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Vernon  

A message to his love

A simple, but poignant message posted to his love.

The search for G has ended.

You are my Sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Memorial TBA.

David Chambers made the post on Facebook Tuesday morning.

Gloria Miller went missing while on a dive of the waters of Puerto Vallarta Thursday morning. An extensive search was launched.

The family shared the news of Gloria's disappearance with media; shock and disbelief quickly spread throughout the community.

Chambers' post on Facebook Tuesday confirmed the worst fears of a community praying for Gloria's safe return.

One person posted "Our hearts have broken, Dave. Gloria was such an amazing person, so caring, thoughtful, warm, and filled with the joy of life. It was easy to tell she loved you deeply, and easy to see why you loved her back."

Another posted, "Such a beautiful woman. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family."

Condolences to the family continue on the thread. 

"So sad for you and your family Dave. Our hearts are breaking and we are speechless :( She was a very kind and sweet woman and I will always remember her smile and laugh. Always remember the good times and hold them in your heart always. Hugs and Dave."

"Dave, our deepest condolences. While I never met Gloria, all your posts on FB showed an immense love between you and she looked like a wonderful woman. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. Hugs to all."

"David we had been hoping for her safe return, so so sorry. She was such a beautiful person. She will be missed, but never forgotten. Our thoughts are with you, Noah and the rest of the family."

Chambers is well known in the community and a prominent business man, operating DCT Chambers Trucking.



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A dark history revealed

A dark segment of Vernon's history will be on the silver screen next week.

The Towne Theatre is showing That Never Happened, a movie about Canadian First World War internment camps.

The documentary, directed by Ryan Boyko and produced by Armistice Films Inc., recounts the forced internment of thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans from 1914 to 1920.

Canadian law enforcement authorities targeted them, not for anything they had done, but simply because of who they were and where they came from.

An internment camp in Vernon housed hundreds of people and was located in what is now MacDonald Field, next to W.L. Seaton Secondary School.

Internment camps at Mara Lake and Monashee are also featured.

Boyko spent time in Vernon filming a documentary on the local camp. Boyko made a series of films documenting internment camps across Canada.

He said the camps were “covered up. No one talked about it after World War 1. Because no one talked about it, no one lobbied against it.”

It happened again to the Japanese less than two decades later.

“And if we forget about it again, it could happen again,” he said.

More than 88,000 people were forced to register and more than 8,500 were wrongfully imprisoned in concentration camps across Canada, not for anything they had done but because of where they came from.

“My chief aim was to honour the innocent men, women and children who were treated unjustly over a century ago, and all those who have suffered the ripple effects since,” said Boyko. “When we first started making this project, we thought we were making a historical documentary relevant to a few ethnic communities in Canada. We had no idea how incredibly relevant it would be today, not just in Canada but around the world! In these times of 'alternative facts,' xenophobia and talk of registering undesirable 'others,' this film has now become an urgent call to those who could easily repeat the mistakes of the past. This film aims to cultivate empathy in the place of fear.”

Following the showing on Feb. 27, Boyko will hold a question and answer session with the audience.

There will also be a wine and cheese reception following the show.

Tickets are $25 each and are available online through Ticket Seller, or by phone 250-549-SHOW (7469).



Credit card thief sought

A man suspected of using a stolen credit card in the Vernon area is being sought by North Okanagan RCMP.

Vernon RCMP received a report Feb. 8 that an unknown male had allegedly stolen a credit card at 4500 27th Street, a Husky gas station. 

The card belonged to a local business, and was subsequently used to rack up thousands of dollars in charges at several retail locations in the Vernon area.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male between 35 and 45 years old with short brown hair, wearing a black hooded jacket, black-and-white shirt, glasses and a silver necklace.

RCMP ask anyone with information to contact Constable Mark MacAulay at 250-545-7171 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.



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Work as a B.C. Dragoon

Chantelle Deacon

The British Columbia Dragoons hosted an open house in Vernon on Sunday.

The open house was meant to connect the dragoons with the community, along with recruiting potential reserve soldiers.

"What we're trying to show them really is the variety of what it's like to be a reserve soldier in the Candian Armed Forces," said Mike McGinty, Lieutenant Colonel B.C. Dragoons. "What we have here is a variety of our equipment, weapons, we have a weapons firing simulator and of course, we have all our vehicles including our brand new tactical armoured patrol vehicle that's just been issued to us."

Members of the Army Reserve are citizens who are paid to train on a part-time basis to assist the Regular Force in meeting Canada's military commitments.

"This is about recruiting reserve soldiers," McGinty said. "I have 170 spaces in the unit and I have probably 50 or 60 gaps right now, so part-time employment, we're offering full-time employment for any period between May 1 and the end of August if people want to work full time in that period."

"I'm preparing my soldiers here to deploy on operations overseas or to deploy domestically in the event of a fire, flood or earthquake here in British Columbia."

For more information on becoming a B.C. Dragoon visit Forces.ca.



Local gymnasts shine

Vernon rhythmic gymnasts shined at a huge national competition.

Elite Canada is the first of two annual national team trials and ranking events for rhythmic gymnastics.

The Vernon team of seven qualified athletes attended the Las Vegas International in January, where they debuted their new routines for the first time this season.

“Competing alongside national team members from the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Russia and even Australia’s star Olympian, gave our athletes a chance to rise up, to try everything we’ve been working on and to see where we needed to focus," said head coach Camille Martens. "It was a great way to prepare."

Jaedyn Andreotti, a first-year senior, made the transition to senior with ease.

Despite a minor foot injury that cost her, her final week of training, she was able to qualify for the finals as the highest ranked athlete from Western Canada.

"I was really happy with how I did at elite. My main goal was just to go super full out and compete and look like a senior," Andreotti said. "I'm really excited for my trip. I've never been gone for a whole month before and I can't wait."

"I have some amazing opportunities while I'm there."

She placed 7th overall, fourth in the clubs final and for won a bronze medal in the hoop finals.

The prestigious competition, which is only for Canada’s top qualified gymnasts from last season, was held at the Pan Am Centre in Toronto this past weekend.  

Novice athlete Madeline Sellars walked away with a top 10 national rank at her first big event.

First-time junior level athletes Ashlyn Andreotti and Elle Dockendorff were there to gain experience.

Andreotti's best placing was 39th in her hoop scoring 7.0 and Dockendorff's personal best was in hoop scoring an 8.75 for 29th place.

Halle Moger, one of the teams junior veterans, scored 9.55 and placed 18th in the hoop event.  

Isabella Haldane has been a member of Canada’s High-Performance Team for two years.  

She finished 6th in hoop, 11th in clubs and placed 15th in the All Around category which qualified her to the high-performance finals.  

"I wasn’t overjoyed with my performances at elite, but I was happy to try my new routines and see the errors in competition, so I can learn from my mistakes and now move on," Haldane said. "I am very excited for Greece and Latvia because it will give me another chance to show my routines."

In finals, she earned automatic entry to this year’s nationals and another year of being a member of the High-Performance National Team Pool.

Senior, Emmalee Holland was on track for the high-performance finals but an unfortunate knot and other mistakes in her ribbon made that possibility unreachable this time around.

High-performance stars, Andreotti, and Haldane, will be joined by teammates Holland and Ashlyn Andreotti to represent Canada at a tournament in Kalamata, Greece next week.  

From there, the duo will travel to Riga, Latvia for a major international event before Jaedyn Andreotti continues on to Kiev, Ukraine for a training camp and a Grand Prix competition.

"I am so proud of our whole team.  They handled themselves beautifully and had lots of shining moments.," Martens said. "It was really exciting to have both junior and senior HP athletes performing in the finals.  It speaks to the strength of the team and to the hours of hard work these girls have put in."  

"I am eager to see them grow and improve as we take their programs overseas."



Family asks for privacy

The family of Gloria Miller is headed back home. 

Gloria's husband David Chambers is expected to give a formal statement on the disappearance of his wife when the family arrives back home in Vernon.

The family is asking for privacy until the statement is given, says a close family friend.

"This has been so heart-wrenching," said the close family friend. "We all appreciate everyone’s kind words so much. It’s been a horrific past few days."

Gloria Miller went missing Thursday morning while scuba diving off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

An extensive search by land, water and air was conducted by a number of government agencies and volunteers. 

Gloria Miller is the wife of prominent Vernon businessman, David Chambers of DCT Chambers Trucking. 



Coq reopens southbound


UPDATE: 7:55 p.m.

The southbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway have reopened near Merritt, according to DriveBC.

The highway was closed for about three-and-a-half hours due to "spun out semi trucks," DriveBC reported in an earlier update.

Motorists can expect congestion and lengthy delays.


UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

Southbound traffic on the Coquihalla Highway has come to a standstill near Merritt after a vehicle crash closed the highway Saturday afternoon. 

DriveBC says the crash is being assessed, and there is currently no estimated time of reopening.

The northbound lanes of the Coquihalla remain open. 

The highway is blanketed in snow, and reportedly slippery. 

Emergency crews in Kelowna are keeping busy as well. A car and a van collided on Shannon Lake Road near Bartley Road at about 4 p.m.

Fire crews are on scene, and a witness says no one was seriously injured. 


UPDATE: 10:55 a.m.

The two people inside a car that rolled down an embankment on Dilworth Mountain Saturday morning escaped without any serious injuries. 

The single-vehicle crash occurred just after 10 a.m. near Omenica Place, on the slippery Dilworth Drive.  

Fire crews and ambulance are now on scene.


UPDATE: 10:05 a.m.

Travel is treacherous on the high-elevation mountain passes Saturday morning, as snow continues to blanket the road. 

A pickup truck and a semi-truck collided on the Okanagan Connector near Elkhart Road just after 9 a.m., tearing the back end off the pickup truck. 

It's believed the occupants of the truck avoided any serious injuries, but they were shaken up. 

Travellers are reporting similar conditions on the Coquihalla as well, and a travel advisory remains in effect for both highways. 

Travellers at lower elevations are facing slippery conditions as well. A Castanet reader reports that multiple vehicles have gone off the road on Highway 97, between Summerland and Penticton.

Emergency crews are responding to several crashes around Kelowna, including a single-vehicle rollover near Dilworth Drive and Omenica Place.

Snow is expected to continue until Saturday night, with upwards of 30 cm expected to fall at higher elevations. 


 ORIGINAL: 8:10 a.m.

A snowfall warning remains in effect for the entire Okanagan.

According to Environment Canada, up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall before the day is over.

A strong Pacific low pressure system will move eastward across northern Washington State today, bringing with it a lot of the white stuff.

Snow began falling early this morning, and is expected to ease tonight.

In addition, strong winds and areas of blowing snow are expected.

A snowfall warning has been issued for the Okanagan Connector from Merritt to Kelowna with 15-25 cm expected to fall on the mountain road.

Road conditions are available at www.drivebc.ca.



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