Year in review, part III

Top stories in Kimberley in September and October 2015


The campfire ban and smoky skies advisory were both lifted as 2015 fire season began to wind down. The Kimberley Cranbrook area escaped with much fire activity but nothing threatening either community. It was noted that Kimberley’s SunMine stats would be thrown off due to smoky skies in August.

A grizzly attack left a hunter with non-life threatening injuries. Chad Dueck of Cranbrook was attacked by a sow grizzly near Pritchard Road and Cranbrook’s spray irrigation fields. Dueck was bow hunting and shot at the bear but missed it. The bear left the area and CO’s didn’t feel it was a threat.

Suspects with a plan made an attempt to break into Trickle Creek Golf Course in early September, and a day later, were successful breaking into Bootleg Gap, making off with an ATM machine. “They drove a bobcat through the front door at Bootleg Gap, loosened the ATM machine, which was bolted to the floor and took off,” said Kimberley RCMP Cpl. Chris Newel. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken with the ATM.

Canfor announced it would be closing the Canal Flats saw mill as of November 9. “Our CEO and members of the senior management team were in Canal Flats today to announce the permanent closure of the facility,” said Corrine Stavness. “While we understand how difficult this will be for our employees and the community of Canal Flats, recent downturns in the oil and gas and lumber markets that the mill served combined with a lack of economically available fibre for the mill  have brought operating losses we can no longer sustain.”

On September 4th and again on Sept 8, police seized a quantity of Cocaine, Crack Cocaine and Heroin from a 24 year old male. Police had received information about a male believed to be from the lower mainland that was trafficking in a controlled substance in Cranbrook. Subsequent investigation found the subject had recently arrived in the area and had rented a condo in Kimberley.

A grizzly bear attacked an angler near Canal Flats on September 9. The attack occurred just off Findlay Creek Road, about eight kilometres up. Conservation Officer Joe Carravetta said the man was walking along a path and startled a young grizzly bear at a distance of about three meters.

Kimberley City Council granted business licenses to two more medical marijuana businesses for Kimberley on September 14, 2015. Each business will be allowed to dispense medical cannabis products, but each with a limitation — there will be no production allowed. The market will decide whether medical marijuana businesses make it or not, Council said.

Police took a subject into custody after a fifteen-hour standoff in Kimberley, Saturday, September 19. The incident began on Saturday night at 6:00 pm when neighbors reported a distraught male yielding two large axes and acting in an aggressive manner. Safety concerns prompted the call to police. The subject also had two knives on his belt. Two police negotiators talked to the man all night, over 14 hours, and he was eventually taken into custody with no issues.

Kimberley received a prestigious award at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver in September. Mayor Don McCormick accepted the Community Excellence Award for Leadership and Innovation on behalf of the City of Kimberley at the UBCM Awards Breakfast. Kimberley was recognized for the development of the SunMine.

With the 42nd federal election fast approaching, residents of Kimberley were given an opportunity to listen in on major election issues and the stances of all four candidates in the riding of Kootenay-Columbia on Wednesday, Sept. 30 as the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce hosted an all-candidates forum at Centre 64. A variety of issues were covered over the 13-question forum. In order as they were addressed: rural access to affordable Internet, medicinal marijuana dispensaries, funding of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC), the mandatory long-form census, investment in veterans services, education, freedom of Canadian scientists, climate change, investment in future clean technologies, economic priorities relating to small businesses and supply of workers, electoral reform and, finally, the growing age gap and the systemic issues that come with it.


The trial of a Cranbrook RCMP officer began in Cranbrook Supreme Court, as witnesses and responding officers testified in front of Justice Trevor Armstrong and the jury. Richard Drought was charged with careless use or storage of a firearm after the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) recommended the charge that stemmed from a police incident in October 2012. The trial ended abruptly as Crown counsel initiated a stay of proceedings, accompanied by cheers from the audience in the courtroom. Crown counsel Oleh Kuzma opened the seventh day of Drought’s trial by announcing that new evidence had been heard that hadn’t been heard previously before. “After assessing all the available evidence, the Crown has concluded that there is no substantial chance of conviction,” said Kuzma, a special prosecutor from Victoria who served as crown counsel for the case.

A celebration marking the successful joint bid to host the BC 55 Plus Games by the communities of Cranbrook and Kimberley took place on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The successful bid by the two communities was announced by the Ministry of Community, Sports and Cultural Development on Sept. 26.

Family, friends and fellow railway volunteers gathered at the Kimberley United Church to honour the life of Bill Spence, who passed away on October 2, 2015 at the age of 94. Mr. Spence was described as a visionary, a man with a great idea and the creativity, resourcefulness and drive to make it work. Mr. Spence was the driving force behind the Underground Mining Railway.

According to Paddy Brown, who operates the Greyhound stop out of his Flowers Galore business, Wednesday, October 15, 2015 was the last day Greyhound ran its passenger bus route from Cranbrook to Calgary, with stops in Kimberley and up the valley.

More than 73 per cent of voters turned out to vote in the Kootenay Columbia riding as the race between the NDP’s Wayne Stetski and Conservative David Wilks went into the early hours of the morning. Stetski was eventually declared the winner by less than 200 votes as the Liberals won the evening and a majority government.

Kimberley updated its garbage bylaw, and is now asking residents to not to put yard waste and clippings in the trash set out for collection. Residents are also asked to take all recyclables out of the trash.

Kimberley RCMP Cpl. Chris Newel reported that Kimberley Detachment members made an arrest last week for possession and accessing child pornography. “On October 19, Kimberley RCMP arrested a 20 year old male for Possession and Accessing Child Pornography,” Newel said. “Information had been forwarded to Kimberley from the BC Integrated Child exploitation Unit that the subject had been in possession of child pornography. An investigation was initiated and a search warrant obtained.”

The Year in Review concludes in tomorrow’s Bulletin.