Ex-employee alleges unreported oil dumping, chemical spills at Boise mill

Ex-employee alleges unreported oil dumping, chemical spills at Boise mill

St. Helens: Indemnification will protect city if property purchased The city of St. Helens and...

New chamber group puts focus on Scappoose

New chamber group puts focus on Scappoose

Mayor, chamber head working together on business networking This summer, a new group organized by...

Scappoose council OKs pot ordinance

Scappoose council OKs pot ordinance

After flip-flopping, council approves city code amendment for medical marijuana businesses After...

Scappoose burglary, officer-involved shooting leads to high-speed pursuit

Scappoose burglary, officer-involved shooting leads to high-speed pursuit

Oregon State Police leading investigation into shooting; suspects apprehended A multi-agency...

St. Helens teen crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon

St. Helens teen crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon

Baylee Crawford, 17, of St. Helens wins over judges with displays of talent, knowledge and...


Columbia County's Latest News

July 28, 2015

Scappoose High School VP gets a promotion

by Mark Miller
Jim Jones will serve as principal next school year The Scappoose School District has promoted from within to fill the top job at its flagship campus. The vice principal at Scappoose High School,…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - The waterfront land where Boise Cascade Co. operated a veneer plant until 2008 is now property of the city of St. Helens.
July 24, 2015

St. Helens takes possession of riverfront land

by Mark Miller
Closing date for $2.64M deal was Thursday The former Boise Cascade Co. veneer plant site south of Columbia View Park is now property of the city of St. Helens. The deed to the property was…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Gregory Chaimov, Ann Kneeland and Sarah Hanson convene in a Columbia County Circuit Court room June 8 to give oral arguments in a suit against Columbia County and County Clerk Betty Huser.
July 24, 2015

Judge: Clerk right to OK initiative for signatures

by Courtney Vaughn
Plaintiffs sought to halt placement of a sustainable energy initiative due to jurisdictional issues Columbia County Clerk Betty Huser was correct in her assessment earlier this year that a…
FILE - Buses idle outside the Columbia County Rider Transit Center in St. Helens.
July 24, 2015

County looking at options for transit district

by Mark Miller
Special district, service district mooted in chamber survey With the financial stability of the Columbia County Rider transit system in doubt, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners is…
July 24, 2015

Columbia City awards $688k bid for sewer improvements

by Mark Miller
Officials: Project will improve system capacity, reduce rainwater inflow Columbia City will be spending about $687,600 to upgrade its sewer system, after the the City Council of Columbia City…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Columbia River PUD directors Harry Price, Jake Carter and Dave Baker review data during a meeting Tuesday, July 21. The board of directors is expected to vote on an energy rate increase in August.
July 24, 2015

PUD grappling with rate increase models

by Courtney Vaughn
Columbia River PUD expected to finalize new rates in August The Columbia River People’s Utility District’s board of directors continues to mull rate increases, but no decision is expected until…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Paul Murray Fitzgibbons sits handcuffed in a Columbia County courtroom Wednesday, July 22. Fitzgibbons was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for molesting two young girls.
July 24, 2015

Scappoose man gets 12 years in prison for child molestation

by Courtney Vaughn
Judge: Fitzgibbons is a danger to community A Scappoose man convicted of sexually molesting two young girls was sentenced Wednesday, July 22, to more than 12 years in prison and 10 years of…
WEMMER
July 24, 2015

Judge orders $100k fine for child porn

by Courtney Vaughn
Rainier man will serve 90 days in jail for encouraging child sex abuse A Rainier man was sentenced to 90 days in Columbia County Jail Thursday, July 16, following his repeated downloads of child…
COURTESY OF WYNDEE WILSON - From left to right, Teen Ruby Class champions Savannah Hoffmann, Jake Gordon, Aidan Vlastelicia and Hannah Darco, who are students at Oregon Performing Arts Studio in St. Helens, with show director Stacy Paydo (far right).
July 24, 2015

St. Helens dance studio wins national awards

by Mark Miller
OPAS Dance takes two prizes in Spotlight Dance Cup contest Oregon Performing Arts Studio, better known as OPAS Dance, came away from the Pacific Northwest National Dance Finals in Seaside on…
KOIN 6 NEWS - The Colvin Creek Fire, along with four smaller fires clustered in southwest Washington, has burned well over 100 acres of forestland. Smoke rising from the wildfire has been visible at times this week from across the Columbia River.
July 23, 2015

Smoke visible from Columbia County as fires burn across river

by Spotlight news staff
Wash. firefighters work to contain wildlife complex despite drought, terrain Firefighters in southwest Washington have been battling five wildfires this week, with smoke visible from some…

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Jul 23, 2015

Relay for Life promises fun activities for public

by Spotlight news staff
Cancer fundraiser at Scappoose High School this Saturday Relay for Life is happening in Columbia County this weekend. This year, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is being…
SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Moving Wall visits Camden, Tenn., in 2011.
Jul 20, 2015

Milwaukie parade to honor Vietnam service, Moving Memorial Wall

by Raymond Rendleman
On Saturday, July 25, American Legion Post 180 and the Milwaukie Rotary Club will help organize the city of Milwaukie’s Honoring Military Service & Sacrifice Parade that coincides with the 50th…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Larry VanDolah responds to Joe Kessi (not pictured) regarding the availability of parking at and around a business suite where VanDolah and others hope to open St. Helens' first medical marijuana dispensary.
Jul 17, 2015

St. Helens mulls first permit for pot business

by Mark Miller
Applications received for Highway 30, Houlton, Muckle Building locations Just weeks after the St. Helens City Council approved development code rules for marijuana businesses, the St. Helens…
COURTESY OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - A car drives along the Columbia River Highway in between Goble and Rainier in a 1920 photograph. The highway first opened in 1915, but much of it went unpaved until after World War I.
Jul 17, 2015

One hundred years of highway

by Mark Miller
Columbia River Highway first opened in summer 1915 A century ago next month, the landscape of Columbia County was irrevocably altered. The Columbia River Highway — also known today by its…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - David Taber (left) and his son Kamron (right) hold up their Citizen Life Saving Awards outside the Columbia River Fire & Rescue administration office on Tuesday, July 14.
Jul 17, 2015

St. Helens men honored as lifesavers

by Mark Miller
CRF&R bestows awards for David and Kamron Taber Two St. Helens men were honored Tuesday, July 14, for their response to a fire in a neighbor’s house last month. The chief of Columbia River Fire…
Kenneth Hicks.
Jul 17, 2015

St. Helens man sentenced in cold case murder

by Courtney Vaughn
Hicks, 52, sentenced to life in prison for 1982 death of Aloha teen Advances in DNA testing led to a lifelong prison sentence Monday, July 13, for a St. Helens man who was convicted earlier this…
FILE - A unit rain travels along rail lines in Scappoose. A bill likely to be signed into law would require the Oregon State Fire Marshal to adopt a plan for coordinated response to hazardous material spills from rail cars.
Jul 17, 2015

Rail safety bill would beef up hazardous response training

by Courtney Vaughn
Legislation provides for safety equipment availability, training related to hazardous material rail transports A rail safety bill awaiting Gov. Kate Brown’s signature aims to improve training of…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Frank Upham addresses Columbia County commissioners during a public hearing July 8 for an event permit that Upham and Danny Petrella applied for. The permit was denied and the event has since been pushed to a date to be announced.
Jul 17, 2015

Field of Dreams music festival postponed

by Courtney Vaughn
Organizers looked for new location after permit denial, before rescheduling A music festival initially planned for this weekend in the Rainier area has been postponed, organizers say. After…
Jul 17, 2015

Chief: Albany school arsonist tied to St. Helens fires

by Mark Miller
Zachary Lee Burghart linked to 2000 fire A man convicted of arson at South Albany High School also confessed to starting at least two fires in St. Helens years ago, according to the chief of…
FILE - The Port of St. Helens office in Columbia City has a meeting room that is often filled up to or beyond its capacity during Port Commission meetings.
Jul 17, 2015

Meeting space still needed, but plans will change, port says

by Courtney Vaughn
Port scales back design and expense of meeting room expansion, but need persists Plans to build a bigger meeting room for the Port of St. Helens will continue, but at a smaller scale.…