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Hollywood premiere here

The City of Enderby will play host to the film premiere of Blackway, a Hollywood movie shot in North Okanagan.

“It's a one-night-only premiere on June 2,” said Los Angeles-based producer Rick Dugdale, who comes from Enderby. “The film opens nationwide on June 10.”

Produced by Dugdale's company, Enderby Entertainment, the movie stars Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles and Ray Liotta.

It's about an ex-logger who comes to the aid of a woman in the Pacific Northwest and finds herself harassed and stalked by a former cop turned crime lord.

The only place to see the movie in Enderby is at the local Starlight Drive-in and that's where Blackway will get its first screening.

“It's a private event but we're giving away all of the tickets,” said Dugdale.

He said fans and supporters should start monitoring Enderby Entertainment's Facebook page early next week to find out how to get tickets.

“We shot a video to show people how to get tickets,” Dugdale said.

Dugdale said a number of movie theatres in the Okanagan and Shuswap would be showing Blackway starting June 10, including Vernon's Towne Cinema.

Meanwhile, the movie producer and his staff return to the Okanagan next month in search of an eerie lake house for another film production.

Dugdale said they'll be using a helicopter to view possible locations found by the Okanagan Film Commission.



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Scholarship up for grabs

Eli Garlick hopes he bowled over the competition with one of the many bowls he created for his district scholarship project competition at the Vernon Recreation Centre Thursday.

The Kalamalka Secondary School student was one of 68 students who entered the competition, displaying projects from photography to cooking to animation and upholstery making.

The student projects, that included a working journal, samples of their work and display booths, were judged by their peers, a panel of three adults and one judge who was an expert in their particular area.

The results will be compiled with the winners being known in two weeks.

Top students receive a scholarship worth $1,200.



First cop at murder sues

The police officer who found 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest dying in Armstrong on Oct. 31, 2011, is suing B.C.'s justice minister and the federal attorney general over his treatment by the RCMP following that incident, in which he was accused of drinking on the job.

Const. Milan Ilic has filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops.

Ilic was first on the scene of the attack where “he took his jacket off and placed it over the victim, in an effort to keep her warm,” reads the statement of facts.

It was the first and only time the officer had been involved in what became a murder investigation and he was emotionally shaken by the experience and “still suffering from trauma at the time of the trial in March 2014,” says the document.

Following his testimony during the murder trial, Ilic says he was approached by the defence counsel and asked whether he had thrown a bottle of liquor out of his pocket at the scene. He denied it.

The issue came up again however when a witness testified she saw an officer throw away a bottle at the scene.

A subsequent interview with RCMP officers is said to have taken “on the character of an interrogation,” and on April 21, 2014, Ilic was advised a Code of Conduct investigation had been ordered into his actions.

According to the statement of facts, over the next few months:

  • Ilic was served with an official notice of Code of Conduct investigation into his "disgraceful" behaviour and for lying
  • told to take a polygraph, which he refused
  • supplied a DNA sample
  • suspended on Aug. 25, 2014
  • ordered to report daily to the Kamloops detachment, referred to by the officer's psychologist as a “daily walk of shame.”

The bottle found at the scene was tested and a DNA sample could not be obtained, says the statement.

Immediately following the lifting of his suspension in July 2015, Ilic was placed off duty sick on the recommendation of his treating psychologist.

The notice of claim says at no time during the investigation was a report to Crown counsel ever submitted seeking charges against the officer.

The conduct of RCMP members involved in the process has “undermined the trust the plaintiff had in other members to back him up” and left a “permanent stain on any future potential career in the RCMP,” according to the document. It further accuses fellow officers of harassment during the 14-month investigation.

Ilic is seeking general and specific damages as well as past and future loss of earnings and loss of benefits and court costs.





A dominating photo

An image called 'Dominance,' shot by Vernon photographer Christiane Molendyk, has been selected for inclusion in a national exhibition.

The work will be in the prestigious Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2016 loan collection, a national exhibition celebrating the best of Canadian professional photography.

Molendyk earned an honourable mention for the photo in the animal selection. The colourful portrait shows two pheasants eyeing one another in tall grass.

A panel of master photographers judged the best works submitted from across Canada during the Canadian Imaging Conference in Calgary this past week.

“Photographers must show extraordinary talent to win an award among such illustrious company,” said Kent Wong, chairman of the national exhibition committee. “We were thrilled to see so many inspiring entries in the competition this year.”



Speedway ruling precedent?

Vernon's mayor is concerned a B.C. Supreme Court ruling against the Motoplex Speedway and Event Park in Spallumcheen could be precedent setting.

A B.C. Supreme court judge granted an injunction limiting the noise level at the race track that has hosted two CASCAR events since opening in 2000.

The track's owner, Okanagan Aggregates Ltd. was also ordered to pay $100,000 in damages to the developer of nearby Lawrence Heights, a 40+ adult living community, as well as more minor damages to four other plaintiffs.

“The judge ruled that 80 decibels is a safe level,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

“A tractor is about 100 decibels. Does that mean if a next-door neighbour to a farmer opens a window and hears the tractor then the neighbour can complain? It doesn't make any sense.”

Mund pointed to the Funtastic slo-pitch and music festival that occurs annually in Vernon during the July long weekend. Three nights of loud rock music blares from the site on the DND grounds to the south of the city.

“Rock music concerts are typically 110 to 116 decibels,” said Mund. “(This ruling) could open it up to everything.

“This sets a precedent."



Big score for local hospital

A record $62,100 has been raised for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital during the annual Radiothon.

SUN FM radio hosts Brian Martin and Betty Selin broadcasted live from Village Green Centre all day on Thursday, with individuals, businesses and community groups donating funds in support of the women's and children's wards at the hospital.

“We would like to thank everyone who generously contributed to Radiothon,” said Elise Allan, VJH Foundation president.

“From those who gave donations and gift incentives, to the volunteers who answered phones and collected donations throughout the day, to the families who shared their stories of the help received at VJH, you made it happen.”

Funds raised will purchase a central monitoring system for women’s and children’s health services at the hospital.

The system lets nursing staff simultaneously view the vital signs of a number of infants and children from the nursing station.

This is expected to help nurses deliver faster, more efficient care during critical times, says the foundation.



Smoke alarm-ing statistics

Vernon Fire Rescue will continue efforts to ensure a working smoke alarm is in every home, said Chief Keith Green.

During a presentation to city council this week, Green presented 2009-14 statistics from the B.C. Fire Commissioner showing dead batteries were found in smoke alarms in 302 residential fires, resulting in 39 injuries and seven fatalities.

As well, no smoke alarms were found in 1,966 residential fires, resulting in 113 injuries and 20 deaths.

“That's why our smoke alarm program, that's been provincially recognized, is so important,” said Green. “We've replaced over 125 smoke alarms in our community that were non-working and replaced hundreds of batteries when we go in and test.

“We're going to continue on with trying to have a working smoke alarm in every home in our community,” Green vowed.

An April 13 house fire that destroyed a residence in the 4700 block of Valleyview Place shows how quickly one can go up in flames.

“Nowadays some of the products used in buildings houses are petroleum-based products, the siding, those types of things,” said Green. “It also depends on what is leaning up against the home. In this particular instance, it was a couch that was leaning up against the home that burned very quickly.”

Green said the balcony then caught on fire which carried on into the attic and through the roof.



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