Year in Review 1: Medal of Good Citizenship for Ashcroft resident

Esther Lang (seated at centre) at the Summer English Institute in Dnipro, Ukraine in 2019, where she taught English for 11 years. (Photo credit: Submitted)Esther Lang (seated at centre) at the Summer English Institute in Dnipro, Ukraine in 2019, where she taught English for 11 years. (Photo credit: Submitted)
A 70-metre long temporary Atcow bridge was installed on Highway 1 at Jackass Mountain as part of the efforts to reopen the highway to vehicles following the atmospheric river in November 2021. (Photo credit: MOTI)A 70-metre long temporary Atcow bridge was installed on Highway 1 at Jackass Mountain as part of the efforts to reopen the highway to vehicles following the atmospheric river in November 2021. (Photo credit: MOTI)
Clinton Communities in Bloom unveiled a new bench by Cariboo chainsaw artist Ken Sheen, which Andy May is pictured enjoying. (Photo credit: Submitted)Clinton Communities in Bloom unveiled a new bench by Cariboo chainsaw artist Ken Sheen, which Andy May is pictured enjoying. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Four-year-old Aurora Buckland (r) scores for the police team during the fun shoot-out event in the intermission of the first responders charity hocley match in Ashcroft on Jan. 22. The second ‘Guns and Hoses’ match raised funds for the Lytton fire department (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
In December 2021, Ms M. Marlow’s Grade 2/3 class at Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft made holiday cards to fundraise for the Lytton Fire Department. On Feb. 4, 2022 Lytton Fire Chief Jason Phillips got to ride to the school in Engine 3, where he met some of the class and received a cheque for $630. (pictured) Ms Marlow and Jason Phillips (l) with some of the students. (Photo credit: Submitted)In December 2021, Ms M. Marlow’s Grade 2/3 class at Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft made holiday cards to fundraise for the Lytton Fire Department. On Feb. 4, 2022 Lytton Fire Chief Jason Phillips got to ride to the school in Engine 3, where he met some of the class and received a cheque for $630. (pictured) Ms Marlow and Jason Phillips (l) with some of the students. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Three employees of BCGEU Local 405 joined locked out employees of IG Machine & Fibers at the site near Ashcroft in a show of solidarity on Feb. 10. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)Three employees of BCGEU Local 405 joined locked out employees of IG Machine & Fibers at the site near Ashcroft in a show of solidarity on Feb. 10. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Loon Lake artist Janet Harman with her painting ‘Splashmaker’, which won first place in the ‘Emerging Artist: 2D’ category at the 2022 Art Exposed exhibit in Kamloops. (Photo credit: Submitted)Loon Lake artist Janet Harman with her painting ‘Splashmaker’, which won first place in the ‘Emerging Artist: 2D’ category at the 2022 Art Exposed exhibit in Kamloops. (Photo credit: Submitted)
The Cache Creek Cats club basketball team. (Photo credit: Submitted)The Cache Creek Cats club basketball team. (Photo credit: Submitted)
A new sign marks the previously unnamed Vimy Lane in Clinton. (Photo credit: Sandi Burrage)A new sign marks the previously unnamed Vimy Lane in Clinton. (Photo credit: Sandi Burrage)

JANUARY

Property assessments up

Home owners throughout B.C. were warned to be prepared for a sharp rise in their property assessments, with the Thompson-Okanagan region seeing an average increase of 30 per cent or more over last year in many communities, including Ashcroft and Cache Creek. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GgeFmc.

Offers of assistance for Cache Creek radio station

Following news that radio station CFMA in Cache Creek had been off the air since mid-November 2021 due to vandalism, offers of support — as well as cash donations — came in to the Ash-Creek TV Society, which operates the station. “Some in-kind offers have reduced the required budget [for repairs] quite a bit,” said society president Heidi Roy. “Pattison Media and Stingray Radio have stepped forward and offered their technicians once we get new equipment, and have offered us loaner equipment if it takes us a while to get permanent equipment.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3FJQs60.

IH reduces services in Ashcroft

Interior Health (IH) announced several temporary closures and reductions in service at a number of sites, including Ashcroft, where the overnight hours at the Ashcroft Hospital and Health Site were reduced in order to stabilize daytime services. The Ashcroft emergency department hours were reduced to 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; it had previously been open from 6 p.m. on Friday to 8 a.m. on Monday. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3hMKbyC.

Highway 1 reopens from Hope to Spences Bridge

B.C.’s transportation ministry reopened Highway 1 from Hope to Spences Bridge on Jan. 24, after it was closed to all traffic following the atmospheric river on Nov. 14, 2021. There were 18 sites damaged on Highway 1 between Hope and Spences Bridge, four of which required extensive temporary repairs. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WI7ico.

FEBRUARY

Census numbers show local growth

The first set of numbers from the 2021 Census of Canada were released on Feb. 9, and showed that the population of B.C. grew by 7.6 per cent since the last census in 2016; the second-highest growth rate among Canada’s 10 provinces. Regionally, the City of Kamloops was the third fastest-growing census metropolitan area in Canada, with a city population of 97,902; an increase of 8.4 per cent since the last census was carried out. Two municipalities in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) that saw growth near (or above) the provincial average were Logan Lake at 13.1 per cent (1,993 to 2,255) and Ashcroft at 7.2 per cent (1,558 to 1,670). Cache Creek increased by 0.6 per cent (963 to 969), while Clinton saw a decrease of 11.4 per cent (641 to 568). Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3ViivPP.

Rent bank helps low-income renters

A Rent Bank Program that started in Kamloops in 2012 expanded to the entire TNRD, providing low-income individuals and families who are in need, or at risk of losing their housing, with interest-free loans to cover rent and/or damage deposit and/or utilities. The program is operated by the Kamloops & District Elizabeth Fry Society, and in 2021 saw an increase in inquiries from area residents. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3jtpMze.

Students publish book on Elephant Hill wildfire

A Desert Sands Community School class project blossomed into a book called Elephant Hill Wildfire: Community Stories from 2017, which detailed local experiences from people throughout Cache Creek, Ashcroft, and Clinton during the devastating fire. An estimated 191,865 hectares were burned between July 6 and Sept. 27, 2017. In that time, it displaced 65,000 people from their homes, and about 120 houses were burned to the ground. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3BYmqud.

Clinton mayor has doubts about Census figures

Clinton’s mayor took issue with the latest Census numbers, which showed an 11.4 per cent population drop in the South Cariboo village. Susan Swan told the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board that she wanted to go on record opposing the latest figures. “I don’t agree with the numbers for Clinton, they’re telling us we lost 11.4 per cent of our population,” Swan said. “With the housing crisis we have here and the number of new families in the community, I don’t believe that.” In March, Clinton council voted to ask for a formal review of the numbers from Statistics Canada. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3PMGCoN.

MARCH

Construction due to start on Loon Lake fire hall

Nearly five years after it was destroyed in the Elephant Hill wildfire, work was set to start on a new fire hall at Loon Lake. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District — which assumed fire protection services for Loon Lake following a referendum in 2018 — announced that construction would begin in spring 2022, with work expected to be complete later in the year. Since 2017 the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department has operated out of a two-bay garage built on the site of the former fire hall. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3YGq2uV.

Tremont Creek fire after-effects could last years

A report on the Tremont Creek wildfire, which burned 63,548 hectares east of Ashcroft in July and August 2021, showed that post-fire hazards include the potential for elevated streamflow, flooding, and sediment-laden floods throughout the affected area, which could last for three years or more. Approximately 81 per cent of the Barnes Lakes watershed east of Ashcroft — an area of 8,269 hectares — was burned, with 37 per cent of that area subject to moderate or high burn severity. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WKzOud.

Planter program going ahead in Cache Creek

The Village of Cache Creek moved ahead with its “Adopt a Planter” program, and called on residents and businesses to help make downtown more attractive by signing up to fill one of the town’s 30 public planters. There was no formal “theme” for the planters, except for a requirement that each planter contain at least one sunflower, which is the official flower of Cache Creek. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Gis2SV.

Loon Lake artist gets first place at Kamloops show

Local artists have traditionally done very well at the Kamloops Arts Council’s annual Art Exposed event, and Loon Lake resident Janet Harman continued that trend in 2022, winning first place in the “Emerging Artist: 2D” category for her painting “Splashmaker”. It was the third year Harman has had works on display at Art Exposed, and she says she was as surprised as anyone to find out she had won. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3hNuO94.

Clinton Annual Ball returns

It was announced that the Clinton Annual Ball would go ahead on May 21, after two years of a scaled-back event to preserve the ball’s status as the longest continuously-running event of its kind in Canada. After the decision to lift mask and vaccine mandates was made in March, organizers had to condense seven months’-worth of work into a little over two months. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WniHhY.

Cache Creek facing hefty price tag to repair, operate pool

A report on the state of the Cache Creek pool — which was closed for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and remained closed in 2022 — painted a picture of a facility that operates at an annual deficit of $100,000, faces numerous challenges in terms of maintenance and upkeep, and would cost between $80,000 and $145,00 to repair to a state where it could safely reopen. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3vcvKqD.

IG Fibers employees sign contract

After more than eight months of being locked out, employees at the IG Machine & Fibers plant near Ashcroft accepted a contract settlement. After 18 months of negotiations, the workers were served with a lockout notice in early July, 2021, and were locked out as of July 12, 2021. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3YMyRTN.

New Cache Creek basketball team looks to make a mark

The Cache Creek Cats became the newest sports team in the area: a club basketball team for boys aged 13 to 18 which had 14 members from Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Lytton, Walhachin, and area First Nations. Head coach Max Beckett said the team was “looking forward to some good basketball.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3BYfYDs.

B.C. Chinese community raises funds for Lytton museum

British Columbia’s Chinese community donated $51,500 towards the rebuild of Lytton’s Chinese History Museum, which was destroyed along with much of the town on June 30, 2021. “I am awestruck by the generosity of the Chinese-Canadian community,” said curator Lorna Fandrich, who founded the museum in 2017. “These funds will help in a very real way for us to rebuild an important testament to the Chinese pioneers who helped build British Columbia.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3hMEfWt.

Medal of Good Citizenship for Esther Lang

Ashcroft resident Esther Lang was one of the recipients of the Province of B.C.’s Medal of Good Citizenship, part of a group of 31 individuals and one group from 21 B.C. communities being recognized for their “outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3hO4snz.

APRIL

Drag races going ahead for Graffiti Days weekend

“Drag races are definitely a go for the weekend of June 10.” So said Thunder in the Valley Raceway’s Dwight Toews, following a meeting on April 2 to gauge volunteer support for the races, which would run at the Campbell Hill dragstrip in conjunction with the Graffiti Days weekend in Cache Creek. An initial meeting in late March only attracted a handful of people, and Toews decided to hold a second meeting on April 2 in a last-ditch attempt to get enough volunteers. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GpIyRb.

Clinton welcomes new street name

A previously unnamed thoroughfare in Clinton got a name, which was unveiled at a ceremony on April 9. Vimy Lane runs parallel to Highway 97 between Dewdney and Lebourdais Avenues and begins (or ends) directly opposite Royal Canadian Legion Branch #194. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3BY8qRw.

Lytton elects new councillors

Preliminary results from the Lytton by-election that was held on April 30 showed that Melissa Michell and Ross Urquhart were the new councillors-elect for the village. A total of 82 ballots were cast in advance, by mail, and on election day. The by-election was held to fill two councillor positions that have been vacant since last year. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WktGIZ.



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