|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Kristian Rasmussen
Email: kristian@cv-pioneer.com
More from

Reporter Kristian Rasmussen is a coastal transplant. Originally from White Rock, B.C., Kristian has traded the salty sea breeze for the clear mountain air. Kristian graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from Thompson Rivers University and lives for the mountain lifestyle. You may find Kristian on the trails, at the hot springs, or covering the community beat.

Reporter Kristian Rasmussen is hanging up the pen and paper, but staying in the Columbia Valley. Pioneer photo

Outgoing reporter rambles on

Posted on April 5th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
In a valley where change is as inevitable as the cycling of seasons, no man is an island. With the blooms of spring bringing new life to our little corner of Valhalla, I must announce that I am leaving The Columbia Valley Pioneer and Invermere Valley Echo newspapers.
Although documenting the living history of my new home has been both exciting and challenging, I am moving on to live the dream of a mountain man with an exciting opportunity in the
forestry sector.
When I first arrived in the East …

Read More...
PACKING A PREHISTORIC PUNCH — Members of the Lake Windermere & District Rod and Gun Club check their arrows during the Jurassic portion of play held at the Rauch Homestead Range in April 2011. Photo submitted by Bob Walker

Local conservation group ready to unleash a volley of fun

Posted on March 29th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
The oldest conservation club in the Columbia Valley is readying a quivers-worth of camaraderie, adventure and fun as this year’s outdoor archery season is set to begin in April.
The Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club, who hold two-hour archery sessions on Wednesday nights at the Invermere Community Hall, are ready to shake the gloom of the indoor season for a bright spring of target shooting at their Homestead Range property.
Evenings spent practising indoors paid off for member Alan Tenta and his son Davis, who represented …

Read More...
CLASSY CLASSROOM — The intermediate grades of the Edgewater school pose here during a photo taken in the mid 1950s. Photo submitted

Alumna recalls early school

Posted on March 29th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
While the landscape of education becomes increasingly framed by the amplified lights of computer screens and digital technology, a
pupil at one of the Columbia Valley’s original one-room schoolhouses remembers a time when information in the classroom travelled only as far as your voice could carry it.
In 1950, Margaret Christensen began her studies as a Grade Five student at Edgewater’s single classroom schoolhouse. The school was built in 1935 and housed the intermediate grades from 5-8 in a single classroom, while primary students were taught at the Legion …

Read More...
Tick

Columbia Valley ticks up to old tricks

Posted on March 22nd, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
Vampiric vermin, known to cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and temporary paralysis, have once again crawled their way into the valley.
Rocky Mountain wood ticks have already been spotted crawling on hikers in Radium Hot Springs this spring.
“On Saturday, visitors came in with ticks after going for a hike behind the visitor centre at the valley lookout picnic area,” said Kent Kebe, manager of the Radium Chamber of Commerce. “I really think ticks are such an important thing for folks to know about — especially …

Read More...
MAGIC MAN — The Amazing Jeremy displays one of his many card tricks during an impromptu magic show at the Shuswap Band administration office on Friday, March 8th. Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

Youth shares a little magic

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
While Jeremy Stevens may appear to be an average 16-year-old, behind his veil of jet black hair hide a pair of eyes that act as windows into a mysterious world of magic and intrigue.
The Shuswap Band member, who goes by the stage name of The Amazing Jeremy, has been practicing the art of magic since he was taught his first trick by his grandfather at the age of six.
“He showed me a rope trick restore,” Jeremy said. “You cut a rope in half, tie it up and …

Read More...
TRIAL SET - The trial for the man accused of dangerous driving causing this July 2011 crash in Kootenay National Park will face trial over six days next spring. Pioneer file photo

Fatal Kootenay Park crash trial set for six days

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A Vancouver man charged with four counts of dangerous driving causing death in connection with a July 22nd, 2011 collision between his tractor trailer and a dodge camper van carrying a California family of four, made his third court appearance by proxy in Invermere Provincial court on Monday, March 11th.
Acting as a representative for Jaswinder Singh Bagri, 41, and his lawyer Selwyn Russell Chamberlain, Buffy Blakley requested a Punjabi interpreter be present for the trial and noted that Mr. Chamberlain would be hiring his own forensic expert …

Read More...
WEB---Court

Breach of probation charge dropped against Panebianco

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A Windermere man charged with criminal negligence causing death, assault and manslaughter in the case of slain Invermere man, Cory Jarock, had one count of breach of parole dropped in Invermere Provincial Court on Monday, March 11th.
Brian Panebianco, 24, was charged in the April 3rd, 2012 death of Mr. Jarock and was released on February 8th on $2,000 bail and a series of strict conditions, including abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
At around midnight on Saturday, March 9th, Columbia Valley detachment member Const. Andrew Michaud and supporting officers …

Read More...
CABIN CURE — A local couple facing a plague of problems which incubated from the improper construction of their 5,000 square foot log cabin home has received the legal remedy they sought after a five-year battle. Photo submitted

Careless contracting results in $510,000 in damages

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A local couple facing a plague of problems which incubated from the improper construction of their 5,000 square foot log cabin home has received the legal remedy they sought after a five-year battle.
Justice Thomas J. Melnick awarded Bob and Rita Walker over $510,000 in damages and interest against home builder James Elmo Siler in Cranbrook Supreme Court on January 25th.
In 2005, the Walkers developed the Bella Vista Estates strata subdivision just south of Fairmont Hot Springs on Columbia Lake. They began work on their log cabin home …

Read More...
QUEEN OF BEERS — Benita Van Son of the Copper City Liquor Store poses with the valley’s most popular beer. Although the B.C. Liquor 
Distribution Branch released beer figures for only their stores in the 
Columbia Valley, Ms. VanSon has noted the popularity of the beer in her store. Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

B.C. liquor stores release most popular brews

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley’s most celebrated suds have been recorded for early 2013, and it may not come as much of a surprise who melds the most popular mixture of yeast, barley, hops and malt.
Budweiser earned first place for most popular beer, followed by Busch in second place and
Kokanee, which is brewed not far away in
Creston, taking up third place.
The data comes from B.C. Liquor
Distribution Branch sales figures from the last 12 months at both the Radium and Invermere stores, current as of Thursday, March …

Read More...
Delegates from the Calgary Stampede displayed their best boot scoot boogie during the Mountain Stampede 
festival and the 50th Anniversary Staff Alumni Reunion at Panorama Mountain Village on Saturday, March 9th. 
Pictured, above, from left to right: Rick Shuh from the Calgary Stampede’s Promotion Committee dances with Joanne Gray of Panorama. Pictured, right: Tom Malloy of Invermere strutted his stuff during the square dancing 
demonstration. Photos by Kristian Rasmussen

Stampede stompin’

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


Read More...
MAN OF IRON — Shane McKay, who owns TXN Installations, poses for a quick photo inside his Athalmer shop. The Invermere man challenged the jungle paradise of Nicaragua’s Ometepe Island during the Fuego Y Agua Survival Run. Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

Adventure racer survives Ometepe Island

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
An Invermere man who challenged fate in one of the most rugged and daunting adventure races on Earth has returned home with a story of courage, determination and perseverance.
Shane McKay, who is currently ranked 16th out of close to 8,000 athletes in the sport of Spartan obstacle course racing, signed up for Nicaragua’s 75-
kilometre Fuego Y Agua Survival Run after learning about the event through friends last October.
“I started thinking about it at that point, but 75 kilometres is a huge jump for me,” Shane said. …

Read More...
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY — Audrey Eugene of the Shuswap nation 
informs the meeting about Chief Pierre Kinbasket’s wish to keep the 
Radium hot pools available for everyone. Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

Hot springs meeting heats up debate

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
The lure of a discussion around the upcoming privatization of Radium Hot Springs drew a crowd of 53 concerned citizens to the Radium Seniors’ Hall on Wednesday, February 27th.
The decision to privatize the hot springs was made far away from the valley it will impact;
businesses that rely on the stable hours and low entry fees that draw tourists to the attraction and to the community will be affected, said Marianne Hladun, regional executive vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (Prairies).
“Local businesses and First Nations were …

Read More...
1,000 PEAKS AFLAME — Foul play has now been ruled out as the possible cause of the Wednesday, February 27th blaze at Panorama Mountain Village’s 1,000 Peaks Lodge. Photo by Phil Marshall

No cause found in Pano blaze

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
After day and a half of digging through the charred remains of Panorama Mountain Village’s 1,000 Peaks Lodge, Columbia Valley Fire and Rescue and the B.C. Safety Authority were unable to produce any leads as to the cause of the Wednesday, February 27th blaze.
“Due to the extreme heat in the area of origin, vital evidence was completely destroyed, giving investigators no option other than to deem the cause undetermined,” fire chief Jim Miller stated in a Regional District of East Kootenay press release. “We have identified where …

Read More...
This wolf image was shot on a mountain trail northwest of Golden in August 2004. Believing this wolf was nearby, photographer Brad Hill set up his camera gear on a game trail and was able to capture this dramatic shot. Brad Hill / 
www.naturalart.ca photo

War on wolves wraps up

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A nature photographer, whose keen eye behind the lens and beyond helped him discover 18 wolf snare traps located six kilometres from his Columbia Lake home, has learned that the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations have curtailed their snare trapping program in the valley as of Thursday, February 28th.
The program will begin again if conflicts between cattle and wolves arise, the Ministry of Environment told The Pioneer in an email.
“I am not just happy about the fact that we have saved a few wolves, …

Read More...
THE THREE AMIGOS — Liberal MLA candidate Doug Clovechok, Diamond Jubilee Award-winner Floyd Verge and RCMP Staff Sergeant Marko Shehovac show off Floyd’s certificate and award on Friday, March 1st.  Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

Verge earns royal honour

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A man known for his booming laugh and over-sized heart earned recognition for the mountain of contributions he has made valley-wide on Saturday, February 23rd.
Floyd Verge, the founder of Verge for Youth, an organization which has raised over $350,000 for youth and families in need, received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee award after being nominated by B.C. Liberal Party candidate Doug Clovechok and Columbia Valley RCMP detachment Staff Sergeant. Marko Shehovac for his devotion to the community.
“The work that he has done and his selfless commitment to …

Read More...
Invermere’s Lindsay Johnston and her sister Paige of Calgary are using their Amazing Race Canada audition as an opportunity to build their relationship.

Amazing auditions begin

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen, Pioneer Staff
Teams of valley racers are hoping to put the strength of their relationships through the ultimate test during the first installment of the Amazing Race Canada, still in its audition phase and set to air this summer. Local teams include Invermerte’s Lindsay Johnston and her sister Paige of Calgary, and Invermere’s Cori Gadomski and her best friend Carly Ferchuck of Cochrane, Alberta.
“For us, it is a neat opportunity to build our relationship that has become closer in recent years,” Lindsay said. “We definitely want to win …

Read More...
Terry Damm on horseback, which was a frequent mode of travel for the recently retired park warden. Photo submitted

Couple celebrates 40 years of service in the Rockies

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
The porch light of a pioneering couple, who dedicated the past 40 years of their lives to acting as beacons of goodwill, law enforcement and shelter in Kootenay, Banff and Jasper National Parks, has finally gone out.
Park warden Terry Damm retired with his wife Marie on Monday, February 11th after having tamed some of the most remote wilderness postings Parks Canada had to offer, often with only work ethic and backcountry knowledge as support.
Originally from southern Ontario, Terry grew up in the small town of Essex. His …

Read More...
FAIRMONT’S FINEST — Sue Coy shows off the skis that were leant to her by her nephew, Canadian ski team member Ben Thomsen, to compete in the Over the Hill Downhill at Silver Star on February 8th-10th.  Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

Skier makes podium return to racing

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
A local ski racer who gave up competitive skiing more than 32 years ago has found herself exploding down the slopes at 115 kilometres per hour with a new-found youthful energy.
Sue Coy recently entered the 32nd annual Over The Hill Downhill ski racing competition at Silver Star Winter Mountain Resort through the suggestion of her nephew and famed ski racer Benjamin Thomsen February 4th – 7th.
“When you turn 50 you look back at your life and you see a reflection of what you did and what you’re …

Read More...
A CP Rail locomotive. Pioneer file photo

Woman struck and killed by train in Athalmer

Posted on February 22nd, 2013 by


* UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 22nd *
By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
An Invermere woman was killed as a result of being struck by a train while trying to cross the tracks with a friend near 4th Avenue and Borden Street in Athalmer just before 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20th.
The victim, who has now been identified as Carmen Denise Salazar, age 50, of Invermere, was heading from one friend’s home to another home when she tried to cross the tracks in front of an approaching train, which was estimated to …

Read More...
CELL SOLUTION - The addition of cell phone towers in Kootenay National Park is being touted as a safety measure to ensure swift responses to traffic accidents in the park. Photo by Greg Amos

Six cell towers slated for national park

Posted on February 22nd, 2013 by


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff
Parks Canada is considering a proposal from Telus to install six cell phone service towers throughout Kootenay National Park.
“Construction will be a year and a half from now at the earliest,” explained Trevor Kinley, wildlife crossing project manager for Parks Canada, during the Radium Hot Springs council meeting on Wednesday, February 13th. “Telus has got a preliminary proposal in and Parks Canada will review that proposal and go through the environmental assessment process.”
The completion of the towers will likely mean cell phone coverage through 80 kilometres of …

Read More...