Deschutes County Sheriff Talks IP 43

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson is taking a stand against a gun control proposal that could end up on the November ballot in Oregon.
Initiative Petition 43 has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office, and supporters are trying to get the signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Sheriff Nelson on Monday to ask him about his public opposition to IP 43.

The Sheriff added that, while he doesn’t weigh in on every issue, he commented on the initiative because citizens asked for his opinion on the matter. 

With the initiative quickly becoming a topic of discussion, he decided it was time to make a public statement.

Rajneeshee Ranch

It’s been more than 30 years since the followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh abandoned a 64-thousand acre property in Central Oregon near Antelope. 
Today, there is a renewed interest in the Rajneeshees and the ranch they occupied because of a popular new Netflix documentary called “Wild, Wild Country.”

Central Oregon Daily’s Brian Jennings headed out to the ranch to visit with the new owners of the land for tonight’s Cover Story.

The Search for Sara Continues

It’s been nearly two months since Bend resident Sara Gomez was last seen, and even though the prime suspect in her disappearance is now dead, Sara’s family and friends continue to look for her.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed has been following this case from the beginning and caught up with the family today as they get ready for another search this weekend.

Bend police detectives are also still taking tips and hope to come up with any new clues in the case.

Sheriff Nelson Speaks Out Against Assault Weapons Ban

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson spoke out against a proposed gun control measure that could be on the November ballot in Oregon this year.

The organizers behind Initiative Petition 43 met the original deadline of 1,000 signatures by last month, but they will need more than 88,000 valid signatures by July 6th to put the measure on the November ballot.

I.P. 43 is a measure that proposes restrictions on the sale, production and ownership of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. If the measure makes it on the ballot and is passed by voters in November, Oregon residents who currently own an assault weapon would be required to either register the gun with the state, sell it to a registered gun dealer, remove the gun from the state, render the gun inoperable or hand it over to law enforcement.

Under I.P. 43 an assault weapon would be any semi-automatic rifles or pistol with a detachable magazine, semi-automatic shotguns with grip and stock modifications and semi-automatic rifles under 30 inches in length. High capacity magazines are defined as any feeding device that holds more than ten rounds.

The petition was started after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida and has gained support from local activists and organizers of the ‘March for Our Lives.’

The petition has sparked push back from gun advocates across the state and on Friday, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson posted this statement to his Facebook page:

“As your Sheriff, I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Oregon. In addition to this, I swore to perform the duties of Deschutes County Sheriff to the best of my ability. I support and defend the Second Amendment and oppose IP 43.

I serve the 190,000 citizens of our great county and am charged with public safety. Our office has issued over 14,000 concealed handgun licenses and I firmly believe that every responsible and accountable law abiding citizen who wants to legally own a firearm should do so. Firearms have their lawful place in society and are an important tool in personal protection and ensuring public safety in our county.

I understand the concerns of school violence across the country and the role law enforcement plays. Oregon has a number of laws on the books regarding background checks and age restrictions related to the purchase of a firearm. These laws prohibit the sale of firearms to convicted felons, those convicted of misdemeanor crimes involving violence, those adjudicated as mentally ill, those who have been committed as the result of a Mental Commitment Hearing, those with an active felony warrant, active out of state misdemeanor warrant and those on pretrial release for a felony.

Our office continues to take all threats seriously, and we appropriately vet them in partnership with our DA’s Office, mental health professionals, other law enforcement agencies, our schools, and others in the public safety sector. We immediately respond to, investigate threats of violence or danger, and hold people accountable. We are committed to keeping our children and community safe. Deputies of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will always respond to assist and protect the citizens we serve, but you must be prepared to appropriately take care of you and your family until we can get there.”

 

 

Signing Day

Nine Student-Athletes From Mountain View High School Commit to Colleges

It is that time of the year when student-athletes across the country commit to the colleges and universities who are offering them scholarships, and today was signing day at Mountain View High School. 

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom chatted with a few of the students and Anyssa Bohanan caught up with football player Riley Straly who has fielded numerous offers before signing a letter of intent to go to Independence Community College in Kansas.

You’ll still have an opportunity to see Riley play before he heads to Kansas later this summer. He’s just one of 36 players from across the state of Oregon that’s been invited to be a part of the Les Schwab Bowl which is taking place June 16th.

 

NAME

COLLEGE

LOCATION

SPORT

Camri Reinhart

Azusa Pacific

California

Acro-tumbling

Taiton Fox

Austin College

TEXAS

WATER POLO

Brandt Waller

GEORGE FOX

NEWBERG

FOOTBALL

Riley Straly

Independence Community College

Kansas

FOOTBALL

Matt Van Tassell

OIT

Klamath Falls

Basketball

Reed Sehorn Hurst

Whitworth

Spokane

Track

Aja Perks

Pacific University

Forest Grove, OR

Volleyball

Violet Mills

New Hope Christian College

Eugene

Volleyball

Kayla Berg

Wenatchee Valley

Wenatchee, WA

Softball

Increased Enforcement for Marijuana Grows

County Commissioners Hoping to Add Two New Enforcement Positions

After months of discussion with state, county and city officials the Deschutes County Commissioners made a first step today in addressing the ongoing issues with marijuana enforcement and regulations in Deschutes County.

County staff confirmed today that they will be looking into the hiring and funding of two new law enforcement positions as part of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, known as CODE.
This was an idea proposed and supported by both County Commissioners and Bend City Councilors at a joint meeting held last week.

While CODE serves a tri-county area, these two positions would focus solely on enforcement in Deschutes County. The cost of hiring will likely be split, one going to the City of Bend for a police officer position and one would be a deputy sheriff position paid for by Deschutes County.

Commissioners also discussed raising the applications fees for marijuana grows in order to cover the cost of the extra time and effort county staff to deal with the complicated applications and the appeals that often follow.

Commissioners also floated the idea of putting a temporary pause on the processing of marijuana applications in order to clarify and fill in gaps in the current county code, but they are expected discuss those ideas in depth next week.

Climber Dies After Fall at Smith Rock

 

Misery Ridge, a popular hiking trail at Smith Rock State Park, was closed for several hours on Tuesday morning after a hiker died in the area. 

A man, now identified as 20-year-old Central Oregon resident and climber Alex Reed, fell roughly 200 feet from the top of the Misery Ridge Trail and was dead when first responders arrived. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said Reed feel while hiking but was carrying climbing gear.

A group of hikers said they heard Reed yell when he fell and found his body at the bottom of the ridge. Reed was hiking alone at the time of the fall and the Sheriff’s Department as deemed his fall accidental.

Twelve Deschutes County Search and Rescue volunteers assisted in removing the body due to the difficult terrain. Deputies were also assisted by the Smith Rock State Park Rangers and volunteers as well as the Redmond Fire Department.

 

Wildhaven Preserve May Become Part of Deschutes National Forest

The Wildhaven Preserve north of Sisters is currently managed by the Nature Conservancy could soon be under new management as part of the Deschutes National Forest.

The Nature Conservancy has confirmed talks with the Forest Service. Catherine MacDonald, the Nature Conservancy’s director of policy and external affairs, said they were excited by the Forest Service’s idea to use the land for environmental education – specifically children’s programs.

However new management could mean more human encroachment on what is currently 160-acres of wilderness.

 

The land is home to elk, deer and wild turkey and, with no hunting allowed on the preserve, those animals only have to worry about natural predators like bear, cougar, coyotes, bobcats and lynx.

This change concerns Mark and Leslyn Grape, who have been caretakers of the Wildhaven Preserve for 20 years. The Grapes said their biggest concern is allowing hunters back on to the land.

Mark Grape said he has had unsavory interactions with hunters and has found skinned or mutilated animal carcasses left on the property.

“Not everyone who comes into the outdoors comes with an open heart,” said Mark Grape.

The Grapes said the land has also maintained natural grasses and boasts old growth juniper trees – some up to 1,250 years old – which are important habitat for local wildlife.

The Grapes added that this isn’t what the land was meant for when it was donated to the Nature Conservancy by Gil and Vivian Staender. The couple who hoped it would be shared with the public but maintained as a natural environment.

This change hits home for the Grapes, who have maintained the land while living in the historic cabin built by the Staenders. The Grapes were told they need to be out by June 18.

“It totally breaks out heart,” said Mark Grape.

The Nature Conservancy has said nothing is final but talks with the Forest Servie will continue next Monday.

Small Businesses React to Law that Eliminates Tax Break

How One Business Owner is Responding to the News

Small business owners across the state are weighing in on a new Oregon law that will eliminate a state tax break that they would have received in conjunction with the new federal tax reform. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan looks at how one local business owner is handling the news.

Governor Brown is calling for a special session this summer to try to extend the preferred tax rate that the state already offers more small business owners like Jennifer and it could happen as early as June.

New Meetings Announce for Sisters Visioning Project

Sisters Country Horizons Launches Next Phase of Public Engagement

The meetings are a continuation of public engagement activities that began with interviews of community leaders in February and March and an online community survey launched in March and running through the end of April.

About a dozen meetings will be conducted in and around the city of Sisters as well as more rural areas of Sisters Country. Meetings are free and open to the public.

• Thursday, April 12, 6:30-8 p.m., Sisters Camp Sherman Fire District
• Tuesday, April 17, 9:30-11 a.m., Sisters Library, Library Meeting Room
• Tuesday, April 24, 2:30-4 p.m., Sisters Library, Library Meeting Room
• Thursday, April 26, 5:30-7 p.m., Sisters Park & Recreation District
• Wednesday, May 2, 6:30-8 p.m., Sisters City Hall, Council Chambers (in conjunction
with Sisters VFW)
• Wednesday, May 2, 6:30-8 p.m., Plainview, Sisters Church of the Nazarene
• Thursday, May 3, 3-4:30 p.m., Aspen Lakes, Brand 33 Lodge
• Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-8 p.m., Tollgate Community Center

Several additional meetings, including a meeting with members of Sisters’ Latino community, are in the process of being scheduled.

Every community meeting will last approximately 90 minutes and engage participants in a series of questions similar to those used in the interviews and online survey. Due to the large number of venues, the meetings should be smaller in their attendance numbers with more opportunity for comment.

For more information visit the Sisters Country Horizons website at www.sistershorizons.org or email info@sistershorizons.org. You can also like the project at www.facebook.com/sistershorizons/.