Looking back on 2014

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

All winter long

All winter long

January 2

The receiver-manager in charge of the Shadow Mountain Golf Ltd. confirmed Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, that the property was sold to a buyers group out of Edmonton. The receiver-manager was court appointed to manage the golf course on Jan. 8, 2013.

The property, now known as River’s Crossing, was  purchased by Westpoint Capital, an Edmonton investment fund manager.

In 2007, the city boundary was expanded for the inclusion of the Shadow Mountain development.

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It was reported that a group of backcountry skiers were been rescued after being caught up in an avalanche near Golden.

January 6

Jumbo Glacier Resort was the subject of a court case that got underway Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

The Ktunaxa Nation Council hadpetitioned for a judicial review to determine whether the B.C. government acted appropriately when it approved a Master Development Agreement for Jumbo Glacier Resort in March 2012. The case was later dismissed, and the Ktunaxa are currently appealing.

January 7

Four people charged over a series of Cranbrook home invasions  appeared in Criminal Court. Terrence Albert Allan, Andrew Daryl James Monnette, Megan Wynter Sands and Jay Leonard Hills each had brief court appearances in Cranbrook Provincial Court on Monday, January 6. The four were charged by RCMP who were investigating two home invasions and a break-in in Cranbrook over the holiday season.

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An Alberta man survived a close call with an avalanche over the weekend near Sparwood. Elk Valley RCMP were notified about an avalanche just after 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 5, near the Teck Coal Mountain mine. The mine is south-east of Sparwood.

January 8

With more than a century’s history in the region, Falkins Insurance became part of Western Financial Group in January . Western announced Monday, Jan. 6 that it had completed acquisition of Falkins, which is the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays. The final purchase came after the two companies entered into a strategic partnership in May 2005, when Western acquired a 20 per cent ownership stake in Falkins. That portion was increased to 40 per cent in August 2010.

January 9

A Cranbrook area resident whose property backs on to Idlewild Park expressed serious concerns about the state of man-made Idlewild Lake, and the problems he said are being caused by the fact that the lake hasn’t been dredged in many years, something that is necessary for the health of the lake and the integrity of the surrounding land. Idlewild Lake was designed to be dredged regularly, of silt build-up and a system to allow Joseph Creek to bypass the lake while dredging was undertaken was incorporated into the lake’s original design. However, Peter Kleindienst, who lives on the last private property where the creek goes into the lake,  said the lake hasn’t been dredged for more than 20 years, and the resulting silt build-up has left the lake shallow and malodorous, and caused the creek to backup on Kleinsdienst’s property.

January 10

Cranbrook city council passed the first three readings of a new procedural bylaw that will bring the most pressing matters to the front of the meeting and the information items and less pressing issues to the back of the meeting.

January 13

Escalating complaints about highway conditions throughout the East Kootenay, particularly in the Elk Valley, led to a lengthy discussion at the Friday, Jan. 10 meeting of the Regional District of East Kootenay board of directors. Local elected officials appealed to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its highway maintenance contractor Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting to explain why it hadn’t done a better job of cleaning up after the weather event. The board heard from Mainroad and from concerned citizens.

January 14

It was reported that the Ktunaxa Nation Council and Regional District of East Kootenay would work together to draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2014.

The project was supported by the Ktunaxa Nation Council in November, 2013, and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors supported moving ahead with the project on Friday, Jan. 10.

A new trial date was set for Cranbrook man whose lifetime prison sentence for murder was overturned last year. In 2009, Cheyenne Learn was convicted of second degree murder over the December 2007 shooting death of Tammy Ellis in Cranbrook. He was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole for 16 years. The new two-week trial was to start on Tuesday, Nov. 25 in Cranbrook.

January 15

It was announced that a new event would be coming to Cranbrook in the form of a multi-cultural festival. Organizers started planning for the inaugural multicultural festival in August.

The two-week trial of Brian Panebianco goy underway in Cranbrook Supreme Court Tuesday, Jan. 14. The 25-year-old Invermere man was charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, robbery and assault causing bodily harm in the death of 32-year-old Cory Jarock, who was found deceased April 3, 2012 in the driveway of a home in Invermere’s Tunnacliffe Heights neighbourhood.

January 16

A couple who live at St. Mary Lake sounded an alarm after their dog got caught in a leg trap on Crown land. The dog was freed with the help of a Conservation Officer, and though injured, was expected to recover.

January 17

RCMP arrested three people for drug trafficking during a road check on Cranbrook Street North on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP said police set up a road check after receiving a tip from the public about individuals involved in drug trafficking. Newel said the check had been going for over five hours when the suspect vehicle approached. A 44-year-old man was later charged with cocaine trafficking.

January 20

Cranbrook’s very own MasterChef Canada contestant Danielle Cardozo is hosted a viewing party for the series’ first episode on Monday, Jan. 20 at the Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse. Cardozo, who works as a sous chef at the Heid Out, has made the Top 50 and will appear in at least the opening episodes of the new Canadian series, which will air on CTV.

January 22

It was reported that the F.W. Green Medical Centre sent out 1,100 letters which effectively ended many Cranbrook residents’ access to a family doctor. The clinic has served notice to patients of Dr. Stuart Macdonald that they will no longer have a family doctor as of March 1, 2014.

January 23

Brian Panebianco was shaking and unsteady on his feet on Tuesday evening, Jan. 21, as a 12-person jury found him not guilty in connection to the death of Cory Jarock.

Members of the jury, made up of Cranbrook, Kimberley and area residents, were also visibly upset as the foreperson announced the verdict. One by one, the court clerk read the charges, and each time, the jury foreperson pronounced Panebianco not guilty. Manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, robbery and assault causing bodily harm – not guilty four times.

January 27

Friends, family and associates of Kenny Bridge packed into the Heritage Inn Ballroom Saturday evening, January 25, to celebrate the awarding of Cranbrook’s Citizen of the Year to Kenny Bridge. Since 1973, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce has been awarding Citizen of the Year to Cranbrook residents who have “contributed to the fabric that makes this community special,” as Master of Ceremonies Loree Duczek said.

January 29

Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo proceeded to the top 16 in MasterChef Canada’s second episode, which aired on CTV on Monday, Jan. 27. Danielle, who works for ?aq’am (St. Mary’s Band) and is a sous chef at the Heid Out Brewhouse and Restaurant, was first announced as a member of the new series’ top 50 last month.

Feb. 3, 2014

HSBC gave notice to at least two Cranbrook non-profits that they should find new banks. In a letter to the CUPW Local 728 signed by HSBC’s head of business banking Nigel Davis, the bank said that upon conducting a “strategic review” of personal banking services, it would be closing the accounts.

Feb. 4, 2014

Two men charged over a series of home invasions in Cranbrook had to wait a few more weeks for a bail hearing. Terrence Allan and Andrew Monnette were among four people charged in connection with two home invasions and a break and enter in Cranbrook around Christmas 2013.

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Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo was through to the top 14 in MasterChef Canada after sailing through the third episode on Sunday night. Danielle was not seen in the final version of the episode that went to air on CTV Sunday night after the Super Bowl. However, sometimes no news is good news as Danielle was not among those cut from the reality series that week.


Feb. 5, 2014

The Cranbrook RCMP released the fourth quarter of 2013 numbers and Cst. Barry Graham was on hand at Monday night’s council meeting to answer questions.

Graham said the numbers drop in almost every category except break and enters, but noted that it is a small statistical sample for the quarter.


Feb. 6, 2014

Cranbrook city council adopted a bylaw that will enable Medical Marijuana grow operations to operate within industrial zones, in anticipation of new federal regulations concerning licensing of MMGOS.

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The NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam came through the Cranbrook and Kimberley area on Wednesday, Feb. 4, on an information gathering trip in advance of the upcoming session of the B.C. legislature and the government budget process.


Feb. 7, 2014

Cranbrook council found that the cost of snow removal from all city streets would quickly become expensive, as would the use of snow gates to clear snow from in front of driveways. At the Monday, Feb. 3 regular meeting, city staff outlined the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the additional snow removal services. The street clearing information came as a result of a council inquiry on behalf of a resident.


Feb. 11, 2014

Brad Lukowich, the assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, was fired from the team on Friday after half a season on the bench. In a terse three-sentence press release, ‘Canes general manager Brad Robson said Lukowich had been “terminated for cause.”


Feb. 12, 2014

Police investigated 10 deer traps stolen from a government compound in Cranbrook. On Sunday, Feb. 9, police were called to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations compound on Industrial Road G in Cranbrook. All 10 clover traps were missing from the yard.


Feb. 13, 2014

Kimberley City Council Chambers was packed with spectators on Monday evening as Council deliberated on spending $350,000 to upgrade the ice plant at Marysville arena. In the end, Council voted five to two to go ahead, but not before much debate, some of it quite passionate.


Feb. 14, 2014

The new Sport Chek store in Cranbrook will soon open its doors.

Brendan Arnold, public relations for Sport Chek’s parent company FGL Sports, said the store is slated to open April 10 and will be looking to hire around 31 people in March.


Feb. 17, 2014

The hospital district approved funding for a host of projects at East Kootenay hospitals, without raising the tax rate for residents. At a meeting on Friday, Feb. 14 of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, the board of directors approved the 2014 annual budget. The budget includes funding for five capital projects that Interior Health plans to complete in 2014. The hospital district funds 40 per cent of the projects, while the B.C. government funds the remaining 60 per cent.


Feb. 18, 2014

East Kootenay patients can now see a doctor online from home, even if they don’t have a family doctor, with a new service that has launched in B.C.

Medeo is a virtual health care service that launched last January and already has 10,000 patients and 350 family doctors and specialists signed up.


Feb. 19, 2014

Conservation officers euthanized four young cougars beside a walking trail at Cranbrook’s Elizabeth Lake. The seven-month-old siblings were put down on Sunday beside the lake, within eyesight of Parkland Middle School, said Cranbrook Conservation Officer (CO) Jared Connatty.


Feb. 20, 2014

Cranbrook will know the results of the next municipal election within half an hour of the close of voting thanks to electronic voting machines. At Monday, Feb. 17’s regular meeting, council adopted a bylaw to authorize the purchase of automated voting machines, at a cost of between $12,000 and $14,000.


Feb. 21, 2014

An attempt by Councillor Gerry Warner to introduce scaled business license fees failed in council on Monday, Feb. 17. At the moment, all businesses in Cranbrook, regardless of size, are required to pay a $150 annual fee for a license.


Feb. 24, 2014

A new local task force tackled the East Kootenay’s childcare crisis.

Starting this spring, the group conducted a child care needs assessment for the region. The assessment will seek public input on problems that families face in securing child care, and make recommendations on how to alleviate the issues.


Feb. 25, 2014

A number of local athletes were in Mission last week to compete in the BC Winter Games. Over the weekend, they competed in sports ranging from alpine skiing to gymnastics and wrestling.


Feb. 26, 2014

Canada defended their gold medal in men’s hockey on Sunday morning, defeating Sweden 3-0 to close out the Sochi Games. Canadians home and abroad celebrated the performance as soon as the final buzzer went, including former Team Canada captain Scott Niedermayer.


Feb. 27, 2014

A Christian retreat centre beside the St. Mary River in Fort Steele was up for approval by the Agricultural Land Commission. Haven of Hope would consist of a lodge, five cabins, a chapel and a caretaker facility on the riverfront property near the junction of the St. Mary and Kootenay Rivers.


Feb. 28, 2014

Cranbrook Community Theatre held a special event last week, marking the completion of renovations to the historic Studio Stage Door in downtown Cranbrook. The grand re-opening was held Friday, Feb. 21, at the Heritage building on 11th Avenue South. The event was also a celebration of CCT’s 40 years as stewards of the building.


March 4

It appears as if the rumours of the Kootenay Ice relocating have been greatly exaggerated. Again. According to a report out of the Prince George Citizen, which was picked up by blogs on the internet, an unsourced rumour has it that the Kootenay Ice was relocate to Winnipeg next year.


March 6

Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was been diagnosed with Neisseria Meningitis and was in critical condition in a hospital in Saskatoon. Bozon was admitted to Royal University Hospital on Saturday, March 1.


It was reported that the majority of the physicians of the F.W. Green Medical Centre were to  relocate into the new Baker Street Professional Centre this summer.  The move would see the creation of two, separate smaller family practices, the FW Green Clinic and Fisher Peak Family Practice.


March 7

The City of Cranbrook has been forced to scrap changes to development fees after the B.C. government refused to approve the new bylaw. At its regular council meeting on Monday, March 3, city council rescinded three readings of its Development Cost Charge Bylaw. It would have seen development cost charges (DCCs) rise, for example, from $2,032 per home in a low density residential development to $4,289 per home.

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Parts of Cranbrook, Wasa, Fort Steele, Meadowbrook and Wardner are experiencing flooding after heavy snow gave way to warm temperatures and rain this week. Many areas of the city experienced flooding, including parts of Joseph Creek, Highway 3, the CP rail yard and Cobham Avenue.


March 12

RCMP arrested a 26-year-old man after another man was stabbed in Cranbrook on Friday, March 7. Police were called when a man was dropped off at East Kootenay Regional Hospital on Friday, suffering from serious stab wounds


March 17

You certainly couldn’t ask for a more successful Paralympic Games than those experienced by Kimberley’s own Josh Dueck. Not only did the sit-skier win two medals, a gold in Super Combined and a silver in the downhill, but he lead in his Canadian teammates and carried the flag at the closing ceremonies on Sunday.


March 18

No Ice player has been able to crack the century mark for single-season points since Jarrett Stoll in 2000-01.

However, Sam Reinhart did it on Friday against the Hitmen, notching an assist on Philp’s first goal to give him 100 points on the season. He ended the night with two goal and two assist for four points.


March 19

The man who died in a workplace accident at Teck’s Coal Mountain mine on Sunday has been identified as Miles Bradley Lorenz, 59, from Coleman, Alberta.

The B.C. Coroners Service released the information on Tuesday, March 18.

According to the coroner, Lorenz was a water truck driver. On Sunday, March 16, he was filling his truck with water when he was hit by frozen rock that fell off a separate vehicle.


March 20

More good newscame out of Saskatoon on Tim Bozon’s health.  The Kootenay Ice forward was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and into one of the hospital wards, and doctors listed his condition as stable.  Bozon’s parents said he was awake, moving around in his bed, trying to feed himself and trying to speak.


March 21

RCMP issue arrest warrant for repeat offender Jason Beaudry.

A countrywide warrant has been issued for the arrest of high-risk offender Jason Beaudry after he was supposed to check in with his parole officer on Monday but failed to do so. He had previously violated conditions of his parole on Saturday, March 15.


March 26

Three University of Calgary students were headed on a trip across Europe with only cans of Red Bull as currency and their wits.

Eric Termuende, from Cranbrook, along with teammates Conner Brown and Ben Cannon were embarking on the Red Bull Can You Make It? competition.  The trio were to start in London and make their way to Berlin, stopping at checkpoints on the way.


March 27

Canadian technology developed by a Cranbrook-raised man is being used in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Michel Lechmann, who graduated from Mount Baker Secondary School in 1986, is now a software engineer based in Halifax.

Through his company, CarteNav Solutions, Lechmann has created a software program installed in the Australian airforce’s P3 Orions, being used in the search for the plane that crashed into the southern Indian Ocean earlier this month.


March 28

The B.C. government proposed major changes to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), opening the door for East Kootenay farmers to gain permission to use their properties for non-agricultural uses.

Kootenay East MLA and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced the proposed changes Thursday, March 27, in the legislature, the result of the Liberal government’s core review of government spending, which Bennett is leading.