New Cars for Sheriff’s Office

Three 2018 Dodge Chargers Hit the Road

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s office unveiled the newest additions to their patrol car fleet on Friday. The three 2018 Dodge Chargers are painted in the classic black and white. The new color scheme is meant to be more than just a retro look with a modern flare. Sheriff Nelson says the new graphics are there to make it very clear they are Deschutes County Sheriff vehicles.

The newest vehicles hit the streets Friday afternoon and are the first of 30 total new vehicles expected to roll out between now and the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Because the design is simply a black vehicle with a white sticker, the chargers cost the same as all the others in the sheriff’s office fleet and one vehicle even uses all recycled equipment from a prior law enforcement vehicle. However, they do feature several newer details than their previous models including the addition of the thin blue line, social media tags and changes to the flashing lights.

This is the first year that all of the new vehicles being put into service with the Sheriff’s Department will either be all-wheel or four wheel drive capable, making the new fleet more capable of traversing the 3,000 mile area the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office covers, particularly in winter driving months.

With the Sheriff’s Office’s automotive fleet regularly driving over a million miles each year, these new rides have a long road ahead of them.

Bend Police Department Cracks Down on Distracted Driving

According to the CDC, approximately nine people are killed every day, and more than 1000 are injured, in accidents that involve distracted drivers.

That’s why the City of Bend Police Department conducted an enhanced distracted driving enforcement detail throughout the city of Bend Thursday afternoon. The department hoped to educate the public on the dangers of cell phone usage and reduce the number of traffic incidents caused by using their phones behind the wheel.

In October of last year, Oregon enacted a new distracted driving law, which makes it illegal to drive while holding any electronic device. And if you get caught, it could come with some hefty fines and even jail time.

A first offense that doesn’t contribute to a crash is a class B violation with a maximum fine of $1,000. A second offense, or if the first offense contributes to a crash, is a class A violation with a maximum fine of $2,000. A third offense in ten years is a class B misdemeanor and could result in a maximum fine of $2,500 fine and could be 6 months in jail.

First Responders Head to Heat Related Incidents

In the peak of summer Bend Fire and Rescue responds to far more than just calls to battle blazes. July has seen 41 heat records set across the United States with zero record minimums. The next two days in Central Oregon are also expected to be the hottest recorded this week, which means responding to more calls to those suffering from this summer’s high temperatures.

Jon Erickson of Bend Fire said he has responded to over a dozen heat related incidents in the past week, many of the calls are for those who are frequently exposed to the elements.

Even those who are relatively healthy have suffered in recent weeks during what’s being recorded as the fourth hottest year on record. Hundreds of wildfires have been triggered in Oregon alone, dozens have been killed across the western hemisphere, and the heat is expected to continue.

Erickson says the best way to avoid being affected by the heat is to simply stay inside but if you’re going to be outside, staying hydrated is your best bet to staying healthy.

Smokey Skies

Air quality in Central Oregon took a dive on Monday as smoke from fires burning in the south west of the state made its way north. Young, old and those with respiratory issues were particularly at risk, but health officials were urging everyone to shut their windows and avoid any strenuous outdoor activities. As fire season continues it is likely Central Oregon will see more smokey skies.

Substation Fire Update

Over 200 firefighters from 73 Oregon fire agencies continue to battle the Substation Fire that has ripped across Wasco and Sherman counties. Dry conditions and high winds have made fighting the fire difficult despite air support. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the on going fire fighting efforts.

Substation Fire Update

Governor Kate Brown has declared a statewide fire emergency as a deadly wildfire continues to move across 80 miles of the Columbia River Gorge and beyond. As of Thursday night the Substation fire near the Dalles has been declared the number one in the U.S. with over 50,000 acres burned and sustained winds making the blaze difficult to control. The Oregon National Guard has ben activated to assist in the ongoing firefighting efforts.

Homes in the area have been evacuated and authorities said the fire has claimed one man, a tractor operator who was trying to create a fire break to hold back the flames of a neighbor’s property in Wasco County.

The fire started at an electrical converter station near the Dalles and, while officials have not confirmed the cause of the fire, arson is being looked at as a possibility.


Suspect Arrested After Threatening Police

Police Are Investigating Monday’s Incident at the Bend Police Department

21-year-old Bend resident Samuel Wyatt Dennis was arrested this afternoon around 12:20 p.m. after a bizarre incident that occurred early this morning at the Bend Police Department.

Bend Police said an officer leaving their shift heard a commotion near the gate of the secured parking lot of the Bend Police Department around 2:15 a.m. and saw Dennis hitting the parking lot’s security key pad which was damaged beyond use. Though officers did attempt to contact Dennis, he sped away in his 1998 Dodge pickup.

Security footage also showed Dennis throwing an object into the secured lot, damaging a police vehicle. Footage also showed Dennis placing a board through the front door handles of the police department and leaning a heavy metal object against the door. Dennis also etched letters into the front glass door and on the concrete in front of the entry doors.

Later Dennis was identified as the subject after he also made calls to Bend Fire and Rescue threatening to “burn the community to the ground.”

Around 10:20 a.m. officers located Dennis’ vehicle at his residence. As officers and detectives attempted to contact Dennis in his driveway, he drove away leading them on a short pursuit before being stopped by spike strips.

Dennis was taken into custody just after 12:15 p.m.

Dennis is facing charges of criminal mischief in the first degree, reckless driving, attempt to elude and disorderly conduct. The investigation is ongoing.

New Bike Patrols in Sisters

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office wanted to increase their patrols in Sisters but thought patrol cars weren’t the right fit for the small, intimate downtown area, so they traded four wheels for two.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan reports, you will see deputies proudly pedaling on duty in Sisters this weekend at the Quilt Show.

Yoga Behind Bars

When you think of yoga you probably think of a peaceful, tranquil, place. However this yoga class takes place behind bars.

Welcome to the Deschutes County Jail yoga program.

Inmates already have access to other programs with a focus on drug and alcohol treatment and religion but jail officials identified anxiety as one of the top stressors for inmates. They thought yoga could be part of the solution.

Today was only the program’s second class but it seems to already be making an impact on those who are taking it, according to some inmates.

Due to safety concerns and the fact that both yoga instructors are female the class is currently only currently offered to female inmates. However there are plans to bring in male instructors in order to expand the program.

The program is completely free. Local yoga instructor, including instructor Nancy Lumpkin who normally teaches at Namaspa volunteer one morning a week to teach a practice to inmates.

Longer Wait Times Expected at Redmond Airport

Redmond Airport is asking anyone flying between Wednesday and Friday to arrive at least two hours prior to departure time to clear the TSA screening process due to a temporary x-ray machine outage.

Security manager Nicole Jurgensen said the broken machine means TSA is down to just one line for security screening and it could lead to passengers experiencing wait times of up to 45 minutes until it’s fixed.

To accommodate for the potential back up, airline ticket counters will open at 3:15 a.m. with passenger screening beginning at 3:30 a.m. for the rest of the week.

While this week’s longer wait times may be due to malfunctioning equipment, Redmond Airport officials say they’ve seen more passengers and longer wait times before now.

With the newest addition of the 737 Seattle flight and future construction taking place next year to expand the airport’s air carrier ramp, Redmond Airport’s growth is showing no signs of slowing down. That means those longer lines could eventually be here to stay.