Salmon Arm  

Electrifying program

An electrifying new program will help people get around easier.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is plugging into the South Shuswap Transportation Society’s drive to purchase an electric vehicle and set up a charging station with the goal of providing rides to seniors or other community members who have limited access to transportation.

CSRD Directors gave their support to submit an application for a $50,800 BC Rural Dividend Program grant which will go towards the purchase of an electric vehicle.

Electoral Area C (South Shuswap) has limited transit or private taxi options in the region and the society aims to alleviate some of these challenges, especially for those with limited mobility.

The non-profit society’s mandate is to offer convenient, safe, affordable and personalized transportation services for the South Shuswap community. The operation would be based on a model already in use in Sicamous and Electoral Area E, where volunteer drivers use the electric vehicle to drive residents to medical appointments or other needed services.

Directors also voted to support the purchase of an electric vehicle charging station which would be used by their organization, as well as be available for public use. The society would charge the public for use of the station to help off-set the costs of operating it.

The South Shuswap Transportation Society has set up a lease agreement with Sorrento Tirecraft to host the charging station.

The Board agreed to approve funds of up to $52,500 from the Electoral Area C Community Works Fund to purchase the charging station. The society is hoping to have the electric vehicle purchased and the charging station operational in late 2019 or early 2020.


Distraction scam returns

The tag-team distraction grift is making a comeback in the Okanagan.

Salmon Arm RCMP said the age-old technique was used on a woman exiting a grocery store last Friday.

RCMP responded after a report of a stolen purse and subsequent fraudulent use of credit cards.

"A male distracted a female that was loading her groceries in her car by asking if she had lost something near the front of her vehicle," said Staff Sgt. Scott West of the Salmon Arm RCMP.

"At the same time police believe that an accomplice stole a number of bank cards and credit cards from her purse. By the time the cards were noticed stolen a very short time later the thieves had spent hundreds of dollars on the cards."

RCMP continue the investigation in an attempt to identify the culprits, West said.

West noted several tips if you are approached by someone trying to distract you in this manner:

"The type of theft that is evident here is the age old tactic by thieves to divert your attention away from your belongings. Meanwhile an accomplice steals a wallet, credit cards, keys or other valuables," West said.

If you are approached by someone in a parking lot and they give you some kind of urgent excuse that prompts you to divert your attention from what you are doing do the following things:

  • Finish what you are doing. And if they encroach on your personal space yell at them to back away to attract attention.
  • Lock valuables in your vehicle with windows rolled up and hang on to your keys in your hand.
  • Then if you want to go investigate do so with extreme caution but do not let people in your car or go near another car. Remember, you can always call the police for help at any point.

Incorporation study funded

The province has agreed to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s request to fund an incorporation study for the communities of Sorrento and Blind Bay.

The study is designed to provide a detailed overview of the incorporation option, which would amalgamate the Sorrento and Blind Bay communities into a new stand-alone municipality, the district said in a release.

It would include an estimate on the financial impacts and offer opportunities for a full community discussion on the implications of incorporation.

"The intention is that this work will determine if there is sufficient community interest in proceeding to a vote on municipal incorporation," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a letter to the CSRD.

A total of $100,000 was awarded to the CSRD for the two-year study. A referendum would be required to approve any incorporation plan in Electoral Area C.

"I think it is important to reiterate that the purpose of this study is to provide the electors with sufficient information for them to make an informed decision," said Paul Demenok, Electoral Area C director.

"Moving forward does not imply support. It implies getting the information needed to make informed decisions… Incorporation or not, that’s not my call to make or even the Board’s call to make. It is the voters’ call as to how we proceed," he said.

Should the proposed incorporation plan not proceed, the CSRD Board has also provided direction to the province that their preferred alternative would be to divide the current Electoral Area C region into two separate Electoral Areas.

This was also acknowledged by Robinson as a possible alternative option.


Alert lifted two years later

More than two years after an evacuation alert was issued, residents of a Shuswap neighbourhood have been given the all clear.

The alert issued by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District on April 7, 2017 has now been rescinded effective Thursday, August 15, 2019.

The alert, which was put in place due to the Handy Brook landslide, affected the following properties:

  • 4459 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road
  • 4467 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road
  • 4473 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road
  • 4487 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road.

Significant time has elapsed since the Handy Brook slide occurred and no subsequent incidents have taken place and the affected residents have been suitably notified of the potential hazards in the area. 

Officials said current conditions in the area are much less dynamic than during the spring freshet period.

Owners, tenants or visitors to these properties should continue to monitor and immediately report any of the following observations:

  • Perceived increase or a sudden drastic reduction in stream flow;
  • Visible increase and sustained turbidity in the stream;
  • Noises that indicate earth movement, rolling rocks, channel material mobilization or tree roots cracking;
  • Any other unusual earth movement of stream channel migration.

For further information, please contact Tom Hansen, Emergency Program Coordinator, at 250-833-5910.

Time to get the blues

It's time once again to get the rhythm and get the blues.

The annual Roots and Blues Festival is underway in Salmon Arm with numerous acts and activities for the whole family.

The 27th Annual Roots and Blues Festival runs through Aug. 18 and features a profusion of roots, blues, folk, dance, funk and world music on four outdoor stages.

This year’s Festival lineup includes the sounds of the Jim Cuddy Band the beats of Ruthie Foster, and the great vibes by artists like the Sue Foley to the sweet stylings of groups like Mile Twelve.

Also featured are a global food village, artisan market and a range of workshops.

Kids 12 and under can get the blues for free.

The Festival’s Family Fun Zone is packed full of activities to keep every kid happy. Face painting, crafts, water balloons, sandboxes, bouncy houses and other activities will all be main stage for families.

The festival offers onsite daycare for children over three. Children can be dropped off for two-hour time periods for $20 per child.

For a full list of times, places and acts, click here.

Two bad crashes Thursday

Salmon Arm first responders attended two serious highway crashes hours apart Thursday afternoon.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., emergency crews responded to a head-on collision in Salmon Arm on the Trans Canada Highway that sent five to hospital, said Staff Sgt. Scott West with Salmon Arm RCMP.

"Witnesses advised that a westbound silver SUV crossed the painted centre median into the eastbound lanes, which caused a head-on collision with an eastbound van. There was one occupant in the eastbound vehicle and two adults and two children in the westbound van. All were transported to hospital for treatment."

Alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor in this collision on the part of the westbound SUV driver, RCMP said. The Trans Canada East Traffic Services Section will be conducting the investigation.

Everyone involved in the collision were treated in hospital and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, RCMP said. The two children in the van were treated and only sustained minor injuries.

Later in the afternoon at 6 p.m., a collision on the Trans Canada Highway at the Balmoral Road intersection was reported.

A driver who was traveling south on Balmoral misjudged Trans Canada Highway traffic after stopping on Balmoral, West said. As the vehicle turned left from Balmoral Road to go east on the Trans Canada a west bound vehicle collided with it while in the curb lane.

"One person was transported by air ambulance to receive treatment and another occupant who was trapped in a vehicle had to be extricated by the Shuswap Highway Rescue Team," West said.

"The driver that failed to yield after a stop on Balmoral was served a violation ticket under the motor vehicle act for failing to yield after a stop."

All persons in this collision are expected to recover from this collision, West said.

Any of this stuff yours?

Salmon Arm RCMP want to reunite some property with the rightful owners.

Staff Sgt. Scott West said police recovered a welding cylinder/torch combination and cordless drill on Aug. 12 in the 2500 block of 21st Street NE in Salmon Arm.

“The detachment has no report of items like this being stolen,” said West. “Of course, you would have to give a description of the property in detail in order to get the property back but that should be easy for the owner to do. It is a unique piece of property.”

Found bicycle ‐ File 2019‐2903

Police recovered a "Giant" brand suspension bicycle on June 6.

“The bike has full suspension and serial number and other characteristics that the owner would be able to describe. We would like to get the bicycle back to the owner,” said West.

Found fish finder and fishing tackle box ‐ File 2019‐3524

Police had a fish finder unit and tackle box turned in to them on July 2.

Scott said once again they have no theft file to associate to the property.

“If it was stolen from you please call in to the detachment with your description. Again we would like to get the property back to it's rightful owner and it is unique and fairly easy for the owner to describe,” he said.

Call the Salmon Arm RCMP Detachment at 250 832‐6044 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Dangerous pass in big rig

A dangerous move by a trucker is taking the twitter-verse by storm and has cost the person their job.

The post was made by Graham17224731 of big rig passing another rig on a double solid line while yet a third rig comes towards them.

The incident happened on the Shuswap and has gained a lot of attention.

“STRYDER Transport on Saturday morning, Risks Lives kms from Salmon Arm BC, then turns into Walmart, wonder what was worth risking lives over,” said Graham in the tweet.

Stryder Canada quickly responded to the post, taking immediate action against the driver saying: Thank you for bringing this to our attention Graham, we have identified the driver in the video and taken him out of service - he will never drive for us again. We apologize to everyone affected by this misconduct as it is not reflective of our company's values or safety policy.

Safety upgrades planned

A hazardous Shuswap intersection will be getting a much-awaited safety makeover.

The Highway 1 and Balmoral Road intersection has been the site of accidents in the past, but following significant input from people who live and work in the community, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving forward with a safety reconfiguration of the intersection.

The project will increase safety for people who travel this route by restricting left turns onto the highway and movements straight across the highway which have accounted for more than 70 per cent of collisions at this location in the past 10 years.

The intersection, located approximately 10 kilometres east of Sorrento, has experienced a higher-than-average rate of collisions over the last decade.

The ministry invited members of the public to offer their feedback on potential improvements for the intersection through an open house on June 26, and online feedback until July 10.

The two improvement options were:

  • Option 1: right-turn-in, right-turn-out and left-turn-in movements with a protected left-turn bay
  • Option 2: eliminate all left turns onto and off the highway.

The ministry has selected Option 1 which had stronger public support and was also the ministry's preferred option because it best balances the need for safety while providing the ability to access Balmoral Road.

Additional funding has been approved to include highway acceleration lanes at Balmoral Road in both the eastbound and westbound directions to further improve the safety of the intersection. The request for acceleration lanes was common feedback received from the ministry's public engagement.

Traffic on Balmoral Road wanting to cross the highway, or make a left turn onto the highway, will be required to use the current nearby underpass, resulting in minor impacts to travel times.

Work is expected to get underway in late September, with completion in November 2019.

Once construction begins, drivers can expect minor delays. A single lane in both directions on Highway 1 will be maintained throughout construction.


Ferry operator assaulted

A man was arrested after allegedly assaulting the operator of the Adams Lake Ferry.

Chase RCMP Cpl. Scott Linklater said on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m., police received a report of an assault occurring on the ferry.

“Police attended and determined that prior to disembarking from the ferry, a man uttered threats to the ferry operator. The man brandished a knife as he approached the operator, then tossing the knife aside he assaulted the operator,” said Linklater.

Police later located and arrested Steven Christopher Long, 36, of Adams Lake.

Long is facing charges of assault with a weapon, uttering threats and drive while disqualified.

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