▶️ Madras woman, son convicted of abusing foster children

(WARNING: This story includes some details of child abuse that may be considered graphic and disturbing and may be difficult to read.)

A Madras mother and son have been convicted after what prosecutors say was the abuse of two foster children that included “significant” injuries.

Ogilvia Pineda-Garcia, 50, and her son Kyle Edgar Macias, 27, were convicted after a three-day bench trial. It involved a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy in their care.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office says the case laid out that Pineda-Garcia took the boy to the emergency room at St. Charles in Madras in May of 2008. He had a “significant” laceration to the right side of his face that required several stitches. The hospital reported this to law enforcement because Pineda-Garcia’s explanation for how it happened didn’t match up with the injury, the DA’s Office said.

But the child didn’t express they had been abused, so they were allowed to return home with Pineda-Garcia.

In June 2018, both children were dropped off at the Department of Human Services office with multiple injuries to their bodies including cuts, bruises and abrasions. The girl was reported to have “significant hair loss,” injuries to her face, forehead, upper body and abdomen.

The children were interviewed at the KIDS Center in Bend where they disclosed they had been abused, the DA’s Office said. The boy allegedly said that, at one time, he had been kicked in the face and was held face-up under running water in the bathtub by Macias until he couldn’t breathe.

The boy also allegedly said the cut he suffered that sent him to the ER was due to being hit in the face by Pineda-Garcia with a glass mason jar that shattered.

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After serving a search warrant, law enforcement found a set of seven mason jar-type glasses at the home. Sheriff Jason Pollock, who was a detective at the time, moved the refrigerator in the home and found a glass fragment that appeared to match the seven jars, the DA’s Office said.

The person who treated the boy at the hospital testified that the injuries the boy received were consistent with being hit with a mason jar.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brentley Foster, who prosecuted the case, commended all the agencies involved — saying that their actions may have saved these children’s lives.

“Foster further noted that the real heroes in this case were the kids who were brave enough to tell what was happening to them and face their abusers in court,” the DA’s Office said.

Pineda-Garcia was convicted of 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-degree assault, 1st-degree criminal mistreatment, unlawful use of a weapon and harassment.

Macias was convicted of 2nd- and 3rd-degree assault, 1st-degree criminal mistreatment and strangulation.

Sentencing is set for January 3.

“These cases serve as a reminder that child abuse can be occurring in an household, and if you see children that are possibly neglected or abused, please say something about it,” District Attorney Steven Leriche said in a statement.

▶️ Runners brave cold at 1st-ever Madras Running Festival

A group of runners braved the cold last weekend to come together for the first-ever Madras Running Festival.

The three-day festival was put on by the Madras Runners Club.

Eric Lindstrom has their story.

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▶️ Biopic ‘Devotion’ features flying of 2 Madras pilots, vintage planes

A movie about the first ever African-American pilot in the U.S. Navy hits theaters Wednesday. And while you may not see them, there are couple of Central Oregon pilots in the movie, along with their planes.

“Devotion” shares the story of Jesse Brown, who served during the Korean War and was eventually killed in combat in 1950. 

When production for the movie began a couple of years ago, Hollywood called on Jim Martinelli and Mike Oliver from the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras. 

The collection had something they wanted — one of the 30 remaining F4U Corsairs in the world: the kind of plane Brown flew during the war and at the time of his death. 

“The project in itself was close to us in the sense that in 2016, we decided to paint the Corsair as Jesse Brown’s Corsair,” Martinelli told Central Oregon Daily News inside their hangar on Wednesday. “And we decided to do that just because it’s such an under-told story.”

The team had been inspired by the book about Brown written by Adam Makos and they had reached out to the author for photos to perfectly recreate the aircraft. 

It was a no-brainer when they were asked to participate in the film. 

“Mike Oliver, who did most of the flying in Jesse Brown’s airplane, is African-American,” Martinelli added. “And so not only with the airplane painted that way, but just with the connections, the story is real close to us and it was really cool.”

Filming began in January 2021 and ran through April. The mountains of Wenatchee and Pasco, Washington, were used to re-create the North Korean terrain, and Savannah and Statesboro, Georgia, were used for training scenes. 

Even though the Corsair had been painted to the exact likeness of Brown’s plane, the film crew made it look more weathered and made the “211” on the nose look bigger to show up better on film. 

Oliver flew the Corsair for the film while Martinelli flew another plane in the Erickson collection — an AD-4 Skyraider, one of the last in the world. 

“My role is a small part. If you watch the movie, it’s, I don’t know, 20 or 30 seconds worth of flying,” Martinelli chuckled. “But I fly a Skyraider. So I’m the guy that’s supposed to blow up the bridge and doesn’t quite get the job done, so that the other guys have to.”

He said that while he was flying the only Skyraider in the film, the movie editors replicated the plane digitally so it looks like there are many of them. 

“So that’s kind of cool when you see all the Skyraiders on the film for the brief clips, to know that they’re all me!” he said. 

Kevin LaRosa II was the aerial coordinator for the film, who also worked on “Top Gun: Maverick and multiple other feature films and shows. 

“The challenge is to try to make the airplane look correct on the screen,” Martinelli said. “So something that we would normally do in flying, in order to capture it properly, to get it on screen and make the viewer understand what the airplane is doing, you might have to do it in a little bit of kind of an unorthodox way.”

When he wasn’t in the air, Martinelli worked as a mechanic on set, keeping the stars in the sky and witnessing the action. 

He and Oliver came away with more than a few memories. They even had Jonathan Majors, Adam Makos and a couple of Jesse Brown’s family members sign their names on an inner portion of the airplane. 

Although Brown tragically passed, his high-flying heroism lives on through the film. 

“This guy was by himself. I mean, he had to have been the toughest guy that ever walked,” Martinelli said. “I hope people take away how far we’ve grown since then. And to pay attention to history, because history does repeat itself.” 

The planes sit once again in the hangar in Madras, now pieces of history from both the sky and the screen. 

“Devotion” is now playing in theaters everywhere and Oliver and Martinelli recently flew their planes down to Los Angeles for the big premiere. 

To visit the planes from the movie, you can stop by Erickson Aircraft Collection every day except Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

▶️ Warm Springs wins national language preservation award

A language program in Warm Springs receives a national award.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs were presented with the William Demmert Cultural Freedom Award at a national conference in Oklahoma last month.

The award recognizes a school or program that promotes language preservation.

The program teaches the three native languages of the confederated tribes including Ichishkin, Numu and Kiksht.

They have been taught at Madras High School, Central Oregon Community College and the Warm Springs K-8 Academy.

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Madras star Jacoby Ellsbury added to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Central Oregon native Jacoby Ellsbury, who graduated from Madras High School and played his college ball at Oregon State University, has been added to this year’s ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ellsbury and his family lived on the Warm Springs Reservation before moving to Madras, where he lettered in multiple sports in high school. He won All-American honors at Oregon State and was drafted in the first round in 2005 by the Red Sox.

Ellsbury played 11 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. He finished with a career .284 batting average with 1,376 hits, 104 home runs, 241 doubles, 47 triples, 512 RBIs and 343 stolen bases. He led the league in stolen bases three times in his career.

“… Ellsbury starred on a World Series champion, the 2007 Red Sox, before his official rookie year, hitting .353 in 116 regular-season at-bats and .360 in 25 postseason at-bats,” the Hall of Fame wrote in the announcement. “A Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner, Ellsbury, who also played for the Yankees, led the AL in stolen bases three times and was the runner-up for the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 when he had career highs in batting (.321), hits (212), home runs (32), RBI (105) and runs (119).”

RELATED: Former Madras, OSU, MLB star soon eligible for Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Central Oregon Daily’s Steele Haugen talked to Ellsbury’s  old coaches, teammates, and friends this past April.

It’s believed Ellsbury was the first player of Navajo descent to play in the major leagues.

The Baseball Writers Association of America votes on who makes the Hall of Fame. To be elected, a player’s name has to be checked off on at least 75% of the ballots. If a player receives less than that, they appear on the following year’s ballot.

If a player is selected on fewer than 5% of the ballots or if they are not elected after 10 years, they are removed from consideration.

Here is the full list of who is on this year’s ballot. The 2023 class will be announced on Jan. 24, with induction coming July 23. *Indicates first time on ballot. 

  • Bobby Abreu
  • Bronson Arroyo*
  • Carlos Beltrán*
  • Mark Buehrle
  • Matt Cain*
  • R.A. Dickey*
  • Jacoby Ellsbury*
  • Andre Ethier
  • J.J. Hardy
  • Todd Helton
  • Torii Hunter
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jeff Kent (Final year on ballot)
  • John Lackey*
  • Mike Napoli*
  • Jhonny Peralta
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Manny Ramírez
  • Álex Rodríguez
  • Francisco Rodríguez*
  • Scott Rolen
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Huston Street*
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Billy Wagner
  • Jered Weaver
  • Jayson Werth*

▶️ How do Central Oregon schools decide to announce a snow day?

Jefferson County School District canceled classes on Thursday due to icy and hazardous road conditions.

Making the decision to give students a weekday off goes beyond monitoring the weather forecast.

“In the morning, we have several people that drive routes all over our district,” Redmond School District public information officer Holly Brown said. “So we’ve got people out at Crooked River Ranch, out at Alfalfa. Up early, early in the morning out testing the roads to see how they are.”

The first buses go out on their routes at 5:10 a.m. 

“We have to make a decision by 5 a.m whether or not we’re gonna do normal school, two hour delay, or cancel classes,” Brown said.

The Bend-La Pine School District did not respond to our request for comment on its procedures.

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OSP: 2 killed in collision near Madras after pickup passes vehicles in fog

A Warm Springs woman and a 13-year-old boy were killed in a head-on on Highway 26 north of Madras Wednesday night after being struck by a pickup that was passing vehicles in the fog, Oregon State Police said.

OSP said it happened around 7:40 p.m. near Milepost 114, which is near the airport.

A preliminary investigation found that a Toyota Tacoma, driven by a 29-year-old from Bend, was passing several vehicles in the fog when it collided with a gold Chevrolet Malibu, OSP said.

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The driver of the Malibu, 29-year-old Saralee Spino-McCormack of Warm Springs, and a 13-year-old boy who was a passenger in the car were killed, OSP said. A 14-year-old girl who was also a passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the Toyota was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries. OSP did not say whether that driver will face any charges.

Highway 26 was closed for about two hours.

Icy roads temporarily close Highway 26 near Warm Springs

The icy road conditions that pretty much all of us dealt with in Central Oregon Thursday morning forced the closure of Highway 26 in both directions approaching Warm Springs for several hours.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed the highway around 7:00 a.m. between mileposts 96.5 and 103. That basically covers those steep, windy grades in and out of Warm Springs.

By 11:20 a.m. it appeared both directions were back open.

There were unconfirmed reports that dozens of semi trucks were caught in the backup.

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Prineville man killed in head-on crash on Highway 97

Oregon State Police say a Prineville man was killed in a head-on collision Wednesday night on Highway 97 north of Madras.

OSP said it happened around 5:11 p.m. near milepost 76.

A preliminary investigation found that a northbound Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by 75-year-old man Theodore Church of Prineville, crossed into the oncoming southbound lane. It collided with a Freightliner commercial truck driven by a man from Ontario, Canada.

Church was pronounced dead, OSP said. The Freightliner driver was not hurt.

The investigation and clean-up affected Highway 97 traffic for about three hours.

OSP did not indicate what may have caused the pickup driver to cross into the opposing lane.

RELATED: Icy roads close Highway 26 near Warm Springs

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▶️ FBI: Suspicious death at Warm Springs Reservation under investigation

WARM SPRINGS, OR – The FBI in cooperation with Warm Springs Tribal police are investigating what they call the suspicious death of a man on the Warm Springs Reservation.

The FBI says Warm Springs Tribal Police received a call Monday night saying that a man had died in a home on Dry Creek Trail Road. 

When police arrived they noticed a wound to the man’s head, the FBI said.

The man is identified as 43-year-old Diamond Tewee. 

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team is processing the scene.

No other information was immediately available.

RELATED: Madras man struck and killed on Highway 26