Dave Morgan

Forty-two year local news veteran in newspaper, radio and television media in California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. View local news not only about what is occurring throughout the community, but also we encourage community dialog through the website. The more voices, the better. Contact Dave Morgan at News@RedmondNewsToday.com or 541.351.1408.

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Apr 242018

Governor Kate Brown
Oregonian photo

Governor Brown Statement on Tax Break for Small Businesses

Governor Kate Brown released the following statement today after meetings with Democrat and Republican legislative leadership regarding plans to call for a special session to adapt Oregon’s pass-through law to include the smallest businesses, sole proprietorships, in the tax break afforded larger businesses:

“We have an obvious inequity in Oregon’s tax system that is prejudiced against thousands of small Oregon businesses, and a simple change can fix it. I’m simply not willing to let these main street businesses — entrepreneurs, mom and pops, and start-ups — go through another tax year with unfair tax treatment as compared to their larger competitors.

“An estimated 9,000 sole proprietorships could qualify and use this new opportunity to reinvest more of their profits into their businesses and employees. And with this new economic incentive many more could take advantage of the same tax break that larger businesses already enjoy. We’ve already seen the number of large companies that qualify increase since the pass-through law was first created just five years ago. Nine thousand may seem like a small number to some in Salem, but to these business owners and their employees, it makes a big difference.

“I’m calling for a special session on May 21 to make this change to keep our small businesses growing. Legislative days are already scheduled for this week so it will work for most legislators’ schedules and will keep additional costs to the state to an absolute minimum.

“It is important to do this now for our smallest businesses — waiting any longer will only cost the businesses themselves more money. If we want these thousands of businesses to qualify for this economic incentive for the 2018 tax year, this has to be done now and cannot wait. Administratively, any tax bill passed in the 2019 regular session would not take effect until October 2019 — long after 2018 taxes are filed.

“It is universally acknowledged that these small businesses are treated unfairly as compared to their competitors in Oregon’s tax system. Because of this I look forward to working with the Legislature to get this addressed now, for the 2018 tax year.”

Big control burn scheduled Thursday east of Prineville

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Apr 242018

Typical control/back burn operation by ODF

With the return of warmer weather and drying conditions in the Ochoco National Forest, fire managers hope to complete another fuels treatment in the McKay area just east of Prineville starting Thursday, if conditions allow.

Working in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, objectives for the burn include improving habitat and forage for big game and livestock, while introducing fire back into a fire-adapted Ponderosa pine and fir ecosystem.

Plans call for igniting grasses and other ground fuels in an underburn on about 200 acres, located 14 miles northeast of Prineville near the junction of Forest Service Roads 27 and 2705. Ignitions would begin late Thursday morning and may continue into Friday.

This burn is part of a larger 750-acre unit the Forest has been working on for several years. To see the unit boundaries for this project, as well as other planned treatments, visit our interactive map for Central Oregon prescribed burns at: https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/

Smoke is expected to be most visible during active ignitions, but will linger above the burn unit and within adjacent forested areas for several days. Smoke will be most visible from Forest Roads 27, 2705 and 33, and on adjacent Forest system 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.

For more information, call (541) 316-7711 or follow us online at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire

New Medicare cards will soon be on their way….

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Apr 242018

Oregonians with Medicare coverage will be issued a new card from the federal government by the end of June. Each person’s new card will have a unique Medicare number, instead of a Social Security number, to prevent fraud and identity theft. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will automatically mail the new cards, at no cost, to each beneficiary’s address on file with Social Security.

Here’s what Oregonians on Medicare can expect, and what they should know:
• Make sure Social Security has your current address. You can update your address online by signing in to or creating a “my Social Security” account at ssa.gov.
• Don’t worry if you get your new card before or after friends or family members here in Oregon or in other states. The cards are being sent on a variety of dates to prevent mail theft.
• When your new Medicare card arrives, destroy the old one. Do it in a secure manner, such as shredding it.
• Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards. They should be ready to accept your new card when you need care.
• Even people with a Medicare plan through a private insurance company, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, will get a new Medicare card from the federal government. Keep it in a safe place, but continue to use the member card your insurance company sent you.
• Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card. Protect your Medicare number like you treat your Social Security or credit card numbers. Remember, Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.

More information is available at go.medicare.gov/newcard. Oregonians also can contact the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program with questions. SHIBA’s phone number is 1-800-722-4134 (toll-free), and the line is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A hard lesson learned that involves no small amount of common sense….

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Apr 232018

Sunday afternoon at around 2:30pm, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing person in the Millican off-road-vehicle area. The report said that Terry Gore, a 53 year old male, had been missing since 7:30a that morning. Terry and his girlfriend had been camping in the area. Terry had left camp and went for a walk with his girlfriend. Terry’s girlfriend went back to the vehicle when she became tired. After about seven hours, Terry’s girlfriend was still at their campsite waiting for Terry’s return.

Two citizens happened by and learned about the situation. One of the citizens called the Crook County Sheriff’s Office to report that Mr. Gore had been missing for seven hours.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office deployed its Search and Rescue team in an attempt to locate Terry. After about one hour of searching, Mr. was located by a different citizen about one mile north of his campsite. Terry was conscious and alert, but complaining of dehydration and muscle soreness.

Terry was given a ride back to his campsite where he was reunited with his girlfriend.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office would like everyone to enjoy recreating in Crook County, but would like to remind everyone to let people know where you are going and pack appropriate supplies and clothing with you.

Sgt. Bill Elliott
Crook County Sheriff’s Office

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: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health

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: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/cofms-rxfire/

For more information, visit the Deschutes website at www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes 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.