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

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…
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…

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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…
Scot Stockwell.
May 15, 2015

Elementary principal sole finalist for St. Helens superintendent…

by Mark Miller
Scot Stockwell has deep ties to St. Helens School District The principal of a Beaverton elementary school has emerged as the sole finalist in the St. Helens School District’s search for a new…
OREGON STATE POLICE PHOTO - Cars slow on Highway 30 Friday morning after a crash that hospitalized a woman from Scappoose.
May 15, 2015

Scappoose woman injured in crash caused by pedestrian

by Courtney Vaughn
SUV rear-ends semi truck that stopped for man crossing road Authorities are still trying to find a man who was crossing Highway 30 Friday morning, May 15 and may have had a role in a serious car…
PHOTO COURTESY OF CRYSTAL FARNSWORTH - Author Tricia Brown collaborated with board members of the Columbia County Museum Association, along with other volunteers and contributors, to produce the new book 'St. Helens: Images of America.' Pictured clockwise, from lower left, are Barbara Larsen, Brown, Dave Parson, Les Watters, David Sprau, Duke Smith, and Joanne Pellham.
May 15, 2015

St. Helens history book launch set for June

by Mark Miller
Local author worked with CCMA to write book The history of St. Helens is being told in 128 pages in the upcoming book “St. Helens: Images of America,” written by Scappoose author Tricia Brown in…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - A 'Children At Play' sign stands at the corner of Fifth and Pacific streets in Columbia City. Several portable basketball hoops are positioned on or along Fifth Street, as well as other neighborhood streets like Park Drive and Tahoma Street.
May 15, 2015

Columbia City parents vent over basketball hoop ordinance

by Mark Miller
Mayor: City will do 'very best we can' to address concerns The council chambers in Columbia City were packed Thursday, May 7, as residents complained about the city’s efforts to control the…
CASA FOR CHILDREN OF MULTNOMAH, WASHINGTON AND COLUMBIA COUNTIES PHOTO - Lindsey King, left, of Columbia County's CASA program, comforts a foster child during a recent fundraiser breakfast for the program. To the right, Judge Jenefer Grant addresses supporters during the fundraiser.
May 15, 2015

CASA's breakfast fundraiser raises $10,000 for program serving…

by Courtney Vaughn
Organization cites lack of volunteers and foster homes to serve Columbia County It only took an hour for CASA for Children to rake in nearly $10,000 for its organization to benefit foster…