Community Invited to Meet High Desert Principal Candidates

Public invited to forum Feb. 20 to meet four finalists for High Desert position

Community members are invited to meet the four finalists for the High Desert Middle School principal position during a forum Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. in the library at High Desert. Visitors will get a chance to meet the candidates, ask questions and offer feedback.

The four finalists:

Lisa Birk is currently assistant principal at Pacific Crest Middle School in Bend, a position she has served in for three years. Prior to that she served as student services coordinator and assistant principal at Bear Creek Elementary School, a position she held for four years. She also has six years of classroom teaching experience.

Rolland Hayden is currently principal at Gordon Russell Middle School in Gresham, a position he has served in for four years. Prior to that, he served as assistant principal at North Salem High School for four years. He also has six years of classroom teaching experience.

Susie Heydon is currently assistant principal at Young Oak Kim Academy in Los Angeles, a position she has held for five years. Prior to that, she served as a program advisor and English Learning Program Coordinator at Young Oak Kim Academy. She also has 10 years of classroom teaching experience.

Wendy McCulloch is currently assistant principal at High Desert Middle School, a position she has held for five years. Prior to that, she served as dean of students and special education teacher at High Desert for five years. She also has seven years of additional classroom teaching experience.

The new principal will begin July 1; current principal Susan Heberlein is serving a one-year interim position.

February 12, 2018, 11:00 am

La Pine Firefighters respond to multiple motor vehicle rollovers along US highway 97 near MP 157

Monday, February 12, 2018, winter weather returned to Central Oregon Highways, and La Pine firefighters responded to multiple motor vehicle accidents and rollovers along the same stretch of US highway 97 this morning near milepost 157.  The first call was at 7:25 am when the driver of a Ram pickup lost control on the highway and the truck rolled. The single passenger was able to extricate himself however was transported to the hospital by La Pine fire/paramedics due to back and neck pain.   The second MVA occurred about 9:32 am close to the same location. This time, the driver of a Ford pickup truck lost control and rolled over trapping two persons in the vehicle. Fortunately the two occupants we not severely injured but did require extrication to escape the vehicle. Sunriver Fire assisted on both calls and Crescent fire medics also assisted as they stopped from returning to the hospital on an earlier call in their district. OSP and Deschutes County Sheriff are investigating the accidents, ODOT had sanders on the road and was doing traffic control both accidents caused delays in morning travel.

The La Pine Fire District would like to remind drivers winter road conditions do take a few adjustments in driving – leave earlier so you can slow down a bit, keep windows fully clear, headlights on, and balance weight on all four wheels – especially in pick-up trucks.

US20 – Hamby/Ward Road Speed Limit Change

BEND – Highway managers from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have changed the speed limit near the intersection of US20 and Hamby Road.

The change affects speeds near the location where a local man lost his life in a fatal crash in December.

Effective immediately, the speed limit 500’ east of the US20-Hamby/Ward Road intersection on US20 (to the vicinity of 850’ east of Dalton St.) has been reduced from 55 to 45 mph.

Motorists should be aware of these changes and be mindful of their speed in the area.

Statement on the Resignation of Senator Jeff Kruse

SALEM, OR — Today, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson issued the following statement on the resignation of Senator Jeff Kruse:

“Senator Kruse did the right thing resigning yesterday. His decades-long record of public service is now tainted by his personal record of misconduct, and he has lost his ability to adequately represent his constituents. Sexual harassment and misconduct have no place in Oregon, especially among our elected leaders.

“No one should ever be made to feel unsafe or in danger in their place of work, nor should they ever fear retaliation if someone comes forward to report their abuser. I have already ordered a review of my office’s current policies to combat sexual misconduct as well as update training programs, and I call on the Legislature to pursue an aggressive culture change in this important area. Oregon deserves better.”

 Free Family Saturday at the High Desert Museum

By Jodie Rogers, Contributing Writer

Mid Oregon Credit Union invites the community to enjoy free admission to the High Desert Museum on February 24, 2018. The “Free Family Saturday” complimentary admission program supports the community with the opportunity to explore wildlife and living history right in Central Oregon’s backyard. The museum is located five minutes south from Bend on Highway 97. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including the Rimrock Café and Silver Sage Trading Store.

For more information about exhibits, wildlife encounters, living history performances, music, and tours, visit the Museum’s website at


2,379 Emergency Responses for Fire District in 2017

By Staff Writer

The total number of emergency responses by the La Pine Fire District in 2017 included more than 1,700 EMS calls, with 1,013 people subsequently taken to the ER by the advanced life support paramedic ambulance. An estimated 10 percent were in critical condition, which means that our paramedics saved some 100 lives.

The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District responded to 2,379 calls for emergency service in 2017 – a 10 percent increase over the year before. “That’s an average of 6.5 calls each day,” noted Fire Chief Mike Supkis.

“Of the total number, we were responding to two or more calls at the same time in 459 of the instances – and 128 times, three or more of our crews were sent out simultaneously. These are all serious calls – which are screened by 911 and prioritized before taking action.”

Supkis said that 1,775 were Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls, with 1,013 people subsequently taken to the ER by La Pine’s advanced life support paramedic ambulance under emergency circumstances. “I’d estimate that 10 percent of the people were in critical, life-threatening condition, which means that our paramedics saved some 100-plus lives.”

Of the calls, 215 were for fires (structural, wildland and vehicles – including RVs). Vehicle accidents and rescues accounted for 84 calls, and 305 were described as “miscellaneous alarms and assist.” As Supkis explained, “this category, for things that ‘just happen,’ includes instances where a power line falls down, someone smells a potential gas leak or reports an inappropriate burn pile (which is a potential fire hazard).

“From our perspective, I’d say that the responses are up due to economic growth and general activity,” said Supkis. “People are doing more, and a greater number are traveling through the area. We’ve also witnessed considerable new construction the last two years. The 10 percent increase in just 12 months is definitely the largest we’ve ever seen.”