Another fall at Smith Rock – This one not fatal…

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Apr 222018

Smith Rock State Park
Courtesy photo

A male climbing at Smith Rocks, approximately ½ mile downriver from the footbridge, fell approximately 20 feet sustaining non-life threatening injuries. The climber received first aid from a couple of ER doctors who were nearby when he fell. Redmond Fire and Rescue, Smith Rock State Park Ranger, and DCSO all responded to the patient. The patient was carried out of park using a State Parks ATV. The patient was then taken to the hospital by a private party.

U.S. Cellular Redmond robbed at gun point – Redmond Police bag the culprits very quickly

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Apr 212018

Money stolen at gunpoint at US Cellular near Fred Meyer.
RPD photo

Gun used during the US Cellular robbery.
RPD photo

Mitchell Hunsaker 22
DCJ photo

Dustin Hilsendager
DCJ photo

Early Saturday evening, at about 5:10 PM, employees from the US Cellular Store, 1380 SW Canal Blvd #101, called 911 and reported an armed robbery involving a firearm. Employees reported a white male had a handgun and demanded money, and an iPhone. Money and electronic devices, were given to the suspect who then fled the store on foot towards the Redmond Fred Meyer store where he jumped in to an awaiting vehicle.

Officers located the robbery suspect in the area of SW Rimrock Way and SW 21st Street. Mitchell Hunsaker, 23 of Redmond took off running but was quickly subdued a short distance away. Police Hunsaker did not have the items that were stolen. He had also changed his clothes. Officer Josh Powers and his K9 partner “Mavrick,” conducted an area search and quickly found the stolen money, clothing worn during the robbery, a backpack with the stolen items, and the handgun believed to be used during the robbery.

Based on information from witnesses in the area, it was reported that Hunsaker was a passenger in a vehicle and had been dropped off. Additional tips and information from citizens was received, and the vehicle used during the robbery was identified, and soon located. The driver of the car, Dustin Hilsendager, 23, also of Redmond, was arrested at his place of employment without incident. Evidence of the robbery at US Cellular was found inside the vehicle.

Hunsaker was arrested for numerous crimes, including Robbery, Kidnapping, Coercion, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Theft, Menacing, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Criminal Trespass, Burglary, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Hilsendager was also arrested for Robbery, Theft, Unlawful Use of Weapon, and Burglary.

“The quick resolution to this violent crime was made possible by the employees of US Cellular, and the numerous citizen witnesses who provided information to law enforcement in a timely manner,” said Lieutenant Hank Majetich, Redmond Police Department.

Four vehicle accident Hwy 97, 2.5 miles north of Crooked River Bridge

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Apr 212018

Report of a four vehicle crash on Highway 97, two and a half miles north of the Peter Ogden Crooked River Bridge. Emergency vehicles are enroute.

One lane partially blocked. Those on scene are trying to get one vehicle off the pavement.

Up to four people complaining of pain.

All vehicles are on the northbound shoulder. All occupants are out.

If you see a lot of smoke west of Bend on Saturday….

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Apr 212018

Prescribed burns “sanitize” the forest floor to keep undergrowth at an optimal level.
Submitted photo
Click photo to enlarge

U.S. Forest Service: Prescribed Burn at Rimrock Trailhead Slated for Sunday
Additional prescribed burns planned west of Bend next week

If conditions remain favorable, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest plan to ignite a prescribed burn off at the Rimrock Trailhead one mile west of Bend on Sunday, April 22.

Ignitions are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Rimrock Rx, a 150 acre unit south of Cascade Lakes Highway in the area formerly known as “Good Dog” off-leash dog area. This will close the off-leash area for Sunday, April 22 while burning operations are taking place although no road closures are anticipated with this burn. Reintroducing fire into this area, adjacent to Bend, will reduce hazardous fuels accumulations within the Wildland Urban Interface near Bend and reintroduce fire into a ponderosa pine ecosystem.

Additional burns are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday west of Bend if conditions remain favorable. On Monday, firefighters are planning for ignitions on Shevlin Block 9, a 77 acre unit on the north side of Skyliners Road and on Tuesday, and West Bend COD #7, a 109 acre unit immediately north of the Rimrock Trailhead area on the north side of Cascade Lakes Highway. As always, precise wind and weather conditions must be met in order to execute these burns and if conditions change, these burns will be postponed.

Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted. No road closures are anticipated with this project. The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link:

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

Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map:

For more information, visit the Deschutes website at and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.

House badly damaged in CRR – Flue Fire

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Apr 202018

Firefighters from Redmond, Terrebonne and Crooked River Ranch raced to a home in the 11000 block of NW Dove Road Friday morning, on a report of smoke coming out of the roof vents.

Upon arrival, firefighters raced inside the home, but found no one inside. Then they began fighting the flames which had worked their way from the attic area down in to the main living room of the home.

Firefighters say the home was so stuffed with furnishings and personal belongings they found it hard to get at the flames – but they managed.

Firefighters eventually learned that the occupants had exited the house, including their cat.
There were smoke alarms in the home but they were not working.

Firefighters highly recommend that you check your smoke alarms at least twice a year to ensure they are functioning properly.

The home and its contents were a total loss estimated at approximately $280,000.

Probable fire cause: Flue fire that extended to the attic space of the building.

Oregon and other U.S. Senators and Representatives say Pruitt must go….

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Apr 202018

Senator Ron Wyden

Merkley, Wyden, 170 Members of Congress Introduce Resolution Calling for Pruitt’s Resignation.

Cosponsored by 131 representatives and 39 senators – the most senators ever to sign on a resolution formally calling for a cabinet official’s ouster. Follows repeated abuses of power and ethics violations by EPA’s Pruitt.

From Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that they have joined a group of 170 members of Congress in introducing resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives formally calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign. The resolution comes in response to Pruitt’s repeated ethics violations, misuse of taxpayer dollars, and actions that fundamentally undermine the mission of the EPA – favoring big polluters at the expense of science, the environment, and the health of children and families.

“Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp, but Scott Pruitt is the swamp,” said Merkley. “Time and time again at the EPA, Pruitt has put polluters’ profits ahead of public health, clean air, and clean water. In addition, the flood of revelations in recent weeks makes it clear that he is consumed by self-aggrandizement and is abusing his position in order to serve himself, not the American people. It’s unacceptable that Scott Pruitt is still in office. This unprecedented congressional opposition to Mr. Pruitt continuing at the EPA makes it perfectly clear: If Pruitt won’t step down, it’s up to President Trump to do what he claims he does best and fire him.”

“Scott Pruitt’s record of ethical problems, repeated wasting of taxpayer money and assault on environmental protections and public health enforcement adds up to a terrible trifecta, even by the low standards set by the Trump administration,” Wyden said. “Under Trump and Pruitt, EPA seems to stand for Every Possible Abuse. Heading into this Earth Day weekend, it’s long past time for Pruitt to go and for all Americans to once again have an effective and vigilant watchdog over polluters endangering their communities and health.”

A total of 39 senators and 131 representatives joined Merkley and Wyden in introducing the resolution seeking Pruitt’s ouster. The 39 cosponsoring senators represent the highest number of senators in U.S. history to sign on to a resolution formally calling for a cabinet official’s resignation. The full text of the resolution can be found HERE. The full list of Senate cosponsors can be found HERE and the full list of House cosponsors can be found HERE.

The resolution follows numerous revelations about Pruitt’s ethical violations, widespread conflicts of interest, and repeated misuse of taxpayer dollars for his personal benefit, including:

· The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office determined that the EPA violated federal law by purchasing a $43,000 phone booth for Pruitt’s office – and then hiding that purchase from Congress.

· Pruitt entered into a sweetheart housing deal to rent a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a lobbyist – paying just $50 a night, and only paying for the nights he slept there.

· Pruitt has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills for luxury travel perks, including booking lavish first class and charter flights to Europe and elsewhere, staying in luxury hotels, and traveling with a huge entourage of staff and security.

· Pruitt has reportedly reassigned or demoted EPA staffers who questioned his spending habits – at the same time that the EPA Inspector General is investigating him for giving unusual pay raises to favored aides.

· Pruitt has deployed EPA enforcement officers to provide round-the-clock security with questionable justification.

As the lawmakers noted in the resolution, in addition to flouting the ethical standards of his office, Pruitt has done untold damage to the EPA and carried out a long list of actions to benefit his polluter friends – at the expense of the health, safety, and livelihood of American families, including:

· Under Pruitt, the EPA is hemorrhaging staff and experts needed to protect the health and safety of the environment and the American people.

· Pruitt has repeatedly overridden the recommendations of EPA scientists in order to provide relief to industry, like when he reversed the recommendation of his agency’s scientists to ban the use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to brain damage in children.

· Pruitt has delayed the effective date of regulations, eased enforcement of existing regulations, and delayed the implementation of new regulations that are essential to protect public health and combat pollution.

· Pruitt has failed to exercise the enforcement authorities and duties of the EPA, which are needed to investigate and deter pollution violations.

· Pruitt has undermined science at every turn, purging advisory committees of independent scientists and replacing them with mouthpieces for industry.

Canal Street renovation crews hit gas service line to a home near Yew roundabout…

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Apr 202018

Redmond Fire called to scene of a construction caused natural gas leak on Canal, just north of the Yew Avenue Roundabout

Crews immediately went to work digging out the leak and patching it. No evacuations since it was just a service line to a home.

The “ding” from the excavator’s blade was soon fixed. Old utility maps from old neighborhoods are sometimes unclear as to depth of utilities and different equipment “aim margins” can be tricky. It’s an occupational hazard. It’s common with these kinds of projects – widening and improving pathways, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Still plenty out there with no conscience

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Apr 202018

McNary BPA Substation

Bonneville Power Administration security officials report that a recent break-in at the McNary Substation in Umatilla resulted in the theft of 29 copper ground wires. The substation is McNary Dam’s first point of integration to the region’s power grid and a malfunction could have been very serioius had the theft not been discovered quickly.

A BPA employee discovered the theft Monday morning during a routine inspection. Officials say the crime likely occurred over the weekend, between April 13 and 16.

“This is a serious concern on several levels,” said Doug Dailey, BPA physical security specialist. “The number of copper grounds stolen creates a safety issue for our transmission employees and could have caused significant damage to equipment had it not been discovered.”

Officials say there was no interruption of power transmission and that they are evaluating the damage to determine what resources are needed to make necessary repairs.

The BPA Security Office is taking additional steps to further secure property, equipment and materials to minimize and prevent theft at other BPA facilities.

“We learned that this break-in is one of four similar incidents at utility substations in the area over the past couple of months,” said Dailey. “We are coordinating closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Additionally, our people have been checking other BPA substations near McNary to determine if any of those locations have been affected.”

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to contact the Umatilla County Sheriff’s office at 541-966-3600.

Small brush fire burning just north of Crooked River Bridge

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Apr 202018

Report of a small brush fire growing on the east side of Hwy 97 a mile and a half north of the Crooked River Bridge. Jefferson County firefighters are enroute to the scene. Reporting party indicated it may have been ignited by a passing motorist throwing a lit cigarette out the window.

It’s a ditch fire – unattended.

You know Spring is Springing Up when….

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Apr 192018

Crooked River Canyon
Marilynne Keyser photo
Click to enlarge

Free guided hikes in the next 30 days:

All FANs of the Deschutes Canyon Area guided hikes are free. To help reduce damage to the trail, minimize social impacts on other visitors, and protect wildlife habitat, group size is limited to 8 hikers, and dogs are not allowed. Registration opens one month before each hike. If the hike is full, sign up on the wait list, and you will be sent an invitation via e-mail if a space opens. If you have to cancel, send us an email at This will open up the space for another hiker.

Steelhead Falls Native Plant Hike (choose one of two opportunities)
Sunday, April 22 and Wednesday, May 9 at 9:00 a.m.
Hike Rating: Moderate, 2.0 miles
Guide: Marilynne Keyser (; 541-923-0558)

This three-hour hike will focus on native plants, including spring wildflowers. Of course the incredible cascade views from the rim, the geological marvels and Steelhead Falls itself will be highlights.

CLICK HERE to sign up for hike on April 22.
CLICK HERE to sign up for hike on May 9.

Juniper Butte Hike
Wednesday, May 2 at 9:00 a.m.
Hike Rating: Moderate, 5.4 miles
Guide: Jeff Scheetz (; 503-277-9110)

This spring hike climbs to the summit of Juniper Butte, a familiar landmark for those in the Madras-Terrebonne area. Nature presents wide scenic views for much of the trail, with panoramic rewards at the summit.

CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up for this hike.

Landscape Photography Hike
Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 a.m.
Hike Rating: Moderate, 3.0 miles
Guide: Tom Iraci (; 503-341-7749)

This hike will focus on landscape photography on the Deschutes Canyon rim, and the morning shadows and colors in the canyon. Professional photographer and avid hiker Tom Iraci will be giving tips for producing high quality photographs and give some expert advice on subject composition.
CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up for this hike.

Crooked River Canyon Hike
Saturday, May 19 at 8:00 a.m.
Hike Rating: Moderate, 1.75 miles
Guide: Eric Hanson (

Most of this hike is located on property acquired by The Trust for Public Lands. Along with checking out plants and wildlife we encounter, group will chat about humans’ prehistoric and historic uses of the area. We will be stopping near the walk’s midpoint to get a binocular view of something truly special.

CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up for this hike.