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Back in Time

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Fire destroyed a cabin at Dutch Lake Resort that was believed to have been built in 1898 by a Mr. Fowler. It also destroyed two other cabins built by Otto Miller in the 1920's. Thompson River Logging and B.C. Forestry from Birch Island confined the blaze to the cabins only.

Judy Johnston, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Alex Johnston of Clearwater, qualified to enter the American National Swimming and Diving Championships for the Deaf. The event was to be held in Philadelphia. Johnston was a resident of the Jericho School for the Deaf in Vancouver.

A B.C. Tel official said extension of telephone service to Wells Gray Park should be completed by the middle of May.


A request to look into incorporation for Clearwater sparked the wrath of CID chairman Jack Foote. “We are not in a position to pay 200 or 300 per cent more taxes than we are now,” he said.

Fire chief Ray Donnelly said firemen would appreciate all help given them to build a new firehall. Art Mayer was to be in charge of constructing the brick block building.


Area A director Karl Simmerling was concerned about a decision of the TNRD board to not pay interest on money owing consulting engineers who had discovered welds at the Sportsplex that needed repairs.

More volunteers were welcome with the Barriere ambulance service, said unit chief Jack Patterson. There had been 175 calls in 1976.


Police asked Avola residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors after sulphur spilled from a CN derailment more than one month earlier caught fire. PEP representative Bill Mattenley said a 300 yard strip along the tracks was on fire.


Vavenby resident Barbara Phillips said parents had no input and had been treated shabbily by the closing of the Vavenby School's annex. Board chair Pauline Gregory said the building was too costly to keep open.


Fast response by the Blackpool Fire Department was credited with saving the Mike Kilba residence. Ten years earlier a house at the same site had burned to the ground. That event led to the formation of the department, said fire chief Garry Ruston.

DHMH administrator Linda Basran and nursing supervisor Berni Easson were operating buckets and mops after rotation work stoppages shut down the hospital's housekeeping department.

Slocan's Vavenby sawmill was to close for four days due to difficulties caused by a 14.5 per cent duty imposed by the U.S., said manager Bill Cambidge. About 75 employees would be affected.


Failing to properly extinguish a grass fire cost a Sunshine Valley couple their home. The two occupants were at work when flames attacked the home at the end of Brookfield Road.


An apparent attempt by a group of people who had been in favor of incorporation for Clearwater failed in an attempt to change the composition of the CID board. “I must have called about 50 people and told them to come out. Only about 10 showed up,” said one of the group. Incumbent trustees Lawrence Giesbrecht, Edie Kinzel and Barb Fochler were all re-elected to three-year terms.

“There is no plan to close Blue River School. That would be crazy,” Ross Dickson told a meeting of the school’s Parents Advisory Committee. The S.D. 73 assistant superintendent said the teaching staff would go from 2.5 FTE to 1.5.

Dutch Lake was one of seven elementary schools in that the school district was looking at closing during the next three years. “Nothing is written in stone. There are a whole bunch of issues with all these recommendations,” said trustee Bert Walker.

Emergency 911 telephone service had been a great success during its first year of operation in the TNRD, said Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Steve Giesinger. “We remind people to use 911 only in an emergency,” he said.

Helicopter ski operator Mike Wiegele complained that snowmobiles were hurting his business. While the majority operated responsibly, a few had vandalized remote facilities, signs and helicopter landing markers, he said. Dialogue was the best solution, said B.C. Snowmobile Federation executive director Clayton Prince.

Clearwater Secondary School girls took to rugby like a duck to water, winning two of their first exhibition games, and tying the third.

About 100 local residents put education ahead of playoff hockey when they attended a School District 73 budget meeting at CSS. “If you close Dutch Lake, that’s 50 per cent of the elementary schools in Clearwater,” said Frank Ritcey.


The Clearwater Incorporation Study Committee considered several factors regarding the inclusion of the Vavenby industrial site into the boundaries of the incorporation study area. Some of the factors were: there would be no reduction in local services currently provided by the TNRD; the provincial government would continue to maintain roads in Vavenby; tax revenues from the industrial area would be retained in the valley; a tax sharing agreement with the community of Vavenby, over and above any provincial and TNRD services; and there would be no financial impact to Vavenby from local services that were currently being provided by TNRD.

More that 20 seniors met to discuss the future for seniors in the Clearwater area. A steering committee began the process of forming a non-profit society to be called the Wells Gray Country Seniors Society.

Denise Bieber and Christy Dobi were preparing to participate in a two-day 60 km walk called “The Weekend to End Breast Cancer.” Bieber and Dobi each had the goal of raising the $2,000 entry fee for the event, which was slated to take place in August at Vancouver.

Clearwater Paintball was gearing up for its third annual paintball tournament. Teams were registered from Edmonton, Lillooet, Grand Forks, Vancouver, Kelowna as well as the North Thompson Valley. The event was the first in a five-tournament Interior Paintball League series.


Clearwater's tax rate was to increase to 3.4637 from 3.0838. That meant a $76 increase for a $200,000 home, said director of finance Sheila Thiessen. Clearwater's tax rates were still lower than the majority of a list of 14 B.C. communities with similar sized populations.

Three girls from Clearwater, Kaylee Patterson, Aliya Bieber and Kennedy Ash, were competing with three from Barriere to be North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Ambassador. Coronation would take place on Aug. 30.


Clearwater town council gave first reading to a new zoning bylaw. If approved, it would replace an existing bylaw that was more than 30 years old. Major changes would include opening up Riverside Centre (Brookfield Mall and area) to multiple uses.

Taxes in Wells Gray Country would go down 1.23 per cent, reported Carol Schaffer, TNRD director for Area A. Taxes for an average residence would be $343.


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