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Dec 21 2020 thru Dec 27 2020

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FreeCOVID: THE HUMAN TOLL December 26
AROUND OREGON: Lab and a lamprey freezer bolster coronavirus response on the Umatilla reservation
HUMAN TOLL: In June, when the new coronavirus first hit the reservation, Yellowhawk transformed into a COVID-19 crisis center for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Within the health care systems and its response to the pandemic, the clinic occupies an interesting role. Yellowhawk is the primary care provider for Umatilla tribal members and other Native Americans in its area. It serves an Indigenous population particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and is surrounded by Oregon’s Umatilla and Union counties, which have had some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the state.
FreeFROM US TO YOU December 25
Happy holidays from your team at Salem Reporter
Those of us who bring you the local Salem news sincerely hope all of you can find comfort and peace in the season. Merry Christmas!
SALEM COMMUNITY December 24
Covid put Michelle Paslay's senior services business on hold. She never stopped thinking about her clients
Michelle Paslay went door to door collecting redeemable bottles and cans to buy Christmas gifts for residents of an assisted living facility. She hopes the gifts will ease their isolation and brighten their holiday.
SALEM COMMUNITY December 24
Credit union honors 10 volunteers who made 2020 a little less hard in the Salem area
Alice Swanson helped a Woodburn church turn their weekly hot meal into a drive-thru extravaganza and set up places for people needing a respite from the smoky September air to breathe. She's among the winners of the first ever Maps Community Award.
FreeCOVID: THE HUMAN TOLL December 24
AROUND OREGON: Covid survivor remembers how virus pushed him to the brink
HUMAN TOLL: Although exposed to Abrahamson, Sampson said only his grandmother would end up testing positive for the virus and she quickly recovered. Don Sampson, Sandy Sampson’s brother and Abrahamson’s uncle, also went to Portland. Don Sampson, a Walla Walla chief, said he felt like the power of the songs reached Abrahamson, even if he wasn’t able to be in the room with him.
HOLIDAYS IN SALEM December 24
PHOTOS: Salem kids visit with Santa at Riverfront Carousel
Santa added a bit of plexiglass to his routine this year, but kids visiting recently didn't seem to mind as they told him their wishes and posed for photos.
STATE GOVERNMENT December 23
In a swift session, lawmakers pass pandemic-relief package
The four bills passed in the one-day session will help renters, landlords, restaurants and schools while propping up existing pandemic programs. The work is expected to continue next year.
PUBLIC SAFETY December 23
Salem police looking for driver who killed Salem man in hit and run
Salem police said they found the vehicle that hit and killed Hermilo Mata Jr. Tuesday evening, but are still searching for the driver.
PUBLIC SAFETY December 23
Artist says new sculpture at Salem police station represents justice and harmony
The sculpture has been years in the making with the artist using a public process to collect words that would go on the piece of art greeting visitors to the police station. Its round, “happy” shape is meant to give a positive impression.
SALEM SCHOOLS December 23
Path for more Oregon kids in the classroom opens in 2021 as governor makes reopening decisions local
Salem-Keizer schools could see more students back in schools for second semester, which begins Feb. 8. Superintendent Christy Perry says any return will be gradual, with the district's youngest attending first.
SALEM COMMUNITY December 23
With theaters closed around Oregon, Enlightened Theatrics shifts focus to small shows for students
After canceling their professional season, Enlightened Theatrics is mounting its second small theatrical production for students since the pandemic began, with "Les Misérables" streaming in February.
STATE GOVERNMENT December 22
Arrests and outrage follow violent protest at state Capitol
State and local leaders condemned assaults on journalists by protesters attempting to break into the Capitol building on Monday. Police have made arrests and are seeking another individual. Legislative leaders said there is an investigation into a breach at the building.
HOMELESSNESS December 22
Salem’s unsheltered people to get new boots, backpacks during Christmas event
Church at the Park is hosting a 12-day Christmas gift and food giveaway with a focus on people camping in Cascades Gateway Park. The church still needs donations of boots, pants and coats.
LOCAL SCHOOLS December 22
Salem private school under investigation after education department finds it broke state rules to reopen
Holy Family Academy opened for regular classes five days per week in the fall, despite the area not meeting state Covid requirements for full-time school, according to an Education Department investigation. The school now faces a workplace safety investigation.
SALEM HOLIDAYS December 22
PHOTOS: Catch some holiday sparkle at Powerland Heritage Park
This week is your last chance to catch a drive-thru holiday lights display at the antique heritage park, with tractors and more decked out for the season.
STATE GOVERNMENT December 21
As lawmakers meet, protesters attempt to storm Capitol building
Roughly 200 protesters gathered outside of the Capitol as lawmakers convened for the year’s third special session to address issues created by the Covid pandemic. A group attempted to forcibly disrupt the session, smashing windows, blocking streets, assaulting journalists and spraying unidentified chemicals on police.
HOMELESSNESS December 21
Homeless campers flooded out of Cascades Gateway after heavy rain
Around 50 people saw their tents and structures get flooded Sunday after heavy rains filled Mill Creek. The ARCHES Project is moving people to higher ground and supplying them with camping gear.
GUEST COLUMN: MEDICARE December 21
COLUMN: There are ways to cut premium costs for Medicare plans, but assess tradeoffs
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.
SALEM PUBLIC SAFETY December 21
Protesters demanding end to Covid restrictions push into Capitol as Oregon special session gets underway
Protesters, some armed, tried to force their way into the Capitol Monday as the Legislature convened to consider emergency legislation for Covid relief. Police declared the outdoor protest an unlawful assembly.
SALEM NONPROFITS December 21
Working to survive 2020, Pentacle Theatre moves out of downtown office
The community theater, which has been a Salem fixture since 1954, owns its stage in west Salem and isn't in danger of closing, but has had to cut back. Employees, board members and actors say they're not sure what the future of live theater in Salem will look like once they're able to rehearse again.

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