Rachel Alexander


Longtime volunteers probe south Salem’s hidden corners in search of homeless campers

Volunteer Lorrie Walker, left, hands a bagged lunch to James Matthews during Salem’s 2020 homeless count (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter) Lorrie Walker trod along an improvised trail near Mill Creek, her rain boots covered in mud. “Good morning!” she called to a large tent covered in tarps. “We’re doing the homeless[Read More…]

Class size a sticking point as Salem-Keizer task force nears recommendations for spending $35 million

Hallman students gather during the school’s morning assembly. (Fred Joe/Special to Salem Reporter) As the Salem-Keizer School District weighs how to spend millions of dollars in new state money, teachers are pushing to shrink class sizes. That’s put teachers at odds with a volunteer task force that will soon recommend[Read More…]


AGENDA: Salem-Keizer board will tackle school lunch, student behavior in work session

The 2019-20 Salem-Keizer School Board (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter) Salem-Keizer school board members will tackle school lunch, student behavior and more in a work session on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The board will begin with a presentation on the district’s meal program. The presentation was prompted in part by Englewood Elementary student[Read More…]

Sprague High School tagged with swastikas, racist and homophobic graffiti

Sprague High School was tagged with swastikas, racist slurs and homophobic graffiti overnight, prompting an investigation into a possible hate crime from Salem police. District security discovered the graffiti overnight during a regular patrol around 4 a.m. Monday and alerted maintenance staff, district spokeswoman Lillian Govus said.  The graffiti was[Read More…]


Volunteers needed for Salem’s 2020 homeless person count

Volunteer Kris Hardy surveys a homeless man in the Winco parking lot during Salem’s 2019 point-in-time homeless count. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter) Local homeless service providers still need 30 volunteers to help with an annual count of homeless people in Marion and Polk counties this Wednesday, Jan. 29. The count is[Read More…]


Marion County says yes to continuing refugee resettlement

A sign outside a home in Salem’s Fairmount neighborhood (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter) Marion County will continue accepting refugee resettlement, commissioners told the U.S. State Department last week. “Marion County has welcoming and supportive nonprofits who administer refugee resettlement programs in our area. These groups are prepared to continue their work[Read More…]

Salem-Keizer graduation rate hits high of 79%

Ruth Langmoir, an August 2019 McKay High School graduate, gets a hug from graduation coach Ken Ramirez after earning her diploma. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter) The percentage of Salem-Keizer students earning a high school diploma climbed again last year, marking a steady increase from five years ago. More than 2,400 students[Read More…]