Dancer Rikki Carmen spins in the air during a break dance demonstration hosted by the Salmon Arm Fancy Panthers on July 23, 2018.(Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Year in Review: July 2018 from the pages of the Salmon Arm Observer

Looking back at what made headlines in 2018 in the Salmon Arm Observer.

Here’s a glimpse from July 2018:

• A U.S. court handed convicted Shuswap drug smuggler Colin Martin, 46, a seven-year prison sentence on June 29 in relation to a drug ring that flew marijuana and other drugs into Washington state and returned with cocaine to sell in B.C.

• Salmon Arm Secondary grad Ethan Dodge received his 2006 Ford Escape, donated as a draw prize for the school’s dry grad by Jacobson Ford. The SUV received new wheels courtesy of Kal Tire and full detailing from Shuswap Auto Detailing and Window Tinting.

• Salmon Arm Minor Hockey teams are getting a new, but familiar look thanks to a partnership with the Silverbacks hockey organization that will see all eight minor hockey teams wearing the Silverbacks colours in the upcoming season.

• City council put the brakes on $250,000 worth of safety improvements proposed for the downtown highway corridor.

At its Monday, July 9 meeting, council received a report from engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen, explaining that funding had been approved to relocate traffic lights from Ross Street to Fourth and place a raised meridian on the centre of the highway between Alexander Street and Fourth. But minds have changed since then. In light of the upcoming underpass referendum and a new provincial government that may be more amenable to red light traffic cameras, Niewenhuizen recommended postponing the work.

• Jaxon Langdon is less than a month old and already fighting for his life. Due to numerous health issues, the infant son of Kayla and Tyrell Langdon of Salmon Arm is receiving constant care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of BC Children’s Hospital.

• This summer kids are invited to learn more about critters that call Salmon Arm home at the Tom Brighouse Interpretive Centre.

Wildlife Wednesdays is a free program that aims at helping children engage with local wildlife. Each week there will be a different local expert to educate the children about a chosen area of interest. This knowledge will be shared through interactive games, walks and activities.

• Lena Johnston, one of Salmon Arm’s oldest residents, has died at the age of 109. She passed away on July 1 at Arbor Lodge. A celebration of Life was held on July 7 at Carlin Hall.

• Mustafa Zakreet smiles broadly as he speaks about Salmon Arm.

“It’s a wonderful community. I got to know so many people here. I have so many friends.”

Mustafa is a member of one of nine families from Syria who have come to Salmon Arm over the past two-and-a-half years. He came alone, the first refuge to arrive in town.

• Both the Salmon Arm Observer and Eagle Valley News were recognized in a national newspaper competition. Both newspapers earned honours in the General Excellence category at the Canadian Newspaper Awards, as well as rewards for individual reporters.

The Eagle Valley News took the top prize in its circulation category for both Best All Around Newspaper and Best Front Page, while the Observer earned second place in its category for Best Front Page. Observer reporter Martha Wickett was awarded second place in the Best Series category for her articles exploring homelessness and lives of homeless people in the city. She also received a third place for spot news photo and reporter/photographer Lachlan Labere earned a second place for a feature photo.

• Members of the Neskonlith Band, and the Thomas and Andrew families are mourning the loss of a well-loved 23-year-old man.

“It is with great sadness that the Thomas and Andrew families have lost such an amazing young man, Jason Andrew, so very suddenly,” reads a July 24 Facebook announcement.

The son of Bonnie Thomas was found lying by the tracks near the bridge just west of Salmon Arm in the early morning of July 22.


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