As always, Kimberley celebrated Canada’s birthday on July 1, 2019, with activities in the Platzl the weekend prior. Face painting, games, a barbecue and live music were just some of the things taking place over the busy, sunny weekend.
Kimberley RCMP reported that on July 3, two people were arrested in Cranbrook after allegedly breaking and entering into a property in Kimberley. Sgt. Chris Newel explained at the time that they received a theft report that morning. They placed a 44 year-old man in custody who had five outstanding warrants.
The competitive swimming season was in full swing for Kimberley Seahorse Swim Club at the beginning of the month, with the club having attended three swim meets. Many swimmers walked away with top scores and medals.
A small wildfire was reported on the morning of July 9, 2019, at the Taylors Mill site, east of the City core. The fire was quickly put out by the Kimberley Fire Department, and the cause was believed to be from lightning.
Air Canada was in the news again in July, with Cranbrook and Kimberley businesses and government officials putting pressure on the airline to keep service running. The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce was working to prove to Air Canada that a demand for service remains in the area.
The Angel Flight East Kootenay volunteer airborne medivac service had their first-ever patient flight out of Cranbrook in July. They took Jewel Shepherd, a local medical patient, to Kelowna for her medical treatment. The two-hour round trip shaved hours of transit time off of what could have been a 12 hour drive for Shepherd.
WildSafeBC was reporting an uptick in raccoon populations, with increased sightings in the Kimberley and Cranbrook areas. They were warning the communities not to let raccoons nest in their search for food due to the critters’ ability to cause damage.
The City of Kimberley announced in July that BA Blacktop would complete the remainder of the road construction required to finish phase one of the 4th Avenue project. The slated day for completion was October 11.
July was a busy month for crime, with a Wasa man having been attacked at his own house by an alleged knife-wielding assailant who fled the scene. The incident took place in the early morning hours of July 14. The following morning, the Bulletin spoke with the wife of the victim and got a full recount of what happened, which the couple also caught on their wildlife camera.
That same evening, Kimberley RCMP apprehended three impaired drivers; one in Wasa, one in TaTa Creek, and one on Wallinger Avenue in Kimberley.
For the second year in a row, the Spartan Race returned to Kimberley Alpine Resort on a very warm July weekend. Despite the balmy weather, hundreds came out to compete in the intense fitness competition.
Towards the end of the month, Columbia Basin Trust announced that 43 heritage projects across the province would receive over $2 million in funding. $331,838 of that was dedicated to the Sullivan Mine and Railway Historical Society, with funds going towards the preservation and restoration of the historic powerhouse, built in 1924.
Residents in Kimberley were taking to social media in July to report concerns about the use of motorized boats on waterways in Kimberley. Residents cited the use of jet boats on St. Mary Lake and River as a hazard to both wildlife and people. Representatives from Wildsight explained that the waterways are owned by the federal government, and therefore, are hard to control.
To cap off a busy month, JulyFest was a hit. RCMP reported an eventful weekend, while JulyFester goers were still in full spirit despite rainy and cold conditions for some of the weekend. The Sullivan Longboard Race also took place on JulyFest weekend, with hundreds lining the streets to watch the race.
Shortly thereafter, many gathered on Howard Street for the Motor Mountain Nationals annual car show, an event that’s always a hit.
August started off with a provincial ban on category two fires within the Kootenay region due to dry and warm conditions.
Shortly after, a small wildfire was burning south of Cranbrook in a remote area of the South teepee. 45 people were immediately working on the fire that quickly reached 35 hectares and was caused by suspected lightning.
The B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a provincial government decision that determined a proposed ski resort in the Jumbo Valley was not substantially started nearly four years ago, effectively halting the process and causing the proponent to be unable to get permitting to continue development. Local environmental groups celebrated the decision by the court, saying that the resort cannot be built unless it’s reassessed.
On August 9, demolition officially began on the old bowling alley beside Save-On-Foods in Kimberley, the first step in the construction of the new $12 million store.
Locals Gerry and Susan Frederick, along with the help of humanitarian Paul Blais, started up a food pantry in Marysville at the beginning of August. The pantry was started as a way to pay it forward in the community, offering free non-perishable food items and other supplies to those in need.
On August 13, West Jet announced that they would begin operating nonstop flights between Cranbrook and Vancouver starting in October.
In mid-August, the design of the Bulletin’s newspaper underwent some changes and additions, with the main changes being the size of the paper and the look of the front page. At that time, reporter Corey Bullock started a weekly column about her life on the farm.
The sound of gunfire on the Bull River prompted an RCMP investigation after two women on raft called police in belief shots were being fired at them. RCMP reported at the time that the shots being fired were not directed at the river, but rather at targets on private property with no apparent risk to the public.
Meanwhile, Kimberley RCMP were seeking a suspect that was allegedly passing around counterfeit bills throughout town. The police received several reports of counterfeit bills being used.
2019 saw much less wildfire activity compared to the previous two years, but in mid-August the BC Wildfire Service reported several active wildfires within the Regional District of East Kootenay. None of them, however, posed a threat to structures or communities.
The province of B.C. announced the implementation of a mandatory sampling program to prevent Chronic Wasting Disease, a deadly disease found in deer and other ungulates in Alberta and Montana.
Kimberley rock climber TJ Foley competed in the World Youth Climbing Championships in Arco, Italy in August. TJ competed in lead and bouldering. This was his second trip to worlds, having gone as the fourth team member to Russia the previous year.
Just in time for hockey season, the new accessible doors were installed and revealed at the Kimberley Civic Centre. With funding from the Employment and Social Development Canada through their Enabling Accessibility Fund, City of Kimberley staff were able to assure those with varying mobility levels the ability to gain access to there walking track as well as all sporting and special events taking place at the Civic Centre.
15 of Kimberley’s swimmers from the Seahorse Swim Club attended the Kootenay Regional Swim Meet in August, with many of them qualifying for provincials at that time. Later in the month, Brooklyn Burki of Kimberley won gold in the 200 IM at the Canada Games pool in Kamloops, setting a provincial record that had stood since 1991.
For the first time ever, the Kimberley Seniors Club hosted a shuffle board tournament at the Marysville Arena. It was the last of the shuffle board tournaments for the season, with members from across B.C., Alberta and the U.S. attending.
The Kimberley Dynamiters were preparing for their main camp at the end of August, expecting 30 to 35 players to participate.
The City of Kimberley and BC Transit confirmed the expansion of Kimberley’s Transit Service, announcing that the new times and expanded routes would begin on September 3.
Kimberley RCMP began investigations on a homicide, after police were called to the scene of a crime late on the evening of August 25, on Hwy 95A just east of the City. A press release said, at the time, that officers located an unresponsive woman and even after lifesaving protocols were completed, she was declared deceased.
An autopsy completed shortly thereafter confirmed criminality in the investigation of the death of the 38-year-old woman, according to RCMP. To protect the integrity of the investigation, no further details were released. A 39-year old man was taken into custody, but was released after consultation with the B.C. Prosecution Service. The investigation remains active today.
Kimberley lost a super volunteer and community member at the end of August, with the passing of Graham Mann. Graham was a one of a kind man and an incredible volunteer. A tribute to Graham was published in the Bulletin, written by editor Carolyn Grant.
A small fire at Selkirk Secondary didn’t cause any disruptions to the start of the school year. The fire, which started in the gymnasium, was believed to be an electrical fire. Although staff were evacuated, the Kimberley Fire Department was quickly able to locate and extinguish the fire.
At the start of the month, James Oler, convicted polygamist leader associated with Bountiful, was sentenced to 12 months in jail for his role in removing a child from Canada to marry an American Mormon fundamentalist in 2004.
The Kimberley dynamiters were preparing for the season after their main camp ended at the end of August. 35 players attended the camp, after which, the roster was cut down to 23 skaters and three goalies. The regular season began on September 13. They opened up the season with two wins against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the Osoyoos Coyotes.
At the beginning of the school year, Selkirk Secondary School announced they would be banning the use of cell phones during class time. The announcement explained that for the foreseeable future, students would have to leave their cell phones in their lockers during class time, including drink and washroom breaks during classes.
With the federal election quickly approaching, candidates were being announced in local ridings in early September. Later in the month, an All Candidates Forum was held at McKim school, where Wayne Stetski, Robin Goldsbury, Abra Brynne, Rob Morrison, Rick Stewart, Trev Miller and Terry Tiessen were present to answer questions from community members.
Kimberley RCMP removed two impaired drivers from the road in September, with Sgt. Chris Newel stating that both posed risks to themselves and others. Both drivers failed their breath samples and were given impaired driving sanctions, among others.
A bear was put down by Conservation Officers in mid-September after being the subject of many calls to the CO line. CO’s first tried to trap the bear for re-location, however after finding out that it was extremely food-habituated and not afraid of people, they made the call to but the bear down.
Kimberley Youth Action Network Students, along with many community members and business owners, participated in the global climate walkout on September 20. The march was to raise awareness of the changing climate and the youth-lead initiatives taking place across the globe.
At the end of the month, the Kimberley Seniors Project Society announced that construction was nearing completion on the Church Avenue Affordable Housing Units. At that time, they started receiving applications for low-income families. The units were quickly filled and moved into shortly after.
At the end of the month, the Dynamiters pushed their record to five wins and no losses, winning 2-1 in overtime against Fernie.