3/31 News in Brief

*Training exercise closes local road*Candidates for governor to speak*Studded tire deadline extended*Station begins 24-hour operations*Bus service to Grand Ronde is free

Training exercise closes local road

POLK COUNTY -- Dallas Fire and EMS, in conjunction with Life Flight, West Valley Hospital, Salem Hospital and Polk County Fire District No. 1, is conducting a training exercise today (Wednesday, March 31) that will necessitate a road closure.

The training will take place around 1 p.m. at the northern end of Riddell Road between Clow Corner and Orrs Corner roads. Access to Riddell Road will be closed to traffic beginning around 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. However, the intersection of Clow Corner and Riddell will be open.

Polk County Public Works will conduct the road closure with signs and flaggers controlling traffic.

This exercise will not be open to the public.

For more information: Polk County Public Works, 503-623-9287.

Candidates for governor to speak

SALEM -- All of the official 2010 candidates for Oregon's governorship have been invited to participate in a public forum at Mission Mill Museum in Salem on Thursday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m.

The event is co-hosted in part by the League of Women Voters of Marion/Polk County, the Associated Students of Western Oregon University and the WOU political science department.

For more information: www.missionmill.org.

Studded tire deadline extended

POLK COUNTY -- The Oregon Department of Transportation announced late Tuesday afternoon it was extending the studded tire season until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, April 11.

The original deadline for removing studded tires had been 12:01 a.m. Thursday, April 1.

Major changes in the weather forecast, which included accumulating snow as low as 1,000 feet in elevation, the strength of the storms, and citizen input convinced ODOT to extend the deadline.

For the latest road conditions: www.TripCheck.com; 5-1-1.

Station begins 24-hour operations

WEST SALEM -- Salem Fire Station 11 in West Salem began 24-hour operation on Saturday, March 27.

The station, located at 1970 Orchard Heights Road NW, had been staffed 40 hours per week, Monday-Thursday, since opening in mid-2009. Salem's City Council authorized funding last October to expand coverage and hire six new firefighters.

Salem Fire Department analysts found when Station 11 was staffed, response time improved by 86 percent in the station's service area and by 30 percent overall in West Salem, according to a department press release.

Fire Station 11 will house a fire engine, a reserve ladder truck, and will be the base for the Salem Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team. The station was built with funds from a bond voters approved in 2006.

Bus service to Grand Ronde is free

GRAND RONDE -- To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and to encourage people to try the 2X Grand Ronde Express service between Salem, Rickreall and Grand Ronde, Spirit Mountain Casino is sponsoring free fares for the entire month of April.

The 2X runs daily, 10 times a day, Monday through Friday, with stops at Grand Ronde, Spirit Mountain Casino, the Rickreall park and ride, on Edgewater Street Northwest near the West Salem Safeway, the downtown Salem transit mall, and the Market Street park and ride in Salem.

The 2X Grand Ronde Express service is a partnership between the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Salem-Keizer Transit. It was developed to give citizens of Salem and the West Valley an alternative to driving individual cars when commuting and traveling between the two parts of the valley.

Schedules are available at www.cherriots.org.

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