Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm RCMP: transport truck left highway and smashed into a house

Big rig hits house

Speed and road conditions were a factor in an accident where a tractor trailer unit left the highway and smashed into a house.

Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said the accident happened on Highway 1 near Sorrento and Blind Bay Tuesday.

West said the “driver was checked out in hospital and is OK.”

West said the homeowner was not injured in the mishap, but the home sustained structural damage.

Road conditions in the Shuswap area were at a point on Tuesday that RCMP issued a travel advisory urging people to slow down.

Numerous accidents were also reported along Highway 1 as well on Tuesday.

Salmon Arm RCMP issue travel advisory due to road conditions along Trans Canada Highway

Multiple crashes on Hwy 1

Road conditions are treacherous on Highway 1 through the Shuswap region.

Tuesday afternoon, Salmon Arm RCMP issued a travel advisory for the area with motorists being asked to slow down as snow makes highway icy.

Police report there have been a number of single-vehicle accidents in the last 45 min due to the road and weather conditions.

It is not known if there were any injuries associated with the accidents

Highway 97 remains closed a few kilometres east of Monte Lake due to a serious accident.

RCMP investigate Salmon Arm business break-in

Police investigate break-in

RCMP in Salmon Arm are asking the public to keep their eyes open for a suspect in a business break-in.

The business is located on 10th Avenue, and according to RCMP, "a bald male forced entry into the business and a cash register was stolen."

The break in happened on Jan. 19.

Police are investigating the incident and are looking for a bald male who was wearing a black hoodie and driving a white car.

If you feel you have information on this theft, please call the Salmon Arm RCMP at 250 832-6044 or by leaving an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

SASCU gives $75,000 boost to youth endowment fund

Big bucks for youth

Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union kicked off 2023 with a $75,000 boost to the SASCU Youth Endowment, bringing the fund’s balance to $100,000.

The SASCU board of directors created the fund via the Shuswap Community Foundation in 2002 to help fulfill its role in supporting the region’s up-and-coming generations.

Designed to last into perpetuity, income earned from the fund’s balance is awarded annually to projects by non-profit organizations that benefit children and youth under 30, or projects organized by children and youth in the Shuswap that benefit the broader community.

Preference is given to initiatives that align with one or more of SASCU’s community pillars: gathering, prosperity, and youth sports and arts.

The fund’s investments and award distributions are administered by the Shuswap Community Foundation with project selections determined by the SCF youth philanthropy advisory committee.

“Youth are always top of mind for our board of directors,” said Kelly Bennett, chairperson of SASCU’s community relations and sponsorship committee. “Having positive outlets for youth is vital to our region’s growth and a healthy future.”

This is one of two endowments SASCU holds with the Shuswap Community Foundation. The other, SASCU Community Endowment, supports environmental projects in the area.

Dreamcatchers Conference set to inspire, connect youth with First Nations traditions

Inspiring dreams, traditions

Inspiring First Nations youth is the goal of the Secwepemc Dreamcatchers Conference.

The conference takes place March 17-19 at the Adams Lake Band gym, in Chase.

The event will workshops on the medicine wheel, canoe protocols, traditional medicines, fisheries, survival, drumming and more.

Guest speakers will include First Nation golf pro and inspirational speaker Stephen Tooshkenig, Jason Simon, a former NHL hockey player and role model, and Kim Gouchie, a Secwepemc musician and artist.

Reconciliation and community building will be among the themes, and a seven generations guest speaker is yet to be announced.

There will also be a lahal (stickgame) competition and talent show.

Lahal is a traditional game of First Nations people. It consists of sticks of different colours and woods, and bone pieces made of antlers or bone.

The objective is to win sticks by guessing where the unmarked bones are in the opposing teams hands. Drumming and singing is often used to distract the opposing team and, traditionally, games might last for days.

Today, it is typically played at celebratory events.

Judge dismisses collection company's application for default on 45% loan

Judge blasts debt collector

A judge slammed a debt collection company and dismissed its application for a default order on a payday loan that charged almost 45% interest.

In a B.C. provincial court decision issued Jan. 18 in Salmon Arm, Judge Jeremy Guild blasted EOS Canada, which had attempted to collect on the $10,700 loan issued in September 2018.

Easyfinancial Services loaned Lee Young and Tammy Law, $10,701.45 at an interest rate of 44.96%.

No payments were made on the loan after July 1, 2019, however it wasn't until Nov. 22 that efS considered that the two had defaulted.

It assigned the debt collection to EOS, which has since changed its name to Transworld Systems Canada Inc.

EOS waited until Oct. 7, 2021, to file a notice of claim, including interest up to that date. No reply to the claim was filed, and on Sept. 21, 2022, EOS filed an application for a default hearing.

Guild dismissed EOS' claim, blasting the length of time it took to pursue the money, allowing interest to accrue at the sky-high rate.

"There were significant delays by EOS in pursuing the debt and the claim. There were a number of significant periods where nothing was done to pursue collection. For example, upon registered mail addressed to Lee Young being returned to EOS marked “Refused”, a process server was not engaged until about four months later. An EOS representative was apparently able to fairly quickly locate a Facebook account for Lee Young that became the means of alternate service," the judge wrote.

"When it became clear it was difficult to find Lee Young, no request for substitutional service was made for several more months. I am not criticizing EOS' business practices. They are free to take as much time as they wish and conduct their business as they see fit. The issue is that EOS claimed interest was payable ... during all those unexplained delays at the rate of $9.36 per day."

Guild continued: "Given the purpose of the Small Claims Act is to have speedy, just and inexpensive resolutions to claims, it seems inconsistent to permit such interest to be payable where little was done, to the detriment of the debtor."

The judge found no proof EOS was even licensed to operate in B.C.

"EOS has failed to show that. Its claim could be dismissed on that basis alone, but there are further problems," wrote Guild.

Those included no proof of assignment of the debt to EOS, no evidence the demand letters were ever sent or received, and that the notice was only made out to Young and not Law.

The loan was to be divided between a joint account and home and auto benefit plan, however only Law apparently signed and was aware of $3,043.96 going to a prepaid credit card solely in her name.

The loan was to be repaid by preauthorized payment from the joint account.

BCGEU reaches tentative deal at Salmon Arm's Lakeside Manor following mediation

Tentative deal at Lakeside

A tentative contract agreement has been reached with seniors home workers at Lakeside Manor in Salmon Arm.

The BC General Employees' Union says it has reached a tentative agreement following mediation with Vantage Living Inc., owner of the independent living facility.

The union and Vantage met with a mediator on Wednesday.

Until a membership vote on the tentative agreement is held, the union's job action will stand down.

"From the 84 per cent strike vote last October, to serving 72-hour strike notice earlier this month, members at Lakeside Manor have shown solidarity and the kind of fight it takes to get a fair deal," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

"That solidarity enabled the bargaining committee to secure a deal that will improve conditions for everyone that lives and works in this facility."

The union represents 30 workers at Lakeside Manor, who work as laundry attendants, room attendants, line cooks, chefs, dishwashers, servers and activities and events specialists.

Parent raises concern over homeless shelter in same building as Salmon Arm daycare

Location 'absolutely insane'

A Salmon Arm father says he was shocked to learn a homeless shelter would be opening up in the same building as his three-year-old son's daycare.

Seamus Mulcahy says the placement of the shelter beside the daycare and Storefront School for high-risk youth in the Downtown Activity Centre is "absolutely insane."

The temporary shelter opened just last week, and Mulcahy is concerned for the safety of the youngest children and the potential influence on students of the Storefront School, who may already be at risk of street life.

Mulcahy has written to Premier David Eby, the ministers of child care, children and family development, education, housing, mental health and addictions, MLA Greg Kyllo, MP Mel Arnold and Salmon Arm's mayor and council with his concerns.

"While I fully understand this is a complex issue and I support the need for housing of our homeless population in our community, I do not support putting a homeless shelter in the same building as a school for troubled teenagers, a preschool as well as a daycare," Mulcahy says in the letter.

"It is incomprehensible that a decision has been made to put a homeless shelter in the same building as a school for vulnerable adolescents ... who have been unsuccessful in a traditional school setting. In addition, a daycare and preschool that has our most precious and most vulnerable children."

He says he's never had an issue with the school and that placing the storefront teens "in the mix with people who are currently using drugs" puts them in danger.

While the shelter's hours will be 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mulcahy says clients will likely "be hanging around all day."

The 20-bed facility is operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Salmon Arm executive director Dawn Dunlop says she "understands the concerns" and that the shelter is a "short-term solution."

"We had meetings over months to try and find a location," says Dunlop. "We explored every opportunity. It was either move forward on this site, or we don't have a shelter."

Mulcahy acknowledges safety measures have been put in place, but says no measures "can ensure the elimination of unacceptable risk to our children."

He says while there has been "uproar" in other communities about shelters nears schools, "someone thinks putting a shelter in the same building as a daycare and a school is reasonable?"

He's concerned about the safety of female staff at the daycare as well as that of the children.

Castanet has reached out to Discovery Kids Daycare for comment.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of daycare spaces in the community, says Mulcahy.

"I feel sorry for the daycare. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place," he says.

"Will it be a case that children will be injured or worse before people come to their senses that this is a ludicrous solution?"

The shelter space has been leased until April 30. Meanwhile, BC Housing will continue searching for a permanent shelter location.

"We understand that safety is important, and it is our highest priority," said Dunlop.

DriveBC says Highway 1 near Tappen reopened after Tuesday evening crash

Highway 1 reopened

UPDATE: 10:00 p.m.

DriveBC says Highway 1 near Tappen has been reopened after a crash earlier Tuesday evening closed the highway in both directions.

ORIGINAL: 7:22 p.m.

The Trans-Canada Highway near Tappen is closed in both directions after a vehicle incident on Tuesday evening.

According to DriveBC, the crash happened on Highway 1 between Greer Road and Broderick Creek Frontage Road, about eight kilometres west of Tappen.

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

69-year-old woman falls through the ice at Swansea Point

40 minutes in frozen lake

After falling through the ice near Swansea point on Mara Lake Monday night, a 69-year-old woman was able to call 911 while clinging to the ice.

“The woman was pretty lucky that she had her phone with her and was able to call 911,” says Sgt. Murray McNeil of the Sicamous RCMP.

With only her head out of the water, the woman was able to describe her surroundings and police were able to use her cell phone GPS to locate her.

The first officer to arrive on scene “tried to shimmy to her on his belly,” but ended up falling through the ice as well. "The water was probably over six feet, it was over everyone's head."

Help from both Sicamous and Swansea Fire Departments was on its way as the officer and woman were now both immersed in the icy water.

The second officer on scene also fell through the ice explains McNeil.

McNeil estimates the woman spent 40 minutes in the water and the first officer spent about 15 while the second officer, less than five minutes. Firefighters used ropes and ladders from shore and technicians with the Ice Rescue team were able to perform the rescue while being in dry suits.

The woman was transported to Vernon Jubilee Hospital and has since been released. McNeil says she reached out this Tuesday morning to thank everyone involved and knows the outcome could have been much different without the help of everyone involved.

At the height of the rescue, about 12 members of the two fire departments and RCMP were involved as well as two ambulance crews.

McNeil adds the Firefighters involved were up to the task as they had recently completed Water and Ice training.

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