Salmon Arm  

Mmmmm, pie

Wanted: the best pies on the planet – or at least the BC Interior.

The call is going out for pie makers to strut their stuff at the 23rd Annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest.

The contest will be held during the Heritage Week Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Judged by appearance, authenticity, texture and taste, apple, fruit or berry pies must be made the old fashioned way - from scratch.

Winners will walk away with this year’s title, an engraved trophy and dinner theatre tickets for two to the 2019 “Villain and Vittles” Summer Dinner Theatre Production and, of course, bragging rights.

Winners also get to enter a pie to next year’s Best of the Shuswap Pie Auction!

Entrants can drop off their pies on Saturday, Feb. 23 between 10-11 a.m. at The Mall at Piccadilly, centre court.

For the official pie contest rules call the Village at 250-832-5243 or email [email protected]

After the judging, slices of the pies may be purchased for $2.50 each with the proceeds going towards extraordinary projects at the R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.


Double trouble for bad guy

It was a double whammy for a suspect in Salmon Arm who was arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards and was found to be driving a stolen vehicle.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Jan. 16, shortly before noon RCMP officers in marked and unmarked police vehicles were involved in the arrest of the unidentified man in the Salmon Arm industrial park.

“The male was associated to complaints where a suspect used stolen credit cards at businesses in the area,” said West. “The male was determined to be driving a stolen vehicle believed to be from Vernon.”

The man, in his mid 30s, was taken into custody with no danger to the public in an uneventful arrest. Police are following up with further investigation and charges have yet to be determined.

Suspects steal ATM

At least two suspects made a withdrawal from a Salmon Arm area convenience store by taking the entire ATM machine.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said in the early morning hours of Jan. 13, at least two people used a truck to smash into the convenience store in the Ranchero area.

“An individual all dressed in black broke into the store and using a vehicle made off with an ATM,” said West. “The vehicle appeared to be a lighter-coloured truck with a chrome bumper and a drop hitch. There was significant damage to the store which services the residents of the area and has for some time.”

Police are seeking the assistance of the public and anyone with information is asked to call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250 832 6044 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


Fire destroys home

A Blind Bay home in the Shuswap area was heavily damaged by fire Monday.

Sean Coubrough, with the Shuswap Fire Department, said the call came in at 10:30 a.m.

When crews arrived, the carport was fully involved and there were flames coming out of the windows and doors of the log-style home.

Tappen/Sunnybrae and White Lake fire departments also responded to aid the Shuswap crew.

The two occupants of the building were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, but were not seriously injured.

“Crews were able to contain the fire fairly quickly, but just because of the nature of it and because it was so involved by the time they got here, they had to attack it from the exterior,” said Coubrough, adding the house also had a tin roof, making it difficult to access the fire in the roof area.

Crews were still on scene as of 3 p.m. doing mop up, and Coubrough said they had to bring in an excavator to bring down a piece of the building “that was threatening to fall down on its own.”

There is no word on the cause of the fire, and Coubrough said it will be investigated as soon as possible.

Beware the silent killer

It's a silent killer that is present in every building in the province.

Radon gas is a tasteless, odourless radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium naturally present in the rock and soil.

Outdoors, radon levels are low, but the gas can enter buildings through openings in the foundation, making indoor levels much higher, especially in basements and lower floors.

Exposure to radon gas is known to cause lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smoking Canadians.

The only way to know if radon is present in a home is to test.

Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz has become an advocate for testing after finding excessive amounts of the gas in his home.

The Health Canada guideline is that remedial measures should be undertaken in a dwelling whenever the average annual radon concentration exceeds 200 Bq/m3 in the normal occupancy area.

Sulz's home tested at 4,500 Bq/m3.

Sulz, who is also Revelstoke municipal director for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, made a presentation to the board on the dangers of gas.

"I'm like the poster child for radon testing," says Sulz, who was visibly emotional as he described how his father-in-law, who lived in that home for much of his life, died of lung cancer.

In the year since the home was tested, Sulz has conducted mitigation measures including venting measures so the radon cannot build up inside the home. Tests now show the home as in the acceptable range.
The costs associated with radon mitigation is similar to other home maintenance projects, like installing a furnace or air conditioner.

"It was not invasive to have it done and the costs was not that expensive, especially when it comes to the safety of your family," says Sulz. "I would say, get it checked out."

As part of the initiative to spread public awareness of radon a free public information session in Salmon Arm on tonight from 7-9 p.m.

Residents can join the 100 Test Kit Challenge and receive a free radon test kit. The session will be held at Okanagan College, Room 130.

Imminent danger on creek

Urgent action has been approved to protect homes at risk of slope erosion in the Shuswap.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has approved $25,000 for a remediation assessment and work plan to address safety issues along the banks of Newsome Creek in Sorrento.

Directors also voted unanimously Thursday to apply for federal and provincial funding to pay for the work needed to address safety, erosion and ravine slope stability.

The 2017 and 2018 spring freshets caused significant erosion below the Trans-Canada Highway in Sorrento, affecting several properties along Caen Road. Stream bank undercutting and slope failures in 2018 resulted in 11 properties needing to be placed on evacuation alert.

Further erosion continues to be very likely this spring, the CSRD says.

"The issue here is the urgency of the scenario," says director Paul Demenok. "We've got homes, properties, businesses and lives at risk here."

The $25,000 CSRD funding will be matched by Emergency Management BC.

"This is terrifying for the folks that live along there... They live it every day," says board chair Rhona Martin. 

Chief administrative officer Charles Hamilton says the province has advised that the district needs to take the lead role in the work, with the assistance of provincial emergency funding.

"While I do not agree with it being our responsibility, barring a legal challenge, it appears they are shifting the onus onto the CSRD to do something," Hamilton said.

Residents have formed the Newsome Creek Watershed Action Group and plan to meet with the CSRD, federal and provincial representatives on Jan. 22.

Highway 1 reopens

UPDATE 9:25 p.m.

DriveBC reports the crash has now been cleared and traffic is flowing on Highway 1.

ORIGINAL 4:45 p.m.

DriveBC is reporting a multi-vehicle accident is slowing traffic on Highway 1.

The highway is closed between Perry River Bridge and Three Valley Frontage Road for 22.8 km, 16 km west of Revelstoke to 25 km east of Sicamous.

However, a detour is available through the Three Valley Frontage Road, but motorists should expect delays.

Hopping up trail support

The Barley Station Brew Pub in Salmon Arm is raising a glass to trails with a new beer made exclusively for Shuswap Trails called Trail Head IPA.

The adult bevy will go on sale over the next few weeks and will be featured during the annual Feb. 1 Shuswap Trails Party fundraising event.

"Everyone working together, growing the Shuswap Trail system each year - it's something good to celebrate; something to support," said long-time Trail Alliance supporters, Stu and Kathy Bradford at the Barley Station Brew Pub in Salmon Arm. "We're delighted to offer this special new beer to celebrate."

Proceeds from every glass served throughout the year will go to support trails, greenways and active transportation development throughout the Shuswap.

Tickets to the 2019 Shuswap Trails Party and Fundraiser are available exclusively at Skookum Cycle & Ski in Salmon Arm.

Tickets are $40, cash or cheque only.

The fundraiser will feature the Shawn Lightfoot Band, DJ Partico Patrick Ryley, catering by DeMilles, the Barley Station's new Trail Head IPA, bar tending by the Firehall 3 team, a silent auction table, wine pull, 50/50 draw, plus more best-of-the-year photos from Shuswap Trails at the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre.

More information can be found online.





RCMP don't find their man

Police are still looking for a 28-year-old man wanted on several warrants after he wasn't found during a raid of a Sicamous home Wednesday.

The Sicamous RCMP, along with the Southeast District Emergency Response Team and the RCMP Police Dog Services, were conducting surveillance at a home on Kappel Street Wednesday when they saw who they believed to be Michael Trosky leaving the home.

“An ERT member blocked the vehicle's path with his truck while a North Okanagan Police Dog Services member boxed in the driver side of the vehicle causing heavy damage to the vehicle and light damage to the PDS vehicle, in order to ensure that the driver could not flee,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk in a press release.

The man and a woman in the car were arrested, but Trosky did not end up being one of them.

The man inside the car was, however, arrested for driving while prohibited, while the woman was released without charges.

Another woman inside the home was ordered to come outside, and the ERT cleared the residence. Trosky was not found.

Trosky faces previous charges for evading police, dangerous operation of a vehicle, failing to comply, theft of mail and theft under $5,000.

“He is wanted by police jurisdictions including Salmon Arm and Dawson Creek detachments on warrants for two separate flight from police incidents,” said Cpl. Moskaluk.

Police have described Trosky as a 6-foot-2, 186-pound Indigenous man with black hair and brown eyes.

“Given the flight risk that Trosky poses and the disregard for public safety that he has exhibited in previous arrest attempts, we consider that Trosky is a threat to the public,” said Cpl. Moskaluk.

Police have asked anyone with information on his whereabouts to call police or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, and to call 911 if he is spotted. 

A'twitter over rare bird

A little thrush that's a long way from home is enchanting bird watchers in the Shuswap.

Experienced birders Roger Beardmore and Nan Prittie say the fieldfare, a species of thrush usually found in Europe, Asia or North Africa, has been making itself comfortable with a flock of robins in Salmon Arm.

Beardmore says Prittie spotted the bird as they took part in an annual bird count and neither believed they'd seen anything out of the ordinary until carefully studying a picture he snapped.

Beardmore, a retired Parks Canada employee, says there's no question it's a fieldfare, but how it arrived in Salmon Arm or how long it will stay is a mystery, although he notes that it's very comfortable in cold weather and has ample mountain ash berries to eat.

The fieldfare looks a lot like an immature robin because of its colouring, and Beardmore says it's only been seen once before in B.C. in 2003.

He describes the bird as gregarious and says it has attracted a lot of attention from birders, travelling as far away as Washington state and Vancouver Island, who want to catch a glimpse of the rare visitor.

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