▶️ ‘We exist:’ New underpass mural sheds light on Latinx Bend community

A key piece of Bend that’s often overlooked.

That could be a way to describe the Franklin underpass tunnel in Bend.

But it also could be a way to describe the local Latinx community.

Photojournalist Steve Kaufmann shows us how two sometimes overlooked yet critical parts of our community are coming together to create a display no one can miss.

You can find more information about Proyecto Mural here.

▶️ Wilderness enthusiasts lament ‘inevitable’ need for trail-use permits

Beginning Friday, you’ll now need a permit to access three popular wilderness areas in Central Oregon.

The Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System runs until Sept. 24th.

Central Oregon Daily’s Steve Kaufmann went to a trailhead outside Sisters to get some reaction from those heading out into the forest.

For more info:




▶️ Thinning the Herd: Changes made to complicated Ochoco wild horse management plan

After years of work, the U.S. Forest Service on Friday finalized an updated management plan for the wild horses that roam the Ochoco National Forest.

The plan calls for a herd size between 47-57 horses in a territory that is a little over 25,000 acres.

The original plan has been on the books since 1975.

“This brings up to the current climate and conditions we have now,” said Kassidy Kern, Public Affairs Officer with the Ochoco National Forest.

The move comes as the population swelled to upwards of 150, causing horses to move out of their designated territory, damaging sensitive areas of the forest, and decreasing forage for other wildlife and livestock.

“We also have multiple uses out there and so how are we managing this herd to sustain them into the future to maximize their genetic variability or increase it while also understanding that we need to do the same for deer and elk habitat and we need to provide opportunities for livestock grazing as well,” Kern said.

The process drew passionate comments from both sides of the fence.

Gayle Hunt of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition was disappointed with the decision.

“We’re a lot more comfortable with the current number that seems to be natural for them. Our contention is also that this forest can support a much bigger herd, it has and it can,” Hunt said.

Hunt said the organization has not ruled out legal action.

The Forest Service will gather and remove horses, a process that could start as early as this fall and take up to five years to reach the desired levels.

Contraception medications could be used to control fertility and slow the growth of the herd.

The plan also lays out an Emergency Action Framework to deal with equine who may be suffering.

“We love this herd, we want this herd to sustain well into the future,” Kern said.

Central Oregon Daily’s Steve Kaufmann has been working on this story, and in the video above, has more background on the wild horse herd and the issues that lead to the changes.

You can read the plan here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/100829_FSPLT3_5635287.pdf

▶️ 2020 Frog Fire: Restoration check-in on the Ochoco National Forest

The Frog Fire burned thousands of acres in the Ochoco National Forest in August of 2020.

Lumber, gone up in flames in the Maury Mountains.

Post-fire logging, salvage logging and hazard tree removal can be controversial topics when it comes to forest restoration following wildfire activity.

Central Oregon Daily News’ photojournalist Steve Kaufmann spoke with the National Forest and an environmental group to hear about post-fire clean-up.

Witnesses sought in Bend Parkway crash

A two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 near Murphy Road sent four people to the hospital, and has Oregon State Police looking for a truck that left the scene.

In an investigation by OSP,  around 11 p.m. Friday night a southbound Subaru Legacy driven by a Bend man collied with a Jeep Grand Cherokee whose driver is also from Bend.

Both drivers, along with two passengers in the Jeep were taken to St. Charles Bend.

According to OSP, there was a black pickup in the area at the time, it stopped at the scene, and then left heading south on Highway 97 before emergency responders arrived.

OSP would like to speak with the driver and any passengers that were in the black pickup.

They’re asking that anyone who witnessed the crash, or events leading up to the crash, to call the Oregon State Police at 1-800-422-0776 and leave information for Sergeant Caleb Ratliff referencing case #SP21-099724.

Store clerk stabbed during early morning robbery in Redmond

An employee was stabbed during a robbery at gas station in Redmond early Saturday morning.

Redmond Police say three people wearing masks entered the Chevron Circle K on South Highway 97 just before 3:30 AM confronting the clerk in an attempt to gain access to the cash register.

At some point during the confrontation the employee was stabbed a number of times by one of the individuals, said Sgt. Tyler Kirk.

The victim is a 27-year-old female Redmond area resident.

She was taken to St Charles Redmond with serious injuries.

All three suspects left in an unknown vehicle, according to Kirk.

Police released a frame grab from a security camera. In the picture you can see one of the suspects at the counter, the employee behind the register. It appears one of the other suspects is standing off to the side, their face just out of frame.

No details were disclosed about any items taken in the robbery.

Redmond Police continue to investigate and ask that anyone with information about the incident call the department at 541-693-6911.