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Kamloops  

Suspect in serious Shuswap stabbing, robbery granted bail

Bail for att. murder suspect

An attempted murder suspect arrested in downtown Kamloops earlier this week is no longer behind bars.

Terrance Jones was arrested on Monday after being spotted on Victoria Street, according to police. The 40-year-old had been wanted on warrants and is facing charges including attempted murder, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and robbery with a firearm.

The charges stem from an alleged incident in Blind Bay in August in which a 30-year-old man was stabbed. At the time, police said they believed the incident was targeted.

Jones is one of three men charged in relation to the Aug. 16 allegations, the others being Alex Boucher and Kim Moyan.

Jones was granted bail on Friday with a $10,000 deposit, and he was ordered to live under conditions amounting to house arrest at a residence in Kamloops.

His trial is slated to get underway on April 6 in B.C. Supreme Court in Salmon Arm.



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The Chamber Musicians of Kamloops announce their next performance in the virtual series Passions

CMK continues Passions

Chamber Musicians of Kamloops have announced the next performance in their ongoing virtual series, Passions.

Local pianist, Dimiter Terziev, will be performing on Saturday, Feb. 20.

This will be a livestream starting at 7:30 p.m. and will be available on-demand until 10 p.m. on Feb. 27.

In his solo piano recital, Terziev explores passion through a repertoire of classic works, including Beethoven’s “Appassionata,” Liszt’s “Mephisto Waltz No.1,” works by Chopin and Pancho Vladigerov.

Terziev will be showcasing a Canadian premiere of the Bulgarian Composer Vladigerov’s work, “Water Colours”.

Tickets can be purchased here and are $15 and a discounted $10 for students and CMK members.



Positive COVID-19 case at Kamloops Real Canadian Superstore

Virus case at Superstore

Kamloops’ Real Canadian Superstore on Columbia Street has reported a staff member recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Loblaws, Superstore's parent company, announced that on Jan. 12, the single team member tested positive for the virus.

The last time the individual worked at the store was Jan. 4.

Loblaws regularly updates all positive cases reported at stores across Canada.

In recent weeks, staff have tested positive at Loblaws stores in Kelowna, Oliver, Vernon and Kamloops.



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Spike in Thompson region COVID-19 cases coming largely from Cariboo, not Kamloops: BCCDC data

COVID spikes in Cariboo

While the Kamloops local health area saw a slight dip in weekly COVID-19 cases in the most recent week for which data is available, significant spikes were recorded in a number of neighbouring Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap regions.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, 62 cases were recorded between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9 in the Kamloops local health area — the city as well as Sun Peaks, Logan Lake and Barriere. That’s a decrease of six from the week prior.

The data for Jan. 3 to Jan. 9 was made available by the BCCDC late Friday.

The most significant spikes in the region in that time were in the Cariboo.

Thirty-one cases were recorded in the Williams Lake area, up from eight the previous week. In the 100 Mile House area, 29 cases were recorded — an increase of 21 from the previous week.

The Salmon Arm area also saw a significant increase in positive tests, recording 17 — up from four the week prior.



Kamloops curling to be well-represented at Brier, Scotties

Kamloops rep'd at nationals

There will be no shortage of Kamloops content when Canada's best curlers enter a Calgary bubble later this year to play for the country's top prizes.

With provincial playdowns cancelled across much of Canada due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many provincial associations were left to pick who to send — and that means Kamloops will be well represented.

Kamloops’ Team Brown, last year's B.C. champions, will represent the province at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, slated for Feb. 19 to Feb. 28 in Calgary.

On the men's side, Kamloops' Matt Dunstone and his team will represent Saskatchewan at the Tim Horton’s Brier, scheduled for March 5 to March 14, also in Calgary.

Dunstone's squad represented Saskatchewan at the 2020 Brier. Curling officials in the prairie province announced Thursday playdowns would not take place, meaning Team Dunstone gets another kick at the can after coming up one win short of a berth last year in the Brier final.

Though they are happy to be heading back to Nationals, Erin Pincott of Team Brown and Dunstone, her boyfriend and Saskatchewan's skip, both admit this one is a little bitter sweet.

“Having that high of winning, getting to celebrate with your team, you know, so many emotions — and feeling like all your hard work paid off in that moment — makes it definitely a different feeling," Pincott tells Castanet Kamloops.

Dunstone and Pincott have not played competitively since November, but are lucky enough to have had some time on the ice — something not many curlers can say.

Three of the four members of Team Brown live in Kamloops, so they've been practicing together at McArthur Island Curling Centre. Dunstone, on the other hand, has had to get reps in on his own, two provinces away from his teammates.

"I'm used to being the odd one out with the other three over in Regina, so I've kind of figured out my own practice plans," Dunstone says.

Dunstone said he is in negotiations with the provinces to see if the team will be able to practice together before heading to the Brier.



Nutrients to be added to Kamloops-area lake in effort to bolster low Adams River sockeye runs

$2.8M salmon rehabilitation

Nutrients will be added to a Kamloops-area lake in a $2.8-million effort to boost salmon returns in the Adams River.

Agricultural-grade liquid fertilizer is slated to be applied to Adams Lake over the next four years with treatment starting this spring, part of a joint effort to increase lake productivity and rebuild early summer sockeye escapement.

“This lake lacks nutrients,” Don Holmes, Upper Adams Salmon Restoration Program manager, told Castanet Kamloops.

“Things don’t grow very well there. The idea is if we can provide a little more food, the sockeye smolts will be a little bit larger and they’ll do a little bit better.”

Adams Lake is deep and clear, Holmes said, with not much going on from a biological perspective — but that was not always the case.

“Historically, the salmon running up the river, when they died, their carcasses would go back into the lake and provide nutrients,” Holmes said.

“When we lost the salmon runs, we lost the nutrients. It’s a cycle.”

The program was spearheaded by the Adams Lake Indian Band, working with B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment, the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, funded by the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.

According to Holmes, carefully applying fertilizer to the lake will create more food for sockeye smolts and, hopefully, lead to a healthier salmon population and stronger returns.

“It’s all a balance,” he said. “When that primary productivity is really low, you don’t have any growth.”

Holmes, a registered professional biologist who has worked in the past for provincial ministries, said it’s too early to predict how returns might be impacted.

“There are so many factors — the biggest being ocean survival,” he said.

“The first thing is getting the population back up, then the goals are unlimited. We have hopes to bring the population back to a pretty substantial number but, at this point, we can’t actually set a number.”

If things go well, Holmes said, the Adams Lake smolts will be measurably larger next year.

Fertilizer applications are slated to take place every two weeks beginning in April, Holmes said, noting he doesn’t expect any negative effect on water quality in the area.



Merritt-area First Nation confirms pair of recent positive COVID-19 cases

Upper Nicola COVID cases

A First Nations community near Merritt has reported two recent confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, Upper Nicola Band Chief Harvey McLeod said the band was advised Wednesday that two of its members had tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease. McLeod said Interior Health is conducting contact tracing.

“Please stay home as often as possible,” McLeod said.

“Wear a mask and social distance yourself.”

McLeod also urged community members to avoid pointing fingers.

“During these trying ties, it is important for us to stay kind to one another and help each other out if possible,” he said.

“It is nobody’s fault we get sick and we cannot blame anyone, but we can be kind and help each other out.”



Rate of infection in Thompson region among highest in BC last week

Cases spike near Kamloops

New COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in the Kamloops region last week, with the rate of new infections surpassing most regions in the province.

From Jan. 7 to 13, 282 new cases of the virus were identified among residents of the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap region – an area that includes Kamloops, Merritt, Revelstoke, 100 Mile House and Lillooet.

This is more than double the number of new cases the health service delivery area saw the previous week, and works out to a rate of just under 120 weekly infections per 100,000 people.

B.C.'s average weekly rate of infection last week was 68.8 per 100,000.

A higher rate of infection last week was only found in the Northwest region of the province – where the rate has skyrocketed to 208 infections per 100,000 – and in the Fraser South and Fraser East regions, at 132 and 122 infections per 100,000 respectively.

While the BC Centre for Disease Control usually releases more granular data every Wednesday, which would show where in the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap region the new cases are spiking, that data has been delayed this week due to “incomplete data.”

On Wednesday, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Kamloops' Brocklehurst Gemstone long-term care home, after four residents tested positive. It's the first care home in Kamloops where residents have tested positive for the virus, after an outbreak at The Hamlets was contained to a single staff member.

An outbreak for Canim Lake was declared on Monday, when IH disclosed 32 positive COVID-19 in the small First Nations community, located 40 kilometres east of 100 Mile House.

Meanwhile, new cases in the Okanagan continued to fall last week with 232 new cases identified from Jan. 7 to 13, down from 303 the week prior. This works out to a weekly infection rate of 59 per 100,000.

New cases in the Kootenay Boundary region dropped to just eight last week, compared to 24 the week before, while there were 21 new cases in the East Kootenay region, up from 14 the previous week.

On Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted the rising cases in the Interior were directly linked to holiday gatherings and other small social gatherings across the region.

As of Thursday, there are 10 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Interior long-term care homes, where 29 residents have died.



Lynx found in North Kamloops recovering well at BC Wildlife Park

Female feline feelin' fine

After days roaming around the city, the lynx captured earlier this week in North Kamloops is enjoying her holiday retreat.

The lynx was found wandering the North Shore on Wednesday and is regaining her strength at the BC Wildlife Park’s Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre.

Managing director of animal care Tracy Reynolds is happy with the progress the female feline is making.

“She is much spicier today and eating well,” Reynolds told Castanet Kamloops.

“We are slowly introducing her to solid foods as she was so thin and had such an empty stomach when she came in.”

BC Wildlife Park is running tests and making sure she is healthy, while also getting her strength back up.

The hungry lynx is expected to make a full recovery and continue her rehabilitation outside.

“We will keep her inside for a few more days to rest, then will likely move her to a large outdoor enclosure early next week,” said Reynolds.

Castanet will update the lynx's progress once more information is available.



City of Kamloops hopes to get early start on ambitious project expanding cycling routes

City to pave bike routes

While 2021 may not be the year of the cyclist in Kamloops, the city is hoping to soon begin a project that will add a significant number of bicycle routes.

The plan was for construction to begin in 2022, but grant funding could see work get underway later this year.

In addition to the continuous north-south route connecting Aberdeen to Batchelor Heights, the city is looking at expanding the Summit-Downtown Active Transportation Connection, completing the path on both ends of the Xget’tem’ Trail.

The goal is to have a complete trail from the top of Summit Drive to the Lansdowne transit exchange.

The proposed Summit multi-use path will see lighting upgrades, traffic signals and a separate three-metre-wide pathway that will connect the top of the Xget’tem’ Trail at Notre Dame Drive to the bike lane on Summit Drive at Whiteshield Crescent South.

The north end will be Kamloops’ first two-way protected bike lane at Sixth Avenue connecting to the Lansdowne transit exchange.

“We have studied the traffic volumes and growth projections on 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue in consideration of current use and future growth needs,” said Purvez Irani, the City’s transportation manager, in a press release.

“The width of Sixth Avenue allows us to create a safe cycling environment for all ages and abilities while connecting to our transit system with very minimal impacts to traffic or parking.”

Traffic on Sixth Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction to allow for the bike lanes. The city also plans to improve transit shelters and add left-turn lanes on the street.

The project is scheduled for construction to begin in 2022, but council’s authorization will be requested on Jan. 26 to seek grant funding that could see the work begin this year.



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