Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Sheriff's office investigating Sunday morning shooting

January 17, 2022 at 4:29pm

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Jan. 17, 2022

Drive-thru Covid-19 testing at Salem Health's laboratory site on State Street on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

As Covid hospitalizations continue to rise again due to the omicron variant, Salem Reporter is again publishing case and hospitalization information daily. Here’s our report for Monday, Jan. 17.

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 90 as of Monday morning, six fewer than on Sunday.   

Of those, 11 are in the intensive care unit, and five are on ventilators. 

Fifty-two of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 456 patients; the hospital is licensed for 494 beds.

The Oregon Health Authority didn't have updated hospitalization, case and death numbers available on Monday.

-Saphara Harrell

January 17, 2022 at 1:04pm

State to accept rental assistance applications for up to five weeks starting Jan. 26

Ridgeland Apartments on Center Street Northeast on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The state will briefly start taking new applications for rental assistance on Jan. 26 after not accepting them for eight weeks.

Oregon Housing and Community service stopped taking applications on Dec. 1 "due to dwindling funding and the need to make system improvements," according to a news release.

The agency said it would reopen the portal for its rental assistance program for three to five weeks, depending on how much funding is available. They expect to have enough to pay between 6,700 and 9,300 applications, the news release said.

The U.S. Department of Treasury requires the agency to prioritize households with incomes less than half of the area's median income and those with one or more people who have been unemployed for at least 90 days. They will also factor in household size, months behind on rent, people impacted by 2020 wildfires and whether the household is in an area recognized as having a high number of tenants at risk of housing instability and homelessness due to Covid.

Oregon Housing and Community Services will process applications they received before the December pause first. Renters who apply on or after Jan. 26 may get safe harbor protections preventing landlords from evicting them until their application is processed. "However, those tenants should expect a delay prior to processing and payment," the news release said.  

Oregonians can still apply for a separate set of funding that went to local governments including Marion County, which got about $10.4 million. As of Nov. 30, Marion County had spent about 9% of those funds, or $900,000, according to federal Treasury Department data released Jan. 7.

The news release said tenants facing immediate eviction should apply for rental assistance or contact a legal organization. Oregon Law Center's Eviction Defense Project can be reached at 888-585-9638, or [email protected] The Oregon State Bar is at 503-684-3763, or [email protected]

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

January 17, 2022 at 8:46am

Minor shoots at car, house in east Salem Sunday morning, sheriff’s office says

Northeast Deana Street (Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

Marion County deputies are investigating a shooting Sunday morning in which they say a minor shot at a car and house in east Salem.

"At this time, deputies have not located anyone who was injured during the incident," the Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a Sunday evening news release.

A 911 caller around 7 a.m. Sunday said they heard gunfire on Northeast Deana street near Northeast Monroe Avenue in an unincorporated area of east Salem.

The caller told deputies they were driving to work and passed two minors who started yelling at them, the news release said. The caller's car was then hit by at least one bullet they said the minor fired, according to the release.

Deputies searched the area and learned one residence "had been struck by gunfire as well," the news release said.

They called a K-9 to the scene but found none of the involved suspects.

The sheriff's office said anyone with information about the shooting should call the sheriff's office's non-emergency line at 503-588-5032 or submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and their tip to 847411.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian