▶️ 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.

▶️ Sunriver bike cop volunteers rescue man from drowning in Puerto Rico

Two volunteer Sunriver police bicycle officers saved a man’s life on the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico.

Hayden and Logan used CPR to save the man’s life. The man was being dragged into the ocean after nearly drowning. 

Sunriver Police shared a photo on Facebook of the volunteers with the man they saved.

Central Oregon Daily’s Colby Enebrad will talk to them about the experience Thursday.

▶️ Lady Buffs defeat Crook Co. on senior night to win Tri-Valley League title

It was simple when it came to the stakes of Tuesday night’s game between the Madras girls basketball team hosting Crook County.

The team that wins is the Tri-Valley League champions.

Madras took an early 7-o lead to start the game, but Crook County took a 29-19 lead at the half.

The White Buffs held the Cowgirls to four points in the third quarter to help secure the 53-45 second-half comeback.

RELATED: Madras boys, Crook Co. girls hoops stay on top in Tri-Valley Conference

RELATED: Summit basketball stays on top of IMC, Ridgeview boys upset Wolfpack

The Lady Buffs host a playoff game on Saturday; the time and opponent are still to be announced.

Crook County also made the postseason despite the loss to the Madras.

Who and Where they play is expected to be announced soon.

▶️ The Great Outdoors: Deschutes Trail Coalition helps with repair backlog

There are more than 2,000 miles of hiking, biking and horseback trails on the Deschutes National Forest, and not nearly enough money or people to maintain them all.

The Deschutes Trails Coalition formed in 2017 to help the Forest Service address a growing backlog of trail maintenance and repairs.

We caught up with the Deschutes Trail Coalition’s professional trail maintenance crew on a section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Charlton Lake. This area was burned over by the Cedar Creek Fire in 2022. The scorched soils don’t absorb water as easily, which accelerates erosion problems.

The crew is working to reestablish the tread of the trail. 

“In some cases, the tread was going in slope which would leave the water on the trail. In some cases, it was too far out sloped which would make people feel like they were falling off the trail. They are trying to reestablish a nice tread width again with a little bit of out slope to ensure water doesn’t stay on the trail,” said Jason Whittaker, DTC trails coordinator. 

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

RELATED: The Great Outdoors: Remote campgrounds now have off-grid credit card kiosks

RELATED: The Great Outdoors: The Central Oregon Trail Alliance

This is a pilot project by the Deschutes Trails Coalition to pay a trail maintenance crew to chip away all summer long on the growing backlog of trail maintenance issues. 

“The intent and need behind all this is we are seeing growing impacts on our trails. We don’t have the resources currently. There’s relatively few resources to maintain that over the long haul,” said Jana Johnson, Deschutes Trails Coalition executive director. 

“In our community, we all benefit from them because we love using them. Or we have businesses that benefit from the trail users that come here to live or work or play. This is an opportunity for us to come together to support those resources that we all love. Through this coalition, we can share strength, resources and envisioning and networking to more efficiently and effectively take care of our trails,” Johnson said. 

The Deschutes Trail Coalition crew of five people worked all over the Deschutes National Forest in their first year of operations.

They worked with partner agencies to harden river access points at the Good Dog off-leash area upstream of Bend. They cut hundreds of trees that fell over and blocked trails in the Green Lakes area. They helped build footbridges over creeks and dug countless drains so hikers don’t have to walk on flooded trails.

“It’s really helpful when it has been raining because you can see where the water is going and then you kind of make a little funnel, make a little wall so the water stops, and it moves off the trail,” said Emily Metthauer, a trail crew member. 

Visitors to local resorts such as Tetherow and Sunriver pay $1 extra on their guest bills. The money goes directly to support DTC’s trail work. 

“They’ve gotten great feedback from their guests. They’ve stayed here. They’ve enjoyed the trails. They are happy to give that dollar at the end of their stay,” Johnson said. 

Thirty-five agencies and organizations partner in the Deschutes Trails Coalition, putting their heads together to identify high-priority, sustainable trail projects that balance the needs of people and nature. The paid, professional, full-time trail crew is one result of that collaboration.

It looks like an outdoor lover’s dream. 

“It really is. We have a lot of people who like to get out and who love trail-based recreation. It is a dream job for folks on the trail crew. You get to be out every day. You get to explore new parts of the forest. Maybe learn some new skills and work with great people,” Johnson said.

Visit the Deschutes Trails Coalition website if you are interested in volunteering, applying for a position on the professional trail crew member or a potential sponsor.

▶️ 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.

▶️ Keeping an eye on your heart health

February is Heart Month, a time that encourages you to think about your cardiovascular health. 

In the United States, the leading cause of death has been heart disease, due in part to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other factors. 

Megan Sinclair from Good Morning Central Oregon sat down with Kat Mastrangelo from Volunteers in Medicine to learn how to keep your heart healthy. 

Volunteers in Medicine has more resources on their website to learn more. 

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.