Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Let us know about your Salem meetings

April 30, 2021 at 2:22pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon House passes gun safety bill

Oregon House of Representatives. (Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau).

The Oregon House passed a bill that takes up two gun safety measures that were scuttled in the 2019 legislative session. 

THE ISSUE: Gun owners in Oregon aren’t required to secure or lock up their firearms. Local governments, including schools and city halls, don’t have the legal authority to ban people from carrying guns inside. 

THE BILL: Senate Bill 554

WHAT IT DOES: Requires gun owners to safely store their firearms with a cable lock, locked storage container or safe. Those that fail to do so could see a $500 fine, which would increase to $2,000 if a minor gets their hands on the firearm. 

Additionally, the bill would allow school boards, city councils, public university boards and others to make their buildings “gun-free zones.” The legislation would also designate the state Capitol as a gun free zone. 

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Proponents of the bill say too many unsecured firearms have been used to commit crimes or have fallen into the hands of children. They also say school districts should be allowed to ban firearms to make classrooms safer, and the Capitol should be a gun-free zone after it saw a violent protest in December. 


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

State Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem: Yes

State Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth: No

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

State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence: Excused

Sate Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer: No

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: After passing the House on a 34-24 vote, it now returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote. The bill passed the Oregon Senate last month and needs to head back to the chamber after it was substantially amended. 

-Jake Thomas

April 30, 2021 at 2:09pm

Salem police detective nationally recognized for forensic work

Salem police detective Matt Brassfield, in gray, was nationally recognized for his work doing forensic examinations. (Courtesy/ Salem Police Department)

A Salem police detective was nationally recognized for his work doing forensic examinations for the second year in a row.

Matt Brassfield was recognized Friday by the National Computer Forensics Institute and the Secret Service for being one of the nation’s top 50 digital forensic examiners. He was ranked 44 and 17 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Digital forensics involves recovering and investigating material found on digital devices.

“Detective Brassfield has been instrumental in developing evidentiary data leading to the successful prosecution and closure of serious criminal cases, such as homicides, sexual assaults and child exploitation," Salem police Sgt. Kevin Hill said in a statement.

Brassfield joined the police department’s computer forensics lab in 2016 and shortly after became a certified computer forensics examiner through the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists. 

-Saphara Harrell

April 30, 2021 at 12:02pm

Salem Cinema offers private theater rentals as restrictions take hold

Staff members stand inside one of the theatres at Salem Cinema on Thursday, October 23. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

As Marion County enters stricter Covid restrictions again, Salem Cinema is offering private theater rentals.

Salem Cinema reopened in March for ticketed screenings, but will be forced to limit theater capacity to six people starting Friday.

Rentals cost $99 for up to six guests and are for the duration of a feature length movie no longer than 135 minutes.

Learn more and request your reservation here.

-Saphara Harrell

April 30, 2021 at 11:06am

Have a community meeting coming up in Salem? Let us know.

At Salem Reporter, we want to providing another community service – a listing of local groups and their meetings.

With the pandemic still on a tear, we understand groups may not be meeting in person right now. Some groups have resorted to Zoom or other online applications to keep their members engaged.

We think it would be useful to have a resource for you and others to check that shows who is meeting, when, and what the topic is - whether online or in person. We’ll generally only show meetings that are open to the public, or at least can be viewed by the public.

If you want to share your group's information, use this FORM to get us the information. This is done at no charge, so don’t worry you’ll get a bill.

We’ll launch this as soon as it seems sensible, but it’s one more way your team at Salem Reporter is working to help build the sense of community across the city. If you have questions, please email our editor, Les Zaitz, at [email protected]