Local News That Matters

Updates: Commissioner, farmworker organizer get Covid vaccines during Marion County meeting

April 7, 2021 at 4:45pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Bill in Oregon Legislature aims to improve civics education

(Courtesy/Sue Luft)

The Oregon Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that concerns an area where politics and education meet. 

THE ISSUE: Americans’ basic understanding of how their government has declined in recent years.

THE BILL: Senate Bill 513

WHAT IT DOES: Requires every Oregon high school student to receive one semester of civics education before they graduate.

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: The amount of civics education Oregon students receive is uneven across the state and depends on which district they attend classes in. 


Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: No

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: Yes

Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: Excused

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill will be considered by the House, where state Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, is a strong proponent of it.

-Jake Thomas

April 7, 2021 at 3:09pm

Three arrested in connection with February shooting in west Salem

Three people were arrested in connection with a Feb. shooting in west Salem, the Salem Police Department announced in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Colton Thomas James Burr, 22, of Mill City, and Austin Mitchell McClure, 21, of Lebanon, were arrested for their role in a shooting that happened on Feb. 27 near Wallace Road and Northwest Edgewater Street. Around 11:30 p.m. officers found Salem resident Bryant Karner with a gunshot wound and aided him until paramedics arrived, according to a police news release at the time.

Police released no other details about the incident, but said Karner survived his injuries.

Burr and McClure were charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful weapon use.

Katie Taylor Slay, 23, of Mill City, was charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

“To protect the integrity of the case, no further details are being released,” Salem police said. 

-Saphara Harrell

April 7, 2021 at 11:07am

Commissioner, farmworker organizer get Covid vaccines during Marion County meeting

Reyna Lopez, executive director of PCUN, gets the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine live during a Marion County Commissioner meeting on April 7, 2021 (Screenshot from YouTube)

A Marion County Board of Commissioner meeting Wednesday briefly became a vaccine clinic as Commissioner Kevin Cameron and Reyna Lopez, executive director of farmworker union PCUN, got shots live.

Both said they hoped to demonstrate the Covid vaccines were safe and encourage others to get them.

“People need to see us, we need to lead by example," Lopez said.

A county health worker inoculated both with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"That's probably all I can handle is one," Cameron joked. He said commissioners have in the past received flu shots during meetings to encourage others in Marion County to do the same.

Lopez said she and Cameron have spoken weekly "without fail" about the pandemic's impacts on farmworker communities and Latinos over the past year. She thanked commissioners for their efforts to address the pandemic's impacts.

"I feel very good," Lopez said in Spanish after getting her shot. "I want to tell everyone that they should also get their vaccine because it's the only way we're going to fight this pandemic, this virus that has caused so much harm in the community."

You can watch the meeting here.

-Rachel Alexander