Prineville man arrested on child luring, drug charges after soliciting sex online

A Prineville man was arrested in Bend Monday after believing he was meeting up with a 14-year-old girl for sex, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded a weeklong child luring investigation with the arrest of 35-year-old Patrick James Adams.

Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said a CODE Detective was randomly contacted by Adams via social media earlier this month while conducting an unrelated investigation.

CODE Detectives identified Adams as a Registered Sex Offender and is prohibited from contacting minors.

During the last week, Adams pursued the detective believing he was a 14-year-old girl and began sending sexualized photographs and messages via social media, Vander Kamp said.

While detectives tried to confirm Adams’ whereabouts, he continued to solicit the online detective, asking to meet for sex, and offered “her” methamphetamine.

CODE Detectives accepted and arranged to meet Adams in Bend on Friday.

Around 12:15 p.m., CODE detectives, with the assistance of Bend Police officers and detectives, contacted Adams in downtown Bend at the corner of Wall St and Franklin Ave.

He was taken into custody without incident, Vander Kamp said.

Adams was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and other relevant evidence in this case.

CODE detectives believe Adams may have been in contact with other juveniles in the central Oregon area via social media platforms.

Vander Kamp urged parents and young people to report any contact with Adams on social media to your local law enforcement agency, school resource officer, or online with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at http://www.cybertip.org

Adams was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and charged with first-degree online corruption of a child, attempted delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and attempted unlawful contact with a child among other charges.

With the help of the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations, this case will be referred to the United States Attorney’s Office in Eugene for charging consideration.

▶️ 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

▶️ ‘Same patterns reemerging over time’ as Deschutes Co. COVID cases remain high

COVID cases were down 13% across the country over the last week.

“We are seeing progress in terms of decreased cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

In Oregon, health officials say the state is past its fourth wave.

“This latest wave of COVID-19 cases seem to be cresting and today 15 counties will be moving out of our extreme risk category,” said Gov. Kate Brown.

But in Deschutes County, it’s a much different story.

“People keep asking why is this different and really from our standpoint and our case investigators we are seeing those same patterns reemerging over time,” said Emily Freeland COVID Operation Section Chief for Deschutes County Public Health.

Freeland says those patterns include social gatherings, going out while sick, not wearing masks and not social distancing.

A spike in cases has been seen in people aged 15-to-30.

“So, when you think about when everyone was able to get their first dose of the vaccination for the general population, that didn’t happen too long ago,” said Freeland. “So we haven’t had time for all of those people to get fully vaccinated and we have certainly seen more spread in those younger populations.”

More of that group is getting vaccinated, as hundreds of local high school students got their shots recently at clinics on campus.

Even though Deschutes County has the 5th highest vaccination rate in the state, more COVID cases (547) were reported last week than any week during the pandemic.

This week the county is on track to reach around 500 COVID cases.

Oregon Public Health’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger says vaccinations and COVID precautions are helping the state’s case numbers.

“Daily cases and COVID-related hospitalizations have fallen slightly from the peak we experienced in mid-April,” said Sidelinger. “Our most recent weekly report showed a 3% decline in cases after five weeks of twenty plus percentage gains. Hospitalizations have also dropped 3% this last week.”

3 FS roads in Phil’s Trail complex temporarily closed to all users

Due to significant public safety concerns, three Forest Service Roads in the Phil’s Trail area in west Bend will be temporarily closed to all uses, including biking, due to logging and road reconstruction activity occurring in the area.

Forest Service Roads (FSR) 4610, 4601-300 and 4601-310 already had been temporarily closed to motorized vehicles, however these roads will now be closed to all uses due to frequent encounters between bike riders and construction and logging equipment.

The closures started Friday and will be in place seven days a week.

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The Forest Service has established a detour for bike riders through FSR 4610-290 to connect Ben’s Trail and Phil’s trail.

The frequency of bike riders and other recreationists entering the closure area and using the roads was resulting in unsafe interactions with heavy equipment causing the operators to frequently halt work because of safety concerns.

In addition, parking along the road at its junction with Skyliner’s Road was preventing ingress and egress for logging and road reconstruction equipment.

The closure will be lifted when operations are completed in the area and the public will be notified. Please go to the Deschutes National Forest’s website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/home ) for a map of the closure area (also attached).

Fairgrounds vaccination clinic to offer expanded second-dose walk-in opportunities

Residents who have already received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and need a second dose can continue to schedule second dose vaccine appointments at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center through May 28.

The mass vaccination clinic will also be offering a variety of walk-in appointment times for second doses through the end of the month.

In the coming week, the clinic will offer second dose walk-ins:
Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to noon. MODERNA
Thursday, May 13, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. MODERNA
Friday, May 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PFIZER

As a reminder, Pfizer doses must be at least 21 days apart and Moderna doses must be at least 28 days apart. There will be no exceptions for doses to be given early.

Residents arriving for a walk-in appointment will be required to bring their vaccination card or proof from their first-dose appointment.

It’s important to know the vaccine is free and no identification is needed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
As of Friday, May 7, first-dose vaccine appointments will no longer be available at the mass vaccination clinic.

However, there are many options for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in Central Oregon.

St. Charles Health System, in partnership with community providers and pharmacies, has updated www.centraloregoncovidvaccine.com to highlight a variety of local primary care providers, urgent cares, pharmacies and community pop-up clinics offering vaccinations.
Primary care providers are adding vaccination appointments to their websites as the mass vaccination clinic winds down.

Local pharmacy availability:

Pharmacies: Some pharmacies in Central Oregon are offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments may be available by visiting https://vaccinefinder.org.

Fred Meyer pharmacies offer appointments in Bend and Redmond. For information about appointments and scheduling, visit the Fred Meyer scheduling portal at https://www.fredmeyer.com/rx/covid-eligibility.

▶️ MountainStar Family Relief Nursery leader leaves legacy of hope for victims

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery is celebrating 20 years of keeping young children safe, strengthening families, and helping parents be successful.

The Bend-based nonprofit has served 5,000 babies and toddlers and provided personal contact and support to 20,000 parents with the goal of preventing child abuse.

But this year it’s also observing the departure of the only executive director the organization has ever known.

Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely talked with Tim Rusk about the important work happening at the agency.

Prineville Reservoir first Oregon park to get “dark sky” nod

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Prineville Reservoir State Park has been certified as an International Dark Sky Park and is the first Oregon park to make the list of the places around the world with the least nighttime light pollution.

The certification recognizes the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies as well as the park’s efforts to install responsible lighting and educate the public about light pollution.

Prineville Reservoir joins only 174 locations worldwide to have followed the rigorous application program.

The park’s location in Central Oregon, which is booming in population, makes it more critical as a place to enjoy star-gazing without light pollution.

Jefferson Co. man among 8 new COVID deaths; 844 cases added statewide

There are eight new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon – including a Jefferson County man – raising the state’s death toll to 2,522, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

The 57-year-old tested positive on April 9 and died on May 6 at St. Charles in Madras. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.

He was Jefferson County’s 34th COVID-related death.

The OHA reported 844 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 189,986.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (2), Benton (16), Clackamas (104), Clatsop (3), Columbia (10), Coos (4), Crook (12), Deschutes (87), Douglas (11), Gilliam (1), Grant (5), Harney (3), Hood River (4), Jackson (36), Jefferson (12), Josephine (7), KIamath (42), Lake (1), Lane (71), Lincoln (2), Linn (44), Malheur (1), Marion (80), Morrow (1), Multnomah (146), Polk (12), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (10), Union (4), Wasco (2), Washington (94), Wheeler (2) and Yamhill (14).

Deschutes County has reported 437 cases this week (Sun-Fri.)

Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Cases by County:
  • 1,057 in Crook County
  • 8,553 in Deschutes County
  • 2,162 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Deaths by County:
  • 20 in Crook County
  • 73 in Deschutes County
  • 34 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Vaccination data by County:
  • 8,209 people fully vaccinated or vaccines in-progress in Crook County.
  • 95,235 people fully vaccinated or vaccines in-progress in Deschutes County.
  • 8,804 people fully vaccinated or vaccines in-progress in Jefferson County.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 54,747 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry.

Of this total, 31,750 doses were administered on May 6 and 22,987 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on May 6.

The seven-day running average is now 32,741 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,744,936 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,363,623 first and second doses of Moderna and 103,960 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,385,116 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,927,021 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, 2,082,015 doses of Pfizer, 1,706,980 doses of Moderna and 246,100 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 33 COVID patients; six are in the ICU and five are on ventilators.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 324, which is four fewer than yesterday. There are 90 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is unchanged from yesterday.

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 2,354, which is a 5.5% increase from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 351.

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.

 

▶️ Little Did I Know: The history of Billy Chinook Pt. 2

Many of you may be familiar with “The Oregon Trail”, either from history or through the infamous video game.

But did you know that the leader of the expedition that mapped it was named John Fremont?

Even further, did you know he had a young native teenager with him on his expeditions named Billy Chinook?

Yep, Billy Chinook played a pivotal role in the history of Central Oregon.

In episode one we told you a little-known legend about Billy’s lineage and how a smallpox outbreak almost kept him from being born.

This week, Central Oregon Daily’s Scott Elnes tells us more about teenage Billy’s eagerness to join the expedition to map a path out west.

 

Bend-La Pine Schools asks state to relax ‘absurd’ rules for student quarantines

Bend-La Pine Schools is asking the state to reconsider the ‘absurd’ rules for quarantining students because they’re causing massive disruptions to learning and putting the district’s ability to maintain in-person instruction at risk.

In the letter, signed by all seven members of the school board, the district says it understands quarantining is an important part of public health.

But it believes Oregon has some of the strictest COVID-related quarantining rules in the country – and some of the rules make no sense.

“This far into the pandemic, we find it absurd that current quarantine guidelines don’t differentiate between possible exposure indoors vs outdoors, or whether masks were worn or not,” the letter said. “For example, possible exposure outdoors with masks should not lead to quarantine, while a possible exposure indoors without masks should.”

About 800 Bend-La Pine students are currently quarantined due to COVID exposure and tracing.

In some cases, entire elementary classes are in quarantine, which has forced a temporary return to online learning.

And earlier this week the district announced it was altering middle and high school schedules to allow teachers more time at the end of the day to work with students struggling due to the quarantine.

The district has reported 129 COVID cases in the last 28 days.

But of those quarantined for possible exposure, only a handful have then tested positive themselves, according to the district.

Board members said students shouldn’t be quarantined if they’ve been vaccinated, don’t have any symptoms, and haven’t had a recently confirmed case of COVID.

“Finally, “close contacts” should be reduced from 6’ to 3’ in order to match the updated guidance for physical distancing,” the letter said. “If students are approved to be within 3’ of each other, quarantining shouldn’t be required for contacts within 6’. We’re not epidemiologists, but we implore our public health authorities to not be overly aggressive with quarantining requirements.”

The board sent the letter to the Oregon Department of Education, Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.

“Excessive quarantining is putting our ability to maintain full-time in-person learning at risk, and we must address it,” the letter said. “School is essential and safe and we should be able to remain open, with full academic instruction provided to our students.”

You can read the full letter below.

Letter to Brown and Gill