Local News That Matters

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Nov 30 2020 thru Dec 6 2020

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HOMELESSNESS Dec. 4
Housing Authority’s navigator acts as a bridge, connecting people on the street to help
The Salem Housing Authority works hard to find housing to those in need, but sometimes they can’t find the people they’re trying to get off the streets. Betty Jordan is bridging the gap to connect with those needing services by visiting the camps around Salem.
COVID IN OREGON Dec. 4
Polk County businesses can now apply for pandemic assistance funding
Working with the area's workforce development agency, Polk County opened up applications for its $1.25 million share of money made available to prop up businesses affected by the pandemic. County Commissioner Craig Pope said while county leaders hope the money will bridge short-term gaps, they realize it "will not heal the wounds that are widespread in our county."
FreeCOVID IN OREGON Dec. 4
Vaccine likely to hit Oregon this month, but worsening Covid spread is still expected
Oregon now expects to receive 147,000 doses of two Covid vaccines in December, which will go first to health care workers treating Covid patients.
BUSINESS Dec. 4
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Good news and bad at Employment Department, farmworkers union reaches out, alcohol tax
The Oregon Employment Department reports a Covid outbreak and progress on extra payments. PCUN seeks to help businesses in marginalized communities. The lines are drawn in an upcoming battle over alcohol taxes.
OREGON COMMUNITY Dec. 3
AROUND OREGON: Bend woman returns from 6-year journey walking the planet
Angela Maxwell will return to Bend after walking more than 20,000 miles across four continents, raising money for an organization that supports sex trafficking victims.
FreeCOVID IN OREGON Dec. 3
Rising Covid cases, tests leave Oregon’s public health database struggling to keep up
Lags in the Oregon Health Authority’s database for tracking Covid infections have slowed investigations into new Covid cases in Marion and Polk counties, meaning people exposed to Covid may not find out as quickly. State officials said a recent fix should help.
SALEM BUSINESS Dec. 3
With online auctions and an outpouring of support, Enchanted Forest will open for another season
After seeing visitors decline because of the pandemic, the storied theme park south of Salem warned it wouldn't open again without help. Fans of the park stepped up and its grateful owners say they'll be back next spring.
COVID IN OREGON Dec. 3
Governor's two-week freeze is over, but daily life won't change much
Marion and Polk counties, along with much of the state, have been placed in the "extreme" risk category for Covid transmissions. Residents can eat outdoors at a restaurant, but many restrictions remain in place while Covid is widespread.
STATE PARKS Dec. 3
AROUND OREGON: State parks looking for flexibility in campground reservations, fees
A proposal from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department would allow state parks to charge between $0 and $15 for a reservation, instead of the standard $8, and set their own windows for reservations.
SALEM COMMUNITY Dec. 2
Community shocked and saddened by sudden death of Selma Pierce
Selma Pierce was walking with a family member when she stepped into the road Tuesday evening and was hit and killed by an SUV in west Salem. There has been an outpouring of support for her family from across Oregon.
COVID IN OREGON Dec. 2
UPDATE: Pressed for time, Marion County opens the floodgates on cash to help businesses
The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday created a new grant program to help prop up leisure and hospitality businesses affected by the most recent shutdown order. Applications are expected to go up Thursday and checks need to go out by the year's end.
SALEM COMMUNITY Dec. 2
Salem food bank usage is up 30% over last year. Here's how Marion Polk Food Share is keeping up.
About 13,000 local families are seeking help at food pantries each month, prompting the food share to buy more refrigerated storage space and vehicles for distribution.
MENTAL HEALTH Dec. 2
AROUND OREGON: Firearms advocates increasingly embrace suicide prevention
Efforts to reduce U.S. gun violence are largely framed around homicides and mass shootings, so gun owners and non-gun owners alike often are surprised to learn that most U.S. gun deaths are suicides. In Oregon, a new effort is underway to bring gun rights groups, veterans and health workers together to reduce suicides by firearm.
BREAKING NEWS Dec. 1
Selma Pierce dead after being struck by car in west Salem
Pierce, 66, a retired dentist, had twice run for the Oregon House District 20 seat and worked with Oregon Mission of Mercy, a free dental clinic for underserved populations.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Dec. 1
Where do you see Salem in 30 years? Salem’s climate task force wants to know
The city is collecting responses from the community on how Salem can become more resilient to climate change through Dec. 11.
SALEM BUSINESS Dec. 1
With lights and some paints, downtown association seeks to bring cheer to city center
In addition to decking downtown with LED lights, the Salem Main Street Association hired a group of high school students to paint images and scenes of holiday celebrations from different cultures and parts of the world.
SALEM BUSINESS Dec. 1
Shutdowns haven't stopped Noble Wave from bringing Louisiana cuisine to Salem
Government shutdowns, fires, and Covd-19 have all impacted this downtown Salem business. But the three owners plan to continue making lemonade out of lemons, while serving authentic food and beer at the same time.
SALEM SCENE Dec. 1
Salem folk band singer finishes strong in national songwriting competition
Kristen Grainger and the band True North came out with a new album in June. The title track garnered the singer a second-place win at the USA Songwriting Competition.
SALEM RECYCLING Nov. 30
A $30,000 fire at Garten plant shows danger of “wishful recycling”
Garten Services’ household recycling operations remain closed after a Nov. 10 fire seriously damaged the equipment used to sort items. Plant workers suspect a stray battery or propane tank sparked the blaze.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Nov. 30
With schools closed, bus drivers assemble and deliver meals to kids across Salem
In addition to giving out breakfasts and lunches at schools, the Salem-Keizer School District has local bus drivers taking about 5,000 meals daily to apartment complexes, grocery store parking lots and other spots for kids who live too far away from a school to walk.
SALEM ECONOMY Nov. 30
Oregon's economy can recover from pandemic, but low-wage earners falling behind
State economists say the coronavirus is leaving an uneven impact on employers and jobs across Oregon. Some sectors such as homebuilding are strong but consumer businesses such as restaurants need public confidence before they can return to full strength, a recent state report says.
SALEM BUSINESS Nov. 30
The JCPenney building is empty. How it's developed could change downtown
A big retailer isn't expected to occupy the property. With incentives from the city, it's instead likely to be redeveloped with a mix of housing and retail. Unlike other large properties, it's expected to sell relatively quickly.
GUEST COLUMN Nov. 30
COLUMN: Enrollment deadline for insurance plans is Dec. 7
Jim Sellers, former Oregon journalist and state agency employee, writes 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.

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