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UPDATES: Salem teachers file labor grievance over work hours
SALEM ECONOMY February 24
Salem restaurants prepare to welcome customers back in from the cold
Indoor dining has been banned in Marion and Polk counties since November as a precaution against the spread of Covid. The area’s beleaguered restaurants are eager to welcome customers back beginning Friday. But not all are ready.
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AROUND OREGON February 24
AROUND OREGON: Salem man sues Mormon church, alleging it allowed youth group leader with child sex conviction to abuse him
The suit accuses the church of negligence in failing to warn members of the youth group leader's 1983 sex abuse conviction and in allowing him to have continued contact with the plaintiff and other children in church groups until the late 1980s.
SALEM TREES February 24
Getting rid of a white oak that fell during the ice storm? Be sure to save a slice for science.
Two scientists at Willamette University say the downed trees represent a unique opportunity to study one of Salem’s most iconic native species, the Oregon white oak.
SALEM ECONOMY February 24
Grocery store workers demand their turn for Covid vaccinations
In Salem, a video of maskless shoppers confronting grocery store workers has gone viral, and workers report they’re exposed to hundreds of people daily. As the state rolls out vaccines, grocery workers are still waiting to find out when they’ll be eligible.
POWER OUTAGES February 23
As more of Salem returns to normal, these families are still in the dark.
Thousands of Salem-area homes are approaching nearly two weeks without power. While Portland General Electric says nearly everyone within the city limits will be back on by Wednesday, outages in more rural areas and one south Salem neighborhood could last into the weekend.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT February 23
Library patrons rejoice. Salem City Council approves free parking for the library.
After hearing complaints about library parking for years, the Salem City Council on Monday unanimously voted to allow three hours of free parking at the library parkade on Liberty Street which has been closed while the library undergoes seismic upgrades. Two councilors called it an equity issue.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS February 23
Private music lessons are expensive. This Salem nonprofit is making them easier for teens to access.
Junior Kevin Flores gets weekly violin lessons through Salem’s Music Lessons Project, helping him hone his skills for orchestra competitions as he works on a difficult Mozart concerto. The project helps hundreds of students afford music lessons each year.
SALEM ECONOMY February 22
With small businesses in mind, federal dollars again flow to Salem businesses
Late last year, Congress renewed the Paycheck Protection Program. This time, the popular program has safeguards directing money to smaller companies. While Salem companies say they are benefitting, the program hasn’t solved all their problems.
SALEM COMMUNITY February 22
Hot potato: How a Salem woman came up with an idea to keep unsheltered people warm and full
Lisa Letney wanted to help when she heard about flooding in the two camps where unhoused people have been allowed to live during the pandemic. She turned to spuds because they’re cheap, hot and make it easy for people to get involved.
GUEST COLUMN February 22
COLUMN: Hunting through insurance plans can yield needed coverage
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.
WEATHER February 21
PGE warns some Salem outages could last into a third weekend
More than 5,000 utility customers in the Salem area remained without power on Sunday. City crews are pitching in to help PGE get into areas where lines remain down.
WEATHER February 19
Roughly 20,000 residents in Salem area still without power going into weekend
Both Portland General Electric and Pacific Power say crews are working through the weekend to restore service. The governor has extended her emergency declaration.
LOCAL SCHOOLS February 19
PHOTOS: New additions in progress at McKay, South Salem high schools
Two Salem high schools are in the middle of significant renovations scheduled to finish in time for a new school year in the fall. They're among 25 schools in the Salem-Keizer district that will be renovated this year.
LOCAL SCHOOLS February 19
Salem-Keizer on schedule for massive construction push with 25 schools set for renovations this year
Local voters approved nearly $620 million in bonds in 2018 to fund projects modernizing every school in the district. With extra earnings through grants and bond sales, schools are now expected to get nearly $700 million of work without costing taxpayers more.
SALEM COMMUNITY February 19
Calls to community resource line show how the pandemic has fallen unevenly on women in Marion County
In Marion County 74% of contacts to the 211 resource line were from women. The biggest needs were for healthcare, housing and utility assistance.
WEATHER February 18
More lights are back on in the Salem area, but outages will linger in north Marion County
Portland General Electric expects 90% of its customers to have power restored by Friday with a few hard-hit areas, including Woodburn, remaining in the dark. Salem Electric has restored power to its customers. But schools, internet service and transportation are still affected.
AROUND OREGON February 18
AROUND OREGON: During the pandemic, telemedicine abortions become crucial resource for women
Since 2016, Oregon women have had the option to end their early pregnancies at home with an abortion through a telemedicine program. The pandemic has made that resource even more crucial for women with limited options.
HOMELESSNESS February 18
On a mission to “seek and save the lost,” Bruce Donohue ventures into homeless encampments he once inhabited
The Union Gospel Mission outreach worker spends his day looking for new faces on the street to offer houseless people a cup of coffee or warm meal at the mission. No stranger to living on the street, he’s eager to get others connected to services through the faith-based nonprofit.
FreeCOVID VACCINATION February 18
Icy weather frustrates vaccination effort for Salem seniors
An order of 67,000 Covid vaccines Oregon expected to receive early this week hasn’t yet shipped because of poor weather, and hundreds more vaccination appointments in the Salem area were canceled because of ice and power outages.
COVID IN OREGON February 17
As harvest season looms, agriculture and farmworker groups clash over Covid regulations
The Oregon Farm Bureau is arguing that a state rule aimed at preventing the spread of Covid in farmworker housing has made workers less safe. But Marion County farmworker advocates say the pandemic has made long-standing issues around farmworker housing worse and the rule has kept workers from getting sick.
SALEM HISTORY February 17
To honor Oregon’s birthday, Salem history groups create video on the state’s early Black settlers
The video tells the story of how Black people came to Oregon at a time when the state constitution barred them from settling or owning land. It includes the story Hiram Gorman, one of Salem’s first Black residents who operated a newspaper press and had a green thumb.
AROUND OREGON February 17
AROUND OREGON: Holey war: Klamath Falls donut shop sued by restaurant with similar name
The family-owned operation, known until last week as the Holey Donut, will no longer go by that moniker after its owners were sued by The Holy Donut, a Maine bakery located 3,100 miles away.
FreeWEATHER February 16
Salem residents can drop debris at four city parks starting Wednesday
Storm clean-up and restoration efforts continued Tuesday across the Salem area as about 54,000 remain without power. Amid the chaos, some teachers handed out groceries and strangers connected on Facebook to share generators.
SALEM COMMUNITY February 16
“You can do more damage than the storm.” Foresters urge caution when assessing tree damage
The Oregon Department of Forestry has two tip sheets which can help residents determine if they can salvage their trees, where to make cuts and if a professional is needed.
WEATHER February 16
Despite damage caused by snow storm, Enchanted Forest still aims to open March 19
The iconic park located south of Salem saw many of its rides and attractions tattered or outright crushed by the storm. But much of the park remains unscathed and the money it raised last year means it has a shot at reopening after it removes all the fallen trees.
FreeWEATHER February 15
With more outages overnight, many in Salem head into fourth day without power
Portland General Electric still has no set timeline for restoring power to the tens of thousands of Salem-area homes currently in the dark. Churches in Salem and Keizer will open as warming centers Tuesday and online school is canceled for Salem-Keizer as many students, teachers and district buildings remain without power.
SALEM COMMUNITY February 15
As the lights went out, Salem adapted with camp stoves and candles
Tens of thousands of people in Marion and Polk counties were left without power after the worst ice storm in decades left the Willamette Valley a frozen mess of downed trees and power lines. Salem Reporter reached out to residents to found out how they handled a weekend of darkness.
FreeWEATHER February 14
Utilities make progress, but thousands around Salem face another night without power
City and county crews continued efforts to clear roads throughout Salem and Marion County under a state of emergency. Local officials asked citizens to stay home as much as possible as they deal with downed trees and power lines.
FreeWEATHER February 14
A lot of Salem could stay dark until Tuesday, PGE forecasts
Valentine's Day dawned wet and cold as Salem continued to deal with the aftermath of Friday night's ice storm. Thousands remain without power, though Salem Electric expected to have its customers back online by the end of the day Sunday.
FreePHOTOS February 13
CHRONICLE OF A STORM: Readers share photos documenting Salem's ice storm
UPDATED WITH NEW PHOTOS: One of the worst ice storms in years hit Salem overnight Friday, plunging thousands into darkness as power went out. Readers of Salem Reporter shared their photos. Do you have photos to pass along?
PHOTOS February 13
PHOTOS: Salem works to recover from ice storm as temperatures warm
Thousands will go through the weekend without power in the Salem area as utility crews scramble to deal with downed lines throughout Oregon. Many streets around the city became impassible Saturday from trees crashing down under the weight of ice.
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