Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm man who fled with daughters facing new sex-related charges

More sex charges laid

A Salmon Arm man who previously fled the province with his two teenage daughters is facing two new sex charges.

Caleb Guy Gerbrandt, born in 1982, is facing charges of telecommunicating to lure a child under 16, and invitation to sexual touching of a child under 16.

The charges stem from an alleged incident on Jan. 24 in Salmon Arm.

In February, Gerbrandt and his daughters Eliyah, 14, and Avery, 13, were reported missing from his home in Salmon Arm.

The three went missing on Jan. 21 and were later found in Ontario.

At the time of the disappearance, Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West said police “believe that Caleb is actively evading police. He is required to abide by a curfew and be inside his Salmon Arm residence every night, a condition which he is now breaching.”

Gerbrandt is also facing previous charges for sexual interference and sexual assault on a minor that is alleged to have taken place Jan. 13.

Gerbrandt's criminal record in B.C. dates back to 2019, when he faced charges of break and enter and several instances of breach of probation.

Police say charges likely after Sorrento beating leaves victim unconscious, bloodied

Attack lands man in hospital

Charges are expected following a serious beating in Sorrento that landed a man in hospital.

Emergency crews were called to a report of a serious assault at a business in the small community on Shuswap Lake about 2:30 a.m. on May 11.

“The complainant reported a male had been beaten and was unconscious and bleeding in the parking lot,” Chase RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy said in a news release.

“The male was transported by ambulance to Shuswap Lake General Hospital, where he received treatment for head injuries.”

Kennedy said Mounties spoke to witnesses. Investigators believe the attackers fled the scene before police arrived.

“All parties in this incident were well known to each other,” he said.

According to Kennedy, Mounties expect to recommend charges to Crown prosecutors. He also said officers will be keeping a closer eye on the unidentified Sorrento business at which the attack is alleged to have taken place.

“Neighbours can expect to see increased police patrols at this business in the future,” he said.

Police probe string of break-ins by vandals in Anglemont area

Vandals at work in Shuswap

Residents in the Anglemont area on Shuswap Lake are being asked to keep an eye out for suspicious activity following a series of vandalizing break-ins believed to be related.

According to police, the burglaries took place on May 8, May 13 and May 19. The first two incidents were at seasonal homes on Airstrip Road in Anglemont, while the third took place in a fifth-wheel trailer on Anglemont Road.

In each case, police said, the suspect gained entry by breaking a window.

Mounties said nothing was stolen or damaged in the first break-in, but the burglaries on May 13 and May 19 resulted in significant damage.

Chase RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy said the May 13 incident was especially damaging.

“This time there was an overwhelming amount of damage done to the interior of the house,” he said in a news release.

“The damage appears to have been done for no reason.”

Kennedy said the fifth-wheel burgled on May 19 was “completely ransacked.”

“Every window was smashed, bed overturned, cupboards doors ripped off hinges, window coverings destroyed and cleaners sprayed on walls,” he said.

“Nothing appears to have been stolen.”

Kennedy said investigators have collected fingerprint and DNA evidence.

“Police are asking residents in the Anglemont area to be alert for suspicious activity,” he said.

Anyone with information about the burglaries can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue will finally be getting a much needed permanent facility in the Shuswap

New rescue facility

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is getting a new facility in Sicamous.

The volunteer non-profit organization provides on-water search and rescue services within British Columbia, through its 31 stations.

On May 19, 2012, RCMSAR Station 106 Shuswap was officially commissioned, and within hours, vessel Rescue One and crew were dispatched on the first mission, a medical emergency.

Over the next several years, the vessels were moored at a dock year-round, prepared to respond to any emergency call.

There has been ongoing discussions about the need for a boathouse to safeguard and maintain the rescue vessels, and earlier this week, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the new facility.

Shuswap Lifeboat Society began setting aside personal, corporate and service club donations in 2014, and in 2017 the planning for a floating facility, as well as dedicated fundraising, began in earnest.

“These efforts have culminated in 2022, with over $100,000 accumulated in our restricted account for the rescue base, and receiving approval for a construction loan,” said Bruce Weicker, president of the Shuswap Lifeboat Society.

“The Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and member municipalities, the City of Salmon Arm, and the District of Sicamous are supporting this initiative by providing debt servicing for the loan. With the final piece of the financial plan in place, the awarding of a $250,000 grant by the BC Community Gaming Branch, we are now poised to proceed with construction in June.”

Station Leader Rob Sutherland said he is “excited about finally being able to centralize all of our assets in one protected area. The boathouse will save us time when deploying, provides security, and will protect our expensive rescue vessels from the harshness of winter and searing summer sun.”

Pat Gau, society vice-president said, “Using marine-grade aluminum and steel for structural stability will ensure our rescue base is sustainable for decades, and we are building it with Green in Mind.”

With no sod to turn over, the ground-breaking will be a symbolic first weld to an aluminum component of the rescue base by Rob Sutherland, who was Station Leader during the launch in 2012.

Salmon Arm man wins $500,000 by matching all four numbers on Lotto Max Extra

Four numbers = big money

Four numbers turned into big bucks for a Salmon Arm man.

Michael Heater was convinced his eyes were playing tricks on him when he saw his Lotto Max ticket from the May 3 draw matched all four Extra numbers — netting him the top prize of $500,000.

“I was in my office when I checked my tickets and thought, ‘This can’t be real,” he said. “I called BCLC right away.”

Heater couldn’t wait to share the news with his close family and friends.

“I’ve told a lot of people already,” he said.

Although Heater currently doesn’t have many concrete plans for his prize, he does have his eyes on a new truck.

And how does it feel to win half a million dollars?

“Exciting and so surreal. It will relieve some worries, but I’ve always just played for fun,” he added.

Heater purchased his ticket from Hideaway Liquor Store on Lakeshore Drive.

Head-on crash involving semis on Hwy 1 sends both drivers to hospital

Two truckers hurt in crash

A head-on crash involving two semi trucks on the Trans Canada Highway in the Shuswap Wednesday resulted in injuries to both drivers.

Emergency crews were called to the crash at 6:15 p.m. on Highway 1 just west of Bernie Road.

One of the truck drivers was trapped in the wreck and required the services of Eagle Valley Rescue to be extracted. An air ambulance transported one of the drivers to hospital, while the other was taken by ground to Shuswap Lakes General Hospital.

“Both trucks were heavily damaged and had to be towed from the scene. The highway was closed as the wreckage was removed,” said S/Sgt. Scott West.

Salmon Arm RCMP continue to investigate the collision.

Shuswap man awarded more than $1 million after hitting a steel chain strung across a dirt road

$1.3M after hitting chain

A Shuswap man has been awarded more than $1 million after being 'clotheslined' by a metal chain while riding his dirt bike.

Cody Jackson was almost killed when he rode into a chain that had been strung across a dirt road on his neighbour's large rural property.

In a recent decision, a BC Supreme Court judge awarded Jackson $1.3 million for the incident that happened on private property near his parent's home in Mara, and left him with permanent, life-altering injuries.

Jackson shattered his pelvis, cracked an eye socket, broke both his arms and received nerve damage to his right leg.

He also suffered a concussion and spent two months in hospital, followed by a long period of rehabilitation.

"The chain was a heavy metal link chain, grey in colour, which would have been all but invisible to the plaintiff," Justice Frits Verhoeven said wrote in his decision.

"Fortunately, when he struck the chain, he was upright, standing on the motorcycle. Had he been seated, the accident could have been fatal.”

Jackson took legal action against the property owner, Adam Lindsay, who did not attend the trial.

In his published decision, Verhoeven wrote that Jackson was riding the “motorcycle on an unpaved road on property occupied and beneficially owned by Mr. Lindsay. Mr. Lindsay became the registered owner” a few days after the accident on May 16, 2018.

“When the accident happened, Mr. Jackson was 26 years of age and in exceptionally good health,” Verhoeven said.

“Mr. Jackson has suffered profound, life-altering negative consequences to his physical and mental health, and his enjoyment of life, as a result of the accident injuries. Previously he was fit, strong, and healthy. He was independent. He enjoyed life and had an optimistic outlook. He was in a long-term relationship with good future prospects. His work and career were proceeding very well. He enjoyed vigorous and energetic outdoor and recreational activities.

“He now has chronic pain. He relies on painkillers (Advil), which he uses frequently. His injuries to his hips, arms, right leg, ankle and wrists are permanent. He faces a potential for progression of the post-traumatic osteoarthritic changes in both of his hips, and it is likely that he will require future treatment, which could be injections or hip replacement surgeries.”

Verhoeven noted after the accident, Jackson separated from his long-time girlfriend and his parents said he has changed since the incident.

"His personality has changed. He was formerly happy and optimistic, and sociable, although somewhat shy," Verhoeven said. "He is now unhappy, withdrawn, and unable or unwilling to engage in social activities to anything like the former extent."

The incident also had a profound effect on Jackson's job as a crane operator.

Lindsay was also ordered to pay the provincial government more than $170,000 under the Healthcare Costs Recovery Act.

The full decision can be found here.

RCMP seek leads on Salmon Arm assault after three women groped

Attacker groped 3 women

Police in Salmon Arm are seeking information on a sexual assault.

On Thursday, about 5 p.m., three young women near the corner of 30th Street NE and 9th Ave NE in Salmon Arm were sexually assaulted by an unknown man

The suspect ran away towards the Trans-Canada Highway, and the victims immediately called police.

The man is described as Caucasian, about six feet tall with a medium build, not clean-shaven, and had a raspy voice.

The suspect groped all three women before fleeing.

Police patrolled the area, but were unable to locate the man, who was last seen wearing a surgical mask, dark hoodie, baggy sweatpants and sunglasses with the colours blue and green.

Salmon arm RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the suspect.

Anyone with information or dashcam or surveillance video from the area, or who saw someone matching the suspect description is asked to call Salmon Arm RCMP at 250-832-6044.

Bail denied for man accused in 2016 murder near Salmon Arm

Accused killer denied bail

Bail has been denied for a man charged with murder in the 2016 death of a woman near Salmon Arm.

Derek Lee Matthew Favell, 39, is facing one count of second-degree murder in relation to the death of 31-year-old Ashley Simpson.

Favell was arrested and charged in December.

His bail hearing took place last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops. Evidence presented at the hearing is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

In a decision Thursday morning, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gary Weatherill denied Favell’s bid for release. The publication ban also covers the judge's reasons.

Simpson lived in the Yankee Flats area near Silver Creek before she was reported missing in April 2016.

Favell has elected to be tried by a judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court, though a date for his trial will not be set for some time.

Lawyers are slated to return to Salmon Arm provincial court on June 7 to set a date for his preliminary inquiry.

Stunt riders will take centre stage at Salmon Arm's Salty Dog Street Festival

Trials Stars to shine

Trials cycling stars will show off their skills in Salmon Arm this weekend.

Bicycle trick riders Jeff Anderson and Steve Dickin of The Trials Stars will take to the streets of the Shuswap community during the Salty Dog Street Festival on Saturday.

Bike trials is an individual sport that incorporates use of a special bicycle which the rider must manoeuvre and balance to ride specially designed artificial or natural obstacles.

As a team, each partner works together to explain the move the other is making for the audience, so they understand the objectives moving through sections with as little physical contact with the ground as possible, hence obtaining minimum penalty points in competition.

Both Anderson and Dickin have been performing trials shows since 2004.

They have performed countless demos, opening for the band Swollen Members, CEOs and motocross teams. They have also competed for Canada in China, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

The show features the two riders, hopping to and from boxes anywhere from four to eight feet high, balancing on skinny beams and even using their trailer as a prop.

Putting on the shows has its dangers, but the two riders have gone reasonably unscathed in their years of riding.

“We haven’t had anything really serious, mostly sprains and cuts on the shins, but no broken bones,” says Dickin.

There will be two shows on Saturday, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Young riders will also have a chance to win a lunch meet-and-greet with the stars.

Kids can enter a colouring contest for a chance to win a prize pack and lunch with the team. Pick up the colouring page at Ian Gray’s Salmon Arm GM, Skookum Cycle or download it from the Salty Dog Facebook page.

For more information on all events and activities at the Salty Dog weekend, click here.

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