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February 2013 Archives

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New call for South Okanagan national park

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These sagebrush grasslands would be part of the South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen National Park. Parks Canada has said it is following the lead of the B.C. government and stepping away from its plans to establish the park in the Oliver-Osoyoos area. (CBC)

The Okanagan Nation Alliance has added its voice to the call for a national park in the south Okanagan.

The Alliance says it now supports the idea of the park, after the Province ended talks with Parks Canada because of lack of support.

The First Nations organization wants talks to resume.

So what is the political response to that idea considering it was the province that withdrew from the talks.

Rob Fleming is the New Democratic environment critic and Terry Lake is B.C.'s minister of the environment.

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The fabulous science of using DNA

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Jennifer Gardy(Courtesy CBC)
Studying DNA is one of the major tools being used these days to solve mysteries around disease and a host of other medical issues.

One of the people who does this work and leads some of the research is Jennifer Gardy, who leads the Genome Research Lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver.     

She's like a CSI agent when it comes to viral or bacterial disease outbreaks.

She has hosted CBC's The Nature Of Things and given Ted Talks and next week she giving two talks, one in Cranbrook, another in Vernon -- all about how to solve mysteries using DNA sequencing.

She will be speaking in Cranbrook, Monday March 4th and in Vernon Tuesday March 5th for the Science in Society Series.

This free event is being sponsored by Genome B.C. If you want to register, you can do so online at www.genomebc.ca/okanagan. Registration at the door will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

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Kelowna's Manteo Resort plans new towers

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The Manteo Resort on Kelowna's waterfront plans to add 10 and 12 story towers to its site(Courtesy Manteo Resort)

Next week, the Manteo Resort in Kelowna will hold a public meeting into its plan to expand skyward.

The resort along the Okanagan Lake waterfront wants to redevelop its site with 18 townhouses and two highrises.

One of those towers will be twelve storeys high, the other ten storeys, despite the fact that Kelowna's official community plan only allows for six storeys.

City councillor Robert Hobson explains why city councillors have voted to
send the matter to public hearing.

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Innovation and creativity sustain glassy business

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Bruce Taiji in his Lake Country studio and one of his creations (Courtesy Bruce Taiji)

Bruce Taiji believes innovative techniques and creative business sense have helped him stay afloat in our modern economy, which many artists have found difficult.

This tough economy has many who work in the arts asking themselves the question; Should they make art that fuels their soul or feeds their pocketbook?

Bruce has been working to do both and in a subjective field like art, it is as much about business sense as it is natural talent.

Daybreak's Gillianne Richards tells us it can be about the need to break the mold and show your work in a new light.

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Three men arrested in Kelowna gang shooting

It was a gang shooting that shocked people in Kelowna, but after an 18-month investigation three men linked to the death of Jonathan Bacon have been arrested. Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke to Vancouver Sun reporter Kim Bolan about who these men are.

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Rossland Secondary School closes

The Kootenay-Columbia has made the difficult decision to convert Rossland Secondary School into a kindergarten to grade nine school. Aerin Guy is a Rossland parent. She's also the co-ordinator of the Neighbourhood of Learning Committee. Darrel Ganzert is chair of the Kootenay-Columbia School District. Daybreak host Chris Walker spoke to them both.

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Pricey pie

People in Salmon Arm really like pie. The R.J. Haney Heritage Society held an auction over the weekend and sold about 15 pies. One of those pies got a pretty 'sweet' price! Gordon Erickson bid on that pie. Daybreak host Chris Walker reached him by phone.

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Biologist warns Zebra Mussels could invade lakes

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Left: Zebra mussels can cause significant damage to the environment. (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Associated Press/Canadian Press) Right: Aquatic Biologist Heather Larratt (CBC)

BC boaters are being told to pay attention to their passengers because it turns out some tiny sea sojourners have been hitch-hiking on boats from lake to lake.

And once they check into their new wet digs, Zebra mussels never leave.

They can be devastating to aquatic ecosystems.

In December last year, BC passed a law making it illegal to transport invasive mussels dead or alive and the fines can range up to 100-thousand dollars.
   
Heather Larratt, an aquatic biologist from West Kelowna is now working to prevent the voracious creatures from invading Okanagan Lake.  

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The allure of the real bad boy

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Jeremy Daniel Snow and Tiffany June Goruk were found dead in West Kelowna Monday night. (Facebook)

The story is becoming more common in B.C. where wives and girlfriends of men with criminal histories getting caught in the middle of their activities and end up killed or terribly injured.

On Monday night in West Kelowna, someone killed 33 year-old Jeremy Snow and his girlfirend 30 year-oldTiffany Goruk.

Snow recently spent four years in prison in the U-S and Canada for smuggling drugs across the border with helicopters.

Goruk was the mother of two young boys and had no criminal history or record of violence. So why was she there and why are some women attracted to men with a criminal background.

Geri Bemister calls herself a former "gang girlfriend" and knows first hand why women get involved with criminally active men.

Bemister is now a professor of criminology at Vancouver Island University and North Island College.

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Dancer thinks B.C. has little time for the arts

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(courtesy CBC)
Ballet Kelowna's swan song is close at hand as the dance company struggles financially.

Now, a Kelowna born dancer who works and performs in New York is speaking out on how British Columbia supports the arts.

Joshua Beamish thinks it is "ski or die" when it comes to the arts in this province. He even goes to the extend of saying he thinks B.C. in general has little time for the arts. 

Joshua just happened to be teaching dance in Nelson when we reached him Friday for his view on what is happening with Ballet Kelowna.






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Celebrating 20 years of Organic foods in B.C.

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Food issues are always in the news with E.coli outbreaks, recalls, and food-borne illnesses.

It's one the reasons people choose organic products, but of course there are questions on whether organic food is really safer and why it costs more.

B.C's Organic Certification Board is celebrating 20 years in this province and two farmers joined up to talk about what the board has accomplished for BC farmers and consumers.

To consider some of these issues, two farmers have joined us.

Herman Bruns, an organic farmer in Mara is a member of the Organic Certification Board and Kathy Wikkerink owns a family run farm in Salmon Arm. One of their products is cheese and Kathy has just left the certified organic label.

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Tough water standards may impact beaches

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City of Kelowna beach (Courtesy CBC)

The City of Kelowna is upset with new Health Canada guidelines for testing the water by its beaches.

The federal agency wants tougher rules for testing the water in beach areas.

In the last 15 years, the city of Kelowna has not needed to post a single water quality advisory at any of the beaches within the city boundaries.

The city's parks services manager Ian Wilson explains why the city wants to keep the current  standards.

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The impact of the B.C. budget on you

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(Courtesy CBC)
Most of us have heard some of the details of the BC Liberal government's budget that pegs the provincial deficit at $1.5 billion.

To balance the books, the province is controlling spending, selling assets and increasing taxes.

More specifically,  income tax rates are going up for high earners and corporations

Our health care premiums, also known as Medical Services Plan or MSP premiums will go up by four per cent.

On the other side, children will benefit with every child getting a one time $1,200 grant toward their RESP when they turn six years of age.

To get a better understanding of all the numbers, the ups and downs, we spoke to Ross Hickey, an economics instructor at UBC-Okanagan in Kelowna.

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Business and shoppers feel impact of Kelowna construction

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(Courtesy CBC)
The second week of construction in downtown Kelowna has changed the look of Bernard Street where the cars, trees and the street is gone.
   
It's been replaced by piles of dirt and pipe, which is part of a 14-million dollar investment to help rejuvenate the downtown, enhance people's experiences and replace aging utilities and streetfronts.

Crews are widening sidewalks, adding new trees and sprucing up the image of the area.

But what kind of impact is all of this work having on businesses and people who work in or visit Kelowna's downtown area?

The CBC's Liz Hostland took a stroll on Bernard to ask shoppers and business owners what they think about another week of work!

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Jumbo Resort municipal council sworn in

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(courtesy CBC)

We can expect sparks in Radium with the first meeting Tuesday of the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality.

That's the government appointed by the Province to oversee development of a year round ski resort west of Invermere.
           
Jumbo's governing body holds its inaugural today and anti-Jumbo protesters vow to make it     uncomfortable.
              
Our Kootenay reporter Bob Keating is in Radium for that first meeting and explains what is expected.  

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Long lost voices of Canadian PoW's

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Left: Mona Thornton and Craig Henderson pose with one of the paper phonograph recordings of her father's voice while he was a Japanese prison-of-war.  Mona's father, Joseph Frenette, is in the photo on the gramophone. Right:  The vintage photo is circa 1940, Mona with her parents Ruth and Joe Frenette, prior to him heading off to Hong Kong. (Courtesy Craig Henderson)

Radio Tokyo recorded the voices of Canadian prisoners of war in 1943 to let people back in Canada know what had happened to them. 

Those recordings have survived the last 70 years and many have made their way into collections.

Craig Henderson is a historian and radio producer who tells the story of these recordings and he will give talk at the Penticton museum on Tuesday.

He stopped by our studio to give Chris Walker a sample of those long lost voices and the story they tell.

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New Federal laws for mentally ill offenders

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Artists drawing of Allan Shoenborn at B.C. Review Board hearing (Courtesy CBC)

The B.C. Review Board is allowing Allan Schoenborn to be transferred to a Manitoba psychiatric hospital, that is if Manitoba will accept him.

Schoenborn killed his three children in Merritt in 2008 and was found not criminally responsible for the deaths because of a mental illness.

Schoenborn is eligible for a review every year, but, new laws introduced by the federal government could make it more difficult for mentally ill offenders to be released.
   
Michael Woodworth, a professor of psychology at the UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, walks us through the changes being put forward by the federal government.

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Summerland grow-op shatters home owner's dream

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(Courtesy Anna Everson)

Back in 2008, Anna Everson, a nurse, purchased a home near Summerland, B.C. to provide respite care for families with severely disabled children.

She found a house for sale on a semi-rural property not far from Summerland; she got a realtor and hired the services of a home inspector before purchasing.

But, within a month her dreams were crushed, when she discovered she had purchased a   mold infested grow-op.

It could cost up to $100, 000 to repair the house and she's suing several parties to recoup the cost of repairs.

CBC Reporter Brady Strachan visited with Anna Everson to hear her story.

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Snow artists grace Silver Star

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(Courtesy CBC)

The old saying of they build it and they will come may well be true with a recent installation of snow sculpture at Silver Star ski resort.

The mountain resort is trying to extend the magic of the winter season just a bit as part of annual Vernon Winter Carnival.

Sculptures have created a series of giant snow pieces. The CBC's Leah Shaw went to see what's been built and why. Leah also toured the village with the resort's manager Robin Baycroft.

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CRTC holds hearings on cell phone contracts

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(Courtesy CBC)

The government regulator, the CRTC, is considering a code of conduct for Canada's wireless cellphone carriers.

If that code gets a green light, things like hidden fees, bill shock and unclear contracts could be something you don't have to worry about anymore.

To get a sense of the discussions at hearings hosted by the CRTC and how your wallet could be affected, we spoke with Steve Anderson, the executive director of OpenMedia.ca

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One way to pray for snow

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(Courtesy Kimberly Tourism and James Archibald)

Some devoted powder hounds in Kimberley are taking the opportunity to call on the Norse god of winter to grant another winter of excellent snow.
   
Ullr Dag is the Norse pagan god of snow and all things winter.
 
James Archibald, the event organizer, says a bonfire in his name is being hosted Friday night at the Kimberley Alpine Resort.

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Elko family loses dog in Drano poisoning

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(Courtesy Karey Pion)

An Elko woman is mourning the loss of her dog who she believes was intentionally poisoned.

Karey Pion's dog Oscar had to be put down because of severe internal chemical burns after he bit into a package of Drano that had been wrapped in a steak that someone put on the family's driveway.

Oscar was poisoned about a month ago and Pion had to put him down over the Family Day long weekend.

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Hundreds show for Penticton hospital rally

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Some 800 people show up at a Penticton public meeting to support the idea of a new hospital (CBC)

There is a new push for a hospital in Penticton as up to 800 people showed up for a community meeting in that city Wednesday night.

The meeting was organized by several community doctors who say the old facility built in 1951 urgently needs to be replaced.

The CBC's Brady Strachan was at the meeting.

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Poetry and the second career

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(Courtesy Janice Notland and CBC)

Statistics show most Canadians will change careers between three and seven times in their lives, but how often does that translate into an employee leaving the workplace to become a poet?

Janice Notland of Kelowna was a community and mental health care worker for years until the day she came upon her undiscovered talent.

Daybreak's Gillianne Richards joined Chris to tell her story.

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Ode to Daybreak and Chris Walker

By Gillianne Richards (set to the William Tell Overture)

Working, writing, scripting, taping, undertaking segments for the show.
Find and pitch new stories, make inquiries, then I interview folks I don't know.
I think, a lot but it's not going to get me there.
I can write through the night in long underwear,
but to be of use and produce good radio
takes a knack you can't act like paparazzo.
For a year I've worked here and it's so exciting chasing guests I can't complain.
But the wheels in my head are turning, grinding, burning down my bits of brain.
It's not your fault, I'll admit, when you look at it there's a lack of wit in my atmosphere.
But I long to learn and from you I yearn, please Walker share some wisdom here!
 
(Walker)
Did you read all the notes that I sent to you?
What to cut, what to drop, things you shouldn't do.
Keep it clean keep it quick keep it relative.
Avoids clichés, and double negatives!
 
I would never leave all your notes unread.
Wait a sec did I do what you just said-
NOT TO DO - but I did, and I sometimes will,
please keep me on your show is such a thrill!

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WestJet chooses where it will fly

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(Courtesy CBC)
WestJet has announced where it will add flights with its new "Encore" service and that includes flights to new communities in B.C. that previously weren't served by the airline.

Fort St. John made the cut with its "It Just Makes Sense" campaign; Naniamo also made the list.

The competition for WestJet's attention was fierce with two other towns, Penticton and Cranbrook lobbying hard.

Chris Walker spoke with Lori Ackerman, the mayor of Fort St John; Wayne Stetski,  the mayor of Cranbrook and Dan Ashton the mayor of Penticton about their effort to get the airline's attention.

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Call to lift Nelson's dog ban for summer

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Could dogs be walking Nelson's downtown and Baker Street this summer? (Courtesy CBC)

Since the late 1980s man's best friend has been banned from Baker Street in downtown Nelson, B.C.

The ban was recently portrayed across Canada, in front page National Post story as a move by older Hippies to prevent younger Hippies from moving in.

Now a city councilor, Deb Kozak, wants to get the dog ban lifted, at least for this summer's tourist season.

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King Richard the III, now and then

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King Richard III as he is now and a facial reconstruction (Courtesy CBC)

The discovery of his skeleton in an English parking lot has renewed interest in Richard the III, who has been portrayed as a villain by writers like Shakespeare.

The bard imagined Richard as a blood thirsty monster who schemed, plotted and killed his way to the throne.

The discovery of King Richard's remains has renewed the debate over his legacy with the Richard the III Society of Canada right in the middle of that debate.
   
Jan O'Brien is a member of the Richard III Society; a so-called Ricardian, the only member of the organization in Kelowna.

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Kelowna top chef challenges for national honour

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B.C.'s top chef for 2013 in the Gold Metal Plates competition, Mark Filatow of Kelowna, challenges culinary masters from across Canada.(Courtesy Ron Sombilon)
Foodies are holding their forks in anticipation as ten chefs from across Canada fight for the Gold Medal Plate today.

Kelowna's Mark Filatow won the Vancouver round to represent B.C by beating nine chefs in this province.

Now he faces nine of the best in Canada and   Daybreak's Christina Low went to find out how he's taking the heat.


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Snaggin' the big one

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Winning catch at 47.5 pounds now mounted on Andre Pachon's office wall(courtesy CBC)

Herbert Hoover said all man are created equal before fish, but Andre Pachon may be more equal than most.

Pachon caught the biggest fish in last year's Salmon Masters Fishing Derby and it wasn't just the fish that was big at 47.5 pounds.

The first prize was pretty astounding; big enough to buy a tractor.

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Canada's Federal Court says families matter

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Federal Court of Canada Coat of Arms (Courtesy Government of Canada)
Family matters are more than the workplace and its demands, according to a ruling of the Federal Court of Canada.

The decision comes from a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision involving Fiona Johnson, who filed a complaint in 2004, against the Canadian Border Services Agency, because it refused to accommodate her request for fixed shifts, so she could arrange for child care.

The Court upheld a tribunal ruling that she was discriminated against because of her family status.

Alfred Kempf is a Kelowna lawyer who practices labour and human rights law.

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Penticton doctors call for major hospital expansion

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Penticton Regional Hospital was built to handle a population of 10,000 people in the 1950's (Courtesy David Paisley)

Doctors in Penticton say the city's hospital is on the verge of major troubles because of overcrowding and outdated facilities.

A statement from the 120 doctors of the Penticton Medical Staff Society urges patients and the public to lobby the government for a 300-million-dollar expansion of the hospital. That includes a plan to build a tower that has been on the planning table for the last decade.

Doctor David Paisley, the society's president, says hospital improvements are going ahead in Vernon, Kamloops and Kelowna, but nothing's being done in Penticton.

Doctor Paisley explained to host Chris Walker what their concerns and issues are and Chris also spoke to Norm Embree who is the chair of the Interior Health Authority's Board of directors.

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Penticton Medical Staff Society will hold an information session on Wednesday, February    13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

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Kelowna family evicted after horrible party

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A Kelowna family is evicted from this Mission area home after their son had a massive party where $25,000 damage was done. (Courtesy Guy Langille)

The family whose house was trashed when their teenage son threw a massive house party is now facing eviction.

The Landlord, Guy Langille, has no choice because the home is so badly damaged it has been declared a bio-hazard. That means no one can be in the house while it is cleaned and renovated.

 Langille describes what was left after the party on Saturday January 19th, 2013 and how he feels about the damage to his property.

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The glorious days of the printing press

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A student sets letter type metal print blocks in preparation for a print run on an Antique press set up at Okanagan College in Vernon, B.C. (Courtesy CBC)
The art of book design is in the layout says Jason Dewinitz who teaches students how to run an antique printing press in the "bunker" at Okanagan College in Vernon.

Dewinitz also teaches at the English department at Okanagan College and this Thursday he will welcome the public to the shop to experience the glory days of the small printing press.

Chris Walker spent a few minutes with Dewinitz and student Shvaugn Craig in the bunker.

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West Kelowna effort to save Syrian family stalls

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Residents survey the damage after Syrian neighbourhood is ravaged by fighting. (Courtesy CBC)

Jim Scorgie and Wendy Porteous Scorgie, of West Kelowna, have been trying to save a young Syria family by getting them into Canada on a one year tourist visa.

 

Their friend, Marway Saffaf, and her young family are trapped in Aleppo, Syria with fighting even going on in their building.

 

Jim Scorgie says they want to save Saffaf's three little boys. Jim and Wendy spoke to us from our studios in Vancouver.


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Parents camp out for kindergarten spaces

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Chute Lake Elementary School (Courtesy School District #23)

Central Okanagan parents have been camping out to trying to get their children into some schools in the region.

Last Sunday morning some people started to line up with sleeping bags and camper vans competing for the first come first serve spaces available at Chute Lake Elementary and other schools.

Micheal Bratt is one of those parents and Chris Walker also spoke to Deb Butler the vice-chair of the Central Okanagan School District.

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Former Kelowna woman helps Zambian girls

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Nava Ashraf with students (Courtesy Nava Ashraf)

In the east-African country of Zambia, 82 per cent of girls attend elementary school, but that drops to 36 percent by the time they get to high school.

Zambian families withdraw their daughters from school because of household demands, high tuition fees and cultural norms.

But a new program, started by a former Kelowna woman helps girls negotiate with their elders to stay in school, convincing the elders that an educated woman is a worthwhile investment.
   
Nava Ashraf graduated from Kelowna Secondary School and is now an associate professor at Harvard University.

She created the program called "Negotiating a Better Future."

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212 kilometers an hour

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Chris Walker, host of CBC Daybreak South, wears a speed skiing helmet brought into studio by Neil Munroe one of Canada's few speed skiers. (Courtesy CBC)

Neil Munroe of Vernon likes a little speed now and again; that is why he flies Jumbo jets for a living and is a competitive speed skier in his spare time.

He is one of the few competitive speed skiers in Canada with a top speed of 212 kilometers per hour. The world record is a little faster at 251 kilometers per hour.

Neil blew into our studios for a quick interview about the life of a speed demon.

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West Kelowna loses flagship retailer

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(Courtesy CBC)
People came to work last Wednesday at the West Kelowna Future Shop to find the store closed and the windows papered over. Some 50 people lost their jobs and the company tries to save costs.

It was one of 15 Best Buy and Future Shop stores closed last week.


It was one of the anchor tenants of a stripmall on Westbank First Nations Land where Robert Louie is the chief.

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Solving the mystery of missing graves in Fernie

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St. Margaret's Cemetary Fernie(Coutesy of www.fernieheritagecemetery.com)

They aren't detectives, but they have been on the case of the missing graves of Fernie now for 12 years.

Corolyn Harstaad has been searching and she has been finding some of Fernie's missing ancestors.

Harstaad, a funeral assisstant with Cherished Memories Funeral Services in Fernie, says there are close to 400 that may be in unmarked graves. And she wants to help families find there ancestors and make sure that the city handles any found bodies with care.

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T-Rex may have roamed in social gangs

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(Courtesy of University of Alberta)
It's well known that the Tyrannosaurus was a fierce dinosaur and we like to think it wasn't particularly friendly or smart.

But, Philip Currie, a palaeontologist with the University of Alberta, says that may not be true.

He explains to Chris Walker the social nature of these beasts, which is part of his lecture at the Vernon campus of  Okanagan College on Saturday.

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Comedy play gets the boot from School District

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(Courtesy School District #51 Boundary)
The Grand Forks Arts Council has to cover up its plan for a one man play which is to take the stage at the Grand Forks Secondary School auditorium.

The comedy called "Deck", features a brief glimpse of the actor's bare buttocks and the superintendent of School District 51 - Boundary says no way, there won't be any nudity on school grounds.

Michele Garrison, president of the Boundary and District Arts Council has been trying to get to the bottom of the issue.

Chris Walker also spoke to Micheal Struckoff, the Superintendent of schools, to get to the district's take on the matter.

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"This is Cancer", performed in Kelowna

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Bruce Horak as Cancer (Courtesy of Trudi Lee)
If cancer was a person what would it be like?

Bruce Horak explores the ego of the disease in his play "This is Cancer."

The one man play is being staged at the Mary Irwin Theatre Friday and Saturday night and Bruce joined Chris Walker in studio to talk about the character of the tumor.


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