Penticton and South Okanagan
Dec 13, 2013 / 9:33 am
The Oliver RCMP has released an update on the collision that took place on Highway 97 near Vaseaux Lake on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
According to their report, a 19-year-old woman from Penticton driving a black 2005 Ford Explorer, north on the highway at the lake noted the slippery road conditions and reached down to put the vehicle in four wheel drive.
As she did so, the vehicle slid into the southbound lane, striking a red 2008 Ford F150 occupied by a 60-year-old man from Oliver and his 60-year-old female passenger.
Both vehicles suffered significant front end damage with air bags deployed.
The Oliver Fire Department was required to cut the door off of the pick up to extract the vehicle's occupants.
All involved parties were transported to Penticton Regional Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Ministry of Transportation and Highway crews attended and assisted with traffic control.
The highway was closed to both north and southbound traffic for approximately one and a half hours. No charges were pursued.
Dec 12, 2013 / 8:14 pm
A family home up Trepanier Road just past Paradise Valley Drive in Peachland is literally being left to burn to the ground as its location falls outside the area protected by the municipal fire department.
Peachland Fire Department Fire Chief Dennis Craig says the fire and its investigation will fall under the West Kelowna RCMP's jurisdiction.
Craig says he did attend the fire (which is currently still burning as of 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening) from a, "Life safety stand point to make sure everyone was safe and that the forest was not at risk."
Craig says all inhabitants were able to get out of the house when the fire began around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
He says Emergency Social Services have been notified and will be attending to the needs of the displaced residents.
BC Hydro and Fortis have also been notified and will take necessary action to turn off service to the home.
Craig explains that this home and several others throughout our area come under the 'Regional District of Central Okanagan' and are not necessarily covered by an municipal fire service unless they have contracted them out specifically.
It is unknown at this time what caused the fire.
Send photos, video, and details to [email protected]
Dec 12, 2013 / 4:53 pm
A Summerland woman was recovering Thursday, after being attacked by what are believed to be three coyotes, while walking on a popular trail Wednesday morning.
Sarah James was walking a friend's dog Rosie on the Summerland Centennial Trail when the three animals, a large one and two smaller ones, surrounded her.
Believing the small labradoodle to be in great danger, she immediately covered her with her body.
"My primary focus was Rosie, absolutely, unconditionally," she said. "I went into survival mode for her."
James said she first noticed the three animals when she was walking a larger dog, a labrador retreiver cross, earlier in the morning at the bird sanctuary off of Peach Orchard Road.
As they started to approach she yelled and they took off.
At around 10:30 a.m., she started a second walk with Rosie on the trail that runs parallel to Peach Orchard.
She was letting the dog run free and calling her back for treats, when the coyotes came out and surrounded her.
Two came from the side and one from behind.
She undid her ski jacket and dove on top of the dog, covered her with her right hand and with her left hand swatted them away.
"Rosie was crying up a storm and the whole thing lasted about two to three minutes, although it felt like it lasted way longer," she said. "Then it went quiet, and they went away to the north side of the creek."
James waited about 30 seconds, comforting the small shaking dog, before picking her up and running down the trail.
As she ran down she ran into a man walking and warned him about the coyotes.
She also contacted her partner who let a friend who lives nearby know about the incident.
That friend, Manfred Wobst, ran up the trail to get James and Rosie.
"I just tore up there," said Wobst. "There was a man helping her already, and I saw Sarah had lots of defensive wounds on her hands and that her coat was ripped."
The dog's owners came and collected Rosie, who according to James was uninjured in the attack, while she recovered at Wobst's home.
Wobst said there is typically a lot of wildlife in the area. What is worrying to him is the coyotes went after a person.
"The fact that they attacked Sarah is the scary part," he said.
Sgt. Stephane Lacroix with the Summerland RCMP said a police report was filed on the incident. In the report it states, James sustained major scrapes and her coat was torn to shreds, but she did not require any treatment or ambulance at the scene.
He said additional patrols were made during the day and they then contacted a conservation officer.
"We were advised by the conservation officer there is an increased problem with coyotes in the Summerland area and the officer has a plan in place to deal with coyote issues," he said.
The conservation officer was not available to comment on Thursday, but James said a culling of the animals was planned because there are several dens in the area, and the animals don't have any natural predators.
The fact the animals are exhibiting pack behaviour is the danger, she added.
James, who had her left hand wrapped by a doctor and was on antibiotics on Thursday, said as a vegetarian and animal activist the culling is upsetting to her.
"We have blocked off their access in this area, so they are removed from the food chain," she said. "They are emaciated and sick and they then go for dogs, cats and children, anything small."
Still she realizes if the coyotes had gotten Rosie, they would have likely turned on her next.
"I have a huge amount of compassion for the coyotes as well, so I do feel badly about the cull," she said. "At the same time people in this area need to feel safe."
Dec 12, 2013 / 5:00 am
The recent cold temperatures have allowed the Naramata Fire Rescue Department to transform a basketball court into an outdoor skating rink.
Early last week they dumped a bunch of water on it, then continued to spray it to build layers, said Fire Chief Tony Trovao.
"As long as we have the cold weather, we will make sure there is ice there," he said. "It keeps kids happy doing something healthy and active, and it means people in Naramata can spend time skating with their families."
The creation of a local skating rink is a long existing tradition in the small community. Trovao recalls skating on the nearby tennis courts as a boy.
Nowadays, the rink next to the elementary school is used by schoolchildren and community members.
On Wednesday morning, Karen Henderson and her daughter Jessica Henderson braved the chilly weather to practice a few hockey drills.
"I like that it's available right here in our community, and we don't have to drive to Penticton," said Karen Henderson. "Plus it's a lot of fun."
Dec 11, 2013 / 8:42 pm
Bruce Johnson was elected chair and Tracy St. Claire vice chair at this week's School District 67 board meeting.
Johnson previously served as vice chair and St. Claire was elected in 2011.
"I am very pleased and honoured to be elected," said Johnson. "My goal will be to work with Tracy and other school board members and staff to maintain and enhance existing programs in our schools in Penticton and Summerland."
Johnson said the biggest challenge facing the district is financial, but they have taken a proactive approach, introducing two initiatives to raise funds.
The initiatives are the International Students Program and the Technology Project.
St. Claire said she too was honoured to be elected.
She said her goals haven't changed much. She remains all about open discussion, transparency and getting facts and opinions out on the table.
Like Johnson, she recognizes that going into 2014, the budget is going to be one of the board's biggest considerations, because they recognize the provincial government is strapped and their costs are rising.
"Our job will be to minimize as much as we can the impact of a decreasing budget on students," she said.
However, based on her background as a facilitator, St. Claire sees a lot of potential for the board to engage the public, students, teachers and the government in a conversation about education.
Dec 11, 2013 / 7:35 pm
School bus service was thrown into disarray in Keremeos and Cawston Wednesday morning after keys for buses were taken from the bus garage in Keremeos.
Okanagan Similkameen School District 53 Superintendent Bev Young said the garage was broken into sometime overnight, and all the keys were stolen along with a majority of the tools stored there.
A school district vehicle was also taken, she said.
"It was very unfortunate on a cold morning and a big safety concern for kids," she said.
Once the discovery was made word went out to parents that buses would not be running Wednesday morning. The district also canvassed rural routes to ensure there were no children waiting for a bus.
In the afternoon, they relied on spare buses from around the district to get students home. Those spare buses will be used again Thursday.
A police report has also been filed.
Of great concern is the district may have to replace ignitions in all the buses if the keys are not found.
Young said she wanted to emphasize they would really appreciate having the keys returned.
Dec 11, 2013 / 5:15 pm
5:15 p.m. update: Hwy. 97 near Oliver has been reopened.
4:35 p.m. update: Highway 97 is reduced to single lane alternating traffic, 13 km north of Oliver. The hwy. was closed completely because of an earlier motor vehicle incident.
Send photos and video to [email protected]
DriveBC reports Hwy. 97 is closed 13 km. north of Oliver because of a vehicle incident.
No detour is available.
Estimated time of opening 4:30 p.m.
Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News
City of Penticton
Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
Okanagan Regional Library
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