Local News

Wellington jazz musicians to perform at prestigious festival



Three Wellington Secondary students are competing in a music festival featuring North America's top young jazz musicians.

11th graders Ethan Olynick and Kenton Dick, along with 12th grader Tiana Dick, are competing among 1300 high school musicians at the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California.

Wellington music teacher Carmella Luvisotto says her students...(For full story click on title)

Commission's report calls for changes to island electoral ridings



All signs point to a few adjustments to provincial electoral ridings in the region.

The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission has issued a preliminary report, including shifting voters in Nanaimo's College Heights and Westwood Lake areas into the Nanaimo riding from Nanaimo-North Cowichan.

To make up for the that, the commission suggests pushing the Nanaimo riding to the north from Fifth...(For full story click on title)

Scam featuring BC Hydro, pre-paid Visa cards hits Nanaimo woman



Another scam victimizing a Nanaimo woman, this one featuring BC Hydro and pre-paid Visa cards.

RCMP Constable Gary O'Brien says a 48-year-old woman got a call from a Utah number, with someone saying they represented BC Hydro.

He says they said to the victim that her tenant owed money from a previous unpaid hydro bill and she was instructed to go out and buy pre-paid Visa cards...(For full story click on title)

Logging truck accident closes Highway 4 for hours



Minor injuries to a logging truck driver after his rig flipped on Highway 4 at the south end of Cameron Lake.

It happened early Thursday afternoon and spilled a load of logs across the highway.

The driver required some stitches.

Oceanside RCMP say the truck blew a tire.

The incident shut-down the highway for two hours.

Facebook scam costs Nanaimo woman over $100,000



Nanaimo RCMP are calling it one of the most costly scams in recent memory.

Constable Gary O'Brien says a Nanaimo woman is out $125,000 after falling victim to a Facebook scam.

O'Brien says the women, in her 70's, struck up a friendship with a man named "Tom Brown" on Facebook.

The scammer then began asking for money for a variety of...(For full story click on title)

54-year-old arrested for attack on sex trade workers



Charges of assault with a weapon are pending against a 54-year-old man who allegedly hit two sex trade workers with a 2x4.

Constable Gary O'Brien says it happened on March 5th around 2:30 in the afternoon.

He says they had two sex trade workers on the streets near Victoria and Prideaux and they got into an altercation with a male who produced a 2x4 piece of wood...(For full story click on title)

Black Press opens up on some plans for island newspapers



The future of the Vancouver Island newspaper market is a little more clear three months after Black Press bought 11 Glacier Media papers, including 8 on the island.

The Nanaimo Daily News will remain open for now, however, nearly 20 employees of the printing press and mailer sections will lose their jobs.

Black Press President Rick O'Connor tells us that it's...(For full story click on title)

Island Health still monitoring situation after Hep A scare



Island Health is still watching the aftermath of the recent Hepatitis A scare on the mid-island.

Island Health's Doctor Jeff McKee says no new cases connected to the positive test from an employee working at the Nanaimo Superstore have been recorded.

However, McKee says people could still get the symptoms from that original source.

He says although now they're outside the time...(For full story click on title)

Ferry rate hike offset by fuel rebate



Fares on BC Ferries are going up 3.9% on April 1st.

But on the same day, a 1% fuel rebate goes into effect.

That will mean marginal rate increases.

For example, foot passengers at Departure Bay and Duke Point will pay $16.70.

Passenger vehicles will pay $54.80.

MP Crowder says Harper government has no exit strategy for ISIL campaign



The Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Cowichan has several concerns with the government's plan for an expanded combat mission against Islamic State extremists.

The majority Conservatives want a year-long extension to Canada's mission in not only Iraq but Syria as well.

New Democrat Jean Crowder says there are many questions to be answered.

She says the Prime Minister was clear...(For full story click on title)

No snowpack could lead to early water restrictions



The city of Nanaimo is closely watching its water supply.

The city's manager of water resources, Bill Sims, says a big reason why is they have zero snowpack, which helps offset the high demand season.

He says that raises questions about how their water supply will fair over the summer time, so they just want to let people know they are monitoring the supply...(For full story click on title)

Conservation group worried about Cassidy Aquifer



A local conservation group is growing worried about contamination from Nanaimo's Airport making its way into a key aquifer.

Laurie Gourlay, president of the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society, says the Nanaimo Airport property sits about 1 metre above the Cassidy Aquifer.

Gourlay says their group has learned that the city of Nanaimo's...(For full story click on title)

Nanaimo CarShare looking to expand



The Nanaimo CarShare program is about to get a little bigger.

Director Ken Walker says they are in the process of buying a third car to be based at Country Club Centre.

He says they've got the financing all in place for it and just saw some discussion in the group that it's probably time to start shopping for that car now, so hopefully by summer.

Walker says they have about 70...(For full story click on title)

RCMP release picture of armed robbery suspect



Nanaimo RCMP have released a picture of the suspect involved in an unsolved robbery in January.

The Co-Op Gas Bar at Brooks Landing was held up at 8 pm New Year's Day.

The suspect, armed with a black pistol, demanded cash from the clerk and fled on Departure Bay Road.

He is described as white, 5'11, 180 pounds and was wearing a grey hoodie, sunglasses and a balaclava...(For full story and a picture click on title)

SD68 eyes two week spring break because of "government under funding"



Strong criticism of the Liberal government from Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools Board Chair Steve Rae.

Rae says the board is considering extending spring break in SD68 to two weeks, as a way to save upwards of half a million dollars.

Rae says he understands why some people are opposed to the move, but it's something they have to look at because the current government under funds...(For full story click on title)