State of emergency declared

The City of Kamloops has declared a state of emergency and evacuated eight homes after a hillside began showing signs of instability.

The evacuation was ordered Thursday afternoon, after geotechnical experts who have been monitoring an area near 5225 Yellowhead Highway for several weeks noticed a “recent significant change in the landscape,” according to the City.

Pooling water on the hill, about 10 kilometres north of Kamloops, has caused sloughing of the slope near the homes.

The City of Kamloops bylaw department is assisting the residents of the eight evacuated homes and emergency support services have been offered to them.

Earlier this month, a landslide destroyed two homes and forced the evacuation of two others in Sunnybrae, near Salmon Arm.  


Wanted man flees police

A 28-year-old man with eight outstanding arrest warrants unsuccessfully fled a police stop in Kamloops Thursday morning, bursting his truck's tires when he tried to drive down railroad tracks.

RCMP noticed a speeding truck, westbound on Mission Flats Road at 10:45 a.m.

When an officer stepped into the road and directed the driver to pull over, the truck took off.

Police say the driver blew past other officers down the road and then began driving along the tracks.

The driver and a 23-year-old female passenger, both from Grande Prairie, Alta., ditched the truck and ran when two of the truck's tires burst.

Police eventually caught up with the pair near the city's wastewater treatment plant.

Once apprehended, police realized the driver had a suspended Alberta driver's licence and was wanted for assault of a police officer, flight from a police officer, possession of a controlled substance and firearms-related charges.

The man will be facing additional flight from a police officer, dangerous driving and resisting arrest charges for Thursday's actions. The passenger is facing a charge of flight from police as well. 

Bridge jumper injured

A Kamloops bridge jumper has been taken to Royal Inland Hospital with serious injuries.

Police responded to multiple witness reports of a man jumping over the side of the Overlander Bridge in Kamloops about 4:15 p.m. 

The man was located near the south end of the bridge, after he swam to shore.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to hospital with serious injuries.  


Expert opinions on mine

Councillors in Kamloops have called on experts to advise them on any health effects of a controversial gold and copper mine proposed for the outskirts of the city.

Council voted unanimously to invite regional medical health officer Kamran Golmohammadi and air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams to present their findings on the mine that is opposed by local First Nations and environmentalists.

The presentations are scheduled to take place at a special council meeting on June 22.

Coun. Ken Christian said he wants the public to hear from medical officials, not only engineers, about the mine's potential health effects.

Councillors also decided to stage a town hall meeting on June 19 to allow residents to hear from SLR Consulting, which is conducting a $500,000 review of the mine's environmental application on behalf of the city.

Representatives from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Tk'emlups and Skeetchestn First Nations, who have rejected the proposed mine, have been invited to the meeting.

Councillors were expected to hold another special meeting on July 17 to decide on a response to the project.

The Ajax mine proposed by KGHM International has been under consideration since 2006.

452 speeders nabbed

Kamloops RCMP's Traffic Section ticketed a whopping 452 speeders in a traffic blitz last week.

Road safety enforcement was the focus Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday nights, they concentrated on impaired drivers.

Below is the breakdown for the week:

  • Speeding violations - 452
  • Speeding warnings -  24
  • Excessive speeding with the vehicle being impounded - 4
  • Assorted traffic violations - 48
  • Assorted traffic warnings - 42
  • No insurance - 3
  • Drug seizures - 5
  • Prohibition notices served - 3
  • 90-day immediate roadside prohibition - 8
  • Three-day immediate roadside prohibition - 2

More road safety blitzes are planned throughout the spring and summer,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

Torn down for a parking lot

Kamloops civic leaders have decided to stick with their original plan and demolish the former Kamloops Daily News building.

City council had received several suggestions of what to do with building, but in the end decided the land would best serve the public as a parking lot.

After the proposed Performing Arts Centre and parkade was defeated at referendum in November 2015, the city accepted nine responses to a public Request for Information to develop the property. Council chose to pursue one response; however, negotiations with that developer recently fell through.

"This parcel of land was originally purchased by the city with the intention of demolishing the building and developing a parking lot," said David Trawin, chief administrative officer for the city. "Council put the demolition on hold twice to evaluate other options for the land, including a Performing Arts Centre and parkade, as well as a property development opportunity. As neither of these has been successful, council has asked staff to bring forward a report outlining the process for demolition."

If this next step is approved by council, a tender package for the building demolition is anticipated to be advertised as early as next month.

The final cost and timeline for demolition will be confirmed when a proponent is selected. At this point, it is anticipated demolition will be completed by late this summer, with the development of the parking lot to follow. 

Sun Peaks sets record

It was another record-setting winter at Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops.

Figures released by the hill Thursday show, as of the end of March, resort-wide room nights increased by 12 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

The hill is crediting a packed calendar of events, returning guests and some fantastic late-season snowfalls.

"Our continued commitment to improving the guest experience year after year, is what allows Sun Peaks to enjoy such consistent growth," said Aidan Kelly, chief marketing officer.

"With the recent announcement of our multi-million dollar investment into our key food and beverage outlets, we are poised to continue this ascent in becoming one of the premier ski destinations in North America."

The addition of the successful Snowbombing Canada festival bolstered a strong end to the season, with April occupancy up significantly from last year.
“Our robust events calendar, highlighted by the internationally acclaimed Snowbombing Canada festival, went a long way to elevate our profile and broaden Sun Peaks' appeal to new demographics," says Arlene Schieven, president and CEO of Tourism Sun Peaks.

"The addition of new amenities and activities such as our new NHL-sized outdoor skating rink and ice fishing experience, also contributed to our outstanding season."

House fire suspicious

A house fire in Kamloops early Wednesday has been deemed suspicious.

The fire broke out on the 200 block of Oak Road. 

The cause is still unknown, but police and fire investigators believe it is suspicious.  

Police are asking anyone who took video of the fire to contact Cpl. Buliziuk at 250-828-3000.            

Five residents inside of the building all made it out safely, and the Kamloops Fire Department contained the fire within an hour.

5 escape house fire

Five people were able to escape from a house fire on the 200 block of Oak Road in Kamloops early Wednesday.

RCMP and Kamloops Fire and Rescue were called around 5:30 a.m. and arrived to find the house engulfed by flames.

“There were five people in the residence when the fire broke out but all made it safely out of the house,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie, RCMP spokesperson.

The fire was contained within an hour, Shelkie said.

The cause of the fire is not known and both police and fire investigators remain on scene to determine if the fire is suspicious.

Kamloops RCMP are asking anyone who may have seen someone suspicious in the area early this morning to contact them at 250-828-3000.

Gun incident with senior

Police are considering charges against a Kamloops senior following an incident involving a gun.

At 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, RCMP were called to a home on Desmond Street in the Brocklehurst area.

Cpl. Jodie Shelkie said caregivers for the 73-year-old man went to his residence, where they found him to be distraught.

The unidentified man allegedly made threats involving a firearm.

“Police attended, contacted the man by phone and asked him to come to the door. When officers confirmed that the man had no firearms on him, he was arrested and taken to Royal Inland Hospital for observation,” said Shelkie. “A firearm was seized from inside the house.”

Charges will be considered pending the outcome of his medical assessment.

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