Slow poke left lane blockers! You’re days are (possibly) numbered!

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Apr 282015
What's fast enough in the left lane??

What’s fast enough in the left lane??

The state legislature may soon declare that those who set up housekeeping by driving slow in the left lane of a freeway may be soon be forced to pay a stiff fine for doing it.

Left lane slow pokes are said to be the number one trigger for road rage – a point not lost on state lawmakers. A bill authorizing $160 ticketing of “left lane blockers” has made it through the House and it’s expected to breeze through the Senate and on to Governor Brown’s desk for signature.

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

Double trailer semi loses rear box – big mess on Hwy 126 mp 103.

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Apr 282015

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On Tuesday, 04/28/15, at approximately 1:49 AM, deputies of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of a rollover crash involving a double trailer semi truck on Highway 126 near milepost 103.

An investigation determined the semi truck, operated by Food Service of America, was traveling eastbound at this location when the rear trailer angled-off the eastbound pavement. The driver, Randy Albright, 53 or Redmond, tried to return the truck to the travel lane, but suffered tire blowouts on both passenger side tires of the rearmost trailer causing it to roll over onto its passenger side. The trailer came to rest in the eastbound lane blocking the lane entirely and partially blocking a few feet of the westbound lane. The tractor and first trailer remain intact.

Currently, the sheriff’s office is being assisted at the scene by the Oregon State Police, ODOT, and Davis Towing from Sisters, Oregon. There is a small diesel leak from the refrigeration unit on the roadway under the trailer which will require clean-up before the roadway can be re-opened.

The truck was carrying food items. The driver and passenger of the truck were not injured. The investigation has determined the driver was distracted while eating which allowed the trailer to drift off the roadway. With the assistance of the Oregon State Police, no commercial driver violations have been noted and the driver was operating within his allowed time restrictions.

Highway 126 at this location is currently restricted to one lane of travel and is being flagged by ODOT on scene. The roadway has been partially blocked for approximately 1.5 hours thus far. Currently there are no time estimates to when the roadway will be fully opened.

Sisters: Pickup into tree on Camp Sherman Road, mile north of Hwy 20

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Apr 282015

8am- A 20 year man lost control of his pickup this morning on Camp Sherman Road, just northwest of Sisters. Reports say he was headed north on Camp Sherman, about a mile north of Highway 20, when he left the road and hit a tree. He is reported to be conscious and breathing. Unknown if injured

A little help in cleaning up the woods…

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Apr 282015
Thinning instead of take every tree...

Thinning instead of taking every tree…
Wiki Commons photo

PORTLAND — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces up to $100,000 in funding available for woodland owners in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties to improve the health of their woods and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

Interested landowners should submit applications to the USDA Redmond Service Center by May 22 to be considered for financial assistance.

The funding is available only to private, non-industrial woodland owners and will be primarily used to perform pre-commercial thinning on private forestlands. This is a popular conservation practice that involves removing smaller, unhealthy trees within dense and overcrowded woods. The funding will also support other related conservation practices, such as woody residue treatment and forest pruning.

“By thinning timber stands in dense forests, we remove the excess vegetation that provides fuel for wildfires to spread higher into the canopy—where wildfire causes the most damage,” said Tom Bennett, NRCS resource conservationist. “Fires in overstocked stands are hotter, harder to fight, and are more likely to kill all the trees.”

“Thinning also promotes more organic matter in the soil and leads to stronger, healthier trees,” Bennett said. “The remaining trees are less prone to disease and bugs, and are more drought tolerant.”

Eligible landowners may receive payments as high as $400 per acre to treat a heavy timber stand, depending on the types of practices applied and the forest density.

NRCS will rank applications and prioritize them based on significant impacts to forest resources and wildfire threats to local communities. Priority areas include high-density forests around the cities of Bend, Sisters and LaPine in Deschutes County, and residential developments in Crook and Jefferson counties.

“We are focusing on areas where there is a higher need to reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to protect life, property, and public infrastructure,” Bennett said.

NRCS is partnering with the Oregon Department of Forestry to treat at-risk forest lands in the tri-county area. The two agencies estimate there are approximately 2,500 acres of overstocked, privately-owned forests in these high-priority areas that could benefit from this project. NRCS aims to treat 60 percent of those acres between 2013 and 2017.

For more information about this and other NRCS programs and funding in Deschutes, Crook or Jefferson counties, contact the USDA Redmond Service Center at 541-923-4358 or email The Redmond Service Center is located at 625 SE Salmon Avenue, Suite 4, in Redmond, Oregon.

Deschutes Co. Jailers: Kaneshiro checked less than an hour before his suicide

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Apr 272015

Eben Kaneshiro, 35 Suicide at Deschutes County Jail

Eben Kaneshiro, 35
Suicide at Deschutes County Jail

Sheriff Larry Blanton Jail staff did their job - routine checks were being carried out among all inmates.

Sheriff Larry Blanton
Jail staff did their job – routine checks were being carried out among all inmates.

John Hummel The jail staff responded by the book.  No discrepancies.

John Hummel
The jail staff responded by the book. No discrepancies.

Request being made to add four more RN's to jail staff to provide 24/7 coverage

Request being made to add four more RN’s to jail staff to provide 24/7 coverage

11am- Jail officials told the Bend news media today that accused child sex abuser Eben Kaneshiro had been visually checked within an hour of his suicide. The jailers were making regular once-an-hour checks throughout the night according to Sheriff Larry Blanton. In addition, Blanton said Kaneshiro was determined not to be a suicide risk when he was booked into the county jail.

Once found shortly after 3am Sunday, Blanton said jail staff immediately launched CPR which was taken over by a soon-after arriving paramedic delivered by ambulance. Kaneshiro was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Blanton said the method of suicide was tying a bed sheet around his neck and then rolling onto the floor.

District Attorney John Hummel said his office has determined that the bed checks and the quick response procedures carried out by jail staff were by the book. No irregularities.

It was also noted during the news conference that Kaneshiro had left “from-the-grave” goodbye letters to family and friends as well as a note to investigators revealing the names of further sexual abuse victims. Kaneshiro was already under indictment from the Deschutes County Grand Jury for sexually abusing children. Kaneshiro was a nationally ranked martial arts fighter and competitor.

Sheriff Blanton told reporters that his office is asking for four additional jail nurses starting July 1st so the jail will have two registered nurses on duty 24/7. He said many arrestees feel more comfortable talking to medical professionals than to regular jail staff when it comes to questions about their medical and mental health conditions as well as what medications they take.

District Attorney John Hummel issued the following statement as to the incident and how jail staff responded:

Saturday morning at 4:00 AM Chief Deputy District Attorney Mary Anderson and I went to the jail where we met with investigators. We also viewed the cell where Mr. Kaneshiro died and we viewed his body which was still in the cell.
A joint decision was made by me and Sheriff Blanton to initiate a Central Oregon Major Crimes Team investigation. Heading the investigation is Redmond Sgt. Jesse Petersen.

This afternoon at 1:00, the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Mr. Kaneshiro. Preliminary results of the autopsy support my initial conclusion that Mr. Kaneshiro’s cause of death was asphyxiation caused by hanging; however, the investigation is still on-going.

This morning I spoke with Sgt. Petersen and I told him to continue with his investigation and to leave no stone unturned. I have full confidence in Sgt. Petersen and the team he is leading. When their investigation is complete I will review their findings and make a final determination as to the cause of death.

Corrections deputies, and the crew from Bend Fire and EMS, made heroic efforts to save Mr. Kaneshiro’s life.

I saw on the video tape, a rapid and focused response from the on-duty team, and a look on their faces that revealed the pain they were experiencing. No deputy goes into the corrections profession because they want to preside over an inmate’s death. They enter the profession out of a desire to help those who are at the lowest point in their lives.

We did not conduct a press conference today to discuss the hundreds of times jail deputies have taken small actions to significantly improve the quality of life of the inmates they supervise. I can assure you, if I called a press conference every time this happened, we would be holding daily press conferences. Thank you to them for their valued service to our community.
My thoughts go out to the Kaneshiro family, who first struggled with the fact their loved one committed a heinous act, and now struggle with his loss of life.

And, paramount in all of the recent developments in this case, my support and admiration for the young boy who came forward to report the abuse he experienced remains immense. He’s a hero.

Bend mountain climber in Nepal survived big quake – Family confirms

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Apr 272015
Mt. Everest Wiki photo/Drukair

Mt. Everest
Wiki photo/Drukair

A young Bend man feared injured or killed in last week’s big earthquake in Nepal is alive and well, according to his family.

19 year old Josh Edwards managed to get a quick message to the outside world via a text through the internet.

The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

Medical Marijuana sales legal in unincorporated Deschutes County starting May 1st.

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Apr 272015
Medical Marijuana Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana
Oregonian photo

The Deschutes County Commission has approved the sale of medical marijuana in areas outside city limits, county-wide. The new law allowing such sales takes effect May 1st when a county-wide ban, in the unincorporated areas, expires.

The new county law allows commercial sales of medical marijuana in specific areas but not within 1,000 feet of a school or within 1,000 feet of another medical marijuana dispensary.

The commissioners, eyeing the upcoming legal sales of recreational marijuana, expressed concern that medical marijuana outlets might try to double up – selling both medical and recreational versions of the weed out of the same facility. Commissioners said they don’t want that to happen.

So, commissioners instructed county planning staff to craft a new set of county rules applying only to recreational marijuana. Those rules will treat recreational marijuana as a separate product from medical marijuana with a set of criteria under the heading of what’s called a “conditional use.” Commissioner Tammy Baney said, for starters, she’d like to see restrictions that would keep recreational marijuana sales far away from day care centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, and YMCA’s.

The state liquor control board is reviewing potential regulations of their own anticipating the opening of recreational sales next year.

Possession and growing small quantities of marijuana for personal use is legalized July 1st. Commercial sales of recreational marijuana is legalized January 1st of next year.

Bend: Teen goes on a wild terror with police right behind him…

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Apr 272015

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Bend Police chased after a wildly out of control teen driver early Saturday morning. Police say they found a 17 year old male in a Chevy Impala crashed in the front yard of a residence on Woodland. As police got out of their cars to investigate, the teen took off. Police got back in their cars and took off after him.

The chase wound through the neighborhood, pausing only as the driver lost control and crashed into another yard on SE 4th. When the police pulled up, he took off again.

Officers say they lost sight of him for a short time but eventually found him one block over. And this time officers took him into custody.

But he didn’t go to jail. He was cited and released for DUII, reckless driving, trying to elude officers and hit-and-run for damaging property at SE 4th and SE Woodland.

Inmate at Deschutes County jail found dead in his cell early Sunday

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Apr 262015
Eben Kaneshiro, 35 Suicide at Deschutes County Jail

Eben Kaneshiro, 35
Suicide at Deschutes County Jail

A Deschutes County jail inmate, being held on child sex abuse charges, was found not breathing in his cell early Sunday morning. When discovered shortly after 3am, jail personnel immediately began CPR on Eben Kaneshiro, 35, until paramedics could arrive. Kaneshiro was pronounced dead a short time later.

Jail officials say the Multi-Agency Major Crime Team is conducting the investigation with the assistance of the Deschutes County Medical Examiner’s Office. Further information on the incident is expected from the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.

Local road and highway update from ODOT

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Apr 252015
ODOT Update in our area

ODOT Update in our area

Central Oregon Road Construction UPDATE: Week of April 27, 2015

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is continuing to invest in Oregon’s future with roadway improvement projects throughout Oregon’s central region (ODOT Region 4). ODOT is committed to providing a safe, efficient transportation system. The following projects reflect ODOT’s commitment to make improvements as traffic numbers rise and to make the roadways safer and more efficient for drivers:

All work is dependent on weather conditions. Red denotes new or updated information.


US 97/Murphy Road Project (Bend)

Phase 1
Crews will continue landscape work in the vicinity of the 3rd Street and Murphy Road roundabout and performing punch-list work throughout the project.

Phase 2
Earthwork operations along the new Murphy Road alignment consist of drilling and blasting. Watch for trucks entering and leaving roadway at Brookswood near Pinebrook and at 3rd Street and Murphy Road. Murphy Road west of 3rd Street is closed.

Temporary sign installation on Brookswood, Pinebrook, Baker, and US97 is planned for the week of April 27th. No delays are expected.

Brookswood will be temporarily closed for roundabout construction starting May 14 through September 4, 2015. During the closure, detour routes will be designated and accommodations will be in place in case of fire evacuation emergencies.

US 20 @ 8th Street (Bend)
This project will replace aging signals and poles at the intersection, reconstruct the corners at the intersection, upgrade pedestrian ramps to meet current ADA standards, restripe cross walks, correct drainage problems, and repave the intersection.

Night-time work from 8 PM to 6 AM is planned at this intersection. Sidewalk and signal facilities are being installed. Traffic is controlled by flaggers. Closures on 8th Street where it intersects US 20 are planned for the week of April 27th. Traffic will be detoured around the work zone.

US 97 @ 1st Street (La Pine)
This project will realign 1st Street and Reed Road, construct a left hand turn lane from U.S. 97 to Reed Road, construct right hand turn lanes for U.S. 97 southbound traffic to 1st Street, and westbound Reed Road traffic onto northbound U.S. 97, construct sidewalks along 1st Street between U.S. 97 and Huntington Road, install crosswalks and pedestrian refuge islands at the intersection of U.S. 97 and 1st Street/Reed Road; and signalize the intersection.

For the week of April 27th, daytime construction on sidewalks at all four corners of US 97 and 1st Street and along 1st Street. No lane closures or delays expected.

US 97 Bend Parkway Bridge Overlays
This project will remove existing bridge overlays and construct a new ¾” overlay on the Division and 3rd Street bridges on US 97 in both north and sound bound lanes. Work will be done at night.

For the week of April 27th construction at nights from 8 PM to 6 AM. 3rd Street and Division Street bridges continue to be prepared for resurfacing. Single lane closures are planned from 7:30 PM to 6:00 AM, Monday through Thursday nights. Workers on roadway with a 30 MPH advisory speed posted.


US 97 J Street Intersection (Madras South Y)
This project will extend the one way couplet south of its current location to improve the intersection of US 97 and J Street. The project includes waterline work for the City of Madras.
For the week of April 27th, utility and road construction on US 97, J Street and South Adams Drive is planned. Northbound US97 is reduced to one lane. South Adams Drive is closed between I Street and J Street.