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Seatbelt tickets a plenty

It seems Vernon residents are not fond of their seat-belts as for the third time this year, Vernon RCMP are sharing disbelief in the number of seatbelt tickets they are handing out.

Last week, an officer with the North Okanagan Traffic Services noticed a number of people driving by the police office committing various traffic offences, so they decided to do an impromptu road check right by the Vernon police station.

“In about one and a half hours, our two officers wrote 12 seatbelt violation tickets,” says RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk who adds one cell-phone violation ticket was also written. “They said a few additional lucky ones even got away while they were busy writing other tickets.”

Back in September, Vernon RCMP were shocked when their road check blitz netted 83-violation tickets, 58 of which were for not wearing a seatbelt.

“I would have thought there would be a higher number of cellphone violations than seat belts absolutely,” said Molendyk at the time. “I am quite surprised at that number after all these years and campaigns.”

And in March we told you about a Vernon man who was adamant about his dislike of seat-belts, racking up 28 violation tickets by himself, totally near $4,000.

The man told police he felt safer not wearing one.

At the time our Castanet poll indicated 78 per cent of those who responded thought seatbelt laws should continue to be mandatory.

Dog alerts owner to prowler

A 20-year-old man, well known to police, is back in custody after he allegedly attempted to break into a home on Larson Avenue in Enderby.

RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk says the owner was sleeping last Friday night at 11:00 p.m., when her dog's barking woke her up.

“The motion light in back yard went on and she reported seeing two males dressed in black with hoodies pulled up staring in her window, the screen had been removed.”

She immediately called police and the suspects took off.

“Officers were able to locate one of the suspects a short distance away, and he was arrested,” says Molendyk.

The 20-year-old suspect has been remanded and is expected to appear in Salmon Arm court Monday to face three counts of breech of probation and possession of break-in instruments.

The second suspect was never located.

Horses killed in accident

Three horses were fatally injured after an accident with a truck early Saturday morning,

North Okanagan RCMP say members of their rural detachment were called to an accident between a truck and the horses Saturday morning, just after midnight.

The truck apparently struck the horses in the area of Pinecrest Road and Westside Road.

When police arrived they found the truck had major front end damage and the air bags had deployed, but a witness told them the driver was uninjured and left the scene in another vehicle.

“Two of the horses died right away and a third that was seriously injured and was suffering had to be put down,” says RCMP Spokesman Gord Molendyk.

Police are still investigating the file and are looking to speak with the registered owner of the truck. 

16 horses seized by SPCA

Sixteen horses were seized and another 100 are being watched, after SPCA officials went onto a farm near Armstrong Thursday.

North Okanagan SPCA protection officer Kathy Woodward says her office issued a warrant on the property following a lengthy investigation.

She says officials noticed a dramatic decline in the health of many of the horses in the past several weeks, prompting the warrant.

When her team got on the property they found 16 of the horses were severely malnourished and near death.

“The horses were in distress, as defined in our Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, so they were taken into our care,” says Woodward. “The body condition score of the ones we took custody, ranged between 0.5 and 1.5 out of nine, with five being ideal, so they were in very poor condition.” For reference a 1.5 is considered emaciated.

One stallion and 15 mares and foals were taken from the property.

“It is very difficult for those attending, absolutely.”

Given the terrible condition of many of the rescued horses their future is still unclear.

“It is very guarded at this point so I did have the vet out again today and all we can do is hope for the best.”

The other 100 horses were left on the property and will be monitored by SPCA officials.

“We’ve issued orders for the care of those horses, and we will be returning to ensure compliance with the order,” says Woodward.

As to why the farm owner had so many horses, it is unclear, but Woodward says the number of horses alone would be a challenge for any owner.

“Just the sheer number would make it difficult to provide adequate care. I believe he is overwhelmed with the number of horses he has,” says Woodward. “I don’t know that he is a hoarder but he certainly has a large amount of horses.”

The SPCA is set to recommend charges against the man. 

Lumby victims identified

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of two persons who died following a motor vehicle incident near Lumby on Dec. 6.

They were Diedre Naomi-Ann Hughes, aged 57, of Vernon, and her daughter, Emma Maria Danielle Froh, aged 22, of Lumby.

Froh was the driver of, and Ms. Hughes the passenger in, a car heading westbound on Highway 6 about 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 when, near the intersection of Dure Meadow Road, it was involved in a collision with a eastbound SUV.

Both were deceased at the scene. Road conditions were noted to be icy at the time.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services continue to investigate these deaths.

A crash near Vernon yesterday has claimed two lives.

Highway 6 was shut down near the Tolko Mill on Saturday after a head-on crash took place around 7 p.m.

According to Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, two women from the Lumby area were killed when their Pontiac Sunfire crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Ford Excursion.

The two people in the Ford were taken to hospital in Vernon to be treated for their injuries.

Police believe icy road conditions contributed to the crash. 

They are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call either the Vernon or Lumby RCMP with any details.

Armed robbery connection

It would appear RCMP in Vernon and Princeton are looking for the same man, wanted in connection with recent bank robberies in those communities.

The CIBC in Princeton was robbed at gunpoint Monday, Dec 1 while the Interior Savings Credit Union branch in Vernon was also robbed at gunpoint yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

In both instances, video surveillance images of the suspect were released.

The suspect in both appear to show the same individual.

Acting Southeast District media relations officer, Cpl. Kris Clark, says RCMP in both jurisdictions will continue to run separate investigations.

However, he does admit officers do share investigative information.

Along with the similar surveillance pictures, descriptions of the suspect in both robberies are also similar.

Anyone with information concerning either robbery is asked to contact their local RCMP Detachment or Crime Stoppers.

Okanagan man killed near Tahsis

A 47-year-old Coldstream man has been identified as the person killed in a workplace accident on Vancouver Island Sunday.

David Thompson Kennedy died Dec. 7 while working on a heli-logging operation near Tahsis.

Kennedy was employed as a tree-faller when he sustained critical injuries late Sunday morning.

He was transported to Campbell River and District Hospital by both helicopter and ambulance, but could not be resuscitated.

The BC Coroners Service, RCMP and WorkSafe BC are continuing to investigate this death.

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