Ice formed across four lanes of Highway 97 below the Castle at Swan Lake Hotel Oct. 30, 2019, causing three accidents. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Ice formed across four lanes of Highway 97 below the Castle at Swan Lake Hotel Oct. 30, 2019, causing three accidents. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

GALLERY: Looking back at Vernon in November 2019

Here's a few of Vernon's biggest headlines from November

  • Dec. 31, 2019 12:00 a.m.

Highway havoc

Ice formed across four lanes of Highway 97 below the Castle at Swan Lake Hotel Oct. 30 causing three accidents.

Water pooled on the road while the hotel was draining its pool. Management said fault shouldn’t fall on the hotel, but the Regional District of North Okanagan for failing to maintain a ditch.

The RDNO said the ditches are under the Ministry of Transportation’s jurisdiction.

The ministry confirmed RDNO’s statement, but said there are no ditches at the location where the water spilled over the road.

No one was seriously injured in the vehicle incidents and the “ditch glitch” was deemed non-criminal by Vernon North-Okanagan RCMP.

But one lesson did come from this: “Drivers need to remember that roads are often icy this time of the year” said Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy. “RCMP are asking motorists to drive to conditions, and make sure your vehicle is winter-ready.”

Turkey chases Vernon woman home

Deanna Carling, 36, was driving home when she noticed a turkey in the middle of the road Oct. 29, 2019, two weeks after Thanksgiving.

She slowly drove around the bird and pulled into the driveway only to have the bird follow her while she attempted to get her 15-month-old son out of his car seat.

“The dang turkey kept chasing after me, raising its feathers when I went to him out of the car,” Carling said.

Although frightening at the time, Carling looks back at it and laughs.

Multiple shots fired in drive-by

Vernon RCMP responded to reports of gun fire on Nov. 1, in the 4100 block of 24th Avenue.

A neighbour’s truck was struck with a bullet.

No charges or arrests related to this event have been reported by RCMP.

Armstrong cannabis producer’s first crop sells out

Armstrong-based cannabis producer Lotus Ventures Inc. sold 100 per cent of its first crop to the Auxly Cannabis Group in late November.

The initial batch tested at 22.6 per cent THC levels, surpassing the group average of 19.1 per cent.

Lotus said it plans to grow higher THC-level products in future batches now that the growing environment has been standardized.

The company’s first harvest was completed in late September.

Royals repeat as B.C. volleyball champs

The No. 1-ranked and defending champion repeated as B.C. high school senior boys A volleyball champions in November at Selkirk College in Castlegar.

The Vernon Christian School Royals swept the Centennial Christian Seahawks of Terrace 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 in the gold-medal game.

Ben Molitwenik of Vernon Christian was named the tournaments most outstanding player for the second year in a row.

Downtown Safeway will be missed by many

A community mainstay that has served the people of Vernon since 1965 closed for good on Nov. 23, 2019, ringing in groceries of an estimated one million customers over the decades.

Close to 75 former and current employees gathered upon the store’s final closure to say goodbye, swap hugs, share tears and laughs.

Champagne corks could be heard popping and all gathered near customer service to hear manager Sean Watson give one last address to staff calling them all “amazing.”

It truly was an end of an era.

SilverStar to host Peak Pride

SilverStar Mountain Resort and Rebellious Unicorns Production Company teamed up to host the inaugural pride event in Vernon Dec. 6 to 9, 2019.

Not only was this the first time the mountain hosted this kind of event, but it was also the last pride event of 2019 in North America.

Before the big event, however, 50-60 SilverStar staff underwent an intensive inclusivity training session run by event organizer and Rebellious Unicorns founder Dustyn Baulkham.

The course, which took place online and in a four-hour workshop at the NATC Auditorium in the village in late November, examined all things LGBTQ2+.

Vernon Morning Star