Friday, July 3rd16.2°C
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Blaze near homes

UPDATED: 7:20 P.M.

Fire crews are now in the "mop up" stages of fighting this afternoon's fire, according to the Regional Fire Dispatch Centre in Kelowna. 

Kayla Pepper, fire information officer at the Kamloops Fire Centre, said their three-man attack crew that was assisting earlier in the day has been called off the scene.


ORIGINAL: 4:24 P.M.

A small fire is burning near homes in Summerland this afternoon, on Canyon View Road.

The fire is being handled primarily by the Summerland Fire Department, but the Wildfire Management Branch is assisting with a three-man initial attack unit as well.

Air support was called in to fight the fire, but has since been called off.

People in the area have reported seeing a helicopter dropping water on the blaze, which is visible from Highway 97.



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Scottish Festival coming

One of the highlights of the second annual Penticton Scottish Festival this Saturday, July 4, will be the Celtic Ceilidh.

Brian Johnston, President of the Penticton Scottish Festival Society, describes it as a party in the park.

“Two well known Okanagan Celtic party bands will close the festival, and we challenge anyone to stay seated during their performances," he said. “First the Maritime sounds of Cod Gone Wild give traditional Celtic music a modern edge. Then the ever popular Kinship will take the stage.

They were a big hit with our crowd last year, so we had to bring them back.”

The two band concert is included in the gate fee for the one day festival: $10 per person or $20 per family. 

The Celtic Ceilidh runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the beverage garden main stage in King's Park during the festival.

For more information on the festival go to: www.pentictonscottishfestival.ca



Step forward for PIB

MP Dan Albas welcomed the Penticton Indian Band to the First Nations Land Management Regime at a special ceremony, Tuesday.

Attended by community members and representatives from the Lands Advisory Board, the celebration at the Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School signals the beginning of a new land management era for the First Nation.

"Our government is delivering on its economic action plan commitments to create strong and healthy investment climates on reserves that will lead to more jobs and prosperous communities. My congratulations to Penticton Indian Band and I wish them all the success as they begin developing a land code to manage their land resources and pursue more economic successes," said Albas.

The First Nations Land Management Regime replaces 32 land-related sections of the Indian Act with respect to land, the environment and most resources.

It is a practical step towards self-government, increasing First Nations' responsibility to manage their land and to take advantage of economic opportunities.

As announced in the 2015 federal budget, the government will provide $30.3 million over five years, which is expected to lead to an additional 25 First Nations joining the regime.

The regime enables First Nations to manage their own land, resources and environment according to their own land codes, laws and policies.

Across Canada, there are 90 First Nations operating or developing land codes under the regime, 47 of which are in British Columbia.

"On behalf of the Penticton Indian Band, we are honoured and excited to start this process in the First Nations Land Management Regime," said Chief Jonathan Kruger, who became emotional during the ceremony. "This is going to be a really educational process. Over the next two years, we plan to hold educational workshops, community engagement sessions and have healthy discussions on developing our land code."

Chief Robert Louie, chair of the First Nations Land Advisory Board, said over the last 15 years of land governance experience through the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (Framework Agreement), cumulative investments on operational First Nation reserves are now estimated at approximately $270 million, with thousands of on-reserve jobs having been created for both members and non-members.

"On behalf of the Lands Advisory Board, and the Framework Agreement signatory First Nations, we welcome Penticton Indian Band and look forward to the prosperous future ahead of them," he said. 





RDOS fire ban

A fire ban is in place in the Regional District of Okanagan‐Similkameen.

Due to the current high fire danger, effective at noon Friday, all open burning, including campfires and fireworks, will be prohibited in the RDOS.

The ban includes the municipalities of Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos, Princeton, Village of Keremeos, Hedley Improvement District. It's in conjunction with a sweeping ban imposed across the Kamloops Fire Centre region.

The ban does not restrict use of cooking stoves using gas, propane or briquettes, or portable campfire apparatus, as long as the flame height does not exceed 15 centimetres.

 



Oliver assault update

A serious assault in Oliver earlier this month is being given top priority by police.

On June 17, at 3 p.m., a man was brought to South Okanagan General Hospital with serious injuries suffered as a result of the assault.

The injures were substantial, requiring the patient be transferred to another hospital for treatment, according to the Oliver RCMP.

The investigation is ongoing, with multiple witnesses being interviewed, and warrants have been executed for evidence in relation to the investigation.

The investigation has expanded to other police jurisdictions and is being acted upon by major crime units.



Teneycke a no-show for jail

Prolific offender Ronald Teneycke failed to show up Friday for his weekend jail sentence in Penticton.

According to RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth, there will now likely be an arrest warrant issued for him.

The Okanagan Falls resident was ordered by a judge earlier this month to start a 90-day jail term, to be served on weekends.

Teneycke pleaded guilty in April to making or possessing explosives and to firearms possession while banned.

He became ill about the same time, and an application was made to change the start date of the intermittent sentence. There were several court appearances after that, where Teneycke was asked to provide medical proof he couldn't go to jail.

A fax was eventually received from Teneycke's doctor, but Crown's interpretation was there was nothing physically preventing him from starting his sentence.

Judge Gregory Koturbash directed Teneycke to attend for sentence.

According to information given by Teneycke's sister, Linda Walker, he 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.

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



Council green lights marina

After hearing from people for and against the Skaha Marina development, Penticton council gave it the green light, Monday night.

Residents packed city council chambers for a special meeting on the development, slated to unfold in phases over the next few years.

After hearing from residents for three hours, council voted 5-2 for the development, with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit and Counc. Tarik Sayeed opposed.

"My rational is I am supportive of the project but want to keep the park like feeling there instead of having a big cluster in one area," said Jakubeit. "I would prefer to keep the park like setting and move some of the parking to the periphery.

But council liked the concept and wanted to see park enhancement there."

The city has been looking at improving the waterfront experience on the city's south end.

And in recent years, they have worked with Trio Marine Group on  development agreements that would see Skaha Lake lands developed into an upgraded marina and water park.

In June, Trio held several public engagement sessions on the matter which were positively received.

On Monday night, both city staff and Trio gave presentations on the development.

There was some support, but several people expressed concerns about the loss of green space and environmental impact.

Roger Hulstein, the marketing coordinator for Trio, said in response to concerns they will be keeping all of the beach public and keeping as much green space as possible, such as integrating existing trees into the park itself.

In addition, the existing splash park will be relocated, he said.

The work itself will be done in phases with the first being to expand and improve the marina, with the group having until 2016 to do that.

The second phase is to add a new restaurant to the marina by 2017 and by 2018 have a water park at the location, according to the mayor.

Council also voted on one amendment: to have 100 per cent of the revenue sharing portion the city would receive put forward to a fund for future parkland acquisition or waterfront amenities.

Next steps involve Trio meeting specific “conditions precedent” as part of the agreement.

Those involve many things in relation to the project, including detailed design drawings and financing. Those must be met before work can begin.

Hulstein said Trio was pleased with council's decision.

"I think it's great that council approved it," he said. "This is just another thing that everyone can enjoy."



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