At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2011 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.
6 — Creston Valley residents no longer have to wonder about what to do with unwanted or broken small appliances. Beginning Oct. 1, New Life Furniture and Recycling was one of more than 100 drop-off locations around the province for a program called Unplugged, the Small Appliance Recycling Pro-gram. It accepts more than 120 small appliances for recycling, ranging from toasters and electric toothbrushes to countertop microwaves and vacuum cleaners.
• Canyon-Lister Fire Department (CLFD) volunteers were called out on Oct. 2 to extinguish six fires on Goat River Bottom that might have been started by a firebug. The callout was the fifth within the last month.
CLFD fire chief Glenn Guthrie credits Creston resident Bob Cull, a heavy equipment operator, for reducing the hazard in the most recent incident in which fires were set within a 300-400 yard area.
13 — The Creston branch of the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy was $560 richer, after CBAL and Black Press joined forces for the Reach a Reader in the east and west Kootenays. Ten volunteers took to the streets on Oct. 6 to collect donations for CBAL in exchange for a free copy of the Advance.
• The Kingsgate port of entry wasn’t the most welcoming sight for visitors or returning Canadians. With construction vehicles kicking up dust and Canada Border Services Agency officers working out of portable buildings, the site is the epitome of organized chaos.
The 15-month, $16.3 million expansion is scheduled for completion on March 31 and will not only increase the main structure’s size, but also increase efficiency for a border that processed 97,696 cars and 47,346 commercial trucks northbound from Aug. 31, 2010-Aug. 31, 2011.
• An RCMP traffic stop on Highway 3A on Oct. 8 led to the arrest of a local male after he was found to be in possession of a 364-gram package of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.
20 — Council voted to support a request from AB-BC Recreation and Resources to open Ricky’s All Day Grill an additional hour on Friday and Saturday nights, until 1 a.m. The restaurant is being constructed as part of the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre currently being built at the intersection of Highways 3 and 3A.
• Coun. Judy Gadicke reported to town council that the abandoned mine shaft in the Bayonne Creek area that her husband, Ken, fell into with his snowmobile in the winter has now been filled in. The Ministry of Energy and Mines contracted with Hedlund Construction to seal the exposed shaft.
• The Three Voices of Healing Society’s Wellness Centre was the recipient of a $46,225 grant from the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. Kootenay offices raised $11,000 this year, well over their target of $8,600. The money would be used to bring in a clinical psychologist to work with clients, a service that the society was no longer able to afford before the grant was awarded.
27 — Two armed robberies on Oct. 20 and 21 put local businesses and employees on high alert. A knife-brandishing male wearing a hoody and obscuring his face with an article of clothing was described in both robberies, which occurred at Subway on Canyon Street and the Mountain View Inn on Northwest Boulevard. In both robberies, the suspect was described as being about five feet, six inches to five feet, eight inches tall.
• The Oct. 23 grand opening of the John Bucyk Arena included the unveiling of four mural panels that will be installed on the arena’s north wall, overlooking the ice surface. Creston Valley artist Nadine Riehl was commissioned to create a mural depicting the arena’s namesake, hockey Hall of Fame member John Bucyk, and the on-ice activities that take place in the arena.
• A support group was starting Nov. 1 to encourage breastfeeding in the Creston Valley.
“We’re a non-breastfeeding society,” said public health nurse Claire Bouchard. “That’s not to say formula is wrong, but breastfeeding needs support.”
The drop-in support group will help clarify misinformation, as well as provide mutual support for new mothers, babies and support people.
• A single vehicle accident claimed the life of 62-year-old Bruce Batke, a resident of Wynndel, on Oct. 17. Batke, a passenger in a Ford pickup, was thrown out of the vehicle when it left Duck Creek Forest Service Road. Police estimate there was a two-and-a-half-hour delay between the crash and the call for medical help.