Monday, October 5th11.1°C

Lock it or lose it

Lake Country RCMP are warning the public to remove valuables and properly secure their vehicles after numerous thefts from vehicles.

On Saturday, police responded to several thefts from vehicles in the Okanagan Centre area, and police say they've seen an increase in such thefts during the past couple of weeks.

“The reports indicate that someone is targeting unlocked vehicles at night, but the suspect have also broken windows to gain access,” said Const. Kris Clark. “In one report, an unlocked home was entered while the occupants slept. The most common items stolen include credit cards, cash and wallets, but have also included notebook computers and other electronics.”

Police recommend the public follow these tips to help prevent theft:

  • Light your driveway at night. Park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic.
  • Don't leave any wallets or purses containing personal identification in an unattended vehicle or you could become a victim of identity theft.
  • Remove all valuables from plain view, even if your car is locked. Take them with you or put them in the trunk.
  • Report any suspicious activity near a vehicle or in your neighbourhood, and let police determine if it’s a crime in progress.
  • Always lock your car, even at home or in underground parking.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Lake Country RCMP at 250-766-2288.

Remain anonymous by calling CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

Help fill a school library

A Kelowna elementary school is in second place in a national competition that could win it a whole new library full of books.

The Indigo, Chapters, Coles Adopt a School contest seeks donations to rejuvenate underfunded elementary-school libraries across the country.

Every year, new schools are chosen to take part, with the goal of putting a new book in the hands of every child. Springvalley Elementary is among this year's group, and is currently in second place in B.C.

With only four days left to vote/donate, Springvalley has earned the equivalent of 482 new books.

"We need the help of the whole community so we can win $10,000 in new books for our library. This will be huge for these kids," said Springvalley parent Kimberly Graumann.

You can adopt the school online for free, once a day, until Oct. 10. You can also donate through the site, at

A donation of $12 equals 10 votes. A maximum of 10 votes per person per day is allowed.

Parents have twice set up a table at Chapters in Kelowna to bring in new adopters.

Graumann said Springvalley is not in a well-to-do neighbourhood, and the win would be a huge boost to kids who could really use the help.

Man shot in home invasion

UPDATE 10:30 A.M. 

Kelowna RCMP are currently investigating a home invasion in Lake Country that left one resident tied up and another sent to hospital with a gunshot wound.

On Sunday at 11:33 p.m., the Lake Country RCMP received a report of a home invasion on the 10000 block of Tyndall Road.

“The report indicated that two unknown men entered the home with a gun,” says Cpl. Joe Duncan. “A 61-year-old woman was tied up and the 65-year-old man in the residence was shot in buttocks area.”

Paramedics attended and transported the man to Kelowna General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The RCMP Police Dog Service, as well as Forensic Identification Service, both attended the scene.

Duncan says the investigation is ongoing.

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


A Lake Country man is in hospital this morning, recovering from a reported gunshot wound suffered Sunday night.

Kelowna RCMP have not yet commented, but Castanet was told the man was shot in an alleged home invasion.

Emergency responders were called to the scene shortly before midnight on Tyndall Road near Nighthawk Road.

One witness says the RCMP canine unit scoured the scene after the victim was taken away in an ambulance. 

The man, believed to be in his 50s, was shot in the buttocks and taken to Kelowna General Hospital in stable condition.

Castanet will have more details as soon as they are available. 

Send your news and photos to [email protected]

The November Project

Despite its name, the November Project happens every week, 12 months a year, across North America – including right here in Kelowna.

The November Project is an entirely free “fitness movement” born in Boston, as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months.

It is called The November Project as it started in November and was meant to last one month – now it is a movement that is gaining traction all across the US and Canada.

The Kelowna group is part of a ‘tribe’ of thousands of fitness enthusiasts in about 25 different cities who show up once a week, outside, in any weather  – to get fit and have fun while building a community.

Kelowna personal trainers, Roz Huber of New Wave Fitness and Keith Lanouette Wells of Oranj, decided to start the Kelowna ‘tribe’ in the summer.

“Our tribe is one of six Canadian cities which is really, really awesome,” says Huber. “We started this pledge seven weeks ago.”

Huber says the movement uses a sense of accountability to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.

“We wanted to create something long term, something that we can continue to build in this community in the name of fitness – and, in the name of free fitness,” says Huber. 

Huber says the motto is to #justshowup.

“It is for everyone. It is always free and the thing is, it is all about community,” says Roz. “It is about being a part of these really great workouts, but also creating a sense of community at the same time.”

Participants never have to bring money and no equipment is necessary.

Local attendees range from professional athletes to fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes looking to kick start their healthy life choices.

“The best part about the workout is that it is scalable to all levels,” says Huber. “So anyone can do this, it is for everyone and anyone. You’ll know that you can get a challenge whether you’ve been a fitness buff forever or if you’re just getting started.”

Huber says if you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what it is all about.

“The response has been so cool, we’ve been really, really welcomed,” says Huber. “People seem to really love it and they have a lot of fun.”

Huber says the weekly workout has been popular as well. The Kelowna tribe’s second week saw nearly 80 fitness enthusiasts attend. Now, as the weather changes, the group averages about 40 participants a week, but the word keeps spreading.

“We have such a great group of people who consistently show up,” says Huber, who adds that regardless of rain, snow, sleet or ice – the workout is on.

“The cool thing is that we are weatherproof,” adds Huber.

“As the weather changes and it snows we can adjust the workouts to make them doable. We have realized that as the weather gets a little bit more wild, the workouts are that much better.”

The Kelowna tribe meets every Wednesday morning at the base of Knox Mountain at 6:29 a.m. sharp.

You can get more information by checking out the Facebook group here.

New head for creek project

Steve Matthews is taking charge of Phase 1 of the Mission Creek Restoration project.

Matthews, who has 38 years of provincial fisheries and project management experience, will serve as the new project coordinator.

His first order of business will be to organize and oversee the set back of portions of the south dike of the creek between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive.

Work is expected to begin later this fall.

The expansion of floodplains and riparian areas is expected to help increase fish habitat populations.

"Based on my experience with other large-scale restoration projects, MCRI has huge potential over the long term for providing a wide range of benefits for Kelowna and area, and will be key to recovery of Okanagan Lake fish stocks," said Matthews.

Engineering students from UBC Okanagan's Capstone Project recently undertook detailed design for the Phase 1 dike setback, under the supervision of experienced water engineers.

Once approved by the province, the design will guide dike reconstruction and related in-stream fisheries work.

The federal government has agreed to kick in up to $249,000 for restoration of Mission Creek on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis.

Any monies raised by the city will be matched up to that amount.

Car fire ignites garage


A car fire ignited a garage Sunday morning creating a large blaze and forcing the closure of Glenmore Road for several hours.

The car, garage, other content and much of the homeowners lumber were completely destroyed in the aggressive blaze. 


Emergency crews have been called a fire in 5900 block of Glenmore Road near Lake Country.

Witness Andrews Ryckman said the fire started just before 11 a.m.

Ryckman said a shed was on fire on property that sells firewood and has a Route 66 sign in the front yard. 

He said several fire trucks were called to the blaze.

Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing from the area.

Castanet will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

Send your pictures, video and comments to [email protected].


$150,000 raised

Nearly a thousand women, men, children and furry family members donned pink in Kelowna Sunday – to run for a cure.

A total of 970 participants fundraised $150,704 at the 24th annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure 

The Kelowna event has raised more than $4.46 million since 1995. 

"Today, we were truly 'all in this together' as more than one hundred thousand Canadians united across the country for the CIBC Run for the Cure," says Lynne Hudson, CEO, The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. 

"I want to thank each and every one of the participants, volunteers and donors for making a difference, and bringing us one step closer to realizing our vision of creating a future without breast cancer."

With the estimated $21.5 million raised in over 60 communities across Canada, the foundation says they are able to invest in innovative research that is helping determine the genetic causes of breast cancer, finding innovative ways to detect breast cancer, and personalized breast cancer prevention and treatment options.

An estimated one in nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, one in 30 Canadian women will die from it.

A final paddle on the lake

A resident of Kelowna for over 50 years, Bob Purdy has been called an “icon” in the standup paddleboarding community.

After so many decades in the Okanagan, Purdy is moving west, to saltier waters.

“The ocean is calling me, it’s very simple,” Purdy said Saturday afternoon at Rotary Beach.

He and his wife Sharon are moving to Tofino on Oct. 9.

“We have a lot of friends in Tofino, I’ve been going out there since the '70s, and it’s a slower pace of life so all that good stuff,” Purdy said.

He was down at the beach Saturday with a dozen of his paddle boarding friends for a final sendoff to Okanagan Lake.

Purdy called Saturday’s paddle the ‘Mahalo Kelowna Paddle,’ mahalo being a Hawaiian word for thank you.

Purdy has been paddleboarding every single day since January 1, 2011. He said he has paddled for 1,737 consecutive days. It has been part of a program he calls, ‘Paddle for the Planet.’

The general idea of the program is to encourage people to pick a change they’d like to see in the world, and commit to that change.

“The project’s pretty well known in the paddling world, and we’re just starting to break into that mainstream audience with the message we need to change the way we live on this planet,” Purdy said.

Eileen Meehan and her husband, owners of Sun n’ Sup in Naramata, first met Purdy in 2012, when he was paddling the length of Okanagan Lake.

“We went out and met him, about 5:00 in the morning, paddling out to meet him in the middle of the lake, and it's pouring rain,” Meehan said.

They’ve become close friends since and are planning on heading out to Tofino at the end of the month to visit.

Denise Mend, a paddleboarder, said Purdy’s influence on the Okanagan will live on.

“He’s fostered an amazing community and I think people will continue to paddle and support his causes and visit him in Tofino,” Mend said. “And of course he’ll visit.”

When it comes to adjusting to paddleboarding on choppier seas rather than calm lakes, Purdy remains positive.

“I wouldn’t call it difficult, it’s just a different set of challenges.”

As Purdy’s friends finished preparing their gear, he looked around  and with a big grin yelled, “Who wants to go for a paddle?”

Thefts from vehicles on rise

Police are warning the public to remove their valuables and properly secure their vehicles after numerous recent reports of thefts from vehicles.

On Saturday, the Lake Country RCMP responded to several thefts from vehicles in the Okanagan Centre area and police have seen an increase in these types of thefts over the past couple weeks.

The reports indicate that someone is targeting unlocked vehicles at night but the suspect(s) have also broken windows to gain access.

In one report, an unlocked home was entered while the occupants slept. The most common items stolen include credit cards, cash, and wallets but have also included notebook computers and other electronics.

Police ask that the public follow these tips to help prevent future thefts:

-At home, light your driveway at night. Elsewhere, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic;

-Do not leave any wallets or purses containing personal identification in an unattended vehicle or you could become a victim of identity theft;

-Remove all valuables from plain view, even if your car is locked. Take the items with you or secure them in the trunk out of sight;

-Report any suspicious persons or activities near a vehicle in your neighbourhood to police immediately, and let the police determine if it’s a crime in progress;

-Always lock your car, even at home or in secure underground parking.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Lake Country RCMP at 250-766-2288.

Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

Breastfeeding by the 100s

Over 100 breasts were out in a Kelowna park today, and civilized society did not crumble around them.

Today was the annual International Breastfeeding Challenge and Kelowna’s Breastfeeding Café, based out of Kelowna Community Resources, held Kelowna’s event beside the Farmer’s Market at Dilworth Drive and Baron Road.

Dozens of families attended, and took in the face painting, musical entertainment and cupcakes.

“It’s to raise awareness around breastfeeding and the benefits of breastfeeding,” said Lisa Ford. “It’s nice to do it in a public space, because it helps normalize breastfeeding, and lets everyone know that breastfeeding is natural, and normal and OK to do in public.”

In a statement, organizers said only 38 per cent of infants around the world are breastfed exclusively for the recommended first six months of their lives, despite the benefits of it.

Organizers counted how many women breastfeed at once and will send the numbers into the international body.

“It’s a friendly competition to see who can have the most moms breastfeeding at one time,” Ford said.

The idea began in 2001 in British Columbia, and now mothers participate in 18 different countries.

At 11 a.m., the call was put out for everyone to “latch on” and the count began.

Last year, 120 women in Kelowna participated. The unofficial count this year was a little less, at 103, which was probably due to the less than perfect weather, according to Ford.

With the goal of normalizing breastfeeding in public, the event has helped a lot of women feel more comfortable.

“I used to be afraid to breastfeed in public and after meeting all these other people and knowing what your rights actually are, it just makes it a lot easier and more comfortable,” said Kim Silver, a participant at the event. “Everyone’s super nice and friendly and gives you lots of tips and support.”

There was plenty of smiling faces throughout the area, and a woman sang children songs and played guitar.

“We tried to make it more of a festival atmosphere and people seem happy and are having lots of funs,” Ford said. “We don’t have a lot of funds, but the community came together to put this on.”

For more information on the Kelowna Breastfeeding Café, check out their website here.

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