Man arrested, woman taken to hospital following North Shore assault, police say

Hospitalized after assault

A man was arrested and a woman was taken to hospital following an alleged assault last weekend on the North Shore.

Mounties responded to an address on Tranquille Road where a woman was located with non-life threatening injuries on May 28 at about 8:40 p.m., police said.

As part of the investigation, police said a suspect was located on Sherwood Drive and arrested for assault causing bodily harm.

The man was lodged in cells before being released when sober with a court date and conditions.

Kamloops RCMP said charge recommendations are anticipated.


Lucid Motors offers test drive event for luxury EV in Tobiano

Luxury EV in Tobiano

The luxury electric vehicle Lucid Air has received accolades for its long range and fast charging, and on Saturday, several people took the opportunity to take the car for a test drive at an event in Tobiano.

The test drive event was held at the Tobiano clubhouse, and organizers said there was a great turnout, with the driving slots fully booked.

“It’s something I’ve been looking to, looking for an EV eventually,” said Rob Roy, who took the Air on a 15 minute test drive.

“Very smooth, clean, the whole electric braking system and acceleration is very neat. I'm also environmentally conscious, so whatever help happens there, that's part of it.”

According to Lucid Motors, the Air is the longest ranging, fastest charging EV on the market, with up to an 830 kilometre range and a charge time of 350 kilometres in fifteen minutes.

Vlad Bello-Cohen, who was helping to run the event, said the purpose of the Californa-based brand was to fill a void.

“There really wasn't a luxury EV when the Lucid Air was launched,” Bello-Cohen said.

“This one will have massaging front seats, a 21 speaker sound system, capabilities for level three semi-autonomous driving, rear sunshades. 14 cameras, 18 sensors, auto park.”

He said the 800-horsepower vehicle goes from zero to 100 in about three seconds. Lucid’s performance model, the Air Sapphire, has over 1,200 horsepower.

“We were very focused on the production quality, so that when you're leaving your Mercedes or your Porsche and you come into a Lucid Air, you don't feel like you're sacrificing anything.”

The luxury design drew interest, but some were also driven to try it out as they were interested in a more environmentally friendly vehicle.

“The reason you go to an electric vehicle is because you are concerned about your part in environmental issues. So that was the first thing that piqued our interest,” said Rose Roy.

“When we found out they are the best — is what we've been told — producer and vehicle when it comes to your battery, and the battery life that's incorporated in that vehicle, that technology is there.”

Those who came out for a test drive said they found the vehicle was comfortable, with plenty of features and good drivability.

Greg Pocock, who owns a Tesla Model S and Model 3, took the Air for a test drive, noting it’s difficult to compare the EV's.

“The Model S is the equivalent Tesla. This car is heavier and has longer wheelbase, but I think it does a pretty good job performance-wise and maneuverability. So I think they've got something here,” he said.

“We’ve really gotten used to what's called regenerative braking — where you don't have to use the brake pedal. The regenerative braking on the Lucid Air was much more effective than the Tesla. I thought that was great.”

Test drive events are taking place in other cities, and Lucid may be back out to Kamloops this summer to give residents another chance to try out the Air.

The Air starts at $87,400 for the Pure model, going up in price to $249,000 for the Sapphire.

Councillor expects letter to province raising land use concerns will still be sent

Land use letter will be sent

A Kamloops councillor says council still needs to bring its concerns to the province around who should have jurisdiction over land use decisions, even after the municipality has been named as one of the first to receive housing targets.

Nancy Bepple put forward a motion recommending council send a letter to the provincial minister for housing, stating the City of Kamloops is already on the right track with policies aimed at boosting the number of houses, and should be allowed to make its own land use decisions.

Council voted 5-3 to adopt Bepple’s motion, which listed a number of initiatives the city had undertaken since 2011 to encourage density.

The vote happened just a day before the ministry of housing announced the first group of municipalities to receive housing targets to spur residential construction — with Kamloops the only Interior city named on the list.

Bepple told Castanet Kamloops she expects the letter will be sent, despite the new development.

“It might be framed slightly differently because they've actually said that they're going to do it, but we have raised concerns about the provincial government dictating land use within the City of Kamloops. That is a strong concern of the council,” Bepple said.

“I think that message still needs to go to the province.”

Bepple, among other councillors, has raised concerns that increased density in some areas of the city might put strain on infrastructure and other community facilities.

She said as Kamloops has been selected to receive housing targets, city staff will be looking at the provincial government’s expectations, discussing Kamloops’ housing needs and ensuring the province understands the work already underway to try and bolster housing supply.

“Staff is going to be going through what has come from the provincial government, and looking at how to work within the framework of the province,” Bepple said.

“Going hand in hand with that, what I would expect is that staff will be explaining to the province — and maybe it's also politicians from City of Kamloops explaining to the province — what our concerns are in having the province dictate zoning within the City of Kamloops.”

Bepple said the city has been “very proactive” to meet housing needs — but this doesn’t mean Kamloops doesn’t need more housing.

“The group with the highest need by far is single mothers with children. So we do need to make sure that we're building housing that meets the needs of the people that live here,” she said.

For Tuesday's motion, councillors Bepple, Dale Bass, Margot Middleton, Katie Neustaeter and Stephen Karpuk were in favour of sending the letter to the province.

Councillors Mike O'Reilly, Kelly Hall and Bill Sarai were opposed.

Sarai said he didn't think the city was in a position to tell the government not to interfere in municipal land use decisions, and he didn't want the city to jeopardize ongoing negotiations about certain opportunities.

Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson recused himself from the vote citing a conflict of interest, but didn't say why.

Hamer-Jackson later told Castanet Kamloops he had just taken the call with Minister Ravi Kahlon to discuss the housing targets list a day ahead of the official announcement.

“In the meeting, it kind of made me think different than what I was thinking before the meeting. So I felt, I don’t know if I’d say conflicted, but it changed my thinking a little bit,” Hamer-Jackson said.


Kamloops man who repeatedly raped niece sentenced to 3.5 years in prison

Rapist uncle gets 3.5 years

A Kamloops man who repeatedly raped his niece over a period of years has been ordered to spend 3.5 years in federal prison.

On Friday, 72-year-old Nihal Maligaspe was handcuffed and led out of a courtroom by a sheriff after B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper delivered her sentence.

Last May, a jury found Maligaspe guilty on two of three counts of sexual assault related to several incidents involving his niece, Dinushini Maligaspe, who he helped emigrate to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2001.

Complainants in sexual assault cases typically cannot be named because their identities are protected by court-ordered publication bans. In this case, Dinushini applied successfully ahead of the trial to have the ban lifted.

Crown prosecutor Katie Bouchard sought an eight-year sentence. She argued not only did Dinushini not give consent, Maligaspe had abused a position of trust, power and authority over her as she lived in his home for a period of years and he paid for her international student tuition and other expenses. At one point, he became her college instructor.

Defence lawyer Jay Michi asked Gropper to consider a sentence of two years less a day in prison plus probation, noting Maligaspe had no criminal record, a strong record of employment and, as per a psychologist’s report, was a low risk to reoffend.

Gropper said she accepted Maligaspe is “at a very low risk to reoffend,” noting the man is decades older than he was when the sexual offences took place.

However, the judge agreed Maligaspe “repeatedly abused his position of trust and authority,” adding while Dinushini wasn’t a child, she was still in a vulnerable position.

“For all the years that the complainant resided in the offender's home where several of the sexual assaults took place, the complainant had to contend with the fear that she might be assaulted by the offender at any time,” Gropper said.

“Her home was not a peaceful sanctuary from the time the sexual assaults began until she moved out.”

In addition to serving a 3.5-year prison sentence, Maligaspe will have to register as a sex offender for 20 years and must submit samples of his DNA to a national criminal database.

He will be prohibited from contacting Dinushini for the duration of his incarceration, and will be subject to a firearms prohibition.

Man arrested for arguing, picking fights downtown, police say

Arrested for picking fights

A Kamloops man was arrested after starting multiple fights downtown last weekend.

According to Mounties, officers responded to a report of a man arguing with people near the 400-block of St. Paul Street on May 26 at about 2:40 p.m.

The man had been responsible for causing several other calls in the area, as well, police said.

He was arrested and held to prevent continuation of the offence.

Mounties said he was released once sober. No charges are expected.

New owner hopes to carry on vision of Drake Cremation and Funeral Services

New owner at funeral home

New owner of Drake Cremation and Funeral Services hopes to carry on the company's legacy while incorporating new additions.

Nolan Adam has been in the funeral business for over 25 years and hopes to provide a smooth transition for the people in Kamloops surrounding area who need access to Drake's services.

“I will not be changing anything," Adam said.

"There will be some additions that have worked for me over the length of my career that I hope to incorporate or I hope that the people of Kamloops area find value with."

He officially bought the business last month.

“I know I have big shoes to fill," he said.

"My wife and kids and I are looking forward to getting involved in the Kamloops community and getting to know the wonderful people there."

Regina Pats phenom Connor Bedard makes history at CHL Awards

Zellweger top defenceman

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Connor Bedard made Canadian Hockey League history on Saturday.

The presumed No. 1 pick of this year's NHL entry draft won the CHL Top Prospect, Top Scorer, and David Branch Player of the Year awards. It's the first time since the Top Scorer award was introduced in 1994 that a player has won all three in a single season.

The 17-year-old was also the first to claim three trophies at the CHL Awards since Edmonton Oilers star — then with the Erie Otters — Connor McDavid won the Player of the Year, Top Prospect and Scholastic Player of the Year awards in 2015.

"It's pretty exciting, for sure," the North Vancouver, B.C. native said. "There's been a lot of cool names in the past that have won this award (player of the year) and for me, I think it's a team celebration as well.

"There's always a lot of people that you're playing with that are helping you and I think that's an exciting part about it."

Bedard — set to turn 18 years old on July 17 — had 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 regular-season games starring for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

He had another 10 goals and 10 assists in seven games in the Pats' first-round post-season loss to the Saskatoon Blades. He became the first WHL player since 2012 to score 10 or more goals in a single playoff series.

Former Calgary Flames and Canadian men's national team star Jarome Iginla presented Bedard with the Player of the Year award.

"That's obviously a huge name, a legend in hockey," Bedard said. "For me to get to meet him today and to have him present that award was pretty special, just being a fan of his and growing up watching him … it's awesome."

Bedard, who has also earned a number of accolades starring for the Canadian world junior team, including two gold medals, is now preparing for the NHL draft which takes place June 28-29 in Nashville, Tenn.

"I'm still young and have a lot I wanna do in my hockey career," he said when asked of his journey. "But like I said, I've just been pretty fortunate to be able to play in some of these tournaments and leagues and experience these things that I've gotten to experience. 

"It's been a hell of a ride so far and hopefully it continues."

Olen Zellweger of the Kamloops Blazers took home the CHL Defenceman of the Year award. 

Nominated alongside Pavel Mintyukov of the Ottawa 67's and Tristan Luneau of the Gatineau Olympiques, it was the first time an NHL team had three of its prospects up for the honour. Each player was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks between 2021 and 2022.

"I know them pretty well so far from training camp and development camp," Zellweger said. "They're great people, as well as players. It's exciting to have other players there in that competition when we go to camp."

"It's a huge honour," Zellweger added. "A lot of work goes into it … it's just a step in the right direction for the future."

Nathan Darveau of the Victoriaville Tigres claimed the Goaltender of the Year award, Dave Cameron of the Ottawa 67's won the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year award and Maxim Massé of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens earned Rookie of the Year honours.

Evan Vierling of the Barrie Colts grabbed Sportsman Player of the Year, Colby Barlow of the Owen Sound Attack earned Scholastic Player of the Year and Dalyn Wakely of the North Bay Battalion was named Humanitarian of the Year.

The nominees were determined by the winner of the corresponding award presented in each member league: the WHL, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2023.

KFR extinguishes fires along Highway 1 near Peterson Creek Bridge

Fires doused along highway

Trans-Canada Highway’s westbound lanes were blocked off near Peterson Creek Bridge Saturday afternoon as firefighters responded to what appeared to be several small landscape fires on the side of the road.

The incident happened just north of the bridge, near the Highway 1 and Highway 5 interchange.

In a social media post at about 1 p.m., Kamloops Fire Rescue said the fire was contained, and crews were performing mop-up operations.

Castanet Kamloops has reached out to Kamloops Fire Rescue for more information about the incident.

This story will be updated if more information is known.

Driver arrested after traffic stop nets stolen firearm, police say

Traffic stop nets stolen gun

A traffic stop of a suspicious BMW on Sunday led to an arrest and the discovery of a gun that was previously reported as stolen, police say.

According to Kamloops RCMP, officers on patrol noted a BMW station wagon registered to a prohibited driver that was missing its front license plate and had a damaged tail light.

During the investigation, police said, officers found a firearm and license plate that were reported as stolen.

The driver was arrested and released with a court date for offences related to the unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property.

The driver also received violation tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Anyone with information related to this ongoing investigation is asked to contact police at 250-828-3000.

Police seen seizing gun after fence knocked down during Brock arrest

Police break down fence

There was a large police presence for hours Friday outside a house near Kamloops Airport, where neighbours watched as Mounties seized what looked to be a handgun.

Police have not yet provided any information about the incident at a house in the 2700-block of Joyce Avenue in Brocklehurst. Five RCMP vehicles were parked outside the home and investigators could be seen speaking in the yard.

A neighbour who lives near the half-duplex said police knocked his fence down while trying to apprehend a suspect early Friday afternoon.

“From what I understand, they chased somebody through the backyard and then I don’t know anything after that — he wouldn’t tell me anything else,” the man told Castanet Kamloops.

“The cop told me that’s why my fence was knocked down in the backyard.”

The man said Mounties told him he would be reimbursed for the damage.

A number of Joyce Avenue residents said multiple people appeared to have been arrested at the scene.

A neighbour across the street said she saw investigators removing what appeared to be a firearm from the property.

“I did see the officer taking a handgun into evidence,” she said.

“I saw them put a gun into an evidence bag.”

Police could be seen leaving the area just after 8:30 p.m.

Castanet Kamloops has asked Mounties for information about the incident. This story will be updated if more becomes known.

Do you know what happened or do you have photos or video? Call the Castanet Kamloops newsroom at 778-376-2151 or email [email protected].

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