The Local News of Newberry Country


Winners of The Newberry Eagle Scholarship Announced

By Newberry News Staff Writer

Breanna Skinner (left)
“I plan to use the scholarship money to help obtain a dental assistant certificate through COCC ’s two-year program,” said Breanna Skinner. “Then I’ll go back to Idaho (where I’m from originally), and also work as a guide (or outfitter) during hunting season. Applying for the scholarship was kind of a last-minute decision, but I’m glad I did it.”

Mike DeBone (right)
Mike DeBone is interested in both engineering and public safety & law enforcement. He’s currently working at Carlson Testing, Inc. as a laboratory technician, and plans to continue his ride-along experiences with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office while deciding on an academic course of study.



Construction Officially Underway for St. Charles Family Care Clinic

By The Newberry Eagle News Staff

“One week ago, there was a huge hole in the ground. Now it has been filled in, the groundbreaking phase is behind us, and construction is officially underway,” announced John Jepson, Senior Philanthropy Officer of the St. Charles Foundation.

The Foundation, “led by a committed and forward-thinking group of local residents, is moving ever-closer to our goal of raising $1.5 million toward the total project cost of $5.5 million,” continued Jepson. “We’re on track to cross the $1 million mark within the next several months.”

Slated to open in April 2018, St. Charles Family Care Clinic will significantly expand access to healthcare in an underserved region – including the communities of La Pine, Sunriver, Gilchrist, Crescent, Chiloquin, Chemult, Christmas Valley, Silver Lake and Fort Rock. The 11,500-square foot facility will offer both primary and immediate care, as well as radiology and laboratory services.

“Rather than competing with the La Pine Community Health Center, we see ourselves as augmenting and expanding existing services,” Jepson emphasized. “At present, people need to drive as much as 40 miles one way if their medical needs can’t be addressed locally.”

Jepson noted that “all trees and wood removed when clearing the 2.5-acre site will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of La Pine Sunriver.”

Head Coach Sees “More Good Years to Come” for Hawks Baseball Team

By Newberry Eagle News Staff

After going 23-3 in the regular season – the most wins in a single season since the LPHS baseball program was formed – the Hawks weren’t done breaking records. The team went on to win its first league championship since 1990 – thereby making an appearance at the state playoffs.

Head coach Bo DeForest, commenting on the historic season, said: “I’ve coached these guys since they were young, seeing them progress through little league and middle school. We could tell from early on that this group was going to be special.

“We’ve been building depth to our program for a number of years,” he continued. “Even when the lineups were loaded with freshman players, the team showed promise. Now, as juniors, they were joined by other talented underclassmen in being ‘primed’ for success.

“Through it all, these young men have always stuck together, and are determined to bring pride back to La Pine. I believe with all my heart that they have paved the road for the future of La Pine baseball – and other team sports as well.

“I know I get a little over the top and possessive,” admitted DeForest. “But I’ve always loved La Pine, and am so happy that its athletic programs are now being looked at in a positive light. That hadn’t been the case for a long time.”

According to DeForest (who graduated from LPHS in 1992 and whose son Wyatt plays catcher): “A lot of people played a part in the team’s success. Special credit for helping make a difference goes to the parents and the community for their support, as well as the other coaches. Some of the dads have worked together since their sons were only five years old!”

Looking ahead, DeForest predicts that “the Hawks will be a playoff team for many years to come.”

Wickiup Overpass Project Update: Extensive Soil Survey Underway

By Newberry News Staff

“We’re trying to get as much information as possible at this point,” explained ODOT spokesman Peter Murphy. “Five test wells have been dug (which involves drilling a hole and extracting quarry samples) to understand precisely what’s below the ramps and the bridge. We also plan to do an electronic analysis of the soil core samples, and will hire a consultant to help us interpret the results of this extensive survey. What we learn will determine the next steps.”

“This Year’s Mosquito Hatch Went Haywire”

By Newberry News Staff

If it seems that mosquitoes are far more abundant (and hence, far more obnoxious) this year, Chad Stubblefield of the Four Rivers Vector Control District assures you that you’re not imagining things.

“The Little Deschutes River had a really good snowpack this year, which resulted in a lot more standing water than usual,” he prefaced. “Usually, standing water recedes after a few weeks. But this year, the water got high in March and hung around for a couple of months until the middle of May.  The result was a pretty crazy mosquito hatch: dormant eggs the mosquitoes had laid on dry surfaces at the water’s edge just produced and produced and produced. You might say that ‘the hatch went haywire.’ I haven’t seen it like this in a number of years.”

This prolific production is compounded by the fact that “mosquitoes can easily fly five to 10 miles in search of blood. So the whole La Pine area has been affected,” elaborated Stubblefield. “I hope folks have their repellent!” (He recommends choosing one that contains DEET as an active ingredient. More expensive but very effective are repellents with Picardin. When asked for his advice by members of a wedding party, Stubblefield suggested the latter because it has less odor. “An effective natural repellent is oil of lemon eucalyptus,” he noted.)

“People can expect the worst to be behind them,” consoled Stubblefield. “The bugs should thin out as puddles and wetlands start drying up.”