Two arrested in deadly street-racing crash

Two young Bend men were arrested Wednesday on manslaughter, assault, reckless driving and other charges, accused of racing their cars at up to 120 mph on a narrow, twisting road east of town early on Aug. 9. A third car that also was involved spun into an oncoming lane on a curve and smashed into a minivan, a fiery crash that killed two Bend High School students and seriously injured the minivan’s driver.

The youths were fleeing after police responded to a complaint and broke up street races held each weekend at an intersection called “Four Corners,” five miles east of Alfalfa, in Crook County. Authorities stressed that they were not being pursued by officers.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies arrested Randall Scott Clifford, 20, and David Allen Black, 19, after a nearly 5-month investigation by the sheriff’s office, aided by Bend police and accident reconstruction experts with the Oregon State Police. A grand jury indictment issued Tuesday led warrants for their arrest.

Clifford, at the wheel of a 1991 Accura Integra that fateful night, and Black, who was driving a 1992 Honda Prelude, each face felony charges of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree assault, along with reckless driving and five counts of recklessly endangering another person. Black also is accused of failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident.

Both were lodged at the county jail on $250,000 bail.

Killed that night were the driver of a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse, Danielle Lenae O’Neil (Gates), 16, a Bend High senior, and her passenger, Stephanie Marie Beeksma, a sophomore who had turned 15 just a week earlier. The driver of the 1989 Plymouth minivan, Katie Joann Reznick, 19, of Sisters, was seriously injured.

The sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, which occurred five miles east of Bend. Anyone who saw or has information related to the incident was asked to contact sheriff’s Deputy Robert Short at 388-6655.

Short outlined in a news release Wednesday night what investigators determined to have occurred:

Around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, a large group gathered at the intersection known as “Four Corners.” Less than 10 minutes later, Deschutes County deputies received a complaint of speeding vehicles eastbound on Alfalfa Market Road and responded to investigate. They checked the road to the Crook County line and didn’t find the vehicles, so Deschutes 911 dispatchers notified the Crook County Sheriff’s Office of the complaint, and a Crook County deputy was dispatched to check the area east of Alfalfa.

More than 50 cars were at street race

Witnesses to the street racing at Four Corners estimated more than 50 vehicles were gathered at the location, some actively engaged in races and others as spectators. The witnesses said the races were about ¼ mile in length, with two vehicles racing side by side, starting from a stop and using both lanes of the east-west road.

A few minutes after midnight on Aug. 9, the Crook County sheriff’s deputy arrived in the area and saw the gathering, though the deputy did not witness any races, Short said. The deputy drove through the group of parked vehicles and stopped just west of the intersection.

At that point, the group scattered in several directions, with most of the cars heading west toward Bend. Some participants and spectators stayed at the scene, however, and spoke with the deputy.

Three of the vehicles leaving the scene and returning to Bend allegedly engaged in reckless driving, Short said, traveling at up to 120 mph at times while trying to pass each other on the dark, narrow road. Clifford was alone, while Black had three men in his car, the deputy said.

Short said that the manslaughter charge related to Beeksma’s death and the assault charge involved the injuries suffered by Reznick. He said he couldn’t comment on details of the investigation, but acknowledged that O’Neil was not listed as a victim and the other drivers were not charged in her death. That presumably indicates that authorities decided she had shared culpability in the circumstances leading to her death.

State law says second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony, occurs when a person “recklessly” causes another’s death.

Short said Black faced the added charge of failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident because he “left the scene before law enforcement arrived.”

Sadly, Short said investigators also determined that several race participants and spectators drove by the crash scene, moments after it happened – and most left before police arrived.

Shortly after the crash, sheriff’s officers said there were no initial indication that street racing was going at the time ( But it can take time for a fuller picture to emerge.

“This is not an easy investigation, and by no means is it over,” Short said Wednesday. “But when you go to a scene like that, and a majority of people have left and not made themselves available for interviews … we had to track down witnesses, interview them and re-interview them. We didn’t know that night what really had happened.”

Also, Short explained. “A lot of people who were out there, witnesses who were just spectators at the races, were afraid of getting in trouble for even attending the races.”

Short said the young people involved in such races are aware they won’t be chased if they flee the scene.

“When we show up, we bust them and say, `It’s time to go home,'” he said. “We’re not going to get in a pursuit over street racing. Look at what happened – and that wasn’t even a pursuit.”

Asked if there was a broader message to be seen from the filing of charges in the case, Short said it’s simple: “From the law enforcement side, we’re going to investigate crashes, especially when people are seriously injured or killed, and we’re going to look at what caused the crash. That’s our responsibility – not only to the victims, but to the public.”

While the deadly crash “did certainly seem to cut down” on street races, Short said deputies responded to at least one or two later reports of racing. Still, the heartbreaking message of the tragedy itself apparently already has been learned, at least by some now-former participants in illegal street racing.

“I’ve talked to a few of the people involved, who I believe were sincere, who said: `I’m done. I’m not doing it any more,'” Short said. “Some have even sold their cars.”

So perhaps, the loss of two young lives and serious harm done to a third might help to prevent other deaths or serious injuries in the future. It will be hard, perhaps impossible to know for sure.

No locals among gov’s higher ed board picks

SALEM – Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced on New Year’s Eve the appointment of seven new state Board of Higher Education members, none of whom are from Central Oregon.

The nominations, which must be confirmed by the state Senate:

–Former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt (whose appointment had been announced in November).

–Kirby Dyess, recently retired from Intel Corp.

–John E. von Schlegell, managing principal of Endeavour Capital, with offices in Portland and Seattle.

–Donald W. Blair, vice president and chief financial officer for Nike Inc., based in Beaverton.

–Timothy J. Nesbitt, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

–Howard F. Sohn, chairman of the board of Lone Rock Timber Co. in Roseburg.

–Dr. Gretchen S. Schuette, president of Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

Kulongoski said he also plans to reappoint Dr. Geraldine L. Richmond, a professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, to the 11-member board. Henry Lorenzen of Pendleton, Bridget Burns of Corvallis and Rachel Pilliod of Eugene will remain on the board.

Jim Lussier of Bend, who had been serving as board president, was among four board members who submitted their resignations in November, at the governor’s request, as the governor appointed Goldschmidt to one of two vacant board positions and launched a new “post-secondary education initiative.”

The governor had indicated earlier that another Central Oregon representative was a possibility, amid the area’s fast-growing population and the increasing popularity of the OSU Cascades Campus.

COCC board to meet new OSU president

Central Oregon Community College’s Board of Directors will be meeting informally with the president of Oregon State University, Dr. Edward Ray, at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, in the Christensen Board Room on the second floor of the Boyle Education Center on the COCC campus. The breakfast meeting will serve as an opportunity for the board and OSU’s new president to get acquainted.



Central Oregon Community College’s nursing department is offering an orientation session at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, in Room 159 of Boyle Education Center on the COCC Bend campus.

The purpose of the meeting is to review the selection procedure for students interested in applying to COCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program as well as the prerequisites for applying and support courses necessary for the AAS degree.

Currently, COCC’s nursing program admits about 30 students each spring to begin fall-term course work. The admission process allows the nursing students to begin the program as a cohesive group, provide faculty members more opportunities for student interaction and offer more continuity within the program.

For information, call 383-7214.



Students enrolled in Central Oregon Community College’s Cascade Culinary Institute are selling raffle tickets for a Super Bowl Party for up to 30 people to raise funds for a culinary trip to Spain.

The students will create the food for the bowl party and serve it in the winner’s home. Alcohol is not included. Tickets cost $5 and are available from the students, by calling Julian Darwin at 318-3780 or at the Business/Culinary Department in Grandview Student Center on the COCC campus.

The Cascade Culinary Institute was recently accredited by the American Culinary Federation. COCC is the only public school in Oregon to offer an accredited culinary program.

New Year’s snowstorm slams into Oregon

A vigorous winter storm unleashed a memorable first day of 2004, bringing record Jan. 1 snowfall to Bend and lots of snow across the region and statewide, including a rare, traffic-paralyzing dumping of several inches across the Willamette Valley.

A rapidly deepening low-pressure system over southwest Oregon moved into the region, and National Weather Service forecasters in Pendleton said the storm track was farther north than originally expected.

In Central Oregon, a heavy snow warning was upgraded to a winter storm warning Thursday morning, with a total of 6-10 inches of snow expected and west to southwest winds gusting to 35-40 mph in the afternoon and nighttime hours. The winds didn’t really materialize, except in sporadic, blizzard-like fashion.

“Those with travel plans in the warning area are advised to choose an alternate route, or should use extreme caution if travel is unavoidable,” an NWS statement said. “Any travel is strongly discouraged. If you leave the safety of being indoors, you are putting your life at risk.”

A blizzard warning was issued for a time for Klamath and Lake counties, where winds gusting to 60 mph were predicted.

A half-foot or more of snow had fallen in Bend and other areas of the High Desert by New Year’s morning, followed by intervals of dazzling blue-sky sunshine and more snow showers.

Bend generally had six to seven inches of new snow by daybreak Thursday and an inch or two more before the storm moved out late in the day. That means almost 2 feet of snow fell in town in just five days.

It was Bend’s heaviest snowfall on New Year’s in 75-plus years of weather records, easily topping the 3 inches that fell on Jan. 1, 1949, when there was a similar depth of 15 inches on the ground.

Thursday morning reports from weather spotters around the region included these new-snow totals: 11 inches in Sisters, 10 inches at Camp Sherman, 8 ½ inches in Sunriver, and 7 inches in Warm Springs to the north and La Pine in the south. Camp Sherman reported another 3 ½ inches Thursday, pushing its 24-hour total to 13 ½ inches.

Light holiday traffic eases impact

By late Thursday afternoon, some heavy snow, winter storm, even blizzard warnings remained posted elsewhere in the state, but not for the High Desert, where the situation calmed down quickly. Scattered snow showers were forecast through the night, and expected to linger into the first weekend and work week of the new year.

It was fortunate the storm hit during light holiday traffic, as a half-foot of snow was reported over much of the Willamette Valley, including Eugene and Oregon City, and almost five inches in downtown Portland, sparking the traditional non-stop TV coverage of cars and trucks slipping and sliding, and kids of all ages sledding and throwing snowballs.

Weather spotters around the Portland suburbs reported up to 11 inches of snow at higher elevations – a phenomenal amount for an area that rarely sees such heavy snowfall.

Fortunately, no serious crashes were reported New Year’s Eve or Day in Deschutes County, where motorists have had close to two months of occasional snow to get their winter driving act together.

The new storm came right on the heels of a December that was Bend’s snowiest month in nearly eight years, tying the February 1996 tally, when there also was 19 ½ inches of snow recorded. If the recent intense winter continues well into the new year, it could threaten the worst winter in recent memory, 1992-93, when more than 80 inches of snow fell in Bend.

All of the state was buffeted by the intense New Year’s storm, as the Portland area picked up several inches of snow, causing crashes on some freeways and shutting down others.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials issued a traveler’s advisory, urging everyone to “STAY HOME TODAY!”

ODOT reported snow and icy on all major highways in the I-5 corridor, from Portland to the California border, in south-central Oregon and on portions of the coast as well. Chains were required for a few hours on all vehicles using I-5 in the Portland area and at other locations between Salem and Ashland.

Heavy snow, downed trees shut roads

U.S. Highway 395 (the Fremont Highway) was shut south of the California border due to heavy snow, high winds and blizzard-like conditions. Similar conditions shut state Highway 140 between Klamath Falls and Lakeview, while state Highway 126 between Florence and Eugene was shut for a time in several spots by downed trees and power lines.

Elsewhere, the Umpqua Highway (Oregon 38) was closed for its entire length, from Roseburg to Reedsport, and on the coast, Highway 101 was shut due to downed trees at the Lane-Douglas county border.

“Our advice is, don’t get out on the highways unless it’s absolutely necessary,” said John Rosenberger, ODOT’s deputy director for operations. “ODOT is doing everything it can to keep highways open and passable, but our best advice is still, if you don’t have to go out, don’t.”

Motorists who insisted on traveling were urged to check ODOT’s road and weather Website at or call 511 or (800) 977-6368 before venturing out.

All that fresh powder proved irresistible for many skiers and boarders wanting to celebrate New Year’s on the slopes. Mt. Bachelor recorded a foot of new snow Thursday for a 112-inch base.

Sun also broke through the clouds Wednesday morning, to make for dazzling year-end views of snowy Central Oregon, but it was only the calm between storms.

Despite the slick streets, local partygoers still hit the bars and restaurants Wednesday night to usher in 2004, while others stocked up at supermarkets for a day of parades and bowl games in front of the TV at home.

Bend piled up 19 ½ inches of snow in December, according to city records – all but three inches of that between the 28th and 30th. That’s close to three times the average December snowfall of 7.7 inches, in National Weather Service records for Bend that date back to 1928.

White means green for swamped firms

For some businesses, all that snow keeps customers away – but others do a land-office business and can’t keep up with demand, such as towing company. The regular services many folks take for granted the rest of the year, from mail and express delivery services to garbage collection, fire and police, can be especially challenging when more than a few inches of snow accumulate.

The snow also means green, not just white, for folks like landscapers and others whose regular business tapers off as cold weather hits. Some turn to stringing holiday lights, and others make dough while the snow flies, putting a snowplow on anything that moves.

Several snow removal firms are in the phone book, but they said they simply couldn’t handle all the potential business coming their way, which of course left a lot of work for the entrepreneurial neighborhood kids.

“Basically, I put people on our list, and we get to `em as soon as we can,” said Pauline Aylett, office manager for Fagen’s Snow Removal (known the rest of the year as Fagen’s Tree Service.” Owner Wade Fagen, whose family are long-time Central Oregon loggers, hasn’t gotten a whole lot of sleep since the snow hit over the weekend, overseeing a crew of eight.

“We had close to 40 calls on Monday and answered 30 yesterday (Tuesday),” Aylett said. “Of course, everybody’s in a panic. We’ve got one big customer in Sunriver we’ve got to keep happy, so they have to come first. There’s more work than can be done.”

Seniors, as you’d expect, got priority attention, as did a pregnant woman needing to make sure she can get to the hospital, if need be. “I always let Wade know their situation,” the office manager said.

Shovels (ergonomic or not), gloves, ice scrapers, ice melter, kitty litter – just about everything has been in hot demand or sold out through the cold, snowy week, as well as stocking up on basic food supplies.

Snow blowers, plow blades hot sellers

Despite the higher price tag, snow blowers also were hot sellers, clearing out store inventories that had piled up during the far less snowy past winters.

“Our inventory was about a year and a half old,” said Bill Higby, general sales manager at Central Oregon Workensport. “Everybody in town is pretty much sold out. We’ve got four or five left.”

Snow blowers can cost as little as $700 for a 4-horsepower model and $2,000 for the 11-horsepower baby with a 31-inch auger to chew up and blow out the most concrete-like snow berms.

“We’ve got a lot of people coming in and saying they’ve got 160-foot-long driveways,” Higby said.

Plow blades that turn farm and recreational gear into snowplows also have been selling at rates not seen for years.

“We’re about out of plows that go on tractors and ATVs,” Higby said. “Anything that will blow or push snow out of the way is flying out the door.”

But at first, it was a bit hard to round up all of the snow blower inventory – much of it was buried under two feet of snow, Higby said.

Neighbors help neighbors through challenges

Then there are the ones who simply want to make sure their neighbors, especially the older or ill, are getting the help they need with shoveling sidewalks, shopping and the like.

Cheryl Howard, chair of the Orchard District Neighborhood Association in northeast Bend, issued a public plea to help neighbors – and then got busy on the phone, arranging volunteer help at the business end of a shovel. She was ecstatic about the response, as volunteers offered to help shovel or go to the store, etc.

Even though snow removal companies “are booked beyond belief,” Howard said, two agreed to help out if an elderly or shut-in resident is in a situation beyond what volunteers can handle. So did Bobcat of Oregon (Hooker Creek), which agreed to bring out machines if needed, she said.

“We now have a sort of rinky-dink network established between Public Works, Parks &Rec, and a few departments within the city so that if they see someone in need, they’ll make sure we are put in touch,” Howard said.

But since many might not be aware of the unofficial service, Howard said she would keep making calls, encouraging residents to walk their neighborhoods and make sure everyone is getting by.

Howard can be reached at 385-7906, or .

January events at C.O. Environmental Center

TAKE A HIKE!…With The Sunriver Nature Observatory evening snowshoe walk
Meet at the Nature Center to carpool to one of our local snowparks for a trek through the snow in the moonlight! One of our naturalists will lead this informative venture. Bring a snack, warm beverage, and snowshoes. In case it becomes overcast, please bring along a flashlight or lantern. WHEN: January 2nd, 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. WHERE: Sunriver Nature Observatory. COST: Please call for information. Reservations recommended. Please call 541-593-4394.

IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN THE SPREAD OF WEST NILE VIRUS, SARS, AND OTHER RESURGENT DISEASES? The Oregon Environmental Council asks these important questions with the Healthy Environment Forum “Global Warming and Emerging Diseases”. Dr. Jonathan A. Patz, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Program on Health Effects of Global Environmental Change at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, will discuss the latest science about what we might expect, strategies to reduce risks, and opportunities for health providers to advance public understanding of the emerging evidence. WHEN: January 8th 6-8 P.M. WHERE: Multhomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon, Portland. For more information and to register, please contact Cheryl at (503) 222-1963 ext. 100 or OEC online registration at:

CLIMBING IN THE NORTH CASCADES with the Cascade Mountaineers
Presented by Matt Gadow, Scott Grunstein, Kara Mickaelson, and Brent McGregor Club members will report on two expeditions taken to the North Cascades this summer.
Club Member Matt Gadow and his climbing partner Scott Grunstein will present a report on their recent trip to the North Cascades National Park in Washington, and the summit of Goode Mountain. Brent McGregor and Kara Mickaelson completed a successful summit climb on the less technical but equally beautiful Sahale Mountain. WHEN: January 14th, 7:00 P. M. WHERE: The Central Oregon Environmental Center, 16 Kansas, Bend. COST: FREE!

IS SOUTH SISTER ABOUT TO BLOW? Come find out with this talk titled “What’s Cookin’?” hosted by the Audubon Society. USFS Bend/Ft.Rock Ranger District Geologist Larry Chitwood will discuss the recent uplift (bulge) on the west flank of South Sister and also the geothermal aspects of Newberry Volcano. WHEN: January 21st, 6:30 p.m. social, 7:00 p.m. lecture starts. WHERE: The Central Oregon Environmental Center, 16 Kansas, Bend. COST: FREE! For more information contact Gayle 330-1546

BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your very own drum? Come find out with this creative drum-making workshop hosted by The Four Winds Foundation. WHEN: January 24th, 9am – 4pm WHERE: Call for more information, 617-5833. COST: $50 deposit by Jan 14th.

NATIVE GRASS IS BACK! The Native Plant Society- High Desert Chapter presents this informative talk by Kristin Bale. The Crooked River National Grassland is in the process of completing an EIS that will lead to the restoration of over 50,000 acres of the public lands in Central Oregon. Much of this effort will be to restore the native grasslands in our area. Come and listen to a superb presentation of the history of the area and an outline of the restoration plans. WHEN: January 27th, 7:00 p.m. WHERE: The Central Oregon Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas Avenue, Bend. COST: FREE!

TOXIC CHEMICAL HOW DO THEY EFFECT YOU? The Oregon Environmental Council presents a healthy environment forum “A New View on Toxic Chemicals: How They Impact Our Health”. John Peterson Myers, Ph.D., will highlight cutting-edge science, the conceptual shifts that are occurring as a result, implications for clinical practice, and opportunities for health professionals to advance public understanding of the emerging evidence. WHEN: January 28th 6-8 P.M. in Portland, January 29th 6-8 P.M. in Eugene. WHERE: Multhomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon, Portland and Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street, Eugene. COST: Reservations are $25 per event ($20 for OEC members and employees of nonprofit or governmental agencies). Contact Cheryl at (503) 222-1963 ext. 100 or OEC online registration at:

NATIVE WAYS The Four Winds Foundation is once again offering a 12-week class on Native Natural Ways. This is a unique opportunity to experience sweat lodges, drumming, chanting, and other Native rituals. The program will also feature special guest speakers and elders that will share their tribal knowledge on subjects ranging from sustainable hunting, gathering of wild food, earth crafts, and more. For more information contact Sweet Medicine Nation at 541-617-5833 or on the web at
COST: Call for course fee. WHERE: Call for location.

Sheriff’s Search and Rescue seeking volunteers

Are you interested in serving as a volunteer team member in the out-of-doors? Are you willing to get cold, hot, wet, tired, hungry and thirsty to assist others in need? If so, you may be interested in becoming a Search and Rescue volunteer.

Deschutes County Sheriff Search and Rescue (DCSSAR) is seeking new volunteers age 21 and over. No prior experience is required, however applicants must be team-oriented, willing to learn and improve outdoor skills, and be a contributing member. Of particular need are people who have the job flexibility to respond to emergencies at any time of the week – day or night. In addition, we are seeking a few people with expertise in technical climbing, swift water skills, and canine search.

To be considered for membership, applicants must:
• Complete and submit an application by February 13, 2004
• Pass a criminal and driving history background check
• Successfully complete a personal interview
• Fully commit to first year training, including:
• A 70 hour general training academy in April/May
• An 80 hour medical training program in the fall (unless currently certified)
• Outdoor skills and wildfire evacuation procedures
• Successful completion of all search and rescue certifications
• Be willing to make an investment in required clothing and equipment
• Contribute substantial time toward training, business meetings and active missions
• Strive to be available as often as possible when SAR emergencies dictate
• Be able to meet specific physical requirements
• Have no medical conditions that could interfere with strenuous physical activity.
• Be able to work in a team-oriented environment
• Possess unquestioned integrity and honesty
• Be comfortable at all times and conditions in the backcountry
• Have a strong desire to assist people in need, day or night, and in any weather
• Be willing and able to learn and continually improve SAR skills

Application packets will be available at the Sheriff’s Office reception window, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from January 1st to February 13th. The application process closes at the end of business on Friday, February 13, 2004. When completed, they should be returned to the Sheriff’s office reception window or via mail to Carl Hellis, SAR Recruitment Coordinator, PO Box 5722, Bend, OR 97708. For questions Carl may be paged at 385-4824.

Prineville police to display recovered loot

On Monday, Jan. 5, the Prineville Police Department will have recovered stolen items on display for public viewing. Persons with missing items are encouraged to come to the Prineville Police Department between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Persons with missing items should bring any proof of ownership they have, including photographs, receipts etc. Recovered items include electronics, vehicle repair equipment, tools and personal items.

Prineville Police Sgt. Dave Calhoun will be in charge of the viewing.

The Prineville Police Dept, would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone in our community to record the serial numbers on their property and to mark their valuables with their driver’s license numbers.

Chief Eric Bush – Capt. Michael Boyd

Beginning fencing class offered for adults, kids

High Desert Fencing and Bend Metro Park and Recreation District are teaming up to offer beginning fencing for adults and children this winter.

The course emphasis is on the proper form and techniques of sport fencing.

Under the guidance of a credentialed instructor participants will discover the basic foot work, blade work and tactics to enjoy the game in a safe and fun manner.

All fencing equipment -foils, jacket, masks and gloves are provided.

The adult class is offered on Tuesdays, from January 6 through February 24 at 5:30-6:45 p.m.
Cost is $65 for in-district residents and $88 for out-of- district residents.

Children’s classes for 10-16 year olds are offered Thursdays, from January 8 through February 26 at 5:30-6:45 p.m. Cost is $65 for in-district residents and $88 for out-of-district residents.

Call 389-7275 for more information.

Local teen musher on Friday’s ‘Today Show’

Rachael Scdoris will be featured on the NBC TODAY SHOW, Friday, January 2, 2004. There is no specified time for her segment to air.

The Today Show crew was in Central Oregon in November for three days filming Rachael and her dogs as she was preparing her sled dogs for the upcoming Atta Boy 300 which is an IFSS World Cup Sled Dog Race.

The Atta Boy 300 takes place in the Central Oregon communities of Redmond, Bend, Sisters, Prineville, Sunriver and LaPine.

The Today show crew was treated to warm Central Oregon hospitality while they were filming Rachael, enjoying the communities of Redmond, Bend and Rachael’s home mountain, Mt. Bachelor, where she learned how to ride her sled on the steep and windy trails on the east slope.

Rachael says, “Anyone that learned to ride a dog sled on the Mount Bachelor trails can ride any trail in the world.”

Rachael is 18 years old and has been running sled dogs since she 8 years old. She plans to compete in the 2005 Iditarod, which will take place just two months after she competes in the Atta Boy IFSS World Sled Dog Championship, which will be held in her hometown of Bend.

Scdoris is legally blind, she was born with a rare vision disorder called achromatopsia. Achromatopsia causes near sightedness, far sightedness and colorblindness.

The 2004 Atta Boy 300 starts Saturday January 3rd with the first event being the Veterinarian Check at the Big R in Redmond, Oregon.

For more information about Rachael’s endeavors contact and

New year resolutions suggested for pet owners

The beginning of the new year is the time people reflect upon the past and resolve to make positive changes for the coming year.

The Humane Society of Central Oregon would like you to reflect upon your companion animal(s) and make resolutions that improve the quality of life, safety and behavior of your four-legged friend(s).

Following are some New Year’s resolutions to consider for your furry friends:

•Update vaccinations to prevent diseases.
•Spay or neuter my pet now to prevent pet over-population
•Encourage friends, neighbors and acquaintances to have their pet(s) spayed or neutered
•Make sure all pets are wearing an identification tag that is easy to read and has current information.
•Make a lifetime investment and get all dogs and cats a microchip identification.
•Schedule a health exam for my companion animal(s).
•Take a training class to create the desired dog behavior and make them good citizens.
•Follow county laws and get my dog licensed or the license renewed.
•Take my dog for a walk every day.
•Play with my cat every day to provide mental and physical stimulation.
•Keep the cat indoors only to provide a safe, healthy and long life.
•Review the canine and feline diet to make sure it is meeting my pet’s needs.
•Do the rib test (when running fingers over your pets ribs with light pressure, can you feel the ribs?) and see if a few pounds need to be taken-off to provide good health.
•Clean the cat litter box every day to make the kitty happy and prevent litterbox problems.
•Buy new toys for the dog.
•Teach an old dog a new trick.
•Take a current photograph that shows identifying marks well, just in case the pet gets lost.
•Adopt a new friend from the Humane Society of Central Oregon or encourage someone who is considering a new family member to open their heart and home to a very deserving homeless animal.
•Make a donation to the Humane Society of Central Oregon in honor of or in remembrance of a special pet.

For more information, call the Humane Society of Central Oregon at 541.382-3537.