Regional news recap

A quick recap of the top news stories this week in Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie and Kimberley.

Special avalanche warning issued for East Kootenay

A special avalanche warning has been issued for the weekend by Avalanche Canada. Most of the popular recreational terrain in the area is under this warning including the North Rockies, Cariboos, North and South Columbia, Glacier National Park, the Purcells, South Rockies and Lizard Range.

Backcountry users are warned that the lower elevation is actually more dangerous than the high alpine, and Avalanche Canada says anyone recreating in the backcountry should be equipped with essential rescue gear.

Cranbrook youth facing weapons, drug charges

A 16-year-old Cranbrook youth has been arrested and hated with several firearms and drug offences, according to RCMP.

The youth remains in custody and is facing charges of uttering threats, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, trafficking and a breach of an Intensive Support and Supervision Order.

Province partners with three East Kootenay bands to improve housing

Three Indigenous bands in the East Kootenay are working with BC Housing to improve the quality of on-reserve homes.

The Shuswap Indian Band, Tobacco Plains Indian Band and the ʔaq̓am community will receive help from the housing crown corporation to maintain housing that meets industry standards for safety, durability, accessibility, healthy living and energy efficiency.

BC Housing will also provide training and education to strengthen expertise within each of the communities to manage housing supply.

The partnership is part of a three-year agreement through the Ktunaxa Shuswap Asset Management Initiative that includes funding support from the Columbia Basin Trust and Indigenous Services Canada.

RCMP Fernie arena probe ongoing

A criminal investigation into the Fernie arena tragedy is ongoing, with no indication of a completion date.

The RCMP continues to examine the events of October 17, 2017 when three men tragically died after an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena.

WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC concluded their investigations last year, making several recommendations to improve arena and workplace safety, however the RCMP have made no indication of when their investigation is expected to be completed.

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Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

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