One of the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors buses was stolen and damaged in the early morning hours of Feb. 1.

One of the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors buses was stolen and damaged in the early morning hours of Feb. 1.

Creston Valley in 2012: A look back at February

Web Lead

  • Dec. 23, 2012 7:00 p.m.

At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2012 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.


2 — Prince Charles Secondary School graduate Katerina Gribbin was awarded the bronze Governor General’s Academic Medal while home from the University of Ottawa, where she was studying economics and math. Gribbin was the top overall graduating senior in 2011 and won the prestigious award recognizing her for her efforts.

•From 2001-2006, six Creston women were honoured as women of distinction as part of a series of fundraisers organized by the Creston and District Community Resource Centre. One of the original organizers, Julie Miller, brought back the luncheon to honour Jenni Jacobs. The Lower Kootenay Band resident, has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disorder, and is extremely sensitive to sun and other sources of light and has undergone several operations to remove skin malignancies.

9 — Despite fears that a Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS) bus would be written off after it was stolen and damaged sometime in the early morning hours of Feb. 1, the situation took a positive turn on Feb. 2 following an inspection by ICBC. Repairs were estimated to cost $10,000, and would be covered by insurance.

“It’s like taking the wheelchair of a handicapped person,” said outreach worker Terry Nowak. “It’s so significant as to what it does for people and our seniors.”

•Creston town council voted unanimously at the Jan. 31 regular meeting to contribute $1,250 to the anticipated $55,000 bid by the International Selkirk Loop (ISL) to see the area featured on the television program Nikon Birding Adventures TV, a program that will promote nature and bird watching along the Selkirk loop.

“I think this is a very positive step. It’s perfect for economic development and it ties in well with council’s goal to promote the wildlife area,” said Coun. Wesly Graham.

Construction projects in Creston dropped dramatically in the last two months of 2011, leaving the year-end total about $700,000 short of 2010 building permit values.

“December was a very quiet month,” building inspector Ross Beddoes told town council. “The only permit issued was for the Ricky’s restaurant beside the new Ramada Inn, for $306,000.”

That project brought the 2011 total value of building permits to $11,181,850, about two-thirds of which was attributed to the Ramada Inn construction, valued at $7.773 million.

16 — Creston taxpayers were told to expect a significant increase to their property taxes after the Feb. 8 release of census numbers showed the town’s population was now 5,306.

“It’s done, so now what do we do? Start finding solutions,” Mayor Ron Toyota said within hours of learning the census news.

Under the provincial policing funding structure, municipalities with populations of more than 5,000 must pay for the number of RCMP officers assigned to the town, plus a share of the costs of operating the police station.

•The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District’s (KERHD) John Kettle has kicked off his fifth term as chair by announcing a budget reduction of nearly one quarter. The reduction came in large part from the repayment of debt incurred by recent expansion and upgrades to East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH) in Cranbrook. The 2012-13 budget included a $1 million reserve fund for a proposed expansion to the EKRH intensive care unit.

•Students at Adam Robertson Elementary School were learning to combine art techniques with journaling, with working artists to lead them through the process. Participating classes were led by working artists Eileen Hirota (a former school counsellor), Joanne Ferry and Cheryl Place, who led them through a series of exercises to personalize their journals and learn a variety of art techniques.

“Now I remember why I retired from teaching!” Hirota joked. “Actually, this has been a lot of fun. The kids are really enthusiastic.”

•Two of the winners of the 2012 edition of Creston’s Best Singer would move on to the Kootenays’ Best Singer contest in June. Matt Hansen placed first, and Jesse Dumas and Jairus Stonehouse placed second in the Feb. 9 contest held at the Prince Charles Theatre.

“I feel humbled,” said Hansen. “I didn’t think I did all that good.”

Judges Cheryl Coté (from Nelson), Bailey Baldin (Nelson) and Justin Swanson (Cranbrook) obviously felt differently, with Hansen’s rendition of Train’s Meet Virginia in the semifinals earning him a spot in the top five, where Billy Joel’s Piano Man launched him to the top.

23 — Number 9 will no longer be worn by one of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats after Travis Ludwar’s jersey was retired in a ceremony prior to Saturday’s game.

Ludwar, who was born and raised in Creston, joined the Thunder Cats in 2006, and stayed with the team through the 2010-2011 season. In that time, he broke team records for the most points (208), goals (100) and games played (223).

“It was an honour, definitely,” said the former team captain. “I really enjoyed playing with the team for the five years.”

•The Creston Valley Thunder Cats played their final game of the 2011-2012 season on Feb. 19. With 65 points, they placed third in the Eddie Mountain Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and would take on the second-place Kimberley Dynamiters in the first round of the playoffs.

•If the decades of sharing the costs of jointly used services between the Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) were about to end, it wasn’t evident at a town committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 20.

The special meeting was called to address shared service agreements after Mayor Ron Toyota cast the lone dissenting vote at the Feb. 16 RDCK meeting on a resolution to extend the tenure of the Arrow Creek water treatment and supply service (ACWTSC) through 2016. Toyota also voted against an amended ACWTSC bylaw.

•The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) wasn’t happy with a petition being circulated demanding vehicle access throughout the managed area, Creston town council was told at the Feb. 14 regular meeting.

“Everyone has 24-hour-a-day access to all areas,” Richard Dalon, chief executive officer of the CVWMA said in a presentation. “Some vehicle access has been restricted, especially to dikes, which are not roads.”

•An Elk Valley hockey team that came to Creston with hopes of qualifying for the provincial bantam hockey championships left in anger on Feb. 19, after losing the Kootenay championship final and having had electronic equipment stolen from its Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC) dressing room.

One parent reported the theft to the Advance on Feb. 20, concerned that the theft might have been intended to “throw the team off its game.”