2016 News highlights: April – June

Here's the second quarter of the annual year in review, highlighting some of the major news events from 2016.

  • Dec. 30, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Airport development manager Dave Kumpolt and Northwest Construction services official Kevin Palmu

Here’s the second quarter of the annual year in review, highlighting some of the major news events from 2016. More to come.

April

The proponent of a plan to spend $22 billion to construct an oil refinery north of Kitimat sketched out a scenario to obtain environmental and other approvals within three years. Kitimat Clean Ltd. president David Black filed a 129-page description of the project with federal and provincial regulators. That included details on the refinery, which would be on nearly 1,000 hectares 13 kilometres north of Kitimat, and about  associated works such as rail spurs, a tank farm and a marine export terminal on the Douglas Channel near Kitimat.

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Ray Michalko would never have predicted that putting an ad in a northern B.C. paper in 2006 would end up with him writing a book 10 years later. Obstruction of Justice details the private investigator’s probing into the numbers of the missing and murdered women along the Highway of Tears, a name given to the 722 km stretch of Hwy 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George. Someone knows something, says Michalko.

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The results of the RCMP disciplinary hearing is being called a joke by Heather Prisk, wife of Robert Wright who suffered a permanent brain injury after being subdued in cells here. That hearing saw Const. Brian Heideman reprimanded and docked two days pay for using excessive force to subdue Wright inside a Terrace RCMP detachment jail cell in April 2012.

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The city’s most recent homeless count conducted shows a 30 per cent jump in the number of homeless since the same time last year. In 2014, the total homeless count was 64, then in 2015 there were 74, and now it is at least 101. “It’s definitely a big jump,” said head homeless counter and Terrace and District Community Services Society case worker Mike Watson of the total, adding that the number is 120 when it includes those who looked homeless, but didn’t respond to the questionnaire.

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MLA Robin Austin’s civil case against Jim Lynch wrapped up in court with Lynch being charged $75,000 in damages. The case arose after Lynch implied at a public all candidates meeting that a foster girl was sexually abused in Austin’s home.

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Homeless shelter search continues after city council turned down in a 4-3 vote a request by the Ksan House Society to rezone an empty building on the Lazelle Ave. The request had supporters but also faced considerable opposition from people saying the location beside the post office wasn’t suitable.

May

A delegation led by the City of Terrace left for Qinhuangdao, China May 8 to visit with officials from the economic development zone which purchased nearly 1,200 acres at the city’s Skeena Industrial Development Park in 2014. Also on the trip are officials from the city’s development park partner, the Kitselas First Nation, and officials from the Coast Mountains School District and Northwest Community College. The latter two are looking to arrange for Chinese exchange students to come here.

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The Nisga’a Lisims Government is working on a real estate deal to purchase approximately 22,000 hectares of provincial crown land at the Nasoga Gulf. The Nisga’a already have influence over the land use through the 2000 Nisga’a  Final Agreement, but the deal would give them the ability to attract large-scale industrial development such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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A homeless protest stood in front of city hall for two weeks, calling the city to help those who are homeless gain employment and eventually find housing.

June

Northwest Community College instructors Stan Bevan, Dempsey Bob, and Ken McNeil were commissioned to carve poles for a philanthropic foundation in Minnesota.

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The City of Terrace is involved in negotiations with two prospective developers about its former Co-op shopping complex on Greig Ave. The city had a sales option agreement with Calgary-based Superior Lodging, but Grande Prairie-based Pomeroy Lodging expressed interest as well. Pomeroy owns Chances gaming centre and has been looking for a location for a combined gaming area, hotel and conference centre.

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The Northern Health Authority wants to ease the frustration of patients needing complex health treatment by improving communications between family physicians and specialized services. The changes, scheduled to begin here in mid-June, are intended to improve the transfer of patient information between offices and ensure that patients have an overall care plan.

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Coast mountains School District cut a forecast budget shortfall in half when the  provincial government gave it nearly $250,000, part of $25 million the province said it was now returning to school districts  after requiring administration savings the past several years.

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Rio Tinto has been fined $200,000 for the destruction of salmon in the Kemano River. The June 7 sentence dates back to an April 14, 2011 incident in which the company reduced the amount of water running through its Kemano generators, affecting fish habitat.

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BC Transit service connecting Terrace west to Prince Rupert and east to the Hazeltons is being discussed. The potential for both routes is part of a $5-million three-year package announced by the provincial government to provide new transit service to boost safer travel options for people from remote communities along Hwy16.

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The first Syrian family, Amer and Rahma al Kadro and their three children arrived in Terrace June 15 and settles in.

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The RCMP promoted staff sergeant Syd Lecky to be inspector here. He had been filling in as the detachment’s commander following the retirement of Inspector Dana Hart in January. Lecky said the detachment has a law enforcement vision should an economic boom bring more activity to the city.

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Terrace to Hazelton bus service launched

First trip of BC Transit’s latest inter-community route set for Nov. 20

Snowfall warning issued for Terrace

Environment Canada expects up to 30cm by this evening

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Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

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Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

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