Salmon Arm  

5 lanes for Highway 1

It appears a majority of people would like to see the old, two-lane RW Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous replaced by a much larger, five-lane structure, according to a report from the Ministry of Transport.

As part of the much-needed, four-laning program on Highway 1 from Kamloops to the Alberta border, the public was consulted on plans to increase safety, improve access to local roads and replace the aging bridge.

The RW Bruhn Bridge is over 50 years old and nearing the end of its service life.

Feedback was gathered by the ministry between Nov. 15 to Jan. 15 through a public meeting and online, as well as talks from from the municipality and First Nations.

The overwhelming favourite of three options put to the public was for a new five-lane bridge to replace the old one. It had 65 per cent support. Two other options received only half that support.

A total of 314 feedback forms and 24 written submissions were sent to the ministry.

Crash near Salmon Arm

UPDATE: 11:35 a.m.

Highway 1 has reopened near Salmon Arm.

ORIGINAL: 7:45 a.m.

A crash has closed Highway 1 about 30 kilometres east of Salmon Arm.

DriveBC says there is no detour and no estimated time of reopening.

There is a warning for water pooling on the highway in the area.

Schools' budget $2M higher

The official trustee for the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has given three readings to an amended annual budget bylaw for $73,853,866.

Mike McKay, who took over last year after the education minister fired the school board, held a meeting this week in Sicamous before 50 members of the public.

At the meeting, secretary-treasurer Nicole Bittante stated actual revenue was just over $2 million higher than projected due to an increase of 145 full-time students in the district over the previous year and several other factors.

The district received funding for new teachers following the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allows smaller class sizes and more specialized teaching.

McKay said the amended annual budget bylaw completes the 2016-17 process and work has already started on the 2017-18 year.

"This will allow for thoughtful and robust discussion of budget priorities and planning for next year," he said.

A public budget consultation meeting is set for Apr. 10 at 6 p.m. at the District Education Support Centre in Salmon Arm.

It is anticipated the budget will be finalized, and approved at the May 15 board of education meeting.

Meanwhile, McKay will continue to hold meetings outside of Salmon Arm.

A regular board meeting will be held Mar. 14 at Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong. Then, on on Apr. 4, a meeting will be held at A.L. Fortune in Enderby.


RCMP arrest man with gun

Salmon Arm RCMP arrested a man with a handgun and illegal drugs who travelled by Greyhound bus from Vernon Wednesday afternoon.

After police were alerted, members of the detachment's plain clothes General Investigation Section conducted surveillance of the subject as he exited the bus, said Staff Sgt. Scott West, detachment commander.

“Uniformed members from the local detachment and area Highway Patrol Unit provided support to the plain clothes members,” said West. “After a brief period of time, the RCMP officers who were watching the subject determined that he was safely away from other passengers and took the male into custody.”

West stressed the arrest was made without incident and there was no danger posed to public safety.

Officers seized a .22 caliber revolver with obliterated serial numbers and a quantity of cocaine and heroin.

West said the suspect remains in custody and faces weapons and drug charges.

An armed police officer was spotted at the Greyhound bus depot in Vernon around 1 p.m. Wednesday looking for a suspect with a gun.

A Vernon RCMP spokesperson confirmed the two incidents were linked.

Stuck sledders rescued

Two snowmobilers were rescued from a ravine near Chase, Monday, after spending a cold night in the mountains.

About 7 p.m. Sunday, Chase RCMP received a report of two Abbotsford men stranded in a ravine on Crowfoot Mountain. 

The men called the Crowfoot Snowmobile Club and said they needed assistance to get out. 

The experienced outdoorsmen spent the night in the cold after volunteers from the club were unable to reach them due to darkness and terrain.  

On Monday morning, Shuswap Search and Rescue and a B.C. Air Rescue chopper with the Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter winch team on board went back into the hills. 

Volunteers reached the men and assisted them down the mountain. 

Neither was injured in the incident.

Contract for care beds

InSite Housing, Hospitality & Health Services Inc. has been awarded a contract by Interior Health for the development of 60 residential care beds in Salmon Arm.

“These new residential care beds are a vital investment to serve seniors and others who require this high level of care,” said Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo. “These beds will provide a comfortable, home-like environment to support residents.”

InSite plans to expand its existing residential care facility in Salmon Arm, Mount Ida Mews, to accommodate 60 additional beds.

Interior Health issued a series of requests for proposals (RFPs) in September 2016 for the design, construction and operation of 243 new residential care beds in communities across Interior Health's jurisdiction.

The RFPs called for building environments that are homelike and not institutional-feeling; safe for residents and staff; innovatively designed and flexible in function; operationally efficient; environmentally responsible in design, construction and operations; and include dementia-friendly elements.

“Our population is aging and becoming more medically complex. Conditions such as dementia are on the rise,” said John O’Fee Interior Health board chairperson. “The addition of 243 beds across Interior Health will benefit seniors and others who need around-the-clock care.”

The RFP sought proposals from operators with experience in residential care, project development and operation and seniors care, with consideration of First Nations engagement and cultural safety.

Consultation with the local community, including First Nations communities, is required throughout design development and upon completion during operations. The successful proponents must develop a care model that supports the needs of residents, and includes residents and their families in care delivery planning. The care model will also include collaboration with local family physicians.

The new beds are expected to open in summer 2018.

Local groups get grants

A number of organizations in the North Okanagan-Shuswap have been granted $237,700 in B.C. gaming grant money.

The funds will assist the disadvantaged or distressed, promote health or enhance opportunities for youth.

Organizations include:

  • North Okanagan Shuswap Brain Injury Society                    $52,000
  • Eagle Valley Community Support Society                             $47,000
  • Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society                              $41,000
  • Shuswap Day Care Society                                                   $27,000
  • Rotary Club of Salmon Arm (Shuswap)                                 $17,000
  • Rotary Club of Armstrong                                                       $15,000
  • Knights of Columbus St. Joseph Council # 7107                   $15,000
  • Enderby & District Community Resource Centre Society        $8,000
  • Lambly's Landing                                                                     $7,730
  • Sicamous Preschool Society                                                   $6,550
  • Grindrod Elementary School Parent Advisory Council            $1,420

20 charges against shot man

A man shot by police in Salmon Arm last week is facing a long list of charges in connection with the incident.

Kaymen Winter, 22, was rushed to hospital in Kamloops following the shooting at a car wash in the early morning hours of Jan. 30th.

According to a family member, Winter was shot in the head and shoulder.

Court documents show Winter has been charged in connection with a break and enter in Sicamous on Jan. 29 as well as 19 charges connected to the Jan. 30th incident.

Those charges include: carry/use/threaten to use a weapon, resisting a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, theft, two counts of mischief, 9 counts of possession of stolen property, possess a break-in instrument and others.

The court document suggests Winter is in custody but may be under guard in hospital. He is scheduled to appear in a Kamloops courtroom on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. continues to investigate the shooting.

The RCMP said shots were fired during an altercation with a suspect who attempted to escape in a vehicle, after officers responded to a report of a theft in progress at the car wash on 10th Avenue.

Party raises trail money

They partied the night away and raised a lot of money doing it.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance's annual bash raised $37,000 which will be used to create and maintain trails in the Shuswap area.

In its 12th year, the alliance acts as the meeting point for regional partners to work together to design, sign, maintain and promote greenway trails.

The fundraiser is supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses throughout the Shuswap and this year had a Canada 150 theme in honour of the nation's 150th birthday.

In 2016, the alliance worked on 70 projects with more than 75 partners, building 10 new trails totalling 8,200 meters. Another 1,200 meters were repaired, 184,000 meters maintained, two new boardwalks, 10 bridges, three sets of stairs built, 383 new trail signs installed and 21 trail plans developed.

"We saw 70 volunteer trail event days with over 340 volunteer stewards out," said Reg Walters, alliance board chairperson. “And 2017 is looking just as promising, with new trail plans in the works, improved trail management targeted for our Alpine areas, and a sub-committee underway through the trails roundtable to update our trail sign standards including Secwepemc leadership developing naming protocols. Plus buzz is growing about major legacy trail projects including the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trail and the West Bay Trail projects.”

Car found with drugs inside

A man wanted for stealing a vehicle was found at a gas station with the car, and a quantity of methamphetamine and heroin.

A Salmon Arm RCMP officer found the 39-year-old man, who resides in Blind Bay, on Thursday.

He was wanted for stealing a 2004 Acura from the Fintry area of Okanagan Lake.

The male is facing charges for possession of the car, breaching previous release conditions and possession of a controlled substance.

RCMP said he was held in custody and released on an order to appear in court later in February.

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