Val Sweeting’s team capped a strong Tour Challenge with a Tier 1 victory and Grand Slam title at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook in November. Meanwhile

Val Sweeting’s team capped a strong Tour Challenge with a Tier 1 victory and Grand Slam title at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook in November. Meanwhile

Looking back on the year that was in Cranbrook

The Townsman’s New Year’s feature concludes with a look at
the top stories of 2016, October through December.

Oct. 4

Tristen Chernove reflected on his Paralympic experience that included three trips to the podium for a gold, silver and bronze medal. Chernove spoke about his health challenges during the track portion of the event but also took pride in finishing 15th in the road race after crashing.

Oct. 5

Isobel Mackenzie, the B.C. Seniors Advocate, stopped in Cranbrook for a seniors expo to mark the International Day of the Older Person. Mackenzie spoke about the dangers of age discrimination and stereotyping and added that seniors are diverse and have diverse needs.

Oct. 7

RCMP continued the search for Daniel Ladd, who had been reported missing in August. Police had received a number of tips from the public and also encouraged Ladd to reach out to RCMP to confirm his safety.

Oct. 8

A local resident began a campaign against the city’s plan to borrow $10 million to fix the roads. Wendell Dalke, concerned with rising tax implications, had begun an effort to get people opposed to the borrowing to sign elector response forms.

Oct. 12

The B.C. Liberals denied an application from Terry Segarty to run for the party nomination in Kootenay East. The party did not disclose any particular reason in denying the application, but Segarty charged that it likely had something to do with a political scandal he was unfairly linked to in the 1980s.

Oct. 14

Tom Shypitka and David Wilks, the two candidates running for the B.C. Liberal nomination, pledged to support the winner of the nomination battle. The pledge came through a news release in response to accusations from Terry Segarty that the party did not approve his application because of his association with a former government cabinet minister who was caught up in a scandal in the 1980s.

Oct. 18

A Cranbrook couple warned local dog-owners about poisoning in the community forest after their dog died from eating a white, fatty substance. Their dog was the third canine to pass away after getting into something up in the community forest. Police were notified and they urged the public to be vigilant with their animals.

Oct. 19

A conservative critic for tourism and electoral reform stopped in Cranbrook during a tour of the riding. Blake Richards was in the region to hear feedback on tourism issues and electoral reform, as he sat on a committee studying the issue.

Oct. 21

Gerry Taft, who won the NDP nomination in the neighbouring Columbia River-Revelstoke riding by claiming a minority status, revealed his bisexual orientation to quell any controversy of receiving the nomination. Taft did not publicly disclose his minority status when he won the nomination, as opponents questioned what minority status he claimed to win it.

Oct. 25

Tom Shypitka won the nomination for the B.C. Liberals in Kootenay-East, taking the mantle from Bill Bennett, who had been the Liberals’ candidate for the past 16 years and the MLA over four electoral terms. Shypitka ran against David Wilks, the former Kootenay-Columbia MP and mayor of Sparwood.

A trial for three members of the polygamous community of Bountiful began with a voir dire, as Crown and defence lawyers went through the evidence to determine admissibility. Brandon James Blackmore, Emily Blackmore and James Oler all faced charges of removal of a child from Canada under a criminal code subsection that their removal would facilitate sexual touching or exploitation.

Oct. 26

RCMP warned dog-owners about a suspicious substance found at Moir Park. The RCMP did not confirm if it was connected to a suspicious substance found at the community forest that resulted in the death of three dogs.

Oct. 28

RCMP sought witnesses after a pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries from a hit-and-run in downtown Cranbrook. The driver remained on scene as RCMP had been called to a collision on Eighth Ave. near Baker St.

Nov. 1

The deadline to submit elector response forms in response to the Alternative Approval Process to borrow $10 million for road upgrades passed as the public feedback component ended.

Canadian music icon Tom Cochrane announced a tour stop in Cranbrook for a concert at Western Financial Place. The artist, as part of a cross-country tour, is making Cranbrook one of his 21 shows during his trip across the True North Strong and Free.

Nov. 2

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) kicked off their annual red ribbon campaign to combat drunk drivers and to honour those who had passed away because of it. Education is the key component to the Project Red Ribbon, as drunk driving and the consequences are completely preventable.

Nov. 4

The plan to borrow $10 million through the Alternative Approval Process was officially endorsed by Cranbrook citizens. The effort needed 10 per cent of electors to oppose the initiative, however, the city only received five per cent of responses opposed to the plan.

Nov. 8

Former Kootenay Ice champion Marek Svatos passed way in Colorado, as announced by the International Ice Hockey Federation. Svatos played with the local WHL franchise for two years, winning a league championship and Memorial Cup in 2002. He was drafted into the NHL by the Colorado Avalanche and had stints with the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators. He was 34 years old.

Nov. 9

The Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge officially kicked off at Western Financial Place and the Memorial Arena. The event featured 60 mens and women’s teams from B.C. and across Canada and the world in two tiers of competition.

Nov. 11

Kimberley golfer Jared du Toit was named the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Men’s Player of the Year. Du Toit had a stellar year of competition in on the college circuit, however, it was his performance at the PGA’s RBC Canadian Open that made him a household name across the country as he played his way into a top-10 finish as an amateur.

Nov. 15

The Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge wrapped up in Cranbrook, with Team Edin winning the Tier 1 bracket for the men’s and Team Balsdon prevailed in the Tier 2 category. For the women’s side, Val Sweeting’s team took the Tier 1 championship, while Jaquelin Harrison’s rink took the win in the Tier 2 division.

Nov. 16

Tributes poured in for Neil Muth, the president and CEO of the Columbia Basin Trust who had recently passed away peacefully in his home. Muth led the CBT for 11 years, building and delivering programs and services for residents across the Columbia Basin.

Nov. 18

The community of Moyie rallied to raise $2,700 in order to buy a storied train bell from a locomotive that had gone off the rails and into the lake in 1925. The bell had been recovered and was on display at the Moyie Pub, however, new owners had sold it to an antique store without realizing it’s significance to the community. Thanks to a Facebook post, Annie Lubbers was able to raise the necessary funds in only 24 hours and the bell is currently on display at the Moyie museum.

Nov. 22

Former Fernie mayor Randal Macnair won the NDP nod for the Kootenay East riding and beat out Norma Blissett, who was also in the running. Macnair spent 15 years in municipal politics before taking the leap into the provincial level.

Nov. 23

Lawyers argued the admissibility of some evidence on the eve of a trial for three members of the polygamous community of Bountiful facing child trafficking charges. Brandon James Blackmore, Emily Blackmore and James Oler were in Cranbrook Supreme Court on charges for allegedly removing a child from Canada that would facilitate sex offences contrary to the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges allege the three brought their underage daughters to the U.S. to marry American men from FLDS communities.

Nov. 25

Jane Blackmore and Esther Palmer opened the trial as the Crown counsel’s first witnesses and spoke about her experiences growing up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) community. Both also testified about matters pertaining to FLDS doctrine, including what women were taught about marriage and the importance of obedience to fathers and husbands.

Nov. 29

Esther Palmer continued her testimony about living in the FLDS faith, while Rachel Jeffs, the daughter of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, also gave evidence. Evidence from a voir dire — a process before the trial that determines the admissibility of the evidence — was also rolled into the main trial. That evidence included marriage, priesthood and personal records from the FLDS which were seized by U.S. law enforcement in 2008.

Dec. 2

The Ktunaxa Nation had their day in court — the Supreme Court of Canada, that is. The First Nations group presented their case to the top court in the land, arguing that the approval of a development plan for a ski resort in the Jumbo Glacier Valley infringed on their Charter right to freedom of religion. The area, known as Qat’muk, holds significant spiritual importance for the Ktunaxa.

Dec. 6

Closing arguments from Crown and defence lawyers began in the trial of three members of the polygamous community of Bountiful on trial for child trafficking charges. Special prosecutor Peter Wilson said the three accused carried out orders from FLDS leader Warren Jeffs to the letter to bring their underage daughters down to the U.S. to be married.

Dec. 7

A defence lawyer asserted reasonable doubt for his client, one of three members of the polygamous community of Bountiful who were all on trial for alleged child trafficking charges. The lawyer cast doubt on the interpretation of priesthood records and border records and said there was no definitive proof that their underage daughter ever left Canada or was even married.

Dec. 8

The trial for three Bountiful members wrapped up as an amicus — a friend of the court, but not a defence lawyer — cast doubt on the evidence on behalf of James Oler and Emily Blackmore, who were self-represented throughout the trial process. The judge adjourned his decision till Feb. 3, 2017.

Dec. 13

Vandalism marred the new washrooms in Rotary Park, as city staff reported that vandals used sharpies to draw on the floors, partitions, and walls of the building. In response, the city closed the men’s and women’s main washrooms for the winter, but left the single-occupant family unit open.

Dec. 14

Local crown counsel Lynal Doerksen was appointed a provincial court judge by the B.C. government. Doerksen came to Cranbrook in 2005 to work as a crown counsel, but will step into his new role effective Jan. 30, 2017.

Dec. 16

Karin Penner, the longtime former Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, was named Cranbrook’s Citizen of the Year. Penner is a tireless volunteer with many local organizations, including the Chamber’s annual Turkey Drive, where she was the top fundraiser in an effort that smashed it’s goal by reaching $61,000.

Dec. 20

Local resident Doug Lowes claimed a $4.9 million prize after winning the Lotto 649. Lowes bought his ticket in the Tamarack Mall after volunteering at a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle and won a split $10 million pot. He promptly retired afterwards and went on an early Christmas vacation to Cuba.

Dec. 21

Lucas Myers spoke with the Cranbrook Townsman about his upcoming show at the Key City Theatre. Myers, a one-man theatre troupe and satire machine described his performance as a metaphor for all of us.

Dec. 23

A man was taken into RCMP custody after robbing a local gas station. RCMP reported arresting a man who had threatened staff and taken items from behind the counter at Esso Food and Stuff on Van Horne. The man was caught shortly after wit the help of the Police Dog Services.

Dec. 27

A family was rescued near Cranbrook after their GPS led them astray off a snow-covered Forest Service Road. The family, which was en-route from Calgary to San Francisco, was found up Gold Creek after the father walked for about an hour to get cell reception and call for help.

Dec. 28

A Cranbrook property near Elizabeth Lake was acquired by the province in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The land includes 0.6 hectares of the Elizabeth Lake Conservation area which features a bird sanctuary, hiking trails, wetlands and shoreline habitat.

Dec. 30

A woman was killed in a collision near Moyie. The accident occurred when a west-bound Buick Century lost control and crossed the centreline into the path of an eastbound semi-truck.