Truck drives into the corner of RBC downtown Kelowna

RBC damaged after crash

There appears to be damage done to the side of the Royal Bank of Canada in downtown Kelowna after a two-vehicle accident sent one truck into the corner of the building.

A tip sent into Castanet shows the truck wedged up against the north west side of the building at the corner of Leon Avenue and Ellis Street, while the SUV is damaged in the middle of the road.

Castanet received word that this accident took place at approximately 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning, with little details around what caused the crash.

In the photo, you can see two people rushing over to the truck.

There appears to be tape marked up around the building, and Castanet has reached out to the Kelowna RCMP for more information.


Car accident on Highway 97 and Boucherie Road

Hwy motorcycle accident

A car accident involving a motorcycle and a truck has slowed traffic in West Kelowna.

According to a witness, the crash happened at the intersection of Horizon Drive, Boucherie Road and Highway 97 just before the bridge.

The witness tells Castanet they could see a downed red motorcycle, a black truck with some damage, and emergency crews on site.

At this time, it is unknown if any injuries have occurred.

Castanet has reached out to Kelowna RCMP and emergency services, and will update the story when more information becomes available.

Hot air balloon lands on residential road in Kelowna Saturday morning

Hot air balloon lands safely

Glenmore residents were treated to a bit of a show Saturday morning, when a hot air balloon touched down on a residential street.

The large balloon got a little off course and made a safe landing on Whitman Road Saturday morning, just off Glenmore Road.

A video taken by Randy Smart shows several people in the area assist with the balloon's landing, and it appears to have landed without incident.

While it may be a bit of an unusual sight, it happens fairly regularly. Back in 2018, Okanagan Ballooning told Castanet that hot air balloons generally go where the wind takes them, but that it's “an incredibly safe way to travel.”


Pattison radio stations making way for 'focal point' development

From Lizard to tower

The property at the corner of Cook and Lakeshore roads, home to Pattison radio stations Beach FM and the Lizard could be transformed in the coming years.

An application seeks to change the zoning of the property from utilities and small lot rural housing to village centre for a six-storey mixed-use development.

"The proposed building is set to become the focal point of Cook Truswell Village Centre, creating a strong sense of place while also being mindful of the adjacent wetland," the application states.

"To ensure the preservation of the wetland, the development has been confined to a small portion of the site,
keeping it at a safe distance."

Preliminary plans show five ground-floor commercial spaces fronting onto Lakeshore plus 104 residential units.

Residential units are broken down into one studio, 68 one, 30 two and five three bedroom units. Five are situated on the ground floor with the remaining 99 on the upper five floors.

A parkade is proposed for the rear of the building with space for 111 vehicles. Another 136 long-term and 152 short-term bike spaces are also planned.

Amenity space, including an outdoor kitchen and pool is proposed for the third floor with a grass area planned for the top of the parkade.

It's unclear whether the radio stations, which have occupied the site since the fall of 1982, will occupy space in the building or find a new home.

The application must first pass through various departments within city hall before the rezoning application goes before city council.

Development and building permits would then have to be granted before the first piece of ground can be turned.

Stober Group and UBCO create scholarship to honour Kelowna business leader

Scholarship honours leader

The University of British Columbia Okanagan and the Stober Group are honouring deceased Kelowna business leader Dave McAnerney with a new $50,000 scholarship.

McAnerney, the CEO of the Stober Group, passed suddenly in October 2022. He had deep ties to the Okanagan business community, having served as president and CEO of SunRype, and holding executive positions with Labatt’s and Columbia Brewing.

“Dave was absolutely exceptional, someone who took the time to get to know you, showed an interest in you as a person and a human,” says Ken Stober, president of the Stober Foundation. “Anyone in his orbit benefited from his kindness, strength and deep love of his family and community.”

The Stober Foundation chose to honour McAnerney with a $50,000 gift which will be matched by the university to create the Dave McAnerney Memorial Award in Management which will be used to support third and fourth-year students that perform at a high academic level, are committed to giving back to their community, and demonstrate a financial need.

“As a management faculty, we aim to cultivate opportunities for our students to explore and redefine leadership,” says Sandy Hilton, dean pro tem of the Faculty of Management. “This generous gift—through its transformative effect on students’ university experience in management—will continue Mr. McAnerney’s legacy as a compassionate leader and business innovator.”

Stober Foundation CEO Keith Brewster says that establishing this memorial award is a testament to McArnerney’s impact on the community and his role as a friend and mentor.

“To say that Dave was a leader is an understatement. Setting up this award, with the support of his wonderful wife Anne and their children Michelle and Renee, is a blessing and, quite simply, the right thing to do. It warms our hearts to know that these awards will benefit a lifetime of young scholars. His legacy will remain, elevating excellence in community service, just like he did in life.”

Mother breaks neck on Kelowna's Gyro Beach rope swing

Beach day turns into tragedy

Rob Gibson

The May long weekend took a tragic turn for Kelowna's Stanford family when an idyllic day at the beach turned into a nightmare.

Rachel Stanford took what everyone expected would be normal ride on the rope swing at Gyro Beach.

"Initially, she came up screaming, and I thought it was because of the cold, like just shocked," said her husband, Ben Stanford, noting the whole incident was caught on video.

He says he rarely records anything on his phone, but when Rachel jumped up and went for a ride on the rope swing, he wanted to catch the moment. He did not realize he would be recording the instant his wife broke her neck falling in the water.

"I started running into the water. I was fully dressed and just ran into the water. I initially thought I was looking for a tooth and as I got closer, I saw blood coming from several areas and she was grabbing at her neck then I knew it was spinal trauma," says Stanford.

Fortunately, Ben has emergency training through his care aide job at Kelowna General Hospital. In fact, his quick actions may have prevented a more severe injury.

"If we hadn't been first aid trained, I can't say enough for being first aid trained, she might not be walking," said Ben.

Rachel is facing a long recovery and she will have to put her healthcare studies aside. Ben wants to stay by her side and help in her recovery.

"We started the fundraiser so that I can stay with her 24/7 and just do what she needs when she needs it. For me, it would mean everything if I got to stay home and do the care, and it'd be just a familiar face being able to provide it for Rachel," Stanford says.

Rachel is a mother of six and Ben says the ordeal has been very hard on everyone.

"She will require around-the-clock care for 10 weeks and I am able to provide it but it comes at the cost of my wages and overtime," Ben said, explaining that he is hopeful his wife will make a full recovery.

Diabetes Canada's donation truck will be stopping in Kelowna

Decluttering made easy

If you've been looking to declutter and offer a helping hand at the same time, get ready to drop off gently used clothing and small household items at the Diabetes Canada curbside recycling drive in Kelowna this Saturday.

Kelowna residents can declutter their homes by dropping off a clothing or small household donation at the charity's drive-thru drop-off event on Saturday at the IGA at 1940 Kane Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Diabetes Canada will have volunteers on hand, along with a truck ready to be filled with gently used clothing and small household donations. Volunteers will even help take your bag or box of goods from the trunk of your car for you.

"We have trucks ready to be filled across Canada including here in Kelowna, with your donated gently used clothing and textiles," said president and CEO of National Diabetes Trust Sean Shannon.

"At this time of year, people are decluttering their closets and around the house, which is the perfect time to donate your unwanted items to Diabetes Canada instead of sending them to a landfill."

All the money raised will go to support diabetes research and will help give children with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to attend Diabetes Canada’s summer camps.

If you can't make it down on Saturday residents can donate used clothing at one of the charity’s donation bins or call for a home pick-up. To learn more click here.

Province pledging financial aid for seniors living with mental health and addiction challenges

Help coming for seniors

The provincial government is providing more than $800,000 in grant funding to the Seniors Services Society of BC.

The money is earmarked for the society's senior housing information and navigation ease program which helps seniors access mental health and addiction supports.

Services will be delivered to 11 communities throughout the province including Kelowna and Penticton.

"For many seniors, navigating housing, financial aid, mental-health and addictions and other services without assistance can be extremely difficult," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

"Without help, seniors may be at risk of falling into poverty, homelessness, experience discrimination and inequality. That's why we're proud to support programs such as SHINE, to help more seniors with mental-health and addictions challenges in communities across B.C. get the help they need and deserve."

The program also helps refer seniors to supports for maintaining safe housing, advocacy in disputes when seniors are being unfairly pushed out of rental homes as well housing navigation education and workshops to other agencies helping seniors.

"SHINE was envisioned as a city-specific, senior-centred network that balances prevention and responsiveness in addressing widening gaps in the systems supporting older adults," said Alison Silgardo, CEO, Seniors Services Society of BC.

"This includes housing, mental health, addictions, attachment to health, exit from health, technology, access to finance, food insecurity and supports to help them age in place, to name a few. What gives me hope is that key stakeholders are coming together to create a continuum for older adults."

Kelowna bylaw officer allegedly assaulted at Rail Trail site

Alleged attack on bylaw

A Kelowna bylaw officer was allegedly assaulted Wednesday while working at the designated homeless camping site along the Rail Trail.

RCMP say the incident involving two men and a bylaw officer occurred at around noon at the camping site at 890 Baillie Ave.

"Two men who utilize the services at [the outdoor sheltering site] were arrested by RCMP and later released by police on undertakings to appear in court June 15," said Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

Kelowna bylaw services manager Kevin Mead says the incident happened as part of the normal course of the bylaw officer's duties.

"We do manage the site on a daily basis out there. And by manage, I mean, we ensure that all the refuse is gathered up and in the interest of health, safety, and security, of all members of the community including those that are using the site as well as those that pass by."

Mead says he can't comment on the specifics of the incident because the matter is under police investigation.

"It was during routine operations, which does have an element of risk in it every day."

RCMP say two men were arrested after the incident escalated and a weapon was reported.

"We're in constant contact with the police. They were not there at the time and we called them, and they responded immediately," Mead says.

"While a weapon was present, no individual was struck with it. The bylaw officer and one of the accused sustained minor injuries," says Cpl. Gauthier.

RCMP have forwarded charges to the BC Prosecution Service. The alleged attackers cannot be named until those charges are approved.

Mead says he is proud of the conduct of the city's bylaw officers, "particularly in these high-stress situations."

"Their training and their professionalism sets them above, many other communities. And there will be more that will come out of this for sure as the police investigation goes on."

Townhouses and apartments proposed for development at the base of Dilworth Mtn.

New Dilworth development

A new housing development is being proposed for Denali Drive at the base of Dilworth Mountain.

MQN Architects are seeking a development permit for the 79-unit development. The project, they state, already conforms with city zoning bylaws.

The development permit application includes provision for two-storey townhouse units and three storeys of multi-family residential apartment units as well as a variety of amenity spaces.

"The townhome is comprised of nine three-bedroom units and is situated in front of the parkade creating a pedestrian-friendly streetscape," the application states.

"The three-storey apartment complex is located above the parkade and is comprised of 70 one, two and three bedroom units.

"Amenity space is located on the main floor of the apartment building with outdoor pool, hot tub, and various seating options."

Amenity space, including more seating and social spaces, are featured on the apartment's roof.

The development at 777 Denali Drive backs onto a heavily sloped vegetated area.

Details within the application indicate they have been able to minimize the impact on the hillside by reducing or minimizing the cut and fill requirements of the project.

"Our intention and focus of this project is to create a community minded pedestrian friendly development while creating interesting architecture through articulations, form, and massing," the application concludes.

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