A Year in Local News | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

A Year in Local News

As 2020 comes to a close, a look back at some of the Source's biggest stories of the year

Remember having New Year's parties? Or how about raucous family gatherings with all the beloved (and tolerated) relatives crowding around? Remember PPE shortages, wildfires, protests and protests about closures?

A Year in Local News
Nicole Vulcan
In late May, Central Oregonians gathered in downtown Bend for the first of what would turn into a summer of demonstrations centered around justice for George Floyd and other Black people killed at the hands of police.

A lot can change in a year—and while many people are more than ready to put 2020 behind us, we're taking one last look at some of the stories that impacted Source Weekly readers most in 2020. These are the stories that we'll remember most. To read this collection of stories in their entirety, check out the news page of bendsource.com.

#10 April 17, 2020

St. Charles Nurse Shares an Insider's Perspective on Caring for COVID-19 Patients

He's on the team intubating patients in Bend. This is what he wants you to know.

David Hilderbrand is a registered nurse who usually works in the operating room at St. Charles Bend. He serves on the board of the Oregon Nurses Association as a negotiating chair for nurses who work for St. Charles Bend. When the hospital shut down elective surgeries in the beginning of March, Hilderbrand moved to the frontline, working directly with COVID-19 patients on the intubation team. We chatted with him about his experience. Source Weekly: I think a lot of our readers are interested in an insider's perspective from someone who is working on the frontlines of this pandemic. So first of all, how are you doing and feeling right now?

David Hilderbrand: There's a cautious optimism mixed with an inevitable anxiety. Anytime there is a pandemic, you know you're going to be on the receiving end of the most affected patients in the community; that's where the anxiety comes from.  READ THE ENTIRE STORY

#9 Aug. 14, 2020

What we know, and what we want to know about Wednesday's ICE roundups of two Bend men

We've learned a lot about the men, the ICE activity and more. But there's lots more to learn.

A Year in Local News
Nicole Vulcant
In August, hundreds of locals converged on a parking lot near downtown Bend to stop two Immigration and Customs Enforcement buses from leaving with two detainees who live in Bend.

By now, Central Oregonians—along with many people across the U.S—have heard the remarkable tale of how a small group of activists rallied a crowd of hundreds Wednesday to stand in front of two buses from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, holding the buses back from driving away with two Bend men inside. The Source was on the scene of events early on, first sending intern Kyle Switzer around 12:30 to begin livestreaming. We'd been watching the livestream of Mecca Bend and the Central Oregon Peacekeepers—two groups first to arrive at the scene—since late morning, and knew we needed a reporter there. READ THE ENTIRE STORY

#8 Oct. 7, 2020

The Bubble That Won't Burst

As people from affluent cities pour into Bend to escape COVID-19, home sales and rent prices skyrocket, leaving locals priced out of the market

"It's quite extraordinary. Home sale prices increased by 15% just this summer. Historically, it's 7% to 9% a year," said Brian Ladd, a principal agent at Cascade Sotheby's. Ladd grew up in the real estate industry and has been a broker for the past 20 years.

"People are panic buying. I've never seen anything like this," he said. 

#7 March 28, 2020

Bend is Awesome. Don't Come Here.

In a 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. But for some locals, it's just the type of direction around outside visitors that they've been looking for from local leaders. READ THE ENTIRE STORY

#6 May 30, 2020

Hundreds Gather, Largely Masked, for a Black Lives Matter Rally in Downtown Bend

Bend's rally remains peaceful, while others nationwide turn violent

The death of George Floyd—who died after a now-former Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes—has been a tipping point in the U.S., causing many to rally, and some to lash out violently across the U.S. over the past several days.

In Portland, people broke into the Portland Justice Center and lit fires, among other damage. In Minneapolis, people lit the police station where the four officers involved in detaining Floyd worked. In Bend, the response was significant—but more tame. Hundreds of people gathered near Greenwood and Wall streets Saturday morning, eventually doing an impromptu march from Wall to Bend's busy 3rd Street. READ THE ENTIRE STORY

#5 May 11, 2020

First Friday: Phase One Reopening in Central Oregon

What reopening—which could happen Friday—really means for businesses in Central Oregon

This Friday, some of the small businesses that bring personality, culture and soul to towns and cities across Oregon may get the chance to reopen. Stores including art galleries, jewelry shops and boutiques, along with local restaurants, barber shops, gyms and many "non-essential" businesses may be able to begin to welcome customers, after surviving nearly two months with little to no revenue.


#4 April 23, 2020

B.J. Soper: Hero or Outlaw?

The Source sits down with B.J. Soper, the man behind the Redmond demonstrations against the Governor's shutdown orders. *Includes podcast version*

More than 200 people gathered outside Redmond City Hall April 17, demonstrating against Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. They'll be back again this Friday. This week, we talked with the organizer of that Redmond demonstration.  READ THE ENTIRE STORY

#3 March 22, 2020

Things are Getting Weird

An attack on a Bend Uber driver, a missing Arizona snowmobiler and an explosion near Bend: Is this what isolation does to us?

A handful of seemingly unrelated incidents in Central Oregon this weekend have a connecting thread: They're all things that local law enforcement has to deal with, even while they attempt to maintain the maximum social distancing possible.

An attack on an Uber driver in Bend This morning, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office reported that a Bend man was in custody, following an alleged attack on an Uber driver. The Uber driver told officers that she picked up Mark Mastalir Saturday night. Mastalir, age 52, was intoxicated, the driver told cops, and didn't give the specific address where he was going on Skyline Ranch Road, telling the driver he would lead her to the right address.

#2 March 4, 2020

Coronavirus Comes to Oregon

Central Oregon agencies mobilize in anticipation of the arrival of COVID-19 in the region—and in hopes of preventing its spread

As of Tuesday, three people in the state have "presumed cases" of COVID-19, the virus first identified in China in late December. The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory in Hillsboro was certified to process COVID-19 tests Feb. 28. Just hours later, it confirmed its first "presumed positive" case.

#1 Sep. 9, 2020

Oregon is Burning, and the Fires Are Zero Percent Contained

Officials warn Oregonians to be prepped to evacuate—and to be ready for significant loss of life and property in the coming days

A Year in Local News
The Source
The Red Cross supported evacuees in Central Oregon, who were housed at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and various hotels in Redmond following the fires.

Damage from this week's wildfires across Oregon could be the largest loss of life and property ever seen from fires. So far, the many fires—some which have combined to become one mega-fire—are 0% contained. The cities of Detroit, Vida, Talent and Phoenix have been "substantially destroyed."

Officials have high hopes for tomorrow, when the winds that have pummeled the western slope of the Cascades from Clackamas County all the way to the Oregon-California border are expected to change direction and slow down.


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