Local News That Matters

Watch Gov. Brown, Oregon health officials announce vaccine schedule changes at 11 a.m.

March 19, 2021 at 5:24pm

A fast move by a Cherriots bus driver prevents potential tragedy

Dan Parker, a Cherriots transit operator, maneuvered a bus to block traffic in Mission Street to protect a distraught person on Wednesday night. (Courtesy/Cherriots)

A quick-acting Cherriots bus driver may have saved someone’s life. 

On Wednesday night a distraught person walked out into Mission Street and lay down on the busy street, according to Cherriots spokeswoman Patricia Feeney.

Dan Parker, a transit operator, saw the person lying in the street as he was driving Route 7 and maneuvered the bus, blocking two lanes of traffic and preventing the person from being run over. 

The unidentified person was later assisted by police and moved away from the scene. 

Parker declined an interview. 

-Jake Thomas

March 19, 2021 at 12:35pm

Here's how much energy Salem's wastewater plant is creating

The Willow Lake Cogeneration Plant uses by-products of wastewater treatment to create electricity and reduce greenhouse gases. (Courtesy/City of Salem)

The city of Salem is posting daily numbers on electricity production at its new Cogeneration Plant at the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant. On Thursday, the plant produced 8,578 kilowatt hours.


The plant came online at the end of last year after an $11.2 million construction project. It produces heat and electricity from the by-products of wastewater treatment, or methane biogas.

The city said it significantly reduces the amount of pollution-causing greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, equivalent to taking 181 cars off the road each year.

According to the city website, the annual electricity production would be enough to power 813 average homes for a year. 

-Saphara Harrell

March 19, 2021 at 12:18pm

In Salem, farmworkers and adults with health conditions will be eligible for a Covid vaccine March 22

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

Marion and Polk counties will begin vaccinating agricultural workers and adults 45 and older with underlying health conditions against Covid starting March 22.

That's a week ahead of the state's timeline for eligibility. But Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday she would allow counties who have "largely completed" vaccination of seniors and other groups now eligible to move ahead. She also said migrant and seasonal farm workers currently working in the fields would be eligible March 22.

In a letter to Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen, the Marion County Board of Commissioners said the county has vaccinated 58% of residents 65 and older and is starting to see a decline in attendance at local vaccination clinics.

"By allowing Marion County to start vaccinating those groups earlier than March 29, we will be able to protect the health and safety of these groups as quickly as vaccine supplies allow," commissioners wrote.

Polk County Commissioner Craig Pope said Friday morning the county would also seek to move their schedule up by one week.

Allen said Friday during a news conference that OHA will allow any county that attests it is ready to move forward to do so.

Brown on Friday announced a sped up timeline for inoculations of essential workers and other groups after state officials said this week all Oregonians 16 and older would become eligible for a Covid vaccine May 1.

Brown's revised timeline is below.

Eligible March 29

-All adults 45-64 with underlying health conditions

-Migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, food processing workers

-People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living

-Individuals experiencing homelessness

-People currently displaced by wildfires

-Wildland firefighters

-Pregnant people 16 and older.

Eligible by April 19

-Frontline workers as defined by the CDC

-Multigenerational household members

-Adults 16-44 with underlying health conditions

May 1

All Oregonians 16 and older

-Rachel Alexander

March 19, 2021 at 10:28am

Watch Gov. Brown, Oregon health officials announce vaccine schedule changes at 11 a.m.

Gov. Kate Brown announces new state restrictions in a news conference in Portland on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Jonathan House/Pamplin Media)

At 11 a.m. Friday, Gov. Kate Brown and state health officials are expected to announce a quicker timeline for Covid vaccine eligibility in Oregon.

Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, said Wednesday the state would comply with a federal order to make all Oregonians 16 and older eligible for a shot by May 1.

Previously, Oregon had planned to make younger adults with underlying health conditions and other essential workers, including grocery store employees, eligible May 1. OHA said Wednesday the change would likely mean moving that timeline up and that specifics would be announced Friday.

The press conference will stream live on YouTube here.

-Rachel Alexander