Trail Times Year in Review: October

Photo: UnsplashPhoto: Unsplash
Oct. 4: Close to 1,800 fans attended the Trail Smoke Eaters opening season home game versus the Cranbrook Bucks Friday at the Trail Memorial Centre as Smoke Eaters owners Rich and Annie Murphy drop the puck.Oct. 4: Close to 1,800 fans attended the Trail Smoke Eaters opening season home game versus the Cranbrook Bucks Friday at the Trail Memorial Centre as Smoke Eaters owners Rich and Annie Murphy drop the puck.
These big boys appear to be unexpectedly calm given Thanksgiving is coming up in four days. Photo: Ron WilsonThese big boys appear to be unexpectedly calm given Thanksgiving is coming up in four days. Photo: Ron Wilson
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue practicing rope rescue training on the Columbia River Skywalk.Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue practicing rope rescue training on the Columbia River Skywalk.
David Dudeck shares a serene “fogscape” spotted from the shore of the Columbia River in Trail.David Dudeck shares a serene “fogscape” spotted from the shore of the Columbia River in Trail.
The BC Emergency Health Services Ambulance Station in Trail is located past the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital on the 1100 block of Hospital Bench Road.The BC Emergency Health Services Ambulance Station in Trail is located past the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital on the 1100 block of Hospital Bench Road.
Golfing season winds up at the end of October.Golfing season winds up at the end of October.

October 2022

— Another 169 British Columbians died as a result of the toxic drug supply in August. The BC Coroners Service says the latest findings amount to nearly six people killed every single day. 2022 has seen almost the exact same number of deaths in its first eight months as last year, at 1,468 compared to 1,469. Fatal illicit drug overdoses continue to be the most common cause of unnatural death in B.C., occurring about four times as often as suicides and eight times as often as fatal car crashes.

— A young mother has died following a two-car collision on the highway near Oasis Saturday night. Police determined that a northbound Ford pickup (driving toward Castlegar) had entered the oncoming lane and collided head-on with a southbound Chevrolet SUV. The driver of the SUV, a 34-year-old woman, was killed. Her four children, ages eight to 14, were injured. Police say the children’s injuries are not considered to be life threatening.The driver of the Ford pickup was not injured.

— On Oct. 3, BC Parks repossessed Beaver Creek Provincial Park from long-time managers, the Trail Kiwanians, and began construction on upgrades to the campground. Kiwanis says costs and efforts of running a campground in today’s economy is beyond the scope of the present membership.

— Upwards of 300 people filled the floor and lined the bleachers of the Cominco gym Thursday night as 15 candidates for Trail council introduced themselves to an audience that ranged in age from young children to seniors. Homelessness and the vulnerable population in the downtown and safety concerns permeated the majority of questions posed to the all-candidates panel.

— Advance voting starts Oct. 5, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

— The temporary shelter in downtown Trail will continue housing up to 18 individuals nightly for one more year after Trail council approved a one-year renewal of the site’s temporary use permit.

— The price of gas in Metro Vancouver is now the highest ever seen in North America. In Greater Trail, regular gas prices jumped 25 cents per litre from roughly $1.74 to $1.99 per litre at most gas stations in Fruitvale, Montrose, Trail and Warfield and were holding as of Oct. 3. The price of diesel varies from $2.07 to $2.12.

— The City of Trail will be removing an unsanctioned Ukrainian flag that was recently painted next to the existing painted Canadian flag on the Esplanade river wall near Groutage Avenue. The city says they stand with Ukraine however; the flag is considered graffiti on municipal property and must be removed per the unsightly premises bylaw. The painted Canadian flag remains, as it alerts boaters from the U.S. to a port of entry.

— A review of the provincial electoral boundaries is proposing six new ridings, however the Kootenays is expected to remain largely unchanged. The report recommends changing the name of the Nelson-Creston riding to Kootenay Central, while it’s proposed that the west side of the riding expand to Nakusp and New Denver. Nakusp and New Denver are currently in the Kootenay West riding, which encompasses Rossland to Trail and the Beaver Valley as well as Castlegar. Also in Kootenay West, the southwest riding boundary proposes a shift to include the south and east side of Grand Forks.

— Police are cautioning homeowners and tenants from Rossland to Trail and the Beaver Valley to be “bear aware,” meaning secure all attractants from the bruins who are hyperphagic this time of year. The advice follows several recent calls about bothersome bears being reported to Trail police.

— With 679 votes cast during the first day of advance voting in Trail on Oct 5, that means within the City of Trail voting pool (6,481) there are still plenty of ballots yet to be cast.

— According to West High Yield (WHY) Resources, there’s still a lot of gold in them hills. WHY reported significant gold and silver finds at its Midnight Gold Claim near Rossland. WHY said exploration hit major gold deposits on its recent drilling program, citing a certified assay report that discovered a deposit of 311 grams per tonne of gold.

— The 14th round of talks to modernize the Columbia River Treaty were held in Spokane earlier this week and concluded with an Indigenous-led workshop on ecosystem and tribal cultural values. Katrine Conroy, BC minister responsible for the negotiations, said all sides were able to come to mutual understanding on some of the terms up for renegotiation.

— Three new mayors and a host of new councillor faces for Trail, Rossland, Warfield and Fruitvale, briefly sums up results from the municipal election held Saturday. Trail mayor-elect Colleen Jones unseated Lisa Pasin, mayor from 2018 to 2022, by 232 votes. The only incumbent of three to survive is Paul Butler, incumbent councillor, garnering 1,009 votes. The other five councillors — all new to elected politics in Trail — comfortably won their seats with Bev Benson receiving the most votes, 1,681 followed by Terry Martin 1,542. Andy Morel is the new Rossland mayor, further down the hill in Warfield is new mayor-elect Frank Marino. Steve Morissette remains Mayor of Fruitvale by acclamation, though there was a shakeup in his council with the election of three first-time councillors. Montrose, however, remains unchanged with Mike Walsh was re-elected as mayor as were the four incumbent councillors.

— A man arrested for impersonating a doctor and barricading himself in a room at the Trail hospital on Oct. 6 is reported to have since died of electrocution. Trail RCMP officers responded to an Oct. 13 report of the sudden and suspicious death of a 39-year-old Trail man in the 1500 block of Bay Avenue. Investigators said they suspected the man had climbed onto the roof of a building before attempting to climb down a power pole to return to the ground. He was killed immediately upon electrical contact and fell from the power pole to the ground. Police indicated this same man was arrested at the hospital on Oct. 6, accused of breaking into locked offices when confronted by staff, claimed to be a doctor. The man barricaded himself inside an office until police arrived. He was facing several criminal charges related to that incident.

— The BC Centre of Disease Control is advising British Columbians that the agency is combining surveillance reporting to include influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens in one platform to better monitor trends throughout the respiratory season. COVID-19 data will now be integrated with data for other respiratory pathogens and will be available through an interactive data reporting platform at: bccdc.ca/Respiratory Diseases.

— In a historic moment for the Lower Kootenay Band, a ground-breaking ceremony was hosted at the future location of the Seven Nations Soaring Eagle Healing Centre. The centre, being built for $9.5 million, will offer treatment to Indigenous people suffering from drug and alcohol dependency. The Seven Nations Soaring Eagle Healing Centre, located at 1278 West Creston Road, will be cabin style with direct connections to nature.

— Smoky skies prompted Environment Canada to issue an air quality advisory for the West Kootenay this week, including Trail, Rossland, Castlegar and Nelson.

— As the second dose of the monkeypox vaccine becomes available in B.C., so does the latest round of scams. Interior Health (IH) issued a notice stating that an automated call scam is going around the region where a person is impersonating an IH employee. These calls are to be disregarded as IH doesn’t use automated calls to notify people about exposure to infectious diseases, instead, an IH nurse will call directly. A total of 1,400 cases of the monkeypox virus have been confirmed in Canada, including 162 in British Columbia.

— Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich shed some light on the third quarter (Q3) crime report. In the crime category, total calls for service in Greater Trail municipalities declined to 1,540 in Q3 of 2022, from 1,677 in 2021. Criminal code investigations also decreased modestly in Q3 from 504 in 2021 to 491 in 2022.

— Homeowners in the West Kootenay who have oil furnaces could face extended periods in the cold should their heating system fail this winter. People in the home heating business say there are no mechanics servicing that kind of heating system in the region, even as the systems get older and less reliable. “It’s such dirty stuff,” said Dave Murdoch of Kootenay Plumbing and Heating. “No one wants their skin smelling like oil for the next week.”

— The provincial government’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch has effectively shut down the Rotary Community Online Bingo. As of Aug. 25, the GPEB policy on Charitable Licensing reverted back to its pre-COVID rules and will no longer issue bingo licenses to non-profit organizations like Rotary Clubs that enable players to scan and email bingo cards.

— A potentially deadly situation at the Trail ambulance station was avoided the night of Oct. 25, thanks to quick response by the Trail RCMP. Francis Paradis, a 29-year-old Quebec man, had been transported to the hospital after a motor vehicle collision in Grand Forks. Paradis had discharged himself from the Trail hospital, and then tried to enter the ambulance station. Officers found Paradis standing in a dark area just outside the station. They attempted to verbally deescalate the situation, when he allegedly fired several rounds from the hand gun at the two officers, and three nearby paramedics. Officers deployed a stun gun and were able to subdue and arrest Paradis. He’s facing several criminal charges and remains in custody.

— Among world-renowned cities, Trail is included in a one-day stopover for a must-see experience by Jean-François Alcoléa, a French performer flying into town from New York for a live show on Saturday. This all ages unique show, from France, is part of Spooktacular celebrations.

— After two years of lights-off in the dance hall and bandstands folded up gathering dust, the long-time conductor of SwingSationS, Clark White, is yearning to get back on stage and once again bring big band sounds to fans in Greater Trail. First, he is looking for new members; a female vocalist, an alto sax player and a trumpet player.

— Firefighters were called out to a truck fire in Fruitvale at 2 a.m. Thursday. A flatbed truck full of firewood was ablaze and threatening nearby structures. Crews extinguished the fire with foam and water. The cause is undetermined.

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