County News

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  • County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    Date: 9/21/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Since early 2012 the Silverton to Stayton portion of the East Marion Rail line has been inactive. The full line, owned by Union Pacific and operated by Willamette Valley Railway, runs from Woodburn to Stayton and historically provided short line shipping service between these Marion County communities. Since the line was closed, several groups have stepped forward with suggestions to reactivate the rail line.

    To assist with the conversation and develop a common picture for all interested parties, Marion County has contracted with Anzur Logistics, a rail transportation consulting company based in Salem, to conduct a study of the rail line including an infrastructure assessment, market analysis, and cost benefit analysis.

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue said, "Marion County's goal is to provide the underlying research and economic evaluation necessary as potential redevelopment opportunities are explored. We are not advocating for a particular outcome or project. The county's role is to provide factual, neutral information beneficial to all parties as the future of the East Marion Rail line is discussed."

    Anzur Logistics will assess current track conditions and provide cost estimates to return the line to service, as well as provide a cost benefit analysis and potential funding sources. The final study will include an economic assessment for cities along the rail line. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, "Short line railroads are an important asset. It's important for the county to assess the economic impacts of rail service and ensure potential renewed service is utilized for the benefit of Marion County communities."

    Data collection and evaluation will begin immediately with a draft analysis expected in late 2017. The final report will be available for stakeholder review in January 2018. For more information, contact Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue at (503) 589-3277 or thogue@co.marion.or.us. ​

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  • Low cost vaccinations and license fair

    Low cost vaccinations and license fair

    Date: 9/1/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Marion County Dog Services is partnering with local rescue organizations to host a dog license fair and low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 9 a.m. to noon at Volcanoes Stadium located at 6700 Field of Dreams Way, in Keizer. Dog Services will waive late fees and other license violations for dog owners who purchase a license at the event.

    Willamette Valley Animal Hospital is the partnering veterinarian that will be administering the low cost vaccinations for dogs. The event is also a fundraiser for two local dog rescues – Rudy's Heavenly Rescue and Salem Dogs.

    Community Services Director Tamra Goettsch said, "Dog licensing is an essential part of animal care in Marion County. In addition to helping return lost dogs back to their families, licensing helps prevent the dangerous spread of rabies."

    Rabies vaccinations are $8. Vaccinations for DHPP and Bordetella will be $12.50 each. Other services include $5 nail trims and $18 microchipping. All proceeds will go toward the rescue's medical bills at Willamette Valley Animal Hospital for veterinary services.

    Dog Licenses are $17 per year for neutered or spayed dogs and $32 for unaltered dogs. The license fee for spayed or neutered dogs owned by seniors 65 or older is $5 per year. Proof of neutering or spaying must be provided for the reduced license fee and proof of owner's age is needed to receive the senior discount. Multi-year licenses are also available and payment is cash only. Dogs must be on leashes or in carriers.

    All owners and keepers of dogs in Marion County are required by law to purchase a license when a dog reaches six months of age. Licenses are also required within 30 days of becoming a dog owner or moving into Marion County with a dog.

    The Marion County Dog Shelter is located at 3550 Aumsville Hwy. SE, in Salem. For hours of operation and information about licensing and other Dog Services programs, visit www.mcdogs.net, call (503) 588-5233, or email dog@co.marion.or.us.  Adoptable dogs are regularly featured on the shelter's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marioncounty.dogshelter/. ​

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  • Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Date: 9/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Notice:  Marion County Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Effective Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Marion County Dog Shelter will be closed on Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. until further notice.

    For more information about the shelter, visit the shelter website ​or call (503) 566-6966. ​

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  • Marion County invites students to participate in 2017 Art Calendar Contest

    Marion County invites students to participate in 2017 Art Calendar Contest

    Date: 5/2/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County and the Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association are once again sponsoring an art calendar contest to promote waste reduction and resource conservation in schools, and this year's theme is "Repair & Reuse." As in previous years, we are inviting all K-12 students within Marion County to submit colorful drawings that focus on waste prevention through repair and reuse. Each student will be allowed to submit up to three drawings and entries must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 6, 2017.

    Thirteen illustrations will be selected to produce the 2018 calendar and a $50 gift card will be awarded to twelve winners in the following grade group categories: K - 3rd grades, 4th – 6th grades, 7th - 9th grades and 10th -12th grades. A student from one of these four categories will have the opportunity to win the Grand Prize, which includes a $100 gift card plus their artwork will be featured on the cover of the calendar. Additionally, the teacher of the student whose artwork is selected for the grand prize will also receive a $500 gift card for classroom use. Selected winners will be honored at a televised Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting.

    To learn more about the 2017 Art Calendar Contest, please visit www.mcrecycles.net and click on "Events" or email EnvironmentalServices@co.marion.or.us.   

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  • Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants

    Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants

    Date: 6/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Health

    ​The Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition received a $50,000 Salem Health Partner Grant to fund evidence-based practices that are proven to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. Each year, the Marion-Polk region experiences preventable sleep related infant deaths. Although numbers are small, this is one of the greatest tragedies that parents and caregivers experience.

    The Oregon Health Authority's 2014 report Child Fatalities in Oregon, notes that 34 of 36 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths were sleep related. Education is a crucial foundation for this project as families either have safe sleep spaces but don't know how to use them properly, or do not have them at all.

    Infant safe sleep practices include:

    • Always place your baby "Back to Sleep."  Tell all caregivers that your baby sleeps on his/her back only.

    • Share the same bedroom during the infant's first year of life (but not the same bed).

    • Only baby goes in the crib; no toys, blankets or other items.

    • Provide tummy time while supervised.

    • A pacifier can be used once breastfeeding is established or after one month of age.

    • Keep room temperature between 65-71 degrees. Do not over-bundle your baby when sleeping.

    • Do not smoke in your house.

    • Do not leave children sleeping in a car seat or other infant seat. 

    • Do not cover car seats with a blanket or other materials.

    Grant funding has provided the coalition with the services of a part-time health educator, Hayden Barnes, who began supporting the coalition work in May. Hayden is a Salem native who graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Community Health Education. She is completing grant objectives that will ensure that the coalition has the necessary infrastructure to embed infant safe sleep messaging and support in Marion and Polk counties so the work continues regardless of future funding.   

    Ms. Barnes will be working with hospitals and agencies serving families expecting babies and parenting infants to develop a process to teach and model infant safe sleep. She will also be working to ensure that all families with infants have access to a safe sleeping environment which may include providing pack and play cribs or baby boxes to eligible families.

    Infant safe sleep will be folded in to the Marion and Polk Community Health Improvement Partnership and will be an ongoing part of the region's public health focus. The partnership is developing robust education materials so that early childhood professionals, medical professionals, parents and other caregivers have access to up-to-date evidence-based safe sleep information.

    Safe Sleep Coalition members include Marion County Health Department, Polk County Health Department, Salem Hospital, Santiam Hospital, Silverton Hospital, WVP Health Authority MOMS Program, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Marion & Polk County Early Learning Hub, Childcare Resource and Referral, Marion County Community Services, Community Action Head Start, Family Building Blocks and the Salem-Keizer Schools District Teen Parent Program.

    For more information about safe sleep practices or the Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition, contact the Marion County Health Department at (503) 588-5357 or email health@co.marion.or.us. ​

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  • Sep
    21

    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Since early 2012 the Silverton to Stayton portion of the East Marion Rail line has been inactive. The full line, owned by Union Pacific and operated by Willamette Valley Railway, runs from Woodburn to Stayton and historically provided short line shipping service between these Marion County communities. Since the line was closed, several groups have stepped forward with suggestions to reactivate the rail line.

    To assist with the conversation and develop a common picture for all interested parties, Marion County has contracted with Anzur Logistics, a rail transportation consulting company based in Salem, to conduct a study of the rail line including an infrastructure assessment, market analysis, and cost benefit analysis.

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue said, "Marion County's goal is to provide the underlying research and economic evaluation necessary as potential redevelopment opportunities are explored. We are not advocating for a particular outcome or project. The county's role is to provide factual, neutral information beneficial to all parties as the future of the East Marion Rail line is discussed."

    Anzur Logistics will assess current track conditions and provide cost estimates to return the line to service, as well as provide a cost benefit analysis and potential funding sources. The final study will include an economic assessment for cities along the rail line. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, "Short line railroads are an important asset. It's important for the county to assess the economic impacts of rail service and ensure potential renewed service is utilized for the benefit of Marion County communities."

    Data collection and evaluation will begin immediately with a draft analysis expected in late 2017. The final report will be available for stakeholder review in January 2018. For more information, contact Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue at (503) 589-3277 or thogue@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line
  • Sep
    19

    Disasters don't plan ahead - you can!

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    This article appears in the September 2017 Marion County TODAY Community Newsletter​

    Each year Marion County recognizes September as national Emergency Preparedness Month and practices earthquake preparedness in October during the Great Oregon Shakeout. In the Mid-Willamette Valley we've had the opportunity in the last few months to see emergency planning in action. From preparations for the historic total solar eclipse to devastating wildfires, emergency management staff and others have worked to ensure that our area is ready when/if disaster strikes.

    Following a hot, dry summer with several wildfires impacting the state and our region, we've already seen a dramatic change in weather with an early fall rainstorm. While the rain is providing needed relief for fires, it also brings its own set of potential problems. Increased rain and badly burned forested areas bring the increased possibility of flash floods.

    Whether it's an unexpected fall storm, earthquake, or preparing for a large influx of visitors, there are some simple things you can do to prepare yourself, your family, and your home.

    Make a plan: Plan on how you're going to evacuate your house if necessary; drop, cover and hold if there is an earthquake; gather supplies in case of evacuation; and plan on how you will communicate with your family.

    Get a kit: Families are encouraged to have enough emergency supplies for a minimum of two weeks. In fact, emergency preparedness professionals recommend having three emergency kits – a 72-hour go bag, a 7-day work kit, and a home kit with the suggested two weeks of supplies for each household member. Recommended kit items include water, food, medicine, first aid supplies, flashlight, radio and more.

    Stay informed: Be mindful of the hazards that could affect our area. Stay tuned to news, radio, and social media for emergency notifications from local officials. Marion County posts active alerts on our website at www.co.marion.or.us/Alerts.

    The most important thing you can do is be aware of the possibilities and don't take any unnecessary risks. Emergency preparedness doesn't have to be complicated, but it does require some thought and action on your part. For many, a 72-hour go kit is a good place to start.

    Luckily, there are a lot of resources to help you prepare. Oregon Emergency Management has information on disaster risks, an emergency kit checklist, the popular "Living on Shaky Ground" booklet, and numerous other publications you can download for free. Remember, disasters don't plan ahead – you can! ​

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    Disasters don't plan ahead - you can!
  • Sep
    15

    Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Notice:  Marion County Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Effective Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Marion County Dog Shelter will be closed on Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. until further notice.

    For more information about the shelter, visit the shelter website ​or call (503) 566-6966. ​

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    Dog Shelter Schedule Change
  • Sep
    1

    Low cost vaccinations and license fair

    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Marion County Dog Services is partnering with local rescue organizations to host a dog license fair and low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 9 a.m. to noon at Volcanoes Stadium located at 6700 Field of Dreams Way, in Keizer. Dog Services will waive late fees and other license violations for dog owners who purchase a license at the event.

    Willamette Valley Animal Hospital is the partnering veterinarian that will be administering the low cost vaccinations for dogs. The event is also a fundraiser for two local dog rescues – Rudy's Heavenly Rescue and Salem Dogs.

    Community Services Director Tamra Goettsch said, "Dog licensing is an essential part of animal care in Marion County. In addition to helping return lost dogs back to their families, licensing helps prevent the dangerous spread of rabies."

    Rabies vaccinations are $8. Vaccinations for DHPP and Bordetella will be $12.50 each. Other services include $5 nail trims and $18 microchipping. All proceeds will go toward the rescue's medical bills at Willamette Valley Animal Hospital for veterinary services.

    Dog Licenses are $17 per year for neutered or spayed dogs and $32 for unaltered dogs. The license fee for spayed or neutered dogs owned by seniors 65 or older is $5 per year. Proof of neutering or spaying must be provided for the reduced license fee and proof of owner's age is needed to receive the senior discount. Multi-year licenses are also available and payment is cash only. Dogs must be on leashes or in carriers.

    All owners and keepers of dogs in Marion County are required by law to purchase a license when a dog reaches six months of age. Licenses are also required within 30 days of becoming a dog owner or moving into Marion County with a dog.

    The Marion County Dog Shelter is located at 3550 Aumsville Hwy. SE, in Salem. For hours of operation and information about licensing and other Dog Services programs, visit www.mcdogs.net, call (503) 588-5233, or email dog@co.marion.or.us.  Adoptable dogs are regularly featured on the shelter's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marioncounty.dogshelter/. ​

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    Low cost vaccinations and license fair
  • Aug
    16

    River Road South to Reopen Wednesday, August 16

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​Marion County Public Works announces that it will reopen River Road South at 5:00 p.m. today.  The road, which was damaged by landslides this past winter, was closed on July 31 for emergency repairs and is opening ahead of schedule. All detour signs will be removed and motorists and bicyclists can resume travel on River Road South.

    We would like to thank residents, motorists and bicyclists for their patience during this time. Although the closure was inconvenient, the repairs will provide a safer and more dependable roadway for future travels.

    For more information, contact Brian Nicholas, Capital Projects Manager, at 503-588-5036.

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    River Road South to Reopen Wednesday, August 16
  • Aug
    9

    Legislation helps reentry clients owing child support

    Posted by: Marion County Reentry Initiative (MCRI)

    This article appears in the Summer 2017 "Giving People a Second Chance" newsletter. 

    By Jeannine Wiesner, Deputy District Attorney, Marion County Family Support Division, Concetta Schwesinger, Trial Team Leader, Marion County Family Support Division, and Janet Carlson, Marion County Commissioner

    Senate Bill 682 was passed by the legislature and becomes effective on January 1, 2018. The legislation establishes a process to suspend child support obligations while an individual is in prison and upon reentry to the community. 

    When people are released from prison back to their home communities, they often have significant debt. While we all agree that parents need to support their children and be accountable, the situation often has the opposite effect – the large amount of debt appears insurmountable, the individual starts taking cash jobs, avoiding legitimate employment. Eventually this can lead to the individual getting involved in the same activities that put them in prison in the first place. The outcome is that the person goes back to prison and the child support obligation is on paper, but is never actually paid to the family. Everyone loses.

    Senate Bill 682 creates a process where child care is suspended upon entry to prison under a rebuttable presumption of inability to pay. Under current law, if an incarcerated parent asks for a modification through the Oregon Child Support Program, they often qualify for a reduction or elimination of their child support order for the time they are incarcerated. However, for a variety of reasons, many individuals who are incarcerated do nothing or delay in making a request to modify their child support orders. The child care order that was in effect prior to incarceration continues to add up month after month. Senate Bill 682 modifies the child support order to $0, based on inability to pay, upon entry to prison.

    When a person is released from prison, current law suspends child support payments for 60 days. However, on the 61st day, even if the individual had filed a modification in prison, the obligation in the child support order that was in effect prior to incarceration is restored at the same pre-prison payment level. For example, if a parent owed $300 per month prior to incarceration, on the 61st day, he or she would again owe $300 per month, even though we know significant criminal history can negatively impact finding a job at all, let alone with the same earning capacity that the parent had prior to incarceration. In fact, the Oregon Department of Corrections research found that people released from prison generally make only 40-50% of their prior income. Senate Bill 682 changes the current law to automatically reinstate child support to 50% of the court ordered amount on the 121st day after release, and provides a timeline for the child support program to review the calculations to ensure it reflects the parent's current earning capacity. This provides a more realistic timeframe for the reentering parent to find employment and also a more realistic obligation, in case the calculations review is not completed by the 121st day. This also puts Oregon's child support program in alignment with new federal regulations.

    The process will involve a data match between the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Justice. Within 30 days after the entity providing child support enforcement services is notified of an obligor's incarceration, a notice will be sent to the parties, advising that support will be suspended during incarceration unless a party objects. The objection must describe the resources of the obligor or other evidence that rebuts the presumption of inability to pay. A hearing will be set in front of an administrative law judge to determine the issue. If no objection is received, or if the administrative law judge finds that the presumption has not been rebutted, the Department of Justice will file the notice of suspension with the circuit court and discontinue billing on the case until 121 days after the parent has been released. At that time, support will be reinstated at 50% of the original amount. The entity responsible for child support enforcement services will then review the support order for purposes of further modification.

    Senate Bill 682 came out of discussions in the Joint Interim Task Force on Reentry, Employment and Housing and was introduced by Senator Michael Dembrow, task force co-chair. It was endorsed by the task force and also by the Association of Oregon Counties. The bill's final language was developed by a workgroup involving the Oregon Department of Justice, the Oregon Department of Corrections, and county child support staff from local district attorneys' offices.

    This legislation will assure that parents who are incarcerated will not reenter society owing child support debt that accrued while they were unable to pay it, which has been found to increase recidivism and reduce the chance that future support will be paid. We express appreciation to Senator Dembrow, Senator Jackie Winters who carried the bill on the Senate floor, and Kate Richardson from the Oregon Department of Justice, for their invaluable support in moving this important legislation forward.

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    Legislation helps reentry clients owing child support
  • Jul
    17

    Marion County Energy-from-Waste Facility celebrates 30 years of operations

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Covanta Marion is celebrating 30 years of providing sustainable solid waste disposal operations for the residents of Marion County. Opened in 1987, the Energy-from-Waste facility has processed over 5.5 million tons of waste, saving more than 45 acres of land from being developed into landfills.

    ”The Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility is the centerpiece of one of the most comprehensive and integrated solid waste and recycling systems in Oregon – and possibly the United States,” said Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano. “Marion County prioritizes waste reduction and recycling and then recovers energy from the material that remains. We are extremely proud of our innovative and comprehensive waste management system and look forward to a continued partnership with Covanta.”    

    Located in Brooks, Oregon, the facility is the cornerstone of Marion County’s solid waste disposal system, consistently processing an average of 550 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) each day. Revenue from the facility has allowed the county to provide its 325,000 residents with innovative waste reduction and recycling programs and has led to an exceptional recycling rate of approximately 52 percent, among the highest in the United States.

    “For three decades, Covanta’s partnership with Marion County has yielded amazing results in sustainable waste management and a cleaner environment,” said Christopher Baker, vice president and general manager of Covanta’s West region. “Investing in an Energy-from-Waste facility was the right decision for Marion County in the 1980s and continues to hold true today with the development of a world-class system that has served as a model for those that followed. We are proud of our contribution to this success and look forward to many more years of continued partnership.” 

    Since its inception, the Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility has:

    • ​Generated approximately 2.5 million megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power over 200,000 homes for one year.
    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by almost 3 millions of tons relative to landfilling - equal to the annual greenhouse gases from over 500,000 cars
    • Recovered the equivalent ferrous metal for recycling that would be used to build more than 100,000 cars

    Over the years, the Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility has been recognized for its safety and environmental excellence. These awards include designation as a Voluntary Protection Program Star facility by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for workplace safety excellence, inclusion in Oregon's Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP) and an Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

    Covanta Marion is also active in the community and provides local residents and law enforcement with the safe and secure destruction of unwanted pharmaceuticals through its RX4Safety program, which helps deter prescription drug abuse and protects waterways and drinking water from pollution.

    About Covanta

    Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 500,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management services to companies seeking solutions to some of today's most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit covanta.com.

    About Marion County Environmental Services

    Marion County Environmental Services oversees a nationally-recognized integrated solid waste system that promotes waste reduction and recycling and ensures the safe and sanitary disposal of solid waste. The county maintains one of the highest recycling rates in the state and our communities recycled 52% of all waste generated in 2015. The county sponsors many programs to reduce waste including the Master Recycler training program, which trains citizens how to be better stewards of the environment; the EarthWISE program, which recognizes businesses that have made a commitment to environmentally friendly practices; and the Save the Food campaign that promotes food waste reduction. For more information, visit mcrecycles.net. ​

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    Marion County Energy-from-Waste Facility celebrates 30 years of operations
  • Jul
    14

    OREGON FARM BUREAU AND SHERIFF'S OFFICE TEAM UP FOR HARVEST SAFETY MESSAGE (PHOTO)

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: July 14th, 2017 5:57 PM
    Media B Roll in support of this story can be found at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0aoebci9jhb3920/AADCJkdnJtCEaeERgbz2yFWta?dl=0

    A blue pick-up truck driving 55 mph slams on its brakes and comes within feet of a giant tractor slowly making its way down a rural road in Marion County. The truck blares its horn and sharply swerves left, aggressively speeding past the tractor and into a blind curve. Thankfully, this was only a staged scene for a video organized by Oregon Farm Bureau and the Marion County Sheriff's Office to demonstrate what NOT to do.

    Together the Farm Bureau and the Marion County Sheriff's Office are working together to alert motorists that summer harvest is in full swing in the Willamette Valley -- meaning large, slow-moving farm equipment will occasionally travel on rural roads, moving from farm to field. Marion County Farm Bureau President John Zielinski, OFB Health & Safety Committee Vice Chair Anne Rigor, and representatives from the Marion County Sheriff's Office met at Pearmine Farms in Gervais, owned by Molly Pearmine McCargar and Ernie Pearmine of Marion County Farm Bureau, and talked safety.

    "We're reminding drivers to slow down, be patient, and use caution when encountering a tractor on the road," said John Zielinski, president of Marion County Farm Bureau. "This is the time of year when you'll see large combines moving between grass seed fields and smaller tractors driving between fruit orchards." Farmers do their best to avoid moving equipment during high-traffic times, said Zielinski, but during peak harvest season, when the fruit is ripe or the grass seed is at the right dryness, sometimes there's no choice.
    With Oregon's ever-increasing population, more people are driving on rural roads than ever before, said Sergeant Todd Moquin, of the Marion County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Team. For example, he estimated that the once lightly traveled McKay Road between Newberg and I-5 sees over 10,000 cars a day. Sergeant Moquin's message for drivers: "Slow down. If you're going to pass a tractor, make sure you're making a legal pass, not on a curve, and with plenty of room."

    Whether a giant combine or a small orchard-sized tractor, farm equipment is designed to travel at speeds of no more than 25 miles per hour (mph) and must display a reflective, triangular, orange-and-red, slow-moving-vehicle sign if going out on public roads. It can be surprising just how slow 25 mph is on a highway. A tractor that appears to be far on the horizon can end up directly in front of a fast-moving car within seconds.

    "If you're driving 55 mph on a highway and come upon a tractor that's moving at only 25 mph, it takes only 8 seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor," said Anne Rigor, vice chair of the OFB Health & Safety Committee and member of Benton County Farm Bureau. "In low light, it's even harder to judge how fast you're approaching a slow-moving farm vehicle," said Rigor.

    Promoting rural road safety is a personal matter for Zielinksi, who lost a friend and fellow farmer in a deadly accident. Scott Miller, who served with Zielinski on the Marion County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, was killed in 2014 when a car rear-ended his tractor, which was pulling a trailer. "Too many people underestimate how dangerous it is when you don't slow down or try to pass a tractor recklessly," said Zielinski.
    In fact, in 2015, there were 54 traffic accidents involving farm equipment, resulting in 30 serious injuries and one death, according to the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. In 2014, there were 40 accidents with 34 injuries and three deaths.

    To provide safety tips for both farmers and motorists, the OFB Health & Safety Committee offers its Rural Road Safety brochure. "The brochure provides tips that help save lives," said Rigor. "It's heartbreaking to hear about injuries or deaths involving tractors that could've been avoided if drivers had simply slowed down or farmers took a few simple steps."
    Tips for motorists include:

    * If you decide to pass farm equipment on the road, please do so with caution.
    * Be watchful of vehicles behind you that may also try to pass.
    * If you must enter the oncoming lane of traffic, do not proceed unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the vehicle you will pass.
    * If there are any curves or hills ahead that may block your view or the view of oncoming vehicles, do not pass.
    * Do not pass if you are in a designated "No Passing Zone" or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel.
    * Do not assume that a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is letting you pass. Due to the size of some farm implements, the farmer must make wide left-hand turns. If you are unsure, check the operator's hand signals and look at the left side of the road for gates, driveways, or a place the vehicle might turn.
    Safety tips for farmers include:
    * Oregon law requires a slow-moving vehicle reflector on any machine that travels the road slower than 25 mph. Always point the triangle up, keep the SMV emblem clean to maximize reflectivity, and replace the emblem when it fades, normally every two to three years.
    * Mark the edges of tractors and machines with reflective tape and reflectors. Consider installing retrofit lighting on older machinery to increase visibility.
    * Turn on your lights, but turn off rear spotlights when going onto the road. From a distance spotlights can be mistaken for headlights.
    * Be aware of heavy traffic patterns.
    * Consider installing mirrors on equipment so you can see motorists around you. Be careful where the mirrors are placed.
    * When moving multiple farm vehicles down a highway, drive in a tight convoy to dissuade cars from pulling in between equipment.

    Download a PDF of the OFB Rural Road Safety brochure at oregonfb.org,
    or request as many free copies as you'd like by contacting annemarie@oregonfb.org or 503.399.1701.

    Story by Oregon Farm Bureau in cooperation with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

    Media B Roll in support of this story can be found at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0aoebci9jhb3920/AADCJkdnJtCEaeERgbz2yFWta?dl=0
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
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    OREGON FARM BUREAU AND SHERIFF'S OFFICE TEAM UP FOR HARVEST SAFETY MESSAGE (PHOTO)
  • Jul
    7

    Marion County Public Works to Chip Seal Cordon Road and Other Salem Area Roads

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​On Monday, July 10, Marion County Public Works will begin a chip seal pavement preservation project on Quail Street, 54th Avenue, 55th Avenue, and Cordon Road between OR-99E and Caplinger Road. 

    Crews will apply a chip seal to Quail Street, 54th Avenue, and 55th Avenue from OR-99E to Hazelgreen Road, on Monday, July 10.  Work on Cordon Road is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, July 11, beginning at Caplinger Road and ending at Hazelgreen Road on Monday, July 17.  All work will occur during daytime hours.

    The roads will remain open during the project with flaggers directing traffic through the work area.  Motorists should expect extended delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes to avoid the area if possible.  Drivers are urged to comply with all signing and flagger direction and to use caution when driving through work zones.

    Questions should be directed to Marion County Public Works Dispatch at 503-588-5304.  

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    Marion County Public Works to Chip Seal Cordon Road and Other Salem Area Roads
  • Jun
    14

    Students recognized for gambling awareness artwork

    Posted by: Health

    ​Results are in for the Oregon Health Authority's annual Problem Gambling Awareness calendar art search. Designs from two Marion County youth are among the top 12 artistic designs selected from entries submitted throughout the state. The student art calendar contest is sponsored by OHA's Health Systems Division.

    Congratulations to Jesus Mendoza and Elizabeth Painter who will have their art featured in the 2018 calendar. Both are 7th grade students from Claggett Creek Middle School in Keizer and entered the art search as part of an activity encouraged through their health classes.

    There were 90 entries from Marion County middle school students as part of this year's local art search. Marion County awarded prizes for the top five entries that moved on to the state contest. These included the two state award winners as well as entries by Daniela Santos, grade 7, Claggett Creek Middle School; Diana Beane, grade 7, Parrish Middle School; and Logan Martinez, Grade 7, Claggett Creek Middle School.

    Statewide, it is estimated that about 1 in 25 youth ages 10 to 18 may have a potential gambling problem. However, many youth are making healthy choices and in Marion County most youth do not participate in gambling activities. According to data from the 2016 Student Wellness Survey, more than 65 percent of 8th graders and 63 percent of 11th graders in Marion County indicated they had not gambled in the past 30 days.

    The 2018 Problem Gambling Awareness calendar will be printed and distributed this fall. For more information about problem gambling prevention, or to request a free calendar, please contact Susan McLauchlin, Marion County Health Department, at smclauchlin@co.marion.or.us or (503) 981-2464.  ​

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    Students recognized for gambling awareness artwork
  • Jun
    13

    Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants

    Posted by: Health

    ​The Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition received a $50,000 Salem Health Partner Grant to fund evidence-based practices that are proven to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. Each year, the Marion-Polk region experiences preventable sleep related infant deaths. Although numbers are small, this is one of the greatest tragedies that parents and caregivers experience.

    The Oregon Health Authority's 2014 report Child Fatalities in Oregon, notes that 34 of 36 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths were sleep related. Education is a crucial foundation for this project as families either have safe sleep spaces but don't know how to use them properly, or do not have them at all.

    Infant safe sleep practices include:

    • Always place your baby "Back to Sleep."  Tell all caregivers that your baby sleeps on his/her back only.

    • Share the same bedroom during the infant's first year of life (but not the same bed).

    • Only baby goes in the crib; no toys, blankets or other items.

    • Provide tummy time while supervised.

    • A pacifier can be used once breastfeeding is established or after one month of age.

    • Keep room temperature between 65-71 degrees. Do not over-bundle your baby when sleeping.

    • Do not smoke in your house.

    • Do not leave children sleeping in a car seat or other infant seat. 

    • Do not cover car seats with a blanket or other materials.

    Grant funding has provided the coalition with the services of a part-time health educator, Hayden Barnes, who began supporting the coalition work in May. Hayden is a Salem native who graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Community Health Education. She is completing grant objectives that will ensure that the coalition has the necessary infrastructure to embed infant safe sleep messaging and support in Marion and Polk counties so the work continues regardless of future funding.   

    Ms. Barnes will be working with hospitals and agencies serving families expecting babies and parenting infants to develop a process to teach and model infant safe sleep. She will also be working to ensure that all families with infants have access to a safe sleeping environment which may include providing pack and play cribs or baby boxes to eligible families.

    Infant safe sleep will be folded in to the Marion and Polk Community Health Improvement Partnership and will be an ongoing part of the region's public health focus. The partnership is developing robust education materials so that early childhood professionals, medical professionals, parents and other caregivers have access to up-to-date evidence-based safe sleep information.

    Safe Sleep Coalition members include Marion County Health Department, Polk County Health Department, Salem Hospital, Santiam Hospital, Silverton Hospital, WVP Health Authority MOMS Program, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Marion & Polk County Early Learning Hub, Childcare Resource and Referral, Marion County Community Services, Community Action Head Start, Family Building Blocks and the Salem-Keizer Schools District Teen Parent Program.

    For more information about safe sleep practices or the Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition, contact the Marion County Health Department at (503) 588-5357 or email health@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants
  • May
    3

    Women's Accelerated Reentry Program helps women's transition needs

    Posted by: Marion County Reentry Initiative (MCRI)

    This article appears in the Spring 2017 MCRI newsletter 

    ​Women's Accelerated Reentry Program helps women's transition needs – and reduces census at Coffee Creek

    By Jenna Moller, Bridgeway Recovery Services

    By the end of 2016, Oregon was running out of options. Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville had been running at capacity for more than a year, causing behavioral issues between inmates and putting more stress on the facility than it could bear. To combat this, the Oregon Department of Corrections planned to open another prison.  The Oregon legislature encouraged the Corrections Department to find another alternative. "Incarceration on its own hasn't proven to be super successful in reducing recidivism," said Tina Bialas, Behavioral Health Director at Bridgeway Recovery Services. So the department got to work.

    On January 30, 2017, the Women's Accelerated Reentry Program was launched by the Marion County Sheriff's Office and Oregon Department of Corrections. Women at Coffee Creek serve up to the last six months of their prison sentence at Marion County Transition Center in Salem. Criteria for selection include being nonviolent offenders; having a history of substance abuse, mental health problems or co-occurring disorders; being within 180 days of their original release date; and releasing to Marion County. Once individuals are identified, they are transferred from Coffee Creek to the Transition Center. This is where the real work starts.

    At the Transition Center, each woman is assigned a parole officer that is well-versed in the program's rigorous curriculum. Bridgeway Recovery Services staff conducts a thorough assessment of each woman and provides ongoing individual counseling support. Participants also attend weekly meetings with their parole officers; two classes a week facilitated by the De Muniz Resource Center; weekly employment classes run by Sheriff's Office staff; and five treatment groups a week facilitated by Bridgeway—all at the Transition Center. These women have experienced a high prevalence of trauma, such as childhood abuse and domestic violence. Such difficult experiences make the counseling support they receive that much more important. 

    Participants find many benefits from counseling support and classes. "I think the classes, [parole officer] interactions, and community reintegration have helped me tremendously," said one client. "I feel ready to get back out into life and that I'll be successful in reaching my goals."

    Participants also get the chance to attend healthy leisure and recreational outings each week to help them feel connected to their community, including bowling or volunteering at the Marion-Polk Food Share. Outings are led by their parole officers as well as their Bridgeway Recovery Mentor, Morgan Nelson. "It gives the clients real life opportunities to practice pro-social behaviors," Bialas said.

    Even more importantly, these trips have opened the women's eyes to new outlooks on life. "[These outings] showed me that you don't have to be high to have fun," said another participant.

    The women also get an extra family visit. Bridgeway mentors facilitate these meetings and give women feedback after observing the visit, such as how they might communicate with their children more effectively or how they did a great job explaining how they felt about a certain situation. Mentors being involved with the participants' families help build relationships between the clients and mentor, which aids in treatment.

    "I can't say enough how much good work [the Bridgeway mentors and counselors] have done," Bialas said, adding that because of them, program participants actively engage in treatment, even if they originally had no interest.

    At the end 90 days, if participants complete the program without any behavioral issues, they receive a certificate and the opportunity to continue their substance abuse or mental health treatment with Bridgeway Recovery Services.  "We're hoping this program will be personally impactful and hope [the women] will continue in treatment," Bialas noted.

    Many women plan on doing just that. "I have found who my real self is, but I still have more exploring to do," said a participant. "Once I'm done, I'll be a brand new woman."​

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    Women's Accelerated Reentry Program helps women's transition needs
  • May
    2

    Marion County invites students to participate in 2017 Art Calendar Contest

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County and the Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association are once again sponsoring an art calendar contest to promote waste reduction and resource conservation in schools, and this year's theme is "Repair & Reuse." As in previous years, we are inviting all K-12 students within Marion County to submit colorful drawings that focus on waste prevention through repair and reuse. Each student will be allowed to submit up to three drawings and entries must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 6, 2017.

    Thirteen illustrations will be selected to produce the 2018 calendar and a $50 gift card will be awarded to twelve winners in the following grade group categories: K - 3rd grades, 4th – 6th grades, 7th - 9th grades and 10th -12th grades. A student from one of these four categories will have the opportunity to win the Grand Prize, which includes a $100 gift card plus their artwork will be featured on the cover of the calendar. Additionally, the teacher of the student whose artwork is selected for the grand prize will also receive a $500 gift card for classroom use. Selected winners will be honored at a televised Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting.

    To learn more about the 2017 Art Calendar Contest, please visit www.mcrecycles.net and click on "Events" or email EnvironmentalServices@co.marion.or.us.   

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    Marion County invites students to participate in 2017 Art Calendar Contest
  • Mar
    30

    Delaney Road Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Construction Notice

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​TURNER, OR – Marion County is scheduled to begin construction for the City of Turner on Delaney Road from 8th Street to 3rd Street on April 3, 2017. Work is scheduled to be completed by August 31, 2017.  This completion date may be modified depending on weather.  The work will be performed by KSH Construction Company, which is responsible for the construction schedule. 

    Construction will include new sidewalks with curbs, storm drainage and bike lanes on both sides of the street.  The project will connect existing sidewalks west of 7th Street with existing sidewalks at 3rd Street. It will also include a new crossing surface at the existing railroad crossing. The road will remain open during construction with flaggers directing traffic through the work area.  Motorists should expect minor delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes when possible.

    Marion County and KSH Construction Company appreciate your patience during construction.  Please obey posted construction signs and remember the flaggers are there for your protection. 

    To find information about the project and a link to contact us by email visit our web site at: http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Engineering/Projects/Pages/Delaney.aspx

    For questions about this project, please call Alicia Robe at 503-588-5036 or email arobe@co.marion.or.us.   If there is an after-hours emergency during construction, please call Marion County Public Works Dispatch at 503-588-5304.

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    Delaney Road Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Construction Notice
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