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Masterchef to open restaurant

In a battle of reality chefs, local realtor Kaila Klassen clawed her way to the finish but came up just short, finishing in third spot on Masterchef Canada.

The Penticton native says she learned a lot during the six weeks of taping in Toronto, including her ability to work well under pressure and how she will always persevere.

“I also learned a lot about cooking and a lot of skills and the judges taught me so much,” says Klassen, who now calls West Kelowna home.

Her confidence was something that at times appeared to work against her in the minds of her competitors, but Klassen says she always expected to make it to the end, and put her entire heart and soul into the competition.

If given the opportunity, she would do another reality based cooking show, calling it the best experience she’s had in her life, while commenting on the many doors that have now been opened.

One of those newly opened doors will lead to a Kelowna restaurant that Klassen hopes to launch in the summer.

It will be called the Krafty Kitchen and Bar and will feature small shareable plates.

“I can’t divulge too much but I am opening up a restaurant in Kelowna and we hope to be open by July,” she says.

“I think that I’m going to put my whole heart and soul into it. I’m very confident with the food and I’m confident with the community support and I know we will be a success.”

Klassen says she will not be the chef, and instead will concentrate on ownership and menu planning.

She did give a brief hint as to who will be running the kitchen, saying she has exciting news about who the head chef will be, but affirms it will not be any of her competitors on Masterchef.



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12K eggs gone in 45 seconds

It was a Westside eggstravaganza, but it was over in under a minute. Organizers had over 12,000 eggs on the field behind Johnson Bentley pool for the Sunday event and over 1,000 youngsters rushed the egg field to collect them.

This is the fourth year for the Easter Egg Scramble, it's in support of the Westside Community Food Bank. The hunt is sponsored by RE/MAX.

Here is the raw un-cracked video.

Video by Wayne Moore

 

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Road closures and blasting

Construction season shifts into high gear in the District of West Kelowna April 22 with the start of upgrades and required traffic rerouting at Westlake Road between Highway 97 and Starlight Crescent.

The District of West Kelowna will work closely with its contractor TT Contractors Ltd. to communicate road closures and traffic disruptions to the public throughout the course of the project. Access to all businesses will be maintained during construction. The contractor will issue notices to nearby residents in advance of required blasting in the vicinity of Caledonia Way, Sunview Drive and Sunview Place.

Beginning April 22, single lane alternating traffic will be in effect between Highway 97 and Stevens Road and a closure will be required between Rosewood Drive and Caledonia Way, with access available predominantly to Caledonia Way and Sussex Road neighbourhoods. Other motorists are advised to use McDougall Road or Horizon Drive as a detour.

Transit will be rerouted along McDougall Road and the bus stop between Sussex Road and Caledonia Way will be out of service during construction.

Construction is expected to continue on Westlake Road until the end of August and traffic patterns and access will change from time to time throughout the project. Updates will be posted on Twitter and Facebook and the District of West Kelowna’s homepage. Motorists can Follow @DofWestKelowna on Twitter.

The District of West Kelowna thanks everyone for their patience and understanding during this essential $5.1 million project, which will include construction of a roundabout at Stevens and Westlake Roads, sidewalks and cycling lanes and streetlight installations, water main upgrades and driveway and access improvements.



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West Kelowna egg-straveganza

12,000 Easter eggs.

That's the prize awaiting chocolate loving kids Sunday during the fourth annual Easter Egg Scramble in support of the Westside Community Food Bank.

The annual event, hosted by RE/MAX professionals from West Kelowna, takes place from noon to 2 p.m. at the Johnson Bentley sports field.

"The egg hunt will commence at 1pm sharp where children ages 10 and under are encouraged to find as many eggs as possible," says event organizer Darcy Elder of West Kelowna RE/MAX.

As an added bonus, there will be golden eggs hidden inside the eggs.  Children who find a golden egg (with a ticket number inside) will be given a special Easter basket.

The event will include two separate egg hunts – one for children ages five to 10 and one for children four and under.

"There are plenty of other reasons for families to come out and enjoy this event. The Easter Bunny will be arriving by fire truck, there will be helium balloons, face painting, a petting zoo and many other fun games and activities," says Elder.

Although the event is focused on creating a fun filled day for families and children, the Easter Egg Scramble benefits the Westside Community Food Bank.

Volunteers will be on location accepting food and monetary donations from participating families.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this event. This is a great outdoor activity for the entire family and with 12,000 eggs to be collected, I am sure it will keep children busy and active for at least a few minutes," says Lenetta Parry, Executive Director for the Westside Community Food Bank

“Much of our donations come in during the Christmas season, however, we are helping local families all year round. These donations will go a long way to helping keep food on our shelves so we can continue to meet demand on the Westside.”  

There will also be a raffle and hot dog sale with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Westside Community Food Bank.

“This event would not happen without the hard work and support of the RE/MAX agents; sponsors; donors and volunteers. It is the largest event of its kind in West Kelowna and truly is a result of the community working together to offer something special to families this Easter” says Parry.

Last year, this event attracted more than 4,000 individuals. Easter egg hunts are a great Canadian tradition and this is a great opportunity to support a great local cause.



Street cleaning at mid sweep

Street sweepers have been working in the District of West Kelowna since the second week in March and cleaning of the municipality’s 250 kilometre road network is half way done with scheduled completion expected by mid-May.

Neighbourhoods and areas completed to date include:

  • Casa Loma
  • Boucherie Centre
  • Gellalty
  • Lakeview Heights
  • Mission Hill/Sunnyside/Green Bay/Pritchard Drive
  • Westbank Centre

Areas still to be completed include:

  • Glenrosa
  • Rose Valley/West Kelowna Estates
  • Shannon Lake
  • Smith Creek
  • West Kelowna Industrial Park

For safety and efficiency purposes, residents are asked to not approach drivers.

Residents can also greatly help the cleaning process by parking vehicles off street while sweepers work in their areas. Signs are posted prior to street sweeping commencing in each neighbourhood.

Please note that sweepers will leave debris on the road after the first pass, and the equipment operator will return for additional passes to complete the cleaning process.

Sand piles will also be temporarily deposited in each neighbourhood during the street sweeping process and be removed as quickly as possible once cleaning is completed in that area.

The District of West Kelowna thanks everyone for their patience while the municipality and its contractor work to complete spring street sweeping.



Car destroyed by fire

A car was completely destroyed by a fire Thursday evening in West Kelowna.

The car caught fire around 6:45 p.m. on E Boundary Road just past Daimler Road.

Witnesses say they saw the occupants of the vehicle run from the scene, fortunately no injuries have been reported.

Residents in the area say a column of smoke could be seen for several kilometers.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

We will have more details as they become available.

Send photos and video to [email protected]



A river runs through it

A commitment to protect homes and road access around McDougall Creek is now complete.

"Last year I promised West Kelowna residents that we would find a cost- effective, long-term flood protection solution for McDougall Creek," said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. "This is a promise made, a promise kept and it happened because we all worked together to do the right thing."

The $585,000 project was primarily funded through BC's Flood Protection Program (FPP), with the provincial portion covering up to two-thirds of the work, $340,000. The remaining one-third was paid for by the District of West Kelowna. It also includes a claim for $75,000 through the provincial Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program for removing debris and temporary emergency works from McDougall Creek to restore the creek to its pre-disaster condition.

McDougall Creek is an area with high hazard flood potential that has experienced several recent adverse flooding events.

These events have impacted residents and the local government and resulted in private property losses and increased emergency management costs for the Province.

"Residents in West Kelowna are grateful for the work that has been done through this provincial-municipal partnership," said West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater. "It is a relief that we are going into spring freshet having addressed this ongoing issue. With help from Premier and MLA Christy Clark and the BC government, we've been able to protect both our community and the creek habitat."

Barbra Hart's home has flooded for the last few years, she's glad the work was completed before this year's runoff.

"In the last ten years it has gotten worse, more vegetation and the berms were not high enough and the extra sediment coming down would raise the level of the creek to where in some places the level of the creek was higher than the road. It was an accident waiting to happen. (Now) It's much deeper and much wider and I'm not concerned at all."

Hart says they could never take a vacation at this time of year and they would be up all night worrying.

"We can go away on a little holiday now, and we can sleep at night. So huge relief, huge." 
 



A hail of an afternoon

A short, but noisy, hail storm hit West Kelowna Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m.

Below is a new digital recording a viewer sent to us of the storm.

Video by: Trevor Rockliffe

Do you have great weather photos or video? Send them to [email protected]

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Sports fields open this week

Operations staff has been busy getting parks and sports fields in the District of West Kelowna ready for a new season.

Various park amenities have been prepped for opening on April 17 in time for the Easter long weekend.

The only exceptions will be the Kids Care Spray Park in Westbank Centre Park, which will open the May long weekend, as usual, and CNR Wharf Park and Pritchard Park which will remain closed for reconstruction.

CNR Wharf Park and Pritchard Park are scheduled to open in the summer.

Parks work conducted over the past several weeks has included:

  • Cleaning and prepping beaches, pickle ball and tennis courts and washrooms
  • Laying down new mulch in dog parks
  • Prepping beach volleyball courts and sports fields
  • Readying sand and sandbags should they be required for spring freshet.


Commute delays on Hwy 97

Commuters travelling between West Kelowna and Kelowna will be hit with more construction delays.

Traffic pattern changes and a construction speed zone will come into effect the last few days of April, on Highway 97 between the Campbell Road Interchange and Westside Road.

The change includes realignment of all five lanes to facilitate construction of the Sneena Road overpass. Cycling lanes will be maintained.

Construction is expected to continue through to mid October.

Starting the week of April 27 crews will begin shifting traffic onto the temporary alignment.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, transition to the temporary alignment will result in short-term changes to traffic patterns throughout the week and will require temporary lane closures in both directions.

"Wherever possible, lane closures will be scheduled during evenings and non-peak daytime hours to minimize disruption to highway traffic," says MoTI spokesman, Robert Adam.

"A 50km/hour construction speed zone will be in effect during this period and will remain in effect until construction of the overpass is complete."

Once the traffic has been shifted onto the temporary alignment, all five lanes of traffic will be maintained for the duration of the construction period.

This is the fourth time in the last seven years commuters have been faced with construction along the stretch of highway between the William R. Bennett Bridge and Nancee Way.

Previous projects included the Campbell Road Interchange, Westside Road Overpass and Nancee Way Overpass.



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