▶️ Dogs try out for goose hazing patrol in Bend

Visit any park along the Deschutes River and you’ll see people plenty of folks walking and kayaking. But there’s one kind of visitor leaving a mess on the sidewalks and they are not always welcome.

This week, Bend Park and Recreation District invited people and their four legged companions to see if they have the right stuff to help with clearing out Canada Geese.

Central Oregon Daily’s Gustavo Bautista reports.

RELATED: Leash your dog: Bend Park and Rec cracking down in awareness campaign

▶️ Self-serve gas bill passes Oregon House. Locals have mixed reactions.

If you want to pump your own gas in Oregon, you may soon have a chance.

The State House passed House Bill 2426 to expand access to self-service at gas stations. It moved to the Senate where it had its first reading Tuesday.

Customers at the Arco on Third Street in Bend had mixed feelings on the legislature.

“Being from Indiana originally, I’m pretty used to pumping my own gas,” says Clay. “I thought it was a little weird to have someone pump my gas for me.”

Steven Heddleston, a longtime resident, says “I’m opposed to it. Weather stuff like that, I’m 67 years old. It’s not getting any easier. I have to do it when I go out of state and I don’t see any benefits for me.”

RELATED: Neighbors appeal to state in fight against Brosterhous/Murphy Rd. gas station

RELATED: Thinking of a used electric vehicle? These questions you’ll want to ask.

The bill also has some gas attendants worried their job may be on the line.

“We’re out here every day. We hustle, we bustle. Like I run around like a chicken with my head cut off out here,” says Heather Silbaugh, a gas attendant at Arco. “It would just suck if, you know, if my jobs and everybody else’s jobs were taken.”

HB 2426 is focused on making sure the state’s gas laws are on the same page.

For 16 counties, it would be a 50-50 split between self-serve and full serve. An attendant would still need to be present in some form.

“You could either self-serve or you could have somebody in attendance or for you,” said Alison Green, Public Affairs Director with the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office (OSFM). Gas pumping and gas regulations fall under OSFM’s authority.

“There will be 20 counties in Oregon where self-serve can happen 100% of the time,” Green added. Many of those 20 counties are in rural areas where self-serve gas pumping is already allowed.

OSFM is keeping a close eye and says this bill gives their office more flexibility compared to last year’s version.

“It would’ve been much harsher enforcement, so there were definitely significant impacts that we assessed,” says Green.

HB 2426 also gives the Fire Marshal’s Office a grace period to enforce regulations and penalties if it passes.  That date won’t be set until March 2024.


Resumen Semanal del Noticiero Central Oregon Daily News 01-27

Cada semana, Central Oregon Daily News le traerá un breve resumen de las noticias principales de la semana, completamente en español.

Gustavo Bautista presentarán la transmisión corta aquí mismo en Facebook, todos los viernes por la tarde.

Nos encantaría escuchar sus comentarios para mejor incluir a los miembros de nuestra comunidad de habla hispana en las historias que son importantes para el Centro de Oregón.

▶️ Latino Fest returns, in person, to Central Oregon

People gathered in Madras Saturday for the return of one of Central Oregon’s biggest cultural festivals.

It was an all-out cultural celebration at Sahalee Park as people gathered for Latino Fest. It’s the first time the event was held in person since 2019.

The organization Latino Community Association hosted the event showcasing cultures from many Latin American countries.

Latino Fest was worth the wait. 

“Everybody likes it, they really enjoy it they have a lot of fun. They really enjoy all the different performers, the food,” said Jose Adame, a volunteer with the Latino Community Association. “From the kids all the way to the adults, everybody likes it.”

There were 113 booths for people of all ages to check out. This includes vendors selling traditional clothing, handmade goods and decorating your own skull candies. 

There was endless entertainment for all such as performances with Azteca and folklorico dancers.

Representatives from different Latin American countries teaching the public what makes them unique. 

“People can see and get together and we can learn from other people, what they do their dance, food and dresses. It’s really important to get together and share their culture,” said Nancy Pobiz Egoabil from Peru

It also gave local organizations an opportunity to share what they have to offer

We’re just trying to get Latinos and people of color so this is the perfect place. Get to connect some families, some children, adults anyones who’s interested in going outside with us and year,” said Vamonos Outside intern Jorge Lopez.

For others in attendance, it was about having fun.

“I like the bouncy house and there’s this cool booth over there,” said Leiland. 

Overall it gave the community a chance to meet one another.

“Come and join celebrate the latino cultures that are in Central Oregon. We are more and more diverse every year,” said Mayra Benitez with Latino Community Association. “So we want to make sure that everybody feels included and welcome.”


Fire damages house deck in Bend neighborhood

Fire damaged a house deck on Aubrey Butte early Monday morning.

According to Bend Fire & Rescue, the fire started when embers from a smoker landed in a dry bark mulch pile below the deck

The fire was quickly put out and did not spread inside the home.

The homeowners were able to remain in their home after fire crews cleared the structure.

The damage is estimated to be around $10,000.

Bend Fire reminds everyone that keeping bark away from combustible construction can help prevent these types of fires.


▶️ Sisters webcam captures golden eagle couple raising their young

For over a decade a pair of golden eagles, named Rocky and Petra, have carved out their home on a cliff outside of Sisters.

Central Oregon Daily News Photojournalist Steve Kaufmann has the story behind the lens of the golden eagle cam.

For more information on the golden eagle camera or to watch the pair raise their young, visit https://www.goldeneaglecam.org/.

Body found in Terrebonne RV trailer fire

An investigation is underway after Redmond firefighters responding to an RV trailer fire Monday morning discovered a body inside.

The fire was reported shortly after midnight in the 600 block of Northeast Wilcox Ave in the Terrebonne area, according to Redmond Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames of a 30-foot RV trailer.

During the aftermath, they found the body of a person who had perished in the fire.

No further information about the person’s identity or cause of death was immediately available.

No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Brown expands COVID vaccine eligibility to all Oregonians over 16

Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine on April 19.

“We are locked in a race between vaccine distribution and the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants,” Brown said in a statement.”Today, Oregon will pass the threshold of 2 million vaccine doses administered. And yet, in communities across Oregon, COVID-19 is spreading at concerning rates. We must move as quickly as possible to get more shots in arms.”

The announcement comes right before President Biden is set to move the national deadline of May 1st for states to make all adults eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

To register for your appointment: https://centraloregoncovidvaccine.com/


St. Charles medical techs ratify first-time, 3-year contract

The medical techs, technologists, and therapist at St. Charles in Bend on Wednesday ratified their first union contract.

 The average increase is about 11%, which is consistent with increases received from 2019 through the first quarter of 2021 for non-contracted technical caregivers, according to St. Charles.

Most OFNHP members did not receive wage increases during the bargaining process.

According to a press release by the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, it is “a new stage of labor peace and partnership with the hospital.”

Voting on the first-time contract comes days after St. Charles and the union representing the hospital’s medical techs reached a tentative agreement on a first-time contract.

“We have won a groundbreaking new contract, which raises our wages an average of 25% and ensures that we have a strong voice at work.” says Frank Dewolf, a technologist in the Cardiac Cath Lab.

About 150 medical techs – radiology techs, therapists, technologists, ultrasound techs and others – officially went on strike March 4th after more than a year of failed negotiations over a first contract.

During the eight-day strike, the hospital assured the public everything was running smoothly inside with contracted replacement workers.

The medical techs will also become members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.

“We are so pleased the Bend techs agreed with the compensation philosophy St. Charles has in place for all of its non-contracted caregivers,” said Hillary Forrest, director of Human Resources for St. Charles and a member of the bargaining team.

According to the hospital, the contract provides general wage increases and market adjustments for the first year that will bring the technical caregivers to the same wage level as St. Charles techs at other campuses.

The wage package brings the technical caregivers up to the level of wages they would have already received if they had not voted to unionize in September 2019, according to St. Charles.

“Our bargaining philosophy has been to ensure that all St. Charles caregivers are treated fairly – regardless of if they are unionized,” Forrest said. “We did not provide retroactive pay for the technical caregivers and we achieved our goal of ensuring this group of caregivers is compensated with the same processes and general increases as caregivers who are not part of a union.”

During bargaining, the Bend techs missed out on a potential of four wage and market increases that others have received since the fall of 2019.

After the first year, the contract follows the same wage methodology St. Charles already uses for non-contracted caregivers.

Negotiations on the contract have been taking place since January 2020.

“The wage proposal that was ratified by yesterday’s vote is the same proposal St. Charles put on the bargaining table before the technical caregivers went out on strike,” Forrest said. “As we have said multiple times, no one wins in a strike situation. We are pleased that OFNHP was willing to return to work so we could negotiate the last items in the contract to ensure no future disruptions to patient care.”

▶️ SAR volunteers clean up abandoned homeless camps along Deschutes River


Deschutes County Search and Rescue volunteers cleaned up abandoned transient campsites along the Deschutes River over the weekend.

The steep canyon near the Riverhouse Convention Center served as a training opportunity for volunteers to practice rope rescues.

An escaped campfire last summer and high water this winter forced transients to abandon their campsites downstream of the North Canal Dam.

They left behind piles of garbage in a difficult to access area.

“Camping equipment, kitchen stuff, rotting food, hypodermic needles, clothes, shoes. Just tons and tons of trash rotted from sitting down here all winter,” said Neil Marchington, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

SAR decided to help remove the trash via a rope system with litters that normally carry injured people.

They erected a complex rope and pulley system anchored to juniper trees that cantilevered out over the cliff.

A device called a “vortex” kept the rope clear of sharp rocks.

“That will involve setting up systems to haul the garbage up and being a litter attendant,” said Kamilla Farkas, Search & Rescue Lead. “Right now, there’s no live load but there could be, so this is a good training.”

Volunteers who pulled more than 2,000 pounds of garbage out of the canyon over two days say the cleanup couldn’t happen soon enough.

“There was literally trash floating down the river where people are swimming and kayaking. Bags with hypodermic needles floating across the Deschutes River here in Bend,” Marchington said. “That’s something we don’t want to have endangering our kids and our families.”

The cleanup served as one of three monthly trainings that Deschutes County Search & Rescue volunteers undergo year-round.

Such trainings sharpen their skills for when somebody needs to be rescued from difficult to reach areas.