Local News That Matters

Salem adds new traffic cameras at three intersections

April 5, 2021 at 4:47pm

Enchanted Forest to be featured on PBS Monday night

Roger Tofte exits the kiddie train area at Enchanted Forest on Tuesday, October 27. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Enchanted Forest, the beloved amusement park south of Salem, will be featured in a five-minute segment on the PBS NewsHour that’ll air Monday, April 5. 

The segment will air on OPB at 7 p.m. and will likely be towards the end of the program, according to a post on Enchanted Forest’s Facebook page

Enchanted Forest had a rollercoaster year in 2020 after seeing a pandemic-induced drop in business and later being propped up by an outpouring of donations

While the Facebook post didn’t say what the segment will be about, its upbeat tone suggested good things are ahead. 

“We are making fantastic progress on getting the park ready and hope to open soon!” reads the post. 

-Jake Thomas

April 5, 2021 at 4:46pm

State police identify suicidal man and Salem officer who shot him

A Salem police vehicle. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon State Police Monday afternoon identified the suicidal Salem man who was shot and killed by Salem police Friday and the officer who shot him.

Salem police officer Clinton Sealey fatally shot Natzeryt Viertel, 22, after he confronted” police officers while armed, OSP said in a news release.

Police said firefighters responded to the area about 5:15 p.m. on reports that the man had injured himself and “the man threatened them with a firearm.”

Sealey and Sgt. Steven Galvin, who witnessed the incident, were placed on administrative leave as part of protocol. 

-Saphara Harrell

April 5, 2021 at 4:29pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon Senate passes bills to curb human trafficking

Oregon State Capitol Senate (Salem Reporter/file)

The Oregon Senate approved a pair of related bills on Monday that are intended to bring human trafficking out of the shadows. Sometimes those shadows are bars, restaurants and hotels. 

THE ISSUE: Human traffickers operate by keeping their victims out of sight. But their victims often have interactions with staff at hotels and bars.

THE BILL: Senate Bill 515 and Senate Bill 535

WHAT IT DOES: Senate Bill 515 requires employees of bars and restaurants to report human trafficking or unlawful employment of minors. Senate Bill 535 adds hotel workers to the list of professions that must immediately report suspected child pornography by computer technicians.

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Law enforcement will have more tools to respond to human trafficking. Employees at hotels, bars and restaurants can help in reporting human trafficking. 


Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: Yes on SB 515; no on SB 535

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes on both

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: Yes on both (sponsored both bills)

Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes on both

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: Yes on both

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill will be considered by the House.

-Jake Thomas

April 5, 2021 at 2:42pm

Uncover the secrets of soil at Salem City Club

A garden plot at Salem Community Sun Gardens on March 24, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Ever wondered how soil can store carbon dioxide or support a vibrant home garden?

Linda Brewer, a soil scientist with Oregon State University's horticulture department, will bring you up to speed April 9 with her talk "The Secret's in the Soil."

Brewer will speak to Salem City Club at noon Friday over Zoom. Her talk will address the role soil plays in home gardens and compost, on farms and in the broader environment, using the latest research. She'll discuss nutrient cycling, water management, carbon sequestration and more.

Salem City Club programs are free to members and $5 for non-members. To register for the talk or learn more, visit the club's event page.

-Rachel Alexander

April 5, 2021 at 9:16am

Salem adds new traffic cameras at three intersections

Until April 15, if you’re caught speeding or running a red light on camera at the intersections of Southeast Commercial Street and Southeast Madrona Avenue, Southeast Commercial and Southeast Kuebler Boulevard, and Center Street and Northeast Hawthorne Avenue you’ll receive a warning.

After that, drivers can be fined up to $440 for speeding or $265 for running a red light at those intersections. Salem installed new traffic cameras at those south and northeast Salem intersections and began issuing warnings to speeders on April 1.

Similar cameras at other intersections in the city saw a 92% decrease in crashes after they were added, the city said in a news release. 

-Saphara Harrell