▶️ Redmond Police seek public’s help to solve 2021 homicide

(Updated with information about the original police report from Dec. 30, 2021.)

Redmond Police are asking the public’s help as they try to solve a homicide that happened more than two years ago — a case that was initially reported as a car crash.

Dustin Hilsendager, 26, died on Dec. 30, 2021 after being found in a car at SW Canal Blvd. near SW Umatilla Ave. At the time, police reported that there was a single-car crash into a power pole and that a victim, who was not identified, was taken to St. Charles.

Police now tell Central Oregon Daily that Hilsendager was shot.

“Despite the on-going investigative efforts of both the Redmond Police Department and the Tri-County Major Incident Team, who were activated to assist in the homicide investigation, no suspects have been identified,” Redmond Police said in a release Wednesday.

Police say this is an active investigation and no further information will be released. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Tyler Kirk at 541-504-3488 or tyler.kirk@redmondoregon.gov. Reference RPD case #2021-33016.

▶️ Madras considers fining stores when their shopping carts are stolen

The City of Madras is proposing a new restriction on shopping carts that would fine grocery stores for carts stolen off their property. Many of those carts are ending up near homeless camps.

Stores in Madras who spoke to Central Oregon Daily Tuesday agree there’s a problem, but there’s no consensus on how to fix it.

“We’ve had close to probably 70 to 100 carts stolen in the last two years,” Ericksons Thriftway co-manager Kevin Eidemiller said. “At least once a week to every other week, we go hunting for our own carts.”

The City contacted grocery stores late last year requesting action to keep carts on property.

“When we started to see the relationship between shopping carts not being kept on the retailer’s property and then being used in ways that weren’t intended, we thought we needed to start figuring out a way to solve this problem,” Madras Community Development Director Nicholas Snead said.

RELATED: Madras animal shelter fights for contract extension

It says there’s been no improvement, leading to a new proposal.

“If the shopping cart is not on the property, it’s a $100 offense,” Snead said.

“If you have your own private property, you shouldn’t be fined for it being taken off your own premise. It seems pretty excessive,” Eidemiller said.

For Ericksons Thriftway, a mom-and-pop grocery store in the heart of town, there isn’t a quick fix.

“We looked at interlocking systems to try to keep them in our parking lots and they are highly costly. We just can’t simply afford to be able to do so,” Eidemiller said.

Is the proposed solution fair to grocery stores?

“Well, I don’t know that it’s fair. I think it’s a complex problem,” Snead said.

The city is holding an open house Monday to discuss ideas with retailers. Eidemiller would like to see them approach what he sees as the root cause.

“Once we can figure out a way for a homelessness to stop, which I think is what the city’s biggest issue is, then I think it will all ease up and then there won’t be any shopping carts (taken),” Eidemiller said. “We didn’t have this problem until we’ve had so much homeless.”

“Ideally, the city wouldn’t adopt these regulations that we’ve come up with a solution that both the retailers, city staff and community can get behind… that would be certainly ideal for everyone,” Snead said.

Monday’s open house is 2:00-3:30 p.m. at City Hall in the City Council Chambers located at 125 SW E Street.

▶️ Deschutes County considers business licenses for short-term rentals

Short term rentals, the kind you book through apps like Airbnb and VRBO, could be facing new requirements in Deschutes County.

In most cities those rentals are already regulated. But outside city limits — at least in Deschutes County — there is little monitoring or limits on short term rentals.

On Wednesday, Deschutes County Commissioners considered how six other Oregon counties implemented short-term rental business license programs and discussed the cost and feasibility of implementing such programs locally.

The estimated cost to initiate a short-term rental business licensing program in unincorporated parts of Deschutes County range from $500,000 to $1 million. 

“What’s the responsibility for verifying who is the point of contact? What’s the process for handling complaints? Those are all open ended questions that don’t naturally come to the community development department if it’s not a land use program,” said Peter Gutowsky, Deschutes County Community Development director.

There are more than 3,000 homes in rural Deschutes County that are available as short-term rentals.

Most of them are in developed destination resorts like Sunriver, Black Butte Ranch and Eagle Crest that have a long history of managing rental housing for public health and safety. 

It’s the approximately 800 rental homes outside resort areas that appear to be driving county commission discussions to require business licenses.

“We are allowing this right now when we don’t know what could be going on out there so how do we get our hands around it? We implement a program. When we implement a program, things might be brought to the county’s attention,” said Stephanie Marshall, Deschutes County assistant legal counsel. “What do we do with that information? I don’t know if that would require additional code enforcement officers.” 

Deschutes County recently approved development of accessory dwelling units outside urban growth boundaries and many of those could become short-term rentals.

The question is who do neighbors direct concerns to if there are problems with how rental units are run?

“A process of having a place to report for neighbors to call in and say there’s loud noise. We think the septic is overflowing. There’s not a trash receptacle,” said Jen Patterson, Deschutes County strategic initiative manager. In counties where short-term rental business licenses have been adopted, “These things did get resolved at the lowest level.” 

Most Oregon counties that require short-term rental business licenses regulate the number of legal bedrooms, the capacity of on-site septic systems and proof of liability insurance.

▶️ Bend City Council picks 3 Hawthorne Avenue bridge concept finalists

A bicycle and pedestrian bridge using Hawthorne Avenue was a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Bend City Council meeting. The bridge would span over U.S. 97 and the railroad tracks near 1st Street.

“There’s a lot of north-south barriers for people to be able to get across town. The river’s one of them. The Parkway. The railroad. So this concept was kind of birthed out of that to try to find a safe way for bikes and peds to get across town,” City of Bend Engineering Director Ryan Oster said.

Options of different bridge structures were presented to council, where they narrowed down that list of concepts to three finalists.

“They all vary in maintenance requirements and cost and how they’ll fit into the future,” said Principal Engineer for City of Bend Garrett Saber. “Land use considerations in the core area of town. Ultimately, Council wanted us to take a look at a low, medium and high-cost bridge type with with consideration of the funding that we have available.”

The styles chosen include the cable-stayed bridge, the extradosed and the steel trussed.

“So this is identified as a location to provide somewhere with better connectivity, better safety, and just help continue to invest in those alternative modes of transportation in the city of Bend,” said Saber.

“There’s pretty dramatic cost variations depending on if you want to go simple, kind of straight forward, maybe not as aesthetically pleasing, compared to a more iconic bridge that people will recognize,” Oster said.

Once the three finalists are further developed, they will be brought back to city council in April. Community input on the designs will be requested soon after.

The city has budgeted around $26 million for the bridge; some designs will cost less, and some will cost more.

The city received grant funding from both the state and the feds, which came close to paying for all of it.

“Some of them, it looks like we’ll fall relatively close to that,” said Saber. “So they’re trying to limit the potential for local funding that would need to be included,” Saber said.

The city says it hopes to start construction by the end of 2027.

▶️ Oregon bill to move to permanent Standard Time fails — for now

A bill to move Oregon to permanent standard time appears is not moving forward — for now — after senators voted to send it back to the rules committee. It’s over concerns about other states not passing the same legislation.

Senate Bill 1548, sponsored by Sen. Kim Thatcher, D-Keizer, was born from a coalition of lawmakers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. The idea was to move all those states to Standard Time permanently, which does not require the approval of Congress. A switch to permanent Daylight Saving Time does. 

A wrench was thrown in earlier this year when the Washington bill failed to make it out of committee. Bills in Idaho and California have also failed to pass at this point.

Senators voted down the Oregon bill Tuesday by a 16-14 vote. That prompted Thatcher to change her vote to make it 15-15, allowing the bill to ultimately be referred back to the rules committee.

The Statesman-Journal reports the rules committee will look to add an amendment, saying the bill can go forward as long as the neighboring states also adopt permanent Standard Time. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

The Statesman-Journal reports that Democrat and Republican senators whose districts border Idaho and Washington expressed concern about moving to permanent Standard Time if those states did not do so as well.

Hawaii and Arizona are the only states on Standard Time permanently. 

▶️ Deschutes County sheriff candidate forum Monday in Sunriver

The two candidates for Deschutes County Sheriff will participate in the first candidate forum of the election season Monday.

Capt. William Bailey and Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp are campaigning to succeed retiring Sheriff Shane Nelson.

The forum will be held at the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Monday. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Voters are invited to attend in person or watch online at this link

To submit questions, email decision@connectcentraloregon.org.

RELATED: Vander Kamp, Bailey talk about candidacies for Deschutes Co. Sheriff

The forum is being hosted by Sunriver Republicans. The producer of the event says it will be facilitated in a non-partisan format by Connect Central Oregon co-founder Jim Fister.

The primary is set for May 21. If fewer than two candidates file by March 12, then the contest goes straight to the November general election.

Credit card skimmer discovered at Bend 7-Eleven

A credit and debit card skimming device found on a card reader at at Bend 7-Eleven Monday night.

The device, used to steal credit card information, was located on the card reader at the main register in the store at 1008 NW Galveston Ave.

The store manager confirmed to Central Oregon Daily News that an employee was alerted to it Monday night.

RELATED: Scam calls spoofing Deschutes County number trying to sell vacuum cleaners

The device in question was put over the “tap” portion of the reader. It was working for at least a portion of the day Monday, but has since been disabled.

The store said a report has been filed with Bend Police.

If you believe you may have used the card reader at that 7-Eleven recently, be sure to check your accounts to make sure someone hasn’t accessed it fraudulently — particularly if it was a debit card, which generally are linked to bank accounts.

Here is more information from the FBI about card skimming and how to protect yourself.

Skimming

Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from victims’ accounts. It is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.

Fuel Pump Skimming

  • Fuel pump skimmers are usually attached in the internal wiring of the machine and aren’t visible to the customer.
  • The skimming devices store data to be downloaded or wirelessly transferred later.

Tips When Using a Fuel Pump

  • Choose a fuel pump that is closer to the store and in direct view of the attendant. These pumps are less likely to be targets for skimmers.
  • Run your debit card as a credit card. If that’s not an option, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
  • Consider paying inside with the attendant, not outside at the pump.

ATM and POS Terminal Skimming 

  • ATM skimmer devices usually fit over the original card reader.
  • Some ATM skimmers are inserted in the card reader, placed in the terminal, or situated along exposed cables.
  • Pinhole cameras installed on ATMs record a customer entering their PIN. Pinhole camera placement varies widely.
  • In some cases, keypad overlays are used instead of pinhole cameras to records PINs. Keypad overlays record a customer’s keystrokes.
  • Skimming devices store data to be downloaded or wirelessly transferred later.

Tips When Using an ATM or POS Terminal

  • Inspect ATMs, POS terminals, and other card readers before using. Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched. Don’t use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.
  • Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN to prevent cameras from recording your entry.
  • Use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets.
  • Be alert for skimming devices in tourist areas, which are popular targets.
  • Use debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the U.S., there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic strip data.
  • Avoid using your debit card when you have linked accounts. Use a credit card instead.
  • Contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn’t return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.

▶️ VIDEO: Pride flag repeatedly taken from downtown Bend coffee shop

The owners of a LGBTQ-friendly business in downtown Bend say they are being targeted after having their Pride flag stolen at least seven times since last summer.

Surveillance footage from Turtle Island Coffee Shop Feb. 4 and Feb. 18 shows someone taking the flag that was hanging outside.

“I think the majority of folks definitely like alcohol substances are involved. I also don’t think that that is like a free ticket to hate,” co-owner Beth Brady told KOIN-TV.

Bend Police say it is investigating.

“We’re currently working on developing a suspect in this particular case. The theft would be a third degree theft,” said Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller.

RELATED: Bend man charged with manslaughter, assault, DUII in fatal 2023 crash

RELATED: Police: Redmond woman tried to hit others with car near Shepherd’s House

The shop opened last June.

“More or less seven times in about six and a half months,” Brady said.

Police say it has taken at least three reports from the shop. It’s also looking at whether this is considered a hate crime under Oregon law.

“Oregon has specific statutes regarding bias crime, which is basically Oregon’s version of hate crimes,” Miller said. “And so in this particular case, a second degree bias crime would be a crime in which someone damages or steals property because of the perception of the owner’s race, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, religion, that sort of thing.”

“I don’t think anybody tears down a flag without some feeling behind it,” Brady said.

▶️ Police: Redmond woman tried to hit others with car near Shepherd’s House

Redmond Police say a woman was arrested Tuesday after trying to hit people with a car before barricading herself inside the vehicle.

It happened at the Shepherd’s House location at 1350 S. Highway 97 at about 6:12 a.m. Shepherd’s House leaders say the woman, who previously had received services there, had been asked to leave.

Police say officers arrived to find that the 49-year-old Redmond woman had tried to hit other people with the car and threatened to arm herself with a hammer to assault others.

The woman tried to leave the area, but officers were able to keep her in the parking lot using STOP sticks and then blocking her with their own vehicles, police said.

She allegedly barricaded herself in her car and refused to surrender despite the efforts of Central Oregon Emergency Response Team negotiators. Redmond Police said pepper spray was deployed in the car. The woman eventually surrendered.

“Our major concern is safety, and we impress upon our guests that it’s important that we be safe for each other here and that we be safe for our neighbors here,” said John Lodise, director of low-barrier service for Shepherd’s House Ministries.

“If the person will not leave voluntarily, we want to avoid any kind of physical conflict,” Lodise said. “That’s when we called the police.”

Redmond Police say it’s the first incident of this kind near the shelter since it opened in November.

“These are less than 1% incidents that we experienced at Shepherd’s House,” Lodise said. “When we have a situation that’s this serious, we call the police and then we do as the police instruct us. That’s what happened this morning.”

The woman is facing possible assault, reckless driving and resisting arrest charges, police say.

▶️ Infinite ink: Bend is a mecca for tattoo industry, emerging artists

For people looking for an original way to tell their life’s story, tattooing may be the least original form on Earth. After all, the first tattooed human skin dates back more than 5,000 years.

In Bend, putting pen to skin has become more popular than ever before. For many in this region, sitting for a tattoo is a monthly ritual — a belief that the body is a canvas for infinite ink.

For Keone Schneibel, lying on a tattoo artist’s table is exactly where he wants to be. 

“She’ll put me in this pose that makes us all uncomfortable,” Schneibel said.

Every month for the last two and half years, Schneibel has laid on such a table for three hours at a time, receiving the constant pinch of a pulsating needle drenched in ink, watching his otherwise clear skin evolve into another work of permanent art. 

“Every time I come in, it’s a surprise. And then we have a cool conversation on top of it, right?” Schneibel said.

RELATED: ‘Get What You Get’ tattoo machine in Bend changes game for design selection

RELATED: Bend tattoo parlors see surprising surge in business during the pandemic

Schneibel calls it a therapy session — his treat to himself. It’s also quite the treat for tattoo artist Holly McClintock. These sessions cost as much as $200 an hour. She, like so many local artists, is always booked out for six months or more. Rarely does a client come for a small tattoo then never return for another.

“Not very often. Not very often at all,” McClintock said.

Tattoo industry booming in Bend

When McClintock and her husband opened Zen Art Ink 10 years ago, the competition included just two other studios. Today, there are more than 20.

“We live in a great state for it,” McClintock said.

And at a great time. Brittney Manson is considered a relative newcomer to the business, now entering her fourth year of body artistry. Even she will tell you today’s customer is also next month’s customer. And the month after. And so on.

“Doing their first tattoo, they instantly know that they’re gonna get another one. Or as I’m tattooing them they’re already looking up different ideas: ‘I want to get this next,'” Manson said.

The social acceptance of body art has shifted as much as the quality of the art people are wearing today. That acceptance has made getting your first tattoo a much easier decision and getting your second, third and fourth much harder to resist.

Is it an addiction?

When you talk about guys like Schneibel who have been on the tattoo table now every single month for more than two years, it begs the question: Is it possible that for some, tattooing can become an addiction?  The art, the pain, the look.  The answer to that question is quite simple,  depending on who you ask.

“The numbers tell the story obviously. Everybody’s doing it,” said Dr. Vinita Mehta, a clinical psychologist in Washington, D.C.

She is a regular contributor to “Psychology Today,” specializing in the mental and physical evolution of the tattoing industry and its clientele.   

“A person may have a hard time cutting back on tattooing because of the sheer sensation of it,” Mehta said.

Her research and her patients do tell a story of addiction for some.  But unlike drugs or alcohol, a tattooing addiction is an addiction to a want rather than a need. Think of an addiction to shopping or working out.

“I think that tattoos can be the same kind of expression.  This is something about me that I really want to present to the world.  This is how I want you, this is how I want you to see me,” Mehta said.

Bend hosts a top tattoo academy

In Bend, when you talk about the tattoo industry, you’re not just talking about a growing number of studios.

Monolith Tattoo Academy is growing the number of artists to fill those studios. For the last three years, owner Edward Kehoe, a 30-year veteran of the industry, has been turning artists into body artists in Bend and preparing them for their state licensing exam and a career that seems to have no limits. Artists come from as far away as the east coast to train here.

“This is the future of our business, so we want the best education that we can provide,” Kehoe said.

Is it an addiction to tattooing that supports this school?

“It can be but I don’t like the term addiction,” Kehoe said. “I think I would appreciate more of a collection.”

For recent four-year college graduate Lou McAtee, turning a fashion marketing degree into a body art business starts here.

“My family don’t like tattoos. They are very traditional, very religious,” McAtee said.

This native of Indiana graduated college during the pandemic and couldn’t find work. She knows that won’t be a problem leaving the academy.

“I am not aware of any of our students not getting employed (immediately after school),” Kehoe said.

Two doors down from Monolith Academy is Monolith Tattoo Studio — one of two studios connected to Kehoe. Inside is another part of the industry’s evolution: an upscale environment designed to appeal to a new class of clientele.

Rea Jackman, age 81, says she always wanted a tattoo. Five years ago, she joined her granddaughter at a local studio. What she got was not what she wanted.

“It needs to look like an edelweiss not a daisy,” Jackman said.

Her new artist, Dave Lue, is fixing that just in time for Jackman to officiate that same granddaughter’s wedding.

“We’re gonna be on the beach and I’m gonna wear sandals and maybe a shorter dress and I don’t know. It needs to be set right,” Jackman said.

Back at Zen Art Ink, Schneibel is ending his 36th straight month of adding to his body art. Despite his gallery of ink and his 100-plus hours on this same table, the thought that he might be addicted to tattooing seems a bit much to him.

“It sounds like a question spoken from somebody who read a few books and not necessarily walked the walk, right?” Schneibel said.

So, when will his collection stop?

I would stop at my face,” Schneibel said. 

“Too late,” McClintock replied.

Schneibel already has head and neck tattoos, including one just above his jawline.

When done, he’ll walk out to show off his latest addition to family and co-workers.

“I don’t worry about that outcome anymore. Every time I come in here it’s like no different than going to the barber. I’m going to come out feeling good and looking good,” Schneibel said. 

For those of thinking about your next tattoo, remember that everytime that needle hits skin, the result should be thought of as permanent.  There is such a thing as laser tattoo removal.  There are even have options for that procedure here in bend. But it can take years and will easily cost 10 times what the tattoo cost. So, choose those tattoos carefully.