• A team of Shuswap youth were over the moon following the success of their virtual leadership event. Approximately 850 people participated in Shuswap Youth Launch, an interactive event created by youth (ages 15 to 22), for youth, held online Thursday, Feb. 25. The event was organized by the Shuswap Youth Launch Team, whose members range in age from 15 to 22 and include Mikayla Wilkinson, Abbigail Paetsch, Caillie Hay-Vicars, Brynn Gowan, Claire Waite, Maggie Beckner and Dayton Massey. For Mikayla, Shuswap Youth Launch wound up having a far greater reach than anticipated, with schools throughout B.C., in Alberta and even Washington state taking part. It featured inspirational talks from guest speakers including: Canadian poet, TED Talk and We Day veteran Wali Shah; former NHL goaltender Corey Hirsch; author, activist and empowerment coach Ashley Bendiksen; and successful Salmon Arm entrepreneur Missy MacKintosh, founder of MisMacK Clean Cosmetics.
• A fire at a North Okanagan-Shuswap cannabis grow operation wasn’t considered suspicious by police. In the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 21, Ranchero-Deep Creek firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire at a property on Barney Road near Enderby. Upon arrival, they found not one, but two structures ablaze – a timber-framed building and a concrete building. Columbia Shuswap Regional District fire services coordinator Sean Coubrough said the buildings appeared to have been used for a cannabis grow operation, and the RCMP was called to assist.
Const. Chris Terleski said no criminality was suspected in the cause of the fire, and the incident remained under investigation.
• “Adventure” is Sarah Tokarek’s middle name. At least it is online, where the Blind Bay resident goes by the handle Shuswap Adventure Girl, the name given to her website/blog and social media presence through which she shares her hiking experiences in the region, as well as a wealth of information about local trails, current conditions and other pertinent information.
While she has only praise for the Shuswap Trail Alliance, of which she’s a member, Tokarek has found some information gaps she hopes to fill, such as categorizing local hikes that are suitable for families or for seniors who may have mobility concerns.
Most often Tokarek is asked if she’s done a particular trail, what trails might be suitable for people with small kids and for information about trail distances and difficulty.
• The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) announced it would continue offering a program aimed at helping protect property from wildfires. The regional district’s FireSmart initiative received a $250,000 grant to keep operating for the coming year; this was $100,000 more than the program received the previous year.
• Coming off a world-record Jenga tower over the winter, Salmon Arm’s Auldin Maxwell now has the means to reach even greater heights. In January, 12-year-old Auldin received word that his feat of balancing a tower of 693 Jenga blocks on top of a single narrow block was good enough to have his name inked in the Guinness Book of World Records. Hasbro, the company that produces Jenga, took notice and sent Auldin the blocks necessary for a much larger tower. The game maker came through with 24 packs of Jenga Giant blocks. Auldin was already brainstorming how he might use the big blocks for another record attempt.
•According to a recent update, the replacement for the RW Bruhn Bridge along Highway 1 won’t be the five-lane structure previously chosen by the province after much public consultation. Recent information released by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure showed a four-lane structure.
A ministry representative said the most recent design was selected because it will allow for the closure of the Old Spallumcheen Road intersection at the west end of the existing bridge.
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