Tuesday, May 26th14.1°C

What to know for May 26

AM Update with Jen Zielinski, for May 26.


Here comes pizza in a cone

A new food alternative will soon be available at City Park.

The city awarded a third concession to Konz Pizza in a Cone. The contract is for three years, running from May through September each year.

The company will pay the city $21,000 plus five per cent of gross revenues over the term of the contract.

Real estate services manager John Saufferer told council the bid was initially for Stuart Park, however, with construction still ongoing, it was decided to move the contract to City Park.

Konz will operate next to existing concession operators Wafelicious and Vietnam Village. It will replace Tacofina, which indicated the site was not financially viable and it would not return this year.

"The proposed location is within the existing concession hub at City Park. The three food trucks are located within close proximity of the water park and skate park and across the plaza from the recently constructed City Park washrooms near Cold Sands Beach," said Staufferer.

"Staff believes Konz Pizza in a Cone will compliment existing food vendors and provide a unique and memorable food experience for visitors and guests to one of Kelowna's most popular beaches."

While Konz was accepted as the winning bid for a food concession, there were no takers for a proposed activity or service concession in the park.

Staufferer said the city may take a look at revamping its current concession agreement to make it more appealing to an activity or service concession.

He said the agreement is quite strict, and more flexibility could open the process to more bidders.

City goes for Games

Kelowna hopes to be the focal point for senior sports and activities in 2019.

The city has confirmed it will put forth a bid for the B.C. 55+ Games, formerly the B.C. Senior Games. It has also confirmed 2019 would be its first preference.

The Games society recently sought bids from B.C. communities.

"We feel we could host any of these years, but having more time for preparations will help us to build capacity with our sport groups and generate excitement in the community," said event development supervisor Mariko Siggers.

"We feel 2017 would be a very short timeline. We would have to get started right away, and staff are already planning the sesquicentennial (Canada's 150th birthday) activities for 2017, so it would be a challenge to have the Games in 2017. With that in mind, we are recommending that Kelowna's bid indicates the first choice be 2019, followed by 2018 with a third choice of 2017."

Coun. Maxine DeHart pointed out other communities looking at the same three years will likely come up with the same conclusion.

"I think 2017 is going to be really tough for a lot of communities," she said.

"Who knows, we might get stuck with 2017. Either way, it's a good event, but I'm hoping your rationale will work for us."

Coun. Brad Sieben suggested the bid not include an option for 2017. However, the idea got no traction from the rest of council.

If Kelowna is successful in its bid for one of the Games, Siggers suggested the event be held in Sepember.

"The event calendar is a little more open, and accommodations are a little easier to come by."

If successful, the Games would cost the city $115,000 – $55,000 of which would be an in-kind contribution for facility rentals.

The bid must be submitted by the end of next month.


A family mourns

UPDATE 5:30 P.M.

A service for JoJo Casavant will be held at the end of this week, and her family wants everyone who loved and knew her to know they are welcome to attend.

The family tells Castanet their faith and Christian roots let them know she is now in a better place.

"JoJo took her relationship with the Lord seriously, and it was seen by the way she was able to love others with the same love Jesus had,” says brother-in-law Anthony Kuchma.

“She treated everyone she met with the same genuine love and kindness regardless of who they were."

There will be an open casket viewing at Springfield Funeral Home (2020 Springfield Road) on Friday, May 29 between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Kuchma says everyone is welcome to attend.

On Saturday May 30, everyone is again is invited to a burial ceremony at the Lakeview Cemetery (2850 Dry Valley Rd) at 9:30 a.m.

That will be followed with a celebration of life at 11:00 a.m. at their family church, the  Kelowna Christian Center (905 Badke Road), with refreshments to follow

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking all donations be put towards a missions program through KCC that JoJo had been involved in.

If you are interested in donating you can contact Pastor Ed Berk at [email protected]


She was funny, joyful and spirited.

That’s the person her family wants the public to know, after 21-year-old Joselyn Casavant lost her life Friday evening in a tragic head-on collision.

To her friends and family Casavant went by JoJo. A young Kelowna woman loved by many who leaves behind her grieving parents, two older sisters, brothers-in-law and boyfriend.

“She was very funny, and lived a life full of love,” shares brother-in-law Anthony Kuchma to Castanet on behalf of the family. “She was the funniest and happiest person ever.”

JoJo was the youngest of three sisters and a bright light in their lives.

“She was always making other people laugh,” says Kuchma. “She had so many friends and no enemies. She was just so amazing.”

While still coping with JoJo’s death, Kuchma says the family takes some small solace in the fact she had just enjoyed one of the best weeks of her life.

From being maid-of-honour at her best friend’s wedding last weekend, to celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday and getting a promotion at work – it was the perfect week. 

“It seemed like everything in her life was in order in that moment. She had a remarkable last week,” shares Kuchma.

“Her friends that live out of town all visited this week and she had got to see them. She had just celebrated her cousin’s engagement. She got a promotion this week at her job. Even down to the little things like how she went to Starbucks and ordered a small something and it came out as a Venti. Even a couple days before she died we played board games and she never wins, but this time she won all three games we played. It was literally the best week.”

But the lovely final week ended Friday evening, when JoJo was struck and killed on McCurdy Road East.

Kuchma says the family was told she was knocked unconscious immediately in the accident and did not suffer.

“She had a pulse when the first paramedic arrived, but she was not there, she was unconscious.”

Crews used the Jaws of Life to get her out of her vehicle and then she went into cardiac arrest. JoJo died at the scene.

Kuchma says the family is still working through the stages of grief; it is almost too soon to realize she is really gone.

“I am still in shock because I don’t miss her yet, it still doesn’t feel like she is gone,” says Kuchma.

The 27-year-old male driver of the car that struck her is facing criminal charges for her death. The RCMP allege he was speeding when he lost control and crossed into her lane. He suffered non life-threatening injuries to his back and neck.

“It will be hard to forgive,” adds Kuchma.

JoJo was born in Prince George and raised in Kelowna. She graduated from the Heritage Christian School in 2011, worked at the Petro Canada/Skogies Gas Station and was actively involved in the family’s church, the Kelowna Christian Center.

Kuchma says the family intends to hold a service for her next weekend; they will release details early this week. 

Pepper sprayed and robbed

A clerk at Mac’s Convenience Store is recovering after being pepper sprayed during a robbery, early Sunday.

Police say a man entered the store on the 2100 block of Richter Street, approached the clerk and asked for two packs of cigarettes, which the clerk provided. The suspect then told the clerk it was a robbery and demanded an undisclosed amount of cigarettes be placed in a bag.

As the suspect took the bag from the clerk, he used the pepper spray and fled the scene.

Officers with a police service dog attended, but were unable to track down the suspect. He is described as:

  •  Caucasian male
  •  Thin build
  •  About five-foot-eight (172.7 cm)
  •  25 to 30 years of age
  •  Unshaven facial hair
  • Wearing a black T-shirt with dark jacket over top, dark gloves and dark baseball cap with stickers affixed to the brim

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information who has yet to speak with police is asked contact the Kelowna RCMP, Const .Hamilton, at 250-762-3300.

Campapalooza cancelled

Organizers of the Southern Interior's first Campapalooza event say they have had to cancel.

But they plan on bringing back the event next spring.

The expo-type was planned for May 30 and aimed to bring kids' summer camp operators from throughout the region under one roof for a day so parents could choose the best camp for their children. It was to be held at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.

“The Campapalooza Summer Camp Expo ... has been postponed until April of 2016. The organizers apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. They invite everyone to continue to click www.campapalooza.ca for updated information,” the event organizers said in a press release.

Still looking for a summer camp? Here are a few opportunities.


What to know for May 25

A.M. Update with Jen Zielinski for Monday, May 25.

Woman dies in collision

Update: Monday, May 25

Cpl. Joe Duncan says a toxicology report has been ordered for the driver, whose vehicle struck and killed a woman early Sunday morning.

He says officers must look at both the toxicology and re-constructionist report from the incident, before they decide if charges will be laid. Police did question the driver the night of the collision.

The driver of the vehicle was the husband of the victim, both were from Alberta.

A 40-year-old woman has died of injuries suffered in a pedestrian collision that occurred overnight at 2:30 a.m.
According to witnesses, a grey Chevy pick-up truck pulling a trailer was driving north onto the 3100 block of Lakeshore Road when it struck the female with the trailer.

The driver of the truck was the victim's husband. 
Injuries to the woman proved fatal and she died at the scene.  
The investigation continues with respect to the totality of the circumstances.

The coroner attended to examine the scene and more will be known following the conclusion of the investigation.

The name of the woman is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin and such information will be at the discretion of the coroner.
Police continue to investigate.

Bid for 2019 senior games

The City of Kelowna is expected to make a bid to host the 55+ B.C. Games in 2019.

Staff has spent the last two months gauging community interest and the bid process for hosting the 2017, 2018 or 2019 games after being urged to by the games society.

Event development supervisor Mariko Siggers said School District 23, local senior's societies and sports groups have all given their support.

Siggers added the city has adequate facilities to host the games. If successful in its bid the city would be required to make a $115,000 financial commitment which includes an in-kind contribution of $55,000 primarily for facility rentals.

In her report to council Siggers said, while Kelowna could host any of the three years, 2019 would be the most desirable.

"In 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary and many initiatives will be taking place throughout the community with the potential to detract from the 55+ games," said Siggers in her report.

"Holding the games in 2019 would allow staff and the community ample time to prepare and build organizational capacity by hosting lead-up events. Therefore, the bid application will rank 2019 as first choice, 2018 as second choice and 2017 as third choice."

While the games can be held in either August or September, Siggers is recommending September.

"August dates overlap the Apple Triathlon and there is more hotel capacity for participants in September."

The games would potentially attract up to 4,000 competitors in 31 sports and activities.

While a conservative estimate indicates the games could result in a $2 million economic impact, a study following the Langley games in 2014 showed a direct benefit of $3.1 million.

A majority of the economic impact is a direct result of hotel and restaurant spending.

Kelowna last hosted the games in 2000.

$220,000 boost for cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society raised over $220,000 Friday night during their 11th annual Kelowna Daffodil Ball.

This year's gala was focused on brain cancer research. While the five-year survival rate for all cancers combined is 63 per cent, brain cancer's is just 25 per cent.

Despite the focus on brain cancer, the donations will go towards the Canadian Cancer Society's national fundraising program, which supports general cancer research.

The money raised this year fell well short of last years' record breaking $465,000.

“We attracted some new faces, which I think is exciting, at the ball this year, but a different group of people (than last year),” said Holly Dober, Daffodil Ball coordinator. “But I think it's encouraging that we have a new guest list a the ball and some new potential supporters.”

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