Pool to reopen this summer

Kamloops' Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre will reopen to the public by late summer.

City officials said the full facility opening will see a return of activities and programming in the pool and new equipment for the fitness centre.

“We’re eager to welcome everyone back to Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre,” said aquatic program supervisor Heidi Ogilvie. “We also have a few new aquatic programs that we are very excited to launch.”

The structural repair project began last summer, with an anticipated opening this month. A materials mix-up in December resulted in construction delays while the city and the general contractor, D&T Developments Ltd., worked to find a solution.

The restored facility will feature a new roof after structural defects were found last year.


Attempted robbery at 7/11

Kamloops RCMP is looking for the public's help to identify a man who robbed the 7/11 store on Summit Drive.

A lone man reportedly entered the 7/11 at about 11 p.m. on Sunday, approaching the counter and demanding money from the clerk.

After the clerk refused,the man quickly fled the store on foot. The man didn't brandish a weapon, nor did he make any threats to the clerk and nobody was injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as a First Nations man, standing about five feet nine inches, missing his two front teeth and wearing a blue bandana over his face, a black baseball hat and a dark hoodie.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Teen still missing

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

The Kamloops RCMP are continuing to ask for the public's help in locating a missing teen.

On the weekend they provided an updated picture of Aislynn Hanson who went missing Feb. 20.

The Kamloops RCMP are\ seeking information as to the whereabouts of17-year-old Aislynn Hanson.

The teen is said to have gone missing on Feb. 20th and is believed to be in the Kamloops area.

Hanson is described as a five-foot-one-inch Caucasian female of medium build with waist-length strawberry blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing a navy blue hoodie, red and white pajama pants and tan Ugg boots.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kamloops RCMP at 25-828-3000 as soon as possible.   


Incident not suspicious

UPDATE: Thursday 8:30 a.m.

Kamloops RCMP say an alert Wednesday over a suspicious male at a local school was a false alarm.

A man did approach students from Arthur Stevenson School, but the interaction was not suspicious.

Police say the man was greeting other students nearby who knew him. All parties involved were identified, and it was confirmed that they knew each other.  

ORIGINAL: Wednesday 3:50 p.m.

Kamloops RCMP are searching for a man who was speaking to young girls and reaching for them near a Westsyde elementary school.

A concerned mother called police Wednesday to report that a strange man had approached her 11-year-old daughter and some friends who were walking home from school.

“ The man called out to the group of girls and asked where their parents were, then reached out towards them,” said Cpl. Jodie Shelkie, RCMP spokesperson. “The girls ran away and reported the incident to their parents who then called the police.”

The suspect is described a Caucasian man of about 45 who was short and had a brown beard.

He was wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up.

The man was on foot and not associated to any vehicle, police said.

Officers made extensive patrols of the neighbourhood but were unable to locate the suspect.

Anyone has information on the incident or can identify the suspect is asked to contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.

The Kamloops detachment is also asking parents to remind children to:

  • Never talk, take anything, or go anywhere with a stranger
  • If a stranger attempts to engage you or talk to you, leave the stranger immediately and go to the closest safe place such as home or business
  • Always tell an adult that a stranger has made you feel uncomfortable or tried to get you to go with them or give you something
  • There is safety in numbers. Whenever possible walk with a friend or relative.
  • It is okay to say NO! Should someone attempt to grab or restrain a child, teach them to scream loudly, made a loud noise and shout, “This person is not my parent.”
  • Whenever possible, take notes of the physical description of the person, vehicle descriptors and licence plates.
  • Call 911.
  • Establish a secret word or phrase for your family. This should be used in emergencies to identify a safe person other than their parent or care giver.

The RCMP say child abductions are rare but it is important to educate children.

Info coming down the pipe

Kamloops residents can find out more about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion's impact at a drop-in information session on Thursday.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline will twin an existing oil pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, passing close by Kamloops.

Updates will be shared on construction plans in Kamloops, including:

  • Key pipeline construction activities
  • Local accommodation for workers
  • Environmental protection and reclamation management
  • Direct economic benefits
  • Routing and next steps

Representatives will answer questions and "seek input about completing construction safely and efficiently while minimizing disruption to our neighbours and protecting the environment," the company said in an emailed statement.

The drop-in is from 6 to 8 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.) at the Coast Kamloops Hotel, 1250 Rogers Way.

Snowbombing at Sun Peaks

It's already a festival in Europe.

The organizer of Snowbombing Austria says Sun Peaks Resort was an easy choice to host the inaugural North American event.

“The combination of unique venues, premier skiing and snowboarding opportunities and the welcoming nature of the community, combined with a deep local appreciation for music made Sun Peaks the logical choice for our North American debut,” said Alexander Bennett of Broadwick Live, the owner and producer of Snowbombing. “Not only is Sun Peaks one of the best ski locations in Canada, but it mirrors many of the fantastic features of our Austrian location Mayrhofen.”

Ludacris and Kaskade are set to headline the Coors Light-sponsored Snowbombing Canada. Other artists include: Duke Dumont, Snakehips, Oliver Heldens, Hudson Mohawke, Thomas Jack, Bob Moses Live and more.

The full lineup and ticket information can be found online.

Drone to the rescue

For the first time in B.C., a drone has been used to locate missing people.

Kamloops Search and Rescue launched the heat-seeking drone to help find seven missing skiers and snowboarders who’d gone out of bounds at Sun Peaks.

One of the snowboarders said the group was searching for adventure when they crossed into an out-of-bounds area looking for fresh powder.

They spent nine hours floundering in hip-deep snow. Lucky for them, Kamloops SAR is part of a pilot program with Emergency Management BC, testing where and when drones might help rescuers.

“These were ideal conditions,” said Kamloops SAR manager Alan Hobler.

Search officials already had a good idea where the missing people were, so they focused the drone on an area where most thrill seekers get lost.

The lost people were moving around and keeping their body heat high; that contrast made them easier to spot with the infrared FLIR camera mounted to the remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Hobler says the drone likely wouldn’t have spotted them in summertime conditions.

“I think it's another tool in the toolbox and there's an appropriate time for different tools and if this drone worked in this situation, in my view that's a win,” said Mike Danks of North Shore Rescue.

Several other search and rescue organizations are looking into using drones in their areas.

- with files from CTV

Phones finally restored

Land line phone service has been restored to 500 customers in Kamloops.

The service was knocked out on Friday when rising temperatures caused snow melt to flood a handful of manholes containing Telus infrastructure.

Cables were damaged, disrupting home phone service for affected customers. Internet, TV and cellphone service were not impacted. 

Telus spokesperson Liz Sauve thanked customers for their patience and said technicians worked around the clock to restore service, pumping out water and repairing damaged cables.

Service was restored for the majority of customers on Monday, and was fully restored to all of them this morning. 

Missing boarders found

UPDATE: 5:50 a.m.

All seven people reported missing Monday at a ski resort near Kamloops have been found safe.

Alan Hobler with Kamloops Search and Rescue says three people were found late Monday in fair condition, but the search at the Sun Peaks Resort continued overnight for the other four.

Hobler says the remaining members of the group that included five skiers and two snowboarders were located at various times after midnight, with the last two spotted and brought to safety about 3 a.m.

There was concern because the seven had entered a hazardous gully where Hobler says they could have ended up in a creek or stranded by the steep terrain.

He says the 18-member search crew was assisted by mild conditions that included a low avalanche hazard temperature of around -1 C.

Rescuers also used infrared-equipped drones to lead them to the last four people because none was believed to be carrying cellphones or other electronics.

– The Canadian Press


ORIGINAL: 9:50 p.m.

Rescue crews are searching for as many as seven snowboarders missing at a ski resort near Kamloops.

Alan Hobler with Kamloops Search and Rescue says the snowboarders went out of bounds at Sun Peaks on Monday afternoon.

The rescue team sent 18 members and a drone team to look for the group Monday night.

Hobler says the avalanche hazard level in the area is low and conditions are fairly stable.

He says two avalanche forecasters joined the search to help keep rescuers safe.

Hobler says there's a risk the snowboarders could have been drawn into a gully and that they could end up stranded or in a creek.

Officer lends a hand

Sometimes all it takes is a helping hand and that was offered last week by an RCMP officer in Kamloops.

On Friday, a transit bus driver noticed a man in a power wheelchair who appeared to be having difficulty.

Suspecting he might be stranded, the driver notified police.

When Const. Sukhdeep Toor arrived on the scene, the man in the wheelchair said the motor on his chair had broken down. The disabled man had no family to call and no money for a cab.

Toor realized he couldn’t fit the wheelchair into his police car to take the man home.

Instead, he asked where the man lived and pushed him in the wheelchair through the snow and slush over six blocks to his residence.

“This man just needed a helping hand,” said Toor. “I was glad to help him get home safely.”

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