Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Large employer vaccine mandate on pause in Oregon as federal lawsuits play out

December 1, 2021 at 5:42pm

Shangri-La Salem will get $15,000 donation from OnPoint Community Credit Union

Todd Helman gives a hug to Shangri-La employee Ruth Walton prior to playing a game during Shangri-La's accessible egg hunt drive-thru event on Saturday, April 3. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

OnPoint Community Credit Union announced Tuesday it will donate $15,000 to Shangri-La.

The Salem-based nonprofit supports people with disabilities and families with disadvantages, according to its website.

Ashley Erb, director of community engagement for Shangri-La Salem, said the organization will likely split the funds between two projects.

Some of the money will go to its Housing Assistance Program, which provides permanent, supportive housing assistance to Marion and Polk county residents experiencing chronic homelessness, Erb said. The program serves around 30 households on average.

She said Shangri-La staff will also use the money to help open a residential treatment home, which they have been working on for the past year, in early 2022. The home would provide a safe and stable environment for people with complex mental illness for long-term recovery, a Shangri-La information sheet said.

OnPoint has donated $2.2 million in 2021 to over 277 nonprofits in Oregon and Southwest Washington, according to a Tuesday news release.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

December 1, 2021 at 2:06pm

Salem man serving rape sentence arrested after accidental release from custody

Marion County Jail (courtesy of Marion County Sheriff's Office)

A Salem man serving a sentence for rape was arrested Wednesday after the Marion County Sheriff's Office mistakenly released him from jail on Nov. 22.

Salvador Guido Ledesma, 30, was in custody at the Marion County Jail while appealing his prior convictions of first-degree criminal mistreatment, second-degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree sex abuse and second-degree rape, according to a Wednesday news release.

He was resentenced on Nov. 22 and was expected to return to the Oregon Department of Corrections' custody to finish his sentence. The news release said he was released that day following an administrative error.

"We're still looking at that internally to determine exactly what happened," said Sgt. Jeremy Landers, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

Ledesma was back in custody shortly after the sheriff's office issued a news release at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday asking the public for tips to help find him. A community member notified law enforcement just before noon that they had seen Ledesma in the downtown Salem area, the news release said.

"The sheriff’s office recognizes an incident such as this is concerning to our community members," Sheriff Joe Kast said in the news release. "While we know Ledesma was released on November 22, we did not become aware of the administrative error until November 30. We will be conducting a review of the circumstances which led to Ledesma’s release to ensure we are able to address any policies, procedures or other factors which may have contributed to him being released from custody.”

Salem Police Department officers found Ledesma and stayed with him while waiting for sheriff's office deputies to arrive. He was taken back to the Marion County Jail pending transfer to the state corrections department. Ledesma is scheduled to be released from prison Aug. 5, 2034, the news release said.

Salvador Guido Ledesma (Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

December 1, 2021 at 12:46pm

Large employer vaccine mandate on pause in Oregon as federal lawsuits play out

Oregon's workplace safety agency won't issue a rule requiring Covid vaccination for large employers this week as planned because of lawsuits over the federal version of the rule.

The Biden administration on Nov. 4 set a Jan. 4 deadline for large private employers in the U.S. to require Covid vaccination or weekly tests for the virus for employees. That rule was to be enforced by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

But because Oregon is one of 22 states with its own workplace safety agency, Oregon OSHA, the state has to adopt its own version of the rule within 30 days. That gave the state a Dec. 4 deadline.

Oregon OSHA won't act yet, however, because of a November ruling in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals pausing the implementation of the federal rule.

That ruling ordered the federal agency to "take no steps to implement or enforce" the mandate "until further court order."

"Oregon OSHA is continuing discussions with stakeholders, and at this point, we do not anticipate adopting a rule by Dec. 4, 2021. If the stay remains in place, our timelines will be adjusted accordingly. We will continue to monitor the lawsuit and evaluate our options," the state agency said in a statement on its website.

-Rachel Alexander