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Bend Woman Killed In Klamath County Crash

CHILOQUIN, OR -- A Bend woman was killed in an overnight crash on Highway 97 in Klamath County. According to OSP, a pickup collided head-on with an SUV driven by 35-year-old Cybil Nelson of Bend. Both vehicles were destroyed by the resulting fire; Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in the pickup, from Yuba City, CA was also killed. The truck’s driver was flown to St. Charles Bend. Two toddlers and another adult passenger were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The crash was reported at 12:35 a.m. Friday, 20 miles south of Chiloquin. Highway 97 was closed for about 5 hours for the investigation.

Any witnesses to the collision who were not already interviewed by investigators or those with information related to the crash are asked to call OSP Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888. Reference Case #SP22-155016.

St. Charles To Offer COVID Vaccines To Young Children

BEND, OR -- Young children can begin receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at St. Charles Family Care clinics starting Monday. The vaccine is free and available for children 6 months to 4 years of age. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling a Family Care clinic or via the MyChart patient portal.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccination for young children who are at least 6 months old. “This is important progress in our fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Cynthia Maree, St. Charles’ medical director of infection prevention said in a statement. “Vaccines continue to be effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization. In children, they also help prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome and may prevent long COVID.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization because clinical trials—which included more than 4,500 children and continued during different phases of the Omicron wave—proved it is safe and effective. The FDA also gave emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine, but for efficiency, St. Charles is only offering the Pfizer vaccine.

For the 6-months to 4-years-old age group, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered in three doses, with two doses spaced three weeks apart and followed by a third dose at least two months later. Each shot has less vaccine in it than the dosage for older children and adults. Vaccination is considered most effective seven days after the third dose.

“COVID-19 is still in Central Oregon and is still a threat to our children,” Maree said. “I strongly recommend parents discuss vaccination with their pediatrician if they have more questions.”

To schedule an appointment:

Filing Period Opens For Bend City Council Candidates

BEND, OR -- Three City Council seats and the position of Mayor will appear on the November ballot.  The filing period is now open through August 30. Information about filing, including forms, can be found here. Candidates must reside within the city limits of Bend for at least one year prior to taking office and be a registered voter. 

The Bend City Council is comprised of six Council members and an elected Mayor. Councilors are elected to four-year terms. This time, however, one of the Council positions is for the remaining two years of a vacated seat. (Position 4 was formerly Rita Schenkelberg’s seat which is now filled by Stephen Seghal as an appointee through the end of this year.)

Other terms that expire at the end of this year are Gena Goodman-Campbell (Council Position 5) and Barb Campbell (Position 6). Goodman-Campbell is temporarily filling the role of Mayor (Council Position 7) following the resignation of former Mayor Sally Russell, and the current mayoral term also expires the end of 2022. Those elected in November will begin serving January 2023.

Council meets at least four nights each month; Councilors automatically sit on the Bend Urban Renewal Agency Board, serve on the Budget Committee and participate in other local and regional committees.

Information on nomination petitions is available in the office of the Bend City Recorder, 710 NW Wall Street, second floor. For additional information, call the City Recorder’s Office at 541-388-5517.

U.S. Senate Passes Gun Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Biden is calling on the House to quickly vote on a gun safety bill approved Thursday night in the Senate. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley tweeted a video shortly after the vote, calling the bipartisan gun safety bill a victory. "It, for example, invests in mental health for our schools and our community health clinics, and it provides extra scrutiny for those under 21 who are buying a rifle, and it closes the boyfriend loophole." He added, "These are not earth shattering, but they are substantial. And, we saw Democrats and Republicans come together and enact gun safety legislation of some significance for the first time in 30 years."

All 50 Democrats voted for the bill, along with 15 Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will bring quickly bring it for a vote so it can be signed by the President.

Bethlehem Inn Opens Redmond Shelter

REDMOND, OR -- The Bethlehem Inn officially opens its new Redmond homeless shelter this week. Executive Director Gwenn Wysling says work to renovate the 1960s-era Greenway Motel was partially funded through the Legislature, which approved money to help communities convert old hotels and motels into shelters for the houseless. It’s the first “Project Turnkey” property in Redmond. "And it is the first year-round shelter in Redmond," Wysling tells KBND News, "One of our wonderful partners, Shepherd’s House, has done winter shelters for, I believe, 7 or 8 years and they too are looking to bring a shelter also here to Redmond, because we have seen the need expand."

Wysling says they'll start with 15-20 adults, but the facility will eventually house 88 in dormitory-style rooms. She adds, they learned from their Bend facility and included critical features in Redmond, "We have a commercial kitchen. We’ve operated a shelter before, for 10 years, without a kitchen and we weren’t going to do that again. A dining room; and, we of course needed a dining space if we’re going to have 88 people living in this facility."

The shelter recently received its certificate of occupancy, Wysling says they can now provide a slate of services to the houseless community, "We offer case management to immediately assess what their individual situation is. Housing is, obviously, of utmost concern. But we want to look at: what is their current employment status/income? Many people are working; they’re just struggling to find housing. So, we want to use the case management goal setting to see how they can get connected to the resources." She says they work with 70 partner agencies to help residents.

The Redmond Chamber will host a ribbon-cutting Friday at 1 p.m. at the shelter located at 5th and NW Birch. 

Oregon Lawmakers React To SCOTUS Abortion Decision

SALEM, OR -- The U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade with their Friday morning deision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Their ruling allows individual states to ban abortion. 

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel tweeted the decision "undermines trust in our criminal legal system and the safety of our communities. In response, I joined with 82 fellow elected prosecutors in pledging to not prosecute those who seek or assist w/ abortion care."

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan issued a statement shortly after the decision was public: 

"The right to control your own body and future is fundamental to our freedom in America. With today’s decision to end our national constitutional right to an abortion, 6 people on the Supreme Court have put the lives of millions in danger and made our country less free.

"Let’s be clear: In Oregon, abortion is legal. It is still your right. You can travel to Oregon to get an abortion if you need to.

"In 2017 Oregon passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), one of the strongest abortion access laws in the country, codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and making the full range of reproductive health care services more accessible and affordable for all Oregonians.

"While our rights are protected in Oregon, today’s decision will have devastating consequences around the country. This is a difficult day and many of us are concerned for our communities and our children. We are in this together though. I’ve been in this struggle to support access to abortion and I’ll continue to be no matter what."

Moments after the decision came down, Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said it forever changes the right to abortion for Americans:

“When you have to make the most intimate, personal decisions that will impact your life and your health and body, I don’t know anyone who wants some politician in the room. Yet, that is exactly the impact of this Supreme Court opinion for millions and millions of Americans, who suddenly find an overbearing government dictating their path. This assault on Americans’ rights and freedom is shocking.

“After today, we will see the very real and dangerous consequences across the country of taking away the right to safe and legal abortions. It’s on all of us – Members of Congress, medical professionals, advocates,and voters – to stand up against this nightmare vision of people forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will.  Each one of us should have the freedom to live our lives without politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.

“Across the country, millions of Americans face abortion being criminalized – even in the case of rape or incest or when the patient’s life is in danger. I’m proud to be from a state like Oregon, where we have made it clear we will stand strong for the right to compassionate reproductive care. The decision to have an abortion is one that should be made by you and only you – not by judges, not by MAGA politicians, and not by your ability to pay or the zip code you live in. Today’s news is incredibly disturbing and a huge blow to freedom across America, but we will not give up the fight.”

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued this statement:

“Today’s radical decision to overturn Roe v. Wade tosses out a half century of legal precedent, curtails the fundamental rights of women, and jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of people across the country. These radical Justices have ensured American women today have fewer rights than their grandmothers had decades ago – rights that have proven essential to the health, economic participation and freedom of people to control their own bodies. To be clear, the anti-abortion movement won’t stop here. What’s next is the criminalization of abortion – women and doctors in jail, or worse. 

“We knew this decision was coming, but that doesn't make it any less horrifying. The Court has betrayed and defied the American people, who are rightfully terrified that the most powerful people in the country are clearly eager to violate their privacy and the basic human right to control their own bodies.

“The ultimate recourse for the American people is to expand majorities in the House and Senate that will do whatever it takes to codify Roe into law and expand access to safe, legal abortion nationwide. In the meantime, beginning right now, state and local leaders who are committed to women’s rights must take steps to expand access to abortion and protect the people and health care providers they represent from the extremists who are criminalizing it. States that respect women’s rights have a duty to put in place insurmountable obstacles to the prosecution of women or doctors for decisions made within their borders. Furthermore, the Congress must pass legislation protecting people’s data so their web searches, text messages and location tracking aren’t weaponized against them. Technology companies must take immediate steps to limit the collection and retention of customer data so that they don’t become tools of persecution.

“This is going to be the fight of our lifetime, and I am all in to do what it takes to protect the right to safe and legal abortion for generations to come.”

The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued a joint statement, saying they've made a Multi-State Commitment to "defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states."
This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors’ commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states. The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible.
A copy of the Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom can be found here.
In a video message, the governors share a powerful message that the West Coast will remain a place where reproductive health care will be accessible and protected.
“Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry, and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care –– please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tweeted: 

I want everybody to know that, as OREGON Attorney General, I will keep fighting with every bone in my body to keep abortion safe and accessible. Abortion is still legal here in Oregon. Our doors are open to every person who may need to walk through them for their care.

— Ellen Rosenblum (@ORDOJ) June 24, 2022

Oregon U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader tweeted

Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio Tweeted: 

Let me be clear: the government has no place in deciding what any person chooses to do with their own body. pic.twitter.com/hs1bWp5W2N

— Rep. Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) June 24, 2022



This is a developing story.


Great Drake Park Duck Race Returns

BEND, OR-- The ducks are headed back to the river! We’re talking about those little rubber duckies that float downstream as part of the Great Drake Park Duck Race.

Duck race raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at First Community, Mid Oregon, OnPoint, and SELCO Credit Union or online, starting June 29th. Local Rotarians and the Duck mascot will also be out in the community promoting ticket sales throughout the summer. Look for them at familiar venues such as Newport Avenue Market.

This year’s ticket sales benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Deschutes Children's Foundation and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery. After a two-year hiatus, the ducks take the plunge September 11th!

Biden Proposes Federal Gas Tax Holiday

BEND, OR -- President Biden has called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days, through the busy summer travel season. "Whenever we fill up, we pay 18 cents in federal gas taxes," says AAA's Marie Dodds.

A so-called “holiday” for that federal tax would bring down prices at the pump, "Supporters say, ‘yes it’s much needed because even 18 cents a gallon is helpful right now when gas prices are still near record highs."

But, she says, it also means less money for federal transportation projects, "When we look at transportation infrastructure in the U.S., it gets a C to a D to an F, when it comes to safety and maintenance. "

Oregon’s state fuel tax is 38 cents a gallon. 

Bend Parks & Rec Grants Available For Summer Pgms

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Recreation is offering financial help to families who can’t afford summer recreation activities. The support is through an Oregon Community Summer Grant award allocated through the Legislature.

Families can apply for help paying for programs like summer day camps, swim lessons and art programs, or to buy necessary equipment. To register, complete a recreation scholarship application or call 541-389-7275.

BPRD distributed $925,000 in recreation scholarships to individuals with financial need over the past three years. Financial assistance jumped 76% from 2019 to 2021, with increased investment in programs serving low-income populations.

250+ Drivers Ticketed For Parkway Speeding

BEND, OR -- Bend Police issued 259 citations during a recent 14-day speed detail on the Parkway. The agency says 250 of those were for speeding, eight for driving while suspended and one other ticket.

They also issued 68 warnings and one person was arrested for an active warrant. Speeders were ticketed for going between 58 and 84 miles an hour; the speed limit on the parkway is 45.

Their busiest day was June 10, when they stopped 42 drivers and wrote 36 tickets.


File Photo

Redmond Police Shoot "Aggressive" Dog

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police shot two dogs during a Tuesday night investigation into a stolen trailer. Authorities say detectives were trying to talk to people in a camp east of 17th Street, when they were confronted by two aggressive off-leash dogs. They say one of the detectives unsuccessfully attempted to get away from the dogs and fired at one of the dogs, which later died.   

A short time later, police say, a third off leash and aggressive dog ran towards the detective.  The dog owner and another person attempted to gain control of the dog without success.  The detective shot at the dog, which fled.  The status of this dog is currently unknown.  Officers stayed on scene and buried the deceased dog for the owner. 

RPD is conducting an internal review of the incident, with findings later presented to the captain and chief. The incident will also be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review, per policy. 

Jefferson County Celebrates Health Campus Opening

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical celebrate their new Health and Wellness Center Friday, with a 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony.

County Health Services Director Michael Baker says the facility opened last month and is already providing more streamlined healthcare for the community, "As simple as, a client walks in and we don’t provide the services that they need, we can now physically walk them to the provider that they need to make sure there’s that warm hand-off. To make sure that someone gets engaged in the services. And, I think that’s something that was missed as we were all spread out throughout town."

The building is 19,486 square feet: 9,050 for Mosaic Medical and 7,856 for County Public Health, which includes a community room with teaching kitchen. The space will be used for classes and is available for community use. Cost for the total project was $11 million. Mosaic raised nearly $5.3 million for the facility through community donations and private, state and federal grants. Jefferson County will receive $2.7 million from the state and the balance for its portion will come from the county.

The facility was built next to the Madras hospital on land donated by St. Charles. Mosaic Medical’s Elaine Knobbs says the hospital has expressed concern in the past about uninsured patients seeking treatment in the ER for preventable illness. "And now if they get that, they can say, ‘it’s your choice but there’s Mosaic Medical, right across the parking lot that you can go and establish and have a consistent medical provider that hopefully will prevent the things that are influencing you showing up in the Emergency Room'." Knobbs tells KBND News it also allows easy access to behavioral health, private medical providers, even dental care, "So, when you say ‘across the hall, you can establish with a medical provider’ or, ‘you need a dentist? It’s your choice but here’s something that’s convenient and open to seeing anyone.’ Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic will help anyone, no matter if you have insurance."

She says Mosaic has also opened a retail pharmacy on the campus, "[It] Offers discounts to the entire community. So, we could get more space for our existing medical, we could add pharmacy, and we could add more space for behavioral health and dental. We’re tripling our dental space."

For the county, Baker says the location makes serving the community and partnering with other provicers more convenient and accessible, "Selfishly, for public health, it gets us in the heart of healthcare." He adds, "As one of the most unhealthy counties in the state of Oregon, this facility and this campus really is designed to shift that. I honestly believe in the next couple of years, there will be some tremendous gains in our overall health status of the community here."

Central OR Economic Recovery Complete, Labor Shortage Continues

BEND, OR -- All three Central Oregon counties saw improved jobless numbers again in May. Jefferson County’s unemployment rate was 4.6% in May and Crook County's was 4.8%. Deschutes County’s jobless rate is now 3.4%; that's just a tenth of a point above the record low set right before the pandemic. But, Regional Economist Damon Runberg says it's no longer the fastest growing metro area, with employment expanding by just 2.5% last month. "That puts us now towards one of the slowest growth metro areas in Oregon. Portland is faster now, Eugene is faster, Corvallis is faster, Salem. The reality is, those are still metro areas that are continuing to try to recover from the pandemic. We’re just in a whole different phase of the labor market today, in Central Oregon."

That slowdown is not due to a lack of available jobs. "The level of hiring demand as measured by help wanted ads was nearly identical to what it was last summer, at a time when we were growing faster and still 77% higher than it was back in the spring of 2019," Runberg tells KBND News, "So, businesses are still trying to hire like crazy, but we’re not seeing it show up in jobs because, just lack of labor."

And that ongoing labor shortage means more job opportunities for teens who are taking advantage of signing bonuses and higher wages, "In the last six months to a year, we’ve reversed a 20 year trend of declining rates of participation by young people, and they are reengaging in the labor market." He says the hospitality industry lost a lot of workers during pandemic shutdowns who found better pay and more stability in other fields. When things re-opened, they didn’t return, "These restaurants, these hotels are sort of left with, ‘well, who do we have left?’ And, they’re able to recruit young people and find folks who are sort of marginally attached to the labor market on the fringes a little bit."

Abortion Clinics Await SCOTUS Decision

BEND, OR -- The Supreme Court is expected to hand down another round of decisions Thursday, although it’s unclear if abortion will be among them. A decision in the Dobbs case could overturn Roe v. Wade, but it won’t change abortion access here, where state law protects providers and patients.

Because it’s such a divisive issue, clinics are taking a hard look at security. "We’re used to, anytime abortion gets in the news a little more, we do see an increase in protest activity," says Joanna Dennis-Cook, Health Center Manager for Bend's Planned Parenthood clinic, "Obviously, this is a pretty big way for abortion to be in the news so much. So, we are seeing a more sustained level of increased protest activity." She tells KBND News, "I would say, we haven’t had any problems, other than they’ve gotten more vocal than we’re used to. So far though, we’ve been fortunate that they’ve followed the rules and stayed where they need to stay."

She says staff are receiving training reminders to stay vigilant, not to wear name tags outside and be careful of who they talk to about where they work, "Keeping up the situational awareness, like we always talk to employees about. And just reminders, of course, because we can all get complacent. It’s been pretty mellow here for a really long time."

According to Dennis-Cook, clinics all over Oregon expect to see more patients from states with more restrictive abortion laws if  Roe v. Wade is overturned, "We’re just going to see a lot more pressure put on clinics surrounding those states, as they see an influx of patients." She adds, "We definitely want to ensure that we continue to be available for people who live locally, people who live in Oregon. We have definitely seen an increase of people traveling from Idaho. Specifically here in Bend, we’ve seen a significant increase over the last month or two."

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release their decision before the end of their term. They typically try to adjourn by the end of June.

Warm Weather Appealing to Boaters But Hazards Remain

SALEM, OR -- Most of Oregon will see our warmest temperatures so far this year this weekend, and rivers, lakes and reservoirs will be crowded. "The fact that school’s out; the fact that we finally have warm weather. People have been having their boats ready to go for a long time," says Brian Paulson, with the Oregon Marine Board, "Finally the stars are aligned, and people want to get out and recreate." 

Paulson is the Boating Safety Program Manager. He says our late warm-up means waterways are much colder than we’re used to, "In Downtown Portland, the Willamette River is about 57 degrees. This time last year it was 70 degrees. When you drop below 60 degrees it’s definitely high risk for cold water shock." That, he says, can turn deadly for someone who goes in the water, "That first minute is when somebody will go into muscle spasms, hyperventilation. It’s really critical that you’re wearing your life jacket. That keeps a person afloat and breathing." Paulson urges everyone to wear a life jacket equipped with a whistle or other noise making device to alert others if you get into trouble.

Boaters also need to realize many areas have higher than normal water levels, "With these stronger currents, it’s creating strainers and capsizing situations that they may not have encountered last year." Paulson says many waterways also have more debris and other hazards than typical for June. 

ODOT Wraps Several Projects Ahead Of Peak Summer Travel

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Transportation is wrapping up a number of local projects, trying to clear out crews before the busy Fourth of July weekend. ODOT’s Kacey Davey says work to expand the median on Highway 97 between Sunriver and La Pine is nearly complete. "The only thing left to do on that project is fencing for the wildlife undercrossing. So, all of the pavement work and the structures are already done, and now we’re fencing to funnel those deer and other animals under the bridge so they can safely cross the highway." Click HERE to learn more about the overall project. 

They’ve also installed a number of digital speed signs between Bend and La Pine, "Those signs will eventually be displaying the speed limit," Davey tells KBND News, "They have these crazy computer sensors on them that can sense if the road is snowy or icy, or if it’s smoky or foggy, and it’ll be able to change the speed limit to let people know what a safe driving speed will be for those highways." She says more electrical work is needed, so they won’t turn on until later this year.

ODOT crews are also nearly finished with a new pedestrian island on Highway 20 at 6th Street in Bend. Workers struck a waterline Tuesday afternoon, flooding Greenwood and surrounding businesses, and leading to be traffic delays during the evening commute. It was repaired by 10 p.m. Davey says that pedestrian crossing project should be complete by the Fourth of July. Then, crews will shift to Third Street, "That’ll be night work from 7 pm to 7am. You’ll still have single lanes of traffic there, but it’ll be a little bit more congested while we put in new signals and sidewalks and curb ramps. This is just updating existing infrastructure. Those traffic signals are getting old and the utilities under the ground and everything."

Listen to our full conversation with ODOT's Kacey Davey at our Podcast page

New Jefferson County Sheriff Gets Down To Business

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County’s new Sheriff was sworn in Monday evening. Jason Pollock was appointed to the post when former Sheriff Marc Heckathorn stepped down, following his loss to Pollock in the May election. Heckathorn's decision puts Pollock in place six months ahead of schedule.

Sheriff Pollock spoke with KBND News Tuesday evening, at the end of his first 24 hours in office. He says he has a long to-do list, "Just kind of prioritizing. Obviously, my first step this morning was to come up and make sure I get everybody in my office sworn in under me as Sheriff. The next step is to start knocking off those things I have to follow by statute." Pollock feels he’s starting out with a lot of support, "I’ve had Sheriffs reach out to me from other counties; I’ve had other department heads, locally, reach out to me. I’m pretty open minded and humbled in that I know that I don’t know everything."

After a contentious election, Pollock says his first priority is to address uncertainty and provide stability for his office, "Making sure people understand they’ve got a job. My intention is not to clean house, which some people think that is what a Sheriff does or what some Sheriffs have done in the past."

Pollock spent much of his first day in meetings. He says it's important he improves local and regional partnerships, "Under the prior administration, there was a huge disconnect with other agencies and I’m working to repair that now. Other agencies - and I don’t want to speak for them - but just the ones I’ve spoken to are very excited. And, I’m honored they’ve reached out and offered their support in any way they can. I think that’s really the first step in the healing process, not just for our community, but for our surrounding agencies."

He hopes, within six months, he can start fulfilling the campaign promise of prioritizing child abuse, drug abuse and mental health issues. "Those all, somewhat, run hand in hand," says Pollock, "So, tackling those and putting detectives in the right position, being able to fill those or keep those positions filled and set them on the right path, I think is key for being able to tackle some of those issues."

Sheriff Pollock's appointment by Jefferson County Commissioners is for the remainder of Heckathorn's term. He must still be officially elected in November, although Pollock's will be the only name to appear on the ballot. 

Broken Water Line Floods Greenwood

BEND, OR -- Crews installing a new pedestrian island on Greenwood at 6th Street hit a waterline Tuesday afternoon, causing big backups in the area. Traffic was reduced to one lane in each direction for a while, then directed through with a flagger while it was repaired.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has been working at the intersection; the new pedestrian island is part of a larger project to improve safety along Highway 20. 

Photos Courtesy Oregon Department of Transportation

FBI Offers Reward For Warm Springs Arson

WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The FBI is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of people responsible for a 2021 brush fire in Warm Springs.

Emergency crews responded to Highway 3 at about 8:40 p.m. on June 21, 2021. The fire burned around 42 acres of brush and grass on the Fish Hatchery Grade, between milepost 13 and 14. 

Investigators believe the blaze was intentionally set. Anyone with information is asked to call their local FBI office. Or, Submit an anonymous Tip online.

OSU Studies Blue-Green Algae Toxins

CORVALLIS, OR -- Research at Oregon State University sheds new light on dangers posed by algae blooms that often impact water recreation in the summer.

In the summer of 2018, a blue-green algae bloom in Detroit Reservoir fouled Salem’s drinking water, forcing people to use bottled water because the toxin can’t be boiled away. "That’s a big deal," says OSU Professor of Microbiology Theo Dreher, "It put people at risk. It’s an enormous cost. And then, in the previous summer, on a private reservoir down near Lakeview in southeast Oregon, slightly over 30 cattle died in one toxicosis event."

Professor Dreher is leading the study of these blooms, to help narrow down when warnings should be issued. He tells KBND News, "In terms of the canonical toxins, not all of these blooms are toxic. But, there’s enough worry to be concerned that having close contact with any of those blooms is not a good idea. Those that are toxic can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, even liver or neurological problems. Dogs, he says, are most at risk because the algae sticks to their fur. The toxin can leach through their skin or be ingested when they lick their fur.

Researchers sampled 10 Oregon lakes and found toxic blooms in Detroit Reservoir - which supplies Salem’s drinking water, Odell Lake in the Cascades,  the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon, and Junipers Reservoir in Lake County. "It’s an enormous family of related toxins and information is still coming out, especially the one family called microcystin. There are about 200 slightly different types. And, as you can imagine, it’s hard to get your head around all of that and figure out the precise toxicity of all of those."

If a person or a pet comes in contact with water that may contain harmful bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises immediate rinsing with fresh water. Dogs should not be allowed to lick the contaminated water off their fur, the CDC adds, and a veterinarian should be called right away. Anyone swallowing water near a harmful algal bloom should immediately call a doctor or poison control center.  

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