Oregon State Fair returns

SALEM — The Oregon State Fair in Salem is scheduled for Aug. 27 through Sept. 6, though an official announcement will be made in June.

How exactly the event will differ from past years, however, remains to be seen.

"We are following the state mandates and will augment any plans based on the Oregon Health Authority's recommendations," said Kim Grewe-Powell, CEO of the Oregon State Fair. "We are still assessing the needs, and will follow the OHA mandates. Like last year's All Oregon E-Fair, we are planning for contingencies."

While light on specific details, Grewe-Powell said they will increase cleaning and sanitation practices at the fair in 2021, and will follow other mandates as OHA recommends.

Attendance at the Oregon State Fair has been more than 250,000 people in recent years. The fair supports 883 jobs statewide — including 627 jobs in Marion County — and $15.6 million in wages, salary and benefits.

Marion County was one of 15 counties moved out of the "extreme" COVID-19 risk category and downgraded into the "high" risk category earlier this month.

"With Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will not return to Extreme Risk again for the duration of this pandemic," Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement on May 4.

— Capital Press

Salem ice storm repair to cost more than $4 million

SALEM — Officials in Salem, Oregon, say damage from a February ice storm will cost about $4.6 million to repair.

The Statesman Journal reports the money will be spend repairing infrastructure and clearing downed trees.

As of April 21, a total of $1.3 million has been spent on the city's response and recovery efforts.

According to an informational report submitted to Salem City Council, the total estimated cost of the city's recovery efforts is expected to be $4.6 million.

While more funds are needed, a significant portion of the storm recovery costs is expected to be reimbursed through insurance or federal funds, according to city officials.

— Associated Press

Milwaukie chainsaw company Blount changes its name to Oregon Tool

Blount International, a Milwaukie company that sells chainsaws, chainsaw components and other agricultural and landscaping equipment, said Monday that it will change its name to Oregon Tool.

Founded in 1947, the business was originally known as Oregon Saw Chain Co. It had 4,000 employees, about 900 of them in Oregon, at the time of its $855 million sale to two private equity firms in 2015.

Its workforce numbered 3,500 at the beginning of 2020, though, and the company laid off 200 at the beginning of last year amid what it described as a persistent downturn in its global business.

Blount said Monday that it now employs about 3,000 worldwide, including 700 who live in the Portland area.

Blount will begin using the new name June 2. It currently sells products under a variety of brands, including Oregon, Woods and ICS Diamond Tools. The Oregon company said Monday that it plans to add complementary products to its existing line and that the company plans on "evolving its branding across product lines."

— The Oregonian/OregonLive

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