January 31, 2017

Redmond School District selects new Public Information Officer

From Redmond School District, 

School District selects Public Information Officer

Rainier Butler
   The Redmond School District (RSD) has selected Rainier Butler of Dillon, Mont. to serve as its new Public Information Officer, Superintendent Mike McIntosh announced today.

   Butler most recently served as the Public Relations Manager for the University of Montana Western, a small, innovative university in southwest Montana.

   “We’re very pleased Rainier is coming on board with the RSD,” McIntosh said. “His experience in communications and public relations in both the public and private sector will serve the needs of the district well.”

   Butler previously served as a Communications Coordinator for Snohomish County in Washington State and as spokesperson for a former Speaker of the Oregon House.

   He will replace Kelly Jenkins who served as Public Information Officer for the district for nearly four years.

   “I’m looking forward to taking on this opportunity with the RSD,” Butler said. “The Redmond area is a beautiful place with great schools and I’m excited to work for a district with a stellar reputation for putting the education of its children first.”

   He will assume his new responsibilities in February 2017. For questions or additional information, please contact executive assistant, Gina Blanchette, at 541-923-5437.

About Redmond School District
Located in Redmond, Ore, the Redmond School District serves more than 7,000 students from Redmond, Alfalfa, Crooked River Ranch, Eagle Crest, Terrebonne and Tumalo. The district currently operates five K-5 elementary schools; two K-8 community schools, two middle schools, one charter school, one educational center and two comprehensive high schools. Its mission is to ensure rigorous and relevant instruction which leads to mastery and the development of productive citizens. Learn more about the Redmond School District online at www.redmond.k12.or.us.

Culver High School student awarded scholarship by VFW

From the VFW,

VFW Announces Oregon’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship Winner

Portland, OR. January 28, 2017 – Mackyle Little, a Senior at Culver High School in Culver, OR., was named the VFW Department of Oregon’s first-place winner and recipient of $2,500 Voice of Democracy Scholarship Award in the 2017 Voice of Democracy Scholarship program. VFW Madras Post 12141 and its Auxiliary in Madras, sponsored Mackyle.

   “The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school students with the opportunity to speak out on freedom and democracy,” says VFW Department Commander Richard Halverson. “The program has been popular and successful since its beginning in 1947, and we’re proud to keep offering it to America’s young people.”

   The Voice of Democracy is a worldwide audio-essay competition that requires entrants to write and record a three-to- five minute essay on a patriotic-based theme. “My Responsibility to America” was this year’s theme.

   Over 268 Oregon students participated in the competition this year. As one of 54 finalists worldwide, Mackyle will travel to Washington, D.C. and compete at the national level for the first-place prize of a $30,000 college scholarship. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2 million in scholarships every year.


The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veteran’s organization. With nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 6,700 Posts worldwide, “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.

January 30, 2017

Wildlife closures in Central Oregon

From BLM, 

Seasonal Wildlife Closures in Prineville Area

Central Ore. -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District has started implementing a series of annual wildlife closures to protect several species of birds of prey during sensitive nesting periods. Harassment by humans – unintentional or deliberate – is a leading cause of nest failure or abandonment. People walking or riding near a nest—or even being within view of an eagle on a nest—can cause an adult bird to abandon the nest. This means eggs can get cold, young don’t get fed, and the nest is open to predation.

   All public uses will be prohibited in the closure areas including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding/driving.

   Depending on the type of bird, closures begin between January 1 and February 1 and continue until August 31, or until the BLM has determined the young have fledged. BLM wildlife staff will monitor nests frequently and will lift closures as soon as possible.

The following areas now have seasonal closures in effect:
  • Millican Plateau OHV Trail System (Route #95 only) –This one-mile section of route is closed Jan. 1 – Aug. 31 to protect nesting bald eagles. There are numerous other routes in the area for out-and-back as well as loop rides.
  • Tumalo Reservoir – This route is closed January 1 to August 31 to protect nesting bald eagles. Visitors can hike or ride in the northeast corner of this trail area or move east to the Cline Buttes Recreation Area for a similar experience.
  • Trout Creek Trail (South side of the Trout Creek Trail only) - Visitors are required to stay on the Trout Creek Trail or between Trout Creek Trail and the Lower Deschutes River. This area, which includes the Trout Creek climbing walls, is closed from January 15 to August 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Climbers can use other climbing locations such as Rattlesnake, Skinners Butte or the Gorge at Smith Rocks.
  • North Millican OHV Trail System (Route #25) – This route is closed from February 1 to August 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. There are numerous other routes in the area.
  • Cline Buttes Recreation Area (portions of the Deep Canyon, Fryrear, Maston, and Jaguar Road only) – are closed from February 1 to August 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Alternative Trail Use Areas in Cline Buttes include Tumalo Canal Historic Area, the Buttes and the open portions of the areas listed above.
  • Horny Hollow Trail near Crooked River Ranch is closed from February 1 to August 31 to protect nesting golden eagles. Alternate trail sites in the area include Otter Bench, Scout Camp, Folley Waters and Steelhead Falls.
  • Dry River Canyon Trail on the southeast side of the Badlands is closed to protect nesting prairie falcons and golden eagles from February 1 to August 31. Alternate places in the area to recreate include Badlands Rock Trail, Flatiron Trail and the Horse Ridge Trail Complex.
   Bald and golden eagles are protected by three Federal laws: The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act. Coverage provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act also extends to prairie falcons.

   Violating the BLM Prineville District closure orders can lead to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both. Convictions under the protection acts listed above can be much more severe. BLM will lift closures earlier if biologists determine a nest is not occupied or the young have left the nest.

   For more information about these closures please call the Prineville BLM office at (541) 416-6700. Maps of these closures are not available on the BLM website, but can be emailed upon request.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

January 29, 2017

Music in the Canyon 2017 season scrubbed, to return in 2018

From Music in the Canyon,

Music in the Canyon Concert Series goes on hiatus

   ""   We regret that we have chosen not to produce the Music in the Canyon Concert Series this 2017 summer, and will go on a hiatus for the season. After eight years, this was not an easy decision.

   This decision came after much soul searching and analyzing the financial obligations we have to meet to produce these events.

   We are not funded by the government (city, county, state, or federal). Each show costs approximately $1,500-$2,000 to produce and are produced by just a few people, and we cannot seem to generate the funds from the community to continue. All past years’ shows have been “out of pocket” for these people.

   We often think that if each person in Redmond gave 50 cents per year, we would be able to pay all of our expenses, and keep the shows happening! We do not put these concerts on to make money, but do need to be able to raise enough to cover our expenses.

   Every year, we see people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying the shows at American Legion Park. We appreciate all who come and enjoy the music. And those who can throw a few bucks in the basket to help defray the costs incurred are also appreciated. This makes our hearts and souls happy, and is what has driven us to produce, finance, and enjoy these shows.

   The Music in the Canyon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, was created a few years ago. Our mission as a Foundation is to bring the community together and promote art, music, fun and fellowship in the park, while helping our community with musical education. To create a Foundation took lots of time and money, to create a place for people to make tax deductible donations for their community. We have not been successful with achieving the donations we need to sustain operations.

   We are not closing down our Foundation. This will be a hiatus for the 2017 summer series. We will be busy brain storming ways to continue. We are open to ideas for the furthering of our agenda, which is to help our community and have some fun in the park while we do it. We feel like the world and our community here in Redmond need it.

   Please let us know if you have ideas for our Foundation. We are planning on returning for the summer of 2018 with a bang!

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service,
Jim Bull
Music in the Canyon Foundation
On Facebook…Music in the Canyon   ""

January 28, 2017

Central Oregon middle school students to celebrate careers in science

From High Desert Education Service District, 

Central Oregon middle school girls join in a celebration of careers in science
Five local middle schools take part in viewing party of Hidden Figures film

Prineville, OR (January 27, 2017) -- More than 30 young girls from middle schools throughout Central Oregon will travel on buses to the Pine Theater in Prineville on Thursday February 2 at 11 am for a private viewing party for the Oscar nominated film Hidden Figures

   The event, designed to inspire and encourage girls to see the possibility of careers in the sciences, will include students from Crook County Middle School, Culver Middle School, Elton Gregory Middle School, Obsidian Middle School and Jefferson County Middle School.
According to the National Science Board, women remain largely underrepresented in the nation’s STEM workforce. 

   For example, women make up 35 percent of chemists, 34 percent of environmental scientists, 22 percent of chemical engineers and just 11 percent of physicists and astronomers. The NSB says that the drop-off in interest starts happening at middle school and gets worse in high school.

   Sponsored by the High Desert Education Service District, in partnership with Prineville’s Pine Theater, the girls who attend the private viewing will go back to school with a challenge to create a math lesson for grades 3-5.

   “The movie Hidden Figures is encouraging young women to dream with its reminder of the strong, but hidden, figures in our past who overcame barriers to succeed in their careers in the sciences,” said HDESD Chief Information Officer Rachel Wente-Chaney who helped create the event.

   Wente-Chaney also announced the launch of a new Modern Figures Website which HDESD will be using beginning next week to share resources with teachers in the region and to host guest speakers via Skype and Google Hangouts this Spring. The HDESD plans to host at least one other viewing party opportunity once the movie is out on DVD. Plans for summer enrichment camps and workshops are also underway.

Winter classified as extreme

From the National Weather Service, 

Winter So Far Classified as Extreme

   Probably no surprise, but the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index has been classified as Extreme for Walla Walla and Yakima Washington and Pendleton and Redmond Oregon. 

   The index, developed by Dr. Barbara Mayes-Boustead with the National Weather Service in Omaha and Steve Hilberg with Midwestern Regional Climate Center, tracks the persistence and intensity of cold, snowfall, and snow depth and compares each winter going back to 1950-51. For a winter to be classified as "extreme", it must rank above the 95 percentile in severity.

   This winter starting December 1st has scored very high in the combination of intense cold and large snowfall. This, in turn, has kept snow on the ground for an unusually long period time.

   The index scores for Pendleton and Walla Walla were sitting around 375 early this week. Most years, it’s less than 150 at this time. Yakima’s index scored 425, well above the usual amount around 250. Redmond’s index scored 452, not too far off the record of 556 for this time of year.

   Just looking at the persistent cold, Pendleton normally has only 12 days where the temperature fails to reach 32 degrees during the daytime from December 1 to January 22. This winter there have been 24 days, just short of the record of 28 days set in 1985-86.

   For the same period, there have been 38 days with snow on the ground in Pendleton. Normally there are only 15 days of snow cover. The record is 52 days again set in 1985-86.

   Comparing to last winter, Yakima had a severe winter, while Redmond, Pendleton and Walla were classified with a mild or moderate winter season. More information is available by clicking the Resources tab at http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/

January 27, 2017

Healthcare open enrollment deadline to expand

From Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services,


Salem -- The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today it is taking steps to reach more Oregonians before the Jan. 31 deadline to enroll in individual health insurance plans.

   With reports of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) scaling back advertising for HealthCare.gov sign-ups, DCBS wants to make sure Oregonians have the information they need to enroll in 2017 health coverage.

   "It's not clear today what outreach HealthCare.gov is doing," said Patrick Allen, DCBS director. "This is no time to make it harder for Oregonians to get the information they need on how to get coverage for themselves and their families for 2017."

   The state will invest an additional $100,000 to expand its online marketing to reach people statewide. It also launched today a new video of one Oregonian's story of coverage, available at http://bit.ly/2kCyECP.

   About 151,000 Oregonians already have chosen a plan through HealthCare.gov, outpacing every previous open enrollment total. Another 115,000 in Oregon may be eligible for financial assistance, but they have to enroll by Jan. 31.

   In addition to increased marketing, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and its partners will be participating in the following open enrollment events this weekend:

Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
3145 SW 192nd Ave.
Beaverton, OR 97006

Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
PH Tech Headquarters
3993 Fairview Industrial Dr.
Salem, OR 97302

   Oregon has a network of insurance agents and community organizations ready to help people enroll.

   Agents and community partners all over the state are listed at http://www.oregonhealthcare.gov/get-help.html. Consumers also can call the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-855-268-3767 (toll-free).

   To start shopping for plans, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (toll-free) (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

   After the Jan. 31 deadline, people will be able to get 2017 coverage only in special circumstances, like when they get married or lose job-related coverage.

Deschutes Sockeye returns

From PGE,


PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and Portland General Electric released laboratory results of genetic tests confirming that last summer's adult sockeye salmon returns at the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project were native to the middle Deschutes basin. A total of 536 sockeye returned to the project during the 2016 run, exceeding returns that had ranged from 19 to 86 fish in the years since a pioneering effort to reestablish the run began in 2010.

"These are exciting results," said Brad Houslet, CTWS' fisheries manager. "We were confident that this summer's sockeye were Lake Billy Chinook fish, which is why we passed a portion of them back upstream to spawn in the Metolius basin, and the genetic testing reaffirms this run was a clear result of our reintroduction program."

As co-owners of the hydro project, PGE and the Tribes are working collaboratively with an extensive partnership of state, federal and local agencies and conservation organizations to restore wild salmon, steelhead and lamprey runs that were cut off when the dams for the project were built on the Deschutes River in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2010, the Pelton Round Butte co-owners began operating a new fish passage system that allows juvenile salmon and steelhead to migrate downstream, past the dams. The sockeye that returned last summer were based on an existing kokanee -- land-locked sockeye -- population in Lake Billy Chinook.

"The large number of adult sockeye passed back upstream into Lake Billy Chinook this past summer and fall gave us opportunities to observe these fish first-hand on their spawning grounds in the Metolius River and tributaries," said Megan Hill, PGE fisheries and water quality manager, "It was so exciting to see this large salmon, with the red body and green head, spawning next to the much smaller kokanee -- something that hadn't been seen in the basin for decades."

Of the 536 adult sockeye that returned to the Pelton Round Butte Project in 2016, eight had external marks used by fisheries biologists to identify them as stray fish from other river basins. Most of the remaining fish had no identifying marks, so a fin clip was taken to confirm their origin using genetic analysis. The testing was performed by the Hagerman Genetics Laboratory, a research center operated by the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission and the University of Idaho. The results gathered and analyzed this fall show that over 93 percent of the returning sockeye originated in the middle Deschutes basin. The majority, 92 percent, were from Lake Billy Chinook.

Based on physical characteristics of the fish, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and CTWS authorized PGE to pass 463 of the returning sockeye upstream of the hydro project during the summer and early fall of 2016 to complete their lifecycle and spawn in the Metolius basin. The remaining 73 sockeye were retained at ODFW's Round Butte Fish Hatchery to spawn. PGE, CTWS and ODFW then conducted regular spawner counts in the basin to identify spawning sockeye and kokanee. Sockeye were observed on the spawning grounds throughout the Metolius River basin -- with sightings in the mainstem Metolius River near Camp Sherman as well as tributaries of the Metolius including Abbot Creek, Jefferson Creek, Spring Creek, and Heising Springs.

In addition to the ongoing work of reestablishing the sockeye run, spring Chinook and steelhead have also been passed upstream of the project each year since 2012, when the first adult fish that had completed their round trip from the middle Deschutes basin to the ocean began returning. Over 1,200 adults have been released to complete their lifecycle and further the long term goal of restoring sustainable, harvestable salmon and steelhead runs, improving habitat, and enhancing water quality in the Deschutes.

In-stream video of one of the returning sockeye is available online at...

About Portland General Electric Company: Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 863,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon. Visit our website at PortlandGeneral.com.

About the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon: The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, is based in Central Oregon with a membership of over 5,000 Tribal Members from the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes.

January 26, 2017

$1,000 scholarship available

From the Oregon Wheat Foundation,

Wheat Foundation Scholarship Offered

Pendleton, OR – The Oregon Wheat Foundation will provide up to twelve scholarships for high school seniors whose families are members of the Oregon Wheat Growers League. The scholarship is also open to students who work part-time for grower members. Students whose family members are employed by OWGL members are also eligible. The scholarship requirements include an essay on any topic related to the wheat industry and a summary of the student’s school and community involvement.

   One $1,000 award will be made to a qualifying student from each of the participating counties, which include Baker, Gilliam, Klamath, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wasco. In addition up to two awards will be made in the Willamette Valley Counties and one in the Central Oregon Counties.

   Application forms are available from the Oregon Wheat Growers League website at www.owgl.org or contact Marilyn Blagg, scholarship coordinator at 541-276- 7330 or email: mblagg@owgl.org. All applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2016.

January 25, 2017

Local school wins robotics compeition

From Redmond Proficiency Academy, 

Redmond Proficiency Academy Robotics Team wins
FIRST Tech Challenge Team Robotics Competition

Submitted photo
   Redmond Proficiency Academy is pleased to announce its FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Team #6727, “Roberto,” won the Central Oregon League Tournament held January 21st at Summit High School in Bend.

   Team #6727 also won the PTC Design Award for its innovative lift design. This award is given to teams that are able to innovate and incorporate industrial design elements in their robot.

   RPA’s other FTC Robotics Team #5627, “The Robotics Quasar Alliance,” was the Finalist Alliance Captain and won the Think Award for its original programming and design documentation in its engineering notebook. The Think Award is given to the team with the best engineering notebook, which contains the development history and explanation of the robot, including both software and mechanical designs.

   Senior Alex Guyer said, “Our notebook included documentation of each team meeting, a team bios section, and a section containing an explanation of our creative software solutions. The solutions included a program which replicates driver movements autonomously, a single-joystick steering system enhanced by a gyro accelerometer, and an algorithm allowing for the use of the robot Android phone's camera as a color sensor.”

   “It was both exciting and somewhat heartbreaking to see both RPA teams battling it out in the final round. Both teams worked very hard to make it to that point, but only one team could win,” said robotics teacher Josh White. “It is great for them to get the recognition for their accomplishments, and it is exciting that both teams get to move forward in the competition.”

   The teams’ performances and achievements advanced both teams to the Super Qualifying Tournament on February 11th in Hillsboro, where they will compete with other top-ranked teams from around the state with hopes to advance to the Oregon FTC State Championship.

   “We are excited to modify our robot according to the advanced designs we saw implemented by other teams and continue to develop our own designs to excel in the super qualifiers in Hillsboro. We are optimistic regarding the prospects,” said Guyer.

About Redmond Proficiency Academy
The Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) is a public charter school operating in the Redmond School District. In its eighth year of operation, RPA serves over 800 students in grades 6-12 from throughout Central Oregon. Using a proficiency-based instructional methodology in a personalized learning environment, RPA strives to prepare all students for success in college and in life.

New options available for Oregon's pay-by-the-mile road usage charge program

From ODOT, 

ODOT certifies emovis to manage accounts and provide new services to OReGO drivers

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s pay-by-the-mile road usage charge program, OReGO, has added new options and services for drivers by welcoming emovis as a commercial account provider. The company is now fully certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation to manage OReGO driver accounts and collect road usage charges for deposit into the State Highway Fund.

   Participants in OReGO elect to be charged a per mile fee for taxed miles, then receive a credit (or a bill) for fuel taxes when the fuel is used to drive taxable miles. These volunteer drivers can choose their mileage reporting option when they sign up at MyOReGO.org. The addition of emovis as a commercial account manager, along with Azuga, provides four choices – two without GPS and two that use GPS-enabled devices. As a certified account provider, emovis is now presenting DriveSync®, a connected car service developed and operated by IMS and available to drivers who select the advanced, GPS-enabled device.

   “OReGO now has two trusted private partners on board — Azuga and emovis — offering multiple account service options along with new connected car technology apps that will help drivers monitor their vehicles and improve safe driving habits,” said Maureen Bock, OReGO program manager. “It demonstrates the benefits of private-public sector partnerships in delivering this innovative transportation funding program.”

   Some of the services included in DriveSync are intelligent road side assistance, detailed “check engine” functionality that diagnoses problems with a repair cost estimate and a Top Driver leaderboard system so drivers can see how their driving behavior compares to others.

   “As more volunteer drivers take advantage of these services while participating in OReGO,” Bock said, “ODOT can respond to their feedback by developing a driver-friendly, fair and sustainable way to fund highway maintenance and construction. We’ll be able to preserve our roads around the state and support our economy well into the future.”

   Learn about OReGO (Oregon’s road usage charge program), sign up to participate as a volunteer, join the interest list and find out how Oregon pioneered the program at myOReGO.org. More information about fuel tax revenues and transportation funding is found in this report to the Road User Fee Task Force in September 2016.

About OReGO:
As vehicles become more fuel efficient, funding for transportation will decline in Oregon and around the country as drivers buy less fuel and pay less fuel taxes—which go toward maintaining and building roads and highways. Oregon’s Senate Bill 810 (2013) was the first legislation in the U.S. to establish a new, alternative system for state transportation funding. The bill authorized ODOT to assess and collect a charge of 1.5 cents per mile for up to 5,000 vehicles and issue a fuels tax credit to those participants. OReGO launched July 1, 2015 with more than 1,300 vehicles signed up to date. Learn more about OReGO at myOReGO.org.

January 24, 2017

Oregon Hunting Association to hold fundrasier

From the Oregon Hunters Association,

OHA Redmond Chapter to Hold Fund-Raising Banquet

Funds raised at the Redmond OHA banquet fund local wildlife projects such as irrigating forage planted at nearby state wildlife areas.

   The Redmond Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association will hold its annual fund-raising banquet, auction and raffle on Feb. 25 in the Convention Center at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.

   All funds raised at the event stay in Oregon for OHA work benefiting wildlife, habitat and hunters, and 70 percent of the proceeds stay with the Redmond Chapter for local projects and programs, while the other 30 percent benefits statewide OHA efforts.

   Ticket packages – which must be ordered in advance – range from $115 to $225 and include dinners, drink coupons and a variety of raffle tickets. A one-year OHA membership is also included in the ticket price. OHA member benefits include a subscription to Oregon Hunter magazine. Banquet tickets for youth age 17 and under are $30 if accompanied by an adult.

   In addition to dinner, a variety of outdoor gear, artwork, gifts and other items will be auctioned and raffled with the proceeds used to fund local wildlife habitat projects and youth education events. Typical OHA projects include planting forage for big game, fencing springs and aspen groves, creating new water sources, and youth hunter and outdoor education programs and events.

   For more information, call (541) 383-1099 or visit www.oregonhunters.org.

OHA (oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and heritage.”

January 21, 2017

Eagle Watch scheduled at Round Butte Overlook Park

From Oregon Parks and Recreation, 

22ND Annual Eagle Watch set for late February, Youth Eagle Art Contest Deadline Feb. 17

Spokesman files

Culver, OR -- The 22nd annual Eagle Watch celebration will be Feb. 25-26 at Round Butte Overlook Park. The celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area. Hosted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grassland, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), the event features activities to explore the natural and cultural significance of the birds. 

   The two-day celebration runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Festivities will be in "Eagle Village" at Round Butte Overlook Park's visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras. 

   "This is a fun, free weekend event perfect for the entire family," said Event Coordinator and OPRD Park Ranger Erin Bennett. "Visitors will have the opportunity to glimpse our resident bald eagles and golden eagles, as well as learn about the significance of the eagle to tribal culture and traditions." 

   Central Oregon students in 4th-12th grade can enter an Eagle Art Contest through 3 p.m. Feb. 17. Winners will be announced at lunch on Feb. 25 and their artwork will be on display during the celebration. Artwork can be dropped off at the Cove Palisades State Park or at your school's office. Contest rules are posted at covepalisades.wordpress.com

   Event attendees can meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, as well as a great horned owl that lives at the Sunriver Nature Center. Saturday at noon, children can meet JR Beaver, Smokey Bear and Larry the Lightbulb. Children are also invited to participate in our eagle race (on Saturday) or make a bird feeder (on Sunday). Madras Garden Center will demonstrate how to create a backyard refuge to enjoy birdwatching year-round at your own home. 

   Wild eagle viewing will take place each day at Round Butte Overlook Park and two overlooks on Mountain View Road. Wildlife biologists have recorded eleven bald eagle pairs and nine golden eagle pairs living in the area year round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds from January through March. For those who want more, on Sunday at 4:30 pm attendees can go to Smith Rock State Park for an hour-long guided tour with Oregon Eagle Foundation volunteer David Vick. 

   The Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will provide a special presentation of tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises at 2 p.m. on Sunday. 

   Admission and parking at PGE's Round Butte Overlook Park is free. Attendees can purchase souvenirs and participate in a daily silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread proceeds will support sending local kids to the rodeo, and donations for lunch support Culver Middle School's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no ATM is on site. 

   For information, call Oregon State Parks Information at 800-551-6949 or The Cove Palisades State Park at 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org. Information will also be posted on the Cove Palisades blog, The Cove Rattler, at covepalisades.wordpress.com and on Facebook.

January 19, 2017

Redmond Police DUII enforcement

From Redmond Police Department, 

Redmond Police announce DUII enforcement results, planned January enforcement

   The Redmond Police Department participated in a nationwide DUII High Visibility Enforcement campaign beginning December 15, 2016 and going through January 2, 2017. During this time Redmond police placed one additional officer on the road, funded by DUII grant funds. A total of five and one-half (5.5) hours were worked, resulting in the arrest of two DUII drivers, and several traffic citations issued. Redmond patrol officers working their normal shifts during December arrested an additional thirteen (13) DUII drivers.

   Redmond Police will continue enhanced DUII patrols throughout the remaining month of January. The primary intent of these heighten patrols is to prevent deaths, injuries and property damage caused by DUII drivers by removing them from the road. Redmond Police Department officers are trained to look for signs of impairment beyond just alcohol, as many other substances, legal or illegal, can impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle.

   The officers of your Redmond Police Department are committed to making Redmond the safest city in Oregon. Preventing, locating and arresting DUII drivers is one of many ways they are working to accomplish this vision. Funding to support these enhanced DUII patrols is provided by a DUII High Visibility Enforcement Grant, awarded to the Redmond Police Department from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

   Please report suspected DUII drivers by calling 541-693-6911 in Deschutes County or anywhere in Oregon by calling 800-24-DRUNK (800-243-7865).

January 18, 2017

Roadway clearing operations in Central Oregon

From the Bend Police Department, 


Slush management

   The warm weather is helping Bend's and Redmond's Public Works clearing the slush off the streets. Streets cleaning equipment in the region is out clearing slush on roadways in an efficient, targeted effort that prioritizes problem areas. 

   Crews are also assisting with catch basin clearing and flooding issues in priority areas. In Bend, 11,093 storm drains, and catch basins must be cleared to allow snow melt runoff. 

   After storms, both cities typically prioritize clearing all arterials and collectors and problem areas. Over the past weeks, the snow has been scraped and packed down on the streets. Now, with this warm wet weather, that packed snow is churning into deep and cumbersome slush. 

   Plowing all streets would push heavy ice berms across driveways, mailboxes, and hydrants that would be very problematic for people. "Therefore, we are working with the warmer temperatures and rain to help the roads melt and drain," said Bend Streets and Operations Department Director David Abbas. 

   The idea is to let Mother Nature help with the road clearing process today for the most part, and address problematic areas. Streets crews are handling the problem areas where streets and intersections are making people get stuck or creating dangerous situations. 

   The City of Bend has all of its available equipment working -- about 18 pieces of equipment. 

   The City of Redmond has five graders out today, focused on clearing ice berms and potentially problematic areas from residential streets and intersections. 

   If you know of an area that is causing vehicles to get stuck, you can report it and the information will be helpful in directing our limited resources to the most pressing locations. 

   Bend Streets and Operations 541-317-3000 X3

   Redmond: streets@ci.redmond.or.us or call Public Works 541-504-2000

   For a map showing places to avoid, visit www.deschutes.org/highwater . This interactive map shows streets and intersections experiencing high water that residents may want to avoid. Local flood impacted areas and road closure information will be added to the map if they occur.

More air service to become available at Redmond Airport

From the City of Redmond, 


  Redmond Municipal Airport will add two new daily nonstop flights to Seattle Tacoma International Airport starting June 12. Delta Air Lines’ new Seattle flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest. The 69-passenger seat CRJ-700 jets are equipped with first class seating and Wi-Fi service. Tickets are available for purchase beginning Sunday, Jan. 15 on their website. Visit the airport’s website, www.flyrdm.com, for a link to Delta and other airport and travel information.

The twice daily flights are scheduled for the following times:
   Departures from RDM:
· 6:00 A.M. RDM arriving SEA 7:05 A.M.
· 1:20 P.M. arriving SEA 2:20 P.M.
   Departures from SEA:
· 3:00 P.M. arriving RDM 4:05 P.M.
· 8:55 P.M. arriving RDM 9:55 P.M.


Check out the Jan. 18 Spokesman!

Read about Redmond School District's superintendent's prestigious award, an update on City of Redmond, Oregon's rock climbing bridge and a snowed out week in local sports in this week's Spokesman, available now at locations including Buggy Stop, Grocery Outlet and Safeway.

January 17, 2017

Mobile home fire in Crooked River Ranch

From Crooked River fire and Rescue, 

Fire Damages Mobile Home on Crooked River Ranch

Submitted photo

Crooked River Ranch, OR – An afternoon fire damaged a Crooked River Ranch mobile home on Friday, Jan. 13. The homeowner was attempting to thaw the mobile homes main water line when the fire occurred. The elderly occupant of the mobile home was able to escape to safety and was uninjured.

   Firefighters received the call at 3:44 p.m. of a structure fire at 6682 SW Mustang Road. They arrived to find smoke showing from a mobile home. Further investigation found fire under the mobile home which had burned into the walls and roof. It took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the fire under control and check the remainder of the home for fire extension. The elderly occupant had made arrangements to stay with a friend and did not need assistance from the Red Cross.

   At this time the cause of the fire been determined as accidental. The damage to the building and contents is estimated at $20,000.

   “Never leave heating devices unattended, even for a short time, while attempting to thaw water pipes,” explained Fire Chief Harry Ward. “If you are not sure what to do when a water pipe freezes contact a plumbing service for assistance.”

   Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue was assisted at the scene by Redmond Fire & Rescue, Cloverdale Fire District, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Jefferson County Fire District #1.

January 16, 2017

Housing Works awarded funding for affordable housing projects

From Housing Works,

January 9, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                 
Housing Works Awarded Funds to Construct Affordable Housing in La Pine and Sisters

Housing Works is excited to announce the funding of La Pine Townhomes in La Pine, Oregon and Village Meadows Apartments in Sisters, Oregon through the Oregon Housing and Community Service (OHCS) Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program. A total of 90 affordable units are planned between the two projects.

“Both La Pine and Sisters desperately need more affordable housing,” said Tom Kemper, Executive Director of Housing Works. “We are hopeful to have these new affordable developments completed by 2018 for low income households in those communities.”

The current concept for the La Pine Townhomes development would provide much-needed multi-family affordable housing for 42 households. The development site is located less than a mile from the La Pine elementary, middle and high schools, as well as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and other resources. Housing Works hopes to build a mix of one, two and three bedroom units on approximately 2.5 acres in southwest La Pine.

The plan for Village Meadows Apartments in Sisters includes 48 affordable apartments with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments. The development site is located on two lots totaling 2.12 acres behind Ray’s Food Place, making it conveniently located near much of Sister’s commercial district and schools.

With vacancy rates below 1% throughout Central Oregon and the majority of renter households in both communities burdened by housing costs, these new communities could provide up to 90 low income households (at or below 60% of area median income) with an affordable place to live. As affordable properties, the La Pine and Sisters developments would have rents well below market rates.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has allocated over $3.6 million in state funding for the developments under their new LIFT program. The projects will also rely on 4% low income housing tax credits from OHCS for funding the projects.  Housing Works hopes to begin construction on both communities by the summer of 2017.  Build time is expected to be 12 months. Preleasing for La Pine Townhomes and Village Meadows Apartments will begin approximately three months prior to completion through EPIC Property Management.

Housing Works is the largest affordable housing provider in Central Oregon.  It provides people with quality, safe and affordable homes; and through a number of collaborations, it provides the resources to help people stabilize their lives. Housing Works developments in Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and Sisters have won awards for innovation, economic impact, design, and beautification. For more information, visit www.housing-works.org.

January 13, 2017

ODOT warns of flooding from melting snow

From Oregon Department of Transportation:

BEND – With so much snow accumulating in Central Oregon due to the recent storms, ODOT Region Manager Bob Bryant is advising all concerned to be prepared for potential flooding.

“Everyone in Central Oregon should be preparing for the next weather event, says Bryant.  “Melting snow will turn into water, lots of water, and that water will likely lead to flooding and we need to begin preparing for that now”, he adds.

ODOT has already begun to anticipate flooding by removing as much snow as possible from US20 in Bend, along 3rd Street and Greenwood Avenue.  This will help crews identify where the street drains are located and open them up for the coming thaw.

Beyond that, Bryant is advising business operators and home owners to identify the potential for flooding and prepare for it by clearing drains or obtaining sandbags to prevent flooding where possible.

“People need to act now”, says Bryant, “because with rising temperatures and rain in the forecast, the potential for highway and local flooding is on the rise.”

January 10, 2017

Two Redmond residents seriously injured in Tuesday morning crash

From Oregon State Police:
On Jan. 10 at about 6:20 a.m., OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two vehicle crash on Highway 97 near milepost 129. Emergency personnel arrived on scene to find one subject entrapped in a vehicle and two with serious injuries. 

Preliminary investigation revealed, a white 1990 Toyota Corolla had been traveling northbound on Highway 97 north of Bend when it lost control on the icy roadway and collided with a southbound 2000 Dodge pickup. 

The driver of the Toyota, Kimberly BAKER, age 46, and a passenger Kelly SHEHAN, age 34, both from Redmond, were transported by ground ambulance to St. Charles Hospital in Bend for serious injuries resulting from the crash. SHEHAN was entrapped and had to be extricated from the vehicle. 

The driver of the Dodge, Wayde PRATT, age 20, from Sisters and the passengers; Joel PRATT, age 25, from Philomath, and Martin LANGAGER, age 25, from LABANON, were not injured in the crash. 

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Bend Fire and Rescue, and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) assisted OSP at the scene. Highway 97 was closed for just over an hour before the Highway was reopened, while the crash investigation was conducted and the Highway was being cleared.