- Our Town
2013: The year that was (first six months)
• Doctors at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital will be better able to care for stroke victims as the hospital has been newly designated as a thrombolytic centre for the treatment of stroke. This designation includes a new CT scanner that recognizes the type of stroke a person is having, patients suffering from acute stroke will be able to receive thrombolytic drugs used to clear blocked arteries instead of having to travel to Kamloops for treatment, and a specialized five-member stroke team. The hospital worked with the BC Stroke Collaborative for 18 months to be able to attain this designation.
• Salmon Arm police search for a man suspected of attempting to abduct a teenage girl. The girl was walking along 30 Street NE when a man pulled up in his vehicle to ask her for directions. He then asked if she wanted a ride and grabbed her hand but the girl pulled away and ran from the scene.
• Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors agreed to hire a consultant to review the current 911 call centre service as they were informed that the cost of the current contract with Central Okanagan System Operations Communications Centre in Kelowna was going to exceed the maximum contract price due to RCMP contract negotiations.
• City council voted in favor of staff completing a report “that would include an amendment of our bylaw that would restrict smoking on city managed recreation properties, with a goal of implementation by July 1.” Resident and public health advocate, Dan Macquarrie, spoke with council at its regular meeting, requesting that council consider making such an amendment.
• Greg Kyllo won 330 of approximately 600 votes to gain the Liberal Party candidate nomination. Kyllo replaces MLA George Abbott, who announced his retirement. Kyllo, a councillor with the District of Sicamous, worked for Twin Anchors for 25 years. Kyllo defeated former Salmon Arm mayor Marty Bootsma, former Spallumcheen mayor Will Hansma, Salmon Arm business person Jordan Ross and former BC Wildlife Federation president Mel Arnold.
• Salmon Arm local, Rudi Ingenhorst, was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. In 1965 when Ingenhorst was 16 years old, he was one of the members of the Ocean Falls swimming team who competed and won the Canadian National Swimming Championships.
• Neil Wuolle, a retired School District #83 principal and Salmon Arm resident, was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal after being nominated by Premier Christy Clark. Clark nominated Wuolle for his volunteer work as president of the BC Summer Swimming Association.
• The Salmon Arm SilverBacks bring home a 5-1 win against the Chilliwack Chiefs in an away game. The SilverBacks also played and lost to the Surrey Eagles and the Langley Rivermen on the trip while they were in the Lower Mainland.
• Salmon Arm council received a study from ICBC on the highway corridor between Shuswap Street and Sixth Street NE. The study was the accumulation of visual inspections, feedback from the RCMP, city staff and the ministry, and collision data from 2007 to 2011. David Dean with ICBC presented the results of the study and the package of fixes to council with recommendations for enlargements of traffic signal heads, repositioning the Ross Street traffic signal to Fourth Street, co-ordination of highway traffic signals, pedestrian countdown timers, gateway signage telling drivers they are entering the downtown core, and increased police enforcement. The proposed package will cost the city $282,000. Council agreed to create a working group to review the study and package.
• MLA George Abbott went to bat for the Shuswap Literacy Alliance after they learned they would no longer receive $30,000 for a co-ordinator position. This news was received only two weeks after the group was presented with the Council of the Federation Literacy Award for Outstanding Achievement by MLA Abbott.
• Adams Lake Indian Band received the necessary approvals for the proposed gaming centre in Salmon Arm. The centre will feature online bingo and slot machines, but no card games like blackjack or poker. A four-storey, 103-room hotel is planned in future phases of the development.
• Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision, but when they arrived on scene they found a man and a woman murdered. The man, Jeremy Snow, was one of several individuals arrested in Operation Blade Runner, a U.S. and Canadian authorities investigation into cross-border drug smuggling which included the arrest of Malakwa’s Colin Hugh Martin.
• President’s Choice Children’s Charity presented the local Maxwell family a $2,400 grant to provide their son Auldin with occupational therapy. Auldin is diagnosed with a Global Development Delay disorder.
• Former Salmon Arm resident and lawyer, Herman Henry Van Ommen was presented with the Queen’s Counsel designation for recognition of exceptional merit and contribution. This year, 30 lawyers were appointed with the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel.
• Nine Larch Hills skiers returned home with six medals and several top-10 finishes after competing in the Western Canadian Championships held in Grande Prairie, Alta.
• Tessa Elliott, Aila Norlin and Jack Verdurmen won gold medals in their respective categories at the Coyote Cup speed skating races held in Kamloops. Teammate, Alyssa Skaalid, who was racing in Calgary, qualified for the Canadian Championship in Montreal and represented B.C. and the Salmon Arm Icebreakers at the competition.
• The Shuswap Theatre presents its second all-ages mainstage production of the season with The Curious Savage, a play about an elderly woman and her life trials after coming into $10 million upon the death of her husband.
• R.J. Haney Heritage Village, in partnership with the Mall at Piccadilly held the 17th Annual Heritage Week at the mall. The theme this year was “Good Neighbours, Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods.”
• Salmon Arm was rated 122 out of 200 best cities to live in B.C., a significant drop from last year’s 61 out of 190 best cities. Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon all ranked higher than Salmon Arm. Last year Salmon Arm ranked 13th best place to retire but did not make the list this year. The drop was attributed to the 2.39 per cent population growth that the city has seen this year compared to 9.1 per cent last year. The drop in growth indicates that the community isn’t growing as it has in the past. Mayor Cooper confirmed that she was aware of the rise in “single-parent” families in the city, mostly because one parent is going to work in Alberta or Northern B.C and the other remains in Salmon Arm. This is one of the reasons that council is working on the five-year economic development action plan.
• Canada Post, in consultation with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, began to look for an alternative location to put a sub-post office where office hours would be expanded into later times and weekends. The new location would be supplemental to the existing government post office located on Hudson Street.
• Mayor Cooper reassured residents that the Salmon River Bridge is high on the province’s radar for upgrading and improvements. The mayor along with Gregg Kyllo, liberal candidate, met with Premier Christy Clark at the bridge location as the premier was passing through the area.
• Council approved a new, three-way intersection at the Marine Park Drive railway crossing after Transport Canada raised safety concerns. The three-way stop was one of four options made from a traffic impact analysis conducted by the city in response to a letter of notice from Transport Canada railway safety inspector Dennis Maskell. This option, the one chosen, was the least intrusive and one of the least expensive options of the four.
• Aria Sholinder, representative of Salmon Arm Secondary’s Interact Club, made a presentation to city council seeking support for two art projects that mean to link the two high school campuses.
One project is to paint footprints along 11th Avenue NE and 30th Street, linking the Jackson and Sullivan campuses. The second project is painting the wall near the highway underpass by the Jackson campus, transforming the underpass into an under-water themed mural, with the hope of ending ongoing issues with graffiti. Council supported the project with a commitment to help with some maintenance costs as the students had already found a way to fund the two projects.
• Canoe Beach Drive continues to be closed to the public as further stability issues were found.
• After a solid 2012-2013 season, the SilverBacks look to the next season with a positive outlook.
There were many changes in the season, including coaching changes and the ’Backs plan to continue to move forward in the new season. Many of the players can return for the 2013-2014 season as Brandon Mistal was the only graduating player. Riley Hunt, who was out for the entire season due to an injury, will return to the ice in the new season.
• Friends and neighbours of Granite Creek Winery held a two-day fundraiser for the winery after a fire destroyed their wine-processing plant and most of their wine.
• School District #83 plans to sell the J.L. Jackson property after unsuccessful efforts to lease the land. Permission was given by the Ministry of Education as long as the property was sold by March 31, 2014.
• Residents received a 10-per-cent increase to property taxes, which includes $6.31 per $100,000 in property taxes, $.76 per $100,000 for residential and $1.85 per $100,000 for businesses for the regional library requisition, $5.80 per $100,000 for residential and $14.21 for businesses for hospital district requisition, and $2.41 per $100,000 for residential and $5.89 for businesses from the regional district requisition.
• BC Supreme Court in Kamloops ruled in the City of Salmon Arm’s favour with a dismissal of claims against the city by Clare’s Cove Marina Ltd., Willy’s Wharf Inc., Jiro Adventures Ltd. and William MacIsaac. The lawsuit and counter-claim from the city was over a failed attempt by MacIsaac and his companies to purchase and redevelop the marina which was dependant on support of land tenure from the city.
• KAIROS-Salmon Arm and Shuswap Environmental Action Society sponsored a public forum to educate the public about climate change and “fracking.” Experts, Joy Foy and Eoin Madden from the Vancouver-based Wilderness Committee were brought in to speak on the topics.
• Four candidates for the B.C. provincial election answered questions from the public for three hours at the SASCU Recreation Centre in Salmon Arm. Some 80 people showed up to drill the candidates with questions varying from pipelines to party priorities. Although each candidate answered in a different way, all parties agreed that the top priority was creating jobs for residents.
• Chantel Jeffrey, 11 years old, beat out all other female racers at the 10-kilometre Okanagan College Half Marathon with a race time of 45:45. Jeffrey, a swimmer and dancer, fits in runs when she has time but recently decided to take up running competitively when she won a race in Scotch Creek.
• Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association awards were presented at the Seniors Activity Centre. Awards were presented for most sportsmanlike, most improved, and most dedicated in several divisions.
• Salmon Arm student, Shay-Lyn Steiger, returns home from the Canadian National cadet/juvenile wrestling championship in Saskatoon with a gold medal in the 40 kg-and-under class.
• On his walk across Canada, Breydan Erickson, former Salmon Arm Secondary student, passed through the Shuswap. The walk was to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
• The psychological thriller, The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan, was performed by the Shuswap Theatre as their third main stage production and entry into the Okanagan Zone Festival.
• Residents enjoyed various musical talents performed at different locations throughout the city for the annual Shuswap Music Festival.
• BC Liberal Greg Kyllo won the provincial election with 48 per cent of the vote. Kyllo won with 11,342 votes, NDP Steve Gunner won 6,972 votes, Conservative Tom Birch won 3,045 votes, Green Party Chris George had 2,186, and the Advocational Party Johanna Zalcik won 62 votes.
• The Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union announced its new 2013 members Ken Black, Glenn Hill and June Steward to the board. Trenna Scott was appointed to director after Frank Popien tendered his resignation to the board.
• Tappen residents protested a local company’s request to increase their emissions from burning explosives waste. The company applied to the Ministry of Environment to increase their current rate of discharge of 1,000 kilograms per month to 6,000 kilograms per month. The waste, described as packaging and residual detonation cord is considered contaminated.
• Dale Unruh of Calgary was announced as the new majority owner of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks. General manager and head coach, Troy Mick remained part owner and continued to be the “face” of the SilverBacks.
• RCMP recovered the body of a man from Shuswap Lake believed to be 59-year-old John Poole, of Calgary.
The man was reported missing in the nearby vicinity of Eagle Bay earlier in the week when his boat was found beached on the rocks by a resident in the area.
• A walk to help bring awareness to the issue of violence against aboriginal women and children was organized by the Adams Lake, Little Shuswap and Neskonlith indian bands. Initially, the walk was meant for aboriginal men but the event was opened up to anyone who wanted to participate.
• The Southern Interior Dressage Association’s Spring Dressage Fling was held at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds with local rider, Isabel Reinerston, finishing in first place in her fourth-level freestyle dressage test.
• Marietjie Du Plessis and West Martin-Patterson both won their singles and doubles events at the 2013 SATC Closed Tournament held at the Salmon Arm Tennis Club. Weather caused delays for the tournament which lasted three days.
• Salmon Arm native, Bev Smith was named assistant coach to Canada’s Senior Women’s National Basketball Team for the upcoming season. Smith played for the team from 1978 to 1988 and was captain from 1992-1996, played with Team Canada from 1997-2001 and played 13 seasons in Italy. Allison McNeill, also a Salmon Arm native, stepped down as coach of the national team after the team played in the London Olympics.
• More than 700 riders participated in this year’s Salty Dog Mountain Bike race, with 500 adult riders taking on the six-hour 10.45-kilometre lap length race, and 230 youth riders rode the three-hour Enduro and Salty Pup race. Several local riders placed in many of the top categories.
• The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that investigates deaths or serious injuries that are potentially police related, was called in to investigate the death of a young driver, who collided with a dump truck parked near Auto Road. An RCMP officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver fled the scene and shortly after collided with the truck. The police cruiser in pursuit of the fleeing car was found on the other side of Auto Road with its trunk crumpled and two tires blown, resting up against a commercial building.
• A 23-year-old woman was saved by a group of people after nearly drowning in Shuswap Lake near Blind Bay. The woman had intended to go for a three-and -a-half-hour swim after consuming alcohol, but became distressed and could not get back to shore. A group of people, hearing the woman’s screams for help, utilized a nearby boat to rescue the female.
• A driver faces charges after deliberately bumping into a flag person working on the Trans-Canada Highway. The flag person had traffic stopped to allow a dump truck to exit when he noticed that one of the drivers waiting to be waved through was talking on his cell phone.
The driver was told he could not pass through until he got off his phone, after which he slowly drove up and bumped into the traffic control person.
• Sturgis North announced they would be cancelling this year’s event “due to time constraints regarding the new location.” The event was planned to be held in Merritt after a previous location on Neskonlith Band lands was nixed.
• On Wednesday, June 19, Salmon Arm received 29.8 mm of rain, a new record for the city. That amount of rain would normally be received over an entire month for the Shuswap, not an amount expected in one day.
• All three Salmon Arm lacrosse teams represented the city well: The Shuswap Outlaws Bantam, Peewee and Midget Lacrosse teams all brought home gold from their zone championships. The Bantams and Peewees also won provincial championships.
• R.J. Haney set up a new exhibition called “Flight from the Flames,” showcasing photos, artifacts, and mementos from the wildfire that ravaged the hills surrounding Salmon Arm in 1998.
The fire grew to 6,400 hectares in size and was the largest recorded evacuation in B.C. at the time.
•Local singing talent Stephanie Nakagawa went to the 104th annual Rotary International Convention that took place in Lisbon, Portugal. The soprano singer was chosen to represent all of North America.