Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem-Keizer adds two school days

March 30, 2021 at 4:35pm

Salem's unemployment rate didn't budge in February


Customers wait in line at Adam's Rib Smoke House on Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The unemployment rate for the Salem area stayed flat.

In February, the unemployment area for the Salem area was 5.9%, the same as January, according to the most-recent numbers issued Tuesday by the Oregon Employment Department. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 6.1% for February, virtually the same as January’s rate of 6.2%. 

In February, the Salem area added 2,200 jobs in government, transportation, utilities, private education, health services and business services. However, those were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, construction and manufacturing. 

-Jake Thomas

March 30, 2021 at 4:11pm

Marion County Sheriff's Office seeks tips following shots fired in east Salem

Marion County Sheriff's Office. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the community’s help to identify people in a four-door Honda that was around Northeast Brown Road near Northeast Indiana Avenue following reports of shots fired around noon Tuesday.

A 911 caller reported two cars leaving the east Salem area around the time the shots were heard. Deputies found one of the cars, but not the Honda.

There were no injuries reported, but deputies found shell casings.

Anyone with information is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 503-588-5032 or submit an anonymous tip online at https://www.co.marion.or.us/SO/Pages/tip411.aspx.

-Saphara Harrell

March 30, 2021 at 2:07pm

AGENDA: Marion County Commissioners consider fire sprinkler purchase, child abuse prevention month

Marion County Courthouse Square (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

The Marion County Board of Commissioners will meet Wednesday to consider approving a newly titled position in the Health and Human Services Department, fire sprinklers for the jail and proclamation declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month.


Commissioners will consider creating a position in Health and Human Services titled epidemiologist senior and establish a pay grade and update the specifications for the role.

They will also consider approving a $134,380 purchase to upgrade the fire sprinkler system in the Marion County Jail so it meets current fire codes.

The board will also consider a proclamation that declares April Child Abuse Prevention Month in Marion County.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

March 30, 2021 at 12:32pm

Salem police arrest 18-year-old following northeast Salem shooting

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

Salem police arrested an 18-year-old Friday in connection with a shooting that occurred in early March.

Police acknowledged the uptick in shootings in northeast Salem in recent weeks and said teamwork with the community led to Anthony Gonzalez’s arrest.

On March 13, police responded to a report of a shots fired between two groups of juveniles in the 3400 block of Williams Ave. N.E. Police found 9mm casings and damage to a fence and a car after the teens fled the scene. No victims were found.

Detectives were able to find witnesses and video of the shooting and identified Gonzalez.

When he was arrested March 26, he had a 9mm handgun and was wearing the same clothing as he was during the shooting, police said.

“Thanks to the investigative leads provided by witnesses and video, patrol officers and detectives were able to piece together the critical information which led to the arrest,” the Salem Police Department said in a news release.

Gonzalez was charged with two counts of recklessly endangering another person and unlawful use of a weapon. He will be arraigned on April 7.

Police said following shootings, they increase both uniform and non-uniform patrols in those areas.

A 17-year-old was shot and later died in the Four Corners area during what the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said was a marijuana deal on March 24.

Deputies detained two 17-year-olds for the crime. One was released and the other accused of first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree theft.

-Saphara Harrell

March 30, 2021 at 10:22am

Salem-Keizer adds two days to school year as ice storm makeup

Lucas Gage arrives by bus for the first day of in-person kindergarten at Richmond Elementary on Tuesday, March 2. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The school year will now end on June 17 for thousands of students in the Salem-Keizer School District.

District leaders added two days to the year to make up for school closures following February's ice storm. The year had been scheduled to end June 15.

They announced the calendar change Monday along with other modifications as the district prepares to resume in-person classes part-time for middle and high school students in mid-April.

Local schools were closed the week of Feb. 15 because of widespread power and internet outages across Marion and Polk counties. Students missed four days of school following the President's Day holiday.

The district added only two days back to avoid pushing classes into the next week in June "which would potentially delay or limit the summer school programs that are in development," district spokesman Aaron Harada said in an email.

-Rachel Alexander