Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Salmon Arm’

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.

more…

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.

****

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!

Advertisements

Mounties arrest, charge estranged husband of slain Salmon Arm Observer staffer

March 4, 2011 Comments off

The estranged husband of slain Salmon Arm Observer office manager Louise Phillips has been arrested and charged with second degree murder in connection with her death. For background click here and here.

The Observer story can be found here with some background and quotes from Phillips’s landlords.

Phillips, 52, had been renting a small apartment, which was attached to the main residence at 76 Timms Rd., while her husband was out-of-town doing employment training. He had returned to Salmon Arm on a reading week break.

more…

Here’s the full RCMP release:

On Friday March 4th, 2011, the RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit arrested 55 yr old James Douglas Phillips in connection with the murder of his spouse 52 yr old Louise Phillips.

James Douglas Phillips who currently resides in Castlegar, BC, was arrested by RCMP investigators upon his release from hospital care at the Kelowna General Hospital Friday morning. RCMP Officers earlier this week forwarded a report to Crown Counsel, recommending consideration for a charge of second degree murder be approved along with seeking a warrant for his arrest.

With a charge approved under section 235 cc for second degree murder and arrest warrant obtained, investigators took James Douglas Phillips into custody without incident at KGH. Phillips had been hospitalized since the Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the Salmon Arm residence of Louise Phillips back on Friday evening, February 18, 2011.

Uniformed officers who were first on the scene that evening, were faced with the somber discovery of Louise Phillips dead in her home with her estranged husband on the scene and both persons suffering from apparent stab wounds. After an extensive investigation, the SED MCU team were able to submit sufficient evidence and findings to crown and deem that they believe that the death of Louise Phillips is a homicide.

“Our investigation confirmed that this matter was a domestic related disturbance and our findings indicated that couple were legally separated. James Phillips had returned to reside at the home in Salmon Arm last year off and on. Historical police records checks of the couple did not uncover any previously reported domestic violence related incidents” stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

Salmon Arm Observer covers the sudden death of co-worker

February 28, 2011 Comments off

The family of Louise Phillips, the Salmon Arm Observer office manager who died under suspicious circumstances earlier this month, spoke to Barb Brouwer last week about their loss.

The story is unbelievably sad, but well written and compassionate.

In Salmon Arm now because of his mother’s death last Friday, 24-year-old Eli has two tickets left behind at his Calgary home — tickets that will never be used.

Eli and his mother planned to attend a concert by the band Heart, yesterday. Louise had bought the tickets last fall as a birthday gift to Eli and had planned to fly to Calgary for the event.

more…

In a separate story, Barb writes about the deep sense of loss experienced by her co-workers at the Observer. There are quotes by numerous staffers. Barb writes:

There is a hole in the hearts of all of us who work at the Observer.

One of our own was taken from us suddenly Friday and all of us in the Observer family are trying to absorb the unimaginable.

To this reporter, Louise was a dear friend, confidante and walking buddy who was, like other members of the Observer family, a beneficiary of her loving kindness. I will miss her more than words can express. I loved her.

more…

And editor Tracy Hughes pens a terrific and heart-wrenching column:

Shock, horror, disbelief.

When my phone rang on Saturday with the horrific news that one of our own staff members was killed, disbelief is the first thing that hit.

Louise Phillips, I thought. Is there another Louise Phillips in town? That simply can’t be our Louise.

No, not the sweet lady who greeted me at the door every morning, who never had a cross word, who hand-sewed picture frames for all three of my children so my oldest wouldn’t feel left out when the newborn twins were being showered with attention.

It just couldn’t be that lady.

And yet it was.

more…

There has been no more news on how Phillips may have died since it was reported early last week.

Bobsleds, drug dealers, and landfill rage (!)

February 7, 2011 1 comment

A bobsled wipes out at last year's Rossland Winter Carnival

The roundup is back this week with a look at papers in the Interior.

There’s a very interesting story by Tracy Hughes and Lachlan Labere in the Salmon Arm Observer that is a little too twisted for me to summarize completely without just ripping off, word-for-word, everything Tracy and Lachlan very capably write. In short: a court has pulled a $1.75 million house off the market because one of its residents is a convicted drug traffickers facing new charges. However, the property’s owners is not facing charges and only a little bit of pot was found on the property. But the alleged traffickers did own the home in the past. Great reportage.

Also, in the Salmon Arm Observer, Barb Brouwer reports on what may be British Columbia’s single worst job: defending the local landfill from angry and violent would-be dumpers.

Anger from customers continues to be an issue at the Salmon Arm Landfill and police are recommending assault charges following the latest instance of violence.

For the second time in three months, attendant Debbie Dystant has been injured on the job by a customer expressing his anger over the 4 p.m. closing.

….

Over the past three years, Dystant has been sworn at and had angry customers attempt to run her down. But, while she was vocal about her previous experiences, she has hired a lawyer following this latest incident and did not comment. In November, another irate customer sprayed Dystant with gravel by peeling his tires, which bruised her legs and ruined her eyeglasses in the process.

more…

I. Will. Never. Complain. About. My. Job. Again. (Or at least I’ll feel a tinge of guilt when I do so.)

A 100-year-old Kamloops curler is is the oldest active curler in the world according to no less an authority than the Guiness Book of World Records. Marty The Reporter Hastings of Kamloops This Week has the story, while photographer Dave Eagles‘s very imaginative and all-round awesome profile shot may be included in the 2012 version of the book. Here’s what centenarian Steve Gittus has to say about being in the book:

“I don’t know why I should be in there,” Gittus said.

“I didn’t have anything to do with me getting older. That’s just the way it is. I didn’t make a deliberate choice to become old.

“It just happened.”

more…

An aside that has nothing to do with any of the story’s mentioned today: don’t use the word “noted” if it’s not absolutely perfect for the sentence. Use “said” instead. When you write “noted” it implies that the writer accepts whatever is being said as the clear and unarguable truth. It’s also just clumsy.

Matt Coxford of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman writes about mullet madness on the local junior hockey team:

Whether it’s lying down in front of a speeding puck or colouring his mullet red and black, Kimberley Dynamiter Rylan Duley will do what it takes to help his team win.

“Blocking shots is hard, but committing to a mullet is a different thing,” said Duley, shrugging off the suggestion it takes courage to sport the short-in-front, long-in-back hairdo.

“It makes you faster out there.”

more…

Elsewhere in the crazy Kootenay International Junior Hockey Leauge, there’s this Nelson Star story and photo, I think by Andrea Klassen (?), about a crazy end to a recent game between Nelson and Castlegar:

“I looked at the ref before I even shot the puck, and I’m like, ‘how hasn’t he blown the whistle?'” a bemused Moir told the Star following the game. “The goalie’s behind the net without his helmet, just swarmed. I shot the puck anyway. It’s probably the greasiest goal I’ve ever scored in my life.”

By the time play resumed a smattering of Castlegar fans were climbing the glass at the Nelson and District Community Complex and screaming from the stands, while a water bottle went sailing from the Rebel bench.

more…

Meanwhile, a terrific helmet-cam video (from YouTube) of a bobsled run down city streets is attached to the Rossland News’ story on the annual race, which was attended by Rick Mercer last year. Watch the video, it’s insane.

In the Castlegar News: a mother whose 11-year-old son *Cole (*CORRECTED) “suffered a life-altering spinal cord injury while skiing” leaving him paralyzed from the waist down — at least for now — writes a long and touching letter about her child’s recover and future. Making things more difficult is the fact that *Cole’s parents are separated meaning that there are two houses that need to be made wheelchair accessible. I wonder how often that happens, or how a paralysis affects families that have already split up. I don’t know how you’d get access to someone to write that feature, though…

Will someone write a column about the thousands of dollars ICBC is spending on all those bloody Vicky Gabereau advertisements? They’re fucking everywhere.

Finally, from the better-late-than never files: last week Prince George Free Press editor Bill Phillips wrote on his blog that the competing Citizen failed to sufficiently correct a wrong Page 1 story last week.

Monday’s banner story in the Citizen says the college board is “vowing to keep” the aboriginal programs. Nowhere in the story does it mention that they got it wrong on Saturday. To top it off, there is a small correction on page two that simply states their page one story on Saturday contained incorrect information … without offering any corrected information.

As mentioned above, the measure of a newspaper is in how it handles its own mistakes. I rest my case.

more…

Photo by urbanbenchwork via Flickr.
%d bloggers like this: