Local News That Matters

UPDATES: County commissioners consider seeking federal funding to staff wildfire building and planning department

October 5, 2021 at 4:00pm

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Oct. 5, 2021

A screengrab of a chart showing the number of Covid-positive patients hospitalized in the region which includes Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.

Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest Covid numbers. Here’s our report for Tuesday, Oct. 5. 

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 154

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 49

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 83 as of Tuesday morning, the same as Monday. Of those, 17 are in the intensive care unit, and nine are on ventilators. 

Sixty-nine of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 474 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 138, a decrease of seven from Monday. Of those, 28 are in the intensive care unit and 11 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 92 of 100 staffed ICU beds and 641 of 660 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 44

OHA didn’t provide demographic information about Monday’s deaths by 3 p.m.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 6,439 new Covid doses on Oct. 4, including 1,297 first doses, 1,621 second doses and 3,485 third doses.

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Saphara Harrell

October 5, 2021 at 2:58pm

Pentacle Theatre returns to the stage with murder mystery "The Mousetrap"

Actors rehearse "The Mousetrap" for the Pentacle Theatre. The show opens Oct. 8 and will be performed without masks. (Courtesy/Pentacle Theatre)

Salem's Pentacle Theatre is back with its first live show since the Covid pandemic began debuting Friday on its west Salem stage.

Local actors will stage murder mystery "The Mousetrap" beginning Friday and running through Oct. 23. Shows will be Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, according to a news release from the theater.

The play, written by Agatha Christie, is set at the Monkswell Manor guesthouse, where employees and guests fall under suspicion after a local woman turns up murdered.

"A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates everyone: the newlyweds running the guest house, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a dissatisfied jurist who makes life miserable for all, a retired Army major, a spinster with a curious background, and a strange man with an unplaceable accent who claims his car overturned in a snowdrift. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another," the theatre said in a description of the play.

Theatergoers must show proof of vaccination against Covid or a negative PCR test for the virus within 72 hours of the performance in order to attend, according to the theatre's announcement.

Guests must also wear a mask for the duration of the show. Gaiters and face shields will not be allowed.

Performers will not wear masks during the show. Oregon's indoor mask mandate has an exception for people actively performing, such as musicians and actors.

General admission tickets are $25, with a 50% discount for frontline health care workers. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the theatre's website.

-Rachel Alexander

October 5, 2021 at 1:52pm

AGENDA: Marion County commissioners meet to consider staffing funds for 2020 wildfire building and planning department

Colm Willis, Marion County commissioner, speaks during a north county special meeting concerning COVID-19 response on May 5, 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider appointing a new member to the Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council, seeking federal funding to help staff the county’s 2020 wildfire building and planning department, ratifying a collective bargaining agreement with a union that represents parole and probation officers and approving road work projects in the county.


The commissioners will consider appointing Salem City Councilor Chris Hoy to the Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council for a term beginning Thursday and ending June 30, 2024. Hoy is currently vice chair of the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance and has served as Marion County’s jail commander and Clackamas County’s community corrections director.

Commissioners will consider an agreement with the Oregon Business Development Department for $975,000 in federal funding to help staff Marion County Public Works’ 2020 Wildfire Building and Planning Department. The deadline to complete the project would be June 30, 2023.

The commissioners will consider ratifying a collective bargaining agreement with the Federation of Oregon Parole and Probation Officers, a union that represents county parole and probation officers. The new contract will give cost of living raises and increase pay for on-call officers. It's expected to cost the county an additional $750,000 over three years, expiring June 30, 2024.

Commissioners will consider approving a $190,500 contract with Oregon-based company Radio Technology Services for a new radio system for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The commissioners will consider an agreement with the State Department of Transportation to perform roadwork on the Exit 278 area of Interstate 5 that has been susceptible to traffic jams. ODOT would pay for most of the $48.273 million in funding with state and federal dollars, and the agreement would include a $111,400 cash contribution from Marion County.

Commissioners will consider a $874,982 contract with Portland-based engineering consultant David Evans and Associates to replace the Pudding River Bridge on Hazelgreen Road Northeast. The project is estimated to cost $5,248,600, with the federal government covering $4,709,568 of the funding.

The commissioners will consider seeking funds from the 2021 Oregon Federal Lands Access Program for road work on three areas of the North Fork Road corridor, which has been known for fatal, single-vehicle crashes. Marion County Public Works would request $1,173,917 in federal funding and would match with a minimum of $134,360.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

-Ardeshir Tabrizian