Year in Review: Top stories from January

May Correale (left) and Corrine Shale (right) of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Auxiliary present a collection of goods and flowers to Armstrong’s Robyn Wells and her newborn Aspen Lynn Michalko, who was the first baby to be born at the hospital in 2019. Michalko was born at 10:07 a.m. Jan. 1, 2019. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)
North Okanagan Valley Gleaners are calling out for more help to meet their 13-million-portion goal to feed the world’s hungry. (Black Press files)

As we near 2020, we’re looking back at the stories that captured our attention throughout the past year. Here are a few of the headlines to remember from January 2019.

Gleaners send one million meals to Guatemala

It’s about collecting extra shavings, bit by bit, and turning it into something hearty to help those in need.

That’s the mantra behind the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners, who recently sent 2018’s second shipment of more than one million meals and various medical supplies to Guatemala.

“There’s always a need, but there’s a critical need right now,” said Brad Egerton, board chair and volunteer with the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners since 2011.

In their Lavington processing plant, the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners are able to produce more than seven million meals per year.

Created in 2007, the society was formed and sought to make use of the Okanagan’s vast food supply to help feed the hungry.

It’s a girl!

Armstrong’s then-youngest resident Aspen Lynn Michalko was the first baby to be born in 2019 at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“We didn’t the gender going into labour,” mother Robyn Wells said.

Aspen was born to Wells and father Kevin Michalko. She has two older siblings, four-year-old Ethan and two-year-old sister London.

Light-A-Bulb raises more than $350,000

Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation raised $350,284 through their 2018 Light A Bulb Campaign, far exceeding the goal of $275,000.

“We are completely blown away by the response this year and want to sincerely thank each and everyone who contributed to Light A Bulb,” campaign chairman Kevin Arbuckle said.

Vernon’s own Jaq Havoq drops debut album

Jaq Havoq (Quinn Jones) released his 10-track debut album Time Well Spent in January.

The album blends hip-hop, R&B and pop flavours and features tracks such as Predator, accompanied by a music video shot at the Predator Ridge Resort.

“It (album) covers everything from detailed lyricism that hip-hop heads can appreciate, to laid-back melodies that everyone can enjoy,” said the singer.

Car surfing death a ‘tragic incident’

Byron James Walterhouse waved goodbye to friends, family and the victim’s family as he left the Vernon Law Courts in handcuffs with a sheriff.

Judge Richard Hewson sentenced Walterhouse, 42, to nine months incarceration and handed down a three-year driving prohibition for the June 1, 2016, car surfing death of his friend, Justin Roger Martyn.

Throughout the duration of the case, from charges being laid to sentencing Jan. 17, Walterhouse received support from Martyn’s family.

“The pronouncement of this sentence is unlikely to bring much solace,” Judge Hewson said to teary-eyed members of the public gallery. “My sentence can’t bring Mr. Martyn back.”

Earlier in the week, Walterhouse pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death in relation to the Tronson Road car surfing death of 27-year-old Martyn.

Walterhouse also faced charges of criminal negligence causing death and failure to stop at an accident causing death.

“I take full responsibility and regret everything that happened that night,” Walterhouse said to Judge Hewson and Martyn’s family at the beginning of his sentencing hearing Jan. 14.

Cougar attacks, kills dog in Lumby

A cougar that attacked and killed a dog in Lumby was euthanized in January.

The Conservation Officer service received a report related to a cougar attack Jan. 20, 2019.

It was determined at the attack scene a cougar had attacked and killed a one-year-old border collie dog.

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