Tire slasher on the loose

Kamloops RCMP are warning residents about a rash of tire slashings.

Police responded to multiple reports of vehicles with their tires slashed in the Brocklehurst area this morning. Residents in the area of Windbreak, Pondorosa and Laroque streets woke up to find their tires damaged.

So far, officers have responded to 12 incidents and investigating the crime spree, said Cpl. Cheryl Bush. 

This appears to be a non-targeted event, but a clear act of mischief by someone with senseless disregard for personal property, she added.

Anyone with information is asked to call Kamloops RCMP or CrimeStoppers.

Evacuation orders lifted

The evacuation order for several properties in Cherry Creek has been rescinded, as there is no longer a “danger to life” due to flooding.

Eleven properties were evacuated in the small community west of Kamloops on the evening of May 5, followed by an evacuation alert for several other homes, due to flooding in the area.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has lifted the evacuation orders for six homes in the area, while five homes remain evacuated.

The homes that residents can return to include:

  • 1490 Greenstone Road
  • 5080 and 5096 Lazy Acres Road
  • 5012, 5064 and 5108 Trans Canada Highway

Olympic upgrade on way

The Fieldhouse at Kamloops' Tournament Capital Centre will be getting some Olympic-level upgrades this summer.

The $1.5-million project will include the installation of a new Mondo track surface, which is the international standard for competition.

Mondo was the track surface of choice at the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The project is funded in part by a $500,000 grant from Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Kamloops council is adding a further $330,000 to allow for installation of a new hardwood surface on the centre's north court, replacing the current sport court ahead of schedule. This will expand the centre's ability to host major volleyball, basketball and badminton events.

Demolition will begin this evening on the north court, but the rest of the facility will remain open.

“Evening track users can expect to hear regular construction noise. However, we have chosen to do night work to minimize the impact on facility users,” said city capital projects supervisor Matt Kachel.

Expected hours of work will be 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.
The Fieldhouse will close June 27, when work will begin on the track surface. It will remain closed until mid-September. 


Good Samaritan sought

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a man who drove a shooting victim to the hospital.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said two men arrived at the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department Tuesday morning and one of the men had sustained a gunshot wound.

“It is unknown at this time how the male received the gunshot wound,” said Shelkie.

“Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a concerned citizen who drove the two men to the hospital this morning between approximately 6:15–6:45 am. The citizen is described as a Caucasian male, middle aged, and driving a brown truck. He picked up the two men in the downtown area and said he was on his way to work.”

Police have urged anyone with information on who the Good Samaritan is to contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.

Anyone with information on the circumstances of how the male sustained the gunshot wound is asked contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

Hit & run twice in minutes

A Kamloops man is facing numerous charges after hitting two vehicles and fleeing the scene.

RCMP said there were two hit and runs within minutes of each other around 7 p.m. Friday.

A driver reported he was stopped at a red light when a white pickup rear-ended him. Both drivers got out of their vehicles, but the truck driver took off before exchanging information.

A short time after, the same truck drove through a red light and was struck by another vehicle. The driver did not stop and drove the wrong way and over a sidewalk.

Police were able to identify a 45-year-old man as the driver of the pickup and when they arrived at his residence found him exhibiting signs of impairment.

“Kamloops RCMP are recommending charges of: impaired operation of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, fail to provide a breath sample, hit and run and fail to stop at an accident,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

The suspect is expected to appear in court on May 29.

Ajax decision looms

An environmental assessment of the copper and gold mine KGHM International hopes to build in Kamloops will be finished by September, and a final decision from the federal government will come later in the fall.

The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office recently lifted its 180-day suspension of the review of KGHM’s application for the Ajax project.

The project would see an open-pit mine developed south of Kamloops’ Aberdeen district.

The resumption of the environmental review, 108 days into the suspension, came after the Environmental Assessment Office said KGHM had adequately addressed issues that had been raised during a public consultation.

One of the changes already made to the proposed project is a new mine plan to concentrate mining activities in a central footprint. This will reduce emissions and dust, and resulted in the relocation of tailings ponds to outside of Kamloops city limits.

Other changes include a storage facility redesign, the relocation of the north rock storage facility, and moving the primary crusher south of the pit to an area approximately 3.5 kilometres from the closest city neighbourhood. 

While the resumption of the environmental review moves up the timeline for a final decision, the timeline will also be hastened by the fact that the EAO and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency have decided to work together to prepare a joint environmental assessment.

By co-ordinating, the two environmental protection agencies say they can streamline the process by sharing resources, aligning their timelines and avoiding duplication.

However, that co-operation means slight changes to the provincial review period. 

Now, that period will be extended by 110 days, and include a 30-day public comment period on the joint assessment report and any draft provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate conditions, as well as a 45-day period for provincial Ministers to make a decision as to whether to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Ajax Project. 

That means the application review phase is expected to wrap up around late September 2017, with decisions from the provincial and federal governments coming later in the fall.

Slope movement slows

The City of Kamloops reports that movement of a slumping hillside has slowed.

Monitoring of the Palmer-Forsyth hillside has shown that dewatering efforts have been successful. The slope’s rate of movement has decreased significantly, and it is now only moving 2-4 millimetres per day.

Experts continue to assess the behaviour of the slope to determine when it will be safe for residents to return home. 

Elsewhere, emergency works were undertaken over the weekend to protect a home along Heffley Creek, and water flows at a washout at Old Highway 5 have held steady. The city has started design work for repairs, which will begin after water flows decrease significantly.

BC Transit has established a temporary bus stop to service both sides of the road closure.

Water levels in Campbell Creek dropped over the weekend, though water is still running over Barnhartvale Road. Once levels have receded, City crews will assess erosion to the roadway and determine when it may be re-opened. A detour on Blackwell Road remains in place. 

Cops deem fire suspicious

Emergency crews are calling an early morning fire at a home in Kamloops on Sunday suspicious.

Kamloops RCMP responded to the residence in the 1300 block of Dunbar Road at around 5 a.m. on Sunday. The occupants had reportedly escaped without injury but the home was severely damaged.

Police and fire crews were on scene collecting evidence and investigating Sunday morning.

Police are asking the public to drive past the area with caution, with Kamloops Fire having fire and safety equipment in use on the scene.

Flood debris, free dumping

The Thompson Nicola Regional District is waiving tipping fees for homeowners clearing debris from flood-damaged properties.

The waiver will be in effect at all TNRD solid waste facilities until June 11.

Only waste materials generated as a result of the flood will be waived. At the waste disposal site, residents will be required to sign a declaration stating their name, phone number and address of the flooded property.

The Heffley Creek and Lower Nicola landfills are the only two facilities that will accept rocks, clean soil, sand, gravel, etc. This material is not considered to be garbage and cannot be handled at TNRD waste transfer stations.

If you have questions about accepted materials, contact the TNRD Environmental Services Department at 1- 877-377-8673 or [email protected]

Fatal crash on Coquihalla

A 61-year-old man died Saturday night in a rollover crash on the Coquihalla Highway, west of Kamloops.

About 7:15 p.m., BC Ambulance, RCMP and Kamloops firefighters responded to the crash, north of the Inks Lake brake check.

A northbound car with three male occupants lost control, rolled and came to rest in the median.

The front seat passenger did not survive the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver and rear seat passenger both received non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

All three occupants are from Kamloops. 

Sgt Mike Pears of Central Interior Traffic Services says numerous storm cells passed through the area Saturday, with snow, hail and rain.

At the time of the crash, a storm system had just passed, and the road was wet, slushy and hail covered. A pickup also lost control in the same area. There were no injuries in that incident.

RCMP remind motorists that road conditions at higher elevations can change drastically in a matter of a few kilometres. 

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