Hit and run BMW found

UPDATE: 7:55 p.m.

It appears Rutland Road North has reopened between Fitzpatrick and Wallace roads after a hit and run closed the road for several hours Friday afternoon. 

The BMW involved in the collision was found parked in a nearby complex two hours after. The driver is not believed to have been apprehended by police at this time. 

UPDATE: 6:55 p.m.

The BMW involved in a hit and run on Rutland Road North Friday afternoon was discovered parked at a complex on Badke Road, two hours after the collision occurred.

The navy blue BMW 328i, which was originally described as BMW I Series, was found by a resident of a complex on Badke Road, just off Franklyn Road, at about 4:20 p.m.

“I noticed a car that I didn't recognize and I noticed that it didn't have a plate on it so I went and took a look and the windshield was all caved in on it and that's when I called the cops,” Adam said.

"Two minutes later a cop came flying into the parking lot ... he came in with lights and sirens screaming, because he had already been looking for this guy for an hour."

Just before 2:30 p.m., the driver of the car hit a pedestrian on Rutland Road North, near Klassen Road, and sped off. The collision knocked the pedestrian unconscious, and he was taken to hospital by ambulance in serious condition.

The driver was last seen driving east on McCurdy Road, but the car was actually discovered southwest of where the collision occurred.

The driver of the BMW has yet to be found by police.

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

Kelowna RCMP have located a BMW that took off from the scene of a pedestrian hit and run Friday afternoon.

The navy blue BMW I Series was found, but its driver has yet to be located or identified, says Const. Lesley Smith.

The Kelowna RCMP Forensic Identification Unit along with the RCMP Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service are en route to the scene. 

The pedestrian remains in serious condition at Kelowna General Hospital.  

Rutland Road between Fitzpatrick and Wallace roads remains closed. 

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

Police are on the hunt for the driver of a BMW who hit a pedestrian on Rutland Road, knocking him unconscious, and drove off. 

Just before 2:30 p.m., police were called to Rutland Road North, near Klassen Road, to find a "seriously injured" pedestrian lying in the middle of the road, unconscious but breathing. 

Witnesses said a man driving a navy blue BMW I Series collided with the pedestrian, and sped off eastbound down McCurdy Road. The BMW had front-end damage and a broken windshield. 

The pedestrian was rushed to hospital by ambulance in serious condition. 

Rutland Road North, between Fitzpatrick and Wallace Roads, is currently closed as investigators analyze the scene. 

Police have asked anyone who witnessed the crash or has seen the BMW to call the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section at 250-762-3300.

UPDATE: 3:10 p.m.

The collision at Rutland and Fitzpatrick is reportedly a hit and run.

Police are putting the scene behind crime tape, according to witnesses.

People at the scene say a vehicle turned off nearby Klassen Road and hit a man in the crosswalk "hard enough that he flew over the windshield about 50 feet."

The driver then took off.

Police and paramedics are on scene, and evidence on the asphalt is being covered with tarps.

ORIGINAL: 2:40 p.m.

A pedestrian has reportedly been struck by a vehicle on Rutland Road Friday afternoon, backing up traffic.

The collision occurred at the crosswalk near Fitzpatrick Road just after 2 p.m. The condition of the pedestrian is unknown at this time.

Traffic is backed up in both directions along Rutland Road.

Send tips, photos and video to [email protected]


Truck flips off highway

A truck has flipped off of Highway 97, just north of Lake Country, as rain pummels the road.

The crash occurred about three kilometres north of Lake Country before 6 p.m., and traffic has begun to back up in the northbound lanes.

It's unclear how the truck ended up on its roof, but the fire department and police are currently on scene.

Castanet's Josh Winquist said the rain is coming down extremely hard in the area, and large parts of the road are covered by standing water.

It's unclear if there were other vehicles involved in the crash other than the black truck.

Leak interrupts water service

A leak in a water line is causing some water interruptions for Black Mountain residents.

The Black Mountain Irrigation District said Friday the leak was discovered in a line that supplies water from Mission Creek.

The BMID is currently working with agricultural water users to shut off all irrigation water in the district.

While residential users won't be impacted by any shutoffs, the BMID has asked all residents in the area to use water for indoor use only, and refrain from using water for things like watering lawns or washing cars.

The irrigation district does not have an estimate as to when the leak will be fixed.


Packed weekend ahead

Madison Erhardt

It’ll be a hot weekend, and the perfect time to explore some fun events in the Valley.

Start your day Saturday by running from Vibrant Vine Winery. It’s the 2018 Wine Country Half Marathon. It’s a beautiful trek through East Kelowna that ends on the waterfront in Downtown Kelowna. The finish line hosts a wine, beer and cider tasting with a DJ and live music from 9:30 a.m. to noon. 

Support local and upcoming artists at the first annual Discover - Art in the Valley at Kelowna Curling Club. With more than 50 local vendors and nine talented performers over the course of two days, this will be an event you don't want to miss.

On Sunday, stop in to the Holistic Market and Psychic Fair taking place on Ellis Street from 11 a.m. to till 4 p.m.

Try shiatsu massage, reiki, sample organic products, plus see palm and tarot card readers, shop jewelry, art and much more.

It’ll be three days of fun, food and entertainment during the Penticton Peach City Beach Cruise. 

Take a wine cruise, enjoy the entertainment in Gyro Park, and of course walk along the Miracle Mile with over 750 cars of every year, make and model.

Evening Update June 22

Castanet's Evening Update for Friday, June 22, with reporter Wayne Moore.

City payroll tops $70M

The City of Kelowna payroll has surpassed $70 million for the first time.

Figures released in the city's annual report show payroll for 2017 reached $70.8 million, a 4.7 per cent increase over the $67.6 million spent the previous year.

Stu Leatherdale, the city's HR and corporate performance divisional director, says several factors contributed to the increase. One of those was the $700,000 the city spent in overtime during the 131-day activation of the Emergency Operations Centre for floods and wildfires last year.

While the city did receive that money back from the province, Leatherdale says the domino effect of a lengthy operation of the EOC is not accounted for.

"What they won't reimburse us for is hours we spend during our regular day," he said.

"The effect that has is, for 131 days we had a ton of staff working in the EOC, getting behind on their regular work and, once the emergency is over, we're catching up."

Other factors included negotiated wage increases of between 1.5 and 2 per cent, an increase in general overtime, and the hiring of about 20 additional staff.

"We're a growing city with a lot of demand for services.... The thing we try to do is figure out the best way to deliver those services, whether it's with our staff or contracting with businesses in the community."

The city has 827 full-time employees and, as part of its financial disclosure, reports 380 employees took home more than $75,000 in 2017. That number includes 118 in management, 111 firefighters and 151 CUPE workers.

Forty per cent of those (153) earned more than $100,000, with nearly 65 per cent being firefighters.

Former city manager Ron Mattiussi pulled in the biggest paycheque at $306,000, an increase of $38,000 over his 2016 earnings.

The remainder of the top five earners includes:

  • Joe Creron, deputy city manager - $212,000
  • Alan Newcombe, infrastructure divisional director - $194,000
  • Sam Samaddar, airport manager - $189,000
  • Carla Weadon, corporate strategic services directional director - $177,000

Incoming city manager Doug Gilchrist pulled in $170,000, a salary that will increase with his new position.

Festival shares native culture

Madison Erhardt

Leon Avenue was packed all day Thursday in downtown Kelowna for the annual Turtle Island Celebration at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society.

Turtle Island is part of the history of many Indigenous nations, telling the creation story of North America.

"We are all celebrating Aboriginal culture and sharing what we love," said Ki-Low-Na counsellor Barbra Jagodics. 

There were also dancers, drumming, clothing and jewelry vendors, and delicious food. 

The celebration marked National Aboriginal Peoples Day in Canada.

"We are trying to teach people a little bit more about who we are and share what we do, Jagodics added. 

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society provides spiritual counselling and community-based services for First Nations people while sharing and promoting Aboriginal culture. 

Cherries survive storm

Cherry orchardists throughout the Okanagan had helicopters and blowers on standby with a June thunderstorm rolling through the region, Thursday.

They'll be ready again today with the possibility of more thundershowers.

Early cherry varieties are ripe and ready for picking, and Sukhpaul Bal, president of the BC Cherry Association, says rain has the potential to ruin a cherry crop.

"When the cherry is getting close to harvest, it has a lot of sugar and water," says Bal.

"When the rain falls, if it absorbs more water and there is no more room inside, the skin starts to stretch and gets to the point where it splits open because it can't take any more."

He says fruit that is green is still quite hard and not fully developed, therefore not as susceptible.

Bal has just a few acres of early varieties, so he used blowers attached to tractors to blow the rain away.

He said somebody like David Geen, with hundreds of acres, went with the helicopter option Thursday afternoon.

Choppers could be back flying later today if rain forecast for the afternoon materializes.

Upset by creek diversion

Residents in Oyama are up in arms over the removal of trees and diversion of a creek to make way for a medical marijuana production facility.

Work has taken place over the past few weeks on Sawmill Road.

"The issue we are facing," residents said in an email, "is that this is old-growth property that had a large creek running through it, moving water from Oyama Lake to Kalamalka Lake."

The creek has apparently been diverted to the back of the property.

Residents are also concerned about several eagle and hawk nests they say have been destroyed. Neighbours say they were never notified about the creek diversion or loss of the forest.

The property in question was purchased a few months ago.

Lake Country director of community services Mark Koch says he understands the new owner is looking to construct a medicinal marijuana facility on the site.

The property is zoned for agricultural use, and "we do understand medical marijuana production is covered under the Right to Farm Act," said Koch. "The issue as far as impact and potential creek impact has been discussed with the Ministry of Environment. I believe they are looking into the issue."

Castanet is awaiting a response from the ministry.

The tax man cometh

The deadline to pay the tax man is looming for Kelowna property owners.

Property tax payments are due by midnight Tuesday, July 3. Residents are reminded to apply for the provincial homeowner grant, if eligible, to help reduce their amount due.

The city of Kelowna has set up several different ways to pay including online and in person:

  • your financial institution: online or telephone banking and in person at a branch
  • City Hall (1435 Water Street): by mail, in person and the 24/7 drop boxes located next to the main Water Street entrance or the Doyle Avenue parking lot exit (no cash please)
  • Parkinson Recreation Centre (1800 Parkinson Way): drop box at the front counter

The simplest way to pay is by making an online payment through your bank.

“Our City website is an online property tax resource for our residents and we’ve made some improvements to provide even more options for property owners,” says City of Kelowna Revenue Supervisor Angie Schumacher. “In addition to applying for the homeowner grant directly from kelowna.ca, which has been available for a few years, we’ve launched Online Billing this year. Property owners can now access their City tax and utility billing information in one convenient location.”

Outstanding taxes after the due date will be subject to an automatic five per cent late payment penalty, with a second five per cent penalty applied on Aug. 8 on amounts owing.

Check the cities website for more information about property taxes, payment options, homeowner grants, deferment program or to register for Online Billing.

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