AROUND OREGON Aug. 5
AROUND OREGON: Nyssa rail center, public money, and a most unusual deal
The lease being given to an international company to run the Treasure Valley Reload Center provides the county less money than projected nearly three years ago. Experts say some provisions in the deal are unusual, but the company and county economic development officials won't address questions.
SALEM ECONOMY Jul. 22
From derelict to desirable: downtown Salem continues to transform
More developers are seeing downtown Salem as a place to invest, transforming a neighborhood that until recently had few residents. The change comes from a combination of improvements at Riverfront Park, lack of housing supply leading to rising rents and city incentives that have become more attractive.
FreeAROUND OREGON May. 18
AROUND OREGON: Legislator finds recovering thousands for Malheur County 'more work' than it's worth, blames ODOT
The deal was set. Malheur County could start recovering up to $5,000 a month on what it was spending for Greg Smith's services. The county hasn't seen any of the money. An investigation by the Enterprise established why.
SPECIAL REPORTS Apr. 19
SPECIAL REPORT: Court in Polk County opened to help troubled people now shuttered
Lana Squires found the help she needed to overcome a lifetime of struggles. The mental health court in Polk County focused on getting people out of the criminal justice stream. Now, a county decision has shut down the court for a less controlling program.
PUBLIC SAFETY Mar. 2
SOLUTIONS: As Salem grapples with police oversight, another Oregon city may provide a blueprint for reform
A Salem city panel intended to provide police oversight hasn’t heard a complaint in years. Reform advocates say oversight must include power to investigate complaints or otherwise risk becoming “performative political statements with no actual ‘teeth’ or power.”
WATCHDOG Feb. 25
AROUND OREGON: State legislator's firm collected thousands in fees for Malheur County work now being done for free
WATCHDOG: For nearly two years, Malheur County put up money for Gregory Smith & Company to pursue a much-needed federal grant for a publicly-owned industrial park. Now, a Pendleton firm is taking on the work for free, according to public records and interviews.
AROUND OREGON Feb. 7
AROUND OREGON: Vale family sheds doubts about Covid after death of father
Jerry Erstrom was always quick with a smile and loved his children and grandchildren. Recovering from a back surgery, Erstrom - a well-known local personage - contracted Covid and died from the infection. Now his family wants people to know the Covid virus isn't a hoax and it kills.
SPECIAL REPORT Feb. 3
DOCUMENTARY: 'A D.A.'s Dilemma' delves into gaps in Oregon's justice system
For Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton, 27-year-old Alexandria Tereshka was a reminder of the limits of Oregon's criminal justice system to help people struggling with addiction. Felton considers her case in a new documentary released Wednesday, Feb. 3.
SPECIAL REPORT Feb. 3
State to pour millions more into addiction treatment despite little proof it works
With Ballot Measure 110 in play, the machinery that treats Oregon substance abusers will get millions more on top of the $200 million already spent on addiction treatment. An investigation by Salem Reporter finds officials aren't sure what becomes of people once they leave treatment - and whether that treatment worked. A documentary, "A D.A.'s Dilemma," in collaboration with Independent Lens (PBS) is part of this special report.
FreeCOMMENTARY Jan. 31
EDITOR'S COLUMN: Special project with documentary partner coming to Salem Reporter
Salem Reporter teams up with Independent Lens (PBS) in a collaboration to provide Salem a special project as Oregon moves away from jailing drug users. The report launches on Wednesday and here's how it came together.
WATCHDOG Jan. 25
WATCHDOG: Salem board set up to review police complaints hasn’t seen one in 5 years
Salem’s Community Police Review Board was created more than 20 years ago when citizens wanted to answer community concerns about unequal treatment of minorities by police officers. An examination by Salem Reporter discovered the board isn’t working as intended.
COVID IN OREGON Jan. 15
Facing a pandemic, record workload and armed protesters, Oregon's workplace watchdog sticks to its playbook
As the state has rolled out new Covid regulations, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration has become the state's top cop in enforcing many of them. At the center has been Michael Wood, administrator of the agency. Even though he's become a target, he remains undeterred.
COVID VACCINATION Jan. 15
Confusion over Covid vaccine eligibility as some in Salem report getting shots outside state guidelines
Salem Health's Covid vaccine clinic has given over 15,000 people shots in the past week. The hospital says it's requiring people to say they're eligible under state guidelines, but multiple people reported they were never asked - or explicitly told they could receive a vaccine despite not meeting the criteria.
WATCHDOG Jul. 17
Salem-Keizer school leaders say they're focused on equity. Expulsion and suspension rates tell another story.
Black Salem-Keizer students for years have had the highest expulsion rate of any racial group in the district. Black and Latino students and community leaders say they've long pushed to address disproportionate discipline rates and are only now being heard.
SALEM SCHOOLS Jun. 22
For 50 years, police have patrolled schools in Salem. Now, some say it's time for a new approach.
Eleven police officers are assigned to Salem-Keizer schools, where they're tasked with investigating child abuse cases, mentoring students and responding to crimes. Some community groups have long pushed for an end to the system, saying it results in more arrests and discipline for Black and Latino students.