Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem-Keizer seeks comment on redistricting maps

11 days ago

Empty Bowls benefit sale will help feed the hungry through Salem-area pantry

The annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is this weekend. (Courtesy/ Willamette Art Center)

Anyone who buys pottery at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday will be helping put food on the table for the hungry.

The Willamette Art Center will hold its annual Empty Bowls fundraising sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cascade Hall at the fairgrounds, a press release said.

Sales from locally made handcrafted pottery, wood-turned bowls and wood-carved crafts will go to the Marion Polk Food Share.

"The sale is a great opportunity to help feed those in need and get an early start on holiday shopping. Some incredible potters with decades of experience have donated their work, and it's really exciting to see all the beautiful pottery coming in for the sale. The donations this year are spectacular," Kevin Herzberg, executive director of the Willamette Art Center, said in the press release.

Artisans from the center's pottery studio, Willamette Valley Woodturners and Capital Woodcarvers made handcrafts for the sale. Saturday's event will include the empty bowls it's named after, ceramic planters, dishes, vases, mugs, cups and carved spoons.

The sale was moved to Cascade Hall to increase space for social distancing. "Covid protocols and sanitation will be in place, and shoppers should come prepared with masks," the news release said.

Since the sale started in 2007, it has raised around $20,000 to help feed the hungry in Marion and Polk counties, with every dollar providing three meals.

“This wonderful event provides thousands of meals every year for our neighbors in need, and exemplifies the Food Share’s mission of bringing people together to end hunger and its root causes," Rick Gaupo, president and CEO of Marion Polk Food Share, said in the news release.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

11 days ago

UPDATED: No gun or weapons found following report of armed person at McKay High School

This story was updated at 2 p.m. with additional information from Salem police.

Salem police responded to McKay High School after a report of a student with a gun on campus led the school to lockdown late Wednesday morning, but found no weapon and made no arrests.

The lockdown was lifted around 2 p.m.

Police were called to McKay around 11:30 a.m. according to a police department news release. The Salem-Keizer School District tweeted that the school was in a lockdown and all students and staff were safe at 12:22 p.m.

"This morning, some of our students reported seeing a student on campus with a firearm. Around 11:25 a.m., our school went into a lockdown out of an abundance of caution. We immediately engaged our district’s safety and security team and law enforcement, and they worked together to fully investigate this incident. Law enforcement identified and detained all individuals believed to be connected to this incident," McKay Principal Ranae Quiring said in an email to school families sent Wednesday afternoon.

"Officers determined no weapon was ever seen. They were, however, able to identify several students involved and interviewed them regarding the incident. No weapons were found. No arrests were made. The students were released to school administrators," the police department release said. "Contrary to postings on social media, no shots were fired on or near the campus."

Salem police spokesperson Lt. Treven Upkes said police interviewed students trying to learn why a weapon was reported. He said he did not have more information about the students interviewed and declined to provide further details.

“No gun was ever seen or found," he said. “It’s over and done with.”

The incident comes two days after a 13-year-old Stephens Middle School student was arrested after bringing a gun to school in his backpack.

-Rachel Alexander

11 days ago

Tell the Salem-Keizer School Board which election map you prefer

Current Salem-Keizer School Board zones, adopted in 2011.

The Salem-Keizer School Board wants to hear from the public about two plans to redraw board zone boundaries.

The board plans to adopt a new map in December, tweaking the boundaries of the seven zones used in school board elections. The redistricting is required to better balance the number of people living in each zone based on 2020 Census population figures.

The changes will have no affect on school attendance boundaries, which determine which schools students are assigned to based on where they live.

Currently, board members are elected at-large, meaning all voters in the school district vote for every seat. The board has also discussed changing elections to a by-zone system where voters elect only the representative for the zone they live in. The next board election is in May 2023.

At a Tuesday work session, board members agreed to bring forward two maps for the public to consider.

Previous coverage: School board weighs new zones to balance population

The first map is the most similar to current zone boundaries and leaves boundaries for Keizer (Zone 6), southeast Salem (Zone 5) and north Salem (Zone 7) untouched.

Zone 2, which includes McKay High School and portions of northeast Salem, would expand several blocks south to State Street along its southwestern edge.

Zone 4, the portion of south Salem including Sprague High School, would expand slightly, and the portion of south Salem included in Zone 1, would shrink, with Madrona Avenue South rather than Brown Avenue South as the dividing line.

The second map would remove all south Salem streets from Zone 1 and put the portion currently included there in Zone 4. To compensate, the west Salem zone would be extended to cover downtown Salem north to the Grant area. North Salem High School would remain in Zone 7, and Zone 5, southeast Salem, would extend west to 14th Street.

Alternative 1, one of two proposed Salem-Keizer School Board zone maps to adjust for 2020 Census population shifts.

Alternative 2, one of two proposed Salem-Keizer School Board zone maps to adjust for 2020 Census population shifts.

The board is seeking public input through a survey through Dec. 1 and plans to discuss feedback at a work session Dec. 7, then vote on a new map at a Dec. 14 meeting.

Members of the public can view the maps on the district website, and see physical copies at the locations listed below.

Peoples Church 

4500 Lancaster Dr N.E.

Peoples Church Casa de Adoración

4500 Lancaster Dr N.E.

To God Be the Glory

4445 Silverton Rd. N.E.

Salem Alliance Church 

555 Gaines St N.E.

Salem Public Library 

585 Liberty St S.E.

Salem Leadership Foundation 

Broadway Commons-1300 Broadway N.E. #409

Salem Islamic Center (Arabic)

3215 Fisher Rd. N.E.

Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality (Spanish)

3850 Portland Rd. N.E. Suite #100

Mano a Mano (Spanish)

3850 Portland Rd N.E. #130

2921 Saddle Club St. S.E. #1009

Salem for Refugees (Swahili)

1430 5th St N.E.

Iglesia Bautista Cristo Vive (Spanish)

4051 Market St. N.E.

-Rachel Alexander