‘Visit Central Oregon’ CEO Steps Down

CEO of Central Oregon Visitors Association Announces Retirement

When Alana Hughson first started the Central Oregon Visitors Association in 1993, Bend only had 27,000 people and all of Deschutes County totaled 88,000 residents.
25 years later, COVA plays a part in more than four million overnight visitors to the Central Oregon area every year.
COVA, better known as Visit Central Oregon, is responsible for marketing all that Central Oregon has to offer in the hopes of bringing in more tourists to the area to benefit local businesses.

When it was founded in 1993, Visit Central Oregon focused on advertising to other Oregonians. As the organization continued to grow they began to promote the area to neighboring states. Now, 25 years later, Hughson said they are promoting Central Oregon throughout the west coast and plan to spread their message south and east as more non-stop flights becoming available at the Redmond airport.

Hughson will officially step down in July and said she plans to “take her foot off the gas” for a while.

Visit Central Oregon will be looking for its new CEO starting in April. Hughson said she will be accepting applications for a month before moving on to interviews and hopes to have a new CEO ready to go by July.

Two Terrebonne Women Charged with Animal Neglect

On Sunday, Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a welfare check, which ended with 83 horses being removed from a Terrebonne property due to neglect.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office charged the horses’ owner and caretaker, 67-year-old Linda B Stream and 41-year-old Christina J Hart of Terrebonne. They were charged with one felony count each of Animal Neglect I. Stream and Hart have been cited to appear into Deschutes County Circuit Court next month.

The Sheriff’s Office has had a veterinary team and farriers on-site getting the rescued horses the care they need.

Unfortunately, eight of the horses that were rescued had long term hoof neglect that led to severe abnormalities and excessive hoof wall growth which caused them severe pain, arthritis and laminitis.

Vets determined that the only responsible and humane thing to do was to euthanize those horses. Those eight horses were humanely euthanized late yesterday by a veterinarian.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department said its top priority is the care of the remaining 75 horses.

14th Street Reconstruction to Cause Delays

Southbound traffic was restricted along 14th Street between Galveston and Newport Avenues today as crews from Cascade Natural Gas are tearing up sections of the street in order to do some structural updates ahead of the city’s road restoration project. City crews are expected to start their work on April 2nd.

City crews will be working on 14th Street between Galveston and Newport Avenues and on Century Drive between Simpson and Albany Avenues in the coming weeks. The Simpson Avenue round a bout will also be closed as part of the project. The city has provided detours along Shevlin Park road, Skyliners Road and Mt Washington Drive for this project, which is meant to fix some failing infrastructure.

The 14th Street reconstruction is the final project of the city’s General Obligation Bond, which was passed by voters in 2011.

“This project is basically upgrading a lot of failing infrastructure to meet urban standards,” said project manager Garrett Sabourin. “So we’re reconstructing the road to basically have that same three lane and two lane configuration that you see today. With the addition of wider bike lanes, connected sidewalk, safer crossings and accessibility between the commercial and residential areas.”

Drivers will still have access to the businesses along Century Drive despite the closure of the Simpson round a bout. The round a bouts on Newport and Galveston Avenues will both remain open during construction.

The city is asking drivers to be cautious when navigating both the construction zones and the detours since they run through residential neighborhoods on the west side. Construction will also shut down two bus stops; one on west Kingston Avenue and one on 14th street. Transit riders can find out more about detours and stop closures on cascadetransit.com

The city will also be updating detours as needed and will be sending that information to the Google Waze app to help drivers find the fastest route.

City crews will primarily be working along century drive starting next week then will move down to work on 14th street. The entire project is estimated to take about 10 weeks to complete.


The Search for Sara Continues

Friends and family of missing Bend woman are continuing the search despite the death of the only suspect in her disappearance.

Fundraisers and calls for volunteers to help search for 24-year-old Sara Gomez are on-going and a search is planned again for this weekend. Gomez has been missing since February 19 and her ex-boyfriend Bryan Penner was arrested for violating a restraining order Gomez had filed against him in December.

Penner died Monday after hanging himself in the Deschutes County Jail, an incident that is currently being investigated, but according to Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, his death does make the search for Gomez more difficult.

March Madness

In Oregon March Madness is all about with women with University of Oregon and Oregon State University women’s basketball teams both still in the running. Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom tells us what to expect from the Lady Ducks and Lady Beavers.