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Kamloops  

City cutting back gas usage

The pipeline explosion near Prince George last week is causing a provincial shortage of natural gas. 

In Kamloops, the municipality is taking steps to reduce its consumption.

Effective immediately, the city will reduce its natural gas usage by doing the following:

  • reducing the temperature of all pools by approximately 0.6ºC (1ºF)
  • reducing the temperature in all occupied buildings by 1ºC
  • reducing the temperature in all utility and heated storage buildings to 5ºC
  • turning off tube heaters in all arenas
  • reducing the temperature of the hot water for Zambonis

“The majority of the natural gas used by the city is for heating purposes,” said Jen Fretz, the city’s civic operations director. “Therefore, we are going to make some operational changes that will immediately reduce our overall usage.”

With the exception of the utility and heated storage buildings, these changes will be in place for the duration of the shortage. 

Heat may need to be restored to the storage buildings if the outside temperature drops dramatically in order to prevent the contents from freezing.



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K9 captures culprit

The RCMP canine unit was called in to help arrest a man who broke into a City of Kamloops warehouse Monday morning. 

The 43-year-old man forced a door open to gain entry into the warehouse on Mission Flats Road.

Nothing was taken from the building.

The man was released with a future court date. He was previously known to police and is from Kamloops.



Replica gun leads to arrest

A 44-year-old man from Kamloops has been arrested following an incident with a replica gun at a Tim Hortons.

RCMP say that on Friday around 8 p.m., police were called to the Tim Horton’s on Columbia Street. 

It appears two men were standing in the restaurant when what appeared to be a handgun fell out of the pocket of one of the men and landed on the floor. 

The male said, “whoops”, picked up the handgun and put it back in his pocket.

Officers attended the Tim Horton’s and found the two men outside of the restaurant. 

Upon further investigation, police learned the gun was actually an airsoft pistol. The man who was in possession of the replica gun was also in possession of an undisclosed amount of controlled substances in his pockets.

The 44-year-old man is from Kamloops and was previously known to police. 

All investigational information has been forwarded to the BC Prosecution Officer to determine charges.



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Lone pot shop set to open

B.C.'s public safety minister says the government has received 173 applications for cannabis retail outlets, but only one approved store will open Wednesday when marijuana sales become legal in Canada.

Mike Farnworth says other outlets will follow the approved store in Kamloops.

Farnworth says more cannabis shops will open in the coming months, but there are no firm timelines for when that will happen.

He says of the 173 applications received so far, 62 have been reviewed and submitted to local governments for further review and 35 of those are in the latter stages of the approval process.

Farnworth says Wednesday's legalization of marijuana across Canada is a historic day that represents a major public policy shift.

He says he's confident the government's online services providing cannabis to British Columbians will function properly.



Time to pass the flag

With the 2018 Canada 55+ Games wrapped up, the Canadian Senior Games Association is officially looking to Kamloops as the event’s next destination. 

This week the flag will be passed to Kamloops on Tuesday.

The official passing of the flag ceremony will be held in the lobby of the Tournament Capital Centre at 10:00 am.

The Chair of the Kamloops 2020 Canada 55+ Games Host Committee will also be named.

The Kamloops Host Committee will then get started on planning the 2020 event, including volunteer recruitment. The event is expected to require over 600 volunteers.

Kamloops was awarded the 2020 Canada 55+ Games on August 21, 2018, just prior to the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Games in Saint John, New Brunswick. 

The proposed dates are August 25–28, 2020, and the event will see up to 2,500 participants compete in more than 23 sports over four days.

In 2017, the 55+ BC Games were held in the Greater Vernon area.

The games generated an estimated $3.3 million economic impact according to an economic impact study.



An outstanding new teacher

A new teacher in the furthest reaches of School District No.73 was recognized as Outstanding New Teacher by Premier John Horgan on World Teacher Day.
 
Maymie Tegart wholeheartedly took on the responsibility of teaching a multi-grade classroom and connecting to the tiny North Thompson community of Blue River in 2016.

She quickly learned that her charges were an active group, used to dirt biking and snowmobiling, so she took the learning outside and brought nature into the classroom by turning a spare class into a greenhouse. The students started seeds for their garden, raised funds with their plants and learned about life-cycles and pollinators through observation and hands-on-learning.

"The district is extremely proud of the work Ms. Tegart has been doing in Blue River," said Alison Sidow, Superintendent SD73. "Her passion for teaching and community involvement is inspirational and it’s wonderful to see the community come forward to nominate her - it’s clear she is making an incredible difference."
 
And despite her newness to the community, she played a key role in the rural school’s 100th anniversary last year, organizing and creating an event that was a celebration not only of the school, but also of the community. Ms. Tegart, along with the students in her class, came up with all of the plans for the day, created invitations, decorated with incredible historic displays, created a video and wall murals, and provided refreshments and entertainment for all of those in attendance.
 
“When Maymie entered our small community of 250 souls, she brought with her new ideas, new energy, an enthusiasm for teaching and a love of educating children, which is apparent in her day to day activities,” parent Laura Lee Onslow said. “She has the ability to connect with the community in ways that extend far beyond the walls of the classroom.”
 
“Watching Maymie plan, teach and work alongside her students, it is difficult to believe that she is only in her second year of teaching,” said Lori Bradstock Principal, Raft River, Blue River and Vavenby Elementary Schools. “She is always looking for learning opportunities and feedback, and could easily be taken for a much more experienced educator.”
 
Ms. Tegart was among the nine winners of the inaugural Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education who were announced at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 5, 2018.

They were narrowed down from 188 nominees, put forward during the April 23 to June 30 nomination period.

Each winner was awarded a commemorative artwork, a $3000 personal bursary for professional learning and $2000 contribution for their school community professional learning.



Kayaker found safe

A search and rescue mission ended successfully in Kamloops on Saturday night.

Kamloops Search and Rescue members were notified at 10:30 p.m. of a missing kayaker on the Thompson River.

The kayaker was located safe and was able to actually walk out on their own.

"Our members were all back at home shortly after midnight," said KSAR on Twitter.



Truck hit school bus

A pick-up truck rear-ended a school bus during this morning's commute in Kamloops. 

RCMP say the crash happened around 8:45 near the 300 block of Tranquille Rd.

The bus was stopped in traffic when the 1-ton Dodge pick-up truck slammed into the back. 

"The male driver of the pick-up stated he was distracted when he looked down to pick up his coffee cup," stated Staff Sgt. Edward Preto. "The pick-up truck suffered significant front end damage and was towed from the scene."

At the time, the school bus only had four students, a teaching assistant and bus driver aboard.  

The students were not injured, while the bus driver and TA went to a local area hospital to be checked out by medical personnel. 

"School District personnel have contacted the parents of the children to advise them of this incident," stated Preto.
 
The driver of the pick-up truck was issued a violation ticket for following too closely.



Man escapes on foot

A man fled from Kamloops police Thursday afternoon.

At about 2:30 p.m. a police officer noticed a pickup truck driving erratically on Summit Drive near Columbia Street.  

When the officer tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver didn’t stop.  

The cop didn't pursue the vehicle and other officers closed in on the truck at the Summit Shopping Centre.  

The driver then escaped the vehicle and fled from the scene.
 
Police officers and the canine unit looked for the driver but couldn't find him. Police believe the vehicle was stolen.

No description of the suspect is available other than he is a Caucasian man.  

Witnesses couldn’t provide any more information.



Opening doors on legal pot

The first government-run cannabis retail store in the province is set to open in Kamloops next Wednesday, but the store will be stocked with less than half the strains of cannabis initially hoped for.

After a busy eight months of planning, the government is opening the doors on the recreational dispensary the day cannabis becomes federally legalized, on Oct. 17.

“This is something that we were tasked with in February,” said Viviana Zanocco, manager of communications with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, which is tasked with distributing recreational cannabis in the province.

“To have even just one store, you need financial systems, business systems, how do you record these items, how do you get the product to the stores, what does the store look like? We've never been in the cannabis business, so we had to look at the design of other stores in other jurisdictions.”

While the province initially hoped to offer more than 150 strains of cannabis on opening day, Zanocco says they'll be offering closer to 70 strains next week.

“A lot of licensed producers are not meeting their commitments to us,” she said, adding they hope to increase their product diversity from smaller producers in coming months.

“It'll be nice to get a lot of those premium growers online, where you can buy product from them and supply our stores and private retailers.”

In addition to dried cannabis, oils and seeds, the store will be selling other paraphernalia like rolling papers, pipes and bongs, but the product won't be out in the open.

“You're not going to pick up a basket and go around,” Zanocco said. “Once you get in the store, there's going to be a lot of information, there'll be the product menus and those kinds of things.... You'll have to tell somebody what you want, and then you'll line up and somebody will prepare your order for you.”

Being the first legal recreational retail cannabis store in B.C., they're preparing for a busy morning on Oct. 17.

“I think there's going to be a lot of curiosity at the store, quite frankly. I think people are going to be wanting to see what it looks like and just be a part of history,” she said. “It is history-making, this whole new era that we're bringing in, in terms of legal cannabis.”

The province picked Kamloops as the location due to the city council's preparedness on regulations.

“We didn't have to apply for anything special like rezoning and we didn't have to go to public hearings, so for us that was good, because it allowed us to get started more quickly,” Zanocco said.

Retail cannabis stores are not expected to begin opening their doors in Kelowna until late spring or early summer of 2019.



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