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FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 28
In bid to protect workers, Oregon ag department hands out free masks, sanitizer
OSU extension workers and the Oregon National Guard handed out 170,000 masks to Marion and Polk county farmers, nursery owners and labor contractors Wednesday.
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Business May 28
OnPoint Community Credit Union to open Marion County branches
The new branches will be the credit union's first in the mid-Willamette Valley and will be located in Keizer and west Salem.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 28
PHOTOS: Oregon National Guard, OSU extension distribute masks to farmers
Farmers, ranchers, nursery owners and farm labor contractors slowed traffic in both directions along 17th Street Wednesday as they lined up early to pick up masks and sanitizer.
GUEST COLUMN May 28
NEW FEATURE: Column for Salem Reporter tackles Medicare questions
Jim Sellers, former Oregon journalist and state agency employee, is now writing 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.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 27
Salem area sees unprecedented unemployment among coronavirus pandemic
While still seeing a dizzying increase, Salem fared relatively well compared to other parts of the state. But no industry in the area was spared job losses.
FreeCOMMUNITY COLLEGE May 27
Chemeketa lays off part-time workers, offers retirement incentives to cut costs
Like most public agencies, Chemeketa Community College is bracing for a multimillion dollar budget hit as state revenue plummets. College President Jessica Howard said she's working to trim costs now, but more layoffs are on the table.
FreeSALEM CITY GOVERNMENT May 27
City to make nearly $400,000 available to small businesses in Salem
Salem City Council voted on Tuesday to make the funds available for businesses that are struggling due to COVID-19 closures but some of that money won’t be available until July.
FreeCOMMENTARY May 27
Pressing for truth about Marion County's public health crisis took doggedness
COMMENTARY: As evidence mounted that Marion County was seeing unusual patterns of coronavirus infections, Salem Reporter turned its news team to find out why. Here's how we put that story together and why such investigative journalism is important for Salem. You can help our work going forward.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 27
Unemployment rises to 13.3% in the Salem area
The unemployment rate for the Salem area follows the sharp rise in unemployment at the state and national levels after it lost 23,300 jobs in one month.
SALEM LIFE May 27
Salem's historic parks get a fresh look and plans for future work
With help from a Portland firm, Salem city officials are considering what's needed to preserve and enhance two of Salem's most beloved parks, Bush's Pasture and Deepwood.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 26
After judge sticks with ruling, challenge to governor's orders heads to Supreme Court
The decision by a judge in Baker County means the state's highest court will determine if the governor overstepped her legal authority with restrictions that have disrupted much of daily life. A group of churches from across the state has brought a legal challenge arguing the restrictions violate their right to hold religious services.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 26
PHOTOS: Food flows to needy Salem families as pandemic impacts persist
PHOTOS: A truckload of fresh produce hit Salem recently, and helpers quickly sent the boxes on their way to distribution points to help families. Demand for food grows as unemployment persists across the community.
FreeCITY OF SALEM May 26
Salem library starts pilot curbside pickup program for holds placed during pandemic
Don't worry - that stack of unread books you checked out of the library in early March won't be due until at least July 1.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 26
Produce flows to Salem families under federal program as need remains high
Box by box, local organizations are seeing that Salem-area families get fresh produce to bolster food giveaways. In April, Marion Polk Food Share handed out one million pounds of food, a record.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS May 26
Salem-Keizer budget committee considers $1.5 billion budget with COVID impacts still unknown
Superintendent Christy Perry is pushing ahead with a Salem-Keizer schools budget developed before the pandemic crashed state revenue, hoping the Oregon Legislature will keep the state school fund whole during an expected special session.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 26
VIDEO: A Salem icon, Court Street Dairy Lunch, was among restaurants seating diners again
VIDEO: Marlene Blanchard was on hand Friday, May 22, chatting as usual with her regulars at the Court Street Dairy Lunch. For the first time in two months, she could have customers sit down to eat - though limitations were in place.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 26
State plans to announce soon details on how Salem schools can open in the fall
The state's top education official said schools in most communities across Oregon can open in the fall - but limits will be in place. Challenges for staffing, money and bus service are ahead, educators say.
SALEM POLITICS May 25
Salem council results indicate voters prefer a progressive agenda
After a slate of progressive candidates won election Tuesday, some believe it’s a bellwether for what Salem wants. One candidate believes future hopefuls can move even further to the left.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 25
Cherriots edge back into service, but limits keep ridership well below normal
Mask are part of the drill for drivers and riders as Cherriots "essential" trips remain the rule. The mass transit district uses tape, disinfectant and rider limits to reduce coronavirus risk.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 24
PHOTOS: Salem opens the door to more business as pandemic rules ease
PHOTOS: What Salem looked like as state restrictions ease, and you can go out for dinner once again.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 24
Salem real estate agents avoided shutdowns, but their work looks much different
In real estate, agents work in a high-touch industry filled with handshakes, car trips and home visits. Salem agents didn't shut down their offices due to COVID-19, but their work definitely changed.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 23
With caution and care, Salem takes a step back towards normal
On Friday, Salem emerged from a sort of long sleep as businesses that had been shuttered or restricted for two months could serve customers more fully. But new rules were in place and adaptations were evident across the city.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 22
As they reopen, Marion, Polk counties short on some state benchmarks for COVID-19
Oregon Health Authority this week released five indicators they're tracking for each county as restaurants and gyms reopen. None of Oregon's largest counties are yet meeting all of them.
FreeSCENES FROM THE AREA May 22
And now a break from Salem's pandemic
Shoppers can still look for fresh produce or flowers at the Thursday West Salem Farmer's Market and on Saturday's at the Salem Saturday Market but expect booths to be limited to two people.
FreeHIGHER EDUCATION May 22
Willamette University lays off 37 employees, furloughs 80
The university is cutting costs to make up for revenue lost from events and dorm fees, and to increase the financial aid budget for the fall.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 21
Struggling to pay rent? New state funds expected to help 600 families
The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency received millions in funding to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus and are struggling to pay electric bills or rent.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 21
Fewer people in Marion and Polk counties seeking unemployment benefits
Local unemployment claims followed the state's downward trajectory. While the numbers may signal that the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, they came during a week of gloomy economic news. More is likely on the horizon.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 21
Oregon inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 dies
The death is the first of its kind to be reported by the Oregon Department of Corrections. While the department has taken steps to reduce the spread of the virus in the state’s prison system, a civil rights group said more needs to be done.
LOCAL SCHOOLS May 21
In effort to help students with trauma, Houck Middle School will have new administration
Three Salem-Keizer middle schools are getting new principals in the fall of 2020, and Houck will see an entirely new administration to usher in changes.
FreeCOUNTY GOVERNMENT May 20
At last, people in Marion and Polk counties can start dining in and head to churches
Under Marion County and Polk County’s phased opening plans, businesses must space out seating, maintain distancing and rigorously clean. Gov. Kate Brown approved the plan on Wednesday – a week after most counties got their green lights.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT May 20
Oregon advocacy group condemns city’s emergency loitering prohibition, saying it had the practical effect of “sit lie”
Disability Rights Oregon wrote letters to the Salem City Council and Mayor Chuck Bennett Tuesday condemning the council’s actions to prohibit gatherings on sidewalks during the health crisis. Bennett said they have it wrong and are relying on hearsay.
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