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Irish ties for Armstrong

The birthplace of Catherine Schubert is now Armstrong’s official sister community.

The Village of Rathfriland, County Down, Northern Ireland was selected because of the Schubert connection.

The village's history notes that Catherine O'Hare, mother of the first European child born west of the Canadian Rockies, was herself born in Rathfriland in 1835. She and her husband, Augustus Schubert, joined 200 over-landers who went west across Canada in search of gold, and blazed the trail for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Schubert is buried in Armstrong. 

This is the second go-round at the linkage. A heritage society in Northern Ireland contacted the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum in the 1980s to talk about the sister city idea, but it was abandoned.

Last July, Andrew Peters, owner of a promotional company in Ireland, contacted the museum again to further explore the opportunity.

A six-member committee has been formed to look into ways the village of 2,700 and Armstrong can work together to promote tourism between the two. 

“It’s a natural connection” said Mayor Chris Pieper. 


Legally blond law day

By Wayne Emde

Vernon Secondary School Law 12 students, under the direction of teacher Sue Egan  took part in a mock trial Saturday during the Vernon Courthouse Law Day.

Lyndon Shyukora was charged with murder, but got off clean thanks to his defence team, lead by Lauren Inbrightson.

Inbrightson brought out a parade of witnesses and convinced the full house of spectators that Shyukora was innocent of the charges laid, in spite of the prosecution team's efforts, lead by Ava Ready.

Judge Al Betton served as advisor to "Judge" Bryn Doering.

Scooter victim tells her side

A 49-year-old Vernon woman plans to seek legal advice after she was given a ticket and had to pay to get her scooter out of a towing yard.

Patricia Parent was the driver of a scooter hit by a truck on 30th Street on Wednesday.

She said police presented her with a $100 ticket – while she was in the trauma unit at Vernon Jubilee Hospital – for entering a roadway when it was not safe. She had to pay another $120 to retrieve the scooter from the tow yard.

Parent told Castanet she needs the scooter to get around because she suffers from osteoarthritis and can't walk more than a block. She said she is on disability and can't afford to get the scooter fixed or buy a new one, let alone pay the fees she has been hit with.

"I was on my way to pay a bill at the bank. I was going a moderate speed on the sidewalk because there were other pedestrians," said Parent.

"I went across a laneway, and I got hit. I tried to swerve out of the way when I saw this thing come at me and when that didn't work and he actually hit me, I pounded on the hood of the truck."

She said the driver still didn't stop.

"I got pushed out into the road. I have a dislocated shoulder because of it."

Parent is angry she is being portrayed as the person in the wrong.

"I was on the sidewalk. Pedestrians have the right of way. This guy should have stopped before he got to the sidewalk, and he didn't, otherwise he would have seen me," said Parent.

"I was wearing a bright purple/lavander sweater. If he had stopped, he would have seen me."

She said she slowed down and looked when she got to the lane and didn't see the truck until it was too late.

RCMP, meanwhile, are telling a slightly different story.

Spokesman Gord Molendyk told Castanet Parent told police she was travelling at the highest speed the scooter would go, 30 km/h.


Funtastic announces lineup

Vernon's Funtastic festival and tournament has announced its music lineup for this year's event.

The annual slo-pitch tourney and music festival is set for June 26-29 at the Vernon Army Cadet Camp grounds.

B.C. rocker Bif Naked will headline opening night, on the Friday.

Saturday is Tribute night, with bands BC/DC (AC/DC tribute), The Nightrain (Guns n Roses) and Leggz (ZZ Top).

Sunday night wraps up with 1990s Vancouver alt-rockers Moist.

Opening acts include The Goods and Young ‘Uns on Friday; The Dirt, Shawn Lightfoot Band and country band the Wild Hogs on Sunday.

Beer gardens open at 7 p.m. each night, with slo-pitch going on throughout the day.

The music festival typically draws crowds of up to 6,000 each evening.

Tickets go on sale May 11 at the Funtastic office at 3401 35th Ave. and online at They can also be purchased at the beverage garden ticket office during the festival. Daily passes are $25 or a three-day pass costs $50. No minors are allowed on site.

The non-profit Funtastic Sports Society is in its 31st year. All monies raised are redistributed back to the community through grants.

To date, Funtastic has given back more than $1.6 million to other non-profit organizations, clubs and service clubs in the North Okanagan.

New link to Coldstream

Mount Ida Drive on Middleton Mountain will soon connect traffic between Coldstream and Vernon.

Currently, the road at the City of Vernon and Coldstream boundary is separated by dead-ends that will be joined in the coming weeks.

The project is part of a longstanding plan to improve transportation links between the communities.

Streetlights are being installed on the soon-to-be-completed Vernon segment of road, and asphalt paving will take place within the next two weeks.

Final inspections to ensure the road is ready for traffic will take place once construction is complete.

The road is expected to be open to the public in mid-May. 

Chris Scabar (left) and Brad Elsasser are shown in the image above putting the finishing touches on supports for storm sewer covers in preparation for the opening of the street.

– Wayne Emde

Scooter rider hit by truck

One person was rushed to hospital in Vernon Wednesday afternoon after a pickup struck a scooter in the 2800 block of 30th Street, downtown.

The Chevrolet pickup was exiting an alley in the middle of the block next to the Seville Centre building when it struck the scooter driver as they proceeded along the sidewalk.

The scooter driver was placed on a backboard by emergency personnel. There is no word on the extent of injuries so far.

RCMP interviewed numerous witnesses and the driver of the truck, who remained at the scene.

Loggers hurt in bush

UPDATE 2:30 P.M.

One man has been airlifted to hospital following a logging accident Wednesday morning.

Officials say the incident occurred about 10 kilometres east of Cherryville up Old Monashee Pass.

Three men were injured when a tree fell on them sometime shortly after 8 a.m. Two of the men were able to walk out on their own, while the third man suffered a head injury and required assistance.

The head injury was not serious and the reason he required airlifting was due more to his location and not the injury.

The injured logger was airlifted to a waiting ambulance which drove him to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment and observation.

Search and Rescue have been called out to assist three loggers in what RCMP are calling an industrial accident.

The incident occurred sometime after 8 a.m. this morning (Wednesday) in a remote area of the Monashees.

"It appears three loggers were injured when a tree fell on them," said RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk.

"Two of them were able to walk their way out I'm told. The third one is going to need assistance to get out."

Molendyk said he believes an EHS helicopter is responding to the incident along with Vernon Search and Rescue.

The area is about 34 kilometres out on Highway 6 then another 40 kilometres off that in the bush.

Castanet News will have further details when they become available.

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