DPAC holds virtual meeting about Downtown Bend parking plans

On Monday, the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) held a virtual meeting to update the community about the Downtown Parking Strategic Management Plan.

“We want to review future developments to really identify and forecast future parking,” said Tobias Marx, the parking services division manager for the City of Bend. 

Marx outlined DPAC’s plans for finding solutions to ever-growing parking problems as the city expands.

2021 saw a 102% increase in parking citations issued in downtown Bend.

The use of pay stations also increased by 195%.

Marx said the committee is working on strategies to develop funding, create pricing policies, and finding solutions to safety obstacles.

This month, DPAC will launch a new web site to keep the community updated about downtown parking.


Deschutes Co. adds 1,402 COVID cases over weekend; 76 now hospitalized

There are 17 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,953, the Oregon Health Authority reported Monday.

The OHA reported 19,400 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 590,270.

The 17 new deaths and 19,400 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the three-day period between Jan. 21 and Jan. 23.

  • Jan. 21: 4,922
  • Jan. 22: 10,862
  • Jan. 23: 3,616

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (41), Benton (461), Clackamas (1,532), Clatsop (104), Columbia (165), Coos (204), Crook (200), Curry (64), Deschutes (1,402), Douglas (228), Gilliam (14), Grant (36), Harney (28), Hood River (64), Jackson (1,113), Jefferson (105), Josephine (343), Klamath (448), Lake (4), Lane (2,048), Lincoln (213), Linn (834), Malheur (188), Marion (1,940), Morrow (71), Multnomah (2,940), Polk (425), Sherman (37), Tillamook (66), Umatilla (541), Union (125), Wallowa (28), Wasco (209), Washington (2,722) and Yamhill (457).

More Oregonians receive COVID-19 booster doses

Oregon continues to move closer to meeting Gov. Kate Brown’s goal, announced Dec. 17, of getting 1 million more people in the state a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January.

When the challenge began, 949,749 people had received a booster dose. Since then, 451,268 Oregonians have received a booster.

As of today, Oregon needs 548,732 people to get a booster to reach the goal and make our state safer from the Omicron variant. Find a booster here.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Monday reported it had 76 COVID patients; seven are in the ICU and four are on ventilators. 

Of those 76 patients, 28 are fully vaccinated.

The number represents those with “active COVID” upon admission and require special isolation or treatment. It does not include patients who are there for other reasons and also happen to test positive for COVID.

**A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ≥ two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or ≥ two weeks after receipt of the single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.**

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,045, which is 19 more than yesterday. There are 161 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two more than yesterday.

There are 48 available adult ICU beds out of 643 total (7% availability) and 243 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,096 (6% availability).

1/24/2022 Available Beds (and Percentage of Staffed Beds Available)


Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7

Region 9

Adult ICU beds available

















Adult non-ICU beds available

















Statewide regions are as follows:

Region 1: Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington counties

Region 2: Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties

Region 3: Coos, Curry, Douglas and Lane counties

Region 5: Jackson and Josephine counties

Region 6: Hood River, Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco counties

Region 7: Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake and Wheeler counties

Region 9: Baker, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain. You can find a test here. If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 5,285 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Jan. 23. Of that total, 352 were initial doses, 261 were second doses and 1,644 were third doses and booster doses. The remaining 3,005 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry Jan. 23.

The seven-day running average is now 12,159 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 4,003,118 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 202,343 doses of Pfizer pediatric, 2,632,405 doses of Moderna and 263,464 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 3,112,692 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,814,714 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

Updated vaccination data are provided on Oregon’s COVID-19 data dashboards and have been updated today.


Wyden to hold virtual town halls this week for Cook, Jefferson counties

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will have three live on-line town halls hosted by People’s Town Hall from Jan. 25-27 for residents of Clackamas, Crook and Jefferson counties

These three virtual town halls had originally been scheduled for Jan. 18-20 but had to be rescheduled because of the U.S. Senate schedule.

“Nothing has been more important in my public service than listening to Oregonians in each of our state’s 36 counties each year, and I’m glad to again throw open the digital doors of democracy in 2022 for Clackamas, Crook and Jefferson counties,” Wyden said. “Big thanks to People’s Town Hall for helping these conversations continue online during the pandemic.”

“Too few lawmakers demonstrate Ron Wyden‘s level of commitment to open dialogue with constituents in every corner of his state. People’s Town Hall is proud to host another round of virtual town halls with Senator Wyden and his fellow Oregonians,” said Nathan Williams of People’s Town Hall, a virtual town hall series from the founders of Town Hall Project. 

The upcoming virtual town hall schedule is as follows: 

US puts 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid Russia tension

WASHINGTON (AP) — At President Joe Biden’s direction, the Pentagon is putting about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for potential deployment to Europe to reassure allies amid rising fears of a possible Russian military move on Ukraine.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday no final decisions had been made on deployments, which he said would happen only if the NATO alliance decides to activate a rapid-response force “or if other situations develop” in connection with tensions over Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s borders.

“What this is about is reassurance to our NATO allies,” Kirby said, adding that no troops are intended for deployment to Ukraine itself.

Kirby said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recommended to Biden that about 8,500 troops be ordered to prepare for potential deployment to Europe in light of signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not de-escalating his military pressure on Ukraine. Kirby said he was not prepared to identify the U.S.-based units because they were still being notified.

“We’ve always said we would reinforce our allies on the eastern flank, and those conversations and discussions have certainly been part of what our national security officials have been discussing with their counterparts now for several weeks,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Deschutes Co. Commission OKs $1.3M in federal funds for local projects

The Deschutes County Commission has approved additional American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments for projects that total $1.3 million.

“We’re excited to be able to use these federal funds for strategic investments to reduce homelessness, provide prompt access to justice and to support emergency response services,” said Commissioner Phil Chang.

ARPA investments approved by the Board of Commissioners include:

  • An additional $750,000 to support a partnership with the City of Bend for projects that provide temporary housing options for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
  • $269,645 to support the Circuit Court’s continued use of the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center’s North Sister Building. Funds will allow the Court to continue to operate on an as-needed basis through June 2022.
  • $280,000 to support the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District’s purchase of a response unit and four power gurneys.

“These funds are an important opportunity to support investments in our rural communities, like improving access to emergency medical care in the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District” said Commissioner Tony DeBone.

To date, Commissioners have obligated $34.8 million in ARPA investments.

“ARPA funds have provided an opportunity to invest in housing solutions,” said Commissioner Patti Adair. “This allocation to temporary housing options is an important step in supporting residents experiencing homelessness.”

Deschutes County will receive more than $38 million in ARPA funds.

The County received the first half of the funds in May and expects to receive the remainder of the funds next year.

To learn more about the County’s ARPA investments, visit www.deschutes.org/arpa.

SELCO Credit Union to award $2,500 scholarships to 19 local students

SELCO Community Credit Union is once again inviting high school seniors to apply for a share of $52,500 in college scholarships as part of SELCO’s annual scholarship program.

SELCO will award $2,500 scholarships to 19 high school seniors planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university, plus the $5,000 Richard Metzler Opportunity Scholarship to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in education, leadership, or civic responsibility despite adversity or lack of resources. 

The Richard Metzler Opportunity Scholarship was created in honor of Richard Metzler, who served more than 30 years as a director and supervisor of special education in Springfield Public Schools—and more than 40 years as a member of SELCO’s volunteer Board of Directors.

“The SELCO Scholarship program has been going strong for more than 30 years, and the goal has always been the same: to make education more accessible,” said Craig Carpenter, senior vice president of Lending & Business Banking at SELCO. “We believe the cost of an education should never be a barrier to receiving one, and with student loan debt at an all-time high, these scholarships will help lessen the financial burden that students face when taking that next big step.”

Students interested in the SELCO scholarship program can apply from Feb. 1 through March 31.

To qualify for a SELCO Scholarship, applicants must be:

  • SELCO members or immediate family members of a SELCO member. A SELCO membership is just $5 and open to anyone who lives or works in one of the 27 Oregon counties SELCO serves.
  • Graduating seniors from a four-year accredited high school with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university.

As part of the application, scholarship hopefuls are asked to submit an essay that answers the question: “Describe a time when diversity (of ideas, cultures, experiences, etc.) has made you reexamine a belief or viewpoint. Did you change your mind? Why or why not?”

SELCO’s Scholarship Committee will review each application, and funds will be released to scholarship recipients by the end of June. The Richard Metzler Opportunity Scholarship winner will be selected from the same applicant pool.

Prospective students are asked to apply online at selco.org/scholarships by March 31. For more information, contact SELCO at scholarships@selco.org or call 541-686-5382

Sammy Hagar and The Circle added to Hayden Homes Amphitheater 2022 lineup

The Hayden Homes Amphitheater has added rock legend Sammy Hagar and The Circle to its 2022 summer concert lineup.

The show is set for Sept. 1st.

Online presale happens at 10 a.m. Jan. 27th with the password LOCAL.

General onsale begins Jan. 28th at 10 a.m. or in person at the Ticket Mill in the Old Mill.

Hagar will be joined by his best-selling rock supergroup The Circle, featuring fellow Van Halen alum and Rock Hall of Fame inductee, Michael Anthony; Grammy-award winning drummer, Jason Bonham; and Vic Johnson, Hagar’s longtime guitar virtuoso. 

Special guests George Thorogood & The Destroyers will also join the entire tour, which is produced by Live Nation and presented by Hagar’s portfolio of spirits — Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co., Santo Tequila and Beach Bar Rum.

Anthony was the longest-tenured bassist for Van Halen, playing with the band from 1974-2006.

George Thorogood and The Destroyers are set to turn up the rock-blues vibes as they celebrate 45 years in music. 

With a catalog of classic hits that includes “Who Do You Love,” “Move It On Over,” “Bad To The Bone,” “I Drink Alone” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” it’s a pairing for the rock party record books.

Here’s the current Hayden Homes Amphitheater 2022 schedule:

May 13-14 – Bend Brewfest (in the Old Mill District for 2022)

June 14 – HAIM with special guest SASAMI

June 22 – Tenacious D with Puddles Pity Party

June 25 – “Weird Al” Yankovic with Emo Philips

July 16 – Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Blue October

July 22 – Dispatch and O.A.R. with special guest Robert Randolph Band

Aug. 11 – Rebelution with Steel Pulse, DENM and DJ Markle

Aug. 19 – Thomas Rhett with Parker McCollum and Conner Smith

Sept. 1 – Sammy Hagar and The Circle

Sept. 25 – Jack Johnson with special guests Ron Artis II, Thunderstorm Artis, and The Truth

Hope seen once the omicron wave increases global immunity

World health officials are offering hope that the ebbing of the omicron wave could usher in a new, more manageable phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They warn of difficult weeks ahead and the possibility of another, more dangerous variant arising. But the overall tone is hopeful. U.S. cases have crested and are dropping rapidly, following a pattern seen in Britain and South Africa.

Researchers project a period of low spread in many countries by the end of March.

Rosy predictions have crumbled before, but this time they are backed by what could be called omicron’s silver lining: The highly contagious variant will leave behind extremely high levels of immunity.

Les Schwab burglar arrested with help of Bend PD K-9

A Bend man was arrested Saturday evening after hiding in the bathroom of a Les Schwab Tire Center. 

Bend Police arrived at the business at 61085 S. Hwy 97 after receiving reports of a suspicious man entering an employee vehicle in the parking lot after closing hours. 

Officers searched the building with the help of Bend Police K-9 Vegas. 

They found the suspect, Michael A. Bray, 31, hiding in the bathroom and arrested him. 

Bray was released afterward with criminal citations, as COVID protocols at the Deschutes County Jail prevented him from being booked. 

He was charged with the following: 

  • Burglary in the Second Degree, ORS (Oregon Revised Statute) 164.215 (A)
  • Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, ORS 164.272
  • Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, ORS 164.345 

Bend PD conducts 7 traffic stops during impromptu safety detail

Bend police officers issued several traffic citations during an impromptu safety enforcement detail on Sunday. 

Four officers carried out seven traffic stops between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on NE 3rd St. and the North Parkway near Empire Ave. 

Citations included driving 80 mph in a 45-mph zone and operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone. 

The Bend Police Department would like to remind drivers to follow the speed limit, avoid distracted driving, and to wear seat belts in order to arrive safely at their destination and enjoy the warm weather.