It’ll be slower going on Hwy 97 south of Bend for the next month starting Monday

 Daily News  Comments Off on It’ll be slower going on Hwy 97 south of Bend for the next month starting Monday
Sep 252016
 

New safety barrier between north and southbound lanes of 97 - between Bend and Lava Butte

New safety barrier between north and southbound lanes of 97 – between Bend and Lava Butte, Google Maps


If you regularly commute, or otherwise travel Highway 97 between Bend and Lava Butte, be advised that the fast lanes, both north and south, will be closed to all traffic for the next three weeks. Only the slow lanes will be open. So expect traffic-slowing congestion. Give yourself more time to make the drive.

An ODOT contractor will be widening Highway 97 between Bend and Lava Butte along with the installation of a median barrier down the middle of the highway to hopefully reduce the carnage of cross-over head on collisions that have become all too common on that dangerous stretch of road.

The two inside lanes will be closed 24 hours a day for the duration of the median project which should be completely wrapped up by the end of October.

When completed, the $6 million project will have widened the highway and installed a new concrete median safety barrier from Lava Butte to Bend’s southern city limits.

There will be a gap in the barrier permitting traffic to enter the High Desert Museum.

Bad Combination of Head-On and T-Bone Sends Elderly Couple to St. Charles Bend

 Daily News  Comments Off on Bad Combination of Head-On and T-Bone Sends Elderly Couple to St. Charles Bend
Sep 242016
 

Honda with two elderly persons aboard collides with pickup in front of Taco Bell Saturday evening.

Honda with two elderly persons aboard collides with pickup in front of Taco Bell Saturday evening.

After head-on collision both vehicles landed in the Taco Bell driveway - pick up smashing through a fence.

After head-on collision both vehicles landed in the Taco Bell driveway – pick up smashing through a fence.

The elderly male driver was pulled from the wreckage after Jaw of Life cut a way out.

The elderly male driver was pulled from the wreckage after Jaws of Life used to cut him out of the wreckage.

Driver was loaded aboard an ambulance bound for St. Charles Bend with obvious head and face lacerations.

Driver was loaded aboard an ambulance bound for St. Charles Bend with obvious head and face lacerations.

Woman occupant was quickly loaded aboard an awaiting LifeFlight air ambulance.

Woman occupant was quickly loaded aboard an awaiting LifeFlight air ambulance.

LifeFlight whisked the woman to St. Charles Bend.  Her condition was not released.  Redmond Police are investigating who was at fault.

LifeFlight whisked the woman to St. Charles Bend. Her condition was not released. Redmond Police are investigating who was at fault.

Click photos to enlarge.
A Honda with an elderly couple aboard smashed into a large pickup on Highway 97 Saturday evening, sending both vehicles into the Redmond Taco Bell parking lot just north of the Hwy 97/Veterans Way intersection.

Redmond Police say the elderly couple, in a Honda sedan was in the left turn lane facing south on 97, headed into Taco Bell. But just as they turned, a large pickup headed north on 97 hit them hard, sending both vehicles in roughly the same direction – up the Taco Bell driveway – the pick up ending up crashing through a rear Taco Bell fence – the Honda landing on its side right next to the south end of the Taco Bell building.

The Honda was very seriously damaged. Both elderly occupants were seriously injured. Both looked to be in their mid-70s to early 80s. The male driver was extricated by Redmond Fire-Rescue personnel using Jaws of Life equipment. He was pulled from the wreckage, loaded onto a gurney and soon was enroute to St. Charles Bend for treatment of his injuries, including a sizeable head laceration. Then a Redmond Firefighter crawled inside the wreckage, freed the woman, then assisted other rescuers outside to gently guide her to an awaiting gurney. She was quickly transported out into the middle of Highway 97 where an awaiting LifeFlight air ambulance was waiting for her. The woman was quickly taken aboard and the air ambulance made a B-line south to St. Charles Bend. Her injuries were thought to be more serious than that of the male, presumably her husband. No names yet released. Possibly Sunday morning.

Driver of the pickup did not appear to be seriously injured.

Home and outbuilding burns at O’Neil Highway and NE 17th

 Daily News  Comments Off on Home and outbuilding burns at O’Neil Highway and NE 17th
Sep 242016
 

Ranch fire just west of O'Neil and NE 17th

Ranch fire just west of O’Neil and NE 17th


Fire spread quickly, spreading from large tool and equipment shed to the home. All occupants got out okay.

Fire spread quickly, spreading from large tool and equipment shed to the home. All occupants got out okay.

The fire quickly spread to dry grass and headed for 17th with a home just across 17th.

The fire quickly spread to dry grass and headed for 17th with a home just across 17th.

Firefighters quickly went after it and stopped it fast.

Firefighters quickly went after it and stopped it fast.

The fire continued to burn with incredible intensity.  Loud bangs and pops sounded like ammunition going off from the heat.

The fire continued to burn with incredible intensity. Loud bangs and pops sounded like ammunition going off from the heat.

Fire nearly out - Resident sits stoically, staring at the ruins.

Fire nearly out – Resident sits stoically, staring at the ruins.

Click photos to enlarge

Redmond Fire was called to a report of a fire spreading from a large outbuilding to a home near the intersection of O’Neil Highway and NE 17th Saturday afternoon.

When Redmond units pulled up they discovered the fire had already spread from the out building/large storage shed to the home. Flames had traversed the dry grass and quickly ignited the siding of the main residence. All residents of the home were already outside and uninjured.

Flames worked their way around the base of the home and ignited backyard furniture and quickly spread to the roof and soon ate its way inside the home. Redmond fighters threw a lot of water on it but the fire was well developed, both outside the home and interior. A few of the residents sat in lawn furniture in the front yard watching their home go up in flames.

Fire fighters determined the modular home was probably a goner and concentrated on putting the fire out from the outside. For a time the fire spread eastward from the backyard and some equipment stored in the back. At one point flames were traversing tall, parched dry grass in an open field to the east. The fire got about a third of the way toward houses just across 17th before firefighters swiftly knocked the blaze dead out.

Redmond firefighters were joined by mutual aid units from Crooked River Ranch, Clover dale Fire, BLM, and Bend Fire. The house fire by then was burning so hot that there was really nothing more for firefighters to do but to keep it from spreading to nearby structures which included a very large barn and a commercial manufacturing facility.

So far no announcement on the cause. However, it is believed to have started inside a pole-type barn just north of the house. It was filled with old vehicles, old machinery, tools and other ranch-related devices.

Meanwhile the American Red Cross was called to the scene to aid the family that lost everything….

Disaster responders with the American Red Cross Cascades Region responded to a home fire disaster on Monday, Sept. 24, at approximately 6:45 p.m. in the in the 1500 block of NE O’Neil Way northeast of Redmond.

The single-family fire affected six adults and two children.

The Red Cross provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits, and information about recovery services.

There is such a thing as loving a place to death…

 Daily News  Comments Off on There is such a thing as loving a place to death…
Sep 242016
 

Sisters Wilderness, Green Lakes area. USGS photo

Sisters Wilderness, Green Lakes area.
USGS photo


It appears that the growing popularity of hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness has grown to a level that the U.S. Forest Service is contemplating visitor controls much like those applied to other wilderness areas that get to be “too well traveled.”

The Forest Service is evaluating visitor levels to the Three Sisters Wilderness which has become so popular that it’s been characterized on Facebook as “A way rad place to bring yourself and your bestest peeps.”

Under the U.S. Wilderness Act there is a provision that visitors should enjoy the wilderness but leave it the way it was found, so future generations can enjoy it too. The trouble is, with the relentless throngs of visitors to certain areas, like the trail to the top of South Sister, the trail has become a human freeway that is becoming trampled and scarred leaving the area very different than the way it was originally found. That breaks the federal wilderness rules.

It’s also straining the budgets of Deschutes and Linn County Search & Rescue teams who practically live in the Sisters Wilderness over the summer because of the crush of visitors who come utterly unprepared to endure the rigors of the climb and the elements at 8-10,000 feet.

So…the Forest Service is preparing what likely will be much more tightly regulated access to the Three Sisters Wilderness. We might even have to book hikes to the summit a year in advance.

Here’s more on the story in the Albany Times Union:
Click here.

Oregon’s YUUUUGGGE Public Pension Crisis Looms Over Salem – Sen. Knopp and Sen. Johnson in the thick of it…

 Daily News  Comments Off on Oregon’s YUUUUGGGE Public Pension Crisis Looms Over Salem – Sen. Knopp and Sen. Johnson in the thick of it…
Sep 232016
 

Oregon State Capitol Salem The Oregonian

Oregon State Capitol
Salem
The Oregonian


Sometimes a problem comes along that’s so big, so out of control and so menacing to millions of people that there just doesn’t seem to be a way to rationally figure a way to solve it.

But a few always try. Central Oregon Senator Tim Knopp and Democrat (so-called Republicrat) Betsy Johnson from northwestern Oregon, are expected to raise the PERS tragedy in the next legislature. But they seem to be getting little more than smirks from the democratic leaders who have their sights on a solution that are tied to the controversial tax on large corporations doing business in Oregon. But even they admit that the infusion of $3 Billion would only let a tiny bit of steam out of the PERS pressure cooker and then it would be back to trying to cook up some other way to raise money.

At any rate, the issue is getting the pot to begin to bubble and boil and the Oregonian is trying to keep up with it. Here’s their take on “The State of the PERS.” Click here.

Redmond Fire & Rescue trying to “right-size” their responses to emergencies by hiring more EMT’s.

 Daily News  Comments Off on Redmond Fire & Rescue trying to “right-size” their responses to emergencies by hiring more EMT’s.
Sep 232016
 

Female driver was literally cut out of her car and loaded into an ambulance bound for St. Charles RMC.  it appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

Female driver was literally cut out of her car and loaded into an ambulance bound for St. Charles Bend. It appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
Archive photo

New EMTs - 3 Full Time, 14 Part Time and their new ambulance at station HQ in Redmond

New EMTs – 3 Full Time, 14 Part Time and their new ambulance at station HQ in Redmond

New ambulance to aid in helping to provide greater resiliency in responding to calls for service.

New ambulance to aid in helping to provide greater resiliency in responding to calls for service.

Interior of the brand new ambulance - not fully stocked yet with equipment and other medical resources.

Interior of the brand new ambulance – not fully stocked yet with equipment and other medical resources.

The new response system will be launched in a few weeks.

The new response system will be launched in a few weeks.

When a 9-1-1 call is received about a bad traffic crash, initial information from the scene usually determines the level of resources local fire-rescue departments send to the scene. If initial information sounds like victims are out of their cars and walking around and talking, then a department may send some EMT’s to the scene to take care of the victims. But if it turns out to be a horrendous crash with people trapped inside and unconscious, a battalion chief throw everything he’s got at it, including high end paramedics.

It’s a balancing act in trying to properly assign the right personnel to what are often multiple calls coming in over the radio at the same time. Therefore, having the right mix of paramedics, EMTs and first aid firefighters is a must. And in that effort, Redmond just took it up a notch. The recent retirement of three senior fire officials made it possible. Their departure freed up additional funds to use a more targeted mix of first responders to handle not only traffic crashes but also general calls for medical help like slip and falls, lift assists, difficulty breathing, seizures – the gamut.

By re-arranging his personnel expenditures, Chief Moor and his management team were able to reallocate funds that produced 3 additional full time EMTs and 14 part-time EMTs along with a new ambulance, all aimed at lower risk calls thereby leaving their high level paramedics free to respond to more serious, even life or death, incidents.

Chief Moor says every fire chief sees it happen – the ultimate “Murphy’s Law” moment – when a department’s “top gun” paramedics are out on what turns out to be a minor injury accident when suddenly another far, far worse accident occurs five miles up the road – where the paramedics are desperately needed NOW! Chief Moor’s new arrangement won’t totally eliminate such frustrating occurrences, but it should certainly reduce them. By having a deeper bench of EMTs, Chief Moor can keep his best at the ready, so when they’re needed most, he’s got them to send.

This new, more finely tuned response system is expected to be launched within a few weeks. Bend Fire and Rescue went to a similar system about a year ago.

Historic Landmarks Commission Refining Historical Home and Business Walking Tour Guide

 Daily News  Comments Off on Historic Landmarks Commission Refining Historical Home and Business Walking Tour Guide
Sep 232016
 

Draft version of the upgraded Redmond Heritage Walk pamphlet.

Draft version of the upgraded Redmond Heritage Walk pamphlet.


The now rather dated Heritage Walk pamphlet is being replaced with an updated version with new additions and improved images of Redmond’s most prized historic homes and other buildings along with early photos of candid social and special event scenes spanning the first half of the last century.
Historic Landmarks Commissioner pore over the draft version of the new pamphlet at Redmond City Hall.

Historic Landmarks Commissioner pore over the draft version of the new pamphlet at Redmond City Hall.

Over 30 homes and businesses are featured in the pamphlet.

Over 30 homes and businesses are featured in the pamphlet.


The improved Heritage Walk pamphlet also includes a very readable and easy to understand history of Redmond from the time the town’s namesakes, Frank and Josephine Redmond, pitched their homestead tent just northeast of what is now downtown Redmond. The couple chose the location for it’s nearness to a proposed irrigation canal right of way and a railroad line which was expected to be built rather soon. As it was true then, it is still true today – timing is everything.
Upgrading pictures and other images that depicts Redmond's colorful past.

Upgrading pictures and other images that depicts Redmond’s colorful past.

It wasn’t long before the canal was transporting water to area farm fields while the railroad was hauling farm products to market. The town was growing. Not very fast, but it was growing.
Just about every man, woman and child turned out for a big railroad event downtown.

Just about every man, woman and child turned out for a big railroad event downtown.

A collage of old photos will help readers get a deeper feeling for the town they live in or are visiting.

A collage of old photos will help readers get a deeper feeling for the town they live in or are visiting.


The new Heritage Walk pamphlet is being refined by the City’s Historic Landmarks Commission which wants to make it more readable and more inviting so as to effectively celebrate Redmond’s unique history as played out inside and outside the town’s venerable old structures.

The new Heritage Walk pamphlet features around 35 homes and businesses, almost all still in use today and are contained in a small definable area that was once the center of Redmond – roughly Sixth Street to Fifteenth and Antler to Highland.

Historic Landmarks commissioners are closely analyzing old photos of Redmond – its special events of yore – scenes of commerce, transportation, logging, downtown streets – even the original Redmond Airport facility.

Historic Landmarks Commission Chair Judy Fessler says the commission will continue to go over the draft pamphlet with an eye to making it more attractive as well as an accurate appraisal of Redmond’s colorful history.

Ms. Fessler says she hopes the new Heritage Walk pamphlet will be ready for distribution to the public sometime after the first of the year. She says it will be available at Redmond City Hall, the Redmond Library, Redmond Chamber of Commerce and other locations around town.

Dangerous Situation in South Deschutes County – Pursuit & Shots Fired

 Daily News  Comments Off on Dangerous Situation in South Deschutes County – Pursuit & Shots Fired
Sep 222016
 

osp patch
9:30pm – Reports of a police pursuit and shots fired in the process. Call has gone out for backup deputy sheriff’s and OSP troopers to head to the Chiloquin area.

9:40pm – Pursuit has ended but suspect not in custody. Law enforcement is hold up on Cave Mountain Road near Chiloquin waiting for backup.

9:45pm – Deschutes County law enforement enroute to the scene have been told to “stand down,” that they’re not needed on scene.

Search back in “active” status for PDX child missing for over six years

 Daily News  Comments Off on Search back in “active” status for PDX child missing for over six years
Sep 222016
 

Kyron Horman Missing for over 6 years Searchers combing Highway 30

Kyron Horman
Missing for over 6 years
Searchers combing Highway 30


Upper left:  Wildwood Golf Course being searched.

Upper left: Wildwood Golf Course being searched.


Authorities recently re-activated more personnel to search for clues in connection with the June, 2010 disappearance of a Portland area boy. Both estranged parents of Kyron Horman deny any knowledge of the whereabouts of the boy who went missing after he was dropped off at his school by his step-mother, Terri Horman.

Here’s more on the latest chapter in the long, incredibly frustrating case of a missing boy who many speculate was the victim of an especially nasty parental breakup and divorce. Click here.

Learn About Wildfire’s Crucial Role in Forest and Grasslands Health

 Daily News  Comments Off on Learn About Wildfire’s Crucial Role in Forest and Grasslands Health
Sep 222016
 

central-oregon-landwatch
Join the Union of Concerned Scientists for a special panel to discuss climate change and wildfires — and what we can do about them. The discussion is set for Tuesday, Sept. 27, 5-7pm at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond in Bend.

The Union of Concerned Scientists cordially invites you to a happy hour and panel discussion on the environmental and economic impacts of wildfires in Central Oregon.

Our expert panelists will discuss the relationship between climate change and our changing forests, the costs of public health impacts related to wildfires, and the impacts our changing climate has on Bend’s neighboring Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation. We will also discuss how community members and elected officials can help develop and support solutions.

Please join us for a happy hour and meet our panelists before our presentation.

The event is family-friendly, free, and open to the public. Registration reserves your food and drink tickets. For questions or to register, please contact Emily Heffling at eheffling@ucsusa.org or (510) 809-1584.

Host:
Emily Heffling
Western States Outreach Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists

Speakers:
Dr. John Bailey
Associate Professor, OSU College of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management
Dr. Geoffrey Donovan
Research Forester, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
Robert “Bobby” Brunoe
General Manager of the Branch of Natural Resources and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs