▶️ Portland Winterhawks hockey clinic, figure skating this weekend at Pavilion

A week of snowy weather is perfect for what the Pavilion ice rink has planned for this weekend.

The Portland Winterhawks are coming to Bend.

“The Winterhawks will be in town,” said Pavilion Center Supervisor Claire Gordon. “They’re bringing their figure skating program this year. Their men’s hockey program will be at a prior engagement on Friday night. The figure skaters will be doing a practice here. And on Sunday morning, the Winter Hawks coaching staff will be running a free hockey event for kids.”

While the hockey team is playing in the WHL playoffs, the figure skating team will take the ice.

“It’s pretty neat,” Gordan said. “They are year-round figure skaters who skate at a really competitive level. And if you’ve ever been interested in seeing competitive figure skating live, it’s a great opportunity.”

Sunday morning, 9:30-10:30 am, is a hockey clinic run by the Winterhawks for kids ages 5 through 10 or kids like Joel and Locklin on the eight and under Bend Rapids hockey team.

“I like the Winterhawks, and I like the color of their jerseys,” they said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Don’t worry about gear. The Winterhawks supply everything you need.

“It’s a great outreach program to help kids, you know, come to the rink, check it out,” said 8U Bend Rapids hockey coach John Kromm. “Obviously, we’ve got the power of the winter hawks behind us. So it’s really awesome to have their help bring in more players to check it out and see what it’s all about. Try on the gear. Get out there and skate a little bit.”

All events are free to the public, and you still need to register.

▶️ Oregon Ducks hockey returns to the Bend Winter Classic

▶️ Oregon House looks to pass school emergency communication bill, gun laws

Hours after the Nashville school shooting took the lives of three students and three staff members on Monday, March 27, the Oregon House Education Committee unanimously passed House Bill 35-84.

This bill would require schools to provide electronic communication to parents and school employees about safety threats within 24 hours of a lockdown.

It now heads to the House floor. 

The Redmond School District public information officer, Holly Brown, tells us they are already on top of it. 

“We already try to share a lot of information very quickly so 24 hours is kind of a long time. If we had any kind of a lock down incident, usually we would get information out much faster,” said Brown.

While communication is part of the issue for some schools, a group of Oregon representatives believes their Gun Violence Prevention Package will help impede these emergency situations from happening in the first place. 

RELATED: 2nd Amendment sanctuary measure overturned in Oregon

RELATED: ▶️ Oregon Supreme Court denies motion to hear Measure 114 case

“In Marion County they seized a whole number of un-serialized firearms,” said District 20 Representative Paul Evans, a sponsor of the package. “I don’t know how many crimes would have been committed by them.”

Three House Bills are included in the package: HB 2005, HB 2006 and HB 2007.

HB 2005 lays out the punishments for those in possession of “undetectable firearms,” and defines what it means when firearms are “undetectable.”

“While you can be a hobbyist and make your own creative firearms, and that’s fine. We really don’t want to be a place where folks can mass produce undetectable un-serialized firearms,” said Evans.

HB 2006 would raise the legal age to possess firearms to 21, with exceptions. 

“You have to be 21 to drink, you have to be 21 to smoke now in Oregon, and that while we could preserve heritage by outlining what types of firearms people can use to hunt, you needed to be 21 to buy firearms that are of more lethality,” said Evans.

In an attempt to give power back to local governments, HB 2007, “authorizes governing bodies of certain public entities that own or control public building to adopt policy, ordinance or regulation or precluding affirmative defense for possession of firearms in public building and adjacent grounds by concealed handgun licensees,” according to the bill’s summary.

“Communities, if you want to have areas that you don’t want firearms in, you have that control,” said Evans.

As Measure 114 continues to be held up in court, Evans is confident these bills, if passed, will not face the same push-back. 

▶️ Public hears from four Sisters City Manager finalists

Four finalists for Sisters City Manager introduced themselves and met with several members of the public during a meeting Monday night.

People were separated into four groups at different tables, and candidates had 15 minutes to answer any questions before moving to the next group.

Lynne Casey presently serves as Business Operations Manager for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

“A top priority for me, starting out, would be to get to know the community here, do a lot of getting out, meeting people, listening to their concerns, hearing their concerns, getting to know the council,” she said.

Nathan George is working as the City Manager in Tillamook.

“I believe that I am a systems thinker,” George said. “I believe in process, and I believe in planning and having someone to be able to listen to people. I believe I am a good candidate because I listen and I work together, and I like to make sure of things planned out.”

Dave Nelson previously held the positions of City Administrator, Chief of Police, and Police Lieutenant over in Troutdale.

“Priorities I was hearing tonight are concerns about development, affordable housing development code issues regarding gas station potential applications,” said Nelson. “Those seem to be the priorities we face right now.”

Jordan Wheeler is the City Manager in Sandy.

“I think bringing some consistency of leadership to the city manager position is another priority that I would come in with,” said Wheeler.

“I feel I have a good background to be able to handle these challenges and help the Council and be successful.”

The candidates will meet the Sisters City Council Wednesday, and the council will decide who the next City Manager is Thursday Morning.

Central Oregon Daily News asked two questions to each candidate. What they think a top priority is and why they are the best person for the job.

▶️ Juniper Ridge residents say their wells are drying up

Sarah Gettinger, a Juniper Ridge neighborhood resident, is concerned about her well water levels, just after having it filled a week ago.

She has rented the same house in the area for 12 years. She told us the issues started getting worse about five years ago. 

“It’s something to keep your eye on because you don’t want to be in the middle of taking a shower and have the water go off,” said Gettinger.

Now, the well water levels are lowering at an alarming rate, which means she will have to have water hauled in more frequently. 

“We just looked, it’s kind of low so I’ll probably have to have somebody check it,” said Gettinger.

She is not the only one experiencing this in the area. Two other neighbors told Central Oregon Daily News that their wells are completely dry. 

They have not had running water for three weeks. 

RELATED: Despite above average snow, Kotek declares drought emergency for Deschutes Co.

RELATED: Water contamination in Eastern Oregon could prompt EPA to step in

Andy High, owner of Thompson Pump and Irrigation, has worries about the wells in Juniper Ridge.

“There’s definitely some concern maybe some wells are going dry,” said High. “We see probably one out of every three or so that either need to be drilled or deepened and there’s even a tighter supply on drillers in the area, so a lot of people, what we’re seeing is from the drought is finally maybe catching up to some of these areas.”

High offered some solutions.

“If they need to deepen the well that there is some grant dollars out there helping that,” said High. “Often times the home owner has to front the money and the county reimburses it. I know some people are using equity loans, lines of credit, anything like that.”

Gettinger explained that saving water has been her top priority. 

“I’ve been very thrifty with the quick showers and the one load of laundry a week if I can get away with it,” said Gettinger.

She will continue to get water delivered to her well as needed. 

Since she rents her property, she does not have to pay for it, but her home-owner neighbors are not as lucky. 

Take a shot for a free adoption at the Humane Society of Central Oregon

Madness of different stripe at the Human Society of Central Oregon.

Starting Saturday the shelter is running adoption specials throughout the rest of the college basketball championships.

“There’s a lot of deserving animals sitting here in our shelter waiting for a loving home and gosh we got to make it fun,” said Lynn Ouchida HSCO’s director of community partnerships.

“I’m so excited to bring this dog home,” said an excited Kristina Bergstron.

The reduced adoption fees weren’t the sole reason Bergstron was out looking for a new four legged friend.

“We were looking for a dog, a specific dog, a German Shepherd husky and we went on the site today and found Juniper. And so I came right at ten when they opened and got to meet her and did a little meet and greet with our current dog and they got along so well,” said Bergstron.

All animals under six months old are 25 percent off, and those over six months are 50 percent off.

Adopters can step up to the line for a shot at a free adoption.

Bergstron didn’t sink the jumper, but she did score getting to take Juniper home.

Bend artisans’ space celebrates 11 years

It’s part studio, part retail, and a whole lot of community at The Workhouse in Southeast Bend.

The space opened in March of 2012, as Bend was still reeling from the effects fo the The Great Recession.

“I had no idea of what to expect at the time,” said founder Cari Brown, “and I’m actually just like thrilled to reflect on the fact that it’s been 11 years since we’ve been here.”

The building houses seven artists who rent space and help run day to day operations on the retail side.

“For me it’s great because I have a place that I can work and I’m not just by myself,” said artist Marianne Prodehl.

She was setting stones in a ring as potential customs looked on. A common scene in a place that connects artists and patrons.

“I think that adds like in a way, even layers of sustainability, because when people purchase something from us, it’s usually something that’s going to become an heirloom for them. And that’s because of the connection they made to the person who was making it,” said Brown.

The shop also consigns work from over 60 artists from around Central Oregon and the state.

Brown says the importance of place like this is hard to quantify, going on to say “I know from growing up here and not having spaces like this it’s dire.”

Prodehl, who’s been here for a decade crafting artisan jewelry, summed up the importance saying, “It’s kinda like a family.”

To mark the anniversary the crew at The Workhouse are throwing a party on Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be food, drinks, storewide discounts, live music, and of course live painting.

The Workhouse is located at 50 SE Scott St in Bend.

Despite above average snow, Kotek declares drought emergency for Deschutes Co.

Gov. Tina Kotek declared a drought emergency for Deschutes County Friday, joining previously announced emergencies for Crook and Jefferson counties.

The order directs state agencies to coordinate and prioritize assistance to the region, the governor’s office said. Other tools include assistance to local water users and allows the Water Resources Department to expedite review processes and reduce fee schedules.

Friday’s declaration is for both Deschutes and Grant counties.

“Both counties have portions of extreme drought (D3) and are experiencing well below average water year precipitation,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Streamflow has also been well below average in both counties over the water year, with Deschutes at 78% and Grant at 44% of its average streamflow. Likewise, streamflow at their respective basins have been below average, with Deschutes at 71% and John Day at 39%.”‘

RELATED: Deschutes County board declares drought emergency

RELATED: Kotek declares Jefferson, Crook County drought emergencies

The governor’s office says reservoir conditions in the Deschutes Basin are approaching historic lows. They also say the soil moisture conditions across surface, root zone and shallow groundwater profiles are extremely dry.

While the snowpack in Deschutes County is above average (117%), the governor’s office says it will provide limited drought relief in some parts of the county.

RESOURCE: Current US Drought Monitor Map for Oregon

RESOURCE: US Drought comparison to two weeks ago


Bend Police release 2022 annual report: DUII arrests up from 2021

Bend Police put out its 2022 annual report this week, sharing department highlights and crime statistics for the year.

One of the most intriguing numbers in the report was for DUII arrests.

“We had 692 DUI arrests. That’s a 35% increase from 2021,” said Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller.

RELATED: Man accused of stealing gun from unlocked pickup at Bend BottleDrop arrested

RELATED: How did Bend Police manage to arrest 2 people for DUII twice in 6 hours?

The DUII arrest increase comes comes after Bend Police assigned two officers as full time DUII officers. Combined, the two officers arrested 231 drivers in 2022.

Bend Police also say property crimes have almost risen back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Officer also spent more than 3,000 hours doing community enhancement, which is time spent out in public or at events.

You can read the full report at this link.

▶️ Dogs try out for goose hazing patrol in Bend

Visit any park along the Deschutes River and you’ll see people plenty of folks walking and kayaking. But there’s one kind of visitor leaving a mess on the sidewalks and they are not always welcome.

This week, Bend Park and Recreation District invited people and their four legged companions to see if they have the right stuff to help with clearing out Canada Geese.

Central Oregon Daily’s Gustavo Bautista reports.

RELATED: Leash your dog: Bend Park and Rec cracking down in awareness campaign