Deschutes County Search and Rescue assist stranded backcountry skiers

According to Deschutes County 911 Dispatch, on Friday, at about 5:27 PM, they received a 911 call from a backcountry skier near Todd Lake. 

The caller reported that his ski companion was having a ski malfunction that they could not repair in the field, and they were unable to make it back out of the location unassisted.  

With the assistance of a Garmin In-Reach that the skiers had with them, the caller was able to provide accurate GPS coordinates of their location. 

The skiers were reported to have food, water, appropriate winter clothing, and gear to remain in place.  The subjects were advised to remain at the location together and stay warm until assistance arrived.   

At approximately 10:03 PM, the SAR volunteers made contact with the stranded skiers. 

The two skiers were in good health, and they were assisted back down the mountain and to the awaiting snowmobiles. 

The skiers were then transported by snowmobiles out of the location and back to Mt. Bachelor to their vehicle.

Bend man tears through property after dispute, faces multiple charges

A Bend man was arrested after an assault and a wild ride through a property east of Bend.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call in the 62600 block of Erickson Road around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Accord to Sergeant Jason Wall, deputies were dispatched to the area on a report of a man in a vehicle crashing into parked cars and outbuildings.

When deputies arrived they found the man, later identified as 32-year-old Brandon Hoff of Bend, standing near a vehicle with heavy front end damage. He was taken into custody without incident.

An investigation determined Hoff assaulted another man on the property and then drove his Ford Escape into parked vehicles, through a fence, and the bay door of a shed.

One of the cars he hit crashed into an attached garage causing damage to a home.

A number of horses escaped when Hoff tore through fencing around their pasture.

The property damage was estimated to be in excess of $50,000.

Hoff was charged with Assault 4th Degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, menacing, Reckless Endangering Another Person.

▶️ Bend Park and Rec winter registration starts Monday with changes

After experiencing technical difficulties in recent seasons, the Bend Park and Recreation District hopes this time around the winter registration process will be as smooth as skating on ice.

After the website crashed during fall registration, and after receiving more than 1,200 responses from a survey asking what they can do to improve, BPRD went to work on making changes.

“The big change this year is that we’re gonna have three days of opening registrations,” Communications and Community Relations Manager for BPRD Julie Brown said. “So Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all going to be opening days with different recreational programs that will be offered.”

RELATED: Bend Park & Rec training program teaches students to be swim instructors

RELATED: After website crash, Bend Park & Rec says staggered registration possible

In past seasons, there was only one designated day to register for all of the different programs, which led to servers overloads and webpage crashes. 

“When they open up everything all at the same time, it tends to crash in the morning,” BPRD Lunch League hockey player Chris Campbell said. “When you sign up for pickup games and things like that, you don’t have a problem with it.” 

Another change is the use of online waiting rooms, a method used often for concert ticket sales.

“It really is going to allow for a patron to be able to see how many people are in front of them in the line,” Brown said. “On our side of things we’re going to be able to manage the flow of people who are registering at any given time.”

Registration opens at 6 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Each day is for different programs:

  • Monday, Dec. 5 at 6:00 a.m.: Recreation/enrichment programs
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6:00 a.m.: Swim lessons/programs
  • Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:00 a.m.: Sports, ice sports and winter/spring sports leagues including adult curling, adult/youth hockey, youth indoor soccer, youth lacrosse and youth softball leagues.

You can register here.

▶️ Bend Christmas Parade and Redmond Festival of Trees Saturday

The Bend Christmas Parade hits the streets of downtown Saturday.

This year’s theme is “A High Desert Christmas” and the grand marshal is Bend resident James Lussier.

The parade kicks off at noon with about 100 entrants this year. It should go about an hour.

Redmond Festival of Trees

The 39th Annual Festival of Trees, put on by the Hospice of Redmond, will be at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in the Middle Sister Building Saturday.

There’s a family fun tree preview from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The gala and tree auction starts at 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are available online for $75 per person. Funds raised go to provide services to the terminally ill and their families not covered by Medicare or private insurance.

Celebrate winter in the forest

The Ochoco National Forest and Discover Your Forest is hosting a family-friendly event Saturday at the Ochoco Ranger Station Pavilion east of Prineville.

It features a scavenger hunt, snow shoeing and a visit from Smokey Bear himself. 

Christmas tree permits will also be available for purchase at the event for $5.

The event kicks goes from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

The guided snowshoe tour starts at 2:00 p.m. at the gated entrance to Walton Lake. A limited number of snowshoes are available for on-site use but the public is encouraged to bring their own if they have a pair.

To get to the ranger station, take Highway 26 north for 16 miles. Turn right on Ochoco Ranger Station Road and go nine miles to the Ranger Station, then turn left, proceed across the small bridge and take a right into the Forest Camp fee station. Continue on to the pavilion group site.


▶️ Bend PD will not enforce new camping code; Officers will be last resort

The Bend Police Department will not be involved in the enforcement of recently approved Title 4, or the camping code, unless a crime is being committed.

Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz told us camping on public right-of-ways, after March 1, 2023, will be a “low level violation.” This means the police would only have the ability to issue a citation, not to arrest or move anyone.

“The goal is to not have police involved,” said Chief Krantz.

Instead, the City of Bend will enforce it and will try to get voluntary cooperation as a first step.

“We have code enforcement officers through the City of Bend so we have folks that do code enforcement typically on private property as well as folks doing code enforcement on the rights-of-ways,” said Bend City Manager Eric King. 

RELATED: ‘I won’t stay in a shelter’: Unhoused Bend resident reacts to camping code

RELATED: Bend City Council narrowly approves new unhoused camping code

King added that city officials will be there to explain the new codes. 

“The code enforcement is just there to talk about the rules that we have in place: the time, place and manner,” said King. 

Additional resources will accompany the enforcement officer to assist the unhoused individual. 

“Mental Health, addition treatment, services, things like that. That is not something we have training for. That would be typically the county or a nonprofit service provider,” said King. 

If police are involved: 

“We could issue a citation. We’re not very reliant on the citation. I just do not know if that will be a solution. It’s an option,” said Krantz.

Krantz also explained there is no warrant system in place through the municipal court, so if homeless people are given a citation and cannot pay it, there is little enforcement or actions taken against them.

Bend taking applications for city council vacancy as Kebler becomes mayor

Current Bend City Councilor and Mayor-elect Melanie Kebler takes her new role on Jan. 4, creating a vacancy on the council. The city is now taking applications to fill that vacancy.

The city charter says a vacancy on the council has to be filled within 30 days of declaration. 

Kebler is on Position 1 of the council and that position has two years left on the term.

“Applicants can complete an online application and submit a letter of interest which may address such areas as reasons for wanting to serve on the Council, working as a part of a team and representing various areas of the community,” the city said in its announcement.

RELATED: Bend City Council narrowly approves new unhoused camping code

RELATED: Bend has 2 new city councilors: Here are their priorities

A description of the application process and application will be available at this link. Applicants can also go to City Hall, 710 NW Wall Street, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to fill out an application. Contact Melissa Mitsch to set up an appointment at 541-388-5505 or

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 6. After reviewing applications and interviewing candidates, the council is expected to make an appointment on January 18. The city says the goal is to have the new councilor seated before the council begins its goal-setting process.

That position will continue through December 2024.


▶️ PD: Bend woman arrested for DUII after driving over islands, hitting Jeep

A Bend woman was arrested for DUII after police say she drove over two parking lot islands, hit a Jeep Wrangler and then hid in the bushes before being captured with the help of a drone Thursday night.

It happened at about 9:10 p.m. Bend Police say officers responded to a report of a DUII driver speeding through the parking lot of the Sportsman’s Warehouse next to the Home Depot on the north end of the city.

Officers spotted a silver Honda CRX Del Sol parked on the east side of the building, Bend PD said. As officers approached, the Honda drove away. When an officer activated his lights and sirens and tried to stop the Honda, the driver allegedly sped away without the headlights on and drove over two parking lot islands.

RELATED: Bend police make 6 DUII arrests in 48 hours: Here’s where and when

RELATED: Teen ejected in rollover crash in La Pine; Driver facing DUII charge

Officers did not pursue the Honda, Bend Police said, out of concern for public safety. The Honda left the parking lot and headed northbound on Highway 97 in the southbound lanes.

Bend Police say the Honda hit a Jeep Wrangler moments later that had just turned left onto northbound Highway 97 from Cooley Road.

The Honda driver then fled the scene on foot, police said. A drone later located her in the bushes nearby and she was taken into custody with the help of a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team.

Police have identified the driver as Jessica Nicole Capasso, 31, of Bend. Officers allegedly found evidence of drug use in the Honda.

Capasso was taken to St. Charles in Bend before being booked into the Deschutes County Jail on the following charges:

  • DUII – drugs
  • Attempting to Elude a Police Officer – felony
  • Reckless Driving
  • Reckless Endangering x6
  • Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver – property damage
  • Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver – injury
  • Driving While Suspended
  • Probation Violation – felony
  • Assault IV
  • Criminal Mischief II

▶️ Mental health professionals on impacts of Safeway shooting video release

After the Bend Police Department’s release Thursday of the surveillance video from the Safeway shooting that took the lives of two community members on August 28, local mental health providers are offering extra support. 

It’s a chance for people to decide for themselves whether or not to watch the disturbing footage.

“I think when people see this, that it will have an impact. And I think being prepared for that is super important,” said Kevin Shaw, LCSW, the Owner and Founder of Brightways Counseling Group. 

He said that in the days following the tragedy, the mental impacts on their clients were visible. 

“What we did see is not just an increase in wanting to get in, but people who were already being seen, it instantly had an impact on treatment,” Shaw said. “All of a sudden, this is something new, immediate, close to home. And in some cases they can set people back because it can reframe people’s perspective of what is safe, and what is meaning in life for them. So this can be very disturbing.”

RELATED: Bend Safeway shooting surveillance video released by Bend Police

RELATED: Bend PD Chief: We’re under legal obligation to release Safeway shooting video

Tara Hare, LPC, the North County Hub Supervisor with Deschutes County Behavioral Health Services, said they saw around 100 people come through their Community Assistance Center they provided in the days following the shooting. 

“Whether you heard about it in the news or in the media, finding out about a traumatic event of any kind, where, like I said, whether you’re a direct witness to it or whether you’re watching it on replay, it has an impact differently for each person because each of us have come into that situation with different things happening in our own lives,” Hare said. 

With the release of the surveillance footage, the risk for re-traumatization is high. 

“I think for any of us, we need to check where we are at, what’s going on or what has gone on in our own lives,” Hare said. “This can be a really hard time of year anyway. And so you add in having the opportunity to watch and rewatch a traumatizing or re-traumatizing potentially video is important to consider where you’re at, what resources you already have in place to connect with and support you.” 

She said people should take note if they are experiencing flashbacks, increased indulgence in self-destructive habits, or challenges with sleep, as they could be signs of emotional triggering. 

Behavioral Health will be offering additional supports Friday through Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Stabilization Center at 63311 NE Jamison Street in Bend. 

“We’ll have additional support staff who are trained in using a crisis assistance stress management model,” Hare said. 

Shaw said it’s important to validate any feelings you may have if you choose to watch the footage. 

“Just don’t don’t say, ‘get over it, you got to move on,'” he said. “Give yourself an opportunity to understand that that is a tough thing to watch. And the other thing is, is to do the things that you’ve always done that have helped you feel good. If you’re involved in being outdoors, you know, go for a walk, do something outdoors, and and then always keep a kind of a positive mindset of things that are positive that are happening in our world today.”

Mental health tools to help with coping are important, but there is always another option. 

“Keep in mind that you don’t have to watch the video,” Shaw said. “And if you do watch it, you don’t have to keep watching it over and over again. You are in control of what comes into your mind and your thoughts and into your life.” 

When asked if he had personally seen the footage, he said, “I’m afraid to watch the video. I feel like that I have to take my own advice. I have to think about making sure that I validate myself as is going to be hard. And then I have kids. I have to think about being prepared to talk to my little one about it, and we used to live right next to that Safeway, and so definitely I’ve got my own work cut out for me.” 

“If you know that this has a potential to be really impactful to you, then consider if now’s the time or if any time you don’t have to watch it,” Hare added. 

She did watch the video, she said, because she wanted to know what the community would be going through. 

“Honestly, if I had the choice, I just wouldn’t watch any of those videos and not sure it’s the most helpful,” she said. 

For more information about the mental health services provided by the county for the rest of this week and year-round, visit Deschutes County Mental Health Recommended Resources | Deschutes County Oregon.

▶️ AAA adds EV charging truck to Bend to alleviate ‘range anxiety’

Range anxiety is a term electric vehicle manufacturers know well. It’s the reason most people are still waiting to buy an electric vehicle.

Range anxiety is the fear of running out of juice in the middle of a trip and there’s nowhere to recharge. It’s one of the reasons AAA has added a mobile EV charging truck to Bend as part of a pilot program that started in Portland.

“We are adding Bend to our markets where we offer roadside mobile charging for electric vehicles. So, it’s just like if you’re a AAA member and you run out of gas, you know we can come and bring you a gallon of fuel. Well, now if your electric vehicle runs out of charge, we can provide service and get you a charge right there on the roadside,” said AAA spokesperson Marie Dodds.

RELATED: Consumer Reports releases list of most reliable cars of 2022

RELATED: Oregon State University plans to develop new rechargeable battery

Dodds says a roadside charge will get a driver about 15 miles. 

She says adding Bend to the charging truck program was a no-brainer. Oregon has the 4th highest per-capita number of EV owners in the country.

While AAA does not expect to get nearly the number of charging calls as it does “I’m out of gas” calls, the program does add a little piece of mind for EV drivers.