A church divided

A church divided

Yankton Community Fellowship wants to tear down its old building; a neighbor wants to...

Scappoose man helps senior center feed the hungry

Scappoose man helps senior center feed the hungry

RSVP Volunteer of the Month helps grow food for fellow seniors and the needy LeRoy Schmidt has a...

Flight of the snow goose

Flight of the snow goose

Birds departing Sauvie Island early this season If you have been out on Sauvie Island this...

A homecoming for Michael Sykes

A homecoming for Michael Sykes

Scappoose city manager reflects on his career in politics and the future of Scappoose Michael...

Whole Foods community market coming to St. Helens

Whole Foods community market coming to St. Helens

Grocery trolley will set up shop outside Legacy medical clinic on Wednesdays Whole Foods Market...

Last dairy on Sauvie Island goes out of business

Last dairy on Sauvie Island goes out of business

Vetsch Dairy ends operations after more than 70 years on island After more than a century of...

Dock funding is denied again

Dock funding is denied again

The Oregon Transportation Commission has again denied state money for a much-debated renovation...

Warren girl uses birthday party to help sick children

Warren girl uses birthday party to help sick children

Jessica Nelson asked for donations to Scout's Love instead of presents Ten-year-old Jessica...


Columbia County's Latest News

FILE - Officials at the St. Helens School District have been hoping to reopen Columbia City School in time for the start of next school year. But a projected budget deficit has put that goal in jeopardy, school board members were told Thursday, March 19.
March 27, 2015

State budgeting puts Columbia City School reopening on pause

by Mark Miller
School board calls on Salem to increase K-12 funding The St. Helens School District could hold off on reopening its schoolhouse in Columbia City if the state’s education budget is not increased,…
MARK MILLER - Many of the features at the Veterans Park being built in Columbia City have already been installed, including this monument to the uniformed branches (foreground) and Blue Star Memorial Byway marker (background). Work is ongoing at the park.
March 27, 2015

Columbia City Veterans Park coming along

by Mark Miller
Memorial Day dedication is planned The Veterans Park under construction in north Columbia City is on track for a formal dedication ceremony on Memorial Day, the city administrator and recorder…
COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL PHOTO - AVILA
March 27, 2015

Murder suspect in custody after Vernonia man fatally shot

by Courtney Vaughn
A Vernonia man is being charged with murder after a man was shot and killed Thursday evening in Vernonia. Vernonia Police reported Friday that Kirk Avila, 51, was arrested and charged with…
March 27, 2015

Several races set in south county's special districts

by Spotlight news staff
CRF&R incumbents face challengers; contested elections to other boards queued up Candidate filing for the May 19 election closed last Thursday, March 19, and a number of special districts in the…
FILE - Mud splashes up from around the feet of football players at Ackerson Stadium, the home field of the St. Helens High School Lions, during a wet-weather game last fall. School officials secured a loan this year to pay for an artificial turf field, after players complained of dangerous conditions on the existing grass field.
March 27, 2015

State loan for St. Helens schools shrinks

by Mark Miller
$1.38M will address track, field, but not curricular materials A loan offered to the St. Helens School District through the Oregon Department of Education won’t be as large as expected, district…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Port Westward is illuminated at dusk in Clatskanie. The Port of St. Helens sought $2 million in funds from Connect Oregon V for dock improvements at the industrial site.
March 27, 2015

Controversy lingers over $2 million dock project

by Courtney Vaughn
A rejected application for $2 million in Connect Oregon funds to make dock improvements to Berth 2 at Port Westward puts the future of transloading at the site in question. The dock project…
FISHER
March 27, 2015

Columbia County to put public documents online

by Courtney Vaughn
In a move to increase transparency and public access to county documents, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners will soon start posting meeting documents and related content online. On…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Entry is to an abandoned house on Kelly Street in St. Helens is prohibited following a minor fire set by people staying in the home illegally.
March 27, 2015

House fires spark investigations; city condemns property

by Courtney Vaughn
A house fire that killed a pet parrot and left an estimated $75,000 in damages to a St. Helens home and two cars on May Avenue March 10 remains under investigation by the St. Helens Police…
March 27, 2015

Late filings add 2 to mix in St. Helens school board races

by Mark Miller
Another Scappoose board incumbent faces challenge Filings just ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline last Thursday, March 19, pushed the number of candidates in each school board race in the St. Helens…
SUBMITTED IMAGE - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden talks about the need for Secure Rural Schools funding for counties in Oregon and across the country during a Senate budget meeting.
March 27, 2015

Timber payments get legislative lift

by Courtney Vaughn
Walden, Wyden introduce measures to reauthorize funding for Secure Rural Schools act Two Oregon lawmakers are asking for renewed federal funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community…

Don't miss the local news

COURTNEY VAUGHN - Babette Heeftle (right), finance manager for the Port of St. Helens, explains why the port decided to increase its usage fees at Scappoose Bay Marine Park during a meeting Wednesday, March 25. The new fees will take effect July 1.
Mar 27, 2015

Fees at Scappoose Bay Marine Park to increase

by Courtney Vaughn
New fees were established Wednesday, March 25, for Scappoose Bay Marine Park. Port of St. Helens commissioners voted unanimously to approve increasing the moorage, day use and boat launch fees…
Mar 27, 2015

Watts House Museum slated to reopen next month

by Spotlight news staff
The Watts House Museum in Scappoose will reopen to the public on April 4, after closing for the winter to complete refurbishments and renovate the historic home’s rooms. The house will be open…
COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ST. HELENS - Fabric artwork from Bonnie Meltzer, who will be giving a presentation at the St. Helens Public Library on Wednesday, April 8.
Mar 27, 2015

Learn how to make art from old books at library

by Spotlight news staff
St. Helens library hosting Portland's Bonnie Meltzer; friends of library plan April book sale The St. Helens Public Library is hosting a presentation and art display by Portland-based fiber…
Robert Blumberg.
Mar 26, 2015

Wauna Credit Union membership tops 20,000

by Spotlight news staff
The chief executive officer and president of Wauna Federal Credit Union, Robert Blumberg, announced at the credit union’s 48th annual meeting this month that its membership increased to 20,200…
Gresham High School
Mar 22, 2015

IN PHOTOS: State Dance - Large and Small Dance Division

by Brian Monihan
Gresham and Valley Catholic High Schools take top honors at this weekend's state dance championships. Photos by J. Brian Monihan (unless otherwise noted) Local high school dance teams did well…
Mar 20, 2015

Late filings make for more school board contests

by Mark Miller
Bill Amos files for full term; others enter races in Scappoose, St. Helens Additional candidates filed in three south Columbia County school board races this week, ahead of the filing deadline…
Mar 20, 2015

Columbia River PUD faces $1.88 million lawsuit

by Courtney Vaughn
Former employee moves claims from BOLI to circuit court A former employee of Columbia River People’s Utility District has filed a $1.88 million lawsuit against the district. John Nguyen, who…
Mar 20, 2015

Candidates race fills up for Port of St. Helens

by Courtney Vaughn
10 candidates file for three open seats Five more candidates have filed to run for commissioner seats with the Port of St. Helens. This week’s candidate filings leave the race at nine candidates…
COLUMBIA RIVER PUD PHOTO - LUGAR
Mar 20, 2015

Rehired employee appointed to manage Columbia River PUD

by Courtney Vaughn
Rick Lugar appointed as interim general manager after rejoining the district following legal dispute In an unexpected decision, the Columbia River People’s Utility District board of directors on…
COURTNEY VAUGHN - Gene Baska (right) appears in court Monday, March 16 with his attorney, Wayne Mackeson. Baska was arraigned on child sex charges.
Mar 20, 2015

Gene Baska arraigned on sex abuse charges

by Courtney Vaughn
Gene Grant Baska, the former Vernonia police sergeant accused of molesting young girls, was arraigned on child sex abuse charges Monday, March 16. Baska appeared with his attorney, Wayne…