STATE GOVERNMENT Jan. 8
Video shows Rep. Mike Nearman letting demonstrators into Capitol in Salem
Released in response to a public records request, the video shows the Republican legislator opening a door that allowed a confrontational group inside. While House Speaker Tina Kotek blasted his actions, Republican House members have been silent.
PUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 8
Salem man charged with murder in death of partner
A Salem man has been charged with murder after his partner was found shot in a northeast Salem home Wednesday. She later died from her injuries.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jan. 8
A wildlife refuge center and its landlord square off in court over covered up rot, unfinished work, well access
Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center, which helps saves thousands of animals each year, set up shop in a new property last year. But they say their landlords didn’t do promised work and tried to chase them off to get a more lucrative tenant. The landlords earlier tried to evict them on grounds the center misused the property.
SALEM BUSINESS Jan. 8
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Bigger unemployment checks, Detroit gets fiber, Salem challenged to eat, new Business Oregon director
The Oregon Employment Department pays additional unemployment benefits. Ziply Fiber sets up in Detroit. Oregon's economic development agency set to get a new director.
SALEM NONPROFITS Jan. 8
With coronavirus measures in place, Willamette Art Center resumes classes
The community art center housed at the Oregon State Fairgrounds invested in sophisticated equipment to make the location safe from Covid. Classes that start on Monday are already full.
FreeCOVID VACCINATION Jan. 7
Here's what you need to know about Salem Health's Covid vaccine clinics in Salem and Dallas
If you're a health care worker, first responder or long-term care facility resident or employee, you're now able to get a Covid vaccine in Oregon. Those working or living in Marion and Polk county can now get them through Salem Health without an appointment.
STATE GOVERNMENT Jan. 7
Rep. Mike Nearman let demonstrators in Capitol during tense protest, House speaker says
Kotek said Oregon State Police confirmed that Nearman, a Republican, allowed demonstrators into the building, which has been closed to the public because of the pandemic, during a one-day special session of the Legislature on Dec. 21. Calling Nearman’s actions a “serious, serious breach of public trust,” Kotek said that allowing the demonstrators into the building “is out of the Trump playbook and very much caters to white supremacist motivations.”
TOURISM Jan. 7
AROUND OREGON: New push to draw tourism to 'clean, safe' Willamette River
Willamette Riverkeeper and other organizations hope to promote the river for multi-day paddling and recreation trips, highlighting hotels and restaurants along the way to help visitors plan.
PUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 7
Police investigating homicide after woman found shot in northeast Salem home
Police were conducting a welfare check when they found a woman with a gunshot wound. She was taken to the hospital and later died from her injuries.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jan. 7
Cooke Stationery becomes downtown Salem's biggest cheerleader
Cooke Stationery is flanked by two restaurants in downtown Salem. When employees saw their neighbors struggling, they planned an event to highlight local businesses. And they turned over their front windows, social media channels, and part of their shop to help too.
OREGON POLITICS Jan. 7
Bentz, Oregon's only Republican congressman, acknowledges Biden win after opposing one state's electors
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon, voted to object to Pennsylvania's presidential electors, questioning legality of voting in that state. He called the invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday "a stain on the history of our country."
SALEM PROTESTS Jan. 6
PHOTOS: Trump supporters back effort to overturn U.S. election at Oregon Capitol
A rally in Salem turned violent Wednesday afternoon as demonstrators shot paintballs into a crowd and clashed with police and counterprotesters.
PUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 6
In Salem, Trump supporters back effort to overturn presidential election
Hundreds of Trump supporters gathered at Oregon’s Capitol Wednesday to support an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election. While the event started out peacefully, violence erupted after right- and left-wing groups converged and later police declared an unlawful assembly.
NATIONAL POLITICS Jan. 6
Insurrection at nation's capital draws strong local reactions
Salem’s elected leaders condemned the violent unrest as a mob forced its way into Congress on Wednesday. While Democrats specifically called out President Donald Trump for fomenting what they referred to as a coup, Republicans more broadly condemned political violence or were silent.
FreeNATIONAL POLITICS Jan. 6
"That is a coup": Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley describes how a mob breached the nation's Capitol
Merkley and other lawmakers were taken to a secure location after insurrectionists stormed the building attempting to overturn election results.
FreePUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 6
LIVE UPDATES: Salem protests devolve into chaos, one arrested
Oregon State Police have declared a protest at the Oregon Capitol an unlawful assembly after counterprotesters clashed with a group of President Donald Trump's supporters. Salem police have closed multiple streets around the Capitol.
FreeCOVID VACCINATION Jan. 5
Salem Health will begin vaccinating eligible health care, long-term care facility workers at state fairgrounds
Those seeking vaccination must attest they're part of a group now eligible for the vaccine, which includes dentists, hospice workers, corrections employees and in-home care providers. Clinics begin Jan. 7.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM Jan. 5
All Oregon health care workers, long-term care facility residents and employees now eligible for Covid vaccine
Three-quarters of the Covid vaccine doses Oregon has received were sitting in freezers unused at the start of the week. State health officials acknowledged mistakes in the rollout and said expanding eligibility would allow vaccination to move more quickly, but older Oregonians will still have to wait.
PUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 5
More protests expected in Salem as Congress finalizes election results
The Salem Police Department said it will provide backup to Oregon State Police for a protest calling on Congress to throw out the results of the 2020 election. But with no groups or people organizing the event, it‘s not clear what Salem should expect.
PUBLIC SAFETY Jan. 5
Patriot Prayer supporter faces several felony charges, accused of macing cops during protest at Oregon Capitol
Chandler Pappas is facing the stiffest charges of those arrested during Salem’s protests so far, with eight felony charges related to peppery spraying police, breaking through doors and inciting violence on Dec. 21.
SCHOOL BOARD Jan. 5
Salem-Keizer board member criticized for violating state Covid rules with maskless New Year's party
Board Director Jesse Lippold posted photos and video on Instagram showing him attending a New Year's party with about a dozen people. Lippold said the event was invite-only for a group of friends that regularly spends time together, and attendees agreed to get tested for Covid and quarantine following the event.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jan. 5
Downtown Salem restaurant becomes bottleneck of conflict during New Year’s Day march
Restaurant owner Jonathan Jones has been a vocal member of Salem’s Black Lives Matter movement. Epilogue Kitchen and Cocktails became the scene of tension during a New Year’s Day march as Jones said a group in front of his business was trapped by police and Proud Boys. Now he feels like he's in danger.
SALEM ECONOMY Jan. 5
COLUMN: What the local economy might bring in 2021
How long will it take the economy to recover? It depends on the choices made by policymakers who will have to grapple with lingering problems, and new ones created by the pandemic.
COVID IN OREGON Jan. 4
Even after getting a hefty fine, Salem gym keeps doors open
Salem’s Courthouse Club Fitness was hit with a $90,000 fine last month for ignoring the governor's order that gyms be closed. Gov. Kate Brown has signaled she'll back up her orders. But even with the prospect of more fines, the gym has stayed open.
SALEM PEOPLE Jan. 4
Doctor from Salem makes waves with paper on racial bias in common medical device
Dr. Michael Sjoding, a Sprague High School graduate, analyzed blood oxygen measurements in thousands of patients as he treated people critically ill with Covid. His team found the pulse oximeter, which clips onto the finger, is more likely to miss dangerously low oxygen in Black and dark-skinned patients.
SALEM SCHOOLS Jan. 4
McNary student crafts her own play in special Willamette program
Willamette University puts on special theater program, teaching a dozen high school students from across Oregon how to write a play.