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Inside chopperMIDDLE SISTER: Benjamin Newkirk, a 39-year-old climber from Bend, was found deceased late Sunday morning after a multi-day search that was complicated by extreme weather.
Newkirk was climbing the 10,047 foot Middle Sister with another climber when he fell off the west side of the south-east ridge of the mountain on Wednesday, November 12th, at approximately 10 p.m.
On Thursday, searchers were able to hike in seven miles from the Obsidian Trailhead but had to turn back around 2 p.m. when they were at the 6,200 foot level due to heavy snowfall and poor visibility. On Friday a fixed wing aircraft patrolled the area, reporting they could not see the mountain due to a low cloud ceiling.
The search team that found Newkirk included 15 volunteers - from Eugene Mountain Rescue and Corvallis Mountain Rescue, two Incident Command staff in Bend assisting with communications, and Command staff managing the mission from Eugene.

 

Bridge reconstruction mapRAINBOW: Local drivers will need to change their normal routes next year due to restoration work scheduled for the Belknap Covered Bridåçge. Theå Lane County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to approve a work schedule this week calling for preservation work to occur from April through September of 2015.
According to Lane County Public Works, the proposed closure is in the public interest so that the bridge rehabilitation work can be done safely and more efficiently.

 

 

Search & Rescue teamMIDDLE SISTER: Benjamin Newkirk, the 39-year-old climber from Bend, Oregon, was found deceased late this morning (11/16) after a multi-day search that was complicated by extreme weather.
Newkirk was climbing the Middle Sister with another climber when he fell off the west side of the south-east ridge of the mountain on Wednesday, November 12th, at approximately 10:00 pm.

Weather conditionsMIDDLE SISTERS: The search is continuing for Ben Newkirk, a 39 year old Bend, Oregon resident who is reported to have fallen to the west off the south-east ridge of the Middle Sister in the Three Sisters Wilderness around 10:00 pm on Wednesday, November 12th. Search and Rescue Teams from Deschutes and Lane County responded. The climbing partner of Newkirk was able to walk out to Camp Lake where their camp was established. He was assisted out and back to Bend by Deschutes Search and Rescue personnel.

 

 

 

Lane County Search and Rescue deployed to Search for Fallen Climber - Middle Sister

THE HISTORIC MCKENZIE PASS HIGHWAY CLOSES FOR THE SEASON

McKENZIE BRIDGE - With 6 inches of snow already accumulated on McKenzie Pass Highway and another 8-10 inches expected through Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close Oregon 242 for the season as of 9 a.m. today.

Built in the mid-1930s, the highway became a seasonal scenic highway in the 1960s with the completion of the Clear Lake-Belknap Springs section of OR 126.

EWEB logoUtilities warn customers about latest scam
The Eugene Water & Electric Board is warning customers to be wary of a new type of phone scam that is targeting utility customers throughout the Northwest.

McKenzie River Golf CourseLANE COUNTY HEARINGS OFFICIAL
Thursday, November 13, 9:30 a.m., Customer Service Center (CSC), 3050 N. Delta Hwy., Eugene OR
Agenda:

CulvertSALEM: Officials are saying taxpayers and native fish will both benefit under a new culvert repair pilot program agreed upon by the Oregon departments of Transportation and Fish and Wildlife, and recently approved by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The three-year pilot program will make it easier for ODOT to make short-term repairs to culverts within its highway system. In return for including site-specific improvements in fish passage at each site, ODOT will receive a temporary reprieve from the state’s fish passage requirements that often involve more extensive repairs to provide full passage to native migratory fish.

 

 

FINN ROCK: “I’ve been trying to emphasize the idea of public relations and relationship building,” was the way Jim Thomas explained his work as the new McKenzie Schools superintendent. Speaking at last week’s meeting of the school board, he encouraged the district to again work on developing a strategic plan. Referring to past experiences with similar exercises, Thomas said, “By the time you’re done with it the local community is involved and it becomes like a living document. I’d like to throw it out just to get your input.”
Board member Alyssa Brownlee said she’d had some experience with the strategic planning process when she worked at Clark College. “Initially there was a lot of anticipation and resistance,” she recalled. “I myself was thinking about another thing to do, more papers to fill out. After we went through the process I actually found it was kind of fun. Having clear goals that we all worked on was really helpful,” she added.
Referring to the school’s previous strategic plan, board member Kathy Keable said that it has lain dormant in part because it had occurred at a “rather tumultuous time for the district.” Keable felt the study, conducted with the Planning, Public Policy and Management  program at the University of Oregon, “Was a start but we didn’t keep it going and really look at it to make changes. It should be something that’s ours and not theirs.” (Click title to continue)

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.