Bob McWhinnie Day took place on April 28. Kimberley residents young and old were at the skatepark with their skateboards, bikes and scooters to remember Bob McWhinnie, a former Kimberley City Councillor who passed away in 2010. McWhinnie was the driving force behind the construction of the skatepark on Rotary Drive. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin file).

Kimberley Bulletin, a year in review, part two

The Bulletin’s annual year in review, from April to June.

April

April started off with a small wildfire just outside on Cranbrook near the Aqam community. Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services assisted B.C. Wildfire Service crews and Aqam residents in knocking down the fire before it spread to homes in the area.

On April 4, a small grass fire in the Jaffray area prompted the Regional District of East Kootenay to remind East Kootenay residents to be cautious about spring burning. The Jaffray Fire Department reported that the fire was preventable, as it was lit and left before it started to spread.

On April 6, rallies for better forest management were also being held across the province, with a gathering held at the north side of St. Mary Lake. Organizers said that better legislation is needed to protect the area.

Kimberley City Council voted to dissolve the affordable housing committee and instead establish a new Housing Strategy Committee. Mayor Don McCormick said at the time that Kimberley’s growing population is the reason for challenges on the housing front.

The first weekend in April marked the end of the ski season in Kimberley, with Kimberley Alpine Resort hosting their annual spring splash event. Hundreds of skiers, snowboarders and spectators gathered at the bottom of the ski hill to watch brave participants hurl themselves into the splash pool.

Heading into the KIJHL final series, the Dynamiters were on the brink of elimination at the beginning of the month, with the Nitros trailing the Revelstoke Grizzlies 3-1.

Later in the month, the Dynamiters’ season ended, and Brock Palmer was awarded the playoff MVP trophy. Brock tied for the KIJHL scoring lead and had eight multi-point games including four three point games and one four point game.

The Kimberley Cross Country season ended on a high note, with every racer returning from Nationals in Quebec with a medal.

Two Alberta men were put in custody in April after a crime spree in several jurisdictions including Kimberley and Cranbrook. The two faced multiple charges of theft, fraud and possession of stolen property.

Kimberley RCMP had a busy first few weeks of April, impounding several vehicles for excessive speed and drinking and driving.

Kimberley’s Team Buchy finished out their season strong with a bronze at the U18 Nationals in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Skip Kaila Buchy said at the time that the Nationals were an amazing experience and the whole team played well all week.

At the end of April, the Rural and Remote Harm Reduction Conference was held at the Kimberley Conference Centre. The conference aimed to explore how rural and remote communities can help with harm reduction and safer use through a foundation of trauma healing.

Two Kimberley pedestrian crossings were in the news in April, one in front of Gym 67 and the Platzl, and the other in Marysville in front of the Petro Canada gas station. In both instances, residents wrote to Council to ask for better signage and more information after a few “near misses” caused concern.

Bob McWhinnie Day took place on April 28. Kimberley residents young and old were at the skatepark with their skateboards, bikes and scooters to remember Bob McWhinnie, a former Kimberley City Councillor who passed away in 2010. McWhinnie was the driving force behind the construction of the skatepark on Rotary Drive.

May

A pair of Elk Valley pilots took it upon themselves to help medical patients forced to travel great distances for treatment. The volunteer organization Angel Flight East Kootenay, announced their service at the beginning of May, saying they hope to help patients in the East Kootenay region by flying them to Kelowna and Vancouver.

On Friday, May 3, Kimberley students at Selkirk Secondary joined the Rural Walkout for Climate Change, by walking out of school and marching through the Platzl. This was part of the global climate action movement started by Greta Thunberg.

As thefts from vehicles continued in Kimberley, RCMP members were reminding the public to lock up their vehicles. Sgt. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP said that most of the time, thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles.

The City of Kimberley and Kimberley Fire Department were successful in a grant application for the Community Resilience Investment Program, being awarded $700,000 for fire interface work over the course of two years.

As construction on 4th Avenue was taking place, RCMP and the City of Kimberley had to remind residents to exercise patience and obey traffic control lights during the upgrade. Reports of drivers jumping the light, proceeding when they shouldn’t, and driving too fast were sent to both the City and RCMP at the time.

The Kimberley and Marysville Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Stores celebrated 66 years of operation in May, hosting an anniversary celebration on May 11.

A fire in the Dock Pond area of the Kimberley Nature Park on a weekend in May reached more than one hectare. Fire Chief Rick Prasad said at the time that it was likely a “creeping pile”, and had smouldered for a few weeks after the fire department had been doing fire interface work in the area. Prasad reported that the fire never went out of control and was mainly a ground fire.

The Kimberley Golf Club announced that they would be proceeding with the sale of the course to Purcell International Education. The club and PIE signed an agreement at a special meeting on May 14, the first step in many towards PIE’s plans to build an international boarding school in Marysville.

The Sullivan Mine and Railway Historical Society accepted an award for Outstanding Distinguished Service from Heritage BC. President of the Society Mick Hennignson accepted the award, speaking to the enormity of the Sullivan Mine and related surface operations that employed 60,000 people over 100 years.

James Oler, a former leading of a polygamous community south of Creston, was found guilty of removing a child from Canada knowing she would be subject to sexual offences. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for July 15 in Cranbrook Supreme Court.

On May 23, the City of Kimberley and the Kimberley Fire Department hosted a mock emergency exercise to enhance staff training and evaluate emergency response to major incidents. The exercise involved a mock school bus rollover and multiple simulated injuries.

The Kimberley Arts Council announced that they would be cancelling their Summer Theatre season, despite the board’s best efforts to restart the project.

Kimberley’s Donna Briggs and Lloyd Steeves were named Volunteers of the Year by Alpine Canada, for their involvement with the Alpine Canada and Dreadnaught races at Kimberley Alpine Resort. The duo are the force behind ski racing in Kimberley.

East Kootenay bee keepers made headlines at the end of May, with representatives from the East Kootenay Beekeepers stating that bee populations were suffering alarming losses across the board.

On May 31, 2019, President of Save On Foods, Darrell Jones, announced the long-awaited start of construction on a new $12 million Save On store in Kimberley. A ground breaking ceremony was held and plans for the new store were revealed.

June

Every year on the first weekend in June, the Mark Creek Lions Club hosts Marysville Daze at the Lions Park in Marysville. As always, there was a pancake breakfast, softball tournament, a market, and lots of activities for families.

The Kimberley Gymnastics Club held their annual Coconut Cup competition on June 1 and 2. This year, for the first time, the event was held at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

On June 15, a fire broke out at a residence on Stemwinder Drive. There were no occupants in the home, and therefore no injuries, but the house was a complete loss, said Fire Chief Rick Prasad at the time.

Fish populations at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery were perilously low in June, thanks to a pesky group of otters that discovered the mote at the hatchery. Hatchery Manager Owen Schoenberger reported that over 100 fish had been eaten or seriously injured by the otters.

Another class graduated from Selkirk in June, with the class of 2019 celebrating their victories with the annual Platzl parade and prom celebrations.

Four search warrants were executed in Kimberley on June 18, resulting in Cranbrook and Kimberley RCMP seizing a significant quantity of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and meth along with cash, a replica hand gun, rifle and other weapons.

Shortly thereafter, Kimberley RCMP were investigating after rocks were being thrown at vehicles from the embankment on Hwy 95A between Kimberley and Meadowbrook.

Kimberley’s annual Round the Mountain Festival took place on June 23, and despite a rainy forecast, the event ended up seeing sunshine and a great turnout. One of the goals of the event is to be as zero-waste as possible, which was extremely successful this year with just one quarter bag of garbage for 700 people.

June 26, 2019 marked the 50 year anniversary of the disappearance of Phillip Porter of Kimberley. Teenager Phillip disappeared running an errand for his mother on June 26, 1969 and was never seen again. Sgt Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP said that although the case is 50 years old, it still remains active.

On June 30, 2019, the Kimberley Youth Action Network held Kimberley’s first ever Pride Festival. KYAN, along with many community members, gathered in the Platzl to celebrate and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

READ MORE: Kimberley Bulletin, a year in review, part one

READ MORE: Black Press Media’s best photos of 2019



corey.bullock@kimberleybulletin.com

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The volunteer organization Angel Flight East Kootenay, announced their service at the beginning of May, saying they hope to help patients in the East Kootenay region by flying them to Kelowna and Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Raven Eye Photography

The Kimberley Golf Club announced that they would be proceeding with the sale of the course to Purcell International Education. The club and PIE signed an agreement at a special meeting on May 14, the first step in many towards PIE’s plans to build an international boarding school in Marysville. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin file).

Mayor Don McCormick and Save On President Darrell Jones break ground on the new Kimberley Save On Foods store. Carolyn Grant photo.

The Kimberley Gymnastics Club held their annual Coconut Cup competition on June 1 and 2. This year, for the first time, the event was held at the Kimberley Civic Centre. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin file)

Another class graduated from Selkirk in June, with the class of 2019 celebrating their victories with the annual Platzl parade and prom celebrations. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin file)

On June 30, 2019, the Kimberley Youth Action Network held Kimberley’s first ever Pride Festival. KYAN, along with many community members, gathered in the Platzl to celebrate and show support for the LGBTQ+ community. (Corey Bullock file)

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