▶️ “Hopening Day” turns to Opening Day at Mt. Bachelor

It’s finally here, opening day and one lift was up and running Friday morning at Mt. Bachelor.

Plenty of excited skiers and snowboarders headed up the mountain looking to make the most of this week’s snowfall.

Some excited locals were up and moving in the early hours of the morning to make sure they got in those first alpine turn, but the fun wasn’t limited to the alpine side of the mountain.

The Nordic Center at Mt. Bachelor was up and running and welcoming cross-county skiers and snowshoers back to the mountain with cookies and coco.


Bend PD: Woman arrested for DUII hit and run left infant at home alone

A woman driving drunk crashed into three cars and drove away from the scene Sunday night – all while her 2-month-old baby was at home alone, according to Bend Police.

Just before 8:30 p.m. officers responded to a hit and run crash near NW Olney Avenue and NW Bond Street. Officers arrived in the area of the crash and determined a silver Chevy car driven by a woman caused a collision that involved three other vehicles, including one with two kids inside, said Sgt. R.C. Bigelow. The woman left the crash scene.

Moments later, someone called 911 and reported a Chevy car was crashed facing the wrong way (northbound) on the southbound exit to the Parkway at NW Revere Avenue. Bigelow said the caller gave a description of the woman and reported she ran from the crashed car.

The woman was contacted by an assisting Oregon State Police trooper before being arrested by Bend PD for suspicion of DUII and hit and run, Bigelow said. The continued investigation revealed the that the woman, identified as as 26-year-old Katie Hall, had an infant child at her home. Officers conducted a welfare check on the 2-month-old. Officers found the child home, alone on the hardwood floor of the residence, Bigelow said.

It appeared to the officers that the child may have fallen from the bed where it had been left unattended. Paramedics responded and evaluated the child, but the infant did not require medical attention and was left in the care of family.

The Bend Police Department was assisted by the Oregon State Police, The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division.

Hall was charged with felony DUII, felony hit and run, misdemeanor hit and run, second-degree child neglect and five counts of reckless endangering.

Court records show she was on conditional release after being charged with failure to perform the duties of a driver back in September.

She was twice charged with DUII in June 2014, pleading guilty to one of the charges in September that year.


▶️ OSU-Cascades’ enrollment jumps; minorities make up 27% of freshman class

Enrollment at Oregon State University-Cascades is up more than 4 percent to 1,300 total students at the 4-year campus here in Bend.

Eighty-two percent of the first-year students are Oregonians, and 27% of them are students of color.

Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely reports on efforts to make minority students feel welcome on campus.


▶️ ‘American Idol’ auditions draws crowds in Sunriver

If you were around Sunriver Resort recently you might have noticed an uptick in activity.

And you might have heard some good (and bad) singing coming from The Great Hall.

“American Idol” held auditions at the resort and superstars Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry were on hand to judge the masses. (Turns out Richie and Bryan did a little kayaking and fishing according to Richie’s Instagram post.)

Central Oregon Daily’s own Anyssa Bohanan, a bit of a crooner in her own right, checked out the auditions and perhaps sung a few tunes herself.

On Friday, a reported gas leak caused the evacuation of the auditions location. Everything turned out OK, but some Sunriver firefighters used the opportunity to serenade Richie with one of his classics.

The judges seemed thoroughly impressed with the rendition.

▶️ City of Bend says ad campaign was insensitive, removes billboard


The billboard went up Monday at 9th and Wilson.

On Wednesday, frustrations boiled over at a Bend City Council meeting.

“History matters,” Bend resident Joanne Mina told councilors. “When we tell a history that is incomplete, we are lying to ourselves and we are asking others to believe our lies. And it’s not City Council, it’s not our City Manager, it’s not one individual, it’s all of us.”

Several people spoke out against the billboard that portrays a covered wagon in the High Desert.

“Campaigns that produce offense, like the one at Ninth and Wilson, remind communities like mine of how naive, ignorant and oblivious the dominant culture of this city remains,” said Sareli Beltran of Bend.

The ad campaign is supposed to get people thinking about east-west connectivity in Bend and encourage participation in a one-minute transportation survey.

It didn’t take long for negative feedback over the image to come in.

“It started as a Facebook post, from somebody who felt that this was insensitive,” said Anne Aurand, Communications Director. “And, one of our Councilors was aware of that Facebook post and had engaged with it, and she brought it to our attention.”

City Manager Eric King acknowledged Tuesday night eluding to the western expansion and colonization was a misstep.

“There were displacement of native peoples and that is real; and that is a mistake on our part to sort of acknowledge that,” King said. “So, we are taking that image down.”

Aurand says the covered wagon image was removed from the website as soon as the city was first made aware of the complaint, but it takes longer to replace a billboard, a process that will cost the city $500.

“Our options are to create a new image or put the safe crossing image there. So, we’re working through that process,” she said.

The campaign was created with the help of a consultant and Aurand calls it a regrettable, insensitive oversight, “This isn’t going to happen again. I’m never going to not remember this moment in a future campaign.”

DCSO: Couple arrested for selling meth out of Sunriver condo

A Sunriver couple was arrested Wednesday for selling meth from their condo in Sunriver, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. William Bailey said the DCSO Street Crimes Unit had recently received information that the people living at the 62 Meadow House condo in Sunriver were involved in illegal drug activity, specifically the ongoing sales of methamphetamine from the house.

The Street Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into the illegal drug activity and through various investigative techniques, acquired enough evidence to apply for and obtain a search warrant for the house, Bailey said.

At 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, detectives with the Street Crimes Unit conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle after leaving the 62 Meadow House residence. Thomas J. Martinsen, 45, was driver of this vehicle.  A second vehicle that left the a short time later, driven by 42-year-old Jennifer A. Martin, was stopped by the Sunriver Police Department, Bailey said.

During the traffic stop on Martinsen and subsequent search warrant service at the residence, evidence of drug sales and commercial amounts of methamphetamine were seized, Bailey said. Both Martinsen and Martin were taken to the Deschutes County Jail on several charges including manufacture, possession and delivery of a controlled substance.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit focuses enforcement on street level drug cases and quality-of-life issues connected to property crimes throughout Deschutes County. The Deschutes County Sheriffs Office Street Crimes Unit was assisted by the Sunriver Police Department and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE).

▶️ Bull Springs Tree Farm for sale; 33,000 acres for $127 million


A massive tract of Central Oregon forestland is up for sale.

The Skyline Forest, about 33,000-acres of land known as the Bull Springs Tree Farm northwest of Shevlin Park in Bend, is on the market for $127 million dollars.

The seller says it has long-term potential fur sustainable timber management, recreation and residential mixed-use development.

The Deschutes Land Trust has worked for more than 15 years to preserve the area, talking with various land owners.

Executive Director Brad Chalfant said he hopes the new potential owners see the need to conserve the area.

“They really weren’t interested in pursuing some sort of a conservation transaction. So, we don’t know precisely where this will go next, but this provides us an opportunity to re-engage and initiate what we hope will be an important conservation transaction for Central Oregon,” he said. 

The organization wants the property designated as a community forest, with recreational opportunities and a working timber harvest providing logs for local mills while supporting key wildlife habitat and preserving the scenery of the foothills.

“If they’re full of homes and lights and roads and traffic, Central Oregon’s going to feel a little different,” Chalfant said.

The land is currently zoned for forest use, which includes providing wildlife and fishery resources and farm uses.



▶️ Epic Aircraft achieves FAA certification; more planes, jobs on the way

Leaders at Epic Aircraft have been working for a long time to get what’s called “Type Certification” from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Wednesday, the company threw a party for employees and suppliers to reveal some big news. 

Epic’s leaders met with members of the FAA today and were told they”re officially cleared for takeoff.

“It’s amazing to have 300 people, over 300 suppliers, working together for seven years to get one piece of paper,” said Doug King, CEO of Epic Aircraft.

Before the approval, the company sold “kit planes,” which were planes manufactured by Epic, but partially built by the customer at the Epic facility near the Bend Airport.

The FAA certificate allows Epic to design and build the plane from start to finish.

It’s a long time coming. The Bend company been trying to get this certification for the last seven years.

“Countless many hours, countless flight tests, structural testing, you name it, we’ve thrown at this airplane,” said Mike Schrader, director of sales and marketing.

The single engine turboprop plane costs $3.25 million and uses a carbon fiber technology in the airframe.

“It’s a new technology, very high strength, very light weight,” Schrader said. 

Epic expects to deliver around 50 planes per year.. That production increase means the company will hire more than 150 new workers within the next two years.

“Now we’re bringing something new into the community,” Schrader said. 

King says a few planes are already built and Epic could start delivering  the Epic E1000s to customers by December. 


▶️ Family finds closure after remains ID’d of Crook County soldier killed in Korean War

The Department of Defense this summer identified the remains of a Crook County man killed during the Korean War.

Army Cpl. Norvin D. Brockett was officially accounted for on Aug. 5th, but his local family just learned of the news last week.

“You knew that he was lost in battle but having your government spend time and effort to bring him home is huge for a family because you get a chance to look back and think about him as a person,” said Gale Brockett, a cousin of Cpl. Brockett. “Even though I didn’t know him personally, I know the family and I know how much that struggle probably meant to them.

A release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says in December 1950, Brockett was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His remains could not be recovered following the attack and he was not reported as a prisoner of war. The U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.

All of Corporal Brockett’s immediate family members have passed In the nearly 70 years since he was presumed Killed in Action. Brockett’s oldest brother Clarence Brockett, an Army veteran who lived in Redmond, died in 2008 without fulfilling his goal of finding his brother’s remains.

“When you think of a soldier going, you think of all that patriotic stuff but when you remember what people said about him, he was just a 17 year old, 18 year old kid,” Gale Brockett said. “He was just a regular person who also patriotic and went over there and had a very short life.”

To identify Brockett’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

Today, 7,607 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by Korean officials, recovered from Korea by American recovery teams or disinterred from unknown graves. Brockett’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Brockett will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia. The date has not yet been determined.

▶️ Summit Football Super Fans: A couple you wouldn’t expect

Tonight’s cover story is about a couple of football fans.

The Summit Storm have always had “Super Fans” but now there’s a couple that’s taking their Storm fandom to another level.

So how does a couple who lived in Redmond, then moved to Eagle Point and has no ties to the school or team become its biggest fans?

To answer that, you have to go back to 2015. Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has the story.