• A Cessna 182 en route to Boundary Bay from Kelowna crashed in a steep mountainous area near the Great Bear Snowshed, killing both onboard.
• The Port Angeles Lefties, a U.S. baseball team, rescued a 67-year-old woman from Kelowna minutes before her car burst into flames along Highway 1 east of Chilliwack. The team, who sprung into action after seeing smoke billowing from her Subaru Forrester in a ditch along the highway, even managed to save her belongings. The team even got a new fan, as Linda Jack switched allegiances from home town team the Falcons to the Lefties. “I told them when they left I hope they win,” she said.
• A proposed affordable housing complex at 1270 Ryder St. got the go ahead from council in July. The project, with proposed rents as low as $425 a month, changed its configuration to more studio apartments when building costs skyrocketed. The plan is to now build 31 studios, six two-bedrooms, and three three-bedroom units.
• Those wanting to open a dispensary or even sell ‘paraphernalia’ for smoking soon-to-be-legal cannabis had their hopes dashed, for the time being. A bylaw amendment, which passed council with one vote (Heather Stewin) opposed, prohibited the retail sales of cannabis, paraphernalia and byproducts in the District of Hope.As the District moved to gather feedback about recreational cannabis through a community survey in September, Coun. Stewin remained critical of the lack of action so far. “We need to get our heads above water and realize that stalling, surveys, whatever, is not going to stop people from smoking pot. It’s going to happen,” she said at an Aug. 27 council meeting.
• Boothroyd Indian Band in the Fraser Canyon is now home to a Native American medicine wheel, thanks to former chief turned art therapist Rick Campbell. The wheel, made up of 36 boulder-sized white stones laid out in a circle amongst the trees, is part of a larger push by the band to lead the way back to traditional and cultural ways and a healthy community.
The dog days of summer brought on a heat wave in the high 30s (up to 35 in the Fraser Canyon) and a campfire ban mid-July.
• A photo of Shawnee Morita Inyallie, a familiar face in Hope and her home community of Chawathil was on the cover of The Hope Standard’s July 26 edition. Inyallie had not been seen or heard from in several days which was ‘out of character’ for the 29-year-old Indigenous woman. As days turned into weeks and months, and family organized several searches of local highways and the Fraser River, no new information emerged. Then, in late November police announced her body had been found Nov. 4 at the Fraser River near Delta. “I believe she’s in a peaceful place with our ancestors and the rest of her family that went before her. She has aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters that have gone before her,” said aunt Linda Kay Peters, who spoke to the Hope Standard while she and Inyallie’s aunt Juanite Pete were picking out a dress and a matching pink scarf for her neice to wear to be cremated. While the family was able to lay her body to rest, questions remain about how, when and why Inyallie ended up in the water. “There’s a homeless camp close by the river in Hope and my understanding is that’s where she was seen last. So if that’s the case, she travelled an awful long way. That’s like 200 kilometres, and I’d also like to know how do they know when she actually died,” Peters said.
• The RCMP Musical Ride’s stop in Hope drew over 1,500 to the sports bowl to watch 32 specially trained members of the RCMP and their jet black Hanoverian geldings show their equestrian prowess to Canadian musicians Shania Twain, Great Big Sea and The Jerry Cans, among others.
• Seven Hope renters faced the prospect of being kicked out of their homes at a property dubbed ‘Mooresville,’ named after the long-time owners of the collection of small homes and cabins at 22200 Trans Canada Highway. The property was being sold and renters were told to vacate their homes by the end of the summer. After a Hope Standard story revealed the tenants were not given the correct amount of notice, they were told by the new owners they would get to stay with a rent increase. The story highlighted the precarious situation many renters in Hope are in, many of whom are seniors, or live on fixed or limited incomes, and many of whom have pets. “I’m going to be 74 in October and I’m thinking ‘Where am I going to go?’ Because I know what the situation in Hope is like for rentals, and I have a cat. And I’m not about to give my cat up,” said renter Mavis Webb, who faced the reality of not having a home at the end of August.
• Actor Emma Bonikowsky, 16, revealed the short film she starred in was to premiere at the prestigious Locarno Festival in Switzerland on Aug. 9.
• A fire started in a pile of brush in an empty lot on Aug. 5 came dangerously close to homes in Silver Creek. Fire crews from Hope, Yale and BC Wildfire were brought in to contain it. “(It) just erupted then it came forward, the wind was coming towards our house a bit,” said neighbour Spence Cameron, adding it was interesting to watch the belly helicopters and community’s firefighters fight the embers, smoke and two-metre high flames at the Beacon Road property.
• Hope’s search and rescue manager Mario Levesque hung up his SAR hat, sharing the most memorable rescues (the largest call being the Feb. 25 multi-vehicle crash on the Coquihalla) and moments with the volunteer-based group. But he couldn’t help plug the need for more resources, even with one foot out the door: ”If you know somebody that’s got a million dollars and doesn’t know what to do with it, Hope SAR is looking for a new building.”
• The closing of the Hope Machine Shop, and the soon-to-be-opened brewery in its place along the commercial stretch of Old Hope Princeton Way, signalled the definitive end of an era as Hope transitioned from a resource town to tourism, services, and other future unknowns.“I’m actually the last heavy industry to pull out of town, pretty much,” said owner Patrek Mayers as he stood amongst the tools and heavy machinery, some of which could be traced back to World War II. “The world changes, you either change with it or get left behind.”
• Thousands of cyclists were meant to cycle into Hope on Aug. 26, ending their two-wheeled fundraising ride in support of cancer research in B.C. for the first time since the Ride to Conquer Cancer was founded, but the Mt. Hicks wildfire raging along Highway 7 put a stop to those plans.
• An early resident of Yale, On Lee, was honoured posthumously by dignitaries who gathered on Aug. 18 for his role in building the town and supporting early Chinese immigrants to the area. “Many of (the early immigrants) lost their lives. The old saying that there was a Chinese worker lost for every mile of the railroad, that has stuck in my head for a long, long time. And today, to have this finally as a source of remembrance, a source to show the next gereration that ‘Hey, we were here a long, long time ago and we built the very framework of our transportation system right across Canada’…is a wonderful aknowledgement,” said Hazel Chong, On Lee’s granddaughter.
• Women and children cleaning fish on the banks of the Fraser River were subjected to alleged harrasment and indecent exposure by fishers from aboard their boat. According to Seabird Island woman Stacy McNeil, when she asked the men to stop using foul language in front of the children they began urinating, exposing themselves and making lewd comments to the women. “According to them, we are dumb Indians who are stealing all of the fish, getting free fish and free gas,” she wrote on Facebook. “More and more words slandering our people and culture occured.”
• The woman found dead approximately 10 kilometres north of Boston Bar on Aug. 22 was identified by the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) as 28-year-old Belgian tourist Amelie Christelle Sakkalis.
Police asked the public for more information both about a white 1994 Chevrolet Astro with a padlock on the back of it found at the scene, as well as more information about contact between Sakkalis and the man charged in her murder.
Sean McKenzie, a 27-year-old Oliver man with no priors, was charged in September and has since appeared in court twice. The case will go to a preliminary inquiry in June.
• What do peeling a banana, dressing up in period costumes and stuffing people in a make shift jail have in common? These were all weird and wonderful customs practiced at some or many of the annual Brigade Days hosted in the town of Hope. ‘Briggie Days’ as it’s endearingly referred to by locals, turned 50 this year and with 7,00 attendees, was the biggest ever recorded.
• The darker parts of Canada’s history and the Japanese-Canadians who lived it returned to the public eye in September. A memorial was erected to the interned men who built Highway 3 as part of WWII forced labour road camps.The Japanese-Canadians who journeyed to take part in the ceremony also witnessed the expansion of the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum, which, under the leadership of Ryan Ellan, has now added a replica of the tar paper shack where up to 2,644 Japanese-Canadians lived at the Tashme internment camp which is now the quaint recreational village Sunshine Valley.
“When it was all over, we all packed our bags and moved on. But the significance of internment nagged at me for much of my life,” said Howard Shimokura, who came to Tashme as a four-year-old and now advocates for teaching this history to young generations of Canadians.
• An affordable housing plan for 777 Old Hope Princeton Way was given the green light from council as the property was rezoned to accommodate 37 one- and two-bedroom apartments and eight three- and four -bedroom townhomes.
• The Hope Community Garden found its forever home behind the Coquihalla Elementary School, where students at the school and community members now get to sink their hands into the dirt and watch their hard work grow. Longtime community members and lovers of gardening Faye and Bob Burrell were posthumously honoured with the planting of two fig trees at the grand opening of the garden on Sept. 20.
• After seven years of fundraising and a Hurculean effort by the Silver Creek Elementary School PAC, the community playground’s enhancement project broke ground.
• An ambitious project led by the Hope and Area Transition Society and executive director Gerry Dyble was opened. Hope’s first emergency shelter, with capacity for 20 people and more during times of extreme weather, opened in a two-storey home at 650 Old Hope Princeton Way.
• The Art Machine re-opened in a renovated modular building beside the Hope Arts Gallery. “When this first started, it was a vision of mine. A dream. And to me, art is like breathing. Being creative is like breath itself,” said Diane Ferguson, exective director of the Hope and District Arts Council at the opening.
• Canada’s latest Heritage Minute project filmed in Sunshine Valley, transforming the recreational village back into the Tashme interment camp which housed over 2,600 Japanese-Canadians forcibly removed from coastal areas of B.C. during WWII.
• Police confirmed a body found on Aug. 12 was Lytton-area fisher and community member Duan Aleck. The 59-year-old was reported missing in June, his body was pulled from the Fraser River south of Yale.
• Manning Park Resort led its first foray into dark sky tourism, also known as astrotourism, during a weekend festival where eyes and telescopes were turned to the night sky. Manning and AdvantageHOPE are hoping to capitalize on this growing tourism trend during the slower shoulder season.
Just in time for Halloween, a group of Hope-based paranormal investigators took their cameras into the purportedly heavily-haunted Boston Bar station house.
• Hope’s new Mayor Peter Robb was elected by a landslide: Robb garnered 1,293 votes, miles away from challengers Wilfried Vicktor (523) and Cindy Young (154). When approached at his vitory party in the Hope Legion, Robb said his immediate priorities would be to work on cannabis and affordable housing. Two new councillors (Victor Smith and Craig Traun), joined incumbents Bob Erickson, Scott Medlock, Heather Stewin and Dusty Smith at the council table after the Oct. 20 election. Voters favoured the status quo in other local politics, at least it seemed so with the three Hope school board trustees, John Koopman, Heather Stewin and Linda Kerr re-elected. Area reps Terry Raymond (Area A) and Dennis Adamson (Area B) were also re-elected.
• An early morning house fire on Sept. 27 claimed one life. Sixty-year-old Bill Lucak could not escape the fire that consumed the home on Yale Street he and his wife, Dagmar Lucak, shared. “We were just standing there waiting. They had a gurney but they couldn’t rescue him,” said mother-in-law Helen Jeschek. A BC Coroners Service investigation into Lucak’s exact cause of death is ongoing, meanwhile his family mourns the death of their loved one.
• The latest film production to shoot in Hope was a blockbuster with big names including Scott Cooper (director), Guillermo Del Toro, J. Miles Dale (producers), Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons (actors). The cast and crew of Antlers, a horror-thriller set in the fictional Oregon town of Cispus Falls, spent four days and nights in Hope. An estimated $60-70,00 was spent on hotels, and the District of Hope made $10,325 from permits and other costs.
• A fire at the Silver Creek Mobile Home Park decimated a motorhome, but left the occupants of the home uninjured.
• Mike Wilson was escorted out of a Chilliwack library by three security guards, purportedly for having too many belongings with him. Days later, the incident nagged at him and he decided to tell his story to the Standard. “I felt like they were belittling me,” he said, adding he thinks the incident was racially motivated based on his identity as a First Nations man. He later received a letter of apology from the library. Griffin Security & Investigation Services Ltd., the company that the security guards at the library work for, told The Hope Standard they could not comment.
• Elijah John hovered near death on the side of Highway on Nov. 5. The 18-year-old suffered collapsed lungs, a broken arm and fractured ribs and neck as he miraculously managed to take himself out of his mangled vehicle and make it up an embankment to the road.John’s family appealed to the public to help find the man and his son who rescued John that night. “If there’s somebody that needs help, you just grab them and do what you’ve got to do,” said Laidlaw resident Justin Wynker, who saw the story and came forward to say it was him and his 12-year-old son, Justin, who stopped to help John that dark night.
• Sunshine Valley realtor Walter Rawlinson cried foul after property owners (but not full-time residents) in Huckleberry village were under the impression they would be able to vote for Electoral Director B on Oct. 20. When they were turned away from the polls, the FRVD said they couldn’t vote as there was a corporation on the title of their leases, Rawlinson said it was ridiculous that up to 40 per cent of property owners in the Valley cannot vote.
Mike Hache has big plans, which start with bringing a Best Western franchise to Hope. If all goes to plan, the lot he says he is the owner of at 950 Old Hope Princeton Way will one day house condos, senior housing, storefronts and a court for badminton and other net sports, in addition to the 106-room hotel and conference centre. “Our cost to build, because of its location, is very, very attractive,” he said. “If you go anywhere in the province you have to go through Hope.”
• The old faithful Orange Chair is being retired, Manning Park Resort announced. In place of the 1970s era chair will be a quad chairlift, and the village at the base of the ski hill will also get a facelift for the start of the next ski season. The improvements made by the resort under the ownership of the Demers family are a far cry from five years ago, when the resort was set to close indefinity as the former owners faced financial hardship.
• The life and death of trucker Pat Gaudet was not far from the minds of Hope rescuers, as they worked to free a man trapped in the cab of his overturned truck on Dec. 11. Gaudet, trapped for days along Highway 3 as rescuers worked to find and then free him, passed away in hospital in March 2017. This rescue had a happier ending, as the trucker who had been trapped upside down was speaking as he was brought to a waiting ambulance after a swift rescue effort.
• Hope designer Linda Kay Peters revealed she is bringing her Indigenous designs to the world during Paris Fashion Week 2019. The self-taught designer will travel with Hope models and do a show in the Eiffel Tower in March.
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