Year In Review: Looking back at September 2019

First VSSS grads reunite 50 years later

Teresa Andrews (Tighe), Debbie Sigalet and a handful of others old classmates helped organize the 50-year reunion of the first-ever graduation class from Vernon Senior Secondary School in June 1969.

Memories of hangouts like the OK Cafe, Nick’s Kandy Kitchen, the Vernon Civic Arena and Scout Hall, were recollected on Sept. 28, as the Class of ‘69 gathered at the Eagles Hall.

The first class at the new, but unfinished, high school set foot in the facility in September 1968. The gymnasium hadn’t been finished.

And one of the things students noticed right away – as did eventually every single student who attended the old school — was that there were no windows in the classrooms.

“What were they thinking?” laughed Sigalet. “Still, it was a pretty exciting time, going into a brand new school. We were only in it for a year but it was pretty cool.”

The last reunion the class had was 20 years ago.

Shotgun greeting at drive-thru

An attempted armed robbery at a local drive-thru restaurant surprised unsuspecting customers ordering a late-night snack shortly after 11 p.m., Sept. 3.

As customers sat waiting for their meal in the drive-thru, they were approached by a lone male, who allegedly produced a shotgun, threatened the passengers in the vehicle and made a demand for money.

“The immediate instinct of the driver was to drive her car forward causing the suspect to flee the area,” RCMP Const. Kelly Brett said.

Police were able to quickly located the suspect and made an arrest without incident.

Sagmoen saga starts

A North Okanagan man appeared in Vernon court on Aug. 30 on multiple charges after a sex worker accused him of threatening her with a gun near Falkland in August 2017.

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen was first charged in October 2017.

Later that month, Sagmoen’s name became countrywide news after the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were found on his parents’ property near Falkland, where he was also residing.

No charges have been laid in relation to her death.

In December, Sagmoen was found guilty of disguising his face with intent to commit an indictable offence, using a firearm while committing an offence and possession of methamphetamine.Iconic corner store thriving in 60th year

It opened in 1959 as Verndale Cash and Carry.

And, save for a couple of years at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the new millennium, the now-named Charlie’s Corner Store served residents of West Vernon and Alexis Park Drive for 60 years.

Tom and Louise Maxwell bought the store in December 2016 after moving to the North Okanagan from Calgary.

The couple gave the store a new name and added what may be Vernon’s best-kept secret — a patio to the west of the building that is open for public use, featuring four tables, each with four chairs.

It’s called Patio on 38th, complete with signs.

“We have a lot of seniors that go for a walk, get tired, so they come and sit on the patio. Right after we opened it, a single mom was out there and a new lady moved in,” Louise said.

Tom said business has grown 47 per cent in the two years they’ve operated the store.

“That shows us we’re doing something right.”

Shamrocks and Team Slovakia unite in sport

The score, in favour of the home team, was a little lopsided. And irrelevant.

Two lacrosse teams from opposite sides of the world joined to build relationships and experience in the language of lacrosse Sept. 16.

The Armstrong Shamrocks hosted Team Slovakia at the historic Hassen Memorial Arena in an international friendly in advance of the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.

“First thing we noticed was the size and athleticism of many of their players,” said Shamrocks coach Ryan Nitchie.

The teams had a pre-game dinner together and the Slovaks were warmly welcomed by Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper, who presented team captain Tomas Rydlo with a city flag and other memorabilia.

“What a great celebration of lacrosse,” said Nitchie. “Team Slovakia exuded class and professionalism, it was such an honour to host them and the community support was sensational.

Video production trailer offers filmmaking to Indigenous community

A video production studio has rolled into Enderby to give members of the local Indigenous community a chance to discover their filmmaking skills.

Wapikoni is a Montreal-based non-profit organization that offers video production workshops to Indigenous communities.

For the month of September, staff helped members of the Splatsin Nation create their own content in a trailer packed with cutting-edge shooting, recording and editing equipment.

It’s the second year that the Wapikoni trailer has come to the Splatsin Nation, which is how Gloria Morgan first became introduced to filmmaking.

Her 2017 film, Auntie’s Hands, was one of five videos in its category that was shared nationally in the festivals Wapikoni is involved with.

“I think it’s a great thing to involve the youth and other people in our community because we don’t have something as fabulous as this mobile unit,” she said.

Race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

The Freaky Creeky 50’s first trail race nearly went off without a hitch despite race organizer Dawna Jodoin being head-butted in the park just days before the event.

However, if you ask Jodoin the event was a big hit.

“I had a fat, bloody lip,” Jodoin said. “No big deal.”

Jodoin was marking the course in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park with reflective flags, when she noticed were being pulled from the track behind her.

After backtracking and asking people if they’d seen anyone tampering with the flags, she eventually asked a man who evidently had no qualms admitting he was the culprit.

“He said, ‘Yes, it was me,’” Jodoin said.

“Things got a little heated and he walked up to me and decided it was a good time to assault me,” she said.

Despite the violent incident and some rain, Jodoin said she was surprised to see so many out-of-towners partake in the race.

“It was a great event and people were super happy,” she said.

“Runners were crossing the finish line with muddy faces and huge smiles.”

Mexico-Vernon motorcycle tour winds up

Hundreds of motorcycles pulled into the Vernon Lodge this week for the last stop in their more than 3,000-kilometre journey from Mexico.

The motorcyclists departed Mexico on Aug. 30 and pulled into the Vernon Lodge days later for the 44th annual Three Flags Classic Motorcycle Tour. It’s the first time the tour has ended in Vernon. This year’s event saw 230 riders.

Everybody rides at their own pace,” said rider Dannie Fox.

“You’ve got people who ride like there’s no tomorrow and people who like to smell the roses along the way.”

An Arizona resident who spent the first 70 years of his life in California, Fox can’t leave Vernon without bringing home the Ogopogo.

“I’m hoping to pick up a souvenir for my grandkids, and I bought my daughter one of those when she was 10 years old on Three Flags and she still has it.”

Year in Review

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Break and enter, vehicle thefts hit North Okanagan

Truck and scooter stolen and local business broken into over the weekend

‘Fed bears are dead bears’ North Okanagan residents warned

Several bears spotted near Okanagan Rail Trail, and getting into garbage

Morning Start: Night Owls Tend to Be Smarter Than Early Birds

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

Ear-to-ear smiles for Kelowna woman’s 75th birthday surprise

Helen Bellinger’s early 75th birthday celebrations involved a cluster of bright yellow smiley-face balloons

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Most Read