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.

▶️ Mountain Bikers Reporting Aggressive Coyotes in Phil’s Trail Area

By Anyssa Bohanan
Central Oregon Daily

Cyclists who have recently ridden near Kent’s Trail west of Bend are warning others that they have encountered aggressive coyotes – a cyclist even said one snapped at him as he rode by.

It’s not uncommon to run into wildlife when you least expect it in Central Oregon.

This video of a coyote was taken just this morning outside of Sparrow Bakery’s Headquarters on Bend’s West side.

Just a few miles down the road, some *mountain bikers* say they’ve had far more dangerous interactions with coyotes here along Kent’s Trail.

In a recent social media post, several cyclists reported they’ve encountered coyotes who turned *aggressive*.

At least *two* riders say they even had one snap at their legs as they rode by.

Though the Oregon Department of Fish Wildlife says they haven’t heard any reports, they are encouraging anyone who may encounter aggressive wildlife in the area to contact the U.S. Forest Service, and remain aware when you’re out on the trails.

 “These animals, in this case, they’re out there where they should be. When you’re recreating out in Forest Service public land away from from natural development I mean there’s always a chance you’re going to run into some animal and the best course of action is to always be aware of your surroundings, and make sure that you keep your distance as much as possible,” said Sara Gregory with the ODFW. “If you’ve got children keep them close to you, if you’ve got dogs dogs can attract animals of all kinds so keep them close to you preferably on a leash. It’s mainly just having some awareness around you.” 

Now we spoke to a few cyclists as they rode by earlier today and they said that they’ve never had any problems on the multiple times they’ve been out on the trail. However, local organizations say that wildlife-human interactions are going to increase in the coming future but that doesn’t necessarily mean that *all* wildlife is dangerous. 

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.

Injury Forces Bend’s Cam McCormick to Miss Another Season with Ducks

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon tight end and Summit High star Cam McCormick will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

McCormick dressed and participated in warmups before the Ducks’ games against Nevada and last week against Montana but did not play. He was hampered by the injury throughout preseason camp.

“We have tried. Cam’s got a tremendous heart, he’s a hard worker. I know he’s been through a lot and he’s been pushing trying to get there but due to the nature of the injury he’s going to be fine. But it is best — in his best interest, in the best interest of the team — that he have this year to heal up and then come back and join us next season and in spring ball with the offseason workouts,” Ducks coach Mario Cristobal said at Monday’s media availability.

It is the second straight season McCormick has been sidelined by injury. He sat out last year after breaking his leg in the season opener against Bowling Green.

McCormick redshirted his freshman year. He appeared in 13 games in 2018, with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Oregon Unemployment Rate at 4%, Unchanged from June and July

Oregon’s unemployment rate in August remained at 4 percent, the same as in June and July according to the state employment office.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent during each of the most recent three months of June, July, and August.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for 34 consecutive months dating back to November 2016 according to a release from the OED.

This sustained stretch of low unemployment is unprecedented in comparable records dating back to 1976. In the 40 years prior to 2016, Oregon’s unemployment rate was never below 4.7 percent, the release said.

In August, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment added 900 jobs, following a gain of 2,400 jobs in July.

The biggest gains in August were strongest in leisure and hospitality (+1,600 jobs) and professional and business services (+1,100). These gains were offset by job losses in several industries: wholesale trade (-900 jobs); other services (-900); retail trade (-700); and health care and social assistance (-600).

Recent employment growth has slowed from the rapid expansion over the prior several years. In the first eight months of 2019, total nonfarm employment gains averaged 1,000 jobs per month.

This was a marked slowdown from the average gain of 3,000 jobs per month in 2018. So far in 2019, several industries have cut jobs, with information down the most in percentage terms (-2,000 jobs, or -5.7%). Several other major industries shed jobs in that time: finance and insurance ( 1,200 jobs, or  2.1%); leisure and hospitality (-2,600 jobs, or -1.2%); and retail trade (-2,200 jobs, or  1.0%). These losses were offset by job growth over the past eight months in education and health services (6,400 jobs, or 2.2%); professional and business services (4,200 jobs, or 1.7%); and manufacturing (3,100 jobs, or 1.6%).

Bend Man Arrested in Online Prostitution Sting

A 55-year-old Bend man was arrested Monday after police say he used an online ad to lure two females to a hotel room for sex.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said the department was made aware of a situation where a suspect had made arrangements to meet two females at a hotel here in Bend.

The initial contact was made through a website designed to facilitate human trafficking, McConkey said

“We were made aware of details that included conversations regarding the suspect meeting the females for sexual purposes. One of the females was purported to be 17 years old,” McConkey said. “We learned that the ad was put onto the website by Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit along with Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Sergeant during a Human Trafficking awareness training that was held on Monday in Central Oregon.”

Sgt. Molly McDade with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Dept. said within 19 hours, they had 27 hits of people “who were very interested in purchasing sex with a young adult. It was an ad we posted for Bend.”

Bend Police Officers followed up on the information and contacted Daniel Packman at the location agreed upon between the undercover officer running the operation and Packman.

“The person pretending to be an underage person said ‘We can meet up, however, I am only 17 years old.’ Then Mr. Packman replied ‘Oh, that’s okay. I will still meet.’ So then, of course, he met and was contacted,” McConkey said. 

During the investigation, evidence was located that corroborated Packman’s involvement regarding this incident. Packman was arrested on two counts of prostitution and one count of purchasing sex with a minor. He was taken to the Deschutes County Jail.

Nita Belles is the founder of In Our Backyard and has been working for years to raise awareness of sex trafficking in Central Oregon.

“If I were to venture a guess, I would say it happens every day or nearly every day here in Central Oregon,” she said.

“First of all, I’m not surprised because we know there is a lot of human trafficking here in Central Oregon. I’m not surprised because law enforcement knew what they were doing and did their job well. And somebody was caught doing something that is not good.”