Kathleen McLaughlin
The Bulletin

Bend lab loses license

At its monthly meeting Thursday, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission also approved fines, license suspensions or surrenders for five marijuana licensees, including Bend-based Evio Labs.

Evio Labs Bend and a related business, Evio Labs Eugene, agreed to surrender their licenses after they were caught giving samples of marijuana product to employees, rather than destroying them.

Marijuana products must be tested for potency, pesticides and other contaminants by a certified lab, licensed by the OLCC. Evio was the first Bend lab to be accredited in 2016, according to The Bulletin’s archives.

The scene of multiple fights, assaults and drug deals since 2015, the Horseshoe Saloon in Prineville will surrender its liquor license, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Thursday.

The OLCC cited 50 incidents in a 46-month span and in a charging document went so far as to link two of the license violations — serving visibly intoxicated patrons — to the deaths of three patrons.

The business is in the process of being purchased by the owners of Sons of Beer, a bar and growler station, Sons of Beer co-owner Cody Suing said. The OLCC approved a new license for the Horseshoe, which is at 410 N. Main St., under stipulations that the bar close by midnight, provide security on Friday and Saturday nights, tighten up checking IDs and prevent service to visibly intoxicated patrons, Suing said.

Horseshoe co-owner Robert Durkee could not be reached for comment.

The OLCC’s staff recommended revoking the bar’s license because of the deaths and because multiple employees were involved in license violations.

In July 2015, a bar employee served a visibly intoxicated person, Chaz Evans, who died after fleeing a traffic stop and crashing his pickup truck into another vehicle, according to The Bulletin’s archive. The OLCC noted that the Horseshoe’s licensees, Durkee and Larry Goodman, accepted responsibility for the violation in a stipulated settlement agreement.

The same employee who served Evans was cited along with another employee in two more violations last year: serving themselves in the bar and serving alcohol between 2:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.

The OLCC linked the Horseshoe to two more deaths in 2017 after a bar employee served Justin Bittick, who was visibly intoxicated. “This violation resulted in the death of two people and injuries requiring hospitalization of two other people,” the OLCC charging document states. Bittick faced Crook County charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, driving under the influence and reckless driving after an Oct. 22, 2017, incident. Caleb A. Williams and Stephan Mitchell Leader-Bowles were killed, and Corinne Louise Hatchell and Alex Michael Shaver were injured, according to a Crook County indictment. The case is pending.

The employee who served Bittick, Kelsie Chandler, will receive a letter of reprimand, the OLCC announced. Her alcohol service permit has expired, so the letter will become part of her permanent file with the commission.

“That’s a pretty wild accusation to throw out there, about them contributing to somebody’s death,” Prineville Police Sgt. Jimmy O’Daniel said. “Anytime we have an alcohol-related incident, we forward it to OLCC. We just forward it on and don’t really hear a lot back.”

The Horseshoe will surrender its license by March 15, or when the business is sold, whichever comes first, Van Sickle said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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