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- Investigation led by Vernon North Okanagan RCMP results in major seizure of drugs, guns and cash
A drug trafficking investigation by Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has resulted in the seizure of an arsenal of guns and a significant quantity of suspected drugs and cash. The operation involved the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and the simultaneous execution of four search warrants across three different communities in the Okanagan. Over 30 kilograms of suspected illicit drugs including fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and synthetic opioid pills were seized, along with 27 assault rifles, 18 handguns, and 6 shotguns. Police also found evidence of firearm manufacturing and assembly, hard body armor in tactical vests, a commercial pill press believed to be used to manufacture synthetic opioid pills, and a commercial mixer for mixing powder drugs. Five people were arrested and later released from custody pending charge approval at the completion of the investigation. Follow this link to read the RCMP press release regarding this major bust. https://bc-cb.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2136&languageId=1&contentId=78817&detachmentDataId=43586
- BX Fire Rescue Respond to reports of Flames on East Vernon Hill
March 13th 2023: Just before 8 pm Tuesday evening BX Fire and Rescue responded to reports of trees burning on East Vernon Hill. Responders quickly located the blaze near Robin and Galiano roads on East Vernon Hill. Upon investigation BX fire and Rescue determined the fire was a legal slash burn with the required permits.
- Fatal Fire Just South of Vernon Claims 3 Lives
A fire in the 300 block of Commonage road just South of Vernon claimed the life of 3 adults Monday evening. March 10 2023 ExNews originally reported the Commonage fire as happening late Wednesday, but an RCMP press release published today states the fatal fire occurred late Monday evening. According to the release, 911 call takers received reports of the fire Monday, March 6th, 2023, around 11:50 p.m. When Vernon Fire Rescue Services arrived the structure was fully involved. Investigators believe the adult occupants of the residence were in the home and unable to escape the fire. The fire completely destroyed the house. An investigation of the scene revealed the 3 victims. Although the cause of the tragic incident remains unknown, the preliminary investigation does not point to any criminality. BC Coroners Service is conducting an investigation as well
- House Fire in Coldstream: New Video
Multiple calls to 911 around 3:30 pm today, reporting flames and smoke coming from a residence in the 8100 block of Torrent drive in Coldstream. March 10 2023: When Emergency responders arrived the house was almost fully involved. Coldstream Fire Department was joined by Lavington Fire Hall and other local Halls. RCMP and Ambulance also were on Scene. No reports of injuries, no cause for the fire. Day of Fire Fire scene day after.
- 8.5% Tax Increase For Coldstream Residents
Recently, Jeremy Sundin, Director of Financial Administration for Coldstream, advised the Mayor and Council that 2023 is projected to be a challenging year in terms of upward pressure on the municipality's expenses. Sundin's report cited several factors contributing to additional expenses, including high inflation, increases in police contracts and union agreements, adjustments to exempt staff wages, debt renewals, reserve projections, and staffing for the new Community Hall. According to the financial report, the tax increase could have been even higher if the District was unable to draw from several reserves, including the Community Amenity, Water Devolution, and Policing Reserves. For typical homeowners in Coldstream, residential properties will see an 8.4% tax increase. The average homeowner pays about $1500 in taxes, meaning an 8.4% increase would average out to $122 per year for the typical single-family residential property. There is no word yet on what kind of increase is coming to pay for the Duteau Creek Water Source/Headgates Spillway Project or staff-recommended upgrades to Kalamalka beach, other than a $500,000 estimate to replace the aging Rotary Pier. You can see the full report HERE https://coldstream.civicweb.net/FileStorage/EA2969584A244BD39D7EF02BBB37F470-230213-RptToCnl-2023FinancialPlan%20(002).pdf
- Fire in Illegal Trash Heap Threatened Polson Park
What looks like a popular spot for illegally dumping garbage is the subject of a Vernon RCMP investigation following a suspicious late-night fire in Vernon. Not only is Illegal dumping a significant environmental and public health issue, potentially causing pollution, harming wildlife, and spreading disease, illegal trash heaps are also a fire hazard. Shortly after 11 pm on Wednesday, March 8th, Vernon Fire Rescue received reports of a fire near Pottery Road and Polson Drive on the south side of the train tracks. The fire appeared to be in a sizable trash heap filled with various types of rubbish, including household items and furniture. When emergency responders arrived, the fire had begun to spread to nearby trees. This was of particular concern as the trees of Polson Park were just meters away on the other side of the tracks. Fortunately, Vernon Fire and Rescue extinguished the fire before it could spread further. If you have any information regarding the fire or any suspicious activity in the area around the time of the fire, the RCMP would like to hear from you.
- Vernon Set To Host BC Winter Games After 4 Year Hiatus Due To COVID Restrictions
The BC Winter Games are back winter 2022-2023 after the 2020 games were canceled due to COVID restrictions. Over 1,000 athletes from around the Province of BC are heading to Vernon and the beautiful North Okanagan for the 2022-2023 BC Winter Games. The 2022-2023 BC Winter Games are scheduled to take place in the North Okanagan region March 23-26, 2023. Most of the events will be held in and around the city of Vernon. The Games attract around 1,000 to 2,000 athletes, coaches, and officials, as well as thousands of spectators, volunteers, and other participants. The BC Winter Games are one of the largest multi-sport events in British Columbia, providing a valuable opportunity for young athletes to compete and develop their skills in a supportive and competitive environment. The event, initiated by former Premier Bill Bennett and his Social Credit government, was first held in 1979. The purpose of the Games was to provide an opportunity for young athletes to compete in a multi-sport event, similar to the Olympic Games, and to encourage the development of amateur sports in British Columbia. The Games were also intended to promote community involvement and economic development in the host community. Over the years, the BC Winter Games have grown in size and scope, but the core mission of promoting amateur sport and community involvement remains unchanged. The BC Winter Games take place in different regions of British Columbia to showcase the athletic talent and cultural diversity of various communities throughout the province. The decision on where to host the Games is made by the BC Games Society, which is responsible for organizing and overseeing the Games. The Society considers a number of factors when selecting a host community, including the availability of suitable facilities, the capacity of the local organizing committee, the potential economic and social benefits for the host community, and the overall suitability of the community as a host. The goal is to provide a high-quality experience for athletes, coaches, and spectators while also promoting community involvement and engagement throughout the province. According to the BC Games Society, the estimated cost of hosting the BC Winter Games ranges from $500,000 to $1 million or more. This cost is typically funded through a combination of government grants, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising efforts by the local organizing committee. While the cost of hosting the Games can be significant, the economic benefits, such as increased tourism, job creation, and community engagement, can often offset the cost and provide a valuable boost to the local economy. Overall, the funding for the BC Winter Games is a collaborative effort between various levels of government, corporate sponsors, and community partners. While there are no cash prizes or monetary rewards for participating in the BC Winter Games, athletes do have the opportunity to compete against their peers from across the province and gain valuable experience and exposure in their respective sports. The Games provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills and potentially catch the eye of college or university coaches or national sports organizations. Athletes who perform well at the Games may also be eligible to compete at the provincial or national level in their respective sports. In addition to the opportunity to compete, athletes also receive a variety of commemorative items and souvenirs, including medals, clothing, and other items, as a memento of their participation in the Games. The event has been held every two years since 1979 with one exception. The 2020 BC Winter Games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was scheduled to take place in Fort St. John, British Columbia February 20-23, 2020. The BC Winter Games are open to athletes who are 12 to 18 years old, depending on the sport. The age categories for each sport may vary slightly. The BC Winter Games typically feature a variety of winter sports and cultural events. Some of the sports that are included in the games are: - Alpine Skiing - Cross Country Skiing - Freestyle Skiing - Snowboarding - Biathlon - Curling - Figure Skating - Ice Hockey - Speed Skating -Wheelchair Basketball (demonstration sport) In addition to the sports competitions, the BC Winter Games also include cultural events that celebrate the heritage of the host region, such as Indigenous cultural performances and displays. The cultural events provide an opportunity for participants and spectators to learn about the local history, traditions, and arts. The BC Winter Games are held every two years, typically in even-numbered years. Here is a partial list of gold medal winners from 2018: Alpine Skiing: Male Giant Slalom: Christopher Kent (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Female Giant Slalom: Ariana Hills (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast) Male Slalom: Christopher Kent (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Female Slalom: Maja Woolley (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Cross Country Skiing: Male 2.5 km: Ian Oliphant (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Female 2.5 km: Keira Cadden (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast) Male 5 km: Ian Oliphant (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Female 5 km: Bronwen Zandberg (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Freestyle Skiing: Male Slopestyle: Justin Dorey (Zone 4 - Kootenays) Female Slopestyle: Haley Cooke (Zone 4 - Kootenays) Snowboarding: Male Snowboard Cross: Ross Powers (Zone 3 - Fraser Valley) Female Snowboard Cross: Raine Haziza (Zone 4 - Kootenays) Biathlon: Male 6 km Sprint: Julian Deyn (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Female 6 km Sprint: Ambrose Deck (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Curling: Male Curling: Team Tao (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Female Curling: Team Taylor (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast) Figure Skating: Male Singles: Tristan Taylor (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Female Singles: Sophia Buie (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast) Pair Skating: Sofia Lefaivre and Stefan Lefaivre (Zone 4 - Kootenays) Ice Dance: Jessica Lee and Joshua Venema (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan) Ice Hockey: Male Ice Hockey: Team Fraser River Delta (Zone 4 - Kootenays) Female Ice Hockey: Team Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Speed Skating: Male 400 m: Oskar Kwiatkowski (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Female 400 m: Emma Hansen (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Male 1500 m: Oskar Kwiatkowski (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Female 1500 m: Caelan Pang (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal) Check out the "Guide to the GAMES" https://bcgames.cld.bz/BCWinterGames-Guide or visit the "BC Games" Web Page: https://bcgames.org/games/bc-winter-games/
- Worm Moon Ushers in End of Winter, move over Groundhog
The North Okanagan witnessed a Worm Moon last night, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring. March 8, 2023: "What is a worm moon, you ask? The Worm Moon is the last full moon of the winter season and was believed to be named for earthworms that reappear with warming weather, bringing with it a variety of hungry birds and signaling to farmers that winter was coming to an end. Move over, Groundhog... Last night, through broken clouds, the North Okanagan was lit by the last full moon of winter. It was very beautiful. Why is it called the Worm Moon? According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the name "Worm Moon" originally referred to earthworms beginning to reappear as the soil warms, bringing with it a variety of hungry birds and warmer weather associated with spring. However, the name may not necessarily refer to earthworms alone. It could also refer to larvae that spend the cold winter months hidden in areas like the bark of trees. The March moon goes by many names. Eagle Moon, Goose Moon, Sugar Moon, and several others. Check out The Old Farmer's Almanac for more interesting information on the moon: https://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-march."
- Vernon Search and Rescue Does It Again
March 5,2023 Once again, Vernon Search and Rescue answered the call. Around 6 pm on Friday, North Okanagan RCMP requested assistance to find a missing snowmobiler. Separated from his companions, the snowmobiler was able to use his iPhone SOS and SPOT device to assist VSAR and RCMP. The weather and considerable avalanche risk slowed the rescue operation. Sixteen VSAR members, assisted by two members from the Hunters Range Snowmobile Association and Lumby Mabel Lake Snowmobile Association, managed to find the sledder and bring him down just after 2 am. The sledder was well-prepared with survival equipment. Before VSAR reached him, he had built a snow cave shelter and was even trying to start a fire. For more information, and to see a photo of the snow cave, please visit the VSAR web page at https://vernonsar.ca/"
- Fire next to Great Blue Heron Nests Quickly Doused
March 5, 2023 Vernon Fire and Rescue quickly extinguished a vehicle fire directly below a grove of cottonwood trees that serve as a seasonal home to nesting Great Blue Herons. The vehicle was one of the dozens that remain on a property in the 5000 block of 24th street, once owned by nature lover Jan Bos. Bos passed away in 2017 at the age of 76. Bos used the property for vehicle storage for his towing company, Care Towing, and spare parts. Bos had a passion for the Great Blue Heron and attached a binding covenant to the title of the land to preserve the habitat in 1992. Great Blue Herons, considered an at-risk species, have nested in the tall cottonwood trees for several decades. Swan Lake is only a short flight from the property in the 5000 block of 24th street, making it an ideal nesting location for the Herons. From two nesting pairs of Great Blue Herons 30 years ago, the colony has grown to about 100. It is unknown what sparked the camper fire. The land it rests on is private property with large signs that read "This is a Protected Bird Sanctuary... Absolutely No Trespassing." Photo Courtesy donnalou: Images of Great Blue Heron on BCs Coast
- SUV fire at Sparkling Hills Resort
Vernon Fire and Rescue responded to multiple calls reporting a car fire at Sparkling Hill Resort, located 15 minutes south of Vernon, Saturday afternoon. Resort staff tried to extinguish the blaze while waiting for the fire department to arrive. Heat from the SUV fire was so intense that it damaged a nearby vehicle. Thick black smoke was visible from a distance, and several loud bangs were heard as the vehicle's tires exploded. Thankfully, Vernon Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene quickly and were able to douse the flames. There have been no reported injuries, and the cause of the fire is currently unknown. We will continue to update you on this developing story as more information becomes available.
- Strong Wind, Hail hit Vernon
March 2, 2023: Thursday started off nice enough. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Vernon was hit by strong winds and some serious hail. The wind and hail passed as fast as it had appeared. First responders and Hydro crews were kept busy most of the afternoon cleaning up the mess. BX Fire and Rescue was right in the middle of the mayhem, with two trees coming down in front of their Fire Hall on Silver Star road. Despite the mess, BX continued operating and responding to calls.