May 20, 2013 / 6:00 pm
May 20, 2013 / 1:22 pm
Most of us have driven through Falkland a million times, maybe stopped for gas or a luscious burger and beer at the Falkland Pub.
We have all heard of the infamous Falkland Stampede, but if you’re not a rodeo-goer, chances are you haven’t made the time to attend.
What many of us may not know is that the Falkland Stampede is a non-profit community event, and all proceeds go towards sustaining infrastructure and services for residents in the Falkland area.
“This event is extremely important for our community,” says Martin Hennigar, a member of the Falkland community association and one of the event coordinators for the stampede.
“It’s our only major fundraiser that we use to support the community for the whole year. We support things like our community rink that we have here, and the community hall is the big one,” says Hennigar.
Jason Churchill has been managing the Stampede for ten years. He says there has been a fantastic turnout this year.
“I don’t have the final numbers yet, but this is probably one of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen,” said Churchill.
“It’s been going really smooth, we really appreciate the fans showing up.”
Churchill credits the event’s success to the hard working and dedicated people in the community that pull together to make it all happen.
“We have a very good committee, I don’t do this by myself. There’s a whole bunch of people and they all work hard,” said Churchill, joking that somehow, they all manage to get along.
The town of Falkland does not collect taxes like a lot of cities, so the Stampede event is really the main source of revenue for the community. Churchill estimates that the event brings in around $20,000 on average.
“It sounds like a lot, but we have to keep the whole town going for a year on that,” said Churchill.
One of the highlights of this year’s Falkland Stampede is the anticipated performance of Ty Pozzobon, a bull rider from Merritt.
Churchill estimates that Pozzobon is one of the top two best bull riders in the world.
“He’s phenomenal. If he draws the right bull, he’ll win it. That’ll be pretty exciting,” said Churchill.
Rodeo fan or not, there is a little something for everyone at the Falkland Stampede. Great food, dozens of local vendors, and an entire community ready to welcome with open arms.
May 20, 2013 / 5:00 am
Highway 97 in Falkland was closed in both directions Sunday afternoon to accommodate the annual Falkland Stampede parade.
Every year during May long weekend, the Falkland community pulls off its famous stampede event, attracting rodeo-goers from all over Western Canada and the United States.
The parade route starts at the Falkland Community Hall on Highway 97 and runs through town to the rodeo grounds.
This year marks the 95th Annual Falkland Stampede. Sunday's parade featured floats from Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops, as well as bag-pipers, cadets, the Falkland Volunteer Fire Department, and of course, horses.
Here is a sneak peak from this year's Falkland Stampede parade sights and sounds.
May 14, 2013 / 8:33 am
The RCMP dive team has announced they have recovered the body of a man from Shuswap Lake and are working with the Coroner’s service to identify the person and contact their next of kin.
He was found in the vicinity of where a male was reported missing earlier this month near Eagle bay.
The body was located using sophisticated Sonar equipment made available by volunteers from the US.
We’ll have more details when they become available.
May 13, 2013 / 8:26 pm
Updated 8:26 p.m. - Cherryville residents are trying to get back to normal daily life on Monday, after a frightening weekend incident threw the tight-knit community for a loop.
It didn’t take long for news to spread. This time the buzz was not because of the bees.
Travis Keath Blaeser is now facing numerous charges after he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman, fired at a vehicle, and then led police on a high speed chase along Vernon-Slocan highway before finally being taken into custody 12 hours later.
Residents and neighbours are feeling unsettled that something like this would happen in a place like Cherryville.
“Not a lot happens out here,” says Loren Sund, who lives just down the highway from where the incident took place. “I was surprised, you just don’t hear about that kind of thing out here.”
Sund didn’t witness the incident himself, but heard about it from neighbours.
He and others in the community admit, it’s been a challenge getting the facts straight. In such a small town where people tend to talk, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction.
Although shaken by the news, Sund says he doesn’t feel unsafe. “It sounded like it was a domestic dispute, so I didn’t really feel threatened myself,” he said.
Lyndsay Myers didn’t want to speculate about what happened. “There have been so many versions of the story, who knows what really happened,” said Myers.
“It’s discouraging when things like this happen out here. Cherryville gets a bad name when really there are a lot of good people out here,” said Myers.
Several other Cherryville residents, who did not wish to be identified, agreed that it’s best to reserve judgement until the true story comes out from the real people involved.
Most were just glad the story did not have a tragic ending.
“It was quite a commotion out here, a lot of police and the chopper flying around. It does affect you. You’re just glad when it’s over and nobody got hurt,” said one long time resident.
Another local couple said they were shocked by the incident, and worried it was hitting a little too close to home.
Grace Paul has lived in the same Cherryville home for 60 years. Even Cherryville, she says, is not immune to a few bad situations now and then.
“It happens everywhere around the world,” said Paul “People think just because it’s Cherryville, nothing bad happens here.”
She believes Cherryville is an amazing place with amazing people, and that one unfortunate incident won’t change that.
Blaeser appeared in Vernon provincial court on Monday morning. He is facing a total of 17 counts under various charges, including mischief, breach of probation, flight from a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, assault and weapons violations.
For now, the crisis in Cherryville is over. Thankfully, two young women and two young children escaped unharmed.
On Saturday May 11 at about 7:40 p.m. the North Okanagan RCMP members were called to a domestic disturbance between a 23-year-old man his 25-year-girlfriend, at their home on Highway 6, Cherryville.
The two have a 2-month-old child together who was present with them through the whole ordeal.
The suspect had been drinking during the day and his behaviour became erratic. Just before the incident took a turn for the worse a friend had come to pick up the female and the child. As they were loading the child into the vehicle, the suspect came out of the house with a firearm. He pointed it at the friend who was holding the child.
The suspect then pointed the firearm at the vehicle tire, and shot it out. He then made indications that he wished to harm himself.
The two woman and the two children were able to get away safely and uninjured; they met up with police and were taken to Vernon.
The suspect then fled in a Green Jeep Cherokee, he was spotted by Vernon RCMP on Highway 6, east of Lumby.
Gordon Molendyk, spokesperson for the RCMP says, "Our officers pursued the suspect reaching speeds of 150km/h, at times the suspect almost struck pursuing member’s vehicles."
"Officers terminated the pursuit, however, the vehicle was later observed driving into a remote rural area on an ATV track from Richland’s Rd, a dirt road in the Cherryville area. Containment was established and SED ERT, police and a helicopter were called in to assist with locating and arresting the suspect. The suspect was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. on the 12th without incident."
The suspect is expected to make his first court appearance today on charges of Dangerous use of a firearm, Mischief to endanger life, cause pursuit, point firearm, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm.
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