Close call in the kitchen

Kelowna firefighters responded to a home on Cadder Avenue, Wednesday, but once they arrived, the fire was already extinguished.

The homeowner made a 911 call just before 3 p.m.

A Kelowna fire department platoon captain told Castanet it appears the fire started in a garbage bin in the kitchen of the home.

Fans were being brought inside to vent the home, and no smoke or flames were visible.


Dreams for Kids!

Madison Erhardt

How about pizza tonight?

It's the fourth annual Papa John's Pizza Dreams for Kids Day.

All proceeds from sales at Papa John's locations in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops and Prince George on Wednesday support the Sunshine Foundation of Canada.

The foundation supports "DreamLifts" for kids living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.

The dream day takes youngsters from across the Interior for a magical trip to Disneyland.

"It's going to be a record day, we believe. We always get a ton of support from Kelowna," said owner Jeff Linquist as staff hurriedly filled orders. "This day is always crazy busy."

You can stop in and pick up or order online at  www.papajohns.ca until closing tonight.

The next DreamLift is scheduled for early 2019.

Papa John's in Kelowna is open until midnight. 

Scooter involved in crash

A mobility scooter appears to be have been involved in a crash near the southbound lanes of Highway 97 near Gordon Drive.

While it's unclear how the collision occurred, the damaged orange scooter was sitting off the road just before noon on Wednesday.

The Kelowna Fire Department and an ambulance attended the scene, but the condition of those involved is unknown.

Snowbirds fly by

Okanagan residents lucky enough to be looking up at just the right time got a glimpse of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Wednesday morning.

The nine-member team flew over the Central Okanagan shorty after 10:30 a.m.

The Snowbirds just completed two weeks of training at Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island, and are heading back to their home base in Moose Jaw, Sask.

Training was held in advance of the airshow season, which begins next weekend in Havelock, N.C.

The Snowbirds have just four shows scheduled for B.C. this summer. They will be in Vancouver (Aug. 1), Vanderhoof (Aug. 4 and 5), Nanaimo (Aug. 8) and Abbotsford (Aug. 10 to 12).

No shows are scheduled for the Okanagan.

Vaisakhi parade Saturday

Sikhs from across the Okanagan will come together to celebrate this weekend.

Kelowna's eighth annual Vaisakhi parade will roll through the streets on Saturday, beginning at noon. The parade begins and ends at the Sikh Temple on Rutland Road.

"This is one of the most significant holidays on the Sikh calendar. It's when the Sikh religion started, in 1699," says spokesman Paramjit Singh Patara.

"It's a religious holiday, commemorating the establishment of the Sikh religion. Vaisakhi is also celebrated in the region of Punjab as a harvest festival as well," where April marks the harvest of the winter crop.

"The farmers thank God for the good harvest and pray for prosperity in the future."

Saturday's parade will feature colourful costumes and floats, along with free food along its route.

The parking lot at the Sikh Temple will also be full of people and businesses with different foods as well.

Numerous streets on and around the parade route will be closed until about 3 p.m. There will be a partial lane closure in front of the temple entrance between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to accommodate a drop off zone for participants. 
Sumac Road will be closed from Rutland Road to Keyes Road for the duration of the event. There will be a short road closure for approximately 20 minutes on McCurdy Road from Rutland Road to Craig Road between 2 and 3 p.m. Motorists will be detoured onto Aldon Road and Hartman Road.
Rolling closures will continue along Ortt Road, Wallace Road, Sycamore Road, Sumac Road, Friesen Road, and Keyes Road.

Pedestrian crossings will be restricted along Rutland Road. Dedicated crossings will be made available to cross at Almond Court, McCurdy Road and Wallace Road. Transit service may experience delays.

School trustees get raise

Trustees at the Central Okanagan's School District 23 will get a slight raise this year.

Board policy states trustees' indemnity follow the B.C. Consumer Price Index.

The most recent BCCPI increase was 2.1 per cent.

That means trustees will be compensated $18,964, the vice-chair $19,924, and the board chair $21,381. That works out to an increase of about $400 each annually.

The board is expected to approve the recommendation tonight. The new rates will come into effect July 1.

The new board, when it's elected later this year, will discuss implications of a federal government change, eliminating the one-third tax-free exemption for municipal elected officials.

A 'Rumble in Rutland'

In four short years, Invasion Wrestling has poured nearly $200,000 into the coffers of charities across the Central Okanagan and Fraser Valley.

Wrestling events have been taking over Rutland Centennial Hall twice a year since October 2013.

"We didn't know if it was going to go past one night," said co-founder Mike Chisholm at a news conference on Tuesday. "It was a hair-brained idea that Mike Rizzo and I came up with. We had no idea it was going to become what it has become."

What started out as a one-day event has expanded to include a show in Vernon and, this year, World Wrestling Entertainment legend Mick Foley will host a two-hour career retrospective at Wings Restaurant in Rutland Sunday evening at 7 to cap off the weekend. Only 100 tickets are available for the event.

Foley, making his second trip to the event, will also host a wrestling seminar at Centennial Hall for wrestlers and fans alike at 3 p.m. Friday. He will also be part of a meet and greet at Wings in Vernon at 3 p.m. Saturday.

"The reason we do what we do is to raise money for some very deserving charities," added Chisholm.

During Tuesday's media event, Invasion Wrestling handed over cheques to YMCA Strong Kids ($3,000), Mamas for Mamas ($4,000) and Okanagan Boys and Girls Club ($4,000).

Rumble in Rutland will take place this Friday at Centennial Hall, while Danger Zone, featuring the first-ever Danger Zone Battle Royal, happens at the Vernon Rec Centre on Saturday.

Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Click here for tickets.

SD23: A good news budget

School District 23 Supt. Kevin Kaardal describes the budget he will present to the full Board of Education Wednesday night as a "good news budget."

The 2018-2019 budget will come in at $256.1 million, $5.2 million more than the current year.

"It's a good news budget. We're not in a position where we have to layoff staff or reduce staff. We're not reducing services. Those are very positive things," said Kaardal.

"We're having to use surplus to meet our budget on one-time purchases, in particular the capital costs. That's always worrisome...if we have those cost going forward, we would love to see the quantum of the budget change from government, but that's not in the cards right now."

Kaardal says much of the increase is due to growth, partly brought on by the Memorandum of Understanding dealing with class size and composition.

He says the district is growing in some areas, and not others, resulting in capital costs around portables.

"Our cost pressures are around $1.5 million. If you put in requests people have, it jumps to $2.3 million, but we're not approving all the requests.

"The actual cost pressures are less than one per cent of our budget. We are able to manage that through surplus because it's a one-time cost in regard to the capital cost of growth, that's portables. Part of that need for portables is also because we have smaller class sizes due to the MOA, so we need more space."

Teachers salaries, at $106.1 million, accounts for 41 per cent of the overall budget. Employee benefits, at $41.9 million, makes up more than 16 per cent.

Life-saving treatment

Madison Erhardt

Carter Milaney is able to celebrate his 13th birthday this week thanks to a life-saving treatment. 

Milaney was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma a year and a half ago. 

As part of his treatment, Milaney endured more than 12 rounds of chemotherapy, and 15 blood transfusions. It ultimately was the stem cell transplant that saved his life.

The teenager is now two years post-transplant and cancer-free. 

''It is a true gift and blessing," Milaney's mother, Marla, said. "I'm emotional just thinking about it because we could have been down a very different path. Darren and I and Carter's sister were not a match for Carter. We had to go internationally. We found out that there was this incredible 21 year-old young man that donated his marrow."                   

Milaney said he can't thank his donor enough.

"Why would a 21 year-old guy donate his bone marrow to me. He saved my life. It means everything. It's pretty crazy," he said.

For more information on giving blood, click here.

Outlasting the giants

For a decade and a half, Leo’s Video in Kelowna has been catering to a slice of the city’s movie lovers, renting out DVDs and Blu-Rays as illegal downloading forced rental giants to close and viewers ditched discs for streaming services.

The independent video store celebrated its 14-year anniversary today with a barbecue and special sale at its Pandosy Street location.

Owner Leo Bartels says the shop has survived by adapting to a changing movie landscape, but a wide selection and passionate staff have helped him along the way.

For more on the shop's decade-and-a-half run in Kelowna, including one customer who's rented nearly 5,000 titles from the shop, check out the full story on Castanet's sister business news website, Okanagan Edge.

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