Local News

Council passes budget with 1% tax hike



Nanaimo city council has adopted a financial plan and tax rates for this year.

The plan comes with a 1% property tax increase in 2015.

But that increase was slated to be much higher before councillors made more than $700,000 worth of cuts to the city's budget.

During budget deliberations, Councillor Diane Brennan called the cuts shortsighted, while Councillor Ian Thorpe said...(For full story click on title)

Clippers ownership group looking to sell



The Nanaimo Clippers are looking to pass the torch to a new owner.

Current co-owner Ken Wagner says he wants to see a local person or group step forward.

He says it's been 10 years for Bill Gallacher and him and it's time for someone else to enjoy the club and take it over and really cherish it as they have for the last 10 years.

Wagner says the owners are open to someone...(For full story click on title)

Funding will help students with disabilities get in-demand training



The BC government has come through with funding to support students with disabilities across the province.

20 public post-secondary schools, including VIU, will receive $50,000.

Social Development and Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell says the money will provide the technology students with disabilities need.

She says this will make sure those students have the...(For full story click on title)

Aspengrove ranked top local school by Fraser Institute



The Fraser Institute is out with its rankings of elementary schools across the province.

Those rankings are based on performance in the foundations skills assessment tests.

The top school in the region was Aspengrove in Lantzville, which was ranked 24th out of 978 schools.

The highest ranked public school in Nanaimo was Hammond Bay Elementary at 105, and the top school in Oceanside was...(For full story click on title)

Emergency prep top of mind this week



This is emergency preparedness week.

Mid-island residents are being encouraged to make an emergency kit.

Karen Lindsay, Nanaimo's Emergency Program Manager, has a shopping list.

She says you should have non-perishable food items, water, crank radio, batteries, extra clothing, hand can opener, flashlight, she always likes to make it like you're going camping for a week without...(For full story click on title)

Wildlife Recovery Centre celebrates 30th anniversary



It's a milestone for the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.

The Errington based non-profit society is in its 30th year of permanently housing or rehabbing native wildlife from the mid-island region.

Wildlife assistant manager Julie Mackey says they've evolved over the years.

She says there have been a lot of changes around the centre, especially in the last 5 to 10 years...(For full story click on title)

April a busy month for home sales



224 homes were sold last month in the mid-island region.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board says 148 homes sold in Nanaimo, while 76 moved in Parksville/Qualicum.

That's a jump of 57% in Nanaimo and 17% in Oceanside, when compared to April 2014 numbers.

The average sale price in Nanaimo was just over $387,000, while in Parksville/Qualicum it was just under $430,000.

Spring break extended to two weeks in SD68



Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools trustees have voted in favour of extending spring break for the next three years.

Two week long spring breaks are expected to save the district nearly $400,000 a year.

The change comes at the expense of substitute teachers and CUPE support staff who lose out on a week's worth of pay.

Province gives city more time, new option for Colliery Dams



The province has given the city of Nanaimo an extension on making a decision on remediation work for the Colliery Dams.

The Comptroller of Water Rights has changed the Order given to the city, saying the city must now choose between three options, by June 1st.

The previous Order gave the city only two options to choose from and the deadline was May 1st.

The revised Order says if the...(For full story click on title)

NDTA President not happy with court ruling on class size and composition



The President of the Nanaimo District Teachers' Association calls it disappointing but believes they have a strong case.

B.C.'s highest court ruled Thursday that the government did not violate teachers' charter rights by removing their ability to bargain class size and composition, reversing a lower-court decision in favour of the union.

Mike Ball says class sizes and...(For full story click on title)

Anniversary of mill shooting marked by walk, fundraiser



There will be a whole lot of red t-shirts being worn in Nanaimo Thursday.

Thursday is the one year anniversary of the Nanaimo Mill shooting, which resulted in the deaths of two men and injured two others.

Marlene Lunn, the widow of one of the victims, says there will be a fundraising event at Maffeo Sutton Park.

She says it's recognizing that one year ago Nanaimo lost its...(For full story click on title)

Local woman's son survives quake, plane issues in Nepal



A French Creek woman is telling an incredible story about her son's ordeal in Nepal.

22-year-old Tyler Roy survived the 7.8 magnitude earthquake while he was about to fly out of the Kathmandu airport on Saturday.

Tammy Roy says her oldest of three children had a chaotic flight into Nepal one month ago, when the plane was hit by lightning.

She says the plane's engine died and it...(For full story click on title)

City of Nanaimo watching how Vancouver handles medical marijuana dispensaries



Nanaimo's manager of bylaw services says one of the issues with medical marijuana dispensaries is not so much the fact they're selling pot, but where the product is coming from.

Randy Churchill says the issue, from a municipality point of view, is having an unlicensed grow industry in the community.

He says what you have is fire hazards, building hazards, often...(For full story click on title)

Key steps can make back country rescues easier



Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Manager Gord Yelland says a recent call-out is a great example of how to make life easier on their volunteers.

He says a woman badly injured her ankle on a trail in the Cook Creek Road area, but notes she was well prepared with extra clothing, a flashlight and first-aid.

He says with having her cell phone they were able to ping her...(For full story click on title)

Green bins going missing



The city of Nanaimo is asking residents to keep a close watch on their green bin, as thefts are on the increase.

The Public Works Department receives one or two calls a day from residents reporting missing green bins.

Bins are going missing in all parts of the city.

They are mostly taken on collection day when they are placed out at the curbside.

Please note that the refuse...(For full story click on title)