Unattended smoker causes house fire

Unattended smoker causes house fire

An unattended smoker caught fire Saturday afternoon, causing significant damage to a home in the...

36 Pit Fire burns on, Estacada covered in smoke

36 Pit Fire burns on, Estacada covered in smoke

State resources assist with 3,588-acre fire With the 36 Pit Fire continuing to burn in forest...

Humane society to participate in 'Remember Me Thursday'

Humane society to participate in 'Remember Me Thursday'

Animals at Columbia County's no-kill shelter more fortunate than others While millions of pets...

Ribbon cut for St. Helens sculpture project at bridge

Ribbon cut for St. Helens sculpture project at bridge

Large lanterns light up east side of Highway 30, across from Walgreens A crowd of public...

Columbia City combining 'Prepare Fair' with Celebration

Columbia City combining 'Prepare Fair' with Celebration

Two-hour event will focus on earthquake preparedness This year’s Columbia City Celebration...

St. Helens considers LED streetlights

St. Helens considers LED streetlights

Lamps would replace old sodium-vapor fixtures The city of St. Helens may replace its old...

City OKs $120k for new police cars

City OKs $120k for new police cars

Scappoose City Council agrees to buy four new pursuit-rated cars Scappoose city councilors voted...

Veterans rediscovering life with help from service dogs

Veterans rediscovering life with help from service dogs

Scappoose dog trainer volunteers to improve the lives of returning veterans Ten years ago,...

Earthquake threat outmatches local capabilities

Earthquake threat outmatches local capabilities

Experts: Fault lines difficult to detect, assess Is south Columbia County prepared for a major...

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Columbia County's Latest News

Photo Credit: FILE - A unit train on the Portland & Western Railroad in Scappoose. More trains carrying crude oil are expected to move through the area if Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery expands its operations as planned.
September 12, 2014

Global Partners looks to expand, diversify

by Courtney Vaughn
Company eyes infrastructure upgrades to reboot ethanol operations at Port Westward Global Partners LP is poised to invest an estimated $50 million to $70 million to expand Columbia Pacific…
Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - A firefighter responds to a wildfire near St. Helens on Thursday, Sept. 11. The blaze was brought under control by Friday morning and caused no damage to homes or businesses.
September 12, 2014

Wildfire kicks up near St. Helens on windy day

by John William Howard and Mark Miller
CRF&R: Fire contained by Friday morning Fire crews responded to a small wildfire on the eastern edge of St. Helens last Thursday afternoon, Sept. 11. Jay Tappan, chief of Columbia River Fire &…
Photo Credit: FILE - Glen Crinklaw stands on the Crown Zellerbach Trail bridge near Scaponia Park on Scappoose-Vernonia Road. Scaponia Park is one of three that will be closed to the public this winter as a cost saving measure.
September 12, 2014

Three county parks slated for winter closure

by Courtney Vaughn
County hopes to save on park operational expenses with seasonal closures Columbia County parks saw record attendance over the last three years, but three of the county’s parks will be…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Aaron Fugere and Kerry Marshall-Knight (right and far right) address the board of directors for the St. Helens School District and Superintendent Mark Davalos (center-left) on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Fugere and Marshall-Knight, who work as counselors at St. Helens High School, argued the district needs to add counseling staff at their school and St. Helens Middle School. The board agreed, bumping half-time counseling positions at each school up to full-time.
September 12, 2014

St. Helens schools to add counseling, attendance staff

by Mark Miller
SHHS counselors successful in lobbying for reinforcements St. Helens High School and St. Helens Middle School will both have an additional full-time counselor, Lewis & Clark and McBride…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Water rates in Scappoose will soon be determined according to the Consumer Price Index. The city council adopted a resolution that will allow monthly water and sewer fees to increase up to 2 percent each year.
September 12, 2014

Scappoose water, sewer rates indexed annually

by Courtney Vaughn
New policy will allow automatic yearly increases of up to 2 percent Scappoose city councilors voted 6 to 1 last week, with Councilor Jeff Erickson opposed, to index the city’s base rates for…
Andrew Kaza.
September 12, 2014

Working Families Party backs Johnson challenger

by Mark Miller
Senator did not seek minor party's endorsement, will run as both Democratic, Republican nominee The Oregon Working Families Party opted last month to endorse and cross-nominate Democrat Brad…
September 12, 2014

Program aims to improve home health

by Courtney Vaughn
'Healthy Homes' initiative assesses home environment's effect on health issues A new program from Community Action Team, or CAT, is helping ill residents eliminate health hazards from their…
September 08, 2014

Ambre Energy files appeal of Morrow Pacific denial

by Mark Miller
Port of Morrow, Wyoming also appealing decision against coal export site Ambre Energy, the Port of Morrow and the state of Wyoming are all appealing the Oregon Department of State Lands'…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF KOIN 6 NEWS - Melanie Powell, the Rainier woman whose trailer home was tagged last week with threatening, anti-gay graffiti.
September 05, 2014

2 arrested for vandalism at Rainier grandmother's home

by KOIN 6 News
Trailer home tagged with anti-gay slurs Cory Johnson, 18, and Justin Harrison, 20, were taken into custody late Wednesday, Sept. 3. Both were charged with intimidation and criminal mischief and…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF ELIE LINDEN - Peter Linden, a St. Helens resident who was killed Saturday, Aug. 30, in a collision while riding his bike along Highway 30 west of Rainier.
September 05, 2014

St. Helens man killed in hit-and-run crash

by Jim Redden, Courtney Vaughn and Mark Miller
Deceased Peter Linden, 74, had recently completed chemotherapy treatment A St. Helens man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle along Highway 30 on Saturday, Aug. 30,…

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Jay Tappan.
Sep 05, 2014

CRF&R trying again on bond levy

by Mark Miller
$15M measure will come before fall voters Columbia River Fire & Rescue has filed a measure for the Nov. 4 general election ballot asking voters if they will approve up to $15 million in general…
Photo Credit: FILE - Daniel A. Butts spent most of the three-day mental competency hearing in February 2013 with his fingers in his ears. Columbia Circuit Judge Ted Grove has determined Butts is not capable of aiding and assisting in his trail, though physicians have determined Butts is not mentally ill.
Sep 05, 2014

Unprecedented legal issues prolong Butts' trial

by Courtney Vaughn
Hospital, judge disagree over accused murderer Daniel Butts' mental condition Accused killer Daniel A. Butts waits in a Multnomah County Jail cell for the next stage of his prosecution. But…
Larry Preston.
Sep 05, 2014

Preston resigns from appointed council post

by Mark Miller
Move gives Thistle incumbent status ahead of election Gordon Thistle, running unopposed for a seat on the City Council of Columbia City, is getting an early start on conducting the business of…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - John Harper addresses the Scappoose City Council during a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 2. Harper advised the councilors about taxing marijuana, if it becomes legal to sell in city limits.
Sep 05, 2014

Scappoose proceeds with marijuana tax

by Courtney Vaughn
City approves tax on marijuana goods ahead of vote, with intent to be 'grandfathered' in Marijuana dispensaries aren’t permitted in Scappoose, but if Oregon voters approve Measure 91 in…
Sep 05, 2014

No wind, too much water for festival

by Mark Miller
Kites unable to launch along St. Helens waterfront; quilts get wet in rain The organizer of last weekend’s Wind and Water Festival in St. Helens said Tuesday, Sept. 2, that foul weather spoiled…
Sep 02, 2014

Bicyclist hit, killed on Highway 30 was battling cancer

by KOIN 6 News
Hit-and-run claims St. Helens man's life Saturday RAINIER (KOIN 6) — The wife of a bicyclist hit and killed while riding on Highway 30 just west of Rainier on Saturday, Aug. 30, spoke about her…
Photo Credit: COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Kristopher Lee Woodruff
Aug 31, 2014

St. Helens bicyclist killed by texting driver

by Jim Redden
A St. Helens man was killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bicycle along Highway 30 on Saturday. Michael Linden, 74, was declared dead at the scene of the accident, just west of…
Photo Credit: FILE - From left, volunteers Carol Schuler, Neta Barbour, Martha Stokes and Brian Rosenthal dish up plates of the famous Scappoose Sauerkraut Sandwich at last year's Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival.
Aug 29, 2014

Sauerkraut Fest's silver year also its last

by Courtney Vaughn
Scappoose festival organizers say fewer sponsors, volunteers spurred vote to call it quits After 25 years of tradition in Scappoose, organizers say this year’s Sauerkraut Festival will be the…
Mike Seely.
Aug 29, 2014

State board finds fault with Port Westward rezoning

by Mark Miller and Courtney Vaughn
LUBA remands decision on 837-acre rezone to county for reconsideration A state appeals board handed down a decision Wednesday, Aug. 27, criticizing several of the Columbia County Board of…
Patrick Trapp.
Aug 29, 2014

State OKs, denies grant for Port Westward upgrades

by Courtney Vaughn
Rejected grant would have aided Port of St. Helens' goal for deep-draft vessel dock The Port of St. Helens on Friday, Aug. 22, was approved for a $2 million grant but denied for another grant of…