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

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

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.

Driver sought after hitting young pedestrian in Redmond crosswalk

Redmond Police is looking for a woman suspected of hitting a minor pedestrian with her truck earlier this month.

Police say the crash happened February 17th at the crosswalk at SW Highland Ave. and SW 15th St.

The victim was hit crossing the street and the driver pulled over, police said.

The driver even provided the victim a ride home but did not talk with the victim’s parents or leave any information with them.

The suspect’s truck is a white Ford F-150 with a white tonneau cover.

The driver was described as a white woman between the ages of 40-50 with light blonde hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 541-693-6911; reference case no. 21-3692.

 

Florence café fined nearly $18K over COVID-19 rules

FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon has fined a Florence restaurant nearly $18,000 for willfully exposing workers to COVID-19 after an investigation in which officials say compliance officers were threatened.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced the fine for The New Blue Hen.

Officials say complaints led to an inspection which was carried out despite several people – including one carrying a firearm – who blocked the business’ entrance and threatened compliance officers.

The investigation found the restaurant had been allowing indoor dining since at least Dec. 26.

The restaurant didn’t immediately respond to The Register-Guard’s message seeking comment.

The restaurant has 30 days to appeal.

Top board leaders resign after deadly Texas power outages

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Four board leaders of Texas’ embattled power grid operator are resigning.

The announcement Tuesday follows outrage over more than 4 million customers losing power during a deadly winter freeze last week.

All of the board directors stepping down live outside of Texas, which only intensified criticism of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

The resignations are effective Wednesday, one day before Texas lawmakers are set to begin hearings over the outages in the state Capitol.

Portland to pay $2M to settle fatal police shooting of teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Portland is set to pay $2 million to relatives of a teen suspected in an armed robbery and attempted carjacking who was shot and killed by police four years ago.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the settlement was reached in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Lawyers for Quanice Hayes’ family argued Hayes was not a threat when he was killed on Feb. 9, 2017.

They say he was unarmed on his knees and moving forward in an attempt to lie on the ground in response to commands from officers.

The lawsuit contends police acted unreasonably with excessive force.

A grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing by officers.