Sandra Northway, pictured with her grandson Braden, retired after 45 years as a volunteer and employee with Malakwa and Parkview elementary schools. (Contributed)

Sandra Northway, pictured with her grandson Braden, retired after 45 years as a volunteer and employee with Malakwa and Parkview elementary schools. (Contributed)

Eagle Valley News Year In Review 2020: June

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

  • Jan. 2, 2021 2:00 p.m.

• An ad posted by a Sicamous houseboat company partially owned by Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo was quickly altered after it drew criticism for urging out-of-province travellers to visit the area.

The ad contradicted direction from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the provincial health officer and Kyllo himself, that now is not the time for non-essential travel.

The text of the ad posted to Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations’ Facebook page read: “Open! All houseboaters welcome – even ones from other provinces.” The post was removed and replaced on May 25 with a similar ad that removed the reference to out-of-province travellers. Kyllo said he did not hear about the ad until a friend brought it to his attention late in the day on May 22.

• High water levels necessitated the closure of the Riverfront Nature Park in Sicamous. On June 1, the District of Sicamous brought in a front-end loader to build and earthwork dam at one of the entrances to the park which the rising water had already reached. On June 2, district staff informed property owners in specific flood-prone areas about the steps that will be taken as the water level continued to rise.

• As she nears the end of a long and dedicated career, those who work alongside Parkview Elementary secretary Sandra Northway say they will miss her and all she does for students and the school.

Northway would retire in June as the most senior secretary and second most senior staff member in all of School District 83. Still focused on the job at hand as the 2020 school year winds down, Northway took a moment to look back fondly on her time at the school.

“It’s been absolutely wonderful,” she said.

• The Sicamous Creek Falls trail, closed after two men fell to their deaths in separate incidents just weeks apart in 2019, were reopened to the public with significant safety upgrades. Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) community services team leader Ryan Nitchie said work on the trail was guided by recommendations from an independent risk assessor.

Upgrades to the trail included better signage that warns about the steep slopes and the boundaries of the rec site. Handrails were added to the stairs down to the waterfall and safety barriers installed around steep slopes.

• A North Okanagan man found guilty of assaulting an escort three years ago was sentenced to time served and three years probation with a number of conditions in place. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gordon Weatherill sentenced Curtis Sagmoen, 39, to five months in jail time at the Vernon courthouse Friday, June 19, in addition to the 36 months of probation.

But as Sagmoen was credited with time served, his sentence was one day and he wouldn’t return to prison.

Sagmoen was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm at a trial that happened in February, tied to an August 2017 incident when Sagmoen intentionally ran over a sex trade worker with an ATV.

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