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West Kelowna  

Cash left in donated items

Another case of cash left inside a piece of clothing donated to a local charity, this time in West Kelowna.

An employee at a thrift shop contacted RCMP back in June, after finding a sum of cash and an old debit card inside a donated item of clothing.

The card didn't have a name to identify the owner.

“Our investigators immediately followed up with the financial institution who issued the bank card, with negative results,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“As a last ditch effort, police are hoping the rightful owner will come across this story in the media and be able to prove they are the rightful owner. That person should be able to describe the donated clothing item to police, identify the total amount of cash they had left inside that item and confirm both the name of the financial institution, and the number of their expired bank card.”

A similar scenario in Kelowna earlier this month had a happy ending when the owner of a donated item was reunited with his money.

If you believe you are the owner, you're asked to contact West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880, and cite file 2018-36164.





Mandarino runs for mayor

Mary Mandarino is no stranger to West Kelowna politics.

Mandarino has run, unsuccessfully for mayor in 2014 and councillor on two other occasions.

For the longest time, it appeared as if Gord Milsom would be acclaimed to the mayor's chair in West Kelowna, so, at the last minute, Mandarino said she threw her hat in the ring, saying she doesn't believe acclimation to be a democratic process.

Among her top issues, safe drinking water, a second source of power for the city and safe routes to school.

Mandarino spoke with Okanagan Oldies 103.9 morning show host Gord Vizzutti to speak on the issues. The complete interview is available by clicking on the video above.



Traffic moving again

UPDATE: 2:10 p.m.

Traffic appears to be moving again after a collision involving a motorcycle in West Kelowna on the William R. Bennett Bridge.

No further updates have been provided about the injuries of the people involved.


UPDATE: 1:35 p.m.

Emergency crews are at the scene of collision involving a motorcycle in West Kelowna on the William R. Bennett Bridge.

No further updates have been provided about the injuries of the people involved.

Vehicles are at a standstill and do no appear to be moving at this time. Travellers should avoid the area.


UPDATE: 1:17 p.m.

Early reports indicate a collision on the William R. Bennett Bridge involves the driver of a motorcycle. 

There are no further details if any injuries were suffered or how many people were involved. 

The incident is believed to have occurred around 1 p.m. on the West Kelowna side, in the southbound lanes. 


ORIGINAL: 1:14 p.m.

Emergency crews have been called to a collision on the William R. Bennett Bridge.

The incident happened just after 1 p.m., on Sunday on the West Kelowna side of the bridge.

Crews will have a difficult time getting through as the bridge is full with vehicles.

No further details are available at this time.



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Caught up in car wash

There was some car wash drama Friday afternoon in West Kelowna.

Mike Pittaway says he was in line to enter the automatic Sonic Car Wash when a storage box on the roof of the vehicle in front of him got caught in the machinery, ripping it off the roof of the Subaru Outback wagon.

"The cargo case got ripped up and caught in the overhead brushes," says Pittaway.

While there didn't appear to be any damage to the car wash, staff had to stop the equipment so the driver could back up to free the rooftop box from the brushes.

It appears there may have been some damage to the car as well as the luggage carrier.

No one was injured in the incident.



Bloody doorstep prank

Alanna Kelly

A West Kelowna family were the brunt of a gruesome, bloody prank on Wednesday night. 

The family, who asked to remain anonymous, live off Bear Creek Road in West Kelowna and were shocked to discover organs covered in blood on their doorstep. 

A woman who lives at the home was home alone just after 9:30 p.m. when there was a loud bang on the front door. When she looked outside, no one was there.

“It was confusing because we couldn’t figure out why anybody would leave a heart and a liver on our doorstep and make such a loud bang,” said the homeowner. 

The discovery made the family concerned and question who would do such a thing. 

“It was disturbing because with anything like that you think of something a little more sinister, or satanic when you start having organs left on your front step,” he said.

Once they looked over their home surveillance footage, they discovered who the culprits were.

“There were four teenagers that were standing at the top of the driveway, two of them ran down to the front door and dumped each of their bags onto the doorstep,” he said. 

As the two ran up, the other two rushed towards the door and banged on it.

“We were quite disturbed when we initially found it, not knowing what their intent of this was,” he said. 

The family said they are concerned if this had happened to someone who didn’t have cameras.

“I don’t think these kids have an understanding of what the emotional and psychological damage it could cause,” he said. 

RCMP Const. Jesse O’Donaghey said no other similar incidents were reported to police. 

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward, saying the suspects could face fines. 



What's that smell?

Smell something off in West Kelowna?

Staff are replacing biofilter material at the the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, which may produce periods with more odour than usual in the Gellatly Road area.

Installation continues through Friday. 

The system biologically treats odourous gases collected through the wastewater treatment process, helping to reduce foul smells. However, it takes a few days to get the new biofilter up to 100 per cent performance.

The filter material was last replaced in 2016.

The regional district apologizes for any short-term inconvenience.  

The facility receives and treats about 10,000 cubic metres of wastewater each day.



It'll cost to toke in public

Think it'll be perfectly OK to toke in public in West Kelowna once consumption of cannabis becomes legal in Canada next Wednesday? Think again.

Council has adopted a bylaw restricting cannabis consumption to private property only. The fine for contravening the bylaw – $500.

While the province allows cannabis smoking and vaping to areas where tobacco smoking and vaping is allowed, each municipality has been given the ability to supersede those regulations. West Kelowna has done just that, meaning consumption is allowed only at private homes.

It's the final part of a series of bylaws established by the city in advance of legalization.

Among those, only four cannabis retail stores will be allowed in the city, two in the Westbank town centre and two in the Boucherie centre/West Kelowna business park areas.

Retail stores must be at least 100 metres from the public library, youth centre and schools.

Potential operators would be required to apply for site-specific rezoning at a cost of $7,500. There would also be a $1,000 fee for amendments to retail licences issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.



Moving firefighter funeral

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

A father, husband and inspirational fire captain was remembered Tuesday in West Kelowna.

Fire Capt. Troy Russell spent 20 years working as a firefighter in West Kelowna and after a heroic battle with cancer died Sept. 25. He is survived by his wife of 22 years and two sons.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund says Russell's family at home was very important, but also his family at the firehall.

“I came to learn that when Troy would work nightshift, he would often eat two dinners, one with his family at home and then another one with the fire department family at work,” said Brolund.

Over 400 emergency responders from across the province took part in the funeral procession, which led to the ceremony at Royal LePage Place.

The 53-year-old captain leaves behind a massive hole in the department, said Brolund.

Russell’s father said his son was the model child from day one. His brother shared that the death of Russell has broken his heart. Both speeches brought the crowded arena to tears.

This is the first line-of-duty death for West Kelowna Fire Rescue, as Russell's cancer was directly related to his work, said Brolund.

“His death was marked as a line-of-duty death, the type of cancer he had has been found it occurs far more often in firefighters than the general population."


ORIGINAL: 1:45 p.m.

A funeral for West Kelowna firefighter Capt. Troy Russell is ongoing at Royal LePage Place Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Russell, also known as Nipsy, battled occupational brain cancer for a year. He passed away on Sept. 25.

Fire service, emergency responders and the public are attending the funeral, which began at 1 p.m.



Q&A with candidates

You've got another chance to hear council candidates speak, tonight in West Kelowna.

A “no-host” forum begins at 6:30 p.m. at Westside Alliance Church, 2011 Daimler Dr., opposite Const. Neil Bruce Middle School.

"Its purpose is to offer the public the opportunity hear the West Kelowna council candidates speak for more than just 90 seconds," said organizer Heather Yeats, who added with the large field of candidates, speaking time was severely limited at last week's board of trade forum..

Following a brief introduction, candidates at tonight's event will take part in a question and answer session. They will then be available to chat individually with members of the public.



Collision cleared on Stevens

The scene of a two-vehicle collision on the 1400 block of Stevens Rd. has now been cleared.

Early reports indicated the collision was a t-bone and multiple rescue vehicles were dispatched to the scene as a precaution.



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