44 children left in harm's way: Oregon's child welfare agency struggled to fix problems

(By Jonathan Bach and Whitney Woodworth) Barely three days after 12-year-old Caden Berry of Keizer died, the head of Oregon's child welfare agency ordered a full review of the agency's interactions with his family. Caden's mother, Amy Marie Robertson, has been charged with murdering her son. Clyde Saiki, director of the state Department of Human Services, wanted to know if "system issues" may have prevented the state from saving the boy's life.

Emails: OHA advised delay of Salem toxic drinking water alert

An Oregon Health Authority drinking water expert recommended against city of Salem staff immediately issuing a do-not-drink notice after toxins were discovered in the water, emails between city and state officials show. The emails contradict statements by the manager of OHA's drinking water program insisting the agency never made such a recommendation. The Statesman Journal obtained the correspondences after filing public records requests with the city of Salem and OHA.

Salem water crisis: City spending $75M to defend against toxic algae

Salem officials are planning to spend more than $75 million on construction to beef up defenses against toxic algae as they attempt to avoid a rerun of last year's drinking water crisis. Salem's water, pulled from the North Santiam River, became so contaminated by algae blooms upriver in Detroit Lake last May that city officials were forced to warn parents of young children and medically vulnerable adults not to drink from the tap.

Snap a selfie with a 24-foot bong! Entrepreneurs dream up pot-tourism destinations

For a birthday bash last summer, a group of friends in Oregon rented a bus that wheeled them around Portland while they smoked weed, drank Pabst Blue Ribbon and cranked the Snoop Dogg. They hit a few bars that night, but the vibe on the "Potlandia Experience" bus was way better than anything outside. "It turned into a mobile dance party," said Sweet Summers, who was celebrating her 36th birthday.

Oregon rent: Senate Bill 608 gives Salem room to raise rents

Oregon Senate Bill 608 still gives landlords room to raise rent Had a rent control bill under consideration by Oregon legislators been in effect 10 years ago, Salem-area rents could have grown 35 percent higher than they are today. Average rents for a 2-bed, 1-bath apartment in the Salem area rose from $594 in 2009 to $914 in 2018, according to the latest available data. But if the increases allowed in Senate Bill 608 were applied, those same apartments could have risen to $1,238 by 2018. The