Canada’s women rugby sevens captain Kayla Moleschi of Williams Lake is “super happy” with her team’s gold win at the Pan American Games. Photo submitted

Canada’s women rugby sevens captain Kayla Moleschi of Williams Lake is “super happy” with her team’s gold win at the Pan American Games. Photo submitted

YEAR IN REVIEW: April 2019

Some of April 2019’s highlights in the Tribune

The fourth month of 2019 saw Cariboo Place opens its doors, Adventure Charters expand its routes in place of Greyhound and several locals inducted in the the Cowboy Hall of Fame as some of the leading stories.

Cariboo Place opens doors

April 3

Williams Lake’s brand new residential care facility opened its doors and began moving residents in two at a time on Monday, April 1.

Interim community administrator Keira Shoebridge said moving residents in gradually works best as she gave the Tribune a tour through Cariboo Place on Fourth Avenue North at the site of the former Cariboo Lodge.

“The building is super bright with lots of sunshine and we love the location,” Shoebridge said. “We are happy how the patios are facing the park across the street. It’s right downtown, it’s on a parade route and across from the Seniors Activity Centre. There’s lots of history in this location.”

On Friday contractors were still inside and outside the building finishing up lots of little things, but all the licensing for the Vantage Living facility had been approved by Interior Health, Shoebridge said.

New general manager a familiar face to lakecity golfers

April 3

With spring now in full swing lakecity golfers are chomping at the bit to do some swinging of their own as opening day for the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club draws near.

Following what was a relatively mild winter, new general manager Morgan Day said the course is looking in fantastic shape as the majority of the snow has melted and the final protective tarps are in the process of being pulled off the greens.

Tentatively, opening day is slated for Saturday, April 13, coinciding with the first PGA major of the year, the 2019 Masters Tournament — sure to wake up hibernating golfers.

The 32 year old grew up in the lakecity and officially began his duties in the fall of 2018. He considers the WLGTC his home away from home.

The WLGTC men’s club champion for the past three years in a row (of four total), and former junior club champion, Day dialed in his golf swing on the local links as a young teenager.

“I was about 13 when I started golfing here — just with a bunch of friends — and I was pretty much self taught,” he said. “That group, we all became really good friends through golf and we all kind of progressed together.”

CN, Ministry, road crews, residents grapple with flooding near Soda Creek

April 6

For the last two weeks work crews, residents and government ministry personnel have been tackling excessive spring runoff in an area impacted by the 2017 White Lake Fire north of Williams Lake.

In the early hours of Saturday, March 23, water began flowing down the mountain, spilling over Soda Creek Road.

The water blew a huge hole in the ground under the CN tracks at Mile 324, halting rail traffic, and rendered Springfield Road impassible.

Local resident George Beltrame said he feared for the health of his water source — a spring that draws water from about two kilometres above his home — which is located below the Soda Creek Road off Springfield Road.

In the 27 years he has lived there he has never seen that much water, he said.

“This is not a secret,” Beltrame said referring to what was expected as a result of the White Lake Fire’s impacts. “We knew there were going to be water issues here after the fire.”

Elders stuck on road overnight prompts road closure and broader conversation on jurisdiction

April 10

A road closure and a broader conversation about First Nations jurisdiction has been prompted after two elders were forced to spend the night in their vehicle last week due to poor road conditions.

The elders got stuck on a portion of the Upper Dog Creek Road overnight between the area’s waste transfer station and Enterprise Road southwest of Williams Lake.

The Northern Shuswap Tribal Council posted photos of the road conditions and the closure “due to safety reasons” late Thursday evening.

The Tribune has reached out to representatives for the Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure, but they have not returned calls for comment on the matter.

Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation Chief Patrick Harry did respond to questions, noting the road conditions at Brigham Creek is just another example why Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (SXFN) has been seeking meaningful engagement with both the Province and local proponents with regard to the road conditions within SXFN Territory.

‘We’re ready to roll,’ Adventure Charters and Rentals receives final approval for new bus service

April 17

Williams Lake’s Adventure Charters and Rentals announced it has received final approval to provide passenger bus service from the Interior to the Lower Mainland, with the first rides to be offered as soon as May 2.

Janna Gertzen, one of the owners of Adventure Charters, made the announcement Monday while Todd Doherty, MP for Cariboo-Prince George, was in Williams Lake.

The company will be providing a critical transportation link from Prince George to Williams Lake to Surrey via the canyon route with stops in small communities along the way.

There will also be a Prince George to Williams Lake to Kamloops route, again with stops in small communities along the way.

Several locals inducted to Cowboy Hall of Fame

April 17

The BC Cowboy Hall of Fame welcomed several more members at Sunday’s third and final performance of the 28th Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo.

David Maurice of Riske Creek (working cowboy), Charlie Brous of Soda Creek (competitive achievements), the Joe Schuk family (family) and Mike Jasper and Pat Jasper (working cowboys) were honoured in front of family, friends, and the sold-out rodeo crowd in attendance at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to kick off Sunday’s rodeo.

Record funds raised at Bowl For Kids’ Sake to support local children’s programs

April 16

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Williams Lake are celebrating a record sum of $47,000 raised at Bowl For Kids’ Sake this weekend.

“It’s wonderful. We would love to thank the community of Williams Lake for their wonderful support in the way of bowling pledges and prizes,” said BBBSWL executive assistant Susan Erlandson.

Williams Lake’s Yellow Vest protest going strong

April 20

Almost five months since they first took to the streets, Yellow Vest protestors in Williams Lake are still holding weekly protests.

The Yellow Vest movement first started in France in opposition to taxes on gasoline and other governmental policies seen as anti-worker. While the sentiment of the Canadian based Yellow Vests is similar, their protests have remained largely peaceful, unlike those in France.

In Williams Lake, a group of dedicated protestors have made it their mission to raise awareness about the issues they’re concerned about every Saturday on Oliver Street, just down the hill from city hall. Their reasons for doing so are varied, but many stem from a general dislike of the current federal and provincial governments.

Happy Eater Restaurant fire considered suspicious by Alexis Creek RCMP

April 20

The cause of a fire that tore through and completely destroyed a beloved historic building in Alexis Creek on Good Friday, April 19 is considered suspicious.

“We’re following up on some leads,” Alexis Creek RCMP Sgt. Trevor Romanchych said Tuesday, noting the cause of the blaze is actively under investigation.

“With this being the landmark building that it was, I hope it upset enough people that someone will talk.”

Romanchych said he received the call that the Happy Eater Restaurant was on fire just after 2 a.m., with the fire quickly compromising nearby communications infrastructure and cutting off phone and Internet to Alexis Creek and communities west of it at about the same time. For Romanchych, who heads up the rural detachment, his phone went dead in the middle of his call out, prompting others to knock on his door for help.

Williams Lake Indian Band unveils Chief William statue

April 24

The Williams Lake Indian Band is preparing to do their part to beautify Williams Lake with several new art projects, including a statue of the city’s namesake, Chief William.

WLIB Chief Willie Sellars said that this move is just one of the latest in a series of new endeavours the band has embarked on, including the recent opening of Indigenous Bloom cannabis dispensary and the winning of the specific land claim court case against Canada in April of last year. The move to commission public art for the community, however, was inspired in part by the WLIB’s upcoming downtown office move to its new location in the old FYidoctors building, which is currently being renovated for the purpose.

Moleschi, Canada, claim Kitakyushu Sevens title as 2020 Olympics draw near

April 24

Kayla Moleschi and her Canadian Sevens Women’s Rugby Teammates captured a nail-biting championship victory over England during the weekend at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series stop in Japan.

In what may have been the lowest scoring final in HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series history, Canada put together a 7-5 win over the English side in the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens final, settled with the final kick of the game at Mikuni World Stadium on Sunday.

Sam Tudor returns to LCSS to film latest music video

April 26

Cariboo artist Sam Tudor returned to his high school at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus for his latest music video for the song Joseph in the Bathroom.

Tudor is a musician and filmmaker currently based out of Toronto and Vancouver who attended school at LCSS and grew up in Gavin Lake Forestry Camp, just an hour outside the lakecity. Coming into town for school and other reasons was like going to the big city, which in retrospect he admits is now kind of funny.

Growing up, Tudor pursued both his love of music and film in the lakecity community. As a child and teenager, he made several films for fun with his brothers with an old VCR and because he was not “technically good enough” to get into a music program, he chose to pursue filmmaking out of high school.

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