Williams Lake Dirt Riders Association director Brock Hoyer has some fun with local motocross riders Ryan Arnold (left) and Cody Bailey, along with his sons Deakin and Asher, Saturday while working at the local track. The WLDRA meticulously made sure the track for this year’s Future West Motocross event in Williams Lake this past September was in the best shape it’s ever been in. (Photo submitted)

YEAR IN REVIEW: June 2019

Highlights from editions of the June Tribunes

Family home destroyed by fire

June 5

A home on Fox Mountain was completely destroyed by fire Friday afternoon.

Members of the Williams Lake Fire Department and Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department responded quickly to the call for help at 4 p.m. Friday, May 31 but there was little they could do to save the home, which was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

Aerial images provided to the Tribune with the consent of the family, shows the complete devastation of the fire.

The house located on Hilltop Road was home to a family with four young children.

Everyone made it out of the home safely.

Thousands raised during annual Kidney Walk

June 5

Upwards of 60 people turned out under sunny skies in Boitanio Park Sunday to support the annual Williams Lake Kidney Walk.

The walk is held in communities throughout B.C. and Yukon to raise awareness and funds for those affected by kidney disease.

Front and centre again this year at the walk was 12-year-old Nash Overton and his supporters including family and friends — all wearing green Team Nash T-shirts.

Nash was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome when he was just two years old, and has been through a roller coaster ride of tests, treatments, relapses and remissions over the years, and said the Williams Lake Kidney Walk holds a special place in his heart.

“It’s super awesome to see all the people out,” Nash said.

“It’s a lot of people to come out to support a foundation and it means a lot since I know other kids go through the same things I do and some even have it worse, so it feels good to donate.”

Nash said he is feeling well, and added his kidney disease has been in remission for just over a year.

Toosey family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

June 12

The victim of an early June homicide at Tl’esqox (Toosey) First Nation was a mother with two sons. Sabrina Rosette was 33 years old. She and her children aged 14 and 4, had been living with her father, Alfred Jack, for the last few years in the community of Toosey west of Williams Lake.

When first responders arrived they found Rosette suffering from fatal injuries.

Despite life-saving efforts she could not be revived and died at the scene.

“The nature of, or the mechanism of the victim’s injuries, will not be disclosed at this time,” noted the release. “A local man was arrested for murder at the scene and remains in custody as the investigation progresses. No charges have been laid.”

To date, Rosette’s death has remained unsolved.

Youth performers acquitted themselves well at Provincial Festival

June 14

The Cariboo Festival Society was proud to see two of its attendees recognized for their work on the provincial stage this year.

Williams Lake’s Cassius Ford ended up placing first in junior musical theatre while another, Eloise Hobi, received an honourable mention in junior vocal variety. Both Ford and Hobi were competing at provincials for the first time. Ford and one of the other musical theatre performers, Isaac Shoults, both received a scholarship to the Gotta Sing Gotta Dance summer musical theatre school located in Vancouver.

Including Ford, Hobi and Shoults, the society sent Cooper Amos, Georgia DiMarco, Bethany Nairn, Lauryn Marklinger, Olivia Rowse, Natasha Castro and Kiera Shewchuk.

Teofista Boxing Series 34 a crowd pleaser in lakecity

June 19

It was another event for the history books for the Williams Lake Boxing Club when they hosted their second night of fights in the lakecity, Teofista Boxing 34, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Six amateur fights, followed by two pro bouts — the main event between Williams Lake’s Stuart McLellan and Red Deer, Alta.’s Brian Samuel for the CNBA Western Canadian Title — rounded out the card, which saw the complex near full Saturday evening in both the stands and on the floor to cheer on members of the WLBC.

Other local fighters who took part in the card were Roberto McLellan, Duncan McLellan, Arthur McLellan, Kevin Petryshen, Dawson Nohr Stangoe, Cody Hurren, Dana Matthews.

Sugar Cane Fastball Tournament brings community together

June 22

The Second Annual Sugar Cane Fastball Tournament held Father’s Day weekend can only be described as awesome.

Those were the sentiments of organizer, host team Sugar Cane Native Sons centrefielder and Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars Sunday afternoon following three days, and nights, of fastpitch at the Sugar Cane ball diamond.

As for the tournament, itself, five teams made up the men’s division — all battling for a first-place, $2,250 payout, with second place earning $1,250 and third place taking home $500.

Sugar Cane lost its opening two games, putting them on the bottom half of the draw to begin play Sunday.

There, they turned it around winning two straight to put them into the backdoor semifinal versus Big Guy Lake for a shot at the championship, however, the rested Kings squad managed the win and, eventually, the tournament title after knocking off Parksville in the final.

City dismantles homeless camp in River Valley

June 26

A homeless camp hidden by trees and close to the creek in the Williams Lake River Valley was dismantled late June by city crews after the fire department responded to a fire at the site Sunday afternoon.

“That’s pretty scary,” said Mayor Walt Cobb of the fire. “If we end up with a fire in the river valley we’re in trouble. We were aware there were people staying down there and that’s one of the reasons we were monitoring it.”

Gary Muraca, the city’s manager of municipal services, said he and his staff were first made aware of the camp about four weeks ago.

“We had concerns because it was turning into a garbage dump and because of the activities that were going on there,” Muraca said, adding there were four people living there that they knew of.

Muraca said the City involved the Salvation Army, bylaw staff, RCMP and Interior Health.

“We had them all at the table to discuss how best to deal with these people and get them the support they needed. We told them our biggest concern was public safety, especially for fire.”

Eighth annual Walk to End ALS honours Bill Montgomery

June 26

Emotions were high as over 100 people gathered in Boitanio Park for the Eighth Annual Walk to End ALS late June.

This year the message of never giving up was particularly poignant, as it marked the first time since the event’s founding in Williams Lake that longtime activist and ALS survivor Bill Montgomery was not in attendance. Bill’s 10-year long battle with the disease came to an end in May just a little over a month before the event, a reminder of the urgency and necessity of this cause.

At the walk’s opening, the Montgomery family read from a letter penned by Bill on May 19th shortly before his passing a few days later. In it, he thanked all of his friends, supporters and caregivers for all the love, kindness and memories they’d given him over his life and long battle with ALS.

CMH maternity services to be fully restored July 1

June 28

Full maternity services will be restored to Cariboo Memorial Hospital beginning Canada Day.

In February, a critical shortage of nursing staff interrupted services, forcing women to travel from the Williams Lake area to other communities to deliver babies.

By April 30, low risk delivery service was restored.

Interior Health said there are a sufficient number of fully trained nurses in place at the hospital now to bring the services back up to previous levels, however, mothers who go into labour to 35 weeks of gestation may be transferred to a higher level of care facility.

BC 3D Archery Championships hit bull’s-eye for host Cariboo Archers

June 28

Roughly 135 competitors from throughout the province descended on the lakecity during the weekend where the Cariboo Archers hosted the BC 3D Archery Championships for the second straight year.

Lee Jackman, president of the Cariboo Archers, said the feedback he received from competitors was great.

Serious competitors in both youth and adult division, meanwhile, were vying for a spot to represent Team BC in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian Championships during the first weekend in August where many Cariboo Archers represented the lakecity well, with some earning a spot on the BC Team for nationals.



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Williams Lake’s Cassius Ford finished first in junior musical theatre during this past year’s Cariboo Festival in the lakecity. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The annual Father’s Day Powwow held this past June was a celebration of Indigenous culture and community. The popular event continues to grow each year. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

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