McLeese Lake residents protest outside the Williams Lake courthouse after a rash of Rowdies pitcher Nick Surette throws to teammate Lesley Allgrove at first base as Rotten Eggs batter Craig Strayer looks to beat the throw in the Williams Lake Slo-Pitch League’s Year End Tournament at the Esler Sports Complex on Sunday, Sept. 20. In the ‘A’ division the Rotten Eggs repeated as year end tournament champions after beat the Rowdies in the final. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sept. 2, 2020
Sister shares story of brother’s overdoes
A Williams Lake woman whose brother died almost six weeks after a drug overdose hopes to raise awareness about addictions and the need of more supports for grieving families.
Jamie Kohlen was volunteering during an overdose awareness day event hosted by Interior Health in Williams Lake on Aug. 31, sharing her brother 35-year-old brother, Tanner Gene Willburn’s, story. Tanner overdosed at his Vancouver residence the morning of July 8, 2020, and later died in Williams Lake, after a request to be moved to his home community by his family, at Cariboo Memorial Hospital on Aug. 20.
“I think the stigma around it isn’t fair,” Jamie said. “I don’t think there is enough awareness. I don’t think there is enough care for families that are going through this. I don’t want my brother’s death going out as nothing and as a forgotten person. I want to share my story.”
Sept. 2, 2020
McLeese Lake residents rally for justice
McLeese Lake residents were at the end of their ropes this past year, airing their frustrations with the justice system during a protest outside the Williams Lake courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 26.
Armed with victim impact statements, protest signs and politicians, a few dozen residents gathered in the parking lot — the same day a man appeared before a judge on charges relating to a theft in the area.
McLeese Lake resident Ian Hicks said thousands of dollars worth of property was taken from his shop and recovered along with other items on a property along Lagerquist Road back in 2019.
Patrick Power, then 25, was arrested in connection with the stolen property and released on conditions. Since his arrest, he has racked up multiple breach charges, according to court records.
“He just keeps getting released and released and released,” Hicks said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Hicks said rural residents feel their sense of security and the right to live peacefully was compromised due to what RCMP said was an increase in property offenses attributable to a handful of repeat offenders.
Sept. 9, 2020
Families jump back into fall routines
The resumption of school looked a lot different in September of 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions set the stage for the year to come.
School District 27 Superintendent Chris van der Mark reinforced the risk of COVID-19 was low, however, said it was important to not be complacent.
“We are very fortunate to live in a rural part of the province, and our lower population density combined with better physical distancing and hygiene has helped keep our region very safe from the pandemic,” he said.
“[We are] encouraging children to avoid direct physical contact, as well as focusing on how children and staff can move around safely in a school environment. Through these efforts, our communities and our schools remain very safe.”
Williams LakeYear in Review