The health authority put out a call to internal medicine specialists in May after a physicians in Nanaimo declared they wouldn’t use a key part of the electronic health record. The specialists will be at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to provide shadow service, where they would be present in case they’re needed for $1,850 a day, plus travel, accommodation and meal allowance.
Horgan to headline Island economic summit
171016 - Premier John Horgan will be the keynote speaker at the State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo Oct. 25.
“After 16 years of a Liberal-led government, Premier Horgan leads an NDP/Green coalition bringing a different approach and a new agenda for B.C.,” notes an event press release. “What will this mean? Where are we headed? How will this work?”
Injured hiker rescued from Lantzville Foothills
171016 - A woman has a suspected broken ankle after losing her footing in a steep section of trail in the Lantzville Foothills.
Lantzville Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) acting chief John Marment told NanaimoNewsNOW the woman, in her 40's, was hiking alone in the Copley Ridge area off Aulds Rd. late Friday (Oct. 14) morning when she fell and called 911.
HMCS Nanaimo deploys on Caribbean training mission
171016 - HMCS Nanaimo is on its way to the Caribbean to deploy on Operation Caribbe, to assist the campaign against criminal organizations in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean. The ship and crew left Esquimalt on Sept. 28.
Nanaimo will conduct Intermediate Single Ship Readiness Training on its way to San Diego before embarking a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and beginning operational patrols. This is Canada’s eleventh year participating in Operation Caribbe. Nanaimo will return to Esquimalt in December.
Pot shop beside martial arts school creates problem
171016 - The plight of a Nanaimo business owner shines a spotlight on the uncertainty many are facing as local governments play the waiting game on how to regulate the sale of marijuana.
Rebecca Stephens, owner of Skillz Nanaimo, said she has lost dozens and dozens of clients from her kids martial arts school since two marijuana businesses set up shop next door.
Dominic Abassi has the details at Nanaimo NEWS Now
Fatal house fire ruled accidental, caused by candles
171013 - Unattended candles caused a fire at the Nanaimo home where a family of three was found dead earlier this week, according to officials.
Nanaimo Fire said it has wrapped up its investigation into the blaze at the Nicol Street home where Amberlee Scarr, Jason Stephenson and their seven-year-old daughter Piper Stephenson were found dead on Tuesday.
The fire has been deemed accidental, and was most likely sparked in the kitchen by candles left unattended, says Nanaimo Fire Chief Karen Fry.
Bicycle stolen twice in same week, and recovered both times
171012- A local woman should count her lucky stars after her bike was stolen twice in the same week – and on each occasion it was found and returned on her.
The first theft occurred about October 1 from the yard of her Harewood home. The theft was not reported to RCMP but a picture of the bike was posted to a Facebook group, used by people to report stolen items. As luck would have it, just three days later officers with the Nanaimo RCMP Bike Unit came upon a man in possession of a bike that they had reason to believe was stolen. They informed him the bike was being seized for safe keeping until such time the lawful owner could be found. The next day one of the Bike Unit officers saw the same bike on the FB site. The owner was promptly contacted and the next day it was turned over to her.
With the bike safely stored in the back of her truck, she decided to run a few errands before returning home. Unfortunately, upon returning to her vehicle she noticed the bike was gone, again. She promptly asked several nearby persons for assistance and even offered small finder’s fee. Much to her surprise the bike was returned to her a short time later.
"All thefts should be reported to the police. Social media sites are helpful and in this case the owner got lucky but they shouldn’t be used as the sole means for finding stolen property. Additionally, they should always be locked and registered with the 529 Garage app," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Privacy commissioner holding hearing today on city hall leaks
1012 - B.C.'s privacy watchdog will hold a hearing with some Nanaimo councillors and others today who are involved as part of their ongoing investigation into multiple leaks of confidential information.
In an email to NanaimoNewsNOW, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner confirmed there is a hearing on (Oct. 12) after a complaint was filed over the leak of a confidential human resources document, known as the Goldner Report, to the national media.
This comes after the OIPC confirmed in May they were investigating a complaint filed by mayor Bill McKay after an email he wrote to a consultant ended up in the hands of a Nanaimo citizen. The confidential document was under the control of the City.
NANAIMONEWSNOW HAS MORE
Three people die in house fire on Nicol Street
1010 - Three people died today in a house fire on Nicol Street. RCMP were called to the scene at about 12:30 p.m. to a residence on fire.
The people were found dead in the house – two adults and a seven-year-old girl. RCMP are working with the fire department to investigate. The cause of the fire, and cause of the deaths will be investigated thoroughly by the Nanaimo Detachment's Serious Crime Unit and fire investigators from both the RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Department. The BC Coroner service is also involved in the investigation.
"This is a terrible tragedy to hit our community" said Cpl. Jon Stuart of the Nanaimo RCMP. The investigation is still in the initial stages, and may take a significant amount of time due to the complexity of cases involving fires, said Stuart.
The names of the deceased have not been released.
WestJet adding Nanaimo-to-Vancouver flights by December
1010 - It’s going to get a little busier at the Nanaimo Airport.
WestJet has announced that they will begin operating daily year-round service from Vancouver International Airport to Nanaimo Airport starting on Dec. 14.
Chemical plant shutdown will hit 20 employees and suppliers
1010- A Nanaimo chemical plant, in business since the 1950s, is shutting down at the end of the year.
Public and Private Workers of Canada Local 8 president Gerald de Jong said the company, Chemtrade Logistics, which recently bought the Duke Point-based Canexus chemical plant has decided to close it down, affecting 20 full-time workers.
De Jong said the plant's closure will have a notable trickle down effect on contract truck drivers and suppliers who will also be out of a job. He said their workers have been offered other jobs off Vancouver Island or severance packages.
Sears plans to close all stores in Canada
1010 - Sears Canada said Tuesday it plans to seek court approval to begin liquidation of all of its remaining stores and assets, a move that would see about 130 outlets close and put about 12,000 employees out of work.
Lantzville devotes more funding to water issues and OCP
1009 - Lantzville will spend $38,960 extra on its water master plan and official community plan review process.
Council approved $20,000 on additional tasks to complete the water master plan. They also approved an increase of $18,960 to the official community plan budget, which will be used to fund additional meetings for the official community plan review select committee as well as an open house.
Selby street hotel project cleared to go ahead
1009 - A 45-room hotel in Nanaimo’s downtown is closer to construction after city council approved development permit variances.
Developers of the project at 440 Selby Street were granted six variances, most significantly a reduction in required parking spaces from 45 to 35. A previous development permit had been approved in 2015 and expired, which is why the project came back to council.
Tour de Rock completes Island journey in Victoria
1009 - The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders cruised into Esquimalt on Friday morning before finishing their 1,100-kilometre journey at Centennial Square later that evening.
Twenty-four cyclists from across the Island, including police officers, firefighters and journalists, spent the last two weeks cycling from Port Alice to Victoria, raising money to fight childhood cancer.
Overload forces ferry to ask volunteers to stay behind
1009 - Anyone sailing with BC Ferries this long weekend has been warned to expect delays and waits but this was something different.
Passengers on the 7:30 p.m. ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay report that crew had to find 21 volunteers to disembark after they wound up above the maximum of 1029.
“Oh my. First time in my 47yrs on the coast that I’ve had to wait for an overloaded ferry to find 21 volunteers to deboard. Past 1029 max cap,” wrote News 1130’s Mike Lloyd on Twitter
De Jong makes Nanaimo campaign stop
1006 - Whoever becomes the next leader of the B.C. Liberal party better ready for a political battle with the NDP and Green Party.
That’s the message from B.C. Liberal Mike de Jong, the province’s former finance minister and MLA for Abbotsford West.
“When the puck drops on the next general election rematch the other guys are going to be carrying their sticks and elbows high. We better have a leader who can go into the corner with them,” de Jong told the News Bulletin following a campaign stop at Nanaimo’s Tandoori Junction restaurant on Friday.
Expect traffic delays on The Malahat until May
1006 - There are fewer drivers on the road now that summer's over, but get ready for more congestion on the Malahat. Starting the day after Thanksgiving Monday, the busy highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Aspen Road and Shawnigan Lake Road.
It will remain in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the May long weekend in 2018.
City management restructuring now complete
1006 - City hall has streamlined operations. The City’s latest corporate structure was presented to councillors and the public at Monday’s council meeting.
The integration will see civic functions fall under four primary categories. Chief administrative officer Tracy Samra heads the CAO’s office and public services, chief financial officer Victor Mema heads corporate services and chief operating officer Brad McRae is in charge of public safety.
RDN stalls transit bus plan for Duke Point
1006 - Despite overwhelming support from the community, transit riders will have to wait and see if they'll be able to ride the bus to Duke Point.
The Regional District of Nanaimo board deferred approving a 5,000 hour transit expansion to the Duke Point area in their meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3 and sent it back to staff for more options.
Government provides $25,000 for Morden mine preservation
1006 - The Government of British Columbia is providing $25,000 to conserve historic coal mine structures in Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park near Nanaimo.
Built in 1913, the remaining structures of the Morden Colliery in South Wellington are the last legacies of a coal mining industry on Vancouver Island that lasted for 80 years and employed thousands of miners. In its first year of operation, the mine produced 76,000 tonnes of coal.
The conservation work at the Morden Colliery will include:
* Assessing the mine shaft to ensure it is safe and secure;
* Removing unsecured timbers from the headframe;
* Removing organic debris that has collected around the structure; and
* Beginning the stabilization of the headframe and tipple.
The park helps educate visitors on the rich heritage values associated with the coal mining industry of Vancouver Island. The Regional District of Nanaimo also maintains a trail that runs adjacent to the park to the Nanaimo River, along a historic railway right-of-way. A short trail with interpretive signage is also found within the park.
In 2016, more than 32,000 visitors explored Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park.
Assault and robbery in Bowen Park
1005 - A grandfather and his grandson walking in Bowen Park were assaulted then robbed by an unknown man. The incident occurred just after 5 pm September 23, near a wooded area north of the picnic tables and walking bridges and adjacent to the Millstone
The 71-year-old man told police he and his 20-year-old grandson were walking through the park when at one point he went off the trail and behind a bush. He noticed a man walking directly toward him. Without warning the unknown man punched the grandfather and then his grandson in the face, knocking the 71 year to the ground and causing his eyeglasses and baseball hat to fall off. The suspect initially demanded their wallets but seeing cap and glasses on the ground chose those then walked away. The baseball cap is brown and has San Diego Zoo on the brim and SDZ printed on the side; the eyeglasses are brown Guccis.
The 71-year-old later required several stiches to close a cut to his lower lip. His grandson did not require medical attention. The male suspect is white with blonde hair and wore a brown jacket and brown pants and was accompanied by a female who did not participate in the assault. This female is described as having long black hair and wearing brown clothes.
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, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
Arrest warrant issued for Kerry Chang
1005 - A warrant has been issued for Kerry Chang as a result of violating terms of his release, according to Crown counsel.
Chang faced charges stemming from November 2016 incidents and was released on a recognizance with conditions, Daniel McLaughlin, Crown counsel spokesman, said in an e-mail. Chang violated daily curfew on Sept. 4 and a warrant was issued Sept. 19, he said.
Suspect sought in beer and wine story robbery
1005 - RCMP are investigating a robbery of a beer and wine store in which the suspect armed with a knife and bat, made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. The incident occurred on Saturday Sept. 30 at approximately 10:40 pm at the Harewood Arms Beer and Wine at 508 Eighth St.
Employees called 911 to report they had just been robbed by a male, wearing a "Scream" mask and waving a knife and baseball bat. Upon entering the business the suspect began banging the bat on the counter and demanding the clerks hand over money from the till. When the money was turned over the suspect left through the front door and ran westbound toward Howard Ave. The clerks were not injured. Officers immediately attended along with a Police Services Dog but were unable to locate the suspect. The bat and knife believed to have been used in the robbery were later located near the business.
The suspect is described as follows:
- male, 5 ft.6 to 5 ft.9
- medium build
- wearing a black gown, white shirt, gloves and Halloween scream mask and carrying a white packsack
If anyone has information on this incident or the identity of the suspect, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
Scholarship program waives tuition for 31 Island students
1004 - The latest round of President’s Scholars began their studies at Vancouver Island University (VIU) this fall with lofty goals and fewer financial worries.
VIU awarded 31 full-tuition scholarships to students through four different programs: The Chancellor’s Entrance Scholarships for Aboriginal High School Students; The President’s Entrance Scholarships for Vancouver Island High School Students; The President’s Entrance Awards for Scholar Athletes; and the President’s Scholarships for Continuing Students. The President’s Scholarship program, which began in 2008, is intended to encourage and support top scholars to complete their undergraduate degrees at VIU.
VIU offers course for children to learn coding
1004 - Colourful animated characters, a bit of string and interactive puzzles are some of the tools Vancouver Island University (VIU) Computing Science students will use to help kids grasp the concept of coding.
VIU is partnering with University of Victoria’s (UVic) Science Venture, a non-profit organization that offers hands-on learning opportunities for children, to host the Nanaimo Coding Club. The Nanaimo club runs on Thursdays from 6 - 7:30 pm from October 5 to November 9. The club is for Grades 5, 6 and 7 and people can register for $60.
MORE AT VIU News
First Liberal leadership candidates visit Nanaimo
1004 - A BC Liberal Party leadership candidate is vowing to help rebuild the party after a hard fall from grace following 16 years in power.
Dianne Watts mingled with people and answered questions from reporters at a downtown Nanaimo coffee shop Tuesday morning (Oct. 3) after recently stepping down as a Conservative MP in her South Surrey-White Rock riding.
The second leadership candidate to visit Nanaimo will be former finance minister Mike de Jong who will be at a luncheon for party members on Friday. The event is as the Tandoori Junction Restuarant (former Diner's Rendezvous) 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Nanaimo earns kudos for homelessness leadership
1003 - Nearly a decade after being put into practice, Nanaimo's first steps into offering supportive housing are being touted by provincial political leaders.
Nanaimo's former mayor Gary Korpan was specifically referenced in a speech by BC Liberal interim leader Rich Coleman at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference about affordable housing.
“I was really struck by the whole commitment to try to do what was important for the least fortunate in Nanaimo at the time and Gary's leadership,” Coleman told NanaimoNewsNOW. “He had the courage to put the less fortunate out there as more important than himself and I always admired him for that.”
City turns to RDN for recycling solution
1003 - City council will look to neighbouring communities to help with a solution for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange.
Nanaimo councillors voted 5-4 on Monday to refer the depot’s request for assistance to the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Malcolmson welcomes choice of new NDP leader
1003 - New NDP leader Jagmeet Singh can take the party – and politics – in a new direction, said Nanaimo’s member of Parliament.
Singh was chosen leader of the federal New Democrats on Sunday on the first ballot of the leadership race. The Ontario member of provincial parliament had been endorsed by Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson.
Cyclist who was hit on Nanaimo Parkway dies of injuries
1003 - A man who was struck by a transport truck while cycling on the Nanaimo Parkway has died in hospital. Richard Edwin Johnson, 56, of Nanaimo, died in Victoria General Hospital on Thursday. Johnson’s identity and death were confirmed Monday by his son Michael and the B.C. Coroners Service.
Sears to close Nanaimo North Town Centre store
09/30 - Sears is planning to close its Nanaimo North Town Centre store, the company announced Friday.
The company announced it has filed motion materials regarding a number of orders it will seek from Ontario Superior court on Wednesday (Oct. 4), which will include the approval of transactions in respect of 11 of its leased retail store locations.
Sears will seek an extension of a stay period to Nov. 7, during which time the stores
will continue to operate as it continues to restructure.
More than 100 people work at Nanaimo’s Sears store. FULL STORY
Province boosts bidding for Amazon centre
0930 - B.C.'s government is contributing $50,000 to support Metro Vancouver's effort to woo Amazon into selecting the city as the site for its second headquarters.
The cash influx will help Metro Vancouver partners, including the cities of Surrey and Vancouver, prepare a submission to house the Amazon campus. Langford and other communities on the southern part of the Island are preparing to submit bids.
Municipalities say no thanks to Mars water bombers
0930 - Municipalities in British Columbia have decided not to ask the province to sign a 10-year deal with Coulson Flying Tankers to maintain the Martin Mars water bomber.
The City of Port Alberni had submitted a resolution at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention to ask the provincial government for a 10-year contract with Coulson Group and for Coulson to upgrade the aircraft to meet operational requirements. The resolution was turned down by municipal leaders following a debate.
Neighbourhood residents clean out homeless camp
0930 - Fed up with the noise and increase in car thefts, residents of a Nanaimo neighbourhood took it upon themselves to remove a homeless camp across the road.
The bush surrounding the camp in the 10 block of Milton Street, where the street starts near Comox Rd., was removed Friday morning.
Neighbourhood spokesman Jeremy Wright said they tolerated the camp and the increasing traffic it brought to their street, but eventually something had to be done.
Lantzville still divided over water options
A small majority of Lantzville residents currently living without municipal water have a thirst for it, a draft water plan shows.
The District of Lantzville released a copy of its water master plan earlier this month. Included in the 78-page report written by Lanarc Consultants, were results from a community survey mailed to residents back in March.
Frank Limshue, district community planner, said the next step is for councillors to adopt the draft and make it an official planning document. He said there will likely be a few adjustments made before councillors vote on adoption.
MORE in the News Bulletin
Ottawa remains firm in support of Port Authority
0929 - While the City toys with a new governance model for Nanaimo's harbour, Transport Canada has reaffirmed its position that the local Port Authority isn't going anywhere.
A City of Nanaimo news release this week promoted a forum Saturday called “The Future of Nanaimo Harbour,” which is part of the City's “ongoing commitment to work with Snuneymuxw First Nation and marine industry to establish a new model to govern Nanaimo harbour.”
Mayor Bill McKay said he believes the release does not reflect the will of council.
Sechelt sues Mema over expenses
0929 -The District of Sechelt has filed a notice of claim against Nanaimo’s chief financial officer Victor Mema, claiming he spent money on the municipality’s credit card that were not approved.
The district filed a notice of civil claim in small claims court on Sept. 15, seeking $9,985, the document shows.
Moir named new President and CEO of Port Authority
0928 - The Nanaimo Port Authority has named Ewan Moir as the new President and CEO, effective October 10.
Moir’s long career has taken him around the world in senior management positions in Norway, United Kingdom, Singapore, Holland and India.
“The board conducted an extensive search and met with many highly-qualified applicants", said Board Chair Moira Jenkins. "Ewan's world-wide leadership and management experience really stood out and we were unanimous in our decision. His people-focused leadership style, vast industry expertise and exceptional business development skills will serve to build on the excellent foundation already established at NPA”, Jenkins said.
The 56-year-old Moir said his first order of business will be to focus on all issues related to the Port. “I want to take what my predecessor Bernie Dumas and his team and the board have done, and build on that,” he added.
“We are juggling a number of opportunities at present,” Moir said. “We have many stakeholders like the recreational boater, the businesses along the waterfront, the Assembly Wharf and Duke Point in our working relationship.”
His priority will be to engage the Port’s community partners – the City and Snuneymuxw First Nation – to develop a relationship that ensures all members with an interest in the activities of the Port work together for the future.
Moir has 20 years of senior corporate business experience contributing to strategy and operational performance and is known as an analytical thinker with a strong record of initiating and implementing business strategies to develop sustainable and profitable growth. He labels himself a team builder, coach in skills development with extensive experience in managing a union environment.
He has a graduate degree - MBA Queen’s University, and is a Certified Professional Accountant. He also has an HND in Mechanical Engineering, from Southampton University College, U.K.
The new Port President and CEO is completing his final duties as President and COOof Pacific BioEnergy Corporation in Vancouver which manufactures wood pellets at three plants in B.C. The pellets are sold to European and Japanese electrical utilities. In addition, a subsidiary company has a B.C. Government license for harvesting timber, and a jointly-owned company, with a First Nations band.
He began his business career in 1988 at Ulstein UK in the marine ship building support industry. Ulstein then moved him to Holland in 1989, Ulstein Singapore, then to the Ulstein group head office in Norway and finally to Ulstein Martime Ltd in Vancouver. That company became part of Rolls-Royce Canada in 2000 when the Ulstein group was acquired by Rolls-Royce Plc. His resume includes duties as President of Mainland Sand and Gravel, a senior vice president at SNC-Lavalin, President and CEO of Fraser River Pile and Dredge Inc. He also held a senior position at Finning International.
Moir says he and his wife Lesley are looking forward to moving to Nanaimo in the near future. They have three adult sons.
Coastal Fire Centre rescinds open burn prohibitions
0928 - Effective at noon Friday, all open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction, since recent rainfall and cooler temperatures have reduced wildfire risks in the region.
Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires will be permitted, as well as the use of tiki torches, burn barrels, fireworks, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets. The campfire ban that was in place in the Coastal Fire Centre this summer was lifted on Sept. 18, 2017.
Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.
Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. A Category 3 fire is a fire that burns material more than two metres high or three metres wide, stubble or grass over more than 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size.
A poster explaining the different categories of open fires is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32
NRGH brings in shadow doctors over IHealth
Two taken to hospital after crash on Parkway
0928 - Two drivers were taken to hospital after their cars were wrecked in a crash on the Nanaimo Parkway.
Three vehicles were involved in the accident, which happened at about 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday night just north of the intersection of the parkway and Jingle Pot Road.
Fire Rescue crews kept busy
0928 - Three patients were treated for smoke inhalation after an apartment fire in the middle of the night yesterday. Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were alerted to a fire alarm at a building in the 900 block of Bowen Road at about 3:25 a.m. Monday.
Deputy chief Tim Doyle said the fire was contained to one unit, which suffered fire and smoke damage. MORE DETAILS
Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguished a small garage fire on Wednesday night. Crews were called to a house on Departure Bay Road near Green Leaf Place at about 8:50 p.m. and quickly put out a fire in a detached garage. MORE DETAILS
Mayor feeling more mellow about marijuana
0927 - Mayor Bill McKay feels more comfortable about the impending legalization of marijuana after what he's heard at this week's Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.
McKay said he's excited to hear the province will consult with the public and also create a working group with the UBCM. On Wednesday, UBCM delegates overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the province to provide funding for any costs or "administrative burden" taken on by local governments. The resolution also asked for sharing of tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.
NANAIMO NEWS NOW has the full story
Syrian family reunited in Nanaimo
0927 - A Syrian refugee family was reunited in Nanaimo after being separated for nearly two years.
Roughly 50 people cheered as Syrian refugees Farouk and Lama Al Mansour greeted their parents, Mohammad Al Mansour and Wedad Idris, and their siblings, Ahmad and Chiraz Al Mansour, for the first time in more than year at the Nanaimo Airport on Tuesday night.
Island airlines prepare for low-cost airlines
0927 - With WestJet’s announcement Wednesday morning of their new ultra-low cost carrier Swoop, Comox Airport’s CEO says there is room for the business model across the country and on Vancouver Island.
Fred Bigelow explains he has been following the development of ULCCs for quite some time while in constant communication with the major airlines.
Follow the Tour de Rock
See the Interactive map here
Woman run over by her own car dies of injuries
The woman who was struck and dragged by her own car last week has died.
The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating after the death of a 73-year-old woman who was found pinned under her vehicle on Monterey Drive in Nanaimo at about 8 p.m. Thursday.
Death, birth and the end of the world part of VIU series
0926 - From a birthday party, to the apocalypse, to what happens after death, community members can explore a range of themes and timely issues during The Arts & Humanities Colloquium Series fall lineup.
Every year, Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Arts and Humanities Faculty members share their research and open up dialogue on timely issues with a wider audience through the Colloquium presentations, which take place throughout the fall and spring semesters.
“From birth to death to the afterlife, the fall presentations include many topics that are relevant and timely to real-world events,” says Katharine Rollwagen, a VIU History professor and Chair of The Arts & Humanities Colloquium Committee.
“The audience is really diverse – each presentation attracts different people. We have a strong contingent of community members that attend regularly, as well as a number of current and retired faculty, and students from many different programs.”
READ MORE VIU News
VIU launches Canada goose tracking project
Public participation is crucial for the success of the VIU Canada Goose Project
0926 - Vancouver Island University appears to have gone to the birds. While some Canada geese in the Nanaimo area are frequent flyers others are homebodies.
VIU alumnus Stew Pearce has monitored the migration of Canada geese through the VIU Canada Goose Project, which he started as part of his undergraduate research. He is now working under contract with the City of Nanaimo, an initial partner on the initiative to build upon what was learned during his undergraduate research project.
With the help of volunteers, 400 Canada geese have been tagged with white neck collars, which display three numbers and the letter P. They also got metal leg bands for cross-border tracking.
“Banding the birds allows us to get a population estimate and discover migration habits that will help shape management strategies,” said Pearce.
READ ON AT VIU News.
Forestry still the cornerstone of B.C. economy
0926 - The sounds of a busy forest were always a good sign for the BC economy and while it may not be the heydays of the 1960's, forestry in B.C. is doing really well right now. Forestry employs more than 140,000 people in B.C., including 38,000 on Vancouver Island.
"I think the message for this is that forestry in British Columbia remains a cornerstone industry across the province" stated Rick Jeffery, President and CEO of Coast Forest Products Association. "140 communities are reliant on forestry."
The study was conducted by PWC in 2016 and shows a sustainable industry employing thousands of British Columbians.
MORE AT CHEK TV
Open houses set for waterfront walkway concept
0926 - The vision for a high-profile addition to Nanaimo's waterfront is coming into focus.
The public will get their first chance to see what a 13 km walkway connecting Departure Bay to the Nanaimo River estuary could look like at two open houses this week. A consultant prepared the renderings and design following extensive consultation with the community and a workshop in June.
Boat trailer stolen from Kennedy Street lane
Meantal health of immigrants under study
0925 - Immigrants to Nanaimo who need mental health services aren’t always using them and the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society wants to know why.
The organization’s settlement program is the first point of contact for more than 1,100 newcomers to Nanaimo and in the last year, Samantha Letourneau, settlement manager, said the society has noticed that some who need to access mental health services aren’t doing so.
Slim pickings so far on salmon returns to spawning grounds
0924 - The great wait has begun across Vancouver Island, as the salmon runs start. Bridges are now lined with fishermen peering down, spears in hand for food that will last them through the winter, but returns so far have raised some concern.
"No there should be thousands in here," said Charles. "Thousands, it's not a very good year."
It comes on the heels of back to back years of drought, combined with a long hot summer that is lowering water levels and increasing the water's temperature. So these are tense times as salmon return and experts studying the streams and rivers of Vancouver Island wait to see what materializes for the fish.
Islanders clean up at the B.C. 55-Plus Games
0924 - Participants from Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay, Lantzville and Gabriola Island made an impact at the B.C. 55-Plus Games, helping the North Island zone team to a fifth-place finish in the overall standings with 273 medals.
Close to 3,600 participants took part in 28 sporting events at facilities throughout the north Okanagan region. They were also treated to opening and closing ceremonies, an afternoon social and a nighttime dance.
New Boys and Girls club playground a dream come true
0923 - The start of the weekend was extra special for the kids at Nanaimo’s Boys & Girls Club.
When they stepped outside to the playground at the facility on Fifth St., they were shocked to discover everything had been repainted, there was a new sandbox, hopscotch and Twister painted on the ground and a chalk mural along the wall to draw on.
The renovation was completed on Friday by more than 80 Coast Capital Savings staff.
Minor football coach arrested on drug charges
0923 - The assistant coach of a Nanaimo minor football league is facing charges for allegedly selling drugs during a practice.
Levar Anthony Hayden has been charged with six counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The president of the South-Side Minor Football Association confirmed the 30-year-old was arrested Thursday night after football practice at John Barsby School.
B.C. Transit adds Victoria-Duncan Saturday service
0923 - BC Transit will offer Saturday service between Greater Victoria and the Cowichan Valley Regional District starting in Mid-October.
As of October 14, a new route will operate express transit service on Saturdays with three daily round trips between the two regions.
BC Transit says the service complements the successful weekday Cowichan Valley Commuter (CVC) service launched in 2008 and will use existing commuter buses already in the local fleet.
Tour de Rock on course for Island fund raiser
0923 - Riders are set to hit the road for an emotionally and physically demanding experience in the name of raising money to help children fighting cancer.
The 20th anniversary version of the Canadian Cancer Society's Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock launched with a ceremony in Victoria Saturday, before the team of 24 riders and support crew travelled to Port Alice to begin their journey.
Two Nanaimo RCMP riders this year are Constables Kevin Flood and Samantha Caram.
City readies for new garbage collection system
0922 - New garbage calendars are on the way as the City of Nanaimo gets ready to launch its new automated collection service.
The calendars, which cover nine months, are being handed out earlier than usual this year with the city starting its first phase of automated solid waste collection in late October.
While only central Nanaimo is getting the new service, all homes will get a new calendar and have changes to their collection schedule, according to a city press release.
Women's shelter on $2-million campaign drive
0922 - Nanaimo’s women’s-only emergency shelter is hoping people recognize its need and step forward to help as it kicks off a fundraising campaign for an estimated $2-million expansion.
The Island Crisis Care Society, which runs Samaritan House, has started a crowdfunding page to move ahead on its work to secure a building permit. It’s also launched a new website as a kickoff to a larger capital campaign for a three-storey addition.
United Way campaign focus is on homelessness
0922 - Homelessness is one of the problems United Way Central Vancouver Island hopes to tackle as it embarks on its 2017 fundraising campaign.
The non-profit organization kicked off the effort Friday. Signy Madden, central Island United Way executive director, said people are struggling with housing and poverty issues and the need has been identified. It is looking to fund four to five additional programs, just in Nanaimo, including the rent support program.
Fishing equipment stolen from boat in back yard
0923 -Fishing equipment was stolen from a boat parked in the back yard of a home in the 3400 block of Stephenson Point Rd. The theft ocurred within the past week. Stolen were: two electronic Scotty downriggers, two mounts, two braided downrigger lines, two lure chargers and rigging, two cannon ball retrievers, two 20 pound cannon balls, one Magma stainless steel marine BBQ with mount and various tackle. Nanaimo file # 2017-31255. If you have any information, please call the RCMP or copntact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or submit a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
Nanaimo man faces drug charges
0922- A 30 year old man and 40 year old woman were arrested last night following a drug investigation spear headed by the Nanaimo RCMP Projects Team. The arrest occurred in south Nanaimo at approximately 7 pm on Thursday September 21.
Levar Anthony HAYDEN has been charged with a 6 counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking under the CDSA, Possession of a Prohibited weapon ( switchblade) and Possession of Stolen property (various bank cards).The 40 year old woman was released today with no charges against her.
The arrest of the two led to a search warrant being carried out on their central Nanaimo home where a variety of illegal drugs were seized. Those drugs consisted of 49 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 15 grams of suspected heroin/fentanyl and 2 grams of suspected cocaine. Additionally 30 suspected stolen credit cards, 4 cell phones, a switchblade and $1260 dollars in Canadian currency were seized.
HAYDEN appeared before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge this afternoon and was released from custody with his next court appearance set for October 26, 2017.
Unsolved crimes Sept. 11 - 19
0922 - 1. Nanaimo file # 2017-30432 Sometime overnight on Monday September 11th a boat trailer was stolen from a service road which runs parallel to the 300 block of Kennedy St. The trailer is a 1981 Roadrunner boat trailer with BC plate UYP80H. The plate and decal for the trailer were not attached at the time of the theft.
2. Nanaimo file # 2017-30526 Sometime between 10 pm and 5 am on Tuesday September 12th tools were stolen from a work site at 1690 Townsite Road. Taken was a blue Makita Power Planner and Jigsaw, along with batteries. No serial numbers were available.
3. Nanaimo file # 2017-30543 Sometime overnight on Tuesday September 12th a few cooper spools of wire were stolen from BC Hydro on Madsen Road. Thieves gained access to the compound by cutting through the chain link fence which surrounds the property.
4. Nanaimo file # 2017-30638 Sometime overnight on Wednesday September 13th unknown persons broke into an unlocked vehicle parked on Roberta Rd East and stole loose change and fishing hooks. This neighbourhood has seen an increase in petty thefts which are most likely the result of persons residing nearby and taking advantage of insecure vehicles, sheds and sometimes homes. Always ensure your vehicles are locked. This applies to shed doors, garages and even your tools. Take away the opportunity and you will reduce crime in your neighbourhood.
5. Nanaimo file # 2017-31045 On Friday September 15th a utility trailer with BC Plate 022475 was stolen from Fawcett Road. The trailer has a large black box in the front and a two foot rise extension in the bed for carrying wood. There is also a spare tire changed to the side of the trailer
6. Nanaimo file # 2017-31255 Reported on September 17th but stolen within the past week was fishing equipment taken from a boat parked in the backyard of a home in the 3400 block of Stephenson Point Rd. Stolen were: two electronic Scotty downriggers, two mounts, two braided downrigger lines, two lure chargers and rigging, two cannon ball retrievers, two 20 pound cannon balls, one Magma stainless steel marine BBQ with mount and various tackle.
7. Nanaimo file # 2017- 31278 Sometime overnight on Sunday September 17th a black HEYS hard shell suitcase containing women's clothing was stolen from outside a residence in the 5900 block of Broadway.
8. Nanaimo file # 2017-313318 Sometime overnight on September 17th a log splitter was stolen from the front yard of a home under construction in the 6400 block of Portsmouth Rd. The log splitter is very heavy and difficult to move. The suspect(s) cut the hydraulic lines then unbolted the splitter part and removed it. The splitter is a DHT22 ton log splitter with serial # 00019.
9. Nanaimo file # 2017-31319 Sometime overnight on Monday September 18th or over the weekend, a number of vehicles used by the Boys and Girls Club on Fifth St were broken into. This is an ongoing issue at this site.
10. Nanaimo file # 2017-31449 Sometime overnight on Tuesday September 19th a mountain bike was stolen the carport of a home in the 7200 block of Lantzville Road. The bike is a black 21 speed with 23" wheels, and has blue stripes with "Reactor" on the middle bars.
Hollins appointed chair of Island Health
The Government of British Columbia has appointed Leah Hollins as Island Health's new board chair and Ron Mattson as a new member.
"Hollins and Mattson both have a long history of public service and significant experience in health care," said Health Minister Adrian Dix. "Our goal as a government is to provide leadership for a strong public health-care system in British Columbia and we are confident that these appointments will support this goal."
Island Health will benefit from the depth of experience offered by both members. "It's great to have an Order of Canada recipient and a devoted public-service and community-planning member join the board, lending their history, technical expertise and level of dedication to helping health care on the island reach its maximum potential," added Dix.
A health authority board of directors helps ensure that British Columbians receive the best possible care in an efficient, well-managed public health-care system. Boards are responsible for the governance and management of health services in the province. They work with health authority leadership to establish the organization's overall vision and ensure there is appropriate community consultation. Boards also regularly review the organization's long-term plans, look at significant issues affecting the organization and evaluate results.
Dix thanks previous Island Health board chair Don Hubbard and member Matthew Watson for their service.
Elderly woman badly injured when pinned under own car
0922 - An elderly Nanaimo woman has sustained critical life threatening injuries after her vehicle rolled over her then dragged her down the length of her driveway.
At approximately 8 pm on Thursday Police, Fire and BC Paramedics were called to a north end residence for a report of a 73-year-old woman trapped underneath a vehicle. A neighbour witnessed the ordeal and ran to assist. Using a car jack he was able to lift the vehicle and pull herfrom underneath. She was treated at the scene by both Fire and BC Paramedics then transported to local hospital. Later that evening she was transported by ground ambulance to hospital in Victoria where she remains in critical condition.
Officers remained at the scene for several hours and due to the severity of her injuries an RCMP Traffic Collision re-constructionist was called to assist.
"Investigators have determined after speaking with witnesses that the vehicle was not turned on at the time of the accident but they are unsure how it is that the female ended up becoming pinned underneath it then being dragged,” said Const Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. The family have been notified and the Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services will assist those involved.
Not much communication on communications director's job
0922 - There's more upheaval at Nanaimo City Hall with the sudden departure of the director of communications and engagement.
CUPE local 401 president Blaine Gurrie confirmed unionized communications staff were informed Wednesday, Sept. 20 Philip Cooper is no longer with the City. Gurrie said staff have been told to carry on with what they can and fill in the gaps.
Are you missing your drum set?
0921 - The Nanaimo RCMP is in possession of a three piece drum set and would like to return them to their rightful owner.
The drums were found on Tuesday September 19 inside an abandoned vehicle. The vehicle was later turned over to the owner who claimed no knowledge of the drums or where they may have came from. There were no identifying marks or serial numbers on the drums to assist the investigators.
If anyone has information on who own the drums or where they were taken from please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.
Errington woman wanted on property crime arrest warrants
Oceanside RCMP are asking for public help finding 30-year-old Jennifer Megan Hannan of 0920 - Errington, wanted for several property-related offences.
Hannan is wanted on five arrest warrants for offences including break and enter. She was charged following a break and enter in Qualicum Beach in April.
She is white, 5'5”, 135 lbs with brown hair and green eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
$13.5 million for indigenous students
0920 - A multi-million dollar learning partnership hopes to bring more Indigenous students into Vancouver Island University and break down any barriers to a complete education.
Announced Wednesday morning at the VIU Nanaimo campus, $9 million is allotted for VIU scholarships specifically for Indigenous students. $4.5 million is for supporting Indigenous students through recently hired education navigators, who act as counsellors and helpers.
Police seek help in finding missing Campbell River woman
0920 - Savannah Omelko has not been seen since July 22, 2017 and the Campbell River RCMP are requesting the assistance of the public in locating the 28-year-old.
Omelko is from Campbell River but was last seen in Coquitlam, B.C.
She has shoulder length brown hair, brown eyes, medium build and medium complexion. She is 168 cm (5’8”) tall and weighs approximately 61 kg (135 lbs.). She was last seen wearing a purple hoodie, green camo tights, grey sparkly slip-on shoes and was carrying a grey backpack.
Please call Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477, or your local RCMP detachment if you have any information.
Tilray fined $50 grand for illegally cutting trees
0920 - Tilray will pay a $50,000 fine after illegally cutting down trees on its Duke Point site last May.
The medicinal marijuana company was charged with five counts of cutting down trees without permit and its legal counsel, along with City of Nanaimo counsel, were in court Wednesday when the fine was handed down.
Christy Zhou, Tilray’s counsel, said the trees were cut down because of Tilray’s expansion project.
$90,000 more allocated for downtown security issues
0920 - Nanaimo city politicians plan to put more money toward short-term solutions for social disorder issues downtown.
The finance and audit committee voted last week to put another $25,000 towards daytime security patrols and $20,000 for a litter pick-up program. The move could bring the investment in short-term solutions for the downtown area this year to $90,000.
Ocean freighter naming ceremony held in Nanaimo
0918 - It was a special day for a large ocean freighter that recently arrived in the Harbour City from Brazil.
MV Tanja, an 185-metre-long bulk carrier, was christened at the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Duke Point terminal on Sunday (Sept. 17) during a special ceremony that included Mayor Bill McKay, representatives from the port authority and MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH, the ship’s owners.
Cold-weather shelter seeks funding from City
0920 - Nanaimo’s cold weather shelter could get up to $45,000 from the municipality as it prepares to open its doors this season.
The 24-bed shelter on Townsite Road gives the city’s homeless an escape from the chill of the rain and wind, offering beds, laundry and meals. Last year, it provided 4,242 bed nights with 237 people, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous season, a staff report shows.
Emergency services repond to series of crashes
0920 - Traffic slowed to a crawl this morning due to three accidents brought on by the wet weather, say Nanaimo police.
The accidents took place on Island Highway near the Norwell-Jingle Pot Road intersection, on Nanaimo Parkway near Dunster Road, and at Duke Point, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
Bus service in the works for Duke Point Ferry terminal
0919 - RDN Transit is planning to extend bus service to the B.C. Ferries ferry terminal at Duke Point starting in January.
The objective is to provide a public transportation option for ferry foot passengers and residents, as well as employees working in businesses in the area.
Local business owners concerned over taxation overhaul
0919 - Small business owners and professionals in Nanaimo are scrambling to add their voices to a growing chorus of discontent over Ottawa's plan to end what it calls "unfair tax advantages."
Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Smythe said there were equal parts fear, anger and confusion at a recent information session on the federal government's proposed small business tax change.
Read more at NANAIMO NEWS NOW
School district superintendent John Blain planning to retire
0919 - The head of Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools has announced he will retire next year as superintendent of District 68. John Blain announced Monday he would retire on Aug. 1, 2018.
Blain, 62, said one of the biggest changes he saw in his time as the district's top employee was a shift in attitudes among the school district board.
Read the rest of the story at NANAIMO NEWS NOW
Student housing the focus of planned new development
0919 - Development plans signal a dramatic change for a vacant lot on Third Street near Nanaimo District Secondary School.
City staff have finished reviewing rezoning plans for nine mixed-use residential and commercial buildings, which includes 100 student housing units at 525 Third St. between Watfield and Hillcrest Ave.
Read the rest of the story at NANAIMO NEWS NOW
Oxygen tank stolen from mobility scooter
0919 - An oxygen tank was stolen from a mobility scooter parked in downtown Nanaimo recently.
The theft occurred sometime between 10-11 p.m. on Aug. 31, according to information provided to the News Bulletin last week as part of a Crime Stoppers partnership.
An 18-inch tank was taken from a scooter that had been parked in front of the Nanaimo Youth Services building on Bastion Street. The 3,000-psi Med-Pro tank is white and silver.
Campfire prohibition rescinded in Coastal Fire Centre
0918 - PARKSVILLE - Effective at noon on Sept. 18, 2017, the BC Wildfire Service has rescinded the campfire prohibition that was in effect within the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction. The use of tiki torches (and similar kinds of torches), outdoor stoves, gas stoves and other portable campfire equipment is also now permitted.
A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/cHwI30ffC5O
However, some activities are still prohibited within the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction, including the use of:
* fireworks (including firecrackers)
* sky lanterns
* binary exploding targets
* burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
The current prohibition on Category 2 and Category 3 open fires also remains in place throughout the Coast Fire Centre's jurisdiction, except for the Fog Zone on Vancouver Island.
Members of the public are reminded that local governments may have their own burning bylaws in place and campfires may still be prohibited within those areas. People should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.
Some parts of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have received very little rainfall in recent weeks. Campers and other outdoor recreationalists are reminded to take the following precautions when lighting a campfire:
* Select the campfire site carefully and remove all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area.
* Create a fire break by scraping away debris right down to the dirt all around the fire.
* Use a fire pit or put a ring of rocks around the campfire site that is at least three metres away from trees, shrubs, structures and other flammable materials.
* Campfires must not be bigger than a half-metre wide and a half-metre high.
* Never leave a campfire unattended.
* Keep at least eight litres of water or a shovel close by at all times to extinguish your campfire properly.
* Make sure that your campfire is completely extinguished before going to sleep. Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
People can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
* Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
* The Fog Zone is a two-kilometre strip of land along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy. This strip extends inland two kilometres from the high tide point.
* A map of the Fog Zone is available online at: http://ow.ly/bCJc30caIul
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs
City exploring recycling options
0918 – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is experiencing uncertainty as the City of Nanaimo prepares to explore all options when it comes to recycling services, not just a partnership with the not-for-profit.
Council members called for staff to build multiple business cases for recycling services during its finance and audit committee meeting Thursday, including a full partnership with Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, no partnership and status quo funding of a recycling program that would be open to bidders. The program had been contracted to the NRE.
British Columbians remain divided on pipeline expansion
0918 - The recent provincial election and the swearing-in of a new government in British Columbia have not moved the needle on the issue of pipeline expansion, a new Insights West poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 46% of residents (+1 since an Insights West poll conducted in December 2016) say they oppose the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, while 44% support it (-1).
Missing Vancouver Island filmmaker found dead
0916 UPDATE - A Vancouver Island woman missing for more than a week has been found dead. Twyla Roscovich’s body has been found, according to friends who had been updating her Facebook page during this week’s search.
“We are deeply saddened to inform everyone that our dear Twyla’s body has been found,” the posting reads. “No foul play is suspected.”
0915 - Twyla Roscovich has been missing since Sept 7.
Roscovich, a resident of Sointula who grew up in Campbell River, is a 38-year-old independent filmmaker and environmental activist.
She left Sointula on Sept. 6 travelling alone toward Campbell River.
Her last known whereabouts were at a bank in Campbell River on Sept. 7 and her car, a dark green 1997 Volvo 850 station wagon, was found on Sept. 14 near the Quadra Island Ferry Terminal.
Council still considering report on Samra complaints
Nanaimo council continues to review a consultant’s investigate report into complaints from the city chief administrative officer, says Mayor Bill McKay.
Council received the report in a closed meeting July 26 from Roslyn Goldner, a consultant hired by the City of Nanaimo to investigate workplace complaints made by CAO Tracy Samra.
“Council is still deliberating on the HR report,” said McKay. “It’s fairly complicated and requires a lot of referral back to legal.”
Lantzville development gets new hope of passing
0916 - A mixed-use redevelopment project proposed for Lantzville has new life.
Lantzville council voted 4-3 on Monday of to reconsider third reading of a proposed zoning amendment bylaw for property at 7143 Caillet Rd., home to CruisePlus, a local travel company seeking to redevelop its office into a mixed-use building.
Jazz festival kicks off this weekend
0915 - The inaugural jazz festival is all about getting the sweet sounds of jazz flowing around Nanaimo. Then, in the years to come, organizers will look at turning up the volume.
The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival is now underway in the Harbour City this weekend (Sept. 15-17) and organizers are excited about the weekend. There are nine events planned, five of them free and four of them ticketed.
Missing Duncan mother found safe
0915 - North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reported on Friday evening that Susan Mitchell has been located.
The 34-year-old mother of two from Duncan was reported missing on Sept. 10.
Second review launched into IHealth
0915 - Nanaimo Medical Staff Association say they are thrilled after Health Minister Adrian Dix announced an independent review of Island Health’s electronic record system.
Dix said the review is being done by Ernst and Young into IHealth’s costs, benefits, problems and what would be required to fix the paperless system. Nothing is being ruled in or out, said Dix, who expects the review will be completed later this fall.
Brush fire was human caused, say fire officials
0915 - A small brush fire behind the Nanaimo Visitor Centre off the Parkway late Wednesday afternoon was human-caused.
That determination from Nanaimo Fire Rescue inspector Kevin Lillingston, who told NanaimoNewsNOW it's suspected the blaze was caused by a discarded cigarette.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief Karen Fry said conditions remain tinder dry, despite a recent shift in weather conditions.
Nanaimo Chrysler under new ownership
0915 - Nanaimo Chrysler has been bought by a partnership group that includes Tony Harris, his wife Leslie, brother Mike Harris, Jason Neal and Craig Sabourin.
Tony Harris said the deal was done earlier in the year, but wasn’t finalized until Sept. 5. “We made the deal back in the spring before dad [Tom Harris] died,” he said. “We were working on it actively and we finalized the transition on Sept. 5, which was dad’s birthday.”
Once known as Neal’s Nanaimo Chrysler, the dealership has been in operation since the 1970s and was run by Leslie, a member of the Neal family who works at the dealership as general sales manager.
Police seek help in finding missing woman Tara Brown
0915 - The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in locating 41 year old Tara Dawn Brown who was last seen at approximately 7 pm on Wednesday Sept. 13. Her disappearance is out of character as she requires daily medication and left her central Nanaimo home without it, her cell phone or purse which contained all her identification. She does not have access to a vehicle and has some personal contacts and family on Vancouver Island.
Brown is white, 5 ft. 5, heavy build with shoulder length brown hair, brown eyes and wears glasses. It is unknown what clothes she is wearing but she often wears head coverings. The pictures provided are recent. If you have any information on her location please call Constable Mike Scott of the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.
Cyclist seriously injured in Parkway collision
Update on collision between cyclist and van
0915 - The cyclist who collided with a 5 ton cube van early this morning remains in critical condition at Victoria General hospital. He has been identified as a 55 year old Nanaimo man and his family have been notified.
The incident closed the southbound lanes of the Nanaimo Parkway for several hours while investigators examined the scene, collected forensic evidence and spoke with witnesses. The investigation is continuing with a mechanical inspection pending on the vehicle involved. While early in the investigation investigators have determined the cyclist was not wearing a helmet, had no lights on his bike and was wearing dark non-reflective clothing.
0915 - Southbound lanes on the Nanaimo Parkway are closed after a cyclist suffered critical injuries in an accident this morning (Sept. 15). The cyclist collided with a cube van at 6 a.m. today, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release.
Nanaimo Wholesale Sports among 12 stores being closed
0915 - Wholesale Sports Canada Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. announced today the orderly wind down and eventual closure of its 12 retail locations in the four western Canadian provinces.
That includes the store in Nanaimo at 4900 Wellington Road.
The inventory liquidation sales will begin on Friday, September 15, and will be managed through Gordon Brothers, an industry-leading inventory asset management specialist.
"This was an all-inclusive business decision that, while difficult, was made in the best interest of UFA on behalf of our members," said Carol Kitchen, UFA President and Chief Executive Officer.
"There were numerous external factors that led to this decision including an increasingly competitive environment, the continued shift to on-line purchases and an overall slowing of consumer discretionary spending as a whole, including the outdoor industry. The orderly wind down of Wholesale Sports will allow UFA to focus on its core business of agriculture and petroleum," said Kitchen.
Second-degree murder charge laid in death at apartment
0914 - A 46-year-old Nanaimo man has been charged with Second-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Richard Steven Sitar of Nanaimo on Monday Sept. 11.
John Albert Buchanan was arrested without incident at approximately 5:30 pm on Wednesday by officers with the Nanaimo Serious Crime Unit. Charges were sworn this morning (Thursday) and Buchanan was remanded in custody until his next court appearance, Sept. 26.
Sitar's family has been notified and a forensic autopsy is pending. As this matter is now before the courts no further information will be released to the public.
RCMP investigating south end homicide
UPDATE 0914 - The Nanaimo Serious Crimes Unit is investigating after a man died following an assault. Cpl. Jon Stuart said the victim was found in an apartment on the corner of Nicol St. on Monday night. The victim had been assaulted and later died of his injuries.
"The investigation is in its infancy. They're still looking at a lot of leads and there's still a lot of work to do."
There have been no arrests in the case and Stuart said there's no risk to the public since it's believed the attack was an isolated incident.
– – – –
0912 - Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a man in Nanaimo’s south end died from injuries sustained in an apparent assault.
Police were called by B.C. Ambulance Service after paramedics responded to an apartment in Harbour View Manor at 275 Nicol St. on Tuesday and were treating an adult male who had suffered injuries consistent with an assault.
The victim subsequently died of his injuries.
Judge orders overdose blood test to protect firefighter
A provincial law designed to protect emergency responders and Good Samaritans has been used for what's believed to be the first time in a case involving a Nanaimo firefighter. Judge Brian Harvey enacted the law in Provincial Court in Nanaimo Wednesday morning after a man overdosing was revived and then vomited on the face of a firefighter, sparking concerns over the spread of disease.
Lantzville wants to protect creek corridor
0914 - Residents’ proposal to protect a section of Knarston Creek has received support from Lantzville councillors.
Sudden brush fire delays rush hour traffic on Bypass
0913 - End of day traffic was backed up after Nanaimo firefighters responded to a brush fire near the intersection of Northfield Rd. and the Nanaimo Parkway. The fire was discovered roughly 100 metres behind the Nanaimo Visitor Centre above Maxey Rd. by cyclist James Henley prior to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“I saw what appeared to be a puff of smoke and I thought someone was in the bush smoking,” he told NanaimoNewsNOW. “I turned and went to go in to say 'Hey, that's not a good idea' and the flames just burst in front of my face.” Henley added no smoker was found and the cause of the fire is unknown.
City sheds another manager in latest shuffle
0912 - The manager of bylaw services was dismissed amid another personnel shuffle at Nanaimo City Hall.
Rod Davidson was let go after more than four years with the organization, director of human resources John Van Horne told NanaimoNewsNOW. Van Horne would not say if Davidson received a severance package, but said the City has a duty to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice. He said the move was "not a commentary on Rod's work performance."
The move is part of a realignment at City Hall, the third such shuffle in the last 15 months.
Police seek help in finding missing Duncan woman
Ottawa earmarks $50 million for coastline research
0912 - The federal government plans to spend more than $50 million to collect data on Canada’s coastlines to help determine how humans are impacting marine ecosystems.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says in a release that scientists will spend the next several years collecting data from six areas where there is existing vessel traffic, or the potential for increased vessel traffic.
Motorcyclist hospitalized after crash with car
0911 - One man was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after his motorcycle and a car collided at the intersection of Bowen Road and James Way in Nanaimo this afternoon (Sept. 11).
The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. when Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Ambulance and RCMP responded to the scene.
Nanaimo's Tilray expanding to European market
0909 - Nanaimo-based Tilray will begin construction of a medical marijuana greenhouse and processing facility in Portugal next month — becoming the first Canadian company to cultivate outside of the country.
The Portuguese government granted the licence to Tilray who will invest $30 million Cdn to build their European Union headquarters. Tilray plans to distribute pot and pot-derived medical products to patients, pharmacies and researchers — not only in Portugal but throughout Europe.
"It's more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective to supply European patients from Portugal than from northern climates," said Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy.
Three car dealerships slated for former Madill site
Big changes are slated for a key section of central Nanaimo, as an old landmark gives way to significant new development.
Island West Coast Development's Pat Brandreth said tearing down the old Madill buildings on Bowen Rd. near the Island Hwy. for three new car dealerships and a seniors care home signals a new era.
He said a shopping plaza was originally planned but “the numbers didn't work in terms of where we were restricted with our traffic study and the amount of trips that were generated with that type of development.”
Brennan seeks return to three-year council terms
Coun. Diane Brennan wants civic politicians across B.C. to consider returning to three-year terms. She will present a resolution at city council Monday (Sept. 11) for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention that requests the province go back to three-year municipal terms.
In 2013, delegates at the UBCM supported holding elections every four years and government extended the term in time for the last election. The next civic election is October 2018.
Also, read Merv Unger's and Don White's observations in our Opinion section
Transport Canada revisiting freighter anchorages
A national strategy being developed to overhaul where and how large freighter ships can anchor has the attention of people on Gabriola Island.
A previous plan by the federal government's Pacific Pilotage Authority to create five spaces spanning most of the east side of Gabriola was suspended, says authority CEO Kevin Obermeyer.
“Transport Canada (TC) is developing a national framework for the identification of anchorages and best practices for behaviour at anchor for anchorages that are located outside the jurisdiction of a Canada Port Authority or a public port,” TC said in a statement to NanaimoNewsNOW.
Well-prepared hikers made rescue easy
Preparation on the part of two hikers made for a speedy search-and-retrieval operation by Nanaimo Search and Rescue on the Weekend.
According to a Nanaimo Search and Rescue press release, rescue technicians were called out to Mount Benson Regional Park on Sunday at about 11 a.m. by B.C. Ambulance Services to help locate and transfer an injured hiker.
Man suffers gunshot while golfing at Winchelsea course
Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a case of a man who was struck by a bullet last week at Winchelsea View Golf Course in Lantzville.
A 60-year-old Ladysmith man was golfing alone and nearing the end of his round of golf at about 4:30 p.m. when the incident occurred.
Other golfers helped the man off the course and he drove himself back to Ladysmith.
62 homes lost to fires in Cariboo region
A regional district that has been devastated by flames during British Columbia’s worst recorded wildfire season says 62 homes and 140 outbuildings have been destroyed and the number is likely to rise.
The Cariboo Regional District said Tuesday the tally was done during assessments with the help of volunteer fire departments and search-and-rescue crews.
Car insurance rates about to rise sharply
Commuters will see a 6.4 per cent increase to their basic vehicle insurance rates this year, with optional coverage rates increasing up to 9.6 per cent to stem record losses at the Insurance Corporation of B.C.
The basic rate increase takes effect in November and translates to $57 a year more for the average B.C. driver on basic insurance. For drivers who also have ICBC’s optional insurance coverage, a series of quarterly increases in those rates mean the average driver will be paying $130 a year more by next year.
Drivers with at-fault crashes will also face steeper rate increases than are currently assessed.
Cunningham & Rivard to study water lot lease values
0903 - Cunningham & Rivard Appraisals Ltd. of Nanaimo has been engaged by the Nanaimo Port Authority to conduct a Harbour rent study to determine fair market rent for its water lot leases.
Every five years the Port completes a market rent study to confirm that Port lease rental rates reflect the current market.
As part of the 2017 Harbour Rent Study, lessees were invited in April to provide market-based evidence that will be considered by the consultant.
The draft 2017 Harbour Rent Study will also be peer reviewed and then presented to the Port Board this month for preliminary review, after which the Study will be open for comment by the Port lessees for 30 days and then returned for finalization by the Board in October/November. The results are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2018.
School district adds 103 full-time-equivalent teachers
0903 - When the bell rings to announce the start of classes for the new school year, Nanaimo School District will have 103 full-time equivalant more teachers, thanks to a court ruling mandating the increased numbers. Teachers from kindergarten to Grade 9 will be using mandated curriculum which aims to get students involved in inquiry-based learning. There will be other changes as well.
Swabey returning to Island as city manager of North Cowichan
0902 - Former Nanaimo City manager Ted Swabey is returning to Vancouver Island as city manager with North Cowichan. He resigned from his two-year posting at Maple Ridge on Friday.
Swabey was hired in December 2015 after moving over from Nanaimo.
“Although my two years in Maple Ridge has been relatively short, it has left me with indelible memories and experiences that will always remind me of my time working and living here,” he said in a release.
Construction on Lantzville Foothills about to begin
0901 - Construction is about to begin at a large-scale residential development project in Lantzville.
Storm Mountain Developments-Lone Tree Properties announced that construction on the 744-hectare Lantzville Foothills residential project officially starts Sept. 5 and that nearly all of the properties in the first phase have been sold.
Miners' monument erected at Morden Mine location
0831- Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park has long been a reminder of Vancouver Island’s coal mining past, and now park visitors have another way to recall that history.
The Friends of the Morden Mine society gathered at the park earlier this summer for the official unveiling of a monument dedicated to the memory of those who worked in the coal mining industry on the Island.
Approximately 1,000 workers lost their lives in the mines and others succumbed to workplace injuries and mining-related diseases, according to a press release detailing the unveiling ceremony.
Five rescued from fishing boat fire off Gabriola
0831- Five people were rescued from a burning fishing boat off Gabriola Island's southeast side on Wedneday.
A Joint Rescue Coordination Centre official in Victoria said the 72-foot boat caught fire late Wednesday afternoon about 5 kilometres from Silva Bay.
Heat wave sparks surge in power usage
0831- BC Hydro’s power systems were operating at a break-neck pace earlier this week as a new record for peak summer usage was set.
At the height of demand on Monday evening, usage reached 7,851 megawatts with 1,142 of that coming from Vancouver Island, according to BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.
Greyhound applies to cancel Nanaimo-Victoria route
0830 - Greyhound Canada has announced that it has filed an application to cancel service on five routes, including Nanaimo-to-Victoria, with the province’s Passenger Transportation Board. The four other routes are located in northern British Columbia.
Peter Hamel, Greyhound Canada’s regional vice-president for Western Canada, said ridership on the five routes has dropped by 51 per cent since 2010 and that the decision to submit a request to cancel the Nanaimo-Victoria route didn’t happen overnight.
Spotlight put on Buttertubs Marsh
0830 -Raising the profile of Buttertubs Marsh and telling its stories are some of the priorities identified in an updated conservation area management plan presented to city councillors this week.
Rob Lawrance, the city’s acting parks planner, said there’s an opportunity to build more awareness and accessibility around Buttertubs Marsh.
Drivers not injured in Nanoose crash
0830 - Both drivers escaped serious injury when a pair of pickup trucks collided at the intersection of Highway 19 and Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay shortly before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
A crew cab truck travelling southbound on Highway 19 was staged in the intersection for a left turn onto Northwest Bay Road when the traffic signal turned yellow, said Cst. Doug Pennington of the RCMP’s Central Island Traffic Services.
As the vehicle began turning left, it was struck by another pickup that entered the intersection on the yellow signal while travelling northbound in the passing lane on Highway 19.
Cameras reduce incidents on Regional Transit system
0829 - Extra eyes and ears on local buses appears to have made transit in the mid-island safer.
Manager of transit operations Daniel Pearce with the Regional District of Nanaimo said new security cameras on their long buses are doing what they intended.
“They have greatly improved the security for both the passengers and operators,” Pearce told NanaimoNewsNOW.
All 49 long buses, serving from Cedar to Qualicum Beach, now have 14 cameras located inside and outside the buses, which capture both audio and video. They were installed between the fall of 2016 and early 2017.
Donation box taken in ReStore smash and grab
0829 - The Nanaimo ReStore had its donation box taken when it became the victim of a smash and grab on the weekend.
Sarah Pachkowsky, Habitat for Humanity community engagement manger, said the crime happened Sunday at about 4 a.m.
“Basically it was two individuals, whom we have video surveillance of, who smashed a rock through our front window close to where the till and everything would be,” Pachkowsky said.
RCMP arrest hit and run suspect
0829 - North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have made an arrest in an alleged hit-and-run that took place almost two weeks ago involving a young family from Nanaimo.
Police said Tuesday morning that a person was taken into custody on Aug. 26.
RCMP could not provide details on the age or home residence of the individual when reached for further comment.
VIU ready to rock in the new school year
0829 - School will be back in session soon, and at VIU the fun is just beginning – especially for the 1,000 new students arriving from all over the world to attend university this fall. They will kick off their school year with VIU’s biggest annual event – RockVIU: Welcome 2 Campus.
On Thursday, August 31, new students and their families will attend a whole day’s worth of events designed to familiarize them with the campus, meet peers, learn about the services and resources available, and above all, have fun. It is also the first opportunity for students to connect with faculty and learn what to expect from their education experience at VIU.
RockVIU starts with a welcome message from an Elder-in-Residence, and keynote speaker - VIU alumna and success coach Lisa Michaud for students, while parents meet at the Richard W. Johnstone Centre for International Education for an address by VIU President Dr. Ralph Nilson.
Ladysmith medical marijuana producer recalls some product
0827 - A Ladysmith-based licensed producer of medical marijuana has voluntarily recalled product from last year after random tests found pesticides “below quantifiable limits,” according to an advisory from Health Canada.
Broken Coast Cannabis Ltd. started a recall on Thursday of three batches of dried marijuana produced between June and July 2016.
Health Canada inspected the facility in March 2017 and test results from a cannabis oil sample last month showed the possible presence of myclobutanil and spinosad.
Boaters rescued by B.C. Ferries crew
0827 - Six boaters are lucky to be just a little waterlogged after their vessels capsized in the Georgia Strait Sunday morning.
“We got a call from the Coast Guard [at 9:45 a.m.] asking if we could assist with a small Runabout vessel that was sinking off of Mayne Island,” said BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall, adding that all four people from the boat were in the water.
Marine Response unveils plans for Nanaimo headquarters
0826 - The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has unveiled its Nanaimo headquarters for Vancouver Island.
Construction is tentatively set to begin late this year and will be one of seven strategically-placed response bases and equipment locations along the southern coast of B.C. The schedule calls for base construction to be completed in late summer 2018 with new vessels arriving shortly after that, followed by personnel and training. The new vessels and staff will be trained and response ready for early 2019.
That will bring 21 new full-time jobs and substantial equipment in Greater Nanaimo, positive impacts for our local economy and provide enhanced response services for the region.
Knife-wielding man arrested near Beban Park
0825 - RCMP have arrested a man wielding a knife near Beban Park in Nanaimo. Two members of the Nanaimo Police Dog Service were conducting training in the area of Labieux Rd and Leam Rd. One of the officers recognized a suspect as Kym ARKELL, who had outstanding warrants for arrest. When the officer approached him, he produced a knife and threatened the officer, and ran toward Beban Park while the officer continued to follow him.
At the Kinsmen Participark sign in Beban Park, ARKELL turned and faced the officer with his knife drawn, and continued to threaten the officer and to cause himself harm. The second Police Dog Service handler was able to get around him and knock him onto the ground while his attention was drawn by the first officer.
He refused to drop the knife, and had it concealed under his body. He refused to follow the directions and as a result, further force was required. Even after the knife was obtained, he continued to resist the officers. As a result of the arrest, he suffered injuries requiring hospital treatment.
Police officers are authorized to utilize as much force as necessary to ensure the safety of the public and themselves. In this case lives were
threatened with a weapon, and this danger does not pass until the weapon is removed and secured by police, says Corporal Jon STUART of the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment. The suspect was heading toward the Altrusa Playground at Beban Park with many children and families
present. It was feared that there could be greater harm if he was allowed to enter the park area.
ARKELL, a 32 year old resident of Nanaimo, has been charged with Assault with a weapon, uttering threats, and possession of a weapon. He has been remanded into custody, and will appear in court on Monday, August 28.
Cpl. Jon STUART / Cap. Jon Stuart
"C" Watch Acting Sergeant
Nanaimo RCMP / GRC de Nanaimo
Traffic continues to increase for Nanaimo Airport
0824 - Passenger numbers are reaching new altitudes at the Nanaimo Airport.
The airport (YCD) handled 201,993 passengers in the first half of 2017, an increase of nearly five per cent from last year.
Mike Hooper, the airport’s president and chief executive officer, said the airport is on pace see about 350,000 passengers this year. It saw 340,861 passengers last year.
North end crash sends five people to hospital
0823 - A driver had to be extricated from his car with the Jaws of Life following a collision on Tuesday (Aug. 22) afternoon. The other vehicle involved in the accident was a pickup truck.
The crash happened at about 3 p.m. at the intersection of Enterprise Way and the Island Highway. Police, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance personnel responded to the scene.
Unsolved crimes in Nanaimo, Aug 12 - 22
0824 - If you have information on any of these crimes, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
File # 2017-26460 Sometime overnight on Sunday August 13th an earthquake kit was stolen from the backyard of a home in the 6300 block of Pinewood Lane. The kit was kept in a large bin that was not taken. The stolen goods consisted of clothing, food, rain gear, flashlights and pet supplies. Around the same time, several break ins were reported to vehicles parked in the neighbourhood.
File # 2017-26535 On Monday August 14 from 510 Nova St, 25-30 boxes filled with models and collectibles were stolen from a tent stored on the property. The items were earmarked for an upcoming yard sale and consisted of CDs, bike helmets, metal lunch kits, Superman print and airplane/ship/car model kits. The suspect may have had knowledge where the items were being stored and would need a vehicle to remove the stolen goods.
File # 2017-26673 Sometime overnight on Tuesday August 15 an unlocked garage in the 3400 block, Monterey Drive was entered and 2 power washers were taken. One is a yellow MCS with hose reel attached, the other is a Multi Quip mounted on an aluminum base with a 9-hp Honda motor.
File # 2017-26835. Over the past two weeks there have been a number of random thefts from the yard of a home in the 300 block of Kennedy St. Items taken consisted of spotlights, boxwood plants and 4 bikes. The thefts are occurring overnight and to date no suspects have been identified. If you see suspicious activity, report it immediately.
File #2017-27001 Between 8:30 pm and 11:30 pm on August 16 a boat was stolen from the back of a pickup truck in the Walmart parking lot. The fiberglass homemade boat weighs approximately 250 pounds and is dark green with white painting resembling a killer whale. The boat did not have a HIN number and there was no motor.
File # 2017-27903 On Friday August 18 a boat moored at 104 Front St was broken into. The front doorwas pried open and taken were a large brown ottoman, TV wall mounts, LED bulbs and a set of keys.
File # 2017-27218 On Saturday August 19 between 12:30 and 7 am a home in the 200 block of Bowlsby St was broken into. The home owner was sleeping during the incident and when they woke they realized several items were missing. It appears the suspect entered through an unlocked office window. Taken were some cash and a one year old Galaxy cell phone.
File # 2017-27428 On Monday August 21 at approximately 7 am a homeownerin the 400 block of Selby St awoke to find a male in his early 20s in the apartment attempting to take their beige Shitzu dog. When confronted the suspect male jumped off the balcony and ran off without the dog. The suspect was approximately 5 ft. 8, slim and wearing a black baseball cap, black pants and white shirt.
File # 2017-27603 On Tuesday August 22 a break and enter was reported at 55 Victoria Road. The property manager told police unknown persons had thrown a drainage grate through the front door then took art work from the lobby.
File #2017-27630 On Tuesday August 22 at approximately 4 pm a cell phone was stolen from an outside table at the Modern Cafe on Commercial St. The owner of the phone told police she was sitting at a table when a white male walked by, grabbed the phone and ran off with it. The suspect had short darkish hair and was wearing a black shirt and black shorts with a green stripe. The owner used her Find my phone App and tracked it to the area of Museum Way. Shortly thereafter the phone was shut off. The owner has advised her service provider and the phone will be locked preventing any unauthorized usage.
Passenger-only ferry takes another step forward
0824 -Nanaimo is one step closer to having a new foot ferry service.
Island Ferries Services has secured an offer to lease with the Nanaimo Port Authority. The company will be leasing facilities at 100 Port Dr., which will serve as a terminal for its intended passenger-only ferry service between Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver.
Back-to-school street safety reminders
The Nanaimo RCMP remind the motorists, that all public schools in Nanaimo will 0824 - reopen Tuesday, Sept, 5. Private schools will reopening Monday August 28.
Every year in BC dozens of children and youths are injured in motor vehicle crashes in school zones or playgrounds.
"One injured child is too many. One of the objectives of the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment, supported through the enforcement efforts of the Municipal Traffic Unit and patrol officers, is to ensure all children arrive safely at school. Going back to school is always an exciting time for young children and can be very hectic for parents. With that in mind, safety must be paramount to ensure your precious cargo arrives safely at school," said Const. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
The following reminders are provided for the safety of all children, motorists, parents, and caregivers.
School speed zones (30 km/h) are in effect Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, during designated school days
Playground speeds are in effect dust to dawn, all year round
Motorists MUST stop for all school buses when children are boarding or exiting the bus, and red flashing lights are displayed; this applies to vehicles whether they are behind the stopped bus or approaching from the opposite direction
Children should only cross at designated intersections
Before crossing any intersection, children MUST make eye contact with the approaching driver and ONLY cross when they see the vehicle slowing and coming to a stop; cross ONLY when safe to do so
If riding a bike, always dismount and walk it across the crosswalk
Wear bright coloured clothing
Parents - ensure your child's backpack fits and does not restrict their movement
Parents need to remind their children to NOT accept rides from people they don’t know
If a motorist stops and asks to speak to your child, remind your child to NEVER approach a strange vehicle
If you have any questions or concerns about the traffic safety, please do not hesitate to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345, or contact us on Twitter @nanaimorcmp , at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NanaimoRCMP/ or by email at Nanaimo_Media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Cst Gary O'Brien
Media Relations Officer/Crime Stoppers Coordinator
w (250)755-3257 c (250)713-0701
Infrastructure contract awarded for Lantzville Foothills project
0823 - A multi-million dollar contract to install infrastructure services for the massive Lantzville Foothills development has been awarded, bringing the long-standing project closer to reality.
Lone Tree Properties (LTP) announced it awarded an $8 million contract to Nanaimo-based Knappett Industries to establish water lines, underground services, roads and build a 250,000 gallon concrete reservoir.
Nanaimo real estate values continue to escalate
0822 - Nanaimo real estate values continue to rise, up 17% in the past 12 months, reports John Cooper. 152 single family homes sold. Average price is $496,035 4 waterfront homes sold, 10 lots sold & 73 condos sold. Single family unit sales volume is down 4%. Average days on market has decreased by 35% to 23 days. The average condo sells for $310,660. Condo unit sales are down 6%, 12 months to date. Condos have seen a 39% decrease in days on market. Average days to sell is 26 days. Lot sales volume is up by 2%. Lot prices have increased by 28%, 12 months to date. Average lot sale price is $214,949. Most active region: North Nanaimo (33 sales). Highest average price: Upper Lantzville ($1,169,000). FULL REPORT HERE.
B.C. Ferries to impose outright ban on smoking
0822 - BC Ferries will ban smoking on all of its vessels and terminals as of Jan. 22, 2018.
The blanket ban is due to the province expanding no-smoking buffer zones around doorways and air intakes from three metres to six metres, the company said.
“Due to the physical space available from doors on the outer decks of BC Ferries’ large vessels and on the vehicle decks of smaller vessels, the new regulation means all vessels will need to become smoke-free environments,” BC Ferries said in a statement.
Lacrosse equipment found
0821 - Nanaimo RCMP is in possession of lacrosse equipment which was likely stolen during a break into to a vehicle or home. The gear was found on Sunday July 23 beneath cardboard near garbage bins behind Outpost, 3290 Island Highway North.
The equipment consists of shoulder pads, knee pads, mouth guard, a team jersey and various other pieces of equipment. The bag is embroidered with "Team BC Lacrosse" on the side and a number which is most likely is the player’s who owns the gear.
The gear will be held for 90 days as per RCMP policy for found property. If you know who owns this equipment please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 2500-754-2345.
Driver arrested after car crashes into home
0822 - A homeowner was awakened late Monday night after a car crashed into the front of her home on Bowen Road. The 32-year-old homeowner was not injured although the vehicle caused major structural damage to her residence and surrounding yard. A 23 yea-old-man was arrested at the scene for impaired driving and when officers arrived, he was still behind the wheel of his vehicle attempting to reverse out of the yard. The crash occurred at approximately 11:25 pm on Monday August 21 and took place at the intersection of Ashlar and Bowen Road.
Officers responded along with City of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue to reports of the crash which resulted in a newer model black SUV driving through a fence and the main supporting wall of the home. Two passengers in the vehicle fled prior to police arriving.
The homeowner was offered accommodations through the City of Nanaimo Emergency Services but declined after a nearby neighbour took her in for the evening. The male driver provided two breath tests with both being over the legal limit. He was served with a Promise to Appear with police recommending charges of Impaired Driving. He was also issued with a violation ticket for driving without a driver's license.
"Investigators would like to speak with the two passengers who fled to ensure they were not injured and to learn their version of events," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. If anyone has information on the identity of the passengers please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
Fire damages Snaw-Naw-As community hall
0819- Fire badly damaged the Nanoose First Nation Community Hall Saturday morning.
Lantzville Volunteer Fire Department crews responded to the blaze on the Snaw-Naw-As reserve and found roughly half of the hall on fire, said acting chief John Marment.
"From what I got from witnesses, there was somebody playing behind the building where most of the damage is. They were playing with fireworks. Some individuals were seen running away."
UPDATE - Nanaimo RCMP fire scene investigators along with City of Nanaimo Fire investigators examined the scene on Saturday. In addition to forensic evidence gathered at the scene Investigators are following up on information that a number of young people were seen in the area prior to the fire starting. "At this time the actual cause of the fire has not been determined and it is considered suspicious in nature," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
If anyone has information on the fire, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
Parents with baby are victims of hit and run crash
A young Nanaimo family with a baby on board were transported to hospital after a hit-and-run on the Trans-Canada Highway near Chemainus on Friday night.
Cameron and Bibi Wallace and their baby Axel were heading back from Victoria and were stopped in a northbound lane of the intersection of Mt. Sicker Road waiting to turn left when the collision occurred at around 9 p.m.
“We wanted to go use the restroom and feed our baby so we got into the turning lane to go to the Chevron (which we then realized was closed but we could still stop and feed baby),” Bibi told the Chronicle.
Bail out a friend raising money for SPCA
0819 - It was a dog day afternoon for some local folks at Nanaimo’s B.C. SPCA branch. The organization held its Lock-In for Love fundraising event Friday at its Westwood Road location.
Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Smythe and others were ‘locked’ in kennels until they could raise enough money to secure their freedom.
Visiting researcher at VIU explores role of expert witness in First Nations Communities
0818 - The Island is not only familiar ground for Dr. Daniel Boxberger, Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) second Fulbright Canada Jarislowsky Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies. It is right in the middle of the research the Anthropology Professor from Western Washington University has been conducting for years.
The research chair position is supported by $250,000 USD in funding over five years, which was provided by the Fulbright Canada Foundation and the Montreal-based Jarislowsky Foundation.
Boxberger’s area of research is the Indigenous peoples of North America and Aboriginal and treaty rights to natural and cultural resources. He has conducted research in First Nations communities throughout British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Sonora. He has also provided expert witness testimony for First Nations communities in BC, Washington and Oregon in more than 40 court cases.
At VIU, he plans to continue research he’s started into the role of the anthropological expert witness in southwestern BC First Nations communities, how outside experts are perceived and how they engage the community in preparing research for litigation.
MORE VIU News.
New Chartwell seniors care home opens in Nanaimo
The doors are now open to Nanaimo’s newest residential care facility.
Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence held its grand opening on Thursday with local dignitaries and residents celebrating the construction of the 136-bed, $27.4-million care facility.
Construction started on the Twelfth Street building in 2015 to replace Malaspina Gardens, a more than 100-year-old building and Chartwell’s oldest site. It was outdated and no longer provided an ideal environment for residents based on modern standards of residential care. Island Health will provide just over $10 million in operating funding to Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence.
Tilray undertakes major expansion with Ontario site
Nanaimo medical marijuana company Tilray will build a second facility in Ontario in order to quintuple its production.
Tilray announced Thursday a $30-million capital investment in a cultivation and processing facility in Enniskillen, Ont. The second facility will allow Tilray to boost production to 51 metric tonnes by the end of 2018.
Nanaimo appoints its first female fire chief
Nanaimo’s first female fire chief will take the helm of Nanaimo Fire Rescue.
The City of Nanaimo announced today that Karen Fry will be the new fire chief, taking over from Craig Richardson who retired this past spring.
Fry is the first female head of a career-structured fire department for Nanaimo and Vancouver Island and the second for B.C., a press release says.
Tug ruled at fault in sinking of another boat
The Transportation Safety Board says a six-to-eight-second absence from the controls of a tug boat caused the sinking of another tug off Nanaimo.
A safety board report says the captain of the C.T. Titan left the tug going full speed ahead while he moved from the upper bridge to the wheelhouse and by the time he reached the controls, the boat had veered towards the vessel Albern.
Theft of lotto tickets and purse
The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for public assistance in identifying the male shown in the attached photo who is a suspect in at least two recent thefts.
On Wednesday August 2 at approximately 3:15 pm the man allegedly stole a lady's purse while she shopped at Fairway Market in North Town Centre. Then on Sunday August 6 at approximately 5 pm he struck again, allegedly stealing lotto tickets from the Shoppers Drug Mart in Country Club Mall.
The suspect is white, 40-50 years of age, 5 ft.10, short hair, greying on the sides. If you know the identity of this suspect, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.
Cst Gary O'Brien
Media Relations Officer/Crime Stoppers Coordinator
w (250)755-3257 c (250)713-0701
Please tell us what you would like to see on Nanaimonet.com
What's your pleasure? We want to know what you like on Nanaimonet.com. Please reply to our survey so we can provide you with the news and feature that are of interest to you. It's a short survey and won't take up much of your time. Here's the address. https://goo.gl/forms/XjrYphegqdXR4xho2
Four and a half years in jail for home invasion
A Nanaimo man known as a prolific offender has been handed four-and-a-half years in prison after tying up five people and threatening to kill them earlier this year.
Ashley Baird, 34, was sentenced by judge Brian Harvey in Provincial Court in Nanaimo on Monday on six charges he plead guilty to.
Mayor McKay – maybe yes, maybe no
0812 - Mayor Bill McKay may have spoken prematurely when he said: "This isn't what I signed up for."
On Tuesday, he said he wouldn't seek re-election next year because of the to ongoing drama at city hall.
But, two days later, McKay back-pedalled, saying he enjoys being mayor and would like to do it again.
“The fact was that I said no, I would not run if it was today,” McKay told CTV.
On Thursday, he said he’ll reserve his decision until closer to the end of his term.
“The most difficult thing for my family has been to watch what I’ve had to go through, by constant attack, particularly when it comes from within city hall,” he said.
– with files from CTV Vancouver Island
Arrest made after boy's bike stolen at knife point
0810 - Police made a quick arrest after a 13-year-old boy was robbed of his bike at knifepoint.
According to an RCMP press release, a man confronted the boy and the boy’s friend just after 4 p.m. on Sunday near Farquar and Nicol streets, brandished a knife and demanded the boy hand over his bicycle. The suspect then knocked the boy to the ground and rode off on the bike.
Nanaimo Stock the Lockers 2017 campaign aiming for $60k
0810 - With the start of school less than a month away, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation is looking to “Stock the Lockers.”
The non-profit foundation kick started its annual fundraising campaign Thursday, seeking to raise money and school supplies for students in need. According to Crystal Dennison, foundation executive director, $45,000 was raised last year, but the needs of the district are increasing and this year’s goal is $60,000. In addition to supplies, graduation and field trip fees, food programs are also supported.
Weather change will clear smoke over Vancouver Island
0810 - The smoke from the ongoing wildfires in the province’s Interior that has been inundating much of Vancouver Island for more than a week should begin to dissipate by this weekend.
The changing weather pattern that will see the end of the smoke will bring with it cooler temperatures and cloudy skies, but also much-needed rain to the tinder-dry mid Island.
Three in hospital after crash near Qualicum Beach
Three people were taken to hospital and Highway 19 was closed following a three-vehicle collision involving a semi tractor-trailer at the intersection of Highway 19 and Horne Lake Road north of Qualicum Beach late Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 9, 2017.
As of 9:30 p.m., DriveBC was showing the incident clear and the highway reopened following hours of single-lane, detoured passage around the intersection in both directions.
Mayor has had enough, he's not running for re-election
Nanaimo’s mayor has confirmed he won’t seek re-election next year, amid a recent firestorm of controversy at city hall that has some voters taking matters into their own hands.
Fed up with the dysfunction within council, Mayor Bill McKay made it official Tuesday, saying that when municipal elections roll around in October 2018, his name will not be on the ballot.
“I knew politics was dirty. I had no idea it could be this dirty,” McKay told CTV News. “This isn’t what I signed up for. Just the agony of coming to work every day in an atmosphere where you don’t know what attack is coming today.”
City land owner slapped with $92,000 bill by city
The City of Nanaimo has slapped a landowner with a nearly $92,000 bill to clean up contaminated dirt.
The bill is “insane,” says Duart Rapton, who was charged $91,991, including a tipping fee that topped $72,000, to remove contaminated soil he failed to clean up himself.
He’s prepared to defend himself against the city legally.
Last year, the City of Nanaimo placed a clean-up order on Rapton’s Howard Avenue property, where there was garbage, wood and shingle scraps and discarded furniture, but city staff said that between the time the order was issued and when the city went to get estimates for cleanup, soil partially covered the debris and was found contaminated with lead, zinc and tin. Rapton was asked to remove soil in October, and in January the property owner went to council for an extension, saying he was unable to remove the soil because the weather had been so bad.
Grass fires appear to have been deliberately set
Nanaimo Mounties are investigating suspicious grass fires.
Police say two fires, so far, have been set in a field near 357 Howard Ave. The most recent blaze happened Monday at about 3:30 p.m. The first was reported Wednesday.
Neither fire caused significant damage and were both quickly extinguished, but a witness reported seeing a man running away from the area of Monday’s fire. The witness ran to the fire location and tried, but was unable, to stop the suspect. The witness stomped on the fire which was later doused with water by Nanaimo Fire Rescue.
Fire forces 50 people from their apartments
A small fire in a Nanaimo apartment building forced about 50 tenants to evacuate on Tuesday (Aug. 8).
Firefighters responded to the alarm at Parkside Manor apartments at 645 Townsite Rd. at about 3:30 p.m.
Nanaimo Lakes fire now under control
Firefighters have gained control of a one-hectare fire in the forest in the Nanaimo Lakes area.
Coastal Fire Centre crews have a hold on a human-caused fire southwest of Nanaimo in the area of Blackjack Forest Service Road.
“Right now the firefighters have control on it and they’re not seeing that it’s going to grow beyond that area,” said Donna MacPherson, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.
Province won't intervene with Nanaimo City Council
(0806) The province won’t wade into the dysfunction at Nanaimo council, leaving the local government to heal itself.
Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement to the Times Colonist that municipal governments have their own codes of conduct to guide behaviour.
“Local governments are autonomous, responsible and accountable. They have a range of tools to help elected officials conduct themselves in a responsible manner and provide opportunities for the public to be involved in local decision making. The responsible conduct of local elected officials is expected from all,” she said.
Nanaimo Lakes fire out of control
(0806) 11 a.m. A wildfire near Nanaimo Lakes is considered out of control, as firefighters grapple with the second bush fire in the area in less than 24 hours.
Coastal Fire Centre fire information officer Donna MacPherson said the Blackjack Forest Service Rd. fire had grown to about one-hectare as of 9 a.m. Monday. It was originally listed at 0.3-hectares by the BC Wildfire Service's online map late Sunday night.
Man sentenced for indecent exposure
0806 - A Nanaimo man is back in the community after being sentenced for indecently exposing himself again. He was sentenced to time served and handed a two-year probation order. His nine conditions include a ban on going to public parks, public swimming areas or community centres where anyone under 16 years old might be present.
This latest incident happened at Maffeo Sutton Park on May 6. A woman saw Mark Nieuwejaar exposing himself near the playground. She snapped several pictures before he exposed himself a second time. She called 9-1-1 and Mounties arrested Nieuwejaar in the park.
Police watchdog probes suspect's injury during arrest
0806 - The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is looking into an arrest in Nanaimo after a suspect sustained serious injuries.
According to an RCMP E Division press release, Nanaimo police were called to the area near Bowen West Field just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday in response to a report that a disruptive man on a bus was making threats and inappropriately touching female passengers.
VICC operator to get performance bonus if it reduces city subsidy
0806 - The new operators for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre have extra incentive to drive down the city’s million-dollar operational subsidy, but don’t expect single-minded focus on deficit.
Dean Clarke, regional vice-president for Spectra by Comcast Spectacor and Chuck Loewen, new VICC general manager, spoke with the News Bulletin about taking on the conference centre, reducing the subsidy to the building and changes people can expect.
U.S.-based Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which manages 39 convention centres in North America, took over operations in March.
Escaped prisoner from funeral is back in custody
UPDATE 0805 - Prisoner David Enease Blackmore, missing after he bolted from his mother’s funeral in Port Alberni earlier this week, has been apprehended.
0802 - Police are looking for Nanaimo Correctional Centre inmate David Enease Blackmore after he escaped from his mother’s funeral in Port Alberni on Aug. 1.
Blackmore was escorted by the correctional facility staff to Port Alberni to attend his mother’s funeral at the Yates Funeral home, 4470 Gertrude St. During the funeral, Blackmore was permitted to pay his respects to his mother and took this opportunity to flee out the rear door of the funeral home.
RDN water restriction go to Stage 3
All Regional District of Nanaimo water service areas will be subject to Stage 3 watering restrictions effective Saturday (Aug. 5).
Since May, service areas have been in Stage 2 restrictions, which sees odd-number addresses watering on odd-number days and even-number addresses on even-number days. Stage 3 is similar to that, the regional district said in a press release.
“Stage 3 restrictions maintain the same even- and odd- day watering framework as Stage 2, yet encourage residents to further reduce water use in order to defer a comprehensive watering ban,” the regional district said. “Water demand has been higher than average for this time of year, resulting in low reservoir levels and increased strain on wells, pumps and other infrastructure. Meanwhile, record-high temperatures are forecast and the fire danger rating remains extreme.”
First Nations people three times more likely to die from illicit drug overdose
0803 - First Nations people in British Columbia are three time more likely to die of illicit drug overdoses.
The infromation was contained in data released by provincial officials. It’s the first time the information has been released in B.C., but it’s a year old because of various steps involved in making it public.
The First Nations Health Authority also says Indigenous people are five times more likely than others to experience non-fatal overdoses.
It says First Nations people are over-represented in British Columbia’s overdose crisis, which claimed nearly 1,000 people last year and that trauma, racism and stigma are part of the problem.
Dr. Shannon McDonald, the health authority’s deputy chief medical officer, says more First Nations women fatally overdosed compared with their non-First Nations counterparts because of their “unspeakable experiences” as young girls.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says the preliminary data will be used to identify actions that will best support First Nations communities.
The Canadian Press
Interior fire smoke hangs over Vancouver Island
0802- There are no wildfires burning on Vancouver Island, but large plumes of smoke from the fires burning in B.C.'s Interior have arrived, bringing a heavy haze to the area.
Earle Plain with the ministry of environment said stable weather patterns mean the smoke will stay high in the sky and away from people, for the most part.
“Anything aloft or up higher in the atmosphere has a more difficult time mixing down to the ground and actually having an effect,” he told NanaimoNewsNOW
Northern Biomass moving operations to Nanaimo
0801 - Economic development in Nanaimo is about to get a big shot in the arm with the announcement that Northern Biomass Consulting is moving to Nanaimo with 45 full-time jobs.
The Nanaimo Port Authority announced that Northern Biomass Consulting will occupy the former Nanaimo Port Authority head office at 104 Front St. and is planning a $20-million plant at Duke Point with an annual $50-million operating budget.
The company is moving its operations from Prince George and has an affiliate in Denver, Colorado.
Northern produces wood-based carbon for specialty agriculture markets, soil additives, carbon additives, filtration and hydrocarbon adhesion. Northern biomass Consulting Ltd. has secured wood fibre suitable for converting to bio-carbon and is in the permitting stage of one location and has four more going through in the next few years in different parts of Canada.
The markets for bio-carbon are massive – it can be used for high-quality carbon as an additive for consumer products such as plastic or steel. Northern is working with developers of biomass power for stand-alone or existing projects. They can be semi-portable to permanent, with power capacities in the 2MW to 10MW.
Port Authority CEO Bernie Dumas said the move is an exceptional gain for Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island.
“Northern Biomass Consulting provides new renewable resource benefits to our Island’s forestry industry and utilizes port services to access global markets. This forward-thinking environmentally-friendly company will add 45 full-time employees to the local labour force and utilize another 200 contractors to boost our local economy – a win-win win,” Dumas said.
The Port Authority sees Northern as one of the ways to the future for development in the local forestry industry that includes new renewable resource options combined with positive impacts on the Island’s economy, the environment and on port services.
“This a significant step for our community as we continue to advance the Port’s mandate for diversity and to establish new business for the west coast economy”, said Dumas.
Talby Mckay, President and owner of Northern Biomass Consulting has more than 19 years of experience in the biomass industry as an operator and a manager and has managed three companies and all aspects of the business from field to office.
His experience in the Alberta oil patch as an environmental engineer, crane operator and construction supervisor provided a clear vision for the future in renewable resources. He recognized that the biomass industry has a bright future, especially with companies applying a value on environmental concerns along with a more cost effective way of managing excess fibre. Wood chips, sawdust and hog-fuel are regular by-products from forestry processing. Biomass provides an additional after process option for the industry with huge energy efficiencies and advantages.
“We definitely want to be part of the community and are looking forward to developing our connections with local businesses and residents,” Mckay said.
Rescue crews come to the aid of Tribal Journey paddlers
0802 - It took a little longer than expected, but the Tribal Journeys canoes made it to the shores at Nanoose Bay on Monday afternoon.
Only a handful of canoes were able to successfully paddle into the Snaw-Naw-As due to high winds and rough seas.
Jerry Berry, coxswain with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, said the conditions on the water were rough with 25-knot winds and waves as high as five feet.
“The vast majority of [canoes] got stopped at Neck Point, but those that did proceed north of Neck Point had difficulties.”
Berry said two canoes filled up with so much water that the occupants had to be rescued by his team, the Nanaimo Port Authority and the RCMP.
Berry said none of those who had to be recused sustained any injuries. “Fortunately the response was excellent and the water was warm that day,” he said.
Island highway traffic notices issued
0801 - The ministry will be reopening a second lane to traffic on the Malahat to accommodate summer traffic and the significantly higher volumes that are expected due to long weekend travellers and concert goers attending the Sunfest Country Music Festival in the Cowichan Valley.
On the Malahat, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be reopening the second northbound lane on Thursday, Aug. 3 through to end of day Tuesday, Aug. 8, and Fridays through Sundays for the rest of August.
Motorists are advised to pay close attention to the cones that will be marking the new temporary lanes, watch for changing traffic patterns, and are reminded that the construction speed zone of 60 kilometres per hour is in effect 24/7.
In addition, there will be no traffic stoppages for construction of the Malahat safety improvement project from noon Thursday, Aug. 3 through Tuesday, Aug. 8.
The increase in traffic volume is still anticipated to create delays along Highway 1 between Victoria and Duncan, so the ministry encourages all travellers to plan their trip well in advance, allow for plenty of extra time and drive safely.
For up-to-date route information, please visit the DriveBC website: http://www.drivebc.ca/
Five esacape fire in legal grow-op
0801 - Five Nanaimo residents woke up early Tuesday morning to discover flames coming from a bedroom that had been converted to a licensed medical marijuana grow-op, according to Nanaimo Fire.
A beeping smoke alarm roused one of the residents of the Beach Drive home around 2:45 a.m. All five people escaped without injury as the home filled with smoke, said Nanaimo Fire acting chief Karen Fry.
They called 911 and 12 firefighters arrived on scene, dousing the flames in the bedroom.
The background of the ongoing city hall saga
0801 -Controversy continues to rage at Nanaimo City Hall, and there's no end in sight. The CAO has been placed on leave after a profance outburst last week.
Freelance writer Dominic Jones has done an extensive investigative reporting job on the situation in an article posted May 30. It's definitely worth a read.