Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Firefighters find person dead inside burning car

April 22, 2021 at 4:57pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon Senate passes bill targeting 'pink tax'


Oregon Senator Deb Patterson worked on her computer Jan. 22 following a brief session of the Oregon Senate (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

On Wednesday, the Oregon Senate passed a bill intended to address a gender-based inequity in drug pricing. 

THE ISSUE: Some consumers have complained of a “pink tax” on medical products marketed towards women. 

THE BILL: Senate Bill 711

WHAT IT DOES:  Sponsored by Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem, the bill directs the Department of Consumer and Business Services to study disparities in the cost of hormone replacement drugs that are frequently used by women compared to those used by men.

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: The department would conduct the study as part of their Prescription Drug Price Transparency program. 


Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: No

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: No

Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: No

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: It heads to the House for consideration. 

-Jake Thomas

April 22, 2021 at 3:39pm

Health authorities investigating death of Oregon woman who developed blood clot after receiving J&J vaccine

This article was updated following an Oregon Health Authority news conference.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority are investigating the death of an Oregon woman in her 50s who developed a severe blood clot within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine.

Administration of the J&J vaccine has been suspended nationwide since April 13 as health authorities investigate six other reports of women who developed severe blood clots within two weeks of receiving the shot.

The Oregon woman received the vaccine before the pause, health officials said. "Until the investigation is complete, it cannot be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine," the health authority said in a news release.

More than seven million Americans have received the J&J vaccine. Among them are over 91,000 Oregonians, including Gov. Kate Brown.

Health officials have not determined whether the vaccine caused the clots in any of the cases.

The health authority was notified of the woman's death Tuesday and announced the investigation in a news release Thursday.

“We are very much encouraged by the fact that our safety reporting mechanisms are working," said Dr. Shimi Sharief, a senior health advisor with the health authority, during a news conference Thursday. “This is still extremely rare."

Sharief declined to say what county in Oregon the woman lived in, where she received her vaccine or her date of death, saying that information could identify her publicly.

-Rachel Alexander

April 22, 2021 at 12:17pm

Willamette University becomes latest to require Covid vaccine for students, employees

Two people walk through Willamette University on May 15. 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Students and employees of Willamette University will have to show proof of full vaccination against Covid before returning to campus in the fall.

The university announced the policy Wednesday, joining Lewis & Clark College in Portland and other institutions across the U.S., including Princeton and Yale. According to a database maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, no other Oregon colleges and universities have yet set a vaccination requirement.

The policy applies to all students in both graduate and undergraduate programs, except those whose programs are entirely online. Any vaccine approved for use in the U.S. is acceptable, the university said. Students and employees may seek a medical or religious exemption to vaccination.

Willamette has operated with hybrid classes this year, teaching in-person and keeping campus open for students while allowing those who choose to attend classes online. The vaccination policy is intended to allow "returning, as much as possible, to a vibrant campus community, including a return to pre-pandemic in-person learning and activities, that are central to Willamette’s mission," the university said.

-Rachel Alexander

April 22, 2021 at 10:57am

Firefighters find person dead inside burning car in rural Marion County

Firefighters found a person dead inside a Kia SUV that was on fire in rural Marion County on Wednesday night, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

An off-duty firefighter reported a car fire around 10:41 p.m. on Northeast Sunnyview Road near Hibbard Road, the release said.

Police haven’t identified the victim.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have information about the incident, or residents in the vicinity who may have surveillance footage, to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (503) 540-8079 or submit a tip online at https://www.co.marion.or.us/SO/Pages/tip411.aspx.

-Saphara Harrell