Redmond City Council votes to expand UGB, create more affordable housing

The City of Redmond will expand its Urban Growth Boundary as it approved land use for Skyline Village.

The affordable housing project vision would be developed as a 485-unit, mixed-use neighborhood with at least 50 percent of the residential units designed as affordable units.

The property is north of NE Kingwood Avenue and south of Negus Way.

Back in 2018, the City of Redmond applied for the pilot program to the Land Conversation and Development Commission, but the City of Bend’s application was chosen over Redmond’s.

However, given the importance of affordable housing, in 2019, House Bill 2336 amended House Bill 4079 and allowed LCDC to also select the City of Redmond as recipient of the pilot program.

In December 2019, Deschutes County donated 40-acres to the City for the pilot project.

The agreement stipulates the County will convey the subject property upon final land use approvals and recordation of a final partition plat.

The agreement also requires the City to reserve at least 50% of the units as affordable for a period of at least 50-years.

In July 2020, a Comprehensive Plan Amendment was submitted by the City to Deschutes County to amend the subject parcel’s County Comprehensive Plan designation from Agriculture to Redmond Urban Growth Area.

The application was approved by the County hearings officer.

Another hearing is scheduled in the near future for deliberation and approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

80th Sisters Rodeo canceled for 2nd year in a row due to COVID concerns

For the second year, the 80th Sisters Rodeo will not be held during June.

The board made the decision Tuesday night to cancel ‘The Biggest Little Show in the World’ due to COVID-19 concerns.

Amorita Anstett with the Sisters Rodeo board told Central Oregon Daily News by phone that capacity limits weighed heavily on the decision.

In a statement Wednesday morning, the board president said they would not be able to meet the state’s standards and protocols.

With the limitations placed on events for capacity, we had to make our decision based on our financial capabilities to try again next year [in 2022] to have a full capacity rodeo,” said SRA President Curt Kallburg.

He said postponing the rodeo to a later date in 2021 was not an option.

Due to other obligations, the rodeo’s stock contractor, announcers, and entertainment/contracted personnel would be unable to all get to Sisters at the same time. 

According to rodeo officials, there is a chance the virus may be under more control by June, but the safety of the volunteers, members, and the possible exposure they would be subjected to while working at the rodeo is the prime concern.

“The rodeo is also obligated to notify the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) of the cancellation in a timely manner to allow contestants and contractors to be informed and able to make other arrangements,” the statement said.

The rodeo was set to take place the second weekend in June at the Sisters Rodeo grounds on Highway 20.

All tickets for the 2021 rodeo that have been pre-sold will automatically rollover to the equivalent dates for the 2022 Sisters Rodeo.

Just Monday, Central Oregon Daily News reported on larger events and looming scheduling concerns as vaccines get rolled out across the region.

▶️ Despite uncertainty, big decisions loom for major Central Oregon events

Bend man overdoses on heroin in Deschutes Co. Jail

A Bend man is in serious condition after he ingested a large dose of heroin before he was booked into the Deschutes County Jail and then fell unconscious.

According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Tuesday afternoon around 2:45 p.m., a 28-year-old Bend man was booked into the jail by the Bend Police Department on a valid felony warrant.

Less than an hour later, he told jail staff he wasn’t feeling well.

Lt. William Bailey said as deputies and jail medical staff were assessing the man, he admitted to ingesting a large dose of heroin.

Deputies and staff administered four doses of Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, and provided medical care.

Bend Fire Medics were called at the same time and took the man to St. Charles in Bend for treatment where he is currently in serious, but stable condition.

His warrant charges included Criminal Conspiracy I, Burglary I, Robbery I and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

In addition, he was lodged on a new charge of Resisting Arrest.

Prescribed burns planned for Wednesday near Sisters

Fuel specialists on the Deschutes National Forest will ignite several prescribed fires on the Sisters Ranger District for a total of about 600 acres on Wednesday.

Depending on the weather, the burns will continue Thursday and Friday.

The prescribed burns will occur in the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction (SAFR) project area, approximately 3 miles southwest of Sisters along the 1505 Road (SAFR 10).

Smoke will be highly visible from the community of Sisters.

Nearby residents and businesses are advised to keep their windows and doors closed during the night as the cooling in the evening can hold residual smoke closer to the ground. If smoke drifts on to local roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.

Once ignited, units are monitored and patrolled until they are declared out.

▶️ High Desert Stampede rodeo returns to Redmond with precautions in place

The High Desert Stampede is back after a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tilden Hooper of Carthage, Texas, spoke with Central Oregon Daily’s Emily Kirk before the rodeo Thursday evening.

He’s a professional bareback rider competing at the event.

In 2020, organizers were forced to cancel the event just two weeks before it was supposed to happen in March.

This year, it’s one of the first major events to return to the First Interstate Bank Center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.

Tickets are sold out for the multi-day rodeo.

The crowd size was limited to 25 percent of its normal capacity; about 1,000 tickets were allocated.

Face masks are required and the event has sanitizing stations placed throughout the indoor arena.

“We’re encouraging people to wear masks and facial coverings,” Chairman of the High Desert Stampede, Denis Fast, said Thursday. “We’re doing the best we can, now we need the people that come to the rodeo to do the best they can.”

The air inside is also being circulated eight times per hour.

Major athletes will travel to Central Oregon to compete in this year’s elite competition.

If you want to watch the events, head to

Rocket debris lights up skies over the Pacific Northwest

People were surprised across the Pacific Northwest to see a fireball light up the night sky at around 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Seattle said in a tweet the phenomenon was caused by debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a “deorbit burn.”

There were no reports of damage or impact on the ground.

The Times reports the rocket delivered Starlink satellites, built in Redmond, Washington, into orbit earlier this week.

SpaceX says the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed as planned on its ocean-going barge off the coast of Florida.

Hundreds of people posted to social media videos of the event, which shows a group of bright objects moving across the night sky.

Have a video or photo of the fireball? You can send it to us at

A map in the tweet showed the route passing northwest of Portland across NW Oregon and southwest Washington, then heading northeast towards Spokane.


▶️ Re-trial of accused murderer Luke Wirkkala continues into 2nd week

The re-trial of Luke Wirkkala entered its second week Tuesday.

Lawyers continued to question Bend Police officers who were first on-scene after Wirkkala shot his friend back in February of 2013.

Law enforcement described the state of the house as they recovered the body of David Ryder.

Bend Police officer Scott Eliott told the jury about the minor injuries he saw on Wirkkala that night.

“He had scratch marks on his neck, on both sides,” said officer Eliott. “He had raised red marks on his right hand.”

The defense has long claimed that Wirkkala shot Ryder in self-defense after an attempted sexual assault.

In court, police also noted Wirkkala smelled of stale alcohol during the 3 a.m. car ride to the police station following the shooting.

Jurors also heard an audio recording of that ride, when Wirkkala called the night’s events “a pretty horrible situation.”

OHA: 316 new COVID cases reported Tuesday; 2 new deaths

Cases and deaths:

There are two new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,367, the Oregon Health Authority reported Tuesday.

Oregon Health Authority reported 316 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 162,016.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (2), Clackamas (30), Columbia (2), Coos (4), Crook (2), Curry (4), Deschutes (24), Douglas (7), Grant (1), Hood River (3), Jackson (28), Jefferson (1), Josephine (17), Klamath (11), Lane (17), Lincoln (5), Linn (4), Malheur (1), Marion (21), Multnomah (44), Polk (6), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (10), Union (3), Wasco (1), Washington (56) and Yamhill (6).

Deschutes County has reported 6,201 cases and 70 deaths. Currently, there are 845 active cases – that’s one in 233 residents; 5,286 patients have recovered

Crook County has reported 798 cases and 18 deaths.

Jefferson County has reported 2,005 cases and 31 deaths.

Counties approved for expanding vaccinations:

Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority announced 20 Oregon counties have now submitted attestation letters signaling their intention to immediately offer COVID-19 vaccinations to expanded eligibility groups. This marks an increase of seven counties from yesterday.

The counties are: Baker, Benton, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Polk, Sherman, Umatilla, Union and Yamhill.

By attesting, these counties can now begin vaccinating all individuals listed in Phase 1B, Group 6, ahead of the previously designated statewide start date of March 29.

Group 6 is comprised of:

  • Adults ages 45 to 64 with one or more underlying condition with increased risk.
  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers
  • Seafood and agricultural workers
  • Food processing workers
  • People living in low-income, senior congregate and independent living facilities
  • Sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing houselessness
  • People displaced by wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • Pregnant women 16 and older

The Get Vaccinated Oregon tool is being updated to accommodate this newly added population of people eligible for vaccination.

Vaccinations in Oregon:

Deschutes County: 51,060

Crook County: 5,065

Jefferson County: 5,852

Today, OHA reported that 18,241 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 10,845 doses were administered on March 22 and 7,396 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on March 22.

Oregon has now administered a total of 768,927 first and second doses of Pfizer, 746,354 first and second doses of Moderna and 32,803 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

To date, 971,685 doses of Pfizer, 978,400 doses of Moderna and 60,100 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations:

St. Charles on Tuesday reported it had two COVID patients; none are in the ICU.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 109, which is seven fewer than yesterday. There are 16 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two fewer than yesterday.

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.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Election coming to Redmond School District for board vacancy in May

The Redmond School District will need to fill a vacant position on its school board in May.

On Thursday, the district announced that chairman Tim Carpenter will be resigning after two, six-year stints on the panel.

The Board of Directors is now seeking qualified people to apply for Position #4.

The term ends in 2023.

Candidates who are interested in applying to fill the position must file a declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination for office with the Deschutes County Clerk by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 26.

Filing forms are available at the Deschutes County Clerk’s office, located at 1300 NW Wall Street, Suite 202, in Bend and online at

The board consists of five members elected at large.

Those interested must be registered voters in the district and must have been residents within the district for one year immediately preceding the appointment.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 1, 2021.

▶️ Origin Story: Cascadia Vehicle Tents

If you’ve spent any time in the outdoors, you’ve probably seen a Cascadia Vehicle Tent or CVT.

Even driving around Central Oregon, you’ll spot them on top of cars ready for their next adventure.

Bobby Culpepper and his wife started CVT 11 years ago.

It was a leap of faith that led to a lot of hours on the road and happy customers.

You can find CVT at 1036 SE Paiute Way in Bend or online at

Samantha O’Connor brings us their Origin Story.