Local News That Matters

UPDATES: City wants your photos of Civic Center

June 22, 2022 at 2:47pm

Driver's ed instructors needed as Chemeketa faces long waitlist for courses

A car parked in the Chemeketa Community College lot in Salem (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Hundreds of local teens are on a waitlist for driver's education classes at Chemeketa Community College because of an instructor shortage.

The college is hoping to hire five to seven more instructors to resume offering driver's ed courses more regularly, said Sara Hastings, the college's dean of high school partnerships.

Chemeketa stopped offering driver's ed during the pandemic and resumed courses during its summer 2021 quarter, Hastings said. Pre-pandemic, the college had 10 driving instructors, but many left over the past two years.

"We have been slowly adding courses each term but with our instructor shortage, we've been considerably limited in what we can offer to our community," Hastings said in an email.

About 200 students are currently on the waitlist for a course, she said.

Driver's education training classes are offered through Western Oregon University, with the next Salem course starting June 25. The course costs $99. Registration and more information is available online.

Once hired by Chemeketa, driving time is scheduled by the instructor, and Chemeketa provides the instruction vehicle, according to a college news release. Anyone interested in becoming an instructor can email [email protected] or call 503-584-7541. 

-Rachel Alexander

June 22, 2022 at 11:54am

Salem woman is second indicted in May 18 shooting

(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

A Marion County grand jury indicted a Salem woman on charges including attempted murder stemming from a shooting May 18 in south Salem.

Jody D. Cunnington, 36 of Salem, was indicted June 10 on charges of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and hindering prosecution, according to a secret indictment, unsealed Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

The charges allege Cunnington tried to kill and seriously injured 54-year-old Kerry L. Johnson, who did not provoke the attack, "by means of a firearm."

Salem police arrested Cunnington Tuesday, and she remained in the Marion County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

She is one of two people charged in the shooting in addition to 25-year-old Kenneth Wayne Felton, who police say also been indicted on charges for several unrelated shootings that occurred in Salem between December 2021 and January 2022.

Cunnington's charges also allege she provided Felton transportation and "means of avoiding discovery and apprehension," the indictment said.

On May 18, officers responded to reports of gunfire in the 5700 block of Southeast Woodside Drive, where they found a man in a vehicle with a life-threatening gunshot wound, the Salem Police Department said in a June 14 news release. Johnson was transported to Salem Hospital.

Salem police spokeswoman Angela Hedrick said Wednesday the department did not have an update on Johnson's health.

Records showed Felton has been in jail since his arrest on May 21. Both he and Cunnington are being held without bail.

Felton was indicted June 10 on two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and five counts of possessing a firearm as a felon, court records showed.

He is charged with attempting to kill Dustin Flaten on Dec. 27, 2021, Yaroslav Drofyak on Dec. 30 and Johnson on May 18.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

June 22, 2022 at 10:35am

City wants your best photos of Civic Center for 50th anniversary party

The interior of Salem's Civic Center (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The city of Salem wants your best photos of the Civic Center as the building's 50th anniversary approaches this year.

The building at 555 Liberty St. S.E., which houses City Hall, opened Aug. 18, 1972. It was designed in the New Brutalist architectural style, a bare concrete aesthetic that required 24,000 cubic yards of the material to construct.

The city's Historic Landmarks Commission nominated the building for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places earlier this year.

Now, the city is seeking modern-day and historic photos ahead of its planned celebration Aug. 18, according to a Wednesday news release.

Photographers can submit entries in five categories: Civic Center building exterior, building interior, animals/wildlife at Civic Center, Salem in the 70s, and Civic Center photos by staff.

Entries can be submitted online through July 31, and photographers may submit one entry in each category. The contest will be judged by the Historic Landmarks Commission, with prizes for top entries in each category. The prizes have not yet been determined, city spokeswoman Kathy Ursprung said.

Entries may be used during the August celebration, which will include live entertainment, games, tours, a scavenger hunt and a 70s costume party, the release said.

-Rachel Alexander