Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Capital City Live returns to fairgrounds

August 4, 2021 at 4:30pm

Salem-Keizer bus trainer honored by state association

Brian Clarke won the 2021 Oregon School Bus Driver Trainer of the Year (Courtesy/Salem-Keizer School District)

Brian Clarke has always enjoyed helping other people learn.

When he started driving buses for the Salem-Keizer School District in 2010, Clarke knew he wanted to become a trainer. The position required one year of driving experience.

“I was interviewed the day after my one-year anniversary,” Clarke said.

With a decade on the job, Clarke was recently honored as the Oregon School Bus Driver Trainer of the Year by the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association. The organization gives seven annual awards to workers around the state who make sure students get to school.

Clarke’s supervisor, Robine Splonski, said operating a school bus requires more than simply driving the vehicle safely. Drivers have 30 hours of classroom training covering everything from inspecting their buses to supervising students and communicating with parents.

Splonki nominated Clarke for the award, citing his eagerness to mentor assistant trainers, knowledge of state and district regulations and ability to help re-train drivers who aren’t meeting expectations.

“Making it to where those drivers are able to deal with the kids and make their experience riding the bus positive ... Brian contributes to that greatly,” she said in an interview.

Clarke said he had no idea he’d been nominated until his supervisors informed him of the award.

“I like helping people, I like teaching, I like making a difference to the drivers,” he said. “It’s nice to be acknowledged for what you do.

-Rachel Alexander

August 4, 2021 at 3:11pm

Tell the City of Salem how to make its website better by Aug. 5

The City of Salem wants your feedback on how to make its website better.

The city is starting a website redesign and is seeking community feedback on what works well and doesn't on the existing website.

Fill out a survey by Thursday, Aug. 5.

Survey link

The city last redesigned its website in the spring of 2017, adding a menu grouping city services by topic, rather than department, and improving the search functions on the site.

August 4, 2021 at 11:36am

Catch country music for a good cause at fairgrounds Aug. 5

Capital City LIVE! returns to the Oregon State Fairgrounds Aug. 5.

Capital City LIVE!, an annual concert to benefit Salem nonprofit Family Building Blocks, is returning on Thursday, August 5.

Country star Brett Young is slated to take the stage during the event held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Opening for him is country singer Riley Green.

The show begins at 7 p.m.

Family Building Blocks is a certified relief nursery that aims to keep children safe and families together by providing home visits, family mental health services, parent education and respite care. 

In 2019, the organization provided 9,361 home visits. According to Family Building Blocks, about 99% of families served remain together. 

Tickets are currently on sale ranging from $40 to $125 depending on seating location and are non-refundable for the rain or shine event. 

More information and ticket purchasing available here.

-Caitlyn May