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Bank draft fraud

A fraudulent bank draft that recently showed up in Kelowna has led one business to warn others to be on the lookout.

Lisa Maloney of the Canadian Jewelry Exchange says they received a call from a man in Ontario last week, who was interested in a piece of jewelry found on their website.

This person settled on a ring valued at over $40,000 and agreed to send a bank draft the next day, says Maloney.

Sure enough, the company received a draft for $41,475 and took it to the bank.

But something must have struck a chord, because their bank held the draft until the next day, before alerting them that the bank draft was indeed fraudulent.

According to Maloney this is quite rare. The bank told her they hadn’t seen a fraudulent bank draft in 10 years – instead it’s typically credit cards that are faked.

“People assume that bank drafts are always legitimate. Most businesses don’t know that you can check on them,” she says.

“But because we’re in a business where we do get a lot of fraudulent requests, we check every bank draft.”

Maloney contacted the Kelowna RCMP, but since there was no victim, the investigation was not completed.

Cst. Kris Clark says they were made aware of the fraudulent bank draft but since the ring was never sent away, no fraud actually took place.

He says that decision was made by the investigator in charge of the file.


False alarm evacuates building

A smoking barbecue caused a four storey apartment building to be evacuated Thursday night. 

Just after 9 p.m. emergency crews responded to a fire alarm at 3115 de Montreuil Court off KLO road in Kelowna.

Neighbours to the unit apparently saw smoke coming from under the door and pulled the alarm thinking a fire was inside. It turned out to be a smoky barbecue.

Four fire trucks responded as well as RCMP. KLO was reduced to single lane traffic for a time but after fire crews spoke with the cook in question, everyone was allowed back inside. 

With files from Carmen Weld.

Dogs attacked with weapon

One beloved dog is dead and two others were severely injured after a horrifying attack Monday night.

According to RCMP Cst. Kris Clark, a Kelowna couple woke up to the tragic scene Tuesday morning.

“We received a report from the dog owners that his three rottweilers had been attacked sometime overnight,” says Clark. “All three dogs suffered very serious injuries, apparently from some type of edged weapon.”

Clark says the 10-year-old dog had a very serious gash to face, forehead and nose leaving part of her skull fractured.

The one-year-old had his left ear chopped right off and the youngest, an 8-month-old was gravely injured. The pup had a deep gash to the hind leg and died because of blood loss.

At this point RCMP are working on the possibility that the dogs were attacked because of a personal grievance between the dog's owner and another man.

“We are investigating the possibility that this incident is related to a previous altercation on Sept 13, between the owners of the dogs and the suspect,” says Clark. “That investigation has led to an arrest and potential charges against a Kelowna man for assault and uttering threats.”

Clark says the investigation into assault of the dogs is ongoing and further charges could be laid surrounding the attack of the dogs.

The suspect was arrested and then released by RCMP on a Promise to Appear for court in January.  

Teachers disheartened

There were few smiling faces on teachers as they left the Evangel Church Thursday morning; they were there to learn the details of the tentative agreement and to cast their vote.

“It is not the deal that they wanted absolutely. It could have been better. It will be interesting to see how the vote comes out. People are torn, they would have preferred more. They have given up a lot for this and they are not getting back out of this agreement what they have given up,” explains Central Okanagan Teachers' Association President Susan Bauhart.

Teachers shared their disappointment to Castanet.

“I am disheartened a bit, it is what it is, we can't really control it. It is the lesser of two evils I think. At the end of the day we sacrificed a lot, there is a lot of dollars and a lot of time, and it wasn’t even about me it was about something much bigger. It was about the future of public education,” shares teacher Rob Steciuk.

“I think both sides got something that they needed. That's what it comes out to be, a deal that works, not a deal that is perfect,” adds fellow teacher Shane Friesen.

Several teachers mentioned their frustration with the BC Government.

“This deal that we have on the table is better, but not enough, it is never enough with this government. They have stripped too much from kids and it is not going to be enough,” says teacher Carole Gordon who adds that it is a tough vote for teachers.

“I don't think it is an easy vote for a lot of them, I am voting 'yes'. We are dealing with a government that doesn’t respect the work we do sometimes and I don't know that they always value public education.”

“I am very relieved that this day has finally come. I feel elated that the public has been able to recognize, let's say, the evilness of this government that we have had to work with and the fact that teachers are not greedy. I am very much looking forward to getting back in the classroom,” shares teacher Janine Goodall.

Regardless of the teachers' disappointment, all told Castanet they are looking forward to getting back in classrooms.

“If they are back in schools, I promise you parents, anyone who is out there, our teachers are going to do you proud. If they are back I am telling you, they are happy to be back. I don't think there is a teacher in this province who isn't happy to be back,” states Bauhart.

It is expected teachers will vote in favour of the tentative agreement and kids will be back in class on Monday.

Full provincial vote results will be released later Thursday evening by the BC Teachers Federation.  


Man hospitalized after assault

A 25-year-old Kelowna man is in hospital with serious injuries after he was assaulted late Tuesday night.

Sources tell Castanet the man was the victim of a stabbing.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a home in the 1500 block of Leaside Avenue for a report of screaming coming from inside the residence.

When police attended they located the victim suffering from serious but non-life threatening injuries inside the home. He was rushed to hospital where he remains in serious condition.
Investigators believe this incident was targeted and there is no danger to the public.

The investigation is ongoing and police are looking for anyone who may have any information that could lead to identifying the person or persons responsible for this serious assault.

Police have been going door-to-door in the neighbourhood asking residents if they heard anything that night.

Neighbours told Castanet police have visited the house before. They also believe they heard gunshots Tuesday evening.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP, Cpl Haftner, at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

Mail theft

Three postal relay boxes in the Glenmore area were hit by thieves earlier this week.

A media relations official with Canada Post in Ottawa says, "We can confirm there was an incident involving a mail theft earlier in the week. Our team of postal inspectors are working with local law enforcement to find the offenders, ensuring the mail is safe and secure."

"In the meantime we are in the process of alerting our affected customers to check their regular mailers about any important items they were expecting at the time."

Cst. Kris Clark, says a letter carrier's bag which contained a key to the relay boxes was stolen Friday.

Very little mail was taken during the initial incident.

Clark says the carrier had put the bag down for a moment when two males on bikes wearing hoodies rode up and stole the bag.

He says thieves likely gained access to the relay boxes Monday using the stolen keys.

The affected boxes are in the Smithson, Glenburn and Sonora areas of old Glenmore.

Officials with the corporation would not say whether it was residential or business customers that were affected, however, the area in question is mainly residential. The postal official also did not comment on why the locks were not changed once they knew the keys were missing.

Lakeshore Road project update

The Lakeshore Road bridge is beginning to look like a bridge again and roads leading to it will start to look very different in the weeks ahead.

Work in the intersection at Lakeshore Road and Lexington Drive has begun and traffic flow through that location is expected to be slower.

Commuters using Lakeshore Road should use Old Meadows, Lequime or Dehart roads to detour from or onto Gordon Drive.

That will reserve traffic volume on Lexington to local residents and customers of businesses in the area.

Traffic safety personnel will be positioned during construction hours on Gordon Drive at Old Meadows Road and in the intersection at Lexington Drive and Lakeshore Road to assist motorists travel safely through these areas.

A base layer of asphalt has been completed between Cook and Truswell roads with concrete curbs, medians and sidewalks.

Traffic signal poles are expected to be re-installed beginning next week at the Cook and Lakeshore roads intersection.

The biggest changes to traffic patterns will occur on the south side of Lakeshore Road between Lexington Drive and the bridge. That section is one-lane alternating traffic as trenching occurs in the middle of the road for water and sanitary sewer installation.

Businesses are open and access will be maintained, but delays are to be expected at Lexington Drive.

The $11-million improvements will see the bridge rebuilt, sanitary trunk, storm and water mains upgraded, improved Greenway trail-head access and multi-use pathway and commuter bike lanes on Lakeshore Road.

The schedule remains on track for completion in November.

The City of Kelowna thanks residents, businesses and commuters for their patience.

Kelowna powerboat wins big

Kelowna powerboat company, Vector Martini Racing, won big at the Cowes Classic Offshore Powerboat Race Tuesday in the UK.

Their sleek V40R powerboat, built in Kelowna, finished first in both races and first overall at the prestigious annual event.

The race, also known as Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, is regarded as the oldest toughest powerboat race in the world.

In total, the local team picked up seven trophies over the weekend including The Beaverbrook Trophy (overall winner), The Mellery-Pratt Challenge Trophy, The Cougar Trophy and The Waynefleet Challenge Trophy.

This is the first time that Vector Martini team has raced in the UK.

Martini says they boast a rich heritage in power boating but the Vector Martini team is the first to carry the distinguished blue and red racing stripes in over two decades following the official launch of the partnership earlier this year in Monaco.

“The team is thrilled to have won both races and the overall title in the prestigious Cowes Classic Offshore Powerboat Race, and to have put Martini back at the top of professional powerboat racing for the first time in over 20 years. The boat handled extremely well and the weeks of careful preparation have delivered a fantastic result,” says an excited Peter Dredge, chief pilot of the Vector Martini.

The race itself started from Egypt Point on the Isle of Wight and the powerboats crossed over 90 nautical miles to Torquay, before returning to finish right outside the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

Supporters came out in large numbers to watch the spectacle from hundreds of boats as well as from various locations along the South Coast of England.

“This was a very competitive and experienced field to take on in our first competition but the boat performed flawlessly and the strategy paid off. We knew a win in our class was achievable but to take the overall title was a great result, particularly against some more powerful boats. I am genuinely delighted for both the team and for our partnership with Martini,” adds Mal Crease, Founder and CEO of Vector Martini Racing.

Vector Martini Racing will continue its programme later this month with an attempt to break the UIM Cross Channel World Record from Poole to Cherbourg.  

ATV crash kills driver

One person is dead after their ATV rolled off a ledge and down a steep bank in Joe Rich Wednesday afternoon.

BC Ambulance and emergency personnel were called to the scene near Hwy. 33 and Falcon Ridge Crescent after they received a report of a person trapped under an ATV, down a deep ravine.

At first crews thought they could save the rider and called in support from Air Ambulance and Search and Rescue. Due to the heavily forested area they had planned to land the Air Ambulance at the Goudie Fire Hall to extract the injured rider.

Unfortunately, teams were called off and it turned into a body recovery mission. The BC Coroner was called in.

The area is a frequent spot for ATV riders and has an extensive trail system. 

-- With files from Trevor Rockliffe 

Cheapflights likes YLW

Kelowna International Airport is the most affordable airport serving Canadians according to a survey released Wednesday by

The 2014 Airport Affordability Index lists YLW as the most affordable airport with an average fare of $308.

Kelowna International ranked number two a year ago.

"Jumping from its number two position last year, Kelowna’s average airfare of $308 was $45 less on average than Bellingham, WA, which has topped list in all previous years," the company states in a news release.

"The annual report, which ranks the top 20 Canadian and U.S. border airports based on their average airfares during the month of August to a list of popular destinations, provides a guide for savvy and flexible travellers to determine how their local airports compare."

Vancouver International Airport was 17th in the rankings with an average fare of C$539.

“This year’s Airport Affordability Index underscores just how fluid airfares tend to be,” says Melisse Hinkle, editor at

“While getting away is a priority for many Canadians, so too is being savvy about saving on travel. The good news is that your hometown airport might be a truly affordable option. But the real takeaways are that finding flight deals often means exploring all your options, and being flexible can be the real key to stretching your travel budget.”


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