Local News That Matters

UPDATES: West Salem band students will be knocking doors Saturday

3 months ago

Chuck Lee, Keizer educator and advocate, dies at 72

Chuck Lee (Courtesy photo)

Charles E. (Chuck) Lee, a fixture in Salem-Keizer education, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 4, at the age of 72, the Keizertimes reported.

Lee, born May 18, 1949 in Seattle, served on the Salem-Keizer School Board and represented Keizer from 2007 to 2019. He was the founding president of Blanchet Catholic School in Salem from 1997 to 2013.

Before relocating to Oregon, he was an educator in Washington State, where he was the youngest Catholic School principal when he was hired at the age of 25.

Lee served on the Keizer City Council from 2001 to 2007; he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2006.

In 2014 he helped found the Career Technical Education Center in Salem, a public-private project to prepare high school students for high-skill jobs. Lee served as president.

Charles Lee is survived by his wife, Krina Lee.

-Keizertimes reports

3 months ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 8, 2021

CERT team volunteer Laura Hildebrandt holds out one of the donated masks during a mask collection event at Woodmansee Park on Thursday, April 16. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

With Covid cases and hospitalizations climbing in Oregon, Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest numbers. Here’s our report for Wednesday, Sept. 8.

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 257

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 64

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 100 as of Wednesday morning, a decrease of nine from Tuesday. Of those, 22 are in the intensive care unit, and 15 are on ventilators. Eighty-six of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 492 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 189, an increase of three from Tuesday. Of those, 39 are in the intensive care unit and 19 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 100 of 105 staffed ICU beds and 687 of 706 non-ICU beds in use

New Covid deaths reported: 47 in Oregon. 

OHA had not published counties of residents and demographic information for Wednesday’s deaths by 4 p.m. 

The Oregon Health Authority reported deaths from Tuesday included three Marion County residents. 

-A 72-year-old man who tested positive on Aug. 27 and died on Sept. 3 at Salem Hospital. 

-A 78-year-old woman who tested positive on Aug. 21 and died on Sept. 1 at Salem Hospital. 

-A 72-year-old woman who tested positive on Aug. 26 and died on Sept. 3 at Salem Hospital. 

All three had underlying conditions. No deaths were reported for Polk County.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 4,194 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Sept. 7, including at least 2,201 first doses. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Saphara Harrell

3 months ago

Oregon workers’ compensation costs will again decline next year, state predicts

Oregon Employment Department. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

For the ninth year in a row, Oregon employers on average will spend less in 2022 on workers’ compensation, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said in a Wednesday news release.

The agency projected that employers next year will pay 97 cents for every $100 of payroll for workers’ compensation costs on average. That’s down from the current figure of $1.02 per $100 in payroll costs.

The trend follows a decline in frequency of lost-time claims, claim costs and medical costs, the release said.

Oregon has been among the lowest-ranked states “for many years” in workers’ compensation premium rates, the base rate by which insurers set medical costs and lost wages paid by employers, the agency said. In 2020, the state recorded the seventh-least expansive rates in the country.

The agency attributed the continued decline in costs to state workplace safety agencies, including the Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, injured worker and small business advocacy services, and the Workers’ Compensation Board that settles disputes related to state laws for workers’ compensation and workplace safety.

The projection showed the premium rate will fall by an average 5.8% next year, declining 51% from 2013 to 2022, according to the agency, which sets rates annually.

“As we move forward with our rate-setting process, we are focused on taking a cautious, balanced approach,” Andrew Stolfi, director and insurance commissioner for the agency, in a prepared statement. “It’s an approach that accounts for a recovering economy and helps stabilize programs that benefit employers and workers.” 

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

3 months ago

West Salem music students go door to door seeking donations Saturday

West Salem High School band students at a previous Make Music Day (Courtesy/Kenda Peterson)

Musically inclined West Salem High School students will be knocking on doors Saturday to raise money for the school's music programs.

The annual Music Day was canceled in 2020 due to Covid, but returns Sept. 11, with students knocking on doors from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seeking donations. Cans and bottles are also accepted.

The fundraiser is the largest of the year for the Titans' band, choir and orchestra programs, said Kenda Peterson, the coordinator for Music Day.

Funds help pay for transportation, festival entrance fees, music supplies and professional clinicians.

If you won't be home Saturday but want to support the program, you can leave an envelope with your donation on your doorstep clearly marked Music Day; mail a check made out to WSBB - Music Day to West Salem Band Boosters, 1776 Titan Ave NW,  Salem, OR 97304; or donate through PayPal to [email protected]

-Rachel Alexander