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Aug 31 2020 thru Sep 6 2020

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FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK September 4
DATA: Salem area still far from coronavirus targets to reopen schools in-person
Marion County reported slight improvements this week in both the number of new Covid cases and the percentage coming back positive, but the county has a long way to go to meet Gov. Kate Brown's targets for school reopening. Polk County is closer.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 4
PHOTOS: Kalapuya students reconnect with lost jackets, spring artwork at drive-though event
This school year is far from normal, but there were plenty of smiling kids at Kalapuya Elementary this week who were eager to pick up assignments, meet teachers and get started learning.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 4
"It's not pretty": Salem high schools scramble to finish student schedules in a world with fewer options
High school scheduling is a complicated puzzle in the best of times. New state requirements to keep students in small groups mean Salem-Keizer students can expect limited elective classes when they receive schedules on Sept. 8.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK September 4
Covid remains mostly flat at workplaces and care facilities while two more employers report outbreaks
Ezequiel Labor Contracting in Woodburn and Goschie Farms in Silverton are listed among new outbreaks in the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly Covid report.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 3
Salem kindergarteners meet teachers face-to-face in preparation for online school
Local elementary schools are getting creative as they find ways to return classroom art projects and lost coats to students and better equip them to learn online this year. At Kalapuya Elementary in west Salem, students drove through the school parking lot to meet their teachers and get supplies.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK September 3
Oregon Health Authority proposes ambitious budget
The recently released budget would cost the state an additional $467 million in state funding if approved and proposes increasing the tax on beer, wine and cider to raise money for behavioral health services.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT September 3
Salem chooses police officers, people of color to help guide police audit
The 10-member steering committee will offer expertise in areas like police response to communities of color, people experiencing a mental health crisis and homelessness as the city moves forward with an audit of police performance.
salem events September 3
Just in the time for the election, Salem City Club to hold “Informed Voter Series”
Held over Zoom, the program will include political commentators offering their thoughts about what’s at stake this November. Local candidates and others will also be included.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 2
With two weeks until Salem-Keizer schools start, teachers head back to class
Local teachers have the option this week to return to classrooms many haven't seen since March. At South Salem High School, many teachers will run online lessons from their empty classrooms.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 2
PHOTOS: South Salem High School teachers begin setting up classrooms for remote teaching
This week is the first chance many Salem teachers have to get back into their classrooms and begin preparing for an online start to school year. At South, several teachers said they plan to teach online classes from their empty classrooms.
PUBLIC SAFETY September 2
Salem woman suffered permanent eye damage after getting shot by Salem police with rubber bullet, lawsuit claims
The woman attended a racial justice protest in late May and was part of a group of protesters that were tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets. The lawsuit is seeking to change the policies that allowed the city manager to declare a curfew and for police to use deadly force against protesters.
Salem economy September 2
COLUMN: Numbers reveal how low-wage workers hit hardest by the pandemic
Salem area workers left unemployed by the shutdown worked for low pay and few benefits, some with limited English skills, some single moms juggling low-wage jobs and day care and most with lower levels of education. Several historical trends have helped to create the low-wage economy that has been decimated over the last few months.
PUBLIC SAFETY September 2
Salem police scanners go quiet after system enters the digital age
Salem’s public safety agencies transitioned to a new digital radio system this year, causing scanner radios to go quiet. Scanner junkies can still tune in online but can expect a 15-minute delay.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK September 1
Woodburn drive-through testing event finds most people positive for Covid show no symptoms
Community health organizations say the high positivity rate among people tested at recent drive-through events in Woodburn shows the need for more mass testing.
Business September 1
Easy solutions are few as employers and working parents prepare for online school
Schools are closed to in-person classes for the second time this year. Employers say they're trying to be flexible with schedules and telecommuting. But parents are expected to still feel the tug between work and managing their kids' education.
FreeHIGHER EDUCATION September 1
Willamette University reporting few Covid cases since reopening one week ago
One Willamette student and two employees have tested positive for Covid, but the university says it’s under control. Corban University has several students awaiting test results, but no confirmed cases on campus to date.
POLK COUNTY September 1
With school moving online, Polk County expands faster internet access to rural areas
The county signed a contract with internet service provider Alyrica to expand broadband access to 90% of the county using CARES dollars to do so.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS September 1
New report shows Oregon taking conservative path to classrooms
About 2% of school employees and 1% of students would become infected with Covid between September and December if Salem resumed in-person elementary school at current infection rates, a new report from the Institute for Disease Modeling found.
Business August 31
BUSINESS ROUND UP: More cash for unemployed. New restaurant. Theater closes. Future of work.
The feds approve Oregon’s application for boosted unemployment benefits. Keizer gets a chicken shack. A movie theater says goodbye. A panel at Chemeketa Community College to hear about what the region’s workforce needs will look like.
FreeCORONAVIRUS RESEARCH August 31
AROUND OREGON: OHSU drops massive coronavirus study, citing lack of minority involvement
The study would have monitored 100,000 randomly-selected Oregonians with regular Covid testing, but researchers said efforts to retool it didn't capture the state's population as they'd hoped.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES August 31
PHOTOS: With a namesake amphitheater in mid-construction, a Salem legacy gets his first glance
Gerry Frank, 96, took a gander at the site of the future Gerry Frank Salem Rotary Amphitheater on Friday, Aug. 28. The groundwork is expected to be complete by October, with amphitheater construction starting in November.
STATE GOVERNMENT August 31
At a time of greater scrutiny for law enforcement, new leader tapped for Oregon’s largest police force
Law enforcement veteran Terri Davie will take over for Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton. Gov. Kate Brown said Davie will play a role in “transforming law enforcement standards and training and putting the state on a path toward racial justice."
LIFE IN SALEM August 31
Salem librarians stay busy with curbside service, zombie escape rooms, craft demonstrations
The library's doors remain locked, but Salem librarians are working behind the scenes to check out hundreds of books per day, distribute teen reading prizes and host talent shows and story time virtually.

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