Planetarium visits Scappoose Middle School

Planetarium visits Scappoose Middle School

'Field trip' experience in the school gym, with views of night sky, heavenly bodies The Scappoose...

Local fundraisers work to raise money for families of crash victims

Local fundraisers work to raise money for families of crash victims

Dutch Bros. raised nearly $20k for family of Kerrigan Clark; fundraiser planned next month for...

Trestle Beach improvements hinge oncity review

Trestle Beach improvements hinge oncity review

New trail, parking proposed to increase safety and access If the Port of St. Helens gets...

Ideas take flight

Ideas take flight

OMSI visits St. Helens for a 5th-grade rocketry workshop “Three...two...one...” Fwoomp!...

Marijuana: coming to a St. Helens storefront near you?

Marijuana: coming to a St. Helens storefront near you?

Council favors allowing pot shops, dispensaries in commercial zones It’s far from official...

Scappoose talks sewer rate increase

Scappoose talks sewer rate increase

Wastewater treatment plant costs outpace revenue, managers say Scappoose officials are...

New commissioners elected to Port of St. Helens

New commissioners elected to Port of St. Helens

County reports low voter turnout as challengers nab two port seats Tuesday’s special...

Voters reject depletion fee increase

Voters reject depletion fee increase

Chief petitioner says fight for funding isn't over yet Thelma Bonar is still fired up. By...

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Columbia County's Latest News

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Both Scappoose High School, with its Indians mascot, and Scappoose Middle School, which calls its student body the Warriors, use Native imagery in their school mascots and logos. The Oregon State Board of Education has ordered Native mascots be discontinued by the start of the 2017-18 school year.
May 29, 2015

Scappoose schools could have to change mascots after all

by Mark Miller
State Board of Education won't budge on 2012 rule banning Native mascots In what amounted to its rejection of a state law passed last year, the State Board of Education voted unanimously…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Scot Stockwell (left), who is the St. Helens School District's only candidate for the job of superintendent, is introduced at a community forum in Columbia City by Gordon Jarman (right), chairman of the district's school board, on Thursday, May 21.
May 29, 2015

St. Helens moves closer to hiring next superintendent

by Mark Miller
Contract negotiations begin, with Scot Stockwell as sole candidate Scot Stockwell appears likely to become the next superintendent of the St. Helens School District, after the school board…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Superintendent Mark Davalos (second from left) reads a letter at the St. Helens School District's final budget committee meeting Tuesday, May 26. The committee voted to approve a proposed budget after Davalos and elementary school principals agreed not to cut physical education positions.
May 29, 2015

School admins give in on PE as budget approved

by Mark Miller
Technology expansion put on hold; SHMS still in line for teacher, counselor cuts Administrators in the St. Helens School District have abandoned their plans to cut physical education specialists…
May 29, 2015

Oil refinery proposed for Longview revived

by Courtney Vaughn
Port of Longview considers new crude oil refinery after months of dormancy A proposed crude oil and biofuel refinery at Washington’s Port of Longview is again being considered by the port. Port…
May 29, 2015

Scappoose Senior Center target of Memorial Day theft

by Courtney Vaughn
A barbecue grill, riding lawnmower and folding walkers were stolen from the Scappoose Senior Center Monday, May 25. Julie Stephens, manager of the senior center, said the following Wednesday…
COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE AND RESCUE - A Columbia River Fire & Rescue engine deploys outside the West Oregon Wood Products mill in Columbia City on Saturday night, May 23.
May 26, 2015

Wood dust catches fire at West Oregon mill

by Mark Miller
No injuries, structure damage reported in Columbia City blaze A flash fire broke out at the West Oregon Wood Products mill in Columbia City on Saturday night, May 23, but there was no serious…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Bill Amos (left) and Traci Brumbles (right), candidates for Position 5 on the St. Helens School District's board of directors, chat amicably before a budget committee meeting Tuesday, May 19, about two hours before the first batch of election results were released. According to the unofficial results, Amos defeated Brumbles and two other candidates with nearly half of all voters' support.
May 22, 2015

Amos, Killens win contested St. Helens school board races

by Mark Miller
Incumbent Biggs ousted by nearly 14-point margin Voters in the St. Helens School District rendered a split verdict on their school board members Tuesday, May 19, with appointed member Bill Amos…
COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE & RESCUE PHOTO - Firefighters respond to the scene of a house fire in west St. Helens on Tuesday, March 10. A 10-year-old boy said Thursday, May 21 that he set the fire.
May 22, 2015

10-year-old boy confesses to setting fires

by Courtney Vaughn
Boy said he started fires at St. Helens batting cages and home on May Avenue A 10-year-old boy confessed to police that he set fire to the St. Helens High School batting cages in February and a…
May 22, 2015

PCC looking for property in Columbia County

by Mark Miller
Educational center slated to open in 2017 Portland Community College is likely to decide where to build its planned Columbia County educational center sometime this summer, college officials…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - The use of smokeless tobacco products would be banned in St. Helens parks under an ordinance being considered by the St. Helens City Council.
May 22, 2015

Blanket ban on tobacco eyed for St. Helens parks

by Mark Miller
Council debates targeting smoking vs. other forms of tobacco, marijuana A split St. Helens City Council directed city staff to proceed with a draft ordinance that would ban both smoking and…

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FILE PHOTO - The Columbia River Fire & Rescue administration office in St. Helens.
May 22, 2015

Two CRF&R board incumbents tossed in election, 1 returned

by Mark Miller
President fends off Melton in close race to retain seat The slate of challengers running for seats on the Columbia River Fire & Rescue board of directors went two-for-three in the Tuesday, May…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Superintendent Mark Davalos (left) responds to skepticism toward personnel decisions from members of the St. Helens School District's budget committee on Tuesday, May 19, in a public meeting at Columbia City School.
May 22, 2015

Divided committee fails to advance St. Helens schools budget

by Mark Miller
Board chair, superintendent spar over elementary staffing The budget committee for the St. Helens School District could not muster a majority to approve the proposed budget for the district…
COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL PHOTO - FITZGIBBONS
May 22, 2015

Scappoose man convicted of three child sex abuse counts

by Courtney Vaughn
Paul Murray Fitzgibbons, 38, could serve more than 18 years in prison Columbia County jurors found Paul Murray Fitzgibbons, 38, guilty of three counts of first-degree sex abuse Friday, May 15.…
Michelle Graham.
May 22, 2015

Incumbents win in Scappoose board races

by Mark Miller
Graham, Hoag easily beat conservative challengers All four Scappoose School District board incumbents running for reelection won additional terms Tuesday, May 19, with two running unopposed and…
Cheryl Young.
May 22, 2015

St. Helens OKs lease extension for senior center

by Mark Miller
Manager, council take different views of relationship The St. Helens City Council voted unanimously to approve a five-year lease agreement for the St. Helens Senior Center building on Wednesday…
FILE PHOTO - The metal obelisk lanterns, designed by Portland artist Suzanne Lee, that were installed on the east side of Highway 30 over Milton Creek in St. Helens last summer.
May 21, 2015

St. Helens arts commission planning next sculpture project

by Spotlight news staff
'Gateway' artwork envisioned for McNulty Creek highway bridge The St. Helens Arts & Cultural Commission has put out a request for proposals (RfP) from artists, consultants, designers and…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Elections workers tally ballots in a room at the Columbia County Courthouse Wednesday, May 19, hours before the deadline to drop off ballots. Pictured left to right: Scott Bauska, Mike Simpson, Sharon Howell and Bob Clore.
May 19, 2015

Challengers prevail in fire, Port of St. Helens races

by Courtney Vaughn
Columbia County voters reject depletion fee Two agencies-- the Port of St. Helens and Columbia River Fire & Rescue will change leadership in Columbia County, but a measure to increase the…
FILE PHOTO - Among the trains that transit Scappoose, St. Helens and other communities in Columbia County along the Portland & Western Railroad are unit trains loaded with crude oil. Similar trains have derailed, often catching fire or exploding, in several high-profile wrecks throughout the United States and Canada over the past two years.
May 19, 2015

'Rail Car Incident Response' course offered in Scappoose

by Spotlight news staff
Education opportunity, certified by Homeland Security, for first responders in community The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium is offering a course titled “Rail Car Incident Response” in…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Flowers, toys and notes have been laid outside the entrance to Scappoose High School  as a makeshift memorial for Kerrigan Clark, a 17-year-old student who died last Wednesday, May 6, in a single-car crash off Northwest Cornelius Pass Road.
May 15, 2015

Once again, a Scappoose teen's death draws attention to…

by Mark Miller
Officials hope to line up funds for some improvements, despite limited cash, legislative gridlock Despite the death of a Scappoose teenager in a car crash off Northwest Cornelius Pass Road last…
FILE PHOTO - The St. Helens School District closed Columbia City School in 2012 as a cost-saving measure. The school was on track to be reopened by the start of the 2015-16 school year, but budget constraints have now derailed the district's plan.
May 15, 2015

School board puts Columbia City School on ice

by Mark Miller
Reopening 'postponed' as SHSD struggles with budget deficit The reopening of Columbia City School is officially on hold for no less than a year, with the St. Helens School District’s board of…