New wildfires ignite near Terrebonne, Madras, in Warm Springs

Three major wildfires broke out across the High Desert Friday, just hours after campfire restrictions began on Central Oregon public lands at the peak of fire season.


Samantha O'Connor

POSTED: 9:56 AM PDT October 29, 2013    UPDATED: 8:43 AM PDT April 6, 2015 
Samantha O'Connor

Reporter/producer, NewsChannel 21

I spent my first 14 years of life in San Jose, California before moving to Bend for high school. After graduating from Summit High, I decided to do things a little differently so, instead of rushing off to college, I scoured craigslist for a nanny job abroad.

Before I knew it, I was packing my bags to move to London, England to be a nanny. I loved living in England so much that after my nanny job, I chose to stay in the country for college. I moved an hour south, to the coastal town of Brighton, into a house with four wonderful strangers -- and it was the best leap of faith I’ve ever taken.

During my second year at Brighton University, I had to complete a mandatory 4-week internship within the media industry, and that’s where my connection with KTVZ began.

I “reported” for a month at the station and fell completely in love with broadcast journalism. A year later, I graduated with an honors degree in Media Studies -- and here I am.

As a Central Oregon “local,” I’m very excited to be a part of the NewsChannel 21 team. I remember enjoying the news when I was in high school, and I feel honored I can now help to tell the stories of all the people of Central Oregon.

I am currently working on NewsChannel 21 at Sunrise as a producer, and I am also working on my reporting skills and also working the weekend shows as a  weather presenter.

I would love to hear any suggestions or story ideas, so feel free to e-mail me at


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