Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Oregon sees disappointing job numbers for April

May 19, 2021 at 1:51pm

Teenager who was allegedly kidnapped in Gervais died Wednesday, police said

A teenager who was allegedly kidnapped last week died at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Wednesday, Oregon State Police said.

Police haven’t said what injuries led to their death or if they were shot during a gun battle between police and the suspect, 20-year-old Kenneth Williams Peden III, of Woodburn on May 12.

Peden is facing charges of four counts of first-degree attempted murder, as well as second-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree assault and fleeing or attempting to elude police. He will be arraigned Thursday.

The police chase started with the report of a disturbance in the 1000 block of Depot Ct. in Gervais on May 12, police said.

Gervais police found 22-year-old Arik Reed, of Gervais, with a gunshot wound around 4:45 p.m. that day. Police said they were able to determine that Peden had kidnapped a 17-year-old and left in a Ford F-150. 

A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy located the pickup.

Police said Peden fled from law enforcement when they attempted to stop his vehicle in Silverton. The pursuit continued to Highway 214 at about milepost 37, where a shootout ensued.

Multiple police vehicles were hit with bullets, but no officers were injured, police said.

The teenager was transported to the hospital by Life Flight with life-threatening injuries. Police haven’t released their name because they were a minor. 

-Saphara Harrell

Correction: This article previously misstated the teenager's gender based on information from police.

May 19, 2021 at 1:45pm

Fewer than 1,000 votes separate some school board candidates. Marion County has 12,000 ballots left to count

(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Marion County voters returned thousands of ballots during the final hours of Election Day, and the county now has about 12,000 ballots remaining to be counted, Clerk Bill Burgess said.

Burgess initially estimated Tuesday night about 5,000 or 6,000 ballots were left, but said more came in right ahead of the 8 p.m. cutoff.

"We got a really good number," Burgess said.

In two of the four races for Salem-Keizer School Board seats, the leading candidate was ahead by fewer than 1,000 votes.

For the zone 3 seat representing south Salem, Ashley Carson Cottingham is leading Linda Farrington by 557 votes as of late Tuesday. In zone 5, southeast Salem, Karina Guzmán Ortiz is ahead of Mike Slagle by 665 votes.

The four-way race in west Salem's zone 1 is less tight, with Osvaldo Avila ahead of current second-place candidate Kari Zohner by 1,861 votes. Zone 7, north Salem, has María Hinojos Pressey up 1,364 votes over Liam Collins.

While not every Marion County voter lives within the district boundaries, Burgess estimated about two-thirds of the remaining ballots came from voters within the district.

Election workers in Polk County finished processing all ballots returned on Election Day Tuesday night, but still expect to receive some ballots today.

That's because county election workers meet Wednesday to swap ballots that were returned to drop boxes in the wrong county, and the number of ballots that come in during the swap can vary widely.

Marion County will also pick up some ballots in that exchange. Burgess said a near-final count should be completed by the end of the day Thursday, minus any ballots that have signature issues needing to be resolved.

-Rachel Alexander

May 19, 2021 at 9:48am

Oregon sees disappointing job numbers for April

A graph showing Oregon's unemployment rate through the years. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

April was the first time in a year that Oregon’s unemployment rate didn’t improve from the previous month’s, the state’s Employment Department said Tuesday. 

The state’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 6% in April after adding 2,200 nonfarm jobs. That follows 19,600 jobs added in March, according to the department’s revised numbers. 

Most of the jobs added back were in restaurants and bars as well as government jobs from schools reopening for in-person service. 

Since the pandemic began, Oregon has added back 59% of jobs lost in the spring of 2020. For the U.S., that number is 63%. 

A year ago, nine out of 10 layoffs were temporary. But April was the first time since the pandemic began that permanent layoffs made up the largest share of unemployed Oregonians. 

-Jake Thomas