Friday, October 31st8.1°C

Silty water notice

The City of Kamloops wishes to advise that residents in Westsyde may be experiencing silty water due to a water main break that occurred yesterday (Wednesday).

City crews became aware of the break at 6:30 a.m. and worked throughout the night to isolate the issue which has now been found and is under repair.

During this extensive process, crews were required to turn water valves on and off resulting in an accumulation of silty water in the Westsyde reservoir.

City crews are currently flushing the reservoir to remove the silty water from the system as quickly as possible.

Further updates will be provided as new information becomes available.


Gun toting man waiting for ride

What started out as a manhunt quickly turned into a false alarm.

Kamloops RCMP were called to the area of Tranquille Road and Schreiner Street shortly before 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning for reports of a man with a long gun.

The caller indicated the man was dressed in camo gear and standing on the roadside.

Police blocked off the road while they searched the area for the man.

They responded with numerous officers, air support and a K9 unit.

But it turns out the man was a hunter waiting to be picked up.

Kamloops RCMP thanks the public for their patience during the incident.

Explosion claims kids' experiment

A year's worth of hard work and fundraising efforts by a group of students from Kamloops have gone up in flames with the spectacular explosion of a commercial rocket bound for the International Space Station.

Just six seconds after liftoff Tuesday evening, the rocket launched from the Orbital Sciences Corp.'s complex in eastern Virginia exploded, destroying a payload of equipment that included the experiments of students from across North America.

On board was a microgravity experiment developed by four boys who attended McGowan Park elementary school in Kamloops last year and are now in Grade 8.

Yet Paul Hembling, the project co-ordinator for the Kamloops/Thompson school district and principal of Bert Edwards Science and Technology School, remained surprisingly upbeat about the experience.

"We basically paid $25,000 to pay for that explosion to launch our experiment along with 17 others from all other U.S. jurisdictions," he said with a chuckle, adding McGowan Park was the only Canadian school involved in the flight.

The experiment was designed to examine how space impacts the growth of crystals, and Hembling said it involved silicon tubes, 17 centimetres long and 0.9 centimetres in diameter.

Two separate solutions were inside the tubes, he said, and were separated by clips.

Once the experiment was aboard the space station, the astronauts were supposed to remove a clip, allowing the solutions to mix and the crystals to form, he said, noting a similar experiment was supposed to take place on Earth at about the same time.

The experiment was supposed to return to earth in about 12 weeks, at which time the students could compare the results, he said.

The students hypothesized the structure of the crystals formed in space would be different, said Hembling.

A summary of the experiment also proposed that unique materials could be created on Earth if scientists could better understand the formation of solids from liquids in space. It also said scientists would get a better understanding of how fluid mixing and crystal formation works in microgravity.

Hembling said he hopes the explosion won't mean the end of the experiment and there'll be another opportunity for the project, adding the cost was for the transportation of the materials by rocket to the space station, not the silicon tubes and clips.

He said raising the funds for the project proved to be a half-time job, and he also had to write a proposal and apply on behalf of the school district to get a spot on the flight.

Kieren O’Neil said in an email to The Canadian Press that he was one of the students who spent the last year designing the experiment and was watching the launch when the explosion occurred.

"We feel bad for everyone involved," he said, adding that he's been told the project will still happen.

Flames could be seen shooting into the sky as the sun set. There was no hint of any trouble until the rocket exploded.

Orbital Science reported that everyone at the site had been accounted for, and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities.

"We will understand what happened — hopefully soon — and we'll get things back on track," Orbital Sciences' executive vice-president Frank Culbertson told his team an hour after the failure. "We've all seen this happen in our business before, and we've all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same."


The Canadian Press


Sexting teens plead guilty


Three teenage boys originally charged with possession and distribution of child pornography have pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of criminal harassment in a sexting scandal in Kamloops, B.C.

Crown lawyer Sarah Firestone said the 15-year-old boys, who attend separate schools, coerced several girls between the ages of 13 and 15 to send nude photos of themselves on social media sites.

Then they shared the images, much like "trading hockey cards," Firestone told B.C. Supreme Court.

She said the boys caused their victims to fear for their safety.

"The harm hasn't been fully realized and the images could end up in the hands of a predator."

The exchanges of photos and texts with girls utilized a variety of social media options, including Snapchat.

Firestone said some of the girls were under the impression the photos would disappear using Snapchat, but the boys used methods to keep the images.

"This is strange new ground," she said. "It comes with recent developments in technology. These are things that would never happen face-to-face. I have a hard time thinking young men would come up to random strangers and ask them for nude pictures."

The Crown said images of as many as 32 girls, semi-clothed and topless, were circulated. In two instances, parents turned cellphones over to school authorities after some information and applications were deleted. In some instances, the boys, who were 14 at the time, sent pictures of their genitals.

The Crown is seeking a year's probation, along with a ban on any mobile devices with photographic capabilities and an Internet connection.

Defence lawyer Kevin Church said the teens weren't running a child-porn ring and were receiving images, not photographing the girls.

He said one of the girls sent 50 images in one month.

Church and defence lawyer Bill Sundhu have both called for a conditional discharge, saying their clients are scapegoats.

Twenty-five other boys were named in disclosure to lawyers, but the Crown did not lay charges against them, Church said.

"They've been dragged through court to say, "'You can't keep doing this,'" Church said of the trio.

The boys' names are protected by a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. (CHNL, Kamloops This Week)

Three teenage boys originally charged with possession and distribution of child pornography have pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of criminal harassment in connection with a sexting scandal in Kamloops.

Crown lawyer Sarah Firestone says the 15-year-old boys, who attend separate schools, coerced several girls between the ages of 13 and 15 to send nude photos of themselves on social media sites.

She says they then shared the images, much like "trading hockey cards."

Firestone is seeking a year's probation, along with a ban on any mobile devices with photographic capabilities and Internet connection.

Defence lawyers Bill Sundhu and Kevin Church have called for a conditional discharge.

They say their clients are scapegoats, that at least 25 other young men were involved and about 30 girls sent photos. (CHNL)

The Canadian Press

Search for hit & run driver

Kamloops RCMP are looking for the driver of a vehicle that struck a pedestrian on the East Trans-Canada Highway in Valleyveiw shortly after 7 p.m. last night, October 27.

Two pedestrians were walking on the shoulder, west bound on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway, when the male closest to the traffic was struck by a passing vehicle, knocking him and his friend into the ditch. Investigators have determined, by the debris left at the scene, that it was the mirror of a passing vehicle that struck the man, and are in the process of identifying the type of vehicle that was involved.

The 53-year-old man who was struck by the vehicle was transported to Royal Inland Hospital and was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The other man, 43-years-old, suffered minor injuries.

This incident occurred in the 2300 block of the East Trans-Canada Highway, which is between River Road and Highland Road. Police are asking anyone who may have information to please contact Kamloops RCMP at (250) 828-3000 or call Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.

Read more Kamloops articles


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