Kathy Keam sits in the driver’s seat of the bus she retired from driving in January. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)Kathy Keam sits in the driver’s seat of the bus she recently retired from driving. Keam came back to say some goodbyes on Jan. 7. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)

Eagle Valley News year in review – January

A look back of the events that made the news in 2019.

• A group of three snowmobilers from Armstrong spent New Year’s Eve on the Owlhead trails after two of their sleds got stuck in a ravine. Shuswap Search and Rescue initiated a search at 8:30 p.m. Following an unsuccessful nighttime search, the men were located at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, and were picked up by helicopter.

RCMP made an unsuccessful arrest attempt at a Kappel Street residence on Jan. 2. Police were searching for Michael Trosky who was wanted on multiple warrants. Trosky was believed to have been at the Kappel residence. A man was arrested after attempting to leave the residence by vehicle, but police found he was not Trosky.

On Jan. 5, Shuswap Search and Rescue were in the Blue Lake snowmobile area after two sledders from Alberta went missing. They were located with the help of an FRS (Family Radio Service) radio in a steep ravine north of the Blue Lake cabin.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District board voted unanimously to support the District of Sicamous’ application for grant funding to build a wellness centre. The District of Sicamous had applied for a $6 million grant though the Canada-B.C. – Rural and Northern Communities Program.

School District 83 bus driver Kathy Keam took one last ride on a school bus before retiring. Keam drove the same bus for 38 years on a route that stretched from Sicamous to Griffin Lake east of Craigellachie, through rain, sleet and heavy winter snow. “She takes the corners fast and sharp, fast and sharp, fast and sharp. She takes the corners fast and sharp drifting down the road,” children and other school district staff sang as Keam drove the bus, her face becoming a mask of mock outrage, but with smiling eyes, struggling to hold back the laughter.

At its Jan. 16 meeting, District of Sicamous council agreed to include $500,000 in the budget to go towards a bio-fuel heating system—a large boiler that would generate heat for nearby buildings by burning wood waste. The federal government eventually agreed to fund $1.2 million of the $1.7 million project, but the funds were conditional on the district coming up with the remaining $500,000.

The Sicamous and District Museum and Historical Society was looking for memorabilia and stories related to internment camps that housed Japanese Canadians in the area during the Second World War. The information was for commemorative signs being installed at each of the five internment camps located between Sicamous and Revelstoke.

• To reflect the regional focus of the proposed wellness centre to be constructed on Sicamous’ Main Street, the name Shuswap Healing Centre was chosen. In addition, plans for the wellness centre changed to reflect a purely medical focus with the entire building devoted to health care related services.

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