State Senator Resigns

Oregon Republican Senator Jeff Kruse of Roseburg has resigned after a months long investigation that concluded he sexually harassed two female senators and groped many other women working at the Oregon Capitol.

Kruse continues to deny the allegations and issued a statement on Tuesday saying he would not step down. However his statement released Friday says he is stepping down so his “colleagues may focus on serving Oregonians without distraction.”

Sunriver Police Chief Resigns

Service District Board Closes Its Investigation of Harassment Complaint

The Sunriver Service District Board says it has accepted the resignation of Police Chief Marc Mills.
Here is the full statement released by the Board:

On December 2, 2017, Sunriver Service District leadership was made aware of a complaint reported to law enforcement from the day before involving Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills that occurred in a public area of the police department, alleging that he had struck a subordinate in front of other Department personnel. On December 3, 2017, Chief Mills was placed on paid administrative leave, and the District was informed that the incident had been referred for criminal investigation to the Oregon Department of Justice. The District subsequently initiated its own, separate, administrative investigation into the incident. In the course of the District’s administrative investigation, employees raised complaints causing the District to expand the scope of the investigation, including allegations of other outbursts of temper, fears of retaliation and other inappropriate behavior inconsistent with the District’s policies and standards.

Although the District had not yet made any final decisions related to his employment, Chief Mills recognizes that, under the circumstances, it is untenable for him to continue his leadership of the Sunriver Police Department. Therefore, he has tendered his resignation to the District under a negotiated separation agreement. The District has accepted his resignation, and has concluded its investigation.

“Chief Marc Mills is a good police officer,” said Jim Fister, Chair of the Sunriver Service District. “One of his most recognized sayings is that the rules apply to everyone, equally, and I greatly respect that Marc recognizes this in making his decision.”

“Marc Mills has over forty years of excellent service to Central Oregon in a variety of police roles. He is respected for his skills as an investigator and enforcer of the law. His service as Police Chief of Sunriver can best be described as a time when the police developed a very positive relationship with the community. It is unfortunate that his tenure with the Sunriver Police Department is ending in this manner, and the District thanks Marc for his service and wishes him well.”

New Business in Bend

New Shopping and Dining Options in Bend

Bend’s shopping and dining options are expanding with the opening of some new stores, and a changing of the guard among downtown eateries.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan looks at the changing face of retail and restaurants in Bend.

Some of the other stores going into the Robal Road Shopping Center are MOD Pizza, Black Rock Coffee & Bar, Chick-fil-A and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Construction on the Chick-Fil-A is expected to begin in April, and the Cracker Barrel will start going up around June.Both are expected to open sometime this Fall.

Ulta Beauty‘s Grand Opening is Friday between 11am and 7pm.

House Bill Could Block Deschutes Bridge

Residents and official from Bend testified in Salem on Thursday morning on House Bill 4029, which would forever ban a proposed bridge over the Deschutes River.

Members from Bend Parks and Rec, Bend City Council and community members all spoke against the bill during Thursday’s hearing.

Bend’s Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell echoed concerns raised by the Bend Parks and Rec Department, saying the bill would “derail the local participation process,” and put a local decision in the hands of the state.

The proposed bridge has been hotly contested. Proponents believe connecting the Deschutes River Trail from Tumalo to Sunriver would provide necessary transportation and recreation benefits.

Opponents say it could disrupt the designated protected area along the south Deschutes and could lead to a slippery slope of lost protections for other scenic areas.

Some of those opponents also spoke on Thursday. Members from the Coalition for the Deschutes spoke in favor of the bill, saying there was a reason the state protected that stretch of waterway in the first place.

“This is not a local issue,” said Michael Eisele, of the Coalition for the Deschutes. “This is a wild and scenic river that serves all of Oregon citizens, all its visitors and the future generations and we benefit today from the foresight of those who put these rules in place, way before Bend Parks and Rec started planning their bridge.”

The bridge was part of a bond measure approved by Bend voters in 2012, and has been discussed since 2004, but the construction of the foot and bike bridge has been halted since it requires an exemption from the state.

A law passed in 1996 established that segment of the Deschutes River south of Bend as a scenic waterway and bans construction, like the bridge, in that area.

On Friday it will be decided wether or not the bill will move forward.

New High School in Bend

Realms’ Principal Hopes to Duplicate Success of Middle School

There is already a waiting list for students who want to attend one of Bend’s new schools opening this Fall – Realms High School.
Tonight on Central Oregon Daily, the principal of the new school, who is currently the principal of Realms Middle School, gives Austin Reed a preview of the new high school.

Bridge Battle

The Bend Parks and Rec Board Will Oppose a Bill that Prohibits a Deschutes River Bridge

At a meeting of the Bend Park & Recreation District Board on Tuesday night, members made it clear that they will try to stop the passage of House Bill 4029, which would effectively ban any future footbridges across the Deschutes River.
The board felt that the bill would shut down any conversation within the community about the potential recreation and transportation benefits a bridge connecting the Deschutes River Trail could bring.
“Our concern is, and what we’ve been saying all along, is we need a very broad community discussion,” said board member Ted Schoenborn. “This legislation effectively shuts down any conversation in the community.”
Schoenborn will head to Salem on Thursday to testify against House Bill 4029, and the board hopes to potentially bring together the community, Parks and Rec board, State Parks, Forest Service, recreation organizations and conservation organizations to continue discussions about the bridge.
The proposed bridge, which was approved by Bend voters as part of a bond measure in 2012, would cross the Deschutes River near Bend’s southern boundary and would effectively connect the Deschutes River Trail all the way from Tumalo to Sunriver.

Stock Market Takes a Dive

It was a wild ride on Wall Street today with the Dow Jones Industrial average taking a nosedive, losing more than 1,175 points dropping below 25,000 for the first time since January 4th during a second straight day of sell-offs.

It was the worst single-day point drop the Dow has ever sustained and, coming on the heels of Friday’s 666-point loss, erased the Dow’s gains for the year.

By the end of the trading day the Dow had dropped 46 percent, more than 1,100 points, closing at 24,345.

Troy Reinhart of Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management said that while these fluctuations can be scary, market pullbacks prevent stocks from overheating and gives investors who were stuck on the sideline a chance to “get in”.

Despite the recent turmoil, the Dow remains up almost 40 percent since President Trump’s election and the official white house comment today was that “markets do fluctuate in the short term,” but stressed, that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.