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Vernon  

Enforcement of commercial food scrap ban pushed to 2022

Food scrap ban delayed

The Regional District of North Okanagan has delayed implementation of a food scraps ban for commercial organizations.

The six-month delay is to provide some relief to North Okanagan businesses during this coronavirus pandemic, the regional district says.

Diverting food scraps from landfills can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate valuable compost, the RDNO says in a press release.

There are also opportunities for cost savings in reducing the waste institutions generate.

However, diverting food scraps is no small undertaking for many organizations. The process involves getting staff involved at every level as well as investment in collection equipment and logistics for transporting or processing the food scraps.

“While this is an important initiative to keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills, we acknowledge that businesses are facing complicated challenges from COVID-19. We hope this will be one less thing to worry about in the short term as we all adjust to the new normal,” said Kevin Acton, RDNO chair.

Inability for outreach during COVID-19 restrictions also led to the decision.

"It is well understood that many organizations are facing immense challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," the RDNO said in pushing the expected initial enforcement period back to Jan. 1, 2022.





Spallumcheen reopens municipal office to walk-in business

Town hall back in business

The Township of Spallumcheen is back open for walk-in business.

The municipal office reopened this week, with WorkSafe BC protocols limiting the number of people in the foyer to just two.

"If there are people are inside, please wait outside until such time as the holding area just inside the door becomes available," the municipality says.

Visitors are asked to use the hand sanitizer station, wait at the green X and only approach the counter when available.

Mayor Christine Fraser says filling out paperwork in advance can help attendance go smoothly.

Residents can email the township in advance and any documents required will be forwarded.

Meanwhile, roadside mowing is expected to commence in June, and the Back Enderby Road paving project is scheduled for July.



Desert Cove resident catches bear on video in her backyard

Backyard bear is back

Another brown bear has been seen roaming a North Okanagan neighbourhood – and this time it was caught on video.

The Desert Cove area at the head of Okanagan Lake has been a hotspot for bears recently, as there were sightings of a black bear and brown bear two weeks ago, and a separate brown bear was spotted in the same neighbourhood last week.

In this instance, the bear was wandering through the backyard of Sheri Okrainetz about 8:30 a.m. Monday, and she was lucky to get a warning before it showed up.

Okrainetz shared the video on the Hell Yeah Vernon! Facebook page.

"Our dog was freaking out about five minutes before it showed up," she says. "So we put him in the house, and then the bear came."

Okrainetz also said a bear also ventured into their yard some time on Friday night.

"It came in and knocked over our bird feeder," she added. "So we put the feeder away."



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City of Vernon spent $26 million in 2019 on staff payroll

Who makes most at city hall?

The City of Vernon has disclosed its council and staff payroll for 2019, showing over $26 million in total payments for the last calendar year.

A total of 133 employees made more than $75,000 last year, including 52 individuals who made the "sunshine list" with over $100,000 in pay.

Chief administrative officer Will Pearce was at the top of that list, earning $219,868, with another $9,453 in expenses.

Second place went to director of corporate services and deputy CAO Patti Bridal, who made $162,843 in 2019, with $5,003 in expenses.

Recently retired director of operation services Shirley Koenig was close behind in third place, with $161,219, and another $272 in expenses.

In terms of the council payroll, the city shelled out a total of $306,799 in total payments, which includes expenses. Mayor Victor Cumming made $88,909 last year, along with an extra $4,694 in expenses.

Kari Gares was the lowest paid councillor at $32,288, with councillors Brian Quiring and Akbal Mund making the most at $33,393. Councillor Scott Anderson had the highest expense bill at $5,692, with Gares in second place at $4,206.



Police make arrest, recover stolen truck up King Eddy logging road

Stolen truck runs out of fuel

Police recovered a stolen truck after the thief ran out of fuel up a forest service road east of Vernon.

The culprit was arrested Friday after the diesel pickup was stolen from a home in Coldstream about 3 a.m.

The noise of the truck starting up awoke the owner, who called police.

Officers responded to the area, but were unsuccessful in stopping the truck, which took off on Highway 6.

The owner advised police the vehicle had very little fuel and probably wouldn’t make it too far before running out of gas, says Vernon RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tania Finn.

Later that morning, the owner decided to drive up King Edward Forest Service Road in Lavington, to see if the vehicle had been abandoned, and saw the truck parked on the side of the road with a man in the driver’s seat. So as not to alert the suspect, the owner drove a safe distance away and alerted police.

With the assistance of Police Dog Services, officers surrounded the vehicle and took the man into custody without incident.

A 40-year-old man from Nakusp is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of break-in instruments. He appeared before a justice and was released from custody on conditions, pending his next court date.



Predator Ridge opens golf courses, trails and more

Predator golf, trails open

With everybody looking to take advantage of the great outdoors, Predator Ridge is offering some green space for the public to enjoy.

Predator's golf courses are now open for members, and they are hoping to open up to the public in early June. It has been a slow start to the season, but with summer weather and the province's phased reopening plan the resort expects its courses to be in full swing soon.

35 kilometres of hiking trails and 13 kilometres of biking trails are now open, along with tennis and pickleball facilities. Currently the tennis and pickleball courts are only open to members, but are expected to be open for public use in June. Wineries, beaches and access to the Okanagan Rail Trail are also available.

Predator Ridge is also working to open their accommodations for the third phase of the B.C. government's reopening plan, which also has an expected June date. They are designing specialty flexible activity packages centred around their property's amenities.

The resort's restaurants have been offering local delivery and curbside pickup during the pandemic, and continue to do so, and they hope to reopen their seating spaces soon.

For more information on Predator Ridge's activities and planned reopening, you can visit their Community Resources page.



Highway 97A reopen after head-on vehicle collision in Enderby

Hwy 97A open after collision

UPDATE: 4:40 p.m.

Highway 97A is now open in both directions between Fortune Rd and King Ave. 


UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

Highway 97A remains closed in both directions in Enderby following a two-vehicle collision.

The 0.8 kilometre stretch of road between Fortune Rd and King Ave will remain closed until further notice.

An assessment is in progress, and a detour is in effect.


UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

A two-vehicle collision is the cause of the Highway 97A closure in Enderby Sunday morning.

At approximately 7 a.m., officers responded to a call regarding a head-on collision in the 100 block of George Street.

"Given the seriousness of the collision, the RCMP Integrated Collision Analyst and Reconstructionist Services have been called out to assist with the investigation," says Cpl Tania Finn, Media Relations Officer with the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.

The drivers of both vehicles have been taken to the hospital with serious non-life threatening injuries. Both vehicles had no passengers on board.

Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash, and northbound traffic is being re-routed at Fortune Road and southbound traffic at Knight Avenue.


ORIGINAL: 8:25 a.m.

Highway 97A is closed in both directions due to a vehicle incident in Enderby.

The closure began shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday morning between Fortune Road and King Avenue.

Currently there is an assessment in progress, and a detour is in effect.

Castanet will update the story once more information becomes available.



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