Jerry and Lorie Rushton are grateful to be together again, and for the outpouring of community support they received when Lorie went missing from her South Lakeside home Thursday, Oct. 14. She was found Saturday, Oct. 16 after spending two nights lost in the forest near their home. See story Page 5. (Angie Mindus photo)

Jerry and Lorie Rushton are grateful to be together again, and for the outpouring of community support they received when Lorie went missing from her South Lakeside home Thursday, Oct. 14. She was found Saturday, Oct. 16 after spending two nights lost in the forest near their home. See story Page 5. (Angie Mindus photo)

Year in Review: October 2021

Couple reunited after three-day ordeal

October 7, 2021

B.C. public service employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22

The province is mandating that all of its public service employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

In a Tuesday (Oct. 5) news release, the province said that the vaccination mandate applies to 30,000 employees.

“As more employees return to their regular workplaces later in the fall, this provides an additional and reassuring layer of protection for workers who are continuing the vital work of serving British Columbians,” the province stated.

“Public service employees working in core government or ministries will be required to provide proof of full vaccination using the BC Vaccine Card.”

October 7, 2021

Harton breaks Canadian record

Williams Lake’s Pat Harton is breaking new ground in the track and field world.

The 80-year-old retired elementary school teacher is the proud new owner of a Canadian record.

Harton combined with three other teammates — 75-year-old Piara Bhullar of Surrey, 77-year-old Barrie Dargie of Sidney and 77-year-old Mark Stewart of Campbell River — to set the new national mark in the 75-79 age class for the four-by-800-metre relay race at the BC Masters Track and Field Championships held on Aug. 8 in Surrey.

The team decimated the previous record of 16:28.44 in a time of 12:27.30.

October 14, 2021

Geo-tech report expected on Frizzi Road landslide, 15 still evacuated

Fifteen evacuated residents continued to be out of their Green Acres Mobile Home Park homes over the Thanksgiving holiday as the city awaited a more extensive geotechnical assessment this week of a slide area nearby.

Six properties were placed on evacuation order almost two weeks ago on Sept. 29 by the city due to concerns of land slippage along Frizzi Road.

Gary Muraca, CAO for the city of Williams Lake, said the evacuated residents have been supported by the ESS team, with temporary accommodations provided and wrap around services offered. The ESS team checks on the residents regularly, he added. The order was partially lifted October 23, but two of the homes had to be moved forward and the residents finally moved home just before Christmas.

October 14, 2021

Carey Price enters NHL/NHLPA assistance program

Montreal Canadiens goaltender and B.C. native Carey Price is seeking help, voluntarily entering the NHL/NHL Players’ Association joint player assistance program.

The NHLPA said in a release that the 34-year-old star goalie will be away from the team while he takes part in the program. It did not specify why Price entered the program and said it would have no further comment.

Price’s wife Angela cited mental health in an Instagram post showing Price and their three kids.

“Part of the privilege of being in the position our family is in, is that we also get a public platform to show how there is and can be a path for anyone who is struggling,” she wrote. “No matter what is on the line, we hope we can communicate the importance of putting your mental health first not just by saying it, but by showing up and doing the work to get better.

“Carey’s showing up for himself and our family and making the best possible decision for us.”

October 21, 2021

Couple reunited after three-day ordeal

It’s been several days since a massive, three-day search reunited seniors Jerry and Lori Rushton, and they are still trying to come to grips with the ordeal.

“It seemed like people from all over the world were praying for me. It was amazing what everyone did for us,” Lori said outside her South Lakeside home on Wednesday, Oct. 20. “We have a wonderful, wonderful community. It’s amazing what everyone did.”

Jerry described the hours that his wife of 57 years was missing as, “very, very long, hard nights. No sleep for 36 hours. I just couldn’t sit still.”

Search and rescue volunteers from Kamloops, 100 Mile House and Quesnel as well as Canadian Rangers had come to assist members of the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue with the search, while the RCMP were involved within hours of Lori’s disappearance as well. Hundreds of neighbours, family members and even strangers searched for Lori and offered prayers and words of encouragement.

It was South Cariboo Search and Rescue members who located Lori in the woods above the Rushtons’ home.

October 21, 2021

‘It will be in the 100s of millions of dollars’ to fix Cariboo roads,’ says MoTI minister

B.C.’s minister of transportation Rob Fleming toured the Cariboo recently to see areas impacted by freshet and flood damage that will be ‘very expensive’ to repair.

“It will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars potentially based on the options we see as we are getting some more costing done,” Fleming told Black Press Media.

“We are working and have active applications in with the federal government for disaster financial assistance to rebuild infrastructure there.”

October 21, 2021

Police watchdog recommends charges against RCMP following rough arrest of pursuit suspect

B.C.’s police watchdog is asking Crown to consider charges against an RCMP officer in relation to an arrest which was captured on video last year in Williams Lake.

The video, which went viral online, showed Tyrell Giroux being arrested by officers Oct. 25, 2020 along the highway in Williams Lake following an alleged vehicle chase stretching from Kamloops.

The arrest video, taken by a passing motorist who yelled at police to stop, drew intense public scrutiny at the time. Public reaction to the video was also the reason Mounties requested that the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC consider seeking direction from the Director of Police Services for an independent investigation of the incident.

October 28, 2021

Vaccine passports required at Williams Lake minor hockey games

As of Nov. 5, anyone wanting to be a spectator at a minor hockey game in Williams Lake will have to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association (WLMHA) made the announcement Monday, Oct. 25, which came on the heels of Hockey Canada’s decision last week to require anyone participating in a Hockey Canada event to be fully vaccinated.

“We’ve looked … and with what Hockey Canada did with their new announcement and just the fact that I’m getting a lot of pressure for more spectators, and it’s just becoming more of the norm and so we are going to move in that direction,” said WLMHA president Mike Rispin. Without a vaccine passport, WLMHA has had to limit spectators to under 50 spectators per rink.

October 28, 2021

Indigenous film Portraits from a Fire hits the silver screen

Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Trevor Mack hopes moviegoers will laugh and cry with their families through his first feature-length film, Portraits From a Fire.

Ringing in at 93 minutes, the movie was shot west of Williams Lake at Tl’etinqox (Anaham) near Alexis Creek in summer 2019 and is directed, produced, and co-written by Mack.


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Williams Lake

 

The city’s weed harvester in action on Williams Lake Tuesday, Oct. 12. (Scott Nelson photo)

The city’s weed harvester in action on Williams Lake Tuesday, Oct. 12. (Scott Nelson photo)