Year in Review: June 2019

The operators of the Mabel Lake Provincial Park campground were upset after vandalism happened to the gras on the overflow day-use lot. (Photo submitted)
Vernon council listened to more than 40 people speak at a 2.5-hour town hall meeting on downtown Vernon issues at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Morning Star file photo)
Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper (left) bestows the Freedom of the City to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary, accepted by president Marj Bailey. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming (left) congratulates Al Harrison, named Bylaw Officer of the Year in B. C. (Morning Star file photo)

Mabel Lake park vandalized

Jeff and Louise (Weezie) Nielson, with help from their friends, work hard to keep the Mabel Lake Provincial Park campground in pristine condition.

Weezie is the park operator and does administration, Jeff is the park manager. They have received many compliments the past three years for the park’s immaculate condition.

That’s why the couple was very disappointed over a rash of vandalism at the park. A quad machine is believed to have ripped up the lawn in the overflow day-use parking lot, and every picnic table save one was senselessly vandalized again.

The couple replaced the tables the week before with brand new boards after every table over the winter had been vandalized by someone carving profanities into them.

Core concerns heard by councillors

More than 40 people, most venting emotion, spoke at a 2.5-hour Vernon council town hall meeting on downtown Vernon issues held at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

The meeting was aimed at helping council find solutions to downtown problems.

Many people recommended more police and bylaw officers, provide downtown showers and washrooms for the street population; make it mandatory for businesses to lock dumpsters; and get rid of, or move, the Upper Room Mission.

Students see principal smooch llama for cause

Rob Ellis made good and puckered up.

Ellis, principal at Armstrong’s Highland Park Elementary School, challenged his students to raise more than $4,000 for the Heart Foundation’s Jump Rope For Heart program.

If they did, Ellis said he would kiss a farm animal in front of the school. The students raised $6,362.20.

After receiving Avon red lipstick from head librarian Michele Lee, Ellis went lip-to-lip with an orphaned, rescued llama named Willow, whose owner, Kelly Brown, brought the animal to the gym.

New reward offered for missing Shuswap woman

It may be three years since Ashley Simpson disappeared, but the search for her has not diminished. John Simpson, Ashley’s dad, has announced that a reward is being offered for information about her.

A family member offered to pay a $10,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to finding Ashley or the arrest and charge of an individual responsible for Ashley’s murder.

Ashley is one of four women who have gone missing in the Shuswap over the past few years. Also missing are Deanna Wurtz, Caitlin Potts and Nicole Bell.

Bylaw officer of the year

At the annual general meeting and 49th annual Licence Inspectors and Bylaw Officers Association of BC conference in Salmon Arm, Al Harrison, 62, of Vernon, is named Bylaw Officer of the Year.

Provincial officers of the year are recognized for exhibiting leadership and vision, showcasing outstanding public civil service and demonstrates superior skills in bylaw investigation and enforcement.

Top honour for auxiliary

The City of Armstrong bestows its highest honour, the Freedom of the City, upon the Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary. They are the 12th organization or individual given the honour.

The auxiliary was founded 85 years ago in 1934, and operates the highly successful Bargain Bin thrift store in downtown Armstrong that has raised millions for health care in the North Okanagan.

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