Trudeau to visit Tuesday

The Prime Minister is coming back to Kamloops just a few months after his last visit, this time to throw his support behind Terry Lake.

Lake will be getting the official nod as the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Caribou riding in the upcoming federal election. As part of the nomination event, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on hand, according to the Liberal Party of Canada event page.

The event will be Tuesday, May 21 at the Coast Hotel in Aberdeen (where a Liberal fundraiser in January was held) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

On Wednesday, May 22 Trudeau will be in Vancouver for another Liberal Party event.

Lake, a former provincial cabinet minister representing Kamloops-North Thompson and former mayor of Kamloops, stepped back from politics before the last provincial election. In April he announced his return and goal of running for the Liberal Party. He will be acclaimed as the nominee for the party.

-By Brendan Kergin / Kamloops Matters


Fleeing motorcyclist hurt

B.C.’s police watchdog has been called to Kamloops to investigate a motorcycle crash Saturday night.

The Independent Investigations Office says a Kamloops RCMP officer spotted a motorcycle travelling westbound on Highway 1 at high speed around 8:42 p.m.

The officer pulled over the male rider, who drove off as the officer exited his vehicle.

“Shortly after, it was reported that the male’s motorcycle hit a centre median and went into oncoming traffic (eastbound on Highway 1),” an IIO news release states.

The male was taken to hospital with injuries.

Any witnesses or those with dashcam footage are urged to contact the IIO  at 1-855-446-8477.

The IIO investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.

Violent attack drug related

RCMP in Kamloops have several people in custody following a violent attack on the North Shore believed to be connected to the drug trade.

On Wednesday May, 15 at about 3 p.m., police were alerted to a stabbing at the Northbridge Hotel, 377 Tranquille Road.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said investigators found a 34-year-old man from Prince George suffering from multiple wounds and bleeding profusely.

First aid was provided at the scene until EMS arrived and transported the victim to hospital. Although the injuries were serious, the victim is expected to survive.

"There were several third party witnesses on this case. When combined with nearby surveillance video, police identified several suspects and their vehicle immediately,” said Staff. Sgt Simon Pillay,

Within nine minutes of being dispatched, investigators found the suspect's vehicle, a black 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche, at a residence on Linden Avenue.

Shelkie said the residence is known to police.

“Shortly after, investigators managed to arrest four suspects in relation to this crime. The three men and one woman were taken into custody without incident,” said Shelkie. “Police have executed several search warrants related to this investigation including one at the residence on Linden Avenue. This is why there was a police presence at the residence overnight and into today.”

Jennifer Manual, 36, Devon McConnell, 39, and Derek Jensen, 33, all of Kamloops, have been charged with one count each of aggravated assault.

Evan Davis, 24, was also at the Linden Avenue location. 

While it is not believed Davis was involved in the assault at the Northbridge Hotel, he was arrested on outstanding warrants.

“In order to advance the investigation, RCMP have released surveillance footage of the suspects and the vehicle used in this crime. RCMP are requesting the public's assistance with respect to any other video or observations that may have been made in this area. If you saw these people or have cell phone/dash camera footage taken in the vicinity of Tranquille Road between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm please contact RCMP,” said Shelkie, adding the attack appears to be a targeted and connected to local drug activity.


Stolen truck, two arrests

An observant employee help police nab a pair of bad guys.

Thursday morning, May 16 at 8:30 a.m., employees from the Esso gas station on Columbia Street reported a suspicious vehicle was parked behind the building.

“Officers attended and found two men sitting inside of the pick-up truck. When the license plate was checked, it was found to have been stolen out of Saskatchewan. The man sitting in the driver’s seat, 26-years-old, was arrested without incident. The male passenger, 24-years-old, resisted arrest but was ultimately taken into custody,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

It was found that both men were breaching conditions from Saskatchewan. As well, the passenger had a warrant for his arrest from Saskatchewan.

All information will be forwarded to the British Columbia Prosecution Service who will determine charges.

Stabbing at Kamloops hotel

An unidentified man has suffered what are being called serious injuries following an incident inside a Kamloops hotel.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says police received a report of a man being stabbed inside the Northbridge Hotel on Tranquille Road about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

She says witnesses reported seeing a vehicle leave the scene of the hotel. The vehicle was eventually tracked to a home on Linden Avenue.

"Four people have been taken into custody, three males and a female," said Shelkie.

Mascot loses its head

A short clip of an awkward interaction in Kamloops has gone viral.

The video is of a young boy meeting some of the "Paw Patrol" characters in Kamloops. As he goes to hug the character "Rocky," the mascot's head rolls off, revealing the young woman inside.

In longer versions of the clip, the boy's father can be heard joking that he'll be "traumatized" by the event.

The clip has been shared on sites including the Daily Mail UK, Yahoo! and In The Know by AOL, where it has been viewed more than 200,000 times so far.

Brendan Kergin / Kamloops Matters

Cheeky bistro's bikini theme

Kamloops' only Thai restaurant, Salajai, closed on April 28 – but the new bistro moving in to fill its place will offer an even more unique dining experience.

Teenie Bikini Bistro, slated to open May 25, will offer your standard pub-style menu. Yet as the name suggests, it will differ from other restaurants with a unique dress code for front-of-house staff.

All servers are required to be swimsuit-clad.

“I had been thinking about it for a couple of years,” says owner Leeann McArthur. “I had heard that there was a bikini coffee shop in the States, and then I realized there was nothing even like that in Alberta or B.C. So I just decided to finally do it.”

McArthur is originally from Edmonton, where she operated a hair salon. However, she spent her late teens in Kamloops and still has family in the city, so the move here to launch her dream restaurant just made sense.

While she’s only been working on this bistro for about two months, McArthur says it has come together with relative ease because the previous owners of 542 Tranquille Rd. kept the place in “amazing shape.” She’s also keeping the former Salajai cooks as part of her staff, so that part of the hiring is done.

As for her wait staff, McArthur is still looking to hire more women but says she’s had a good response so far. She notes that she is somewhat flexible on the dress code, but is ultimately still trying to stick with a theme.

“Obviously, it is a bikini restaurant, that’s the whole concept, so I would prefer that they wear bikinis,” says McArthur. “But I do give them the option, if they just want to wear a one-piece bathing suit, I’m completely fine with that as well.”

Having seen the success of restaurants like Hooter’s, McArthur is confident this concept can work as well, and appeal to a wider audience than just men.

“Of course, the more female customers we get the better,” she says. “We want it to be for everyone. We don’t want women to feel intimidated, we encourage them to come.”

Eric Thompson / Kamloops Matters

Teen sparks grass fire

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a youth who intentionally started a grass fire Monday evening.

About 5:20 p.m., a passer-by witnessed a teenage male start a fire in grass along the sidewalk on Singh Street, just south of Greenfield Avenue, on Kamloops' North Shore.

After starting the fire, the youth ran away, police say. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within minutes. It was contained to grass along the sidewalk and did not damage any other property.

The teen is described as: wearing a black baseball cap, black tank top, grey sweatpants and carrying a black backpack.

“Fire season has started,” says Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. “Any spark, whether intentional or not, can cause extreme damage to property and endanger the lives of people and animals. Everyone should be extremely careful and report any suspicious activity.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

Wildfire under control

A wildfire burning near Barnhartvale, east of Kamloops, is under control.

The fire, which sparked Sunday, has remained at 19 hectares in size.

"The fire perimeter is contained by hand guard and pre-existing barriers. There's no further growth to be expected," said Kamloops fire information officer Hannah Swift.

"The same 18 personnel that were out there (Monday), have returned today."

She said they are monitoring the fire and putting out any remaining hot spots.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, however, it is believed to have been human caused.

The blaze grew quickly Sunday from four to 19 hectares in just a few hours, but both ground and air crews were able to keep it from spreading.

Fire not expected to grow

Wildfire crews rushed to a raging fire east of Kamloops near the Barnhartvale neighbourhood on Sunday and it is not expected to grow any further. 

BC Wildfire Service responded with ground crews and air tankers to tackle the blaze which grew from four hectares to 19 hectares in just a few hours. 

Fire information officer Hannah Swift says the fire is currently being held.

“With the resources that we’ve currently committed, it is not likely to spread beyond those boundaries,” said Swift.

Air support will not be working on the fire today as it is not required unless things severely change in the forecast. 

“Right now, we have 18 personnel on site and they are making good progress. We had three personnel remains overnight to monitor the fire,” said Swift.

The cause of the fire is believed to be human-caused, but it is still under investigation.

Kamloops Fire Centre was also called to one other fire over the weekend, but it ended up being a spot fire and is now out.

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