• On Thursday, June 4, Salmon Arm demonstrators added their voices to chorus of protest that had risen globally in response to the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, who died at the hands of police while being arrested. Demonstrator Melissa Currie took part in the demonstration to speak out against systemic racism. “It feels like every week there’s a new name to add to the list of black people who have been murdered due to the colour of their skin and I’m here to be a part of that change,” said Currie. Fellow demonstrators Taigan Radomske and Kairo Mair stressed racism is not just a problem south of the border. “Canada is not exempt from the racism that exists in America because we’re also on stolen land here,” said Mair.
• It might not have been quite like the first day of school in September, but on June 1, excitement was present nonetheless, said the superintendent of School District 83. Peter Jory and other senior administrators posted an online thank you to communities regarding the ‘restart’ on Monday after the B.C.-wide school closure which began March 17. “The first day has gone well and the overall feeling was one of excitement to be back in session. About 1,000 students across the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District returned to class on June 1, one-sixth or 16.4 per cent of the 6,100 students who attend the district’s 24 schools.
• On May 21, Chase RCMP stopped a Ford F150 on Squilax Anglemont Road near the Trans-Canada Highway on-ramp. The licence plate had been reported stolen and the 38-year-old man from Salmon Arm was arrested. Officers located a crack pipe and a few bags of possible crystal meth or cocaine inside the vehicle, as well as a machete. The driver had already been ordered by the courts not to possess weapons. The vehicle was subsequently towed and the man was released with a notice to appear in Kamloops court for charges of possession of stolen property, breach of conditions and drug possession.
• Spending a day filling sandbags was an expression of gratitude from the Alahmad family, who sought to help protect the home of their former Salmon Arm hosts from the rising water of Shuswap Lake. On Wednesday morning, June 3, Faysal and Rima Alahmad and kids Sidra, Saraya and Mohammed were at the 50th Street NE access to the Canoe wharf, loading sandbags for Lucy and Patrick McStravick and other residents with homes along the lake on 75th Ave. NE. The Alahmads, a Syrian refugee family, arrived in Salmon Arm on Oct. 9.
• Organizers behind the annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival announced plans for a free virtual event to be hosted across Black Press Media website platforms Aug. 14-16.
“While nothing is going to replace one’s physical presence at a festival, and the interaction that drives such an event, organizers at Roots and Blues felt an online presence would shine a light on some of the artistic highlights of years past,” said Roots and Blues artistic director Peter North.