Highway 1 near Savona cleared after earlier closure due to police incident, DriveBC says

Hwy 1 in Savona cleared

UPDATE: 8:45 p.m.

Highway 1 near Savona has been cleared in both directions after an earlier police incident, according to DriveBC.

ORIGINAL 8:28 p.m.

The Trans-Canada Highway near Savona is closed in both directions due to a police incident that happened Tuesday evening, according to DriveBC.

DriveBC said the police incident occurred along a stretch of Highway 1 between Sabiston Creek Road and Savona Access Road.

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, the same stretch of highway was closed as emergency crews responded to a vehicle fire, with lanes opening at about 5:40 p.m.

At about 8 p.m. Tuesday, DriveBC said crews were en route to the area. An update is expected later this evening.


Kamloops RCMP report 25 thefts from cars, two bike thefts from June 27 to July 3

25 thefts from cars last week

There were a total of 25 thefts from motor vehicles and two bicycle thefts reported to police last week, according to Kamloops RCMP statistics.

From June 27 to July 3, six thefts from motor vehicles were reported in North Kamloops, including two thefts which happened in Bachelor Heights and Westsyde.

Police data showed another five such thefts happened while cars were parked downtown, and five occurred in Aberdeen and Upper Sahali.

Two thefts from vehicles were reported from the Mount Paul area.

Police data shows one such theft happened from a vehicle near Heffley Creek, and another occurred in Dallas.

According to Kamloops RCMP, two bicycle thefts were reported between June 27 and July 3.

One bike was stolen from downtown, and another from a location close to Thompson Rivers University.

One lane in each direction moving on Hwy 1 near Savona after earlier vehicle fire closed highway

Lanes open after vehicle fire

UPDATE: 5:41 p.m.

One lane in each direction has been re-opened for travel after an earlier vehicle fire closed the Trans-Canada Highway near Savona.

According to DriveBC, the fire happened on Highway 1 at Savona Access Road.

DriveBC said drivers can expect heavy delays in the area due to traffic congestion.

ORIGINAL 5:01 p.m.

A vehicle fire near Savona has closed the Trans-Canada Highway in both directions.

According to DriveBC, Highway 1 is closed between Sabiston Creek Road and Savona Access Road for about six kilometres.

A photo submitted to Castanet News shows traffic stretched bumper-to-bumper along the highway.

DriveBC said an assessment is in progress, and a detour is not available.

An update is expected later on Tuesday evening. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


Mounties investigate report of incident on Rivers Trail beneath Halston Bridge

Rivers Trail incident probed

Police are investigating a weekend incident in which a teen said he was “charged” at by a man on Rivers Trail beneath the Halston Bridge.

Investigators believe the incident took place at about 8:50 p.m. on Saturday.

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn said the teen told Mounties a man “charged” at him.

“The man was allegedly in possession of a pocket knife but did not threaten or use it in an aggressive manner,” Evelyn said.

“Police conducted patrols in the area but were unable to locate anyone matching the description.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call police at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Teen arrested after leading Merritt police on downtown bike chase

Arrested after bicycle chase

A teenager is facing dozens of criminal charges following a bicycle chase Tuesday in downtown Merritt.

According to an RCMP news release, Merritt Mounties received a tip at about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday that a wanted youth was riding a bike through the city’s downtown core.

“Officers swarmed the area and located the youth on a BMX bike,” Merritt RCMP Sgt. Josh Roda said in the release.

“He refused to stop for police and fled on the bike.”

Roda said a chase ensued and the teen was later arrested on foot near Nicola Avenue and Voght Street.

According to Roda, the youth is now facing 30 criminal charges including break-and-enter, theft of a motor vehicle, mischief, obstruct, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited weapon and breach of bail.

Roda said the teen was slated to appear in court later in the day on Tuesday.

Kamloops Blades crowned provincial softball champions

Local girls win B.C. title

The Tournament Capital is home to some brand-new provincial champions.

The Kamloops Blades U15C softball team was crowned the best in B.C. over the Canada Day long weekend, following a marathon five-game Sunday that ended with a win over Kelowna with gold medals on the line.

The Blades, playing with just 10 players, went 3-1 in the round robin on Friday and Saturday at the Softball B.C. U15C provincials in North Vancouver — good for sixth out of 16 clubs.

They then won four must-win games on Sunday following an early-morning loss en route to a championship.

The Blades beat Kelowna 6-5 in the final.

Kamloops flood response plan ongoing as high river levels persist

Flood plans remain in place

The City of Kamloops continues to operate its flood response plan as river levels are expected to remain high, according to a statement issued Monday afternoon.

Federal data shows the Thompson River peaked at nearly 7.8 metres last week, receding after a slight increase over Canada Day. On Monday, Environment Canada ended a severe thunderstorm watch previously issued for the region — an event which caused officials concern due to the potential for heavy rainfall to raise river levels.

However the B.C. River Forecast Centre has maintained a flood watch for the South Thompson and Thompson River — from Kamloops to Spences Bridge — and a high streamflow advisor for the North Thompson River.

“Snowmelt flood risks may be subsiding as snow coverage across watersheds had become diminished. While rivers remain full and at capacity, they will continue to remain vulnerable to additional runoff, particularly from rainfall,” the forecast centre said in a statement last week.

While its flood response plan is still in place for the time being, the City of Kamloops said it will provide an update when it plans to scale back its flood response measures, such as reopening city boat launches.

City of Kamloops extends funding agreement which helps businesses after vandalism

Vandalism support extended

Kamloops city council has approved the extension of a funding agreement put in place to financially assist businesses struck by vandals.

The Vandalism Cleanup Support Grant was launched in August 2021, and allows city businesses to submit up to two applications — receiving up to $500 per incident — to help cover clean up and repair costs after acts of vandalism or graffiti.

At a city council meeting on June 28, Sarah Candido, the city’s external relations liaison, said there have been 41 applicants and 29 reimbursements offered since the program was launched last year, with 12 applications currently in progress.

She said while grant uptake was initially slow, the city saw an increase in applications around January 2022.

“Most of the reimbursements have been in the city's core business districts, and most were for broken glass replacement. The remaining applications are waiting for various paperwork to be turned in such as receipts and photos of damages,” Candido said.

A staff report indicates out of 29 reimbursements, 22 were issued for replacing broken glass in windows or doors.

Out of the 41 total applicants, 25 were located downtown, 12 on the North Shore, five in Sahali, one in Valleyview and another in Dallas.

Candido said the grant — offered through a partnership between the City of Kamloops and the Kamloops and District Chamber of Commerce — was launched with a $50,000 budget, and $17,000 has been expensed so far.

“As of June, there is still approximately $33,000 left in the fund,” Candido said, adding the service agreement was put in place until August 2022.

She said whenever cheques are issued, a representative from the chamber or herself will visit the impacted business to discuss the incident and offer support.

“We've received positive feedback from recipients about that support,” Candido said.

“Given the ongoing impacts of vandalism, the positive results of the grant and the remaining funds in the budget, we are proposing that the vandalism cleanup support grant service agreement be extended to Dec. 31, 2023 or until such time as the $50,000 which was allocated is fully expended.”

Candido said this won’t impact the city’s budget as the funding has already been allocated, but the service agreement would be updated.

She said the chamber has been discussing a strategy to get word of the grant to more businesses.

“The chamber is asking people that if you see a business impacted by vandalism, please remind them that the reimbursement program is available for up to two intakes per business,” Candido said.

Kamloops city council unanimously voted in favour of authorizing staff to renew the funding agreement until Dec. 31, or until all funds are spent.

Vendor heard gunshots, helped crowd evacuate after Williams Lake Stampede shooting

Vendor heard gunshots

A Kamloops man attending the Williams Lake Stampede where a shooting took place on Sunday said he heard gunshots and witnessed the alleged gunman trying to escape.

Rex Landis, procurement and raffle coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, said he was at the stampede selling raffle tickets for the organization’s Classic Car Raffle when he heard about four shots ring out.

“The fellow that did the shooting was right by the main entrance into the vendor's area, which is behind the grandstands. That’s where the shooting was,” Landis told Castanet Kamloops.

“I was down just a ways from that. I didn't see him shoot, but I heard shots. And then I saw him running. He got outside the main entrance and ran down the fence by where I was.”

Landis said the man, who appeared to be in his 30s, was wearing bulky clothes and looked like he was trying to get out of the area quickly — even though he wasn’t moving very fast.

Landis said police began to chase after the man.

“They had their weapons drawn on him, but he ducked towards where there was cars and other people, so they didn’t fire on him — to their credit,” Landis said.

“They could have and they didn’t, so credit to them for keeping their calm the way they did. And they caught him.”

On Sunday evening, police confirmed one suspect was arrested following the public shooting.

Mounties said two individuals were injured at the event and taken to hospital for treatment. Police said they are expected to survive their injuries.

RCMP believe the shooting was targeted, but police said one innocent bystander was injured.

Jordell Anthony Sellars has been charged with attempted murder and discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life. Sellars is being held in custody and will appear on July 11 in Williams Lake provincial court.

Landis said on Sunday, even before the shooting happened, there was a visible police presence throughout the stampede grounds.

“There was a really good presence of officials,” Landis said.

“And then when the shooting took place, with the injuries, the on-site medics did a fantastic job. … Three of them came, and they went to work right away. While they were working on the people who had been injured, the ambulances showed up.”

Landis said he was asked to help with crowd control in the wake of the shooting, evacuating about 4,500 attendees from the grandstands and the vendor's area.

He said the incident happened at about 3:40 p.m. and nearly everyone was out of the stands within 35 minutes and getting into their vehicles.

“We stopped people from coming from the stands back into the vendor's area because then they'd be going through an active crime scene,” Landis said.

On Monday afternoon, Landis said police still had the stampede grounds secure as they continue their investigation.

Speaking to Castanet from outside the grounds, Landis said stampede officials and vendors were still waiting to get into the area in order to retrieve items left behind in the evacuation.

In a post on the Williams Lake Stampede Facebook page, organizers said they are working with the city and police to respond to Sunday’s incident.

“Our team is currently working on responding to issues of lost personal items during evacuation and to the emotional distress of many patrons, volunteers and vendors,” the post said.

“We want our community to know that this is all being handled with thoughtfulness to ensure property is returned to the rightful owner and that those impacted emotionally will have the supports they require."

The post said stampede officials will be issuing a list of support lines and agencies for those impacted by Sunday’s event.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information, dash cam or other video footage who hasn’t yet talked with police is asked to contact Williams Lake RCMP.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids to headline free festival Wednesday at Tk'emlups powwow grounds

Free festival at Tk'emlups

A B.C. First Nations hip hop duo fresh off a performance at the Junos will headline a free music festival Wednesday at the Tk’emlups powwow arbour.

The Snotty Nose Rez Kids and DJ Shub will headline Movable Feast on Wednesday. The event kicks off at noon and runs until 11 p.m.

Other musical acts include Willie Trasher, Kym Gouache, JB the First Lady and Eekwol and T-Rhyme, among others.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids, a duo hailing from Kitimat, performed a well-received set at the Junos in May in Toronto.

Movable Feast is a touring show put on by the 2 Rivers Remix Society, a Lytton-based non-profit that puts on outdoor Indigenous music and culture performances.

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