February 29, 2016

Highway 97 speed limit to increase to 65 mph Tuesday

From the Oregon Department of Transportation:

Motorists will see new speed limits on select highways in Eastern and Central Oregon as of Tuesday, March 1.

Oregon House Bill 3402 and HB 4047 (signed by the Governor in 2015 and earlier this month) raises speed limits on Interstate 84 east of The Dalles, I-82 and other select secondary state highways in eastern and central Oregon. The new law will raise legal speeds to 70 mph for passenger vehicles and 65 mph for commercial trucks on I-84 between the Idaho border and The Dalles and on I-82 between I-84 and the Washington border. These same speed limits will apply for U.S. 95 which runs through southern Malheur County between the Nevada and Idaho borders.

In addition, sections of eight other highways will have speed limits increased to 65 mph for passenger vehicles and 60 mph for trucks. These include portions of U.S. 20, U.S. 26, U.S. 97, U.S. 197, U.S. 395, OR 31, OR 78, and OR 205.

ODOT Director Matt Garrett had this to say about the new speed limits. “The transportation professionals in our Highway Division employed engineering disciplines and innovative methods to make sure we complied with the Legislature’s intent in a cost-effective manner, while ensuring we striped and signed affected highways and freeways in a way that promotes safety for the traveling public.”

Signs displaying the new speed limits are expected to be installed on I-84 by March 1 and on secondary highways within a few days of the March 1 effective date. Motorists are reminded to obey all speed limit signs and other traffic control devices, and to adjust travel when weather, road conditions or other situations require extra caution.

Those signs displaying a speed “limit” will be subject to enforcement by the Oregon State Police as differentiated from the “basic speed rule” that applies when no “limit” is indicated.

More information, including a map showing the specific highway segments that will see the changes, copies of both house bills, update news and information, plus links to related photos and broadcast quality video, is available at:

February 26, 2016

Suspect arrested in Redmond stabbing

From Redmond Police:

On 02/25/16, at approximately 2033 hours,   Officers were dispatched to a reported Assault with a knife, in the area of SW 35th/SW Indian Place.  Results of the investigation indicate that Laura Lynn Harlan Brooks had assaulted another female subject over some property.  During the struggle, a knife was displayed and used against the victim, resulting in a minor laceration, to the victim. The victim decided to self-seek medical attention on her own. Officers were unable to make contact with Brooks during the initial investigation.

On 02-26-2016, at approximately 1200 hrs. Officers from the Redmond Police Department executed a search warrant at Laura Brooks residence, 3350 SW Indian Pl. Redmond, Ore. During the execution of the search warrant Brooks was taken into custody without incident. Also arrested on an unrelated warrant for absconding, was Joshua Cheney. Both were lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.

The Redmond Police Department is committed to making Redmond the safest community in Oregon. As such these types of crimes are taken very seriously, and are fully investigated to conclusion.

February 25, 2016

Redmond schools offer open enrollment in March

From the Redmond School District:

The Redmond School District Board of Directors has voted to be a receiving district during open enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year.

The district has chosen to participate in open enrollment since the enactment of Oregon House Bill 3681 in 2012. The law allows students to transfer to school districts outside of their legal residence if a student receives written consent from the receiving district. Students already enrolled in Redmond School District may also request to transfer to a different school than their assigned neighborhood school. The open enrollment period for grades K-12 is March 1 through April 1.

Students interested in transferring to RSD should contact and notify their home district first. Students who are interested in learning more about Redmond School District schools may contact each school individually.

Transfer forms are available online at www.redmondschools.org. For questions or more information about open enrollment, please contact Wendy Beyer at 541-923-5437 or wendy.beyer@redmondschools.org.

February 24, 2016

Man charged with DUII after Redmond police chase

From Redmond Police:

Redmond, Ore – On 02/23/2016 at approximately 4:16pm, an off-duty Redmond police Sergeant was driving a marked patrol vehicle westbound on Hwy 126 near mile post 106 when an eastbound full size Ford van drove across the centerline and nearly collided with the patrol vehicle.  The Sergeant had to take evasive action to avoid a crash.

The Sergeant turned around and attempted to stop the van.  The van did not stop and continued driving at highway speeds, not exceeding 60 mph.  Two Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were in the same area already, responding to citizen reports the van driver may be impaired due to observed poor driving.  The DCSO Deputies and an Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Trooper joined in the pursuit of the van.

Additional Redmond police officers responded to the area of SW Highland Ave and SW 31st Street and blocked traffic on SW Highland Ave (Hwy 126).  “Spike strips” were deployed near the intersection and other officers set up at key intersections on SW Highland Ave at SW 27th Street SW Rimrock Way to control traffic in order to keep other motorists safe.

The van eventually stopped on its own prior to reaching the “spike strips,” stopping next to several other non-involved vehicles which had stopped while the highway was blocked.  The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Mr. Scott Leachman, 64 years of age from Sisters, initially followed commands to exit the vehicle but became non-compliant and verbally challenged officers while standing outside of his vehicle.  Officers approached Leachman and put him on the ground and placed him in-custody.

Leachman sustained injury during the arrest, and in combination with extreme intoxication, resulted in Redmond Fire & Rescue medics responding to the scene at law enforcement’s request.  Leachman was transported to St Charles Medical Center – Redmond for treatment.  No other persons were injured as a result of this incident.  Leachman was alone in the vehicle during this incident.

Redmond police officers applied for and were granted a search warrant to seize blood from Leachman.  The blood test results are not yet known.  Leachman was deemed medically stable to be lodged in jail.  Leachman was taken to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Adult Jail and lodged on the following crimes:  DUII-Felony (to wit alcohol), Driving While Suspended – Felony, Attempt to Elude a Police Officer – Felony, Reckless Driving, Interfering with a Peace Officer and Attempted Assault in the Second Degree.  A portion of the Assault in the Second Degree statute reads:

163.175 (1)(c) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Your Redmond Police Department is committed to make Redmond the safest community in Oregon.  In this incident, choosing to continue the pursuit was deemed appropriate and justified due speeds travelled and the amount of traffic on the road, in addition to the belief the driver may be impaired and was driving poorly prior to the start of the pursuit.  Discontinuing this pursuit would have allowed a suspected impaired driver to continue driving and put everyone at risk.  We are very appreciative of everyone’s understanding why the highway was blocked and apologize for the inconvenience caused by Leachman’s actions.
This week's Spokesman features an update on the Redmond airport, a Redmond High student's journey to a national JROTC air rifle competition and a new nonprofit boutique in Redmond. Available now at locations including Black Bear Diner, Logan's Market and Bi-Mart.

February 17, 2016

Check out the Feb. 17 Spokesman!

Read about Redmond Proficiency Academy getting its very own building, Redmond and Ridgeview athletes going out of state and a new pharmacy in town in this week's Spokesman. Available today at locations including Fred Meyer, Valero and Shari's.

February 10, 2016

Progress on Evergreen Elementary building

The Feb. 10 Spokesman features an update on Redmond's renovations of the former Evergreen Elementary School building. Here are some more photos from inside and outside the future City Hall.

 From behind the building.
 Equipment rests in front of the building.
 A hole where two large boilers were recently removed.
 The future City Council chamber.
 Officials near an area where the floor was removed so it can be reinforced to support large files.
 The future city manager's suite.
 An area where the floor was removed.
 An archway that was discovered.
 An upstairs hallway.
 A future meeting room.
 Looking out toward the old gymnasium.

The exterior of the building is fenced off.
This week's Spokesman features stories on the city's progress in renovating the old Evergreen Elementary School, a new Redmond saloon that hopes to improve nightlife and Ridgeview swimmers preparing for the district meet. It is available now at locations throughout Redmond and Terrebonne, as well as in Bend, Sisters, Madras and Prineville.