Looking back on 2014: Part V

Our day to day look at the top stories of the past year concludes

November 1

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Gord Johnston, Project Leader for Cranbrook’s Habitat for Humanity build, is pictured presenting the keys for Cranbrook’s first Habitat For Humanity home to David and Coreena Berry and their children Hana, Jordan, Alysha and Samantha. Events took place at a special ceremony on Saturday morning, Nov. 1, and the homesite in Slaterville.

November  3

Friday, Oct. 31, was the grand opening ceremony for the newly constructed Aboriginal Gathering Place at the College of the Rockies.

November 4

On Sunday, November 2, Kimberley Search and Rescue (SAR) successfully performed a technical rope rescue of a woman who had fallen into the creek while hiking near Meachen Falls.

November 5

For three city councillors not running in the Nov. 15 municipal election, it was an emotional farewell meeting on Monday at the City of Cranbrook council chambers. Councillors Bob Whetham, Denise Pallesen and Angus Davis sat in their last public meeting before the election.

November 7

It was reported that 713 registered and first time voters cast their ballots at the first advance poll in the 2014 Municipal Election in Cranbrook on Wednesday — a new record.

The previous record was 286 voters casting ballots at the first advance poll in the 2011 municipal election.

November 10

Cranbrook’s Bud Abbott told the story of his involvement in the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in 1944.

November 12

It was reported that the Cranbrook Women’s Centre is seeing a small uptake in community awareness since it sent a letter to council back in October asking for support. At that time, council agreed on a $300 grant to the centre for food.

November 13

It was reported that Cranbrook’s notable hard-rock guitar legend Jacen Dean (“JD”) Ekstrom had died suddenly. Ekstrom, 42,  was suddenly struck with a ruptured aorta on October 28th while in Calgary.n Most recently, Ekstrom had been guitarist for Vancouver rocker Bif Naked.

November 14

The smell of smoke caused a Pacific Coastal flight to return to the Canadian Rockies International Airport Thursday morning, Nov. 13.

Nov. 15-17

In a dramatic evening of politics, Cranbrook elected an entirely new City Council, including the office of mayor, Saturday, Nov. 15. Lee Pratt defeated incumbent mayor Wayne Stetski, 3396 votes to 2192. John York received 144 votes in his third run at the mayor’s seat. The referendum on getting rid of fluoride in the municipal water supply was defeated 2,794 to 2,473. Tom Shypitka, Ron Popoff, Isaac Hockley, Danielle Cardozo, Norma Blissett and Wes Graham were elected councillors.

November 21

A large group gathered outside city hall on Thursday, Nov. 20, morning to celebrate Métis Week.

November 24

RCMP were busy over the past month during which time they  executed 3 search warrants. Drugs and paraphernalia were seized at addresses in Cranbrook and Kimberley, several persons arrested and charges laid.

November 25

B.C. Corrections issued a public notification that a high risk, violent sexual offender is being released from custody, and that he plans to move to Cranbrook. Jason Beaudry later changed his mind, and set off for Vancouver instead.

November 26

To celebrate the beginning of the 15th year of public transit in Cranbrook, it was announced that all trips were be free on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

November 27

A Cranbrook police officer was honoured for valour and meritorious service by the province on Nov. 20.  Corporal Phillip Sullivan is a member of the Southeast District Police Dog Service in Cranbrook. Sullivan tracked and rescued a traveller lost in the wilderness and at risk of hypothermia.

December 2

A pathologist and another RCMP officer testified in Cranbrook Supreme Court as the trial for Chyenne Learn resumed on Monday. In front of Justice Dev Dley, Dr. Gilles Molgat reported his findings on the autopsy of Tammy Ellis, while Cpl. Eric Barnes testified about his actions the day of, and the day after, the shooting.

December 4

Two local students got the trip of a lifetime this past weekend where they took in the Grey Cup in Vancouver and spent time with the B.C. Lions as part of a Skills for Life youth summit. Ty Arscott and Brandon Archibald, both Grade 8 students at Laurie Middle School, were the chosen recipients out of the entire Southeast Kootenay school district to attend the two events, along with just over a hundred other students from across B.C.

December 8

Crown and defence counsel made their final submissions to the court in the trial of Cheyenne Learn on Friday in Cranbrook Supreme Court. In front of Justice Dev Dley, Crown counsel Lianna Swanson and defence counsel Brent Bagnall both painted two very distinct narratives for the events leading up to Dec. 17, 2007, where Tammy Ellis died after being shot by Learn inside a residence.

December 9

Trying to find a family doctor isn’t a new challenge for people living in rural communities, but for Ingrid Steppan, it is the ticket for coming home.  Steppan is currently in Ottawa recovering from a stem-cell transplant after a four-year battle with an extremely rare disease. Though she needed specialized treatment that required her to seek care in Ottawa, she hopes to return home to continue her recovery.

December 10

The new mayor and council spoke about their new positions and their hopes for the next four years during the inaugural city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 8. The members of council also took the time to thank supporters, families and those who took the time to vote in the municipal election.

December 11

Cheyenne Learn was found guilty of second-degree murder by Justice Dev Dley to conclude his trial in the shooting death of Tammy Ellis in December 2007. Learn was previously convicted of second degree murder in his first trial in 2009, but that was overturned on appeal in 2013 and he was awarded a new trial.

December 15

Every year, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce chooses one outstanding resident for Citizen of the Year. This year that recognition goes to Derek Kortschaga. Kortschaga’s nomination was endorsed by several letters of support from organizations and residents of the community. The letters note Kortschaga’s ongoing support for charity initiatives and the creating new events every year.

December 16

Cranbrook ice climber Gord McArthur won the North American championship at an ice climbing competition in Bozeman, Montana this past weekend. McArthur also took fourth in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup, and currently sits in fourth place on the UIAA world cup circuit.

December 17

The Cranbrook Banker’s Association held it’s annual Food Bank Auction on Dec. 5.  The fundraiser lunch included a live and silent auction held at at the Heritage Inn.  It is the biggest fundraiser for the food bank, and this year money also went to the Salvation Army.

December 18

Kathy’s Kitchen will close its doors at the end of the month. Owner Kathy Simon has been in business for 30 years and decided it was a good time to retire. Kathy said she’s going to miss the business and the community that revolves around it.

December 19

The local SPCA branch was busy in the past few weeks, with upgrades and renovations, donation gathering for new kennels and most recently dealing with a quarantine due to a sick cat. Brenna Baker, manager at the East Kootenay SPCA branch, said they haven’t got a lot of donations for the kennel specifically, though some donations have come in recently.

December 20

At the end of January there will be a six-week program that teaches people with disabilities how to ski at the Kimberley ski hill.  Allan Watson is an instructor with the Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers (CADS) and organized the program.

December 23

Only one episode remains in the Extreme Huntress series and Kimberley’s Nikita Dalke put herself in a good position over her fellow competitors following her sweep of a long distance shooting challenge. Dalke competed for the title of Extreme Huntress against five other contestants for a reality show that was filmed over the summer in Hondo, Texas. Episodes began airing late in the fall and the winner will be crowned in January in Dallas.

December 29

On the 19th day of December, 2014, the Cranbrook RCMP arrested an adult male on outstanding warrants for Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking. These warrants stemmed from charges out of Dawson Creek from 2010.