Ross Harry Coburn, 37, was charged with impaired driving, driving while prohibited, and failure to stop for police when he blew past the RCMP check at the turn-off to The Farm. This image originally appeared in the May 14, 1996, issue of The Times.

Ross Harry Coburn, 37, was charged with impaired driving, driving while prohibited, and failure to stop for police when he blew past the RCMP check at the turn-off to The Farm. This image originally appeared in the May 14, 1996, issue of The Times.

25 YEARS AGO: Farm party crackdown begins

Back in time: A snapshot of history


Clearwater Timber Products mills were shut down Friday when IWA employees staged an illegal work stoppage.

Later in the day Weyerhaeuser Vavenby mill was also closed down by similar action.

Reason for the walkout is believed to be an effort to secure a single provincial agreement for members rather than bargaining in three units as at present.


Chosen to represent the area as the 1986 Miss Clearwater May Queen was Miss Lisa Wilgosh. Her princess will be Valerie Braaten.

Miss Wilgosh, sponsored by Newby Construction, was also chosen from among her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality, at the annual May Queen pageant.

The five contestants seeking the Miss Clearwater banner included Valerie Braaten, Miss Stedmans; Miss Raft River Riders, Ashley Sjodin, Miss Clearwater Lions, Laura Shipley; Miss OORP, Connie Arneson as well as Miss Wilgosh.

The new queen and her princess were crowned by retiring royalty, queen Dee Dee Null and her princess Donna Cooper.


About 30 boaters attended a meeting to discuss boat use on Clearwater and Azure Lakes in Wells Gray Park met with BC Parks staff at the Infocentre in Clearwater.

Even if they were not all totally pleased with the outcome of the meeting, most appeared happy that Parks is making an effort to get their input.

Major topics were camping fees for those staying overnight at the campsites along the two lakes, canoe-only campsites and how to lessen congestion at the boat launch at the south end of Clearwater Lake.

Boaters staying overnight along the lakes will now pay $5 per vessel per night, explained Parks’ Brian Carruthers.


It was worthy of prime time TV.

As the two RCMP officers waved at the oncoming car to stop for an alcohol check, the driver hit the gas and dodged past, speeding along the shoulder of the gravel road.

We all piled into the police vehicles and gave chase down Candle Creek Road headed for Highway 5, red light flashing.

Looking for an out, the fleeing driver made a sharp turn onto a dirt road, the open front passenger side door of the car open and swinging wildly.

The desperate move proved just that, desperate, as the suspect vehicle was forced to a halt in the yard of a private residence approximately one-half kilometre later. Sgt. Henry, in the lead vehicle, leaped out of the unmarked police cruiser, collared the suspect driver, threw him over the trunk of his car and cuffed him while police service dog Brig, riding in the second RCMP vehicle, barked wildly and two of the suspect vehicle passengers screamed that the third needed medical attention.


Licenses and the rest of the forest sector have to recognize that First Nations have an underlying ownership title to the land.

That was the message brought by North Thompson Indian Band chief Nathan Matthew to about 30 local foresters at a breakfast meeting in Clearwater.

“That’s the hardest part for people to accept,” said Matthew. “Most can agree on the soft stuff, but when it gets to ownership of the land it gets difficult. It’s a legal issue.

“The companies want more power, and First Nations are seen as an impediment to that. This has led to First Nations being pushed out the door.”

Possibly First Nations should share in stumpage and other resource revenue collected from their traditional territory, he felt.


RCMP officer and father of five, Chris Newel, is riding in the Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation in September. He says he’s looking forward to the challenging 1,000 kilometre, nine-day ride.

Newel first became interested in the ride when he saw the Cops for Cancer riders in the fall. However, due to location, he just couldn’t get onboard. So this year, Newel is able to ride for Cops for Kids and raise some much-needed funds.

“I was a little hesitant at first because it’s a huge challenge,” he said. “It’s not something you can just do on a whim.”

Newel needs to have $1,500 in pledges before he can rise, but he’s aiming for a total of $3,000 by September.


Black Press publisher Al Kirkwood said he’s more than a little proud of how his papers fared at the recent Canadian Community Newspapers Assocation and B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s awards held during the Ink and Beyond conference, at the River Rock Resort in Richmond on April 30 and May 1.

Kirkwood, commented that it takes outstanding staff to mold all facets of a newspaper into an award-winning publication. And that’s why the staff at both papers, especially The Times, are celebrating their recent triumphs.

The North Thompson Times took first place honours at the CNA Awards for Best All-Round Newspaper circulation up to 1249, and Best Editorial Page circulation up to 1249.


Clearwater resident Tom Grimm and his son, Brue, recently returned home after being evacuated from Fort McMurray.

“Compared to Fort Mac, 2003 was just a campfire,” according to the elder Grimm.

Tom was comparing the forest fire that forced the evacuation last week of that northern Alberta town with the fire of 13 years ago that destroyed Louis Creek and forced the evacuation of much of the lower North Thompson Valley.

Grimm, a heavy equipment operator, had experience fighting both.

The fire behaviour at Fort McMurray was much more extreme, he said, and the damage to homes and property far more extensive.

“I was on top of a hill they call Super Test in Fort Mac,” he recalled. “I looked toward town and it looked as if three or four volcanoes were going off.”

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