Five witnesses are being called as former Vernon teacher and vice Principal Deborah Ashton faces her third trial in B.C. Supreme Court in the last two years. The 48 year old has pleaded not guilty to two charges of perjury tied to her testimony at her first trial, where a hung jury in 2011 could not convict her on charges she had sex with a student. The Crown alleges Ashton lied when she denied buying a bracelet for the boy, and when she testified about the pick up and drop off schedule for her son at a Vernon daycare. Ashton was acquitted of all five sex charges during her second trial, last March.
Burns Lake Sawmill rebuild could be affected by delayed changes to Forestry Act
The MLA or Nechako Lakes hopes a delay in changes to the Forestry Act won't impact the rebuilding of the Burns Lake Sawmill, which was destroyed in an explosion last year. John Rustad says the mill's owner, Hampton Affiliates, committed to rebuilding based the proposed new legislation. It would have allowed the company to convert its volume-based license to an area-based tree farm license. But now the Province has decided to hold off on the changes until after the election. Rustad says area-based licenses are one way to provide more wood for mills in areas devastated by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. He says the timber supply is very tight in the Burns Lake area. Some construction has already begun at the new mill, and it's expected to ramp up this spring.
Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge seeking financial help
They might be small, but 15 miniature donkeys on Vancouver Island need a lot of help. The owner of the animals is in poor health and is no longer able to care for the herd. The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge near Chase is eager to take in the mini-donkeys. The only the problem is covering the transportation costs from the Island to the sanctuary in the interior. Shirley Mainprize with the Refuge says the goal is to find foster homes for the animals. Mainprize hopes to move the 15 mini-donkeys at the end of the month. MainPrize says sh expects it will cost the refuge three to four thousand dollars to bring them to the refuge. The average life expectancy of a mini-donkey is 35 years.