Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Oregon's culture license plate gets a colorful redesign

about 1 month ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 15, 2021

A sign alerting visitors to the mask mandate at Salem Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (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. 15. 

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 204

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 69

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 89 as of Wednesday morning, a decrease of eight from Tuesday. Of those, 21 are in the intensive care unit, and eight are on ventilators. 

Seventy-seven of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Correction: Salem Health incorrectly reported the number of Covid patients on ventilators for Tuesday. It was 13, not 22.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 456 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 161, a decrease of five from Tuesday. Of those, 43 are in the intensive care unit and 14 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 94 of 97 staffed ICU beds and 685 of 714 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 46

OHA has been reporting the demographic information on Covid deaths one day after reporting the total. Tuesday’s deaths included one Polk County resident, a 72-year-old woman from Polk County who tested positive on Sept. 7 and died on Sept. 11 at Salem Hospital. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.

Ten Marion County deaths were reported:

A 66-year-old woman who tested positive on Aug. 16 and died on Sept. 10 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.

A 56-year-old man who tested positive on Aug. 21 and died on Sept. 8 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying conditions.

An 82-year-old woman who tested positive on Aug. 28 and died on Sept. 10 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.

A 78-year-old man who tested positive on Aug. 31 and died on Sept. 7 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying conditions.

A 24-year-old man who tested positive on Sept. 8 and died on Sept. 13 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying conditions.

A 96-year-old woman who tested positive on Sept. 5 and died on Sept. 9 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.

A 33-year-old woman who tested positive on Sept. 5 and died on Sept. 12 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.

An 82-year-old woman from Marion County who tested positive on Sept. 2 and died on Sept. 11 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.

A 72-year-old woman who tested positive on Sept. 3 and died on Sept. 11 at Santiam Hospital. 

A 70-year-old man who tested positive on Sept. 2 and died on Sept. 10 at Santiam Hospital. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed in those cases.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 4,123 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Sept. 14, including 1,921 first doses. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Rachel Alexander and Saphara Harrell

about 1 month ago

Salem man charged with murder in Polk County

A Salem man was charged Wednesday with murder in connection with a fatal shooting Tuesday in Polk County.

Jonathan Alexis Gonzales-Salcido, 24, was charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon in Polk County Circuit Court, according to court documents.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded around 11:34 a.m. to a report that a tree had fallen on a man on Belvedere Street Northwest in Salem, and that the man was screaming and blood was “coming out of the male’s back,” a probable cause affidavit said.

The report added that the man had been shot in the abdomen and was on the ground when injured.

The sheriff’s office received an additional call from a woman who said she heard a shot then screaming. A few minutes later, she said she saw a man run through a field toward Hidden Valley Drive Northwest to a wooded area, grab a red sweatshirt and put it on, adding that he was possibly the suspect.

The report said victim, Ryan Ray Muniz, 31, was confirmed dead around 14 minutes after the initial report, and a sheriff’s deputy detained Gonzales-Salcido around nine minutes later.

The deputy reported he saw Gonzales-Salcido with a hoodie pulled down tight over his head and a gaiter face mask pulled high on his face, pushing a mower in a front lawn and pushing it up the sidewalk. 

The deputy asked Gonzales-Salcido where he was going, to which he replied he was going to mow lawns in the area. 

The deputy said Gonzales-Salcido appeared to be on a stimulant and asked numerous times not to be shot.

While transporting him to the Polk County Jail, the deputy said Gonzales-Salcido “offered him $5,000, numerous times, to let him go,” according to the affidavit.

Detectives learned Gonzales-Salcido and Muniz were part of a tree trimming service working on Belvedere Street with two other people at the time.

The two workers told detectives they were cutting a tree and as it fell, they heard three pops and saw that Gonzales-Salcido was gone. One worker said he saw Muniz immediately hold his chest and saw that he was bleeding, adding that he saw Gonzales-Salcido running between two houses.

The owner of the tree trimming service told the deputy that out of the blue, Gonzales-Salcido had asked him to drive his personal car to the worksite so he could leave from the job, which the owner declined. The owner added that Gonzales-Salcido “sulked for a minute and left,” the affidavit said.

The sheriff’s office later found a 9mm handgun along the path Gonzales-Salcido would have taken when he fled the scene.

The affidavit noted that Gonzales-Salcido had been previously convicted of vehicle theft and evading a peace officer in California in 2016 and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

A jury trial for Gonzales-Salcido's case is scheduled for Nov. 4, according to court records.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

about 1 month ago

Oregon's cultural license plate gets a colorful redesign

A redesigned Oregon Cultural Trust license plate by Eugene artist Liza Burns will be available starting Oct. 1, 2021.

Oregon drivers will have a fresh license plate option starting Oct. 1, when the state's Cultural Trust debuts a new design for its license plate.

The design, by Eugene artist Liza Burns, is called "Celebrate Oregon" and includes 127 symbols representing aspects of Oregon culture and history, from the gray whales that draw visitors to the coast to the grapes growing in vineyards in the Willamette Valley.

“The new design, built on a panorama of Oregon geography, reflects and respects the diversity of our culture at a time we need it most,” said Cultural Trust Board Chair Niki Price in a statement. “Cultural expression is how our communities define themselves – how they live their everyday lives, their traditions, their heritage, their creativity, their celebrations, their values and how they connect with one another. Our culture is the glue that can bind us together as Oregonians.”

A mural of the artwork will also be displayed in airports in Portland, Eugene, Medford and Redmond.

The state Legislature created Oregon's Cultural Trust in 2001 to fund artists, musicians and cultural organizations across the state through a voluntary tax credit. The plate was designed to commemorate the trust's 20th anniversary.

The trust receives 100% of the surcharge for the custom license plates, and averages about $30,000 in revenue per month from the program, according to its website.

-Rachel Alexander

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