KWSO News for Fri., Apr. 1, 2022

The election results for the 29th Tribal Council of Warm Springs have been released. There were three incumbents, with Lincoln Jay Suppah and Raymond Moody retaining their seats in the Simnasho district and Wilson Wewa Jr. retaining his seat in the Seekseequa District. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is comprised of three districts. The 29th Tribal Council Members include: In the Simnasho District, Lincoln Jay Suppah, Raymond Moody, Carlos Calica and Delvis Heath (Warm Springs Chief), in the Agency District, James Manion, Alvis Smith III, Jonathan W. Smith Sr., and Alfred Smith Sr. (Wasco Chief), and in the Seekseequa District, Rosa Graybael, Wilson Wewa Jr., and Joseph Moses (Paiute Chief). According to an unofficial report, there was a turnout of 1081 voters. The newly selected Tribal Council will be sworn in in early May 2022 at the Tribal Administration Building in Warm Springs. This schedule is preliminary, allowing for any election objections in accordance with Tribal law.

The Warm Springs Community Action team is planning for the move of the Commissary building to its new site by Highway 26 on Monday April 4th.  As reported by the Spilyay Tymoo the commissary will be remodeled for the coming year and will become the Warm Springs Business Incubator helping small business to develop and thrive. On the Commissary moving day, the Community Action team will commemorate the event in partnership with Tribal Council and community members, project partners and key contributors and stakeholders. The action team’s plan is for the building remodel to happen during 2022 and into early 2023. When the completely renovated and remodeled building reopens in early 2023 the community action team plans for the structure to be a net-zero energy building. The Business Incubator will offer retail and co-working office space, classroom and conference room space and small business incubation services.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs community survey was administered in January and February 2022 through paper and web-based surveys. The purpose of the survey was to help decide how funding from the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA funds will be spent. A total of 110 people took the survey with almost 52% of them female and just over 44% male. One of the areas was gauging interest in working for the Tribes, where 15.4% said yes with 28.6% unsure and an overwhelming 40.7% saying no. Some of the reasons for not wanting to work with for the Tribes is Extreme low pay, inexperienced managers and housing issues as well as the COVID vaccine mandate for workers of the Tribes. In another section of the survey there were many different categories presented, among them, Public Health and Wellness, Culture and Heritage, housing and more. Some other potential ARPA funding priorities mentioned were the Ball fields, Increases to Employees pay, fixing “Water Issues” and much much more. The full details of the Survey is in this link Warm Springs Community Survey Results_03072022.

A special show in the sky could be in store for Central Oregonians as conditions in Central Oregon could allow us to see the northern lights, that mesmerizing green glow on the horizon, also known as the aurora borealis. As reported by KTVZ, Bob Grossfeld, observatory manager at the Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory, said Thursday that recent solar activity and clear conditions give Central Oregon a chance to see the special phenomenon, usually limited to areas much farther north. Grossfeld says Northern lights are caused by charged particles leaving the sun – kind of like a fluorescent lightbulb and when they hit the magnetic pole of the planet, they get excited and we see different colors. Your best chance at seeing the ribbon of colors in the sky is to be far away from city lights and as long as its dark out, you can expect to see them as early as 8:30pm, but a better shot later at night and they’re expected to be visible for a few days.

The final sentencing in the death of a Redmond man in August of 2020 has been handed down. Salbador Angeles Robinson has been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole on charges of first-degree manslaughter and conspiracy to commit a Class-A felony – first degree robbery. As reported by the Pioneer the sentence comes in relation to the stabbing death of Brian Jones of Redmond. According to court documents, the defendants were high on methamphetamine and acid when they abducted Jones in his vehicle before stabbing him in the vehicle and dumping his body on NW Danube Drive between Warm Springs and Madras. Oregon District Attorney Steve Leriche, after reading a letter from the victim’s son, stated that defendant Robinson had been truthful, respectful and had always accepted his role in the crime and had expressed desire to plead guilty and begin serving his time. The sentence was delivered by Jefferson County judge Annette Hillman.

According to reports in the Pioneer, the water company located in Culver, Earth2O is closing its plant as employees have reported that the company has said their jobs will end today. The water bottling company started in 1991 as Sweet-water, was taken over by Steve Emery in 2005 and in 2007 was rebranded to Earth2O. In July 2021 Primo Water Corporation bought out the company and 5 and a half months later, appears to be closing the company. Neither Primo nor Earth2O have returned calls to the Pioneer. It’s unclear whether the brand Earth2O will continue, but apparently the bottle will no longer hold Opal Springs water. The sole honor now belongs to the company down the Street, Opal Springs water. Both Opal Springs, which goes by the brand H2Otogo, and Earth2O bottle water from Opal Springs, the ancient aquifer that gushes award-winning water so pure it needs no treatment and is the source of residential water for Madras and other surrounding communities. The economic impact of the plant closure in Culver should be short term says Jon Stark, director of Economic Development of Central Oregon.

In Local Sports: the Madras High School Baseball team is on the road today to Mt. View High School in Bend with their game starting at 4:30PM. They currently have a 2-2 record and are looking for the victory over the 6A school who is 6-1 overall with their only loss coming against Redmond on Monday. The Buff Baseball team will also be on the road tomorrow as they travel to Burns for a Double header, 1st game will be at 11am against Ontario with the 2nd game at 2pm against Burns High School. Lady Buff’s softball is also on the road to Mt. View today as they look to start a winning streak as they won on Tuesday in Umatilla. They currently hold a 2-3 record and are facing off against a 6A team who lost two games early in the season but are currently on a 4 game winning streak. The Lady Buffs are back on the road tomorrow as they travel to Burns with game time at 11am. Good luck to the Madras White Buffalo teams.