Family Members Fight Over Legacy of Sarah Gomez

The family of Sara Gomez held a private memorial for the 24-year-old murder victim last Monday with all of the expenses paid by the Deschutes County Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund.

That’s why some of Sara’s family and friends came forward to talk to Central Oregon Daily when they found out that Sara’s cousin was holding a fundraiser for Sara this weekend, despite repeated requests by them to not raise money in Sara’s name.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has details on this ongoing family feud over the legacy of Sara Gomez.

On Friday afternoon, Liz Fennel told Central Oregon Daily that there will no longer be a fundraiser on Saturday due to harassing phone calls that were made to the location where the fundraiser was supposed to take place.

Fennell says the public memorial for Sara Gomez is planned for July 22nd in Tumalo State Park.

Fires Blaze in Central Oregon

A fire near Culver was threatening homes on Friday, and Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton spent the day with the firefighters at the Graham Fire, south of the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook. The fire ignited Thursday and has since burned roughly 2,000 acres. After evacuations were ordered state resources were called in to help battle the blaze after Governor Kate Brown declared the fire a conflagration. 

Residents near Maupin have also been told to prepare for a possible evacuation as the Box Car Fire grew to 18,000 acres – making it the largest of the young fire season so far. Campers have been warned to stay out of the area and Highway 197 has been closed due to smoke.

Source on the Scene: 4 Peaks Music Festival

It’s summer in Central Oregon and with plenty of sun forecasted for the weekend, some are already out and enjoying the weather at the 4 Peaks Music Festival at Stevenson Ranch.

The festival kicked off Thursday afternoon and runs through the weekend with plenty of music and activities for locals and visitors of all ages.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom checked in on festival goers to see how they were enjoying the annual summer music event.

For all the latest arts and culture listings, pickup the latest issue of The Source Weekly or go to their website at www.bendsource.com.

Thanks to our Source on the Scene sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer, every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Deputy Involved in Fatal Shooting

The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting involving a sheriff’s deputy west of Bend on Wednesday night.

The incident began around 6 p.m. on Wednesday night at a campsite on Forest Road 4610, off Century Drive, when a woman walking her dog overheard an argument between a man and a woman and then heard gunshots. According to District Attorney John Hummel, the woman called 911 and with in 14 minutes, Deschutes County Deputy Randy Zilke was at the scene and was confronted by 44-year-old Springfield resident Jesse Wade Powell. Powell, an ex-convict that had been recently released from a 13-year sentence, was found with a stolen U-Haul and two trailers filled with stolen items.

During the confrontation Deputy Zilke fired his gun once, killing Powell. Shortly after a second deputy, Liam Klatt, arrived on the scene. So far investigators have not said if Powell had a weapon or fired at Zilke.

The woman who had been heard arguing with Powell had fled the scene by the time Zilke arrived. However, investigators have located her and Hummel said she is cooperating with the investigation.

Deputies Zilke and Klatt have been placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation, which is standard Oregon protocol for any shooting involving law enforcement officers. Both Zilke and Klatt are Marine Corps veterans. Zilke has been with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office since 2005 and Klatt since 2001. Neither deputy was injured in the incident.

History Repeating Itself

Herbicide Spraying Mistakes

A La Pine resident is sharing the story of his six-year court battle over a mistaken herbicide spraying by the government and joining a formal complaint about a new mistake that will force the removal of hundreds of trees along Highway 20, west of Sisters.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan report, he’s hoping to prevent history from repeating itself again.

Grant for Bend Parkway Project Rejected

State and city officials have run into an obstacle in their quest to expand and reroute the Bend Parkway at Empire to address the growing congestion on the north side of the city.

Central Oregon Daily’s looks at the details of a funding rejection by the federal government.

Bend Parks Considers Removal of Iconic Bridge

On Tuesday night, Bend Park and Recreation District considered a proposal to remove the iconic Shevlin-Hixon bridge in Shevlin Park, after it was declared structurally unsound.
 
The bridge was originally built for a railroad trestle and the cover was added in 1993 for the Disney film ‘Homeward Bound.’ The proposal has been run by the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon, which does not consider the Shevlin-Hixon Bridge a covered bridge since the cover was added after the initial construction.
 
Central Oregon Daily’s Brian Jennings has more on the story. 

Free Lunches

The annual summer food service program is now available in hundreds of communities statewide, including here in Central Oregon. The program offers free meals and snacks to all kids ages one through 18.

For over a decade, the Bend-La Pine School District has ensured that no child goes hungry, even when school is not in session. Monday marked the beginning of the district’s free summer meals program, which provides healthy meals to children in Bend and La Pine.

At least one location in both Bend and La Pine provides breakfast and lunch to children. Parents are encouraged to attend and can also purchase a meal for $4.

The program is funded through the United State Department of Agriculture and is run by district staff members. The program provides and estimated 5,000 meals in the Bend-La Pine area over the summer months.

The program runs Monday through Friday ever week until August 24th in most locations. The free lunch program in La Pine will open at the La Pine Event Center starting July 9 and running through August 17. A full list of all the locations in Bend and La Pine, as well as times and dates, is available on the Bend-La Pine School District website.

 

Parents in Bend Dealing with Long Waitlists at Certified Child Care Centers

Some of Bend’s most pressing issues were brought up during Tuesday’s State of the City address, but one issue that was raised during the question and answer session after the speech caught our attention – the long waitlists at the city’s certified child care centers.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan looks at what one Bend woman is doing to try to find a solution for parents who have run out of options. Kara Tachikawa with Inspire Early Learning Centers is running a task force in conjunction with the Bend Chamber to try to get feedback from the community and find a solution to this issue.

If you are a parent and would like to weigh in on the topic, go to www.bendchamber.org, and you can find a link to the survey on their home page.

Charges Dropped in Alleged Road Rage Incident

An alleged road rage incident in Bend last week, that made national headlines, took a surprising turn on Monday, when Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel announced that he is dropping the charges against the man originally accused of attacking two women during an altercation in southwest Bend, following a traffic dispute in downtown Bend.