Top News
  • Port Hardy earthquake felt across Okanagan

    KELOWNA - A series of earthquakes 90km south of Port Hardy has several Twitter users saying they felt it here in the Okanagan as well.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first quake hit at 8:10 p.m. and registered 6.7. A second 5.0 quake struck the same area seven minutes later followed by a 4.3 at 8:40 p.m.

    Several Tweet's were sent by Okanagan residents saying they felt the earthquake in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon, however this has not been confirmed.

    There are no reports of damage or injuries. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

    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.

  • You dirty rat: almost 80 dead rodents found in southern Alberta landfill

    MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - Another 78 dead rats have been pulled from a southern Alberta landfill that has been plagued by the pests.

    The City of Medicine Hat is working to get rid of the rodents and is providing a weekly update.

    Last week, 63 dead rats were discovered and the week before there were 39.

    Jason Storch, an agricultural fieldman with Cypress County, says he can't put a timeline on the situation.

    The rats were spotted at the dump earlier this month after someone reported finding one in a farmyard.

    Alberta has always prided itself on being rat free, but that status has been in question since August 2012 when the vermin were first found in the landfill.

    At least 100 Norway rats were killed by city workers after an 80- metre-long nest was discovered. It took six hours for 21 workers and two excavators to dismantle it.

    The landfill has been continuously monitored since then and the city credits that vigilance for discovering the new cases. City officials said earlier this month that more poison was being put out and that staff would check bait stations daily.

    Agricultural fieldmen known by Albertans as the "rat patrol'' have worked for years to target invading rats in a control zone along the province's eastern boundary.

  • RCMP plan to deal with the 'regulars' and reduce crime

    PENTICTON — RCMP Supt. Kevin Hewco said dealing will serial offenders is his first priority for the annual performance plan.

    Hewco presented the Penticton RCMP’s first quarter report to City council Tuesday night. He said prolific offender management programs are going help them catch the criminals who cause a good portion of the city’s property crime.

    “It’s those few that are causing all your property crime in this town, I can guarantee it,” he said.

    Hewco said the RCMP will concentrate their investigative resources to catch these criminals and get them into treatment or jail. They will also work with service providers and government agencies, including, but not limited to Community Corrections, Crown Counsel, and the Ministry of Housing.

    “I’ve seen it work,” Hewco said of the program.

    A prolific offender is someone who commits a disproportionate amount of crime, according to the quarterly report. The difference between a prolific offender and a repeat offender is prolific offenders fail to control their criminal behaviour, and addictions, mental health issues, self-esteem and lack of skills may also be motivating factors, the report states.

    There are also seven active chronic nuisance offenders in Penticton responsible for three per cent of total files in the first few months of 2014. They made up 13 per cent of total liquor act, safe streets and cause disturbance reports for that time period, according to the report.

    One offender is a 15 year old girl and chronic runaway, while the other six are men aged 40 to 63 who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Orphaned bear cub sent to rehab

    PENTICTON — A baby black bear was found alone in Penticton but has been rescued and taken to a shelter.

    The cub, who was named Norman, was taken to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, B.C. to be cared for.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Council requests another new design for proposed housing development

    PENTICTON — City council decided new designs were needed for a proposed apartment development on Scott Avenue after hearing residents' concerns during an earlier public hearing.

    It's been two years since the project was first proposed to council in 2012. The applicant, Singla Brothers Holding Ltd. wants to build a four-storey apartment building on a lot that is too small, councillors and neighbours said.

    The proposed lot at 273 Scott Avenue is currently zoned for a duplex, so there would be no problem building a duplex on the site. However, the applicant is asking for a zoning change so an apartment building can be built there.

    Right now, there is a rental home on the property, and the whole lot is an eyesore according to residents. Cars, boats and lots of junk are left out on the lawn and all over the property, creating a huge, ugly mess, said Don Maundrell, a nearby home owner.

    Several residents of Scott Avenue, including Maundrell came forward and said they are not against development, the proposed design is just too big for the lot.

    Maundrell said, he was at the public hearing in 2012 when council advised the applicant to come back with a plan that fits the lot because earlier designs were also too big.

    “This has absolutely not been achieved,” Maundrell said.

    His property on Argyle Street borders the proposed lot and with the proposed dimensions, he will be able to touch the building without leaving his backyard.

    “Basically, I feel I’m going to provide their green space,” he said. 

    Residents expressed their concerns for other issues pertaining to the development, the biggest being safety.

    They said there is a lot of traffic on the street, which is very narrow and full of parked cars, and there isn’t enough sidewalk space for pedestrians.

    One woman asked what will happen when another 16 families are added to the street when the apartment is built.

    During the council meeting, councillors debated whether the plan should be postponed or completely abandoned completely.

    “It’s time to give the residents of this neighborhood a break,” Coun. Katie Robinson said.

    There is a mix of housing on the street, including duplexes, single-family homes and apartment buildings.

    “I don’t think all the infilling needs to be done on one street,” she said.

    Coun. Judy Sentes praised the architect for his designs but said, ultimately, it’s not the right design for that lot, though she didn’t want to give up on the project completely.

    “You’d have to tweak it in half,” she said about making changes to the size of the building.

    In the end, council sent the plan back to the applicant to revise. They'll come back once they create a design to fit the lot space.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Penticton family with epileptic child wants law allowing her to use medical marijuana

    PENTICTON - When a retired police officer from Summerland left his job after 25 years, he hardly imagined fighting for his little granddaughter to be given marijuana.

    Chris Nuessler, along his wife and Elaine, wants Canada to allow two-year-old Kyla Williams to be given a form of medical marijuana known to prevent seizures resulting from epilepsy.

    The girl's parents, Jared and Courtney Williams, along with the Nuesslers, have been researching medical pot use and speaking with experts to build what they're calling "Kyla's medical team."

    They say Kyla has suffered severe side effects from prescription drugs when she could be helped like other children in the United States.

    A strain of marijuana commonly called Charlotte's Web has been known to help kids in the U.S., but it's illegal in Canada.

    It contains very little THC, which provides the buzz recreational pot users crave, and is mostly made up of CBD, which limits the severity and frequency of seizures.

    Named after a little girl named Charlotte Figi who has epilepsy, the weed has allowed her to develop and enjoy a more normal life.

    In Canada, the only form of legalized medical marijuana is dried, meaning Kyla would have to smoke it.

    Chris Nuessler said his view of marijuana as medicine has radically changed since his policing days.

    "For me it was back to the 1980s and 1990s mindset when I was busting people. I had to do a 180 (degree turn) and start researching this."

    Kyla appeared to be a healthy, little girl for the first six months of her life until her mother noticed she wasn't progressing at a normal rate and had unusual eye movements.

    After she was seen by a pediatrician, Kyla was rushed to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where she was diagnosed with retractable seizure disorder.

    Over the next year, the little girl was placed on a series of prescription drug mixtures, received steroid shots and was given a high fat diet.

    She even developed a kidney stone. Some of the drugs had brutal side effects and she was averaging 100 seizures a day, her grandparents said.

    "The drugs aren't really working and we were told there's really nowhere she can go," Elaine Nuessler said. "She's down to her last drug. She may seizure for the rest of her very short life."

    In March, Kyla's mother and grandmother made a trip to Vancouver and were told Kyla's life expectancy would be short.

    "We both cried all the way home from Vancouver," Courtney Williams said.

    The next day, Courtney's 91-year-old grandfather called to tell her he'd seen a CNN report on Charlotte's Web and how it's been known to help children with cancer and epilepsy.

    "Her development was so similar to so many of the kids who have been helped by cannabis," Elaine Nuessler said.

    With Kyla's father working for long periods of time in Fort McMurray, the Nuesslers have become incredibly active in Kyla's life and are in the process of selling their home to accommodate the toddler and her parents.

    They say they've spoken with leading experts in the field, including Figi's doctor, and have even considered moving to Colorado, where marijuana is available.

    "Our entire support network is here," said Courtney Williams, who was trained as a health-care aide.

    Growing pot themselves is not an option because it requires detailed chemistry to create Charlotte's Web.

    The family said they want to try the marijuana to see how it will work for Kyla and understand that there are no guarantees.

    "Why not? It can't be any worse for her than some of the horrible drugs she's been put on and the side effects her little body has had to endure," Elaine Nuessler said.

    "Our main thing is access, awareness and acceptance, not only for Kyla but for other children in her situation. In my opinion you should be able to go to your doctor, get a prescription and then go to a pharmacy or dispensary and get exactly what you need."

  • Extradition in Amanda Todd case could come before Dutch trial: prosecution

    VANCOUVER - Dutch prosecutors says the possible extradition of a man accused of using the Internet to target underage girls, including B.C. teen Amanda Todd, won't necessarily have to wait until after his trial in Holland.

    Thirty-five-year-old Aydin Coban is facing charges in Canada and the Netherlands over allegations he surreptitiously recorded webcam footage of underage girls and men and then used the footage to extort them.

    The RCMP announced last week that Coban is facing five charges in B.C. related to Todd, a 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who turned to suicide after she was exploited online.

    B.C.'s criminal justice branch has already said it plans to ask the federal Justice Department to seek the man's extradition to face trial in Canada, but there have been questions about how quickly that could happen.

    Paul van der Zanden, a spokesman for Holland's public prosecution service, says it hasn't received a formal extradition request, so the court process in that country will continue toward a trial.

    But van der Zanden suggests that plan could change if an extradition request is made, though he says he can't speculate about precisely what would happen once that occurs.

  • Two arrested during plainclothes RCMP operation

    OSOYOOS - A plainclothes RCMP operation netted two arrests between April 16 and 17 as Mounties spent the day watching people and cars coming and going in downtown Osoyoos.

    Both arrests took place on the second day of the operation. The first happened at 1:47 a.m. when police noticed a grey 2008 Chevrolet Impala driving in an unusual manner. Officers pulled the car over at Main and 87 Street and found the man at the wheel had a cell phone though he was ordered by the court not to carry one. Police conducted a search and found drugs in the man's possession. He was arrested, the vehicle was then searched and 180 grams of marijuana was seized from the trunk of the car.

    The 19-year-old Kelowna man faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and breach of recognizance.

    The second arrest took place around 4:20 a.m. Police stopped a red 1993 Honda Civic on Highway 3 near Meadowlark Drive. The driver failed to produce a licence and gave police several false names. He was arrested for obstructing a police officer. Mounties also discovered he was driving while prohibited. A search of the car revealed a pair of brass knuckles and a small quantity of suspected crystal meth.

    The 41-year-old man from Grand Forks faces charges of driving while prohibited and his vehicle was impounded for seven days.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email marcher@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

     

  • Port Hardy earthquake felt across Okanagan

    KELOWNA - A series of earthquakes 90km south of Port Hardy has several Twitter users saying they felt it here in the Okanagan as well.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first quake hit at 8:10 p.m. and registered 6.7. A second 5.0 quake struck the same area seven minutes later followed by a 4.3 at 8:40 p.m.

    Several Tweet's were sent by Okanagan residents saying they felt the earthquake in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon, however this has not been confirmed.

    There are no reports of damage or injuries. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

    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.

    ...More...

  • Orphaned bear cub sent to rehab

    PENTICTON — A baby black bear was found alone in Penticton but has been rescued and taken to a shelter.

    The cub, who was named Norman, was taken to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, B.C. to be cared for.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...

  • Council requests another new design for proposed housing development

    PENTICTON — City council decided new designs were needed for a proposed apartment development on Scott Avenue after hearing residents' concerns during an earlier public hearing.

    It's been two years since the project was first proposed to council in 2012. The applicant, Singla Brothers Holding Ltd. wants to build a four-storey apartment building on a lot that is too small, councillors and neighbours said.

    The proposed lot at 273 Scott Avenue is currently zoned for a duplex, so there would be no problem building a duplex on the site. However, the applicant is asking for a zoning change so an apartment building can be built there.

    Right now, there is a rental home on the property, and the whole lot is an eyesore according to residents. Cars, boats and lots of junk are left out on the lawn and all over the property, creating a huge, ugly mess, said Don Maundrell, a nearby home owner.

    Several residents of Scott Avenue, including Maundrell came forward and said they are not against development, the proposed design is just too big for the lot.

    Maundrell said, he was at the public hearing in 2012 when council advised the applicant to come back with a plan that fits the lot because earlier designs were also too big.

    “This has absolutely not been achieved,” Maundrell said.

    His property on Argyle Street borders the proposed lot and with the proposed dimensions, he will be able to touch the building without leaving his backyard.

    “Basically, I feel I’m going to provide their green space,” he said. 

    Residents expressed their concerns for other issues pertaining to the development, the biggest being safety.

    They said there is a lot of traffic on the street, which is very narrow and full of parked cars, and there isn’t enough sidewalk space for pedestrians.

    One woman asked what will happen when another 16 families are added to the street when the apartment is built.

    During the council meeting, councillors debated whether the plan should be postponed or completely abandoned completely.

    “It’s time to give the residents of this neighborhood a break,” Coun. Katie Robinson said.

    There is a mix of housing on the street, including duplexes, single-family homes and apartment buildings.

    “I don’t think all the infilling needs to be done on one street,” she said.

    Coun. Judy Sentes praised the architect for his designs but said, ultimately, it’s not the right design for that lot, though she didn’t want to give up on the project completely.

    “You’d have to tweak it in half,” she said about making changes to the size of the building.

    In the end, council sent the plan back to the applicant to revise. They'll come back once they create a design to fit the lot space.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...

  • Extradition in Amanda Todd case could come before Dutch trial: prosecution

    VANCOUVER - Dutch prosecutors says the possible extradition of a man accused of using the Internet to target underage girls, including B.C. teen Amanda Todd, won't necessarily have to wait until after his trial in Holland.

    Thirty-five-year-old Aydin Coban is facing charges in Canada and the Netherlands over allegations he surreptitiously recorded webcam footage of underage girls and men and then used the footage to extort them.

    The RCMP announced last week that Coban is facing five charges in B.C. related to Todd, a 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who turned to suicide after she was exploited online.

    B.C.'s criminal justice branch has already said it plans to ask the federal Justice Department to seek the man's extradition to face trial in Canada, but there have been questions about how quickly that could happen.

    Paul van der Zanden, a spokesman for Holland's public prosecution service, says it hasn't received a formal extradition request, so the court process in that country will continue toward a trial.

    But van der Zanden suggests that plan could change if an extradition request is made, though he says he can't speculate about precisely what would happen once that occurs.

    ...More...

  • Two arrested during plainclothes RCMP operation

    OSOYOOS - A plainclothes RCMP operation netted two arrests between April 16 and 17 as Mounties spent the day watching people and cars coming and going in downtown Osoyoos.

    Both arrests took place on the second day of the operation. The first happened at 1:47 a.m. when police noticed a grey 2008 Chevrolet Impala driving in an unusual manner. Officers pulled the car over at Main and 87 Street and found the man at the wheel had a cell phone though he was ordered by the court not to carry one. Police conducted a search and found drugs in the man's possession. He was arrested, the vehicle was then searched and 180 grams of marijuana was seized from the trunk of the car.

    The 19-year-old Kelowna man faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and breach of recognizance.

    The second arrest took place around 4:20 a.m. Police stopped a red 1993 Honda Civic on Highway 3 near Meadowlark Drive. The driver failed to produce a licence and gave police several false names. He was arrested for obstructing a police officer. Mounties also discovered he was driving while prohibited. A search of the car revealed a pair of brass knuckles and a small quantity of suspected crystal meth.

    The 41-year-old man from Grand Forks faces charges of driving while prohibited and his vehicle was impounded for seven days.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email marcher@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

     

    ...More...

  • Kelowna man carries a million bucks in his wallet for a month

    KELOWNA - A local man bought a 6/49 ticket on his return road trip from Vancouver to Kelowna and forgot about it. A month later, he was thinking about what to do with $1 million.

    Steve Woloshyn of Kelowna purchased the ticket for the March 22 draw while getting gas at a Chevron station in Hope on Old Hope Princeton Way. He tucked it in his wallet. Woloshyn went about his business for a whole month before casually pulling it out and sliding it into a number checker to see how he'd done.

    “When I put the ticket into the machine and saw winner I figured I’d won a smaller prize, not a whole million,” he said in disbelief. “It finally began to sink in when the clerk called BCLC.”

    Woloshyn's first phone call was to his wife at home in Kelowna. She thought he was joking until he sent through a picture of the winning ticket.

    “I can’t believe I carried one million dollars in my wallet for a month,” laughed Woloshyn. “I’m an accountant for goodness sake. I should know where my money is!”

    Woloshyn will use his prize to pay off his mortgage and enjoy the summer with his wife and children.

    ...More...

  • Puppy survives being shot with pellets

    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — A puppy is recovering in Salmon Arm after being found with multiple pellet-shot wounds near Niskonlith Lake.

    The four-month-old German shepherd puppy was found by a couple people walking their dogs.

    “Some individuals out walking their dogs by Nisquanles Lake earlier this month saw the puppy cowering under a bush,” says B.C. SPCA senior animal protection officer Kathy Woodward. “They took him to a veterinary clinic in Salmon Arm, where the pellets were removed.”

    She notes that one of the pellets surgically removed was only one millimetre from puppy’s aorta.

    The veterinarian caring for the puppy is covering the full costs of his medical care and one of the clinic staff plans to adopt the dog.

    “Thankfully, the puppy will recover and will be adopted into a loving home, but the SPCA is seeking information leading to charges in the case,” says Const. Woodward. “It is important that people understand that animal cruelty is not acceptable and those who inflict pain and suffering on animals will be brought to justice.”

    The B.C. SPCA is asking anyone with information about the incident to please contact the B.C. SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...

  • Peachfest Tribute Night for those about to rock

    PENTICTON — Peachfest is hosting its first ever Tribute Night during this year’s festivities.

    Tribute bands, including Forever Young (Neil Young), High Voltage (AC/DC), and U4 (U2) will light up the beachfront of Lake Okanagan on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.

    “It will be quite a night,” said Bill Kolter, director of Peachfest Entertainment. The organizers have booked tribute bands before, including High Voltage and Forever Young, but they have never had a full night of purely tribute performances.

    “People keep asking us to bring them back,” Kolter said of the AC/DC tribute band, who will play their fifth Peachfest this year. It will be the second appearance from Forever Young, and the first from U4.

    Also taking the stage on other nights are classic bands Emerson Drive, Trooper and the Stampeders.

    The 67th annual festival is scheduled August 6-10.  There is no admission charge.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...