The Local News of Newberry Country


La Pine Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Award Banquet – Saturday, April 8 from 5 to 8pm

The La Pine Chamber of Commerce’s annual award banquet is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 from 5 to 8 pm. The event will take place at the La Pine Community Center and this year’s theme is the Psychedelic Sixties. Tickets are $40 per person. Table decorators and sponsorship are still available and auction and/or raffle items would be greatly appreciated. If interested or to purchase your tickets, please contact the La Pine Chamber at 541-536-9771 or email to:  

La Pine Rural Fire Protection District Board Meeting – Thursday, April 13 2017, 9:00am

The Board of Directors of the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District will hold a Regular Board Meeting on Thursday, April 13 2017, 9:00 a.m. at the Fire Station located at 51550 Huntington Road, La Pine. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. Complete agendas or request for interpreter for the hearing impaired or for the accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting through the district administrative office at 51590 Huntington Road, La Pine.

You’re invited to celebrate the Progress of La Pine’s Economic Vitality Roadmap by attending a public meeting to be held on April 25

La Pine, Ore. April 25, 2017 – An Economic Vitality Roadmap meeting and celebration will be held on Tuesday, April 25th, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the La Pine Senior Center. The meeting is open to everyone, and anyone interested in playing a role in the next steps of La Pine’s future as a vibrant and cohesive community is encouraged to attend.

This meeting will celebrate the creation of an action-oriented roadmap, leading to overall economic success for the town of La Pine. Attendees will hear updates from each of the La Pine Economic Vitality Action Teams, including Beautification Action, Small Business Action, and Image Development Action teams. All residents are welcome and encouraged to partake in the planning for action teams during this meeting.

La Pine community leader Kathy DeBone, expressed enthusiasm about the Economic Roadmap process, “La Pine is a community in action. It’s inspiring to see residents rally around the things our community said was important during the Economic Vitality Roadmap process in the summer of 2015.”

The work continues, and the La Pine Celebration meeting offers an opportunity for interested community members to get involved. “Today, action continues in the areas of Image Development, Small Business Development, Beautification, Affordable Housing and Community Communication. There is more work to be done, and ways for more people to become involved. I’m excited to celebrate La Pine’s accomplishments and to learn about what’s happening and what’s in store for the future for each of these initiatives,” reflected Kathy DeBone.

La Pine’s Economic Vitality Roadmap is sponsored by the City of La Pine.

Economic Vitality Roadmap is a program of Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) that takes rural communities through a three-part process to create an action-oriented roadmap to economic success. The process includes an assessment, identification of key initiatives, and implementation. Through Roadmaps and other Rural Economic Vitality services, RDI’s staff helps rural communities take the road to community vitality.

Notes from The Grange

By Pam Cosmo

Last month has been an eventful one for The Grange. We honored our dear Granger, Ted Bulczak, who passed away recently, with our formal ceremony placing a mourning drape over our charter for a month. Ted was a fascinating man who collected exotic imported items, raised chickens, and had a great sense of humor. We miss him already.

This month we will enjoy watching a documentary entitled, “Chicken People.” It is a charming and surprising look into the world of competition chicken breeders. It portrays the sometime poignant lives of the competitors as they strive to create the “perfect” bird. It is informative as well as entertaining.

We also have welcomed several new members to our fold. Our membership is helped by our scholarship program which pays half of the membership fee, so it only costs $20 to join for a year, and is pro-rated when one joins. We encourage anyone interested to attend one of our meetings the 3rd Tuesday evening of each month to see what we do.

The Saturday Markets are in full swing again this year. Stop by from 10 until 3pm the first Saturday of any month to purchase hand-crafted as well as household items, tools, guns and ammo, jewelry, etc.

We also host the Brown Bag Food Giveaway on the fourth Friday of each month from 2pm until about four. Anyone can pick up the food that has been donated by local grocery stores who would otherwise throw these extra items away. Great breads, produce, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.

And, as always, the Grange Hall is available for rental to private parties for meetings, seminars, wedding receptions and more. Call Ann at 503-680-9321 for information about rentals.

Major Burgess/Day Road Improvements

By Florence Neis, Staff Writer

Major design improvements to the intersection of Burgess Road, Day Road and Pine Forest Drive are planned in 2017.  Due to a higher than anticipated crash rate, the Deschutes County Road Department commissioned a study to analyze improvement options to address the safety issue.
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This summer, survey crews will be on hand to assess existing features such as structures, fences, natural resources, utility locations and right-of-way boundaries.  “This year the design and planning are going to be completed.  I am glad we have the resources to make this intersection more safe in the future,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone.

Deschutes County Engineer George Kolb mailed area residents a letter in early February, 2017 outlining the project and requested that any questions be directed to him at 541-322-7113 or via email at [/read_more]

La Pine Library Closure

By Florence Neis, Staff Writer

This winter’s ice, snow and water caused enough damage to La Pine Library that Deschutes Public Library officials closed the facility for a week in early February while repairs were made. The melting, refreezing and continuing cycle caused damage in the children’s, teen, adult fiction and magazine areas as well as the meeting and staff rooms.  The interior damage was extensive and blocked customers and staff access to the building.

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“Due to our resourceful staff and volunteers, we were able to open February 14th with full services after being closed for a week,” said La Pine Library Supervisor Cathy Zgraggen.

“The repair and replacement process is on schedule,” added Deschutes Public Library Director Todd Dunkelberg.  “We appreciate everyone’s patience during the construction.”  After the removal of wet interiors, drying equipment was used to facilitate repairs.  Insulation was replaced and drywall installed.  New paint, carpet replacement, window trim and shelving were next scheduled.  All work should be completed by the end of March.

For updates on the renovation project, visit


Business Retentions and Expansion Group Helps Provide Support for Local Businesses

Chad Carpenter, La Pine Park and Recreation District, Contributing Writer

In April of 2015 a small group of community leaders started a Business Vitality workgroup as a part of the Economic Vitality Roadmap – an initiative facilitated by Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) out of Eugene, OR. Two additional workgroups also started as a part of the Economic Vitality Roadmap – one centered on developing a brand identity for La Pine and another centered upon beautification efforts for our town. Thanks to support from RDI, each workgroup has been able to accomplish much over the course of the last 12-18 months. According to their website, “RDI cultivates leaders and catalyzes rural vitality.” and they have certainly done so in La Pine. They envision strong and vibrant rural communities and work to that end by providing leadership training to communities such as ours.[read_more id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

In addition to the Economic Vitality Roadmap, another program offered by RDI is “Business Retentions and Expansion” (BR&E). As a flagship program, BR&E provides technical assistance to communities and organizations so that they can better provide support to existing local businesses. Under the work of the Business Vitality workgroup, BR&E launched in La Pine during the Summer of 2016, when a steering committee formed including representatives of the La Pine Chamber, COCC, La Pine Park & Recreation District, Sunriver Chamber and La Pine High School Future Business Leaders of America. “This level of collaboration is quite remarkable.” According to Chad Carpenter, Adult Program Coordinator at La Pine Park and Recreation District and Business Vitality leader. “To see these types of groups come together to support local business is very exciting” he says.

RDI’s Senior Program Manager Michael Held, Rural Economic Vitality Services and facilitator of the La Pine BR&E initiative helped assemble the steering committee and has been working with them for several months. “At RDI, we have the privilege of working with communities and businesses across the Northwest, witnessing the passion rural people have for their communities, but La Pine’s is truly unparalleled” says Michael. “The La Pine Community is known as a model community for it’s efforts in effective collaboration when it comes to projects such as this one” says Carpenter, citing comments he’s heard locally and regionally.

 Goals of BR&E include job growth and business attraction, just to name a couple. The process entails planning and organization, program design and outreach, connecting resources to local businesses and developing effective solutions and strategies to promote local business growth. BR&E is a multi-year program and La Pine/Sunriver is about half way into the first year. Quickly after it’s launch, the committee spent some time getting organized and then began to design the outreach process. Currently, with the business outreach phase underway, they are talking with local business owners in La Pine and Sunriver in an effort to better understand the needs, challenges and gaps they face. “RDI is excited to support this effort to enhance and build upon the area’s local businesses.” Says Held.  Outreach should be complete near the beginning of March and then the group will begin to analyze the data and then develop solutions to help support local businesses.

New Store Owners Bring Spirit of Partnership and Good Will

By Sandy Jones – Golden Eagle Staff Writer

Grocery Outlet store Owner – Operators Brett and Gina Turner are planning partnerships with La Pine organizations to help the community.

The new La Pine Grocery Outlet Bargain Market opened with a generous grand opening celebration. The independent Owner-Operators Brett and Gina Turner are set on helping the community. They have provided jobs, donated locally, and brought low prices to La Pine.

The store’s February 2, 2017 10:00 am ribbon cutting, and its February 4th grand opening celebration featured food donations, free lunches, family fun, and giveaways. A $1,000 food donation was given to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at the ribbon cutting. With a $10 minimum purchase, customers received a free lunch provided by the local Harvest Depot. The ribbon cutting was officiated by the La Pine Chamber of Commerce.

[read_more id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]The grand opening celebration on Saturday involved community volunteers and organizations. Youths from La Pine Middle School and La Pine High School’s ROTC helped blow up balloons, bagged groceries and assisted customers to their cars. Ford’s Franks’ locally owned by Toby and Delores Ford provided hot dogs and a drink for $1.00, and donated the proceeds to St. Vincent and the La Pine Chamber. There was also free face painting by Willow and wheel spinning for prizes. The La Pine Chamber and St. Vincent’s staff and volunteers were there donating their time to the event.

The owners have hired 38 employees. Their first job fair was held at St. Vincent de Paul’s on December 27, 28, and 29, 2016. The Turners had planned to hold two job fairs but having had such a great turn out at the first one, it was not needed.  They interviewed over 90 job seekers and made 44 offers. Some of the 44 dropped off leaving 38 employees. All are local La Pine residents. Some were commuting to Bend for work. Gina Turner states, “we feel really good because they are all local. We are a little over-staffed now but we will keep everyone.” Brett Turner says that St. Vincent de Paul was absolutely fantastic about helping them out with the space for the three-day job fair.

Brett Turner states that they “do not donate for kudos.” They like to donate because they value partnering and giving to the community to express good will. They are very appreciative for what the community of La Pine has done for them. They will be donating to the La Pine Crab Feed, and they plan to help Frontier Days. Part of their vision is to partner with the community and reach out to schools.

Brett and Gina have lived in La Pine for approximately two months. They moved from Concord, California.  They wanted to get out of the crowd and traffic. They both express that they like La Pine. “Everyone is friendly here,” Gina says.  They say that they are “extremely ecstatic to live in La Pine.” “We went to the Chamber breakfast and got a very warm round of applause. I was taken aback,” says Brett.

Inside the store they provide a full range of products and “trusted” brands with prices discounted at 40-70%. This is Grocery Outlet’s Corporate policy for its stores. Grocery Outlet is based in Emeryville, California with 279 stores located in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. The Owner-Operators Brett and Gina Turner are in what they call a partnership with Grocery Outlet.  It is not a franchisee-owned store. The Turners own everything in the building and are responsible for the employees and financials. The Emeryville-based corporation provides the groceries, and share the profits as a partnership. At the La Pine store, the Turners plan to create a supportive “mom and pop” partnership with their employees.

The Turners value giving to their customers, employees, and the community. When asked what their values are and what they would like to bring to the La Pine community, the answer is trust. “We want them to be able to trust us and depend on us, and know that they can get what they need at good prices and that the food is fresh. Also, when they have a concern or question, we will take care of them and get back to them when we say we will,” states Gina. As far as community, they value partnering by donating and helping out with whatever the needs are.  They also value being involved, and plan to live in La Pine for many years. [/read_more]

La Pine Restore Hires New Manager

By Sandy Jones – Golden Eagle, Staff Writer

New ReStore Manager Kristi McCulloch

New La Pine ReStore Manager Kristi McCulloch took charge on February 13, 2017. Her job is to oversee and manage the store and the employees. She will also be in charge of public relations, helping the community, and changing the store in many ways.

Kristi’s responsibilities also include getting involved in community activities, getting the word out, and creating a new perspective in the public eye for the La Pine ReStore. She plans to rebuild the store’s reputation by creating a new attitude and culture. She states that she feels confident about cleaning up the store and making it a presentable place to shop. She is using the Bend ReStore as a success model for many of her new ideas and changes. One change is to implement a new customer refund policy for La Pine’s ReStore. She will be spending time at the Bend ReStore to learn more ways to improve the La Pine Restore.

[read_more id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]Kristi’s priority is customer satisfaction. She looks forward to helping with Habitat for Humanity building projects plus helping businesses. She intends to take part in all  the Chamber events. She also wants to encourage people to volunteer and get involved with the ReStore.  She is very proud to be there and thinks it is a great organization.  She is very excited to turn the store around and make the community proud.

Another top priority of hers is to give back to the community. She will be helping the schools with their needs. For example, she would like to create a program where students make items and sell them in the store.  Also, she would like the Habitat Homes to ultimately be funded by the ReStore. Her long term goal and  top priority is to get the store’s financials up so it can fund their own Habitat Home building projects.

Kristi moved to La Pine in June 2016 from Beaver Creek in Clackamas County. In La Pine. She worked at Drug Mart as a clerk and managed the front end, ordering merchandise and setting up the store and displays. Her father, Steve Schroeder, is a longtime resident and business owner in La Pine. He is the former owner of Get R Dumped. Kristi spent six years home schooling her children and furthered her own education by working on her Associates degree.  She is pursuing a bachelors degree in accounting. She loves numbers and statistics. She says she is pretty well rounded and is a Beta Kappa Sorority sister. She was a good teacher for her children.

Because Kristi’s passion is accounting, she likes her management job because it is all about the numbers. Kristi is very excited to bring the best of what the ReStore can give to the community.  Kristi wants to restore the good reputation of the ReStore. As she puts it, “Don’t give up on us.”[/read_more]

STEM is More than Something that Holds a Flower!

By Helen Woods, Staff Writer

Students working on STEM Robotics water projects

You walk into Stacy Welsh’s Maker’s Space after school activity room and your first thought might be, “What in the world is going on in here!” Students are dismantling TVs, using wood nails, screws, and anything they can find to build a “gizmo” to solve problems.

Then there are students in Jason Mumm’s high school robotics class.  Students may have gears, electronic components, wheels, and miscellaneous design and programming plans laid out all over the place.  You may have to watch where you walk because student-built and programmed robots are being test run to check if they can complete specific tasks.

[read_more id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]Does this sound like he science classes you remember from middle school and high school?   Maybe the younger people reading this article might find things in common with the school experience, but the older you are, the lower the chance you can relate.  These students and teachers are participating in a national science education project called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEM interlaces these four areas into a hands-on, project based experience for students.

The word STEM, besides being an acronym, is also a reflection of our modern world.  Technology and engineering are bracketed by science and math.  People working in the world of technology and engineering rely on a basic understanding of the sciences and mathematics.  Think of the electricity you use every day.  Where does it come from?  How is it generated?  How does it get to your house?

Did you know that all electricity is generated because a coil of wire conducts electricity when a magnet moves back and forth inside the coil? All types of industrial generators (wind, water, steam, and nuclear) energy) move either a coil of metal back and forth around a magnet or move a magnet back and forth inside a coil. The simple knowledge of that relationship is behind all things electric. Solar energy is the only exception. It works on another basic scientific principle. If you were a STEM student, you would be challenged to find out what the behind solar energy is.

Want to see what the students are doing?  Come to STEM Night at the La Pine Middle School (16360 1st St.) on April 13th, 5:00-&7:00 in the Library.  This is a night our La Pine Middle School and High Schoolers get to show off what they have been doing. Who knows, they may even get you down on your knees building a robot or finding out how levers work! Refreshments will be available too!

OR Volunteer to work with Middle School students in the Makers Space Activity Center on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 2:30-3:30.  Be prepared to have fun!

OR Middle school students need supplies!  Can you donate materials to them?  They need things like lumber (even scrap lumber), nails, screw, old TV’s, small appliances, and the “stuff” needed for hands-on learning.  For more information, contact La Pine Middle School at 541-355-8200.


Helen Woods is the President of the La Pine STEM Group, a non-profit organization established to support the implementation of the program in to La Pine schools.  She has been an educator since the early 70’s and has taught science in grades 8-12, community college, and undergraduate and graduate courses in both science and teacher education.  She taught for 20 years at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon.

“When I became a teacher, the Russian launch of the first manmade satellite to orbit the Earth shattered America’s position as the world leader in science. Immediately, the way we taught science changed.  We went from teaching kids to memorize facts to students doing science.  We became hands-on.  We began to make classrooms into beehives of learning.  Today we call it STEM.”

“I was lucky because the profession I chose became my passion.  You may have heard that a lot of students don’t like science.  My biggest reward was when I could present science as exciting and relevant to them. I see the same thing happening in these STEM classes.  It is exciting!”[/read_more]