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Teneycke too ill for court

Prolific offender Ronald Teneycke did not appear for a scheduled court appearance in Penticton, Friday.

Instead, his sister Linda Walker stood up in court and said her brother is in hospital and it's unknown how long he will be there.

Teneycke, who pleaded guilty in April to making or possessing explosives and to firearms possession while banned, was sentenced to a 90-day jail term, to be served on weekends.

He became ill about the same time, and an application was made to change the start date of the intermittent sentence.

On Monday, Judge Meg Shaw gave Teneycke more time to provide medical proof he can't go to jail.

When he was too ill to appear Friday, Judge Gregory Koturbash adjourned the matter to the judicial case manager to be dealt with on June 3. At that time, some sort of medical information is to be provided.

Koturbash suggested a correctional centre may be a better place for Teneycke to serve his sentence because of the health issues.

According to information given by Walker earlier this year in relation to the explosives charges, Teneycke became acquainted with two inmates at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre who allegedly hatched an Oliver-based bomb plot.

He stayed in contact with them after his release and claimed he buried the bomb in his sister's front yard in Okanagan Falls to prevent the incident from happening. The bomb was then removed in March of 2014.

Walker, who has proclaimed her brother's innocence all along, said outside court that he became ill this year because of a bowel problem that poisoned his whole system.

"He pleaded guilty so he could get out, because he was extremely ill at the time," she said. "He has lost so much weight. It is a worrying time for the family."

Tenecyke, a registered sex offender, has been in and out of jail for different offences in the South Okanagan for several years.



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Helicopter rescue

Penticton Search & Rescue mobilized rescue crews Thursday afternoon after receiving a request for assistance from the B.C. Ambulance Service.

Paramedics received a call of a man in medical distress in the Summerland area. With no exact location identified, they were able to determine a location of the distress call with the aid of cellphone towers.

SAR manager Dale Jorgensen says that with the provided GPS co-ordinates, the team was able to identify a location near the KVR trestle, close to Trout Creek in Summerland.

A three-person helicopter team was dispatched to the area, along with one rescue truck with a six-person ground support group. 

Once airborne, the team was quickly on scene and was able to spot the subject, who appeared to be unresponsive, on the ground.

Two first responder technicians were lowered and found the man to be conscious.

They conducted a quick medical assessment and airlifted the 40-year-old man out to a nearby ambulance, which transported the subject to hospital for treatment.



Three-car pileup

A three-car collision in Penticton shut down the intersection of Eckhardt and Martin streets Thursday evening.

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. and closed two blocks between Main and Winnipeg streets for two hours because the spread of debris and distance between the vehicles.

B.C. ambulance paramedics, RCMP and the Penticton Fire Department responded to the incident.

None of the vehicle occupants was trapped in their cars. There is no word on injuries so far.



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Horses a worry for school

Wild horses are posing a danger for elementary school students on the West Bench.

West Bench principal Allen Beckingham is hoping for a resolution to horses coming on school property from the Penticton Indian Reserve.

Beckingham says he spends several days standing outside with an air horn shooing the animals off school grounds.

"I would say between a dozen or more times a year we have to keep the children inside because the horses are on the property – and that can be as many as 30," he said. "The safety piece for the kids is the most worrying. You have stallions, babies."

Other concerns are horse droppings to clean up, animals getting in on weekends and being unable to get back out, and the curtailment of activities like hikes and runs.

The horses come by most often in the spring and fall, and getting conservation officers to the school can be a challenge due to their time constraints, said the principal.

"If there is a wild animal on the property, we can't wait," he said. "It doesn't scare the chidren because they are so used to it. It's just a safety issue."

The ongoing issue prompted Beckingham to write a letter to the School District 67 board of trustees.

In response, the board voted this week to draft a letter to Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger explaining the safety concerns.

According to Kruger and Zoe Kirk with the RDOS, who has been working with the PIB on the issue, Coun. Dolly Kruger has been actively surveying members in her community.

The community will then have final input on the horse issue at the next PIB community meeting this June.

In the meantime, a fence line is being resurrected from band locatee lands up over the KVR and along the border between homes on West Bench and band lands

The RDOS will also continue to work with the band on a long-range management plan and help to bring in other agencies that might be able to assist in the process.

"I understand that safety is an issue. We have safety issues in our community as well," said Kruger. "We're just going to need a lot of help from other sources."



Intimidation case stayed

A trial for a woman who previously complained about ill treatment by Osoyoos RCMP did not move ahead Thursday in Penticton court.

There was a stay of proceedings on charges of intimidation of a witness and criminal harassment faced by Fiona Munro.

Defence lawyer Michael Welsh said he would have preferred the trial proceed, but Crown witnesses did not show up.

"We wanted the trial," he said, outside the courtroom.

Munro still faces two charges of wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer and assault of a peace officer, stemming from an incident on Sept. 28, 2013, in Osoyoos.

The date for the trial on those matters is set for July 14.



Amazing Race returns

The Amazing Race Canada flags are flying again in the Okanagan.

Unbeknownst to most, contestants and producers of Amazing Race Canada recently whisked their way in, and out of the South Okanagan.

The region is once again being used as the backdrop for one of the episodes of season three of Amazing Race Canada which airs on CTV beginning July 8.

In season one, Kelowna and West Kelowna served as backdrops for the opening leg of the show, which takes contestants across Canada and around the world. They are asked to perform tasks and compete in contests in hopes to arriving at the finish line ahead of their competitors.

The series is hosted by 2010 Olympic skeleton gold medalist Jon Montgomery.

The showcase in Summerland was the Waterfront Resort and Spa. Officials with the resort were unable to comment on their experience with the show citing a confidentiality agreement.

Christine Petkau executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce said it was exciting, and a bit of surprise, to learn the show was filming in Summerland.

"The reality is it was a surprise. We hadn't known they were coming to town. We picked up that information from social media," said Petkau.

"When that kind of thing happens in a small community it's really exciting."

While Petkau is thrilled Summerland was chosen as one of the locations, she said it's just as important that other South Okanagan locations were used as well.

"My understanding is they did a variety of activities in the South Okanagan region. We work collectively as cooperative communities in the South Okanagan so the reality is when something exciting like this happens it benefits our whole region," said Petkau.

As for exposure Petkau agreed it's priceless. She said she wouldn't know where to begin to price out the cost of 60 minutes of prime time airtime.

Mayor Peter Waterman was also in the dark prior to the show's arrival but wondered what took them so long to discover his South Okanagan community.

"I've lived here most of my life and we've got incredible lakeshore vistas and canyon vistas," said Waterman. "An outfit like Amazing Race I'm sure could find just about everything to suit their purposes."

It's not known at this time when the South Okanagan episode will air.



Cougar visits the Peach

A young cougar seen in downtown Penticton Wednesday morning has been dealt with.

Penticton RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said the one-year-old animal was observed in a tree by the Peach on the Beach, at 6:30 a.m.

A conservation officer and RCMP responded to the scene, and the animal was tranquilized and moved. 

Wrigglesworth said the cougar was taken to the wilderness far to the east of town, so it wouldn't get used to city life.

"It was moved far, far away, so it doesn't become a threat to the public," he said.

Barb Leslie with the B.C. Conservation Service confirmed the cougar had been re-located within its own home range.

She had no idea how it ended up in the city's downtown area.

Her advice for people who encounter cougars is to make themselves as big as possible and to keep dogs on leashes.



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