Top News
  • Water quality advisory for Kalamalka Lake customers

    KALAMALKA LAKE - Greater Vernon Water advises customers that the Kalamalka Lake water source will be turned off on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 due to increased turbidity in the water.

    The decision to remove the Kalamalka Lake water source was based on increased turbidity due to spring run-off caused by snow melt in the Coldstream Creek watershed. Water will be supplied from the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant until turbidity decreases in Kalamalka Lake.

    Customers who are not normally on the DCWTP will notice that the water is much softer and the water has a low alkalinity and pH. This may be of interest to those customers who have in-home water treatment systems or aquariums.

    Staff will continue to monitor water quality and notify customers of any further changes.

    Customers will be notified when the Kalamalka Lake water source is turned back on.

    For further information, please call 250-550-3700 or visit www.rdno.ca.

  • Oregon asks firm to stop using fetal tissue from B.C. to generate power

    PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon commission has ordered a waste-to-power facility to stop accepting boxed medical waste after learning it might be using the remains of aborted fetuses from British Columbia to generate electricity.

    Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners, said late Wednesday the board is taking immediate action to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries.

    The British Columbia Health Ministry tells The Associated Press that regional health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, including fetal tissue, to Oregon, where it's incinerated in the waste-to-energy plant

    Vancouver-based B.C. Catholic newspaper identified the plant as Covanta Marion, based in Marion County.

    The facility processes about 500 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste, generating up to 13 megawatts of energy sold to Portland General Electric.

  • 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.

  • Evening market to entice community to heart of Vernon

    “YOU’RE GIVING PEOPLE BACK THAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY”

    VERNON - Vernon’s downtown will be alive this summer with music, sidewalk cafés, open air shopping and most importantly—people.

    Avenue Market was given the go ahead by Vernon city council Tuesday and will launch May 9 on 30 Avenue. The 4-7p.m. Friday market will see downtown merchants spill onto the sidewalks and outside vendors pour into the streets.

    Downtown Vernon Association executive director Lara Konkin led the initiative and says it’s a way to bring excitement, and people, to the downtown core.

    “It will open peoples’ eyes to what we really do have downtown,” Konkin says.

    Avenue market will stretch along sidewalks spanning the entire six blocks of 30 Avenue, while two blocks will be closed to traffic so vendors can inhabit the roadways. It will be the only market in Vernon where you can shop for shoes, clothes, produce, listen to music and watch your kids jump on a bouncy castle.

    “It’s almost creating that shopping mall mentality in a couple blocks of downtown,” Konkin says. “That’s something no other market can offer; there is only one downtown.”

    Sidewalk space will be reserved for downtown merchants both on and off 30 Avenue while the road itself will be used for produce stands, artisans, crafters—essentially anything that doesn’t directly compete with a downtown business.

    “We wouldn’t sell knock off Ray Bans, or that type of vendor,” Konkin says. “We think adding outside vendors will only add to the ambience of downtown and be good for economic development.”

    Vernon mayor Rob Sawatzky believes the market will be compliment downtown businesses, not compete with them.

    “I think it’s another step... taken by the community to make downtown the heart of our community and bring life and vibrancy to it,” Sawatzky says. “Where there’s people interacting and life, that’s attractive to others.”

    Rod Neufeld owns Eclectibles Quality Used Books and Vintage Vinyl Records on 30 Avenue and he supports the market, even if his participation in it may not be huge due to his hours of operation and nature of his business.

    “Downtown Vernon is kind of hurting right now. Some businesses are doing okay, some marginal. It certainly does need energizing,” he says.

    He’s not sure what vendors will participate, or just what the market will look like, but he knows how special the downtown core is and how much potential is there.

    “I choose to be downtown, I think it’s where my store belongs,” Neufeld says. “I’ve always thought that’s where the cool shops should be; it wouldn’t work in a strip mall.”

    It’s that local flavour Konkin and the Downtown Vernon Association hope to enhance through the Avenue Market.

    “You’re giving people back that sense of community,” Konkin says. “I think we all crave that town hall, community spirit type atmosphere. Essentially we’re going to create it in a couple of blocks. The biggest comment we’ve been hearing is ‘I can’t wait to bring my family back downtown.’”

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Riding along with the RCMP police dog unit

    VERNON - Sherri Funfer usually spends her day with a 14 pound Jack Russel Terrier, not a pack of police dogs.

    The Salmon Arm resident got to tag along with the dog team Tuesday after her brother won the package at a fundraiser for HugABulls and the Okanagan Humane Society last November. Knowing how much his sister loves dogs, he gave the prize to her for Christmas.

    Outside the Vernon police detachment, Funfer watches the rambunctious canines as their handlers describe the training process. Flex and Frieda, two of the dogs Funfer will get to know over the course of the day, can probably smell traces of her Jack Russel on her clothes.

    The powerful German Shepherds are expertly trained to track and take down bad guys, something Funfer will witness today in practice scenarios. Highlights of the day include tracking, drug searching, criminal apprehension and puppy training.

    “They’re amazing, they’re just wonderful dogs and friendly too. I think people have a lot of misconceptions,” Funfer, of Salmon Arm, says. “They’re just amazing dogs, they’re like big puppies.’’

    Police only use German Shepherds because of their strength and ability to work in various climates. Puppies come from a breeder in Alberta and are trained by handlers like Const. Marc Jones, who is showing Funfer the ropes today. He’s one of only three handlers in the North Okanagan detachment area, and says the unit is frequently called upon.

    “We try to get a police dog out for any serious situation,” Jones says.

    The exuberant police dogs bark and play with their handlers, never sitting still. Like Funfer’s Jack Russel, they love attention and human contact. But even though their training includes socializing with dogs and people, they’re very different from a household pet. 

    “You should always be cautious around a police dog,” Jones says. “We bring them to school talks, I let kids pet my police dog... But it’s still a working dog, you always have to be prepared just in case something should happen.”

    Funfer says she’s amazed by the intelligence of the police dogs and hopes more people get the opportunity to see what the unit is all about.

    “Any dog lover would love a chance to come and do this,” she says.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Public invited to discuss Patrick Nicol memorial ideas

    VERNON - The city is inviting the public to an open house to discuss ideas about how to memorialize Counc. Patrick Nicol.

    The City of Vernon initially asked for suggestions from the community on a way to remember and honour Nicol. A survey invited feedback from the public and now an open house to discuss those ideas is scheduled at City Hall April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.

    Counc. Nicol died in January and countless stories of his kindness, generosity, love of his country and unwavering commitment to the city poured in. Counc. Juliette Cunningham is a member of the committee established after Vernon business people and residents asked the city to find a way to memorialize Nicol.

    "We received some great responses for our request for ideas to honour the late Counc. Patrick Nicol," Cunningham said in a press release. She sat next to him in council for years. "This will be an opportunity to explore a final concept which is being proposed."

    The committee asked the public for suggestions reflecting Nicol's values that could be accessed by the entire community and built on existing infrastructure. With many recurring themes, Cunningham said she hopes for a strong showing at the open house to figure out the best way to move forward.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Evening market to entice community to heart of Vernon

    “YOU’RE GIVING PEOPLE BACK THAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY”

    VERNON - Vernon’s downtown will be alive this summer with music, sidewalk cafés, open air shopping and most importantly—people.

    Avenue Market was given the go ahead by Vernon city council Tuesday and will launch May 9 on 30 Avenue. The 4-7p.m. Friday market will see downtown merchants spill onto the sidewalks and outside vendors pour into the streets.

    Downtown Vernon Association executive director Lara Konkin led the initiative and says it’s a way to bring excitement, and people, to the downtown core.

    “It will open peoples’ eyes to what we really do have downtown,” Konkin says.

    Avenue market will stretch along sidewalks spanning the entire six blocks of 30 Avenue, while two blocks will be closed to traffic so vendors can inhabit the roadways. It will be the only market in Vernon where you can shop for shoes, clothes, produce, listen to music and watch your kids jump on a bouncy castle.

    “It’s almost creating that shopping mall mentality in a couple blocks of downtown,” Konkin says. “That’s something no other market can offer; there is only one downtown.”

    Sidewalk space will be reserved for downtown merchants both on and off 30 Avenue while the road itself will be used for produce stands, artisans, crafters—essentially anything that doesn’t directly compete with a downtown business.

    “We wouldn’t sell knock off Ray Bans, or that type of vendor,” Konkin says. “We think adding outside vendors will only add to the ambience of downtown and be good for economic development.”

    Vernon mayor Rob Sawatzky believes the market will be compliment downtown businesses, not compete with them.

    “I think it’s another step... taken by the community to make downtown the heart of our community and bring life and vibrancy to it,” Sawatzky says. “Where there’s people interacting and life, that’s attractive to others.”

    Rod Neufeld owns Eclectibles Quality Used Books and Vintage Vinyl Records on 30 Avenue and he supports the market, even if his participation in it may not be huge due to his hours of operation and nature of his business.

    “Downtown Vernon is kind of hurting right now. Some businesses are doing okay, some marginal. It certainly does need energizing,” he says.

    He’s not sure what vendors will participate, or just what the market will look like, but he knows how special the downtown core is and how much potential is there.

    “I choose to be downtown, I think it’s where my store belongs,” Neufeld says. “I’ve always thought that’s where the cool shops should be; it wouldn’t work in a strip mall.”

    It’s that local flavour Konkin and the Downtown Vernon Association hope to enhance through the Avenue Market.

    “You’re giving people back that sense of community,” Konkin says. “I think we all crave that town hall, community spirit type atmosphere. Essentially we’re going to create it in a couple of blocks. The biggest comment we’ve been hearing is ‘I can’t wait to bring my family back downtown.’”

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...

  • Riding along with the RCMP police dog unit

    VERNON - Sherri Funfer usually spends her day with a 14 pound Jack Russel Terrier, not a pack of police dogs.

    The Salmon Arm resident got to tag along with the dog team Tuesday after her brother won the package at a fundraiser for HugABulls and the Okanagan Humane Society last November. Knowing how much his sister loves dogs, he gave the prize to her for Christmas.

    Outside the Vernon police detachment, Funfer watches the rambunctious canines as their handlers describe the training process. Flex and Frieda, two of the dogs Funfer will get to know over the course of the day, can probably smell traces of her Jack Russel on her clothes.

    The powerful German Shepherds are expertly trained to track and take down bad guys, something Funfer will witness today in practice scenarios. Highlights of the day include tracking, drug searching, criminal apprehension and puppy training.

    “They’re amazing, they’re just wonderful dogs and friendly too. I think people have a lot of misconceptions,” Funfer, of Salmon Arm, says. “They’re just amazing dogs, they’re like big puppies.’’

    Police only use German Shepherds because of their strength and ability to work in various climates. Puppies come from a breeder in Alberta and are trained by handlers like Const. Marc Jones, who is showing Funfer the ropes today. He’s one of only three handlers in the North Okanagan detachment area, and says the unit is frequently called upon.

    “We try to get a police dog out for any serious situation,” Jones says.

    The exuberant police dogs bark and play with their handlers, never sitting still. Like Funfer’s Jack Russel, they love attention and human contact. But even though their training includes socializing with dogs and people, they’re very different from a household pet. 

    “You should always be cautious around a police dog,” Jones says. “We bring them to school talks, I let kids pet my police dog... But it’s still a working dog, you always have to be prepared just in case something should happen.”

    Funfer says she’s amazed by the intelligence of the police dogs and hopes more people get the opportunity to see what the unit is all about.

    “Any dog lover would love a chance to come and do this,” she says.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

    ...More...

  • Public invited to discuss Patrick Nicol memorial ideas

    VERNON - The city is inviting the public to an open house to discuss ideas about how to memorialize Counc. Patrick Nicol.

    The City of Vernon initially asked for suggestions from the community on a way to remember and honour Nicol. A survey invited feedback from the public and now an open house to discuss those ideas is scheduled at City Hall April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.

    Counc. Nicol died in January and countless stories of his kindness, generosity, love of his country and unwavering commitment to the city poured in. Counc. Juliette Cunningham is a member of the committee established after Vernon business people and residents asked the city to find a way to memorialize Nicol.

    "We received some great responses for our request for ideas to honour the late Counc. Patrick Nicol," Cunningham said in a press release. She sat next to him in council for years. "This will be an opportunity to explore a final concept which is being proposed."

    The committee asked the public for suggestions reflecting Nicol's values that could be accessed by the entire community and built on existing infrastructure. With many recurring themes, Cunningham said she hopes for a strong showing at the open house to figure out the best way to move forward.

    ...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...