Local News That Matters

Motorcylist dies in crash on Highway 99E

March 15, 2021 at 6:52pm

Salem woman sentenced to probation for mace attack during Labor Day protest

A protest at the Oregon State Capitol turned violent on Labor Day after a group of rallygoers beat counterprotesters. (Chris Ward/Special to Salem Reporter)

Magen Marie Stevens, 36 of Salem, has been placed on bench probation for 18 months for macing a protester during a raucous Labor Day demonstration last year. 

On March 9, Stevens pleaded guilty in Marion County Circuit Court to misdemeanor charges of unlawfully using mace on Joseph Smothers, a Salem resident who has been active in recording protests. 

Under the terms of her probation, Stevens agreed to pay $200 in fines and obey all laws, according to court documents. The fourth-degree assault charge against Stevens has been dropped. 

The charges stem from one of the multiple demonstrations last year marked by politically motivated violence. During the event members of the “American Lives Matter Rally” assaulted and pepper-sprayed counter-protesters. At least two other people were arrested.

-Jake Thomas

March 15, 2021 at 6:03pm

Latest changes to Oregon's school reopening rules will have little impact in Salem

Nyjah Angeles raises a hand during the first day back to school at Richmond Elementary on Tuesday, March 2. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon health and education officials on Monday released a new set of school safety guidelines intended to get more public school students around the state back into physical classrooms.

The changes will have little immediate impact for the Salem-Keizer School District, which resumed in-person elementary school classes earlier this month, ahead of most large districts in the state. But they could simplify district planning for holding middle and high school classes in person.

The latest iteration of the Oregon Department of Education's "Ready Schools, Safe Learners" guidance removes one rule many of the state's larger districts had cited as a barrier to holding more in-person classes. But it leaves unchanged spacing requirements that effectively limit most local classrooms to half their pre-pandemic capacity.

While on the bus and at school, students must still be kept in groups, called cohorts, to make it easy for school and health officials to trace any cases of Covid and minimize the number of people exposed.

Students may be part of multiple groups, such as a set of classmates they ride the bus with and another they have math class with. But a previous ruled capped at 100 total number of classmates any one student may come into contact with during a week. That limit is now gone, simplifying the logistics of scheduling classes in large high schools like those in Salem with roughly 2,000 students.

Still in place is a rule requiring 35 square feet of classroom space per student. That means in-person classes more than two days per week are unlikely in Salem. The space limit means most classrooms can accommodate about half a class of students at one time. For now, elementary school classes are split, with students attending alternate days and working online at home three days per week.

Fourth and fifth graders in the Salem-Keizer School District are scheduled to resume in-person classes Tuesday, joining their younger classmates.

-Rachel Alexander

March 15, 2021 at 11:52am

Appointments open for Thursday Covid vaccine clinic in Woodburn

Syringes of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Seniors who are 65 and older can sign up for a first dose of the Moderna Covid vaccine at a Woodburn Ambulance clinic on Thursday, March 18.

Appointments are open from 1-4 p.m. for those currently eligible to receive a vaccine in Oregon. The clinic will take place at Woodburn High School, 1785 N. Front St.

To sign up, visit the event page and enter access code 2021. Consent forms and other information are available on the page in English and Spanish.

-Rachel Alexander

March 15, 2021 at 11:08am

Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 99E

A Woodburn motorcyclist died after a crash with a Ford Focus on Highway 99E Sunday evening, the Marion County Sherriff's Office said Monday.

Jeffrey Garza, 40, was riding northbound when Maria Egoroff, 71, of Salem, turned left into a driveway from the southbound lane near Brooks and the two collided, the sheriff's office said. The crash happened around 7 p.m. near milepost 39.

Garza was pronounced dead at the scene. 

-Saphara Harrell