2015 Year In Review

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

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society director

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society director

January 2015

An intense winter storm brought storm warnings, heavy snow and hazardous weather conditions to the Interior of B.C. early in the month with Interior travelers advised to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improved. From 40 to 50 centimeters of snow was dumped from McLure to Little Fort, with some areas reporting even more.

For the first time in some 37 years, School District 73 closed all schools for two days due to the perceived dangers of staff and students travelling on low visibility and snow covered roads. Thompson Rivers University also cancelled classes on the Monday.

While some major Interior highways were closed due to avalanche risk or road conditions, the Yellowhead remained open, although under compact snow and freezing rain.

When we contacted Audrey Rilcoe to notify her of being chosen by the judges as Barriere’s 2014 Citizen of the Year, her response was an excited, “Oh, my! Oh, really! Oh, that Jane!”

Rilcoe was nominated by Jane Milburn, who wrote in her nomination submission, “Audrey is a kind and giving person, and is always there to help out….”

Rilcoe’s family moved to the area when she was 16.  She graduated high school in Barriere, married Len Rilcoe and has been here ever since  raising children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Barriere Senior’s Society were actively seeking new members and directors to be able to move their association forward.

Although it was not the exact date of their wedding 70 years ago, Blanche and Lewis Bloomfield had a wonderful time celebrating this great event with friends and family on Jan. 10, at their home in Barriere. Lewis is 92, and Blanche 88, but their ages did nothing to stop them from thoroughly enjoying the party that was held in their honour.

The Barriere Secondary School (BSS) Senior Boys Basketball team won third place in the BSS 10 team Cougar Classic tournament.  Jordan LeFeuvre was named Barriere Secondary ‘Player of the Game’.

The male members of the Church of St Paul congregation were meeting once a month at someone’s home to socialize over a cup of coffee; each attendee then left a donation after the gathering which was passed on to the Barriere Food Bank. The group thought it was time to say thank you to the Food Bank’s volunteers by inviting all the volunteers to a breakfast at the Church on Jan. 15.  Reverend Keith Petersen organized the event, with the men cooking up a tasty traditional breakfast, complete with bacon, sausage, fruit, toast and of course eggs; which was enjoyed by all.

The Parent Child Mother Goose program started weekly classes at the Ridge in Barriere on Friday mornings for children 0-6 accompanied by parents or caregivers.  The program was financed by Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach, Success By Six, and Yellowhead Community Services.

The North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre (NTVIC) held a strategic planning meeting with facilitator Grace Baker on Jan. 17, in their office at the Ridge in Barriere.  A strong representation of groups in the North Thompson were on hand to brainstorm and focus on new plans for the future.  NTVIC stated they have a lot to offer the community.

On Jan. 20, just before 6 p.m.,  the Barriere RCMP were requested to make patrols for a missing person from Richmond who was reported to have been seen in the Kamloops area earlier.

Police received information that the vehicle was spotted on Highway 5, northbound out of Kamloops, so patrols were made south to McLure. There was further information received that the vehicle was spotted on Westsyde Road, travelling north of Kamloops and last seen around 5:31 p.m.

The Barriere RCMP member turned northbound on Highway 5 and located the subject vehicle travelling slowly southbound on Highway 5 through the Fishtrap Canyon area. The vehicle was stopped and the identity of the driver was confirmed to be that of 89 year old Evelyn Logan from Richmond who was reported missing on January 19 in Richmond. Police stated it appeared the lady, who apparently suffers from a mild form of dementia, had driven in confusion from Richmond to the Barriere area since leaving her Richmond home on Jan. 19.

On Sunday, Jan. 25 the weather was perfect for the Investors Group, Barriere Division annual Walk For Memories held in support of the Alzheimer Society of BC.  The Walk in Barriere raised $10,000 that day.

For weeks, the Barriere group had been busy planning and organizing for this event; with chairperson Liz Gilbertson, co-chair Margret Houben, and several volunteers having everything in place when walkers arrived for registration that morning.  The 2015 local Honouree in attendance for the event was Carolyn (Kay) Zerr.  Approximately 100 participants of all age groups from seniors to young children and parents took part with the Barriere Lion’s Club Auxiliary serving up lunch after the Walk.

Kay Knox, a representative from the community of Clearwater, stated that her community was not able to find enough volunteers for 2015 to hold their own Walk for Memories, but they had contributed what they had raised in Clearwater to be added to the Barriere total.

It was announced that provincial forestry managers were looking at ways to cut slash burning each fall, an effort expected to create jobs and reduce pollution blamed on the industry in a report. Three pilot projects in the area were expected to soon get underway to transport woodwaste out of the forest for eventual use as pellets, power or pulp. It was noted that lack of a secondary market in Kamloops or willingness by timber companies to target woodwaste may come to an end with success from three pilot projects, at Surrey Lake, at McQueen Lake and at another site near Barriere.

New management of the McLure Restaurant was announced with Maryse Berube and John Sutherland taking over.

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 242 in Barriere handed out $13,100 in grants to: Barriere Youth Soccer $1720, Barriere Search & Rescue $1720, North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre $1720, Barriere Food Bank Society $1720,  Barriere Hospice Society $1800, Barriere 1st Responders Society $1800, and the local Branch of the Legion $2620.  The total of $13,100 was raised from weekly meat draws held in the Barriere Legion.

One of two North Thompson Valley seniors busted at a marijuana grow-op in 2014 were facing the prospect of jail, while the other has been given a six-month conditional sentence for her role in the rural operation. Myrna Dundas pleaded guilty to possession of less than three kilograms of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. There were 150 pot plants in the building. Donald Clarkson, 76, was the tenant of the property on Highway 5 in Little Fort. Clarkson pleaded guilty to unlawful production of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was tobe sentenced at a later date.

The District of Barriere reported that its Public Works pickup truck was stolen on Jan. 14, 2015. A District spokesperson said the Ford 350 truck was taken from the driveway of District staffer.  The vehicle was spotted the following day parked on the side of a road in Rayleigh.   Staff also reported that a storage shed by the Fieldhouse was broken into around the same time. Taken from the shed were three new brush saws valued at $500 each.  len saws.

When a nine-year-old Barriere Elementary student didn’t arrive at school on Monday morning the community rallied to search for the boy. Fortunately, he was found safe and sound just before noon.

Barriere Secondary School’s Junior Girls Basketball team won a tournament in Ashcroft on Jan. 16 – 17

The school’s Junior Boys Basketball Team won a second place trophy in their tournament at Brock Middle School on the same weekend.

The North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association’s Jan. 26 all you can eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser was all that it could be and more.  Organizer Marnie Pfeifer said she was amazed at how many folks turned out for the meal; 195 spaghetti dinners served, along with caesar salad and garlic toast in just under three hours thanks to Sam’s Pizza and Rib House owner Doreen Landry.

The Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society (LNTCFS) reported they received a significant number of grant applications in 2014 with requested funding well exceeding the $15,000 planned amount for disbursement.  As a result, and due to the merit of the applications received, the LNTCFS board of directors chose to increase the total grant amount to help meet the need. The total disbursement was $43,700 to 15 area organizations, with several applications under further review. Organizations who received 2014 grants from the LNTCFS were: Barriere Secondary School Athletics, North Thompson Fall Fair & Rodeo Association, North Thompson Recreation Society, North Thompson Volunteer & Information Center, 4-H Judging Jamboree, Barriere & District Riding Club, Barriere 1st Responders, Barriere Youth Soccer Association, Squam Bay Community Club, Barriere Curling Club, Pentacostal Christian Life Assembly, Anti Violence Advocates Society, Chu Chua First Responders, Barriere Secondary School Parent Advisory Council (PAC), Yellowhead 4-H Club

Representatives from all North Thompson Valley local governments, including Simpcw First Nation and Thompson-Nicola Regional District, met on Friday, Jan. 30 to communicate and coordinate.  The community-to-community forum was held in Clearwater’s new Dutch Lake Community Centre, the former Dutch Lake School.

The 2015 Year in Review will be continued in our next issue….