Vernon

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has concluded its investigation into an incident in Vernon that resulted in injuries to the passenger of a vehicle.

At approximately 2:44 a.m. Jan. 25, an officer attempted to stop a red Cadillac sedan travelling westbound on 39th Street.

According to the IIO, the vehicle failed to stop for police and shortly afterwards two officers found the vehicle near 32nd Avenue, where it had collided with a tree.

A male passenger in the vehicle sustained head injuries and was transported to hospital.

In a press release, the IIO said in order for the IIO to sustain jurisdiction, the injuries must meet the definition of serious harm as defined in the Police Act and in this instance, the injuries sustained by the male do not meet the definition of serious harm.

The chief civilian director reviewed the information obtained during the IIO preliminary investigation and has determined all jurisdiction will be released to the RCMP.

The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing. Sheldon Gardiner and Jeff Hoffart, from Do Some Good, presented to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting their online platform. Made-in-the-Okanagan technology is giving Greater Vernon businesses and non-profits an opportunity to come together.

On Jan. 24, Sheldon Gardiner and Jeff Hoffart, from Do Some Good, presented to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting their online platform.

Do Some Good connects businesses with charitable organizations to make a meaningful impact.

"What we are doing is to foster volunteerism," said Gardiner of Kelowna-based Do Some Good.

According to Gardiner, social values are important for prospective employees and customers and Do Some Good provides them with crucial information.

"It let’s people know who the good companies are to work for or to buy from," he said.

Do Some Good has entered into a partnership with the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Chamber members will be able to access Do Some Good services for free.

"We are excited about being in Vernon," said Hoffart. "There’s a mix of things we can help businesses with."

The Chamber will measure and share the charitable impact of businesses in the community.

"We already know businesses are doing good in Vernon and for us, it’s about collecting the data," said Dione Chambers, chamber general manager.

Chambers also believes Do Some Good can help businesses attract and retain employees who are looking for an employer that aligns with their personal values.

The Greater Vernon Chamber is the first chamber in Canada to officially work with Do Some Good.

"This is a model that could be used for Chambers across Canada," said Gardiner.

For information on Do Some Good, click here or contact the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce at 250-545-0771 or manager@vernonchamber.ca. Emergency crews were called to an accident near Armstrong Monday morning. Castanet has been told the accident happened near Mountain View Road on Highway 97A.

There is currently no word on the cause of the accident, or if anyone was injured but one vehicle at the scene was engulfed in flames.

Castanet will have more information as soon as it becomes available. BX residents are buzzing about a big cat in the area. Several people have posted on the Vernon and Area Community Forum Facebook page about seeing a cougar in the Hartnell Road area over the weekend.

On Sunday morning, one Hartnell Road resident posted: Heads up.. very large cougar in BX area…Hartnell road. Just came for our chickens and dogs scared away….. a neighbour sighted this morning too and gave us heads up. An hour later he was in our yard. Be safe.

Added another: We had a neighbour come by this morning saying she saw a large mountain lion at the end of our driveway just 10 meters from our dog so she called our dogs home for us and informed us…. then shortly after my husband saw it come through our yard. We are missing a turkey today so are concerned he or she has found a food source at our place.

Over the past few months there have been numerous cougar sightings in the Lumby area which only a few kilometres away from the BX area and Conservation Officer Micah Kneller said there are things people can do to protect their livestock.

“They are pretty prey specific, so once they start eating livestock we can’t have them hunting in people’s backyards. They are crossing a line and posing a safety risk to people,” Kneller said, adding cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare.

“There hasn’t been a fatal cougar attack in the province in over 20 years,” said Kneller.

However, it is a risk that cannot be taken and once a cougar becomes attracted to feeding on farm animals it has to be destroyed.

“It’s normal for them to be moving around the rural areas because they are following deer, they are basically hunting deer. Once they cross the line and start to kill livestock and are looking at settlements for areas to hunt, we cannot have that,” he said.

Kneller said cougars inhabit the entire Okanagan and the best way to prevent them from killing livestock is to make sure the livestock is locked up at night.

Kneller recommends putting the animals in a barn or shed at night to save their animals and the cougar.

“A cougar will never break into a shed or a barn to get to these animals,” he said. “They need to be put away at night to remove the attractant and and we don’t have to kill these cougars.”

Kneller said he is not trying to scare anyone, but the fact is the Okanagan is cougar territory and people need to be aware of that.

“Cougars are around us all the time, they live around the communities year round,” he said. The hottest deal in woodstoves is continuing for 2019. The Provincial Woodstove Exchange Program will provide rebates to people switching from old smokers to new burners.

Funding from the BC government, in partnership with the BC Lung Association, has allowed the program to continue in Coldstream and Lumby.

Eligible Coldstream and Lumby residents can apply for the following incentives: $250 for changing to a cleaner-burning wood stove/insert; or

$400 for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove/insert.

Participating retailers are offering additional discounts of $150. Residents of Coldstream are eligible for additional rebates of either $250 or $400 for a potential savings of up to $950. The Village of Lumby will offer matching rebates of $250 for the first four residents who qualify for the rebates. Old smokey stoves/inserts must be destroyed and recycled to be eligible for the rebates.Rebates are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.Since 2008, B.C. communities have received more than $3 million through the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program, helping replace almost 8,000 old stoves with cleaner-burning options. Peachy Autumn Megan O’Callaghan Young artists are in the spotlight at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo.The School District 22 high school exhibit continues until Feb. 2.“Over the years, it’s so nice to see the kids create art that inspires them and is true to their selves,” says gallery worker Carlee, noting the wide variety of styles, including anime, realism, and abstract.It is an impressive collection of more than 100 pieces in a multitude of media, including water-colour, acrylic, and three-dimensional constructions.Equally impressive are the notes each student attached to their art, explaining their motivations behind the piece.A repeating theme is concern over man-made pollution.One three-dimensional piece entitled “Froggie,” by Ryan Mostyn, a Grade 11 student at VSS, notes: “This piece is a frog made from bottles. I used bottles because I wanted to speak to how the environment, specifically our lakes, is directly affected by our waste.”Others revolve around special memories on area lakes with family members, such a painting by Aspen Kerkoff entitled A Day on the Lake.“This piece was inspired by old memories. When I was younger, my grandpa used to take me canoeing in the summer. We used to go out on the lake and paddle around for a few hours. I didn’t get to see my grandpa very often, but when I did it was the highlight of my summer.” – Cindy Rhyason Photo: Contributed A recent survey conducted by the North Okanagan School District shows employees love their jobs and are committed to providing the best possible service to students.The survey was conducted late last year, and was responded to by 511 employees (40.1 per cent) of those employed throughout the district.Officials with the district says the results are consistent with organizations throughout the country, and show staff have similar wellbeing concerns as other organizations which have taken part in the Guarding Minds at Work survey.While data showed a strength in the area of employee engagement, there are some areas of concern."Areas of concern include work-life balance, workload, and to a lesser extent a feeling of being unrecognized for contributions," said director of instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff ."Additional areas to […]

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