Tuesday, May 26th14.7°C

Hockey goon in hot water

A former NHL enforcer has pleaded guilty to an assault charge and three charges of driving while prohibited in separate incidents last year in Kamloops and Merritt.

Rudy Poeschek's case will be back in court on July 2 to set a sentencing date.

Poeschek played for the New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues over his 12-season career that ended in 2001.

He tallied six goals and 25 assists while racking up 817 penalty minutes.

Before joining the professional league, the Terrace native played in the WHL for the Kamloops Junior Oilers and Blazers between 1983 and 1987.

In 2005, a Florida judge sentenced him to 60 days in jail for driving across lawns in his Tampa neighbourhood with his five-year-old daughter in the car.

In the three years prior to that, he had been arrested eight times in Florida following a failed comeback attempt with the Lightning in 2002. 

The Canadian Press


Mine donation rejected


A coalition opposed to development of the Ajax mine near Kamloops is rejecting a donation to its cause from the parent company of the proposed open-pit copper and gold operation.

The Coalition of Concerned Community Members is an umbrella group representing five organizations.

Spokesperson Dianne Kerr says the group decided at a meeting on Sunday that it is not appropriate to keep the $5,000 donation recently made by polish mining corporation KGHM International, parent company of the proposed Ajax mine.

The coalition's Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Help Stop the Ajax Mine, currently has a total of $18,105 in its campaign to halt the operation.

Kerr said the group's mandate is to advocate for the health and well being of the citizens of Kamloops. As such, it is opposed to the mine.

"The funds were definitely not solicited," she told Castanet. "It's impossible to determine the motivation behind the donation."

She said the unusual situation "will really be determined in the court of public opinion."

The coalition is comprised of five groups: Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment, the Concerned Citizens, Kamloops Moms for Clean Air, the Kamloops Area Preservation Association, and Thompson Rivers University Human Rights Committee.

Kerr said they are working with Indiegogo to cancel the donation as soon as possible.

“Our goal in responding to this situation was to act in a manner consistent with our principles,” she said. “Ethical guidelines regarding the acceptance of gifts support our decision. We used the Suzuki Foundation as our resource. It is an obvious conflict of interest for the coalition of advocacy groups to accept funds directly from the very proponent to be scrutinized by independent reviewers.”

Meanwhile, KGHM spokesman Robert Koopmans says the donation was made in good faith.

"We intend to provide objective, fact-based science on the Ajax mine ... why would we shy away from that?" he responded.

"We all live in Kamloops and are acting in the best interests of Kamloops, though those visions may differ."

The scrutiny of the project sought by the coalition is welcome, he said, adding the company is disappointed the coalition would not accept the money.

The coalition is seeking $25,000 to hire unbiased experts to provide reports on the mine's potential impacts on health, air quality, water quality and other matters.

Its campaign page says, if approved, the mine would be located as close as two kilometres from an elementary school and in close proximity to residences and a seniors’ care facility.

Other concerns include:

  • Tailings storage that, if breached, would potentially affect the Adams River salmon run.
  • A mine footprint would exceed 25 square kilometres, much of it currently endangered grasslands.
  • Mine operations would take approximately 12.2 billion litres of water annually from Kamloops Lake.  

KGHM has also hired its own independent experts, whose reports on the mine proposal will be peer reviewed, Koopmans noted.

KGHM is a Polish-based mining corporation with operations in Canada, the United States and Chile.

Missing girls found safe

UPDATE: Sunday

Kamloops RCMP report both missing girls have been found safely.

Kamloops RCMP are seeking the public's assistance in finding two missing teenage girls.

Taylor Donald, 13, also known as Taylor Garrioch, was last seen Saturday morning. The RCMP think she may be with Starcey Laughington, 16, who has been missing since Thursday night.

Taylor is a caucasian female, approximately 5'3” tall and 100 pounds. She has shoulder length wavy blonde hair and and blue eyes. She ususally wears a purple ball cap sideways,

Starcey is a first nations female, approximately 5'2” and 112 pounds. She has short, black hair and brown eyes.

Police believe the girls may be travelling to the Central Interior.

Police are urging anyone with any information on the whereabouts of these girls to call their local police, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


Highway 1 crash fatal

UPDATE 11:15 A.M.

One man lost his life in a fatal vehicle accident early this morning near Kamloops.

RCMP Sgt. Michael Buxton-Carr says passing motorists discovered a pickup truck resting on its roof in the centre of the Highway 1 near Cherry Creek at approximately 2:45 a.m

“An adult male, the lone occupant of the vehicle, perished in this collision,” says Buxton-Carr. “Identification of the deceased man is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.”

The highway was closed to traffic for many hours during the on-site investigation, but has now re-opened for east and west bound traffic.

The Tk'Emlups RCMP is assisting the BC Coroner Service with the investigation of the fatal collision.

The RCMP is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Tk'Emlups Detachment at (250) 314-1800. 

UPDATE 9:30 A.M.

Trans Canada Highway has now partially reopened near Kamloops, the road is reduced to single lane alternating traffic.


DriveBC reports the Trans Canada Highway is closed in both directions near Kamloops.

The highway is closed in both directions, 10 kilometres west of Exit 362, the junction with the Coquihalla Highway, because of a vehicle incident.

No detour is available.

The closure was first reported at 4:45 a.m., and the road continues to be shut down while an assessment of the incident is in progress.

DriveBC expects to road to reopen by 10 a.m.

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Missing man found dead

Kamloops RCMP have confirmed that a body recovered from the South Thompson River Wednesday is that of a 58-year-old Kamloops man who went missing on May 18.

Detachment spokesperson Cpl. Cheryl Bush says the man was reported missing by his family on Monday afternoon.

His vehicle was soon located near Lafarge Bridge, and a police helicopter searched the river while search and rescue volunteers scoured the surrounding banks.

There is no criminal investigation underway, and the matter is now in the hands of the B.C. Coroners Service.

Police have not identified the name of the deceased.

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