Local News

Gabriola man charged after violent attack at Old City Pub



A disturbing incident at a downtown Nanaimo nightclub has led to three assault charges against a Gabriola Island man.

22-year-old Eli Williams of Gabriola Island is accused of hitting a 32-year-old man with a bottle, knocking him unconscious, then stabbing a 26-year-old man in the neck with the broken bottle at the Old City Station Pub on Saturday night.

Constable Gary O'Brien says...(For full story click on title)

Government to study feasibility of bridge to Gabriola



The provincial government has announced a feasibility study for a bridge linking Gabriola and Vancouver Islands.

The study will get started this fall and is expected to be finished in the spring.

Gabriola Bridge Society's Michael Zane says they've presented more than 600 signatures to the province from people in favour of a fixed link.

He says this is something that needs to be...(For full story click on title)

Search and rescue groups excited about potential of drone technology



They could save lives and money.

That's how search and rescue organizations in B.C. view emerging drone camera technology.

Gord Yelland, search manager for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, says these mobile flying cameras can access remote locations and are loaded with impressive features.

He says the operators can hover the craft in an area...(For full story click on title)

Colliery Dam process delayed once again as council asks for more studies



The price tag for figuring out how to fix the Colliery Dams continues to balloon.

Nanaimo council decided this week they want to see more reports, one detailing how the land below the dam would erode if the water spilled over the top and another examining rainfall and how much water actually would flow downstream in a flood event.

As of July, the city had invested 2.35 million dollars...(For full story click on title)

Two arrested after armed robbery at north-end bank



Nanaimo RCMP have arrested two men following an armed robbery at the Scotiabank at Nanaimo North Town Centre.

Police say it happened Wednesday afternoon just before 3 o'clock when a man told a clerk he had a gun, was handed cash and then ran off.

Witnesses provided a suspect description and a police dog tracked a suspect on the trails behind the Oliver Woods Community Centre.

A...(For full story click on title)

Ground breaking ceremony held for new dementia care facility



A ground breaking ceremony Wednesday for a dementia care facility in Nanaimo.

The 130-bed Eden Gardens on Northfield Road will be operated by the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society, who'll replace their aging 90 bed facility near Nanaimo Hospital.

The province has committed more than 26 million dollars toward the project and Island Health is responsible for an annual operating grant of...(For full story click on title)

Passenger ferry eyes March opening date



Proponents of a fast ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver are after federal government cash to help them set sail.

Island Ferries Spokesperson Kathleen Burton says a federal fund has come available that fits their business plan.

She says they are looking at continuing their efforts to secure their funding through the private sector but with the announcement of the Building Canada...(For full story click on title)

Stolen guitars worth nearly $50K still missing



Still no sign of a pair of guitars stolen from Arbutus Music on September 10th.

RCMP Sergeant Sheryl Armstrong hopes to get some assistance from the public.

She says the suspect pried open the front door and stole two Fender Stratocaster guitars, valued at about $46,000.

Armstrong says police have been in contact with local pawnshops and are monitoring websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.

SD68 scrambles to prep classrooms for students



It won't exactly be smooth sailing when local schools reopen.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools Spokesperson Donna Reimer says they expect classes will open early next week, but it's unclear exactly what day.

She says the labour disruption prevented their ability to do maintenance work on schools.

She says their facilities will be as ready for students as...(For full story click on title)

Lantzville's Mayor defends water deal; public info session scheduled



Lantzville's Mayor is defending a water-sharing agreement signed with Nanaimo, saying it's a good deal for the community.

Lantzville council approved the 20-year renewable deal to hook 225 upper Lantzville homes into Nanaimo's water system at a cost to Lantzville of 1.3 million dollars.

The issue was discussed in-camera last Monday night...(For full story click on title)

Huge amount of cocaine found on boat off west coast



A huge drug bust has been made on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The RCMP have announced that two men believed to be connected to a boat found near the Estevan Point lighthouse station north of Tofino were arrested earlier this month.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Duncan Pound says police became suspicious of the MV Cedar Spirit in late August.

He says they started to zero in on the vessel...(For full story click on title)

Preliminary hearing dates set for accused mill shooter



Dates for a preliminary hearing for the accused Nanaimo mill shooter have been set.

47-year-old Kevin Addison appeared in Nanaimo provincial court Tuesday morning and was told his preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 10th to the 13th of next year.

Marlene Lunn, the widow of Michael Lunn who was fatally shot on April 30th, says she's just happy the process is moving...(For full story click on title)

City will evaluate need before starting social housing project on Bowen Road



It's a case of wait and see if a social housing project for people battling mental health and addictions issues will be built on Bowen Road.

The city's social planner John Horn says city council rezoned land across from the Quarterway Pub for low barrier housing, but says council wants to see the impact that the other four facilities are having, first.

He says they would evaluate...(For full story click on title)

United Way fundraising campaign underway



The annual fundraising campaign for the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island is underway.

Spokesperson Laura Heikilla says they hope to have the same success as the 2013 campaign.

She says they have thousands of local donors who give to the campaign and they raised just under a million last year and this year they are...(For full story click on title)

RCMP step up patrols at Westwood Lake



There will be an increased police presence at Nanaimo's Westwood Lake for the foreseeable future.

This after two indecent exposures over a 3 day span last week.

Constable Gary O'Brien says the members will be there to get more information and to speak with the public to reassure them they are taking these incidents very seriously.

He says their serious crime unit is taking over...(For full story click on title)

Late season spike in forest fire activity



There's been a late season surge of forest fire activity on the mid island, but luckily nothing serious.

The Coastal Fire Centre's Marg Drysdale says two small forest fires started Sunday, one two kilometers west of Ladysmith, another in the Extension Road area south of Nanaimo.

She says these two fires, and another small blaze beside Highway Four near Port Alberni on Friday, are...(For full story click on title)

Free coaching courses offered during 'Coaches Week'



PacificSport Vancouver Island is getting set to celebrate B.C. Coaches Week.

It runs September 20-28th.

PacificSport's Kevin Lindo says they will be offering the National Coaching Certification Program courses, free of charge.

He says normally with the NCCP it would cost you upwards of $500 to take your modules.

Lindo says registration for the free courses is a bit slow this...(For full story click on title)

Stock the Lockers campaign comes up short on goal



A fundraising campaign that provides school supplies to needy students in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith district is in need of a boost.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation Executive Director Erin Van Steen says they only made it about half way to their goal of raising $50,000.

Van Steen says the money helps students in all of the schools who can't afford to buy supplies.

She says it...(For full story click on title)