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Salmon Arm  

Students want in to get out

Getting out of the classroom to get an education is proving popular in the North Okanagan Shuswap School District.

The Kindergarten to Grade 6 outdoor learning program slated to open in September at South Canoe Elementary School is full.

In fact, there is even a waiting list for students hoping to get in, so they can go out.

Director of Instruction Carl Cooper said the district is awaiting word from the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) for approval to re-open the school as it is located on agricultural land.

He explained that once a school is dormant for more than two years the district must reapply to the ALC to open it.

"We are anticipating this could be a two- to three-month process, but are hopeful,” said Cooper.

He said the school district has received approval and a strong recommendation to the ALC from Salmon Arm City Council as well as from several community groups.

"We have communicated this to parents who have registered their children and we will continue to update them as we receive information," said Cooper.

Some $455,000 will be going towards renovations of the school.

Official trustee Mike McKay noted that this is a lot of money, but said it is actually good news.

"This is actually less than what it would cost us to accommodate this increase of students at their home schools so we have found some significant savings there,” said McKay.



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Foster parents needed

New foster homes are needed in the Shuswap area.

There will be information session at the Ministry of Children and Families Development (MCFD) office, 550 Lakeshore Dr. NE, March 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. where people can learn how to become foster parents.

Over the past few years, several foster parents have retired from fostering, or moved on to other challenges, so the Okanagan Foster Parents Association (OFPA) along with MCFD are working to increase the current number of foster families in the community.

Most foster parents are ordinary people who have a special place in their heart for children and youth. The OFPA and the MCFD work together to provide foster ramilies with training and support throughout the process.

Children come into foster care for many different reasons and there are approximately 65 children and youth in foster care in the Shuswap area, which includes Ashton Creek, Canoe, Enderby, Salmon Arm, and Sorrento.

Families are needed in all areas, both rural and urban. Foster parents can be any age, single or married, have their own children, have no children or have grown children.

Foster parents care for children of all ages, from birth to 19.

For more information, contact OFPA co-rdinator Carmen Point at 250-515-1522, or attend the information meeting.



No bail yet for Sagmoen

A decision on bail for Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will be made at a later date. 

The matter has been adjourned to allow the judge time to consider Crown and defence arguments. 

Sagmoen appeared in Salmon Arm Provincial Court Monday.

Heavily bearded and clad in orange, he mostly stared out from the prisoner's box while Judge Mark Takahashi began the proceedings by reading out the conditions of a publication ban placed on the charges. 

Sagmoen, 37, listened to Crown counsel recount detailed descriptions of events that led to the charges against him, often times fidgeting, with a look of confusion on his face. 

Sagmoen is facing a number of charges related to separate events involving sex-trade workers from 2017. Those charges range from intentionally discharging a firearm and uttering threats, to assault and mischief.

Crown spokesman Dan McLaughlin said a date for the court's decision will be set on Feb. 21.

"We look forward to the proper administration of justice," said Sagmoen's defence lawyer, Lisa Jean Helps. 

Sagmoen has been in custody since his arrest in October. He has been linked to a farm on Salmon River Road that was the subject of a massive police search. 

RCMP discovered the remains of Traci Genereaux on the farm. 

Sagmoen has not been charged in relation to that discovery.

Genereaux was one of five women reported missing in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. The other missing women, Ashley Simpson, Deanna Wertz, Nicole Bell and Caitlin Potts, disappeared over a two-year period.

When Sagmoen goes to trial he has elected to be tried by judge alone.



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No charges against cop

British Columbia's police watchdog says no charges will be recommended against a Mountie who shot and injured a man as he appeared to drive his pickup truck toward another officer.

The Independent Investigations Office says in a report that the owner of a car wash called police shortly after midnight on Jan. 29, 2017, when a man broke into a coin box at his business in Salmon Arm.

The office says the owner was watching a remotely monitored closed circuit live feed that showed a man washing his pickup truck and then accessing a coin box.

The report says the man, who was not named, told office investigators that he had outstanding warrants for his arrest and tried to escape by going around one of three police cruisers.

The report says the officer who fired at the truck reported that he tried to protect his fellow officer from possibly being killed by the oncoming vehicle.

The chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald says 14 bullets struck the man's truck and that his injuries included a head wound, but the evidence shows the officer was justified in firing his weapon.



Car thief back in custody

An Alberta man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a car, while on probation for stealing a car. 

On Feb. 17, a Mountie found a BMW in a ditch on 11 Ave. in Salmon Arm.  

The police officer saw a man and a woman leave the vehicle.

When he ran the plates he discovered the car was reported stolen in Alberta on Feb. 9. 

The officer was able to arrest the couple without incident right before they entered a sports venue.
 
A 39-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested for possession of stolen property over $5000.

While the woman was released later that day, the man is still in custody awaiting a bail hearing. 

At the time of the man's arrest, he was on probation in Alberta as a result of being convicted of possessing another stolen vehicle in 2017, and he was also found to be in possession of bear spray.



Pair arrested after car chase

A quick-thinking Salmon Arm RCMP officer helped nab a couple of car thieves red handed.

The officer just happened to run a check of a B.C. licence plate while on patrol in the area of Highway 1 and 30th Street. It turned out the vehicle was stolen.

The officer followed the white Ford Aerostar van to a rural area west of Salmon Arm. The suspect turned down a dead-end road. 

The officer positioned his police car to block the vehicle's escape. The van then turned and came back at the police cruiser in an attempt to escape, when it hit a snowbank and sideswiped the cruiser.

The van then tried to escape to the Trans-Canada on Piers Point Road, where officers had set up a spike belt. 

With two flat tires, the vehicle was slowed, and an unmarked police vehicle followed it without raising the suspicion of the driver.

The vehicle then turned off the highway and into a ditch on Tappen Beach Road. That was where a plainclothes officer arrested two people from the vehicle. 

A man and woman, both in their forties were arrested. Police have recommended six charges, including possession of stolen property, flight from police, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Our officers and the suspects did not sustain any injuries as a result of the incident.



Police use 'OnStar' in arrest

Salmon Arm RCMP have arrested a man and woman from Kelowna after tracking a stolen 2018 GMC pick-up truck using "OnStar".

On Feb. 13 police received the call the truck had been stolen and that a black car may be associated with the theft. 

Police tracked the truck to Sorrento. The truck was disabled and police boxed the suspects in. In the process, police caught the small black car when it pulled in next to the stolen truck.

RCMP not only recovered the stolen truck but also recovered a 2003 Focus which was stolen from Enderby.

In the Focus, police found stolen winter clothing, a snowboard and boots

Both the man and woman will be facing possession of stolen property charges.



Erratic driving leads to arrest

A tip regarding an erratic driver helped Salmon Arm RCMP seize a stolen car, illicit drugs and a 12-gauge sawed off shotgun with 30 live rounds. 

Monday police got the call that a vehicle with Alberta plates was erratically driving on Highway 1. 

RCMP discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen from Edmonton on Feb. 2.

After finding the car parked on Ross Street, police waited for the suspects to exit the car. 

When they did, RCMP pounced and arrested a man and a woman. 

Police found marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine, and a loaded 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun with 30 other live rounds in the trunk.

The man from the vehicle had a warrant for his arrest in Alberta for failing to attend court and was also prohibited from possessing firearms.

The duo remains in custody. RCMP are recommending property, drug and firearms-related charges to Crown Council.



Get ripped in Sicamous

Fast machines and plenty of snow are on the agenda for the Sicamous Ripped Snow Festival this weekend.

The Family Day weekend event features high-octane action for all ages with snowmobile races, snowbike races, kids corner, bouncy castle, kid racetrack, live entertainment and more.

The action takes place at the Sicamous Dog Park, 1450 Sicamous Solsqua Rd.

And it's all free.

More information can be found online.



Arrest in dual robberies

Members of the community are being credited with helping to put the cuffs on a suspected robber.

Chase RCMP Cpl. Scott Linklater said on Feb. 7, police arrested a 24-year-old local man in relation to the Jan. 21 robbery of the Chase Groceteria.

Charges recommended to Crown Council include robbery while armed with an offensive weapon, disguise with intent and failing to comply with a probation order.

Linklater said the suspect, who police have not publicly identified, is also being charged with theft under $5,000 in relation to an incident occurring at the BC Liquor Store in Chase on Jan. 21.

“This arrest resulted from the assistance of numerous members of the community coming forward to provide information,” said Linklater. “This information aided in identifying a suspect in this serious offence.

“The Chase community has been greatly affected by the recent robberies in the community and the Chase detachment has treated these crimes as a priority. The Chase detachment would like to thank the community for its invaluable assistance in this matter and for their patience as the police investigation progressed to support the criminal charges.”



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