Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Child abuse prevention, mobile vaccines

6 months ago

Salem Health rolls out mobile vaccine clinics in Marion, Polk counties

Salem Health began a Covid vaccine clinic at the state fairgrounds on Jan. 7 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem Health is bringing Covid vaccines to rural areas and harder-to-reach people through a mobile vaccine clinic.

The hospital began offering mobile vaccines March 18 to ensure people in the Salem area who might have difficulty traveling to a vaccine clinic were able to get a shot, according to a news release.

To date, they've delivered more than 680 vaccinations through events at BrucePac in Woodburn, Meduri Farms in Dallas, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Independence, Saint Edward Catholic Church in Keizer, the fairgrounds pavilion where homeless Salemites were temporarily staying, and senior living facilities in Marion and Polk counties.

In April, the hospital plans to host clinics in Turner and Falls City and deliver more than 3,400 doses of vaccine, the release said.

“From the beginning of the pandemic and the anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine, we have committed ourselves and our resources to step forward and do whatever is needed to take care of our community,” said Cheryl Wolfe, president and chief executive officer of Salem Health, in a statement.

Marion County on Wednesday opened Covid vaccinations to all frontline workers and anyone 16 or older with underlying health conditions. Currently, all Oregonians 16 and older are scheduled to become eligible for a shot by May 1, but individual counties may move forward sooner.

-Rachel Alexander

6 months ago

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Empty hotels could become shelters or housing

The Oregon State Capitol. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Oregon House on Wednesday considered a bill that concerns hotels, motels, emergency shelters and the state’s land-use laws. 

THE ISSUE: Oregon needs affordable housing and shelter space for people fleeing wildfires. 

THE BILL: House Bill 3261

WHAT IT DOES: Requires local governments to allow hotels and motels to be converted into affordable housing or shelters. 

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: State Rep. Pam Marsh, an Ashland Democrat who sponsored the bill, says that hotels and motels have seen less business during the pandemic. While many of these buildings might be better used as housing, land-use laws stand in the way. 

HOW THE MARION/POLK DELEGATION VOTED:

State Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem: Yes

State Rep. Paul Evan, D-Monmouth: Excused

State Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem: No

State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence: Excused 

Sate Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer: No 

State Rep. Teresa Alonso León, D-Woodburn: Yes

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill moves to the Oregon Senate for consideration. 

-Jake Thomas

6 months ago

Friday car parade aims to raise awareness of child abuse in Marion County

Blue ribbons hang from the branches of a tree outside of the Oregon State Capitol, representing victims of child abuse or neglect in Oregon on Thursday, April 1, 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Marion County is kicking off Child Abuse Prevention Month with a car parade Friday that will start at the Willamette Heritage Center and go past the Capitol.

The parade aims to bring awareness to child abuse, with 1,238 reported victims in Marion County in 2019.

Last year, Salem Reporter reported on Salem’s child abuse assessment continuing to see a high case load despite calls to the child abuse hotline declining at the start of the stay-home orders.

Groups involved in the parade include Marion County Community Services, City of Salem, Boys and Girls Club, CASA of Marion County, Family Building Blocks, Salem Keizer School District, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Liberty House, Blue Ribbon Brigade, Marion County Health and Human Services, Options Counseling, ODHS, Catholic Community Services, Exchange Club, HOME Youth & Resource Center, and Early Learning Hub.

Parade participants are asked to meet at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. S.E., at 7:15 a.m.

At 8:15 a.m. cars will line up to drive past the Capitol, where a tree is decorated in blue ribbons to represent each victim of child abuse.

Registration is online.

-Saphara Harrell

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