A look back at the top stories from July of 2018 in Williams Lake

Guy Smith convicted of manslaughter

July 4

Guy Smith was been found guilty of manslaughter and interference with a dead body in relation to the death of Likely resident Gary Price in 2013. Smith, 58, learned Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 in Williams Lake Supreme Court he was sentenced to 11 years in prison but will spend just over five and half years more in prison because of time served.

Bella Coola man attacked by sow grizzly eating from a cherry tree with three cubs

July 4

A Bella Coola Valley man was transported to hospital in Vancouver for further treatment after being attacked by a sow grizzly bear early in the morning.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was coming out of his cabin on Grant Road between Hagensborg and Bella Coola at about 6 a.m. when he startled the grizzly and her three cubs as they were feeding on a cherry tree beside the home, said Conservation Officer Service Insp. Len Butler of the Thompson Cariboo Region.

READ MORE: Bella Coola Valley man attacked by sow grizzly eating from a cherry tree

The victim was able to go back into his cabin and get his keys and drive himself to hospital in Bella Coola.

Cowboys collect thousands in change at 92nd annual Stampede

July 4

After four days and five rodeo performances at the 92nd Annual Williams Lake Stampede, successful rodeo contestants marched away with cash lining their pockets after placing high in the money in their respective events.

Reported attendance at the rodeo portion of the events alone was 15,352 spectators.

Community forest reaps first harvesting profits

July 6

Four years after its inception the City of Williams Lake and Williams Lake Indian Band have profited for the first time from their joint Community Forest Agreement Tenure.

In June the City received a cheque in the amount of $987,000 and the WLIB received $861,000.

Steve Capling, Community Forest board chair, said the cheques covered both a dividend and a repayment of previous loans and costs associated with setting up the Community Forest.

End of an era for Greyhound bus service

July 11

Greyhound announced Monday, July 9 its plan to cancel routes in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba by Oct. 31, noting the decision was regrettable and due to declining ridership in rural communities and increased competition from national and inter-regional passenger transportation services.

Merritt Bus and Shuttle Services announced in the fall it hopes to begin offering service through the Cariboo region in the new year.

BC Ferries confirms new Bella Coola service won’t be ready until after summer season

July 11

For the fourth summer in a row, there was no direct ferry service connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola.

BC Ferries confirmed the Northern Sea Wolf — which was highly anticipated to launch the first week of July — was facing major delays and would not sail until mid-October.

However, the Northern Sea Wolf has yet to sail to Bella Coola.

A tourism operator in Bella Coola said on Dec. 20 they have only been told by BC Ferries it “should” be ready for next year.

Rancher left to wonder after cows shot and killed

July 13

A Big Lake area rancher has been left feeling disturbed and fearing he could suffer more loss after two of his cows were shot and left for dead on a logging road recently.

“It’s hard to believe,” said rancher Daniel Hamblin.

Hamblin said the first cow, a red Angus cross born on his ranch four years ago, was found by a forestry worker June 5.

The cow was 100 metres off the Likely Road on the 35 Mile logging road, laying in the middle of the road with a gunshot wound to her head.

RCMP livestock investigator Cpl. Cory Lepine is investigating.

New ambulance a help to paramedics

July 13

A new ambulance with an auto load for the B.C. Emergency Health Services unit in Williams Lake is making a huge difference.

Paramedic Chief Patti Thompson said they received it because the unit had added another shift and needed to expand its fleet.

2018 BC Water Ski Provincials make waves at Chimney Lake, attracting hundreds of spectators

July 16

Under blue skies and varying winds the 2018 BC Water Ski Provincials went off with out a hitch at Chimney Lake last weekend.

Hosted at the Chimney Lake property of Parnell and Leigh Pinette, the event attracted 44 competitors from all over B.C. and hundreds of spectators.

Rancher demands change on how gov’t handles emergencies

July 20

Being a fifth generation rancher, Roger Patenaude knows a little something about hard work.

So, when the 2017 wildfires broke out, heavily impacting him and his family’s ranchlands, Patenaude, at 63 years old, set to work doing what needed to be done; fighting fire, recovering cattle, putting up fencing and salvage logging more than 35,000 metres of timber burned in the fires.

Patenaude said in turn, the government has refused to defer tax on the income made from having to salvage log the timber, which his family has been nurturing and protecting for 60 years, once considered as money in the bank.

Return of Arts on the Fly resounding success

July 20

Arts on the Fly did not disappoint.

When asked Saturday evening what they were enjoying the most about being there, without hesitation many festival-goers said it was the relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful location by the Horsefly River, the people and the talent.

READ MORE: Arts on the Fly returns

Artistic director and sound technician Brandon Hoffman said about 900 people attended the festival.

Johnston golden at BC Summer Games

July 25

Williams Lake Blue Fins head coach Chad Webb described it as by far the best results he’s seen from a swimmer at any meet he’s ever attended.

That’s after 13-year-old Blue Fin Jadyn Johnston racked up a whopping six gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal this past weekend at the BC Summer Games in Cowichan.

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