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Jul 20 2020 thru Jul 26 2020

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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.
GUEST COLUMN July 24
COLUMN: Help available for seniors to trim prescription drug costs
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.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 23
One of Salem's largest retirement communities is the latest to report a Covid outbreak
Capital Manor in west Salem is the only Polk County long-term care facility reporting an active outbreak. Two other long-term care facilities have reported their outbreaks as resolved.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 23
Mask mandate muffles free speech rights of medically vulnerable, new legal action argues
A conservative advocacy group has brought the newest legal challenge to the governor’s Covid orders. This time it argues the state didn’t follow its own rules and has run afoul of free speech protections.
TRANSPORTATION July 23
As the economy reopens, more people are riding the bus
Although fewer people are taking the bus compared to the beginning of the year, numbers from Cherriots show that ridership is up after a sharp drop in April. The transit agency is looking to boost ridership. But questions remain about schools, work schedules and safety.
State Government July 23
The state workforce has mostly stayed intact during the pandemic. State leaders want to keep it that way
Next month, lawmakers are expected to convene in a special session to rebalance the state budget after a $2.7 billion drop in the state’s general fund. Both Gov. Kate Brown and legislative leaders have proposed ways to trim state operations that seek to minimize layoffs of current employees.
SALEM BUSINESS July 23
For those in Salem with depression, new clinic provides another resource for treatment
People with treatment-resistant depression have been driving from Salem to Tigard for their special therapy sessions. In August, they can skip the long trip and get the care they need in south Salem.
Business July 22
Facing uncertainty, developer breaks ground on industrial space in south Salem
Pacific NW Properties, a Beaverton-based commercial real estate development company, this week began work on a $10 million project in the Salem area that’ll add more industrial space that’s highly sought after. While there are no tenants lined up for the building, the developer is optimistic they'll come.
SALEM SCENE July 22
SALEM IN NEED: Association seeks ways to save downtown Salem restaurants while saving itself
The Salem Main Street Association championed the closure of downtown streets to allow more dining options. But its own fundraising activities have been impaired by the Covid crisis.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 22
Masks now required for children, while on the elliptical
Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday new restrictions including earlier restaurant closures and mask requirements for kids and while exercising. Those rules are set to go into effect Friday.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT July 22
Salem seeks input on what the future of the city should look like
The city is in the process of gathering feedback from surveys and meetings to develop a draft comprehensive plan update by September. The planning document hasn’t been overhauled since 1973.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES July 21
'This doesn’t define you' - kids with parents in prison welcomed at annual Salem summer camp
For five years, dozens of volunteers have put on Camp Agape, a long weekend of summer fun to give kids with incarcerated parents a positive experience. They kept the tradition alive even during a pandemic.
EMPLOYMENT July 21
Unemployment rate in Salem area sees steady decline, but rates are still high
New numbers show that the Salem area’s unemployment rate is slightly lower than the rest of the state. While people are returning to work, the unemployment rate remains unusually high.
PUBLIC SAFETY July 21
PHOTO: Aerial of the new Salem police station
The new Salem police headquarters is expected to open this fall. On Monday, Liberty Street will reopen, but other street closures will remain in effect until the end of August.
SALEM BUSINESS July 21
Get out of the house - go visit the Tour of Homes to see Salem's latest
The annual Tour of Homes, featuring 18 homes around Salem, continues through Sunday, July 26, and allows personal inspections - with Covid restrictions.
PUBLIC SAFETY July 21
Salem police union calls for body cameras, but hefty price tag has stalled efforts in the past
The Salem Police Department has considered equipping its officers with body cameras, but such a program could cost several hundred thousand dollars. The union representing officers sent a letter to Salem city councilors asking them to consider buying them.
SALEM COMMUNITY July 20
In the wake of Salem protests, a new community leader emerges
Gregg Simpson hadn’t gotten involved politically during his life in Salem, but the Black Lives Matter protests changed that.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK July 20
We'll work to get you the facts about Covid - what do you want to know?
Send us your questions and we'll get vetted answers from experts at the local, state and national level.
Business July 20
Employment Department seeks to speed up payments for self-employed
After facing scrutiny for the lag in processing unemployment claims, the department is working with Google to expedite payments for a new relief program aimed at self-employed workers.
Business July 20
Siletz tribe moves forward with Salem casino
The tribe has formally submitted paperwork for a 20-acre off-reservation casino in north Salem. The nearby Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde opposes the project, saying it undermines the intent of Indian gaming.
VIDEO: SALEM SCHOOLS July 20
VIDEO: Local teen explains the views behind Latino group's push for Salem school police reforms
Latinos Unidos Siempre continues to press the case to remove school resource officers from schools in the Salem-Keizer School District. A student leader of the group explains why this is a key issue for students of color.

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