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Posts Tagged ‘Penticton’

Accused killer of Observer Louise Phillips commits suicide; roundup

April 20, 2011 2 comments

Here’s a rare roundup from the interior. Treasure it.

The man accused of murdering Salmon Arm Observer office manager Louise Phillips has died after shooting himself in the head with a nail gun. James Phillips, Louise’s estranged husband, was out on bail when he shot himself.

Just a news tip to the Black Press headline writers: an interview with a politician at election time isn’t exclusive.

Penticton Herald headline: “Kidder pulls out guitar to end candidate’s forum.” But the story, which is otherwise fine, says nothing about a guitar. I’m confused.

Not in B.C., but worth mentioning anyways: A tiny newspaper serving a Mohawk First Nation in Ontario Quebec has been nominated alongside the CBC, Radio-Canada, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun and Hamilton Spectator for a major public service journalism award. The Eastern Door was nominated for a series of articles that revealed that the Mohawk Council was sending eviction notices to non-natives. The notices were cancelled after the stories ran. The paper has two reporters and its editor is also the publisher.

He told J-source:

“Some business people said, ‘Hey maybe you shouldn’t be so hard (on the council). I said, ‘We’re talking about peoples’ lives here. If it costs (the newspaper) a few dollars, then…’”

Superb.

A beauty from the Kamloops cops via Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week:

“A male had made rude comments towards a female outside that downtown location — and she proceeded to give him a jersey pull and punched him numerous times,” Aird said in explaining the jersey pull, a very effective strategy employed the best fighters in hockey.

The woman is then alleged to have pushed the man’s head into a wall.

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Stories like that will have me doing more roundups soon.

Kristi Patton of the Penticton Western News has a terrific piece of court reporting:

The jury of a kidnapping, unlawful confinement and assault trial got an inside look at the tribulations of life in the South Okanagan drug world.

Drug stashes in the streets of Oliver, a home invasion by men threatening with a shotgun, paranoia causing people to bounce from home to home, addicted family members and beatings by upper-level drug dealers all came to light in the Penticton Supreme Court last week.

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Photo of the week comes from… drum roll please… 100 Mile House publisher, sales manager, and spot news photographer-extraordinaire Chris Nickless, who got a cracking shot of a roaring fire in Lac La Hache. Chris won a CCNA in 2009 for his photography, so this isn’t out of the ordinary.

The search function on Black Press websites is HORRIBLE. I rarely use all caps, but it’s that freakin’ bad.

Reporter out.

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This blog is still a one-person show, so any help would be great. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll shamefully update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Tunnel vision, cranky editors, and very ambiguous headlines

March 21, 2011 Comments off

Some curiosities from the past week in the Interior:

Prince George Free Press editor Bill Phillips writes on his blog about how his cranky editorness caused him to not fall victim to the Enbridge hair hoax that bamboozled many news outlets last week.

This headline in Columbia Valley Pioneer, “Crook family history revealed in new book,” can be read the wrong way. (The family are Crooks, not criminals.)

Last Friday, the Nelson Star published a list, as part of an ongoing series of West Kootenay-related lists, of three abandoned highway tunnels, including one between Slocan and Silverton that was built more than 80 years ago, as the seventh part in a series of West Kootenay-related lists. It’s a good thing the list didn’t run one week later because on Sunday the Star reported that that same Slocan highway tunnel collapsed last week, possibly on the same day the paper went to press. (Remember, the tunnel was abandoned).

The Tampa Bay Lightning released Salmon Arm product Mitch Fadden from his minor league contract after the Salmon Arm Observer broke the news earlier this month that Fadden is facing drunk driving charges (although the Observer didn’t mention Fadden’s NHL connection in that story).

So the Kamloops Daily News ran an article about a man who was unhappy about having to pray at an AA meeting and the comments duly began — some fairly tame, others pretty vicious. And so the Daily News published an editorial pointing out that some of the commenters were a tad impolite and intolerant. I was going to write that this all makes one consider the point of comments in the first place, but then I remembered some of the letters my paper receives and publishes. I guess I can’t be against discussion and free speech, even though those who tend to lead the way are often imbecilic racists.

Ambiguous headline No. 2 comes from the Penticton Western News: “Penticton student heads to Midway.” Midway, some will know, is a small town two hours from Penticton. It looks like this in winter:

And for Midway residents who read that headline,  the story’s lede could be taken the wrong way:

While many high school students are looking forward to spring break as a chance to kick back or perhaps even travel with their family to Europe, Mexico or some other exotic locale, Emily Chartrand is making plans to go a bit farther afield, at least in terms of distance from civilization.

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The student, for those who must know, is going to the Midway Islands, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t get me wrong about the story: there’s nothing wrong with it. But the lede combined with the headline is just plain funny.

And I’m slow on the uptake here, but former Vernon Morning Star reporter Natalie Appleton was shortlisted for a national short fiction award. She also recently finished her memoir, How to Meet a Nice Man from Medicine Hat, and is expecting a baby so all in all, sounds like a good year for Natalie, who’s now teaching at Okanagan College.

Oh, and two jobs, by the way: the Trail Daily Times needs an editor and the Rocky Mountain Goat needs a full-time reporter.

Photo by Havan Kevin via Flickr.

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This blog had more visitors in February than any previous months. It’s still a one-person show, though, so any help would be great. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll shamefully update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Editors on stage (and in drag)

January 17, 2011 Comments off

In the Okanagan Sunday weekend paper, Penticton Herald editor James Miller writes about his brave turn as a transvestite. On stage. Now, he can actually put “transvestite” on his resume or maybe even, he asks, his American Express card.

For those fortunate enough to catch one of five shows this past week of Chess: The Musical, you may have noticed me. I wore a dress, fishnet stockings, brassiere (filled with bird seed), makeup and high heels for a 45-second cameo in the Soundstage Productions musical that played at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

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I now have an even greater admiration for women. It was painful. I started with a bad-ass pair of high heels, something Elton John would have worn in the 1970s, only to fall twice. They were replaced by a pair of stilettos. It‘s tough to find stilettos in size 13, so costumer Kerry Younie cut the back out of them to make them more of a sandal.

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Very funny.

And egads, what’s this? Another editor involved in a theatre production? Nelson Star editor Bob Hall recently confessed to growing muttonchops and a moustache for a pantomime role as a snake oil salesman.

Shortly after my facial transformation, I was walking through the Chahko-Mika parking lot when a big dude with a massive handlebar moustache gave me the head-nod and “heh” greeting. I happily nodded back, but having forgot about the handlebar I was rocking was a bit puzzled by this stranger’s acknowledgment.

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On a less cheery note, the homeless in Kamloops are drinking hand sanitizer, reporters KTW’s Dale Bass. This, it turns out, is dangerous:

One of the components of most sanitizers, however, is a chemical that has a medicinal use treating angina patients.

It does this by lowering their blood pressure, Salter said, but, in homeless people — most of whom are in poor physical health already — this can compromise their health.

The type of ethanol used is also toxic, affecting the central nervous system.

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Apparently students elsewhere have turned to the “booze ooze,” leading the Vancouver school district to not install sanitizer in their washrooms.

Please, if you, like the Merritt Herald, publish a column by a local politician, make sure the politician’s name (and position) is on the page on the website. Otherwise it looks like an editorial you would never, ever want to write yourself.

Nelson Star snow photo kicker: “Oh Snow You Didn’t.” Oh, NO they di’int.

Finally, this photo illustration by Vernon Morning Star shooter Cory Bialecki is pretty rocking. Story by Kristin Froneman is also well done. (I’ve noticed a common theme: good photos tend to be accompanied by good stories, written by a reporter not responsible for the photography).

Photo by Annie Mole via Flickr.

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Help keep this blog running for weeks to come by becoming a link farmer. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com. Also, take the poll on the right. It’s free. Lucky you.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Roundup – Cleaning out the plumbing edition

December 13, 2010 2 comments

Arstad?

Keremeos Review reporter Steve Arstad is the latest to use a story on how many drinks it takes to get to .05 as a pretense to get drunk for work. I kid, I kid. But Keremeos’s mayor did out-drink Arstad under the table so there is some ‘splaining to do.

Based on the results, it would appear that I have been over reacting to the new laws, having a blood alcohol level slightly less than half of .05 after one drink. However, two 20 ounce drafts put me over .05 – with the recently recalibrated breathalyzers, ( to .06) I’m still legal, but I think I’d want to cool the quaffing at this point.

Notice the mayor seems to be a little better than the reporter at handling his alcohol at this point.

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I like this Nelson Star headline: “Police concerned about creep in van.” When a guy is driving around asking woman who are alone if they want to have sex in his van, why not call a spade a spade? (Shockingly, all the woman turned down the man’s charming advances).

I didn’t quite know that it was possible for one worker at a two-person workplace to unionize. But Penticton Herald freelancer Joe Fries reports it is.

Penticton‘s newest – and likely smallest – shop was certified Dec. 2 by the Labour Relations Board as CUPE Local 5036.

The lone member at present is secretary Emma Jones, who earlier this week was laid off for the season. She said talk of unionizing began in the spring shortly after the new volunteer board of directors was installed.

“They just were not taking care of business for their employees,” Jones explained.

The boat‘s only other employee, artistic and managing director Glen Cairns, was denied in his bid to join the union. His contract was not renewed at the end of November and he could not be reached for comment.

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Kamloops Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger pens a column about his experience in having a tiny TV camera floating through his body, and finding out later that the health authority’s endoscopy equipment has had a “cleanliness issue.” Definitely worth a read.

A letter of assurance has been mailed out to patients who have had endoscopic procedures during the period in question, and they’re also being advised through the media to call the IHA’s information line if they have questions.

Which is what I did yesterday, where I left a voice message and never heard back. So, without the letter, and no phone call, I’m left to ponder the chances of being struck by lightning or by a life-threatening infection from the health authority.

The difference between the two is that nobody sends out letters telling you not to worry about being struck by lightning, so we don’t all go around thinking about it. Now that I know about the IHA’s latest “dirty tools” problem I am, of course, thinking about it.

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Elsewhere in Kamloops, Kamloops This Week’s Jeremy Deutsch takes on those who get up in arms whenever someone blasphemously omits the word “Christmas” from their December plans. If someone doesn’t want to call it Christmas, then so be it, says Deutsch. The same goes for if they do call it as such. Just get over it.

And elsewhere in Kamloops This Week, reporter Tim Petruk talks to a family still searching for the person or people who beat to death a 64-year-old man in 2007. Petruk sets the story up nicely with a humanizing story about the victim before getting to the gist of the matter.

For Flo, the situation is frustrating.

“It’s like that old saying — ‘Just another Indian,’” she said.

“They say, ‘Just another drunk.’ But, if it was a white person who was laying out there, there would be headlines and there would be rewards.”

Flo, Shirley and Lorna will readily admit Louis had his struggles with alcohol — “He liked to have his drinks,” Lorna said — and he did have a criminal record, but, they say, there’s much more to him than that.

The women describe Louis as a band elder with a huge heart who was loved by friends and family.

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Alex Cooper of the Revelstoke Times-Review (which is making an early case for the Journo-Lust Puny Paper of the Year Award) covers one of those events that you go to and come away telling your editor “Lamest. ______. Ever.” And the story, about a debate over extending shopping hours during the Holiday — I mean, Christmas — season, is interesting. Retailers say it has to be done collectively for it to work. But even when it is done, nobody comes out shopping, it seems. At least not yet.

Finally, for some reason a column by Stockwell Day about the WikiLeaks controversy is filed under the Summerland Review’s sports section. Unless Day wrote the column while riding a jetski, that’s probably misplaced.

I made a poll! I don’t know if it works! Test it out! It’s on the right side of the page!

Leave a comment, dammit.

Photo by Doug Bowman via Flickr

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Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

Seen something else I should know about? Want to write a post? Have better photos than the Creative Commons Flickr pool ones I use? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)gmail.com.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. So far we’ve counted 59 community newspaper journalists in the province. And there are many more out there.

Ogopogo, Santa Claus and genetically modified apples

December 4, 2010 Comments off

Lots of links today from the southern interior:

J.P. Squire of the Kelowna Daily Courier is on the Ogopogo beat this week. Seems like someone saw some suspicious water spouts happening on the lake. He also reveals that, unusually, nobody has reported an Ogopogo sighting this year. By the way, the websites of the Courier and its sister paper, the Penticton Herald, are truly horrendous. Like 1997 bad. Sorry. Apparently some company called WEM-Tech claims responsibility for the site. If I was them, I wouldn’t.

Great story by Alex Cooper of the Revelstoke Times-Review on contrasting projections for the future of the mountain town. Some say the population will double, others disagree.

Frigid and dark Christmas parades can be a nightmare to shoot, but Castlegar News reporter Kim Magi and editor Robson Fletcher pulled off the treat and delivered a pretty good slide show.

Angela Treharne of the Fernie Free Press talks to a guy who was finally — yes, he has tried before — allowed to camp next to the Fernie Alpine Resort ski lift the night before opening day.

An engineer is warning that a “housing unit” will fall onto a business Kamloops street, according to a lawsuit dug up by Cam Fortems of the Kamloops Daily News.

Steve Kidd of the Penticton Western News writes about a new type of apple that doesn’t go brown. The apple was developed in neighbouring Summerland but is causing concern among B.C. fruit growers. Also in the Western News, Kristi Patton on a judge overruling a dead man’s will.

Did you know that if you t take a bottle of wine with you into Alberta this holiday season you’ll be breaking the law, a.k.a. smuggling? I do, thanks to Judie Steeves of the Kelowna Capital News.

This volleyball photo looks good on the Merritt Herald website. But it’s hard to tell because it’s so freaking small.

Locals give mixed reviews to the filming of a movie in the West Kootenay to Nelson Star reporter Greg Nesteroff. Also in the Star is this story about a lawyer and university professor convicted of fraud. Good story but no byline (although Nesteroff is credited for the photo).

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Seen something else I should know about? Want to write a post? Have better photos than the Creative Commons Flickr pool ones I use? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)gmail.com.

Help complete a census of B.C. community newspapers by filling in the blanks for your newspaper in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. 

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