The week in review: May 10

A video recap of this week’s top stories in Cranbrook

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READ MORE: By-election tomorrow

The final day to vote for the municipal by-election is tomorrow, Saturday May 11 from 8am to 8pm at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort. In two separate days of advanced polling a total of 1240 votes have so far been cast. Ron Miles, John Hudak, Jordan Fiorentino, Randy Tapp and William McKerrow are all running to fill the vacancy on City Council, left by Danielle Eaton’s departure.

READ MORE: Paper Excellence donates to East Kootenay Foundation for Health

Paper Excellence Canada, which owns the Skookumchuck Pulp Mill, has contributed a $25,000 donation to the East Kootenay Foundation for Health. The donation supports the MALDI TOF program which is a lifesaving piece of equipment. The MALDI TOF is used to rapidly identify organisms in blood cultures. This rapid turnaround time (10 minutes – 24 hours) has an overall 95% accuracy in identifying bacteria, enabling faster, correct treatment for patients. Samples can now be tested right at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook, where as in the past, samples were being sent to Vancouver and Kelowna and results were taking up to 7-14 days.

READ MORE: BCTF president tours through Southeast Kootenay school district

Glen Hansman, the president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), recently met with School Dsitrict 5 staff in Fernie, Jaffray and Cranbrook while scoping out local issues.

Hansman stopped by the Cranbrook Townsman, along with Shelley Balfour, the president of the Cranbrook Teachers’ Association, to talk about some of the common issues faced by districts across the province, including teacher shortages, an issue experienced across many areas. Hansman said local ideas to attract additional specialized staffing include providing financial assistance towards student loans if a teacher commits to staying in the area for five years or additional financial incentives for housing.

READ MORE: More projects at Idlewild Park are underway

A number of projects at Idlewild Park are underway that are spearheaded by community groups and city staff.

The park, which has undergone a redevelopment since the dam structure was replaced, includes many new and updated amenities.

Projects set for completion this year include a nine-hole disc golf course in partnership with the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club, the Idlewild Ridge Trail project with support from the Cranbrook Rotary Club and JCI Kootenay, as well as the reconstruction of the Firefighters Gazebo by the Cranbrook Professional Fire Fighters Local 1253.

Additional projects inlcude a bench art installation by Paul Reimer funded by the Columbia Basin Trust Public Art Grant, ongoing habitat restoration from the Columbia Outdoor School and the replacement of the single zip line, with a new double track zipline funded by the Cranbrook Rotary Club and Western Financial Group.

Picnic tables, benches and barbecue areas are also set to see upgrades, according to the city.

READ MORE: Kootenay communities receive funding for wildfire mitigation

The provincial government is doling out just under $1 million in grant funding for wildfire mitigation across the Southeast Fire Centre.

The Regional District of East Kootenay is set to receive $100,000 that will be used for education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross training and FireSmart activities on private land. Canal Flats is benefitting from a grant of $73,325 for the same purpose.

The Aq’am community is receiving $96,000, Akisqnuk First Nation is getting $100,000 and the District of Invermere is tabbed for $98,230, all of which is earmarked for fuel and vegetation management.

All told, $907,000 is being distributed across the region as part of a community resiliency investment program which is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).

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