Year in Review: Ashcroft Urgent and Primary Care Centre opens

The Ashcroft ambulance station got more full-time positions in fall 2022. (Photo credit: Journal files)The Ashcroft ambulance station got more full-time positions in fall 2022. (Photo credit: Journal files)
Savona butcher Ron Keely took part in an international butchers’ competition as part of Team Canada. (Photo credit: Submitted)Savona butcher Ron Keely took part in an international butchers’ competition as part of Team Canada. (Photo credit: Submitted)
(seated) Anita Donovan and Loon Lake firefighter Franko Borri on the bench dedicated to Anita’s husband El, Loon Lake’s first fire chief. (Photo credit: Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department)(seated) Anita Donovan and Loon Lake firefighter Franko Borri on the bench dedicated to Anita’s husband El, Loon Lake’s first fire chief. (Photo credit: Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department)
Volunteers at Cornwall Fire Lookout on Sept. 11, 2022. (Photo credit: Travis Ketcheson)Volunteers at Cornwall Fire Lookout on Sept. 11, 2022. (Photo credit: Travis Ketcheson)
Looking east over the former Immaculate Heart of Mary property on Stage Road (to the left; Trans-Canada Highway on the right). The site is 15 acres and contains a 13,000-square-foot building (centre), and the Village of Cache Creek has submitted an Expression of Interest in the property, which is owned by BC Housing. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)Looking east over the former Immaculate Heart of Mary property on Stage Road (to the left; Trans-Canada Highway on the right). The site is 15 acres and contains a 13,000-square-foot building (centre), and the Village of Cache Creek has submitted an Expression of Interest in the property, which is owned by BC Housing. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)
The estimated cost for the Ashcroft Fire Hall renovation project has doubled to $1.2 million following delays brought about by the pandemic. The council approved new cost which will be covered by the surplus reserve funds. (Barbara Roden/file photo)The estimated cost for the Ashcroft Fire Hall renovation project has doubled to $1.2 million following delays brought about by the pandemic. The council approved new cost which will be covered by the surplus reserve funds. (Barbara Roden/file photo)
Proposed changes to the provincial riding of Fraser-Nicola include adding the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs in the southwest corner, and Tobiano and Savona in the northeast (see inset boxes on map). (Photo credit: BC Electoral Boundaries Commission)Proposed changes to the provincial riding of Fraser-Nicola include adding the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs in the southwest corner, and Tobiano and Savona in the northeast (see inset boxes on map). (Photo credit: BC Electoral Boundaries Commission)
The first train crosses the new controlled, temporary at-grade level crossing of Highway 1 at Tank Hill north of Lytton on Jan. 14. Permanent repairs to the highway were scheduled to start in fall 2022. (Photo credit: MOTI)The first train crosses the new controlled, temporary at-grade level crossing of Highway 1 at Tank Hill north of Lytton on Jan. 14. Permanent repairs to the highway were scheduled to start in fall 2022. (Photo credit: MOTI)
Clinton’s Yvette May was named the provincial B.C. CiB Community Champion, in recognition of her efforts with Clinton CiB and for the provincial organization. (Photo credit: Submitted)Clinton’s Yvette May was named the provincial B.C. CiB Community Champion, in recognition of her efforts with Clinton CiB and for the provincial organization. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Ashlene Minnabarriet (standing, second from l in red shirt) with the Cache Creek Thrashers, who were this year’s regional U13 girls’ champions. Minnabarriet was named Softball BC’s ‘Unsung Hero’ for 2022. (Photo credit: Softball BC)Ashlene Minnabarriet (standing, second from l in red shirt) with the Cache Creek Thrashers, who were this year’s regional U13 girls’ champions. Minnabarriet was named Softball BC’s ‘Unsung Hero’ for 2022. (Photo credit: Softball BC)
The CP Holiday Train was in Ashcroft on Dec. 16 for its first visit in three years. (Photo credit: Josh White)The CP Holiday Train was in Ashcroft on Dec. 16 for its first visit in three years. (Photo credit: Josh White)

SEPTEMBER

Paramedic recruitment ongoing in Ashcroft

BC Emergency Health Services, which oversees the BC Ambulance Service, issued a statement about the ambulance station staffing in Ashcroft. It came after two highly-publicized incidents in July and August where Ashcroft residents found in cardiac distress had to wait half-an-hour before an ambulance arrived. “We are working hard to improve our staffing capacity in Ashcroft, and have additional staff joining our team here in the coming weeks,” said BCEHS Clinical Operations Executive Director Mike Michalko. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GOPh76.

Local butcher makes his mark at international competition

Savona butcher Ron Keely was in Sacramento, California on Sept. 2 to take part in the World Butchers’ Challenge. The event hosts team and individual competitions, and Ron was there to participate in the World Champion Young Butcher Competition. Not only was this Ron’s first time in the competition, it was also Team Canada’s debut. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WNHT1v.

First Loon Lake fire chief honoured

The firefighters of the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department honoured El Donovan, the department’s first fire chief, with a memorial bench. Donovan’s wife Anita was the first person to sit on the new bench, which will have a permanent place outside the fire hall. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3k2zicP.

Many hands make light work at Cornwall fire lookout work bee

Thanks to a group of volunteers from the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC and Ashcroft/Cache Creek, the historic fire lookout atop Cornwall Mountain west of Ashcroft underwent some much-needed repairs and a paint job. “A big thank you to everyone who came out to help at the Cornwall Fire Lookout maintenance day!” said Wes Kibble, the Four Wheel Drive Association’s regional director for Thompson-Nicola. “We had members from as far away as Enderby and Vancouver, as well as some Ashcroft locals who are not members but wanted to help out because it is a historic piece in their backyard.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3XkmKMp.

GeoTour prequel event features new caches

Gold Country Communities Society was gearing up for their “Prequel GeoTour”, set to take place throughout the Gold Country region from September 9–11. The event featured Indigenous sites of significance, handed-down traditions, flora and fauna, historic points of interest, and Indigenous culture and heritage, with 50 new geocaches placed all over the region. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3VZtfD0.

Cache Creek planter program picks some winners

Cache Creek’s first “Adopt a Planter” program drew near its finish on Sept. 16, when two judges accompanied CAO Damian Couture on a tour of the 30 (plus one) village planters that were adopted by local residents or organizations, and awarded prizes in four (plus one) categories. After the judging, a luncheon was held at the Cache Creek hall for the participants, and small plaques were awarded to the winners. The “Best Overall” and “Best Theme” winners will also be immortalized on two large plaques that will be on display in the village office. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GRXMi1.

More full-time positions created at Ashcroft ambulance station

The Ashcroft ambulance station was one of 31 stations around the province receiving more permanent full-time paramedic positions. The news was released in a letter signed by Leanne Heppell — Executive Vice-President and Chief Ambulance Officer for BC Emergency Health Services — and dated Sept. 14. It was later confirmed with BCEHS that Ashcroft would be getting four new permanent full-time paramedics. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Wb0yDv.

Ashcroft Urgent and Primary Care Centre open seven days a week

Health care in Ashcroft and the surrounding area got a new look on Sept. 27, with the opening of an urgent and primary care centre. It will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., with nursing and allied health teams providing team-based primary care services. The UPCC will connect patients who do not have a primary care provider to a family doctor or nurse practitioner; it also has urgent care services available for people with non-life-threatening conditions such as sprains, cuts, high fevers, and minor infections who need to see a health care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but who do not require an emergency department. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3CvXA5a.

Cache Creek submits Expression of Interest in former church site

The Village of Cache Creek sent an Expression of Interest to BC Housing regarding the future of the Immaculate Heart of Mary property on Stage Road. BC Housing purchased the property in February 2022, and is the owner of the 15-acre site, which includes a 13,000-square-foot building that contains office space, 26 hotel-style bedrooms, a chapel with outdoor amphitheatre, banquet space, a commercial kitchen, and a 16’ x 32’ indoor pool. In late September the village arranged public tours of the facility, and more than 100 people visited the building and provided feedback on possible uses for the site. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Cxowll.

Section of historic Alexandra Bridge restored

The New Pathways to Gold Society, in partnership with Spuzzum First Nation, held their “That’s a Wrap!” event, to mark the completion of this season’s work at the historic 1926 Alexandra Bridge south of Boston Bar. A restored section of the bridge’s east support tower was unveiled, and the difference between its former state and what it looks like now was like night and day. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Zo8xzy.

Ashcroft council approves new $1.2 million fire hall renovation

The Village of Ashcroft approved a budget increase to renovate the fire hall, after the pandemic hiatus increased previously estimated costs. The new budget quoted by TriCity Canda Inc. stands at $1.2 million, which almost doubled from the previous approved cost of $688,000. The project, which will enlarge the fire hall, faced several delays after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also affected the supply chain. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3XafVwC.

OCTOBER

Changes could be coming to Fraser-Nicola riding

British Columbians could see six new ridings in the next provincial election, and changes to a number of existing ridings — including Fraser-Nicola — if recommendations from the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission are adopted. The Commission’s preliminary report was released on Oct. 3, and one of the key recommendations was increasing the number of ridings in the province by creating six new electoral districts, bringing the total number of seats to 93 from the current 87. Adjustments to Fraser-Nicola would include expanding the riding’s boundaries to include the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs in the southwest corner, and rural areas west of Kamloops, including Savona and Tobiano, to the northeast. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3IvyaIX.

Ashcroft sets new Thanksgiving Day temperature record

October 2022 was unseasonably warm, and Thanksgiving Day was no exception. Six B.C. communities set new temperature records on Oct. 10, while a seventh tied its record from 1991. Preliminary data from Environment Canada showed that the residents of Ashcroft enjoyed a sizzling 28.2 C with their turkey dinner, almost four degrees higher than the old record of 24.4 C set in 1945. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3CAloVA.

Permanent repairs starting soon on Highway 1 through Canyon

The province announced that permanent repairs to flood-damaged sections of Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon would soon be underway, and are expected to be substantially complete in 2024. The highway was closed to all traffic on Nov. 15, 2021 following the atmospheric river that affected almost all the highways in the Southern Interior. Flooding and washouts associated with the November rains damaged 18 sites along the Highway 1 corridor between Hope and Spences Bridge, including two bridges, one CP Rail underpass, two major culverts, and 13 sites with additional washouts. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3w6L3BX .

Wild B.C. population of critically endangered spotted owl jumps from one to four

The wild B.C. spotted owl population jumped up in summer 2022 from just one to four. The population “explosion” was thanks to a release that took place in Spuzzum in August. Deemed as an historic milestone for conservation, it was the result of a partnership between the provincial Spotted Owl Breeding and Release Program and Spuzzum First Nation. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3vJFQQh.

Local elections bring several changes

On Oct. 15, local elections were held across B.C., bringing change to many local communities. In Ashcroft, incumbent mayor Barbara Roden was unopposed, while Lytton mayor Jan Polderman did not run; Denise O’Connor was elected as that community’s new mayor. In Clinton and Cache Creek, two former mayors — Roland Stanke and John Ranta respectively — defeated incumbents Susan Swan and Santo Talarico. Incumbent TNRD Area “E” and “I” directors Sally Watson and Susan Rice were defeated by newcomers Jim Smith and Tricia Thorpe, while incumbent Cache Creek school trustee Carmen Ranta — the only School District No. 74 to face a challenger — maintained her seat.

Construction starts on new Teck Emergency Department at RIH

On Oct. 21, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and Teck Resources Limited celebrated the beginning of construction of the new Teck Emergency Department at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH). Teck contributed $2.5 million towards the hospital’s new emergency department, which will feature the installation of innovative antimicrobial copper surfaces and equipment to help protect patients and health care workers. Renovations are scheduled to be complete in 2026. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WX5eOa.

Clinton’s Yvette May recognized as blooming good volunteer

A Clinton resident and volunteer who has been active in the local and provincial Communities in Bloom programs for many years was named the provincial CiB Community Champion, in recognition of her efforts in Clinton and for the provincial organization. Yvette May says that the announcement came as a surprise to her, and that she learned the news via a meeting on Zoom. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3vLMDsL.

Ashlene Minnabarriet named Softball B.C.’s “Unsung Hero” for 2022

Ashlene Minnabarriet, who has been president of the Cache Creek Softball Association for the past three years, was named as Softball BC’s recipient of the “Unsung Hero” volunteer award for 2022. The organization said that the award is presented to “A person at the local sports organization level without whom our sport would not succeed.” Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3ZjXmbh.

NOVEMBER

Cache Creek resident advocating for school bus service in town

Cache Creek resident Bryce Ross would like School District No. 74 (Gold Trail) to consider adding school bus service for students attending Cache Creek Elementary School who live within the village’s boundaries. He started two surveys in order to collect people’s opinions on the matter, and planned to collate the responses and present them to the school district. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3jRgaye.

New Eco-Depot opens at Boston Flats

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s long-anticipated and much-delayed new Eco-Depot between Cache Creek and Ashcroft opened to the public on Nov. 15. The TNRD said that the new Eco-Depot would better meet the growing needs of customers by providing additional services and greater capacity. It will have expanded days of operation, an expanded list of accepted materials, and a weigh scale to provide accurate billing to customers. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3CuE892.

Fibre optic internet coming to Clinton

The province announced that Clinton will benefit from the installation of a new fibre-to-the-home network, which will bring faster internet speeds to more than 400 households in Clinton and the surrounding area. Initial surveying work had already started, and physical construction was slated to begin in spring 2023. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GpJeEI.

Hwy. 8 reopens to all traffic a year after flood

Nearly a year after heavy rain and flooding washed out more than 25 sections of road, Highway 8 reopened to all vehicle traffic. The atmospheric river that descended on B.C. in November 2021 led to the complete closure of the highway between Merritt and Spences Bridge for 361 days. More than seven kilometres of highway were completely washed out. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3ihSFOJ.

TNRD makes history by electing female chair and vice-chair

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District made history by electing a female board chair and vice-chair to serve at the same time. The TNRD’s board of directors elected Village of Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden as chair and District of Logan Lake Mayor Robin Smith as vice-chair at the inaugural board meeting on Nov. 17. This is the first time the top two positions in TNRD have been held by women. Roden was also the first-ever female vice-chair of the TNRD board in 2021, and is only the second female chair of the TNRD. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Zg0ipv.

Cache Creek radio station as good as new

Nearly a year after its tower above Cache Creek was vandalized, CFMA Radio — operated by the Ash-Creek TV Society — was back on the air with permanent equipment, after running with loaner equipment for the past several months. The Ashcroft signal on 89.1 FM, which went down in August, was also restored. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3CuEwo0.

New “virtual doctor” pilot program underway in Ashcroft

The Ashcroft Urgent and Primary Care Centre at the hospital and health site began piloting a “virtual doctor” program: the only one of its kind in the province. Ashcroft was selected to take part in the Virtual Care pilot project, which started on Nov. 28 and meant that the UPCC could schedule bookings for people to have a virtual appointment with a physician on weekdays between 9 a.m. and noon. The pilot project is scheduled to run through May 2023. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GumDqq.

DECEMBER

Ashcroft Library gets grand reopening

After undergoing a soft reopening in August, the Ashcroft Library held a grand reopening on Dec. 7. The branch was closed from the Victoria Day weekend to mid-August 2022 in order for the renovations — which include an expanded children’s area, updated technology, and “bar seating” where patrons can sit and use their own laptops or browse through materials — to be carried out. The biggest change is the addition of a “service extender”, which will enable patrons to access the library for 52 hours a week, rather than just the 26 hours a week when staff are on site. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3GslUGh.

Cache Creek resident Deb Arnott awarded Medal of Good Citizenship

Cache Creek’s Deb Arnott was n amed as one of 15 British Columbians who will receive the B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship in 2023, for their dedication and selfless service to their communities. Arnott, a longtime resident of the area, was with Community Futures for 30 years — most of them as manager of Community Futures Sun Country — before retiring earlier in 2022. The Medal of Good Citizenship was established in 2015, to acknowledge people’s remarkable service to public life. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3QmobaM.

TELUS proposing fibre optic networks throughout the region

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District wrote a formal letter of support for an application by TELUS to provide increased connectivity to the areas in and around Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Savona, and 70 Mile House via TELUS’ PureFibre network. The proposed networks along Highways 1 and 97 are four of several that TELUS would like to build in the region; other networks are proposed for Savona, Logan Lake, Barriere, Vavenby, Westsyde, and Chase. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3X6YkFY.

CP Holiday Train back on track

The CP Holiday Train was on track to arrive in Savona and Ashcroft on Dec. 16. The train — one of two operated by CP Rail — had been heading west since Nov. 23, making its first live cross-continent tour in three years, following virtual concerts during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3WXIjlV.

New bus service from Lytton to Ashcroft will run every Friday

A new bus service linked Lytton and Ashcroft as of Dec. 16, with the service provided at no charge every Friday through at least the end of January 2023. Yellowhead Community Services Society, in partnership with the Salvation Army and the Anglican Parish, announced the start of the new Lytton Connection bus service, which had been identified as an urgent need in the area. The Salvation Army donated a bus and provided funding, with additional funding coming from the Anglican Parish and YCS. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3XkaBad.

Ukulele lending program now at all Thompson-Nicola libraries

In partnership with award-winning Riversong Guitars of Kamloops, the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library announced the launch of a new Ukulele Lending Program. It is similar to the TNRL’s highly successful Guitar Lending Program, which was launched in April 2022, and enables patrons to check out a Riversong guitar from any TNRL branch, including the Mobile Library and the branches in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Savona, Clinton, Barriere, and Clearwater. With the new ukulele program, library patrons can now place a hold on one of the ukuleles handmade by Riversong Guitars, which are available at all library branches within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3Gumjbc.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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