Rail trail donations 'crucial'

Oct 26, 2016 / 1:41 pm
An October matching campaign for the Okanagan Rail Trail has netted over $300,000 in donations so far but organizers hope to keep the funds chugging upward before the month ends. While donations have been substantial, they are far below the $500,000 target. Still, rail trail ambassadors have...

Hero honoured for bravery

Oct 26, 2016 / 12:11 pm
A Vernon man will receive one of Canada's highest honours for risking his life to save another. Justin Huska will travel to Ottawa where he will be presented with the Medal of Bravery. On Feb. 27, 2014, Kris Gunderson of Delta, Mike Heide of Kamloops and Huska rescued two people trapped...

NDP roadshow in Vernon

Oct 26, 2016 / 12:06 pm
Key members of the provincial NDP are in Vernon this week to talk politics and, of course, to criticize the ruling Liberal Party. NDP leader John Horgan said the party has been holding meetings throughout the province. “What we're trying to do is reach out to communities we...

Parking lot art

Oct 26, 2016 / 5:00 am
Painted murals already adorn the inside of Vernon's downtown parkade, but there is a plan for new art on the outside of the building on 31st Avenue. City council has endorsed plans for a public art project to display one or more large pieces of art on the facade of the building, probably on...

Naturally a good time

Oct 26, 2016 / 5:00 am
Forget Sunday Funday, the real action will be on Saturday at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Best Fest. Activities will include pumpkin carving, archery, kite building and flying, craft workshops, games and the family favourite bonfire with s’mores. The centre's Harris’ hawk -...

700 needles found

Oct 25, 2016 / 3:36 pm
Approximately 700 discarded needles were found in public places in Vernon between January and June this year, according to statistics from community policing. That is seven times the amount found during the whole of 2015. “Right now needles are the trend (among illicit drug users)...

Man offers teen a ride

Oct 25, 2016 / 2:39 pm
Parents of school-aged children in the Armstrong area were sent a notice from officials regarding an odd incident in the North Okanagan community. The notice said on Oct. 19 a man in a white truck approached a high school student and asked if he wanted a ride. The student said no and walked...

25th Street or Abbey Road?

Oct 25, 2016 / 1:00 pm
Mayor Akbal Mund and some local school kids had some fun this week posing in a Beatles-themed Abbey Road zebra crossing photo. However this was 25th Street in Vernon – and the photo marked International Walk to School Month (iWalk) in October and the completion of a new sidewalk along the...

Airport plan takes off

Oct 25, 2016 / 12:35 pm
Work to improve Vernon Regional Airport is expected to begin next year. Vernon city council has given early budget approval for the design of proposed airport improvements at an estimated cost of $108,500. “I think it'll start the consultation process,” said Mayor Akbal Mund....

Increase in thefts from cars

Oct 25, 2016 / 10:56 am
An increase in thefts from vehicles in residential areas over the past two months has sparked yet another plea for drivers to lock those doors when leaving a vehicle and keep items out of sight. Residents in a number of areas, including East Hill and Mission Hill, have told Castanet of a series...

Coping with murder

Oct 25, 2016 / 10:07 am
Five years after the death of Armstrong teenager Taylor Van Diest, her family is still trying to cope with her loss and the aftermath of a trial that sent her killer to prison for life. Taylor Van Diest, 18, was found near death along some train tracks in Armstrong, north of Vernon, on Halloween...

Food for fines

Oct 25, 2016 / 5:00 am
Those parking fines collected by Vernon city hall will be going to a good cause for one week in December. Between Dec. 4-10, it's expected that funds from drivers who are paying their parking tickets will be collected and then doled out to community groups who feed those who are homeless or...

Keep clowning around

Oct 25, 2016 / 5:00 am
Doris Bensmiller spends a lot of her time just clowning around. But considering her hobby, that's a good thing. Bensmiller is a member of the Kalamalka Caring Klowns and she is calling on other like-minded people to get in on the act. The KCK will be holding a clown workshop Nov. 5-6...

Rainbow to cross Main

Oct 24, 2016 / 4:10 pm
Vernon city council has agreed to have an eight-colour rainbow crosswalk painted on 30th Avenue in the downtown, in front of Nolan's Pharmacy. Work should be done early next spring. In a 6-1 vote, council threw their support behind the idea, first presented by resident Travis...

Grizzly family moved out

Oct 24, 2016 / 4:07 pm
A family of grizzly bears has been relocated after frightening residents in Cherryville for the past several weeks. The sow and her two 10-month-old cubs began to access unprotected crab apple trees next to residences, as well as garbage, and they became habituated. Conservation officer Ken...

More security at corn maze

Oct 24, 2016 / 12:46 pm
There will be an increase in security at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch Field of Screams following a vicious assault on a volunteer. On Saturday, a volunteer had her hand smashed and a finger broken by a young man on crutches, requiring her to be taken to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital emergency...

Shelter beds at capacity

Oct 24, 2016 / 11:46 am
It has yet to snow in the North Okanagan, but shelter beds are already at capacity. This includes 10 additional extreme weather beds that were set up last week at Gateway Shelter, according to Kelly Fehr, director of operations for the John Howard Society. “We're just trying to...

Assaulted but not beaten

Oct 24, 2016 / 10:49 am
Kimberly is not going to let one bad apple ruin her fun. The North Okanagan woman, who asked her last name not be used, was volunteering at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch Field Of Screams corn maze on the weekend when she was viciously attacked by a patron. The assault on Kimberly and other...

Arrest in arena break in

Oct 24, 2016 / 9:47 am
Vernon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of breaking into the Civic Arena and stealing numerous items that were to be prizes in a youth hockey tournament. At 4:30 a.m. Oct. 21, the alarm at the arena went off. An operations official from the alarm company went into the building and found the...

24th Street closed for work

Oct 24, 2016 / 9:46 am
Motorists who normally use 24th Street might want to choose an alternate route for the next couple weeks. City crews will be rehabilitating storm works on 24th Street from 32 Avenue to 35 Avenue beginning Tuesday, Oct. 25. The work will take approximately two weeks and 24th Street will be...

Rainbow pathway?

Oct 24, 2016 / 5:00 am
Vernon city staff have come up with a plan to put in a rainbow pathway rather than a crosswalk – saving it from damage caused from vehicle tires. They are proposing the multicoloured pathway be placed between 31st and 32nd avenues, along a paved pathway dubbed 'artists' walk'...

Thieves rob non-profit group

Oct 23, 2016 / 5:12 pm
Thieves have made off with thousands of dollars worth of equipment from an area non-profit group. On Saturday, it was discovered $4,500 worth of tools and two barbecues were stolen from a trailer used by the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS). Dudley Coulter, spokesperson for the society,...

Anger over maze violence

Oct 23, 2016 / 3:33 pm
UPDATE 3:32 P.M. An official statement from Historic O'Keefe Ranch chairperson Max Russmann and general manager Glen Taylor condemn the acts of violence committed against volunteers at the ranch's Field of Screams corn maze and vows to punish the culprits “to the fullest extent...

Roko founder passes away

Oct 23, 2016 / 3:01 pm
The founder of one of Vernon's longest running businesses has died. Roland (Rolly) Kober passed away in his home on Oct. 18. Serving Vernon and area since 1954 and incorporated in 1962 as an auto-electric service shop, Roko Service Ltd. grew to provide electrical services for farm...

Smoke no cause for concern

Oct 22, 2016 / 2:38 pm
The Vernon Fire Department has been inundated with calls about heavy smoke in the hills east of Vernon, but fire officials say it's nothing to worry about. A new development on Galiano Road has a burning permit for a large slash pile - the cause of the smokey concern. The heavy smoke can...

Charges in Sask. crash

Oct 21, 2016 / 3:40 pm
A Lumby man has been charged in connection with a vehicle crash in Saskatchewan on Oct. 15. that left two people dead. The single vehicle rollover took place on Highway 2, north of Young, Sask. at 11:30 a.m. Two people pronounced dead at the scene included a 28-year-old woman from Watrous,...

Meet the candidates

Oct 21, 2016 / 3:15 pm
Residents of Armstrong are being invited to come out and meet the candidates vying for a lone seat on city council, left vacant by the death of longtime councillor Ron 'Sully' O'Sullivan. The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce will host a municipal all-candidates forum to be...

Tulips galore

Oct 21, 2016 / 2:24 pm
A group of stroke victims have planted 150 tulip bulbs outside Vernon Jubilee Hospital as a small showcase next year marking Canada's 150th birthday. And, an Okanagan company is hoping to grow some national pride in Vernon and Salmon Arm. Planters, including one man in a wheelchair, got busy...

$1.5 million for Fintry park

Oct 21, 2016 / 2:03 pm
The province has committed $1.5 million for upgrades to Fintry Provincial Park which sits on the west side of Okanagan Lake, between Kelowna and Vernon. A big chunk of the funds, $700,000, will be spent working on Fintry Manor House, a historical building commemorating Capt. James C....

NDP visit Vernon-Monashee

Oct 21, 2016 / 11:00 am
New Democrats will be flooding into Vernon next week to meet with supporters and work on election strategy ahead of next year's provincial election. The leader of the B.C. New Democrats, John Horgan, and his caucus will be holding a strategy session next Wednesday at the Village Green...

OKIB goes solar

Oct 21, 2016 / 10:13 am
That Okanagan sunshine could soon be of more use to the Okanagan Indian band. The band will receive $18,000 through the B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to come up with a plan for the community to benefit from solar power. This includes a feasibility and business-case study on...

Guilty plea in assault

Oct 21, 2016 / 9:52 am
A man accused of the brutal assault of a young Vernon man two years ago has pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court. Lucas Slizak, 25, faced trial this week when his guilty plea was entered, according to a court clerk. Slizak was arrested Oct. 1, 2014, 10 days after a 23-year-old male was...

Stolen from the Civic

Oct 21, 2016 / 9:19 am
Vernon businesses and residents are stepping in after prizes were stolen from the Civic arena and the concession area ransacked overnight, ahead of the first hockey tournament of the year there. “Normally with a hockey tournament, you make it an event and have raffle tables with baskets...

Flowers for homeless

Oct 20, 2016 / 4:31 pm
Homelessness should be an issue in next year's provincial election, believes Juliette Cunningham, Vernon city councillor. “Thousands of people are just on that cusp. It just takes one crisis in their life and they will be homeless,” Cunningham said in an emotional speech during...

Doctor's computers hacked

Oct 20, 2016 / 2:37 pm
A Vernon doctor had his computer system hacked, but patients have been assured no sensitive information was gained. According to a statement released from the office of Dr. Larrie Mandreck, on Sept. 24, the office computer system was hacked and unauthorized access was briefly...

Arrests in shop B&E

Oct 20, 2016 / 12:29 pm
Surveillance video at Hunter's grocery store on Pleasant Valley Road may have done the trick. Vernon RCMP have two suspects in custody on unrelated matters who are being looked at in connection with a break and enter at Hunter's early Wednesday, according to Cpl. J.R. Leckie, RCMP...

Funtastic back to ball

Oct 20, 2016 / 12:22 pm
Funtastic's new board of directors will focus more on its ball tournament next year, said Diana Williamson, president of the Vernon and District Funtastic Sports Society. Williamson was re-elected president at Wednesday night's annual general meeting. “We've got some new...

Red Cross in emergency

Oct 20, 2016 / 11:59 am
Greater Vernon's five electoral areas have chosen the Red Cross to be their emergency provider in case of disaster. An inter-municipal program run by the City of Vernon's Emergency Services staff ends Dec. 31 and, under provincial law, a new service must be in place by Jan. 1,...

Let's be safe out there

Oct 20, 2016 / 11:19 am
An Armstrong farm is at the centre of a campaign aimed at keeping young people safe. The farm of Albert and Dena Finlay was the setting for a pair of videos teaching the hazards that farm equipment can pose. WorkSafeBC, 4-H British Columbia and AgSafe teamed up to make the videos which will...

True Leaf goes public

Oct 20, 2016 / 10:37 am
The public will have a chance to own a piece of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. The Vernon-based company has announced it is going public and intends to complete a non-brokered private placement of up to 9,523,809 common shares at $0.21 per share for gross proceeds of up to $2...
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