At the National Championship in Richmond on April 10, Salmon Arm’s Lily Brook gets a chance to pose with the trophy and her coaches, from left: BC coach Joe Higgins who has done virtual training sessions with Lily, head coach of Team BC Marni Abbott-Peter, and assistant coach of Team BC, Tim Frick. One of Lily’s BC coaches, Simon Cass, was unable to attend. (Toru Photography)

At the National Championship in Richmond on April 10, Salmon Arm’s Lily Brook gets a chance to pose with the trophy and her coaches, from left: BC coach Joe Higgins who has done virtual training sessions with Lily, head coach of Team BC Marni Abbott-Peter, and assistant coach of Team BC, Tim Frick. One of Lily’s BC coaches, Simon Cass, was unable to attend. (Toru Photography)

Year in Review: The Observer looks back at headlines from April 2022

  • Dec. 24, 2022 4:30 p.m.

The Salmon Arm Observer looks back at the stories that made headlines in 2022.

April

• Salmon Arm skier Natalie Wilkie earned four medals in the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing. Wilkie brought home two golds, a silver and a bronze: golds in the long-distance classic standing race and the sprint standing event, silver in the middle distance standing race and bronze in the team relay event. “Coming back with so much success is pretty awesome,” said Wilkie, who lost four fingers of her left hand in shop class when she was 15. “I am feeling pretty stoked with my performance.”

• After three years of empowering women entrepreneurs in the Shuswap by building skills, knowledge and networks, federal funding for the Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Network program came to an end. A wrap-up was held March 29 to celebrate the more than 600 women who attended at least one of the program’s 40 workshops, 29 networking events, or had one of 700-plus consultant appointments. Included in these vital statistics were more than 1,000 hours of Entrepreneur in Residence support and countless networking and peer support hours.

• Though much of the downtown has been affected by construction of the underpass, the Salmon Arm Liquor Store at 111 Lakeshore Dr. NE is right next to the work site. The road in front of the store has been torn up. The parking lot on the store’s east side is now part of the construction site. And metal fencing has been erected in front of the liquor store and neighbouring businesses. The overall impact has not been good for business, said manager Jan Jones. “We lost a lot of customers,” she said. Across the torn-up-road from the liquor store is Shuswap Pawn, another downtown business next to the construction site. For months now, much of the parking lot in front of the shop has served as a staging and storage area for the construction. “December is usually my busiest month and it was my worst month for the whole year,” said Shuswap Pawn owner Mike Jalving.

• It was a wonderful night to celebrate an amazing association and honour an incredible coach. On Monday, April 4, the BC Minor Baseball Association (BCMBA) was in Salmon Arm to present two major awards. The first award, 2021 Association of the Year, was presented to the Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Association (SAMBA). The second award presented filled the room with emotion. Coach Pat ‘Grumpy’ Phelan, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 63, was inducted into the BCMBA’s Honour Roll as a coach in appreciation of his co1ntribution to the BC Minor Baseball Association.

Lily Brook’s talent and tenacity have not gone unnoticed. The Salmon Arm resident is soaring to success in many areas of her life, most recently wheelchair basketball. Lily, 17, was one of two junior players invited to play with the women’s BC team, which just competed in the 2022 Women’s National Championship. On April 10 at the Richmond Olympic Oval, the BC Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team defeated Quebec 66-52 in a hard-fought, fast-paced gold-medal game, bringing home the national championship trophy for the first time since 2014. “This was my first time to be with this group of women. They’ve been to the Paralympics and a bunch of bigger things than I’ve ever been to,” said Lily. “It was so exciting when they mentioned it – I thought, ‘Oh my gosh this is so huge.’ I just got back from skiing nationals, so this was really cool, I was really excited.”

Ashley Simpson’s remains sit nestled on a table in a corner of the Simpsons’ living room in a pretty purple urn adorned in dragonflies, one of her favourite creatures. After more than five excruciating years of wondering where their beloved Ashley was, of searching fruitlessly for her, Cindy Mcgean Simpson, Ashley’s mother, said her family now has some relief. Ashley, then 32, was reported to be last seen on April 27, 2016 on Yankee Flats Road near Silver Creek. Her remains were discovered in what police called a wilderness area outside of Salmon Arm on Nov. 26, 2021. The family was finally able to hold a memorial. It was held over two days, March 18 and 19, 2022, with the service itself the second day. Ashley’s former boyfriend was charged with second-degree murder. Cindy said now is the time for the family to save money, as they want to attend the trial in hopes of getting answers. She expressed gratitude for all the people who have helped her family over the past five years.

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