2015 Year in Review – April – June

Reviewing the stories that ran in this newspaper from 2015 regarding the Lower North Thompson Valley

APRIL 2015

The Barriere Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the Glen Grove subdivision, of Barriere, the morning of Apr. 2, 2015,  with a crew of 10 firefighters.  Upon arriving at the scene they found the house was fully involved and burning.  No occupants were home at the time. Cause of the fire was not determined at the time.  the house was a total loss, as well as a van that was parked in front of the home.

With a history spanning back some 60 years of serving the community, the McLure restaurant became no more on Apr. 4, 2015, when  the restaurant was completely destroyed by fire, as well as a small vacant house immediately adjacent to the building. McLure Fire Department quickly responding with 17 firefighters as did the Barriere Fire Department who sent a pumper and a bush truck, even though there was currently no mutual aid agreement between the two communities.

Chef Maurice Berube, a partner with John Sutherland in the McLure Truck Stop Cafe, says they had only just opened for business in December of 2014.

The Barriere Lions Club held their annual breakfast and Easter egg hunt at the ball fields in Barriere.

Students from the two North Thompson secondary schools joined together to form a senior boys rugby team – the North Thompson Spartans – and they gave the NorKam Saints a 51-3 shellacking during their first game of the season at Barriere Secondary (BSS) on April 9.

Barriere Country Feeds opened up on a Sunday specifically for a Poultry and Small Farm Animal Sale/Swap held at  their store.  This was the first event of this kind at the business, who opened up especially to accommodate the sellers and buyers, and of course to give those purchasing small animals a chance to buy food and bedding.

April 7, marked the second annual Day of Sucwentwecw in School District 73 and at Barriere Elementary School.  All of the students from schools within the Barriere area gathered at the elementary for a large presentation which included drumming, provided by students from Chu Chua.

Yevonnes Flowers and Gifts was broken into sometime during the early morning hours of Apr. 8.  The break in was discovered when staff opened the store that morning.  Proprietor Yevonne Purcha reported that the culprits had made quite a mess, presumably looking for cash, but they were unsuccessful in finding any.  RCMP attended, and spent considerable time taking fingerprints at the scene.

Barriere Secondary School’s Apr. 9, Grad Fashion Show under the theme ‘Barriere Secondary Television Network’ was a fun production that brought to life some old television shows such as Family Feud and American Idol.

The grads annual fundraiser event and silent auction presented an enjoyable evening for all who attended.

On Apr. 9, at approximately 3:30 p.m. an east bound CN train derailed upright 25 kilometers north of Kamloops as a result of a rock slide which caused two locomotives and nine rail cars to leave the tracks. Fortunately, the cars remained upright after the derailment, and CN was quick to confirm they were not carrying any dangerous goods on board the cars. CN also confirmed there were no injuries and that cleanup crews were already on their way to the site by 4 p.m.

The second annual BCRA True Grit Rodeo held at the North Thompson Agriplex offered a full slate of rough stock events and more to an almost sell out crowd for the evening of Apr. 11.

School District No. 73 (Kamloops/Thompson) Board of Education held their Apr. 13, board meeting at Barriere Elementary School.  Before the business of the meeting got underway, four students at the school made a special presentation on how they use flash cards to improve math skills.  The kids were very good as they quizzed each other for the answers.   Then they challenged the trustees to participate as well.

Eva Kongerskov stopped of in Barriere during her 6,000km ride across Canada.  She spent the night with area residents and then was back on the road the next day.

Sometime late on the evening of Friday, Apr. 17, or during the early hours of Saturday morning, an unauthorized person or persons entered the North Thompson Fall Fair grounds and Agriplex building n Barriere. They tore down some posters, searched through a number of other items, and upon finding a can of red spray paint the culprit(s) then spent a considerable amount of time “tagging” the interior of the Agriplex building as well as some of the equipment and buildings throughout the grounds.

The Kamloops-Thompson school district said they expected to be down 14 full-time equivalent staff for the 2015-2016 year start. While still in a draft format, the district had a balanced budget that would meet the spending cuts mandated by the provincial government, continue with existing class sizes and student-teacher ratios, not impact programming and continue to implement new programming ordered by the Ministry of Education.

The BC & Yukon Community Newspapers Association (BCYCNA), representing 119 community newspapers throughout B.C. and the Yukon, handed out awards in 45 award categories at the 2015 BCYCNA Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards on April 25 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.  One of those awards went to Star/Journal editor Jill Hayward for Feature Photo Black and White, which was a shot of a young red-tailed hawk sitting on a fence post.

Cindy Wilgosh of North Thompson Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Aboriginal Engagement Success By 6, and Jack Keough, executive director of Yellowhead Community Services for the past 20 years, were presented with B.C. Community Achievement Awards following a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Apr. 24.

Theresa Robinson joined the team at the District of Barriere as the Finance Officer’s primary back up.

At a District of Barriere council meeting it was announced that contractor LNB was in the final stage of re-cameraing the sewer lines after repairs were completed in the downtown core. The district’s engineer was to review the video for compliance, and once they were satisfied road prep for paving and boulevard restoration would start in those areas. A target date of May 18 was set for paving on Barriere Town, Haig, Salle, Kivi and Barkley Roads.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the North Thompson Fall Fair facility acquired three Automated External Defibrillators (ADE) with 17 people being trained and authorized to use them courtesy of Heart and Stroke.

4-H youngsters attending a regional Judging Jamboree hosted at the North Thompson Agriplex judging classes of chickens, goats, beef, sheep and more the weekend of Apr. 18.  A large number of participants attended from throughout the region for the two day event.

On April 28, a residence in Little Fort was broken into during the day while the owner was away. A laptop was stolen and the investigation was reported as ongoing.

MAY 2015

District of Barriere reminded residents that water restrictions within the community came in effect on May 1, 2015.

The annual North Thompson Museum Yarden Sale took place under a bright sunny sky at the museum site in Barriere on May 2.

The BC Coroners Service confirmed the identity of a man who died following a boating incident on Adams Lake near Chase.  He was Michael David Treseng, aged 56, from Clearwater. Treseng was reportedly camping with his nephew near Refuge Bay on Adams Lake, about 30 kilometres north of Chase. In the early morning hours of May 2, they decided to go night-fishing and set out in a 3.5 metre aluminium boat when the wind blew up and the boat capsized. The nephew was able to swim approximately 100 m to shore, but Treseng failed to complete the swim.  Neither were wearing life jackets.

Barriere Secondary grade 9 students, Sammy Williams and Lauren Ficke, were part of the 15U TRU Junior Wolf Pack Club Volleyball team that attended the Provincial tournament in Abbotsford at the Tradex Centre last weekend.  The team consisted of only six players for the entire tournament. They played hard in all of their games, and were rewarded for their efforts with a silver medal.

The District of Barriere special council meeting held to make a decision regarding additional full width paving expenditures on Barkley, Kivi and Conner roads played to a packed house.   Approximately 20 area residents turned out for the meeting looking for information about how the costs involved for additional paving would relate to the tax payer.  Councillor Stamer was not in attendance being away from the community at the time. Dave Underwood, PEng. from TRUE Consulting presented information and  cost estimates for three options priced at; $60,000, $50,000, or $37,000.  Questions from council, and then from the public were fielded by Underwood, after which council debated the three options at length. Some of the councillors commented that they wanted more information and more time to review that information before voting.

Councillor Fennell made the first motion which was for Option 1, and it was seconded by Councillor Sabyan, but was subsequently defeated.  Mayor Smith then brought a motion supported by Councillors Kibble and Paula for Option 3.  This  resulted in a tie vote, which defeated the motion due to Councillor Stamer being absent from the meeting, resulting in an even number of votes.  Councillor Fennell then suggested a compromise with Option 2 which was supported by the Mayor and Councillor Kibble. However, this option was also defeated.

This resulted was another special council meeting being then scheduled at which time additional road inspections were to have been completed providing more detailed information before council was to vote.

The Canadian Barrel Racers spring race event for the second year in a row. Well over 100 entries were on site to run the barrels over two-and-a-half days of competitions. However, the barrel racing competitions at the North Thompson Agriplex and Fall fair facility quickly changed when high wind gusts in the area ripped the tack door off the back of a competitors horse trailer – while her trusty mount was tied to the side. Fortunately, the horse was not injured and the door was able to be fixed.

An extensive backcountry search was instigated in the McLure area after a family of four did not return home as expected. Kamloops Search and Rescue was deployed, and search manager Alan Hobler reported that the family, which  included two children, was believed to have gone offroading in the area on Sunday.  They were expected to return home to Kamloops that afternoon but did not show up. Hobler reported the family was back home on Monday, but provided no details.

Four Barriere Secondary School students were accepted into the School District 73 Heavy Metal Rocks Program this year.  Carter Rudd, Jessie Proulx, Darby Myram and Jordan LeFeuvre have been attending First Aid Training, Construction Safety, WHMIS and other preparation courses over the last few months to prepare for the recent four days of hands-on experience at the Tk’emlups Indian Band gravel pit.  During the course of those four days the students operated 13 kinds of equipment, such as backhoe, loader, rock truck, grader and bulldozer.   Jessie Proulx earned the Perseverance Award, which netted her a $500 cheque. Jessie stated she was “..very surprised, very happy and very proud to earn this award”.

Ernie Yungen Skip, Louis Zijderveld 2nd, Anke Zijderveld lead, and Hector Denton 3rd, took the gold medal over seven other teams at the Provincial Carpet Bowling Tournament held in Prince George.

Fifteen lovely babies were in attendance at the Success By Six Barriere Babies of 2014 Birthday Party held on Tuesday, May 12, in the Barriere Seniors Hall.

MAY 2015 continued from page 11…

The Barriere Hospice Society, which services the community and surrounding area, held it’s annual walkathon and raised just under $800 towards their loan cupboard.

The North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association (NTFFRA)has received $25,000 from the B.C. government’s community gaming grant program.  The grant was to be used for the association’s annual fall fair and rodeo held in Barriere on the Labour Day weekend.

Author Joel Sutherland, from Ontario, made a presentation to Barriere Secondary grade 8 students at the Barriere Library during the 38th annual TD Children’s Book Week.

A total of $45,278 from 31 individuals, programs or organizations was handed out in bursaries and scholarships at the Barriere Secondary School 2015 Graduation Commencement Ceremonies on May 22.  The event filled the Barriere Curling Rink with parents, family, friends and well-wishers; all gathered together to see 28 graduating students take a major step into their futures. The amount of dollars awarded was a strong statement of confidence from the supporters of the school, the students and the communities that this school serves.

Paving began on Barriere Town Road May 22, 2015, a welcome sight to area residents.  The paving was scheduled to continue until all the roads in the District of Barriere that were torn up for the wastewater/sewer project had been resurfaced again.

After more than 50 years, the Barriere Church of St Paul replaced all of it’s 25 windows.

The North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre (NTVIC) officially welcomed Ashley Wohlgemuth as their new office administrator.

The North Thompson Spartans junior rugby team finished the season strong with two more wins to their record.

Interior Health collaborated with the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC health authorities, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial partners to investigate an outbreak of salmonellosis in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The cases of human illness were related to contact with live baby poultry originating from a hatchery in Alberta.

Mayor Smith, Councillor Pat Paula, Nora Johnson (Finance Officer) and Colleen Hannigan (CAO) attended an Emergency Management BC seminar for elected officials and senior management in Kamloops. The focus of the seminar was the policy role played by elected officials during a disaster and how local government fits into the provincial hierarchy.

Local RCMP Detachment Commander, Corporal Darin Underhill, asked council to sign an Acknowledgement of Consultation that confirms the RCMP have discussed the priority community issues that were identified around Substance Abuse, Traffic – Enforcement, and RCMP Community Interaction and Involvement.

The Mayor and CAO attended a meeting with Kinder Morgan – Trans Mountain pertaining to a  $50,000 education component of the Memorandum of Understanding signed around community benefits.  The fund is expected to last for 20 years and is to be used for those who have issues accessing education.  The $50,000 outlined in the MOU is to cover from the Barriere area to Little Fort.  The Community Benefits are contingent on Kinder Morgan proceeding to construction.

An Aboriginal Engagement Connections Circle Training took place at the Barriere Ridge on May 28.  A number of ladies attended who work with young children and youth within area communities.  The half-day training was facilitated by Brenda Griffiths who led the participants through a number of exercises used in the circle, which include Granny and Grampa puppets, stuffed animals, drums, rattles, a Talking Stick, and more.

2014 Alexa’s Team members from the southeast district honoured on May 27, 2015, in Kelowna for working to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths in B.C. Included in the group is Barriere RCMP Cst. Jesse Wilkins who took 32 impaired drivers off the road in 2014.

A well supported Show and Shine was held on the grass in front of Sam’s Pizza and Rib House on May 31.

JUNE 2015

Chief and council of Simpcw First Nation were officially sworn in for a three year term in Chu Chua on Monday, June 1, 2015.   The ceremony took place in the Simpcw Community Hall and was officiated over by Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Tribal Director, Bonnie Leonard, who administered the Oaths of Office to the new council.   New Chief Fred Fortier was joined by Councillors Christine ‘Tina’ Donald, Tom Eustache, George Lampreau, Ron Lampreau Jr., Shelly Loring, and Don  Matthew.

Due to the high wildfire rating in the area, those involved in the forest industry as well as stakeholders were reminded by the Kamloops Fire Centre to ensure that they carried their industrial operations in accordance with the Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation.

On June 10, members of the Church of St Paul congregation gathered to ring in the 90th anniversary of the United Church of Canada by ringing their church bell 90 times.

The United Way Thompson-Nicola Cariboo handed out grants to:

North Thompson Valley recipients from the funding are:

• Barriere Recreation Society operational, $2,000

• North Thompson Arts Council operational, $2,500

• Yellowhead Community Services Interagency Committee, $5,000.

The Health and Wellness Fair at Barriere Elementary was a free event hosted by the school, Success By Six, and Ready Set Learn to provide information and support to parents with children ages three and four, but up to age five and under were also made welcome during the two hour event in the gymnasium. Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach handed out just under 50 brand new books to youngsters five and under during the event.

On Wednesday, June 3, a small enclosed work/cargo trailer was stolen from where it had been left in the parking lot of Jim’s Market in Little Fort. The trailer had been left there unattended and without a hitch lock, or other theft prevention device. Thankfully, the trailer was empty, and was abandoned by the unknown thieves just north of Barriere where it was found by the owner a short time later.

An area resident reported that she and her mother had spotted a large cougar crossing the bridge near the high school on Barriere Town Road. The sighting was quickly reported to the RCMP and the school was notified, and the public were warned to be cautious when out walking, especially along the riverbanks, and to keep small children and pets in sight at all times. The cougar was found hiding under a trailer in the community.  Reportedly Conservation attended, and the cat was put down by Conservation who noted the cat looked sick.

The Simpcw First Nation received $45,000 from the B.C. government to identify how Aboriginal communities can participate in the region’s growing mountain bike and tourism industry. In partnership with the Mountain Bike Tourism Association, the Simpcw First Nation announced they will host trail-building workshops and work with nearby communities to develop a strategy to address skills gaps, training needs and opportunities to promote the region as a mountain biking destination.

Kurt Genier, who unexpectedly passed away in May of 2014 as a result of a motorcycle accident on Highway 5 was remembered by family and friends with a Memorial Slow Pitch Tournament on his birthday, Friday, June 12 held at the ball parks in Barriere.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake paid a visit to Barriere last to present a cheque for $40,000 on behalf of the province toward the cost of the splash  park project in Barriere.

The first Business Walk took place on Thursday, June 11. It was intended to support small businesses, thanks to a partnership between the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training (JTST), the District of Barriere, and the Barriere and District Chamber of Commerce.   It was reported to be a positive experience for Barriere’s business owners and managers.

On June 13, 2015, the French National Order of the Legion of Honour was awarded to Barriere’s Trooper Keith S. Moore of the 28th Canadian Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Regiment) Canadian Armoured Corps. honouring his military service during the liberation of France, June 6 to Aug. 10, 1944.  Moore celebrated his 94th birthday on April 28 of 2015.

Ladies Auxiliary members to Branch 242 of the Royal Canadian Legion joined together to mark their 60th anniversary of service to the community of Barriere.

The 6th Annual Family Fishing Derby hosted by the North Thompson Fish and Game Society  (NTF&G) proved to be the most impressive one yet.  The Father’s Day event brought out 88 anglers, plus 23 youth under 15 years of age. The oldest participant clocked in at 91, and the youngest at age three.

Record breaking temperatures throughout the region didn’t stop area residents from turning up for the Legion’s community barbecue at Fadear Park in Barriere.  The free barbecue was courtesy of the local Royal Canadian Legion – all a part of Legion Week celebrations.  The event also partnered with the Barriere RCMP Bike Rodeo which saw 47 youngsters participating.

It was announced that Don Piper had been hired as the new BC Ambulance Sevice Unit Chief for Barriere.

A sustained heat wave provincewide had an impact on electricity demand. BC Hydro noted an increase of 15 per cent in a peak hourly load during the last Saturday of the month and expected the higher than normal electricity demand to continue throughout the week as temperatures in the province climbed.