Oregon Senate Passes Rent Control Bill

Oregon is facing a housing crisis and lawmakers are scrambling to try and find solutions. One bill that could help was approved by the Oregon State Senate on Tuesday. The bill enhances protections for tenants and prohibits landlords from implementing high rent increases. SB 608 is now heading to the Oregon State House where it is also expected to pass. If passed it would be the country’s first state-wide rent control measure.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on how the bill could affect tenants and landlords across the state.

Safety Concerns for Highway 97

A fatal crash last week left one woman dead after succumbing to her injuries, and caused extensive delays since the highway was shut down as crews investigated and cleared the scene. Crashes like this aren’t uncommon on this stretch of highway, an issue that has prompted the Oregon Department of Transportation to push for some safety improvements for the corridor between Redmond and Bend, but budget restrictions are proving an issue for the sweeping changes that are likely needed.

Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker spoke with ODOT officials and residents to see what kind of changes could be in store for Highway 97.

No Foul Play Suspected in Death of Retired Firefighter

The Bend Police Department is still investigating the events that lead to the death of retired firefighter John Love, but police do not suspect any criminal activity or foul play.

Love’s snow-covered body was discovered Monday afternoon with the help of a K-9 team. At that time Love had been missing for nearly five days.

He was found in area of Cooley Rd. and NE 18th St and found a deceased male within a large hole in a construction area.

Bend PD investigators are working with the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.

Love was reported missing on February 9th by a family member. An investigation into his disappearance found that Love had not been seen since February 6th, when a cab driver dropped him off at his residence on St. Cloud Ct. between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m.

Proposed Bill Could Bar Zoning for Single Family Homes

Today in Salem the House Committee on Human Services and Housing held its first hearing on HB-2001. The bill would allow for what is called “middle housing” on land currently zoned for single family homes. Middle housing is those housing types that fall between single family housing and large scale apartment complexes.
 
Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel has more on the bill and what communities it could affect.

Bend Woman Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Death of Cyclist

Bend resident Shantel Witt has been found guilty of manslaughter, among other charges, related to the death of cyclist and local dentist Marika Stone in December 2017.

After a two week trial, Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Micheal Adler announced his verdict on Friday morning in front of a packed courtroom. Witt was found guilty on all counts, including manslaughter in the first degree, two counts of recklessly endangering another human, driving under the influence of intoxicants and possession of a schedule four controlled substance.

Witt had also previously pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of Oxycodone.

Witt’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 19th.

Local School Tries to Curb Vaping Trend

Vaping among young adults and children is on the rise nationally and Central Oregon school aren’t immune from the issue. With teachers and health professional concerned about the potential health risks, communities having been trying to find way to curb the trend.

In Central Oregon, La Pine High School is spear heading a program that educated parents, community members and students about vaping, vape products and the potential health risks that could accompany them. The first meeting for the community was held Thursday night but school officials have said their doors are always open if parents or community members have questions.

Central Oregon Daily’s Cydney McFarland has more.

Redmond Marching Band Needs New Uniforms

The Redmond High School marching band has been a part of the community since it was started in 1927 and in those 90 years the band has only had three uniforms. Each set of new uniforms has been expected to last over 20 years, but these most recent uniforms have lasted almost a generation. That age shows with some uniforms missing buttons, zippers are broken, some just don’t fit many of the students and students and teachers alike describe the uniforms as “outdated.”

Central Oregon Daily’s resident band kid, and reporter, Anyssa Bohanan has more on how the band hopes to raise $55,000 for new uniforms.

Second Candidate for COCC President Visits Bend

The second of three candidates applying to take over as Central Oregon Community College’s president is in town for a final interview and to meet the community.
 
Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel spoke with Dr. Tod Treat and has more information on the final candidate coming to town next week.

The Great Outdoors: Applying for Fishing & Hunting Licenses is Easier with an App

It’s a new year and that means it’s time to get a new fishing or hunting license. In this week’s Great Outdoors, Gary Lewis says the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has an app for that. 

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.