids and families can come down and recreate.” 

 

A complete schedule of summer activities is on the Bend Parks and Recreation District website.

 



BEND, OR -- Three men had to be rescued from near Skyliners Road, after their pickup got stuck in the snow in a closed area, over the weekend. The driver, 30-year-old Timothy Price of Bend, and his passengers, 38-year-old Jason Johnson and 28-year-old Ronn Wilson, called for help early Sunday morning due to the distance they would need to walk in the snow. 

 

They had fuel to stay warm and agreed to wait for daylight. It took Deschutes County Search and Rescue more than two hours to reach the trio on Forest Service Road 370, after traveling seven miles through the snow on tracked quads.
 
A follow up investigation is expected by the Forest Service.


JOHN DAY, OR -- Two people were shot and wounded during an altercation at the John Day Trailer Park, just before 11 p.m. Thursday.

 

According to the Grant County District Attorney's Office, 32-year-old Christopher Woodell was flown by Life Flight to St. Charles Bend in critical condition.; 35-year-old Eric Towers was taken by ambulance to John Day Hospital where he was treated and released. 

 

A suspect has been interviewed and the investigation is ongoing. Multiple agencies are assisting, including Oregon State Police, John Day PD and the Grant County Sheriff's Office. 



REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police will conduct a "virtual ride-along" on Facebook and Twitter, Friday afternoon. One officer will post "near real-time" updates as he responds to calls, conducts investigations and makes traffic stops. The unique opportunity is part of an effort by the department to share a "typical day" with the public.

 

In a statement issued by Redmond Police, Lt. Keith Knight said, "Since not everyone has the ability to go out on a real ride-along in a patrol vehicle, RPD will bring the ride-along to everyone."

 

Those who follow Redmond Police on Facebook and Twitter will begin receiving updates at noon. The virtual ride-along will last until about midnight, and will be split between day shift and night shift officers. Another officer will draft posts and take pictures, possibly even sharing short videos.

 

Exact details of an incident won't be disclosed, nor will the names of those involved. 



SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors voted unanimously, Thursday night, to accept the resignation of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb, who had been on paid administrative leave for the last two months. 

 

City officials have declined to say why he was placed on leave, only to say it was due to employee complaints that were not financial, physical or sexual in nature. The results of an investigation conducted by the city's insurance company has not been made public. In a written statement, Gorayeb declined to accept disciplinary measures that could’ve kept him on the job. 
 
 
Councilors voted 4-to-1 for a severance package which includes a 12-month salary and a neutral letter of recommendation for future employment. The city also agreed not to take a stand if Gorayeb files for unemployment.
 
City officials are expected to meet today to determine whether an interim City Manager is needed. 


BEND, OR -- The American Red Cross will install free smoke alarms in Bend, Saturday. The local event is part of a nationwide campaign to help reduce the risk of home fire. 

 

Volunteers will begin installing smoke detectors at 9:30 a.m. in neighborhoods near the Bend Red Cross office on Southwest Bond. They’ll spread out across Bend until 3 p.m., visiting those who sign up for help. 
 
To make an appointment, call 541-749-4144 or visit the Red Cross website.


PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County voters will likely be asked in November to approve a construction bond for a new jail. After a year of research and discussions, a citizen committee submitted a recommendation to a joint city and county meeting earlier this week, for a new 70-bed facility.

 

Read more about the work done by the citizen committee

 

County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren says the specific amount of the project, and subsequent bond request, is still up in the air. "If we can keep this number down to a basic jail, and not try to build the Taj Mahal, and do just what it is that we need and nothing more – and that would mean we would still utilize our police department in its location, we would also use our Sheriff’s Department in its location. We would tie the two in this area together with the jail so those other services don’t have to be replicated or changed, and we would have the jail space that we need."
 
Fahlgren tells KBND News a new facility would end the current contract to rent 25 beds at the Jefferson County Jail. "Today we have, between those 25 beds and the 16 that we have, we then have 41 beds; we’re showing that we need between 67 and 80 beds, through the research we’ve done. So, this jail will be a 70-bed jail, with the ability to double bunk or add to it, as we need space." Ending that rental agreement would save Crook County about $700,000 a year. Fahlgren says that money would be used to operate the new facility. He also notes there would be additional time and money savings when deputies and officers can stop transporting prisoners to Madras.
 
The committee recommended moving forward with designing a new facility and asking voters to approve a bond measure. "They looked at many sites and decided that it would be best to leave it very close to where the jail is today. And, we have some space here, between the city and the county," Fahlgren says. "Again, it would be a partnership for us to, as an in-kind from the city, closing a street and using county space as well as a city parking lot to generate a large enough block that we could use this in that same location." 
 
Fahlgren expects financial analysis and design work to be completed in about a month, after which time the construction amount could be determined. 


BEND, OR -- A new poll of Deschutes County voters shows a majority favor allowing marijuana growers in unincorporated areas. The phone poll was conducted by California-Based research firm FM3. According to Amy Margolis, with Oregon Cannabis Association, 400 people participated in the survey, last week. "We hired a professional polling company to go out and do this kind of outreach because we wanted to let the Commissioners know what was happening and how the voters feel about this issue," Margolis tells KBND News. "And so, even though we paid for it, this was not something that we did on our own. We hired a sophisticated company who does these, who's nonpartisan; and the results reflect that."

 

She says they asked two questions. The first: "As you may know, in 2014 Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for adults to use in Oregon. Do you approve or disapprove of this law?" Margolis says, "When Ballot Measure 91 passed, it passed by 51.8%. Now, you can see that the total number who approve has actually jumped up almost two points to 53%."

 

According to the results, 32% "strongly approve," the other 21% "somewhat approve." Of those who oppose it, 11% "somewhat disapprove" and 31% "strongly disapprove" of M91. Five-percent responded they didn't know.

 

Deschutes County Commissioners temporarily opted out of allowing grow operations in unincorporated areas, in December. They're expected to decide next week whether to lift the ban and impose regulations or continue to opt out and send the issue to voters in November. Margolis says, "When you look at the second question, people feel very strongly that they want to see the Board of Commissioners implement rules."

 

In that second question (pictured above), respondents were asked to choose which of two statements come closest to their opinion. Of the 400 polled, 61% said they agree with: "Some people say that the voting public in Deschutes County approved Measure 91 legalizing marijuana, and now it is the responsibility of the County Commissioners to establish reasonable regulations for marijuana businesses to operate." Another 28% agreed with: "Other people say even though legal marijuana is the law in Oregon, voters did not understand what they were voting for and the County Commissioners should refer a measure to Deschutes County so people can vote on it again." The final nine-percent did not know which to choose.

 

County Commissioners are expected to announce their decision on the issue May fourth.



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) continues to push for a fix to how the federal government funds wildfire prevention and suppression efforts. He spoke on the Senate floor yesterday, again urging for passage of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act he says would end the cycle of underfunding. "The wildfire season raging across our forests and special places is no longer limited to a single time of the year. Fighting fires has become a continuous battle virtually year round, throughout the country."

 

Senator Wyden acknowledged similar failed attempts in recent years, but says he won’t give up. He called the early start to this year’s fire season in the west "a wake-up call," saying, "To understand how important it is to fix this broken system of fighting fire, because the funding system for doing so is leading to dysfunction throughout the Forest Service and contributing to the breakdown of national forest management that is needed to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the first place."

 

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), aims to end the current practice of borrowing from prevention funds to pay for fighting the nation’s largest fires, treating them instead as natural disasters. "It is time for the Congress to find a solution to ensure, one: that wildfires can be fought, and two: to control the costs of fighting these wildfires by better preparing our forests and making them healthier." A similar effort failed to pass Congress, last year. 


BEND, OR -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Bend businessman Sam Carpenter announced Wednesday he is endorsing Donald Trump for President. He issued a statement explaining why he thinks Trump can turn things around: 

"Whether its immigration and the refusal to close the borders, or the bad trade deals rubber stamped and fast-tracked through Congress, Wyden and Obama have been working against Oregon workers. And, it's high time we had a President and a Senator who will fight for jobs for Oregonians rather than for jobs for the Chinese or for illegal immigrants."

 

Carpenter says Americans are tired of career politicians and are ready for an outsider to fix the problems in Washington, D.C.



BEND, OR -- Local law enforcement are looking for a transient with an outstanding fugitive warrant, following a car chase, earlier this week. The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team attempted to arrest 35-year-old Ryan Fischer-Salt as he left a home near Hunnel and Tumalo Road.

 

Police say he was a passenger in the car that took off at high speeds. A mile away, Fischer-Salt ran from the car. The driver, 26-year-old Benjamin Richardson of Redmond was arrested and officers discovered Fischer-Salt’s 3-year-old child in the back seat. The Department of Human Services took custody of the child. 

 
Fischer-Salt remains at large.


ALFALFA, OR -- Detectives discovered a large illegal marijuana grow operation while investigating a fire that destroyed an Alfalfa manufactured home, Tuesday afternoon. According to the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, one grow inside the home was destroyed by the fire, but they found a second operation in a detached shed on the Elk Lane property. They also seized evidence of butane honey oil (BHO) manufacturing from a second detached shed; neither structure was damaged by the blaze. 

 

Officers arrested 23-year-old Autumn Averette (pictured), Wednesday morning. Her roommates, 28-year-old Lauren Todd and 34-year-old Alexander Lioulios are wanted for questioning. 

 
The cause of the fire was preliminarily ruled "accidental."
 
Previous information:
 
An Alfalfa-area home was destroyed by fire, Tuesday afternoon. The Red Cross is helping the one person affected with temporary lodging and recovery services. 
 
The blaze was reported just before 12:30 p.m. on Elk Lane. Flames were prevented from spreading to neighboring homes thanks to efforts by Alfalfa's new fire chief and neighbors. 

 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville man faces charges after a crash Tuesday night on O'Neil Highway in Crook County. Investigators say 20-yearo-old Noel Solis, Jr. failed to negotiate a curve, crashed through a fence and brought his pickup to a rest in a field.

 

He had two juveniles with him at the time; all were evaluated by medics and refused further treatment. Solis is charged with Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief. He was also cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and having an open container.


BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners have a tough decision, next week. Commissioners are expected to decide on May fourth whether or not to continue to ban marijuana grow operations in unincorporated areas. They elected to temporarily opt out of allowing outdoor grows in December, while a Marijuana Advisory Committee discussed possible regulations.

 

Matt Cyrus, head of the Deschutes County Farm Bureau, was part of the 13-member committee. He says it was evenly split with supporters and the opposition. He sees pot purely as a crop that should be legal to grow. “For example, I voted against Measure 91 that would’ve legalized it. I’ve never tried it, I don’t have an interest in recreational marijuana. However, from an agricultural standpoint, it’s now legal and Deschutes County’s farmers should have the right to raise it.”

 

He tells KBND the group reached agreement on the biggest issues. “We were able to reach consensus on mitigation on nuisances such as odor, noise and light – which are the primary nuisance issues. Issues such as setbacks, minimum lot sizes certainly don’t come into play as much.” 

 

OreGrown co-owner Hunter Neubauer was also on the MAC and agrees County Commissioners need to lift the ban, instead of sending it to voters in November. “Kicking the can down the line is not what it seems like; by not acting, it’s not going to provide political cover. It is very clearly saying who they support and why they support it.”

 

Several members of the MAC also belong to the group Preserve Rural Deschutes, which opposes marijuana grows. “The reason that it became so, unfortunately, one way at the end, as far as the proceedings of the committee were going, was because there was no reasonable approach from the opposition,” Neubauer tells KBND. “We tried extremely hard again and again and again to say, ‘Hey look, we’re willing to go above and beyond what we know is reasonable, and let us remind you again, we are talking about Exclusive Farm Use.’”

 

Click HERE to learn more about the opposition's take on MAC negotiations. 



BEND, OR -- Ballots start going out Wednesday for the May primary, and it’s an unusual one for the state. Thanks to Former Governor John Kitzhaber’s resignation, Oregonians will decide on a Governor and Secretary of State in a Presidential election year.  

 

KBND political analyst and former State Representative Jason Conger (R-Bend) says Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins was likely appointed a year ago because she had no aspirations to run for the office. "Having some continuity, not having an election right away, but then allowing other Democrats. And, of course, the result is there are three legitimate, strong candidates, each of them." In Oregon, Secretary of State is first in the line of succession behind  Governor.
 
Judy Stiegler, a former Democratic State Representative for Bend, says on the Democrat's side of the race, Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin and Val Hoyle need to set themselves apart. "They all talk about the Audits Division, which is an important part – it’s not a sexy part. They talk about the elections and things like that, but I think they all have different approaches to the office. I think a lot of it’s going to be a matter of how well they can articulate those distinctions."
 
Conger says, while Labor Commissioner Avakian benefits from statewide name recognition, State Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) is also a strong candidate. "His knowledge will have an impact, I think, in making the audit division a lot more effective. There’s the election side of it, that I think is very important to every voter; the audit division is more focused on looking at waste, looking at opportunities to be more efficient spending our tax dollars within state agencies." Hoyle is a Democratic State Representative for West Eugene/Junction City.
 
For the Republicans, Conger believes Dennis Richardson has a very good chance at the GOP nomination, against Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken. "Just the existence of name recognition is difficult to overcome, unless you have a very well-funded campaign. He was a very legitimate contender for Governor, he’s got a lot of good experience. He’s a very attractive candidate and, most likely, he’ll win."
 
 


RENTON, WA -- Two 16-year-olds reported as runaways from the Prineville area were found Tuesday evening at a Renton, Washington Walmart store. Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office had asked for the public's help in finding the pair, after they hadn't been heard from in several weeks.

 

Lance Stanley's guardian reported him as a runaway March 23, at the same time his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported by her mother. Investigators believed they might have been with Catina Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but was believed to now be in Renton. 

 
The teens were taken to the King County Youth Detention Center pending transfer back to Oregon. According to police, more information came out after they were taken into custody indicating further investigation will follow.


LA PINE, OR -- La Pine's Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, to create recommendations for marijuana grow operations in the industrial park. City Councilors chose to allow commercial grow operations in industrial areas, but they need to set rules for growers. 

 

Interim City Manager Rick Allen says there has been a lot of interest in La Pine because land is cheaper than in Bend, and there is still uncertainty about whether Deschutes County will continue to opt out of allowing grows in unincorporated areas. "So, now that it would be legal in the industrial park, we need to set some rules that people must follow, if they're going to build. We have had numerous inquiries over the last six months, from people wanting to look into that."

 

Allen tells KBND News, "What we lacked were measures that would make sure we didn't get hoop houses and some of the other, more flimsy structures like greenhouses that would blow around - we didn't want those. If we're going to have a commercial growing operation in an industrial park, we have the proper protections in there to make sure that the building meets snow and wind loads and requires a building permit."

 

The Planning Commission will make recommendations to the City Council this week. Councilors are expected to act on them, next week.

 

 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville Police and the Crook County Sheriff's office are working together to find a pair of 16-year-old runaways who haven't been heard from in several weeks. Lance Stanley's guardian contacted Prineville PD to report him as a runaway March 23; at the same time, his girlfriend, Emilie Tavernia, was reported to CCSO as a runaway by her mother.

 

Investigators believe the couple may be hiding out with Catina (Tina) Lynn Barlow, a woman who used to live in Prineville but may now be in Renton, Washington. Numerous tips have placed the teens in Seattle, Renton and various locations in Oregon. 
 
Stanley is 5'5", 125 lbs with brown eyes and curly brown hair. Tavernia is also 5'5", 100 pounds with blue eyes and shoulder-length hair. She has been known to have various hair colors. 
 
While both have juvenile probation warrants on unrelated issues, law enforcement say their primary concern is for their welfare and safe return home. There is no evidence of foul play, but they say all avenues of investigation are being considered. 
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact Prineville PD Det. Brandin Noland or Sgt. Monroe at 541-447-4168, or Sgt. Bill Elliott with CCSO at 541-447-6398.


SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors met again Monday morning to discuss the employment of City Manager Andrew Gorayeb. But, once again, they left without making a public announcement as to his future. Gorayeb was placed on paid administrative leave at the end of February, after several complaints from city employees. Officials have declined to provide specifics.

 

Sisters business owner Chris Wilder was at City Hall, hopeful to get an update. "They don't have all their 'T's crossed and 'I's dotted. I know in past things from my corporate life, and from a human resources standpoint, they want to make sure that everything is all in place, I guess. And, I'm assuming from all this, that that's what happened."

 

Wilder is the President of the Sisters Chamber board, and tells KBND News he hopes, for the community's sake, a final decision comes soon. "My understanding from afterwards is that Thursday evening, at the Council meeting, there's supposed to be a decision; they're hoping to have a decision at that point. For the community, I was hoping there would be some resolution. I was kind of disappointed there was no resolution, but I know it's a very, very tenuous situation for all involved. I'm sure they're doing the right thing." He adds, "That's the hard part about it, we're in the dark here in the community. That's appropriate only for the Council members, and insurance companies and attorneys to deal with it, but from the outside it seems like it's been a slow process. Knowing several of the Councilors personally, I know they're doing a heck of a job trying to make sure they're doing the right decision. Everybody, I think, in town wants resolution to this."

 

Gorayeb has been City Manager in Sisters for two years. 

 
 


REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Kiwanis Club is once again raising money for play equipment at Sam Johnson Park, six months after “Hope Playground” first opened to the public. Redmond Parks Division Manager Annie McVay says a fully accessible merry-go-round was part of the original design. "As we got into construction the project kind of grew and this one piece, we couldn’t fund it initially, so we intended to make this – we’re calling it phase 1.5, is to finish the merry go round and get that in place." She says there is already a space reserved.

 

But, the Kiwanis Club still doesn't have the money for the feature. "It’s actually a pretty expensive piece of equipment; it’s about $55,000. It ships from Germany. So, they’re looking at funding the whole thing and then the city would install it – pay for the installation costs of that," McVay tells KBND News. "It’s a pretty big price tag so we don’t have necessarily a deadline or a timeframe, we’re just hoping to see what we get."

 

This special merry-go-round, just like the rest of Hope Playground, is for kids of all ages and all abilities. "It’s flush to the ground, so it’ll be flush, centered set in the flooring itself, so there’s no lip and no curb. If you were in a wheelchair, you could roll directly onto it, or if you have other mobility issues, it’s really easy to get onto the merry-go-round. Then, it swirls in place."
 
A Go-Fund-Me page for the project has raised a little over $300, so far.


REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police arrested a man wanted for a warrant out of Clackamas county, following an early morning pursuit. An officer spotted a Toyota Corolla with a stolen license plate, near NE 9th and Hemlock. When attempting a traffic stop at about 4:20 a.m., the car sped onto northbound Highway 97.

 

Police say the chase continued through the Tetherow area towards Eagle Crest. But, pursuing officers lost the car near 74th and SW Eagle Dr. A short time later, a resident reported an unoccupied vehicle off the roadway, with an open door and running engine. 

 

A K-9 unit eventually located 28-year-old Kendall Hickman inside a barn a few hundred yards away from the car. The Redmond man was taken into custody without incident. He's charged with Felony Elude, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Driving While Suspended and an out of county warrant. 

 

When officers recovered the stolen plates from the car, they learned the Toyota was recently reported stolen from the Redmond area. 

 

 

 

Kendall Hickman, Clackamas County Mugshot



BEND, OR -- Bend city officials are exploring opportunities to get involved with generating hydroelectric power within the municipal water system. City Manager Eric King says there’s already some infrastructure that lends itself to a hydro-project. "So, we’ve got water storage tanks up on Aubrey Butte and Overturf Butte. So, as the water comes down into town from those storage tanks, there’s gravity and energy, and so we would like to capture that energy and generate electric power and, as a result, the potential revenue source, as well." He tells KBND News that revenue could range from a couple hundred thousand to a million dollars.

 

City Councilors discussed the idea last week, after hearing potential concepts from Energy Trust of Oregon and an Energy Service Company (ESCo) that could help get a project off the ground. King says it is still early in the process and more fiscal analysis is needed. One of the things Councilors are considering is how to mitigate costs. "Bring somebody on so you really minimize that upfront cost; they’ll handle that for you. And then, as the revenue comes in from that project, a portion goes to the third party that built the hydro, then eventually there’s a payback. That type of analysis, that financial analysis will be something that we’ll be doing over the next couple of months." That analysis will be done over the next couple of months. 


BEND, OR -- The High Desert Civil Air Patrol Squadron conducted a training at the Bend Airport, over the weekend, in preparation for a major quake and tsunami. Bend acted as the incident command post, as the group practiced how they would react to the massive devastation that may come with the predicted Cascadia event. 

 

During the all-day exercise, the group used HF and VHF radios to communicate with other units across the state. They also launched aircraft to act as a relay between the Bend base and other units. 
 
In a major quake, Bend units would be responsible for establishing communication with other parts of the state, conduct search and rescue operations and report on the extent of damage to infrastructure.


REDMOND, OR -- Two pigs died in a fire southwest of Redmond, late Sunday night. Firefighters responded to the SW Harvest Ave home just before midnight. They discovered a fully involved shed fire, extending to nearby Juniper trees.

 

Redmond Fire officials say part of the shed had been converted to a temporary shelter for the owner's daughter to house her 4-H Swine project. 

 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 



BEND, OR --- The Coalition For the Deschutes feels the region could do more to restore consistent flows to the Upper Deschutes River Basin. It's believed varying water flows harm the threatened spotted frog.

 

Gail Snyder is board president of the group. She recently told The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings, "There's enough water, we can have water for fish and farms and families. We need short-term, immediate solutions to resolve the problem with the extreme high and low flows that are impacting the river ecology; we need some intermediary solutions and we need some longer term."

 

The Coalition has worked for more than 30 years to restore flows and would like to see fewer irrigation swings from the Wickiup Dam that can lead to both high and low river flows. Snyder believes local irrigation districts are ready to act. "I do think they're willing to cooperate. I think they need the public to both support them and give them a good nudge, and say, 'guys, we know that change is hard, but it's time. This is everybody's river. If we want a sustainable future for all of us, then we have to change.'"

 

Click HERE to listen to the full Sourcecast.

 



BEND, OR -- Two people were hurt and three face charges, after shots were fired during a fight in Northwest Bend, early Saturday morning. According to Bend Police, a group of five people were walking near NW 15th and Newport and got into a verbal – then physical – dispute with three men at a house, just before 3 a.m. 

 

During the fight, Walker Henneke (pictured left) allegedly went into his house and returned with an AK-47 assault rifle. Investigators say he fired several shots, hitting Erik Menezes and Blake Blevins in the lower body. 
 
CERT units used gas to force Philip True, Maxwell Haldeman and Henneke out of the home. They all face charges in connection with the incident. The rifle was later found in a neighboring backyard. 

 
Henneke is charged with Attempted Murder, Tampering with Evidence and Reckless Endangering, among others. True (right) is also lodged at the jail, charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Probation Violation and Disorderly Conduct. Haldeman was cited for Disorderly Conduct and ordered to appear in court. 


TIGARD, OR -- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is doubling down in Oregon by opening two campaign offices, this week. His first opened Wednesday in Eugene, the second on Thursday in Tigard.

 

This is the first Republican candidate to open offices in Oregon ahead of the Primary on May 17. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders already have offices in the state. Sanders is the only one with a Central Oregon campaign office. 



BEND, OR -- Since Deschutes County Commissioners formed a Marijuana Advisory Committee several months ago, the 13-member group has tackled possible restrictions on outdoor marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. But, after 26 hours of meetings, member Sam Davis says they haven't found much to agree on. "A lot has been made about the rights of the marijuana industry, but our rural residents have rights, too. We've spent far more investing in our homes than the marijuana industry will ever invest in their properties. It's been estimated by one of the anti-marijuana activists on the other side of the mountains that one facility impacts 16-20 residential homes." He says nine committee members were affiliated with the pot industry, four were against allowing outdoor grows.

 

Member Liz Lotochinski tells KBND News she hopes Commissioners continue to ban the operations. "The County Commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to all of the citizens of Deschutes County, not just those that are involved in this industry. And, I hope that they take seriously that responsibility and look at what risks, issues and impacts will be afforded to those individuals living next to those potential marijuana grows." She doesn't think this is what voters intended when they passed Measure 91. "The state lawmakers took Measure 91 and hoodwinked the voters by identifying marijuana as a crop, and affording it all the protections that it gets by being a crop by Oregon's Right to Farm laws. That means, neighbors can't sue for nuisance impacts. It has all the rights associated with any other farming crop, but it's not like any other farming crop."

 

Deschutes County Commissioners are expected to make a decision May fourth. If they continue to opt out, voters would decide the future of the ban in November. Or, they could agree to allow outdoor pot grows in rural areas, with certain restrictions. 



BEND, OR -- Complaints about people living in cars in neighborhoods had the Bend City Council questioning policy, this week. Police Chief Jim Porter reviewed for Councilors the process of tagging a vehicle parked in a residential area more than five days. Seven days later, if the vehicle is still there, it is tagged for towing. Seven days after that, it's supposed to be towed. “A realistic side or humanistic side of that is, this is in fact their residence. And we do try to avoid seizing these vehicles. Because if we seize them we make them homeless.” Balancing the idea of taking what essentially could be someone's home and addressing resident complaints were discussed. 

 

Councilor Victor Chudowski argued the timeframe provided to move cars should be shortened. “They’re not complaining about the fact that that person is homeless. The specific complaint is that these people are parked, they’re living in front of my house for too long. And that’s a very simple, it seems to be, to address. If it is five-days narrow it down to three.” 
 
After discussion, however, there was not enough support on the Council to change the timeframe, so the current policy remains in place.


BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor’s parent company Powdr Corp. announced Thursday plans to install a new chairlift for the 2016-17 ski season. Interim General Manager John McLeod says the $6 million project will result in the mountain’s first new chairlift in 20 years. "The last time we opened a brand new chairlift that provided access to new terrain was in 1996. But, in 2006, we replaced the Pine Marten lift in its current alignment with all new terminals and drive equipment, so that was the most recent major lift investment."
 

The Cloudchaser lift will run up the east side of the ski hill, which McLeod says provides greater protection during storms, and increases the resort's total skiable area to more than 4,300 acres.
 
McLeod tells KBND News the project has been highly anticipated since the Master Development Plan was approved by the U.S. Forest Service. "That sort of outlines the things we want to do with the resort over the next 10 years. That Master Development Plan was approved in 2013 by the Forest Service. And, one of the major elements of that plan was to install this new lift on the east side of our mountain that opens up an additional 635 acres of terrain."
 
He says Cloudchaser likely won't be ready by the start of next season, but its exact opening is dependent on the weather. "The construction period goes into early December; we would hope to be open elsewhere on the mountain earlier than that. We would hope that in a normal year, with normal snow conditions, and provided we stick to the construction schedule, that lift would be operational for the public in time for the Christmas holiday period. "

 



BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested a transient yesterday morning, after they say he threatened people at St. Charles Medical Center. Investigators say 31-year-old Ryan Simpson was contacted by security guards inside the hospital because he was acting suspicious. 


As they walked him out of the facility, Simpson allegedly brandished a knife and at one point threatened to shoot the men. After an area search by several agencies, Bend Police officers took Simpson into custody without incident, at about 8 a.m., in a backyard near NE Williamson and Paula Drive. A knife was recovered nearby, but no gun was found. 
 
Simpson possibly matches the description of a suspect in a recent crime in Redmond, as well. The investigation is ongoing. 

 

 



BEND, OR -- An Ashland man is ready to take on Republican Congressman Greg Walden, this fall. Democrat Jim Crary hopes to stop Walden from winning a ninth term in Oregon's Second District.

 

Crary retired from British Petroleum in 2013, and tells KBND News he'd like to be part of fixing several issues that face the state. "I don’t like to complain about something without trying to change it, that’s the big motivation. The other thing is, I just feel like Congress is not addressing the things it should be addressing. I feel like they’re like Nero, they’re fiddling while Rome is burning." Crary used to negotiate contracts for BP, so he says he's used to bridging differences.

 

He cites climate change and campaign finance reform as two of his top priorities. "On the climate change, what I would do is either cap and trade or a carbon tax. British Columbia has instituted a carbon tax very successfully, and the business community is in favor of it. We could do the same thing. It’s something that we need to do. I worked for BP – I worked for an oil company – and BP is actually in favor of a carbon tax."

 

Crary grew up in North Dakota and worked for many years in Alaska, where he ran for the State Legislature. This is his first run for office in Oregon. He moved to the state with his family 10 years ago. He knows he faces an uphill battle running against Oregon's only Republican member of Congress. He is also aware the Second District includes rural Eastern Oregon. Crary says the recent Harney County occupation disturbed him. "You know what, if somebody wants to protest, that is great; I’m all for it. But, when you protest with a weapon on your hip or in your arms, that’s pure intimidation and I do not agree with that in any way, shape or form. That’s pure intimidation and it really kind of makes me angry."
 
Crary was in Bend for a town hall at the downtown library, Wednesday evening. 


BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners will decide next month whether to continue to opt out of allowing marijuana grow operations in rural parts of the county. Commissioners agreed to a temporary ban in December, to allow them to continue to discuss the matter.

 

Deschutes Republicans voted this week to endorse a continued ban. "I was happy to see that the Republicans took a stand," Says Deschutes GOP Chair Bob Perry. "We sent an email out to Tony DeBone and Tammy Baney, who are both Republicans. We sent an email telling them about the results of the unanimous vote, so hopefully they’ll take that to heart."

 

Perry says he would like to see Commissioners to let county voters decide on the future of the ban, in November. "I remember the first meeting I ever attended, Sheriff Nelson was there, and he said ‘You know folks, you are going to get some tax benefit out of this. But, everything I’ve heard is you’re going to spend 10 times as much on crime prevention and safety as you’re getting in tax benefit.’ That’s the same thing I heard from George Endicott, the Mayor of Redmond. Shane [Nelson] said, ‘Just put it to a vote, put it to a vote.’ We’re going along, really, with the Sheriff’s recommendation."

 

County Commissioners are scheduled to decide May fourth whether to continue the opt out and send it to voters, or allow the ban to expire. 



BEND, OR -- Saving Grace will honor victims of sexual abuse, Friday, at its annual Take Back the Night event in downtown Bend. Erin Rook, with the local non-profit, says it’s a chance for everyone to ask questions and learn how to prevent sexual violence. "We’ll have a healthy relationships fair that spans the whole time, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday. That’ll take place at the Liberty Theater space downtown. We’ll have booths and different activities that people can participate in; things for all ages that really just emphasize healthy relationship skills."

 

He tells KBND News the event is family-friendly, and important for all ages. "[To] kind of get them to ask questions about myths and facts, and really have a lot of creative interactive activities. But, in addition to that, we’ll also have survivors speak out; so, folks that have experienced sexual violence or who work with folks who have, will kind of share their stories and talk about why it’s so important for the community to come together as a whole around this."

 

At 7 p.m., survivors are scheduled to speak out at Mirror Pond Plaza, about the impacts of sexual and domestic violence. And at 7:30, attendees can participate in the annual "Shine a Light Walk" through downtown.
 
More of our conversation with Erin Rook of Saving Grace is available at our Podcast.


BEND, OR -- The group Advocates for Disabled Americans, Inc. asked the Bend City Council Wednesday night to consider a tax on water and sewer users. Brian Douglass told Councilors it could would raise $100 million, or $8.5 million a year for up to 15 years, to finance construction of sidewalks and curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The revenue stream is created from a monthly fee or tax on city water-sewer accounts. This additional charge will increase incrementally based on the amount of construction work that can be done over a given three year period and the actual amount of the debt that is issued.”

 

Douglass asked for a three-tiered approach to the issue. “One, place this issue on the council agenda now; number two, hold any legally required public hearings. And most importantly, hold an up or down vote by June the 30.”

 

Advocates for Disabled Americans is one of seven members of the Make Bend Accessible Coalition, which has been pushing for more accessible sidewalks and curbs for several years. Councilors agreed to schedule a work session to discuss the proposal.



REDMOND, OR -- A number of Redmond residents, including the Mayor, have received anonymous letters from someone claiming to self-enforce perceived violations of city ordinances and homeowners association rules. Mayor George Endicott tells KBND, "There is an individual that has sent letters, in fact I got one, that says people are out of compliance with the CC&Rs and so forth; it lists a bunch of incorrect information. It basically says the police will come around, which is untrue; our community resource officer will come around, which is untrue. If you get a letter, ignore it, throw it in the trash."

 

In a letter to Redmond Police, the anonymous person says they will enforce things like parking a vehicle or boat on the street or in a driveway, garbage cans visible from the street, or blocking a neighbor’s view. While many homeowners associations enforce similar rules,  Redmond PD say the listed infractions are not criminal matters.
 
Some of the fake tickets ask the violator to pay a fine by donating to certain charities, "And then it says ‘send your donation to’ certain charities. We contacted one of the charities that said ‘we have nothing to do with us, don’t send us any money, we don’t want to be implicated or tied to this,’ because they agree it’s just crazy," says Endicott. 
 
He adds, "Somebody’s disgruntled, so they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands, which, in fact, could be illegal." Redmond Police say anyone receiving an anonymous citation should disregard it and call them. They point out that Simulating a Legal Process is a class C Felony. So far, citations appear targeted to the Juniper Hills and Majestic Ridge neighborhoods, although others are also involved. 

 



BEND, OR -- Bend Senior High's nurse is tops in the state. Connie Hoffstetter has been named Oregon School Nurse of the Year by the Oregon School Nurses Association.

 

Hoffstetter was nominated by BSH Principal Christopher Reece, who called her passionate, caring and phenomenal with students. She began with the Bend-La Pine School District in 2000 and first worked with students and schools in La Pine for three years before moving to Bend High. She also serves students at Marshall, Bend's alternative high school.
 
In a statement released Wednesday, Hoffstetter said, "I feel really ecstatic to be recognized. It means a lot." She added, "It's not a job, it's my passion and I learn something new everyday. The key is being flexible. You can never plan your day. You can go from helping with injuries, to mental health concerns, to managing acute illnesses, to working with health education."


BEND, OR -- On the heels of Victor Chudowsky’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to the Bend City Council, a local businessman says he will run for the seat. Justin Livingston has lived in Bend for 16 years and says the city continues to face challenges. "My wife has been a longtime Bend resident, since the late 70s; and she ended up, after graduating high school in the late 80s, had to move away from Bend. And, I just don’t want that to be the situation, where my kids have to move away from Bend to start their lives."

 

The 38-year-old is a partner in the Genesis Construction Group and was one of three members of the Street Funding Committee that urged the Council not to pursue a gas tax. Livingston tells KBND News there's a lot of frustration with the current City Council. "Particularly the gas tax, obviously that’s the most glaring one. But, it isn’t just the most recent Council, it’s been a lot of decisions over the years. Whether it’s the Bulletin site, or Juniper Ridge, or other big-ticket items that have cost the city a lot of money. And, I think it’s time for the city to get back down to its core things that it does, and does right and does good."
 
Livingston admits his policies mirror Chudowsky's, "Obviously, Victor is a brilliant policy maker, and a brilliant mind, and those will be very large shoes to fill. But, I would say that Victor and I – we do align, not on everything, but we do align on a lot of the issues, particularly fiscal issues." Candidates can’t officially file until June first, for the November election, but Livingston says he wanted residents to know that he’s involved. "I have been involved in a lot of different aspects, whether that was the Street Funding Committee, I currently sit on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, I’m a board member and newest Chair for the Old Farm Neighborhood Association. So, I’ve been involved quite a bit the last number of years, and I still continue to plan on being involved in those items up until the election."


LA PINE, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says remains found in a La Pine home last Friday, were that of a woman who died of natural causes. Medics were called to the home on Center Drive after 59-year-old Elizabeth Freise fell on her porch and needed help.

 

Responding medical personnel noticed a foul smell and asked for a welfare check by law enforcement. Deputies discovered the remains of Freise's sister, who the woman admitted died in November. Freise cared for her bed-ridden sister who suffered from a long-term illness.

 

Detectives also found deceased cats, live cats and garbage covering the floors. Several cats were taken to the Humane Society. Due to decomposition, it will take a little longer to positively identify the body. 



PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville breaks ground this week on the city’s new, unique wastewater treatment facility. A new treatment plant would’ve cost the city about $57 million. Instead, Assistant City Engineer Mike Kasberger says they opted to create 120-acres of ponds and lagoons to treat the water. "That will naturally take this water and bring us to the future where we can use this wetlands, for a cost to the city of about $4 million." Another $2 million is coming to the project from grants and community partners. 

 

But, Kasberger tells KBND News, it's not only about wastewater. "It’s a great project, in that it takes care of the city’s future needs for wastewater treatment, and it also has a lot of qualities for the environment. It has habitat for birds and for fish, and it takes care of a lot of erosion issues for the Crooked River." The project also includes five miles of hiking trails and educational kiosks.

 

He says breaking ground on Friday is intentional. "Friday is Earth Day and we want to celebrate the generosity of all the funders, and the project’s benefits to the ecology and the patrons, we want to take care of all of that in one big celebration. Just thank everybody for all their support." That ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on NW Rimrock Acres Loop.
 


REDMOND, OR -- A Redmond man is accused of leading Deschutes County deputies on a high-speed chase through the north end of Redmond, early Wednesday morning.

 

Just after 12:30 a.m., a deputy tried to pull over a motorcycle for a minor traffic offense on Northwest Way. The rider, later identified as 32-year-old Colton Leigh, allegedly accelerated, reaching speeds of around 100 miles per hour. He headed east on Maple Ave, crossed Highway 97 against a red light and failed to negotiate the curve near NE 11th and Negus Way.

 

Leigh was taken to St. Charles Redmond for non-life threatening injuries. He's charged with Felony Attempt to Elude, and Reckless Driving. Leigh was cited and released due to treatment for his injuries.


CEDAR CITY, UT -- A Redmond man was arrested in Utah last week, for his alleged involvement in the Harney County standoff, earlier this year. Travis Levi Cox was the last to be arrested, of the 26 people indicted on federal charges relating to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.

 

Iron County authorities say 21-year-old Cox was aware of the charges against him and turned himself in voluntarily. He was booked as a "Federal Fugitive" into the jail in Cedar City, Utah on April 11. He remained there, as of Tuesday. Court papers say Cox will not fight a return to Oregon.


BEND, OR -- Jesse Fishkin is a member of Boy Scout Troop 25, working on earning his Eagle Scout ranking, the highest achievement in scouting. In doing so, he hopes to raise awareness of the human trafficking problem in Central Oregon.

 
The high school student calls his project called "Shadows of Hope." You might have seen some of the seven life-size black human silhouettes posted around Bend. They represent victims of human trafficking, a problem Fishkin says is largely unknown and ignored. "The way human trafficking works is that people refuse to admit that it is there, so it operates undetected. Hopefully with this project it won’t remain undetected," he tells KBND News.
 
He says, "Silhouettes are painted black because they represent the shadows, these people are in the shadows of society. Attached to each of the silhouettes are flyers with information pertaining to them." Those flyers describing how to identify victims of human trafficking. "My biggest hope is that someone would pick up a flyer, read about the issue and learn to identify a victim. Because, the largest way that human trafficking succeeds is that people refuse to acknowledge that it’s in their homes. I want to state that it is here in Bend, Oregon and the best way to stop it is to raise awareness." Fishkin moves the cutouts randomly every few days.
 
The Eagle Scout-to-be recently convinced Bend City Councilors to get behind his "Shadows of Hope" campaign, which runs through the end of April.


BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky says he's one and done: "I won't be running for reelection this fall." Chudowsky tells KBND News, "The main reason is, a lot of the things I've been concerned with the last few years have gone my way - I got my way, I won! And, I'm really pleased. It's kind of like a chapter closing in a book. I feel very satisfied with what I've accomplished, it's been a lot and I just feel it's time to move on to other things." He was elected to the Council in 2012; his first four-year term expires at the end of this year.

 

Chudowsky says the first of those successes involved the Urban Growth Boundary. "We lost a lot of time, we lost a huge amount of money - many millions. And, that failure is also one of the reasons housing costs are so expensive in Bend, right now. So, when I was elected, I took over as the Chair of that steering committee and got things back on the right track. Now, here we are three years later and we're getting closer to the finish line on this project with a really good product." He says he's also proud of the completion of the Bridge Creek Water Project and the recent defeat of a local gas tax proposal.

 

He plans to return to the consulting firm he runs with his wife. "My wife has put up with a lot over the past four years, it was kind of unfair to ask her to put up with it for another four years. I just feel I need to return my attention to that. And also to my daughter: I have a teenage daughter; she's going to be going off to college soon. I've got a few more short years with her in the house and I want to enjoy them as much as I can." 

 

Collectively, between the City Council and his work on several committees, Chudowsky says he has served Bend for 10 years. 



BEND, OR -- A bend entrepreneur will appear on ABC's Shark Tank, this Friday. Will Warne invented a high-performance all-terrain jogging stroller he claims is better than any other currently on the market. Warne says he was contacted by the show after one of the producers, who is a runner, learned of the Kid Runner.

 

Warne tells KBND News, "Kid Runner is the world's first and only hands and arms-free kid jogger. Any parent-runners out there listening will know that pushing a traditional jogger is really heavy, awkward and injury-prone. So, we set out to solve, really, what was a big engineering and technical opportunity, which was how to run freely with your hands and arms, like you naturally do." He says it also allows parents to go on various surfaces safely.

Kid Runner sells for about $1200. Warne admits, "Ours is expensive, and works. Other kid joggers are expensive and don't; I think that's really the main difference. We compare our kid jogger, really for the first time in the industry, to a piece of actual sports equipment. For us, it's like a ski or a mountain bike or a snowboard; it's made of the same materials, it's got a lot of technology, a lot of design in it; it enables you to do the kinds of things that athletes want to do with sports equipment." 

 

Warne plans to manufacture the joggers in Bend. "We're the only kid jogger made in the United States. We're manufacturing here in Bend, Oregon, which is something we're really proud of and really committed to because we've always gone into this with a sense of community."
 

Kid Runner is the third local business to be featured on the show. Shark Tank airs Fridays at 9 p.m., on ABC-TV.



BEND, OR -- State wildlife officials are monitoring for a deadly disease in local bats, after White Nose Syndrome was found in a little brown bat in Washington. Colin Gillin is a veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He tells KBND News Central Oregon is key to monitoring for the disease due to the large number of caves throughout the region. "We do not have caves throughout the state where we have millions of bats; at least not that we know of like you might see at Carlsbad Caverns or some of the big bat caves we see down in the southwestern part of the United States. Our caves generally have less than 100 bats in them."

 

Dr. Gillin says bats eat thousands of flying insects each night and are key to our ecosystem. White Nose Syndrome causes unusual behavior in infected bats. He says, "It is a disease that disrupts the bats’ hibernation. Also, it causes problems with their skin; it’s a fungus that attaches to the bat and causes a skin infection and wakes the bat up in the middle of winter." And, he says waking too early from hibernation can lead to the bat using up its winter fat reserves too early and can lead to death.
 
White Nose Syndrome has been found in 28 states; so far, it has not been found in Oregon. Anyone who sees a sick bat should report it. "We have an online reporting site," says Dr. Gillin. "They can also call and contact their local ODFW office and biologist and report any bats that you might be seeing flying in the middle of the day or unusual behavior, any bats on the ground and appear sick. We’re not asking anyone to pick the bats up, because there is always the risk of rabies." ODFW recently launched its online bat reporting site, to track possible sightings. 


REDMOND, OR -- St. Charles will hold a job fair, next week. The health system plans to hire full time, part time and relief positions for all four of its hospitals and clinics.

 

The job fair takes place Tuesday, April 26, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Deschutes County Expo Center in Redmond. Applicants are encouraged to RSVP for the fair HERE, submit a digital resume prior to attending and bring multiple hard copies of that resume to the event. 

 



CAMP SHERMAN, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for more public input on a proposal to turn an abandoned fish hatchery near Camp Sherman into a fishing pond for kids 17 and younger. The proposal includes a small pond and parking area on the 15-acre property on Spring Creek.

 

The agency holds its second public meeting on the idea, Monday evening. Jennifer Luke, with ODFW, says feedback so far has been mostly positive. "I think there’s some folks that are concerned it’s going to get very busy there – maybe a little too much visitation. I believe the community at large is in support; we heard a fair amount of support that it is a good idea and is something that’s needed in the area." She tells KBND News, "The Metolius is fly fishing only, it’s very difficult for kids to fish there. We do have so many tourists coming in and camping and visiting that area in the summer. And, to have a place to bring kids to fish where they can easily fish, or learn how to fish – either fly fish or use other gear – we think that will be popular and a valuable use."

 

It's not a unique idea. Luke says it's somewhat patterned after Shevlin Pond, west of Bend. "We get calls all the time about ‘where can I bring my kids or grandkids to fish, and we know they can be successful fishing and it’s easy to get to and easy to fish?’  In fact, I believe, the Shevlin Park [pond] - that used to be an old Fish and Game Commission hatchery back in the day. And, when the city bought it they put in that fishing pond."

 

She says most of the $400,000 needed for the project would come from grants funded by fishing licenses. Monday’s public meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Camp Sherman Community Hall. 

 



BIGGS JCT, OR -- The Madras fugitive who escaped capture during a high-speed chase through two counties, last week, was arrested over the weekend in the Gorge. An Oregon State Police Sergeant spotted Malcolm Harpole on I-84, east of Biggs Junction, Sunday morning.

 

OSP says Harpole sped up when they tried to pull him over. Shortly after running over police spike strips, the pickup he was driving came to a stop in the middle of the highway.

 
Harpole is charged with driving while suspended, attempting to elude and a probation violation, among others. His passenger, 28-year-old William Worthington of Terrebonne, was arrested for meth possession.
 
Harpole is also suspected of running from police in northeast Redmond, last Wednesday.
 
 
William Worthington          


BEND, OR -- Bend's Park & Rec District is offering free recreation opportunities at The Pavilion this week. The ice is gone and they are setting up the hoops sport courts for the warm weather season.

 

To showcase the new activities, this is “Free Play Week,” meaning there is no charge at the covered sports complex on Simpson Ave. All ages are welcome to drop in for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton and yard games. Skateboarders and scooter riders can try out new skate park features at the pavilion. Skaters and riders need to bring their own board or scooter and helmet.
 
This week’s schedule is as follows: Pickleball, badminton, skate park features and yard games are offered 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; basketball, volleyball, skate park features and yard games are available 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Click HERE for more information.
 
Or if water sports is your thing, don’t forget the whitewater park where surfers are already hanging-10.


BEND, OR -- State lawmakers passed PERS reform a couple of years ago, but the Oregon Supreme Court ruled many of those savings unconstitutional. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) wants lawmakers to be ready to pass new reforms during the 2017 Legislative Session.

 

Knopp sent a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), last week, calling for meetings during upcoming Legislative Days in May, September and December to discuss would could survive constitutional scrutiny. Knopp tells KBND News, "I just think it's really important that the State Legislature gets started now, as opposed to February of next year, to start talking about PERS reform and what's really necessary to happen to the system that makes it more fair and sustainable, long term."

 

He says there are several options that have not yet been tried. "The money market rate for money match would cut the annuity rate almost in half. And, we're highly confident that's constitutional. Obviously, starting a new plan for new-hires is constitutional, as well as setting some caps on what an individual can contribute part of their salary toward the retirement."

 

Knopp says if lawmakers don't take action, state and local governments will face a billion dollar increase in PERS costs during the 2017-2019 biennium. "If nothing else happens, it's the equivalent of losing 146 teachers over the next six years at Bend-La Pine School District. And that's essentially 15% of the entire teacher workforce in the district. A similar number will happen, as a percentage, in Redmond schools, as well."



BEND, OR -- A Bend man was seriously injured in a Saturday evening motorcycle crash near the Seventh Mountain Resort. Investigators say there were no witnesses to the accident, but one person reported seeing the motorcycle traveling eastbound from Mt Bachelor at a high rate of speed prior to the crash. 

 

Just before 8 p.m., Deschutes County deputies found 48-year-old Shawn Holm on the shoulder of the road, unconscious but breathing. He was air lifted to St. Charles Bend, where he remains in critical condition. 
 
He was wearing a helmet; alcohol and speed appear to be factors in the crash.


BEND, OR -- A Bend man was arrested Sunday after a neighbor dispute involving a handgun. Edgar Puga Castro allegedly refused to leave a home on Tango Creek Avenue in northeast Bend, and fired one round during a fight. No one was hit by the bullet, but the victim suffered minor injuries in the altercation. 

 

Castro left the scene, but was found several hours later at the Ariel Glen Apartments and taken into custody on a number of charges including Attempted Assault, Menacing and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The investigation is ongoing.


BEND, OR -- Two Bend men will be back in court later this week to face felony animal abuse charges, in two separate attacks. 

 

In the first case, 23-year-old Ethan Allen Buck is accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s dog. Investigators say the man punched and kicked the dog during the brutal attack. The seven-year-old lab suffered serious injuries, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
 
Separately, 55-year-old Glen Lacoss allegedly hung his neighbor’s cat from a fence. The District Attorney’s office says he set a snare and trapped the cat. He was reportedly upset because it came into his yard. In that case, the animal did not survive. 
 
District Attorney John Hummel said in a statement, "Buck and Lacoss are presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court. However, my office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and if they are convicted, we will seek a significant penalty."
 
Both men are due back in court on Wednesday.


LA PINE, OR -- A woman's body was found inside a La Pine home, and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says it appears she had been dead for "an extended period of time." Initially, deputies were called to the home on Center Drive, Friday morning, on a request to check the welfare of the person or people inside. 

 

An autopsy will be scheduled at the State Medical Examiner's office in Clackamas; no other information has yet been released.

 

DCSO detectives, the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab and the Deschutes County Medical Examiner are all assisting in the ongoing investigation.



BEND, OR -- Bend's new $33 million water treatment facility is finally up and running. Political and legal issues slowed the project, but the city will celebrate its completion on Friday. Public Works Director Paul Rehault tells KBND News, "We were originally regulated to have this done by 2012. We received some extensions to that. We then signed with the Oregon Health Authority last year, a document called a bilateral compliance agreement that said we’d have this operational by April 15, 2016. We’ve met that so this is kind of a celebration of meeting that."

 

Read more about the project.

 

He says the upgrades were necessary to prevent certain water-borne illnesses. "It will make it safer. A bug that is sometimes in water called cryptosporidium, it has caused illnesses in other parts of the country before, and the US government has required that we filter for that. We’re one of the last systems in the country to have the requirement to be filtered." Rehault adds, "This is a great thing for the city of Bend. We’re so dependent on water here, whether it be our climate or some of the industries that are obviously growing here in the city. It’s great to have the water supplies that we do, and it’s even greater now that we have them properly treated."

 

The city tested the system for a couple of months using pretreated well water. They started treating Bridge Creek water a couple of weeks ago. Bend's water used to be treated with chlorine to prevent contaminants.

 

This project also included a new 11-mile pipe that diverts water from Bridge Creek to Tumalo Creek. 



BEND, OR -- Central Oregon teens have a chance to meet a dozen published authors in the Young Adult genre, this weekend. It’s billed as the first ever local Teen Literary Festival, by the Deschutes Public Library. Community Librarian April Witteveen tells KBND News they were looking for a way to make a bigger impact with local book-loving teens. “Instead of touring one author around, we thought we would bring multiple authors in for a one-day conference style event that will really attract those strong readers and writers, and really give them a chance to hear from a bunch of authors, and see what life might be like if they pursue their dreams of writing.”

 

Authors from Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada will be on hand. Witteveen says the event  “Gives the teens that really cool chance to meet authors in person. And for somebody who loves books and reading, authors are kind of like rock stars, so it’s a big deal.” The Teen Lit Festival is open to middle and high school students, along with adults interested in the genre.

 

There is no charge but online registration is required.



SISTERS, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of calls in the past week, regarding a man filming citizens. He posts his videos on YouTube under the handle "FedSmoker." Some videos are profanity laden, and others show recent interactions with deputies at the Sisters substation. "I’m here to do a business. I want to do business out here, brother. You guys cannot push me out of this town, and it’s the wrong guy to push, is all I’ll say, sir. I want you clean to tell you that." In another video he tells a deputy, "Your city needs to realize, you understand that records and cameras are legal in this state, right sir? My car’s get ‘em all over the place."

 

His real name is Conald Peterson, and Lt. Chad Davis says he’s right – his videos aren’t illegal. "He’s been in and around Sisters doing that with people’s knowledge and without people’s knowledge. But there is no statutes or anything preventing him from doing that." He tells KBND News, "Most of the calls have been regarding concerns for people’s safety. And, folks are doing exactly what we ask them to do – to call in when things don’t look right or look suspicious. So, we encourage them to keep doing so, to call in when they see any suspicious activity or activity that they believe is criminal in nature or possibly where the public is in danger." But, so far, he says, "Most of our contacts with him have been congenial. And, he’s been compliant with requests; he has been trespassed from a few businesses." 
 
Peterson is a transient who appears to have arrived in Sisters within the past week. Lt. Davis says he's had run-ins with law enforcement during past visits, but doesn't appear to have a criminal record. 

 



REDMOND, OR -- Police are looking for a 33-year-old Madras man who led them on a high-speed chase Wednesday evening. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement detectives spotted a known fugitive driving on Highway 97, north of Redmond at about 7:30 p.m. But, when they tried to stop Malcolm Harpole on the Culver Highway, he sped off. 

 

He traveled down a number of rural and forest service roads before running over police spike strips at Lone Pine and Smith Rock Way. After driving on two flat tires northeast of Redmond at speeds of 45-55 MPH, Harpole took off on foot near NE 45th and Walnut. 
 
Despite a ground and aerial search, he remains at large. Anyone with information on this ongoing investigation is asked to call 911.
 
The vehicle Harpole was driving was stolen from Lane County in 2015; the motorcycle in its bed was stolen earlier this year from Redmond. 


BEND, OR -- Bend Police will start penalizing those with monitored alarms, for false alarms that force a police response. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News, "At the beginning of the year, we had a crime analyst in our office with us, and I asked her what is the biggest waste of time we had – what did we spend time on that is zero productivity and is absorbing our time. And, she immediately, off the top of her head without looking at the stats, said it’s the false alarms for response."

 

He says stats show about 2/3 of the alarm calls police responded to in 2015 were false alarms. "We had 2300 alarms last year. Of those 2300, about 1700 were false alarms caused by either inattentiveness, a system that needs to be worked on, or people who just weren’t engaged with how to use the alarm – like a new-hire employee who isn’t given the alarm code." 
 
Chief Porter says fines won't be imposed until the second false alarm. "The first alarm is a warning letter; we provide you with a warning letter. The second false alarm is a $250 fine, which you have the right to appeal. I look at the facts, and determine in fact if there was anything they could have done to prevent the alarm." The third offense carries a $500 fine, and it goes up to $1200 by the fourth. After that, he says the department could decide not to respond to that location. "Our job at the police department is not to collect revenue from people, but is to change people’s behavior."
 
Click HERE to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.

 

Traffic & Weather

 

 

Ferguson Road closed between 15th Street and King Solomon Lane. (6/13)

 

Round-About Construction:

 

Murphy Road and Parrell Road closed with detours. (9/30)

 

Powell Butte Highway at Neff and Alfalfa Market Roads (8/31)

 
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