Headliner bails on festival

One of the two main headliners at the Snowbombing festival at Sun Peaks has cancelled less than four weeks out, opening the door for two more artists.

Earlier this week, organizers announced Cardi B, a rapper known for her single Bodak Yellow, had cancelled her appearance at the April festival “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

To replace the hit rapper, the festival has secured Canadian R&B and soul singer, Daniel Caesar, and American DJ and producer Tyler Marenyi, known by his stage name NGHTMRE.

Snowboming posted to Twitter that Caesar will be “performing a very special sunset set on the Forest Stage,” while NGHTMRE's set would “shake the mountains."

The festival, held at Sun Peaks for the second year, will run from April 5-9 and feature electronic music acts like Big Wild, Black Tiger Sex Machine and The Funk Hunters.


Building affordable housing

A new affordable housing project is in the works for Kamloops.

The City teamed up with the John Howard Society of the Thompson Region and the Province for the proposed 52-unit complex.

The building will be located on the corner of St. Paul Street and 5th Avenue downtown, and will offer affordable rental housing for low- to moderate-income singles and families.

“Too many families are struggling in Kamloops and throughout the province to afford housing,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new rental homes will help address a critical need in the community. Our government will continue to work in partnership with local governments and non-profits to create the affordable homes people need.”

In December 2017, the City purchased the six lots (503, 511, 519, 527, 533, and 537) on St. Paul Street for the purpose of affordable housing, and BC Housing is now working with the John Howard Society to prepare this housing complex for that site.

“This development is one more step toward solving the issue of housing affordability and homelessness in Kamloops,” says Mayor Ken Christian. “The City will continue to look for opportunities to support affordable housing and enhance the lives of all of our residents.”

The project is at a preliminary stage of planning, with an expected construction start in 2019. 

Kamloops RCMP ID body

Kamloops RCMP say it has identified the body found at the Domtar site March 7, 2018. 

Police say the remains are of 67-year-old David Michael Jeff.

Jeff was one of the residents of Williams Lake evacuated during last summer's wild fires. He had been reported missing since July 31, 2017.

In the weeks following Jeff's disappearance, an extensive investigation was launched by friends and family and RCMP.

An autopsy was completed, and RCMP doesn't believe the death to be suspicious. 

"Kamloops RCMP investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in determining a timeline of Mr. Jeff’s activities prior to his death and how he came to be in the area where his body was found," stated Cpl. Jodie Shelkie.

Kamloops RCMP are asking anyone who spent time with Jeff last summer to contact them.

Specifically, if you know where he spent time during the day or where he was sleeping at night, the police would like to talk to you.

Please contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828- 3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-8477.


Victim stabbed to death

An autopsy has confirmed a man found murdered in a Logan Lake motel a week ago was stabbed to death.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk made the announcement Monday afternoon after completion of the autopsy and forensic examination.

The body of the as yet unidentified 55-year-old man, was discovered in a room at the Copper Valley Motel on the morning of Tuesday, March 6.

Witnesses told Castanet News as many as eight police vehicles descended upon the motel.

Gordon Fleming, 66, of Logan Lake, was arrested at the motel, and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Police believe Fleming and the victim knew each other.

Fleming has been remanded in custody.

He appears in court again April 9 in Kamloops.

$15K for missing man

A $15,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the recovery of a missing 20-year-old man last seen at Sun Peaks Resort.

Ryan Shtuka, from Kamloops, was last seen leaving a house party on Burfield Drive at about 2:10 a.m. on Feb. 17. His residence was just over a kilometre away from the party.

His family has spent the past three weeks searching every possible area of Sun Peaks looking for him.

Originally the family was offering a reward of $5,000, but increased the amount a few days ago.

The man’s mother, Heather Shtuka, has actively been posting updates on social media about the search.

“I lie awake incredibly aware that we haven’t located him. Did we do enough? Did we somehow miss him? Does someone after three long weeks have knowledge that places him somewhere else?” she said.

Ryan’s 21st birthday is a few days away on March 17.

“We are in the midst of planning something here,” said his mother.

Five Canadian Search and Disaster Dogs units headed to Sun Peaks Resort for three days to help in the search Wednesday, but did not find any leads.

“The dogs did not find my son today,” she said. “And now I have to uncurl myself from this dark, dark place and find the strength to do this again tomorrow.”

Ryan is believed to have been wearing a navy blue coat, a burgundy baseball cap, jeans and a grey-and-white shirt at the time of his disappearance.

The family is also asking for volunteers to help perform ground searches on foot and everyone is welcome.

If anyone has any information related to Shtuka, they are urged to contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.

More guilty pleas from cop

Police had to restrain a man after he burst into a Saskatchewan courtroom and demanded closure from a former RCMP officer accused of assaulting him and two other males when they were boys.

The outburst happened Thursday in a Yorkton courtroom when Alan John Davidson pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault, while a third count was stayed.

The pleas ended a trial that had begun this week for Davidson, who was charged after three people reported to police in 2014 that they had been assaulted while they were living in or visiting Yorkton between 1987 and 1991.

Davidson, who is 62 and now faces a sentencing hearing, was stationed in Regina, Coronach, Lloydminster, North Battleford and Yorkton between 1981 to 1996.

The alleged victim of the third assault had become upset by the defence lawyer's cross-examination and found it difficult to continue his testimony.

He entered the courtroom following word of the plea deal.

Davidson is also to be sentenced in British Columbia where he was found guilty by a B.C. Supreme Court judge last month of indecently assaulting five boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He was found not guilty of two other charges of indecent assault involving two other complainants.

During his trial in Kamloops in September, the complainants testified that the assaults included sexual touching and oral sex.

Court heard Davidson was in his 20s and coached hockey, basketball and baseball at the time of the offences and served as an auxiliary Mountie before later becoming an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan.

The former officer was arrested in March 2014 in Calgary where he was living and working for Alberta's sheriff services.

Davidson, who also served at RCMP detachments in Alberta, retired from the force in August 1996.

Body removed from mill

A dead body has been removed from the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops. 

The body was first discovered by employees on Wednesday in one of the ponds on the site at Mission Flats Road. 

"There has been some degradation of the body due to the material that was surrounding it," says Cpl. Jodie Shelkie from the Kamloops RCMP.

Because of the body's state of degradation, it took several days for its removal. However, RCMP can't say for certain how long it has been there. 

"That is what the autopsy will have to determine, how much of the degradation of the body is because of time and how much is because of the material surrounding it."   

At this time, the gender, age or identity of the body are unknown.  

"Once an autopsy has been completed more information will be forthcoming," says Cpl. Shelkie.
Officers are still processing the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

RCMP still at Domtar mill

UPDATED: 8:17 a.m.

Kamloops RCMP are still on the scene of a gruesome discovery. 

A body was found at Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops, Wednesday afternoon.

The body has not been removed. 

"The scene is currently being processed by forensic specialists. Once the body has been removed, an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and time of death and its identity,"  stated Cpl. Jodi Shelkie in a press release. "At this time it is unknown what the gender or age of the body is." 

Around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7 RCMP were called to Domtar after employees of the mill found a body in one of the ponds on the site at Mission Flats Road. 

Kamloops RCMP Serious Crime Unit, the Forensic Identification Section and the Coroner’s Officer attended.

"Kamloops RCMP are securing the site until the body has been extracted," stated Shelkie. "The investigation is ongoing."

ORIGINAL: March 7, 2018

A body was discovered at the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops, Wednesday afternoon.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says employees discovered the body in one of the mill ponds about 3 p.m.

Few details are available, but the RCMP's Serious Crimes Unit is on scene, along with coroners.

"The investigation is in infancy," Shelkie said in a press release.

"At this time, it is unknown how the body came to be in the pond, how long it has been there or if foul play is suspected."

More information will be released once it's available.

Time to end time change?

A Kamloops group says its efforts to do away with daylight time may be paying off.

Bob Dieno, co-founder of a local group against the time change, says he recently met with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and was told the NDP government may hold a public consultation on the issue.

Dieno says his group has started a Facebook campaign to call for a referendum in the municipal election in October.

He says the time change was originally started during wartime so people could work longer at night, but it's been shown to have negative effects on health and safety.

Murder in Logan Lake

UPDATE: 8:02 a.m.

A Logan Lake man is facing a second-degree murder charge following the death of another man at a motel.

Logan Lake RCMP say they were called to a local motel around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, to find an unresponsive man in one of the rooms.

Despite the efforts of paramedics and fire crews the man died. 

“The RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit are investigating the incident and have confirmed that Gordon Fleming, 66 years old, of Logan Lake, B.C. was arrested at the motel and is now charged with second degree murder in connection to the death of the 55 year-old male resident of Logan Lake,” stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk in a press release.

It is believed the two men knew each other.

Fleming will remain in custody and will appear in Provincial Court in Kamloops later today.

Logan Lake has a population of around 2,000 people.

ORIGINAL: March 6, 2018

There are unconfirmed reports of a homicide in Logan Lake.

Castanet has been told up to eight police cars descended upon the Copper Valley Motel earlier Tuesday.

A witness told Castanet an air ambulance was also called to the motel.

There are reports a person was stabbed to death in the community some 40 minutes from Kamloops.

Logan Lake has a population of just 2,000 people and sits on the edge of the Teck Highland Valley Copper mine.

Castanet has reached out to the RCMP and will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

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