Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Governor to announce vaccination schedule for frontline workers Friday at 11 a.m.

8 months ago

Driver dies after colliding with tree on Mission Street

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

A driver died after crashing into a tree on Southeast Mission Street around 10:15 a.m. Friday, Salem police said.

Police said a preliminary investigation indicated the driver of a Ford Focus hit the center median traveling westbound on Mission Street near the intersection of Southeast Hines Street and collided with a tree, sending the car back into the road. Mission Street reopened at 1 p.m.

Police aren’t identifying the driver until relatives have been notified.

Distracted driving may have been a factor, police said.

-Saphara Harrell

8 months ago

Earthquake warning? There's an app for that

A dispatcher handles emergency calls at the Willamette Valley Communications Center, the area's 911 system. (City of Salem photo)

Next month, the U.S. Geological Survey will implement a notification system that’ll give Oregonians a heads up when the Big One happens. 

Beginning March 11, ShakeAlert will be in place to give Oregonians an early warning on their mobile devices of impending earthquakes. The service will send earthquake alerts to their phones, similar to severe weather or AMBER Alert notifications. 

ShakeAlert will send text reading, “Earthquake Detected! Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect Yourself. -USGS ShakeAlert.” The notification will go out seconds before the earthquake, which will hopefully be enough time for people to hide under desks or stop cars from entering tunnels. 

ShakeAlert uses a network of sensors to detect earthquakes just as they are beginning. Data from sensors are used by the app to calculate the earthquake’s estimated magnitude and intensity. The system was tested in California in 2019 before being implemented in Oregon and Washington. 

The message is also available in Spanish for phones set up to receive messages in that language. ShakeAlert will use the Wireless Emergency Alert system already installed on most phones. Oregonians can also download the QuakeAlertUS‪A‬ app to make sure they don’t miss the notification. 

-Jake Thomas 

8 months ago

Salem woman exceeds goal for hygiene products drive following Salem Reporter article

From left, Donna Barcus, Hailyn Ayers, Mariah Butts and Aaliyah Tucker at the Fairgrounds Pavilion making Valentine's Day bags with flowers for unsheltered women. (Courtesy/ Lisa Letney)

When Lisa Letney talked to Salem Reporter earlier this week about a drive she was hosting to collect menstrual products for women living in encampments outside, she had a goal of collecting 3,000 tampons.

Article link: Hot potato: How a Salem woman came up with an idea to keep unsheltered people warm and full

In 10 days, she’s exceeded that goal. Since Monday when the article published, Letney said she’s had 1,200 tampons show up at her door.

“I got so many fricking tampons,” she said Friday morning. “We have no room on our counter.”

Although some of the donations were from members of her Facebook group, Little Dirty Hippy Lounge, more than 1,000 were from strangers, she said.

Letney said she got more than just tampons donated, too.

Someone donated more than 500 baby wipes, others donated hundreds of pads, candles and hand warmers.

With so many donations, Letney said she’s reaching out to different women’s shelters and other groups to help hand out feminine hygiene kits.

Letney said she’s relatively new to volunteering with houseless people in Salem and received a lot of help from Caring Connections, Kindness Closet, Helping Hands Resources and Riot with Love.

She’s also contacted Sprague High School’s Leadership Team to look into having teenagers help make care packages.

“The article brought a lot of attention to this,” she said. 

-Saphara Harrell

8 months ago

Salem Police Department asks for blanket donations

Officers, including Officer Nathan Bennett (right) from the Salem Police Department pass out bottles of water to protesters during the March for Floyd on Saturday, June 6. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem Police Department wants your blankets.

Police are asking for new, 45” square-size blankets to hand out to people who may be wet, cold or need extra comfort.

People can drop the blankets off at the new Salem Police Department headquarters at 333 Division St. N.E., or coordinate a donation with Volunteer Services by calling 503-588-6002.

Jennifer Hingston, volunteer services coordinator, said the blankets can be handmade but the department doesn’t want used blankets or large comforters.

She said the blanket dimensions don’t have to be exact, but the blankets need to be on the smaller side so officers can fit them in their cars. 

-Saphara Harrell

8 months ago

Gov. Brown, health officials announce vaccination schedule for frontline workers at 11 a.m. Friday

Gov. Kate Brown announces new state restrictions in a news conference in Portland on Thursday, March 12. (Jonathan House/Pamplin Media)

Gov. Kate Brown and state health officials detailed a timeline for making Covid vaccines available to more Oregonians at a news conference Friday at 11 a.m.

Read our full coverage of the schedule and expected vaccination doses for Salem here.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported those next in line will include people with some medical conditions, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes, who are 45 and older. Farm workers, food processing employees and homeless Oregonians would also be included and eligible for a shot by March 29.

Other frontline workers, including grocery store employees, would become eligible by May 1, as well as younger Oregonians with underlying health conditions.

Currently, health care workers, long-term care facility residents and employees, first responders, correctional employees, teachers, child care workers and Oregonians 70 and older are eligible to receive a vaccine. Oregonians 65-69 become eligible March 1.

The news conference will be streamed live on YouTube.

-Rachel Alexander