Hirst touts Conservative plan for the environment

John Hirst

0619 - The Conservative party’s plan for the environment is just what the country needs, says John Hirst, the party's candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment is a balanced approach to reduce emissions, conserve and protect our air, land, water and wildlife, and fight climate change abroad. It’s built on three key principles, Hirst said.

Hirst said green technology, not taxes are the answer. Investing in green technology is the best way to lower emissions without imposing new taxes.

A cleaner and greener natural environment will engage farmers, hunters and anglers, Indigenous people, provinces, and territories to protect our air, land, water and wildlife.  

On taking the climate fight global, Hirst said, the international approach to climate change forces countries to self-impose domestic emissions reductions targets. But emissions do not recognize borders. It’s a global problem that requires a global solution and Canada has a leadership role to play, the plan says.

Council clears the way for 170-unit apartment complex

New apartment complex coming to Cedar Ridge Place, near Grand Hotel

0619 -  Nanaimo City Council has given the green light for a rental apartment complex near Long Lake. Council voted 6-2 on Monday in favour of issuing a development permit for a 170-unit apartment complex at 4800 Cedar Ridge Pl.

Kelowna-based Highstreet Ventures Inc. plans one four-storey building, two three-storey buildings and a two-storey amenity building on the property, near the Grand Hotel.

Highstreet requested a number of variances – also approved by councillors on Monday – including increasing the height for three of the proposed buildings. FULL STORY

NDP acclaims Chamberlin as candidate for October election

Bob Chamberlin

0618 - Bob Chamberlin will be the NDP candidate in October federal election. Chamberlin was acclaimed Tuesday night to represent the party in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. 

Green Party candidate Paul Manly won the spring byelection, finishing well ahead of the New Democrat and Conservative candidates. Chamberlin came in third in the byelection.

Investigation into suspicious fire turned over to RCMP

0618 - Nanaimo RCMP are investigating an early-morning fire at the Country Club Manor apartment building on Glen Eagle Crescent shortly before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Nanaimo Fire Rescue found a fire burning on the ground floor patio at the back of the building.

“Someone saw the fire and pulled the alarm, so the residents evacuated,” said Capt. Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief fire prevention officer, who initially investigated the fire. FULL STORY

Pornography and child sex abuse details revealed in court

0618 – Tension was thick when a man who was jailed in 2012 for possessing child pornography, appeared in court for a pre-sentence hearing. Stephen Mark Castleden will be sentenced June 27 for sexually assaulting a girl, beginning when she was four years old, taking pictures and posting them online.

Castleden pleaded guilty in December to possessing, making and importing child pornography, as well as the sexual assault. Images of the victim, whose identity is protected, were uploaded to a Russian website and the incidents took place over five years.

Castleden was sentenced to 30 days jail in Surrey in 2012 for possession of child pornography. FULL STORY

Region developing strategic plan for parks and trails

0618 – The Regional District of Nanaimo is taking a close look at its parks and trails with a new strategic plan to be completed by fall 2020.

The RDN manages more than 200 community parks, 12 regional parks and more than 85 kilometres of trails. The parks and trails are “important and cherished assets for our residents,” the release noted. FULL STORY

Stone Soup kitchen has to shut down by June 30

0618 - The Stone Soup kitchen will serve its last supper June 30 after losing its eviction battle on Monday. About 150 homeless people will then be without the free meal program. 

Doug and Tanya Hiltz, who live at the property at 150 Nicol St. and created the program in their backyard over the last year, to vacate the property by June 30. 

“Does anyone have a place to help us out? It’s our turn now,” Tanya Hiltz said, nearly crying and visibly frustrated by the situation after receiving the decision from the Residential Tenancy Branch arbitrator.

“Overnight the homeless are going to retaliate,” said Doug. “Their food source is being cut off and these people we’re feeding are barred from the 710 Club and the Salvation Army.” FULL STORY

House fire displaces family of five

0618 - A fire Monday afternoon displaced a family of five at 2261 East Wellington Rd. Neighbour Shelbey Brimacombe said she was working in her garden when she smelled something burning and saw the small home was on fire.

“I just looked and there were flames coming through the floor and the window and I could just hear the little dog barking inside. I tried to open the door and it was locked,” she said. FULL STORY

Man injured while trying to save dog from fire

0617 - A man was taken to hospital with burns after a fire in Nanaimo on the weekend. The man was injured while trying to save a dog from a burning building.

North Cedar Fire Department responded at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday to the 1400 block  Clifford Road in Cedar.

Percy Tipping, North Cedar Fire Department chief, said when firefighters arrived they found a shed, about four metres by five metres in size fully engulfed in flame. FULL STORY

Ferries adds extra sailings for summer peak period

BC Ferries has added sailings for the peak season, including adjustments to sailing times on some routes.

Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
Three ships will service this route, and deliver up to 24 sailings per day.
• 6:25 a.m. sailings in both directions daily
• Some 11:40 p.m. sailings departing Horseshoe Bay

Tsawwassen - Duke Point
Starting June 26, two vessels will provide 16 sailings per day between 5:15 a.m. and 10:45 p.m., seven days a week until Sept. 2.

Customers without a reservation can see the best times to travel on the website, bcferries.com. Details of summer promotions, affecting more than 1,000 sailings are also detailed on the website.

Fire calls levelling off for temporary housing projects

0617 - Things may be settling down at the temporary housing sites. The number of fire calls is levelling off. 

Fire Rescue Chief Karen Fry told NanaimoNewsNOW the situation is improving at both housing sites, on Terminal Avenue and Labieux Road sites. 

In May, crews responded to two fire alarm calls at the Terminal site, down from five in April. One of the April calls was an actual fire in a unit which displaced approximately 20 clients. FULL STORY

Parksville fire and explosion blamed on pot extraction

0617 - An investigation by the Parksville Fire Department showed a large explosion and fire at Parksville’s River Green Resort on June 6 was the result of someone using a flammable gas.

Steven Liedl, Parksville Fire department assistant fire chief, said the flammable gas was most likely butane or propane and was being used to extract oil from cannabis. FULL STORY

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School board passes $164.3 million budget

0616 - The Nanaimo Ladysmith school board passed its $164.3-million budget for 2019-20. The district projects 14,383 full-time equivalent students and has budgeted for more than 866 full-time equivalent teachers for next school year, with salaries totalling $67.8 million.

More than 293 full-time equivalent educational assistants and 248 support staff are in the budget, with salaries totalling $23.1 million. $8.4 million has been budgeted for principals and vice-principals, all salaries and benefits total $136.6 million. FULL STORY

Federal NDP nominating meeting set for Tuesday

0613 - Federal Nanaimo New Democrats are not letting any grass grow under their feet – they are holding a nominating meeting on Tuesday (June 18) to select a candidate for the October general election. Registration gets under way at 6 p.m. at Bowen Park auditorium. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Candidate introductions and speeches, with audience questions, will be follow by balloting.  For more information, HERE

Overturned truck causes major traffic disruption

0613 - An overturned truck caused a major traffic disruption on the Duke Point Highway near the exit to the Trans Canada Highway on Thursday. A truck carrying culverts rolled, closing a highway exit.
   Nanaimo Fire Rescue posted on social media about a “highway closure [of the] Duke Point Highway off-ramp northbound onto TCH. Closed for an extended period of time.”

Police intercept teens with a big cache of weapons

0613 - RCMP recovered a small cache of weapons on several youths late Wednesday night. The officers spotted three youths, all 15 years old, walking on Northfield Road. One of the three had a bat, which he said was found  and was being used for baseball in a nearby field.
   The officer told all three to remove any other weapons. 
The youth in question first pulled out a hatchet, then a five-inch double-sided knife, a multi-tool and a can of spray paint. Another had a hammer and box cutter. The third youth did not have any weapons. The three boys were given a ride home and delivered to their respective parents with a description of what police had found.

Wednesday's scorcher set a record

0613 - Was it hot enough for you? Nanaimo had one of the 16 record high temperatures in the province yestday, hitting 32 degrees with bright sunshine. That passed our previous record of 30.6 degrees which had been standing since 1932. The Nanaimo high was one of the top in the province.

City staff recommendation goes up in smoke

0613 - City council has given the green light for a cannabis retail store near downtown despite a staff recommendation to deny the rezoning application, citing proximity to an existing school and another proposed cannabis retail store. CSC Cannabis Stores, a B.C.-based company, is looking to open a 185 square-metre cannabis retail store on the property. The application still has to pass final approval at third reading. READ MORE

Honeymoon couple have electric bike stolen in Nanaimo

Electric bike which was stolen at Colliery Dam Park.

0612 - A Belgian couple honeymooning in Nanaimo had their electric bicycle stolen last week. The couple was at Colliery Dam Park on June 8 at 2 p.m. and went on an afternoon hike. At 3:30 p.m., when they returned to their motorhome, they realized their $15,000 e-bike had been stolen. Anyone with information is asked to Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Eight-year-old reports attempted assault

0612 - Nanaimo RCMP have issued an advisory after an eight-year-old girl has reported that an adult male attempted to grab her as she rode home from school on her bike. The girl was not injured and the suspect was not located. The incident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. on Tuesday on Bradley Street. The suspect was white, with a dark beard and dark hair, and wearing sunglasses. He was driving a red pickup with a white strip but no further description was provided. 

If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

SUV lands in mall parking lot in spectacular crash

0612 - It could have been called a "Brooks Landing" when an SUV crashed into the mall parking lot Tuesday afternoon. First responders attended at Brooks Landing at 1 p.m. to find an SUV with front-end damage resting in the parking lot. A witness said she heard a crash and a car flew through the fence and down into the parking lot. The SUV was travelling southbound on the old Island Highway before the crash. The driver was assessed by paramedics before being taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for further assessment.

No damage to building in disposal centre fire

0611 - There was no damage to a building in a fire at a disposal centre on Tuesday night. Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were called out at 11:45 p.m. to DBL Disposal Services Ltd. on Tenth Street to find a pile of materials on fire close to the back of the building. Five fire trucks were on scene and heavy machinery belonging to the business was also used to help fight the fire. MORE

Terminal supported housing worse than expected

0612 - Neighboring residents of the Terminal Avenue supportive housing development expected  problems but now they say it is worse than they anticipated. "It's twice as bad as what I thought it would be," said Fred MacDonald, who lives near the Newcastle Place facility at 250 Terminal Ave. "The Ministry of Housing has abdicated its responsibility to this community. They plunked in a project here that was doomed to fail." MORE

First cruise ship of the season arrives Sunday

The 596-passenger Silver Muse will be in Nanaimo on Sunday.

0611 - The first cruise ship of the season will dock in Nanaimo on Sunday. The 596-guest Silversea Cruises Silver Muse, will arrive in Nanaimo  Sunday at 8 a.m., departing at 10 p.m. An average spend for passengers disembarking for on-shore adventures is $80 each per day, meaning a ship of this size could contribute as much as $48,000 in a 12-hour period to the local economy. “We are pleased to be Silversea’s choice, and as the community continues to expand the variety of on-shore attractions it can offer passengers, the number of cruise ships that stop in Nanaimo will continue to increase,” says Port CEO Ian Marr. Tourism Nanaimo and professionally-trained ambassadors from the Nanaimo Hospitality Association will be at the terminal and downtown to greet.

Man killed in southend intersection accident

0611 - A man was fatally injured when crossing a south Nanaimo intersection when he didn’t have the right of way.  He was hit in the intersection of Nicol and Needham Streets by a pickup truck around 9 p.m. on Monday. Cst. Gary O’Brien said the man entered the intersection from Needham when he was hit by a pickup truck turning left on the green light to go southbound on Nicol St.

Province announces $157-million for new Nanaimo jail

0610 – Initial site clearing is scheduled to begin this summer on a new prison for Nanaimo.The province announced that $157-million has been earmarked for the new prison to replace the Nanaimo Correctional Centre.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2023 next to the current location. Approximately 1,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created and site clearing will start this summer.

The new centre will maintain the 190-room capacity of the current facility, including 60 rooms for secure custody. There will also be a new 12-room unit for short-term custody for women.

MORE

Booze and bikes create a dangerous mix

File photo from Google

0610 - What do booze and bikes have in common?  – nothing. But that doesn't appear to stop people and ending up with disastrous results.

Early Friday, Police, Fire and EHS assisted the recovery of a man who had lost his way while riding his 55cc dirt bike, and somehow survived a fall of more than 30 feet. He was found shortly after 1 a.m. at the bottom of rock bluffs west of the Nanaimo Parkway at Fifth Street.

When officers arrived they found him, surprisingly conscious and alert but suffering from several non-life threatening injuries. The 35-year-old Nanaimo man told officers he and a buddy were having liquid refreshments and unwisely decided to take their bikes out for a rip. At one point, he either lost control or turned left when he should have turned right, and ended up free falling over the edge of the cliff. He was taken to hospital by BC Paramedics and released later that same night.

Genocide - When Trudeau speaks thoughtlessly

World Oceans Day cleanup termed a huge success

0610 - They didn’t just talk about it, they took action. Volunteers and local organizations teamed to cealn up the shore at Maffeo Sutton Park and the seawall on Saturday as part of World Oceans Day.

They started near the Nanaimo Yacht Club and back to Maffeo Sutton Park.

Divers from the Port of Nanaimo cleaned up deeper down and Snuneymuxw First Nation held events on Newcastle Island.

Those putting their talk into action were pleased with the large turn out for the day-long effort.

Application filed for 66-unit condo project in Northend

Artist rendering for a proposed 66-unit residential condominium in the North End. (Salehi Architect Inc.)

0609 - A North Vancouver developer has filed a development application for a six-storey 66-unit multi-family condominium between Calinda Street and Sentinel Drive in North Nanaimo.

 The proposal is for 38 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units, two levels of underground parking and an open deck space on the sixth floor.

The application is for phase 1 of an envisioned much larger phase 2 development which is not part of the application. Mint Residentials Ltd’s future plans include two 20-storey condo towers as part of the development. There would be 432 residential units in that idea. The concept of highrises on that property has been around for a number of years but never materialized.

MORE

Government eyes safety changes for Cathedral Grove

Pedestrian safety is a major concern for park users.

 

0607 – Changes are coming to Cathedral Grove to address safety and access due to the traffic the park attracts and the lack of on-site parking and pedestrian crossings. 

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says more than 500 people have submitted ideas for improvements, including improved signage, traffic calming and enforcement, a pedestrian overpass, and additional parking and bypass options.

The government will present the most feasible suggestions at two open houses, June 19 in Parksville and June 20 at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre. Both meetings are from 4-8 p.m.

Information presented at the open houses will also be available online beginning June 19.

Motorcycle stolen from moving van

0608 - A Minute Man Moving van parked in the 1800 block East Wellington Road was broken into overnight on June 3. Thieves cut through a chain link fence and then cut off a padlock to the storage compartment on the van. A Honda 400cc motorcycle was stolen. No license plate number or VIN are available. The bike had a tire lock in place and drag marks showed the bike was dragged off the property. Nanaimo file # 2019-20612

Masked bandits steal thousands of dollars worth of tires

0607 - Nanaimo RCMP are investigating the theft of 23 sets of speciality tires stolen from Fountain Tire, at 4801 Wellington Road. The theft occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The value of the tires is in the thousands of dollars.

Video surveillance showed two masked men cutting through the fence of the compound surrounding the business then spending a considerable amount of time selecting specialized tires designed to fit Bobcats. A third person was also involved and was seen driving a light grey ful-size Ford F350 extended cab, with a grey canopy. No description was available for this person and of note, the vehicle was seen driving through the parking lot of a nearby strip Mall.

Employees of Fountain Tire have indicated that most of the tires are specialized so there is a limited market for them and they will not be easily resold. 

The investigation is continuing and if anyone has information on this crime, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-22-8477.

Vancouver Island declared in Level 3 drought

0607 - The City is continuing with Stage 2 watering restrictions (every other day watering) which have been in effect since May 1. The province has declared Vancouver Island in a Level 3 drought ranking of ‘Very Dry’. Residents are urged to take voluntary action to reduce water use to avoid and/or defer the need for further restrictions. 

The decision by the province to increase the drought ranking was prompted by very low flows in most rivers and streams on the island and dry weather conditions which are expected to continue. Snow pack accumulation was 50 per cent below normal this winter, but that snow has already melted with the early warm spring weather. Long-range forecasts predict a summer that is warmer and drier than average. 

The City's water supply at Jump Lake is at its normal storage level for this time of year. It is anticipated there will be sufficient water for summer time use. For more information on watering restrictions visit www.teamwatersmart.ca.

VIU student headed to WorldSkills event in Russia

Joe Thoong

0607 - Joe Thoong, a second-year VIU Graphic Design student, is heading to Russia in August to compete in WorldSkills Kazan 2019 with Team Canada.

“Best in the World” is a title he hopes to earn this summer. Following a three-day competition in Halifax last week, Thoong earned a spot on WorldSkills Team Canada 2019, and he heads to Kazan, Russia, August 22-27 to compete against top contenders from across the world. 

To qualify, he had to win the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition last year (every second year is a qualifying year for the world competition), then return to nationals again at the end of May to participate in a special qualifying competition. To prepare, Thoong has been training five days a week for the past year.

READ MORE

RCMP issue alert about home repair scams

Cst. Gary O'Brien

0606 - With summer here, home owners need to be vigilant about home repair contractors knocking on their door offering discount services and in many cases, fraudulent work. The work is often shoddy, up front money is absconded with and at the end of the day, irreparable damage could be done to your wallet and home.

Recently, a local person reported being duped into giving several thousand dollars to a local decking company they found through an online advertisement on social media. The money was paid up front, the job was not completed and the contractor has disconnected his phone and cannot be reached. 

If you know of anyone practising fraudulent home repair work, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at  www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477. 

READ MORE

Selective thief breaks in to liquor store

0607 - Overnight on Saturday June 1 a discerning rum drinker broke into the Best Buy Liquor store, 1594 MacMillan Road. The back window to the business was smashed which then allowed the suspect to reach through and take 2 bottles of Captain Morgan's Coconut Rum and 2 bottles of Captain Morgan's Jack O'Blast Rum. Nanaimo file # 2019-20319

Islanders responded to measles outbreak warnings

0606 - Island Health administered 10,083 vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella between Feb. 1 and May 31, more than double the number typically administered in that time period.

There have been eight confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island this year. That prompted Island Health to send alerts advising children and adults to get vaccinated and Islanders responded at an exceptional rate. Since the jump, the number of verified measles cases has dropped with no new reported cases on the Island since May 6.

These statistics do not include those who got immunizations through pharmacists and physicians, but these numbers were not available.

Police ask for help in finding missing Victoria teen

Lia Barker

Victoria Police are asking for public help in locating missing 13-year-old Lia Barker who was last seen in Vic West on Friday, May 31.

She is Caucasian, 5’8″ tall and weighs 135 lbs. Lia has brown hair (or could be a shade of red) and blue eyes.

Her family is concerned for her well-being. If you see Lia Barker, call 911.

Hais elected to head Port Authority board of directors

Donna Hais

0506 - Donna Hais has been elected to Chair the Board of Directors for the Port of Nanaimo. Hais, CEO and General Manager of R.W. (Bob) Wall Contracting Ltd., was chosen by the Directors  for a two-year term. She is a former Chair of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.

“I am deeply honoured to have been given this opportunity to serve the Port of Nanaimo and the community in this position,” says Donna Hais. “We are on the right course and I look forward to leading our team as we continue into the future.”

Captain Fred Denning was elected Vice-Chair of the Board replacing former Vice-Chair Hais.  Captain Denning worked for 46 years in the West Coast Marine industry, including senior officer, Master, Instructor, Pilot and Pilot Executive.  He served for 8 years as a Director of the BC Coast Pilots and for 6 years as Pacific Vice-President of the Canadian Marine Pilots Association.

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Island Economic report to be released at VIEA Summit

0606 - The 2019 State of the Island Economic Report will be released at the at the Vancouver Island Economic Association Summit, October 23 and 24 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. This is the only third-party, non-government report of its kind.
 
Susan Mowbray, Senior Manager of Economics and Research at MNP, will present key findings of the fifth annual report at the summit. Mowbray has been leading research for the report since it was first produced in 2015.
 
The report is widely used by public and private decision-makers to help inform their businesses decisions. The report is sponsored by MNPNanaimo Airport, Coastal Community Credit UnionBC Ferries, and BC Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
 
"The report uses statistical information to show us what has happened and what we can expect in the immediate future,” says VIEA President George Hanson. “In 2015, we were alerted to a coming rise in tourism. In 2016, we saw the upward trend in population and housing prices. In 2017, evidence of positive movement in labour participation rates was revealed. And in 2018, the Report warned of skilled labour shortages. These and other trends can now be tracked. This Economic Report is essential reading for anyone serious about business on Vancouver Island," said Hanson.
You can Register HERE for the 2019 Summit.

Two Nanaimo men in custody after arrest in Sooke

0605 - Two Nanaimo men were arrested Tuesday afternoon in Sooke after police found drugs and weapons during a traffic stop.

0605 - Police were alerted after a report of a suspicious vehicle in the George Lane area of Sooke. A witness said one occupant in the vehicle was holding a pistol. The vehicle was reported stolen in Nanaimo, police said.

Police took three men into custody but a disabled passenger in the vehicle was released at the scene.

Police found a small quantity of methamphetamine, brass knuckles, balaclavas, and a pellet pistol that was identical in appearance to a real firearm.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 250-642-5241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Arson closes Bowen Park bridge over Millstone River

0605 - The foot bridge which connects a path over the Millstone River from the park entrance at the corner of Millstone Avenue and Bradley Street, has been closed following an intenionally-set fire.

Capt. Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s chief fire prevention officer, said firefighters responded  Monday morning to snuff out the fire that damaged a small portion of the bridge’s beam and deck.

Whoever started the fire used pages torn out of a paperback novel that were stuffed into gaps in the bridge deck and hand railings and set them alight.

MORE

Former Nanaimo Pirates pitcher drafted by Chicago Cubs

0604 - Right-hander Josh Burgmann, of Nanaimo, was picked 162nd overall by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday.

Burgmann finished the 2019 regular season with Washington State Huskies tied for second in the Pac-12 with 101 strikeouts. He had a 4-6 record and a 3.99 ERA in 14 starts. He previously played for the BC Premier Baseball League’s Nanaimo Pirates and was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team.

Forecast predicts long, hot summer for Nanaimo

0604 - Nanaimo appears to be in for a long, hot summer. Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald told NanaimoNewsNOW May was the fifth month in a row which was significantly drier than usual.

He said the severe lack of rain and additional blast of recent heat created drought-like conditions.

MORE

Armed suspect robs Nanoose beer and wine store

0604 - A man armed with a gun robbed the Arlington Inn Beer and Wine Store in Nanoose Bay.

Oceanside RCMP say a masked man entered the store around 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 3 and held up a gun throughout the robbery.

Police said the man grabbed the lone female employee working at the time and pushed her behind the counter. The suspect then took cash from the store.

MORE

Police seek suspect in two butt-grabbing incidents

The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating two incidents of women's buttocks grabbed as they walked along Bowen Road. The two incidents took place within ten minutes of each other at approximately 11:30 AM onMay 27. Neither woman was injured and both were able to provide a description of the suspect.

The suspect was described as possibly Indigenous or Spanish descent, 5 ft. 6 in slim build, with short hair and brown eyes. He was wearing brown pants, light coloured shirt and carrying a black packsack with a diamond on it. The second incident involved a man with short black hair, also thought to be either Indigenous or Spanish, wearing a white t-shirt, tan khaki pants and carrying a black packsack

Anyone with information please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Seniors housing complex planned for Westwood Lake

0603 - White Lion Developmentshas submitted a rezoning application to build two three-storey condo buildings at 2367 Arbot Rd.

The 11,533 square-metre property is beside the Bethlehem Centre.

Robyn White, president of White Lion Developments, said the condominiums will be age restricted for 55-plus. In total that would be 57 two-bedroom units. He said the project includes a publicly-accessible path to the trail around Westwood Lake as well as improving the city-owned portion of the trail behind the property. MORE

Lantzville votes to adopt an official community plan

0603 - The District of Lantzville is getting closer to adopting an official community plan.

Councillors unanimously passed first and second reading of the community plan last week.

Mayor Mark Swain said the community has been waiting a long time for the OCP to reach this point and believes the OCP is a good balance. “This is something we should all be proud of,” he said.

MORE

Vanisle 360 Yacht race launches Saturday morning

0531 - If you are a shutterbug, this weekend should be heaven for you – The Vanisle 360 yacht race launches from Nanaimo Harbour at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the first leg of the circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.

Rare white Orca whale spotted near Nanaimo

0530 - Guests on a whale-watching tour were treated to a rarity during an excursion Tuesday, a white Orca whale close to Nanaimo.

Vancouver Island Whale Watch posted photos on social media after coming across a white orca Tuesday, and Val Watson, a marine naturalist with the Nanaimo-based company.

“For the tour we saw humpbacks and on the way back, about five minutes outside of Nanaimo, we came across a pod of orcas and within that pod was a white individual,” said Watson. “It’s very rare." The last time a white whale seen was about 10 years ago, so it’s happened before, but it’s very uncommon.

WestJet flight cancelled due to unruly passenger

0530 - An unruly passenger caused the cancellation of a Comox-bound WestJet flight from Edmonton on Wednesday.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Manly addresses Parliament

Manley addresses Parliament – see the video here.

https://www.facebook.com/VoteforPaulManly/videos/2255887211406745/

 

Government targets large cash payments to schools

0529 - Post-secondary institutions in British Columbia were warned Tuesday to be on the look out for possible student money launderers.

Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said she has sent letters to almost 370 public post-secondary institutions and private career training institutions advising them to no longer accept large cash payments from students registering for classes and programs.

The letter asks the institutions to share copies of their cash acceptance policies with the government. Those without a policy have been asked to develop one.

MORE

Police seek person of interest in break and enter

Police want to know who this person is.

0529 - The Nanaimo RCMP seeks assistance in identifying a person of interest in a Break and Enter that occurred at the Ice Nail Bar,adjacent to the Circle K, formerly known as Macs Convenience store  at corner of Departure Bay Road and Norwell Drive. The break in took place at approximately 1:20 AM on Tuesday May 28th, 2019 and the only item taken was the cash register and its contents.

While officers were responding to the break in, a second call was received of a male attempting to smash open a cash register in a parking lot at 3185 Barons Road, just a short distance from the  Break and Enter. When officers arrived, the suspect was gone but the remains of the broken cash register were found scattered throughout the parking lot.

Follow up investigation with potential witnesses and after reviewing video surveillance, investigators have determined that the male seen smashing the cash register may have been in the business earlier in the evening. This person is Caucasian, approximately 5 ft. 9 , medium build and with short hair.

If you have information on the identity of this person, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com

UPDATE - Missing woman located

0529 - UPDATE Nanaimo RCMP report that the following person who was listed as missing has been located.

The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 22-year-old Lana Jane Cuthbert who was reported missing by her family  May 27. Investigators were told that her family lost touch with her almost two years ago and the only contact they have had with her was via voice message received in late 2018. The family has continued search efforts throughout the last two years and are now at the point where they have decided to reach out to the RCMP for assistance in furthering their search. The most recent picture of Cuthbert, who may also go by the name of Lana Monstaa is from 2014.

Cuthbert is 5 ft tall and in 2014 weighed 130 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and has no known tattoos. Investigators have learned that Cuthbert may be in the Nanaimo area and they are following up on this information.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Lana Cuthbert aka Lana Monstaa, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Liberals stonewall study of chinook closures impact

0529 - Liberal MPs unanimously rejected a study of impacts from the latest round of chinook salmon closures imposed by the federal government.

The motion was presented at the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans by Conservative Blaine Calkins, MP for Red Deer-Lacombe, and was supported by all opposition members.

“Government decisions have a major impact on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, and the latest round of Pacific salmon closures has already impacted coastal communities and businesses that depend on fisheries,” said Calkins following the meeting. 

The study would have focused on the impact felt by the 8,000 British Columbians who work in and around British Columbia’s public fishery. Sport fishing contributes $1.1 billion to the Canadian economy every year.  The proposal also sought an assessment of other measures that could deliver increases in chinook salmon stocks.

Council approves apartment facing Millstone River

0529 - City council has approved a development permit to allow an apartment building on the banks of the Millstone River despite being situated within the river setback area.

Council voted 7-2 on Monday to issue a development permit to Grasteve Enterprises Ltd. for a 59-unit rental building at 591 Bradley St. The building will be three storeys along Bradley with a six-storey elevation facing the Millstone.

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New drunk-driving regulations create rights concerns

0529 - Canada's new federal drunk driving provisions are causing concern.A Nanaimo woman says her rights have been violated because of the way the new rules are being used..

Lee Lowrie says she and her boyfriend had traveled to Maple Ridge. On the way to her sister’s house, they stopped at the pub for lunch where they each had one cocktail with the meal.

When they arrived home they sat by the pool and had a few beers, without any plans to leave the house that day. The police arrived at the home about two hours after they got home.

Under the federal government’s roadside provision, police are legally allowed to request a breathalyzer without any signs of impairment. The test can be requested within two hours of a driver being on the road, even after someone has returned home and had alcohol to drink.

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Seven excessive speeders clocked during enforcement

Four vehicles waiting to be being hooked up and towed for a minimum of a seven-day impoundment.

0529 - Excessive speeding by local drivers has Nanaimo RCMP shaking their heads. The Municipal Traffic Unit issued seven excessive speeding tickets within three hours on Monday, between 6 and 9 a.m. Traffic Officers conducted speed enforcement for northbound traffic along Hwy 19 at Ware Road, the site of several recent collisions in which speed likely contributed to the seriousness of injuries. 

In the posted speed limit of 80 kmh, MTS stopped seven excessive speeders going from a low of 125 kmh and a high of 148 kmh. 

Drivers need to get the message – speed continues to be one of the leading causes of fatal car crashes on BC streets and highways. Our members are doing their part and the motoring public should not be surprised to see continued speed enforcement throughout the month of May and summer months, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Home invader gets two-year prison sentence

Jordan Daniel Plamondon

0529 - A Nanaimo home invasion followed by a Duncan robbery just a few days later landed a prolific offender in jail for two years.

Jordan Daniel Plamondon, 28, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a pair of late January offences and was sentenced in provincial court in Duncan.

Plamondon broke into a Labieux Rd. home in Nanaimo in the late evening of Jan. 25, forcing two women to barricade themselves in a bedroom.

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Police seek help in identifying computer theft suspect

0529 - Nanaimo RCMP are looking for help in identifying a suspect in the theft of a Mac Book Pro from Staples, located in the Brooks Landing Mall.

The suspect entered the store, picked up the computer and packaging box, then ran out of the store with both items. Hie is a Caucasian, early twenties with longer shaggy red hair. He was also wearing a multi-coloured muscle shirt and shorts.

If you have information on the identity of the person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or by calling 1-800-222-8477.