McGuire Lake Congregate Living operator Dan Shields explains to residents what led to a courtesy notice being posted on the doors of the facility on the morning of Friday, Sept. 13, stating utilities would be disconnected and the building sealed as of Oct. 1. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Observer Year in Review – September

A look back at events that made headlines in September.

  • Dec. 28, 2019 6:00 p.m.


One man was missing and presumed drowned after two boats collided on Shuswap Lake. Salmon Arm RCMP identified the missing man as 33-year-old Ryan Hartmann. Hartmann was among those thrown into the water after two speed boats travelling together collided between 8 and 8:20 p.m. on Sept. 1.

• The man accused of first degree murder in the fatal shooting of a church leader in Salmon Arm was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Matrix Gathergood’s lawyer, Jonathan Avis, requested an assessment to determine if his client is not guilty by reason of mental disorder. In telling Judge David Patterson of the grounds for the assessment application, Avis said Gathergood had been diagnosed with psychosis twice in months preceding the incident as well as hours after his arrest on April 14 of this year.

• More than 80 competitors descended on the Salmon Arm Tennis Club’s outdoor courts for the open tournament, reportedly the biggest in the Okanagan this year.

• For the ninth year in a row, a deserving Shuswap resident received a replacement roof free of charge. Each year, Salmon Arm’s Integrity Roofing puts out a call for nominations seeking someone who gives back to the community and could use a new roof. This year’s free roof recipient was Nichol Forsyth.

• Residents of McGuire Lake Congregate Living woke up Friday morning, Sept. 13, to the alarming news they had to be out of the building as of Oct. 1. Lorenz Eppinger, representing the building’s owners, explained Dan Shields, who was renting the building and operated the unlicensed assisted-living facility, was in serious default and had been given notice in July. Shields’ said he was trying to negotiate with the building owners and their lawyer to remain in the facility.

• The Trail Smoke Eaters were unhappy hosts over the Sept. 13-15 weekend after dropping two home games to guests the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

• A Salmon Arm-based Dungeons & Dragons club engaged local enthusiasts with unexpected success. The club started in early August at the Okanagan Regional Library, meeting on Fridays at 5 p.m. As players were being turned away a second day of game play was started.

• Salmon Arm residents participated in a global Climate Strike action at city hall. Students Sarah Johnston, Maggie Beckner and Fiona Young came to demand action. Beckner said young people don’t need the hope or gratitude of adults, they need them to take responsibility for what’s been done and take action.

• Salmon Arm RCMP were asking for the public’s help in addressing a recent spate of thefts of, and from, vehicles. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Staff Sgt. Scott West reported police had seen an upswing in instances of thefts of vehicles, as well as thefts from vehicles. He commented, “would-be thieves have been prowling in the nighttime hours and entering vehicles that are, in most cases, left unlocked,” adding vehicles with keys left in them have been reported stolen.

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A crowd of more than 150 people walked on Friday, Sept. 20 from the Ross Street Plaza, down Lakeshore, up to the highway and to city hall to gather to hear a number of speeches on climate action on Sept. 20. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Ben Simpson moves a miniature figurine during a Dungeons & Dragons session at the Okanagan Regional Library on Friday, Sept. 13. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

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