Cher themed drag show coming to downtown Kamloops' Night Shift on Fifth

It's Cher! at Night Shift

A Cher themed drag show is coming to Night Shift on Fifth.

According to a statement from production company Rebellious Unicorns, It’s Cher! will feature performances from headliner Jaylene Tyme, billed as one of Canada’s premiere celebrity impersonators, alongside Farrah Nuff and Ella Lamoureaux.

“All three artists have reached deep into their costume bags and have picked a variety of Cher-inspired song and dance numbers to perform for the show,” the statement said.

The Cher tribute show will take place on Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $25, and include cover charge for Night Shift on Fifth.

Tickets can be purchased through Rebellious Unicorn’s website.


Merritt's Rockin’ River Music Fest announces cancellation due to financial struggles

Cash flow cancels festival

Another BC music festival has announced that it is cancelling its event for 2023, facing financial struggles.

Rockin’ River Music Fest in Merritt announced on social media Friday afternoon that they have been "met with a series of economic obstacles that we tried our best to overcome, but in the end, we have made the decision not to move forward with the festival in 2023."

They thanked the City of Merritt for their support, along with the artists, staff and fans who have come to the event.

"Many of whom have been loyal since year one," they wrote. "We hope to see you again soon."

Their announcement followed two West Coast music festivals stating their future was in doubt as soaring costs and uncertain ticket sales make it impossible to plan and stage their events.

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival announced last week it had decided to cancel its 2023 edition due to rising production costs.

In a recent update, however, the team is now re-thinking whether to cancel after several parties have offered possible solutions for funding and support.

And the Squamish Constellation Festival is working out whether to scrap this year's edition and posted that they are seeking investors to make the 2023 festival viable.

- With files from The Canadian Press

TRU partners with Shad Canada to offer program for high school students

New TRU program for youth

Thompson Rivers University has partnered with Shad Canada to run a program which gives high school students from across Canada a unique, hands-on educational experience.

Shad Canada provides educational programs for high school students which have been offered on university campuses nationwide for decades. Shad has partnerships with 22 campuses and a network of more than 20,000 program graduates.

“This partnership between TRU and Shad Canada will create amazing opportunities for more than 40 exceptional students from across Canada to experience our part of the world and to learn more about the place that we call home,” said Tom Dickinson, a retired TRU science dean who is working with Shad as the program’s first director at the university.

In a news release, TRU announced it will be running Shad’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and entrepreneurship programs for students in grades 10 and 11 over a 27-day period this July.

The agreement between Shad and TRU is for five years, with the possibility of further extension.

As part of the program, Shad participants work in small groups to design a solution to real-world problems like food security, water management and improving population well being.

TRU will provide access to mentors, including graduate students and faculty.

“Our activities will focus on the different components of livability in today’s world, but we also want to get (students) hands-on experience with the history of this area, which has such a profound influence on our current community,” Dickinson said.

Greg Anderson, TRU dean of science, said the university is excited to join Shad to deliver a program which will "help youth take on social and economic challenges through the lens of STEAM."

“This is a fabulous opportunity for both the student participants to learn and grow, and our university to enhance its reputation as a world class educational institution delivering impactful learning opportunities," Anderson said.

At the end of the program in July, TRU will host a public open house for student participants to share their results with the community.

KFR says smoke may be visible from fuel reduction burns in Kenna Cartwright Park

Controlled burns in park

Residents can expect to see some smoke coming from Kenna Cartwright Park over the next couple of days as crews complete fuel reduction burns in the area.

According to a social media post from Kamloops Fire Rescue, the burns will take place on Friday and Saturday.

“Expect to see some smoke in the park — if all goes well, this will complete the project in the area,” KFR said.

Hwy 5 north of Kamloops reopened after earlier semi rollover

Hwy 5 reopened

UPDATE: 11:43 a.m.

Highway 5 north of Kamloops has been reopened after an earlier vehicle incident involving a semi, according to DriveBC.

The route had been closed between Old Highway 5 and Station Road after a semi rollover.

While the rollover has been cleared and the highway reopened, DriveBC advised drivers it had received reports of another crash on Highway 5 north of Paul Lake Road.

ORIGINAL: 7:47 a.m.

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 5 north of Kamloops.

DriveBC reports the route is closed in both directions between Old Highway 5 and Station Road.

The closure spans a 3.1-kilometre distance, however a detour is in place.

The nature of the incident and any injuries involved is not yet known.

Bones found near Peterson Creek last week identified as those of missing Kelowna man

Bones ID'd as missing man

Bones discovered last week near Peterson Creek have been identified as belonging to a Kelowna man who went missing in November, according to Kamloops police.

Joseph Driscoll, 42, was last seen in the Valleyview area on Nov. 12. His family had been travelling to Kamloops from Kelowna on a frequent basis to search the area for the missing man.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, police received a report of suspected human bones discovered east of Peterson Creek and west of Rose Hill, above the 700-block of East Trans-Canada Highway.

“In working with the BC Coroners Service and with the Driscoll family, police can now confirm the bones did in fact belong to Joseph, and that he is deceased,” said Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn in a statement.

“We do not suspect criminality in his disappearance at this time. Our thoughts go out to the Driscoll family.”

Evelyn said police and the BC Coroners Service continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the discovery of Driscoll’s remains.

Anyone who may have come across any other bones in the area, or who has other information regarding the investigation, is asked to contact Kamloops RCMP.

Police said the Driscoll family has requested privacy.

Jury returns guilty verdict on lesser charge of manslaughter following motel murder trial

Jury finds attacker guilty

A Kamloops man charged with second-degree murder following a fatal stabbing outside a downtown motel was found guilty Thursday of the lesser included offence of manslaughter.

James Sanford’s B.C. Supreme Court jury returned with a verdict at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, following a little more than two days of deliberations.

Sanford, 33, was charged after he stabbed 34-year-old Daniel Thomas Myles once in the back outside the Acadian Inn on Sept. 12, 2020. Myles died from his injuries.

During a two-week trial, jurors heard Sanford and Myles were involved in a protracted conflict dating back more than three months before the stabbing. Myles had threatened to kill Sanford more than once. He also smashed one of the windows at Sanford’s suite in the Acadian Inn and sprayed bear spray inside.

Court heard Sanford believed Myles smashed his window again a few hours before the stabbing. He also believed Myles doused his patio with gasoline.

Sanford told police he was scared Sanford would set fire to his suite.

Defence lawyer Jay Michi urged jurors to acquit Sanford, telling them he was acting in self-defence.

Crown prosecutor Alison Buchanan, meanwhile, said Sanford armed himself and went out looking for Myles — showing he was acting with intent.

Lawyers will return to court on Feb. 6 to set a date for sentencing.

Sanford remains free on bail.

IH CEO says childcare, parking solutions eyed as morale boosters for RIH staff

Childcare eyed for RIH staff

The head of Interior Health says the health authority is looking at securing a childcare arrangement for healthcare workers at Royal Inland Hospital in a bid to improve staff morale.

Healthcare workers at the Kamloops hospital have shared stories in recent years about understaffing and unsupportive work environments leading to burnout.

IH CEO Susan Brown said Thursday the health authority is focusing on recruitment and retention efforts and is taking steps to alleviate “the little things” that can cause persistent stress.

Brown said part of this includes childcare.

“We are focusing in on a provider with trying to work on a deal with childcare, which would be as close proximity to the hospital as possible," she said.

"Those things are really important to people and it takes away worry for people when they're at work.”

Brown said the health authority is also looking at parking solutions for healthcare workers.

“If you're having to park kilometres away after a 12-hour shift, that's just another burden," she said.

"So [we're] really focusing in on that parking, and we know that there'll be some additional parking stalls at the site in March."

According to Brown, ongoing renovations at the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department have created a difficult work environment for staff.

“It's a very challenging physical environment while we go through renovations, the team are doing tremendous work there, they're very dedicated," she said.

"And we know there's light at the end of the tunnel, but it's trying to provide them with any support we can in this interim state."

She said she spent a lot of time at the emergency department during her visit to Royal Inland Hospital on Thursday and is “taking away some thoughts on how we can help them with the physical environment there.”

When it comes to hiring, Brown said IH is still working to recruit more healthcare workers to the Kamloops hospital, including graduating students.

She noted this can include letting prospective employees know what Kamloops can offer for their families, and incentivizing students who have worked in the community already to stay.

“We have worked tremendously with the ministry to help them understand the challenges here at Royal Inland, and they've been incredibly supportive of giving us a suite of tools to incentivize people to stay or to bring them to this community,” Brown said.

“When people get offers, they’ll be able to weigh them against other areas in the province but I would say that Royal Inland, our incentives here should be substantial compared to other areas at this point in time.”

Brown said while there are still staffing vacancies to fill, there have been staff retained, and Royal Inland is seeing some healthcare workers return to the site who had previously left.

“[We] still have vacancies as you've noticed, but still continuing every effort to provide incentives for the staff here, and trying to address what is important to the staff,” she said.

“They've heard they want to have better connection with our senior executive team. We were here two weeks ago, and the whole team did tours of the site. We heard from the mental health team here and in the community about some tremendous work they're doing and they're proud of. So trying to just have a presence at the site and support the staff.”

Tk'emlups unveils Tesla supercharger stalls on Shuswap Road

Tk'emlups opens Tesla stalls

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc’s new eight-stall Tesla supercharger station is now open in the parking lot of the Petro Canada on Shuswap Road.

The band cut the ribbon on the project last weekend, though it has been operational since last month.

There are now three supercharger stations in the Kamloops area — the Tk’emlups Petro Canada, on Notre Dame Drive near the former Toys R Us and at the Kamloops Visitor Centre near Aberdeen Mall.

Other Tesla chargers are located throughout the city.

According to Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, more supercharger stalls will be built into the parking lot at the Swelaps Market grocery store, which is under construction across the street from the band’s Petro Canada.

IH CEO says health authority would 'embrace' unvaccinated staff if mandate lifted

IH CEO talks vax mandates

The head of Interior Health says the health authority would welcome back unvaccinated staff if the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers is lifted by the province.

The mayor for the City of Merritt recently called on the provincial government to abolish the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, with the city hospital facing frequent closures due to staffing issues.

Speaking with reporters during a visit to Royal Inland Hospital on Thursday, IH CEO Susan Brown said all health authorities, including Interior Health, lost staff when the public health order came forward.

In early 2022, Interior Health reported 895 employees — about 4 per cent of all IH staff — were fired for not getting the vaccine.

“The only message I could say, if that order changes, we would embrace any staff member to come back,” Brown said.

Brown said the provincial public health office has “tried to follow the science” while determining its response to COVID-19, including the vaccine mandates.

“They've looked at countries that are maybe ahead of us in different ways, so I know Dr. Bonnie Henry has brought that science to the thinking in B.C.,” Brown said.

“I would say there are so many researchers and scientists working on this. It would be hard to believe the science was that inaccurate.”

Brown said she believes that same process will be followed when it comes to evaluating vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.

“I would say that if evidence and science shows that over time, that that's a safe thing to do. I would assume that we’d go there,” Brown said, referring to lifting the mandates.

“If it's not safe, then I'm assuming as a province, we won’t go there.”

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix told the Vancouver Sun this week the province won’t consider lifting the vaccine mandate.

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