The Madras Pioneer

Greetings from Madras: New mural welcomes visitors

The mural on 5th St. is part of Central Oregon's mural trail, with murals across Central Oregon If you've drive down Fifth Street recently, you may have seen the new mural on the Midland Realty building. The mural features local flora and fauna as well as scenes from the Jefferson County landscape. The mural was painted by Karen Eland and Katie Daisy as part of a project by Visit Central Oregon's mural trail. The project has painted murals across the region in Central Oregon communities. Visit Central Oregon has started the project to inspire tourism and art in...
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Fire district buys shiny but used ladder truck

The 1998 ladder truck is newer, safer and longer than the 1984 model it will replace Jefferson County Fire and EMS spent $125,000 to buy a used 1998 41-foot ladder truck, and another $16,000 to ship it from Penndel, Pennsylvania. Fire Chief Jeff Baker says the district needs to replace its 1984 Pierce Telesquirt. At 38 years old, the Telesquirt has surpassed the 15-year expected use in a front line position, and even the expected 25-30-year life span of a fire truck on reserve status. "Think of how much technology has increased since 1984," said Blake. "This (1998 model)...
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Fire Marshal hosts defensible space town hall

The town hall will discuss rules and regulations of defensible space for homeownersThe Oregon Fire Marshal is hosting a series of town halls across Central Oregon to update and discuss the 2022 Oregon Defensible Space code with landowners. The presentation in Madras will be held at the Madras Performing Arts Center at 412 SE Buff Street on August 18 at 5:30 p.m. The fire marshal is holding the town halls as code and regulations are developed after the passage of SB 762. As part of the bill, they are taking public comment and holding hearings on the code across the region. {loadposition sub-article-01}

CENTRAL OREGON HISTORY: Paisley Caves open door to past civilizations

Archeological excavations change timeline of earliest human occupation of North America Paisley Caves are located along the old wave-cut terraces of ancient Lake Chewaucan near Paisley, Oregon in Oregon's Great Basin. During past ice ages, the basin was occupied by a huge inland lake, with the only remnant now being Summer Lake. Multiple wildlife and plants were living along the shores and waterways. The caves were first archaeologically excavated in 1938-39 by renowned University of Oregon archaeologist Luther S. Cressman. His findings determined that early human occupants had inhabited their environment at the same time as extinct Pleistocene species,...

Metolius puts psilocybin on the ballot

City council joins other cities in the county to let voters decide on psilocybin ban At a special meeting, Monday, Aug. 8, the Metolius City Council decided to put an ordinance on the November ballot allowing voters in the city to decide whether to permanently ban psilocybin manufacture and treatment centers within Metolius city limits. The city joins ranks with Madras, Culver and Jefferson County who all will refer the question to voters in November. In 2020 voters statewide approved legalizing psilocybin treatment centers by a vote of 56% in favor and 44% against. Jefferson County voters turned the measure down 59% to 41%. The Food and Drug Administration considers psilocybin a breakthrough treatment for depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which allows the agency to expedite research and review of the drug. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration treats psilocybin as an illegal controlled substance. {loadposition sub-article-01}

In 1922 - the 'dry' element oppose attempts to irrigate

1972 - Mt. View Hospital creates nursing home beds. 1997 - Neighbors oppose new church building100 YEARS AGO August 17, 1922 Once again it appears that the "dry" element of the community has come to the fore with a well-hatched plot which, should it succeed, might work to the detriment of the Jefferson Water Conservancy District. We say "might" work, for, with us, there exists a doubt as to whether it would work to irrigation detriment if it should in part succeed. As street gossip, from the length of time it has prevailed, leads us to believe it to be...

Organizers race to prepare for the Madras airshow

A brigade of 300 volunteers hustle to transform the airport for the signature event With the airshow a little more than a week away, volunteers rush to ready the Madras Municipal Airport for one of the county's biggest events of the year: the Airshow of the Cascades. "We're taking a working airport and transforming it into an event," said Rick Allen, who books the high flying acts for the show. The show plays Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26 and 27. It takes a swarm of 300 volunteers to set up the airfield, host the 15,000 to 20,000 people who attend the...

Unexplained crash kills two people west of Antelope

Salem man, 23, and Newberg woman, 24, found dead in stolen car in Wasco CountyA Wasco County landowner found a vehicle crashed on his property with a deceased driver an passenger inside. According to a release from the Oregon State Police, 24-year-old Tabitha Scott of Newberg was a passenger in a vehicle piloted by 23-year-old Salem resident Elijah Wilson on Aug. 10 on a stretch of Highway 293 about eight miles west of the town of Antelope. "(A) preliminary investigation revealed a Chevrolet Cobalt … was southbound and for unknown reasons left the roadway, going down an embankment where it...

Survey: Most Oregonians concerned about water management

Political affiliation and where people lived played a big role in how they saw statewide water issues.Seven out of 10 Oregonians are concerned about how the state's groundwater and surface water are being managed. Most Oregonians say the answer to resolving water problems is increasing state subsidies for high-efficiency irrigation equipment. Those are two findings in a recent survey conducted by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, a Portland-based non-profit. The survey was conducted statewide in July and involved 1,464 respondents. It carries a margin of error of 1.5% to 2.6%. Results of the survey show that while Oregonians are...

Johnson submits petitions in insurgent bid for Oregon governor

Voter signatures must be certified by Aug. 30 deadline for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.Oregon governor candidate Betsy Johnson submitted petitions to the Secretary of State on Tuesday to qualify her insurgent bid for governor in the Nov. 8 general election. The campaign for Johnson, the former Democratic state senator from Columbia County, delivered boxes it said contained petitions with 48,214 signatures to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan at noon Tuesday. The count by Johnson's campaign would be twice the minimum number of valid signatures required and even with the usual attrition of invalid signers would be "well...

Race celebrating women pilots lands in Madras

The Palms to Pines Air Race - Santa Monica to Central Oregon - revives after a 13-year hiatus Six teams of female pilots took off in their aircrafts from Santa Monica, California, Friday, Aug. 12, and completed a fly-by at Salinas, California, then Red Bluff, California. On Saturday, Aug. 13, racers took off from Red Bluff, flew over Klamath Falls, then made their way to Madras. In Madras, female pilots from the Central Oregon High Desert chapter of the Ninety-Nines were prepared for the arrival of their sisters in aviation. The Madras-based female crew did spotting and timing at the Madras...

Fire north of Madras damages greenhouse, out-buildings, vehicles

The fire, started by a campfire near combustibles, spread to four acres Saturday and Sunday A fire broke out on NW Columbia Drive Saturday evening, started by a campfire near combustibles. The fire spread quickly due to high winds and spread to nearby properties. Fire crews were able to construct a fire line and stop the initial spread. Crews from BLM, Warm Springs Fire and Rescue and Redmond Fire were also called to assist. On Saturday, the fire was contained at approximately four acres and no homes were damaged. Damage to outbuildings, a greenhouse and multiple vehicles did occur. As fire crew surveyed the area for hot spots Sunday and spoke to homeowners, they received a new call about fire outside containment lines. At approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday the fire had reignited, burning grass and juniper adjacent to Highway 26. The intense smoke closed the highway. Fire crews responded with an engine, a truck and a water tender as well as two wildland vehicles, seven volunteers and five staff. Crew remained on the scene to ensure no hot spots reignite. {loadposition sub-article-01}

Local women race horses across Mongolia

Amy McNamee and Shandie Johnson participate in Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race Thundering across Mongolia, two Central Oregon women are participating in the longest horse race in the world. The Mongol Derby, a 1,000- kilometer ride across the Mongolian steppes on semi-wild horse, began Thursday, Aug. 11. Amy McNamee, an Antelope resident and Madras High School graduate, and her friend Shandie Johnson of southern Wasco County, mounted their horses for the challenge. The race, known as the longest and toughest horse race in the world, lasts 10 days across rugged and remote environment....

Bob's Red Mill: Employee owners boost retention, recruitment

CEO Trey Winthrop: Oregon businesses are facing historic labor shortages, but employee stock ownership plans can help.Businesses in Oregon and across the country are facing historic labor shortages. In a new report, the Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board called the state's labor market "highly unusual," with 84% of businesses reporting difficulties finding workers. As businesses try to fill open positions, workers are growing more concerned about the cost of inflation, how to save for retirement, and their overall quality of life. With unemployment at record lows, workers are expecting more out of their employers. While many employers are finding...

Dieckhoff: Thanks for a year of great memories, Jefferson County

After a year covering the Buffs and Bulldogs, Pioneer sports editor Andy Dieckhoff is heading back over the mountains.Well, folks, I'm heading back to where I came from, back over the mountains. Before I go, though, I want to say with the utmost sincerity: thank you for the memories. Following some unexpected twists of fate, I have accepted a position within Pamplin Media Group that is taking me back to the Portland metro area. I will continue to cover prep sports, and until my replacement arrives at the Pioneer, I'll still be covering the Buffs and Bulldogs from afar. That...

Madras High School volleyball team puts on camp for youth players

Led by Frank Maynard and other volunteers, the Madras High School volleyball team put on a youth skills camp last week. The Madras High School volleyball team held a youth summer camp last week for players grades 6 through 12. The skills camp ran from Monday, Aug. 8, to Thursday, Aug. 11, at the MHS gym. It was run by Frank Maynard, the high school volleyball head coach, with other volunteers — including some parents and a former White Buffalo player — helping to run the show. The MHS alum in question was Alexa La Pier, who was a senior...

Portland area set to sizzle this week as heat builds

Much of the Western United States should be close to 100 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Summertime heat is set to build across the West as a gradual shift in the weather pattern occurs the week of Aug. 15. Forecasters say temperatures will climb steadily between 10 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit above average in the upcoming days in Portland, as well as Medford and Seattle. "Much like recent hot stretches, this will be caused by a large bulge in the jet stream, acting to keep the storm track lifted north and allowing temperatures to surge in the...

Additional house raided in Jefferson County Drug Bust

Madras house raided as part on continuing investigation, more search warrants expected Agencies from across the region converged on 637 NE 10th St. in Madras in a continuation of the June 2022 marijuana drug bust, deemed the largest drug bust in Jefferson County history. The raid took place at around 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. The search of the house, owned by Ching Lin and Bruce Huang, resulted in the seizure of 60 pounds of bulk unprocessed marijuana and 807 plants. The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Agency stated that additional suspects, both foreign and domestic, had been identified. The...

Submarine ballots, Betsy Brigades chase election deadlines

Johnson has until Tuesday, Aug. 16, to turn in enough petition signatures to qualify as an unaffiliated candidate for Oregon governor.The Nov. 8 general election is more than 12 weeks away, but Wednesday, Aug. 10, was the deadline to mail "submarine ballots" to some voters. That's the name of ballots that go to military and overseas voters who won't be able to receive a ballot, cast their votes and get it back to their county clerk in time to be counted. Like those on the USS Oregon attack submarine submerged somewhere in the seven seas. These ballots do not include...

Registration for youth sports is open at MAC Recreation District

Looking to get your kids involved in youth sports this year? The MAC Rec District offers flag football, soccer and golf! The Madras Aquatic Center Recreation District has opened registration for its fall youth sports programs. The MACRD is offering flag football, youth soccer and junior golf programs, and online sign-ups are opening up for the fall season. To find information about specific programs, go to, or contact the MACRD by phone at 541-475-4253, or by e-mail at The flag football program has four age groups: Pre-K/Kindergarten; Grades 1-2; Grades 3-4; and Grades 5-6. The soccer program has...