Missing Bend Woman

Former Boyfriend Arrested for Kidnapping

Bend Police have made an arrest in connection with the disappearance of a 24-year-old Bend woman but so far, there is still no sign of her.
This all began when friends and family of a 24-year-old Sara Gomez starting posting messages on social media about her disappearance. All of this led to a missing persons report filed with Bend Police. Detectives interviewed Sara’s friends and family and their investigation led them to a former boyfriend named Bryan Penner. When Bend Police executed a search warrant at the 31-year-old’s apartment, they found enough evidence to arrest Penner.
Bend Police say they still don’t know Gomez’ whereabouts.
During Penner’s first appearance in court on Thursday, the judge set bail at $100,000.

Snow Removal

City Crews Tackle the First Sustained Snowfall of the Season

City of Bend Streets and Operation crews were out in full force today to combat the first sustained snowfall of the season. Central Oregon Daily’s Cydney McFarland jumped in with one of the truck drivers as he started his shift on the streets today.

The city does have chemicals to melt ice but when temperatures drop below 20 degrees the rely on drivers to plow and lay cinders on the streets of Bend. During major storms, like last year, drivers can spend up to 12 hours driving the city, dropping cinders and plowing.

Mountain Film Festival Highlights Bend

New Short Film To Highlight Bend’s Environmental Center

The Environmental Center is on a mission, and they’re trying to spread the word in a new short film that will debut as part of the Mountain Film Festival at Tower Theatre this weekend. 
Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has a preview of the festival and the film.
The festival is already sold out for Saturday night’s showings but there are still a few tickets left at the box office for Friday night’s show.

Destination Oregon: Immersion Brewing

They say Bend has more microbreweries per-capita than any city in America. One of those craft breweries not only makes beer, but they invite you to come and make your own beer.

That’s all it took for our Dave Jones to grab the Destination Oregon crew and head down to Immersion Brewing, where you can “brew-it-yourself.”

Thanks to the folks at Immersion Brewing for showing us around. Join us every Thursday night for another new edition of Destination Oregon where we take you to some of the most beautiful and interesting locations around our state.

Bend Police Make Arrest due to School Threat

In a press release posted on Thursday night, Bend Police said they have arrested a 16-year-old Bend Senior High School student due to a tip from Deschutes County 911 regarding a potential threat to the school.

On February 21st at 3:40pm police received information about a Bend-La Pine Student who was possibly making threats towards Bend Senior High School. The information alleged that the 16-year-old made statements about his desire to shoot several unspecified students at Bend Senior High School. The threats were made over a popular social media platform.

Bend Police Officers investigated and obtained enough information to believe the student’s intent was to harm students at Bend Senior High School and that he had the means to attempt a shooting in his home though they were not readily accessible to him.

Officers went to the student’s residence in southeast Bend and he was taken into custody and transported to St. Charles Bend, where a mental health evaluation was conducted. The student was released and lodged at the Deschutes County Juvenile Department on the charge of Disorderly Conduct I.

Police are asking anyone who may have information regarding to this specific case to contact the Bend Police Department at 541-693-6911.

Police have investigated three threats against schools in the last nine days but this was the first deemed credible.

“The past week has been emotional and challenging for communities throughout the United States,” said Bend Police in a press release. “Our community is not immune. We have worked with Bend-La Pine Schools throughout the past week, following up on any information that indicated any safety concerns to our schools. We are confident that this partnership has given students the confidence they could continue learning in a safe environment.”

Bend-La Pine Superintendent Shay Mikalson also sent a letter to parents outlining the school’s response to the incident.

“Dear Bend-La Pine Schools’ Community,

My heart has been heavy over the last week, as I have reflected on the latest school tragedy and all those that have come before. My thoughts have been with our students, our staff, our families, and our community as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of Bend-La Pine Schools’ students and staff.

With that said, I must inform you that the Bend Police Department has just released publicly information about an investigation we have been working on together throughout the night. We can now report that a youth is in custody for making a credible threat against our schools. The police say that a 16-year-old male was planning a shooting at Bend Senior High School. This is the fourth threat we, in partnership with Bend Police, have investigated against our schools in the past nine days, but the only report deemed credible.

This threat was reported to Bend Police late last night, who investigated and lodged the youth in juvenile jail before sunrise today. We are told he will remain there at least until arraignment on March 1. To say that I am concerned and deeply troubled by this youth’s alleged behavior would be an incredible understatement. However, I am incredibly grateful for the efforts of Bend-La Pine Schools’ staff, our proactive safety measures, Bend Police, and most for our culture of safety that emphasizes to all, “When you see something, say something.”

I believe that all students and staff in our nation’s schools deserve to stay safe while learning and teaching.

Bend-La Pine Schools addresses school safety through a comprehensive approach focusing on planning, prevention, intervention, and response. We have systems and programs to help ensure caring learning communities where students and staff feel safe and supported. The district also understands the importance of training and practicing emergency protocols with students and staff, using drills to prepare them to respond safely in a variety of emergency situations.

I want to share just a few of the practical steps the district has taken to promote school safety:

–       We have strong partnerships with the Bend Police Department and Deschutes County Sherriff’s Office, allowing them quick access to our schools and ongoing collaboration and communication. This includes jointly funded School Resource Officers within our schools.

–       We have transformed our student threat assessment protocols to reflect the standards of best practices nationwide.

–       We are working to increase the security of our school entrances through improved visibility and visitor/volunteer management. Thanks to our successful school bond, we have also begun work to create secure lobbies for our schools that do not currently have them.

–       We continue to reinforce the importance of both active supervision (campus monitors, administrators, etc.) and passive supervision (cameras, etc.) inside and outside of our schools.

–       In December, we launched a new communication tool that allows students and families to report tips via safeoregon.com. This tool has proved critical over the last nine days.

–       We train staff and students using the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) for a lock down, lock out, and other safety-related responses. This is a nationally-recognized program providing an all-hazards approach to crisis response in a variety of scenarios.

–       Bend-La Pine Schools is a founding partner of the Safe Schools Alliance, promoting school safety through partnerships among families, education, mental health, community justice, and law enforcement.

In times like these, staff and families can help students feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, talking with them openly about their fears, and reassuring them that schools are very safe places and dangerous events are rare. The National Association of School Psychologists provides more detailed recommendations in the resource, “Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.” In addition, our schools have additional human resources, including counselors, school psychologists, and other staff with personal connections to particular students. Finally, take this opportunity to talk with your students and children about the importance of speaking up right away if they ever become aware of a possible danger. We take every concern very seriously. Telling a trusted adult-a parent or school employee-is paramount.

Both as superintendent and the father of students in our schools, I want to reiterate the importance of the safety of every single member of our Bend-La Pine Schools’ community-our students, staff, families, neighbors, and visitors alike. Together, we can continue to do our collective parts to ensure our schools are safe places to learn.

Shay Mikalson, Superintendent”

 

The Great Outdoors: Snowmobile Adventures

Snowmobiling has long been one of the favorite sports for outdoor enthusiasts in Central Oregon, but one longtime advocate says you can’t take the sport for granted because it all depends on the availability of public spaces.

For this week’s Great Outdoors, Brian Jennings takes us snowmobiling around Paulina Lake.

Thanks Brian for that report and a special thanks to our Great Outdoors sponsor, Parr Lumber, for giving us the time and resources to explore the lakes, rivers and mountains across our beautiful state every Wednesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Authorities Say Pot Bust in La Pine Points to Bigger Statewide Problem

What started out as a search for a stolen snowboard ended with the bust of an illegal marijuana growing operation in La PineLocal law enforcement officials are calling this a symptom of a bigger problem across the county and the state.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the story.

Supper Club: Compensation Changes to Bend City Charter

A compensation committee met this week to discuss possible changes to Bend City Charter and the amount of pay that the mayor and city councilors would receive in the future.

For this week’s Supper Club, Donna sat down with Bend Mayor, Casey Roats, Mayor Pro Tem, Sally Russell and Bend City Councilor, Nathan Boddie, to talk about the options that the committee is considering.

Thanks to Casey, Sally and Nathan for joining us. A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsors, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Threat at Bend Senior High

Bend Police Increasing Presence at Bend Senior High Tuesday After Report of School Threat

Administrators at Bend Senior High School released the following letter to parents and students on Monday night to warn them about a police investigation involving a reported school threat, and the increased presence that Bend Police will have on campus on Tuesday when students return from the three-day holiday weekend:

February 19, 2018

Dear Bend Senior High School families,

In recent days, we have seen students and community members responding to, and talking about, the terrible act of violence that took place at a Parkland, Florida high school. For those who work and attend school in classroom environments every day – or send their students to school every day – we may find that events like the tragedy in Parkland feel close to home and raise intense emotions.

This weekend we talked with a student who reported overhearing two other students talking about general school attacks in ways that were perceived to be threatening to the Bend Senior High School learning environment. Bend Police Department and school administrators spent countless hours throughout the weekend attempting to follow up on this lead. The students who were said to have made these remarks were not identified and the single witness statement did not yield a viable lead. We will continue to investigate any new information that becomes available.

I share this with you tonight so that you are aware that we will have an increased police presence at Bend Senior High School tomorrow, which is the date that the reporting student said the two youth were allegedly discussing violence could take place at our school.

We and our partners at Bend Police Department have invested many resources into looking into this tip – all hours that we give willingly and with passion as we want to do everything we can to keep our students and schools safe.

That said, we have an opportunity for a ‘teachable moment’ where we can talk to our students about tone that is appropriate to use when having conversations with others about the tragedies that we are too frequently seeing on our mobile devices, on social media and on television.

It is my hope that you can help to reinforce to your student that if they see something, they should always say something. Please encourage your students to contact the main office, talk to a staff member or counselor, or use the SafeOregon tip line that they can find under the First Step icon on their iPad desktops at any time. (Parents, you can download First Step on your own device. Search for First Step OR in your app store.)

This single incident is not indicative of the Bend Senior High School culture or students. We, and our law enforcement partners, believe that our school will be safe for all students tomorrow. Patrols and police presence will be increased in an abundance of caution. Additionally, we understand that in informing our community of this threat we run the risk of other students copying this behavior. However, we felt it was important to communicate with our parents about this situation tonight.

Thank you for your support of our Lava Bear community.

Sincerely,

Bend Senior High School Administration Team

See Something, Say Something

Students and parents all over the country are feeling the impact of the Florida school shooting and asking what is being done to protect them from another potential school shooting.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed joined us in the studio to look at what local officials and law enforcement are doing to remain vigilant in today’s climate.

The Bend-La Pine school district, along others in our area like Redmond, Prineville and Madras also take part in the statewide “safeoregon” public safety program.
Kids and teens are encouraged to use the app “safeoregon” to report bullying and school safety incidents.