Partnership seeks increased sustainability in Kamloops-area forestry

Forestry sustainability sought

A new partnership has come together aimed at creating sustainability in Kamloops-area forestry.

Simpcw First Nation, Simpcw Resources Group and Arrow Group of Companies have a new partnership together as stakeholders in River City Fibre — a wood-chipping plant on Mission Flats that supplies fibre to the nearby Kruger pulp mill.

This partnership was finalized on May 1.

With this partnership Simpwc hopes to create new possibilities for economic development, but also preserving the lands. The Simpwc Resources Group will also play a major role in managing sustainability and forestry activities within the Simpwc territory.

"Building sustainability in our fibre supply chain is a strategic and operational priority for our mill," said Roman Gallo, Kruger's senior vice-president and COO.

"We also have a long-standing commitment to responsible sourcing. Our contract with River City Fibre helps us achieve our operational and community-focused objectives and we are excited to be developing our relationships with the Arrow Group, SRG, and the Simpcw First Nation."

There is no word yet on how many jobs the partnership is expected to create, or the economic impact.

“This collaboration signifies a significant step forward in achieving a balanced and holistic approach to land management, where economic prosperity goes hand in hand with environmental responsibility,” Simpcw Resources Group said in a news release


Aberdeen home damaged, but no injuries suffered as a result of structure fire

No injuries in Aberdeen fire

UPDATE: 5:51 p.m.

Firefighters say an Aberdeen mobile home will have extensive smoke damage after a fire started in the residence on Saturday afternoon.

Kamloops Fire Rescue crews were called out to the fire, which started at a house in Aberdeen Glen Village at 1555 Howe Rd., at about 4:30 p.m.

Will Harlock, KFR platoon captain, said the homeowner and pets were out of the residence when firefighters arrived.

“There were no injuries, no smoke inhalation,” Harlock said.

He said the official cause of the fire hadn't yet been determined, with fire prevention officers due to inspect the home in the coming days.

As of 5:15 p.m., firefighters were checking to make sure the fire hadn’t extended into other parts of the residence.

“Obviously the smoke damage in this small of a structure will be extensive,” Harlock said.

“We’re just searching for extensions right now on the roof. As you can see the guys with their saws — they’re just making sure that everything is 100 per cent out before we leave.”

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it spread, and Harlock said no neighbouring units or nearby vegetation were impacted by the blaze.

ORIGINAL: 5:03 p.m.

Kamloops Fire Rescue crews were battling a blaze Saturday afternoon at a mobile home park in Aberdeen.

Emergency crews were called to Aberdeen Glen Village, 1555 Howe Rd., at about 4:30 p.m. for a report of a structure fire.

Firefighters arrived to find a mobile home ablaze.

Smoke could be seen coming from the unit as crews worked to extinguish the fire just before 5 p.m.

Castanet Kamloops has a reporter at the scene. This story will be updated if more information becomes known.

Video shows man in handcuffs after fight in stands Friday during Memorial Cup opener

Arrested after fight at game

UPDATE: 3:49 p.m.

A Memorial Cup attendee who witnessed a brawl break out in the stands at Sandman Centre on Friday says people were shaken up after a man picked a fight with a Quebec Remparts fan and ended up getting arrested.

The QMJHL champions beat the Kamloops Blazers 8-3 during the tournament opener on Friday. Near the end of the third period, a fight appeared to break out in a balcony section near a group of Remparts fans and family members.

The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said a man sitting nearby made comments and started bickering with a Remparts fan sitting directly in front of him.

The man left for a while, she told Castanet Kamloops, then walked back to his seat during the third period and immediately started hitting the other person.

“The guy in my row was just trying to start something for no reason,” she said, adding it’s sad this happened at a fun event.

A video taken of the fight aftermath shows an RCMP officer appearing to handcuff a man who is face down on the floor near Section AA, where the incident took place.

Yves Lacasse, chair of the Memorial Cup host organizing committee, told Castanet Kamloops he wants fans to have a good time and feel welcomed at the games. He said he was disappointed an incident like this happened during an otherwise positive and first-class tournament.

“Why would you want to come to a hockey game, get into a fight, potentially face criminal charges? That makes no sense to me,” Lacasse said.

“If that's the kind of people that you are, don't come. That’s not the kind of people that we want to see in our rink. Come and have fun.”

Do you know what happened, or do you have photos or video? Email [email protected] or call the Castanet Kamloops newsroom at 778-376-2151.


The chair of the Memorial Cup host organizing committee says he was disappointed to hear about a fight which broke out in Sandman Centre stands during Friday’s tournament opener, adding those looking to start trouble aren’t welcome in the arena.

The Kamloops Blazers faced off against the Quebec Remparts in front of a full house for the first game of the Memorial Cup on Friday evening, with the QMJHL champions skating to an 8-3 victory.

Near the end of the third period, a fight appeared to break out in the stands near a group of Remparts fans and family members.

Yves Lacasse, chair of the tournament's host committee, told Castanet Kamloops he became aware of an incident that happened close to the end of the game.

“I understand that there was a bit of a verbal argument that led to a minor altercation,” he said.

Lacasse said he didn’t have any information about who instigated the fight, noting staff, volunteers and police attended quickly and were able to separate the people involved. He said he believes one person was taken away by Mounties.

“An incident like this cannot overshadow all of the good stuff that's going on, but yes, I was very disappointed to hear that,” he said.

Lacasse reminded fans the Memorial Cup is a hockey tournament, “not life and death.”

“This is about kids competing for a trophy. We need to be there to cheer them on,” he said.

“Sometimes a game will go your way, and sometimes a game will not go your way, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go and argue with people and get into a fight. That’s not worth it.”

He said it “makes no sense” to him why anyone would want to come to a hockey game to get in a fight and end up potentially facing criminal charges.

“If that’s the kind of people that you are, don’t come," he said. "That’s not the kind of people that we want to see in our rink. Come and have fun.”

Lacasse said he wants fans to have a good time and feel welcomed at the Memorial Cup games, adding he hopes locals will display kindness and care towards others visiting the Tournament Capital for the week.

“If you're going to be travelling and go to another city to watch hockey games, you want to be treated properly, and welcomed with open arms — and that's what we want to do with our guests,” he said.

Castanet Kamloops has reached out to RCMP for more information about the incident.

Do you know what happened, or do you have photos or video? Email [email protected] or call the Castanet Kamloops newsroom at 778-376-2151.


Sun Peaks announces lineup for free summer concert series

Sun Peaks ready to rock

Sun Peaks officials have unveiled the resort's concert lineup for this summer, with shows running from Canada Day through September.

All concerts are at the community mountain amphitheater, and some artists include Canadian acts Shred Kelly and Delhi 2 Dublin.

The popular Retro Concert Weekend will also run Aug. 25 to Aug. 27, with bands covering KISS, U2, The Chicks and more.

There will be three pop-up venues set up throughout the village and on the side of the mountain.

All of the concerts are free, but seating is not provided. Attendees are welcome to bring their own chairs.

The full schedule can be found on the Sun Peaks website.

Tourism Kamloops seeks city's support to offer rentals, food at Riverside Park

Rentals, food at Riverside?

Tourism Kamloops is asking for support from city hall to offer sports equipment rentals and food services in Riverside Park this summer.

City council will consider and vote on Tourism Kamloops’ proposal at a council meeting on Tuesday.

In a report prepared for the upcoming council meeting, staff said allowing equipment rentals and refreshment sales in the park will help promote it as a destination for tourists and residents, and will benefit the local business community.

“Water and waterways have always been a main attractor for recreation, and the opportunity to expand on what is already offered would be beneficial to our community, visitors and businesses,” the report reads.

“Shifting from a passive experiential space to integrate supportive, relevant businesses would create greater enjoyment of the spaces within and around the park.”

Tourism Kamloops offered sporting equipment rentals — including kayaks, water bikes and lawn games — along with food and beverage services out of an old concession building in Riverside Park during the summer of 2021.

The heavily-debated initiative ran as a pilot project, as the concession building was slated for demolition later that year.

If this year’s proposal is approved by council, Tourism Kamloops will be the prime contractor overseeing business on city property. The tourism agency will manage third-party contractors conducting equipment rentals and food and beverage services within the park.

In the report, staff said there is space inside the newly constructed Riverside Park washroom and lifeguard building for Tourism Kamloops to run its operations.

Because a City of Kamloops bylaw prohibits commercial activity in city parks, council would need to authorize a one-year exemption for Tourism Kamloops’ proposal to move forward.

The report said Kamloops has increased potential to attract new residents, visitors and businesses, but “the window of opportunity is short,” with other communities also seeking to entice newcomers.

“To support this growth, Kamloops must expand traditional limitations and further its flexibility to the benefit of our residents and the business community,” the document reads.

Riverside Park has seen a number of infrastructure improvements recently completed, including a brand new splash park and fully accessible playground. The park also boasts a widened boardwalk and a soon-to-be-installed mobility beach mat, which the city says will allow people of all abilities to access the riverfront.

Repeat drunk driver avoids jail after injuring Kamloops woman, daughter in highway crash

Drunk driver avoids jail

A repeat drunk driver who injured a Kamloops woman and her 12-year-old daughter when he crashed into their vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway in Valleyview last fall has avoided jail.

Glenn Derrick Gottfriedson, 58, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday to one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Court heard Gottfriedson was drunk on Oct. 15, 2022, when he slammed his Ford Escape into a Toyota Rav-4 at the intersection of Vicars Road and the Trans-Canada Highway.

The collision took place at about 5:30 p.m. The Toyota was stopped at a red light headed west on the highway toward downtown when it was struck.

Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi said Gottfriedson was driving at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the vehicle. The impact pushed the Toyota through the intersection and nearly into the path of a passing train.

Varesi said the woman driving the Toyota suffered a mild head injury and her daughter was left with leg injuries.

“It’s fortunate their injuries were not more severe,” he added. “It’s extremely fortunate the vehicle did not come to a rest on the train tracks.”

Gottfriedson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.14 — nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.

He has a dated history of drunk driving, with two convictions from the 1990s. He has also received two roadside prohibitions, most recently in 2019.

Varesi asked Kamloops provincial court Judge Marianne Armstrong to jail Gottfriedson for four months.

Defence lawyer Dan McNamee, meanwhile, suggested a sentence of house arrest.

McNamee said Gottfriedson was dealing with a personal issue the day before the crash and went on a bit of a bender. He said Gottfriedson lost his job with the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc band as a direct result of the collision.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Marianne Armstrong sided with McNamee, sentencing Gottfriedson to a six-month conditional sentence order, the first four months of which will be served under house arrest.

He was also ordered to apologize to the victims and to attend counselling as directed by his probation officer.

Dix confident as maternity doctors meet to discuss fate of Kamloops clinic

Maternity clinic may reopen

Kamloops maternity doctors are slated to meet in the coming days to decide whether it's feasible to reopen a clinic responsible for delivering most of the babies born in the city each month.

The Thompson Regional Family Obstetrics clinic, which delivers approximately 60 of the 100 babies born each month at Royal Inland Hospital, has stopped accepting new patients due to a doctor shortage.

TRFO Dr. Shaun Davis told Castanet Kamloops on Friday that doctors were planning to meet "in the next day or two." He said additional locum coverage has been secured that might make it possible for the TRFO clinic to begin accepting patients again.

The ministry of health has said repeatedly it is working with doctors and Interior Health to come up with a more permanent solution.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, who was in Kamloops to announce progress on building a new cancer care centre at RIH, told reporters Thursday the work is still ongoing, and he expects to have an announcement soon.

“In part, it’s a payment model issue, and we’re working closely with the doctors to see that that's resolved, and make sure that people get the care that they need,” Dix said.

“My expectation is that we'll do that, and we'll have things to say about it soon.”

Weeks ago in the legislature, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questioned Dix about the clinic closure, saying it’s “unacceptable” that expectant parents are having to scramble to try and access prenatal care, in some cases driving hours to see a doctor.

Freudian Slips improv troupe hosts tipsy comedy show Strip & Sip at Effie

Tipsy improv comedy show

A Kamloops improv group is planning to perform a drunk comedy show on the North Shore.

On July 20, The Freudian Slips Improv group is coming back to the Effie Arts Collective for Strip & Sip, an intoxicated night of laughs.

The group does all its normal improv — however, performers will be drinking.

The Freudian Slips are a well-known group and do monthly shows with four different improv styles. The troupe also has a brand new cast this year.

This event is limited to ages 16 and up.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $20 on the Eventbrite website.

Police searching for Kamloops man missing since last week

Mounties seek missing man

Kamloops Mounties are hoping tips from the public will help them track down a man who's been missing for a week.

Sundown Obomsawin, 41, was reported missing on Monday and last seen in Kamloops on May 19.

Obomsawin is described as a white man standing six feet tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He has grey hair and green eyes.

According to police, Obomsawin uses a walking stick or walker.

Anyone with information about where he might be is asked to contact police at 250-828-3000.

Hall of fame opens doors with trophies and memorabilia from across hockey world

Hockey hall of fame opens

The Hockey Hall of Fame has opened a temporary exhibit at Kelson Hall on St. Paul Street, bringing some of the most cherished awards and artifacts from the hockey world to the Tournament Capital.

There are trophies from the NHL, WHL, OHL, and QMJHL — but the Stanley Cup is not on hand.

Also featured are showcases of local hockey legends and Blazers alumni including Mark Recchi, Scott Niedermayer and Jarome Ignila.

There are also items from notable NHLers including Pat La Fontaine, Tim Horton and Mike Gartner.

Some parts of the exhibit also feature vintage and recent Team Canada jerseys.

The exhibit, which is running in conjunction with the Memorial Cup, will be open 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on weekdays until June 4. Admission is free.

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