Local News That Matters

WOU will return to majority in-person classes for fall

March 5, 2021 at 4:19pm

Salem-Keizer to host parent forums about resuming in-person middle, high school

A sample high school student schedule for hybrid online and in-person classes in Salem-Keizer schools starting on April 13 (Salem-Keizer School District)

Salem-Keizer school administrators will host forums for parents and families about the district's plans to return thousands of middle and high school students to in-person lessons.

District leaders announced Friday they planned to resume in-person classes for secondary students two days per week starting April 13. The announcement came the same day Gov. Kate Brown ordered Oregon's public schools to begin in-person classes no later than the week of April 19 for older students.

District schools resumed in-person elementary school classes March 2 for kindergarten and first graders, with second and third graders set to resume starting March 9.

Forums will be held on Zoom at the dates and times listed below. Families will be emailed Zoom links to participate, the district said in a news release. More information is available on the district website.

English-language forum

March 16, 5-6 p.m.

Interpreters available

Chuukese: March 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Arabic: March 18, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Spanish: March 18, 6-7 p.m.

Russian: March 19, 5-6 p.m.

Swahili: March 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Marshallese: March 31, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Parent support groups (optional)

African American and Black: March 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

American Indian/Alaska Native: March 31, 5-6 p.m.

-Rachel Alexander

March 5, 2021 at 4:11pm

Oregon Department of Justice settles with Salem hotel over wildfire price gouging


A sprinkler waters a field amidst wildfire smoke in Aumsville on Tuesday, September 8. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

A Salem hotel is among four lodging establishments that have settled for a total of $105,600 with the Oregon Department of Justice over price gouging following the 2020 wildfires. 

Capital Inn & Suites, located at 1875 Fisher Rd N.E., has paid out $1,342 in refunds to customers who were overcharged, according to a press release. The hotel has also agreed to pay the state $38,000. 

Following the Labor Day wildfires, which displaced tens of thousands of Oregonians, Gov. Kate Brown declared an abnormal market disruption. The declaration meant that businesses couldn’t increase prices for goods and services by 15% or more. 

According to the press release, Capital Inn typically charged between $60 and $80 per night for one room. The department’s investigation found instances of the hotel charging $135 a night after the declaration, with one room going for $146.25. 

Management of the hotel did not respond to a phone call seeking comment Friday afternoon. 

The other hotels that settled with the department include Le Chateau Inn in Florence, Rodeway Inn Willamette River in Corvallis and Days Inn by Wyndham in Roseburg. 

-Jake Thomas 

March 5, 2021 at 1:36pm

Salem library expands curbside pickup times, restarts delivery program

The Salem Public Library at its temporary Broadway location. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Salem Public Library is adding additional times for curbside pickup and restarting a service that delivers items to homebound library patrons after Marion County moved out of extreme risk for Covid last week.

Starting Monday, there will be more appointments available per time slot and more hours of availability for the Salem Public Library’s contactless curbside pickup.

To check out books and other items, people can visit their account on the CCRLS website, contact staff by emailing [email protected] or by calling 503-588-6315. There they can place a hold on an item and schedule a pickup time at 1400 Broadway St. N.E.

Library patrons can pick up materials on hold and drop off items on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The library remains closed because of Covid.

A program that delivers books to the front porches of library members who have a disability, extended illness residence in a care facility, or advanced age will resume Monday. Operation Bookshelf, which partners with the Assistance League of Salem-Keizer, allows users to borrow up to 20 items per month.

The library will also have hot spots available to reserve and pick up. It’s part of a larger initiative of the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service. 

-Saphara Harrell

March 5, 2021 at 9:58am

WOU will return to majority in-person classes for fall

The Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth (Courtesy/Diane Stevenson/WOU)

Most classes at Western Oregon University will be offered in-person in the fall following nearly a year of mostly online instruction.

The university expects other on-campus activities to resume more normal operations, with more students living in residence halls, expanded dining hall access and other events like theater and sports available with safety guidelines, university provost Rob Winningham said in a statement.

Currently, fewer than 600 students are living on campus out of about 4,500 enrolled students. Before the pandemic, university housing held about twice as many students, spokeswoman Lisa Catto said. Campus dining halls have been providing take-out food only during the pandemic.

The announcement will mean the return of some students to the university's downtown Salem campus, which offers bachelor and master's degree programs geared toward working adults, with many classes including both online and in-person components.

The university campus will also resume in-person tours by appointment on March 8, the announcement said.

-Rachel Alexander