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West Kelowna  

Funding for more child care

Madison Erhardt

A new child care centre in West Kelowna will soon provide local families with licensed child care spaces.

The province is investing $250,000 through its Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to support KinderHeart Montessori in creating 76 licensed child care spaces.

These new spaces will include 24 spots for infants and toddlers, 32 for children aged three years to kindergarten and 20 for preschoolers.

“Being a parent is a full-time job, but when it’s not your only job, finding quality child care can make a big difference,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“It’s clear that having access to child care is good for both families and the economy, and we are determined to provide parents with more options and opportunities to help create a better future for their children,” she added.

KinderHeart uses the Montessori method of education, which encourages children to think independently and follow their own interests.

The new school is expected to be up and running by September. 



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Highway 97 reopens

UPDATE: 1:35 P.M.

Emergency crews have now cleared the scene of a multi-vehicle collision at Highway 97 and Boucherie Road.

Traffic heading into Kelowna remains backed up due to volume.


ORIGINAL: 1:10 p.m.

Traffic has come to a standstill heading into Kelowna from West Kelowna.

Witnesses tell Castanet News multiple vehicles were involved in a crash early this afternoon at Highway 97 and Boucherie Road.

Initial reports indicated a car had rear-ended a semi, however reports indicate more vehicles may have been involved.

Both lanes coming into Kelowna are completely shut down.

More details when they become available.

Send pictures, video to [email protected]



Bylaw service expanded

Bylaw enforcement in West Kelowna has been expanded to seven days a week for the summer.

The expansion is in response to increased call volumes during the peak tourism season between the Victoria Day and Labour Day long weekends.

From May 18 through Sept. 2, the bylaw department will take calls at 778-797-8810 weekdays, weekends and stat holidays, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

After hours will go to an automated messaging system for follow up the next day. If the matter is urgent, call West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

Bicycle patrols along the West Kelowna waterfront are also back for the summer.



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World of Wheels shines

It wasn't too hot, nor too cold, and the rain stayed away, drawing out huge crowds for the annual Peachland World of Wheels car show on Sunday.

The community's population doubled for the day, by far the busiest of the year on the Peachland waterfront.

More than 500 cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats were on display, from classic restorations to wild customs.

Eateries and pubs along Beach Avenue were packed, as was the street as crowds ogled the machinery.

Here are a few of our favourites.



World of Wheels is back

Peachland’s biggest event is back for the long weekend.

The World of Wheels Show & Shine attracts more than 10,000 people to the Peachland waterfront every year and is the unofficial kickoff the tourist season.

The 22nd annual event takes place Sunday, with an estimated 500 classic and antique car entries on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beach Avenue will be closed to all traffic, from First to Sixth Streets for the duration of the show.



Albas introduces looting bill

Okanagan MP Dan Albas has brought forth a private member's bill intended to give the legal system more teeth when dealing with looting during evacuation orders.

The bill is in response to numerous incidents in which homes have been looted while property owners were out of their homes during evacuation orders for floods or wildfires.

"There is a small segment of the population consisting of individuals who use evacuation orders as an opportunity to engage in criminal actions such as looting, vandalizing and stealing from evacuated families' homes," said Albas, Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

"These despicable acts occurred (in 2017) to evacuated homeowners in communities such as Williams Lake and 100 Mile House."

He also cited examples during flooding events in Atlantic Canada and a tornado strike that occurred in Quebec.

Albas says culprits must be held accountable.

"My bill proposes to amend the Criminal Code so that committing a crime and taking advantage of an evacuation order for those experiencing a natural disaster or emergency is to be considered an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes.

"Ultimately, this bill, if passed, would create new legal tools for judges when it comes to sentencing those found guilty of looting."

Albas says it's unclear if there is the necessary support among Liberal, NDP or Green MPs for the bill to pass.



Shaky ride after nuts stolen

RCMP are warning the public about a potentially serious act of vandalism.

RCMP tell Castanet they are investigating two acts of mischief that happened on May 14 just before 10 a.m. in the 6200 block of Whinton Crescent, in Peachland. Vandals loosened or completely removed the lug nuts on vehicles in the area and in one case gasoline was also siphoned from the tank.
 
“It did not occur to the vehicle owner that there was something wrong until he was driving downhill and the car started to shake,” says Cpl. Meghan Foster.  "While there have been only two reports of this and no accidents attributed, we would like to warn people who reside in, or have visited the area to double check the safety of their vehicles.”
 
Anyone with any information can also contact the RCMP at 250-762-3300.
 



Filming at Quails' Gate

It's lights, camera, and action at West Kelowna's Quails’ Gate Winery. 

The musical film documentary The Lake / N’-ha-a-itk has begun filming at the winery. 

The film is an expansion of live performances that took place at Quails’ Gate in 2014.

The production was based on B.C. composer Barbara Pentland’s 1952 opera and a true-life event in the life of Susan Allison.

Allison along with her husband, John, were the first European settlers in what is now West Kelowna. The story is set in 1873 at their original “Sunnyside” ranch home, restored by Quails’ Gate Winery and now known as the Allison House.

“When I first discovered the unpublished score of Barbara Pentland’s The Lake in 1995, I could never have imagined how far or where this journey would lead,” said producer Heather Pawsey.

“I am deeply honoured to be a part of sharing this unique, true story – rooted in history but continuing into our present and future. It is a privilege to work with Westbank First Nation, Opus 59 Films and Quails’ Gate to bring this vision to life."

The Lake will be the first and only Canadian opera on film. It will incorporate segments about the ongoing collaboration between Astrolabe Musik Theatre and Westbank First Nation, featuring interviews with key artists and collaborators in both the Okanagan language and English.

“This beautiful collaboration created a greater sense of awareness and appreciation for the original opera, but also Syilx/Okanagan culture for everyone involved,” said Jordan Coble of the WFN.

“The performances truly broke down barriers between performance and history, audience and stage, as well as cultural understanding. This is how we will honour the path we continue to walk together.”



Kids spray park to open

The Kids Care Spray Park in West Kelowna is set to open in a few days, giving local families a fun head start on summer.

The popular children’s water park will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through September, with extended hours in July and August.

The spray park is located in Westbank Centre Park. 

It is free to use and offers 20 motion-activated pieces of equipment, including geysers, hoops, shower towers, and water cannons.

The site also offers open lawn space to spread out towels and blankets. Shade trees, picnic tables, and washrooms/change rooms are also available.

The park uses a recirculating water system, which means water is collected and treated on site and is not dumped into the sanitary system like many water parks.



Douses abandoned fire

A Peachland resident stumbled upon an abandoned campfire and is hoping people will think twice next time.

Danilo Mueller posted a photo and video to the Peachland Neighbours Facebook group of flames from a fire near McCall Lakes on May 8.

“This is the second one in two weeks that I’ve come across,” he said.

He can be seen pouring a bucket of water on the campfire and asks everyone to spread the word.

Earlier this year, there have been multiple fires found burning by passers-by who have extinguished them themselves.

You can be fined $1,150 for an unattended campfire.

BC Wildfire Service says if a violation causes a wildfire, the person responsible may also be ordered to pay all the firefighting costs as well as a fine.



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