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Bylaw officer attacked

A bylaw officer is recovering today after she was assaulted by a man in Kamloops on Sunday.

According to Kamloops RCMP, the officer was investigating a man spray painting the back of Memorial Arena about 8:30 p.m.

“When she approached the male, he struck her with his skateboard and then fled the scene, leaving the officer knocked to the ground,” says Cpl. Cheryl Bush. “The officer was transported to Royal Inland Hospital and later released.”

Kamloops RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance identifying the man responsible for the attack.

He is described as being six feet tall, Caucasian, with a thin build and in his early 20s. He reportedly has blonde streaks in his hair, was was wearing green and white swim shorts, a black backpack and carried a brown skateboard.

“Police have seized items left behind by the suspect and the investigation into this assault is continuing,” adds Bush.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Kamloops RCMP or call CrimeStoppers to remain anonymous.





Get Hijacked in Kamloops

B.C. Living Arts is looking for volunteers to be Hijacked.

The Kamloops organization is preparing for Music in the Park: Hijacked, and is in need of people to lend a hand.

The free music and arts festival runs July 10-11 at Riverside Park and will feature a variety of musical tribute concerts, including repertoire from Canadian icons Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn and The Band.

As part of the Food Truck Frenzy, guests will be able to experience the street food of Kamloops and taste the beers of Three Ranges Brewing Company in the licensed family refreshment area. The Interactive Arts Park will allow people to turn their body into an instrument, share their hopes and thoughts and experience Kamloops in a new way.

A list of positions and aid needed is available on the group's website.

The positions include: food truck host, backstage artist host, photography assistant, gestural loop assistant, and fundraising host.

Fundraising hosts and promotion hosts are also needed to help on Canada Day, at the farmers' market on July 4, and at Sun Peaks Resort July 3-4 for the Summer Concert Series.



TRU adds Mexican partner

Thompson Rivers University has expanded its global network of institutional partners with its first formalized agreement with a Mexican state university.

The agreement with Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (UAGRO) in Mexico opens potential for both universities in several areas, including joint research, training and management projects, as well as academic programs (double degrees, 2+2 models, and visiting student programs).

Baihua Chadwick, Associate Vice President, International and Chief Executive Officer, TRU World Global Operations and Dr. Javier Saldaña Almazán, Rector, UAGRO took part in the signing ceremony on Tuesday, June 16, in Acapulco.

“We will begin a new chapter for both universities starting this summer when the first group of five students from UAGRO will arrive at TRU,” said Chadwick. “We’ll be looking at the potential for pathway and visiting student agreements, faculty exchange and broader scientific, technical, and educational collaboration.”

UAGRO has 60,000 students, including seven high schools with 35,000 students and provides funding for 2,000 students to study overseas each year.

“This agreement is an historic moment in the advancement of UAGRO’s internationalization process,” noted Almazán.

UAGRO’s campuses are located throughout the State of Guerrero, Mexico: Chilpancingo, Acapulco, Taxco, Iguala, Tixtla, Ometepec and Ciudad Altamirano among others. Established in 1960, UAGRO has 34 undergrad and 29 graduate programs in the fields of agricultural sciences, health, natural, social and administrative, education and humanities, and engineering.

The agreement also creates more opportunities for UAGRO students to study abroad through the Mexican government’s Proyecto 10000 program, which provides funding for 10,000 Mexican students to study internationally in English speaking countries.

In addition to Proyecto 10000, TRU will also be receiving students through Gobierno del Estado de Mexico, another scholarship program allowing Mexican students an opportunity to study internationally.

A recent visit of UAGRO representatives to the TRU campus included a chance to tour the Gathering Place. Sharing similar percentages of First Nations and indigenous students, (TRU 11 per cent and UAGRO 15 per cent), the delegates are working to implement what they observed at TRU into their own service model for indigenous students.



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Police bust meth lab

Kamloops RCMP took down a large methamphetamine lab on Wednesday in the 1700 block of Pratt Road.

Two men, 55 and 25, were arrested and will face charges in relation to the production and trafficking of a controlled substance.

The RCMP’s preliminary assessment has found the lab can produce an estimated 6 kg, or 60,000 doses, of methamphetamine during one production cycle. Due to the capabilities of the lab, police believe the drugs would have been destined for Kamloops and other areas.

This seizure led to two search warrants at other locations that were executed on Thursday, and are still ongoing.

Police said this lab is also associated with an operation conducted on June 4, in the 2700 block of Valleyview Drive, where police seized one kg of cocaine, 0.5 kg of methamphetamine, two ounces of heroin and 758 oxycontin pills.



The science of beer

The variety of craft beers in Kamloops could soon increase, thanks to a partnership between Thompson Rivers University professor and two local breweries.

Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme, a professor of microbiology, has received two $25,000 grants from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council to assist B.A. Brewmaster and Red Collar Brewing Co. with yeast development.

Jeff Rex, owner of U-brew company B.A. Brewmaster, is looking to learn how to grow his own yeast and help the university develop a “yeast library.”

“One of the biggest expenses we have in our brewing right now is the cost of yeast,” said Rex. “It’s probably in the neighbourhood of well over $10,000 (annually).”

Currently, he has to buy all his yeast from a supplier.

“We’re a small business, but we don’t have the facility or money to do research,” Rex said. “We don’t have a research and development section of the business, as much as I’d like that, so (Van Hamme) said this is where we can help with that.”

The yeast library will gather different strains at TRU.

“(We’ll keep a bunch of unique yeast strains on hand at the university in the freezer,” said Van Hamme. “If a customer wants to make a particular kind of beer using a different type of yeast, we’ll be able to revive that from the freezer and give that to them.”

The academic-industrial partnership will open the door to hundreds of new options for beer lovers.

“We’ve got about 400 different recipes for beers, but unfortunately we only have access to two different styles of yeast. One's an ale and one's a lager,” Rex said.

Van Hamme is also working with David Beardsell at Red Collar Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Kamloops. Their work will look to create new yeast strains with unique characteristics.

Beardsell has a goal of creating five to 10 new beer recipes a year.

“We’re trying to create our own yeast strains that work within the parameters that I want,” he said.

Beardsell trained as a master brewer in Europe in the 1980s, and brought “a whole whack of yeast” back to Canada in 1986. The yeast strains are all numbered, but he has lost the list that tells which yeast is which. Beardsell and Van Hamme will use the university’s genome sequencer to determine exactly what each strain is.

“We’re sequencing their genomes, so that will tell us what they are and what their capabilities are,” Van Hamme said.

The TRU prof said he has always been interested in real-world applications of microbiology. 

“Its nice that more and more people are starting to understand that TRU has people here who can help with growing the economy and growing their businesses,” he said. “And who doesn’t want to do beer research?



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