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Kamloops  

Sa-Hali secondary reports COVID-19 exposure over four days last week

COVID-19 case at Sa-Hali

Parents of students at Sa-Hali secondary are being warned of potential COVID-19 exposure at the high school over four days last week.

According to the letter, authored by Sa-Hali principal Rachael Sdoutz on Saturday, a positive case was on the school’s campus on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week.

The letter said contact tracing was being carried out by Interior Health.

“The safety and well-being of our students, families and staff remains our highest priority,” Sdoutz said in the letter.

“Please be reassured that our school will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in place so that children can continue to attend school as safely as possible.”

In late January and early February, Sa-Hali recorded more COVID-19 cases than any school in Kamloops. At one point, 15 people had tested positive and 80 per cent of students were staying home.

Sa-Hali has not yet been added to Interior Health’s school exposure list. SD73 schools currently on the list are Chase secondary and Valleyview secondary.



173835


RCMP safely apprehend man in midst of mental health crisis

Peaceful end to situation

A potentially deadly situation between a distraught man and the RCMP was resolved with no injuries.

On May 14 at 6:52 a.m., 100 Mile House RCMP along with North District Provincial Support Team attended to a report of a suicidal man in the Fallsway Road area in Lone Butte.

“It was reported a 38-year-old Caucasian male had gotten violent with family, grabbed a large kitchen knife and exited the residence, entering a travel trailer on the property,” said Staff Sgt. Svend Nilesen.

RCMP arrived on scene and started to talk with the man through the open trailer door. The man responded by leaving the trailer without the knife and had a physical confrontation with police.

“A short struggle ensued where the man was taken to ground and safely apprehended under the Mental Health Act of BC. BC Ambulance was waiting nearby as per usual protocol and completed checks on the male prior to being transported to hospital by the RCMP. The man remains under hospital care with RCMP support,” said Nielsen, adding the man was uninjured during the altercation.

Attending officers suffered some soft tissue damage as a result of the apprehension, but officers determined there was no criminal offence.

“100 Mile House RCMP responded to four consecutive events involving mental health apprehensions or events (Friday) morning, working alongside and with our community partners,” said Nielsen.



Kamloops man maintains he never impersonated police, despite photos posted to social media

'It's clearly not a police car'

UPDATED: 8:54 a.m.

A Kamloops mechanic whose vehicle was removed from the road this week and described by Mounties as a “police lookalike” is maintaining he’s never pretended to be a police officer, despite photos posted on social media appearing to show him in a police uniform.

Dean Bradshaw said he felt unfairly targeted by police this week when his heavily modified BMW X5 had its licence plates seized. When asked by Castanet Kamloops, he specifically denied having ever impersonated a police officer.

When the story was published, a number of readers posted comments including selfie-style photos of Bradshaw wearing what appears to be a police-style uniform.

Bradshaw did not deny the photos were his. He said he wears the uniform for air soft shooting. He also said he’s worn it in the past on Halloween.

“People are calling it a corporal uniform even though I’ve never worn it out and about,” he said.

“The only place I’ve ever worn it is to air soft.”

Bradshaw took issue with another comment, which alleged he has been convicted in the past of impersonating a police officer.

“I don’t have a criminal record reflecting anything like that,” he said.


ORIGINAL STORY: 4 a.m.

A Kamloops man whose vehicle was pulled off the road by Mounties claiming it was a “police lookalike” says he’s frustrated and confused by the experience.

Mechanic Dean Bradshaw drives a heavily modified 2005 BMW X5 — a vehicle that got him pulled over at least three times in the week before his licence plates were seized on Wednesday.

The SUV is decked out with multiple aftermarket lights, a solar panel and a number of antennas, among other modifications.

Police said they took issue with the lights and antennas. Bradshaw’s plates were seized on Wednesday after he visited the Kamloops RCMP’s Battle Street detachment because he thought he had to get police to sign off on an inspection report from a previous fix. He said he was confused after being pulled over multiple times.

According to police, Bradshaw was questioned about the equipment. When he said it was work-related, Mounties called in Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement investigators and the BMW was thoroughly inspected before being pulled off the road.

“They threw the book at me, and I’d just had an inspection done not too long ago,” Bradshaw told Castanet Kamloops. “It’s ridiculous.”

Bradshaw said investigators gave him an especially hard time about two specific modifications — a horizontal light bar in his back window and an array of antennas on the roof near the back of his BMW.

The light bar in the back window does resemble one that might be seen on a police cruiser, as do the antennas.

Bradshaw said the light bar is used to alert traffic when he’s pulled over helping to fix a vehicle on the side of the road. It is amber, he said, and does not light up blue or red.

The antennas, he said, are for the radio he uses for work, where he has to stay in touch with tow-truck drivers.

“And people can see it’s a BMW,” he said. “It’s clearly not a police car. It’s not a police vehicle.”

Other modifications include a built-in dash cam beneath the rear-view mirror, LED lights mounted to the hood and a chrome bull bar.

Kamloops Mounties issued a news release on Friday about Bradshaw’s vehicle, describing it as a “police lookalike.”

Bradshaw said he was very surprised to see news stories about his predicament. He messaged Castanet Kamloops on Facebook and asked to tell his side of the story.

“I was upset,” he said.

“I feel attacked. They might not have named me, but the fact they said I had a ‘police lookalike’ vehicle, it’s upsetting.”

Bradshaw said he was pulled over by police on Saturday and Tuesday, and again on Wednesday morning, about an hour before he went to the RCMP detachment to get his notice signed.

When asked, Bradshaw said he's never posed as a police officer or tried to pull anyone over.

"No uniform," he said. "I wear dirty clothes."

Bradshaw said he’s spoken to a lawyer about his situation. He said his main objective now is getting the BMW, his only vehicle, back on the road — which means a lot of work to address the issues noted Wednesday by CVSE.

“With how much money I make and with COVID, it’s going to be a month — maybe more,” he said.

“It sucks.”



173835


Kamloops Mountie had Columbine on her mind while responding to school where youth worker was arrested, judge told

Officer thinking Columbine

One of two police officers being sued for excessive force for her part in the 2010 arrest of a youth worker outside a Kamloops school had the Columbine shooting on her mind while the arrest took place, a judge has been told.

Mike McLellan is suing two former Kamloops Mounties — constables Evan Elgee and Carla Peters — as well as the RCMP and the provincial and federal governments for physical and emotional injuries he claims to have suffered as a result of the violent arrest more than 11 years ago. The civil trial is ongoing in B.C. Supreme Court.

McLellan was 31 in 2010 and working as a youth worker. Court has heard he was at Twin Rivers Education Centre on Holt Street because one of his clients, a teenaged student at the school, was in possession of a knife and had threatened a teacher.

Testifying on Friday, Peters, who retired from the RCMP for unrelated medical reasons in 2017, said she recalled hearing a tone alert ahead of the call sending her to TREC. Tone alerts are audible tones played on police radios by dispatchers to alert officers to a serious incident — typically robberies in progress, shots fired or serious assaults.

Peters said she heard the dispatcher say a student at TREC was armed with a knife and had threatened to cut a teacher’s throat — which sent her mind to the Columbine school shooting, which saw a pair of teenaged gunmen open fire on classmates and staff in their Littleton, Colo., high school in 1999, killing 15 and injuring 24 others.

“I was instantly fearful for the students and teachers and public at the school, along with all of the [RCMP] members, including myself,” she said.

“Any time there is a weapon like that at a school, it chills you. Immediately, my mind went to Columbine.”

Peters said the information that came through from dispatch indicated the suspect was wearing a black jacket — reaffirming Columbine in her mind. She said in court she was aware the Columbine shooters were wearing dark trench coats when they went on their murderous spree.

“When I heard the suspect had on a black leather jacket, I thought that was concerning,” Peters said.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves asked Peters to clarify her testimony.

“That was in Colorado — and they had guns, not knives,” he said.

“Correct,” Peters replied. “They were heavily armed.”

Peters said she arrived at the scene and saw two men — McLellan and his client — standing behind a vehicle in the parking lot.

“From my vantage point, they looked the same to me,” she said. “I couldn’t distinguish who was who. … It wasn’t clear to me who was the student and who was the care worker at that time.”

Peters said she pulled her gun and directed the man closest to her, who turned out to be McLellan, to get on the ground.

Peters said she then placed her knee on McLellan’s shoulder and handcuffed him. She said she then searched him, helped him to his feet, uncuffed him and told him he was free to go.

Lawyer David Bilkey asked Peters why she handled the situation the way she did — specifically why she opted to act first and ask questions later.

“Anytime there’s a weapon involved, such as a knife — and given that it’s at a school during school hours, there’s been a threat made already, there’s a teacher that is fearful for their safety — it’s very high risk to responding members, and it’s important that we get it right with our actions and respond so that everybody is safe,” Peters said.

“I needed to get control of that situation quickly. I could not get out of my car and walk behind the car where they were standing and start a conversation with them. That’s not how I was trained.”

Under cross-examination from lawyer Karen Schymon-Martin, Peters admitted the situation might not have appeared tense when police arrived at TREC. But, she said, that doesn’t mean it was safe.

“Just because I get there and things are calm doesn’t mean there’s still not a risk at that time,” she said.

Schymon-Martin suggested Peters rushed her response needlessly and did not take the time to ask McLellan his name or whether he had a knife. Peters admitted she did not ask McLellan his name or whether he had a knife before placing him in handcuffs, but she denied cutting any corners.

“I had to take control of the suspect,” Peters said.

“They were in between me and that school. I didn’t know what the relationship was between the two men, what the conversation was before we arrived. I didn’t know if one of them would turn around with a knife and run back into that school.”

At one point during Peters' cross-examination, Groves interjected with a pointed remark.

"I'm at a loss as to why you didn't ask his name," the judge said.

"I'm directing him, I'm telling him what to do and I'm very aware of my safety," Peters replied.

"There are two high-risk takedowns going on [McLellan and the teen]. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on around me and there's a lot to take in."

Peters’ story differs from that of McLellan, who described an officer “jumping” onto his back after ordering him to the ground, striking him with a knee and then violently picking him up and dropping him while patting him down.

Court has heard McLellan has been largely unable to work since the incident, and has been homeless at times.

McLellan’s chronic pain doctor testified on Thursday and said he expects McLellan to be in pain for the rest of his life.

Elgee was one of three Mounties charged following a high-profile incident in 2010 in which a number of police officers and guards watched two drunk female prisoners engage in sex acts in a jail cell at the Kamloops RCMP detachment, one of whom Peters had arrested. Charges against Elgee were stayed before trial.

Another Mountie implicated in the sex-in-cells incident, Const. Steve Zaharia, is expected to testify for the defendants next week. Elgee is also expected to testify next week.

The civil trial is slated to conclude next week.



The family of slain brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer share their grief

Deceased were kind, gentle

The family of slain Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer are speaking out.

The family issued a statement Friday, days after their bodies were discovered Monday in the Naramata Creek area.

"Carlo and Erick Fryer were beloved family members," the statement began.

"Erick was kind, generous, athletic and the first person to help his family and friends. He was the big brother that all his siblings wanted to hang out with. He was a son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew and solid friend.

"Carlo was sweet, gentle and an all-star baseball player. He was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was a son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew and solid friend.

"Our family is devastated by this tragic loss and wants the boys to be remembered as the happy, and amazing family members that they were."

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for Carlo's daughter.

The bodies of the two men were discovered by hikers on Monday, however, the discovery was not made public until Tuesday.

RCMP investigators have called their deaths a "targeted killing."



Boy, 14, dies after crashing ATV near 100 Mile House

Teen killed on ATV

A 14-year-old boy has died from injuries suffered in a serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House Friday afternoon.

RCMP say they were called out along with 100 Mile House Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance Service for a report of a serious crash on Tatton Station Road approximately 17 kilometres from another marked forest service road.

Witnesses indicated the boy had been quadding with a group of friends when he was involved in a serious single-vehicle collision.

Other people in the area came to assist the group and used a CB radio to call 911.

Efforts were made at hospital to revive the boy, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

Police say they have cleared the initial scene and have seized the ATV for mechanical inspection.

Contact has also been made with Peter Skene Ogden Secondary where the boy went to school to allow them time to arrange for support for students and friends.



Internet speeds in Clinton increased thanks to provincially funded program

Internet speeds increased

A small community near Kamloops will be more connected thanks to a provincial program aimed at improving internet access for all British Columbians.

ABC Communications recently completed a last-mile wireless network in Clinton, serving more than 320 homes and businesses. The network is expected to offer a substantial upgrade for those in the community.

“Whether you’re a rancher, artist or someone keen on exploring your community or family history, fast, reliable internet access can help you do many of the things you enjoy most,” Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, said in a news release.

“With the completion of this project in Clinton, the Connecting British Columbia program has succeeded in bringing high-speed internet access to a vibrant, rural community. Together, we will continue to move forward on our mission to bring the benefits of connectivity to British Columbians in every corner of the province.”

The program was funded by a $16-million contribution from Victoria.

“The improved internet speed and reliability has definitely made working from home as an online marketer for small business much easier,” said Jordan Johnston, owner of Razzle Marketing in Clinton.

“Since COVID-19, small business owners have needed more help than ever to get online, and without our newly reliable internet, I would not have been able to serve them as efficiently.”

The ABC work in Clinton cost $668,000, half of which was covered by the provincial government.



'Police lookalike' vehicle taken off Kamloops streets, Mounties say

Fake cop car impounded

A vehicle described as a “police lookalike,” complete with emergency lights and antennas, has been taken off Kamloops streets, Mounties say.

According to police, the vehicle’s owner showed up at the RCMP detachment on Wednesday with a notice he’d received from the province requiring him to make changes and repairs. RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said the vehicle had been outfitted with “police-style equipment” including lighting and antennas.

The man told officers he needed the equipment for work, so Mounties called in Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers to take a look.

“A number of deficiencies were observed, requiring its removal from the roadway and the seizure of its licence plates,” Evelyn said.

The vehicle was then impounded.

RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley, operations officer at the Kamloops detachment, said the incident is troubling for police, especially given recent incidents elsewhere in B.C. where civilians have been caught posing as Mounties.

“It’s concerning to police and to the community whenever someone has outfitted a vehicle in a way that can be believed to be a police vehicle,” he said.



Water main break in Rose Hill means no water for the community, and some residents in Juniper

No water until midnight

UPDATE: 3:23 p.m.

The City of Kamloops says it has workers on scene and service is expected to be restored by midnight.


ORIGINAL STORY: 1:28 p.m.

A number of Kamloops homes are without water on Friday afternoon after a water main break in Rose Hill, according to the city.

In a news release, the City of Kamloops said residents in Rose Hill, as well as on Balsam Place, Aster Court and Lupin Court in Juniper Ridge, are without water.

The outage is not affecting the Hidden Valley Mobile Home Park.

The city said crews are en route and an estimated time of restored service would be provided when known.



City receives grant funding to help cover cost of flood mitigation work in Riverside Park

$750K for flood mitigation

The City of Kamloops has received $750,000 in grant funding for flood mitigation work at Riverside Park — money the city says will be used to protect the park and critical infrastructure from high waters.

“Creating a permanent flood barrier will reduce the amount of municipal and provincial resources required to protect our infrastructure and allow the province to redeploy some of those resources to other communities,” Greg Wightman, the city’s utilities services manager, said in a news release.

“The project provides the opportunity to incorporate accessibility and other improvements to the Rivers Trail while increasing the protection of our critical infrastructure.”

The city intends to use the money to raise the grade of the Rivers Trail sidewalk through the park and complete bank stabilization near the Riverside Park pier, building on work done in 2018 on an emergency basis.

A raised grade in the park would prevent the need for temporary diking, which is what the city has done in recent years when high waters have threatened the park.

The grant funding is part of money doled out by the province from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.

Work on the project is expected to get underway in the coming months.



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