Lori Wikdahl cutting the ribbon after walking 40

Creston Valley in 2013: A look back at January

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  • Dec. 25, 2013 12:00 p.m.

At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2013 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.


3—Creston RCMP were seeking a witness in a Dec. 29 hit and run on Canyon Street, in which a Saskatchewan resident sustained a broken leg after being hit by a dark-coloured SUV.

10Property values in the Creston Valley and East Shore saw a slight decrease from 2012. A typical single family home in Creston Valued at $277,000 in 2012 was now valued at $267,000. Owners of commercial or industrial properties were expected to have assessment in the plus- or minus-five per cent range.

•Physiotherapist Joanne Gailius and chiropractor Michelle Mayer added massage therapist Norm Eisler and exercise therapist Michelle Ares to their practice, creating a multi-disciplinary wellness team.

“Each of the disciplines in this group is like a tool in a carpentry belt,” said Gailius. “Our focus is on having highly ethical, highly skilled co-practitioners.”

Lori Wikdahl completed a journey on Jan. 8, having walked 40,007 kilometres (the circumference of the Earth at its poles) since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. She started the 4.5 billion-step trek in 2003 by walking across Canada in 287 days, the first woman to do so.

17— A sudden increase of students from the Bountiful school in September left School District. No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) with $625,000 in additional costs, much of which was covered by the province.

When Bountiful school closed, rumoured to be on the order of jailed fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leader Warren Jeffs, 161 students flooded into the Kootenay Lake system. Homelinks and DESK (Distance Education School of the Kootenays) attracted 141 new students. Both programs combine home and classroom schooling under supervision of school district teachers.

•Wear Withall owner Beth Kastelan discovered she was a victim of fraud when her Canyon Street shop’s natural gas bill listed her supplier as Active Renewable Marketing Ltd., charging $10/gigajoule when Fortis BC was charging $2.977/gigajoule for the same period.

When she contacted Active Renewable Marketing Ltd. she was told she had signed a contract to purchase natural gas from the company. But when she received a copy of that contract, she said it was clearly not her signature.

24—Creston town council got a reminder at its Jan. 15 regular meeting that signing a provincial agreement committing to carbon neutrality by 2012 came with a cost. Trish Dehnel of Carbon Neutral Kootenay told council that the town would be about 300 tons over neutrality, and would need to purchase nearly $7,500 in carbon credits for its remaining emissions.

•Municipal services co-ordinator Ross Beddoes reported that 2012 was a 10-year low for construction in Creston. A total of 42 building permits were issued, with only two for new single-family residences. The 2012 construction value was under $2 million, compared to more than $11 million in 2011.

Four dogs were taken from the Creston Valley on Jan. 19, headed from the Pet Adoption and Welfare Society to a new life offering companionship to veterans, through Citadel Therapy Canines.

“These were throwaway dogs,” said volunteer Pat May. “People didn’t want them. Now look what they’ve become in the community!”

•The Town of Creston approved a $1,000 grant for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats hockey team after council learned that it faced an operating shortfall due to the loss of concession revenues. Areas A and B also committed to helping make up the anticipated $2,500 loss in revenues.

31—Creston began to offer a complete range of funeral services when a crematorium built by G.F. Oliver Funeral Chapel Ltd. opened quietly in December on Davis Drive property east of Highway 21. The quarter-million-dollar investment means the deceased no longer have to be transported to Cranbrook for cremation, saving on time and transportation costs.

•The final key piece to the huge community complex facelift and expansion was finally in place when a long-awaited food concession opened a week earlier, with Calvin Germann and family operating the roomy facility. Germann, who manages and cooks at the Break in Time Caffé, said that the business is a family affair, with daughter Heidi helping manage and operate the concession and another daughter, Becky, and his wife, Judy, looking after the financial side.

•Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan believes that positive reinforcement can be an important tool in policing, and a handful of local residents received tickets to Creston Valley Thunder Cats games as a result. Some drivers who were stopped at police road checks became lucky recipients. So was a young man who called for a ride after he had too much to drink, as was his mother, who showed up to drive him home.

“This encourages positive interaction between police and the public, and maybe someone who doesn’t usually go to a game will take someone with them, or go back for more games because they enjoyed the experience,” said Gollan.


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