Bend PD make 2 arrests in tools, trailer thefts

Two transients were arrested on Tuesday on a series of theft charges after Bend Police said they stole tools and a cargo trailer from a construction site.

A caller reported seeing two people standing outside a dumpster in the area of 20600 Grandview Drive in Bend, and they had bolt cutters.

They said a log splitter was also in the dumpster area and they believed the log splitter was stolen.

When Bend PD responded, officers said they located 31-year-old Michael Delucia.

The investigation found that Delucia and Brent Hermanns had stolen a log splitter from Lowe’s earlier in the morning.

Both Delucia and Hermanns were identified through video surveillance.

Delucia and Hermanns were found to be associated with a travel trailer parked on Hunnel Road.

During the investigation regarding the stolen log splitter, officers found evidence that connected Hermanns to a recovered cargo trailer that was stolen from around a construction site in the 600 block of NW York between February 28th and March 1st.

During the theft investigation on NW York on March 1st, it was reported around $15,000 dollars of tools were stolen from the construction site.

Other items stolen from the construction site were found inside and around the travel trailer on Hunnel Road.

The stolen cargo trailer was previously recovered on Forrest Service Road 41 on March 1st with the stolen tools inside of it.

Hermanns was arrested and taken to the Deschutes County Jail, where he was lodged for Theft I, Aggravated Theft I, Burglary II, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief III and Possession of Burglary Tools and Probation Violation.

Delucia was arrested for Theft II and Criminal Mischief II. He was issued a citation to appear in Deschutes County Circuit Court on the listed charges.

Officers are continuing to investigate this incident. Further arrests could follow based on the information received.

▶️ Another week, another race for appts. as vaccine demand overwhelms supply

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Another week of Deschutes County COVID vaccination sign-ups filled in less than an hour Tuesday morning, available to residents age 65 and older.

Brigitte Calkins woke up early determined to get her 65-year-old husband, who is considered high risk, signed up for an appointment.

“I waited, and I waited, and I waited,” Calkins said. “After about eight minutes I thought there’s something wrong here.”

Sign-ups began at 9 a.m. and Calkins tried to make an appointment right away.

The Bend woman says she finally got on the site by 9:30 a.m. only to see “all appointments are filled.”

“I was there in plenty of time to get an appointment and I didn’t get one,” Calkins said. “It was really frustrating to me because I’m getting it for my husband.”

Calkins’ husband, Dennis, has had two bone marrow transplants and now has Graft vs. Host Disease; where donor bone marrow or stem cells attack the recipient.

“He has a better chance of getting the virus than a lot of people in town,” Calkins said. “I’d say most people in town.”

According to Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Public Health, vaccination sign-ups are difficult when demand is greater than supply and it will likely take weeks before all eligible residents are scheduled.

“We have about 25,000 residents 65 and older who are waiting for their first dose,” Emerson said. “With about 2,500 vaccine appointments this week.”

Emerson says in the first 12 minutes of sign-ups, 93% of Thursday’s and 45% of Friday’s appointments were booked.

She adds the reason residents age 65 and older became eligible before all 70 and older residents were vaccinated is due to guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

Despite Calkins’ most recent attempt, will she try again next week?

“If I have to stay up all night to do it again, I’ll do it again and try to be the first person on,” Calkins said. “It didn’t work this time on this one, so I’ll try something else.”

 

▶️ Plans appear to show Tesla service center in the works for Bend’s north side

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Bend couple Richard and Linda Ingle love owning their two Teslas.

They’re fun to drive, they lower pollution…But getting them serviced?

That’s another story.

“If something were to go radically wrong, having to take it over to Portland is not a good deal,” Richard said. “Driving it or even having it towed a few miles to a service center here would be a game-changer.”

Plans and permits filed with the city of Bend show a Tesla service center is possibly on the horizon in the former mattress factory building on Bend’s north side.

But neither Tesla nor the property broker could confirm the plans.

If things move forward, it could be a game-changer for more than all the Tesla owners here.

“A service center like this is I think one of those checkboxes, like hey I can move to Central Oregon because it has a place, I can get my car serviced,” said Roger Lee, CEO of Economic Development for Central Oregon, an agency that works with businesses to set up shop in the region. “I think this is one of those things that maybe people move to a city and expect it is there and this development I think delivers that.”

For now, the Ingles and other Tesla owners have to travel over the mountains or rely on mobile repair services like the one they had on Tuesday morning.

“We had our maintenance. Changed out the air filter and wiper blades,” Linda said. “He came to us, which was great and that is the only maintenance it has needed.”

And the mechanic seemed to have an inside scoop.

“He said that in a few months there would be a service center in the area,” Linda said. “Having it here. I don’t know why anybody would buy any other car.”

Deschutes Co. woman dies from COVID complications; cases down 6 straight weeks

Deschutes County COVID cases declined again last week, marking six straight weeks with falling virus numbers.

County health reported 105 cases last week, down from 135 the previous week.

And the trend could continue; the county has reported just 16 cases so far this week.

The weekly case count in Deschutes County peaked at 454 in late November.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the county reported 1,644 active cases – that’s one in 120 residents; 4,258 patients have recovered.

Overall, the county has reported 5,962 cases and 60 deaths.

The Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday reported a 91-year-old Deschutes County woman died Feb. 16th after testing positive late last month. She had underlying conditions.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority reported Tuesday 13 COVID-19 related deaths, raising the state’s death toll to 2,225.

The OHA reported 269 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19,  bringing the state total to 156,037.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Deschutes County: 36,138

Crook County: 3,165

Jefferson County: 3,933

Today, OHA reported that 10,911 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 3,894 doses were administered on March 1 and 7,017 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on March 1.

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).

Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 997,448 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, 1,244,505 doses of vaccine 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 Tuesday reported 12 COVID patients; none are in the ICU.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 149, which is 17 more than yesterday. There are 29 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two 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.

First case of P.1 variant detected in Oregon

OHA was notified yesterday that a person in Oregon, identified as a Douglas County resident, has tested positive with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in Brazil.

This is the first identification in Oregon of the Brazil variant strain, also called strain P.1. The individual has known travel history prior to testing positive. The individual has worked closely with the local health department and has followed public health recommendations for self-isolating.

 

 

BLP offers free streaming service to watch high school sports this spring

With a handful of high school sports starting back up – sans spectators – Bend-La Pine Schools announced Tuesday it will offer a free streaming service to watch the competition from home.

“While spectators cannot cheer in-person, we are excited to announce a new way for folks to root for their favorite teams from home,” said Dave Williams, Bend-La Pine Schools’ district athletic director. “As we progress through our seasons, we will re-evaluate state guidelines and opening our facilities to spectators but for the immediate future, spectators will not be part of our athletic competitions.”

Interested families, friends and community members are encouraged to sign up for a free subscription with the NFHS Network to watch competitions taking place at Bend Senior High School, La Pine High School, Mountain View High School and Summit High School this school year.

Each school will host automated broadcasts of competitions taking place in football stadiums and main gyms, including, but limited to, football, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

All competitions taking place at these sites will be broadcast through the NFHS Network.

As manual broadcasts ramp up at school sites, Freshmen and Junior Varsity competitions will be broadcast at harder-to-reach facilities as well.

For full schedules, or to watch competitions, visit:

Registration Details

Create a free account https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/users/sign_up
Click ‘Subscribe’ in the top right corner of the page

Enter Bend-La Pine Schools or your high school in the ‘Find your school, event, association’ box, for example: Bend Sr. High School

Note: There is no need to select either of the paid subscription options, you will be allowed free access to our select high school regular-season home games.

Understanding Guidelines

Bend-La Pine Schools is required to adhere to county sector guidance with gathering limitation sizes. To this end, 2020-21 athletic and activities competitions will occur without in-person spectators.

Capacity limits include everyone at the facility, including players, coaches, officials, game event staff, and spectators.

Schools have made the decision to suspend allowing spectators at all events for the time being to increase roster sizes for schools involved in competition, allow more coaching staff, and event staff while staying within our limits.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding as we make adjustments to how we safely participate in high school athletics,” said Williams. “We are thrilled to see our student-athletes back in uniform and ready to compete and hope families will take advantage of the exciting option to watch games live.”

▶️ Good News/Bad News: Snowpack near normal, but stream flows will lag

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Scientists are manually measuring snowpack in the upper Deschutes basin this month to predict summer stream flows.

What they are finding is a near-normal snowpack, but it’s not enough to fill reservoirs when it melts later this spring.

That means reduced irrigation supplies for farmers, difficulties for fish and reduced whitewater rafting opportunities this summer.

If you thought the month of February had a lot of snow; you’d be right.

At the beginning of the month, the snowpack in the upper Deschutes basin was about 81 percent of normal.

As the end of February, it was up to 107% of normal.

Natural Resource Conservation Service scientists measure snow at the Dutchman Flat survey site the old-fashioned way.

They plunge a steel tube—called a federal snow sampler—into the snow to measure the depth, density, and water content of the snow.

They do this ten times over a quarter mile to ensure consistency and accuracy.

“It’s a permanently established, manually measured area where we collect snow depth, the density, and the snow water equivalent,” said Anthony Collara, NRCS soil scientist. “How many inches of water is in a column of snow? We can correlate all that data across our basin and then we can forecast how much streamflow we are going to get the following year.”

Most snow surveys are automated with weather stations reporting snow depth and density via satellite.

But three times each winter, scientists manually survey sites like this to ensure the automated data is accurate.

This is the second of this year’s three manual snow surveys, making this the “mid-term exam” of this winter’s snowpack.

“We are trying to work through some ice layers. It can be tough this time of year when we have a nice deep snowpack. You need to plunge that core through those thick ice layers. Got to put your weight into it and do your best,” said Andy Neary, NRCS soil scientist.

It took three tries to push the snow sampler tube all the way to the ground at station nine on the Dutchman survey site.

The scientists repeated this time-consuming and physically demanding work at two other survey sites near the Wanoga and Meissner Sno Parks before calling it a day.

“We are just grateful to be able to get out of the office, do some physical work in a beautiful setting and contribute to a long-term data set. Every ounce of effort is worth it,” Neary said.

The March 1 snow survey at Dutchman Flat showed an average of 120 inches of snow.

There was 40 inches of water in the Dutchman Flat snowpack.

That’s about 102% of average for this time of year in this location.

Unfortunately, this normal snowpack is not enough to break a long-term drought in the Deschutes basin, due to multiple years of below-average snowpack.

The ongoing water deficit means Ochoco, Prineville and Wickiup reservoirs likely won’t fill this spring.

The North Unit Irrigation District in Jefferson County is already planning on reduced water deliveries to farmers.

Many farmers are planning to leave a percentage of their fields fallow, which translates to less activity in the agriculture portion of Jefferson County’s economy.

Judge denies St. Charles’ injunction request; medical tech strike moves forward

A federal judge on Tuesday denied St. Charles Health System’s injunction request to delay a planned strike this week by its medical techs.

According to a statement from the hospital, the judge said the court did not have the authority to issue the injunction because the issue is being heard by the National Labor Relations Board.

“We had hoped the courts would give us additional time to get back to the bargaining table with the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals so that we could reach a contract agreement without an impact to our patients,” said Aaron Adams, president of St. Charles Bend. “We are disappointed in the outcome but will continue our preparations to hire and onboard replacement workers and minimize disruptions to our patients and community.”

About 150 medical techs and therapists are scheduled to strike on Thursday at 8 a.m.

The two sides are at odds over an initial contract and “fair wage and working conditions” according to the OFNHP union. Negotiations have lasted for more than a year.

The hospital has filed two unfair labor practice claims against the union saying the strike notice was illegal and they were not bargaining in good faith. A decision from the NLRB isn’t expected until the end of the month.

On Monday the hospital said it hoped the judge would intervene, but had contracted to hire replacement workers if the strike moved forward.

St. Charles said the two sides will meet again to negotiate on March 10 with a federal mediator as previously scheduled.

Sam Potter, the union representative, issued a statement saying the judge “implored the two parties to negotiate out a settlement to avert the strike.”

“This is what the union has been asking for over the past several weeks, but St. Charles is unwilling to negotiate a settlement in advance of the strike date. Instead, they are willing to put all of Central Oregon at risk,” Potter said.

In the statement, a 40-year-employee of the hospital said they want nothing more than to avert the strike.

“We are being given no choices,” said DeeDee Schumacher. “We can’t just continue with our low wages and disrespectful working conditions.”

The union’s statement concludes by saying the hospital hasn’t been able to fill the vacancies the strike will cause.

▶️ Redmond teen earns scholarship to prestigious Chicago ballet school

Arabesque’s, Plié’s, Pirouette’s.

A 14-year-old freshman at Redmond’s Ridgeview High School will be doing plenty of each for seven weeks this summer after being awarded a prestigious scholarship to Ballet Chicago.

Wyatt Kinsman will be leaving for Chicago in June and it should be noted that scholarships only cover the “tuition” portion of the fees.

Travel, room, board, and food all must be paid out of pocket.

The Central Oregon School of Ballet is fundraising to help cover those additional costs for Wyatt and other students that will be invited to workshops this summer.

Wyatt was selected for the scholarship after auditioning via Zoom last month and sat down with Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom to discuss the honor and his craft.

If you’d like to help, contact The Central Oregon School of Ballet.

▶️ ‘More confident, more safe,’ Touchmark senior facility fully vaccinated

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

One year into the pandemic and some of the most vulnerable populations are receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Touchmark at Mount Bachelor Village, a senior living community in Bend expressed what it was like to get residents fully vaccinated.

“This last year has been a year of challenge,” said Touchmark Executive Director Scott Neil. “It’s been a year of opportunity; growth and it has drawn us closer together in ways that we did not think were possible and were certainly unexpected.”

Touchmark had 22 COVID cases at its facility, eight of those cases were residents.

“With our first case there was a great amount of fear and trepidations,” Neil said. “It was hard for residents because we had to create that isolation for people.”

Recreational classes were canceled and dining was confined to individual rooms.

“The mental health component, the emotional component is very significant because many people live here because of the socialization,” Neil said.

Touchmark’s last COVID case was discovered on February 4th.

Now, 96% of the residents and workers have had their second dose of the COVID vaccine.

“They feel more confident, they feel more safe, knowing that if there is potential exposure to COVID,” Neil added. “They feel like they have better protection because of the vaccine.”

He’s hopeful some recreation classes and more visitation can return in the next couple months.

Sportsmen’s Show to temporarily displace fairgrounds vaccination clinic

The Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show later this month at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds will temporarily displace the mass COVID vaccination clinic that had been set up there since late January.

Geoff Hinds, director of the fairgrounds, said at the time the clinic had the top priority at the venue for as long as it was necessary.

“We’ve been working with public health on the clinic with the understanding that the Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show has had a long-standing, multi-year agreement with Deschutes County Fair & Expo,” he said.

Hinds said the location was needed for the Sportsmen’s Show to be able to provide the space for social distancing.

“There is no other ability to find another venue for this event because it’s utilizing every other venue on the property,” he said. “We really have no ability to accommodate it in another format.”

The Sportsmen’s Show will start taking over the fairgrounds on March 9th ahead of its four-day run between the 11th-14th.

Molly Wells Darling, the deputy incident commander for the COVID incident management team, said they’ll continue at the fairgrounds until March 8th depending on how much vaccine supply they’re given.

“We usually find out Thursday evening, and from there that guides how we will set up our clinics, how we set up our dosing,” Wells Darling said.

They’ll be back at the fairgrounds on the 15th and ready to resume the mass clinic on the 16th.

In the meantime, county health will “move operations out into the community” through pop-up clinics.

She said they’re not looking at it as a setback for the vaccination efforts in the region.

“I think we can look at this as an opportunity,” she said. “We have vulnerable populations that we need to be reaching out to, so this is offering us a period of time to for us to really focus on those vulnerable populations.”

Wells Darling said they’re still developing an appointment plan for the pop-up clinics, but it likely will utilize the county’s vaccination interest forms.

A gun show was held at the fairgrounds last month, but that set-up didn’t interfere with the clinic’s operations.

The director said the safety of the community is the most important priority for the fairgrounds.

“If it came down to the needs of public health, they would outweigh many of the other needs that exist,” Hinds said. “As we understand, this won’t sacrifice the ability to provide vaccines to our community. Public health will utilize other formats and other locations and channels to be able to do that.”

▶️ Among the first events shutdown by COVID, Sportsmen’s Show ready for return

The Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show typically has been one of the fairground’s biggest draws – second only to the county fair itself.

It was among the first big events canceled last year when COVID started to arrive in Oregon.

This year, the event is returning with limited crowds and social distancing efforts in place.

The mass vaccination clinic at the fairgrounds was buzzing early on as it worked to quickly vaccinate health care workers and the region’s school teachers and childcare providers.

In recent weeks though, the supply of vaccines hasn’t been able to keep up with the number of people eligible to get one.

This week the county has about 2,300 vaccines available while some 40,000 Deschutes County residents age 65+ are now eligible.

Vaccination efforts are expected to increase in the coming weeks after state health officials promised “game-changing” shipments from the federal government.

“I do think this can be a very positive thing we can get vaccines out to different areas of our communities and helps us focus in different ways,” Wells Darling said.