▶️ 20th Annual Veterans Day Parade honors all who have served

The 20th annual Veterans Day Parade happened Monday in Downtown Bend.

Much of the Central Oregon Daily News team took part in the event, thrilled to represent the newsroom at such an important event.

Eric Lindstrom was there too, capturing some of the sights and sounds from an amazing celebration honoring all those who have served.

Weren’t able to make it downtown for the parade? You can watch a replay of Central Oregon Daily’s live coverage right here.


▶️ March of Dimes gives Oregon an A- for maternal and infant health


Last year more than 10 percent of American babies were born prematurely.

An experience Sarah Wilburn knows all too well after her twin girls were born underweight and spent two weeks in the St. Charles-Bend Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“They are eating fantastic,” Wilburn said. “They are putting on weight as expected and they will be going home tomorrow. (Congratulations.) Thank you. Can’t wait.”

Depending on how early they are born, premature babies often require intensive and expensive medical care to breath, eat and develop into healthy children. More than 22,000 babies die in the U.S. before their first birthday

Oregon, however, was the only state to receive an A- in a new March of Dimes’ Report Card “revealing the nation’s current state of maternal and infant health.”

According to the report card, overall preterm births worsened in 30 states, with six states earning a failing grade compared to only four last year.

“Every American should be alarmed about the state of maternal and infant health in this country, because it is an issue that touches each one of us. This is one crisis, not two. The health of moms and babies is powerfully linked, and we need to start treating it as such,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes.

In Oregon, the rate of premature births is just 7 percent. 

“Oregon has one of the lowest rates of uninsured and in addition to that, the quality of pre-natal care is very good,” said Dr. Aryan Azimi, Director of Neonatology at St. Charles Medical Center. “So those go hand in hand. If you receive good prenatal care that prevents pre-term deliveries.”

The March of Dimes recommends expanding programs to care for pregnant women, ensuring that women have access to public health insurance programs and expanding Medicaid to cover low income families

“Some babies are with us up to three months at one end of the spectrum,” Azimi said. “At the other end of the spectrum we have babies that come in for 5 to 7 days and they are out of here.”

Azimi says obstetricians are the unsung heroes in the fight against premature births. OB-GYN’s are the first to detect problems early in pregnancy and provide medical care that helps mothers carry babies full term.

About 700 women die annually in the United States from pregnancy-related complications. More than half those deaths are preventable according to the March of Dimes.

▶️ Fans of “The Texaco Bird Guy” raise money for family’s health struggles


Lee Bennett has worked at the Texaco on Galveston Avenue in Bend for nearly a decade.

Known as “The Texaco Bird Guy” because of his penchant for feeding the birds at the gas station, he’s also known for his bright personality.

“He’s kind, he puts everything he has into his job and I’ve always loved how he fed the birds, he’s just a really kind soul,” said Alicia Vickery of Bend. “That’s why I get my gas there is because of Lee, my kids adore him.”

Unfortunately, tragedy recently struck the beloved gas station attendant and his family.

According to his co-workers, a few months ago Bennett had to have shoulder surgery that forced him to miss work for months.

Those who know him also say his wife is struggling with a serious illness.

When the community heard about Bennett’s personal struggles, they started up a fundraiser on Facebook to help Bennett pay their medical bills, and allow him to spend more time with his wife.

In just a few days, they raised more than $7,000 – which is more than double their goal.

This afternoon, some of the people who’d raised money for Bennett, gave him the money they raised.

“Whether people know you for loving KISS and rocking out, or loving and feeding your birds, your community has rallied around you and wanted to support you.”

“It’s a huge part of our community just to give back and Lee gives so much of himself that’s free and unconditional and he does it just because he’s a kind person,” Vickery said.

Bennett couldn’t stick around to talk to us as he was racing off to be with his wife, but he was incredibly grateful and touched by the gesture.

Redmond Police pursue stolen car; suspect able to get away

Redmond Police tried to chase down a reported stolen car Sunday afternoon, but the suspect was able to get away after the pursuit became too unsafe for officers to continue.

Police took a report of a stolen 2012 black Volkswagen EOS from the 2900 block of SW 24th Court in Redmond about 10 a.m. Sunday morning, said Lt. Curtis Chambers.  A few hours later at 3:45 PM, officers found the car in the Walmart parking lot in Redmond.  A suspect was painting the tires/wheels in the parking lot, Chambers said. The actual car is pictured above.

Officers tried to contact the suspect and car, but the suspect drove away and left the parking lot, going west on NW Maple Avenue then on Northwest Way into Terrebonne. The car eventually went back south toward Redmond on Hwy 97 and then started driving south in the northbound lanes of Hwy 97 in the area of N. Canal Blvd & NW 6th Street.  Chambers said during the pursuit, speeds exceeded 80 miles per hour.


In the interest of public safety, the officers stopped pursuing the suspect.  Chambers said many variables are taken into account when officers are pursuing a vehicle/suspect and in this case, terminating the pursuit was the safest decision.

The stolen vehicle and driver were last seen driving south on N Canal Blvd. in the area of St. Charles-Redmond.

Officers are actively investigating leads and seeking the public’s assistance.  If you saw a black Volkswagen convertible with a damaged front bumper, please contact Deschutes County 911 Dispatch and ask to speak with the Redmond Police Department.

Bend PD: Woman arrested for DUII hit and run left infant at home alone

A woman driving drunk crashed into three cars and drove away from the scene Sunday night – all while her 2-month-old baby was at home alone, according to Bend Police.

Just before 8:30 p.m. officers responded to a hit and run crash near NW Olney Avenue and NW Bond Street. Officers arrived in the area of the crash and determined a silver Chevy car driven by a woman caused a collision that involved three other vehicles, including one with two kids inside, said Sgt. R.C. Bigelow. The woman left the crash scene.

Moments later, someone called 911 and reported a Chevy car was crashed facing the wrong way (northbound) on the southbound exit to the Parkway at NW Revere Avenue. Bigelow said the caller gave a description of the woman and reported she ran from the crashed car.

The woman was contacted by an assisting Oregon State Police trooper before being arrested by Bend PD for suspicion of DUII and hit and run, Bigelow said. The continued investigation revealed the that the woman, identified as as 26-year-old Katie Hall, had an infant child at her home. Officers conducted a welfare check on the 2-month-old. Officers found the child home, alone on the hardwood floor of the residence, Bigelow said.

It appeared to the officers that the child may have fallen from the bed where it had been left unattended. Paramedics responded and evaluated the child, but the infant did not require medical attention and was left in the care of family.

The Bend Police Department was assisted by the Oregon State Police, The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division.

Hall was charged with felony DUII, felony hit and run, misdemeanor hit and run, second-degree child neglect and five counts of reckless endangering.

Court records show she was on conditional release after being charged with failure to perform the duties of a driver back in September.

She was twice charged with DUII in June 2014, pleading guilty to one of the charges in September that year.


Streaker arrested after eluding authorities

A Bend man took advantage of the unseasonably-warm temps on Friday by going for a jog, naked, until authorities were able to stop him.

The pursuit happened about 3 p.m. Friday on NE Jamison St. as 27-year-old William Thomas Matthias slowly ran down the sidewalk.

Cellphone video from a witness shows Matthias smiling and waving as DCSO patrol cars followed him and tried to block his path when he crossed a business driveway. But he just ran around it and continued on his way.

He was finally stopped by a DCSO deputy and arrested. He was taken to jail and charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and for a probation violation.

Temperatures reached 73 degrees in Bend on Friday, more than 20 degrees higher than our average for this time of year.



Bend man arrested after argument leads to shooting

A Bend man was charged with attempted murder Saturday after an argument during a college football game led to a shooting, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. William Bailey said deputies were dispatched at 2:49 p.m. to a report of a person who had been shot in the 21500 block of Bear Creek Road. A DCSO SWAT team and a team of DCSO negotiators were also dispatched to the scene based on the call information.

Deputies arrived and found a man with a gunshot wound to the back of his head and neck area, Bailey said. A deputy placed the victim, a 40-year-old man from Maine, in his patrol vehicle and quickly took him to St. Charles in Bend for apparent non-life threatening injuries.

Additional deputies, Bend Police officers, Oregon State Police troopers, and the DCSO SWAT team arrived at the house and established a perimeter to contain the suspect.

At 3:26 pm, 51-year-old Christopher A. Honey of Bend surrendered to the DCSO SWAT team without incident, Bailey said.

Bailey said detectives learned Honey and another man were at the house watching the LSU-Alabama college football game. They got into a verbal, then physical argument which led to Honey getting a shotgun with a birdshot shell and shooting the male victim one time in the head and neck area as the victim was walking away, Bailey said.

Honey was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and charged with attempted murder, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon and menacing among other charges.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this incident.



Bend bank employees mistake wallet for a weapon, call 911

Downtown Bend US Bank employees hid under their desks and called 911 on Friday worried a man had come inside with a gun.

Turned out it was just his wallet. He left and went outside to the ATM.

According to police, an employee of the bank called 911 reporting a black man wearing a bandana on his head and a hoodie came into the bank with what they thought was a gun.

“Based on the information given to 911 Dispatch, several Bend Police officers and detectives responded and started an investigation into the incident,” said Lt. Clint Burleigh. “Detectives and officers learned through the investigation that the customer did not possess a firearm. His wallet was mistaken for the reported firearm.”

▶️ No foul play suspected in woman’s death; remains found in Bend Thursday

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office on Friday said they are still working to identify the remains of a woman found in a field in Bend, but they don’t suspect foul play in her death.

“Based on the results of the investigation up to this point, an autopsy is not planned,” said Sgt. William Bailey.

An employee of the property owner discovered the remains Thursday in a field just north of the intersection of Butler Market and Camby Road around 3:20 p.m.

The searchers formed a tight grid to scour the location on Friday, looking for more clues that might reveal the woman’s identity. Bailey said the remains look to have been in the field for weeks or possibly months.

Deputies and detectives were assisted by the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, Deschutes County Medical Examiner, and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, to document, collect evidence, and recover the human remains, Bailey said.


▶️ Future students brainstorming new high school mascot, colors

Bend’s newest high school isn’t set to open until fall 2021, but staff is already making big decisions like what the school’s mascot and colors should be.

And who better to help make those decisions than the school’s future students.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat in with students at High Desert Middle School as they started brainstorming ideas.