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Apr 27 2020 thru May 3 2020

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FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 2
Standing together, often without masks, protestors in Salem demand Oregon drop virus restrictions
With horns, signs and shouts, demonstrators clustered in front of the Capitol Saturday, pressing for changes in state restrictions that have closed businesses and schools and disrupted life across the state. Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that the state is moving to open some rural areas by May 15.
ELECTIONS May 2
CITY ELECTIONS: In northeast Salem ward, candidates want stronger voice for constituents
Hollie Oakes-Miller and Jose Gonzalez are both first-time candidates running to represent Ward 5. Both candidates said helping those who are less fortunate are priorities for their candidacy.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 2
Latest data shows fewer people in hospital, but more Marion County residents with COVID-19
Marion County continues to have the highest rate of residents with COVID-19 in the state. Here's an update on local numbers.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 2
Friends navigate around virus limits to parade before Salem woman celebrating 90
The party in southeast Salem was done with care to deploy social distancing, but it also broke the gloom of limits to be sure Merlie Reeves had company on her 90th birthday.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 2
One Salem protest done, larger one expected at the Capitol on Saturday
As the "stay home" order from Gov. Kate Brown remains in place, some Oregonians are chafing at restrictions that limit movements and close businesses. A protest on Friday, May 1, at the Capitol, was a prelude to what is expected to be a larger rally on Saturday, May 2.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK May 1
Labor department investigating complaints of Salem hotels refusing to house homeless during pandemic
Jimmy Jones, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, said his operation has struggled to get homeless people into some local hotels because they won’t accept a third party paying for the room or fear damage and illness.
ELECTIONS May 1
CITY ELECTIONS: In southeast Salem ward, council candidates want improved infrastructure
Brad Nanke is running for a sixth term as city councilor against first-time candidate Trevor Phillips. Nanke has cited the need for a third bridge while Phillips said he wants more pedestrian-friendly streets.
Business May 1
Ziply Fiber takes over Frontier Communications Northwest telecommunications
The $1.35 billion sale means about 3,000 residents of Polk and Marion counties are now customers of the new company. Ziply Fiber is promising enhanced internet access with no rate increases.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON May 1
Governor gives no indication when areas like Salem can start returning to normal; expanded testing planned
Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that more testing across Oregon is needed before she starts easing restrictions but said social distancing is with us for the future. She said some rural areas may see eased restrictions as soon as May 15.
LOCAL SPORTS May 1
Minor league baseball in Salem-Keizer faces uncertain future
Whether it's the possible cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, or the pending Professional Baseball Agreement that could end Major League affiliation, there are a lot of question marks about the future of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
ELECTIONS April 30
CITY ELECTIONS: In downtown Salem ward, council candidates cite homelessness as defining issue
Jan Kailuweit and Virginia Stapleton are seeking to represent Ward 1 in the upcoming May election. Salem Reporter asked the candidates how they plan to address key issues facing the city and why they would make a good leader.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 30
Medical providers prepare for restrictions on procedures to be lifted, and all the complications that follow
On March 18 Oregon Gov. Kate Brown directed hospitals, outpatient clinics, dentists, optometrists and others to stop “all non-emergency procedures.” The goal was to preserve surgical masks, gowns and gloves to protect health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. Clinics and health care providers face a backlog but can only gradually ramp up.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 30
Unemployment claims continue their downward trajectory
While the economy is officially in a recession, fewer people locally and across Oregon are seeking help after losing their jobs. However, the number of claims remains high.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 30
Polk County Jail has reduced its jail population by the largest percentage statewide
A recent survey showed Polk County went from a jail population of 120 to 29, a 75% reduction. Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton said the reduction allows the county to accomplish social distancing and to keep inmates and staff safe.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 30
Over the objections of farms and ranches, Oregon will enact regulations seeking to protect farmworkers
New temporary regulations by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require farms to maintain social distancing during work, break and meal periods, as well as in employer-provided transportation and housing.
HIGHER EDUCATION April 30
Willamette University chemist wins major grant to improve treatment for disease that causes blindness
Chemistry professor Sarah Kirk has brought in Willamette's first-ever grant from the National Institutes of Health. Her work could lead to a drug that would stop the progression of eye disease before it leads to blindness.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON April 30
SALEM IN NEED: Nonprofit could use campus garden, construction to serve youth
This report is another In our continuing series to help Salem nonprofits make it through the pandemic. Connections365 provides special foster care and residential treatment.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN OREGON April 30
In rural Oregon, eagerness to get back to normal means barbers in masks, diners at distant tables
With only eight confirmed coronavirus infections in Malheur County, local officials say they are ready to see businesses open and life return a step towards normal. A detailed county plan now goes to the state for approval. Harney and Baker counties too are seeking Gov. Kate Brown's approval to take down some of the "Closed" signs.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 29
Heart problems most common condition among Oregonians who have died from COVID-19
A new state report gives a clearer snapshot of how COVID-19 is affecting Oregonians. We pulled five takeaways from the data.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM April 29
Itching for a field trip? Walk through Oregon's Capitol online
The Oregon State Capitol Foundation is promoting a comprehensive, free virtual tour to help kids learning state history and adults who need a break from Zoom meetings.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: Life in Oregon April 29
Oregon begins accepting unemployment claims for self-employed and gig workers
Self-employed workers and contractors usually don’t pay into the unemployment benefits program and historically have not been eligible for claims. Congress changed that last month with the passage of the CARES Act.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 28
Thursday West Salem Farmers Market to open next week
Now in its third season, a scaled-back version of the market will open focused on essentials to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, two other markets won't be opening as previously scheduled.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 28
Latest data shows Woodburn remains epicenter of Marion County's COVID-19 outbreak
More than half of Marion County residents who recently tested positive for COVID-19 live in Woodburn. The Salem area, which has six times the population, saw just half as many new cases.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS April 28
Don't put those caps away yet, Class of 2020. Plans for ceremonies unveiled
Leaders of local high school senior classes told Superintendent Christy Perry they want to walk across a real graduation stage, even if it means waiting a few months.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK April 27
This year was supposed to be the most promising for a pair of Salem musicians. But COVID-19 undid their plans
Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel, the core members of folk and bluegrass quartet Kristen Grainger & True North, spent years of writing, recording, promoting, booking shows and saving money to play music full time. That's all been upended as the outbreak and places where people once shared music are put at risk.
FreeCORONAVIRUS: LIFE IN SALEM, OREGON April 27
PHOTO: And now a break from the pandemic
A drone camera captures fields of a yellow seed crop adjacent to orchards and fields of the Spring Valley area in west Salem.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS April 27
Parents, students find both fun and frustration in Salem-Keizer switch to distance learning
Two weeks in to distance learning, Salem-Keizer teachers say they're still figuring out what works best for their students, often while juggling their own children's education. But many are finding silver linings in the process.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT April 27
Running for city councilor has gotten costly for one ward as partisan divide shapes a local race
One Salem City Council race has become a financial slugfest, with contributions to two candidates so far passing the $60,000 market. The job of councilor provides no pay.

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