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Salmon Arm  

Get the blues, and roots

Salmon Arm residents are singing the blues, but that's a good thing.

The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival kicks off its 25th year this week, thanks in part to $60,900 in funding from the provincial government through the Tourism Events Program.

The popular festival runs Aug. 17-20 and is expected to attract more than 25,000 music fans.

An estimated 70 per cent of attendees are from out of town, and festival is estimated to have an economic impact of up to $5.5 million.

"The 25th Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival is proud to have the opportunity to showcase Canadian and international performers over the last two decades.... In addition to bringing great energy to the Shuswap area, sustaining and expanding the reach of the festival to new audiences will help Canadian talent grow and gain market recognition. I look forward to another great year,” said David Gonella, festival executive director.

This year's festival features the sounds of Ricky Skaggs, Alex Cuba, Five Alarm Funk, local favourite Sherman 'Tank' Doucette, and Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne. A full list of performers is available online



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Trans-Canada reopened

UPDATE: 6:15 a.m.

DriveBC reports the Trans-Canada Highway reopened fully to traffic about 3:15 a.m.


UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

DriveBC reports the highway has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic.


ORIGINAL: 7:30 p.m.

The Trans-Canada Highway is closed east of Salmon Arm.

According to DriveBC, Highway 1 is closed in both directions five kilometres east of Salmon Arm because of downed hydro lines down on the road.

A detour is available via Highway 97B and Highway 97A.

An estimated time of reopening is currently unavailable.



Vandalism shocks mayor

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper is shocked by the vandalism wrought in the downtown overnight Wednesday.

“It's upsetting,” said Cooper. “We have never seen this much damage. This is all over the downtown. It is unbelievable.”

On Thursday morning, Salmon Arm RCMP issued a release detailing the damage done and asked for the public's assistance in identifying those responsible.

Police said an unknown culprit or culprits tore up plants, kicked off sprinkler heads, damaged business property, damaged signage, and smashed windows along Hudson Avenue and 2nd Avenue.

Some vehicles may also have been damaged.

Cooper spoke with the RCMP after learning of the vandalism.

She said there had been some vandalism in the past but nothing to this extent before.

The mayor plans to meet Friday with owners and managers of some of the affected businesses to discuss what happened.

“I want to know if they have any ideas on how to combat this kind of thing,” Cooper added.



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Vandals go on spree

The RCMP are on the hunt after vandals went on a spree in Salmon Arm's downtown overnight, causing widespread damage.

An unknown culprit or culprits tore up plants, kicked off sprinkler heads, damaged business property, damaged signage, and smashed windows along Hudson Avenue and 2nd Avenue, said Staff Sgt. Scott West, the head of the detachment.

Some vehicles may also have been damaged.

“Even business frontage that supports the less fortunate was damaged in what appears to be a linked set of criminal acts,” West said.

Salmon Arm RCMP have requested the public's assistance in identifying who is responsible for the acts of vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to call the local detachment at 250 832 6044 or Crime Stoppers at 1- 800-222-TIPS (8477). 



Stolen car, jewelry dumped

Salmon Arm RCMP are looking for a male suspect in connection with an alleged break and enter to a Tappen residence on Wednesday.

Police were called to an altercation involving two males and a female but, prior to their arrival a man and woman fled the area after dumping stolen jewelry in a washroom garbage can, said Staff. Sgt. Scott West, head of the Salmon Arm detachment.

“The male and female also left behind a vehicle that had been stolen from Sorrento which contained possible stolen items.”

A police dog unit was called in to try to track the suspects.

While they escaped, a follow up investigation identified two suspects – with a female arrested later in the day. The unnamed woman was released by the courts in a bail hearing, police said.

The RCMP continue to hunt for the male suspect who remains at large but is well known to area police, said West.

Salmon Arm RCMP also issued their thanks to area residents who contacted police with reports of suspicious activity at the time officers were looking for the suspects.

“It is the observations and reporting by the public to the police that supports ongoing investigations which unfold very quickly at times,” said West, although he added that under no circumstances should the public put themselves in harm's way to attempt to apprehend a suspect in any crime.  



Teen, adult get in scuffle

A 37-year-old man was arrested in Salmon Arm after getting into a verbal and physical altercation with a teen.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Aug. 7 police were called to the area of 28th Street NE and 9th Ave NE for a report of an assault.

“The investigation at the scene revealed that a 15-year-old male had been allegedly assaulted by a 37-year-old male,” said West.

West said the two had a verbal altercation at a local fast food restaurant after the 15-year-old allegedly elbowed the adult male in the back. After a verbal altercation, the two parted ways only to have the 37-year-old male drive by the 15-year-old male on 9th Street NE a short time later where one of the youths in a group with the teen yelled at the car the adult was in.

“The adult stopped and there was another verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation. The youth was taken to hospital with what police believed at the time to be minor scrapes and bruises,” said West.

The RCMP investigation into the matter resulted in the identification of the adult male who was taken into custody and interviewed by officers. The adult was released but could appear in court at a later date once the provincial Crown has an opportunity to review the case.

“Apparently, the issue may have continued on social media where threats may have been made. The police will be looking into the comments made and will conduct an investigation to determine if charges are warranted as a result of the social media comments,” said West.



Distraught man collared

B.C.'s Independent Investigations Office is investigating after a man made threats to kill himself with a knife at a carwash in Sicamous on Tuesday.

Police responded to the carwash on Maier Road about 11:30 a.m., where they found a distraught man with what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds.

The man ran off as an officer pursued on foot, drew his Taser and ordered the man to drop the weapon.

The man eventually got to his knees, and the Taser was not deployed. He was apprehended and taken to hospital by paramedics for medical assessment.

The IIO will investigate whether there is a connection between the man's injuries and the actions of police.

Any witnesses are asked to contact the IIO at 1-855-446-8477.



Boaters love Shuswap Lake

Shuswap Lake has placed among the top five boating destinations in B.C.

In honour of Canada's 150th birthday, Boating BC provided a list of 150 boating desitinations across the province. The list was narrowed to 10, and boaters voted for their top destination on social media.

The top five included:

  • 1 - Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island
  • 2 - Desolation Sound
  • 3 - Shuswap Lake
  • 4 - Princess Louisa Inlet, Sunshine Coast
  • 5 - Gwaii Haanas National Park, Haida Gwaii

B.C. has 27,000 kilometres of coastline and thousands of lakes and rivers.



Singing the blues

Get ready to sing the blues in the Shuswap.

The popular Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival takes place Aug. 17-20 and it promises something for the whole family.

The 25th anniversary of the festival features the sounds of Ricky Skaggs to the vibes of artists like the Alex Cuba and the sweet stylings of groups like Five Alarm Funk.

Also taking to the stage will be favourite Sherman 'Tank' Doucette and Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne to name a few.

A full list of artists and performance times can be found online.

While there are plenty of adult-oriented activities in the line up, there will also be lots for kids to do.

Face painting, crafts, water balloons, sandboxes, bouncy houses and activities from the Okanagan Science Centre will all be main stage for families during the festival.

The Roots and Blues Play Stage is located near the food court. The interactive stage allows everyone to get hands-on and learn about music essentials. Parents can learn a few storytelling tips while the kids take a spin on a few musical instruments. 

And when it is time for some kid-free fun Saturday or Sunday, the festival features onsite daycare for children over three. Kids can be dropped off for two-hour time periods for $20 per child.

Tickets for the festival are available online.



Tragedy averted in crash

Evasive action by one motorist prevented what could have been a tragic collision on the Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm, Tuesday morning.

Police were called to the Salmon River Bridge for a report of a two-vehicle crash shortly before 1 a.m.

Investigators say an Ontario-registered truck with three people on board was heading west on the highway while an Alberta-registered truck with a lone male driver was heading east.

The Alberta vehicle apparently crossed the centre line, hitting the other truck.

Both vehicles sustained significant damage, however, none of the four occupants was taken to hospital.

"The resulting investigation and information from a witness who was travelling on the highway at the time
resulted in a ticket for driving without due care and attention to the male driver of the Alberta-registered
vehicle," said Staff Sgt. Scott West.



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