First Court Appearance for Woman Accused of Killing Cyclist

The woman who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist is now on house arrest and banned from consuming any alcohol until her arraignment in February.

Shantel Lynn Witt, 41, of Alfalfa had her first hearing today after she was arrested on Dec. 30 and charged with DUII, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another, Reckless Driving and Manslaughter in the First Degree.

Witt was allegedly driving under the influence on the evening of Dec. 30 when her car crossed over into the opposite lane and struck 38-year-old Marika Stone who was biking with two other people near the corner of Dodds and Obernolte Road in Deschutes County. Stone was declared dead at the scene.

Roughly 30 local cyclists and community members attended today’s hearing to support Stone’s family.

Witt’s bail was set at $270,000. She posted 10 percent of this amount and, per Oregon law, was released from jail. During her first court appearance on Tuesday, the state attorney asked that Witt’s bail be increased, that she be put on house arrest, that she be given an alcohol monitor and that her driving privileges be revoked.

The judge did not raise Witt’s bail but he did agree to revoke Witt’s driving privileges. The judge also ordered Witt to wear an alcohol monitor, banned from purchasing or consuming alcohol and put on house arrest.

Witt will be back in court for her arraignment on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. and many of the local cyclists said they’ll be back again to support Stone’s family and represent Bend’s biking community.

Walden Talks Taxes in Bend

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R) paid a visit to Deschutes Brewery, in Bend on Friday. Walden discussed the new tax reform bill, among other hot topics impacting Central Oregonians.

 

Flu Season Isn’t Over Yet

The Pacific Northwest is seeing a particularly roughly flu season and it’s not over yet. Oregon, Washington and Idaho have all reported an increase in deaths due to the flu and Deschutes County Public Health said they’ve seen an increase in flu reports locally this year as well. Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed sat down with Dr. Eric Wattenburg of Your Care Urgent Care in Redmond to get an update on this year’s flu and how people can protect themselves. According to Wattenburg its as simple as getting your flu shot, washing your hands and wearing a mask if you’re coughing or around people who are coughing.

Redmond Warming Center

With temperatures in the teens overnight, it could be dangerous if you had no warm place to go or be. Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed takes us to Redmond for a tour of the only official ‘warming’ shelter in town.

If you or someone you know needs more information about shelters in any city in Central Oregon, you can go online to homelessshelterdirectory.org.

City of Madras Calls for Very Own Craft Brewery

At last count, Central Oregon has 28 craft breweries from Bend to Prineville, but one community has yet to cash-in on one of the fastest growing industries in the region. Now, city leaders of Madras are trying to change that.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed looks at the efforts of Madras officials to bring a brewery to their city.