▶️ Taste This: Luckey’s Woodsman

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Jackson Higdon grew up snowboarding at Mount Bachelor.

Now he’s got his own food cart at the base of Sunrise Lodge, Luckey’s Woodsman.

On this episode of Taste This, sponsored by Newport Avenue Market, Meghan Glova dives into some elevated backcountry cuisine.

Some of it’s healthy, some of it’s hearty, but Higdon guarantees every item will satisfy any outdoor enthusiast.

Luckey’s Woodsman can be found at two Central Oregon locations:

Sunrise Lodge at Mount Bachelor
Bend, OR 97701

Silver Moon Brewing
24 NW Greenwood Ave
Bend, OR 97703

Learn more at www.luckeyswoodsman.com.

▶️ Destination Oregon: Blue River residents reflect, with optimism about future

For the past several weeks we have been visiting the Blue River area along the McKenzie River, where the Holiday Farm Forest Fire incinerated 173,000 acres of forestland and hundreds of home and businesses.

That was in September.

In his series, “Blue River: Rising from the Ashes”, Dave Jones has dedicated these Destination Oregon reports to revisiting some places along the McKenzie River to see what was taken and what remains.

Tonight, in his final report, we’ll hear hear from Blue River folks who share their personal reactions to seeing their world burned to the ground, but they also share their optimism for the future.

▶️ Bend City Council meets to discuss goals, hopes for the year

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Bend’s new city council was sworn in on Jan. 6 and had a listening session on Jan. 11, but Wednesday was the first time council members sat down and discussed their hopes for the future together.

The council’s two-day goal-setting retreat began Wednesday. At the retreat, members talked about what kind of leaders they want to be in the next year and how the past year’s protest and pandemic changed their worldview.

“Pretty much everything about the pandemic and the last 10 months have clarified and illustrated to me my privilege,” said Gena Goodman-Cambell, Mayor Pro-Tem.

“I ran and was elected on what I saw during the protests,” said the newly elected council member, Rita Schenkelberg. “When I watched cities across the country and our city specifically, there is a missing piece of what it’s like to be a BIPOC individual, and queer BIPOC individual, within towns that are smaller like ours that are mostly white.”

City council didn’t discuss any specific goals on Wednesday, but they will outline priorities Thursday.

We’ll have a recap of what they discuss Thursday at 5 p.m.

Federal money to help Oregon’s virus vaccination program

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is expecting to receive federal stimulus money this week to help pay for its COVID-19 vaccination program.

Congress approved $3 billion for states to use for vaccine activities under the supplemental pandemic stimulus bill that went into law in late December. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the state’s share of those funds is $38.1 million, although only a portion of that is expected to be distributed this week.

The money can be used to promote and track as well as to distribute and administer the vaccines. The latter is where Oregon’s vaccination program has bogged down.

The state has struggled to vaccinate large numbers of people, although by late last week it was able to hit the 12,000 doses-per-day vaccination target put forth by Gov. Kate Brown.

Oregon Health Authority Chief Medical Officer Dana Hargunani cited challenges with vaccine distribution as well as navigating scheduling, physical distancing at vaccination sites and the observation period required immediately after the vaccine is administered.

OHA Director Patrick Allen says the federal money would go towards staffing and backfilling positions that have been reassigned to the vaccination effort.

Jon Arnett, star college and NFL running back, dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jon Arnett, one of Southern California’s greatest running backs who went on to become a five-time Pro Bowl player for the Los Angeles Rams, has died.

He was 85.

USC says Arnett died Saturday of heart failure in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Arnett earned the nickname “Jaguar Jon” for his acrobatic agility and elusiveness running the ball that he honed as a youth gymnast.

He lettered at USC from 1954-56.

Arnett was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Arnett was a five-time Pro Bowl selection with the Rams.

He also played for the Chicago Bears during his 10-year NFL career.

▶️ Redirect the Check: Bethlehem Inn

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

More than $19,000 has been raised so far through Central Oregon Daily’s Redirect the Check program, and a $10,000 match is on the way from TDS, Central Oregon Daily’s parent company.

More than 45 donors have given some or all of their stimulus checks to help charities like Bethlehem Inn, an emergency shelter in Bend.

The funds also will be distributed to Central Oregon Veterans Outreach and NeighborImpact.

“Since the pandemic hit back in March, it has been a challenge for many people seeking shelter, help and hope,” Gwenn Wysling, executive director of Bethlehem Inn, said. “And that’s what we offer here.”

Wysling said they’ve seen a spike in demand for their services in the past several months, but they have less people than usual to help out, since they’ve paused volunteers to limit COVID-19 exposure.

“Bethlehem Inn has seen the need and the severity of the need really grow during the pandemic,” Wysling said. “The fact that we’re unable to use volunteers has been a real challenge for trying to get the same amount of work done.”

Centers for Disease Control social distancing rules have also complicated things. The homeless shelter is operating at around 50% guest capacity. Right now, they’re housing around six families and around 45 individuals.

The money they’ll receive from Redirect the Check will be a helpful boost, according to Wysling, as they often see a major lag in donations after the holidays.

“Approximately 80 cents on the dollar goes directly toward those that we’re serving,” Wysling said. “It is that immediate impact. You’re touching the lives of families and individuals.”

You can donate some or all of your stimulus check here.

▶️ ‘Spread the Warmth’: Local family wins new heater from Tri County Climate

These winter months are now warmer for one lucky Central Oregon family.

Deborah Ward and her family lost their heater around Christmas three years ago.

Since then, they’ve used small space heaters to keep their home warm.

That all changed today, when Tri County Climate of Bend brought them a brand new, high-efficiency Lennox heater.

The Wards were among about 30 entries into the contest sponsored by Tri County Climate in partnership with Lennox, Energy Trust of Oregon and Central Oregon Daily News.

The Wards said they are thankful to Tri County Climate for the donation.

▶️ Local lawmakers hopeful for non-violent weekend at state Capitol

By HEATHER ROBERTS
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Local, state and federal law enforcement continue to plan for potential demonstrations and civil unrest this weekend at Oregon’s state Capitol.

Central Oregon lawmakers are concerned about the risk of violence right outside their offices.

“If they want to Constitutionally, peacefully protest, feel free to do that,” said Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “But, once it turns violent in any way, that is not constitutionally protected speech, and you should expect to be arrested.”

Knopp is the most senior member of the Central Oregon Legislative delegation.

Despite observing many protests on the steps of the Capitol through the years, he says rumors of unrest connected to last week’s D.C riot brings a heightened sense of security.

“I’m definitely concerned for our law enforcement officers, and for those who need to protect this building,” he said. “I think they’ve done a great job in protecting us and I know they will continue to do that. There’s definitely, I think, cause for concern for a lot of people.”

Knopp says protesters are upset about a number of things, but they’ve galvanized around a mistaken belief the election was stolen from President Trump.

“In every election there is some amount of voter fraud. The question is, ‘is it significant and is it coordinated; is it pervasive and did it cost somebody the election?’ And, we just haven’t seen in any of the court cases, to date, the evidence that it meets that higher standard of costing someone the election,” he said. “Unfortunately, Facebook posts and things like that don’t qualify as evidence.”

Rep. Jack Zika (R-Redmond) says the motive behind radical behavior is irrelevant.

“I don’t want violence and I don’t think that there should be violence,” he said. “There’s other ways they can protest and demonstrate.”

Through an FBI command post in Oregon, authorities will coordinate special agents, bomb techs, tactical teams and others as they assess potential threats.

Salem Police expect the protest to start Saturday morning and could continue around the country through Inauguration Day.

Oregon House and Senate leaders postponed the start of the Legislative session, to keep staff out of the Capitol until after January 20th.

Instead of beginning January 19th, the 2021 session will now start January 21st.

Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend), sworn in this week, never imagined he’d be discussing possible insurrection.

“I’ve always viewed both the federal capitol and state capitol in sort of this aspirational light, right? Think about the state Capitol: people come from all four corners of the state to do the business of the people; to try to make an impact on people’s lives and make this state better and move this state forward,” he said. “And, to think about violence in that building and that building sort of under attack is shocking and disheartening.”

But he remains optimistic.

“I don’t believe that’s us. I don’t believe that’s Oregon,” he said. “But I also believe we’re stronger than that, and I believe we are going to get through this and we’re not going to stand for this.”

Central Oregon Daily will be in Salem providing updates on events at the Capitol this weekend.

▶️ Taste This: Left Coast Burger Company

When it comes to burgers, Left Coast Burger Company keeps it simple and delicious.

Owner Lisandro Ramon was inspired by his childhood trips to an Oklahoma diner, and wanted to bring that food and atmosphere to Central Oregon.

Join Meghan Glova on this episode of Taste This, sponsored by Newport Avenue Market, to the Bend burger joint known for its classic food and open kitchen concept.

Left Coast Burger Company (LCBC) is located in the Cascade Village Shopping Center
63455 N Hwy 97, Bld 4 #50
Bend, OR 97701

▶️ BLP continues CDL for students opting out of in-person return

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Thursday morning, Bend-La Pine Schools announced a new school option for students and families who don’t want to return to in-person learning.

Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) will continue even after schools reopen next month.

“With the federal funding that came through with the latest CARES Act there is money to cover (CDL) and we can hire additional teachers to support Bend-La Pine Schools Online, in-person options and CDL.”

Before the CDL announcement, the only option for students staying home was Bend-La Pine Schools Online, which doesn’t have much teacher or peer interaction.

Stacey Sebastian is thankful for CDL for her Desert Sky first grader.

“We definitely want CDL,” Sebastian said. “It gives us more opportunity to keep working, stay safe for our own personal family reasons, and not become homeschool parents.”

She’s not the only one. Nordquist said about 170 out of the 3,500 respondents to a school survey said they were interested in CDL.

For parent Amber Hossick, the new option feels like the right choice for her sons from a health perspective.

“We don’t actually have good studies to say, yeah, this doesn’t spread through schools,” Hossick said. “For the safety of our children and their long-term health, this was a better option.”

For parent Melissa Blackette, some high-risk family members and a son who has been thriving in online school make the new option seem like the right fit.

“One of my sons does amazingly well with it,” Blackette said. “He’s more of a quiet introvert type and the amount of interaction there is is just right for him.”

Parents need to let the school district know if they’ll partake in CDL by Jan. 20.

The new option is estimated to begin Feb. 8.