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Local News Briefs: Get home safe from grad

Plus the handbell choir is looking for a ringer; Spanish lessons are being offered; and more.
Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu paid tribute to Clayton Cassidy in the House of Commons on June 7. YouTube

Tribute to Clayton Cassidy by local MP

During the sitting of parliament in Ottawa on June 7, 2017, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu took time during the “Statements by Members” session to praise Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy, who died in the line of duty on May 5. A memorial service for Cassidy on June 3 drew close to 1,500 people, including 400 firefighters from across western Canada.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the life of a courageous member of [the riding],” said Sidhu. “Clayton Cassidy served his community with integrity over the last 30 years as a member of the fire department, serving as fire captain and most recently as fire chief.

“While investigating water levels following floods in Cache Creek, chief Cassidy tragically lost his life. In the words of his brother Patrick, Clayton was a compassionate community leader. He was a man uncomfortable with praise, who devoted his life to helping others.

“Clayton Cassidy is survived by his wife Rose, three sons, seven grandchildren, and seven siblings.

“On behalf of the constituents of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, I offer my sincere condolences to the Cassidy family. Chief Cassidy, your service will forever be honoured, and your courage will never be forgotten.”

You can view the tribute at

Spanish lessons

Have you ever wanted to learn to speak Spanish? A group of Spanish ladies in Cache Creek are offering to teach Spanish to anyone who is interested, in exchange for learning English. The sessions will likely take place once a week during weekdays on Wednesdays, and are being facilitated by The Equality Project. For more information visit the Project’s Facebook page at The Equality Project, or call (250) 457-6485.

Bell ringer needed

The Desert Bells Handbell Choir, which recently received funding to expand its range of bells, is looking for one more ringer for its next season. Anyone interested should call Carmen Ranta at (250) 457-1250.

Get home safe from grad

With high school graduation ceremonies and proms taking place throughout June, ICBC is warning grads and parents to make sure everyone makes it home safely. On average, four to six youth are killed in car accidents in B.C. each year during grad season.

Parents should make sure they know their grad’s plans for the evening, especially how they are planning to get home, and discuss various “Plan B” scenarios in case something goes wrong.

If your child is going to be a designated driver, make sure they understand that means zero alcohol, and that they might be facing peer pressure to have “just one drink”. And tell your grad that you are available unconditionally, at any time, if they need to be picked up.

Whooping cough on the rise in


Following an increase in the number of cases of pertussis (whooping cough) being seen in the Princeton area, Interior Health is reminding the public about the importance of ensuring that all of their, and their family’s, immunizations are up to date.

Pertussis starts with similar symptoms to the common cold (runny nose, sore throat, and mild fever) and then progresses to a cough, which can become severe and may be accompanied by a classic whooping sound, as well as gasping, gagging, shortness of breath, and vomiting.

In the most serious cases, pertussis can lead to seizures, pneumonia, brain damage, and even death, especially in the very young.

Infants under one year of age are most at risk of serious complications from pertussis. However, the pertussis vaccine is highly effective in reducing that risk. It is a part of routine childhood vaccinations that are given at two months, four months, six months, and 18 months, and again at age four to six.

A pertussis vaccine is also given to teens between 14 and 16 years of age. The vaccine is safe and effective, and parents are encouraged to check their children’s immunization records to make sure they are up to date.

Information about accessing immunization records can be found at