Woman killed by falling tree

Image Credit: (SOURCE: Ministry of Justice)
November 27, 2012 - 1:37 PM

The B.C. Coronor's Service has just released the identity of a 42-year-old Kamloops woman who died Nov. 25 while felling a tree for firewood on a remote forestry road off Lac Le Jeune Road. 

The woman is Melissa Jane Boisclair and the report states she was with a family member at the time of the accident.

 

Boisclair was attended by ambulance paramedics, but died of her injuries at the scene.

 

Family has been notified of the her death.

 

The B.C. Coroner's Service continues to investigate.

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  • Another Bush in the White House?

    EX-AMABASSADOR SAYS JEB COULD BE A CONTENDER

    WASHINGTON - As Jeb Bush weighs a run for the White House, his prospective candidacy is being praised by a well-known Republican who helped organize his brother's successful campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

    David Wilkins, the former ambassador to Canada who co-chaired and then chaired George W. Bush's two campaigns in the key Republican primary state of South Carolina, says the younger sibling has the skills to go the distance.

    "He brings a lot to the table. He would be a serious candidate from Day One," Wilkins said in an interview, touting Bush's track record as Florida governor and his thoughtful stand on immigration and education.

    "If he decides to run, I'm not saying he'd win, but I think he'd be a very viable candidate."

    The former South Carolina legislature speaker, political organizer, and diplomat isn't showing his cards yet about whom he'd support — but he said he'd hope to chat with Bush should he decide to run.

    Wilkins' home state tends to be a make-or-break one for Republican presidential aspirants. South Carolina backed every successful Republican nominee since the modern primary system was introduced in 1980, until 2012 when primary voters in the state broke their winning streak by backing Newt Gingrich.

    The next one could be a classic.

    On one side, party brass are eager to get behind a candidate with mainstream appeal to avoid a repeat of the energy-sapping battle of 2012 and, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie undermined by a bridge scandal, they're reportedly pressing Bush to consider running.

    In the other corner, there's a conservative grassroots fed up with seeing its favourite candidates brushed aside in favour of establishment darlings like John McCain and Mitt Romney, who go on to lose anyway.

    Bush has said he'll take the rest of the year to decide.

    Wilkins said he could be the guy to rally the party base in early 2016 and then win over the general public later in the year.

    "I think Republicans are hungry for a candidate we can get behind," Wilkins said.

    "The trump card will be a candidate who can unite people, who can win in November. I think Republicans are looking for that type of candidate — maybe not one who just appeals to a certain segment of the Republican party but someone who can appeal to the all the Republican party and, most importantly, be a strong candidate to independents and therefore be able to win in November.

    "I think Jeb Bush would be one of those. I'm not saying he'd be the only one."

    The grassroots is far from unanimous on that score.

    The potential blowback has been evident in some of the vitriol in online comment boards, and in the boos when Bush's name was scornfully raised by Donald Trump at a New Hampshire conservative event last week.

    The biggest knocks against him?

    One, he supports federalized education standards. And then there's his support for residency rights for illegal immigrants.

    Party members are fuming over his recent expression of sympathy for parents who sneak across the border in the hope of a better life for their children, which Bush called an "act of love." He has personal ties to the Latin American community, through his Mexican-born wife Columba, and a report this week said she wasn't keen on him re-entering politics.

    Bush has said two factors will guide his decision on whether to run: his family, and whether he believes he could do it "joyfully."

    He appeared determined to drive home that sunny message when speaking to a party grassroots that has come to be defined over the last few years by anger — particularly at the Obama White House.

    "All too often we're associated with being 'anti' everything," Bush told last year's Conservative Political Action Conference.

    "Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker, and the list goes on and on and on. Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates even though they share our core beliefs, because those voters feel unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party."

    He even expressed concern about inequality: "Here's reality: if you're fortunate enough to count yourself among the privileged, much of the rest of the nation is drowning. In our country today, if you're born poor, if your parents didn't go to college, if you don't know your father, if English isn't spoken at home, then the odds are stacked against you."

    The political odds might also be stacked against him.

    That speech drew polite applause. An aggregate of polls on the RealClearPolitics website suggests Bush would face stiff competition in a wide-open Republican field that lacks a clear front-runner.

    The winner's prize: a daunting encounter with Hillary Clinton. The presumed Democratic favourite appears to have a crushing lead over the entire Republican field.

  • Long-awaited response to petition to deport Justin Bieber

    WASHINGTON - The White House has two words for those who want President Barack Obama to deport Justin Bieber: No comment.

    Nearly 275,000 people signed an Internet petition calling the Canadian-born teen idol reckless and asking Obama to revoke his green card.

    That's far more than required to merit an official response through the White House's "We the People" program.

    The White House says it's sorry to disappoint, but it won't be commenting. It's citing a caveat that lets the White House decline to address certain petitions.

    But the White House is using the occasion to argue that an immigration overhaul could shrink deficits by nearly $1 trillion over two decades.

    The White House says that's equivalent to 12.5 billion concert tickets — or 100 billion copies of Bieber's debut album.

  • Respect our privacy; families of Calgary mass murder victims release statement

    "UNIMAGINABLE SORROW"

    CALGARY - The families of the victims stabbed to death at a party in Calgary on Tuesday have joined together to issue a statement about the horrific crime.

    Matthew de Grood faces five counts of first-degree murder in what police are calling the worst mass murder in the city's history.

    "In this time of tremendous grief and tragedy, our five families have come together as one. We know the public and media are searching to understand how this could have happened, as are we. But we also know that these answers will take time and nothing will come as quickly as we want or need.

    "As a group, we have come together to support one another, and in time, start the healing process. First, we must say goodbye to our loved ones, which includes memorials and funerals over the coming days and weeks.

    "We ask that in this time of unimaginable sorrow, you respect our privacy and give us the breathing room we need to come to grips with what has happened to Josh, Zack, Kaiti, Jordan and Lawrence.

    "We are not at a point where we are ready to speak publicly to any media outlet or reporter. We can assure you that when the time comes we, as a group, will do so. This will be co-ordinated through the Public Affairs/Media Relations Unit of the Calgary Police Service.

    "We ask that you extend this privacy to the witnesses and close friends of our beloved five, as they, too, are suffering unimaginable grief. When the time comes for them to speak out, they will do it with the help of the CPS.

    "Over the coming days, we will be releasing details of various funds where donations can be made to support the numerous bursaries and scholarships being planned to remember our loved ones.

    "We wish to extend our thanks to Calgarians, and others who have expressed their condolences for our loss. We know you are grieving, too, and we truly appreciate the support."

    Police have said de Grood finished his late shift at a grocery store before going to a house party which was being held to celebrate the last day of classes at the University of Calgary. He was an invited guest and mingled with some of the 20 people there before he allegedly grabbed a large knife and started attacking people one by one.

    Police said a significant part of their investigation will focus on whether de Grood was suffering from mental illness and officers will be looking into any communications he had with people before the slayings.

    The Calgary Herald reported that de Grood sent disjointed and confusing text messages to his family before showing up at the party. The newspaper quoted an unnamed officer close to de Grood's father as saying the family was worried he might commit suicide that night. His mother called police and his father went looking for him, the source said. The story also said de Grood had mental health problems in high school.

    Fay said he knows nothing of any texts and had not heard that his client had been mentally unstable in the past. He said de Grood's family doesn't agree with a lot of things being reported in the news media, but did not elaborate.

    De Grood remains in custody at a psychiatric centre. Fay had earlier indicated a psychiatric assessment had been ordered, but clarified Thursday that that order had yet to be given. He said he expected the Crown would request one when de Grood appears in court Tuesday.

    Fay said he has met with de Grood, but the man's parents have yet to see their son.

    "He appeared distraught. He appeared upset. He appeared fearful. All those things that one would expect under those circumstances," Fay said of his client.

    Police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said any messages de Grood sent before the party would form "a significant part of this investigation." He told reporters that if any texts exist, they might help explain the suspect's state of mind and also provide clues to a motive.

    Investigators have said it appears there was nothing — no grudge or vendetta — that might have provoked the attack. They aren't even sure de Grood knew the victims.

    Brookwell said officers are still interviewing witnesses and piecing together what happened at the party. He said it's not known how one person managed to kill five people in a crowded home and escape. De Grood was taken into custody about 40 minutes after the attack, with the help of a police dog.

    "There's going to be a lot of guessing and everybody's trying to get that answer as to how this possibly could have happened and did no one intervene?" said Brookwell. "It is quite possible that people didn't even know it was going on, people froze."

    The victims have been identified as Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27.

    Two Edmonton prosecutors have been assigned to the case to address any perception of bias because of de Grood's father. Brookwell dismissed any notion that an outside police force should also be brought in.

    He said police made a speedy arrest and charges had been laid by the end of the day.

    The City of Calgary has lowered all flags at its municipal buildings and said they will remain at half-mast until sunset on the day of the last victim's funeral.

    The first service has been set for Segura on Monday.

  • Man charged with making death threats against father of Rehtaeh Parsons

    HALIFAX - Police in Halifax have charged a young man accused of making death threats against the father of Rehtaeh Parsons.

    Police won't disclose the name of the alleged victim or of the 19-year-old accused, who has yet to appear in court.

    But Parsons' father, Glen Canning, said Saturday the charges relate to online threats made against him last year.

    Canning also said police told him the accused is one of two teens facing child pornography-related charges in connection with his daughter's case.

    "They called me on Thursday night and mentioned that charges were filed in relation to the online threats that I had received," Canning said in an interview.

    Canning's daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, was taken off life-support last April after attempting suicide in her Halifax home. Her family says the 17-year-old was relentlessly tormented after a photograph of her allegedly being sexually assaulted in November 2011 was passed around her school.

    Two teens face charges of distributing child pornography in connection with the case, while one of them also faces a charge of making child pornography. They cannot be named because they were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offences and both are charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    RCMP spokesman Cpl. Scott MacRae said police began investigating the alleged death threats last Aug. 2 after receiving a complaint from a 49-year-old man.

    "It did take until April of this year to move the investigation along," he said. "There are means to eventually determine the ownership of the computer or possibility of who made the threats, albeit a complex process."

    MacRae said police executed a search warrant at a home in the suburb of Eastern Passage and seized a computer and electronic storage devices. A 19-year-old man was arrested at the home Thursday.

    He is due in court May 20 on charges including uttering death threats and criminal harassment.

    Canning, who has been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault and cyberbullying, said he and his family have been the targets of online harassment since his daughter's death.

    But Canning said some comments went too far and that's when he contacted police.

    "I believe they were just threatening to kill me if I didn't shut up," he said.

  • Looking for a forever home, Vernon SPCA pets of the week

    Sochi

    Sochi is a very sweet polydactyl cat - meaning he has extra toes on his front feet that make it look like he is perpetually wearing mittens! He was found as a stray who hadn't been neutered, so a kind soul brought him to the Vernon SPCA.

    Sochi is living in a communal at the shelter and loves his three roomates!He is sometimes shy as you walk in the door but will quickly wake up out of his cat nap and come to greet you! Sochi is looking for a loving furever home where he can be safe and warm!

    Animal ID #325019

     

    Victor

    Victor is a large handsome man.

    He is super affectionate and loving, and likes to talk to you every once in awhile and rub on your legs.

    He seems fairly easy going & laid back and likes to lounge around most of the day!

    He would be happy in a home where he has access to both indoor and outdoor areas, and gets lots of snuggle time! May not be suitable with other cats.

    Animal ID #294096

     

    B.C. SPCA - Vernon and District Branch
    250-549-7297

  • Big money raised in colourful fundraiser

    KELOWNA – It’s the very latest in fundraising and it is extremely colourful.

    The Easter Seals Splash of Colour Family Fun Run was held in Kelowna and Vernon Saturday morning.

    Over 1,000 people burst through clouds of brightly coloured powder to raise money for Easter Seals Camp in Winfield.

    Participants were running, biking and pushing strollers on the 5 km course.

    There was an appropriate bunny theme thanks to the event being held on the Easter long weekend.

    "We raised approximately $95,000 in total for both cities with Kelowna coming in around $52,000 and Vernon doing extremely well at an estimated $43,000,”  president and CEO Easter Seals BC/Yukon Stephen Miller said. “The money we raise in the Okanagan helps Okanagan kids and their families.”

    Check out some of the pictures posted to social media during the run.

     

  • Free Yukon Blonde concert

    KELOWNA – Yes. A free concert by up-and-coming pop rockers Yukon Blonde.

    Frontman Jeff Innes, guitarist Brandon Scott and drummer Graham Jones originally hail from Kelowna where they started out as Alphababy in 2005.

    The trio reinvented themselves in 2005 as Yukon Blonde.

    The free concert goes May 19 at City Park and is part of the Red Bull Hometown Tour.

    The band’s debut album Everything in Everyway, was recorded in 2009 in Vancouver.

    You can RSVP for the Kelowna concert at Red Bull’s website.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • VIDEO: Air Canada under fire over video showing baggage being dropped

    TORONTO - Air Canada is apologizing after a video purporting to show a baggage handler dropping luggage from roughly six metres off the ground hit social media.

    The video, taken by a passenger on board a plane, shows a baggage handler dropping bags from a boarding gate to a luggage bin.

    The video posted April 18 on YouTube is titled "How Air Canada Handles Your Baggage," but it doesn't say where or when the incident occurred.

    It's generating a wide range of comments both on the video site and Twitter, with some people lambasting Air Canada and saying they won't fly on the airline again.

    Others were more charitable saying the airline should not be judged by the actions of one baggage handler.

    In Twitter posts on Saturday, Air Canada says it has launched an investigation and is "very disappointed & sorry about the actions in the video."

    "The actions don't reflect our procedure. We apologize for this," the airline said in another tweet.