Salmon Arm  

We stop - You stop

Over the course of 19 school days in January, 32 motorists were seen passing school buses with their red lights flashing.

And during the last 14 months, School District 83 buses have been hit by vehicles six times – so officials are launching a campaign that will also be rolled out in Vernon and Kelowna to raise safety awareness.

Andrea Katherein, transportation manager for the Okanagan-Shuswap District, said they want people to realize such actions can put children's lives at risk.

“We just want to spread the awareness it is important to stop for our red lights, and the fines are $368 and three demerit points,” said Katherein.

“That is the life of a child they are putting in jeopardy.”

From Feb. 18 to March 1, the district will be holding a safety blitz, part of which will include handing out coffee cup cozies that say 'We stop – You stop.'

Each cozy also reminds people of the hefty fine they can receive for passing a school bus with lights activated.

“The local RCMP will be following our buses on and off,” said Katherein. “We have really good support from our local RCMP detachments.”

Katherein said people not stopping for school buses is a problem from coast to coast.


Can run, but can't hide

He ran, but he couldn't hide from the long arm of the law.

Salmon Arm RCMP have arrested a man wanted on several warrants after he fled from police twice.

Staff Sgt. Scott West said police attempted to pull over a vehicle in the Shuswap community only to have the driver flee from police on two occasions.

“The vehicle was finally located in the Notch Hill area where it had gone into a ditch on snow-covered roads. It was obvious that two persons fled from the vehicle and the tracks were followed with RCMP officers and a police dog unit. After a lengthy track with the police dog, a male was located attempting to hide from police,” said West.

“The male who is not known to be from Salmon Arm had warrants for his arrest from Kamloops, Merritt, and Vancouver. The arrest warrants were for obstructing a police officer, fail to comply with recognizance, assault police officer, possession of stolen property over $5000 and obstruction of a police officer.”

A female was arrested near the scene but was later released. The Salmon Arm RCMP continue their investigation into items located in the vehicle.

Another armed robbery

There has been another armed robbery in Salmon Arm.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said police attended to a robbery at a liquor store in the 900 Block of Lakeshore Drive Southwest at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday.

“The investigation revealed that a slender Caucasian male entered the store holding what appeared to be a long gun and demanded cash from the clerk. The cash was placed in a blue canvas bag and the suspect fled the area on a BMX type bicycle south across the highway,” said West.

“The male suspect appeared to be in his late 30s according to witnesses and was six feet tall or more with a short dark beard.”

The suspect was wearing gardening gloves, a black facial mask and a blond wig and a black hoodie.

West said on Jan. 25, at approximately 9:50 a.m. police were called to a robbery at a downtown business.

“After attending to the 100 Block of Lakeshore Drive NE the officers determined that a male had robbed the store using a firearm,” said West.

“The male was described as approximately 5’7” tall, slim build with short hair and a scruffy beard. The male was wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, dark sunglasses and a dark hat.”

Anyone who may have information on either crime is asked to call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250 832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)


Calling all firefighters

She's not big, she's not burly, but Kara Slous is every bit a firefighter as anyone in the department.

The 25 year old joined the Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Department four years ago and has held the titles of captain, training officer, a member of the Shuswap Emergency Program Structural Protection Unit, the Area C representative for the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, co-chair of the Fire Services Occupational Health and Safety Committee and was recently certified as a CSRD Live Fire Instructor.

Like so many in the field, Slous joined the department out of a desire to help others,

"Firefighting has taught me so much about myself. It's not all learning fire skills. I've learned about leadership, about teamwork. Becoming a firefighter is about improving yourself while helping others," she said.

Currently all fire departments in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are actively looking for new members. Recruits are needed to maintain appropriate standards of operation and fire fighters provide a critical service to their communities. Volunteers are paid on-call for their response, training and practices. As well, all required personal protective equipment and training are provided – there are no out-of-pocket costs.

Slous said there's a lot of satisfaction in driving up to a scene knowing you have the skills and training to be helping others on what can be one of the worst days of their lives.

"It's about seeing the whole picture – knowing how to follow and when to lead. It's about facing fears and finding strength to make decisions in the worst circumstances. It's not about being a hero. It's not about us, it's about them," Slous said.

As a young woman, Slous is not the typical image of a firefighter, but she has not experienced the sting of sexism during her years at the fire department, noting it would not be tolerated.

There are eight women currently stationed at the Tappen-Sunnybrae fire hall and many other women helping throughout the region.

"You do the work, you be respectful of the training and everyone will see you as a firefighter. We all have different skills and abilities, but there hasn't been any firefighting job or skill that I haven't been able to find my way to accomplish. That goes the same for everyone, woman or man,” she said.

Prospective volunteers are welcome to go to any CSRD fire hall on training night and find out more. For more information, call Sean Coubrough, fire services co-ordinator, at 250-833-5955 or email [email protected]

Fined for causing accident

A trucker has been fined for causing an accident almost two years ago near Salmon Arm.

And the whole thing was caught on a dash cam.

Staff Sgt. Scott West said on March 8 2017, a traffic incident took place on the Trans Canada Highway east of Salmon Arm where in a semi-truck traveling westbound was passing another semi-truck using the passing lane.

“The overtaking semi- truck was unable to complete the pass before the end of the passing lane and crossed over the centre line into the east bound lane of traffic. A vehicle which was traveling east bound was compelled to take evasive action in order to avoid a collision with the semi-truck,” said West.

“The driver of the eastbound vehicle had captured the incident on video and posted the event on Facebook, which garnered considerable attention, both in the media and the local community. After learning of the incident the Salmon Arm RCMP began an investigation. We are now in a position to confirm that the driver of the offending semi-truck was identified and has been charged with multiple motor vehicle act violations.”

The Salmon arm RCMP issued a provincial motor vehicle act ticket in this incident after the occurrence.

The violation ticket was disputed and the matter was heard in Salmon Arm Traffic Court on Jan.10. The driver in this case was convicted of "Fail to Complete Pass Safely" under the BC Motor vehicle Act and was fined $500.

Searching for armed robber

RCMP in Salmon Arm are on the look out for an armed robber.

Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Jan. 25, at approximately 9:50 a.m. police were called to a robbery at a downtown business.

“After attending to the 100 Block of Lakeshore Drive NE the officers determined that a male had robbed the store using a firearm,” said West.

“The male was described as approximately 5’7” tall, slim build with short hair and a scruffy beard. The male was wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, dark sunglasses and a dark hat.”

The male suspect fled the area of the store on Shuswap Street towards Lakeshore Drive.

Anyone who may have seen the suspect is asked to call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250 832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


Mmmmm, pie

Wanted: the best pies on the planet – or at least the BC Interior.

The call is going out for pie makers to strut their stuff at the 23rd Annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest.

The contest will be held during the Heritage Week Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Judged by appearance, authenticity, texture and taste, apple, fruit or berry pies must be made the old fashioned way - from scratch.

Winners will walk away with this year’s title, an engraved trophy and dinner theatre tickets for two to the 2019 “Villain and Vittles” Summer Dinner Theatre Production and, of course, bragging rights.

Winners also get to enter a pie to next year’s Best of the Shuswap Pie Auction!

Entrants can drop off their pies on Saturday, Feb. 23 between 10-11 a.m. at The Mall at Piccadilly, centre court.

For the official pie contest rules call the Village at 250-832-5243 or email [email protected]

After the judging, slices of the pies may be purchased for $2.50 each with the proceeds going towards extraordinary projects at the R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.

Double trouble for bad guy

It was a double whammy for a suspect in Salmon Arm who was arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards and was found to be driving a stolen vehicle.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Jan. 16, shortly before noon RCMP officers in marked and unmarked police vehicles were involved in the arrest of the unidentified man in the Salmon Arm industrial park.

“The male was associated to complaints where a suspect used stolen credit cards at businesses in the area,” said West. “The male was determined to be driving a stolen vehicle believed to be from Vernon.”

The man, in his mid 30s, was taken into custody with no danger to the public in an uneventful arrest. Police are following up with further investigation and charges have yet to be determined.

Suspects steal ATM

At least two suspects made a withdrawal from a Salmon Arm area convenience store by taking the entire ATM machine.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said in the early morning hours of Jan. 13, at least two people used a truck to smash into the convenience store in the Ranchero area.

“An individual all dressed in black broke into the store and using a vehicle made off with an ATM,” said West. “The vehicle appeared to be a lighter-coloured truck with a chrome bumper and a drop hitch. There was significant damage to the store which services the residents of the area and has for some time.”

Police are seeking the assistance of the public and anyone with information is asked to call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250 832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Fire destroys home

A Blind Bay home in the Shuswap area was heavily damaged by fire Monday.

Sean Coubrough, with the Shuswap Fire Department, said the call came in at 10:30 a.m.

When crews arrived, the carport was fully involved and there were flames coming out of the windows and doors of the log-style home.

Tappen/Sunnybrae and White Lake fire departments also responded to aid the Shuswap crew.

The two occupants of the building were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, but were not seriously injured.

“Crews were able to contain the fire fairly quickly, but just because of the nature of it and because it was so involved by the time they got here, they had to attack it from the exterior,” said Coubrough, adding the house also had a tin roof, making it difficult to access the fire in the roof area.

Crews were still on scene as of 3 p.m. doing mop up, and Coubrough said they had to bring in an excavator to bring down a piece of the building “that was threatening to fall down on its own.”

There is no word on the cause of the fire, and Coubrough said it will be investigated as soon as possible.

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