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Man falls to death

UPDATE 2:30 P.M.

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a male who died following an accident at an Osoyoos fruit farm where he had worked for the summer on Sept. 26. He is Gabriel Gendreau-Martineau, aged 23, of St. Agathe, Quebec, a town in the Laurentians northwest of Montreal.

The BC Coroners service continues to investigate the sudden death of a 23-year-old man from Quebec, who fell to his death in Osoyoos last week.

According to local police, they were called to Fernandes Fruit Market on Sept. 26 around 8:30 a.m.

The man, who had previously worked at the location, but finished his last shift the day before, was no longer employed by the market.

He was last seen by other workers the previous night and during the early morning hours of Friday. It’s then believed the man attempted to climb a large stack of empty fruit crates.

The crates were approximately 30-feet high when the man fell to his death.

Cpl Jason Bayda with Osoyoos RCMP said the incident was not work related and occurred after hours. 

"Several workers there had been picking fruit and had just finished their last shift. They were spending one more night there and departing next day and it was that night he fell," Bayda said. "There was nothing suspicious at all, just a tragic event."



Trout Creek boil water notice

A boil water advisory has been issued for residents near Trout Creek.

A water main break has led to the possible contamination of the water supply, according to the District of Summerland.

Interior Health recommends that anyone using the water should boil it for at least one minute or use a safe alternative.

This includes tasks like food preparation, brushing teeth and any consumption.

This notice does not apply to the rest of the Summerland Water System or the Garnet Valley Water System.

Where is Batman?

A thinly veiled attack on mayoral candidates John Vassilaki and Andrew Jakubeit depicted the two as villains from the Batman franchise Tuesday.

A photoshopped poster "vilifiying" the two candidates appeared on several buildings around downtown Penticton. 

On the poster, Vassilaki is shown as Two-Face, known for flipping a coin to make life or death decisions, while Jakubeit is portrayed as Bain a murderous psychopath. 

"At least he's strong and powerful," Jakubeit joked in reference to being depicted as Bain. "That's good imagery."

However, Jakubeit said it's disappointing to see someone take the time and effort to get the posters made and printed. 

"I'm not sure what the producer was hoping to accomplish. In six weeks time we have a chance to make big change and move our community forward and that's where people should be channeling their energy."

Vassilaki said he just wants the community to be thinking positively ahead of the election. 

"Sort of disappointed that someone went to all that expense to put those posters out. I have no idea what they're trying to portray or say or the reason for it," he said. 

Both councillors say that they hope this kind of conduct doesn't dissuade other people from entering politics. 

"A lot of people that want to run might not, because they don't want to be attacked," said Vassilaki. "I just take it with a grain of salt. It's the first time that I've been attacked in such a manner, in the 12 years I've been a councillor." 

However, the poster raises more questions than it answers. The Joker also appears and it's not clear who he represents. 

And one glaring omission - where, or who is the Dark Knight?


Cadets take flight

Air Cadets from 902 Summerland spent the day in Oliver experiencing the joy of flight on Sunday. 

The Air Cadet Gliding Program runs in the fall and spring seasons, taking Air Cadets for rides in the Schweitzer 2-33A glider and Cessna 182 aircraft. 

The cadets spend the day on the airfield participating in gliding operation where they learn airfield operations, circuit procedures, and theory of flight. 

"The highlight of the day is when they set foot in the aircraft and get to experience aviation firsthand," said Capt. Tyler Willis in a release.

In addition to the glider familiarization program, which is available to every air cadet in the program, cadets aged 16 and older have an opportunity to apply for a scholarship course where they will earn a Transport Canada glider pilot license. 

"The interest for this course is very high and competition is steep, but the most successful air cadets will travel to Canadian Forces Base Comox to earn their wings each and every summer," Willis said.

When air cadets turn 17 they will have the opportunity to apply for the Power Pilot Scholarship where the successful candidates will earn their Transport Canada private pilot license.  

The Air Cadet League of Canada in partnership with the Department of National Defence are in the final stages of purchasing new tow aircraft to sustain the gliding program for years to come. 

The Cessna 182 aircraft that have been purchased are completely stripped down and rebuilt from the frame up.  

Though aviation is at the heart of the air cadet program, there are many other career paths that air cadets can take if aviation isn't their primary interest. 

"Leadership, survival, music, marksmanship, physical fitness, sports, and effect speaking are just some of the other skills that air cadets learn," Willis said.

The 2014-2015 cadet training program is just beginning for youths aged 12 to 18 years old. 

902 parades regularly Wednesday evening from 6:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Harold Simpson Memorial Youth Centre located at 9111 Peach Orchard Road in Summerland.

High level thief foiled

Lock your windows and balcony doors.

A watchful guard dog alerted tenants of the Lancaster Place apartments on South Main Street to a would-be thief climbing a ladder to the third floor of the building Tuesday morning. 

"Richard was awoken at 4:45 a.m. by our mastiff growling very deeply. Then he heard the clang of the ladder unfolding and knew something wasn't right," said Nikki Mihalick, who lives on the ground floor of Lancaster Place with her boyfriend Richard.

"He looked out and saw a man dressed in a black hoodie and pants and he said 'Hey, what are you doing!?" and the guy jumped off [the ladder] and booked it through the bushes in front of the apartments and took off on a bike."

Richard got in his car and tried to follow the man, but he disappeared down South Main Street.

It appeared the thief may have been after a bike that was being stored on a third floor balcony.

"We had a close call, but one of our other tenants scared him away," said the building manager, who preferred to stay anonymous. "I've been managing for over a year and there have been no other break-in attempts, nothing missing, no vehicle break-ins, no nothing."

Sgt. Rick Dellebuur with Penticton RCMP confirmed a report had been filed and said it's an unusual method of operation for thieves.

"As far as it being a problem recently, or a lot - not that I'm aware of. First time I've heard of this type of thing for a while."

However, Dellebuur reminds all residents to keep upper windows and doors locked, for this exact reason.

"People can use a ladder to get into homes as well, not just apartments. People might leave an upstairs window open or leave something a thief might want on a balcony."

Mt. Baldy may open this yr.

Enthusiasts and property owners rejoice - Mount Baldy Ski Resort could reopen this year.

G-Force Real Estate Inc., the company handling the foreclosure sale of Mount Baldy Ski Resort, has lined up a new owner and operator who could have the resort open in time for the 2014/2015 season.

Mount Baldy Ski Resort is located in the south Okanagan Valley, just north of the Canada-US border and east of nearby Osoyoos and Oliver. It did not open for the 2013/2014 ski season.

With a base elevation of nearly 5,700 feet, the resort boasts one of the highest base elevations, most sunshine and lightest powder of any ski resort in the Okanagan.

"G-Force is pleased to announce that it has assembled the required pieces to the puzzle to re-launch Mount Baldy Ski Resort for the upcoming season," said Nancy Powroznik, media relations for the G-Force group. "All that remains is to fit each of the pieces together quickly over the next few days so a final announcement can be made." 

“It has been a lot of work at a very hectic pace,” said Gary Powroznik, Managing Director of G-Force. “Alpine resorts are tough to resurrect in a short timeframe because they are specialized capital intensive businesses which require available experienced management and adequate financing, both of which can be hard to find in a short timeframe.

"It is also important that the prospective new operator/owner have a completely new start from the existing insolvent company,” said Powroznik. 

Once the puzzle pieces are joined together, the prospective new owner expects to announce season passes and other programs in the next few days. 

Existing resort manager Matt Koenig and his team will remain in place when the prospective owner/operator and funding partners have been found and tentative agreements with the first mortgage holder, the provincial authorities and others have been lined up. 

Dead horse left in ditch

The body of a dead horse was left in the ditch beside Highway 97 in Penticton for three days after it was hit by a car and euthanized.

The horse is one among the hundreds of feral horses that roam the South Okanagan. 

This time the young horse was hit by a vehicle on Highway 97 on Friday Sept 26 on the south end of Penticton.  

Theresa Nolet of OATS Horse rescue said the horse had to be euthanized by gunshot to end her suffering.

However, her carcass was left in the ditch for three days before being removed.

"I was contacted and went to see and the body is still laying in the ditch over 24 hours later," she said Saturday. 

The body was finally moved on Monday. 

Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News


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