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July 2014 Archives

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Cougar sighting in Prince George park unlikely

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Social media sites claim cougars seen in northern B.C. city park (Facebook)

There are unconfirmed sightings of cougars at popular running trails in Prince George, B.C. Daybreak's Russell Bowers speaks with Gary Van Spengen from the BC Conservation Officer Service about the report, and how to protect yourself from the cats if you see one.  

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The 41-minute ambulance wait

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Keeping time. Just how long does it take to get an ambulance on Haida Gwaii? One patient had to wait 41-minutes to take him just mere kilometres down the road. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk gets some answers from Peter Weeber, the Chief Administrative Officer with the Village of Queen Charlotte. 

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Quesnel couple reaches Top 10 at world competition

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Quesnel, B.C.'s Joel Kolenchuk & Jenny Phillips at Mississauga Competition (Photo Credit: Lynda Allen Photography)

Taking a swing, or rather, several swings at a world class championship. Daybreak's Russell Bowers speaks with Joel Kolenchuk and Jenny Phillips who are reaching for the top at an international competition. 

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Study shows fewer grizzlies on B.C. Central Coast

There's evidence of a declining grizzly bear population on the Central Coast of B.C. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk speaks with William Housty. He conducted a snaring study and is the Coastwatch Director for the QQS society. 

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Rock slide spawns the great salmon rescue of Telegraph Creek

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Volunteers with the Tahltan First Nation are helping thousands of salmon make their way over a rock slide (Tahltan Band).

A rockslide near Telegraph Creek in northwestern B.C. have gotten in the way of thousands of spawning salmon... but a plan has been hatched to help them out. LIsten to Ryan Franke of the Tahltan First Nation explain what's happening to Carolina de Ryk.


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Evacuation order for Hudson's Hope rescinded

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District of Hudson's Hope ordered evacuated due to wildfire

If you are being evacuated, you are asked to contact 1-250-787-8182 to register your whereabouts. Evacuees in need of a place to stay can go to the North Peace Arena at 9805, 96th Avenue, Fort St John.

If you can provide help or have room for people to stay, contact 250-794-5178.

Firefighter pilot Fred Hardenberg  snapped this photo of the Hudson Hope fire in Northern B.C.

Firefighter pilot Fred Hardenberg snapped this photo of the Hudson Hope fire in Northern B.C. (Fred Hardenberg/B.C. Wildfires)

An evacuation order has been issued for the small community of Hudson's Hope, population 1,100, and the surrounding area, west of Fort St. John in B.C.'s Peace River District, due to the Mount McAllister fire.

Residents are being advised to make the 80 km trip to Fort St. John, where they are being told they will be put up at the North Peace Arena.

The district has also declared a local state of emergency.

Hudson's Hope Evacuation

The entire District of Hudson's Hope has been ordered evacuated. The affected areas are outlined on this map. (Hudson's Hope)

The fire,which is burning out of control l00 kilometres southwest of Fort St. John and 56 kilometres west of Chetwynd, is believed to have been sparked by lightning.

It has doubled in size to 20,000 hectares.

Twelve significant wildfires currently burning in B.C. have also prompted another new evacuation alert while a number of evacuation orders also remain in place.

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Interviews:

Robson Valley residents worried about high-priced real estate

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The community of Dunster is located roughly 300 km southeast of Prince George.

The issue of who can and can't afford to own a home has become an issue in the community of Dunster in the Robson Valley. Residents of the area are holding a meeting tonight to discuss what some see as a growing problem for the small farming community.

Thomas Rohner is a freelance reporter who has been covering the issue for the Tyee. He says one aspect of the story is Fraser River Landholdings, a company that has been buying land in the area.

"Their buying up property was a huge source of rumours and fears for the locals that I talked to," he says. "There was just this general fear that the community wasn't going to be able to bring new people in to keep the community going."

In response to these fears, Fraser River Landholdings issued a statement saying they provide local jobs, and are commited to the community.

"Fraser River has no interest in buying the whole valley," the statement reads. "Our only interest is continuing to work our privately-owned land and to enjoy the pristine beauty that the Robson Valley affords us." 

Lelani Arris is the president of the Dunster Community Assocation. She says the bigger issue is a lack of smaller pieces of land that would be affordable to young families. She says there are people who want to live in Dunster, but can't find a piece of property small enough for them to afford.

"It's not about pointing fingers at individuals or organizations," she told CBC. "It's about how to do we preserve the community, because people do love it here and people come here and go 'oh my god, I want to live here' but they can't because it's just out of reach."

Listen to the full interview below:


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Prince Rupert smokehouse brings Nisga'a tradition to urban First Nations

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The new urban smokehouse at Prince Rupert Lawn and Garden (Carolina de Ryk/CBC).









































In Prince Rupert, a new smokehouse is helping members of the Nisga'a First Nation stay connected to tradition. The largest population of Nisga'a in Canada lives in Prince Rupert, but until now they were unable to preserve their fish using traditional methods without incurring high expense. But an urban smokehouse hopes to change that. Listen to the story from Carolina de Ryk below:

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A German city councillor and an Argentine Smithereen prepare for World Cup final

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When Germany played Argentina in the World Cup quarter finals in 2010, they won 4-0. 

The World Cup final is on Sunday. Argentina takes on Germany for the coveted championship. Prince George city councillor Albert Koehler grew up in Germany. He told Russell Bowers he's optimistic about his team's chances:


Facundo Gastiazoro was born in Buenes Aires, and now calls Smithers home. He's a little less calm that Koehler... listen as he tells Carolina de Ryk why he's spent much of the World Cup in agony:


The World Cup final will be broadcast on CBC Television, CBCsports.ca, and on CBC Radio One starting at 11:45 on Sunday.

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Tourism operators in the Bella Coola Valley say they've had hundreds of cancellations due to B.C. ferry cuts

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B.C. Ferries cut $19M in service reductions earlier this year.

Tourism operators in the Bella Coola Valley are feeling the fallout from major cuts made earlier this year

Among the cuts was the Discovery Coast Passage route, a sailing used during tourist season.

Petrus Rykes is director of the West Chilcotin Tourism Assocation. He says the fallout came almost immediately.

"Clearwater Lake Lodge... he usually gets 380 to 400 bookings, and he was down to about 37 bookings, 36 bookings. That's down 90 percent," says Rykes. He says other tourism operators have seen similar drops.

Rykes also says he's frustrated by the lack of support from B.C. Ferries or the provincial government.

"We wrote five letters... we never got one response."

Listen to the full interview below:






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What do sex workers think of the Conservatives prostitution bill?

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Justice Minister Peter MacKay (CBC).

Federal justice Minister Peter Mackay says a new bill is aimed at ending prostitution in Canada, and keeping vulnerable women safe. However, a women who works with sex workers in Prince George says no matter what happens, things probably won't change for her clients. Jan Wilson is with the Prince George New Hope Society, and she's been asking sex workers in the city want they think of the possible changes to the law. Listen to her interview below:


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Hot, hot heat

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People get ready to head to the waters to cool off (Photo Credit: CBC/Andrew Kurjata)
 
Little precipitation. Hot, hot heat. These are conditions perfect for growing forest fires. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk speaks with Fire Information Officer Jill Kelsh about one big fire in the northeast. And after that chat, Daybreak's Russell Bowers check out the forecast with meteorologist Doug Lundquist. 

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Performing Arts Centre back at Prince George City Council

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Society wants to build Performing Arts Centre in Prince George, B.C. 

The chair of the Prince George Regional Performing Arts Centre Society thinks it's 'nonsensical' that the region doesn't have already have Performing Arts Centre. Kirk Gable is chair of that society that is pushing for a place for people to perform. Daybreak's Russell Bowers speaks to Gable for more. 

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When a little boy's bike was stolen, he thought it was gone for good. Then his mom saw this photo.

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Seeing this photo on Facebook was the first in a series of steps a Prince George mom took to recover her son's stolen bike. (Facebook)

Prince George mother Lisa Haslett's son had his bike stolen from their carport on Canada Day. But what could have been a disappointing story turned into a "miracle" when the thief had a change of heart. Listen to the full story below:

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University course helps students revive First Nations building style

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Students in the Pit House course spent their first day clearing space for their new building (Jennifer Annais Pighin).

A new course at UNBC is reviving a First Nations building style from northern British Columbia.

Pit houses were used by indigenous people throughout British Columbia as a more permanent winter home compared to the summer months, when they would be on the move.

Vince Prince is leading the course. He taught himself how to build pit houses using drawings and descriptions in record books kept by Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice in the 1880s.

"He only wrote two paragraphs on the structure itself," says Prince. "I can tell you that the mistakes I made we won't make at UNBC."

Students taking the course will build a permanent pit house on the UNBC campus grounds in Prince George. The house will then be used for ceremonial and educational purposes, as well as a tourist attraction.

Jennifer Anais Pighin is helping teach the course, following a similar one last year that taught students how to build a traditional dug-out canoe. She thinks this type of learning is important to the future of the region.

Prince agrees.

"Like I was telling the students yesterday, you know what, probably it's been a couple hundred years since anybody's built one around here, and you know you can be proud of that." 

Listen to the full interview below:

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Moose crossings signs are in the wrong places

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Research from the University of Northern British Columbia says moose crossing signs don't always indicate where moose are likely to cross. (Roy Rea/UNBC)


They're a familiar sight for anyone travelling on BC's northern highways: bbright yellow signs warning about moose crossings. 
But Roy Rea of the University of Northern British Columbia says many of those signs are out of date. 

"As a kid growing up in Vanderhoof, there was a particular moose warning sign that was in the same place that it was 30 years ago. And I found it maybe a little hard to believe that was still a hot spot," says Rea, who studies moose-vehicle collisions at UNBC. 

Using data from the Ministry of Transportation, he identified 29 collision "hot spots," and confirmed many of the sites had moved over the years.

Nine of the hot spots were near road side salt licks, caused by a build-up of de-icing salt. 

"The moose are attracted to that, because like most animals, they're attracted to salt. And that particular time of year that they do that is June and July, so we're kind of in that peak time of year."

Rea is working with the Ministry to update sign placement, and to find ways to make the licks less attractive.

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3rd Avenue Chronicles:

3rd Avenue Chronicles Part One: A walk down memory lane in Prince George

The 3rd Avenue Chronicles takes us step-by-step through the changes, past and present, on Prince George's and Prince Rupert's 3rd Avenues.
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"You walk down the streets and you just hear the voices sharing the different stories of the buildings."

-Darcie Smith, Heritage Project Assistant, Prince George Public Library

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A bustling 3rd Avenue in Downtown, Prince George, 1965. (Photo courtesy of The Exploration Place)

We start our trip down 3rd Avenue in Prince George. Daybreak's Audrey McKinnon asks people hanging out on 3rd what the street means to them while Heritage Project Assistant Darcie Smith from the Prince George Public Library leads us on a historical walk filled with stories.

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