News Stories for Tue., Aug. 8, 2017

Students representing Northwest Tribes kicked off the annual Inter-Tribal Energy & Tech Tour at the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project on Monday. The project has generated clean, renewable, emissions-free electricity to nearly 150,000 Oregon homes for over 10 years and is co-owned and co-managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs and Portland General Electric. The Tour’s mission is to raise awareness among Native American youth for opportunities in STEM-related careers and utilizes social media marketing to share student experiences with their communities via Twitter and Facebook. The 2017 Tour is focusing on a range of topics including; renewable energy, tribal energy, smart grid, datacenters and careers. In addition to visiting the Pelton Round Butte Project, students will travel across Oregon and California.

The wildfire burning more than 5,400 acres of timber and brush has closed trails to Mount Jefferson and Jefferson Park indefinitely, blocking public access through the solar eclipse later this month, the Willamette National Forest Service announced Monday. Heavy smoke, heat conditions and other factors from the Whitewater fire led to the closure as a precaution, said Barbara Dogan, a Forest Service spokeswoman. Firefighters aren’t expected to contain the fire until the end of October, managers said.

he Interior Department has unveiled a plan to protect the threatened sage grouse that gives Western states greater flexibility to allow mining, logging and other economic development where it now is prohibited. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the strategy Monday for the ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range. Zinke insists that the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth and job creation. States affected by the plan are California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Madras High School Volleyball is in its final week of summer training before tryouts. Due to freshman early start, the tryouts for ALL players will be August 14-17 from 1-4:00. On these days there will be an open gym/practice type period from 9-11am. This will be for volleyball players to work on anything specific they need help with.

Oregon officials say Willamette River steelhead are on the verge of extinction because they’re getting eaten by sea lions at Willamette Falls. They’re asking Congress for permission to kill some of the sea lions this year to protect the fish. Native winter steelhead are already on the Endangered Species List because they’re threatened by the impacts of dams and habitat loss. But with more and more sea lions feasting on fish below Willamette Falls, new data show the steelhead now face about a 90 percent chance of being wiped out altogether. In a recent study, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife counted the number of fish being eaten by sea lions at Willamette Falls and compared it to the number of fish passing over the falls. They found the sea lions ate more than a quarter of the entire steelhead run this year.  Officials with the state wildlife office support a bill sponsored by U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, that would change the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which sea lions are protected under, to make it easier for managers to kill sea lions in the Columbia River Basin.

In anticipation of an increased demand for health care services the week around the solar eclipse, some St. Charles clinics will offer walk-in appointments for extended hours. From Aug. 16 through Aug. 23, the following clinics will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.: St. Charles Immediate Care East in Bend, and St. Charles Family Care in Redmond, Prineville and Madras. With the eclipse less than 2 weeks away, St. Charles is encouraging people to be prepared for the significant population increase in the area and the stress this may place on services. Be sure to wear NASA-approved eclipse glasses during the event to prevent eye damage. Stay hydrated with drinkable water and use ample sunscreen during these hot summer days. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Also keep extra supplies at home including:  ·         Water·         Diapers·         Wipes·         Nonperishable food items·         Toilet paper·         and, Pet food.  And, If you take a prescription medication, talk to your provider to make sure you have an ample supply during this time as it may be difficult to get to a pharmacy.

The A-A-R-P Tax Aide Foundation has announced another successful year of returning people’s money in Oregon and is getting ready for next year. Nearly 12-hundred volunteers helped return more than 52-million dollars, helping nearly 73-thousand Oregonians file their state and federal tax returns. Bob Bruce, A-A-R-P Foundation Tax Aide state coordinator for Oregon, says the Tax-Aide program enters its 50th year of operation next year. The program is free for anyone looking for tax-preparation help. Bruce notes that the program is not just for people age 50 and older.  It is for low-income people prepare their taxes.” The program is recruiting volunteers for next year’s tax season. All volunteers, returning or new, have to complete online training. Bruce says that’s due to the changes in tax laws every year. A-A-R-P is looking for volunteers with any level of experience and hopes to find volunteers who can speak multiple languages. Interested Oregonians can go to ‘’ to sign up. In Warm Springs, the AARP Tax Aide Site is coordinated through the Community Action Team office.