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Top story: Moviemakers get Wrecked in downtown Duncan page 3 Artists: One man’s junk is another man’s art show page 17 For all the news of the Cowichan region as it happens, plus stories from around British Columbia, go to our website www.cowichannewsleader.com Your news leader since 1905

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Man arrested after hit-andrun kills two On the Malahat: Couple hit by stolen car Peter W. Rusland

News Leader Pictorial

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Andrew Leong

Samantha Kopchuk comforts fellow resident Jenny MacGillivery after they evacuate their Kiwanis Village cottage, adjacent to the main building which was consumed by the blaze Duncan reghters battle to control at right.

Burned out seniors could be waiting a year for a rebuild Extensive damage: Major fire chases 36 from Kiwanis Village Mike D’Amour

News Leader Pictorial

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ore than two dozen residents displaced because of a multi million-dollar re at a seniors’ complex could wait as long as a year before they can move

back home. Dave Clark, president of the Duncan Kiwanis Village Society, said if Building No. 3, at Day Road’s Kiwanis Village, needs only to be repaired, the wait would be about eight months.

“But if we have to do a new building, it could take as long as a year,” he said. Duncan and North Cowichan reghters were called to the facility late Saturday night after receiving a call of a re at the senior’s complex, 365 Day Rd. The re resulted in extensive damage to the entire building and 36 residents were evacuated — 27 from the apartment building and nine from adjacent cottages. So far, the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, said Clark. “The re marshal has been around the building and identied the re started at the backside of the building in a wing wall (a partition that separates balconies) and spread to the roof cavity,” he said.

“It burned through the old roof and the new roof and that’s when it became a problem.” Clark said reghters had to ood the building with water to douse the ames. “The re is not suspicious,” he said. “It could have been something smouldering on a deck, or something on the electrical end of things whether it was an air conditioning system that malfunctioned or something left in a window.” Thankfully, said Clark, there were no serious injuries. more on page 8

North Vancouver man faces seven charges, including criminal negligence causing death, following Saturday’s Malahat Drive death of a Saanich couple, police said. Lucas Ian Brown, 25, was to appear yesterday in Duncan provincial court to answer the raft of charges, said RCMP Const. Mike Halskov of South Island Trafc Services. Brown was remanded to jail until a court date is set. In addition to two counts of criminal negligence causing death, he faces charges of possession of stolen property over $5,000, break, enter and theft under $5,000, break, enter and mischief over $5,000, failing to remain at the scene of a crash causing death, and fraudulent use of a credit card, Halskov said. The deceased couple has been identied as Martha Ralph, 56, and Larry Machnee, 58. Brown was arrested without incident near the Mill Bay ferry terminal late Sunday morning after RCMP received tip from an alert citizen. His arrest followed Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. crash after which Brown is alleged to have ed the scene and spent the night around Bamberton. The tragic crash involved a southbound 2007 Honda Accord, that was stolen Saturday in North Vancouver, Halskov said. The Honda was totalled after crossing the centre line during an illegal left turn near the Arbutus rest stop. That turn claimed the lives of Ralph and Machnee who were northbound on a Yamaha touring motorcycle. The takedown of Brown followed a manhunt between 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Bamberton area and shoreline. That dragnet involved 17 cops, Coast Guard ofcers, a helicopter crew and a dog squad. “We went all out to nd him right away and somehow he eluded us,” Halskov said, thanking the public for helping locate Brown, who was uninjured. The accident saw Malahat Drive trafc rerouted through East Shawnigan Lake Road and the village Saturday as police spent several hours analyzing the crash site. The Malahat was reopened at around 5 p.m. Saturday, Halskov said.


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