RCMP say 60 thefts from cars reported in first three weeks of October

Thefts from cars decrease

There have been 60 thefts from motor vehicles reported so far in October, according to statistics from Kamloops RCMP.

The past two weeks have seen a decrease in the number of thefts from cars. There were 16 thefts reported from Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, and another 16 thefts from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24.

In the first full week of October, there were 28 such thefts reported.

From Oct. 11 to Oct. 24, there have been 12 thefts from cars downtown, including a cluster of four parked near Riverside Park, on Lorne Street between First and Third Avenue.

There were seven thefts reported from cars parked on the North Shore.

Three such thefts happened in Sahali, and two near Thompson Rivers University.

Two thefts from cars were reported from Valleyview.

Two thefts happened in Westsyde, and one in Batchelor Heights.

One theft occurred while the vehicle was parked in the Juniper Ridge area.


Lack of international visitors at Sun Peaks still a concern: mayor

Sun Peaks wants int'l guests

A lack of international visitors to Sun Peaks continues to present a concern for the municipality, according to Mayor Al Raine.

Speaking at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District committee of the whole meeting last week, Raine said about 35 per cent of overnight visitors to Sun Peaks typically come from outside the country.

“That market was lost ever since March 2020. And we’re still a little bit concerned about how that’s going to open up,” he said.

“Certainly looking at the forecast for this winter, it’s obvious that foreign visitors are not pre-booking. So as the rules relax, we’re hoping that we’re going to see some of our Australian, New Zealand, American guests coming back, but it’s a bit of a concern.”

Band leaders might invite Pope Francis to visit Tk'emlups

Tk'emlups to invite Pope?

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc band is crafting a statement, expected to be released Thursday morning, regarding news that Pope Francis intends to visit Canada to help reconciliation efforts with the nation’s Indigenous population.

On Wednesday, the Vatican announced the Pope has accepted an invitation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to visit the country on a date yet to be determined.

Tk’emlúps spokesperson Racelle Kooy said chief and council are crafting a statement of response, which may include a request for the Pope to visit the band.

Kooy said she expects the statement to include the request, but is not sure yet as nothing has been confirmed. She said she has reminded council of what the band has asked for to date and that council determines what else it wishes to request from the Pope’s visit.

Tk’emlúps Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir has called for an apology from Pope Francis to survivors of residential schools, and their families, for the church’s role in the abuses First Nations students were subjected to while attending the Catholic-run residential schools — which is recommendation number 58 of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.

The band demanded the papal apology in May, after it announced it had discovered signs of 200 probable, unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School using a ground-penetrating radar survey, generating international attention. The May announcement led to further GPR searches, which yielded more signs of probable graves at other residential school sites in B.C. and Saskatchewan over the summer.

To date, Tk’emlúps has not yet done any excavation at the site to confirm if remains are there.

Following Tk’emlups’ announcement, Francis expressed sorrow over the “shocking discovery,” but has stopped short of issuing a direct apology for the church’s role in the resident school system.

On June 6, Francis issued an appeal to political and religious authorities of Canada to work together to shed light on the matter and commit to “a path of reconciliation and healing”

In a tweet, he also called “for everyone to turn away from the colonial model and walk side by side in dialogue, mutual respect and recognition of the rights and cultural values of all the daughters and sons of Canada,” but did not mention Indigenous peoples specifically.

The band’s May announcement has led to apologies, however, from various denominations of the Catholic Church, including the Vancouver archdiocese and the Kamloops dioceses.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School closed in 1978. From the early 1800s to 1969, it was operated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which in recent months issued an apology for its role in residential schools, as has The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

From 1969 to 1978, the school was operated by the federal government.

In a statement, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Roseanne Archibald said she will welcome Pope Francis when he arrives to “issue a long overdue apology to survivors and intergenerational trauma survivors.”

Archibald is also calling on the Catholic Church to make a number of reparations, including returning diocese land properties to First Nations, on whose traditional lands the church sits, and to make an investment in long-term healing initiatives beyond a recent commitment of $30 million from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A Canadian delegation of national Indigenous organizations is expected to visit the Pope in mid-December at the Vatican.

The Pope’s visit to Canada is not expected to occur before the end of the year.

Canada’s residential schools were created in a bid to assimilate Indigenous children and were operated, on behalf of the federal government, by a number of Christian organizations, the majority of which were Catholic Church entities. The first institutions opened in the mid-19th century and the last closed in 1996.


Drivers warned of more snow at Coquihalla summit

More snow for Coquihalla

More snow is expected to fall on the Coquihalla Highway today and tonight.

Environment Canada has held a special weather statement in place after initially warning about up to 20 centimetres near the summit overnight Tuesday.

“An unstable westerly flow will bring snow near the Coquihalla summit today through tonight. The snow will be at times mixed with rain near the summit, and remain as rain over lower elevations of the route,” Environment Canada said in Wednesday morning's updated statement.

“Snowfall accumulations will depend greatly on the exact snow level, but could range from 10 to 20 cm by Thursday morning.”

Drivers are being advised of suddenly changing and hazardous conditions.

First Nations acquire 140-acre property near YKA from Ottawa

Bands gain land near airport

Two local First Nations are weighing their options after acquiring a 140-acre parcel of land adjacent to Kamloops Airport — property that previously belonged to the federal government.

St’kemlupsemc te Secwepemc (SSN), the collective name for the Tk’emlups and Skeetchestn First Nations, has hired a design firm to put together “a conceptual land-use plan” for the area.

According to SSN, which announced the acquisition in a newsletter, the property includes a number of buildings.

“This parcel of land was used as an agricultural research station for 80 years and closed its operations in 2013,” the newsletter item read.

“Since that time, the SSN has been engaged with the federal government over the disposition of this land and indicated its interest in having the land returned to its original owners.”

SSN said the transfer was confirmed by government officials earlier this month. The bands have not yet decided what to do with the land.

“SSN acknowledges Canada’s commitment to reconciliation through the return of this beautiful parcel of land and buildings that can still be used and occupied,” the item read.

“The SSN has retained a design firm to develop a conceptual land-use plan and is excited to engage SSN members in determining the future land use and signing ceremony.”

The details of the transfer have not yet been announced.

Long-standing Lower Mainland business Scoop-n-Save moves to Kamloops

New store for Scoop-n-Save

A long-standing Lower Mainland business has put down new roots in Kamloops.

Jayden Sepe, who co-owns cake decorating supply store Scoop-n-Save with her mother Brenda Scott, said the business has been operating for over 37 years, moving from Surrey to Langley during that time. The grand opening of their new North Kamloops storefront was on Oct. 23.

Sepe said Scoop-n-Save sells everything a professional or amateur baker needs to construct the perfect cookie or cake.

“From the professional bakers who want to challenge themselves more, to the stay at home parent who wants to make their kid's birthday cake, we have everything,” Sepe said.

The mother-daughter team said the decision to move their business came after Sepe and her husband moved to Barriere about a year ago.

Sepe said she was working remotely from Barriere while Scott and their team were running the store in Langley.

“There was always talk about them moving up here as well, and us moving the store,” Sepe said.

Scott said she found a home in Heffley Creek, and decided to make the move.

A few months later, the pair found their new location, which is at 1800 Tranquille Road in North Kamloops.

“It just felt right,” Sepe said, adding that one of their employees also ended up following them to Kamloops as well.

Sepe and Scott have co-owned Scoop-n-Save for five years.

“Jayden had been working there for the previous owner, and she wanted to sell, and she wasn't going to sell it to just anybody, she wanted somebody else that was going to love it and nurture it the way she had,” Scott said.

“Jayden phoned me at work one day and said, ‘So mom, do you want to buy a store?’ I was, at the time, wanting to retire from what I was doing. So that's how we [started] doing this. It's been great.”

Scott said people have asked why they haven’t kept the Langley store while opening a second location in Kamloops, and while the financial aspect would have been difficult — especially during COVID — she said it’s nice to be a small store, “where customers are number one.”

“If you have too many stores, then you're busy running around, trying to manage everything. Whereas this, you can just put your heart and soul into the one place and enjoy it,” Scott said.

Scoop-n-Save allows for online orders, a way for their clientele who live in the Lower Mainland to continue shopping from the business.

“There's definitely repeat customers already from Langley who have already placed multiple orders,” Sepe said.

“It was nice to know that we can still have all of those customers down in Langley and ship, but still have our storefront now open.”

In the future, Sepe and Scott said they plan to host classes at the store for those who want to learn new cake or cookie decorating techniques, something they did in Langley as well.

“We'll hopefully build a classroom in the back area and be able to host classes from local teachers, as well as down the road, we do want to bring in international teachers,” Sepe said.

“Every well-known cake artist or cookie artist, they always have their specific techniques and just learning those different techniques from each teacher is fun.”

Kamloops dog owner invents practical, stylish dog poop caddy

Local invents poop caddy

A Kamloops dog owner is taking dog walking to the next level with the invention of a stylish yet practical poop caddy.

Nicole Duff, the founder of Walk Star, said she had been caught with poop in her hand more times than she’s wanted.

“I would be stuck walking the dogs with full poop bags,” Duff said.

“Then running into a neighbour or something and standing there having a chat with a stinky poo bag — or two in my hand — or accidentally waving to a neighbour with a poo bag in my hand.”

The idea for the Walk Star caddy, a collapsible silicone container that clips to a leash and conceals your full dog poop bags, came to her on a walk with her dogs.

“It was basically just born out of necessity,” she explained.

“I was walking my dogs all the time and always struggling to find a garbage can to put the full poop bag in and there was nothing.”

She said she had looked for a product like Walk Star but couldn’t find anything, which is when she decided to make one herself.

“I went to all the pet stores and couldn't find anything,” Duff said.

“I thought, 'This is crazy that there's not something for this,' and I thought, 'I’m going to make it because obviously there's an unfilled niche.'”

Since the summer launch of the product, Duff said the support has been overwhelming.

“My husband and I have just been filling orders like from the time we get off work to the time we go to bed, and it's been exhilarating and kind of surreal,” she said.

The caddy launched online, but Duff said local support has been even greater.

“We're just so happy with all of the local support,” Duff said.

“It's felt really good.”

The Walk Star is currently only available in black, but Duff said the next step will be expanding available colours.

The Walk Star caddy costs $22.99. Kamloops residents can pick up their orders in town for free or have it shipped to them.

Vehicle impounded, driver ticketed for excessive speeding: RCMP

100 km/h on Seymour Street

An SUV was impounded over the weekend after it was clocked doing more than 100 km/h on Seymour Street, police say.

Mounties conducting patrols downtown tried to pull the Jeep over on Lansdowne Street just before 10:30 p.m. on Saturday after it was spotted speeding, RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said in a news release.

“Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it allegedly accelerated to speeds more than 50 km’h over the limit on Seymour Street near First Avenue,” she said.

The vehicle eventually stopped for police. Evelyn said the driver was handed a 24-hour driving prohibition and a ticket for excessive speeding, while the Jeep was seized for a seven-day impound.

Family-friendly show among upcoming offerings from KSO

Family-friendly show at KSO

The Kamloops Symphony will be taking the stage for two different November shows.

Both shows will take place at the Sagebrush Theatre.

Van Django & KSO is a pops concert playing Nov. 5 and Nov. 6.

Van Django & KSO features the band Van Django from Vancouver as guest artists. Van Django has been performing since 1998 and have toured extensively in Canada as well as international forays into the U.S., Europe, and China. KSO said the experience of one of their shows has been described as “the most fun you can have sitting down.”

This show is about 70 minutes long with no intermission. Tickets start at $15

The Nov. 6 performance will be streamed online until Dec. 5 for a $15 viewing charge.

The Wild Orchestra is family-friendly concert that will feature illustrations by Kamloops artist Susan Mark, inspired by Jean de Brunhoff’s book L’histoire de Babar. Mark’s illustrations will be projected behind the musicians to enhance the performance.

The Wild Orchestra will play Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The concert is approximately 55 minutes long with no intermission, the second performance will also be live streamed.

In-person and live stream tickets can be purchased here, stating at $15.

Merritt-area mining company fined $2,000 for failing to submit annual monitoring reports, province says

Fine for mining company

A mining company near Merritt has been fined for neglecting to submit annual monitoring reports on time, according to the provincial government.

Environmental Compliance BC’s website states that Huldra Properties Inc. — which has operated under the name Nicola Mining Inc. since 2015, according to a news release on the mining company’s website — was handed a $2,000 administrative penalty in July of this year.

“HPI failed to comply with their permit by failing to submit their 2018 and 2019 annual monitoring reports on time and failed to provide adequate analysis of the results,” the province said.

According to Environmental Compliance BC, the company owns a mill, a tailings facility and two mining operations — Treasure Mountain and Craigmont — in the Merritt area.

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