Weekday Wrap: Staffing shortages plague smaller DMV offices across Oregon

By OPB staff (OPB)
July 11, 2023 8:16 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region

Oregon DMV faces staffing shortages, causing closures

Oregonians looking to get their license renewed or transfer the title of a car at some branches of Driver and Motor Vehicle Services may find the doors closed at times this summer, the agency’s busiest season. DMV spokesperson Michelle Godfrey said the department has been experiencing staffing shortages that have affected several of its smaller branches through the state. The Stayton office already has been closed six days this summer and the Dallas one has been closed three. Other DMV offices in Cave Junction, McMinnville, Lakeview and Redmond also have experienced sporadic closures this summer. (Bill Poehler/Salem Statesman-Journal)

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Signs, enforcement sought to protect Oregon Coast seabirds

During Fourth of July weekend, Tabea Goossen and other volunteers took their regular post along the beach at Ecola Point to guard nesting seabirds from the heavier-than-normal foot traffic and one of the birds’ biggest threats: off-leash dogs. While there are rules against the behavior, Goossen said the lack of enforcement and signs leaves it up to volunteers to help educate people. Goossen, who said there has not been a successful black oystercatcher nest at Ecola Point in years, believes special protection designations approved for Ecola Point and neighboring Chapman Point by the state in April will help. But those will take a while to start. Temporary signs warning about danger to the birds will be out soon. (Nicole Bales, The Astorian)

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Hearing set for Friday in federal lawsuit against Umatilla police

A judge will hear arguments Friday in the federal lawsuit against the city of Umatilla, its police officials and a former police sergeant. The plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, alleges former police Sgt. Bill Wright failed to investigate the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 2018 and a report of another teen girl’s sexual assault in 2022. (Phil Wright/East Oregonian)

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Salem council approves wage tax to pay for fire, police, homelessness services

After four hours of public testimony and debate, Salem City Council voted Monday night to approve a new wage tax that would pay for fire, police and homelessness services. The “Safe Salem” payroll tax will be imposed on wages for people working in Salem, regardless of where they live, as early as July 2024. The tax would not be imposed on those earning minimum wage. A person earning an average hourly rate of $29.90, which equates to $62,192 a year, would be taxed $42.19 a month, or $506.24 a year. The funds generated could only be used for community safety, which includes police services, fire, emergency medical services, 911 call services, code enforcement and unsheltered services. (Whitney Woodworth/Salem Statesman Journal)

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Restaurant offers fine dining for four-legged friends in Bend 🐕

Roam, the restaurant in Bend’s Oxford Hotel, now has a menu for dogs. Guests at the Oxford can already stay with their dogs, so Roam chef Bryant Kryck figured they might want to eat with them too. (Suzanne Roig/Bend Bulletin)

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