Posts Tagged "Kelowna"


Kelowna, Kamloops get depots for lactating mothers to donate their milk

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Andrea Chong and Nathan Fretz at B.C. Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Their twin boys were born prematurely, at 32 weeks, on Oct. 4.

Jason Payne / PNG

It’s referred to as the milk of human kindness and now there are two depots in the Interior for donors to drop off their supply.

“There are so many reasons why people might want donor milk,” said new mom Andrea Chong.

Some moms don’t produce milk right away, or they produce milk but not enough.

In Chong’s case, her twin sons were born prematurely, weighing in at three pounds 10 ounces, and three pounds four ounces. For the first two days after their Oct. 4 birth, the boys received a mix of her milk and a donor’s, until the East Van mom could get up to speed.

“I’ll need about a litre of milk a day for the two of them,” Chong said.

The boys are in incubators inside the B.C. Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, milk dripping into their tummies every two hours.

“They lost weight at first, as expected, and they’re not back to their birth weight yet, but they’ve started to grow, they’ve turned that corner,” Chong said.

Chong and her husband, Nathan Fretz, feel grateful such services exist.

Until now, donors in Kelowna and Kamloops would freeze their milk and organize milk runs two or three times a year to deliver the supply to B.C. Women’s to be processed.

The new depots — which join 26 others in the Lower Mainland, the Island and one in Prince George — save donors a lot of time and energy, said Stephanie Gillespie, an international board-certified lactation consultant at B.C. Women’s.

“This could mean more donors and it makes it easier for donors to get their milk to us,” she said. “One barrier in the past was if you lived in the Okanagan, how did you get your milk to us.”

Donors are screened by B.C. Women’s and the depots offer a spot to drop off raw, frozen milk. Once it’s delivered to B.C. Women’s, it’s pasteurized and made available to the most fragile babies throughout the province.

According to research, mother’s milk has several health-promoting properties including antibodies to fight infection and disease, Gillespie said. Mom’s milk is best for all babies, and especially important for sick and premature babies, such as Chong’s and Fretz’s sons, who look so tiny and helpless and adorable.

“It’s a special place to work and see these little miracles all the time,” Gillespie said. “We’re so appreciative to all the donors for the time and energy it takes.”

The B.C. Women’s Provincial Milk Bank has been operating for 45 years and has helped tens of thousands of babies and children, according to B.C. Women’s, and has screened more than 6,500 donors and processed 60,000 litres of milk.

The Kamloops depot is at the Health Unit at 519 Columbia St. In Kelowna, it’s at the Community Health Centre at 505 Doyle Ave.

Donors must complete the Provincial Milk Bank’s pre-screening process before they can donate. Screening involves a phone interview to confirm the volunteer is healthy, not taking certain medications or supplements, and be willing to have blood testing done.

Many past recipients of donated mother’s milk become donors themselves, Gillespie said.

“It’s a real act of kindness. We sometimes refer to it as the milk of human kindness.

“I can’t say enough about our donors.”

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Search continues for 74-year-old Kelowna man missing since Thursday | CBC News

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The search continues for a 74-year-old Kelowna, B.C., man who went missing on Thursday.

Gordon Solloway left home in the morning and was headed to the James Lake area, about 25 kilometres east of the city, to sight his rifle. He was expected home by noon.

Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said Solloway’s truck was seen on a security camera in a rural area east of Kelowna.

“A local resident had captured some images of his vehicle going up into the Goudie [Road] area,” said Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. “That is the only evidence we have to support that he is in that area.”

Gordon Solloway was seen in this image captured at a gas station in Rutland shortly after he left home. He was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram with a B.C. licence plate HM3 670. (RCMP)

Searchers on foot, in ATVs and in helicopters have failed to turn up any trace of the man.

Solloway was driving a silver 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, with B.C. licence plate HM3 670. 

He is described as white, five foot nine inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

Solloway has mobility issues and uses a cane. 

Vernon Search and Rescue, Pentiction Search and Rescue and the RCMP are also helping in the search. 


Hidden camera found in winery washroom, Kelowna man arrested | CBC News

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A Kelowna, B.C., winery employee could be facing charges of voyeurism after police found a hidden camera inside a washroom at the winery.

Kelowna RCMP were called to Summerhill Pyramid Winery Friday after a witness reported seeing what they believed was a small camera concealed inside a staff washroom.  

A man, who police say is from Kelowna, was arrested Friday at the winery but has not been identified yet, as the investigation into the breadth of possible charges continues.

“Evidence has been seized in relation to this offence and once it has been properly processed, RCMP will be able to determine how many victims may be involved and further charges could be forwarded,” said Const. Lesley Smith with Kelowna RCMP.

The CEO for Summerhill Pyramid Winery said the employee has been fired and the company is communicating the news with its employees in person and in letter form.

Parents notified

“I am just going to be calling parents of underage staff members as well today,” said Ezra Cipes, CEO of the winery.  

Cipes said the company did a sweep of the winery and found no other cameras, and because of that, there is no danger to the public.

“We hope people care about us through this situation and don’t point a finger at us,” he said.

RCMP say they have released the male suspect. He is facing possible charges of voyeurism and has an upcoming court date.


Kelowna RCMP release video of arson suspect | CBC News

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Kelowna RCMP have released a video of an arson suspect who they say torched a car last month.

In a release, police say they were called to assist the Kelowna Fire Department with a car on fire off Pearson Road in the early hours of  June 24, 2019. By the time police arrived, a red Mini Cooper was in flames.

In seized CCTV video, a suspect can be  seen lighting an object on fire, which is then tossed inside the parked Mini Cooper, through its open passenger side door, police said.

The suspect is seen fleeing on foot. 

“Someone in the community must recognize our arson suspect,” Kelowna RCMP Corporal Jesse O’Donaghey said in the statement.

“The suspect, who may be recognizable to someone due to his clothing or stature, seems to carry himself in a unique and distinctive manner as he jogs away from the scene.”

Police said the unidentified suspect is described as heavy set and approximately 6 feet tall. He was seen wearing a light-coloured hoodie, light coloured pants and a pair of dark running shoes at the time of the incident 

Kelowna RCMP ask anyone anyone with any additional information to contact them at 250-762-3300 or to remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net

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Kelowna man wants people to help him learn to walk again after recent amputation

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Ralph Zaiser first noticed something wasn’t right with his leg last year, when it became red and inflamed and it hurt to walk.

The 50-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., went to see doctors and learned he had several blood clots in arteries and veins in his upper and lower right leg.

Initial surgery to remove the clots and restore circulation was unsuccessful, according to Zaiser — and four days later he underwent surgery that amputated his leg below the knee.

“You’re shattered,” he said. “You have so many emotions that go through your mind, like, ‘why me?,’ denial and utter disbelief.”

Ralph Zaiser is learning how to be mobile on his new prosthetic leg and is now able to run errands around the city and cut his front lawn. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

After two months of healing, Zaiser started to use a series of prosthetics, along with crutches.

He spent afternoons at the local shopping centre walking and resting as he learned to use a prosthetic leg — and that’s when the idea hit him.

“Why don’t I get a bunch of people to join me in this walk?” he said.

On Saturday, Zaiser plans to walk for an hour around the corridors of the Orchard Park Shopping Centre and is inviting the community to join him.

“I want to create some awareness, and [a] good way to do that might be to create a spectacle of some sort, because if you do that, all of a sudden people will be like, ‘What is this all about?’ and maybe they will start asking some questions.”

Zaiser chose a date in April to coincide with Limb Loss Awareness month and started sharing his story through videos posted to social media about being a recent amputee and the challenges and triumphs he’s experienced as he learns to accept his disability and work toward greater mobility.

That experience has been very rewarding, and eye-opening, he said.

“There are so many disabled people in this town that I’ve started taking note of and before I was a lot like everybody else and didn’t notice these people.”

He is inviting both physically disabled people and the able-bodied to join him in his awareness walk.

A positive attitude and a support network

Steve Ziehr, president of the Amputee Coalition of B.C. Society applauded Zaiser’s effort seeking out people to help him on his journey back to mobility.

Most amputees go through a grieving process when they lose a limb, Ziehr said, adding it can be a difficult road for them to reach acceptance.

“The more positivity you have and the more people you have around you to help, it sounds trite but it’s so true, the easier it’s going to be on you,” Ziehr said.

Zaiser is asking anyone interested in participating to meet him at the shopping centre food court this Saturday at 10 a.m.

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Hot dog! Kelowna pooch back at home after video captures it being led from yard

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Atlas the dog is homeward bound.

Kelowna RCMP, in a statement, said the pooch, allegedly stolen from his owner’s father’s backyard on Saturday, has been found and reunited with his worried family.

Video from a neighbour’s security camera shows a woman leading the 18-month-old golden retriever from the backyard under the glow of streetlights in the Okanagan city.

That led to his family going public, pleading for tips about where he was taken.

Police said the dog was returned to his owner Wednesday afternoon.

“Over the past few days Kelowna RCMP have received numerous tips from the public and continued to follow up on a number of potential leads.” Const. Lesley Smith said in a statement.

“While working closely with the complainant, our members were able to track down Atlas’ location.”

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

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Province says no to replacing 70-year-old Kelowna middle school

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The provincial government has denied a request by an Okanagan school district to replace a 70-year-old middle school in Kelowna, a decision that’s left some in the community frustrated.

Marie Howell, the president of Rutland Middle School’s parent advisory council, says the school has a number of issues.

Howell, who has two children in the school, says about 550 students attend the school but there is only one set of bathrooms each for girls and boys, with two more toilets in the gym. 

The school has 11 portables  — temporary structures used to create extra classroom capacity — with more expected on site.

Accessibility is a major problem, Howell said. The library, the art and band classrooms, and the auditorium, all require the use of stairs which render the spaces inaccessible for anyone in a wheelchair or with other physical limitations. 

Then there’s the smell.

“Our school, because of its age, has quite the unique smell to the point,” Howell said. “Even trustees have noticed that smell when they walk in.”

Seismic upgrades, growth prioritized

In his rejection letter to School District No. 23 (Central Okanagan), Education Minister Rob Fleming said the government has prioritized new schools and additions in districts experiencing high growth, and accelerating seismic upgrade projects to make schools seismically safe as soon as possible. 

Rutland Middle School doesn’t meet those priorities, the minister said.

Fleming also pointed out four new schools were built in the Central Okanagan School Board area since 2007 to address growth in the area. 

The use of portable classrooms have been a major issue in the fast-growing school district of Surrey, B.C. (CBC)

10-year struggle

Moyra Baxter, the board’s chair, said she understands Howell’s frustrations. 

“I can’t disagree with anything that she raises as an issue at Rutland Middle School,” Baxter told CBC Daybreak South  host Chris Walker. 

Baxter says the board has been looking at replacing the property for 10 years, but discussions have gone back and forth between the board and the province with different ideas how the school could be replaced. 

Rebuttal letter in works

For Baxter, however, the growth in the Rutland area is comparable to that of Surrey’s in the Lower Mainland where nearly 300 portables were in use in 2017.

It’s something she said the board will focus on in its rebuttal letter to Fleming. 

“Surrey has over 70,000 students, so we absolutely realize how huge it is,” she said.

“But we believe when you take the population and you count the number of portables, that we actually percentage-wise have more portables than they do.”

She said the board will also consider giving priority to any projects at Rutland when it applies for its 2019- 20 facilities grants.

Howell says she wants the government to consider the changes from the perspective of the students. 

“When my kids come home and say they don’t want to use the toilets, that they think their school is gross, they hear students from other schools coming making comments about how disgusting our school is, I don’t think that helps any social or emotional learning for our students.”

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