(from l) MP Jati Sidhu, Lytton mayor Jan Polderman, Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims, Rod Bate, Minister of Rural Economic Development Bernadette Jordan, and Dan Mundall in Lytton at the announcement of funding for a fibre optic backbone from Boston Bar to Lillooet. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Year in Review part 3: A new fire engine and charging station for Cache Creek

Plus two missing Surrey men are found dead near Spences Bridge, and Cornwall Lookout gets a clean-up

JULY

Lytton gets major fibre optic grant

MP Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Rural Development) was in Lytton on July 2 to announce funding for the Lytton Area Wireless Society and Lytton.net to provide new or improved high-speed internet access to several B.C. communities. The $4 million in funding came from the provincial and federal governments, Northern Development Initiative Trust, and other funders.

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu and MLA Jinny Sims (Minister of Citizens’ Services) were also on hand to make the announcement about the project, which will see a fibre optic “backbone” from Boston Bar to Lillooet. Read more at http://bit.ly/396l8xa.

TOPS group celebrates

The Ashcroft chapter of Take Off Pounds Sensibly celebrated its 50th anniversary with club members, special guests, and a luncheon at the Ashcroft HUB. The Ashcroft TOPS chapter is the oldest one in the area, and there was a variety of historical memorabilia on hand, with club members—many of whom have been with the club for decades—enjoying the opportunity to gather together and reminisce.

“It’s more like a support group,” said founder member Louise McKague. “And we don’t tell people what they can or cannot eat. That’s up to individuals, to find out what works for them.” Read more at http://bit.ly/2QdBDyP.

Second Time Around donates thousands

The board of directors of Second Time Around announced that in 2018 the organization gave a total of $36,000 in grants to local organizations and clubs, and that in the first half of 2019 it had already disbursed approximately $24,500 in grants. Secretary Maria Russell Martin said that the board members could not express their wonder at such support from the people in Ashcroft and surrounding communities. Read more at http://bit.ly/2EIyhyD.

Cache Creek rejoins transit system

On July 8 the local transit bus operated (since 2013) by Ashcroft and Clinton pulled into the parking lot of the Cache Creek Community Hall, marking the Village’s re-entry into the transit system. Cache Creek Mayor Santo Talarico said it was good that the system had been maintained after Cache Creek left it in 2013, and he was glad that the Village had opted back in. Read more at http://bit.ly/2PLKYz8.

Emotional end for Ashcroft council meeting

At the Ashcroft council meeting on July 22, an emotional farewell was said to Ashcroft CAO Michelle Allen, whose last meeting it was before retirement. Allen had spent nearly 35 years with the Village of Ashcroft, and was born in the building now housing the Village office when it served as Ashcroft’s hospital. Read more at http://bit.ly/35NCGMN.

Fast-charge EV station opens in Cache Creek

Within minutes of the ribbon-cutting at Cache Creek’s first electric vehicle fast-charging station on July 23, the owner of a Nissan Leaf pulled in and began charging his car. The station was part of Phase 3 of BC Hydro’s network of fast-charging stations, and was funded by Natural Resources Canada and the provincial government. A BC Hydro spokesperson said that it is now possible to drive from Tofino on western Vancouver Island to the Alberta border in an electric vehicle.

The station can charge the average EV battery to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes. Read more at http://bit.ly/2QbP3eJ.

Christmas comes early for Cache Creek Fire Department

The Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department was expecting its new primary fire engine to be delivered in November 2019, so there were plenty of happy faces when CCVFD Fire Chief Tom Moe drove the new engine up to the fire hall before the regular practice on July 23. Read more at http://bit.ly/2rnnaIu.

Steelhead not listed as Species at Risk

In July the federal government decided not to list the Thompson and Chilcotin River Steelhead under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The decision went against the recommendations of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in February 2018, and was criticized by the BC Wildlife Federation.

Steelhead stocks have declined dramatically over the last three decades. In 1985, 3,510 fish returned to the Thompson to spawn; in 2017, only 177 Steelhead returned to the Thompson. Read more at http://bit.ly/2sbvECP.

Clinton gets fast-charge EV station

Not to be outdone by Cache Creek, Clinton unveiled its own fast-charging EV station in late July, when the horse-and-buggy stop on the historic Cariboo Wagon Road embraced modern transportation technology. Read more at http://bit.ly/2QbP3eJ.

AUGUST

Police search Spences Bridge property in connection with missing men

Two South Surrey men last seen on July 17, who were on their way to Spences Bridge and apparently reached that destination before disappearing, were the subject of a police search at a Spences Bridge residence on Aug. 2.

The vehicle being driven by Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher was located, unoccupied, near Logan Lake on July 21. According to Spences Bridge residents, eight to 10 police cars arrived in Spences Bridge in the early morning of Aug. 2 to search a property that was the location of a business associated to Provencher. Read more at http://bit.ly/2sUn0IK.

Highway, rail line fires keep firefighters busy

Two vehicle fires in 11 days along Highway 1 near Ashcroft led Ashcroft Fire Chief Josh White to warn motorists to make sure their vehicles were well-maintained, and pay attention to warning gauges during hot weather.

The fires came just before and after a fire on the CN mainline on Aug. 5 that was caused by a westbound train. In all three cases Ashcroft firefighters, along with BC Wildfire Service crews and CN employees, were able to contain and extinguish the fires before they could spread. Read more at http://bit.ly/2ri4edZ.

Desert Daze dodges drizzle

The 10th annual Desert Daze festival in Spences Bridge endured a few sprinkles, but otherwise emerged unscathed from weather events and celebrated a successful weekend featuring lots of music, workshops, vendors, concessions, and more. A new addition was the outdoor inflatable movie screen, onto which was projected a number of backdrops. Read more at http://bit.ly/2rimMea.

Bodies of missing men found near Spences Bridge

RCMP confirmed that two bodies found near Rennie Pit Road north of Spences Bridge on Aug. 17 were those of Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr. Both men were residents of South Surrey who were last seen on July 17, and who had been on their way to Spences Bridge. Read more at http://bit.ly/2EIDfLJ.

Cache Creek completes seniors’ housing, downtown reports

The final versions of two studies undertaken by the Village of Cache Creek—regarding seniors’ housing needs and a Downtown Vision Framework—were completed, with the Village’s CAO and Mayor affirming that the reports would not just sit on a shelf.

The Downtown Vision Framework identified beautification as a key theme, and the investigation of a commercial vacancy tax bylaw was noted as an immediate priority. The lack of seniors’ housing was also a concern, with senior residents indicating that they wanted to stay in the community as long as possible, but that they needed suitable housing, as well as sufficient health care services and transportation support, in order for that to happen. Read more at http://bit.ly/35MVawF.

Cornwall Lookout restoration

Many hands made light work doing repairs at the historic Cornwall fire lookout near Ashcroft on Aug. 17. The Four Wheel Drive Association of BC took over management of the lookout in 2015, following a report in the Journal in that year that the lookout was to be demolished unless an organization could step forward and maintain (and hold liability for) the structure.

Wes Kibble—regional director of the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC—said that 14 adults, two children, and three dogs worked at the site all day, accomplishing a number of repairs. It’s unclear what role the dogs played. Read more at http://bit.ly/2sbwhwb.

New Eco-Depot site proposed

Following opposition to a proposed Eco-Depot site at Boston Flats near Ashcroft, and a survey and series of open houses by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), a new site on Campbell Hill Road East was selected by the TNRD as the site to be acquired for the new Eco-Depot. According to the survey results, the Campbell Hill Road East site placed slightly ahead of the Boston Flats property as the preferred location for the new Eco-Depot. The current transfer station site, near the former Cache Creek landfill, received the least amount of support. Read more at http://bit.ly/2Ze4mI4.

Second drag racing event a success

Following the return of drag races to the area in June, a second drag racing event over the weekend of Aug. 24–25, held at the Campbell Hill raceway, attracted hundreds of spectators and dozens of participants. Organizer Dwight Toews said that he wanted to add to the range of entertainment available in the area for families.

Toews added that he wanted to meet with Cache Creek council and local businesses to see if ongoing drag race events in the area were viable, and that he would be talking with the Mission City drag race organization, to make sure the venues didn’t have races on the same weekend. Read more at http://bit.ly/34Mf9u8.

Cache Creek pool future in doubt

On Aug. 30, many Cache Creek and area residents were at the Cache Creek pool to speak about the importance of the pool to the community, and what it meant to them, in advance of Cache Creek council and staff entering into discussions about the future of the venue.

At a public meeting in May, Cache Creek CAO Martin Dalsin had said that unless an alternative funding source could be found, there was a very real chance that the pool could close after the 2019 season, citing the high cost of operating the 50-year-old facility. Read more at http://bit.ly/2sRPzqw.

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(from l) Cache Creek mayor Santo Talarico, councillor Wendy Coomber, bus driver Lawrence Marchment, and Yellowhead Community Services executive director Jack Keough in Cache Creek on July 8. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Ashcroft CAO Michelle Allen at her final council meeting after almost 35 years with the Village. (Photo credit: Raven Nyman)

(from l) Chris Trigardi, project manager for BC Hydro; Cache Creek mayor Santo Talarico; BC Hydro’s Dag Sharman; MP Jati Sidhu; and Bonaparte councillor Charlene William at the opening of the new fast-charging EV station in Cache Creek on July 23. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Members of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department with their new primary fire engine. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Clinton mayor Susan Swan charges up a vehicle at the Village’s new fast-charging electric vehicle station on July 26. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Ashcroft firefighters bring a fire caused by a burning vehicle (left) under control beside Highway 1 on Aug. 8. (Photo credit: Submitted)

The bodies of South Surrey men Richard Scurr (left) and Ryan Provencher were found near Spences Bridge. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Volunteers at the Cornwall fire lookout take a break from repairs and clean-up at the site. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Sylvia Gosselin of 83 Mile won the street category in her 1965 Mustang at the drag races at the Campbell Hill dragstrip in August. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

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