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FreeVOTE 2020 October 20
VOTING VITALS: Ballot return data, voting information for Oct. 20
Here’s your quick look at how the 2020 general election is going, with daily updates on ballot return information, details on past voting and a collection of stories from the news team at Salem Reporter on this year’s election.
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SALEM ECONOMY October 20
Salem area adding back jobs at a slower pace
In September, most industries in the Salem area’s private sector shed jobs. But those losses were offset by a few sectors that added back jobs.
PUBLIC SAFETY October 20
Teenager seriously injured from gunshot in east Salem Monday night
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said it doesn’t believe it was a random act of violence. No arrests have been made or suspects identified.
SALEM NONPROFITS October 20
This week, your local beer or wine purchase can help Salem kids
A scaled-back online version of the Boys & Girls Club's Cinco de Micro fundraiser runs this week online. Proceeds for beer cases and wine bundles are shared between the club and the brewery or winery.
SALEM EVENTS October 20
Humane Society heads online with its annual Salem auction
The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Willamette Humane Society typically draws hundreds to bid and help. This year, with the pandemic, the auction will go on - but virtually.
PUBLIC SAFETY October 19
Community members “incredulous” at Proud Boys roaming Bush’s Pasture Park with weapons
Salem Police Department spokeswoman Debbie Aguilar said officers will intervene when laws have been violated but have to consider the need to act in cases such as drinking in public.
COVID IN OREGON October 19
Health officials tell Oregon office workers to mask up
New health guidelines Monday require everyone to wear a mask at indoor workplaces, even if they're more than six feet apart. The changes reflect a growing scientific consensus that the coronavirus travels via aerosol and can spread farther indoors.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK October 19
Pandemic orders usurp Legislature's authority, lawsuit alleges
A new legal challenge argues that Gov. Kate Brown's pandemic orders violate the state constitution's separation of powers provisions. A lawmaker from the Salem area has signed on to the lawsuit.
LOCAL SCHOOLS October 19
A month in, local schools report most kids are showing up for virtual classes
Asking a teacher one question by email counts as “attendance” in local schools, making it difficult to track how much time students actually are spending on classwork. Salem school officials say about 9 out of 10 students are recorded as being at school, but some groups of kids are struggling.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE October 19
Chemeketa loses contract for inmate GED classes as state moves teaching in-house
Oregon's Department of Corrections rejected a plan from six community colleges to reshape their basic education and GED programs, ending 20-year-old contracts.
COMMENTARY October 18
EDITOR'S NOTE: Whether angry or hopeful, your ballot speaks for you. We're here to help
EDITOR'S NOTE: Signs are that voter interest in the 2020 election is intense, judging by huge turnout in other states during early voting. Salem Reporter is doing what it can to help you understand how Oregon elections function and what's being done to guard against fraud.
PUBLIC SAFETY October 16
The list narrows to two candidates for Salem’s next police chief
Both candidates have decades of experience in law enforcement, one in California and the other in Texas.
COVID OUTBREAK October 16
Oregon Health Authority begs Oregonians to limit social gatherings as Covid cases, hospitalizations continue to rise
Health authorities fear the cold weather combination of flu season, increasing Covid cases and more people gathering indoors will tax Oregon’s hospital system.
BUSINESS October 16
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Unemployment rate drops, waste-reduction grants, restaurant closure, translation at Employment Department, tax surprise.
Numbers show Oregon is rebounding, but more slowly. Marion County offers grants to help businesses reduce food waste. A Salem bistro prepares for its last day. The Employment Department’s website is in 16 languages. State officials want you to avoid a surprise at tax time next year.
VOTE 2020 October 16
VOTE 2020: Danielle Bethell seeks restraint in county spending in bid for Marion County commission
Bethell, a Republican, is running against Democrat Ashley Carson Cottingham for Marion County commissioner in the upcoming election. The pair are approaching the role from two different backgrounds, one in the private sector and the other from her role in government.
VOTE 2020 October 16
VOTE 2020: With a public sector background, Ashley Carson Cottingham wants to shift the county's focus to the most vulnerable
The Democrat is making a bid for a seat on the Marion County commission that has been a Republican stronghold for decades.
STATE GOVERNMENT October 15
Investigations into workplace harassment at state agencies lack oversight, audit concludes
State auditors found that the Department of Administrative Services doesn’t do enough to track or oversee workplace discrimination and harassment investigations, leaving taxpayers on the hook for potentially hefty legal fees.
LOCAL SCHOOLS October 15
School board signs off on $11 million plan to hire more reading teachers, community outreach and social workers
Salem-Keizer administrators had to scale back an ambitious $35 million plan to narrow student achievement gaps after expected state money from a new business tax dried up.
VOTE 2020 October 15
VOTE 2020: As Denyc Boles runs to keep her Senate seat, Republicans hope for a political counterweight
Democrats have gained a small advantage in voter registration in the crescent-shaped district that includes south Salem and surrounding areas. But Republicans are hoping that there's enough discontent with Democratic rule to help Boles keep the seat.
VOTE 2020 October 15
VOTE 2020: With a focus on health care, Deb Patterson makes another attempt to flip a Senate seat
Senate District 10, which includes south Salem and other areas, has long been held by Republicans. But with the longtime incumbent not on the ballot this year, Democrat Deb Patterson sees a chance. The race's outcome could tilt the state's political balance.
WILDFIRES October 15
PHOTOS: Drone images capture fire destruction in Santiam Canyon
Highway 22 reopened to through traffic Tuesday night, allowing for a more complete picture of the damage caused by the Beachie Creek Fire. The county has said it will waive permitting fees for people rebuilding.
WILDFIRES October 14
After clearing 30,000 trees, crews reopen Highway 22 following wildfires
The highway has been partially closed since the Sept. 7 wildfire. Volunteers are now operating hubs for people displaced by the fires in Gates and Sublimity.
OREGON BUSINESS October 14
AROUND OREGON: Oregon’s business taxes, long among the nation’s lowest, are set to jump
Businesses in the Portland area will be paying an additional $177 million in new taxes annually once a new income tax for housing and homeless services kicks in next year, Ernst & Young estimates.
LOCAL SCHOOLS October 14
EDUCATION ROUNDUP: More money for Salem-Keizer construction, WOU president to retire, pumpkin patch fundraiser
This Friday, you can pick up a decorated pumpkin at Sprague High School for a contribution to the Choose to Stay Aaron Brown memorial scholarship fund. Plus, get $20 for taking a brief state survey about child care.
LOCAL SCHOOLS October 13
Salem-Keizer schools will remain all-online for most students through at least Feb. 1
Citing a lack of improvement in Salem-area measures of Covid spread, district leaders said students in fourth grade and up would stay online through the end of the first semester of the school year. They're still hopeful younger students might be able to return in-person.
SALEM NEWS October 13
Willamette sophomore's death ruled a suicide, police say
Abigail Agustin-Paz, 19, was found dead in Minto Brown Park on Oct. 2. Salem police today said she died by suicide.
FreeVOTE 2020 October 13
VOTE 2020: Ballots go out this week for Oregon voters. Here's how to make sure yours gets counted.
Signature mismatches and late ballot returns cost about 2,500 Marion and Polk county voters a say in Oregon's 2018 election for governor. We asked elections clerks what you need to know for 2020.
VOTE 2020 October 13
New videos from the League of Women voters highlights local and statewide races
“Your Vote Counts” features interviews with candidates for secretary of state, Legislature, as well as a guide to statewide ballot measures. They'll also air on local television and radio.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT October 13
Concern about homelessness grows and many think Salem is headed in the wrong direction, survey shows
An annual city survey also found that homelessness continues to be the top concern for residents. The survey also contained some bright spots about how people feel about city services.
BUSINESS October 13
COLUMN: Recession brings minimum wage into focus
The Salem economy is improving. However, most of those who remain unemployed are in the lowest-paying industries, a unique aspect of this economic downturn.
COVID IN MARION COUNTY October 12
As Marion County passes 100 Covid deaths, a Salem doctor reflects on what he's seen caring for patients
Half of those who died from Covid in Marion County are 80 or older, and more than 60% got the virus in a nursing home outbreak. But Salem Hospital doctors are still regularly seeing younger people get seriously ill, sometimes requiring weeks of care.
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