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Sep 28 2020 thru Oct 4 2020

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SALEM PUBLIC SAFETY October 3
Police investigating death of Willamette University sophomore
A private vigil was planned for Saturday night at Willamette University in honor of Abigail Agustin-Paz, 19, whose body was found Friday in Minto-Brown Island Park.
FreeWILDFIRES October 2
In wake of wildfires, concerns arise that tax relief for Santiam Canyon property owners will be too little and too late
State law allows property owners to seek a cut in their tax bill if their property has been badly damaged or destroyed by fires, tornadoes, lighting or an “act of God.” Marion County commissioners say it needs a legislative fix that might come too late.
CHILD CARE IN SALEM October 2
With parents under extra stress, Chemeketa offers online support to help young kids learn
Chemeketa Community College's Child Development Center is running a one-month online program for parents and their preschoolers or kindergarten-aged kids. It mixes activities like story time with places for parents to talk to each other and child development experts about what their kids need.
SALEM COMMUNITY October 1
Woman who escaped Santiam Canyon fire in car trunk finally learns who saved her life
Bonnie Sullivan, fleeing a wildfire that would burn her Gates home, caught a ride out of Santiam Canyon in a car a trunk. She never knew the identity of her rescuer – until now. A Salem Reporter account puts the hero and the victim together.
WILDFIRES October 1
AROUND OREGON: Baby Yoda brings smiles to Oregon firefighters on the front lines
Carver, a 5-year-old resident of Scappoose, donated a Baby Yoda doll to a firefighter supply drive with a note saying: “Thank you firefighters. Here is a friend in case you get lonely.” Now, Baby Yoda has traveled across the state, bringing smiles to wildland crews along the way.
SALEM PEOPLE October 1
Salem volunteer turns experience with cancer into award-winning action
The American Cancer Society recently honored a Salem woman with one of its top awards to recognize her years of advocacy for more research funding for cancer.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT October 1
Salem man seeks to retire city’s obscure, “ugly” flag
Brian McKinley has become a flag aficionado of sorts. He’s hoping to upgrade Salem’s current flag, a relic from the 1970s, through a design contest that runs until next summer.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK September 30
Woodburn assisted living facility sees Covid cases climb
French Prairie Nursing and Rehab now has the highest number of Covid cases of any assisted living facility in the state, with 10 people dead. Its management says it has measures in place to control the outbreak.
BUSINESS September 30
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Grants go around, wildfire recovery presentation, networking event
City of Salem announces more grant programs. Upcoming networking event. Business Oregon to hold presentation on how to bounce back from fires. SEDCOR expands agricultural innovation network.
STATE GOVERNMENT September 30
Oregon public records advocate resigns after conflict with board over independence
Becky Chiao stepped down from her post two months after her appointment by Gov. Kate Brown, leaving the state without a public records advocate for the second time in less than a year.
FreeVOTE 2020 September 30
Help Salem Reporter fact-check local candidates for office
We need your help to evaluate campaign mailings, social media posts and ads for Marion and Polk county candidates.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 30
As Salem student task force nears recommendations on police in schools, conflicts erupt over process
Students with Latinos Unidos Siempre, a youth organization that has called for an end to police in schools for years, say Salem-Keizer district administrators are sidelining their concerns in a student task force. But other students involved say the process is in student hands, and take issue with criticisms they feel are unfounded.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT September 29
Costco-centered shopping center moves ahead with council approval
The Salem City Council on Monday approved a site plan for a shopping center on Keubler Boulevard that has been in the works for more than a decade. Nearly all the public comments written to council were opposed to the Costco, but councilors said their hands were tied from a 2007 zoning change.
BUSINESS September 29
The pandemic brings a side effect: increased cannabis sales
Cannabis sales have soared amid the pandemic as customers have turned to retailers for relief from uncertain times. In May, sales topped $100 million for the first time.
FreeWILDFIRES September 29
With wildfire funds and dedicated volunteers, Santiam and Salem groups prepare for long-term recovery help
Santiam Hospital has set a goal of raising $5 million toward a wildfire relief fund and is helping connect people affected with help. From donated RVs to prescription refills, here's what the long-term community need looks like, and how you can pitch in.
PUBLIC SAFETY September 29
Three died during hostage situation in east Salem
Oregon State Police identified two people who were shot and killed Monday afternoon and another who died after shooting himself, but it’s still unclear who killed whom.
PHOTOS September 29
PHOTOS: Aerial views over Gates reveal fire's rampage
Photos taken with a drone over the Santiam Canyon city of Gates provide a unique look at the wildfire's destructive path.
PUBLIC SAFETY September 29
People killed in east Salem Monday, sheriff’s office mum on details
Multiple people were killed in east Salem Monday, but the Marion County Sheriff’s Office is providing scant details as to what happened or how many died.
HOMELESSNESS September 28
With more homeless camping because of Covid, city approves contract for park patrols
Earlier this month Salem City Council approved a contract with DPI Security to prevent vandalism and give park patrons at Wallace Marine Park a feeling of added security.
COVID IN SALEM September 28
DATA: Covid tests, new cases decline in Marion County following widespread wildfires
Health authorities say wildfire evacuations and hazardous smoke in the air for weeks lowered testing levels in much of western Oregon. Despite the decrease in cases in the Salem area, hospitalizations remain about flat.
PHOTO GALLERY September 28
PHOTOS: Detroit owners consider losses and their plans
In Detroit, gloves, shovels and patience were evident last weekend as property owners returned to what in many cases was burned rubble. Photojournalist Amanda Loman spent time with some of the families searching for what few keepsakes survived September's wildfires.
SALEM AREA EVENTS September 28
Railroad history, a new look at Jason Lee explored in online history series
The Willamette Heritage Center is hosting monthly online lectures to examine mid-Willamette Valley history ranging from women’s activism in the late 1800s and early 1900s to the eradication of smallpox.
Freewildfires September 28
Was your life disrupted by the wildfires? You can still get your ballot
Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess said residents affected by the wildfires can still cast their vote – even if they don’t have a home for mail.
COMMENTARY September 28
EDITOR'S COLUMN: What we heard from readers about campaign coverage
SALEM ELECTIONS: More than 350 people responded to the survey put up by Salem Reporter to get views on how local election coverage should be handled. Those taking the survey took on the role of editor to give advice to our reporters. See what they said.
LOCAL SCHOOLS September 28
'Excuse me teacher, you’re frozen again' - navigating kindergarten in a pandemic
As 2,400 local kids start school for the first time online, educators and parents are working to make the best of it with “flash dances” and “pixie dust.” There’s little research on how online learning might impact kids as they move through the school system.

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