Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem man dies after crashing into pond

December 21, 2021 at 4:14pm

Detectives looking for 17-year-old boy missing since Oct. 15

(Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

Detectives are asking for tips to help find Ezra Mayhugh, a missing 17-year-old boy from the Salem area.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office learned Mayhugh may be the victim of an online catfishing scheme, according to a Tuesday news release.

Mayhugh was last seen Oct. 15 after a friend dropped him off in downtown Salem. After he didn't return home the next day, he was reported as a runaway to the sheriff's office.

He is about 5'11", weighs 130 pounds and has blonde hair with brown eyes.

"Investigative leads suggest it is possible he may have traveled to either Washington or California. The focus of our investigation is to help safely reunite Mayhugh with his family," the news release said.

Investigators asked anyone who may have had contact with Mayhugh since Oct. 15 to contact detective M.J. Sphoon at 503-588-6808 or submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and your tip to 847411.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

December 21, 2021 at 1:47pm

Salem unemployment falls slightly in November with gains in transportation, hospitality

Oregon Employment Department. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem's unemployment rate fell again in November after the city added jobs in trade and transportation, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.

The Salem metro area had a 4.1% seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November, down from 4.4% in October, according to data released Tuesday from the Oregon Employment Department.

That puts the city's unemployment rate slightly below the state November rate of 4.2%.

The city overall gained 100 jobs from October to November. In a typical year, the employment department would expect losses of around 600 jobs in November.

Private sector job losses were largest in manufacturing, construction, and healthcare and social assistance.

Salem is now about 3,300 jobs, or 1.9%, below pre-pandemic employment levels in February 2020.

-Rachel Alexander

December 21, 2021 at 10:30am

Cherriots asks for community's help developing 20-year plan through survey, open house

An out of service bus at the Downtown Transit Center. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem Area Mass Transit District, known as Cherriots, wants the community’s help developing a 20-year plan for transit in the city.

People can fill out a survey or view an online open house until Jan. 27, 2022 at Cherriots.org/LRTP

It will ask questions about how Salemites travel today and other transportation options that could be improved.

Ted Stonecliffe, the plan’s deputy project manager, said the goal is to create a plan by the end of next year.

“A comprehensive long-range planning document will provide a road map for transit and other mobility options in the district’s local and regional service areas. This will be the first, clear guidebook for planning Cherriots services for the next two decades,” Stonecliffe said in a statement.

-Saphara Harrell  

December 21, 2021 at 9:12am

Sheriff’s office investigating crash that left one dead, another hospitalized

(Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal Monday night crash east of Salem.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, a 911 caller reported a vehicle had crashed into a pond near the intersection of Southeast Joseph Street and Southeast 71st Avenue, according to a Tuesday news release.

Bystanders helped get the passenger, 45-year-old Peter Kurbat, of Aumsville, out of the car.

When deputies arrived, the car was submerged. The driver — 81-year-old Frank Kurbat, of Salem — died, the news release said.

A bystander and deputies gave CPR to Peter Kurbat until medics arrived and transported him to a local hospital. He remains hospitalized in critical condition, the news release said.

Deputies determined the car, a 1999 Buick, was headed east on Joseph Street in heavy fog and continued through the T-intersection with Southeast 71st Avenue. The car then went through a fence and into the pond. 

“Investigators believe speed and foggy conditions were contributing factors to the crash,” the news release said. 

-Ardeshir Tabrizian