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Leos ink camp extension

The BC Lions will continue holding training camp in Kamloops through 2017.

The announcement was made official Monday.

The CFL club will continue to use the facilities at Thompson Rivers University.

“Extending our stay in Kamloops for three more years demonstrates the outstanding success of this relationship over five previous training camps,” says Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky.

“Training camp is one of the main building blocks of a winning team and the support of the City of Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University and our many corporate partners has been a big part of our success on the field as well as the province-wide growth of our brand.”    

From a football perspective, Lions GM, Wally Buono, says the facilities and accommodations are second to none.

“The fans are very supportive and the beautiful weather each year has made training camp in Kamloops a fantastic experience for everyone," says Buono.
Originally touching down in the Tournament Capital back in 2010, the Lions have enjoyed the scenic surroundings and outstanding facilities that Kamloops boasts for the past five years.

"Kamloops continues to build on our reputation of having some of the finest sport-hosting venues in the province, which is demonstrated by this very successful partnership with the BC Lions. We look forward to hosting them for another three years," says Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar.

Along with the City of Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University, presenting partner Sun Peaks Resorts has also renewed its support of Lions Training Camp through 2017.

"We are very excited and pleased that the BC Lions have decided to return to Kamloops for three more years and that we have the opportunity to continue our successful sponsorship relationship,” says Darcy Alexander, Vice President of Sun Peaks Resort Corporation.

“Since we first began working with the Lions, the club has won a Grey Cup and Sun Peaks Resort has grown to be the second largest ski area in Canada. We look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with the Lions as we work together in our mutual pursuit of excellence."  


Pedestrian hit & distracted driving

Kamloops RCMP were called to the scene of pedestrian struck Monday morning on Battle Street.

According to Cpl. Cheryl Bush at approximately 7:40 am, a man was hit by a vehicle on Battle Street at 12th avenue.

“The 24-year-old male pedestrian was crossing in a marked crosswalk when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle and transported to Royal Inland Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.”

The 29-year-old driver remained at the scene and police say neither speed nor alcohol were factors. Bush says RCMP suspect that the “sun rising in the east may have been” the cause of the crash.

No charges are anticipated in the incident. But, other drivers in Kamloops are getting caught red-handed. 

Although the driver above could not prevent sun in her eyes, Kamloops RCMP were on the roads the day before trying to catch those choosing to drive while distracted.

Plain clothed officers hit the road Sunday in a short distracted driving enforcement blitz.

“The focus was on priority based causal factors of serious injury collisions, three of those being no seat-belts, distracted driving, and red light infractions,” explains Cpl. Cheryl Bush.

Throughout the enforcement 14 seat belt tickets were issued, as well as eight cell phone tickets, one red light, two drivers failing to display their N, two other moving violations, two vehicle defect tickets and eight notice and orders issued as warnings to drivers for minor defects.

Bush warns drivers that distracted driving enforcement will continue throughout the month of September in conjunction with ICBC Road Safety and the City of Kamloops Community Safety Volunteers.

Volunteers will also be conducting cellphone watches at various locations throughout the city, capturing the number of drivers observed using their cell phones.

You will see these volunteers starting Tuesday September 16th in the area of Columbia Street and 3rd Avenue.

“Their intent is to have a presence and hopefully remind drivers to leave their phones alone,” says Bush.

Then on September 17 police will be back out to enforce the cellphone rules.

Bush warns that RCMP members may utilize plain clothes officers during these operations to observe drivers who continue to use their cell phones despite the law against it.

Curtain falls on costume shop

After serving Kamloops for 16 years as a year-round costume rental shop, Pandora’s Costume Box will be celebrating its final Halloween season in a retail space.

At the end of this year, the costume shop will be closing, bringing the curtain down on almost two decades of playing dress-up. Owner/operator Marian Truscott, a professional costume designer, will be retiring from the retail sector to pursue more of the costume design work for the theatre that has long been the heart of the business.
The past year alone has seen Truscott design productions for Western Canada Theatre and Project X Theatre Productions Society in Kamloops, as well as Theatre North West in Prince George. She has also been kept busy mentoring students in the Thompson Rivers University Theatre department.

Closing the retail operation of Pandora’s Costume Box will allow Truscott to focus more completely on upcoming designs with numerous theatre companies. This closure will also allow her the freedom to accept design contracts previously made impossible due to the time constraints of running a retail business.
This closure will result in a once in a lifetime opportunity. In the next few months, Pandora’s Costume Box will be selling off 95% of its rental stock.

Marian has had a part in designing or sewing more than 50 per cent of the over 4,000 costumes in the inventory. She has been collecting, designing, and sewing costumes for the past 30 years and has always resisted selling the most precious parts of her inventory. Until now.

Though 5% of the inventory will be retained for use in upcoming theatre productions, 95% of the stock will be sold off. As well, all new retail accessories will be 25% off.
In order to prepare, the store will be closed starting Friday Sept 12 and reopening Thursday September 18 for our “Once in a Lifetime” sale.
Store hours will be Tuesday, Thursday, Friday  11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the rest of September, with extended hours starting in October.
We would like to thank all of our customers  who have supported us over the years and made Pandora’s Costume Box such a success. If you have a favorite costume from years previous, it could now be for sale.


Red Bridge closed for a month

Kamloops drivers who travel the Red Bridge are going to have to make alternate arrangements for the next month.

The bridge will be closed to all vehicle traffic starting Monday September 15 while the Ministry of Transportation conducts repairs.

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and bicycles, but there will be some intermittent delays.

Drivers will still be able to get over the South Thompson River by re-directing to the Overlander Bridge or Highway 5.

The Ministry estimates the closure will last until the middle of October.

The work will be completed in advance of the City of Kamloops’ planned repairs to the Overlander Bridge



Jail sex: 'I did not look great'

A senior RCMP officer facing a breach of trust charge after allegedly watching two female inmates have sex in a jail cell admitted he should have intervened, a court in Kamloops has heard.

Cpl. Rick Brown was the watch commander on the night of Aug. 10, 2010, and allegedly watched with two other Mounties on a video monitor for more than 30 minutes.

Cpl. Kelly Buttler told BC Supreme Court that she became aware of the incident that night after one of the officers bragged about watching the sex act, prompting her to email a superior asking for the matter to be investigated.

Butler said that a few days later, she spoke on the phone with Brown and he admitted that he should have done things differently.

“In hindsight, yeah, I should have stopped it,” Brown said during the conversation, which lasted about five minutes and was recorded on the detachment's phone system and played in court.

“In retrospect, you’re right. It shouldn’t have happened."

During the call, Brown said Butler’s email was opening “a can of worms," referring to the fact that the cellblock is under video surveillance.

“If you look on the video, I bet I didn’t look great. Plus, I’m the supervisor,” Brown said.

“Good Lord,” Butler replied.

Brown also expressed concern about a potential lawsuit given the fact one of the women claimed to be HIV-positive.

He appeared at times to be upset with Butler, at one point asking her, “Are you joking me or are you serious?”

“You just implicated six of us in an internal complaint,” said Brown, who has been on paid leave since the incident came to light more than four years ago.

Four people were initially charged — Brown, constables Elgee and Stephen Zaharia and jail guard David Tompkins.

The charges against Elgee and Zaharia were later stayed. Tompkins pleaded guilty last year and was placed on a year-long probation term.

Butler said Elgee bragged to her about having watched the two drunk inmates having sex later the same night in the detachment office.

“He came up and he said, ‘Hey, did you hear what happened? There was a couple of girls getting it on in cells and there was some full-on fisting,’” Butler testified.

“I told him that’s not really funny and he said, ‘Yeah, one of them was HIV-positive.’"

“When he first came to me he was smiling and it was pretty jovial. Once I shut him down, he wasn’t smiling and at that point he just walked away.” 

The Canadian Press

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