Bend-La Pine School Officials Weigh Options for Protecting Staff and Students on Campus

With thousands of students speaking out Wednesday on National Walkout Day in Bend and across the country, Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton sat down with a member of the Bend-La Pine School District to discuss the challenges facing school administrators and teachers as they try to keep our students safe on campus.

The Great Outdoors: Huntington Wagon Road

Some signs of the original settlers of Central Oregon are still around, if you know where to look. For this week’s Great Outdoors, Brian Jennings takes you along the Huntington Wagon Road.

Thanks Brian for that report. 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.

School Walk Outs

Wednesday was declared “National Walkout Day” by students across the country who want to pay tribute to the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida High School shootings by walking out of their classrooms for 17 minutes on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy.

Students across the county walked out of classrooms and schools on Wednesday morning, all finding their own ways of honoring those students and teachers killed just a month ago.

In Bend walk outs were seen across town and students from all age groups participated. While Bend students say they felt supported by their school’s faculty that wasn’t the case for other students across the country.

Bend students did see their fair share of backlash on social media where they say people misunderstood their message.

Bend Students Plan to Walkout

Bend Teenagers Organizing a Wednesday Walkout to Pay Tribute to Parkland High School Shooting Victims

Wednesday has been declared “National Walkout Day” by students across the country who want to pay tribute to the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida High School shootings by walking out of their classrooms for 17 minutes on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy.

Supper Club: Reflecting on the Recent Legislative Session – Part 1

Several bills were passed during the fast and furious, short legislative session that was just completed in Salem, Oregon.

For this week’s Supper Club, Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel sat down with State Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Gene Whisnant to talk about the bills they were able to push through and some that will continue to be debated in 2019.

Thanks to Senator Knopp and Representative Whisnant for joining us.

A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsor, 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.

Ex-Boyfriend of Missing Woman Dies from Apparent Suicide

UPDATE MONDAY 11:34 A.M. – The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office confirmed this morning that Bryan Michael Penner died at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend Monday morning at 8:11 a.m.

“Without the heroic efforts of Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Deputies, a Corrections Nurse, and Emergency Medical Technicians from the Bend Fire Department, Penner would have died last night at the jail.  The focused, competent, and heroic efforts of this team of dedicated and professional public servants gave Penner a fighting chance for life,” said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel in a statement released Monday morning. 

 “We are thinking of Mr. Penner’s family,” said Corrections Captain Michael Shults in a statement. “Our staff are trained in the signs of suicide and suicide prevention.  Penner has been in the jail since February 22nd and showed no signs of being suicidal or having suicidal ideations.  After being evaluated by Sheriff’s Office mental health professionals, he was housed in a dorm setting.  Penner has been in the jail on ten occasions since 2007, most recently from December 11th, 2017 through January 6th, 2018, and has never shown any signs or indications of being a suicide risk.”

 Penner is the sole suspect in the disappearance of 24-year-old Sarah Gomez and, according to the District Attorney’s Office his death makes the search for her more challenging. 

“Unfortunately, as the search for Sarah extended from hours, to days, to weeks, it became obvious we are searching for her body and she will not be found alive,” said Hummel in his statement released Monday.  “With Penner’s passing our chances of quickly finding Sarah plummeted.  I encourage everyone in Deschutes County to report to law enforcement any suspicious tire tracks, earthen mounds, or other potential evidence they might see on their property.  Sarah’s family is counting on our community to bring her home.”

Authorities are still investigating the incident at the Deschutes County Jail on Sunday night that led to Penner’s death. According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office 31-year-old Penner was taken to St. Charles Bend after another inmate found him unconscious.

Penner was arrested in connection with the disappearance of 24-year-old Sara Gomez and remains in custody on a Contempt of Court charge.
The Sheriff’s Office released this statement at 3 a.m. Monday morning. 

“On March 11, 2018, at about 8:40 pm, Inmate Bryan Michael Penner was discovered by another Inmate after an apparent suicide attempt in one of the jail housing units. The Inmate then alerted corrections staff. Corrections deputies and a corrections nurse responded and immediately began life-saving efforts, which continued until emergency medical personnel with the Bend Fire Department arrived. The Bend Fire Department has transported Penner to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.”

According to the press release Sheriff Nelson said he had requested the Oregon State Police lead this investigation and the Deschutes County Major Incident Team will assist.

War Stories: Bob Sandberg

In our weekly War Stories series, we tell the stories of Central Oregon’s war veterans–some who made it back from their war and some who didn’t. This week, War Stories producer Warren Shultz introduces us to the story of Vietnam War veteran, Bob Sandberg

Thanks to Bob for sharing his story. A special thanks to Gary Gruner Chevrolet Buick GMC for sponsoring War Stories and giving us the time and resources to tell the stories of Central Oregon’s war veterans every Monday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Surviving a Tree Well

A Central Oregonian Shares His Story of Escaping a Harrowing Fall Into a Tree Well

Since the death of two Oregonians at Mt. Bachelor last week, officials there have put a priority on warning visitors about the dangers of tree wells. That’s why La Pine resident and longtime skier Jack Reynolds wanted to share his story with Central Oregon Daily’s Brian Jennings about the time he almost died in a tree well, because he hopes to help prevent future tragedies.

Ready to Rumble

Bend Fighter Makes His Professional Boxing Debut

Chris Johnson got a late start to his boxing career, making his first Golden Gloves appearance as a 22-year-old, but late last year, the 25-year-old Bend fighter became a father for the first time, and he decided that is was now or never, if he was ever going to take his shot at becoming a professional boxer.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom followed Chris “The Truth” Johnson, all the way from the opening days of training camp in Bend to the final bell of his first professional fight in Medford.

Source on the Scene: Oregon Observatory at Sunriver

In this week’s Source on the Scene, Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker takes us to the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver where stargazing is a year-round activity. Throughout the rest of the winter, the Observatory is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m., and admission is $10. You can find more information at their website at

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

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.