|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Nikki Fredrikson
Email: nikki@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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Nikki Fredrikson joined the Pioneer in after completing her bachelor of journalism major in public relations from Thompson Rivers University. She previously worked with the Pioneer as summer intern returning in early spring to experience more of what the Valley has to offer. If she's not in the office you'll find her covering an event, hiking the trails or kayaking on the lake.

Adapting to fatherhood: Forrest Campbell’s journey

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by


Little boys are often high energy, spending most of their free time outside riding their bikes, playing at the skate park, and skiing, with their family. As a father you’re often the one taking the boys out to wear off some of that energy, and for local dad Forrest Campbell over the past two years he’s learned how to adapt the way he plays with his boys Owen and Taylor.
Two years ago Forrest was in a skiing accident that left him quadriplegic but he has never let his road to …

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A father-daughter perspective on hiking the Hoodoos

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by


To celebrate Father’s Day, reporter Nikki Fredrikson and her dad Neil, each wrote their own account of hike here in the Columbia Valley:
Neil – the dad:
During one of my visits in early spring to see my daughter in Invermere, she convinced me to come for a hike at the Hoodoos in Fairmont. Now I let her pick the hike but before she even got out of the truck. I took charge of the route we were going to take up the hill.
Luckily we somehow managed to get up to …

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Trio of bears destroyed in CastleRock

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by


It’s easy to forget to bring in your garbage, it’s even easier to leave your barbecue uncleaned, and if you’re living in the Castle Rock community it seems especially easy to attract bears. Following a series of unfortunate events and an apparent switch to a non-bear-resistant garbage bin, three black bears were destroyed within 48 hours in the subdivision.
“Over the last week, I noticed that the bin in CastleRock was not a bear-resistant one; I believe both bins used to be bear-resistant. We asked Southeast (Disposal) to switch the …

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Bear un-aware

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by


By Nikki Fredrikson
Pioneer Staff
The journalist part of me was intrigued when I found out that there was a bear roaming around CastleRock, but the animal lover in me knew immediately there could be no positive end to this story. When I read a Facebook post discussing the bear and its confidence to walk on back decks I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that this bear was destined to be destroyed.
While investigating the events that caused three black bears to be destroyed by local …

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Special Olympics athletes training hard at Valley Fitness Centre

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Every Friday afternoon at the Valley Fitness Centre a group of dedicated volunteers and athletes get together to workout as part of the Special Olympics Club Fit program. The program typically has anywhere from three to six athletes coming to workout together to build healthy habits and friendships between the athletes.
“Club Fit was designed as one of the programs for Special Olympics to help the athletes not only stay in shape, but help them perform better and improve their performance in any of their activities that they’re doing,” said …

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Edgewater residents battle to get crumbling road fixed

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Residents of Hewitt Road in Edgewater are raising concerns over unsafe road conditions after a spring flood in early May has left their road with large ditches and portions of the road missing. Their concerns have been growing as the residents have been dealing with a lack of road maintenance over the past two years.
On May 19th, 2015 the residents were told via email that a survey would be done on the road to look at fixing damaged culverts, erosion, and potential widening of the road but, according to residents, …

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Snowmobile club gets new groomer

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


After 15 years of actively fundraising, working with the Columbia Basin Trust, and the Village of Radium Hot Springs the Windermere Valley Snowmobile Club raised enough to purchase a $85,000 groomer.
“We got to the point now when we had enough funds available, that we went out to tender through four, or five businesses to find a groomer that met our stipulations, based on year and the amount of hours that were on the groomer. Once we found the location and the person selling one, we made the arrangements to …

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Motorcyclist survives rock wall crash at Sinclair Canyon

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Inexperience and unfamiliarity with the area are to blame for a single-vehicle accident on Sunday, May 21st which resulted in the hospitalization of a 53-year-old male. The accident occurred at 11:45 a.m. when a motorcyclist lost control of his vehicle heading east near Sinclair Canyon. The driver overcorrected his motorcycle according to RCMP Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck, which resulted in the driver hitting a rock face one kilometre from the Kootenay National Park entrance.
“When people are unfamiliar with typography and the geography of the area certainly we do see a high …

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DTSS production of “Spy School” takes to the stage

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


Since spring break students in the senior theatre class at David Thompson Secondary School have been spending their free time memorizing lines, researching the 1960s, and rehearsing during their free blocks at school to put together their production Spy School.
The play is set in 1961 where Jane Doe — played by Grade 12 student Melissa Weber — is drafted by the CIA to infiltrate a high school and locate a Russian spy.
“Jane Doe, she’s an ordinary teenage girl. But she is, as it says in the play, destined …

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Trio of Columbia Valley alpine racers eye Olympics

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


With the Winter Olympics coming up this February three local skiers — Amelia Smart, Manny Osborne-Paradis, and Benjamin Thomsen — are one step closer to the Games. The trio of skiers have been nominated to the 2017-2018 Alpine Canada team after meeting criteria this past season.
For Ms. Smart, the nomination takes her from the development team and skiing on the North American Circuit (NorAm) to the World Cup level.
“Training wise it will definitely stay the same, but it might be a bit different during the season because I’ll …

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Radium construction continues

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


Construction at the Radium Hot Springs Pools and along nearby sections of Highway 93 will continue throughout the summer season as upgrades and safety improvements are underway. Work being carried out at the pools is being done to ensure the facility meets current building codes and safety requirements while reducing environmental footprint by using modern heating technology according to a press release from Karin Smith marketing coordinator, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs.
The project is working to improve habitat for rubber boas, a species of snake that is of special concern …

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A&W co-owner wins Rotary award

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by


“I think you got the wrong guy,” was what Eric Vanderkruk, co-owner of A&W, said when he received a call from Eric Redeker from the Rotary Club of Invermere, saying he was selected as the Rotary’s Citizen of the Year.
“It was quite interesting because we were in Durango, Colorado. We just arrived and we were looking for a parking spot to park our trailer and Eric phoned. It was shocking,” said Mr. Vanderkruk.
According to his wife Liz Vanderkruk, the call wasn’t a surprise as she knew that Krysta Helmer, …

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Rash of break-ins puts Pineridge on alert

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by


A crime of opportunity is what RCMP Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck describes a rash of early morning break-ins in the Pineridge area of Invermere. Over May 3rd and May 4th, there were four reported thefts, two of which resulted in vehicle thefts. Those vehicles were later found in Alberta.
“It was a relative acute crime spree, it’s not a chronic issue and we believe that the perpetrators are from out of town,” said Sgt. Vatamaniuck.
Sgt. Vatamaniuck said for a majority of the thefts RCMP believes it was the same person or persons …

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Another Burn in Sinclair Canyon

Posted on May 13th, 2017 by


It may seem odd to start a forest fire to prevent a fire from happening but for Parks Canada, the Sinclair Canyon fire has been in the works for three years. The prescribed burn was part of a plan to restore the forest’s natural ecology and reduce the risk of forest fire. The initial burn took place in early April and a second prescribed burn of the area happened on Thursday, May 4th.
“This time we had slightly different objectives as to what we we’re trying to achieve. We wanted …

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RAMP group underway

Posted on May 13th, 2017 by


The Columbia Valley is pretty much the only region in the East Kootenay without an official Recreational Access Management Plan — a state of affairs that 25 community members representing various clubs, societies, and the RDEK sought to rectify, or at least start that process, when they met to discuss how to create a such plan for the Valley earlier this week.
The meeting, held Monday, May 8th in Radium Hot Springs, had representation from both motorized and non-motorized groups throughout the Valley all hoping to come to a common …

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Kindersley trail to remain open

Posted on May 12th, 2017 by


During the David Pacey versus Parks Canada trial earlier this month, Mr. Pacey alleged that the parks agency is considering closing the Kindersley Pass trail – an assertion that turns out to be untrue.
Parks Canada public relations and communications officer Lindsay McPherson said in an email to the Pioneer that at this time there are no plans to close or decommission the trail.
The Kindersley is a 10-kilometre hike navigating through switchbacks while climbing an uphill terrain. The trail begins eight and a half kilometres from the park gate in …

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Rivalry and support

Posted on May 12th, 2017 by


By Nikki Fredrikson
Pioneer Staff
It seems with every election comes a rivalry between parties, candidates, and occasionally supporters, however, I was surprised to see that ‘rivalry’ so to speak, dissolve as the polls rolled in.
I spent election night at NDP candidate Gerry Taft’s office, covering the election from his side of things and I was surprised by the amount of support the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding candidates had for each other.
While the battle waged on between the Liberals and the NDP to win the swing riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke the …

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Fundraiser set for Brisco House fire victims

Posted on May 5th, 2017 by


After a devastating house fire on the morning of April 9th the Snively family of Brisco were left with nothing, but through the devastation has come community support. A group of 13 Valley residents has been working hard to put together a fundraiser for the family.
“It will be generously hosted by the Horsethief pub in Radium on May the 28th from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. We have a pretty good committee together of 13 people so far. We are still looking for another couple extra hands. We have a …

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Second wolf fatality in Dutch Creek-Findlay Creek area

Posted on May 5th, 2017 by


The investigation into the poison found in Dutch Creek-Findlay Creek area may have taken another deadly turn as a second wolf was found deceased there on April 19th. The first wolf fatality was reported to conservation officers on April 10th.
“We’ve received two reports of two dead wolves, so we have located and collected both the wolves. We can’t confirm whether or not it was due to the poisoning. We suspect it is, however, we can’t confirm at this time, until we have a necropsy done on both of them, …

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Premier Christy Clark makes an appearance in Fairmont

Posted on May 5th, 2017 by


Lara McCormak owner of From Scratch A Mountain Kitchen had no idea of what to expect after receiving a call asking if Premier Christy Clark could visit her business. The call came in the afternoon on Friday, April 28th and on Sunday, April 30th the premier was cooking in her restaurant’s kitchen.
“When you have someone at that level showing up at little itty bitty Fairmont Hot Springs and acknowledging a family business, it’s kinda nice I have to admit,” said Ms. McCormack.
Premier Clark asked Ms. McCormack about her business, how …

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