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Kamloops  

Heritage site a No to mine

 

First Nations leaders have declared the Pipsell area a cultural heritage site and are saying No to the Ajax open-pit mine near Kamloops.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and other leaders gathered at the Secwepemc Heritage Park on Wednesday to make the announcement about the Jacko Lake area. The event also marked the opening of a museum exhibit on the area's significance and the release of a video on the subject.

"This collaboration is an opportunity to share the story of our sacred connection to this land as the original people, and educate the public about our culture, stories and the title and rights process," said museum archivist Carryl Armstrong.

The Secwepemc say Pipsell is a cultural keystone that must be preserved. The band said it is uniquely situated to serve as a place of sharing between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

“Our connection to Pipsell ... is irreplaceable and deeply grounded in one of our oral histories known as the Trout Children. We cannot transport our connection to Pipsell to another site," said Skeetchestn Chief Ron Ignace.

“As stewards of our territory, we each have a responsibility to our families, communities, the Secwepemc Nation, as well as the guests of our homelands, to ensure that we are doing our best to ensure healthy people and environment for today and the future," added Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Chief Fred Seymour.

Shuswap Nation Tribal Chair Chief Wayne Christian, Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May and Wilderness Committee national campaign director Joe Foy also took part in the ceremony.



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B&E suspect swims for it

A robbery suspect in Kamloops may have decided a swim was better than arrest as he tried to evade police early Wednesday morning.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says officers were responding to reports of a break-in at the G&M Trailer Park about 6 a.m. when a man was tracked by a police dog to the nearby Thompson River.

She says the man was able to swim across, but remained in the water on the south shore, clinging to the remnants of an old dock as the Kamloops Fire and Rescue boat closed in.

Officers were eventually able to convince the 23-year-old to wade to shallow water and surrender so he could be taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

He's expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect recently moved to B.C. and has numerous outstanding warrants out of Alberta and Manitoba.



Newcomer scam fails

A scam aimed at wringing money out of new immigrants through threats failed when a woman was targeted in Kamloops recently.

Kamloops RCMP report that a newcomer to Canada received threatening phone calls from people pretending to be an immigration official and police representative who demanded money.

“A recent immigrant to Kamloops reported that someone purporting to be from Citizenship and Immigration Canada was calling her and claiming there were alleged complaints against the victim,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie, RCMP spokesperson, in a press release. “They said that her visa had been revoked and the police had issued a warrant for her arrest.”

Call display showed the telephone calls were supposedly coming from the office of Immigration Canada and the local RCMP detachment.

“The phone scammer advised the immigrant that they had to wire them thousands of dollars or they would be arrested and deported.”

Instead, the woman called Kamloops RCMP.

“This is a scam,” Shelkie said bluntly. “Citizenship and Immigration Canada never accept payments over the phone by pre-paid credit cards or private money transfers. The fraudsters use cloning apps to show legitimate phone numbers to trick the victims into sending money.”

Shelkie said people should hang up immediately if they find themselves involved in a call of that nature. They should then call Immigration Canada to confirm their status and make a report to their local RCMP detachment.

Last July, Kamloops RCMP warned of a scam targeting immigrants to Canada.



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Fake US $ used in Kamloops

Counterfeit U.S. $20 bills have been making the rounds in Kamloops.

Over the past week, numerous local businesses have reported either inadvertently accepting the fake 20s or have refused to accept what appeared to be counterfeit American money, police said.

Kamloops RCMP have urged all businesses to review counterfeit detection techniques with their employees.

As well, employees should know it is within their right to refuse any cash payment if they suspect it might be counterfeit.

More information on counterfeit bill detection for either Canadian or American money can be found on the Bank of Canada website.



Thompson River level down

The water level of the Thompson River dropped more than a metre in the past week and boat launches have reopened.

However the City of Kamloops says the water level remains high and urges residents to continue to use caution in and around waterways.

A city press release states: “There have been reports of dislodged river markers and residents are asked to be extra cautious if they are on the river with motorized boats.”

  • Idling speeds are recommended as a precautionary measure and to prevent river bank erosion.
  • High waters have caused excess debris requiring extra vigilance for all water users.

Meanwhile, public works crews continue to remove temporary flood protection works as river levels drop.

The city has implemented free sand bag disposal at landfills.



Kamloops fight death arrest

A 27-year-old Kamloops man was to appear in court Monday charged with murder in connection with a fight last December that left another man unconscious on the ground. The victim, Sean Dunn, died shortly afterward.

The RCMP said James David Bond was arrested without incident by the Major Crimes Unit on Friday.

“Bond has no previous history of violence and a minor criminal record,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie, RCMP spokesperson, in a press release. “Bond will be going before a judge today, June 19th.”

In the early morning of Dec. 30, 2016, RCMP were called to the scene of a fight near the 400 block of Tranquille Road.

“Initial reports indicated that a fight in progress had left a lone male unconscious on the ground. Medical treatment was administered by BC Ambulance but the 42-year-old victim succumbed to his injuries while on scene,” said Shelkie. “Information gathered at the time of the incident indicated that the fight appeared to have stemmed from an argument between two men who had become acquainted that night at a local pub."



SAR scour forest floor

UPDATE: 4:20 p.m.

Kimberley Search and Rescue spent four hours Saturday scouring a forested area for the small plane and its two occupants that went missing on June 8, but came up empty handed. 

Based on a witness report, military aircracft circled the area near Kimberley while five search and rescue members looked on the forest floor.

Kimberley is just 25 kilometres northwest of Cranbrook, where the plane departed from. 

After four hours of searching, the team came back without finding any sign of the missing plane.

"We are called when there is something of interest on the ground," said Peter Reid, search manager with Kimberley Search and Rescue. "That's all we did today."

While Cranbrook Search and Rescue has been called out to assist with on-the-ground searches for the plane, this was the first time Kimberley SAR was utilized. 


ORIGINAL: 10:20 a.m.

The search for the two people whose small plane went missing nine days ago on a flight from Cranbrook to Kamloops continues Saturday.

The plane was piloted by 21-year-old Alex Simons, a recent graduate of Excel Flight Training in Lethbridge, Alta, while 24-year-old Sidney Robillard, Simons' girlfriend, was the lone passenger.

Simons had rented the plane from Excel Flight Training on June 8, departed Lethbridge and arrived in Cranbrook to refuel that afternoon. The couple left Cranbrook just after 3 p.m., but never arrived at their destination in Kamloops. 

For the past nine days, Royal Canadian Air Force crews, as well as civilian pilots, have been scouring the more than 400 kilometres of mountainous area between Cranbrook and Kamloops for any sign of the plane. 

The white plane may be more difficult to spot if it landed in a snow-covered area. 

Six military aircraft are back on the search Saturday, along with seven planes from the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.

CASARA is a group of volunteer pilots, navigators, spotters, radio operators and administration staff that assist the Canadian Forces in rescue operations.



Looking back on dark day

By John Moorhouse

June 18, 1962 – a date forever embedded in Bert Terry’s memory.

Fifty-five years have passed since that fateful day when three fellow RCMP officers were shot and killed in Kamloops.

“That was the worst day I ever had with the RCMP. Three of my working buddies were shot to death within a matter of a couple of minutes,” he recalled. “That was pretty hard.”

The shootout came to mind as Bert and his wife Phyllis recounted their lives while making a donation to the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion campaign. They have lived in Penticton since 1986.

Bert was on duty as a constable with the Kamloops detachment that day.  It was the morning after a boisterous community festival, and the cells were filled with those who had celebrated a bit too hard the night before.

Shortly before 9 a.m., a pair of game wardens spotted a man swinging and pointing a rifle near the downtown welfare office. The gunman, George Booth, was believed to have been enraged after his cheques were reduced.

Booth threatened to kill the approaching wardens, and police were called in. Constables Joseph Keck, Gordon Pedersen and off-duty (and unarmed) Const. Donald Weisgerber arrived within minutes. The suspect started walking away from them towards a nearby creek, refusing to heed their orders to stop.

He eventually shot Pedersen, and in the ensuing gunfight, both Keck and Weisgerber were killed. Booth fled into the hills.

Bert had been escorting prisoners from the Kamloops courthouse when word of the shooting came in.

“We had 54 prisoners in the lockup,” he said. “But once the prisoners heard what happened and why, not one of them complained about being kept in the cells.” 

A manhunt ensued, and Booth was located about three hours later. He died in the gunfight.                                

Bert said the young constables’ deaths rocked the community. A joint funeral for the slain officers at the local hockey arena attracted more than 1,500 mourners. 



5K Foam Fest is back

Contributed

The 5K Foam Fest is back at Sun Peaks this weekend.

The cross-country obstacle race is part of a nationwide series that has collected $35,000 for Habitat for Humanity and thousands of pounds of food for local food banks. 

"We have some fun new things happening this year at the event, but as always will crank a wicked after party for everyone," said Jesse Fulton, president of 365 Sports Inc. 

With 22 unique obstacles and thousands of gallons of foamy fun, athletes and novices alike can participate. 

There's also a 20-foot “sky fall” drop onto a stunt bag, bouncy castles, the world’s tallest portable inflatable water slide, food and drink vendors, and an on-site DJ. 

Visit www.the5kfoamfest.com for more information. 



'We'll continue searching'

The search continues for a missing Piper Warrior aircraft and its two occupants, who failed to show up in Kamloops at their scheduled time.

Seven civilian CASARA planes and five military aircraft are in the air today between Cranbrook and Kamloops, looking for the plane that disappeared on the afternoon of June 8.

The plane was piloted by 21-year-old Alex Simons. Simons' girlfriend, 24-year-old Sidney Robillard, was the lone passenger.

Upwards of 70 searchers have now gone over the entire 400-kilometre search area once, without spotting the missing plane.

“We're going over the entire search area again, and we're looking at it multiple times, and we won't be satisfied that we've searched everything until we've had a look at everything from three different levels and different angles,” said Capt. Dennis Power, 19 Wing public affairs officer.

Pilots looking for the missing plane began their search at 1,500 feet above ground level. The second pass takes place at 1,000 feet, followed by a 500-foot pass. These heights aren't fixed though, as cloud cover will change the best elevation for searching.

“If you're in the mountains and you have clouds at 500, there's no point in doing 1,000 or 1,500 because you won't be able to see through the clouds,” Power said.

Power says the many variables involved make it difficult to determine a timeline for completing the search.

“Cloud cover continues to be a challenge in some areas,” he said.

“Until we've searched the area completely, and we're satisfied that we have seen everything, we'll continue searching."



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