Salmon Arm  

Fire at Tappen sawmill

A fire at a sawmill in Tappen had the potential to get away from fire crews due to strong winds and fine particulate in the area.

The fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. Friday and Tappen Fire Department Chief Ryan Gray said there were some difficulties when it came to battling the blaze.

“The wind was an issue for us,” said Gray, adding 28 firefighters from three volunteer departments responded to the call. “We got there at a good time before the gusts really were bad so if it would have started an hour later it would have been a definite challenge.”

Gray said there were concerns the fire could get away due to the fine burning sawdust that was blowing around, but crews kept it under control.

“It blows all over the place and could have started some other piles on fire,” he said, adding crews were on scene for six hours.

Warm temperatures also made things more difficult as firefighters had to make sure they were not overcome by the heat.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Man killed by train

A man is dead after being struck by a train in the Shuswap last week.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said on July 7 after 8 p.m., Salmon Arm RCMP, Provincial Coroner’s Service and CP Police attended to a train versus pedestrian collision on the tracks one to two kilometres east of the intersection of Tappen Beach Road and the rail lines.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that an adult male took actions that resulted in a collision with a train while on foot. The male succumbed to injuries as a result of the collision,” said West.

“The death is not suspicious and RCMP investigative efforts are in support of the BC Coroners Service investigation and CP Rail investigation.”

Trustees to get $13,500

Remuneration for incoming trustees in School District 83 has been set.

A five-member board will be elected in the fall and the new trustees will receive $13,500 with an additional $3,000 to be paid to the board chairperson and $1,500 to vice-chairperson.

Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Bittante reviewed 17 similar sized school districts and five local municipal councillor stipends, to bring two recommendations to Official Trustee Mike McKay for consideration.

Bittante used 17 similar sized school districts with enrolment between 4,000 and 10,000, as comparators, with two anomalies being removed (West Vancouver and New Westminister) as they paid their trustees in excess of $20,000.

The remaining districts remuneration ranged from $11,000 to $16,392.

Bittante also researched local councillor stipend amounts which ranged from the City of Enderby's $8,500 to the City of Salmon Arm's $22,100.

After approving the remuneration recommendation, McKay also approved the annual adjustment of trustee remuneration, effective Dec. 1 of each year beginning in 2019, be based on the BC Consumer Price Index change from the prior year.

SD 83 has been without a full board of directors since the entire board resigned in 2016 after a public uproar over revelations that trustees had voted to transfer millions of dollars in surplus operating funds into capital funding projects over the past five years, including] the new $9.3 million board offices.


Off to Tanzania

A group of School District 83 students will still be going on the trip of a lifetime, but just to a different destination.

Originally, the students were going to Nicaragua, but concerns about unrest in the Central American country had officials move the destination to Africa.

Official Trustee Mike McKay gave approval in principle to change the destination of the district's Me to We Trip to Tanzania.

After a discussion, and with student safety in mind, it was decided Tanzania would be the new destination.

The trip will take place during Spring Break 2019.

The students will travel northwest of Mount Kilmanjaro, where they will help local residents build and restore a school, experience local culture and learn about global issues.

"These experiences are life changing for our students,” said McKay.

Motorcycle crash claims life

RCMP are asking anyone who may have information related to a deadly motorcycle accident to call the police. 

Police say the fatal crash happened Sunday morning around 11:30, on Highway 1 near the Last Spike historical site in Craigellachie, east of Sicamous. 

The two-vehicle crash involved the motorcycle and an F350 truck. Police say the westbound truck allegedly struck the motorcycle in the westbound lane of the highway. 

"Members of the Eagle Valley Rescue Society assisted in freeing the trapped motorcyclist. The driver of the truck remained on scene and provided first aid to the injured man prior to the arrival of an ambulance," stated RCMP.

The motorcyclist was transported to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. The 37-year-old male victim was a resident of Lloydminster, Alta. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Weather at the time of the collision was poor with heavy rain and poor visibility with heavy cloud cover. 

The highway was closed for 7 hours.

Police are interested in speaking with any motorists who may have witnessed a motorcycle, either stationary or travelling in the area of the Last spike, near 11:00 p.m. on July 1. Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878.

The investigation into the cause of the collision continues.

RCMP and SAR find suspect

Sicamous RCMP and Shuswap Search and Rescue teamed up to find an alleged assault suspect and his daughter.

Last Friday night Sicamous RCMP responded to a report of an assault between two friends at a Cambie Solsqua Road home. 

Police say a 60-year-old Sicamous man had allegedly been assaulted in his home by his 52-year-old friend. 

Police attended and determined the injured victim had allegedly been struck several times by the suspect. 

Police learned that the suspect, who had been drinking, had fled with his 4-year-old daughter into a rural area. 

"Police contacted Shuswap Search and Rescue to assist them in locating the child and her father as they were concerned for the well-being of the child and it was believed the suspect was actively evading police," stated RCMP.

After a night in the bush,  members of the Shuswap Search and Rescue team located the suspect with his daughter in a wooded area around At 5:00 a.m. 

"The suspect was reluctant to release the child to police or Search and Rescue members. The man eventually allowed Search and Rescue members to take his daughter to a family member for the night. The child was not injured as a result of the incident."

The 52-year-old man, who initially resisted arrest, was taken into custody without incident. He was later released on a promise to appear in Salmon Arm Provincial Court on August 14. 

Police continue to investigate the matter.

Busy weekend for police

It was a busy weekend for the Salmon Arm RCMP after responding to more than 100 calls.

Four impaired drivers were ticketed and removed from the roadways.

One of the more serious calls was for a break and enter early this morning at a computer store off the Trans Canada Highway.

The thief smashed through the front door and stole at least two computers and a monitor.

The theft was recorded on a surveillance camera and the suspect was seen wearing a grey tracksuit with a black sports company logo on the front, gloves and light coloured shoes.

If you feel that you have information about either of these crimes please call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Crash sends six to hospital

Six people inside a minivan were taken to hospital, some by air ambulance, Saturday afternoon after colliding with a truck on the Trans-Canada Highway, near Sorrento.

At about 1:50 p.m. a one-ton flat deck truck travelling westbound on Highway 1 lost control and crossed into the oncoming lanes, colliding with a Dodge Caravan near Waverly Frontage Road.

The van rolled into the ditch on the south side of the highway.

Volunteers with the South Shuswap First Responders Association treated the six people in the van before the BC Ambulance Service arrived.

Some of the people inside the van required extrication from the vehicle. The six were taken to hospital with what are described as non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the truck was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The crash closed the highway in both directions for more than an hour. The highway was opened to single-lane alternating traffic at 3:10 p.m.

Police are investigating why the driver of the truck lost control.

Charged for online threats

The Salmon Arm teenager arrested after allegedly making threats on social media against his fellow students has been charged. 

The youth, who is under the age of 18 and who cannot be identified, has been charged with one count of uttering threats. 

On June 13 and June 14,  Kelowna and Salmon Arm RCMP launched an investigation after the departments had been tipped off about a potential threat over social media.

"Police worked closely with the local school districts to identify the source of the threat and on June 14 took a student into custody," RCMP spokesperson stated.

The teenager has been released on strict bail conditions that include undergoing counselling, not possessing any weapons and abiding by a curfew.

Tip leads to suspects

UPDATED: 11:19 a.m.

Police have identified possible suspects involved in a Monday morning break-in of a convenience store near Sorrento. 

"As a result of a tip provided to the store owner on June 26, the store owner and police attended to a residence in Sorrento," stated Staff Sgt. Scott West with Salmon Arm RCMP.

"The ensuing police investigation identified suspects possibly responsible for the original theft on June 25 as well as other individuals who were in possession of stolen cigarettes and lottery tickets from the store."

Some of the stolen property was recovered.

Salmon Arm RCMP officers will continue to follow up on the investigation.

ORIGINAL: June 26, 2018

RCMP in Salmon Arm are hoping surveillance footage of a recent break-in at a convenience store will lead to an arrest. 

The break-in happened in the early morning hours of Monday in the Blind Bay area of Highway 1.

The break-in happened during a power outage caused by a brief, but powerful storm. 

However, police say the surveillance was not affected by the power outage. 

The thief made off with a number of items including a display of pocket knives, lottery tickets and cigarettes.

"The RCMP is following up with the store owner and BC Lotto at this time," stated Staff Sgt. Scott West. "RCMP investigators are also reviewing video footage from the store which was unaffected by the power outage to determine if a picture of the culprit exists."

If you feel that you have information please call the Salmon Arm RCMP at (250) 832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

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