Meldrum Creek residents Bailey Stowell, 13, (left) and her mom, Liz Verges, cuddle up with baby Tijmen who was born in the front seat of a car while travelling down the Sheep Creek Hill en route to the hospital in Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Meldrum Creek residents Bailey Stowell, 13, (left) and her mom, Liz Verges, cuddle up with baby Tijmen who was born in the front seat of a car while travelling down the Sheep Creek Hill en route to the hospital in Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

YEAR IN REVIEW: February 2019

Highlights from the pages of the Tribune

The second month of 2018 saw a homeless man and his dog helped by the community, a popular boys’ dance class, a woman give birth in a car on the Sheep Creek hill and a former NHL goaltender share mental health struggles with local students.

Homeless man grateful for warmth of Williams Lake

Feb. 1

A 65-year-old homeless man is astounded by the generosity and support shown to him and his dog, Jake, in Williams Lake.

Up until last Saturday evening Brian Owen had been living in his pickup truck in city limits.

But when temperatures began dipping to near the -30C mark and a Williams Lake resident and her husband expressed concern for his wellbeing on social media, a chain of events transpired resulting in him being housed in a local motel and being reunited with his half sister on Vancouver Island.

“It wasn’t something I was even remotely considering happening,” said Owen, who grew up and attended school in Williams Lake before moving away to the Lower Mainland for school in the 1970s.

All-boys class brings fresh new energy to Dance in Common

Feb. 9

This year for the first time ever, Dance In Common is proud to hold its first boys-only dance class.

Owner and operator of the dance studio, Corinne Stromsten, has long wished to be able to offer and run this class in the lakecity. Due to traditionally low engagement numbers, in the past, she’s mostly had interested boys dance with the girls, until now.

Designed to expose boys to the dance world, the class covers a wide variety of genres and styles of dance from jazz, ballet and hip hop, to choreography where they’ll learn how to create their own dance routines.

“Even though some of them are quite young, they all are very creative and they all have something to offer. It’s not just me telling them what to do, it’s a really good group of kids,” Stromsten said. “We currently have 11 males in the studio and in the boys’ program we have seven to eight. The girls sometimes come early to watch the boys in the back window and are a little bit envious of their program.”

Biologist to open microbrewery in former bus station

Feb. 15

A Williams Lake fish and wildlife biologist is casting his sights on opening a microbrewery in the former Greyhound Station on Donald Road.

Dave Reedman, president of Fox Mountain Brewing Company, said he has a number of shareholders working on the business development with him.

“I have been brewing for about seven years and took a professional brewing course in England about four years ago,” Reedman told the Tribune. “I got my diploma in brewing technology and plan on being the head brewer.”

In addition to the brew area, a lounge, restaurant and on-site storage are also part of the plan, although Reedman said he is still figuring out what the restaurant will be.

“I want to have appetizers, and small plates, but it won’t be fine dining or a large menu, anything like that.”

Former NHL goaltender shares mental health struggles with lakecity students

Feb. 22

You are not alone, and there is help out there.

That was the message delivered from former National Hockey League goaltender, Olympic silver medalist and former Kamloops Blazer Corey Hirsch Tuesday during a presentation at both Lake City Secondary School campuses focused on mental health.

Brought to Williams Lake by United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo, Hirsch — now a broadcaster for Rogers Sportsnet — fought a battle during his playing career with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder that nearly took his life.

“I was 21 and it was so much fun playing in the NHL,” he said. “I was living the dream, but I remember that moment in time for me when things kind of just stopped. Thoughts were screaming at me. Loud. And when you’re a pro athlete and you have a physical injury there are protocols in place.”

The year was 1994. Hirsch, 21 years old at the time, was the third goalie for the New York Rangers, the winners of that year’s Stanley Cup. Hirsch was struggling, in silence, with mental health issues.

Baby makes surprise arrival on Sheep Creek Hill

Feb. 22

Two women and a 13-year-old girl are still a bit shocked but feeling exhilarated after one of the women gave birth in the passenger seat of a Prius as the trio headed down the steep hair-pinned Sheep Creek Hill en route to Williams Lake hospital in the early hours Tuesday.

“It was intense,” Liz Verges said as she held her newborn son, Tijmen Stowell, in her arms at Cariboo Memorial Hospital Wednesday afternoon. “I kind of knew where we were as it was happening, but it is kind of blur now.”

Liz and her family live at Meldrum Creek about 45 kilometres west of Williams Lake.

Verges’s teenage daugther Baileigh contacted their neighbour, Shari Suter, who was on standby to drive them to the hospital in Williams Lake, and told her that Liz’s contractions were three minutes apart.

Shari told Baileigh to call the hospital and the nurses said since they were an hour away they should come then and they’d get a hospital room ready.

As they headed down the Sheep Creek hill with neighbour Shari Suter driving, Liz said the baby was coming, but Suter did not want to pull over where there was no room on the side of the road and have someone slam into the back of the car.

“I said, I was going stop and then all of a sudden I heard a cough and then ‘waaaaaaa’ and she pulls this baby out,” Shari said. “I pulled over into the runaway lane right at the hairpin curve.”

Shari took a big duvet in the car and wrapped around the new baby and mom.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Brian Owen and his dog, Jake, are comfortable at the Lakeside Hotel currently while they wait for the pickup truck he’s been living in for the past five months to receive some necessary repairs. Owen said he’s thankful for the support he’s received from the community after a concerned resident made a Facebook post about his well being as temperatures hovered around -30C this week. (Greg Sabatino photo)

Brian Owen and his dog, Jake, are comfortable at the Lakeside Hotel currently while they wait for the pickup truck he’s been living in for the past five months to receive some necessary repairs. Owen said he’s thankful for the support he’s received from the community after a concerned resident made a Facebook post about his well being as temperatures hovered around -30C this week. (Greg Sabatino photo)

Just Posted

Williams Lake Lions Club members will be hosting a battery recycling drive on Earth Day, April 22 at the corner of Oliver Street and Third Avenue from 2 to 5 p.m. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Lions Club hosting recycle battery event on Earth Day

Keeping heavy metals out of landfills reason enough to think differently about recycling batteries

A two-hectare fire is burning between Canim Lake and Hawkins Lake. (Photo submitted).
Updated: BC Wildfire Service called in to help with blaze near Hawkins Lake

Crews setting up a fuel-free perimetre at the site on Resort Road.

Brette Kerley and Pyper Alexander, who both played their early minor hockey careers in Williams Lake and are now players for the Prince George-based Northern Capitals, will both be continuing their careers next season as post-secondary players. (Photo submitted)
Alexander, Kerley, looking forward to university hockey careers

Brette Kerley, Pyper Alexander excited about move on to next level in hockey careers

Williams Lake resident Richard Norman (front) is thankful for the recent addition of a motorized grocery cart at Save-On-Foods allowing him and other low-mobility residents to more freely get around the store. Pictured from Save-On-Foods are store manager Mark Moyes (back from left) and assistant store managers Harrison Rose and Matt Sidor. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Resident thankful for another low-mobility shopping option in lakecity

Save-On-Foods adds motorized grocery cart for shoppers’ use

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood, this includes protecting one’s home by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-normal spring flood season

High-streamflow advisory issued for the Cariboo Region and areas including Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

Most Read