Biden: We’ll ‘manage the hell’ out of feds’ COVID response

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is pledging to boost supplies of coronavirus vaccine and set up new vaccination sites to meet his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days.

It’s part of a broader COVID strategy that also seeks to straighten out snags in testing and ensure minority communities are not left behind.

He says the lasting impact of his plan will come from uniting Americans in a new effort grounded in science and fueled by billions in federal money for vaccination, testing and outbreak sleuths.

Biden spoke a day after unveiling a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” to confront the virus and provide temporary supports for a shaky economy.

Origin Story: Ember’s Wildflower Animal Sanctuary and Bunny Rescue

Bunnies are the third most abandoned pet. One local woman is looking to change that statistic.

Lindsey Provost started Ember’s Wildflower Animal Sanctuary and Bunny Rescue just two years ago and, since then, she’s adopted out more than 80 bunnies.

She says she is just getting started.

If you want to find out more, just search Facebook for “Ember’s Wildflower Animal Sanctuary and Bunny Rescue.”

Family wins new heater from Tri County Climate

These winter months are now warmer for one lucky Central Oregon family.

Deborah Ward and her family lost their heater around Christmas three years ago.

Since then, they’ve used small space heaters to keep their home warm.

That all changed today, when Tri County Climate brought them a brand new heater.

The Wards said they are thankful to Tri County Climate for the donation.

Multnomah Co. resident tests positive for COVID variant first found in U.K.

A Multnomah County resident tested positive with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in the United Kingdom, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

This variant of the virus spreads more quickly and easily than other variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or an increased risk of death, or affects vaccine effectiveness.

The person has no known travel history and authorities are investigating possible sources of infection, according to the OHA. The OHA just learned about the person testing positive with the variant today.

“Confirming this strain locally is distressing,” said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Until we have enough vaccine, we must continue using face masks, distancing, and limiting our social interactions.”

Viruses constantly mutate so new variants of a virus are expected over time, according to the OHA.

The strain has been detected in several U.S. states including California.



Search now recovery mission for Oregon woman in landslide

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Searchers used inflatable yellow rafts and drove metal poles into deep mud Thursday as they searched for a woman who was swept away by a mudslide in Oregon during a powerful winter storm.

Authorities said later Thursday that searchers believe 50-year-old Jennifer Camus Moore’s car came to rest under 15 feet of mud and debris after it was swept away Wednesday.

Authorities say the search had become a recovery mission.

Moore, a registered nurse, was caught up in a landslide in the Columbia River Gorge that was triggered by heavy rain and high winds that pounded the Pacific Northwest Tuesday and Wednesday.

At least 15 dead as Indonesia quake topples homes, buildings

MAMUJU, Indonesia (AP) — A strong, shallow earthquake has shaken Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, toppling homes and buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least 15 people.

More than 600 people were injured during the magnitude 6.2 quake that struck just after midnight Friday and sent people fleeing their homes in the darkness.

Authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas.

There were reports of many people trapped in the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings.

Thousands of displaced people were evacuated to temporary shelters.

Man breaks into Madras small business, steals $5K worth of merchandise

Madras Vision Source was broken into early Tuesday morning and a man stole around $5,000 in sunglasses.

The man broke a window to get inside and smashed the glasses case to get the merchandise. He wore a distinctive L.A. Lakers hat and a bandana to cover his face.

“We are honored to provide a service in our community and we are grateful that this community recognizes the importance of locally-owned small business,” a post on Madras Vision Source’s Facebook said. “We also hope that someday this man understands how much harm he does to people when he takes things that do not belong to him.”

If anyone recognizes the man or has any information about the burglary, contact Madras Police.

▶️ BLP continues CDL for students opting out of in-person return


Thursday morning, Bend-La Pine Schools announced a new school option for students and families who don’t want to return to in-person learning.

Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) will continue even after schools reopen next month.

“With the federal funding that came through with the latest CARES Act there is money to cover (CDL) and we can hire additional teachers to support Bend-La Pine Schools Online, in-person options and CDL.”

Before the CDL announcement, the only option for students staying home was Bend-La Pine Schools Online, which doesn’t have much teacher or peer interaction.

Stacey Sebastian is thankful for CDL for her Desert Sky first grader.

“We definitely want CDL,” Sebastian said. “It gives us more opportunity to keep working, stay safe for our own personal family reasons, and not become homeschool parents.”

She’s not the only one. Nordquist said about 170 out of the 3,500 respondents to a school survey said they were interested in CDL.

For parent Amber Hossick, the new option feels like the right choice for her sons from a health perspective.

“We don’t actually have good studies to say, yeah, this doesn’t spread through schools,” Hossick said. “For the safety of our children and their long-term health, this was a better option.”

For parent Melissa Blackette, some high-risk family members and a son who has been thriving in online school make the new option seem like the right fit.

“One of my sons does amazingly well with it,” Blackette said. “He’s more of a quiet introvert type and the amount of interaction there is is just right for him.”

Parents need to let the school district know if they’ll partake in CDL by Jan. 20.

The new option is estimated to begin Feb. 8.

Leaders like UK’s Johnson who wooed Trump face tricky reset

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said a lot of nice things about U.S. President Donald Trump over the years.

He has professed his admiration and even suggested Trump might be worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

After a mob of Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, however, Johnson changed his tune.

He said Trump had encouraged the violent insurrection and was “completely wrong.”

It was a dramatic pivot for a leader who has often been compared to Trump and refrained for years from openly criticizing him.

Johnson’s critics say his years of flattering Trump have harmed Britain’s international authority and poisoned its political culture.

Environmentalists move toward lawsuit over fuel break plan

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Environmentalists have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. government to block plans to build up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks they contend would violate the Endangered Species Act in six western states.

Four conservation groups say the Bureau of Land Management’s project would be shielded from legitimate review under last-minute moves by the outgoing Trump administration.

The critics say the fuel breaks intended to slow the advance of wildfires are planned in conjunction with widespread clearcutting, herbicide spraying, grazing and prescribed fire.

The bureau counters that the project will allow land managers to select the approaches that make sense for their specific communities and landscapes.