Trail Times Year in Review: February

The year that was 2022. Photo: UnsplashThe year that was 2022. Photo: Unsplash
Feb. 8: “Clearing a path for the queen: The downtown Trail lot that used to house the Union Hotel will soon be filled with crews building a new Dairy Queen restaurant.”Feb. 8: “Clearing a path for the queen: The downtown Trail lot that used to house the Union Hotel will soon be filled with crews building a new Dairy Queen restaurant.”
Beaver Valley citizens rally to stop a new substation from being installed near a Fruitvale park.Beaver Valley citizens rally to stop a new substation from being installed near a Fruitvale park.

As we prepare to turn the calendar over to 2023, this time of year allows us to take one last look in the rear-view mirror at the year that was.

The Trail Times has compiled notes on events from the last year, including photos, that resonated in our community.

This year we’ve also included some of the best photo submissions from our dedicated readers.

We hope you enjoy our annual Year in Review compilation and look forward to another busy, news-making, sports-celebrating year in 2023.

February 2022

— According to the Chinese zodiac, 2022 is Year of the Tiger. The Chinese New Year starts today, Feb. 1 and lasts until Jan. 21, 2023. People born in a Year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident.

— Social visits are suspended in the long-term care wing of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared in that specific unit. This is the first time COVID-19 has caused an outbreak in the 49-bed extended care unit since pandemic case-tracking began over two years ago. As of Monday press time, IH reported seven resident cases, but no staff cases.

— The City of Trail is asking residents to fill out a survey on how they would like to see the Active Transportation Planning Grant implemented. The city received a $41,125 grant from the B.C. Active Infrastructure Program and will match that figure and activate its own plan by March 2023.

— Beaver Valley businesses made a generous connection with Fruitvale Elementary School to help students and staff upgrade their technology while navigating the pandemic. ATCO Wood Products and REN Energy provided funding so the school could purchase a classroom full of 30 Chromebooks to help Grades 4-7 with in-class and remote learning.

— Have you ever heard of tellurium? Likely not. But that’s about to change now that Fenix Advanced Materials — a clean technology company in Trail — and UBC Okanagan researchers (UBCO) partnered up to create a next-generation battery that is smaller and more powerful than what’s presently available.

— Rich and Annie Murphy, owners of the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club, once again showed their goodwill toward the city by donating $370,000 USD through their family foundation to modernize an aged ice rink. Funds will go toward rink upgrades to accommodate October through July operations and cover costs to allow for some free programs, including community skates.

— Trail and Nelson continue to lead the West Kootenay in new COVID-19 cases. Trail Local Health Area (LHA) added 124 new cases the last week of January, bringing the total confirmed COVID cases in the Trail LHA, which includes Rossland, Warfield, Montrose, Fruitvale and Areas A and B of the regional district, to 1,219. Of the total, more than half of those confirmed cases — 664 — were reported last month between Jan. 2 and Jan. 29. Elsewhere, Nelson LHA, which includes Salmo and parts of Slocan Valley, had 144 confirmed new cases; Castlegar added 61 new cases, followed by 53 new cases in Creston, 17 in Grand Forks, three in the Kootenay Lake area and two in the Arrow Lakes area that includes Nakusp.

— The population of British Columbia has grown by 7.6 per cent since 2016, according to figures released by Statistics Canada for the 2021 Census. Numbers reveal the province’s population has increased by 352,000+, or to over 5M people, up from 4.7M in 2016. The City of Trail has grown but at a lesser pace. At a 2.7 per cent growth increase, Trail is now home to 7,920 people. In 2016 the census listed the city’s population at 7,709.

— The province lifted some COVID-19 restrictions one minute before midnight last night (Feb. 16). The vaccine mandate is still in place as are mask mandates for indoor public spaces. Meaning, use of vaccine cards and mask wearing still applies to restaurants, stores, bars, organized events, fitness facilities and anywhere else where they were previously required. As well, workplaces must still maintain COVID safety plans.

— First brush fire; a crew of five firefighters from Station 374 Trail were called to the scene of a brush fire on the side of the highway early Monday morning. Located near the regional landfill on Highway 3B, the fire was approximately 10 metres by 15 metres. Cause is reported as suspicious.

— There’s a petition going around Fruitvale right now, and it’s sparking plenty of conversation. The petition was started by residents dead set against the proposal for a new substation to be installed in their rural backyard, nearby a popular park. Specifically, the substation site chosen as a best-fit by FortisBC is located just off Columbia Gardens Road, between Mazzocchi Park and Walnut Avenue.

— The annual debate finals for secondary students across British Columbia were held virtually at the end of February. Liam Skeoch placed sixth out of 68 students in his category and as a result he and his partner Finn Adamson will attend the Canadian Junior National Seminar in early May via Zoom.

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