80th Sisters Rodeo canceled for 2nd year in a row due to COVID concerns

For the second year, the 80th Sisters Rodeo will not be held during June.

The board made the decision Tuesday night to cancel ‘The Biggest Little Show in the World’ due to COVID-19 concerns.

Amorita Anstett with the Sisters Rodeo board told Central Oregon Daily News by phone that capacity limits weighed heavily on the decision.

The rodeo was set to take place the second weekend in June at the Sisters Rodeo grounds on Highway 20.

Just Monday, Central Oregon Daily News reported on larger events and looming scheduling concerns as vaccines get rolled out across the region.

▶️ Despite uncertainty, big decisions loom for major Central Oregon events

▶️ J&J vaccine ‘pause’ not likely to impact local vaccinations this week

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have called for a pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

That includes in Oregon.

This precaution comes after six women, none from Oregon, experienced a rare side effect.

“Six women experienced a rare and severe blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis within one and three weeks of getting a Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Dr. Paul Cieslak, Oregon Health Authority senior health advisor said.

Out of an “abundance of caution,” the OHA is asking all vaccine providers to hold off administering the vaccine.

Health officials consider similar side effects to be extremely rare.

“This was about one in a million vaccine doses administered,” Cieslak said. “We still don’t know whether the vaccine was causally related to these side effects.”

A pause is in place so the CDC and FDA can further investigate, but that doesn’t give Bend resident Mare Yaroscak much confidence about it.

Yaroscak now has concerns after receiving a Johnson & Johnson dose six days ago when she expected to receive Pfizer.

“You know, just to put out there that the side effects are real and that people did have problems with it,” Yaroscak said. “Maybe only six, okay, well that’s as of today. I don’t know what’s going to happen later, I had a headache.”

Symptoms include severe headache, leg pain, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.

The OHA still recommends Oregonians take whatever vaccine becomes available to them.

According to Deschutes County Public Health, vaccinations shouldn’t be affected at the local level this week.

“We do not have any scheduled Johnson & Johnson doses this week at the mass vaccination clinic,” Dr. Wil Berry, medical director said.

Of the 76,234 vaccinated people in Deschutes County, 3,103 of them received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the OHA.

Berry says because appointments haven’t been scheduled so far in advance, it’s tough to say if the pause will have a long-term, local impact.

The OHA recommends anyone who received Johnson & Johnson be on the lookout for symptoms 21 days after their vaccination.

Anyone who passes that time frame should be in the clear.

OSU-Cascades leader to be named Oregon State interim president

OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson is expected to be named Oregon State’s new interim president following a board of trustees meeting on Friday.

“Dr. Johnson has demonstrated remarkable leadership through more than a decade of growth, challenges and success at OSU-Cascades,” said Board of Trustees Chair Rani Borkar. “She brings more than 30 years of experience at OSU – as a faculty member, associate dean in the College of Forestry and as the university’s vice provost for academic affairs and international programs.”

According to a statement from the university, the interim appointment follows a robust process seeking nominations and input from OSU community members, stakeholders and others on what is needed in the position.

This feedback was gathered through the board’s interim president webpage and outreach by Trustee Patty Bedient through one-on-one meetings with more than 50 academic leaders, OSU Faculty Senate leaders, staff, student leaders, administrators, university partners and other stakeholders.

Johnson, who joined OSU-Cascades in 2008 after 25 years in Corvallis, is expected to begin her interim presidency on May 1st and serve for about one year or until a permanent president is hired.

A spokeswoman for OSU-Cascades said Johnson wouldn’t have any comment until after the trustees meet on Friday.

Former OSU President F. King Alexander resigned the position last month after an outside investigation conducted on behalf of Louisiana State University related to Title IX investigations and services while he was president there.

Once an interim president is in place and it has a chance to consult the OSU community, the trustees will share their approach and timeline for the full search.

The board will host a university forum with Johnson from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Members of the public can view the live stream or the recorded forum at this webpage.

OSU students, faculty, staff and members of the public may submit feedback on Johnson’s nomination. Feedback submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15, will be provided to the OSU Board of Trustees in advance of its consideration of the interim president appointment at the April 16 meeting.

Public comments on the nominee also will be taken during the board meeting.

Friday’s board meeting is open to the public. Given COVID-19 guidance from the governor’s office, as well as university and county health officials, the meeting will be hosted through a remote conferencing service.

The agenda, options for joining the meeting and instructions for providing comment will be located under “Meeting Details” at this webpage.

If special accommodation is required, please contact 541-737-3449 or email lauren.skousen@oregonstate.edu at least 24 hours in advance.

▶️ Climber rescued by SAR after 7 hours stranded on South Sister

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

A Beaverton man stuck in a perilous position while climbing South Sister was hoisted to safety by a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter Monday, seven hours after calling 911 asking for help.

The climber, 49-year-old Stephen Lamb, called Deschutes County 911 shortly before 9 a.m. Monday to say he was stranded on the north side of the mountain

Sgt. Nathan Garibay, emergency services manager for DCSO, said an Air Link helicopter flew over the area Monday morning to get a visual of Lamb.

It soon became clear the situation would require technical rescuers from the Deschutes County Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Unit (MRU).

Three Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers were flown by AirLink to the summit of South Sister.

AirLink made two flights ferrying rescuers and a third flight to help find the climber.

Lamb was lifted into a Blackhawk helicopter around 4:30 p.m., Garibay said.

He was the flown to the Sisters Airport.

Lamb was uninjured but exhausted from the long climb and from holding on to a ledge for more than seven hours.

Garibay said a helicopter rescue was deemed to be the safest method get Lamb off the mountain.

Lamb found himself in a precarious location where he was unable to continue up and unable to climb back down.

He was stranded on a small ledge in very steep terrain.

Snow, ice and poor rock prevented him from being able to move from his position.

Garibay said alpine rescues like this can be especially dangerous.

“Well I think any rescue in an alpine environment is particularly challenging and potentially treacherous, so our rescuers are using caution to move to the subject without causing any further harm and being able to safely access and effect the rescue,” he said.

Rescuers had to proceed about 600 feet down a ridge off the Northwest side of the mountain and then traverse (move laterally along a slope) about 500 feet East to a location directly above Lamb, Garibay said.

Lamb was found in a precarious location in a narrow chute.

Just before 3:20 p.m. an MRU member rappelled to Lamb and secured him from falling.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank AirLink Critical Care Transport and the Oregon Army National Guard G/1-189 Aviation Regiment for their professional assistance in this rescue.

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.

Crooked River Ranch home destroyed by fire after weed burn spreads

A Crooked River Ranch home was destroyed by fire Friday after an outdoor weed burn spread to the property.

Assistant Fire Chief Sean Hartley said crews responded to the home at 14322 SW Buckhorn Place around 9:35 a.m. to find heavy fire and smoke coming from the backside of a single-story home.

The residents were able to get out of the home and nobody was injured, Hartley said.

It took crews about 40 minutes to put out the fire. Multiple crews remained on-scene for several hours performing salvage and overhaul.

The home was considered a total loss with an estimated value of $189,000.

Deschutes Co. COVID cases spiking; 560 new cases reported statewide

Deschutes County COVID cases are spiking again.

The OHA reported 51 new cases in the county on Friday, sending the current week’s count to 210.

It’s the highest single-day count since 71 cases were reported on January 26th.

Deschutes County reported 150 total cases last week, which was up from 132 cases the week before and 60 cases the week of March 20th.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 560 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the state total to 169,338.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (3), Clackamas (51), Clatsop (6), Columbia (7), Curry (7), Deschutes (51), Douglas (8), Grant (24), Harney (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (27), Jefferson (6), Josephine (18), Klamath (25), Lake (2), Lane (47), Lincoln (9), Linn (17), Malheur (2), Marion (33), Multnomah (97), Polk (11), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (10), Union (3), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (83) and Yamhill (3).

There is one new COVID related death in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,440, according to the OHA.

Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Cases by County:
  • 828 in Crook County
  • 6,633 in Deschutes County
  • 2,034 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Deaths by County:
  • 19 in Crook County
  • 72 in Deschutes County
  • 32 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Vaccination data by County:
  • 2,222 series in progress with 4,310 fully vaccinated in Crook County.
  • Total people: 6,532
  • 23,461 series in progress with 46,775 fully vaccinated in Deschutes County.
  • Total people: 70,236
  • 2,603 series in progress with 4,595 fully vaccinated in Jefferson County.
  • Total people: 7,198

Vaccination data for counties now available

Vaccination data showing the status of COVID-19 vaccinations at the county level is now available on OHA’s vaccination dashboard.

It was temporarily disabled last week. OHA resolved an issue with its geocoding process, which had previously miscategorized the location of certain vaccinated individuals.

OHA continually analyzes all its data and performs ongoing data quality checks. Vaccination data requests that included county of residence were delayed due to this issue.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 53,121 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 33,410 doses were administered on April 8 and 19,711 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on April 8.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,108,731 doses of Pfizer, 993,824 doses of Moderna and 67,071 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 859,912 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,374,408 people who have had at least one dose.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

To date, 1,363,635 doses of Pfizer, 1,215,300 doses of Moderna and 193,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Friday reported it had four COVID patients; one is in the ICU.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 158, which is 10 fewer than yesterday. There are 39 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is one more than yesterday.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

▶️ Tumalo Irrigation District says pipe project still on track after vandalism

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

The Tumalo Irrigation District was almost finished piping a stretch of canals in Tumalo, when it faced an unexpected setback.

“We were pressure testing the pipe two weeks ago and it failed the pressure test,” Chris Schull, interim general manager of the irrigation district, said. “We went investigating to find where the water was coming up, and we located seven different drill holes.”

Holes intentionally drilled, costing an estimated $100,000 in damage, according to Schull.

“It is frustrating when these issues arise,” Schull said. “It costs the district money.”

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. They won’t comment on who might be the culprit.

But the piping has been protested in the past.

In March of 2020, eight property owners filed a lawsuit against this same project, citing environmental concerns.

“I don’t want to speculate,” Schull said. “I’m going to let the Deschutes County Sheriff — they’re the professionals — do their job.”

The district was able to fill in the holes, and Schull said the water turn on date won’t be delayed.

Starting April 19, water will flow through the pipe to around 50 patrons and 520 acres of irrigated land.

“We’re going to run it this year and see how it does,” Schull said. “If we have an issue that continues to arise, that would be something we’d look at doing in the next off season, of digging that up and replacing that at that point.”

The district is offering a reward up to $10,000 for any information on the vandals.

If you have any information, contact the Sheriff’s office.

 

OHA reports 168 COVID cases – including 3 deaths – in vaccinated patients

(AP) – Of more than 700,000 people in Oregon who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 168 still tested positive for the virus and three died.

The Oregon Health Authority says that while the vaccines are all highly effective, no vaccine is 100% effective.

Vaccine breakthrough cases are instances in which a person received a positive COVID-19 test result at least 14 days after the final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine series.

Many of the vaccinated people who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced asymptomatic infection.

None of the vaccine breakthrough cases were associated with a COVID-19 variant.

The cases have been reported in 25 counties and all health care preparedness regions (Region 1: 76; Region 2: 29; Region 3: 27; Region 5: 9; Region 6: 4; Region 7: 17; Region 9: 6).

AllState

OHA is not reporting the regions in which the deaths took place.

Vaccine breakthrough cases can be prevented by basic public health interventions, such as masking, physical distancing and avoiding social gatherings.

The three deaths represent fewer than 2% of the vaccine breakthrough cases, and none of the vaccine breakthrough cases were associated with a COVID-19 variant.

State and local epidemiologists are continuing to track and investigate vaccine breakthrough cases and are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect information that may provide insight into characteristics associated with vaccine breakthrough.

City of Bend nixes motel purchase; will look for alternative shelter location

The City of Bend will abandon plans to buy the Old Mill & Suites and will look for an alternative location for a temporary homeless shelter.

City Councilors on Wednesday night directed staff to terminate the agreement after a feasibility study and inspection determined the building would not be suitable for the project.

In early February, councilors announced plans to buy the motel on SE Third Street and transition it to a shelter as part of  Project Turnkey, a State-funded grant program.

“We continue to be committed to finding a property that could be eligible for Project Turnkey funding,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Gena Goodman-Campbell. “We need to take advantage of funding opportunities like this to provide much-needed shelter options for our unhoused community members.”

The OCF’s “Project Turnkey” was established by the Legislature with the purpose of turning motels/hotels into “non-congregate shelter for people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.”

There’s $35 million available to 28 Oregon counties for such use.

The shelter would be similar to the Bethlehem Inn, which started as a temporary winter homeless shelter at local churches before moving into an old hotel property acquired by Deschutes County in 2007.

According to the Central Oregon Homeless Leadership Coalition’s point-in-time count in January, nearly 1,000 people were experiencing homelessness – a 10% jump from 2019.

For more information on Project Turnkey and the City’s efforts to address homelessness in Bend, visit www.bendoregon.gov/homelessness.