▶️ Free farm-to-table meal kits for Sisters seniors through pilot program

From Blue Apron to Hello Fresh, there’s a number of  subscription services out there that will send you everything you need to cook meal at home. A pilot program was launched in Central Oregon over the summer to do something similar for Sisters seniors — locally grown produce delivered right to their door for free.

It’s the third growing season for Lauren Rasmussen and Aaron Stubbs at Fibonacci Farm in Northeast Bend, and the plants have been popping.

“It’s usually towards the middle of the bed that the bed kind of hits its stride and you can see its real harvest potential,” Stubbs said.

The couple traded New York City for Central Oregon with the focus to farm.

“We definitely wanted to make sure that we were feeding everyone, everyone. All of our food was going into everyone’s hands,” Rasmussen said.

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RELATED: Council on Aging, High Desert and Farm Alliance team up to feed seniors

RELATED: Meals on Wheels does more than deliver food during extreme weather events

Their organically grown produce found an unlikely route to market — a partnership curated by the Council on Aging of Central Oregon and funded through the High Desert Food Farm Alliance (HDFFA).

“We realized that our missions were aligned and that we wanted to bring fresh and nutritious food to older adults throughout our community,” said Cassie Regimbal, executive director of the Council on Aging.

“Every time we can try to connect people in need with fresh produce that will help them in the long run, that’s our goal,” said Sharon Maier-Kennelly, the executive director of the HDFFA.

Each week, bags are stuffed with the recipe and all the ingredients from various local farms to make a meal.

The ten week pilot program was spun out of a conversation between employees of the two organizations.

“They met at a party and then got to talking and realized again how aligned the missions were and that’s just how it came to be,” Regimbal said.

Local organic food isn’t always cheap and not everyone can get out to a farmer’s market.

“And so it just seemed that it’d be a perfect fit, given that we had the mechanism already in place with the Meals on Wheels delivery and they have the harvest kits, so why not put it all together?” Regimbal said.

Meals on Wheels volunteers Ricky Goede and Sue Walker pack the produce to seniors in Sisters.

“They all had the option to get it or not and almost every everybody’s getting them. And to a person, they love it,” Goede said.

And it’s all free for those who qualify for the Meals on Wheels program.

The recipe feeds four people. But the program enriches more than meals.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening. I mean, it just is wonderful,” said Meals on Wheels recipient Lorena Bliven.

“Our hopes would be to expand that funding and continue to grow the program,” Regimbal said.

“We all need to think of everyone. We think of nutrition for our children and ourselves, but sometimes senior citizens get forgotten about. And it’s really important that we take care of them because we all will be senior citizens one day,”  Rasmussen said.

▶️ Central Oregon high school football Week 4 scores, schedules

Below is a look at the scores from the third four of action for 2023, provided by ScoreStream.

Culver already played on Thursday night, falling to Willamina 69-50.

You can also find the full 2023 football schedules for Central Oregon High Schools at these links

Bend | Caldera | Crook County | Culver | La Pine | Madras | Mountain ViewRedmond | Ridgeview | Sisters | Summit

 

 

▶️ Sisters denies application for cold weather homeless shelter

Despite high hopes among many of the homeless in and around Sisters, the city council shut down the idea of a cold weather shelter for the foreseeable future Tuesday night.

“After weeks and weeks of testimony and reviewing the application tonight, we denied the application based on three specific criteria,” said Mayor Michael Preedin.

The coucil voted 4-1 to deny approving an application for an emergency warming shelter for the homeless.

“The applicant’s experience themselves with running a shelter and best practices of a shelter, that was very vague in the legislation and was fairly vague in the application itself,” said Preedin.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Sisters City Council may put homeless warming shelter on hold

RELATED: Sisters getting cold weather shelter for homeless

The council also cited public safety as a reason behind the denial.

“With a lack of resources in this area, it poses a higher risk than possibly other areas,” Preedin said.

And the third reason was access to adequate transportation to local services.

“While there may be adequate medical and there may be adequate services, the transportation and the access to that transportation didn’t meet the criteria as well.”

Preedin says this doesn’t mean the council is against a shelter, but believes there needs to be a better public process.

“We look to collaborate with possibly the cold weather shelter and certainly the rest of the public and other organizations here in Sisters, and hopefully, we can come to a solution to help the houseless,” he said.

The Sisters Cold Weather Shelter board was set to purchase a building for that shelter near downtown for nearly $950,000. A grant received by the non-profit, which totals $1.46 million, would also allow the shelter to buy four apartment units in Sisters for those transitioning to Section 8 low-income housing.

It’s unclear what the Cold Weather Shelter board plans to do next. Board president Luis Blanchard told Central Oregon Daily News he would speak about the council’s decision Tuesday night, but later declined the request, saying he needed to talk with the rest of the board first.

Central Oregon high school football Week 3 scores, schedules

Below is a look at the scores from the third week of action for 2023, provided by ScoreStream.

You can also find the full 2023 football schedules for Central Oregon High Schools at these links

Bend | Caldera | Crook County | Culver | La Pine | Madras | Mountain ViewRedmond | Ridgeview | Sisters | Summit

 

 

▶️ 106-acre fire near Lake Billy Chinook started by target shooting, ODF says

Preliminary findings in the investigation of a 106-acre wildfire near Lake Billy Chinook last month, which led to mandatory evacuations, indicate that target shooting was a likely cause, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Juniper Creek Fire started August 20 about 16 miles north of Sisters and a couple of miles southwest of the Three Rivers subdivision which has hundreds of homes, mostly vacation properties. ODF was able to contain it.

ODF said despite precautions taken by the responsible person while shooting on their property, a bullet fragment appears to have started the fire. Hot and dry conditions existed, making fuels more likely to ignite.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Bear Creek Fire caused by abandoned campfire

RELATED: McKenzie Highway back open after wildfire closure

“This is a great learning opportunity to show that no matter how many precautions you take, you can still accidentally start a wildfire,” said Ben Duda, Sisters Wildland Fire Supervisor. “We’re grateful that the responsible party reacted quickly and called 911. Without that fast reporting, ODF wouldn’t have been able to catch the fire as quickly and keep it small.”

ODF also want to remind the public that even though temperatures are cooling down, wildfire danger is still present. They say if you see that a fire has started, no matter how small, do not hesitate to call 911.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for Saturday for dry and unstable conditions for fire weather for most of Crook, Jefferson and eastern Deschutes counties.

McKenzie Highway back open after wildfire closure

The Oregon Department of Transportation said Highway 242 was back open over McKenzie Pass Tuesday. It was closed for several days due to activity from the Lookout Fire.

Lane and Linn County sheriff’s offices announced that all Level 1 and Level 2 evacuations for the Lookout and Horse Creek fires have been lifted. All Level 3 (Go Now) evacuations have been reduced to Level 1 (Be Ready).

The Lookout Fire is at 24,548 acres and 50% contained as of Tuesday morning.

RELATED: ‘You’re not getting me!’ Bodycam shows WA deputy driving through wildfire

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Here was the Tuesday morning update from fire managers.

Suppression work on the Lookout fire will strengthen containment and contingency lines in all areas of the fires. Firefighters noted heat and smoke along Carpenter Ridge. To moderate spread, helicopters once again dropped retardant and water on Carpenter Ridge. Crews performed regular and consistent patrol and monitoring on the east and south divisions. At the White Pine contingency line east across Hwy. 126, night crews hauled 26 loads of wood material from the region to a processing site.  “

ODOT reminds drivers that the Lookout Fire remains active and closures could be implemented again if necessary.

Drivers are reminded that cyclists and pedestrians use the winding road. Vehicles longer than 35 feet are prohibited from using the highway.

Central Oregon high school football Week 2 scores, schedules

We have our first matchup of the season between a pair of High Desert teams as Madras visits Sisters.

Below is a look at the scores from the second week of action for 2023, provided by ScoreStream.

You can also find the full 2023 football schedules for Central Oregon High Schools at these links

Bend | Caldera | Crook County | Culver | La Pine | Madras | Mountain ViewRedmond | Ridgeview | Sisters | Summit

 

 

▶️ Sisters City Council may put homeless warming shelter on hold

A project to help the homeless population in Sisters during the frigid winter months may be on hold.

The Sisters City Council heard testimony Tuesday on a proposed cold weather shelter, which would be on the north side of town.

Nearly 100 people were in attendance. Most of those who spoke were not in favor of the proposition.

Sisters Mayor Michael Preedin and two city councilors also opposed the operation.

Their decision is informal and isn’t final until it is put in writing at a future city council meeting.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: Sisters getting cold weather shelter for homeless

RELATED: Sisters’ homeless go without warming shelter, must find one elsewhere

▶️ School year begins: students, parents gear up and enjoy final day of break

Many public schools around Central Oregon will open their doors for the first day on Tuesday. Kids around the High Desert cherished the last day of summer on Monday.

“I’m just trying to spend time with my family. We’re going pokemon hunting and we’re going to play pickleball this afternoon,” incoming freshman Maggie Messenger said.

Redmond, Crook County, 509J and Sisters school districts all begin classes on Tuesday. Bend-La Pine schools start Wednesday.

>>> Have you checked out Central Oregon Daily News on YouTube? Click here to subscribe and share our videos.

RELATED: School year starts: Local teacher on what it takes to prepare

Going into a new grade can evoke a range of emotions.

“I’m pretty excited. Mostly about meeting new people,” incoming middle schooler Thaddeus Messenger said.

“I’m a little bit nervous, but I have a lot of support from all my teachers. And I went to another school that gave me a lot of support as well,” Maggie said.

Back to school season can be a bit stressful for parents, too. Especially when it comes to gathering school supplies.

“I have three children. You think you can get it all done in one day and that’s just never the case. We’ve had to spread it out over several days and several locations so it’s been a ride,” parent Melanie Messenger said.

With school back in session, remember to pay attention behind the wheel and slow down in school zones. 

Central Oregon high school football Week 1 scores, schedules

High School football season is back!

Below is a look at the scores from the first week of action for 2023, provided by ScoreStream.

You can also find the full 2023 football schedules for Central Oregon High Schools at these links

Bend | Caldera | Crook County | Culver | La Pine | Madras | Mountain ViewRedmond | Ridgeview | Sisters | Summit