A conceptual drawing of the proposed RCMSAR Station #106 (Shuswap) boathouse. (Contributed)

A conceptual drawing of the proposed RCMSAR Station #106 (Shuswap) boathouse. (Contributed)

Eagle Valley News Year In Review 2020: February

The News looks back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2020

  • Jan. 1, 2021 6:00 p.m.

• The Shuswap’s on-water search and rescue crew is hoping to build a boathouse for its fleet that could also serve as a classroom for teaching navigation and safety courses. Shuswap Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) Station 106 leader Fred Banham said the design of the boathouse, which will be a floating structure able to shelter both of the station’s rescue boats, was expected to be completed in the early spring. Design work was being funded by the Shuswap Community Foundation and TA Structures, and naval architects from Vancouver were collaborating on the project.

• There won’t be any celebrating when Matthew Richard Taylor turns 37 this month. For the past 20 years, Feb. 25 has been a day of heavy hearts for the family of the Canmore, Alta. man who was last seen at a Sicamous truck stop on Oct. 30, 1999. Taylor was one of the missing person cold cases being rekindled by Please Bring Me Home, a Canadian organization of citizen investigators determined to keep search efforts active until those who have disappeared are found.

“Every story we’ve done in the last four years always results in tips,” said Please Bring Me Home executive director Nick Oldrieve.

• The District of Sicamous expressed concern with another delay to the replacement of the Solsqua-Sicmous Bridge. One of the latest delays involved a permit which must be issued for BC Hydro to relocate a power pole to a riparian area adjacent to the bridge site. The district received word approval of the permit could take up to 45 days. That delay, according to the district, would create other delays to the project. The district was looking to get permit approval faster. “Delays and financial impacts to projects of this scale have a distinct and visible impact to the wallets of our taxpayers,” stated the district.

• The B.C. Coroners Service concluded two deaths that occurred months apart in a popular Shuswap hiking area were accidental. On May 15, 2019, a 27-year-old Malakwa resident died after falling 140 metres down a steep embankment at Sicamous Creek Falls. The coroner’s report stated the man died from a traumatic head injury sustained in the fall.

The coroner’s investigation into the Malakwa man’s death revealed he and the two friends he was hiking with left the main trail and climbed up to a cave on a rock face. The report stated they were taking pictures when the rock gave way and the man fell.

Alcohol intoxication was a contributing factor in the accidental death.

The second tragedy on the Sicamous Falls Creek trail took place on July 29. Dave Kowalchuk, a 53-year-old elementary school principal from Sherwood Park, Alta. was hiking on the upper trail at the Falls Creek trail system with a family member.

The coroner’s report stated Kowalchuk had died from blunt force trauma resulting from a fall.

Kowalchuk’s employer, the Edmonton public school system, issued a statement following the accident expressing sympathy to his family and recounting his career as a passionate educator and leader at his school.

The trail, maintained by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, was closed to the public on July 30, 2019.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The Sicamous Creek Falls Trail reopened with some notable safety improvements. (Contributed)

The Sicamous Creek Falls Trail reopened with some notable safety improvements. (Contributed)

Solsqua-Sicamous bridge. (File photo)

Just Posted

A mobile home west of Chase was levelled by fire on Jan. 27. (Pixabay Image)
Mobile home west of Chase burns to the ground

The house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived but no one was injured.

Top Jimmy’s Canoe Beach Café Water Sports is applying for what’s called a ‘food primary’ liquor licence for the fenced area in front of the lakeside Shuswap café. (File photo)
Owners of café at Shuswap’s Canoe Beach apply for liquor licence

Application is for a food-only licence which would allow drinks only inside fenced area by concession

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Sicamous man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

The first plan for the city from the new Visitor Services Strategy for Salmon Arm will be to move visitor services to city hall. (File photo)
Salmon Arm to move visitor services to city hall, considers tourism revamp

Consultant’s visitor services strategy points to need for recognition of tourism’s importance

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

A change to the drive thru sign at the Tim Hortons in Summerland came before Summerland council on Jan. 25. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council approves variance for drive-thru sign

Questions raised about why issue was brought to council table

Most Read