Briefing

Published Jan 16, 2014 at 12:01AM

Bend biologist won’t meet Obama

A Bend biologist who was a finalist for a national award didn’t win and won’t get a chance to meet with President Barack Obama.

Dirk Renner, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, came up with a cost-saving idea good enough to be one of four finalists for the 2013 Securing Americans Value and Efficiency Award. Renner suggested that the federal government could save time and money by allowing certifications to be recognized by more than one agency.

Obama gave the first SAVE Award in 2009, and the prize includes the winner meeting with the president to discuss his or her idea. Kenneth Siehr, a Department of Veterans Affairs worker in Wilwaukee, Wis., won the award this year for his idea of making mail deliveries of prescription medicines trackable online for veterans, according to the White House website.

Parks consider smoking ban

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is taking public comments on a potential smoking ban expansion until the end of the week.

Smoking is already banned in buildings on lands overseen by State Parks, according to the department. The rule change under consideration would expand the ban to park lands, such as trails, roadways and common areas in campgrounds. Smoking would still be allowed in cars and trucks, camping sites and where permitted by a park manager for an American Indian ceremony.

For more information, visit http://1.usa.gov/1m7LOjF.

Comments may be sent by email to oprd.publiccomment@state.or.us. They are due by 5 p.m. Friday.

— Bulletin staff reports