• Students, staff and visitors at South Broadview Elementary School have a new place to rest and reflect thanks to Donna Rollier and her former kindergarten students. The retired teacher was joined by some of those students, parents and staff at one of the school’s playgrounds on Thursday, Oct. 28, for a small ceremony recognizing the installation of a new Buddy Bench. Facing the play structure, the bold blue metal bench includes two silver plaques, one recognizing Rollier’s kindergarten class from 2013/14, and the other from 2016/17.
• Though there may have been nightmares on Waverly Drive Halloween night, Gerd Willenberg had reason to sleep well. From Oct. 15 to 31, Willenberg welcomed his Blind Bay neighbours and the Shuswap to his decorated “Halloween House” at 2490 Waverly. There, they could take in the scares, enjoy a sausage in a bun and help support the Shuswap Children’s Association. Over the 17 evenings, Willenberg counted 1,260 visitors, with the majority – more than 400, showing up on Halloween. He noted a lot of visitors took in the Halloween House experience multiple times. As of Nov. 1, Willenberg had raised $5,285, which he has given to the Shuswap Children’s Association.
• Despite being stranded in Hope more than 18 hours after they left home, a Salmon Arm couple considered themselves lucky. Speaking to the Observer late Monday afternoon via cellphone from their vehicle-turned-motel in Hope, Phaedra and Ivan Idzan left Salmon Arm about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14. They learned that just half an hour before they arrived in the Agassiz area, two landslides had crashed down, sweeping away vehicles and leaving others stranded between the two slides. “We just missed them, thank God,” said Phaedra. On Monday night, Phaedra posted on the Internet that, once again, they had been very fortunate. Friends from home had contacted relatives in Hope who provided them with a cozy roof over their heads. The Idzans’ sense of humour and gratitude kept their spirits up, as did other people’s kindness.
• Emergency support services were set up in Salmon Arm for Merritt residents evacuated in Monday’s flooding. The Columbia Shuswap Regional District announced on Monday, Nov. 15, that at the request of Emergency Management BC, the Shuswap Emergency Program opened an Emergency Reception Centre at Salmon Arm’s Prestige Harbourfront Resort.
•Hillcrest Elementary Grade 5 students won over a fan in award-winning Canadian indie rocker Hawksley Workman. On Friday, Nov. 19, the school’s video entry in this year’s CBC Music Class Challenge hit YouTube. It features the school’s Grade 5 students performing the Workman song, Safe and Sound. Workman spotted the video on Saturday and shared his appreciation on Twitter: “OMGoodness…another artful, stunning and emotional rendition of •safe and sound• from Hillcrest Elementary…I’m floored again…” Hillcrest music teacher (and Workman fan) Brook Roberts replied, saying he was happy Workman took the time to watch the video and he looked forward to telling the students. Workman, in response, said, “my goodness Mr. Roberts…it’s SO beautiful and the innovation and cleverness of the video can’t be understated! so much imagination!” Roberts started sharing the positive feedback with students on Monday. “That’s the coolest – what a great guy,” said Roberts.
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