Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem police toy drive wrapping up Dec. 13

December 9, 2021 at 3:33pm

Salem hosts statewide virtual teen leadership summit Saturday

McKay High School Senior Adriana Cavazos is among the local students who helped planned the 2021 ILEAD summit on Dec. 11. (Courtesy/City of Salem)

Teens from Salem and beyond with gather virtually Saturday for the city's annual ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit, featuring workshops on burnout, leadership skills, yoga and more.

The free event is organized annually by the city of Salem's youth development and outreach coordinator, Laurie Shaw Casarez, with a seven-member committee of high school students who selected workshop topics and the keynote speaker.

Dr. John Gains, a motivational speaker, will address the group about his childhood and overcoming adversity.

Because the summit is being held virtually this year, it's open to any high school student in Oregon. Registration online remains open through Friday.

The summit runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 11, and students can come and go as they choose during the day. The event also includes raffle prizes, a live DJ, lunchtime yoga and an event t-shirt to be mailed to participants.

"The fact that ILEAD is going statewide this year opens up so many doors,” said McKay High School senior and youth committee member Adriana Cavazos in a statement. “All students can interact with one another and gain new perspectives. What gets me excited is thinking about how we get to meet people our age who we probably would not get the chance to meet in this lifetime, ILEAD is bringing us all together.”

-Rachel Alexander

December 9, 2021 at 12:21pm

UPDATED: Salem bomb squad determines suspicious bag contained sleeping bag

This story was updated at 3:40 p.m.

Salem police said a suspicious bag reported late Thursday morning in downtown Salem posed no danger and contained personal belongings, including a sleeping bag.

Around 11:15 a.m., police received a report of a suspicious bag outside a vacant retail building in the 300 block of High Street Northeast, according to a police department news release.

"Officers watched a security video showing a man in tan clothing walk by the suite and drop the bag against the building and walk away hurriedly," the release said.

Bomb squad members determined the bag contained no explosives, and had a sleeping bag, flashlight and "other miscellaneous belongings," the release said.

Nearby offices were evacuated during the investigation, the release said.

Police shut down High Street Northeast between Center Street Northeast and Chemeketa Street Northeast, and Chemeketa Street Northeast between High Street Northeast and Church Street Northeast during the investigation, according to tweets posted by the department shortly after noon.

Roads were reopened around 1:30 p.m.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

December 9, 2021 at 10:39am

Police toy drive needs donations for kids up to 14, wrapping supplies

A room filled with toys at the Salem police station from a previous annual toy drive. (Courtesy/ Salem Police Department)

Salem residents have until Dec. 13 to donate toys to children in need through a Salem police program.

The most needed donations are new and unwrapped toys for children up to 14 years old, as well as wrapping paper and tape, a Wednesday news release said.

“Presents have been steadily coming in, but we can always use more help,” Jennifer Hingston, volunteer coordinator for the department, said in the news release.

The Salem Police Department’s 35th annual toy drive has several collection sites where people can drop off toys:

-Caffé Capri at 189 Liberty St N.E. in the Reed Opera House

-Cycle Country at 4764 Portland Rd. N.E.

-Green Acres Landscape at 5711 Gaffin Rd. N.E.

-Power Kia Dealership at 3705 Market St. N.E.

-Salem Electric at 633 7th St. N.W.

-White Oak Construction at 2455 River Rd. S.

People can also drop them off at the Salem Police Department at 333 Division St. N.E.

The department’s Volunteer Services Section is leading the program and started taking donations in November. They will accept toys through Dec. 13.

A toy wish list for the drive is also on Amazon, and people can find more information about the toy drive online.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian