Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Forest Service seeks input on fire cleanup plans

March 23, 2022 at 4:19pm

Ontario man charged in three northeast Salem robberies, police say

(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

An Ontario man faces charges alleging he robbed three people over the past four months in northeast Salem.

Dustan Allen Burris, 33, was charged Wednesday with three counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon in Marion County Circuit Court, according to court documents.

The charges accuse Burris of robberies on Nov. 20, Dec. 21 and March 8. They allege he carried a sawed off shotgun with intent to use it during the first robbery, attempted to use it during the second, and attempted to use a bb-gun during the third, court records showed.

Detectives with the Salem Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit arrested Burris Tuesday, according to a news release.

“Our detectives did a tremendous job in following up on all the investigative leads that led to the arrest of the suspect,” said Lt. Jake Burke in the news release. “The safety of our community is our priority, and our detectives are working tirelessly to address these incidents of violent crime.”

Burris is scheduled to be arraigned April 1, court records showed.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

March 23, 2022 at 4:18pm

View the cherry blossoms illuminated by lanterns Saturday night

Cherry trees bloom near the Oregon State Capitol on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The cherry blossoms are in bloom.  

On Saturday night, state parks staff will illuminate the trees at the Oregon State Capitol State Park with Japanese lanterns.  

The public is invited to pack a picnic, grab a blanket or bring chairs.  

The nighttime cherry blossom viewing, called Yozakura, is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

-Saphara Harrell

March 23, 2022 at 2:22pm

Salem area's January unemployment rate stayed flat, state data shows

(Oregon Employment Department)

The Salem area's unemployment rate in January remained at 4% for the second month in a row, according to recent state data.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which doesn't include impacts from seasonal patterns, steadily declined from 5.8% in May 2021 to 4% in December and January. The rate was 4.2% in November, according to Oregon Employment Department data, which includes all of Marion and Polk counties.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people in the Salem area was around 8,400 in January, 36 fewer than in December, and has steadily fallen from around 12,250 in April, state data showed.

In January 2021, around 11,560 Salem area residents were unemployed.

Without seasonal adjustment, the unemployment rate grew from 3.5% in November and December to 4.6% in January.

The number of unemployed people - not seasonally adjusted - grew from 7,310 in December to 9,640 in January, according to state data.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

March 23, 2022 at 1:22pm

Weigh in on Willamette National Forest fire plans

Fire continues to smolder in the Santiam Canyon on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The U.S. Forest Service wants to hear from the public as the agency retools plans to reopen portions of Willamette National Forest damaged in the 2020 Labor Day wildfires.

The agency in January withdrew a plan for logging fire-damaged trees along 400 miles of road affected by the Beachie Creek, Lionshead and Holiday Farm fires. That came after a federal judge ordered a halt to logging last November following a lawsuit brought by several environmental groups.

At a Wednesday, April 6 meeting, Forest Service officials will discuss their risk reduction project proposal. A new plan and environmental assessment are being prepared, the agency said in a news release.

The meeting will be held virtually from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Advance registration is encouraged but not required to attend. For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite page.

-Rachel Alexander