Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Kids grief camp goes online this summer

June 16, 2021 at 4:32pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon legalizes human composting


Oregon State Capitol (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday signed a bill that allows the composting of human bodies. 

THE ISSUE: Oregonians want a more earth-friendly way of dying.   

THE BILL: House Bill 2574

WHAT IT DOES: Adds “natural organic reduction” as an alternative to cremation and burial for Oregonians after they die. The new method essentially composts the body of the deceased into soil within four to six weeks, according to information provided by state Rep. Pam Marsh, a southern Oregon Democrat who sponsored the bill. 

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Proponents say there is a growing demand for green burials. Washington State has already approved similar legislation. 


The bill passed the Oregon Senate June 3 on a 27-1 vote. 

Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: Yes

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: Yes

Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes 

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: Yes

The bill passed the Oregon House April 10 on a 44-3 vote.

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

State Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem (co-sponsor of the bill): Excused

State Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth: Yes

State Rep. Rick Lewis, R-Silverton: Yes

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

State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence: Excused

State Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer: Yes

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill now goes to the governor for her approval. 

-Jake Thomas

June 16, 2021 at 3:38pm

Santiam Hospital sweetens Covid vaccine deal with $500 Visa gift card sweepstakes

Syringes of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Getting a Covid vaccine at Santiam Hospital now comes with an extra reward - a chance at winning a $500 Visa gift card.

The hospital announced Tuesday it would hold a drawing for 10 winners who have gotten at least one Covid vaccine there by July 4. The drawing will include anyone 12 and older vaccinated at Santiam Hospital since they began offering Covid vaccines last December.

Winners will be drawn on July 12.

Santiam Hospital offers free, walk-in vaccines Monday through Friday from 2-5 p.m. at the Freres Auditorium, which is part of the main hospital building at 1401 N 10th Ave in Stayton. Patients can also make vaccination appointments through their primary care providers.

Hospital spokeswoman Lauren Benjamin said Santiam is currently administering between 100 and 200 Covid vaccines daily. They have both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available, she said.

-Rachel Alexander

June 16, 2021 at 10:28am

Kids grief camp goes online this summer

Willamette Valley Hospice’s Bereavement Bear (Courtesy photo)

Kids who have experienced the death of a loved one can attend an online support group this summer.

Camp Mighty Oaks, a free 6-week program run by Willamette Valley Hospice, starts in mid-July. The program is for youth ages 6 to 17 and will offer games, prizes, music therapy and other fun activities.

There will also be optional weekly family activities.

“By learning and growing together, participants gain strength and courage to face their grief,” said a news release about the program.

Call Nancy or Jan at Willamette Valley Hospice & Palliative Care with questions or to register at 503.588.3600 or [email protected]. Register by June 25.

-Saphara Harrell