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Kamloops  

Car slams into back of semi on Highway 1 in Kamloops

Car rear ends semi

A small car rear-ended a semi early this morning in Kamloops.

About 2 a.m., RCMP responded to the serious motor vehicle collision on Highway 1, near the Copperhead Drive exit.

Staff Sgt. Mat. Van Laer says an eastbound vehicle failed to keep its distance from a semi and rear-ended the trailer of the truck, which was travelling in the same direction.

"Although the damage to the small vehicle was extensive, the two occupants (a male and a female in their early 30s, from Kamloops) were taken to a local medical facility and treated for minor injuries only. The driver of the semi was not injured," says Van Laer.

Traffic was disrupted for a brief period, but police were able to keep the highway open during the investigation and the following cleanup.



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Kamloops police catch four inebriated drivers in five hours

4 drunk drivers in 5 hours

It seems more than a few people had more than a few last night, as Kamloops RCMP had a busy Family Day.

Four immediate roadside prohibitions for impaired driving were issued in five hours last night (Feb. 17), according to a police press release. Kamloops RCMP call it "unusual."

"Frontline officers are always observing motorists and their driving behaviours so they frequently do find impaired drivers,” states Cpl. Jodi Shelkie in the release.  “But to find four impaired drivers on a Monday night shift is unusual.”

All four drivers are facing fines, while their vehicles have been impounded. They've also lost their licenses for 90 days.

The RCMP are reminding people to plan ahead if they are planning to drink.



Man arrested after robbery and stabbing in Kamloops

Man arrested after stabbing

Kamloops RCMP has arrested a man after he allegedly stabbed a person while robbing a group of people.

RCMP responded to a call at Rogers Place on Feb. 16 at 10:50 p.m., for a report of a group of people who were standing in the 1800 block when they were approached by a man they did not know. 

The man demanded money from the group and then allegedly stabbed one of them before running away.

Police flooded the area and set up a perimeter. 

A short time later an officer saw a man who fit the description of the suspect. 

The suspect was told he was under arrest but refused to cooperate.  He was eventually taken into custody without further incident.

The victim was taken to a local medical facility with a non-life threatening injury.



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Male arrested after robbing Husky Gas Station on Saturday night

Man pulls knife in robbery

A male has been arrested after threatening Husky Gas Station staff with a knife and stealing cigarettes and cash from the store on Saturday night.

Kamloops RCMP received report of the robbery at approximately 8:40 p.m., just after it had occurred at 884 Columbia St. W. 

Kamloops RCMP members attended the scene quickly and flooded the area. 

A police officer found a male matching the description of the suspect in the area of Grandview Terrace, who attempted to flee when approached by police.

He was arrested for robbery and police found the stolen cash and cigarettes in his backpack.

The male was known to police and was acting alone. He will appear before the Courts on Sunday, Feb. 16. 



Penticton man guilty of violent rape, gets 3 years jail

Three years for violent rape

A Penticton man has been sentenced to three years in prison for violently raping a Kamloops woman in July 2017. 

Richard Syver Skoyen was sentenced Monday in Kamloops, the BC Prosecution Service confirms. Along with his time in jail, he received a 10 year prohibition from possession of firearms.

Kamloops This Week reports that Skoyen and his victim, whose name is protected under a publication ban, connected in 2017 when they planned to meet in Merritt for an erotic photo shoot. 

But the victim said things immediately escalated beyond consent.

A psychologist who assessed Skoyen called him a sexual sadist, Kamloops This Week further reports. 



Vigil marks 2nd anniversary of Shtuka disappearance

Vigil for disappearance

Almost two years after Ryan Shtuka disappeared without a trace from Sun Peaks, efforts to both locate him and keep his memory alive are still going strong.

The official two-year anniversary of the day Shtuka went missing is this Monday (Feb. 17) and there will be a candlelight vigil and walk held in the village for the vanished Alberta boy. 

Shtuka never returned home after a house party on Burfield Drive in the early morning of Feb. 17, 2018. Extensive searches of the area haven't turned up anything and though the police are still investigating, they're in need of tips.

The case was even the subject of a documentary that premiered over the summer. 

Throughout it all, the Shtuka family continues to search for their son while honouring his life and memory.

Last Saturday (Feb. 8), Sun Peaks Resort hosted a 'Run for Ryan,' where anyone wanting to show support met at the top of Sunburst Express chairlift and did a group ski run down 5 Mile run. 



Trans Mountain conducts full-scale emergency response exercise

Full-scale emergency drill

Trans Mountain conducted a full-scale emergency response exercise in Kamloops on Wednesday, training hundreds of participants in an effective and efficient spill response to a simulated pipeline rupture. 

The exercise was done under ice and snow conditions, and included a coordinated, collaborative response with over 225 participants and observers from more than 25 agencies.

It simulated the occurrence of a real incident, including a field deployment at Inks Lake and an off-site Incident Command Post where several agencies, stakeholders, first responders and regulators participated in an integrated response alongside Trans Mountain personnel.

The day provided an opportunity for response personnel to practice the implementation of the Kamloops District Response Plan, among meeting other objectives.

Trans Mountain Corporate vice-president of operations Michael Davies says the simulated emergency responses are held regularly to ensure employees are prepared, in the case of a real incident occurring. 

“At Trans Mountain, we test and practice our plans regularly and involve local first responders, Indigenous groups and government agencies to ensure we’re prepared in the event of an incident. While our goal is that our emergency response plans are never used, we are fully prepared to respond to any incident in a timely and effective manner.

"We conduct more than 20 emergency response exercises each year, which allows us to practice and demonstrate our industry-leading practices for incident responses."



Kamloops RCMP seize drugs, cash and more during traffic stop

Big bags of drugs seized

The Kamloops RCMP seized a family-sized bag of chips worth of drugs during a traffic stop in Valleyview last month.

On Jan. 31, Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) officers stopped a prohibited driver in the parking lot of a motel.

"The driver attempted to flee on foot and resisted arrest. A male passenger was also apprehended when he attempted to intervene in the arrest of the driver," reads a release from Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

According to police, no injuries occurred during the altercation.

Around $3,000 in cash was seized from the driver as well as 262 grams of what is suspected to be cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. Police also recovered a data card printer that is believed to be used for producing ID cards from the vehicle.

The vehicle was impounded for seven days and all the findings from the investigation will be forwarded to the Public Prosecution of Canada for review and consideration of charge approval.



Papal ambassador declines Kamloops priest sex case involvement

Vatican won't cooperate

The Pope’s Ottawa representative has refused to participate in the case of a Kamloops priest suspended for alleged sexual offences, a BC Supreme Court judge heard Feb. 10.

The court has heard that Kamloops Roman Catholic Diocese officials knew of the sexual activities of Father Erlindo “Lindo” Molon before a schoolteacher reported months of abuse at the man’s hands in 1977.

Rosemary Anderson alleged in a Dec. 22, 2016, notice of civil claim the sexual abuse at the hands of Molon, now 88, started when she was 26. She names Molon and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops, A Corporation Sole in the claim.

Molon was two decades her senior.

Anderson testified in October she had sought help from Molon in dealing with grief after the 1976 death of her father. Molon began groping her in his office, she said.

She said as she was leaving Molon’s office, “he embraced me, then began fondling me. He shoved his ugly tongue in my mouth. I hated it. I prayed to God to stop it.”

Then, she said, Molon took her hand and led her into the adjoining bedroom, where they had intercourse.

Anderson testified earlier the sexual abuse happened “on an average, I’d say, two or three times a week.”

The case resumed this week after a four-month break.

Now, Anderson’s lawyer Sandra Kovacs wants to know what senior Canadian Catholic officers knew of the case.

But that’s not happening due to an international treaty called the Vienna Convention.

Kovacs filed an affidavit Jan. 14 from Dominican Order priest Thomas Doyle saying files on such cases would be stored by a papal nuncio, knowledge he gained from working at the Washington D.C. papal embassy.

“Accusations of child abuse by priests and bishops as well as members of religious communities of men and women were reported to the Vatican Embassy,” Doyle’s affidavit said.

Doyle said cases he has reviewed involved consistent destruction of documents.

Kovacs told Justice David Crossin that the papal nuncio in Ottawa had been served documents to participate in the case.

“They are refusing to participate, citing diplomatic immunity,” Kovacs told Crossin.

That’s despite the Vatican’s December announcement it would abolish the high secrecy applied to sexual-abuse accusations against clerics. The situation had been seen as shielding priests from secular authorities.

Anderson visits the bishop

Anderson reported the Molon situation to then-Kamloops-bishop Adam Exner, who later became archbishop of Winnipeg and Vancouver.

The court has heard Exner was aware of Molon’s sexual activities with parishioners but didn't want to suspend him due to a priest shortage.

Exner has called Molon “promiscuous” and “a playboy.”

But, with the Anderson case and more and more rumours reaching his ears, “this led me to a conclusion I had to do something about this man,” Exner said in a discovery transcript read in court Feb. 10.

Exner agreed the case had an element of scandal for the church and was an embarrassment. He agreed the church’s reputation was a primary concern.

Asked if he extended the offer of counselling to any other women affected by Molon, Exner said, “No, I don’t think I did. Perhaps I should have but I didn’t.”

After hearing Anderson’s tale, he suspended Molon from priestly duties. He said he had offered Molon help in dealing with his issues, but these offers fell on deaf ears.

Molon wound up preaching in other parishes, including those in a U.S. archdiocese notorious for sexual abuse cases.

He later worked for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Kovacs asked Exner in October if he had warned other church officials about Molon.

“What am I supposed to do? “ Exner asked. “Warn every church in Canada and beyond?”

The court has already heard the case is not about whether or not damages should be forthcoming but what those damages should be.

Exner also conceded in the stand he could have done more to help Anderson.

Glacier Media requested Molon’s military records from the Department of National Defence under federal access to information laws in February 2019 but has yet to receive any files.

Vancouver’s archdiocese in November said a review of files of Catholic clergy sexual abuse in the archdiocese has uncovered 36 cases, most involving minors. The names of Roman Catholic priests believed to have been involved in the sexual abuse of minors were being turned over to non-Catholic investigators.

Molon is reportedly in a home in Ontario, incapable of participating in the case.



Pickup slams through front wall of Kamloops home

Truck smashes into home

Kamloops RCMP say everyone is OK after a truck smashed through the front wall of a home in the city's Aberdeen area, Monday.

Police were called to a Fleming Drive home this morning after a pickup drove through the front wall of the residence.

The driver was visiting the house when the incident happened, according to an RCMP news release.

"(He) apparently failed to navigate the driveway in a safe manner, causing his pickup to crash through the front wall," the statement reads.

A structural engineer is set to inspect the building before the truck is removed.



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