Members of Vavenby Volunteer Fire Department move in to control a fire at an abandoned home on Lost Creek road. Firefighters set the fire deliberately as a training exercise. This image originally appeared in the June 18, 2001, issue of the Times.

25 YEARS AGO: Puppy survives cougar attack

Back in time: A snapshot of history


Ninety-four persons attended a meeting last Wednesday evening in the Clearwater Improvement District meeting room to decide whether to proceed with a referendum which could result in the incorporation of Clearwater as a district municipality.

Terminating the meeting was a 49 to 45 vote favouring the referendum which provided officials from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs with an indication of residents’ wishes. A decision as to whether the vote will be held should be forthcoming within the next two weeks.

Chairman for the meeting was Bill Mattenley, who attempted on behalf of the investigating committee, to answer questions from the floor.


Tricia Stamer of Barriere is the 1986 North Thompson Fall Fair Queen. The high school student won out over nine other candidates at the annual Fall Fair Queen pageant held at Barriere Elementary School. She was sponsored by the Yellowhead 4-H Beef Club.

Pam Russell, Miss Barriere Secondary School, won the title of First Princess, while Miss Place Hair Salon Heidi Huber was elected Miss Congeniality.

Tannis Baines, 1985 Queen, was on-hand to crown her successor, as was her princess Kathy Greenwood and 1985 Miss Congeniality Louise Lodge.

Over a hundred people were on-hand for the event, including 1986 Clearwater Queen Lisa Wilgosh, and her Princess, Val Braaten.


After voting “No” at least twice in years past, residents in Clearwater and Vavenby area are likely going to be asked again in a referendum if they wish to have a mosquito control program.

The decision was made by TNRD Area A director Paul Caissie after a public meeting on the subject held Wednesday evening of last week in the Clearwater Improvement District hall.

Only reason the vote wouldn’t go ahead would be a decision by the local Stock Breeder’s Association to stand by an earlier announcement to not allow any spraying on their land, he said.

In that case, so much of the valley bottom would be closed to the control program that it would be pointless to continue, Caissie felt.


Clearwater Conservation Officers are still hunting the cougar that attacked a young dog within 100 feet of its owners as they took their usual evening walk along the Trans Mountain pipeline along Clearwater Secondary School last Wednesday evening.

“We ran into him two mornings in a row, Saturday at 4 a.m. and today (Sunday) at 4 a.m. At first light both days,” said Conservation Officer Kevin Van Damme Sunday evening. “We are very concerned about public safety and we’ll do anything we can do.”

The cougar attack occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. as Dan Collins and Candace Young walked Cinder, their five-month-old Airedale pup. Cinder lived through what should’ve been a fatal cougar attack, thanks to Collins.

She came home from the vet to recover from puncture wounds to the left side of her face and neck and what appears to be a claw wound in her side.


The provincial government has finally released the funds for construction of Clearwater’s long-awaited multi-level health-care centre.

“The approval to go ahead is in our hot little hands,” said a happy Steve Quinn. “After eight years and 11 days, it feels pretty good.”

A start-up meeting with the building contractor will likely be held this week, said the chair of the Thompson Hospital District and Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Blue River and Avola.

Construction of the new hospital and associated ambulance station is expected to begin in about two weeks, Quinn added.

“This is just great news,” said Berni Easson, director of community health services for Clearwater. “It means that we will now have a facility for our elderly to stay in the community, and that we will have room for the programs that we want to put on.”


During the evening of Friday June 9, eight vehicles in Wells Gray Park were broken into. The park operator called Clearwater RCMP Saturday, June 10 when he located six vehicles broken into near the boat launch at Clearwater Lake.

Police attended and found in each case a window had been smashed and the vehicle gone through. In addition, thieves attempted to break into the operators store/office but were unsuccessful. The Clearwater Lake Tour office was also broken into and a very small amount of money was stolen.

While attending this incident police found two more vehicles were vandalised on Battle Mountain road and suspect it’s all related.

Ian Eakins, owner of Wells Gray Adventures, said that the vandalism has already caused a loss in business and may continue to affect the tourism of the area.


An application for federal funding has fallen through and so Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce will dig into its reserves to keep its information desk at Wells Gray Infocentre staffed through the summer.

It costs about $30,000 to staff the information desk, committee member Ted Richardson told Chamber members during a meeting last Tuesday evening at Clearwater Lodge.

Tourism BC has contributed $20,000 but nearly another $10,000 is needed to adequately operate.

A HRDC job creation grant had been expected to cover that amount but recently the Chamber leaned that it wouldn’t be available this year.


Loss of resource sector jobs and a resulting decline in small businesses is causing a reduction in the number of young families in rural communities. This in turn is resulting in an overall increase in the average age in those communities, according to Gordon Borgstrom, executive director of the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition.

Speaking during an economic development forum in Little Fort, Borgstrom said the loss of jobs in sawmills and small businesses also means a loss of disposable income in small communities as well as a loss of industry revenues.

Looking at the forest sector as an example, log production in B.C. hasn’t really changed that much over the past 20 years, although there have been some peaks and valleys.

However, the number of jobs in logging and in lumber production has dropped by nearly half.

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