Changes are coming to B.C.'s campsite reservation system.

Local news briefs: Changes coming to campsite reservation system

Plus the victims of a car accident near Kamloops on December 15 are identified as Mavis and George Jmayoff of Lytton.

Crash victims identified

Mavis and George Jmayoff of Lytton have been identified as the victims of a car crash near Kamloops on December 15. The couple were killed when a pick-up truck crossed the centre line near the New Afton site and hit their vehicle head-on. The pair in the truck, who were from Prince George, were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“They’re just steady, long-term members of the community,” says Lytton mayor Jessoa Lightfoot. “They’re the bedrock of our community. They’ll really be missed.”

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the accident, and say that weather and road conditions were good at the time.

Soup’s On

A mixed group of volunteers, including members of the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary, will be preparing and serving lunch for Soup’s On at St. Alban’s Anglican Church hall on Friday, December 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is ham and scalloped potatoes, and all are welcome.

Radon detectors available

A reminder that radon detectors are available at the Ashcroft Village office at no charge to homeowners. Those wanting to measure the level of radon in their home must come to the Village office to fill out a form to receive the detector (the office reopens on Tuesday, January 3). The detectors need to be left in place for a minimum of three months, and are not harmful in any way.

Once analyzed, results will be mailed to individual homeowners. A summary will be provided to the Village office, but results specific to individual homes are confidential, and will not be shared in any way.

Reach out to seniors

Although Christmas has come and gone, it’s not too late to take time out of your holiday schedule to pay a special visit to a senior you know who is living in care, and who may be feeling isolated or lonely.

“Even a short visit or phone call from a friend or loved one around this time of year can go a long way in helping to reduce the impact of social isolation,” says Mike Klassen, vice president and spokesperson for the BC Care Providers Association. “This is of particular importance when you realize the impact living in isolation can have on the health of a senior.”

A 2012 study by the National Academy of Sciences showed that both isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older, while a 2008/09 Statistics Canada report noted that one-fifth of seniors felt left out, isolated from others, or lacked companionship

Hepatitis A in Clearwater

A clinical case of Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the Dairy Queen establishment in Clearwater located at 318 Eden Road. It is believed there is a low but definite risk to persons who ate food at this restaurant during the period this food handler was infectious.

To date, there have been no additional reported cases, and Interior Health is taking immediate steps to ensure the safety of all staff and customers. Persons who consumed any foods or beverages from this Dairy Queen location during the following dates and times may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 11, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 16, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Symptoms usually develop 15 to 50 days after exposure and include nausea, abdominal cramps, fever, dark urine, and/or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Illness can be more severe in adults over 50 years of age or those with chronic liver disease. Illness can last for several weeks and people generally recover completely. If you have symptoms, stay home from school and/or work. Frequent hand washing, especially after using the toilet and before handling food, remains the most effective way to avoid the spread of Hepatitis A infections.

Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent Hepatitis disease, but only if given within 14 days of exposure. “We are advising anyone who may have been exposed to take the precaution of getting immunized,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, medical health officer, Interior Health. “Hepatitis A is a serious infection and immunization is a proven and safe means of preventing illness.”

Changes coming to camping reservation system

As of January 2, 2017, changes are coming to the provincial government’s Discover Camping reservation system. Two of the biggest changes are the elimination of the mid-March “opening day”, and the extension of the three-month rolling window to four months (which means, for example, that on January 2 reservations can only be made at campgrounds that have an arrival date of May 2 or earlier).

Other changes include new measures to prevent the reselling of reservations; expanding the Discover Camping call centre hours; restrictions around altering arrival dates, to prevent the practice of overbooking days around desirable times such as long weekends; and implementing a pilot project in some parks to reduce the maximum length of stay to seven days, to provide more camping opportunities.

For more information, or to make reservations, go to http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/reserve/

Be wilderness prepared

The number of people visiting the backcountry each year is increasing; and so are the number of search and rescue operations undertaken by volunteers when things go wrong. Anyone who makes the decision to go into the backcountry must be able to take care of themselves and their companions, which means suitable clothing and equipment, first aid supplies, and an awareness of the risks.

A few tips for anyone venturing into B.C.’s wilderness include never hike alone, and leave a message with someone detailing your destination, route, and anticipated return time; do not venture out of bounds or off marked trails; be aware of the time for sunset, how far you’ve gone, and when you need to turn back to avoid hiking in the dark; carry signalling, communication, and navigation devices; and be prepared for the elements with extra water, layers of clothing, a shelter, and something to start a fire with. If you become lost, stop moving: stay put and wait for help.

Keeping ICBC rates affordable

The provincial government has directed the board of ICBC to commission a comprehensive and independent third-party review to look at a range of options, and make recommendations, that will keep insurance rates affordable and align future rate increases with inflation. In the interim, the province has issued a directive to the B.C. Utilities Commission to approve a Basic rate increase of a maximum of 4.9 per cent or less by January 16, 2017.

“We want to make sure that in the long term, ICBC rates are in line with inflation,” says Transportation Minister Todd Stone. “The independent review will help us get there.”

Textbook savings

The B.C. open textbook program has saved thousands of students millions of dollars, and more titles are being worked on to augment the approximately 170 titles that are available free online to post-secondary students throughout B.C.

Subjects range from the most popular first- and second-year areas such as math and business, to skills and technical subjects such as trades.

To learn more and view the available titles, go to http://bccampus.ca/open-textbook-project/.

 

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