Monday, December 22nd-0.6°C

Girls dies in hiking accident

Mounties say a young girl has died in a hiking accident on a mountain just north of Vancouver.

Police have released few details but say the girl was hiking on Monday morning with family on Unnecessary Mountain in Lions Bay, B.C.

Martin Colwell of Lions Bay Search and Rescue says volunteers received a report at about 10 a.m. of a young girl who was struck by a rock slide.

He says it appears a slope beside a creek gave away, probably because of heavy rain, and buried the girl with boulders and dirt.

Colwell says the family tried to dig the girl out but she succumbed to her injuries, despite the advanced paramedic techniques used by rescue teams.

The BC Coroners Service is investigating.


The Canadian Press

Wanted for manslaughter

RCMP are looking for the public's help locating a First Nations man wanted for manslaughter.

Virgil Hummingbird Thomas, 31, is wanted on two separate warrants in BC, Alberta and the Yukon territories for Manslaughter and Failing to Appear in Court.

Thomas' whereabouts are currently unknown, although it's possible that he is in the Vancouver area.

Thomas is described as:

  • First Nations
  • 5’8 tall
  • 155 pounds
  • short black hair
  • brown eyes

RCMP are asking the public not to approach Thomas if he is seen, but to call police immediately.

If you know of his whereabouts and wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The best day to hit the highway

The holiday travel season has begun and thousands are hitting the roads in BC to get to friends and family in time for Christmas.

Road conditions over the past week have varied greatly with many travellers wondering when is the best time to head on that road trip.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Doug Lundquist says if you haven't already left home, you may want to wait until Christmas Eve.

“Of all the days between now and Christmas that I would choose to try and avoid if I could would be Tuesday, if you are travelling in the high terrains either west or east,” says Lundquist.

He notes that with the latest weather system moving in overnight Tuesday, mountain pass highways like the Coquihalla, Hwy. 97C Connector and Hwy. 3 could be hit with some snow.

With that in mind, compact snow and slippery sections are anticipated Tuesday on much of the highway system.

Several rollovers were already reported on the highways Monday afternoon.  

For full details and up to date highway conditions check out DriveBC.

And for the latest forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada check out their website


"Grossly intoxicated" man arrested

A drunken escapade landed a Salmon Arm man in jail Friday.

Salmon Arm RCMP said a member of the public watched a "grossly intoxicated" man stumble out of a local pub Friday around 4:30 p.m.

The 62-year-old man tripped over a curb and walked into a tree before getting into his car and taking off.

The man drove to 10th Avenue NE where he drove his car into the ditch.

When RCMP arrived on scene the man was being treated by BC Ambulance.

He was arrested and charged with impaired driving. His car was impounded.

Charges approved in fuel spill

The BC government and a fuel-service company are facing allegations under the Fisheries Act in a rare prosecution launched by a member of the public.

A provincial court judge approved the charges filed by a Kootenay resident in connection to a massive jet fuel spill in July 2013 that caused environmental devastation when a truck spilled its load into a creek.

Judge Mayland McKimm ruled there was enough evidence to lay charges against the province and the company after 30,000 litres of jet fuel was discharged into a fish-bearing creek.

Executive Flight Centre Fuel Services Ltd. was hired by the province to deliver fuel to fire-fighting helicopters in the Slocan Valley when its truck overturned on a service road, spilling its contents directly into Lemon Creek.

During a hearing in Nelson on Nov. 27, the lawyer for private citizen Marilyn Burgoon provided evidence that the government and fuel company shared responsibility for the spill that is alleged to have caused extensive environmental destruction to both the creek and an adjacent aquifer.

Burgoon, whose lawyers were supported by the West Coast Environmental Law's dispute resolution fund, calls the judge's decision a very important victory for democracy.

A summons will now be issued and a court hearing date is expected to be set in the new year.

The Canadian Press

Peeper driven by thrill of secrets

The lawyer for a man who covertly recorded people using the washroom in his Vancouver restaurant says her client was driven by the thrill of knowing people's secrets, not sexual impulses.

Maegan Richards asked a Vancouver provincial court judge to impose a conditional discharge for Allan Bosomworth, who was the co-owner of Two Chefs and a Table restaurant where he hid a camera in the coed washroom in December 2012.

Crown lawyer Ellen Leno asked for a one-year suspended sentence, wants Bosomworth to report to a probation officer and not be allowed to possess any device used for capturing recordings or video.

Leno also asked that the man not have any contact with Karl Gregg, his business partner who first discovered the USB-key sized device and found five videos showing men and women using the restaurant's washroom.

Gregg read a victim impact statement to the court, in which he said the incident had affected him financially, socially and emotionally, that he now struggled to trust people and that someone wrote the word "rat" across his front door in red pen in October 2013.

Bosomworth pleaded guilty in September to one count of secretly observing nudity in a private place.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the Crown asked for a conditional sentence.

The Canadian Press

Mt. Baldy Ski Resort to re-open

South Okanagan skiers and snowboarders received some good news on Monday.

The G-Force Group announced that Mount Baldy Ski Resort, which was closed for the 2013-2014 ski season, is scheduled to re-open in early January.

G-Force Real Estate was appointed marketing agency in mid-July 2014 by a secured creditor who had received conduct of sale from the Supreme Court of B.C.

Since then its primary objective was to find a buyer who would be able to complete an acquisition in time to operate the resort for the 2014-2015 season.

An earlier sale initiative in October failed. Since then another prospect, Fred Johnston from Calgary, made an offer to manage the resort for the current ski season and acquire it at the end of the season.

Johnston indicated that it will be a priority of the company to seek input from all the key stakeholders, including the South Okanagan communities, the Osoyoos Indian Band, regional tourism officials and the provincial government to ensure that the resort can be rejuvenated to provide a top quality recreational experience and that it can be operated on a sound financial footing in the future.

This is deemed to be critical to the resort’s long term survival and success.

 “Based in large measure on strong community encouragement, the company decided to commit to the substantial effort and money necessary to open and manage the hill this season.” said Johnston. "This has only been made possible because of interim funding from the company and some key supporters in the community and was only deemed viable at the eleventh hour because of the confidence the company has in the knowledge, experience and persistence of Matt Koenig, the mountain’s incumbent Manager.

Further details can be obtained at

Five powerful earthquakes


A series of powerful earthquakes shook the coast of B.C. over the weekend.

The federal agency that monitors earthquakes in Canada says there were five offshore quakes on Saturday and Sunday.

The first struck at around 3 p.m. Saturday about 517 kilometres west north west of Vancouver.

Another hit at about 7 p.m., and then there were three additional quakes between 1:40 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. early Sunday morning.

The tremors measured from 4.0 to 5.0 in magnitude.

There were no reports of damage, and none would be expected given the location of the quakes.

The quakes were also not expected to trigger tsunamis.

The Canadian Press

Snow continues on Hwy. 5 & 3

Drivers heading on the mountain highways Sunday evening should take precautions as Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement.

According to the report, a moist and unstable onshore flow will continue to bring snow to the Coquihalla summit and Allison Pass tonight.

Additional accumulations of 5 to 10 cm are possible through tonight with highest amounts expected at Coquihalla summit.

Periods of heavy snow are also expected overnight on Hwy. 3 between Hope and Princeton.

The driving public is being advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings, as further warnings may be required or extended.

For full details and up to date highway conditions check out DriveBC.

And for the latest forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada check out their website here

Charges in child abandonment

RCMP are recommending charges against a man who they say struck a three-year-old boy in the face and abandoned him at a bus stop.

Staff Sgt. Joe Johal says police are recommending charges of assault and child abandonment.

Johal says the man is a Surrey resident who is related to the child but would not confirm he is the boy's father.

The suspect has been released from custody with conditions and a court appearance is scheduled, something BC police have the power to do pending Crown approval of charges.

Johal thanked witnesses who contacted police on Saturday morning about the incident as well as those who circulated a photo of the boy on social media.

Callers reported the boy was struck in the face and pushed by a man who then got on a bus, leaving the boy behind at the bus stop at the intersection of 152 Street and 64 Avenue.

"A lot of people called and (there were) a lot of tips, and even the arrest that took place was due to a tip from a citizen who observed and called us," said Johal in an interview on Sunday.

He said police were able to identify the suspect and get him in custody within a few hours.

The boy has since been reunited with his mother. The Ministry of Children and Family Development was involved Saturday and will keep the file open, said Johal.

Lucy Ingram, an employee at nearby Berezan Liquor Store, said she brought the boy inside the store after a customer told her he had been left at the bus stop.

When she found him he was wearing swim trunks, a T-shirt, a summer jacket, a toque and one mitten. His feet were soaked and he was "very distraught," she said.

"We were trying to get him to say anything, but he didn't say anything, not even a word for over an hour and a half," she said in a phone interview.

She and a coworker tried to cheer him up with iPhone games until authorities arrived. A customer posted his photo on her community Facebook page, and people began coming into the store with toys, she said.

"The amount of people that came in just from the Facebook page to bring him teddy bears, little dinosaur toys... That perked him right up when he saw the dinosaur toys. From there on in his name was 'dinosaur.' That was all he would say," she said.

Another customer drove home and came back with sweatpants and a hoodie for him to wear, she added.

Ingram said she was happy to hear the boy was reunited with his mother, as once he began talking he was only asking for his mom. She added she felt "sick to her stomach" thinking about the boy being left alone at the stop.

"I just couldn't imagine," said Ingram. "The thought of that being my grandson or my granddaughter or one of my daughters when they were small, it just horrified me."

The investigation continues and police are still looking to speak with additional witnesses.

No names have been released.

The Canadian Press

Abandoned child now home

SURREY - RCMP say they have made an arrest after receiving reports that a three-year-old boy was struck in the face and abandoned at a bus stop in Surrey,and the boy is now with his mother.

Police say they were contacted about the incident Saturday morning by witnesses.

Callers reported the boy was struck in the face and pushed by a man who then got on a bus, leaving the boy behind.

Police say the boy was cared for by people who were there.

RCMP say witnesses posted a photo of the boy on social media in an attempt to identify him.

Police were able to identify the boy and he has been returned to his mother.

No names have been released.

The Canadian Press

Have a green Christmas

Have a green Christmas this holiday season and recycle your Christmas tree and burnt out lights at one of many locations through the South Okanagan.

Burning Christmas trees creates strong smoke due to moisture in the wood and needles. Fine particulates from smoke have been linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

Any tinsel, fake snow or ornaments left on the tree will create added pollution when burnt. All landfills in the Regional District of the South Okanagan will accept, free of charge up to 500 kg (1,100 lbs), clean natural Christmas trees free of tinsel, fake snow, ornaments and lights.

The trees will be chipped and given new life as animal bedding or compost.  

Several communities offer seasonal Christmas tree collection or drop off programs:

For a donation, the Penticton Fire Fighters Local 1399 will pick up trees from Dec. 27 to Jan. 18.

All donations received will go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund and Muscular Dystrophy charities.

Penticton and West Bench residents can call 250-490-2315 to register for collection. Residents can also drop off clean, natural Christmas trees at Fire Hall #2 at 285 Dawson Ave from Dec. 27 to Jan. 31. 

District of Summerland residents can call the Fire Hall at 250-404-4088 or e-mail [email protected] to request collection of their Christmas trees.

For a donation, Summerland Secondary students will be out collecting trees on Sunday, Jan. 4 and Sunday, Jan. 11. 

Donations go to the Summerland Secondary Dry Grad. 

Town of Oliver residents can drop off Christmas trees at the south gate of the Oliver public works yard at 5971 Sawmill Road. This service will run from Dec. 26 to Friday, Jan. 9. 

This program is supported by the local Air Cadets.

Town of Osoyoos residents can drop off Christmas trees adjacent to the washroom at Kinsmen Park (on boulevard) or at the Northwest corner of the parking lot below the Sun Bowl Arena sign until Monday, Jan. 12. 

In Naramata, trees will be collected the week of Jan. 19.  

If you live in Naramata and would like your tree picked up by volunteers, please ensure it is clean of fake snow, tinsel and ornaments and placed at your curbside.

Please advise Craig Henderson that you wish to have your tree picked up, 250-496-5222 or [email protected] This community service is sponsored by the Naramata Citizens Association, Craig Henderson of Royal LePage Locations West Realty, Cotter’s Bin & Demolition Service and the RDOS.

Used Christmas lights and all other lighting equipment can also be recycled for free at the J&C Bottle Depot in Penticton, the T-2 Bottle Depot in Oliver and the Osoyoos Bottle Depot.

The Campbell Mountain Landfill, Oliver and Keremeos Landfills can also accept lighting equipment free of charge.

For more information visit

Arsonists caught on camera

Mounties are asking the public to help identify two people caught on camera torching a home in Surrey earlier this year, CTV Vancouver reports.

The home, located in 10200-block of 143A Street, was set on fire in the early morning hours of July 15. By the time firefighters arrived, the home was completely engulfed in flames.

The lead-up to the blaze was caught on a personal security camera attached to the home, but the RCMP said it took time to salvage the footage.

“The challenge was a technological one – seizing footage that was heavily damaged by fire and smoke and water and [turning] it into something that actually could be viewed,” Cpl. Bert Paquet said.

In the video, released for the first time Friday, a man can be seen carrying a jerry can up to the home and pouring an accelerant, believed to be gasoline, on the garage door and driveway.

A second man then ignites the fuel and they both run off.

Fortunately, no one was inside the home at the time and no one was injured by the fire.

The RCMP arrested a 26-year-old man but he was released without charges.

Mounties are now asking anyone who recognizes either of the people in the footage to come forward and assist in their investigation.

Tips can be called in to the Surrey RCMP detachment at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Earthquake detected off coast

There was a 4.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of B.C. on Saturday afternoon.

The federal agency that monitors earthquakes in Canada says the tremor was centred offshore about 517 kilometres west northwest of Vancouver.

Earthquakes Canada says there are no reports of damage, but none would be expected given the location of the quake.

The earthquake centre says no tsunami would be expected.

The Canadian Press

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