While we couldn’t possibly get all the important news stories from the first half of 2018 in, here are just some of the highlights.
Interlakes Lions shut down
Jan. 4 – The Interlakes Lions Club, which formed in 1976 shut down after dropping down to just eight members.
“The biggest thing is we can’t get people to join. The last probably three or more years now we’ve never had one person come to us. We’ve tried many ways to get people but people just don’t want to do that these days,” said 18-year club member Harvey Allen.
“The remaining members [are] very sad about it of course because it was not only a thing that we did for the community but it was also a social thing for us,”
Winter bird count down
Jan. 4 – Only 19 species of birds were observed during the annual winter bird count, which is considered below average.
“There’s no open water and other factors. Normally, what happens is there are no impediments, often its been really cold out but usually, there isn’t the new snow which makes stopping by roadsides really hazardous.”
Fire rescue calls up
Jan. 11 – 100 Mile House Fire Rescue responded to 450 calls in 2017, up from 365 in 2016 and 278 in 2014 (a 61.4 per cent increase since 2014).
“When I was a fireman we used to think, and that was years ago, 52 calls a year was a huge number,” said Mayor Mitch Campsall
Of those 450 calls, 128 were for fires, 111 for rescues and 211 medical.
Abbatoir on the block
Jan. 11 – The mobile abattoir provided by the then-Liberal government to the South Cariboo community, would go back into the province’s hands unless a new operator stepped forward and got approved.
“The ministry contacted me on Thursday [Jan. 4] out of respect for us, for the people that live here, which I appreciated because they know how hard I worked to get that abattoir and how passionate we are,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “Apparently, they went out on BC Bid to see if anybody in the South Cariboo was interested, and they received no response.”
Fuel management in the 108
Jan. 18 – Fuel management work was scheduled for the Walker Valley Greenbelt in the 108 Mile Ranch area for the next month to reduce the risk of an interface fire and remove hazardous burnt trees.
“The west side of Walker Valley will be selectively thinned by an average of 40 per cent in order to restore the forest density to its historic norm. This is a continuation of the Fire Smart fuel management work undertaken in recent years in greenbelt areas throughout the 108 Mile Ranch area,” according to the Cariboo Regional District.
Realtors warn of regulations impact
Jan. 25 – Local realtors and the BC Northern Real Estate Board wanted consumers to be aware of new rules set to take effect they said would heavily impact consumers in rural areas.
“I’m not against change but I have to wonder if the public has any idea of the actual extent and depth of these changes and how they will negatively affect not only realtors but buyers and sellers rights as well. It’s truly frightening,” said 100 Mile House Royal LePage owner and managing broker Wayne Walker.
100 Mile House RE/MAX owner David Jurek shared that concern.
“The consumer won’t necessarily be able to choose who their realtor is gonna be. And in some cases, the realtor that’s representing them that has their house listed may be forced to step aside and have somebody else deal with them.”
Fourplex gets go ahead
Feb. 1 – Council approved a rezoning change allowing for a fourplex lot on Blackstock Road. instead of a duplex.
“What we’re seeing is a lack of housing for professionals [and] for the health-care professionals who are trying to come into our clinics here and thought there was a need for it,” said Coun. Dave Mingo, who was acting mayor.
Winter storm hits Cariboo
Feb. 8 – The South Cariboo was plagued by winter weather with school buses not running. Environment Canada issued winter
The RCMP put out their own warning ahead of the predicted snowfall.
“If you don’t need to be out in these types of conditions, perhaps consider changing or postponing your travel plans,” stated Cpl. Madonna Saunderson.
Residents voiced concerns over Blackstock Fourplex
Feb. 15 – Bonnie Reith voiced concerns over the approval of a fourplex on Blackstock.
“Essentially the reason why I disagree with the fourplex is because Blackstock Road is old infrastructure. It is an old road, there are no sidewalks. In fact, there is a big ditch on either side so people parking on the street causes safety concerns. There is a lot of kids, a lot of dogs, there’s a lot of cats on that street.”
$167,000 for hospital
Feb. 22 – The 100 Mile General Hospital was granted funding for renovations in the admitting/triage patient area as part of Interior Health’s approved 2018/19 Capital Budget.
“This project will improve patient care by providing healthcare staff a direct line of sight into the Emergency Department waiting area. The renovations will include improved signage and greater privacy for patients when they present to the Emergency Department,” said Lori Boothby, acute health service director at Interior Health.
CRD gathers input on Rec Centre expansion
March 1 – Open houses gave residents within the South Cariboo recreation area more information about the proposed expansion, as well as gauge the thoughts of local residents.
“We want more than a 51 percent win,” said co-chair of the working group Margo Wagner.
Shane Gunn elected citizen of the year
March 8 – Shane Gunn was elected Citizen of the Year at the Annual South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence & Citizen of the Year Awards.
“Obviously it’s a great honour and I think I can speak on behalf of all the other nominees, that it’s just an honour to be nominated.”
In total, the Chamber received 873 votes.
Student anxiety increase
March 8 – There was an increase in student anxiety at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School.
“The issues from where I sit, the number of increasing incidences of mental health – anxiety and other mental issues we’re dealing with have far outstripped anything we’ve seen before,” said Geoff Butcher, principal of the school. “We deal with this issue daily here.”
Accommodation tax approved
March 15 – An accommodation tax was approved for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast (CCC).
“These funds along with other generous investments by our tourism industry partners will go a long way to ensuring our key markets are informed that the exceptional visitor experiences provided by our region are available for the 2018 tourism season and beyond,” said CCC Tourism Association CEO Amy Thacker.
New principal for Forest Grove Elementary
March 15 – Mark Doolan has been appointed as the new principal of Forest Grove Elementary School following former principal Mikel Brogan’s departure.
“It’s almost like a whole career change. It’s exciting to take on a new challenge. I was ready for a new challenge.”
Committee votes in favour of referendum
March 22 – The South Cariboo Joint Committee voted in favour of a referendum on the proposed South Cariboo Rec Centre Expansion.
“If we do nothing, we’re in gridlock,” said CRD area G (Lac la Hache – 108 Mile Ranch) Director Al Richmond. It was a sentiment echoed by other attending members.
Six paramedics to be added
March 29 – 100 Mile House would get six new full-time paramedics, according to a release by BC Emergency Health Services.
“I think it’s fantastic. It’s a long time coming. It’s going to give a lot of relief to our fire departments throughout the South Cariboo,” said Mayor Mitch Campsall.
Grand opening for Interlakes library
March 29 – The new Interlakes Library officially opened with roughly 35 people attending.
“Residents have waited a long time for this library and have been without a library a long time since the Bridge Lake School closed,” said Margo Wagner, chair of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD).
Man allegedly makes threats of physical harm
April 5 – 100 Mile House RCMP received a report that a male had allegedly made threats of physical harm to individuals known to him. The victims were reported to currently be at Country Prime Meats.
Police immediately attended the business and located the individuals and ensured their safety. For the safety of all employees, the business closed for the day and all employees are safe.
Canim Lake Band elects new Chief
April 12 – The Canim Lake Band elected a new Chief in Helen Henderson.
“I am humbled for sure. I didn’t go into this lightly and the decision to run wasn’t an easy one. It’s a lot of work and at times, extended times away from my family. It is not only my commitment; it is the commitment of my loved ones.”
500 Hectare burn planned
April 19 – A 500 hectare planned burn was delayed to at least April 20.
The purpose of the burn was to help restore native grassland ecosystems in the area, according to the Ministry and would cover about 500 hectares on the eastern bank of the Fraser River (across from the Churn Creek Protected Area).
Hospital receives new equipment
April 26 – The 100 Mile House and District Hospital received a bunch of new equipment thanks to the South Cariboo Health Foundation.
The new additions included two lab collection carts ($3,965), linen carts ($4,600), four medications carts ($12,726) and a respiratory unit ($3,000).
Referendum detail announced
May 3 – The referendum on the South Cariboo Rec Centre expansion was set for June 9.
A survey showed divided support on the issue with 43 per cent in favour, 47 per cent against and 10 per cent undecided.
Stage to be built in Centennial Park
May 10 – It was announced that a stage would be built in Centennial Park.
“It’s been needed for many, many years. It’s going to increase our cultural visibility,” said Wally Bramsleven who would help build the stage. “We’ve got an open area, whether it’s [for] performing or display artists or other events [that] can be hosted at an outdoor venue to little or no charge and to just create a more cultural atmosphere and get more usage for the park.”
Man arrested after evading RCMP
May 17 – A man was arrested after evading RCMP.
“This vehicle was seen driving at a high rate of speed and an aggressive manner. Witnesses believe his speeds were in excess of 150 kilometres per hour,” said Staff Sgt Svend Nielsen.
100 Mile principal retiring
May 24 – It was announced that Donna Rodger would be retiring from SD27.
During her 36 years with the district, Roger worked as both a teacher and as an administrator.
Assent vote for TNRD VFDs
May 24 – The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) officially gave the green light to an assent vote (referendum) on whether or not the TNRD should create several fire protection service areas under their service delivery.
Residents in the South Green Lake area would be asked if they wanted to make the Volunteer Fire Department a TNRD VFD.
Fire department stops fire on Cariboo Trail
May 31 – An urban wildfire occurred behind the RE/MAX office on the Cariboo Trail, beside Carefree Manor.
“[We’re] not sure of the cause at this point but we managed to suppress the fire before it got to any of the buildings and surrounding homes,” said fire chief Roger Hollander.
Elections B.C. looking into “Vote No”signs
June 7 – “Vote No” signs appeared on Highway 97, heading south into 100 Mile House just four days before the scheduled referendum for the proposed expansion of the South Cariboo Recreation Centre.
“We have received a few inquiries on this particular case and we’re looking into those now to determine whether or not they constitute sponsorship and whether or not the requirements apply,” said Elections BC communication manager Andrew Watson.
“No” vote wins referendum on rec centre
June 14 – A landslide 74 per cent of voters said no to a proposed Rec Centre expansion.
“I am very pleased with the voter turnout for the referendum and glad that the result was definitive. We wanted the public to have their say on this project and the direction is very clear,” said Coun. Ralph Fossum, who was also a co-chair for the project.
Two people displaced after fire
June 21 – Two residents were displaced after the building in their backyard burned down.
“I come running out and I thought I could put it out with the garden hose,” said Nicholas Thomas, “but it started burning too much.”
Three VFDs to come under TNRD control
June 28 – Referendums on whether or not to create three new fire protection areas within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) passed with overwhelming support, according to preliminary results. “I’m very happy that it passed. It takes our liability issues away as of next January,” said South Green Lake VFD chief Peter McKie.