11 teenagers fined for gathering at school parking lot

 

1222 – Eleven teenagers were issued $230 fines after an incident Saturday night at Dover Bay High School. Police saw a large group of youths and vehicles in the parking lot. The officer talked to the youth and discussed the risks associated with their behaviour, and then told them to disperse. 

The officer left the area but returned a short time later to find more cars and more youths. Many of them were walking about in the parking lot without masks and going back and forth between vehicles to speak with friends.

Given their lack of regard after being told to disperse, the officer issued each with a violation ticket, said Constable Gary O'Brien.

The youth were respectful, apologetic and understanding why they were receiving a ticket.They were fined under Section 4 of the COVID Related Measures Act. 

RCMP seek whereabout of suspect in violent offenses

Heath Handy

1222 – Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 49-year-old Heath Handy, who is wanted for assault causing bodily harm, break and enter, assault and obstruction of justice. The charges originate from an incident in June at a residence in south Nanaimo.

Police responded to the victim’s home on June 4. She told the officers that Handy, whom she had dated for a period of time, had broken into her home, and over a period of 14 hours, repeatedly assaulted and threatened her. She said Handy had fled just prior to the police arriving. 

She was shaken and had some injuries, not sufficient enough for her to be hospitalized. Officers have made numerous attempts to locate Handy but have been unsuccessful.

Handy is Indigenous, 6 ft. 0, 210 pounds. The picture is recent. He has family and friends throughout central Vancouver Island and is known to take harbor from time to time, on his boat named the Flying Vessel. Handy should be considered violent. If you know the whereabouts of Heath Handy, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-20190.

Suspect sought in assault in Cedar area

RCMP seek public assistance in identifying a man who assaulted a female in Cedar on Dec. 10. The youth, in her late teens, was shaken but uninjured by the ordeal in the vicinity of the Cedar Skate Bowl on Macmillan Road.

She told police she had walked to the skate bowl to look for a friend and while there, she engaged in conversation with an unknown man. After a few minutes, the she turned to walk away when the suspect grabbed her wrist, and assaulted her. She fought back and the assault stopped with the man running off.

The suspect is described as Indigenous, mid-twenties, 6 ft. to 6 ft. 3, thin build with longer hair sticking out from his hat. He had difficulty pronouncing C’s and S’s

Suspect sought in assault for Cedar area

1222 – RCMP seek public assistance in identifying a man who assaulted a female in Cedar on Dec. 10. The youth, in her late teens, was shaken but uninjured by the ordeal in the vicinity of the Cedar Skate Bowl on Macmillan Road.

She told police she had walked to the skate bowl to look for a friend and while there, she engaged in conversation with an unknown man. After a few minutes, the she turned to walk away when the suspect grabbed her wrist, and assaulted her. She fought back and the assault stopped with the man running off.

The suspect is described as Indigenous, mid-twenties, 6 ft. to 6 ft. 3, thin build with longer hair sticking out from his hat. He had difficulty pronouncing the letters C and S.

Winter has arrived, road conditions are treacherous

If you don't know how to drive in snow, then please stay off the roads. Some Nanaimo roads are treacherous and should be avoided, suggest Nanaimo RCMP.

1221 - Snow is expected to fall until the afternoon. Environment Canada has a snowfall warning in effect for Vancouver Island’s east coast, saying abundant moisture associated with the low will result in very heavy wet snow over the region.

Snow has blanketed many of the streets, with the north end getting a heavy snow fall. Roads with significant grade, such as Rutherford Road and Turner Road, should be avoided. Snow plows have cleared most of Rutherford Road, however, snow is continuing to accumulate and Turner Road is not deemed safe.

More road closures are expected throughout the day. If your vehicle is not equipped with snow tires and you do not have experience with winter driving, don't drive. Additionally, ensure your windows are clear, lights are on and that you have supplies to assist if your vehicle goes off the road.

UPDATE – Police find missing woman

Montana Stevenso

1210 – UPDATE – The Nanaimo RCMP report that the 27-year-old woman, reported missing on December 4, has been located safe and sound. Great work on part of the Nanaimo RCMP Bike Unit who scoured the streets and parks, and were rewarded by locating her early this morning.

EARLIER STORY – 1208 – Do you know where Montana Stevenson might be? The Nanaimo RCMP seeks help to locate her. Family members said they have not had any contact with Montana Stevenson, 27, since October and that she has been living on the streets for some time. 

Police were also told that Stevenson has been associating with individuals of “questionable character” and, for those reasons, they are worried for her safety and well-being.

She is 5-foot-8, 145 pounds with shoulder-length brown hair.

Warrant issued for violent offender in mid-Island

Reggie Butler

A warrant has been issued for 36-year-old Reginald (aka Reggie) Butler for breach of a conditional sentence order. He has an extensive criminal history involving violence and drugs, and therefore he should be considered dangerous, unpredictable and violent.

Butler is non-white and the picture provided is recent. He is 6 ft. 2, 240 pounds, with short dark hair and has many tattoos. Of note, he has dagger and a fish on his left forearm, and a tattoo of a cross on his right forearm. Butler has many friends and associates throughout central Vancouver Island but his whereabouts are unknown.

If you know the whereabouts of Reggie Butler call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2-2018-37068.

Council boosts spending on 'feel good' projects

Coun. Tyler Brown

Coun. Tyler Brown loves spending money on pet projects. He was at it again at Friday’s budget meeting, pushing a $1.3-million bike lane five years sooner than staff would like. Coun. Ian Thorpe tried to reason, saying he’d rather follow staff recommendations on priorities and timelines for project planning, but the motion passed 4-3.

But Brown was not finished, he pushed to increase pedestrian improvement projects spending in 2021 to $1 million from $300,000. Again, staff cautioned only a certain amount of work may be possible in 2021. That one passed 6-2.

Makes one wonder whether the polholes littering our streets might quality under that item.

The projected residential property tax increase for 2021 stands at 3.6 per cent. An e-town hall meeting on the financial plan is Monday, at 7 p.m. Find budget information and submit your questions at TOWN HALL.

TEN NEW POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS TESTS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND 
Another 10 positive tests for Corona virus were linked to the Island Health on Friday as 711 new cases were reported across the province in the last 24 hours. Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix note that 338 are in hospital – an increase of 13 – with 76 people in critical care. Eleven additional deaths related to the virus, reaching 492 since the pandemic began.

PANDEMIC FUNDING FOR TRANSIT AND FERRIES
Though it’s not all new funding, B.C. Transit, TransLink and BC Ferries will get more than $1 billion in pandemic relief funds from an agreement between federal and provincial governments. Joyce Murray, the federal digital government minister, says the agreement will help the public transit providers cover revenue and operational losses from the pandemic. Many details of the plan were released over the summer. TransLink will get $644 million, the ferry service $308 million and B.C. Transit $86 million. B.C. and the federal government are equally sharing the costs.

CANUCKS RELEASE ANTHEM SINGER
Long-time Vancouver Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly will no longer to be belting out "O Canada" to fans at Canucks’ games. The singer was scheduled to perform the anthem at an anti-mask demonstration, which prompted the Canucks owner Franceso Aquilini to announce Donnelly will no longer sing for them.

NO FIREWORKS FOR VANCOUVER NEW YEAR’S EVE
Vancouver’s epic fireworks event that normally ushers in the year has been called off. The Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society announced that the  fireworks display in Coal Harbour had been called off due to the public health restrictions in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Police seek man on Canada-wide immigration warrant

Romey O'Neill

1204 – The Nanaimo RCMP seeks assistance in locating 26-year-old Romey O'Neill who is wanted Canada wide on an immigration warrant for overstaying his status in Canada.

Investigators have confirmed that O’Neill was in Nanaimo on November 13, when he rented a vehicle from a local agency. The 2020 blue Kia Forte sedan, with BC plate JW6 90D, was not returned and has been reported as stolen. When O'Neill rented the vehicle he was dropped off by a woman who was driving a white Mitsubishi Lancer (no plate obtained).

O'Neill is associated to residences in Bowser, Quadra Island and Cortes Island. He is a white male, 6 ft. 2, 160 pounds, and has brown hair and green eyes. The picture provided is recent. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Romey O'Neill, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-43134.

Video by Mike Rispin

Homeless camp shut down after fire, propane explosions

1203 – The homeless camp on Wesley Street went out with a bang after fire destroyed multiple tents and triggered propane explosions. Agencies were in the process of removing the residents, closing the site and making it safe. 

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews extinguished the blaze and the 400 block of Wesley Street and closed the area to the public. An estimated four to six tents burned in the fire which broke out next to the Franklyn Street gym. The building suffered only minor damage because of a metal fence the city had installed to keep the encampment separated from the structure. Bylaw officers were the first on the scene and helped evacuate people from the area. MORE

MOUNTIE'S SUSPICION LEADS TO DRUG SEIZURE
1203 – A vehicle circling the downtown core raised the suspicion of an RCMP officer and when he checked the vehicle it resulted in the seizure of drugs, weapons and cash, and a pre-existing warrant for the 46-year-old driver. The first thing that caught his attention was two large knives on the back seat, and a large fold of money sticking out of the driver’s pocket. A black replica Beretta CO2 gun was found under the front seat, within reach of the driver. He had an outstanding arrest warrant for Break and Enter and Uttering Threats. After he was arrested, a search of his clothing found several grams of suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine and the $700 in cash and 50 jewel bags of suspected methamphetamine in the suspect's underwear.

IMPAIRED DRIVING CHARGE AFTER CAR CRASH
1202 – A downtown altercation ended when a car crashed into a lamp standard and road sign at the Terminal Avenue-Campbell Street intersection on Tuesday afternoon. It began with yelling match downtown and ended in a driver facing an impaired driving charge and a charge for driving while prohibited. Police responded to multiple 911 calls about three adults in a verbal altercation. As officers arrived a vehicle associated to the principles departed, then sped away when one of the officers activated her vehicle’s emergency equipment on Terminal Avenue. The female driver was arrested.