The Great Outdoors: Riddle Brothers Ranch at Steens Mountain

After all these years, Eastern Oregon is still in many ways, Cowboy Country. For this week’s Great Outdoors, Brian Jennings takes us to the Riddle Brothers Ranch, a historic ranch that you can tour near the majestic Steens Mountain Wilderness.

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.

 

National Guard Trained for Fire Fighting Efforts

In the wake of fires burning throughout Oregon, Governor Kate Brown invoked the emergency conflagration act, authorizing the State Fire Marshal to mobilize resources to assist local resources battling the fire.

With those resources running slim, the Oregon National Guard has stepped in and trained over 400 citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen to serve as wildland firefighters.

Central Oregon Daily’s Warren Shultz has the story.

South Valley Fire

Residents in Dufur Threatened by Third Fire in Three Weeks

About 150 firefighters from around the state, as well as 150 local personnel, have responded to the rapidly growing South Valley Fire, which grew to more than 15,000 acres overnight. Crews worked overnight to build a fire line, and the fire is reported to be about five percent contained.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says at least 400 people are under the level 3 evacuation orders and at least 80 to 100 homes are threatened.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Highway 197 from milepost 14 to milepost 34 overnight while firefighters worked to control the flames. The highway has been re-opened in both directions and ODOT crews will continue to monitor fire activity in the area.

Officials say the fire is fueled by ponderosa pine, oak and wheat. Those dry fuels and steady winds over 45 miles per hour pushed the fire southeast.

The fire marshal’s office is currently investigating the fire as human-caused.

Destination Oregon: Freebridge Brewing in The Dalles

It’s not unusual to find new uses for old buildings. It happens all the time. In The Dalles two local entrepreneurs recently opened the town’s first brewery and you won’t believe what the building was originally built to be. 

In this week’s Destination Oregon report, sponsored by Bi-Mart, Dave Jones takes us to Freebridge Brewing in The Dalles.

 

First Five Debates Set for Oregon Gubernatorial Race

The first five debates for Oregon’s Gubernatorial race have been tentatively scheduled, beginning with the first one in Central Oregon. Governor Kate Brown and her Republican challenger, Knute Buehler, have accepted the following joint appearances.
A debate will be hosted by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association on July 20th in Central Oregon.
Children First for Oregon will host a debate in Portland in either late September or early October.
KOBI-NBC TVwill host an October 4th debate in Medford.
KGW-NBC TV will host a debate in Portland during the week of October 8th.
KATU-ABC and Portland State University will host a debate in Portland on October 15th.

Baby Bradley Heads Home

Three weeks after being found naked and alone in the woods south of Bend, one-year-old Bradley Michael Thomas was reunited with his family on Wednesday morning and is heading home to West Virginia.

On Tuesday, a judge awarded custody of Bradley to his maternal grandmother, Melissa Jordan. Jordan, along with Bradley’s mother, 19-year-old Katelin Thomas, and Bradley’s aunt, Lindsie Thomas are excited to head home after arriving in Bend weeks ago.

Bradley’s father, Brandon Blouin, is still in custody in the Deschutes County Jail on criminal charges related to the disappearance of and subsequent search for his son in the woods near China Hat Road on May 10.

Election 2018: Early Primary Results

RESULTS AS OF 9:12 PM, TUESDAY, MAY 15

GOVERNOR – REPUBLICAN
(134,247 votes counted)

Buehler – 49.84%
Carpenter – 27.52%
Wooldridge – 17.07%

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 2 – DEMOCRAT
(22,029 votes counted)

McLeod-Skinner 44.59%
Jenni Nearing 22.39%
Jim Crary 10.97%

STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 53 – REPUBLICAN

Jack Zika 54.43%
Ben Schimmoller 45.23%

STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 53 – DEMOCRAT

Eileen Kiely 71.77%
Bill Trumble 26.87%

DESCHUTES COUNTY COMMISSION POSITION 1
(6,433 votes counted)

Tony Debone – 72.07%
Ed Barbeau – 27.50%

DESCHUTES COUNTY COMMISSION POSITION 3
(6,646 votes counted)

Patti Adair – 51.85%
Tammy Baney – 47.97%

Gov. Brown Calls for Special Session on Tax Break

We’re learning more about a tax break being proposed by Governor Kate Brown, and it’s the reason why she has called a special session for later this month on May 21st.
Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel has the details.

Last week, the Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) estimated that the proposed tax break would provide between 11 and 13 million dollars in tax breaks annually to about 12,000 businesses known as sole proprietors, or about four percent of the businesses in that category.

The LRO also found that more than 40 percent of the tax savings will go to sole proprietorship’s that make more than 500,000 dollars a year.

Under the current tax break proposal as it stands now, the tax rate on income from sole proprietorship’s would drop from nine percent to as low as seven percent.

Annual Wolf Report Released After the Death of Two Wolves

Biologists for the Oregon department of Fish and Wildlife released their annual wolf report today, just days after staffers for the agency killed two wolves in Eastern Oregon after confirmed depredations on livestock in Baker County.
Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel joins us with details from today’s meeting.

The biologist says so far that the depredations in 2018 have only come from the Pine Creek pack and it doesn’t necessarily indicate a larger trend across the state.The commission had originally planned on voting on a new revised wolf plan in January, but after hearing from multiple sides of the debate, Commissioners decided to delay that vote.
Commissioners now believe that August is the earlies they will have a revised plan in place.

Making a Threat a Felony

State Senator Calls for Tougher Oregon Laws to Combat School Threats

On the same day that the Bend-La Pine Schools superintendent issued a call for action to address recent threats against Bend schools, State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) introduced an amendment to add the crime of Threatening to Commit a Terroristic Act to Oregon’s criminal statute.
Similar to existing laws in other states, the law would criminalize making a terroristic threat, which is the threat to commit a crime that will result in great bodily harm, regardless of whether the person intended to carry out the threat. This would help prosecutors charge individuals who don’t fall under disorderly conduct, menacing, or harassment statues and creates a criminal penalty commensurate with the harm caused by such a threat.
The amendment is supported by Deschutes County DA John Hummel, Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, and the Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson.
Earlier on Monday, Mikalson issues a letter to parents and students at all Bend-La Pine Schools in what he deemed a “call of action” to protect teachers and students at schools.
One of the action items he recommended was creating a “terroristic threat” crime which would be classified as a felony.