Dog left in hot car

Castanet is receiving reports of a dog being left in a hot car at 267 Lawrence Avenue in Kelowna.

A caller says firefighters are en route with the appropriate tools to rescue the dog.

The BC SPCA continues to remind owners to leave their pets at home instead of leaving them in vehicles on hot days.

Castanet will provide updates as they become available.

Heat prompts warning

The first official day of summer was Tuesday, and the hot weather has come out in full force.

The hot weather alert issued by Environment Canada for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Friday was extended to all of southern British Columbia Saturday afternoon, including the Okanagan Valley.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid to high 30s in the Interior Sunday.

Daily temperature records could be broken in Abbotsford. The record for June 23 is 31.4 C, and as of 3 p.m. Saturday, the temperature was 30.6 C at the Abbotsford airport.

Environment Canada recommends drinking plenty of water throughout the day and staying in cool places.

“The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors,” the warning states.

Temperatures are expected to peak Sunday throughout the province. 

Castanet's week in review

Castanet's week in review with Nich Johansen.


Another Rocket NHL bound

Kelowna Rockets forward Kole Lind will be heading to Vancouver.

Lind was selected by the Canucks during round two of the NHL Entry draft in Chicago and was selected 33rd overall in the second round of the draft.

"Being drafted by Vancouver is awesome. Staying in Canada is awesome and going to a top notch organization like the Canucks is great," Lind said. "There's no words to describe it. The stars align and your dreams become a reality."

Lind had a breakout season with Kelowna, notching 30 goals while adding 57 assists for 87 points in 70 games to lead the Rockets squad in scoring. Lind added six goals and six assists in 17 playoff games last season.

"The experience was amazing. It was obviously tough not to go on the first day, but I was happy to get it over with early this morning and go to a great organization in Vancouver," said Lind, a native of Shaunavon, Sask.

Cal Foote was selected 14th overall in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wake-free weekend plea

As the mercury climbs well into the 30s this weekend, many people will take to area lakes, but officials are encouraging boaters to make it a wake-free weekend.

Okanagan Lake is still 66 cm above full pool and any wakes from boats have the potential to damage barriers and cause flooding.

According to a statement by the Regional District of Central Okanagan, residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy local lakes with wake-free options.

Those choosing to use motorized watercraft are urged to be respectful – slow down and keep away from shore so wakes do not cause further erosion or flooding of lakeshore properties.

Boaters also need to be cautious about wood debris floating under the surface of the lake and submerged infrastructure.

Bumper year for milfoil

As Okanagan Lake recedes, get ready for more milfoil this summer.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board says conditions for the invasive lake weed have been ideal this spring, meaning a larger than normal bloom is just around the corner.

“In a normal year, spring runoff will bring extra nutrients into our lakes, fertilizing the milfoil just as it’s starting to grow,” says James Littley, OBWB operations and grants manager. “This year, with unprecedented floods and a predicted hot summer, we’re expecting significant growth with weather that has created ideal conditions for the milfoil.”

A winter in which frozen lakes prevented rototillers from uprooting the weed in several locations also contributed to the situation.

“The lakes just stayed frozen longer than we’ve seen in several years, meaning we couldn’t go in and remove the plants,” said Littley.

High lake levels and debris in the water could also affect the milfoil control program this year. As the lake drops, weeds that were submerged may suddenly become very visible, forming dense mats on the surface of the water. Boaters are asked to stay away from these mats, as breaking off plant fragments can spread the weeds to new locations. Debris from the flooding also poses a risk to milfoil control machines this summer. 

“This year, we think we will see high volumes, but we can’t be sure until the lake levels drop and we can get a boat in the water.”

Because of the late start, harvesting will focus on public beaches.

Rail trail stops here

A small portion of the Okanagan Rail Trail remains in limbo while plans are made to begin construction of the trail in the fall.

About two kilometres of the trail on Okanagan Indian Band land between Kelowna and Lake Country is fenced off, pending a final sale by CN Rail.

CN, which sold much of the 49-kilometre line between Kelowna and Coldstream to several Central and North Okanagan jurisdictions, still owns the portion running through OKIB land.

"CN can't sell that to local governments because it has a First Nations issue tied to it. It has to go through the federal government before it can go to the band itself," said Andrew Gibbs, inter-jurisdictional development team project manager.

Gates are up at either end to keep people from trespassing.

"It is owned by CN, and they don't want anyone on it. We're trying to discourage people from trespassing from the Kelowna section onto the CN section.

"We're also trying to stop people, no matter which direction they are coming from, from doing damage on the ranch property."

How long it will be before the land is transferred, Gibbs says he doesn't know.

However, he says if the other sections get built before the transfer is complete, money will be set aside to build that section when the transfer does go through.

Follow the nectar trail

Follow the nectar trail at this weekend's Pollinator Picnic.

UBC’s Border Free Bees project, organized by Assoc. Prof Nancy Holmes, is hosting the event at Summerhill Winery on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The nectar trail is a 7.4-kilometre series of flowerbeds and gardens through the South Mission neighbourhood that help pollinators move through the urban landscape. More than 70 businesses and private homes, as well as every school along the route, have signed on to the trail as bee ambassadors.

The family-friendly picnic will include educational booths and displays, music, and activities. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to the event. 

A similar nectar trail is now planned in Glenmore, and UBC is creating one at its Okanagan campus. 

The nectar trail is supported by a grant from Go Wild, a community initiative funded by Telus through the World Wildlife Federation. 

KSS student wins big

A Kelowna student has received over $90,000 in scholarships and transformed herself into a standout leader in her community.

Jenita Poodwan co-founded the Kelowna Secondary School Diversity Club to provide a safe space for students from racial, religious, sexual and gender minorities.

Poodwan said she felt like an invisible newcomer at school.

TD Canada Trust recognizes 20 young students from across the country that have made a meaningful and lasting difference in their communities and Poodwan was one of them.

Poodwan is one of the recipients of the TD Scholarships for Community Leadership award which is valued at $70,000. She also received a UBC Centennial Scholars Entrance Award of $20,000.

KSS Diversity Club fundraised for a local Kelowna women’s shelter and Poodwan led a school board campaign to provide gender-neutral bathrooms.

She hopes to pursue a computer science degree at the University of British Columbia and go on to a career in technology, media or accounting.

Evening Update June 23

Castanet's Evening Update for Friday, June 23, with reporter Wayne Moore.

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