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”

 

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.

Decision Day

Central Oregon Student-Athletes Make Final Choices Among College Scholarship Offers

It’s that time of the year where student athletes all over Central Oregon are getting ready to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives – where to go to college.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan caught up with one of the most heavily-recruited football players in Bend, Mountain View High School’s Riley Straly, to see how he is weighing his options.
Riley says he is hoping to make a decision by the end of the week and as soon as he does, we will let all of you know so you know which team to root for this Fall!

Carpenter’s Run for Governor

Bend businessman Sam Carpenter is one of seven Republicans trying to become the first Republican to win an Oregon governor’s race in 30 years. Carpenter is one of two republicans from the east side of the Cascades, who is taking on the incumbent democrat, current governor Kate Brown

Right now Governor Kate Brown and Knute Buehler are the clear front-runners in the governor’s race if you are measuring strictly by the millions of dollars both candidates have raised so far for this race. However, Carpenter points to a poll taken in December that shows he would fare slightly better than Buehler in a head-to-head race with Brown.

Carpenter says he has laid the groundwork by meeting people all over the state and will now turn to the challenging task of catching up in the fundraising efforts, but added that money is not always the deciding factor. President Donald Trump spent the least amount of money of any of his primary and general election challenges and still went on to win the White House.

Origin Story: A Passion for Pillows

Creativity courses through the veins of Katie Lipson. She’s always loved creating and is now channeling her gift into home décor, by using textiles with stories. Some are historical, some are cultural, but Katie gives them all new life. In this week’s Origin Story, Allison Roecker hangs out with the ladies of Bryar Wolf

Every Sunday on Central Oregon Daily’s newest feature, Origin Story, Allison Roecker introduces us to a passionate person who is making their dreams come true. 

New Bill Could Ban Breeders from Pet Stores

A bill currently making its way through Salem could ban Oregon pet stores from selling pets from breeders in an effort to cut down on puppy mills. The bill would require pet stores to only sell animals from local humane societies or pet rescue groups or face fines up to $500.

Proponents of House Bill 4045 hope it would lead to more adoptions of shelter animals and cut off the demand for puppies from puppy mills, which are known for housing dogs in inhumane conditions.

“Anything that gets more shelter animals adopted is a good thing,” said Karen Burns of the Humane Society of Central Oregon. “Hopefully it’s going to deter the owners of those puppy mills from overbreeding their animals and hopefully this is a starting point of getting those puppy mills shut down.”

However, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council says that pet stores are already required to purchase pets from registered breeders. Currently those breeders are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Advisory Council also pointed out that rescue dogs don’t always come with health history or warrants.

“This bill does companion animals, per care professionals and prospective dog owners alike no good and plenty of harm,” said Mike Bober, president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. “Rescues and shelters do great work, but are not as highly regulated for animal welfare and consumer protection.”

Burns argues that dogs from puppy mills tend to have more health problems down the road due to overbreeding than many of the pets found in local shelters. Shelters also provide vaccines, spay and neuter services and vet checks for all of their animals.

A similar bill was passed in California and applies to dogs, cats and rabbits and is scheduled to take effect in January 2019. Oregon humane societies are pushing for cats to be included in House Bill 4045 as well.

 

Love Stories: Julie & Jacob

Sometimes, the Universe sends us a sign when we are with the right person. In this couple’s case, the Universe has been sending them signs for twelve years. Julie and Jacob share their incredible love story which all started with a feather. 

People from all over Central Oregon shared their love stories with Central Oregon Daily for a chance to win diamond jewelry from Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, a two-night romance package from Pronghorn Resort and roses from Donner Flower Shop.

See more love stories and vote for your favorite at zolomedia.com.

Love Stories: Shantae & Simeon

This couple describes their relationship as pure magic. From the moment he heard her sing for the first time they had a connection. But it wasn’t until years later, when they met at auditions for a musical at the Tower Theatre, that their love began to blossom. Now, they are embarking on the next chapter of their Happily Ever After.

People from all over Central Oregon shared their love stories with Central Oregon Daily for a chance to win diamond jewelry from Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, a two-night romance package from Pronghorn Resort and roses from Donner Flower Shop.

See more love stories and voter for your favorite at zolomedia.com.