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Salmon Arm  

Interior Health is setting up a drop-in vaccination clinic in Salmon Arm

Shuswap vax clinic coming

All Shuswap residents need to do is show up to get a shot in the arm.

Interior Health is holding a drop-in clinic in Salmon Arm June 28-30 for anyone who has not yet received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

No advance appointments are necessary for this clinic. People who live or work in the area will be able to walk-up, register and receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The clinic will be held at the Salmon Arm Secondary – Jackson Campus, 551 14 Street NE from 12:30-7:30 p.m. for people aged 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) who have not yet received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

People can also get their first dose by visiting a clinic during drop-in hours or by appointment. To get a second dose, people need to book an appointment. Invitations to book an appointment are being sent eight weeks after receiving the first dose.

Register online by visiting the provincial website, call 1-833-838-2323, or visit a Service BC office, and book an appointment.

For a list of all Interior Health COVID-19 immunization clinics and other resources click here.



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Emergency chiller replacement at Sicamous rec centre

Rec centre ammonia leak

An emergency ice chiller replacement has been approved at the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre.

To ensure the facility will be operational in the fall, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District voted unanimously to pay up to $250,000 for the emergency purchase of a new plate-and-frame ice chiller.

A small leak was detected during spring maintenance of the refrigeration system, when trace amounts of ammonia were found in the brine solution, the CSRD says.

Contractors were unable to isolate the location of the leak, so repairing the chiller was deemed impossible.

The CSRD says at no time was there a health risk to the public or workers in the facility.

The district is attempting to preserve some of the summer ice season and to ensure the availability of ice time into the fall, a new chiller unit has been ordered. Delivery is expected in three to five weeks, with installation requiring up to two weeks before ice can go in.

The $250,000 will be drawn from a capital reserve fund, however, this will leave little cash left in the fund for future needs, the CSRD says.

“I think this is the best step forward,” says Electoral Area E director Rhona Martin. “If we can salvage some of the summer ice, that would be fantastic.”



Committee to study North Okanagan-Shuswap school reconfiguration

School rejig on tap

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District is getting closer to a plan to address a big funding shortfall that will require a reconfiguration of classes.

The district is forming an ad hoc working committee for the Salmon Arm and Armstrong zones affected as the next step in its long-range facilities plan.

Last fall, the district sounded the alarm over a drop in funding of just over $2.4 million due to reduced enrolment.

Staffing at five schools had to be reduced, empty positions were left unfilled, and $50,000 in federal and $25,100 in provincial funding reduced the shortfall to $1,082,444.

In May, the district began seeking public input on the budget woes, and the new committee will provide the board with recommendations on the best way to proceed.

Meanwhile, the board has given "in principle" support for an option that will retain two secondary schools in Salmon Arm.

The so-called E5 option "has the potential to accommodate the 1,340 students in the four cohorts more efficiently, because the schools would not be impacted by the differences in cohort size in the same way, and the catchment boundaries could be adjusted to better match available space," Supt. Peter Jory says in emailed update on the situation.

"Given current projections, this model requires no more portables at elementary. If rural K-8 schools remain in their current configuration, Shuswap Middle would likely require a portable in 2023. This gives a projected portable cost of $1 million over the next five years, depending on utilization, timetabling, and enrolment changes."

The other most discussed option (E4) is for a single secondary school.

"Maximizing Sullivan campus (Salmon Arm Secondary) enrolment as a means to reduce portable costs should be a key component of this conversation. Current course request data for three cohorts was matched to current facilities, and it was more promising than first expected."

However, capacity and efficiency of use would need to be improved through the following means:

  • Utilize all classrooms in all blocks rather than preserving them for teacher preparation
  • Increase course opportunities outside the timetable
  • Close the Wellness Center and the IAP/CCP programs and convert these spaces to classrooms
  • Triple or quadruple book the gymnasium in all blocks
  • Convert one math room to a science room
  • Relocate blocks of art beyond 8 to regular classrooms or cap enrolment
  • Move wood shop classes back to the Jackson campus of SAS

The compromises could reduce the costs for E5 from $5 million-$6 million down to as low as $3 million-$4 million over the next five years as compared to the E4 option.

"We added 'in principle' to give the working group flexibility because we do realize there are faults with all of the options," says board chair Amanda Krebs.

The E5 option reduces the number of transitions between schools, the district notes, and "will allow staff and students in each site more time to build relationships and enhance building culture."

It is also the least disruptive and maintains current configuration for K-5, K-8, and 6-8 schools.

The Armstrong committee will be studying option B4, which is to reconfigure Armstrong area schools to K-4 (Highland Park and Armstrong Elementary), 5-7 (Len Wood Middle) and 8-12 (Pleasant Valley Secondary).



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Salmon Arm RCMP believe reports of women being followed are unrelated

Women watched, followed

Salmon Arm RCMP believe reports of women being watched and followed in the area are unrelated.

Staff Sgt. Scott West says police have "become aware of rumours that have been circulating" and police have received three reports "which may have led to this concern."

The events span from June 13 to June 17, and in two of the cases, women were made to feel uncomfortable.

In those two cases, the men were identified. One man was spoken to by police and was unaware that he made anyone feel uncomfortable, says West.

"Police are still working to speak to the other man, whose inquiries about female staff at a local business have seen the man barred from the store."

All indications are that the man has left the area.

On June 17, in the third incident, a woman was invited into a vehicle, but declined the offer.

She went to a home she considered safe and reported the incident to police, says West.

The only description was that the incident involved two men in a light-coloured sedan.

In all three cases, no criminal acts took place.

"We encourage anyone who feels unsafe to report such encounters to police at the time or as soon as soon as it is safe to do so after it occurs," says West. "If investigators can identify the person responsible, police will make every effort to speak to the person involved and take further action if required."



18-year-old woman escapes confinement in Salmon Arm, 2 Alberta residents arrested

Woman escapes captivity

A young woman escaped unlawful confinement in Salmon Arm on Sunday.

A man and woman were arrested by Salmon Arm RCMP after officers responded to a report that the 18-year-old woman had been held against her will and assaulted.

Police responded to a 911 call about 2:40 p.m. of a distressed woman on the 400 block of 4th Avenue SE in salmon Arm.

The woman reported escaping a nearby location where she had allegedly been assaulted, threatened and unlawfully confined by two individuals, says RCMP Southeast District spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey.

"Our officers gathered information and evidence quickly, which ultimately led to the arrest of two prime suspects, who police believe were in the process of fleeing the area in a taxi cab," says O’Donaghey. "During the arrest procedure, police officers recovered a .22 calibre rifle, and a significant amount of suspected stolen property."

The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the ordeal.

The suspects, a 39-year-old man and 20-year-old woman, both from Edmonton each face a number of potential criminal charges related to the investigation, which is still underway.

The woman was expected to be on house arrest in Alberta, and both suspects were held in police custody.

Meanwhile, police are making efforts to identify the rightful owners of the suspected stolen property seized from the couple, including dozens of NHL hockey cards, estimated to be worth thousands of dollars. Other recovered property includes a specialized tool set, and handheld GPS units.

If you witnessed the incident or believe some of the stolen property may be yours, contact Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832-6044.



SD 83 board pays tribute to the 215, say shameful past must be taught to present and future generations

'Heavy hearts' for the 215

It was a sombre meeting for School District 83 directors as they paid tribute to the 215 children whose remains were found at the Kamloops residential school in May.

Board chairperson Amanda Krebs started the meeting with a minute of silence to pause and reflect on the "devastation and harm every single residential school in Canada inflicted on Indigenous people.

"It is with heavy hearts that we begin our last board meeting of the school year. We were all saddened with the recent horrific finding of 215 children in an unmarked burial site at a former Kamloops residential school, confirming what we’ve already been told, countless times, by residential school survivors.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc nation and every single person affected. We know that there are likely similar gravesites at every residential school throughout this country.”

Krebs said it is a “shameful past” that has to be acknowledged and taught to present and future generations.

“We cannot change the past, but we are committed to listen learn, and do anything we can to help move forward, in truth and reconciliation. We will strive to ensure that our policies and procedures are not systemically racist; that they lift barriers, rather than create them. It doesn’t seem enough, but for what it’s worth, I am truly sorry,” she said.



Salmon Arm woman running to raise money for friend who lost a leg

On the run for a friend

Kristy Handel is going the distance to help a friend.

Handel plans to run 33 kilometres to help raise funds for Chelaine McInroy, who recently underwent surgery to resolve an infection associated to a 2016 traumatic leg amputation.

To help raise money for her friend, Handel has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $3,000.

“Chelaine has overcome many hurdles in such a short time. She has done so with a constant positive attitude, and an incredibly admirable amount of strength,” Handel said. “She has horses to care for, and other pets that she loves and treats like family. This is not just about Chelaine.”

On June 12, McInroy underwent surgery to resolve the infection, which required the removal of infected bone and tissue, so the prosthetics she needs to walk and continue with her career in training horses will no longer fit.

McInroy specializes in training wild mustangs, and working with abused, abandoned and neglected horses. She coaches riders from beginners to competitors, and is a team roper.

“I can’t think of a more deserving, or kind woman. She needs us to come together to help her with this setback,” said Handel. “I’ve created this fundraiser to help pay for the expenses of the resized and improved prosthetics.

"She has the hugest heart. She is always putting the needs of others above her own, and offering support even when she is struggling herself. She inspires me to always view things through a positive lens, and to be grateful for the small things.”

Handel will begin her run next weekend.



You can't install docks or buoys in Shuswap area lakes without asking first

Don't plop a dock

Sitting on the dock on the bay is a great way to spend a sunny day, but not if you didn't get a permit.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District says you can't plop a dock or swimming platform on area lakes without checking with the CSRD first.

Communications Coordinator Tracy Hughes said it's a constant issue. "This proliferation of docks and bouys being placed in these lakes can become a real safety hazard for people wanting to use the lake. It also can cause issues with areas around the lake simply being clogged up with so many docks and buoys that it is unsightly as well as unsafe."

Even docks 'grandfathered in' before the Lakes Zoning Bylaw No. 900 was adopted in 2012 have to comply if they are replaced or repaired.

The regional district isn't the only level of government you'll have to consult. The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Transport Canada also have rules and regulations concerning docks and buoys and may require permits or agreements with the landowner.

Residents with questions regarding the installation and use of docks, swim platforms, and buoys for a specific property in the CSRD can get more information by emailing [email protected] or calling 250.833.5904. There is also information available on the CSRD website under dock and buoy regulations.



BC Forest Practices Board to audit operations in Selkirk and Okanagan-Shuswap

Forest safety to be audited

B.C.'s Forest Practices Board will audit operations in the Selkirk and Okanagan-Shuswap areas next week.

The board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales program and timber-sale licence holders for compliance with provincial regulations.

Areas are chosen randomly each year for audit. Auditors will examine whether timber harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire-protection activities and associated planning carried out between 2019 and 2021 met requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and Wildfire Act.

The audit will focus on activities managed by the Columbia field team. The majority of the operations are in the Revelstoke and Golden timber supply areas, as well as the Cascadia TSA south of Revelstoke and a small portion in the Okanagan TSA.

Once the audit work is complete, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by its findings will have a chance to respond. The final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.'s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices.



Shuswap community hit by overnight crime spree

Crime spree in Blind Bay

A mini crime spree hit a small Shuswap community overnight.

Staff Sgt. Scott West with the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment says police received six complaints of theft from vehicles or attempted theft from vehicles in the Blind Bay area last night.

In addition, a vehicle was stolen from the same area.

Items that were stolen include change, electronics, purses, wallets, and other personal items. In one case, tools from a trailer were stolen, says West.

"As is often the case, credit cards and bank cards associated to these thefts have been used in retail stores in Salmon Arm and the Okanagan," he adds.

The culprits are believed to be travelling in the stolen vehicle. A description was not provided, however.

"Investigators are following up on information at this time, but would like to remind the public of the following – Do not leave valuables in your vehicles overnight," says West.

"Lock you vehicle or trailer when not in use."



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