Thank you, Columbia County law enforcement!

Today is National Tell a Police Officer Thank You Day.

There are many excellent men and women in this country who put their lives in jeopardy every day to ensure that the public is protected from danger. We are fortunate to have a very respectable group of them right here in Columbia County who deserve our gratitude for their bravery and kindness.

Law enforcement is not an easy job. Officers get more thugs than hugs. So, if you encounter one today, consider giving them thanks for the difficult work they do.

Police agencies that service our community (click on names to visit agency Web sites):

Columbia City Police

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Scappoose Police

St. Helens Police

Rainier Police

Vernonia Police

For more information about National Tell a Police Officer Thank You Day, click here.

Family Fun: Ninja secrets, slippery science and more offered at St. Helens Public Library

Several free activities for children and young adults are offered now through December at the St. Helens Public Library375 S. 18th St. A schedule is listed below. Some activities require advance registration, or a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. For details, call 503-397-4544.


Ninja Night: 4 p.m., Wed, Sept. 19. Weapons talk and demonstration, crafts, and ninja snack; presented by library staff and Lewis Taekwondo; ages four and older.

Mini-Golf: 5:15 p.m., Fri, Sept. 28. Practice your putting skills in a librarian-made obstacle course fashioned from several stacks of books; for teens.


“Read for the Record”: 4 p.m., Thur, Oct. 4. A literacy event for children across the United States who pledge to read the same book, on the same day; local participants are invited to gather in the library auditorium and read “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad” by David Soman and Jackie Davis; buggy costume craft, ladybug pencil giveaway and raffle for a professionally-made ladybug costume will follow; ages 3-8.

Monster Movies & Munchies: 3 p.m., Thur, Oct. 18. Scary movies and snacks; call for movie titles; ages 8 and younger admitted with a parent or legal guardian only; ages 10-14 must have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver at the door.

Dissection Juxtaposition: 4 p.m., Wed, Oct. 24. Library staff and volunteers dissect numerous vertebrate animals to explore what makes them tick and how they are similar to humans; ages five and older.


Fight Like a Girl: 4 p.m., Fri, Nov. 9. A self-defense class on how to avoid dangerous situations, what to do if a dangerous situation is unavoidable, and how to defend yourself if you are attacked; presented by library staff and a martial arts instructor from Lewis Taekwondo; girls and boys welcome; ages 10 and older.

Elephant & Piggie Day: 4 p.m., Thur, Nov. 15. A special story-time celebrating Mo Willems’ beloved picture book characters — Elephant and Piggie; book-related activities and picture-taking opportunities with story characters will follow; ages three and older.


Gingerbread, Juice and Jubilations: Sat, Dec. 15. 11 a.m., “The Gingerbread Man” puppet show with Penny’s Puppet Productions; ages three and older; 11:45 a.m., gingerbread man and woman decorating craft and apple cider; ages three and older; 2 p.m., “Wrap it Up!” basic gift-wrapping class for teens and adults; wrapping workshop will follow where participants can utilize library wrapping paper, ribbons, glitter and die-cutters to customize their gift-wrapping; limit three gifts a person; boxes not provided; registration is required for all three events.


Storytimes: Baby Lapsit, 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays; ages six-months to two years. Toddler Storytime, 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays; ages 2-3. Preschool Storyime, 11:15 a.m. Thursdays; ages 3-5. No storytime Nov. 21-23.

Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival offers good eats, unusual treats… and cabbage bowling

Sauerkraut-eating contest

For 23 summers, the city of Scappoose has hosted one of Columbia County’s most popular events – the Sauerkraut Festival. This year, the festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Heritage Park.

The event is coordinated by the Scappoose Community Club, and sponsored by RS Media, Wauna Federal Credit Union and many other local businesses and organizations.

Festival organizers say the event draws anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 sauerkraut enthusiasts annually and features delicious sauerkraut-infused fare, such as chocolate sauerkraut cupcakes and sauerkraut ice cream, as well as the “Famous Scappoose Sauerkraut Sandwich”.

Visitors can try their hand at cabbage bowling, gorge themselves in a sauerkraut-eating contest or work-up a pre-gorge appetite by participating in the Matt Moquin 5K Fun Run and Walk. Registration for the walk/run begins at 8:30 a.m. at Scappoose High School, 33700 High School Way.

Dozens of vendor booths will be featured, including Master Gardeners with the OSU Extension Service, the Columbia Humane Society, Susan’s Classy Glass Creations, Old Oregon Smokehouse, Terrel’s Texas Bar-B-Que, Patty’s Kettle Corn and others.  A complete list of vendors can be viewed by clicking here.

Locally-grown goodies and hand-made crafts also will be offered for sale at the nearby Scappoose Farmers’ Market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

From noon to 3 p.m., helpers are needed to decide which sauerkraut recipe deserves the coveted “People’s Choice Award” during a celebrity sauerkraut cook-off and tasting event. Contestants include Scappoose natives, C.C. Barber, who is Miss Oregon 2009, Scappoose mayor, Scott Burge, and this year’s Sauerkraut Festival queen, Rachel Mayes, as well as Sheryl Stewart from The Buzz 105.9.

The event also offers family activities in the Columbia River PUD Kids’ Cabbage Patch with pony rides, a petting zoo, and crafts with the Girl Scouts. Live music and other acts will be featured on the Fred Meyer entertainment stage.

The stage schedule includes: 10 a.m., opening ceremony; 10:30 a.m., jazz duo Nina Reed & Larry Munson, with special guest Mark Alexander; Noon, Lyman Louis, americana/country/blues; 1 p.m., OPAS Dance; 2 p.m., sauerkraut eating contest; 2:30 p.m., Crossfire, country western; 4 p.m., Scappoose High School showcase; and 4:30 p.m., Backstage Pass, new/old country/heavy rock.

Heritage Park is located at Southeast Second Street, between East Columbia Avenue and Southeast Olive Street. For more information, contact Beth Pulito, 503-913-4476, or Lisa Smith, 503-543-2010, or visit the festival Web site at

Those interested in participating in the 5K walk/run, contact Paula Holmason, 503-888-5592, or

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St. Helens Les Schwab relocates to temporary site

ST. HELENS — According to a Sept. 4 report on The Chronicle Web site, the St. Helens Les Schwab that was destroyed after a fire on Aug. 24 will temporarily reopen in the old Fuel Café building at 555 S. Columbia River Highway, next to the Village Inn restaurant.

Preparations to update the site for Les Schwab services began Aug. 27 and the company hopes to re-open by mid-September. Click here for the article.

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Fire district announces fall burn period

ST. HELENS — Columbia River Fire & Rescue has announced the fall burn period for residents of their service district in St. Helens, Columbia City, Prescott and Rainer.

Burning will be allowed with a valid permit from Oct. 20 through Nov. 4. Permits, which are free, are good for one year and can be obtained online with a valid e-mail address through the district’s Web site at, or in-person in their administration offices at 270 Columbia Blvd. in St. Helens.

Permit holders may burn only during authorized times set by the fire district and are required to call the district’s burn line at 503-397-4800 prior to burning to confirm that a ban is not in effect for that day. Those without permits and who burn on non-authorized days may be subject to fines.
For more information, call the district’s administration offices at 503-397-2990, or e-mail

September Events in Columbia County

A sampling of events offered in Columbia County during the month of September. More items will be added this week, so please return for updates!

Sept 5

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office volunteer orientation: 6-7 p.m. Wed, Sept. 5. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, 901 Port Ave., St. Helens. Learn about volunteer opportunities; new and current volunteers welcome. Details: 503-366-4611, (click the VIPS link under “Get Involved”).

Sept 8

10th Annual Amani Center Luau & Auction: 4:30-9:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 8. Columbia County Fairgrounds, 58892 Saulser Road, St. Helens. Catered dinner by Hawaiian Island Café, Hawaiian music, Polynesian dancers, fire dancers, silent and oral auctions; Hawaiian attire encouraged; adults only; $45 a person, tables $375-500. Details: 503-366-4005,,

Sept 13


Author visit: 7 p.m. Thur, Sept. 13, St. Helens Public Library, 375 S. 18th St. Local author Ken Scholes will read from and discuss his latest works “Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars and Other Unusual Suspects”; free. Details: 503-397-4544,


Sept. 18

Fall paper crafts: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 18-Dec. 11. St. Helens Public Library, 375 S. 18th St. A scrapbooking class with Stampin’ Up demonstrator, Angie McNulty; class themes are “birthday”, “Halloween”, “Christmas”, and “thank-you”; adults only; advance registration required. Details: 503-397-4544,


St. Helens Public Library storytimes: Baby Lapsit, 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 11, 18, 25; ages six-months to two years. Toddler Storytime, 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 12, 19, 26; ages 2-3. Preschool Storyime, 11:15 a.m. Thursdays, Sept. 13, 20, 27; ages 4-5. Free. 375 S. 18th St. Details: 503-397-4544,

Scappose Public Library storytime: Preschool Storytime, 10:30-11 a.m. Wednesdays. Ages five and younger; craft time or other activity will follow; free. 52469 S.E. Second St. Details: 503-543-7123,

Scappoose Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through September. On Southeast Second Street, behind Scappoose City Hall, next to Heritage Park. Details: 503-543-3469,

Touch the Heart of a Child Auction & Benefit – Tonight

Poster for Sacagawea Art Auction

The Touch the Heart of A Child Auction & Benefit is an annual fundraiser for Sacagawea Health Center, and it is also one of the most fun events you can attend in St. Helens.  Members of the Oregon Potters Association and many other local artists donate beautiful works of art for the auction.  Local caterer Blackbird Catering provides a fabulous meal for attendees, and local auctioneer Mark Kuhn runs a lively and entertaining auction.

Tickets are $45 each and are available at St. Helens Book Shop or by calling (503) 366-7696.

About Sacagawea Health Center

Sacagawea Health Center is like having a doctor’s office at school. The health center provides quality primary and mental health care to St. Helens School District students who need it, whether they are insured or not.  The health center’s existence benefits many students who may not otherwise get the medical attention they need.

The health center was founded in 2000 by St. Helens School District Nurse Robin Loper, and provides a variety of services including immunizations, sports physicals, and treatment of respiratory problems, rashes, or other  illnesses.    The health center is staffed by a Nurse Practitioner specializing in pediatrics and family care, a mental health professional and a certified medical assistant.


Big Fun For Our Little Ones

Wee-Bop Music and Movement is a program where children ages 4 months to 6 years can engage in music, rhythm, art, cooking and/or sports. Wee-Bops, as it is commonly known, provides safe, indoor, high quality classes for children to explore, meet new friends, and expend their energy in innovative and fun ways.

Wee-Bop Music and Movement was started by St. Helens resident, Jen Morse in 2004. She had just moved to the St. Helens area, was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and had a newly earned Masters degree in Elementary Ed.  As a licensed teacher and a recent employee of Gymboree Music & Movement, she knew a program like Wee-Bop Music and Movement was something our community could really use, and something she could do and still stay home with her own children. She started off by offering 1 class a week at the Yankton Grange. Since then she has opened up shop off Columbia Blvd in St. Helens and in February of this year opened her second location in Scappoose. Wee-Bops, as it is commonly known, offers a variety of quality classes for children ages 4 months to 6 years.

Classes include such activities as Music & Movement, where little ones and their parents participate in circle games, rhythm instrument exploration, prop play, creative dance; Play & Art, focuses on building strength, balance and coordination as kids explore bounce hoses, tents, obstacle courses and ending each class with a simple art project; Preschool Prep, including short circle time, arts and crafts and sensory activities; Fitness, an intro into different sports in a noncompetitive fashion for the older kids (2.5-5yrs) and soon to be adding a yoga class for all ages;  and Cooking,  where students will learn about safety and sanitation in the kitchen, cooperation, experimentation, use of a recipe, and more.

Wee-Bop Music and Movement also offer private playgroups and themed birthday parties

Registration for the spring session is now underway for both locations.

Classes start Monday, April 30th. Please contact Jen Morse @ (503) 396-0956

For more detailed information please go to their website, or find them on Facebook as Wee-Bop Music & Movement.

12th Annual mEGGa Egg Hunt

mEGGa fun for children of all ages

Saturday, April 7th at the Columbia County Event Complex

This annual, FREE, event will begin at 11:00am with gates opening at 10:00am for other activities and closing at 1:00pm. Babies to age 12 – divided by age group – have the opportunity to search throughout the fairgrounds for more than 30,000 eggs, many with prizes hidden inside.The mEGGa Egg Hunt has become a tradition for many families, and relies on the generosity of volunteers, local businesses and organizations to make this event free to the public; last year it was estimated that over 3,400 were in attendance with nearly 1,700 children participating in the mEGGa Egg Hunt.

Other activities include pony rides, 4-H petting zoo, face painting, Veggie Tales Movie, a planting project, coloring contests, meeting with the Easter Bunny himself and much more!


If you are interested in donating; chewable individually wrapped candy, toys, or gift certificates that can be used for prizes, you can drop them off at St. Helens Burgerville. For more information on the event, please contact Ronda Courtney at the Columbia County Event Complex at 503-397-4231.