Deschutes County

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Law enforcement agencies across Oregon will be on the road looking for drunk drivers this Super Bowl Sunday. Benton County, Deschutes County Sheriff's, and the Eugene Police Department are among the agencies participating in DUII saturation patrols.

Also, EPD spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin says if your party gets out of control, don't be afraid to call the police.

Unemployment rates fell in the month of December for several Oregon counties. Recent numbers show Lane County's rate at six point seven percent, Deschutes at seven point six percent and Douglas at nine point three percent.

Deschutes and Douglas rates remain well above the statewide average. Regional Labor Economist Brian Rooney explains why:

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The Fire status for bend, rural Deschutes county, crook and Jefferson counties have now entered Extreme Fire Danger Status. This weekend is calling for another round of significant lightning. The Oregon Department of Forestry is under regulated closure restrictions and those will remain in place for the duration of fire season. Currently, no backyard, commercial or agricultural burning is allowed within city limits of bend, and rural Deschutes County. Central Oregon residents are asked to contact local, state or federal fire agencies for specific requirements and closures.

This weekend is the last chance for backyard and open burning in many places in Oregon. Lane, Linn, Benton and Marion Counties have all declared June 15 as the last day.

Neil Miller is with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He says early this year, they considered starting the burn ban sooner than usual. But spring rains relieved their concerns about fire danger:

Only one of the three commission positions in Deschutes County  -- Position 1 --is contested in the May 20 Primary.  Incumbent Tony DeBone (Dee-Bone) of LaPine faces challenger Richard Esterman of Sisters for the Republican nomination to the four-year partisan position.

As the only Democrat to file, Jodie Barram of Bend will face the winner in November.

KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher spoke with both GOP candidates.  Here’s Tony DeBone:

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Deschutes County Health Services has identified six confirmed cases of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. This is an increase from last year where there were only three.

Tom Kuhn, a Community Health Manager at Deschutes County Health Services says they’re looking into what’s causing the larger outbreak this year.  

Kuhn:  “We don’t have any sources that we’ve identified or any really concrete links to all these cases. There are some cases that are linked but then there are some that are not. So, we really haven’t pinpointed what the cause of this is.”

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A group of disgruntled citizens in Deschutes County has succeeded in getting a special recall election. Voters in the Terrebonne Water District will decide April 1st whether to keep four of the five members on their utility board.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is pleased with the progress of its new jail expansion.

The expansion will add 22,000 square foot to the existing jail. It includes six additional housing units, and an improved mental health facility. Sheriff Larry Blanton says the project is being funded by a revenue bond and $2.6 million the county set aside.