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Aug 3 2020 thru Aug 9 2020

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STATE GOVERNMENT August 7
Cuts loom as lawmakers prepare to meet
Decisions that lawmakers make next week will affect social services, schools, parks and provide jobs for tens of thousands particularly in the Salem area. As of Friday, details, including how long the session would last, were unclear.
SALEM COMMUNITY August 7
City officials revoke permit for church program in park - and say go ahead anyway
Salem Awakening, a conglomeration of churches, began meeting in Riverfront Park in June for worship services. But in July the city revoked the group’s permit. The churches plan to continue meeting each night until Sept. 7.
LOCAL SCHOOLS August 7
PHOTOS: Teen Parent Program, Early College High School graduation ceremony
The seniors from the Teen Parent Program and Early College High School celebrated graduation Thursday night at Sprague High School.
LOCAL SCHOOLS August 7
After waiting months, over 2,000 graduates earn diplomas at local high schools
Salem-Keizer's high schools are holding almost 50 smaller graduation ceremonies this week, allowing students to celebrate in smaller groups. Principals are overseeing seven or eight ceremonies in a single day.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM August 7
QUICK READ: County challenged to track sources of infection, care centers report more cases
DIGEST: A round-up of Salem Reporter stories chronicling the pandemic in the local area to help keep you up to speed in just moments.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM August 7
DATA: Hospitalizations flat as virus cases grow in Marion, Polk counties
Marion and Polk counties are together meeting four of five state public health metrics for controlling the spread of Covid, though Gov. Kate Brown announced yesterday Marion County will remain on a state watch list "out of an abundance of caution."
Business August 6
Are Salem businesses enforcing state mask mandate? State records suggest many aren't
A database of complaints to the state's workplace safety agency has been flooded with recent complaints of employees and customers not wearing masks at Salem businesses. Calling it an issue of worker safety, one labor union is calling for more aggressive enforcement.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM August 6
YOUR QUESTIONS: Can you get the virus again if you had it once?
As a community service, Salem Reporter recruited experts to address questions that you had about the coronavirus. We're sharing one question and the answer each day and invite you to submit additional questions. We'll do our best to track down accurate, factual answers.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK August 6
Long-term care facilities, agricultural workplaces continue to report new Covid outbreaks
Two assisted living facilities in Salem have reported new cases in the last week and a berry farm east of Brooks has also reported an outbreak.
LOCAL SCHOOLS August 6
Most Oregon students will start fall class online. These Salem teens can help with tutoring.
Three South Salem High School friends launched a free online tutoring service for Salem-Keizer students in the spring, helping about 75 kids get help with reading and math. Now, they're scaling up for a statewide program.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK August 6
Marion County's coronavirus watch list review shows the challenge of figuring out where the virus is spreading
After Gov. Kate Brown placed Marion County on a state watch list, county epidemiologists took a closer look at recent cases and traced about 30 back to social gatherings. But public health officials say it's often difficult to link new cases together outside households or workplace outbreaks.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK August 5
Oregon Employment Department said it's met its goal. But tens of thousands are still waiting for benefits
The department's director has announced it has made progress on clearing the backlog of unemployment claims caused by the pandemic. One Salem resident said she's still waiting.
SALEM HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS August 5
Salem high school fall sports season pushed to spring, state association announces
The Oregon School Activities Association announced that the upcoming sports calendar would be shifted to start in 2021 to give schools enough time to return to in-school learning or a hybrid model.
LOCAL SCHOOLS August 5
Adapting with industry, high school classes in welding, hairstyling and auto detailing shift online
As Salem-Keizer schools prepare to begin classes online in September, the district's Career Technical Education Center is getting creative. But principal Rhonda Rhodes said it's challenging to serve students who enroll specifically for a hands-on classroom experience.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM August 5
YOUR QUESTIONS: Does the virus live on surfaces?
As a community service, Salem Reporter recruited experts to address questions that you had about the coronavirus. We're sharing one question and the answer each day and invite you to submit additional questions. We'll do our best to track down accurate, factual answers.
LIFE IN SALEM August 5
PHOTOS: One month in, take a look at construction for the Riverfront amphitheater
City crews are adding utilities and paving the site before turning it over to the Rotary Club of Salem to build a new amphitheater and performance venue.
Business August 4
The pandemic could change how Oregonians buy beer, cider and wine
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is considering a new administrative rule that would make it easier for breweries and others to deliver their products to customers. While it could help breweries and similar businesses stay afloat, others worry it'll hurt some Oregonians.
Salem economy August 4
COLUMN: The pandemic shut-down hit low-wage workers and minorities the hardest
In past recessions, job seekers who were young, who had less education and skills, were single parents, or had limited English language abilities, had a hard time becoming employed and re-employed after layoffs. What’s different now is that the economic shutdown has almost exclusively affected this group of workers.
LOCAL SCHOOLS August 4
Desire for stability, health risks drive some local families to a full year of online school
About 5,000 Salem-Keizer students have opted for all-online school next year, even if physical buildings later reopen for class. With the high interest, district administrators say they'll be able to offer Advanced Placement classes and Spanish-language instruction for native speakers.
PUBLIC SAFETY August 3
Crime Stoppers offer reward for pallet fire that caused millions in damage last year
Oregon Pallet went ablaze nearly a year ago. Now police and the business’ insurance company are offering more than $12,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
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 COMMUNITY August 3
First executive director will guide deeper research, online museum for Oregon Black Pioneers
“While our population might be small, the stories are really rich and compelling and inspiring. People made a life for themselves in a place where they were not welcome and Black Oregonians today are receiving the benefit of their sacrifice,” said Zachary Stocks, the new director of Oregon Black Pioneers.
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.

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