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Thursday, March 01, 2007


The state’s largest Catholic diocese plans to move its headquarters from Bend to a 37-acre site six miles south of Powell Butte within the next two years. The Diocese of Baker, which covers 18 counties in Eastern Oregon and serves about 15,000 families, has looked for a new site for about five years. Bishop Vasa said the rural, rustic site is large enough to accommodate an administrative office as well as provide for retreat-like gatherings. “It is much more readily identified with most of the diocese than Bend,” he says, referring to the rural nature of Eastern Oregon as well as its Crook County location. The diocese, active since 1908, plans to use an existing on-site barn as a conference center as well as construct a new chancery office, cabins for retreats, and a chapel at the new location. While building and funding details are still in the planning stages, Vasa says he has received positive feedback from residents.

For upscale flyers, it’s what’s on the ground that really matters. In an effort to serve these high-class clients, Desert Sun Industries plans to be the third fixed-based operation catering to luxury clients at the Redmond Airport. Once the 44,000-square-foot facility is complete, Desert Sun will offer fuel and maintenance services, a pilot’s lounge and hangar space for corporate and private planes staying over in Central Oregon. A  fixed-wing school also will get started after a grand opening, planned for September 2007. RedmondAir and Butler Aircraft Co. offer similar services at the Redmond Airport but Desert Sun owner Shannon Egeland says the market is robust enough to support a third vendor.

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