Marie Morris – Vernon’s New Year’s Baby in 1939 – is named JCI Good Citizen of the Year. Morris has been president of the local Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Vernon Winter Carnival chairperson, president of the Kinette Club and active in the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club and Camp Hurlburt. She is currently on the executive of Special Olympics. (Morning Star file photo)

Marie Morris – Vernon’s New Year’s Baby in 1939 – is named JCI Good Citizen of the Year. Morris has been president of the local Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Vernon Winter Carnival chairperson, president of the Kinette Club and active in the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club and Camp Hurlburt. She is currently on the executive of Special Olympics. (Morning Star file photo)

Newsmakers of the year

A look at the top stories from January 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first instalment in a series highlighting the top stories of 2017.

January

Congratulations to Armstrong’s Kimberly Hewitt and Andreas Sheldon, parents to the North Okanagan’s first baby of 2017, a daughter, Lucy. She was born Jan. 1 at 4:57 a.m. at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Regional District of North Okanagan directors vote to change the zoning so the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club’s gym facility can continue on East Vernon Road. An application will be submitted to the Agricultural Land Commission to sanction non-farm status for the building. RDNO had originally received a recommendation not to legalize the land use because of non-zoning. But numerous letters against RDNO’s plans were received, and about 150 crowded into RDNO chambers to back the club.

Vernon councillor Bob Spiers launches an online petition to have the goods and services tax removed from the carbon tax.

Vernon is one of 17 communities Expedia.ca is encouraging people to visit in Canada in 2017.

Representatives from the Vernon School District and Vernon Teachers Association meet to discuss the impact of $50 million being directed towards teachers provincewide.

It takes a couple of hours for Ram Environmental and Inland Divers Underwater Services Ltd. to raise a sunken pickup truck from the bottom of ice-covered Swan Lake. The truck went in a few days earlier though the driver escaped uninjured.

A Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP drug trafficking investigation has resulted in a total of 19 people charged with 30 counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, the likes of which include cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.

Vernon council votes in favour of placing a rainbow crosswalk on 30th Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets.

A morning chimney fire spreads through an attic of an Old Kamloops Road home, leaving several residents out in the cold. Three adults residents are left searching for a new home after the fire destroys the home.

Vernon will be down to a pair of walk-in medical facilities after the original clinic, Gartree Medical Clinic, announces it will close in March due to being down to just one doctor.

Falkland hunter Dean Trumbley is the host of Bushnell’s Trigger Effect, a hunting TV series that is now filming all over the world.

A snow biker is safe and sound after being stuck overnight on Mara Mountain between Enderby and Sicamous. Crews from Vernon Search and Rescue and Shuswap Search and Rescue worked through the night to find the man’s tracks. At daylight, a helicopter was brought in and found the man within 15 minutes.

Spallumcheen council unanimously votes to renew the township’s curbside blue bag recycling service for one year.

Silver Star’s Denys Lawrence is named president of the Canadian Assocation of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI).

Two weeks after her story was featured in The Morning Star, 70-year-old homeless woman Loretta Louie may have a permanent residence in sight.

Efforts are underway to ensure overdose deaths in Vernon don’t reach crisis proportions. There were 13 fatal overdoses in 2016 while there were 108 suspected opioid overdoses reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s emergency department from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2016.

Rogers Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey weekend is a huge success as hundreds crowd into Spirit Square at Vernon City Hall for two days of activities, and a live Rogers Sportsnet hockey game broadcast.

Marie Morris – Vernon’s New Year’s Baby in 1939 – is named JCI Good Citizen of the Year. Morris has been president of the local Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Vernon Winter Carnival chairperson, president of the Kinette Club and active in the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club and Camp Hurlburt. She is currently on the executive of Special Olympics.

WorkSafe B.C. and the RCMP are investigating an industrial accident in Lumby after a man is killed on the job.

Vernon’s Dawn Tucker shares her story of taking part in the Women’s March in Washington, DC.

The City of Vernon closes Okanagan Avenue from the 6200 block to Longacre Drive because a portion of the road has slumped because of frost heaves.

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Rogers Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey weekend is a huge success as hundreds crowded into Spirit Square at Vernon City Hall for two days of activities, and a live Rogers Sportsnet hockey game broadcast. (File photo)

Rogers Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey weekend is a huge success as hundreds crowded into Spirit Square at Vernon City Hall for two days of activities, and a live Rogers Sportsnet hockey game broadcast. (File photo)

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