(Big White Ski Resort photo)

(Big White Ski Resort photo)

Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines in the Okanagan

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Here are this week’s top news items.

B.C. expands mandatory mask rules in schools, rolls out ‘rapid response teams’

The province announced that masks will be mandatory in middle schools and high schools except for three scenarios: when students are at their own desk or workstation, when they are eating or drinking and when there is a plexiglass barrier between them.

That means students will be wearing non-medical masks in school for longer periods of time.

When school started in September, students only had to wear masks when they were in high traffic areas, like hallways.

Big White ties new COVID-19 case growth to ‘unsanctioned Australia Day gatherings’

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Interior Health announced five new cases of COVID-19 tied to the Big White cluster, bringing the total number of cases to 231 since Dec. 15.

The ski hill’s senior vice president Michael J. Ballingall said the new cases can be linked to the increased testing at the resort after Australia Day gatherings.

Penticton’s RCMP caseload ‘unsustainable,’ says Superintendent

Despite crime numbers going down, Penticton RCMP is still handling caseloads that are double the B.C. average.

According to the detachment, each officer handles 170 cases. Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter said it’s unsustainable for the officers.

“I can tell you, our members are getting burned out with the caseload, they’re stressed, and they’re also very frustrated,” he said.

“We want to solve those crimes and help the public, but we’re going from call to call to call to call.”

Former Enderby man suing Crown over alleged Charter abuses in B.C. prison

Othman “Adam” Hamdan filed a lawsuit last month against the Crown and several other government agencies, alleging the treatment he received while he was in prison violated his rights.

Hamdan faces a potential deportation order after his 2017 acquittal on terrorism-related charges.

He claims his rights were violated when Fraser River Corrections Centre officials placed him in solitary confinement, which was allegedly ordered by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Salmon Arm trio open small business with big city feel

Forage General, located in Salmon Arm, offers flowers, coffee, tea, baked goods and other unique gifts.

The store was opened by Salmon Arm couple Tanisha and Jamie Out and their business partner Toni Starkell.

The concept for the store was inspired by things and places the Outs enjoyed while they lived in Vancouver.

“We’ve always been drawn to those things, the minimalist aspect of things, and we wanted to incorporate that into this shop, into this spot,” Jamie said.

“And just to kind of give people that experience, stepping into something that maybe they haven’t seen before, they haven’t experienced.”

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Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Fire crews are on scene in the 400 block of Fourth Avenue SE at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 as smoke billows from a residential building. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. (Jim Elliot - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm firefighters respond to smoke in a building on Fourth Avenue SE

Crews were called to the scene at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24

The District of Sicamous announced plans to purchase and manage the Sicamous Medical Centre on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Colleen Anderson and Malcolm Makayev have been overseeing this and other health matters on behalf of the district’s council. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous to purchase retiring doctor’s business, take over management

Move intended to attract new doctors by allowing them to focus on patient care

Malakwa firefighters bring a barn blaze under control in the 4,000 block of the Trans-Canada Highway on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Barn fire prompts fundraiser for Shuswap family of eight

Blaze leaves Malakwa family in need of feed, supplies for beloved horses

Two North Okanagan-Shuswap rural communities, including Lumby, will receive B.C. government grants to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap communities collect government grants

Lumby and Blind Bay to benefit to help recover from economic impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and will remain a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

(File photo)
‘Give me your stuff! Oh, hello, officer’: Man surprised by Kamloops Mountie

A man trying to enter a vehicle stopped in Kamloops was greeted by an off-duty Kamloops Mountie inside

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Project rendering of Hadgraft Wilson Place (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
68-unit affordable housing complex coming downtown Kelowna

The six-storey complex located on Fuller Ave is set to be completed by fall 2022

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