Redmond’s mayoral candidates were at the Redmond Proficiency Academy Wednesday morning for a public forum organized, moderated and attended mostly by students. Current mayor George Endicott and former mayor Ed Fitch answered questions about how they plan to prepare the City of Redmond for the future.
Central Oregon Daily’s Cydney McFarland attended Wednesday’s forum and has more on the story.
ODOT Officals Look to Educate Drivers Before Deer Migration
With mule deer migrating across Central Oregon, now is a dangerous time for both drivers and wildlife. Oregon Department of Transportation officials are hoping to educate drivers about how to stay safe on the road, and they are looking into new ways to keep wildlife off the road in order to keep everyone a little safer this season.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the story.
42-year-old Redmond resident Joshua Horner was convicted in March of 2017 for sexually abusing his daughter and sentenced to 50 years in prison. However, after an investigation by the Oregon Innocence Project revealed some inaccuracies in his daughter’s testimony, the conviction was overturned and Horner was released today after a year behind bars. Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel has more on how Horner came to be a free man again.
Protesters Call For Walden Town Hall
While Congressman Greg Walden was in Central Oregon this weekend for a barbeque to honor area veterans, a caravan of protesters were in Bend calling for Walden to host a town hall.
Walden hasn’t hosted a town hall in 500 days and has not responded to his opponent’s calls for a debate before the election. Democratic candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner has a debate planned for this Friday in Medford and has invited Walden to attend.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan talked to Walden on Saturday to get his response to his critics.
Several fire crews with support from helicopters and air tankers were on the scene of multiple brush fires west of Redmond Friday afternoon.
The fires broke out within about a mile of each other along State Highway 126, prompting the closure of a six-mile stretch of the highway, as crews tackled them on the ground and by air.
The fires were reported around 1:30 today in the area of milepost 101 to 103. However, the quick response from multiple agencies allowed crews to contain the fires to only 11 acres. No structures were threatened and no evacuations were ordered.
Sheriff Shane Nelson told Central Oregon Daily that a malfunctioning vehicle could have sparked the fires accidentally, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
ODOT said highway 126 was closed between milepost 98 and 104 and urged motorists to avoid the area. One lane of the highway was opened just after 6 pm but it will likely remain partially closed until 9 pm tonight as crews work to mop-up hot spots along the highway.
Voters in Redmond will have a chance to vote on a school bond measure in November after the school board approved a $69.7 million bond proposal.
At the school board meeting Wednesday night, the Redmond School District board of directors unanimously approved a resolution to place the bond proposal on the ballot.
If passed about half of the nearly $70 million would immediately go toward the designing and building of a new elementary school to replace the over 50-year-old M.A. Lynch Elementary. The district hopes that with the bond funds, construction could start as early as summer 2019 and students could be in classrooms by summer 2020.
The money from the bond would also go towards district-wide capital repairs and security improvements to classrooms and school facilities, like secure school entrances and upgrading or installing security cameras at each of their 15 facilities.
The school board’s resolution also includes the establishment of a citizen oversight committee, an independent citizen-led body in charge of monitoring the planned improvements, progress and schedule of costs of the bond program.
Property owners in the Redmond School District are currently paying $2.45 per thousand of assessed value. The proposed $70 million bond would cost taxpayers an additional $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed value, making the total anticipated rate $2.99 per thousand of assessed value.
Evacuation Orders for Neighbors Lifted
On Tuesday afternoon a structure fire north of Redmond was reported in the 2500 block of NW Rimrock Lane. A house had caught fire and the embers ignited brush near the home and threatened neighboring properties. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office called for an evacuation of neighbors but the orders were lifted only a few hours later thanks to the work of numerous local fire crews who got the blaze under control.
So far no injuries have been reported but the residence that caught fire is a complete loss, no other properties were damaged.
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