Cache Creek flooding continues
An unprecedented flood season extended past the Canada Day holiday, with Cache Creek — which had its first flooding of the season on April 18 — dealing with more flood damage after heavy rainfall on July 1. Residents of the Riverside mobile home park on Old Cariboo Road were placed on evacuation order, the Cache Creek fire hall and Cariboo Sam Park were flooded, and residents were warned to stay away from Cache Creek Park, where floodwater was two to three feet deep in places. Read more at http://bit.ly/34CUCv2.
Cache Creek gets flood grants
On July 3, as Cache Creek dealt with more flooding, the village received word that it would be receiving nearly $200,000 in grant funding for debris flow management along Old Cariboo Road. The improvements would include regrading approximately 170 metres of road, the installation of culverts, and bank restoration and erosion protection, and work would be concentrated around the Riverside mobile home park south of the post office, which has been severely impacted by flood and rainfall events over the last five years. Read more at http://bit.ly/3pdOVvc. A week later, the village received a further $147,000 in order to produce a flood mitigation plan for the community. The plan would build on a flood model that had already been produced, and would identify what issues are being experienced due to flooding, and what information people need in order to prepare for that. Read more at http://bit.ly/3nPiRgQ.
Clinton Community Forest
The Clinton and District Community Forest disbursed grants of more than $250,000 to the Village of Clinton and 11 community organizations, including the Clinton Legion, the South Cariboo Historical Museum Society, the Clinton Food Bank, and the Clinton Outdoor Sportsmen Association. Read more at http://bit.ly/3ponzTp.
Manufactured home park planned for Boston Flats
Family-run Cole Developments Ltd. announced plans for a 60-unit manufactured home park at Boston Flats, on a site bordering Highway 97C and near the site of a previous park, which was destroyed in the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017. The company owns both sites, and recognizes the need for more affordable housing in the area, but decided against building on the original site because the costs — which would include building a second egress road — were too high. Read more at http://bit.ly/3rovm5l.
Let the sun shine in
Grant funding allowed the Ashcroft Indian Band to install an 18-kilowatt solar array on the roof of their new six-unit elders’ residence. There were enough panels left to construct a solar array on the roof of the nearby band office, meaning both buildings will benefit from clean renewable energy, and the band will reap the benefits of decreased energy costs. Read more at http://bit.ly/2KVAuwQ.
Ashcroft has new detachment commander
Ashcroft RCMP welcomed a new NCO in charge of the detachment: Sgt. Darren Angman. The 22-year veteran said that his father, Grant Angman, was born in Ashcroft, and probably has his name on a lot of the trophies at the curling rink. Angman came to Ashcroft from Kamloops, and had previously been stationed in Richmond, Anahim Lake, 100 Mile House, and Chetwynd. He took over from Sgt. Kathleen Fitzgerald, who retired in February 2020. Read more at http://bit.ly/3nPnQ12.
Desert Daze festival goes virtual
For its 10th anniversary concert, the Desert Daze festival in Spences Bridge went virtual, filming 10 different local musical acts in 10 different locations in and around the Bridge and then broadcasting them online over the weekend of Aug. 7, when the festival would normally have been taking place live. Rather than cancel the event, organizers wanted the show to go on, and highlight some amazing musicians while shining a spotlight on Spences Bridge. Read more at http://bit.ly/3ppkpid.
Lease secured on land for Loon Lake fire hall
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced that they had secured a Crown Lease on 2.64 acres of land at the former Loon Lake Provincial Park site, as a location for a new Loon Lake fire hall. The previous hall was destroyed in the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, and the TNRD had been working to secure land for a new hall, which will be built on the northern (high) side of the former park, not on the water. Since 2017 the Loon Lake firefighters have been operating out of a two-bay garage on the site of the former fire hall, near the Transfer Station. Read more at http://bit.ly/3hmzRsE.
Lytton archaeological survey answers one question
An archaeological survey of a culturally significant site in Lytton has revealed that there is indeed a burial at the Chief Cexpe’nthlEm Memorial Precinct, although whether it is Cexpe’nthlEm — who played a key role in ending the potentially catastrophic Canyon War in 1858 — or not remains to be seen. The memorial was erected in 1887, when Cexpe’nthlEm died, and the burial (revealed by ground penetrating radar that did not disturb the site) appears to be a traditional First Nations one. The decision on whether to proceed further and obtain DNA samples of the person(s) buried there rests with Lytton First Nation. Read more at http://bit.ly/38vtuix.
Clinton historic walking tour to be updated
The Village of Clinton received $20,000 in funding from Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association to update its historic walking tour of the village. Mayor Susan Swan said that the existing brochure had some errors that needed correcting, and more sites were to be added, with village staff and volunteers with the South Cariboo Historical Museum Society doing research for an updated and expanded tour and brochure, which would hopefully be ready for the 2021 tourist season. Read more at http://bit.ly/3mOKYvk.
Ashcroft Slough Society
The recently-formed Ashcroft Slough Society began publicly advocating for legal access to the slough, north of Ashcroft on the Thompson River. Public access to the site is across industrial land owned by the Ashcroft Terminal, which in April 2020 put a gate across Evans Road where their property begins in order to prevent trespass on their land. The society planned to lobby both the Terminal and CN Rail, as access is over the CN mainline which runs through the site and has no legal crossings. Read more at http://bit.ly/3mIwRYp.
Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding
In advance of a possible snap election called by Premier John Horgan, the Fraser-Nicola NDP once again found themselves in the spotlight after controversy surrounded their nomination of former Lower Nicola Band chief Aaron Sumexheltza as their candidate. Sumexheltza had challenged incumbent Harry Lali for the NDP nomination prior to the 2017 provincial election, but lost to the longtime politician, even though Horgan had asked Lali to step aside and allow Sumexheltza to win the nomination unopposed. In September 2020 the provincial NDP announced that Sumexheltza would be the candidate over the wishes of the Fraser-Nicola NDP riding association, and all 13 members resigned in protest as a result. Read more at http://bit.ly/3mMorzw.
Candidates named in snap election
On Sept. 21 a snap provincial election was called, leaving some parties scrambling to nominate candidates. In the swing riding of Fraser-Nicola, Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart was once again her party’s candidate, with Aaron Sumexheltza representing the NDP and Jonah Timms running as the BC Green Party candidate. They were eventually joined by two Independents: Dennis Adamson, a former member of the Fraser-Nicola NDP riding association and a longtime Fraser Valley Regional District director, and Mike Bhangu, a first-term councillor for the City of Merritt. Read more at http://bit.ly/38zmotl and http://bit.ly/3aFoVox.
Works starts on Clinton seniors’ housing
Nine years after a group began advocating for new seniors’ housing in Clinton, and more than three years after the BC Liberals announced funding for 10 units, work began on a 20-unit seniors’ living facility on the site of the former Clinton Elementary School on Smith Avenue. Demolition of the former school and transfer of the land were two of the hiccups faced by those advocating for the facility, which has long been identified as a pressing need for the community, where 35 per cent of the residents are over the age of 65 but face limited housing options in the area. Read more at http://bit.ly/38wwUl3.
Kumsheen school conversion well underway
Some 15 years after trustees for School District No.74 began publicly discussing the possible closure of Lytton Elementary School, seven years after accepting a staff recommendation to close the elementary schools in Lytton and Ashcroft and create K–12 schools, and two years after voting to close LES, work on the conversion of Kumsheen Secondary was progressing, and planned for completion in December 2020. Until then, both schools would continue to operate, with a phased approach to integrating the two school communities taking place once work at the high school was complete. Read more at http://bit.ly/3hf0YFK.