Active Threat Training

Ten people, two teachers and eight students, were shot and killed in a high school in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday when 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire in Santa Fe High School. The shooting is the 22nd school shooting this year that involved injuries or fatalities.

While the events that unfolded on Friday are tragic, authorities say it could’ve been worse if not for the two armed resource offices inside the school who engaged with Pagourtzis.

Instances like the one in Santa Fe are the reason that emergency responders prepare themselves with active shooter trainings like the one at Sisters High School on Saturday.

Deschutes County first responders, including Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire, U.S. Forest Service and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, all participated in the drill. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the training.

Hundreds of Trees to be Cut Down Along Highway 20

An effort to clear Highway 20 of weeds and shrubbery along the roadway ended up having unintended consequences, and now, several hundred ponderosa pine trees are scheduled to be taken down north of Sisters in the fall. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has the story.

The Forest Service is taking public comments on the tree removal project. You can make a comment via e-mail to the forest service or you can talk to the Sisters Ranger District’s environmental planner at 541-549-7735. Comments will be taken for the next 30 days.

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.

Sisters Launches Survey on Growth

The city of Sisters is launching a new project called “Sisters Country Horizon”, and they want community and visitor input as they try to envision and grow the area.

Despite a rough summer for the small town, with major tourist attractions like the Sisters Folk Festival being cancelled due to wildfires, the city is looking ahead. On Thursday Sisters launched a new survey for citizens and visitors asking what they envision for the small town as it continues to grow. 

Sisters residents said they are hoping for something to bring tourists into town during the winter months and more affordable housing for residents as the small town continues to grow.

The results of the survey will be released at community forums in June. To take the survey and give your input, head online to www.sistershorizons.org

Affordable Housing Projects Break Ground

The communities of La Pine and Sisters are about to get two new housing options. 
Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed was at both of the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new townhomes on Tuesday and has the details on who will be eligible to rent them.

Property Management will take applications for the properties about two to three months before completion which is expected to be next Spring in 2019.

Surfing Legend Opens New Business in Central Oregon

Surfing legend Laird Hamilton knows a little something about competing in extreme sports, and he’s bringing that knowledge to his new business venture being headquartered right here in Central Oregon.

For tonight’s cover story, Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker looks at how Hamilton and his business partner, with Laird Superfood, are trying to make a splash in another extreme sport, to tell the story of how Hamilton has gone from surfing to Sisters.

The Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute

Stand-up comedians Roger Kabler and Marc Price stopped by the afternoon edition of Central Oregon Daily for a sneak preview of their Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute show, playing for one night only in Sisters on Saturday night at the outdoor venue at Hardtails Bar and GrillMarc Skippy Price is a longtime comic who first burst on the national scene as Skippy in “Family Ties,” and Roger Kabler is a talented stand-up with a menagerie of impressions, but he is honing his skills for this show to portray the brilliant mind of legendary comic, Robin Williams.