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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...

Outdoor festivals set in 3 south county cities

Outdoor festivals set in 3 south county cities

Still time to enjoy summer in Columbia City, Scappoose, St. Helens Festival season is not quite...

Boat ride is wish come true for OC senior

Boat ride is wish come true for OC senior

When Sher Johnson found out that Betty Pointer, 88, had never been on a boat and would love to go...

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Columbia County's Latest News

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.
August 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.
August 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.
August 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…
Douglas Greisen.
August 29, 2014

County to consider appointing ex-police chief to committee

by Courtney Vaughn
Former chief Douglas Greisen considered for county's homeland security advisory committee Columbia County commissioners on Wednesday, Aug. 27, tabled a discussion about whether to appoint…
Cheryl Young.
August 29, 2014

No contested races in Columbia City this year

by Mark Miller
Harrison will seek election to full term; Young draws no challengers Just two candidates qualified to run for City Council in Columbia City this year — the same as the number of seats that are…
Photo Credit: FILE - Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson (left) briefs county commissioners (pictured: Tony Hyde, at right) on the condition of the Columbia County Jail last fall. The jail's fiscal situation has improved since then; voters approved a $7.07 million levy to keep the facility from closing this May. But Dickerson says the jail is still struggling not just to hire staff, but to retain them.
August 29, 2014

Jail suffering from job security problems

by Courtney Vaughn
Though a 3-year levy has kept the jail open, staff departing for more job security As a $7 million three-year jail levy is slated to reach the Columbia County Jail soon, it may not be enough to…
Gordon Jarman.
August 29, 2014

Board set on reopening Columbia City School

by Mark Miller
Chairman: 'I want it reopened in 2015' The board of directors for the St. Helens School District telegraphed its intention to have the Columbia City School, which has been closed since 2012,…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Metal approaches along a Portland & Western rail line show curvature. Rail inspectors say the bent metal is still within acceptable safety standards.
August 29, 2014

Officials say rail line is safe, despite appearance

by Courtney Vaughn
Though some ties show signs of insects and rot, officials say no cause for concern Despite visible signs of cracking wood ties and bowed metal approaches on a stretch of railroad line over Jones…
Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: AMY CARLSON - A dark-gray 2010 Honda Accord shot through the back window has more than $100 in damage, scaring everyone in the Roaring River Campground.
August 28, 2014

Labor Day warning: Don't shoot near campgrounds

by Raymond Rendleman
Next year’s Roaring River Canoe Slalom, which has been taking place for the place for the past eight years along the Clackamas River, is in danger of being cancelled after a mysterious drive-by…
Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - People file out of the Columbia County Courthouse Wednesday morning after an evacuation was ordered, following a bomb threat. The building was cleared and access was reopened within an hour.
August 27, 2014

Courthouse evacuated after bomb threat

by Courtney Vaughn
The Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens was evacuated Wednesday morning after a bomb threat. Employees and visitors filed out of the courthouse just before 11 a.m. after officials asked…

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Aug 29, 2014

12-year-old girls arrested for starting fire

by Courtney Vaughn
Two St. Helens girls were arrested Monday evening after they admitted to starting a wildfire that spread to a nearby home on Shore Drive. According to the St. Helens Police Department, the fire…
Photo Credit: FILE - A St. Helens police cruiser helps establish a perimeter around the Columbia County Courthouse during a bomb scare in early May. Some law enforcement officials say jail funding uncertainty caused crime in the county to trend upward for first half of year.
Aug 22, 2014

Crime stats on the rise for the year

by Courtney Vaughn
Data suggest an uptick in 2014 crime occurrences, but story still unfolding In the wake of a recent burglary spree in St. Helens, law enforcement officials say crime rates may not decline for a…
Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA COUNTY MUSEUM ASSOCIATION - 'St. Helens: America in Images' will feature potentially hundreds of historical photographs from the Columbia County Museum Association's archives and beyond. This photo is believed to show the old St. Helens Creosote site in the foreground and the shipyards of Sauvie Island in the background.
Aug 22, 2014

St. Helens history book project getting off the ground

by Mark Miller
Author, museum group looking for stories, photos of city's yesteryears The Columbia County Museum Association project to commission a book on the history of St. Helens is getting underway, the…
John Kitzhaber.
Aug 22, 2014

DSL deals blow to coal export proposal

by Steve Law, Courtney Vaughn, Darryl Swan, and Mark
Removal-fill permit denied by agency; Port Westward suggested as alternative site For the first time, a government agency has rejected a permit sought for one of the coal export facilities…
Keith Locke.
Aug 22, 2014

Locke to run for St. Helens mayor again

by Mark Miller
Peterson, on council since 1980s, seeking seventh term St. Helens Mayor Randy Peterson is facing a challenge from longtime City Councilor Keith Locke this year, in a rematch of the 2010 election…
John Brewington.
Aug 22, 2014

Conn draws 2 challengers for city council position

by Mark Miller
John Brewington, Lonnie Lee running for St. Helens seat Susan Conn will not receive a bye as she runs to be elected in her own right to the St. Helens City Council in the Nov. 4 general…
Photo Credit: COURTESY PHOTO  - April Long, a Scappoose resident, works on an aircraft component as part of Portland Community College's aviation maintenance program. Long will complete her Associate of Applied Sciences degree this December.
Aug 22, 2014

Scappoose woman poised for promising aviation career

by Courtney Vaughn
April Long launches into PCC's aviation maintenance program At 30, April Long had yet to settle on a career. After years of working in retail, she knew she needed something more challenging. The…
Photo Credit: FILE - Warren Elementary School, the smaller of Scappoose's two K-3 elementary schools. The superintendent of the Scappoose School District is hoping that enough families take him up on a request that they move their students to the school that the district will not have to select students at random to transfer from Grant Watts Elementary School, which is located in Scappoose proper.
Aug 22, 2014

Superintendent asks parents to request transfer

by Mark Miller
Jupe: More students needed at Warren to even out class sizes The superintendent of the Scappoose School District has asked parents of students at Grant Watts Elementary School to consider asking…
Aug 22, 2014

DEQ issues air quality permit to CPBR over objections

by Spotlight news staff
Permit gives nod to crude oil operations at Port Westward facility The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a new permit for the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery at Port Westward on…
Aug 22, 2014

No contest in Scappoose election

by Courtney Vaughn
Joel Haugen will run unopposed to fill seat being vacated by Larry Meres Despite a tumultuous political year for the city of Scappoose, November’s upcoming election will leave four of five City…