Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Grants available for Marion, Polk teachers

about 1 month ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Oct. 21, 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.

As Covid hospitalizations continue to decline, Salem Reporter will stop reporting case and hospitalization information each day at the end of this week. Here’s our daily report for Thursday, Oct. 21.

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 98

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 37

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 55 as of Thursday morning, an increase of four from Wednesday. Of those, 11 are in the intensive care unit, and three are on ventilators. 

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

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 512 patients; the hospital is licensed for 494 beds

Salem Hospital is able to expand care beyond licensed bed capacity through waivers tied to the federal emergency declaration. 

“Throughout this surge we have prioritized flexibility, creating new spaces for patients beyond traditional care areas and utilizing double occupancy rooms. We continue to make room for all patients who need care, but today’s numbers continue to underscore the seriousness of the persistent surge even as it declines,” hospital spokesperson Lisa Wood explained in an email.

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 88, an increase of one from Wednesday. Of those, 19 are in the intensive care unit and three are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 83 of 88 staffed ICU beds and 559 of 575 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 40

No Marion or Polk County deaths were reported Wednesday. 

The Oregon Health Authority said Thursday it will begin reporting hundreds of deaths that occurred between May and August, but only recently became known to state epidemiologists due to a technical computer error. 

Reported Covid deaths will be higher than usual as a result until the backlog of 550 deaths is resolved, the agency said in a news release

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 5,405 new Covid vaccine doses on Oct. 20, including 871 first doses, 933 second doses and 3,558 third doses. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

Our team will keep an eye on Covid data and report those numbers when warranted. Reach out to Rachel Alexander [email protected] or Saphara Harrell [email protected] if there are specific metrics you’d like to see us report on. 

-Saphara Harrell

about 1 month ago

Two armed women still at large after walking away from corrections department warehouse in Salem

The Oregon State Penitentiary on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Two women who waked away Oct. 11 from a work crew at an Oregon Department of Corrections warehouse in Salem armed with a box cutter and heavy lock are still unaccounted for.

While incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Brandy Woodward and Shelly Radan each day would ride a corrections department bus with dozens of other women to a work location known as the "commissary," where they filled orders for cafeteria food and hygiene items for people in custody at other state prisons, said Jennifer Black, a state corrections spokesperson.

There were 51 people in custody working on Oct. 11 at the Central Distribution Center in Salem where the commissary is located along with other work units, Black said. They are supervised by corrections department employees, who are responsible for counting them every hour.

Woodward and Radan walked away from the facility around 9:10 a.m. with a box cutter and a "heavy lock that could be used as a weapon," she said. The department did not provide other details about security procedures at the facility or how the women were able to walk away from the unit.

They were last seen on Amber Street Northeast headed toward Dick's Sporting Goods on Lancaster Drive Northeast, according to an Oct. 11 news release from the corrections department.

"We will actively pursue them until they are back in Department of Corrections custody," Black said.

The department said in the news release that the women should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Woodward, 45 of Long Creek, weighs 145 pounds with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue T-shirt and a sweatshirt all with the word "inmate" stenciled in orange, the news release said.

Woodward pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of methamphetamine and three counts of possession of methamphetamine over three cases in Grant and Umatilla county circuit courts, according to court records. She has been in custody since April 29 and her earliest release date is Jan. 14, 2024.

Radan, 43 of Otis, weighs 174 pounds with brown hair and eyes. She pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary in Lincoln County Circuit Court, court records showed. She has been in custody since Nov. 3, 2020, and her earliest release date is Sept. 2, 2024. Radan's previous name was Michael Price Crawford.

The corrections department's Fugitive Apprehension Unit and the Oregon State Police are investigating the walkaway and asked anyone with information to contact the state police at 1-800-452-7888, their local police department's non emergency number or the Fugitive Apprehension Unit at 503-569-0734, the news release said.

Brandy Woodward (Courtesy/Oregon Department of Corrections)

Shelly Radan (Courtesy/Oregon Department of Corrections)

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

about 1 month ago

MAPS wants to give local teachers $1,000 for classroom projects

Stephanie Madison, a fourth grade teacher at Myers Elementary School, leads newly returned students in a lesson on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Twenty public school teachers in Marion and Polk counties will win a $1,000 grant from MAPS Credit Union.

The credit union's foundation is seeking applications for its annual teacher grant program benefitting public school teachers in the greater Salem area. Applications are due Oct. 31.

The program funds creative efforts that will make a difference in students' lives and the school community, according to the credit union website. Funds can be used for technology needs, class projects, field trips or after school clubs.

For 2021, the foundation doubled the number of grants it's providing. Previous Salem winners in 2020 included a teacher starting a student store at Four Corners Elementary School to promote financial literacy, and a Lee Elementary School teacher purchasing a t-shirt making machine.

Preference will be given to teachers who are also MAPS members, but membership is not required. To apply or learn more, visit the MAPS website.

-Rachel Alexander