Businesses give back

Two Vernon businesses with deep roots in the community are paying it forward to the next generation of trade workers training at Okanagan College.

R.E. Postill & Sons Ltd. and Postill Nixon Earthworks together are donating $25,000 to the new trades centre currently under construction at the college’s Vernon campus.

The owners of the second- and fourth-generation family businesses have operated companies in Vernon for nearly 120 years.

Linsey and Jamie Johannson are the owners of R.E. Postill & Sons Ltd. and co-own Postill Nixon Earthworks with Braden Nixon.

Linsey is the great granddaughter of Russell Eugene Postill, who founded R.E. Postill in 1944.

Braden's father, Paul Nixon, was involved in the development of the law firm now known as Nixon Wenger in 1975.

“It’s really important to support the community that has been supporting us for 75 years,” said Linsey.

Braden adds the Vernon Trades Training Centre is something the owners knew they wanted to support.

“We work in trades, and we know the value of having skilled trades people,” said Braden. “This state-of-the-art centre will provide an opportunity for young people to get a quality education locally without having to move away, saving them money and making education more accessible.”

Michael Tindall, chairperson of the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons Building for Skills Campaign, said they are grateful for this gift from two Vernon families and companies.

“Because of their support, and many others like them, we’re now $60,000 from our campaign goal. The community of Vernon is showing young people that we want to invest in their future while also creating an economic boom for the region by increasing the number of skilled trades people available locally,” said Tindall.

The $6.2 million trades centre will have the capacity to train approximately 150 students per year.

The project is being supported through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, through which the Province is investing $2.9 million and the government of Canada is providing $2.7 million.

The Okanagan College Foundation set a fundraising goal of $1 million to cover the remaining capital costs and will provide program and student bursaries and scholarships that will increase access to training.


Armstrong man dies in crash

A 59-year-old man has succumbed to injuries suffered during a single-vehicle rollover accident Monday afternoon. 

Police say the Armstrong man was the passenger of a vehicle travelling in the 2800 block of Enderby Mabel Lake Road.

The driver of the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve in the road, which caused the driver to lose control before striking a tree and rolling several times down an embankment.

Both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. 

"An RCMP collision analyst has attended the scene to conduct further investigation into the cause of the collision and investigators interviewed several witnesses," stated Cpl. Yannick Lescarbeau.

"We are now investigating a fatal collision as unfortunately, the 59-year-old passenger did not recover from his injuries and died in hospital."

Locked up and loving it

The Vernon SPCA is housing more than just animals today with several people volunteering to be put in a kennel to raise money for the local animal care agency.

Chelsea Taylor, Vernon branch manager, said this is the inaugural Locked in for Love event.

The volunteers will remain with their assigned dogs until $3,000 is raised for the SPCA – although Taylor admits, some of the volunteers may want to stay longer and hangout with their new furry friends.

“Everything stays locally. It goes towards medical care for our animals, spaying and neutering for our animals, providing food and shelter and all that kind of stuff,” said Taylor.

People can donate online, by phone, by cheque or stop by the branch and make a donation.

The Vernon SPCA helps countless animals throughout the year from cats to dogs to guinea pigs and everything in between.


'MyHealthPortal' expanding

For many people, the Interior Health Authority's "MyHealthPortal" is a valuable tool in accessing their medical information. 

It allows users 24-hour, online access to their personal health information from a home computer or smartphone.

People in the Vernon area will be the first to benefit from the program's expansion.

The MyHealthPortal will now include additional clinical reports this summer.

Interior Health is the first health authority in the province to implement this service. 

"The inclusion of dictated documents from practitioners will be a great help to patients," says Interior Health Board Chair Doug Cochrane. "Giving them the ability to access their health information directly will help them become better informed and engaged in their own care." 

The inclusion of expanded clinical reports (for example, cardiac and other outpatient reports, discharge summaries, neurodiagnostic and others) is being phased in. 

Additional reports are now available to Vernon MyHealthPortal users and will be available in the Kootenays in late August before being expanded across all of Interior Health in September.

Since its launch in June 2016, more than 45,000 patients are currently enrolled to use MyHealthPortal to access their health information.
MyHealthPortal provides patients with 24-hour secure online access to their Interior Health lab results, medical imaging reports, visit history, and certain appointment details and instructions. 

Water advisory lifted

The water quality advisory for customers of the Delcliffe Water Utility has been rescinded.

The area impacted included Delcliffe and Cameron roads.

Officials with Greater Vernon Water and Interior Health said turbidity levels have returned to normal and water quality monitoring has shown the water supply has returned to a good rating, allowing for the advisory to be rescinded.

Staff continues to monitor water quality and work closely with IH.

Cyclist hit and run

A cyclist is in the hospital with serious injuries after a hit and run involving a commercial vehicle in Enderby Thursday night. 

Emergency crews were called to the 1700 block of George Street  (Highway 97A) at about 7:13 p.m.

Witnesses described the fleeing vehicle as a large white commercial truck with a red utility trailer, which was travelling northbound at the time of the collision. 

"Preliminary information gathered by our officers suggest that the driver of the commercial truck may not be aware that the cyclist was struck and we ask that the driver contact us," stated Cpl. Yannick Lescarbeau. "The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation."


Zubot of 'Big O Tires' passes

A prominent Vernon businessman is being remembered for his contagious laugh, lively energy, positive outlook and outbursts of song and dance. 

Ernie Zubot, of Big 0 Tires, passed away at the age of 77.

Ernie and his wife, Marg, ran Big O Tires in Vernon for 35 years before selling to Fountain Tire in September 2014.

In an obituary, it was stated that Ernie could "always be seen with a smile on his face and a joke to tell, a trait many people in the community will remember."

As per Ernie’s wishes, he was cremated and there will be no service held.

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