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West Kelowna  

Wheelbarrow caused crash

UPDATE: 6:30 a.m.

Witnesses in a group of motorcyclists involved in a West Kelowna crash on Saturday say it was an unsecured wheelbarrow that came off a pickup, causing the collision.

"The white Ford pickup had a wheelbarrow come flying out of the truck," says one rider who was about 10 bikes back out of a group of 100 bikers.

"Almost bit it because of someone’s stupidity," said the rider. "Unsecure load. One of our brothers is injured and his bike destroyed."

"All you could see was red lights and smoke from skidding tires," said another female rider in an email to Castanet.

One motorcyclist was injured, falling and skidding across the road, and was taken to hospital by paramedics.


UPDATE: 6:50 p.m.

Witnesses say a person driving a white Ford pickup caused havoc for a group of motorcyclists heading northbound on Highway 97 near Glenrosa Road Saturday in West Kelowna. 

Multiple people say the truck had an unsecured load of firewood that was dispelled from the truck from a wheelbarrow that got in the way of motorcyclists.

One man describes a motorcyclist being "visibly upset" with the driver of the truck, while all parties were pulled over on the side of the highway.

More to come.


ORIGINAL: 5:30 p.m.

Reports indicate a crash involving motorcycles and vehicles on Highway 97 at Glenrosa Road. 

The incident happened in the northbound lane.

Reports indicate injuries took place, and an ambulance is on scene. 

More to come. 

Did you witness the incident? Send news tips to [email protected]



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Suspect shot by police

UPDATE: 2:25 p.m.

A man wielding garden shears was shot by police near Bear Creek Provincial Park in the early hours of Friday morning. 

Police were called to Westside Road at about 1 a.m. after receiving a report of a man who had jumped in front of a vehicle and tried to hit it with some type of object. Police found the man, wielding garden shears, and during their attempted arrest of the man, an officer shot him. 

Despite the gunshot wound, the man ran into Okanagan Lake and ended up on a nearby log boom. A very long negotiation period began, and additional officers arrived by boat. 

The man was eventually taken into custody at 7:20 a.m. Police believe the man suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

The Independent Investigation Office of BC is investigating the police-involved shooting. The independent agency investigates any incident involving police that results in serious injury or death. 

Police have asked anyone with information about the incident to call the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.


UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Police appear to be focusing their investigation on a section of beach just north of the Bear Creek Provincial Park campground Friday morning. 

A section of the beach has been lined by police tape and several officers appear to be surveying the area, while searching through the brush. 

One camper who was staying near the area Thursday evening said he heard what sounded like a single gun shot in the middle of the night, but officers on scene would not provide any information on the investigation. 

Castanet has reached out to the Kelowna RCMP communications contact for information about their investigation. 


ORIGINAL: 11:40 a.m.

Police are scouring an area just outside Bear Creek Provincial Park on the west side of Okanagan Lake after an apparent shooting incident.

An area just to the north of the campground is behind police tape.

Two police cruisers are on scene, and officers are searching a field there, near the park's day-use parking area.

A camper staying at the park says he was woken late last night by noise and saw a shadowy figure who appeared to be carrying a gun near the fence line.

He then heard a command to "put the gun down," followed by a single shot.

Castanet has reached out to the RCMP for more information.



Have you seen Dalton?

RCMP need your help to try and locate a missing West Kelowna man.

Dalton Evans has been reported missing, his family indicate they believe he is in the West Kelowna area but has not heard from him in several weeks, which they indicate is out of character.

At this time, police do not believe foul play is involved but they are asking for the public's help to find Evans as they are concerned for his well-being.
 
Dalton Lee Evans is described as:

  • a Caucasian male
  • 24 years of age
  • Slender build
  • 5 ft 6 in (168 cm) tall
  • 161 lbs (73 kg)
  • brown hair
  • blue eyes

Anyone with information on Evans' whereabouts RCMP at 250-768-2880.



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Late-night fire doused

A small grass fire was doused overnight by West Kelowna firefighters.

The fire broke out about 10:30 p.m. behind Landmark Cinemas, in a field at Sneena Road and Nancee Way.

It's not known what caused the fire.



Big time bear activity

Rob Gibson

As we head into fall, there has been plenty of bear action in the Okanagan.

A black bear was spotted trotting down Campbell Road in West Kelowna on Thursday and seemed quite content to use the main road until traffic from both directions forced it to find another route.

B.C. Conservation Officer Ken Owens tells Castanet: "We have lots of bears in the city of West Kelowna currently, and we need the public's help to keep wildlife wild."

Owens says the main cause of human-bear conflicts is food – "When a bear starts associating people with food, the chance for conflict and risk to public safety rises."

"Bear activity intensifies during the fall, when bears are bulking up for hibernation, and garbage is the number one attractant. People are advised to be very careful with their garbage, especially at this time of year."

Bears account for about 20,000 calls to the Conservation reporting line every year – and even though the cause of the problem is usually people, often it's the bear that must face the consequences.

In B.C. it's an offence to feed or leave attractants available to dangerous wildlife.



Grass fire snuffed

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.

The Peachland Fire Department responded to the scene of a fire that broke out along the side of Highway 97 and Drought Rd and that fire is now out.


ORIGINAL 1:30 p.m.

Passing motorists jumped into action to fight a small brush fire along Highway 97 at the crest of Drought Hill in Peachland Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out just after 1 p.m., and flames and smoke could be seen on the water side of the highway, overlooking Okanagan Lake.

Emergency crews are on scene.

It is not yet known what caused the fire.

Castanet will update as more information becomes available.

Send your news tips, photos and video to [email protected]



Water funding extended

The timeline for government funding of a new Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant announced in 2017 has been extended, after construction continues to face delays.

On Tuesday, Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr announced the deadline for federal and provincial funding for the plant, totalling $41 million, will be extended two years to March 2022.

“In the case of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant project, West Kelowna had run into a number of logistical difficulties in meeting the timelines required by the Clean Water Wastewater fund,” Fuhr said in a press release.

Construction of the plant was initially expected to begin in 2018, with completion expected by the time the grant funding expired, in 2020.

The project has seen several delays, ranging from flooding in 2017 and 2018 to endangered snakes and nesting birds found on the land that had been secured for the project.

“Without a doubt in my mind, this project would be years away, if not completely out of reach for West Kelowna, without the support of the federal and provincial governments,” Mayor Gord Milsom said.

The plant will be located on 24 acres on Bartley Road

Construction on the $53.5-million project is expected to begin by next spring. It's expected to take 20 months.



Flooding on Gellatly Road

Flooding has swamped Gellatly Road in West Kelowna and is spilling down to Willow Beach, due to what appears to be a backed up storm sewer during this morning's intense rain shower that moved through the Central Okanagan.

The storm rolled through just after 10 a.m., and photos of the flooding show the road submerged and water carving a path down to Okanagan Lake.

Castanet has reached out to the City of West Kelowna for more information.



Wildfire now under control

The Kathleen Mountain Wildfire 26 kilometres west of Peachland is now under control, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

As reported on Friday, the wildfire was burning out of control and visible by communities in Peachland and Kelowna. 

With the help of precipitation and cooler temperatures the fire is reported at 10 hectares and has received substantial action to prevent further spreading. 

There are now 27 BC Wildfire Service personnel searching the fire perimeter for potential hot spots.

 



Canoe journey a success

The West Kelowna RCMP First Nation Policing (FNP) Unit, partnered with the Okanagan Indian Band FNP and Penticton Indian Band FNP want to thank those involved in the Okanagan RCMP Recruiting Youth Canoe Journey.

The five day journey began on August 26 at the Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon and took participants through the Okanagan Lake, ending in Penticton on August 30.

“Our goal is to help build better community relationships with the RCMP and aboriginal communities, to further boost recruiting of aboriginal people in the RCMP and to bring education to aboriginal youth regarding the importance of water safety,” said Cst. Rolly Williams, of the West Kelowna FNP Unit.

RCMP members participated in the canoe trip with youths from West Kelowna, Kamloops and Burns Lake, with the help of BC Conservation Officers providing a safety boat and first aid.

“We had eighteen youths participating in the Canoe Journey this year and they came from a number of regions including; Ttes Indian Band, Wetsuweten Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Tk'emlups te Secwepemc Kamloops and Westbank First Nation,” Said Williams.

“These kids are interested in joining the RCMP one day and will benefit from the challenges, team building, friendships and life skills they received during this journey.” 

Keegan Ford from West Kelowna is determined to become a Mountie after participating in the Recruitment Canoe Journey and the Jean Minguy Memorial RCMP Youth Academy.

“I’ve wanted to join the RCMP since I was kid," said Ford. "I just want to give back to the community and help people, make their day better.”

Ford enjoyed comparing cultures during the trip and being a part of a team.

"I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in becoming a police officer," said Ford. "We all have something in common, wanting to give back to our communities."

The RCMP would like to thank the Westbank First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, South East District First Nations Policing Unit, the BC Conservation Services and the Okanagan Indian Band elders, Chief and council for their support.

Anne Tomat of Westbank First Nation has also been recognized for providing a campground for the participants.



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