Salmon Arm  

COVID-19 exposure warning issued after case at Salmon Arm pool

Exposure at Shuswap pool

Shuswap residents are being advised of a COVID exposure at a public Salmon Arm facility.

On Jan. 13, Salmon Arm Recreation became aware of an exposure at the SASCU Recreation Centre pool.

Upon learning of the exposure, officials say they launched an extensive deep cleaning of the facility.

As a result of the exposure, several staff have been asked to self isolate, leaving the aquatic centre with limited staff to operate previously scheduled lessons and programs.

Anyone who was at the facility between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11 is being asked to monitor themselves for any signs of COVID-19.

Anyone showing signs of infection is asked to take appropriate measures as directed by the public health officer.


BC Supreme Court upholds ALC decision against Shuswap golf course-subdivision application

ALR bid rejected again

A B.C. Supreme Court ruling has upheld an Agricultural Land Commission decision against a Shuswap land owner's bid to subdivide for a golf course and residential development.

In her ruling Jan. 11 in Kelowna court, Madam Justice Wilkinson found the commission’s decision was not unreasonable and was made within its jurisdiction.

The petition by Kahn Whitehead was dismissed.

Whitehead had sought to overturn a 2018 ALC decision denying his application for subdivision.

Whitehead had sought to sweeten the pot by offering a land swap that would include adjacent property into the Agricultural Land Reserve. But, Wilkinson ruled the act governing the commission "does not provide for or refer to the concept of land swaps in which owners apply to exclude land from the ALR or subdivide land in the ALR while including other land in the ALR."

Wilkinson said owners seeking both ALR subdivision and inclusion orders should submit separate applications.

The property, partially located within the ALR, north of Salmon Arm near Eagle Bay, has historically been used for agriculture as a hobby farm cattle operation and for growing hay, the ruling notes.

The ALC had previously refused an application by the petitioner in 1999 to develop a golf course on the property. That decision was reconsidered and approved in 2002, at which time a report found the offered "swap" lands had limited agricultural capability.

While the non-agricultural land is zoned for a golf course, the owner has not developed one.

A residential subdivision application for part of the property followed in 2016. That was also rejected in a 2017 decision, which found the property has a combination of prime and secondary agricultural capability.

"I agree with the commission that when the petitioner submitted his subdivision application he went through multiple steps, including review by the local government as well as by the commission. He had ample opportunity to clarify which areas of the property have been used for agriculture. He did not," Wilkinson wrote in her decision.

"I find there is no contradiction between the finding in the reconsideration decision regarding suitability for agriculture and the commission’s findings in relation to the 2002 non-farm use application. While the commission’s finding in 2002 that the property had limited agricultural capability may have convinced the commission to grant the non-farm use application, the same finding would not necessarily support a subdivision application."

Wilkinson noted the commission "has no mandate to expand the ALR; its mandate is to preserve the ALR."

The judge added the petitioner may still have an ALR inclusion application heard if he chooses to make one.

"The (ALC) executive committee commented that the petitioner could submit a separate application ... if he still wished to do so. There was nothing unreasonable in the executive committee’s decision not to factor in the inclusion proposal when making its decision in the subdivision application."

Drivers keep passing school buses in School District 83 even though red lights are flashing

School bus lights ignored

Motorists are continuing to put students at risk in the North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Officials with School District 83 are concerned about the number of drivers passing school buses when their red stop lights are flashing.

"We had a significant drop in November, which we were very happy about," says district transportation manager Andrea Kathrein in a newsletter.

"In December, it started to creep up, and in 16 school days we had 16 incidents.

"In the first five days in January, we had six drivers pass school buses when the red lights were flashing. This is very concerning and puts our students at risk."

Officials remind drivers it is is dangerous – and illegal – to pass a school bus when its red lights are activated.

Drivers who ignore the warning face a hefty fine and demerit points if caught.


Woman found dead on Shuswap street was victim of hit-and-run homicide, police say

Death ruled homicide

Police in the Shuswap have ruled the death of a woman found dead in Sicamous on New Year’s Day a hit-and-run homicide.

The 64-year-old woman was found dead at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 on a private road in Cedars RV and Resort on Luoma Road.

“The investigation has led investigators to believe that the woman was struck by a motor vehicle,” Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil said in a news release.

“This is now considered a fatal hit-and-run and we are once again asking the public for information regarding this incident.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Shuswap firefighter reaches certification milestone, has no plans of slowing down at 78

78 and fighting fires

He's 78 years old, but there's no stopping firefighter Mike Thoms.

Thoms is the 150th firefighter in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to receive provincial certification, a goal set out by the district at the start of 2020 for its 13 fire departments across the region.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, training opportunities were temporarily shut down, putting the goal in doubt.

But, late in December, on the last day of the challenge, Swansea Point firefighter Mike Thoms completed his certification, becoming the 150th CSRD firefighter to reach the standard.

Thoms has been a firefighter for 13 years, since retiring to the Shuswap. But This retirement isn't about kicking back and relaxing at the beach.

"We made a new home here, and I wanted to give something back. No use just sitting around wasting my time. If the fire department figured I was good enough for them at my age, then why not become a firefighter?" he quipped.

Thoms worked his way slowly through the courses, including the physically challenging live fire exterior training module.

"I'm still in a daze that I'm a certified firefighter. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I could do something like that," he said. "I'm so proud to have had the opportunity and to have people who encouraged me that I could do this."

Thoms' pioneered the role of the rehab officer at the CSRD, monitoring the health and safety of firefighters when they are battling blazes. He worked with Sicamous paramedics to be trained in monitoring vital signs and blood pressure, and has gone on to help train rehab officers for other CSRD departments.

"I love what I do, so until I get really old, I'm not going to stop," he said. "As long as I'm capable, I will keep going."

All CSRD fire departments are recruiting paid on-call firefighters and welcome inquiries at 250-833-5955 or www.csrd.bc.ca/FirefighterRecruiting.

Work progressing on Trans-Canada Highway project through Chase

Hwy 1 project 'going well'

The Ministry of Transportation says work is progressing well on a Trans-Canada Highway expansion project near Chase.

The ongoing project expands the highway from two to four lanes from Chase Creek Road to west of the village.

The public can now also view a 3D animation of the design for the Chase West to Chase Creek Bridge section of the project.

The almost five-kilometre-long project is estimated to cost $260.3 million.

It follows years of locals calling for a solution to traffic issues and safety in the Shuswap community.

The Chase Creek Road to Chase West section of the work includes 3.3 km of highway widening, upgrades to highway intersections and frontage roads, construction of a pedestrian underpass and a multi-use pathway.

Construction is underway on that section.

Meanwhile, the Chase West to Chase Creek Bridge section will get going later this year.

It includes 1.6 km of highway widening, a grade-separated interchange at Brooke Drive, and extended improvements on Brooke Drive to Shuswap Avenue.

Spike belt stops erratic driver in wrong lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Spike belt, struggle in arrest

A spike belt was used to stop a vehicle driving in the oncoming lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway between Sicamous and Salmon Arm Thursday night.

Staff Sgt. Scott West says police responded to a call about an erratic driver at 9 p.m.

"Thankfully, there were no oncoming vehicles" at the time, West said in a press release.

The vehicle was located in the Canoe area and matched the description of one which had recently fled from local police, he added.

A spike belt was deployed to disable the vehicle, which came to rest in a snowbank on 10th Avenue SE in Salmon Arm.

The driver fled the vehicle, and a man matching the description, who is known to local police, was arrested on
four outstanding warrants after a brief struggle with the arresting officer near 37th Street SE, says West.

He remains in custody.

The warrants were for drug and driving related offences.

BC Court of Appeal sends Sicamous flood liability matter back to court

Flood liability back to court

The province and the District of Sicamous were found partially liable in 2019 for the damage caused by the significant flooding in Sicamous in 2012, but the case is headed back to court after the BC Court of Appeal found the judge had erred in his 2019 ruling.

Heavy rains and warm temperatures swelled the Sicamous River on June 23, 2012, and trees, rocks and other debris were pulled into the roaring river.

A truck was pulled into the river sometime before 6 p.m. that evening and became lodged under a private bridge near Mara Lake, causing “floodwaters to back up and wreak havoc” on the surrounding area. Waterway Houseboats was one of the businesses impacted by the flooding, losing most of its infrastructure and incurring significant cleanup costs.

In April 2019, after a long, complex trial Justice Gary Weatherill ruled the provincial government, District of Sicamous, Waterway Houseboats and the couple who owned the bridge where the back up began were all equally responsible for the damage that occurred.

Waterway was awarded $2 million in damages from the province, Sicamous and Bryan and Constance McLaughlin, while a number of private Waterways houseboat owners were awarded a total of $312,997 for loss of earnings.

But in late December, the BC Court of Appeal sent the matter back to trial in a 171-page ruling, after finding a number of errors in the ruling.

Waterway appealed the judge's ruling that they were partially negligent for not taking any of their own flood mitigation efforts and the BC Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, ruling the judge failed to sufficiently articulate his reasons.

The Court of Appeal also allowed the province's, District of Sicamous' and the McLoughlin's appeals over their liability in the matter.

It's unclear when a new trial will be held.

Fishermen fall through ice on Gardom and Echo lakes

Fisherman falls through ice

Search and Rescue volunteers were called out Sunday after a man fell through the ice at Gardom Lake.

The ice fisherman apparently fell through thin ice Saturday evening on the lake located between Salmon Arm and Enderby.

John Schut with Shuswap Search and Rescue says a member of the public spotted the man's abandoned gear on the ice Sunday morning, beside a hole in the ice.

"We responded with haste," says Schut. "And later confirmed via the public that the man had got out of the water on his own, as witnesses had seen him."

Schut said ice conditions on the lake are dangerous, in some areas less than one inch thick, "and in places, there is water and slush on top of it."

He urges the public to stay off the lake until colder weather returns and the ice thickens.

"It's hard to tell where the ice is thick or where it's thin," he said.

Meanwhile, a fisherman also reportedly fell through the ice on Echo Lake near Lumby last weekend.

Lumby RCMP say they hadn't received any reports of the incident, but social media posts imply the man got out of the water safely.

Conditions are forecast to remain above freezing or right around zero through the weekend.

Shuswap woman recognized for her work in make up industry

Making the best make up

Missy MacKintosh is being honoured as one of the best in the world.

The founder and CEO of MisMacK Clean Cosmetics has been named as one of the top 20 Best Women Leaders of 2020 with Industry Era for her work in building her cosmetics business.

Based out of Canoe, MacKintosh is an internationally acclaimed makeup artist with more than 16 years experience.

MacKintosh created MisMacK Clean Cosmetics to fill a void in the professional clean beauty industry. With a full line of clean makeup, including Canada’s first environmentally friendly glitter, her self-built brand is a hit with avid makeup lovers and professional makeup artists alike.

"2020 was a rollercoaster of a year. So many highs, so many lows. It's humbling to know that our hard work is not gone unnoticed with building MisMacK Clean Cosmetics. I truly feel that we are leading this Clean Beauty Revolution and making a difference in this word, one eco-friendly glitter at a time,” said MacKintosh.

“The inspiration behind MisMacK Clean Cosmetics comes from years of hard work and research, experimenting with new techniques, and collaborating with creative leaders in the industry.”

Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post and The Daily Mail.

The MisMacK Clean Cosmetics makeup line has become an award-winning leader in the professional clean beauty industry in Canada.

More Salmon Arm News