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And the A-Hole Award Goes To...

And the A-Hole Award Goes To...

The Redmond man who (allegedly) spit at a Bend cop and said he had coronavirus
First it was the price gougers. Now, in the era of coronavirus, the Deschutes County District Attorney has some more strong words—this time, for people who attempt to infect law enforcement officers with COVID-19.

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April 1 is Census Day. Did You Make It Count?

An accurate population count brings in billions in federal funding to Oregon. And it only takes 10 minutes
Every 10 years, the federal government embarks on a nationwide people-counting project. It started in 1790 and is required by the U.S. Constitution.

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Crook County Sees Its First COVID-19 Case

After weeks without any cases, health officials in Prineville report one positive case in the county
Crook County is seeing its first reported case of COVID-19. The county health department announced Wednesday afternoon that one person had tested positive for the virus, and stated that the case appears to be related to travel.

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St. Charles Puts Out New Call: 10,000 Community Made Masks

Hospital system aims to get its employees masked, then distribute more masks elsewhere
Since the advent of COVID-19 in Oregon, local people with sewing skills have been mobilizing to create homemade masks that help address the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers. Groups such as the Central Oregon Emergency Mask Makers have formed from the ether in the past couple weeks.

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Make Masks Cool

Bend nurses dole out PPE for fellow workers, after an angel donation falls in their laps
Editor's note: There's so much going on in the world of hand-made mask making and community efforts to protect health care workers (and others), that we simply can't put it all in one single story. As a result, we're launching the "Masking Together" series, telling the stories of people working grassroots-style to support their community in Central Oregon.

Local News

How I Spent My Day: In the era of coronavirus, a lens on lives changing quickly in Central Oregon

Today, hear from Anna Koch, a laid-off ski instructor from Bend
Editor's note: I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of people are seeing their lives transformed right now. Whether it's having kids underfoot while working from home, applying for unemployment, waiting out the COVID-19 storm from the comfort of home with loved ones around or even engaging in a daily struggle to survive and get basic necessities, Central Oregonians—and all Americans, really—are undergoing vast changes to their lives.

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Checking In With Sen. Ron Wyden

Wyden pushes for more unemployment benefits, money for hospitals and nationwide vote by mail
I talked to Sen. Ron Wyden this morning, ranking member of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Finance, who is still in Washington, D.C. preparing for future legislation to respond to the coronavirus crisis. We chatted about unemployment reform, vote by mail and more.

Local News

The Deschutes Library is Your New Netflix

From crafting courses to classic and foreign films, DPL has resources to deepen the mind or simply escape the chaos
The Deschutes Public Library system went digital long before novel coronavirus hit Central Oregon. Now, it's ramping up digital collections and live streaming its programs.

Local News

Many Central Oregon School Meal Sites Re-Open Starting Monday

After more limited locations during spring break, offerings increase this week
Many more school meal sites will be available in Central Oregon starting Monday, March 30. Sites were more limited over spring break, which technically took place last week—though with kids out of school in Oregon since mid-March and Gov. Kate Brown's "Stay Home Save Lives" order in place, the break wasn't quite as eventful as it might have been.

Local News

Bend is Awesome. Don't Come Here.

In an city dominated by tourism, Bend's city manager makes an order aimed at keeping visitors away
Eric King, Bend City manager released an order Friday, “discouraging tourist travel” through the end of April. It doesn't outright outlaw it, however, nor does it pose any fines for violations, nor demand cancellations for current bookings.

Local News

Counseling From The Comfort of Home

Central Oregon mental health providers mobilize to offer a range of services online or over the phone
Mental health counseling and psychological services are now more accessible than ever, partially thanks to the federal government lifting restrictions on telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic. It seems like years ago that the first COVID-19 case came to Central Oregon.

Local News

The (Other) Unsung Heroes

A Bend grocery store employee weighs in on her personal experiences with the COVID-19 feeding frenzy
While the vast majority of us are exercising our privilege to hunker down in the safety of our own homes while bingeing Netflix and eating excessive amounts of Top Ramen, grocery store employees continue going to work every day, essentially putting their lives at risk in order to keep up safe and stocked up. Some stores are taking this into consideration and offering employees increased compensation and special benefits; Market of Choice, Newport Market and Albertsons upped pay, for example.

Local News

SNAP Participants Can Now Buy Food Online

Pilot program launched in March goes live for all Oregonians on assistance—though options are limited in eastern and central Oregon
Oregonians who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can now buy their groceries online, using their SNAP cards. The change makes it possible for people to order goods through both Amazon and Walmart—though in Central Oregon, the service, at this point, is fairly limited.

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Ripple Effect

How bad are things looking for the local economy? Central Oregon’s economic expert weighs in
Social distancing has devastated the restaurant and tourism industry, but other sectors are feeling the heat, too. In a virtual meeting with 800 attendees this afternoon, Damon Runberg, a state economist with the Oregon Employment Department, described the potential impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on the local economy.

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"Help Is On The Way"

$2 trillion federal stimulus will likely pass, including at least $1200 for everyone who filed taxes in '18 or '19
The largest economic aid package in American history is expected to pass within days, following compromises from both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. According to Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley—who hosted a virtual press conference from Washington, D.C. with Oregon reporters this afternoon—Oregon will receive up to $1.5 billion in stabilization funds, of which about half will be distributed by Gov. Kate Brown.

Local News

Asian in the Age of Coronavirus

Coronavirus affects local Asian Americans in more ways than one
As COVID-19 continues to affect Central Oregon, we’re experiencing a number of growing struggles, including shortages in toilet paper, masks, test kits, Lysol and other supplies.  Also add rice to that list.  

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