▶️ Local students join global Climate Strike

You’re never too young to make a difference

“The more people getting together to cry in one voice that this is a problem and it needs to change, and something needs to be done about it now, the better.”

Friday marks the start of a weekly youth-led climate strike in Downtown Bend.

Their mission? To raise awareness through protest and call for government action to combat climate change…at the local, state and national level.

The local rally is part of a global protest that stretched from Australia to South America. Thousands of students walked out of class in Portland to join the movement.

“We’re getting dangerously close to getting to a point where climate change is causing these fires, lack of snow, and awful seasonal changes that are hard to reverse,” said Freddy Finney-Jordet, one of the event organizers. “It’s about stopping it where it is, then we can focus on making it better.”

Led by the Oregon Youth Climate Strike, hundreds of teens will be taking over the corner of Newport Avenue and Wall Street.

An area Freddy believes will make the biggest local impact. 

“It’s important to have our strike in that downtown area where it’s almost impossible to not see it,” Finney-Jordet said. “That’s really the point of demonstrations like these, is to make the problem impossible to ignore.”

Locally, protesters want the city to implement changes that were included in the Community Climate Action Plan.

Nationally, the Oregon Youth Climate Strike wants the Green New Deal to be passed and have climate change be declared as a national emergency.

“It’s really about driving that message home and getting it into people’s heads so that they’re more motivated to fix it,” Finney-Jordet said.

Rastovich Family Farm celebrating 100 years in Deschutes County

The Rastovich Family Farm in Bend, the first estate in Deschutes County to reach the 100-year-mark, will hold a centennial celebration Saturday.

Guests can enjoy a hayride around the ranch, a guided or self-guided (using your smartphone) walking tour of the original homestead, and enjoy a burger raised on the ranch and beer from Sunriver Brewing Company. Antique farm equipment used in the early days of the ranch will also be on display.

George and Anna Rastovich immigrated from Serbia in the early 1900s, making their way from New York to Spokane before settling in Bend. They staked their claim on September 19, 1919; 40 acres about seven miles east of Bend, just off present day Ward Road.

Since 2012, Rastovich Family Farm has been home to Barely Beef, an all natural beef ranch that works in cooperation with local breweries to feed and sell beef products.

“We pick up the spent grains from local breweries, like Sunriver Brewing, Bend Brewing Company, Boneyard, and Deschutes, and we feed the gains to the cows,” Bob Rastovich said. “Then we sell beef to consumers and back to pubs, so when you visit Bend Brewing Company, you’re eating a burger raised on the beer you’re drinking.”

“We are proud of the history of our ranch,” he said said. “But we are equally proud of being a part of Bend for 100-years, so our celebration is as much about celebrating Bend as it is the Rastovich Family.”

The Rastovich Family Farm celebration happens Saturday from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. at the ranch located at 21925 Rastovich Road, Bend.

Images courtesy Rastovich Family Farms

Broken sprinkler pipe floods McMenamins Edgefield hotel

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Flooding at the historic McMenamins Edgefield hotel in Troutdale, may have been caused by someone hanging from a fire sprinkler pipe.

KOIN reports that Gresham firefighters said a sprinkler pipe burst at the hotel Wednesday evening. Hundreds of gallons of water spilled into the building before crews were able to shut off the flow. Nearly 200 guests had to be evacuated.

McMenamins Director of Marketing Renee Rank Ignacio says a guest or someone at the hotel may have grabbed the pipe and pulled it down or hung from it, according to

Ignacio said the cleanup was progressing quickly. There are no cameras in the hallway where the pipe broke so there’s no video evidence of what happened. But investigators are working to figure out who is responsible for the damage.

Image courtesy McMenamins

La Pine rape suspect indicted on 59 charges; more alleged victims come forward

A La Pine man was indicted Thursday on 59 sex-abuse related charges dating back to 2004, according to Bend Police.

Rusty Allen Pugh, 47, was initially arrested on August 22 on five counts of rape after a two-month long investigation. At the time, police asked others with information regarding suspicious contact with Pugh to call in.  Since that date, detectives have received numerous follow up calls for investigation.

Pugh was released from jail with a GPS monitor after posting a $25,000 bail on August 27th. Over the next six days, police say three more victims reported Pugh as a suspect in various sex crimes between 2004 and August of 2019 that weren’t previously reported.

He was re-arrested and jailed after a traffic stop on August 28th.

Police say a 16-year-old Deschutes County girl came forward on Sept. 13th to report Pugh as a suspect in various crimes between 2009 and 2013 that had not yet been reported.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConky said two of the victims, Yamhill County women who are now 19 and 22-years-old, were abused in 2004.

“We’re sure there are more victims out there,” McConky told Central Oregon Daily. “It’s just encouraging them to come forward.”

McConky said Pugh was “definitely involved in these childrens’ lives.”

“It’s not a stranger and most of these types of offenses are where the suspect or alleged suspect would be in contact with people and groom them and give them access to the children,” she said.

The 59-count indictment includes five counts of first-degree rape, 27 counts of first-degree sex abuse, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration, 17 counts of first-degree sodomy and five counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

Police believe there might still be more victims who haven’t come forward. If you have any information, you’re asked to contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.

Prineville Man Accidentally Shoots Himself

A 71-year-old Prineville man accidentally shot himself through his hand and left leg, according to police.

Prineville Police Officer James Young said officers and Crook County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on SE Garner Street at 10 p.m. on a report of an accidental discharge of a firearm that injured the owner.

The man thought the pistol was unloaded and pulled the trigger, discharging the gun. The .45-caliber round went through his hand and leg before stopping in an adjacent wall in the home, Young. A responding Crook County Sheriff’s deputy quickly rendered first aid, applying a tourniquet and bandage. The man was taken to St. Charles-Prineville for further treatment.

The Prineville Police Dept. reminds everyone to treat every firearm as if it was loaded at all times.

 

 

 

Oregon’s Public University Workers Vote to Authorize Strike

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Workers at seven public universities in Oregon have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract deal isn’t reached, their union said Wednesday.

The workers’ union, SEIU 503, said 95% of its members voted to strike on Sept. 30 if a deal can’t be reached during a negotiating session on Sept. 23 at Portland State University. The vote results were first reported by The Register-Guard.

The union represents 4,500 public university employees who work in maintenance, food preparation, tech support, grounds, custodial services and financial aid assistance at Oregon’s seven publicly funded institutions.

Those are the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Oregon University, Western Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University.

A strike would come as classes begin at some of those institutions, including the University of Oregon.

Sticking points in the negotiations include demands for higher cost of living increases and additional pay step increases for workers who are “topped out” at the top of their scale.

The union is pushing for a 6.25% cost of living increase spread over two years, said union spokesman Jay Parasco. The public university bargainers want a 4% cost of living increase over the same period.

Workers also are asking for an additional pay step at the top for longtime workers and to eliminate the lowest pay step of each salary range in 2020. The universities are proposing a $750 bonus for top-scale workers, but no new step increases for the highest paid employees.

The union also is fighting a proposal that would triple the cost of meals for the people who prepare them at the University of Oregon from $1 to $3 per meal.

Workers also want to be paid when universities are closed because of bad weather, while the universities are proposing up to 16 hours of paid time during weather closures — and more at the university president’s discretion.

Oregon Public Universities says negotiators are optimistic an agreement can be reached.

In a statement, Oregon Public Universities said the schools were disappointed in the strike authorization vote despite a 13.5% wage increase offer for the next two-year contract.

The schools said the current offer is better than the 2017-2019 contract and represents a total wage increase of almost 25 percent over a four-year period.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

▶️ Tail to Remember: Search for a Rescue Leads Woman to Her Old Friend

By Meghan Glova
Central Oregon Daily

The dog days are over for Meghann Butschy.

After being reunited with her dog, Brewer, almost by destiny.

Meghann and her ex-husband separated years ago and in the divorce he kept Brewer, as well as their dog Petey.

It wasn’t even until March of this year that Meghann’s daughter got a hold of Petey and brought her into Meghann’s care.

But Petey wasn’t in the best health

“Petey was very anxiety ridden, he had cancer, he was eleven. We just made these last months of his life his best,” Butschy said. 

Meghann didn’t want her other dog, Olive to be lonely once Petey was gone.

So she decided to adopt a rescue from the Humane Society of Central Oregon and came across a dog she was quick to recognize.

 “We were going to try and adopt this little Frenchie we saw at a rescue, and I thought I’d look at the Humane Society website and see if there’s a weird mutt that needs a home,” Butschy said. “And so I looked on there, and there was Brewer.”

Brewer had been found by his original dog mom.

“Her heart was just racing and she had to come down to find out if that truly was the Brewer she knew and loved,” said Lynn Ouchida, with the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

Meghann later found out that her ex-husband had given Brewer up for adoption and he had been taken care of by at least one other family in Central Oregon.

After Brewer’s most recent owners moved to Texas, he was sent to the Humane Society and had only been there a month before Meghann had found him.

“I haven’t looked on the Humane Society website for years. It’s just crazy that he’s there,” she said. 

Meghann says while she mourns the loss of her dog Petey, it was a piece of fate that brought her and Brewer back together.

Madras Man Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison for Bank Robbery and Role in Meth Distribution Conspiracy

A Madras man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for his role in a Central Oregon methamphetamine distribution conspiracy and for robbing a Madras bank, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Eugene.

According to court documents, 30-year-old Tyler Wayne Fuller is the son of career criminal and known drug dealer Ronald Wayne Thrasher, 49, also of Madras.

By age 28, Fuller had his own extensive criminal history and had spent the majority of his adulthood incarcerated. In December 2016, after Fuller was released from federal prison, Thrasher began giving his son methamphetamine to sell. Within a month, Thrasher was supplying and Fuller was distributing quarter and half-pound quantities of methamphetamine throughout Central Oregon.

The US Attorney’s office said in February 2017, Fuller’s volatile relationship with his father led to a confrontation. Armed with a pistol, Fuller unsuccessfully attempted to rob his father of his methamphetamine supply. The resulting estrangement left Fuller without a supplier and illicit income. Now homeless, he continued selling drugs obtained from his father’s customers.

In August 2017 – during the total solar eclipse – Fuller robbed a U.S. Bank in Madras, collecting $517 in cash.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane ordered Fuller to pay $517 in restitution to U.S. Bank and forfeit any property or proceeds derived from his drug trafficking activities.

On April 25, 2018, Fuller pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fifty or more grams of methamphetamine and bank robbery.

Thrasher was convicted at trial in August 2019 for purchasing and transporting methamphetamine for distribution and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced on February 4.

Fuller is the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced for their involvement in his father’s drug trafficking conspiracy. One defendant, Russell Marvin Jones, 53, of Gresham, Oregon, was convicted at trial alongside his father. Nine others pleaded guilty. All are scheduled to be sentenced in the next six months before Judge McShane.

This case was investigated by Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted Frank R. Papagni Jr. and Judi Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon, with the assistance of the Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes County District Attorney’s Offices.

EDCO Announces Early Stage Semifinalists for BVC

Economic Development for Central Oregon on Tuesday announced the 10 semi-finalist companies advancing in the Early Stage competition for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference on October 17-18.

This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of $25,000 from Portland Seed Fund.

These Early Stage semi-finalists will pitch against each other at the September 26th PubTalk with five companies advancing to the Bend Venture Conference.In addition to advancing to the BVC, an audience vote will determine one Early Stage company to receive a $3,000 cash award, courtesy of Keiretsu Forum.

Tickets for PubTalk are on sale now and available here.

In alphabetical order, the 10 BVC Early Stage semi-finalists that will compete at the September 26th PubTalk are:

1.     Analog Biometric Technologies (Portland, OR) – A firearm lockbox preventing children from accessing firearms using the length of fingers to unlock.

2.     eCode.me (Bend, OR) – A product recommendation platform that recommends products based on a unique sensory profile.

3.     FleetNurse Inc. (Eugene, OR) – An app-based on-demand staffing service for healthcare facility supervisors.

4.     Honistly (Portland, OR) – Creators of financial instruments that ease anxiety through alternatives to predatory lending and the comfort of predictable expenses via warranties.

5.     Lisi Global, Inc. (Richland, WA) – Environmentally safe, patented electronics technology that eradicates soil pests and pathogens.

6.     Referit Wellness, Inc. (Bend, OR) – An app that helps doctors grow their practices by incentivizing patients to share their favorite doctors.

7.     Shift (Bend, OR) – VR enhanced online training to help educators recognize and mitigate implicit bias in the classroom.

8.     Speak Technologies (Portland, OR) – A time-saving productivity tool using AI to follow-up on meetings by automatically capturing notes, key decisions and action items.

9.     Steamchain Corp (Salem, OR) – A blockchain company using smart contracts to reduce high currency conversion costs and fluctuation risk in shipping and logistics.

10.  TerrAmor (Corvallis, OR) – A low-cost, easy to deploy, organic-certified solution for soft fruit growers to address the spotted wing drosophila problem.

During PubTalk, an audience vote, along with a panel of experts, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC.

PubTalk Agenda
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Networking, drinks & appetizers
5:45 pm to 8:00 pm Early Stage Company Pitches, Audience Vote, Winner Announcements

PubTalk Cost and Registration
$27 EDCO & OEN Members (Become a member here.)
$37 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the September 26th PubTalk are on sale now and available here.
Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

Landscape Architects Partner with Prineville to Design Barnes Butte Recreation Area

The City of Prineville is moving forward with designs for the new Barnes Butte Recreation Area and is getting some help from a state group of landscape architects.

According to a release, the city will partner with the National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, and the Oregon Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA Oregon), to host a design workshop to help develop a vision and concept plan for the Barnes Butte Recreation Area.

The design workshop, facilitated by volunteers from ASLA Oregon, will be held September 27-28 at Barnes Butte Elementary School.

Community experts and ASLA Oregon design professionals will participate in a guided walking tour of the recreation area, meet with community members during a hosted barbeque dinner, identify opportunities for improvements throughout the site, and develop conceptual designs. The design workshop will conclude with a community presentation and overview of the findings and vision on September 28.

Purchased by the City of Prineville in early 2017, the Barnes Butte property is 460 acres of open space at the base of Barnes Butte just north of the Prineville city limits. When combined with existing BLM land, the property connects the north and south ends of Prineville, giving residents and visitors access to more than 620 acres of open space.

Since its acquisition, the Barnes Butte Focus Committee has established walking trails and solicited public input.

“We are grateful to volunteer landscape architects of ASLA Oregon for donating their time and expertise in developing ideas for our wonderful community asset,” said Prineville Mayor Steve Uffelman.

NPS RTCA staff work collaboratively with local communities to conserve and enhance special places like Barnes Butte, as well as identify funding sources, engage the public, and create recreation opportunities. Last year, the NPA’s RTCA program awarded the City of Prineville a community assistance grant. The city is utilizing the grant for master planning of the Barnes Butte Recreation Area.

In 2000, ASLA and the National Park Service formalized a partnership to help communities across the nation plan, design, and manage their natural, cultural, and recreation resources. This unique partnership expanded opportunities for ASLA chapters and NPS staff across the country. Dozens of community projects have benefited from this valuable collaboration.

“The RTCA/ASLA partnership benefits communities in the early stages of projects with the design and problem-solving skills of landscape architects. It’s a great way to build community interest and support,” said RTCA Community Planner, Alexandra Stone.

“ASLA Oregon members volunteer their skills because they are passionate about helping communities plan, design and manage their natural landscape,” said Jean Senechal Biggs, ASLA Oregon Chapter Trustee.

On September 27, a community barbecue will be held from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Barnes Butte Recreation Area parking lot. The event will provide community members the opportunity to meet the landscape architect volunteers and Barnes Butte Recreation Area Focus Committee members and share their ideas for how they would like to see the area conserved and enhanced.

On September 28, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. community members are invited to attend a workshop presentation at Barnes Butte Elementary School. ASLA Oregon representatives will present an overview of the findings and vision for the Barnes Butte Recreation Area based on their field study and community input from the evening before.

The community barbecue and workshop presentation are family-friendly events; children are welcome. People needing accommodation to participate in this event can contact Lori Ontko at the City of Prineville at 541-447-2340.