Local News That Matters

State Rep. Mike Nearman expelled from Legislature over involvement in Capitol riot

June 11, 2021 at 4:19pm

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust chips in funding for new Boys and Girls Club

This is an artist's rendering of the new Lancaster Drive clubhouse for the local Boys and Girls Club.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust announced that it has awarded $350,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties to help it build its new clubhouse in the Northeast Lancaster neighborhood. 

“The new Clubhouse will create new opportunities, resources and support for low-income families while creating space to build and grow a sense of community,” said Steve Moore, executive director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, in a statement. “As one of the only after-school programs for kids and teens in the North Lancaster area, it will provide valuable opportunities for mentorship and youth engagement as well.”

The clubhouse will be over 25,000 square feet and will include a gymnasium, game area, teen space, commercial kitchen, classroom and a multipurpose room. It’ll provide after-school programs and daily support for nearly 4,000 school-age youth in education, art, health, fitness, workforce development and other areas within a one-mile radius.

“The majority of youth in this area come from families below the federal poverty line and the new Clubhouse will be one of the only daily afterschool resources kids have in the area,” said Sue Bloom, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties, in a statement. “This new club will help us provide a safe space for kids to not only learn but grow into everything they are meant to be as a successful, caring member of our community. We are so thankful to have the support of the Murdock Trust.”

The club is planning to open in spring 2022.

-Jake Thomas 

June 11, 2021 at 1:54pm

Salem police identify person found dead at Capital Inn

Salem police have identified the person who was found dead at the Capital Inn on Northeast Fisher Road Tuesday morning as 21-year-old Portland man Davontae Deshawn Smith.

Salem police are investigating Smith's killing but have released few details about the crime.

Officers initially responded to a call of shots fired at 3:30 a.m. at the northeast Salem hotel on June 8.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Salem Police Tips Line at 503-588-8477.

-Saphara Harrell

June 11, 2021 at 1:24pm

Salem man arrested for attempted murder following May shooting

A month after a man was shot in the chest in the unincorporated area of east Salem, police arrested a man they believe was involved.

Quintin Smith, 36 of Salem, was taken into custody after he was pulled over by police on Northwest Edgewater Street in west Salem Thursday afternoon.

He is charged with second-degree attempted murder and unlawful firearm use in connection with a May 9 shooting at the 2500 block of Phipps Lane N.E.

Last month, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies found a 44-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the chest after the suspect had already fled the scene. 

Treven Upkes, Salem police spokesman, said police used an explosive device called a flashbang to take Smith into custody. 

Smith will be arraigned Friday afternoon.

-Saphara Harrell

June 11, 2021 at 11:49am

State Rep. Mike Nearman expelled from Legislature over involvement in Capitol riot

Capitol surveillance footage shows state Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, allowing demonstrators into the building. (Screen grab.)

A Salem area state representative just earned a distinction that no lawmaker would likely want: being the first to be expelled by the Oregon House. 

State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, was expelled by the Oregon House on a 59-1 vote Thursday evening for his role in allowing confrontational demonstrators into the Capitol building in December. 

During the confrontation, demonstrators attempted to force their way into the Capitol building, which is closed to the public as a pandemic precaution. Demonstrators assaulted police and journalists. Salem police declared the incident a riot. 

In January, surveillance footage was released showing Nearman holding the door open for demonstrators. Nearman has faced calls for his expulsion, been stripped of committee assignments and faces misdemeanor charges. A report from an outside investigator described the terror staff and legislators felt as armed and angry demonstrators attempted to breach the Capitol. 

Calls for Nearman’s expulsion grew louder and included the entire House Republican caucus, after a video of Nearman surfaced last week coordinating with protesters to gain access to the building. 

Nearman has remained defiant and was the only “no” vote against his expulsion. Prior to his expulsion, Nearman defended his actions during a special committee created to consider his expulsion. He told the committee that the Oregon Legislature is required to be open to the public under the state constitution (legislative leaders have pointed out that proceedings are online). Saying the process had been unfair and “hijacked,” he said all he did was allow members of the public into a building they shouldn’t have been kept out of. 

“If the speaker and others were worried about their safety there is a simple solution: do not violate the constitutional rights of Oregonians and open the building,” he said. 

-Jake Thomas

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of the House vote. Salem Reporter regrets the error.