Local News That Matters

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May 17 2021 thru May 23 2021

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HOMELESSNESS May. 21
Salem motel could become home for unhoused people under new program
The Oregon Legislature allocated millions for a program to acquire motels for homeless shelter. The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency is using some of that grant money to open a motel to serve wildfire victims and people experiencing homelessness.
May. 21
Refunds on the way to Oregonians who paid taxes on unemployment benefits
ON THE AIR May. 21
ON THE AIR: Rachel Alexander on how protesters are making themselves heard at closed school meetings
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
May. 21
AGENDA: Salem City Council to vote on ending homeless park camping, outdoor dining program
Free May. 21
Getting a Covid vaccine in Oregon could make you a millionaire
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 21
Family Building Blocks keeps auction lively with "Schitt's Creek" theme
The Salem nonprofit held its annual fundraiser virtually for the second year in a row, bringing in almost $360,000 to support families of young children in the mid-Willamette Valley.
May. 21
Marion County grand jury indicted Woodburn man for murder, clears officers for shooting at him
SALEM THEATER May. 21
Back from Los Angeles, Salem actor wants to teach teens the craft of theater
Zach DuFault grew up in a football-loving family in Salem but fell in love with acting in college. After eight years studying and acting in Los Angeles, he’s opening The Salem Playhouse to give young people a place to rehearse scenes and practice for auditions.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS May. 20
Two Salem-Keizer school board races too close to call, two are settled in latest ballot count
With nearly all ballots counted in Marion and Polk counties, Osvaldo Avila and María Hinojos Pressey appear to have clinched seats on the Salem-Keizer School Board. Just 86 votes separate candidates in the zone 3 race, with the next update expected June 2 after voters have a chance to correct signature issues.
May. 20
Salem Health will scale down mass vaccination sites, distribute Covid vaccine to clinics and smaller events
May. 20
Willamette Humane Society receives grant to continue saving animals
FreeSALEM BUSINESS May. 20
Salem Reporter earns top journalism honors for fire coverage
The news team of Rachel Alexander, Saphara Harrell, Jake Thomas and Amanda Loman was awarded several first-place awards in competition among newsrooms in the West.
SALEM COMMUNITY May. 20
After a Salem storage facility burned, one man starts over after losing all his possessions
Ismet Yazkurt has been living in a minivan for nearly a year with most of his possessions in a storage unit. Now that the storage facility has burned, Yazkurt is unsure what to do without insurance.
SALEM ECONOMY May. 20
Employment Department will bring back job-seeking requirements for laid-off Oregonians
With vaccinations increasing and the economy reopening, the Oregon Employment Department announced that people receiving unemployment benefits will be required to start taking steps to reenter the labor force. The department’s director said the requirements will be phased in and will hopefully help laid-off workers with childcare or other barriers.
ON THE AIR May. 20
ON THE AIR: Reporter Rachel Alexander talks May 18 election results
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
FreeSALEM HISTORY May. 20
LOCAL HISTORY: Explore Salem's past during Historic Preservation Month
This column is part of a regular feature from Salem Reporter to highlight local history in collaboration with area historians and historical organizations. Kimberli Fitzgerald, Salem's historic preservation officer, shares online resources for discovering Salem history this May.
May. 20
State economic forecast predicts higher incomes, tax revenues and a recovered labor market
STATE GOVERNMENT May. 19
Bill seeks to protect Oregon workers from employer retaliation
While it’s illegal for employers to retaliate against workers who raise safety concerns, labor groups say current protections don’t go far enough. But business groups say the bill could be abused and create unnecessary legal expenses and headaches.
May. 19
Teenager who was allegedly kidnapped in Gervais died Wednesday, police said
May. 19
Fewer than 1,000 votes separate some school board candidates. Marion County has 12,000 ballots left to count
ON THE AIR May. 19
ON THE AIR: Controversial events at Riverfront Park prompt city review, as reporter Saphara Harrell explains
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
WEATHER May. 19
Salem prepares for “potentially dire picture” from expected hot and dry summer
While drought alone doesn’t cause wildfires, the conditions so far this year have fire experts concerned. Salem’s emergency manager said this is a good time to make sure you’re prepared in case you have to evacuate.
COVID VACCINATION May. 19
Covid vaccines are now widespread in Oregon, but not everyone wants one
Weeks ago, appointments for Covid vaccines were scarce as many adults waited their turn to become eligible. Now, in Oregon and the Salem area, vaccination rates are starting to slow. Here's what some Salem residents say about why they're not getting a shot, and what public health agencies are doing to persuade people to change their minds.
May. 19
Oregon sees disappointing job numbers for April
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 19
After 69 years of marriage, Salem couple renews vows surrounded by family
A teenage double date led to a lifelong marriage for Johnny and Doris Hartley, now 88 and 86. Their children said their parents kept a weekly "date night" at 5 p.m. Fridays to sustain their marriage, and often opened their home to others who needed help.
FreeELECTION 2021 May. 18
Early results show progressive candidates sweeping Salem-Keizer school board, fire district to hire new staff
Several thousand ballots in Marion and Polk counties remain to be counted, but if Tuesday's results hold, Oregon's second largest school district will see a politically divided school board when new members take their seats in July. A Marion County Fire District #1 levy was passing easily.
FreeELECTION 2021 May. 18
UPDATED ELECTION RESULTS: Salem-Keizer school board, Marion County fire district for May 18, 2021
A second round of ballot counting Tuesday night showed the Marion County Fire District levy passing with 64% of the vote and a slate of four progressive candidates leading in Salem-Keizer School Board races. County election workers meet Wednesday to swap ballot that voters returned to the wrong county's drop box. Marion and Polk county election workers said they won't know how many ballots remain to be counted until that swap happens.
COVID IN OREGON May. 18
Oregonians can ditch masks while inside businesses — as long as they bring their vaccination papers
The Oregon Health Authority released new guidelines on Tuesday for when and how fully vaccinated people can take their masks off in businesses. Masks remain required for all in hospitals, prisons, schools and long-term care facilities. The state’s top epidemiologist said the guidelines are a step toward normalcy, but they’re trusting Oregonians not to game them.
May. 18
AGENDA: Marion County commissioners to consider rental assistance, Covid relief money
HOMELESSNESS May. 18
As hundreds will be kicked out of city parks, a question remains: where will they go?
The Salem City Council on Monday held a work session aimed at addressing an impending deadline, where approximately 500 unsheltered people will be asked to leave Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks. Councilors feared that many will return to downtown.
May. 18
Fund created to help immigrant workers in Oregon marks one-year milestone
May. 18
AGENDA: Chemeketa board to hold budget hearing
COVID IN OREGON May. 18
Enchanted Forest delays planned reopening after pushback over mask rules
The theme park, located south of Salem, had planned to kick off its season this weekend. But with threats and possible heated disagreements over shifting guidelines on masks, Enchanted Forest says it’ll hold off on opening to the public.
FreeON THE AIR May. 18
ON THE AIR: Reporter Jake Thomas discussed eased restrictions, help for Santiam Canyon
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
FreeAROUND OREGON May. 18
AROUND OREGON: Legislator finds recovering thousands for Malheur County 'more work' than it's worth, blames ODOT
The deal was set. Malheur County could start recovering up to $5,000 a month on what it was spending for Greg Smith's services. The county hasn't seen any of the money. An investigation by the Enterprise established why.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS May. 18
Marion County volunteers find personal rewards advocating for foster kids
May 18 marks the first time Oregon has dedicated a day to recognize Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs - adults who volunteer to represent foster children's best interests during court proceedings.
FreeHOMELESSNESS May. 17
UGM site in downtown Salem could continue providing homeless services
City officials are considering an idea that would keep the current Union Gospel Mission site downtown as a homeless shelter operated by another provider as the mission moves into its new location across from the police station.
May. 17
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon lawmakers reestablish residential eviction moratorium
COVID IN OREGON May. 17
Why a relaxed mandate could be a headache for Salem area businesses
Gov. Kate Brown said she'll update Covid restrictions to reflect new federal recommendations that say fully vaccinated people can go maskless in most settings. Public health officials have indicated that businesses will largely be responsible for enforcing the new requirements. That's sparked concerns in the business community that they'll be saddled with yet another Covid-related burden.
May. 17
Fewer than one in five Marion, Polk voters have turned in ballots for May 18 election
COVID IN SALEM May. 17
Short of details, public officials could only watch as church Covid outbreak unfolded
A month passed from the first reported case of Covid at Peoples Church in Salem before health authorities could establish that dozens of people were sick. The outbreak, publicly announced May 5 is the state’s largest workplace outbreak in 2021.
KEIZER CITY HALL May. 17
Internal investigation: Keizer city manager told others he was breaking policy on firearms
Former Keizer city manager Chris Eppley had carried loaded and unloaded firearms into the Keizer Civic Center on numerous occasions prior to discharging one in his office on March 4, according to an internal investigation report.
PUBLIC SAFETY May. 17
An uptick in shootings prompts police response, calls for more neighborhood investment
After seeing a near tripling in the number of shootings in January, police focused their efforts on hotspots in northeast and east Salem. They said their efforts resulted in far fewer incidents in the months after, but residents say long-term investments are needed, not just patrols.
May. 17
AGENDA: Salem City Council meets to discuss homeless sheltering as camping comes to an end

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