Looking back on 2014: Part II

A day by day look at the year past, through the top stories in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman

Nelson the Cat become a symbol of the horrors of animal abuse in April

Nelson the Cat become a symbol of the horrors of animal abuse in April

Continued from Monday, Dec. 29

April 1

One day after being discharged from hospital in Saskatoon, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon — who had contracted meningitis, — stepped back into his home arena and took part in game-day preparations with his team before dropping the puck in a ceremonial face off to a thunderous standing ovation. The Ice went on the defeat the Calgary Hitmen before a sold-out crowd.

April 2

The man charged over an October 2012 carjacking near Creston and subsequent police chase through Cranbrook has been sentenced to another two years jail for the offenses.

Nickolas Bullock, 27, pleaded guilty last July to two counts of robbery, one count of assault with a weapon, one count of dangerous driving, and one count of evading a police pursuit, resulting from a crime spree on October 2, 2012 that began in Port Coquitlam and ended in Cranbrook.

April 3

North America’s professional soccer league has established a presence in the Kootenays and are looking to further expand

Brett Adams, the regional head coach for Vancouver Whitecaps FC Kootenay Academy Centre—based in Nelson— spoke to the Townsman how he and the professional soccer team are working on expanding the club’s profile and programs into the region—specifically in Cranbrook.

April 4

A B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed on Thursday, April 3, a legal challenge by the Ktunaxa Nation to the Jumbo project being built by Glacier Resorts in the Purcell Mountains. The Ktunaxa claim that the sacred Grizzly Bear Spirit lies within a swath of the area. The Jumbo project currently is at a standstill, and the Ktunaxa are appealling.

April 8

One of Canada’s greatest stage actors — and certainly Cranbrook’s greatest actor — spoke to the Townsman about being recognized for his career and body of work with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. “I feel really grateful that I’ve been able to make a living at it.” Toronto has been Carver’s home for many years, but his roots in Cranbrook are deep. He spoke of how he appreciated the vibrancy of the local theatrical communities, students and adults.

April 10

An engineering firm completed a peripheral structural review of the old city garage building and found that it is a suitable candidate for restoration.  Nelson Engineering Inc (NEI) performed the review as per request from Ken Haberman, one of the Cranbrook residents that spearheaded the movement to preserve the brick building behind city hall. The building was originally slated for demolition last year, but that was put off after a delegation of volunteers came forward hoping to restore it.

April 14

Ashley MacIsaac, revolutionary fiddle player and maverick musician spoke to the Townsman about all things fiddle prior to his Key City Theatre concert. Over a 20-plus year career, he has taken traditional fiddle playing and incorporated it into the most modern of styles — hip-hop, rock, electronica — thus helping reinvent the genre.

April 16

The residents of Caldwell Road on the western edge of Cranbrook watched with alarm as water encroached on their properties. Some 10 households line the frontage road beside the highway leaving town to the east are backed by Elizabeth  Lake, a famous wetland and wildlife sanctuary, which was subject to unprecedented flooding this year.

April 17

A Cranbrook youth recently returned from the Miss Teenage British Columbia pageant with a prestigious title.  Kyrie Jackson was to next head to the national Miss Teenage Canada pageant in July as Miss Teenage Kootenays and she will represent the region.

April 22

An important vote for ?aq’am (St. Mary’s Band) gave approval to a new land code for the Ktunaxa community outside Cranbrook. Band members voted from Monday, April 14 to Wednesday, April 16 on whether they supported the land code, which sets regulations that would remove one-third of the legislation in the Indian Act. 141 ballots were cast, and 103 were in favour of adopting the land code.

April 23

The East Kootenay SPCA marked Wednesday, April 23, as Animal Abuse Prevention Day,  and  presence of Nelson the Cat is a stark reminder that acts of animal abuse are widespread and commonplace everywhere, including here in the East Kootenay. Nelson was recovering at the East Kootenay SPCA after having survived a hideous act of animal cruelty. Nelson (named after Willie Nelson’s ‘The Highwayman’), had been shot in the head seven times with a pellet gun and had had his neck sliced at. The good news is that Nelson survived and recovered, although he will forever be traumatized by the horrific event.

April 24

B.C.’s Minister of Education was given the royal treatment at Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook on Tuesday, April 23. Peter Fassbender, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood, visited the area this week by invitation of Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. Mount Baker, which is 60 years old, has been slated for replacement for the past five years. In that time, four Ministers of Education have toured the high school to see how dire the need is for a replacement.

April 28

Members of the BC Mayors’ Caucus renewed a call for solutions to a number of issues affecting municipalities, as they wrapped up the conference on Friday, April 25. Those recommendations included a call for a full review of ambulance service delivery and a call for elimination of the ad-hoc grant process in favour of a more sustainable model. The conference brought mayors from all around the province to Cranbrook and Kimberley from April 23-25.

April 29

It was reported that Sgt. Dave Dubnyk was been appointed Detachment Commander of the Cranbrook RCMP. It’s a return to Cranbrook for Sgt. Dubnyk, who spent eight years here from 1991 to 1999 on his first posting.

May 2

A Cranbrook family of five was reeling after learning that stay-at-home mom Brandy Sims is suffering from a rare brain condition that could leave her paralyzed without surgery.

In March, doctors found Brandy has a rare congenital brain condition that is giving her daily headaches and pain and numbness in her hands. While she was born with the condition, called a Chiari brain malformation, Brandy only began noticing symptoms last year.

May 5

Regional district representatives had a chance to clear some confusion, as well as vent some frustrations, at the new provincial recycling program being implemented around B.C.

Allen Langdon, managing director of Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) was in the hot seat as he took question from Regional District of East Kootanay directors at a committee meeting on Thursday afternoon, May 1. Langdon was there to answer question about the benefits of being in the program.

May 6

The Ktunaxa Nation launched a legal appeal against a B.C. Supreme Court ruling about the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.  The First Nation announced on Monday, May 5, that it had filed papers with the B.C. Court of Appeal. The decision came after the Ktunaxa argued in a judicial review that Jumbo Glacier Resort violates its charter rights to religious freedom by desecrating land that is sacred to them, which the Ktunaxa know as Qat’muk.

After hearing the judicial review in January, Justice John Savage ruled on April 3 that the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations had adequately consulted the Ktunaxa prior to approving the four-season resort in 2012 and did not infringe on the Ktunaxa’s constitutional rights.

May 7

A Cranbrook woman was vying to be named Extreme Huntress 2015. Nikita Dalke was one of 20 semi-finalists in the competition that looks for a female hunter who will be a role model for other women who participate in hunting.

Online voting for the semi-finalists continued until the end of May, and then the six finalists with the highest number of votes won a ticket to the 777 Ranch in Dallas, Texas, where they would compete for the title of Extreme Huntress 2015. The contest pitted the six women against one another in a hunting skills competition. The final, is Sunday, Jan. 4.

May 8

There was a changing of the guard at Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods, but customers may not have noticed a big difference as the previous and new owners have a similar philosophy to small business. Denise Pallesen, who owned and ran the franchise in Cranbrook for the past 17 years, sold the store to Dawn Torgerson, who also owns Cranbrook Home Hardware with her husband Martin, on May 1.

May 9

The driver of small car was killed in a collision with a semi on Wednesday, May 7, between Moyie and Yahk, west of Cranbrook. RCMP reported that a 65-year-old man driving a blue Ford Fiesta rental car westbound on Highway 3/95 crossed the yellow broken centre line into the eastbound lane, into the path of a tractor-trailer.

May 12

For the past 28 years Dr. Abdul Aleem has been one of Cranbrook’s main general surgeons, and at the end of March, he retired from the profession. At his home in Cranbrook, Dr. Aleem said he has relished his time as a surgeon here.

May 13

Unemployment in the Kootenays rose to 7.9 per cent, just six months after it dipped to a B.C. low of 3 per cent. According to the BC Stats Labour Force Statistics report for the month of April, released on May 9, the Kootenay region had unemployment significantly higher than the provincial average of 5.8 per cent.

May 14

It was reported that both Cranbrook residents and those outside the city were in favour of continued deer management, including culls, by the city according to the results of the recently tabulated Deer Resident Survey. Cranbrook respondents were overwhelmingly in support of the city undertaking further culls to control and manage the deer population, with 70 per cent (642) in favour and 30 per cent (276) not in favour.

May 16

It’s the time of year when baby Western Painted Turtles are emerging from the sands of Elizabeth Lake. To celebrate the emerging miniature reptilian turtle babies, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, along with support from Rocky Mountain Naturalists held the first ever Turtle Day at Elizabeth Lake.

May 21

South Country residents were left with a horrible cleanup this week after long weekend campers left behind a pile of garbage on Crown land near Koocanusa. Area B director Heath Slee said he visited a popular camping spot beside the reservoir on Monday, May 19 and found a scene that he called a sign of “wreck-reation on Koocanusa”.

“For a moment I thought I was standing in the middle of (the) landfill – the only difference being, there was no equipment in place to bury the litter,” Slee said.

May 22

Two of the four people charged over a series of Cranbrook home invasions appeared in court via video on Tuesday, May 20.

Andrew Monnette and Jay Hills are the two remaining men facing lengthy charges in connection with two home invasions in Cranbrook on December 18 and 26 last year. Their co-accused, husband and wife Terrence Allan and Megan Sands, pleaded guilty and were sentenced in April to eight and five years jail respectively for their role in the incidents.

May 23

Teachers around the province would begin one-day rotating strikes on Monday, May 26. Shelley Balfour, president of the Cranbrook District Teachers’ Association said the move to strike is not something teachers take lightly.

May 26

About 2,000 Cranbrook properties were hit by a power outage on Thursday evening, May 22, after a semi hit a power pole on Victoria Avenue. According to RCMP, just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, a semi collided with a BC Hydro pole outside Canadian Tire on Victoria Avenue in Cranbrook. The driver was not injured and the semi didn’t sustain any damage, but the repair costs to the power pole and lines are estimated to be more than $20,000, said Cpl. Barry Graham of the Cranbrook RCMP.

May 27

A troubled development within City of Cranbrook limits, sitting on the banks of the St. Mary River, went into rejuvenation mode this past spring. The property formerly known as Shadow Mountain was purchased by Westpoint Capital, an Edmonton investment fund manager. And Westpoint has invited the public to a pair of open houses at the site — now known as River’s Crossing — this upcoming weekend, Friday and Saturday.  Earlier this year, the adjacent golf course was purchased by an Edmonton-based oil and gas company.

May 29

A group  stepped forward to organize Cranbrook’s Canada Day celebration, which last year was hurriedly organized by the City of Cranbrook after no one offered to coordinate the event. Connect Church organized the July 1 festivities, including a fireworks display, starting at 5 p.m. back at Moir Park.

May 30

One of the four people involved in a home invasion in Cranbrook last December was sentenced to four years’ jail. Jay Leonard Hills pleaded guilty in Cranbrook court on Wednesday, May 28 to robbery with a firearm and disguising the face with intent to commit an offense in connection with a home invasion on December 26.

June 3

The second day of the teachers’ strike in Southeast Kootenay was moved from Friday, June 6 to Thursday, June 5. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) announced that it would be going ahead with a second round of rotating one-day strikes in its ongoing dispute with the B.C. government.

June 4

At the first Relay for Life without rain for five years, more than $66,000 was raised on May 31 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Fundraising totals for the Cranbrook Kimberley Relay for Life surpassed more than $66,000 for cancer research by 215 participants in 31 teams.

June 5

Students at Parkland Middle School in Cranbrook joined their peers across B.C. on Wednesday in a school walkout protesting the impacts of the continued dispute between teachers and the province. The province-wide walkout, hastily organized via social media this week, saw students leave class at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning to show their frustration with limited access to teachers and loss of class time during the rotating one-day strikes and partial lockout that began last week.

June 6

For the past three springs, the man known as the walking monk has been making his fourth journey across Canada. On his route through Cranbrook, Bhaktimarga Swami took some time to talk to the Townsman about this journeys and why he walks.

June 9

A Cranbrook-based program that provides support for people living on the street was recognized provincially and documented in a short film. The four-minute documentary was made possible by Community Action Initiative, according Shannon Girling-Hebert, administrator of quality assurance and service integration at Street Angel.

June 10

On Tuesday, June 10, police officers and members from around Canada gathered for the funerals of three RCMP officers who were killed in the line of duty last week in Moncton, New Brunswick.

June 12

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski held a press conference outside Cranbrook City Hall on Wednesday, June 12, to announce that he’ll be seeking another term as mayor.

June 13

Work began on a new section of the Trans Canada Trail between Cranbrook and Wardner. The crushed gravel surfaced trail will follow the Isadore Canyon trail to Mayook, then continue along an abandoned rail corridor to Wardner Provincial Park beside the Kootenay River, with a bypass around private land in Mayook.

June 16

It was reported that more than 3,000 people in Cranbrook would be without a family doctor as five physicians are closing down their family practices this year. Dr. Sheela Mistry and Dr. Rina Fourie announced plans to close their practice at the Associate Medical Clinic while Dr. Bob Cutler retired in the summer. Dr. Stuart Macdonald switched from family practice to emergency medicine and and Dr. Helena Buchar mover her practice to Kimberley.

June 17

Danielle Nicholson of Cranbrook won the Senior Classical Voice competition out of a class of nine others from around the province. Nicholson also won an award for best performance of a Canadian piece in Senior Voice. The provincial festival was held in Penticton, June 2-7. Six performers and one observer were in attendance from the East Kootenay.

June 18

The tale of the bear cubs saved by two Cranbrook residents a month ago took a negative turn, after Fisher, one of the two cubs fell ill.  The cubs, Fisher and Jo, had been at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter since late May, when Cranbrook residents Stephanie McGregor and Colleen Bailey found and organized for the young cubs to be brought to the shelter in Smithers, B.C.

June 19

The man who abducted a three-year-old boy from his Sparwood home in 2011 appealed his seven-year prison sentence. Randall Hopley was sentenced in  November for the September 2011 kidnapping of Kienan Hebert from a second floor bedroom.

June 20

Cranbrook citizens gathered on Thursday, June 19, and sealed up a special time capsule to be opened in 2039.  The large time capsule sits upon a rock slab behind the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce headquarters on the strip, the crowning achievement of the 50th celebration of Sam Steele Days.

June 23

Seven young ladies wooed a full house at the Key City Theatre on Friday, June 20 for the 2014 Sam Steele Youth Ambassador pageants. At the evening’s conclusion, Devon Kennedy was crowned 2014 Sweetheart of Sam Steele, and Kendall Bostock was crowned 2014 Princess of Sam Steele.

June 26

Cranbrook came off its biggest celebration weekend in years, but in relation to crime, Sam Steele Days was relatively quiet, according to local RCMP.

Cst. Katie Forgeron said the RCMP responded to 111 calls for service between Friday, June 20 and Sunday, June 22.

June 30

Kootenay Ice captain Sam Reinhart was drafted second overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL Draft on Friday evening in Philadelphia. Fellow Ice teammates were also picked up as Rinat Valiev went to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round, while Tanner Faith went to the Minnesota Wild and Jaedon Descheneau went to the St. Louis Blues both in the fifth round.


Year in Review to be continued in Wednesday’s Daily Townsman