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Murder trial for girlfriend's death

A six-week trial has been scheduled to start in September of next year in the case of a 22-year-old man accused of killing his teenage girlfriend in Kamloops.

A judge has set Sept. 28, 2015, as the start date for a jury trial involving Damien Taylor, who is charged with second-degree murder.

Taylor has remained in custody since being arrested in January for the death of 16-year-old CJ Fowler, whose body was discovered in a creek near downtown in December 2012.

The Crown called 16 witnesses at his preliminary inquiry — a pre-trial hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Police said Fowler, who was from the Terrace area, was visiting friends in Kamloops when she was killed.

Investigators believe Fowler and Taylor travelled to Kamloops together.

The Canadian Press


Judge: Banishment OK

A Kamloops man who criminally harassed his former girlfriend and her family will remain banished from the city as part of his probation.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley declined an appeal by Shane Adam to have his banishment from Kamloops, B.C., declared unconstitutional.

Adam’s lawyer, Thompson Rivers University law professor Micah Rankin, argued unsuccessfully that banishment of an offender from his community violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Adam was sentenced in provincial court last year to a prison term of slightly more than four months, followed by a two-year probation term that included banishment from Kamloops.

"The sentencing judge chose not to imprison Mr. Adams for a lengthy term," Dley wrote.

"Instead, the judge addressed community safety by tying it to Mr. Adam’s rehabilitation. If Mr. Adam took no steps to rehabilitate himself, then community safety could only be served by his absence from Kamloops for the two-year term. However, it was open for Mr. Adam to return to Kamloops if he was able to show the court that he had taken the necessary steps to reduce his risk to the community."

Adam, 24, has amassed a record for breaches of court orders, harassment, assault and uttering threats. He has lived most of his life in the B.C. Interior city.

He threatened to shoot his former girlfriend’s father, as well as police officers who arrested him.

Dley said the banishment is necessary to protect the public, particularly Adam’s former girlfriend’s family. Her father is a bus driver whose job takes him across the community.

"Kamloops is not such a large city that banishment from the entire city can be said to be unreasonable or over broad," Dley ruled. 

The Canadian Press

Crash injures tourists

A car crash north of Salmon Arm sent at least one Arizona tourist to hospital Saturday afternoon.

The accident occurred near the intersection of Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road and Highway 1.

A red Ford Fusion appeared to get t-boned by an oncoming Honda Civic. The Ford was heavily damaged on the driver's side. 

A witness tells Castanet that an elderly tourist from Arizona was injured in the crash. 

RCMP could not immediately confirm the details of the incident.

Traffic was stopped on Highway 1 for more than an hour and was backed up eastbound for "a very long distance."


Bring back TRU hockey

One of the families affected by the cancelled hockey season for the TRU Wolfpack has started a petition to bring the sport back to Kamloops in 2015.

Trevor Bast's son Desmond was the final player to be secured by the team before the season was cancelled in July.

He says at least some of the players and students who were supposed to be on the team did not attend university this year due to the cancelled season.

Now Bast is starting a petition to try and find a way to bring the sport back to TRU for next year.

"The goal of the petition is to show there is support for reviving the program," Bast said in an email. "Obviously the key is to prove financial stability but when our proposal is presented, we'd like to have as much backing as possible."

Bast said he is trying to have a proposal ready for mid-November. 

"It is our hope, that along with a sustainable financial model, TRU and its President reinstate the Men’s Ice Hockey Team," the petition reads.

Take a look at the petition here.


First longboard track opens

A first-of-its-kind longboarding park opened in Kamloops Saturday during a Slide Jam held by the Kamloops Longboarding Club.

This off-road facility features over 350m of track, including both an intermediate and an expert run. Users can start at any point along the hill to vary the difficulty level.

Additional amenities will include a grassy area, covered picnic table, pit toilet, drinking fountain, benches, trees, and waste receptacles.

The City of Kamloops conducted a public open house for West Highlands Park in 2012, during which local longboarders voiced their desire for a track in the new park.

The City researched this possibility and concluded that the location above Pacific Way Elementary school was a better fit and committed to building the track. This location was already owned by the City and takes advantage of the topography, isolated location, paved parking lots and nearby transit stops. 

Members of the Kamloops Longboarding Club were directly involved in the design and layout of both longboard tracks.

"After working closely with the local longboarding club over the past several months, we are excited to be the first municipality to provide an off-road longboarding track for riders to practise their skills in an automobile-free environment," commented Michael Doll, Parks Planning and Sustainability Supervisor for the City of Kamloops.

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