Girl dies on Warm Springs Reservation; brother, 12, tried to scare her with rifle

WARM SPRINGS – A 13-year-old girl living on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation was shot and killed Wednesday evening by her 12-year-old brother, who was trying to scare her with a rifle when it accidentally went off, tribal police reported Thursday.

Tribal Police Chief Don Courtney declined to identify the victim or her brother or indicate the boy’s status late Thursday. The two both attended Jefferson County Middle School in Madras, he acknowledged.

Police responded around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday to a call that a resident had been shot in the Seeksequa area, south of Warm Springs. They found the girl not breathing and unconscious, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, Courtney said.

Investigators determined there had been a family altercation before the shooting too place, he said. The girl’s brother “attempted to scare the victim with a rifle when the weapon discharged,” according to the police report. Warm Springs Indian Health Service and crisis intervention teams responded to the shooting scene and the girl’s body was taken to a Madras funeral home. Courtney said the Warm Springs Police and the FBI are continuing their investigation. (The FBI investigates deaths on Indian reservations).

It’s not the first tragedy to befall a young person on the close-knit Warm Springs Reservation ( this year. A 4-year-old boy, Andres Saragos, died on July 13 when he was left alone for nine hours in a car parked outside tribal headquarters while his foster mother, Tamera Coffee, worked inside. An autopsy showed the boy died of heat stroke.

Coffee, a tribal member, pleaded not guilty 13 days later to a charge of second-degree murder and was freed pending a trial in U.S. District Court, now scheduled for January.

COCC news: Holiday closures; student scholar nominees

Dec. 1, 2000

Central Oregon Community College will be closed Saturday, Dec. 23,
through Monday, Jan. 1. The Admissions and Enrollment Services and
Community Education departments will be closed Friday, Dec. 22.
The COCC Library and its computer lab will be closed Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17,
Jan. 6 and 7. It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 to 15, Dec. 18 to
22 and Jan. 2 to 5.. The library and lab will be closed for the holidays
Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.
The Pioneer computer lab will be closed Dec. 9 through Jan. 7.
The college bookstore will be closed Dec. 25 through Jan. 1.
The first day of winter-term classes will be Tuesday, Jan. 2. Community
Education classes begin Monday, Jan. 8.
For information, call 383-7700.


December 1, 2000

Central Oregon Community College is offering several sessions to help
incoming students prepare for college. Placement tests and “Next Steps”
orientation programs will be offered Dec. 4, 5 and 6.
The two-hour ASSET placement test measures current skills in reading,
writing and math and is used to determine the correct level of course
work. It is required for students who intend to pursue a college degree or
certificate, and for those planning to enroll in math, writing, or other
courses requiring placement scores for registration. Results are available
after the Next Steps session.
The one-hour “Next Steps” session, which follows the placement test,
offers an orientation to the college and some helpful hints about planning
a course of study. The session is mandatory for all new students who plan
to earn
a degree or certificate.
There is no charge for these services, but reservations are required. For
more information about times and locations or to reserve a seat, contact
the COCC Counseling office at 383-7515. To register online, go to
Anyone wishing to attend this event who has special needs resulting
from a physical disability should contact Gene Zinkgraf, ADA coordinator,
least three days in advance of the event. He can be reached at 383-7775 or
through the college’s TTY number, 383-7708.

December 1, 2000

Central Oregon Community College has selected seven nominees for the 2001
“All-State Academic Team.” The event, organized by the Oregon Community
College Association, recognizes community college students for their
academic achievement, leadership and service.
Lila Black, Carol Fagan, Kathy Jenevin, Nicholas Lane, Nicole Raasina,
Deborah Stumpf and Sue Smith were selected to represent the college.
Black, who is completing an associate of arts degree in liberal arts, has
maintained a 3.88 grade-point average. Five of her seven design projects
were accepted into the COCC juried art show last spring.
Fagan has earned a 3.97 grade-point average while working on a degree in
nursing. She has volunteered to help other students through study groups
and also works as a tutor.
Jenevin, who currently works as a licensed practical nurse at St. Charles
Medical Center, plans to work in cardiac rehabilitation to combine her
degrees in health education and nursing.
A math major, Lane has earned a 3.77 grade-point average while
serving with several community organizations.
Raasina is pursuing an associate of science degree in nursing. She is a
guest lecturer in genetics for high school biology classes and tutors
math, biology, genetics, biochemistry and microbiology.
Stumpf has earned a 3.83 grade-point average while working on an
associate of arts degree and plans to major in education.
A fine arts major, Sue Smith has earned a 4.0 grade-point average and
goes out of her way to help other students.

Cat killed in NE Bend townhouse fire may have started blaze

A pet cat that died in a northeast Bend townhouse fire Wednesday night may have caused his own demise by accidentally knocking an afghan blanket off the couch and onto a unshaded lamp, investigators said Thursday.

Fire Marshal Gary Marshall said investigators believe the cat either knocked the small blanket off the back of the leather couch and onto the lamp, or it fell there accidentally in some other manner. But the blanket and lamp have been identified as the apparent cause of the blaze in Unit 3 of the two-story fourplex at 2305 NE Holiday Avenue, reported just before 8 p.m.

The blaze caused an estimated $60,000 in damage to the structure, which was insured, and $10,000 to the contents, which were not, officials said. The lamp – with no shade on it — was sitting on the floor between the back of the couch and an interior wall.

“They bought the lamp used, and it didn’t come with a shade. So this (placement behind the couch) is how they apparently kept the light from glaring directly in their face,” Marshall said. The cat loved that area.”

“We’ve had fires before where animals knocked over lamps and started the fire. This is a concern we tell people about, if they do have things that can be knocked over which are hot in nature.”

The first arriving fire crews found the townhouse heavily involved with fire and smoke. Bend police had arrived earlier and opened the front door to see if there were any occupants trapped inside, then retreated due to heavy smoke and for their own safety, Marshall said.

The fire crews, which eventually totaled 18 personnel, quickly knocked down the flames in the living room area and also continued to extinguish hidden blaze in the attic area to keep the fire from reaching other units, which only received some minor smoke damage, Marshall said. The large, 15-pound cat apparently died of smoke inhalation, he added.

Neighborhood association effort begins to take shape

The next step in making Bend’s new Neighborhood Association Program a reality took place this week as more than a dozen interested individuals from across the city gathered with coordinator Sharon Leighty to help chart the course.

The group hopes to build on the energy and enthusiasm expressed by more than 130 people who packed Hollinshead Barn a month ago for the city’s first “Neighborhood Summit” (see’s story on that event at

Among those on hand at Monday night’s session were newcomers and oldtimers, Westsiders and Eastsiders, all interested in helping give residents a bigger voice in city affairs through creation of the neighborhood associations found in most larger Northwest cities. While some had more personal reasons for taking part – Bee Meister, a 36-year resident, is worried that connecting 15th Street to Highway 20 will make it “a thoroughfare like 27th Street” – many expressed hope that the neighborhood groups will move beyond short-term crises and political agendas to deeply influence city priorities for the long term.

Greg Hoshovsky, who lives near Pilot Butte, said there “doesn’t seem to be good communication with the city” and its residents, while Chuck Robinson, a retired teacher, said his 30 years in Vancouver, Wash., convinced him of the value of neighborhood associations: “I believe in them,” he said. “I’ve seen them work. Others involved include retired Forest Service log scaler Mike Lovely, recent City Council candidate Shawn Corrigan and former Deschutes County lawyer Bruce White, who helped form Bend’s first formal neighborhood association in Old Town several years ago.

Darcy McNamara, who recently left the directorship of the Bend Riverway Project, shared a common concern – that the neighborhood association effort not simply result in a lot more meetings – something everyone can do with as few of as possible. Another overriding factor sought by those in attendance and backed up by Leighty is to keep the process of forming and running neighborhood associations as simple as possible, with city assistance in the form of sample bylaws, newsletters and the like. Otherwise, burnout very well could ensue and some neighborhoods will suffer sharp rises and declines in involvement.

The 130 folks attending the summit were “pretty broad based,” geographically, said Leighty, who has been working with a database to break down those involved by which potential neighborhood group they would be part of. “The weakest area (in attendance) was the Awbrey Butte area,” she said, adding that she has yet to complete the work and that perhaps they stuck fewer “sticky notes” on their part of the maps.

Brainstorming abounds early in neighborhood association process

Early issues range from the size of possible neighborhood associations – not too large and unwieldy, yet not too small and fragmented – to laying out the benefits of such groups, such as potential grant offerings, as well as explaining the differences between neighborhood associations and existing homeowner associations. Those on hand Monday night suggested a variety of benefits, including a full-time advocate for public involvement at City Hall who also can answer questions for citizens, find out the answers or connect them to the right person or department to respond to a concern. Another idea is a “handbook to city government,” in print and online.

Leighty also is meeting with city legal officials to determine whether the rules require that neighborhood groups, usually formed as nonprofit organizations, must follow Oregon’s open meetings law, in terms of public notice, minutes and the like.

Everyone left with a predictably large stack of paper to review, including a draft neighborhood association handbook, a list of possible neighborhood association requirements, details about the city of Milwaukie’s neighborhood matching grant program, Portland’s policy on neighborhood newsletters and various cities’ codes and guidelines. Two more meetings are planned at the Bend-La Pine School Administration Building, 520 NW Wall St., Room 312, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Monday, Jan. 8, before Leighty presents some recommendations to the new city council, likely in February.

Leighty can be contacted at 312-4912 or via e-mail at .

School news: La Pine HS catapult contest; Pilot Butte kids tackle hunger

Wednesday, November 29, 2000 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Catapult Contest at La Pine High School

Students at La Pine High School will measure their own ingenuity against the
forces of gravity as their fling sacks of flour with their hand built
catapults, 10:40 a.m. on Dec. 1. Teams of students from the physics class
and the applied art/tech class will have two tries to throw their flour
sacks the farthest. The contest is not only fun, but has given the students
the chance to apply some sound scientific principals, said science teacher
Erika Schmid.

“It integrates concepts that we use in physics,” she said. “Sure, it’s fun,
but as the students began to actually have to build working catapults, they
found that it took a lot of engineering, physics and math,”

Students began working on their catapults the week before Thanksgiving, and
will receive extra credit for their work. There are 14 teams competing,
seven from the physics class, and seven from the applied art/tech class,
taught by Lewis Tulare. “There are definitely bragging rights going to the
winners,” Schmid said.

The contest will be held at the softball field behind La Pine High School.
Spectators are welcome, however they must remain well clear of the catapults
when they are in action.

Eighth Graders Tackle Homelessness and Hunger

Eighth grade students in foods classes at Pilot Butte Middle School will be
doing their part to reduce hunger by preparing and delivering meals to the
residents of the Salvation Army’s men’s shelter next week. The students have
been studying poverty and homelessness in Central Oregon and have chosen to
fix meals as a way of helping ease those problems in their community, said
Carol Knowles, family and consumer studies teacher at the middle school.

“It is important for students to recognize that this issue does exist in our
own backyards,” Knowles said. “It’s also important for them to know there
are ways we can all help.” Students will be preparing the meals on December
4 and 5, and delivering them to the shelter on December 5.
— 30 —

Local Project Impact officials back from D.C. summit

November 29, 2000

Contact: Peter Ribble, Deschutes County Project Impact Coordinator, 541-312-6008, e:
Charlotte Gilbride, RalstonGroup, 541-388-2003

DESCHUTES COUNTY PROJECT IMPACT Update for the Month of November

November Update: Deschutes County Project Impact representatives just returned from the Project Impact Summit in Washington, D.C where they joined 1,300 other citizens, business representatives, public officials, media and emergency managers from communities across America to share their communities’ success stories and lessons learned about how best to prevent disaster damage. Deschutes County sent six representatives to the Project Impact Summit.

“We learned that Deschutes County needs to continue creativity in dealing with wildfire risk and mitigation issues,” said Deschutes Project Impact Coordinator Peter Ribble. “At the Summit, we were educating communities on how to start a wildfire mitigation effort. We are really the leaders in this area with our community wildfire reduction program, FireFree. Communities are learning from our experiences.”

Representatives from Deschutes County met with the US Fire Administration, Florida Division of Emergency Management, and FEMA to improve resource lists related to wildfire. “The severity of this past year related to wildfire should free up millions of dollars to assist in mitigation efforts around structures in the interface nationwide,” said Ribble. Deschutes County Project Impact is currently working on county-wide wildfire related codes and ordinances to replace combustible wood shake roofs with non-combustible roofing materials and to assist homeowners in creating defensible space adjacent to their home.

FEMA Director, James Lee Witt signed numerous Memoranda of Understandings with new corporate and government partners to the Project Impact ( The new partners included National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); The Humane Society of the United States; The US Chamber of Commerce; and the US Geological Survey.

“One of the reasons the Project Impact Summit is so valuable is that people from many different communities have the opportunity to exchange ideas with each other about disaster planning. Our most valuable resources are the members of our communities and our partners who understand they have a key role to help their communities become disaster resistant,” said Director Witt.

Since its inception in 1997, nearly 250 communities and 2,500 business partners have embraced Project Impact. Instead of waiting for disasters to occur, Project Impact communities initiate mentoring relationships, private and public partnerships, public outreach and disaster mitigation projects to reduce damage from potentially devastating disasters. Previous community projects have included creating disaster resistance strategies, revising local building and land use codes, and passing bond issues to construct prevention measures that will impact the entire community. Deschutes County received the Project Impact grant in Fall 1999 and has chosen to focus its efforts almost entirely on wildfire mitigation efforts.

# # #

COCC news: Visiting scholar program wins grant

Nov. 29, 2000

The Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program has received a $10,000
grant from the Robert W. Chandler Fund, which is administered through the
Oregon Community Foundation.
The Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program brings renowned scholars
and lecturers to the Central Oregon area to present a balanced and
broad-based scope of programs for students, community members and
educators. The program was established in 1985 by the late wife of Robert
W. Chandler, longtime editor of The Bulletin who died in 1996.
The Oregon Community Foundation, established in 1973, manages charitable
funds donated by individuals, families and businesses to enhance and
support the quality of life in their communities. The foundation\’s
endowment currently consists of more than 720 funds with combined assets of
$400 million. The foundation makes grants through an application process
involves local citizens in the review and evaluation of requests for
funds. For information, call (503) 227-6846.

Free Tai Chi/relaxation class at St. Charles on Dec. 5

Release Date: Immediately
Event Date: December 5, 2000
Contact: Therese Capoccia, Health Educator
Cancer Services, St. Charles Medical Center
Phone: 382-4321 ext.7448

Public Service Announcement/Press Release

FREE Relaxation class at St. Charles Medical Center

Introduction to Tai Chi

Take the first step on a possible lifetime journey of self-discovery and good health with an introduction to the art of Tai Chi. With a focus on internal energy and awareness of the present, Tai Chi grants the practitioner health benefits such as muscle toning, improved balance, release of tension and overall relaxation.

Class begins at 5:30pm on Tuesday evening, December 5th in Classroom B at St. Charles Medical Center ( . No registration or fee required. For more information, call Cancer Services at St. Charles, 388-7743.

Hwy. 58 reopens after fiery collision of two big rigs sparks evacuation, closure

CRESCENT LAKE – Cleanup crews finally reopend the second lane of traffic on Oregon Highway 58 near the Crescent Lake Junction late Thursday night, more than a day after two semi trucks collided head-on on an icy stretch of the road, sparking a fire that destroyed both rigs and prompted a precautionary evacuation of about two dozen area residents.

Around 8:50 p.m.Wednesday, a truck driven by Sukhwinder Singh Hothi, 28, of Surrey, B.C., was heading west on the Willamette Pass highway in northern Klamath County when it lost control and jackknifed, crossing the center line into the eastbound lane. An eastbound truck driven by La Roy Dennis Flanders, 36, of Springfield, steered to the left to try avoiding the oncoming truck but lost control, crashing into the side of Hothi’s trailer, which later was determined to have been hauling 41,000 pounds of magnesium oxide – a substance that burns when it comes in contact with water.

A fire broke out in the wreckage shortly after Oregon State Police troopers and fire personnel reached the scene, west of the Highway 97 junction, said OSP spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings. Fire personnel were able Flanders to remove from his rig and he was taken by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with what at first were believed to be serious injuries. But hospital officials said Flanders suffered a knee fracture and minor injuries and was undergoing surgery Thursday, listed in fair condition. Hothi, the other driver, had no visible sign of injuries and refused medical treatment.

Due to the potential danger from the fire and concerns that the undetermined cargo contents could be poisonous, residents were evacuated for a distance of about two miles around the scene. They were lodged in the Crescent Community Center for a couple of hours until a hazardous materials team from Klamath falls positively identified the cargo as magnesium oxide, which is used in a variety of applications, from fertilizer to pharmaceuticals. The residents were able to return to their homes shortly after it was determined the burning cargo was not emitting toxic fumes.

Both truck tractors and trailers were extensively damaged by the blaze, Hastings said. The eastbound truck was carrying a load of cedar fencing.

The roadway was completely shut down until about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and flaggers were directing traffic on one lane through the area the rest of the day as Oregon Department of Transportation crews handled traffic control and cleanup duties. (For an update on the road status, check ODOT’s TripCheck site for the region at

Second day of icy morning rush hour brings few problems

Troopers from the OSP’s Gilchrist office were investigating the crash, aided by colleagues from Springfield and Oakridge. Firefighters from Crescent Lake, Chemult and Crescent assisted at the scene, Hastings said.

Streets and sidewalks were very icy for a second day around much of Central Oregon Thursday morning, but authorities reported only a few minor accidents as an early start to winter has brought caution on the part of motorists.

Forecasters predict a slight chance of rain Friday, possibly starting as snow or freezing rain. A chance of valley rain and mountain snow continues through the weekend.

On Wednesday, a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain coated roads but also caused relatively few problems.

Bend teen avoids serious injuries as car strikes tree

REDMOND – An 18-year-old Bend driver escaped serious injuries Tuesday afternoon when his car went out of control on a curve in south Redmond and struck a tree head on.

The Redmond Fire Department had to extricate Adam Squires Thomas from his 1993 Plymouth Sundance after the crash around 3:15 p.m. on South Canal Boulevard near Young Avenue, said Deschutes County sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Dizney. The teen was taken to Central Oregon District Hospital in Redmond, where a spokeswoman said he was treated for injuries and released.

Dizney said the driver lost control of the southbound car while trying to negotiate a curve, left the paved road and struck a tree head on. While the accident remains under investigation, Dizney said alcohol was not believed to have been a factor.