Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem library announces July 6 reopening

June 30, 2021 at 2:57pm

Early reports show 9 Marion County residents died in heat wave, state medical examiner says

People cool off in the Willamette River at Wallace Marine Park on Saturday, June 26, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Nine Marion County residents likely died from causes associated with the recent heat wave, the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday.

The office said in a news release it had received reports of 63 deaths across the state which county medical examiners' preliminary investigations determined may be heat-related. Forty-five of those deaths were in Multnomah County. None were listed in Polk County.

"These are preliminary numbers as some investigations are still in progress and final causes of death have not yet been determined," the release said. Authorities did not release any information about suspected causes of death.

A farmworker in Marion County died Saturday after being found unresponsive in the field that afternoon, when temperatures soared to a high of 104. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Woodburn-based Brother Farm Labor Contractor and Ernst Nursery and Farms in St. Paul in connection with the death.

Local authorities on Wednesday also announced they'd found the bodies of two swimmers who went missing in the Willamette River June 26.

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office said deputies recovered the body of Thomas Paul Stavrum, 51, of Lafayette on Tuesday morning in the river near Highway 219, about one mile downriver of Roger’s Landing in Newberg.

Nasiruddin Shaik, 37, of Salem, was found around noon Wednesday in a channel between the Wheatland Bar and the Marion County shoreline, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Shaik was last seen about a half-mile upstream.

-Rachel Alexander

June 30, 2021 at 2:10pm

Minimum wage workers in Salem and across Oregon to see pay raise


Oregon's minimum wage will increase on July 1, 2021. How much varies by three different regions of the state. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

The minimum wage in Salem will increase to $12.75 an hour starting July 1, up from the current $12 an hour. 

In 2016, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that established regular increases in the minimum wage that vary by three different areas of the state. Workers in the Portland area will see the minimum wage rise to $14 an hour, up from $13.25. Non-urban counties will see an increase from $11.50 to $12. 

Salem is in the third area that includes most of western Oregon outside of the Portland area.  

According to Oregon Employment Department numbers, 5.4% of workers in Marion County, or 9,977, currently make minimum wage. In Polk County, 6.5% of workers, or 1,540, make minimum wage. 

The county with the smallest share of minimum wage workers is Sherman County, with 2.8%. The largest is Wheeler County, with 16.9%.  

-Jake Thomas

June 30, 2021 at 11:00am

Artists wanted for Englewood Forest Festival

Englewood Park in northeast Salem. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Salem's Northeast Neighborhood Association is bringing the Englewood Forest Festival back this summer - and seeking local artists to sell their wares.

The annual summer event brings hundreds of people to Englewood Park to enjoy music, art and food. The 2020 festival was canceled due to the pandemic, but neighborhood organizers have scheduled a 2021 return for Saturday, August 14.

Alan Scott, the president of the festival, said artists pay between $15 and $40 for a booth and can sell work they've created. Those interested can fill out a form on the event website until July 10.

-Rachel Alexander

June 30, 2021 at 10:07am

Salem library announces July 6 reopening

The Salem Public Library at its Broadway location on Feb. 18, 2020. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Salem Public Library will reopen for browsing at its temporary location, 1400 Broadway St. N.E, on Tuesday, July 6 now that Oregon's pandemic restrictions have lifted.

Library patrons will once again be able to browse library shelves and use the computer. The building has been closed to the public since last March.

The library’s curbside service program, which allowed patrons to pick up holds by appointment, ends on July 3.

The library will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The main library is undergoing a seismic retrofit and is expected to reopen in September.

-Saphara Harrell