Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Cherriots announces route changes

May 3, 2022 at 2:00pm

Pendleton Woolen Mills to open new Salem store Wednesday

The new Pendleton Woolen Mills store opens Wednesday at the Willamette Heritage Center in southeast Salem. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Visitors to the Willamette Heritage Center starting Wednesday can buy woolen blankets, fabric cuts and mill materials for crafting with wool when a store with historic ties to the state comes to Salem.

Pendleton Woolen Mills, described as a "global lifestyle brand with Pacific Northwest roots," is opening a new store at 1313 Mill Street S.E., Suite 110, inside the heritage center, according to a press release. The new store will also include wool apparel, accessories and gifts.

Grand opening celebrations are scheduled for four days, starting with ribbon cutting Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., led by the Salem Chamber of Commerce. They will end Saturday with the Heritage Center's Sheep to Shawl Festival, featuring lawn games, live entertainment and activities for children. There will be free gifts and chances to win prizes at the store throughout the four days.

“We are thrilled for this unique opportunity to join the Willamette Heritage Center and open the Pendleton Store,” said Pendleton CEO John Bishop in the press release. “This new store marks the return of descendants of Thomas Kay to the site where his namesake mill was founded one hundred and thirty-three years earlier."

Bishop's great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Lister Kay, arrived in Oregon from England in 1863 and went on to quickly help establish the state's woolen industry, according to the release. He founded the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem in 1890, which operated for 70 years before closing in 1962.

His three grandchildren in 1909 opened an idle mill in Pendleton that eventually became Pendleton Wooden Mills. The company is now based in Portland.

In 1964, the Mission Mill Museum Association formed and bought the old Thomas Kay Woolen Mill. The association in 2010 merged with the Marion County Historical Association to become the Willamette Heritage Center.

“We are excited to have Pendleton Woolen Mills join us as our newest retail partner and are eager to 'welcome them home' to Salem,” said Michelle Cordova, executive director of the Heritage Center, in the release. “With the overlapping history of our stories, it is a natural fit for them to join our restaurant partner and other retailers on our site."

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

May 3, 2022 at 1:12pm

Abortion rights rally planned for Riverfront Park Tuesday evening

A flyer circulating on social media Tuesday, May 3 calls for an abortion rights march and meeting in Salem following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion which would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Abortion rights supporters will gather in Salem Tuesday evening for a march and meeting.

The event comes the day after the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting a majority of the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade in a ruling on a Mississippi law banning nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

A flyer circulating on social media calls for a 6 p.m. march starting at Riverfront Park. No organizer or contact information for the event is listed.

The flyer calls for "action from local and national leaders to protect abortion laws." Abortion is legal in Oregon under state laws, which would not change if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case which legalized abortion across the U.S.

-Rachel Alexander

May 3, 2022 at 12:07pm

AGENDA: Marion County commissioners consider hiring temporary health department staff, resurfacing two roads

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider hiring temporary staffing for the county's health department, setting camping fees at North Santiam Park in Lyons and a $4.6 million contract for resurfacing asphalt on two roads in southeast Marion County.


Commissioners will consider proclamations designating May as Older Americans Month, Foster Parent Appreciation Month and Mental Health Awareness Month in Marion County. The board will also consider a proclamation declaring the week of May 6-12 as National Nurses Week in Marion County.

Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess will give a presentation about the election process and what happens after his office receives ballots.

Commissioners will approve a one-time payment of $1,500 to county employees not represented by a union to recognize their work during the pandemic. The payment will be included in each employee's regular paycheck on May 10. The total cost is $544,975, paid for by federal Covid relief funding.

They will consider a $540,000 contract with recruiting and employment agency Robert-Half International, Inc. to hire temporary staff for the county's Health and Human Services Department. The county would hire a senior accountant who would oversee all Covid revenue and expenses for the department, as well as a receptionist who would assist with Covid-related procedures.

The board will also consider establishing a camping fee and extra vehicle fee at North Santiam State Recreation Area. County Parks Department staff are proposing adopting camping fees of $20 per night, $5 for a second vehicle and a 14-day limit on staying at the site, to become effective May 15. The campground has 14 campsites, which accommodate up to eight people and two cars.

Commissioners will consider selling timber recovered from trees damaged by wildfire at Salmon Falls Park to Pleasant Hill-based Morrell Logging for around $176,000. The funds would go to the Environmental Services Department.

They will also consider a $4.6 million contract with Salem-based Roy Houck Construction to replace the top layer of asphalt on Triumph Road Southeast and Fern Ridge Road Southeast. The county each year solicits at least one bid to resurface various county roads.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

May 3, 2022 at 10:45am

Cherriots adds local holiday service, more trips on Polk County express line

Riders board through the rear of Cherriots bus at the downtown Salem transit center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Cherriots is adding two daily trips on its express line to Polk County and beginning holiday service for local buses.

The mass transit agency announced the schedule changes Monday on its website. Cherriots reviews customer and employee feedback and performance data to make schedule adjustments every four months in January, May and September.

The changes mean local buses will run on Memorial Day, May 30 and July 4. Holiday buses will run on the Sunday service schedule.

The new trips are on Route 40X, which runs from the downtown transit center, 555 Court St. N.E., to Independence, Monmouth and Dallas.

On weekdays, that route will now have trips departing downtown Salem at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Weekend service is unchanged. The revised route schedule is in effect as of Monday.

-Rachel Alexander