Columbia County murder case awaits Supreme Court decision

Columbia County murder case awaits Supreme Court decision

Daniel A. Butts trial stalled as circuit court waits for rule in forced medication issue...

Columbia County's digital grapevine

Columbia County's digital grapevine

–  'Concerned Citizens' Facebook page brings thousands of locals together When Teresa Medina...

Scappoose home fire leaves $50k in damage

Scappoose home fire leaves $50k in damage

Home was for sale and had been shown by Realtors earlier that day A fire in Scappoose Wednesday,...

Experts: Pets need special consideration during heat

Experts: Pets need special consideration during heat

Dogs have fewer defenses against hot cars, sidewalks As summer temperatures soar into the 90s...


Columbia County's Latest News

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Contractors haul equipment out of the Columbia County Courthouse in 2013, following the activation of a chemical fire suppression system. Columbia County is now suing Columbia River Fire & Rescue, as well as a fire suppression system company for the damages.
August 04, 2015

County suing fire district for damaged equipment

by Courtney Vaughn
Complaint seeks $390,106 from Columbia River Fire & Rescue; Patriot Fire Protection for damaging county electronics in 2013 Columbia County is suing Columbia River Fire & Rescue Department and a…
COURTESY OF BONNIE MCDONALD AND THE VAIL DAILY - Will Olson, in an undated photo.
August 04, 2015

Scappoose native killed in Colorado bike race

by Mark Miller
Will Olson, 40, was a resident of Colorado A 40-year-old man who hailed from Scappoose died in what an organizer called a “freak accident” when he crashed near the finish line of a mountain bike…
COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE & RESCUE - Personnel from Columbia River Fire & Rescue attempt to ease Amy Lou, a 3-month-old filly, out of a swimming pool on Dike Road near Rainier.
August 04, 2015

3-month-old horse rescued from backyard pool

by Mark Miller
Firefighters use hose as sling to reunite filly with her mother A 3-month-old filly fell into a swimming pool at a Rainier-area home and had to be rescued by firefighters Thursday, July 30,…
SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Scappoose city councilors conduct business during a council meeting earlier this year. The council approved an expenditure amount for a settlement agreement with former city manager, Jon Hanken, in early June.
July 31, 2015

Scappoose settles with former manager

by Courtney Vaughn
City paid $10k toward settlement but never discussed lawsuit publicly A lawsuit filed against the city of Scappoose by its former city manager, Jon Hanken, was settled quietly out of court…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - A Columbia County Sheriff vehicle parks outside the Columbia County Courthouse. The Sheriff's Office was one of several offices to receive suspicious mail earlier this week.
July 31, 2015

FBI: No danger in suspicious letter sent to Columbia County…

by Courtney Vaughn
Sheriff's Office one of several government buildings across the state to receive identical letter The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was one of several government offices that received…
DICKERSON
July 31, 2015

Homicide investigation launched after death of St. Helens man

by Courtney Vaughn
Man succumbs to injuries from skull fracture that happened in Rainier more than a week prior A major crimes team is trying to piece together how a 30-year-old St. Helens man's skull was…
SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Jim Jones, seen here at the state wrestling championships on Feb. 28, is taking the reins as the Scappoose High School principal for the upcoming year. Jones is expected to step down as the high school's head wrestling coach.
July 28, 2015

Scappoose High School VP gets a promotion

by Mark Miller
– Jim Jones will serve as principal next school year The Scappoose School District has promoted from within to fill the top job at its flagship campus. The vice principal at Scappoose High…
FILE - The main building on the Boise White Paper mill site is currently occupied by Cascades Tissue Group, which leases space from Boise. At its peak, the mill employed hundreds of people and was an economic engine for St. Helens, under the ownership of Boise Cascade Corp.
July 24, 2015

Ex-employee alleges unreported oil dumping, chemical spills at…

by Mark Miller
St. Helens: Indemnification will protect city if property purchased The city of St. Helens and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said this week they are looking into claims that…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - The waterfront land where Boise Cascade Co. operated a veneer plant until 2008 is now property of the city of St. Helens.
July 24, 2015

St. Helens takes possession of riverfront land

by Mark Miller
Closing date for $2.64M deal was Thursday The former Boise Cascade Co. veneer plant site south of Columbia View Park is now property of the city of St. Helens. The deed to the property was…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Gregory Chaimov, Ann Kneeland and Sarah Hanson convene in a Columbia County Circuit Court room June 8 to give oral arguments in a suit against Columbia County and County Clerk Betty Huser.
July 24, 2015

Judge: Clerk right to OK initiative for signatures

by Courtney Vaughn
Plaintiffs sought to halt placement of a sustainable energy initiative due to jurisdictional issues Columbia County Clerk Betty Huser was correct in her assessment earlier this year that a…

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SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Natasha Parvey (left), executive director of the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, speaks at the third meeting of the 'Scappoose Power Team' (which has since been renamed the Scappoose Business Network) on Tuesday morning, July 21, in Scappoose City Hall. Well over 20 people attended Tuesday's meeting, significantly more than the turnout at the two previous meetings.
Jul 24, 2015

New chamber group puts focus on Scappoose

by Mark Miller
Mayor, chamber head working together on business networking This summer, a new group organized by the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce has been meeting in Scappoose, giving business…
FILE - Buses idle outside the Columbia County Rider Transit Center in St. Helens.
Jul 24, 2015

County looking at options for transit district

by Mark Miller
Special district, service district mooted in chamber survey With the financial stability of the Columbia County Rider transit system in doubt, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners is…
Jul 24, 2015

Columbia City awards $688k bid for sewer improvements

by Mark Miller
Officials: Project will improve system capacity, reduce rainwater inflow Columbia City will be spending about $687,600 to upgrade its sewer system, after the the City Council of Columbia City…
SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Columbia River PUD directors Harry Price, Jake Carter and Dave Baker review data during a meeting Tuesday, July 21. The board of directors is expected to vote on an energy rate increase in August.
Jul 24, 2015

PUD grappling with rate increase models

by Courtney Vaughn
Columbia River PUD expected to finalize new rates in August The Columbia River People’s Utility District’s board of directors continues to mull rate increases, but no decision is expected until…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Jeff Dotter asks the Scappoose City Council to approve an ordinance that will amend the city's code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. Dotter and others filled the council chambers Monday, July 20, to address the council during a public hearing.
Jul 24, 2015

Scappoose council OKs pot ordinance

by Courtney Vaughn
After flip-flopping, council approves city code amendment for medical marijuana businesses After months of sharp divides and mixed messages about medical marijuana dispensaries, the Scappoose…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Paul Murray Fitzgibbons sits handcuffed in a Columbia County courtroom Wednesday, July 22. Fitzgibbons was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for molesting two young girls.
Jul 24, 2015

Scappoose man gets 12 years in prison for child molestation

by Courtney Vaughn
Judge: Fitzgibbons is a danger to community A Scappoose man convicted of sexually molesting two young girls was sentenced Wednesday, July 22, to more than 12 years in prison and 10 years of…
WEMMER
Jul 24, 2015

Judge orders $100k fine for child porn

by Courtney Vaughn
Rainier man will serve 90 days in jail for encouraging child sex abuse A Rainier man was sentenced to 90 days in Columbia County Jail Thursday, July 16, following his repeated downloads of child…
COURTESY OF WYNDEE WILSON - From left to right, Teen Ruby Class champions Savannah Hoffmann, Jake Gordon, Aidan Vlastelicia and Hannah Darco, who are students at Oregon Performing Arts Studio in St. Helens, with show director Stacy Paydo (far right).
Jul 24, 2015

St. Helens dance studio wins national awards

by Mark Miller
OPAS Dance takes two prizes in Spotlight Dance Cup contest Oregon Performing Arts Studio, better known as OPAS Dance, came away from the Pacific Northwest National Dance Finals in Seaside on…
KOIN 6 NEWS - The Colvin Creek Fire, along with four smaller fires clustered in southwest Washington, has burned well over 100 acres of forestland. Smoke rising from the wildfire has been visible at times this week from across the Columbia River.
Jul 23, 2015

Smoke visible from Columbia County as fires burn across river

by Spotlight news staff
Wash. firefighters work to contain wildlife complex despite drought, terrain Firefighters in southwest Washington have been battling five wildfires this week, with smoke visible from some…
Jul 23, 2015

Relay for Life promises fun activities for public

by Spotlight news staff
Cancer fundraiser at Scappoose High School this Saturday Relay for Life is happening in Columbia County this weekend. This year, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is being…