Looking back at what made headlines in 2018 from the pages of the Salmon Arm Observer.
Here’s a glimpse from February 2018:
• A convicted murderer took the witness stand on Tuesday in a Kamloops courtroom, testifying against his co-accused in a deadly drive-by shooting more than six years ago.
Nick Larson, 24, was shot to death in Blind Bay in the early morning hours of June 1, 2011. Jordan Barnes and Jeremy Davis were arrested and charged with murder in 2014.
Barnes pleaded guilty in 2016 and was handed a life sentence. He said he met Larson hours before the murder while attempting to buy cocaine. Barnes testified he was going to beat up Nick Larson.
“I had the baton in my hand,” he said. “That’s what I was going to use to hit him with. But when we (he and Davis) slammed on the brakes, a gun slid out from under my seat.”
Barnes said he grabbed the weapon, got out of Davis’ vehicle, and started shooting. Following Barnes’ testimony, the trial is set scheduled to resume in April. Davis remains free on bail.
• When it comes to clearing snow, most people wouldn’t mind a little help. But Dean and Grace Edwards of Sunnybrae probably have the most unusual snow-shovelling helper around. Morgan, their six-year-old Newfoundland dog, loves to help clear the snow. Not only can she use a hand – or in her case – a mouth-held shovel, she can also operate the family’s mechanical snowblower.
• John Bjornstrom, who became infamous roughly 20 years ago as the Bushman of the Shuswap, has died.
An obituary published in the Williams Lake Tribune states Bjornstrom died suddenly Jan. 13 at the age of 58. Bjornstrom made the news two decades ago when he escaped from a jail near Kamloops and evaded police capture for nearly two years while living in the wilderness area of the Shuswap.
• Shuswap Search and Rescue helped get an injured snowmobiler to safety. A 20-year-old woman lost control of her snowmobile in the Fly Hills and went over a steep embankment, injuring her back in the process.
John Schut, with Shuswap Search and Rescue, says a rope system had to be put in place to bring the woman in a stretcher up the bank.
• Shuswap Ringette came off a successful weekend at the 28th Kelowna Sweetheart Tournament. Three of the association’s teams finished the weekend with gold medals – an impressive feat for a small association.
The U-14 Sharks went undefeated through the round robin and shut out the Vernon Voltage in the semifinal. Also undefeated were the U16 Grim Reapers who played tenaciously all weekend. The Shuswap Open team – Chix with Stix – defeated their rivals Surrey White Rock 6-3 in the final game to take home gold.
• It was the snowiest Feb. 17 in Salmon Arm on record with 17 centimeters falling from the sky. The previous record of 15.2 cm was set in 1900. Records have been kept since 1893.
• A Chase high school student acted quickly to avoid an attempted abduction. About 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, a 14-year-old girl got off a school bus near Pritchard and was approached by a man driving a maroon-coloured, four-door car with a black hood, Chase RCMP report.
The student said the man told her that her parents weren’t home and he was there to pick her up. When she declined the ride, the man became aggressive. She ran to a nearby residence and he drove off. The suspect was described as about 40, Caucasian, with a balding hairline, dark-coloured hair on the sides, sideburns which extended to his moustache and a goatee.
• A popular destination for residents and visitors looks to remain closed through the 2018 hiking season. Margaret Falls has a scenic trail network located in Herald Park that fell victim to the effects of a heavy spring runoff and mudslide conditions in the past year.
• Several club records fell as the Columbia Shuswap Selkirks held a single-A regional championship at the SASCU Rec Centre over the weekend. Seven teams took part and the number of swimmers participating was close to 200.
Twelve-year-old Brooklyn Ramuson set four records in the 200-metre Individual Medley, 200 breast-stroke, 50 breaststroke and 100 IM.
• More than 40 pies were entered in the 22nd Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest. Bertha Norrish took home first prize for her apple pie, Bonnie Peterson snagged second for her cherry pie and Mary Rollier walked away with third prize for her bumbleberry entry. The 2018 pie auction brought in nearly $50,000 from generous members of the community, whose money will support RJ Haney Heritage Park and Museum.