KWSO News for Thu., May 5, 2022

A cougar sighting last week near the Warm Springs K-8 Academy was reported by a tribal utilities worker and a tribal member off Chukar road between East Tenino and Quail Trail. Warm Springs Tribal Police responded in force along with BNR Wildlife Dept. and BNR Conservation Officer. They found signs of tracks and found the animal followed horse trails heading east back toward the hill behind Greeley heights. The tracks identified it as a younger lion that was probably displaced by increase in territorial disputes by its siblings and or other adults after leaving its mother. There haven’t been any other signs of the lion since last week but residents are asked to keep pet food and small animals secured as it’s common for lions of this age to take easy prey like dogs/cats and newborn foals and calves. Wildlife, Range & Ag Manager Austin Smith Jr said they did notify a former APHIS-Wildlife Service representative that contracts for lion removal but he is currently unavailable. They will continue to monitor the area and setup trial cameras to see if this animal is routinely visiting the area.

A Grand opening and art crawl with live arts and vendors for the Artspace by Tananawit will be held on Friday May 6th from 10am to 2pm at the Indian Head Casino Plaza. As reported by the Spilyay tymoo, this landmark feat is strategic plan and initiative provides art opportunities, programming and other endeavors for artist representation for the Columbia River Tribes, specifically the community of Warm Springs. Jaime Scott is the Tananawit Executive Director and will provide the opening prayer and blessing at 10am followed by a prayer song by Eagle Thunder and remarks by Tananawit Chair Charlene Dimmick. The future home of Tananawit will be located in the Warm Springs Community Action Teams Business Incubator which plans to be remodeled and open in early 2023.

The Jefferson County 509J school district has announced that Driver education courses will be offered at Madras High School this upcoming summer in July and August.  Classroom sessions will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00-3:00pm and there will also be behind the wheel sessions once a week for two hours on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons. 509J is covering the registration costs for families for this first summer of programming. You can register online (

May 17th is Election Day in Oregon.  It is a Primary Election with local non-partisan candidates as well.   If you are a registered voter – and you don’t receive your ballot by Friday you should- contact your county clerk.  You can return your ballot by mail.  No stamp is needed.  If mailed, your ballot must be postmarked on or before 8pm on May 17th.  In Warm Springs the official ballot box is located across the street from the Post Office and there is a Drop Box in Simnasho at Three Warriors Market. This week the City Club of Central Oregon is hosting candidate forums. The Jefferson County Sheriff Forum was held on Monday featuring incumbent Marc Heckathorn and challenger Jason Pollock. Yesterday they hosted a forum for Jefferson County Commission Position 1 and Today will be the Jefferson County Commission Position 2 Forum. You can learn more at

Woman’s advocates and Native Americans gathered last night (WEDNESDAY) in Springfield’s Heron Park, to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. “Roughly 40 people came to hear poems about relatives and friends lost to violence or abduction. Co-organizer Marta Clifford is a Grand Ronde tribal member. She worked with students from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College on the ceremony. Marta Clifford: “Our voices have power. And we spoke to the people that are missing and murdered, and we know they heard us. So that’s what I want the students to take away, that their voices matter, they made a difference tonight.” The event hit home for Megan Van Pelt, a U of O junior from the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Megan Van Pelt: “I know too many aunties and too many cousins, I know too many of my friends who’ve gone through sexual assault, and I guess today’s making space for ourselves. (sniff) And we are here for our lost sisters, our lost cousins.” The Indian Resource Law Center says over half of Native women have experienced sexual violence. I’m Brian Bull, reporting in Springfield.”

On Tuesday, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, Regional BIA Director Bryan Mercier and several Senior BIA advisors visited three Columbia River tribal fishing access sites. Assistant Secretary Newland announced that $880,000 had been provided by the Biden-Harris Administration to upgrade the water and sanitation systems at Cascade Locks, Ft Rains (Bonneville), and Cooks tribal fishing access sites. The funding, which comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will cover engineering and design services for infrastructure upgrades at the three sites needed to address water sanitation and contribute to the progress being made on projects authorized under the Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act. The assessment of all the sites that was authorized in the Act is nearly complete. It includes engineering assessments, input from tribal leadership and site use and reports from tribal members who live or fish at the sites. Tribal leadership will use the assessment to determine projects and funding requests over the next several years to address needs at all the 31 sites along the Columbia River.

In Local Sports: the Warm Springs Nation Little League is in action today as the Major Baseball Lil Bucks are on the road to Bend South today, game time is at 6pm and the Junior Baseball Springers are hosting Crook County 1 this evening at 6pm. Madras High School Buff Boys Baseball was in action yesterday as they traveled to Corbett for league action, they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning as Ethan Graeme hit a 3 run home run, a 12 run 3rd inning gave the Buffs a 21-0 lead and 6 runs over the 4th and 5th innings brought them home with a 27-1 victory. Next up for the Buff Boys, they are on the road to North Marion today in more league action, game time is 4:30PM. Lady Buffs Softball was in action yesterday as they traveled to Corbett and came home victorious with a 9-6 win. Today they are on the road to North Marion in league play, game time 4:30pm.

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