Vernon Jackals win a second straight Okanagan Rugby Union championship, whipping the Penticton Harlequins 53-10 at Vernon’s Grahame Park. (File photo)

Newsmakers of the year

A look at the top stories from June 2017

  • Dec. 31, 2017 8:30 a.m.

A sinkhole three-feet in diameter opens on Highway 97 at the bottom of Hospital Hill in Vernon. The hole closes that section of highway for several hours, and takes crews about two full days to repair. The hole was flood-related, caused by fast-flowing water from Vernon Creek that flows under the highway.

All eyes continue to be focused on rising water levels. Wood, Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes are breaking historic records for capacity and that has communities not easing up on emergency preparedness.

Coldstream-based home builder Keith Construction has stepped up to provide $50,000 towards the campaign to support Okanagan College’s new $6.2 million trades training centre at the Vernon campus.

Vernon’s Sunshine Laundry Express closes its door because of rising water prices. The average quarterly bill was about $1,500 when the business opened five years ago, and it’s now $3,000. The decision to close was made because the lease for the space is up.

Politicians ponder the future of Rotary Pier at Kalamalka Lake after the dock is damaged during storms, but also due to a viral video showing a fight among teens on the pier, which had been closed at the time of the video because of high water levels.

Flooding continues to be an issue for the Okanagan Indian Band which issued an evacuation notice to a number of full-time residents and visitors on properties near Okanagan Lake. The lake is experiencing record high-water levels.

Vernon School District trustee and former Okanagan Indian Band councillor Mollie Bono is named Leader of the Year at the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Awards at Durali Villa.

Hannah Bennison of Vernon Secondary is named Athlete of the Year at the Tim Hortons North Okanagan Sports Awards. Bennison is the three-time B.C. high school girls cross-country running champion. Team of the year is the Vernon Panthers football squad, which lost the provincial final in December. Ian Gibson, 81, was presented the Leadership in Sports award for his five decades of service to boxing and soccer.

Vernon School District trustee and former Okanagan Indian Band councillor Mollie Bono is named Leader of the Year at the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Awards at Durali Villa.

Vernon School District trustee and former Okanagan Indian Band councillor Mollie Bono is named Leader of the Year at the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Awards at Durali Villa.

Vernon School District trustee and former Okanagan Indian Band councillor Mollie Bono is named Leader of the Year at the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Awards at Durali Villa.

Vernon School District trustee and former Okanagan Indian Band councillor Mollie Bono is named Leader of the Year at the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Awards at Durali Villa.

The O’Keefe Ranch is older than Canada. The ranch celebrates its 150th birthday June 15, two weeks before Canada turns 150 on July 1.

A number of Armstrong residents believe the city has been irresponsible in controlling “foul, unhealthy and dangerous” fumes coming from the open sewage pond behind the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

A North Okanagan resident with a background of coaching gymnastics in Lumby and Vernon is charged with three child pornography counts.

A charge of second-degree murder is laid against a 21-year-old Vernon man in connection with the death of a woman in an Okanagan Landing apartment.

Vernon garners rave reviews from the production crew of the Minds Eye Entertainment, in town shooting the movie Distorted, starring John Cusack and Christina Ricci.

A group of Coldstream Elementary parents makes an emotional plea to Vernon School District trustees to keep their children in the same school, rather than transferring them to Kidston.

Sandy McMurray is named Armstrong Spallumcheen Citizen of the Year. McMurray is a longtime volunteer in the community.

Local Rotary clubs want to see the popular Rotary Pier at Kalamalka Lake beach stay in place after some politicians ponder its future due to potential flood damage, and after a video is released on social media showing confrontations among pier users.

The Okanagan Indian Band is monitoring a sewage discharge and blue/green algae in the north arm of Okanagan Lake.

Vernon Jackals win a second straight Okanagan Rugby Union championship, whipping the Penticton Harlequins 53-10 at Vernon’s Grahame Park.

Witnesses and a suspect are being sought in a shooting in Polson Park. The incident happened just after 1:30 p.m. A man was found suffering a gunshot wound and was taken to VJH with non-life-threatening injuries. The park was immediately closed and evacuated. A Vernon high school was wrapping up graduation photos just prior to the shooting.

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