Ebus the new Greyhound?

An Edmonton-based company is looking to take over some of the routes formerly served by Greyhound.

Ebus has an application before the provincial Passenger Transportation Board to provide bus service from Kelowna to Vancouver, Kelowna to Kamloops and Kamloops to Vancouver.

There would be a minimum of two round-trips daily.

Trips between Kelowna and Kamloops would include stops in Vernon, while trips between Kelowna and Vancouver would include stops in Merritt and Chilliwack.

Greyhound announced earlier this year it was cancelling all passenger and freight service in Western Canada except one route between Vancouver and Seattle.

Service will cease at the end of October.

The application by Ebus was made Wednesday.

Ebus is owned and operated under the Pacific Western Transportation Group of Companies.

Information in a news release by the company states it is the largest privately-owned people transportation enterprise in Canada.


Harris, Saje team up

Madison Erhardt

Jillian Harris and Saje Wellness have teamed up to spread fresh air and community love.

"This really has been a long time partnership with the Saje brand, starting with organically using their products on me and in my home, to becoming more conscious and aware of the products I’m using, not only for myself but for my family as well. Now I'm officially partnering up with Saje to launch an exclusive diffuser for my community," Harris wrote on her blog. 

This diffuser connects Harris's love of nature and love for interior design.

"I selected three of my favourite essential oil blends to include in my Happy Place collection. One of them is the Liquid Sunshine Diffuser Blend."

"This has been one of my favorites since I introduced Saje products into our home. It’s a citrus blend with Grapefruit, Bergamot, and Lime that not only cleanses the air but it also makes your air smell fresh," the love it or list it star wrote. 

A portion of proceeds will go to Mamas for Mamas, a charitable organization that supports mothers in crisis, and provides ongoing support to low income Mamas and their kids.

"Part of the partnership is about me giving back. So we have a cheque here for $20,000 to go towards Mamas for Mamas," Harris said. 

Founder of Mamas for Mamas Shannon Christensen was over the moon. 

"It's hard to even explain what $20,00 can do for an organization like ours where we take every dollar and spread it as far as week can."

"I'm just incredibly overwhelmed and grateful and really excited to see what change we can make with this for the families in need," Christensen added. 

$50K promise from SOSJ

The local chapter of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem (SOSJ) has commitment to raise and donate $50,000 to JoeAnna’s House.

SOSJ Okanagan has promised to raise and donate $50,000, which will all go to building the home away from home for families needing to travel to the Okanagan for medical care.

“JoeAnna’s House is absolutely the kind of project our organization desires to support,” said Joy Zsombor, Commander of the Okanagan Commandery. 

“Helping our neighbours fills us with great joy to be able to support such a needed project,” he added.  

This past spring, the Okanagan membership presented the KGH Foundation with their first instalment of $10,000 for JoeAnna’s House. 

“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of these wonderful men and women,” said Sasha Carter, Director of Legacy Giving for the KGH Foundation. 

“Their dedication to carrying on the tradition of the Sovereign Order by supporting local families in need is really inspiring.”

The community is invited to attend the SOSJ’s next fundraising event, “Art & Wine: Because you Care” at Sandhill Winery in Kelowna on Friday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. 

Every dollar of the proceeds generated will be matched by the SOSJ Okanagan, to a maximum amount of $25,000, and will go to help build JoeAnna’s House.

For tickets, click here

One candidate, two seats

Wayne Carson isn't satisfied just representing the residents of the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area around the regional board table.

Carson also wants a seat on Kelowna city council.

The former North Westside fire chief is running for both. He is seeking re-election as area director for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, and election on Kelowna city council.

Running for office in two different jurisdictions is perfectly legal, and not at all uncommon.

He says he decided to take a run in Kelowna in part because he says the relationship between Kelowna and the two electoral areas, and the other three municipalities, is not good.

Kelowna has seven seats on the 13 member regional board.

"I would like to be a part of bringing that together and get a little more co-operation at the board level and have everybody pulling in the same direction," said Carson.

He also feels strongly that the three regional districts in the valley should merge into one, and believes he could help affect that change better from the council table.

"We have three layers of government costing taxpayers significant money. We're one transportation shed, we're one air shed and one water shed...we're one valley.

"Decisions need to be made together and not by three separate levels of government that, again, are very costly to the taxpayers."

Carson believes there would be no conflict of interest in serving "two masters," if elected to both positions.


Council ballot shrinks by 1

And then there were 21.

Curtis Cibinel has had second thoughts, and will not be seeking one of the eight seats on Kelowna city council in the upcoming municipal election.

Cibinel, who was making his first foray into civic politics, told Castanet he withdrew his name for personal reasons.

He didn't elaborate.

Candidates who filed their nomination papers by last Friday's deadline have until the 4 p.m. this Friday to withdraw their name from consideration.

The election ballots will be made official after the close of business Friday.

Candidates who choose to withdraw after Friday will still see their name on the ballot.

Fire at homeless camp

UPDATE: 5:35 p.m.

The quick action of firefighters prevented a fire in a forested area from growing on Wednesday.

Firefighters and police officers responded to a call for a fire in Chichester Wetland Park in Rutland just before 5 p.m.

On arrival, the 10 by 10 foot fire was deep into the woods next to a homeless camp.

There were several homeless camps in the vicinity, and a firefighter at the scene says it appeared a tent went up in flames.

A campfire may have been the cause.

Campfires are not permitted at any time within the City of Kelowna.

ORIGINAL: 5:15 p.m.

Firefighters and police officers have rushed to a reported fire in Kelowna's Chichester Wetland Park on Wednesday.

Witnesses tell Castanet News a heavy police presence is in the area and they believe a homeless camp set up nearby might be connected to the fire.

The fire appears to have been started just before 5 p.m.

Castanet News reporter Wayne Moore is heading to the scene.

Evening Update Sept.19

Castanet's Evening Update for Wednesday, Sept. 19, with reporter Wayne Moore.

Sex assaults on ex-girlfriend

A 25-year-old Okanagan man avoided jail time Wednesday when he was sentenced in the sexual assault of his ex-girlfriend.

B.N., whose name is withheld to protect the identity of the victim, was in a relationship with T.R. for two and a half years before he broke up with her in August 2016.

The pair continued to live together in the home they had recently moved into in West Kelowna, until T.R. called police in the early hours of Sept. 4.

She told police that B.N. had been drinking alcohol that night, and had attempted to kiss her, and put his hands up her shirt and down her skirt, before she told him “no.”

She told police that similar unwanted advances had occurred on two other occasions over the previous weeks. B.N. was arrested and released on bail which included a condition of no contact with T.R.

Between Sept. 19 and 27, B.N reached out to T.R. through email and Facebook on multiple occasions.

“Please text or call me, otherwise this will be goodbye to you and the world,” one of the emails read. Crown counsel said T.R. took this as a suicide threat.

In a victim impact statement, T.R. told the court of the harm she suffered as a result of the assaults.

“Clearly she is fearful of the offender and has suffered anxiety as a result of the offences,” Justice Lisa Wyatt said during sentencing.

On April 26, B.N. pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of breaching his bail conditions.

On Wednesday, B.N.'s defence counsel, Wade Jenson, proposed a conditional discharge as an appropriate sentence, while Crown sought a conditional sentence, the main difference between the two being a lasting criminal record.

"The law is clear, there cannot be inferred or assumed consent for any sexual contact whatsoever," Jenson said. “However, that being said, I think this can be fairly described as a somewhat clumsy and selfish ... effort to revive a failed relationship that had experienced a number of stops and starts throughout its history."

Crown counsel David Grabavac conceded this case was on the “lower end of the spectrum” of sexual assault but said a conditional discharge sends the “wrong message" to the public.

In a presentence report, a psychologist found B.N. to be a "low risk to reoffend," and Justice Wyatt accepted that B.N. was remorseful.

“I wanted to apologize to (TR) for what I did, disrespecting her, it wasn't right,” B.N. said through tears on Wednesday. “I've made some serious changes in my life.”

Justice Wyatt suspended B.N.'s sentence, and gave him 18 months of probation. While a suspended sentence will result in a criminal record, B.N. will not be subject to a curfew like he would have under a conditional sentence.

The conditions of his probation order include not contacting T.R. or coming within 100 metres of her home and work and abstaining from alcohol and drugs. He will also be added to Canada's sex offender registry for 10 years.

Horse and owner reunited

UPDATE: 1:05 p.m.

The grey gelding found at Tower Ranch Golf Course and Country Club Wednesday morning has now been reunited with it's owner. 

"The owner met Cindy at her home and was very appreciative. She said she was working on a fence when the horse suddenly escaped," resident Lisa Marak said. 

"Cindy agreed to keep the gelding for a couple of days until the fence goes up and things get sorted,"Marak added. 

ORIGINAL: 11:35 p.m.

A grey gelding has been found wandering along Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club Wednesday morning searching for its owner. 

"He has been loose since early this morning. We got the first phone call at about 7:30 a.m. and it just took a long time to get him," said Tower Ranch resident Lisa Marak.

The horse was found on hole number five.

"In two hours he covered a lot of ground for an old guy."

"He's a nice old boy. Right now a neighbour by the name of Cindy has taken him to her home. She has horses and he is being treated really well until we find the owner," Marak added.

Cindy lives along McKenzie Road. 

If you have any information that can help find this horse' owner please contact [email protected]

Motionball, biggest yet

Madison Erhardt

The 2018 Motionball Marathon of Sport is coming to Kelowna on Sept. 22 and will be in full swing down at City Park. 

A group with 30 teams will participate in a fun-filled day of athletic competition in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Teams will be partnered up with local Special Olympics B.C. athletes and together, they will compete in a variety of sports and activities.

This year 67 special olympics athletes will be participating. 

"There will be 12 sports throughout the day. Ranging from soccer, to basketball to human foosball. Right after the sports we have a beer garden for the young professionals. All of the funds raised throughout the whole day go to support Special Olympics Canada Foundation," said Erica Marshall, communications director. 

Volunteers are still needed. 

"We are looking for setup, takedown and sports volunteers. We can always use more help and hands. If people would like to help out they can email [email protected]," Marshall added. 

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