▶️ Cascade Lakes Brewing to release beer benefiting Brightside Animal Center

Cascade Lakes Brewing Company is doing something special, maybe even a little hoppy for a local non-profit.

The Central Oregon based brewery created a “Pawsitive” Pale Ale benefiting Brightside Animal Center.

Shelter manager Patricia Bowling says proceeds will be used to add 16 outdoor kennels to their Redmond location.

“Our dogs have always had inside and outside kennels,” Bowling said. “But the outside kennels were in such disrepair that it started to be a danger to them.”

This is the second year Cascade Lakes has created a beer that Brightside receives a portion of profits from.

New outdoor kennels were a priority then as well.

“We’ll have concrete slabs again, every dog will have their own individual kennel,” Bowling said. “We’ll have all different sizes of kennels because we get everything from pocket pets all the way up to great danes.”

Every drink purchased does some good for both the pets and the employees.

“They [the animals] can safely go outside, they don’t have to worry about metal prongs or places that need to be repaired, and they get in trouble,” Bowling said. “It’s a cleaner environment. We don’t have old, rusty areas that they [the employees] can also get hurt on.”

$1 of every Pawsitive Pale Ale six pack and a portion of merchandise, raffle tickets, and draft sales from the release party will directly benefit Brightside.

The release party will be Saturday, June 5th from 2-7p.m. at the 7th Street pub in Redmond.

▶️ Most Central Oregon towns plan for Fourth of July Parade

Redmond’s Fourth of July parade is on!

The Redmond Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday it is moving forward with plans for its July 4th parade downtown.

In addition, the chamber said it will bring back the Porch Parade and Mini Parade “so the entire community can be involved in celebrating Independence Day!”

Despite the cancellation of Bend’s iconic pet parade, other cities are bringing back traditional events for the upcoming holiday.

The Redmond parade was canceled last year due to COVID concerns, but now the celebrations are back.

“It wasn’t any easy decision there’s a lot of factors we had to consider,” said Redmond Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Kara Roatch.

This year’s edition will feature an extended route on 6th Street from Greenwood To Forest.

“Of course, current COVID guidelines will still apply for our Fourth of July Parade, but we figured we would do our best to create as much distancing opportunities for the community,” Roatch said.

Roatch expects between 3,000-5,000 people this year.

“We are hoping it just kind of brings the community back together,” Roatch added. “It’s been a very long year and a half of social distancing and just everyone keeping to themselves for the most part.”

Adults and kids are equally excited about the return of the parade.

“I understand the pandemic is going on, but I also think it is important for people, especially on the Fourth of July, which celebrates our freedom, to actually be out and about and actually celebrate our freedom,” said Redmond resident Kyler Christiansen.

“I’m gonna go,” said young Rowan Bell. “Are you excited for it? Uh Huh! What’s your favorite part about a parade? The candy!”

Some downtown stores joined that excitement.

“I think it is going to be really good for businesses and we encourage everyone to wear masks,” said cupcake connoisseur at Ida’s Cupcakes Jessalyn Loza.

The Redmond Parade starts and 10 a.m. and fireworks will start at 10 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Bell said.

Madras and La Pine will also hold annual Fourth of July parades and Prineville plans a cruise through the city, which is similar to a parade.

The Band of Brothers, who usually put on the Prineville Parade, said in 2020 they could not get a permit for a parade, so they decided to try the cruise through the city.

They say it was such a hit last year, they did not even try to get a permit this year and decided to have the cruise again.

Bend Parks and Recreation said they considered a scaled-down version of the pet parade, but the option was not feasible.

For more information on the Redmond Parade visit: www.visitredmondoregon.com

Redmond plans downtown 4th of July Parade

The Redmond Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday it is moving forward with plans for its July 4th parade downtown.

In addition, the chamber said it will bring back the Porch Parade and Mini Parade “so the entire community can be involved in celebrating Independence Day!”

COVID precautions canceled the parade last year.

This year’s edition will feature an extended route on 6th Street from Greenwood To Forest.

Last month Bend Parks and Recreation announced its annual 4th of July Pet Parade downtown was canceled for the second straight year.

▶️ Central Oregonians gather in remembrance of fallen veterans

On Memorial Day, many Central Oregonians took time to honor the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the nation’s military.

Redmond Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4108 and American Legion Post 44 held a Memorial Day observance at the Redmond Memorial Cemetery Monday.

Hundreds of people gathered at the cemetery and placed flags on graves to honor fallen veterans.

“This is one thing we can certainly as a nation come together on and just celebrate the fact that there is so many people that did the ultimate sacrifice and we should honor them,” Mike LaRue, a Vietnam veteran, said. “We should as a nation just honor the people that came before, saw a cause that was greater than themselves to preserve the freedom that we have today.”

Hannah Grandey was at the cemetery in honor of her father. 

“He flew B501’s over Germany and their plane was shot down and all the people on board survived, parachuted and were in a German prison camp for a time,” Grandey said. “When the allies came in he was released. He was a very honorable and great father, so that is why I am here today.”

Joel S. Taylor, too, was there to remember family and lost loved ones.

“My mother and father and several brothers and my daughter are buried here at the Redmond cemetery and it is a lovely place and certainly a fine day to be out celebrating our lost ones and also in remembrance of our veterans, which is so important to all of us,” Taylor said.


Bend man arrested on multiple charges after crime spree across Central Oregon

A Bend man was arrested Sunday after a crime spree took him through Bend, Redmond and Crook County.

Early in the morning, 42-year-old Jacob Austin Schunke allegedly stole a bike and a Ford pickup in Bend.

According to police, he then damaged property in Redmond before heading driving toward Crook County while running people off the road on Highway 126.

Schunke reportedly stopped at the Powell Butte Store and stole cash from the tip jar, then headed east to Prineville.

A victim of criminal mischief called 911 after Schunke drove through a fence to get around a closed lock gate on SW McDonald Lane.

According to police, Schunke drove through other properties and then stole items from a ranch. He also caused thousands of dollars damage to an art studio when he ran the stolen truck into the building.

Prineville Police found him on Highway 126 and the roundabout at Tom McCall Road, where he led them on a high speed pursuit back into the Powell Butte area.

Spike strips put down in the road by an Oregon State Police Trooper didn’t impede Schunke, who then continued to Powell Butte, driving at a deputy who attempted to put down more spike strips.

He was eventually located on SW Williams Road and led a deputy down rural country roads before crashing the stolen Ford pickup at the dead end on SW Wampler Lane in Powell Butte.

Schunke collided into a metal corral when he crashed, causing thousands of dollars in damages, police said.

He was arrested, cleared at St. Charles and booked into the Crook County Jail on the following charges:

Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle

Theft 2

Theft 1

Burglary 2

Criminal Mischief 1 times 4

Criminal trespass 2 times 4

Felony elude X 2

Multiple counts of reckless driving

2 counts of attempting to assault a police officer

Other charges are pending in Deschutes County for alleged crimes committed in Bend and Redmond.

Redmond man cited for DUII after crashing into multiple vehicles

A Redmond man was arrested Friday night after crashing into multiple vehicles along Boyd Acres Road in Bend.

Bend Police arrived at Boyd Acres and Brinson Road around 10:15 p.m. after receiving reports of a hit-and-run crash.

They found the suspected vehicle, a 2006 green Honda Pilot, parked around a half mile away from the scene on Painters Court.

No one was in the vehicle, but police identified the owner as 24-year-old Nash Henry.

While they were processing evidence, another vehicle arrived in the area with two people, including the suspect.

Henry admitted to driving the vehicle during the crash, and he was arrested for DUII- Alcohol, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Misdemeanor-five counts) and Reckless Driving.

He was issued a citation instead of being taken into custody and was cited to appear in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

Deschutes County Fair ‘Back in the Saddle’ after 1-year COVID hiautus

The Deschutes County Fair is “Back in the Saddle” and will return for the 101st edition July 28-Aug. 1 in Redmond

Fairgoers can expect a full array of animals, agriculture, concerts, carnival rides and county fair fare along with shopping and exhibits.

Specific programming such as concerts and other entertainment options will be announced at a later date.

“We are truly grateful that we can once again invite our community to celebrate the largest event in Central Oregon,” said Fair & Expo Director Geoff Hinds. “We know that Fair is a special tradition for so many in our community and we’re excited to welcome guests back this summer in a safe and responsible way.”

The Deschutes County Fair & Expo will be following all state and local health guidance, which may result in event modifications.

Adjustments will likely include reduced capacities and the understanding that certain attractions will need to have reduced capacity, depending on state and local health guidelines that are in place at the time of the 2021 Fair.

County Commissioners canceled the fair last year in May due to COVID concerns.

Fairgoers are encouraged to check the Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo website at www.DESCHUTESFAIR.com for the most up-to-date information.

Admission tickets for the 2021 fair will go on sale July 5th and will be sold exclusively online with limited availability at the Fair box office.

▶️ Volunteers reflect on mass vaccination success; clinic ends Friday

After four months and thousands of people vaccinated, Deschutes County’s mass vaccination clinic will wrap up on Friday.

“I’m very happy that I got the chance to come out here and help any way I can,” said volunteer Gary Wirth.

Wednesday marked Wirth’s 26th day volunteering at the mass vaccination clinic at the fairgrounds in Redmond.

It was nearly 200 hours of what he calls a very rewarding experience.

“The contact with the people. I think that’s a momentum for hearing the cheerful sounds of them before and after and stuff,” Wirth said. “I had a 102-year-old lady and she said she was just so tickled to get it done.”

By the end of the week, the clinic will have provided 119,000 doses to residents throughout Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook County.

Clinic efficiency played a big role in accomplishing those numbers.

“Just seeing this constant improvement in our clinic to the point that we have it quite dialed in,” Molly Wells-Darling, incident commander said. “People get their vaccination quickly and it’s a great experience for everyone involved.”

Volunteer David Huntley would agree.

“It was very intuitive for people to come in,” Huntley said. “Get the paperwork, go through, get their vaccinations.”

As a child, Huntley saw what an impact the polio vaccine had.

Now, he’s seen the same with COVID vaccinations, and that made the experience even more special.

“I feel like it’s sort of a book ending,” Huntley said. “My transition here of being able to be part of the conquest of polio and hopefully we can have something similar with COVID as well.”

Our local vaccination numbers have been some of the best in the state, and volunteers like Wirth and Huntley made it possible.

“It’s sad in a way because it’s ending here, but there’s still going to be areas on the outside that people can still go out and get their shots if they can’t finish it here,” Wirth said. “So it’s just a neat thing for them to do.”

Downtown Redmond splash park to reopen May 28th

Redmond’s Centennial Park spray feature will open for the summer on Friday, giving residents another way to beat the heat.

The feature will run from noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week through Labor Day.

The City of Redmond is partnering with the Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District (RAPRD) to operate the kiosk at Centennial Park.

This kiosk will offer basic snacks and amenities for park users (ice cream, water, hotdogs, sunscreen).

City crews are also working to turn on all park drinking fountains.

They have completed the fountains in the Dry Canyon and are scheduled to have the remaining park fountains running by Memorial Day.

For questions about city parks, amenities, and/or reservations please contact us at 541-504-2000, or visit us online at www.redmondoregon.gov/Parks.

Recovery slowed in April after several months of hot hiring

Preliminary estimates for April reveal the pace of recovery slowed dramatically for much of Central Oregon after several months of hot hiring, according to a report from the Oregon Department of Employment.

Regional Economist Damon Runberg said both Deschutes and Jefferson counties posted job gains largely consistent with the normal seasonal pattern.

However, Crook County posted strong enough gains to push total nonfarm employment above the pre-COVID peak in February 2020.

Runberg’s full report is below:

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA)

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was little changed at 6.3% in April compared with 6.4% in March.

The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts from COVID-19 in February 2020 when it was 3.3%.

After several months of very strong hiring, preliminary estimates reveal that the employment recovery stalled in April with hiring largely in line with seasonal trends (+740 jobs).

Employment levels in April 2021 remained down around 4% (-3,600 jobs) from the pre-COVID peak in February 2020.

The year-over-year change is now capturing the large losses from the initial lockdown this time last year with total nonfarm employment up 12,120 jobs from April 2020.

These year-over-year changes are no longer a reflection of the employment situation before the onset of COVID-19.

To gauge where non-seasonally adjusted industry employment sits compared with the pre-COVID peak we can go back one additional year and compare the most recent estimates to the same month in 2019.

Several industries had employment levels that remained lower in April 2021 than in April 2019, including leisure and hospitality (-1,590 jobs); professional and business services (-500); local government education (-490); and manufacturing (-230).

Meanwhile, a few industries posted employment levels notably higher than April 2019, including private education and health services (+720 jobs); retail trade (+410); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+260); and construction (+240).

Crook County

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6% in April, up slightly from 7.4% in March.

The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts from COVID-19 in February 2020 when it was 4.4%.

Preliminary estimates reveal that employment levels rose sharply in April, up 150 jobs (+2.2%) on a seasonally adjusted basis.

These monthly gains were enough to push employment in Crook County above the pre-COVID peak in February 2020. The strong hiring in April was largely concentrated in hard hit industries that continued to rehire from earlier layoffs. Leisure and hospitality added 220 jobs in April; professional and business services added 150 jobs; and construction added 100 jobs.

Jefferson County

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.0% in April, down from 7.2% in March.

The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts from COVID19 in February 2020 when it was 4.1%.

Hiring stalled in Jefferson County with businesses only adding 120 jobs in April 2021, slightly less than the typical seasonal gain of 160 jobs. Despite these slower gains in April total nonfarm employment is fast approaching pre-COVID levels, down only 50 jobs (-0.7%) from February 2020.

The weak seasonal hiring in April was largely due to a loss of 40 jobs in the manufacturing sector. Most other industries posted modest gains in April.