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Sidenotes 11/23-11/30 

Black ice led to a series of crashes Monday, and left one man stranded on an island in the Snake River. Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police.

Black ice led to a series of crashes Monday, and left one man stranded on an island in the Snake River. Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police.

Idaho Man Survives a Crash, a Fall and a Swim in the Snake River

An Idaho man who stopped to help another driver on Interstate 84 is recovering after a series of crashes left him swimming in the Snake River. Oregon State Police say Steven Arrasmith of Mesa, Idaho, stopped his Jeep behind Steven Bailey's Chevrolet Colorado around 6am Monday morning, after Bailey lost control on black ice and slid into a bridge over the Snake River near milepost 378 in Malheur County.

As Arrasmith was helping Bailey, police say a Hyundai lost control on the black ice and hit Arrasmith's Jeep. The Jeep in turn hit Arrasmith and caused him to go over the bridge railing. Police say Arrasmith hung onto the bridge for a short time, even while injured, before falling 50 feet into the Snake River. Police say Arrasmith was able to take off his heavier layers of clothing and swim to an island in the river to await rescue. Rescuers took Arrasmith to an Ontario medical center for non-life threatening injuries. The driver in the first crash was not hurt, and police say the driver of the Hyundai had minor injuries.

South Third Street Sidewalk Work on Pause

With the coming of winter, the construction along South Third Street in Bend is on pause for the season. Over the past several months, crews have been at work constructing and improving the sidewalks and curb ramps along that stretch of Third Street in order to make them safer for pedestrians, and to make them compliant with Americans with Disabilities standards. In addition, crews have been working to replace storm water catch basins in the bike lanes with new curb-inlet catch basins.

Crews have already wrapped up work for the season, according to the City of Bend, and are tentatively scheduled to start again in March. The project is expected to be finished in July of 2017.

Homeless Student Numbers Dip in Bend, Redmond

A report released Tuesday from the Oregon Department of Education shows 21,671 kids in Oregon experienced homelessness during the 2015-2016 school year, up from 21,214 from the previous school year.

According to the report, 576 students in the Bend-La Pine Schools district, representing about 3.29 percent of enrollment, experienced homelessness in 2015-16. That's down from the 2014-15 numbers, when there were 680 Bend-La Pine students experiencing homelessness, according to DOE data. In the vast majority of situations, students were "doubled up," meaning living in a household besides their own, (such as a family member or friend) though the 2015-16 numbers show 77 K-12 students living unsheltered in the Bend-La Pine district, and 120 living "unaccompanied."

In Redmond, the DOE report says 393 students experienced homelessness last school year, representing about 5.34 percent of the student population. That number is down from the 2014-15 school year, when the report says 543 Redmond students experienced homelessness.

In Crook County, 84 students—or 2.8 percent of the student population— experienced homelessness in '15-16, while in Jefferson County there were 77 students, or 2.64 percent of students reporting homelessness. The situation is attributed largely to the affordable housing crisis felt across Oregon.

"It is a statewide tragedy that last year, we allowed over 21,000 kids to experience homelessness, including one in seven kids in the Lincoln County school district. Our children should be thinking about their homework and playtime, and not worrying about where they will sleep at night," said Commissioner Bill Hall of Lincoln County, in a statement released Tuesday by Stable Homes for Oregon Families. "We can do more to protect kids and families from experiencing homelessness in Oregon. The Legislature should act to protect all Oregonians from housing instability and homelessness."

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