Salmon Arm  

Shuswap man burned over 40% of his body, shares story for Hometown Heroes

Survived terrible burns

Scott McBride was working under his truck when it caught fire.

The Sorrento resident suffered third-degree burns to more than 40 per cent of his body in the 2020 accident and spent four months at Vancouver General Hospital.

McBride continues to return for treatments at the clinic, and shares his story in support of the Hometown Heroes Lottery.

The lottery supports the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, GF Strong Rehab Centre, and BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.

McBride, a car enthusiast and sales manager of his family's marine business, was working on the restoration of a 1972 Chevy C-10 pickup when the fire happened.

He was flown by air ambulance to VGH, where he spent three weeks in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit before being sent to the burn unit for the next four months.

As his recovery continues, McBride still visits the clinic and stays at the Burn Fund's HomeAway when receiving treatment.

McBride says the programs are "crucial for burn survivors and their families" and that "Dr. Papp and his team were instrumental in saving my life."

The Burn Fund offers accommodation to burn and trauma survivors and organizes an annual camp for young burn survivors.

The Hometown Heroes Lottery offers 10 grand prize home options, each worth more than $2.3 million.

There are more than 3,000 prizes to be won, including cars, vacations, and more.

Tickets are on sale until July 13 or until they sell out.

Sunken wreck of 100-year-old boat removed from Shuswap Lake

Sunken wreck out of lake

Shuswap Lake just got a little bit safer.

The Mandalay B, a 100-year-old wooden vessel that sank off Lee Creek at the west end of the lake last year, has been removed.

The 50-foot, diesel-powered boat was built in Vancouver in 1923 and was mostly used on the coast before being brought to the Shuswap in the mid-1990s.

The Mandalay B had previously sunk into the lake in January 2022, and a private recovery effort raised the derelict vessel last June. However, the landmark sank again four months later.

The boat's owner couldn't afford the cost of a second removal.

But, Transport Canada and Columbia Shuswap Regional District collaborated on May 10 to remove the safety and environmental hazard from the lake.

Agencies involved in the effort included the CSRD, BC RAPP (Report all Poachers and Polluters) line, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, and Transport Canada, along with local marine diving and recovery companies.

CSRD's bylaw department worked with Transport Canada's Navigation Protection Program to co-ordinate the clean-up effort.

The boat was removed under federal provisions of the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act.

The antique vessel will not be restored to make a return to the lake, and tipping fees were waived to properly dispose of it.

$50,000 motorhome stolen off Salmon Arm dealership lot

$50,000 RV stolen off lot

An RV worth more than $50,000 was stolen right off the lot of a Salmon Arm dealership.

Justin Braby, a sales manager at Braby Motors, says culprits managed to do it without the keys.

The dealership is asking anyone who might have seen the Forest River, Ford-chassis RV to contact RCMP.

Braby hopes to get the vehicle back, but was told by police: "We catch some of them, but not all of them."

A salesperson drove through the lot about 7 p.m. Sunday, and the RV was still there. But, when staff arrived Monday morning, they noticed it was gone.

Braby says watching security footage, the RV was stolen around 10 p.m. Sunday.

He says vehicle theft like this isn’t common, but it is disappointing.

"It’s just too bad that it’s happening," he said.

The RV has unique decals that might help people to identify it.

The front of the vehicle has Lexington above the windshield, and on the back there’s a big red maple leaf with Forest River Canada written below it. Above the window, it says Apollo in orange.

Anyone who may have seen the RV is asked to call Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832-6044.

Shuswap shooting victim had gang ties, say police

Fire, bullet holes & wounds

Gunshot wounds, vehicle fires, and cars with bullet holes. That’s what Salmon Arm RCMP are asking for help with on from the public.

Salmon Arm RCMP were called to Shuswap Lakes General Hospital on Sunday for a man with gunshot wounds.

RCMP say the man was uncooperative with police and was arrested on outstanding warrants. He has now been turned over to federal corrections to answer to parole violations.

While police dealt with the man in hospital, officers were called to a vehicle fire east of Canoe on a forest service road. That vehicle was later reported to be stolen from Alberta.

Police say they are still investigating the car's possible connection to the shooting.

On Monday, police were notified of a vehicle with bullet holes in it. A newer model black Ford Bronco was located at Harbourfront Drive and Marine Park Drive.

Police say they believe the black Ford was involved in the “initial incident”.

“Police are confident that this was a targeted attack. The male who was in hospital has known ties to an organized crime group from outside the Salmon Arm area," said RCMP.

RCMP are now asking for help from the public.

“If you have dash camera video from the area of Harbourfront Drive or the local hospital which shows this new model Black Ford Bronco on May 28 2023 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. the Salmon Arm RCMP would like to hear from you.”

Anyone with information or footage can call 250-832-6044.

Minivan and dump truck collide in rural Ranchero

Van, dump truck collide

Salmon Arm RCMP say the driver of a minivan was lucky to escape with only minor injuries after a collision with a dump truck on Highway 97B.

The driver was turning left from Cambie Road in the rural Ranchero area between Salmon Arm and Enderby just before 4 p.m. when it was struck broadside by the dump truck, which was travelling on the highway.

"As a direct result of the dump truck driver slowing down considerably, both drivers sustained only minor injuries despite the considerable damage to the minivan, which rolled over in the ditch," says Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West.

Shuswap Lake not expected to flood, peak anticipated next week

Lake not expected to flood

Shuswap Lake levels are not expected to cause widespread flooding.

"While the Shuswap remains on flood-watch status for potential minor flooding issues due to high river and lake levels, the Shuswap Emergency Program is not anticipating any structures to be threatened this season by widespread flooding of Shuswap Lake," the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said in a press release Friday.

With snowpacks dwindling, most of the major rivers in the region are seeing water levels decline or hold steady, the CSRD says.

"Shuswap Lake has experienced a steep rise in water levels over the past few weeks, due to higher-than-average temperatures increasing the rate of snow melt."

The lake is currently sitting at 348.403 metres above sea level.

"This remains below the mark that would trigger the installation of some infrastructure protection measures for flood-prone areas," the CSRD says.

"While water levels may increase slightly, it is expected that the lake level may peak next week and begin to slowly decline."

Last year, the lake didn't reach its high-water mark until early July.

The Shuswap Emergency Program is not anticipating any significant issues with river systems unless an unforeseen rainstorm brings heavy precipitation.

The current forecast calls for warmer and drier conditions, and May is trending to be the warmest and driest on record in the Shuswap.

Meanwhile, rivers and creeks continue to flow at high rates, and caution is urged around them.

Water flow rates can easily overwhelm even strong swimmers, the CSRD warns.

Boat operators are reminded increased debris in lakes due to spring runoff.

Shuswap man arrested on the couch twice in a month

An unwelcome guest

An unwelcome guest is facing charges after a pair of incidents in the Shuswap.

Police say they were called at 12:12 a.m on May 8 for a report of a break-and-enter at home in Celista, B.C.

“The caller reported a male had forced entry into the house and was lying on the couch. Police attended and arrested the male, still lying on the couch,” said the Chase RCMP in a news release.

Christopher Christensen was arrested and released on bail with charges of break and enter with intent and breach of undertaking. He was ordered to stay away from the property.

Then on May 23 at 6:30 a.m., Chase RCMP were again called to a home in Celista.

“The caller reported that a male was sleeping on the couch at a residence where he was unwelcome,” police said.

Christopher Christensen was arrested, and again released on bail, with new charges of mischief and breach of release order.

CSRD residents to vote in referendum on Shuswap Watershed Council funding

Water council referendum

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is recommending a referendum on continuation of a parcel tax to fund the Shuswap Watershed Council on a permanent basis.

Directors voted unanimously this month in favour of taking the issue to a full assent vote for all eligible voters in Electoral Areas C, D, E, F, and G and the District of Sicamous.

The vote and associated bylaws need approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs before proceeding.

The watershed council is a non-profit group focused on protecting, maintaining and enhancing water quality and promoting safe recreation in the Shuswap.

Members represent the CSRD, Thompson Nicola Regional District, Regional District of North Okanagan, City of Salmon Arm, District of Sicamous, and the Secwépemc Nation.

The Fraser Basin Council, a provincial non-government organization, is contracted to provide staff services to the Shuswap Watershed Council until March 2024.

Currently, the council is funded through a parcel tax of $9.02 per property.

The new maximum rate is estimated to be $9.64 per year.

Salmon Arm and other participants have different methods for paying into the watershed council service.

The referendum is projected to cost $75,000, but directors preferred a vote to the alternative approval process, which would cost just $2,500, calling it "a solid investment in the democratic process."

"Let the taxpayers decide," said Electoral Area C director Marty Gibbons.

Approval from the province will likely take six to eight weeks.

Shuswap rail trail closed as rock scaling work poses danger

Rock scaling on rail trail

A rock scaling project got underway Wednesday on the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District reminds the public that the trail remains closed as construction continues.

The work is creating additional, significant hazards along the trail, the CSRD says.

The rock scaling is expected to be complete near the end of June.

"As construction season gets underway, please remember that the entire rail trail corridor from Sicamous to Armstrong remains closed to public use," the CSRD says.

"Please stay off the trail for your safety and that of the work crews."

More heavy rain expected in Shuswap, North Thompson

More rain on the way

More rain is in the forecast of the Shuswap and regions north.

Environment Canada has extended a special weather statement for the Shuswap, North Thompson, Cariboo and Prince George.

Up to 15 mm of rainfall is expected now through tonight with highest amounts near the mountains, particularly east-facing slopes.

The heavy rain could bring a risk of flooding and debris flow, Environment Canada said.

“A slow-moving low pressure system over central Alberta is spreading rain into British Columbia. Rain, at times heavy, will continue through tonight,” said the weather agency.

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