Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm Fire Department called to the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday

Hospital fire in one room

UPDATE 9:35 a.m.

A fire at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday evening was limited to a single room and only the second floor of the hospital had to be evacuated because of the incident.

Salmon Arm Deputy Fire Chief Gary Lebeter said crews were called to the hospital at 7:15 p.m., but when they arrived, the fire-suppression sprinkler system had already put out the flames.

Lebeter said there was one patient in the room, and he was safely evacuated from the area.

“There was a fair bit of water and smoke damage in the room,” said Lebeter. “Our crews helped staff and ambulance move all the patients up to the fourth floor.”

Fire crews also helped get the water turned off to prevent more damage and they ventilated smoke from the floor.

Lebeter said having a fire in a hospital is quite concerning, but fortunately there were no injuries to patients or staff.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


There are reports the Salmon Arm Fire Department was called to the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday night.

A tweet from the @Shuswapscanner said crews from fire halls two, three and four were called to the hospital on 10th Street SE.

There are unconfirmed reports the fire suppression sprinkler system was activated in at least part of the building.

Castanet will have more details as soon as they become available.


Mike Hall of Rust Bros. is holding another auction to sell off a bevy of classic cars

Rust Bros. auction - again

Mike Hall is holding another auction.

The Rust Valley Restorers reality TV star held a massive auction last year in a bid to clear his land of the hundreds of cars he had collected over several decades.

Hall, who also operates Rust Bros., is once again teaming up with cohort Avery Shoaf to auction more classic cars Oct. 1-2 in Tappen, where the show is based.

The no reserve auction is being conducted by EG Auctions and a list of what is up for grabs can be found here.

Some hard-to-find iron will be auctioned off includes a '68 Plymouth Satellite Sport, '65 Valiant convertible, rust-free 1970 Roadrunner with a 383, '66 Cyclone GT convertible, an El Camino, 65 Beaumont convertible and other items ranging from ATVs to work trucks.

“We've lost our storage yard so I am putting on one more auction,” said Hall in a video promoting the auction. “Some of the stuff I sold at the last auction and bought back and a bunch of other stuff I didn't want to let go or couldn't let go. Some of my personal favourites are coming up on the block.”

Water from the Cedar Heights Water System is now safe to consume

Boil water notice lifted

The boil water notice for users of the Cedar Heights Water System has been rescinded.

The notice was issued Sept. 14 due to higher-than-acceptable levels of bacteria in recent water samples.

However, officials with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said Thursday, Sept. 22 the system is safe.

Water samples from the system confirm bacteria levels in the water are within acceptable levels and water form the Cedar Heights system is safe to drink.

As such, Interior Health has lifted the Boil Water Notice.


Pile of bear paws in Shuswap last year belonged to taxidermist

Bear paw pile case solved


The BC Conservation Officer Service says they have solved the case of a large pile of skinned bear paws found on the side of a dirt road in the Shuswap last year.

The paws were found by a passerby in May 2021, along Forest Road 695, in the Anglemont Mountain area.

Roughly 100 paws, equating to 25 bears, were found. Video posted to social media shocked the public.

On Thursday, the BC Conservation Officer Service said an investigation has found the paws inadvertently fell out of the back of a taxidermist's truck while traveling. The taxidermist was in legal possession of them.

“The person responsible has been cooperative in the investigation and the resolution by making a substantial voluntary donation to the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s Watershed Stewardship Guardian Program; the territory where the incident occurred,” BCCOS said.

The donation was in lieu of a $115 littering charge and “far exceeds” the fine amount. It will help train the Guardian Program “to keep their community safe, and wildlife wild, by reducing bear conflicts in their community through training in bear awareness, public safety and attractant management.”

The BCCOS emphasized that the incident was not linked to an illegal black market operation of any type.

“We understand the public is passionate about wildlife and recognize this scene was alarming and concerning to many Indigenous communities, British Columbians and others,” said acting chief conservation officer Cam Schley.

“We hope the conclusion of this investigation, which confirms this was not related to poaching, helps alleviate distress and bring closure to the public.”

Vernon photographer captures stunning images of white pelicans on Shuswap Lake

Pelicans in the Shuswap

Former Vernon educator and current photographer extraordinaire Tom Skinner took a trip to the Shuswap recently where he found a flock of white pelicans.

“Everywhere I looked I saw something fascinating,” Skinner said of his most recent trip to Salmon Arm.

“The Pelicans were in very shallow water and split into small groups to try to catch fish. One pic shows a group splitting into a circle.”

While pelicans may seem out of place for the Shuswap, they can be seen in the Salmon Arm area as well as the North Okanagan every year.

“In the summertime, there are often pelicans on Shuswap Lake right at Salmon Arm,” said Skinner. “About 50 per cent of the world's white pelican population are found between British Columbia and Manitoba.”

White Pelican Provincial Park is located on Stum Lake in the Chilcotin region of B.C. and the big birds stop in the region on their way to and from the lake.

According to the park's website, the lake is closed to the public from March 1 to Aug. 31 every year to protect the white pelican nesting colony.

Canoeing, boating, hunting, trapping, discharge of firearms, aircraft operation below 600 metres in elevation and aircraft landing are prohibited on Stum Lake due to the birds nesting there, the only nesting colony in British Columbia.

The big birds are very sensitive to disturbances which can result in the loss of all young. Pelican viewing opportunities exist at Nazko Lake Park and in other lakes in the Chilcotin.

Salmon Arm RCMP said Shiean Black Kettle has been located

Missing woman found

A missing Shuswap woman has been located.

Salmon Arm RCMP said Shiean Black Kettle, who was reported missing on Sept. 2, has been found.

Police said Black Kettle was located safe and sound over the weekend.

Alternate Approval Process allows CSRD to move ahead with North Shuswap Health Centre Financial Contribution Service Area.

Health care funds approved

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) has obtained preliminary public assent by Alternative Approval Process to proceed with the establishment of the North Shuswap Health Centre Financial Contribution Service Area.

The annual costs to support the operation of the North Shuswap Health Centre will be recovered through the collection of taxes levied against the value of land and improvements for those properties within the boundaries of Electoral Area F (North Shuswap).

The Alternative Approval Process required 10 per cent of eligible voters formally indicate their opposition by signature, for the process to fail without proceeding to referendum. The 10 per cent threshold was not achieved.

As per the Local Government Act, the CSRD must receive the approval of the electors before it can adopt bylaws to establish a service levy or incur long-term debt.

The Alternative Approval Process was selected by the CSRD Board as the legal mechanism to consult the electorate on this matter.

The new levy means the average home in Electoral Area F with an assessed value of $410,968, will see an additional $25.16 added to their 2023 tax notice to support the North Shuswap Health Centre, if the Board adopts Bylaw No. 5848, 2022.

The official results will be presented to the board of directors at the Sept. 22 regular meeting.

Now that public assent has been achieved, the bylaw will be brought back to the CSRD board for formal ratification.

Shiean Black Kettle who was reported missing on Sept. 2, may have been seen in Vernon

Missing Salmon Arm woman

Salmon Arm RCMP is seeking public assistance in locating Shiean Black Kettle, who was reported missing on Sept. 2.

Black Kettle was last seen in the Vernon area in early August.

Black Kettle is an Indigenous female, 28 years old, five-feet eight-inches tall, 130 pounds with brown eyes and dyed blonde or purple hair.

Black Kettle has multiple tattoos including a distinctive cross on top of her left hand.

Police said since Black Kettle’s disappearance, they have followed up on several leads and possible sightings, however she remains missing. It is possible Black Kettle is travelling, or has travelled to Quesnel, or Prince George.

Police are very concerned for Black Kettle’s health and well-being and friends and family report that it is out of character for her to be out of contact for this long.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Black Kettle is urged to contact the Salmon Arm RCMP, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Tactical officers help arrest wanted man in Salmon Arm

Man arrested after standoff

Tactical police officers were called to help capture a fugitive in the Shuswap with numerous warrants for his arrest.

Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said on Sept. 6 an officer located a male in the area of the Trans Canada Highway, 30th St NE and 9th Ave NE who was known to have multiple arrest warrants .

“The male fled from the patrol car and with the assistance of the general public, police were able to determine the suspect was hiding in a residence on 8th Ave NE,” said West in a press release.

The residence was surrounded and the South East District Emergency Response Team attended to make entry into the residence if required.

After approximately three hours, the man exited the residence and surrendered to police without incident.

“The male was taken into custody for a number of arrest warrants from the North Okanagan and Salmon Arm detachments,” said West.

“One of these warrants pertained to a robbery in Ranchero where a shotgun was discharged at a victim.”

The other warrants pertained to various offences which included break and enter, assault with a weapon, possession of stolen property, flight from police and breaching conditions of bail.

Ryan Charron, 32, is in police custody awaiting a bail hearing.

Salmon Arm RCMP asking for assistance in identifying armed robbery suspect

Looking for robbery suspect

Police are searching for a man who threatened a driver with a weapon and demanded money after taking a ride in Salmon Arm.

RCMP said that on Aug. 25 shortly after 7:30 p.m., officers responded to an armed robbery.

A man, whom the victim had met for a short time on a prior occasion, asked for a ride to a local store.

After driving a short distance, police said that the suspect asked the victim driver to stop and threatened them with a weapon before demanding money.

The suspect took the driver’s wallet and car keys before fleeing the area. Fortunately, the driver suffered no injuries and his vehicle was not taken.

The suspect is described as being in his 30s and has short black hair.

Salmon Arm RCMP investigation has revealed closed circuit video pictures of the man that they believe to be the suspect in this case.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying him. Anyone with information is asked to call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832-6044.

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