At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2012 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.
4 — There wasn’t a lot of English conversation going on in a house on 16th Avenue South, but the smiles of seven new residents seemed to indicate they were getting along just fine.
The family, sponsored by the Creston Refugee Committee (CRC), arrived in Creston on July 22 after living for 14 years in a refugee camp in Thailand, near the border of their native Myanmar (formerly Burma).
“These families coming to B.C. is the result of efforts by the East Kootenay Friends of Burma,” CRC volunteer Linda Price said. “I saw a presentation by the group and we decided to help out.”
•Following an online and phone-in vote — which itself followed a month-long nomination process — Sirdar’s Shannon Nickisch was one of four Nelson-Creston residents who would receive a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from MLA Michelle Mungall.
11 — Creston’s Alan Armstrong was making a routine run to Cranbrook on Oct. 2 when his trip turned into a nightmare that later ended with a shooting in Cranbrook.
“I was hauling parts on Highway 3 through Goatfell when I saw a guy waving me down on the road. He said he had run out of gas and had no money and needed a ride,” Armstrong said.
The carjacker put a gun to Amrstrong’s head, pepper-sprayed him, then pushed him out the truck before tearing off in the 2006 Toyota Forerunner.
•Former Creston and District Public Library chief librarian Ann Day recently received the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s Community Literacy Award, placing ahead of seven other nominees and following in the footsteps of winners Vicky Koenig and Family Place (2011) and Kootenay Employment Services (2010) after a round of public voting.
“This community has repaid me a million times for the work I did,” said Day. “This just blows me away.”
•The purchase of two Duck Lake properties from Wynndel Box and Lumber by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was intended to benefit grizzly bear and northern leopard frog populations. The sale involved 306 acres (124 hectares), some of which was currently in agricultural production, which would continue.
“Protecting this land in the valley bottom is vitally important for the long‐term prospects of the South Selkirk grizzly bear population,” said Nancy Newhouse, Canadian Rockies program manager for the NCC.
•The Delta Police Department was called in to investigate an incident involving Creston RCMP in a local pub early on Oct. 6. RCMP were called by pub staff to remove a female patron who was refusing to leave the establishment. While arresting and removing the female, a male patron obstructed and was injured in the confrontation with police officers, according to RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
18 — More than 100 people gathered at Adam Robertson Elementary School on Oct. 11 to witness a first for the Creston Valley. A totem pole, the culmination of a project that began with a grant application to build a small park on the school grounds four years ago, was erected. It was carved under the supervision of local carver Michael Price, with help from numerous students, notably Kaydon Booth.
ARES principal Rod Giles credited former parent advisory council member Deryn Collier and teacher Judy Gadicke for “planting the seed and obtaining the funding for an indigenous garden.”
•The 2012 Reach a Reader campaign to raise funds for literacy programs in the Creston Valley topped $1,760 yesterday. Local politicians, volunteers and Creston Valley Thunder Cat players took to the streets on Oct. 3 to encourage donations to Creston’s Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) branch.
In a surprise move, Regional District of Central Kootenay Area C director Larry Binks kicked in a $500 grant-in-aid, which Area B director John Kettle readily agreed to match. Mayor Ron Toyota made a healthy personal donation, helping to increase the 2012 fundraising effort by $1,200 over 2011.
25 — Creston Valley orchardists Gary and Susan Snow capped a surreal month on Oct. 10 by accepting an award for making the world’s best pure juice at an industry conference in Barcelona, Spain. Tabletree black cherry juice had bested the other finalist for the award, Nudie Juice, the largest juice producer in Australia.
“WE WON!!!” Susan Snow reacted on Facebook following the awards ceremony. “We are bringing home the gold. We are so excited. We actually have the ‘Best Pure Juice in the World.’ ”
•A four-hour standoff between Creston RCMP and a male break and enter suspect was resolved without violence on Oct. 19. The subject had fled the scene to a 16th avenue residence, where he barricaded himself inside with his common-law spouse and her two children. Four hours later, shortly after RCMP members had obtained a warrant to enter the residence and arrest the subject, he surrendered peacefully.