The new RC Cotton bridge to Scout Island will remain closed for the time being until the City and Field Naturalists can reach an agreement around knapweed control on the RC Cotton site and security issues. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The new RC Cotton bridge to Scout Island will remain closed for the time being until the City and Field Naturalists can reach an agreement around knapweed control on the RC Cotton site and security issues. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

YEAR IN REVIEW: November 2019

Child care plan in the works for lakecity

Nov. 1

The Social Planning Council and City of Williams Lake are working to develop a child care plan for the city and are turning to the public to offer some of their own insight by way of a survey.

Social planning coordinator Jordan Davis said two separate surveys were available — one for child care providers and one for current and future parents and caregivers — to help planners understand the current and anticipated child care needs for residents of the region.

Davis said the complete child care plan will include community needs and issues related to child care for children 0-12 years old.

“It’s a dire situation out there right now,” Davis said of child care needs in Williams Lake.

“Some parents are finding it very challenging to find child care to be able to go back to work, and child care centres are finding it challenging to find the staff. Some are so backed up they can’t even add to their wait list.”

Lake City Secondary hosts 180 students and teachers for B.C. Student Leadership Conference

Nov. 1

This weekend Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus hosted around 180 students and teachers from across the province for the annual B.C. Student Leadership Conference.

This event was organized by local leadership teachers Caitlin Sabatino of LCSS and Ryan Hanley of Columneetza along with the support and help of dozens of other teachers and students from the two schools including Jen Ives, Kim Nowotny, and Jackie Lahaise. Hanley said that the weekend was a result of around two years of planning, ever since he and Sabatino first volunteered to host the conference back in 2017 in Surrey.

Curling club up numbers as 2019/20 season draws near

Nov. 1

The 2019/20 Williams Lake Curling Club season is officially underway with leagues now in full swing in the lakecity.

And with two major bonspiels planned, it’s shaping up to be a busy year of curling, said Ken Hall, new office manager with the WLCC.

Hall has been curling in Williams Lake since he moved to the city in 1959, and said he’s happy to report more curlers are coming through the doors than in years past, and the number of total registered rinks across all leagues has gone up.

“Our club’s been growing, which is a good sign,” Hall said. “We were shrinking for many years and it was almost getting to the point where it wouldn’t be viable to open. It’s an expensive facility to operate.”

Sold out crowd for Because We Are Girls premiere in lakecity

Nov. 6

It was an emotional, uplifting and inspirational afternoon Sunday in the lakecity when three Williams Lake sisters returned home to premieree their documentary about sexual abuse: Because We Are Girls.

Directed by Baljit Sangra, the film follows documentary subjects Jeeti, Kira and Salakshana Pooni, and their family, in their empowering, feminist, cinematic and hopeful story that shows the impact of sexual violence, which happened to the sisters at the hands of a cousin while they were growing up as young children in a strict South Asian immigrant fam

ily in Williams Lake.

Support program available for displaced forestry workers

Nov. 6

Displaced forestry workers who have not done so already are encouraged to contact the new support program put in place by the provincial government.

Terry Tate, temporary business agent with United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017, and Frank Everett, Prince George city councillor and former USW president, have been hired as consultants to help set up the Forestry Worker Support Program.

City to implement helmet policy for youth

Nov. 6

With family and public skates in full swing, the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex implemented a new helmet policy.

Since the opening of the ice rinks at the CMRC, public and family skates have been seeing great attendance, with several more themed skates and free skates planned throughout the winter, said the city’s corporate engagement officer, Guillermo Angel, who added the city prides itself on keeping safety and wellness top of mind.

The helmet policy was introduced on Nov. 30, 2019. The new policy states that all children, 12 years and under, must wear bike or hockey helmets for all CMRC events and programs taking place on the ice.

Bridging the gap: Scout Island connected

Nov. 8

Community members of all ages gathered on Scout Island and the RC Cotton site to watch the installation of a new footbridge’s tresses on Wednesday, Nov.

The crew of DBA Quality Excavating began a two-hour process of carefully lifting the large and solid metal main piece of the bridge into place. As they did children, Scout Island visitors and members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists looked on and took photos.

The project was funded by the City of Williams Lake, with the help of a government grant that covered 75 per cent of the cost, and championed chiefly by City Coun. Scott Nelson who was all smiles at the installation. Nelson said this will go a long way to putting the lake back in Williams Lake.

SD27 awarded for innovative solar energy project

Nov. 8

School District 27 received a Clean Energy BC 2019 community improvement award for a solar and battery project at Naghtaneqed Elementary Junior Secondary School in the Nemiah Valley that is expected to reduce the district’s entire carbon footprint by eight per cent.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s exciting,” said Alex Telford, manager of facilities and transportation for the district, of the project. Telford accepted the award on behalf of the district in Vancouver.

Telford applied for a grant through the Ministry of Education’s Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP) in June of 2018 and received full funding for the $450,000 project in March of 2019.

This past summer the district used the funds to invest in a hybrid energy system that integrates solar energy production, advanced energy storage and an expandable inverter platform which is designed to offset diesel consumption by reducing generator operation by 6,900 hours each year — or 80 per cent.

Lakecity players make history at USports rugby nationals

Nov. 8

Five lakecity rugby players etched their names in Canadian university women’s rugby history this past week when they suited up for their respective teams at the USports Women’s Rugby Championships.

Laura Pfleiderer, Emma Pfleiderer and Skye Forcier for the Acadian Axewomen, Carleigh Walters for the St. Francis Xavier X-Women and Emma Feldinger for the UBC Thunderbirds joined the nation’s top rugby players in Ottawa at Matt Anthony Field for the tournament, which ran Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.

When the dust settled after the tournament’s conclusion, despite neither of the three teams winning the nation’s top prize, two players from the Cariboo — Alexis Creek’s Feldinger, and Laura of Rose Lake — were awarded All-Canadian All-Star Awards. Feldinger was garnered All-Canadian First Team All-Star, while Laura was named to the All-Canadian Second Team All-Stars.

Cody Swan sets all-time franchise point record with Summerland Steam

Nov. 8

A Williams Lake hockey player is now the all-time leading scorer for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Summerland Steam.

Cody Swan — one of four Williams Lake players shoring up the roster of the Steam alongside his brother, Justin Swan, Tyson Conroy and Coring Loring — had countless friends and family in attendance Friday, Nov. 2 when the Steam rolled in to face the Chase Heat for the history-making moment.

Swan faked a pass to French, then beat Heat goaltender Vince Benedetto over the glove for his eighth of the season, 52nd KIJHL goal and 149th career point.

With the goal, Swan finds himself in sole possession of the all-time lead for points for the Steam franchise, passing former captain Paulsen Lautard (2013-2016).

Stolen service truck driven through bay doors

Nov. 13

A traffic stop near Williams Lake Tuesday led to the recovery of a Ford F550 service truck that was driven through the bay doors of a local construction company overnight Monday in a brazen break and enter.

Staff Sgt. Del Byron confirmed the Peterson Contracting service truck, which could be seen on a flatdeck trailer outside the detachment Wednesday, was recovered by Williams Lake RCMP through ‘great police work that started with a traffic stop.’

Byron wouldn’t elaborate on the details surrounding the investigation, but did acknowledge the truck was recovered hidden off of Highway 97 north of Williams Lake, after the welder was found during the traffic stop Tuesday in a different vehicle.

Arts council celebrating 50 years serving community

Nov. 13

The Community Arts Council of Williams Lake officially celebrated 50 years of supporting the growth of arts in the lakecity community last month with a workshop and concert by the Juno Award-winning Pharis and Jason Romero of Horsefly.

The CACWL reaching its 50th anniversary is no small achievement, something that program manager Venta Rutkauskas and the CACWL’s new president Sonya Littlejohn wished to highlight prior to the evening concert at St. Andrew’s United Church. Both said its enduring presence speaks to the strong arts community in the lakecity and they pledged to continue to support and enrich it as much as they can into the future.

New owners resurrect Mt. Timothy ski hill

Nov. 15

Mt. Timothy Recreation Resort’s new ownership group spent a day showing off the renovated and upgraded ski hill to media and local dignitaries.

Road improvements, lodge renovations, kitchen upgrades, and more, are some of the things patrons can look forward to this ski season after the beloved ski area had been closed the past two seasons.

Williams Lake doctor gets top marks in Canada

Nov. 20

Following years of sacrifice, including a six-month stint separated from her young children and husband, and months of worrying over test results, Dr. Ghaida Radhi, 42, has proven she’s one tough, and smart, cookie.

Radhi was recently awarded the Irwin Bean College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) Examination Award for achieving the highest standing among practice-eligible candidates in the CFPC’s Certification Examination in Family Medicine. In layman’s terms, that means Radhi got the highest marks of anyone in Canada in her program, which sees International doctors practice under Canadian doctors, in her case Dr. Glenn Fedor of Williams Lake, in an effort to be certified and work in Canada.

First responder irked by motorists regarding collision scene

Nov. 20

After attending the scene of a fatal collision on Highway 97 on the weekend, a Williams Lake search and rescue volunteer is speaking out over what he considers “disrespectful” use of cell phones at accident scenes.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue (CCSAR) deputy chief Kyle Cotterell said he witnessed “cell phone after cell phone” being held out by motorists passing by recording the scene where CCSAR members were stationed along busy Highway 97 trying to protect and shield the accident scene where an elderly woman had died of her injuries.

So upset by the experience, Cotterell was prompted to post his opinion publicly on Facebook which has since been widely shared.

New museum staff undertakes cataloguing project

Nov. 20

The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin has had an incredibly exciting and busy year with new events, exhibits and staff changes and has been getting more comfortable in their new location within the Tourism Discovery Centre (TDC).

With the lower level renovations completed in May, the museum now has multiple new exhibits in its sizable display area, with staff and volunteers working hard to continue to develop the exhibits to make the best use of the new spaces. This includes a new group of exhibits focusing on historic, local businesses, such as the Woodland Jewellers display which was completed with the help and consultation of Cindy Watt and Brenda and Kevin Bourdon.

The museum welcomed new manager Alex Geris to the museum staff in June of this year. Geris and her husband recently moved to Williams Lake from Ontario to start a new life in the Cariboo Chilcotin. Geris brings a background in archival studies and has enthusiastically moved into the position to manage the museum’s collection and operations.

Spirit of Trattoria Pasta Shoppe returns to lakecity in form of new cookbook

Nov. 22

Lakecity residents will be treated with a blast from the recent past as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Williams Lake (BBBSWL)prepares to release the Carol and Archie Dicecco Cookbook on Friday, Nov 22.

Those who don’t know the Diceccos by name may remember them better as the owners and operators of the popular Trattoria Pasta Shoppe which closed a little over a year ago now in August of 2018. Prior to this, the family-owned business was a well-loved restaurant and attended by many lakecity diners for their quality authentic Italian food.

Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust gala raises whopping $150,000 plus

Nov. 27

It was another night of fellowship in the spirit of giving back as lakecity locals of all stripes donated at the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust’s annual gala on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Held each year to raise money for the trust’s efforts to supply the Cariboo Memorial Hospital with a steady stream of new and advanced equipment, the gala has become an important part of the lakecity’s social fabric. In addition to providing people with a way to give back in a meaningful way to the community, it’s a great party for people to catch up and let their hair down with one another.

This year was no different as the board for the trust announced they hoped to raise $225,000 by year’s end to go towards updating various equipment for the hospital’s maternity ward. According to Tammy Tugnum, one of the driving forces on the board, they were already well on their way to this goal as the night began.

Boitanio Park vigil held for Johnny, 31

Nov. 29

A vigil was held Wednesday, Nov. 27, for a 31 year old man who died after he was found in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park earlier that morning.

Dorian Lindsay Johnny was a member of Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nation.

Around 90 family members, friends and community members gathered in the park for the vigil.

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