Walk with a Cop- Collaboration to Support Columbia County

Did you know that you can Walk with a Cop?  St. Helens Police Sergeant Rick Graham and Officer Alex Bubar, Columbia City have joined St. Helens resident, Judy Thompson’s team, called the  Legacy Devers Dynamos.  Together they invite you to join them in the 2015 NAMI Walk on Sunday May 17th.

What is NAMI?  NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, providing support, education, research, and advocacy for individuals, families, and friends of those living with mental illness. The 13th Annual Northwest NAMI Walk is held in Portland.  Every year  representatives from Columbia County have walked to raise awareness about mental health issues.  NAMI holds this event each year to keep NAMI programs and services free of charge for those who need them. More Information on NAMI Walk 2015

For the last four years,  local citizen, Judy Thompson has been walking for Columbia County.  This year her team has raised a little over $7,000.00.  These funds are donated back to local organizations that support mental health awareness such as $500.00 to  Sacagawea Health Center in Feb 2015 to contribute to their  Touch the Heart of a Child” annual fund raiser.   Mental health services for local school children are just one of the many services that Sacagewea Helath Care Center provides .  NAMI Columbia County provided Christmas for Peers of Columbia Community Mental Health (CCMH) which involved giving out 160 gift cards in Dec 2014. Since 2011. NAMI Columbia County has been assisting with financial resources to help local law enforcement officers attend the Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT).  NAMI of Columbia County helps to make an impact.

Join Judy’s team to continue to do good things for Columbia County.  Judy  hopes to have 100 people walking on her team for Columbia County.   Not able to walk?  You can be a Virtual Walker or donate to a great team.   When you support this effort, you help to  spread the word that mental illness is ok to talk.  You help to share that NAMI is a strong resource in and out of crisis.  There is no fee to register to walk.  Go to team page to join and support Sgt. Graham, Officer Bubar and Judy’s dedicated efforts   http://namiwalks.nami.org/devers15

NAMI of Columbia County is a great example of how collaboration helps to strengthen resources in Columbia County.

St. Helens Police Sergeant Rick Graham, Courtsey of St.Helens Police Department – Facebook Page
NAMI Columbia County Walkers
NAMI Columbia County Walkers
2014 NAMI Columbia County
2014 Columbia County Team, Legacy Devers Dynomos




Live music, carnival this weekend at Rainier Days in the Park

The 2014 Rainier Days in the Park event is July 10-13. Photo courtesy of Rainier Days in the Park.
The 2014 Rainier Days in the Park event is July 10-13. Photo courtesy of Rainier Days in the Park.

RAINIER — Rainier Days in the Park will be from July 10-13 in Rainier City Park, 300 W. A St.

The family-freindly event features live music and other entertainment, contests, carnival rides and games, marketplace vendors, food, and a beer garden.

Hours/highlights: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, opening ceremonies, performance by Lulu LaFever; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, magic show, performance by Fleetwood Mac tribute band Gold Dust; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, parade, hometown pizza-eating contest, family game show, Ralph Painter citizenship award, performance by the The Mulch Brothers, fireworks display; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Rainier Senior Center fundraiser breakfast, battle of the worship bands, performance by Kutless.

The parade on Saturday will begin at 10 a.m., and will travel west on A Street and continue into the park. Information about designated event parking and shuttle services are available on the event’s website at www.rainierdaysinthepark.com. Click on “Get the Scoop”.

Details: to see the full event schedule, click here; for real-time updates, like the event’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Several Easter egg hunts offered Saturday in Columbia County

File photo: mEGGa egg hunt at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens.
File photo: mEGGa egg hunt at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens.

Kids, grab your baskets! Easter egg hunts will be offered at the following locaitons in Columbia County on Saturday, April 19:


Clatskanie Middle School: 10 a.m.; school playing fields, 471 S.W. Bel Air Drive; sponsored by Clatskanie Kiwanis; free.


Grant Watts Elementary: 10 a.m., school playground, 5200 S.E. 3rd Place; for children 12 and younger; thousands of plastic Easter eggs filled with candy and toys will be hidden; sponsored by Scappoose Kiwanis; free.

St. Helens

Columbia County Fairgrounds: mEGGa egg hunt; 11 a.m. (gates open at 9:30 a.m.); 58892 Saulser Road; for ages 12 and younger, and special needs children 15 and younger; other highlights include a petting zoo, face-painting, horse rides, archery and robotics demonstrations and more; free; CC Rider will offer shuttle bus rides from St. Helens High School to the fairgrounds.


Riverfront Park: 10 a.m.; on B Street; sponsored by the Rainier Eagles; free.


Hawkins Park: 10 a.m.; end of Park Drive, off Bridge Street; sponsored by Vernonia Community PTA; free.

Gallery: Snowpocalypse Columbia County 2014

Snow Fun copy
Photo by Krystal Kuckenbaker

It’s not often we get blasted with copious amounts of snow here in Columbia County. Maybe every few years or so, if we’re lucky (or not, depending on your feelings about the white stuff). But, when we do, we really know how to make the best of it. The following gallery is a collection of images submitted by readers of Beyond the Burbs, and others we begged to share their experiences with us through photography. Enjoy the snow, stay warm, and be safe!

*UPDATED Sat, Feb. 8, 2014


Rainier wildlife center features sloths, endangered animals and more

RAINIER — Rainier is home to the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center and  Sloth Captive Husbandry Research Center.

According to their website, the center houses the largest population of long-term captive adult sloths in the world, and also conducts research on long-term care of captive wildlife populations, as well as preserving the genetic viability and sustainability of rare and endangered species.

A variety of animals are cared for at the center in addition to sloths, such as a wolf, a mongoose, a chacoan dwarf mara, a spider monkey, a ruffed lemur, a malaysian fishing cat, and several birds and snakes.

The center also extends educational opportunities to the public by inviting them to visit their facilities and interact — sometimes in person — with the animals. Tour packages and birthday party services are also available.

All visitations are by advance reservation only and are offered on a pre-determined schedule. For more information, visit the center’s website by clicking here, or e-mail sloth.center@gmail.com.

Columbia Pacific Food Bank hires interim executive director

ST. HELENS — Casey Wheeler is the new interim executive director for Columbia Pacific Food Bank in St. Helens.

Wheeler previously worked as the interim executive director for the Columbia County Economic Team. He was the CEO of St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union, and has served on boards for numerous Columbia County organizations, including the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Columbia County.

Wheeler also serves as a city council member for the city of Columbia City, and is a business support consultant for Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon for Columbia County.

Columbia Pacific Food Bank is the regional food bank serving qualified agency partners in Vernonia, Scappoose, St. Helens, Rainer and Clatskanie.

Daylight savings, fall reminders, and… a big thank you!

A sign that autumn has returned to Columbia County. Gone is the unusually dry and warm summer that lasted well into October. In it’s place are overcast skies, occasional 12-second sun breaks, and rain boots and umbrellas. This photo shot today from a horse farm in Warren just after a large downpour.

It’s autumn in Oregon. The rain has returned, as has anyones chances for being completely dry again until May. This afternoon the sun had a few successful attempts at breaking through the cloud cover, almost as if it were bidding the folks of Columbia County a pleasant farewell until spring.

Daylight savings time begins at midnight, so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour before you got to bed. It’s also a good time to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and load them up with fresh batteries if needed. For those of you who host holiday feasts, use the start of fall as an opportunity to go through cooking and baking supplies stored in cupboards and pantries all year to make sure they haven’t expired.

The goal this winter for Beyond the Burbs is to publish as many holiday events as possible offered through December. If you know of any holiday happenings in Columbia County that would be of interest to our community, please feel free to contact us about them.

Beyond the Burbs also has subscribed to receive alerts from several public service agencies so we can efficiently keep our readers updated on school closures, and traffic and weather alerts, as we begin to experience more wintery forecasts. Most of these alerts will be published on our Facebook page. If you haven’t liked us yet, please come find us!

Finally, thank you to all of our readers. We enjoy doing this for you!

Developmental disabilities program marks service milestone with barbecue

Rainier — The Developmental Disabilities Program at Columbia Community Mental Health will celebrate 40 years of service during their 8th annual barbecue in Trojan Park on Thu, Aug. 1.

The free event, which features a Hawaiian theme, is for clients, families, providers, advocates and staff of the program. Festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. with food, beverages and desserts served in the south area of the park.

Activities and entertainment for all ages will follow, including music, goofy games and tattoos. Attendees also will receive a free lei. Hawaiian attire is encouraged.

The event will go until 1:30 p.m.

RSVP to Hanna Ward (up until the day of the event) by calling 503-438-2223, or e-mailing hannahh@ccmh1.com.

View Larger Map

2013 My Fair Lady court

2013 My Fair Lady court (pictured from left) Joanne Bernard, Ann Mitchell, Marian Smith, Delores Mellinger, and Lesle Ruby. Courtesy of Columbia River PUD (2013).

The 2013 My Fair Lady court includes Joanne Bernard of Rainier, Ann Mitchell of Vernonia, Marian Smith of St. Helens, Delores Mellinger of Clatskanie, and Lesle Ruby of Scappoose. A queen will be announced at 1 p.m. Wed, July 17, during a coronation ceremony at the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo.

The My Fair Lady pageant is held annually to recognize senior women for outstanding service in their community. The pageant is sponsored by the Columbia River Public Utilities District, the Columbia County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and Northwest Apparel.

To read court biographies, click here.