Regional News

Environment Canada issues Snowfall Warning for Paulson Summit, Kootenay Pass

The Paulson Summit is already been hit with more snow on the highway. — Photo courtesy DriveBC

West Kootenay/Boundary residents are going to have to wait a few more days for spring driving conditions to finally arrive in the region after Environment Canada issued a Snow Warning for Highway 3, Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass Friday.

Environment Canada it's possible for snowfall amounts in the 15 cm range for Friday combined with an additional 5 to 10 cm on the Paulson and Kootenay Pass passes of Highway 3.

"Snow is expected to develop early this morning and continue through the day," Environment Canada said.

Time to Become Concerned about TB

Michael Jessen is the Nelson and area volunteer director for the BC Lung Association.

When Stephen Lewis speaks about tuberculosis, he doesn’t restrain his words.

The world is showing “far too much strangled deference when it comes to fighting TB,” Lewis told a standing room crowd in a passionate speech at a recent Vancouver conference.

“It’s time to take TB as a cause celebre,” he added, urging TB activists to go to the “metaphorical barricades” to build political will and action.

Letter: More funding not always the answer

Letter: More funding not always the answer

To The Editor:

More funding might help our seniors if they are in a publicly owned facility. A few more staff and maybe an extra therapist. But history shows that more funding has not improved the quality of care in "for profit" or even "non-profit" facilities.

The taxpayers shelled out more money in 2010 when the client rate was increased which according to the Health Minister, was to be used to increase staff levels.

Did that happen? No.

Selkirk College Instructor Builds on Rwanda Relationship

The Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program and Rwanda’s Nyundo School of Music continue to build an important relationship that is shrinking the world. Earlier this month, Selkirk College keyboard instructor Gilles Parenteau spent a week teaching in the African nation.— Photo courtesy Selkirk College

The next chapter in the growing relationship between Selkirk College and Rwanda’s Nyundo School for Music has been written.

Earlier this month, Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program instructor Gilles Parenteau traveled to the African nation to spend seven days in the classroom with Nyundo students. It’s the second time in a year that the veteran faculty member has made the trip to strengthen the bond between to the two institutions.

Wet weather triggers mudslides in RDCK

Part of the Loon Lake road slid away Thursday. Traffic on the highway (31) through Ainsworth does not appear to be impacted, however, flaggers are onsite. — Photo courtesy RDCK

The incredibly wet spring weather continues to wreak havoc on area roads in the Regional District of Central Kootenay with reports Thursday of slides near New Denver and Ainsworth.

Early Thursday, the RDCK reported a mudslide near New Denver that cut off five homes from access near Highway 6.

The slide occurred south of New Denver in the vicinity of 6934 Highway 6.

Later in the day the RDCK reported a slide below 3430 Loon Lake Road south of Ainsworth.

The slide forced the evacuation of one residence.  

The RDCK reported Loon Lake Road has been heavily damaged due to heavy water flow in the vicinity.
 
"Traffic on the highway (31) through Ainsworth does not appear to be impacted, however, flaggers are onsite," the RDCK media release said.

"Motorists are advised to exercise caution."
 
No reports of injuries or structural damage have been received.

The RDCK also reported a slide Thursday on Hanson Road in Ainsworth.

Meanwhile, the RDCK said the Deer Park Forestry Service Road would remain closed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Wednesday night Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 was closed due to a mudslide west of Creston. Traffic detoured to Kootenay Lake Ferry which remained operational through the night.

The highwas was re-opened to single lane, alternating traffic Thursday and fully operational by the evening.
 
RDCK emergency management personnel are headed to the site to assess the situation near Ainsworth.

Information will be released to the public when available.

The increase in flooding and slide events in the region forced the RDCK to activate its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Mudslide cuts off access to homes near New Denver

Five homes have been cut off from access after a slide near Highway 6 near New Denver Thursday.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay said in a media release the slide immediately south of New Denver has cut off access to five or six homes in the vicinity of 6934 Highway 6.

"The slide has crossed a private road and slid within 25 feet of Highway 6 but has not reached the corridor," the release said.

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has dispatched a geotechnical expert to access the slope to determine stability."

The RDCK said current estimates are that up to 200 tandem truckloads of material will need to be removed from the site in order to restore access to the residences.

"No one has been injured nor have any structures been damaged."

RDCK emergency management personnel are onsite.

Meanwhile, the RDCK said the Deer Park Forestry Service Road will remain closed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

The RDCK said the road was closed after heavy water flow caused part of the road to slide into the lake at kilometre 7.2. The road has been deemed unsafe for vehicular travel by a geotechnical expert.

Eighteen full time residents of Deer Park are affected by the closure, as are property owners in Renata

“The RDCK is currently working with Deer Park residents and emergency social services personnel to assist the community with any help it may need,” says Andrew Bellerby, EOC Director and General Manager of Fire and Emergency Services.

“Our public’s safety is paramount.”

Once the damage to the road has been remediated and declared safe for travel, the RDCK will update the public.

New campsites, park rangers expected for Kootenay-Boundary region this year

The construction of new sites includes any associated infrastructure, such as roads, water/sewer expansion, electrical upgrades, shower/toilet buildings and outhouse facilities.

The province will be increasing the number of rangers in the field and campsites in the parks of the Kootenay-Boundary region this year, says an Environment department spokesperson.

David Karn said employing more ranger staff will not only improve the ecological integrity and safety in the region’s parks, it will create employment and skills training opportunities in the Kootenay-Boundary.

Column: Time to change tune of that song

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings

Last week I decided to write this column about income tax.  Not only is it tax time for all of us, but the KPMG tax scam story was in the news, and the Liberals had just voted with the NDP on our opposition day motion to rid Canada of tax measures that benefit only the very wealthy.

RCMP target drivers in Distracted Driving, Occupant Restraint Campaign

Current stats for 2017 show a whopping 98 cell phone tickets have been handed out by police. — Photo courtesy RCMP

Almost 100 drivers in the West Kootenay still are not getting the message that cellphone distraction has a similar effect on driving as alcohol.

Sergeant Chad Badry of the RCMP West Kootenay Traffic Services said in a media release Monday that during March West Kootenay Traffic and West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit have been working with Traffic Services across the province to conduct a month long campaign combating distracted driving and ensuring occupant restraint compliance.

UPDATED: Mudslides slow traffic on Highways 3, 6, & 31

Highway 3 west of Creston is now open to single-lane traffic. — Photo courtesy WK District MOTI

DriveBC is now reporting a mudslide on Highway 6 south of New Denver Sunday afternoon.

Traffic has been reduced to single alternating with information that motorists can expect delays.

Mudslides slow traffic on Highways 3, 31

DriveBC reporting that Highway 3, 10 kilometers west of Creston, is now open to single lane alternating traffic following a mudslide Saturday.

The mudslide happened three kilometers west of Kootenay Pass east gate.

The deluge of precipitation during the past 48 hours also caused a mudslide 12 kilometers north of Coffee Creek Bridge.

West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium goes this weekend

Pictured, L-R, John Jenner of Columbia Power, symposium organizer and West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club president, Rod Zavaduk and club vice-president, Steve Sandesky. — Submitted photo

Columbia Power is a sponsor of the 18th annual West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium taking place Saturday and Sunday (March 25-26), at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.

The event is free to the public and includes a variety of activities for young and old including casting demos, kids’ fly tying, a speaker series and displays including the Ministry of Environment’s mobile inspection and decontamination unit for invasive mussels.