Honour Ranch makes hay while sun shines
After holding a grand opening in October 2019, the Honour Ranch near Ashcroft had hoped to be up and running in 2020 to provide a peaceful space, facilities, and support for members of the armed forces and first responders coping with operational stress injuries. Instead, volunteers worked tirelessly to carry out necessary work to make the site suitable for use all year round, not just during the warmer months, with the hope of being able to welcome guests early in 2021. Read more at http://bit.ly/2X1iUug.
Lions Club is all Smiles
The Ashcroft and District Lions Club raised $4,800 for local community organizations during the annual Smile Cookies campaign. During the week-long event, members of the club were at the Tim Hortons at the Esso Travel Centre promoting the sale of the cookies, with the full $1 of each cookie sold going to support the causes of their choice. It was the third successful Smile Cookie campaign for the Lions, who donated $395 to the total so that The Equality Project, the E. Fry Society food bank, and the Christmas Hamper campaign would each receive $1,750. Read more at http://bit.ly/2KPW5ax.
Clinton rewarded for planting a little sunshine
British Columbia Communities in Bloom recognized the Village of Clinton in its “Bloom Where You’re Planted” province-wide community showcase program. The village was one of three provincial winners, and was rewarded for its “Plant a Little Sunshine” contest, which saw kids in the community encouraged to grow sunflowers and then show off their successes. Read more at http://bit.ly/2MofOi1.
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting in Lytton
B.C.’s police watchdog ruled that RCMP officers who fatally shot a man in distress while responding to a report of a suicidal man in Lytton were not at fault. On Jan.13, 2020 police attended at an address in Lytton following a 9-1-1 call, and were met with a single gunshot fired over their heads. Two witnesses in the house were able to leave without injury, and following a standoff lasting for several hours the man left the house and grabbed a shotgun, at which time he was shot and killed by police. Read more at http://bit.ly/3aVOjq7.
Waiting game in Fraser-Nicola
Following a snap provincial election on Oct. 24 that saw more than 525,000 British Columbians vote by mail, BC Liberal Party incumbent Jackie Tegart held a 385-vote lead over BC NDP challenger Aaron Sumexheltza, and both candidates settled in to wait for the mail-in ballots to be counted to see what the final result in the traditional swing riding of Fraser-Nicola would be. In the meantime, all five candidates in the riding reflected on their election experiences, and whether or not there might be a next time for them. Read more at http://bit.ly/3hudphe.
World class carver lives simple life in Loon Lake
The work of carver Kevin Peters can be found in galleries and collections around the world, but he prefers the quiet life far from the madding crowd, and has chosen Loon Lake as the place to call home and create his works. One of them — a solid gold eaglet — was stolen in 2016 from the man who commissioned it, and its whereabouts remain a mystery to this day. Read more at http://bit.ly/34YDfox.
Curling resumes in Ashcroft
After remaining closed during the 2019/2020 season for essential upgrades, the Ashcroft curling rink reopened on Nov. 3, enabling members of the curling club to hit the ice once more. The club had used the closure period to work on increasing membership, and reported that they had succeeded in nearly doubling the number of members, with plans to try to get local students involved with the sport. Read more at http://bit.ly/3q5Cjql.
Tegart wins Fraser-Nicola riding
After the 2,597 mail-in and absentee ballots cast in the Fraser-Nicola riding were counted, BC Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart retained the riding, defeating her nearest rival — the BC NDP’s Aaron Sumexheltza — by 282 votes. The narrow win meant that Tegart would be returning to Victoria for a third term as the riding’s MLA, and a second as part of the official opposition, after the the BC NDP won their first majority government in nearly 20 years. Read more at http://bit.ly/3pxNZ50.
First trail completed at McAbee site
Phase one of trail building at the McAbee Fossil Beds site east of Cache Creek saw the completion of the first of several proposed trails at the site. The natural loop extending to the east takes visitors on a tour lasting approximately two hours, and the plan was to resume work in spring 2021 with the first of several “capped” trails topped with gravel, which are also set to contain bridges and lookout points. Read more at http://bit.ly/38y04kU.
Cache Creek cannabis survey
Residents and businesses in Cache Creek expressed overall support for the prospect of retail cannabis shops and production within the village, after the results of a survey were tallied. Concerns were also raised relating to an existing cannabis production facility in the village, particularly the odours emanating from the building. CAO Martin Dalsin acknowledged the concerns, and said that while the village has been trying to get the site into compliance, they are having to deal with federal regulations, and are proceeding with caution. Read more at http://bit.ly/2MNucjX.
4-H club looking for new members
The Ashcroft 4-H Club, which has existed in some form for at least 25 years, said that it was looking for new members for the 2021 year. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the club and its members managed to meet throughout 2020 and take part in various events, such as the Provincial Winter Fair in Kamloops in September. Read more at http://bit.ly/3bz7QwO.
Clinton welcomes Citizens on Patrol
In conjunction with the Clinton RCMP and 100 Mile House Citizens on Patrol, a group of volunteers in Clinton successfully restarted the Citizens on Patrol program in that community. Members work to assist local law enforcement in various areas to keep the community safe, and their first assignment was to focus on “speed watch” in an effort to remind motorists to obey the posted speed limits through the town. Read more at http://bit.ly/3s7IsV7.
Free disposal days ended
At its meeting on Nov. 19, the board of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District voted to end free disposal days at all TNRD solid waste facilities. Several directors were opposed to the motion, despite the addition of mattresses/box springs and tires on rim to the list of items which could be accepted at no charge year-round at participating transfer station and eco-depots throughout the TNRD. Read more at http://bit.ly/2K2Ua23.
Man accused of 2019 Cache Creek homicide to stand trial
Following a four-day preliminary hearing in Kamloops provincial court, it was determined that Corey Harkness, 33, would stand trial for the Jan. 14, 2019 shooting of Brock Ledoux at a home in Cache Creek. Harkness, who has been out on bail, faces a charge of second-degree murder, although a trial date has not yet been set. Read more at http://bit.ly/38B3Ydb.
Spences Bridge could lose EV charging station
The trustees of the Spences Bridge Improvement District were not prepared to accept an offer from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District that addressed some of their concerns about the electric vehicle charging station in the Bridge, which is situated on land owned by the SBID. The board had stated they wanted a washroom at the site, as well as someone to maintain it, but chair Michael Jefferson said that the offer would not work, and that the board had no plans to take it to the community for discussion. If no agreement is reached before the five-year lease for the site ends in January 2021, the station would be removed by BC Hydro, which owns it. Read more at http://bit.ly/3q4xpKk.
Holiday Train makes virtual visit
The CP Holiday Train didn’t leave the station this year to make its usual stops in communities across Canada and the northern United States, but a virtual concert on Dec. 12 brought it into people’s homes. It was the train’s 22nd annual concert, and until 2020 the Holiday Train made Ashcroft one of its regular stops, with up to 1,500 people from the area attending to listen to live music and donate to the local food bank. Even though it did not come to town, CP made donations to all the communities it usually stops in, with the E. Fry Society food bank in Ashcroft receiving a cheque for $5,500. Read more at http://bit.ly/38uc0UQ.
Grant helps Cache Creek firefighters
The Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department got more than they asked for in grant funding, enabling the department to purchase new wildfire protection equipment and a trailer in which to store and transport it. The equipment will come in handy in case of a repeat of the 2017 wildfires, when the CCVFD borrowed a portable sprinkler system from the Office of the Fire Commissioner to protect the eastern end of the village when it looked as if the fire might double back on the town at the top end of Stage Road. Read more at http://bit.ly/2XuWKRA.
Lost and found
An iconic jade boulder weighing nearly 3,000 pounds was stolen from outside the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek during a daring late-night theft on Dec. 19. Two Ashcroft residents who happened to be passing through Cache Creek spotted the boulder being driven away on the back of a trailer, and immediately alerted police and the store owners. They pursued the vehicle in question, which was headed east on Highway 1 towards Kamloops, but turned back when someone threw a boulder at their vehicle, which was damaged. However there was good news when, a little over a week later, the boulder was recovered, largely intact, after being found in the bush near Chase. Read more at http://bit.ly/2MGz5LB.