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4/14 News In Brief

*West Salem man named fire chief*Studded tire deadline extended*Grant program taking applications

West Salem man named fire chief

SALEM -- West Salem resident Mike Niblock has been appointed Salem's fire chief effective April 5.

Niblock had served as interim chief since June 2009. He was selected after a national search for a permanent leader in the department.

"Mike Niblock has performed exceptionally since joining the Salem Fire Department," Salem City Manager Linda Norris said in a statement. "His contributions and strong leadership as interim fire chief have been very valuable to the department, the city of Salem, and Salem residents."

Niblock joined Salem's department in 2004 as deputy chief of operations. Before that, he served 16 years in Richland, Wash., where he was promoted to battalion chief.

His annual salary as Salem's chief will be $123,968.

Studded tire deadline extended

SALEM -- The Oregon Department of Transportation has again extended the deadline for removing studded tires in the state until Sunday, April 18.

Recent weather forecasts that called for continued difficult driving conditions due to snow falling at low elevations prompted the extension.

ODOT had earlier pushed the deadline date from April 1 to April 11 due to the inclement weather and driving conditions.

Drivers who aren't planning to travel over mountain passes or at high elevations are encouraged to remove their studded tires before the 12:01 a.m. deadline on Sunday, April 18.

For more information and statewide road conditions: www.TripCheck.com; 1-800-977-6368; 5-1-1.

Grant program taking applications

POLK COUNTY -- Walmart Foundation's Oregon State Giving Program is accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations across the state, including Polk County.

Interested organizations may apply online at www.walmartfoundation.org. The minimum award for each grant is $25,000.

The Walmart Foundation is focused on funding much-needed community programs, especially those that address hunger, homelessness, education, job training and other basic needs. Organizations must currently operate under the tax-exempt status Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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