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Salmon Arm  

DriveBC reports crash along Highway 1 West of Salmon Arm

Believed to be fatal

UPDATE: 9:55 p.m.

Highway 1 remains closed in both directions at Ford Road.

"Estimated time of reopening [is] 2 a.m.," Drive BC said in a tweet.

A detour is in effect along Highway 97, Highway 97A and Highway 97B.


UPDATE: 9:40 p.m.

Two cars and a semi-trailer truck collided on Highway 1 and Kirkpatrick Road in Tappen just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.

According to BC Emergency Health Services, two people were transported to hospital in serious condition.

Reports indicate there may be a fatality involved.

Castanet has reached out to the BC Coroners Service for more information.


UPDATE: 9:10 p.m.

DriveBC reports Highway 1 is closed to all traffic, except emergency vehicles at Ford Road, two kilometres west of Tappen.

An assessment is in progress.

A detour is in effect along Highway 97, Highway 97A and Highway 97B.

Members of the Shuswap Road Report on Facebook indicate the Highway will be closed for several hours.

A resident reports flaggers are turning around vehicles saying it could be closed for eight hours.


ORIGINAL: 8:20 p.m.

DriveBC is reporting a crash on Highway 1 near the Tappen area.

"Reports of a vehicle incident affecting both directions west of Salmon Arm," a tweet from DriveBC said.

Crews are en route.

At this time it is unknown how many cars are involved or if there are injuries.

Send photos to [email protected]



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Crowds flock to Adams River for start of Salute to the Sockeye

Salute to the Sockeye

Hundreds of visitors arrived at Tsútswecw Provincial Park on Friday for the opening day of the Salute to the Sockeye Festival to welcome the annual salmon run.

Welcoming the salmon home on National Truth and Reconciliation Day was the Five-Band Salute Initiative hosted by Secwépemc communities Skwl?x, Adams Lake, Neskonlith, Shuswap and Splatsin.

After a welcoming address by Elder Ethel Billy of the Adams Lake Band, the Thunder Bear Drummers performed the Honour Song before Jamie Tomma spoke of the need for everyone to start working together to save the salmon runs.

Elder Virginia Tomma offered an opening prayer, thanking the Creator for the forest, trees and a good night’s sleep.

Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, noted it was an auspicious day and that her ministry was committed to the restoration of damaged sockeye habitat. She noted that thousands of students had visited the park and had an increased understanding of its importance. She also referred to the delayed arrival of the salmon this year due to low water levels and warmer water in the rivers.

“All the salmon runs have suffered,” she said.

MP Mel Arnold thanked the volunteers and said there was a need to work towards understanding cultures and that there was more to be learned through connections.

Murray and Arnold were presented with new versions of traditional Hudsons Bay Blankets created by the Gord Downie Foundation as a way to address the role of the HBC in colonization.

The Ojibwe “Oshki Wupoowane” or “a new blanket” in English, was chosen as the name of The Blanket Fund in collaboration with Chanie Wenjack’s family with 100 per cent of all proceeds from the sale of HBC point blankets going towards support for Indigenous cultural, artistic and educational activities.

After the initial speeches and welcoming songs, hundreds of attendees followed the flag bearers and drummers to the shores of the Adams River for a solemn ceremony to welcome the salmon back.

The day continued with singing, drumming and dancing, story telling, cultural displays and a feast of locally caught salmon, harvested vegetables and soup.

Chef Steven Teed created the feast, preparing 600 meals and 200 bowls of soup which were offered free to the visitors.

The Salute to the Sockeye festival continues through Oct. 23, with the arrival of the bulk of the sockeye expected in about a week.



CrimeStoppers community shred-a-thon Saturday in Salmon Arm

Shred-a-thon this weekend

North Okanagan/Shuswap CrimeStoppers will host a community shred-a-thon this Saturday.

The fundraising event will held at the Piccadilly Mall parking lot in Salmon Arm.

It will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

People can have their confidential documents shredded on site by Interior Shredding for a minimum donation of $5 per banker's box of documents, says spokesperson Mike Remington.

All proceeds go to CrimeStoppers.

"Previous events in Vernon and Armstrong were very successful, and we expect to be back again in 2023," says Remington.

The events fund community activities such as presentations for seniors on internet safety and how to avoid scams.



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No charges against police in Sicamous arrest that saw suspect lose a testicle

No charges in rough arrest

The BC Prosecution Service has approved no charges against two police officers following a 2020 Shuswap arrest in which the suspect suffered serious injuries.

The incident happened on April 14, 2020, near Sicamous, during the arrest of a suspect with outstanding warrants.

One officer was from the Sicamous RCMP detachment, and the second from Salmon Arm.

Because of the serious nature of the injuries, the incident was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office, which determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe the two officers may have committed offences.

However, the prosecution service concluded the available evidence does not meet charge assessment standard, and the Crown would not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that either officer committed any offence.

About 12 p.m. that day, officers responded to a report of a suspicious person and vehicle on a forest service road off Highway 97A near Sicamous.

Police believed the vehicle belonged to a man with eight outstanding warrants who had been living in his car.

Members of the Sicamous, Salmon Arm, and Revelstoke RCMP met at the bottom of the forest service road to initiate a plan to arrest the suspect.

The first officer set up two spike belts near the entrance to Highway 97A and waited in a marked police SUV. Other officers set up just below that position in marked vehicles and laid out a spike belt on the road. Subject officer 2 waited in their unmarked police truck at the rest area just south of Mara Heights Road.

Several officers drove up the service road and when the suspect was told he was under arrest, he jumped into the car and rammed a police cruiser as he headed toward the highway.

The suspect drove over the spike belts, deflating three tires, and the hood of the vehicle also flew up.

The officers in question followed the vehicle northbound on the highway, with lights and sirens activated.

When the first officer overtook and blocked the highway, the suspect attempted to drive into the ditch, but the officer backed into the car, stopping it.

Then, the suspect got out and ran down the highway. Officer 1 gave chase and tackled the man, who landed face down on the pavement.

The officer struck the suspect in the head with their hand or fist. And, four seconds of video from the police cruiser suggest the second officer kicked and punched the suspect.

Other officers arrived at the scene about 20 seconds after the foot chase began and found the officers struggling with the suspect. A five-inch hunting knife was on the ground nearby.

After the man was brought under control, the first officer requested an ambulance be dispatched to the scene.

One arrived 24 minutes later, and the man was treated for injuries to his head before being taken to hospital for assessment.

A BC Emergency Health Services report stated the suspect was prone on the ground and writhing in pain.

"The suspect had several facial lacerations and abrasions, with dried blood around his nose and mouth and a swollen left eye. He had a laceration to the back of his head and bruising on his left hand. He had trauma to his testes, which caused him significant pain," the report states.

Doctors later removed his left testicle due to the injury. X-rays showed fractures of his left orbital bone, and his nasal bone.

The suspect tested positive for marijuana, methamphetamines, narcotics and cocaine.

He stated he was tackled by numerous officers and beaten severely, but admitted his recollection was vague.

Section 25(1) of the Criminal Code provides that a peace officer who acts, in the course of their lawful duties, on reasonable grounds is "justified in doing what [they are] required or authorized to do and in using as much force as necessary for that purpose."

Police training allows for an increased level of force in response to an increased level of threat.



Dancing with the Shuswap Stars event returns Nov. 18 in Salmon Arm

Dancing Stars return

Dancing with the Shuswap Stars is back, and tickets go on sale Oct. 1.

The popular will raise money for the Shuswap Hospice Nov. 18 at the SASCU Recreation Centre in Salmon Arm.

Tickets are $75 each and will be available at the rec centre. There won't be any online ticket sales.

To buy a table, tickets must be purchased by one person, and volunteers will assist in choosing the table location on a first come, first served basis.

The evening is modelled on the popular Dancing with the Stars TV show and will include local celebrity all-stars and rookie couples.

The audience can purchase star votes for their favourite contestants and help boost them into winning position.

Attendees will also get a chance to get up and boogie to the live band, the Legendary Lake Monsters, as well as enjoy gourmet snacks throughout the evening.

A cash bar will be available, along with a safe ride home program.

All proceeds support the free programs offered by Shuswap Hospice in supporting residents dealing with death, diagnosis and grief, along with the associated emotional realities of that process.



Salmon Arm Fire Department called to the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday

Hospital fire in one room

UPDATE 9:35 a.m.

A fire at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday evening was limited to a single room and only the second floor of the hospital had to be evacuated because of the incident.

Salmon Arm Deputy Fire Chief Gary Lebeter said crews were called to the hospital at 7:15 p.m., but when they arrived, the fire-suppression sprinkler system had already put out the flames.

Lebeter said there was one patient in the room, and he was safely evacuated from the area.

“There was a fair bit of water and smoke damage in the room,” said Lebeter. “Our crews helped staff and ambulance move all the patients up to the fourth floor.”

Fire crews also helped get the water turned off to prevent more damage and they ventilated smoke from the floor.

Lebeter said having a fire in a hospital is quite concerning, but fortunately there were no injuries to patients or staff.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


ORIGINAL 9 a.m.

There are reports the Salmon Arm Fire Department was called to the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday night.

A tweet from the @Shuswapscanner said crews from fire halls two, three and four were called to the hospital on 10th Street SE.

There are unconfirmed reports the fire suppression sprinkler system was activated in at least part of the building.

Castanet will have more details as soon as they become available.



Mike Hall of Rust Bros. is holding another auction to sell off a bevy of classic cars

Rust Bros. auction - again

Mike Hall is holding another auction.

The Rust Valley Restorers reality TV star held a massive auction last year in a bid to clear his land of the hundreds of cars he had collected over several decades.

Hall, who also operates Rust Bros., is once again teaming up with cohort Avery Shoaf to auction more classic cars Oct. 1-2 in Tappen, where the show is based.

The no reserve auction is being conducted by EG Auctions and a list of what is up for grabs can be found here.

Some hard-to-find iron will be auctioned off includes a '68 Plymouth Satellite Sport, '65 Valiant convertible, rust-free 1970 Roadrunner with a 383, '66 Cyclone GT convertible, an El Camino, 65 Beaumont convertible and other items ranging from ATVs to work trucks.

“We've lost our storage yard so I am putting on one more auction,” said Hall in a video promoting the auction. “Some of the stuff I sold at the last auction and bought back and a bunch of other stuff I didn't want to let go or couldn't let go. Some of my personal favourites are coming up on the block.”



Water from the Cedar Heights Water System is now safe to consume

Boil water notice lifted

The boil water notice for users of the Cedar Heights Water System has been rescinded.

The notice was issued Sept. 14 due to higher-than-acceptable levels of bacteria in recent water samples.

However, officials with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said Thursday, Sept. 22 the system is safe.

Water samples from the system confirm bacteria levels in the water are within acceptable levels and water form the Cedar Heights system is safe to drink.

As such, Interior Health has lifted the Boil Water Notice.



Pile of bear paws in Shuswap last year belonged to taxidermist

Bear paw pile case solved

CONTENT ADVISORY: THE VIDEO ABOVE CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES

The BC Conservation Officer Service says they have solved the case of a large pile of skinned bear paws found on the side of a dirt road in the Shuswap last year.

The paws were found by a passerby in May 2021, along Forest Road 695, in the Anglemont Mountain area.

Roughly 100 paws, equating to 25 bears, were found. Video posted to social media shocked the public.

On Thursday, the BC Conservation Officer Service said an investigation has found the paws inadvertently fell out of the back of a taxidermist's truck while traveling. The taxidermist was in legal possession of them.

“The person responsible has been cooperative in the investigation and the resolution by making a substantial voluntary donation to the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s Watershed Stewardship Guardian Program; the territory where the incident occurred,” BCCOS said.

The donation was in lieu of a $115 littering charge and “far exceeds” the fine amount. It will help train the Guardian Program “to keep their community safe, and wildlife wild, by reducing bear conflicts in their community through training in bear awareness, public safety and attractant management.”

The BCCOS emphasized that the incident was not linked to an illegal black market operation of any type.

“We understand the public is passionate about wildlife and recognize this scene was alarming and concerning to many Indigenous communities, British Columbians and others,” said acting chief conservation officer Cam Schley.

“We hope the conclusion of this investigation, which confirms this was not related to poaching, helps alleviate distress and bring closure to the public.”



Vernon photographer captures stunning images of white pelicans on Shuswap Lake

Pelicans in the Shuswap

Former Vernon educator and current photographer extraordinaire Tom Skinner took a trip to the Shuswap recently where he found a flock of white pelicans.

“Everywhere I looked I saw something fascinating,” Skinner said of his most recent trip to Salmon Arm.

“The Pelicans were in very shallow water and split into small groups to try to catch fish. One pic shows a group splitting into a circle.”

While pelicans may seem out of place for the Shuswap, they can be seen in the Salmon Arm area as well as the North Okanagan every year.

“In the summertime, there are often pelicans on Shuswap Lake right at Salmon Arm,” said Skinner. “About 50 per cent of the world's white pelican population are found between British Columbia and Manitoba.”

White Pelican Provincial Park is located on Stum Lake in the Chilcotin region of B.C. and the big birds stop in the region on their way to and from the lake.

According to the park's website, the lake is closed to the public from March 1 to Aug. 31 every year to protect the white pelican nesting colony.

Canoeing, boating, hunting, trapping, discharge of firearms, aircraft operation below 600 metres in elevation and aircraft landing are prohibited on Stum Lake due to the birds nesting there, the only nesting colony in British Columbia.

The big birds are very sensitive to disturbances which can result in the loss of all young. Pelican viewing opportunities exist at Nazko Lake Park and in other lakes in the Chilcotin.



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