West Kelowna  

Mayor's race a dead heat

A brief problem with a voting machine has resulted in a tie in the mayor's race in Peachland.

The municipality's chief election officer, in a news release verifying the results of Saturday's election, says the official results show a dead heat between incumbent Cindy Fortin and challenger Harry Gough.

Both now officially have 804 votes. On election night, Gough held a one-vote lead, 804 to 803.

In the release, Polly Palmer said a voting machine mis-fed a ballot, causing it to jam.

She said before the presiding official was able to re-insert the ballot, it landed in the sealed ballot box.

Palmer said a verification process was held Monday in the presence of the two top mayoral candidates or their representatives.

"The verification and ballot accounting process has concluded that there is a tie for the position of mayor," said Palmer in the release.

She says an application will be made for a judicial recount of the mayor's ballot. The recount must be conducted within 13 days after the election.

"If a tie is confirmed, the winner must be determined by the drawing of lot, pursuant to the District’s Election Procedures Bylaw No. 1536, which is conducted by the Provincial Courts."

All other results remained unchanged.


Incumbent wants recount

Alanna Kelly

District of Peachland incumbent mayor Cindy Fortin says she was stunned when she learned she lost by a single vote.

“I just felt really sad for this community,” she said. “Not for me, but for the community.”

On Saturday night, Harry Gough was elected with 804 votes — Fortin had 803.

Fortin says tactics she saw being used in this municipal election concern her for the future of Peachland.

“It was all done with fear-mongering and intimidation and scare tactics and false information,” said Fortin.

Now, she is requesting there be a recount and wants to go over each and every ballot.

“It being one vote and it being so close you just have to look into,” she said. “And that way if the recount shows the same results there won’t be this black cloud hanging over this election.”

Fortin added she will accept what ever the results are from the recount.

“I think we need to do that and then move on,” she said.

Terry Condon, Pam Cunningham, Patrick Van Minsel, Mike Kent, Keith Fielding and Pete Coolio have been elected to council.

There were a total of 2,348 ballots cast and voter turnout was 52 per cent in the District of Peachland.

Alberta man rescued in park

An Alberta man needed to be rescued after injuring himself while riding an off-road motorbike in Bear Creek Provincial Park.

A group of four people travelled from Alberta to ride the trails and one of the riders fell while trying to ride a steep slope.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue members were called to help paramedics locate the injured man on Saturday.

The 47-year-old man injured his knee and he was unable to ride or walk out.

“He called for help and had his riding partners meet emergency crews at the trail head,” said Edward Henczel, COSAR member.

Rescue crews were able to locate the man several kilometres from Bear Creek Main Road in the dark

A total of seven COSAR members and a paramedic found the man, stabilized his leg and brought the man out using the TrailRider chair.

“COSAR would like to thank the CRIS Adaptive Adventures organization for the use of the TrailRider chair,” said Henczel. “It was also used early in the day to evacuate an injured hiker in Peachland.”

The man was then transported to Kelowna General Hospital.


Milsom in mayor's seat

UPDATE: 10:55 p.m.

In one of the less surprising results in the Okanagan during Saturday's municipal elections, Gord Milsom was elected mayor of West Kelowna, with 79.8 per cent of the vote. 

Milsom garnered 6,050 votes, compared to 1,257 for Mary Mandarino, the other mayoral candidate. 

"I'm looking forward to doing my best for the community. The opportunities are just tremendous," Milsom said following his win. 

"We have a good team. As far as those members who have been elected to council, it looks like a great group, and I look forward to working with them as well."

Former mayor Doug Findlater opted not to run for the top spot again, but he was elected to council, along with incumbent councillors Rick de Jong and Carol Zanon.

Three newcomers will be on West Kelowna council, including Stephen Johnston who garnered the most votes with 4,277, Jayson Zilkie and Jason Friesen, who edged out incumbent Rosalind Neis by just 23 votes. 

Incumbent councillors Rusty Ensign and Bryden Winsby also failed to get enough votes for re-election, while Duane Ophus chose to run for re-election. 

About 30.9 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots in West Kelowna. 

ORIGINAL: 9:20 p.m.

Gord Milsom is the new mayor of West Kelowna.

In preliminary results, the city has announced the following candidates elected to council:

  • Stephen Johnston
  • Jayson Zilkie
  • Rick de Jong
  • Doug Findlater
  • Carol Zanon
  • Jason Friesen

Chantelle DesRosiers was elected school trustee.

A total of 7,585 ballots were cast. With an estimated 24,520 eligible voters, this indicates a voter turnout of 29.13 per cent. 

Declaration of official results will occur at 3 p.m. on Wednesday in council chambers.

Victory by a single vote

Peachland has a new mayor, but the race is so close it will surely result in a recount.

Preliminary results from the District of Peachland show Harry Gough elected with 804 votes – just one more than incumbent Cindy Fortin, with 803.

Elected to council were:

  • Terry Condon
  • Pam Cunningham
  • Patrick Van Minsel
  • Mike Kent
  • Keith Fielding
  • Pete Coolio

Moyra Baxter was returned as school trustee.

A total of 2,348 ballots were cast. Voter turnout was 52 per cent.


Trailer engulfed in flames

A trailer became fully engulfed in flames on Saturday afternoon in West Kelowna.

Police and firefighters responded to a property at the rear of Village Green Way just after 4 p.m.

It is not clear what started the fire at this time or if anyone was injured.

Pole 1, Jeep 0

A Jeep SUV collided with a light pole on Gellatly Road in West Kelowna Saturday afternoon.

It's not known what caused the crash, which happened about 4:35 p.m. near Carrall Road.

Firefighters, paramedics and RCMP attended the scene, which has been cleared.

Any injuries in the incident are believed to be minor.

Hiker carried off mountain

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.

A 46-year-old woman is recovering in Kelowna General Hospital Saturday afternoon after being rescued by Central Okanagan Search and rescue.

COSAR was called to assist Peachland Fire Rescue after getting word that a woman had injured herself while hiking on Pincushion Mountain above Peachland.

Firefighters had to stretcher the woman down off the mountain before they were met by COSAR.

Search and Rescue had a TrailRider backwoods access wheelchair, a single wheeled unit with handles for carrying and steering.

She was transported to hospital in Kelowna.

Eleven firefighters and 11 COSAR volunteers assisted in the rescue.

ORIGINAL 11:03 a.m.

A female hiker was extracted from a mountain in the Central Okanagan today after breaking her ankle. 

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue along with fire crews and paramedics carried the woman off the summit of Pincushion Mountain near Peachland. The rescue operation included 11 COSAR members and 11 members of the Peachland Fire Department.

It is not known how the woman injured herself, but she was hiking with family and broke her ankle near the summit.

Castanet will have more information as it becomes available.

Teacher facing sex charges

A former Mount Boucherie Secondary teacher has been charged with luring a child and sexual assault.

Bradley Michael Furman's case was in Kelowna court Wednesday. The teacher is facing numerous charges, including sexual assault, luring a child, two counts of sexual exploitation and obstructing justice.

The sexual assault charge stems from an incident in early August.

A publication ban has been issued on anything that could identify the victim.

Furman is also facing several charges related to the breaching of bail conditions from earlier this summer, and earlier this month.

He currently remains out of custody on bail. 

Wednesday's appearance was adjourned to Oct. 25, when he will return to court for an arraignment hearing.

Furman was a teacher at Mount Boucherie Secondary School until May of this year.

At that time, he agreed not to teach, pending the resolution of a matter before the commissioner for teacher regulation or a hearing panel under the Teachers Act.

Pedestrian hit, minor injury

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle Thursday afternoon in West Kelowna.

The collision happened about 2 p.m. on Kyle Road, near Byland Road.

The pedestrian suffered a minor arm injury.

Firefighters and paramedics attended the scene.

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