Storm prompts full response from local fire depts.
Lightning caused six new fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre, including two very close to home for Williams Lake residents on Monday, July 30.
The 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service responded to a lightning-caused fire at Mission Road and Felker Roads east of Russet Bluff with two apparatus and 10 members at about 10 p.m. Monday evening, with more volunteers staged at the firehall.
Members of the Williams Lake Fire Department and BC Wildfire Service also responded to a lightning-caused fire along Highway 20, near the Bond Lake Road turn off.
Field of dreams gets grand opening at Sugarcane
There was grand slam excitement Saturday at the grand opening of the new ball diamond at Sugarcane.
Thanks to a grant from the Toronto Blue Jays Foundation, and incredible local generosity and support, the $158,000 project was completed.
The new ball diamond features a new infield made of crushed brick, a fully irrigated outfield, field lighting, new bleachers, a new washroom and a new backstop.
The Blue Jays Care Foundation attended the event, helping to celebrate the grand opening, including executive director Robert Witchel.
Mudslide closes Highway 97 on four separate occasions
Mudslides that wreaked havoc for motorists on Highway 97 last week forcing several closures are being attributed to last summer’s wildfires.
Highway 97 was shut down on four separate occasions over the past week including three times during the BC Day long weekend.
Geo tech assessments conducted by ministry staff in the area concluded the slides were the result of unstable hillsides in the region impacted by wildfires.
Neufeld family thankful for support following float plane crash
Twenty-year-old Williams Lake resident Spencer Neufeld was the pilot and lone survivor of a float plane crash on Tyaughton Lake in Gold Bridge this week.
The float plane crashed sometime around 1 p.m. Wednesday, RCMP said, the lake situated between Lillooet and Pemberton.
Police confirmed a 20-year-old man from Prince George died at the scene of the crash, while the body of a second victim, a 29-year-old man from Aldergrove, was recovered Thursday by the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team.
Family-run Italian restaurant bids adieu after 20 years
It was the end of an era in Williams Lake when the city’s only family-operated Italian restaurant closed up shop in July for good.
READ MORE: Trattoria Pasta Shoppe dishes up final meals
Just 30 days shy of celebrating their 21st year in business, Carol and Archie DiCecco were busy in the kitchen serving up favourite dishes to their longtime customers of Trattoria Pasta Shoppe since announcing the closure.
New Williams Lake Canadian Tire owners excited to be part of the community
When Brad and Nancy O’Neill came across the opportunity to buy the Williams Lake Canadian Tire store, they found many reasons to say yes.
The O’Neills purchased the store in mid-April and arrived here in May. They call Ontario’s Niagara region home and moved here from Richmond Hill, Ont., where they also owned a Canadian Tire store.
Cariboo Piglets swim the Fraser River
Four piglets in the Cariboo recently had an excellent adventure that included escaping a pen at their new home, touring neighbouring farms and swimming across the Fraser River.
The eight-week old Ossabaw Island Hog piglets, described as perfect homestead pigs, originated from Egg and Horsehoe Farm near Kamloops and were purchased by Stephanie Bird from Slow Train Farm on the banks of the Fraser River.
I got them home and put them in the location where we keep our piglets, and they seemed to settle in. We got busy with our market garden and worked all morning,” she continued. “I was in the orchard and heard oinking, ran to look and saw that they had all gotten out.”
The family was busy getting ready for market, and three days later saw on the McLeese Lake community Facebook page that Barb Scharf from Hill Farm Nursery on the other side of the river, had posted that three little pigs had arrived on her shore the day they escaped.
The fourth piglet had another adventure altogether. When the pigs first arrived at Hill Farm Nursery, and the owners were attempting to catch them, one of the piglets ran back into the Fraser River and made it back to the other side. It ended up 10 km south of Slow Train Farm, where it was captured and put in a dog crate.
Mount Polley Mine and union reach agreement
Unionized workers at Mount Polley Mine have started to return to work after an agreement was reached with the company last week.
United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 president Brian O’Rourke said 79 per cent of union members voted in favour of a new three-year agreement on July 31 and Aug. 1.
“After the company was notified on Thursday morning of the results, some people started getting called back to work immediately,” O’Rourke told the Tribune Tuesday. “I was in the steelworkers office in Williams Lake on Friday and people were coming in saying they were getting calls already.”
Sixty years celebrated at 4-H Show and Sale
It was a full house at the 60th Annual Williams Lake and District 4-H Sale held Monday evening at the Williams Lake Stockyards.
Looking out into the crowd, 100 Mile House rancher Bill Hadden gave the opening words and said as a former 4-H leader he’d attended the show and sale many times, and later as a buyer.
“You think of 60 years of history and that works out to about 120,000 kids who have gone through this sale,” Hadden said. “That is a significant number.”
Funding increased to Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin
City funding to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is being increased by $24,000 a year for the next two years to alleviate some of the stress caused by last summer’s relocation to the Tourism Discovery Centre.
The fee-for-service amount will be in addition to the $35,000 per year the museum presently receives through the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture function, jointly from the City and the Cariboo Regional District.
“We want to help the museum get over a rough patch caused by us forcing them to move,” Mayor Walt Cobb said during Tuesday’s regular council meeting where council voted unanimously in favour of the increased funding.
Section of Horsefly River closed to angling
All angling has been closed on the Horsefly River from Quesnel Lake to the Woodjam Bridge to protect rainbow trout from risks associated to rising water temperatures.
The closure is effective immediately until further notice, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development noted in a press release issued Wednesday, Aug. 15.
“When water temperatures rise above 18 C, the mortality of catch-and-release rainbow trout increases,” the ministry stated. “Water temperatures downstream of Woodjam Bridge currently vary from approximately 19 C to 23 C.”
River temperatures will be monitored closely by ministry officials and when they return to acceptable levels it will be re-opened.
Thunder Mountain hosts Doug Larson Memorial Race
Thunder Mountain Speedway in Williams Lake paid tribute to legendary racing car champion Doug Larson with a memorial race held Friday, Aug. 10.
As dozens of vintage car drivers took turns doing qualifying runs, TMS president Bob Lowen said some of the drivers were in their 80s, late 60s and early 70s, and were vintage themselves.
Williams Lake’s own professional auto racer Trevor Seibert returned home for the event, driving one of the 14 vintage cars Bob Wills from Kamloops brought to the speedway for the event.
Seibert said Larson was every kids’ hero.
“We’d go out and watch him over across the way and as I got older and started racing the cars myself I started racing against Doug,” Seibert recalled, adding one of the most memorable races he ever had was against Larson.
Particulate matter levels in Williams Lake high enough to concern all
Williams Lake’s smoke level has increased tremendously in the last 24 hours.
Visibility is very poor for driving and some workers and residents have resorted to wearing protective masks.
As of 9 a.m. Friday morning the particulate matter (PM2.5) level, or concentration of smoke, was over 600 micrograms per cubic metre, confirmed Ralph Adams, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment from Kamloops.
Karen Hill, interim critical care manager at Cariboo Memorial Hospital said Friday there has been a slight increase in patients presenting to the hospital with symptoms related to wildfire smoke.
“Wildfires across the province have resulted in poor air quality in Williams Lake and it’s important that people take steps to seek cleaner air and reduce smoke exposure,” Hill said. “Residents should be aware if they are at a higher risk, monitor their symptoms and follow the recommendations of the air quality health index.”