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The Salmon Arm Fire Department is looking to fill stockings with its third annual Fill the Fire Truck toy drive.
On Saturday, you’re invited to drop by any of the four Salmon Arm fire halls between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., to drop off unwrapped toys or gift cards in $15 increments.
If you are unable to come down during the drive, they will still be accepting donations at Fire Hall 3 downtown, from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.
“We're hoping for a good turnout this year. It's one of our big fundraisers to help the SAFE Society and the Shuswap Family Center at the same time,” says firefighter and event organizer Tyler Stevenson.
“We're already getting phone calls on where we can get things dropped off?” said Stevenson.
Donations are collected on behalf of the Shuswap Area Family Emergency Society and the Shuswap Family Center to ensure families in need can have a happy holiday season.
A new health clinic is set to open its doors in Chase.
The Sexqeltqin Health Clinic, located at 6425 Village Rd., will have its grand opening on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
The Adams Lake Indian Band developed the clinic in partnership with Interior Health, the Division of Family Practice, First Nations Health Authority and the Secwepemc Nation.
The project was initiated in 2016.
Chief Lynn Duckchief of the Adams Lake Indian Band said in a statement holistic health and wellness is "vital" for the community to heal and grow.
"Sexqeltqin Health Clinic is a welcomed support which will allow such healing," Duckchief said.
“I’m grateful for Adams Lake Indian Band’s previous leadership and staff for their part in making the current leadership’s vision come to fruition."
The centre will incorporate traditional and cultural healing approaches with comprehensive primary health care and a full suite of allied health services.
Sexqeltqin Health Clinic aims to provide Adams Lake area residents with a comprehensive care team. It will involve a nurse practitioner and general practitioner, a mental wellness councillor, social worker and a traditional healer. The clinic will offer psychiatry and public health services.
Drop-in tours of the new facility will be available on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is adding his voice to pressure building to expedite hospital upgrades in Salmon Arm.
Kyllo has sent a letter to Health Minister Adrian Dix and Interior Health chair Doug Cochrane expressing his support for the Shuswap Lake General Hospital expansion project.
Kyllo stresses the importance of the improvements to the area and the need to start the project "as soon as possible."
Kyllo says he's had difficulty scheduling a meeting with Dix.
“My staff has reached out to your office six times by email between May and August to secure a meeting with you, with no response to date,” Kyllo wrote.
“Additionally, I have twice respectfully reminded you of your meeting commitment, yet I continue to await the scheduling of the meeting you promised back in April.”
Kyllo says: “Immediate upgrades to the SLGH are essential both for the residents and visitors who require hospital care, but also for the dedicated staff who are being pushed to exhaustion as this crisis worsens.”
He concludes the letter: “I look forward to hearing from your office in the near future to schedule the meeting to which I have been awaiting seven months.”
The letter echoes the message of a letter sent to both Dix and Cochrane by Columbia Shuswap Regional District chair Kevin Flynn back in November.
A Salmon Arm rugby club has had the rug pulled out from under it with the winter closure of the SASCU Memorial Indoor Sports Complex.
Their winter season was already underway, but the Yeti Rugby club is left scrambling after the City of Salmon Arm announced the indoor arena would be closed with the first snowfall of the season.
An engineer's report stated the roof may not be capable of supporting a heavy snowfall.
The club has 51 members plus 49 kids signed up for its non-contact mini-rugby program.
Yeti spokesperson Michelle Hoekstra said: “We have our own insurance for that facility. And specifically rugby related. It's really hard to get insurance, like for rugby, tackling that kind of thing.”
Hoekstra says the club found out about the closure in an email last week, after they’d already taken registrations for the season and paid for insurance.
Winter training and touch rugby scrimmages started in the arena Nov. 6.
Once they refund players for the cancelled season, they’re left having paid a large sum for insurance and other upfront costs.
“Simply put, our club will be financially crushed if these closures take place,” Hoekstra said.
The club had a phone call with Mayor Alan Harrison on Tuesday during which Hoekstra asked for clarity on the city’s plans, including if the facility would open back up when the snow melts.
Harrison didn’t have any definite answers, she said.
On Wednesday, several sports organizations that use the facility had a meeting to discuss their concerns.
They tallied up their number of users, and between all the clubs they tallied more than 3,000 community members who use the facility.
At the moment, it’s not clear how much snowpack will be considered enough to close the facility, and there is snow forecast for the weekend.
A Shuswap wildfire relief benefit concert brought in $3,000, organizers say.
Local band Headway played to a packed room and enthusiastic crowd at the Song Sparrow Hall.
Made up of musicians from around the Okanagan and Shuswap, Headway guitarist John Noseworthy said: “We had the crowd rockin' and everybody was having some fun.”
“And just a great spirited community ... it was amazing to be part of that. Like nothing was getting these people down. It was wonderful.”
The concert raised funds for the Shuswap Community Foundation emergency response fund for wildfire relief.
It was organized by the Celebrate Shuswap Society.
The fund provides aid to community organizations in the areas most affected by the devastating Bush Creek East wildfire to help communities rebuild and recover in the face of disaster.
The fund is especially focused on providing ongoing support for sustained food security, shelter and community recovery.
For more information on the fund, visit the Shuswap Community Foundation website.
A stolen truck from Salmon Arm was located in Vernon – but it had been partially torched.
About 7 p.m. Nov. 24, a woman reported her early 2000s Ford F-150 was stolen from the 200 block of the Trans-Canada Highway in Salmon Arm, says RCMP spokesperson Const. Andrew Hodges.
The complainant had her keys with her and the truck had a half tank of gas, Hodges says.
Police patrolled for the vehicle, but were unable to locate it.
The following day, Vernon RCMP found the stolen pickup – however, it had been set on fire and partially destroyed.
The vehicle was held by police for further examination.
Hodges reminds residents to always lock their vehicle, keep keys with you, and remove any valuables whenever you park.
A local pizzeria is taking a stand to say no one should go hungry in Sorrento.
Frankie’s Pizza has launched a new initiative where meals are paid for in advance and receipts are pinned up on a cork board in the restaurant.
Anyone who is hungry is encouraged to bring one of the receipts up to the counter to enjoy a free hot meal courtesy of Frankie’s Pizza.
Restaurant owner Dave (Frankie) Warsing told Castanet it was important for him to give back.
“Man, I've been on the street one time when I was younger. I've gotten hungry before, and it's not cool. I got food here. I don't have much money, but I got food so I can give back that way.”
The new idea was announced on a facebook post that was extremely well received around the Shuswap with nearly a hundred positive comments from locals.
"This little town, you know, seems to stick up for everybody and help each other out as much as they can," Warsing said. "I love it. So I just want to keep this going.”
Warsing has embarked on a similar initiative this past summer. During the Bush Creek East wildfires, his restaurant gave away free meals to anyone that was evacuated.
“That was crazy with wildfires and people coming home, when they lost their homes," he said.
"Really, what can I offer? I have food. …I don’t have any skills to build a house or help anybody out but I can feed them."
Frankie’s Pizza has been serving pizza and pasta in Sorrento since 1995.
A burning vehicle led Salmon Arm police to discover stolen property valued at more than $20,000.
About 9 a.m. Thursday, a motorhome was reported fully engulfed in flames near Dondaneau Creek Forest Service Road off Skimikin Lake Road.
RCMP located the burning motorhome, as well as other trailers and vehicles, resulting in the recovery of a stolen truck out of Williams Lake from several months ago.
Police noted items in the back of the truck and surrounding area were suspected to be stolen, says Salmon Arm RCMP spokesperson Const. Andrew Hodges.
About the same time, police received a report of a theft from a storage container in Salmon Arm that had been emptied out. Tools and other machinery were stolen.
Police were able to establish the majority of the items stolen from the storage container were located in the rear of the stolen truck and surrounding area, says Hodges.
The majority of the stolen items were returned to their rightful owner.
A Facebook Marketplace con scammed a Salmon Arm woman out of more than $4,000.
Salmon Arm RCMP say a woman reported being ripped off for $4,250 after she agreed to a deal on the social media platform.
Const. Andrew Hodges says the woman reported on Nov. 15 that she had found a sea-can for sale on marketplace, offered by a seller with profile name 'Sean George'.
The woman agreed to e-transfer the man the $4,250. But, after doing so, the seller deleted the post and deleted his Facebook profile, says Hodges.
Police were unable to find records of anyone local with that name and were unable to help the woman further.
Hodges stresses that buyers should never send an e-transfer to someone they don’t know.
Once an e-transfer is accepted, it can no longer be reversed.
Holiday events are kicking off all around the Shuswap as communities get into the spirit of the season.
In Salmon Arm, there will be a special downtown holiday market at Ross Street Square this Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Downtown Holiday Parade will starting at 3:30 p.m., with participants travelling along Hudson Avenue, Ross Street and Lakeshore Drive.
Chase will be celebrating with the annual Chase Country Christmas event. The town is kicking off the holiday season with its Christmas parade on Friday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to stick around for the official tree light up at 6:30 p.m., and to keep an eye out for a visit from Santa himself.
Residents of Sicamous feeling the holiday cheer can enter their Christmas light displays in the 2023 Light Up the Community contest. The registration deadline is at noon on Thursday, and judging will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The Holiday Light Up and Parade will take place in Sicamous on Sunday, Dec. 2. The parade will take place at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Main Street tree light up at 6 p.m.
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