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Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm RCMP thank convoy protesters for peaceful event

Police thank protesters

Salmon Arm RCMP are thanking protesters for keeping things peaceful on Sunday as vehicles rolled through the city in support of the "Freedom Convoy."

Staff Sgt. Scott West said police extend their thanks to the demonstrators, "who obeyed officers direction and demonstrated in a peaceful and lawful manner on Sunday afternoon."

An estimated 600 people took part in the protest on the Trans-Canada Highway at Highway 97B.

West says the protesters "were largely respectful of the officers."

They were asked to leave the median under the Motor Vehicle Act for safety reasons, and did so, relocating to the curb or the sidewalk.

"A comparatively smaller group of people were abusive to the officers and were verging on obstructing them in their duties," says West.

"They yelled at and taunted officers who were asking people to leave the centre median because the passing vehicles may cause was a safety risk for the demonstrators."

West added: "I think it It is important to thank quite a number of the demonstrators who respectfully relocated to the sidewalk area from the median, and stayed off the highway. Our detachment members would like to thank those people for being so respectful and safe."

"For us as police, we are there to preserve rights, and one of those rights is to lawful assembly – but we all have a common goal to make sure everyone is safe. In this case, the public, the motorists and the police personnel could all have been at risk at one point or another during this two to three-hour event due to the environment they were all in."



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Residents of Chase urged to stay inside as thick smoke pours from wrecking yard fire

Toxic smoke feared at blaze

Fire crews are warning residents to stay inside as they battle a large fire at an auto wrecking yard in Chase.

A resident who lives above Highway 1 says the smoke is so thick it is obscuring what is going on below.

However, she shared a message sent out to the community from Fire Chief Brian Lauzon stating that residents should stay indoors, as the smoke may be toxic.

"Smoke from the auto wrecking yard fire may be toxic and we are encouraging everyone to stay indoors if you can to reduce exposure," Lauzon wrote.

The fire is believed to have started before dawn at Adrenaline Auto Recyclers on Aylmer Road.

The resident said she is concerned chemicals may also spill into Chase Creek, which borders the property and flows into the South Thompson River and protected salmon spawning grounds.

The Village of Chase has issued an air quality advisory.

Several explosions were heard early this morning in the Shuswap community.

Miranda Dick posted photos on Facebook showing the smoky conditions.



Son says no call from care home to alert him to COVID outbreak on mother's floor

No notice given to family

A Vernon man says he's concerned he had to learn through the media that his mother's seniors home in Salmon Arm is under a lockdown due to a COVID outbreak.

"There's been nothing, no communication," he said of management at Mount Ida Mews.

Interior Health declared a COVID outbreak at the home on Tuesday.

The number of cases is unknown, but the outbreak is limited to the Chinook and Coho units.

The facility is operated by AgeCare and has 132 suites.

Richard Potvin says he's worried about his 92-year-old mother, as he's now learned his mother was in contact with residents who tested positive.

"They have dementia, they don't know the difference," he said. "Why were they being allowed to roam?"

He said his mother is at the end of her life, has survived cancer, and he chose not to have her vaccinated.

"Whatever takes, takes her ... but I don't want it to be this," he said.

"I don't want her mingling with sick people. She should be protected."

Castanet has reached out to management at the home for more information on the number of cases.

"I was not informed, and no one called me ... why wasn't any family contacted?" Potvin asked.

He was able to speak to a nurse later Thursday, who informed him residents have been put on lockdown and are to only come out of their rooms with a mask on.

He was concerned that his mother had a fever, but it has apparently broken. However, he is still "livid" that there was no notice of the outbreak at the beginning.



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Columbia Shuswap Regional District providing chance for public to be involved with budget

Get in on budget process

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is giving people a chance to become more involved in the budget process.

The CSRD finance department has created a virtual copy of budget documents presented in hard-copy format to all CSRD board directors, allowing the public to view the same budget presentation online.

There will also be an opportunity for public input on the proposed budget at committee of the whole budget meetings set for Jan. 26 and Feb. 23.

Both meetings will start at 9:30 a.m. in the CSRD office in Salmon Arm.

However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual attendance is strongly encouraged.

Any in-person attendance will require participants to follow all current COVID-19 health protocols and policies designed to protect the safety of the public, board directors and staff.

Electronic attendance remains available to all members of the public who wish to view the meetings in real time.

See the CSRD's Events Calendar to access the Zoom meeting link.

A recorded version will also be posted at the events calendar link as soon as possible following the meeting.



New seasonĀ of Tappen-filmed Rust Valley Restorers returns in February

Rust boys revved for return

A new season of Rust Valley Restorers will begin airing next month on History channel.

The fourth season of the hit series follows car fanatic Mike Hall, his best friend Avery, and his son Connor at Rust Bros. restoration as they race to restore his collection of over 400 decaying classic cars.

The season will also follow Hall's giant auction of the remaining vehicles, which took place in October at the Tappen "field of dreams."

The new season premieres Feb. 24 at 9 p.m.

"Facing a threat that could bring down the shop, Mike takes a huge gamble and prepares to auction off most of his beloved collection, in order to save the few cars that matter most to him," publicists for the show say.

The season will include 10 60-minute episodes.

Hall held an unreserved auction in early October after the Tappen property where he kept the cars was sold.

It remains to be seen in the new season what happened next.



Overnight crash east of Chase closed Trans-Canada Highway for six hours

Crash closed hwy for 6 hrs

A collision east of Chase closed the Trans-Canada Highway for several hours overnight.

DriveBC first reported the crash at 10:50 p.m., about 13 kilometres east of the Shuswap community.

The collision between Little River Road and Des Fosses Road blocked all lanes of traffic for about six hours.

The nature of the incident and any injuries involved are unknown at this time.

The highway cleared as of about 4:50 a.m.



IH declares COVID outbreak at Salmon Arm long-term care facility

Outbreak at SA facility

Interior Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Salmon Arm long-term care facility.

IH listed Mount Ida Mews on its website with an outbreak as of Tuesday.

The number of cases is unknown, but the outbreak is limited to the Chinook and Coho units.

The facility is operated by AgeCare and has 132 suites.

Earlier this month, IH listed two outbreaks at Vernon seniors homes.

Those are on the long-term care floors of The Hamlets in downtown Vernon and at Heritage Square on 27th Street.

Those outbreaks were declared on Jan. 9 and 11, respectively.



$250,000 grant to help build Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue base in Shuswap

$250K for new rescue base

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap is gearing up to build a rescue base after receiving a $250,000 grant.

The provincial grant comes by way of the B.C. Community Gaming Capital Projects fund.

“We are so excited this five-year campaign is coming to fruition,” Search and Rescue wrote on Facebook.

The funding completes its construction funding drive, and station members anticipate “aluminum being shaped and welded this summer.”

“We (all the volunteers) are so thankful for all the support that many, many persons and organizations provided to this initiative,” they wrote on the unit's Facebook page.



Plankton samples show invasive mussels kept out of BC waters for another year

Waterways mussel free

To date, invasive mussels have not been detected in any B.C. waterways – and numerous agencies are working to keep it that way.

Invasive species can be extremely damaging to the health of both the ecosystem and the economy.

At the top of the ‘most unwanted’ list are two aquatic invasive species: zebra and quagga mussels.

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society partners with the Ministry of Environment, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and the Shuswap Watershed Council to monitor lakes in the upper Columbia and Shuswap watersheds for invasive mussels as part of the Provincial Invasive Mussel Defence Program.

The ministry reported 75 bodies of water were monitored throughout the season by various organizations, collecting 900 plankton samples, all of which showed no evidence of invasive mussels.

Samples from Mara Lake at Sicamous were positive for invasive clam larvae, a different invasive species which is already known to be present in the connected Shuswap Lake.

According to CSISS, if invasive mussels were to become established in a B.C. waterbody, “it would be extremely difficult to eradicate them and very costly to manage the negative impacts.”

Prevention is key. Transportation of mussel-fouled watercraft is a known way in which the species travel between water bodies.

During 2021, watercraft inspection stations were operational from early April to late October.

During summer outreach activities, CSISS staff observed boaters hauling their boats from the lake to see if they were removing their drain plug, as part of the process of cleaning, draining and drying their watercraft.

“Every single boater we observed removed their drain plug after hauling their boat out of the lake, which is a very encouraging sign that boaters are taking responsibility for helping to keep these beautiful lakes safe from invasive species,” said Sue Davies-McGill, aquatic co-ordinator at CSISS.

“To prevent the spread of invasive mussels into our lakes and rivers, ensure to clean, drain and dry your watercraft and equipment after every use.”



Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a number of calls over the weekend

Busy weekend for RCMP

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a number of calls over the weekend, including drunk driving, mischief and vehicle incidents.

On Friday, police located a confused driver on 3rd Street SW. They detected an odour of liquor, and it was determined the driver was impaired, says Sgt. Scott West.

The driver was served a 90-day immediate roadside driving prohibition and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

RCMP were called out to a second drunk driving incident on Sunday, where a vehicle was stuck in a ditch on Park Hill Road.

When police arrived, they quickly determined the driver was intoxicated and he was served a driving prohibition after he failed a breath sample. Along with the driving prohibition, the vehicle was also impounded for 30 days.

Saturday evening, police responded to an overturned vehicle on Balmoral Road in Blind Bay.

The driver hit ice on the road and slid into the ditch, where it rolled over and back onto its wheel, says West.

The female driver suffered minor injuries, but was wearing a seatbelt.

Police were also called out to a complaint of mischief on 1st Nations Road.

A driver who had been in a parking lot sprayed a building with mud, sand, snow and rocks as the vehicle left the parking lot.

West says the spray chipped the window of the building and caused damage to the health centre.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832-6044.



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