Biden angers France, EU with new Australia, UK initiative

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s decision to form a strategic Indo-Pacific alliance with Australia and Britain has angered France and the European Union with a go-it-alone move they see as a return to the Trump era.

The new security initiative — to counter China — appears to have brought Biden’s summer of love with Europe to an abrupt end.

After promising European leaders that “America is back” and that multilateral diplomacy would guide U.S. foreign policy, Biden has alienated allies on key issues.

The latest is AUKUS, a project that notably excludes France and the European Union.

The French foreign minister expressed “total incomprehension” at the new action and said “it looks a lot like what Trump did.”

Fighting fire with fire to protect ancient sequoia trees

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With flames advancing toward the signature grove of ancient massive trees in Sequoia National Park, firefighters Thursday fought fire with fire.

Using firing operations to burn out flammable vegetation and other matter before the wildfire was expected to arrive in the Giant Forest is one of several ways firefighters can use their nemesis as a tool to stop, slow or redirect fires.

The tactic comes with considerable risks if conditions change.

But it is routinely used to protect communities, homes or valuable resources like the grove of about 2,000 massive sequoias, including the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman.

Madras Police, JCSO arrest armed, wanted Prineville man in stolen car

A Prineville man was arrested at gunpoint late Wednesday night after he was caught driving a stolen pickup and ran from deputies, according to the Jefferon County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Marc Heckathorn said the incident started around 11:45 p.m. when a deputy spotted a stolen vehicle south of Madras.

The call-in came back with a caution for an armed and dangerous subject.

The deputy called for backup and tried to conduct a high-risk traffic stop, Heckathorn said.

When the deputy turned on his lights, the suspect – 47-year-old Charles Christianson – sped away through Madras and east on Grizzly Road.

About a quarter-mile down the gravel portion of Grizzly Road, Christianson lost control of his vehicle and got stuck on the shoulder.

As the deputy pulled up, Christianson got out of the car and dropped some property before running south across Grizzly Road in the dark, where he fell down an incline off the south side of the shoulder.

Heckathorn said the deputy held the suspect at gunpoint until other deputies and a Madras Police Officer arrived to make the arrest.

Christianson was evaluated by an EMT and taken to St. Charles for an evaluation.

After he was released to the Jefferson County Jail, Christianson was charged with reckless driving, unlawful use of a vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of meth and other charges.

Heckathorn said the suspect was out on post-prison supervision and as he ran from the deputies, he dropped a handgun; and his car had more than 1.5 ounces of meth, a scanner, knives and a fake handgun.
“This contact could have ended in a horrible tragedy. I responded to the scene and assisted in the investigation and am proud of our deputies’ response,” Heckathorn said.

Hoodoo, Furnish Hope to hold winter clothing drive Sept. 17th

Hoodoo is teaming up with Furnish Hope to help provide winter clothes to Central Oregonians in need.

Stop by Hoodoo’s Hillside Ski and Sport from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17th to drop off your donation.

The first 50 donations will get FREE tickets to the Monster Truck Nitro Tour this weekend at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center.

You can see a monster truck up close between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

For more information on the monster truck event, visit http://www.monstertrucktour.com

Supported by Mike’s Cascade Towing, Central Oregon Daily News, Good Morning Central Oregon, CO Energy Propane Furnish Hope and Hoodoo Ski Area!

City of Bend moves step closer to banning sale, use of fireworks

The Bend City Council is moving forward with a plan to ban the sale, possession and use of fireworks.

A proposed code change would not prohibit professional fireworks displays permitted by the state fire marshal, such as the Fourth of July Fireworks show on Pilot Butte.

Just before the Fourth of July this year, the city issued an emergency declaration banning fireworks due to the fire dangers from extremely dry conditions.

The city extended the declaration in August and it expires at the end of the year.

The ban would be permanent. Violators would face a $750 fine.

Councilors will vote on the issue at a future meeting.

City of Bend bans fireworks and declares local state of emergency due to heat

 

Oregon’s 2nd-largest high school shuts due to COVID spread

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials say Oregon’s second-largest high school is halting in-person classes because of COVID-19 spread that is requiring large numbers of students to quarantine at home.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Reynolds High School officials said Wednesday night they will not have class for the rest of this week and will revert to distance learning from Sept. 20-24.

Classes at the Troutdale campus are expected to resume Sept. 27.

The closure is by far the biggest in Oregon and comes only weeks after districts began welcoming students back for the school year amid the pandemic.

The school enrolled over 2,600 students in the last school year and serves one of the most diverse communities in the state.

OHA reports 11 new COVID deaths; 81.3% of Sept. cases are unvaccinated

There are 11 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,547, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 2,242 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 307,768.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (22), Benton (34), Clackamas (84), Clatsop (47), Columbia (33), Coos (48), Crook (26), Curry (13), Deschutes (169), Douglas (81), Grant (1), Harney (14), Hood River (13), Jackson (149), Jefferson (10), Josephine (70), Klamath (68), Lake (6), Lane (184), Lincoln (20), Linn (167), Malheur (42), Marion (205), Morrow (8), Multnomah (249), Polk (42), Sherman (2), Tillamook (11), Umatilla (63), Union (31), Wallowa (4), Wasco (19), Washington (243) and Yamhill (64).

Oregon Healthcare Workforce COVID-19 vaccine uptake: September update

The September update to the Oregon Healthcare Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Dashboard adds new data for all visualizations up to Sept. 5, 2021. It now includes three new license types: Psychologist at 93% vaccinated, Licensed Social Worker at 88% vaccinated and Licensed Dietitian at 80% vaccinated.

All trend weeks have been updated with the most current information, which may have been previously missing due to the lag in data reporting.

There has been an increase in overall vaccination rates for health care workers since the vaccine mandate was announced in early August.

Weekly Breakthrough Case Report

OHA’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released today, found that 81.3% of the 14,046 reported COVID-19 cases between Sept. 1 through Sept. 15 occurred in people who were unvaccinated.

There were 2,632 breakthrough cases, accounting for 18.7% of all cases.

The average age of the breakthrough cases during that period was 48. Ninety breakthrough cases involved residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate care settings. There were 68 breakthrough cases in people aged 12 to 17.

To date, there have been 19,549 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. The average age of all cases is 48. Breakthrough cases have been reported in all 36 counties.

Cases of COVID-19 are far more common in unvaccinated people. The report shows that the rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is currently approximately five times higher than in vaccinated people.

To date, 4.7% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized and 0.9% have died. The average age of the people who died was 81.

Vaccination remains the most effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The number of vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon remains very small when compared to the more than 2.7 million Oregonians who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination series.

The latest breakthrough report can be found here.

Pediatric Weekly dashboard update

Today, OHA published its newest dashboard report of pediatric COVID-19 case data in Oregon.

This dashboard replaces the previous report and is published weekly on Thursdays with the most recent full week’s data.

Dashboard will change the reporting of neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit beds

The Hospital Capacity tab of the Daily Data Update dashboard starting today will report neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) bed capacity separately. Prior to the change, NICU and PICU bed counts were combined on the dashboard summary. Reporting these bed categories individually better reflects hospital capacity for pediatric patients with COVID-19 who need intensive care.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Thursday reported it had 89 COVID patients; 17 are in the ICU and 13 are on ventilators.

Of the 89 patients, 76 are not fully vaccinated.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,027, which is 40 fewer than yesterday. There are 286 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is eight fewer than yesterday.

There are 41 available adult ICU beds out of 658 total (6% availability) and 334 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,308 (8% availability).

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 responding to the current surge in COVID-19. 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 9,805 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Sept. 15. Of this total, 4,243 were administered on Sept. 15: 1,887 were initial doses, 1,756 were second doses and 555 were third doses. The remaining 5,562 were administered on previous days, but were entered into the vaccine registry on Sept. 15.

The seven-day running average is now 7,444 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,899,668 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,880,143 doses of Moderna and 208,242 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 2,694,868 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,453,495 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

 

Annual research funding at OSU-Cascades is 2nd highest in history

Research funding at Oregon State University-Cascades reached $3.4 million during the past fiscal year, the second highest total in campus history.

That figure continues an upward trajectory in research funding at the growing campus, where research dollars totaled $9.3 million over the past three fiscal years, more than double the level from the preceding three fiscal years.

“OSU-Cascades nurtures and attracts expert faculty researchers and talented post-doctoral scholars and graduate students who are inspired to make a difference,” said Andrew Ketsdever, interim vice president of OSU-Cascades. “The increased funding is evidence of the productivity of our researchers and their teams, and their shared commitment to improving Central Oregon, the state, nation and our world.”

Research at OSU-Cascades contributes to Oregon State’s leadership as the state’s top comprehensive public research university.

This past fiscal year research funding at Oregon State topped $380 million for the fifth straight year.

OSU-Cascades’ largest research project underway is led by Bahman Abbasi, an assistant professor in the energy systems engineering program and the director of the Water and Energy Technologies Lab.

Abbasi designs systems to produce fresh water from salt water and to recover usable water from wastewater that results from hydraulic fracturing.

His work has attracted more than $5 million in research awards from the the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust and U.S. Department of Energy in recent years.

In the Energy Systems Lab a team led by Chris Hagen, an associate professor in energy systems engineering, continues its work to investigate hybrid powertrains for small unmanned aircraft systems and to understand the efficiency of a variety of engine fuels.

Since founded in 2012, the lab has attracted $3.6 million in funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center, Inc., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others.

It has also produced a spin-off company, On-Board Dynamics.

Another team of researchers is investigating an array of challenges echoed nationally in divisive community conversations.

Elizabeth Marino, an associate professor of sociology, and Chris Wolsko, an associate professor of psychology, co-lead the Laboratory for the American Conversation.

Marino and Wolsko received funding from the city of Bend to address how to tailor COVID-19 public health messaging to align with values of different audiences.

Marino also received $60,000 from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with communities to address cultural and socioeconomic conflicts involving fishing in Oregon’s marine reserves.

Additionally, she was awarded $750,000 from the National Science Foundation to investigate issues facing coastal communities exposed to repetitive flooding and the effectiveness of federal disaster response policies.

Through its Northwest Bat Hub, the Human Ecosystem Resilience and Sustainability Lab received awards totaling $1.2 million from the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. National Park Service for bat population monitoring in the Pacific Northwest, as well as white-nose syndrome surveillance in bats.

White-nose syndrome is a disease that has devastated bat populations across the country.

One study pursued by the Bat Hub confirmed Central Oregon as a hotspot for spotted bats and determined it could be a place for further study and conservation.

Other research projects underway at the Bend campus include:

  • Shannon Lipscomb, an associate professor in the human development and family sciences program, continues to support TRACES Central Oregon, a nonprofit focused on building resilience to trauma. Lipscomb’s research portfolio, which primarily focuses on education, risk and resilience in early childhood, has attracted $2.3 million in funding to date.
  • With a $42,000 grant from Portland State University, Brianne Kothari, an assistant professor also in the human development and family sciences program, continues to study recommendations for how child welfare agencies can increase retention of caseworkers.
  • Matt Orr, an associate professor of biology continues to investigate the benefits of analog beaver dams in restoring estuaries along the Crooked River with a $39,000 grant from the Oregon Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board.

OSU-Cascades is collaborating with the OSU Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy to leverage the expertise of faculty in the outdoor products degree program and experts in the Central Oregon recreation environment.

The collaboration will also produce education programs and research for industry.

Each year, the vice president of OSU-Cascades presents the Research and Scholarship Activity Award to a researcher.

Professor Christine Pollard, was given the award in 2021 for her 10 years of kinesiology research engaging undergraduate and graduate students, community health partners and the public.

Her efforts include the creation of the biomechanics FORCE Lab, where research examines leg and foot injuries, biomechanics associated with the use of various styles of running shoes, and injury-prevention and rehabilitation programs.

Pollard now serves as dean of academic affairs at OSU-Cascades.

“As OSU-Cascades expands, our research activity will also grow in its impact and benefit to communities locally and globally,” said Ketsdever.

 

Warm Springs selected to join national crime database program

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice has selected an additional 12 federally recognized tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program that provides tribal governments with means to access, enter, and exchange data with national crime information systems, including those maintained by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division and the states.

“Timely access to federal criminal information can help protect domestic violence victims, place foster children in safe conditions, solve crimes, and apprehend fugitives on tribal land, among other important uses,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Increasing tribal access to criminal databases is a priority of the Justice Department and this Administration, and essential to many tribal government efforts to strengthen public safety in their communities.”

“Tribal law enforcement agencies have long sought access to federal criminal databases to obtain important information that can be used to prevent violent crime in tribal communities. We are pleased that the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and Cow Creek Band of Umpqua have been selected for participation in the TAP program and look forward to more Oregon tribes being added in the future. The Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon are deeply committed to keeping Oregon tribal communities safe,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug.

The program provides training as well as software and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots, and submit information to FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems.

With these additional tribes, there are now 108 federally recognized Tribes participating in TAP.

TAP has been an important resource for the department’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative and the Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives known as Operation Lady Justice.

The Department of Justice began TAP in 2015 in response to concerns raised by tribal leaders about the need to have direct access to federal systems.

Using TAP, tribes have shared information about missing persons; registered convicted sex offenders; entered domestic violence orders of protection for nationwide enforcement; run criminal histories; identified and arrested fugitives; entered bookings and convictions; and completed fingerprint-based record checks for non-criminal justice purposes such as screening employees or volunteers who work with children.

The following tribes have been newly selected for participation in TAP:

  1. Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
  2. Cow Creek Band of Umpqua
  3. Fort Belknap Indian Community
  4. Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa
  5. Havasupai Tribe
  6. Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
  7. Menominee Tribe
  8. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  9. Muckleshoot Tribe
  10. Passamaquoddy Tribe
  11. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok
  12. United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee

TAP is managed by the Justice Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Tribal Justice.

It is funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

For more information on TAP, visit http://www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

 

With a new name, COCC’s Nancy R. Chandler lecture series announces fall lineup

Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) long-established educational series of lectures and presentations for the community, the Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program, has formally changed its name to the Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series.

This fall, the popular COCC Foundation program will host three events: a presentation on the latest science in the fresh vs. frozen food debate (Oct. 11), a talk on climate resilience in Central Oregon (Nov. 2) and an in-depth look at the migrant situation on the U.S.’s southern border (Nov. 15). For information and registration details, visit cocc.edu/foundation/cls.

“This program has been a community asset since 1985,” said Charlotte Gilbride, coordinator of the Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series.  “We wanted our name to continue to honor Nancy R. Chandler while better aligning with what we do, to include visiting scholars but also other presenters. We’ll continue to bring renowned speakers, lecturers and experts to the region to deliver broad-based programming on a diverse range of educational and topical subjects.”

The late Robert W. Chandler Sr. founded the program to honor his wife, Nancy.

With the Chandler’s past roles as editors and owners of Western Communications, the couple often hosted visitors from across the nation and around the world with discussions that covered wide-ranging topics and perspectives.

Nancy Chandler took great delight in sharing the knowledge of their visitors with those around her in the community.

The idea behind this program is to continue that tradition — to bring nationally and internationally renowned thinkers to Central Oregon to stimulate conversations and encourage thought on a wide range of subjects.

“Both of our parents were intellectually curious and believed in contributing to the community in which they lived,” said Peggy Cushman, one of Robert and Nancy’s daughters. “Not only does the program make a variety of topics available for the public to study and enjoy, it keeps the Chandler name visible in Bend and Central Oregon where they worked and raised our family.”

The Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series will host three programs this fall, offered in a combination of in-person and virtual formats.

The first program, “Fresh vs. Frozen,” on Monday, Oct. 11, will feature Ann Colonna, sensory program director for Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center.

Colonna will talk about the science in the fresh vs. frozen debate, covering the latest processes and benefits of flash-frozen seafood and vegetables.

Guests will participate in a blind taste test of fresh vs. frozen Oregon seafood prepared by COCC Cascade Culinary Institute students.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on the patio of the Cascade Culinary Institute in Bend.

Tickets are $45 and include the presentation and a blind taste test with wine pairing.

Tickets available at cocc.edu/foundation/cls.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Lecture Series will welcome COCC assistant geology professor Hal Wershow for “Climate Resilience in Central Oregon.”

His talk will examine how the climate in Central Oregon has already changed and share projections for what we can expect for the rest of the 21st century.

Wershow will also talk about what we can do in our community to diminish the worst impacts and adapt to the inevitable change.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Wille Hall on COCC’s Bend campus.

Tickets are $8 for the in-person event and $5 for the livestream, available at cocc.edu/foundation/cls. This is a free event for students.

Lastly, on Monday, Nov. 15, the Lecture Series will feature Futuro Media’s editorial director, Julio Ricardo Varela, for “A Firsthand Account: The Crisis at the Border.”

Varela’s many years covering issues and events that directly impact the Latino, Hispanic and Latinx communities have positioned him as one of the leading voices when addressing the migrant situation at the southern border.

In his presentation, Varela will tackle the stories from the border that mainstream media tends to ignore, sharing the latest firsthand accounts of those battling one of the country’s most misunderstood and misinformed issues.

The 6 p.m. event is virtual; tickets are $10 and available at cocc.edu/foundation/cls.

This is a free event for students.

Please note: COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed at all programs.

With the pandemic changing rapidly, all programs are subject to change or postponement; refunds will be issued in the event of a cancellation.

For more information on these events, contact Charlotte Gilbride, coordinator for the Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series, at 541-383-7257 or cgilbride@cocc.edu.

“Fresh vs. Frozen” and “Climate Resilience in Central Oregon” are sponsored by the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund and the associated students of COCC.

“A Firsthand Account: The Crisis at the Border” is presented by the University of Oregon’s school of journalism and communication.