COVID IN OREGON December 4
Polk County businesses can now apply for pandemic assistance funding
Working with the area's workforce development agency, Polk County opened up applications for its $1.25 million share of money made available to prop up businesses affected by the pandemic. County Commissioner Craig Pope said while county leaders hope the money will bridge short-term gaps, they realize it "will not heal the wounds that are widespread in our county."
FreeCOVID IN OREGON December 4
Vaccine likely to hit Oregon this month, but worsening Covid spread is still expected
Oregon now expects to receive 147,000 doses of two Covid vaccines in December, which will go first to health care workers treating Covid patients.
BUSINESS December 4
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Good news and bad at Employment Department, farmworkers union reaches out, alcohol tax
The Oregon Employment Department reports a Covid outbreak and progress on extra payments. PCUN seeks to help businesses in marginalized communities. The lines are drawn in an upcoming battle over alcohol taxes.
OREGON COMMUNITY December 3
AROUND OREGON: Bend woman returns from 6-year journey walking the planet
Angela Maxwell will return to Bend after walking more than 20,000 miles across four continents, raising money for an organization that supports sex trafficking victims.
FreeCOVID IN OREGON December 3
Rising Covid cases, tests leave Oregon’s public health database struggling to keep up
Lags in the Oregon Health Authority’s database for tracking Covid infections have slowed investigations into new Covid cases in Marion and Polk counties, meaning people exposed to Covid may not find out as quickly. State officials said a recent fix should help.
SALEM BUSINESS December 3
With online auctions and an outpouring of support, Enchanted Forest will open for another season
After seeing visitors decline because of the pandemic, the storied theme park south of Salem warned it wouldn't open again without help. Fans of the park stepped up and its grateful owners say they'll be back next spring.
COVID IN OREGON December 3
Governor's two-week freeze is over, but daily life won't change much
Marion and Polk counties, along with much of the state, have been placed in the "extreme" risk category for Covid transmissions. Residents can eat outdoors at a restaurant, but many restrictions remain in place while Covid is widespread.
STATE PARKS December 3
AROUND OREGON: State parks looking for flexibility in campground reservations, fees
A proposal from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department would allow state parks to charge between $0 and $15 for a reservation, instead of the standard $8, and set their own windows for reservations.
SALEM COMMUNITY December 2
Community shocked and saddened by sudden death of Selma Pierce
Selma Pierce was walking with a family member when she stepped into the road Tuesday evening and was hit and killed by an SUV in west Salem. There has been an outpouring of support for her family from across Oregon.
COVID IN OREGON December 2
UPDATE: Pressed for time, Marion County opens the floodgates on cash to help businesses
The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday created a new grant program to help prop up leisure and hospitality businesses affected by the most recent shutdown order. Applications are expected to go up Thursday and checks need to go out by the year's end.
SALEM COMMUNITY December 2
Salem food bank usage is up 30% over last year. Here's how Marion Polk Food Share is keeping up.
About 13,000 local families are seeking help at food pantries each month, prompting the food share to buy more refrigerated storage space and vehicles for distribution.
MENTAL HEALTH December 2
AROUND OREGON: Firearms advocates increasingly embrace suicide prevention
Efforts to reduce U.S. gun violence are largely framed around homicides and mass shootings, so gun owners and non-gun owners alike often are surprised to learn that most U.S. gun deaths are suicides. In Oregon, a new effort is underway to bring gun rights groups, veterans and health workers together to reduce suicides by firearm.
BREAKING NEWS December 1
Selma Pierce dead after being struck by car in west Salem
Pierce, 66, a retired dentist, had twice run for the Oregon House District 20 seat and worked with Oregon Mission of Mercy, a free dental clinic for underserved populations.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT December 1
Where do you see Salem in 30 years? Salem’s climate task force wants to know
The city is collecting responses from the community on how Salem can become more resilient to climate change through Dec. 11.
SALEM BUSINESS December 1
With lights and some paints, downtown association seeks to bring cheer to city center
In addition to decking downtown with LED lights, the Salem Main Street Association hired a group of high school students to paint images and scenes of holiday celebrations from different cultures and parts of the world.
SALEM BUSINESS December 1
Shutdowns haven't stopped Noble Wave from bringing Louisiana cuisine to Salem
Government shutdowns, fires, and Covd-19 have all impacted this downtown Salem business. But the three owners plan to continue making lemonade out of lemons, while serving authentic food and beer at the same time.
SALEM SCENE December 1
Salem folk band singer finishes strong in national songwriting competition
Kristen Grainger and the band True North came out with a new album in June. The title track garnered the singer a second-place win at the USA Songwriting Competition.
SALEM RECYCLING November 30
A $30,000 fire at Garten plant shows danger of “wishful recycling”
Garten Services’ household recycling operations remain closed after a Nov. 10 fire seriously damaged the equipment used to sort items. Plant workers suspect a stray battery or propane tank sparked the blaze.
LOCAL SCHOOLS November 30
With schools closed, bus drivers assemble and deliver meals to kids across Salem
In addition to giving out breakfasts and lunches at schools, the Salem-Keizer School District has local bus drivers taking about 5,000 meals daily to apartment complexes, grocery store parking lots and other spots for kids who live too far away from a school to walk.
SALEM ECONOMY November 30
Oregon's economy can recover from pandemic, but low-wage earners falling behind
State economists say the coronavirus is leaving an uneven impact on employers and jobs across Oregon. Some sectors such as homebuilding are strong but consumer businesses such as restaurants need public confidence before they can return to full strength, a recent state report says.
SALEM BUSINESS November 30
The JCPenney building is empty. How it's developed could change downtown
A big retailer isn't expected to occupy the property. With incentives from the city, it's instead likely to be redeveloped with a mix of housing and retail. Unlike other large properties, it's expected to sell relatively quickly.
GUEST COLUMN November 30
COLUMN: Enrollment deadline for insurance plans is Dec. 7
Jim Sellers, former Oregon journalist and state agency employee, writes a regular column to help thousands in Salem deal with the confusing world of Medicare and federal benefits. He's available to answer your questions.
PUBLIC SAFETY November 29
Local prosecutors and treatment providers aren’t sure how Oregon’s new approach to minor drug cases will play out
Hundreds of local people dealing with drug addiction are likely to have a fresh approach to getting care through treatment centers rather than the courtroom, avoiding the stigma that comes with a criminal conviction. Police and some treatment providers are skeptical it will work as intended.
FreeHOLIDAY SPECIAL November 29
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PHOTO GALLERY November 27
PHOTOS: Salem's JCPenney store hauntingly empty, awaits a new life
PHOTOS: The store that sold generations of school clothes, shoes and housewares in downtown Salem is largely empty. Take a photo tour of what was once one of Salem's anchors.
COVID IN OREGON November 27
Oregon hopes to vaccinate 30,000 health care workers against Covid by end of 2020
Leading Covid vaccines still need to earn federal regulatory approval, but Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said once that hurdle is cleared, Oregon expects to receive limited shipments.
SALEM COMMUNITY November 27
Readers share gratitude, bright spots from 2020
Despite a difficult year, Salem found solace in gardening, outdoor excursions, pets, family, art and seeing the community come together to support one another.
SALEM COMMUNITY November 26
To alleviate loneliness, Salem's senior center offers monthly activity boxes with a little whimsy
Center 50+ started a new project that sends activity boxes to seniors each month as they face isolation brought on by Covid restrictions. In December, there’s a special box for the holidays with seasonal items like handcrafted ornaments and chocolate.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
FOR THE RECORD: Full text of Gov. Kate Brown's remarks
TEXT: This is the text of Gov. Kate Brown's statement on Wednesday, Nov. 25, explaining why she is imposing new restrictions for Oregonians to control the coronavirus
FreeCOVID IN SALEM November 25
FOR THE RECORD: Full text of pandemic remarks by Oregon Health Authority director
TEXT: This is the prepared text of remarks by Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, who spoke of the impacts of the pandemic on Oregonians beyond medical care.