▶️ Players come and go, but Madras football’s Chain Gang a constant for decades

They’re the unsung heroes of every football game in every town in every state – the chain gang.

Tasked with keeping accurate down and distance and moving the chains alongside the action, they’re as integral as the referee and officials.

And you probably won’t find a more experienced crew than the guys running the chains for the Madras High School football team.

The all Native American group has been working the sidelines of the White Buffaloes home games for every season since the mid ’70s

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has more.

▶️ NASA balloon takes flight at Madras airport testing capsule re-entry

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

To Infinity and beyond! (Or over 120,000 feet and back.)

After two days of delays, a special helium balloon finally launched from the Madras Airport Thursday morning.

The project was meant to see if the space station can drop an item that high and have it land safely down to earth.

“The goal was to mimic a re-entry, the last part of a re-entry, to see if we could activate the capsule and more specifically transmit the data, so we could look at it,” said University of Kentucky Professor Alexandre Martin.

That data-filled capsule is a key piece of equipment scientists need to get safely from the International Space Station to Earth.

A group of students from the University of Kentucky, with help from Martin, designed and conducted the experiment. 

They chose Madras because of the geography and weather and they needed a large open area to the east for the capsule to land.

If it proves successful, it could mean astronauts send the capsule back by way of an interspace trash chute, of sorts.

“It is going to de-orbit, and our capsule will be with the trash,” Martin added. “So, as everything goes into a giant ball of fire, our capsule is equipped to resist that, it has a heat shield, that is what we are trying to test, so it will survive the breakup event and start separating from the giant ball of fire and re-enter and start transmitting data.

The test flight was delayed for multiple days due to high winds.

“If the wind speeds are a little too high we can endanger the balloon envelope, it is very fragile once it is attached to the earth,” said Near Space Corporation President Kevin Tucker. “Once it is up in the air it is fine. We just want to make sure there is no damage to that and can do everything successfully.”

Even with calmer winds Thursday morning, Tucker says the launch was still a bit tricky.

“What you may not have seen is right at the last minute the wind direction shifted very slightly, which is typical with low winds,” Tucker said. “So, we actually reversed our launch direction by 180 degrees in a few minutes and then we went.”

So, was this test a success?

“We did receive the data this afternoon when the capsule finally dropped and everything seemed to be working exactly like we intended, which is good news because we are nearing our next flight,” Martin said.

Their next experiment involves three capsules launched from the International Space Station in August, re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere in November.

Spring Chinook season announced on Hood River; no season on Deschutes

ODFW has set regulations for a spring Chinook fishery on the Hood River.

  • Open for adult hatchery Chinook from May 1 through June 30 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.
  • The catch limit is one adult hatchery salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day.
  • All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.

Fishery managers are predicting a modest return of about 400 adult hatchery fish for the Hood River, which is similar to last year’s actual return.

There will be no season for spring Chinook on the Deschutes River for 2021 due to another year of predicted poor returns of both hatchery and wild fish. Fall Chinook angling will open on Aug. 1 on the Deschutes.

According to Rod French, ODFW fish biologist, the Hood River fishery is one of the few places a bank angler has a pretty good chance of catching a Columbia River spring Chinook.

While the fishery will open in May 1, French said the run usually peaks in late May due to colder water temperatures in the Hood River.

For the latest regulations and recreation report for the Central Fishing Zone visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/central-zone.

Man crashes into tree in Sisters after suffering medical emergency

A Madras man suffered a medical emergency while driving in Sisters Thursday, crashing his pickup into a light pole and tree, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened just before 9 a.m. when a 2011 Chevy pickup pulling a 21-foot toy hauler trailer left the road near East Cascade Avenue and North Larch Street.

The truck hit a light pole, went into a gravel drainage ditch and then hit a large tree, said Sgt. Jayson Janes.

A DCSO School Resource Officer was first on the scene and realized the driver, a 58-year-old man, wasn’t breathing. Another deputy arrived soon after and together they removed the driver from th truck.

The deputies then began performing CPR on the man and were joined moments later by an off-duty paramedic from the Black Butte Ranch Fire Department and an off-duty nurse.

Working together, they continued CPR on the driver and used an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) until medics from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District arrived and took over lifesaving efforts.

The driver, who authorities did not identify, was taken to St. Charles in Bend.

Deputies interviewed two passengers in the truck, a 27-year-old man from Bend and a 56-year-old woman from Madras.

The investigation determined the man was driving westbound on Highway 20 and entered Sisters.

The man is believed to have experienced a sudden medical emergency and became unconscious.

The passengers tried to regain control of the truck, but were unable to do so. The two passengers were also taken to St. Charles in Bend with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

COCC to reopen campuses June 14; in-person classes will gradually expand

Central Oregon Community College plans to reopen all campuses to the public in a limited capacity on June 14th.

The college has been closed to the public since March 23, 2020, when COCC moved classes and services to remote delivery in response to an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In-person learning for summer term will remain limited and as currently scheduled, with the intention of gradually expanding on-campus classes for fall and subsequent terms.

Beginning June 14 on all campuses (Bend, Redmond, Madras, and Prineville), buildings and offices will be open and staffed in order to resume incremental in-person services.

On COCC’s Bend campus, the college will reopen its track, field, and trails to the public.

COCC will continue to offer tours to prospective students and their families (one household per tour, masks required).

The college will also consider facility rental requests from community partners in accordance with all current health and safety protocols.

Wickiup Residence Hall will reopen to residents in the fall term.

“Over the last 13 months, our students and employees have weathered this pandemic with resilience, determination, creativity, and empathy,” said Dr. Laurie Chesley, president of COCC. “We are excited to safely reopen our campuses to the public and welcome back our Central Oregon community this June.”

Summer term at COCC begins Monday, June 21, and fall term begins Monday, Sept. 20.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry urges caution with spring debris burns

Spring is often the time when landowners work to clean up vegetation and yard debris around their property and is the perfect time for cleaning gutters and removing leaves and needles from rooftops to reduce risk of wildfire damage to homes and buildings.

However, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Prineville Unit reminds landowners to be cautious if they plan to burn that material.

Weather in the spring can often be erratic and winds can pick up suddenly, fanning flames and dispersing embers into dry vegetation nearby.

Many communities have programs which allow for chipping and disposal of these types of materials at low or no cost to landowners.  ODF encourages landowners to take advantage of these “No Burn” opportunities such as FireFree Events throughout Central Oregon.

Event dates for 2021 can be found here, https://www.firefree.org/firefreeevents/.

Landowners planning to burn yard debris, material from fuel reduction projects, and other commercial forest slash this spring in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties should obtain a burn permit from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and/or follow burning instructions from their local fire department.

Operators and landowners burning forestry slash or fuel reduction materials should complete burning according to the instructions on their burn permit to reduce risks of escaped burns and the rekindling of burn piles later in the season when wildland fuels have dried out.

Below are some tips to reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control.

  • Check weather forecasts.  Avoid burning on windy days or when wind is forecast to be erratic or increasing.
  • Check with local fire department and county restrictions to be certain burning is allowed and what restrictions should be followed.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.  Be certain the fire is completely out prior to leaving.
  • Have a water source and shovel available while burning.
  • Keep debris piles small.  Add material gradually as the pile burns down.
  • Ensure burned piles are cold prior to adding new material for future burning.
  • Contact 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.

Landowners can be held financially responsible for the costs of putting the fire out and any damage caused by fire if they are found to be negligent while burning.

The responsible party can also be cited for an uncontrolled fire.

Debris burning includes field/pastures and irrigation ditch burning intended to reduce thatch as well as other agricultural type burning.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Central Oregon health clinics get federal funding boost for COVID vaccines

Central Oregon’s Mosaic Medical and the La Pine Community Health Center have received a combined $5 million in federal funding to help distribute the COVID vaccine across the region.

Oregon’s Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Wednesday $84 million in federal funding—provided by the American Rescue Plan—is headed to 30 health centers throughout Oregon to expand access to the coronavirus vaccine.

“The urgent need to get as many Oregonians vaccinated as soon as possible receives a real shot in the arm with these vital American Rescue Plan resources heading to health centers in every nook and cranny of our state,” said Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “Oregonians and the health care workers dedicated to helping them deserve every possible opportunity to continue Oregon and the country on the road to the other side of this pandemic. And I will keep battling for every potential dollar for that path to be as fast and smooth as possible.”

Today’s funding will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as follows:

Health Center Name

City

Award Amount

BANDON COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER

BANDON

$874,250

COLUMBIA RIVER COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES

BOARDMAN

$1,269,000

BENTON COUNTY

CORVALLIS

$2,347,500

WINDING WATERS MEDICAL CLINIC

ENTERPRISE

$1,210,625

COUNTY OF LANE

EUGENE

$5,372,000

WHITE BIRD CLINIC

EUGENE

$2,547,750

ASHER COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER

FOSSIL

$671,375

SISKIYOU COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, INC.

GRANTS PASS

$3,315,250

VIRGINIA GARCIA MEMORIAL HEALTH CENTER

HILLSBORO

$10,237,500

ONE COMMUNITY HEALTH

HOOD RIVER

$2,648,000

KLAMATH HEALTH PARTNERS INC

KLAMATH FALLS

$2,239,250

LAPINE COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER

LA PINE

$1,558,125

LA CLINICA DEL VALLE FAMILY HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC.

MEDFORD

$4,922,250

ROGUE COMMUNITY HEALTH

MEDFORD

$2,546,125

LINCOLN, COUNTY OF

NEWPORT

$1,394,875

WATERFALL CLINIC INCORPORATED

NORTH BEND

$1,150,000

CLACKAMAS, COUNTY OF

OREGON CITY

$3,563,000

CENTRAL CITY CONCERN

PORTLAND

$1,873,500

MULTNOMAH, COUNTY OF

PORTLAND

$10,930,750

NATIVE AMERICAN REHABILITATION ASSOCIATION INC

PORTLAND

$1,406,000

NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH CENTER

PORTLAND

$3,825,500

OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY

PORTLAND

$2,733,750

OUTSIDE IN

PORTLAND

$1,652,125

WALLACE MEDICAL CONCERN, THE

PORTLAND

$1,618,000

MOSAIC MEDICAL

BEND, MADRAS, PRINEVILLE, REDMOND

$4,038,250

ADAPT

ROSEBURG

$1,166,000

UMPQUA COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, INC.

ROSEBURG

$2,657,500

NORTHWEST HUMAN SERVICES, INC.

SALEM

$2,460,375

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

TILLAMOOK

$1,254,875

RINEHART MEDICAL CLINIC

WHEELER

$674,000

OSHA involved in civil suit against Madras bakery

We’re learning more about legal action taken against a Madras bakery under investigation by OSHA for suspected COVID violations.

New documents reveal OSHA is involved in a CIVIL suit with Eagle Bakery owner Robert Birky.

An anonymous complaint was filed in January prompting the investigation.

At this point, the bakery has not been fined by OSHA.

On Friday, supporters surrounded the bakery after social media reports indicated OSHA was trying to serve the business.

▶️ Crowd rallies for Madras bakery after online rumors

An OSHA rep told Central Oregon Daily News on Friday the man serving papers was not with the agency.

That is true – he’s a third-party process server hired by the courts.

The summons the man attempted to serve on Friday is actually the second summons for Birky to appear.

He failed to comply with the first.

 

 

▶️ Crowd rallies for Madras bakery after online rumors

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

A popular Madras bakery found itself at the center of online rumors, Friday.

Eagle Bakery was packed with people that morning who wanted to stop OSHA from taking action against the business.

A Facebook posted Thursday night said, “the owner has been informed OSHA will attempt to serve the business at 9:30. We are calling for a show of support so that OSHA knows we have the backs of our local businesses.”

“We’re here today to support him,” said Scott Stuart with “We the People.” “We are not here to physically stop anybody, but we are here to peacefully non-comply with these illegally mandates and unconstitutional laws.”

Friday morning, inside and outside the building filled with people in anticipation of the rumored OSHA visit.

“I am here to support the bakery because I do not believe in all this nonsense our fine governor is doing to us,” said Prineville resident Pete Sharpe.

At about 9:30 a.m., someone did show up with a paper in hand and he was driven off by the crowd.

Aaron Corvin, with Oregon OSHA said that person was not with his agency.

“It was absolutely not Oregon OSHA,” said Corvin. “Not at all. That is wrong. Incorrect.”

Corvin says OSHA launched an investigation in January, following COVID-related complaints, but would not provide specifics due to the ongoing case.

“We have not issued any citations with respect to this employer,” said Corvin. “There is a lot of speculation and rumor these days including on social media.”

Corvin notes, the business owner would not get advance notice of an OSHA visit.

“If we are going to open an inspection, we are going to do that unannounced,” added Corvin.

“Rumor or not we are here to support the local businesses that want to be open, and don’t want to be forced to give up their rights, and so we’re here in support of that effort,” said Prineville resident Jack Rabenberg.

Friday morning’s crowd dispersed after about an hour.

Eagle Bakery refused our request for comment.