Board member walks out after Columbia City deadlock

Board member walks out after Columbia City deadlock

Ray Biggs leaves meeting after board chairman cuts off debate A disagreement on the St. Helens...

Mater: ConnectOregon projects need more scrutiny

Mater: ConnectOregon projects need more scrutiny

As the Oregon Transportation Commission considers whether to grant $2 million in ConnectOregon...

Wahkiakum ferry to close temporarily next week

Wahkiakum ferry to close temporarily next week

Contractor work on ramp halts service for 'at least four days' Wahkiakum County in southwest...

'My Fair Lady' pageant contestants sought

'My Fair Lady' pageant contestants sought

Columbia River PUD, Columbia County RSVP collaborate on senior women's pageant The Columbia River...

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Columbia County's Latest News

January 30, 2015

Sauvie Island plan hearings begin

by Pamplin Media Group
Public hearings start next week on an update of the Sauvie Island and Multnomah Channel Rural Area Plan. Each hearing is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Sauvie Island Academy, 14445 N.W. Charlton Road.…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Tully's Coffee inside the Fred Meyer store in Scappoose is set to be replaced by a Starbucks Coffee Company stand. Mariah Armijo, picutred, says she looks forward to getting the experience of working at a Starbucks location.
February 06, 2015

Starbucks to replace Tully's Coffee in Scappoose

by Courtney Vaughn
The Scappoose Fred Meyer will soon transition its Tully's Coffee stand to a Starbucks Coffee Company stand. Applications for a tenant improvement permit and a sign permit were submitted to the…
Mark Davalos.
January 30, 2015

State approves St. Helens schools for $2.2 million loan

by Mark Miller
Superintendent: New football field, track could be completed by August The St. Helens School District won approval from the Oregon Department of Education on Friday, Jan. 23, for a loan worth…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Geordie Duckler (left) appears in court Monday afternoon to request prevailing party fees be assessed to Columbia County in a lawsuit the county recently lost. Duckler's client, Samantha Miller, filed the suit in 2010, claiming she was illegally arrested by Columbia County Sheriff's deputies.
January 30, 2015

After losing suit, county faces additional fees

by Courtney Vaughn
Columbia County could have to pay up to $5,575 in additonal fees stemming from a nearly four-year-long lawsuit it lost in November. The suit was filed by Samantha Miller, who said she was…
Photo Credit: PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Daniel A. Butts
January 30, 2015

Forcible medication of Butts expectedto reach high court

by Courtney Vaughn
Despite a court order to forcibly medicate Daniel A. Butts, the suspect in a four-year-old murder case, he remains untreated following disputes among authorities. On Friday, Jan. 16, Columbia…
Photo Credit: FILE - Scappoose High School is among the top-performing public schools in Oregon for on-time graduations. The Scappoose School District overperformed the statewide average rate for graduations among a four-year cohort by nearly 17 percentage points in 2014, new data from the Oregon Department of Education shows.
January 29, 2015

Scappoose, St. Helens outshine state in four-year grad rates

by Mark Miller
Change in accounting saves Oregon from slipping further The on-time graduation rate among high school students in Scappoose continues to far outstrip the state average, according to data…
Stephen Jupe.
January 27, 2015

Scappoose schools may cut June early-starts

by Mark Miller
Minor revision to calendar under consideration by school board The school bell might sound early for Scappoose students on a couple of Mondays at the end of the school year. Stephen Jupe,…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF CHRIS LAKE - Columbia River Fire & Rescue personnel respond to reports of smoke at Avamere in St. Helens, an assisted living center on Gable Road, that prompted residents to evacuate. Firefighters found that an overheating light fixture ballast was responsible for the odor.
January 26, 2015

Assisted living center in St. Helens evacuated over fire concern

by Mark Miller
CRF&R: Unusual odor at Avamere caused by malfunctioning light fixture ballast The assisted living community Avamere at St. Helens was evacuated Saturday, Jan. 24, after the smell of smoke in the…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT - The unemployment rate in Columbia County has remained steadily higher than the statewide average in recent years. The county's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December 2014 was 7.7 percent - one percentage point higher than Oregon's 6.7 percent unemployment rate.
January 26, 2015

Unemployment rate dips in Columbia County

by Spotlight news staff
Seasonally adjusted rate for December at 7.7% The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Columbia County declined slightly last month, dropping from 7.9 percent in November to 7.7 percent in…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF SAUVIE ISLAND ACADEMY - An event guide to Sauvie Island Academy's participation in National School Choice Week, a nationwide campaign to promote alternatives in education.
January 24, 2015

Sauvie Island Academy promoting 'school choice' with week of…

by Mark Miller
Charter school participating in National School Choice Week Next week will be Sauvie Island Academy's version of “spirit week,” its director said Friday, Jan. 23. Darla Meeuwsen said the charter…

Don't miss the local news

Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Dennis Sullivan (foreground) speaks in opposition to new restrictions on tobacco use at a public forum in St. Helens City Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 21, as City Councilor Keith Locke listens.
Jan 23, 2015

Citizens speak for, against a 'smoke-free' St. Helens

by Mark Miller
Mayor: City not actively considering new restrictions More than two dozen members of the public turned out for a public forum at St. Helens City Hall to discuss tobacco use and options the city…
Jan 23, 2015

Scappoose area man dies after falling in Multnomah Channel

by Courtney Vaughn
Sheriff's Office says man likely fell off roof of floating home A man's body was recovered from the Multnomah Channel Wednesday evening in what investigators deemed an accidental drowning.…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Dean Cox gets affection from two puppies brought to the shelter from Southern California. The Columbia Humane Society is one of several shelters in the Pacific Northwest partnering with nonprofit agencies to help rescue dogs from high-kill shelters.
Jan 23, 2015

Local partnership gives shelter dogs a second chance

by Courtney Vaughn
Transport program allows Columbia Humane Society to adopt thousands of unwanted dogs from out of state In the lobby of the Columbia Humane Society, two tiny puppies scamper around Dean Cox’s…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Willy Vlautin counts the Scappoose Public Library as one of his favorite stops around town. The author's latest novel, 'The Free' is up for an Oregon Book Award.
Jan 23, 2015

Award-winning novelist finds comfort, inspiration in rural…

by Courtney Vaughn
Willy Vlautin is one of handful of finalists for Ken Kesey Award for Fiction Willy Vlautin thumbs through books at the Scappoose library, taking a break from the writing process to visit one of…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Columbia River PUD President, Dave Baker, left, voices frustration to fellow board members over a suggestion to hire a new fill-in attorney. The board voted narrowly to replace the interim attorney it hired about a month ago.
Jan 23, 2015

PUD replaces attorney, despite board conflict

by Courtney Vaughn
Philip Griffin hired on narrow vote to serve as interim counsel Changes are still afoot at Columbia River People’s Utility District, and its growing pains were evident Tuesday, Jan. 20.…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Tiffany Smith (right), interim president of the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, speaks during a chamber board meeting in Scappoose City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Also pictured: board members Steve Jensen (left) and Blair Walter (center).
Jan 23, 2015

St. Helens economic integration talks continue

by Mark Miller
SHEDCO, Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce participants Talks between the city of St. Helens, the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, the St. Helens Economic Development Corp. and…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF ST. HELENS COMMUNITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION - To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union employees built nine bicycles and donated them to Columbia County foster children through CASA for Children.
Jan 23, 2015

St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union employees build bikes…

by Spotlight news staff
Bicycles donated to CASA for Children Employees of St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union used an all-staff training day on Monday, Jan. 19, which was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to assemble…
Photo Credit: FILE - The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals found that the St. Helens Planning Commission acted within the law in rejecting a permit for a development project that would raze this basalt outcropping in a north St. Helens neighborhood.
Jan 22, 2015

State board upholds St. Helens bluff decision

by Mark Miller
LUBA finds for commission, which rejected permit for project The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals held Friday, Jan. 16, that the St. Helens Planning Commission was within its rights to deny a…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Carolyn King adds to a large stack of hand made valentine cards at the Scappoose Senior Center.
Jan 23, 2015

Made with love

by Courtney Vaughn
Nearly 30 volunteers filled the Scappoose Senior Center Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, to craft more than 400 valentines for retired and active duty military. MLK Day is considered a…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - MD Shahidul Islam, in a booking photo.
Jan 21, 2015

Accused online predator Islam pleads not guilty

by Courtney Vaughn
Beaverton man charged over alleged sexual overtures to St. Helens teen MD Shahidul Islam, a 26-year-old Beaverton man charged with online sexual corruption of a minor in the first degree,…