LeRae Haynes photo Grant Norquay wows the crowd in the King of the Stones event in the first-ever Cariboo Strongest Man competition held in Williams Lake Saturday, Sept. 16.

September: Cariboo Chilcotin wildfires claim 60 homes, 167 structures

A look back at some of our stories from September, 2017

Sept. 1

Politicians ask for $1 billion fire recovery

Williams Lake is calling in a 9-1-1 to the federal and provincial governments asking for a $1-billion recovery fund to help wildfire-impacted communities in B.C.

It would help First Nations and non-First Nations communities by injecting cash quickly to encourage economic recovery, Coun. Scott Nelson said of why he put forward a motion asking for the request.

Sept. 1

Xeni Gwet’in Chief faces charge of sexual interference

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William has been charged with one count of sexual interference of a person under the age of 16. The offence is alleged to have occurred on or about May 12, 2017 in Williams Lake. His next court appearance on the matter is scheduled for March 8 in Williams Lake Provincial Court.

Sept. 6

Wildfires in the Cariboo Chilcotin claim 60 homes, 167 structures

Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond confirmed the damage to homes and structures in the Cariboo Chilcotin, offering his sincere regrets to those who have suffered losses.

Sept. 6

Hunting season moves forward in Region 5

The hunting season in Region 5 goes ahead as scheduled, however it is not quite business as usual.

According to the ministry’s website, vehicle and access restrictions were put in place in portions of the region where there were evacuation orders and alerts due to “severe” wildfire activity.

Sept. 6

Williams Lake to host Rogers Hometown Hockey

The summer of wildfires in the Cariboo received a cool reprieve with a surprise announcement.

Williams Lake was selected as a stop for the popular Rogers Hometown Hockey tour, an honour Mayor Walt Cobb said could not have come at a better time. The city will host the festival the weekend of January 5, 2018.

Sept. 8

Wildfires stall, but don’t dampen hot real estate market

The real estate market in the Williams Lake region remained just as strong as it was in the spring before wildfires put a damper on sales, said realtors.

During July and most of August they said they had more than 30 sales in progress that had to be put on hold because of the wildfires and inability of people to get insurance on their purchases while the city and rural areas were on evacuation order or alert, or considered too close to an active wild fire to qualify for a new insurance policy.

Sept. 8

Lakecity resident David Jeff still missing

Williams Lake resident David Jeff, 67, was last seen in Kamloops on Aug. 4. He evacuated from Williams Lake on July 15 and as of Dec. 22, he has not been located.

Sept. 13

TIFF screens Trevor Mack’s latest film

Trevor Mack’s collaborative new short film ?Etsu made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 7 to 17. Currently, Mack is working with Kathleen Hepburn on the script for the feature film Out of the Barren with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Sept. 15

Babies born during wildfires unite for group photo

Thirty-one babies born during the summer’s wildfires got together for a 2017 Wildfire Babies group photo Friday in Williams Lake taken by local photographer Laureen Carruthers. Money raised by the group is going to 4 Paws food bank in Kamloops who provided 24-hour daycare for pets belonging to evacuees and to Amy Sarnowski who stayed behind in Williams Lake during the evacuation to hep with animals.

Sept. 20

Esket celebrates new school

A brand new state-of-the-art community school at Esket (Alkali Lake) is for children and elders, said Chief Charlene Belleau during Sxoxomic School’s grand opening Monday. The community also blessed a new recovery centre for the community that will house 15 recovery beds.

Sept. 27

Help wanted in Williams Lake

Seven weeks after the evacuation order was lifted for the city of Williams Lake, business owners were still finding it difficult to fill employee vacancies.

When thousands of people evacuated from the city and surrounding areas in July, hundreds did not return, leaving businesses scrambling for employees.

Sept. 27

Williams Lake Kidney Walk raises $27,000

The Williams Lake Kidney Walk raised $27,000 – $21,706 of which was raised by Team Nash alone – for the Kidney Foundation of BC.

“It was amazing,” said Fallon Overton, mother of 10-year-old Nash Overton, who battles with kidney disease and is the inspiration for Team Nash fundraising, which is currently top in the province.

Sept. 29

Manager of marijuana store faces charges

Six months after seizing a quantity of marijuana, Williams Lake RCMP announced they approved charges against the manager and a former employee of Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts on Oliver Street.

Sept. 29

Helplessness felt by many wildfire victims

People who lost everything in the summer’s wildfires should receive assistance from the government, Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said as she fought back tears during an interview in Williams Lake Wednesday.

“This is a disaster,” Barnett told the Tribune. “I’m seeing the hopelessness. It’s so sad. Some people did not have insurance. There’s got to be help for them.”

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