Alex Baumhardt Oregon Capital Chronicle

Oregon schools lean heavily on emergency teachers, including untrained ones

Struggling with staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic, Oregon schools leaned heavily last year on teachers who received emergency licenses from the state.  During the 2021-22 school year, districts employed 438 emergency licensed teachers, up from 181 the year prior and a low of 134 five years ago, according to[Read More…]

Gun safety regulations on November ballot could cost local governments

Only one of the four statewide ballot measures Oregonians will vote on in November comes at a financial cost to local governments.  That measure would ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, require a firearm safety course, tighten licensing and create stricter background checks on weapons’ purchases. A committee involving[Read More…]

New state meat inspection program will combat supply chain delays, lower prices

U.S. Department of Agriculture meat inspectors and graders at work. (Preston Keres/USDA/Flickr) Oregon meat eaters are likely to have access to more local beef and other products and at cheaper prices with a new program that will localize meat inspections. The program will expand the state’s processing capacity, allowing the[Read More…]

Morrow County waits months for state money to help with contaminated drinking water

Ana Piñeyro, a communicable disease specialist, and Morrow County Commissioner Jim Doherty outside the county health department’s office before going out to test taps. (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle) It’s been more than two-and-a-half months since Mayra Colin found out the water coming from her kitchen tap in Boardman contained high[Read More…]

Long Covid continues to keep Oregonians out of workforce as state rebounds from job losses

Oregon is nearing a full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic according to the Oregon Department of Employment. But the gains are uneven, and for some industries, and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians experiencing long Covid, the road ahead is still uncertain. Oregon has regained 94% of jobs lost[Read More…]