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SALEM SCENE December 1
Salem folk band singer finishes strong in national songwriting competition
Kristen Grainger and the band True North came out with a new album in June. The title track garnered the singer a second-place win at the USA Songwriting Competition.
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SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT December 1
Where do you see Salem in 30 years? Salem’s climate task force wants to know
The city is collecting responses from the community on how Salem can become more resilient to climate change through Dec. 11.
SALEM BUSINESS December 1
With lights and some paints, downtown association seeks to bring cheer to city center
In addition to decking downtown with LED lights, the Salem Main Street Association hired a group of high school students to paint images and scenes of holiday celebrations from different cultures and parts of the world.
SALEM BUSINESS December 1
Shutdowns haven't stopped Noble Wave from bringing Louisiana cuisine to Salem
Government shutdowns, fires, and Covd-19 have all impacted this downtown Salem business. But the three owners plan to continue making lemonade out of lemons, while serving authentic food and beer at the same time.
SALEM RECYCLING November 30
A $30,000 fire at Garten plant shows danger of “wishful recycling”
Garten Services’ household recycling operations remain closed after a Nov. 10 fire seriously damaged the equipment used to sort items. Plant workers suspect a stray battery or propane tank sparked the blaze.
LOCAL SCHOOLS November 30
With schools closed, bus drivers assemble and deliver meals to kids across Salem
In addition to giving out breakfasts and lunches at schools, the Salem-Keizer School District has local bus drivers taking about 5,000 meals daily to apartment complexes, grocery store parking lots and other spots for kids who live too far away from a school to walk.
SALEM ECONOMY November 30
Oregon's economy can recover from pandemic, but low-wage earners falling behind
State economists say the coronavirus is leaving an uneven impact on employers and jobs across Oregon. Some sectors such as homebuilding are strong but consumer businesses such as restaurants need public confidence before they can return to full strength, a recent state report says.
SALEM BUSINESS November 30
The JCPenney building is empty. How it's developed could change downtown
A big retailer isn't expected to occupy the property. With incentives from the city, it's instead likely to be redeveloped with a mix of housing and retail. Unlike other large properties, it's expected to sell relatively quickly.
GUEST COLUMN November 30
COLUMN: Enrollment deadline for insurance plans is Dec. 7
Jim Sellers, former Oregon journalist and state agency employee, writes a regular column to help thousands in Salem deal with the confusing world of Medicare and federal benefits. He's available to answer your questions.
PUBLIC SAFETY November 29
Local prosecutors and treatment providers aren’t sure how Oregon’s new approach to minor drug cases will play out
Hundreds of local people dealing with drug addiction are likely to have a fresh approach to getting care through treatment centers rather than the courtroom, avoiding the stigma that comes with a criminal conviction. Police and some treatment providers are skeptical it will work as intended.
FreeHOLIDAY SPECIAL November 29
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PHOTO GALLERY November 27
PHOTOS: Salem's JCPenney store hauntingly empty, awaits a new life
PHOTOS: The store that sold generations of school clothes, shoes and housewares in downtown Salem is largely empty. Take a photo tour of what was once one of Salem's anchors.
COVID IN OREGON November 27
Oregon hopes to vaccinate 30,000 health care workers against Covid by end of 2020
Leading Covid vaccines still need to earn federal regulatory approval, but Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said once that hurdle is cleared, Oregon expects to receive limited shipments.
SALEM COMMUNITY November 27
Readers share gratitude, bright spots from 2020
Despite a difficult year, Salem found solace in gardening, outdoor excursions, pets, family, art and seeing the community come together to support one another.
SALEM COMMUNITY November 26
To alleviate loneliness, Salem's senior center offers monthly activity boxes with a little whimsy
Center 50+ started a new project that sends activity boxes to seniors each month as they face isolation brought on by Covid restrictions. In December, there’s a special box for the holidays with seasonal items like handcrafted ornaments and chocolate.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
FOR THE RECORD: Full text of Gov. Kate Brown's remarks
TEXT: This is the text of Gov. Kate Brown's statement on Wednesday, Nov. 25, explaining why she is imposing new restrictions for Oregonians to control the coronavirus
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
FOR THE RECORD: Full text of pandemic remarks by Oregon Health Authority director
TEXT: This is the prepared text of remarks by Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, who spoke of the impacts of the pandemic on Oregonians beyond medical care.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
FOR THE RECORD: Full text of remarks by OHSU doctor on Covid care
TEXT: This is the text of remarks on Wednesday, Nov. 25, by Dr. David Zonies of Oregon Health and Science University about the urgency of containing the virus in Oregon.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
Marion, Polk counties considered at 'extreme risk' of Covid as governor rolls out new restrictions
Gov. Kate Brown said 21 counties will remain under restrictions through December as the coronavirus spread continues. In the Salem area, churches have more freedom to conduct services and restaurants can seat diners outside, but other limits stay in place.
COVID IN OREGON November 25
Courthouse Club Fitness slapped with fines after violating Covid orders
A state workers safety agency has fined the gym $90,000 after staying open despite a statewide shutdown.
COVID IN SALEM November 25
Salem Public Library pauses curbside hold pickup so staff can work from home
Salem's city librarian said the pause means library staff won't put their health at risk working in close quarters indoors to process holds. All library items checked out are now due March 31, 2021.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK November 25
Outdoor dining will return, but Marion, Polk counties face long path toward lifting other Covid restrictions
Both Salem-area counties are considered at "extreme risk" from Covid because of the number of cases recorded in recent weeks. Gov. Kate Brown said Friday lifting other restrictions on businesses will require reducing the virus' spread.
SALEM SCENE November 25
Elsinore turns to community for help to stay alive until the curtain can go up again
The prolonged closure of one of Salem's most beloved entertainment venues is taking a financial toll. With no tickets to sell and customers to seat, the nonprofit is turning to the community in a new fund drive to fill the financial gap.
COVID IN OREGON November 24
Salem restaurants are better prepared for the shutdown. But still have reason to worry
Some restaurants have more easily pivoted their businesses toward takeout or have barely changed operations. Some restaurants even found new customers despite the pandemic restrictions after the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce helped drum up business. But the shutdown order could go beyond its planned two-weeks. Restaurants are hoping customers will help prop them up.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT November 24
More affordable housing is on the way after Salem City Council approves church property conversion
The Salem City Council affirmed a zoning change sought by a nonprofit developer planning to build an affordable housing project in the Grant neighborhood. The neighborhood association was opposed to the change, saying it would set a precedent and lead to unintended consequences.
COVID IN SALEM November 24
These Salem-area health care workers canceled their Thanksgiving plans. They're asking you to do the same.
Dr. Mark Fischl canceled plans to spend Thanksgiving with his 81-year-old father who lives nearby, knowing promising vaccine trials for Covid mean they'll be able to safely spend time together in 2021. “We’re all burning out. It’s been going on since March, it’s been a long time, it’s been hard on everybody. But now’s the time to say ‘I can see the end,’” he said.
SALEM ECONOMY November 24
Salem area unemployment drops. But not as much as previous months
The Salem area continues adding back jobs at the same pace statewide and nationally. While there were broad job gains across sectors, the drop in unemployment is smaller than other months and the economy faces many challenges.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS November 24
After guiding Salem Art Association through a challenging year, Executive Director Sandra Burnett retires
The Salem Art Association endured financial challenges this year as the pandemic forced the cancellation of a major event and led to staffing cuts. A review of their records by Salem Reporter shows it's now on stronger financial ground, though the reopening of the Bush Barn Art Center remains uncertain.
COVID IN OREGON November 23
UPDATE: In court battle over her new order, Gov. Kate Brown says closing restaurants will save lives
Gov. Kate Brown on Monday responded to a legal action from the state restaurant association seeking to block her most recent order that partially shuts down the economy in response to the Covid pandemic. Brown said in a legal filing that while data doesn't link Covid transmissions to bars and restaurants, she said there is evidence to support the need for the order.
SALEM BUSINESS November 23
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: X-mas benefits expiration, waiting week waiver ends, help for homeowners and restaurants
Unemployed Oregonians face a not-so-merry Christmas, but will get some extra cash in the meantime. State extends a lifeline to struggling homeowners. A free word of advice for struggling homeowners.
BREAKING NEWS November 23
Governor pushes back on restaurants, says saving lives is more important than business
Gov. Kate Brown responded on Monday to a lawsuit from the state's restaurant industry seeking to block her two-week partial shutdown of the economy. Her attorneys argued her decision was backed by evidence and is needed to save lives.
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