Highway 1 reopened

UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.

The road has reopened eight kilometres west of Chase.

Highway 1 is closed in both directions eight kilometres west of Chase because of a crash.

A detour is available along Highway 97A, Highway 97B and Highway 97N, through Monte Creek.

There is no estimated time of reopening.


Saved after cop car crash

Smashing into a police car was a blessing in disguise for two people in Vancouver Friday morning.

A marked police vehicle was stopped at about 5:30 a.m. at Main Street and East Hastings, when it was hit from behind by a pickup truck.

Moments after the officer approached the truck, the driver began to lose consciousness and was placed on the ground.

Another officer began to perform CPR on the driver, while a third officer looked for help from a pedestrian and from a nearby support worker who provided naloxone kits.

The driver was given three doses of naloxone, while a second man overdosing in the passenger seat of the truck was given two doses. The passenger regained consciousness, but the driver required a fourth dose from paramedics.

Both men declined further treatment from paramedics and refused to go to the hospital. The passenger left the site of the incident while the driver remained with police. Minutes later, he began to experience chest pains, and was rushed to hospital by paramedics.

The driver, a 24-year-old man from Maple Ridge, is now facing charges for the impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while prohibited, in addition to receiving a 30-day vehicle impoundment.

Toddler's death devastating

Support is pouring in for the family of a 16-month-old boy who died in a tragic daycare accident.

"Baby Mac," is described as a joyful tot whose short life was surrounded by love.

Mac died in an East Vancouver daycare.

Friends and family have launched an online fundraiser for Mac's parents, Shelly and Chris.

"Mac was incredibly empathetic for a boy who wasn't even two years old yet. If you stubbed your toe or bumped your head, he would want to make sure you were OK," it reads. “There are no words to express the pain that is being experienced in this household today. I lack the ability to describe the emptiness in our hearts.

“We all miss him so much. Mac was like a brilliant star that appeared in our lives for only a short time, but will forever change us all.”

According to the fundraiser, Chris works entirely on commission and apart from paying for funeral arrangements, the donations are intended to help ease the financial burden on the devastated parents.

By Friday afternoon, $53,000 had been donated.

Mac died Wednesday at a home near Kitchener Street and Commercial Drive. On Thursday, a family member told CTV News the toddler was killed in an unfortunate accident while in daycare.

The BC Coroners Service and detectives from the Vancouver Police Department's Major Crime Section are continuing to investigate.

Few details of the probe have been released, but police said the circumstances do not appear suspicious.

- with files from CTV


Cops dial in to dope dealers

Suspected drug dealers in a Lower Mainland community dialed a wrong number after getting nabbed by police.

Following the execution of search warrants and five arrests, RCMP in Chilliwack have shut down an alleged dial-a-dope operation.

Cpl. Mike Rail said the Chilliwack RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) initiated an investigation in May 2016 after police received reports about the sale of narcotics in the city by a dial-a-dope organization.

“During their lengthy investigation, CRU officers covertly gathered evidence to link suspects and addresses to the alleged dope ring,” said Rail.

“On Jan. 11, two search warrants executed in 45000-block of Yale Road by CRU officers led to the arrest of four men and a woman plus the seizure of cocaine, two kilograms of marijuana, $30,000 cash, four motor vehicles and further evidence linking the suspects to drug trafficking offences.”

The suspects are facing charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

“In ending the operation of a sophisticated dial-a-dope ring, the RCMP in Chilliwack have taken another step in reducing organized crime and removing illegal drugs from our community,” said Rail.

Black smoke billowing

UPDATE: 2 p.m.

A spectacular fire at a Lower Mainland scrapyard has been brought under control.

Smoke from the Richmond fire was visible in neighbouring cities.

Officials said the blaze at AABC Recyclers Group on Mitchell Island started at the bottom of a pile of disassembled cars, CTV News reported.

Nobody was injured.

ORIGINAL: 12:55 p.m.

A column of black smoke tarred the Greater Vancouver skyline Friday, as a blaze burned at scrapyard.

Thick smoke billowed from Mitchell Island in Richmond just before noon.

CTV News, quoting a witness, reported the fire is at AABC Recyclers Group, a scrap yard and auto wrecker.

Fire crews are responding.

Castanet will have more information as it becomes available. 

– with files from CTV Vancouver

Tests show no diesel in river

Preliminary results of water testing taken downstream from the site of a diesel spill on the North Thompson River show no detectable petroleum hydrocarbons.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District took the samples on Wednesday, one day after a semi crashed into the river.

The results mean "there has not been any detection of diesel in the Vavenby water system," the district said in a press release Friday.

However, users remain under a "Do Not Use" order, as issued by Interior Health.

Prior to lifting the order, TNRD must continue regular sampling and develop a remediation plan for the water system.

Samples used for the tests were taken at the Vavenby water intake, a stand pipe by a nearby sawmill, and at the community reservoir. Water samples will continue to be taken and monitored over the coming days.

Vavenby residents can continue to pick up bottled water at the local firehall.

Crash involves police car

RCMP in Surrey are investigating an early morning crash involving a police cruiser.

The cruiser was heading to a report of a robbery about 6:15 a.m. Friday when it collided with a vehicle at the intersection of 90th Avenue and 148th Street.

The impact sent the civilian vehicle into a neighbouring yard.

Both drivers were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police are at the scene, determining what caused the collision.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or solvecrime.ca.

$2.6M in losing legal battle

The provincial government spent $2.6 million over 15 years in a losing legal battle fighting the British Columbia Teacher's Federation in court over cuts the province made in 2002.

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned a BC Court of Appeal decision in November, declaring the province had violated teacher's bargaining rights when they took language governing class size and composition out of their contracts in 2002 and passed a law denying teacher's the right to bargain those issues in the future.

About $1.7 million of the total was spent on internal staff lawyers while just over $900,000 was spent on external lawyers.

The BCTF says they will not release how much they spent on the legal battle until they have told their own members at their annual general meeting in March.

“What is important now is that we are at the table with the BCTF talking about how to ensure we are dealing with the complexities that came out of the court’s decision, and to ensure we come up with an agreement that offers the best path forward for students,” said Education Minister Mike Bernier in a statement.

Big byte in the economy

B.C.’s tech sector is breaking records.

According to the provincial Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, the tech sector in British Columbia is has hit the milestone of employing more than 100,000 people.

The B.C. tech sector also had the highest company revenues and employee wages ever recorded.

"In today's economy, virtually every business relies on technology to help increase efficiency, safety and competitiveness,” said Shirley Bond, minister of jobs. “British Columbia has exceptional talent and many innovative technologies originate in our province.”

Employment in the tech sector rose 2.9 per cent, surpassing B.C.’s overall employment growth of 2.5 per cent and national tech sector employment growth of 1.1 per cent.

"We're excited to be part of a progressive industry that develops innovative technology every day,” said Dan Rink of ITel.

“The success of the sector as a whole helps our business attract talent and investment,” Rink said.

A total of 101,700 people are employed and earn a weekly average salary of $1,590, 75 per cent higher than the average wage in B.C. and higher than the Canadian technology sector average.

The data collected is based on information up to December 2015.

Highway 3 closed

Highway 3 will be closed for a few hours today in both directions in the West Kootenays for avalanche control.

DriveBC warns of the closure five kilometres west of Paulson Bridge between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, Highway 1 is reduced to single-lane alternating traffic near the junction with Highway 12.

For more highway information, visit DriveBC.

Hwy 1 closed at Lytton

The Trans-Canada Highway is closed in both directions at Lytton.

DriveBC reports a vehicle incident has closed the highway from the junction with Highway 12 to the Lytton south access.

Traffic can detour through the town.

An estimated time of reopening is not yet available, an a scene assessment is in progress. 

Pipe bomb safely destroyed

UPDATE: 5:50 a.m.

Police have safely removed and destroyed a pipe bomb from a vehicle in East Vancouver. 

Just before 9 p.m. Thursday night, Vancouver police conducted a traffic stop on East Cordova Street near Hawks Avenue.

The driver allegedly told the officer he had a home-made pipe bomb in the vehicle, so the VPD's Explosive Disposal Unit was called to the scene. The pipe bomb was located, considered dangerous, and safely destroyed, says Const. Jason Doucette. 

The 33-year-old man from West Vancouver was the only person in the vehicle, and he remains in police custody as the investigation continues.

ORIGINAL: 11:20 p.m.

The Vancouver Police bomb squad is responding to an incident in Vancouver.

Details are few as the incident is still unfolding.

However, CTV is reporting a large police presence on Cordova Street in East Vancouver.

Traffic is being rerouted around the area, which is cordoned off with police tape.

The bomb squad is focused on a Mercedes vehicle with its four-way flashers blinking.

A robot has been sent in to investigate the vehicle.

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