Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Speed limits slow on sections of 17th Street, 45th Avenue

December 22, 2021 at 4:38pm

Sprague team wins county contest for video spotlighting problem gambling

A screenshot from the 2021 winning problem gambling video, "Reach Out," by a pair of Sprague High School students.

Two Sprague High School students took home a $500 award from the Marion County Health and Human Services Department for a video spotlighting problem gambling.

Students Hayden Grow and Nate Harmon placed first in a county contest intended to spotlight the links between problem gambling and substance abuse in teens, according to a news release. Their video "Reach Out" showed how connections with friends can help people get past mistakes like losing money through gambling.

A second place team of Isaac Ramirez and Elizabeth Guzman Martinez from Early College High School in Salem won $250 for their video “The Gamblers Redemption.”

Third place went to a McNary High School team of Dakota Dunagan, Leonardo Zavala, Isaia Galindo Lopez and Angel Prado, who will also win $250.

Each winner's sponsoring video production class also receives a cash award. The county funded the program through a grant.

“The three winners in our video contest exemplify positive messaging, creativity, and video production,” said Michael Keuler, Marion County problem gambling prevention coordinator, in a statement. “We are so impressed with all the finalists in the contest. Their video’s will help our community and local youth understand the effects of problem gambling and the connection it has with substance abuse.”

All videos are posted on the county health department's Facebook page for viewing.

-Rachel Alexander

December 22, 2021 at 10:02am

Red Cross reports two catalytic converters stolen from response trucks, police say

(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem’s Red Cross on Monday reported two catalytic converters were stolen from their response vehicles over the weekend.

Lt. Treven Upkes, Salem police spokesman, said around 2:30 p.m. Monday, they reported someone had cut the chain-link fence around the parking lot and cut the catalytic converters off of two American Red Cross trucks between Friday and Monday.

Upkes said the department isn’t investigating the report and it is closed until somebody identifies a suspect. “We don’t have any leads at this time,” he said.

Salem police said in a Facebook post Monday morning that its Criminal Investigations Division’s Property Crime Unit reports they are seeing a high number of catalytic converter thefts. 

“There is no specific pattern to time of day or part of the city,” the post said, but trucks and SUVs are often targeted because they are easier to get under to remove the exhaust emission control device.

In addition to its response vehicles, the building on Northeast Hawthorne Avenue where the trucks were reported stolen houses the Red Cross’s Blood Donation Center in Salem, disaster relief operations and support for armed forces.

Salem’s Red Cross holds blood drives at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Jean Severson, office manager at the church, said their blood drive Monday wasn’t impacted. “(There) didn’t seem to be any delays. They did a really good job.”

Chad Carter, spokesman for the American Red Cross's Cascades Region, declined to comment on the reported theft.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

December 22, 2021 at 9:29am

Speed limits slow on sections of 17th Street, 45th Avenue

17th Street Northeast (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Drivers will have to slow down when driving on two Salem streets.

The speed limit on 17th Street, between Southeast Mission Street and Northeast Silverton Road, has been reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.

The speed limit on 45th Avenue, from Northeast Center Street to Sunnyview Road Northeast, has been reduced from 35 to 30 mph.

After receiving feedback from the community, Salem City Council recommended reducing the speed on those two streets to make them safe for walkers and bicyclists. 

The changes are permanent.

-Saphara Harrell