Local News That Matters

High school sports matches begin in Salem

March 1, 2021 at 1:45pm

Annual breakfast with the police chief goes virtual Wednesday

Salem's police chief Trevor Womack. (Courtesy/Trevor Womack)

The Salem Police Foundation’s annual Breakfast with the Chief fundraiser is going online this year and will feature a new headliner for the first time.

The virtual breakfast starts Wednesday, March 3 at 8 a.m. People who would like to join can register on the Salem Police Foundation website. The event is free.

Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack joined the department in December and will speak on this year’s theme of officer wellness.

The police foundation is the nonprofit for the Salem Police Department and supports the agency by financing equipment, like a use-of-force training simulator or Mobile Command Center.

This year’s program will include a virtual tour of the new police station. 

-Saphara Harrell

March 1, 2021 at 1:41pm

Grocery store workers union blasts governor's new vaccination schedule

Gov. Kate Brown listens to an update from the state Employment Department during a revenue briefing on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon's grocery store workers now have their place in line for the Covid vaccination. But a union representing these workers still isn’t happy. 

Gov. Kate Brown announced on Friday that workers employed in public-facing jobs, including grocery store workers would be eligible for the Covid vaccine on May 1. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 — which represents 28,000 workers in  Oregon and southwest Washington, 2,000 of whom are in Marion and Polk counties —  responded with a sharply worded statement criticizing the governor’s decision. 

The union repeated its criticism of the governor for not following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination schedule, which called for offering the inoculation earlier to grocery store workers along with corrections officers, teachers and others. The union said that Brown’s schedule “would abandon both the science-informed recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control as well as the tens of thousands of front-line workers who were counting on these protective measures.”

So far, the governor’s vaccination schedule has targeted older Oregonians, educators, health care workers and others. UFCW President Dan Clay called on Brown said grocery store workers were at great risk of contracting the virus and for Brown to revise the schedule. 

“Kate Brown’s decision to ignore the CDC is a travesty that has placed all Oregonians at a greater risk of COVID infection,” said Clay.  “Today’s decision is the culmination of bad decisions made by the Governor of Oregon, who seems to be actively working against the CDC recommendations. Putting politics over science is and will continue to be a deadly choice for Oregonians.” 

-Jake Thomas

March 1, 2021 at 10:51am

Salem debris drop off open until Sunday

Branches are stacked outside homes in south Salem along Cottage Street on Feb. 23 as residents clean up following an ice storm which brought power lines and trees down across Salem (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem’s debris drop off sites will be open until Sunday, March 7.

Starting Monday, Geer, Woodmansee and Wallace Marine parks will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residents to drop off their debris from the Valentine’s Day weekend storm.

Woodmansee Park – 4629 Sunnyside Rd. S.E.

Wallace Marine Park – 200 Glen Creek Rd. N.W.

Geer Park – 241 Geer Dr. N.E.

The city closed the McKay Park drop site because of fewer drop offs and site challenges.

As of Thursday, the drop off sites had collected almost 11,000 loads, or roughly 16,400 cubic yards of debris.

The city said it will evaluate if the sites need to remain open beyond Sunday.

After Sunday residents will still be able to take debris to the Deer Park Road Transfer Station, located at 3250 Deer Park Dr. S.E., or put debris in weekly yard carts.

-Saphara Harrell

March 1, 2021 at 9:46am

High school sports matches begin in Salem this week

Gibson Hanowell, left, and Leo Elkington, right, warm up during a cross country practice in Bush's Pasture Park in early August. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

High school football, soccer and cross country meets and competitions will resume this week in Salem for student athletes who have waited months for a chance to play.

Soccer games at district high schools begin Monday evening, with football and cross country scheduled for later this week. A schedule of games is available on the Salem-Keizer School District's athletics website.

Volleyball teams are now allowed to increase the number of people at indoor practices to 50 after Marion and Polk counties moved from "extreme risk" to "high risk" for Covid last week, according to Gov. Kate Brown's metrics. The designation means the area has seen fewer Covid cases in recent weeks, allowing more indoor activities to resume.

Practices for spring sports are tentatively scheduled to begin April 5 and traditional winter sports on May 10, district spokeswoman Emily Hicks said.

-Rachel Alexander