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Celebrating 50 years of skiing
Council moves on train whistle - Page 7 ELKFORD
Remembering Ronda - Page 15 SPARWOOD
Students in Peru - Page 8
(Left to right) Heather Boyd, MC Kevin Giffin, Sue Boyd and Eric Jensen celebrate old school style at the heritage street party on Friday night. For more, turn to page 16. Photo by Rebecca Edwards
Hopley pleads guilty to two charges surrounding Hebert abduction By Annalee Grant Black Press staff
Ski wall of fame - Page 17
Crime reports - Pages 24 and 25
n a surprise move Monday, March 26, the man accused of kidnapping a four-year-old Sparwood boy pleaded guilty to two counts against him in B.C. Supreme Court in Cranbrook. Randall Hopley, who was accused of abducting Kienan Hebert, pleaded guilty to two counts in anticipation of the Crown dropping a third charge against him at an afternoon arraignment hearing. Hopley was charged with abduction of a person under 14, kidnapping and break and enter with the
intent to commit an offence. Hopley plead guilty to the charge of abduction of a person under 14 and to break and enter with the intent to commit an offence. He pleaded not guilty to the second charge of kidnapping, in anticipation that the Crown will stay that charge at his next appearance on July 18. Appearing before Justice T. Melnyk, Hopley appeared by video link from the Kamloops Detention Centre in an orange prison-issued jumpsuit. He appeared healthier than in photos released after the offence in September of 2011. Hopley spoke only to confirm
his two guilty pleas, to clarify the circumstances around his notguilty plea, and to enter that plea once Counsel William Thorne had explained the stay of preceeding that would be offered by the Crown at the next court date. Justice Melnyk ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared leading up to the July 18 sentencing hearing. Hopley will appear in person on that date. All three counts are relating to the abduction of Kienan Hebert, who was taken from his Sparwood home on Sept. 7, 2011. The abduction set off a manhunt across the Kootenays and into Alberta.
Police issued an amber alert, saying that Kienan disappeared from his bed overnight wearing only Scooby Doo boxer shorts. Scores of volunteers joined emergency personnel on a massive manhunt, but Kienan was mysteriously returned to the family home physically unharmed four days later after his parents gave a public, emotional plea. On September 13, Hopley was found by police sniffer dogs at a gravel pit in Crowsnest Lake, Alberta, and taken into custody. A psychiatric assessment of Hopley was performed but it is protected by a publication ban.
THE FREE PRESS Thursday, March 29, 2012
Join Earth Hour By Andrea Horton Contributor
ernie and Sparwood City councils would like to encourage citizens to join BC Hydro in supporting Earth Hour on March 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour encourages individuals, businesses and communities to turn off all lights and unnecessary equipment to save energy and reduce the environmental footprint. Earth Hour is an
annual, global event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund and is supported provincially by BC Hydro. In 2011 over 135 countries joined the largest environmental event in history, British Columbians turned off the equivalent of 7.8 million 15-Watt compact fluorescent light bulbs for the hour. More information about Earth Hour and ways to conserve energy is available at www.bchydro.com/ earthhour.
Tembec handed over to Canfor East Kootenay. We have the Radium mill here, plus Elko and Canal Flats. Overall in the south here we've a much bigger position than we've had in a long time." The Vancouverbased forest products company announced in November, 2011, that it had reached an agreement with Tembec Industries Ltd. to take over the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills, and approximately 1.1 million cubic metres of combined Crown, private land and contract
By Barry Coulter Black Press staff
new era has begun in the East Kootenay forest industry, with the completion of Canfor's purchase of Tembec assets in the region. On Monday, March 26, Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne visited the area to oversee the launch of that new era. "We're thrilled to be here now," Kayne said. "We've made a big commitment to the
annual allowable cut. The transaction - worth about $60 million includes a long-term residual fibre supply agreement for Tembec's Skookumchuck mill. "Overall, the industry has been through pretty tough times over the past five years," Kayne said. "But about a year ago we started to see some optimism out there - as small as it was at the time, it was at least enough for us to make some commitments from a capital standpoint to really focus on modernizing
our mills and getting competitive with the best sawmills in the world. "So we've been on that program for about a year and a half. And at the same time, we're looking for opportunities to improve our overall fibre position and overall quality of the fibre that we have as a company. "So this opportunity came up with Tembec over the last 12 months that we been focused hard on this area." Kayne said the quality of the fibre, or the
wood itself, in the East Kootenay is "second to none." "You could probably use those words to describe it across Canada," he said. "We really believe it's some of the best fibre you'll find absolutely anywhere. "There's a heavy spruce here, it's bigger wood, it's white wood, there's not a lot of beetle in this area this region has all the things our global customers are looking for in terms of quality."
Child development centre boost By Angela Treharne Free Press Staff
C h i l d Development Centre, serving the Elk Valley, is planned for Cranbrook and just received a $100,000 boost. C o m m u n i t y Connections Society of Southeast B.C. in Cranbrook has received $100,000 from the B.C. Liberal Government to help further develop the Kootenay Child Development Centre. The East Kootenays is one of the few regions without a Child Development Centre (CDC) and would be a valuable resource to families and children, all under one roof. The centre will offer
CONGRATULATIONS JUDY BEATON Winner of the Sparwood Nominate Your Neighbour contest Judy is a much respected member Ĺ˝Ä¨ĆšĹšÄžÄ?Ĺ˝ĹľĹľĆľĹśĹ?ĆšÇ‡Ä‚ĹśÄšÄ‚Ć&#x;ĆŒÄžĹŻÄžĆ?Ć? member of the Sparwood Lions ĹŻĆľÄ?Í˜
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pediatricians and other professionals, as well as various behaviour and development programs. â€œThis project will benefit children and their families all across our region,â€? said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. â€œI am proud of the amazing work done by Gwen, Patricia, Gayle and their band of enthusiastic volunteers. I urge citizens of the region to come out Thursday night and, if you can, make a donation to this exceptional community asset. We are so close now to the $1.1 million needed to finish the project. Please do whatever you are able to do to help get this project
East Kootenay Region Children First volunteer Gayle Brown, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, Community Connections Society of Southeast BC Executive Director Gwen Noble, and East Kootenay Region Children First Manger Patricia Whalen. Submitted photo
over the top and completed.â€? â€œThe East Kootenay has a strong history of giving, ensuring that its families have the best care possible, and all of the donations we
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have received to date are truly inspiring,â€? said East Kootenay Region Children First Manager, Patricia Whalen. â€œThe work the Kootenay Child Development Centre fundraising committee has done over the past two years has been nothing short of amazing. The funding from the BC Liberal Government will go a very long way in helping us achieve our mission to provide a child development centre that will benefit children by offering coordinated services, a coordinated team approach, less fragmentation, and a more efficient referral system.â€?
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THE FREE PRESS Thursday, March 29, 2012
Mixed reactions to Jumbo ski resort go ahead By Andrea Klassen Black Press staff
he vice president of the company behind the Jumbo Glacier Resort says he's relieved to see the development get approval to move forward, but doesn't yet know how they will be meeting some of the government's commitments for the site. "Waiting is the killer," said Grant Costello, vice president of Glacier Resorts Ltd. "We've been so close so often, and in the last four or five months it's seemed like everybody's saying 'it's imminent, it's imminent.' It's a relief. I've had some sleepless nights." Though rumours the provincial government would approve a master development agreement for Jumbo have been gaining steam in Invermere for months, Costello says the announcement was a surprise for the company. He also said Glacier Resorts Ltd. has yet to receive detailed information from the province about its plans to create a large wildlife management area and establish a grizzly bear management plan for the resort site, and at the moment knows little more than what was released to the public at a news conference in Victoria today. "We have to sit down and talk to some government staff to find out exactly what it is we have, look at the master development agreement," he said. "We have some commitments in terms of studies. We have probably a season of studies to do on site that have to do with
grizzlies, archeology and things like that. We have to put a plan together." The project's environmental certificate expires in October 2014, and Costello says the goal will be to have the project moving forward before them. "We'll be making announcements on our progress along the way. We want to keep the public informed," he added. "But right now I can't say specifically where we go from here." However, the Ktunaxa, strong opponents of the resort, are not planning on backing down anytime soon. "The issue's not closed," said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair. "You can expect to hear more from us in the coming days and weeks." Teneese said they will continue to fight against the proposed resort that would be constructed in an area they refer to as Qat'muk, home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit, and is adamant that it's not over until the chairlifts are running. "If we're successful in our endeavours, hopefully nothing will happen," Teneese said. While opponents of the project have been quick to share their disapproval, Costello said Glacier Resorts Ltd. remains undaunted and committed to the development. "Groups have sprung up that think environment is more important than people. So we just think the human environment is the most important, and we think that working within that, that
this is a good project to provide jobs and support families - things that are badly
needed here," he says. "I don't have any qualms about my role in this."
The Jumbo Glacier is the site of the Jumbo resort. Jumbo Glacier itself is the glacier at the highest point, in the approximate centre of the massif. Glacier Dome is on the immediate left (from the viewer’s perspective), and leads down into the valley where the proposed resort base would be. Farnham Glacier and Commander Glacier are on the right, on the other side of the massif. Submitted photo
New directors appointed to manage Sparwood Emergency Social Services By Andrea Horton Contributor
aureen Josay has been appointed as Emergency Social Services Director (ESSD) and Sylvia Jones has been appointed as Deputy Emergency Social Services Director (DESSD) as the District of Sparwood continues to build its ability to respond effectively to emergency situations. Emergency Social Services (ESS) is a municipal emergency response program. It provides for various short-term needs of evacuees and response workers in a disaster or emergency situation.
The ESS Program plays an important role in emergency management in B.C. by: helping people to remain independent and self-sufficient; helping people to meet their basic survival needs during a disaster; reuniting family members separated during a disaster; providing people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation; helping people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster; and helping a community work through the recovery process. ESS provides temporary relief to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after an emergency.
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The District of Sparwood’s Emergency Management Program works together with local residents, agencies and businesses to increase Sparwood’s level of emergency preparedness. Volunteers are at the heart of its success. ESS will provide temporary primary services such as: food; shelter; clothing and family reunification. ESS is designed to provide services to individuals affected by large disasters but it also provides during smaller scale emergencies such as home or apartment fires. The District of Sparwood supports Sparwood’s ESS volunteers by provid-
ing leadership training and administrative support for ESS teams. To provide the level of service required, the appointment of an ESSD and a DESSD was required by Council. The new ESSD and DESSD will report to the Emergency Program Coordinator appointed by the Mayor and Council and will assist the Coordinator to maintain the Emergency Program in a state of operational readiness by initiating public awareness campaigns; preparing and reviewing emergency response and recovery plans; and equipping and staffing the Emergency Operations Centre.
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THE FREE PRESS Thursday, March 29, 2012
Clean up the river for Canada Water Week By Angela Treharne Free Press Staff
n Elk River Alliance project has been selected as one of five to be profiled for his year’s Canada Water Week. Small Change Fund has specially selected the Elk River Alliance ‘Elk River Swim, Drink, Fish Festival’ project. Small Change Fund’s partners, CGOV Foundation and RBC Foundation, are matching Canadians’ donations dollar for dollar in order to raise the funds to make this community project happen. Canada Water Week is an annual celebra-
tion coinciding with World Water Day, this year on March 22. Founded in 2009, Small Change Fund is Canada's first micro-giving organization with a focus on grassroots environmental projects. Small Change Fund’s national advisors have specially selected five inspiring grassroots projects that Canadians can get behind and support during Canada Water Week. “Each project can make an impact with just a little more funding support,” said Clare McDowall, Communications Director for Small Change Fund. “One of the chosen projects is the Elk River Swim, Drink, Fish Festival because
clean, clear, abundant water is of great importance, not just in Elk River, but all across Canada.” The Elk River Alliance project needs $3,333 to provide the community with information about where their water comes from, who depends on it and how we can all care for it. The group also wants to increase water awareness and to provide opportunities for river stewardship during their clean-up celebration around World River Day on September 30. CGOV Foundation has made the first investment in this project, and, to encourage additional contributions from donors across the country, the RBC Foundation
has offered to match any gifts dollar-fordollar to make sure this project reaches 100% funding. This foundation support, together with donations from Canadians everywhere, will realize the success of this great community initiative. As Small Change Fund advisor Guy Greenaway says: “The issue is a critical one, and the citizen engagement a great approach. The event combines traditional clean-up activities with more knowledgebased activities, and edges into the important realm of citizen science.” To support this BC water project please visit: www.smallchangefund.org/campaigns/cww
Sparwood fire services fees change By Andrea Horton Contributor
n March 19, Sparwood Council adopted to amend Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 by changing the fees charged for attendance at false alarms within the District.
Under the amended bylaw the property owner is liable for the costs of the municipality’s personnel and equipment in the event of a response by the Fire Department to more than one false alarm at the real property with a calendar year. The rates are established by the Province and the cost of personnel is included in the following.
As set out in Schedule B of Bylaw 974 ‘Charge Out Rates And Cost Recovery’ the charges are as follows: Equipment hourly rate: Ladder Truck, $746; Fire Engine, $537; Mobile Treatment Center, $180; Engine Water Tender, $333; Light Rescue Crew Cab, $240; Heavy Rescue Truck, $575; Emergency Response Trailer, $140; C-1 Command Vehicle, $160. Cost Recovery Items: Fire protection file searches, $50; Inspection requests, $50;
Re-inspection fee, $50; Non-standard events, Personnel and equipment charges calculated at the rates schedule; Actual costs for any materials, supplies or equipment not referenced, including taxes plus 15 per cent administrative fee; Securing of property, personnel and equipment charges calculated at the rates schedule set out above, plus actual costs for any materials, supplies or equipment not referenced, including taxes plus 15% administrative fee; False alarms response, second false alarm within a calendar year, $60 Third false alarm within a calendar year, $120
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Fourth and all subsequent false alarms within a calendar year, fee charged bases on Schedule ‘B’.
THE FREE PRESS Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Recreation is a winner with latest grants By Angela Treharne Free Press Staff
he Max Turyk soccer field in Fernie and the Sparwood Leisure Centre will receive a total of $750,937 from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development's Community Recreation Program to fund projects which will improve recreational infrastructure. Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett was in Fernie on Monday to make the announcement to Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano and Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko. Fernie is receiving $350,937 and Sparwood will get $400,000 from the grants. Fernie had applied for funding to help to repair the soccer field while Sparwood will be putting their grant to good use for an energy retrofit at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. â€œIâ€™m pleased with how the Community Recreation Program was designed,â€? said Bennett. â€œWeâ€™re seeing a wide variety of funding applications that all relate back to helping people get out there and fun,
often times while supporting environmentally friendly initiatives as well. Thatâ€™s a great win-win situation for the Elk Valley.â€? Who will benefit: Âˇ Fernie â€“ Max Turyk Soccer Field Development $350,937 o By re-aligning the existing Max Turyk field, there will be space for the construction of an additional regulation-sized soccer field. o This will result in increased capacity for hosting tournaments and offer green space to community members for many casual recreational activities. Âˇ Sparwood â€“ Sparwood Leisure Centre Energy Retrofit - $400,000 o Replacing the 27-year-old heating system and gas boilers at Sparwood Leisure Centre will reduce GHG emissions by 163 tonnes/year and save the District approximately $49,000/ year. o These savings will be invested in public engagement activities to promote active living.
Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett and Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano on Monday. Submitted photo
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