How Salem-Keizer Public Schools spent its first year of Student Investment Account money

The district had plans to use nearly $40 million in funding to hire, in part, about 230 new positions in Salem-Keizer. But then COVID happened. Schools shut down. Remote learning began. The district faced staffing shortages and technological pitfalls. And the anticipated allocation for the district dropped from $36 million to $11 million. Read the full storyContinue reading “How Salem-Keizer Public Schools spent its first year of Student Investment Account money”

Chemawa Indian School families seek answers, healing through federal investigation

Though it’s just beginning, the federal investigation into burials at Indian schools across the United States has sparked renewed hope that those affected — including the relatives of the children buried at Chemawa’s cemetery in Salem, Ore. — will get the answers and acknowledgment they’ve sought for decades.  Read the project here.

Chemawa junior sets sights on college as the first Native Lakhani scholar

Kayla Monte — a junior this coming year at Chemawa Indian School in Salem — has dreams of becoming an architect. To get there, she has her sights set on Harvard, Yale or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With the help of an encouraging teacher, Monte completed her application for the Lakhani Scholars. She was selected as one of three winners acrossContinue reading “Chemawa junior sets sights on college as the first Native Lakhani scholar”

Unsheltered community moved out of Cascades Gateway Park as renovations begin

Several hundred individuals have been living in the city park for more than a year — since city officials lifted camping restrictions there and at Wallace Marine Park as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. But now, they can’t stay. Read the full story here.

Oregon artists savor each moment as they return to the stage for the first time in a year

Joint byline with Bill Poehler Performers had a large part of their identity taken away over the past year. Some tried performing virtually or in small, socially distanced shows. Playing to a camera or in front of a distant, masked audience was a poor substitute for what it’s like in front of a full, live one.Continue reading “Oregon artists savor each moment as they return to the stage for the first time in a year”

Are the white oaks near the new Costco dying? Advocates fear predictions are coming true

Site developers promised to safely transplant the trees. Local environmental advocates argued the move would likely kill them. The latter may have been correct as the leaves on the oaks appear to be mostly brown and some branches have no leaves at all.  Read the full story here.

Feds may investigate Chemawa Indian School in Salem after discovery of Canadian mass graves

Chemawa Indian School in Salem — the oldest continuously operated residential boarding school for Native American students in the United States — may come under federal review following U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s call for the government to investigate its past oversight of such schools.  Read the full story here.

Police body cameras, resources for unsheltered: Highlights of Salem’s $662.6M city budget

Natalie is covering city and economic development for the Statesman Journal for the summer of 2021. This story is part of that coverage. The budget — totaling $662.6 million — covers July 1 through June 30 of next year. It represents the city’s funding for more than 460 specific programs, including new sidewalks, trees and streetlights, but also ongoing projects, like seismic upgradesContinue reading “Police body cameras, resources for unsheltered: Highlights of Salem’s $662.6M city budget”

School board restricts demonstrations at meetings to ‘free speech zones’

A motion passed by the Salem-Keizer school board Tuesday night further limits how members of the public can engage with the governing body. Most school board members said the new motion — which designates free-speech and no-trespassing zones — is needed to ensure public viewers can hear the meetings. However, some activists and community members argue they are being silencedContinue reading “School board restricts demonstrations at meetings to ‘free speech zones’”