TOTA wins big award

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is getting noticed in global tourism circles.

TOTA was selected from among a group of leading destinations as this year’s winner of the prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Award during the World Travel and Tourism Council Summit in Argentina.

“Our association is honoured to be recognized for our hard work and commitment to destination management practices that strive to ensure the sustainable and responsible development of tourism throughout our region,” said TOTA CEO Glenn Mandziuk, who accepted the award.

Awards chairperson Fiona Jeffery said their role is to showcase outstanding examples of sustainable tourism in the world and to inspire the industry.

“The Tourism for Tomorrow 2018 finalists and winners each demonstrate vision, leadership, and a long-term commitment to ensuring our industry focuses on creating better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. This year ... we have seen more cross-sector collaboration and an acknowledgement that steps can and should be taken to assess tourism impacts more effectively, which is an encouraging development,” said Jeffery.

TOTA represents business and community tourism interests throughout the Thompson Okanagan.


Grade 7s in high school

Grade 7 students in Chase and Barriere will be sharing a school with Grade 12 students starting this September.

School District 73 trustees finalized the decision on Monday at the public board meeting in Kamloops.

“This move will give many young people a unique opportunity to explore their passions and interests by giving the Grade 7's access to specialized equipment and facilities and creating additional space at the elementary schools to address their needs for more flexible space,” said district superintendent, Alison Sidow.

“We’re excited to see this proposal move forward in these two communities.”

Grade 7 students in Clearwater will remain in elementary schools because many community members in that area were opposed to the idea.

The decision followed a lengthy consultation with parents, staff and students in each community.

The plan to move Grade 7 students to high school was released in December 2017.

District 73 feels the change will benefit Grade 7 students by giving them earlier access to academic and other specialty programs and as well as academic counselling.

School project plan sought

The Province has asked Kamloops/Thompson School District 73 to provide a detailed project plan for expansion at Valleyview Secondary School.

The information is vital in proceeding with a $22-million renovation.

The district received the news in a letter from the Ministry of Education setting out the government’s support for capital projects in the district.

The first item in the letter was a request for a project definition report for the proposed Valleyview Secondary renovation project.

The report sets out a detailed engineering plan for capital improvement work or new construction, including timelines and firm costs.

The government has asked for the Valleyview report to be returned by Nov. 30, setting the stage for a funding commitment in early 2019.

“This is tremendous news,” said Meghan Wade Board of Education chairperson. “This board has worked very hard through the last year to make our government aware of the local need for new capital investment in our schools. I’m very grateful this government is taking steps to improve the educational experience for secondary students in our community.”

Expansion at Valleyview Secondary was at the top of SD 73’s capital list. The school operates at 140 per cent capacity, which is expected to rise to 176 per cent capacity by 2025 without expansion. There are eight portables on site with another to be installed this summer.

Other local capital projects approved by the government include new dust collection systems for shops at Westsyde and Sa-Hali secondary schools (each worth approximately $400,000) and four new school busses worth $640,000.


Missing since 1975

On a late September day in 1977, Lawrence Wellington Allard was reported missing. 

Allard was 35 years old at the time and was living in Kamloops with his mother on Tamarac Avenue.

During the initial RCMP investigation, friends and witnesses were interviewed as police searched for any clue into his disappearance. 

The investigation revealed Allard was actually last seen in November 1975, in Kamloops.  

Since the time of the initial investigation, interviews of family members, friends and witnesses have not revealed any specifics of Allard's disappearance.

RCMP have no evidence of why or how he disappeared.

At the time of Allard's disappearance, there were no leads or tips from the public.  Most of his friends and associates that were around at the time of his disappearance are now deceased.

The file remains open. 

"The RCMP hope that by bringing forward Larry Allard's name, some new information may be brought to light," stated Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

More than 40 years later, Allard's family continues to hold out hope that he would one day return. 

Another plea for information on his disappearance was recently made by family — there has even been an offer of a private reward for information. 

"In an effort to get much-needed closure, the family is offering a private reward for information leading to the discovery of his remains."

Kamloops RCMP Serious Crime Unit has and will actively follow up on all leads and tips received regarding the disappearance of Allard. 

Allard is First Nations. He frequently stayed with friends on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.

He would be 77 years old now.

Allard’s family is solely responsible for the administration of the private reward.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kamloops RCMP at 250-828- 3000.

Woman found dead

A woman was found dead in a vehicle this morning in Kamloops.

Two men were also found unconscious in the same vehicle which was blaring music.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Monday police were notified of a parked vehicle on Salish Road.

Kamloops RCMP arrived on scene to find three people inside the vehicle, two of which were men in medical distress. but alive. The lone woman was dead.   

All were transported to hospital.

There is no evidence of criminality and the incident has been turned over to the BC Coroners Service.  

The Coroners Service is in the early stages of its investigation involving the woman who died.  

No further information is available at this time.

Body seen floating in river

A human body was seen floating in the Thompson River by two canoeists on Saturday morning, Kamloops RCMP said.

The witnesses said they observed the body floating just before 10 a.m. near Rabbit Island, south of McArthur Island Park. 

They had to paddle to shore to call 9-1-1, and lost sight of the body by then.

Police said they did an extensive search of the area by boat and plane but couldn't locate the reported body.

The search has been suspended but an air search will resume when river conditions improve.

Buskers wanted

Calling all buskers: now is your chance to shine.

From July 26-29, downtown Kamloops will transform into an entertainment mecca with the inaugural Kamloops International Buskers Festival.

Busk Stops will be located at various locations along Victoria Street throughout the free, family-oriented festival.

If you’re a musician, juggler, acrobat, magician, comedian, or have another unique talent, apply for the opportunity to showcase your talent to a captive audience.

Application forms can be found online and must be submitted by May 15.

Kamloops accepts OCP

Kamloops officially adopted an official community plan on Tuesday at a public hearing.

The first thing the city plans to address is to review and update the 2005 City Centre Plan.

The downtown plan is meant to give direction to planning and land management for the Downtown, West End, and Sagebrush neighbourhoods.

The public will have a chance to share their thoughts during community engagement activities in May and June.

The community plan is meant to highlight goals and policies to guide decisions within the city and includes a plan for growth up to 120,000 residents.

It reflects a four-year community engagement process that included input from residents, stakeholders, First Nations, city staff, council, and a KAMPLAN advisory committee.

Implementation of the plan will be coordinated across all city departments.

If you would like to receive email updates on the Downtown Plan process, please email [email protected]  

Safer intersection on way

An intersection in Kamloops will be safer after a construction project is completed that is slated to start this month.

The City of Kamloops feels it's necessary to a put a smart right turn channel at the intersection of Fortune Drive and 8th Street.

The project will improve safety and visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

The project includes:

  • Installing a right-turn channel
  • Replacing concrete on the curb, gutters and sidewalks
  • Installing stamped concrete infill and regular concrete infill
  • Upgrading traffic lights
  • Marking pavement and installing signage

Business and pedestrian access will continue throughout the project, and the bus stop north of the intersection will not be affected.

The public can expect traffic delays in that area during construction.

A detour route is recommended via 7th Street. Buses will be rerouted down 7th Street for the duration of the project. Truck traffic should continue down Fortune Drive/Tranquille Road, turn right on 12th Street, and continue on to the Halston Avenue onramp.

Construction will begin the week of April 23, with the completion date set for the end of June.

The city asks that the public obey all traffic control people when in the area of the construction.

Construction schedule updates will be posted online, and local residents and businesses will be informed of any issues.

If the public has any questions they are asked to contact [email protected]

Lock it or looted

Lock it, or it will get looted. 

A simple message from Kamloops RCMP. 

Insurance claims from theft from motor vehicles hit $18-million last year.  

Kamloops RCMP will be checking vehicles that are parked in residential areas to see if they are locked and/or contain any valuables that are in plain sight.

If a vehicle is found unlocked or containing something that
would be of interest to a thief, the registered owner of the vehicle will be contacted and provided with information about locking out auto crime.

"Some criminals will check hundreds of vehicle doors in an evening," states Cpl. Jodie Shelkie. "What thieves are looking for is an
opportunity. Vehicle owners are being cautioned to not leave themselves vulnerable to victimization."

RCMP suggest taking precautions to avoid being victimized.

"Lock your doors, hide your valuables and secure your keys will go a long way to avoid being a victim of this crime," states Shelkie.

"Remember, the cost and the time you must spend on repairs and replacement of stolen items can be easily prevented by locking your vehicle and removing all valuables."

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