Mayor Chuck Bennett responds to questions from the a crowd of neighbors at Pringle Community Hall on Thursday, Jan. 26. The city plans to turn the hall into an emergency homeless shelter through the end of March. (Troy Brynelson/Salem Reporter)

Here’s our Sunday Sampler to show you some of the stories that flowed through Salem Reporter.

Salem officials considering turning Pringle Hall into temporary homeless shelter - Salem City Council plans to take emergency action in the coming weeks to add shelter beds. Besides turning Pringle Hall into a shelter, councilors also want to add beds to a women's shelter.

Neighbors unsettled over plans to turn Pringle Hall into emergency homeless shelter

Concerns echoed for nearly 90 minutes by neighbors of the community hall. Some worried outright about crime and property damage. Many teetered between compassion for homeless residents and frustration with city leaders.

Judge reverses secretary of state, allows Oregon energy measures to move ahead - Marion County Circuit Judge David Leith’s decision overturns secretary of state action and means proposed ballot measures do not violate Oregon’s single-subject rule. Secretary of State Bev Clarno had stopped clean energy measures.

Salem dance group performs suspended in air - Beyond Limits Aerial Dance is a group of classically trained dancers that take their talents onto devices that rise 10 feet in the air. The group recently performed at TEDx Salem.

Willamette University has a new major: public health - Students are "banging down the doors" to get into Willamette's first intro to public health class, offered this spring. It's so popular professors have raised the class size to 50 students.

Marion County prepares a Plan B for handling local garbage - A report yet to be finalized suggests Marion County could turn the Brooks site into a way station if current operations cease, or it could take over trash burning operations. County officials say the latter is unlikely.

McKay students stand up for the arts in lighthearted 80s rock musical - “Rock of Ages” follows the high school cast as it fights against developers trying to destroy the Sunset Strip.

Salem Health CEO hops in backhoe to kick off hospital expansion - In 1896, a group of Salem citizens started the city's first hospital with two nurses, a medical student, a janitor and $752. Now, Salem's largest private employer is getting bigger.

SPECIAL REPORT: The region's busiest ER is in Salem, facing more critical cases and climbing patient counts - Salem Hospital is bracing for ever-increasing numbers of patients rolling into the emergency department as the valley grows and medical cases get more severe. An examination by Salem Reporter shows the Salem operation still meets high government standards.

Les Zaitz, editor and CEO of Salem Reporter.

FROM THE EDITOR….

Last week, I had the honor of speaking at the Forum series of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, and I focused my talk on the need for trust in media. I challenged the audience to join those of us in the press to restore faith in and strengthen fact-based, nonpartisan reporting.

My point was that our success as a community depends on informed citizens. Studies show that when people don’t have access to local news they trust, they tune out and don’t participate as much in civic affairs.

That’s not good for Salem.

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At Salem Reporter, we are a partner in community progress. Our duty is to get you the facts so you can decide for yourself on such local matters.

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Thank you.

Les Zaitz, editor and CEO

Salem Reporter