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Les Schwab holding 'grand opening' event

The newly reopened Les Schwab Tire Center south of St. Helens is holding its “grand opening” this weekend, with a ribbon-cutting set for 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11.

The store reopened in a new building at the site of its former store at 58405 Columbia River Highway early last month; the old store burned down in a large fire last summer.

Portland Winterhawks tickets will be given away between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday at the store, and a $1,000 Les Schwab gift certificate and guided sport fishing trip for two will be given away Saturday. On both days, local veterans will serve hot dog lunches between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Movie tickets for the Columbia Theatre in St. Helens will also be given away both days.

“We’ll be providing a fun atmosphere and giveaways that families can enjoy together — we think it’s a great way to engage with our local community,” said Terry McMahon, Les Schwab’s store manager, in a statement. “We hope residents will come out to meet us.”

Les Schwab is also offering discounts on tires through October as part of its grand opening event.

Fultano's donates to breast cancer research

Six Fultano's Pizza locations will participate in Pizza Today's Slice of Hope program today. Astoria, Canby, Clatskanie, Scappoose, Seaside, and Warrenton locations will contribute 15 percent of all sales Friday, Oct. 11, to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. Overall, Fultano's locations hope to raise approximately $3,500. Fultano's urges community members to help raise money for the foundation by visiting any of the above locations today. Last year, pizza parlors from across the country raised more than $142,000 to help research breast cancer.

State unemployment report delayed by shutdown

As a result of the partial federal government shutdown, Oregon's statewide and local unemployment reports will not be released on schedule, the Oregon Employment Department announced Friday, Oct. 4.

The Oregon Employment Department relies on data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile the reports, which provide information on the employment picture in Oregon and local jurisdictions like Columbia County on a monthly basis.

However, the BLS was deemed “non-essential” and shut down together with many federal agencies beginning Oct. 1, after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic-controlled Senate failed to agree on a budget resolution to keep the government funded.

The statewide unemployment report was scheduled for release Tuesday, Oct. 15, while local unemployment reports would have been released the following Monday.

The Oregon Employment Department's release said that state officials will provide an updated schedule after the shutdown ends and they are able to speak with BLS staff, who are among more than 800,000 federal employees furloughed due to the shutdown.

Columbia Chorale of Oregon awarded grant, presents Haunting Melodies

The Columbia Chorale of Oregon was recently awarded a grant by the Columbia County Cultural Coalition, allowing the chorale to perform the fall concert, “Haunting Melodies,” Oct. 27 at 3:00 p.m. in the St. Helens First United Methodist Church located at 560 Columbia Blvd. The performance will coincide with St. Helens’ Spirit of Halloween Town and the ShoeString Community Players’ Haunted Tours. The concert will feature classical songs of death and remembrance as well as pieces from “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Columbia Chorale's AJ Wong is directing the performance and will be accompanied by Rob Fishel, both are experts in their fields and well-known in the music world. The concert is free and a donations will be accepted.

Multnomah County forming Cornelius Pass Rd. committee

Multnomah County is calling for volunteers to serve on an advisory committee being formed to provide input for planned safety improvements to Northwest Cornelius Pass Road. The road, which connects Highway 30 in northwestern Multnomah County to the Washington County communities of Aloha and Hillsboro, is an important route for commuters between south Columbia County and Portland's Westside suburbs. The community advisory committee will provide input on safety issues and improvements being considered for the road. Multnomah County expects planning to take place over the next year, with design work in late 2014 into 2015 and construction in 2015 and 2016. A county release Wednesday, Oct. 2, said six to eight volunteers will be selected to serve on the committee, and the county is looking for volunteers who represent “the diversity of Cornelius Pass Road users.”

County to hold ballot counting certification test

The Columbia County Elections Department will hold a public certification test of its ballot counting equipment for the county's special election. The counting equipment certification test will be held Oct. 29 for the following week's Nov. 5 special election. Testing will begin at 10 a.m. in the Columbia County Courthouse Elections Department located at 230 Strand St. in St. Helens. The public is welcome to attend.

Scappoose Adventist School honors local firefighters

The Scappoose Adventist School will honor Scappoose and St. Helens firefighters during its morning chapel today at 8:15 a.m.. Firefighters from both cities are expected to attend. Scappoose Adventist School students have, among other things, created art, written stories, and prepared treats in order to honor local firefighters.