'Twilight' event planners confronted by Forks concerns

'Twilight' event planners confronted by Forks concerns

Chamber official unhappy St. Helens may spin off city's 4-day celebration A St. Helens Tourism...

Scappoose seals the deal with Sykes

Scappoose seals the deal with Sykes

New city manager will work with brother Scappoose city councilors approved an employment...

Columbia River PUD manager leaves district

Columbia River PUD manager leaves district

Board appoints interim manager after negotiating severance package with Owens After receiving an...

Florida company buys newly sited Clear Water Manufacturing

Florida company buys newly sited Clear Water Manufacturing

Almost as soon as Clear Water Manufacturing announced its presence in St. Helens, it disappeared,...

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Columbia County's Latest News

December 22, 2014

We have snow! Some mountain resorts open for skiing

by Kylie Wray
Meadows and Timberline run their lifts, Skibowl waits on more snow Ski Resorts on Mount Hood, and, of course, skiers, are rejoicing in the fact that the ski season is finally kicking off, just…
Photo Credit: COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - A car that struck a train in Scappoose waits alongside the tracks Monday morning. No one was injured and the train sustained minor damage.
December 22, 2014

Car collides with train in Scappoose

by Courtney Vaughn
No injuries were reported after a compact car struck an eastbound train near Rosewood Lane north of Scappoose early Monday morning. According to a Columbia County Sheriff's report, a 17-year-old…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER PEOPLE'S UTILITY DISTRICT - Workers from the Columbia River People's Utility District respond to a transformer fire just south of Scappoose on Monday, Dec. 22.
December 22, 2014

Transformer catches fire south of Scappoose

by Mark Miller
1,093 lose power briefly Monday morning A transformer atop a power pole just south of Scappoose caught on fire Monday morning, Dec. 22, causing more than 1,000 customers of the Columbia River…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - St. Helens School District Superintendent Mark Davalos (left) reads from a report on the shuttered Columbia City School at a school board meeting Wednesday, Dec. 17. Davalos is recommending the school reopen as an elementary school for kindergarten through sixth grade.
December 19, 2014

Superintendent recommends K-6 Columbia City School

by Mark Miller
School would serve Columbia City, Deer Island families Mark Davalos, superintendent of the St. Helens School District, bucked the wishes expressed by respondents to a public survey earlier this…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER PEOPLE'S UTILITY DISTRICT - Power lines were snarled on Neer City Road in Goble after strong winds took out electrical poles along the roadside.
December 19, 2014

PUD grappled with outages days after storm

by Mark Miller
Wind blast sets record for snapped power poles The week after a brief but intense windstorm buffeted the region and blew down trees and power lines Thursday, Dec. 11, the Columbia River People’s…
December 19, 2014

Man who rushed cops with knife sentenced to prison

by Courtney Vaughn
A man who was shot by police officers and sheriff’s deputies in 2013 after an altercation was sentenced to 16 months in prison and five years probation last month. Rogelio Rodriguez Martinez,…
Natasha Parvey-Leskowich.
December 19, 2014

Chamber sketches out hiring process for top job

by Mark Miller
Interim ED to seek permanent position The board of directors for the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce took its first steps toward finding a permanent replacement for Linda McDougle, who…
Photo Credit: FILE - Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton (second from right) with Sauvie Island Academy Director Darla Meeuwsen (third from right) and several student guides on a visit to Sauvie Island Academy in October. Sauvie Island Academy has sought an extension of a waiver giving priority to island residents and children of school staff and founders. Saxton said last Thursday, Dec. 11, that he is concerned such a waiver allows public school staff to unduly benefit from their employment.
December 19, 2014

State looks askance at Sauvie Island admission preferences

by Mark Miller
School wins temporary waiver extension, but criteria changes 'likely' The Oregon State Board of Education, while granting a temporary reprieve, signaled that Sauvie Island Academy’s waiver…
December 19, 2014

Sacagawea rep says St. Helens students went to sex-ed conference

by Mark Miller
Meeting attendees decry materials as pornographic, inappropriate Students and educators from the St. Helens School District attended a controversial conference on teenage sexuality in Seaside…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Bronwyn Talebi drops off her ballot at the Columbia County Courthouse on Nov. 4. A close count in the votes for Measure 92 led to a recount, although voters in Columbia County clearly rejected the measure.
December 19, 2014

Recount confirms defeat for GMO labeling measure

by Peter Wong and Mark Miller
Numbers shift toward 'yes' by 1 vote in Columbia County It’s official: Ballot Measure 92 lost by 837 votes of more than 1.5 million cast Nov. 4. An automatic recount triggered by the close…

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Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - A National Weather Service map shows the potential for heavy rain and flooding in Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Dec 23, 2014

We're dreaming of a . . . soggy Christmas?

by Pamplin Media Group
A deep trough of moist, cold air blasting down from the Gulf of Alaska is going to soak the region during the next few days, pushing a few local rivers and creeks over their banks. The National…
Jay Tappan.
Dec 16, 2014

Chief: Toy & Joy raises over $20k

by Spotlight news staff
32nd annual auction pays for toys, food to be distributed to local families in need This year's Columbia River Fire & Rescue Merchant's Toy & Joy Auction raised more than $20,000 at the auction…
Photo Credit: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Bill Ayers of Scappoose uses a chainsaw to remove branches from a tree that fell in his backyard Thursday afternoon, crushing a perimeter chain-link fence. Ayers and his wife, Theresa, are among numerous homeowners in Columbia County who reported property damage from Thursday's storm.
Dec 12, 2014

Windstorm takes its toll across Columbia County

by Darryl Swan, Courtney Vaughn and Mark Miller
Power outages, downed trees, road closures make up local aftermath of regional windstorm Columbia County residents woke up Friday and started assessing the wreckage from a powerful, yet…
Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - A student crossing guard keeps an eye on the heavy flow of cars between Grant Watts and Otto Petersen elementary schools after class dismissal Tuesday, Dec. 9. The buildings share a parking lot, which becomes congested during drop-off and pick-up times. Leaders from both schools want to make changes to improve safety and better regulate traffic during peak times.
Dec 12, 2014

Parking lot at Scappoose grade schools may see changes

by Mark Miller
Proposed changes include stop sign, one-way pattern, 10-minute spaces School leaders at Grant Watts and Otto Petersen elementary schools are concerned about safety in the schools’ shared parking…
Photo Credit: FILE - The changeover of a phone system used by the Scappoose School District affects Scappoose High School, as well as the two elementary schools and district office across the street. All four buildings have been assigned new phone numbers.
Dec 12, 2014

Scappoose schools get new phone numbers

by Mark Miller
Unsatisfied with service, district switches to new provider Citing problems with its telephone service, the Scappoose School District is moving its district office and three of its schools over…
Photo Credit: FILE - The visitor center in St. Helens owned by the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. The building is closed this month while the chamber's executive director meets with members. The executive director job has been passed to Natasha Parvey-Leskowich on an interim basis.
Dec 12, 2014

Chamber director resigning to take new job

by Mark Miller
Natasha Parvey-Leskowich named interim executive director as Linda McDougle departs The South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is losing its executive director. Linda McDougle announced…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Alexander Ross waits in court Tuesday, Dec. 2. Ross was sentenced Wednesday to more than six years in prison for seven burglaries he committed earlier this year.
Dec 12, 2014

Burglar sentenced to six years in prison

by Courtney Vaughn
Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Jenefer Stenzel-Grant sentenced Alexander Ross to more than six years in prison, Wednesday, Dec. 10, for his involvement in a slew of St. Helens burglaries.…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Defense attorney David Celuch addresses the judge in a Columbia County courtroom Friday, Dec. 5. To his left: William Holdner, Eric Hale and prosecutor Jake Kamins. Jane Baum is seated to the right of Celuch.
Dec 12, 2014

Cattle owners fined more than $100K

by Courtney Vaughn
Attorneys say cattle were worse off in county's care Concluding the largest animal neglect case ever taken on by the Oregon Humane Society, a Scappoose cattle farmer was ordered last week to…
Photo Credit: COURTESY PHOTO - Jean Marie Martwick will join the Columbia County D.A.'s Office in January.
Dec 12, 2014

Martwick one of two new additions to DA's staff

by Courtney Vaughn
Former circuit court judge will oversee child custody cases as new deputy DA Outgoing Columbia County Circuit Judge Jean Martwick will serve as the newest addition to the county’s District…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Scappoose city councilors listen to public feedback about food carts in the city. Left to right: Councilors Jeff Erickson, Jason Meshell, Mayor Scott Burge, Council President Larry Meres, Barbara Hayden and Rich Riffle. Councilor Mark Reed was not present.
Dec 12, 2014

Scappoose City Council considers food carts

by Courtney Vaughn
Food carts have become a staple in Portland, but city councilors in Scappoose aren’t sure if they have a place in their small city. Councilors discussed potential regulations for food carts last…