Tuesday, September 23rd20.0°C

Borba trial to resume next month

A trial stemming from alleged sexual assault and touching incidents in Oliver, is slated to resume next month in Penticton.

Tyrone Borba, 23, is facing charges of sexual interference of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching under 16 and sexual assault. The offences allegedly took place between June 2011 and August 2012.

Borba, who testified during the trial in August, has repeatedly denied that he had an inappropriate relationship with a younger acquaintance.

Instead he claimed that it was more of a brotherly relationship and that he felt responsible for the boy.

The boy and his parents also testified during the trial. The parents claimed they saw changes in their son, including going from an extrovert to an introvert, during the time he was with Borba.

The boy was given support during the trial by members of the Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse.

The trial will continue Oct. 14 and 15 in a Penticton court room.

Historic tug to be repaired

The last tug on Okanagan Lake is slated to be repaired thanks to Fest of Ale.

Since 1996, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Society has donated more than half a million dollars to local charities. This year the SS Sicamous was chosen to receive funding, along with 15 other local charity groups.

As a not-for-profit organization, the SS Sicamous relies heavily on donations from the local community.

“We are proud and heartened by the support that we receive,” said Manager Don Wright. “Donations from organizations like the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Society allow us to continue in our mission to preserve and protect the marine heritage of the Okanagan”.

Tug Boat No. 6 was the last tug to run on Okanagan Lake. The end of its service marked the end of an era in the valley.

With the funds received from the Okanagan-Fest-Of-Ale society, volunteers will begin to restore the inside of the tug so the vessel can be open to the public.

Volunteers will also begin working on the engine, and hope to get the tug boat running once more.

For more information on the SS Sicamous or how you can support the restoration, call Don Wright at (250) 492-0403 or send an email to [email protected]

Sentencing in assault case

A Penticton man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in the Penticton area in August of 2013 is slated to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Darren MacDonald has pleaded guilty to some of the charges he was facing in the assault case. The others will be stayed

Among the charges are attempting to choke to overcome resistance, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, sexual assault with a weapon and sexual assault causing bodily harm.

The incident took place in August 2013, when according to the RCMP, the suspect apparently confined and sexually assaulted the girl at a remote location. He then consumed pills resulting in unconsciousness.

The victim was able to free herself and drive herself, and the still unconscious suspect, from the location and call police.

The suspect was taken to Penticton Regional Hospital. There is a publication ban on anything that would identify the victim.

MacDonald has remained in custody. His sentencing is expected to be by video.



Man dies after hit by semi

Update 2 p.m.

A 77-year-old Summerland man has died after being struck by a semi, Monday morning.
The man had been crossing the highway when he was impacted by a southbound semi tractor. He was taken to hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The investigation is ongoing.

The highway has since been reopened to traffic in both directions.


Update -- 12 p.m.

DriveBC is reporting that an estimated time of reopening is unknown at this time.

A detour is available via Jones Flat Road.

Original story -- 10:45 a.m.

Highway 97 is closed just north of downtown Summerland after a pedestrian was struck earlier this morning.

The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. in the area of Highway 97 and Steuart Street.

According to police on the scene an elderly man in his 70's was crossing the highway when he was struck by a semi truck.

The man was transported to hospital in what police say is "very serious condition".

No further details have been released.

An RCMP reconstructionist is headed to the scene.

Traffic is being re-routed around the accident.

More details when they become available.

-- With files from Bill Everitt

Dangerous intersection

A woman was sent to hospital with serious injuries following a motorcycle accident in Naramata on Saturday evening.

Naramata Fire Chief Tony Trovao said the motorcycle was travelling up the hill on Robinson Avenue around 6:30 p.m., when it failed to negotiate the corner and crossed the centre line. The motorcyclist then hit the side of a trailer carrying bales of hay.

Trovao said the motorcyclist hit the other vehicle pretty hard, but he is unsure of the extent of her injuries. She was transported by BC Ambulance to hospital.

People in the other vehicle were uninjured. 

Trovao said there has been between seven and eight incidents in the last five to six years at the intersection of Robinson Avenue and N. Naramata Road.

"It's a dangerous intersection," he said. "I've seen more near misses than accidents, but there could just as easily be accidents."

He believes that more markers warning people of the intersection would help.

RDOS Naramata director Karla Kozakevich and residents share Trovao's concerns.

Kozakevich says she received an email from a resident a few weeks ago, who has started a petition in the community.

"Pretty much anybody who uses that road has experienced a near miss, so people are just looking for some improvements there," she said.

Those range from putting in a flashing light to painting a white stop line on the road where the stop sign is, she said.

Kozakevich has forwarded the recent complaint to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and is awaiting a response.

"The incident that happened with the motorcycle is a prime example that there will only be more," she said."I think MOTI should do what they can to make improvements, because potentially there could be a death."


New Sockeye hatchery

Video by Carey Miser

The k] cpә’lk’ stim’ salmon hatchery, part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance sockeye reintroduction program, broke ground today.

The hatchery is on Penticton Indian Band reserve lands at 155 Enowkin Trail, Penticton.

“The return of Okanagan Sockeye to our fishing grounds used to be only a dream”, says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. "In the summer of 2010 we witnessed the salmon come back in the numbers not seen for 100 years. The work of supporting the sockeye is ongoing and continues with this new hatchery, another aspect of our collective assertion to have a rightful place in the ongoing stewardship of our lands and resources.”

This hatchery is crucial to the Syilx people to realize their dream of restoring the n’titxw (Salmon), one of the 'Four Food Chiefs,' to their original habitat and rightful place in Syilx territory. 

Penticton Indian Band Chief John Kruger said the PIB is proud to have the hatchery on their lands.

"This place is so special because we have an excellent facility and laboratory. We're looking beyond Sockeye Salmon, looking at Chinook, maybe some Coho, there are even ideas of doing small projects with local sturgeon," he said. "I'm really proud of the hard work of the Okanagan Nation, this is a huge success story for all of us."

The hatchery facility is part of a long-term program to restore the historical range of Sockeye in the upper Okanagan watershed, Okanagan Lake, and Skaha Lake systems, a region of the Columbia River Basin. This facility is funded primarily by the Grant and Chelan Public Utility Districts, Washington, USA.

The 25,000 square foot salmon hatchery will have the capacity to rear up to eight million eggs, but is currently equipped to handle all fish culture aspects required for five million eggs from brood stock management until fry release.

Sockeye salmon eggs will be released annually as fry into the Okanagan system. Sizing the facility for eight million eggs allows for flexibility in the future or to allow for changes in the fish culture activities.

The hatchery includes all buildings, equipment, and infrastructure required to collect, incubate, rear and release fish for the sole intent of outplanting sockeye fry for reintroduction and range extension to Skaha and Okanagan Lake.

Fish culture also includes all laboratories and associated activities for fish condition and aging, plankton and mysid biometrics, and virology, necessary for the Sockeye Reintroduction Program.

During the entire course the hatchery mimics the natural temperatures of the river and no anti-fungal treatments or chemicals are used. 

The ONA and its subsidiary company, Okanagan Nation Aquatic Enterprises (OAE) Ltd., have worked in close collaboration with the Colville Confederation Tribes of Washington, Grant and Chelan Public Utility Districts in Washington State, the Penticton Indian Band, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Greyback Construction, among others, to bring this project to reality.

The ONA Chiefs Executive Council acknowledges everyone and everything that helped make this dream a reality; to the water in our streams and the air we breathe, to our Elders and Leaders of yesterday and today, our staff, our technical teams and partners and through the years our Nation members who have kept the prayers and ceremonies alive, we say, "Lim limpt!"


Social media thwarts shoplifter

A Penticton storeowner has again turned to social media to identify a shoplifter.

Leigh Follestad, the owner of Smart Shopper in the downtown, put video of a recent theft on Facebook, and the person was quickly identified.

"I will continue to do this, because I am fed up with my store being targeted," he said.

It was last Monday that the storeowner realized he was missing at least $100 worth of meat and cheese.

By Wednesday he had narrowed down the video of when the product was lost and put it on the Facebook site, Penticton Shoplifters and Thieves Exposed.

Within five minutes of putting it up, he received a phone call. A few hours later more tips came his way.

Then ironically, according to Follestad, he was on the phone with another news reporter, when the guy from the video again showed up at his store.

"It was the same guy trying to steal more meats and cheeses," he said.

The man tried to leave the store, but Follestad followed him, calling the police as he went. The storeowner couldn't legally detain him and the man left the scene.

Through information received on Facebook, the shoplifter has since been identified as a man named Al. Al is someone who is down on his luck and known in the downtown.

Follestad didn't know if he has yet been apprehended.

It was only a few months ago, in April, that the storeowner turned to Facebook to get the word out about another theft at his store. Those two shoplifters were also found.

"I feel the only way I can get across to these people to stop doing this is to put it on Facebook, to show the community who these people are," he said. 

Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News


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