Sunday, January 25th4.7°C

Perfect season for a 'Brewski'

Grab some friends and head up to Apex Mountain Resort for a ‘Brewski’, on February 14.

For the second year in a row the Brewski event will take place on the hill at the Gunbarrel Saloon.

Brewski, is a celebration of craft beer, cider and spirits explains Apex Events Manager, Emily Childs.

“Last season, locals and visitors alike told us that our first annual Brewski event was one of the best events ever held at Apex," she says.  "Because the event sold out well in advance last year, we have expanded the event this year to give more people the chance to experience this unique festival of flavour.”

The expanded event will feature 18 new and returning craft breweries, cideries and distilleries.

"In perfect combination with these craft beverages, we have delicious appetizers from the Gunbarrel Saloon and live entertainment from Victoria-based Towers and Trees, who rocked the house last year,” says Childs.

The craft beverage providers participating this year are:

  • Bad Tattoo Brewing (Penticton)
  • Barley Mill (Penticton)
  • Cannery Brewing (Penticton)
  • Dubh Glas Distillery (Oliver)
  • Firehall Brewery (Oliver)
  • Legend Distilling (Naramata)
  • Maple Leaf Spirits (Penticton)
  • Mt. Begbie (Revelstoke)
  • Okanagan Spirits (Vernon)
  • Old Order Distilling (Penticton)
  • Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver)
  • Phillips Brewing (Victoria)
  • Prohibition Brewing (Kelowna)
  • Rustic Roots Cider (Cawston)
  • Summerland Heritage Cider (Summerland)
  • Tin Whistle Brewing (Penticton)
  • Tree Brewing (Kelowna)
  • Twisted Hills Cider (Cawston).

The Brewski event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. with an after party at the Gunbarrel Saloon and Restaurant. Tickets are $35 and available online. Included in the ticket price are eight beverage tokens, hot and cold appetizers provided by The Gunbarrel, and entry to the after party featuring live entertainment by Towers and Trees.

Shuttle options from Penticton are available. Shuttle seats must be booked in advance via The Coconut Express.



Penticton man dies in custody

The inmate who died in custody at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre was a Penticton man with a lengthy history in the courts.

Daryl Vic Belseck, 52, was awaiting trial for an assault, uttering threats and a mischief under $5000 charge, stemming from an incident that occurred on December 23, in Penticton.

According to court documents Belseck had several assault charges against him, including assaulting a peace officer for which he was found guilty. He also was found guilty of two charges of mischief and one count of uttering threats in 2013.

The Penticton resident was supposed to be in court on January 21, to elect a mode of trial, but died on Monday.

Staff at KRCC found Belseck unresponsive in his cell, however authorities do not believe his death was suspicious.

According to the coroners services a death at a correction facility is investigated by a coroner and it will up to them to decide if an inquest is required.

It is too early to say whether the coroner will apply for an inquest in the case of Belseck.

Youth mental wellness initiative

The Penticton Rotary Club is partnering with School District 67 to create a program focused on enhancing mental wellness amongst youth in the community.

The goal of the program is to reduce the stigma attached to mental health issues through open dialogue and community support as well as create resources for youth, parents and teachers to contribute to mental wellness.

“Anxiety, depression, bi-polar issues, ADHD, eating and other stress related disorders affects approximately 25 per cent of our school population and this is about the same provincially and nationally,” said Sandra Richardson, vice principal of Princess Margaret Secondary School. “It affects the student’s ability to study and has a direct correlation on their ability to graduate. It also impacts teachers and makes class room management challenging.”

The Rotary Club is spearheading this initiative with Milton Orris and Brian Hughes representing Rotary.

The initiative is two years in length and the goal is to get a dialogue going between youth, parents, teachers and the community around mental wellness through speakers, workshops and the development of resources for the stakeholders.

The project will kick off on Feb. 17 at the Cleland Theatre with TED speaker Kevin Breel coming to Penticton. Kevin’s TED Talk “Confessions of a Depressed Comic” has been viewed nearly 2 million times on

The evening talk is at 7 p.m. and is open to the general public. Community resources supporting mental wellness will be available to continue conversations and provide support after Breel's talk. 

Breel will also share his search for mental wellness with students at Princess Margaret prior to the evening event.

After the talk, students will return to their classrooms to engage in conversations with teachers on achieving positive mental health.

In addition to this event, other student mental wellness supports are beginning to take shape through peer mentorship programs and teacher collaboration, all possible through the partnership with Rotary.

The student centered pilot program is already spreading to other schools, as 35 students from all three high schools in the district will be attending the youth centered, Balancing Our Minds event, where they will learn to become champions of mental wellness at their respective schools. 

It is the intention that strategies and resources developed in this pilot year can be implemented at schools throughout the district n the coming years.

Education material for parents and students will be available in a variety of mediums, from smartphones to websites to print materials.

This initiative aims to support parents in knowing how to access resources and develop tools to support their children as they navigate through a variety of mental wellness challenges that are often a part of growing up.

Knowing what signs to look for can help a parent know how to respond and when to ask for help.

For more information, call (250) 770- 1200.



Former employer sued

Update: Friday January, 23, 6 p.m.

According to a court document obtained by Castanet, Penticton Councillor Judy Sentes was employed with the Okanagan-Similkameen Neurological Society from August 1994 until her retirement on July 8, 2013.

When she started working there, she entered into an agreement with the society whereby Sentes would receive a payment upon retirement. Such an incentive was offered to Sentes to make up, in part, for the low salary she would be earning and to put her on par with other professionals employed by the society.

She relied on the agreement to provide a retirement payment in accepting work there. According to the document, that agreement has since been lost along with other important records.

In May, 2013, the society's board approved a finance committee's recommendation of a retirement payment to Sentes in two parts, a lump sum coupled with monthly payments aimed at assisting her with continued health benefits coverage.

The lump sum payment, payable in January 2014, was $12, 829.59 and the monthly payments equaled $198.53, until such payments reached a maximum of $12,115.24.

She retired July 8, 2013, with her decision based on the retirement payment agreement.

Following that, however, the society failed to make the lump sum payment and terminated the monthly payments required by the agreement in July, 2014.

Neither Sentes or the society could be reached for comment.

--- Update provided by Deborah Pfeiffer

Penticton city councillor Judy Sentes is suing her former employer.

The longtime community activist launched a lawsuit Tuesday against the Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society for $25,000. The suit is reported to be over retirement payments.

Castanet will have more details once we have obtained a copy of the court papers.

Sentes has been heavily involved in public events for 28 years, supporting the areas of sports, tourism, the arts as well as social issues through her volunteerism. For 20 years, she was executive director of the OSNS Child Development Centre. She retired from there in 2013.

Sentes was first elected to council in 2008, was re-elected in 2011 and again in 2014.

She has been a city representative to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen; vice-chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Health District, council liaison to the Downtown Revite Committee, Penticton and District Community Arts Council, the Shatford Centre and Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. As well, she has been a city representative to the Penticton Industrial Development Association, library, heritage  and museum advisory committee and parks and recreation advisory committee.

Snowbirds returning to Penticton

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are returning to Penticton.

The Snowbirds aerobatic team will kick off the 68th annual Penticton Peach Festival Wednesday, Aug 5.

The CT-114 Tutor aircraft last flew over Penticton in 2013. They performed in Kelowna last summer.

The Snowbirds are expected to be in Penticton for three days. A public meet and greet is scheduled during their stay.

"We couldn't be happier. Last time they were here, every inch of Okanagan Lake Beach was filled with spectators. What a great addition to Peach Festival," says Peach Festival president, Don Kendall.

The Penticton show is one of six stops the Snowbirds will make in B.C. in 2015.

They will also perform in Fort St. John, Quesnel, Abbotsford, Victoria and Comox.

Louie to serve six months

An Oliver man who stabbed his younger brother to death while under the influence of alcohol and drugs was handed a sentence of 75 months, Thursday.

Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen handed down the sentence in Penticton court, but with time-served credit of 69 months, Kyle Louie will serve six more months in jail.

Louie was also given a long-term offender designation for five and a half years.

In his judgment, Cullen said Louie earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his brother, Reece Louie. The age of the two, both in their early 20s at the time of the incident, was a big factor, he said.

Louie stabbed Reece multiple times Feb. 19, 2011, at their father's home in Oliver. The stabbing was the continuation of a fight at their workplace.

At the time, Louie had been sleep deprived for 55 hours because of drug use, including doing crystal meth with his brother.

"He was likely suffering sleep deprivation, and was impatient, irrirtable and experiencing uncontrollable levels of anger fueled by the crystal meth," said Cullen.

At the heart of the troubling case is the paradox that Louie is both the perpetrator and a victim of the crime.

"Louie had learned to deal with anxiety and stress through the use of alcohol and drugs," said Cullen. "His anger was sometimes directed outward, but sometimes inward at himself."

Cullen said Louie had a difficult family dynamic and that his grandfather was a survivor of the Kamloops residential school.

The judge looked at risk-management reports which stated that despite Louie's history of violence, he did not come across as hardened and that he primarily suffered from multiple substance abuse. It was deemed that his treatability is good.

In addition, there is evidence, he said, that Louie has the support of the Osoyoos Indian Band, of which he is a member, his father and other family members.

Cullen concluded by stating he accepted that Louie is remorseful and has accepted responsibility for the act and that his aboriginal heritage has had significant impact on how he developed.

He was satisfied, he said, with the joint submission brought forward by Crown counsel and the defence for the 75 months, saying it is proportionate to the gravity of the offence and fits within the acceptable range for similar offences.

Cullen said the long-term offender designation will be beneficial in that it requires ongoing supervision.

"It is necessary Louie be placed in a highly structured residentical facilty for some time after his release from custody," he said.

Crown counsel John Swanson said after the sentencing that the designation means once Louie is released from custody, he will be under the supervision of the National Parole Board.

Louie's family, who sat through the two day sentencing hearing in court, declined to comment.

Louie, clad in a white shirt and black pants, smiled at them as he entered the courtroom. Otherwise, he sat  quietly throughout the proceedings. He declined to speak, when asked by Cullen if he wished to do so.



Naramata Centre shuts down

The Centre at Naramata has posted a notice on its website that it is closing its doors.

The statement reads as follows: "It is with deep regret and heartfelt sadness that the Board of Directors of the Naramata Centre Society announces that the Centre at Naramata will cease operations and
close immediately.

The Board of Directors, following the successful Crossroads Fundraising Campaign, undertook a thorough and thoughtful review of the centre's future operations, revenue potential, staffing plan, expenses, and ability to be financially viable.

The review, concluded that the centre could not continue to operate in a feasible, sustainable, and responsible manner on a long-term basis. Those who contributed to the Crossroads Campaign will be contacted to ascertain if they would still like to receive a receipt for income tax purposes or have their donation refunded.

On behalf of the members and friends of the Naramata Centre Society, the board of directors expresses its sincere gratitude to the centre's management and staff for their hard work, dedication and countless contributions made over almost 70 years of the centre's operation."

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