Home crushed by 4 trees

Alanna Kelly

Sandy Friend was at work when she received a phone call telling her four massive trees had crushed her house during a windstorm.

“I just prayed all the way here, 'God please keep my dogs safe,'” she said. “I ran from work and came here right away, the hydro line was down, there was a fire truck here, I ran right by them.”

The family has been living in hotels since Tuesday's windstorm, and had to move twice now because there were no rooms left.

Friend saw nothing but trees when she arrived at her home on McCurdy road.

“You just hope nobody got hurt or injured or killed,” she said.

She was able to rescue her two Chihuahuas, who were unhurt, from inside the home.

“We are just taking it one day at a time, just staying in a hotel,” she said.

Insurance came through and will help cover the cost of the hotels, but Friend said they need somewhere more permanent to keep their dogs.

“They have to take the trees off the house before they know how long we will be out of the home,” she said. “We’ve been too stressed out, we can’t even go to work.”

Friend wanted to thank the people of Kelowna that have reached out and offered support.

If you want to get in contact with the family you can email them at [email protected]


Not Schooly McSchoolface

While it was the runaway top choice as the name for the new middle school in Kelowna's Upper Mission, Schooly McSchoolface didn't make the grade.

The name plays off Boaty McBoatface, the tongue-in-cheek winner of a 2016 British contest asking people to name a polar research vessel.

School District 23 secretary-treasurer Larry Paul says if this were an election, Schooly McSchoolface would have been the hands-down winner.

Paul said three other names are being considered. The selection committee would be happy with any of them.

Those names are: Canyon Falls, Myra Canyon and Ki-Low-Na.

All three will be brought forward to a public open house next Monday, 6 to 8 p.m. at OKM Secondary.

The final design for the school on Frost Road will also be presented.

While design of the building itself is complete, Paul said the public will be able to provide input on items such as exterior finish and layout of the yard.

Halloween Haunt is back

The annual Halloween Haunt fundraiser is back for a spooky, fun-filled family event with one new addition.

Zombie races, worm eating contests and a new haunted house are just a few of the events taking place on Oct. 28 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. at 395 Hartman Road.

Kelowna & District Safety Council host the event.

“We are thrilled to again open the Little Travellers Safety Village for our annual Halloween Haunt” said Ayn Lexi, executive director of the Kelowna & District Safety Council.

Children are encouraged to dress up and enter the parade of costumes at 2 p.m.

"It’s great to have the support of community businesses to help make this year’s fund raising event even better” said Sheila Campbell, children’s program co-ordinator. “We are adding a haunted house this year so come on out and join in the festivities.”

Tickets can be purchased for $10 each online here.


Multiple injuries in crash

A three-vehicle crash on Harvey Avenue near Cooper Road has reportedly left multiple people injured.

The crash occurred in the westbound lanes of Harvey Avenue just after 9 p.m. Thursday night, closing the westbound lanes. 

The Kelowna Fire Department, ambulance and the RCMP attended the scene. 

Photos from the scene show a dark-coloured car with a badly-damaged front end. 

The extent of the injuries of those involved is unknown, but a witness at the scene said multiple people were injured. 

12 unique brews tapped

A lucky 150 people had the chance to try 12 one-off beers in Kelowna Thursday night.

The third annual Brewphoria event kicked off at the Tree Brewing Beer Institute with the tapping of unique casks from craft breweries from Penticton to Kamloops.

The beers were all created specifically for Thursday's event, ranging from existing beers that have been tweaked a little bit to brand new recipes.

“It gives them the chance to showcase what they do, and it gives us a chance to sit around and have a couple of good, interesting pints,” said Dave Gokiert, Tree Brewing brewmaster.

The host brewery created a fresh hop ale for the event, using hops harvested from the backyard of a friend of the brewery.

“Hopefully you can taste a little bit of Okanagan sunshine in there,” Gokiert said.

While the other 11 breweries invited to the event are technically Tree Brewing's direct competition, Gokiert says what is good for the industry is good for all the companies involved.

And while those attending Thursday's event got to try out some brand new beer, Gokiert says the brewmasters enjoy the process as well.

“That's part of the fun of it, you go out and taste something and go, 'I could do that,' or 'I want to try this,” he said. “It's fun for the guys to stretch different muscles.”  

If ya gotta go, not here

Washrooms in most parks across Kelowna are now closed for the season.

The same holds for water fountains, including water at off-leash dog parks across the city.

The move comes as winter approaches and temperatures drop, to prevent pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.

Washrooms at both Stuart and Gerstmar parks remain open year-round.

Washrooms at City Park are also available for use throughout the year, however, they are currently closed for repairs.

Work is expected to be complete sometime in November.

All washrooms and water fountains are expected to open in early April, weather permitting.

Calling all zombies

All of Kelowna's zombies are being called to gather in Stuart Park on Oct. 28 to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Thrill the World Kelowna is back to pay tribute to the popular album released in 1982.

People of all ages are invited to attend the dance. Those looking to practice beforehand can check out the moves by watching this video.

Studio9 School of the Arts is hosting the free event. 

“All we ask is that you bring some canned food, peanut butter, pasta and rice or diapers for the Salvation Army Christmas Food Drive,” said Michael Guzzi of Studio9.

The dance will begin at 3 p.m. on Oct. 28. Those looking to participate can sign up for the event here

Murder trial nears end

The jury in Daniel Ruff's second-degree murder trial is expected to begin deliberations Monday, after Crown and defence wrapped up their cases Wednesday.

Ruff, 65, is accused of hitting his roommate of 15 months in the head with a hammer, as 51-year-old Warren Welters lay passed out in his bed.

On Wednesday, Ruff took the stand in his own defence and admitted to killing Welters, but said it was in self defence, after Welters attacked him.

While Ruff says the two mostly got along, in the months leading up to Welters' death, they had begun fighting more and more about bills.

After two and a half weeks of the Crown's case, Ruff was the only witness to testify for the defence.

On Monday, Crown and defence are expected to give their closing arguments to the jury, after which the jury will be sequestered for deliberation.  

New McDonald's in Rutland

A new McDonald’s may soon be coming to Rutland.

A Vancouver real estate company has asked the City of Kelowna for permission to build the restaurant, which development documents indicate will feature a 24-hour drive-thru.

If the city OK's the application, the new McDonald’s will sit just off Highway 97, at the corner of Old Vernon Road and Rutland Road, next to Kelowna Auction World.

For more specifics, including what will be knocked down to make room for the project, check out the full story on Castanet's sister business news website, Okanagan Edge.

Red dresses, big hearts

Dress up for a good cause on Saturday – the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Red Dress event. 

The sixth-annual fundraising fashion show celebrates women’s heart health while raising awareness about heart disease and stroke as a leading cause of death. 

Since 2013, the Red Dress gala has raised more than $125,000. 

The fashion show has allowed the foundation to continue a number of programs, raise awareness and improve prevention and treatment. 

Designers and select boutiques will showcase their designs on community ambassador models. 

The View winery will also host a wine reception, and Urban Fare will cater desserts.

To purchase a ticket and support life-saving research, click here

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