Salmon Arm  

Armstrong woman offering $1,000 reward for missing dog believed to have been stolen

$1k reward for missing dog

An Armstrong woman is offering a $1,000 reward for her dog – which she believes was stolen.

Brianna Rauser-Chisholm says her American pitbull terrier "Blue" went missing on Deep Creek Road, between Salmon Arm and Armstrong, on April 4.

Blue is 7 1/2 months old and has a white tip on his tail, his front left paw and both paws on his hind legs, along with a white muzzle and spotted body.

On the night he went missing, Blue was outside in a fenced yard and never came back in.

Rauser-Chisholm said Blue never previously left the yard.

“It’s actually a fight to even get him in my car or walk down the driveway,” she told Castanet.

Rauser-Chisholm spoke to neighbours about Blue’s disappearance, and they believe the dog may have been stolen, as they claim to have seen multiple vehicles trying to coax dogs in.

One of the neighbours told Rauser-Chisholm they witnessed someone pull up to their driveway and approach their own dog. The neighbour then allegedly confronted the individuals and they apologized, saying they thought it was their own dog.

Rauser-Chisholm reported Blue’s disappearance to the RCMP.

Vernon RCMP spokesperson Const. Chris Terleski said Blue's disappearance is the only reported dog theft in the area during the past three weeks, and the case is under investigation.

“From the data we have on file, dog thefts do not seem to be a common occurrence in our jurisdiction. However, we want to remind the public that if they have any information about any criminal or suspicious activity, it needs to be reported immediately and directly to police, not through social media,” said Terleski.

Contact Rauser-Chisholm at 250-463-1939 or [email protected] with any tips.


CSRD advises of Scotch Creek water shutdown on Wednesday

Water shutdown coming

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District advises residents of Scotch Creek the Saratoga water system will be temporarily shut off on Wednesday.

Upgrades to watermains will require a temporary shutdown of service for all users of the system from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents are advised to store enough water to exceed their needs during that time period in case the service interruption is longer than expected.

For drinking water, a good rule of thumb is to have approximately four litres of drinking water per person, per day. A good place to store water for the day is in the bathtub, the CSRD says.

Once the water is off, a toilet will have one more flush because of the stored water in the toilet tank. After that, use buckets of stored water to flush.

Residents are urged to not use appliances that require water, including washing machines and dishwashers, during the shutdown.

Residents should also ensure that hot water tanks do not drain, as this could cause damage to the heating element.

Once service is restored, residents may notice discoloration from sediment in the water system. Running a garden hose or cold water bathtub faucet for several minutes should eliminate air and discoloration in the pipes.

Sicamous and Salmon Arm residents killed in head-on collision

Crash victim identified

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.

One of two victims in a double-fatal crash Tuesday near Sicamous has been identified as the grandfather of WHL player Connor Bedard.

The Regina Pats issued a statement confirming the 73-year-old victim was Garth Bedard.

“We know how close Conner was with his grandfather, who was one of Conner’s biggest fans. Garth was incredibly proud of Conner and took great joy in his grandson’s passion for hockey and even more so in the person he has become.”

ORIGINAL 9:10 a.m.

RCMP confirm a head-on collision Tuesday near Sicamous claimed the lives of both drivers.

The crash happened about 1 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway, seven kilometres east of the Shuswap community.

"The subsequent investigation found the 73-year-old male driver of a westbound pickup truck from Sicamous crossed the centre line, colliding with an eastbound sedan driven by a 46-year-old female from Salmon Arm," says Sgt. Chad Badry.

"Sadly, both drivers were deceased upon arrival of first responders."

There were no other occupants of the vehicles.

Road and weather conditions were not contributing factors, police say.

The highway was closed for several hours while police completed their investigation at the scene and the vehicles and debris were removed.

Tthe BC Coroner's Service is conducting its own inquiry into the cause of the deaths.

Anyone with information or with dashcam footage is asked to contact RCMP Traffic Services out of Golden at 250-344-2221.


Two reported dead in head-on crash on Trans-Canada Highway east of Sicamous

Fatal head-on collision

A double fatality is reported on the Trans-Canada Highway, just east of Sicamous.

DriveBC reports the highway is closed in both directions three kilometres east of Sicamous, between Arnold Frontage Road and Enquist Frontage Road.

Delivery driver Robert Holt says he was just two vehicles behind the head-on collision between a four-door sedan and a full-size pickup, shortly after 1 p.m.

Holt, who has first aid training, and a couple of other motorists, including an off-duty firefighter, ran to the vehicles to help the drivers.

"We stopped to help, but they're both gone," Holt told Castanet.

The driver of the truck was a male, while the driver of the sedan was female.

Firefighters, police and ambulance paramedics are on the scene.

"I just saw the puff of smoke as they hit, and rushed up to see if I could do anything," said Holt.

There has been no official confirmation of the fatalities yet.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged in the collision.

Interior Health reports COVID-19 exposure at Salmon Arm secondary school

Virus at Salmon Arm school

A Salmon Arm school has been added to Interior Health’s list of school COVID-19 exposures.

Salmon Arm secondary's Jackson Campus was added to the list on Tuesday, reporting potential exposures to the virus on Monday and Tuesday last week.

SASS is the only School District 83 school on the exposure list as of Tuesday morning.

The list includes 13 Kelowna-area schools and five in the Kamloops area.

Health officials will be in touch with everyone being directed to self-isolate.

Phil McIntyre-Paul stepping down as head of the Shuswap Trail Alliance

New leader for Alliance

There will be a new face leading the Shuswap Trail Alliance.

After 15 years at the helm, STA co-founder and Executive Director, Phil McIntyre-Paul is stepping down.

But McIntyre-Paul will not be leaving the group entirely, as he will stay on in an advisory-coaching role.

“The board, management team and I have been working hard on a succession strategy over the past three years,” said McIntyre-Paul. “Despite the pandemic, we are at a very good place in the organization’s life. The idea is that I will make my time available to focus on key projects (as need, funding, and partner requests dictate), and pass the day-to-day running of the STA organization to the very capable hands of our Associate Director, Jen Bellhouse, and the board.”

McIntyre-Paul was part of the circle of regional leaders who first conceived and founded the Shuswap Trail Alliance in 2005.

Those early discussions brought Secwépemc and non-indigenous leadership together leading to the creation of the Shuswap Regional Trails Roundtable, the Shuswap trails strategy and protocol, and the agreement to be guided together by the Secwépemc value of caring for the land.

The result has been the significant growth of a regional greenway trail system and a collaborative culture of care for those trails.

Throughout the pandemic, the Shuswap Trail Alliance has found itself working harder than ever supporting greenway trail initiatives with regional partners in the Shuswap.

“Being outside on trails has been one of the sanity savers for us all,” said Bellhouse. “We have seen unprecedented year-round increase in public access of trails throughout the region over the last year.”

Despite the uncertainty of the past year, several new grants and a well-supported online version of the annual Shuswap Trails fundraiser in February allowed STA leadership to keep the momentum going. “Preparations are well underway for another season supporting trail stewardship, planning, new construction, trail maintenance, and all the other ways we help regional partners take better care of the land,” said Bellhouse. “So we are well on track for this next step.”

The STA will be holding its annual general meeting May 18.

For more information on Shuswap Trails, the Shuswap Trail Alliance, and the upcoming AGM visit their website.

Highway 1 reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions near Chase

Accident slows traffic

An accident has slowed traffic on Highway 1.

According to DriveBC, the highway has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions between Squilax Turtle Valley and Little River roads, 11 km east of Chase.

DriveBC is expected to update the situation at 10 a.m.

Drivers are urged to use caution in the area.

RCMP suspect seized vintage coins might be stolen property

Vintage coins seized

A traffic stop has netted RCMP a cache of vintage coins that are suspected to be stolen.

On Feb. 9, a Traffic Services Road Safety Unit officer conducted a traffic stop on a black Pontiac G5 along Highway 1 in the Shuswap community of Tappen.

Licence plates that had been reported stolen out of the Vernon area were attached to the vehicle.

The driver, a 39-year-old Enderby woman whose drivers licence had been suspended, and her passenger, a 48-year-old man also from Enderby, were taken into police custody without incident.

A search of the vehicle yielded additional stolen plates, a small quantity of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a stolen identification card and birth certificate, and stolen cheques.

“Also seized were nearly two dozen vintage coins, which investigators believe to be stolen property as well,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “After exhausting all efforts to track down the rightful owner of what seems to be a vintage coin collection, police are now turning to the media and the public to track down the collector.”

The female suspect is facing a number of potential charges under each the BC Motor Vehicle Act and Criminal Code. She is expected to appear in court at a later date. Her passenger was released without charge.

“If you believe you are the rightful owner of the coins ... you are asked to contact the lead investigator, Cpl. Jean-Rene Michaud at 250-828-3111,” says O'Donaghey. “You must be able to provide proof of ownership to claim.”

Salmon Arm church among dozens across Canada vowing to gather without restriction for Easter

Churches' Easter protest

A Salmon Arm church is among dozens across Canada that have signed up in protest of pandemic restrictions and vow to gather this Easter weekend "without government-imposed restrictions."

A total of 68 churches have so far signed up on the Liberty Coalition Canada website, under the "We Will Gather" banner.

Five Corners Church in Salmon Arm is among eight B.C. churches signed up to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Most of those involved are from Ontario, but there are also churches from Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

"If your church will open publicly without government-imposed restrictions that violate personal conscience, the nature of worship, or the ability for people to participate (for example: honouring face-mask exemptions and not turning anyone way) and if you are an authorized representative of your church, please submit your church's information below to be added to this list," the website encourages.

The organization apparently began in Ontario under the Reopen Ontario Churches banner. It also promotes the End The Lockdown Caucus and Open Small Business campaigns.

"Liberty Coalition Canada exists to bring thoughtful Canadians together to lobby for a better way forward," its website states.

"A variety of urgent concerns face our nation. Alone we are incapable of producing meaningful change, but together, with a clear vision for a better future, we can bring about change for the good of all Canadians."

The organization says it hopes the effort will encourage churches "to stand together in unity and to oppose further lockdowns."

Participating churches in B.C. include:

  • Riverside Calvary Chapel, Langley
  • Capital City Baptist Church, Victoria
  • Grace Christian Fellowship, Creston
  • Aldergrove Canadian Ref. Church, Aldergrove
  • 100 Mile House Baptist Church, 100 Mile House
  • Resurrection Life Church, Surrey
  • Faith Dominion Ministry, Surrey
  • Five Corners Church, Salmon Arm

The move comes after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reversed course Monday and cancelled a planned exemption that would have allowed for some indoor church services to resume for Easter.

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District orders 6,000 masks as they are now mandatory in classrooms

Schools order 6,000 masks

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has ordered 6,000 face masks for students in light of new provincial pandemic guidelines.

School District 83 Supt. Peter Jory says the district is redistributing its existing inventory and has rush-ordered the reusable masks for its younger students.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry amended public health orders as of midnight March 30 to require that students in grades 4 to 12 wear masks while indoors at school, including when they are with their learning group.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are also strongly encouraged to wear a mask in school and on school buses.

Jory says that as soon as schools are adequately resourced, the new safety protocols will be put in place.

“Some students may have masks that they are able to bring from home and may be wearing them already. But some students may not. Principals and teachers will be implementing the changes as soon as there are enough masks for all their students,” Jory said in a press release.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix said in announcing the changes: “Rising case levels, variants of concern, increased transmission and an increase in more severe cases are huge concerns ... B.C. public health officials are making the tough choices now to break the chain and protect our communities.”

School exemptions include:

  • A person who is unable to wear a mask because they do not tolerate it.
  • A person unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person.
  • If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it.
  • If a person is eating or drinking.
  • If a person is behind a barrier.
  • While providing services to a person with a disability or diverse ability (including but not limited to a hearing impairment), where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important.

If parents have any questions about the new protocols, they are encouraged to contact their school principal.

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