▶️ The Great Drake Park Duck Race returns, pink duck reigns victorious

For two years, they’ve been in hiding. But on Sunday, they floated and quacked down the river once again. 

Cheers were loud and joyful as a crate filled with nearly 17,000 plastic ducks emptied into the river- the start of The Great Drake Park Duck Race.

The race went virtual for two years during the pandemic, but this year, the Bend Rotary Club started preparing back in April for the in-person event. 

“We haven’t been out here for three summers basically, and it feels wonderful that the people that are turning out today, everyone’s happy to be buying duck tickets,” said Steve Ferber, the event chairman. 

Community members were able to purchase a duck for $5 each, in hopes theirs would be the lucky duck to make it to the finish line first. 

Crowds meandered through the park as they watched the mass of colorful ducks float through the water. In the end, a pink duck reigned victorious, earning the winner a $5,000 prize. 

At the last count, there were $94,000 in ticket sales at this year’s event, which is all to benefit local nonprofits. 

“Not a record, but having been somewhat dormant for a few years, we’re really happy that that’s where we are right now,” Ferber said. 

“All four nonprofits are here,” Co-Chair Kate Bailey added. “Central Oregon Veterans Organization, Boys and Girls Club of Bend, MountainStar Family Relief Nursery and Deschutes Children’s Foundation.” 

There was a kids’ race earlier in the day, which resulted in a new bicycle for the winner. There were also bouncy houses and food carts set up in the park for families to enjoy throughout the day. 

It was the event’s 33rd year, which kicked off in 1990. 

Their fundraising record is $117,000, which the Rotary Club hopes to beat next year. 

▶️ Cedar Creek Fire closes some areas of Deschutes National Forest

The Deschutes National Forest is implementing temporary closure areas due to the growing Cedar Creek Fire.

The lightning-caused fire, which started August 1, has burned at least 17,625 acres about 25 miles west of La Pine. It is 12% contained.

Central Oregon Fire Information says fire activity has increased due to hot and dry conditions. Waldo Lake had served as a natural barrier from moving east. But the fire is now north of Waldo Lake.

“For the safety of the public, the Crescent and Bend-Fort Rock Ranger Districts on the Deschutes National Forest will temporarily close all Forest Service managed roads, trailheads and trails from the Forest boundary along the Cascade crest on the west, to roughly the Three Sisters Wilderness boundary on the east, down to Forest Road 4290 road system south to the Forest Road 4650 road system, and terminating at the Deschutes County Line,” Central Oregon Fire Info said. “This closure will be in place until rescinded.”

RELATED: Cedar Creek Fire nears 17,000 acres, triggers increase in evacuation levels

RELATED: Cowboy Fire near Prineville stopped at 204 acres, evacuations dropped

Trailhead closures within the closure area include:

  • Irish and Taylor Lakes Trailhead
  • Many Lakes Trailhead
  • Charlton Lake Trailhead
  • Moore Creek Trailhead

Trail closures within the closure areas include:

  • Charlton (and associated trails)
  • Clover Meadow
  • Corral Swamp
  • Elk Creek
  • Found Lake
  • Harralson
  • Irish
  • Taylor
  • Johnny Lake
  • Lemish Lake
  • Lily Lake
  • Maiden Peak (and associated trails)
  • Many Lakes
  • Metolius-Windigo
  • Mink Lake
  • Moore Creek
  • Senoj Lake
  • Six Lakes
  • Snowshoe Lake
  • Teddy Lake
  • The Twins
  • Twins Peak
  • Upper Moore Creek
  • Winopee Lake

Cedar Creek Fire Closures

“This closure also specifically closes the Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 58 to the junction with the Six Lakes Trail near Elk Lake,” Central Oregon Fire Info said. “Long distance hikers can rejoin the PCT at Elk Lake via the Island Meadow Trail or the Horse Lake Trail. Visit the pcta.org for current information about closures.”

Black bear spotted in Powell Butte

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office is warning people Powell Butte residents of a black bear sighting in the Red Cloud area.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office asked residents to be mindful of their garbage cans and their animals. They’re also advising people to leave wildlife alone and do not approach bears.

Oregon State Police Game troopers and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have been advised, the sheriff’s office said.

RELATED: Why three cougars were shot and killed instead of relocated

RELATED: Safe wildlife crossing No. 5 installed on Highway 97 near Vandevert Road

RELATED: The Great Outdoors: Don’t ‘rescue’ baby animals you see alone in the wild

Black Bear Crook County Sheriff's Office Facebook

▶️ Warm Springs opens new store to promote, celebrate work of local artists

A community of artists came together in Warm Springs over the weekend to celebrate the opening of a new store that will feature, promote and sell art made by local Warm Springs artists.

RELATED: Check out the artwork selected for two Bend roundabouts

RELATED: 2nd Redmond Music & Arts Festival welcomes 20 local artists

 

▶️ Cowboy Fire near Prineville stopped at 204 acres, evacuations dropped

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office cancelled all fire evacuation for the Cowboy Fire on Saturday morning.

The fire, which started at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, started near Juniper Canyon Road and prompted Level 3 “Go Now” evacuations

Around 50 homes were evacuated. 

By Saturday morning, the fire had reached 204 acres. Crews were able to create a dozer line around the fire and ultimately stop movement. Evacuation notices were completely dropped in the area. 

On Sunday, crews continued to work to make sure mop-up was completed. 

“The goal is to mop up, secure it, and be able to walk away from it without any concern,” said Christy Shaw with the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

There were more than 80 fire personnel working on the fire on Sunday. 

▶️ Bend Safeway employee: Workers hid in refrigerator during shooting

Three people are dead in a shooting at the Safeway on Bend’s east side Sunday night. The shooter is one of the three killed.

Bend Police say it happened around 7:04 p.m. at the Forum Shopping Center at Highway 20 and NE 27th Street.

Chief Mike Krantz said late Sunday that it’s believed the shooter entered from a residential area behind the shopping center.

“The shooter moved through the parking lot from the Costco on the west end, shooting rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, the shooter entered the west entrance of Safeway,” said Krantz.

Krantz said the gunman shot one person at the entrance. That person was later transported to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police say the gunman moved through the store, continuing to fire shots and killed a second person inside.

Krantz said officers arrived, still hearing gunshots. They found the suspected gunman dead inside the store with the AR-15-style rifle as well as a shotgun nearby. Krantz said no officers fired shots.

A Safeway employee named Robert said he and other employees quickly went for cover.

“Me and three other employees ran into a walk-in refrigerator and closed the door and stayed there and stayed hidden until authorities arrived.” Robert said.

There was also a report of one person who was injured, but it wasn’t clear as of late Sunday night if that was related to this incident.

Krantz said officers also investigated reports of a second shooter, but no second shooter was found. He said officers also responded to reports of additional shootings in the vicinity. He said no evidence of any such incidents was found.

Heather Thompson, was across the street from the shopping center when she heard dozens of shots.

“I heard anywhere from five to eight shots. I thought it sounded like backfire,” Thompson said. “Less than a minute later, there were 10 to 20 shots and then another 10 to 20 shots. And by that time, I went inside and told my dad to get away from the window. And people were running out of Safeway.”

The investigation was continuing Sunday night. Krantz said search warrants were being obtained for the residential area behind the shopping center.

▶️ Bend Safeway shooting witness heard dozens of shots, saw people running out

Three people are dead in a shooting at the Safeway on Bend’s east side Sunday night. The shooter is one of the three killed.

Bend Police say it happened around 7:04 p.m. at the Forum Shopping Center at Highway 20 and NE 27th Street.

Chief Mike Krantz said late Sunday that it’s believed the shooter entered from a residential area behind the shopping center.

“The shooter moved through the parking lot from the Costco on the west end, shooting rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, the shooter entered the west entrance of Safeway,” said Krantz.

Krantz said the gunman shot one person at the entrance. That person was later transported to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police say the gunman moved through the store, continuing to fire shots and killed a second person inside.

Krantz said officers arrived, still hearing gunshots. They found the suspected gunman dead inside the store with the AR-15-style rifle as well as a shotgun nearby. Krantz said no officers fired shots.

A Safeway employee named Robert said he and other employees quickly went for cover.

“Me and three other employees ran into a walk-in refrigerator and closed the door and stayed there and stayed hidden until authorities arrived.” Robert said.

There was also a report of one person who was injured, but it wasn’t clear as of late Sunday night if that was related to this incident.

Krantz said officers also investigated reports of a second shooter, but no second shooter was found. He said officers also responded to reports of additional shootings in the vicinity. He said no evidence of any such incidents was found.

Heather Thompson, was across the street from the shopping center when she heard dozens of shots.

“I heard anywhere from five to eight shots. I thought it sounded like backfire,” Thompson said. “Less than a minute later, there were 10 to 20 shots and then another 10 to 20 shots. And by that time, I went inside and told my dad to get away from the window. And people were running out of Safeway.”

The investigation was continuing Sunday night. Krantz said search warrants were being obtained for the residential area behind the shopping center.

Bend camping code open house Monday night being moved to new location

The City of Bend is holding another open house Monday night regarding possible new unsanctioned camping codes. Due to the deadly shooting at the Safeway on Bend’s east side, the meeting is being moved to City Hall.

Here is a press release from the City of Bend.

The City of Bend’s informational open house on the camping code process has moved locations due to the active investigation into yesterday’s shooting at the Eastside Safeway in Bend. The informational open house, originally scheduled at the Municipal Court, will now take place this evening at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall (710 NW Wall Street). It will also be available to view online.

“I think it’s important to move forward with this event,” Mayor Pro-Tem Anthony Broadman said. “We can acknowledge the moment and focus on some constructive work we need to do as a community”.

RELATED: ‘Urgent’: Bend City Council holds Q&A on homeless camping codes

The City of Bend is developing municipal code provisions to regulate unsanctioned camping on City rights-of-way and City-owned property, like public streets, sidewalks, and landscape strips in Bend. As part of developing the code, the City is hosting two informational sessions this month about the process for the code development.

The first open house occurred August 16 and the second will be held tonight both in person and online. The online meeting will be available with live simultaneous Spanish interpretation. The event will be streamed on the City of Bend YouTube channel. Those who wish to ask questions during the open house should register with this Zoom link. 

Information is also posted on the unsanctioned camping code webpage.

The purpose of the open house is to inform the community about how developing an unsanctioned camping code fits into the City and community response to houselessness. City staff will share information about the legal principles involved in regulating public property in light of recent federal court decisions and Oregon statutes and the process for developing the code, including when community members will have opportunities to provide input. The open house provides time for community members to ask questions about this process.

Accessible Meeting Information

These open houses are accessible. Sign language interpreter service, assistive listening devices, materials in alternate formats such as Braille, large print, electronic formats, or any other accommodations are available upon advance request. Please contact Shelly Smith at 541-388-5535 or shsmith@bendoregon.gov for accommodations. Providing at least 3 days’ notice before the event will help ensure availability.

About the Unsanctioned Camping Code

Unsanctioned camping along City streets and sidewalks is the type of camping the City hears a lot of concerns about. The Bend Municipal Code currently does not ban camping on public property or rights-of-way. The City of Bend is developing a code to help regulate City-owned property and rights-of-way to make them safer for everyone and intends to regulate unsanctioned camping in a manner consistent with federal court decisions and Oregon law. There will be opportunities for the community to provide input on the proposed code before Council votes on adopting a code this fall.

Learn more about the unsanctioned camping code at bendoregon.gov/camping-code

▶️ Elected leaders respond to Bend Safeway shooting

Three people were killed following a shooting inside the Safeway on Bend’s east side Sunday night.

Police say a Safeway worker who tried to disarm the shooter was killed. A customer was also killed.

The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Here is reaction from local elected leaders who have posted statements, including information about a vigil being planned for Monday night at Drake Park.

Bend Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman

“It was a dark night in Bend. As we grieve last night’s senseless gun violence, I want to make sure that people have good facts and the resources they need.

The Bend Police Department is providing factual updates as they are able. There will be an additional press conference today at 12:30 p.m. that will be livestreamed on the City of Bend’s YouTube channel.

First, there is no indication at this time that there was more than one attacker.  The apparent killer is deceased.  While this remains an active investigation, and regrettably we must always be vigilant, at this time, we do not believe there is further immediate danger in connection with last night’s incident.  Second, the men and women of Bend Police Department and several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies worked through the night to protect people in Bend and conduct a thorough investigation, collecting all evidence and processing it properly. This takes time.

Thank you to Chief Mike Krantz for helming this multi-agency effort, which included support from Bend Fire & Rescue, Oregon State Police, Deschutes County Sherriff’s Office and the FBI. Thank you to the emergency and medical personnel, St. Charles, and everyone who stepped up to shepherd this community through a horrific night, along with Governor Kate Brown who monitored the situation closely throughout the evening. 

Today we will begin to mourn those we have lost, support the families stricken by this immense tragedy, and comfort our traumatized City.  Mourn now, and let us continue to work as a community to ensure these tragedies are not repeated, that gun violence is not part of our culture, and that we live our lives free of terror.  We are strong when we stand together. 

I learned of the shooting, like so many of you, from a friend at the scene, helping those who’d been shot.  He’s one of my church friends, who I normally text with about snow reports and homebrew recipes.  Our entire community has been attacked, and the families of the loved ones we have lost will need our strength in the coming hours and days. 

As we are all processing the trauma of last night, remember there are mental health resources available. The Deschutes County Crisis Line available to anyone who is experiencing a crisis or needs crisis support. Call 541-322-7500 ext. 9. Deschutes County Walk-in Crisis Services also provides access to a therapist for individuals experiencing a crisis. Contact the Deschutes County Stabilization Center at 63311 NE Jamison Street in Bend. Or call their 541-585-7210- Office Line  for Non-Emergency.

And finally, if you are interested, there is a community vigil from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight in Drake Park. Watch for more information throughout the day.”

Bend City Council

“No words can fully describe the terror and grief that our community experienced last night when a gunman opened fire at a local grocery store and took the lives of two of our community members. We mourn the loss of the victims, Glenn Edward Bennett and Donald Ray Surrett, Jr. 

Surrett, a Safeway employee, potentially saved many lives as Police believe he tried to disarm the shooter, a heroic act for which we are so thankful for.

We are heartbroken for their families and friends.

We hold in our thoughts everyone who was there on Sunday night and experienced the trauma of a shooting in a place where people should feel safe getting their groceries.

We are incredibly thankful for the exceptionally swift response from the Bend Police Department and for the cooperation and collaboration of every local law enforcement agency in the area. We appreciate the community’s patience as our law enforcement professionals do their job, investigate this horrific crime, and collect accurate information before sharing it with the public.

Our community has had its sense of safety shattered by this act of violence. We must all come together to support one another as we process the wide range of emotions that we are all feeling right now. If you are struggling for any reason, please reach out the Deschutes County DA’s Victims Assistance and Deschutes County Behavioral Health. They have arranged for a community support center at Pilot Butte Middle School from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., today, Aug 29, and tomorrow, Aug. 30.  Anyone can access these free counseling services as needed by dropping in. 

There are also Victims Assistance support services for those present at the scene or their next of kin. Links to can be found on the Deschutes County District Attorney’s website 

We are devastated that Bend has become the latest community to experience a mass shooting aimed at causing fear. As leaders at the local level, we pledge to do everything in our power to advocate for the policies we need as a state and a country to curb gun violence and end the epidemic of mass shootings that plagues our communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe from gun violence in our community.”

Rep. Jason Kropf

“My heart breaks for my community in Bend today. My deepest condolences go out to the victims of last night’s attack and their families, as well as my appreciation for the first responders, hospital workers, and store employees who acted swiftly to keep people safe. 

“This violence has no place in Bend, nor in any town. Everyone deserves safety and to not live in fear while grocery shopping, commuting to work, attending school, gathering to worship, or just simply going about their day.

“As we heal from this senseless event, I want to reaffirm my commitment to taking action to end gun violence and keep our communities safe. We know it can be prevented, and we must work together to do better. 

“At this time, if you or anyone you know is struggling, please know there are mental health and crisis resources available around the clock, 24/7, including the Deschutes County Crisis Line which can be reached at 541-322-7500 ext. 9; the Deschutes County Stabilization Center for walk-in services at 63311 NE Jamison St.; and the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline which provides services via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8.”

Gov. Kate Brown

“I am asking all Oregonians to keep the victims of last night’s shooting in Bend and their families in your thoughts and in your hearts today. Every Oregonian should be able to go to a grocery store without the fear of gun violence. While there is still much we don’t know, Oregon State Police are working with local authorities to respond to and investigate this tragic event. Last night’s shooting was one of several in Oregon just this weekend. The families of these victims will forever be impacted by these senseless acts. All Oregonians deserve to be safe from gun violence.”

 

Sen. Ron Wyden

“The Oregonians who went to shop or to work at the Bend shopping center where last night’s mass shooting happened need our thoughts and actions. America cannot just shrug its shoulders at another mass shooting with loved ones grieving the loss of family and friends. The Senate took a small step this year toward reducing the threats of mass shootings, but there are many more steps ahead before our country actually addresses the gun violence epidemic devastating communities like Bend today & far too many communities before this. I’m willing to work with anybody who’s sick and tired of mass shootings to find solutions that put an end to this gun violence madness once and for all.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley

“My heart breaks for the families of the victims and the many people whose routine Sunday evening shopping turned into a terrifying run for their lives in Bend. This doesn’t have to happen. It’s not normal in any other country. High-powered assault rifles with high-capacity magazines, combined with personal grievances and often a culture of hate, create a toxic stew that leaves good people, innocent people dead, maimed, and traumatized. We need to come together – Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural, Black and white and brown and Asian American and Native American, and including the many responsible gun owners – and put an end to this madness.”

▶️ Protesters gather at courthouse over foster child dispute

A custody battle is raging between a local foster family and blood relatives over a child in the foster family’s care.

Demonstrators held a rally in front of the Deschutes County Courthouse Sunday afternoon protesting an alleged decision by the Oregon Department of Human Services giving custody of the child to the blood relatives.

“We’re with a group today called ‘Backing the Burnsons’ and we’re with a group supporting a local foster family here in Bend, Oregon. Especially surrounding their foster child,” said protester Kristina Biederman.

The child has reportedly lived with the foster family for three years and has little connection to their relatives, according to protesters.