Salmon Arm  

Schools get surplus cash

Schools in the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district will be getting some extra money for a variety programs.

Official trustee Mike McKay gave approval to a spending plan for the approximately $360,000 surplus from the 2016-17 operating budget.

"Every item on this list, and many that did not make the list, are extremely valuable to our kids,” said McKay.

Nicole Bittante, secretary-treasurer, explained the district closed the 2016-17 year with an operating surplus of $1,279,663.

After discussions, the senior leadership team recommended, and McKay passed, that $100,000 of the unrestricted surplus go towards new curriculum facilitation, $7,500 to MyBlueprint - career development program delivery to students, $7,500 to emergency procedures program resource and $15,000 to support Carlin Learning Commons/Hub initiative.

A further $25,000 was earmarked for the numeracy program, $30,000 for the literacy intervention program, $9,000 for classroom action injury projects and $10,000 for a curriculum leader. The motion also sees $60,000 go towards a Pleasant Valley Secondary School initiative to support vulnerable students, $5,000 for outdoor student learning activities, $10,000 for resources to support ISP programs and $20,000 for the report card initiative.

Some $55,000 was put in reserve for education assistants costs and a $10,000 contingency was also established.


Salmon Arm hit by outages

A wind storm has knocked out power to thousands of homes in the Shuswap, including in Salmon Arm and surrounding communities.

BC Hydro reports that more than 2,400 were without power in the Eagle Bay Road area due to the windstorm, more than 1,400 east of Evans Road, close to 1,000 east of Beguelin Road and almost 1,300 in a section west of Highway One due to a transmission circuit failure.

Trees are also reported down in one area.

The company says damaging winds have caused multiple outages to customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Interior.

"We expect outages to increase until the winds abate. Crews have been dispatched to all areas to restore power quickly and safely," said a statement on its website.

Hwy 1 open after crash

UPDATE: 6:30 a.m.

DriveBC reports the highway reopened about 12:15 a.m.

ORIGINAL: 9:15 p.m.

Highway 1 traffic is backed up in both directions west of Sorrento, after a vehicle crash closed the highway Friday night.

The crash occurred just before 7:30 p.m., seven kilometres west of Sorrento.

An assessment of the incident is currently in progress, but DriveBC does not have an estimate of when the road will reopen.

The nature of the crash or condition of those involved is unknown at this time.

The closure can be avoided by using Highways 97A and 97B through Falkland.  


Drunk teen safe and sound

An intoxicated teen was found safe and sound after running off into the night wearing only shorts and a hat.

Salmon Arm Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Oct. 6 at approximately 8:45 p.m. police attended to a report of a missing person.

“An 18-year-old male had been drinking with friends in the 1600 Block of 30th Street NE when he became upset and ran off,” said West.

“His friends were worried and looked for him for an hour and a half, but were unable to locate the friend. They were concerned because when the male ran off he was wearing only shorts and a hat.”

Police were also concerned due to the threat of hypothermia because the teen was not dressed for the cold weather.

Police called in search and rescue to conduct an urban search.

“The male was located by Search and Rescue close to midnight, cold and asleep but otherwise he was physically OK,” said West.

The man had climbed in a parked vehicle belonging to a company in Salmon Arm near Highway 1 and 30th Street NE.

“Thankfully, we have a well trained search and rescue team locally who are staffed with dedicated volunteers. These people give of their time at all hours of the day and night to locate lost people in the region. We owe them a heartfelt thank you for all that they do,” said West.

Semi truck ends up in ditch

A semi-truck driver and the co-driver each suffered minor injuries from an early-morning crash near Salmon Arm on Wednesday.

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to the semi-truck crash at about 3:00 a.m. on Oct. 5th, which occurred on the Trans-Canada Highway between Blind Bay and Sorrento.

The driver was reportedly trying to avoid an animal on the road when he went into a ditch, before going across two driveways and stopping in trees and brush.

The semi-truck was the only vehicle involved.

RCMP said the co-driver was in the sleeper at the time of the crash.

No charges are being looked into, according to police.

Strategy talks with SD 83

After all the controversy last year, the North Okanagan Shuswap school district is making sure everyone is informed about its plans.

A series of strategy sessions with stakeholder groups about the school district's draft strategic plan have been planned.

“We have a series of consultation sessions planned to check in with stakeholders and see if they feel the draft strategic plan accurately reflects the input they provided during the process,” said Alice Hucul, School District 83 spokesperson.

“Each session, which is expected to be approximately two hours, will include a review of the draft strategic plan followed by a facilitated table talk activity where participants can engage in discussion and make suggestions for the planning team to consider.”

The sessions will take place on the following days:

  • Monday, October 16 - Silver Creek/Falkland session, 7-9 p.m. at Silver Creek Elementary
  • Tuesday, October 17 - Salmon Arm and area session, 7-9 p.m. at Sullivan campus of Salmon Arm Secondary
  • Wednesday, October 18 - Enderby and area session, 7-9 p.m. at A.L. Fortune Secondary School
  • Thursday, October 19 - Armstrong and area session, 7-9 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Secondary School
  • Monday, October 23 - Sicamous and area session, 7-9 p.m. at Eagle River Secondary School

Hard landing at airport

A pilot and his passenger walked away from what is being described as a hard landing at the Shuswap Regional Airport in Salmon Arm airport Friday.

Keith Watson, airport manager, said the small plane had a hard landing and then veered off the runway.

“There were no injuries,” said Watson. “It was a good landing he walked away from it.”

The plane was from Edmonton and transportation officials have cleared the scene and no investigation is planned.

Get outside, get learning

Some students may be heading outdoors to get an education.

The possibility of an outdoor school is being explored by North Okanagan-Shuswap School District No. 83 officials.

Approximately 30 people representing various community groups and the school district attended a meeting at South Canoe Centre Monday, Sept. 25, to explore the potential of an outdoor education school in the currently empty building.

Teacher Ceren Caner presented the vision of the school district’s outdoor education committee.

“It is the aim of this committee to develop a school that engages students with local ecosystems, where the focus of learning is on inquiry, experience and reflection,” said Caner.

“Teaching the B.C. curriculum through nature’s lens, learning will support the well being of the students, the community and the land. In the spirit of active collaboration, we envision the school as a hub for outdoor learning both in School District No. 83 and the community at large, supporting others in the delivery and growth of their own programs.”

The student age range for the potential outdoor school has yet to be determined.

A survey will be circulated to all parents with students registered in the school district in the next two weeks. The results of these two surveys, and the contributions at the roundtable conversations, will shape the future work of the committee and the future of outdoor education in the school district.

A public meeting to discuss the possibility of an outdoor education school is being planned for late November with the exact time and date to be announced.

Clean bill of health

School District 83's finances have been given a clean bill of health from auditor, KPMG.

"It went very smoothly and we are issuing a clean report," said Murray Smith of KPMG during a school district meeting in Salmon Arm Tuesday night. "We found School District 83 was very comparable to similar sized districts on how money was spent and what overall expenses were."

Smith said the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district's $1.27 million total operating surplus on an approximately $70 million budget for the 2017-18 year was very reasonable.

"It's about one week's worth of expenses."

Official trustee Mike McKay approved the statements which will now be submitted to the education ministry.

He said assignment of the surplus funds must be transparent, and should and will be collaborative. Recommendations will be brought forward to Oct. 17 meeting.

"It's a good healthy exercise,” said McKay. “Transparency is very important. I know there were problems with that but I hope we are leaving those in the rear view mirror."

In June, 2016, the district's school board was fired by the education minister after parents protested a number of issues, including the transfer of more than $10 million in surplus operating funds into capital funding projects over five years.

McKay was appointed in their stead.

Almost 3 years for shooting

A North Okanagan man has been sentenced to 34 months and 14 days in prison for shooting another man near Enderby two years ago. The victim was sent to hospital with serious gunshot wounds.

Norman Dybdal, born in 1957, was sentenced in Salmon Arm provincial court Tuesday on charges of using a firearm while committing an indictable offence and aggravated assault. Charges of attempted murder and intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless were stayed by the Crown.

Dybdal was arrested Oct. 19, 2015 shortly after RCMP officers found a seriously wounded man on a property in rural Enderby.

The unidentified male victim, who was 55 at the time, had been shot several times and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Dybdal has also been ordered to forfeit the weapon used in the crime and has been banned from owning a weapon for ten years.

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