▶️St. Charles medical techs prepare for strike; hospital hopes judge intervenes

St. Charles on Monday said it’s prepared to hire replacement workers as its medical techs plan to strike later this week.

About 150+ medical technicians are set to strike at 8 a.m. on Thursday and the hospital does not expect a resolution before then.

According to a statement from Samuel Potter, a representative with the union, the decision to strike comes following a year of negotiating a first union contract with St. Charles.

A year “where management refused to agree to fair wage and working condition proposals and is stalling on setting reasonable bargaining dates,” he said.

The hospital has filed two unfair labor practice claims against the medical techs’ union, the Oregon Federation of Nurse and Health Professionals, saying “we believe the strike notice was not lawful and the union is not bargaining in good faith.”

“The National Labor Relations Act requires that when a first contract is being negotiated the union must provide at least 30-days’ notice of the contract dispute to state and federal mediation agencies so the dispute may be resolved without a work stoppage,” said Rebecca Berry, vice president of Human Resources for St. Charles. “As a result, we believe the strike notice is unlawful and the NLRB is now investigating that issue.”

On Friday, the hospital workers’ union called the lawsuits “frivolous.”

The union claimed it followed all the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act when it gave the hospital a 10-day notice.

“I’ve talked to four different lawyers who are all very very certain that this case is going to be thrown out of court,” Potter told Central Oregon Daily News on Monday.

Berry said the hospital does not believe the NLRB will reach a decision before the strike date.

Consequently, St. Charles has also filed a complaint for injunctive relief to ensure health care services are maintained until the issue can be resolved.

A hearing is scheduled related to the injunction request in federal court in Eugene at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

If the injection is denied, the strike will move forward, but hospital officials said the issue of the legality of the strike notice will remain before the National Labor Relations Board.

“It is our fundamental mission and responsibility as a health care organization to take care of our community,” said Aaron Adams, president of St. Charles Bend. “Although we believe the strike notice is unlawful, we will proceed with preparations to ensure continued care for our patients.”

Berry said the hospital has “contracted with an outside agency to hire qualified replacement workers and is also asking internal caregivers who hold technical certifications, but who are not part of the bargaining unit, to help fill hospital shifts. The goal is to reduce disruptions to patient care as much as possible.”

“The union has indicated they are striking to get St. Charles to come back to the bargaining table,” Berry said. “We find OFNHP’s reasons for the strike confusing since we already had a bargaining session scheduled for March 10 with a federal mediator. We were also discussing additional, earlier bargaining dates with the mediator prior to receiving the strike notice.”

St. Charles requested a federal mediator to facilitate negotiations in order to speed up the process to reach a final agreement.

“We continue to be unclear as to what OFNHP hopes to accomplish with this strike,” Adams said. “But what we do know is the union’s decision to strike has an impact on our patients, our caregivers, our physicians and our community.”

Bend man arrested on assault charges after alleged fight at apartment complex

A Bend man was arrested Saturday on assault charges after an alleged fight at an apartment complex, according to police.

Sgt. Wes Murphy said officers responded to the Awbrey Pines Condos just after 12 p.m. on a report of a physical domestic dispute.

When officers arrived, they learned the victim had been taken to the hospital by a friend and the suspect, 43-year-old Brandon Chadbourne was in the apartment.

Officers contacted the victim and were able to develop probable cause to arrest Chadbourne, who also had an active warrant for failing to appear in court on separate assault, menacing and harassment charges.

Murphy said officers tried to contact Chadbourne at the apartment but nobody answered the door.

Police obtained a search warrant and came back later that afternoon, but nobody was in the apartment. Murphy said other evidence was obtained during the search.

Just before 6 p.m. officers learned Chadbourne had returned to the apartment; a CERT Team Crisis Negotiator contacted him on the phone and he surrendered without incident.

Chadbourne was arrested on second-degree assault charges, unlawful use of a weapon and the charges related to his warrant.

DCSO investigating shooting near Alfalfa; victim expected to survive

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting Saturday near Alfalfa.

Deputies were called to the 25000 block of Alfalfa Market Road arond 3:30 p.m. for a report of a person with a gunshot wound.

Sgt. Jayson Janes said deputies arrived and discovered a 55-year-old woman with a gunshot wound.

A 70-year-old man was also at the scene.

The woman was taken to St. Charles in Bend via air ambulance. She is expected to recover, Janes said.

Deputies and detectives are still actively investigating this incident, so no further details can be released at this time, he said.

There is no perceived threat to the public.

 

▶️ SAR volunteers clean up abandoned homeless camps along Deschutes River

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Deschutes County Search and Rescue volunteers cleaned up abandoned transient campsites along the Deschutes River over the weekend.

The steep canyon near the Riverhouse Convention Center served as a training opportunity for volunteers to practice rope rescues.

An escaped campfire last summer and high water this winter forced transients to abandon their campsites downstream of the North Canal Dam.

They left behind piles of garbage in a difficult to access area.

“Camping equipment, kitchen stuff, rotting food, hypodermic needles, clothes, shoes. Just tons and tons of trash rotted from sitting down here all winter,” said Neil Marchington, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

SAR decided to help remove the trash via a rope system with litters that normally carry injured people.

They erected a complex rope and pulley system anchored to juniper trees that cantilevered out over the cliff.

A device called a “vortex” kept the rope clear of sharp rocks.

“That will involve setting up systems to haul the garbage up and being a litter attendant,” said Kamilla Farkas, Search & Rescue Lead. “Right now, there’s no live load but there could be, so this is a good training.”

Volunteers who pulled more than 2,000 pounds of garbage out of the canyon over two days say the cleanup couldn’t happen soon enough.

“There was literally trash floating down the river where people are swimming and kayaking. Bags with hypodermic needles floating across the Deschutes River here in Bend,” Marchington said. “That’s something we don’t want to have endangering our kids and our families.”

The cleanup served as one of three monthly trainings that Deschutes County Search & Rescue volunteers undergo year-round.

Such trainings sharpen their skills for when somebody needs to be rescued from difficult to reach areas.

Terrebonne man jailed after eluding police, resisting arrest in Bend

Two Bend elementary schools were put on lockdown early Monday while Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputies tracked down and arrested a wanted man.

The incident started around 5:38 a.m. when someone reported a suspicious vehicle in the area of 494 NW Lava Road.

Sgt. Jayson Janes said Bend Police officers responded to the scene and the car, driven by 23-year-old Shawn Ray Ison, sped away.

The officer did not chase Ison but was able to get a vehicle description and license plate to other law enforcement.

Deputies believed they knew who the driver was, and possibly where he would be going.

DCSO deputies, Bend Police, and the Oregon State Police responded to Deschutes River Woods, in the event he was going there, Janes said.

A deputy set up spike strips in the area of Riverwoods Dr. just west of Faugarwee Circle. The deputy saw the car approaching, and was able to successfully deploy the spike strips.

Ison continued driving through Deschutes River Woods with three flat tires.

Law enforcement was able to set up a perimeter in the area and saw the car driving on Buck Canyon Rd.

Deputies found the vehicle parked and abandoned on Buck Canyon Rd.

Janes said law enforcement adjusted the perimeter and asked Elk Meadow Elementary School and Pine Ridge Elementary School to be locked down.

Citizens started calling dispatch with sightings of Ison running through the area.

Based on citizen tips, law enforcement was able to find Ison at Hiawatha Rd. near Apache Rd.

A deputy tried to take Ison into custody, but he actively resisted, Janes said.

While the deputy was trying to get Ison into custody, Bend Police K-9 Lil’ Kim and her handler Officer Uballez arrived on the scene. Due to Ison actively fighting with the deputy, Lil Kim bit Ison. Ison was then taken into custody afterward, Janes said.

After Ison was cleared by paramedics, he was taken to the Deschutes County jail and lodged on several charges including resisting arrest and a warrant for absconding. He was also arrested for unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of felony elude, reckless driving and reckless endangering.  These charges are for a past case.

Ison was successfully taken into custody due to all involved law enforcement agencies working well together, and the tips from the citizens in the area, Janes said.

7 rescued from Cascade Lakes Highway after 3 trucks get stuck in the snow

Deschutes County Search and Rescue helped seven people back to safety Sunday night after a Eugene man got stuck in the snow on the Cascade Lakes Highway and his cousin and a buddy got stuck trying to help.

Deputy Kyle Joye, the SAR assistant special services coordinator, said the incident started around 10 p.m. when Eric Valentine called dispatch saying he was stuck in the snow.

Valentine, of La Pine, reported his nephew, Brandon Dustin, had left Lapine around 5 p.m. and took the “back way” to Eugene.

The nephew, Dustin planned on taking US Highway 372 over to US Highway 58, using a shortcut to Eugene, Joye said.

After finding snowmobiles traveling the highway and getting advice from the riders that the highway was closed, Dustin tried to turn around and became stuck in the snow.

Valentine responded to help and also became stuck in the snow.

During this initial call, Valentine decided to call a friend with a tow truck and declined any Search and Rescue assistance.

But just after 1 a.m. Valentine again called 911, reporting his friend, 43-year-old Jason Winford of La Pine, who was supposed to bring up a tow truck instead drove up a Chevy Suburban and he was also stuck in the snow.

Valentine reported there were now three vehicles stuck and seven people including one minor were stranded.

Using Valentine’s 911 call as a locating tool, Search and Rescue was able to confirm Valentine’s location was at milepost 53 US Highway 372.

Valentine reported all three vehicles were within a few hundred yards of each other and all occupants were warm and safe inside the vehicles, Joye said.

Two SAR volunteers and one Special Services Deputy responded to help.

Two SAR members traveled the majority of the way to the stuck subjects with a 4×4 pickup.  They then deployed the tracked DCSO SAR ARGO ATV as well as a tracked Polaris Ranger ATV and found everyone around 4:30 a.m.

All seven were provided a courtesy ride back to the intersection of FS Rd 42 and FS Rd 43 where they were reunited with their family.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those traveling during the winter to anticipate changes in the weather and varying snowpack conditions.

It is also recommended if you’re travelling forest service roads this time of year they are generally not maintained so planning your route is suggested.

Also, be sure to bring appropriate vehicles and equipment: including a shovel, lighting, clothing, blankets, food, water, navigation and communication devices to include a cell phone charger.

 

 

 

St. Charles medical techs vote to strike; give hospital 10-day notice

St. Charles medical techs gave the hospital notice Monday they will strike in 10 days after the two sides were unable to agree on a contract.

“Management has been unwilling to agree to common-sense proposals that can help both staff and patients, and this is our last resort to improve the conditions at the hospital,” said DeeDee Schumacher, an ultrasound technologist who has worked at St. Charles for 40 years. “We don’t want to strike and would rather continue working in our community, so we hope the hospital will avert this by settling a fair contract.”

According to a statement from Samuel Potter, a representative with the Oregon Nurses and Hospital Professionals union, the decision to strike comes following a year of negotiating a first union contract with St. Charles.

A year “where management refused to agree to fair wage and working condition proposals and is stalling on setting reasonable bargaining dates.”

In a statement, the hospital said it was disappointing to get the strike notice and said it planned to file an unfair labor practice charge of bad-faith bargaining with the National Labor Relations Board.

“While the surge in COVID-19 cases over the past few months has made it difficult to continue bargaining with full bargaining teams, we have invited OFNHP to provide a comprehensive response via email or over the phone. OFNHP has not chosen to do so,” said Rebecca Berry, vice president of Human Resources for St. Charles Health System. “If ONFHP believes that progress is not being made, it needs to look at its own decisions.

“We were concerned enough about the lack of progress that we suggested bringing in a federal mediator and OFNHP agreed. Now, OFNHP has issued a strike notice without ever meeting with a mediator even though it had already agreed to the specific date of March 10 for our next session. We don’t understand OFNHP’s strategy.”

The hospital said the two parties were in discussion with a federal mediator to see if new dates for bargaining could be set in addition to the March 10 date that is already scheduled. 

The mediator offered dates on March 3, 4 or 5, which were under consideration when the strike notice was delivered, according to St. Charles.

Because OFNHP has chosen to strike, St. Charles will now be required to direct its time to strike preparation rather than negotiations and will be unable to meet during the notice period, according to the statement.

▶️ St. Charles workers picket for higher wages, ask to bargain with hospital

Earlier this month, members of the union held an “informational picket” outside the hospital.

“I want to get fair wages basically from the hospital,” said Frank Dewolf, an electrophysiology technologist at St. Charles. “I’ve been working here for over ten years now and my income hasn’t increased at all.”

Dewolf said he’s watched other hospitals around the state increase wages for jobs like his, but his own wage has stayed stagnant.

“It makes you feel unwanted,” Dewolf said.

The situation has “pushed these essential healthcare employees to take a stand so that they can gain living wages and a voice on the job, Potter said.

The union currently has more than 150 technicians, technologists and therapists and 95% voted in favor of authorizing the strike.

You can read the full statement from the ONHP below:

Strike Press Release 2-22

 

Construction begins on new Alpenglow Community Park in SE Bend

Bend Parks and Recreation has broken ground on a new park – and the city’s first water ‘sprayground’ – with hopes it will be ready for visitors in Summer 2022.

Alpenglow Community Park is located on SE 15th St. about a half-mile north of Knott Road.

The 37-acre park is in one of Bend’s fastest-growing areas

Alpenglow Community Park’s design showcases the natural beauty of the high desert landscape and incorporates mature stands of Ponderosa Pine and Juniper trees, and a basalt ridge designated as an area of special interest.

The views of the Cascade Mountain Range to the west provided inspiration for the name of the park. Alpenglow Community Park was selected as name for the site following public outreach and a contest with Jewell Elementary School students.

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The park will include an open lawn area, demonstration garden, area for bouldering, playground and sprayground, event pavilion, off-leash area for dogs and several accessible trails and multi-use pathways.

 Ian Isaacson, project manager and landscape architect for the park district, shared his excitement for the project to get underway.

“A community park in this part of town will provide my neighbors with access to recreation opportunities close to home, and the unique features that the park offers will benefit the whole community,” he said. “The sprayground is the first of its kind for the park district and an often-requested park amenity, and the accessible pathways and trail connections bring new recreation and transportation possibilities for a wide variety of users.”

The property for Alpenglow Community Park was acquired in 2014, with funds from a 2012 voter-approved bond measure.

The parcel was purchased from the J.L. Ward family for $3.77 million.

Development of the park is funded by System Development Charge (SDC) resources.

SDCs are collected to provide funding for parks and trails to support growth in the community. $9.53 million is allocated for the development of the park.

Alpenglow Park is just north of the soon-to-open Caldera High School, bordered by the Burlington Northern railroad line and is just south of a Central Oregon Irrigation District canal.

The park district’s extensive public outreach process, which included close coordination with neighboring property owners like Bend La-Pine Schools and the City of Bend, was integral to develop connections and access to the park and adjoining school district property.

According to Isaacson, one of the results of that public outreach was the prioritization of safe pedestrian facilities to access the park.

The result, a pedestrian bridge that was installed over the irrigation canal just north of the park in January 2021, and a second footbridge that will be built to span the railroad tracks to connect the park and school with neighborhoods to the west.

These bridges, along with paved multi-use paths along 15th St. installed by BPRD, Bend-La Pine Schools and the City of Bend, provide an enhanced transportation corridor for students and park users and connectivity to the Larkspur Trail and Central Oregon Historic Canal Trail.

43 Summit HS students now confirmed positive for COVID after party

The COVID outbreak at Summit High School in Bend has reached at least 43 students, according to an email to families from the principal on Monday night.

“All appear to have a primary or secondary nexus to a weekend party in early February,” Principal Michael McDonald said. “Most students are showing varying degrees of illness, but other have identified as asymptomatic.”

McDonald said there were no reported COVID cases among staff and no signs it was spread at school.

In a letter to families over the weekend, McDonald called it a “teachable moment” for students, parents and the community.

“We are all ready for the pandemic to be over and to ‘go back to normal.’ But we are not there yet,” he said. “We need to redouble our efforts at masking, distancing and staying home when ill if we want to resume some ‘normal’ activities like in-person learning and athletics. We must all remember that our actions outside of school have a huge impact on what can happen inside our buildings.”

The school reported an initial outbreak last week had affected about a dozen kids and forced the school to cancel in-person classes at the end of the week.

Deschutes County Health, meanwhile, scrambled to set up a free COVID testing clinic for the community Friday at Pilot Butte Middle School.

Nearly 250 people showed up to get tested.

Summit now is undergoing a deep clean to prepare for students to return the week of February 22nd.

“It is my sincere wish that everyone who is ill is able to recover and that we were able to act fast enough to contain this outbreak,” McDonald said in his email to families over the weekend. “I have heard from many families, students, community members, and staff members during the past week who are experiencing feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and fear brought on by this outbreak. These are all reasonable responses. We are here to connect with students who need support during this time.”

You can read McDonald’s full message to families below:


February 15, 2021

Dear Summit Families:

In addition to the schedule shared in the recent email, I would like to update you on our current knowledge regarding the recent outbreak within our student community.

Since Wednesday, we have reports of 43 positive cases of COVID-19 among students. All appear to have a primary or secondary nexus to a weekend party in early February. Most students are showing varying degrees of illness, but others have identified as asymptomatic. We are very thankful to share at this time no reports of cases or illness among our staff and no signs the virus was spread at our school.

I appreciate the efforts of students and parents who sought COVID-19 testing and to those who will find themselves testing in the future. Testing and cooperating with contact tracing (from public health and our school nursing staff) play a major role in how well we control the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community.

We urge families to review and follow these health recommendations:

· For individuals who attended the social gathering on Saturday, February 6, you are strongly encouraged to quarantine for 14 days from February 6. Quarantine Information.

· For individuals that may have had close contact with someone who attended the social gathering, it is strongly recommended that you quarantine for 14 days from the date of your last exposure with that individual.

· If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your health care provider and self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset.

· If you tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms, you should self-isolate for 10 days starting on the day you tested positive.

· Please report any positive test results or symptom information to Summit High School nurse Pam Orton at 541-355-4023.

I care deeply about all of our students and my concern about their physical and mental well-being has only amplified during the last few days.

This event has reminded us all that even with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, young adults can easily spread the virus to their peers and the wider community, putting others at risk and disrupting a smooth transition back to school.

If we all participate equally in following the recommended guidelines, we all benefit from our partnership and teamwork. Summit staff will continue to work hard within the school and we need students and families to continue doing the same outside the building.

I am hopeful that our future communications will be filled with highlights from our classrooms and information about your students’ educations – and less about COVID-19. If you are interested in future updates on COVID-19 cases associated with schools that offer in-person instruction, including ours, I encourage you to bookmark this page.

The page is updated weekly, on Wednesdays, by the Oregon Health Authority and includes all Oregon schools that have one or more case of COVID-19 in students or staff/volunteers with onset within the last 28 days.

Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to seeing your students back in the building next week and celebrating our return.

Sincerely,

Michael McDonald, principal

Summit High School

Bend man arrested on drug, weapons charges after 3-hour standoff

A Bend man wanted on weapons charges surrendered peacefully Saturday after a three-hour standoff with officers.

The incident started just after noon on Saturday when officers received information that a suspect in several recent cases involving a firearm was inside a home on NW Colorado Avenue – across the street from Market of Choice.

Lt. Clint Burleigh said 36-year-old Mackenzie Burton Now was suspected of being in possession of a stolen handgun, which was found last week with more than 26 grams of suspected heroin.

The information led officers to the home on Colorado where the Central Oregon Emergency Response team was activated due to the nature of the investigation and presence of firearms, Burleigh said.

Oregon State Police troopers and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputies also responded to the scene.

Several local streets were blocked and neighbors were asked to stay inside during the incident.

Crisis negotiators were able to make contact with Now and he agreed to come out of the home around 3:15, Burleigh said.

Now was jailed on several charges including first-degree theft, felon in possession of a firearm, first-degree burglary, and possession of a controlled substance.