Monday, April 21st5.3°C

OK College better than OK

If the future of our region is dependent on a skilled workforce, the Okanagan is in good shape. Nearly a dozen Okanagan College trades and technology students have returned home after podium finishes at the BC Skills Canada competition, held earlier this month in Abbotsford.
The College earned 11 medals (three gold, four silver and four bronze) in a series of timed high-pressure skills competitions ranging from Automotive Collision Repair to IT Network Systems Administration.
“I’m extremely proud of the results of our students,” said Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “The Skills BC competition is a great measure of how our students perform in the real world. They are faced with hands-on applied challenges and are given a set amount of time to make repairs, trouble shoot and come up with relevant solutions. The medals are evidence of our students’ skills and the great instruction they receive.” 
Winners of the provincial competition are eligible to compete at the nationals, held in June in Toronto. The Okanagan College students who will represent the province in Toronto are: Vernon’s Dominique Zimmermann, gold in Aircraft Maintenance; Kelowna’s Ken Anderson, gold in Automotive Service; and James Webber, gold in Electronics, also from Kelowna.
For the second year in a row Okanagan College swept the Electronic Engineering competition, taking all three podium spots. It’s the third year the College has competed in this category; each year students from the program have returned with medals. The College earned gold, silver and bronze in 2013 and took home a silver and bronze in 2012.
“I am really excited to support Dominique at the national competition,” said AME M instructor and coach Dale Martell. “After winning the provincial competition I’m feeling very confident about how he’ll do in Toronto. We’ve been sending students to the Skills competition for three years and are yet to return without medals. Dominique and Derek are no exception. They are both great students who can work independently and will be a huge asset to the industry.”
Other medalists include: Derek Volling, Aircraft Maintenance (bronze); Russell Relling, Automotive Collision Repair (silver); Jay Kendrick, Automotive Collision Repair (bronze); Nick Spottock, Automotive Service (bronze); Christopher Dalton, Carpentry (silver); Josh Wams, Electronics (silver); Alex Pelton, Electronics (bronze); Bryer Edwards, IT Network Systems Administration (silver).


Water Advisory

All of Peachland is on a Water Quality Advisory.

According to Shawn Grundy from the District of Peachland Water Department, the recent weather caused a rise in turbidity on Saturday April 19, to a level above 1.0NTU.  As such, a Water Quality Advisory has been issued and will remain in force until further notice.

Grundy says, "While the associated health risks are minimal, Interior Health recommends that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice."

For those at-risk populations, water intended for drinking washing fruits or vegetables, making juice or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this time," says Grundy.

The race was just 'ducky'

Trevor Rockliffe

500 rubber duckies went swimming down Trepanier Creek as fast as the current would take them in the first ever Peachland Rubber Ducky Race.

Tourism Advisory Committee Chair, Doris Muhs, says they came up with the race idea to fundraise for the of Peachland Bats Education & Conservation Program, and Legends of the Lake Interpretive Centre in Peachland Historic Primary School

“This is the first try and our major motivator is raising money for the Visitor Information Center’s education program regarding the bats and the legend of the lake,” said Muhs. “We heard of duck races in other locations and thought we can try it.”

A committee was formed and local agencies came on board.

Because of a small budget they borrowed the 500 rubber ducks from Kelowna.

“At this point I am very proud we didn’t break the budget and have so many people here and so many happy kids,” said Muhs.

Ten-year-old Liam was part of the inaugural duck race and said it was really fun to be a part of.

“It was great you know, it was really fun and fast and ducks were quaking,” laughed the ten-year-old.

He says the ducks faced turbulent waters, but made it safely across the finish line.

“One kind of got caught in the current but not too much danger,” said Liam.

The winning ducks were announced at the park.



Water advisory for Star Place

A water quality advisory is in effect for residents served by the Star Place water system.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan issued the advisory Thursday morning.

The advisory affects eight properties connected to the community water system on Star Place off Trepanier Road near the Okanagan Connector.  

Increased turbidity in the water system source has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. 

Roadside sign notices are in place to advise residents of the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

"Interior Health has been contacted and, while the health risk is modest and no bacteria has been found in any of the water from the system tested, Regional District staff recommends that as a precaution that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines, especially for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions," says communications officer, Bruce Smith.

"All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.”

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the Star Place Water System will continue until further notice. 

Oyama 'bomb' man charged

A 36-year-old Oyama man has been charged for allegedly possessing and making explosive devices. 

Late in August 2013 the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) received a tip that the man was making explosive devices in his West Kelowna home and was in the process of moving to a home in Oyama.

CFSEU-BC investigators arrested the man without incident at his home and search warrants were executed.

“Officers found what was described as “bomb-making equipment” in the Oyama home that consisted of modified timers, batteries, igniters, dismantled shotgun shells, a container of black powder, and small wooden boxes fitted with wiring,” explained CFSEU-BC Media Relations Officer, Sergeant Lindsey Houghton.

He says no fully-built bombs or explosive devices were found.

Their search also turned up several compound bows, a crossbow, brass knuckles, two semi-automatic assault- style rifles with over-capacity magazines, as well as a small amount of marijuana.

“It was found that the man was also bound by a prohibition order involving explosive materials, devices, and weapons,” said Houghton.

John Jason Neufeld, has been charged with one count of possession of an explosive substance, one count of possession of an explosive substance while prohibited, one count of possession of a cross-bow while prohibited, and one count of possession of ammunition while prohibited.

He is no longer in custody and expected to make his next court appearance on April 28th, 2014 in Kelowna Provincial Court.

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