YEAR IN REVIEW: January 2020

The Williams Lake Stampeders Alumni Charity Game was a great way to kick off 2020 for local hockey fans. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Stampeders Alumni Charity Game was a great way to kick off 2020 for local hockey fans. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Extremely cold temperatures over several days in January caused a pipe to burst in the hospital, leading to flooding. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Extremely cold temperatures over several days in January caused a pipe to burst in the hospital, leading to flooding. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Jan. 5, 2020

Stamps alumni charity game a crowd pleaser

Familiar faces from past and present graced the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Saturday night, Jan. 4, 2020 for the Williams Lake Stampeders Alumni Charity Game.

And, sporting a roster housing many well-known, established former Stamps, the alumni managed to sneak one past the 2019/20 team during a four on four overtime frame to win 9-8 in what proved to be an entertaining, fun-filled contest for fans and players, alike.

Goaltenders Justin Foote and Dwayne Wilton joined forwards Tyrel Lucas, Stu Sasges, Francis Johnson, Nathan Zurak, Bill McGinnis, Evan Fuller, Jared Kohlen, Michael Kohlen, Dan Huska, Derek Walters, Brady Fuller and Gerald Overton, plus defencemen Aaron Zurak, Terry Duff, Cliff Philpot, Dino Lecomte, Dan Cohen and Mike Young to round out the alumni roster.

Tyrell Lucas potted the game winner, setup by brothers Aaron and Nathan Zurak to end the affair 9-8 in overtime.

Jan. 6

Williams Lake New Year’s baby arrives just after midnight Jan. 5

The parents of a baby boy born on Jan. 5 at 12:02 a.m. in Williams Lake were surprised to learn he was the 2020 New Year’s baby.

“I’m happy our boy’s famous, but I did not expect that he would be the New Year’s baby,” said Reggie Char as his newborn son Aiden Daniel Lewis Char lay sleeping in his mother Janet Char’s arms at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Weighing six pounds and 11 ounces, Aiden already had a full head of black hair.

The Chars are from Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nation, about an hour’s drive west of Williams Lake, so they were already in town anticipating the birth of their baby when Janet went into labour.

Jan. 8

Xeni Gwet’in wild horses and riders featured in History channel documentary series

A new documentary series featuring Xeni Gwet’in cowboys and efforts to protect the area’s wild Qayus horses aired January, 2020 on the History channel.

Film crews were in the Nemiah Valley for several months in 2019 and could be seen at the 2019 Williams Lake Stampede filming the mountain race for scenes in “The Wild Ones,” for the History channel.

Featured in the series are Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua, Howard Lulua, Amanda Lulua, Roy Mulvahill, Emery Phillips, Mike “Hawk” Hawkridge and Michael Lares.

Chief Jimmy Lulua said the most exciting thing about the series is the exposure his community, the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and even Williams Lake will get.

“I think it is a great opportunity to show a bit of who we are,” he told the Tribune. “We have to understand this is TV, too, and they have to sell it and there’s a bit of drama. But I think about what the Timber Kings TV show did for the area and how the Williams Lake Stampede and our own Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in Nation will look in 2020 because of the exposure from this.”

Jan. 14

School buses cancelled in all Cariboo communities, Puntzi Mountain records temperature of -48.5C

Extreme weather forced the cancellation of School District 27 and 28 buses servicing the Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House areas Tuesday, Jan. 14.

SD27 posted the cancellation early Tuesday morning, which was the second day in a row for buses in the Horsefly, Likely, Big Lake, Alexis Creek, Tatla Lake and Anahim Lake areas.

Williams Lake reached its coldest temperature of -36C at 7 a.m. while 100 Mile House reached -31C by 9 a.m. Outlying areas were even colder such as -37C in Horsefly east of Williams Lake and a record-breaking -48.5C at Puntzi Mountain west of Williams Lake, the coldest spot in B.C.

Jan. 16

Extreme cold bursts water pipe, closes emergency and main entrance to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

The extreme cold temperatures in mid-January proved too much for Williams Lake’s old Cariboo Memorial Hospital, which is slated for a much-needed, $217 million redevelopment starting next year.

A frozen water pipe burst overnight, wreaking havoc for staff and closing the emergency patient entrance at the hospital.

The main entrance, which was the first entrance to be shut down due to problems caused by the cold weather, reopened later in the week, although visitors to the hospital had to find their way through plastic strips hanging in front of the doors to keep the cold out when the sliding doors opened.

Staff managed to keep all services open. An extreme cold warning issued by Environment Canada Sunday was lifted for the area Thursday morning.

Jan. 29

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

The provincial government moved forward with plans to remove about 90 wolves in the Itcha-Ilgachuz mountain ranges in an effort to save the area’s dwindling caribou herd.

Approximately 385 caribou remain in the area, a decline from 2,800 in 2003, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development noted.

“Wolves are caribou’s principal predator in B.C. and high wolf numbers are associated with declining caribou populations,” the spokesperson stated. “It is clearly the case for the Chilcotin/Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd which has reached a critically low population.”

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