Jefferson County, OR

Jefferson County Chinese drug cartel did multi-million dollar business

Marijuana confiscated in drug raid had estimated street value of $25 million Measuring the contraband recovered from the six-location drug bust last week, law enforcement now has a better idea of the size of the illicit drug operation going on in Jefferson County. Officers confiscated eight tons of processed marijuana and 17,704 plants with an estimated street value of $25 million during a June 14 multi-location raid. Multi-million dollar operation Investigators noted the group harvested every three to four months, putting potential gross income at between $75 and $100 million a year. Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp, director of the Central Oregon...
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Illegal Pot Farm Linked to International Network

Police seized more than eight tons of processed marijuana, 17,000 plants, four guns, and a large cache of money in a raid on six unlicensed marijuana farms around Madras and Culver that law enforcement claims are connected to a Chinese criminal network. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance...
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J.D. Alley of Culver named as state's top 2A/1A wrestling coach

After hosting two state tournaments - and winning a state title - Culver's J.D. Alley was named 2A/1A Coach of the Year. Another successful year of Culver wrestling, another trophy in the display case. J.D. Alley, the head wrestling coach at Culver High School, was named the 2A/1A Wrestling Coach of the Year by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association for the 16th time in his Hall of Fame career. The award, which was originally presented to Alley at the 2A/1A State Championships in Culver this past February, was made official at the end of the spring sports season. "It's a...

Jefferson County Celebrates Health Campus Opening

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical celebrate their new Health and Wellness Center Friday, with a 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. County Health Services Director Michael Baker says the facility opened last month and is already providing more streamlined healthcare for the community, "As simple as, a client walks in and we don’t provide the services that they need, we can now physically walk them to the provider that they need to make sure there’s that warm hand-off. To make sure that someone gets engaged in the services. And, I think that’s something that was missed as we were all spread out throughout town."

Central OR Economic Recovery Complete, Labor Shortage Continues

BEND, OR -- All three Central Oregon counties saw improved jobless numbers again in May. Jefferson County’s unemployment rate was 4.6% in May and Crook County's was 4.8%. Deschutes County’s jobless rate is now 3.4%; that's just a tenth of a point above the record low set right before the pandemic. But, Regional Economist Damon Runberg says it's no longer the fastest growing metro area, with employment expanding by just 2.5% last month. "That puts us now towards one of the slowest growth metro areas in Oregon. Portland is faster now, Eugene is faster, Corvallis is faster, Salem. The reality is, those are still metro areas that are continuing to try to recover from the pandemic. We’re just in a whole different phase of the labor market today, in Central Oregon."

Rockhounds Pow-Wow comes to Madras

Madras Rock, Gem and Mineral Show to be held at fairgrounds from June 23 through 26 The All Rockhounds Pow-Wow Club of America is hosting the Madras Rock, Gem and Mineral Show at the Jefferson County Fairground June 23 through 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This marks a return for the show, which has a long history in Madras, after missing the last two years due to the pandemic. The event will feature over 80 dealers providing gems, rocks, fossils, jewelry and more. They will also host daily field trips, activities, camping and nightly entertainment. Field trips are available to members only at $7.50 a person. The show is free to attend. {loadposition sub-article-01}

Cherry Tree proceeds support Jefferson County Fair

Rotary fundraiser provides $12,000 to the Jefferson County Fair which supports FFA and 4H The Jefferson County Rotary members Alexa and Tim Gassner (left) and Jennifer Holcomb (right) present a $12,000 check to the Jefferson County Fair Board represented by Katie Boyle and Terry Weitman (center). The donation comes from proceeds of the May 7 Cherry Tree fundraiser. {loadposition sub-article-01}

New health center celebrates opening

The health and wellness center serves as new building for Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical Mosaic Medical and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) invite the community to join them at a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m. The event will celebrate the opening of the Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center, a partnership between Mosaic and JCPH. Guests will be able to tour the facility, meet staff members and enjoy refreshments. The new building is located adjacent to St. Charles Madras at 500 NE A St. on land donated by the hospital system....

Jason Pollock swears in as Jefferson County Sheriff

As key staff resign, Pollock's first goal is to restore stability to the office A giddy crowd of supporters welcomed a smiling Jason Pollock into the Jefferson County Commission chambers Monday, June 20. When the digital clock flipped to 5:01, the contractual moment of the transfer between sheriffs, County Clerk Kate Zemke administered the oath of office. "Now the real work begins," said Pollock. "I'm going to do everything I can to make this community better." One of his first jobs, Pollock mentioned, will be to fill two key positions. Last week Jail Commander Lieutenant Amber Hanohano turned in her resignation,...

5 arrested, 16K pounds of marijuana seized during drug bust in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Deputies busted a huge drug operation in Central Oregon last week believed to be run by a Chinese cartel. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it worked alongside United States Homeland Security, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team and the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team to serve several arrest warrants in Madras and Culver on June 14.

Irrigation board increases water allotment

Cooler and wetter weather allows the NUID board to give growers another .05 acre footThe North Unit Irrigation Board decided on Tuesday, June 14, to increase the amount of water its patrons may use on their crops this year. It's a tiny increase, just five 100ths of an acre foot, but at least it's a step forward instead of the unprecedented step backwards that happened last year. Due to the extended, severe drought, and the water releases environmental agreements require the district to release, the board started the year with a starkly conservative allotment, just .45 acre feet of water, less than a quarter of the water North Unit farmers usually get. Last year the board started with one acre foot, and extreme dry and hot weather caused them to back down from that allotment twice, to finally deliver only .8 acre feet of water, and cut the season off mid-August when water usually flows through to October. The cooler, rainier spring has allowed the board to increase the allotment incrementally from .45 acre feet to .55 acre feet for Deschutes water users, and .28 acre feet for Crooked River water users. {loadposition sub-article-01}

New Jefferson County Sheriff Gets Down To Business

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County’s new Sheriff was sworn in Monday evening. Jason Pollock was appointed to the post when former Sheriff Marc Heckathorn stepped down, following his loss to Pollock in the May election. Heckathorn's decision puts Pollock in place six months ahead of schedule. Sheriff Pollock spoke...

Oregon Heritage Commission awards grants to museum projects

SALEM — The Oregon Heritage Commission has awarded $75,722 in grants to 12 museums throughout the state. Included in those awards are the Dufur Historical Society and Living History Museum in Wasco County, to re-roof the Schreiber log cabin, and the Museum at Warm Springs in Jefferson County, to develop and install a multi-faceted, multimedia exhibit that features firsthand accounts and personal stories about the culturally significant places and experiences of Indigenous people from the Columbia River system.

Roundhouse Foundation Grant Supports Dental Care in Madras

(Mosaic Madras Health Center | Photo courtesy of Mosaic Medical) A $50,000 grant from The Roundhouse Foundation in Sisters will support the purchase of dental equipment for the Mosaic Madras Health Center. The center is part of the new Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center, a partnership with Mosaic Medical and Jefferson County Public Health that recently opened. A community ribbon-cutting celebration for the facility is set for Friday, June 24 at 2:30pm.

Fire on Feather Drive takes RV and outbuilding

Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 responded to fire caused by electric smoker Thursday Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 was dispatched to 6410 Southwest Feather Drive at approximately 7:33 p.m. June 16 in response to a reported structure fire with an RV involved. The first unit arrived and found an outbuilding and RV fully engulfed in flames, and began creating a fire line to prevent spread to other nearby structures. One engine, one truck, one water tender, one command vehicle and two medic units responded to the incident, with five volunteers and six staff. Both the RV and shed were total losses. A few personal belongings were salvaged. Responders remained at the scene for two hours. The Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 was assisted by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County EMS and PP&L. {loadposition sub-article-01}

County road trips packed with views and history

New book gives details for short daytrips in Jefferson County, historical stories and photosTo thoroughly learn and enjoy the history and wonder of a place, it helps to live it, touch it, see it, to get out and experience it. Former Madras resident Stan Pine's new book "Historic Drives Through Scenic Jefferson County Oregon" is a perfect tool for those looking to experience the county, learn some of its history, and experience some of its wonder. Pine breaks his book into four sections: southern and central county drives; the eastern county; northern Jefferson County; and the western...