Creston's Blossom Valley Singers hosted their annual spring concert on April 2 and 3.

Creston's Blossom Valley Singers hosted their annual spring concert on April 2 and 3.

Creston in 2011: A look back at April

Web Lead

  • Jan. 1, 2012 5:00 p.m.

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.


7 — Thanks to the initiative of Daniel Kempling, Crestonites could hone their skills and advance in the sport with the Creston Valley Badminton Club. Kempling held practices for two hours each week at the Yaqan Nukiy gymnasium, where he runs players through drills devoted to serving, drop shots, footwork, racket handling, strategy and more, before applying those skills in actual games.

“Competitive training is really a way to enrich your life,” he said. “Pouring yourself into drills keeps you fit, but you develop and sense improvement.”

• With 87 booths, the sold-out Creston Valley Home, Garden and Leisure Show, run by the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to run April 15 and 16. About 20 new vendors joined the 2011 lineup at the community complex. “Some local businesses find they get so much traffic in two days that it’s a great stimulus for their business,” said chamber executive director Jim Jacobsen.

• A new book by former Crestonite Nick Nilsson held the key to gaining five to 10 pounds of muscle in less than a month.

“I tried to take everything I knew about building muscle fast – techniques and training strategies that trick the body into building,” said the bodybuilder and former personal trainer from his Hainesville, Ill., home. “They’re strategies I’ve learned about and read about and come up with over 20 years of training.”

The Muscle Explosion: 28 Days to Maximum Mass program starts out with a low carbohydrate diet and a week of fat loss followed by three weeks of muscle building and targeted training, as well as a diet that overloads the body with food and nutrients.

• The odd behavior of a Riondel Road resident led to the discovery of a marijuana grow-op and his arrest on March 29.

“On arriving at the residence, RCMP officers were met by the male who came outside and began to remove his clothing while talking in a nonsensical manner,” said Creston RCMP Staff Sgt. Gord Stewart. “He invited the RCMP officers into the residence, where the officers noted signs of an indoor marijuana grow.”

After a warrant was obtained, officers searched the residence and dismantled a grow-op, seizing 122 pot plants and growing equipment. The man was released to a relative, and will appear in court to face a number of charges, including production of a controlled substance and mischief to a police vehicle.

14 — Once again, Creston town council had more requests for Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) funds than it had money. At the April 12 regular meeting, Mayor Ron Toyota announced the town has $59,024 to distribute to organizations that qualify, its share of about $3 million this year. More than $82,000 had been requested.

• A request by the Creston Valley Mall to be exempt from noise control bylaws for the purpose of early morning snow clearing from its parking lot was referred to town staff for a report. The mall arranges snow clearing between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. to accommodate early morning workers, a practice that puts it at odds with the noise bylaw and at least one local resident, who wrote to complain about the noise made by the plow.

• A Guatemalan school had a concrete yard, and dozens of students had new school supplies, toys and vitamins, thanks to a group of Creston Valley residents that visited Azucenas, Guatemala, in February. Nine Crestonites each took two 50-pound bags stuffed with donations by residents and businesses. Money for the trip itself was raised by Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church.

21 — A resolution that will increase the dollars available to Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B under the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) initiatives program by $17,000 next year passed by one vote at the April 12 RDCK board meeting. Creston alternate director Wesly Graham voted against the motion after making a motion to support the resolution at a recent Creston town council meeting.

“I guess I can only say it was an oversight,” Graham said. “To be honest, the previous system was working fine but I wouldn’t have felt good if my vote cost Creston organizations money.”

• With the help of the public and local schools, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program released 1,200 juvenile white sturgeon at the former Kootenay River ferry landing on April 19. The annual release helps to repopulate the endangered species in the river.

• A federal government stimulus project ended in the Creston Valley after bringing work to over 100 unemployed resource workers and reducing the risk of interface fires in West Creston, Canyon-Lister and Wynndel-Lakeview. The Job Opportunities Program saw $5 million spread throughout the regional districts of Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary to create employment and treat forest fuels adjacent to communities.

The project was an important one, not just because it offered employment but also because it makes communities at the edge of forests safer, removing fuels that get fire into the forest canopy.

• Nearly two years after committing the crime, a 35-year-old Salmo resident pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Randall Werner Claassen. Barney Wayne Keizer was sentenced to an automatic life imprisonment term with no eligibility for parole for 10 years.

The body of Claassen, 29, was found by hikers west of Creston in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area on May 12, 2009. Police said in 2009 that Claassen and Keizer were associates and that Claassen had been shot.

28 — Creston town council voted to disburse about $62,000 to 28 community groups at the April 26 regular meeting, then got chastised by Regional District of Central Kootenay board chair John Kettle for not turning over the decision-making to the public.

“I was one of the drafters of the program and I can tell you the intent was to let the public decide how the community initiatives grants are distributed,” Kettle told council members during question period following the meeting.

• After a discussion about Coun. Wes Graham’s vote about CBT grant allotments reported in the April 21 Advance, council agreed that any councillor representing the town at RDCK meetings should follow town council’s direction unless compelling information to do otherwise comes forward. That councillor, it was agreed, should immediately report to council about his or her change in position.

• Gillian Cooper appeared before town council to make some recommendations about grizzly bear awareness and safety. The community co-ordinator for the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project’s Bear Aware program, recommended that the town create an agreement with conservation officers to put warning signs and close public trails when a grizzly bear is known to be in a specific area.

Also, Cooper recommended that council create a bylaw making it illegal for residents to put garbage cans on the curb before the morning of the pickup. Leaving garbage out overnight is an attractant to bears, creating a danger to the public and the bears, she said.