Property values rise
Some South Cariboo property owners were shocked when BC Assessment values jumped by upwards of 49 per cent in some areas. The average increase in 100 Mile House – based on market values as of July 1, 2021 – was 33 per cent, up drastically from a two per cent increase a year earlier. 108 Mile Ranch saw an average increase of 37 per cent, Lone Butte 27 per cent and Clinton 14 per cent. The increases were a result of a robust real estate market across the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccine mandate for District office
The District of 100 Mile House adopted a vaccine mandate for all staff, employees, contractors and volunteers. The mandate included staff working remotely as well as on-call firefighters. The move followed similar measures at the Cariboo Regional District and Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Starry Nights campaign success
The Starry Nights campaign posted another record year, raising more than $50,000 for the South Cariboo Health Foundation. The funds were earmarked for a Lucas Chest Compression System. The device is capable of 120 compressions a minute, which will help free up healthcare workers while resuscitating patients.
Nordics prepare to race
The 100 Mile Nordics hoped to revive their former glory as a “superpower” for cross-country skiing with their first Teck Northern Cup Race in decades. Sixty-six skiers signed up for the race, including those from 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Prince George, Kamloops and Vanderhoof.
Jan. 20, 2022
Horses found safe after mysterious disappearance
Two horses – Fjord-crosses Jack and Jill – were found more than a month after disappearing from the Flying Rooster Ranch in Spruce Hills near 108 Mile Ranch. Police suspect the horses had been stolen. The horses were found near a fenceline by Tubbs Lake, not far from where the horses went missing on Dec. 18.
Hundreds rally in 100 Mile for trucker convoy
Hundreds of people rallied in 100 Mile House in support of a convoy of truckers headed to Ottawa to protest federal cross-border COVID regulations. The protestors lined Highway 97 with signs reading “We Support our Truckers” and “No More Mandates.” At issue is the removal of an exemption for cross-border truckers who, prior to Jan. 15, were not required to be vaccinated, take COVID tests or self-isolate when travelling to Canada from the U.S.
Crews join forces to rescue injured snowmobiler
Search and Rescue crews from the South Cariboo and Lower Mainland joined forces for an emergency mountaintop rescue, following a call for an injured snowmobiler near Hendrix Lake. The SAR accessed Sheila Butler and her group – riders from the Williams Lake area – providing first aid and prepping her for transport while awaiting a North Shore helicopter. Butler was taken by air ambulance to Kamloops before being transferred to Vancouver.
St. Joseph’s Mission
Preliminary findings of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School investigation revealed 93 potential graves that require further analysis, as well as a dark history of cover-up and abuse. The initial investigation took place over nine months and involved a 14-ha parcel of land at the St. Joseph’s Mission site. The work focused on areas of the mission around the school building, barn and corrals as well as portions of the Onward Ranch and railroad right-of-way in the San Jose Valley.
Fraudulent gifting circle investigated
100 Mile RCMP warned the community about a gifting scheme circulating in the community after receiving complaints from residents who say they have lost large sums of money. The investigation involved “fraudulent action” in which a “gift” of $5,000 – with the recruitment of two other people into the program – promised to result in $40,000. The scheme had been in the South Cariboo for nearly two years. Police said they were aware a number of people in the community were affected and encouraged them to come forward.
Pinkney has big plans for hometown
100 Mile Coun. Maureen Pinkney announced her bid for mayor of the District in the upcoming municipal election. Pinkney, elected councillor in 2018, said her priorities over the past four years have focused on fiscal responsibility – something she intends to carry on if she becomes mayor.
Local developer raises millions for video game
Helping to create Friday Night Funkin’ changed Cameron Taylor’s life. Cameron, who helped to create the video game with his friends on the Newgrounds website, raised $2.2 million on Kickstarter, propelling him into the role of video game developer and CEO of his own company. Taylor, 22, was raised in 100 Mile House and attended Peter Skene Ogden secondary.
Farrier crowned horse agility champ
Ron Burfoot, of Horse Lake, was recognized by the International Horse Agility Club for his world-class agility training when he was named 2021 Walk Only League & Liberty Cup Champion. Horse agility requires a horse trainer to successfully lead their horse through a series of obstacles – either by leading the horse or having it follow based on commands. Burfoot, 66, has been doing agility since 2013.
IH closes 14-bed wing at Fischer Place
Interior Health was actively recruiting for more health care workers after having to shut down a division of Fischer Place because of staffing shortages. The 14-bed unit had been shut down for three months, with several workers on medical leave, retiring or leaving the area altogether.
Local donors support ‘Freedom Convoy’
Dozens of South Cariboo residents contributed thousands of dollars to the online ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ fundraiser, according to leaked donor information. Forty-five of the nearly 93,000 entries on the donor list had South Cariboo postal codes and accounted for US$5,858 (about C$7,400) of the nearly US$8 million reportedly collected.
South Cariboo rural areas record population increases: Census ‘21
The South Cariboo welcomed more people over the past five years, with rural areas seeing the biggest jumps in population.The growth corresponded with a mini-real estate boom experienced in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lone Butte-Interlakes saw one of the biggest boosts over the past five years.
Overdose deaths rising in South Cariboo
Overdose deaths increased dramatically in 2021, in line with a trend that resulted in the deadliest year on record for drug toxicity across B.C. The rate of overdose deaths recorded in the local health area around 100 Mile House, which spans north to Lac La Hache and south to 70 Mile, saw a nearly 200 per cent increase from 2020, according to stats released by the BC Coroner’s Service.
CRD considers $56.5 million budget
The Cariboo Regional District was considering a $56.5-million budget for 2022 that would see an average overall 5.2 per cent tax increase for homeowners. CRD Chair Margo Wagner said the increase was mainly to pay for emergency planning across the region, noting the regional district is playing catch-up following the 2017 wildfires and subsequent floods, fires and land slippage across the Cariboo.
U18 girls head to the playoffs
The 100 Mile House Minor Hockey Girls U18 was headed to the playoffs. The team was in second place in their recreational league, which includes two teams from Kelowna, a team from Lumby and one from Kamloops. “We’re winning more than we’re losing so that’s a positive sign,” said Coach Wade Balbirnie.
Local residents rally for peace in Ukraine
A small group of people were gathering daily on Highway 97 to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to call for peace. Organizer Peter Reichert, who had been imprisoned after trying to escape East Germany when he was young, spearheaded the effort, saying “when I see the pictures, I’m almost crying. It’s so sad. I’m only for the peace and people of Ukraine.”
Teacher donates hair for cancer
Chris Leflufy became the community’s newest member of a popular and generous club. The PSO teacher, who grew his hair out for a year and a half, shaved his head to provide hair for wigs for cancer patients. Leflufy also raised more than $730 online and at the high school to donate to BC Children’s Hospital.
District anticipates drop in tax revenue
The District of 100 Mile House anticipated a $200,000 drop in tax revenue as a result of the Norbord OSB plant closure, according to its recently published 2022 Financial Plan. Tammy Boulanger, director of finance, told council the decrease comes as a result of a $3.6-million drop in decline to major industry investments.
Fire hall appeals to keep funding
The 70 Mile Volunteer Fire Department appealed to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to overturn a decision to cut its taxation funding. The TNRD announced two years ago that it would cut funding in 2022 because of liability issues, noting independent fire halls not administered by the regional district don’t have the same training and standards as per the B.C. Structure Firefighter Competency & Training Playbook. 70 Mile said it can’t afford to join the TNRD because it would need a tax base of at least $150,000.
Recreation referendum postponed
A referendum for a proposed new recreation tax boundary in the South Cariboo, originally set for June, was postponed to next year. The Cariboo Regional District announced that the vote to create the new South Cariboo Recreation and Culture Service – which would include areas beyond Lone Butte, parts of Forest Grove and 108 Mile Ranch – would not go ahead. Chair Margo Wagner said the board felt more time was needed to educate voters about the proposed taxation boundary.
Local trappers snag B.C. convention
Hundreds of B.C. trappers were expected to descend on 100 Mile House in their first convention in three years. The South Cariboo Trappers’ Association announced it had won the bid to host the convention in May. The convention would boast information booths, demonstrations on how to skin some animals and guest speakers.
Caputo barred from Russia
Frank Caputo, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, was one of hundreds of “top officials, parliamentarians and anti-Russian figures” in Canada banned from entering Russia. He is now one of 313 persons on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s “black list,” a response to the heavy sanctions Canada implemented after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Peace Walk held for Ukraine
South Cariboo youngsters Rowan Hermiston and Karl Lundsbye organized a Peace Walk for Ukraine around the 100 Mile Marsh. The pair had already raised $700 – more than their goal of $200 – before the walk event started.
Beauty and the Beast returns to the stage
After being forced to postpone its production of Beauty and Beast earlier this year, the Peter Skene Ogden Drama Club was back in action. PSO staff member Nicki Jackson stepped into the director’s shoes to ensure the show would go on.
Clinton’s Blue Wranglers cut first record
The Clinton bluegrass band comprised of Dustin Bentall, his partner Trixie, Dan Fremlin and Bruce Ambler spent 10 days recording their first album. The album was a compilation of 11 new and reimagined songs, evoking “life, death and everything in between.”
March raises $8,000
Two 100 Mile youth who organized a Peace Walk for Ukraine raised more than $8,000 for the war-torn country. Rowan Hermiston, 10, and Karl Lundsbye, 11, said they were surprised by the staggering total, which was bolstered by an $800 donation from Flat Lake-area resident Claudia Ring and a $4,500 contribution from the Sheridan Lake community.
New safe site for opioid treatments
Interior Health is working on creating a permanent space in 100 Mile House for people looking for medication-assisted treatment and safer alternatives to the toxic illicit drug supply. Natalie Kulyk, director of clinical operations for 100 Mile House, said renovations were underway for a permanent space in the South Cariboo Health Centre. The new room would be located off the front entrance. 100 Mile has had a nurse prescriber in place for the past 18 months – of 16 across B.C.
Friendship Centre granted $30,000
The Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre is one step closer to finding a new home in 100 Mile House thanks to a grant from the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation. The foundation announced a $30,000 grant to support the relocation of the friendship centre to a more central location in the district. The friendship centre was housed in a small building behind St. Timothy’s Anglican Church on Blackstock Road.
‘Dangerous time to be burning’: chief
It took more than a dozen volunteer firefighters several hours to contain a large grass fire on Horse Lake Road, believed to have been caused by a resident burning brush on their property. 100 Mile Fire Rescue crews were called to the fast-spreading blaze, across from Uptown Plaza, just after 2 p.m. The fire was sparked just two days after the start of the wildfire season on April 1.
$4M for Indigenous cultural centre
The “rich and vibrant story of the Northern Secwepemc will be told and celebrated in the South Cariboo, as multi-million dollar funding for the construction of cultural centre was announced. Proponents of the Indigenous-focused facility, to be built on two acres near the 108 Mile Heritage site, celebrated the announcement of a $4-million federal grant to the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society. Plans for the centre have been in the works for close to 20 years.
New chief for Forest Grove Hall
The Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department has a new chief leading its ranks. Michelle Meeker, who has been assistant chief of the VFD for just over three years, was named as the new chief last week. Meeker takes the reins from Shannon Wagner, who had been leading the volunteer fire brigade for the past three years. Meeker has a long career in firefighting and fire prevention.
Dricos pulls out of retail, adapts to ‘changing time’
Longtime business owner Charles Dricos closed his retail shop in downtown 100 Mile to focus on a service-only installation model. The closure comes amid rising rents, technological advances, YouTube do-it-yourself videos and more big companies like Telus signing up users across the South Cariboo.
Shriner’s dinner auction raises over $20,000
The Big Country Shrine Club’s Prime Rib and King Crab Dinner Auction returned in a big way, raising more than $20,000 for children in need. More than 200 people attended the sold-out event to bid on a variety of items in a live and silent auction. The tone of the evening was set early when a group paid $700 to move to the head of the queue for the buffet, prepared by James Clancy and staff at the Red Rock Grill.
CRD reviews security at local fire halls
The Cariboo Regional District is undertaking a security and safety review of its volunteer fire halls following the recent thefts of two medical trucks in the Cariboo. Thieves broke into the Interlakes Volunteer Fire Hall No. 3 – in Bridge Lake on Highway 24 by Lee Road – overnight April 8, stealing a new white F150 equipped with tools, medical supplies and emergency lights, valued at $80,000. The vehicle was later recovered but stripped of all the equipment. The theft came less than a week after a brand new emergency response truck, along with life-saving hydraulic tools, was stolen from the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue in Williams Lake. That truck was also recovered but the tools are still missing.
Raffle raises $2,000 for SCSAR
More than $2,000 was raised for South Cariboo Search and Rescue in a raffle at Mt. Timothy Recreation’s end-of-season event. The grand total of $2,650 will go toward SAR equipment and training.
100 Mile hospital receives life-saving equipment
Nurses at 100 Mile District General Hospital have been given a helping hand in resuscitation with the arrival of the Lucas 3 Chest Compression System. The $25,000 battery-operated device is one of two life-saving pieces of equipment that have arrived at the hospital, thanks to the South Cariboo Health Foundation’s Starry Nights campaign. The mobile unit, which is secured around a patient’s body, is equipped with a pump capable of 102 compressions per minute.
‘Always a giver’: organ donor helps five strangers
Cayden Desjarlais fit a whole lot of life into his 28 years. When his life was cut short in the summer of 2021 – he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident and would not survive the massive brain injuries he suffered – five of his organs were donated to others in need. His heart, liver, both kidneys and islet cells were transplanted into five recipients. Statistics from the Provincial Health Services Authority noted 2021 was a record year for transplants in B.C.
New Vimy Lane for Clinton
A previously unnamed thoroughfare in Clinton now has a name – Vimy Lane. The Village of Clinton council unveiled the sign for the lane, which runs parallel to Highway 97, between Dewdney and LeBourdais avenues.
Pickleball facility pitched for South Cariboo
Pickleballers formed the South Cariboo Pickleball Association and are making a pitch for a year-round facility in the South Cariboo, either in 100 Mile or 108 Mile Ranch. The sport – a cross between tennis and ping pong – is popular among seniors because it is easier on the joints than tennis and the racket is a third of the size.
Beauty and the Beast on stage
Peter Skene Ogden Secondary’s Beauty and the Beast hit the stage after months after pandemic-related delays and a change in directorship.
Clinton gets $70K
The Village of Clinton was among five local communities that will receive a collective $696,000 in funding to help prevent widlfires. Clinton received $70,000 to assist with education and planning from the Community Resiliency Investment FireSmart grants.
Electoral review underway
Politicians throughout the Cariboo encouraged residents to have their say as an official review of the provincial electoral boundaries got underway. The electoral districts of Cariboo-Chilcotin and Cariboo-North were the focus of the April 29 meetings – ridings that some local leaders suspected would be eyed for almagamation following the review.
Bronze for Kokoro Judo student
100 Mile’s Maxi Springmann won bronze at the Edmonton International Judo Championship. Springmann travelled with fellow Kokoru Judo students William McKenzie and Jason Page to the championships. held at West Edmonton Mall.
Deka Hall off limits to community
The Deka Lake & District Volunteer Fire Hall will not be available for community use following an abrupt vote by the Cariboo Regional District. CRD CAO John MacLean said the board was resolved to dedicate the hall for fire purposes only. The hall had previously been used by members of the Deka Lake and Ratepayers Association.
Avian flu kills bald eagle
A bald eagle found dead last month in Lac La Hache tested positive for avian influenza, according to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The eagle was among seven wild birds that had died between April 20 and 27 to test positive for the H5 strain of the bird flu.
100 Mile Food Bank buys building
The 100 Mile House Food Bank Society has officially bought its building. The facility was paid for by donations from the community, local businesses and a $75,000 grant from the Westin Family Foundation.
South Cariboo Women’s Fair wows the crowds
Hundreds of people turned out for the 7th South Cariboo Women’s Fair. Booths included everything from nutrition and romance to homecare, jewelry, candles, haircare, photography and local teas and foods. The event had returned for the first time in two years.
Eagles clinch victory at weekend tourney
The Peter Skene Ogden girls’ soccer team fought “hard with a lot of running” to take first place in a tournament in Clearwater on the weekend. The team finished with 22 points in total to win.
Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi in 100 Mile
Sikhs gathered at the 100 Mile Gurdwara Sahib to hoist their flag and celebrate Vaisakhi for the first time in two years. Dozens of people came from the South Cariboo, Surrey and Vancouver for the event.
Public finds furs, fun at B.C. Trappers Convention
Hundreds of people attended the B.C. Trappers Convention on the weekend, raising the profile of conservation work and injecting cash into the economy. The four-day event was a first for the association in 75 years. An estimated 170 trappers attended.
‘It was home’: Men homeless after van fire
Wendall Smitheram and Christopher Billy were buying groceries at FreshCo when they noticed their van was on fire. But by the time they reached their home, everything was destroyed.
Canim Chief re-elected
Kukpi7 Helen Henderson was re-elected for her second term as chief of Tsq’escenem (Canim Lake) First Nation. Henderson received 70 of the 234 votes cast. Six others had been nominated. Over the past four year, Henderson led the band through unprecedented times, including COVID-19 and the 2021 wildfires.
Track students head to provincials
Seven members of Peter Skene Ogden’s track and field team qualified for provincials. The students included Jenny Schroevers (high jump), Miriah Anderson (long jump), Leo Kozier (shot put), Emily Tinney (discus), Megan Holyk (long jump), Israel McLelland (100-metre hurdles), and Clare Kreschuk (steeplechase 1500 metres).
Clinton’s 155th May Ball draws ‘full house’
About 150 people turned out for Clinton’s 155th May Ball – most of them dressed in period clothing. Fabian Dube and Marie Anderson were named the ball’s finest couple, while Josef Stencil was the most dapper gentleman and Bernice Weihs-Anderson the most elegant lady. Larry and Sue Austin were the grand prize winners of a trip to Echo Valley Ranch, valued at more than $7,000.
Spawning channel celebrates 30 years
Dozens of people turned out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sheridan Lake spawning channel. The channel was the brainchild of Gil Vidler, former owner of the Sheridan Lake Resort. The idea was to give rainbow trout at Sheridan Lake a helping hand in their efforts to spawn.
Bands seek jurisdiction over their children
Four Secwepemc communities were in 100 Mile House to discuss treaty negotiations as well as how to regain jurisdiction over their children. The conference, dubbed the 2022 NStQ’ Citizen’s Assembly, was hosted by the Tsq’escenem (Canim Lake) First Nation. More than 275 representatives from the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council attended the event.
Hundreds participate in 108 Mile Fair
Hundreds of participants got a taste of the action at 108 Mile Ranch. The 108 Mile Community Fair featured events at the 108 Mile Community Hall, Mile 108 Elementary School, the South Cariboo Regional Airport, the 108 Mile Heritage site and the 108 Mile Volunteer Fire Department.
Businesses band together to fight crime
Businesses in 100 Mile House met with police and health officials to address increasing rates of petty crime and vandalism in the downtown core. About 30 businesses attended the meeting, hosted by the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, following reports of accelerations in crime over the past six to eight months. Concerns ranged from rising homelessness to drug use and crime caused by a small group of most chronic offenders.
G-Mas voted Citizens of the Year
Diane Atkins and Sylvia Griffith tied for the title of 100 Mile Citizens of the Year during a celebration in Centennial Park. Atkins has billeted more than 30 members of the 100 Mile House Wranglers over the years while Griffith has been keeping books for a local volunteer organization and has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary Branch for 45 years. Both women are known as “G-Ma.”
Hundreds attend inaugural Pride in the Park
Close to 100 people attended 100 Mile House’s first-ever Pride in the Park event in Centennial Park. Chris Pettman, who organized the event with Sabrina Zezza, said they were happy to create space and represent the queer community. He said they have bigger and better ideas for next year.
CRD, TNRD activate emergency operations centres
The Cariboo Regional District has activated its emergency operations centre, following several high streamflow advisories by the B.C. Rivers Forecast Centre. Evacuation orders due to flooding had already been issued in northwest B.C.
Boil water alert remains in effect
The District of 100 Mile House was on a boil water alert following a water line break that resulted in the loss of 600,000 litres of water from the 99 Mile reservoir. The district had isolated the leak – found near Peter Skene Ogden Secondary – and restored the system but urged residents to continue boiling their water for another 24 hours to ensure it was safe to drink.
Memorial Bull Riding event draws hundreds
Hundreds of spectators turned out for the inaugural Logan Parent Memorial Bull Riding event. The event was held to raise money for the Logan Parent Foundation and bring awareness of concussions and the effect they have on the mental health of professional cowboys, especially bull riders. Logan, 20, took his own life in October 2020 due to brain damage from a concussion he received in the ring.
Queen’s Jubilee pins awarded to volunteers
Nine South Cariboo residents were recognized with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pins, which honour those who have provided a service to the community. Recipients included 100 Mile House’s Donna Barnett, Bruce Madu, Lucille Armstrong and Elsie Urquhart, as well as 108 Mile’s Ingrid Meyer and Forest Grove’s Ron Lister. In Clinton three people were recognized: Judy Hampton, Zee Chevalier and Nor Parke.
Cadet Corp celebrates 50 years
The 2887 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadet Corp celebrated 50 years with a ceremonial review and parade.
Teacher pleads guilty to sexual interference
Former Peter Skene Ogden Secondary teacher Vincent Collins, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference of a person under 16 and a lesser account of assault in connection with two local female youth. The girls were 14 and 15 at the time. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Martin Exeter Hall set to reopen
After being closed for two years due to flood damage, Martin Exeter Hall was due to reopen July 1. District of 100 Mile council was told the repairs have been completed and an early warning system is installed to alert the district is moisture returns.
Spruce Hills properties up for sale
Court bailiffs advertised the sale of four parcels of land around Spruce Hill Spa and Resort in an effort to pay out $173,141 in lost wages owed to seven employees. The separate properties, which total 795 acres, do not include the land where the resort sits. The sale was in connection with a 2018 Human Rights Tribunal decision that determined Kin Wa Chan, owner of Spruce Hill Resort, would have to pay out the monies in lost wages, and “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect to seven employees.
High Bar Nation hosts first Aboriginal Day
More than 200 people attended the High Bar First Nation’s inaugural Aboriginal Day in Reg Conn Park. The event included booths, speeches and a bannock-making contest.
PSO graduates hit the streets in style
Close to 100 PSO grads marked the end of high school with a parade down Birch Avenue in hotrods, trucks and even a horse. Dozens of friends and family cheered them on as they headed to Centennial Park for a social mixer and photographs.
District acquires 100 Mile Community Hall
The District of 100 Mile plans to recommission three large murals on the 100 Mile Community Hall ahead of extensive renovations to the Birch Avenue facility. The District announced it will take over ownership of the hall, effective Sept. 1, after having entered into a purchase agreement with the Community Club Association, for a nominal fee of $1. The non-profit society has independently owned and operated the hall since 1954.