B.C. Lions stars Solomon Elimimian, Dyshawn Davis and Stephen Adekolu give a presentation on teamwork and school trades at Vernon’s Ellison Elementary School. (Morning Star file photo)

Newsmakers of the year

A look at the top stories from February 2017

February

North Okanagan residents are horrified by a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. Six men were killed and 19 others injured in the attack.

Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library plans to step up security after a pair of overdose incidents are reported.

A Kelowna man – an employee of Tolko Industries – is killed operating a boom boat on Okanagan Lake near the Kelowna plant.

Academy Award winner Robert Port – who won an Oscar in 2003 for Twin Towers – is in the North Okanagan scouting locations for the film Peace, which is based on a book by Richard Bausch.

An accidental dropping of a pepper spray canister inside the Upper Room Mission during lunch hour results in the facility being closed for the remainder of the day. Nobody was hurt in the incident. The mission reopened the following morning after the building was disinfected and sterilized.

Jordynne Tomiak is crowned Queen Silver Star LVII and Meghan Townley is named Princess at the Vernon Winter Carnival’s Queen Silver Star proclamation and coronation.

Vernon councillor Juliette Cunningham accuses her colleagues of reneging on promises to expand public beaches. A majority of council votes to defer a decision on whether two Okanagan Lake sites should be developed in 2017, and eight in 2018.

The Okanagan Equestrian Society is selling debentures to fund its legal action against the City of Vernon over access to Kin Race Track.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is expected to be installed at Vernon Jubilee Hospital in 2018. The announcement was made by Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster.

Regional District of North Okanagan board votes to increase 2017 taxes by two per cent to pay for the UBC and regional transit services, despite a staff recommendation not to.

B.C. Lions stars Solomon Elimimian, Dyshawn Davis and Stephen Adekolu give a presentation on teamwork and school trades at Vernon’s Ellison Elementary School.

Several unconnected portions of the Okanagan Rail Trail will be open by fall. Andrew Gibbs, with the City of Kelowna, said the decision to open the multi-use pathway in chunks is a deviation from the original plan to keep it closed until it’s completed.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP investigate a pair of armed robberies a few hours apart at businesses in Vernon and Armstrong. Three people are arrested and charged in connection with the incident in Armstrong.

Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Rick Sawatsky win their fourth straight and seventh overall provincial men’s curling championship – tying a B.C. record for men – as they team with John Morris of Chestermere, Alta., and Tyrel Griffith of Kelowna to defeat Dean Joanisse of Maple Ridge 6-3 in the Belairdirect B.C. men’s championship in Abbotsford. Cotter, Sawatsky and Griffith advance to their fourth consecutive Tim Hortons Brier while Morris will be appearing in his fifth straight national championship and 10th overall.

Tapping into the full potential of the Okanagan Rail Trail could possibly lead to Coldstram purchasing more land. The district’s tourism committee has recommended that council explore opportunities to secure the Dutch’s Campground property on Kalamalka Road.

Vernon Community School student Colin Charlton, 12, is one of 12 winners of $1,000 in prizes in the B.C. Social Innovation Youth Awards. Charlton is recognized for creating Santa’s Workshop, a fundraising campaign that provided financial assistance to 20 of his classmates, allowing them to shop for Christmas gifts for their parents.

Concerns about water quality in Spallumcheen boil over again as a manure lagoon breached at a dairy farm, raising concerns among residents about the impact on area water sources. The owners of the farm took full responsibility and apologized to the community. The Steele Springs Water District in Spallumcheen has been under a water quality advisory due to high nitrate levels in its source for nearly three years.

Regional District of North Okanagan director Akbal Mund is concerned older sports facilities are languishing while new amenities move ahead. Mund voted for a new storage shed at Greater Vernon Athletic Park but says other facilities, like the Creekside Park lacrosse box and Marshall Field, are not getting the same attention.

The Okanagan Film Commission will get its funding from a variety of sources. The Regional District of North Okanagan will provide the OFC with $33,000 in 2017, the same as in 2016, but down from the $38,000 requested for this year.

Grade 12 Vernon Secondary School student Shaughnessy Barker, with the help of her mom and a friend, wrote a personal note on pink post-it notes to each student and staff member at VSS for Anti-Bullying Day.

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Jordynne Tomiak is crowned Queen Silver Star and Meghan Townley is named Princess at the Vernon Winter Carnival’s Queen Silver Star proclamation and coronation. (File photo)

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