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CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 10
With lingering fears of another shutdown, Salem restaurants adjust to 'new normal'
Salem bars and restaurants have reopened with more cleaning, different menus, adjusted staff levels and reduced sales. Restaurant owners are optimistic they can make the new normal work. But hanging over all of it is concern that Gov. Kate Brown will halt her phased-in reopening or even reverse course if case counts and hospitalizations rise.
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LOCAL SCHOOLS July 9
In-person classes will be two days per week for most Salem-Keizer students under early outline for fall
Kindergarten through second-grade students would get four days per week of in-person class, and all parents could choose full-time online school for Oregon's second-largest district. More details will be developed over the next month.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 9
After an early release, one former prisoner faces a world reshaped by the pandemic
Jessica Rogers-Hall was one of 57 incarcerated individuals tapped for early release by the governor. While the pandemic creates new challenges for her transition, she remains upbeat.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 9
Owner of embattled Salem salon files lawsuit against governor
The federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Glamour Salon owner Lindsey Graham alleges that state government violated her civil rights after defying pandemic restrictions. The lawsuit is the latest legal effort challenging Brown’s response to the pandemic.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 9
With smaller ceremonies and more sanitizer, graduation will go ahead for Salem-Keizer's Class of 2020
Local high schools will host multiple small graduation ceremonies in August to honor seniors while following health guidelines. Nearly all will be outdoors.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 8
Food processing and long-term care facilities driving Salem-area Covid outbreaks
The state’s weekly report shows one new workplace outbreak in Salem and three additional deaths at Brookstone Alzheimer’s Special Care Center.
HIGHER EDUCATION July 8
With or without new ICE rules, Willamette will have fewer international students in the fall
Travel restrictions, a halt to student visa processing and the closure of many study abroad programs means Willamette University expects about 30 international students on campus this fall instead of the usual 200 or more.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT July 8
Why Salem City Council nixed an affordable housing development over an office space
The Salem City Council in June denied federal funding to a project that would have brought 14 units of affordable housing to central Salem. Councilors said they didn’t like a proposal to turn a church parsonage into a commercial office.
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION July 8
Seismic work, expanded auditorium behind $18 million cost jump for South Salem High renovation
Now budgeted at $84 million, the renovation of South Salem High School is the costliest of dozens of Salem-Keizer school construction projects planned over the next five years. Taxpayers won't be on the hook for more money, however - contingency funds are expected to cover the increases.
FreePUBLIC SAFETY July 8
With program under scrutiny, school resource officer explains role in Salem-Keizer school system
VIDEO: As controversy continues over the fate of police in Salem-area schools, Salem Reporter sat down with a school resource officer to learn about the role. Keizer police officer David Zavala explains the ways he’s helped keep students out of trouble.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 7
A ventilator, paralyzed lungs and a long recovery: how Salem Hospital cared for one of the region's first Covid patients
Salem Hospital nurse Sierra Schneider was shocked when Teresa Miranda came into the ICU on March 15 with her lungs shutting down from a serious Covid infection. Now, Schneider details how she and her colleagues cared for Miranda and what they've learned since about the virus.
SALEM ECONOMY July 7
COLUMN: Unemployment rate dips slightly, but low-wage workers continue to be hardest hit
The dynamics of the current recession are unique and will present a challenge to economic recovery. In a new feature for Salem Reporter readers, Pam Ferrara of the Willamette Workforce Partnership continues a regular column examining local economic issues.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 7
New data reveals how many Salem jobs were propped up by a federal program
The much-vaunted Paycheck Protection Program was set up to help businesses to keep employees. On Monday, the federal government released the most detailed numbers yet on how many jobs were kept and which companies benefited.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT July 6
Salem starts construction on future amphitheater site
The city is laying the groundwork for the future Gerry Frank Amphitheater, which is expected to be complete in 2021.
PUBLIC SAFETY July 6
Chaotic scenes erupted during three nights of protest a month ago, police review describes
Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore’s account of police actions during the protests against police violence describe unprecedented actions in Salem with police facing violent protests like they’ve never seen in Salem.
SALEM NON-PROFITS July 6
Sinatra prepares to lead YMCA into what he sees as a bright future
With new building to rise, the Salem YMCA also readies for new leadership. Tim Sinatra is no stranger to Salem nonprofits, and he's ambitious to see the Y provide even more services to Salem families.
Naturally, In Salem July 5
PHOTO: Willamette River in Salem proves a bountiful habitat
As an antidote to the ongoing coronavirus news, Salem Reporter is providing nature photography.
COVID IN SALEM July 5
VIDEO: Why wear a face mask for Covid? Health expert explains
The purpose of a face mask is not to protect the wearer from getting the virus. It is to keep an infected person from spreading the disease, as a health expert explains in this video
SALEM AREA EVENTS July 3
Black Lives Matter solidarity event planned for Fourth
The picnic- style event will feature giant Black Lives Matter chalk drawing in front of the Oregon State Capitol.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 3
Birthday parties, family reunions and other social gatherings driving Oregon Covid spread
New cases of Covid in Oregon are increasingly tied to private gatherings that bring multiple households together, state officials warned Thursday. But the Salem area is seeing less of an increase than many parts of the state.
SALEM SCENE July 3
Vinyl fans wait in line for hours to bid farewell to Salem's Ranch Records
Ranch Records has been an integral part of Salem for close to 40 years. But the allure of retirement, and pandemic safety concerns, prompted the owners to close their shop. When the last record is sold, the doors will close for good.
HEALTH CARE July 2
Marion County Health ends reproductive services at clinic following steep decline in visits
The health department made the announcement Thursday after a February assessment found there was a 75% decrease in patients coming in for family planning over the last decade. The clinic will continue offering STD testing.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 2
Salem-Keizer students report little social contact or academic challenge during two months of distance learning
A survey of about 14,000 Salem-Keizer students, families and educators found many struggles in the hasty switch to online classes, despite what most described as a strong effort from teachers.
NEWS July 2
Salem Reporter editor gets top honor from national journalism society
The Society for Professional Journalists on Thursday recognized five journalists for their extraordinary contributions to the profession. Malheur Enterprise and Salem Reporter editor Les Zaitz is among the honorees, along with Marty Baron, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Jorge Ramos, and, posthumously, Gwen Ifill.
COMMENTARY July 2
Salem has to find a way to restore civility, to turn aside the meanness
COMMENTARY: The Salem community is being wrenched by divisions at every turn. Are there ways we can all work together better to make vital changes that are so needed? At Salem Reporter, we'd like your thoughts.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 1
South Salem Alzheimer’s care facility sees seven die in one week
Brookstone Alzheimer’s Special Care Center now has the second highest number of active Covid cases in the state at a care facility. The center said it’s doing everything it can to stop the spread, but was cited by state officials Tuesday for failing to comply with infection control recommendations.
SALEM AREA EVENTS July 1
With Riverfront Park show canceled, Salemites have limited options for firework shows
The Salem Keizer Volcanoes are hosting a drive-in firework display Saturday and Independence is celebrating Indy Days with block parties.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 1
DATA: Coronavirus cases still climbing in Salem, with most traced back to known source
Salem, like the rest of Oregon, is seeking a steady uptick in new coronavirus cases, but doing better on other statewide measures of how well-controlled the virus is.
SCHOOL BOARD July 1
Chandragiri, Bethell elected to Salem-Keizer school board leadership for 2019-20
Board directors facing intense public pressure elected two of their less controversial members to leadership roles Wednesday, but the decision is unlikely to please community groups who had called for Sheronne Blasi to take the chair seat.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 1
Gov. Brown warns Oregonians to mask up or see businesses close
Oregon is seeing too many new cases of Covid spreading too quickly, Gov. Kate Brown and health officials said Wednesday. She resisted naming specific data points that would trigger closures.
SCHOOL BOARD June 30
Facing intense scrutiny, Salem-Keizer board will elect new leaders Wednesday
The annual election of a Salem-Keizer school board chair and vice chair typically takes a few minutes and garners little or no public comment. That's not the case this year.
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