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Crash sends one to KGH

UPDATED 4:52 P.M.

An email from someone claiming to be a friend of the family has told Castanet the man has died from his injuries. Castanet has not yet been able to confirm this with authorities.


UPDATED 3:35 P.M.

When Terry Adrian came across a serious motorycle accident on Boucherie Road Sunday afternoon, his training kicked in and he jumped to action.

While not currently active in first aid, Adrian held a occupational first aid level 3 certification for 18 years and within minutes of arriving on the scene, he brought the injured rider of the motorcycle back to life.

Adrian had just pulled up to the scene on his own motorcycle when he noticed a downed bike on the road. He went around traffic and saw the operator of the bike more than 40 feet from the crash scene, eight feet down a nearby driveway.

While his wife stayed with their motorcycle, Adrian ran to the injured rider. Another man was already holding the injured man's head and together they rolled him onto his back while carefully protecting his neck.

“He had no pulse and he was not breathing,” said Adrian. “After about a minute or a minute and a half, I got his heart beating again. I was able to maintain his pulse and respiration rate until the ambulance arrived.”

Adrian said it looked like the man – who he estimated to be in his late 20s to early 30s - lost his helmet during the accident and struck his head.

“It was as bad as I've seen from a motor-vehicle accident,” he added.

Adrian said he did not see a second vehicle at the scene and does not think the injured rider was struck by another vehicle.

Adrian has brought people back from the brink of death in the past at workplace accidents when he was an active first aid attendant and the experience is always very intense.

“I'm stressed out,” Adrian told Castanet shortly after the accident. “I just need to calm down.”


A motorcycle accident on Boucherie Road at Prosperpine Road sent one person to Kelowna General Hospital with undetermined injuries Sunday afternoon.

The accident happened around 1:15 p.m.

Witnesses said two fire engines, three police cars, one ambulance supervisor and one tow truck attended the scene.

Boucherie Road was closed for about an hour.

The names of the victim or how the accident happened are not known at this time.



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Music in the Park is back

Music in the Park returns to Memorial Park in West Kelowna tonight.

Thee annual concert series will be held at the park below Johnson Bentley Memorial Pool every Friday night throughout the summer, culminating with Adam Fitzpatrick's tribute to Elvis Aug. 28.

Performances run from 6:40 until 9 p.m. each Friday and include a talented kid, an opening act and headline act.

Tonight's lineup includes: Ayla Buckberry, Nicole Sumerlyn and Ben Klick.

Music lovers will enjoy a variety of genres including country, pop, classical and more. West Kelowna

Recreation staff will be in the park hosting games and activities for the kids. A food and beverage vendor will be operating during the concerts.

All performances are free.

Click here for more information on Music in the Park.



Councillor off to Nepal

West Kelowna Coun. Rosalind Neis is trading in her council seat for a more humanitarian endeavour.

Neis flies out this week as part of a Canadian Red Cross humanitarian mission to earthquake-torn Nepal.

She will be gone five weeks.

More than 8,000 people were killed, villages were flattened and tens of thousands of people were left homeless after the 7.8 magnitude quake hit the country on April 25.

Nearly 100 were killed and more were left without shelter when a second quake, measuring 7.3 hit the region nearly three weeks later as the country was trying to recover.

She will be based in Dhunche, north of the capital of Kathmandu near the border with China.

Neis, trained as a surgical nurse, will be going to Nepal as part of a surgical team.

"I think the team I am going with consists of an anesthetist, a couple of surgeons and myself. We are going strictly for five weeks of surgery," said Neis.

Conditions she expects to encounter will be less than ideal. She compared them to what people may have seen on the popular TV show MASH.

"It's very much like that. It's a tent, sleeping on a cot and eating rations out of a bag which consists of rice and beans I've been told."

"The nursing group that will consist of myself and whoever else is there...you do the operation, you clean the room, you clean the instruments, wipe down the walls and you do the next one."

Neis joined the Red Cross just as the disaster in Haiti was winding down.

Over the past several years she said she has undergone extensive training a few weeks every year in preparation for a disaster such as this one.

"All along I said I'm available if they need me. So, now it's my turn."

As for her council duties, Neis said her fellow councillors and the city have been very supportive.

"It's hard because you are leaving...I'm not going to be here for the constituents but I think if everybody truly understood the situation they would say go help those people. They need it more than we do," said Neis.

"One voice being at council for a couple of meetings won't be the end of the world for the people here. If I can help one person and, hopefully I can help a hundred people, that would be a great thing."



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Strange light in the sky

A West Kelowna resident has some questions after seeing a strange light in the sky this past weekend.

Ruth Jeffrey said she was out on her porch near Boucherie Road, looking west, when she saw a large, bright object in the sky.

“It was very bright, it was definitely not a star,” Jeffrey said. “This thing was big.”

She said it wasn’t completely circular, but had a tail off the end of it.

Jeffrey said it was very high in the sky and stationary for some time. Then it disappeared.

“It didn’t stay there, a star stays in the sky,” she said.

Dave Fuller, deputy director at Kelowna International Airport, said there was a brush fire around the Peachland area Saturday night.

“They might have had a spotter aircraft out there just doing an assessment,” Fulller said. “That would be about the only thing I could think of.”

He said he had heard no other reports from other people about seeing lights in the sky on Saturday.

Jeffrey was able to take a few pictures, but said her camera wasn’t good enough to fully capture it.

Send us a letter. Did you see something similar? Got an opinion on this story?  Email letters to the editor to [email protected]



Chairlift crash report

Just under 16 months after a terrifying chairlift collapse injured four people on Crystal Mountain, the B.C. Safety Authority has released its conclusions and recommendations.

On March 1, 2014, a cable from the chairlift reportedly came loose, sending three chairs careening into a tower before crashing to the ground.

Three of those injured worked at the mountain, including two members of the ski patrol and one ski instructor. The fourth person injured was a 45-year-old who was taking lessons.

BCSA’s report includes seven recommendations to prevent further occurrences.

“This incident can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, which is why we have made seven improvement recommendations including an important recommendation towards the development of a Passenger Ropeway Mechanic Certification Program in B.C.,” says Jason Gill, BCSA’s safety manager of passenger ropeways and amusement devices.

The authority determined the primary cause of the incident was low tension within the haul-rope system, directly caused by the counterweight being in contact with the ground.

Contributing factors according to the BCSA also include: condition and malfunction of the tensioning system, configuration of the rope-catching device installed at the tower where the deropement occurred, operator understanding of haul-rope and tensioning system conditions and dynamics, and placement of the tower that experienced the deropement relative to other towers and the loading area.

The BCSA is now working with industry, manufacturers and certifying agencies to look toward implementing its recommendations. 

A number of instructions were also provided to Crystal Mountain, which must be completed in order to resume operation – work the BCSA says has not yet been done.

“Crystal Mountain’s operating permits will be reinstated only once BCSA is satisfied that the resort’s ski lifts meet all required safety standards,” writes the BCSA.

You can read the entire report, including recommendations, here.

For past stories on the chairlift collapse click here.



Power back on

UPDATE 1:40 P.M.

A crow is to blame for a power outage Monday in West Kelowna.

“A crow was on some of our equipment and shorted out that equipment causing the outage,” says BC Hydro spokesman Dag Sharman. “It has been fixed and customers should have their power back on now.”

Sharman says power was restored to all customers at 12:44 p.m. after going out at 11:25 a.m.  


ORIGINAL

Power is out to just over 100 customers in the Smith Creek area of West Kelowna Monday afternoon.

Early reports indicate the power lines were seen smoking on Whispering Hills Drive before power went out.

B.C. Hydro reports the power went out at 11:25 a.m. and that it is under investigation. There is no current estimated turn-on time.

Castanet will have more details as they become available. 

Send photos and video to [email protected] 



Fire burns near Zip Zone

UPDATED: 6:21 p.m.

The fire is now 100 per cent contained, according to fire information officer Kelsey Winter.

Thought to be human caused, It burned three acres and crews are now working on digging guards.

According to Kevin Bennett with Zip Zone, the fire was quite close, about 500 meters away, but up at the top of a hill overlooking the park.

Operations manager Jason Braun spotted the fire at around 11 a.m., called the fire department and then went with a fire extinguisher to investigate, but was not able to do much to combat the fire.

Peachland fire crews arrived in about 10 minutes, and the Forestry Service teams about 35 minutes later. They hit the fire with five amphibious bombers plus a larger plane, which dropped fire retardant.

"Our park was not affected, but the guests got a grandstand view of the water bombers flying low over their heads as they zipped," he said. 

At around 3:30 p.m., five trucks with ground crew arrived and were working to douse the fire completely.

They were advised that the fire was contained, with little risk of spreading.

"The fire crews did a fantastic job" he said. "I’m seeing news reports saying the fire was human caused. I can’t corroborate that as I have no idea, but we do have security cameras on site at ZipZone and will be reviewing the footage to see if we have anything that may be of use to the investigative team."


UPDATED: 4:13 P.M.

 

The fire has over tripled in size and is now covering 3 hectares, according to Kelsey Winter, fire information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Despite this growth, fire crews have completely surrounded the blaze with fire retardant. 

ORIGINAL: 2:01 P.M.

A fire is burning in Peachland this afternoon, near the Zip Zone Peachland.

Reports of the fire were first called in around noon today. The fire is currently 0.7 hectares in size and exhibits Rank two behaviour, according to Kelsey Winter, fire information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre. Rank two means the fire has visible, open flame, but there is little or no spread.

The Wildfire Management Branch has sent two tankers, four fixed-wing skimmers and a helicopter to battle the blaze. There are nine firefighters and one response officer on site. 

Fire crews have only just arrived, so tankers will be laying retardant along all four sides of the fire to "box" it and prevent it from spreading. 

Castanet will update this story as more information becomes available. 

 



Westside Daze kicks off

Sunscreen and lots of water were the order of the day as Westside Daze officially kicked off with the annual parade.

Thousands greeted pipe bands, clowns, floats and dignitaries under a partly sunny sky Saturday morning.

And, of course there was candy - lots and lots of candy for the kids and the young at heart.

The five day family festival runs through Canada Day on Wednesday.

Saturday is kid's day with activities for the youngsters all afternoon at Memorial Park below Johnson Bentley Memorial Pool.

The opening day concludes with a fireworks show slated for 10:15 p.m. at Gellatly Bay.

Click here for a complete list of events throughout the five days.

Send pictures to [email protected]



Rose Valley fire now out

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue reports the Rose Valley fire is now out.

Fire Chief Jason Brolund says crews responded to the fire at 5 p.m., near the Rose Valley reservoir dam.

Crews first on the scene found a Rank 2 fire burning up a steep slope. No homes were threatened.

Wind in the area grew the fire quickly to Rank 3 before crews were able to surround it with water lines and a fire guard.

The fire grew to just over one hectare in size.

Twenty-one firefighters fought the blaze. West Kelowna utilities crews also attended to ensure the security and safety of the reservoir and water supply, which was not affected.

Crews will remain on scene as long as required overnight, and the fire will be patrolled over the weekend, says Brolund.

Two Wildfire Management Branch initial attack crews assisted, but air support was not required.

A preliminary fire investigation was conducted, but the cause of the fire is not yet known.


UPDATE 8:15 p.m.

Fire crews are getting the upper hand on the grass/brush fire in Rose Valley.

Unconfirmed reports have helicopter air support turned away and ground crews working to surround the fire.


A small brush fire is burning in Rose Valley Park, in West Kelowna.

The fire is some distance from access points to trails in the park that circle the Rose Valley reservoir.

Smoke can be seen rising from downtown Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.

There is no word yet on the size of the fire, but several units were dispatched to the scene to fight the flames.

It is the second wildfire reported Friday in the Central Okanagan.

Earlier in the day, a grass fire was doused on Pooley Road in East Kelowna that burned an area 300x350 feet.

With record heat forecast this weekend and tinder dry conditions in the woods, residents and visitors are advised to use extreme caution.

Just before 6 p.m., a report also came in of smoke sighted near Crystal Waters, north of Lake Country, along Highway 97 by Kalamalka Lake.

Castanet will have more details on all the fires as they become available.

Email your fire photos and information to [email protected]



Welcome to B.C.'s 51st city

Premier Christy Clark made it official Friday. West Kelowna is B.C.'s 51st city.

With a population just shy of 31,000, West Kelowna slots in as the province's 21st most populated city, ahead of Langford, Langley, Courtenay and White Rock.

"I think all of you would agree that for some time this has been a city in all but name," said Clark, who also serves as the area's MLA.

"Thirty thousand residents, 1,400 businesses, and so it is time to recognize that reality. So, it is my pleasure to announce today that West Kelowna will officially become British Columbia's 51st city."

The announcement is the latest in a tumultuous journey from unincorporated regional area to District Municipality of Westside to District Municipality of West Kelowna and now City of West Kelowna.

"I think I am comfortable in saying this name is here to stay. We're not going to do any more name changes – that will be a relief to staff," said Findlater.

The mayor stated the city is growing quickly in all facets, and he believes the name change will help with that growth and with a sense of identity.

"A significant benefit of changing the designation is the perceived image people have of district versus city. It can be associated with a rural small town versus an urban, dynamic city, which is what we are," said Findalter.

"The change will also help alleviate the confusion to new residents and investors to West Kelowna, particularly in relation to the regional district and the District of West Kelowna."

Findlater said the cost of the changeover to taxpayers will be minimal. The city already spent $1,500 to hold an alternative approval process, and Findlater expects other changes in signage and stationery will cost another $1,500.

The announcement came a little more than eight years (June 16, 2007) after residents narrowly voted for self governance rather than amalgamation with the City of Kelowna.

In what was a heated and sometimes nasty campaign that divided some neighbourhoods, 51.49 per cent voted in favour of incorporation.

A little more than three weeks later, then community services minister Ida Chong bestowed the name Westside District Municipality.

In the fall of that year, Rosalind Neis, a nurse at Kelowna General Hospital who had never held political office, became the municipality's first mayor.

Her platform was aimed at trying to get the referendum set aside and joining the City of Kelowna. That never happened.

Several months later, a committee made up of citizens and councillors was struck to identify potential names for the municipality.

It became clear Westbank and West Kelowna would be the two front runners and, as with the first referendum, clear divisions emerged.

The Nov. 15, 2008, civic election ballot included a non-binding question asking residents it they wanted to change the name and, if yes, which of four choices they favoured.

West Kelowna won by less than 200 votes over Westbank.



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