Local farmers, ranchers eligible for up to $4K in grants from HDFFA

Farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon are now able to apply for an On-Farm Efficiency Grant, the newest program offered by the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance (HDFFA).

Farmers and ranchers may apply for up to $4,000 in grant funds to put towards infrastructure upgrades, equipment purchases, professional development, and/or technical assistance.

The goal of this new project is to invest in increasing the ability of Central Oregon producers to overcome shocks and strains on their operations by providing direct farm investments.

“After a really bumpy year for many of our partners still feeling the impact of covid disruptions compounded by severe drought and irrigation cuts, we are excited to be able to invest in projects that will build resilience for the producers growing our food and nourishing our communities,” says Annie Nichols, Agricultural Support Manager for HDFFA.

The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance will redistribute a total of $40,000 in funding from the USDA under the Community Food Project and Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program grants.

A majority of the funds were allocated to HDFFA as an extension of one of the grants through the American Rescue Plan Act passed earlier this year.

Applicants must be located in Crook, Deschutes, or Jefferson Counties or the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

They must be operational during 2021, primarily sell their products within Central Oregon, and be mindful of the environmental impact of their operation.

Grants will require a 50% match in funds which can be provided through cash, in-kind donations, and/or labor. Applicants have until December 20th, 2021 to apply.

Learn more and apply at hdffa.org/ofeg.

Bend-La Pine Schools to hold on-the-spot job interviews Nov. 18

Bend-La Pine Schools is offering on-the-spot interviews for positions in Nutrition Services, Custodial, Transportation, and Maintenance on Nov. 18th.

Available positions can be viewed at bls.fyi/jobs.

“We’re excited to extend an invitation to the community to begin working with Bend-La Pine Schools,” said Steve Herron, Director of Human Resources. “On top of competitive wages and excellent benefits, our available positions offer the chance to make a positive difference in the community.”

Interviews will be conducted at the WorkSource building at 1645 NE Forbes Road, #100 in Bend, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Interested individuals can walk-in without an appointment or reserve a spot by emailing OED_HIRECENTRALOR@employ.oregon.gov

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

Salary: $20.56 per hour and up
Schedule: Part- and Full-time positions
Health, Dental and Vision Benefits: $1,256 monthly insurance allowance for you and your family; working 4-hours or more daily
Retirement Benefits: More than $1,500 contributed each year in IRA-like benefits*; monthly PERS benefits (*For an employee who earns $30,000 annually

Make a Difference

Being a driver is a wonderful opportunity to help ensure students get to and from school safely each day and make a positive impact in the lives of students daily. A bus driver is often the first and last staff member a student sees every day. This is a great option for students, retirees, or anyone looking to work part time or more and reap the great benefits the position offers employees. Our school bus operators come from a variety of backgrounds and education levels. From stay at home parents and retired NASA engineers, to college students and realtors. Regardless of where they came from or how they got here, they have one thing in common; the safety of students, both physical and emotional, is always at the forefront of their daily interactions.

Don’t yet have your CDL? No problem!

Once hired, we will get you scheduled to work from our office, where we will provide you with all the paid training you will need to obtain licensing and begin this exciting, fulfilling work.

Apply Today

Let’s Connect! Click and let us know if you would like to connect by phone or email. We look forward to talking to you soon!

Learn more about joining our Transportation Department

Nutrition Server

Nutrition Server

Salary: $15.05 per hour and up

Schedule: Part-time positions; flexible hours that work for early-birds, night-owls and parents who want to work a few hours while their children are at school
Retirement Benefits: More than $1,500 contributed each year in IRA-like benefits*; monthly PERS benefits (*For an employee who earns $30,000 annually)

Feeding our Future for Success

Bend-La Pine Schools is excited to hire exceptional candidates to help in all aspects of our food production system, from baking fresh bread to chopping and serving fresh fruits and vegetables. This is a great position for parents looking to work while their children are in school, retirees looking to make some new friendships, and everyone in-between. Nutrition is fun, fast paced and a way to connect with students and make a difference in their lives.Our Nutrition Servers serve healthy and delicious meals to thousands of students at more than 30 schools throughout Bend, La Pine and Sunriver every day.
Join our team and help feed our future!

Apply Today

Let’s Connect! Click and let us know if you would like to connect by phone or email. We look forward to talking to you soon!

Repair Technician

Repair Technician

Salary: $42,000 in year 1 and from $44,000 – $46,000 in year 2
Schedule: Full-time positions
Health, Dental and Vision Benefits: $1,276 monthly insurance allowance for you and your family
Retirement Benefits: More than $2,400 contributed each year in IRA-like benefits; monthly PERS benefits
Vacation: Five weeks of flexible time off each year, 10 paid holidays and sick time

Great Benefits

In Vehicle Maintenance there is no such thing as a normal day. The position of transportation repair technician is responsible for the maintenance, repair and diagnosis of the district fleet of buses and district vehicles. Come join a great team of repair technicians with a competitive salary, excellent medical, dental and vision benefits for you and your family, monthly contributions to an individual retirement account, ability to qualify for a state pension, five weeks of flexible vacation time, ten paid holidays and yearly step and cost of living salary increases. Immediate openings are available!

Apply Today

Let’s Connect! Click and let us know if you would like to connect by phone or email. We look forward to talking to you soon!

2 dead, 4 shot in Chiloquin, deputy crashes on way to scene

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Four people were shot, two of them fatally, and a sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized after getting into an accident on the way to the scene.

The Herald and News reported Monday that 30-year-old Andrew Lee Noe, of Klamath Falls, was arrested in the Sunday night shootings just north of Chiloquin.

The two shooting survivors were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

The deputy crashed into another car just north of Klamath Falls on U.S. 97 and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The accident is being investigated by Oregon State Police.

No other details about the shooting or the deputy’s accident are immediately available.

▶️ Peaking at the right time, La Pine HS football eyes elusive state title

La Pine High School accomplished something that hadn’t been done at the school in over 20 years on Friday when the football team hosted and won its first-round playoff matchup against Amity High.

It was a convincing 36 to 6 victory in front of the home crowd.

Now, the Hawks look to carry that momentum into the state 3-A quarterfinals this weekend.

Saturday’s game gets underway at 1 p.m. in Astoria.

It should be a great 4 versus 5 seed matchup as the fifth-seeded Hawks take on Warrenton

This team, which has been playing together since the third grade, wants nothing more than to bring a state title home to La Pine.

Cascade Lakes Highway, Paulina Lake Road winter closures set for Nov. 16

The Deschutes County Road Department plans to close the Cascade Lakes Highway and Paulina Lake Road at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16.

Cascade Lakes Highway will be closed west of Mt. Bachelor between the snow gates at Dutchman Flat and Deschutes Bridge at the intersection with Forest Service Road 4270.

Paulina Lake Road will be closed at the ten-mile snow park gate, which will restrict access to Paulina and East Lake.

Both facilities will remain closed through the winter and will be targeted for reopening prior to Memorial Day, weather permitting.

For additional information, please contact the Deschutes County Road Department at (541) 388-6581.

Deschutes Co. to mail out property tax statements; payment due by Nov. 15

Deschutes County will mail 110,438 property tax statements by Monday, Oct. 25.

Annual property tax bills are only mailed once a year, but property owners may pay their bills in up to three installments:

  • Pay in full by Nov. 15th and receive a 3% discount.
  • Pay 2/3 by Nov. 15th and receive a 2% discount.
  • Pay property taxes in three installments. The first 1/3 is due by Nov. 15. There are no discounts for installment payments.

Taxpayers in Deschutes County can now sign up for property tax e-statements. Instructions and an authorization code are printed on each taxpayer’s printed property tax statement.

Taxpayers can obtain current year tax statement information and copies of property tax statements online at dial.deschutes.org.

Tax payments can be made by mail, online, at convenient drive-up drop boxes in Bend and Redmond, in person at the Deschutes County Tax Office in Bend, online or by phone. For more information on how to pay property taxes, please visit www.deschutes.org/tax.

Payments must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 15th in order to be eligible for the discount and to avoid late penalties.

If you are mailing your payment close to the due date and using the U.S. Postal Service, we recommend that you get a hand-stamped postmark or receipt from the post office showing your payment was mailed on or before the due date.

A postmark is not applied until it reaches a distribution center, which is not at your local post office.

If you own property and do not receive a tax bill by October 30, please visit dial.deschutes.org or call the Deschutes County Tax Office at (541) 388-6540.

Assessment Information

Residents who have questions about how property is appraised and property values are determined are encouraged to contact the Deschutes County Assessor’s Office at (541) 388-6508 or assessor@deschutes.org.

Additional information is available at www.deschutes.org/assessor. Residents can also stop by the Assessor’s Office, which is located on the second floor of the Deschutes Services Building at 1300 NW Wall Street in Bend.

Residents can also join County Assessor Scot Langton for upcoming town halls, where he will explain how he and his team appraise and determine property values:

Bend: Nov. 1, 5 p.m. 1300 NW Wall Street, Deschutes Services Building, DeArmond Room
Sisters: Nov. 2, 5 p.m., 520 E. Cascade, Sisters City Hall
La Pine: Nov. 4, 5 p.m., 16345 6th Street, La Pine City Hall
Redmond: Nov 9, 5 p.m., 411 SW 9th Street, Redmond City Hall
Virtual Session: Nov 10, 5 p.m., www.deschutes.org/assessor

▶️ Borrow a book, learn to cook; Library of Things a hit for skill seekers

Everyone knows you can go to a library to borrow a book or a movie, but what about things?

Now at Deschutes Public Libraries, you can borrow musical instruments, pasta making machines and even sewing machines from the ‘Library of Things’.

“The concept is you check out something you are thinking about buying, or just always wanted to try out, but don’t want to rush out and invest into it,” said Todd Dunkelberg, the Library Director for Deschutes Public Library.

The new library feature lets guests 17 and and older check out one of several activity kits.

Each kit comes with the tools and instructions to master its subject.

Themes for the kits include cooking, videography, crafts and other hands-on skills.

“I also really love that we have so many musical instruments,” said Le Button, a Deschutes Public Librarian. “They’re among the most popular kits.”

The kits are curated with public input in mind and library visitors can submit ideas for new kits with feedback forms.

“The ‘Library of Things’ has been super well-received,” said Button. “It’s actually one of our highest searching collections, which is awesome especially because it’s relatively new, but people are really excited to see the kind of different things the library has to offer.”

Kit borrowing periods are three weeks, and late returns will result in a $5 fine because the kits are so popular.

Returned kits must be cleaned and brought back intact, so the enjoyment of learning a new skill can quickly be passed along.

“We’re not just about books, we have many other things you can check out and really we’re all about finding ways to enrich people’s lives and this is one way to do it,” said Dunkelberg.

You can find a ‘Library of Things’ at every Deschutes Public Library.

▶️ Spike in Central Oregon drug overdoses largely attributed to fentanyl

More pills…more problems.

That seems to be the trend in Central Oregon, at least over the past month.

The Central Oregon Overdose Crisis Response Taskforce reported a spike in drug overdoses between Sept. 15 and Oct. 11.

One overdose in Deschutes County was fatal, while 15 others were not.

Deschutes County Public Health’s Harm Reduction Program noticed the trend in their primary outreach locations in Bend and Redmond.

The program’s leaders have recorded overdose data from participants since the end of 2018.

“In the month of September there were nine overdoses reported to our program,” Overdose Response Coordinator Ashley Jones said.

“We started noticing an uptick in August; we had eight total reported over that month. As a comparison, July saw only three overdoses reported to our program.”

The presence of fentanyl has been the leading cause of overdoses they have observed.

Fentanyl, Jones explained, is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

“We began distributing fentanyl test strips to our program participants back in July, and they’ve been reporting back that most everything that they test is testing positive for fentanyl,” Jones said.

Crook County Public Health Director Katie Plumb, who also serves as Chair of Central Oregon Overdose Crisis Response Taskforce, said her team has observed the same thing.

“Street drugs that are maybe not marketed as opiates, we’re seeing more and more often, have opiates or fentanyl laced or cut into it,” Plumb said.

The Taskforce has monitored overdose data in Central Oregon off and on since December 2020.

She said broader systemic issues may drive people to substance abuse in the first place.

“Those are oftentimes things like housing and social determinants,” she said. “Housing, health, access to care. Those are big system issues.”

Systemic solutions will take time, but there are a few ways to help in the short term.

“We provide both Nasal Narcan and injectible Naloxone, as well as fentanyl test strips to all of our participants,” Jones said.

“I think definitely maintaining relationship and being able to meet them where they are is so important, what their readiness levels are,” Plumb said. “Then educating yourself about what that person is going through is really helpful, educating yourself about the resources that are available.

“People can carry Narcan with them. It’s accessible at pharmacies, you can get it without a prescription or a pharmacy can issue it right there.”

“You can use testing strips, so they’re not surprised by something that may be cut in to a product,” Plumb added.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, an average of five Oregonians die every week from opioid overdoses.

You can find a list of organizations and phone numbers of local substance abuse resource centers here.

DeBone files for reelection to Deschutes County Commission

Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone announced Tuesday he will run for reelection for Position 1.

DeBone, a Republican, was first elected to the commission in 2010.

Oliver Tatom, a registered nurse who runs the urgent care clinic in La Pine, announced his candidacy for the position in September.

Tatom serves on the Central Oregon Community College board of directors and the Deschutes Rural Fire District #2 board of directors.

In a statement, DeBone said managing growth will continue to be a challenge in the coming years.

“In the next few years siting a new landfill is going to be important. The existing landfill is an enterprise operation operated by your local government,” he said. “It is very cost effective and I support keeping the next facility in the county.”

DeBone also supports a plan to expand the county courthouse to accommodate two new judges and the District Attorney’s office.

You can read DeBone’s full statement below.





Asst. director of health services named Bend-La Pine’s Administrator of the Year

In a surprise ceremony last week, Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Steven Cook named Tami Pike, Assistant Director of Health Services, the Distinguished Administrator of the Year.

Pike, who leads a team of school nurses and contact tracers, has been an integral part of Bend-La Pine Schools’ response to the pandemic during the past 18-plus months.

“I’ve only had the privilege of working alongside Tami for a few months, but in that short time I’ve learned so much about her incredible drive, determination and spirit. Tami’s heart for serving students is second to none, which is critical given the importance of the work she is leading in our district,” said Cook. “Tami’s leadership and the efforts of the nursing and contact tracing teams have helped keep students learning in person.”

Pike received the award during a surprise ceremony in front of dozens of colleagues and her family at the Education Center front lawn.

“This award isn’t for me, it’s for the amazing team of nurses and contact tracers I serve alongside every day,” said Pike. “It feels great for our efforts to earn this recognition. I’m so proud of the work we get to do together to keep our kiddos safe and healthy.”

Pike has worked for Bend-La Pine Schools for eight years and served as Vice President for the Oregon School Nurse Association.

Prior to her time with the district, Pike worked as a labor and delivery nurse in the Bay Area for 18 years.

Mid Oregon Credit Union sponsored the award and Pike received $500 to use for her department.