Salmon Arm  

Cops warn against vigilantes

Residents in the usually quiet Shuswap community of Scotch Creek have organized a community meeting to discuss an escalating crime problem, while RCMP warn residents against vigilantism.

The meeting on Saturday comes a week after apparent gunfire during a confrontation at an area home, and just days after an arson fire in the same location.

Residents have already expressed concern about squatters in a vacant rural home on the edge of Scotch Creek, north of Salmon Arm.

Jay Simpson, an area director for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, says there has also been a recent spike in crime around the town.

RCMP say residents went to a home last weekend to confront its occupants about stolen property and what sounded like a gunshot was heard from inside, and days later a deliberately set fire damaged the home.

Chase RCMP Cpl. Scott Linklater said in a statement that they do not condone vigilantism and recommend the public leave investigations to the police.

Simpson says these sorts of issues are not unique to Scotch Creek, but crime is now affecting residents "on a daily basis," and everyone has responsibility for alerting the authorities while looking out for neighbours and friends. 


House fire was arson

Police are investigating a house fire in the Scotch Creek area that is believed to be arson.

Sean Coubrough, Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Fire Services Coordinator, said there were multiple ignition points in the house – one inside and one outside – leading officials to believe it was intentionally set.

Crews were called to the Hilliam Road home at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.

No one was in the home at the time, but Coubrough said it looked like someone was in the process of clearing out the house.

“There were personal belongings and clothing and other items around,” said Coubrough. “They had boarded up the windows and the doors had been screwed shut as well.”

Coubrough said two windows had the plywood taken off.

While there were no signs of an accelerant being used, Coubrough said a pile of clothes was set alight in one of the bedrooms and a second ignition spot was found in the skirting around the outside of the building.

“At that point in time it became a criminal investigation and was turned over to the RCMP,” said Coubrough.

Fire crews were called to assist RCMP at the same residence earlier this month.

Ebus adds Okanagan routes

Ebus is expanding its B.C. service to five locations in the North Okanagan.

The Calgary-based company, which moved in to fill the void left by Greyhound’s departure last November, will start routes through Chase, Sorrento, Salmon Arm, Enderby, and Armstrong on Monday, Oct. 7. Reservations for the routes will be able to be made starting Sept. 23.

Those communities will be serviced daily as part of the afternoon schedule between Kamloops and Kelowna, allowing residents to access “medical, employment, recreational, tourism and social opportunities,” according to the company.

For more on this story, visit Okanagan Edge.


Body of missing man found

The body of a man who went missing on Shuswap Lake has been recovered.

Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said late Monday evening, police recovered the body of a man, who has now been identified by the BC Coroners Service as a previously missing 33-year-old man police said was from Lake Country.

The man went missing following a boating collision on Sept. 1.

Shoihet said local police, with assistance from the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT), continued efforts to locate the missing man.

“After days of searching, URT located and recovered his body late Monday evening and worked closely with the BC Coroners Service to confirm the identity,” said Shoihet.

“The BC Coroners Service is continuing to investigate the man's death to determine how, where, when and by what means he came to his death. Neither the Coroners Service nor RCMP will be releasing any further information at this time.”

Kingfisher Creek fire held

The Kingfisher Creek wildfire southeast of Sicamous that was spotted Monday is now classified as "held."

The estimated 0.8 Ha. fire was likely started by lightning, a rep from the Kamloops Fire Centre arm of the BC Wildfire Service said.

"Fifteen personnel are responding today and are being supported by some heavy equipment on site," the spokesperson said. "The cause is suspected lightning at this time as a result of some storm cells that rolled through the area over the weekend."

The Semlin fire east of Cache Creek is now under control at 41 Ha. There were no other starts reported over the long weekend in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Boat crash victim IDd

UPDATE: 3:47 p.m.

A 33-year-old Kelowna man is missing and presumed drowned after two boats crashed on Shuswap Lake Sunday night, Salmon Arm RCMP confirm.

Staff Sgt. Scott West of the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment said Search and Rescue crews from Sicamous joined the RCMP and ambulance at the scene between Canoe and Sicamous just after 8:20 p.m.

"Two large speed boats had been travelling in tandem on the lake and between 8 and 8:20 p.m. there was an incident," West said in a release. "One of the boats lost control and ejected the two occupants out of the cockpit of the boat and into the lake."

A 25-year-old woman was rescued from the water by occupants of the other boat. She was believed to have sustained serious injuries at the time and was transported to Kelowna hospital for treatment, West said.

Search and Rescue and the RCMP vessel conducted extensive patrols until 2 a.m. Monday, West noted. Despite search efforts Ryan Hartmann, 33, is missing and presumed drowned.

Police are investigating the incident and local Search and Rescue as well as RCMP and Search and Rescue air assets are being utilized this afternoon to search the area of the lake where this incident occurred, West said.

The area of the lake where this incident occurred is 250 to 350 feet in depth.

"The vessels involved have been recovered and are in police custody at this time as the investigation into the factors leading to this tragic incident continues," West said.

ORIGINAL: 2:05 p.m.

One man is missing and presumed drowned after two racing boats collided on Shuswap Lake Sunday night.

A witness said two boats were racing at around 8 p.m. when there was a collision that sent four people into the water.

Two men were initially able to climb back into their boat, while a man and woman on the second boat were ejected from their craft.

The woman was rescued after the men from the first boat saw her in the water suffering from injuries from the collision. The pair then jumped in the water to save her.

The man piloting the second boat has been missing since 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, the witness said. The rescued woman was taken to hospital.

Search and Rescue attended and carried out a search but they were called off after 1 a.m. when the RCMP took over the investigation, a witness told Castanet.

Family members and friends were out in their boats early Monday morning looking for the missing man, witnesses said, as the northern lights provided some visibility on the dark lake. The volunteer search effort continues at this hour.

The crash happened about 150 feet from shore near Canoe on the south end of the lake.

A witness told Castanet that the missing man is from Kelowna and in his early 30s.

Man hurt in propane blast

The community is coming together to help the family of a man injured in a propane explosion on Aug. 25.

Rolf Manthey was trying to light a furnace on a travel trailer but there was an explosion caused by a propane leak, according to cousin-in-law Pat Manthey who launched a GoFundMe campaign

At the time of this writing, $2,110 of the $5,000 goal had been raised.

Pat said that Rolf was transferred by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops with first-degree burns to his hands and face and is in ICU. They expect him to be in ICU for a week, have him on a ventilator, in a drug-induced sleep as his left lung is also severely burned, Pat said.

She updated the GoFundMe page on Wednesday to say that Rolf had another scope and there were no changes.

"He’s still in ICU, is on a ventilator and on lots of pain medication," Pat reported. 

"Rolf is a kind and generous man that would give you the shirt off his back. It will be a long and tough road to recovery so this will help Rolf and his wife Brenda alleviate some of the worry about the day to day expenses. Since Rolf is self employed he can concentrate on his recovery while he’s unable to work."

Brenda wants to thank everyone for their support, generous donations and prayers, Pat added.

Arts funding kiboshed

A plan to fund arts and cultural initiatives in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District will have to be reworked after residents voted in opposition to the proposal.

The proposed Arts, Recreation and Culture Financial Contribution for Electoral Area C and a portion of Electoral Area F will be reconsidered by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board after enough electors expressed their opposition to the plan.

"The CSRD conducted an Alternative Approval Process to determine whether there was sufficient community support for the proposal, known as the North & South Shuswap Community Arts, Recreation and Culture Programs Financial Contribution Service Bylaw No. 5798," said CSRD communications coordinator Tracy Hughes in a release Wednesday.  

"In an Alternative Approval Process, the Local Government Act sets out that if at least 10 per cent of the electors in the proposed service area record their opposition to a proposal, the plan must either proceed to referendum or be abandoned."

In the case of Bylaw No. 5798, the number of valid elector responses required to prevent the Board from proceeding with its establishment was 885, Hughes said.

The number of valid elector response forms received by the CSRD was 1,412.

"This proposal was to allow the CSRD to make a long-term, annual financial contribution to registered non-profit groups that provide arts, recreation and cultural programs to residents within those two electoral areas. Currently these groups must make project-specific applications through the CSRD’s grant-in-aid process to be considered for funding," Hughes said.

As elector assent was not received, the CSRD Board will now discuss whether to proceed to referendum or discontinue the process at the Regular Board Meeting scheduled for Sept. 19, 2019.

Plane lost power in crash

UPDATE: 4:55 p.m.

RCMP in Salmon Arm said the single-engine Cessna that crashed at the edge of the runway at the airport lost power on final approach.

"The pilot reported the engine stopped," said Scott West, Staff Sgt. with Salmon Arm RCMP. "As a result of the lack of power the plane crash landed at the north end of the runway just short of the asphalt."

The owner and pilot of the Cessna aircraft, a 71-year-old man from Alberta and his wife a 73-year-old, were on board the aircraft. Both suffered what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries but had to be treated in interior hospitals, West said.

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

A small plane has crashed short of the runway at the airport in Salmon Arm, B.C., injuring two occupants on board.

Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley says the plane sustained significant damage in the crash on Tuesday.

He says a man and woman aboard had non-life-threatening injuries, but one of them was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

Shirley says there was no fire after the crash and the plane may have run out of fuel, although that was unconfirmed.

He says the potential cause will be determined as part of an investigation.

– The Canadian Press

UPDATE: 2:09 p.m.

BC Emergency Health Services confirms that they responded to the plane crash site in Salmon Arm just before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"We received a call for a plane crash at 8:59 this morning at the Salmon Arm Airport," a spokesperson for BCEHS said.

Two ambulances were dispatched and an air ambulance was also launched.

Paramedics cared for two patients. One was transported in stable condition to the hospital by regular ambulance and the second patient was airlifted to hospital in serious condition, the spokesperson said.

UPDATE: 1:16 p.m.

Two people were injured when the plane the pilot was attempting to land crashed short of the runway in Salmon Arm Tuesday morning.

"The TSB was notified that this morning a privately registered Cessna 177 landed short of the runway at Salmon Arm," said Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board.

"There were two people aboard the aircraft who were injured and the aircraft sustained substantial damage."

The TSB is following up but we won't be deploying investigators to the site, Krepski added. 

ORIGNAL: 10:22 a.m.

A small plane has crashed at the northern end of the runway at the airport in Salmon Arm.

There were reports of minor injuries.

One witness near the scene said it appeared the plane was nose-down at the end of the runway.

We will update the story once details are confirmed by Salmon Arm RCMP.

Rollover crash on Hwy 1

A single-vehicle crash on Highway 1 near Sicamous has sent at least one person hospital.

Witnesses in the traffic lineup say a medevac helicopter airlifted a victim from a vehicle that rolled and ended up upside down in the ditch.

The crash happened about 2 p.m.

It's not known what caused the crash, but the fact the helicopter was called in would indicate the injuries were serious.

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