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

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

Mayor: City not actively considering new restrictions More than two dozen members of the public...

Local partnership gives shelter dogs a second chance

Local partnership gives shelter dogs a second chance

Transport program allows Columbia Humane Society to adopt thousands of unwanted dogs from out of...

Award-winning novelist finds comfort, inspiration in rural Oregon town

Award-winning novelist finds comfort, inspiration in rural Oregon town

Willy Vlautin is one of handful of finalists for Ken Kesey Award for Fiction Willy Vlautin...

Made with love

Made with love

Nearly 30 volunteers filled the Scappoose Senior Center Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,...

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Columbia County's Latest News

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…
January 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 - 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.
January 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).
January 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.
January 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.
January 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: COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - MD Shahidul Islam, in a booking photo.
January 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,…

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Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Council President Doug Morten (left) makes his pitch for reelection at a St. Helens City Council meeting Wednesday, Jan. 21, as Mayor Randy Peterson (center) and City Administrator John Walsh (right) listen.
Jan 21, 2015

Morten reelected as St. Helens City Council president

by Mark Miller
4-year president gets unanimous support of councilors The St. Helens City Council unanimously reelected Douglas Morten as its president on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Both Morten and Councilor Keith…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF BOB HARBISON - The Hawaiian Chieftain will be touring this year with the 1790s-era replica ship Lady Washington (not pictured), voyaging up the West Coast for the next five months and along the Columbia River in July and August. The tall ships will make a stop in Rainier late in August.
Jan 20, 2015

Tall ships coming to Rainier in August

by Jason Vondersmith
Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftain to tour West Coast, Columbia River in coming months If, come July or August, you see what looks to be old wooden ships sailing up the Columbia River, just…
Photo Credit: COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Douglas Schaffner
Jan 20, 2015

Rainier man arrested for kidnapping and attempted rape

by Courtney Vaughn
Woman says ex-boyfriend broke into her home and tried to rape her A Rainier-area man was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of attempted rape, sodomy, kidnapping, strangulation, assault and…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Students volunteering at St. Helens Middle School for a 'Day of Service' Monday, Jan. 19, pose during a break in their work. Volunteers raked leaves, picked up trash and improved trails, among other chores, on the school grounds.
Jan 19, 2015

St. Helens Middle students give back to their school on Martin…

by Mark Miller
Community service club leads annual 'Day of Service' on holiday Students and teachers across the United States had a day off on Monday, Jan. 19, for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE SCAPPOOSE HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA CLUB - From left, 'The Curious Savage' cast members Clare Kessi, Corey Pierce-Brown, Samantha Darr and Tyler Dietrichs. Darr stars in the comedic play by John Patrick as Ethel P. Savage, a woman who inherits $10 million and is committed to a mental institution by her stepchildren, who want the money for themselves.
Jan 19, 2015

Scappoose High School to stage Patrick comedy 'The Curious…

by Spotlight news staff
Showtimes are Jan. 29-31 The Scappoose High School Drama Club will be presenting “The Curious Savage,” a comedic play by John Patrick, at the end of the month. The play is about a woman who…
Jan 19, 2015

Woman sues Columbia County over 2013 arrest

by Courtney Vaughn
Lawsuit filed months after county ordered to pay $50,000 for illegal 2010 arrest Roughly two months after winning a $50,000 lawsuit against Columbia County, a Scappoose woman is again suing the…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE OREGON DAIRY WOMEN - Emma Miller (front) reacts as she is announced as the 2015 Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador by 2014 Princess-Ambassador Danielle Bull on Saturday, Jan. 17. Miller, an Oregon State University student from Independence, won the title over five other young women, including Columbia County Dairy Princess-Ambassador Teri McGettigan.
Jan 19, 2015

Independence woman wins dairy princess title

by Spotlight news staff
Columbia County's representative a finalist Although Teri McGettigan of Warren was a finalist for the second time in the contest for Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador, the title was awarded…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - St. Helens School District board Chairman Gordon Jarman (left) presented departing school board member Marshall Porter (right) with a certificate of appreciation at Porter's last school board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 14. The school board intends to appoint an interim replacement for Porter, whose seat is up for election this spring.
Jan 17, 2015

St. Helens school board seeks applicants for vacancy

by Mark Miller
Marshall Porter stepped down this week The St. Helens School District's board of directors is inviting “interested patrons” to apply for a seat on the five-member board. The fifth position on…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Joe Bair cleans up yard debris in front of Columbia City School on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The St. Helens School District, for which Bair works, maintains the school and is planning to reopen it after a three-year hiatus by fall.
Jan 16, 2015

School board split ahead of Columbia City decision

by Mark Miller
Smith, Biggs raise objections to K-6 recommendation There is no apparent consensus among members of the St. Helens School District’s board of directors as the school board heads toward a…
Photo Credit: SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Construction crews, including Knife River Corporation, which mines in Columbia County, work on JP West Bridge in Scappoose in September 2014. A ballot measure proposes to increase the depletion fee that mining companies pay, as a means to fund infrastructure and transportation.
Jan 16, 2015

Depletion fee increase will be on May ballot

by Courtney Vaughn
In May, Columbia County voters will be asked to vote on a proposed increase to the county’s Natural Resources Depletion Fee. As written, the ballot initiative seeks to raise the depletion fee by…