Kids playing with fire almost burned down some homes in Crook County

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Aug 232016
 

Juveniles lighting toilet paper caused an explosive grass and tree fire that quickly spread toward nearby homes. CCFD photos

Juveniles lighting toilet paper on NW Panorana caused an explosive grass and tree fire that quickly spread toward nearby homes. CCFD photos


Quick action by firefighters got a line around the blaze, thereby saving nearby homes just in the nick of time...

Quick action by firefighters got a line around the blaze, thereby saving nearby homes just in the nick of time…


Just before 5pm Tuesday, firefighters were dispatched to the report of a brush fire on NW Panorama View. Original reports were that about 20 trees were fully engulfed and the fire was spreading quickly toward some homes.

When units arrived on scene, firefighters discovered that the fire had spread rapidly and threatened several residences. The evacuation level was immediately set to level III and people were asked to leave their homes. In slightly less than an hour firefighters contained the blaze enabling law enforcement to allow residents to return to their homes. Meanwhile fire crews are working through the night to douse the fire and to make sure it’s dead out.

As a result of the investigation, it was determined that the fire started by two juveniles playing with a lighter and lit toilet paper near some dry grass. The ensuing blaze burned about 13 acres. No homes were lost or damaged. But they were direly threatened early on.

This case is being sent to the Crook County District Attorney’s Office for review and for possible filing of charges.

Bend comptroller bilks company out of a million dollars over past four years…says DA

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Aug 232016
 

Sherrie Burge Theft from employer of about a million dollars. DCJ photo

Sherrie Burge
Theft from employer of about a million dollars.
DCJ photo


ARREST OF BOOKKEEPER IN $1 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT CASE
From office of John Hummel, Deschutes Co. District Attorney

Sherrie Lynn Burge was arrested yesterday on a felony warrant, after being indicted last Friday by a grand jury on 32 felony counts of Money Laundering, Aggravated Theft in the First Degree, Aggravated Identity Theft, Forgery, and Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards.

Ms. Burge was employed by DENT Instruments as a comptroller and office bookkeeper since 2012. DENT Instruments has been a developer and manufacturer of power and energy instruments for over 25 years in Bend, Oregon. The total loss the company suffered from Ms. Burge’s ongoing embezzlement was nearly $1 million dollars, over the course of four years.

Citizens panel endorses corporate tax hike – business groups oppose it

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Aug 232016
 

Science class The Oregonian photo

Science class
The Oregonian photo

A citizens group charged with reviewing the pluses and minuses of a higher tax on a small group of corporations have endorsed Measure 97 on the November ballot – a tax on corporate profits on sales over $25 million in Oregon. The citizens group noted that Oregon has the lowest corporate tax rates among all 50 states while its schools and other vital public services struggle.

Meanwhile, opponents of the higher tax, mainly business groups, contend the citizens group is all wrong and misled on the facts. Both arguments will appear in the state voters pamphlet that will be mailed by the Secretary of State’s Office this fall.

Here’s more on the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

Update on this morning’s fatal crash south of Bend

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Aug 222016
 

osp patch
Monday morning at about 8:15AM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a head-on collision on Highway 97 near milepost 14 (south of Bend).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu was traveling northbound on Highway 97 (in the fast lane) when it rear-ended a 2016 Ford F350, also traveling northbound. After this impact, the Chevrolet slid out of control, crossing the center yellow line and was struck on the passenger side by a southbound 2009 Honda Accord.

The driver of the Chevrolet, Joshua S MATTHES, age 25, of La Pine, was pronounced deceased on scene by emergency personnel. The driver of the Honda, Ashley S OBRIEN, age 24, of Oak Park, California, was seriously injured and taken to Saint Charles in Bend for medical treatment. The driver of the Ford, John NORRIS, age 59, of Bend was not injured.

Highway 97 was closed for one hour for the investigation to be conducted. OSP was assisted on scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Sunriver Fire, Bend Fire and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Good Samaritans save a life on Highway 370 west of Prineville

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Aug 222016
 

Highway 370 Six miles west of Prineville

Highway 370
Six miles west of Prineville

Passing motorists jumped  down and kept teen female's head above water while they cut her out of her seat belt.

Passing motorists jumped down and kept teen female’s head above water while they cut her out of her seat belt.


Just before 8am this morning OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a car that had slid off the the road into an irrigation canal on Highway 370 near milepost 10, (six miles west of Prineville).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2003 Ford Taurus was traveling eastbound on Highway 370 (O’Neil Highway) when the vehicle drifted off the roadway and onto the shoulder. The driver attempted to bring the vehicle onto the highway but lost control, crossing both lanes of travel. The car rolled over after it left the north side of the highway, upside down into an irrigation canal. The vehicle was submerged in the canal which had approximately 18″ of water in it.

Two other motorists stopped and quickly began efforts to free the driver from the vehicle. The witnesses had to recline the driver’s seat and use a knife to cut the driver from her seat belt. The driver, a sixteen year old female from Redmond was taken by private vehicle to an area hospital for minor injuries.

According to the driver’s father, Denis FAST, he credits the quick measures the motorists who stopped at the crash scene by saving his daughter from drowning.

Hwy 97 now open south of Bend – But with flaggers

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Aug 222016
 

osp patchOne lane of US 97 is now open near MP 145 (5 miles south of Bend) with traffic being controlled by flaggers. Expect delays, crews and equipment in roadway. The route was closed earlier this morning due to a fatal crash.

Head-on Traffic Crash on Hwy 97, south of Bend – Fatality

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Aug 222016
 

osp patch
8:10am – Report of a three vehicle traffic crash on Nouthbound Highway 97 at milepost 145, a mile and a half south of Baker Road. Head-on. One fatality. One serious injury. Air ambulance on standby.

8:20am – Injured driver trapped in the wreck.

8:24am – Air Ambulance cancelled.

8:32am – One lane to be opened within thirty minutes.

Driver saved from drowning by Good Samaritans

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Aug 222016
 

7:50am – Good Samaritans who stopped at a roll-over accident on O’Neil Highway likely saved the life of the driver whose car wound upside down in an irrigation ditch. Citizen rescuers kept the driver’s head above water while another called 9-1-1.

Emergency responders are enroute to the scene at milepost 10, 7 miles west of Prineville. Citizens have pulled the driver out of the vehicle. He’s safe.

Fire Danger Extreme throughout Central and Eastern Oregon

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Aug 222016
 

Table Mountain Fire Lookout saved by wrapping it in aluminum sheeting. USFS photo Rachel Cobb

Table Mountain Fire Lookout saved by wrapping it in aluminum sheeting.
USFS photo Rachel Cobb


Firefighters successfully held both the Sheridan and Pine Mountain fires through the heat of the day yesterday and continued to improve containment lines. As of last evening, the Sheridan Fire reached 80% containment and the Pine Mountain Fire had reached 95% containment.

The Deschutes National Forest will reopen Forest Road 40 and Forest Road 45 (River Summit Road) on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. and the Besson Day Use Area will also reopen.

As a reminder, Central Oregon has had 14 human-caused fires, and fire officials are asking the public to report any suspicious activity on public lands by calling the Oregon State Police at 503-375-3555 or if it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Please remember when you head outdoors, that Central Oregon is currently at the peak of its fire season and the fire danger level is EXTREME.

Forest Roads 40 and 45 Reopen to the Public on Monday (Sheridan Fire)

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Aug 212016
 

usfs logo
Area Closure around Sheridan Fire remains in effect
BEND– The Deschutes National Forest will reopen Forest Road 40 and Forest Road 45 (River Summit Road) on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. Besson Day Use Area will also reopen.

Roadside hazards related to firefighting efforts have been cleared along these main routes to allow safe passage for vehicles; however, firefighters may still be working in the area and may utilize or work on these roads. Please use caution while traveling, reduce speed and do not attempt to pass fire traffic.

As a reminder, an area closure remains in effect while firefighters strengthen containment lines on the Sheridan Fire west of Sunriver, Oregon. In addition to the area closure, Wanoga and Edison sno-parks are closed to the public while they are being used to stage firefighting personnel and equipment for the Sheridan Fire.

As the area surrounding the fire becomes safe for public use, closures will continue to be reassessed and lifted as areas become safe for public use.

The Sheridan Fire started on August 17, 2016 about 2 miles west of Sunriver, OR and swiftly grew to 191 acres in the first 24 hours. Aggressive firefighting efforts have kept the fire within planned containment lines. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

As indicated earlier, it is believed that an arsonist(s) is out there setting fires in the Central Oregon area. Please be alert to suspicious activities in the rural areas near roadsides or along trails. Report anything “odd” to 9-1-1 immediately.