CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK August 3
State finds a workaround to deliver delayed unemployment benefits
While the Oregon Employment Department has made progress in clearing its backlog of claims, tens of thousands require further review. Many waiting for benefits may be eligible for another program.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT August 3
Salem begins work on climate action plan to help reduce future emissions
The city hired a consultant in July and the plan is set to be complete by the end of 2021.
Business August 3
Businesses ask for Covid legal liability shield. But critics say it’ll shield bad actors
Lawmakers could revisit legislation that would give employers immunity from Covid-related lawsuits if they’re following the rules. Business advocates say they need the protection. But others say it could leave front-line workers out to dry.
STATE GOVERNMENT July 31
Second special session to rebalance state budget called for August
Gov. Kate Brown has called for a second special session to address a sizable budget gap caused by the coronavirus outbreak. She’s also called for more work on police accountability measures. But a Republican leader said the focus should be on the budget.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 31
DATA: Despite placement on watchlist, Marion County meeting other state targets for Covid
Polk County continues to report far fewer cases of Covid than Marion County, but is currently meeting only two of five state indicators for controlling new cases. Hospitalizations are down in both counties.
PHOTOS July 31
PHOTOS: Salem cools off at Wallace Marine Park
With temperatures rising, Salem residents take to the river while enjoying Oregon's short, hot summer.
Business July 31
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Salem sees an icon close, a food hall reopen and a new place to eat
Salem gets a new place to eat chicken wings and play games. A food hall reopens after a Covid scare. Ranch Records says goodbye — with margaritas. The city gets grant money for small businesses.
STATE GOVERNMENT July 30
State employees lawsuits target the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Justice
One lawsuit alleges that the Oregon Health Authority retaliated against an analyst for seeking a disability accommodation. Another says a female Department of Justice employee was paid less than her male counterparts.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 30
Governor puts Marion County on alert after county struggles to trace new Covid cases
The county will get additional resources from the Oregon Health Authority in the coming weeks until health workers are able to trace more cases to a known source. But a county official says it’s meeting other key goals in containing the virus.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 30
The state has made progress on unemployment claims, but tens of thousands still waiting
The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department, said in a press call that the backlog of claims has been reduced. But many require further processing that could take months.
SALEM MEDIA July 30
Salem's Capital Community Television gets a new name to reflect added services
The "television" portion of CCTV's name still applies. But the addition of digital media, on-demand streaming, and radio prompts a name change for the 31-year-old organization.
SALEM COMMUNITY July 30
Need groceries delivered? A Salem high schooler wants to help.
For seniors, people with health conditions and others who can’t safely shop during a pandemic, high school students across Oregon have organized a free grocery delivery service.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 29
Five more coronavirus deaths reported at south Salem assisted living facility
Two new Marion County workplaces, including Oregon State Hospital, are also reporting outbreaks of Covid, though no patients have tested positive to date.
events July 29
The Great Oregon Steam-up will continue this year — as a drive-through event
Now in its 50th year, the Salem area event will again showcase the mechanical innovations that built Oregon. With the pandemic ongoing, the event will be drive-through only.
HEALTH CARE July 29
Covid made health care more complicated. Two grants will help vulnerable communities in Salem navigate it
Mano a Mano and the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency HOME Youth Services both received grants that will help them hire health navigators to improve access for low-income Hispanic and Latino families as well as homeless youth.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 29
YOUR COVID QUESTIONS: You asked, we got experts to answer your Covid questions
Readers sent in dozens of questions about Covid, from how long it lives on surfaces to who’s being tested. We asked the local and state public health agencies and Salem’s local hospital for help sorting out the facts. Here’s the first installment of answers as a community service to Salem.
SALEM SCENE July 29
A voice from the past talks you through a key piece of Salem history
Newly-released recordings capture Tom Kay telling the history, the people and the stories of Thomas Kay Woolen Mills at Salem's Willamette Heritage Center.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 29
As classes start online, five local schools will have new principals for 2020
Keizer, Clear Lake and Liberty elementary schools are getting new leaders this school year as former principals take new jobs running Salem-Keizer's online academy.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 28
Despite online start, Salem-Keizer superintendent promises school year will be "150% better" than spring
“We want what you want. We want our kids back in person. We’ll monitor the metrics carefully and we’re all in this together,” Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry said.
PUBLIC SAFETY July 28
Sheriff’s deputies tampered with evidence and stole, lawsuit alleges
Charles Brown Sr. is seeking $460,000 after a sheriff’s deputy allegedly stole guns and a TV from his home during an investigation. The deputy resigned in 2019.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 28
Salem-Keizer students won't be back in school buildings until at least November under new guidelines
Gov. Kate Brown Tuesday announced new targets for schools to reopen in person, which would require far fewer new Covid cases than either Marion or Polk County is currently seeing. The rules apply to all schools, public and private.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 28
With inequities in mind, Oregon Health Authority distributes grants to help community groups’ pandemic response
Over $2 million is on its way to 26 local nonprofits that’ll help with public health outreach, social services and others. The money is intended to help disadvantaged communities that have been affected by the pandemic.
PUBLIC SAFETY July 28
Salem police chief to pause school resource officer program, reevaluate for next year
Police Chief Jerry Moore told Salem City Council he would temporarily remove eight officers from local schools after hundreds have called on the Salem Keizer School District to end its contracts with police.
LOCAL SCHOOLS July 27
Salem-Keizer teachers union joins call for all-remote school to start fall
Hundreds of educators and parents staged a drive-by protest at the Oregon Capitol today urging school buildings to remain closed for the safety of staff and students. The push comes as state agencies last week tightened health guidelines schools must follow to re-open in person.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT July 27
Contentious battle over Costco shopping center to return to Salem City Council in September following comment period
The council will once again consider a controversial proposal for a large retail shopping center in south Salem that was denied by councilors in 2018. The public comment period ends at 5 p.m. on July 28.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 27
Salem’s long-term care facilities cautiously reopen for visits
During the Covid pandemic, nursing, assisted living, residential and memory care facilities have been closed to visitors. With safety precautions in place, facilities have already opened in Salem or are preparing to do so.
Urban renewal July 27
AGENDA: Affordable housing deal goes before city’s Urban Renewal Agency
A developer will get a tax break worth $12 million to build 36 units of affordable housing.
SALEM SCENE July 27
A fresh look at Salem's history provided by Jason Lee artifacts
Hundreds of hours of careful digging at Salem site yield artifacts from Jason Lee's time in town. Experts say the finds will yield a deeper understanding of life before Oregon became a state.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 24
Public health officials warn that coming weeks will be pivotal in containing Covid
How well Oregonians follow a new state order meant to stem the virus’ spread will determine the reopening of schools and the rest of the state, Oregon Health Authority officials said. Data shows that locally cases have increased and the results of efforts to contain the virus have been mixed.
SALEM COMMUNITY July 24
Nearly 72% of Salem residents have experienced discrimination, city survey shows
Salem’s Human Rights Commission conducted a survey earlier this year to try to gauge discrimination it the city. While the survey isn’t exhaustive, the commission said it shows areas the city can improve around how it treats people experiencing homelessness and others.