General

Interfor not following suit in legal tax battle

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The Source has confirmed that Interfor will not be one of several forestry firms opposing municipal taxation in B.C. courts for this tax year.

The Source reported, on July 7, that Interfor had not yet paid its municipal tax bill in Castlegar, which gave rise to concerns about whether the struggling forestry company would be following in the footsteps of three other companies (Catalyst Paper, Timberwest, and Celgar) that have declined to pay thier tax bils in full and are filing suit in the B.C. Supreme Court against "unreasonable, illegal" tax rates instead.

Celgar/city in $3.6-million conflict

The City of Castlegar is on the horns of $3.6 million dilemma, as Zellstoff Celgar has refused to pay municipal taxes for 2009, as well as taxes for other levels of government that are invoiced on the city bill, all of which were due at the close of business July 2. (City taxes are $2.785 mil and other jurisdictions are $863,000).

City representatives explained in a press release that, “the City of Castlegar has been served by a petition for a judicial review of 'unreasonable tax rate' or 'illegal' tax bylaw to the B.C. Supreme Court by Zellstoff Celgar.”

Fire at Teck Trail

Teck Trail

 A fire occured at the No.2 Slag Fuming Furnace at Teck Resources Limited's Trail Operations at 12:50 am, Thursday, July 2, 2009, lasting approximately two hours. The cause, and the extent and estimate of the cost of damages, and the time required for repair will not be available until a full investigation is completed. There were no injuries and there was no impact to other areas of the facility.

RCMP : Vandalism growing; city flowers ... not so much

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Castlegar RCMP issued a strongly-worded press release June 29 regarding vandalism perpetrated against Communities in Bloom floral features around the city.

"Culprits should be ashamed that they pulled flowers from the Communities in Bloom planters at various locations around (the city), including at 850 Columbia Avenue, Ministry of Forests, Pioneer Arena, Benjamin Moore, Millennium Walkway and Arrow Lakes Glass," said RCMP Const. Sherri Karn. "The damage is estimated at $200 (but  that doesn't factor in) the additonal volunteer hours required to clean up the mess."

Cops for Kids cashes in

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Cops for Kids cashes in

Const. Dirk Finkensiep accepts a cheque for Cops for Kids from the staff of the Castlegar branch of Kootenay Savings Credit Union.  The month of May saw several fundraisers in Castlegar for Cops for Kids: one was Tip Night at Boston Pizza, which raised over $2,100.  Also, most of the financial institutions in town raised money for the month totalling over another $2,225. Kootenay Savings Credit Union won the friendly challenge by raising the most money and being treated to a pizza party at Boston Pizza.  A big thank-you to all who helped.  The next Cops for Kids fundraiser will be held during the RCMP Musical Ride at the Pass Creek Fair grounds on July 26....stay tuned for more details.

Cash for culprits

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Trowelex logo

Trowelex is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a recent theft of a White Ford F550 truck valued at roughly $60,000.

Bank evacuated

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CIBC logo

The Castlegar CIBC was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after employees began smelling smoke throughout the building. Fire chief Gerry Rempel said his department received a call at 12:33 p.m., and arrived at the bank to find a problem with the building's heating system, which had recently been serviced.

"A filter fell down onto a belt and pulley," he said. "The friction caused a lot of smoke, which went through the whole duct system (and thus throughout the building)."

The problem was easily solved, he added, and workers were back in the building by 1:30 p.m.

Burglar bust

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On June 23 members of the Castlegar RCMP Detachment arrested two 21-year-old local males, on two counts of break and enter and theft over $5,000.  
The males are alleged to have been responsible for breaking into the compound of DAM HELICOPTERS where they are accused of stealing a truck.  The males are alleged to have subsequently broken into a private dwelling house under construction, where they are purported to have stolen a trailer and equipment.
The males have since been released and are expected to make a first appearance in Court on Aug. 19 in Castlegar.

Arena to be iced?

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The Pioneer Arena may soon become a thing of the past as the local landmark falls prey to modern expectations. Jim Crockett, Castlegar and District recreation manager, said the recreation commission recently contracted out both mechanical and structural assessments of the Pioneer and the Complex to help formulate a five- to seven-year plan for the city's rec amenities. The resulting report found that bringing the Pioneer up to a standard acceptable to the modern user would very likely cost millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars.

Castlegar School Burns to Ground: Arson Suspected in String of Suspicious Fires

Castlegar's Woodland Park school in full blaze

Woodland Park Elementary School in Castlegar burned to the ground Saturday evening with arson as the suspected cause. As a massive plume of black smoke rose over the town and drifted across the Columbia River, the fire departments of Robson, Trail, and Ootischenia came to the aid of the Castlegar Fire Department.

The fire, watched by hundreds of spectators, burned through the night with spot flare-ups still burning at 3:00 PM the next day. According to Fire Chief Gerry Rempel, the crowd behaved in an exemplary manner, staying out of the way of firefighters and offering assistance.

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