School District 83 closed Parkview Elementary temporarily because of an odour that couldn’t be traced. (File photo)

Eagle Valley News year in review — January

A look back of the events that made the news in 2019.

Parkview Elementary ceased operations on the advice of Interior Health after a smell was noticed on and off for two weeks following a rainstorm. Alice Hucul, in charge of communications at School District 83, said it was not known when students will return to their classrooms, and in the meantime, they would attend classes at nearby elementary schools.

• Pre-season predictions suggest as few as 11,000 Sockeye salmon would be returning to the shores and tributaries of Shuswap and Mara Lakes to spawn in 2019. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, sockeye stocks from other runs up the Fraser were trending towards the low end of the forecast, and the late Shuswap run is not expected to be an exception.

• Former Parkview Elementary principal and current Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association administrator Roy Sakaki was named a Hockey Canada Ambassador by Hockey Canada. Part of the honour was being the focus of a Hockey Canada video about his life and love of the sport. “I’m still playing hockey, can you believe it? I don’t think I’ve missed a year of hockey for 60-plus years,” said Sakaki.

• Seeing their children bussed to attend classes in Salmon Arm didn’t sit well with some Parkview Elementary parents following the school’s temporary closure. Malakwa resident Shelley Ferguson said the bus ride to Sicamous for her kids was already long, and going to Salmon Arm they would be on the bus for hours each day. At a public meeting the school district, pressing the disused Malakwa Elementary building back into service was suggested.

• A string of break-ins prompted an increased police presence in Sicamous. Police were looking into a link between recent thefts from vehicles, break-ins and other reported incidents. McNeil said it is important for residents to deter crimes of opportunity by locking their doors and removing valuables from unattended vehicles.

• Sicamous residents would be getting a one-stop, downtown solution for recycling and bottles – at least for the short term. At its Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting, Sicamous council decided to locate recycling services being located at the Return-It bottle depot on Finlayson Street. The district and council opposed this move, but council made its decision in response to public input and the need for a solution before winter arrives.

• After 10 years of operating Grandma’s and Grandpa’s restaurant, Dave and Shirley Gross were retiring. They sold the business to Ian Baillie who said he is excited for a change of pace after relocating from a corporate job in Vancouver to Sicamous.

• Preliminary federal election results showed incumbent Mel Arnold handily winning the North-Okanagan Shuswap riding with 35,753 votes, 48.8 per cent of the popular vote. Arnold was followed by Liberal Cindy Derkaz who won 22.7 per cent of the vote, followed by New Democrat Harwinder Sandhu with 15.3 per cent. Green Party candidate Marc Reinarz finished fourth with 10.5 per cent, while People’s Party of Canada candidate Kyle Delfing earned 2.7 per cent. Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was again voted in as prime minister with a minority government.

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Incumbent Conservative MP Mel Arnold, with spouse Linda, celebrate his win in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding at his Vernon campaign office on election night, Monday, Oct. 21. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press Media)

Roy Sakaki and Gord Mackintosh congratulate each other after a game in the Vernon Senior Oldtimers Hockey Harvest Jamboree. (File photo)

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