• Expect a lot more smoke in Central Oregon the next 2 days

    Posted on in category LocaltaggedCentral Oregon , Local , Smoke , Summer , Weather , What’s Trending , Wildfire , Wildfires

    The Cedar Creek Fire will create lots of smoke for Central Oregon. Learn more here.

    The Cedar Creek Fire burning on the Willamette National Forest grew to 18,143 acres Tuesday and a Red Flag Warning could cause it to grow.

    People in Central Oregon should expect a lot more smoke in the next couple of days. It could reach “unhealthy for sensitive groups” level.

    “The elderly or pretty much just anyone who has trouble breathing, even younger folks. Those are the people we include in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups,’” said Dan Byrd, an air resource adviser working on the Cedar Creek Fire.

    Central Oregon Fire Info says a Red Flag Warning has been issued for hot, dry…

  • Art in Public Places announces sculptures chosen for two new Bend roundabouts

    Posted on in category LocaltaggedArt , bend , Community , Deschutes , Local , Roundabout , What’s Trending

    Two Bend roundabouts will have new art soon! Learn more here.

    BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Art in Public Places said Wednesday it has awarded two public art commissions for the sculpture designs that were recently on view for the Empire Avenue /Butler Market Road/27th Street roundabout and the Powers Road/Brookswood Boulevard roundabout.    

    Michael Stutz will create his proposed sculpture Golden Squirrel’s Wondrous World for the Empire Avenue/Butler Market Road/27th Street roundabout.

    The woven steel wheel connects the timber mills from Bend’s past, the rolling wheels of cars, and a hamster wheel — humorously representing the routine of daily life. Inside the wheel are silicon bronze strips in blue and green hues where the sunlight will sparkle through the openings.…

  • ‘Stunning’: Deschutes County’s population grows by nearly 29% since 2010, double that of Portland area

    Posted on in category Localtaggedbend , Central Oregon , Deschutes , Economy , Growth , Local , News , Politics , What’s Trending

    Deschutes County’s population has a grown nearly 29% since 2010. Read more here.

    SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Central Oregon’s counties have been three of the four fastest-growing in the state since 2010, with Deschutes County’s nearly 29% growth rate more than twice that of the Portland area, a state economist said Monday.

    Here’s the report from Oregon Employment Department economist Jessica Nelson:

    In 2021, Oregon’s population increased by 22,769 to 4,266,620. This marked growth of 0.5% over the year and growth of 11.4% since the 2010 Census, close to the rate of growth over the prior decade from 2000 to 2010 as well. Portland State University’s Population Research Center recently released more detailed information on why this population growth has…

  • New home sales fall 12.6% in July as rising prices take a toll

    Posted on in category Localtaggedbend , Deschutes , Local , Market , National , News , Real Estate , What’s Trending

    Rising prices take a toll on the new housing market. Learn more here.

    By Anna Bahney, CNN Business

    New home sales plunged in July as high prices and mortgage rates pushed buyers to think twice about closing the deal.

    Sales of newly constructed homes fell by 12.6% in July from June and were down 29.6% from a year ago, according to a joint report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau. It was the second consecutive month of declines.

    Only 511,000 new homes were sold last month, at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down from a revised 585,000 in June. That’s the lowest sales number since January 2016. A year ago, 726,000 newly…

  • Bend’s summer tourism numbers are down slightly, Visit Bend says

    Posted on in category Localtaggedbend , Hotels , Local , Tourism , Travel , Visit Bend , What’s Trending

    Fewer people are visiting Bend this summer than last. Learn more here.

    Visit Bend says hotel occupancy rates are down 10 per cent.

    BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – You may not notice it as many favorite spots are still crowded but Visit Bend says fewer people are visiting this summer than in prior years.

    “We track the number of hotel rooms occupied each week. This summer we’re averaging 18 thousand compared to last summer when it was closer to 20 thousand,” Visit Bend CEO Kevney Dugan explained.

    Dugan cites higher gas prices and international travel as reasons for the reduction in tourists.

    While the number of rooms booked has dropped 10 per cent, Dugan says revenue is still strong as…

  • ODOT: Work set to begin this fall on $121.9 million Bend North Corridor Project on Hwys. 20, 97

    Posted on in category Localtaggedbend , Deschutes , Highways , HWY 97 , Infrastructure , Local , ODOT , Projects , Trending , What’s Trending

    Work on Bend’s North corridor of Highway 97 begins this fall. Find out more here.

    Realignment to the east will turn existing 97 into Third Street extension; two roundabouts, paths, bike lanes

    BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Work begins this fall on the long-awaited Bend North Corridor project. This $121.9 million project aims to improve safety, mobility and accessibility while relieving congestion on the north end of town from Empire Avenue to just beyond Cooley Road on both U.S. Highways 20 and 97.

    Project features include;

    Multi-use paths, wider bike lanes, a new bus stop, lower speed limits and enhanced pedestrian and bike crossings throughout the project area. These features will allow everyone safe and efficient access to the…
  • Company scraps lithium project in Oregon’s Alvord Desert

    A lithium mining project in the Alvord Desert has been called quits. Learn more here.

    An Australian company is calling it quits on a lithium project in southeast Oregon’s Alvord Desert.

    The Reedy Lagoon Corporation, a mineral explorer based outside Melbourne, announced Friday that it would stop work on its project near the town of Fields, Oregon, after finding out the land was off limits to new mining.

    It’s the second lithium project to flop in Harney County this summer as companies look to cash in on the United States’ hunger for the mineral known as “white gold.” Lithium is the main ingredient in batteries for…

  • Developer of disputed Thornburgh Resort withdraws request to buy 400 acres of state land

    Posted on in category LocaltaggedBuilding , Deschutes , Development , Local , Politics , Resorts , Thornburgh , Trending

    Developer of Thornburgh Resort withdraws request to purchase 400 acres of public land. Find out more here.

    Kameron DeLashmutt says he doesn’t need to buy land, since he already leases it; foes call move a ‘big win’

    REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The developer of the controversial Thornburgh Resort west of Redmond said Monday he has withdrawn a much-criticized request to buy 400 acres of public land held in trust by the state School Fund – because he doesn’t need to, having already leased the property for 17 years.

    Department of State Lands Communications Officer Liane O’Neil confirmed that “Central Land and Cattle Company has elected to withdraw their application” for the Cline Buttes Tract, so it has been removed…

  • Oregon electric utilities file first state-required wildfire mitigation plans with PUC

    Posted on in category LocaltaggedFire , Local , Politics , Power , What’s Trending

    Electric companies throughout Oregon are filing Wildfire Mitigation Plans. Learn more here.

    SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Electric utilities across Oregon have filed their first state-required Wildfire Mitigation Plans, designed to prevent and mitigate wildfire risk, with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, the agency said Friday.

    The WMPs are the first to be filed since Senate Bill 762 passed during the 2021 legislative session, requiring plans for all electric utilities providing service in Oregon.

    Senate Bill 762 established formal standards for electric utility wildfire mitigation plans, including the information utilities are required to include.

    Plans must identify areas at high-risk for wildfires within the utility’s service territory and actions to minimize those risks, as well as protocols for implementing public safety…

  • Central Oregon’s St. Charles lays off 2 top executives as patients face rationed care

    Posted on in category LocaltaggedCentral Oregon , Health , Hospitals , Local , St. Charles , Trending

    St. Charles lays off two top executives and rations patient care. Learn more here.

    By Joni Auden Land (OPB)

    Medical providers at the region’s only hospital system now must scrutinize patient admissions and move people out of the hospital faster, “sometimes uncomfortably early.”

    St. Charles Health System laid off two of its most highly paid executives this week, the latest departures from the Central Oregon hospital system’s leadership as staff shortages lead to a rationing of care.

    The health system eliminated the positions of Chief Physician Executive Jeff Absalon and Senior Vice President Strategy Rod Marchiando this week. The layoffs were an effort to reduce costs…

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